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Spherus: Space Combat

Laser Combat | System Damage | Missile Combat

Laser Combat

Laser combat in Spherus is classified as the close-range fighting of space fighter. How often a fighter can attack is determined by its maneuverability. Each time the fighter attacks, the pilot must choose which Attack Maneuver to use. If he makes all the requirements for the move, it goes off successfully. If he fails the move, he does a Basic Shot with a -10 to hit. Whenever a fighter is attacked, the pilot must choose a Defense Maneuver. If he pulls it off, he achieves the listed effect. If he fails the maneuver, then he gets a -10 penalty to his AC for that round.

A pilot's dexterity modifies both his chance to hit and his AC by Dex/10. If two ships are attacking on the same round, Initiative is determined normally, modified only by Dex/20.

Attack Maneuvers

Technique Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Effect
Basic Shot Automatic Automatic Automatic x1 damage
Power Shot N/A Automatic Automatic x2 damage, -10 AC for that round
Sweep Shot N/A x1 Dex x2 Dex x1/2 damage dice, +25 to hit
Engine Shot N/A x1 Dex x2 Dex -5 to hit, x2 chance of damaging a system
Trick Shot N/A N/A x1 Dex +25 to hit
Booster Shot x1 Dex Automatic Automatic +10 to hit, -5 to speed
Cyclone Shot N/A x1/2 Dex x1 Dex +15 to hit, +10 damage

Defense Maneuvers

Technique Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Effect
Swing x1 Dex x2 Dex x3 Dex +15 AC, +25 against Power Shot, +0 against Sweep Shot
Dive x1 Dex x2 Dex Automatic +10 AC, +30 against Sweep Shot, +0 against Trick Shot
Barrel Roll N/A x1/2 Dex x1 Dex +20AC, +30 against Engine Shot and Trick Shot, +0 against Cyclone Shot
Afterburner Automatic x1 Dex x2 Dex +5AC, +30 against Booster Shot, +0 against Power Shot
Erratic Pattern N/A x1/2 Dex x1 Dex +15AC, +30 against Cyclone

System Damage

Every time a fighter suffers damage to its hull, there is a chance that one of its systems will be damaged. This chance is equal to the percentage of its HP that the ship loses from the attack (ie, a ship with 50 max HP takes 10 damage - it has a 20% chance of losing a system). The system will be out for 1d4+1 rounds - unless the Auto-repair system is damaged, in which case the system will not be repaired!

System Damaged (roll 1d6) Effect
1 - Engine control Ship flies in straight line at current speed until system is repaired. Ship loses Dex bonus for AC, and half its normal AC.
2 - Weapons Systems All weapons, both lasers and missiles, are rendered useless, and cannot be used until this system is repaired.
3 - Shield Generator The ship's shields will not regenerate until this system is repaired.
4 - LSD The ship cannot make LSD jumps until this system is repaired.
5 - Radar With Radar disabled, the ship suffers a -10 to Hit with lasers, a -15 to AC and cannot use missiles until the system is repaired.
6 - Auto-Repair If this system is damaged, it will not be repaired, nor will any other systems that are subsequently damaged!

Large Ships

A large cruiser is a daunting opponent for small, one-man fighters, and is handled somewhat differently in combat. Large ships are ridiculously unmaneuverable, so having them only attack as often as their maneuverability states would be silly, if not futile. Big ships have rotating guns positioned along their entire hull, and can fire in virtually any direction. For normal purposes, it is assumed that large ships can bring about 1/4 of their guns to bear on any single, one-man ship in a given round.

Large ships lose systems in the same way as fighters (of course, because of their huge HP, they will lose them far less frequently). However, some of the effects of losing systems is different. Those that are different are listed below.

System Damaged Effect
Engine control Against fighters, losing control of engines is not really a problem for a large ship. However, if the ship is on course with another large object, it could result in a collision.
Weapons Systems A large ship has too many weapons to lose them all in a single blow. Every time this result comes up, the ship loses 1/4 of its maximum weapon systems.
Radar This presents a major problem for the ship's weapon systems. All laser attacks are at a -40, and missile attacks are impossible.
Auto-Repair Unlike fighters, systems can be repaired manually on a large ship. If this system goes out, it will take the crew 6d4 rounds to repair a system, instead of the usual 1d4+1.


If a fighter collides with another fighter, both ships are destroyed, and the pilots killed. Fortunately, this does not occur very often, due to the size and speed of fighters. If a pilot wants to collide with another fighter, he must make an attack with a difficulty of 60, modified of course for his dexterity and the enemy's AC.

If a fighter collides with a large ship, the fighter is destroyed and the pilot killed. The large ship suffers damage equal to the speed of the fighter divided by 200 in d10's. A pilot can voluntarily crash his ship into a large ship at any time, assuming he survives all enemy fire for that round. If a fighter loses its Engine Control on a round where it is attacking a large ship, there is a 75% chance that the fighter will crash into the larger ship.

Missile Combat

Missile combat can be performed the round before fighters engage in laser combat. Fighters with the longest-range missiles go first. If the range is the same, then the missiles are launched simultaneously.

Once a To Hit roll is succesfully made, the target can try to avoid the missile. A pilot with S-flight 2 can do this with a 1/4Dex check, while a pilot with S-flight 3 can do this with a 1/2Dex check. Alternatively, if the pilot's ship is faster than the missile being launched at him, he can simply turn around and outrun the missile.

Disengaging: Once Laser Combat has been joined, a pilot may want to disengage. He can do this on any round where he normally would get to attack. If he disengages, on his next attack he will be in a position to fire missiles again, should he so desire. This is assuming, of course, that he is not pursued by the enemy.

Idiots in Space

Characters may want to fly out into space on their own in order to do battle. This is a risky proposition at best. In space, a character can hold their breath for 3 rounds plus their health/20. However, every time they suffer damage while holding their breath, they must make a x1 health check, or else they accidentally take a breath, and die instantly. No matter what the warrior's health, however, it can never be higher than 90 for the purposes of this check.

Using an airtank is a much safer business, but it still has its risks. Every time the character is hit, there is a 5% chance that the airtank will explode, thus killing the character instantly.

Zelzakians are, of course, immune from the above problems.

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