Yesterday, we announced our new game Admirals: Star Strike!, and showed you a preview of two ship cards: The deadly Nataran Battlecruiser, and the reliable Accords Heavy Cruiser. Today, we’re going to talk a little about how Ship cards work in the Admirals engine!
First, meet a third ship – the Planetary Accords Light Cruiser (also known as the Guardas Class):
Right away, you might notice some major differences between the Guardas and it’s heavier counterpart, particularly the “Shield Track” as opposed to a “Shield Chart”. In Admirals, lighter vessels can easily make full use of their defensive shields, whereas vessels with the Heavy or Super Heavy role have difficulty rotating their defenses and can be caught out of position more easily. The Shield Chart assigns defensive Shield boxes to each hex facing, whereas ships with a Shield Track can always use their shields defensively. Each box can cancel a point of damage, preventing the ship from suffering hull damage.
Unfortunately for the Guardas (and most other vessels of the Light and Escort roles), the Shield Track is one of its few advantages defensively. With only 3 hull boxes (compared to the Heavy Cruiser’s 5 or the Nataran Battlecruiser’s whopping 7), even concentrated light weapons fire can quickly remove it from the board once its Shields have been destroyed.
The rest of the top of the card is largely used to help you correctly identify which ship the card represents. The Card Name (in this case, Light Cruiser) identifies the role the ship plays in the fleet, and several ships in the same faction may carry the same Card Name. The Class Name speaks to the specific subtype represented by the card, while the Number ID helps keep track of which token the card is assigned to on the board (if using more than one of the same Ship).
The art window contains the same art that is on the Ship’s Token, the piece you use to represent the Ship on the table, and the Icon in the upper right corner shows the ship’s Faction allegiance. When building a fleet, all your Ships must have the same Faction allegiance.
The Ship Code is like a unique Card Identifier. Similar to manufacturing codenames for real-life military vehicles, each Ship Code consists of 2 components: A Faction code (In this case, PA for Planetary Accords) and, a Class Code (In this case, CL – used by the Planetary Accords to represent “Cruiser/Light”)
On the bottom half of the Ship Card, you’ll find the Ship’s Weapons and assorted systems, as well as some background on the ship and some handy tools for in-game tracking.
A Ship’s Armaments are it’s total selection of long-range weapons. They also represent the Ship’s capacity to defend itself in a close-in “Skirmish” engagement. We’ll talk more about Weapons and how they work in the future, but the big takeaway here is that each number is the number of Dice of that weapon the Ship may fire each turn. In the case of the Guardas, it can fire 2 Laser Cannon dice, 2 Malus Launcher dice, and 2 Long Range Missile dice. As a Light ship, it doesn’t have facing restrictions on these weapons – But you may have noticed that the Heavies shown yesterday do. We’ll cover facing restrictions when we talk in more detail about Weapons as well.
Underneath the Armaments section, you’ll notice 2 additional boxes. The first is to keep track of if the Ship has activated this turn. During each Turn, players alternate activating Ships in any order they choose, and each ship may only activate once a turn.
The second box (Heavy Ready) is situated under the Malus Launcher armament. Malus Launchers are Heavy Weapons, meaning they can’t fire 2 turns in a row. The checkbox helps keep track of if the launchers are on cooldown this turn. Conversely, the secondary armament of most Nataran Vessels (their deadly Railcannons) isn’t Heavy, so you won’t see this box on the grand majority of Nataran Ship Cards.
While the Guardas is a simple light combat vessel, the more complex Dictata and Dynastes class vessels are examples of ships with Keyword rules that improve their capabilities. Flak (1) grants these ships a 1 in 6 chance of shooting down incoming Ordnance weapons (such as LRM-A), while the Boarding Array ability found on many Nataran vessels makes them deadly in point-blank Skirmish conflicts, which we’ll cover in detail later.
We’re hard at work putting the finishing touches on Admirals: Star Strike, so expect more content daily – We’ve got plenty more in store. If you want to help support the development of Admirals: Star Strike, we have some merch in the shop with the Dictata and Dynastes class vessels, or you can pick up a shirt with our Bird Overlord watching your back!