Photo taken by Jim Pitts

A Manticore cruiser is in orbit around planet Styro. The planet was modeled from a 5" Styrofoam ball. Thus the name.

Jackson Gamers' Space Battle Game
Circling planet Styro

On Saturday, November 1, 2008, we played a space battle game based on the Honor Harrington series of books. The People's Rebublic of Haven was attacking a neutral star system defended by the Star Kingdom of Manitcore.

The Peeps were played by Citizen Admirals Jay Stribling, Sean Pitts, Bill Hamilton and Jim Pitts.

The Manties were played by Rear Admirals (of the Green) Phil Young, Travis Melton, Fred Diamond and Larry Reeves.

Ed Sansing was the gamemaster and provided all of the ships, missile counters, firing arcs and all needed game materials.

Jay Stribling constructed the Planet and the moon. The Moon is made from a 2.5" Styrofoam ball. It is mounted on a wooden base, elevated with a 1" wooden dowel. This brings the Moon's equator roughly equal to the same "height" at which Ed Sansing's ships "Fly." The planet is made from a much larger Styrofoam ball. If it was elevated similarly to the moon, the ships would "Fly" beneath the planetary mass. So the bottom 1/3 of the planet is removed (think of it as being in shadow) so that the ships "Fly" at about the same "height" as the equator of the planet.

Photo taken by Jim Pitts

Bill Hamilton's and Jim Pitt's Peep squadrons as they maneuver against the Manticoran forces of Larry Reeves. It may not be apparent in the photos, but the ships of the People's republic are painted Gray, and the ships of the Star Kingdom are white.

Photo taken by Jim Pitts

Fred's Mantie squadron under attack by a Peep missile barrage. The missile counters edged in green are Peep missiles. The counters edged in blue are Mantie missiles. Also there are counters which look vaguely like slices of pie - with the end bitten off. These are not rations, rather they represent the sector surrounding the ship which is covered by positioning the ships drive wedge. Called "rolling the wedge." The ship is safe from fire through this arc.

Photo taken by Jim Pitts

Action between squadrons led by Jay & Sean (Peeps) and Phil & Travis (Manties). The People's navy had a plan, which was to concentrate agains the "ends" of the Mantie formations, trying to mass our fires. It worked for two turns, after which the Manties repositioned themselves and the Peep formations became scattered. It was then "Every man for himself."

The game was based on the Ground Zero Games' rule set known as "Full Thrust" with additional rules to model the type of space warfare detailed in the series of novels by David Webster.

Photo taken by Jim Pitts

Fred Diamond's Mantie squadron completes its circumnavigation of the planet. Bill Hamilton's Peep squadron is in the distance.

The Forces involved

Here is a list of the forces at the beginning of the game:

People's Republic of Haven: Task Force 22

Star Kingdom of Manticore - Task Force 34

Both sides had almost the same number of missiles and point defense weapons.The Peeps had 1 more ship and their ships had more armor and hull boxes (it took more hits to destroy a like sized ship).

The Mantis had more and stronger beam weapons. If they could close to 12 inch range they could throw 1/3 more dice.

Photo taken by Ed Sansing

The Manticore commanders: (left to right) Phil Young, Travis Melton, Fred Diamond and Larry Reeves.

Photo taken by Ed Sansing

The Peep commanders: (left to right) Bill Hamilton, Jim Pitts, Sean Pitts and Jay Stribling.

Photo taken by Ed Sansing

Bill Hamilton's task group, composed of 1 Heavy Cruiser, 3 Light Cruisers, and 1 Destroyer. In the background is Jim Pitt's task group of 1 Battle Cruiser, 1 Heavy Cruiser and 1 Light Cruiser.

The wooden 12-inch ruler in the foreground (about 7 inches showing) gives an idea of the size of the miniature ships.

Photo taken by Ed Sansing

Bill Hamilton and Jim Pitts maneuver their task groups against Fred Diamond (5 ships) and Larry Reeves (3 ships).

Photo taken by Ed Sansing

Several turns into the game we see Jay Stribling's 3 ship force (on left side of picture) maneuvering against Travis Melton (his 3 ships are in the straight line). Just behind the moon are Phil Young's ships. On the right side of the picture are Sean Pitt's 4 ships.

Photo taken by Ed Sansing

Near the end of the battle. The 5 Manticoran ships in the foreground are what is left of Fred Diamond's and Larry Reeves' Maniticoran forces.

Who Won This Battle?

When we ended the game the Peeps had lost 2 destroyers and 2 heavy cruisers while the Manties had lost 2 destroyers and 1 heavy cruiser. Both sides had several other ships heavily damaged and some had broken off from the engagement (flown off the edge of the table). It looks like the Manties won this one.

Thoughts on the rules

By Ed Sansing, the game-master of the game. "When I was working on this game I wondered if the rules would cause players to be uncomfortable at having to roll too many dice. But several times during the game I noticed people taking a childlike delight in rolling hand-fulls of dice to resolve missile combat.

I will be making a few tweaks to the rules but hope to get some more ships and play this type of game again.

I was going to put a copy of the Full Thrust rule set in our files section of the Jackson Gamers' Yahoo group site but the PDF file is to large. To get a free copy go to: http://www.groundze

Click on the Downloads link on the left side of the web page. On the next page click on the Rules link.

In Full Thrust there are 4 books: Full Thrust, More Thrust, Fleet Book 1 and Fleet Book 2. There are rule changes and updates in all 4 books."

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