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The Construction Program went to a major update to clean up some code as well as adding data cards for every model currently available in game and a few more to boot (I even put the Scorpion in there for you :).
The Force Manager is also now available windows based machines. The FM zip contains the latest CP as well.
If you have any questions on its operation (either program), find a bug, find a model we missed, etc. please submit an email to: bugstomper(at)talon-games(dot)com
The following file compiles all of the data cards from the CAV CP and puts them in one master PDF file.
I have also updated the model list.
WE ARE LIVE! CAV:SO KICKSTARTER II
By Savage Coyote
A few nights ago I managed to get a game of CAV in with MiniAddict and is son at Texas Toy Solider in Carrollton, TX. Because of the three player nature we were faced with, his son and I were a team with each of us taking 3k points and MiniAddict taking 6.2k or so points! We set up long ways on the table and the only modification due to the terrain type we had was to play "true line of sight." Our terrain wasn't leveled well as it was more 40k/Fantasy terrain so this seemed to work. Forces were all "mercenary forces" by the rules due to composition/unit types"
4x Lion II's
Catamount (Jaguar model)
3x Puma's (blue Cougar models)
We also decided to use individual model activation with the cards as opposed to section activation.
So Turn one was pretty much everyone rushing forward and/or moving forward and activating ECM to discourage target lock pot shots. The Templar force was a little more cautious in it's approach than our side I think.
Turn 2 was really more of the same, though we had our first suppression with my Catamount suppressing the Spartan that had used it's ECM. One of the Javelins Run 'n' Gun'd and dropped four damage on my Cougar while the heavy tanks dropped a Javelin on the far left side.
For all intents and purposes, the game ended on turn three. We were positioned to be able to do a lot of damage and lucked out in the card deck draws. We had five or six cards turn in row. I took charge, activated the Catamount, and fired off his Active Phased Array 2, which netted all of the forward Templar elements. Next, two Chieftains raced up to the center Spartan (he's behind the rock in the center of the board) and killed him with medium PBG's. Next, my Thug moved over to put six damage on the far right Shootist. The Shootist attempted defensive fire and did maybe one damage. Everything else that shot at the Thug missed (honestly I thought I was trading the Thug to severely hurt the Duelist!). My Lion II's move up and gain line of sight to the second Duelist and kill it with one burn out (marked with a yellow 1.). Three chieftains peel left and kill the second Spartan while the other two Chieftains race over the left side Duelist and inflict some damage. Our heavy tanks move forward and kill the brave Javelin, while wiffing on the other. In MiniAddict's defense, his dice were about as cold as you could get. All night. It was painful for him and honestly for us because, in situations he should have inflicted damage or killed something (my Thug should have been dead) he'd only hit once or not at all. The only glimmer of light was one of his Centurions putting six damage tracks on one of my Lion II's. So there was that. My Puma's all used their ECM 2 and we moved on to Turn 4.
Turn Four was mainly advancing and cleaning up for our side. My Catamount activated APA2 again while my Thug brought down the Duelist (though he burned out and I retreated back around the corner before his Centurion could engage again. My Lion II's advanced forward and brought the center Centurion down to six damage tracks while follow up Chieftain hits brought it to 12 damage tracks. On the other side, the heavy tanks damaged the lone Javelin and the Chieftains played tag with the left side Duelist slowly wearing it down, though the Duelist did manage to kill one of them and severely damage the other. I lost a Lion II to a Centurion but my other three soldiered on.
We called it after turn five, as the Lion II's and three Chieftains finished off both Centurions, the Duelist fell to the LBG of the Puma, and the Javelin was smoked by a Poltergeist or Wolf. All in all MiniAddicts cold dice made this a lopsided game! There were a lot of lessons and questions for this game and we look forward to playing again!
By Rob Dean
TL;DR: I don't understand tightly linked figure and rules ranges.
I was writing my Huzzah report for my blog this morning, and one thing led to another. My collaborator and I agreed at the convention that next year's game(s) was(were) going to be something using the combined resources of our 16th century home cast 40mm projects. So, yesterday I dug out my bags of castings to see what I should start working on, and, after blogging this morning I decided that the proper thing to do was to muster the troops on the table and see what I really had. (My last inventory is both hidden somewhere and probably suspect anyway.)
So, there they are: 4 artillery pieces, 18 assorted cavalry stands, 10 stands of pikes and pike command, 5 stands of swordsmen, 4 stands of improvised converted crossbowmen, and 8 stands of musketeers. (Three need repairs, which I can do today now that I've had them laid out.)
The story that goes with these figures is this:
I have been interested in the 16th century, and the warfare of the 16th century, for longer than I can remember. It's probably a combination of being an early music enthusiast and being exposed to Sir Charles Oman's History of the Art of War in the Sixteenth Century at an impressionable age. In the early years of the current phase of my interest in the miniatures hobby (starting around 1987, say) I would play 16th century games at the conventions when I could, but never started my own project, being intimidate by painting all those Landsknechts.
By the time our club, the HAWKs, had started in 1994, I was already casting some of my own figures from commercial molds. Chris Palmer, also a member of this board, and I both had fairly extensive mold collections, including two non-compatible 40mm 18th century sets. Mine were Prince August, and his Nuernberger Meisterzinn. He also had a Meisterzinn catalog. I don't know much about Meisterzinn, but they were already a zombie company (things kept in production but no new products) by 1994. They had a small range of 16th century molds, and I thought that it would be an interesting challenge to collect them, cast up some figures, and put a game together. A set of rules called Armati had just come out, with a Renaissance section and provision for playing with a single stand as a unit, so I used that as the basis for my casting.
It took, as these things do, a couple of years to get things done to the point of playing games with them. Not long after that, Chris decided to build some 40mm Leonardo da Vinci machines to go with them, inspired by a number of games of Leonardo Plus which were run at the cons for a few years. Those rules didn't suit our collections, though, so we ended up staging a game using home rules at Cold Wars in 1999.
After that, the figures got put away for a while, until Ross and I ended up in discussions about how difficult it would be to convert enough of the figures to form the basis of a 16th century English army (still using the longbow). From there, we ended up deciding to put on a game in 2004 using a scenario from the Anglo-Scots Wars of the 1540s. The siege of Haddington in 1548 was nearly a perfect match for our hodgepodge collections, with mercenaries from all over Europe participating on one side or the other. Once again, we had to write rules to suit our collection of miniatures. My pictures of that game are unfortunately pre-digital, and buried somewhere. We even got an award from the convention for that one, because it was unusual and eye-catching.
Since then, we dust them off every few years, revise the rules again to taste, and set to. If I'm at home, I'm somewhat limited by my collection, but I can still put on a decent two player game:
I still haven't managed to get to the Siege of Malta in 1565, but Ross wants to do Turks this next year, so we'll see what happens.
Anyway, after all of that, my point and question is this:
With my DIY background, I have a hard time understanding what seems to me to be the ever increasing trend of players buying into tightly linked figure and rules lines. I see posts/listen to podcasts/conversations/etc. in which people grouse about the speed with which games come out and die, and how that renders their miniatures useless. I may be a little odd, but it's not that unusual in the historical community to accept that the figures you buy are going to end up being used with many sets of rules, that you may need to write a set to match the size of your collection, and that you might want to work on something that you like the look of, because the figures are forever, but the rules are ephemeral.
Thoughts? Are you a new person? Another grognard like me?
I'm working on some background articles and thought I would put up my first draft here to hopefully answer a few questions and get some feedback if something needs a better description or other questions you may have!
Using APA and ECM
A common question I receive from players is how APA and ECM work in an actual game setting. So, I thought I take a moment to write up a more in-depth description of the process behind both SAs.
Active Phase Array
APA is a 3D radar system designed to track multiple targets at short range using a series of non-moving sensor arrays mounted in various locations across the equipped model, each emitting a “beam” at multiple “angles” and frequencies. The on-board targeting systems of other friendly models, through the BattleNet, can use this information to help cut through enemy electronic counter-measures, increasing the chances of a successful “hit.”
How is this different from advanced targeting computers?
Every combat model in CAV: Strike Ops is built with a rudimentary targeting computer, loaded with a basic software package that helps a pilot or gunner to analyze the surrounding environment and the desired target (weak points or existing damage for example), as well as helping to manage any on-board weapon systems and the actual firing of them.
Advance Targeting Computers take this process one step further with the addition of a Class One AI. The other major difference it the addition of a successful target-lock. While the data flow from an APA is available to any model set to receive the encoded stream, an ATC requires a specific target to analyze.
Understanding Artificial Intelligence in CAV: Strike Ops
By the 23rd century the use of AI by the various races of the known galaxy have been defined by one of four classes. As is typical, these concepts are provided from a Terran perspective to allow for a common framework for our readers to understand the principals involved.
Class One AI: Reactive
A Class One AI is the most basic of these types of systems and is designed to “react” to the current situation without any regards to stored “memories,” processing the data from the “moment” and providing an optimal mode of attack, in this example, from a multitude of possibilities. The more data it receives and processes (the rating level of an ATC is relative to this processing ability), helps to increase the chance of a successful outcome.
Class Two AI: Limited Memory
A Class Two AI allows it to “observe” the surrounding environment, storing the data to help improve any pre-programmed responses to deal with a specific situation. The drawback to this class of AI is it can’t “learn” or use a previous experience to help it when it is presented with a similar event later one.
These types of AI are often found on spaceships, self-driving vehicles and autonomous farm machinery.
Class Three AI: Empathy
Class Three AIs can understand and form reactions based on how it perceives the thoughts and emotions of creatures and people or how an object can affect the environment around it. This allows the AI to modify its own programming to behave in such a way to meet the needs or expectations of a given situation.
Class Four AI: Self-Aware
This type of AI takes the previous representations to the next step, allowing it to form its own thoughts and self-empathy based on what it perceives and any needs it may have. It is aware of “self” and make predictions on how it thinks others will react to their own feelings or inferences.
How does an APA work in game terms?
While typically built “into” a given design (CAVs, vehicles or aircraft only), an APA is currently available on two configurations: Active Phase Array 1 and 2. Both systems perform the same function but differ in power and range. Examples include the Ritter’s Cheetah Nd Series IIa and the Adonese Dragonfly TB-3 Interdict APA systems.
An external APA pod is available as an add-on to an existing model but is severely limited in its overall power and use as detailed below.
A model with an APA system will require the use of a Special Action when using either of the following options. Only ONE option may be used during the current activation:
OPTION ONE - Enhanced Targeting Acquisition: Its base function, the APA will generate additional targeting data for any friendly model that is targeting an enemy model located in the area of effect (APA Pod: 18”, APA 1: 24”, or APA 2: 36”) measured from the center of the model that is actively using the APA, moving with the model as it moves (if any).
The use of this targeting data will add a (+1) or (+2) based on the APA’s rating level to an attacking model’s final combat roll. The maximum bonus for an APA Pod is (+1).
If an enemy model should move out of the current AoE of the activated APA, the bonus provided is no longer available for an attacking model. Subsequently, an enemy model that moves into this AoE will allow for the addition of the bonus should it be subject to a later attack.
The targeting bonus will remain in effect from it’s current activation until the beginning of that model’s next activation in the following turn.
The model using this function of the APA can also benefit from the combat roll bonus should it also choose to attack an eligible enemy model.
The use of multiple friendly APAs do NOT “stack” to the combat roll bonus, using the highest available rating level for the attack only.
OPTION TWO – Jamming: A model with an APA system, during its current activation, may choose to try and “block” or jam the use of an enemy APA or ECM system by overwhelming their sensors with highly concentrated bursts of energy, creating electronic “noise” to disrupt their data streams. APA Pods cannot use this option and will automatically be “jammed” by an enemy attempt against it (no opposed roll needed).
Example: A model (A) with APA 1 is activated and declares, as part of their activation, an attempt to jam an enemy model (B), also with APA 1. A jamming attempt uses an opposed roll to determine success, so both players will roll 2d6 and add the rating level of APA system to their respective roll. If model B wins the opposed roll, the attempt fails, and the action is lost. Should model A win the roll, model B will be unable to activate its own APA until after the end of its next activation.
Is the enemy model required to be in the AoE of the activating model’s APA system? What if it has both a APA and ECM system?
No, jamming does not require targeting data so it less dependent on range and an enemy model equipped with a APA and ECM system will have BOTH systems jammed.
Are there any other modifiers applicable to the opposed roll?
Yes, Ace and Veteran pilots/crews and a WSO will add their bonus to the final roll.
What if the enemy model has already activated this turn? And what happens if the enemy model is currently using their APA or ECM system?
If the enemy model has already activated this turn, it will be unable to use either system until after the end of their next activation in the following turn. If either system is currently active, any effect it is currently generating is removed and cannot not be reactivated until after the end of its next activation.
So, an enemy model is jamming one of my models, what happens if I have another one of my models jam it?
The jamming effect is cancelled, and your model may use either system during its next activation.
I had already activated my model this turn and had been using option one with my APA system before I was jammed. If the jamming is removed does the use of option one return automatically?
No, you will have to initiate it with a new special action on your next activation.
BONUS – HARM GMs: A model with an APA system may use upgrade points to equip HARM guided missiles. When used as part of a direct-fire combat action against an enemy model with an ACTIVE APA or ECM system (either option) during the current turn, HARM missiles do not require the use of an additional target-lock action to be used in the attack and adds the rating of the APA system to the combat roll as a (+) modifier.
Does using HARM GMs require a special action?
No, it is considered part of the combat action.
Does the automatic target-lock apply to other direct-fire weapon systems? Does a normal target-lock also add to the combat roll to the HARM attack? Does the automatic target-lock also add any ATC bonuses to the HARM attack?
Does Ace/Veteran Pilot/Crew and WSO modifiers apply to the HARM combat roll?
ECM (Electronic Counter-Measures) is a specialized jamming array designed to radiate concentrated energy signals at an enemy’s radar and other targeting/detection systems across a wide range of frequencies. This type of jamming requires a lot of power, limiting the overall range of an ECM system.
How is this different from the normal jamming used in option two of APA and ECM systems?
A dedicated ECM system works across a wide spectrum of frequencies and is typically referred to as barrage jamming, providing interference that degrades the ability of the enemy to specifically target. Option two, also known as base jamming, goes directly after the source of an emission, attempting to block any data from being used.
How does an ECM work in game terms?
While typically built “into” a given design (CAVs, vehicles or aircraft only), an ECM is currently available on two configurations: ECM 1 and 2. Both systems perform the same function but differ in power and range. Examples include the Terran’s Talon Cloak System 26 and the Rach’s Kahn R-Series 21c ECM systems.
An external ECM pod is available as an add-on to an existing model but is severely limited in its overall power and use as detailed below.
A model with an ECM system will require the use of a Special Action when using either of the following options. Only ONE option may be used during the current activation:
OPTION ONE - ECM: Its base function, the ECM will prevent the use of the target-lock action (or loss of an existing target-lock) of an enemy model located in the area of effect (ECM Pod: 18”, APA 1: 24”, or APA 2: 36”) measured from the center of the model that is actively using the ECM, moving with the model as it moves (if any). The rating level of an ECM system affects its overall range and its effectiveness when be used for option two. The ECM Pod does not have a rating level and cannot be used for option two or the use of HARM GMs.
If an enemy model should move out of the current AoE of the activated ECM it will no longer be affected by the target-lock block. Subsequently, an enemy model that moves into this AoE will no longer be able target-lock an enemy model and will lose any current target-locks it may already have.
The use of option one by a model will remain in effect from its current activation until the beginning of that model’s next activation in the following turn.
Does an ECM system block EST?
No, but it does prevent the enemy model from acquiring or maintaining a target-lock, effectively removing EST from play.
OPTION TWO – Jamming: See above.
BONUS – HARM GMs: See above.
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