Strategic Starmada?

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Strategic Starmada?

Postby Enpeze » Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:17 pm

I just read a little bit here and there have been several ideas how to enhance Starmada. One of my old ideas which are always spinning around in my head comes again in my mind:

ATM we have the following in the game: Everyone has xy buy points and then starts at his edge part of the map. They battle until one side surrenders or is destroyed. Thats good and traditional tabletop.

OTOH is there a possiblity to create a more "meaty" type of game? With "meaty" I dont mean alot more complicated rules on a tactical level. I mean rather that we go up a level in fleet combat. But not as high as a interstellar campaign system like VBAM or SS shows.

How about the middle ground? For example lets look how a planet or solar system can be invaded. Defender sets up. Then attacker came in, defeats the defenders navy and finally lands troops. Could be a way to play it fast and dirty, but how about a whole campaign in a solar system and not just a single combat?

This means fleet assets on several planets, moons and other stellar bodies. Possibly even the bigger planets are divided in zones/continents/sectors or whatever. So the challenge is not only beating the enemy fleet. Its also about logistics, , thinking in a bigger pictures than determining the PEN of single cannons. You are not captain of some ships, you are an grand admiral/miliary gouverneur of a whole solar system. Your mission is to use your assets to defend the system or to invade it. Fleets and supply depots are reeinforced from outsystem, ships are replaced and repaired in star bases or mobile repair ships, troops are mustered, weapons and replacement fighters are fabricated. Supply depots can be raided or have to be secured etc. A whole solar system campaign could last for months or even years.

Would such a kind of game be too complicated? (this I would not want) Or is all we need to get this, having a genius idea?

Last century there has been a game called Renegade Legion: Prefect from FASA which was in this way. It had the perfect scale and decent rules but unfortunately it was also too complex to be enjoyed by many people. Another game in a similar (but not perfect) scale was Invasion: Earth from GDW.

Would anyone even be interested in such a starmada enhancement?

One rule I think could work is to divide the game into "campaign turns". If fleets are meeting in a planets orbit for example starmada combat can be used or abstract combat for not-so interesting battles. All ships are assigned to fleets, which have to be simulatanously preplotted when they want to move from one sector to another in the solar system like a starmada ship in tactical combat. I think this could be really interesting.

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Re: Strategic Starmada?

Postby thedugan » Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:26 am

This *MIGHT* be where Dan is headed with the next iteration of 'Sovereign Stars" - I still need to read the last Beta he posted.
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Re: Strategic Starmada?

Postby Enpeze » Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:08 pm

thedugan wrote:This *MIGHT* be where Dan is headed with the next iteration of 'Sovereign Stars" - I still need to read the last Beta he posted.

Really? I had the impression that sovereign Stars is more along the line of its predecessor. What I suggested was a system limited to a single solar system (possibly in combination with a simple planetary combat system), not a interstellar one. Do you think that Dan changes SS that much to fit such a request?

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Re: Strategic Starmada?

Postby MadSeason » Mon Jan 11, 2010 4:32 pm

A better word might be "Operational Starmada". I have worked on some rules for that kind of thing but I did not think to include land operations.
Death is light as a feather; duty, heavy as a mountain.

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Re: Strategic Starmada?

Postby Nomad » Sun Jan 17, 2010 7:13 pm

I had considered a similar type of game, but with a couple of variations:
  • Two or more simultaneously extant system maps. Each turn, each element on each map moves, shoots, etc.
  • No campaign turns. Things are built, repaired, and destroyed in the span of standard Starmada turns. Sort of taking a leaf from Homeworld and other RTS games here.
  • Moving between the two maps requires the Hyperspace ability; when a ship uses Hyperspace to leave one map, it may enter the other (or one of the others, depending) near the edge. Or maybe not, depending on how you want to play it. Perhaps they have to enter either near the edge or near a friendly planet, or perhaps they can enter anywhere greater than a certain distance from an enemy-controlled planet (with the assumption that the planet has hyperdrive interdictors or somesuch technology).
  • Auxiliary services are used to build, repair, mine, transport replacement fighters, etc. Building a new ship requires an amount of Repair service equal to its CRAT plus the total amount of its auxiliary services, as well as an equal amount of resources obtained by mining. If it can't be built all in one turn, construction can be stretched over multiple turns, but the partially constructed ship should probably be vulnerable to attack during this time (no rules for it yet). When finished, the new ship is placed in the same hex as the ship/station/whatever used to build it during the End Phase of the turn in which is it completed. Fighter flights can also be constructed for their CRAT cost if they're independent, or their capacity requirement if they're not. However, dependent fighters need a carrier before they can be used; might be best to rule that you need to move them using Cargo capacity, and then load them onto a carrier using something similar to the Recovery rules, except that you can launch them next turn. Multiple ships with Repair capacity can pool their construction or repair efforts, but all need to be in the same hex. Ships with Repair can also repair other ships; I'm still working on how exactly to handle that (maybe they can repair hull hits and grant damage control rolls? Or borrow from Mundungus' Orders of Magnitude and fix all systems damage when a hull hit is repaired, but make repairing hull hits expensive/time consuming). Mining capacity allows a ship to extract resources from planets, asteroids, asteroid fields, and maybe destroyed ships (probably worth half of their CRAT) at a rate of n points of resources per turn, where n is the ship's mining capacity times a multiplier for the mineral richness of the object (a mineral-rich planet might be 1.5, a mineral-poor planet might be .5). Then you need Cargo capacity to haul the minerals back to something with Repair so that it can build stuff. Might also make an exception that a ship with Mining capacity can 'land' on a planet or asteroid and avoid being destroyed, or just permit mining from hexes adjacent to the mineral source.
  • I'm also considering rules for 'repairing' destroyed Marine squads using Hospital capacity, and for learning new weapon traits and such using Science. Not sure, though.

If you wanted to preserve the fixed 'invasion' aspect, you could allow one side to have access to Hyperdrive, and deny it to the other. This puts them on the defense, since they can't strike back at the enemy home system (until they capture enemy ships and reverse-engineer the hyperdrive). Basically, rather than getting multiple campaign-esque battles, this system would result in one long, continuous battle with unusual tactical elements like defending your mining and industrial assets, fighting over mineral-rich planets, etc. Might be a bit small-scale for what you're after, though; running entire fleets in it might be kind of a pain due to the continuous high resolution.

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Re: Strategic Starmada?

Postby Governorflax » Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:24 pm

I'm busy designing a near future campaign to run alongside a role playing one. This is based on a campaign where there is essentially no time to build reinforcements - although can see that would work if each side had a certain number of points to "lay down" per month on a track planned about 6 months ahead. While I'm a bit hazy on some things, what I've come up with so far is the following:


Campaign time is in days, with one strategic turn being a day.

Activation and communications:

Due to the need to send a ship with a hyperdrive to deliver news between stars, fleets and bases must be written standing orders prior to the campaign, covering what is happening and where they are going. These standing orders also cover rules of engagement depending on any state of hostilities.

The orders of a fleet can only be changed by sending a courier ship with news. This is assumed to happen using small ships not represented in game, but orders must be written and dated to come into effect at the point they will reach the target fleet or base, according to the days of travel between stars.


Movement between star systems is from “Outer System” to “Outer System”, and takes the number of days required for hyperspace flight between those systems.

Movement in a system is one area per day. Ships from different nations which are hostile to each other (or where one is hostile unknown to the other) have the option to hold a battle if they are in the same area together – both sides must agree to this if in the Outer or Inner system, as space is too big to blockade. However, in other areas (i.e. planets/special system features) only one side needs to want to fight to get the ships onto the star mat.

The exception to this happens if one side challenges the other to make a “Readiness Roll” (see above) – if one side can get +4 on the other side it may engage the other no matter what, or flee any combat.

Movement is by day, as per hidden written orders executed simultaneously.

Where there is an umpire, movement is hidden and you will only know of enemy ship positions if you have a ship or base in the area in question.

Areas in a star system:

Every star system has an Outer System area, and an Inner System area. Within the Inner System area are planets, bases and other special features, each of which have their own area. For a fleet/ship to move to a planet from another planet it will have to move via the Inner System area, taking 2 days (1 day to Inner System, 1 day into the other planet’s area).

For example, in Sol the areas might be:
· Outer System
· Inner System
· Venus
· Earth (includes Luna)
· Mars
· Ceres
· Vesta
· Jupiter
· Saturn
· Jupiter

Must specify exactly what mix of craft are carried at start of campaign. Fighters lost during a battle cannot be replaced, unless the carrier has a fleet replenishment ship with it (and then only up to the cargo max for fighters, or transport max for marines – track this for replenishment ship) or if it visits a friendly naval base/station/planet where full replenishment can take place.

Post battle repair:
A ship with repair can do one repair per 10 SU on itself or another ship between battles – given a day per repair. This can be on weapon system, equipment, thrust, hull or defence.
Self repair – ships may self repair all items except hull, at rate of one attempt per day. Roll d6 – on 5 or 6 the system is repaired, if a 1 is rolled it is irreparable and must be done at a base.
A visit to a friendly base or planet can allow any repair, at the rate of one item per day.

One bit that might help above make more sense is a house rule I'm testing out to do with deployment:


Normal setup:
Ships deploy as per standard rules within 5 hexes of baseline, unless there is a friendly base or planet, in which case may deploy within 5 hexes of that. Bases and planets are placed first, within the third of the map closest to the controlling side, except where there is multiple ownership of a body (i.e. Earth/Mars) where it is placed centrally.
Ships with mines may then place up to half their mine factors, provided these are within 10 hexes of baseline/bases/planets etc.
Starting speed = slowest ship –1 for all in fleet
Fighters – one third of all carrier based fighters can be deployed (round fraction of fighter up)
Ships are deployed in order of hull size, independent fighters last
Ships with stealth may be redeployed once after normal setup complete

Stellar Warning And Control System – takes 5% SU capacity, multiplies DRAT by 1.5. Any ship carrying SWACS is placed last on set up, after ships with stealth are repositioned.

Readiness of a fleet affects how setup is done. Both sides roll a d6 and apply modifiers from the table below:

+1 Per ship in fleet with SWACS, to a maximum of +3
+1 Per 100 points more in the opposing fleet
+2 Per point of difference between “Equipment” technology level for the nations (average if varies)

The difference between the two rolls is then calculated (a roll of 2 and 4 would have a difference of 2, with the winner being +2 readiness and the loser –2 readiness).

The effects of readiness on set up are:

-4 or worse Fully deploy all ships before opponent. 1/6 of fighters deployed. Roll d6 to determine facing of fleet. After deployment, opponent may move ¼ of your ships up to d6 hexes (roll for each ship). Starting speed zero.
-2, -3 Deploy half force before opponent deploys any, then alternate ships. ¼ of fighters launched.
-1 Deploy two ships to opponents one, starting first.
0 Normal deployment.
+1 Deploy within 7 hexes of baseline/friendly bases or planets.
+2, +3 May use delayed deployment. 2/3 of fighters deployed, make one free move (all phases – opponent may respond with fighters using “Combat Interception” rule, during firing phase opponent may fire)
+4 or better May use delayed deployment. Full fighter deployment, make two free moves as above.

Delayed deployment:

Up to one third of ships can be kept off the set up, and while the enemy is told there are off map forces, they need not be told what or how much. The person delaying deployment can specify any edge of the board for them to appear at except the enemy base line, and in what turn this happens. Further, if it is the Port or Starboard edge (from their baseline) they must specify near, middle or far third of the game area. This is written down and sealed prior to other deployment. Deployment is within 5 hexes of baseline, or 2 hexes of port or starboard sides.

A further option is to have a “marker ship” which acts as a focus for them to home on for deployment direct from hyperspace (again this ship is specified in the sealed order). During the end phase of the turn before deployment, a marker is placed in each hex where a ship will deploy (within 2 hexes of the marker ship). The player need not declare which ship is deploying to which marker – they represent hyperspace signatures that their opponent can detect. Orders are written for the ships deploying from hyperspace and their movement will start from any of the hyperspace markers with the same facing as the marker ship – but once a marker is used it is taken off and cannot be used by another ship. Any carrier deploying direct from hyperspace does not have any fighters launched. If the marker ship is destroyed prior to deployment, it fails and the ships must appear 2 turns late at the baseline.

Sorry for the huge post - but would welcome any comments on this
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Re: Strategic Starmada?

Postby Enpeze » Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:50 pm

Thanks for your post. Your ideas are fine but they are not quite that what I had in mind with the thread title. If I understand it correctly, is that what you present more a Starmada Campaign version and not a seperate game.

I thought rather to lift the level of the game one step up. Not which-laser-is-at-which-firing arc. Instead it should be about micromanaging compositions of fleets and logistics and operating them in a solar system. It should not be about single ships. While we have alot of single ship skirmish games on one side of the scale, and also Space Operas with dozens of solar systems on the opposite side, the SF game genre has not many such type of games in the "mid range". Prefect from FASA was one of them, also Invasion Earth from GDW (if you can remember it). Do anyone know more? Probably by naming and describing more of those mid range games we can get closer to it.

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Re: Strategic Starmada?

Postby tytalan » Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:55 am

You have been talking about a Strategic Starmada I have just started getting into Starmada in order to replace the ship building/combat and weapon tech for starfire's Strategic game. I was wondering if anyone check this ideal out before and does it work well? I think the warp point system in starfire would make's Strategic level movement challenging.
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Ultra Starfire ~ Starmada

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