Alright, enough of the administrivia, it's time to play a game!
After you've collected some models, dice, a tape measure, and your secret strategies, you and your opponent will need to agree upon:
Point Value - What is the maximum points worth of models you're allowed to bring to the table?
Once you've selected the Point Value at which you're playing, go ahead and assembled your force of models. Detailed Force Construction rules are available.
If this is your first game, we recommend starting at 250 points. Feel free to ignore the Force Construction rules for now. Rule of cool is the most important at the moment, but having a mix of capital ships and squadrons will allow you to explore the game mechanics. Note that your game might not be balanced, but you're just learning how the game works, so that's okay!
We'll suggested some starter forces for 250 points as well.
Mission - What mission are you going to play? This defines the victory conditions for the game.
If it's your first game, agree on a number of Game Turns to play and just see who has killed more points at the end. That's the winner!
Most missions will have some way of defining a player as either Attacker or a Defender. The Attacker generally has Initiative unless the mission specifies otherwise. In the event that a mission does not specify Initiative, randomly select a player to have Initiative.
Each Game Turn is made up of three phases:
Typically, a game lasts for seven Game Turns, unless a player is deemed victorious during an End Phase.
In the event that one player has more Models to deploy or activate, that player will simply have several consecutive deployments or activations to perform during the appropriate phase once their opponnent has run out of groups.
In a game of Jovian Wars each player will have one or more Deployment Zones where models will be placed on the table during the Deployment Phase. The zone(s) in which a player deploys their models is called the Friendly Deployment Zone(s) and the opponent's zone(s) are called the Enemy Deployment Zone(s). Any table edge contacting a Deployment Zone will be a Friendly or Enemy Table edge, as appropriate.
Missions will typically define a deployment zone, but in cases where they do not, players select opposed table edges randomly or by mutual agreement. The deployment zone for each player is the 12" strip extending from their table edge.
All models start the game in Reserve. Model in reserve are placed off the table until they are deployed in a deployment phase. Model that are off the table may not attack or use special actions. They are considered to be on approach to the area of operations.
Missions will define which Models are eligible for deployment during each Game Turn's Deployment Phase. In the event that a mission does not define which Models are eligble, all Models are eligible.
In the Activation Phase, starting with the player that has Initiative, players alternate activating Models until all eligible Models in their Fleets have been activated at which point the Activation Phase is over.
An Activating model must first declare its intent to use a Special Action. During its activation it may:
Attacks and Special Actions may be resolved before, after, or while interrupting a move.
A player using their Fire Control to make an attack action may spend their Fire Control all at once or at different points of their movement for each point of Fire Control. Attacks made with each Fire Control rating are distinct attacks and are resolved before completing further attacks.
When Squadron models activate they may be limited by their Fuel rating. The amount of Fuel rating remaining is tracked over the course of a model's activation and once used up the model may no longer take any actions that require fuel.
When a model's activation ends its fuel rating, and the fuel rating of any other model that used fuel during its activation, is refreshed to its base value. Squadrons do not have to return to a capital ship model to refresh their fuel.
A Squadron's Fuel rating refreshing represents in space refueling drones and/or replenishment of the model's plasma reserves from onboard reaction mass. The term "Fuel" denotes the amount of reactor plasma available for short bursts of activity such as a dogfight or bombing run.
Example 1: A Vindicator attacks an enemy capital ship. It attacks with its mass driver first damaging the target's point defense. Then the Vindicator uses it’s second rating of fire control to attack with anti-capital ship missiles. The damage done to the point defense by the mass driver reduces the number of dice the defender can use to defend against the missiles. The vindicator can then move and make a special action.
Example 2: A ship has linked missile weapons that allows two weapons to fire using one Fire Control. These attacks are considered to be simultaneous and damage to point defense will not be resolved until after both attacks have been made.
Example 3: A Pathfinder tries to initiate a bombing run on a target ship. It is intercepted by an enemy Squadron. The Pathfinder spends one fuel (and passes its skill check) to break off from the dogfight to continue on course to attack the capital ship. When the Pathfinder completes the initial Bombing run it may only use the remaining fuel to make additional attack runs, or attempt to return to base.
The End Phase is used to complete any game effects that specifically occur in the End Phase. Victory conditions and scenario turn limits are checked and if there is no winner then a new Game Turn begins.