Thursday, November 27, 2014

When It Rains It Pours

Less than a week ago, I was lamenting my lack of playing and blogging but recently I've been bitten by the space battle bug and have actively been jotting down rules ideas. Now with time off for the holiday and nothing to do (yet), I've finally managed to play a couple of short games. For the record, these are my first battles using actual miniatures since a medieval battle in September.

Set Up
I had some scrap black foam core so I made a small battle board. A year ago, I made a 2' x 3' hexed battle board, but I found it a little unwieldy. I think 2' x 2' is probably the maximum size I can do comfortably. My new board is 12" x 18" divided into rectangular zones. I like the purple ink I used to mark out the zones. It is visible but not obtrusive. The white dots are solely for aesthetic purposes.

In this scenario, I'm using a couple of my remaining starfighters as cruisers. A pair of painted disks (originally intended for use as initiative markers) serve as asteroids. I don't have rules for asteroids fully developed but I thought it could act as "cover."

Opening positions on my new battle board.

The stats for the ships are the same:
Combat Value

I described the combat system earlier today.

Battle # 1
The Aquian cruiser (left) was slowly advancing toward the asteroid belt, intent on lying in ambush. It was detected by the Federation cruiser which rushed forward. The Federation cruiser began to fire with its forward batteries but failed to hit.
  •  Note: I'm modelling my space battles after WW2 naval combat. More guns can fire to broadsides therefore firing forward or aft is a -1 modifier to CV. My plans for scratch-built ships will look more like WW2 battleships so the rule will make more sense.

The Aquians lazily headed toward the asteroids.

The Federation cruiser turned and opened up with its broadsides.Its accurate laser fire blasted through the Aquian hull and did severe damage.

The Federation cruiser pummels the Aquian

Desperate, the Aquian turned to flee  but was pursued by the Federation cruiser.
  • This point in the game required a little suspension of disbelief. I ruled that a severely damaged ship (like the Aquian) required double activations to move. Activations could not be saved for future turns. Unfortunately, the Aquians could only manage single activations and ended up not moving. The Federation also kept rolling single activations and chose to fire, but kept missing. As a result, the "pursuit" consisted of 2 ships sitting still. I had to imagine that they were moving, albeit slowly.

In an attempt to dissuade pursuit, the Aquian opened fire with its stern batteries. It managed a hit to the Federation ship and then was able to escape.
  • The Aquian finally got a couple of rounds with 2 activations, enabling it to escape off the board. The Federation ship continually bombarded the Aquian, but could not hit.
The Federation cruiser is hit!
Shortly thereafter, the Aquian was able to escape.

  • This was quick, enjoyable game. It lasted 11 turns, although it was effectively over in turn 4 when the Aquians took heavy damage.
  • I'm debating increasing my board size to 18" x 24" (with eight 3" range bands)
    • If I do, I may add more than 3 zones per band, allowing for more lateral movement.
    • Note - when I make my scratch-built fleets, the ships will be smaller than the ones I used in this experiment.
  • I noticed that the saving roll is better if it is low but other rolls are better if high. I wonder if I should flip the saving roll so that high is good.
  • After the devastating damage in turn 4, I wonder if I should add Repair as an action (e.g. remove 1 damage if Repair roll >= Quality).
  • Should I have ships suffering damage to roll against Quality or be forced to retreat? Right now I'm leaning against it (although I use retreats for fighter dogfights as you'll see in Battle # 2).
  • Speaking of fighters, which types of ships can carry fighters? I planned on having carriers, battleships, cruisers, destroyers/escorts, and fighters. Being that these rules are heavily modeled after WW2 naval actions, I initially thought that only carriers should have fighters. Given that a starship does not need a long landing deck for fighters, it seems plausible that other ships could also carry fighters. Which ones and how many fighters?

1 comment:

  1. "Speaking of fighters, which types of ships can carry fighters?"

    In Void and Stars there are three 'levels' of carrying fighters, as I recall. Escorts can have a single fighter-bay, which gives a small flight of fighters, and only allows one counter to be in play at a time. Capital Ships can have a hangar, which launches better flights, and which allows multiple flights in play at a time. If the Capital Ship has the Carrier doctrine it can have two hangars (at the expense of offensive capability)