A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… Stars & Lasers playtest.

Ok maybe not a long time ago and maybe not even in a far, far away galaxy, upstairs in my house on a gaming table… possibly!

I have just started playtesting a new add-on to my Stars & Lasers rules, I have been asked a few times to do something that will allow people to play the game but using Star Wars ships… well I have been getting help from a guy on the Little Wargaming Worlds Discord server who knows a lot more about Star Wars ships than I do.

With his help I have already put together twelve ship cards for four Imperial ships and seven ships for the Rebels, these are based on Star Wars Armada ships.

Ships like the Imperial Star Destroyer and the MC80 Home One Assault Cruiser to name just two.

I have most things sorted for these ships including all their special “skills” things like BRACE, REDIRECT, EVADE etc. etc. these were surprisingly easy to convert over to Stars & Lasers.

One of the big changes to the stars & Laser style ships were the shields, in games of Stars & Lasers the shields go all around the ship protecting it from shots from any direction, but the Star Wars Armada ships needed shields in four arcs, which are the front, rear and of course the sides.

This was a lot easier to do than I first thought it would be.

A couple of things I am having a little more of an issue with are things like special weapons including Ion cannons and turbo lasers etc. etc. these are strange in Star Wars Armada as they don’t really “shoot” yeah I know that’s crazy ( well to me it is! )

What they use are cards which when played effect the opponent’s cards or dice etc.

Ok they do have different colour dice which do represent different ship weapons but that still seems a little odd ☹

In Stars & Lasers if you have a weapon on a turret of the ship it has stats and you roll dice to see if it hits the target and how much damage it does, that to me feels great especially if you get a critical hit as well, but to just play a card that has some weird effect on the other players card or dice roll seems really naff…

I am still working on these weapons and how best to add them, but I am certain that they will be “weapons” with stats and when they fire you will have to roll dice to see if they hit the enemy ships.

The other thing I am having some trouble with at the moment are missiles, these work really simply in Stars & Lasers ( and are deadly! ) but again in Star Wars Armada they are just represented by rolling a different colour dice! Nothing actually moves across the table and hits the enemy ships so no tactics or a need to plan your attacks.

So swapping that over to Stars & Lasers is proving to be a harder thing than I had imagined it would be.

The Armada ships get black pips on their ships cards to represent how many “missiles” are able to fire from an arc on the ship, so that would be easy to show as a number of missile hardpoints ( launch tubes ) there are in each arc, but I can’t work out how many missiles the ship carries in each arc or how many missiles the ship can carry to fire during the battle.

The first thing I thought of is just count the black pips in a fire arc and that is the number of missiles that can fire from that arc, which wouldn’t give many missiles for the game, so then I thought how about just doubling the number of pips, so if a fire arc had four black pips and you double them that would give you eight missiles that you would be able to fire from that arc during the battle.

So if a ship had four pips in both side arcs and two at the rear and three at the front that would be…. Twenty-six missiles!!!!

A ship carrying twenty-six missiles in Stars & Lasers would be a very scary ship indeed.

A way to control this would be to limit the number of missiles the ships was able to fire from each fire arc during a turn.

As you can see lots of possibilities and the whole while remembering to try and keep the rules faithful to Stars & Lasers, that means keeping things simple.

I have had a first playtest of what I have got so far using “proxy” ships as I don’t have any Star Wars Armada ships, I used a couple of my big Firestorm Armada ships, one I used as a proxy of an Imperial I-class Star Destroyer and the other would be the MC80 Home One Assault Cruiser.

Imperial I-class Star Destroyer ( proxy )
MC80 Home One Assault Cruiser ( proxy )

I just had those two ships slug it out for a few turns and I must admit it worked really well, the four shield system worked and the special skills ( BRACE, REDIRECT etc. ) worked as well.

So I am very pleased with the first try, I do still have a few things still to do but hopefully they will be easy to work out.

Oh, in case you are interested the Star Destroyer won!!

So watch this space as they say, I am not looking at doing a huge supplement it will just be a few pages of simple rules to allow people to use their Star Wars Armada ships with Stars & Lasers rules, hopefully they will give a decent Star Wars feel to the game.

As I get in more playtest games I will put one or two on here so that you can see how things are coming along.

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  1. Zac

    Hi Mac
    All I know about star wars are the movies ,cartoons & live action TV show’s
    And I have never known of a missile fired of even mentioned!
    Ion cannon’s create an emp on the enemy ship but I can only recall it being used and that was fired from a planet base.
    Terbo laser’s are just really powerful lasers used buy ships.

    You may want to use the new shields rule for your star treck mod.
    Maybe you have a number of shield point’s to distribute between the the various quadrants that you could change during the game.
    Possibly all you would need is forward and aft.
    Hope this helps.

    • Mac

      Hi Zac,

      Thanks yes it does help, I am learning all about the Star Wars ships as I have only seen them in the films so any help I can get is useful.

      The shields work really well with the four arcs and they will be perfect for Star Trek, even if I only use two arcs.


  2. Zac

    Hi Mac
    I have been thinking about your project and I think the problem you have is George Lucas didn’t give much thought to how thing worked; where as Gene Roddenberry did.

    Your problem as I see it is this, the televisual part of the universe has 4 Major period’s which cover a period of about 50 years 70 at the most and their is no technology advancement.

    Their is the Republican era which has loads of Jedi
    The clone war era where forces are relatively evenly matched and their are loads of Jedi and a number of sith (bady Jedi)

    The empire era where the rebels are hopelessly out matched and the worst Jedi ever (Luke Skywalker)
    And arguably the best sith ever.
    And last and most definetly least the first order/new Republic era.

    So looking at empire era the classic star war that we think off .
    On paper the empire should wipe the rebels of the map with out noticeing.
    Their star destoyers are ridiculously more powerful than any of the rebel capital ships and the empire has more of them.
    The empire flagship the super star destroyer is huge it dwarf’s the star destroyer and could probably ram the best the capital ships the rebels have.
    Fighter wise the x-wing out classes the tie fighter.
    But the empire has the number’s at the battle of endor (return of the Jedi)
    The fighter wise empire out numbers the rebels by at least 20 to 1!
    So what is the wild card?
    The force!
    So hears my theory,
    The empire rely’s on clones to do their dirty work and the rebels rely on naturaly born pilot’s who can subconsciouly weild the force which clones cant do.
    So when someone who can consciously weild the force this can change the course of an engagement.

    This is hammered home during the clone war era
    Where the badys have a droid army and the Republic have clones (who get subverted and become empire lapdogs)
    Both sides are evenly matched but it is the Jedi that make the difference.

    So the force is a thing that makes the difference, how you make a mechanism to represent this I don’t know.

    • Mac

      Hi Zac,
      lol the force is never with me when I am rolling dice!! 🙁

      I think I could add the “Force” as some sort of bonus a ship could get during the game.
      Maybe the Imperial side could add a geezer dressed in black and the Rebels could add his son!
      Maybe they could get a re-roll or two during the battle, something simple like that.


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