Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tholian Ship Templates

These are some FT ship templates for the Archeo-Tholian ships from Star Trek. The 'D' weapons are disruptors. These follow the same rules for torpedoes except they do a fixed 2 points of damage per hit.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

First Battle of Nanath 2.1

Commodore Stilicho commanding Imperial Dreadnought Tethys.


On station with Hyperion orbitting Nanath 2.1.

Long range surveyors detect 3 unidentified vessels entering system Turning to investigate.

[17 minutes elapse]

Tethys to Fleet HQ.

Three Xenos strike craft line abreast on direct approach to Natath 2.1. Approaching intercept range in one minute. Will engage.

Designate targets one, two and three.

Tethys Actual to Hyperion. Hang back. We will engage and seek to disrup enemy formation.

Target xray three. Launch torpedoes as we close.

Torpedoes launched.

Hyperion has launched torpedoes.

Surveyors report plasma bolts launched from all three enemy vessels. Impact in three seconds.


Point defence systems did not engage.

Close range fire from all three xrays. Brace. Brace. Brace.

Sustained heavy damage on all decks.

One starboard lance battery is out.

Fire control systems are damaged. Minimal cogitator functions remain. We can only target one ship.

Warp drive is disabled.

Targeting surveyors report none of our torpedoes hit. Negative damage. Repeat negative damage.

Guns are scoring minor hits.

Xray one and two are slowing down. Xray three is maintaining course.

Signal Hyperion. Concentrate fire on xray three.

Helm, get us turned around. But stay clear of that close range fire.

Signal Hyperion. Maintain distance. We outgun them as long as we stay out of range of those close guns.

Fire another torpedo salvo before we are out of range.

Brace for Impact. Brace for impact. Plasma bolt inbound.

Plasma bolt succesfully intercepted.

Surveyors report significant damage to xray three. All torpedoes hit.

Xray three is venting ... something. It looks like it is severely damaged.

Hyperion is pursuing.

Xray one and two are turning towards Hyperion.

We are drifting too far away. Helm, get us back in this fight.

Xray three destroyed. Hyperion engaging xray two with long range lance fire.

Hyperion launching torpedoes.


Lance strike on target.

Xray two destroyed.

Xray one has launched another plasma bolt.

Hyperion reports minor damage to hull plating. Continuing on intercept course.

Three minutes until we are in range again.

Damage control reports we are venting atmosphere in multiple breaches. We have fires on many decks. Life support may be compromised.

We still have guns. We just need to get close enough to use them.

Hyperion continuing to engage xray one. Hyperion is taking hits on her hull. Damage minimal.

Another plasma bolt. Hyperion reports succesful intercetp. Minor damage.

Torpedo strike. Xray three badly damaged.

Hyperion reports all torpedoes expended. Maintaining distance and circling target.

Xray three is drifting. It looks like it has lost power.

We will be in range in 10 seconds.

Hyperion firing again. Major lance strike. Xray three is breaking up.

Firing now. Hit Hit Hit. Xray three is destroyed.

We are still loosing atmosphere.

Hyperion reports minimal structural damage. She is turning to assist.

Is the plot clear?

No targets remain. The plot is clear sir.

Signal abandon ship. All unecessary crew to escape in life pods. Signal Hyperion to collect survivors.

Volunteers will stay aboard to nurse us home.

Signal Fleet HQ, a tug would be appreciated.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Death Watch

We recently played a game to test the strengthened Space Marines against a horde of Tyranids. The aim was twofold: to test the marines and to give some of the mid-sized ‘nids a go.

The forces were:

A 5 man death watch team, comprising a Librarian, 2 marines with heavy bolters (suspensor variant) and 2 marines with boltguns and special ammunition. Each man was treated as a ‘squad’ for the purpose of activation and the Librarian acted as a leader and could transfer actions.

Facing them were 2 broods of genestealers, 4 tyrant guards and 6 lictors.

On the face of it, a very uneven battle.

The marines set up in a building in one corner of the table and the tyranids set up along the opposite long table edge.

I did not record the events in detail, but thought I would at least post a brief summary in case anyone is interested to see how it went.

I have made two versions of Space Marines in my conversion to SG. The first is simply human troops in power armour, just like normal power armoured troops in SG. The second takes into account some special rules associated with the marines and has rules for their genetic enhancements. This option is aimed at giving them capabilities similar to those found in the 40K novels. We used the latter option.

After the first turn, all of the tyranids had advanced, some to within assault range, but the nearby ones had all been suppressed by the fire from the marines. The game then consisted of attempts by the nids to assault whenever one of them was in a position to do so.

The marines consistently used their special rule ‘combat tactics’ to withdraw from the intended assault and thus continue to apply their firepower against the nids. A few of the tyranids did manage to close, but they were held off by the marine.

At the end of the game, the marine squad had dispatched all of the mid sized tyranids and was cleaning up the genestealers for the loss of only the Librarian in hand to hand combat with one of the lictors.

It should be noted that the tyranids had no ranged weapons with which to suppress the marines. This was an intentional decision to see if a small squad of marines could hold off a horde of bugs.

The Stats:

The boltguns were able to fire special ammunition. Each time they fired, the player could decide which was being used.

Dragon fire: FP d6, I d8, rapid fire, ignore cover and concealment

Kraken: FP d8, Id8, rapid fire

The heavy bolter had the following stats: FP 3d6 if moving or 3d8 if stationary, I d8.

The librarian also had the 'blood lance' psychic ability. This was treated like a ranged weapon, but with a variable range - 1d10 x 6". It fires along a single straight trajectory and any unit it hits is suppressed and takes a single impact d12 hit (against normal armour save) with no cover shift. Vehicles take a d12x2 hit against armour. Confidence tests are requied for casualties.

The rapid fire rule allows a squad that spends BOTH actions shooting a +1 die shift to their firepower.

The Marines also had the ‘combat tactics’ special rule. This allowed them to voluntarily withdraw from close combat without loss of confidence as long as they passed their initial test to stand. This allowed them to keep withdrawing from the tyranids and continue firing on them.

The marine genetic enhancements helped the marines to survive when they did get caught in hand to hand with the tyranids. As per the medical rules in SG, when a marine in power armour is wounded, a medical dice is rolled immediately to see the effect. 1 = dead, 2-4 = down and wounded. The Space marines roll a d10, instead of the normal d6 making them quite hard to kill.

The rules for the marines were based mainly on the standard stern guard rules and such a squad could be used for this scenario. The suspensor model heavy bolter is a variant published in white dwarf (and on GW's web page) specific to the deathwatch. It allows them to move and shoot. In SG terms, I allow standard heavy weapons to be fired by power armoured troops, but they must spend 2 actions to do so. The suspensor turns the heavy bolter from a heavy weapon to a support weapon and allows it to be fired using a single action, but with reduced firepower (3d6 instead of 3d8).


The Marines worked more or less as expected. However, I will tone down the combat tactics ability a little. In this game, we had the marines withdraw and their original position automatically occupied by the attacking bug. Instead, I will allow the bugs to roll their movement die and see if they can still contact the withdrawing marines. Additionally, the withdrawal will be treated as the activation of that marine (squad) so that they can not just keep evading indefinitely – numbers should count. And finally, they will not be allowed to withdraw in this manner if suppressed. In this game, the nids had no means to do this, but normally, an assault would be preceded by suppressive fire and that should count.