Getting Started with A Billion Suns
What do I need to play?
One or more flat surfaces to play on. Some miniatures (or counters) to represent your spaceships. A handful of D6, D8, D10 and D12 dice. (Yes it uses all the funny-shaped dice, as is right and proper.) A single pack of standard playing cards. A selection of spare tokens, gaming gems or dice to track bits and bobs, and a measuring tape in inches.
The easiest way to get started is to download my free Quick Start Rules:
What miniatures will I need?
A Billion Suns is designed to be played with spaceship miniatures of any scale, from any manufacturer, mounted on any shape or size of base. This is achieved by having all measurements made from and to the centre of the model (e.g. the flight stand peg) and by allowing bases to overlap (as long as the finish position is stable. It really doesn’t matter what size your miniatures are, as long as they look consistent with each other.
In A Billion Suns, you select ships based on a range of “ship classes”:
- Tiny ships: Recon Wing, Fighter Wing, Bomber Wing,
- Small Ships: Light Utility Ship, Gunship, Corvette
- Medium Ships: Medium Utility Ship, Monitor, Frigate, Destroyer
- Massive Ships: Carrier, Cruiser, Battleship
You can find the full stats for these ship classes on the downloads page.
What miniatures should I start with?
To get started with the game (at “scale 3”, more on this below), you’ll want to have miniatures to represent:
- 3 x Light Utility Ships
- 3 x Medium Utility Ships
- 5 x Fighter Wings (which can double for Recon or Bomber Wings as needed)
- 3 x Small Ships (to represent Gunships or Corvettes)
- 2 x Medium Ships (to represent Frigates or Destroyers)
- (Maybe) 1 x Large Ship (to represent the big stuff, but you’ll likely not need them until you are playing scale 5 games and above)
Don’t worry about have miniatures for every ship class immediately, you’ll figure out your playstyle as you go, and for smaller scale games (where you won’t likely use a battleship) you can use your battleships or whatever as the medium ship classes.
You are free to use spaceship miniatures from any manufacturer or game. We recommend checking out BrigadeModels.co.uk, who have an unbeatable selection of miniatures that are perfect for the game. You could also 3D print some or scratch-build your own ships!
Because the actual scale of the ships doesn’t impact gameplay, when choosing miniatures, the Rule of Cool is the only rule that matters. They just need to look coherent and relatively sized as a fleet.
Will I need any terrain?
A Billion Suns is a game of interstellar operations, and each game revolves around a range of different objectives and space junk. To play the full range of missions (called “contracts”) available in the rulebook, you will need counters, or painted miniatures to represent (for a scale 5 game for example):
- 5 x Asteroids (no more than 3″ at their widest)
- 5 x Small space stations (called “facilities”)
- 1 x Planet (a disc between 4″ and 12″ in diameter)
- 5 x Comsats
- 5 x Independent space ships (whose size and shape aren’t important)
Multiple tables!? Will I need a lot of space?
A Billion Suns is designed to be played across multiple tables at once. You will need one or more flat surfaces to play A Billion Suns across.
It’s not as difficult to set up multiple tables as it might sound. You could play across the kitchen table, a kitchen counter and a flat-seated chair. You could take a normal wargaming table and use masking tape or string to split it up into halves or quarters. If you normally use a number of smaller boards to make up a larger gaming table: just pull the board sections apart an inch or so.
A Billion Suns is designed to be flexible to the size and shape of each play area. There is no “standard” size for any of the tables. The game works perfectly on any size or shape of tables. Surprisingly small tables will produce surprising tactically interesting games. You could even use magnetic ship tokens and play across the fridge doors…
If that all sounds like your kind of tabletop game, you can pre-order it today!