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Subject: Battlestar (TOS): Armada rss

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Michael Ptak
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You almost wouldn't know it today from a Google search, but there was a version of Battlestar Galactica that existed in 1978. Most seem to only remember the terrible aspects of the show nowadays (as the heel of Ron Moore's show continues to grind the original into the dust...) but there were great things about the universe that are sadly being forgotten. One of them was the original Galactica herself.

The show was created in the wake of Star Wars' popularity, and so it shouldn't be surprising that they had their own version of a Star Destroyer. When I first laid eyes on the classic Galactica long before 2003, I felt it was the only ship in scifidom that could confront a Star Destroyer on her own terms. I want to bring that ship now into Armada to have her fight alongside the rest of my fleet.



Of course, along with her compliment of fighters.



But no great ship is without an adversary to fight, and I don't intend on disappointing there either, with fighters;



And their motherships:



Unlike my Star Trek efforts I think this one will be easier to work on because there are only four ships (Command/Assault Battlestars, Standard/Command baseships), a handful of fighters, and only a few upgrade cards planned. Like the Trek effort the impulse to make this was to play nice with the rest of my Armada collection. Unlike Trek, this will not have custom upgrade categories because Battlestar is in many ways indistinguishable from Star Wars.

You may be confused about the Base ship's stat card. This is because it's a new kind of craft with different operating rules different from Standard Armada.

Base ships have no arcs, and will use the base from X-Wing Large ships. Attacks work as if the ship has one arc permanently equipped with a Gunnery Team. The ship can attack two separate enemy ships but cannot combine fire against the same target.

When attacking fighters, the Base ship can hit only as many fighters as its current fighter rating (4 in this case).

Base ships do not plot their course, they move on the distance side of the range ruler like a giant fighter squadron. Base ships in the original BSG are constantly rotating, this rule and the one previous were made to accommodate this. However they are notoriously slow, so faster Battlestars should be able to out-run them.

Their slowness is also to prevent baseships from entering range and then "kiting" out of range by activating first and then moving so that the Battlestar cannot return fire.

When defending the Baseship has three "shields" that are considered adjacent to one another. The baseship can choose which shield section to take damage on when defending, and use the redirect to split between one of the two different arcs.

There are upgrade cards planned, but I haven't finished hammering out the template for upgrade cards. Some ideas:

Galactica: (Title) Friendly Fighters that activate at close range add 1 to their speed.

Pegasus: (Title) You may increase the yaw value of your ship for every arc that has exactly 0 shields.

Positive Shield (Def Upgr): During the command phase exhaust one defense token. For the rest of the round reduce all incoming damage by 1.

Baltar (Admiral): During setup all fighters replace the keyword Swarm with the keyword Bomber.

So, that is what I have. Things will have to be adjusted during playtesting but this is where I will begin. My next task is to make the bases... they should fit in a Large ship base (for the Battlestar) and a Large ship X-Wing base (For the Baseship).
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Michael Lemick
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This looks really interesting. What are you going to do for the actual models?
 
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jeffery smith
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I have Konami Battlestars and Basestars, the Vipers and Raiders can be purchased at Mels Miniatures on shapeways.
 
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jeffery smith
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thank you for making these. they look great!

a couple of suggestions for cards,

Title or ship card:

Atlantia: Battlestars of this type would have a command of 4 since they
were flagships.

Pegasus: Battlestars of this type were equipped with missiles add 2
(fore) [maybe 1 each amidship] black die.


also Battlestars and Basestars carried large airwings {300 raiders/ around 150 vipers[sources vary]}. I would think they could be "Squadron 6" for the Battlestars and "Squadron 8" / for the Basestars to represent there ability to control large airwings.
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Awesomeness. Those cards look great. Love the style and details.

For Baltar, instead of Bomber, maybe he makes the raiders 'expendible': During the squadron phase, raider squadrons in base contact with a ship may reduce their hull by one to do one damage.

You may want to bring the anti-squadron on the battlestar to at least 3 and the basestar to at least 2. I think the anti ship ordinance on the battlestar is probably excessive, at least on the sides. If I recall, they tended to follow more the model of an aircraft carrier, focusing their firepower on fighter defense and using their own fighters to do their talking. That said, they did carry heavy guns. Maybe drop one of each color off each side.

The baseships may prove to be a little too mobile as you described. Perhaps if they have a nominal front arc of 90', and their movement at speed 2 must be to a point within that arc, while at speed 1, they may move freely in any direction.

For shields, perhaps give them 4 facings, each with 3 shields, change the redirect token to a contain, and allow them at the end of their turn to transfer their command value of shield points around. It could be their engineering value. My thinking is that they can more easily redistribute their shielding to represent their rotation, but that it could be hindered by damage. I don't have the damage cards memorized. Are there cards that reduce your command dials or engineering value? Maybe they can only transfer them clockwise or counterclockwise (I can't remember which way they rotate).

The nukes are probably best done as upgrade cards. They didn't have a lot of them, and they did devastating damage. Maybe something along the lines of 'Atomic Barrage: Discard to add 5black dice to your forward arc for one attack.'

If you add the missile icon to the bar even though she carries no black dice, it allows you to arm an upgrade like that, or some other new stuff like flak guns to add a black die to the anti squadron pool.

I'm not sure yet how to do it exactly, but civilian ships are a must. Maybe something along the lines of for every X points of colonial military you must take X points of civilians, where they're all around 20 points each regardless of class, unarmed, an light hulled. They're not counted against the Colonial fleet cost, as they are basically an objective for the Cylons to attack.

As this develops, it would be nice to expand the ship variety a little. I do think there were other, smaller military vessels in the fleet. Not sure what else the Cylons had.
 
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Michael Ptak
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firekite wrote:
thank you for making these. they look great!

a couple of suggestions for cards,

Title or ship card:

Atlantia: Battlestars of this type would have a command of 4 since they
were flagships.

Pegasus: Battlestars of this type were equipped with missiles add 2
(fore) [maybe 1 each amidship] black die.


also Battlestars and Basestars carried large airwings {300 raiders/ around 150 vipers[sources vary]}. I would think they could be "Squadron 6" for the Battlestars and "Squadron 8" / for the Basestars to represent there ability to control large airwings.


Why would any ship want to increase its command rating willingly? Remember, I saw these as counterparts to ISDs, so they will stay at Command 3.

There will be a variant of the Battlestar (Attack Battlestar) which will represent the Pegasus. Accordingly front and side arcs will replace blue dice with black, and the turbolaser will be swapped out for torpedoes.

The Fighter rating doesn't represent the total capacity for the ship, it represents how many fighters the ship can coordinate for in a given area. I don't want to extend those stats too far out of hesitance of breaking the game. Besides, I would rather the Battlestar be something like an MC80 pumped up to ISD levels of attack power than a grossly inflated stat attached to a spaceship.

 
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Michael Ptak
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Scarbuck wrote:
Awesomeness. Those cards look great. Love the style and details.

For Baltar, instead of Bomber, maybe he makes the raiders 'expendible': During the squadron phase, raider squadrons in base contact with a ship may reduce their hull by one to do one damage.


At that point you're paying around 6 points for one guaranteed point of damage. Would require testing to confirm but I don't like that being too easy to wipe out smaller ships by trading fighters. I have a card for Solonite Explosives (Offensive structure) that covers the kamikazie situation.

Baltar's effect card tries to represent the time he took personal command of the fighter wing taking on the Galactica. I considered some cowardly options like using other defense tokens on other ships, but that turns Baltar into a better tank.

Scarbuck wrote:

You may want to bring the anti-squadron on the battlestar to at least 3 and the basestar to at least 2. I think the anti ship ordinance on the battlestar is probably excessive, at least on the sides. If I recall, they tended to follow more the model of an aircraft carrier, focusing their firepower on fighter defense and using their own fighters to do their talking. That said, they did carry heavy guns. Maybe drop one of each color off each side.


The notion of Battlestars-as-space-Nimitz is a concept from the new show and one of the reasons I don't like it. Battlestars are another universe's ISD, and capable of killing ships well enough on their own.

Besides AA 3 does not exist in Armada, and I don't want to experiment with it. Also in the ambush at Cimtar Battlestar AA could not hold back the tide of Cylon Raiders. In this setup I'm being generous to the Battlestars because of how easy it is to swat raider squadrons at 3 hull.

Scarbuck wrote:

The baseships may prove to be a little too mobile as you described. Perhaps if they have a nominal front arc of 90', and their movement at speed 2 must be to a point within that arc, while at speed 1, they may move freely in any direction.

For shields, perhaps give them 4 facings, each with 3 shields, change the redirect token to a contain, and allow them at the end of their turn to transfer their command value of shield points around. It could be their engineering value. My thinking is that they can more easily redistribute their shielding to represent their rotation, but that it could be hindered by damage. I don't have the damage cards memorized. Are there cards that reduce your command dials or engineering value? Maybe they can only transfer them clockwise or counterclockwise (I can't remember which way they rotate).


Sometimes Base ships are depicted rotating, sometimes not at all. I prefer to try this abstract way of playing rather then try making a complicated mechanic that may or may not allow rotating. Plus, Base ships have no obvious front, and their entire structure suggests a square base. I figured this 'ship-as-super-squadron' was a much more interesting way to take on depicting the Base Ships. And I'll only be dissuaded from trying this concept by playtesting.

Scarbuck wrote:

The nukes are probably best done as upgrade cards. They didn't have a lot of them, and they did devastating damage. Maybe something along the lines of 'Atomic Barrage: Discard to add 5black dice to your forward arc for one attack.'

If you add the missile icon to the bar even though she carries no black dice, it allows you to arm an upgrade like that, or some other new stuff like flak guns to add a black die to the anti squadron pool.


"Nukes" do not exist in classical Galactica. Nor do Flak guns... it's laser weapons everywhere. The warheads the Pegasus fired in Living Legend will get an upgrade card to use them along with the Attack version of the Battlestar. I am concerned to see if other missile upgrades on the Battlestar would be too much though.

Scarbuck wrote:

I'm not sure yet how to do it exactly, but civilian ships are a must. Maybe something along the lines of for every X points of colonial military you must take X points of civilians, where they're all around 20 points each regardless of class, unarmed, an light hulled. They're not counted against the Colonial fleet cost, as they are basically an objective for the Cylons to attack.

As this develops, it would be nice to expand the ship variety a little. I do think there were other, smaller military vessels in the fleet. Not sure what else the Cylons had.


Why am I forced to create a liability to field Battlestars? it's not like every Rebel fleet must take harmless transports as points targets (just because GR-75s showed up at Endor for no clear reason).

Right now my only want for this is to create Battlestars, Baseships, their fighters, and a small suite of ability cards that play nice with standard Armada. I don't want to do anything sprawling, because then I'd end up with the problem I'd face with Trek.
 
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I agree the baseships should use square bases. What I was trying to depict with my suggestion, was a more lumbering style of movement at speed. I don't know if they should be able to bop around in every direction at speed 2. They should probably have to slow down first to change direction that drastically. The notion of a 'front' facing was purely for movement; to mark a direction of travel.

With the civilian ships, I wasn't suggesting to hamper the Colonials, but more properly a scenario objective. On the show, destroying the Galactica was obviously a major goal of the Cylons, particularly Baltar, but it was strategically merely a means to an end, as it was the only thing standing in the way of complete genocide.

I have no problem with pure military slugfest. One of the great things about these games is not just playing put scenarios from the movies and shows they're based on, but playing out stuff we never saw or would see on the screen - confrontations of 4 or 5 battlestars against 8 or 9 baseships and hundreds of fighters. I'd love to see secondary ships in the fight too for some variety. We never saw them, but there were only a dozen battlestars, they must have been there.

I'm pretty sure they were nukes, but it's honestly been a while. Perhaps it's time to break out the DVDs again.

I know all the weapons we saw on screen were laser based, but let's be honest, the same can be said for Star Wars, yet we have a wide selection of missiles available for fighters and capital ships. The only missiles ever shown on screen were Droid missiles in Episode III. So there's room for some creative leeway (within reason) particularly as the dice are representative. A 'flak gun' could be some sort of laser based 'flak' or 'anti aircraft'.

As always, playtesting is king.
 
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jeffery smith
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thank you for the reply. I can see your point on the command suggestion.

while I am aware that the squadron rating does not represent capacity part of me just thinks it should be higher but you may be right about "breaking the game". I think though the Battlestars Defence tokens would better represent there ability to absorb a tremendous amount of damage if they were: Brace, 2x Redirect & Contain.

for the Attack Battlestar (Pegasus) I would like to suggest the following:

arc: Black Blue Red
Fore: 2 2 2
Amid: 1 3 2
Aft: - 1 (2)1

2 red die if you were to do her as a separate class or 1 red die if this were considered a MK II variant/upgrade.

the Basestar is an odd duck. it was stated in an episode that they could take out a Battlestar in one shot (using 1 of 2 mega pulsar weapons) is this something you plan to attempt to do at some point ( sorry I had to ask)?

also in another episode they referred to the Cylon ships closing in on them as "Cylon Battlestars". might we see one of these at some point ?

I look forward to your next batch of cards, I would love to play the battle of Gamoray!


 
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For what it's worth, I wouldn't put a lot of stock in someone saying 'Cylon battlestar' instead of 'basestar'. All love to the show, so much better than the newer one in so many ways, but let's be honest, the writing was often phoned in. There are many inconsistencies from one scene or episode to another. I'd chalk that one up to someone not paying attention, or just not knowing what they were putting to paper, or an actor, flubbing a line.

 
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Michael Ptak
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Quote:
I agree the baseships should use square bases. What I was trying to depict with my suggestion, was a more lumbering style of movement at speed. I don't know if they should be able to bop around in every direction at speed 2. They should probably have to slow down first to change direction that drastically. The notion of a 'front' facing was purely for movement; to mark a direction of travel.


I see a place I wasn't clear... Baseships don't move at speed 2, but distance 2. It is slightly shorter. While I can imagine a kind of movement mode where you travel in any direction other than the one you are facing, you decrease speed temporarily, I don't want to bog the players down with a complicated rule and more things to track. I want to test this to see if it works. It may not, as Cylon players try to slide behind Colonial ones, but get blasted by the better colonial Arcs. We'll see.

Quote:
the Basestar is an odd duck. it was stated in an episode that they could take out a Battlestar in one shot (using 1 of 2 mega pulsar weapons) is this something you plan to attempt to do at some point ( sorry I had to ask)?

also in another episode they referred to the Cylon ships closing in on them as "Cylon Battlestars". might we see one of these at some point ?


I know the Ravishal pulsar in Gun on Ice Planet Zero could possibly wipe out the Galactica in one shot... Hand of God might claim Basehips have them. I do have an upgrade card in mind that swaps all Baseship armament for four red dice that can attack only once per turn. Might have to be unique, and the way Battlestars overcome it is either by charging the baseship or using fighters to melt it apart. We'll see.

Right now I don't want to move the scope of this beyond the two ships. If there is going to be a new ship, it might be the Cylon tanker, to act as a deployment anchor in standard Aramda play to re-create the Cimtar attack nicely.

Quote:
For what it's worth, I wouldn't put a lot of stock in someone saying 'Cylon battlestar' instead of 'basestar'. All love to the show, so much better than the newer one in so many ways, but let's be honest, the writing was often phoned in. There are many inconsistencies from one scene or episode to another. I'd chalk that one up to someone not paying attention, or just not knowing what they were putting to paper, or an actor, flubbing a line.


Yeah that, but I don't think even the writers were really sure if they wanted to say Baseship, Base-star, or Battlestar to describe the cylon mothership. I like calling them Baseships here, because Base-stars are the definitive name for the moore version of this ship, and it's a nice way to distinguish them.

Anyway I didn't want to update without some upgrade cards, so try these:



The points will probably have to be adjusted because I need to know how powerful the effects actually are with some play. I also have something else:



Designed for use with a large base. If you guys want, you can print this out, print out the Battlestar command card, and try running it in your Rebel fleets if you wish. If you guys would like to test what I've come up with feel free to do so and get back to me!

The Base ships are technically ready as well if you have some X-Wing large ship bases handy (or if you'd like to go out and by some of the D&D attack wing bases... I think they use the same large base dimensionally). Just treat the inside area as "cardboard", and measuring line of sight is from the peg.
 
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jeffery smith
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thank you for the new goodies!

thank you for your reply, the Cylon Tanker is a must for cimtar and for gamoray. while I agree that the writing was less than stellar I still find myself watching this series more than I do the reimagined one. I look forward to what you will share next!
 
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I mean, I agree that some of the episodes are bad (The Lost Warrior, The Young Lords), but I still like the show because of the promise of the premise. Many of the two parters (Lost planet of the Gods, the Living Legend, War of the Gods) are the best the series has to offer, and help put aside the negatives people keep pointing out.

If anyone does try these new upgrade cards, give me some feedback!
 
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The writing was bad, and the continuity inconsistent, but one of my favorite shows of all time. I still want a jacket.

One of the things that put it above the new show, in my opinion, is that they made it a point to make it set in space. The ships, the sets, the costumes, the speech, everything was there to remind you that, yeah, they look like regular people, but these guys are in space. The new show went out of its way to make things look contemporary Earth, and I think it detracted from it.

And also, Maren Jensen.

Love the cards. Really neat and different abilities. The points seem ok, but I'm not really great at that, so like you said, playtesting is necessary.
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You might have seen these sites already in your research, but for what it's worth, and others who are interested in expanding their Galacticaness...

http://en.battlestarwiki.org/wiki/Portal:Battlestar_Galactica_(TOS)

http://roleplaying.diraven.net/galactica/index.html

http://www.tecr.com/galactica/weapons/weapons.htm

 
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jeffery smith
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www.tecr.com/galactica
is the source of the Tiger and Tartarus classes (both of which I would like to see added to this game).

I agree, the 2 part episodes are the best from TOS!

 
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firekite wrote:
www.tecr.com is the source of the Tiger and Tartarus classes (both of which I would like to see added to this game).

I agree, the 2 part episodes are the best from TOS!



That site has nothing to do with Galactica.
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