Slag! is the space combat game for people who aren't rocket scientists and who don't have an aerospace budget...but still want a realistic game.
Slag! boils things down to the minimum level, but still gives you multiple Tech Levels, complete ship design rules, and enough optional systems to recreate space battles from almost any fictional universe.
What you get:
Slag! is a 146 page screen formatted pdf. That is, it is meant to be read from your computer, not printed off. It can be printed off with no problem, but the page orientation is wider than it is high, so you would probably use two screen pages of rules per printed page. The parts you need to play (record sheets and so on) are printable, so you always have fresh sheets when you need them.
The rules of Slag! are streamlined to the point where a several player battle with multiple ships per person can still be played in a few hours. Two player duels are fast and deadly.
Ships are composed of systems, which are discrete assemblies with a specific design function. How well it performs that function is often based on the size of the ship it is mounted on (Slag! supports ships from 50 tons to 250,000 tons). For instance, a "Sensor" array on a large ship will provide better targeting data than one on a small ship, because a "system box" on a large ship represents far more tonnage than on a small ship, and therefore a better quality sensor.
Combat is diceless, although there are optional rules for diced hits and hit location. Turns are several game minutes long, during which ships are expected to fire hundreds of shots, only a few of which will hit. Standard weapons include nuclear-tipped missiles, lasers, gamma-ray lasers, railguns and particle beams, depending on Tech Level.