Orbital Combat

Orbital Combat #

Fighting in space frequently involves one side trying to get to a certain point and another side trying to stop them.

Start by establishing the distance between combatants and the Goal Location. The most common distance is 4, the distance between a stellar object and its safe gate perimeter. Roll 2d3 for a random distance.

If the objective of the fight does not involve a race to a specific location, be sure to declare a victory condition / end state for each side. Pitched battles to the death are very rare.

Each ship starts with an Evasion of 1. An easy way to track Evasion is to use a die for each ship, with the ship’s current Evasion facing up.

Like a skirmish, orbital combat takes place in rounds. Each round comprises 4 phases: Systems, Maneuver, Shoot, and Miscellaneous. During each of the first three phases, a single crew member makes a throw, then spends the Impact of the throw, one-for-one, on different effects. The maximum Impact of a throw is limited by the rating of a relevant ship Attribute. Each crew member may only act once in a round. Throws for all ships are made simultaneously. Between rounds, shps reset their Evasion as described below.

Phase 1: Systems #

Throw + Computer skill, impact limited by Systems. Spend Impact to add to the Acceleration and/or Guns ratings of the ship for the rest of the round.

Phase 2: Maneuver #

Throw + Helm skill, Impact limited by Acceleration. Spend Impact to reduce distance to the Goal Location or to increase Evasion.

Phase 3: Gunnery #

Throw + Gunnery skill, Impact limited by guns. Spend Impact to reduce target’s Evasion. If Evasion is zero, roll 1d6 on the gunnery hit location table once per remaining point of Impact.

Gunnery Hit Location (1d6) #

Roll Hit Location & Effect
1 Thrusters hit. -1 Acceleration. Destroyed if already 0.
2 Turrets hit. -1 Guns. Destroyed if already 0.
3 Systems hit. -1 Systems. If systems is 0, Destroyed if already 0.
4 Crew hit. Throw an attack with a +2 bonus against a random PC, as if in a skirmish. If NPC crew is hit, reduce NPC ship Skill by 1.
5 Gate core damaged. Ship cannot enter gatespace. Can be jury-rigged to operate one round at a time. Jumping requires one character to jury rig during the ‘Other’ phase, and another to activate the jump. If hit again, gate core is destroyed.
6 Attacker chooses hit location.

Phase 4: Miscellaneous #

Characters who have not acted this round may perform another action.

Characters can jury rig damaged ship attributes. Succeed at a throw + Engineer to restore ratings by 1, up to their original value. Hit locations that have been destroyed cannot be jury rigged.

To jump away, someone must spend this phase activating the gate core. The ship makes the jump during phase 4 in the next round. No throw is needed.

Reset Evasion #

Any ship whose current Evasion is higher than its current Acceleration attribute sets its Evasion equal to Acceleration.