Starship Refits & Combat Balancing

Hi, all. This might be a dumb question, but we haven’t started yet, so I thought it’d be good to hear from people who have actually played the game already.

We set up the players’ starship tonight and we’re going with a Miranda-class vessel in 2371. After distributing all the refit points, the ship’s system stats rival or exceed the base Vor’chas, Romulan Warbirds, or Galaxy-class ships in the CRB. That feels insane.

So, do refits actually pose the balancing nightmare that they appear to right now, or do other factors like ship scale and resistance end up tipping the advantage back to the those bigger, more modern vessels?


The Galaxy class has 58 System points (the sum of all System scores), the Miranda class has 50. Since the Miranda entered service in 2274, so she gets a total of 9 refits when playing in 2371, bringing her to 59 points. The Galaxy class entered service in 2359, so she gets one refit, bringing her to 59 points as well.

So rule-wise, both the Galaxy and Miranda class have identical System points. However, the Galaxy class is 2 Scale larger, and larger vessels are heavily favored by the rules.

In any case, it’s not a balancing nightmare. Keep in mind that the player ship is basically a main character in the game, and it is totally OK that the ship is stronger than other ships. Also, the Vor’cha class has 57 System points which is totally on par with your ship. A couple of points do not influence the game dramatically because you still have Momentum to compensate for bad stats.

So my advice is not to worry too much about this. Use the rules as written and it’ll work out. If the players destroy your Vor’cha too soon, spend 3 Momentum and let another one suddenly decloak and join the fight.


Everything about this response makes a ton of sense and is super reassuring. Thanks a ton, Shran!

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I did the same process with updating a Miranda, and came to the same conclusion. She came out better in every way than her modern replacements. My conclusion was that the 1 refit every 10 years was a theoretical maximum, and that there a lot of ships (most, even) which are not fully refit. The refit rules have to cover the substantial upgrade of the Constitution-class’s Enterprise, but we see that was pretty extreme makeover and only 3 refits worth, according to the rules. So in my enterpretation, at the beginning of TMP Enterprise gets 3 refits in one go… immediately prior to that she, was a refit or two “behind”. But a while after that it stopped being cost effective, and later impossible, to upgrade too far. The Mirandas, still being in use in DS9, may have been able to go farther, but in backwater sectors or thrown into the meatgrinder of the Dominion war, I imagine a lot of those Mirandas were making do without the latest and greatest.

One balancing factor in the refit rules that a ship cannot increase a system more than 2 points beyond the original. So having a very old frame hurts (eventually) in that regard.

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A bigger problem is weapon damage. Phaser and torpedo damage never change over centuries, given the same class of vessel and security rating. Shields stay the same, too.

There’s no accounting for technology advancement.

There is in terms of new weapons (quantum torpedoes for example) coming into use. The available 22nd century weapons are relatively weak.

…except they aren’t. An Enterprise-era phaser bank is exactly the same as a TNG-era phaser bank, given that the ship size and Security score is the same. What changes are the ability scores, making it harder to hit with the Enterprise-era bank… but if it does it will be equally effective.

There is also a sidebar or similar that talks about cross era play with guidance on how to run ships of different eras in the same game. Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t this state that you should half the damage of outdated weapons tech when used in the same scenario as ‘modern’ tech?

That said, if it’s a ship still in service, those systems would have been 100% updated during a refit anyway

Enterprise-era ships don’t have phasers, or photon torpedoes (at least within Starfleet), they have phase cannon and spatial torpedoes with different, generally weaker base effects. Generally speaking they don’t have shields either.

Those fleets that do have access to the better technology will generally be more equivalent to their 23rd century counterparts.