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Poll: What sounds reasonable to you?

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questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011


So this is sort of a POLL. I want the opinion of other designers...

In my game "Tradewars - Homeworld", Fighter Starships can attack another player's Homeworld (Base) if they have no defences (their own Fighter Starships).

When an opposing player attacks an undefended Homeworld, an *Initiative* roll occurs.

*Initiative* is a concept used in space battles. It basically says that whomever rolls the higher value has a tactical advantage over the opponent such that they are the ones on the offensive.

But the question is, does this make sense for a Homeworld (base) to be able to *out manoeuvre* a Fighter starship? This question is debatable because one could argue both ways, or can you?!

You could say that an attack by a Fighter Starship *missed it's mark* on the planet's Homeworld such that the attack caused NO DAMAGE.

However you could argue that this is not possible if the planet has no defences (the reason Fighter starships exist in the first place). The attack should hit the mark because there are no defences...

In my mind BOTH are valid arguments...!

What do you think?

Should a player with a defenceless Homeworld roll the *Initiative* dice or not???

Note: In the case of a successful *Initiative* roll by the defending player, the attack is stopped... Unlike starships where the attack is REVERSED...

So basically I want to know if you think that a Homeworld (base) should roll the dice OR should it be an automatic hit (in the case of a defenceless Homeworld)???

Toa Lewa
Toa Lewa's picture
Joined: 10/31/2013
Defending Homeworld

Should a player with a defenceless Homeworld roll the *Initiative* dice or not???

I would argue for either position depending on the specific situation. If a home world is completely defenseless, I would argue that the home world should not roll initiative. However, is a home world without fighters truly considered defenseless? What about the population of the planet? Are they armed? If the planet is armed, I think the planet should roll initiative dice.

I use a similar mechanism in my "Skyward" game, but the mechanic applies to the actual spacecraft. Each ship automatically has their own crew, and ships can board other ships. However, to board a ship, the crew must be defeated. Maybe in your game, the population must be succumbed before the attacking force can take control of the planet.

Joined: 11/06/2013
I think the home planet

I think the home planet should still get to roll for initiative. The fighter might mismanouver the atmosphere and crash and if it gets through, the world might not have military defenses as such, but the population wouldn't give up without a fight.

Joined: 11/09/2013
Yes, I think

Yes, I think the home planet should roll initiative, but the fighters shouldn't miss completely if they are 'outmaneuvered'.There should be a damage reduction, but not zero damage.

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
Well you know, a planet's

Well you know, a planet's defenses could happen to be point in the right direction when the attacker arrives allowing them to attack first since the planet rotate all day long.

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Homeworld defenses

Okay so first of all, I don't think there will be a missile turret or some kind of laser turrets that will be built along with the buildings in the Homeworld... And if there were, they would naturally have to be scattered all around if they intend to keep the population safe.

So my argument is that the defence that a planet (Homeworld) has is Fighter starships. If there are none, the Homeworld is defenceless.

As such, I would tend to lean that it (Homeworld) would NOT roll the *Initiative* dice because there would not be any form of defence to stop an enemy Fighter starship from attacking it.

In terms of the *Solitaire* scenario, this gives the scenario more tension... You only have a limited amount of tries to destroy The Derelict alien starship. You can only support three (3) successful attacks. A fourth (4th) one would reduce your Homeworld to cinders.

Joined: 11/19/2013

Thematically I would say that the planet is never completely defenseless. It's defense is just too small to be represented in game terms.

It sounds to me like you are considering maneuvering to be the only form of tactical advantage but preparation and intelligence would also be important advantages, so I could see it either way thematically.

If I were going to make a decision on this it would be to preserve game balance and simplicity.

How would it change the game balance to roll that die or not?
Does rolling that die or not make an unnecessary exception in the rules?

Joined: 06/07/2012
I think “initiative” is

I think “initiative” is thematically off target. Initiative implies conscious action, albeit dependant upon an agents ability (physical or otherwise). To give a fixed construction with no visible means of movement or obstruction ability an “initiative” roll just seems off.

However, the fighter ships aren’t immune to other factors that could limit their actions. Planets have orbits, rotations about their axis and satellites in the upper atmosphere. All of these things impact on movement, requiring entrants to alter their trajectories and enter the atmosphere through fixed windows.

So a planet could be given entry windows as fixed values. The fighter ship player would roll a dice, modified by whatever factors, to align their ship for entry. A good roll would give them a higher initiative to perform more actions, or more complex actions, before the base player responds. Or they could roll very badly and miss the window of entry opportunity allowing the base player to act first.

Different planets could also have different entry values, making some planets harder to enter than others (regardless of their infrastructure development). The time of entry, or date of entry could also modify entry values requiring the players to plan for the best time to attack and so on.

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