Wednesday, June 1, 2011

SUNDER THE STARS - 1st Playtest!

The Grand Terran Imperium is about to show The Union of Queens what's what, what?

Click on images for bigger pictures!

Got together with a few of the folks from the club last weekend and gave SUNDER THE STARS (a.k.a. Giant Shooty Spacefleets!) a run. Kept it to just the basic systems to see if it played on the table as it did in my head. It did. Fortunately, the gang had helpful input for the bits I didn't think of.

By turn 2, the exchange of long range missile fire had claimed 2 frigates on the Buggian side (green), with a pair of frigates and a destroyer on the Wedgians (gray). The orange D6's show how much damage the various ships had taken. Rob at the lower left had embraced the philosophy of shared point defense.

Basic mechanics:

Each type of ship has a stat sheet with different tracks of stats. Which stat track that model used is determined by how much damage it had taken. An individual ship's damage was recorded by a D6 next to the figure.

Movement was "paid for" with movement points (MP). Smaller ships had more MPs than larger ships. Smaller ships also had higher initiative bonuses than larger ships. Dice roll + initiative bonus determined when an individual ship or a squadron of ships moved in a turn.

By this point, Rob had obliterated me, with only those orange D6's on all but his cruiser to denote my participation. Not to fear: Ricardo was still on the field. The red D20's are for initiative and activation. See! Those huge, honking bases work!

An attack was made by taking the weapon's attack value +/- modifiers and a die roll which was compared to the target's defense value and their die roll. If the negative modifiers reduced the initial attack value below "1", then the attack could not take place. If the attacker rolled higher than the target, the attack succeeded. The amount of damage was determined by how much greater the attack roll was verses the defense roll. It was possible to sink* an undamaged ship in one shot, though not likely.

Things aren't looking good for the Buggians. Ricardo's force was whittled down to one undamaged cruiser and destroyer. Capt'n Ro'shon was left with one damaged destroyer and Rob had his whole starting force intact, but battered. My units were still destroyed. Not bitter at all.

My mantra was "speed up the game". A simple, consistent solution to any ambiguity should be found. Some of the very useful ideas from the guys were:

Initiative ties: whoever activated last before the tie would activate a tied unit first, then the opponent would activate one, going back and forth until all tied units were activated. If only one side had ties, then they could activate the tied units in any order they wished.

Self-preservation: Point defense may be shared between friendly ships within a certain range to shoot down incoming missile attacks, but if both neighboring ships are attacked by a split missile attack (the attack value of a single launcher split between multiple targets), then all of their point defense must be used to protect themselves, not their buddies.

With Ro'shon's force vanquished and Ricardo's cruiser sunk while taking out both of Rob's bloodied frigates, the Buggian's lone, but undamaged, destroyer faces off against the remains of Rob's Wedgian force of a wounded cruiser and two crippled destroyers.

After Ricardo sank Rob's cruiser and one of his destroyers, it's down to some hot-'n'-heavy destroyer on destroyer action. Sharp-eyed readers will note that the Buggian Destroyer has taken only 1 hit, while the Wedgian is hanging on with 3 hits.

The entire game - 4 players with 5 ships each, fighting to the last ship and teaching the rules - took less than 2 hours. This has potential.

Buggians sail the stars unchallenged!

The as of yet to be scheduled next game will deal with optional shield setting, drones and mines, with a following game for testing fighters.

*Oops. My MobileSuit Gundam and Legend of the Galactic Heroes is showing.

Both the ships and the hex mat are available from Monday Knight Productions.

See more of my painting here:

1 comment:

  1. Cool pics, and your game sounds fun. It's always nice to see someone else put the old Starfleet Wars/Galactic Knights minis on the table for a battle.