Re: Further update to PowerProjection.net - Ship Bits, SSDs etc
From: Dom Mooney <cybergoths@d...>
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2003 13:09:50 +0000
Subject: Re: Further update to PowerProjection.net - Ship Bits, SSDs etc
On Wednesday, December 31, 2003, at 11:36 AM, Matt Tope wrote:
> Yep, It would definetly be of interest.
From: theSea <starbase459@...>
Date: Tue Dec 30, 2003 10:21:03 PM Europe/London
Subject: [Traveller_FullThrust] Power Projection Fleet - some (long)
This is basically a re-cap of the post I made over at
Since I spent the time writing the thing I thought I'd
post it to this list and get a few more miles out of
my sorry prose. Apologies to anyone irked by the
If you like PP:Escort then PP:Fleet is a 'must have.'
PP:F is twice as long as PP:E. "Fleet" recapitulates
most (if not all) of the rules from "Escort" as it is
a rules set of its own rather than an 'expansion' of
the earlier book. For those already familiar with
PP:E, this material still bears careful re-reading as
there additions, addendums and corrections interspaced
throughout the rules.
One thing that PP:F does not have is most of the small
ship SSD's from PP:E. This is in keeping with the new
book's emphasis on fleets and capital ships. So no
Broadsword, but you do get the Tigress so I'd say it's
a trade up.
Some thoughts on what's new:
--There is some nice intro material, including
designers notes, which gives some insight into some of
the choices that were made in designing the rules for
PP:F - specifically as relates to the lack of specific
sensor and ECM rules - these are abstracted into a
'relative computing power' factor based on tech level.
In all, it seems that the rules are strongly slanted
towards speed and playability with the vector based
movement system providing a good dose of reality.
--Next up are the new Command and Control rules -
which relate to how many ships can be in a task force
and the effects of the Task Force and Fleet flagships
--Crew Quality is new - crews can be Green, Regular,
Veteran and Elite - with the expected die modifiers.
Crew quality is mostly there for the campaign level
game and can safely be ignored for skirmishes, as it
was in PP:E
--This is followed by the above mentioned restatement
of the combat and movement rules. new and interesting
here are gravitational effects, rules for fighters and
rules for spinal mounts.
----The gravitational rules seem to be pretty much
derived from traveller Book 2, which I'd say is a good
thing. There are several methods of applying the
gravitational effects presented, ranging from
relatively simple to 'needs a calculator.' I guess it
depends on how much of a Newtonian stickler you want
to be. Note that gravity effects both movement and
weapons fire (as was briefly noted in PP:E).
----The Fighter rules are, like the missile rules, a
departure from the vector movement system - fighters
have a base movement factor equal to their M-drive
rating and their agility and they can move mostly
unrestricted within that movement rating. This seems
to be another case of playability trumping 'realism'
and I want to get out there and push some counters
around before I pass any kind of judgement.
----Then there are the spinal mount rules. I'm sure
many PP:E fans will be buying PP:F just to get at
these goodies ;) Spinal mounts do 1D6 damage for each
weapon factor. For reference, the AHL class ship
carries a factor 6 PAWS and the Tigress carries a
factor 7 meson gun. With the threshold check and
catastrophic damage rules, spinal mount weapons are
going to be 1 hit = 1 kill against most non-capital
ships. Probably against some of the capital ships as
well. Luckily they can only fire every other turn.
PP's combat rules are.... well, they're vicious and
unforgiving. Ships die. A lot. Which is rather the
point, I'd say and definitely realistic in my book.
You really get that 'hammers vs. eggshells' feeling.
Of course that's just the reason that PP is not
particularly suitable for playing out PC level ship to
ship engagements in an RPG setting.
Ask me about the time a long range 'hail mary' laser
shot took out the bridge on my Sloan class escort on
Turn 1, sometime. Blasted lucky Zho-bastage
With the addition of the spinal mounts they're vicious
and unforgiving in a big way now.
--We also have Black Globe rules - pretty much
straight from High Guard. Not essential - but nice to
--There are some fairly abstract rules covering
boarding actions which will be appreciated by some of
those flying the 'flaming eye' out there.
--These are complimented by rules covering the effects
of psionics on ship to ship action and boarding
actions, so the slimy Zho's will now get their due.
--We get extensive rules covering jump operations ,
again pretty much straight out of Classic Traveller.
--There is a whole section on ship vs. planet combat
which is going to come in handy for the campaign game.
These rules include planetary bombardment and
assaults. Yes Virginia, there are deep meson sites
and it does indeed look as though they will be quite
--This brings us to the scenario generator. There are
two sets of missions - one for the 'intruder' and one
for the 'native' (gee sounds like CT book 2 again!).
Each side chooses a random mission with corresponding
buy points and victory conditions. This means that,
going into a scenario, you won't know what size force
you are facing and you won't know what their victory
conditions are. Victory conditions also vary
depending on whether you have more or less buy points
than the opposition - so it's possible to get mauled
in a lopsided fight and still 'win.'
--Sounds like a lot - right? Well that's just the
warm up. Now that you can fight with fleets, attack
and defend planets and systems etc. you're ready for
the strategic game. There are three versions of the
Strategic game - each more complex than the last. All
appear to be based on a combination of Trillion Credit
Squadron and Fifth Frontier War.
----The Tournament game is meant as a one off - you
each get a trillion credits to form up a fleet
- additional parameters come off of an annual table
that runs from 1981 to 2010. Sound familiar? It's
straight out of TCS. You then get to fight it out via
the scenario generator.
----The mid tier strategic game is called 'Clash of
Empires' and looks to be your basic TCS campaign set
up along the lines of the 'Island Cluster' campaign in
Note that no specific setting is given anywhere in
PP:F - you will need Traveller or at least some
supplements to provide a battleground.
----Finally there is the full on 'Pocket Empires'
strategic game - which looks to be a combination of
5FW and TCS rules.
The strategic game is played in one week turns and
uses written orders. How far in advance the orders
must be written is affected by C&C lag determined by
fleet tactics skill. There are rules for ship
construction, maintenance and repairs, determining
crew quality and logistics such as fuel and
What there is not, is a lot of guidance on how to do
the record keeping etc. for all of this work. But
we're all big boys and girls around here, so I think
we can figure it out. It's just good to know up front
that a lot of the 'nitty-gritty' of the strategic game
will be left as an exercise for the student.
--Power Projection does not include ship design rules
- it even says so on the back of the book. It does
include rules for converting ships designed in High
Guard, MegaTraveller or T20 to PP ships, so you can
use your favorite rules set (unless your favorite is
TNE or GURPS - then you're going to be doing some
High Guard is the standard - and there are plenty of
SSD's included for those who'd really rather not roll
their own. As there are a great number of canon ships
in existence (cf Traveller's Aide #7 for starters), I
don't think that PP:F is especially handicapped by not
having a 'built in' design sequence. Besides, you've
got High Guard - what else could you possibly need?
--The back page of PP:F includes a handy 'cheat sheet'
for converting Traveller star systems for use in PP -
basically it gives kilometer to movement unit
conversions and defines the various gravity bands...
so you don't have to.
--There are plenty of new counters and SSD's. There
are two pages of color counters featuring Jesse
Degraff's artwork printed on card stock and some 14
pages of counters and SSD's printed black on yellow as
with PP:E. Lots of new SSD's for ships ranging from
5,000dt to 500,000dt - for the Imperials and Zhodani.
The new color counters are very nice, but I would
recommend downloading the PDF of the color counter
sheets from PP:E from the Power Projection website and
printing those on nice cardstock for such things as
sand and nuke detonations. You *will* need a lot of
That was *a lot* of thoughts on what's new. Well I
guess I'll wrap things up with the following opinions.
If you like spaceship miniatures battles like Full
Thrust etc. and/or you enjoyed PP:E - PP:F is
definitely worth the price of admission.
I'm not a 'fleet engagement' type of guy - 400 missile
salvos on the board at a time does not sound like fun
to me, more like work. Give me a tense little battle
between a few small task forces any time... but there
is a lot in PP:F to recommend it even if you never
plan on broaching the Tigress, Lurenti or Idlev class
The strategic game has some definite potential -
perhaps even as a PBE-mail and just meet to fight out
engagements as needed. I can see some brave souls out
there breaking out their copies of Imperium and
figuring out conversions for the Vilani and Terran
counters already. I'm sure five or six close friends
could stay plenty busy for the next ten years or so
fighting out the Rebellion.
Dom - when are we going to get the symbol sets to make
our own SSD's? I've got some ships I'm looking to
convert. Sure, sure - you actually want to *rest* ?!
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