View Full Version : Space Combat

10 August 2002, 08:43 PM
I'm helping my buddy with his campaign game. We game with our wives and kids and a few friends about once a month. We are all Star Wars fans and it turns into a real great family night (we actual talk to each other). The current "space combat" rules for the D20 are lame. I like the old D6 a little better, but no longer have my collection of WEG books (thought I would give gaming up after my first child, but now that they are old enough we all like to play). I have checked the reviews on the Revise Core Rules and the space combat system sounds like it is worth the book investment.
But before I drop the cash I thought I would check with this group on what they think of the new rules (if anyone has played them yet) and tell me some of your best space battle encounters.
How they started.
What you had setup.
How they played out.
Any hangups.
What did you do to keep all the players involved, especially the non-pilot sort.

Some good game stories would be great to read.:D

Kas'ir Faywind
10 August 2002, 08:53 PM
No stories per say here our group hasnt wanted to do that yet but of the few things i have learned throwing stuff at em.

Wings are your friends in RCR. Have each person be the head of a wing that way they can assign off damage to people and live longer them selves. This is of course in major battles but always have your guys in wings fighting [i]them[/] it makes it a lot easier controlling 30+ fighters which can happen in BIG battles easily.

Be sure to have any ships use those shield repairing rulles in the section about what other people can do on a ship. This has many other things character can do that are all helpful, but shields are most important otherwise you have SD's going down like flys.

If you are heavy space combat i would make it so the hull points on capital ships only apply to sectiona nd each section has its own set of hull points. this makes battles a little better since the pc's will have to aim for certain parts to insure the k.o on the first section knocked out.

hope that makes sense its late here.

Nova Spice
10 August 2002, 09:28 PM
Hello Jetic and welcome to the boards! :)

One of the coolest battles in my group came from the Rise of the Empire era of all places! (The Rebellion era has always been a great space battle era IMO, but this story sticks out).

On the planet Kelfor, located between Umgul and Naboo, my PCs (seven strong) were split up. Three of them (Force-users) were stuck at the top of a large crystal tower battling a Dark Jedi, while the other four (non-Force users) were refueling at a spaceport.

At this time, the planet (Kelfor) came under attack from the Trade Federation. Swarms and swarms of enemy droid starfighters, landing crafts, and scarabs invaded the planet. The PCs refueling at the spaceport took to the skies and joined the local planetary security force, as well as other volunteer transports and fighters.

The Force-using PCs defeated the Dark Jedi (after a long battle) and managed to escape the tower in three hijacked Z-95 Headhunters. Seeing their comrades assisting the locals, the Force-users joined the wave of defenders.

The planetary security forces, the heroes, and other volunteers fought their way through a wave of droid starfighters numbering about twenty strong and made it into space with minimal losses.

In space, the defense force saw what they feared they would see. Rings upon rings of droid control ships blockading the planet! Quickly organizing the motley defenders, one of the heroes called for all fighters and transports to engage the nearest control ship.

The control ship and its droid fighters ripped through many of the volunteer forces and a good bit of the planetary security starfighters before it began to fall apart.

One of the PCs Headhunters attempted to escape the blockade by zipping between two droid battleships and was summarily blown to pieces by their quad laser cannons. Fortunately, he managed to eject.

Just as the battle seemed hopeless and the Trade Federation fighters began to mop up the meager defense force, a fleet of newly commissioned Republic ships entered the system. They ordered the Trade Federation to cease their assault and rescued the planet and the defense force.

Anyway, this battle has always been the topic of discussion. Hope you found it interesting! :)

Good luck with your gaming group!

Shoot straight and fly fast! :p

11 August 2002, 09:18 PM
Welcome to the Holonet Jetic! This is a good place for questions and advice, I've gotten great advice and info from these guys lots of times in the short time I've been on here. :)

I haven't had too many opportunities running my group in space with the RCR (Revised Core Rules) but I've prepped myself running experimental sequences with a friend of mine. Reading the rules you quickly find that it runs like vehicle combat, and hence very similar to player movement!

This story doesn't reflect to much upon the new starship combat rules, but it sort of does. Anyhow, there was one time my PCs were investigating a small jungle planet in their modified YT-2000 when they were attacked by a pair of pirates in Z-95 Headhunters. The battle lasted 1.5 hours!

They had an awesome pilot, only thing was none of the other PCs had proficiency in starship weapons (i.e. the Starship Operation feat or the Gunnery Feat) and so suffered a -4 on all their to-hit rolls with the YT-2000's Quads. They couldn't hit the small fighters without rolling a 20!

However, player charcter antics aside, I have a very good opinion of the new rules and they improved upon the old marvelously. Also included with the RCR in the Starship Chpater was a 2 page section on "Heroes as Crew" that provide virtually every player, no matter what their type, with a job to do while fightign in space abaord their ship.

Hope that helps a bit. :p

Rogue Janson
13 August 2002, 10:46 AM
If you didn't like the abstract system of the OCR, you'll like the RCR rules a lot. They take a little getting used to and a little time to work out - like the implications of double moves and full attacks - but it's worth it once you get it right.
I haven't done that much starship combat, but some did come up in the last game at the NJO battle of Dantooine with my character Lair Dakon and the other PC Tyce Kaan (who's from Dantooine). The ship is a small space transport I designed, it's not amazing, but I wanted it to keep up with the progression of technology in NJO, so it has +2 manoeuvre and the same speed as an X-Wing (original model).

While the rest of the republic forces and refugees were fleeing, we were flying off looking for Tyce's family, who were meant to be heading towards the refugee camp. First we got jumped by a pair of coralskippers who blasted out my ship's shields. Tyce managed to hit on with a 20, despite not having starship operation. I quick turned to get behind them and blasted it and it pulled away. The other started a long loop to get on my tail, but I followed it and established pursuit and between us we got through its voids and did some damage. The next turn it tried to evade pursuit, but I stayed with it and blew it up.

When we got in sight of the people we were looking for, we saw they were being chased by Vong warriors on riding beasts, but the skip we'd hit earlier came after us again. It dropped onto our tail and tried to establish pursuit, but couldn't (thanks to my +11 pilot) so I made a tight loop to get on its tail, then established pursuit. The skip tried a loop of its own, but failed, veering upwards as the pilot tried to regain control. While it was out of control, we stitched it was laser fire and finished it off (since it didn't have its speed bonus and it had a penalty to defence).

I then zoomed in to land (at cruising speed, with the landing rules), blowing up a few vong with a concussion missile, we both hurled out to keep the vong from swarming the ship, then broke from combat and ran back on board and as I took off I launched another missile (which sadly also hit a bantha, but luckily didn't kill it since they have 50 wounds).

All this was done without any problems, despite the GM not being great with rules and having to revise the coralskipper rules ourselves.

15 August 2002, 02:24 PM
RCR rules are the only way to go if you want a dramatic battle like is seen in the movies. You can use the "Range Track" rules that appeared in an issue of Gamer if you really like it abstract, but would still like 20+ ships.

Anyway, if you plan on each player having their own ship, RCR rules are fantastic.

My group plays online as we are spread across North America. Me and one of the players (he did the coding, I did the art) designed a grid online that we use. It's 20 x 15, and I built icons to represent the ships, even to include heading (very important.) The players can key in the new coordinate and heading when it's their turn, and everyone gets to see what's going on. The best part is, the background image is replacable (we're using Z-axis in CSS to position all of this, btw) so I can customize the map.

Of course, if you're playing at home, you can do this by simply going to an office supply store and buying the largest dry erase board they offer, take a yard stick and a Sharpie (not a dry erase) and make your grid marks, so they are permanent.

Then use models, toys, legos, pennies, whatever to represent each person's ships.

It goes quickly when you get used to it, and really captures the intenseness of swarms of fighters all around you. Playing on a grid also lets you have a visual indication of what maneuvers are available to you, and are really cool to pull off in battle.

Worth the investment!

21 August 2002, 09:21 PM
Okieday...even after the SotG and the RCRB (I grant they do show improvement) starship rulesl are still fundamentally flawed in several respects. The issues brought up here are some of the many I address and correct inthe Revised D20 Starship combat system.
The full version of these rules can be found on these pages for download, along with an exhaustive conversion of virtually every ship released in D6 or D20 format (plus a few).

Look Here:
Revised D20 Starship Combat (http://holonet.swrpgnetwork.com/showthread.php?threadid=4526)

for the downloads, as well as links to the various discussions of these rules and their impact on your games.

and look here:
Ship Expansion Packs (3 each) (http://holonet.swrpgnetwork.com/showthread.php?threadid=4219)

for the link to the Forum where the Expansion packs for the Revised Rules are available for Download:
(Stock Ships, An assortment of leftovers, and some Crossovers from beyond Starwars...)

For those of you new to the Forums, and for those of you who were holding out for the Starships of the Galaxy and were thoroughly or even partially dissapointed, here you can have complete Revised D20 Starship rules (plus component targeting), Starfighters, Transports, and Capital ships included (with a nifty Table of contents page).

SEE: How to handle Capital power "smallships" like the Skipray and the Gamma Assault Shuttle!

SEE: Why the Mon Cal warships can actually survive against the might of an Imperial Star Destroyer!

SEE: The mechanics and mysteries of combating the Vong coralskipper! Dovin Basals explained!

GET: Rules that handle; fast narrative; semi-tactical; 2D and even 3D wargaming, WITHOUT departing from the D20 system!

From One-on-one to fleet engagements; groundpounders, vehicles, and starships in mixed battle, everything you may NEED is there. What you choose to use is up to you.

Starfighters near and dear, obscure and rare, Freighters from across the spectrum, Capital ships and their supporting fleets and carried craft.

(As a bonus, you get the D20 Revised Jedi Class structure as well.)

BTW, the Dry Grid is a great tool, I use several myself. Tip of the Day: Don't mark your Grids with full lines. Use dots of permanent marker in a 1" grid pattern. Easier to maintain and less clutter!

25 August 2002, 06:45 PM
Thanks for the space combat material. I got some reading to do and some practice scenarios to setup.

31 August 2002, 12:48 PM
Jetic if you like the old D6 version you may acually like a more abstract system. I use the chase system from Spycraft, another D20 game, whis is at the same time absract, as well as haveing a great system for maneuvers and counter maneuvers.

2 September 2002, 05:55 AM
I was using a pencil, a piece of graph paper, and an eraser for my d20 combats at first. Don't do that! It was way to hard to work with and I ended up just avoiding space combat.

Then I got a big, plastic combat mat and used micro-machines as tokens. The RCRB system has worked fine and is fun, although once I get more than three ships involved, keeping track of all the speeds and manuvers going on gets a little hard.