Spartan_FA_Mike

3rd Edition Command Orders

178 posts in this topic

Of all the changes coming in 3rd Edition, this one has my vote for being the biggest change.  You may have noted that in fleet construction, at least 60% of your MFV must be allocated to ships from your Core Fleet choice.  The rest go towards alliance ships, and purchasing command orders.  What are command orders?  Well, let me share.

The MFV of the game you are going to play gives you a number of free command points:

command points by game size.pngAgain, nevermind the green.  It doesn't mean anything.

On top of this, you may purchase command points based on the faction that you are playing:

Fleet tactics and command cost.png

These command points provide an abstract way to represent additional fleet resources, commanders influence, racial bonuses, training, etc.  They can be used at various times during the game.  Here is a summary of orders that are available:

 

command orders.png

In addition, if the Fleet Admiral is not on the board for any reason, all of the point costs go up by 1. Also, if a ship has the Specialist(command) MAR, then the cost of performing an order is reduced by 1.

Some highlights that I will get to in other posts:

  • Emergency vectoring is a method to do an Immelman maneuver.  The ship rotates 180 degrees and moves its minimum movement, at the cost of a command point(s) and a roll on the sub-systems critical table (without the damage from the critical).
  • Focused Fire actions give a bonus to your weapon systems: 
    • A Primary weapon gains +1 to-hit for attacks at Short or Medium range
    • A Secondary weapon gains +1 to-hit at Point-Blank range
    • A Tertiary weapon gains +1 to-hit at Long range
  • Targeted Strikes are no longer penalized with the -1 to-hit. If a critical hit is made, the attacker chooses a result on the sub-systems critical table.
  • Boarding is no longer limited to once per ship per game.  Board as often as you like, if you have command to spend on it.  Well, and some other restrictions apply; a post on boarding will come soon.
  • Command actions at the end of the turn can remove Disorder from ships.  Disorder that remains on a ship at the end of the turn is converted into CP loss.
  • Repairs can be made by rolling a chance on a table, or by spending a point to ensure the repair is made.

So for me, in beta testing, this was the single hardest thing to get used to.  It adds another dimension to fleet building, because you want to have enough command to get things done, but too much means there aren't ships on the table.  I'm not sure I've found the balance yet.  It makes things interesting when you're down to only a few points left and you have to decide if it's worth spending it on a repair when you might get that lucky roll to get it done for free...

The faction orders will be posted in a separate post, due to image size restrictions.  Again the disclaimer applies here:  These have not been published in the official pdf yet.  I don't think they are going to change, but they could.  If your favorite order isn't here when the document finally comes out, I'm sorry.  It was nothing personal. :)

 

Edited by Spartan_FA_Mike
Targeted Strike change.
tansalus, azrael and wrongtrousers like this

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I like the sound of these from reading them. Do you generate any command points each turn or is what you start with what you get? 

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You get only what you start with, with a few exceptions.  The Sorylians can do a one-time restore of lost points, and the Ops Center (X) mar give you a chance to regain one when the ship activates.

tansalus likes this

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so just one concern balance-wise, the ships with the highest fleet tactics also have the cheapest buys for command points, this makes sense, and will be noticeable how one team can coordinate their efforts, as others get by.

but i'm assuming/hoping that this means the factions that can't seem to cooperate as well, may have some other ways to make up for it (such as more "specialist" ships, or some cheaper/better ships in general)

in your opinion what are some of the balancing factors?

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oops!

nevermind, I just realized I read the chart wrong, and command point costs and fleet tactics are inverse of each other, that's balance enough for me

(I had initially read it as dindrenzi having a tactics bonus of 3, and having the cheapest cost for command points, while directorate having the lowest tactics bonus, and the highest cost)

Venter likes this

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18 minutes ago, tansalus said:

I like the sound of these from reading them. Do you generate any command points each turn or is what you start with what you get? 

Ah, dang...knew I would forget one more thing.

During setup, there is a determination for who is the attacker and defender.  These are known as having Strategic (Defensive) Dominance, and Operational (Attacking) Dominance.  The player with Strategic Dominance regains a single command point each turn.  To offset this, the player with Operational Dominance gets a +1 bonus to initiative.

5 minutes ago, Polaris said:

so just one concern balance-wise, the ships with the highest fleet tactics also have the cheapest buys for command points, this makes sense, and will be noticeable how one team can coordinate their efforts, as others get by.

but i'm assuming/hoping that this means the factions that can't seem to cooperate as well, may have some other ways to make up for it (such as more "specialist" ships, or some cheaper/better ships in general)

in your opinion what are some of the balancing factors?

I think you have this backward.  The Dindrenzi and Aquans have the highest fleet tactics bonuses at +3, but each of their command points costs 20 points (the most expensive) from your MFV when building the fleet.

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I am rather shocked at how many formerly standard actions now require Command Points to execute. I guess it will speed up the game if they happen less often.

Stoobert likes this

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43 minutes ago, alextroy said:

I am rather shocked at how many formerly standard actions now require Command Points to execute. I guess it will speed up the game if they happen less often.

For certain classes of ships whose role may require a command point, the Specialist(order) MAR has been added.  This would include Specialist (Boarding Action) for Assault type ships, and Specialist (Full Stop) for Destroyers, etc.  Some races also get them if they are inclined to boarding or other such actions. 

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40 minutes ago, Spartan_FA_Mike said:

the Specialist(order) MAR has been added.

Does this mean that a Specialist may perform said action for free?

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I'm curious to know why the commands were implemented in this fashion, particularly most of the movement ones.  While I can certainly see the Emergency Vectoring requiring close coordination and attention to detail, some of the other ones are quite puzzling.  How much attention do you have to pay to tell someone to warp out?  The warp drives brought you in and are standard equipment; it shouldn't be massively hard to tell people to turn them back on again.  Same with full stop.  Would you honestly consider letting a crew *start* a ship if they couldn't bring it to a stop in as short a distance as possible?  This should require no more verbiage and coordination than telling people to fire weapons would.  I had similar concerns about the ordering system in Planetfall: some of these seem extremely forced.

I guess this at least serves to bring some balance to the having a low tactics score, which was previously just a total kick in the nuts for low fleets with no corresponding benefits at all.  I'm not sold on the concept though.  You simplify combining/linking fire, simplify movement, speed up the game, and then introduce an entirely new system that needs to not only be tracked during the game but also adds time and complexity to fleet construction?

mutantpoo, LBPB and Commodore Jones like this

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Fleet Tactics Bonus still does the same thing? So a bonus to initiative? If so, why not just keep it in +0-2 range as 1 for Directorate and Sorylians is effectively 0. Unless it is used somewhere else and you need the 1-3 spread for it. 

 

Agree with Paladin21 on some orders. Full stop and FSE seem to be pretty standard manoeuvres and paying for them seems wierd and forced. 

LBPB likes this

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50 minutes ago, Kurgan said:

Agree with Paladin21 on some orders. Full stop and FSE seem to be pretty standard manoeuvres and paying for them seems wierd and forced. 

With this rules it stop being pretty standard manoeuvres and become tactical decisions. :)

azrael likes this

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1 hour ago, Kurgan said:

Agree with Paladin21 on some orders. Full stop and FSE seem to be pretty standard manoeuvres and paying for them seems wierd and forced. 

Seconded, although this I can get (grudgingly) used to.

But this way you pay points for an (ok) AP value in the ship's cost, than you pay additional points if you want to actually use them...

Precision strike wasn't a stellar option before, now on the other hand... well, I haven't seen the table, so it might still be usable :)

Polaris likes this

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3 hours ago, Small Mek said:

Seconded, although this I can get (grudgingly) used to.

But this way you pay points for an (ok) AP value in the ship's cost, than you pay additional points if you want to actually use them...

Precision strike wasn't a stellar option before, now on the other hand... well, I haven't seen the table, so it might still be usable :)

By Precision, do you mean, Targeted?  The sub-systems critical hit table is detailed here:

 

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4 minutes ago, Spartan_FA_Mike said:

By Precision, do you mean, Targeted?  The sub-systems critical hit table is detailed here:

Targeted indeed, sorry for the mistype. I hope my problem with it was not missed though - now also paying points to shoot at something with a -1 modifier to be able to pick from the (weaker?) critical options... instead of achieving a damaging or double critical for example... But, I'm still trying (really hard) to find the positives in the new system (found a few so far, so there's still hope for me :) ), so please excuse my knee-jerk reactions...

 

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I see your point.  I was never a fan of targeted strikes in 2nd edition, I'm too conservative to want to take the -1 hit.   I think that it remains an edge case that is available, but won't see much use.  The option makes sense, I think it's problem is trying to find a way to use it that doesn't overpower all other options.

If you've got an idea for it, please start another thread and let's discuss it more there.  I do think it ought to have a command cost, since it would be a tactical decision. I personally don't think the command cost is the issue, for me at least.  It's that there is generally a better firing option to be had.  At any rate, let's talk it over.

murphy'slawofcombat likes this

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I'm just wondering that if you have to spend a Command Point on it, why does it need a -1 Hit Modifier? You would be trading a random and possibly better critical hit for a specific if limited results on a successful critical hit? If 1 CP is too cheap, step up the cost and let the dice flow!

Polaris and reddwarf like this

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6 minutes ago, alextroy said:

I'm just wondering that if you have to spend a Command Point on it, why does it need a -1 Hit Modifier? You would be trading a random and possibly better critical hit for a specific if limited results on a successful critical hit? If 1 CP is too cheap, step up the cost and let the dice flow!

He who controls the dice, controls the Universe!

Yeah, definitely different ways to think about it.  I'll take it back to HQ and see what we can do about it.

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Just a moment, if I'm reading correctly, this write up means that a targeted strike results in an attacker chosen result on the sub-systems critical table?  This could be brutality incarnate if so, you might intentionally shut down a Directorate Annihilation gunship's hellish fore gun with a single solid hit.  Which I would say is better than Decompression forcing a disorder token onto the duo squadron.

I really would like to know how disorder has changed, as it was an all or nothing singular token before.  If it works the same and on the entire squadron as before, then throwing a disorder token onto a single model like a Wayfarer or Isonade to rip away linked fire could be a semi-reliable thing.  I haven't been keeping track on this front though, if it has been talked about.

Even if that option fails, a Main Drive Failure is a horribly crippling result to any Large Capital, and will cripple any squadron's ability to maneuver without being disordered.  Again, assuming disorder creates the same or similar effects.  Given frigates would have imploded, for the vast majority, this mainly would be very interesting to see hit Cruiser squadrons and how they would now deal with a limping ship slowing them down.

The potential value hinges on how, or if, disorder has changed for the purposes of linked fire interaction across a squadron.

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Good question re: disorder.

Disorder - Certain actions during a battle strain the ability of squadrons to perform at maximum efficiency. While these actions may not cause damage in and of themselves, the ability of a crew within the squadron to make adjustments to critical systems, perform damage control, provide medical assistance, and operate 
weapons systems, etc. is often severely hindered.   

In game terms, Disorder reduces a squadron’s ability to function as a cohesive element.  Disorder can be removed (returning the squadron to peak efficiency) by use of command resources and medical shuttles, but if this is not done, the ship captains must reallocate vital crew from other tasks to support areas of their 
vessels where more crew are needed.  If disorder is allowed to build up, even the best trained crew will have insufficient resources to keep a squadron in fighting form, resulting in losses to ship core hull integrity within the Squadron instead.  
• Each Disorder Marker on a ship increases the cost of Command Point actions by One. 
• During the End Phase, the Crew Points on a Model will reduce permanently by the number of Disorder Markers it is carrying. If the vessel cannot apply the Disorder Markers to Crew Loss, apply the Disorder Markers to Hull Point Loss instead! In either case, once Disorder has resolved, the Disorder Marker is removed. 

Dr_Vector likes this

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Interesting, although as I read the boarding assault rules a ship's CP only affects its' attack dice pool, and the PD value(s) are what oppose said CP value.  Which means destroying crew, in so far as it relates to boarding, only weakens involved ships' ability to aggressively board you.

I can't say I'd willingly pay a command point to inflict a potentially equal command point hike for an opponent, so overall I can't really see decompression as a strong choice when using targeted strikes.  There might be some niche roles here, but I'm suspecting rather outlier situations for justification of use.

Good to know more details.  Might have to mull over it a while to see cases where intentionally choosing this would be equal or maybe greater value than the other options, given the penalty to hit, and thus success.  Well, for choosing decompression, an on demand fire control offline and main drive failure has potential.

 

Wait, actually I have a follow up question.  If that is what disorder tokens do, does squadron coherency failure still cause disorder, and to whom at what value?

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