Author Topic: Removing High Alt Map & Incorporating ACS with a Low Altitude Map - BF  (Read 782 times)


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In my desire to play grand scale battalion level games, with some planetary and resource management in mind for future campaigns, I recognize that BattleForce is a necessary choice, but I really dislike the way the High Altitude Map functions, or that it is absent completely from the higher scales of play.  I've decided that maintaining four maps would be the best of all possible worlds: Ground Map, Low-Altitude Map, Atmospheric Radar Map, Capital Radar Map (and, eventually, also the Star System Map in conjunction with the Planetary Map where the P5 and P6 represent the polar regions that will mostly be used for satellites, nadir/zenith points from the Star map, and ignored in every other way for the sake of sanity).

Just a brief of some of the rules in BF with alterations in bold type: Movement on the Ground Map has three Altitudes: Low, Medium, and High, with Aerospace Fighter movement at 5 spaces for each point of velocity.
Movement on the Low Altitude Map (an Optional rule for Adv. BF) is 1:1 with a decrease in velocity at the beginning of every turn by half.  Ascending from the Low Altitude Map to the Atmospheric Radar Map is the normal +2 for any altitude increase.  Movement beyond the periphery of the Atmospheric Radar Map would bring you into the Central Zone of the Capital Radar Map and should cost +3 (pg.34 Movement Between Maps) for Ascending from the periphery of the LAM to the Central Zone of the Capital Radar Map.  Rules for Gravity and Ground-Centered Maps are found in the Capital-Scale Aerospace Movement rules in IO.  Rules for atmospheric re-entry are also found on pg.74, Entering the Space/Atmosphere Interface. Control rolls are made coming into the Atmospheric Map from the Central Zone of the Capital Radar map and once again when dropping down from the Central Zone of the Atmospheric Map to the Low-Altitude Map.  Damage for failures are listed, but they are 1 point of damage for every 2 points on the MoF for that control roll.

You will have to create Tactical Values for BF Units as they are found in Formations and Combat Teams.  Rules on how to find out how to make this conversion is also found in IO under step 2G of Create SBF Formations or ACS Combat Teams.  A simple formula involving skill value and movement speed or thrust.  This is necessary for engagement rolls that take place in the Abstract maps that I believe are a good feature to bring down from SBF.  Information on Engagement Rolls can be found in pg. 167 of IO, with a slight modification to Overrun mechanics as they are introduced cater more to Ground engagements with Mechs with limited ground - whereas space is a vastly larger area and so the margin of difference between the speed of the unit should be used rather than the unit size.
All other rules respective of each scale battle (either in Units, Formations, or Combat Teams) should work well and the numbers are very similar.  Information on the limitations of radar ranges on the Star System Radar Map can be found on pg.244.  These sectors are so large that fog of war brought into Aerospace plays a huge part on the Star System Radar map, with Atmospheric Maps used as Engagement Maps for confrontation within each sector of both the Capital and Star system maps.

Thank you for you criticism and input, should you have any.  I also noticed there is no great amount of information on Altitude changes in IO, but in such cases I apply core rules to fill the gaps, and these are found in TW pg.84 under Changing Altitude.

These changes suit me in that it plays well with off-grid Artillery, without limiting a player to only artillery counter-battery fire (pg.204 IO) as the only timely response without a low-altitude map present to conduct aerial intelligence.  I understand that this may increase reinforcement arrivals by a turn or two at worse, but I feel the transitions from BF to SBF to ACS or Scaled SBF are much better suited when they are less convoluted and easier to remember the more similar that they are.

The reason for these adjustments is that the rules for ACS combat in Strategic Operations is convoluted and a huge time sink.  Not only do you have to add Safe Thrust values ANYWAY (which make incorporating Tactical Values more reasonable) with Control Rolls, but you must apply up to six distinct adjustments, which include creating Formations for EVERY multiple fighter engagement.  A big time sink with no clarification on why a dog-fights must be limited to 4v4 with penalties for intrusions from fighters in the same zone (which I feel favors bomber runs by offering them more protection from being prioritized. It's a lot to figure.  Interstellar Operations simplifies these details down and could just as easily be brought down to engagements in the Atmospheric Radar Map, making transitions between these maps far easier to teach and remember, since rate of movement would be the same for the capital map and atmospheric map, with only some speed reductions on the star map based on which sector you operate in where your thrust is reduced by half, to a quater and then a tenth.
« Last Edit: 30 September 2023, 12:58:05 by Zematus737 »


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Re: Incorporating ACS with a Low Altitude Map
« Reply #1 on: 23 September 2023, 22:00:42 »
See TW facing change parameters for use with the Low Altitude Map with BF.  Velocity limits with BF is 12(pg.30).
"In the atmosphere, Units may not fly at a velocity greater than 12. If a situation occurs that requires a Unit to accelerate above 12, the Unit remains at a velocity of 12. A Unit’s velocity cannot be reduced below zero."

Movement on above the Atmospheric Radar Map is 1-5 Trust (1 zone); 6-10 (2); 11+(3).
Movement on the Capital Map: Central/Inner Zone sectors (100%); Middle Zone (0.5); Outer Zone (0.25); Peripheral Zone (0.1), with movement per zone equal to that for Atmosphere Radar Map.

Movement on Star System Map are on a much higher turn scale (3.5 days) of play, but can represent Nadir and Zenith points and are found on pg.236.  Here's an example from pg.249 IO:BF:

Long / Short Jump Point Transit (Optional): The average star
system has a transit averaging in the 7-10 day recharge time. For
standard game play this is standardized to seven days or 2 ACS
game turns.
Some stars have significantly greater transit times. Players
wishing to add this additional level of realism are suggested
in keeping the turn duration the same and instead dividing
aerospace movement points the transit time divided by 7
(rounded up) and round up to obtain the adjusted MP. For
example, if a system’s transit time was nineteen days, all MP
would be divided by 3. So a DropShip with an MP of 2 would
end up with an MP of 1 (19 ÷ 7 = 2.7 rounded up to 3. 3 ÷ 2 =
.66 rounded up to 1).
At the opposite end of the transit scale are worlds with extremely
short transit times under three days. For these systems double the
MP available to aerospace units. So a DropShip with an MP of 2
would have an MP of 4.

« Last Edit: 27 September 2023, 18:45:14 by Zematus737 »