I'm not going to be humble: the goal is simple - to make Stars and Steel the coolest ruleset dealing with huge space battles! Today there is important day for me - after a few long months of work I'm very happy to release veriosn 1.3 of Stars and Steel.
This one is really big and I think it's last big update and I hope this is last major update of core ruleset. The first version of Stars and Steel was written and released in difficult time of CoViD-19, when possibilities of getting feedback was limited and it was not the secret that the updates will be needed. The version of 1.3 not only makes the game even more fluent and player-friendly but this time I also added a lot of new content!
The main rules changes are as follow:
- There is no additional modifiers to damage, double rolls etc. connected to squadron strenght. All squadrons get the damage in the same way, but repair speed is connected with squadron strenght. As the result big squadrons survibility is increased making them as attractive choice as swarms of small ones.
- The Discipline is made in analogical way: now number of Disorganisation Points are not reduced by commander's Discipline value. Instead the commanders with higher Discipline reduce more DP the the beggining of the phase. These two changes greatly reduce number of in-game calculations.
- Crossing the T rule is gone - this artefact of age of sail (and other space combat wargames) had little added value to the game. Instead there is "Target the engines!" rule, which adds nice bonus to shooting from behind. It makes the plotting of courses and positioning more important and getting and make the game more tactical, as getting the rear of the enemy squadron is much more difficult but also more rewarding.
- Some of the orders were revisited and rebalanced, especially Launch figthers. The unfair advantage of owning the same amount of Figthers on a few smaller carriers instead of few dedicated was removed. Regroup! and Repair! directly links to the beginning phase to show that these are the same regroup and repair rolls and all rules apply to both.
- The possibility of returning fire was added to reduce invicibility of the squadrons which could fire at the border of the range, turn and move out of the range (note S'n'S uses fixed move-after-action procedure). Such hit-and-run tricks would be OK in fighter-to-fighter actions, but not in case of wargame, in which you command the entire squadrons of huge warships.
- Maximum values of incoming missiles and artillery salvoes were added to prevent from hardcore min-maxing (but can be lifted if players wish to).
- Rebalanced fleet compositions and commanders, as they were untoughted since the game release. Also all mercenary squadrons were adjusted to the new rules.
- Counters were updated to match the rules, so if you use them instead or in addition of colour dice, you can print them on any black and printer.
These are the main changes to the rules. Now it's high time to write a little about the new added stuff!
- Planets were added to the game, including the rules of planetary invasions (also asteroids and gas clouds was a little revisited).
- Defences and auxiliaries module was incorporated into main rules as the first appendix. If was redone, rebalanced and comes with three fresh scenarios.
- Patrols were added to the game - this is a special game mode, where you can command a smaller forces. Reduced squadron sizes and composition and three cool sudden-death style scenarios make them excellent option for quick battles, demo plays, tournaments or as introduction games.
- Patrols introduce 2nd grade battleships as standards battleships are too powerful in this game mode.
I've made a special pack to upgrade four fleets designed by me with 2nd grade battleships.
As bonus there are new mercenaries - Mészáros Linebreakers! This squadron is equipped with deadly forward-facing weapons and improved frontal armor, which make it unit best suited for frontal assaults.
Finally I decide to make some order with our Wargame Vault sections. Within last two years are added HUGE progress and added increadible amount of new 3D models - now Stars and Steel comes with literally hundrets of fine miniatures for 3D printing. Not bad as for small non-profit publisher :) It wasn't be possible witout our volunteer 3D designers - thank you guys, you are great! I made the decision of putting together all rules, modules and quick indentification charts into one big pack, which allows to have everything up-to-date by tracking only one position at WV catalogue. The 3D files remain as separate positions as it was before.
The plans for near future? More merc squadrons! I have the ambition to make wide collection allowing to field fully mercenary fleet!
You can download Stars and Steel and new models from our section at Wargame Vault: https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/16581/Assault-Publishing-Studio
If you wish to discuss the rules, ask the question or just talk with our team I kindly invite you to join new Assault Publishing Studio Discord server: https://discord.gg/AYGefA6atT which is intented as our main communication channel.