Saturday, May 18, 2013

SciFi Saturday – Ship Index Cards

For my Star Frontiers: Knight Hawks games, I've recently switched from keeping ship records on the Boardgame Ship Rosters included with the game (4-ships each on a letter-sized page) to using 3×5" index cards for each individual ship. Here are some of the advantages:
  1. Not locked in sets to specific scenarios (easier to re-use).
  2. Can be pre-filled with printable stats (no more handwriting).
  3. Full text is informative to new players (not abbreviated).
  4. Good for ad-hoc point-buy games (more on this later).

Below you'll see an image of the digital index card rosters I made, based on the original Boardgame Ship Roster format. Click here for a PDF version (including both blank cards, plus a page prefilled with each ship type in the basic game). Click here for an ODS spreadsheet (so you can copy, modify, and fill out your own stats).


With the PDF document linked above, you can print & cut out as many of each ship type as you expect to use in any game (I recommend stiff cover stock paper). Note that so far only Basic Game stats are included, but the cards are suitable for abbreviated Advanced Game stats, as well. Write game modifications in pencil so you can erase & re-use the cards. “Ship Name” can be an actual name, or just a letter identifying the counter or miniature in use. “Weapons” and “Defenses” with limited usage should be entered on the right-hand side of the card; use tally marks to track ammunition as it's used up. “Damage” is only for damaged systems in the Advanced game; hull point reductions are tracked near the top of the card. 

Notes on specific ship types: Fighters are tracked in squadrons of 3 ships on a single card (note slots for HP1, HP2, HP3 for the 3 separate fighters); for simplicity, we assume here that a triad all moves and attacks in tandem. Assault Scouts are presented with 25 hp, as per our analysis and house rules (link). Light Cruiser stats are included, although not in the basic game of the boxed set (link). Battleship entries include the individual ship names, since only three are said to exist in the official campaign setting.


One last thing: I also shrank the Basic Game Combat Table onto an index card. Print out a page of these, and then you can basically run the entire game from your stack of index cards. Click here for a PDF version.


2 comments:

  1. I did something almost exactly like this back when I was a kid. Didn't have the advantage of a printer then so I had to make all the cards by hand. I created a card for every ship on the counter sheet with all the undamaged stats in ink. Then I'd just pull out the cards needed for a scenario and use a pencil to mark them up. Once done, I could erase the pencil marks and reuse them. I've still got them sitting around here somewhere in a little note card box.

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    1. Yeah, I've gone through the same cycle lately with both D&D and SFKH. Initially cards written by hand, then realizing that it would be better for public distribution if it were a digital file.

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