Sunday, February 8, 2015

SpecOps first free supplement: Using Dropships/VTOLs.

I'm starting on the writing of the first free supplement for SpecOps - Using Dropships/VTOLs.

My biggest concern is that if one side has a VTOL/Dropship then the other side needs a way to take it down.
Now, soldiers (once they start to advance) can buy missile launchers, but I'm not sure that's going to be enough. I'm thinking that a more abstract system would work better. Something where the VTOLs can drop off the troops (or exfil them) but can only loiter for a turn or two before they risk being blow up (needing a new mission, and possibly handing the enemy a victory). This would introduce an element of how long do I let my VTOLs loiter before telling them to leave, a risk vs. reward which is always fun.

I'm also thinking if one side bought a VTOL, the other side would get the same number of points to spend on MANPADS, Off-table SAMs, their own VTOLs, interceptors, etc. Basically a separate point pool for both sides. The bigger the VTOL, the bigger the enemy response.

I would have different VTOLs to start based off what I sell: Aurora, Sparrowhawk, Raven, Condor.
What do you folks think? Any suggestions/ideas?


  1. I quite like the idea of risk vs reward, where you are guaranteed a turn or two of presence, and then it gets more dodgy.
    Presumably the 'attacking' force would set up their aerial pass such that they *should* be successful, but would unlikely to be able to loiter around.
    If you had a certain number of turns the aerial assets could be around, it would be extra tricky to manage dropping off and retrieving at the end of the mission. Maybe that's why it's done so rarely.

    I could see the separate pool idea allowing players to 'go big or go home' if they felt like it. Bringing in all their toys at the cost of having AA flying into the sky like it's july 4th. It certainly be nice, if their is a campaign mechanic, that you wouldn't bust your chops to get a dropship of your own and then lose it to a bad die roll. A pool mechanic that the player can choose to ramp up/down based on the mission and their model pool would be quite useful.

  2. Force of Force/Tomorrow's Wars have a nice "air defense environment" (ADE) simulating the ease of (or lack thereof) conducting air ops (not just air drops but also close air support) in the area of operations of which the tabletop models a small part... That abstract value simulates everything from enemy interceptors, area air defense, MANPADS, troops using their small arms against aircrafts. If I remember correctly it went as a roll on a table, modified by the ADE and the type of mission (it's less risky to zoom across the battlefield lobbing some ammo over the shoulder than to actually land a chopper and (un)load boots). The result when from "A/C conducts its mission normally" all the way to "A/C destroyed" going through "degraded effectiveness" (less damage and/or more deviation for an attack run, forced to choose another DZ for a insertion/extraction) or "A/C forced to abort" (no effect but A/C still available for next turn).

    Too much details?


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