Optional Rule: Dogfighting
In battles among Aircraft or Spacecraft, each pilot tries the get behind his opponent to fire from a place the enemy’s weapons cannot easily reach. Manoeuvreability and the skill of the pilot are vital in this type of action. When a pilot gets into a superior position, he has the Advantage. Advantage is checked instead of Initiative each turn. To do this, each pilot makes a Skill roll, using his vessels’ Agility, his Pilot / Appropriate Specialty skill, and his Trait die from the DOGFIGHTING Asset, if any. The pilot who wins the opposed rolls he has the Advantage as well as the Initiative. If the difference between the two Skill roll results is 0, there is no Advantage for either pilot, and both vessels act at the same time. If one vessel holds the Advantage over another from the preceding turn, the vessel with Advantage is granted a +1 step Skill bonus to its Advantage roll on the next turn. The pilot of the vessel that has the Advantage against it suffers a -1 step Skill penalty on attack rolls made against the vessel that is in superior position while the vessel that holds the Advantage receives a +1 step Skill bonus. If he pilot of the vessel that has the Advantage against it botched or if the pilot of the vessel that is in superior position was extraordinarily successful, these Skill Modifiers are increased to 2 step.
Example: Starbuck fights a Cylon Raider. At the beginning of a new turn, both Starbuck’s player and the Game Master make opposed Skill rolls. Starbuck rolls a 20 while the Cylon’s Advantage roll result is a 7. Starbuck has the Advantage and will receive a +2 step Skill bonus on attack rolls made against the Raider while the Sparrow will be penalized by -2 Skill step if it opens fire on Starbuck’s Viper that turn.
Optional Rule: Collisions
Collisions occur when a vessel strikes a solid object or when a vessel’s pilot decides to ram into an object on purpose. To avoid an obstacle, the pilot must make a Skill roll. The Difficulty is determined by the obstacle’s size, speed, and course. You can use the following table to determine the Difficulty to avoid a randomly created obstacle.
Use the smallest size of the two colliding objects to determine the base Difficulty for the Skill roll the pilot makes to avoid the obstacle. d10 Roll Obstacle Size Pilot Difficulty 1 Gigantic: spacecraft scale Str d12+ INCREDIBLE (23) 2 – 3 Colossal: spacecraft Str d8 – d10 HEROIC (19) 4 – 5 Huge: spacecraft scale Strength d4 – d6 FORMIDBLE (15) 6 – 7 Large: planetcraft scale Str d10+ / spacecraft scale Str d2 HARD (11) 8 – 9 Medium: planetcraft scale Str d6 – d8 AVERAGE (7) 10 Small: planetcraft scale Str d2 – d4 EASY (3)
Use the highest speed of the colliding objects and modify the Difficulty accordingly. d8 Roll Obstacle Speed Difficulty Modifier 1 Very High: 9+ +8 2 – 3 High: 6 – 8 +4 4 – 5 Medium: 3 – 5 ±0 6 – 7 Slow: 1 – 2 -4 8 Stationary: 0 -8
Finally, decide a second Difficulty Modifier based on the movement vectors of the colliding objects. d6 Roll Obstacle Direction Difficulty Modifier 1 – 2 Moving Toward +4 3 – 4 Moving Perpendicular ±0 5 – 6 Moving Away -4
If the Difficulty drops below EASY (3), no roll is required to avoid the obstacle. Failing a Pilot Skill roll to avoid an obstacle means that the pilot’s vessel has collided with it. The Difficulty is treated as an attack roll while the Skill roll made to avoid the obstacle is treated as a defense roll. Damage is Basic type. If the obstacle is another ship, its pilot can also attempt a Skill roll against the oncoming vessel. If both Skill rolls fail, the two ships collide.Example: A nugget’s Viper (planetcraft scale Str d6) is about to collide with a Cylon Raider (Speed 9). It is a HEROIC (19) task to avoid the Sparrow that is moving toward the pilot’s fighter. The pilot rolls a 9 and collides with the Raider. His Viper takes 5 points of Stun and 5 points of Wound damage.
Optional Rule: Strafing RunsA strafing run allows a pilot of a planetcraft scale vessel to skim the surface of a spacecraft, reducing the chance of being hit by the spacecraft’s defensive fire. Strafing runs can also be made against installations on a planetary surface. As a pilot closes to within 30 feet of the target, he must succeed at an Agility + Pilot / Appropriate Specialty Skill roll to avoid collision with it (see above). A collision immediately aborts the strafing run. If the pilot avoids collision, a second Skill roll must be made to determine whether the strafing run succeeds. The Difficulty depends on the size of the target: Strength d10-d12+, AVERAGE (7); Strength d6-d8, HARD (11); Strength d2-d4, FORMIDABLE (15). If the roll is successful, the pilot’s vessel flies so close to the target that only its point-defense weapons can attack.
Optional Rule: Battle Damage
When a spacecraft has suffered Wound damage greater than or equal to half of its Life Points, roll d10 each time it is hit thereafter. Add the result of this roll to the Wound damage dealt by the attack and refer to the following table to determine which specific systems are damaged or destroyed. If the result clearly does not apply, use the damage result one category higher. If, for example, a spacecraft’s FTL drive has already been destroyed and a roll yields another 21 – 25, use the result for 26 – 30 instead. d10 + Wound damage Damaged System and Effect 2 – 5 Sensors damaged: All Skill rolls to operate the spacecraft’s sensors take a -2 step Skill penalty. 6 – 10 Sublight engines damaged: Spacecraft’s Speed drops by one-half, rounded down. 11 – 15 Weapon damaged: Randomly determine one weapon that ceases to function. 16 – 20 Weapon system destroyed: Randomly determine one weapon system (e.g., heavy planetcraft scale skirmish range point-defense system) that ceases to function. 21 – 25 FTL engine destroyed: Spacecraft’s FTL drive ceases to function. 26 – 30 Sublight engines destroyed: Spacecraft cannot perform any maneuvers. 31+ Widespread damage: Divide Wound damage by 2. Roll twice on this table, adding that result to each d10 roll. Optional Rule: Fighter Wing
Fighters that comprise a wing move together by matching velocity and direction, trading versatility for concentrated firepower. Because the wing can only manoeuvre as well as the worst pilot’s fighter, this manoeuvre is often performed by squadrons of equally skilled pilots. Forming a wing requires that the fighters are close to one another and move at the same speed as well as in the same direction. A pilot who wishes to join a wing must succeed at an AVERAGE (7) Agility + Pilot / Appropriate Specialty Skill roll. Forming a wing of different vessels (e.g., fighters of different Strength Attribute die types) increases the Difficulty to HARD (11). No more than six fighters can be in a wing. A wing operates like a single ship in most respects. All Skill and Attribute rolls such as Initiative are made by the the less-skilled pilot. If a roll is successful, all ships in the wing succeed. If it fails, the entire wing fails. When attacking, the fighters in the wing can combine fire and fire at the same target. The less-skilled fighter pilot is designated as the primary shooter. Only this fighter’s attack roll is used, but it gains a +1 step Skill bonus for each additional fighter in the wing, to a maximum of +5 Skill step. On a successful hit, the weapon’s damage die gains a +1 step. Extraordinary success adds an additional stepped-up damage die to the total.
Example: Six Vipers successfully form a wing to attack a Cylon tanker. The primary shooter makes an attack roll at +5 Skill step and rolls a 15. The Cylon tanker’s defense roll (7) is subtracted and the initial damage is 4 Stun and 4 Wounds. Since the wing was extraordinarily successful, their autocannons’ damage die is increased by +2 step to d12. The damage die yields a 7. The Cylons tanker suffers 4 points of Stun and 11 points of Wound damage.If a wing is attacked, the attacker gains a +1 step Skill bonus for every two ships in it. Attacking a wing that consists of six fighters, for example, gives the attacker a +3 Skill step bonus. Only the less-skilled pilot defends against the attack. When a wing is hit, it is either determined randomly which fighter within it suffers damage or the player running the wing may decide which ship takes damage. Note that only the worst of all defense rolls is used for the entire wing.
Optional Rule: Weapon Batteries
Spacecraft have identical weapons that can be grouped in a battery, a group of up to six weapons that fire as one. These weapons battery can be designated to fire at a specific target. When attacking, a single attack roll is made. Each additional weapon after the first adds a +1 step Skill bonus to the attack roll, to a maximum of +5 Skill step. On a successful hit, the weapon’s damage die gains a +1 step. Extraordinary success adds an additional stepped-up damage die to the total.
Example: The Galactica delivers a broadside at a Cylon basestar. 12 of the Galactica’s 24 assault railguns that can fire at the basestar are grouped in two batteries, each consisting of 6 railguns. Two attack rolls are made at +5 Skill step. The attack roll yields a 13 as well as a 14 and the basestar’s defense rolls (6 and 9) are subtracted. Since both attacks were successful, the railguns’ damage dice are increased by +1 step to d12+d4. The basestar takes a heavy beating.
Variant Rule: Establishing and Breaking Missile Locks
Establishing a missile lock against any target is EASY (3) at capital range, an AVERAGE (7) task at short DRADIS range, or a HARD (11) feat at long DRADIS range. Missile locks cannot be established at skirmish or personal range. To establish a missile lock, the attacker makes an attack roll. The missile, however, is not fired as part of this action. If the attack roll succeeds, a missile lock is established, allowing the attacker to fire the missile at any point later in the combat. The missile lock remains established until the missile weapon is fired. Once fired, it takes the missile a number of turns to close in on its target. The number of turns of movement depends on the distance the missile has to travel: Range Turns of Movement Capital 1 Short DRADIS 2 Long DRADIS 5
Any ship can attempt to destroy a missile before it reaches its target. Due to their size and speed, it is a FORMIDABLE (15) task to hit missile weapons. If the attack roll succeeds, the missile is destroyed.
It is an EASY Complex Action (15 vs. Agility + Pilot) to out-fly a missile. Each Skill roll requires one turn. The pilot of the targeted ship must reach or exceed the Difficulty Threshold within the number of turns it takes the missile to close in on its target.
The most uncertain method of avoiding a missile attack is to distract it with another target before it collides with the targeted ship and detonates. The pilot of the targeted ship can attempt to trick a missile’s guidance system into pursuing a different target by flying very close to another ship or object which requires an Agility + Pilot Skill roll to avoid collision (see above). If the Skill roll is successful, the pilots of both vessels make opposed Agility + Pilot Skill rolls. The vessel with the lower result becomes the new target of the missile. It is an AVERAGE (7) task to distract a missile with an unpiloted obstacle such as an asteroid or a derelict ship.Example: At capital range, a Cylon raider has established a missile lock against Kat’s Viper. Out-flying the missile is an EASY Complex Action. Since Kat has only one turn to shake the missile off, this is effectively a FORMIDABLE standard action. Because her chances of success are rather slim, Kat tries to trick the missile into pursuing a nearby raider. An action, but no roll is needed to close in on the sparrow. Kat’s second action requires an Agility + Pilot Skill roll to avoid collision. She succeeds and both Kat and the raider* must make opposed Skill rolls. Since this is her third action, Kat is at -2 Skill step and rolls an 8. The raider’s result, however, is a 10. The raider does not become the new target of the missile which collides with Kat’s Viper and detonates.
Optional Rule: Point-Defense Weapons
Many spacecraft have point-defense systems, shipboard weapon systems that consist of multiple rapid-fire medium-calibre guns, designed to destroy incoming missiles and enemy fighters at skirmish range. If a vessel enters the point-defense system’s range, its pilot must make a HEROIC (19) Agility + Pilot Skill roll to defend against the attack. If the roll fails, the vessel not only suffers Basic damage, but also the point-defense system’s damage. Its damage die is increased by +1 step. If the pilot botched, damage is increased by +2 step.
Example: While pursuing a Cylon raider, Flat Top accidentally enters the point-defense kill zone around the Galactica. His Agility + Pilot Skill roll result is an 11. Initial damage is 4 Stun and 4 Wounds. The point-defense system’s damage die is increased to d12+d2. Flat Top’s Viper suffers 9 additional points of Wound damage. Since his fighter is severly damaged, Flat Top heaves to and makes off as fast as he can.
Optional Rule: Fire-Linked Weapons
Most planetcraft and some vehicles have fire-linked guns: groups of identical weapons that point and fire in the same direction, dealing greater damage than either weapon alone. For each doubling of the number of fire-linked weapons (two, four, eight, and so forth), the attack roll gains a +1 Skill step. Thus, if six weapons are fire-linked, they would attack together and grant a +2 Skill step bonus. Fire-linked weapons are fired with a single attack roll.
Optional Rule: Characters as Crew
When running starship battles, as many of the characters as possible should be involved. Since battlestars have multiple stations, covering a full range of systems, even a character with little combat experience can contribute to the group’s success in a variety of support roles. Various stations, and what can be done at them, are described below.
Commanding and Executive Officer The CO and his second-in-command, the XO, coordinate the various crew members and stations aboard the battlestar, analyze the battle as it unfolds, and look for weaknesses in the enemy’s ships and tactics. Commanders can: • As a free action, issue simple commands. • As an action, assist a particular crew member operating a ship’s system. It is an HARD (11) task (Willpower + Discipline or Influence / Leadership) to grant a +1 Skill step bonus during the next turn performed at that station. On an Extraordinary Success, a +2 Skill step bonus is granted. On a Botch, however, the character manning that station will suffer a -1 Skill step penalty. Add the commander’s So Say We All Trait die, if any, to the rolls.
Pilot A pilot can: • As a free action, roll the battlestar’s Agility. This roll becomes the Difficulty Number to hit the ship. • As an action, roll the battlestar’s Agility and the pilot’s Pilot / Appropriate Specialty Skil as the ship’s defense difficulty. • As a full-turn action, perform an evasive maneuver, gaining a +2 Skill step bonus to all defensive actions taken that turn. However, all gunners suffer a -1 Skill step penalty on all attacks rolls. • As a full-turn action, perform an offensive maneuver, granting a +1 Skill step bonus to one gunner’s attack rolls during the next turn. The ship will be an EASY (3) target during that turn.
Tactical Officer As an action, a gunner can fire one weapon at his station. Note that aiming and called shots, for example, are unchanged from personal combat.
DRADIS Operator A character operating a battlestar’s sensors can: • As an action, grant a +1 Skill step bonus to the ship’s defensive actions. This is a HARD (11) task (battlestar’s Alertness + operator’s Pilot or Technical Engineering / DRADIS Operation). On an Extraordinary Success, a +2 Skill step bonus is granted. On a Botch, however, the pilot will suffer a -1 Skill step penalty. • As an action, grant a +1 Skill step bonus to one gunner’s attack rolls. This is also a HARD (11) task (battlestar’s Alertness + operator’s Pilot or Technical Engineering / DRADIS Operation)
Communications Officer A communications officer can: • As a free action, forward simple commands. • As an action, forward complex commands. If a commander made a successful Skill roll, it is an AVERAGE (7) feat (Intelligence + Technical Engineering / Communications Systems to forward the command without losing the Skill step bonus.
Optional Rules: Characters as Crew (2nd Draft)
Starship battles excite players only as long as their characters are directly involved. If every player has a Viper to pilot, all players can contribute to the outcome of the skirmish. When all the characters are aboard the same battlestar, however, not everyone can play a CO or a tactical officer. The experience turns rather dull when only one or two players are making all the decisions and rolling all the dice. When running starship battles, try to involve as many of the players as possible. Battlestars have multiple stations, covering a full range of systems. These stations, and what can be done at them, are described below. Note that they aren’t strictly necessary. All a battlestar really needs is a pilot, if nobody else particularly wants to contribute.
Once per turn, the players may attempt a Skill roll that is characteristic of the PC’s station. It is a HARD (11) feat to grant a Skill step bonus to a subsequent action. Usually, either the helm officer’s Skill roll or the ship’s Attack roll is increased. The actual Skill step modifier depends on the Skill roll’s degree of success. Result Modifier Botch (2) -1 Skill step Failure (3 – 10) ±0 Skill step Success (11 – 17) +1 Skill step Extraordinary Success (18+) +2 Skill step
Commanding Officer and Executive Officer The commanding officer and the executive officer coordinate the various stations aboard the battlestar, analyze the battle as it unfolds, and look for weaknesses in the enemy’s ships and tactics. The CO and the XO can assist a particular crew member operating a ship’s system.
Skill roll: Willpower + Discipline / Leadership
Note: The Skill step modifier applies to either the helm officer’s Skill roll or the ship’s Attack roll. Tactical Officer The Tactical Officer is an officer stationed at the console that controls a ship’s weaponry and DRADIS system. His job is to maintain weapon readiness along with executing firing solutions.
Skill roll: Ship’s Alertness + PC’s Technical Engineering / DRADIS Operations
Note: The Skill step modifier applies to both the helm officer’s Skill roll and the ship’s Attack roll. Helm Officer The helmsman controlls both the speed as well as the attitude of the ship and projects its course. He also determines a ship’s position, velocity and direction in relationship to a course.
Skill roll: Ship’s Agility + PC’s Pilot / Large Spacecraft Tactical Maneuvering A ship may either perform one attack maneuver or one defensive maneuvers per turn. If a ship performs more than one attack or defensive maneuver, multiple action penalties apply to the rolls.
Attack maneuvers or tactical patters are a sequence of movements and involve weapons targeting. Result Attack roll Modifier Botch (2) -1 Skill step Failure (3 – 10) ±0 Skill step Success (11 – 17) +1 Skill step Extraordinary Success (18+) +2 Skill step
Note: A ship that performs an attack maneuver is an EASY (3) target unless its Agility die is rolled as a free action to raise the attack Difficulty.
Evasive maneuvers are employed by starship commanders to evade enemy weapons fire or capture. These movements are specified by predefined or on the spot course changes. The Skill roll’s result is the attacker’s Difficulty. Furthermore, all attacks made by the ship are penalized. The modifier depends on the helm officer’s degree of success. Result Attack Roll Modifier Botch (2) -4 Skill step Failure (3 – 10) -2 Skill step Success (11 – 17) -1 Skill step Extraordinary Success (18+) ±0 Skill step
Other Officers Those players whose characters are not directly involved in the battle should keep track of the damage suffered by the ship and make all the attack rolls although their characters don’t have a system to operate.
Skill roll: Ship’s Agility + Ship’s Heavy Weapons / Appropriate Specialty
Variant Rule: Mixing Scales
Using the Charts Find the scale of the thing that is doing the shooting along the left hand row. Find the scale of the target on the column across the top. Find where the row and the column cross.
Scale Chart 1: To Hit
This chart is used when an attacker of one scale shoots at something of a different scale.
Personal Planetcraft Spacecraft
Personal — +1 step +2 step
1 step - +1 step
Spacecraft 3 step -1 step -
Example: Starbuck is shooting at a Sparrow. Starbuck’s player finds the personal row along the left of the chart, reads it across to the planetcraft scale column, and sees that Starbuck’s Skill is increased by +1 step.
Scale Chart 2: Damage, Life Points, and Armor This chart is used when a target takes a hit from a weapon of a different scale. Personal Planetcraft Spacecraft Personal — LP / AR x2 LP / AR x5 Planetcraft DMG x2 — LP / AR x2 Spacecraft DMG x5 DMG x2 —
Example: Going back to the previous example, if Starbuck hits the Raider, the Sparrow’s Life Points are increased from 14 to 28. Its Armor is increased to Wound 4 and Stun 4. If the Raider hit Starbuck, she’d suffer d8×2 points of Wound damage in addition the the doubled Basic damage dealt by the attack.
Scale Chart 3: Called Shots When an attacker of one scale is making a called shot against something of a different scale, Skill penalties apply as normal. Moreover, the Difficulty of the rolls made to resist the called shot’s special effects are modified as follows. Personal Vehicle Spacecraft Personal AVERAGE EASY — Vehicle HARD AVERAGE EASY Spacecraft FORMIDABLE HARD AVERAGE
Note: A character can make a called shot against a Basestar, for instance. It won’t trigger any special effects, though. There is no way to take down an capital ship with one shot from a pistol.
Starship Weapons in Atmosphere
In atmosphere, starship weapons have a range increment based on their maximum range in space, as shown in the table below. Maximum Range (in Space) Range Increment (in Atmosphere) Skirmish 1,000 feet Capital 5,000 feet Short DRADIS 10,000 feet Long DRADIS 25,000 feet
Missile weapons should also have a blast increment, as shown in the table below. Scale Weapon Type Damage Blast Increment Planetcraft Light 4d2 10 feet Medium 4d4 25 feet Heavy 4d6 50 feet Spacecraft Light 4d4 250 feet Medium 4d4 500 feet Heavy 4d6 1,000 feet Extreme 4d8 2,000 feet
Damage is Basic if an explosive charge is used to disintegrate the target, and damage surrounding areas with a shock wave. If metal fragments are projected at high velocity to cause damage or injury, damage is Wound.
When trying to bombard a particular area (to attack a Cylon infantry unit from above, for example), the base Defense of the area is AVERAGE (7) in planetcraft scale and HARD (11) in spacecraft scale. If the attack misses, it scatters. Roll d8 to determine the direction in which the hit deviated: 1 means long, 2 means long and to the right, 3 right, 4 short and right, 5 short, 6 short and left, 7 left, 8 long and left. Then roll d10 to see how many feet away from the targeted area the attack hits. Add ten feet for every point by which your attack misses. Thus, orbital bombardment might be devastating against exposed enemy troops, but it’s not particularly accurate.
When using bombardment against a larger target such as a building or an entire city, use these guidelines: • It’s an AVERAGE (7) feat in planetcraft scale and a INCREDIBLE (23) feat in spacecraft scale to hit a small building which has 5 planetcraft scale Life Points and an Armor Value of 2W. • It’s an EASY (3) feat in planetcraft scale and a HEROIC (19) feat in spacecraft scale to hit a large building which has 10 planetcraft Life Points and an Armor Value of 5W. • It’s a HARD (11) feat in spacecraft scale to hit a small city which has 25 spacecraft scale Life Points and an Armor Value of 1W. • It’s an AVERAGE (7) feat in spacecraft scale to hit a large city which has 50 spacecraft scale Life Points and an Armor Value of 2W. • It’s an EASY (3) feat in spacecraft scale to hit a megalopolis which has 150 spacecraft scale Life Points and an Armor Value of 5W.
Casualties in a building or city are approximately proportional to the percentage of Life Points lost, with two-thirds of these being wounded and the rest killed.
Spotters: A spotter is someone who detects, observes, and assigns targets in an orbital bombardment or artillery strike and watches for the results of the attack. A spotter needs the correct equipment. A designator of some kind and a secure uplink to the starship or artillery emplacement are required. A wireless handset will suffice under good conditions, but an encrypted portable military transceiver is preferable. A targeting scope of some sort is also highly recommended. The spotter can designate a target as a full-turn action. No other action is possible that turn. He makes an Alertness + Heavy Weapons / Appropriate Specialty roll using the starship’s range penalty (based on weapon range and altitude). On a hit, apply the starship’s damage normally. If failed, the attack scatters as described above. Finally, the spotter should realize that this is a dangerous profession. Sensors will pick up his signal fairly easily, and he’ll likely face an artillery barrage of his own.