The Elder among us may remember a certain, strange time in the hobby. A time when the stars aligned in the correct formation (a celestial sign known as The Beard), and eldritch items of maligned power found themselves in places where such things had never existed before, or since, or had any right to be. This ancient place was named Woolworths, and the items were Board Games.
This is the tale of Space Fleet!
The ancestor of Battlefleet Gothic, Space Fleet is a space battle game ostensibly set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. It uses a variety of collectable spaceship miniatures; unlike Battlefleet Gothic, movement is more Blue Max style than miniatures style, each player simultaneously programming from any of 13 possible moves. Before the game starts, the players also allocate their shields around the ship's periphery. Combat is a simple affair, and the rules are very skimpy.
Battlefleet Gothic was actually still called Space Fleet Gothic in 1998, one year before its release
Each player takes a combat display, which shows the ship's 4 fire arcs. Each individual fire arc is a 90 degree arc of a circle covering the front, sides and rear of the ship. 12 shield tokens are then distributed amongst the fire arcs by the player. 4 Damage tokens are placed on the centre of the combat display, and the players' ships are set up at opposite ends of the board.
Players chose a movement option secretly on their helm computer chart. The movement options varies from moving 0-2 squares and changing a ship's facing. Ships are then moved simultaneously, with any ships that end up in the same square being considered to have rammed each other. Ramming damage is assigned by each player dropping 4 six-sided dice into the box lid, which was divided into a 3x3 grid. Any dice that land in the middle grid count as one point of damage to the appropriate arc of the ship.
After movement, weapons are fired. Players choose a target, then roll the appropriate number of dice in the box lid depending on the location of the target in the shooting ship's fire arc. The ship's keel gun can only fire in the 90 degree arc to the front and inflicts most potential damage at a range of 3 squares, while the ship's broadside guns inflict most potential damage at a range of 1 square and can only fire to either side of the ship. Any die that occupies a hit grid section in the box inflicts one point of damage. Any die in a hit section which rolls a six is deemed to have caused a critical hit, with additional damage to the target determined randomly on the Critical Damage chart.
Any damage inflicted causes the removal of shield tokens from the target ship's appropriate fire arc. Once all shields have been removed, further damage to that arc causes the removal of Damage tokens. Once all 4 damage tokens had been removed, a ship is destroyed.
Like movement, firing is resolved simultaneously, resulting in the possibility that ships could destroy each other on the same turn.
Play then resumes with a new movement phase.
The winner is the player who destroys his opponent first
What memories do you have of these games, if you've ever come across them in the past? Let us know and give us your thoughts!
Who Are We?
The Fluffenhammer is a archive of joy for the worlds of Games Workshop (and beyond)