Tips for Playing Battlestations for the 1st TimeHere are some lessons we've learned in the field for conquering galaxies in the most efficient and orderly manner...
Playing Battlestations is almost as easy as programming the Hyperdrive! You just roll two dice and add your skill level... it's that simple!
Okay, maybe it's a little harder when you don't know what a Hyperdrive is.
There are 5 skills in the standard game:
So when you want to fly the ship, you roll two dice and add your Piloting skill. When you want to launch a missile, roll two dice and add your Combat. The difficulty is the only thing you need to know... what do I need to roll?
Your referee should get a basic idea of how to play the game before putting you on a mission. Work together to figure out the difficulty of a given roll. The first few times you play, you'll probably miss a few factors, like, what's this thing called, 'OOC'? Is it contagious? (OOC is 'out of control,' it's a penalty to your checks when the ship has been upset by a maneuver or ram.)
Score the playing piece hero cards before cutting them. If there's a tiny incision along the cut lines, the board bends more easily and does less stress damage to the laminated paper when it's bent:
And if you went for metal:
These figures were exquisitely painted by John Newman, and can be seen at our booth at the convention!
Your board should look something like this while you're playing:
Although you probably won't be flying a prototypical fungaloid ship...
We cut one of our ship control sheets in half, since you probably won't need all 8:
This lets us keep the control sheets near their ships, so the referee and the players don't have to bump elbows. Ironically, these two control sheets are shown near each other.
We like to use a huge die for our phase indicator:
This ensures that no one will pick the die up by accident, at which point everyone looks at each other and forgets what phase it is. Also having a strong sense of time (when the die finally turns to the next number) keeps the action moving! We got this die from Koplow games at a convention.
You can place dice next to injured fellows, and even color coordinate them:
In the above example, the bug is at negative 4 hit points, and the xeloxian has taken 7 hit points of damage. You can reverse the colors if you like, since when I staged this picture I wasn't thinking about it.
Using 3rd party accoutrements like Dwarven Forge can make your missions in Battlestations really stand out:
You'll find new ways to build out adventures when you use hallways and go colony-side!
Using a handy tote will organize your Battlestations in one place:
This was about $50 at an art store, but you can get gear like this at camping stores for around $20.
We use different cargo bay equipment markers and note which ones are which on our ship sheet:
That way we know what's used, where we need to go to use things, what got blown up when we take internal hits, etc.
Extra playing manuals are handy.
Make sure to 'stay frosty' and peek, poke, go on overwatch, and pop your way around enemies! If you overextend yourself and get clambaked, you have no one to thank but the kerbites back at the cloning facility.Engineering:
Transfer all power to one system at the end of the round. Since each system that has power loses one at the end of the round, loading all the remaining power in one system means you only lose one power. You can transfer it back at the start of the next round.Piloting:
Pay attention to your speed. Accelerate wisely so that you can get the most out of your ship and your power. If you're on phase 5, and you're going from speed 0 to 3, you might want to consider only going to speed 1 or 2, since you won't be getting the benefit of movement this round, anyway. Time your maneuvers so that whenever possible, you'll ooc the ship last in a phase. Speed is almost always your ally. It makes you a harder target from all the bad guys and gets you where you want to go, pronto. Just make sure you can still handle the ship! Prepare and don't be shy about asking for assistance, especially when your Size 8 ship is barrelling along at speed 9 towards a sun!Science:
Research Make your questions narrow the field by half whenever possible. A classic example is picking a number between one and 10 (the number is 4. If you pick one at a time it may take you 10 guesses to get the right answer. If you ask questions that narrow the field by half (is the number less than 5? (yes), Less than 3 (no), it must be 3 or 4) it only takes 3 or 4 guesses at most to figure it out. Take Notes Keep track of what you've asked so you don't ask it again. I like to track it on the back of my Scientist's character sheet. Don't ask dumb questions. Whether a missile is a boarding missile or a warhead missile, you're still going to want to blast it. At the end of the round there is no such thing as a dumb question. Since used markers will be removed, you can ask freebie science questions like whether there is a threat aboard your ship. The difficulty is zero because you're asking a 'range of zero' question. Get targeting locks Don't forget to get targeting locks on all ships in a system. Even if they appear friendly, they might turn against you or you may need to use the teleporter to escape to them.General
Keep extra gear beyond your carry limit on the floor at your battlestation. Everybody should have a medkit. Toolkits are really optional. A good engineer almost never needs a toolkit except when repairing a slagged module. Have a trick or two up your sleeve. If you have some drugs or a skill chip in something totally unexpected, you just might be the marine that saves the day with a hyperdrive program or the engineer that pulls that amazing maneuver!