Of escape pods and wargaming

Not the escape pod you're looking for (via Wookieepedia).
Recently* over at the excellent Super Galactic Dreadnought, Desert Scribe made a post about escape pods he made using swanky beads his wife gave to him. Even before I got a quarter of the way through the post, ideas were already flitting around my head, about prospective uses for escape pods in space-based wargaming. What if when ships are destroyed, their respective players have to roll to see whether or not any crew escaped. Maybe there could even be an option to have the crew abandon ship if the vessel is damaged badly enough. If the roll succeeds, the player then rolls to see how many pods make it on the board.

Then things get interesting. The pods are stationary and can be retrieved by either side. If the player rescues them, they gain points for each pod. Its the same if their opponent captures them. On the other hand, the enemy has the additional option of simply destroying the escape pods for points, although there should be some kind of roll involved to balance it out, otherwise, they’ll just blow the pods away every time. If a player does decide to snatch up the pods, the ship they send has its movement drop to the slowest speed, if not stopping altogether. If their ship has shields, they have to drop them and their field of fire is restricted due to escape pods floating around.

Another idea is that if you do rescue escape pods from one of your own ships, any crew lost on the rescuing ship can be replenished.

So, thoughts?

*Okay, so it’s been like two weeks since the post went up. I’m lazy, sue me.


  1. Some good ideas, especially as part of an ongoing campaign.

    I'd say no points for shooting escape pods, just points for rescue/capture (although players might still destroy enemy pods to prevent their opponent from gaining points for recovery).

    Also, depending on your movement mechanics, pods might not be stationary but continue traveling at the same speed as the ship before it was destroyed. This puts a deadline for any rescues--get to the pod before it drifts into deep space (i.e. off the board) or reaches a planet, placing that crew out of reach.

  2. I like all of that, especially the idea of the pods moving. It makes sense really, because you wouldn't want the pods sitting right next to an exploding ship. Plus, it adds a level of excitement if both players dispatch a ship to pick up the pods.

    Another idea: Prisoner exchanges as part of a campaign. Both sides keep tallies on how many POWs they and each other have and at any point between games, exchanges can be made. Additionally, and I really like this one, you could even stage raids on POW camps to try and rescue your comrades-in-arms!


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