//New rules for scenarios

New rules for scenarios

One of the things I like about DFC is that it really lends itself very well to adding new rules to customize the individual games. Maybe because I find the rules rather simple yet elegant, I find plenty of opportunity to add rules for specific scenarios.

Of course, it is very hard to add any kind of rules without changing the balance of the game. On the other hand; I do not really buy into the assumption, that rules released are properly balanced – my experience with the game design and tinkering tells me that balancing is not only hard, it is also never really done. So while some imbalances obviously needs to be adressed (the Shaltari Jade Frigate compared to the Topaz before rules errata is a glaring example – the cases where the Jade had any advantage over the Topaz was so excruciating few and specific that there was an obvious need to do something), in most cases gaming styles, the local meta (how people in your local gaming community is playing) and just the luck of the dice matters much more than the last bit of balance tweaking.

What I’m basically trying to address here is that while some rules changes seem to favour one race or another, it has to be pretty glaring to imbalance it dramatically. It is much more likely that if you find a rule change to be heavily imbalancing, it is more likely because it clashes with your playing style or your local meta.

Balance issues aside, here is a few rules changes I would like to try out.

Orbital Dust

The orbit of the planet is filled with dust – finer than a fine orbital debris field, but too much to ignore. It interferes with scanners, disperses high-energy weapons and obscures flight paths for launch craft.

All scan ranges are reduced by 3″. All lock rolls of burnthrough weapons are increased by +1. All fighters and bombers are destroyed on a 6+ when being launched – this works in a manner similar to flying through a debris field. This is not cumulative with any debris fields.


Someone have deployed mines in this area to deter ships from flying in specific areas.

Mine field should be marked in the scenario rules, usually in slim bands. Moving through a mine field can give damage in the samme manner as a debris field. Mine fields come in three different varieties as seen below, each aimed a different sizes of ships.

Mine typeLockAttackDamageSpecial rules
Light5+61Calibre (L)
Medium4+41Calibre (M)
Heavy4+22Calibre (H)

Troops on the ground

This planet is already occupied – one player has a foothold on sectors and/or space stations.

I’m not sure how to make these rules. My thought is that being present on the ground constitues one of your battle groups and each sector and/or space station constitues a group meaning that you can only be present in three sectors and/or space stations per battle group used for ground occupation. The cost of the occupying forces must depend on a number of factors:

  • Amount of troops and composition
  • Type of sector (special sectors are worth more)
  • Size and armament of space station
  • Distance to enemy entry vs. distance to own entry. Being closer to the enemy is worth more, since this is considerably more difficult to do by normal means.

I might at a later stage flesh this out into a more concrete rules suggestion.

High gravity

There is an extra high gravity on this planet that disturbs movement in space and makes it both harder and somewhat more dangerous to fight in orbit of the planet.

All ships have their base thrust characteristic reduced by 1″. Any ship subject to orbital decay that does not repair it is destroyed irrespective of its current orbital layer. Range for fighters and bombers are reduced by 3″ for bombers and 4″ for fighters. Any weapons with “Escape Velocity” special rules has a +1 lock penalty.

Space hangar

This particular space station was equipped as an hangar and can now launch fighters and bomber to fight and defend.

Add the special rule Launch(2) – Fighters and Bombers to the space station.