SpaceCombat – Basics

Ship combat in Gilgamesh is resolved through turn-based miniature combat. Players act as the crew of their ship, and perform actions (e.g.: moving the ship, firing the ship’s weapons, performing hyperspace Jumps, etc.) through the use of their character Skill cards and the specialist equipment available to them.

The Play Area

The play area for determining the results of ship combat is composed of a central map with a number of ship crews grouped around the map.

Players taking part in ship combat are to be grouped around the map in their respective crews. Players belonging to a given crew must abide by the following rules:

  • Players must remain with their own crew members.
  • Players are not allowed to talk to members of other crews. Communication between ships is governed by the rules in the “Communications” section of the rules.

Central Map & Movement

The Central Map is a square Grid based map of a size determined by the GM. Miniatures/counters representing the various ships and fighter squadrons will be placed on the map by the GM. All miniatures/counters will be moved by the GM during the combat session.

Each square of the map grid contains one ship. Ships may move in straight lines in the direction in which they are facing, but may not move diagonally except in special cases described below.

Ships may ordinarily pass through each other in the course of movement, however there may be exceptions to this rules (such as ramming attempts). If two or more ships end movement in the same square, one or more of the ships in question will be moved to adjacent squares by the GM.

Common Crew Stations

Depending on the ship, there may be a variety of different crew stations available to the players, each with different abilities and responsibilities. A list of the common crew stations is below, together with a brief outline of their duties:

Station Name Duties
Astrogation Controls the Jump system
Engineering/Damage Control Regulates power to shields and other systems, also responsible for repairing damaged systems
Helm Controls the tactical movement of the ship
Scanners Scanning and communications
Weapons What it says on the tin – shoots things.

It is entirely possible for a given ship to have multiple stations of the same type. For example, a battleship may have several “Weapons” stations.

Certain ships may also have unique crew stations, representing rare or unique abilities of the vessel (for example, a ship designed to dive into the heart of a star may have a “Coolant Systems” crew station.)

Hand size

When manning crew station, a player has a hand of cards composed of a combination of Skill cards from their character deck and a number of “Station” cards. Station cards represent functions of the station which are available to the character manning the station – for example, Helm station cards move the ship in a certain direction.

A player’s hand is made up of 3 cards from their Skill deck and a number of “Station” cards. The number of Station cards received by a player depends on the total health points of their station.

Example: a player manning a station with 8 health points will have a hand of 8 cards, made up of 5 Station cards and 3 Skill cards.

Example: a player manning a station with 6 health points will have a hand of 6 cards, made up of 3 Station cards and 3 Skill cards.

Generally, the number of station cards is two.

Station Cards

As explained above, each player manning a station will have access to a certain number of Station cards. These cards are used to perform station-specific actions which are accessible to the player manning that station. To use a Station card, play it in a phase and nominate which station-specific action will be carried out in that phase.

Station cards also provide a +1 bonus to skill tests if played in support of an action.

Note: A player can only use a Station card to activate a station-specific action if they are manning that station (e.g.: a player manning the Weapons station cannot play a Station card to activate a Helm station action.) Secondly, when manning a station a player can only use “Ship Action” cards. They may not, for example, man a ship station and use a “Pick Lock” skill at the same time.

Turns and Phases

Ship Combat in Gilgamesh is resolved in simultaneous turns. Each turn is composed of the following phases:

1.      Draw Cards.

2.      Planning & Card Assignment.

3.      Sending of Communiqués.

4.      Card Resolution.

5.      Delivery of Communiqués.

6.      Discard Cards.

1. Draw Cards

At the beginning of each turn, players whose characters are manning a ship station may draw up to their maximum hand size. Any Station cards which were spent in a previous turn by a player are returned to the player’s hand at this point.

If a player’s Skill deck is exhausted, return that player’s discarded Skill cards to the deck, reshuffle the deck and draw the required number of cards.

A player’s hand is made up of 3 cards from their Skill deck and a number of “Station” cards. The number of Station cards received by a player depends on the total health points of their station. The number of health points a station has is the maximum hand size that a player manning that station may have.

Example: a player manning a station with 8 health points will have a hand of 8 cards, made up of 5 Station cards and 3 Skill cards.

Example: a player manning a station with 6 health points will have a hand of 6 cards, made up of 3 Station cards and 3 Skill cards.

Each ship station has a number of health points, the exact number depending on the size and/or type of ship. Crew station health points are explained in greater detail in the “Combat Damage/Ship Health” section of the rules.

2. Planning & Card Assignment

During this phase, the crewmembers of each ship agree on the actions to be carried out by their ship’s various crew stations this turn, and in which order each action will be carried out. Up to 5 actions may be carried out by a ship each turn.

Any communiqués to be sent by the ship this turn are also written during this phase. See the “Communications” section of the rules for more information on this.

IMPORTANT: There is a 3 minute time limit on this phase – all cards must be played, and all communiqués written, within 3 minutes.

Actions to be carried out are played by placing a Station card, or the relevant Skill card, face down in front of the crew, at the edge of the play mat. Cards are placed left-to-right in order of priority, with the leftmost card being highest priority, and the rightmost card being lowest priority.

Supporting Actions

A player may choose to play additional cards in support of their character’s crew station action. This is done by playing additional cards face-down in a pile which is then placed underneath the relevant action card. These supporting cards should be turned 90 degrees to the action card, so that the cards form a cross-shaped stack.

Cards played in support of an action can be either Skill cards or Station cards, and any number or combination of cards may be played in this fashion.

A player may also choose to support another player’s action. This is done in the same manner as supporting their own character’s action, as detailed above. However, only Station cards may be played in support of another character’s action in ship combat.

3. Sending of Communiqués

All communiqués to be sent by a ship this turn are handed to the GM. See the “Communications” section of the rules for more information on this.

4. Card Resolution

Starting win order of priority, the GM will resolve all ship actions this turn. Cards with equal priority will be resolved simultaneously.

5. Delivery of Communiqués

The GM will deliver communiqués to their respective destinations. See the “Communications” section of the rules for more information on this.

6. Discard Cards

Players will discard any Skill cards remaining in their hand at this time. A player may choose to retain 1 Skill card in their hand if they wish, however all other Skill cards in their hand must be discarded.

After this phase is completed, the new turn begins at Phase 1.

Station Name Action Name Effect
Engineering Repair Crew Station Repair a damaged crew station
Launch Launch a single wing from the launch bay with a successful Skill Check against Engineering, Difficulty 2
Weapons Fire Weapon System Fire a named weapon system at a target
Fire Weapon System Fire a named weapon system at a target (the Fire Weapon System card is duplicated in this deck.)
Scanners Detect Ships Allows a ship to scan the surrounding area for hidden vessels
Scan Ship Scans a target ship and reveals information about it
Helm Move Capital Ship Move ship 1 space or 2 spaces forward
Helm Move Fighter Move ship 2 spaces or 4 spaces forward

(Note – a ship should have only one of Move Fighter and Move Capital Ship, depending on its class)

Helm Rotate Rotate ship 90 degrees either clockwise or anticlockwise
Astrogation Jump Move ship diagonally in accordance with Jump Distance table
Astrogation Jump Move ship diagonally in accordance with Jump Distance table