BATTLESTAR GALACTICA

Full Thrust/Fleet Book 1 and 2 Space Combat Rules Adaptation

 

 

If you are reading this, you are either a die-hard BSG addict in dire need of continued “fix” now that the series has come to an end (here’s hoping for a few “prequels”) or someone impressed by Jon Tuffley’s innovative, flexible, and easy to use generic space combat rules, Full Thrust (FT), especially their Fleet Book (FB) incarnations. Or, if you are like me, both.

 

Because, having given some thought to finding a rules system that would capture the “feel” of BSG battles, I came to the conclusion that the FT/FB rules can be readily adapted to capture the essence of space combat in the BSG universe.

 

The “Feel”

 

One of the many strong aspects of the new BSG series were the spectacular, dramatic space combat sequences which (like much of the rest of the series) have set a high bar for science fiction TV and movie producers to reach. Space combat in the series tends to occur between relatively small numbers of Colonial and Cylon spacecraft, which are big, majestic and…lethal. Although the ships (fighters excepted) do not exactly dash about the TV screen, combat between them, once joined, tends to be extremely violent and swiftly resolved in favor one or the other side. For that reason, the ships designs listed below tend to be bigger than the norm of the Fleet Book designs, and have relatively low thrust ratings.

 

Moreover, BSG space combat is characterized by the lethality of fighter craft (capable of carrying nuclear missiles, after all), so much so that keeping enemy fighters away from own capital ships is a major design and tactical concern for BSG commanders of both sides, much more so than in normal FT games. This necessitates a few rules changes (see below).

 

The final attraction of BSG battles is their asymmetry. Colonial and Cylon craft follow radically different design philosophies (strikingly reflected in their appearance) and tactical doctrines. Ship designs in this section attempt to capture these differences.

 

The Cylons

 

As far as sci-fi villains go, few project a greater air of menace than the Cylons. An appearance of a single baseship or a flight of raiders is enough to get the attention of everyone concerned. The sheer scale, ferocity, and relentlessness of combined missile and fighter onslaught from multiple Cylon baseships leaves a strong impression of an irresistible force being unleashed. If the Cylon ships have a weakness, it is their relative fragility, as they tend to not last very long once subjected to sustained attack.

 

In FT/FB terms, Cylon weaponry is best represented by a combination of SMLs, fighters, and submunition packs, with the following special rules.

 

SMLs are capable of all-round (i.e., six arc) fire, with no additional weight cost per launcher.

 

Cylons use reloadable submunition packs, with each additional shot (or reload) costing half a weight point.

 

Cylon baseships reactionless drive is best represented by allowing them to use Kra’vak vector movement.

 

Cylon raiders are considered to be Torpedo Fighters, with the following changes: They do not suffer any penalties in combat against other fighters, and may use their torpedo ability in every attack (subject only to endurance limits). For conversion purposes, each fighter unit in these rules is considered to represent 20 fighters (and each fighter bay accommodation for 20 fighters), rather than the standard 6 in the FT/FB rules. However, this does not affect combat resolution in any other way. Each Cylon fighter unit is assumed to be a combination of normal and heavy raiders.

 

Submunition packs (here representing Cylon short-range missiles) may act as single-shot PDSs.

 

Secondary explosions: one of the observed key weaknesses of Cylon baseships is that once struck, their vast stores of munitions appear to contribute to their own ships’ destruction, as evidenced by the spectacular fireballs accompanying the break-up of a baseship. Whenever a salvo missile launcher is destroyed due to a threshold check, all of the missiles still in the launcher are automatically lost. However, conduct a threshold check on each of the remaining salvoes to check for a secondary explosion. Any salvo that fails the check is treated as an SML strike on the ship, with no possibility of defensive fire.

 

With that in mind, we have:

 

Classification: Cylon Baseship

 

Displacement: 57,000 tonnes (MASS Factor 570)

Hull Type: Weak (Hull Integrity 114)

Crew: Crew Factor 29

 

Armament:

6 Salvo Missile Launchers, each with a 6-salvo magazine

6 Submunition Packs, each with 6 reloads

 

Defenses: none

 

Sensor Suite:

Standard Sensors

6 Fire Controls

1 Area Defense Fire Control

 

Drive Systems:

Main Drive rating 2

FTL Drive

 

Hangars: 24 Fighter Bays

 

Colonial Forces

 

As menacing as the Cylons are, they have more than worthy adversaries in the form of Colonial battlestars, which follow a rather different design philosophy. While Cylon battle tactics focus on swamping the enemy with waves of missiles and expendable (and resurrectable…) raiders which really represent the business end of a baseship, since Colonial forces do not have the luxury of resurrecting viper pilots, their approach to space warfare has been different.

 

Thus, if the baseships represent irresistible force, battlestars as close to an immovable object as you can find. Their durability and resilience is their most remarkable characteristics, next to the sheer volume of defensive fire. And although  battlestars carry a strong fighter complement, it would appear their main anti-ship weapon are the heavy mass-driver weapons, forward-firing in the case of heavy weapons, and turret-mounted for lighter weapons.

 

The following special rules are in effect for Colonial forces:

 

As for Cylons, each fighter squadron represents 20 vipers and raptors, and each fighter bay can accommodate 20 fighters. Each colonial fighter squadron is assumed to be a mix of vipers and raptors.

 

Colonial fighters are treated as both Torpedo Fighters and Interceptors, with none of the negative characteristics associated with each type. The torpedo ability can be used in every turn the fighter is operational.

 

Turret-mounted Class 1 and Class 2 Kinetic Guns have a highly effective anti-fighter role. They may be targeted against fighters and missiles instead of capital ships. Roll to score a hit normally. If a hit is scored, it is equivalent of fighters being attacked by a Kra’vak scattergun.

 

Both Class 1 and Class 2 Kinetic Guns are treated as having all-around fire arc, with no additional mass cost.

 

Colonial Point Defense Systems should be treated as Kra’vak scatterguns, but with unlimited shots (one shot per turn limit still applies).

 

Normal vector movement should be used.

 

 

Galactica

Classification: Battlestar (Early Model)

 

Displacement: 45,000 tonnes (MASS Factor 450)

Hull Type: Strong (Hull Integrity 180)

Crew: Crew Factor 22

 

Armament:

12 Class-2 Kinetic Guns

4 Salvo Missile Racks

 

Defenses:

12 Point Defense Systems

Grade 40 Armor

 

Sensor Suite:

Standard Sensors

4 Fire Controls

1 Area Defense Fire Control

 

Drive Systems:

Main Drive rating 2

FTL Drive

 

Hangars: 8 Fighter Bays

 

The Mercury-Class battlestars, including the Pegasus, appear to be bigger, with a stronger fighter complement, and more powerful weaponry.

 

Pegasus

Classification: Battlestar (Late Model)

 

Displacement: 64,000 tonnes (MASS Factor 640)

Hull Type: Strong (Hull Integrity 256)

Crew: Crew Factor 32

 

Armament:

4 Class-4 Kinetic Guns

16 Class-2 Kinetic Guns

4 Salvo Missile Racks

 

Defenses:

14 Point Defense Systems

Grade 50 Armor

 

Sensor Suite:

Standard Sensors

4 Fire Controls

1 Area Defense Fire Control

 

Drive Systems:

Main Drive rating 2

FTL Drive

 

Hangars: 10 Fighter Bays

 

Apart from the battlestars, it is evident that other combat ship classes exist as well in the BSG universe. Bill Adama is known to have commanded several, so they must exist. Question is, what kind of an escort makes sense in a threat environment where the basic building block of Cylon power is a baseship. Fighting Cylons seems like an all-or-nothing proposition, either you are coasting peacefully through space or you are fighting off swarms of raiders and missiles. A viable, survivable, non-expendable (and there is no reason to believe Colonial forces believe in expendability, given the defensive abilities of their battlestars) escort would therefore have to be a fairly substantial ship, with formidable staying power in its own right.

 

Moreover, the question arises what kind of an escort does a battlestar need. It seems there are two roles an escort could provide. One, augment battlestar’s defensive anti-fighter firepower. Two, compensate for the relative difficulty a battlestar will experience in bringing its heavy guns to bear against the slightly more nimble baseships (more nimble on account of their modified vector movement). In my view, and on the basis of fan drawings of escort ships, the following seems like a reasonable escort vessel of which a battlestar could use a couple in its battlegroup.

 

Tiger

Classification: Colonial Destroyer

 

Displacement: 18,700 tonnes (MASS Factor 187)

Hull Type: Average (Hull Integrity 56)

Crew: Crew Factor 9

 

Armament:

12 Class-2 Kinetic Guns

2 Class-4 Kinetic Guns

 

Defenses:

8 Point Defense Systems

Grade 20 Armor

 

Sensor Suite:

Standard Sensors

3 Fire Controls

1 Area Defense Fire Control

 

Drive Systems:

Main Drive rating 3

FTL Drive

 

Hangars: None

 

Another speculative ship type is the skirmishstar, one of the several interesting classes of ships to spring from the fertile minds of the show’s legion of fans.

 

Classification: Colonial Light Skirmishstar

 

Displacement: 11,800 tonnes (MASS 118 Factor)

Hull Type: Average (Hull Integrity 35)

Crew: Crew Factor 6

 

Armament:

6 Class-2 Kinetic Guns

 

Defenses:

6 Point Defense Systems

Grade 20 Armor

 

Sensor Suite:

Standard Sensors

3 Fire Controls

1 Area Defense Fire Control

 

Drive Systems:

Main Drive rating 3

FTL Drive

 

Hangars: 2 Fighter Bays

 

 

Mike J.

The J-8 Shop

http://www.geocities.com/pmj6/

 

 

 

 

Hosting by WebRing.