Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Rules Guide: Bringing the Dakka!

The Confusion is real. . . it is almost like the Shaltnanigans are real!

Pew pew pew! Ahhh the sounds that we make as we command ships across a table while they shoot. . . well for some they make zooming noises but I like the Pew! 

Its all about that Pew, all about that Pew~!

Ok, silly time is over and if you are still here we can move on to the real topic. How attacking works.


Hmmmmmm Maybe my first wargame ever sill has a tiny hold on my heart. . . Oh well.

OK Shooting, Attacks, Weapons Free, Close Action! By the living stars there are a lot of terms. Lets go over them.

The Basics of Attacking

There are 4 main steps that we are going to delve into.

1) Allocate Dice

Every ship has a weapons profile section like the Shaltari Granite-class Cruiser below.

Weapons have a Name (Type), a To Hit value (Lock), Number of dice (Attack), Damage per hit (Damage), Firing Arc (Arc), and Special Rule (Special).

Remember that unless you are using the Weapon's Free Order you can only fire one weapon profile. For example, the Granite has two Particle Lance's, if you use the Standard Orders you can only use one of them. Close Action Weapons do not count towards your limit of attacks. You can always use your Close Action Weapons if you can shoot a regular weapon. 

So when you attack you check if you are in arc, in range and then declare what is shooting what in that Group. Remember, you activate by Group in that Battlegroup. So, if you have 6 Toulon's and 2 Berlin's, you would choose one of those groups (either the Toulon's or the Berlin's) and move and then allocate dice from there.

So the 6x UCM Toulon-class Frigate's would get 3 dice per ship and you could choose 6 different targets or combined their shots if they are in arc and range.

2) Roll to hit

When rolling to hit, you roll all of the dice you have allocated and are just trying to meet or beat the Lock value of the weapon you are shooting. IF you roll 2 higher than your lock value that is a critical hit and bypasses armor! So a Lock 3+ misses on a roll of a 1 or 2, hits on a roll of a 3 or 4, and crits on a 5 or 6.

3) Total the number of Hits

Here you total up the number of hits, crits, different weapon hits (such as Close Action versus regular, Burnthrough, etc). Remember to ALWAYS double check what Orbital Layer you are on versus the defending target. That +1 can change a perfectly good hit to a perfectly bad miss.

4) Defender rolls saves

Here the Defender will roll all saves. Point Defense are a save and are rolled for all applicable hits. Then Armor saves and Passive Saves.

Point Defense is taken against Close Action Weapons (Bombers are included in this) only and a success is on a 5+ per die. It takes 1 success to cancel a Hit and 2 successes to cancel a Crit.

Simulation Run

So now that we have our order of how things work lets test it all out! Lets use those 6x Toulon's from before 

These 6x Toulon-class Frigates have moved into Scan range of a PHR Ganymede-class Assault Troopship. They put the 18 shots from their UF-2200 Mass Driver Turrets and the 12 Close Action dice from their Barracuda Missile Bays. Half of them are in High Orbit to prevent a Chain Explosion from taking them all which means a +1 to their Lock when attacking the Ganymede that is in Low Orbit.

By the steps!

1) Allocate: All 12 weapons onto the Ganymede

2) Roll the attack: Lets be smart and use 4 different colors, 9 for the Mass drivers in Low Orbit, 9 for the ones in High Orbit, 6 for the Missiles in Low Orbit, and 6 for the ones in High Orbit.

3) Count Hits: So counting hits, in High orbit we have 3 hits from the Mass Drivers, and 2 hits from the Missiles. In low Orbit we have 2 Crits, and 2 hits from the Mass Drivers and 2 hits and 1 crit from the missiles!

So, overall there are 5 Mass Driver Hits and 2 Crits! A little below average there but that is fine. For the Barracuda Missiles we have 4 hits and 1 crit.

4) Defender Rolls Saves: The Ganymede has a Point Defense of 5 and rolls them scoring 2 successes, well the defender decides to get rid of the crit and to trust on the Ganymede's armor.

So not the Ganymede needs to make 9 Armor saves at a 3+ and it rolls the 9 dice and makes only 5 of them! Booo poor armor. . . I guess the nanites were lazy in that area

So the Ganymede takes 2 direct damage from the crits and another 4 damage from the Mass Drivers for a total of 6 damage! Is that a Crippling Blow?! Lets look. . . . NO! The Ganymede has a total of 13 hull so it would need to take at least 7 points of damage since it is 50% or more to take a Crippling Roll.


The game is BRUTAL in combat. The massing of attacks will get through the best of armor and the better the likelihood of crits is far better (in my opinion) than more shots.

I hoped this helped you all out on how combat works. As always folks, thank you for reading, make sure to subscribe by email, follow me via Facebook on my page the The HotLZ, and if you wish to support me and help me improve while getting access to Patron only content (videos, articles, interviews, etc) you can support me via  Patreon, and lastly remember to check out WarGaming Mats for their beautiful line of vinyl 4x4 and 6x4 mats for Dropfleet, Star Wars Armada, and X-Wing (and maybe a few other games!).


  1. Nice summary. For your book snaps I suggest an app called CamScanner. It's amazing.

    1. They are used as stop gaps since many don't have the rules. I don't want too high of quality though due to any infringements that Hawk might feel reasonable. So far Hawk is fine with my pictures but I don't wish to push my luck.

  2. Nice article. Well written, consistent examples, good job! 8^D

    1. Thank you! I am aiming for better than what I have done in the past ^_^