Capital Starship Combat Games
Duncan McEwen
United States
Ottawa Hills
OH
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Hey gang,

While there are several Geeklists out there already focusing on Space Combat or Starship based games, I have not seen one that focuses on the bigger Capital ships. While I love a good fighter furball as much as the next pilot, I also love games that focus more on large well armed and armored capital ships blasting each other apart. Therefore I am starting this list for people to add to.

The criteria for this list is a game that features large capital ships as the primary combatants. Not something focused on small one man starfighters (like X-wing for example) but games with large cruisers, battleships, and destroyers. If the game includes fighter squadrons, so much the better, but individual fighters pretty much disqualify a game from this list. Ideally the game should be usable with fleets of ships (at least 3 or 4 per side min). I will add some of the first games to give an indication what I am thinking about.

Criteria:
1. Focus on large capital ships
2. Able to fight fleet combat reasonably.
3. Fighter are represented as Squadrons

Please feel free to comment of the games and add other good candidates.

Thanks,
Duncan

I would also like to give credit to this geeklist:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/3206/tactical-starship...
It gave me the inspiration to make this list and also some of the entries. Not sure which other entries belong here too.

FYI, I have reordered the list by Title.
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1. Board Game: Alpha Omega [Average Rating:5.24 Overall Rank:14350]
Born To Lose, Live To Win
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South Euclid
Ohio
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This seems to meet your criteria. The game itself was kind of ignored since Star Fleet battles ascended about the same time frame. I played it a couple times in high school and it was interesting and had a couple novel ideas.
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2. Board Game: Babylon 5 Wars [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:5050]
William De Prêtre
Belgium
Zuienkerke
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I never played B5 Call to Arms but this one is more detailed. Shift power from weapons to shields or shut down some non-vital systems so you can power up your lasers to cut through an enemy ship, just like in the show. It can get a bit complicated when trying to manage power distribution for each ship in a fleet but it works well in small to medium scenarios for two players. More players are needed to handle the big scenarios.
The scenarios run from pirate raids on shipping to "historical" battles in the B5 universe.
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3. Board Game: Babylon 5: A Call to Arms (Second Edition) [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:5835]
Michael Barlow
Canada
Stratford
Ontario
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Lots to do with this one.
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4. Board Game: Battle Rider [Average Rating:6.04 Unranked]
Art Gorski
United States
Prescott
Arizona
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The game of squadron and fleet combat in the Traveller universe. The name comes from the use of non-jump capable "riders" carried by a jump capable tender, as opposed to jump capable capital ships.

I would have added the classic High Guard as well, but this list is limited to boardgames.
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5. Board Game: Battlefleet Gothic [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:1761]
Chuck Turnitsa
United States
Newport News
Virginia
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Definitely a game of the scale you propose - massive capital ships, with markers representing fighter squadrons and missile barrages. Actually quite fun to play, but it is (1) a Games Workshop product (which turns off some folks), and (2) a Miniatures game (which turns off yet other folks).

In spite of those two areas of disinterest, there are a lot of gamers who have played it, and it is quite enjoyable. If there is a weakness in the game, once you get past the two objections I listed, it is that the fleets do not feel very well balanced. There are definite "favored child" fleets that do extremely well most of the time (such as a Space Marine fleet, instead of a traditional Imperial, or Chaos fleet).
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6. Board Game: Battleship Galaxies [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:1854]
S. Deniz Bucak
United States
Havertown
Pennsylvania
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I didn't see this one. It's pretty good and fits the bill.
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7. Board Game: Battlespace [Average Rating:6.04 Overall Rank:8877]
Duncan McEwen
United States
Ottawa Hills
OH
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Again, a game I have not played, but it features squadrons of fighters and large ships that take lots of damage. From what I hear, it took a lot of advice from Renegade Legion Leviathan when it was designed and improved on the rule set. It also is Battletech themed and includes construction rules.
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8. Board Game: Classic Battletech: Strategic Operations [Average Rating:7.56 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.56 Unranked]
Duncan McEwen
United States
Ottawa Hills
OH
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This is the current home of the Battlespace rules. The book is on my wish list. One thing I have not discovered yet is if the rules cover as much as Battlespace did or if some of the details are left out. Comments on this would be appreciated.
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9. Board Game: Dropfleet Commander [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:6552]
Rocy7 POL
Poland
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Dropfleet Commander is an Orbital Combat game in the Dropzone Commander universe in which the vast majority of your games will take place in orbit above a planet's surface.

A typical gaming table is 4'x4' and will show the surface of a planet rather than the more typical 'starfield' style space combat table. The area covered will be around the size of a large European country/US State.

Weapons range is neither absolute nor fixed. It can change based on the power of your ship's scanners, the enemy ship's signature and the enemy's actions (firing several weapons greatly increases a ships signature for example). Stealth is frequently crucial!

The 2-Player Starter Set for Dropfleet Commander includes:

- The Full Dropfleet Commander Rulebook, and Fast Play Sheets,
- UCM and Scourge Frigate and Cruiser Sprues, (with construction guides),
- Innovative Dropfleet Commander flight stands,
- Double sided fold out map,
- City markers,
- Token sheet,
- Tapemeasure and Dice
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10. Board Game: Federation Commander: Klingon Border [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:1807] [Average Rating:7.38 Unranked]
Christopher Taylor
United States
Lake Forest
California
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If you're looking for a fleet battle game in the Star Fleet Universe, Federation Commander is faster to play than SFB. There is a "fleet-scale" that gives you the same ships with fewer boxes and weapons. The energy management is "pay-as-you-go", so minimal recording keeping. It's reasonable to play a _small_ fleet game (say 3 on 3 or 4 on 4) in just a couple of hours.

There are also other games in the SFU setting that play even faster (Klingon Armada and A Call to Arms: Star Fleet).
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11. Board Game: Firestorm Armada [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:3838] [Average Rating:7.31 Unranked]
Patrick Moran
United States
Ohio
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Great combat system that needed some tweaking.

When they finally did tweak the rules and release, v2 of their rulebook, it seems the whole company (and my gaming friends) have moved on to other systems (like Dystopian Wars which used many of the same combat mechanisms).
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12. Board Game: Firestorm Taskforce Starter Set: Terran Alliance vs. Dindrenzi Federation [Average Rating:6.33 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.33 Unranked]
Rocy7 POL
Poland
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Firestorm Taskforce Starter Sets are an exciting way for players to start gaming spaceship combat in the Firestorm Galaxy. Inside this set are 14x highly detailed spaceship models (2x Medium, 1 of which can be upgraded to a more powerful design using modular components) and 5x Light Frigates. Also included is a Firestorm Taskforce fast play Rulebook, 15x Dice, Token Sheet, 2x Acrylic Movement Templates and 14x Flight Stands.
 
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13. Board Game: Fleet Action [Average Rating:5.42 Unranked]
Roger Sjögren
Sweden
Skövde
Västra Götaland
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Babylon 5 Fleet action for running bigger battles faster than B5 Wars.
 
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14. Board Game: Full Thrust [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:2262]
John Jeneki
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
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One of my favorites. The construction rules make it easy to mod in other source material. The rules are a free download on the Ground Zero Games website. Also grab the fleet book downloads if you want more complex optional rules and more ship construction variety.

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15. Board Game: Galactic Knights [Average Rating:7.90 Unranked]
Bobby Kalahan
United States
Mount Vernon
Washington
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I love this game for capital starship battles. The physics of the thrust mechanic is a great twist. It has several races to choose from with various levels of ships. There are heavy and light fighter wings to use in combat as well as torpedoes and missiles. Although it is also a miniature game, which will turn several people off, the miniatures are not as expensive as something like Battlefleet Gothic.
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16. Board Game: Galactic Starfire [Average Rating:5.72 Overall Rank:11524]
Duncan McEwen
United States
Ottawa Hills
OH
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I love Starfire for the empire building that you can do in this game. For the tactical combat, it is really good for fighting fleet level fights. It also uses a lot of capital ships. That said, it almost seems too simple tactically. Most ships have similar engine speeds and the "Empire State Formation" is far to common. Still it is a go to game if you want to do fleet actions.
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17. Board Game: Halo: Fleet Battles – The Fall of Reach [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:7960] [Average Rating:7.28 Unranked]
Rocy7 POL
Poland
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Great tactical war game, concentrete on Capital Ships. In starter set we get frigates, corvettes and cruisers but soon we get bigger guns

[quote]The Halo: Fleet Battles, The Fall of Reach two player battle box is the ultimate way for fans of the Halo Universe to recreate pivotal space battles between the stalwart forces of the United Nations Space Command (UNSC) and the relentless Covenant armada. Developed in close cooperation with 343 Industries, The Fall of Reach puts you at the centre of the most pivotal naval conflict of the long Human-Covenant War, commanding massive fleets of deadly warships as they clash above the fortified human colony of Reach. Take humanity's last stand to the gaming table!

Halo: Fleet Battles delivers an easy to learn, lore-infused, tactically-rich gaming experience that appeals both to experienced wargamers and fans of the Halo Universe.[/quote]



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18. Board Game: Imperial Crusade Armada [Average Rating:6.76 Unranked]
Bwian, just
United States
Longmont
Colorado
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An interesting twist, in that each ship's stats are tracked on a card which also represents the ship on the battlefield. Not complicated, but fun and easy.
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19. Board Game: Iron Stars [Average Rating:6.58 Unranked]
Michael Barlow
Canada
Stratford
Ontario
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VSF capital ship combat.
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20. Board Game: Knight Hawks [Average Rating:6.26 Overall Rank:7161]
Duncan McEwen
United States
Ottawa Hills
OH
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Here is another fun game with Capital Ships. However, I don't think it has fighters at all. Still a fun system and pretty good for space combat. The game is simple enough that you can have a fleet on each side and not spend all day playing. I wish the ship records were a bit more detailed, but they are nice enough.
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21. Board Game: Mayday [Average Rating:5.86 Overall Rank:9523]
S. Deniz Bucak
United States
Havertown
Pennsylvania
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I used to play a lot of Traveler back in the day. Much of the campaign I ran used to involve epic space battles including many capital ships. You could combine the Traveler spaceship design rules with the tactical movement rules from the Mayday spin-off game to get a game of the sort you have described. Not sure how it would stand up nowadays.
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22. Board Game: Quantum Expanse [Average Rating:7.20 Unranked]
Duncan McEwen
United States
Ottawa Hills
OH
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This is a pretty decent game of fleet capital ship combat. The ships have records sheets to track damage. The game play focuses a lot of stealth as all ships start as just "blips" and have to be detected or expose themselves. Not bad, but ended up feeling a little simplistic. Good sculptures however.
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23. Board Game: Renegade Legion: Leviathan [Average Rating:6.23 Overall Rank:7176]
Duncan McEwen
United States
Ottawa Hills
OH
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Here is the first entry. I have not personally played this game, but it looks just like what I have in mind. Squadrons of attack fighters and huge capital ships maneuvering for the best shot. Some day I hope to own this game for myself.
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24. Board Game: Saganami Island Tactical Simulator [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:6500]
Mike Ricotta
Japan
Okinawa
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Two (or more) capital ships pound on each other. You can do more ships (as you said in the top) but it would take a while. Uses all 3 dimensions! Fire hundreds of missilles a turn! Lasers! Point Defense!

Uses the Attack Vector: Tactical system as it's base.
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25. Board Game: A Sky Full of Ships [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
Neal Sofge
United States
Silver Spring
Maryland
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Straightforward, easy miniatures system. I used it a few years ago to replace the painfully-simplistic Star Wars Miniatures rules for a lunchtime series.
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