Friday, September 27, 2013

Spacing Out?

** We interrupt your regularly scheduled Danish for some coffee... Nah, rather a digression into Wargames - in - Space! **

I have been doing a lot of thinking about Sci Fi Naval gaming recently. Unfortunately, that is all I have been doing!  I really need to put some ships on the table and roll some dice!. Anyway, my thought shave variously involved Star Navy 5150, Galactic Knights, and Piquet.

First, I want to try out the Star Navy rules; I got the PDF six plus months ago, and read through it once. I finally printed it out last week and read through it again. I suspect I'll find it a bit too generic for my tastes, but maybe not. In any event, the part I was really after was the scenario generation and campaign system, which looks quite brilliant. I can't really relate that well to the factions in the rules, though. As I use the Superior Starfleet Wars (SFW) ships (now Galactic Knights), I thought I'd start by doing a cross walk between the Star Navy factions and ships, and those of the GK setting.  So, here's what I came up with:

Star Navy Ship Classes and SFW/GK Ship Types:

Class 3  (4 Hull Points, Max thrust 4, 2 x 45 deg turns max): SD and SDL

Class 4 (8 Hull Points, Max Thrust 3, 2 x 45 deg turns max): SC

Class 5  (12 Hull Points, Max Thrust 2, 1 x 45 deg turns max:  GB and GD

Class 6  (18 Hull Points, Max thrust 1, 1 x 45 deg turns max) SGD

Star Navy Factions and SFW equivalents (for my purposes, at least)

Free Company - Aquarians

Star Navy  and Planetary Defense Forces - Avarians

Hishen - Carnivorans

Xeog - Entomalians

Zhu - Zhu - Terrans

As my largest fleets are the Carnivorans and Avarains, my first games (and maybe campaign) will involve them (aka Star Navy vs. Hishen). I also want to play some more games with Galactic Knights as well, exploring the concepts and various weapons systems further, and perhaps adapting the Star Navy 5150 campaign system for use with those rules.

Piquet in Space?

Finally, I still find myself tempted to Piquetize combat in Space. My thoughts would be to use the opposed variable die size system from Piquet for combat, and may be the line listing style of ship sheets as used in the old Starfire games to keep things fairly simple. For basic weapons and defense systems, the die types would be something like this:

Shields: used by the ship to oppose the Weapons die roll for all energy type weapons
None - D4
Level 1 D6
Level 2 D8
Level 3  D10

Armor: determines the number of "pips" difference between the opposed die
None:  2 pips per "hit"
Level 1: 3 pips per "hit"
Level 2: 4 pips per "hit"
Level 3: 5 pips per "hit"

Crew Quality: used for "Morale" rolls, repairs, and by comparison with the enemy, as a modifier to weapons and or defensive dice.
Green  - D4
Trained - D6
Veteran - D8
Elite - D10

Weapons (Kinetic, Beam Rail Gun, Missile,...)  Modified by range and size/speed of target
Level1 - D6
Level 2 - D8
Level 3 D10
Level 4 D12
Level 5 D12 +1

AA (anti missile/anti-aircraft defensive fire)  _this is probably a number of shots, maybe using Level 1 Beams as in GK?

Another decision would be whether to use Jump Points a la Starfire/Weber's books; an advantage of this is the strategic importance of Jump points as well as their locations. Downside is the necessary record keeping. Thus it is probably simpler to stick with an unrestricted Jump Drive, except on a scenario basis.

Some weapons might have special effects , including Piquet style "at least one system lost" and Double, Triple etc the defender's roll.  This could also determine Critical Hits, and/or ship Morale checks?

Ship/squadron/Fleet Morale and some for of Piquet style Morale points to force battles to a decision before every last ship is venting plasma.

Initiative:  Charlotte Rule of 1/3 vs FoB style -.Movement by squadrons?

I think this one would work well using the Hand of cards - # dependent upon Admiral Quality? Obviously,  MOVE cards would have to allow movement by both sides, but with some advantage(s) to the side playing the card.

Lots to think about, but first I should more thoroughly Explore what I have already, eh?!



  1. I too ha e been sitting on Star Navy for some time. Your list should be helpful to me for getting off my duff and ordering some more ships. I went with Klingon ships for Hishen.

    1. The SN factions can be translated into other backgrounds fairly easily... which of course is necessary as they don't make ships! :-)
      There's nothing to keep us from developing our own and/or tweaking the existing ones.

  2. I always liked the opposed die rolls from Piquet. How about this for a MOVE card; phasing player moves 1/2, other player gets a 1/2 move, phasing player finished move.
    Have fun.

    1. That's one approach that could be used, Mike. There are some unofficial Piquet variants for naval warfare (and even Sci-Fi). In either case, the concept of the MOVE has to be modified a bit, as obviously ships are in motion and continue in motion regardless of what the other side does. What has been tried is giving the side playing the card more flexibility to change their speed and/or direction. The ability to change speed/direction by the non phasing player might be dependent upon the ship size and/or crew quality - OTOH, just choosing whether to go first or second might be enough of an edge (GK uses a Side A move 1/2, side B move all, Side A move remaining half of the ships, which is easy to implement).