Starmada: Unity Rulebook

The Universal Game of Starship Combat
mj12games
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Starmada: Unity Rulebook

Postby mj12games » Tue Mar 14, 2017 7:14 pm

So, this is happening... :D
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Re: Starmada: Unity Rulebook

Postby falstaffe » Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:13 am

So--and I'm saying this sincerely--[b]please sell me on this.[/b]

Around the time the Admiralty Edition first came out, I'd been searching for a rules-lite starship combat game with a cohesive ship-construction system, and Admiralty fit the bill perfectly. So I bought a few books. Then, a few years later, the Star Fleet Battles deal was struck, and I was in heaven. Official Trek content for Starmada? SIGN ME UP! So, I bought more books.

Buuuuuuuuuuut then Nova hit, and I felt like everything I bought was now worthless. Now, if that's not the case, maybe I just blew my Perception roll. Or, maybe the Starmada crowd simply likes learning and playing new rules. That's OK if that's your thing--but it isn't mine. (This is, what, the third edition in a decade?)

So, I like what you did before, and am intrigued enough to ask: why I should give Starmada another go? What does this edition do better than any other? Am I missing something about the different editions? And most importantly, what's the future for Starmada?

mj12games
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Re: Starmada: Unity Rulebook

Postby mj12games » Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:06 am

I plan to give some more details on what this new edition means in terms of gameplay in a day or two, but let me try to address the larger question now:

Why Unity?

The short answer is, "Because Nova happened."

Personally, I never grasped the "new edition invalidates what came before" viewpoint. Then again, until Nova was released, no one else brought it up, either. Those around the game long enough will remember that there were two major editions prior to Admiralty, also within the decade: what would eventually be collected in the Compendium was released in 1999, while Starmada X came out in 2004. It's just the speed with which the game was evolving.

However -- and this is ultimately where I erred -- I did not take into account what would happen when I announced Nova. Previously, there was nothing to "invalidate"; anything beyond the rulebook was player-generated and specific to individual gaming groups. Nothing tied the larger Starmada community together outside the core game. When X was released, or even Admiralty, people could take it or leave it depending on preference. Players who chose to stick with an older edition weren't "missing anything" because nothing else was coming.

But with Admiralty, I started releasing supplements -- and then the Star Fleet Universe deal came along. Suddenly, a change to the rules meant changes to the supplements. The stakes were raised, and I failed to appreciate that. So when Nova was released, a split appeared in the player base. At the request of ADB, I continued releasing Admiralty versions of the books; I think that was a good idea, I'm not complaining at all, but it did mean perpetuating that split.

The goal of Unity is to heal that schism.

I think it does so extremely well. Again, more discussion on that in the days to follow. I don't want to say "never", but it's very unlikely there will be another wholesale revision to the game. With Unity I have addressed all of the things that still nagged me about the game.

As to the future of Starmada, my hope is to put some more focus back on non-SFU adaptations. To that end, the new rulebook includes 48 ships representing 14 separate fleets from five separate universes.
Daniel Kast
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mj12games
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Re: Starmada: Unity Rulebook

Postby mj12games » Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:48 pm

Sample Unity SDS.
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Re: Starmada: Unity Rulebook

Postby Garydee » Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:59 pm

Will we have faceted shields as an optional rule?

mj12games
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Re: Starmada: Unity Rulebook

Postby mj12games » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:39 pm

Yes. Both standard shields and screens (what Nova called "armor") can be divided into four defensive arcs: forward, port, starboard, and aft.
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Re: Starmada: Unity Rulebook

Postby Garydee » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:46 pm

mj12games wrote:Yes. Both standard shields and screens (what Nova called "armor") can be divided into four defensive arcs: forward, port, starboard, and aft.


Nice. Will faceted shields be the standard for Star Fleet Armada?

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Re: Starmada: Unity Rulebook

Postby mj12games » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:49 pm

Faceted (i.e. "directional") screens, yes.
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Re: Starmada: Unity Rulebook

Postby kalnaren » Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:46 pm

Will there be any kind of options for a more complex damage system? Not talking too detailed here -but more than just, essentially, the 4 systems + hull in Nova?

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Re: Starmada: Unity Rulebook

Postby mj12games » Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:59 pm

Damage resolution is governed by the four tracks on the card: Hull, Engine, Weapons, and Shields.

When the Hull track is completely marked off, the ship goes boom. (Like in every other version of the game.)

The Engine and Shield tracks indicate the loss of speed and defenses, respectively. (Like in Admiralty.)

The Weapons track is new: the number on the track indicates how many individual weapons remain operational. As these boxes are checked off, the ship must eliminate the appropriate number of weapons. For example, when the Coronation BC checks off two weapons boxes, it must lose five weapons (17 - 12). Equipment (indicated by damage bubbles) are considered "weapons" for this purpose. The numbers in parentheses are "loss limits" and prevent players from choosing all of the weakest weapons first.
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