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Or I will Attack And You Don’t Want That

To take back Earth from the clutches of the evil, gnarled, red-with-puce-veins hands of the Draydun, the crew of Spaceship 47 will have to endure combat – a lot of it. In today’s blog post, I am outlining how the combat system works in Spaceship 47.

I wrote about turn order in this previous post. On their turn in the action phase, a player may use their action to attack with a weapon that their character is equipped with.


Each weapon (and other pieces of equipment) is on a card, which looks like this:

Pulse WaveThis two handed beast of a gun kicks out a pulse 
wave, scattering anybody in its wakeKeywords: Force
Target: All creatures in Cone 3
Attack: Physique v Fortitude
#        Effect
1        1 damage. The target is pushed 1 hex
2        2 damage. The target is pushed 2 hexes
3        3 damage. The target is pushed 4 hexes

Let’s break down the card line by line.


The first line is the name of the weapon, in this case “Pulse Wave”.

Flavour Text

This line is the flavour text, allowing players to get a feel of what the weapon is all about.


In the example above, the keywords line contains the word “Force”.  Keywords mainly come into play for resistances and vulnerabilities (this is discussed further down) as some characters will be better at coping with suffering from one type of weapon than others. There are other places where keywords will come into play, but today’s focus is on attacks. At the moment my list of keywords is:

Force, Beam, Thermal, Cold, Electric, Acid and Sonic.

This will almost certainly change over the coming weeks.


The target line specifies where (Cone 3) and what the weapon targets (everything).

Where is Affected

Cone 3 tells the player that the weapon effect spreads out in a cone for 3 hexes. This is one of the three area effects (along with beam and burst).

Beam, Burst and Cone Templates

The cone forms a triangle of hexes, with the number of hexes in a triangle side denoted by the number. One of the corners of the triangle has to be the hex that the character is standing in. So a cone 3 is a triangle of hexes with 3 hexes along each edge and with the origin being one of the corners of the triangle,

The burst template starts in an origin hex – as the burst template is used for grenades, this does not have to be the hex that the characters is standing in. For a Burst 1, every hex within 1 hex of the origin (as well as the origin itself) is affected. For a Burst 2, every hex within 2 hexes of the origin (as well as the origin itself) is affected. Just looking at the picture, Burst 3 is absolutely massive, so I probably won’t be using that in the game.

A beam is a lot simpler, pick one of the sides of the hex that your character is standing in. Continue out in a straight line from your origin hex until you hit a wall or other barrier.

As well as area of effects, the target line can also say something similar to: “One adjacent creature”. This is for melee weapons and the player chooses a creature in a hex adjacent to the one their character is in to be the subject of the attack.

The final type of target is: One creature within 10 hexes. The player chooses a single creature within 10 hexes of their character to target.

What is Affected

There are four categories of what is affected. Everything, Creatures, Enemies and Allies.

Allies – This means that only the character’s allies will be affected. This is the character itself as well as the other Heroes and any NPCs that the player decides is their ally. At the moment there aren’t any weapons that target allies, but there are a couple of pieces of utility equipment that help boost allies.

Enemies – This means that only the character’s  enemies will be affected. This  cannot be any of the other Heroes. Any NPCs that the player decides is their enemy is also included.

Creatures – Creatures is used when an ally or enemy may be affected. Several weapons are brute force weapons that cannot discriminate between friend and foe and will target all creatures.

Everything – This includes creatures as well as any destructible object.


The actual attack will see the player roll a number of twelve-sided dice and see how many of the dice are greater than or equal to a target number to determine whether the attack succeeds.

The attack line denotes what attribute decides how many dice the player rolls for the attack as well as which of the target’s defences is used as the target number. In the example above the attacker’s Physique score is the number of dice that the player rolls. The target number is the target’s Fortitude. There are three defences: Fortitude, Reflex and Will. Fortitude is for attacks that will definitely hit but is more about the target withstanding the onslaught. Reflex is for attacks that can be dodged and Will is for attacks that target the mind.


The next few lines are a table. The headers are # which is shorthand for number of successes and Effect. The next few lines show what the effect is dependent on how many of the attacker’s dice reached or exceeded the target number. For a cone weapon which targets a number of creatures, the number of success may be different for each target as their defence values may be different. While this means that the attack may take a bit longer to resolve, it is designed to show that some creatures are better at withstanding some attacks than others.

In Spaceship 47, the terms push and pull are used in the same way as they are in 4th edition Dungeons and Dragons. I.e. to push a creature, each time a creature is pushed a hex, it must move further away from the attacker. And when a creature is pulled 1 hex, it must move closer to the attacker.

Resistances and Vulnerabilities


When you attack a target that is resistant to the type of attack you are making, reduce the number of successes you get by the number denoted in their resistance entry. For example if you attack a creature that has Resist 2 Lightning, with a Thunder Buss (whose keywords are Lightning, Sonic), then you reduce the number of successes you get by 2.


When you attack a target that is vulnerable to the type of attack you are making, increase  the number of successes you get by the number denoted in their vulnerable entry. For example if you attack a creature that has Vulnerable 1 Thermal, with a Plasma Cannon , then you increase the number of successes you get by 1.


Certain attacks mean that a Hero or an NPC suffers a condition. These are listed below:

  1. Confused – The combatant’s initiative score is set to the one less than the combatant immediately below them in the initiative order.

  2. Crazed (slightly crazed, mega crazed)

Although many scientists have tried creating a mind control device, the sheer number of different species with different brain structures means it is impossible to create a device that controls all brains. However, you can always fry someone’s brain with unpredictable results! If you are Crazed then at the start of your movement turn roll a d12 to see the effect. If you are slightly crazed you roll 2d12 and take the lowest result. If you are mega crazed roll 2d12 and take the highest result

Roll   Result
  1    The creature attacks the person who made it crazed with a bonus d12
 2-3   The creature acts as it would usually
 4-6   The creature stops being crazy
 7-9   The creature attacks an ally
10-11  The creature attacks an ally with a bonus d12
 12    The creature kills itself
  1. Poisoned

  2. Turn 1: You roll one fewer d12 for your action in the action phase.

  3. Turn 2: You roll two fewer d12s for the action phase

  4. Turn 3: You roll three fewer d12s for the action phase

  5. Turn 4: You are unconscious

  6. Rooted to the spot – You cannot move out of your hex but are free to take actions in the action phase

  7. Slowed – Speed reduced to 2

  8. Unconscious – You are unaware of what is going on around you. You cannot move or take any actions.

So there we have it, the fundamentals of attacks in Spaceship 47.

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