2669. It is the final year of the Terran-Kilrathi War and Earth has very narrowly escaped total destruction at the hands of the Kilrathi's Hakaga fleet. In the wake of the battle, Confederation High Command launches an untried carrier, Lexington, on a covert mission to eliminate the Kilrathi homeworld of Kilrah. With a 62-man Special Ops crew aboard, Lexington has been equipped with the means to construct new mining and fighter construction facilities during her mission should the need arise. Meanwhile, Kilrathi Prince Thrakhath nar Kiranka deploys KIS Shiraak as his "final messenger to the Terrans", hoping to conduct a final, decisive strike on the vulnerable Terran homeworld. Though there are no plans to retrieve the carrier, Shiraak is given nearly identical capabilities to those of Lexington. Though neither crew knows it, they are destined to collide in one of the greatest unsung battles of the entire war...
The Basics: Terms, Equipment, MinutiaEdit
Armada: PNP is a two-player strategic game set in the Wing Commander universe. It is a pencil-and-paper adaptation of the original Wing Commander: Armada first released by Origin back in 1994. Players will build bases and fighters on a specific Sector nav map with the goal of locating and destroying the enemy's carrier. This guidebook is a complete text; it contains all the rules needed to immediately start playing.
To play Wing Commander Armada: PNP, you'll need the following equipment:
- The Wing Commander Armada: PNP guidebook (this text).
- Four six-sided dice (d6s), two for each player. While a single twelve-sided die (d12) can be substituted, using d6s will preserve the statistical probabilities upon which the game has been designed and decrease the amount of inherent randomness in the game.
- The Armada Strategic Counter sheet and the Confederation/Kilrathi logo sheets available at http://wcrpg.wikia.com/wiki/Tokens, pre-cut into individual counters.
- A Wing Commander Sector Map. This can be one of the maps available at http://www.wcnews.com/maps/, a custom map using the procedure presented in WCRPG, or a map of a player's own design.
- A screen for both players; the players will place their unused tokens behind these screens.
The game has been designed such that the amount of calculation required should be minimal, though there may be some long division involved. Unless specifically stated otherwise, all decimal remainders should be rounded to the first decimal point, with decimals of 0.05 rounded up. A calculator is not required to play the game but players should feel free to use one if it helps speed up gameplay.
Object of the GameEdit
In all games of Armada: PNP, the object of the game is to locate and destroy the enemy carrier before your opponent locates and destroys yours. To destroy a carrier, a torpedo-wielding craft either survive a combat encounter that includes it or must conduct a successful "torpedo run" on it.
To play a game of Armada: PNP:
- The "neutral" set of tokens (mines, shipyards and fortresses) are placed in an area between the two players. Both players have the opportunity to utilize these tokens through the course of gameplay.
- Once they have agreed upon a map on which to play a game, both players roll their dice. The high roller has the choice of what side they will play in the game (either the Terran Confederation or the Kilrathi Empire), what system on the map to place their initial forces and upon what system their opponent must set their initial forces. The high roller should carefully choose the initial position of all forces on the map, selecting for themselves an area easily defended or accessible to a large portion of the map while denying the same advantages to their opponent.
- Each player receives the corresponding set of forces (Confederation or Kilrathi) indicated by the high roller's selections as well as their matching logo tokens.
- From their initial forces, each player receives the following:
- A carrier (either Lexington or Shiraak).
- Two light fighters (Arrows for the Confederation player and Dralthi-IIIs for the Kilrathi player).
- One shipyard. These are taken from the collective pool of "neutral" tokens.
- Four of their logo tokens. These are kept in an area near the board and represent the player's initial pool of Production Points. These must be left in plain sight of both players at all times.
- Each player places their carrier, light fighters and shipyard on the systems selected by the high roller. The carrier and fighters are placed face down, while the shipyard remains face up.
- An additional logo token is placed near or underneath the shipyard token such that it is somewhat exposed. This token is a control token and indicates that it is under the control of a specific player.
- Game play may then proceed according to the rules.
All craft in the game have a set of statistics associated with them. These stats are used to measure the craft's relative value in combat. These statistics are as follows:
- Cost: This lists the craft's overall production cost in Production Points. To build a craft, the player will need to have a shipyard available and will have to spend the indicated number of Production Points.
- Shipyards: In addition to having a monetary cost, all craft have a Shipyard cost. This indicates the number of available shipyards that must be in the player's possession in order to build the craft. To count as "available", a shipyard must not have been used to produce another craft during that player's turn already.
- Maneuver: This is a general measure of how maneuverable a craft is compared to other craft in the game. Each combat group (a set of one or more craft) has an overall maneuvering score; this is simply the sum total of the Maneuver scores of all craft in the group. In combat, the maneuver scores of the opposing groups are compared; any difference acts as a dice modifier for the attacker.
- Strength: This is a measure of a craft's general overall strength as compared to other craft in the game. Each combat group has an overall strength score, which is the simply the sum total of the Strength scores of all craft in the group. In combat, the strength scores of the opposing groups are compared; the difference sets the potential combat outcomes. In general, the higher the strength score, the better it is for its group.
- Hits: This is a measure of the craft's ability to absorb damage before its destruction. In combat, the outcome of a die roll will generate a number of hits that one or both players to allocate to their forces. A craft is destroyed when it absorbs a number of Hits equal to its Hits score.
- Special Features: This last stat lists any special features of the craft in general. Special features include Cloaking Devices, Leech Missiles or Torpedoes. The effects of each of these special features are discussed below.
The statistics for the various in-game craft is as follows:
- Kilrathi Empire
- Dralthi-III Light Fighter: Build 2, Shipyards 1, Maneuver 0, Strength 1, 1 hit
- Shoklar Medium Fighter: Build 3, Shipyards 2, Maneuver 0, Strength 3, 3 hits (Cloak)
- Jrathek Medium Fighter: Build 4, Shipyards 2, Maneuver 0, Strength 3, 4 hits
- Kor'larh Heavy Fighter: Build 5, Shipyards 3, Maneuver 0, Strength 4, 5 hits (Torpedo)
- Goran Heavy Fighter: Build 6, Shipyards 3, Maneuver -2, Strength 6, 6 hits (Torpedo)
- Jakhari-class Transport: Build 2, Shipyards 1, Maneuver -4, Strength 1, 10 hits
- Shiraak-class Carrier: Build N/A, Shipyards N/A, Maneuver -4, Strength 2, N/A hits
- Terran Confederation
- Arrow-V Light Fighter: Build 2, Shipyards 1, Maneuver +1, Strength 1, 1 hit
- Phantom Medium Fighter: Build 3, Shipyards 1, Maneuver 0, Strength 3, 4 hits
- Wraith Medium Fighter: Build 4, Shipyards 2, Maneuver 0, Strength 5, 5 hits (Leech)
- Gladius Heavy Fighter: Build 5, Shipyards 2, Maneuver 0, Strength 5, 4 hits (Torpedo)
- Banshee Heavy Fighter: Build 6, Shipyards 3, Maneuver -2, Strength 5, 6 hits (Torpedo)
- Belleau Wood-class Transport: Build 2, Shipyards 1, Maneuver -4, Strength 1, 10 hits
- Lexington-class Carrier: Build N/A, Shipyards N/A, Maneuver -4, Strength 2, N/A hits
Each game turn consists of five phases: Hide Forces, Collect Production Points, Build, Move Forces and Conduct Combat. Players conduct their actions simultaneously during each phase, indicating to their opponent when they are ready to proceed to the next phase of the turn.
Certain actions conducted during the course of the game (including combat and base construction) will require a player to expose the location of some of their units. At the beginning of every turn, both players will take the time to flip over all of their face-up units (except for any mines or shipyards in their possession; shipyards expended in the previous turn should be turned face up once again). A player may elect to skip this step if they so choose (though why anyone would voluntarily leave their units where their opponent may see them is questionable at best) and may not hide a unit later in the turn if they fail to do so during this turn phase.
Collect Production PointsEdit
After hiding their units, both players may collect Production Points for use in the construction of new units and bases. The number of Production Points a player receives depends upon the number of mines and systems they currently control; the number of each should simply be totaled up. For every five mines and/or systems the player controls (round up to the next five), the player receives one Production Point. For example, the Kilrathi player controls seven systems and four mines. They therefore control eleven systems and mines total, which rounds up to fifteen; the Kilrathi player earns three Production Points that turn. The mines in a player's possession always remain exposed.
A player must have available unused logo tokens to collect Production Points; in the rare event wherein none are available, the player may not collect any Production Points that turn. A player may always waive their right to collect Production Points during the course of a turn.
Mines and TransportsEdit
If a player so chooses, they may expose a Transport located in the same system as one of their Mines. Doing so will allow them to collect an additional Production Point that turn. The player may do this as many times as they have Transports and Mines in the same system, but may only collect for ONE Transport in any given system (i.e. it does no good to expose two or more Transports in the same system as a single Mine). For example, if the Kilrathi player also exposes two transports in orbit of two of their mines, they would collect an additional two Production Points; the Kilrathi player would receive five Production Points that turn.
If a player so chooses, they may "strip mine" during the course of a turn. This has the effect of doubling the number of Mines in their possession for that turn ONLY, potentially allowing them to collect additional Production Points. When a player chooses to strip mine, they must select one of the Mines under their control and remove its token from the game. (Optional Rule: When a player removes a mine from a system via strip-mining, that player may not replace it with another mine or any other type of base for the duration of the game). For example, if the Kilrathi player chose to do so, they could strip-mine one of their four mines; for this turn only, they have eight Mines instead of four. Combined with their seven systems, this would effectively give them fifteen systems and mines combined, which would still only allow them to collect three Production points (plus two for exposing Transports). Since there is no advantage in doing this, the Kilrathi player will not strip-mine this turn.
Once both players have collected their Production Points, they may elect to either build new units or new bases. A player always has the option to build nothing during the course of a turn and stockpile their Production Points if they so choose.
A player may build new bases during the course of their turn. To produce a base, the system in which the player would like to build it may not already contain a base (i.e. a base may not contain a mine and a shipyard, a mine and a fortress, a shipyard and a fortress or all three base types) and the player's carrier must be located in the same system. The player must expose their carrier's position by turning its token face up. The player will then expend the indicated amount of Production Points necessary for the base's production (placing the logo tokens back in their stockpile); if the player does not have enough Production Points, they may not build the base. The token for the new base is picked up from the "neutral" token stockpile and placed in the system face up; if there is no corresponding token available, the player may not build that type of base.
There are five types of bases a player may build in a given system:
- Mines - These are used to enhance a player's Production Point collection potential. Mines cost two Production Points to build.
- Shipyards - These enable a player to produce more units. Shipyards cost four Production Points to build.
- Light Fortresses - Fortresses set up a static defense of a system, providing additional fighter forces if an enemy attempts to infiltrate the system. Light fortresses provide three of the lightest fighters available to a given player (either three Arrows or three Dralthi). Light Fortresses cost ten Production Points to build.
- Medium Fortresses - These are like Light Fortresses except that they provide three mid-range fighters instead (either three Wraiths or three Jratheks). Medium Fortresses cost twenty Production Points to build.
- Heavy Fortresses - These are similar to the other fortress types except that they provide the heaviest fighter type available to a player (either three Banshees or three Gorans). Heavy Fortresses cost thirty Production Points to build.
A player who builds a new Shipyard or new Fortress gains the benefits of that base immediately (e.g. a player could build a Shipyard and then immediately use it to build a new unit). However, new Mines may not be used to enhance the player's Production Point potential until the next turn.
Should a player build either a Light Fortress or Medium Fortress, they have the option on a later turn to upgrade it to a heavier version. To upgrade a Fortress, there must be a token available in the neutral token pool of the desired Fortress strength; if there is not an appropriate token available, the Fortress may not be upgraded. If a token is available, the player need only expose the Fortress, pay the upgrade cost and replace the old token with the new one; the old Fortress token is returned to the neutral token pool. The carrier does not need to be present to upgrade a Fortress. Upgrading to a Medium Fortress from a Light Fortress costs ten Production Points as does upgrading to a Heavy Fortress from a Medium Fortress. Upgrading directly to a Heavy Fortress from a Light Fortress is possible; it costs twenty Production Points to do so.
Fortresses can also be downgraded at the discretion of the player. Doing so requires a token of the desired type in the neutral token pool; the Fortress may not be downgraded otherwise. Downgrading, like upgrading, requires the exposure of the Fortress and the replacement of its token. Again, the carrier need not be present. There is no Production Point benefit involved in downgrading a fortress (i.e. the player receives no Production Points by downgrading a fortress) but there may be strategic reasons why a player may want perform a downgrade.
A player may salvage a base during the course of their turn, dismantling it and removing it from the board. This may be done as a means of generating emergency revenue or as a way of consolidating their forces. Salvaging a base requires the presence of the carrier. To salvage a base, the carrier must be exposed and the base's token must be returned to the neutral token pool. When a base is salvaged, the player receives a number of Production Points depending on what kind of base was salvaged: Mines earn one Production Point, Shipyards earn two and Fortresses (regardless of their type) earn five.
A player may build new units (Fighters and/or Transports) during the course of their turn. Production of new units may occur at any shipyard that has not already been used to produce a unit during the course of the current turn (i.e. it must be "available"). All units have a "Shipyard" cost. Certain units require more than one shipyard in order to build them; if this is case, all the shipyards utilized are considered "expended" once it has been built, though the unit may come into play at any one of them. To produce a unit, the player must have an unused token of the desired unit type available; they may not build the unit if no such token is available. Finally, production of a unit requires the expenditure of a number of Production Points; a player may not build a unit if they do not have a sufficient amount of available Production Points.
Should all the prerequisites for building a new unit be fulfilled, the player may spend the indicated number of Production Points required for the unit, place it on the map face up in the same system as any one of the shipyards expended in the process of building it and turn all such shipyards face down. The new unit may be moved right away and may be used in combat, but will not be turned face down until the Hide Units phase of the next turn.
Unlike bases, units may not be salvaged by a player during the course of gameplay. The only way to make an individual unit token available for purchase again once it has been built is for it to be destroyed in combat.
Once both players have indicated they are through building new units or bases, game play moves on to the movement phase. A player may move their Fighters, Transports and Carrier (collectively known as "units") to any system currently connected to the system in which they are individually located by a direct jump tunnel. All units may only jump one system per turn. A player may elect to move some or none of their units at their discretion.
To indicate movement, a player place the moving unit(s) along the jump line connecting to the destination system; they should attempt to aim the "top" of the unit (the portion of the unit that contains the identifier text) towards the destination system if at all possible (to avoid confusion in the event that two units in adjacent positions are simply swapping places). All units keep their current face-up/down status during this process; players should be cautious when examining their units for movement to avoid exposing them to their opponent inadvertently. If so desired, a player may place a logo token on top of a stack of units moving toward a new system, with a portion of the logo token sticking out towards the destination system.
Once the movement of a unit has been declared, that unit must move; the player may not revoke a move declaration under any circumstances. Players should therefore consider carefully what units they will move prior to making any declarations.
Players will indicate to one another when they are done making declarations. A player may continue to make move declarations after their opponent has signaled their readiness to move on; by making a new move declaration after they have done so, however, a player effectively nullifies their opponent's declaration. If a player indicates their willingness to proceed after their opponent has signaled the same, no further movement declarations may be made during the turn and all existing movement declarations are resolved; all units that are moving are placed in the systems indicated and play proceeds to the Conduct Combat phase.
A number of combat situations may arise after movement has been resolved. The players may resolve combat situations in any order upon which they agree, but must resolve all movement declarations before conducting any combat actions.
The following combat situations may occur during the course of the game:
- A player moves their forces into a neutral system (one without either player's Claim Token) and their opponent does not move any forces into the system: In this case, the player may immediately lay claim to the system by placing a logo token in the system. If the player has no available logo tokens, they must take one out of their current Production Point pool. In the very rare event that there are no logo tokens available and the player's Production Point pool is empty, the system simply remains neutral.
- Both players move their forces into the same neutral system: In this case, a Combat Situation arises, which will need to be resolved before either player may lay claim to the system. Control of the system goes to the final victor. In the event that a player must retreat, they may move their forces back to any ONE system from which any of their forces originated.
- A player moves their forces into an enemy-controlled system (one with an opposing Claim Token), but their opponent has no forces of their own located in that system: The player automatically lays claim to the system in this event. The opponent must return their logo token to their available pile and the player must replace it with their own. If the player has no available logo tokens, they must take the token out of their current Production Point pool. In the very rare event that there are no logo tokens available and the player's Production Point pool is empty, the system simply becomes neutral. In all cases, the opponent must surrender one Production Point to their logo pool if they have any available; if not, the player may claim one Production Point instead.
- A player moves their forces into an enemy-controlled system (one with an opposing Claim Token) containing a base; their opponent has no forces of their own in the system: What happens depends upon the base's type, as follows:
- If the base is a Shipyard, the player lays claim to the system as if the system were neutral. In addition to all other effects, the opponent's Shipyard is destroyed and its token is returned to the neutral tokens pool. No other effects occur.
- If the base is a Mine, the player lays claim to the system as if the system were neutral. Instead of losing just one Production Point, the opponent must roll 1d6 and must surrender an amount of Production Points equal to the result to their logo token pool (if available). The player immediately gains an amount of Production Points equal to the amount surrendered by their opponent. If the opponent surrenders no Production Points, the player may still immediately claim one Production Point. In any case, the Mine token is returned to the neutral token pool.
- If the base is a Fortress, then a Combat Situation arises and must be resolved. Control of the system will go to the victorious player. The opponent's Fortress forces cannot retreat; the Fortress will be destroyed automatically if the opponent would otherwise be indicated to retreat. If the player wins the battle, the Fortress token is removed from the board and returned to the neutral token pool and they may lay claim to the system as if it were neutral.
- A player moves their forces into an enemy-controlled system that contains one or more opposing units: In this case, a Combat Situation arises that will need to be resolved before either player may lay claim to the system. Control of the system goes to the victorious player. In the event that the player needs to retreat, they may move their forces back to any single system from which any of their forces originated. The opponent may retreat to any single friendly system of their choosing; if no such place exists, they may move to any single neutral system of their choosing. If there are no friendly or neutral systems into which the opponent may retreat, the player may choose one of their systems into which their opponent may retreat; note that this may set up a fresh combat situation.
- Both players moves their forces toward each other along the same jump line: This will produce a Combat Situation "en route" to a system, which will need to be resolved before the victorious force will be allowed to move to their destination. Note that a new combat situation may result upon a group's final arrival at its destination.
Once all Combat Situations have been resolved, the turn ends. Gameplay continues with the Hide Forces phase of the next turn unless a carrier was destroyed during a Combat Situation; if this happens, the game ends and whoever destroyed the carrier is the victorious player.
A Combat Situation occurs any time a player's units (their Fighters, Transports and/or Carrier) come into contact with those of their opponent. Armada: PNP uses a fairly simple dice mechanic to determine the outcome of Combat Situations. It's important to note that as in the original game, combat in Armada: PNP is only resolved once one player's forces have been completely eliminated - once combat is joined, it's a fight to the death; there is no retreat except under one condition, which will be explained below.
The first thing that must happen when a Combat Situation arises is the determination of the player who will act as the "attacker" (with the other player automatically becoming the "defender"). It is the attacking player who conducts all die rolls in combat; combat is resolved from their perspective. In the case where a player jumps into a hostile system, they are the attacker and their opponent is the defender. In the case where players are jumping into one another (i.e. a combat situation "en route" to a system) or in the case where both players have jumped into a neutral system at the same time, the attacker can be established via this set of priorities:
- The player whose group has the highest total combat Strength is the attacker.
- If both groups have an equal total combat Strength, the group with the higher total Maneuver rating is the attacker.
- If both groups have an equal total combat Strength and Maneuver ratings, the group with the larger number of available Hits is the attacker.
- If both groups have equal Strength, Maneuver and Hits, the player with the higher overall number of systems under their control is the attacker.
- If both players have equal Strength, Maneuver and Hits and have an equal number of systems under their control, the player who controls the greater number of Mines is the attacker.
- If both players have equal Strength, Maneuver and Hits and also have an equal number of systems and Mines under their control, the player who controls the largest number of Shipyards is the attacker.
- In the highly unlikely event that all other criteria result in an exact tie, both players will roll 2d6; the player that rolls the highest result is the attacker. This die roll will be repeated in the event of further ties until there is a clear cut result.
Once the identity of the attacker has been established, both players expose their forces and tally up the total Maneuver score and Strength score of their group (if they have not done so already). The attacker then subtracts the defender's total Maneuver score from the total Maneuver score of their own force; the result is a modifier that will be applied to the outcome of their die rolls. The attacker must also compare their total Strength score to that of the defender's forces; this will be expressed as a ratio of the attacker's total Strength score to that of the defender's total Strength score. This is calculated most easily by dividing the larger score by that of the smaller score, and rounding any decimal remainder to one decimal point. This ratio will determine the column the attacker will use on the Combat Results Table (CRT) below when making their combat rolls. To utilize a particular column, the Strength ratio must be equal to or greater than the amount indicated in a given column while not being sufficient for the next column to the right (for example, if the strength ratio is 2.3:1, the 2:1 column will be utilized).
Once the die modifier and the column to be utilized on the CRT have been determined, the attacker rolls 2d6, adds the die modifier to the result and checks the corresponding result on the CRT. The results listed in the CRT indicate a number of Hits to be inflicted on the Attacker and the Defender separated by a slash, with the Attacker left of the slash and the Defender on the right (e.g. a result of "1/4" inflicts one Hit on the Attacker and four Hits on the Defender). The indicated player(s) must allocate all of the Hits indicated to their forces. A player may allocate Hits in any combination of their choosing. To indicate Hits absorbed by the various craft in their group, a player may either place logo tokens on top of the corresponding craft or simply keep track of them on a piece of scrap paper.
A craft is destroyed once it absorbs a number of Hits equal to its Hits rating. Once this occurs, the craft may not absorb additional Hits if any more have not yet been allocated. A destroyed craft is removed from the board and returned to the player's available token pool. When a craft is destroyed, the Maneuver modifier and Strength score ratio for the player's group must be re-determined prior to the next combat roll. Combat is concluded once a player's group has been completely destroyed.
The results of "AE" and "DE" on the CRT are special; if the indicated result is "AE" (Attacker Eliminated), the Attacker's entire force is automatically eliminated and the Defender is automatically victorious. Likewise, "DE" (Defender Eliminated) automatically wipes out the Defender's forces and gives an automatic victory to the Attacker.
Special Situations in CombatEdit
While the rules as prescribed above will handle about 90% of the Combat Situations that occur in the game, there are a few special circumstances that may occur and that require their own special discussion. These situations include the use of Leech Missiles, Cloaking Devices and Torpedoes, what happens when a Transport is in combat, and what happens when a Carrier is present in combat.
Leech Missiles and Cloaking DevicesEdit
The Terran Wraith Medium Fighter and the Kilrathi Shoklar Light Fighter are both equipped with devices (Leech Missiles and Cloaking Devices, respectively) that alter combat resolution somewhat. Functionally, Leech Missiles and Cloaks have the same set of combat benefits. When a craft equipped with either of these technologies are present in combat, a number of Hits will automatically be scored on the enemy forces, while at the same time a number of Hits may be ignored. Prior to the first combat round, a player will roll 1d6 per craft in their combat group equipped with either technology; the result of the roll is a number of Hits that their opponent must immediately resolve (for example, if the Confederation player brings six Wraiths into battle, they will roll 6d6; the result of the roll indicates the number of Hits the Kilrathi player must resolve). Also, for each craft so equipped in the player's group, they may ignore one Hit when Hits occur; the number of Hits that may be ignored decreases by one point every time any Hit is nullified (so the Confederation player could ignore up to six Hits the first time they receive any Hits, up to five Hits on the next occurrence, up to four Hits on the next and so forth).
Transports may occasionally find themselves included in a combat situation. Unlike the Carrier, Transports may be assigned Hits in combat. If a Transport is destroyed, the player who controls it must roll 1d6 and surrender a number of Production Points equal to the result (if available) to their logo token pool. Transports are unique in that they can "survive" combat; if all craft in a combat group are destroyed except for the Transports, combat is concluded. The remaining Transports are captured in this case; the victorious group takes immediate control over the Transport tokens (they are not replaced with tokens from the player's own pool) and they are considered part of the victorious player's forces at that point. If a captured Transport is later destroyed, the token is removed from the game. When a Transport is captured, the original owner must surrender 1d6 Production Points from their available pool to their opponent; if they have no Production Points in their pool, their opponent will still immediately gain 1d6 free Production Points. In the rare case where a combat situation consists of a Transport versus an enemy Transport, a single combat roll takes place at a 1-1 Strength Ratio once the "attacking" force is established. Whoever wins this roll (i.e. whoever takes the fewest number of Hits) is victorious and automatically captures the other Transport, with the same set of general effects.
Carriers are considered separate from a combat group; they can be present while combat takes place and their Maneuver and Strength scores will be added to those of their combat group, they cannot take Hits and can survive the destruction of the rest of their combat group. Should the rest of a carrier's combat group be destroyed, what happens depends on whether or not there are any torpedo-carrying craft in the victorious combat group. If there are, the carrier is destroyed and the player controlling the victorious combat group wins the game. If not, however, then the carrier remains where it is (or proceeds to its destination, in the case of an "en route" combat situation). The opposing force is forced to retreat and system control goes to the player controlling the carrier. The opposing force must retreat to the closest friendly system; if no such system is available, they may retreat to a neutral system. If neither a friendly or neutral system is available, the player controlling the carrier may choose the system into which the opposing force will retreat.
In the rare event that the two carriers come into contact with one another with no other defensive forces present, a single 1-1 combat round occurs; whichever side takes the fewest Hits is victorious and forces the enemy carrier to retreat.
Combat groups that have a torpedo-wielding craft need not wait until the end of combat to see if their craft will destroy the enemy carrier. After Hits have been allocated and prior to the next combat round, a "torpedo run" may be declared. The player controlling the torpedo craft will roll 2d6. On a result of two (snake-eyes), the enemy carrier is immediately destroyed and that player wins the game. On all other results, no torpedo hits are scored and combat continues to the next round. The threshold required for a successful torpedo run increases by one per attempt conducted. A torpedo run expends one torpedo, so a player may only make a number of attempts equal to the remaining number of torpedo-wielding craft; for each of those craft destroyed, the number of possible attempts decreases by one. Bear in mind that torpedo runs do not otherwise expend the torpedo; if all torpedo runs are unsuccessful but a torpedo-wielding craft survives long enough for the carrier's defensive group to be destroyed, the enemy carrier will still be destroyed. A player may only make one torpedo run per round, regardless of the number of torpedo-carrying craft in their combat group.
An Example of CombatEdit
The Confederation and Kilrathi players have both moved a combat force consisting of one unit into the neutral system of Redwop during the movement phase of a round. Since this is a situation where the attacker is not clear, both players expose their forces. The Confederation force consists of a single Arrow Light Fighter, while the Kilrathi force consists of one Dralthi. The first priority for establishing the attacker is combat Strength. Both the Arrow and the Dralthi have a combat Strength of 1, so there is still a tie and so the next priority is examined, Maneuver. Here the tie is broken: the Arrow has a Maneuver rating of +1 while the Dralthi has a Maneuver rating of zero. The Confederation force will act as the attacker.
Since there is only one craft in each group, totaling up the Maneuver and Strength scores is easy: it's merely the score for the single unit. The Kilrathi force has a Maneuver score of 0, a Strength score of 1, and 1 Hit. The Confederation force has a Maneuver score of 1, a Strength score of 1, and 1 Hit.
Since the Confederation player is the attacker, they must subtract the Kilrathi's Maneuver score from their own for the dice modifier. In this case, the modifier is +1 (1-0 = 1) and so the Confederation player may add one point from the result of their combat rolls. They must also determine the Strength score ratio; in this case, since both groups have the same level of Strength, the ratio is simply 1:1.
Now the Confederation player rolls 2d6. The dice are cast and a seven results. Ordinarily for a 1-1 Strength ratio, this would indicate that both sides will take one hit. However, due to the die modifier, the result of seven is modified up to a result of eight, which indicates the 0/1 - the Attacker takes no hits while the Defender sustains one. The Kilrathi player curses as they are forced to allocate one hit to their Dralthi, which sufficient to destroy the fighter and end combat. Control of the Redwop system immediately goes to the victorious Confederation player.
A Longer and More Thorough Example of CombatEdit
Later in the same game, the Confederation player has gained the upper hand and boldly moves a large strike force consisting of three Wraiths, four Gladii and five Banshees into the Atrapi system, where there is a large Kilrathi force assembled. Since the Confederation player has moved into a hostile system, they are automatically the Attacker.
The Confederation player is surprised to find Shiraak in the system, along with a defensive force of 4 Dralthi, 2 Shoklars, a Kor'larh and a Goran. Three Transport ships are also present. To complicate matters, the Kilrathi player reveals a Medium Fortress, adding three Jratheks to their group. Both players begin calculating their stats for the forthcoming battle. The Confederation side has a total Maneuver score of -10 (from the five Banshees), a total Strength of 60 (each craft has a Strength score of 5 and there are 12 Confederation craft total), the capacity to take 61 Hits total (five for each Wraith, four for each Gladius and six for each Banshee), a total of three Leech equipped ships and nine ships equipped with Torpedoes - so they may make up to nine torpedo runs total. The Kilrathi player has a total Maneuver score of -18 (the Transports and Shiraak really weigh the Kilrathi force down), a total Strength score of 34 ((4*1)+(2*3)+(3*3)+(1*4)+(1*6)+(3*1)+(1*2) = 4+6+9+4+6+3+2 = 34), the capacity to take 63 Hits (the three Transports really beef things up here), two Cloaking Devices and Torpedoes. The presence of torpedoes on the Kilrathi side doesn't help them much, but the large presence of Confederation torpedoes makes this a potentially game-ending battle.
The Confederation as attacker subtracts the Kilrathi's -18 Maneuver score from their own -10 Maneuver score. The final result is +8 (-10 - -18 = 18-10 = 8), a significant positive die modifier. To determine the Strength score ratio, the Confederation player has the higher score, and divides their score of 60 by the Kilrathi score of 34. The result is 1.76, which will get rounded up to 1.8. The Confederation player will use the 1.5:1 column on the CRT.
Combat now begins, but because both sides have special pieces of equipment, its presence must be accounted for. The Terran player rolls 3d6, one for each Wraith in their group. The result is ten; the Kilrathi player allocates nine of those hits to a single Transport and the last hit to another Transport. The Kilrathi player then rolls 2d6 for their two Shoklars. An eleven results; the Confederation player allocates five hits to two of their Banshees and the final hit to a third. Not an auspicious start for either side...
Now the Confederation player rolls for the first combat round. The result of the roll is a seven, to which the +8 bonus is added, making the result a 15. Checking the results for >12 at 1.5:1, the players easily see that the Kilrathi player must take four hits. Since the Kilrathi player still controls two Shoklars and it's the first time they've taken damage in regular combat, they choose to ignore two of those hits. Realizing that their group's low Maneuver score is going to give the Confederation player a huge advantage, the Kilrathi player decides to bite the bullet: they allocate one Hit to their previously heavily damaged Transport (giving it ten hits total) and the other Hit to the second Transport. Since transports can only take ten hits, one Transport is destroyed. This changes the Kilrathi player's total Maneuver score to -14 and their Strength score to 33. The Kilrathi player rolls the d6; a one results. The Kilrathi player happily surrenders a Production Point back to their logo token pool. True they lost a ship, true they lost a Production Point and true they are now slightly weaker...but they've taken a huge chunk out of the Confederation player's die modifier advantage, which is reduced to +4 (-10 - -14 = 14-10 = 4). The slight change in their Strength (from 34 to 33) is not enough to tilt the battle significantly in the Confederation player's favor; the ratio remains at 1.5:1. The Confederation player elects to try a torpedo run since they have torpedo-equipped craft. The result is six; no joy. Combat goes on to the next round.
Since it's the second round, the attack bonuses for Leeches and Cloaks don't apply any more, and the Confederation player simply rolls. The die result is ten for a total of fourteen, again a result of zero-and-four. The Kilrathi player elects to go ahead and absorb hits again with their Cloaks, but they may only ignore one hit at this point, so another three hits count against to the Kilrathi player, which they again allocate to the second Transport (it has absorbed five hits at this point). The Confederation player makes another torpedo run; the result is 12, so again the carrier remains untouched.
The third round's die result is an eight, which is modified to a 12, a result of one-and-three. This indicates three Hits to the Kilrathi player, which (since they already have now used their Cloaks twice) is not modified. The Kilrathi player allocates those hits to the second transport (putting it up to eight). The Confederation player's third Banshee takes another hit (putting it at two hits) and boxcars is again the result for their torpedo run, so play goes onto the next round.
In the fourth round, an eleven results, which is modified to fifteen. The Kilrathi player takes four hits. Not wanting to give up another Transport just yet, they allocate one Hit to the second Transport and the other three to the third. The torpedo run result is eleven.
In the fifth combat round, a ten results on the dice; the Kilrathi player takes four Hits. The Kilrathi player decides to bite the bullet and let the second Transport be destroyed, allocating the remaining three hits to the last Transport (putting it up at six). Again, the biggest change this causes is the equalization of the Maneuver scores of the two fleets (they are now both at -10, so there is no longer any die bonus); there is still no change in Strength ratio. The loss of the Transport costs the Kilrathi player two Production Points, but they've managed to kill the Confederation player's die roll advantage. The torpedo run result is again an eleven.
A twelve comes up on the roll for the sixth round, which forces the Kilrathi player to take three Hits. The Hits are allocated to the Transport, putting it at nine Hits. The Confederation player's single Hit is allocated to their third Banshee once again, putting it at three Hits. The Confederation player's torpedo run is, once again, no good.
The seventh round's combat roll comes up as a six. This ordinarily would indicate a one-and-one hit result, but since the Confederation has specially equipped fighters that have yet to see their bonuses used, they decide to ignore their hit. The Kilrathi player allocates their hit to one of their fortress Jratheks. The Confederation player rolls for the torpedo run and a five results. Since an eight or less indicates a successful run during the seventh combat round, Shiraak is destroyed and the Confederation player has won the game.
Optional Rules for Tactical CombatEdit
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Here's an idea: why not use the rules from Wing Commander: Tactical Operations, WCRPG, or another pnp form of Wing Commander to have actual battles instead of just some lame dice roll for combat?
Way ahead of you, mister spacedude. There are plans in the works to enhance Armada: PNP by having working up stat cards for TacOps, which will become available at a later date and will allow players to add-on to the game by allowing combat TacOps style. Players who wish to utilize WCRPG for this purpose are perfectly welcome to do so utilizing the statistics for Armada craft in Chapters 6.3, 7.3 and 7.4 and WCRPG's combat rules in Chapter Nine. A full game of Armada: PNP enhanced with either set of rules will take longer to complete, of course, but for some players they should vastly enrich their game experience.
I'll want to make the WCRPG references an actual paragraph, and I'll need to add either tables or lists for the crucial pilot skills. I don't know if I want to take it further than that...maybe suggest GMs could use the game rules to keep track of campaign events or something of that nature.
TacOps rules additions - I need to finish the new ship cards, define the board size at 60x60 hexes, add rules for "rapid fire" weapons to enhance damage, maybe enhance missile damage, leech and cloak rules and new Kilrathi gun rules. Maybe a few other things; I'll need to do a full review of the TacOps rules for sure.
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Seldomly-Asked Questions (SAQs)Edit
How do I go about asking a question?
Armada: PNP has a thread at the CIC forums. The specific thread address is at http://www.wcnews.com/chatzone/threads/armada-pnp.25874/. Keep in mind that you will need to be registered with the forums in order to post your question. I check the forums on a regular basis (at least at the time of this writing), so I should be able to answer your question fairly quickly.
I've noticed over here that this rule says something, but this other rule says something contradictory. What's up with that?
I do sleep on occasion (despite all reports to the contrary). If you notice something like this, let me know (same way you go about asking a question) and I'll correct the problem as soon as I can.
Why did you come up with Armada: PNP?
In November 2011 with WCRPG's development in full swing, I started building silhouettes of the various craft in the Wing Commander continuity, with the intention of turning them into a set of general use counters similar to those found in games such as Star Fleet Battles; indeed, I had already designed such a set for the Starflight III community. I didn't have a specific intention for these counters until November 17, 2011; that intention still has yet to be revealed to the Wing Commander community, but it quickly became apparent that I needed a test-bed to try out a few of the mechanics (not to mention an actual game with which to use some of the counters), so I decided to adapt the original Armada game to a pnp system.
Just how true is Armada: PNP to the original game?
It's a reasonably faithful adaptation of the Armada/Campaign portions of the original game. A lot of the game's content has been adapted straight from the in-game information and the bulk of how it plays is still the same. The biggest difference has to do with the replacement of resources with Production Points, a necessary change to reduce the overall amount of bookkeeping. This, of course, necessitated a change in the in-game use of Transports (I had to give players a reason to build Transports and extra cash potential seemed like a good reason). The ships had to be analyzed for their overall combat potential; again, this was done in order to simplify combat. The rules for concealment and exposure had to be put in play, as (unlike the original game), both players have a pretty good idea of where their opponents assets are located in a live game. Those rules were put in play in an attempt to preserve at least some of the fog of war present in the original game. Finally, while Armada: PNP utilizes a form of combat similar to the Quick Combat option in the original game, the actual Quick Combat algorithm has been thrown out completely; simply put, the old algorithm heavily favored players who bought the heaviest class of fighter available to them, giving them no real reason to build anything less. The new algorithm gives some advantages to having a varied combat force.
Belleau Wood-class Transport? Jakhari-class Transport? Where did these names come from?
They came from Star*Soldier, the official documentation of Wing Commander Arena; they are identified along with a top-down model of the specific craft on page 3 (in the "Letter of the Month" text box). They are a retcon, of course; Arena was released a full 13 years after Armada. Actually, there is surprising little information on the Transports in Armada. Even in the game's documentation, little is discussed other than what they're intended to do (ferry resources around).
Why isn't the (insert ship and/or piece of equipment here) included in the game?
This first edition of the rules was intended as a faithful re-creation of the original Armada game, and so the focus was on the craft and equipment that appeared in the original game only. If it's not in the game right now, it's because it wasn't in Armada originally.
So, when will we see material from (insert game name here) added to Armada: PNP?
There is a plan in the works to include craft from the other games at a later time, though this plan is still in its formative stages. If you have a preference for something you'd like to see in future versions of Armada: PNP sooner rather than later, post it as a question in the forums and I'll do my utmost to make it a priority change for the next game version.
So, what happened to Lexington and Shiraak anyway?
Canonically, both carriers disappeared and were never heard from again (confirming Armada's position as a stand-alone product that had little to do with the rest of the WC continuity). What I like to think happened (and bear in mind that this is my interpretation of events only) is that Lexington's forces ultimately destroyed the Shiraak (since we hear of no other major attacks on the Terran homeworlds in later WC games) and ultimately made it to the Kilrah system, where the ship's Special Operations teams were able to hollow out the Theta-class bases that housed the Temblor Bombs. Unfortunately, Lexington was discovered and destroyed by the Kilrathi, but not before the seeds of Kilrah's destruction had been planted. I like to think that Jeannette Devereaux was the commander of Lexington mentioned in Voices of War; naturally, there's no way to confirm this, but it would be consistent with the bulk of the commander's story...
12/21/11 - v. 0.7: Initial draft rules completed. 1/11/12 - v. 0.7.0: First draft rules converted to MS Word .DOC format and Adobe Acrobat .PDF format. 8/27/13 - v. 0.7.1: Revision/proofreading of the initial draft rules. 9/4/13 - v. 0.7.2: Addition of tactical combat rule variants for TacOps and WCRPG.
To Chris Roberts and the rest of the team at Origin Systems for creating one of my all-time favorite games; indeed, one of my all-time favorite science-fiction series, games and stories that have continued to inspire me throughout the years.
Also for the continuing support of the Wing Commander community. I'm glad y'all liked my counters. Here's hoping we can put them to good use.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.
WING COMMANDER, WING COMMANDER II: VENGEANCE OF THE KILRATHI, WING COMMANDER III: HEART OF THE TIGER, WING COMMANDER PRIVATEER, WING COMMANDER: ARMADA, WING COMMANDER IV: THE PRICE OF FREEDOM, PRIVATEER 2: THE DARKENING and WING COMMANDER: PROPHECY, and all related materials are Copyright 1990-1998 by Origin Systems, Inc., All Rights Reserved. WING COMMANDER ARENA and all related materials are Copyright 2007 by Electronic Arts, Inc. WING COMMANDER: FREEDOM FLIGHT, WING COMMANDER: END RUN, WING COMMANDER: FLEET ACTION, WING COMMANDER: HEART OF THE TIGER, WING COMMANDER: THE PRICE OF FREEDOM, WING COMMANDER: ACTION STATIONS and WING COMMANDER: FALSE COLORS are Copyright 1992-1999 by Origin Systems, Inc. No permission for use of any of these materials has been obtained by the WCRPG Project, and we're all certainly hoping EA doesn't decide to clamp down on us for it...
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