Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday Starships: Chancellor Campaign rules

This campaign takes place at the outbreak of hostilities between the Terran Transsolar Federation and the Avarian United Worlds.  The Terrans occupy the red star systems in hexes 0901 (Northworld) and 0907 (Roadstead).  The Avarians control the yellow star systems at 0008 (Endpoint), 0202 (Median), 0505 (Vertex), and 0703 (Angle). 

The Terrans are massing forces to invade Angle, an important population and industrial center, but their conflict with the Carnivorans on the Eridani Front has prevented the Terrans from making the push.  The Avarians and their allies are shipping troops and war machines to fortify the system and make it too costly for the Terrans to attack.  In order to halt this military buildup, the Terrans launch two of their newest and most powerful ships on a mission to destroy Avarian shipping.  The Avarian Homeworld Fleet and Interdiction Fleet must hunt down these warships before they can devastate Avarian shipping.

Strategic players will email me their forces’ moves.  Once the campaign begins, you are free to separate your ships into smaller groups or even deploy them individually—the commands listed above are just for starting out.  Just tell me what ships you’re moving, and which hex those ships are entering.  If other ships enter that hex, I will let each side know, and we will play out the battle on the tabletop locally.  After the combat is over, I’ll email the commanders the results.

I’m new to this, and I haven’t really playtested the strategic portion of this game.  If it gets really boring or one-sided, I’m willing to tweak the rules to make the campaign more fun and start everything over.

The players for the strategic portion of the game may choose which command they want to have.  Players will pick in the order in which they signed up:
  1. Matgc 
  2. Prufrock
  3. Gonsalvo
  5. Dathbain
Combat commanders will be local players, I will play one side if needed.  We will try to have the same people (other than me) controlling the same forces in every game.

Each player at the strategic level takes the role of an admiral with one command.  Players will choose commands in the order in which they signed up for the campaign.  For the pair of Terran players, each command consists of a single starship.  The three Avarian players will each have multiple ships--none as individually powerful as the Terran vessels, but dangerous in groups.  At the tactical level, commands will be allocated based on the availability of local players.  I will try to keep the same players in tactical command of the same forces.  If we’re short on players for the tabletop, I will take tactical command of the Avarian units.  Most of the smaller vessels are unnamed.  Extra credit for those strategic commanders who christen all their starships.  Additionally, tactical commanders will get bonus points for assigning nicknames to the ships they control in combat.

Terran Excursion 1st Asset 
Chancellor (Victory-class super galactic dreadnought)

Terran Excursion 2nd Asset 
Noble Knight Prince (Valiant-class galactic dreadnought)

Avarian Homeworld Flight 
Flight Leader 
Phoenix (Condor-class galactic dreadnought)
Battle Cruiser Wing 
Thunderbird (Condor-class galactic dreadnought)
4 Eagle-class galactic battlecruisers
Cruiser Wing
6 Falcon-class stellar cruisers
Sky Defense Wing (must remain within one hex of starting system)
21 Buzzard-class starbombers
18 Sparrow-class star armored pursuit ships
Avarian Interdiction Flight
Flight Leader
Cygnus (Vulture-class galactic attack carrier)
Attack Carrier Wing
3 Nest-class galactic attack carriers
Destroyer Wing 
Screech Owl-class stellar destroyer leader
4 Hawk-class stellar destroyers

Avarian Gatherer Flight 
Escort Wing
12 Hawk-class stellar destroyers
Transport Wing
5 Ostrich-class galactic transports (carry 40 supply points each)
10 Emu-class galactic transports (carry 20 supply points each)
30 Turkey-class galactic transports (carry 10 supply points each)

Each strategic turn represents about a week of game time.  All strategic movement is conveyed via email.  Strategic turns continue until opposing forces enter the same hex or hexes.  Once that happens, I will email each side’s commander with a list of what ships have been spotted.  All combats will be gamed locally using the Starfleet Wars rules.  Once the battles are over, I will email the commanders of each force the results of the battle as seen from his perspective.

  • Terran Excursion Assets must begin in a Terran system or systems.
  • Avarian Homeworld Flight members must begin in an Avarian system or systems.
  • Avarian Interdiction Flight members cannot begin in an Avarian system or within three hexes of a Terran system.  They may begin anywhere else on the map.
  • Avarian Gatherer Flight members must be split into at least three convoys that must begin in hexes 0003, 0008, and 0509.  Convoys must have at least 10 ships and no more than 20 ships.
  • Terran ships: three hexes/turn
  • Avarian military ships: two hexes/turn
  • Avarian cargo ships: two hexes/turn in spacelane, one hex/turn otherwise
NOTE: A ship with a damaged hyperdrive will take three turns to move one hex.

Any ship that carries starfighters may dispatch some or all of them to scout surrounding hexes (minimum of 3 starfighters per hex).  Fighters automatically notify the mother ship of any enemies in that hex and may attack if they want (since these will be pretty straightforward number-crunching exercises, I will probably just game fighter-only encounters myself).  Of course, this means the fighters will not be available if their base ship is attacked in that turn.

Any force entering a hex containing an enemy star system will face at least 60 short-range fighters (with damage adjudicated by the referee).

This campaign is sort of open-ended; we’ll see how things look after 10 turns and maybe play a couple more.  The Terrans’ overall objective is to destroy as much enemy shipping as possible; the Avarians’ goal is to destroy the Terran ships.  Note that each individual commander may have additional (classified) objectives.

You don’t need to be familiar with Starfleet Wars to command at the strategic level; however, you do need to know some basic information about the ships you control and how they perform under the SfW rules:
  • Size: The larger Terran ship, the super galactic dreadnought, is nearly twice as powerful as the biggest Avarian craft available, the Condor-class galactic dreadnought (and the other Terran craft, the galactic dreadnought, is nearly one-and-a-half times as big).  This means the Avarians will have to use their numbers as well as their brains. 
  • Movement: On the tabletop, all warships have a maximum movement of 5 (fighters can move 6; I may change this if it makes them too powerful), but transports have a maximum movement of 4.  So if they enter the same hex as a Terran, they will get caught.
  • Weapons: Starships have two types of weapons, beams (lasers) and particle weapons (torpedoes/missiles).  Beams are stopped by a ship’s shields (force fields), while particle weapons are not.  However, beams have a longer range.  Because larger ships can devote more power to shields than smaller ships can overcome with their beams, it’s important to wear down a big ship with missile attacks.  Be careful, though—while beams don’t need ammunition, a starship has a limited supply of missiles.
Thanks for playing, and let me know if you have any questions.


Samulus said...

Sorry, I've been incognito recently, my email is samkelly3athotmaildotcodotuk.

Looking forward to this!


Does any one know if there are people gaming Starfleet Wars in Orange County, CA?

Desert Scribe said...

Hess, I don't know of anyone playing this game in the OC, but you might want to ask over at Starship Combat News.