Starship Combat

Starship combat is similar to ground combat. Attacks are made using dice pools based on attributes and skills, and ships move in an attempt to gain advantageous positions from which to fire upon their enemies.  The action economy is slightly different, however. Instead of two actions per turn like in a ground-based encounter, a starship has one movement action and a number of other actions equal to its class. These actions can be performed by PCs or by the ship's crew.

Distances in starship encounter are measured in kilometers.  If a hex grid is used, one hex equals 1km.

Play Sequence

The play sequence is similar to that of a regular ground-based encounter.

  1. Make attribute checks to access the ambush turn, if appropriate. These will be opposed by ship sensors.

  2. Roll INITIATIVE for each PC.  Larger ships inflict INITIATIVE penalties. For GM-controlled ships, simply roll once for the ship.

  3. Each PC (and GM-controlled ship) takes a turn in INITIATIVE order, starting with whichever rolled the highest. The ship moves on the pilot's INITIATIVE.

  4. At the end of the round, move on to the next round and repeat, re-rolling INITIATIVE every round.


A vessel moves a number of hexes up to its SPEED. Turning one hex side costs on point of movement. Also, see Newtonian Movement, below.


In addition to movement, each ship takes a number of actions in its turn. The number of actions available to it is equal to the ship's class - a Class V vessel will move and take 5 actions. Player-crewed ships get one action per PC or one action per class, whichever is higher. All PCs get to take an action. If the ship class is higher than the number of PCs, the crew takes the remaining actions. Actions consist of attacks, special exploits, repairs, scans, and more. A large vessel can accomplish a lot of simultaneous actions in one turn, although large ships tend to have low INITIATIVE and act last.

Note that PC controlled ships (not GM controlled ships) have a minimum number of actions equal to the number of PCs. All PCs get to take an action.

Actions are performed just like they are in ground-based encounters. Attribute checks, bolstered by skills, are made to attack, scan, and so on. Attacks are made using attributes vs. the target's DEFENSE, just like on the ground. Scans with starship sensors work just like scans with handheld scanners, albeit with range increments measured in kilometers rather than feet – roll a check vs the target's DEFENSE and ask a question.

Actions are taken in any order. These actions can be performed by PCs, or by the crew. PCs may only perform one action each, so if the number of available actions exceeds the number of PCs, the crew will perform the remaining actions.

Every ship has a crew rating which indicates the dice pool the crew makes when performing an action, whether that be an attack, a repair, or something else. The crew uses this set dice pool for all actions. A typical (standard) crew rolls 4d6.

Just like in ground combat, there is no fixed list of available actions. A character can do anything; the GM will assign the appropriate attribute check if necessary. However, the following list provides some examples.

  • Attack with a shipboard weapon using a LOG or INT vs. a target's DEFENSE. The gunnery skill helps with this.

  • Repair 2 points of SS or 1d6 CPU cycles with a Difficult [16] LOG check. Engineering helps with SS, while computers helps with CPU cycles. SS repaired during combat is temporary emergency repairs and only lasts one day. Permanent repairs require one hour per SS for each point above 50% normal, and one day per SS for each point below 50% and cost 0.5 MCr per point.

  • Scan a target by making a LOG check vs. the target's DEFENSE and ask a single question about that target. You can use the computers skill to use ship sensors, or specific skills if they information you seek is related to a specific subject (engineering if you're scanning their engines, medicine if you're looking for life-forms, and so on).

  • Perform medical actions to either heal a PC, or restore a crewmember to duty. The ship's sick bay tells you its capacity per day for restoring casualties to duty. The medicine skill is useful here. This is a Challenging [13] LOG check. A failed check to restore a crewmember to duty means that the casualty becomes permanent. Permanent losses must be replaced at an appropriate location.

  • Make an electronic attack using LOG vs. the target's E-DEFENSE. Success causes 1d6 damage to the target's current CPU cycles, possibly causing systems to shut down.

  • Jam a target ship’s communications. Make an electronic attack vs. the target’s e- DEFENSE. If you are successful, the target ship’s comms are jammed until the start of your next turn.

  • Act as a spotter, calling out targets to gunners. The s