Playthrough session

Me and Cicci played out a battle between a TL 14 Scout on one side (with a single large laser in its turret) versus a TL 12 Subsidized merchant and it’s Launch. In our Traveller game she usually flies a Scout while my kids have a Subsidized merchant and a Launch, this was a test to see if the low tech Sub and launch could actually beat the Scout.

Both sides started secretly at the top or bottom box rows of the map (yes, they could have started on the same row, even the same square). The Sub was to touch any square adjacent to the planet and then exit out the same map edge it came from, the Scout was to stop it from doing that. We used the new 3.1 sensor rules which was much easier than the old  ones to use. The Scout spotted the Launch early on but didn’t see the Sub until it was close to the planet (I was drifting the Sub most of the time to save on Visual/IR signatures and also to save on fuel). The Scout shot out the Subs’ powerplant and the Launch killed the Scout’s thruster. The Sub could limp back out as its fusion drive requires no power, leaving the crippled Scout in orbit around the planet. Marginal victory for the Sub and Launch.

The game (as always) made for some changes in the rules and components. The main change was that the hybrid hitlocation system could somewhat unfair, a higher degrees of success should always result in equal or better options but that was not the case for the poor Scout player. She attacked the Sub from its RearLeft arc and as she got a Good hit the rules forced her to hit the Powerplant. Had the hit been fair she would have rolled randomly and had the hit been VGood she would have picked the location but a Good hit forces a certain hitlocation, in this case pretty much the worst location as neither weapons nor thrust relies on power in a Sub. I rewrote the hitlocation rules as follows:

Regular hitlocation

  • Fair hit Roll hitlocation
  • Good hit Attacker choose to roll or use facing
  • VGood hit Attacker picks hitlocation

Deterministic hitlocation

  • Fair hit Hitlocation based on attack facing
  • Good hit Hitlocation based on attack facing
  • VGood Attacker picks hitlocation

The big mapboard should have sensor boxes on the to make it easier to go between the boards. Not an important change for sure but still needed I think. I also added the option to make missiles with longer endurance at the expanse of thrust, this option can be used together with the coldstart option. Missile versions:

  • Regular Performance and as stated, price as stated.
  • Cold start Subtract 2G from thrust and double price.
  • High endurance Subtract 1G from thrust, double the endurance but keep price. Reduce PEN and DAM by -2.
  • Cold start high endurance Subtract 3G from thrust, double the endurance and double the price. Reduce PEN and DAM by -2.

Aerobraking never entered into the fight but I kind of liked the older version better, the one before the 3.1 update. I think I’ll go back to the more accurate and more complicated version, mainly because the chance of crashing into the planet goes up. If one cannot see through the planet one shouldn’t easily fly ‘through’ it either.

The final change was to add back in the very first integration rules where you get a cumulative +1 in Scan for each subsequent scan with the same ship, sensor and scan area. This integration bonus can never go higher than +3 and must be from the same ship and sensor type and it must be continuous from turn to turn. Actually, this rule highly overstate how well integration time behave in reality, realistic rules would give you +1 after 10 turns of integrating, +2 after 100 (yes, that’s more than a full day), one could rationalise this by assuming that the scan is actually concentrated on the parts of the scan area with better signal to noise than the average. The real reason for doing it this way is to give the playef a way to boost signal a bit, if you have the time and the target is stupid enough to linger.

After playing we looked at each other’s plotting traces and Cicci showed how sneaky/munchkin she can be. She deployed at the narrow, rightmost square-column knowing I would never waste scan area there and also helping her avoiding the sun direction. Sneaky! maybe I should shave off any partial boxes from the small plotting map? All the changes except adding boxes to the large map have been added to the Intercept bundle (including a fix for the sneaky trick Cicci discovered).

Favourite unit for space combat calculations: Rick, one Rick equals about 3 km/s and it’s the speed where matter has the same kinetic energy as TNT.

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