Strategies for Victory

Fleet battles within Galaxy Force are long, costly engagements for all sides involved. A typical battle, although lasting perhaps only an hour or two in game-time, can last anywhere between one to six months in real-time. Sometimes longer. Players have to be dedicated to the battle in order to outhink, and outwrite, their opponents if they wish to succeed in their objectives. The following are some of the basics when writing within a fleet battle, as well as the extras that I look for as a GameMaster. The closer you stick to this format, the better your bonuses will be when the ruling comes around.

Basics - Pretty straightforward here. This is the minimum standard which is expected of an Admiral during a battle. While this does not always read like a novel, and can be confusing at times, it will guarantee that you get the base-flatline ruling and damage done to the enemy craft. In simpliest terms, list every ship you have, then tell me what ships they are attacking.

New Republic Destroyer Liberator attacks Imperial Star Destroyer Eradicator
Calamari Cruiser Vindicator attacks Victory Star Destroyer Tachyon

If you post your battle note this way, your ruling will be determined randomly by dice-roll according to a basic Damage Chart based on ship class, size, and power. The minimum damage on this chart is 1% (Lancer/Gunship vs Battlestar/ISD V), the maximum on the chart if rolled is the total destruction of vessel that round (Battlestar/ISD V vs Lancer/Gunship).

Bonuses - While some players may be happy with the standard ruling, many players will go above and beyond, turning the battle into a flowing storyline in which they create the complex struggle of war. These players will receive bonuses to their attacks (or defenses) in accordance with their story-battle-note. These bonuses can range anywhere from 1% to 10% in a single attack, there has even been a 25% damage bonus once!! The more a battle-note becomes a well-written storyline, the more likely the player will receive these higher bonuses. The following guidelines will help assist you in transforming your battle-notes into story-battle-notes.

1) Focus on the Admiral - Your fleet commander is your Main Playing Character. Use him as such. In a fleet battle, he should be the main focus of your note. He should be the one relaying orders to your other ships, telling what ships to advance, which ones to withdraw, which ones to focus firepower on. His thoughts, his words, his actions will either inspire or demoralize the crew. The battle could be over before it even begins.

2) Use bridge officers - Again, your primary view is from the Admiral's perspective. He learns about the progress of the battle through his bridge officers. His second-in-command, usually the Captain of the flagship (like Pellaeon was to Thrawn), the communications officers, the tactical officers, the weapon specialist. Use them to give progress reports and updates from the rulings provided. Without the information they provide, your Admiral should not be able to lead the fleet effectively.

3) Switch to other Captains - Always remember, you are commander of a FLEET, not just a single ship. Use NPCs as your other ship captains from time-to-time in order to add to the story. After your Admiral issues his orders to the fleet, possibly switch to one of your other vessels; and, as that Captain viewing the battle from his own perspective, receive the order and give commands to his own ship. I would recommend using an occassional NPC Captain for anything larger than a VCSD/MC-80, and specialty ships like an interdictor or a carrier.

4) Use starfighters - Fighter attacks can make or break a fleet battle. A single squadron of starfighters can take out a heavy cruiser if written effectively. When writing a fleet battle, always ensure your fighters are doing something. Don't just 'launch all fighters'. Tell me what they are doing (as your Admiral) - anti-fighter screening, defensive stance, offensive assault, whatever. I recommend using at least one NPC fighter squadron during an assault. Take control of the squadron commander, fly through the heavy cruisers and pick at them like annoying gnats, take out incoming enemy fighters, the bonuses will show for it.

5) Know your stats - When engaging in a fleet battle, make sure you know all the strengths and weaknesses of each ship. Use the stats page, that's what it is there for. Although the battle will ultimately depend on your heavy cruisers, your smaller support ships are designed to complement and protect those ships. Utilize them. Study the stats provided, learn that Corellian Gunships and Lancers are anti-fighter vessels and are good to screen out incoming starfighter attacks. Use the ships in the manners they were intended, or come up with some unique uses for them. The better you utilize the smaller ships, the better your chances of coming out victorous.