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"Rules suggestions please" Topic

17 Posts

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Silent Death at Council of Five Nations

A really big Silent Death battle.

412 hits since 22 Nov 2021
©1994-2021 Bill Armintrout
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Bozkashi Jones22 Nov 2021 11:28 a.m. PST

I bought a copy of 'A Billion Suns' and, having read through, I like the 'universe' it creates, i.e. that of space being run by big corporations rather than pan-galactic empires, but I'm less impressed with the game mechanics.

I've watched a few online game reports and 'how to plays' and the games seem to last just a couple of turns and have no real manoeuvre. Games seem to be activate, shoot, kill.

So could anyone point me in the direction of some reasonably simple ship level (i.e. not fighter combat or massive fleets) rules I can play with my teenage kids?

Something that uses just a few miniatures per side, can handle three-sided battles and has a decent, fun 'feel'.

Suggestions gratefully received, thanks


Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP22 Nov 2021 11:37 a.m. PST

As always, as a fun game, Full Thrust is hard to beat.

Stryderg22 Nov 2021 11:42 a.m. PST

Full Thrust. Anywhere from 1-15 ships per side. Everyone writes ship orders, then everyone moves together, then roll buckets of dice to inflict pain. The largest dice pool I've ever seen was 20 dice at one throw, 4-8 is a more normal throw.

Basic rules can be found here: link

Expanded rules for various universes: link

Designing your own ships is easy and a good meta-game distraction for the kids.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian22 Nov 2021 3:23 p.m. PST

Full Thrust

Mister Tibbles22 Nov 2021 3:58 p.m. PST

I would say X-Wing from Fantasy Flight Games, if you like Star Wars dogfights and their pre-paints. Just tossed that out there for folks looking for Star Wars games. ;-)

Otherwise, Full Thrust will dominate maybe followed by Starmada, which I prefer over FT. Been ages since I played either.

Thresher0122 Nov 2021 4:51 p.m. PST

Yea, FT.

Tgerritsen Supporting Member of TMP22 Nov 2021 4:58 p.m. PST

Hard to beat Full Thrust. Free, simple to understand, and with some interesting tactical choices.

Waco Joe22 Nov 2021 8:32 p.m. PST

Starfighters from Wiley Games is great fun and designed so that you can plug in any ships from any game system.

colgar6 Supporting Member of TMP22 Nov 2021 10:57 p.m. PST

There are a number of Full Thrust articles on my blog, if you're interested: link . Most of these are battle reports in a narrative style, so you can get a feel for the decisions made by the players and the turning points.

Bozkashi Jones23 Nov 2021 2:52 a.m. PST

Golly – that's possibly the nearest to unequivocally unanimous I think we'll ever get!

Looks like FT then, I'll check them out (and thanks for the links Stryderg).

Thanks all

billclo23 Nov 2021 3:38 a.m. PST

Keep in mind that manuever in FT isn't terribly important either, due to the lack of directional defenses. It frequently turns out to be a situation where you get an approach battle, a merge, and then a close range twisting and turning fight. Combat is essentially trying to get as many weapons in arc as possible and roll more dice than your opponent, and roll well.

Don't get me wrong, I like FT, ran numerous convention games with it, still like it. I just wanted more tactical options than it can provide. Starmada is a frequently mentioned alternative, but I have had a time of it trying to figure it out, especially the ship design rules (the spreadsheet isn't easy to work with either).

Stryderg23 Nov 2021 12:32 p.m. PST

There are optional rules for FT that introduce directional shields (I think it's in the compendium I linked earlier). But let get the hang of blowing stuff up, first.

Lonely Gamer23 Nov 2021 1:10 p.m. PST

You could also try Stars & Lasers if you want a simple fast play spaceship game.

You can play with one or two ships each up to fleet level forces.

There are loads of scenarios and expansions for the rules and lots are free.

Find out more about the game on my site –

On the site you will also see battle reports.

TheBeast23 Nov 2021 2:13 p.m. PST

Keep in mind that manuever in FT isn't terribly important either,

Understood, billclo, but I will point out that a)if you play with no firing out the fantail, and b)use ship designs tend to balance towards fire out the front arc, steering has some importance.

I've a friend who has weapons equal except the backside. That IS boring. Sorry, another Bill… ;->=


Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP24 Nov 2021 8:39 p.m. PST

Full Thrust

williamb25 Nov 2021 7:13 a.m. PST

Wiley Games "Starfighters" uses about five ships per side. it is available as a pdf or a printed book. link

The main body of the rules is for small fighters. However, there is also a section in the rules for large ship actions.
There is a youtube video of a multi-player fighter game at YouTube link

Bozkashi Jones28 Nov 2021 3:36 a.m. PST

More thanks guys. I've downloaded FT and I'll take a look at Stars and Lasers (thanks Lonely Gamer – I've seen some of your AARs before and your games always look superb)


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