A look at Weapon Discs to make your Saucers fighty
Welcome back, everyone! It’s time for another glimpse into the game design work that’s going into Saucer War One. Today, we’re taking a quick look at Weapon Discs, which turn our friendly, neighbourhood flying saucers into the terrors of the sky. Let’s see what these discs do…
As before with earlier previews, we begin with an explanation of what all these symbols and numbers mean. It might look like there’s a lot here, but it’s all very simple when you break it down.
In the left side of each Disc shown above, you can see a column of readout numbers — CHK (Check), RNG (Range) and DAM (Damage).
Check is a modifier to the Saucer’s Crew Check test when it attacks with this weapon.
Range is the distance that the weapon can reach, in Range Discs. (A Range Disc is essentially the same as a Maneuver Disc, which we met in this article.)
Damage is a modifier to the amount of Damage the weapon inflicts on its Target. This is usually a fixed amount (0; +1, +2, etc.), but Energy Weapons (like the Gravgun here), can also be V (Variable) because a player can select the amount of additional Damage caused.
Along the bottom of the Connection Ring are three boxes. What are these for, then?
The box on the Left shows what Types of Saucer can be given this Weapon (Alpha, Beta or Gamma). In the case of the 30mm Cannons this shows both the Beta and Gamma letters, because either Type can be given this Weapon.
The middle box gives the Weapon’s Points Value.
The right-hand box tells us which Faction or Factions can use this Weapon. In Saucer War One, Gravguns are initially exclusive to Noordicans, but we can see that ANTIC and Das Mondreich both deploy 30mm Cannons.
With all that out of the way, let’s see a couple of Weapon Discs connected to their Saucer’s Data Disc:
Like the Crew Disc, a Weapon Disc’s current status is determined by its orientation relative to its Data Disc. The Connection Ring aligns with the Connector Point on the Data Disc, and it is rotated clockwise or counter-clockwise depending on what is happening in the game. This tracks the number of Attacks available with that Weapon as ammunition or power charge is expended. You have to watch your ammo with some weapons, because they chew through rounds, or have limited capacitors.
There is also an ! (Exclamation Mark) on the Connection Ring which marks a Weapon Jammed Critical Hit. Fortunately, this can be repaired by a skilful Crew. (“Hey, the Gravgun’s not charging! Send Furkon out onto the dome with jump cables, will you?”)
Lastly, let’s take a look at some of the Attack Arc and Weapon Attribute icons.
The Attack Arcs of a Saucer, you may remember from this earlier article. In brief, the three supporting Pegs that keep a model Saucer ‘flying’ also mark the edges of the Saucer’s 120° Arcs; Forward, Left and Right.
Weapon Attributes are a new concept, however. To add some flavour to the weapons available in Saucer War One, we use an Attribute to describe a quality or behaviour of a weapon that sets it apart. Rockets Explode, for example, while Gravguns are Gravitic, meaning a hit from one might crush the target’s Crew.
I’ve revealed only four Attributes for now, but more will be added as the game develops. Some will be obvious, but many will be rather fun, in a science-gone-mad kind of way…
And that’s all for today. I hope you enjoyed this new peek into Saucer War One‘s development. More articles will follow soon, including more Data Discs, artwork, and there’s going to be pictures of actual, physical miniatures very soon!
Watch the Skies!