THE FEATURES

Features of Colonial Battlefleet include:

  1. Fast and easy movement, shooting & damage resolution.
  2. A robust yet easy to use starship construction system that can replicate any sci-fi setting and produces balanced designs.
  3. Technology trees that allow you to design customized races.
  4. Ten starship roles like Flagship, Battleline, or Screen that allow you to define a ship's purpose and give it bonuses relevant to that mission.
  5. More than thirty unique weapons, defenses, and special equipment to outfit your starship designs.
  6. Balanced fighter rules.
  7. An easy to learn basic game that you customize according to your taste with completely modular & optional advanced rules such as asteroids, boarding actions, black holes, nebula, relativistic distortion, and more!
  8. Full color counter sheets with counters for asteroids, black holes, grape shot clouds, kinetic bombardment rounds, mines, missiles, planets, and warp points.
  9. Three playable factions with a rich history and pre-made fleet lists so you can jump right into the action!
  10. Six exciting scenario templates like Ambush, Convoy Raid, and Warp Point Assault, that use specific victory conditions and random generation of force limits to offer much more excitement than "line 'em up and shoot' games.

Colonial Battlefleet also includes a MS Excel-based point & click starship builder tool that makes the already easy starship construction system, even easier!

THE MECHANICS

Movement

Movement is conducted on a 2D hex grid with conservation of momentum.  So unless you apply thrust, you will keep moving in the same direction at the same speed forever.  Instead of complicated vectored-thrust calculations that some games use, each ship is simply limited in the number of turns it can make each time it moves, based on the power of its drive system.

Shooting

Direct fire weapons (various beam weapons, rail guns, and conventional munitions) roll one die for each weapon shooting against the range to the target with a modifier applied.  Therefore, all your weapons will need exactly the same die score to hit so you know the outcome immediately.  However, some weapons may be rolling d6s, while others are rolling d10s based on their effective range.  Generally speaking, beam weapons will have the longer range d10s because their 'time to target' is less than conventional weapons which use d6s.

Missiles are moved as counters on the tabletop and have a limited ability to turn.  This creates an exciting and tactically satisfying sub-game of trying to predict your opponent's future movements and maneuver your missiles to an intercept point.  It also allows you to limit your opponent's movement options with missile salvos and clouds of grape shot - unless he's willing to just absorb the damage and plow right through them.

The whole process of direct fire shooting and missile movement is lightning fast and uses extremely simple and consistent rules.  We want you concentrating on outmaneuvering and out shooting your enemy - not thinking about rules.

Damage Resolution

Damage resolution is just as fast as the shooting process.  Beam and conventional weapons can be stopped by shields.  When you burn through your opponent's shields you then have to penetrate his hull armor.  You roll a penetration die that varies according to weapon type.  If it beat's your target's armor score, you penetrate the armor causing full damage and a critical hit.  Critical hits are a lot of fun and can result in anything from a weapon mount or shield generator being damaged, all the way up to a catastrophic reactor core explosion.  If you don't penetrate his armor, you inflict reduced damage and don't get to roll on the nifty critical chart.

Missiles are considered to have shield penetration equipment - so they skip right through them.  But your opponent will usually have point defense systems, so you will make an opposed roll vs. his point defense.  If he wins, his point defense system has intercepted and destroyed the missile.  If you win, the missile survives to impact the hull and must penetrate the armor as described above.  He only gets a limited number of point defense dice each time he is attacked, so it is possible to 'saturate' his point defense if you are able to get multiple missiles striking him at the same time.

THE TURN SEQUENCE

Colonial Battlefleet uses a unique approach to turn order that adds yet another dimension to the tactical aspects of the game.  At the start of each turn, both sides roll initiative.  (Having a starship with the Flagship role gives you a bonus to your initiative).

The winner of initiative chooses to move first & shoot first, or move second and shoot second.  When a player moves, he moves his entire fleet, so choosing to move first gives your opponent a big tactical advantage in knowing where you're going.  On the other hand, damage is resolved immediately, so by shooting first you get a big advantage in the shooting phase.  First your fighters will attack before his, then your your capital ships will shoot before his, and finally your escorts will shoot before his escorts.

So each turn you have to make a difficult decision to try to hit first and hit hard, or allow your opponent the first crack at you, but trust that with careful maneuvering you can minimize the damage he can inflict while you are able to line up a perfect shot.

THE TECHNOLOGY

Weapon systems in Colonial Battlefleet run the whole spectrum from laser weaponry to rail gun technology (and of course everybody's favorite - grape shot).   On the defensive side you've got armor and energy shields backed up with point defense and electronic counter measures.  You can use everything at once (the default assumption) or there are tech-level trees that allow you to tweak the weapons and equipment available.  This allows you to create your own custom races and it will also be a factor in the forthcoming strategic campaign system.  Most importantly it allows you to accurately replicate any sci-fi setting you want.

A universe based exclusively on kinetic weapons and armor technology with fighters launched from gigantic battleship-carriers?  No problem.

A universe with powerful energy weapons and shields and plenty of powerful fighters, but very little in the way of conventional/kinetic weapons and armor tech?  Of course.

A universe where the action is all at the cruiser and battleship level using beam weapons and shields, but no fighters?  No sweat.

Want to play a crossover game between any or all of the above?  Colonial Battlefleet will handle it beautifully.

Plenty of other starship games out there will allow you to "kinda" replicate a particular setting.  But with Colonial Battlefleet, it's like having a setting-specific ruleset for just about any setting you can imagine.  Plus, they're all completely compatible so you can play your favorites against each other in 'what if' games.

THE SUMMARY

Colonial Battlefleet is easy to learn, plays fast, and offers features no other starship game can match.  When you're playing, your mind is focused on the enormous and exciting tactical depth that Colonial Battlefleet provides - not figuring out the rules or trying to do math in your head.  We do the math in designing the system, so you don't have to!

Our starship construction system is easy to use, and requires nothing more than pencil and paper - but we give you a spreadsheet that does everything for you anyway because that's how we roll here at SDG.  Best of all, it's 'unbreakable' in the sense that you can never design a ship that forces your opponent to either play with an identical design, or design a ship specifically to kill yours.  We feel that's a fun-killer in many game systems and so we made sure it can't happen in Colonial Battlefleet.

The starship roles provide a unique flavor to the game that merely offering variety of hull sizes and speeds doesn't.  In Colonial Battlefleet a battleship and a light cruiser have very different functions and capabilities - and aren't just different sizes of the same thing.  You'll need balanced fleets with a variety of roles in order to be successful.  A flagship to boost your initiative, battleline ships to be your heavy hitters, a cruiser screen to protect your battleline, and then the icing on the cake in the form of stealth destroyers, carriers, rapid deployment forces to outflank your enemy and so forth.

Coming up we're forming partnerships with a variety of popular miniature lines to bring you official ship design stats, and more optional & custom rules for tailoring Colonial Battlefleet to each particular universe.  We've also got a campaign system in the works to provide a strategic overlay for you tactical games, and we're even thinking about a sci-fi ground game complement so you can run a true interstellar war complete with planetary invasions!

Colonial Battlefleet sets a new benchmark for fun and tactical depth in starship combat.  Go to our products page and pick up your set of the core rules today for only $16.95 and see why its the hottest selling starship game on the market!