Zeppelins & Bombers - Now Available

Covering the FASA version of Crimson Skies.
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Grant
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Re: Zeppelins & Bombers - Now Available

Postby Grant » Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:26 pm

Just giving my opinion/take on that (We'll let Patrick confirm it) Is since "normal" heavy Fighters like the Mako can't or just barely fit, that anything larger than the old fighter BTN 1 won't fit in a zeppelin. Make a cargo plane BTN 1 or smaller and it'll fit :D

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Re: Zeppelins & Bombers - Now Available

Postby Phoenix » Sun Aug 05, 2012 4:02 am

Hey Patrick! I've been reading through the campaign rules and I have to say that it's even better than I thought. Thought I'd throw my hat into the question ring, though, so here goes:

1. Which units can make use of Forward Operating Bases? The rules say that National Militias can have 4, Volunteer Militias can have 3, and Corporate Militias can have 2. Can other unit types not use FOBs? If they can, how many can they have, 1?
2. It says that units that "follow commands from a higher authority" must roll on the random mission table once per day. Which units are considered to follow a "higher authority"? I assume that it would be National Militia/Air Force, Law Enforcement, Air Security Company, Corporate Militia, Volunteer Militia, and Estate Security (maybe Privateer Organization as well?). Or is it just the Militias?
3. In regards to special orders, who rolls for it, and which units does it apply to? Do you roll and then everyone takes part, sort of like a weekly "special event"? Or is it for "higher authority" units, so they basically get an unusual mission once per 6 turns? If so, does the opposing force have to take part, or could they fight "autonomous" units?
4. It talks about using a unit's Initiative to decide whose missions go first? What determines a unit's initiative? Is it equal to the unit's size value (ie, a Privateer Organization has an initiative of 2, a Corporate Militia has an initiative of 6, and Estate Security has an initiative of 10)?
5. Squadron Tactics seems weaker than Personalized Aircraft. Both offer the same benefit (+1 SS) but Personalized Aircraft applies at all times, while Squadron Tactics only applies if 6 or more planes are present, which could be difficult to muster, especially early in the campaign.
6. And, just for my own personal interest, how long is a campaign turn? I noticed it was fairly vaguely defined (which I suspect was intentional) but I was wondering if there was a general amount of time you were operating with. A turn a day seems a bit fast-paced, so my current guess is somewhere between 3 days and a week per turn, but I was wondering if you had anything to say.
7. In regards to the Zeppelin Base Special Characteristic, I had two questions. First, how do you determine what type of zeppelin the group starts with? I would assume that it would be a carrier-capable zepp, most likely military, but I wasn't sure how to determine what size zepp the player starts with. Obviously, a blimp is out, but is the player otherwise just free to choose between any size zepp they want? I think the rules are balanced enough to make all zepp types viable, but it seems like it would be hard to resist picking a really big one. Second, high rolls on the starting income table say that players can then start with a zepp for $5K. Is this separate from the Zeppelin Base characteristic? If so, is it possible to have a zepp base without choosing that special characteristic?

I've probably forgotten a few, so I'll add them if I think of them. Once again, thanks for the answers and all your hard work!
Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement.
"Is it heavy?" "Yes." "Then it's expensive - put 'em back." -Jurassic Park
With me surprises are rarely unexpected. - Any Pink Panther movie

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Re: Zeppelins & Bombers - Now Available

Postby Patrick » Sun Aug 05, 2012 4:47 am

I'll try to answer every question tomorrow. No time today. Thanks everyone. When I revise the release i'll either include a faq or post a thread here with all the questions that get asked and all the answers. :)

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Re: Zeppelins & Bombers - Now Available

Postby Phoenix » Sun Aug 05, 2012 4:31 pm

Just got to the point where it says that a turn is considered to be a day, so that question at least is answered. Serves me right for not reading far enough in.
Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement.
"Is it heavy?" "Yes." "Then it's expensive - put 'em back." -Jurassic Park
With me surprises are rarely unexpected. - Any Pink Panther movie

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Re: Zeppelins & Bombers - Now Available

Postby Patrick » Sun Aug 05, 2012 9:22 pm

Khy wroteColonI noticed there was no zep hook on cargo planes nor any info on how zeps and large craft interact. I'm assuming that this means that cargo planes cannot dock with zeppelins for mobile transfer. Can the old generic cargo planes still dock?


Any aircraft size BTN1-10 can dock with a zeppelin and fit inside the hanger, including the Mako. For role playing purposes or house rules, you could design a Special Characteristic like "Heavy Fighter Hanger Doors" that accommodate the Mako, but per the ZB rules, the Mako can fit just fine. Light and Heavy Bombers/Cargo planes cannot be docked with zeppelins, and can only be "hoisted" by then which much be done on the ground, and no rules exist for doing that. So Grant is right. :)

Phoenix wroteColon1. Which units can make use of Forward Operating Bases? The rules say that National Militias can have 4, Volunteer Militias can have 3, and Corporate Militias can have 2. Can other unit types not use FOBs? If they can, how many can they have, 1?


All other types can have 1. This is something I'll add to the revised download. (It's funny, when finalizing the rules for ZB, I tried to think of every what if and question, but I see I missed a few. ;)

Phoenix wroteColon2. It says that units that "follow commands from a higher authority" must roll on the random mission table once per day. Which units are considered to follow a "higher authority"? I assume that it would be National Militia/Air Force, Law Enforcement, Air Security Company, Corporate Militia, Volunteer Militia, and Estate Security (maybe Privateer Organization as well?). Or is it just the Militias?


It should be written in the unit description if they answer to a higher authority. If not, it is Size 1-3.

Phoenix wroteColon3. In regards to special orders, who rolls for it, and which units does it apply to? Do you roll and then everyone takes part, sort of like a weekly "special event"? Or is it for "higher authority" units, so they basically get an unusual mission once per 6 turns? If so, does the opposing force have to take part, or could they fight "autonomous" units?


This is tricky to answer, and I was hoping I had made it more clear in the rules. Sorry everyone. Here is how it is supposed to work: Player A has to roll for special orders. This means they roll off the table on page 31 and must execute those orders on top of other sorties they set for the turn. Player B, who in this example is not a unit that needs to roll special orders, will be the "enemy" for the scenario, even if they aren't involved. So let's say Player A rolls a 4, which is Defend Target: Ammo Dump. Then for that turn, Player A must assign a flight to defend her Ammo dump. If Player B doesn't fly into that zone during the turn, no combat occurs. In all ways treat it like a standard flight assignment.

For the Random Mission table every 6 turns, it is one roll only, and the mission includes all players. Player A would roll on turn 6, Player B on turn 12, etc. So let's say it is turn 6. PlayerA rolls 1D10 against the Random Mission table on page 31 and rolls a 2. Both players must play an "attack commercial zep" mission for the turn. This is an "all in" type of mission, so the players can use any or all their pilots/aircraft that are available for the turn at this point. Because Player A rolled a 2, she must try to capture the zeppelin, while Player B "pilots" the comm. zep and flies escort for it. I wanted these missions - and all missions during the campaign to be somewhat ambiguous so that the players themselves could develop their own sense of the rules and shoulds/should nots. The players should agree on things like zeppelin size (obviously an XL zep is harder to defeat than a small zep), etc. The idea here is to encourage the role playing aspect. This can be played out like the board game can - either with tons of back-story and role playing or just as a simple board game. I think the campaign rules will be more enjoyable for all parties involved if they can work together to choose missions and specifics that tell a bigger story. For example, if I know you want to play a Hollywood unit, I would base my unit in Hollywood or close by so combat between us makes sense. If I am using a zep as an aerodrome, I would use a Hollywood zep, with the backstory that it was stolen from Hollywood while your former unit escorted it. Or something. Anything to develop the characters' motivations and story arcs. I envisioned the campaign rules to play out similar to games like Red Baron III, where each morning you assiign flights of aircraft to patrol yours and your enemy's territories. The pilots might be in dozens of dogfights, but the bigger goal still stands and your enemy wants to win as bad as you do. So who do you send on that dawn patrol to strike deep into enemy territory, risking those pilots to death and the POW camps?

Phoenix wroteColon4. It talks about using a unit's Initiative to decide whose missions go first? What determines a unit's initiative? Is it equal to the unit's size value (ie, a Privateer Organization has an initiative of 2, a Corporate Militia has an initiative of 6, and Estate Security has an initiative of 10)?


Initiative is based on the unit's size, correct. So a Law Enforcement unit would have a Unit Size and a Unit initiative of 3. This is a low initiative, and it will take Law Enforcement units longer to react than a small unit.

Phoenix wroteColon5. Squadron Tactics seems weaker than Personalized Aircraft. Both offer the same benefit (+1 SS) but Personalized Aircraft applies at all times, while Squadron Tactics only applies if 6 or more planes are present, which could be difficult to muster, especially early in the campaign.


Early in the campaign it will be easier to fly in a flight of 6 than later, unless you are clobbering your opponent. Unless you are playing a smaller unit and/or starting with a lower income. And speaking of incomes and the role playing side of it, another suggestion is to both agree to hand pick incomes based on the unit's size (like using the examples in the tables showing the average costs). That way it will be more realistic. Otherwise you risk rolling a 2 and your opponent rolling a 20. The table for income is there to make it more random, with an eye towards more money, but all of the rules in this book are optional.

Phoenix wroteColon6. And, just for my own personal interest, how long is a campaign turn? I noticed it was fairly vaguely defined (which I suspect was intentional) but I was wondering if there was a general amount of time you were operating with. A turn a day seems a bit fast-paced, so my current guess is somewhere between 3 days and a week per turn, but I was wondering if you had anything to say.


A campaign turn is a day. This is to simulate a day's sortie's and the short amount of time squadrons have when facing an enemy bent on your destruction. Originally the rules were written so that each flying day had times of day you could specify (morning, noon, afternoon), so Flight 1 would be morning, Flight 2 at noon, etc. I found this to be too clunky and it dragged out the campaign even longer. 24 turns with multiple scenarios per turn is a looot of Crimson Skies action. :)

Phoenix wroteColon7. In regards to the Zeppelin Base Special Characteristic, I had two questions. First, how do you determine what type of zeppelin the group starts with? I would assume that it would be a carrier-capable zepp, most likely military, but I wasn't sure how to determine what size zepp the player starts with. Obviously, a blimp is out, but is the player otherwise just free to choose between any size zepp they want? I think the rules are balanced enough to make all zepp types viable, but it seems like it would be hard to resist picking a really big one.


Whatever zeppelin the player wants. Again, this should be something that the players can all agree on. If Player B wants a zep as an aerodrome and won't play the game unless they get to use the Lady Bluebonnet, that doesn't make much sense unless they are a Size 1 or 2 unit. But if all players are okay with it, excited with the challenge of taking down the Super Star Destroyer, so be it. I would just hope all the players can agree on what is reasonable. If you want a medium zeppelin for your Security Company zeppelin, that sounds completely reasonable to me, etc. One note though: Blimps and attack balloons can be used as aerodromes.

Phoenix wroteColonSecond, high rolls on the starting income table say that players can then start with a zepp for $5K. Is this separate from the Zeppelin Base characteristic? If so, is it possible to have a zep base without choosing that special characteristic?


If you roll on the table and get the option for a zeppelin at $5K, you don't need the special characteristic. If you don't roll on the table to get the zeppelin, you need to spend the special characteristic to get it. the cost is $5,000 either way.

Phoenix wroteColonI've probably forgotten a few, so I'll add them if I think of them. Once again, thanks for the answers and all your hard work!


Thanks Phoenix, and thanks to everyone else for downloading and reading ZB! Hopefully all the new information will fall into place once you start building your squadrons, bombers, cargo planes and zeppelins! :D

Phoenix
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Re: Zeppelins & Bombers - Now Available

Postby Phoenix » Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:00 pm

Thanks for the answers Patrick! As someone who's really into the roleplaying aspect of the game, it's great to see a lot of support for it.
Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement.
"Is it heavy?" "Yes." "Then it's expensive - put 'em back." -Jurassic Park
With me surprises are rarely unexpected. - Any Pink Panther movie

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Re: Zeppelins & Bombers - Now Available

Postby Patrick » Tue Aug 07, 2012 2:01 am

I am having a contest for best bomber design and best zeppelin design over in the Hanger. http://montanaraiders.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=1413

Good luck everyone!

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Re: Zeppelins & Bombers - Now Available

Postby feggula » Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:49 pm

Hey Patrick, just out of idle curiosity, what prompted the increase of engines and the decrease in gas bags with zeppelins? Was it to do with survivability, game play, to keep the zeppelins more in line with the PC game? As I say, just idle interest, it suddenly dawned on what was different between the original large zeppelin and the new one - about 30 lift points and 8 engines! :D

Must confess though, I do like the zeppelin rules and its nice to have some movement, a turning zeppelin has always bothered me because I have always attempted it to do be done in whole hexes, the notion of anchor points and effectively a half hex turn had never occurred to me.

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Re: Zeppelins & Bombers - Now Available

Postby Patrick » Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:29 am

feggula wroteColonHey Patrick, just out of idle curiosity, what prompted the increase of engines and the decrease in gas bags with zeppelins? Was it to do with survivability, game play, to keep the zeppelins more in line with the PC game? As I say, just idle interest, it suddenly dawned on what was different between the original large zeppelin and the new one - about 30 lift points and 8 engines! :D

Must confess though, I do like the zeppelin rules and its nice to have some movement, a turning zeppelin has always bothered me because I have always attempted it to do be done in whole hexes, the notion of anchor points and effectively a half hex turn had never occurred to me.


The gas bags are due to surviavability. FASA really wanted military zeppelins to not be sitting ducks for any group of fighters. I agreed with them, envisioning the need for a flight of heavy fighters packing serious punch (like aerial torpedoes) or another zeppelin to really cause trouble. It is one of the reasons civilian zeps are unarmed and unarmored, to make escorts more important.

The increase in engines was to make zeps harder to bring down as well as fall more in line with the flavor text of the source books. (The Legacy Class REALLY has 24 engines -12 per side - but that is simplified for ZB rules.)

Anchor points were the only way I could figure out how to move a zeppelin that FASA liked. :)

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Re: Zeppelins & Bombers - Now Available

Postby Grant » Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:44 pm

Just was gonna post up a quick thing: THe fearless leader hasn't disappeared ;) Like I do alot.

But harvest season is on, so aside from a little monitering, and checking stuff, I ain't gonna be posting a HUGE amount. :D


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