If you enjoy space combat and want to approach it as a 'wargame', this set of rules and other resources will enable you to do so within the context of your 2300 AD game, moving seamlessly from character-level role-playing to ship-to-ship combat. For those who like their games realistic, this ruleset has been designed to model as closely as possible what would be likely to happen in a space combat - the only real breach of known physical laws is the existence of 'stutterwarp' as a propulsion system.
As a box set, several books are included (they come as a single large PDF file if you purchase a download copy). The first one, Star Cruiser Rule Book, contains the actual combat system - a good straightforward one - along with a collection of scenarios to fight out (complete with lists of appropriate ships to use) and a lot of ships to use in your battles. There's no scope for character involvement, even if you do decide that the party is aboard one of the participating ships - this is pure 'wargame'.
Next is the Naval Architect's Manual. This is designed to enable quite detailed ship design, and takes you through the process step-by-step from the original concept through to all the details of power plant, armament, crew size and such like that you'll need to know - especially if you want to test your new design in battle using the rules provided.
Finally, there's a whole bunch of Ship Status Sheets covering every vessel mentioned as well as a few blanks for you to add your own designs. There are also ship counters and a large map on which to fight out your battles. (If using the PDF version and printing, you might want to make your own map as this one is basically black - it is space, after all - and will eat up your black ink!)
Overall, if you want to have a stand-alone space combat boardgame, this is quite a neat and straightforward one. If you want a space combat game that links in to the 2300 AD galaxy, perhaps to resolve the outcomes of disputes in the background of your role-playing (for example, Kafer ships are included so if the Kafer invasion is part of your campaign, you might have a space battle or two being fought out that the party will hear about...), this one makes good use of the background set up for the game. The one place it falls down is if you want to have the party involved in space actions. This is ship-on-ship combat, pure and simple. And fun!
Return to Star Cruiser page.
Reviewed: 30 November 2015