So what have we done this time? Silent Fury has had about a year’s hiatus with Nathan gone and not a lot of playtesting or development has happened during that time. It did give us plenty of time to take a step back from the game and look at where it was still pretty rough and in need of improvement. To me it feels like we changed a lot, but looking at the whole picture we’ve probably altered about 10% of the rules – if you played the last version of Silent Fury, you still pretty much know how the game works.
Here’s what we changed (that I can remember offhand anyway, you should read the rules just to be safe.)
Since I expect that Impact dice will work great as custom dice, we went through the rules and altered anything resembling a normal ‘d6’ roll to fit in as a standard point roll. The basic rules for how to convert regular dice into Impact and Effect dice remain of course (you don’t need the custom dice to play the game). Most notably you now get a Critical Hit / Forged in Battle card when you roll 4 or more points naturally on the dice (as opposed to boxcars), and assuming my probability calculations are correct this will result in drawing these cards 50% more often on three Impact dice then before.
The major change here is the introduction of the d12 die as an alternate accuracy die type along with the d20. While I don’t particularly want to add another die type after our rather epic reduction of every die type under the sun to just using d20s and two kinds of d6s, it should still be an overall simplification to the system as ships now roll d12s at short range and d20s at long range, entirely replacing the ‘range band’ system which was probably the main combat rule that I’ve seen players not ‘grok’. It should also be faster than counting out range bands and performing a simple calculation on your weapon’s accuracy or power stat – now it’s just check range to target, if you’re within short range your accuracy dice are all d12s, at long range your accuracy dice are d20s.
Certain other systems have made use of the d12s as well – for Fire Spreads checks, if you have normal fires you roll d20s for the check. If something flammable is on firem
Special crew now simply score an extra ‘point’ on a roll rather than adding an additional die to a roll. This makes them slightly more powerful than before while not making the chance of drawing Forged in Battle cards too high (4 or more dice would just result in too many of these cards and I suspect would be easily exploitable).
We are also introducing ‘Captains’, a type of crew that represents a cybernetically enhanced individual who is capable of controlling the entire ship. This very much an experiment and is either replacing or supplementing the ‘Bridge’ component type (or it’ll be dropped if the experiment fails).
Jump was the only action card to undergo changes this iteration, we’ve dropped the whole surge / field stressed components thing and Jump range is now down to 3 hexes, goes later in the initiative order (it was too easy to use Jumping to never be hit, so it’s now after Attack), but on the plus side it now lets you rotate the ship along with your movement.
New Revised Reworked Replaced Strike Craft System
I think the Strike Craft system has long since become the game mechanics that we’ve rebuilt from the ground up the most times – I haven’t counted but this feels like attempt 7 or 8. Our last one wasn’t bad – it was an interesting tactical game in and of itself, but it had the fatal flaw of taking way too long, which is not going to fly in this game. Now you just throw your missiles, fighters, bombers and torpedoes out into space when you fire them, and everything resolves before the Drift phase in a series of sending groups of your strike craft / missiles at target ships with the other side having the opportunity to intercept and defend against them.
Torpedoes are a different beast – they explode after ships Drift and then you launch new ones, so you need to plan against your target’s move in advance. Targets should generally have enough time to avoid them if they want to burn the cards to do so – but if they don’t then they’ll hit hard. They’re intended as an area denial threat that should introduce a unique element to the maneuvering game and really stand out as their own weapon system.
It’s not just a rules system… it’s a science experiment!
Pretty much none of the above has been playtested as Nathan and I are still several states away, so something up there will probably go horribly wrong! And that’s how the game gets better. If you want to sign up as a playtester, drop us a line on the subreddit and we can send you a set of Silent Fury cards so you and your group can enjoy the full gaming experience (limited to the U.S. because the Gamecrafter won’t ship elsewhere and I can only spend so much on this so in the unlikely event that get more than a dozen or so people I’ll have to pick and choose).