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Traveller Wargames Discussion of the various Traveller wargames and miniatures systems.

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Old April 19th, 2020, 07:59 AM
hammerquill hammerquill is offline
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Default Unnoticed counter errata in Fifth Frontier War

I know a lot of people have worked on building their own sets for Fifth Frontier War. I spent ages working on it some time ago, and then dropped the project, and am just coming back to it.

In the interim I actually found a copy of the original, unpunched no less, but I'm still building my own version, with a few improvements.

One thing though; there are some more mistakes on the counter sheets that seem never to have made it into the errata lists. The errata compendium only lists one mistake on the blue counter sheet, but there are a bunch of issues with the back sides of the ship squadron counters, mostly when it comes to the codes in the upper left corners. These indicate the ship type, and jump number.

Looking at the whole sheets, the preponderance of the evidence seems to indicate that Battleships, Assault Carriers, and Tankers (B, A, and T respectively) do not lose jump performance when they're flipped. Almost all the counters have the same jump number on the front and the back. Cruisers and Scouts, however (C and S), seem to lose one step of jump when they are flipped. C3 becomes C2, C1 becomes C0, S3 becomes S2, etc. Not obvious to me why this should be the case in RPG game terms, but it seems to be the intent.

Assuming the above schema is correct (and I'd love to know if that's Marc Miller's intended system), there are several errors.

1) The whole block of Imperial Battleships which are B3 on the front are B4 on the back. They should remain B3. No matter what the explanation of degradation of jump, it seems very unlikely that the ships will get better at jumps after taking battle damage - unless they lose large, heavy, but otherwise useless portions of the ship, and thus lighten the load so they can run away faster? Gecko-class battleships!

2) The three Vargr Cruisers are all C3 on both front and back. Since this is the only case where a cruiser does not lose a step of jump, I would expect these were intended to be C2 on the back. I suppose some case could be made for different starship design in the different culture, but all three other cultures represented have the same step reduction in their cruisers, so I expect it's a typo.

3) The two Zhodani Tankers magically become Cruisers when they're flipped. Based on the other tankers, which lose no jump capability, these should be T3 on the back as well as the front.

4) The squadron names on the backs also have some issues. The eight Imperial Assault Craft squadrons all have designations starting with TR, like the Tankers, rather than AR, like the other Assault Craft.

These are the only errata I've found so far, apart from the missing Streamlined marker on the one Zhodani Cruiser, which was noted in existing errata. I still need to do some further checking on this to make sure all the factor reductions make sense.

(Actually, I do think there's one other typo, but it doesn't matter: In those Imperial B3s, their squadron numbers are: BR 501, 502, 503, 504, 505, 507, 642, 643, 644, 645, 646, 667, 648, 649. I suspect that one was a typo, though we all know military unit numbering is often jumbled in real life.)
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Old April 19th, 2020, 08:31 AM
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They are not errors.

The B3/B4 are tender/rider combos.

A damage/loss represents a rider, so the jump performance of the tender now improves.

The Zhodani tankers are cruisers carrying lots of drop tanks - battle damage removes those tanks so they revert to their cruiser status.

AR/TR upon damage also represents the loss of the 'assault' component of the squadron.

Remember every counter represents a squadron not an individual ship, so damage to the squadron can change its nature.
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Old April 19th, 2020, 05:41 PM
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Interesting. And plausible. Where does this info come from? I admit I haven't reread every paragraph of the rules in the last few years. Is it somewhere I'm missing? Or is this assumed based on one of the other games?
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Old April 21st, 2020, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by hammerquill View Post
Interesting. And plausible. Where does this info come from? I admit I haven't reread every paragraph of the rules in the last few years. Is it somewhere I'm missing? Or is this assumed based on one of the other games?
Well, honestly, perhaps the lack of official errata addressing this suggests that it's, indeed, correct as printed.
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Old April 22nd, 2020, 01:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammerquill View Post
Interesting. And plausible. Where does this info come from? I admit I haven't reread every paragraph of the rules in the last few years. Is it somewhere I'm missing? Or is this assumed based on one of the other games?
I suspect it's from a multitude, but note that The Spinward Marches Campaign gives a more nuanced overview... and details on one BR 'ron. the ID should be compared to the countersheet.
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