Lanceraad
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Ad Astra space combat questions

Wed 31 Jan 2024, 21:21

I recently got the wonderful new book of Ad Astra. Which I will be adapting to my campaign. However, I did have a couple of questions regarding space combat.
  • The damage table indicates that if a ship is hit in an area with a gear bonus of 0, the result above it in the table applies.
    • Does that mean the next bonus up gets reduced, or the effect above it in the table triggers?
    • What happens when the hull has already been reduced to 0, and a shot lands on the hull? Is there no effect? Wouldn't that prolong space combat? (Especially if a ship was manned by only robots)
  • There seems to be no rule that says you can't hang out the airlock and take podshots at the enemy ship with your pistol. I think that's amazing, but I wonder if it was intentional.
  • What kind of resilience would the player ship have if it was to partake in space battles?
The last question is opinion off course. The whole theme with the book seems to give you a nudge, but leave the details up to you.
 
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ulmus
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Re: Ad Astra space combat questions

Fri 02 Feb 2024, 10:53

Author here. First, space combat is obviously not the focus of the campaign, so the rules are more for GMs who want to branch out. That said, I think you've hit the right spot.

When you roll for damage effects and roll an area that has 0, the result above it applies, which means that area instead loses one point. If that area is reduced to zero, the effect triggers. If hull is affected but has 0, nothing happens (you are in effect already floating in space in a shot through sardine can).

Space combat isn't meant to have a specific end point. It is an event in an adventure that can lead to other things. So when the end of space combat is depends on what you mean with "end". Maybe you want to shoot out the engine or board them or just leave a mark. The thing is that even if you fire holes into a space ship, it will still keep moving through space :). So space combat might be prolonged if the only true end state is that the other ship is blown out of space.

There is indeed no rule that says you can't hang out the airlock and take potshots at the enemy ship with your pistol. And the rule of cool suggests that you do just that :). Note that you need to make more damage with your shot than the space ship's resilience for it to have any effect. Typically the space ships in Ad Astra are not double-hulled, well maintained, combat worthy starships, but sardine cans with fusion reactors. Shooting at them with guns can be very effective!

It's a bit of an omission to not give Mundilfari a resilience score! It should have Resilience 2.
 
Lanceraad
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Re: Ad Astra space combat questions

Fri 02 Feb 2024, 14:29

Hello Ulmus,

Thanks for cleaning all that up! I know space combat isn't the focus, but it's too cool to pass up ^^

I was getting the impression that space combat would usually end in withdrawals, surrenders or boarding actions (and leaving a mark is an interesting idea as well). And there is always a small chance of becomming disabled by having your engine shot out. I think this is the right call, because all of those are way more interesting than just blowing up stuff.
I also appreciate the effect of shooting more holes in a tin can.

I kinda dig the idea of spacecraft with a mounted scrap cannon (probably in the form of a large rocket launcher). And a bunch of people shooting their guns. It's very cludge and post-apocalyptic.

As for resilience, you still do damage even if the ship isn't affected this turn!
 
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ulmus
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Re: Ad Astra space combat questions

Fri 02 Feb 2024, 17:06

That’s the exact vibe I was going for. Broadsides with scrap cannons or people in cobbled together space suits with rocket sticks going on a boarding mission (and missing their target, entering a long orbit around the sun :))
 
stalorato
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Re: Ad Astra space combat questions

Sat 10 Feb 2024, 21:21

haha J just read ad astra but didnt quite get the idea you could hang outside and shoot with your own scrap-weapons, thats brilliant!! =)
 
stalorato
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Re: Ad Astra space combat questions

Sat 10 Feb 2024, 21:27

and J guess if you are in space or hanging outside a spaceship and fire a lowtech homemade-rifle you will fly backwards from the recoil and maybe start tumble?
 
stalorato
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Re: Ad Astra space combat questions

Sat 10 Feb 2024, 21:45

haha so J guess if you are a strong enforcer you might even make damage if you throw something at the other tin-ship,
you might not need a dynamite spear, a homemade bomb (with a magnet?) or some kind of net with metal weights, hooks and a container of acid
nor a homemade harpoon with a electric charge -might be enough with a homemade scrap axe if the dices rolls right? =)

never realised that a ordinay weapon could damage the space ships -but J like it! =)

would a scrap-cannon alter the course of the ship when fired so the pilot need to compensate? maybe not..
but should it be a risk that mutants outside of the ships get hit if another ship is shooting back on them?
need to read the rules againg =)
 
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ulmus
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Re: Ad Astra space combat questions

Sun 11 Feb 2024, 00:30

and J guess if you are in space or hanging outside a spaceship and fire a lowtech homemade-rifle you will fly backwards from the recoil and maybe start tumble?
Basically, failing on any roll based on Strength or Agility (like Shoot) in 0G means you start to Tumble (page 101). This is meant to emulate that a successful role includes that you successfully braced yourself. Other effects of recoil are up to the GM of course, I use liberal descriptions of the effect of low or zero gravity and people flying into each other when I GM.

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