Monday, November 5, 2012

SWN Faction Game: Movement and Geography

There is something about the design philosophy of Stars Without Numbers were categories are sharp.  Starship levels go from Fighter, Frigate, and Cruiser; each one much bigger and more powerful than another.  The Faction game is no different.  At one ability level, it may be possible to hold together a small stellar empire - but probably not much bigger.  With another power level - wham - you can march across the sky with your jack boots.

When setting up your factions in a sector, it's important to have an idea of scale.  Stars are arranged in hex patterns, and each level of distance away is strategically huge.  A clump of stars together at zero hexes apart would be relatively easy to control, as long as you had the right amount of Force, Cunning, or Wealth.  Move outside that cluster, and it becomes almost impossible to affect anything without a great deal of effort.  Inter-cluster invasions are nearly impossible without the right combination of sneaking in, establishing bases, moving more covert forces in, and then blasting away.  Strategery, or something like that.

Want to have influence on a system more than three hexes away?  Impossible in the Faction game.  That's where the PCs come in, of course.

Below is a list of Faction Assets from that game that I've worked up, describing assets with movement abilities - either itself of hauling other assets.  Its' probably important to have a grasp of this chart before finalizing the factions in your sector.  Intergalactic domination can be difficult and expensive. And yeah, you may notice that your big shiny Strike Fleet can't make it from cluster to cluster.  You'll have to invade a cluster, gain a foothold, and buy a whole new Strike Fleet for operations in the new cluster.  What is an evil overlord to do?

Force Level Tech Can Move? Distance Move Cost
Beachhead Lander 4 4 Any (multiple) 1 1
Blockade Fleet 5 4 Self 1 0
Capital Fleet 8 5 Self 3 0(2 upkeep)
Deep Strike Landers 7 5 Non-Starship, Self 3 2
Extended Theater 4 4 Non-Starship, Self 2 1
Heavy Drop Assets 2 4 Non-Starship, Self 1 1
Space Marines 7 5 Self 1 0
Strike Fleet 4 4 Self 1 0
Cunning Level Tech Can Move? Distance Move Cost
Covert Shipping 3 4 Special Forces 3 1
Covert Transit Net 6 4 Special Forces (multiple) 3 0
Smugglers 1 4 Special Forces, Self 2 0
Wealth Level Tech Can Move? Distance Move Cost
Blockade Runners 5 4 Military Units, Special Forces, Self 3 0
Freighter Contract 2 4 Non-Force, Self 2 1
Mercenaries 3 4 Self 1 0
Scavenger Fleets 8 5 Self 3 0(2 upkeep)
Shipping Combine 4 4 Non-Force, Self 2 1
Surveyors 2 4 Self 2 0
Transit Web 7 5 Non-Starship, Non-Force (multiple) 3 1

- Ark

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