Starship Combat lessons learned
This week we look at Starship combat.
Step One you determine starting positions
Step Two Assign Roles
Step Three is the Engineering Phase
If your ship isn’t damaged at the start, think about Diverting power to your engines or guns. The more guns you have the more powerful the Divert action becomes.
When your ship is damaged, Hold it Together is a short action to get you through the round, Patch is a multi round action to get you through the fight.
Overpower is like the Divert action, but spends a resolve point to affect all three types of systems.
Quick Fix spends a resolve point to remove a critical condition from a system.
Step Four Piloting Check as pseudo Initiative;
It is not crucial that you win this, (don’t burn your ship’s computer bonus on winning here) but losing the piloting check changes your odds in some actions, and limits your options if you do not have turreted weapons.
If you win your problems are solved move onto Helm and Gunnery phases.
Step Five Helm Phase
Fly is the basic movement and Glide is a clumsy half movement for a ship without a dedicated Pilot.
If you lose initiative and you don’t have a turret, you may need to try a Flyby stunt (DC 15+ 1.5xTier) this gets one arc of your ship’s weapons to attack at close 1 hex range. If your weapons are all concentrated in one arc this might be desirable just to get your normal shots off at close range if you only have short range weapons.
If you have weapons all over, this still gives you a chance to get some shots in with your best weapons to your enemy’s weak spot (pick any quadrant you want).
If you have a turret, pick any other arc of weapons to fire from the Flyby attack and then also use the turret during the Gunnery phase along with any other weapon arcs pointing at the target when Helm Phase is over.
If the enemy is more maneuverable than you
Maneuver and Audacious Gambit both reduce your turn rate.
The Flip and Burn stunt (DC 15+ 1.5xTier) was handy with a ship chasing my aft quadrant, he finally lost a piloting check for initiative and I could open up with my forward guns on him. The clumsiness of my ship meant turning normally would be a drawn out ordeal.
If you like where you’re at, but not where you’re facing, or have an enemy that’s so much more maneuverable than you? Turn in Place might be your answer. It’s handy for getting your best guns or shields in the enemy’s face.
If you have no special problems and nothing else looks attractive, use the Evade stunt (DC 10+ 1.5xTier) this gives you +2 to AC and TL for the rest of the turn while letting you move normally.
If the enemy is faster than you
Full Power is a thing to try if your Fighter doesn’t have an Engineer or Divert power to Engines isn’t enough.
Barrel Roll helps you get different quadrant guns and shields into a fight if some of your guns or shields are damaged.
Back Off, I haven’t been in a situation to need it, but I’m certain it’ll come up eventually. The Know Direction guys used it to create space between their craft and a gnarl of other ships. Possibly useful if turning would move you through other ships hexes.
Slide, I haven’t been in a situation to need it, but I’m certain it’ll come up eventually.
Encourage, Captain grants aid another to one crewman for one action.
Demand, once per character per combat, the Captain may grant a +4 bonus to one action.
Taunt, enemy ship takes -2(-4) to their actions that phase (engineering/helm/gunnery) for the next 1d4 rounds.
Orders, spend a resolve point grant a crew member another action.
Moving Speech, spend a resolve point to grant your crew advantage for the rest of the phase.
Science Officer Actions
Scan tells you about enemy ships, best used as early as possible before Science needs to balance shield points or gunnery related actions.
Balance, you can move shield points around to keep any one arc from becoming a weak spot.
Target System broadens your weapon’s crit range and affects the targeted system if a gunner scores a crit on the targeted ship.
Lock On, spend a resolve point for the Science Officer to grant aid another to all ship’s gunnery checks on one target ship for the rest of the round. If you only have one Gunner and one gun, the Captain is better off performing an Encourage or Demand action directly on the gunner.
Improve Countermeasures, spend a resolve point to put disadvantage on a targeted ship’s gunners.
It seems odd to me that the Science Officer doesn’t have a basic aid another for the gunner, while it would overlap a bit with the Captain’s Encourage action, the Captain has Pilots and Engineers to worry about as well.
Step Six Gunnery Phase
Shoot is the “I swing my sword” of Starship combat, normal use, best odds of hitting.
If you don’t have enough Gunners
Snap Shot, a minor action for Pilots that are necessarily the only Gunner in a one seater or anyone in an undermanned ship.
Fire at Will helps if you have more enemies and guns than gunners.
Broadside spend a resolve point for a bigger Fire at Will, best for undermanned ships.
Precise Targeting, spend a resolve point to guarantee a critical on an enemy with shields already down.
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