Starship combat works just like regular combat and is fought in five second rounds.
To attack a starship:
- Determine the difficulty number to hit the target
(based on the starship weapon's range, which is listed in Space units).
- The attacker rolls his attack skill: starship gunnery for
starfighter-scale weapons or capital ship gunnery for capital-scale weapons; they're both Mechanical skills.
- If the roll is equal to or higher
than the difficulty number, the attack hits. Roll damage. (See "Starship Damage.")
Example: Rhen is using the double laser cannon aboard Thannik's Thunderto shoot at an Imperial TIE fighter.
The TIE fighter is eight Space units away — that's medium range for the laser cannons. (Moderate difficulty; difficulty number of 12.) Rhen's starship gunnery skill is 5D and the laser cannon's fire control is 1D+2: she rolls and gets a 17. The laser cannon shot smashes into the TIE fighter!
Starships may make "starship dodges" to avoid enemy fire, just as vehicles can perform "vehicle dodges." This is a "reaction skill."
The pilot making the starship dodge rolls his piloting skill (capital ship piloting, space transports or starfighter piloting, depending upon the ship) and adds his ship's maneuverability. This is the new difficulty number to hit the ship.
Example: Rhen's shooting at another TIE fighter. It's at medium range for a Moderate difficulty (difficulty number of 14). The TIE pilot decides to make a starship dodge, rolling his starfighter piloting skill of 4D and his TIE fighter's maneuverability of 2D — he gets a 20. Rhen's new difficulty number to blast the TIE fighter is a 20.
Full Reaction. A pilot can make a "full reaction," but it can be the only action in the entire round.
The character rolls his piloting skill and the ship's maneuverability code and adds it to the difficulties of all attacks made against the ship that round.
Example: Later on, Rhen fires again at the TIE fighter: she's still at medium range, for a Moderate difficulty and a difficulty number of 15.
The TIE pilot decides to make a full starship dodge. He rolls and gets a 15. Because this is a full starship dodge, Rhen's new difficulty number is a 30! However, the TIE pilot can't do anything else in the round.
Starship shields are electronic energy dampers which help absorb some of the damage from enemy attacks. Shields come in two main varieties: particle and energy/ray shields.
Particle shields deflect all sorts of physical objects, including asteroids, missiles and proton torpedoes. They are used at all times, except when a ship launches fighters, missiles or torpedoes (the shields must be dropped to allow physical objects to pass through them). When a ship lowers its particle shields, reduce its hull code by -2D. (A ship which loses its main power generator also loses its particle shields.)
Energy shields are normally activated only in combat, and must cover specific fire arcs to be effective in combat.
Using shields is a "reaction skill." Each starship has a certain number of dice in shields. When a pilot uses shields, the shield dice must be split up among the four fire arcs: front, back, left and right.
The difficulty to deploy shields depends upon how many fire arcs are being covered:
- One fire arc: Easy
- Two fire arcs: Moderate
- Three fire arcs: Difficult
- Four fire arcs: Very Difficult
If the ship takes any hits from that side in combat, the ship gets to add those shield dice to its hull code to resist damage.
Example: Rhen is behind the controls of a modified YT-1300 transport with a hull code of 4D and 2D in shields. She is being attacked by three TIE fighters, which are closing in from the back.
She decides to activate the ship's shields, placing all 2D to cover the back fire arc. She makes her Easy starship shields roll — if any shots come in from the back of the YT-1300 and hit the ship, she rolls 6D to defend against damage.
A few rounds later, the TIE fighters have maneuvered around her. Rhen is being attacked from both the front and back. She decides to split the shields, placing ID in the front and ID in the back. Because she is trying to cover two fire arcs, her starship shields difficulty is Moderate. If she makes the roll, any attack that hits the front or the back is resisted by 5D (4D for hull code and ID for the shield), but any attacks from the side are resisted by just the ship's hull code of 4D.
Most starships have at least one weapon system; some capital ships have dozens of weapon emplacements. Starship weapons work just like normal character and vehicle weapons. They use the rules for fire control, ammo, fire rate, blast radius and scale from the chapter on "Combat and Injuries." They also use the rules for ranges, crew and fire arcs from "Movement and Chases."
All starships provide full cover.
Fire-linked. Some weapons are fire-linked: several weapons are linked together to fire as one group. The game statistics are for the weapons when fire-linked. (For example, an X-wing has four fire-linked laser cannons. When the cannons are fired, all four laser cannons go off and hits do 6D damage.)
Fire-linked weapons can be rigged to fire separately, but subtract damage, using the rules on combined fire. (Let's use the X-wing example. The four firelinked laser cannons do 6D damage. The pilot decides to fire each cannon separately. Using the "combined actions" rule, four characters working together get a bonus of +1D+2. That means subtract-lD+2 from each cannon's damage: the cannons individually do 4D+1 damage.)
Ranges: Most starship weapons have "Range" and "Atmosphere Range" listings. "Range" is used for space combat and represents ranges in Space units. The "Atmosphere Range" listing is used whenever a ship is flying in an atmosphere (see "Ships in an Atmosphere" later in this chapter) or whenever a ship fires into an atmosphere from orbit.
Laser Cannons and Turbolasers. Laser cannons are the standard weapons aboard starfighter-scale ships, such as freighters, TIE fighters and X-wings. Turbolasers are immense capital-scale weapons (capital ships may also feature laser cannon emplacements to counter starfighter attacks).
Ion Cannons. Ion cannons are designed to interfere with a ship's electrical and computer systems but do not cause physical damage. Shields cannot protect a ship from ion cannon damage.
Example: Rhen has placed the modified 2D shields of the YT-1300 transport (hull code 4D) to the back fire arc.
Any laser cannon attacks that hit the freighter roll against the YT-1300's combined 6D hull code and shields.
However, ion cannon blasts slice right through the shields. Rhen only rolls the YT- 1300's 4D hull code to resist damage from ion cannons.
If the damage roll is lower than the ship's hull code roll, it takes no damage. If the damage roll is equal to or higher than the hull code roll, find the results below.
Ion cannon damage roll > hull code roll by: Effect: 0-3 --- controls ionized 4-8 --- 2 controls ionized 9-12 --- 3 controls ionized 13-15 --- 4 controls ionized 16+ --- controls dead
Missiles, Bombs and Proton Torpedoes. Missiles, bombs and proton torpedoes are physical weapons which deliver awesome firepower. However, they're difficult to target. Their difficulty numbers are modified by how fast the target is moving:
|Increase to difficulty||Space||Move (Atmosphere)|
Tractor Beams. Military-grade tractor beams are used to capture starships so they may be boarded and searched. (Many starships have small tractor beam generators for moving cargo around, but they have no combat applications.)
When a tractor beam attempts to "hit" a target ship, it's resolved as a normal attack: if the attack roll is higher than the difficulty number, the tractor beam hits the target ship.
Roll the tractor beam's "damage" against the ship's hull code. If the target ship's hull code roll is higher, the ship breaks free. If the tractor beam damage roll is equal to or higher than the hull code roll, the target ship is captured.
A captured ship which doesn't resist a tractor can automatically be reeled in towards the attacker, moving five Space units each round.
If the target ship resists, roll the tractor beam's damage against the target ship's hull code. If the target ship's hull code roll is higher, it breaks free of the tractor beam. If the tractor beam rolls equal to or higher than the target ship, the target ship is reeled in and its drives may be damaged. Find the results on the chart below.
damage roll >
damage roll by:
|Target ship's damage|
|0-3||No change||No damage|
Example: An Imperial Star Destroyer is holding Thannik's Thunder in the grip of a tractor beam. The freighter is nine Space units away.
Rhen decides not to resist and her ship is pulled in five Space units this round. It's only four Space units from the Star Destroyer. The next round, Rhen decides to resist. She rolls Thannik's Thunder's hull code of 4D and gets an 11.
The Star Destroyer rolls its tractor beam damage of 6D and adds the scale's "adjusted modifier" of 6D, getting a 35. That's a difference of 24 points!
Rhen groans as Thannik's Thunder's sublight drives blow out. The ship is now dead in space as the Star Destroyer reels it in the final four Space units. Rhen mutters, "What would Leia do?" as her ship is hauled up into the Star Destroyer's cavernous hangar bay.
Starships suffer damage in combat just like vehicles. Roll the attack or collision damage and compare it to the starship's hull code roll.
If the damage roll is lower than the hull code roll, the ship takes no damage. If the damage roll is equal to or higher than the hull code roll, find the result on the"Starship Damage Chart."
Starship Damage Chart Damage Roll > --- Effect Hull Code Roll by: --- 0-3 --- Shields blown/controls ionized 4-8 --- Lightly damaged 9-12 --- Heavily damaged 13-15 --- Severely damaged 16+ --- Destroyed
A shields blown result means that the ship loses -ID from its shields total. This loss lasts until the shields are repaired. If the ship has no dice remaining in shields (or had no shields to begin with), the ship suffers the controls ionized result.
A controls ionized result means that the ship's controls are temporarily overwhelmed by power surges. The ship loses -ID from its maneuverability, shields and weapon fire control and damage for the rest of that round and the next round.
If a ship is suffering from as many controls ionized results as the ship has maneuverability dice, the ship's controls are frozen for the next two rounds. The ship must maintain the same speed and direction for the next two rounds; it may not turn, fire weapons, make shield attempts or take any other actions, making the ship an easy target for enemy gunners.
The pilot must still make the piloting rolls or the ship automatically crashes (if there's anything to run into) or goes spinning out of control.
When controls are frozen, blue lightning plays across all of the controls of the vehicle, as seen when Luke Skywalker's snowspeeder was destroyed in The Empire Strikes Back.
Starships can be lightly damaged any number of times. Each time a ship is lightly damaged, roll ID to see which system is damaged. 1. Ship loses -ID from its maneuverability. (If the ship's maneuverability has already been reduced to OD, it suffers a -1 Move.)
2. One on-board weapon emplacement was hit and destroyed; the gunners take damage. (See "passenger damage.") Randomly determine which weapon is hit.
3. One on-board weapon emplacement was rendered inoperative by a major power surge or system failure; it's lightly damaged. Randomly determine which weapon is affected.
4. Hyperdrive damaged. Double the time to calculate any astrogation courses; if the pilot wants to try to jump to hyperspace in one round, add an extra +10 to the astrogation difficulty.
The hyperdrive may be fixed with one hour of work and a Moderate repair roll: capital ship repair, space transports repair or starfighter repair.
5. The ship loses -ID from its shield code. If the ship has no dice remaining in shields, it suffers the controls ionized result.
6. Ship suffers a -1 Move.
Heavily damaged ships have taken a much more serious amount of damage. If a heavily damaged ship is lightly damaged or heavily damaged again, it becomes severely damaged. Roll ID to see which system is affected.
1. Ship loses -2D from its maneuverability. (If the ship's maneuverability has already been reduced to OD, the ship suffers a -2 Move.)
2. Ship loses a weapons' system in one fire arc. Randomly determine which one. All weapons of that type and in that fire arc are rendered inoperative due to a major power surge or system failure.
Example: A Star Destroyer has 60 turbolaser batteries: 20 to the front, 20 to the left fire arc and 20 to the right fire arc. A lucky shot takes out the front fire arc turbolasers, although the left fire arc turbolasers and the right fire arc turbolasers are still fully operational.
3. Weapons system destroyed. All of the weapons of one type in the same fire arc are destroyed by a series of power overloads. The gunners take damage. (See "passenger damage.")
4. Hyperdrive damaged. Increase all astrogation difficulties by +10 until the drive is fixed with a Moderate repair roll and one hour of work.
5. Ship loses -2D from its shields. If the ship has no dice remaining in shields (or had no shields to begin with), the ship suffers 2 controls ionized.
6. Ship suffers a -2 Move.
Severely damaged ships have taken major amounts of damage and are rendered almost useless. A severely damaged ship which is lightly damaged, heavily damaged or severely damaged again is destroyed. Roll ID to determine which system is affected:
1. Dead in space. All drives and maneuvering systems are destroyed. The vehicle is adrift in space.
2. Overloaded generator. The ship's generator is overloading; unless it's shut down, the generator will explode in ID rounds and destroy the ship.
3. Disabled hyperdrives. The ship's hyperdrives — main and backup — are damaged. The ship cannot enter hyperspace until they are fixed with a Moderate repair roll and one hour of work.
4. Disabled weapons. All weapons systems lose power. Roll 1D:
1-4: Weapons are severely damaged but may be repaired.
5-6: All weapons aboard the ship are destroyed.
5. Structural damage. The ship is so badly damaged that it begins to disintegrate. The crew has ID rounds to evacuate.
6. Destroyed. This ship disintegrates or explodes in a ball of flame.
The ship is instantly destroyed and explodes in a ball of flame. Everyone aboard is killed.
Lost Moves add together. For example, a starship that suffers a-1 Move result, then a -2 Move result is at "-3 Moves."
-1 Move: The ship can no longer move at all-out speed; it's limited to high speed.
-2 Moves: The ship is limited to its cruising speed.
-3 Moves: The ship can only move at its cautious speed.
-4 Moves: The ship's sublight drives are disabled; it's dead in space.
-5 Moves: The ship is destroyed.
Passengers may be injured when a ship suffers damage or crashes. Use your judgment to decide whether a character takes damage. Determine character damage based on how badly the ship is damaged. (Damage is character-scale.)
Vehicle is: --- Passenger Suffers: Lightly damaged --- 1D Heavily damaged --- 3D Severely damaged --- 6D Destroyed --- 12D