What Fleet Do You Already Own For NEARSPACE?
If you are a table-top gamer, roleplaying or wargaming, then you probably have a fleet of ships for NEARSPACE among your gaming supplies right now. Every one of the polyhedral dice you own is a starship just waiting to conquer all of space for you. All they await is your command.
Right now you are probably reviewing your dice collection, remembering the set that looked so good you had to buy them on the spot, as well as those hastily purchased to replace the ones you forgot. Then there are the stragglers you found abandoned by their masters in your ongoing adventures in gaming. What sort of fleet can you build out of this menagerie of carefully chosen and randomly collected dice? A great one!
The following entries should give you a crash course in how the color of the dice you own translates into starships for NEARSPACE.
Red Dice/Corsair Crafts
Originally designed for deep space exploration, Corsairs quickly seized prominence in both commercial and military use. Advanced jump drive design allows the ship to slip through hyperspace more efficiently than other vessels. In the hands of a skilled pilot, the same engines allow for high speed maneuvering outside of hyperspace that leaves other ships in their wake.
Corsairs cost 2 less Energy (E) to move.
Orange Dice/ Invaders
The Invader class ships are designed for long term enemy engagement. While no heavier armed then other ships of their size, the Invaders never carry less than three times the ammunition. The crews are highly disciplined to resist the rigors of battle fatigue and proficient at maintaining the vessel’s combat readiness. The result is a ship that mercilessly grinds through the enemy ranks pressing ever onwards towards victory.
Invaders may initiate multiple attacks in a single turn.
Yellow Dice/ Berserkers
The so-called Berserker ships comprise a collection of experimental designs intended to stand alone against amassed enemies. All of the variants include a massive array of weapons arranged to engage in multiple firing arcs simultaneously. In the heat of combat, the hulls of these ships are scarcely visible beneath the glare of incessant weapon fire. The withering output can make it difficult to coordinate with other ships, but its potential for mass destruction and the accompanying fear it inspires keeps the Berserker class ships in heavy use.
Berserkers can destroy multiple ships in a single engagement.
The burden of maintaining a fleet can be almost as costly as building one in the first place. This problem plagued early colonization efforts and extends into times of warfare. The Enviro-ships combat this problem with designs intended to maximize self-sufficiency. Solar power supplements all internal systems. Advanced waste scrubbers recycle liquids. The larger Enviro-ships employ hydroponics to sustain the crew. The resulting efficiency of the vessels make them a great boon to expanding empires, however their loss is felt more greatly than other ships.
Enviro-ships pay no maintenance, but are worth 1 extra facet in the Graveyard.
Blue Dice/ Fabricator Ships
A fleet needs ships to explore space. It needs ships to maintain control of colonized worlds. It needs ships to meet the enemy, and replace the ones that fell. To meet demand in times of need, it is often best to forego the intricate designs of specialized ships and rely on the elegant simplicity of the tried and true. Fabricator ships employ easily replicated designs that can be produced in a fraction of the time as others. What they lack in frills they make up for in numbers, and there is always strength in numbers.
Fabricator Ships cost 2 less Construction Points (CP) to build.
Purple Dice/ Royal (Command) Ships
Command class ships have the most variety in individual design, but all are designed to optimize control over colony worlds. Some achieve their goal by simply coordinating communication from orbit. Others monitor the populace for lax or subversive behavior that can be modified through propaganda and reeducation. Still others create laser spectacles in the outer atmosphere that entertain the masses and remind them of the imperial presence. Whatever their methods, Command ships serve a vital role in maintain productivity that fuels a thriving empire.
Command Ships increase the Construction Points (CP) of sectors where they have sole presence.
Black Dice/ Assault Ships
The escalation of instruments of destruction is ongoing and eternal. At the cutting edge of this advancement, and the vanguard of most major offenses, are the dreaded Assault ships. While the favored weapon type may shift with technological trends from missiles to rail guns to focused plasma, every design means to deliver as much firepower as possible at a single target the instant the ship drops from hyperspace. Assault ships strike hard and fast, making them the first choice to send in when the fleet needs a target removed.
Assault Ships add 2 to combat rolls when attacking.
White Dice/ Shield Ships
Shield ships employ deflection shields, advanced countermeasures, and extra armor to whether the enemy assault. Behind the layered defenses, the crews of these ships can perform a calculated counterstrike against advancing forces. While they are not as invulnerable as the propaganda footage would have one believe, the Shield ships are often the final defense to hold the enemy at bay.
Shield Ships add to combat rolls when defending.
Brown Dice/ Rangers
During the early militarization of starships, engineers struggled to meet the needs of hypothetical conflicts in space. Exploration was still the primary objective, but the growing concern that a hostile force may exist prompted the demand for a response of greater force. The result is a hybrid of the early Corsairs and the higher impact weaponry that would lead into the Assault ship programs to come. The Ranger ships are highly prized for their versatility. They are often sent ahead of the rest of the fleet to blaze a trail through the outer defenses.
Rangers cost 1 less Energy (E) to move. Rangers add 1 to combat rolls when attacking.
Gray Dice/ Stealth Ships
When amassed firepower cannot break through an enemy position, the next best option is to circumvent that position. Stealth ships offer the possibility to move straight through an enemy controlled sector to launch attacks into the less defended core worlds of an empire, cutting off needed supply lines and sewing chaos within the chain of command.
Stealth Ships may pass through enemy sectors without engaging.
Stealth Ships may engage other Stealth Ships.
Clear Dice/ Dimension Ships
The advent on hyperspace drives opened up a new era of exploration and colonization. The stars in the sky ceased to be distant lights to muse upon and became attainable goals for those bold enough to take them. As conflict for the stars grew imminent, engineers searched for new ways to arm the crafts, leading to the bizarre plans to use the hyperspace drive as a weapon. The experimental Dimension Ships, or D-ships, attempt to harness the altered laws of probability in hyperspace to generate a flawless exchange of energy from the ships beam weapons. The technology is far from perfected, and leading scientists continue to debate the theory behind the design, but when everything aligns correctly the D-ships pack the punch of a ship twice their size.
Dimension Ships roll again on combat rolls that maximize.
Pink Ships/ Survivor Ships
It’s not always the ship, sometimes it’s the crew. Survivor ships are usually militarized commercial or exploratory vessels crewed by veterans of early and horrific off world encounters. Tranor’s Rebellion, the first encounter with the Kat’rk, and the awakening of the Skyeater are just the most well-known of these events. In each case, crews that survived did so through ingenuity and resourcefulness that cannot be taught. Any fleet commander lucky enough to have such ships in the fleet can count on them to beat the odds when no others can.
Survivor Ships that roll 1 in combat may re-roll and add the results.
Ambiguous Dice/ Refit Ships
Refit Ships is one of the kinder terms used to describe a wide category of salvaged and refitted vessels that fill out the ranks of many fleets. Most of these crafts were originally commercial transports and freighters modified for battle readiness as a precursor to war or to serve in various illicit enterprises. Other ships are salvage crafts, pieced back together from several disabled vessels. They may not be much to look at, but they fight as well as most starships earning them a grudging acceptance from fleet commanders.
Refit Ships are worth 2 less facets towards victory when destroyed.
Any die that both players cannot agree to be any other single color counts as ambiguous.