The Ships of Epsilon Point – The Trebuchet War Destroyer

Hi folks! We’re working on the Epsilon Point release of Star Navy, which includes finalizing our Starship Designs. We’ll be bringing you a series of short articles taking about each Ship design, it’s in-universe history, and a little behind the scenes of how that ship came to be.

Today, we’ll be looking at the most powerful Star Navy ship in the release, the Trebuchet War Destroyer.

Ship Sheet

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The Ship Sheet is Star Navy’s bread and butter, defining the characteristics of each Ship class and providing an easy space to track damage and abilities. While it’s modular design makes it simple and blocky, it also keeps all your Ship’s info in recognizable formats, so finding the info you need is easy no matter the Ship Sheet.

The Trebuchet is a durable light Ship with heavy firepower that mounts a pair of powerful Prime Antimatter Cannons (AC+) in its forward arc. The biggest drawback to these powerful guns, aside from the energy cost to fire them, is that on a die roll of 6, the weapon becomes Disabled. Thankfully, the Trebuchet’s Repair rules help keep them operational, and in a pinch you can use a Command Point to automatically repair a Box or Weapon during the Prepare Phase, potentially making the Trebuchet a much more threatening target after speeds and shields have been set!

Siege Engine Redefined

A Trebuchet firing it’s Antimatter Cannons

8 years prior to the Epsilon Point Incident, the Star Union was faced with an unpleasant truth: Rath’Ton aggression was increasing, and so-called “rogue assets” were clearly enabled by the Empire. In response, the Star Navy began a number of shipbuilding projects to ramp up fleet capabilities.

Project Trebuchet was tasked with creating a vessel that could carry heavy firepower that could be built quickly with existing components. The result was the first Antimatter Cannons, and the Trebuchet War Destroyer, an extended frigate Hull mounting twin axial Cannons.

Antimatter Cannons fire powerful energy bolts that contain a physical Warhead in their tail. The bolt weakens a target’s defenses and then delivers an Antimatter charge directly to the weak point, causing an immediate explosion.

The first ship of the class, SNX-780 “Trebuchet”, launched 2 years later in 574 AR. After initial tests in the asteroid belt, the over 250-meter long warship was designated a success, and the Navy immediately ordered a dozen more into production.

In the year 580 AR, the SNV-790 “Vigilant” was part of a task force that discovered Rath’Ton stealth vessels near Epsilon Point.

Designing the Trebuchet

Original concept for the Trebuchet

Most Star Navy ships start as top-down 2D design concepts, and the Trebuchet was no exception. The initial design came before the classic naval Hull aesthetic became a core design element of the game, and so it lacks the final’s extended rear Hull.

The core idea of the Ship was to mount 2 of the Navy’s most powerful guns on a frigate size Hull. Since those guns are basically “what if a Photon Torpedo, a Railgun, and a laser beam had a baby”, it seemed right to make them the full length of the Ship.

SN-DW 3d Token

While the final design looks very different, the inspiration of the original concept is visible, with the biggest change being the design of the Antimatter Cannons themselves. The original design had been based on a basic beam-style weapon with a large focusing lens, but with the concept that Antimatter Cannons are more Railgun than Laser, it made more sense for the design to change to something slimmer.

“Defender” Skin Ship Sheet

The gameplay design for the Trebuchet was always clear – only slightly more durable than a Frigate, but with guns that could make a Cruiser blush. With no risk of losing a Weapon to incoming fire, the War Destroyer is built to be an inexpensive, powerful little ship.

Inexpensive? Of course, the Trebuchet will be free upon release of Epsilon Point. We’re talking about Matched Play of course! While Epsilon Point will not include Matched Play rules, Star Navy’s next release will! We’ll announce more about the second set when Epsilon Point releases, so keep your eyes peeled!

Star Navy STL Files Available!

Hi folks!

We’ve been working over the weekend on the Rulebook for Star Navy, which you can expect soon, followed by the final Ship Sheets for the ships in the Epsilon Point scenario. In the meantime, we’ve put the STL files for Bases, the Star Navy Move Tool, and the Ships of Epsilon Point in our Public Release folder! You can find the link here:

https://cagefreegames.com/downloads/

The Rath’Ton Command Destroyer, or RT-DDC

For each Ship 3d Token you print, you will need a Base. Bases have a notch on the front, and are designed with an extra-tall peg. Before assembling your Token, dry fit the parts together first, and be sure to trim off excess peg on the Base so that the bottom of the Ship’s Hull fits flush with the flight stand of the base.

We’ll be writing up a guide on how we build and paint our official 3d Tokens later this week, so stay tuned!

We also want to apologize for the quiet the last couple days. Trying to balance continued work on the game and persistent updates on the website, while also working full-time jobs is, well, a bit exhausting. Please bear with us while we figure out the best way for us to communicate with the community and also continue designing free games for you.

Please enjoy your new 3d Tokens! We’d love to see your printed and painted pieces, so send them to us at https://twitter.com/cagefreegames !

Star Navy – The Basics

Hello again folks! We’re back today to talk about the core concepts behind Star Navy – our newly announced astronaval strategy game!

Star Navy is a game of space combat where you must manage your Ships positions, power, and communications effectively to defeat your opponent. The game is played in a series of turns, made up of 3 phases:

  • Prepare Phase
  • Impulse Phase
  • End Phase

During each phase, all players take turns at each step of the phase. To get an idea of how it all fits together, let’s do a quick walkthrough:

Prepare Phase

The Prepare Phase is when players gain resources, launch missiles or small craft, and set their ship’s capabilities for the turn.

Star Navy has 2 Resources:

  • Command Points are generated by special Command vessels with powerful communications systems. They are used for special fleet abilities or emergency situations.
  • Energy Points are generated by each Ship, and each Ship only has access to its own Energy Points. Ships use Energy Points to fire heavy weapons or trigger special abilities.

After generating resources, players set their ship’s speed for the turn and choose if they want to bolster defenses at certain angles. These choices affect a ship’s Energy as well, with speed being the only way to gain energy.

Next, players use any Launcher systems their ships have, from explosive drone missile bays to hangars carrying heavy fighters. Finally, at the end of the phase, players may activate abilities that will affect the rest of the turn, these are Type A abilities. Then it’s on to the action of…

The Impulse Phase

The Impulse Phase is where the bulk of the game takes place. During the Impulse Phase, you play through 6 individual “Impulses”. During each Impulse, players take turns performing each of the following:

  • Activate any Type B Abilities. These abilities generally only affect the Impulse they are used in.
  • Move Ordnance tokens (small craft and missiles)
  • Move All Ships
  • Fire any number of weapons (must have a viable target)
  • Remove any ships that are Destroyed

We’ll go into detail on movement and attacks in a later article, but it’s important to note that after a weapon fires, it is Drained and cannot fire again during the same turn. For this reason, there are times when you may be able to Fire a weapon, but the wise choice is to hold fire until a later Impulse when you are in a better position. Choosing the right moment to attack could be game-changing!

After you have completed 6 Impulses, it’s time to move on to…

The End Phase

The End Phase is the breather at the end of the turn, when ships repair and rearm. First, any Drained weapons are returned to normal, ready to fire shrub next turn. Then, ships can attempt repairs of damaged sections or Disabled weapons. Then, ships lose any remaining energy (the subspace drives that run them can only maintain a certain level of charge safely). Since you can’t carry them over, be sure to use your Energy Points before the End Phase so they don’t go to waste!

Lastly, any Scenario Effects take place. This depends on the scenario, but ranges from scoring Victory Points to triggering special events such as Solar Flares!

The Rest of the Game

Most games have a Turn Limit, after which the game ends. This ranges from 3 to 6 turns, but most scenarios are 4 to 5.

By positioning your Ships well, attacking at the right time, and using your Energy and Command wisely, you can command your fleet to victory!

Well that does it for today folks! What’s on the menu for tomorrow’s preview? We’ll give you a hint: you’ve seen them in one form already, tomorrow we’ll see what makes them tick…

Until next time!

Star Navy – The Game of Neo-Pulp Space Combat!

Cage Free Games is excited to announce our first upcoming release – Star Navy!

What is Star Navy?

Star Navy is a game of astronaval warfare in a universe with all the characteristics of an early sci-fi pulp story. Players fight tense battles with astronaval warships, manage the energy output of their subspace drives for powerful abilities, and issue commands to their fleets at critical moments.

Star Navy Mars-Class Carrier

Games are played on a 3’x3′ area (larger matches on a 3’x6′), and Ships are tracked using hex counters, or “3d Counters” like the Mars Class carrier you see here! Each turn is made up of 6 “Impulses”, each a step where all Ships move and attack. Most weapons can only fire once a turn, so choosing the right Impulse to fire a weapon can be a crucial decision!

Rath’Ton Empire Dalethal-Class Destroyer, Command Refit

Star Navy is also designed to have a flexible number of players and flexible difficulty. Each main player, or Admiral, may also have a Fleet Captain, or second player, who takes command of some of the Admiral’s ships. This allows both the Admiral and the Fleet Captain to focus on running fewer vessels at once, while still playing for the same goals. The Fleet Captain system is also an excellent way to learn to play, providing new players with an easy way to join the group.

So how can I get it?

Star Navy and Rath’Ton forces for The Incident at Epsilon Point

As with every Cage Free Game, Star Navy will be available for free download. Our first release will be “Incident at Epsilon Point”, and will be available in PDF format. While you can use paper counters and move tools, we also will provide 3d files to print our 3d tokens and move tool on your own 3d printer!

A Star Navy patrol fends off a Rath’Ton abduction raid

Want something nicer? Cage Free Games will also offer hand-painted 3d tokens (like the ones you’ve seen in this article!) in premium sets along with laminated ship terminals, as well as reference cards and other accessories in certain sets. There will also be a printed Rulebook available for those who prefer paper to pdf. We also plan to put every 3d model on Shapeways, where you can order 3d tokens with high quality detail.

A Star Navy Trebuchet-Class War Destroyer charges its Prime Beam Array

When can I try it?

The answer is: Very Soon! We’re ironing out the wrinkles in the rulebook, and formatting test sheets into ship terminals and Reference cards. Keep an eye on us here for more information as we approach our first release, Star Navy: Incident at Epsilon Point!

Games for Free

Welcome! I’m sure you have many questions. We’re Cage Free Games, an organization dedicated to bringing you fun, engaging Tabletop games for free. But how, and why? And what games are we making? Well, today we’ll answer those questions!

How?

We publish free print-ready files for anyone to download, print, and play as they like! If you like our games, we do plan to offer professional ways to order printed copies. Getting into a new Cage Free game is as easy as downloading and printing a PDF!

Why?

We view Game Design as an art, and something to be shared. Rather than charge folks to play our games, we would prefer that anyone who is interested have the opportunity to play. If you want to get into an established game, acquiring a collection isn’t a hurdle with a Cage-Free game!

What’s coming?

We have a number of projects in the works, but here’s a taste of our favorites:

Sol 3

Sol 3 is a storied project that has seen years of development in search of the right mechanics to fit it’s “Starfighter Mecha Strategy” theming. The setting paints a humanity whose home was destroyed in an apparent act of terror, and the plot follows several key characters as the galaxy destabilizes in the aftermath. The game uses a variant of our “Blood Magic” engine to deliver a light war game where you build your army on the fly.

Project Summoner

Built on our “Blood Magic” strategy system, “Project Summoner” is a strategy card game where players summon creatures from other planes by channeling their life force, and battle for control over rare Magic resources. Players of traditional card and strategy games may notice familiar themes in this unique game that sits comfortably between two genres.

Warlords

Warlords is a cooperative card game of epic combat, where players each bring a prebuilt deck representing a Hero and their Warband against a Looming Threat. Threats are their own pre-built adventures, telling a story of rising evil. Players must command their Warbands to victory against these Threats, using the unique powers of each Warband to overcome the Threat and defeat the Mastermind.

… And more!

More excellent games are also in the works, but we’ll leave them as surprises for now! We’re excited to bring you new options for your game nights, and will have more information for you soon!