Occasionally on this page AOG will provide a rule or two from an upcoming product for "quick-testing." What this means is that you don't need to sign a complicated non-disclosure agreement in order to participate in the playtesting project! Simply copy the text below, print it out, and show it to your B5 group. If you give it a try, simply drop us an email and let us know how things went. There's no need to worry about complex report formats or anything like that! Just tell us whether or not you liked the rule, whether or not its point cost is appropriate, and what you would do to adjust it (if you feel adjusting is necessary). Be sure to include your B5 group's name in your report. Thanks!
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One of the biggest "problem races" in League-2 was the Grome. They were supposed to be low-tech (and were), but to the point of near unplayability. One playtester noted that a single White Star (or even a Thentus) could defeat the entire Grome fleet (given enough time) simply because it was impossible for them to hit beyond a limited range, and they had no other defenses to fall back on. Playtesters basically hated the "targeting laser" system as printed, although they appreciated other features the Grome had to offer, such as their huge structure blocks.
Following a detailed review of the playtest reports, we've come up with changes that will hopefully make the Grome fun to play while leaving them as low-tech as they should be. The entire set of SCSs will not be reprinted here, but we will list the alterations needed to adjust your control sheets and undergo a new round of testing.
Basically, delete all ammunition requirements on ships. Tracking it was an "unnecessary complication," according to most playtesters. The ability to "down-fire" a larger railgun as a smaller one has been deleted, as its primary purpose (conserving ammo) is no longer required. If there is enough demand, we will consider putting it back in as a special Grome ability, but other races that use railguns will not be allowed to do this.
The slug cannon on the fighter retains its ammunition limit as described. (We like the fact that you might actually have a reason to land a flight on a carrier and reload its supplies occasionally.) Ammuntion replacements are free and need not be tracked.
This is being removed by popular demand; at least two-thirds of playtesters insisted upon this change. The Grome are still weak on sensor tech, however, with a "6" being their best rating and no ELINT ships in their fleet. In addition, their sensors are "Antiquated," as will be noted on the SCS. Antiquated sensors may not be improved above their listed maximum, either by enhancements or by shutting off systems for power; however, an expert officer will still increase them. An antiquated sensor that has been damaged to an amount lower than its listed max can be increased back to that max with extra power.
This remains, as a special Grome technology item. It's a dead end tech, but the Grome have taken it to its effective limits and still use it to enhance their weaker sensor systems. Targeting lasers will not function in concert with non-antiquated sensors. The laser is "fired" along with all other ship's weapons during the Weapons Fire Step, but scores no damage and automatically hits any visible target in arc within 15 hexes. Lock-ons are not required (and jammers don't affect them), but LOS is. A unit of fighter size or smaller cannot be targeted. The targeting laser provides a bonus to the fire control of all weapons fired at the target on that turn; this bonus is shown in the laser's icon on the sheet (it's a "2" on all the ships at present). If more than one targeting laser is used on the same target by the same ship, they degrade just like interceptors do. Targeting lasers now appear in the primary area, have a 360-degree arc, and (at least at present) no more than 2 of them appear on any ship.
Basically, the Grome no longer have any armor above 4 on any capital ship and nothing above 3 on any medium ship. They are hugely structured, poorly armored flying tin cans.
Put 2 TLs in the center (rating 2 each) and delete all others. Remove 1 FC from each side and put each on the front, with LP/RP arcs (like those on the Torata Atlac's particle accelerators). Add 2 FCs to the back with the same arcs in reverse. Lower all "5" armor to "4". Defense rating 18/19. Sensor array should have 6 points, requiring 6 power. Add 10 boxes to C&C. Special Notes should say Restricted Deployment (10%). In front & back hit charts, change TL to FC. Primary chart should read 1-7 primary, 8-9 TL, 10-11 JD, 12-13 Engine, 14-15 Sensors, 16-17 Hangar, 18-19 Reactor, 20 C&C. Cost 900?
Change forward TLs to FCs with the same arcs as those on the front of the Trokan. Delete side and rear TLs entirely. Add 2 TLs to the center (rating 2 each). Lower all "5" armor to "4". Defense rating 18/19. Sensor array should have 6 points, requiring 6 power. Add 4 boxes to C&C. Special Notes should say Limited Deployment (33%). Front hits, change TL to FC. Side hits should say 10-11 FC, 12-15 Port/Stb Struct. Aft hits: 7-8 Med Railgun, 9-15 Aft Struct. Primary hits: 1-7 Primary struct, 8-9 TL, 10-11 Jump, 12-13 Engine, 14-16 Sensors, 17 Hangar, 18-19 Reactor, 20 C&C. Primary hits: 1-6 Primary Struct, 7-8 TL, 9-10 JD, 11-13 Engine, 14-16 Sensors, 17 Hangar, 18-19 Reactor, 20 C&C. Cost 1000?
Yank all TLs and replace with with 2 in center (rating 2). Lower all "5" armor to "4". Defense rating 16/17. Sensor array should have 6 points, requiring 5 power. Front hits: 9-15 Forward Struct. Aft hits: 7-10 Medium Railgun, 11-15 Aft Struct. Primary hits: 1-7 Primary struct, 8-9 TL, 10-11 Jump, 12-13 Engine, 14-16 Sensors, 17 Hangar, 18-19 Reactor, 20 C&C. Cost: 650?
Remove TLs and replace with 1 in center (rating 2). Lower all "4" armor to "3", all weapon armor to 2, and all thruster armor to 2. Defense rating 14/15. Sensor array should have 5 points, power 4. Front hits: 10-17 Structure. Aft hits: 10-17 Structure. Primary hits: 1-6 Connecting, 7 TL, 8-9 FC, 10-12 Engine, 13-15 Sensors, 16-17 Hangar, 18-19 Reactor, 20 C&C. Cost 450?
Same TL & armor changes as Morgat. Defense rating 13/14. Sensor array 4 points, power 4. Front hits: 7-10 FC, 11-17 Structure. Primary hits: 1-7 Connecting, 8-9 TL, 10-12 Engine, 13-15 Sensors, 16-17 Hangar, 18-19 Reactor, 20 C&C. Cost 400?