Full Thrust new and expanded rules

Roger Burton West
6 March 2002

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

These are miscellaneous new rules which I've found interesting. As far as is possible, they do not conflict with existing rules, just expand on areas which the current rule sets do not cover.

All these rules have been run past the GZG-L mailing list, and in most cases modified as a result of feedback there.

2. Other people's rules which I recommend

These are all rules which I'm inclined to use when playing Full Thrust.

Derek Fulton's sensor rules: http://www.users.bigpond.com/derekfulton/Sensors.htm

Alan Brain's revised MT Missile rules: http://www.warpfish.com/jhan/ft/Archive/2001/sep01/msg00670.html

3. Space-to-surface combat

It is assumed for the purpose of these rules that 1MU = 1000km. On this scale, Terra is a 13MU diameter circle; a large asteroid (Ceres) is 1MU in diameter. These rules deal only with solid planets with no atmosphere, or atmosphere that is thin relative to the size of the planet.

It is further assumed that the More Thrust rules for orbital and atmospheric operations are in use (pages 13-14).

3.1. Gravity

If the planet has significant gravity (more than 1 m/s/s - normally anything over 2MU diameter), all weapons other than pure energy weapons (beams, stingers and pulsers) which are fired or launched from it have their ranges halved. Multi-turn weapons, such as capital ship missiles and fighters, halve their movement on the turn of launch only. (Fighters expend a CEF as well.) Fighters entering this gravity well (to land or to attack ground targets) must have half their movement available at the point at which the miniature reaches the edge of the planet.

3.2. Atmosphere

If the planet has a significant atmosphere, this will act as a level-2 screen against all attacks which pass through it. (This supersedes any screens on the targets.) A fighter group flying through atmosphere expends a CEF each turn on which it does so. (Thus a fighter group being launched from a world with significant gravity and atmosphere expends 2 CEF just to get into the fight.)

3.3. Landing thrust

A ship attempting to land on a planet must possess thrust equal to 2/3 (rounded down) of the surface gravity in m/s/s in order to do so safely. If the planet has significant atmosphere, the ship must also be at least partially streamlined; if it is fully streamlined, it can get by with thrust of 1/2 (rounded down) of the surface gravity.

3.4. Planetary bases

Planetary weapon installations are constructed as space stations. They pay normally for basic mass and hull boxes, since even on a world with breathable atmosphere it's considered wise to have sealed systems. However, they do not pay for armour; instead, they gain infinite free armour by being buried within the planet. (That is, only damage that penetrates armour will affect them.) They do not have core systems. Races with multiple armour layer technology may buy additional armour layers to be placed behind the infinite layer.

A base must be placed at a specific point on the planet template, and may not have more than three, adjacent, arcs of fire.

3.5. Ortillery

An ortillery attack does d6 damage to a planetary base, automatically penetrating the armour layer (and screens). Its range is 12MU, and it can only be used to attack a base on a planetary surface - even the manoeuvre thrusters on a space station are sufficient to allow it to avoid such an attack.

3.6. Splash damage

Splash damage is the reason for ortillery to exist. All that damage that's soaked by armour doesn't just vanish; it's going to disrupt the surface of the planet. If there are civilians about, they'll die in large numbers. Scenarios may specify penalties for excessive splash damage.

4. Alert status

Alert status may be used as a scenario-balancing tool, or in a campaign game.

4.1. White (Dockside)

No systems are available. Armour absorbs damage normally; damage to hull is tripled (representing lack of power to redundant systems and lack of damage control).

Transition to Green state is not normally possible on the tactical scale. However, in an emergency (and if the scenario explicitly permits) it may be attempted; assume that all ystems (other than core systems) are damaged, and roll to repair them with available damage control parties as normal. As soon as one system is repaired, the ship is considered in Green status for purposes of hull damage.

4.2. Green (Standard Running)

Non-weapon systems are available normally; weapons are not available. Hull damage is doubled. Transition to Yellow-One status takes one turn.

4.3. Yellow One (Standby Alert) / Yellow Two (General Quarters)

Non-weapon systems are available normally; only half (rounded up) of PDS (and other weapons in point-defence mode) may fire - as the captain frantically unlocks the control boards - and other weapons are not available. Transition to Red status takes one turn.

4.4. Red (Battle Alert)

The ship is fully functional, as represented in the standard game.

5. Fighters

5.1. Multimode Fighters

The Multimode fighter (also known as the transformable fighter) is an unusual fighter type fielded, to date, only by the IJN. Some capability is sacrificed to squeeze in the transforming mechanisms, and pilot training requirements are extreme, but the result is a very versatile platform primarily intended for the anti-ship role.

The fighter has three modes: Fighter, Gerwalk and Battroid. It is not possible to change directly between F and B modes; one intermediate turn must be spent in G mode. Any mode change must be specified before the fighter is moved, and takes effect immediately; it is assumed that the entire fighter group changes mode simultaneously. Mode changes do not consume CEF. However, multimode fighters may only be launched from, or recovered by, ships while in their F mode (thus using conventional fighter bays).

B-mode fighters may swarm an enemy ship, concentrating fire on exposed systems at much shorter ranges than is usually possible. The fighter group must close to contact with the enemy ship - all point defence systems (including Beam-1s and Pulsers), on the target ship only, may fire with a +1 bonus during that turn against these slow-moving targets - and may then deploy a needle-beam-style attack. Each surviving fighter gets one attack, which acts exactly as a needle beam: it kills an enemy system on a roll of 6, and does a point of hull damage on a 5 or 6. (Core systems, screen generators and the FTL drive may not be targeted, as they do not have sufficient exposed surface features.) More than one fighter may attack a single system target, but no more than three due to space constraints on the surface of the ship; and all system targets must be designated before attack resolution begins.

A multimode fighter group costs 8 points per fighter, 48 for a group of 6. It is shown on the ship status display by a letter "M" in the fighter bay.

6. Tugs in battle

It is normally assumed that a tug or tender will deploy all of its attached small craft before battle is joined. However, this will not always be the case: ambushes are a possibility, and some people choose to model large freighters on a tug-barge principle.

7. Cloaking

The MT cloak is an interesting concept, but as written seems fairly flawed from the point of view of playability. This is a new implementation which attempts to be rather less genre-specific and more fun to play.

Cloaking systems are available in three grades:

Type Mass Cost
Basic 20% of ship mass, minimum 6 Mass x 4
Enhanced 30% of ship mass, minimum 9 Mass x 4
Superior 50% of ship mass, minimum 15 Mass x 4