More thoughts on Special Actions and Crew Skill


One of the things our group was interested in was tweaking the special actions so that many of the underutilized actions became more viable options. Here are a few of the things we tried in the last game.

Crew Skill: changed the Crew Skill number values to +0, +1, +2, +3, +4 for Trainee through Elite and then changed the crew skill roll to 2d6 instead of 1d6. This adds a bell curve instead of a flat probability line. The target numbers were kept the same, so most skills became somewhat easier to pull off, but we certainly had plenty of misses at critical times.

HET: Target number changed to 7+ number of extra 45 degree turns. Penalty changed to 1 crit per 90 degrees.

IDF: Roll IDF crew test for each enemy ship firing

Transport Marines: Drop shield at end of movement. Transport Marines as part of combat action. Player gets to choose target of raid (i.e. choose crit system rather than roll - can also target a trait or specific weapon system). Once raid conducted, ship may make a crew test when fired on to try to raise shields before fire comes in.

All and all, we liked these house rules quite a lot. We like using variable crew quality and the improved odds of crew tests and the bell curve of the 2d6 roll allowed less trained ships to actually occasionally do something useful. At the same time, it didn't feel too easy. I routinely failed my Dam Con rolls and we had ships miss other skill tests at unfortunate times. We also had some less trained ships take a chance (such as the Green Condor crew conducting a HET to bring torps to bear) that they would not likely try in the standard rules. Take Evasive Maneuvers was used a lot more. The change to IDF also meant you didn't know going into firing if that IDF ship would pass it's die roll to help out or not, which definitely affected drone targeting. The only time I really noticed the difference in time required for rolling 2d6 v. 1d6 was with tractor beams as you could not roll all attempts at once. That's the only case I can think of where multiple skill checks are taken at once, so a pretty minor inconvenience. Overall the changes did produce a more varied game with captains making more decision based on what they expected to unfold in the turn versus everyone just piling energy into the shields each turn