My ambitious project, the BRUSHFIRE module

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My ambitious project, the BRUSHFIRE module

Postby Kargaroth on Thu 12 Feb 2015 23:07

I have started a module for STARFIRE 2nd Edition that, if executed correctly will implement tactical ground battles. The goal is to eventually be able to play out skirmishes and battles between ground forces on a level ranging from platoons to battalions, of course the first thing that I want to address is the distance that each hex should represent as almost everything else will be directly and indirectly related to that. Another thing that I am working on deciding is whether or not to add troop transport related hulls and subsystems to STARFIRE. After I get these two things figured out I plan to move on to reviewing the ground units that will be appearing and the general weapons technology that will be used by ground troops. If my goal and ideas seem a bit broad and patchy it is because I am still in the initial planning phase. thoughts and advice would be much appreciated.
Working on BRUSHFIRE a tactical ground combat module for use with the 1984 STARFIRE box set.
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Re: My ambitious project, the BRUSHFIRE module

Postby TimE on Wed 18 Feb 2015 19:19

Well for the scale your talking about one hex equaling 50 to 100 meters would be a good place to start.
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Re: My ambitious project, the BRUSHFIRE module

Postby Cralis on Wed 18 Feb 2015 19:34

It depends upon his objectives. If goes with an operational level where each hex represents 100 (or hundreds) of miles he can cover a large portion of a planet's surface yet still have aerial units, artillery, naval units, etc. He'd have the advantage of being able to abstract logistics, landings, and bombardment in a way that requires tactical decisions that are meaningful, and combat that has context within the operations of the whole invasion.

If the goes with 50-100 meters then most HEL weapons should cover the entire map and you'll be using highly tactical combat at the squad or platoon level. The disadvantage with that is you'll have to find a way to integrate a "ground campaign" for conquering planets, even if it's only a "win x out of y fights" -- doing such a campaign with the same detail and granularity as the tactical ground combat system will make it as complex as the starfire campaign system... but only covering a single planet.
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Re: My ambitious project, the BRUSHFIRE module

Postby Kargaroth on Thu 19 Feb 2015 19:33

TimE wrote:Well for the scale your talking about one hex equaling 50 to 100 meters would be a good place to start.


Cralis wrote:It depends upon his objectives. If goes with an operational level where each hex represents 100 (or hundreds) of miles he can cover a large portion of a planet's surface yet still have aerial units, artillery, naval units, etc. He'd have the advantage of being able to abstract logistics, landings, and bombardment in a way that requires tactical decisions that are meaningful, and combat that has context within the operations of the whole invasion.

If the goes with 50-100 meters then most HEL weapons should cover the entire map and you'll be using highly tactical combat at the squad or platoon level. The disadvantage with that is you'll have to find a way to integrate a "ground campaign" for conquering planets, even if it's only a "win x out of y fights" -- doing such a campaign with the same detail and granularity as the tactical ground combat system will make it as complex as the starfire campaign system... but only covering a single planet.


That is the problem I've run into. I think though if I had two scales of combat I might be able to make something that would interest me quite a bit, The larger scale dealing with logistics and placement of artillery for support etc. and the smaller scale dealing with Infantry (and possibly Armor) put into a smaller engagement area etc. It would raise complexity but it would allow for interesting (or boring) gameplay. This would be loosely similar to the strategic and tactical levels of play in New Empires unless I'm mistaken, which I may be as I've only read the New Empires book once.

I do hope I've made my idea at least semi coherent (I'm pretty bad at explaining things). This would bring up additional scaling issues, but given time I could probably work it out.
Working on BRUSHFIRE a tactical ground combat module for use with the 1984 STARFIRE box set.
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Re: My ambitious project, the BRUSHFIRE module

Postby Vandervecken on Fri 20 Feb 2015 02:46

I forgot what the scale for Invasion Earth: The Final Battle of the Solomani Rim War by GDW' was, but that game had a pretty cool planetary warfare scale. The only game of 'Invasion Earth' I ever played took over 10 hours to do, if I recall, which may be too long for what you are going for, Kargaroth? If a 12 to 15 hour battle is what you want to do then check up on it at BGG (Boardgamegeek.com) for pictures and some basic data that you might use to set scale for your Brushfire project.
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Re: My ambitious project, the BRUSHFIRE module

Postby darbycmcd on Fri 20 Feb 2015 14:04

It really depends on what your basic maneuver element (playing piece) will represent and how you want to show high tech warfare. It sounds like you want squad or even team pieces, so somewhat small scale with things like arty and CAS represented offboard. But even still I would think that engagement ranges would be quite long with remote spotting, powersuit pop-up, fire and forget munitions, etc. Something like 100 meters a hex min, I would say more like 250. Which also makes sense because of the low troop density this type of war would force.

You could also think about popping up a scale and do platoons, hexes more like 1 km. Sounds like lot but for example Javalin has an effective range of 2.5 km and max of almost 5, and Abrams around 4 so by EL1 it should be something more.

If you have it, take a look at Renegade Legion Prefect, it is not a bad set of rules to run planetary invasion at a larger scale and then pop down to smaller if there is an interesting battle. If you don't have it contact me offlist....
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Re: My ambitious project, the BRUSHFIRE module

Postby Kargaroth on Fri 20 Feb 2015 23:11

All of these suggestions have merit, but I'm still trying to decide for myself where to cut off at. It's tough for me because, though I prefer tactical combat with infantry squads and such, I also want artillery and armor as well as other long range things. I'm just too indecisive I guess.
Working on BRUSHFIRE a tactical ground combat module for use with the 1984 STARFIRE box set.
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Re: My ambitious project, the BRUSHFIRE module

Postby Whitecold on Sat 21 Feb 2015 09:16

One thing you should consider from the beginning is what should the advantages for a player be to conduct a complicated invasion comparing to using orbital bombardment to blast away resistance.
My preferred direction would be having ground combat centering around high-value targets by small units, with collateral damage limiting the use of bombardment.
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Re: My ambitious project, the BRUSHFIRE module

Postby LordKron on Sun 30 Aug 2015 12:52

For platoon level, about 100 meters per hex should work. Perhaps a system that integrates multiple scales. Say 1km per hex at company level, and 10 km for battalion level. At larger scales things like artillery and air cover could be built in for ease of bookkeeping. This way players could decide how complicated they want ground combat to be in an individual campaign.

For 2nd edition I would just use military hull ships with atmospheric capability. I could see specialized shuttles for ground combat. For example troop carriers, or fire/ground attack support shuttles.
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