Space Combat in my SW/Age hack

Posted on May 15, 2012 by


I originally posted this on my Google+ page, I am reposting it here for those not on G+.

I play tested space combat in my SW/Age hack last night, and it went pretty well.  I’m going to get into a bit of the crunchy AGE bits here, so bear with me if you don’t understand the AGE system mechanics.

So right off the bat I want to say that space combat assumes a grid, but it isn’t really necessary if you are just running a small skirmish.  Ships have a speed, and that determines how many squares/hexes they can move on the grid on the pilot’s turn.  Moving through occupied spaces is fine, as that symbolizes the 3d aspect of the grid.

Out first scenario was a stock YT-1300 in a fight against 3 tie fighters. The ship had to make a jump to light-speed while avoiding the ties.  Neither the stock yt1300 nor the Tie Fighters have shields.  (Shields in this hack are just hit points that sit on top of the regular ship’s hit points. They can fluctuate, kind of like 4e’s temp hit points mechanic.)

We had 4 players: a pilot, an astrogation guy plotting the jump to light-speed, and two gunners sitting in the turrets.

Dragon Age has an action economy of a Minor/Major action per turn. A move falls under a Minor action. You can also take 2 minors in a turn instead of taking a Major.  Under a space combat situation, every crew member of the ship can take both actions if he wants, although for some it would make no sense.  Like the guy at the astrogatrion computer would have no reason to take a minor action, while the gunners would, as aiming is a minor and grants a +1 to the attack.

Moving the ship its speed is a minor action for the pilot.  Attempting a special maneuver is a major.  Maneuvers grant special bonuses and other stuff.

Let me show an example of play.   Initiative will go like this :
Tie Fighter 1
Tie Fighter 2
Gunner 1
Gunner 2

Round 1

Pilot:   I’m getting away from those ties while the astrogation guy plots lightspeed. I’m moving the ship its speed (minor action) and attempting the Corkscrew maneuver (major), it halves my speed on my next turn, but gains me a +2 to defense until the end of my next turn. My roll is a 3d6+Dexterity (Piloting). A 17!  Made it!  My turn is over.

Tie 1:   Tie 1 is quick, he easily comes within short range of you. He rolls a 15 (3d6+Dexterity (Starship Gunnery), he would have hit your ship’s defense of 14 (10+Pilot’s Dexterity+2 for Piloting Focus) but that cork screw maneuver threw him for a loop!  His turn is over.

Tie 2:   Using his minor, he pulls up behind you, in a space adjacent to his ally.   As a major action,  he’ll attempt the Howlrunner Formation maneuver instead of firing at you.  If successful, it’ll grant him a +2 to attacks for as long as he’s adjacent to his ally. Rolls 3d6+Dexterity (piloting), 18! He made it.   He’s attacking at a +2 for now, but can’t attack this round due to having spent his Major action on that maneuver. His turn is over.

Astrogation guy:   Astrogation during space combat is an AGE Advanced Test.   The GM has determined a difficulty of 13, with a threshold of 15. That means my Cunning (Astrogation) roll has to beat a 13, and my Force Die has to add up to 15 before the jump to light speed is successful. Coordinating this jump is going to take me a few seconds (rounds are 6 seconds in AGE), so keep us alive! I roll a 14 with a 5 on the Force Die! Made the check, and i’m 10 away from threshold! I’m done this round.

Gunner 1:   These guys moved in at close range, so I have a good chance. As a minor I aim, gaining a +1.  Tie 1 is going to get it from me! 3d6+Cunning(Starship gunnery) is a 16! I beat their defense of 14! Oh, I generated 5 stunt points! I’m resolving damage… 2d6+Perception is a 13! And I’m using the Lethal Blow stunt for an extra 2d6 worth of damage, for another 11! 24 points in one round!

GM:  With just 35 Health, that tie is at 11 hp now!

Gunner 2:  I go after Tie 2. Even aiming I rolled a 6. I miss.

Round 2

Pilot:   Ok, so my move is halved due to my manuever last round.   So as a minor, I circle around these guys, slowly.  As a major though, I’m gonna try to do the Afterburn maneuver, which lets me move triple the ship’s speed! 16! Did it! Even though I’m slowed I pulled that one off.   Let’s go astrogation, get us out of here! (Run in AGE is a major action, it lets you move double your speed.  This maneuver lets you move triple speed).

Astrogation: I botched my roll! All these maneuvers are throwing off the computer, it can’t pinpoint our exact location! Argh! We need a droid, he has a better chance than me! Turn is over.

Tie 1:   His move of 11 easily puts him close to your ship, he takes a shot, but misses!

Tie 2:   He moves adjacent to his ally, remember that his Howlrunner Formation maneuver is still active, so he attacks you at a +2,  and he hits! You take 11 points of damage.

Astrogation: I rolled a 14, beat the test! And a 6 on the Force Die. My threshold count is now at 11, 4 more and we’re outta here! Keep us alive guys…..

So as you can see, everyone has something to do while combat is taking place. There are maneuvers for the pilot that grant bonuses and other special things, the Astrogation guy is biting his nails trying to break out of here before the ship is blown to bits, and the gunners are doing their thing.

It works just like regular dragon Age combat but at a larger scale, while maintaining the regular action economy, stunts, and other things native to Dragon Age.


Posted in: Dragon Age, Gaming