Before I start on the review of these Starship Battle rules I will just like to mention a little about the USE ME System (Ultra Simple Engine for Miniature Engagements). As the acronym suggests these rules aim to provide a quick and simple gaming system. 15mm.co.uk have a impressive number of USE ME rulebooks to cover a lot of gaming genre, from Spaceship Battles to the Wild West, if you play it, then 15mm.co.uk aim to have a USE ME rulebook for you.
So... UM006 Starship Battles.
USE ME Starship Battles is a little pocket sized booklet, but a quick look at the contents reveal it's stuffed with quite a lot actually.
The USE ME rules:...obviously.
Anyone familiar with any of the other books will recognise the formula. All dice rolls use a D6, so no need for a collection of different shaped dice. The game turn sequence has an initiative phase, each player rolls a dice to see who goes first. The In Play phase, each player can move his units, unit's with the highest ELAN (a rating of how good the unit is) move, shoot, board and anything else before other units with lower ELAN. Then a Consolidation Phase, to tidy up any loose ends. Units are given a few stat's to help them, ELAN (how good the unit is), Movement (how far it travels in on activation) and any weapons it is equipped with. There are a few weapon systems a ship can be equipped with Beams, your basic weapon. Plasma, a more hard hitting, shorter ranged weapon. Missiles, including smart missiles and nukes, if using the advanced rules.
Ship combat is a dice off, after a roll to hit, using relevant modifiers, the attacker and defender roll dice, each applying any modifiers, to determine the outcome. The system is quick to play and easy to learn.
These cover optional rules like Asteroids and planets, missiles, Special actions a ship or unit may make, and even..... a different movement rule...Vector thrust Movement, a more (if any tabletop game can represent) realistic space movement system. Also covered in this section are rules for Creatures of the stellar deep, cloaking fields and The Big Mac (your going to have to get the book to find out).
There is also a campaign system if you want to keep track of your fleet as it dominates the stars, and a solo play mechanic. I tried the solo play mechanics out myself, in a test game. The rules are basic roll a D6 and see how the other fleet reacts, aggressive, neutral or defensive.
I only played one game so far, I didn't use any advanced rules, I found the rules to be quick to learn, easy and fun to play. Next time I'm going to try the vector thrust movement. The rules do exactly as advertised, they provide a quick simple rule system for starship battles. However, if your looking for a more detailed game, with the feel of huge battleships pounding each other into oblivion, tracking damage on your ships, then you probably won't like these rules.
Well worth picking up!