Full Thrust campaign rules - Fleet Book edition

Roger Burton West with help from Peter Edge
22 October 2001

Table of Contents

1. Scale and Movement

Each strategic turn represents one week of game time.

Any FTL-capable ship can move six light years (six campaign map hexes) per turn.

2. Rules in use

Should be agreed before play begins, particularly concerning movement modes (cinematic vs normal) and attack radii.

3. Turn sequence

4. Startup

Each player receives the following:

5. Recovery of damaged ships

Damaged ships may be recovered after a battle, in certain conditions.

Ships with no FTL and no normal space drive may be recovered if the ship's owner has any ships with functional normal space drive in-system, and has uncontested control of the system. While this condition is not satisfied, the ship continues adrift. If an enemy has uncontested control of the system and wishes to attempt a boarding operation, this may be run according to the standard rules.

Ships with FTL but no normal space drive may travel FTL to reach a system where the above condition is satisfied.

Ships with damaged FTL drives may not use the FTL Move order.

6. FTL travel

Ships in FTL may not meet or interact in any way. FTL communicators may only be based in planetary systems, as they are too large for shipboard deployment. However, all ships are assumed to carry small FTL-capable distress buoys, which will carry information on engagements to a friendly base.

7. Capturing and holding a system

It is assumed that the natives of a system are equally willing to work for any foreign overlord, though there will be a single turn of non-production when a system changes allegiance. The last power that had military ships in a system is assumed to be the controller if no military ships are present; any military ship with functioning weaponry may threaten orbital bombardment (and thus take immediate control of the planet) if it has space superiority (i.e. no enemy forces in system). (If anyone actually wants to carry out orbital bombardment, any bases and research centres are destroyed and the world's RP value drops permanently to 0.)

If a system is contested, RPs are still produced as normal, though shipping them may be risky.

A ship or station in a system may be destroyed at no cost by the player currently holding the system.

Any stockpiles of RPs, components, or partially built ships may be destroyed when a system is lost, at the option of the losing player.

8. Interaction

Players can transfer control of ships (including freighters carrying RPs) at will. Players can transfer technology where two freighters are able to dock, or where one freighter lands on a planet with the appropriate technology; a sample of the specific system must be returned to a shipyard of the receiving power. Technological transfer is effective two turns after it has been physically transferred by the players, so long as the receiving player has spent 1/4 normal TRPs to tool up, transfer manuals, work out interfacing, etc.

Players need never attack one another simply because they both have forces in the same system. If a battle is joined, however, third party forces cannot join in with a particular side unless their communication nets and IFF are coordinated. This should be done before they leave their home base (or, at worst, under non-combat conditions).

9. Scanning

Scanning of distant systems is done by standard ship's sensors. Roll d6 plus sensor bonus, minus range in LY:

Roll Result
1-3 no useful information
4-5 number of gas giants
6 full list of planetary types present

Scanning for presence of ships may only be done effectively from within a system, and follows the standard rules.

10. System contents

Zero or more of the following:

Asteroid belts (about 20 RP)

Large non-breathable atmosphere body (PS 6, FS 4) (about 10 RP)

Gas giant (PS 8, FS 6 for operations in atmosphere) (about 10 RP)

Habitable planet (PS 6, FS 4) (about 40 RP)

Bodies with significant atmospheres act as level 2 screens against attacks into or out of the atmosphere.

11. Resources

RPs, or Resource Points, are the core of the campaign system. These represent a composite of agricultural and industrial production, produced by the populations of planets and consumed by the Navy. Each planet has a rating for the RPs it generates.

A single merchant ship may transport one RP per cargo space available (as designated in ship construction); naval supplies may be carried for the usual mass (so a fighter unit takes 6 cargo mass), but cannot in any circumstances be deployed during tactical play. RPs to be used must be transported to the site of their use (usually a shipyard).

RPs may be used for:

12. Ship construction

To construct a ship, RPs equal to the total cost of the ship must be allocated; however, this need not all be done simultaneously. Ships are available for use on the turn after the final RPs are allocated.

Each shipyard can process only its first rating of RPs in a single turn.

The maximum hull size that can be constructed at a shipyard is its second rating.

Each new ship class design should be submitted before construction begins, for validation by the referee; this costs one TRP (see below). (This includes designs from the books.) Note that taking advantage of breakpoints will be penalised at the referee's discretion.

The first ship of a new class incurs a 10% cost premium. The first time a ship of this class is used in battle, roll 2d6 for each system before the battle begins but after tactical deployment: on a double 1, the system fails under combat stress (thrusters are at half strength). The systems can be repaired at no cost after the battle, and the problem is thereafter corrected automatically on other ships of the class.

Note that ships with interchangeable components (fighters and missiles) should be designed and costed with the standard model of each; however, there is no penalty for constructing them with different models (though the higher cost must of course be paid).

Each ship must be named, as must each class; the class is typically named after the first member. Ships and classes will also have ID numbers assigned by the referee. This format is ppXXXYYY, where pp is the player's ID, XXX is the class identifier and YYY is the individual ship's identifier (both of which will be randomly assigned 3 digit numbers). Note that this number will change when the ship is modified, as it then effectively becomes a member of a new class.

A ship may be modified after construction (though hull size must remain the same). RPs equal to the cost of the new systems (plus 10% if the new configuration will be a new class, i.e. the end result is not an extant design) must be processed through the shipyard as normal; however, RPs equal to half the cost of the systems no longer used will be gained in return. The new class resumes prototype status.

13. Ship repair

Any shipyard can conduct repairs on ships up to twice the mass it can construct. RPs equal to half (round up) the point value of the destroyed systems must be allocated. This does not apply to systems expended in use: see below.

Damage Points lost are repaired at the rate of 1 per 10 RPs when the ship is docked at a shipyard.

Ships may be repaired away from a shipyard if a repair ship module (25 mass, 50 points) is available. RPs for repair must be carried as cargo (1 RP per cargo mass used). The usual RP efficiency rules apply.

Ships undergoing repair when a system is attacked may still join the fight. All threshold checks are at a 1 point penalty (as shielding and damage control systems have been removed). Systems under repair may not be used; other systems are powered down, and must be restarted: roll d6 each turn, 1 cripples the system (though it can be repaired normally by damage control), 5 or 6 activates it. Thrusters and FTL have a 1 point bonus. Thrusters come on line in two stages, as for damage. Any ships under repair not committed to battle are scuttled and destroyed if the system is lost.

A ship may be scrapped if it is taken to a shipyard; this gives half the value of its undamaged systems in RPs.

14. Ship resupply

Ship systems expended in service (rather than destroyed prior to use) must be repurchased at normal cost (at any shipyard), then transported to the ship that needs them.

Destroyed or lost fighters must also be repurchased at normal cost. Mixed fighter squadrons are not allowed.

Resupply can take place anywhere supplies are stored (including a merchant ship in free space), but not in hyperspace.

15. Shipyard construction

Shipyard modules in bases (or even in larger ships) may be constructed at the following RP costs:

First rating Cost Mass Second rating Cost Mass
10 250 70 25 250 70
30 500 210 50 500 140
50 1,000 350 100 1,000 280
70 2,000 500 200 2,000 550

Shipyards will have an ID number assigned by the referee, but must be named.

Shipyards should be designated as planetary or orbital. Note that this will restrict the ship types that may be constructed (planetary yards should only construct ships that will be able to leave the atmosphere), but planetary yards need not be built into stations if they are not to be moved from the construction site.

Bases must themselves be constructed at shipyards and moved into position by tugs; they may be constructed in modular sections. Planetary bases must be constructed with a level of streamlining appropriate to the tug being used to deploy them.

Planetary bases are constructed as stations, but if the world has a breathable atmosphere the hull cost is halved.

16. Research

Research is based not on the number of RPs of the culture, but the number of different cultures (planets) contributing to the side's research. Each inhabited world gives 1 TRP (technical research point), or 2 if a technical complex has been purchased for the planet (500 RP, maximum one per system). TRPs must be spent immediately, or they are lost: however, TRPs for a specific project may be built up over multiple turns. Once sufficient TRPs have been spent, the system is available; ship designs using it may be validated and constructed.

Research intended to emulate a system that has been encountered (e.g. in combat) receive a discount of 1 TRP (it is known that the design is possible). If a working model of the design/system intended for research has been captured, the TRP is reduced by 25% (and at least 2 points). None of this can reduce the TRP cost below 1.

Operating captured ships will leave all systems unavailable to the operating player permanently at "prototype" status (until research on those systems is completed, as above).

17. Espionage

Attempting to spy on an enemy held system is always a risky activity. It may be done in several ways:

Counter-espionage efforts may be made by the player holding the system. Each level of counter espionage costs 10 RPs and gives a 1 die roll modifier to all discovery checks made turing that turn in that system.

17.1. Discovery check

Roll 2d6.

Roll Result
3- The spy is observed and may be doubled. (The spying/sabotage fails. Spy ships treat this as a result of "4"; spies on planet may be doubled for a cost of 30 RPs from the system's stockpile. If this is done, the result is reported to the owner of the spy as a "5"; the owner of the system may then decide what reports to send on any future turn on which the spy is activated. A doubled spy in a system that changes hands is automatically killed.)
4 The spy is observed and may be captured. (The spying/sabotage fails. Spies on planet are automatically captured.)
5 The spy is observed but escapes. (The spying/sabotage fails. Spies on planet have a permanent -1 to future spying and sabotage rolls.)
6+ The spy is not observed. (The spying/sabotage may proceed.)

17.2. Spying roll

Roll 2d6, adding applicable bonuses, to determine the information reported to the owner of the spy.

Roll Result
7- No information.
8 Number of civilian and military ships in system.
9 As above, plus hull categories (to nearest 50 mass) for military ships and class designation of all stations.
10 As above, plus hull masses for all ships, and station ID and damage status of eachstation.
11 As above, plus class designation for each ship.
12 As above, plus ship ID and damage status of each ship.

17.3. Sabotage

An on-planet spy may attempt to sabotage an enemy ship or station which is on the planet or docked at a local orbital facility. The individual ship target must be specified (normally requiring a spying roll on this or a previous turn of 10+ for station targets, 12+ for ship targets). A discovery check is made as above; if the spy is not observed, the sabotage proceeds. Roll d6:

Roll Result
1-4 No luck
5 Ship partly sabotaged. In the ship's next battle, one system (picked randomly) will fail under combat stress as soon as it is used (drives will be at half thrust, other systems cease to function).
6 Ship destroyed. This spy is now at -3 to all future spying and sabotage rolls. (Optionally this may be treated as a result of "5", if the owning player wants to use the spy again.)

18. Orders

Orders should be broken down by ship and base. Orders will be executed in the order written.

Ship orders

Shipyard orders

18.1. Order resolution

    Engage FTL Move Stand Off
Intruder Engage Even battle Pursuit battle Even battle
  FTL Move Pursuit battle No battle No battle
  Stand Off Even battle No battle No battle

The first battle resolved includes all ships on both sides selecting the "engage" option. The owner of the system may choose the location in system where the engagement takes place.

If any ships survive this, they may then engage any enemy forces selecting the "Stand Off" option. The standing off forces may choose the location in system where the engagement takes place.

If any engaging ships survive, they may then freely attack other enemy forces (including those attempting FTL movement out of the system, merchant vessels, etc.). The position of the defending forces is usually implicit in their orders (FTL movers must be in free space; merchants will normally be attacked in free space, but may be attacked near their bases at the attacker's option; etc.).

Any surviving ships then execute their other orders.

19. Battle setup

(Taken more or less wholesale from the campaign rules of Reason mailto:reason@spacsun.rice.edu.)

19.1. General

The table may be moved freely as ships move around to prevent them from leaving the edge of the table. However, as soon as the distance between any two opposing ships exceeds 150", then the table becomes fixed until all opposing ships are closer together than 150", when it becomes a moving table again.

Ships may only leave the table when it is fixed. If a ship leaves the table, then it may disengage from combat. If a ship's owner wishes it to return to the table, then roll a d6. On a 1-2 it cannot, but on a 3-6 then it may return after that many turns. It is placed on the map edge it left from, with any facing and course and speed up to (Thrust*3).

Engaging FTL to flee may be done if FTL movement was selected as that turn's option; preparing for a jump takes some time. An unplanned jump may be made, but will displace the ship d6 hexes in a random direction from its desired target point.

For planned jumps, every turn, every ship still preparing may roll a d6: on a 6 it may start the final powerup on the next turn, or any time after that during the battle. Ships preparing for jump may still manoeuvre and use systems. A ship that disengages from a fixed table, or remains in battle when all enemy ships have been disabled or destroyed, may jump after the battle. Otherwise, if a ship does not jump during the battle, its preparation is lost; FTL movement must then be selected again in the next campaign turn.

The final powerup takes one turn, during which the ship may not apply thrust or use offensive weaponry. The turn after this, the ship moves half its move and enters FTL.

FTL cannot be engaged near a gas giant, or within 40" of a dense world, 20" of a moon, or 10" of an asteroid.

19.2. Free space

Ships will start at (40+d6*10)" away from each other.

All ships must start within 20" of all other ships in a fleet. Fighters and internally docked small ships may start docked or launched, as the player wants.

Ships may have any facing and course to start with, and speeds of up to (Thrust*3). If a battle came about from a pursuit (e.g. Engage vs FTL Move), the fleeing side may only have speeds of up to (Thrust*1).

19.3. At A Dense World

Either the dense world is placed half-way between the two fleets, or one player starts with all ships within 10" of the world. The choice is up to the player who ensured that the battle would be fought there.

If one player has bases on or in orbit around the world, then the other player cannot choose to start within 10" of the planet, even if he ensured that the battle would be fought there.

All ships must start within 20" of all other ships in a fleet. Fighters and internally docked small ships may start docked or launched, as the player wants.

Ships may have any facing to start with, and speeds of up to (Thrust*3). If a battle came about from a pursuit (e.g. Engage vs FTL Move), the fleeing side may only have speeds of up to (Thrust*1) and must be faced away from the planet.

A dense world is represented by a template d6" in diameter, and any moons by templates d6/2" in diameter. No moon can be larger than the dense world it orbits. Moons are placed at (2d6+2)*10" away from the dense world at a random facing, the innermost being the world's first moon, and so on.

The first base on and in orbit around a world should be given a random facing and the others placed accordingly. Orbiting bases will be d6" away from the world.

Orbiting bases and ships move one facing unit per turn around their orbits. A facing unit is defined as half the distance from the base or ship to the centre of the orbit.

Orbiting ships may have any facing, and may change facing as though stationary. In order to take up an orbit around a dense world or moon, a ship must be moving at less than 6" and be within 6" of the surface of a dense world or moon at the start of its move. It can declare that is is orbiting in its orders, and will begin orbiting that turn.

Orbits can either be Fast or Slow. Fast orbiting bodies move at one facing unit per turn in their orbit, while slow orbiting bodies (including moons) do not move in their orbits during the battle. A ship can leave orbit at any time.

An orbiting ship can land on a world anywhere within 2 facing units of its orbital position, taking 1 turn. A ship can also launch into orbit anywhere within twice the radius of the world, taking 1 turn.

Once a planet and moons have been set up as above, a note should be made of distances so that it can be set up the same way again for future battles.

Gravity: at the end of each turn, ships not orbiting are moved 1" towards a dense world and 1/2" towards a moon.

19.4. At A Gas Giant

The player who ensured that the battle would be near a gas giant may choose a gravity band from 2" to 12". Otherwise, roll 2d6 for a random gravity band. At the end of every turn, all ships are moved towards one map edge by the distance indicated.

Ships will start at (40+d6*10)" away from each other.

All ships must start within 20" of all other ships in a fleet. Fighters and internally docked small ships may start docked or launched, as the player wants.

Ships may have any facing to start with, and speeds of up to (Thrust*3).

The table may only move perpendicular to the direction of gravity; it is fixed in the direction of the gravity well.

Ships that leave the map by the edge closest to the gas giant cannot return to the battle, but ships leaving the map by other edges may do so as normal.

Ships unable to maintain altitude at the end of the battle are lost if no sufficiently powerful tug is present in the combatant forces.

19.5. In An Asteroid Field

Ships will start at (40+d6*10)" away from each other.

All ships must start within 20" of all other ships in a fleet. Fighters and internally docked small ships may start docked or launched, as the player wants.

Ships may have any facing to start with, and speeds of up to (Thrust*3).

Roll (d6*d6) for the number of asteroids on the table. Players take turns to place them, placing none within 12" of any other. Asteroid templates should be 1/4" in diameter.

Roll d6 for drift speed in inches and d12 for direction. All asteroids move at the same rate across the table. If any asteroid leaves the table, a new one will enter on the opposite table edge. Ships are placed after initial asteroid placement and drift detemination, which itself must follow fleet centre determination.

If the table is moved, then new asteroids should be placed on the new section, the same number as are taken off from the old section.

Asteroids may not be placed so as to collide with a base; it is assumed that the base was placed to take advantage of gaps in the field.

Collisions with asteroids are handled as per the rulebook.

20. Battle reports

These must be filed with the referee as soon as practicable after the battle, and should include:

The final owner of a system in which battles have been fought is also required to write the official news report. In a departure from reality, this may not contain untruth; however, facts may be distorted as desired. The report must, at minimum, give the time and place of the battle, and the powers involved.

21. Systems available

The following systems are available to all human players when the game begins:

Beam batteries (class 1-2)


Fighter bay (and fighters)

Fire control system

FTL drive

Manoeuvre drive

Damage control

22. Research TRP costs

A device costs TRPs equal to the RP cost of a single unit.

23. Important note

Please bear in mind that this game will be human moderated, so try to make your orders very simple and clear.