Sunday, May 31, 2015


One group of items needed for Human Space were spaceships.   At this point I have decided to use Brigade Models British ships for the Federation, the German ships for the Pantharii Imperium, the Indonesian ships for the Dominion, and the American ships for the aliens.  All were given a flat black primer coating.  The various factions are covered in a previous post at

Two views of an alien dreadnaught in the back, a Dominion battle cruiser to its front, a federation destroyer at the bottom left, and a Pantharii destroyer at the bottom right.

I had considered using one of two different rule sets.  These are 2300 AD Star Cruiser

and Saganami Island Tactical Simulator

Saganami is based on David Weber's Honorverse series of books.  The space battles in his books are some of the batter hard science fiction instead of the Star Wars space opera battles.  Star Cruiser is actually quite similar when it comes to types of weapons and types of defensive systems.  The propulsion systems are entirely different though.  They both take into account stealth and detection of targets.  The movement and firing mechanisms in Saganami are also more complex.

At this point Star Cruiser will most likely be the rule system that I use.  While it is a two dimensional board game the movement and game systems are easily adaptable to 3 dimensions.  It also includes a manual for designing your own ships.   Saganami looses out due to a lack of rules for designing and building your own ships.   Saganami uses the same basic rules as Attack Vector and Squadron Strike from Ad Astra Games.  Ad Astra has a ship building tool for Squadron Strike.  However, it is only available if you purchase the $60US boxed game with a serial number.  There are also some other utilities available for creating box miniatures for the game, but these require a subscription service.

The items I was looking for in a rule set were:
three dimensional movement

defensive systems like modern day stealth capabilities, electronic counter measures, point defense, armor, decoys, shields.  Shields are a bit of a question though as a shield that would stop a beam weapon or object would also tend to leave a ship blind as it would have to block all types of electro-magnetic waves/light.

sensors for detecting other ships/objects, both passive and active.   Passive would detect heat, particle or electromagnetic emissions.  Active would be similar to radar where a beam/signal is sent that bounces off the object and is returned to the sender.  Of course, this would also make the emitter a highly detectable target (here I am, shoot me!)

Weapons such as beam or missiles.   Beam weapons would have an almost infinite range as there is almost nothing in space to stop or disperse them.  However, they cannot change direction and if the target moves out of the path of the beam before contact,  that would determine the maximum range based on the speed of light, the space, and time per turn scales.  Modern day missiles have programmed targeting such as cruise missiles or target guidance systems that an operator  can use to guide the missile to the target.  These allow the missiles to track a target over a much greater distance than a direct fire beam weapon would be capable of hitting.

Sensor drones.  Devices to aid in detecting enemy ships and guiding missiles to a target.  If using active sensors then it could also allow friendly ships to "hide" behind the emissions of the drone. 

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