Hi all. I had a question about ship combat initiative. I understand that if you have a PC ship go up against an NPC ship, you handle initiative order very much like personal combat. The PCs choose one character on the PC ship to perform their action, then, if they don’t spend monentum/threat to keep the initiative the NPCs ship has an NPC act. It just keeps going back and forth until both sides have all characters gone. If one side has extra characters that have not gone, then they all go on that one side until done, then start the next turn with a character on the oposite side of whoever went last. Now, my question is, what happens if one side has more that one ship. Lets say, the NPC side has 2 ships to the PCs 1. Do you start with the PCs, then one NPC from NPC Ship 1, then 1 NPC from NPC Ship 2…then back to the PCs.
That’s how I run it at least. Otherwise it can be boring for the players if all have acted and there are a bunch of NPC turns left. Also, it gives the players a better opportunity to react to what the NPC ships are doing.
No idea if that’s according to RAW though.
Look at the sidebar “NPCs and Starship Operations” on p. 225 of the Core Rulebook. In principle initiative in starship combat works like initiative in hand-to-hand (or hand phasers ) combat, abstracting individual NPCs to their ships.
Having just ran my first long campaign of STA, the initiative system in any of the combat scenarios was the worst. Alternate activations is fine but everytime it was the PC characters turn it was just endless debate about what they should be doing which really slowed everything down. In the end I made them roll a d20 and we went highest to lowest with an alternate activation with NPCs or enemies and it made everything way better. Each to their own table but players deciding collectively each time it was their turn to do something is playing by committee all the time. Kills the game.
Well, sounds like the system’s not for the players or the players are not good with the system.
That’s what the CO’s Rally-Action is for: Give inspirational speech and a combat-order. Then everybody else has their jobs, maybe also order (“helm, attack run - security, fire at will - will, take cover!”).
Well, it’s a game. I don’t think the intention is that whoever gets to play the XO calls all the shots. But still, players, with GM assistance, should be more organised and disciplined than that.
Combats get very boring if it devolves into arguing about what to do. After having a couple of chats about it, if they don’t get their act together, I’d start threatening to say that the adversaries take advantage of their indecision and therefore they lose their turn. Perhaps at first they lose 1 Momentum. Then 2. Then 3. If they run out of Momentum to pay, then the adversaries take advantage and their turn is lost. Nothing like having consequences to cut through indecision.
Obviously, don’t be a Richard about it. Give them fair warning and reasonable amount time to make decisions. But they have to realise that 10 minutes spent arguing about whether they hide behind the star or the moon is not fun for everyone else. One of my first things to do when I start a campaign with a new group is to get them disciplined for their turns. They’re thinking about and preparing for their turns when they’re not taking them, so turns are spent communicating their actions to me and rolling dice rather than figuring out what to do.
I believe that Initiative order, beyond the first actor as implied by the circumstances, can be determined by their Daring. You can just implement that.
Well, how do they do it in the shows? CO will go “Ideas, everyone?”, followed by everyone throwing in ideas. Discipline would be to throw only one idea.
Of course, I speed up coordination with piling up Threat if my Players take too long.