SPACE VIKING is played in turns representing five thousand hours, or about one Earth year, each. The players move their ships on the map and attempt to detect other players' ships, plunder worlds and build more ships.

The currency in the game is Industrial Units (IU), which represent the annual work output of a million people, or one ton of pure gold. IU can be traded freely between players or stolen from other worlds.

Each player starts with 50 IU worth of ships or technology, 20 million loyal subjects on the planet Gram, and a shipyard capable of building Escort ships with Jump-2.


The five capitalized worlds in heraldic colors are the SWORD-WORLDS. Settled by the losing armies after the System States War, they are the homes of the Space Vikings. Your baronies are all on the planet Gram, but other non-player Vikings are based on the other worlds.

The three white capitalized worlds at the bottom of the map are CIVILIZED WORLDS, who have not lost any of the technology of the vanished Federation. Initially, they will be too powerful for you to attack, but a coalition of several Viking ships might be able to plunder one, in which case the reward would be astronomical.

All the other worlds are decivilized to some degree, but no one knows for sure; one world might be using crossbows and catapults, another atomic bombs and space shuttles, and a third contragravity and hyperdrive.


You have two Cronies whom you can trust absolutely; if you or a crony commands a fleet of yours, it will execute your orders to the best of its ability.

However, a fleet commanded by anyone else is not absolutely trustworthy; its commander will be tempted to treachery about 12% of the time, or 6% of the time if you have the Robot Ship Controls technology. Treachery usually results in the loss of the fleet as the treacherous captain sells your ships, steals them to go Viking himself, or turns them over to a rival.

Also, unless you are personally present, your ships cannot receive new orders. They will continue to execute their previous orders until you return, or until they receive a message sent by you in another ship. Note that messages sent on a ship can fall prey to treachery, or be captured and read by others.

During a turn, movement and combat are carried out first, then any builds or research is conducted.


There are seven kinds of sovereigns, each with his or her own definition of victory.

The EMPIRE BUILDER wants to control subjects. He gains 1 victory point per subject he rules; captive populations do not provide victory points, but do provide taxes. The Empire Builder's troops and ships always fire first in combat; if the Empire Builder himself is present, the ships fire first at +1 to hit.

The PIRATE wants loot. He gains 2 VP per IU stolen (not traded for, etc.) and if he wins a space battle, half the enemy ships are not considered destroyed, but CAPTURED by the Pirate. They repair 1/2 their damage and return to battle as part of the Pirate's fleet.

The MERCHANT wants money. He gains 1 VP per IU he owns; thus, his VP total is always going up and down. The Merchant can trade with NPC planets instead of plundering them; he gains 1/2 the planet's normal taxes whenever a trading ship of his stops by. If a planet has recently been plundered, the Merchant gains no trade goods, but may wish to "seed" a planet with a gift of IU, since next turn, he can get half of it back in trade.

The ZEALOT wants to persuade others. He gets 1 VP per person who shares his views, regardless of whether they are his subjects. Thus, a Zealot player starts the game with 20 VP already! The Zealot or his Cronies can convert others; they convert 1d6 persons to Zealots every year they are on a planet. If the whole planet is converted, the planet becomes the Zealot's subject.

The ENGINEER wants to build mighty structures. He gets 5 VP for every technological development he builds, and his economy produces 3 IU for every 2 people at work.

The SCHEMER wants agents everywhere. He gets 5 VP for every world above the Stone Age that has an agent of his in place. The Schemer or his Cronies may recruit agents on a world on a roll of 4-6; every planet with an Agent is scanned by the Schemer every turn.

The BERSERKER wants to destroy the human race. A leftover robot war moon, the Berserker can build Robotic Industrial Units, but has no loyal population and can acquire none. It earns one VP per human it slays, and always pays the "with Predecessor" cost for new technology.

The game lasts twenty turns, after which the player with the highest VP total is the winner.


Ships begin the game with Jump-2 capability; they can move 2 squares per turn, diagonally or otherwise. As your technology advances, you will be able to build faster ships.

Your orders may insert movement in any order; you can order your fleet to move 2 and plunder a world, or move 1, plunder a world and move 1 back, or move 1, plunder, move 1 more, plunder again, etc.

Unless otherwise noted, your ships are in PASSIVE mode; they will not plunder worlds, nor engage other ships, unless ordered. You can put your ships in PLUNDER mode (plunder every planet they encounter) or ENGAGE mode (attack every ship they meet that isn't controlled by you) or even BERSERKER mode (PLUNDER plus ENGAGE) if you want to.

For each fleet, the referee will need to know:
1. The commander's name
2. Whether you are in Passive, Plunder, Engage or Berserker mode
3. Which ships are in the fleet
4. Where the fleet is to move.
You need not specify which empty spaces the ship enters unless you want to; ships cannot locate each other in the depths of space without advanced technology. You can give your orders like a railroad schedule, e.g. Gram - Xochitl - Asgard - Gram.


In combat, each ship fires at one enemy ship.
ESCORT ships and FIGHTERS fire ONCE.

Each shot has a 2 in 6 chance of "hitting" an enemy vessel. Ships can withstand as many hits as their firepower; an ESCORT is destroyed by one hit, an ATTACK ship by two hits, and so on. Partially destroyed ships can be repaired, but do not suffer decreased firepower.

Ships will fight to the death unless "breakoff" orders are in effect. For example, you could tell your fleet to break off combat and run if 50% of the ships on your side were destroyed. A side that breaks off is fired at one last time by the enemy without being able to fire back, and then escapes into hyperspace.

All shots are simultaneous UNLESS your personal character is leading your forces, in which case your side may fire first. If both sides have personal characters leading them, fire is simultaneous.


Once one side or the other establishes dominance of the space above a world, landings can begin. (Exception: Jump Troops, below). In order to PLUNDER a world, a Viking ship must spend one full turn on the planet (representing one week) without being engaged by local troops (it's hard to plunder while you're being shot at.) In order to CONQUER a world, all local troops must be defeated, and a garrison left behind to monitor the world.

Ground combat is like space combat, in that each ground unit fires at one other unit simultaneously. However, ground units may SCREEN other units by placing them behind the battle line, so long as there are enough units to engage all enemy units.

Example: the Viking ship DREADLOQUE lands two troops on Beowulf. The Beowulfers have seven troops opposing the DREADLOQUE; two of these troops engage the two Viking troops, and the rest tackle the DREADLOQUE. DREADLOQUE may not be screened, because there are more native troops than Viking troops.

Example 2: the Viking ship GOLDEN MEAD lands six troops on Amaterasu. The Amaterasans send six troops against them. If the Viking player wishes, he may screen the GOLDEN MEAD, or any of his troop units, behind the others. Indeed, he must do this if he wants to plunder the planet.

Jump troops do not have to land on a planet (and thus expose their ship to ground combat); they may jump at any time after the first round of space combat, and land directly on the planet without their transport. Thus, they may be engaged with ground forces before regular troops arrive.

When jump troops confront other Vikings or civilized troops, the enemy gets to fire first (jump troops do not carry the full load of heavy weapons that a regular troop unit uses.)

GROUND COMBAT FIREPOWER (roll needed to hit one enemy unit)

Viking troop: 4-6
Viking jump troop: 3-6
Spaceship (any): 2-6
Native troops: 5-6

Planet Type DefensesPlunderSubjects
Civilized 16 troops32d--
Atomic8 troops16d40
Industrial 4 troops8d20
Renaissance 2 troops4d10
Medieval 1 troop2d5
Stone Age none1d1


You start the game with 50 IU in assets and 10 million loyal subjects on Gram. Each million subjects produces one IU in taxes every turn; you may save these, trade them or spend them. Money is generally spent on either capital improvements (more ships, troops, etc.) or technology.

You may NOT spend money on new construction of ships until you have researched the technology to do so. However, the initial 50 IUs may be spent on any type of ship (they represent ships handed down through generations since the fall of the Old Federation.) If you save any of the initial 50 IU, you may not spend them on "heirloom" ships later.

ItemIU cost FirepowerDamage CapacityCapabilities
Jump Troop33-61Jump assault
Transport Ship101Cargo capacity 1
Escort8111 Cargo
Fighter411no jump drive
Attack Ship20222 Cargo
Monitor1022no jump drive
Battleship40444 Cargo
Dreadnought50555 Cargo
Superdreadnought60666 Cargo
Mothership703Carries 3 fighters
Outpost104-61Can repair damaged ships; must be installed on a planet
Shipyard504-63Can build new ships
Factory4 Produces one IU per turn
Robotic Factory4 Produces one IU per turn
Scout Ship40 1 May scan all adjacent spaces without entering them

A cargo unit is one troop, jump troop, fighter, monitor, outpost, shipyard, 20 IU, or million people.

Technology research is done by spending IU. Technologies may be partially paid for over a series of turns; they cost less if they follow a predecessor development already developed by you.

You must have at least one level 1 development before researching a level 2 development, and one level 2 before researching level 3. There are three technological "tracks": Hyperdrive, Weapons and Automation.

Tech Level TechnologyCapabilityPredecessorCost with PredecessorCost w/o pred/
1 Jump-3Move 3 per turn--15
1Jump-4Move 4 per turnJump-33040
2Jump-5Move 5 per turnJump-44055
2Jump-6Move 6 per turnJump-55065
3Jump-7Move 7 per turnJump-66075
3Jump-8Move 8 per turnJump-77080

Tech Level TechnologyCapabilityPredecessorCost with PredecessorCost w/o pred
1FighterAllows you to build new fighters- -25
1Attack shipAllows you to build new ATK ships----35
2MonitorAllows you to build new monitorsFighter4055
2BattleshipAllows you to build new BB shipsATK7590
3DreadnoughtAllows you to build new DN or SD shipsBB100130
3Beam WeaponsAll your ships' firepower is doubled -- -- 100

Tech Level TechnologyCapabilityPredecessorCost with PredecessorCost w/o pred/
1 Robot Ship ControlsReduces treachery chance -- --35
1Improved Industrial TechnologyYou may build one factory per million subjects -- --25
1Controlled EnvironmentYou may place outposts on barren worlds (spaces on the map without planets) -- --25
2Automated Planetary DefensesFighters and monitors may be placed on automatic control, with no chance of treacheryRobot Ship Controls3550
2Advanced Industrial TechnologyYou may build two factories per million subjectsIIT4055
3Hyperwave RadioYou may redirect your ships in mid-mission---- 70
3Robotic IndustryYou may build Robotic Factories without regard to populationAIT 85100
3Berserker ShipsYou may build unmanned ships which attack any ships not owned by you, and require no commander Robot Ship Controls 5075


Your population of subjects will expand at the rate of 1 new subject for every 10 existing subjects per turn. This takes place both on Gram and among subjects you acquire later.

Subjects may be moved to conquered worlds to establish colonies there; the advantage over relying on native labor is that your colonists do not require a garrison to remain loyal. In the event the garrison is removed, the natives revolt; each colonist and each native fight as in ground combat.

When your colonists outnumber the natives, that world is COLONIZED and all inhabitants become loyal subjects (or at least unwilling to resist.)

Soft-hearted Vikings (or, alternatively, decent champions of civilized values) may attempt to ASSOCIATE a planet. If given gifts of superior Viking technology (i.e. IU) equal to the number of subjects thereon, the world may choose to voluntarily accept you as its sovereign. The chance is 2 in 6 per year this tribute is attempted.