The Outpost

All the resources you need for deep space adventure:

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  • General Tips
  • Play-Aid Tips
  • Marine Tips
  • Engineer Tips
  • Pilot Tips
  • Scientist Tips

    Q:What is Battlestations?
    A:Battlestations is a science fiction Roleplaying Game integrating character actions with spaceship actions.

    Q:Is it a roleplaying game or a board game?
    A:Battlestations splits the difference. As an RPG you have continuing characters and experience. As a boardgame the sequence of play is tight and the action flows.

    Q:What was the launch date for Battlestations?
    A:June 2004

    Q:How much doesBattlestations cost?

    Q:How many players does the game require?
    A:A minimum of two players are required, but it's best with a game master and a complement of 3 or more players. Bots can make up the difference for the empty battlestations. You can play with as many as 8 or more crew!

    Q:How long does it take to play?
    A:A given mission should take about an hour or two to play. Your first mission will take half an hour longer for character creation unless you use pre-generated characters.

    Q:What makes this game different from other sci-fi games?
    A:Most space games either focus on the individual characters or the ships. Battlestations integrates both aspects so you feel like you are a fully fleshed out character onboard a ship that has real capabilities and limitations.

    Q:What classes are available in the game?
    A:A player can be one of 4 professions: Pilot Marine Scientist Engineer

    Q:Will this product be well supported?
    A:We're commited to selling you so much support material it'll make your head spin. Battlestations: Galactic Civil War is scheduled for release before Christmas, 2004. It introduces new species and provides rules for playing an ongoing campaign game in the rebellion against the Galactic Republic.

    Q:What species are available in the game?
    A:There are 6 species in the basic game. They are more fully explained in the species section of this website.

    Tips for Playing Battlestations for the 1st Time

    Here 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:

  • Athletics
  • Combat
  • Engineering
  • Piloting
  • Science

    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.
    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.
    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!
    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 
    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.
    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!
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