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Chapter 2: Starship Combat / Armada Combat


Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 60
In armada combat, the PCs are officers who direct their fleets, and they can fill major roles to influence the encounters in special ways. Each officer must be assigned to a specific fleet in the armada. A fleet can support any number of officers (though never more than one of any role at a time), and a fleet does not need an officer to function. An officer grants their assigned fleet a passive benefit based on their officer bonus (see below), and each officer can also perform one special action per round to affect a fleet or the battlefield. Officers who perform the direct, scan, target, or taunt actions during the helm phase do so immediately before or after moving the fleet to which they’re assigned.

Officer Bonuses: Many abilities refer to an officer bonus, which represents an officer’s ability to lead their subordinates, rather than the officer doing all the work themselves. An officer’s bonus applies to the officer’s fleet and equals 2 + 1 for every 6 ranks the officer has in one of their role’s associated skills; a commander can instead use their base attack bonus to calculate their officer bonus in place of their skill ranks. Officer bonuses don’t stack with other officer bonuses.

For armada combat checks that an officer must attempt to perform special actions, their modifier equals their officer bonus plus their fleet’s check modifier. Before an officer’s assigned fleet attempts a check, that officer can spend 1 Resolve Point to roll the check twice and use the better result.

Range: Officer actions have a maximum range equal to their fleet’s long range, and the actions don’t take range penalties when affecting targets. Officers assigned to the armada’s flagship can affect targets within that fleet’s extreme range.

Changing Roles: At the beginning of each round, any officers can change their roles, though an armada can have only one admiral, and a fleet can have only one of any given officer role. An officer can move to an adjacent fleet by expending their action at the beginning of the engineering phase.


Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 60
You direct the overall flow of battle, delivering key orders, timing fleet movements, and providing motivation at opportune moments. The role of admiral does not necessarily mean that you outrank the other officers or control their actions, but as the armada’s leader, you are in a position to influence your forces in unique ways. An armada can only have a single admiral.

Associated Skills: Bluff, Diplomacy, or Intimidate

Officer Bonus: morale checks

Encourage (Any Phase): You can encourage a fleet or officer to grant them a bonus to their action. Before that fleet or officer attempts the check, you attempt a DC 10 flat check. If you succeed, you either grant your officer bonus to the triggering check, or you grant a +1 untyped bonus to the check.

Rally (Engineering Phase): You order a fleet to regroup, granting it your officer bonus to morale checks until the end of the round. If the fleet is routed (see Morale on page 63), it attempts a new morale check against the same DC that caused it to rout. If it succeeds, it is no longer routed.

Taunt (Helm Phase): You harangue or mislead an enemy fleet. Attempt a check against an enemy fleet’s AC. If you succeed, that fleet takes a penalty equal to 1 + half your officer bonus to all checks until the beginning of the next helm phase. Whether or not you succeed, you can’t successfully taunt that fleet again for the rest of the combat.

Chief Caster

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 61
You and your crew oversee the mystical rites of your fleet.

Associated Skill: Mysticism

Officer Bonus: AC against enemy gunnery checks

Conjure (Engineering Phase): Choose 1 hex and attempt a DC 10 flat check. If you succeed, your mystical crew conjures cosmic debris in that hex and all adjacent hexes that lasts until the end of the round. Any fleet that ends its turn in that area takes an amount of damage equal to your officer bonus, and any fleet attacks that pass through the affected area take a –1 penalty to gunnery checks.

Enchant (Engineering Phase): You lead your mystics in enchanting a fleet’s weapons. Choose a fleet and attempt a check against that fleet’s AC. If you succeed, that fleet’s range increases by 2, and its gunnery checks can deal critical damage on a 19 or 20. These effects last until the end of the round.

Precognition (Engineering Phase): You and your crew predict enemy movements. Attempt a DC 10 flat check. If you succeed, your admiral rolls 1d4 and adds the result to their next check to determine the order in which fleets move during the helm phase.

Chief Engineer

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 61
You command your fleet’s engineering corps, oversee repairs, and make crucial calls on when to exceed starships’ recommended performance limits.

Associated Skill: Engineering

Officer Bonus: starting and maximum Shield Points.

Boost (Engineering Phase): Choose a fleet and attempt a check against its AC. You direct the engineers aboard that fleet to augment a key system. If you succeed, you either increase the fleet’s speed by 1d2 until the end of the round, decrease the fleet’s turn distance by 1 (minimum 0) until the end of the round, add your officer bonus to the SP that fleet recovers during this phase, or add your officer bonus to the fleet’s damage rolls until the end of the turn.

Repair (Engineering Phase): Choose a fleet and attempt a check against the fleet’s AC. If you succeed, choose one of the fleet’s critical damage conditions; you direct the onboard engineers’ repairs, and the fleet ignores that critical damage condition for 1 round, plus 1 additional round for every 5 by which your check exceeded the fleet’s AC.

Chief Technician

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 61
You oversee your fleet’s computers and scientists as they direct scanners and hack enemy systems.

Associated Skill: Computers

Officer Bonus: gunnery checks

Scan (Helm Phase): You direct the fleet’s sensors to scan another fleet. Attempt a check with a +5 untyped bonus against the fleet’s AC. If you succeed, you learn the first unknown category of information from the following list. For every 5 by which you exceed the check, you learn an additional unknown category of information.

1. Basic Statistics: Fleet type, size, speed, maneuverability, tier, damage, total and current HP and SP.

2. Special Abilities: Special abilities, as well as the fleets against which the target fleet is strong or weak.

3. Officers: The names and roles of the fleet’s officers.

Scramble (Gunnery Phase): You scramble communications within a fleet. Select an enemy fleet, optionally selecting one of that fleet’s officers, and then attempt a check against the fleet’s AC. During the next round, the fleet’s chosen officer grants no passive benefit to their fleet and can’t perform any officer actions. In addition, any other fleets’ officer actions can’t affect the targeted fleet. If you don’t select an officer, scramble affects one of the fleet’s officers, selected at random.

Target (Helm Phase): Choose an allied fleet and an enemy fleet within range, then attempt a check against the enemy fleet’s AC. If you succeed, until the end of the round, the allied fleet gains a +1 untyped bonus to gunnery checks against the enemy fleet, and the allied fleet’s gunnery checks against the target deal critical damage on a 19 or 20.


Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 62
You oversee a fleet directly, ensuring optimal performance. Associated Skills: Diplomacy, Intimidation, or Piloting

Officer Bonus: Piloting checks

Direct (Helm Phase): Either by issuing precise commands or by piloting a key starship yourself, you set an example that the rest of your fleet follows. Attempt a DC 15 flat check. If you succeed, you grant your officer bonus to either your fleet’s gunnery checks or its AC until the end of the round. If you fail the check by less than 5, your officer bonus is reduced to 1 for this action.

Duel (Gunnery Phase): You direct your starship to engage with an enemy officer’s starship within 3 hexes—or if your target is a capital fleet, you lead your starship in a daring attack on the enemy vessel’s bridge. Attempt a check against the enemy fleet’s AC + 5. You gain a +5 untyped bonus to this check if your armada has identified the fleet’s officers, and you gain an additional +5 untyped bonus if the targeted fleet also uses the duel action against your fleet. If you succeed and your fleet’s attack that round deals damage to the enemy fleet, the target gains the communications critical damage condition (see Table 2–20 until the end of the next round. If your attack would deal critical damage to the fleet, one of the fleet’s officers is incapacitated and provides no benefits for the remainder of the combat.