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Skills and Skill Checks

There are 5 basic skills in Battlestations representing the major areas relevant to manning a starship in battle:

AthleticsAthletics, ScienceScience, EngineeringEngineering, CombatCombat and PilotingPiloting.

When an action requires a skill check determine the target number and roll 2 dice. Compare your result to a target number. The target number will be reduced by your skill level and other bonuses such as preparation or assistance and the target number will be increased by penalties such as OOC, Range, Popping, or Peeking. If your result is equal to or higher than the target number, you succeed. You can even attempt a skill check with a skill of zero (but you are less likely to succeed). You may not attempt a skill check for which you have no hope of success. A natural dice result of 2 ( “1,1”) is an automatic failure regardless of the difficulty.


The heroes have luck to help them face the daunting odds presented by the Enemy. Each point of luck allows you to reroll one die. This is commonly used on your own skill checks or damage that you would sustain from an enemy attack or a hull check to see if the ship you are on explodes.

Your pool of luck replenishes at the start of each mission. See page 13 for a list of things that are “luckable” (meaning you can spend your luck to reroll them).

Special Abilities

Your hero (not enemies or bots) starts with one special ability at Rank one. This represent tricks, knacks, and training that allow your character an advantage that operates somewhat outside the normal boundaries of the rules.

Special Abilities with a limited number of uses have a “Pool” that you mark off as you use them. See page 50 for a summary of special abilities and the following pages for detailed descriptions.

If a special ability calls for an extra die to be thrown, use one of a different color to distinguish it for purposes of doubles in the skill check etc.


Each player chooses one skill as their character’s profession. When attempting a skill check within the scope of your profession (e.g., a pilot trying to turn the ship), you may reroll one of the dice in your skill check.


After each mission, you’ll be awarded Experience, Prestige, and Credits based on your crew’s success. You spend these awards to increase your skills, rank and equipment respectively, and to gain hit points and special abilities. You also might get treasure. Failing a mission earns you 100 Experience, 100 Prestige and 100 Credits. Succeeding earns you 200 Experience, 200 Prestige and 200 Credits. Overwhelming success earns 300 Experience, 300 Prestige and 300 Credits. You also might die but there’s cloning so death isn’t too bad.

See Character Advancement on page 149 for details.

About the Rules

These rules supersede the rules that came in the original box. If this is your first time playing, you should consider playing using the 32 page Quick Start Guide. You can graduate to this complete book after you get the hang of the basics.

Note to Players of First Edition Battlestations

This game is 90% the same as the original. There are a lot of minor changes but the major changes are these:

  • Ships are faster. Ships move their movement every Phase instead of per Round.
  • You can use Engines, Cannons, and Missile Bays again at +3 difficulty per used marker.
  • You cannot Luck personal damage you deal.
  • Ship size is now 1/3 the number of modules.
  • The difficulty for maneuvers is double ship speed + double ship size.

There are more but these are the most important distinctions.

content/official/rules/skills_and_skill_checks.txt · Last modified: 2020/10/01 16:06 by lektu