Starship Battles add-on rules

The rules that ship with the new Star Wars: Starship Battles game are a bit lacking. So as a way to make the games a bit more interesting I am working on some add-ons to the rules to allow games to be played on a wider surface, without the map squares, and also at longer ranges.


The game can be played on any 4′ x 4′ surface. Ships move a number of inches based on their Class:

Class Movement
1 3"
2 6"
3 8"
4 10"

Units can make one turn per Class number. So a Class 1 ship can make a single turn but a Class 3 ship can make up to three turns. Each turn is up to 45 degrees. Fighters, Class 4 ships, are an exception in that they can simply be turned to face any direction at the end of their movement. Ships, not fighters, must move at least 1″ before they turn. Ships cannot end their movement with a turn.


Combat is resolved as usual with the addition of range modifiers that are applied to the firing player’s die roll. Distance is measured from the centre post of the firing model to the centre post of the target model. A roll of 20 always hits regardless of the cumulative die roll modifiers. Alternatively you may measure distance from the edge of the firing ship’s base to the edge of the target’s base. Either way, choose which option you want to use and then apply it consistently in your game.

Range Distance Modifier
Very Close 0-8" 0
Close 9-16" -1
Medium 17-24" -2
Long 25-32" -3
Extreme 33"+ -4

Hit Location

In order to determine which facing of a target ship is hit, use a straight line or measuring tape to draw a line from the centre of a firing ship to the centre of the target ship. Check the target ship’s base to see which facing the line crosses. This is the facing that is used to determine the Defense of the target ship. If the line crosses the boundary between two facings then the firing player gets to pick which facing is used.


Fighters can only attack and be attacked by models that are within 1″ of them. Any ability or game text that doubles the range of fighter weapons or doubles the range of anti-fighter fire increases this range to 2″. When measuring distances to or from a fighter measure from the closest edge of the model instead of the base or centre point.

Fighters that are within 1″ of each other are considered to be engaged in a dog-fight. Since the fighter Fighters engaged in a dog-fight cannot attack anything other than the fighter(s) they are engaged with. They are too busy attempting to fight their opposition that they cannot target other vessels. The only exception to this are fighters with the Interceptor ability who have the speed and agility to avoid a dog-fight if they so choose. These fighters can choose to target the fighters that engaged them in a dog-fight or to target any other valid target.

Ships firing weapons other than PD at fighters consider the fighters to be in the 9-16″ range band and so suffer a -1 to hit modifier.

Fighters can be launched into contact with, and therefore engage, an enemy fighter that is in contact with, or within 1” of, the launching ship.


The Cloak ability moves any fire directed at the ship to the next range band. This means that fire against a ship with Cloak is always at the 9-16″ range band unless the ship is being attacked by fighters. Fighters attacking a ship do so with no negative modifiers. Ships with Cloak cannot be targeted at Extreme Range.

Proximity targeting

Ships cannot ignore enemy non-fighter targets in Very Close Range to fire at targets further away. If there is one, or more, enemy non-fighter targets in Very Close Range the player may choose which vessel to target. A player can always use a Command token of the appropriate Class to allow the ship to ignore this rule and fire at any target.

Spines and Broadsides

Some ships are noted as having Spine and Broadside attacks. In order to fire one of these weapons use a straight line or measuring tape to draw a line from the centre of the firing ship either directly forward, back or to the sides. If the target vessel is touched by this line or is within 2″ of the line then it is struck by the attack.


Size modifier
Subtract the target ships Class from the firing ship’s Class and use this as a modifier to ranged fire. For example a Class 1 ship firing at a Class 3 ship would have a -2 (1 – 3) modifier to fire in addition to the range modifiers. A Class 3 ship firing at a Class 1 ship would do so with a +2 (3-1) modifier.

This does not apply to PD attacks. If you use this rule then ignore the rule above where fire against Fighters is always considered to be at the 9-16″ range band.

Alternating Activation
When using this system Movement and Combat are done in separate phases as before but instead of one players moving all of their ships at one time players take turn moving their ships.

The Player that won the Initiative roll can determine who moves first. This player will also fire first. Once the first player to move has been determined that player begins the Movement phase by activating two of their ships and then performing movement with them. Players move two ships at a time. Once that player has finished moving their two ships their opponent can move two of theirs.

Instead of moving all ships players should first alternate moving their Class 1 – 3 starships first. Once the players have finished moving all of their Class 1 – 3 ships they will, starting again with the player chosen to move first, move their Class 4 ships.

If players don’t have two ships to move then they only need to move one. If a player runs out of ships to move before their opponent then their opponent is free to finish moving with the remainder of their ships.

Combat is done is a similar fashion to movement. The player that moved first chooses one of their ships to activate and fires all of the available weapon systems on the ship at appropriate and valid targets. Damage is assessed as soon as a ship has finished firing all of its weapons. So it is possible to cause a player to flip over a ship or even destroy it before it has a chance to fire.

As with movement players should fire with their Class 1 – 3 ships and then once each player has finished firing all of their Class 1 – 3 ships they will fire with their Class 4 ships. This does mean than Class 1 – 3 ships may be able to destroy fighters with their PD or weapons before those Class 4 ships get a chance to fire.

Once that player is finished activating their ship and has assessed the effect of the damage, if any, caused then their opponent takes their turn to activate one of their ships and fire with them. As with movement, control alternates between the two players until all ships that can fire have done so.