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[Ganesha Games]Star Eagles rulebook is out.

R-90-2

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So, some time back, Ganesha Games did a kickstarter for a space fighter game with its own line of miniatures. While the miniatures are still a work in progress, the game's main rulebook is actually out on Drivethru.

So, Star Eagles is a space fighter combat game played roughly on the same scale as X-Wing Minatures, meaning a handful of ships per side and the largest thing on the table is likely to be a gunboat or something- no true capital ships or anything.

So, the game uses the same activation system as the "Song of x" where you can gamble for more actions to do things like shooting and special maneuvers (movement is not only free, but mandatory), except that on an activation fumble, instead of automatically turning over initiative, the opponent can choose to either take the initiative or draw from the combat deck, which contains cards that can produce one time specific but powerful effects. Pilot grade is what defines a ship's Quality and Combat numbers.

The game is a bit heavier than some of the company's other games because units will just generally have more traits to keep track of, but the overhead doesn't look like it's really that much higher because the game at its base is still relatively simple. And even though I make a big deal of being a gearhead, I'm actually quite satisfied with the amount and type of shipbuilding options (weapons and traits) on hand.

I'll see if I can make room to actually play a game out in the very near future- Song of Blades was a fun time, and I don't see this as being a step down.

EDIT: Small note about the Drivethru blurb- only the standard game mode is in the book at the moment.
 
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komradebob

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Looking forward to your Actual Play review. I Love Ganesha Games designs and am always a bit surprised that they've stayed niche even within minis gaming circles.
 

R-90-2

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Wait, standard play is the only thing in the book now? I thought three modes were?
Well, the thing is, there are optional rules for detailed damage (for smaller games) and also for formation-based movement/combat (for larger games), but they aren't explicitly called out as separate modes in the book.
 

CoreyHaim8myDog

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Well, the thing is, there are optional rules for detailed damage (for smaller games) and also for formation-based movement/combat (for larger games), but they aren't explicitly called out as separate modes in the book.
Hmm. I was considering buying it. May still. Not sure now. I like X-Wing.
 

VicenteC

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Why I didn't know about this? Damm I would have totally backed this thing... Thanks for sharing! I think I'll wait to the PoD and the STL miniatures to try this.
 

R-90-2

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Okay, so here's the pregame.

Macross: Do you remember the Empire Strikes Back?

Side 1: Tibia Squadron, 294 pts. (SDF-1)

VF-1J (48 pts)
Pilot: Greg Grissom Q 3+ C 2
Hardpoint: Dogfight missiles

VF-1J (48 pts)
Pilot: Rogel Mariott Q 3+ C 2
Hardpoint: Dogfight Missiles

VF-1J (48 pts)
Pilot: Armstrong Karl Q 3+ C 2
Hardpoint: DM Missiles

VF-1J (48 pts)
Pilot: Rogan Harris
Hardpoint: DM missiles

VF-1J Armored (102 pts)
Pilot: Hunt Richter Q3+ C3
Hardpoint: MM Missiles

Galactic Empire Attrition Squadron 300pts (ISS Interminable)

TIE Fighter (35 pts)
Pilot: Rep Lacement Q3+ C2

TIE Fighter (35 pts)
Pilot: Shooda Nownbettar Q3+ C2

TIE Fighter (35 pts)
Pilot: Caster Corse Q3+ C2

TIE Fighter (35 pts)
Pilot: Grenz Odai Q3+ C2

TIE Interceptor (40 pts)
Pilot: Rayge Aggro Q3+ C2

Skipray Blastboat (120 pts)
Pilot: Archibald Wellington & co. Q3+ C2
Hardpoint 1: DM missiles
Hardpoint 2: Empty.

So, let's take a look at our players.

VF-1J
Medium fighter (18 pts +pilot +missiles)
Fast (Speed 4)
Durability 2

Fast
Mecha
Armor (2)
Fragile construction
Atmospheric
Point defense

Weapons:
Rapid-fire railgun (Front, S-7, P, RF)
Hardpoint (front)

The VF-1J is a Mecha, which means it has some unusual options- it can spend an action to transform into its robot mode, which allows it to have far more control over where and how it moves, but it's not fast, and it costs actions to move. It doesn't cost that much more at its base than a TIE fighter, but that, in part is due to its Fragile Construction- while it theoretically can take two damage, it has a chance of going foom anyway after it takes the first. It also costs extra points to be equipped with a type of missile, so with the same grade of pilot, a fully-equipped VF-1J costs 48 to the TIE's 35. However, having missiles when your opponent doesn't? That can be quite an advantage.

VF-1J Armored
Medium fighter (62 + pilot +missiles)
Average (3)
Durability 2

Mecha 0
Armor (2)
Rugged construction
Atmospheric
Point defense

Weapons:
Rapidfire rail gun (Front, S-7, P, RF)
Hardpoint 2 (front)
SBAM* (L-8, P, NB)

The Armored Valkyrie's Rugged Construction means it has the opposite thing- there's a chance when it takes a killing shot to defy destruction and keep on truckin'. The SBAM is a dangerous toy, as it's a one-shot weapon that attacks everything (friend and foe) within 1 Long Range stick of the fighter with a horde of small but vicious missiles.

TIE Fighter:
Light fighter (15 pts +pilot)
Fast (4)
Durability 1

Atmospheric
Nimble
High maneuverability

Weapon:
Blasters (M-7)

Blasters are the "Generic fighter weapon" option- if a ship doesn't use beams or bullets, it's probably a blaster- the widespread slower-than-light energy weapon. TIEs are pretty nimble, but any hit will put one down. It also occurred to me that Regults are the TIE Fighters of the mecha world, as they're a pod full of guns and engines and NOTHING ELSE.

TIE Interceptor:
Light fighter
Very Fast (5)
Durability 1

Atmospheric
Nimble
High maneuverability
Heavily armed

Weapon:
Blasters (M-7)

You see, when you make a weapon choice, you just choose the type of weapon, not how many- that is represented by traits. So since the TIE Interceptor has twice as many guns as your average TIE, it gets Heavily Armed, which gives it bonus dice on shooting tests. Also, the stats for these two fighters came from the author of the game book.

Skipray blastboat
Gunboat (90 + Pilot + missiles)
Average (3)
Durability 4

Atmospheric
Armor (3)
Strong shields
FTL system

Weapons:
Blasters (turret, M-7)
Ion beam (Front, beam, S-ion)
Hardpoint x 2

I built the Skipray as a gunboat because 1.) Only Gunboats can have turrets and 2.) Skiprays have a reputation for being bricks. Shields don't really do much against solid weapons, but this ship carries all kinds of goodies, including missiles of its own.

Now, the game isn't played to the last man, as there are squadron morale rules. Basically, each squadron as a total VP equal to the total durability of their shapes, and once half of the total VP value is destroyed, the rest of the squadron breaks and makes a run for it. So in order to win, I had to kill all five TIEs or one TIE and the Skipray, but they only had to shoot down three Valkyries in order to win, and considering they're as much known for exploding as transforming... Well...

Let's get down to the song and dance. It's what Minmei would do!

So, things began promisingly enough. The first couple of turns were closing to contact, more or less, and Rayge Aggro pulled ahead to try to saw the Armored Valkyrie in half with its guns, even managing to score an early hit and critically damaging his target, but he ended up eating a missile for his trouble. The other TIEs actually managed to avoid getting locked-on, and so closing to gun range wasn't a problem. Well, not really a problem for them, anyways, as their blasters could shoot at double the range as the Valkyries' bullet hoses.

In the infighting that followed, the TIEs actually had something of an advantage- getting good shots on them was difficult, even though you need precisely one good hit to knock one down, and the Valkyries were beginning to pay the price. One instantly exploded, presumably because blaster bolt found its way into the spare missiles that Rogan Harris kept in his lunchbox or something. If I was better at deciding how to use Mecha Mode this may not have been as much of a problem, but hey, I'm new!

Bad luck turned to worse in the following turn as the Skipray decided to remind everyone that it existed by blowing up another VF-1J with a missile. Live by the missile, die by the missile. However, this also meant that I was riding the line. One more loss and the game was over.

The next turn would indeed prove decisive, but not quite in the way that we had either feared or hoped. Because the Armored Valkyrie was already one hit away from doom, the attacks were concentrated there, but the Armored Valkyrie's sheer Ruggedness managed to negate three killing shots and stay standing. And the shape of the battle meant that it was now in the best position to deploy the three-ring Itano Circus.

Now the swarm of missiles didn't kill all of the TIEs, but it did kill enough to free up my remaining fighters to deal with the Skipray, destroying it first by feeding ti a missile and then filling it with too many slugs for its liking. The remaining TIEs made their way back home to try and explain what they saw.

Assuming their Star Destroyer hadn't been blown up by the Reflex Cannon or something. That's always a possibility.

If you're already a fan of Ganesha Games's initiative/action system, this game once again delivers on what that thing can do, and it can be a really, really tense game, in a good sort of way. But I guess the main thing about the game is that everything just worked they way that I expected it to on the board- everything I expected about how the ships I built would behave in play came about, which is really what I look for in any space combat game. The fact that initiative is unusually fluid actually feels more fitting to a fighter combat game than previous entries, though that was a fairly high bar to clear. One of the things that might trip people up, though, is that there are basically no negative modifiers on the table- there are modifiers that give the attackers more dice, and some the give the defenders more dice, but nothing that actually subtracts dice aside from a couple of traits and maybe one weapon. I'm afraid I only had time for the one game due to still getting familiar with the rules, but it's definitely something I'll look to play more of when I get the chance to do so.
 
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Derek

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I'm intrigued - I may at least have to pick up the PDF! Can you use existing minis with whatever bases they already have?
 

R-90-2

Can it be SNEK TIEM?
Validated User
I'm intrigued - I may at least have to pick up the PDF! Can you use existing minis with whatever bases they already have?
It shouldn't be a problem- I may have been playing the game with Aerotech 2 counters.
 
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