First of all, the ship card. Every ship card has a few standard elements, which are the grey facing lines, the stat block, the name and the crew.
Let’s take a look at the stat block now. The ship has six stats: Thrust, Attitude, Hull, Shields, Weapon and Turret. These are divided into three sections, Movement, Defence and Offense. Since I stole these from I-War which might be relatively unknown, I’ll explain the space combat this system is supposed to simulate.
Thrust means the ship’s capability for acceleration. Top speed is an insignificant aspect, since in space there is no air resistance. Any object, given enough thrust, can achieve light speed. In theory. So every spacecraft has one set of primary thrust engines, which are designed to provide maximum acceleration without damaging the ship in the process. In space combat, thrust is used to outspeed the enemy craft, providing a quick way to engage and disengage.
Attitude is not how much leather the ship is wearing, but the quality of its attitude thrusters. These are used to maneuver the ship. The attitude thrusters are positioned around the ship, and are designed to provide roll, pitch and yaw. Doing a 90-degree turn to the left would require the ship first to shut down the primary engines, using the attitude thrusters to turn the ship to the left and then re-engaging the engines. And all the time, inertia would drive the ship forward. Therefore, maneuvering in space is quite hard. The better the attitude thrusters, the faster the ship can around its axis.
Hull and Shields are pretty much self-explanatory to anyone who have even dabbled in science fiction. Hull integrity means how well the ship’s superstructure is protected and how much damage it will take to render it nonfunctional. Shields protect against incoming projectiles, whether energy or kinetic. In game terms, Hull is the maximum hit point value of the ship and Shields are the defence value to which the enemy attack value is compared.
For weapons, there are two conventions: High-powered main weapons and turrets. Since most efficient space weapon technology tends to be quite large and fragile, the main weapons are built inside the ship, protected by armor. This limits its mobility, forcing the pilot to point the entire ship at the enemy when wishing to fire with it. Usually they can swivel a couple of degrees to provide maximum aim, but the primary weapons still require constant maneuvering. The turrets, however, are smaller weapons located around the ship. These can swivel freely, and can target the enemy in any direction. But in smaller craft the engine exhausts tend to take up a lot of hull surface, often leaving a blind spot where even the turrets cannot effectively fire. In game terms, the main weapons can only be fired on enemy ships in the front arc of the ship. The turrets can fire to front and side arcs.
Next, the skill cards. There are four types of skill cards: Command, Engineering, Maneuver and Gunnery. Each card has two elements in common: The Skill Value and the Effect.
Command cards are used by the Captain. The skill values are used to determine initiative by discarding the card. The effect happens when the card is played.
The Engineering cards are used by the Engineer. Their Skill Values are used to repair damage cards, and the effects can be played normally.
There are two types of maneuver cards; Thrust and Attitude. Whenever a maneuver is selected in the maneuver selection phase, the player will add the ship’s appropriate value into the check. The effect is what happens if the maneuver succeeds.
The Gunnery cards are used by the gunner, unsurprisingly. The values are used when discarding cards to attack, and the effects either replace the normal one damage card or add something to it when played.
And finally, the damage cards. The damage cards have also a value and an effect. The value is used to represent how difficult the damage is to repair. The Engineer must discard card(s) whose value is equal or greater to the damage card’s value to repair it. There are two types of effects a damage card can have: Instantaneous and Delayed. Instant damage applies the moment the card is drawn. Delayed damage is usually more serious, like power or life support failures. At the end of every Engineer turn, the damage cards advance, and if there is any new effects, they are applied.
So here are the card types. The cards themselves were made with Magic Set Editor, because it is a very convenient way to make protoype cards in printable sizes. Now the next important question for the game: What kind of structure does it have? I don’t know yet, but it’s slowly starting to head towards a Doom-boardgame-type of experience.