Monday, July 19, 2021

CONVERTING 2300AD STAR CRUISER SPACESHIPS TO WILEY GAMES "STARFIGHTER" FLEET ACTION RULES

One of the more recent releases from Wiley Games is their "Starfighter" rule book. This is mainly designed for space fighters, but also includes rules for large ship actions. There are some YouTube videos for the game. 

I decided to convert the ships from the Game Designers Workshop board game "Star Cruiser". While out of print the game is available from WargameVault or DriveThruRPG as a PDF file. Star Cruiser is a very hard science space combat rule system. There are quite a few similarities to the ship combats and weapon systems in David Weber's Honor Harrington series. Although, the FTL drives are different as are the story backgrounds. In addition to the background history the game includes a good variety of ships for the different protagonists in the setting. There is also a ship design manual if you want to design your own ships. The process of designing a ship is very extensive with items like the power plant, life support, crew accommodations, weapons, sensors, etc. Fortunately, someone made an excel spread sheet where all you have to do is plug in the various items and just add as many hull sections as are needed to hold all the internal components and have space on the outer hull for the sensors, weapons, and other surface mounts. I used it to design a ship similar to the later designs of the HonorVerse. Most ships in the game could only launch one or two missiles per turn. The one I designed could launch 36 at once. 

I have designed my own background setting, "human space", for the space and ground combat games I have played. There are several posts on this blog with photos of the various ships, etc. These can be viewed by clicking on the labels for this post. The main human factions are the Panthari Imperium, The Domain, and the Federated Worlds or Federation. There are also a few dozen independent human worlds and some alien races. One of the alien races is aggressive xenophobes known as the "Blue Meenees" for their skin color and their high pitched screeching communications. Little is known about them other than the general direction their ships seem to be coming from. 

In order to convert the Star Cruiser ships I needed to divide most of the weapons and some other items by six to determine how many of each to place on a ship for StarFighters. Shields and armor ratings were only divided by three. Others systems like scanners, life support, crew accomadations, powerplant volume, etc. were ignored. Movement rates were adjusted to match the Star Cruiser values. This meant that ships moved a bit slower than the StarFighter rule book. I also made a slight modification to the ion cannon statistics and the lasers. This involved a bit of mathematical calculations. In the rules Ion cannons take of two spaces, cause two units of damage, can only be fired every other turn, and have a range of 2/3 the lasers. Since the caused equal damage as a medium laser the calculation was half the availability multiplied by two-thirds of the range resulting in a value of one-third the number of spaces that a medium laser would occupy. Since a medium laser occupies two spaces this would be two-thirds of a space on the ship. By increasing the damage from two to three an Ion cannon would occupy a full hull space, have two thirds the range, and only be available every other turn. This makes them more effective for the game, though ships equipped with them have to get closer than those with lasers. The rules for lasers were also modified to have them function as both an offensive weapon to attack other ships with and as point defense systems to destroy attacking enemy fighters and missiles. In theory ion cannons could also be used as a point defense system. However, if they have been used offensively previusly then they cannot do so and if they are used as a point defense then they would not be able to fire offensively. If a ship is being attacked by enemy fighters or missiles each point defense weapon that can fire into the arc that the attackers are in may engage one target defensively during the enemy attack. Firing arcs were also changed to a full 180 degrees from the 45 degrees in the rules. Firing arcs being determined from the cener post of the ship's mounting stand. 

The following are the statistics for the ships of the various factions. IC is ion cannon, L is light laser, ML is medium laser, M is missile, FB is a fighter bay, S is shield, A is armor, ATC is Advanced Tactical Computer (aids in targeting), RB is repair bot. Laser and Ion cannon firing arcs are denoted by F for forward, P for port, and S for starboard. Damage is the number of damage hits the ship can sustain (40% of hull spaces). If there is an F next to the movement rate then it is a fast ship. (X) indicates a hull space used for the fast movement ability or the second space for a medium laser. 

Pantharii Imperium (and yes, they are the pink Panthari.  Painted for my daughter)

BB1 move 6  LS LS LS LP LP LP M M M FB SH SH A ATC RB RB 

Damage 1 2 3 4 5 6 

CV move 6  LS LP FB FB FB FB FB FB FB FB SH SH A A ATC RB 

Damage 1 2 3 4 5 6 

CA1 move 6  LF LS LP M M SH A A ATC RB RB 

Damage 1 2 3 4 5 

FF1 move 6  LS LP M SH A ATC RB 

Damage 1 2 3 

 The Panthari Imperium focuses more on lasers than missiles.  

 


Federation 

BCG1 move 6F  LS LS LP LP M M M M M M SH ATC RB RB (X) 


Damage 1 2 3 4 5 6 

CV move 6  LF LS LP FB FB FB FB FB FB SH SH A ATC RB RB 

Damage 1 2 3 4 5 6 

CG1 move 6F  LS LP M M M M SH ATC RB (X) 

Damage 1 2 3 4 

FF1 move 6F  LS LP M SH ATC RB (X) 

Damage 1 2 3 

The Federated Worlds prefer fast, lightly armored ships with more missiles than lasers. Fighters are only carried in dedicated fighter carriers. 

 


Domain 

BCG1 move 6  ICF LS LP M M M M M M M M FB SH SH A A ATC RB 

Damage 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 

CV move 6  LS LS LP LP FB FB FB FB FB FB FB FB ATC RB RB 

Damage 1 2 3 4 5 6 

CG1 move 6  ICS ICP M M M M SH A ATC RB RB 

Damage 1 2 3 4 

FF1 move 6  LS LP M M SH A ATC RB 

Damage 1 2 3 

The Domain's technology level is slightly below that of the Imperium and Federation. Other than the new carriers and battle cruisers, ships use fission reactors instead of fusion reactors like the other two major human powers. They also favor missiles, but have included ion cannons in their designs. 

 

 Blue Meenee 


Alpha move 6  ICF LS LP M M M M M FB SH SH A A A ATC RB RB 

Damage 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 

Beta move 6  ICF LS LP M M M SH SH A A ATC RB 

Damage 1 2 3 4 5 

Delta move 6  ICF MLS (X) MLP (X) M M M M M M SH SH SH A A A ATC RB RB 

Damage 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 

Epsilon move 6  LS LP M M M M M M M M SH A ATC RB 

Damage 1 2 3 4 5 6 

The Blue Meenees use large, heavily armored and shielded ships. They do not have fighter carriers. There also tend to be fewer missiles and beam weapons than most comparable human sized ships. Examination of a destroyed Alpha found a mix of technologies that were both more advanced than and inferior than human technology. What appeared to be living quarters were very Spartan compared to those for human crews. Ship designations are based on the Greek alphabet. Alphas and Betas were the first two ship types encountered along with the fighters being designated Gammas. The massive Deltas and the differently designed (compared to the other ship types) Epsilons were encountered later. The third S and A values are redundant values for the StarFighter rules. They do not add any additional saving and eliminating one of each will not reduce their save. That is, a second shield space would have to be eliminated to reduce heavy shields to light shields.

Friday, July 2, 2021

BACK TO CLUB GAMING

With the lifting of Covid restrictions the local game clubs are having face to face meetings. The South Bay Gaming Club is holding meetings at the church again and The Miniature Wargaming Society of Sacramento had a meeting at The Game Castle hobby shop in Sacramento. The community room at the Charmical library where they used to meet is still not available for public use. The Game Castle had a 40K tournament last Sunday so the club was limited to three games. Two were in the private rooms and one was at a table in the main gaming area. There were a lot of well painted 40K miniatures being used in the tournament with at least two dozen players. The three games were Command and Colors Napoleonics hosted by Roger, DBA hosted by John, and Blitzkrieg Commander 2nd edition hosted by Keith. I participated in the BKC game commanding the Russians in the river crossing scenario vs Mike as the German player. The setting was late war about early 1945. The river had four crossing points two fords and two bridges. There was minimal terrain with no high ground, several woods, and several fields. The bridges were in the middle with a ford near each flank. I decided to have one force threaten the left ford and bridge, a second force threaten the two bridges, and the third force at the right ford. Mike was not as experienced with the rules and didn't realize that vehicles could not fire and move. His overall deployment was good otherwise with a strong force hidden in the wood protecting the ford on my right, another in the woods guarding the ford on the left, a third force in the woods between the two bridges, and some Tiger IIs and a Jagdtiger guarding the bridges. I was able to get mutiple activations on the first couple of turns, moving and then firing. Though I took some loses from opportunity fire and for a while Mike had the advantage in losses caused, I was eventually able to turn his flank on my right as I came across the ford. My left and center forces concentrated on taking out enemy units on my left and right as my right flank force came across the ford and the bridge in the center right. Eventually Mike's loses caused him to take a check for exceeding his brak point. Though he passed is position was now untenable and he conceded the game. I didn't take any pictures of the game, but Roger posted one picture of his Napoleonic game on the club's Groups.io forum

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Projects for 2021 and completed projects from 2020

Back in January of last year I posted the following projects for 2020. Projects for 2020 are as follows: All are 6mm unless noted otherwise. 
Complete Late Roman/Byzantine army completed 
 Complete Sassanid army completed 
 Add cavalry to Achaemenid army completed 
 Finish Warbands not started 
 Make additional built up areas in progress 
 Make pine Forest not started 
 I have a dozen two foot square interlocking mats that have been painted a light brown to finish in progress 
 I have a bunch of 28mm Fantasy figures in various stages of painting to finish. Finished some armies, working on others 
 Add a few more 28mm science fiction building paper buildings. completed 

 In addition to the above I also completed a 28mm sci-fi alien battle group, sci-fi IFV's and tanks. I could have done quite a bit more, but spent the later part of the year doing things other than wargaming. 

This year I will be working on the items that were not completed. The 6mm warbands and the pine forest are the lowest priority at the moment. The 6mm built up areas, two foot square interlocking terrain mats, and the remaining 28mm fantasy have the higher priority.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Fistful of Lead Bigger Battles

 This past Sunday we played a game of Fistful of Lead Bigger Battles at the club.   This was our first game with the rules and we made a few mistakes, though nothing major.   The game was set in the sixth century A.D. with Byzantines vs Sassanid Persians.    The Byzantines had six cavalry units and nine infantry units.  The cavalry was bow and javelin armed while the infantry had some units of mixed archers and spear, a couple of units of heavy archers and three units of heavy spear.   All were regulars.  

The Sassanids had two cataphract units, three units of light bow and spear armed cavalry, three units of spear armed infantry, two units of mixed spear and bow infantry, and five archer units.   The cataphracts were regulars, the light cavalry and mixed spear/bow were tribal, and the rest irregulars.  Unfortunately, I forgot to bring the elephants so the Sassanids were missing one of their better troop types.  

During the course of the game the Byzantines had better die throws and broke or eliminated over half the Persian units.   The Persians were only able to eliminate two of the Byzantine infantry units.   One of them disappeared in spectacular fashion when it engaged a Persian unit and both side eliminated the other with their close combat die rolls. 

All units on both sides were eight figures strong.  I only took one decent picture during the game.   It is posted below with the Byzantines at the top and the Sassanids at the bottom.


Monday, August 31, 2020

August Projects

 During August I worked on completing the remaining 25mm Science Fiction items that had not been done.  These included assembling the buildings I got from PaperTerrain.  I also purchased some aliens as noted in the previous blog post and found a tank and an infantry carrier at Wargame Vault.  I needed different vehicles for the forces opposing the Federation.  

The vehicles are made by Tomoko's paper miniatures.  He also has 2d 28mm soldiers.  However, the vehicles are definitely not 28mm.  Fortunately I was able to use Paintshop Pro to enlarge them to 143% of their original size which made them compatible with my 25/28mm figures.  The PDF file has several different camo schemes.  All of them in shades of grey except for the one I chose to use.  The infantry carrier appears to be an M113 APC.  I haven't checked it against the actual vehicle to verify if it is an exact copy or not.   I added the original sized turret from the tank model to convert it into an IFV.  Instead of using the paper tube mounting system for the turrets I again went with thumbtacks glued to the inside of the turret with a strip of cardstock glued across the top of the thumbtack and to the turret floor to keep the thumbtack in place.  The only other modification was to cut the bottom of the track assembly as a wider straight edge instead of the jagged pattern making them easier to assemble.  The files include detailed assembly diagrams unlike the free ones that I made for the Federation.

The buildings from PaperTerrain were also PDF files and include detailed assembly instructions and diagrams.   The number of buttresses, bays, windows, and door openings can be customized as desired.  

The following photos show the buildings and vehicles.  The miniatures are from Grenadier Models, Inc.  They are the licensed Traveler Imperial Marines Imperial Marines.  They are being used as the Pantharii Impeium Marines.  I believe Magister Militum  has the molds, but has not recast them as of this time.   In addition to the marines I also bought a set of the adventurer figures back when they were released.  In addition to the sets of marines, I recently purchased some additional figures that were not part of a complete set that I found on Ebay.  |Fortunately no one else bid against me and I was able to get them for about $2 per figure.  Otherwise, there were a few complete boxed sets being offered at $120 to $160 per set.  I now have about three dozen of them for a complete platoon.

Again these will be used for Wiley Games Galactic Heroes and Bigger Battles.

The four IFV's, one of the tanks, and some of the Pantharii Imperium Marines.

Comparison of the Pantharii and Federation IFV's


Two of the PaperTerrain buildings.  The one on the left will be a bank.  The one on the right will be the town administration building.
The casino complex
Market building on the left and two others.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Alien Invaders

 I had been looking for some figures to use for the aliens who are harassing the rift frontiers (right edge of the map of human space in an earlier post) of the Pantharii, Domain, and Federation.  I had looked at the Ralnai and Klackon ranges for Starguard, but decided against them.  Last week, I was browsing through Khurasan Miniatures 15mm sci fi range and found what I was looking for.  These were the Soriog.  

They are slightly shorter than the 28mm sci fi figures.  I placed the order on Monday and they arrived on the Saturday.  Kudos to Khurasan for speedy delivery.    For their environmental suits, I painted them light khaki, and used a medium brown for their weapons.  They were given a bright blue skin color for their faces and other parts of their warlock (a psionic).   The humans refer to them as the "blue meenees".  They have a prehensile tail, hands with a thumb and two fingers, and a raptor talon on their legs.

Wiley games printed a book of various sci fi races and I chose the Aeldarin for their characteristics.  These are based on not-space elves.  

The figures are organized into four squads of ten.  Consisting of a squad leader, seven other laser rifle armed infantry, a heavy laser, and a flamer.  There is four figure command team consisting of the commander, a warlock, and two junior officers.


The four squads with the command team in front.

The command team.  From left to right a junior officer, the warlock, the commander, and the other junior officer.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Fistful of Lead: Starfighters

This past month Wiley Games released their latest addition to their rule sets called "Starfighters".  Play follows the usual procedure of the Fistful of Lead series of games.  Several examples of play can be found on YouTube by searching for Fistful of Lead: Galactic Heroes or other rule titles that Wiley Games has published.

They are fairly simple rules to play, but are a lot of fun.  Don't expect a hard science type of game like Starcruiser.  Some players are thinking of adapting them to airplane combat.   In addition to the light, medium, and heavy fighters there is a section for including larger ships as part of the fighter combat game.

One thing I had not expected was a section in the later part of the rules for fleet actions using frigates on up through battleships.  Fighters still play a part in a fleet battle, but they operate as a flight of six fighters and only engage in close quarters combat against the larger ships and other fighters.

One of the members of the Wiley Games Facebook group recently posted a report on a fleet action game he played and it looked like a good alternative to Starcruiser.  As such, I am adapting the ship specifications for the Pantharii Imperium, Domain, Federation, and others to Starfighter specifications.  this has been done by dividing the number of weapon batteries, missiles, and damage repair teams by six and shields and armor levels by three. While the design methods are entirely different I was able to convert all the ships directly to different specifications except for the Federation BCG300 class battle cruisers.  These would have required at least 30 spaces just for the missile load they carry and resulted in a ship with 40 spaces which is way beyond the levels of the game. 
 Ships of the Domain.  Top and bottom rows are three frigates, Second and fourth rows have a battle cruiser on the left followed by two cruisers.  The middle row is led by a cruiser on the left, the battleship which also serves as the fleet command ship, a fighter carrier, and another frigate at the right end.  The carrier has eight flights of fighters and the battleship carries another two flights.  The entire fleet totals 166 spaces.  Currently the Pantharii Imperium fleet totals 106 spaces and will be adding a fighter carrier for another 16 spaces.  Three additional cruisers and two more frigates will match their total to the Domain's.  this will give them two battleships, seven cruisers, six frigates, and a carrier. Both fleets will have sixteen ships and ten fighter flights..
The alien marauders.  Two class A ships on the left and two class B ships.  They total 52 spaces.  I need to find some ships that can fill in for the class D and Class E ships.

I plan on running a solo game or two pitting the Federation against the Domain to see how the game plays.  The BCG300's will either be ships with 15 spaces and six missiles or ships with 20 spaces and eleven missiles.   A few modifications to the rules to bring them slightly closer to how things are in Starcruiser will also be tested.  These are doubling the missile  movement to 24 inches, increasing the firing arc for turrets to 180 degrees except through the rear of the ship, allowing two single shot laser batteries per ship to double as point defense systems and function like the defense drones against missiles and fighters, and reducing standard ship movement to six which is the normal movement rate for most ships in Starcruiser.  Slow ships in Starcruiser move at a velocity of three.  Hopefully these modifications will not upset the game balance.