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Infinite Dark Design Blog #4 - Vessel Stats

If you've not read them yet, you might like to check out the elevator pitch for Horizon Wars: Infinite Dark, and learn about command levels and the basics of vessels.

This battleship from Brigade Models is positively bristling with weapons!

This week, we're looking at stats and, if you've ever played a Precinct Omega game before (like Horizon Wars: Zero Dark), you'll instantly recognize the MFAD formula, although for vessels, this owes more to the original Horizon Wars battle game than it does to the later skirmish version.


M (Manoeuvre) is about how quickly and easily the vessel can change its speed and heading. It's important to note that M is not, itself, a vessel's speed. In space, other than the speed of light, there really aren't speed limits. Any vessel can travel as fast as its reserves of power will allow it to go. What counts is being able to increase and reduce that speed quickly and turn to travel in a new direction. In a vacuum, that latter part is really quite tricky. If you ramp up a vessel's speed to high and can't change direction quickly enough, you will literally fly off the table.


F (Firepower) or possibly just "fight" - I'm pretty easy. This obviously indicates the volume and accuracy of fire that a vessel can deliver. But it also covers off things like the vessel's ability to board or control another vessel.


A (Armour) is fairly self-explanatory, although not in the way you might expect. Armour has two main functions, although both make a vessel harder to damage, obviously enough. In the first instance, it's a modifier to the range to the vessel (because that's the target number for shooting). In the second, it also shows how many shields a vessel has. Invisible energy shields are a standard sci-fi trope and, in Horizon Wars: Infinite Dark, an enemy has to destroy a vessel's shields before they can damage the vessel itself.


D (Damage Control) is one of those stats that's distinctive to Horizon Wars games. Like Armour, it serves two functions. The first is to oppose incoming fire. This represents things like ablative armour, anti-missile guns, chaff and other strategies to bamboozle enemy firing computers. The second, though, is to fix and restore systems in the ship. If you want to repair shields or fix a damaged hull, you need to test your Damage Control.


All vessels have a basic stat of 2 in each of these stats, then a supply of points they can allocate to them, based on their MAS and POW. And if you want to know more about those, you can read last week's blog.


Next week, though, we'll look at another factor that will influence the effectiveness of your vessels: their pilots!

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