“Red Alert! Shields Up!”
-- William Riker

Command Phase – Part 3 Space Battles & Planetary Invasions

A Command may be Exhausted to initiate a Space Battle with rival Starships in a single Adjacent Sector, or in a single Sector occupied by rival vessels. If a player has Ships in more than one Adjacent Sector, all of those vessels may participate in the Battle when the Command is Exhausted. A Space Battle consists of a number of Rounds of Combat in which both players roll to Score Hits, take Casualties, and then decide whether to Retreat of keep fighting. The player who initiates the battle is the Attacker.

Star Trek: Ascendancy

Combat in Star Trek: Ascendancy is very simple. Both players involved roll a number of dice equal to the number of Starships involved in the Battle. On each player’s Control Console, the Weapons System slider will point at the number a player needs to roll to hit in order to destroy a rival vessel. An opponent’s Shields can modify that number, making the “Hit Roll” more difficult.

Star Trek: Ascendancy

Every Hit destroys a rival Ship. Both players Roll to Hit and then Take Casualties simultaneously. If there is a choice of where casualties are going to be taken, the player who inflicted the Hits chooses how to allocate the Hits. For instance, if a player is facing both a Fleet and individual vessels, the Fleet may be targeted in an attempt to break it up (remember, normally a Fleet must contain at least three Ships).

Starbases may lend support to a Space Battle. When a civilization has Ships in Orbit of a System they Control that contains a Starbase, that player may roll an additional to Hit die in the Battle. Starbases may never be targeted or taken as a Causality and cannot fight on their own.

After Taking Casualties, each side must decide to continue or retreat from Battle, starting with the Attacker. Retreats are made at Impulse Speed and via Existing Space Lanes. All of a players Ships must Move and end their Retreat in the same Sector. If rival Starships are blocking the Space Lanes, Retreat is impossible.

Some Advancements grant Ships and/or Nodes (in a Planetary Invasion) a First Strike in the initial Round of Combat. In a Battle with a participant who has First Strike, that player rolls their To Hit dice first, forcing their opponent to Remove Casualties before rolling To Hit. If both sides have First Strike, than neither may use it in the Battle.

Star Trek: Ascendancy

When a player’s Ships Occupy a Developed System that they do not Control, a Command may be issued to Invade the Planet. A Planetary Invasion works much the same as Space Combat, except the invading Ships roll off against the structures built on the planet. Starbases do not participate in Planetary Invasions. The weapon and shield levels on the Control Console apply to a civilization’s Nodes as well as their Starships.

Star Trek: Ascendancy

Every hit by a Defending Mode destroys one of the Attacker’s Ships. The goal of the Attacker is to take Control of the Planet, ideally with minimal damage to its infrastructure. Hits by the Attacker don’t necessarily destroy Nodes, but the number of Hits does determine the results of the Invasion.

If the Attacker rolls more hits than the Defending Planet has structures, then the Attackers take the world intact; taking over the existing Resource Nodes for themselves and placing their own Control Node on the System. If the Attacker rolls Hits less than the number of Nodes on the Planet, the Attacker must choose that number of Resource Nodes to be destroyed. If the Attacker rolls a number of Hits equal to the number of Nodes on the Planet, the surface of the world is completely razed during the Invasion and the System will need to be colonized anew in a future turn.

Only the Attacker may retreat from a Planetary Invasion. The Defender may elect to Surrender the world to the Attacker. The Defender may even Surrender the world before the Invasion begins, preventing a conflict and turning over Control of the Planet and its infrastructure to the Attacker.

Starbases are too valuable to destroy. Once a Starbase has been placed in a System, it remains there for the remainder of the game. When Control of a System changes hands, Control of the Starbase does too. The controlling player takes one Command Token from the former owner and places it face down with their own Commands, to be refreshed at the end of the turn. In this way, a civilization may Control more that the three Starbases they are allotted to commission.

Will your Fleets be victorious in Battle? Tale command when Star Trek: Ascendancy hits stores later this summer. Next week, diplomacy prevails where combat fails as we look at adding worlds to your civilization through Hegemony and diplomacy.

Star Trek: Ascendancy