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Subject: Tactical Space Combat Game rss

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J.D. Schipper
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My gaming group is currently playing Red Chicken Rising. Unfortunately, the equations for designing one's own ships are too easily broken and some players have started creating ships that ruin the game for others (e.g., impenetrable shields).

Some of us have discussed re-writing the design equations, but rather than redesign the system I thought it might be better to identify a comparable, better designed game.

Here is what I'm looking for
1) Tactical spaceship combat (around 4-20 ships per side)

2) 2-6 players, play time of 45 min - 2.5 hours

3) Ability to use a variety of spaceship models from different sources.
(We already have several fleets and they are not identical scale.)

4) Ability to design one's own ships and build unique fleets.

5) SIMPLICITY! These are not wargamers.
(Vector-based movement is probably too complex.)

6) Free rules, if possible.

Things I'm open to
1) Tabletop movement measured in inches
(This is what we are currently playing.)

2) Hex-based movement
(Where can I find a large hex map for the game?)

3) Cheap - I'd be willing to spend a little bit of money for a good rule set or hex map, but all of the players need to have access to the basic rules and ship design procedure. I can't expect most of them to be willing to shell out cash for a rule book.
 
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David Sims
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Kangaroo Flat
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Vydar wrote:

2) Hex-based movement
(Where can I find a large hex map for the game?)


Good choices http://www.star-ranger.com/OtherProducts.htm
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Bwian, just
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I think your biggest challenge is going to be finding another system that isn't easy to break: no good making a change, just to run into the same problem in six months.

Starmada is the closest thing to fitting all requirements, I think. The rules are available in .pdf for fairly cheap. My main concern would be complexity, given your description of the group.

Full Thrust is available for free online, and is simpler. IMHO it is too easy to break the build system, however.
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sean johnson
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I recommend Warcosm. The game is very accessible, allows for a lot of creativity in the creation of ships, plays on a hex grid, and in general fits your stipulations.

The pdf is not to expensive, and there is also an inexpensive downloadable program that makes the creation of new ships super easy.
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J.D. Schipper
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After looking at other threads and trawling the BGG database, I came up with this list of games. I've included the BGG Weight, but it doesn't seem to correspond with some of the reviews I've been reading. Can anyone help me sort sort these into tiers of complexity?

A Call to Arms: Noble Armada
-BGG Weight: 3.0
-Rules cost £22 at Mongoose Publishing

Battlefleet Gothic
-BGG Weight: 2.9
-Free Rules

Firestorm Armada
-BGG Weight: 3.0
-Comparison to Full Thrust
-Rules cost £20 at Spartan Games
-Rules cost $36 at FRP Games

Full Thrust
-BGG Weight: 2.6
-Free Rules
-Full Thrust: Cross Dimensions may be a good starting point

Silent Death
-BGG Weight: 2.8
-Downloadable Rules

Starmada X
-BGG Weight: 2.8
-Free Demo Version of Rules

Warcosm
-BGG Weight: 2.1
-Rules for $7
-Ship Design Program for $5
-Alternate movement rules

War Rocket: Space Battles in the Atomic Age
-BGG Weight: 2.8
-Descriptive Review
-Rules for $25
-Free Fleet Supplement

Wormhole
-BGG Weight: 2.2
-Downloadable Rules
-Focused on printable paper models
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J.D. Schipper
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Some resources I found
FreeWarGamesRules has an archive of free sci-fi wargames including space combat.

Star Ranger has a huge list of current games in its right-hand column.

Also, Star ranger has some Complexity Ratings.
Full Thrust, Starmada, Silent Death and Battlefleet Gothic all have comparable complexity ratings.

Comparisons
Full Thrust and Starmada appear to be the mainstays for space combat.
The differences appear to be as follows:

Full Thrust
-----Slightly simpler than Starmada
-----Movement/Range is in inches
-----Vectored movement
-----Uses simultaneous movement
-----Bad ship design system, easily broken
-----Free rules

Starmada X
-----Slightly more complex than Full Thrust
-----Hex-based movement
-----Requires lots of dice rolling
-----Good design system, but still susceptible to power gaming
-----Appears to be a slightly better system than full thrust
-----Not free

Silent Death is primarily focused on fighters combat and appears to be an unsupported system at this time. Hex-based movement.

Battlefleet Gothic is best balanced for Imperial vs. Chaos and appears to have no ship design system. Movement in centimeters.

Simpler Games
Warcosm appears to be a lighter, but good game system with an emphasis on ship design. Hex-based movement.

War Rocket: Space Battles in the Atomic Age looks like a very fun game, but has no ship design system. Each faction has its own unique movement type. Hex-based movement. Hex-based movement.
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