Rules: Star Frontiers Advanced Knight Hawks Rules

This was an attempt by me in the early days to revise Knight Hawks.  I do not think this was ever completed but the groundwork was sound.


The new system for starship combat is an advancement of the Knight Hawks Starship combat system, and it uses the Dragon Magazine articles “Damage Control -Report”, “The Frontiers of Design”, and “An Interstellar Armory”.


The new system will be based on a 1d20 system. Every weapon will have a based chance based on that particular die. These Weapon Base Chances can be modified by any number of modifiers, for example -1 because the ship’s Combat Control has been hit.


Due to technological advancements, the weapons of yesteryear no longer need as much space as listed in the Dragon Article “The Frontiers of Design”. The new measurements are listed below with the new Base Chance. The number in () is the Cubic Meter Rating for the launcher system, if applicable.

Weapon HS Base Chance Cubic Meters
Laser Piston 1 12 3
Tractor Beam 6 12 30
Laser Cannon 5 15 30
Laser Battery 3 13 20
Proton Beam Bat. 10 12 20
Electron Beam Bat. 6 12 20
Disruptor Cannon 12 12 55
Torpedos 5 10 15(65)
Assault Rockets 1 12 5(5)
Rocket Battery 5 8 5(30)
Mines 7 12 15(50)
Seekers 7 15 30(30)
Fusion Bomb 1 14 10(20)
Screen Mines 7 12 10(30)
Maxi-Missiles 5 10 15(35)

The remaining information about these weapons are the same, and are listed below.

Laser Piston FF,RD 1D5  0 6
Tractor Beam RD,MPO 0 0 3
Laser Cannon FF,RD 2D10  0 10
Laser Bat. RD 1D10 0 9
Proton Bm. Bat. RD 1D10 +10 12
Electron Bm. Bat. RD 1D10 +10 10
Disruptor Cannon FF,RD 3D10 +20 9
Torpedos MPO,LTD 4D10 -20 4

Note: Range diffusion effects differently also: -1 x Range to target.


Also there are new weapons introduced by the Hegemony Star Arm that the two sectors share now.They are:


These both are heavy weapons and special ships are usually designed to use them. All their information is listed below.

J+ Telemetry Missile

A J+ Telemetry Missile is a larger type of nuclear warhead torpedo that is specially designed with a unshielded jump engine. It travels 88.5 light years while in jump space, and accelerates at 10,000 gs in normal space. Upon launch, the J+ missile goes into its arming phase, and for the first three turns it moves 1 hex per turn. The J+ missile can not do any damage in the first three hexes because it is still accelerating, arming itself, and locking on to its target. After the first three hexes, the missile enters jump space for two hexes, and re-enters normal space for 1d3 (this roll only needs to be rolled once, right after the arming phase). It continues this pattern for the rest of the turn until it hits a target or goes off the board. Note one thing and that is the J+ missile locks into a path after its arming phase, on the fourth turn, a path that can be with in three hexes forwardly adjacent, and continues on that path in a straight line.


1) First three turns are the arming phase; no damage can be caused in these turns.

2) On the fourth turn the J+ enters into it pattern: 2 hexes in jump space; 1d3 hexes in normal space for the entire turn until it reaches a target or is lost. If it does hit a target, the J+ missile does AUTOMATIC HULL DAMAGE. That is why the J+ missile has no Damage Table Modifier.

J+ Missile statistics:

Cubic Meters: MHS
J+ Telemetry Missile 50 10
J+ Missile Launcher 100


J+ Telemetry Missile FF,LTD,MPO 10d10 UNLTD

The J+ missile has no chance to hit number because the hit is determined on the board. It is uneffected by ICMs, but masking screens, armor and similar ballistic absorbing defenses are effective. The J+ weaponry array takes two hits before it is destroyed. On the advanced damage table, CP should be placed after LP on 61-62 line and on the 65-66 line after SM to signify when on the damage table, the J+ weaponry is going to get hit.

Mazon Star Weapon

The Mazon Star Weapon was a major contribution to the Frontier fleet, and it helped turn the tide of the Third Sathar war. It is a large anti-matter cannon. It fires an energy field (a cone about 5 degrees wide) which induces spontaneous conversion of matter to radiant energy within the field. Its range is 0.83 astronomical units (unlimited for gaming purposes). It fires in a straight line.

Since its prototype, the Mazon Star weapon has gone through many changes. The last was a downgrading of it to make it more cost effective. The prototype had the power to cause a supernova explosion in a star, but was extremely cost and energy inefficient. The present version, known as the Third Generation Mazon, is often used as a planet bombardment weapon, and sometimes used in ship-to-ship combat. It is difficult to use in ship-to-ship combat because it is very ineffective against any ship surrounded in any defensive energy shielding. So the general tactic in Mazon class starships is to sit back in the rear of the battle, waiting for enemy shields to go down.

In combat, it takes two turns to arm, but the armed Mazon Blast can be held for three combat turns before overload of the capacitors. On overload, the ship will explode in one turn (giving crew enough time to bail out). There is no preventing a overload. If the Mazon Gunner has a target in sight,the ship is not shielded by any energy shielding, and the gunner hits, the ship, no matter what Hull Size it is, is totally destroyed. If the ship somehow has some kind of energy shielding, and the gunner doesn’t know and fires anyway, the particular shield is overloaded, is destroyed, but can be repaired by normal Damage Control Procedures. Firing the Mazon Star Weapon takes one turn. The safe speed for firing a Mazon Star is 3.If at that speed after firing the weapon, the ship comes to a dead halt and cannot move for one turn, due to the power loss, and the power systems have to compencate. If the ship is at a dead stop before firing, the ship will accelerate backwards at 3 hexes per turn. If the ship is at a hire speed than the safe speed upon firing, the player can take an extra turn before firing to brace the crew or risk crew casualties (65% chance crew casualties; go by the Crew casualty entry on the ship Damage Table.) If ANY power systems are hit on ANY Mazon Class ships (any ship with a Mazon Star weapon), the Mazon Star Weapon will not fire until those power systems are repaired.



1) Is any of the ship’s Power systems damaged? Yes–> Then the Mazon Star will not fire until the damaged system is repaired.

2) What is the ship’s speed? 0–> upon Firing, the ship will accelerate backwards at 3 hexes per turn; 1 to 3–> upon Firing the ship will be stationary; above 3–> player has the option take a turn to secure all hands, or risk Crew Casualties due accidents. Upon firing subtract 3 from the speed and that will be the ships new speed after firing.

3) Is the Target shielded by any energy defenses? Yes–> The Mazon blast will have little effect. it will only overload the shields, which can be repaired the next Damage Control turn. No–> If you hit (see Base Chance chart for the Mazon star), the ship is completely destroyed.

Mazon Star Weapon statistics

Cubic Meters MHS
Mazon Star Weapon  950 16


Mazon Star Weapon FF,MPO Special UNLTD

For the damage table purposes, an NS should be placed next to the CP in each place (see J+ Missile for the positioning of the CP). It takes 6 hits to completely destroy a Mazon Star Weapon, although for every hit, there is a 15% chance that the plasma field generated from the  weapon is completely ineffective. For example, if in one turn a Mazon Star takes 3 hits, then if no repairs are ddone on it before its next firing, there is a 45% chance that the plasma field will fail.


The new defense system advances the old so it is compatible to the new ship rosters. A few changes have been made to make up some of the inadequacies of the old rules (for example to the Masking Screens) Also the effect of screens on attacks are different.


Laser Piston -3 0 0 0 hb
Tractor Beam 0 0 0 -2 -3
Laser Cannon -3 0 0 0 hb
Laser Battery -3 0 0 +2 hb
Proton Beam Battery 0 -7 +2 -4 0
Electron Beam Battery 0 +2 -7 -4 0
Disruptor Cannon 0 -2 -2 -4 0
Torpedos 0 0 0 +3 -4
Assault Rockets 0 0 0 0 hb
Rocket Battery 0 0 0 0 hb
Mines 0 0 0 +4 -4
Seekers 0 0 0 +4 -3
Fusion Bomb 0 0 0 +4 -4
Screen Mines 0 0 0 +4 0
Maxi -Missiles 0 0 0 +4 -4

EXPLANATION: RH–> Reflective hull; PS–> Proton Screen;  ES–> Electron Screen;SS–> Stasis Screen;MS–> Masking screen; HB–> Hit Boxes- Masking screens add hit boxes to the hull points of the ship, and these weapons effect masking screens by reducing it effectiveness, represented for game purposes by hit boxes. remove (color in) one hit box for each point of damage.

Intercepter Missiles

Interceptor Missiles work the same way as in the old combat rules. The weapons they are effective against and their effect on the base chance are listed below.




Reflective Hull 1 —-
Masking Screen Lnchr  4 10
Masking Screen Charge 5
Electrom Screen Emitter 10 5 x HULL SIZE
Proton Screen Emitter 12 6 x HULL SIZE
Stasis Screen Emitter  10 5 x HULL SIZE
Icm Launcher 5 10
Icm 5
E-Shields 6 10 x HULL SIZE
Contact Deflectors 5 10 x HULL SIZE
Masking Field 3 5 x HULL SIZE
Seeker Jammer 4 10
Standard Armor 6 5x HULL SIZE
Heavy Armor 12 10 x HULL SIZE
Reiforced Hull 1 3 x HULL SIZE
Mine Damper 1 5

MASKING SCREENS,ARMOR,REINFORCED HULLS,& ENERGY SHIELDS: The masking, and armor are not listed because they are immediate effect defenses, and do not effect the roll, which is an indirect effect. The non-listed defenses are drawn directly on the Ship Roster, and they act as additions to hull points. when determining any Defense Points for any of the following defenses, one must divide the number by four(4) to determine how much protection each side of the ship should receive(front,back,left and right). Defense points are the amount of hit boxes the particular defense has. If all the Hit Boxes are gone the defense is useless in that area. For E-shields the designer, during the design stage, may transfer no more than 20% of one side’s protection to another.


The new masking screen derives from the old but takes it a step further, making it more practical. Instead of just a water vapor cloud, it uses a isotope crystalline gelatinous substance that adheres to the metallic hull of a ship and spreads across the entire hull. It basically adds another layer of armor to the ship. But due to it isotope nature, it also masks the ship from many sensors, including those aboard torpedoes, seekers, and mines, which explains the modifiers in the above chart. Along with the modifiers, Masking Screens add hull points or armor points to the ship. These points are hit before armor or hull points are hit. Upon launch, one masking screen adds HULL SIZE x 4 in points (represented by hit boxes on the roster). Each side of the ship is covered equally.If the masking screen (all four sides) is not destroyed, then the masking screen DISSIPATES AFTER FOUR TURNS. The following weapons are effected by the new masking screen.


Laser Pistons

Laser Cannons

Laser Batteries

Assault Rockets*

Rocket Batteries*





Fusion Bombs*

* For every point of impact type damage, 2 points of the masking screen is removed (2 hit boxes). Otherwise, it is a one_to_one ratio for energy type damage.


Starship armor plating is the closest thing to the ships hull, and should be the last to be hit before the hull itself is hit, and internal damage begins to occur. So the HIt Boxes should be drawn in close to the hull. Their are two types of armor plating, as shown in the article “An Interstellar Armory”; standard and heavy.


Standard Armor Plating Hull Size X 4 Defense Points
Heavy Armor Plating Hull Size X 8 Defense Points

For every point of damage from the following weapons, take off a point (or fill in a Hit Box on the roster) of armor.


Laser Pistons

Laser Cannons

Laser Batteries

Assault Rockets

Rocket Batteries





Fusion Bombs


Reinforced hulls simply adds hull points directly to the hull, and lowers the chance of break-up when the ship is in danger of that(-15%).  The extra hull points is equal to the ship’s HULL SIZE x 3.


Energy shields are absorbing type energy screens that emitt a plasma field completely around the ship. E-shields are effective against the same weaponry as armor, but in a different manner. E-shields are powered by an energy reservoir keyed into the ship’s power system. Energy available to E-shields is equal to the ship’s HULL SIZE x 65 in ESU (E-shield units). E-shields are the first to be hit in combat, and the hit boxes are drawn in above all other defenses. Divide the ESU value by four (for each side of the ship) and that value is the average amount of E-shield protection or the amount of defense points ( and the amount of Hit Boxes to be drawn in) each side has. 20% of any side can be transfered to another, and this can only be done twice, and done during the design phase of a ship.

E-Shields effectiveness depends on the weapon. They have a tendency to be more effective against impact weapons, and less effective against energy attack. The following chart shows how many E-Shield defense point (and hit boxes) it takes to absord one point of damage from the particular weapon.

Laser Pistons 2
Laser Cannons 2
Laser Batteries 4
Assault Rockets 3
Rocket Batteries 4
Mines 5
Seekers 8
Torpedos 6
Maxi-Missiles 5
Fusion Bombs 8

NOTE ON E-SHIELDS: E-Shields can be used at the same time with any one other energy screen. As stated in the Knight Hawks rules, only one screen can be emitted around a ship at one time, aside from the E-Shields.

E-SHIELD REINFORCEMENT : A commanding player can allocate a certain amount of Engineering effort to reinforce E-shields for a turn.  The commanding player must declare a certain amount of DCR will be allocated to E-shield reinforcement for the next turn.  This can be maintained each turn afterwards by allocating it each turn.  At the beginning of a turn, a player can use that given amount of DCR to reinforce one side of the E-shields, after the enemy player has declared what side he is firing at.

Once declared, the defending player rolls d100.  If the roll is less than the amount of DCR allocated, the E-shields are reinforced by 2d10 (re-roll 1s) for that turn only.  The reinforcement is lost the next turn unless more DR is allocated.

Example: PLAYER A allocates 55 points of DCR for E-shield reinforcement.  On the turn he wishes to use it, he rolls a 43 which is a success.  His 2d10 rolls increases his E-shields by 12.  For that turn and for the side declared by the enemy player, the defending player has 12 extra E-shield points.

OTHER INFORMATION: Shuttles are also available for most ships that can handle them. Shuttles for most ship, accept Assault Carriers and Transports, are mounted externally or under a small external armored bubble.


ARMORED EXTERNAL MOUNT BUBBLE * ( takes one more hit than the usual one) 20
SHUTTLE HANGAR 30 x # Shuttles


Using The Advanced Damage System From Dragon Magazine “Damage Control Report”

The Damage Chart in the Dragon Article “Damage Control. Report!” is sufficient to a point for the Advanced Knight Hawks System. But, there are a few things that this gamer feels it needs to be completely compatible with the new system. For example, the Damage chart given says, after one shot to the power systems, no matter what kind or size of ship, the screens are out. What about weapon’s power systems, or Life Support power? And why not multiple shots to power systems for larger ships? Well the following article will fill in a little more detail in this and other matters.
Modified “Modified Damage Table

Modified Roll Type Of Damage
-20 – 05 Hull Hit: Double normal damage by weapon
06 – 10 Ship’s Boats*
11 – 20 Crew casualties*
21 – 25 Cargo Hit*
26 – 45 Hull Hit: Normal Damage
46 – 48 Drive hit: Lose 1 ADF
49 – 51 Drive Hit: Lose 1/2 of total ADF (RU)
52 Drive Hit: Lose entire ADF
53 Drive Hit: Fuel Loss*
54 – 57 Steering Hit: Lose 1 MR Point
58 – 59 Steering Hit: Lose entire MR
60 Steering Hit: Continue current course until repair
61 – 62 Weapon Hit: LC,LB,NS,PB,EB,AR,RB,LP,CP
63 – 64 Weapon Hit: PB,EB,LB,NS,RB,T,AR,MM
65 – 66 Weapon Hit: DC,LC,AR,T,NS,LB,FB,SM,CP
67 – 68 Weapon Hit: T,AR,EB,PB,LB,NS,RB,TB
69 – 70 Weapon Hit: LB,RB,T,AR,PB,EB,LC,NS
71 – 72 Internal Systems hit*
73 Soda Machine**
74 Power Systems Hit: Roll randomly*
75 – 77 Defense Hit:PS,ES,SS,MS,ICM,ENS
78 – 81 Defense Hit:MS,ICM,SS,PS,ES,MF
82 – 84 Defense Hit:ICM,SS,PS,ES,MS,ENS
85 – 87 Combat Control Hit: -1 per hit to all combat.*
88 – 90 Life Support Hit: Primary;back-up*
91 Computer Hit: roll Randomly*
92 – 96 Navigation Hit:Lose all nav-Control. Move Randomly
97 Holo Games **
98 – 10 5 Internal Fire: Reroll damage with a +20 each turn
106 – 115 Damage Control Hit: -1/2 DCR
116  Steam Baths **
117 – 120 Disastrous Fire: -1/2 DCR;lose all of ADF & MR; -1 on all attacks; Reroll Damage with a +20; -d100 Crew

* See Below. ** These areas can only be hit once.


Ship’s Boats

This hit disables one of the following:  (1d10). If no boats, take the hit as a hull hit.

1 – 2 Life Boats
3 – 4  Launch
5 – 6 Work Pods
7 Shuttle or Fighter (if a carrier & no shuttles)
8 Fighter
9 – 0 Escape Pods

Crew Casualties

Roll on the following table:(1d20)

1 – 2 1
3 – 4 1-5
5 – 7 1-10
8 – 10 2-20(if an assault transport,20-200 lost)
11 – 14 3-30
15 – 18 5-50(if assault transport,10-100 lost)
19 – 20 1-100

The ship can remain under normal operations with 1/4, given no computer systems are out or severely damaged (down to one box). But once the crew is reduced ti less than 1/4 crew compliment, it is not operational in normal combat. But if the crew is under 1/4 but over 1/5 compliment, the ship can either fly of fire 1/2 it available weapons. Below 1/5, the ship is dead in space. (scuttle time …….).

Cargo Hit

One unit Random Cargo is lost (Reloads counts as Cargo). If no cargo, 1 fuel lost. No fuel, hull hit.

 Power Systems Hit

There are several different power systems that can be hit, and the amount of damage they can take depends on the size of the ship.

Internal Sys. Hit Box Amt.
HS Hits
1 – 5 2
6- 10 3
11 – 15 4
16 – 20 5

Each ship has a standard compliment of power systems, and a few special ships have special power systems. For all of them, if the systems compliment of hit boxes are all marked off, that system is out, and must be repaired of to 1/2 its compliment next repair turn.

Drive Hit, Fuel Loss

One unit of fuel loss. This fuel applies to FTL flight, so when it is lost, the ship can not leave the scene of the battle by way of FTL flight.

Internal Systems Hit

(Does not apply to fighters. Treat as a Hull Hit for Fighters)

Roll 1d10 on the following chart.

1 – 2 Elevators: If reduced to 1/2 or more hit boxes: until repaired, this ship must repair on every fourth turn.
3 – 4 Food Service.
5 – 6 Cameras: Anti-Boarding parties are delayed for a turn when the ship is boarded.
7 – 8 Robots
9 – 0 Intercoms: -1 in combat if reduced to 1/2 hit boxes.

Internals system hit box amounts depend on the size of the ship:

Internal Sys. Hit Box Amt.| HS Hits 1 – 4 1 5- 10 2 11 – 16 3 17 – 20 4

Life Support

The amount of damage Life Support can take (i.e. the amount of Hit boxes for Life Support) for a ship depends on the amount of Crew. The following chart gives the Primary Life Support Hit Boxes, and Secondary Life Support or Backup (in parenthesis)


Crew Hits
1 – 6 2 (2)
7 – 20 3 (3)
21 – 60 4 (4)
61 – 200 5 (5)
201 – 1K 6 (6)

When Life Support is hit, the commanding player marks off a Hit box (which can be repaired 1 box at a time using DCR), primary Life support first, then back up.. The Ship is in no danger until it is operating off 1/2 of the Back Up Life Support (and subsequently all primary Life Support is gone). During this time until it is repaired, the ship has a -1 to all attacks. If no life support exists, maybe after taking a severe hit, the ship can operate on a pressure suited crew for 4 turns, without any casualties due to suffocation. After that 4 turn period, this ship is crewless

Computer Hit

The amount of computer “power” required to run an entire ship depends on the size of the ship

Computer Systems

HS Hits
1 – 2 1
3 – 5 2
6 – 10 3
11 – 15 4
16 – 20 5

One Box is repaired at a time with DCR.

Most ships have the standard compliment of computer systems, except for ships that play a special roll, like assault transports. The following is a list of the standard compliment of computer systems and the damage result.

 Life Support Computer Systems : This controls the Life Support Systems. There is a -1 to all combat attacks while a single life support computer hit box is marked, and if this is damaged to more than 1/4 its compliment of hit boxes, the ship has 4 turns to repair the systems or the ship looses 1d10 crew/turn. If it looses them all, the ship has to repair the next repair phase or it is dead in space.

Weapon (Fire) Control System: This control all the automated operations of the weapons on board. For every Hit Box marked off on the system, there is a -1 in combat, and if the ship looses more than 1/4 of its Weapons Con Hit Boxes, the ship cannot fire all but 1/10 of it weapons. If the ship looses them all, the ship has no weapons until at least one of the boxes is repaired.

Damage Control Systems: This system controls all the automated systems involved in damage control. For every Hit box marked off, there is a -5 % on every roll when repairing. If the ship looses more than half its compliment of Damage Control Computer Hit Boxes, the ship’s DCR is halved. If the ship looses all the hit boxes, all the points on the next repair turn must be spent on them, until at least half of them are repaired.

Engine Control Systems: This computer system controls all the automated systems involved with the drive. If the ship looses more than half the Engine Computer System Hit boxes, the ship is reduced down to 1 ADF and 1 MR until at least one is repaired. If the ship looses all of them,. the ship cannot move next turn, and must repair at least one to move.

Astrogation Computer System: This computer system controls all the calculating and navigation systems involved in making Jumps. There is no real direct result of this hit until the ship wants to Jump. If all of the astrogation computer hit boxes are marked off, the ship cannot make a jump.

Security Computer: This computer primarily controls the on-board security systems. If 1/2 of these hit boxes are destroyed, an enemy boarding party will not be noticed until a turn after they have boarded. If all of the Sec. Comp. Hit Boxes are marked, the ship can be easily taken by a boarding party.

Sensor Control Comp.: This system controls all the automated sensor arrays needed for the ship to “see”. If 1/2 of these boxes are marked off, the ship has a -3 in all combat. If all of them are marked, there is a -5 in all combat.

Defense Control Computer: This controls all the automated defense systems (not Reflective Hull). If a ship looses all of these hit boxes, the ship can only use one screen, which is the one it had on last, including E-shields.

Main Computer & Back-Up Computer: These are the main and back-up relay processors that communicates all the given information to the crew that is operating the ship. If these are hit, things can get messy. The main computer can be down, if there are no hits to the Back-up.If both are down below half, the ship has a -3 to all combat. If one is out and the other is below half, there is a -4 in all combat. If both are out, the ship is dead in space with in 4 turns if at least one is not repaired to at least 1/2.

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