Terrain Features for KWs

jedion357's picture
May 10, 2011 - 8:33pm
Ok- not to start a debate over reality versus fun play but the asteroid rules in KWs does not really match conditions in the asteroid belt in sol system but probably comes close to the density of rings around a gas giant.

Infact the vast majority of the material in sol systems belt is contained in just 4 bodies- I kid you not just four bodies.

Anyways I was thinking about alternate asteroid rules- if combat takes place in the region of the main belt then there is the chance, based on speed, that each turn the ship will be struck buy a small bit of debris and holed- 1hp and atmosphere leaking- leaking slowly but still needing to be dealt with.

Addtionally- there are 3 possible results of an asteroid being struck by another (called and impactor) and I think 2 of these could be used in game. the set up is that each asteroid is moving on the map during the game and they will collide at a pre-determined time: turn 4, 5 or 6. One result would be the impactor shattering the asteroid and reducing it to rubble. It becomes a debris field within its hex still moving on the asteroid's previous course and speed and any ship coming within a hex of it has an even greater chance of being holed with 1-2hp of damage. This increased chance of being holed has an area of effect around the shattered asteroid that is 1 hex per turn since the impact for the rest of the encounter.

The 2nd result- is that impactor shatters and blasts away from the asteroid and creates a debris plume that has the same effect as above but is only on the side of the asteroid where the impact occurs.

Dragon #88 "Battle of Ebony Eyes" details two nearly identical black holes orbiting each other as a location for a battle.
Ships coming within 5 hexes of a black hole are lost but can orbit at 6 hexes with its engines off- not sure about this but that s what the article says. Anyway a black hole would make a significant terrain feature since it can cause instant destruction of a ship. Would not beam weapons have their effect bent by passing through the 5 hex radius of a black hole?

made up of gas and dust and the birth place for yound blue stars
high speed could be bad- and lead to a sand blasting effect of the hull and external sensors and cameras
could also be an area of high likelihood of the ship being holed for 1 hp and loss of atmosphere.

Gas Giants
looking at wikipedia it seems that the outer layers of a gas giant is a thinner atmosphere- this suggests that  atmospheric capable ships of small size can enter- for what reason? gas scooping. and a gas giant would take up more than 1 hex making it a significant terrain feature. then throw in rings with a really high likelihood of the ship being holed if at too high a speed. this could be a great raid scenario where the aggressor is trying to tag the asteroid mining shuttles which can enter the atmosphere for cover. Assault scouts can also enter the atmosphere for cover but sathar destroyers cannot.

Any other ideas? what else could work as terrain features in a KHs game?
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Putraack's picture
May 11, 2011 - 10:47am
Warning: I'm far more familiar with Star Fleet Battles than KH, so that's going to color my response.

Asteroids: You could have small & large asteroids, and weak and dense hexes. The former are big enough to dock to/land on, and could be pulverized by some amount of damage (like 50 or 200 hull points). Hitting them would do damage like ramming a ship. It would probably be easier just to assign them a Hull Size equivalent.
   The latter would be fly-through-able, but have varying amounts of damage. A higher ship's speed would increase the damage, and a high MR and a good pilot might reduce the damage. Say, at speeds under 5, roll d10-4 to see how much damage is taken; at speeds 6+, d10-1; speed 11+, 2d10 - 4; and so on. A denser field/hex, designated by the ref., would add something to the die roll.
    Small and large individual asteroids could exist within the hexes of the field. Some hexes might not have any asteroids in them, some might have more. Some kind of Sensor skill roll might help the pilot out here, too.

Black Holes: per your above question, a beam weapon should not be able to shoot through a black hole's 5-hex "event horizon." You could also add that every turn, all ships are pulled one hex closer to it if they are within, say, 15 hexes of the hypermass, and every other turn at ranges 16-30, and so on.

Nebulae should do the sandblasting only at higher speeds, but should have growing negative effects on sensors and the like.

I'm with you for Gas Giants. SFB a long time ago printed some gas giant cutouts for the maps, they came in 5-hex, 9-hex and 11-hex diameters, IIRC. The outer layer or two of hexes were passable by ships, but only at low speeds (like 1/turn), and with heavy penalties to spotting and shooting.  SF:KH doesn't have hydrogen scooping like Traveller, so I don't expect them to be as widely seen. On the other hand, hiding in/behind a gas giant would be a great place for pirates and smugglers to meet up.

jedion357's picture
May 11, 2011 - 12:51pm
True, we dont have hydrogen scooping but it could be added for Mining purposes-

combat in nebulae having a progressive degrading of the sensors would put a time limit on active combat opperations and make the use of mines even more effective.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
December 30, 2011 - 6:16am
Found an interesting feature in a System brief of Truane's star from the old SF list serv archive.

Xagyg nebula dust drifting into Truane's star system. dust is largely carbon and iron (not sure if that is realistic in view of new discoveries- very likely that it is elements with lower atomic numbers) and its highly radio active and plays merry hell with scanning equipment. adding an extra modifier to jumping into or out of the system. Perhaps an extra % to the chance of misjumping.

This also makes Truane's star great terrain for pirates if they have an edge at avoiding detection. It may also explain the Star Devil turning to minin in the Volturnus system if the competition amoungst pirates was becoming to hot in Truane's Star.

I like the basic idea and think there is something that can be worked with here.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!