Galactic Battlecruisers – Part 7: Defence

by Diego Beltrami


Shields are the principal and more direct means of defence against attacks. They’re a staple of science fiction and in a game about combat it’s important to have a way to avoid suffering damage. There are also means to avoid suffering damage and a way to mitigate its effects.

In the first iteration, both attack and shields were dice based. Once an attack successfully hit, the defending player could spend one shield point for the chance of negating damage. That involved once again throwing dice. If the value after modifiers were applied was high enough the damage was null.

Those modifiers came from damage to the shield subsystem and the weapon penetration capability of the weapon. It was a nice way to balance weapons as the higher the range and angle of attack the weapon had less penetration.

There was an ad-hoc during testing that led to being able to use several shields per attack if unsuccessful. This was interesting but the whole mechanic was flawed.

It’s  simple mechanic, and I’m trying to keep it simple within revisions.

Besides Shields there was another way to avoid attacks, and that was using the electronic system. In the first iteration it was a separate move, only once per turn with a 50% of success. You selected an enemy weapon and if the roll was high enough the player couldn’t use that weapon during the following turn.

The idea behind the mechanic was to add a little bit of strategy by messing with the enemy’s tactic. So if you thought he was going to attack with the powerful frontal cannon you tried to take it out of the play, forcing the enemy to change tactics.

And finishing the turn there was one order of repair, letting the player remove one point of damage.

Now, I’ve completely forgot if I explain how damage works so I’ll do it again.

Every subsystem can withstand two points of damage before getting destroyed. The first and second point of damage have penalizations attached but those can still be repaired. The third point of damage doesn’t carry extra penalizations but the system is now destroyed and can’t be repaired, which means penalizations are now permanent.

The only exception to his is the CIC, since its destruction is a victory condition it can withstand one extra point of damage before destruction.