I have always enjoyed playing with Lego (when I was a child of course it was simply red and white bricks and blue roof tiles - oh dear poor old grand-dad) and building the little models is a great distraction from the dreary Breakfast News; however, it naturally occurred to me that more fun could be had from the little toys. Now that I have opened 9 of them I have 4 spaceships so what better than a space battle?
For some time I've wanted to try the Portable Wargame Air Combat Rules but I don't have any suitable planes, so instead I give to you the Portable Space Combat... Fun for all the Family.
1. Make some Spaceships from Lego bricks
2. Place them at each side of the gridded board - I have written these rules for square grids but they could easily be changed to hexes - I have only tried on a 10 x 8 grid so far; more grids would of course allow for more manoeuvring.
3. Determine the Strength Points (SP), Move rate and weapon range of your spaceships - so far I have tried giving ships about 5 or 6 SP and (due to the small board) limited speed to a move rate of 6 and weapon range of 4
4. As I currently only have 4 spaceships I have not bothered with Exhaustion Point
5. Roll for initiative
6. Movement - Movement is mandatory (minimum move of 1 grid space); Each 90o change of direction ‘costs’ the loss of 1 grid area of movement. No Spaceship may occupy the same grid space as another. Being adjacent to an enemy is allowed (there is no melee or boarding!)
|Example of movement and turning|
|Example of movement including firing - move limit is 8 for this vessel|
|Blue's forward Arc of Fire - arrows show direction of travel|
|Blue's Rear Arc of Fire|
The Front (bow?) of a Spaceship requires a 6 to hit; the sides and rear require 5 or 6 (they have less shielding). Each hit reduces the enemy's SP by 1 (so forward fire can possibly cause 2 SP damage).
Advanced (!!!) Rules
Bonuses can be applied to Ace Pilots, eg +1 to hit dice
Random Asteroids or Space Junk can appear on the throw of 6 at the start of each Turn (dice or draw cards for its starting row) - the object will float across the board in a straight line 1 square at a time until it leaves the field of play - the object moves before the players and will cause 1 SP damage to a spaceship it hits (being itself destroyed on contact). The object can be destroyed by fire on the roll of 5 or 6.
For (Han) Solo games make starting positions random.
Make adjustable stands from Lego to add a third (z) dimension to x and y movement or to allow for attacking surface objects during battles inside a Planets' atmosphere (I haven't tried this yet).
Hidden movement (Cloaking Devise) rules could be created - Spaceships only become visible once they fire...
Make space weapon noises and hum the theme to your favourite Science Fiction film during play for extra enjoyment.
A few pictures of the experimental games
|Two Spaceships engage|
|An Asteroid floats into the game|
|A Star Cruiser of the Evil Space Empire is destroyed|