Skypirate Dogfight Rules
Definition

Predator: Person following a target.
Prey: Person being followed by a Predator.

Hawker Hurricane PERF +3 ARMED 2 STRESS 3
Pilot 1 Pilot +2 Guns +2 Alertness +2 Empathy +2
Pilot 2 Pilot +2 Guns +2 Alertness +2 Empathy +2

Initiative

  • Initiative: Compare Alertness Skill, highest goes first and is automatically the Predator starting off.
    • Tie: Compare Empathy Skill, highest goes first and is automatically the Predator starting off.
      • Tie: Roll Fate Die, highest goes first and is automatically the Predator starting off.

Example Dogfight

Situation: Two planes are flying into the same area, both are Hawker Hurricanes.

Initiative

Player One and Player Two have tied Alertness.
Player One and Player Two have tied Empathy.

  • Player One rolls (++).
  • Player Two rolls (-+).

Player One goes first.

Round One

Player One (Predator)

Player One, going first, is the Predator and rolls Pilot Skill to get on Player Two's six.

  • Player One rolls (+-++) + 3 [Total: 5].

His total is capped by his Hawker's PERF (3). So he gets 3 Successes.
Player Two, being the Prey, rolls his Pilot Skill.

  • Player Two rolls (—+-) + 3 [Total: 1].

His total is capped by his Hawker's PERF (3). But he got less than 3, so his total is still 1 Success, 2 less than Player One.
Player One tags Player Two with "He's on my six!" Aspect.

Player Two (Prey)

Player Two attempts to remove the Tagged Aspect, rolling Pilot Skill versus the Tag's Shifts (2).

  • Player Two rolls (——) + 3 [Total: -1].

Player Two fails to remove the Tag.

Round Two

Player One (Predator)

Player One, having tagged the Prey, takes his shot with Guns Skill.

  • P1 rolls (++-+) + 3 [Total: 4].

Player One's total is capped by the Hawker's ARMED (2). He does 2 Stress to the other Hawker.

Player Two (Prey)

Player Two is still the Prey and is now damaged. He rolls to shake the tag yet again with Pilot Skill.

  • Player Two rolls (++++) + 3 [Total: 7].

Player Two's total is capped by the Hawker's PERF (3). So he gets 3 successes, that's enough to shake the tag.
Now Player Two is the Predator.

Round Three

Player Two (Predator)


Complex Combat System

Materials Matter

In Birds of War, aircraft have their own statistics. The two stats that matter for Dogfighting, are Speed and Performance. The superior plane gives its pilot a bonus in combat. To determine the superior plane, compare both planes Speed (For catching or fleeing) or Performance (For maneuvering in to position). Subtract the lower stat from the higher stat. The remainder is a bonus to the better plane's pilots roll.

For example: If Hughes Bloodhawk is chasing a Sanderson Vampire, the active stat would be 'Speed'. The Speed of the Bloodhawk is 'Superb (+5)' while the Vampire is 'Fair (+2)'. As the Bloodhawk is three steps faster than the Vampire, the Bloodhawk's pilot receives a +3 bonus to his piloting roll to attempt to catch the Vampire.

A listing of planes and their stats can be found here: Aircraft Listing

The Nitty Gritty

During a dogfight, a pilot is in one of three positions:

  • Predator: The pilot is behind another plane. He is that planes predator.
  • Prey: There is a plane behind the pilot. He is that planes Prey.
  • Free-For-All: The pilot is not behind a plane nor is a plane behind him. He may try to maneuver in to a position.

If two pilots are in a free-for-all, both pilots try to maneuver behind each other or to disengage. In either case, this is like any other contested roll, with aircraft bonuses factored in.

Determine Initiative

Initiative, that is, the order in which people move in a turn, is determined by adding a Pilots Pilot Skill to his planes Performance Stat. Highest number moves first, followed by second highest. In the event of a tie, whomever has the highest Alertness Skill moves first. In the further event of a tie, move to Empathy. If still tied, thumb wrestle.

Gaining Position

When both pilots wish to try and get position on the other, it's a contested piloting skill roll, modified by the respective aircraft Performance score and other characteristics. Both pilots roll their Piloting skill (+ or - Aircraft Air-to-Air combat modifiers and the Aircraft Performance Modifiers) and compare their total. Subtract the lower roll from the higher roll.

If the Pilot who rolled highest still has at least a 1 step success, he is now positioned behind the other aircraft. He may place the aspect 'On Your Six' on the prey aircraft. This aspect allows the Predator to fire on that aircraft until the other Pilot is able to break way.

If the result is a tie, the results are inconclusive and the Free-For-All continues.

Shooting and Damaging

If a Pilot starts the turn with 'On Your Six' active on another pilot, He, the predator, may fire on that aircraft.

This is a contested roll of the attacking pilots Guns skill (+ or - Aircraft Air-to-Air combat modifiers and the Aircraft Performance Modifiers) against the defending Pilots Piloting skill (+ or - aircraft Air to Air combat modifiers and the Aircraft Performance Modifier). Compare the two rolls like above.

If the defending Pilot scores more successes than the attacking player, no damage is incurred.

However, if the attacking Pilot scored more successes, record the damage as stress points per normal. Aircraft that sustain too much stress can take consequences just like Pilot, and be forced to break off the combat or be shot down.

Note: Bomber aircraft, while lightly armed, are considered to be 'On Your Six' if you are on theirs. Any time you are in a position to attack a Bomber, it has a gun pointed back at you. The Bomber is always chattering away with its guns when enemy aircraft are in the area, but the only time the Bomber is close enough to do damage is when the enemy aircraft is in the same range.

Breaking Away

Both pilots get an action in a given round of combat. If an enemy pilot is 'On Your Six', the defending pilot may try to break away. Both pilots roll their Piloting skill (+ or - Aircraft Air-to-Air combat modifiers and the Aircraft Performance Modifiers) and compare their total. Subtract the lower roll from the higher roll.

If the defending Pilot has at least a 1 step success, he has now broken away from the other pilot and may remove the 'On Your Six' aspect from his plane and the combat returns to a Free-For-All.

Disengaging and Chasing

During a free-for-all, a Pilot may elect to disengage or bug out of the fight. If this happens, the enemy pilot may elect to chase. This becomes a contested roll like the others. Both pilots roll their Piloting skill (+ or - Aircraft Air-to-Air combat modifiers and the Aircraft Performance Modifiers) and compare their total. Subtract the lower roll from the higher roll.

  • If the fleeing pilot has successes left after this step, record this as the Pilots Distance.
  • If the pursuing Pilot wins this contest, subtract his successes from the fleeing pilots Distance.

To successfully break away, a Pilot must accrue at least 4 points of Distance over the pursuing pilot. Each turn the fleeing pilot may elect to continue fleeing, gaining (Or possibly loosing) more Distance.

Minions

Minions can participate in dogfights, assuming they have aircraft. So long as one side has minions backing them up, they get a +1 on all piloting rolls. During a free for all, either side may declare that they are shooting at minions as their action. If the attack is successful, remove one minion from the defending sides total. When all minions are exhausted in this fashion, the bonus for minions in combat is removed.

Zeppelins

Combat against a Zeppelin is exactly the same as any other Air-to-Air combat save with the following proviso:

  • When attacking a Zeppelin, a plane uses the Air-to-Ground modifiers instead of Air-to-Air. The reason for this, is that compared to an airplane, a zeppelin -is- standing still. A Zeppelin however, uses Air-to-Air for purposes of firing back.
  • As with bombers, a Zeppelin is always 'On Your Six'.
  • An Airplane may only be in position to attack ('On Your Six') a Zeppelin for one turn before it must break off and return to the Free-For-All. This represents the vast disparity of speed between the two vessels as the fighter makes an attack pass.
  • A Zeppelin may not disengage save through the use of stunts or plot-related complications, due to their comparatively slow speed.

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