Intercept summary

On the surface, Intercept is nothing more than the old game Battleships with vector movement. You take turns asking your opponent if he is In a certain area of the map while moving around with your ship. If you spot him you have one turn of attacks with impunity and then he’ll know where you are turning the game into a dogfight.

Moving your ship is governed by something called vector movement which may take some time to get the hang of. Count out your last move again and mark that square as your Drift position, this is where you will end up if you don’t thrust. Your ship has the same nose direction as your last turn (it does not need to coincide with the direction you travel). From your drift position you turn your ship to the direction you want to thrust (the ships size determine how much you can turn each turn) and then apply thrust. This is your ships new position and it will form the basis for your next turns drift. Easy.

If one or more targets are Spotted there might be combat but early in the game, before any Spotting,  movement is typically directly followed by Sensors. Using sensors simply consist of you choosing a square area on the map that your ship can see and ask your opponent if you see anything. Odd turns you do it first and on even turns he do it first. You tell him the location, radius, Effect and type that your opponent should check against. If his ship is outside the area he tells you nothing (after a suitable pause) but if his ship is inside the area he must check for detection. He adds your Scan (Sensor + Scan radius modifier) to his Signature (based on his ship data) to get the Signal.

Scan = Sensor + Scan radius modifier (calculated by senser)

Signal = Scan+ Signature (calculated by target)

  • A Signal of less than 0 means you see nothing
  • A Signal of 0-2 means Noticed (you know something is out there but not what or where)
  • A Signal of 3-5 means Detected (you know where it is but you cannot track or shoot it)
  • Signal of 6+ means that the target is Spotted. Spotted means the target must, from now on, do its movement before unspotted ships and in plain sight on the common map, it also means that you can attack it.

Spotted is lost only when none of your ships have Line Of Sight to the Spotted target. Before anyone gets Spotted you plot your movement in secret and take turns sensing first or last. When someone is Spotted we use the Initiative rules to determine in what order things should be done in. This is really important in Intercept because attacks and damage take effect directly – shoot someone and he may never be able to shoot back. Spotted ships have lowest Initiative, ties are broken by lowest turn value. High initiative moves last and attacks first given the high initiative ship advantages in both cases.

Combat then. There are two broad classes of weapons in Intercept; beam weapons and missiles. Beam weapons (they all fire pulses despite their name) are lasers, particle beams and so-called meson guns. They all fire pulses of energy in a straight line at or near the speed of light. Missiles on the other hand attack by impacting on the target and inflicting damage from kinetic energy.

Firing beam weapons at a target is done by rolling 2D6 vs a number based on range, target size and various other factors. The degree that the roll succeeded is called the Hitmargin and affects defensive systems, armor penetration and damage.

  • A Hitmargin of less than 0 means you missed the target, no effect.
  • A Hitmargin of 0-2 is a Fair hit. Roll Penetration and Damage with lowest of 2D6, hitlocation is random.
  • A Hitmargin of 3-5 is a Good hit. Roll 1D6 for penetration and Damage and the attack arc determines the hitlocation.
  • A Hitmargin of 6+ is a Very Good hit. Penetration and Damage use the highest of 2D6 and the attacker can choose the hitlocation.

All beam attacks, whether they hit or not, automatically have you Spotted by the target. The attacker rolls his attack rolls and note the Hitmargin, the defender then roll defense rolls if any and his result will reduce the hitmargin of the attack. If the defense get equal or better degree of success (Fair, Good or VGood) than the attacker the attack is stopped, otherwise the attack continues to Penetration and Damage.

Missile attacks must maneuver the missile onto the target location (missiles move after all ships) and then roll to find a hit margin as above. Defenses will try to beat that Degree of success to avert the missile attack but if they fail, Penetration and Damage are rolled for in the same manner as for beam weapons. Missiles have their PEN and DAM affected by the relative vector versus the target; high relative speed and it is harder to hit, harder to defend against, will penetrate better and do more damage, the opposite is also true.

For Penetration one compares the PEN of the weapon versus the ARM of the target to get a number that must be equal or better on a die roll (use the best of 1D6 or 2D6 depending on Degree of success). If the attack penetrated we roll for damage by comparing the weapon DAM versus the DAB of the target. You get a basic damage level and a number that must be equal or better on a die roll (use the best of 1D6 or 2D6 depending on Degree of success). The result is one of the damage levels

  • None Target location is unaffected
  • Light Target location is lightly damaged, generally suffering a -1 to values or die rolls.
  • Severe Target location is severely damaged, generally suffering a -3 to values or die rolls.
  • Critical Target location is critically damaged, generally no longer useable but still repairable.
  • Destroyed Target location is destroyed and cannot be repaired. Destroyed Hull hits destroy the target utterly, destroyed results elsewhere give an additional damage roll for a Hull hit.

Any damage result above None remove the jury rig repairs of the location, if any. Use the highest damage level of the attack and the current level. A new damage of equal level increases damage one step.

  • No damage No effect and keep jury rigs
  • New damage lower Keep previous damage, jury rigs lost.
  • New damage equal Damage become one level higher and all jury rigs are lost.
  • New damage higher Use new the damage, all jury rigs are lost.

Well, this is basically what Intercept is with all the detail removed. Intercept also has its own design system so you can build your own ships at various tech levels to see if your theories on the ultimate design bears out in practice.

Relativistic effects are the Universe’s apology for setting the lightspeed too low.

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