Help support TMP

"5150 Star Navy Rules Review" Topic

13 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Spaceship Gaming Message Board

Back to the SF Product Reviews Message Board

3,354 hits since 26 Jan 2013
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

evilleMonkeigh Inactive Member26 Jan 2013 11:45 p.m. PST

Haven't played a full campaign yet but have been fiddling about with the rules and some GZG minis. Haven't played it enough to rate game balance, but here's a guide to the mechanics and overall feel of the game:


As usual, I hope someone found this helpful

laager50 Inactive Member27 Jan 2013 4:51 a.m. PST

Nice review. Look forward to a AAR and you opinion on them then.

Idaho Wargamer27 Jan 2013 8:16 a.m. PST

I was hoping someone would give us a mechanics rundown. Thanks for doing this, well done!

Meiczyslaw Inactive Member27 Jan 2013 8:45 a.m. PST

Yeah, Ed hadn't even hinted at mechanics in his AARs. Given the review, they sound simple enough that he'd have given them away.

I'm also looking forward to somebody else's AAR, because either Ed is a really awful spaceship gamer, or the game consists of two forces slamming into each other head-on.

Personal logo Ed the Two Hour Wargames guy Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Jan 2013 11:38 a.m. PST

Fleets maneuver before they go into battle. Deciding where to go on the Campaign map, intercepting the enemy fleet on the way to their objective, etc.

That's the maneuvering a fleet does and all with the purpose of bringing the enemy fleet into battle with the best chance of winning.

In Star Navy you're the admiral of the fleet. Once the ships hit the table your job is to defeat the other fleet. The game was written with having 20+ ships per side. Your job as Admiral is to decide how to deploy, have an overall battle plan, and know when to break off the battle.

Maneuvering during the battle on a ship by ship basis is the job of the ship's Captain. If you want to maneuver each ship, turning, etc. then Star Navy would not be your first choice.

Thanks for taking the time to review the rules and looking forward to your AARs.

Sergeant Crunch Inactive Member27 Jan 2013 3:17 p.m. PST

I like the idea of crew quality, but am thinking that the scope of this game is larger than I prefer for space gaming.

SquidLord Inactive Member27 Jan 2013 3:46 p.m. PST

I've a done a little preliminary play of Star Navy and put a fairly extended discussion up on my blog:


Short version: Even as a THW fanboy I found it a bit rough around the edges and some of the editing leaves a lot to be desired, but the core mechanics have a lot of room to build on and it's definitely a generator of fun.

evilleMonkeigh Inactive Member27 Jan 2013 11:04 p.m. PST

I think you need to view Star Navy as a complete package (i.e. campaign AND rules).

The battle resolution reminds me of a 4x PC game – it's pretty simple, and to be honest, I think it abstracts far too much. But that's not the primary focus of the game.

If you just buy it wanting an engine for one off clashes of small groups of ships, you will probably be disappointed. Unless you are a solo gamer, really keen on the crew-skill thing, or (like me) you dislike recording lots of hitboxes etc, Full Thrust is better.

It's not meant to be compared to Full Thrust – it is more akin to the fleet-level Starmada rules, with a campaign system attached.

If you only want to play "one off" games or with smaller amounts of ships, I suspect you'd be better off waiting for "5150: Fringe Space" which is more focussed on smaller groups of ships.

Whilst I am not defending the battle mechanics (and I think more "texture" could be added without compromising game speed), I recognise SN has gone that way, in order to facilitate campaign play.

Star Navy is not really a game about space battles, but rather a game of space campaigns. With almost no record keeping, you work towards victory conditions, crew skill improves or decreases, and you can lose and replace ships.

Kinda like the old Battlefleet Gothic campaigns, or a very simple space Mordhiem.

Most 4X board games and games (think Starfire) have become bloated monstrosities. Star Navy would allow you to play a series of linked battles in an evening.

You could view it as (a) a poor man's Full Thrust – or a (b) simple 4X campaign game you can actually play and finish in a reasonable time frame, with more pew-pewing than record keeping…

Little Big Wars Inactive Member28 Jan 2013 12:39 a.m. PST

Sounds like it has a similar scope to the USE ME spaceship rules… which is favorable as far as I'm concerned.

RTJEBADIA28 Jan 2013 7:12 p.m. PST

Good analysis, Evilmonkeighe, with just one thing to note:
5150 Fringe Space also allows for campaign play, but with more record keeping (not unlike an RPG or a more in depth game of New Beginnings) and no ability to play 4x. At best you take part in 4x-ish stuff (like taking on colonization missions or war missions) and in fact for participating in large space wars the rules recommend using Star Navy to resolve them.

evilmike Inactive Member08 May 2013 8:48 a.m. PST

I like it, reminds me of a tabletop version of GDW's Imperium.

Metal Slayer Inactive Member16 Sep 2013 8:08 p.m. PST

I am not sure I'm a fan of the "all weapons are the same" and 360 degree firing and unlimited ranges. Can anyone who has run few a few games of this let me know what they think?

For me, a space game with ship battles is so much more interesting with different weapon types with strengths, weaknesses, etc.

TheBeast Supporting Member of TMP18 Sep 2013 6:49 a.m. PST

Okay, as this bubbled to the top again, two questions I never got around to asking:

5150 Fringe Space also allows for campaign play, …for participating in large space wars the rules recommend using Star Navy to resolve them.

How well does Star Navy mesh with Fringe Space? Mirror battle results?

You could view it as (a) [sorry, hardly seemed a fair comment] or a (b) simple 4X campaign game

Is Star Navy a good candidate for a Full Thrust campaign system? Can you see converting FT points to SN builds? SN battle results to FT battle results?

The latter is a problem with many campaign systems: can you have reasonable results with an abstract battle too one-sided for many to play.

While I think such battles should have Goliath receiving some pain, not everyone finds asymmetric battles interesting. ;->=


Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.