Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Strafeing Runs
Dumpshock Forums > Discussion > Shadowrun
Prime Mover
Recently a game caused this question to come up.

Example: Group is in a clearing on an island which is heavily forested. Several drones are buzzing by making attack runs. Now the drones are dropping into and out of sight with each pass due to cover.

Ok so the simple part, they have cover after each pass, and probably are gonna be tough to hit unless the runners are holding actions for there strafing passes.

What about init passes, how many passes should a drone get? All of them, what about speed and manuvering? I know there are no hard and fast rules for this but even an agile plane,chopper takes time to turn around and line up again if strafeing.

What about distance, what would a drone/vehicles range be after each pass, anyone have formula for determining that based on vehicle speed?
drones get 3 IPs. that's standardized for all drones. one of those IPs should probably be spent controlling the vehicle, however.

they have a speed. as i recall, it's listed per combat turn. just move them the appropriate amount, and you should be fine.

maneuvering, however, is a bit more tricky... i don't really know enough about flying vehicles to really suggest any set number, so i'll leave that for someone else to advise you on =P
Prime Mover
I get the number of passes and the speed but in reality if strafing how many passes should be allowed with say 3 IP?
oh, you mean how many strafing runs?

i dunno. depends on the vehicle.

presumably a helicopter or T-bird would be able to turn more easily and would therefore get more than a plane or jet. so would a dirigible. either way, like i said... i don't really know enough to tell you how much turning a given vehicle can accomplish in 1 IP...
You could just set a threshold as difficulty of executing X number of strafing runs. If they succeed they get them all, if they fail they still get to do them but at a penalty, and if the glitch or critical glitch well...

I believe the vehicle handling table has some guidelines for how hard certain maneuvers would be for air units to execute. Just keep in my that the less agile vehicles have a penalty to their die pool so that abstracts their difficulty in executing quick turns etc.
Odds are each strafing run would be several rounds apart, depending on the type of vehicle. Even highly maneuverable vehicles would probably require a round to turn and line back up on the target. If they are attacking every round, it seems like they aren't strafing but rather circling the target tightly.
I'e watched A-10s doing gun runs. It's at least 30 seconds between runs. The plane gets a long way away. climbs hard, rolls inverted and pulls over into a shallow dive (like 30 degrees from horizontal) rolling upright, lines up, shoots the hell out of the target and breaks left or right and egresses low, then circles back to where they start the next pass from.

What you are describing is like having a cobra circling around the target and using the nose turret to keep hosing the target down while moving sideways. Which is also a viable tactic, but it isn't staffing.
This is probably how I'd do it (although in the interest of full disclosure I just started playing SR4 regularly, and I don't really know what the hell I'm talking about). A strafing run would be one round. I'd figure out the drones movement for that round, and put his IP's at the beginning, middle and end of the run. He'd use whichever two gave him the best lines of fire to attack. (Probably the first two, as the first would be lining up on the target, and the second would be very close to the target, where the third would probably be after he's passed the target-- but my starting point is fairly arbitrary, you could have him end his round over the target attacking on the second and third pass and controlling on the first, I'm pretty sure it'll work out the same.)

Now the next round will be him orientating to a new strafing run, which means he will probably have to pull up, turn around, and find another pass through the trees that lets him get some trigger time at the target. But unless the drone has near perfect maneuverability and very little mass, he's probably not going to be able to whip right round and come in again. To determine how long it takes him to set up another strafing run, I'd either set a number of rounds (say, 3), determine the number of rounds randomly (say, 1d6), or make a Control Test with a high Threshold that's the number of rounds it'll take, modified by the hits (say 6, so if he gets 4 hits it'll take him 2 rounds to come back in on the target). Critical Glitch means he just ate a coniferous tree like a scout trooper on a speederbike on the forest moon of Endor. Which method I picked would be be determined by whichever seemed the most fair and practical. (I like the 3rd option, but if it was a lot of drones, I'd pick a simpler one.)
I think I'd just give the drones partial cover all the time (and -1 from firing from cover because of the strafing), and let them fire all 3 initative passes.

Don't they still have to spend on IP on a control test?
QUOTE (Mercer)
Don't they still have to spend on IP on a control test?

only if they don't want to risk a control test to avoid crashing wink.gif
If it were me, and there were at least three drones, I would have the drones only strafe their target for one Phase per Turn, using the others for recovery and maneuvering (during which time they have partial-to-full cover, depending on terrain and speed). I would have each of the drones do their actual strafing run on a different Phase, with any drones in excess of three attacking on a random Phase each round, unless of course there are six in total. For even more fun, I would vary which drone attacked on which Phase, just for the Random Combat Goodness™ aspect.
Turns are only 3 seconds. I'd probably want it to take 2 turns to reset to launch another strafing run. So I'd strafe for one phase per turn, then the drone disappearing, with the next drone (assuming only 3) coming from a random direction next turn.

But that's me.
The problem is that we aren't (or at least I am not) sure of just what type of drones we are dealing with. If they are fighter plane-type fly-by drones, then I can see your point, but if they are less 'fast-mover' variety and more of the slower variety, or of the hover or rotor craft type, then I don't really think the extra time is needed.
QUOTE (Jaid)
QUOTE (Mercer @ Nov 4 2007, 06:19 PM)
Don't they still have to spend on IP on a control test?

only if they don't want to risk a control test to avoid crashing wink.gif

Hmm those apply to drones as well as vehicles? Even crawlers?

"Oh no my crawler crashed!" Someone call 911 wink.gif

Why would a drone really need to spend that much attention on movement only when a human and animal can even run, dodge and talk all the while taking a complex action? I understand why it is necessary when humans are driving vehicles and aircraft, as that is not their natural movement. A drone however is programmed to move as well as other tasks.

Well they do get 3 passes so it works out but then again that means a human with wired 2 can think and act faster than a drone as he doesen't need to think about movement.
- The drone does not have to spend an IP on being controlled. As I understand this, the rigger is not controlling the drone directly.

- Strafing runs should take several rounds between attacks. I´d call a "surprise" test on the attack if LOS was broken, cover mods depend on the situation. A dalmation can go 120m/turn, so breaking LOS (for a significant time) and attacking again should take a few turns even if its just going "around the block" once).
But in the 'forest clearing on an island' scenario listed in the original post, drones that are capable of hovering could pop in and out of sight quite easily, even in slightly different locations, every single round.

As I said above though, if the drones are making fast passes, then they would definitely need some time to recover and reorient.
Sigh. This thread just made me realize I should have used drones on my PCs over the weekend. Why do I always forget Drones? They even mentioned theirs and I still blanked on them. Oh well.

On a mechanical basis, I would look at what would it take for a rigger to make a drone do a strafe in those conditions, this then allows you to evaluate how often a strafe might occur, and how long the drone is exposed.

The vehicle test would be a 3 or 4 threshold, see the chart on p 159. Then you add the terrain modifiers, forest would be "tight", see p 160 chart. So it looks like a 7 threshold test to do a vehicle test.

The drone is going to have a base 3 dice for pilot, + autosofts + handling.

Based on the number of dice available to make the test, and the threshold, I'd say a drone could make a single strafing run every 3 or 4 combat turns. Where for the turn it's firing it's exposed, but for the other two or three it's got the forest as cover.

This shouldn't be a big deal because all you need to do is have more drones coming in a cycle, or have them all attack at once.
Mechanically, even hover drones should not be allowed to pop up and shoot without the target getting a chance to shoot back (pending a surprise test). I do admit in that case multiple attacks per round are technically possible. As the hover drone can´t change position (much) - it has to fly up, decelerate to zero, fly down - I would not require a reaction test in this case.
One rule (probably a house rule) that you may be able to use is that you have to spend rounds accelerating and decelerating. So a drone starts out at "walk" speed for one pass, then goes to "run" speed on pass 2, then strafe on pass 3. Then decelerate to "walk" pass 4, turn around pass 5, accellerate to "run" on pass 6, and strafe again on pass 7. so each drone would be able to attack every other round most times.
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Dumpshock Forums © 2001-2012