Ship Combat

In Abide Asteria you will come across ship combat. This will play differently than the “in person” interactions. This page will help you with rules for ship combat.

NOTE: Ship Combat is still a work in progress. We are actively seeking play testers, please join our discord and reach out if you’re interested. Feel free to use this and provide feedback. For now all ship equipment should be treated as generic and +0, ship equipment will be added in the near future.


Quick Reference

In Person – Refers to any action your character takes that would not be at a ship station.
Turn Zero – Is a turn that takes place before the first round of combat. Your acting engineer will play power to the ship’s systems.
Ship’s Max Hand Size – The amount of cards that can be in play by characters at all ship’s stations combined. This also includes the “Engine Output” pile.
Speed – Refers to the speed bonus of your ship when not using STS. This is used to close distances in local space at higher speed. Your ship character sheet will have speed listed.
Engine Output – On Engineer’s turn (or acting Engineer’s turn), they will draw cards equal to Engine Output on the ship character sheet and place them face down. The Engineer will use this pile to distribute power to other systems on the ship.
Power Complexity – The number you must achieve when playing Engineering (or another related skill) to power a ship’s systems. This is on your ship character sheet.
STS – System Travel Standard is a measuring system for long distance space travel.
System Resistance – The amount of damage that must be done in one attack before losing a engine output or damaging a system.


Ship Combat Begins

The first step of ship combat is to check your ship’s character sheet. This will have a max hand size. All players in ship combat should put their character hands face down in front of them. During ship combat, there may be certain things you need to do that do not relate to a ship system/ship combat that would require your character hand instead of your ship hand. To repair, defend against boarders or play anything else that would be considered “in person” – you will need to switch to your face down character hand. If you do so, just simply swap your ship hand to be face down and pick up your character hand.

As combat begins, your Engineer will take the first turn, which is referred to as “Turn Zero.” They will play using the Engineer Ship Combat rules to start powering on systems. After they have finished their turn anyone may go next (including the Engineer again to provide more power if needed). Continue around the table clockwise or counter clockwise. (Note: If you don’t have an Engineer, your Bridge Worker will do “Turn Zero.” If your Bridge Worker is unavailable, your Pilot will do “Turn Zero.” If you are in a fighter, use the fighter section <NEED LINK>)


Ship Combat Hand Sizes

On your ship character sheet, there will be a “Max Hand Size.” This hand size is dependent upon what ship you’re currently on. The ship’s hand size accounts for all people on the ship that are playing ship functions: piloting, gunning, engineering and bridge worker. In some cases, you may need to use a single card from the hand size to do things like open communications, power doors or gravity. This will be covered later <LINK NEEDED>.

Your Engineer will be responsible for choosing how many of the ship cards go to each station. Be sure to check the Ship Equipment as this section will have stats for each station. If you do not have an Engineer, the person at the Bridge Worker station (usually a station in the cockpit or bridge, typically manned by your Captain) will choose how many cards go to each station. If you also do not have a Bridge Worker, then your Pilot will be responsible for choosing how many cards go to each station.

Engineers, Bridge Workers, Pilots – You may only allocate to your Ship’s Maximum hand size as a total value. If your ship’s max hand size is 8, there may only be 8 cards in all players’ ship hands combined. For example, if you wanted 4 positions used equally, that would be 2, 2, 2, 2 if the max hand size is 8. Note: This does not include someone making repairs, defending against boarders, or making any other “in-person” play, which players will use their own character hand for instead of their ship hand.

Important Note: Each player at any ship’s station may never exceed the max hand size of their character.


Distances

Space is big, really big. It is larger than can be understood in basic terms and there is a limit to how far can be seen.

In Asteria we use the STS (System Travel Standard) as our measuring tool for long distance space travel. A single STS is the distance to travel through what is considered an average-sized system. It includes all of the empty space between stars and local systems. The cost to move to a neighboring system is usually one STS. This can vary wildly however, as the largest documented distance between systems was over 160 when using the closest known route.

During ship combat there are four possible distance ranges:
Close – This is anywhere from being able to make out the facial expression of the other Pilot to just being able to pick out the outline of a ship against the stars.
Distant – The other ship is a speck. You will barely be able to track them by engine trails or weapons fire.
Far – Your ship’s equipment is able to identify the ship, it’s range and location but you’re unable to see it from a window without digital enhancement.
Out of range – Your ship’s equipment is able to make a ping and get very basic information for the ship. Weapons do not reach at this range. This is the farthest your ship can see without special equipment.


Pilots

Pilots will play the piloting skill and add any bonuses given by the ship’s equipment. This will be indicated clearly by “Piloting +<number>”.

When should you play piloting? This should be done any time there needs to be maneuvers that the auto pilot isn’t able to handle. Auto pilot will take you safely from destination to destination without a pilot, it can take off, land and fly within (but usually slower than) the safety guidelines of the current area you are in. If you want or need to exceed the overly cautious and ponderous autopilot then you will need to take control and play piloting.

What do pilots do in combat? After a card is played as an aggressive action to your ship, you may play piloting with technique retroactively to dodge. Take this play and add any bonuses for distance and ship size to your play. You may also repeat dodging for every aggressive action against your ship or until you’re ship station hand is empty. On your turn you may also play to fly closer or farther from a target. You may want to check with your guide if the other targets are in the same direction or not if there is more than one target. You must play a total of 30 to move closer or farther away. This play will include your ship’s “Speed” bonuses.

When do pilots refresh their hand? You will not be able to refresh your hand until your Engineer allocates you cards. You will discard any unplayed cards at the start of your Engineer’s turn, unless this is the first turn and the only cards in your hand are from “Round Zero”.


Gunners

You will be responsible for offensive measures for your ship. This may also include utility if using a MagGrab<Need Link> or other salvaging equipment. Those will play just like other guns.

Your seat is usually central in the ship and is not actually on the physical guns. Using a screen and gunner controls you can target, aim and shoot. You may switch to any installed weapons on your ship from this location. Your station’s equipment powers on when allocated energy by the Engineer and will remain powered for one full turn after running out of cards. This helps gunners not be as disoriented when firing all their allocated energy. You will not be able to fire without cards.

How to aim and fire? You will check your ship’s offensive equipment and the ship bonuses, then play your gunner skill with technique. The other ship’s size and distance will affect your damage output. Choose your weapons wisely as there’s always a tool for the job.

Guns Galore – You may fire up to half of the ship’s guns on your turn. Play each gun’s attack individually. If there is two or more gunner’s seats, divide the total number of guns by the number of gunners rounding down. No more than half of the ships total guns may be fired on a single target.

Ready Both Sides! – If there are two or more gunners and more than one target, you may check with your guide (or map) to see if targets are on both sides. If that is the case you may play the above section normally for the other side of the ship. This means all guns on the ship would be able to fire a broad side. Bridge Workers may only do this with full effect if there is an empty gunner station. Otherwise see the Bridge Worker section about actions.

When do gunners refresh their hand? You will not be able to refresh your hand until your Engineer allocates you more cards. You will keep any unused cards in your hand until they are used during your turn.


Engineers

At the start of Ship Combat, you will choose how many of the ship cards will go to each station. Remember that there can only be a total of the Ship’s Max Hand Size in play at the table and each player may only hold up to their normal hand size. This only includes ship personnel who are manning a ship station. There may be ship personnel on board who are not on a ship station and therefore will not receive ship cards. Ship stations include: Pilot, Gunner, Engineer and Bridge Worker.

On your turn you will draw cards equal to the “Engine Output” or up to your ship’s max hand size and place them face down in a small pile. You will need to check with everyone else to see how many cards are currently in play for ship combat. These already in play ship combat cards will count towards your ship’s max hand size. You may then play to every manned position on the ship out of the “Engine Output” pile.

How do you play manned positions? In any order you choose, draw up to your character’s max hand size from the “Engine Output” pile and then play to provide power to each station. If you have two pilots, you may play for both individually or just one. Same for gunners and your bridge worker. Play your engineering skill with technique and then redraw from the “Engine Output” pile before playing for the next manned position’s power. Keep unplayed cards in your hand until the end of your turn. Other stations may not count the cards in your hand as part of the “Engine Output” pile. For the best playing experience, try to be conservative with the pile unless you know you’re the only one using it.

When playing to send power you must achieve a play equal to your engine’s “Power Complexity.” The lower your engine’s power complexity is, the easier it will be to provide power to stations. For example, if your “Power Complexity” is 7 you will need to play at least a 7 to allow the station you’ve selected to power one card. Playing a 14 would be two cards, 21 would be three and so on.

What happens when Engine Output is left over or empty? If your engine output has left over cards in it at the end of your turn, your Bridge Worker may draw equal to those and attempt to help you distribute power from the bridge. If you have other Engineers on board, they may do the same ONLY IF there is a second (or third or fourth) engineering station available. Otherwise all unused Engine Output cards including your hand will be sent to your discard. If your Engine Output pile is empty, you’re doing your job right. It’ll come back next round.

Note: If any position, including engineering is attempting to play with technique that pulls from a deck you must discard 1 card from Engine Output for every card that is pulled from a deck. If Engine Output is empty you may not use technique from a deck. This rule does not apply to any character actions, only actions at a ship station using power supplied by the ship.


Bridge Worker

Bridge worker is the stop gap. The bridge worker stations are rare but they are very powerful. A Bridge worker is typically your Captain or another support role and they will be able to use any of the other stations from this seat or support them. A Bridge Worker may only play one other station during their turn.

What does a Bridge Worker do? You will pick any other role (Pilot, Gunner, Engineer) and play that role in place of anyone who is missing or support the station if every station is manned. Instead of using the specific skill listed for each station, you will play your Bridge Worker skill. Just play the station you’d like as it reads aside from using your bridge worker skill instead of the other named skill. You may not play more than one role during each turn.

What if all of the stations are full and I have nothing to do? On your turn you may still play for one other station of your choosing to support it. When supporting a station in this way, you play at half value rounded down (or double Power Complexity).


Fighters

Fighters may be missing positions, these positions are automated and a fighter will play differently than other multicrew ships. Most fighters are single seater, those that are not will still require the specified position and play closer to a normal multicrew ship skill with some exception, see the ship details for any exceptions.

A fighter pilot in a fighter class ship may play fighter pilot from any seat for any skill check. (This does not include repairs) They may also play a related skill such as gunner for shooting, engineer for engineering. You may not play bridge worker as there is no bridge on a fighter.

Fighter pilots and crew may draw up to their max number of cards, Ship’s Max Hand Size or current engine output whichever is lowest. If there is more than a single seat, players may decide how to allocate these as desired. Unless a engineering position is present, then you must play engineering normally. You may not draw more than your character level and may not draw more than the ship’s max handsize.

You will not be able to repair a fighter from the inside unless a engineering position is present. All repairs must be done EVA or when docked/landed with a larger ship. Due to the robust nature and redundant systems a fighter without an engineering station cannot have it’s stations damaged. It does however still loses engine output like any other ship when taking damage.


Taking Damage & Damaged Systems

As your ship receives damage, it will become less and less effective. Your ship may take up to the “System Resistance” stat before losing any effectiveness. As damage goes above System Resistance, you will lose 1 Engine Output for every time this is exceeded.

System Resistance works much like armor, after your pilot plays to dodge if they fail to dodge the attack this number will be checked against system resistance. Do not subtract the pilot’s play from the damage. Check to see how many times the damage goes into System Resistance. Always round down. EXAMPLE: If system resistance is 5 and you take 14 damage you will lose two engine output and that station would become damaged and need to be repaired.

The last suit played in a technique (even just one card) is where the damage lands. Hearts is the cockpit effecting piloting, Diamonds is the bridge worker station, Spades is the gunner station and Clubs is engineering. If this damage forces a loss of one or more Engine Output by exceeding “System Resistance” that station will need to be repaired.

Damaged Systems: If your station is damaged you may continue to use it as is or repair it. If you continue to use a damaged system and it is damaged again while exceeding the “Systems Resistance” your character will take one card of damage in addition to it. Note: Your ship combat max hand size is linked to your character max hand size.


Repairing Systems

There are two ways of repairing a station. You may patch it or repair it. Patching or repairing will require your character’s attention and turn.

To repair a station, you must leave your ship combat station and use your character’s hand. If you have a ship combat hand, discard it entirely. All stations require Tech Repair and Mechanical Repair to fix. The gunner station also requires Weapons Repair in addition to Tech Repair and Mechanical Repair. To make a successful check of repair check against double “System Resistance” for each needed repair skill. A repaired system will restore all outstanding damage to engine output. This usually takes much longer and may not be possible in combat. Note: Leaving your station will still cause it to lose it’s round worth of power, unless the station remains powered. (See Gunners)

To patch a station, you will not need to leave your station and may play any of the required repairing skills from your character’s hand. You may use more than one turn but you must collectively play higher than the ship’s “System Resistance”. You ship will regain up to one engine output and your station will no longer be damaged, your character will not be at risk of taking damage while patched, however another strike will cause your station to be damaged again. It is not possible to patch a station more than once, until the station is considered damaged again.

To repair a disabled ship. All stations must be fully repaired. Only then will the ship receive one engine output. You will need to repair each system induvially afterwards to increase engine output.


Disabled Ships

When a ship reaches 0 engine output it is considered disabled. Any position that has cards left in their hand may continue to play. Usually the guns are the last to fall silent on a disabled ship.

A disabled ship will begin to lose it’s atmosphere unless there is an item/system in place to generation atmosphere. A disabled ship will also lose it’s gravity, unless there is an item/system that states otherwise. If either of these are true you will need to begin playing EVA to traverse the ship. You may equip items to help resolve this, but you will need to resolve gravity and air supply before you can stop playing EVA.

Disabled ships are often filled with many holes that are filled by the gel like foam in a caution yellow color. This is to fill holes and gaps that were sustained during combat. This is how the ship retains atmosphere even after receiving a hull breach. This caution colored gel, expands and is equipped inside the bulkheads/glass/doors/hatches of all ships in Asteria. It isn’t uncommon to find a previous battle field of bright colored blobs in space drifting.

Continuous fire on a disabled ship will liter space with expanding gel foam and eventually end in a explosion with the destruction of that ship along with all crew and cargo aboard.

Often disabled ships are boarded to steal cargo or the ship it’s self from the crew. In some rare cases this doesn’t result in the death of the defending crew and the attackers must flee or may even lose their ship.