TITLE (YEAR): Galactic Knights (2005)
AUTHOR: Dan Davidson
PUBLISHER: Monday Knight Productions
PUBLICATION DATE: 2005
WEB SITE/SUPPORT FORUM:
PRICE (with date): $20.00 (in 2008) – Starter sets with minis and gaming mat also available
REVIEWED BY: Mark “Extra Crispy” Severin
- Space Combat (24th and 25th Centuries)
Galactic Knights (GK) is a coil bound book of 106 pages. It features color covers and a well illustrated black & white interior. A good portion of the rule book is blank ship record sheets and charts. There is a table of contents and a glossary but no index. On most pages is a side bar with a running history of the fictional setting of Galactic Knights (GK).
Galactic Knights is designed for ship-to-ship combat in outer space. It is designed for fleets of between 3 and 12 ships per side, although larger fleets may be used in multi-player battles. It is designed to be played on a table marked out in hexes (2” hexes are recommended).
Given the scope of the game, it can be played with relatively few miniatures. Two dozen space craft would be a fairly large 2-player battle.
The base unit is a single space craft. The game also includes fighters and missiles.
- Ground Scale 1 hex = 1000+ kilometers
- Time Scale 1 Turn = Not Stated
- Figure/Base Ratio: 1 figure = 1 space craft
- Recommended Figure: Not Stated (2” hexes are the recommended playing surface so large ships should probably be 3”long or smaller).
- Table Size: 4’ x 6’ is recommended, larger is better. The table should be at least 18 hexes wide
- Game Length: 1 to 3 hours
- The game is hex based so basing is strictly a matter of aesthetics and convenience
- Step 1 Drift: All ships drift (see below).
- Step 2 Initiative Phase: Both sides roll dice to see who has the initiative. The winner may choose to be Alpha Fleet or Beta Fleet. Having sensors in your fleet can give you a modifier to your die roll.
- Step 3 Maneuver Phase:
- Alpha Fleet moves half of its ships
- Beta Fleet moves all its ships
- Alpha Fleet moves its remaining ships
- Step 4 Combat Phase: Beginning with the initiative-winning fleet, ships fire at each other, alternating one ship at a time.
Drift: Since in Space no one can slow you down, all ships continue moving in the drift phase. Each ship has an associated drift marker which trails behind it The drift marker is a way to represent velocity – speed and direction. During the Drift Phase, if your drift marker is two hexes away in direction A you will drift two hexes in direction A. You will drift at this velocity until you change it by using maneuver points during the Maneuver Phase. Drift is executed by first moving the drift marker into the corresponding ship’s hex, noting the number of hexes moved and in which direction, and then moving the ship in exactly the same way. Unless stationary, a ship will never be in the same hex as its drift marker.
Maneuver: Each ship one or more engines each of which has a Maneuver Rating. During the Maneuver Phase, ships may alter facing or speed by expending maneuver points. As engines are destroyed, that ship has fewer and fewer maneuver points to use. Using Maneuver Points you may turn (1 MP per hex side turned), roll (1 MP to go inverted), thrust (2MPs to thrust one hex) or counter-thrust (1 MP to move the drift marker one hex). Essentially counter-thrusting is how you change your speed (thrusting does not change your drift).
Combat: Combat is a simple matter. Roll a D10 for each firing weapon. If the roll is equal to or less than the target’s “Ship Profile” rating, a hit is scored. Damage is based on weapon type and range. Shields block damage points. If hits are scored, damage is marked off on the ship record sheet. This is a graphic representation of the ship. As shields and armor are battered, internal systems and weapons are destroyed. Ships also have Critical Hit Points – if these are destroyed the ship explodes. Damage location is determined randomly and hits marked accordingly.
Fighters & Missiles: The advanced rules introduce three new dangers: fighters, torpedoes and missiles. These are fast moving groups of small craft. There are, in fact, two completely separate game systems for dealing with these - a simple and an advanced version. These threats are speedy and highly maneuverable. Missiles and torpedoes, however, have limited life span. They either hit or miss and are then removed. Fighters, on the other hand, may land and refuel/rearm. All of these use the same basic game mechanics. Generally they are hard to hit but have no defenses otherwise. As one would expect their weapons are short range, designed to attack other fighters and missiles.
The system features numerous races, of which two are covered in the book. They are the Terrans and Avarians. The rule book includes various simple scenarios designed as teaching aids.
The rule book also includes a comprehensive ship building system. In it you select a hull type and then fill it with various systems (shields, weapons, sensors etc.) Different hulls can have more systems. The building system uses costs for determining a ship’s points value. This allows players to bring an equal number of pints worth of ships to the table and expect a reasonably fair fight.
I bought these when I was looking for a Space Combat game, having been inspired by watching Star Wars with my 4 year-old. I thought these were quite well put together. All of the “fluff” is contained in running sidebars so as to be kept away from the main rules. The fluff obviously provides “scientific” explanations for much of the game. The rules themselves have outstanding examples and diagrams. Even the process of recording damage gets several illustrations and examples. Furthermore at the end of each major rules section is a quick summary of that section. This would be especially handy when referring back to the rules.