The Battlestar Galactica game naturally lends itself to mass-combat, if only due to the large number of fighters in any combat between capital vessels.  In our campaign, we’ve had three capital ships on either side, plus masses of fighters.  Instead of judging combat by caveat, some fights should have that element of danger that randomness gives…

To that end, I cobbled together a set of mass combat for BSG RPG:

1.  Whereas personal combat takes place in 6-second increments, mass combat takes place in at least 1 minute increments.  All capital ships are a single unit, with fighters represented by flight, squadron, or wing.

2.  At Capital range, all capital ships are an EASY target and cannot maneuver to avoid fire.  Point defense systems may conduct an opposed test against incoming fire to stop missile and kinetic weapons, as well as attack fighter craft that close to skirmish range.  At ranges before Capital, ships can also attempt to maneuver to make targeting more difficult by presenting a smaller target or better angle to slough off attacks.  This requires a HARD AGL+PILOT/CAPITAL SHIP.  A success allows the to add the ship’s AGL to the EASY difficulty, and at Long Dradis, the test acts as an opposed test to the enemy’s roll to hit.

3.  Another way to stop incoming missile fire is to jam the guidance systems of the weapon.  EW raptors can attempt to better the defense test of the capital ship with an INT+TECHNICAL ENGINEERING/ ELECTRONIC WARFARE.  The higher roll is the difficulty for the missile attack.

4.  Fighters and raptors act in groups to be ore effective.  Fighters are grouped into flights, squadrons, and wings – each is considered a single “capital level” unit in mass combat and do damage at the spacecraft-scale.

Flights consist of 1-11 fighters.    They can take twice the damage of the number of vessels in the flight.  Every two hits, lose a fighter (never a player character ship, though!)  Flights only do basic damage from a successful hit on a vessel.  Squadrons consist of 12-24 craft.  They gain d2W to a unit (be it a capital ship or a fighter unit.)  Wings consist of 2 or more squadrons (48+ fighters) and gain a d4W to any damage rendered.  Whenever a unit takes enough damage to drop below the minimum size, then lose their damage bonus.

5.  In fleet level combat, initiative is decided by an opposed INT+PERCEPTION/ TACTICS  of the commanders.  (For a fleet, this is the admiral; for a ship, the commander; for a fighter wing or what have you, the CAG.)  [We allow the CAG to roll separately of the admiral/commander, but the latter can do an indirect combined test with the CAG to gain initiative.]

6.  Combat takes place as with character level combat:  winners of initiative go first, then the force with the lower initiative.  On board the capital ships, the commander can aid any number of tests going on with an ALE+LEADERSHIP test.  Other characters can conduct tests they are assigned (a gunnery officer or executive officer might be handling the ship’s cannons or the point defense.)  Each test give a -1 step on the attribute.  (So a gunnery officer might be handling a gunnery salvo with a d8 Alertness and a d8 Heavy Weapons/Ship Cannons, then conduct point defense with a d6 Alertness and a d8 Heavy Weapons/Ship Cannons.)  This also counts for the leadership tests the commander might be rolling.  (Ordering a gunnery salvo, directing damage control, and aiding the CAG in conducting the fight — the last to tests would each lose a -1 shift to the attribute test.)  Engineers or deck crew can conduct damage control — fixing stun damage, or doing jury rigging on wounds.

Fighter units are commanded either by the player character leading a flight or squadron, and any non-PC led unit is commanded by the CAG.  The character rolls an opposed test vs. their opponents (usually an AGL+PILOT/VIPER) and vice-versa.

7.  Players in mass combat:  during the combat actions, you can “zoom in” on individual characters doing their thing — the fighter pilot in one tough dogfight, the engineer trying to stop the tylium lines from catching fire and blowing the ship sky-high, or the marines fighting Cylons boarding the ship.  Every ten rounds, zoom back out to handle the fleet-level stuff.

Granted, these aren’t well fleshed out, nor are they comprehensive, but they worked as a good framework for capital-ship level combat in the last few games we’ve had.

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