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Joel47

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Everything posted by Joel47

  1. While I agree that the ranges are closer to "reality" than anything else I've seen in non-historical gaming, it just seems odd to have ranges if they almost never matter. The new short-range bonuses help, of course, and I'm still pushing for the "recommended" table to be 6'x6'.
  2. Check the "Hacker" upgrade (p28-29) -- that sounds like what you're after. It doesn't give you any extra activation cards, but you can bury an opponent's activation card once per turn.
  3. Sure why not. Test using it that way and provide feedback. We've been doing it this way for a while in CAV1. It takes a split-second longer, and it helps if you roll the drift die so that it lands right near the target, but it can avoid the gamesmanship of making sure your models aren't on the "drift paths" of your other models to cut down on being hit by drifting rounds. Naturally, in a high-density environment with many models on the board that's not possible, but it's nice the rest of the time. Cohesion is voluntary. Everybody can ignore it. Well, yes, but would they be subject to the effects of being out of cohesion if they were out of range but had Scout? A strict reading of the text would say no, but that answer doesn't make sense to me. At present no. Does it need to considering putting a Gunship AT in a bay is a way better use of that space? Ooh, I hadn't thought of that. What are those nesting Russian dolls called?
  4. Some comments from a first reading (when I should have been working): Drift direction: To avoid the "gamey" effect of drifting only in the four cardinal directions, how about an optional rule allowing the use of a "drift die" (a die with an arrow on it)? Can infantry voluntarily suppress themselves (dive for cover)? Could a Rifle platoon be made up entirely (or even mostly) of mortar infantry? Typo in Critical Hit Damage Example -- should be "and [two] bonus point of Critical Hit Damage)." Would CAVs with Scout be able to ignore Cohesion? Does the 12" infantry cohesion apply to infantry in AFVs? I don't suppose there would be any game effect, as they can't be affected unless the carrier is destroyed, but I figured I'd ask. Does Run and Gun affect the Drift roll? (It should.) What happens if defensive fire triggered by a Run and Gun decreases the attacking model's speed? Deflect -- I'd say, "by any [attack] that doesn't have the PBG attribute" to avoid later confusion. Typo in Dropship SA -- should be "Gunships do not actually occupy the Size [2] area" Dropship SA -- does Bulky have an effect on the number of infantry carried? The more I read it, the more Wrecker seems corny. I'd rather see the Rhino get Blaster. I'd prefer to see the cost of things like Accurized be based on the power of the weapons of the model (or at least the number of attacks), rather than a straight point cost. Explain why Hacker is linked to a given model if the Hacker is off-board. Berserkers -- why wouldn't 2000 points yield 8 berserkers? Typo?
  5. Some comments & questions from our games last night: Table size: We played on a 4'x6' board going the long way. Things are still cramped side-to-side with 2500 points, but 6' long feels about right. I still think 6'x8' or 8'x8' is required to really use the ranges and scanning options -- otherwise most of it's useless. We also came up with a range suggestion -- since anything outside of infantry never has a target outside the second range band, maybe decrease all ranges by 4-6" and halve the size of range bands outside the first (print ranges as 28/14). That could also help differentiate the abilities of different weapons -- maybe missiles (and IF) have range bands of 36/36, while PBGs have ranges like 28/12 (fluff: decreased maximum range due to atmospheric effects). Regardless, we feel the 4'x4' to 4'x6' recommendation in the rules to be insufficient. If the writers feel that 4'x4' needs to be included to avoid intimidating people without much space, include it but with the caveat that such a small size only works for games under 1500 points/side. FIST: This is the first time we played with strike missions with allocations greater than 1 (using the "group pool" of missions that anyone with FIST/x can use, if x is big enough). These things had better be expensive -- we figure Battery Strike at maybe 150 points (three six-inch diameter templates, touching!), unless you're on a board bigger than 4'x6'. Is there a max range for calling in FIST strikes? (We think no, but with an increased drift range when outside, say, 32", as per our previous suggestions for increased IF drift.) Should LoS be required? (We're leaning toward yes, except for cruise missiles.) The Orbital Pinpoint Strike is the only one that explicitly requires it. The group pool of strike missions is realistic and we like it, but it makes some things (like the Terran ability of FIST/1 for everybody) very powerful. We're also thinking that infantry shouldn't be able to call strikes from within a transport. Misc: Does a level 1 hill/wall provide cover for a gunship? It does by my reading of the rules, but it seems odd unless it's popping up/dropping down (which should waste some movement). Perhaps there should be a "hull down" non-combat action that gives you half movement and you are considered one size smaller for cover purposes. Point blank should be a penalty for IF (except grenades). Masters of Energy is too powerful, at least when playing a force made primarily of Koda Works units with Deflect. To drop it in line with the other abilities, give the player a choice of gaining Deflect for friendlies or ignoring Deflect on enemies, but not both.
  6. I'd like to see those, too -- I've got a game scheduled for Thursday evening.
  7. I like that a lot. While it does make the rules differ more from Warlord, it should help out on the realism front (in a "makes sense" kind of way, as opposed to a "justify giant walking robots" way). Keeping track of the various purchased missions wouldn't be hard at all -- just produce record cards (or make your own from index cards) with the various FIST missions printed on them. When you activate the ability, discard the card. And yes, Engineers shouldn't be able to mix-n-match this way, as their tools are carried with rather than chucked down from orbit.
  8. This rule should definitely be adopted. It makes sense, and prevents wierdness like the situations DChihorn just mentioned.
  9. Yes, but why should you do extra damage when you hit if you can only barely hit by luck? That would work just fine. Maybe for fast demos, but I certainly wouldn't list 4x4 as acceptable in the rulebook unless a qualifer is added that smaller tables are only suitable for demos, sacrificing tactical flexibility (and screwing with the point system) for speed of play. I don't want to see the same problem that cropped up with the first printing of AoG's Babylon 5 Wars, where the Minbari were massively overpointed. It turned out the play area the company used for playtesting was twice the size of the map that shipped with the box set. If the CAV authors want the game to work on a 4x4 to 4x6, ranges (especially EM effects) need to be reduced now before playtesting goes much farther (or they need to make sure their point system makes for minimal cost differences between a range 28 weapon and a range 36 weapon, for example, and makes stealth cheap).
  10. Some questions and comments from my latest playtest session. I did a quick re-scan of the nine pages of comments, but still offer my apologies if these have been answered. Could we create a FAQ thread, with the first post constantly edited with Q&A's? 1. We don't think criticals should give extra damage unless the margin of success on the crit roll is greater than zero. If you need an 11 to hit, why should any "lucky" (10) hit do two points of damage? 2. The data cards have movement class: Walker, but the movement chart shows that movement column as "CAV." 3. Leaving close combat should have some kind of bonus for the size of the unit. A Rhino should be able to walk away from Shredder infantry. 4. A Rally action gets rid of Shaken, but it doesn't say it gets rid of Supressed. Does it? 5. On p. 33, in section 3 d on ranged attacks, the lack of a qualifier implies that crits can occur at any range with indirect fire. 6. Airborne -- I don't see Attack or Heavy Gunship Transport listed anywhere in the rules. We assumed that was a transport of movement type Air. 7. Sniper -- Do you mean, "if the Model inflicts damage"? 8. Lose "optionally" for destroying a Thumper -- make it part of the default ruleset. 9. We assumed Barrage does not affect the Drift roll. Is that correct? 10. Drift should be increased 1-2" per range increment outside the first. It seemed odd that drift was just d6 inches regardless of range. 11. Recommend a bigger board. Saying the default board size is 4'x4' to 4'x6' will have people playing on that size board. We think 4'x6' is a minimum, and 6'x8' optimal, or else Stealth is almost useless. If you want to make the game fit on a smaller table, lop another four to eight inches off ranges and cut the Scan to Fire range in half (especially for infantry). We played on a 4'x8' table and found ranges to be too long. (I used to play CAV1 with terrain set up like badlands to block LoS, and I'd rather not return to that.) 12. Air movement isn't fast enough -- add at least 50%, at least to transports. On a regular size board, most everything is blown up before infantry can be dropped off. 13. Hunter and Shredder (especially the former) are underpriced. The way the odds work out, they add 33-50% to the chance to hit -- if you needed a 9 without, you now need a 7, which doubles your chance from 20% to 40%. 14. While we played Adonese vs Rach, we feel the Special Abilities for Ritterlich and (especially) Terrans to be underpowered compared to the rest. Templar is borderline. I ran this one in public, and got favorable comments from onlookers. It looks like the added complexity is a turn-on to many.
  11. "Thin air" was a poor choice of words on my part; my apologies. Any chance the point system can be made public, or at least included in the next private beta? Our feedback may be improved by being able to give quantitative, rather than just qualitative, feedback.
  12. To the writers: Remember that *now* is the time to get the basis for the points system right. I recommend the use of mathematics and statistics over TLAR ("That Looks About Right"). Playtest the mathematical theories and alter them accordingly, but don't pull number out of thin air. Oh, and *please* don't make two units with identical stats have different point values because they're from different factions. For an excellent primer on stats-based point systems, buy all of Dan Kast's games (Majestic 12 Games) and write off the (quite moderate) expense as "research materials." A space combat game such as Starmada X is simpler than CAV, but the new simplicity of CAV 2.0 comes close enough that you should be able to follow a similar pattern (without plagiarising, of course, though if approached correctly he might license some stuff for, at most, a nominal fee). Darn, now it's in my head and I'm thinking about it. Assume the ability to do a point of damage in a round is worth a certain value, and multiply that by correction factors for accuracy (straightforward stats based on average defense) and range (a bit of guesswork, but start with double the range = double the points). You should probably factor speed into range, using (range + speed) as the range to start with, though it may turn out that .75*speed is closer. Multiply that by the number of guns and a longevity factor (start with sqrt(damage tracks), since effectiveness drops drastically with damage) and you should have your offensive rating (excluding special abilities, which should be done only after you have a working vanilla points system). Figure a defense rating based on defense, number of tracks (which could be included after offense/defense, since it appears in both), and probably a bit of speed, since it can help you find cover. Pointing things like stealth correctly will be very important, but again should wait until after the basic system is working correctly. Working correctly is equal point totals of disparate numbers should be evenly matched in straight up fights in playtesting. These test fights should have even or nearly-even numbers of units at first to avoid the "fuzzy-wuzzy" factor. CAV should be more resistant to that than many games, since guns only do a single point of damage, reducing the overkill of puny units. Finally, combine the offense and defense into a single point total. Adding them together may work, but treating them as orthogonal vectors may be better (points = sqrt(offense^2 + defense^2)). That assumes, however, that offense and defense are equal, which is the real trick; depending on testing, the final point total might be more like offense + 0.5*defense. This can even be tweaked to encourage certain styles of play -- if defense is expensive for its in-game effectiveness, people will load up on guns and hope to kill their opponents quickly. CAV 2.0 has the potential to be a great game (I already like the flow of the new rules), but I'd hate to see it crippled by either broken-point units or constant revision as people come up with new tactics that break the point system (*cough*MWDA*cough*).
  13. Joel47

    Cav2b Bodies.

    I'm in favor of that. It will also reduce clutter, which is already getting worse due to the counters necessary for the extra unit states (stealth, etc).
  14. Joel47

    CAV 2 Beta

    Easy enough fix -- you must either be in the back arc or out of LoS for your entire movement.
  15. Joel47

    CAV 2 Beta

    All this complaining about rear arcs (we don't care for them, either) leads me to suggest two options: 1. (obvious) Get rid of them 2. (stolen from Warmachine) To make a back strike, you must both start and end your movement (if any) in the back arc. This means indirect attacks would hit the front unless the firer were behind the target, as well as making it more difficult to get back shots against any non-surrounded unit.
  16. Joel47

    CAV 2 Beta

    In first-edition CAV, our 4'x8' table looks like forested badlands -- several stands of woods, and *lots* of small hills ranging from L1-L3. Everybody is almost always in cover, and it doesn't help much. We've found we can open up the terrain for second edition now that Dictators can't run 20 inches and destroy a heavy CAV all by themselves. This leads to terrain setups that look a little less contrived.
  17. Joel47

    CAV 2 Beta

    And because space is a problem, games have to be smaller, making runs in the initiative deck more likely. With CAV 2.0, it's harder to one-shot-kill a (heavy) CAV, so going twice in a row is not much problem as it was in CAV 1. Going three times in a row, which happens to us with enough regularity to be a complaint, is still going to dramatically skew the result unless the sides have yet to engage. We normally play with 4-5 activations/side. "All those kids..." -- oh, I still have her daycare class picture up. She's in the front row, third from the left, wearing the shirt that says, "Books Taste Good."
  18. Joel47

    CAV 2 Beta

    There are two problems with that: 1. Space. While the slightly slower movement of CAV 2.0 mitigates this somewhat, I wouldn't want to play 7500 points on anything smaller than, say, 10'x6'. It's rather hard to find a table that big, and playing on the floor makes it too easy for my daughter to join in. I can make an 8'x8' at the FLGS, but it's hard for people to reach the middle of the table. 2. Cost. Yes, most of the people in this discussion can easily field 10k+ points, but most people can't. I think we lose one of our great selling points if we require a $200+ outlay to get started. I got quite a few people interested in CAV when I told them they could have a good all-purpose force for $100. I'd rather not have the game be quite so card-luck dependant at small sizes. Besides, how hard is it to include a line recommending, as an optional rule, that the number of cards in the initiative deck be at least 12, and that the number of cards per platoon be doubled (or tripled) if necessary to create that. Cards tend to come in groups of 52 - why waste it? Except that without opposed die rolls, single- and double-point shifts in armor (such as are created by cover) are worth more, making it easier to twist the odds in your favor (especially when facing big guns' defensive fire). Sure, it may *feel* like you're doing something when you're rolling dice on defense, but the overall effect is to increase the randomness of the game (with a corresponding decrease on the effectiveness of good tactics).
  19. Joel47

    CAV 2 Beta

    A few comments and questions from our first playtest Friday night: 1. The Rat special ability is out of alphabetical order. 2. Special abilities and Upgrades should be denoted separately on data cards. While they serve virtually identical in-game functions, it means you have to look in two different places when searching for an effect. 3. I think Engineers should be Bulky (and armored engineers should be Bulky/2). 4. I couldn't find anywhere where FIST is spelled out. Always spell out your acronyms for those (few) gamers without military backgrounds. *I* know you mean FIre Support Team, but I read a lot of Tom Clancy.... 5. While it's stated that Indirect Fire doesn't require line of sight, nowhere does it state that the defender doesn't get cover (for, say, being in woods). We played that they don't. 6. Does the bonus from Barrage affect the drift roll? (We played that it didn't.) 7. Does Point Blank affect indirect? 8. Does PBG affect indirect? (That's an obvious "no," but the rules don't say otherwise. Naturally, we played that it didn't.) Note that this and the preceding three questions imply that Direct and Indirect attacks should each have their own set of modifier tables. 9. Run and Gun doesn't explicitly state that you can fire at any point in that action's movement. It does imply it in the last sentence (return fire). 10. Will there be cards for individual models as in Warlord? 11. We think the extra durability (caused by weapons only doing one point of damage per hit) really helps the game. The only problem we have is with infantry -- with only one damage track, it has been reduced in utility (Tough/x notwithstanding). We recommend infantry defense be increased to 10; to counteract this, increase Shredder to +3. Whether this is done or not, Dictators (and similar) are now too good at killing infantry. Hunter should apply a -1 or -2 when firing at soft targets (or increase it to a +3 to mirror the Shredder suggestion, and drop the RAV by one). 12. Consider an optional initiative that uses alternating activations (think Battletech), particularly for small games. While the increase in effective durability helps, it's still too easy to cripple a few things if you go twice (or thrice) in a row. Alternately, have the number of cards in the deck doubled or tripled once all setup and scouting effects have been dealt with. That should help even out the chances of going many times in a row. My players loved the changes, and definitely think it's already a better game than CAV 1.0. This is mainly due to to the lack of opposed die rolls -- it removes some of the chance from the game, making tactics more important than dice (a major complaint about v1). Everybody's really enthused, and we're trying to make even more time to playtest.
  20. Joel47

    CAV 2

    Any idea when Build 2 will be coming out? I've got a game Friday and I want to know if I should start up the printer.
  21. Joel47

    CAV 2 Beta

    Remember that Gunships (and APCs) are modeled at 1/3 N scale (1/480th) so that we get 2 per blister, rather than 1 per $15 blister. They're probably a bit too tall to hide behind a tank.
  22. Joel47

    CAV 2 Beta

    Yes, but (no offense intended) did you have an enemy with equal or better tech trying to jam said communications? I think the cohesion distances for infantry are a little small, but they should definitely exist. As far as other units go, they're big enough not to be restrictive, and having them around will make it look like you're actually organized into some kind of functional unit if you do play in a gymnasium. I agree. Maybe this could exist for infantry, but mainly it seems like a leftover from Warlord. When you come out with a CAV carrying a giant mace, give it a charge ability. Sure, they can push -- enter Close Combat. As someone stated above, it allows you to establish a picket line, which is otherwise impossible without overwatch. Alternately, at the cost of greater complexity, maybe you could keep moving after making contact (and non-infantry units can push through infantry stands), but you draw defensive fire. The trick is disengaging from what's essentially CQB while maintining unit cohesion. Remember that we're assuming line troops (not elites) engaging troops of similar skill. To answer your point, maybe allow this to be automatic, at the cost of a shaken token? I thought I recalled a special ability that allows infantry to avoid that; if it's not there, we should add it. On the other hand, sure, command and control is maintained, but it still takes time. Maybe the reasoning could be changed, while leaving the game effect intact -- dismounting leaves infantry with only one action, due to the time and concentration it takes to unass without getting split up or "Shaken". I see it as more a sensor issue than a stabilization issue -- ECM and adaptive camo being what they are in the CAViverse, moving makes it harder to be precise. Also, sure a modern-day tank can hit a target while on the move, but can it hit the turret/hull join reliably? In CAV 1 there was quite a bit of hitting without hitting anything vital.
  23. I use Army Transport tray inserts inside a large Rubbermaid container. It's definitely worth it for those of you like myself with large collections (it would take 3 Army Transports to hold everything). $6/tray, with each tray holding about a dozen CAVs in a 2.5" tray (more tanks/aircraft/infantry in a 1" tray), plus $14 for the container capable of holding trays in a 2x2 arrangement stacked a foot deep. And it (barely) fits in my Jetta's trunk.
  24. The new Rhino fits fine in the 2.5" - it's those missile pods on the Revenant that are the problem. Still, I will be getting a 3" for the larger CAV, and I'll probably mod some CAVs into poses that won't fit well in 2.5" trays. Yes, it does, but barely. Some of the original (lighter-colored foam) trays varied a bit in hight which left the tops of the missile racks even with the top of the tray. This would lead to the tray above resting on the mini when the foam compressed (especially if there were a few trays above), so I moved my Rhinos into a 3".
  25. I bought one 3" tray for things like the Revenant and (new) Rhino.
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