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Ezekiel Hartmn (Order #1285)

A Sky
Full of Ships
A simple (but not too simple) set of starship combat rules, which allows huge fleets
to engage each other in epic battle (and finish in a reasonable amount of time)

GAME DESIGN
Dan Abbott

DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE
Mike Hoyt, Stephen Thomson, Alex Harkness

ILLUSTRATIONS
CGI GRAPHICS COVER
& STORYLINE
Stephen Thomson Dan Abbott
Matthew Baird

PLAYTESTING
A.J. Harkness, William Ellis, Adam Baird, Evan Tozer, Peter Mokrycke
Robinder Dhaliwal, Kris Harbury, Alex Harkness, Stephen Thomson, Mike Hoyt

SPECIAL THANKS
John Leahy, Andrew Urbanski, Bill Hamilton, Andrea Tosino, João Frade
and all the great guys at the ASFoS Yahoo Group

And thanks to everyone who's suggestions helped to make these a better set of rules

Copyright 2014 HardPoint Games


All rights reserved

Ezekiel Hartmn (Order #1285)


Introduction
Welcome to "A Sky Full of Ships - 2nd Table of Contents
edition", an updated and improved version of the
original simple rules for scifi fleet actions. Why a PART I – Basic Rules ................................................4
second edition? For the longest while I didn't think Ship Design ...............................................................5
ASFoS needed one, as there were no large problems Ship Concepts ......................................................5
that needed fixing. However, a few minor Ship Systems ........................................................6
'improvements' can't hurt, including a minor engine Ship Displays .......................................................7
power change, some new combat modifiers, and an Movement Rules ........................................................8
important addition to the ship construction system. Sequence of Play ..................................................8
And of course the obvious cosmetic facelift. Movement ............................................................8
Movement Orders ................................................9
I have always been interested in science Movement Phase ................................................ 10
fiction. Whether it was in books, TV or movies, scifi Combat Rules .......................................................... 11
has been one of my favourite literary genres since I Weapons Fire ..................................................... 11
was very young. Much later, when I discovered Combat Chart ..................................................... 13
wargaming, it was only natural for me to combine
these two favourite hobbies. Through the years I've PART II - Optional Rules ........................................ 14
played many scifi games and found several favourites Optional Ship Classes ........................................ 14
that I still play today. However, none really seemed Alternate Ship Displays ..................................... 15
designed to recreate those great fleet battles, those Ship Construction .................................................... 16
most dramatic of moments when entire empires stood Basics ................................................................. 16
or fell. Tech Levels ........................................................ 19
Optional Movement Rules ....................................... 20
And so, to fill that void, these rules were Optional Combat Rules ........................................... 22
created. Instead of being just the captain of a few Critical Hits ........................................................ 23
ships, you take the place of an admiral, commanding Special Weapons ................................................ 24
entire fleets. Using simple, fast moving game Fighters .............................................................. 29
mechanics, these rules attempt to portray the Boarding Actions ............................................... 32
important aspects of huge fleet engagements without Experimental Weapon Rules .............................. 34
becoming too bogged down in time consuming detail. Other Optional Rules ............................................... 35
They're for those players willing to sacrifice some Electronic Warfare ............................................. 35
complexity to achieve a fast moving, playable, and Morale ................................................................ 37
most importantly, FUN game. Terrain ................................................................ 38
All the basic rules needed to play the game
PART III - Appendices ............................................ 39
can be found here in this book, along with all the
optional rules - more movement options, more Terran Empire Ship Designs .............................. 39
combat options, more special weapons, fighters, League of Planets Ship Designs ......................... 42
Introductory Scenario ......................................... 45
missiles, and a detailed construction system for
Scenario Chart .................................................... 46
generating your own ships.
Printer Friendly Rules ........................................ 48
So, welcome to A Sky Full of Ships (2nd Combat Chart ..................................................... 51
edition), generic rules for fast & simple scifi fleet Sample Ship Counters ........................................ 52
actions. Give them a try - it may look like a lot of Blank Ship Displays ........................................... 53
Blank Plotting Charts ......................................... 56
rules, but they're pretty simple in action.
Fighter Flight Counters ...................................... 57
"A Sky Full of Ships" and ASFoS and all
material herein is copyright Dan Abbott and
Hardpoint Games.

Dan Abbott - July 2014

Ezekiel Hartmn (Order #1285)


PART I – Basic Rules
Overview
Other than the obvious superficial facelift This game can be played on any table surface large
for aesthetic reasons, not that much has changed from enough for the players to maneuver their ships. Each
the 1st edition. The original rules have stood up to the starship in ASFoS should be represented by a
test of time far better than I could have hoped. miniature or counter. Several sheets of ship counters,
fighter flights and missiles are included at the end of
this rulebook. Once each side has chosen its fleet,
A Sky Full of Ships (ASFoS) was designed to be an the miniatures (or counters) can be placed along their
easy, fast-moving set of rules for large sci-fi fleet side's edge of the gaming table.
actions. Playable with as few ships per side as you
like, or as many ships as you own, these generic rules
allow large games to be played to a finish, on an If both sides agree (or the scenario requires it) terrain
average-sized gaming table, within several hours. can be placed on the table (ie asteroids, gas clouds).
The game's movement and combat mechanisms were This can either be done randomly, or one player can
designed specifically for this purpose. Ships tend to place the terrain with the other player choosing which
move around the table at an acceptable speed and edge of the table to set up on. After the sides have
weapons fire at reasonable ranges. Actual time and finished setting up, the game can begin.
distance scales are not fixed.

These are also generic rules; there is no specific Playing the Game
background or ship designs forced upon the user.
The generic nature of the rules will allow you to play You'll need a flat playing surface of at least
in whatever setting you prefer, using any starship 36 inches square (and preferably larger). A simple
miniatures at all from any background. Invent as tabletop will suffice, and covering it with a black
much or as little of your own universe, or borrow cloth or 'star field' covering will make the game seem
from the sci-fi background of your choice. These much more visually attractive.
rules will work equally well for either.

Setting Up In addition, you will need the following


items to play the game:
The first thing players need to decide is
whether they intend to play a scenario, or a pick-up  These rules (which you obviously have)
game in which evenly pointed fleets fight it out with  Playing pieces representing the starships
the side inflicting the most damage considered the (ie miniatures or counters).
winner. This choice will determine the fleets needed.  At least one pair of differently coloured
A scenario will have a recommended number of six-sided dice (d6).
ships. If it is to be a pick-up game, decide upon fleet  Measuring tapes and/or rulers for
sizes. A game with about 150 points of ships per side determining distance(s).
will make a good starting game that lasts a couple of  At least one Ship Display sheet for each
hours. Once the game type has been determined, different type of ship design being used.
each player should select ships to equal his allowed
point total.

Ezekiel Hartmn (Order #1285)


Ship Design
Ship Concepts
Mass
The starships used within the game, A Sky
Full of Ships, range from the smallest frigate to the Frigate: 1
largest titan. This variety requires an artificial Destroyer: 2
measure of a ship's size that we achieve through the Light Cruiser: 3 or 4
use of the game mechanic; the Hull Box. The size of Heavy Cruiser: 5 or 6
a ship is represented by the number of these hull Battle Cruiser: 7, 8 or 9
boxes - the more massive (bigger) the ship, the more Battleship: 10, 11, or 12
hull boxes it has. Dreadnaught: 13 to 18
Superdreadnaught: 19 to 24
As with modern wet navies, ships tend to be further Titan: 25 or more
classified into categories of mass. A Sky Full of
Ships follows this example with mass categories of
its own. The table to the right shows the mass Power
(number of hull boxes) of the different classes of
ships. The power of a warship is directly related to
its mass. The bigger the ship is, the more room it has
Frigates and Destroyers are both classified as for weapons and their associated power supplies. So
'Escorts'. Titans can vary greatly in size, anything when ships are built, their offensive abilities are
greater than 24 mass is called a Titan. The use of directly related to their size. Everything is again
Escorts and Titans require the use of the optional based on the number of hull boxes. They determine
rules section, so ignore them for now. The basic not just the size, but also the capabilities of the ship.
rules section applies to all the classes in between. The bigger the ship, the more combat power it has.

Beka Eslar allowed her gaze to wander about the cramped and cluttered confines of her duty station.
Observation outpost 234, one of the many unsung guardians for the Colm Star System, was without doubt the
most boring assignment she'd ever drawn, and it would be a minor miracle if she finished her tour of duty
here with her sanity intact.

"I'm gonna go nuts" Beka remarked aloud. Her voice echoed dully off the
bulkheads. "See, I'm already half way there. I'm talking to myself".

Suddenly, a series of warning lights lit up her sensor boards. Beka felt
chilled as she applied herself to her scanner controls and tried to refine
the data that was pouring into her computers from the system's sensor net.
"Status report!" The voice of the outpost commander boomed over the
intercom. He sounded calm, but then he was an old combat veteran.

Her eyes were fixed on the various icons that were appearing on her consoles. "Commander, we have
multiple contacts with an estimated 100 plus warships. They are a mix of capital ships, cruisers and light
escorts - I think there are also several troop transports following the warships". Beka spoke as calmly as she
could manage into her bridge pickup. It looked like the war had finally come to the Colm system after all.

Ezekiel Hartmn (Order #1285)


Ship Systems
Weapons Hull
In the basic rules, all weapons on a ship are In addition to using the Hull Box to
grouped into one of two main types; represent size, every ship has a basic natural
structural strength chosen during construction. This
Primary or Secondary Batteries. basic strength is often good enough for escorts and
small cruisers, but some larger ships reinforce their
The Primaries are all of a ship's large powerful anti- hulls for greater survivability. Some ships
ship beam batteries, and are split into four 90 degree intentionally weaken their hull to produce cheaper
arcs of fire. The Secondaries are short ranged all ships. These practices give a large range of possible
around defensive weapons. The Weapons Box on the defensive strengths for a ship's hull. Within A Sky
Ship Display is used to show the current strength of Full of Ships, this range is represented by a hull
both types. The example below illustrates ONE strength number –
Weapons Box.

Weapons Box
2 – weak
3 – average
4 – strong
5 – armoured
(or possibly even higher)

Electronic Defences
Usually a ship's defences are not limited to
Primary Batteries - The strength of a ship's main armour. Many ships enhance their defensive strength
long range weapons, is split into four 90 degree arcs through electronic means, by adding electromagnetic
of fire, forward, left, right and rear. Each arc can screens or force shields. Their strengths can range
have a different strength, depending on what from 0 (none) to 4 (maximum). These electronic
weapons are represented in that arc of fire. Forward defences do not exist independently, they are added
arc is commonly the most powerful although no to the ship's hull strength. The sum of a ship's natural
single arc normally has all of the Primary Battery hull strength and its electronic defences is called its
power. Defence Factor.
Secondary Batteries - These smaller, but possibly
more numerous, rapid firing short range batteries
have a 360 degree arc of fire, but a very short
maximum range. Engines
This example has no special weapons (special To move, all ships need a drive of some sort.
weapons are found in the optional rules section). The power of this drive, its acceleration and turning
capability, is represented by the Engine Rating. This
 In this example the Primary Batteries have a rating ranges from 0 to 5 and this number determines
strength of 8 in the forward arc, 4 in the left how much a ship can turn, speed up, or slow down
& right arcs and 2 in the rear arc, a strength during each turn.
of 6 Secondaries and no Specials.

Ezekiel Hartmn (Order #1285)


Ship Displays

The purpose of the Ship Display is to show Weapons Boxes


the capabilities of a specific ship or ship type.
The first row of boxes are the weapons
The Ship Display will act as a reminder of the ship's boxes. Although the number of weapons boxes
size, its offensive power, toughness, speed and is the always begins the same as the number of hull boxes,
main way of keeping track of damage. Below is an only one weapons box is important, the leftmost box.
example of a Ship Display for one type of light It contains the 6 numbers that represent the current
cruiser. strengths of the different weapon types and arcs.
Only this box is considered active, the other boxes
'ID' is used for simple ship identification. are merely pre-calculated damaged strengths. You'll
notice that the numbers in each box in the row of
weapons boxes get proportionally weaker as you
move along the row to the right.

The leftmost weapons box in the row represents all


weapons at full strength. As the ship takes damage to
its weapon systems, and weapons boxes are marked
off (starting with the leftmost box and moving right)
the active box becomes the next one in line. As the
active box moves right, the strengths get weaker, so
that when only 1/2 the boxes are left, the strengths in
the left most active box is exactly 1/2 of when they
were at full strength. When only 1/4 of the weapons
boxes are left, the strengths are 1/4 of full, etc.
Primary, secondary and special strengths all decrease
at the same time, exactly in proportion to the
percentage of boxes lost.

Hull Boxes
Defence Factor (DF) The next row is the hull boxes. They
represent the size of the ship. Damage to the hull is
DF represents the ship's total hull strength. taken in a similar fashion to weapons, marking off
The number inside the brackets represents the ship's the leftmost box and moving right. When all the hull
natural hull strength before being strengthened by boxes have been marked off, the ship is destroyed.
electronic defences. This example shows an average
hull (3) strengthened by one point of electronic
defence screens for a total defence factor of 4. The Critical Hits
natural strength is shown in case the screens are lost.
The third row is the Critical Hits, used only
with the optional rules.

Engine Rating
The last number, inside the icon in the lower
right of the display, is the engine's power.

Ezekiel Hartmn (Order #1285)


Movement Rules
Sequence of Play
The 3 phases of a turn for A Sky Full of Ships are -
The purpose of the Sequence of Play is to
provide a structure for the players to play out their 1) Plot Movement - At the beginning of each
turns. A Sky Full of Ships is played as a series of turn all players must write Movement
simultaneous turns, with each turn divided into Orders for each ship in their fleet.
several phases. Once all of the phases have been 2) Move Ships - Once all movement plots are
completed, one game turn is over and the next begins. recorded, the ships are moved exactly
This repeats until the game is concluded. The basic according to their plots.
rules for ASFoS uses a very simple sequence of play. 3) Fire Ships - Once all ships are moved they
may fire at any target in range and arc.

Movement
Movement is simultaneous in A Sky Full of Each turn you keep track of your ship's current speed,
Ships. All distances are given in inches, however and may increase or decrease it by a maximum of
you may choose to use whatever measurement unit your ship's engine rating. Speed carries over from
you believe best suits your style of play or the size of turn to turn.
your playing area. For instance, using centimetres
may be more appropriate for smaller tables. Or, if
you are having trouble finding rulers marked in  For example: if you had an engine power of
inches, simply use double the measurement in 2, and moved 6 inches last turn, you could
centimetres (ie 2 cm instead of 1 in) instead. speed up by a maximum of 2 this turn, and
move 8 inches, or slow down and move 4, or
A good starting speed for a game is 6 inches/turn. anything in between. Ships may not have
negative movement - this means they cannot
Engine Power move backwards.

The movement rules simulate a simple


momentum based system, without using true vector The number of 45 degree left or right turns permitted
movement. The Engine Rating of a ship, shown in to your ship per turn is also dependant on engine
the lower right of the ship display, determines how power. You may make a maximum number of turns
many points of power the ship has available for equal to the engine power, (ie 2 engine points allows
movement. All, some or none of these engine points 2 turns). Turns require power from the engines, so
may be used each turn to accelerate, decelerate, or each turn subtracts 1 point from the engine power
turn. Engine points do not accumulate from turn to available this turn. Turns also occur at a specific
turn, unused points cannot be saved. Each engine point in your movement.
point expended allows the ship to speed up or slow
down by 1 inch per turn, or allows the ship to make a
45 degree turn. Ships with engine ratings of 1 have  For example: with an engine power of 2 you
to decide which to do, turn OR accelerate/decelerate. can make 2 turns, or 1 turn and speed up or
They do not have enough power to do both on the slow down by 1.
same turn.

Ezekiel Hartmn (Order #1285)


Movement Orders
At the beginning of each turn all players
must write Movement Orders for each ship in their
fleet. Although this sounds time consuming, we've
found it actually speeds up play, as players don't stop
to plan out their movements more than once per turn
this way. Any ship that does not have an order
written for it will continue to move in the same
direction and speed as in the previous turn. If you
have a large number of ships, you should group
similar types into squadrons, and record their
movements together.

Plotting
At the beginning of each turn you record
(plot) the movement of each of your ships. This can  For example: Turn 1, speed up by 1 and
be as simple as writing your intended movement on a move forward 6. Turn 2, move 3 - turn right
piece of paper (the back of the ship display for – move 3. Turn 3, move forward without any
example), or you can use a more formal approach changes to speed or direction.
such as using the Plotting Chart (to the right).

You begin by writing the name of the ship in the 'ID'


box. Then, each turn you fill in one line to show A simpler way would be just to record
what you wish that ship to do for that turn. The 'V' on the back of the ship display:
(velocity) column represents the ship's current speed.
T1 5, +1, 6
The 'delta V' (change in velocity) column is where
2 6, 3R3
you plot any changes in the ship's speed. The final
3 6 (etc).
column is the ship's plot for the turn including any
changes in direction.

Admiral Rom looked pointedly at his main tactical imager, the glowing lights from
its holographic deeps reflected eerily off his face. The Marz system was the target
of his attention, a binary star system with two yellow stars and a dozen planets,
one of which was suitable for habitation with a minimum of terra-forming work.

His lips twisted into a deepening frown. Once Marz had belonged to his people,
they had made a promising start at colonizing it and developing it into a viable
member of their interstellar community.

That was before the enemy had discovered the Marz system, ejected the original colonists and replaced them with
their own. Marz had been for a hundred years a jewel in that enemy's crown.

A smile flickered onto Admiral Rom's face, a jewel that he was about to pry loose.

Ezekiel Hartmn (Order #1285)


Movement Phase

Once movement plots have been completed Sometime ships travel a bit too fast and find they
for all ships (or squadrons), the ships are moved. It can't turn quickly enough to stay on the gaming table.
doesn't matter which player moves first or what order You can resolve this in one of two ways: 1) ships
the ships are moved since all ships must move that leave the table are gone, or 2) use a 'floating'
exactly according to their recorded plots. playing area. Since one area of space is the same as
another, whenever the action drifts towards one table
edge, and ships end up off table, simply move
everything the same number of inches back towards
the center of the table, keeping the same relative
locations and facing.

Due to the difference in scale between how very large


space is and how very small our ship models should
actually be, ships cannot accidentally collide with
one another. Instead they may freely move through
each other during the movement phase. If there is a
problem placing the actual miniatures at the end of
movement due to the size of the models, then place
them as close as possible to their intended positions.
There is no intentional ramming in the Basic Rules.

Turns
 In the above example the ship model would
be moved 4 inches, make a 45 degree turn to As well as requiring power from the engines, turns
the right and finish by moving the final 4 also occur at a specific point in your movement. If
inches. The ship's current speed would be 8 you are making only 1 turn it occurs at the halfway
inches per turn. point. For 2 turns, the 1st is at the beginning of
movement and the 2nd at the halfway point. For 3
turns, the 1st is at the beginning, 2nd at the 1/3 point
and the 3rd at the 2/3 point (etc).

"CAPTAIN!" Both the Captain and the First Officer whirled to look at the
scan officer, who had just cried out. "Yes?" he responded with as much
unconcern as he could muster. Something felt wrong.

"One ship has broken away from the enemy convoy, it is on an intercept
course with us!" "Identify!" The Captain snapped urgently.

"Scan, estimates by power signatures, that it is a merchant ship, possibly a


fast star liner." "That would be suicide, Captain…" The First Officer responded in puzzlement.

"Not if that ship is an auxiliary cruiser, Number One." A pause. "Scan, is the convoy scattering?"
"Yes sir, and at speed. Standard shot-gun scatter pattern."

The Captain watched with a mildly surprising dispassion as the approaching ship unsheathed hidden weaponry and
sensors. Warning alarms on the bridge screamed as they detected active targeting locks.

"Right, we engage that auxiliary NOW."

10

Ezekiel Hartmn (Order #1285)


Combat Rules
Weapons Fire
Arcs & Ranges
Players may pre-measure (ie check the Secondary Batteries - These smaller rapid firing
range) at any time. Since this is science fiction and short range batteries have a 360 degree arc of fire, but
all ships are equipped with computers and sensors to a maximum range of only 6 inches. They may also
keep track of the ship's current speed, bearing, and fire ONCE per turn, at any one target in range.
distance to every other object in the game, it would
be stupid not to allow players to pre-measure.

Primary Batteries - The strength of a ship's main Range Bands


long range weapons, is split into four 90 degree arcs
of fire, forward, left, right and rear. The Primary While the standard weapon ranges in ASFoS
Batteries may be fired once per turn, at a single target are described as being in multiples of 12 inches, there
within ONE of the four arcs of fire. You may pick is no reason why you cannot change these ranges if
which arc you wish to use, but the primaries may be you want to. For example, using a smaller table may
fired only ONCE per turn. (Many weapons actually require players to use shorter ranges.
have more than one arc of fire, so firing your
primaries again would represent some weapons firing A simple way of making shorter Range Bands is to
in two directions at the same time). Primary use centimeters instead of inches, or you can chose a
Batteries have a maximum range of 36 inches. different number for the range bands. For example, if
you were to choose 8 inch range bands then close
range would be 0-8 inches, medium would be 8-16
and long would be 16-24. Remember to make
secondary range half of a range band, in this example
it would be 4 inches.

Line of Sight
In order to fire at a target, a starship must be
able to 'see' it, which means it must be able to trace a
line of sight to that target. This means that an
imaginary line drawn from the firing ship to the
target must not be blocked by any intervening object.
However, regardless of the actual size of the
spaceship models, all ships in ASFoS are assumed to
 In this example the Primary Batteries might be tiny compared with the scale of the battle.
have a strength of 8 in the forward arc, 4 in Therefore, all measurements should be done from the
the left & right arcs and 2 in the rear arc. exact center of the firing ship, (for example, the peg
During a game, you may have no eligible holding the ship model) to the exact center of the
targets in the forward arc, one enemy ship in target. This scale difference also means ship models
the left arc, and one in the rear arc. Since do not block line of sight, ships cannot hide behind
you can't use the strongest arc (no targets), each other.
you'd probably choose the next strongest and
fire into the left arc with a strength of 4.

11

Ezekiel Hartmn (Order #1285)


Combat Ratio
All combat within A Sky Full of Ships is  For example: rolling a white die for hull, and
based on the relative strength of the attacker's a red die for weapons, a player rolls a white
weapons vs the target ship's defence factor, 3 and a red 4. He has weapon strength of 14
calculated as an attacker to defender ratio. The and is attacking a target ship with a defence
attacker's strength is simply the power given in the factor of 4 putting him in the 3:1 column.
currently active weapons box, for the appropriate arc Checking the chart, he has destroyed 1 hull
in the case of Primary Batteries. The defender's box and 2 weapons boxes on the target ship,
strength is simply its Defence Factor (DF). which his opponent marks off, beginning at
the leftmost box and moving right.
To calculate this Attacker to Target Ratio, take the
strength of the firing ship's weapons in the arc used Normally ships may take a maximum of TWO shots
and compare it to the target ship's defence factor. If per turn, ONCE with its Primary Batteries and ONCE
the two numbers are the same, you use the 1:1 with its Secondary Batteries (if in range). There is
column on the combat chart, if the attacker is twice as one exception to this rule: If your weapon power vs
powerful as the target use the 2:1 column, if the the target's defence factor is greater than 6 to 1, you
attacker is half as powerful as the target use the 1:2 may use just enough weapon power make a 6 to 1
column, etc. Always round down (in favour of the attack and the remaining power is used to calculate a
target ship). second attack (or third, etc), either on the same target,
or on another in the same arc.
 For example: if a ship fires with a power of
19 and the target has a defence factor of 4, If your weapon power is not at least one third of the
the attacker is at least 4 times more powerful target ship's defence factor, you cannot damage the
than the target's toughness but not quite 5 target.
times. Therefore the ratio is 4:1, the attacker
would need a power of 20 before using the
5:1 column. All types of batteries use the Firing Sequence
same chart.
Although each ship is calculated separately, all
The ratio between these two strengths corresponds to weapons of a given type are considered to be firing
a column on the combat chart (see next page). The simultaneously, all primaries firing first with damage
attacker rolls two different coloured dice. One die being recorded, then all secondaries firing using the
represents damage done to the target's hull, the other, new (possibly) damaged weapon strengths.
damage to its weapon systems. Cross reference each
die roll in the correct Attacker to Target Ratio  For example: two ships move within
column, the number resulting is the number of boxes secondary range of each other and fire. They
of the given type destroyed by the attacker's fire. A would both fire their primaries
'-' in the column means NO DAMAGE for that die. (simultaneously) and record damage. After
The defender then records the number of hull and this was done, they would then fire their
weapon hits by crossing out one box for each secondaries (simultaneously) using the new
appropriate hit achieved. damaged secondary weapon strengths.

"--Ready all primary weapons for firing!" The tactical officer's voice echoed
throughout the hushed stillness of the combat bridge.

Unconsciously Captain Wyn braced himself in his command chair against the
shock of firing, even though here snug in the innards of his ship they would feel
nothing. A dozen massively powerful rail guns were being laid onto target on the
enemy space station, the resultant bombardment of ballistic metal would rip the heavily protected station apart and
open the way for the conquest of this star system.

12

Ezekiel Hartmn (Order #1285)


Combat Chart

Attacker to Target Ratio

Dice Roll 1:3 1:2 1:1 3:2 2:1 3:1 4:1 5:1 6:1

0 — — — — — — — — —

1 — — — — — 1 1 1 2

2 — — — — 1 1 1 2 2

3 — — — 1 1 1 2 2 3

4 — — 1 1 1 2 2 3 3

5 — 1 1 1 2 2 3 3 4

6 1 1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4

Modifiers
Target is Range
Fast Ship -1 Short 0 – 12" 0
Slow Ship +1 Medium 12 – 24" -1
Stationary Ship +2 Long 24 – 36" -2

Modifiers are added to or subtracted from the dice rolls of Primary weapons fire only.
Secondary Batteries are not modified.

Rolls greater than 6 are treated as 6, rolls less than 0 are treated as 0 (rolling a '0'
actually means you missed). Fast ships are any ships moving 12" or greater for the
current turn. Slow ships are any ships moving 4 inches or less for the current turn.
Stationary ships are not moving.

13

Ezekiel Hartmn (Order #1285)


PART II - Optional Rules
Optional Ship Classes
Escorts
Escorts (ie Frigates and Destroyers) always For convenience, Titans are further divided into two
operate in squadrons, Destroyers in squadrons of 3 sub-categories, Regular Titans and True Titans. A
ships, and Frigates in squadrons of 4-6 ships. The Regular Titan is any ship between 25 and 49 mass.
ships of a squadron are placed together on a single Regular Titans are used just like any other ship, there
base (or must be operated together) and they are are no special rules other than receiving a bonus
grouped together on a single Ship Display. In all when firing against Titans because of their size.
cases, these squadrons are moved as if they were a
single ship. True Titans are ships of 50 mass or greater. The
following special rules MAY be used instead of just
treating them as normal ships.
When they fire, the entire squadron fires at the same
target. For primary and special weapons fire, the The Ship Displays for True Titans are broken into
Attacker to Target Ratio of each ship is calculated four sections in a fashion similar to the way Primary
and rolled separately as normal. However, for Batteries are broken into four arcs of fire. Each of
secondary fire their weapon strengths are added these sections is designed as if it were a separate ship.
together and the total is used to calculate the Attacker The only restrictions are that the forward and rear
to Target Ratio. sections must be the same mass, the left and right
sections must be the same mass and no section may
be more than double the mass of any other section.
When Escort squadrons are attacked, damage is
inflicted on the first escort then carried over to the Primary Batteries, Special Weapons, and Secondary
next one, etc. Sometimes this will result in squadrons Batteries may only fire into the arc which the section
receiving lots of hull damage and little weapon occupies. For example, all weapons in the right
damage. At the end of each Combat Phase, any section may only fire into the right arc. Ships should
destroyed escort ships must have any of their be designed so that weapons are placed in the section
remaining weapons boxes also marked off. that they would be firing into instead of the part of
the ship they actually occupy.

Escorts require several other small changes in the When fired upon, the section in arc of the enemy is
rules that will also be found in the relevant sections. the only one that can be damaged. Once a section is
Firing at Escorts always receives a -1 to Primary completely destroyed, the Titan can no longer be
Battery and Special Weapons fire due to their small damaged except in other undamaged sections.
size. During construction, Escorts always start with a Critical Hits only affect the damaged section and
basic hull strength of 2 (weak) instead of 3 and do not only the rear section can receive the engine critical
get the bonus for this decrease. The break points (see hit, other sections re-roll that critical.
Morale rules) of Escorts are calculated per squadron
instead of per ship. During construction and regardless of the type, all
Titans begin with a basic hull strength of 4 (strong)
and do not have to pay for this strengthening. Titan
hulls may not be weakened below 3 (average)
Titans strength. Any ship firing at them receives a +1 to
Primary Battery and Special Weapons fire for each
Titan is a very general term applied to a 25 mass of the Titan. For example, a ship firing at a
great range of large ships. Any ship of 25 mass or 25 mass Titan receives a +1, at a 50 mass it receives a
greater is considered a Titan. +2, etc. The break point (see Morale rules) of a Titan
is calculated on the total mass as normal.

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Alternate Ship Displays
(thanks to Mike and Steve)

An alternate ship display has emerged that More Arcs


has the Secondaries box shifted into the center of the
Primaries. Although this allows slightly less room Having the extra room in the Specials box allows
for the Primary numbers, it makes the entire lower Specials to be given arcs other than just forward.
box available for Special Weapons. This has several
potential uses.
Light Cruiser

 For example: for the above Light Cruiser


More Types
with 2 Specials, the top row uses the standard
design and the bottom row uses the new
This extra room allows for different types of Specials
display idea. In both cases the 1st Special is
on the same ship. Instead of just using numbers to
lost with the second hull hit and the 2nd
represent them, use the codes for the Special weapons
Special is lost with the last hull box. The MD
and place them in the weapons row in place of the
is shown with a forward arc of fire, and the
last time its number is used. The player decides in
PC is shown with a rear arc.
what order to place the Specials.

SCS Notation
Instead of using the full graphic ship strengths. Remember to keep the columns straight so
display, a player may wish to use a simpler way of it will be easy to mark off an entire weapons column
recording a ship's systems and capabilities. SCS whenever the ship takes weapon damage.
Notation does this by using only text to show all the
information contained in the standard ASFoS ship For example: We will recreate the Ship Display for
display. The format is: the Lion Class heavy cruiser "Bob" using SCS
Notation.
ID: name Mass DF: df ( ) Engine: power
Weapons ID: Bob 6 DF: 4(3) Engine: 2
Frwd: Weapons
Left: Frwd: 4 3 3 2 1 1
Right: Left: 3 3 2 2 1 1
Rear: Right: 3 3 2 2 1 1
Secd: Rear: 0 0 0 0 0 0
Special: Secd: 4 3 3 2 1 1
Hull: Special: 1 1 1 1 0 0
Crits: Br FC R E ED Mn Hull: H * H H H *
Misc: Crits: Br FC R E ED Mn
Misc: C TL:4 Pts:13
You will need as many weapon columns as the ship
has mass. These will be your pre-calculated damaged *=crew unit C=chaff

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Ezekiel Hartmn (Order #1285)


Ship Construction
Basics
The very first thing to do, when designing Decide if you want to give the ship Fighters and how
your own ship, is decide how big you want to make many. Each Fighter Flight is represented by a
it. Are you designing a cruiser or a dreadnought? As Fighter icon actually placed in the Hull Boxes row.
previously mentioned, everything depends on the These Fighter icons should be spaced as evenly as
size. The size will determine how many Hull Boxes possible. Each Flight chosen will decrease the
the ship has, which gives you the mass of the ship. available mass for Primary and Secondary Battery
For example, a battleship with 12 Hull Boxes is a power by one.
mass 12 ship. The mass will determine what power
you have available for the ship's Primary and Now subtract the number of Special Weapons and
Secondary Batteries and how much room is available Fighter Flights from the total mass of the ship. The
for Special Weapons and Fighters. Each mass allows remaining number is the mass available for the
for one Special Weapon, one Fighter Flight, or four Primary and Secondary Batteries.
points of Primary or Secondary Battery power.
Each mass applied to a Primary Battery arc adds 4 to
the Attack Factor of that arc; each mass applied to
Secondary Batteries adds 4 to their Attack Factor.
The old overriding rule that allowed no more Fractions of mass may be used when calculating
than half the total mass of the ship to be used these Attack Factors. For example, half of a mass
to create the weapon factors for any given arc may be used to give the rear arc of the Primary
is now no more. A new factor - power Batteries an Attack Factor of 2, and the other half
requirement (defined later) - is used instead. mass may be used to increase Secondary power by 2.

Now the pre-calculated damaged strengths must be


recorded. The leftmost Weapons Box in the row
Decide if you want a faster ship. For a faster ship represents all weapons and all arcs at full strength,
you need bigger engines, which use up available which you've just finished calculating. The Weapons
mass. For engine ratings greater than 1 it requires 1/4 Box next in line to the right should have decreased
of a ship's mass for each additional 1 engine rating. weapons strengths exactly in proportion with how
Ships with 0 engines GAIN 1/4 'extra mass' for many Weapons Boxes are left. For example, on a 12
additional weapons. mass battleship, the leftmost box would be at full
strength, while the next box in line would have all
 For example: the available mass for weapons weapon strengths at 11/12ths of full; the third box
of a 6 mass cruiser with an engine rating of 2 would be 10/12ths of full strength, etc.
is 75% of 6 or 4.5 mass.
Primary Battery, Secondary Battery and Special
Weapons strengths all decrease in exact proportion to
the percentage of boxes lost; round off as necessary.
The old rule allowing faster engines for
greater cost is no longer used. Finishing off the design is relatively easy. All ships
begin with a basic hull strength of 3 (average) except
Escorts and Titans. Decide if you want to strengthen
or weaken the hull (minimum 2) and what level of
Decide if you want to give the ship special weapons electronic defences (maximum 4) you wish to assign
and how many. The number of Special Weapons to the ship. This will give you the Defence Factor.
chosen is recorded in the Specials Box, in the
leftmost Weapons Box on the Ship Display. Each Decide on other minor things, such as whether to
one chosen will decrease the available mass for make the ship Agile.
Primary and Secondary Battery power by one.

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Ezekiel Hartmn (Order #1285)


The number of Crew Units (CU) a ship receives is To this basic cost add:
equal to one quarter of the ship's Hull Boxes, rounded
to the nearest whole number (minimum 1). The icon
for each CU (a crossed wrench and laser) is placed on
the ship's display in the row of Hull Boxes; one every +20% of basic cost per shield level
fourth Hull Box counting from the right, beginning +30% of basic cost per extra hull toughness
with the first one in the final Hull Box. Escorts get a (ie hull 4)
CU in every second Hull Box instead. -30% of basic cost if hull toughness is
weakened (ie hull 2)
Aspect +20% of basic cost if ship is Agile
+30% of basic cost for Superior Sensors
See Optional Combat Rules if used. Ships +50% of basic cost for Stealth Tech
may not have more than 50% of their mass in +1 point per defending marine unit
Primaries and Specials in arcs with a small aspect.
+30% to -30% of basic cost for morale quality
Finally, calculate the value of the ship. (see Morale rules)

Point Values
The total of these calculations is the Total Ship Cost.
The basic cost of any ship (or Escort Do not round off fractions until the very end. If Tech
squadron) begins with the number of its Hull Boxes. Levels are used see page 17 for additional costs.
For example, the basic cost of a mass 12 battleship
(12 Hull Boxes) could be as low as 12 points.  For example: to design a small battleship you
might choose to make it 10 mass, with 10
points for power requirements making its
Power Requirements Basic Cost 20 points. You may decide to
weaken the hull for -6 points (30% of 20) and
Old Ship Design Pointing System - It became to make up for this you might add 2 screens
increasingly obvious after a good deal of play, that for +4 points (20% of 20) giving the ship a
some designs were just better than others. This is due DF of 4. You might finish the design by
to the ability of some ships to mass their fire, while adding 2 Marine units for +2 points. The
others - remaining true to their origins, are forced to final cost would be 20-6+4+2 or 20 points.
spread their fire arcs out. A simple change is all
that's needed to bring these designs back into balance. The calculations above are used to create all
warships, ships that use 100% of their mass for
The Basic Cost is the mass of the ship combat purposes. To create civilian or mixed ships,
plus power requirements use the following procedure: Decide how much of
the ship's mass will be used for combat purposes and
Power Requirements - this depends on how a ship's calculate its total cost using the method outlined
weapons are concentrated and represents how much above. Next, calculate its non-combat portion of the
energy is required to power all the weapons in the ship's mass. The basic cost for non-combat mass is
ship's most powerful arc. It costs an additional 2 pts equal to half the normal cost. The rest of the
for each mass used for primary power or specials in calculations are performed in the normal manner.
the most powerful weapon arc (the other arcs are not Add the combat and non-combat costs together to get
calculated). To this add 1 pt for each mass used for the Total Ship Cost.
secondaries or fighters.

 For example: the Basic Cost of a 6 mass


Optional Systems
cruiser with 2 mass in primaries and 1 laser
lance in the forward arc, 1 mass of primaries The icons for optional capabilities or
in each of the left & right arcs, and 1 mass in systems the starship might be carrying, such as agile,
secondaries would change from 6 pts to 6 + chaff or cloaking, can be placed anywhere on the
(4+2) + 1 = 13 points under this new system. Ship Displays, although for uniformity the best place
is probably to the left of the engine icon.

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Ezekiel Hartmn (Order #1285)


For example: Building a Battleship

This example will be for a Warrior class battleship.

The first step is deciding upon the ship's size. Since


we are recreating the Warrior class we know we need
a mass 12 ship.

We want the ship to have the standard 1 engine


power, so no calculation is needed here.
The ship has the standard 3 basic hull strength.
The Warrior class has two special weapons and no Adding 2 levels of shields gives it a total DF of 5.
fighters so we 'use up' 2 mass leaving us with 10.
Now for the point value:
We decide to use 8 mass for the Primary battery
power. This gives us 32 attack factors (8x4) to divide Our basic cost is the mass of the ship plus power
up among the four arcs. We give the ship 16 power requirements. The ship's mass is 12. The power
in the forward arc and 8 in both the left and right requirements are dependent on the ship's most
arcs. This positions our Primary power and leaves us powerful arc which is the forward arc for this ship.
with 2 mass to use.
This ship has 4 mass of Primary power and 2 Special
We give the ship 8 Secondary power, using up the weapons in the forward arc which costs an additional
last of the ship's available mass. 12 points (4x2 + 2x2). It also has 2 mass in
Secondaries which costs 2 points (2x1).
Now we fill in the required pre-calculated damaged
values for the Primary, Secondary and Special Adding these together gives us a basic cost of 26.
weapons. The first box is 12/12 strength of course,
the second is 11/12, the next 10/12 etc. The only further calculation needed is for the 2 levels
of shielding (+20% each), which gives us a total cost
of (26 + 26x.4) or 36.4 rounding down to 36 points.

With twenty Battlecruisers at his disposal as well as a large screen of lighter warships and
troop transports, the enemy's ability to hold the contested system was soon going to be put
to the final test. The Admiral turned to his flag captain and chief-of-staff, both snapped to
attention.

"Order the Taskgroups into final formations, we will commence the attack on the system
defence squadron and space installations presently."

"Understood, Admiral." His chief-of-staff responded crisply, as he tapped the necessary


order into a computer data board. Communications would relay the necessary signals in a
matter of seconds.

"Captain, open a channel to the fleet I wish to address them before we go into action." "As
you wish, Admiral."

"Soldiers of the Fleet! We are about to embark on a dangerous mission, But know this, we are going to do more
than win a tactical victory here, we are going to right a historic injustice - we are taking back what is rightfully
ours." The Admiral paused to let his words sink in. "I have every confidence that all of you will give me your best,
the eyes of our people are on us, the weight of history is behind us, the future and whatever it holds is before us.
Good luck and good hunting to all of you."

The Admiral then turned to the tactical imager again, and signalled to his subordinates with an off hand gesture,
"Commence the attack."

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Ezekiel Hartmn (Order #1285)


Tech Levels
Designing Ships Point Values
In the basic rules all ships are the same Tech These are added/subtracted from the Total Ship Cost
Level (TL 4). To use ships of different Tech Levels, (not the basic cost).
only a very few things need to be modified. The
Tech Levels we use are:

Tech level 3: -25%


Tech level 5: +50%
3 (low) Tech level 6: +100%
4 (average)
5 (advanced)
6 (very advanced)
 For example: to calculate the cost of a
different tech ship, first calculate the Total
Ship Cost. Now add 50% to the cost for a
In the basic rules, the maximum Primary and tech 5 ship or 100% (double) to the cost of a
Secondary Battery strength of a ship is calculated as tech 6 ship. For a tech 3 ship, subtract 25%
the number of available Hull Boxes multiplied by 4. from the Total Ship Cost (multiply by .75).
When using the optional Tech Levels, this changes to
the number of available Hull Boxes multiplied by the Combat Effects
ship's TL. Calculations for Special Weapons and
Fighter Flights do not change; each one chosen will A TL modifier on the Combat Chart is now
still decrease the available mass by one. used. The firing ship gets a -1 for every TL it is
lower than its target, representing inferior ECM.
When designing a ship, the maximum level of This is the only modifier that applies for Primary
Electronic Defences (shields/screens) a ship may be AND Secondary Battery weapons. A ship does NOT
given is now equal to its TL. get +1 for being a higher TL.

Critical Hit #5 (Electronic Defences) now includes


the following: Lower TL ships no longer get the -1
combat modifier while ED (& ECM) is down.

Scanning: a +1 AND a -1 modifier is applied for each


TL difference between ships.

Changes to Special Weapons and Fighters are found


in their relevant sections.

The battered cruiser Lorik pulled up alongside the secret asteroid repair base. The weary officers and ratings
heaved a sigh of relief, that they had finally made it to safety. They would be out of the heavy fighting for at least a
little while, as repairs were affected to their ship.

"I for one am glad to see port, even if it is only a dull repair station" one of the bridge officers remarked.

The Lorik needed it, the last few battles and actions had been as non-stop as they had been gruelling. The wear and
tear on the ship's fabric was matched by heavy losses in crew

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Ezekiel Hartmn (Order #1285)


Optional Movement Rules
Agile Ramming
A ship designated as Agile (marked next Ramming an enemy ship during combat is a
to the engine icon) can use engine power very difficult and desperate maneuver, usually
to make itself harder to hit. One point considered a suicide mission. However, sometimes
from the engine power is required to gain it's the only way guaranteed to damage an enemy
the benefit from this greater agility. This ship. To pull it off you must accomplish two things:
does not need to be recorded or announced in any (1) convince your crew it's necessary (ie pass a
way; however, there must be one unused point of ramming morale test); and (2) actually ram your
engine power at the end of the turn for the ship to opponent's ship (ie plot movement and collide). You
gain the agile combat modifier. This represents the begin by trying to guess the target ship's next move
ship weaving and dodging. and plotting your own ship's movement to collide at
some point during the turn. This is a normal ship
movement plot and if you fail to ram for any reason,
it is carried out as normal. When all plotting is
Shadowing finished but before movement begins, announce that
you are attempting to ram, point to the target ship and
Shadowing an enemy ship means to get the ship attempting to ram, and take a ramming
behind it and follow it, attempting to remain behind it morale test.
by copying its movements. To be eligible to shadow
a ship the shadowing ship must be in the target ship's
rear arc, the target ship must be in the shadowing
ship's forward arc, and the shadowing ship must be Ramming Morale Test - All ships are
within close range (ie 12 inches) of the target ship. considered initially to have NO reason to ram unless
one of the following conditions apply:
Instead of plotting your movement during the Plot
Movement sub-phase of the turn, you merely write  Defending Important Location: This must
'Shadow' for the shadowing ship. In the Movement be a scenario-specific reason. The defenders
Phase, announce that you have shadowing ships and are protecting an important colony world,
point to the ships being shadowed. Your opponent home planet, or vital research base, etc. This
must reveal their movement plot. Now, write your must be announced before the game begins.
own plot for the shadowing ship, attempting to  No Weapons: The ramming ship has lost all
remain behind the target ship (although there is no its weapon boxes or its fire control is down.
guarantee of success). All ships are then moved  Lower Tech Level: Each TL the ramming
normally during the movement phase. ship is lower than its target is considered a
reason to ram.
 Warrior Race: The ramming ship is crewed
by a warrior race. This must be generally
accepted or justified before the game begins.
Collisions Little fuzzy ships, crewed by warrior
Tribbles, ramming everyone at some
Because of the huge 'ground' scale used for convention would be very disappointing.
the playing surface in ASFoS, ships cannot
accidentally collide (space is big). Any collisions
that occur must be caused by deliberate rams.

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Ezekiel Hartmn (Order #1285)


To pass the test, you must roll equal to or less than If the target ship fails to evade it has one chance left
the number of reasons you have to ram, on a d6. to thwart the ramming attempt. It may fire all
weapons (in arc) point blank at the ramming ship. If
Optional Modifiers: (to reasons to ram) the target ship succeeds in destroying the ramming
Cautious Captain -1 ship, the target ship may continue with its movement
Aggressive Captain +1 (see Morale rules) plot unaffected. Otherwise the target is rammed, and
damage is calculated. Firing weapons to survive a
ramming attempt forfeits the target ship's ability to
Movement - The ramming ship and its target now fire later during this turn's Combat Phase.
break their movement plots into fractions to find out
if a ram occurs. For example, ships moving 12 Damage - To determine the damage from
inches per turn might break their movement into ramming, the ramming speed must first be
quarters, moving three inches at a time until the ships determined. If the ramming ship strikes in the
either pass each other or collide. The faster the ships target's forward arc, the two ships' speeds are added
are moving, the smaller the fractions may have to be. together. If it strikes in the target's left or right arcs,
If the ramming ship comes within its own engine the ramming speed is equal to the ramming ship's
rating (in inches) of the target ship, there is a chance speed. If it strikes in the target's rear arc, the
the ram will succeed ramming speed is the rammer's speed minus the
target's speed (or 0, if the target is moving faster).
Evasion - The target ship hasn't been rammed yet, Both ships take ram damage. The Attack Factor of
it can attempt to evade. It has a basic 50% chance to the ram damage is equal to the ramming speed
get out of the way. Roll 1d6 to evade the attempted multiplied by the other ship's original hull size. The
ram; a result of 3 or less represents a successful Defense Factors of the ships are their basic Hull
evasion and both ships finish their movement plots as Strengths, do not include Electronic Defenses, and no
if nothing happened. This number is modified by the combat modifiers are used. Roll as many times as
below factors. Sometimes the target ship will end up necessary on the combat chart and apply damage
with no chance of avoiding the ram. immediately. Both ships lose the remainder of their
movement plot for this turn.

Target Ship is:

Agile +1
per engine rating +1
escort/titan* - combat modifier

Ramming Ship is:

Agile -1
per engine rating -1
escort/titan + combat modifier
warrior race* +1

* The target ship reverses the modifier


(ie +1 for Escort or -1 for Titan).
* Warrior race: you were expecting it, after all.

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Ezekiel Hartmn (Order #1285)


Optional Combat Rules
Expanded Firing Sequence Currently all ships have an average aspect. If a ship's
design warrants it, one Aspect of a ship may be
The Combat Phase needs to be modified when declared 'small' if the other Aspect is declared 'large'.
using Fighters and Special Weapons. The new firing Firing at a ship's small Aspect receives a -1 combat
sequence becomes: modifier, and firing at its large aspect receives a +1.

 For example: a ship shaped like a cigar may


have small front and rear aspects. An enemy
1) Primary Batteries ship firing at it while in the target ship's
2) Special Weapons forward or rear arcs would receive the -1
3) Secondary Batteries combat modifier. A second enemy ship, in
4) Other Ordinance (Fighters and Missiles) the target ship's left or right arcs would
receive a +1 (large Aspect).

Expanded Modifier Chart


 For example: a ship is targeted by an enemy
ship at long range and at the same time is Modifiers are added to or subtracted from the
attacked by enemy Fighters. First, both ships dice rolls of Primary Battery and Special Weapon fire
fire their Primary Batteries in the only. Secondary Batteries are not modified (except
appropriate arcs and damage is recorded. for TL). Rolls greater than 6 are treated as 6, rolls
Then, both ships fire Special Weapons, if they less than 0 are treated as 0.
have any in arc and they weren't lost during
Primary Battery fire, and damage is
recorded. The target ship then fires its Target is: Range:
Secondary Batteries (using new damaged
strengths) at the attacking Fighters. Last, the Agile -1 0-12" 0
surviving Fighters attack. Fast -1 12-24" -1
Slow +1 24-36" -2
Stationary +2
Aspect Escort -1 Gas/inch -1
Titan +1* Dust/inch -3
A ship's design may be such that it looks Aspect -1/+1
bigger from one direction than it does from another.
This is called its Aspect, or how big it looks Tech Level -1 TL -1
depending upon another ship's point of view. -2 TL -2
-3 TL -3
The obvious example of different Aspects on a ship
would be a ship shaped like a cigar. Viewed from the
end it seems small, viewed from the side it appears * Titans: Any firing at Titans receives a +1 size
larger. This has an effect on how easily it is targeted. modifier for each 25 Hull Boxes the Titan started
with (ie +2 for 50 mass, +3 for 75 mass). Since
The three Aspects of a ship should be front/rear, Titans start with at least 25 Hull Boxes, firing at them
left/right, top/bottom, but since our games are played always has at least a +1 modifier.
in only 2 dimensions, the 3d aspects of a ship have to
be decreased to only 2. For this to work we combine Agile ships are defined during the ship design
top/bottom and left/right so that our 2 Aspects will process and require 1 point of power from the
be: End (front/rear) and Side (left/right top/bottom). engines. Fast ships are any ships moving 12" or
Ships may not have more than 50% of their mass in greater for the current turn. Slow ships are any ships
weapon strengths in any arc with a small aspect. moving 4 inches or less for the current turn.
Stationary ships are not moving.

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Ezekiel Hartmn (Order #1285)


Critical Hits
Damage Procedure
Escorts use a slightly modified Critical Hits Chart
If you roll doubles with the damage dice (the since some of the explanations in the standard chart
same number on both the hull & weapon dice) AND won't make sense. For Escorts, the following Critical
if you do damage, then you have inflicted a Critical Hit explanations apply (although none of the effects
Hit on the target ship. Roll another die, and consult actually change):
the below chart. Multiple hits on the same location
(until repaired) are wasted. 1. Squadron commander's ship is hit and
communications are down.
Die 2. EMP burst has knocked out all targeting
Roll Location Effect computers in the squadron.
3. Catastrophic explosion on one of the
1 Bridge (Br) The Bridge has been hit Escorts. Chain reaction explosions possible.
and command functions are down. The ship must 4. Squadron commander's ship is out of
reuse last turns movement plot, and Primary and control and cannot be contacted.
Special Weapons must fire at last turn's target (or not 5. EMP burst from damaged ship has
at all). This continues until repaired. knocked down all ED in the squadron.
6. Debris has struck all ships in the
2 Fire Control (FC) Fire Control scanners squadron. Structural integrity compromised.
and computers are off line. No Primary or Special
weapon firing permitted until repaired. Damage Control
3 Reactor (R) A power reactor goes All ships have Crew Units (CUs),
critical and explodes at the beginning of the next turn small teams of crewmen dedicated to
for d6 worth of extra hull damage (unless fixing damaged systems, which can
immediately repaired). be used to repair critical hits. The
number of CUs on a ship is equal to
4 Engine (E) Engines are damaged and 1/4 of the ship's hull boxes, rounded off (minimum of
have shut down. Engine power rating is reduced to 0 1). The icon for each CU is placed on the ship's
and the +2 'stationary' combat modifier is applied due display in the row of hull boxes. This box still counts
to the ship's directional predictability until repaired. as a hull box. If the box containing the CU is
destroyed, the CU is also lost.
5 Electronic Defences (ED) Shields and
screens are down. The ship uses its natural hull At the end of the turn, during the repairs phase, you
strength as its defensive factor until repaired. declare how many CUs are attempting to repair
which critical hits, up to a maximum of 5 CUs per hit
6 Munitions (Mn) Uncontrolled fires break (if you have that many). Each CU may only work on
out among the munitions and fuel storage. Lose one one critical per turn, and has a 1 in 6 chance to repair
hull box per turn until extinguished (repaired). it. When multiple CUs attempt to repair the same
critical add their chances together. You may only
 For example: If your opponent rolls doubles make one attempt to repair any given critical per turn.
getting a critical hit, then rolls a third die The CUs need to roll equal to or lower than the
which results in a '3', then he has inflicted the number working on the critical on a d6 to affect the
Reactor critical on the target ship. If you do repair. Since repairs come after firing in the
not succeed in repairing this critical hit at sequence of play, it is possible to repair a system the
the end of the turn then you roll a d6 and same turn it was hit.
mark off that number of hull boxes as
destroyed. In the case of the Reactor critical,  For example: 2 CUs are attempting to repair
it becomes available again whether you a Bridge hit. Roll a d6, on a 1 or 2 the
repaired it or not. bridge is fixed.

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Ezekiel Hartmn (Order #1285)


Special Weapons
General Rules
 For example: firing at a slow ship at 32
All ships may be given ONE type of special inches range, would require a 5 or 6 on the
weapon in addition to its primary and secondary die. (ie: roll a 5, +1 for slow -2 for range =
batteries. The number of special weapons a ship 4, a hit).
mounts is recorded in the box next to the secondaries
on the Ship Display. This is different from the If a Mass Driver hits, it hits with an attack factor of
normal way, instead of recording their attack factor, 12. If multiple Mass Drivers from the same ship hit,
you record how many special weapons the ship has. add their attack factors together. Then roll for
This number decreases with weapons box damage in damage on the Combat Chart, without modifiers
the same manner as other weapons. (they've already been counted in the 'to hit' number).

Special weapons fire after Primaries and always fire When using Tech Levels, the Attack Factor of each
in the forward arc, possibly giving a ship a third 'shot' Mass Driver is equal to triple the firing ship's TL.
per turn. Unless stated otherwise, special weapons
are treated like primaries.
Particle Cannon (PC)
 For example: a ship is targeted by an enemy A Particle Cannon is a powerful but short-
ship at long range, and at the same time it is ranged weapon that fires a large concentrated beam
attacked by another enemy ship at 6 inches. of charged particles at near relativistic speeds. Range
First, all three ships fire their Primary is limited by the difficulty in focusing the beam
Batteries for the appropriate arc, and because of the tendency of the charged particles to
damage is recorded. Then the ships fire repel one another and thus dissipating the beam.
Specials, if they have any in arc and they Because of this, damage potential drops off quickly
weren't lost during primary fire, and damage with range.
is recorded. Then the two ships within 6
inches fire their Secondaries (using new A ship with Particle Cannon(s) may fire them once
damaged strengths) at each other and record per turn, at targets in the forward arc. Each Particle
damage. Cannon has an attack factor of 8. When firing
multiple Particle Cannons from the same ship add
their AFs together to get a total attack factor, which is
Mass Driver (MD) then used against the target ship. All modifiers for
primary fire are used normally except range. Particle
A Spinal-mounted Mass Driver, also known Cannons do not use the range modifiers, instead there
as a Railgun or Gauss Gun, is a massive weapon is a column shift on the combat chart, making the
system that functions by using electromagnetic Particle Cannon weaker with range. If firing at
grapples to accelerate solid projectiles to high speeds medium range the Particle Cannon shifts 2 columns
and fire them along the axis of the ship. Although to the left on the combat chart, and at long range it
Mass Drivers become less accurate with range and shifts 4 columns.
have difficulty hitting agile targets, they are powerful
weapons due to the tremendous amounts of damage  For example: firing 2 Particle Cannons with
they can inflict, which does not decrease with a total AF of 16, at a ship with a DF of 5,
distance. would normally result in a 3 to 1 attack ratio
on the combat chart. In this case however, if
Each Mass Driver may fire once per turn, at targets in the target was 18" away (medium range), the
the forward arc. Roll one d6 for each Mass Driver attack ratio would decrease by two columns
firing from a single ship, the basic chance of hitting is and become a 3 to 2 attack instead.
'4' or higher on the die. All normal modifiers for
Primary fire apply for this 'to hit' number. When using Tech Levels, the Attack Factor of each
Particle Cannon is double the firing ship's TL.

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Ezekiel Hartmn (Order #1285)


Laser Lance (LL) by the end of the second turn, it is removed. When
multiple Missiles successfully hit the same target,
In spite of the name, a Laser Lance is not a add the Missile AFs together for a total AF and roll
laser weapon at all; rather it is an anti-matter particle for damage on the Combat Chart with all normal
beam. Aimed and focused using magnetic fields, this modifiers for Primary Battery firing applied except
powerful beam weapon concentrates all of its energy range.
into a thin stream of anti-matter particles to generate
the highest possible penetrating power. When this Each time a Missile moves, it may first turn up to 45
beam strikes the target's hull, it tends to cut deep into degrees and then move straight forward up to 12
the ship. In extreme cases, powerful Laser Lances inches. Using Missiles requires a change to the
have been known to cut small ships in half. Movement Phase of the turn. This phase is now
broken into four sub-phases.
A ship with Laser Lances may fire them once per
turn, at targets in the forward arc. Each Laser Lance
has an attack factor of 4. When firing multiple Laser
Lances from the same ship, add their Attack Factors a) Plot Movement
together to get a total AF. Roll 2d6 as normal, b) 1st Fighter/Missile Movement: Missiles
however, the higher die result always represents the are fired in the forward arc and may
hull damage and the lower die result represents immediately make a normal move (in effect
weapon damage (instead of assigning damage type to allowing a 180 degree firing arc). Missiles
the dice colour ahead of time). This will result in already launched may move normally.
Laser Lances causing more hull hits than weapon hits c) Normal Ship Movement
(on average) and represents the effect of cutting deep d) 2nd Fighter/Missile Movement: Missiles
into the hull. move normally. If this is their second turn
on the table and they fail to hit an enemy
 For example: firing 2 Laser Lances with a ship, they are removed.
total AF of 8, at a ship with a DF of 4, will
result in a 2 to 1 attack ratio on the combat
chart. If the resulting damage roll is a '2' on
the Hull die and a '5' on the Weapons die,  For example: a ship is targeted by two enemy
this would reverse, the '5' die would count as ships from 32 inches away, one with 2
the hull damage, and the '2' die would count Missile Batteries the other with 3. The
as the weapon damage. targeted ship is out of arc of both firing ships
but this doesn't matter since the missiles
When using Tech Levels, the Attack Factor of each won't arrive for 2 turns. This is plenty of
Laser Lance is equal to the firing ship's TL. time to get on target.

Firing during the 1st Fighter/Missile


movement sub-phase with the maximum 45
Missile Battery (MB) degree arc from straight ahead allowed, they
immediately make a 45 degree turn before
A Missile is a small, fast, self-guided moving 12 inches. Since they haven't hit the
explosive device containing an engine and a powerful target ship, they turn and move again during
warhead. Each Missile Battery consists of the missile the 2nd Fighter/Missile movement sub-phase.
launching system and its ammunition supply, which If the players are using 2 sided missile
is considered sufficient for the entire game. counters, they are now turned over to
Although the launching ship must provide lock-on represent using up 1 turn's endurance.
guidance to fire a Missile, during flight the Missile is
capable of independently tracking its target. During the next turn's 1st Fighter/Missile
movement sub-phase the missiles turn again,
Missiles are considered Other Ordinance. Each move and (hopefully) hit the target ship. Since
Missile Battery can fire a single long-range Missile the target ship hasn't moved yet, the missiles
per turn. This Missile has an Attack Factor of 4 and a are dragged with it to remind the players that
Defence Factor of 2. It has enough fuel to survive the ship was hit.
two turns on the table. If it hasn't hit an enemy ship

25

Ezekiel Hartmn (Order #1285)


Disruptor (D)
Only Secondary Batteries may attempt to stop A Disruptor is a powerful but short-ranged
missiles by shooting them down, and only one die weapon that fires an asynchronous harmonics beam
needs to be rolled (for hull damage). When which generates a disruption pattern in the molecular
defending against multiple incoming Missiles, treat bonds of the target. Range is limited by the difficulty
them as if they were a single target; with each hit in focusing the beam and therefore damage potential
destroying one Missile. Allied ships within drops off quickly with range.
Secondary range of the targeted ship may also
attempt to shoot down the incoming missiles if not A ship with Disruptors may fire them once per turn,
targeted themselves. at targets in the forward arc. Each Disruptor has an
Attack Factor of 8. When firing multiple Disruptors
 For example: during the combat phase the from the same ship, add their Attack Factors together
target ship defends itself with its secondaries to get a total AF, which is then used against the target
and gets 3 hits destroying 3 missiles. The ship. All modifiers for Primary Battery fire are used
remaining 2 missiles attack with an Attack normally, except range. Disruptors triple the range
Factor of 8. modifiers: short range -0; medium range -3; long
range -6 (normally no chance to hit).
When using Tech Levels, the Attack Factor of each
Missile is equal to the TL of the firing ship and its  For example: firing 2 Disruptors with a total
maximum movement per phase is three times the TL. AF of 16, at a ship with a DF of 4, will result
A Missile's Defence Factor doesn't change. in a 4 to 1 attack ratio on the combat chart.
If the target was at medium range the combat
modifier would be -3 instead of -1.

Energy Torpedo (ET) When using Tech Levels, the Attack Factor of each
Disruptor is equal to double the firing ship's TL.
An Energy Torpedo is a self contained burst
of high-power energy fired directly at the target ship.
Although slightly more accurate than Mass Drivers, Plasma Accelerator (PA)
due to a limited amount of self-guidance, Energy
Torpedoes are also slightly less powerful. As with A Plasma Accelerator depends on a burst of
Mass Drivers, Energy Torpedo damage does not confined high-energy hydrogen plasma to deliver
decrease with range. damage, either in a stream or as a self-contained ball.
Due to the physical nature of this plasma, the Plasma
Each Energy Torpedo may fire once per turn, at Accelerator is a very short-ranged weapon; its
targets in the forward arc. Roll 1d6 for each one damage potential drops off quickly. However, at
firing; the basic chance of hitting is 3 or higher on the close range, its power is far greater than that of
die. All normal modifiers for Primary Battery fire normal beam weapons.
are applied to this number.
A ship with Plasma Accelerators may fire them once
 For example: firing at a slow ship at 32 inch per turn, at targets in the forward arc. Each Plasma
range would require a 4, 5 or 6 on the die (ie Accelerator has a basic Attack Factor of 4; however,
4 is rolled: +1 for Slow, -2 for range, total = the final AF depends upon the range to the target. As
3, a hit). An Energy Torpedo hits with an mentioned, Plasma Accelerators are very powerful
Attack Factor of 8. If multiple Energy but very short-ranged weapons. The short range is
Torpedoes from the same ship hit, add their represented by using six inch range bands instead of
Attack Factors together for a total AF. Roll the normal twelve inch bands. Its power is
for damage on the Combat Chart without represented by a basic Attack Factor tripled at close
modifiers (they've already been counted). range (0-6 inches), doubled at medium range (6-12
inches), and normal at long range (12-18 inches). All
When using Tech Levels, the Attack Factor of each combat modifiers (including range modifiers) are
Energy Torpedo is double the firing ship's TL. used. When firing multiple Plasma Accelerators
from the same ship, add their Attack Factors together
to get a total AF.

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Ezekiel Hartmn (Order #1285)


 For example: firing 2 Plasma Accelerators  For example: a ship is targeted by two enemy
with a total AF of 8, at a target 9 inches ships from 22 inches away, one with 2
away (medium range) would result in an Missile Packs the other with 3. The targeted
actual AF of 16 instead (8 doubled). ship is out of arc of both firing ships but
hopefully there will be time to get on target.
When using Tech Levels, the basic Attack Factor of
each Plasma Accelerator equals the firing ships TL. Firing during the 1st Fighter/Missile
movement sub-phase with the maximum 45
degree arc from straight ahead allowed, they
Missile Packs (MP) immediately make a 45 degree turn before
moving 12 inches. Since they haven't hit the
Meant to represent those massive launches target ship, they turn and move again during
of small short-range missiles so popular in anime sci- the 2nd Fighter/Missile movement sub-phase
fi, a Missile Pack launcher contains six tubes each, this time hitting the target ship.
plus ammo supply. When they fire, all six tubes
launch simultaneously and the missiles travel Only Secondary Batteries may attempt to stop
together as a pack. The battery's ammo supply is Missile Packs by shooting them down, and only one
considered sufficient for the entire game. die needs to be rolled (for hull damage). When
defending against multiple incoming Packs, treat
Missile Packs are considered Other Ordinance. them as if they were a single target. The first hit will
Each Missile Pack launcher may fire a group of six reduce a Pack to damaged status, a second hit will
small missiles once per turn. The Missiles of each destroy it. A damaged Missile Pack represents three
individual pack must move together and attack the missiles with an AF of 2 but with its DF unchanged.
same target at the same time. These missiles only Allied ships within Secondary range of the targeted
last one turn; if they haven't hit an enemy ship by the ship may also attempt to shoot down the incoming
end of the turn they're removed from the board. Each Missile Packs if not targeted themselves.
Missile Pack has an Attack Factor of 4 and a Defence
Factor of 1. When multiple packs successfully hit the  For example: during the combat phase the
same target, add the missile AFs together for a total target ship defends itself with its secondaries
AF and roll for damage on the Combat Chart with all and gets 5 hits destroying 2 Missile Packs
normal modifiers for Primary Battery fire, except and damaging a 3rd (or damaging 5). The
range. remaining Missile Packs attack with an
Attack Factor of 10.
Each time a Missile Pack moves, it may first turn up
to a 45 degree and then move straight forward up to When using Tech Levels, the Attack Factor of each
12 inches. Using Missile Packs requires a change to Missile Pack is equal to the TL of the firing ship.
the Movement Phase. This phase is now broken into The AF of damaged Missile Packs is half the TL. A
four sub-phases: Missile Pack's Defence Factor doesn't change. Their
maximum movement per phase is three times the TL.

EMP Torpedo (E)


a) Plot Movement
b) 1st Fighter/Missile Movement: Missile An EMP Torpedo is designed to generate an
Packs are fired in the forward arc and may enormous electromagnetic pulse rather than a great
immediately make a normal move (in effect amount of damage when it detonates. If it hits the
allowing a 180 degree firing arc). target ship, this pulse has a greatly increased chance
c) Normal Ship Movement of knocking important ship systems offline.
d) 2nd Fighter/Missile Movement: Missile
Packs move normally. If they fail to hit an Each EMP Torpedo may fire once per turn, at targets
enemy ship, they are removed. in the forward arc. They are treated as a Special
Weapon of the Energy Torpedo type; each EMP
Torpedo rolls to hit the same as an Energy Torpedo.
EMP Torpedoes hit with an attack factor of 4 (instead
of an 8). If multiple EMP Torpedoes from the same

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Ezekiel Hartmn (Order #1285)


ship hit, add their Attack Factors together for a total Remember, any time the Attacker to Target Ratio
AF. Roll for damage on the Combat Chart without exceeds 6:1, another roll is allowed using the left
modifiers (they've already been factored in). over factors. For a Super Weapon, this extra roll
However, after rolling the two dice, the lower die would have to be against the same ship since this was
result is treated as if it were both dice, resulting in a the only ship hit by the Super Weapon.
Critical Hit. The higher die is the Critical Hit itself.

 For example: if you roll a 2 and a 4 (hull or Limits on Missiles


weapons doesn't matter), they are treated as
two 2s. IF you've inflicted damage, the 4 (ie While missiles in small numbers seem a
engines) becomes the Critical Hit. little underpowered, missiles in great numbers can be
a bit overwhelming. If you think missiles need to be
When using Tech Levels, the Attack Factor of each balanced, there are two ways this can be done.
EMP Torpedo is equal to the firing ship's TL.
Ammo Supply - Missile Batteries do not have
unlimited ammunition. Each battery gets 4 shots
Super Weapons represented by a 'magazine' icon placed evenly in the
Hull row. Each shot is marked off when fired.
Super Weapons are not a new type of ultra
powerful weapon; rather, they are larger versions of
previously defined Special Weapons (Primary and
Secondary batteries may not be re-defined as Super
Weapons). Super Weapons were created for those
ships that need a few large powerful weapons instead If a magazine is lost, then 1 battery can no longer
of many small weapons in order to stay true to their fire. If a battery is lost, so is 1 magazine (but not the
origins (also to add variety). Some tend to be all-or- Hull Box).
nothing weapons, hitting or missing, while others
change the combat calculations very little. Wave Attacks - missiles do not all arrive at the
target at exactly the same instant. This gives
A Super Weapon can be any size compared to the secondaries the opportunity of firing at each wave as
smaller Special Weapon it's based on. Where a it arrives. All the missiles fired during a single turn
normal Special Weapon would take up 1 mass, a from each individual enemy ship are considered 1
Super Weapon takes up a multiple of this mass. This wave. The attacker decides which waves attack first.
size defines the Super Weapon. The Attack Factor of Each wave is fired on by defending secondaries, then
the Super Weapon is also a multiple of the normal hit and do damage. Then the next wave attacks, is
AF. Although a Super Weapon takes up multiple fired on by the now damaged secondaries, hits and
mass compared to its basic counterpart, it is does damage. Each wave is calculated separately.
considered to be ONLY one weapon and uses the
same rules to hit. Super Weapons are recorded in the
same way as Special Weapons on the Ship Display,
there are simply fewer of them.

 Example 1: A Particle Cannon takes up 1


mass and its Attack Factor is 8. A double
sized Particle Cannon Super Weapon takes
up 2 mass and its AF is 16 (ie 2 x 8). A triple
sized Particle Cannon Super Weapon takes
up 3 mass and its AF is 24 (ie 3 x 8).

 Example 2: A double sized Mass Driver


Super Weapon takes up 2 mass, and its AF, if
it hits, is 24 (2 x 12). However, since it's
only one weapon, only one attempt to hit is
rolled.

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Ezekiel Hartmn (Order #1285)


Fighters
Basic Fighter Rules
Fighters are small, fast and If you wish to combine two damaged Fighter Flights
maneuverable attack craft, equipped to make a full strength one, you must first reload
with very short-range weapons. them onto a carrying ship.
Fighters must close to point-blank
range (touching) in order to attack Fighters require a change to the Movement Phase.
their targets. Typically one-man craft, they are This phase is now broken into four sub-phases:
deployed in flights or squadrons because of their
small individual attack potential and their
vulnerability to enemy fire.

Fighter Flights are represented by tiny fighter models a) Plot Movement


or more easily, by counters. Fighter Flights do not b) 1st Fighter/Missile Movement: Fighters
need ship displays, the only important information already launched may move 12 inches in
about a Fighter Flight is whether it's been damaged or any direction. Un-launched fighters may
destroyed. launch (but not move).
c) Normal Ship Movement
Fighter Bays are represented by Fighter icons spaced d) 2nd Fighter/Missile Movement: Fighters
evenly in the Hull Boxes row on the Ship Display. already launched may move 12 inches in
Each Fighter Bay represents one Flight of six any direction. Fighters touching a carrier
standard Fighters, occupies a Hull Box, and takes up may be recovered.
1 mass. Each of these Fighter Flights begins with an
Attack Factor of 4 and a Defence Factor of 3. Fighter
weapons have a maximum range of 0 inches (must be
touching the target) but are treated as Secondary
Batteries for all other purposes. When multiple Fighter Flights attack the same target,
add their Attack Factors together. The maximum
Fighters may move up to 12 inches per number of full or damaged Fighter Flights that may
Fighter/Missile movement sub-phase in any attack a single target at the same time is equal to the
direction. This movement is done directly on the target's hull size (ie three Fighter Flights may attack a
game table, no plotting is necessary for Fighter 3 mass Light Cruiser) or a maximum of two Fighter
movement. Flights may attack another Fighter Flight

Fighters are considered Other Ordinance. When When defending against multiple Fighter Flights,
attacked, Fighter Flights are reduced to damaged treat them as if they were a single target. The
status by the first hit and are destroyed by a second defending player decides which Fighter Flights suffer
hit. Each damaged Fighter Flight represents three damage (spreading out the damage has the advantage
fighters with an AF of 2 but with its DF of 3 of decreasing the ability of the survivors to
unchanged. concentrate). Fighters may only be attacked by
Secondary Batteries (and other Fighters) and only
A ship may launch and/or recover a number of one die (hull) is rolled for damage. Allied ships
Fighter Flights equal to one third of its (undestroyed) within Secondary range of the targeted ship may also
Fighter Bays per turn, rounded to the nearest whole attempt to shoot down fighters if not targeted
number (minimum 1). A ship may not launch or themselves.
recover fighters during a turn that it changes speed or
direction. When there are several Fighter vs Fighter combats
near each other, combine their factors and roll one
If the Hull Box containing a Fighter Bay is destroyed result as if it were a single large dogfight.
with the Fighters still inside, the Fighters are also Remember, when calculating the odds in dogfights,
destroyed; otherwise, the number of Fighter Flights calculate the total Attack Factor vs the defender's
the ship can carry merely decreases by one. Defence Factor (not numbers of Fighters vs numbers
of Fighters).

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Ezekiel Hartmn (Order #1285)


Tech Levels Special Fighter Designs
When using Tech Levels, the Attack Factor Torpedo Bomber: Fighters designed exclusively for
of each Fighter Flight equals the TL of the launching attacking enemy ships; they cannot damage enemy
ship; damaged Fighter Flights equal one half of the fighters. Their only armament is small Missile Pack
launching ship's TL. Their maximum movement per type warheads, 3 each, which gives a flight of six
phase becomes 3 times the TL. A Fighter Flight's Torpedo Bombers an Attack Factor of 12 (or 3 x TL).
Defence Factor doesn't change. The range of these warheads is still normal Fighter
range (ie 0 inches) and the whole flight must fire at
the same time. Once the warheads have been fired,
Fighter Variants the flight must be recovered onto a ship to reload
before they can fire again. These Fighters receive the
Fighter specialization can be created by Slow combat modifier (+1 to hit) while they're
using the following two categories: Fighter Weight carrying warheads regardless of their actual weight.
and Fighter Mission. By choosing one aspect from
each category, 9 different Fighter types can be For those of you who want really big bombers, that
created. A Medium Standard is the basic design. can attack ships AND fight off enemy fighters,
they're called frigates!
Fighter Weight
Light/Fast: A type of fighter that sacrifices armour Squadron Formations
weight for speed. Their movement rate is increased
to 16 inches per sub-phase (or 4 x TL); however, The smallest unit of Fighters in ASFoS is a
their Defence Factor is decreased to 2 (weak). These single Flight of six (damaged Flights are treated the
fighters receive the -1 Fast modifier in all combat. same as full strength ones). However, for large fleet
Interceptors are commonly this type of fighter. battles with swarms of fighters engaged on both
sides, using massive numbers of Fighter Flights can
Medium: Standard Fighters (which use the basic become time-consuming. For this purpose, larger
rules for movement). unit sizes are needed. If between three and five
Fighter Flights are placed together on the table, this
Heavy/Slow: A type of fighter that sacrifices speed grouping becomes a new larger unit called a Fighter
and agility for heavier armour. Their movement rate Squadron (if you use counters, they should be piled
is decreased to 8 inches per sub-phase (or 2 x TL); together; if models, they should be touching). The
however, their Defence Factor is increased to 4 Fighter Flights that make up these Fighter Squadrons
(strong). These fighters receive the +1 Slow modifier must be touching at all times and moved together. If
in all combat. moved apart, they no longer make up the larger unit.

Fighter Mission Between three and five Fighter Squadrons make up a


Fighter Group and three to five Fighter Groups make
Interceptor: A type of fighter designed to attack up a Fighter Wing. To really take advantage of these
enemy fighters at the expense of anti-ship larger unit sizes requires the use of Fighter Squadron
capabilities. They receive a +2 modifier in combat vs counters and the Fighter Group Table.
enemy fighters and a -2 modifier vs enemy ships.

Standard: Standard Fighters (which use the basic


rules for combat).

Bomber: A type of fighter designed to attack enemy


ships at the expense of dog-fighting capabilities.
They receive a +2 modifier in combat vs enemy ships Fighter Squadron counters are slightly larger than
and a -2 modifier vs enemy fighters. their Fighter Flight counterparts and contain room for
individual identification.

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Ezekiel Hartmn (Order #1285)


The Fighter Group Table keeps track of all Fighter Sequence for each Fighter Movement sub-phase:
Flights in the Fighter Squadrons, all Fighter
Squadrons in a given Fighter Group, and their
constituent Fighter types and current strengths. All
Fighters in a Fighter Squadron need to be of the same 1. Alternately move all single and double
type. The Attack Factor and damaged strengths of Fighter Flights, starting with the side who
each Fighter Squadron can be calculated in advance won the initiative. If one side has more
in the same manner as a normal Ship Display. These Fighter Flights than the other, they move
larger groupings of Fighters may be split or the extra after the first side has finished.
recombined at will. 2. Move all Fighter Squadrons in the same
fashion as in 1, above.
3. Move all Fighter Groups (squadron
groupings) in the same fashion as 1 above.
4. Move all Fighter Wings in the same
fashion as 1 above.

 For example: during Fighter Group


movement, a Fighter Group of nine Fighter
Flights, (three Fighter Squadrons of three
Fighter Flights each), breaks into two
Fighter Squadrons and three single Fighter
 In this example, the chart is filled in for the
Flights in order to attack five separate
tech 4 "805th Fighter Group." It is made up
targets.
of four Fighter Squadrons: the 1st Fighter
Squadron (Light Interceptors) of four Fighter
Flights; the 2nd and 3rd Fighter Squadrons It is important to note that Fighters cannot be pinned.
(Medium Standards) each of three Fighter
If a Fighter unit has not yet moved, then it can move
Flights; and the 4th Fighter Squadron
away from contact during its own movement sub-
(Heavy Bombers) of five Fighter Flights. The
phase. However, this doesn't mean that Fighter
Attack Factors are calculated per Fighter Flights can just zoom past one other as if they didn't
Squadron and filled in on the appropriate exist. All Fighter units, whether they've moved or
lines. Each squadron would have its own
not, have a six-inch Zone of Control. Any other
Fighter Squadron counter.
Fighters passing through this zone may be attacked,
out of phase if necessary. If Fighters pass within six
inches of enemy Fighters on their way toward
something else, an attack may be declared on the
Fighter Initiative passing Fighters. If an attack is declared, the passing
Fighters may stop movement and engage the enemy
When there are large numbers of Fighters on Fighters. Combat calculations are then carried out
the table, an organized movement sequence is normally during the Combat Phase. If the passing
required. At the beginning of each turn's 1st Fighter Fighters choose to continue with their movement,
Movement sub-phase, each side rolls a die. The side they must first take any appropriate damage. In other
with the highest roll wins the initiative and moves words, the attacking Fighters calculate their attacks
first in an alternate move system. Since large out of sequence from the normal Combat Phase.
formations react slower to circumstances than small Once Fighter Flights are engaged with at least one
ones, we start at the bottom. enemy Fighter Flight each, they can no longer
intercept the enemy in this manner. Remember,
Larger units do not have to remain in their formation Fighters are allowed only one attack per turn. If they
for the entire movement sub-phase, they merely have attack out of sequence as described above, they
to begin that way. forfeit any attacks in the Combat Phase.

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Ezekiel Hartmn (Order #1285)


Boarding Actions
Ship Defence Boarding Parties
There is one basic premise associated with a Boarding Parties are made up of elite squads
ship's defence against boarding actions. Nobody can of Assault Marines, specially equipped and trained in
actually take over a spaceship in an age where the difficult tactics of boarding enemy spaceships.
computers can lock up all the critical control systems Delivered by Assault Shuttle, Boarding Parties have
with a single keystroke from the captain. However, Attack and Defence Factors of 4 (or their Tech Level)
this doesn't mean you can't capture it. and are destroyed after suffering one hit each.

Boarding combat requires a slight change in the


definition of Crew Units. Instead of small teams of Marines
crewmen dedicated to fixing damaged systems,
they're now defined as small teams of crewmen, who Marines can also be used for
can be spared from other duties to deal with defensive purposes. A ship may
emergencies. Crew Units may be used to defend a reinforce its defences by adding
ship from boarders. They have Attack and Defence Marine Units (MUs). They have the
Factors of 4 (or their Tech Level) and are destroyed same stats as Boarding Parties but
after suffering one hit each. they help to defend a ship instead of attacking the
enemy's. The maximum number of Marines that can
be added to a ship depends on the number of Crew
Assault Shuttles Units already carried. A ship can carry a maximum
number of CUs plus MUs equal to half the ship's
In order to board an enemy ship, your mass, rounded down.
marines must reach it somehow.
Assault Shuttles are purpose built  For example: a 6 mass Cruiser with the
Fighter-type craft, used for just this standard 2 CUs has room for 1 MU; an 8
purpose. Each shuttle takes up one mass cruiser, also with 2 CUs, has room for
Hull Box. They are represented on the Ship Display 2 MUs.
by shuttle icons spaced evenly in the Hull Boxes row.
These icons each represent one Assault Shuttle MUs are represented on the Ship Display in a similar
containing one Marine boarding party. The Assault way as CUs, except with a laser icon, and add one
shuttles are armoured but unarmed, move and defend point each to the Total Ship Cost. These icons are
the same as a heavy/slow fighter, and are destroyed placed on the Ship Display, one every fourth Hull
after suffering only one hit. Assault shuttles are one- Box, between the CU icons and MAY be placed in
way transportation; they cannot be reused to leave the the same Hull Box as Fighter icons. There is no
target ship. room for MUs on Escorts.

"I don't see why we have to play nursemaid to a lousy fuel carrier!" Debin Hurn snapped in irritation. As tactical
officer of the Battlecruiser Lorne, he would much prefer to be in the frontlines, rather than assigned to some
secondary and dull routine logistical mission. His companion on the bridge watch, the first officer Davil, shook his
head in resigned acceptance of Hurn's fit of temper.

"Keep it down, Hurn" he remarked reproachfully. He jerked his head around to indicate that the rest of the bridge
staff was listening to them, although they were working rather hard at the moment trying to look industrious and
focused at their work stations.

Both men failed to notice the sound of footfalls coming closer as they talked near one of the ships computer panels.
They looked up to find their captain looking coolly down at them from the bridge walkway.

32

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Combat Calculations
Boarding Action Combat comes last in the and the defenders must beat them before being
Combat Phase, during the Other Ordinance sub- allowed to attempt to fix the Critical Hit. Locations
phase. The maximum number of Boarding Parties that they may NOT stay at are Reactor and
allowed on a ship at one time is equal to half the Munitions. They must abandon these areas and give
ship's mass, rounded down. surviving damage control parties the chance to repair
them.
Add all the Boarding Party Attack Factors together,
compare to defender's CU Defence Factor, and roll  For example: a 6 mass Cruiser with 2 CUs
on the Combat Chart. The defender does the same. and 1 Marine is boarded by 3 Boarding
Elite defenders (see Morale) receive a +1 modifier, Parties who choose 'Bridge' as their target.
poor ones receive a -1. If this is the first turn of The Cruiser's DF is 4 but 1 point of this is
boarding or there are no Boarding Parties left on due to Electronic Shielding, so its Basic DF
board from a previous turn, the attacker must fight is only 3. Add this to the CUs and Marine's
his way into the ship. To represent this, the defender DFs of 4 for a total DF of 7. The boarder's
adds the ship's basic Hull Strength to their Defence AF is 12 (3x4) for a 3 to 2 attack on the
Factor. When CUs and defending Marines are Combat Chart. If the attacker rolled a '6',
marked off the Ship Display, be careful to show the then he would inflict 2 casualties which the
damage as different from hull damage. The defender defender would choose from his 2 CU and 1
gets to decide which type of unit to mark off. Marine Unit. Simultaneously he would
attack back with an AF of 12 against the
When Boarding Parties invade a ship, they target one boarders DF of 4 getting a 3 to 1 attack. If
specific area, one Critical Hit location of their choice. he rolled a '1' he would inflict 1 casualty on
If they defeat their opponents by destroying more of the boarders, losing the combat. A 'Bridge'
them than they lose themselves, they inflict that Critical Hit would be inflicted on the Cruiser.
specific Critical Hit. They may stay at most locations

"—Battle cruisers at the enemy! Give it everything!"

The commander of the battle cruiser squadron stared blankly for a moment at the order being relayed to him over
his comm. screen. The battle line was in desperate straits and needed precious minutes to withdraw and regroup;
minutes the victorious enemy was not going to give them. Not unless
something drastic was done. In this case the Admiral had decided to sacrifice
his battle cruisers to save the capital ships.

"Relay that order to all ships. I want an intercept course at once!"

"How close do you want to take us?" queried one of the commander's staff.

"Close enough, that I can throw grappling hooks over and board the enemy
ships!" the commander snapped.

He watched as his six battle cruisers came about, turning their bows towards their pursuing enemy. It was an
impressive sight, but the commander knew he was sending his ships and more importantly their crews to their
deaths. Few of his ships would even reach the enemy battle line.

"Helm, flank speed. Guns, fire all weapons as they bear."

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Experimental Weapon Rules
The following rules have not been extensively tested so, use with caution

Turrets (T) Bomb Pumped X-ray Lasers (X)


Turrets are an exception to the normal ship This is ASFoS's only area of effect weapon.
construction rules. Turrets are meant to represent Delivered either by Missile or by Energy Torpedo,
large Primary Beam weapons positioned within a when it explodes it generates X-ray lasers which fire
turret with multiple arcs of fire. When constructing a in all directions. Since these lasers are not aimed,
ship with turrets, each 1 mass used generates 1/2 they have a limited effective range (6 inches) and are
mass in battery power in each of the left, forward, treated as Secondary weapons. EACH target in range
and right arcs. Due to this difference they are treated is hit.
in all ways as if they were Special Weapons and are
marked on the Ship Display appropriately. When X-ray Lasers hit with an Attack Factor of 2. If
firing multiple Turrets from the same ship, add their multiple X-ray Lasers from the same ship hit, add
Attack Factors together to get a total AF. their Attack Factors together for a total AF.

 For example: a 3 mass Light Cruiser could Decide how you want X-ray Lasers to be delivered,
have one mass reserved for Primary Missile or ET (or both). For Missiles, they move just
Batteries, one for Secondary Batteries, and like regular missiles, do not need to hit anything, and
one used for Turrets. This would provide a explode during the Special Weapons combat
Beam Battery strength of 2 in left, forward, subphase. Measure the range from the Missile
and right arcs which would fire when Special counter to see which targets are hit by the lasers. For
Weapons fired. When using Super Weapons, ET, place a marker where you want it to explode
fractions of mass may be used. In this during the Special Weapons combat subphase and
example, the Light Cruiser could have 2 1/2 roll to see if you 'hit'. If you do, measure the range
mass in Turrets, giving it a Beam Battery from the counter to see which targets are hit by the
strength of 5 in any of the three arcs, but only lasers, if not remove the counter (it failed).
1/2 a mass would be left for Secondary
Battery power. When using Tech Levels, the Attack Factor of each
X-ray Laser is equal to half the firing ship's TL.

Nuke Packs (NP)


Primaries vs Ordinance
A Nuke Pack is the Super Weapon version
of the Missile Pack. Each NP fires a pack of six Since some genre's don't have anything that
small nuclear missiles once per game. A NP is could be considered secondary batteries, but instead
expended when it is fired and is immediately marked use their primaries to fire at small targets, we need to
off the Special Weapons box on the Ship Display. represent this somehow in the rules. A simple
Each small missile in a Nuke Pack has an Attack change makes this possible. Primaries may fire at
Factor of 4 (or the firing ship's Tech Level) and a fighters and missiles with a -2 modifier. Since
Defence Factor of 1. For example, the AF of an spotting and targeting such small targets would be
entire tech 4 NP would be 24 (ie 6x4). NPs are difficult at a distance, we also only allow such fire at
considered Other Ordinance and are used in the same close range (12 inches). You should decide whether
manner as Missile Packs. to include Special Weapons in this rule.

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Other Optional Rules
Electronic Warfare
Scanning
Scanning Modifiers
In order to add an extra dimension to the
opening moves of a game, ships can be represented
by counters (we use bingo chips) instead of models.
These counters need to be secretly marked with an ID Target is: Range:**
and a way of telling which way the ship is facing.
These counters can be thought of as blips on a long Fast +1 0-12" 0
range scanner, the first indications of an enemy's Slow -1 12-24" -1
presence. Stationary -2 24-36" -2
Escort -1 36-48" -3
Electronic Warfare sub-phase: To make this work Titan +1* 48-60" -4
we need to insert a sub-phase at the beginning of the Gas/inch -1 60-72" -5
combat phase where all Electronic Warfare takes Dust/inch -3
place. The new firing sequence becomes: Running Silent -3
Stealth -3

Tech Level*** -1 TL +/-1


1) Electronic Warfare -2 TL +/-2
2) Primary Batteries -3 TL +/-3
3) Special Weapons
4) Secondary Batteries
5) Other Ordinance
* +1 for each 25 mass of the Titan

** Scanning ranges are extended to 72 inches. A -1


Once per turn each ship in a fleet may attempt to scan modifier is applied for each full 12 inches between
(lock-on) one enemy blip. Success means your scanning ship and target blip.
opponent must replace the counter with the actual
ship model which may now be targeted for firing *** Apply +1 AND a -1 for each Tech Level
purposes (if in range) by all ships, the lock-on data is difference between ships.
instantly shared throughout the fleet. Once a ship has
been scanned, it remains visible and a viable target Note: there is no Agile modifier and the speed
for the remainder of the game. A ship that has not modifiers are reversed. When Running Silent (this
been scanned may not be fired upon (except by must be declared during the Electronic Warfare sub-
fighters). phase), a ship is not using active scanners and is
depending on passive scanning to keep position and
This is where Escort Squadrons really shine. They heading. The ship's shields are inactive and the ship
are represented by one blip per squadron, but may may not attempt to scan enemy blips or fire during
make as many scans per turn as the squadron has the current turn, as this would give away its position.
ships. When being scanned, only one successful scan
is required to reveal the entire squadron. Fighters do
not need to and may not scan ships.

To successfully scan a ship, roll a 6 or less on 1d6


(yes, this would mean automatic success). Modify
the number by adding or subtracting the modifiers
shown in the following chart.

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Expanded ECM
Breaking Lock-on: If at any time during the turn Superior Sensors:
the chance of re-scanning a ship drops to 0 or less for
all ships in the fleet, lock-on has been broken and the A ship with Superior Sensors counts
ship model may be replaced with a blip marker. in combat (and for scanning) as if it
However, ships may attempt to reacquire the lost ship were one Tech Level higher than it
(ie the blip) during the Electronic Warfare sub-phase. actually is. Superior Sensors incurs
Breaking lock-on is normally possible only when a 30% increase to the basic cost of a
ships are separated by an intervening gas/dust cloud, ship. Usually used by scout ships.
asteroid, planet, chaff, or destroyed ship.

Chaff and Decoys: Stealth Technology:

They disrupt enemy targeting and are Stealth Technology has the effect of
deployed as an expendable defensive doubling the normal Running Silent
counter measure. Chaff/Decoys can modifier (ie -6). This makes a ship
be anything from tin-foil strips, sand, impossible to scan by most enemy
or decoys to electromagnetic pulses. ships unless they have a scanning
A Chaff/Decoy marker is placed next to the ship and bonus. Ships with Stealth Technology always begin
the ship is treated for the purposes of firing as if it the game Running Silent. During the Electronic
were in the center of a one inch radius dust cloud. Warfare sub-phase, a ship may declare that it is
Enemy ships now receive the -3/inch modifier for deactivating its Stealth Technology. A ship may only
scanning and/or firing. However, it may also lose reactivate its Stealth when it intends to leave the
lock-on with all enemy ships and may need to re- battle. Stealth Technology incurs a 50% increase to
acquire its own lock-on (also with the -3 modifier) the basic cost of a ship.
with no help from the rest of the fleet. Chaff/Decoys
only lasts one turn and a ship may fire it only once
per game.

"Ebon Group, Aqua Group, Saffron Group form up on me." The Wing
Commander's voice crackled over the comm. system. One hundred
and thirty-seven space fighters of various types reformed into an
attack formation.

"Ebon Group proceed forward at maximum speed, blast us a hole in


the enemy defensive fighter screen. Aqua and Saffron Groups will
follow me and swarm the first enemy cruiser squadron we encounter.
Execute on my mark."

Seconds ticked by with agonizing slowness as the three groups raced towards the enemy battle line, who seemed
oblivious to the threat. They would soon find out. "All groups! Mark!"

These three single words sent the forty two interceptors of Ebon Group blazing in on full after-burners, straight into
the now approaching enemy fighter screen. A furious dog-fight erupted as the powerful fighters twisted and turned
seeking killing hits on their opponents. The slower but deadly fighterbombers of the Aqua and Saffron Groups
dodged the firefight and struck towards the cruisers that lay beyond.

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Morale
Command Quality
 For example: a ship with an aggressive
Command Quality represents the efficiency captain (3) and an average crew (2) would
of the command structure of a ship, the have a Ship Morale of 5. The Ship Break
aggressiveness of the captain, the ability of his senior Point would be 5 x 15, or 75%.
officers, and the willingness of the crew to follow
them. All ships and escort squadrons begin with an Using the Ship's Break Point, the number of Hull
average Command Quality (2), although this can be Boxes a ship must lose before breaking off contact
modified. Command Quality ratings are: with the enemy is calculated. Multiply the number of
Hull Boxes that the ship starts with by the Ship Break
1 - cautious 2 - average 3 - aggressive Point, and round up. The result represents how many
Hull Boxes the ship must lose to require the ship to
This quality is used for certain morale tests required break contact with the enemy. The ship must use the
of the ship and is added to the Crew Quality to get quickest route when leaving the battle and may not
the Ship Morale. To increase/decrease this rating by fire any weapons except in self-defence. If attacked
one level, a modifier of +15% / -15% is applied to the by Fighters or Missiles during this break-off
ship's Basic Cost. movement, they may fire Secondary Batteries at the
attacking ordinance. If a disengaging ship is fired on
by other ships, it may return fire but ONLY on the
Crew Quality ship(s) that fired.

Crew Quality represents the crew's training  For example: a Battleship of 12 mass and a
and professionalism, morale, and willingness to fight. Ship Break Point of 60% would have a break
All ships and escort squadrons begin with an average point of 7.2 Hull Boxes (12 x 60%) rounded
Crew Quality (2), although this can be modified. UP to 8. The eighth hull box from the left
Crew Quality ratings are: would be marked somehow (possibly with a
small star in the corner). When this eighth
1 - poor 2 - average 3 - elite Hull Box is lost, the Battleship would have to
disengage from combat.
This quality is used during boarding combat and is
added to the Command Quality to get the Ship A ship may also be forced to break off contact with
Morale. To increase/decrease this rating by one the enemy because of the loss of all its weapons. If a
level, a modifier of +15% / -15% is applied to the ship loses all its Weapon Boxes before reaching its
Basic Cost of the ship. Break Point, it has to roll a Morale Test to remain in
combat. The test is a simple one; roll the Command
Ship Morale and Ship Break Point Quality or less on 1d6. If successful, the ship may
remain in combat until it reaches its Break Point
In order to calculate Ship Morale, add the (when it has to disengage anyway). Failure means
Command Quality and the Crew Quality. This the ship must immediately break off from contact.
number, multiplied by 15, gives the Ship Break Point,
calculated as a percentage.

Captain d'Merl watched uneasily as his brand new ship went into action stations. The unease was caused by the
fact that this wasn't a drill, this time the enemy was real and the weapons being aimed at his ship could kill. "All
torpedo decks cleared for action, all energy batteries charged up, point defense on stand-by, Captain" his first
officer intoned crisply. He certainly looked calmer than his captain felt.

Captain d'Merl's gaze moved back to the tactical screen and watched as it plotted courses, updated information on
velocities, power signatures and made possible threat assessments. The captain found its quiet efficiency and
unrelenting logic soothing, computers unlike people, never panicked.

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Fleet Break Point
In scenario-based games, there may not be The standard level of engagement is 'committed'. To
any need for a Fleet Break Point since the scenario increase or decrease this Fleet Morale rating, a
itself will determine the winner and loser. For equal modifier of +30% / -30% is applied to the total cost
point pickup games, unless you intend to fight to the of the entire fleet. The Fleet Break Point is
death, some way of determining the winner is calculated by multiplying the Fleet Morale by 30.
needed. For this we can use the Fleet Break Point. Since this results in extreme Fleet Break Point values,
half values are permitted at a cost of +15% / -15%.
Each ship or Escort squadron in a fleet is given a
value equal to 10% of its cost, rounded to the nearest  For example: a fleet of two 36 point
whole number (minimum of 1). The sum of all these Battleships and three 13 point Heavy
costs represents the Fleet Morale. When a fleet has Cruisers would have a Fleet Morale value of
lost 60% of this value due to ships being destroyed or 11 (4+4+1+1+1). If this fleet had an
breaking off contact, the fleet is considered beaten engagement level of 2, 'committed', it would
and must retreat. have to retreat once it lost 60% or 6.6 (60% x
11) points worth of ships (rounded UP to 7).
Fleets may also be given different Fleet Morale If for instance it loses two battleships (2 x 4
values that represent different levels of engagement, points each), or one battleship (4 points) and
depending on the situation or scenario. The different three heavy cruisers (1 point each), it must
levels of engagement are: break contact. If this fleet had a Fleet
Morale rating of 2.5, it would cost an extra
15%, (36+36+13+13+13 x 1.15 or 111
1 - skirmish 2 - committed 3 - desperate points), and its Fleet Break Point would be
75%, or 9 points worth of ships.

Terrain
Basic Effects
Gas Clouds: Gas clouds interfere with line of sight. Asteroids: Asteroids are represented by objects of
For each inch of dust cloud between a ship and its appropriate shape and size. They block line of sight
target, a -1 combat modifier is applied. Gas clouds so no ship may target and fire at an enemy ship
may be passed through with no penalty. through an asteroid. Any ship that collides with an
asteroid is destroyed.
Dust Clouds: Dust clouds interfere with line of sight.
For each inch of dust cloud between a ship and its Planets, Moons and Other Large Celestial Bodies:
target, a -3 combat modifier is applied. In addition, The scale distortion created by these objects is
ships which move through dust clouds risk taking largely ignored. They are often represented along
damage. Multiply the ship's speed by the number of one entire table edge. Any ship crossing this table
inches of cloud the ship moved through. This is the edge is considered to have left the battle.
Attack Factor of the dust cloud which is compared to
the ship's DF. Roll on the Combat Chart using no Destroyed ships: Destroyed Cruisers are treated as a
modifiers except ship size and apply the result one inch diameter gas cloud. Destroyed Battleships
immediately, including any Critical Hits. (or larger ships) are treated as one inch diameter dust
clouds. Destroyed Titans leave a dust cloud equal in
radius to one inch plus their combat size modifier.

Monsters: They eat you!

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Ezekiel Hartmn (Order #1285)


PART III - Appendices
Sample Fleets
Terran Empire Ship Designs
In spite of its military sounding name, the average
citizen of the Terran Empire enjoys a level of
personal freedom and political entitlement seldom
before seen in human history.

A result of the early chaotic days of space


colonization by the independent nations of earth, the
Empire replaced the United Nations when that
organization proved itself incapable of restraining the
expansionist policies of its more aggressive member
states. Arising out of a war between two great
alliances, the formation of the Terran Empire brought
peace throughout the human sphere and a framework
for further peaceful expansion.

Bonaventure Class (DN): The Imperial fleet, unlike


its League counterpart, relies on a centralization of
fighter resources. The Bonaventure class fulfills this
role serving as the sole fighter platform in the
Imperial fleet. Carrying more fighters than any other
ship available to either side, the Bonaventure is able
to deliver an entire small Fighter Group to the
battlefield.

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Warrior Class (BB): The primary capital ship of the
Imperial fleet, the Warrior class has served with
distinction for many years. Due to its concentration
of fire it generally has an edge in firepower over
battleships in the League fleet. Its main tactic is to
drive straight forward, directly at the enemy ships
while firing its massive Primary Batteries and its
spinal mount Energy Torpedoes.

Lion Class (CA): While battleships carry the battle


they are too slow and cumbersome to deal with all
the small duties that fall to a modern fleet, including
chasing down enemy cruisers. Armed with all
purpose Primary Batteries and a single Energy
Torpedo, the Lion class fulfils this job with
distinction.

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Zulu Class (CL): Conflicts occur all along the
fringes of space far from the main battle fleets. It is
here that the Zulu class can be found scouting into
enemy territory and escorting convoys. This fast
cruiser mounts minor Primaries, good Secondaries,
and a single Energy Torpedo.

Piranha Class (DD): With powerful engines and


each destroyer in the squadron mounting an Energy
Torpedo, the Piranha class can be thought of as a type
of very large torpedo boat.

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League of Planets Ship Designs When the number of humanity's easily accessible
colony planets grew short, a decision was made to
explore the far side of the gigantic nebula SH 2-216.
Unexpectedly, the area beyond the nebula was rich
with potential sites and in the resulting scramble for
colonies, expansion efforts were directed almost
exclusively into this sector. The new colony worlds
grew quickly, although communication delays
imposed by their separation from humanity's core
worlds resulted in a decentralization of local
governments.

The result was predictable. The soon self sufficient


colonies decided to become self governing as well
and banded together in order to "throw off the yoke"
of the Terran Empire. Humanity's core worlds,
having many times experienced the dangers of
competing sovereign powers, objected.

Challenger Class (DN): The largest ship in the


League fleet, the Challenger class is designed to
engage and destroy enemy capital ships. Mounting
massive Primary Batteries, three spinal mount Mass
Drivers and carrying five Fighter Flights, the
Challenger is able to handle anything the enemy
throws at it. Ultimate proof that bigger is better.

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New Mars Class (BB): This battleship design, while
a viable combat vessel, is somewhat outclassed by its
traditional counterparts due to its versatile nature. It
has two spinal mount Mass Drivers as well as good
Primary broadsides. It tends to circle its opponents,
firing, while it tries to keep its targets in arc.

Swordfish Class (CA): This ship's all around


Primaries and single Mass Driver gives it an edge
against opposing ships of a similar size. Its main
duties are to stick with the battleship line, adding its
fire to the main effort, while giving the battleships a
little extra anti-fighter protection.

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Calypso Class (CL): The newest ship in the League
fleet, the Calypso class has been designed to engage
enemy cruisers. Mounting powerful engines, and all
around Primaries, this ship can often be found on the
flanks of a battle, looking for targets of opportunity.

Aurora Class (DD): Many a battle has been decided


by a well timed escort wave swooping in on crippled
battleships. The Aurora class is designed to literally
swarm a target with fire. Their main weapons are
their speed and their powerful Secondary Batteries.

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Ezekiel Hartmn (Order #1285)


Introductory Scenario
Encounter at Emerald
This scenario is designed for 2 players, although it
can easily accommodate more if required.

Special Terrain Rule


It's the third year of the war, who'd have suspected
such a small conflict could have lasted this long or Gas clouds only interfere with line of sight, they do
grown so large. Intelligence intercepts have placed not block it. For each inch of gas cloud between a
an enemy battle squadron arriving in the vicinity of ship and its target, an extra -1 combat modifier is
the space anomaly known as 'The Emerald', a large applied to the dice. Gas clouds may be passed
gas cloud in otherwise empty space. Your squadron through with no penalty.
has been dispatched to challenge the enemy's right to
be there.

Setup
Use any available board or tabletop, a 4 foot by 4
foot surface would be best. Place an irregularly
shaped 'gas cloud' in the center. For this gas cloud
use any irregular shaped 6 inch diameter shape or cut
one out of paper or cloth. For spaceships use
whatever models you like best.

Each player has an identical fleet consisting of -

2 Warrior Class Battleships


3 Swordfish Class Heavy Cruisers

The players each roll a six sided die. The player who
rolls highest chooses a corner and deploys his entire Victory
fleet within 6 inches of it. His opponent then deploys
his entire fleet within 6 inches of the opposite corner. The player that destroys all his opponent's ships or
All ships start the game with a speed of 6. drives him from the table is the victor.

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Scenario Chart

While it can be fun playing equal pointed Deep Raid - An opportunity to strike an unexpected
pickup games, where the two fleets set up on blow has presented itself. The enemy's fleet has
opposite sides of the board and fight it out in the stopped for resupply, and your spies have discovered
middle, sometimes something different is desired. If its position. A fast moving strike force has the
you're playing games generated from a campaign chance to inflict serious damage. It will be a difficult
then you are lucky, different scenarios will occur and dangerous mission.
naturally. For the rest of us, this scenario chart is
offered. The defender sets up his fleet, stopped, in the center
of the table. The attacker can spend half as many
To decide which scenario to use, simply pick your points on ships as the defender, and may only
favourite, or alternatively roll 2 six-sided dice and purchase cruisers and escorts. The attacker sets up
check the chart. Set Piece Battle will be the most anywhere, one movement turn outside weapons
common result. Once you've played the scenarios a range. Use ship morale points for victory conditions,
few times you'll know them well enough to modify the points for the defender's ships counting double.
them and their set-up or victory conditions to make
the games more balanced. Soon enough you'll be Whichever side inflicts the most points of destroyed
creating your own scenarios. and broken ships is the winner.

2D6 roll Scenario


Carrier Duel - Circumstance has determined that the
2 Free 4 All 8 Set Piece Battle next fleet battle will be decided by carriers. All the
3 Deep Raid 9 Spacehulk battleships have been relocated to a newly threatened
4 Carrier Duel 10 Ambush area leaving only the carriers to hold the line. This
5 Convoy 11 Leviathan has occurred just as the enemy seems ready to make
6 Set Piece Battle 12 Space Dock another big push.
7 Cruiser Skirmish
Both sides set up as normal. Both fleets consist of
only carriers and cruisers. Whichever side drives off
the enemy is the winner.
Free 4 All - Pirates and smugglers are a problem
because of the disruption in law and order that results
where ever the war touches. But this is great for the Convoy - A convoy of merchant ships must get
pirates and smugglers. This scenario is designed for through a dangerous region of space. The defender's
multiple players. Everyone chooses a fleet half the fleet is given the job of making sure they make it
size normally used. Everyone else is the enemy. through safely. Suddenly a hostile fleet appears. The
Last one with a ship on the table is the winner. Best enemy has discovered the convoy's route and timing,
as a multi-player game. and is determined to cause as much damage as
possible.

Decide upon a point total for each fleet. Each player


may spend this amount on any warships. The
defender also gets non-combat ships equal to ¼ of
this total. Set the two fleets up normally. The
merchant convoy has a maximum speed of 6 inches
per turn. The defender wins if he can get at least half
of the merchant ships off the attacker's board edge.
The attacker wins if he can prevent this.

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Set Piece Battle - The enemy has gradually built up Decide on a point total for the attacking fleet. The
his fleets along the border. To delay opening an defender's fleet gets half this amount and must be
offensive is to risk the chance that he will soon have Battlecruisers or smaller. The attacker's fleet may
a greater force than you. The time to strike is now. contain any ships desired. The defender sets up in
the center of the table, the attacker may set up on any
Both players set up as normal. There are no board edge. The defender's mission is to get at least
restrictions on ships. A good points total for each half his ships off the attacker's board edge.
fleet would be about 180 points per player. The
winner is the side that forces the enemy to retreat.
Leviathan - Sometimes even the flagships have to
Cruiser Skirmish - Not all battles in war are earn their keep. An enemy Titan has been reported
between great fleets. Sometimes it's the little ships close to the front lines. Your flagship has been
that turn the tides of war. ordered to intercept and destroy it. All other ships
have been ordered out of the way.
Set up fleets using half the points you normally use.
All ships must be cruisers or escorts. The game is Decide on a point total for each side. Design a single
otherwise played the same as a Set Piece Battle. The Titan using all the points, no other ships are
last player on the table is the winner. permitted. Deploy normally, drive the enemy Titan
away to win.
Spacehulk - A derelict starship has been discovered
along the border with a neighbouring star nation.
The ship is from a previously unknown alien race and Space Dock - The attackers have launched a daring
may contain valuable technologies. A small fleet has raid targeting the Repair & Re-supply center of the
been dispatched to claim the starship and tow it back enemy. They've managed to break through to the
to dock for investigation. main space docks and supply area, where the
defender's ships are being refuelled and rearmed. All
Place a large ship in the center of the table. Both of the defender's ships are stopped and powered
players deploy their fleets as normal. Any ship down. They may not fire, move or raise electronic
touching the alien starship and not moving (speed 0) defences until they activate. To activate a ship roll a
may transfer boarding parties onto it. If only one d6. On the first turn you need a 1, on the second
player has boarding parties on board the alien turn, a 2 or less, third turn 3 or less, etc.
starship at the end of the game, he is the winner.
The defenders set up in the center of the table. The
Ambush - The defender is on regular patrol through attackers set up one movement turn outside weapons
the outer reaches of a star system. Suddenly an range with half the total points in ships as the
enemy fleet appears and attacks. The defender must defender. The winner is whoever destroys or breaks
break out of this ambush and bring word of the the greatest points of enemy ships.
attacker's presence back to base.

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Permission is granted to photocopy the following sections for personal use.

Printer Friendly Rules


Ship Design
The starships used within the game, requires an Special weapons have unique rules for combat, each
artificial measure of a ship's mass that we achieve type of Special weapon being different. They fire
through the use of the game mechanic; the Hull Box. after Primaries and always fire in the forward arc,
The size of a ship is represented by the number of giving a ship a third 'shot' per turn. Unless stated
these hull boxes - the more massive (bigger) the ship, otherwise, special weapons are treated like primaries.
the more hull boxes it has.

The power of a ship is directly related to its mass.


The bigger the ship is, the more room it has for
Defences
weapons and their associated power supplies.
Everything is again based on the number of hull Usually a ship's defences are not limited to armour.
boxes. They determine not just the size, but also the Many ships enhance their defensive strength by
capabilities of the ship. The bigger the ship, the more adding electromagnetic screens or force shields.
combat power it has. Their strengths can range from 0 (none) to 4
(maximum). These electronic defences do not exist
In addition to using the Hull Box to represent size, independently, they are added to the ship's hull
every ship has a basic natural structural strength. strength. The sum of a ship's natural hull strength
This gives each ship a hull strength number, which and its electronic defences is called its Defence
can be either 2 (weak), 3 (average), 4 (strong), 5 Factor.
(armoured), or possibly even higher.

Weapons Engines

In the basic rules, all weapons on a ship are grouped To move, all ships need a drive of some sort. The
into one of two main types; power of this drive, its acceleration and turning
capability, is represented by the Engine Rating. This
Primary Batteries or Secondary Batteries. rating ranges from 0 to 5 and this number determines
how much a ship can turn, speed up, or slow down
The Primaries are all of a ship's large powerful anti- during each turn.
ship beam batteries, and are split into four 90 degree
arcs of fire, while the Secondaries are short ranged all
around defensive weapons. The Weapons Box on the Ship Displays
Ship Display is used to show the current strength of
both types. The example below illustrates ONE The purpose of the Ship Display is to show the
Weapons Box. capabilities of a specific ship or ship type.

The Ship Display will act as a reminder of the ship's


size, its offensive power, toughness, speed and is the
main way of keeping track of damage.

All ships may be given ONE type of special weapon


in addition to its primary and secondary batteries.

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Movement
The movement rules simulate a simple momentum
based system, without using true vector movement.
The Engine Rating of a ship, shown in the lower right
of the ship display, determines how many points of
power the ship has available for movement. All,
some or none of these engine points may be used
each turn to accelerate, decelerate, or turn. Engine
points do not accumulate from turn to turn, unused
points cannot be saved. Each engine point expended
allows the ship to speed up or slow down by 1 inch
per turn, or allows the ship to make a 45 degree turn.

Each turn you keep track of your ship's current speed,


and may increase or decrease it by a maximum of
your ship's engine rating. Speed carries over from
turn to turn.

The number of 45 degree left or right turns permitted


to your ship per turn is also dependant on engine
DF is the ship's Defence Factor, which represents the power. You may make a maximum number of turns
ship's total hull strength. The number inside the equal to the engine power, (ie: 2 engine points allows
brackets is the ship's natural hull strength before 2 turns). Turns require power from the engines, so
being strengthened by electronic defences. The ship's each turn subtracts 1 point from the engine power
natural strength is shown in case the screens are lost. available this turn. Turns also occur at a specific
point in your movement. If you are making only 1
The first row of boxes are the weapons boxes. turn it occurs at the halfway point. For 2 turns, the
Although the number of weapons boxes always 1st is at the beginning of movement and the 2nd at
begins the same as the number of hull boxes, only the halfway point. For 3 turns, the 1st is at the
one weapons box is important, the leftmost box. It beginning, the 2nd at the 1/3 point and the 3rd at the
contains the 6 numbers that represent the current 2/3 point.
strengths of the different weapon types and arcs.
Only this box is considered active, the other boxes
are merely pre-calculated damaged strengths. You'll Movement Orders
notice that the numbers in each box in the row of
weapons boxes get proportionally weaker as you
At the beginning of each turn you record (plot) the
move along the row to the right.
movement of each of your ships on a piece of paper
(the back of the ship display for example). If you
The next row is the hull boxes. They represent the
have a large number of ships, you should group
size of the ship. Damage to hull is taken in a similar
similar types into squadrons, and plot them together.
fashion to weapons, marking off the leftmost box and
moving right. When all the hull boxes have been
Once movement plots have been completed for all
marked off, the ship is destroyed.
ships (or squadrons), the ships are moved. It doesn't
matter which player moves first or what order the
The third row is the Critical Hits, used only with the
ships are moved since all ships must move exactly
optional rules.
according to their recorded plots.
The last number, inside the icon in the lower right of
Due to the difference in scale between how very large
the display, is the Engine Rating.
space is and how very small the ships are supposed to
be, ships cannot accidentally collide with one
another. Instead they may freely move through each
other during the movement phase. There is no
intentional ramming in the Basic Rules.

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Combat Rules
Players may pre-measure (ie check the range) at any
Combat Ratio
time. Since this is science fiction and all ships are
equipped with computers and sensors to keep track of All combat within A Sky Full of Ships is based on
the ship's current speed, bearing, and distance to the relative strength of the attacker's weapons vs the
every other object in the game, it would be stupid not target ship's defence factor, calculated as an attacker
to allow players to pre-measure. to defender ratio. The attacker's strength is simply
the power given in the currently active weapons box,
Primary Batteries - The strength of a ship's main for the appropriate arc in the case of Primary
long range weapons, is split into four 90 degree arcs Batteries. The defender's strength is simply its
of fire, forward, left, right and rear. The Primary Defence Factor.
Batteries may be fired once per turn, at a single target
within ONE of the four arcs of fire. You may pick To calculate this Attacker to Target Ratio, take the
which arc you wish to use, but the primaries may be strength of the firing ship's weapons in the arc used
fired only ONCE per turn. Primary Batteries have a and compare it to the target ship's defence factor. If
maximum range of 36 inches. the two numbers are the same, you use the 1:1
column on the combat chart, if the attacker is twice as
Secondary Batteries - These smaller short range powerful as the target use the 2:1 column, if the
batteries have a 360 degree arc of fire, but a attacker is half as powerful as the target, use the 1:2
maximum range of only 6 inches. They may also fire column, etc. If your weapon strength is not at least
ONCE per turn, at any one target in range. one third of the target ship's defence factor, you
cannot damage the target. Always round down (in
Special Weapons - All ships may be given ONE type favour of the target ship).
of special weapon in addition to its primary and
secondary batteries. Special weapons have unique The ratio between these two strengths corresponds to
rules for combat, each type of Special weapon being a column on the combat chart. The attacker rolls two
different. They fire after Primaries and always fire in different coloured dice. One die represents damage
the forward arc, giving a ship a third 'shot' per turn. done to the target's hull, the other, damage to its
Unless stated otherwise, special weapons are treated weapon systems. Cross reference each die roll in the
like primaries. correct Attacker to Target Ratio column, the number
resulting is the number of boxes of the given type
While the standard weapon ranges in ASFoS are destroyed by the attacker's fire. A "-" in the column
described as being in multiples of 12 inches, there is means NO DAMAGE for that die. The defender then
no reason why you cannot change these ranges if you records the number of hull and weapon hits by
want to. A simple way of making shorter Range crossing out one box for each appropriate hit
Bands is to use centimeters instead of inches, or you achieved.
can chose a different number for the range bands.
For example, if you were to choose 8 inch range Normally ships may take a maximum of TWO shots
bands then close range would be 0-8 inches, medium per turn, ONCE with its Primary Batteries and ONCE
would be 8-16 and long would be 16-24. Remember with its Secondary Batteries (if in range). There is
to make secondary range half of a range band, in this one exception to this rule: If your weapon strength vs
example it would be 4 inches. the target's defence factor is greater than 6 to 1, you
may use just enough weapon strength make a 6 to 1
Ships need to be able to see their targets in order to attack and the remaining strength is used to calculate
hit them which is called Line of Sight. However, a second attack (or third, etc), either on the same
regardless of the actual size of the spaceship models, target, or on another in the same arc.
all ships in ASFoS are assumed to be tiny compared
with the scale of the battle. Therefore, all Although each ship is calculated separately, all
measurements should be done from the exact center weapons of a given type are considered to be firing
of the firing ship, to the exact center of the target. simultaneously, all primaries firing first with damage
This scale difference also means ships do not block being recorded, then all secondaries firing using the
line of sight, no ship can hide behind another. new damaged weapon strengths.

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Combat Chart
Attacker to Target Ratio

Dice Roll 1:3 1:2 1:1 3:2 2:1 3:1 4:1 5:1 6:1

0 — — — — — — — — —

1 — — — — — 1 1 1 2

2 — — — — 1 1 1 2 2

3 — — — 1 1 1 2 2 3

4 — — 1 1 1 2 2 3 3

5 — 1 1 1 2 2 3 3 4

6 1 1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4

Modifiers
Target is Range Tech Level
Agile -1 Short 0 – 12" 0 -1 TL -1
Fast -1 Medium 12 – 24" -1 -2 TL -2
Slow +1 Long 24 – 36" -2 -3 TL -3
Stationary +2
Escort -1 Gas/inch -1
Titan +1* Dust/inch -3
Aspect -1/+1

Modifiers are added to or subtracted from the dice rolls of Primary weapons fire only. Secondary
Batteries are not modified except for Tech Level. Rolls greater than 6 are treated as 6, rolls less than 0
are treated as 0, (getting a '0' actually means you missed).

Agile ships are defined during the ship design process. Fast ships are any ships moving greater than
12" for the current turn. Slow ships are any ships moving 4 inches or less for the current turn.
Stationary ships are not moving. Aspects (if used) are defined during ship design.

* Titans: Any firing at Titans receives a +1 size modifier for each 25 Hull Boxes with which the Titan
began (ie +2 for 50 mass, +3 for 75 mass). Since Titans start with at least 25 Hull Boxes, firing at
them always has at least a +1 modifier.

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Ezekiel Hartmn (Order #1285)


Sample Ship Counters
Photocopy these ships as many times as needed. Glue them onto cardboard and cut them out.
You now have 2 small fleets for use in your games.

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Blank Ship Displays

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Blank Plotting Charts

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Full Strength & Damaged Fighter Flight Counters

Fighter Group Table & Squadron Counters

Missile & Missile Pack Counters

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Ezekiel Hartmn (Order #1285)


Instead of being a mere captain of a few ships, wouldn't you rather take the place of an admiral, commanding during
those great fleet battles, those most dramatic of moments when entire empires stood or fell. If so, 'A Sky Full of
Ships' just might be the rules for you. Using simple, fast moving game mechanics, ASFoS attempts to portray the
important aspects of huge fleet engagements without becoming too bogged down in time consuming detail.

Combat Chart
Attacker to Target Ratio

Dice Roll 1:3 1:2 1:1 3:2 2:1 3:1 4:1 5:1 6:1

0 — — — — — — — — —

1 — — — — — 1 1 1 2

2 — — — — 1 1 1 2 2

3 — — — 1 1 1 2 2 3

4 — — 1 1 1 2 2 3 3

5 — 1 1 1 2 2 3 3 4

6 1 1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4

Modifiers
Target is Range Tech Level
Agile -1 Short 0 – 12" 0 -1 TL -1
Fast -1 Medium 12 – 24" -1 -2 TL -2
Slow +1 Long 24 – 36" -2 -3 TL -3
Stationary +2
Escort -1 Gas/inch -1
Titan +1 Dust/inch -3
Aspect -1/+1

A Sky Full of Ships is designed to be an easy, fast moving set of rules for large scifi fleet actions. Everything
required for play is included in this single 56 page book - ship design, movement and combat rules, optional rules
such as electronic warfare, special weapons and technological levels, as well as scenarios, sample fleets and more.

Admiral, your fleet awaits.

Hardpoint Games
http://www.hardpointgames.com

Ezekiel Hartmn (Order #1285)