Good System for Shared Vehicle Combat? (i.e Tanks, Subs, Starships)

So this past weekend I went to the movies to see the WWII-tank film Fury, I loved it, and it really got me jogging around this question: Are there any systems that handle shared vehicle combat well? Ones where you have players who fill in crew roles such as commander, drive, gunner, etc? How do you keep that interesting? If a system doesn't exist - what would you cobble together?



  • edited October 2014
    Diaspora does this for space ships. It's based on FATE 3, and I expect the principles could be adapted to Fate Core or FAE without too much fuss. Make movement zone-based instead of linear and you're already a lot of the way there.
  • edited October 2014
    Ashen Stars has a system for starships that could port fairly well. It relies on giving the usual suite of skills special uses during ship vs ship conflict.
  • I think there's a pretty wide gulf between caring about the spaceships, for which there are really good board games, and caring about the people, for which there are really good roleplaying games. So a lot depends on what you and your friends care about. If the answer is "both", well, play two games at once maybe,
  • I've had good success with using the *world rules structure for vehicle combat (mostly influenced by DW). I ran a great 3 way vehicle battle between a flatbed truck with a tank on the back, a military humvee, and a drug-runner/gang technical by just using some basic GM moves and asking the driver and passengers what they are going to do about it. We were using BRP (aka cthulhu) as the base system, but GM moves are universal.
  • You might want to look to BattleStations for inspiration. It firmly sits as a hybrid of RPG and boardgame.
  • edited October 2014
    Star World by Rob Wieland and Mark Diaz Truman is a far future PbtA system loosely based on Star Trek, with PC playbooks, ship playbooks, and ship moves.
  • Interestingly, Two-Hour Wargames just (as in within the last couple weeks) put out a game inspired a bit by Fury called Hell Hath No Fury, built in the same system as their wider Nuts! WWII tabletop game, but focused more on tank-to-tank combat. Tanks have multiple crew positions, and each is controlled by a different character. The mechanics are more like a lightweight RPG than the tabletop wargame you might expect, and if you want to take things beyond the tank company you can shift over to Nuts! with full compatibility (which has a section called Chocolate and Cigarettes that is much more focused on an individual squad in a very RPG-esque way) .

    Pretty solid system and I've run a pile of THW stuff. I'm hoping that the upcoming 5150: Carrier Command does something effectively similar for spacecraft. 5150: Fighter Command covers single-man fighters, but that's not what you're looking for.

    There's a lot of flexibility in the game space between small groups working as a team under stress with mutualism and small groups working as a team as individuals; the simulation space is pretty wiggly.
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