I'd like to have shields. Directional, preferably. It would add an aspect of resource management and also reward positioning/facing your spaceship. However, if it adds too much complexity, the trade isn't worth it.
These "shield arcs" show when shields are hit/down. I could use different colours, but I'll probably only use arcs when shields are DOWN. I.e. you presume shields are up until shown otherwise, and only add the shield markers IF they are down. That way you don't use shield markers as much.
Pics taken on my phone:
How might this work in practice? Here's a few examples:
The "Battlefleet Gothic" Method
The shield absorbs a set amount of hits from each volley - say 3 hits. Any amount less than that means there is no effect - the shield shrugs off the hits and remains at full strength. If it takes 3+ hits in a single attack, the shield is down for the rest of the turn and all later shots though that arc impact directly on the ship. Has the benefit of simplicity, although I might as well use blast markers like the original game.
The More Convoluted Method i.e. Some go through, some don't.
From the damage rules in the last post, a attack dice (say d8) is compared to a defence target number based on the hull/armour of the ship (let's say 4). The shields (if up) add a defensive bonus - let's say +2.
So the ship has a basic defence of 4, but 6 counting the shields.
Now, any rolls of 7 or 8 will go straight through and damage the ship - they exceed the hull and shields combined. Any rolls of 4 or less have no effect - the hull would resist them anyway. But rolls of 5 to 6 WOULD have damaged the ship if it wasn't for the shield bonus. If the amount of 5 & 6 rolls equals the shield bonus (2) then the shields are down. Any further shots would hit on 4+ as the shield bonus is now gone.
Example: A ship has a defence of 4, with 2 shields - 6 defence total. An attack is rolled and 3 damage rolls are made - for 7, 5 and 3. The '7' exceeds the total defence and hits anyway. The '5' hits the shields - which remain up for the next attack. The '3' has no effect.
If the rolls had been 6, 5, 3 for example - no shots would have gone through, but the 6 and 5 would have collapsed the shields.
That's just one example. I don't really mind how the shields work, but I don't want any record keeping except shields up/down. No shield boxes to cross out a la Starfleet Battles/Colonial Battlefleet - ugh!
Besides being a sci fi staple, they add more resource management and decisions to gameplay. I.e. you can attack the side of the enemy ship with shields down - or manoeuvre to position your own damaged shields away from the enemy. Perhaps passing a crew skill roll would enable you to channel power to shields - i.e. a ship with rear shields down but full frontal shields could pass a crew check, and swap them so the frontal arc was down but the rear was up. Or shields could be restored on a crew roll, at the expense of no thrust/energy beams next turn. You can focus attacks to overwhelm shields, and you may use a fully shielded ship to block fire aimed at an unshielded one. Shields add lots of decision making options. However.....
Shields - Counting the Cost
The problem is how much complexity is desirable or acceptable? Although desirable, I originally avoided shields altogether as I thought the complexity/recording would be too high.
However one thing I DON'T want is having to tick off then rub out shield boxes. I don't want any record keeping except maybe a marker like I've shown. That's a price I'm not willing to pay - I'll forgo shields completely rather than add more recording.