SpaceCombat – Communications & Jumping

Communication

Ship-to-ship communication

It assumed that the various ships in a given side can ordinarily communicate to each other freely. Inter-ship communication is carried out via written communiqués/notes passed between each ship. Each communiqué may not consist of more than 140 characters (including spaces).

Communications is a function of the Science/Scanners crew station in capital ships – if this crew station is not manned, that ship may not send or receive communiqués.  Only the person who is manning the Science/Scanners station may send communiqués.

In fighter ships, communications is an integrated system – as long as either the Helm or the Gunner crew station is manned, the ship may send and receive communiqués.

Sending a communiqué is a free action, and may be done at any time before cards are played each turn, if the relevant ship station is functional.

Communiqués are given by the sender to the GM, who will then pass it to the targeted ship.  All communiqués are delivered by the GM to the target ship(s) at the end of the turn, after all cards have been revealed and resolved.  Once a communiqué has been handed to the GM, it is not possible to recall it.

It is possible to send communiqués to ships not in your own faction/side.

The Communications skill allows a player to access advanced options in combat which are briefly explained below. Using any of the Communications skill’s special abilities requires that player to be manning a dedicated Science/Scanners crew position.

Jamming communications

It is possible to jam communications for a target via the Science/Scanner crew station using the communications skill. In order to jam any communiqués, the player manning the station must possess the Communications skill ability “Jam Transmission”.

To successfully jam communications, the player must succeed on a “Jamming” test. To determine if you jam a target’s communications, use the following calculation:

(Communications Card value + Attacking Ship Communications Bonus/penalty) –  (Defender’s Communications Bonus/penalty)

If your final score meets or exceeds the range value, you have jammed your target.

Name Value Squares
Point Blank 1 1 – 2
Close 2 3 – 4
Medium 3 4 – 5
Long 5 6 – 8
Very Long 7 9

 

If a player character possesses the “Encryption” ability (see the Communications skill), they may choose to encrypt an outgoing message. This prevents the communiqué being ordinarily read by anyone other than the intended recipient.

If a player wishes to encrypt a message, they use the following procedure:

  • Write out the communiqué as normal (140 characters max).
  • In the section of the communiqué form marked “Encryption?” tick the box marked “Yes“.
  • Set the strength of the encryption using the following calculation: (Character’s Communication Skill rating + Science/Scanner Station’s Current  Health)
  • Hand encrypted message to the GM.

For ease of play, the player may also fold over the communiqué and write “Encrypted” on its reverse.

A player may choose to set a message’s encryption strength as being lower than the maximum possible strength if they so choose.

An encrypted communiqué can still be jammed and intercepted as normal, however it cannot be read unless it is first decrypted (see below).

Interception

It is possible to intercept communiqués sent to and from a target ship via the Science/Scanner crew station using the Communications skill. In order to intercept any communiqués, the player manning the station must possess the Communications skill ability “Intercept Signal”.

To successfully intercept communications, the player must succeed on an “Interception” test. To determine if you intercept a target’s communications, use the following calculation:

(Communications Card value + Attacking Ship Communications Bonus/penalty) –  (Defender’s Communications Bonus/penalty)

If your final score meets or exceeds the range value, you have intercepted your target’s communiqués this turn.

If communications are intercepted for a specific ship, any communiqués sent to or from that ship this turn are passed to the player who carried out the interception action before they are delivered to their intended recipient. That player has 10 seconds to read/record each message before it must be passed to the intended recipient. Intercepted messages must be passed to the intended recipient immediately after the 10 seconds has elapsed.

If an intercepted message is encrypted, the intercepting player may attempt to decrypt it. In this case, an attempt to decrypt the message may be made before the message is read. If a decryption attempt is made, the 10 second read/record limit starts from when the decryption attempt is completed. Decryption is detailed in full below.

Intercepted messages are still ultimately delivered to their intended recipient.

The effects of interception last for one turn.

Decryption

If an encrypted message is intercepted, the intercepting player may attempt to decrypt the message if they possess the Communications skill ability “Decrypt”

To decrypt a message, the player performs a standard Communications/Mischief test. The difficulty for this test is the Encryption strength of the message.

Decryption attempts are free actions, however they must be performed immediately after receiving the encrypted message, and only one decryption attempt may be made per encrypted message.

Scanners

When using the Scanners station to either detect hidden ships, or to scan a specific vessel, the efficacy of the scanner will depend upon the range of the scan. When a scanning action is carried out, use the following table to determine the results of the scan.

 

Name Value Squares
Point Blank 1 1 – 3
Close 2 4 – 6
Medium 3 6 – 9
Long 5 9 – 11
Very Long 7 12

 

If the total value of the cards played to perform the scanning action meets or exceed the difficulty of a given scanning range, the GM will provide the appropriate information to the players and will place any revealed ships and/or objects.

It is important to note that some vessels may have cloaking abilities which will offer protection against scans. The GM will take into account any cloaking effects when determining the results of a scanning attempt.

Astrogation & Combat Jumps

When using the Astrogation station to carry out a Jump in combat, how effective the attempt is will depend upon the distance that is to be travelled. When a Jump action is carried out, the player nominates the distance to be Jumped, and the following table is used to determine the results of the jump attempt:

Name Distance Difficulty
Point Blank 1 11
Immediate 2 10
Close 3 9
Near 4 8
Medium 5 7

If the total value of the cards played to perform the Jump action meet or exceed the difficulty of the desired range, the ship must move that distance. A ship must move the entire distance Jumped.

Jump travel does not change the heading of a ship.