For the next iteration of Sword of Terra, I am focusing on campaigns as the expected form of play rather than one-off skirmishes. I like the campaign setup because it allows for more story elements in gameplay and also lets the game include additional strategic elements like managing resources between engagements.
During the course of a campaign, players will command their fleets in a series of engagements. By achieving their objectives in an engagement, players will earn victory points for their side. Then at the end of the campaign, the side with the most victory points wins.
I’m planning to include a pair of campaign outlines with the game rules as well as some guidelines for creating new campaigns. The campaign outlines will include story background, fleet options for the players, and a series of engagements with victory conditions. The first campaign that I am planning will be a short and simple one that pits a UTSN Exploration Group against pirates on the frontier of the United Terran Systems. The second campaign will be an operation during the Great Colonial War featuring UTSN and Confederation frontline forces battling across several star systems.
As a campaign progresses, ships will earn experience points for engagements where they participate. These experience points can then be spent to purchase heroic crew abilities. Each heroic crew ability allows the ship to perform beyond its normal abilities. I hope that this gives players an extra incentive to avoid losing ships during an ongoing campaign.
Here are some examples of heroic crew abilities. I don’t want them to be too powerful, but at the same time I want them to allow a veteran crew to be meaningful and unique. I think most abilities will be limited to being used once per engagement, but some, such as Hunter, will have some sort of ongoing effect.
Resolute: The ship can ignore the effects of a Crew Shaken, Crew Shocked, or Crew Stunned damage effect once per engagement.
Hunter: Once during an engagement, you can declare a single enemy unit as this ship’s quarry. Until the quarry is destroyed, this ship gains a +1 bonus to-hit its quarry but also takes a –1 penalty to-hit any other target.
Saboteurs: Once per engagement, this ship gains a +2 bonus on a sabotage boarding action roll.