Tag Archives: scenarios

One Page Rules: Faster Than Light

Star Noir operates under the fiction that an FTL drive works. To be specific, Sonny White’s implementation of the Alcubierre Drive works. In Starships, it makes very little impact, except to limit the places from which a ship may escape. I assume that stellar objects are not all known, so there’s a strong risk that a ship jumping into warp might run into one of those objects. Combat is therefore fought at “normal” speeds where Newtonian physics applies.

But what happens if all the objects are charted?

The rules for FTL are so different that this is not really a Starships scenario, but what I refer to as “one page rules” — a game stripped down to just the key mechanics. As a result, this scenario can be played without referring to the Starships rules at all.

(I expect that any One Page Rules will be a simple novelty. The usual “beta” warning also applies, of course.)

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Space Pirate

The latest entry in my series of beta scenarios is the “ship’s systems” scenario. In designing Starships, I made the decision to simplify the ships’ systems to focus on the movement mechanics. In this scenario, I add more complicated damage rules. As I expect this to slow the game down a touch, my recommendation is to reduce the size of the forces involved. In the example scenario, they’ve been limited to a single ship. (Insert usual warning about beta scenarios here.)


In the lull after the Battle of Earth, Ismo Nyman and a crew of malcontents stole an unchristened destroyer from the Jamestown Highport orbiting Moultrie. They were successful for the simple reason that no one had tried it before.

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The Battle of Moultrie

While Starships is a great game, it does have a flaw. It’s best played with six-to-ten squadrons, no matter the number of players. This scenario provides the rules to allow you to get together with a bunch of friends for a single huge battle.

I am fairly confident that this scenario won’t need too many edits before the main release, but it’s still a beta. Without a rigorous playtest, there might be a surprise hidden here — but I doubt it.


The decade after the Battle of Ascension was a tumultuous one, with Moultrie challenging Earth at every turn. That kind of enthusiasm wore thin with Moultrie’s allies, who grew less dedicated to the cause. Earth’s mandarins sensed that weakness, and began planning an attack on Moultrie’s orbital facilities. Continue reading

The Battle of Xìngyùn

This scenario is probably the most complicated one I’m working on. It was supposed to just be the “carrier ops” scenario, but in designing it to be realistic(-ish), it also became the “including orbits in your game” scenario.

The set-up: the tension within China between the Communist rulers and their Capitalist economy finally boiled over into a full-blown civil war, and the miners at Xìngyùn sided with the Capitalists.The Communists won the war Earth-side, and sent the Beijing to retake their colony. Continue reading

The Battle of Ascension

I make two claims about Starships. One, movement in the game is realistic; and two, that the game is fun. In chasing the second claim, I withheld some ideas from the game. Over the next few months, I will post some of those ideas as special scenario rules.

While these rules are labeled “scenario rules”, there’s no prohibition against using them outside this scenario, assuming the players agree.

Note that these rules are provisional, and will be superseded by any scenario bundles I publish. Starships is intentionally a scale-less game, to allow players to play at a variety of locations. In this scenario, I fix the time and distance scales.

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