Adam “skinnyghost” Koebel
▶ Stars Without Number

A quick SWN Faction question, of which there may be more in the future. The players portraying House Crux have asked me to help them navigate a potential future problem they call THE BENZO BLOCK.

regarding the following from SEIZE PLANET "If all the assets cannot be destroyed in one turn, the faction must continue the attempt next turn until either successful or all of their own assets on that planet have been de- stroyed or have left the planet."

Military Strategy - The “Benzo Block”
A defensive tactic that can be used against any faction using the “Seize Planet” action on a planet with a Base of Influence, which is not destroyed in the first round of attacks on the planet.

Exploits the terms of the Seize action as well as potential Far Verona specific mechanics.

TURN X: Crux has had it with the Pirate scum. They have two blockade fleets in orbit around Shan, homeworld of Vagrant. They Declare the “Seize Planet” action on Shan.

Vagrant has been out doing pirate shit and can’t be assed to defend their home. They only have a Base of Influence with 29 HP..

There is no more optimal time to strike than when a BoI is the only unit there. This is the setup in the example to prove this defensive tactic will work even when the attacker has every advantage..

Because Crux is awesome at attacking during a Seize, let’s assume both their fleets do max damage of 12.

We could use the average, but for this example let’s imagine we roll maximum. The damage is irrelevant as long as it is less than their BoI

The Pirate Scum are grievously wounded! Their Base drops to 17 HP! They’re on the ropes boys! Good turn, Crux!

TURN X+1: As enemy asset still remain on the planet, Crux must attack and can take no other action.

Crux rolls well on the initiative! We do max damage! Their base drops to 5 HP! We’re gonna win!

Crux wins the initiative again for best possible attacker circumstances

Vagrant purchases any High-HP asset incapable of counter-attack, either with their own funds or bankrolled by the enemies of Crux. This is the Dummy Target
This will soak damage from the attacking forces and will never destroy them.
Can be replaced every turn as necessary

TURN X+2: As enemy asset still remain on the planet, Crux must attack, Crux must attack and can take no other action.
Crux attacks the Dummy Target. Target most likely not destroyed
Vagrant buys another Dummy or does whatever they want, as long as they have (maximum damage)+1 HP of assets defending their BoI.

TURN X+N: As enemy asset still remain on the planet, Crux must attack, Crux must attack and can take no other action.

Crux effectively ceases to function.

anyone have thoughts? +Kevin Crawford I know I'm pushing your Faction Turn by making 2000 people play it with me, but what do you think?

Calum M


Marshall Brengle


Kevin Crawford

The assumed counter to that situation in play is that Vagrant is unable to do anything each round but buy assets while blocking. If Crux hits Vagrant with an attack strong enough to eventually blow through anything they can buy in one turn, then Vagrant is screwed. The problem comes up when, as you pointed out, Crux doesn't hit Vagrant with a hard enough punch, and ends up getting locked in place for as long as Vagrant's willing to spend its faction action each round buying replacements that don't have a Counterattack.

The intention of the "No other actions can be taken in the meanwhile" is to force a planetary invasion to be a brutal, expensive, all-consuming maneuver where you either win or lose your invasion force as a cohesive unit. This intention breaks when the target specifically avoids using any defensive unit that might inflict counterattack damage and thus eventually liberate you from your failed attempt.

The cheap solution for a situation like you've got, with a big fractious bunch of faction controllers? Off the top of my head, add two additional choices to what a faction invading a planet can do, instead of just pressing the attack.

1) Retreat. Pull the troops out. Make opposed Force tests between you and the target for each asset you're pulling out; if they win or tie, you lose the asset. Withdrawn assets are still in the same system, but you're no longer assaulting the world and can do something else on your next turn.

2) Death or glory. Nominate one or more assets engaged in the assault to attack twice, potentially dealing damage two times or taking counterattack damage twice. At the end of the exchange, every surviving asset that attacked twice is lost. You may theoretically end the battle with nobody having any assets left, in which case the planet becomes totally uncontrolled hellscape of scattered, ignorant armies clashing by night. If any of your units aren't destroyed and the defender still has something left, you're still locked into the assault.

Let the faction members argue amongst themselves over whether to go big or go home.

Adam “skinnyghost” Koebel

this looks great, thank you!

Mike Thompson

Shouldn't assets incapable of counter attack just be taken over? If an army rolls up to an undefended anything, wouldn't the army just capture it?

In Adam's example, Crux destroys the base, and adds the high hp assets that Vagrant purchased to its inventory.

Dave Sherohman

"Can't inflict meaningful damage in a counterattack" does not necessarily imply "undefended". No-counter units will eventually fall (since they can't stop you from finishing them off... eventually... unless reinforced) but that doesn't mean they'll instantly collapse as soon as you look at them funny.

Personally, though, the way I've dealt with this kind of situation was to houserule that you only have to spend an action to start a Seize Planet attempt. It then proceeds with combat every future faction turn until resolved one way or another without requiring further action expenditures.

Why did I do this? Because, as written, NPC factions only get one action per turn, which means that, if they have to spend the action on continuing the Seize Planet, then the "...or have left the planet" clause is meaningless, because they have no action available to remove them with (and, conversely, it's also impossible for them to bring in reinforcements).