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"Galactic Knights Review?" Topic

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1,181 hits since 13 Mar 2006
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adub74 Inactive Member13 Mar 2006 10:03 a.m. PST

Does anyone know of a review—or just have some oppinions—on Galactic Knights by Monday Knight productions? Please keep posts to Galactic Knights specifically, I know there are hundreds/thousands of fleet scale space ship combat games. Thanks.

Personal logo mrwigglesworth Supporting Member of TMP13 Mar 2006 11:18 a.m. PST

Here you go

Spooner613 Mar 2006 11:20 a.m. PST

I play Galactic Knights. I will try and sum up the game for you. Each turn starts by rolling initiative. The side that wins chooses to be either Force A or Force B. Force A moves half of their ships, then Force B moves all their ships, followed by Force A moving the rest of their ships. After initiative is the Drift Phase. Each ship has a counter on the map (hex map) that represents its drift marker. To drift you move the ship away from its drift marker the number of hexes and direction, and the drift marker then moves to the original spot of the ship. I know that is a very poor explanation of the drift, but drifting is fairly simple. After the drift phase is the Movement phase. Each ship has a number of thrust points that can be spend to move the ship and/or the drift marker. I really like this part of the game. If for example your ship has its drift marker one hex behind the ship, it would drift one hex in the drift phase. If during the movement phase you move your ship one hex forward the drift marker is now two hexes behind the ship. When you move you have to think how your movement will affect your drift next turn. We have had a lot of people us all their thrust to engage the enemy but not move the drift marker. Then the next turn they end up drifting out of the fight and have to spend a turn or two to get back into the fight. You can also use your thrust to move the drift marker, which will affect how your ship drifts the next turn. I really like this method (it might not be the most scientifically accurate, but it gives a good feel) because you have to think ahead a turn as too where your drift will take the ship. After a couple of games you get the hang of how things drift but when people first start they tend to forget that they have to drift next turn and thus their fleet ends up getting split up and either drifting past the opposition or a portion of the fleet drifts into optimal range for the enemy. The last phase of the turn is combat. Each side takes turn shooting one ship, starting with the winner of initiative. Combat isn't simultaneous, so if I shoot at your ship first and damage it, your shot back at me will be affected. I like the combat because it is d10 based, I prefer the wider range of outcomes possible with a d10 vs. a d6. You roll a d10 for each shot and you need to roll smaller than the ships size to hit it. For example a DD is a 4, a DN is a 6. If you hit then you apply the damage to the ship based on the weapon. Each layer of shields will absorb a point of damage and then it goes into the armor. If it gets through the armor then you get into the ships systems. There are some cool nuances with the damage system that I really like. The only way to knock down shields is to damage the shield generator in the ships systems box. But you can bypass the shields if your to hit roll was a 1 or a 2. You don't burn through all the armor before damage goes into the ships systems. For example lets say you had two shots at a CL. It has one shield on the starboard side, and 4 points of armor in the first row. The size of the ship is 5. You roll 2 d10 since you have two weapons shooting. I roll a 5 and a 2. Both hit, and lets say that each of my attacks do 2 points of damage at this range. The first hit (roll of 5) hits the shields absorbing one point of damage, and one point of damage goes into the armor. The second shot (roll of 2) bypasses the shields and so one point hits the armor and since there is only one layer of armor the second point goes into the ships systems. Ships systems are laid out in a chart and you roll d10 to figure out what column the damage goes to. Once all the systems in a column are gone the remaining hits go to the Critical hits line, once all the critical hits are gone the ship is destroyed. I believe a DD has 3 Critical hits where a DN will have 7 or 8. So after combat a new turn starts. I really like the rules and think they are comparable to FT or Starmada in complexity, though I think GK offers a little more chrome. If you are looking for a good set of rules to play smaller fleet engagements (3-15 ships) in a couple hours these rules are my suggestion. You could play even larger actions in 3-4 hours.


RengdeTimeLord Inactive Member13 Mar 2006 11:43 a.m. PST

I have a large MKP fleet that I use for FT. I have never played using the MKP rules. The size of the ship models stack up well against the FT models.

Personal logo elsyrsyn Supporting Member of TMP13 Mar 2006 11:54 a.m. PST

I like the drift system idea. Tell me – how is it used to handle positional obstacles, such as mines? That's always a problem with vector or psuedo-vector movement systems, as defining the precise path a ship takes across the board is iffy at best.


adub74 Inactive Member13 Mar 2006 12:29 p.m. PST

Thanks. Does the game provide a compelling reason to maneuver? I've encountered fleet games where nothing blocked LOS, no firing arcs (or enough weapons on each arc to make it pointless), and armor/shields were evenly spread 360. Basically, I like the sound of the vector movement but is their a tactical reason to actually use it? The review mentions that shields don't protect the aft. Is this enough incentive for me to engage in a knife fight or does it just make more sense to stay out at range and pound the doors down.

Hundvig Fezian Inactive Member13 Mar 2006 1:53 p.m. PST

Oh yeah, I knew there was a rules set I'd forgotten to buy. Have to get around to that when the credit card recovers a bit.

Anyone got any feedback on the ship design system?

Spooner613 Mar 2006 3:24 p.m. PST

I can't comment on the Obstacle question. The basic rules don't cover them. Some time this year they will be coming out with rules to cover those. Right now our group just plays that if you thrust through an obstacle you hit it, but if your drift carries you through then there is not collision. Not the best compromise but it works for us right now.


Spooner613 Mar 2006 3:34 p.m. PST

Weapons do have arcs though if you can design a fleet with all weapons having 300-degree arcs, though most of our fleets have 180-240 degree arcs. Plus if you knock out a couple batteries in a certain arc, you try to maneuver to that arc so that you don't receive as much fire. Armor is also based on arc so you may have your starboard damaged and thus present your port side while the opponent will try and keep firing on your starboard side. There are no shields in the rear so smaller ships try and maneuver to get into the rear. Plus the rear tends to have much less firepower. We have found that there is some maneuvering and you also want to try and keep your fleets together and try and split up your opponent, but if you do that your opponent has the opportunity to hit you from two different directions which would hurt if he can get into your rear. In our battles with lots of smaller ships we see a lot of maneuvering, but the DN tend to try and pound each other to pieces. Which for my money is what I want out of a system. Our last battle saw some big heavies get out maneuvered resulting in the satellite-defense network they were to protect getting destroyed by a smaller more maneuverable force.


Spooner613 Mar 2006 3:36 p.m. PST

The ship design process is fairly easy. It took me a couple ships to get into the grove, but since then I have written and Excel program that I just pick what I want and it calculates everything. I even have the system limitations designed into it so I know if it is a legal ship. What I don't have is a good graphics type program to create the SSD's. That is my next step.


adub74 Inactive Member13 Mar 2006 3:44 p.m. PST

Thanks Spooner. This game is starting to sound like it's got some meat to it. How survivable are the ships? Consider two equally matched ships at close quareters, how long will they survive? A couple rounds (new SFB), six or seven rounds, or a dozen or more rounds (old SFB). The more survivable a ship, the more maneuver is required to get at the squishy bits.

Personal logo MondayKnight Sponsoring Member of TMP Inactive Member13 Mar 2006 5:34 p.m. PST

Thanks Guys,

Love the feedback, we just got done running a campaign based loosely on the Soloman Island WWII campaign. It was lots of fun.

As for survivability, it all depends, I have lost ships in one round and had others that have lasted for 10-12 rounds. If all depends on how the weapons fire is focused.

Spooner6, If you have a copy of the Excel sheet, I would love to link it on the MKP page.

Again, thanks for the positive feedback.


awales Inactive Member13 Mar 2006 7:13 p.m. PST

How does the system stop the 'gang up' effect? Many fleet games have a problem where an entire fleet (or portion of that fleet if the fleet is large enough) can gang up on one of the opponent's ships to effectively guarantee a kill. Then move to the next ship on the next turn. This most often a problem if ranges are large and ships (or anything else for that matter) don't block LOS. So does Galactic Knights state that ships block LOS, are the ranges short compared to average speeds, or is there some other method for reducing the 'gang up' effect?

Spooner614 Mar 2006 12:52 p.m. PST

Ships do not block LOS. It is tough to say what the average speeds are, since there is no top speed. Nothing stops ships from ganging up, though I don't see that as an issue. Why wouldn't ships gang up? With weapon damage based on range, it isn't always the most effective use of weapons to gang up on a ship. Why shoot at a longer-range ship and only do 2 points of damage when I can shoot at a closer ship and do 3 points.


awales Inactive Member14 Mar 2006 7:33 p.m. PST

In most fleet games, it's actually more effecient to focus fire on one ship to turn it off so it can't respond on the following turn. Even if your total fire is reduced by 1/3. This is because that extra 1/3 you get by going for the best opprotunity is often wasted on non-critical systems (weapons that are going to shoot you next turn). This was especially true in games like SFB where you have to sand paper off shields, burn through hull, and catch the occasional lab section.

This doesn't sound like it's going to be as big of deal in Galactic Knights because shields don't have to be sanded down and there aren't a lot of excess systems to soak of effective fire. The only gotcha is that it does appear to be an advantage to focus fire on one side of a ship. The armor and systems sound like they have to be sanded down per side before real hull damage is done. If this is true then it may still be more efficient to focus the entire fleets fire—no matter how lousy each opprotunity may be—so that that one side of the ship is breached and the ship immediately destroyed.

This problem isn't always a game killer. In fact, you could argue that it exists in some form in all fleet games. If the ships are rather durable, the ratio of range to movement is short, and scenario/fleet compisition can be used to mitigate then the game can be a real gem.

So, is this game a gem? Sounds like it's worth $20 USD to try.

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