Friday, December 16, 2016

More on Chases and Vehicle Combat

I've been delving more into Vehicle Chases and Combat, mainly because I want to keep them abstract and not need tabletop miniatures. I've done some personal hacks during game to keep things running F!F!F! but I want to codify my house rules so they aren't constantly changing in game (due to my forgetful nature). Here's what I have so far.


Honestly, I'm going back to the Explorer's Edition for Chase rules. It handles range and catching your opponent better (imho) than the SWDEX rules. So...

Determine the chase duration. I'd go with 5-10 increments. Pursuers start at 0. Prey start at 1 increment per range of head start (1 short, 2 medium, 3 long, 4 extreme). The goal for the Prey is to reach the end of the chase without being stopped, at which point they escape. The goal of the Pursuer is to stop the Prey before they get there.

In a chase, each vehicle is dealt an initiative card and its occupants act on that card (in the event of a foot chase, each individual character is considered a vehicle and gets their own initiative card). At the beginning of their turn, each vehicle makes a Piloting roll (Driving for cars, Agility for running, etc.) with + 1 if their vehicle is faster than their Prey or Pursuer, +2 if their speed is double their Prey or Pursuer). A success moves the vehicle forward 1 range increment. A raise moves them forward an additional range increment (additional raises do not move the vehicle further).

As always, a draw of a club for an initiative card indicates an Obstacle that must be avoided with a driving roll or the vehicle suffers damage (I'm lifting the modifiers from Daring Tales of the Space Lanes).

Obstacle Table
Card              Modifier
Deuce                -6
3-4                     -4
5-6                     -2
7-10                   -1
Jack-Ace            0

The range of the attack is determined by how many range increments there are between Pursuer and Prey. Each range increment counts as a level of combat range (if Prey is one range increment ahead, the range is Short, 2 is Medium range, 3 is Long, 4 is Extreme). When in a fast paced chase, you don't need to worry about exact inches or weapon variables.

Pursuers may fire forward-fixed weapons at their targets. Prey cannot fire forward-fixed weapons at their Pursuers.

Turret Weapons from any vehicle (Pursuer or Prey) may always attack at a -2 Unstable Platform penalty. Passengers in a vehicle that wish to fire personal weapons in a chase count as turrets.


To me, a dogfight is a close combat affair (dare I say melee?). All dogfights occur at Short range so their are no range modifiers to worry about.

To initiate a dogfight, an attacker must pilot their vehicle to close range (0 range increment if it's a Chase) to his target and declare that he is initiating a dogfight.  Other vehicles within Short Range may join this dogfight with a successful Piloting roll, providing a Gang Up Bonus.

A dogfight is rapid movement affair best captured in abstract. However, due to such intimate ranges, vehicles are harder to hit. When in a dogfight, attackers must roll against the target's Evasion (Pilot skill + the vehicle's Handling)/2 +2 ). Gang Up bonuses apply.

Turret weapons may always attack, with the -2 Unstable Platform penalty.

Fixed Forward weapons may only be used when the attacker's Initiative card is a 10 or higher. Yes the means that there will be times where both sides are attacking each other in the same turn. It simply represents the furious movement as they dodge each other or fly at each other in a dogfight.

Escaping a Dogfight
Vehicles that wish to flee a dogfight or break the tangle of close combat must succeed a Piloting roll with a raise.

That's my design so far. Any thoughts?


  1. I have been using the Chase rules as written. However, instead of the card being the range I use that as a modifier and narrate an example in to the reason why. I also ensure all shoot in initiative order. Having seen the Explorer's rules for Chase they make more sense with the increments increasing or decreasing between the target and the pursuers.

    1. My previous past about the Chase rules suggested the same things about Range. However, on further digging this system seems easier and more F!F!F! to me for both Chases and Dogfights.


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