Category Archives: Rules

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Intercept space combat

Intercept space combat is a combat system for spaceships. It is designed by Anders Backman. The rules uses vector movement, blind moves and you can use Traveller starships.

Yesterday, Anders demonstrated the game for me and Mike. Anders then helped us with the rules in a small game where Mike used a Free Trader and I used a Far Trader. It was a great game, and I would recommend these rules if you want to play small space battles in great detail.

Intercept Space Combat

You can read more about Intercept at the Vector movement blog. There you can also download the rule for free.

Zhodani Base Awards 2018

Welcome to the Zhodani Base Awards 2018! 2018 has been another amazing year for Traveller products. Lots of new stuff from the small publishers (and Mongoose).

The first category is “Best Cover“. The nominees are:

The winner of the “Best Cover” category of the Zhodani Base Awards 2018 is: Spacecraft Design Guide from Moon Toad Publishing.

There were lots of Traveller products with nice covers this year. Lots of love for all nice covers. A cool starship image and an otherwise well designed cover was what won this year. (Ian Stead did three of the nominated cover images and one of them won.)

Next category is “Best Fanzine or Online Magazine“. The nominees are:

The winner of the “Best Fanzine/Online Magazine” category of the Zhodani Base Awards 2018 is: Freelance Traveller

Freelance Traveller has once again proved that they are the best fanzine by publishing bimestrial issues with lots of good contents for free.

Freelance Traveller has won this category every year since 2011!

Next category is “Best Adventure“. The nominees are:

The winner of the “Best Adventure” category of the Zhodani Base Awards 2018 is: Grand Safari from Gypsy Knights Games.

There were lots of fine Traveller Adventures for different settings published. But Grand Safari was outstanding. I love that there are six linked adventures in this book.

Next category is “Best Ship or Deckplan“. The nominees are:

The winner of the “Best Ship or Deckplan” category of the Zhodani Base Awards 2018 is: Hercules-class Heavy Freighter from Gypsy Knights Games.

There were lots of fine ships for Traveller published this year. I really liked the winning design that looks a bit like the Voyager II / Connestoga from TTA.

Next category is “Best ATU Product“. The nominees are:

The winner of the “Best ATU Product” category of the Zhodani Base Awards 2018 is: Cepheus Light from Stellagama Publishing.

This category always make me happy since you can always find so many cool ideas.

Next category is “Best OTU Product“. The nominees are:

The winner of the “Best OTU Product” category of the Zhodani Base Awards 2018 is: Element Class Cruisers from Mongoose.

Mongoose continues to produce good quality products for the OTU.

A final bonus category this year is “Best Free or Pay What You Want Traveller Product“. The nominees are:

The winner of the “Best Free or Pay What You Want Traveller Product” category of the Zhodani Base Awards 2018 is: Starship Geomorphs from Robert Pearce.

Starship Geomorphs wins because it is an amazing fan produced product that is also a work of love for the game.

The shorter jump

This post is about trigonometry in the hex-maps used for Traveller subsectors. The summary for those who hate maths is that a jump-4 is actually only 3.46 parsecs if you take the shortest route.

3.46 pc

As you can see in the image above is that if you want to go from point X (0503) to point Y (0101) it is a jump-4. The distance is 4 parsecs.

But if you wants to go from point  X (0503) to point Z (0103) it is also a jump-4, but the distance is actually shorter since you are zigzagging  when you are counting the hexes following the dotted orange line.

How much shorter is it? If we use Pythagoras, then:
a2 + b2 = c2
b2 = c2 – a2
b2 = 16 – 4 = 12
b = 3.46

If we use trigonometry, b = 4 * cos(30) = 3.46.

In the Adventures of the Starship Notorious the crew meets a very talented jump-drive scientist that helps the crew improve and calibrate their J-3 drive so that it can do 3.46. This will only work if the ship is unloaded and if a special jump-program is run.

From the Ashes

From The Ashes is a short supplement for the Cepheus Engine (‘CE’) and the Traveller SRD (‘SRD’) published by Stellagama Publishing written by Omer Golan-Joel. It covers five expansions characters united by the theme of character death and recovering from fatal injuries.

From the Ashes

It firstly adjusts the usual meaning of ‘character death’ within normal play.  If all three physical characteristics are reduced to zero, instead of rolling up a new character, From The Ashes provides straightforward rules for rushing a character to trauma surgery and recovering. But the devil is in the detail: there may be some permanent new  injuries. This can add history to characters – the loss of a limb or eye makes them more interesting.

Secondly there is an adjustment to character generation, replacing the standard injury table which draws upon the definitions carefully established in the first expansion. It makes character injury during generation harsher but with more detail.

The supplement then provides for simple optional rules in combat for critical hit bonuses for Effect 6 hits, aligning hits against personnel with hits against vehicles. This does make the game generally more lethal.

Finally, two higher technology solutions to near-death injuries are presented: Cybernetic replacements at TL12, and complete body renewal at TL16. However, both come with possible serious side-effects in the spirit of the trauma rules.

At 15 pages total with 10 pages content, this is a very readable supplement that offers a variety of interesting expansions for characters who suffer from fatal injuries and have one last roll of the dice depending on the TL of their surroundings and the skill of the doctor operating. At the same time, character generation and combat get a bit more fatal. The result can be used by Referees to rescue NPCs from death but now they have one leg, or are blind, bitter and have history with the PCs.

But, of course, the primary aim is for PCs to have options to trade death for the possibility of an interesting set of scars.