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FFS pilot crew calculation


SOC-14 1K
OK, I have a question that has been bugging me for the last month concerning the calculations for determining the number of Pilots on a vessel.

The design states that the number of flight crew (vessel pilots - not subcraft pilots) on a ship is equal to the number of drive systems. With the exception of spaceships and X-Boats, a starship should always have two pilot crew in TNE - one for the maneuver drive and one for the jump drive.

My question is why? The only difference in piloting skill that is needed in TNE is atmospheric (Pilot skill) versus vacuum (Astrogation). You don't use them both at the same time.

The ONLY rationales that I could think of are 1) backup and 2) separate jump computation, but I don't like #2 because I would think that something as complex as jump vector calculation would require computer assistance.

This is minutiae, I know, but it is something that has been bugging me since I cracked open FFS again a few months back.
On very small ships like scouts etc it annoys me too though I generally do go with #2, the astrogator is required to plot the jump, not concern themselves with lifting the ship through (potentially) atmo. Computer assistance is essential, and even with it, I prefer it to be a time consuming task which, players, will want to accomplish asap from lifting especially if it's a "We're fleeing now" situation.

The inverse is I sometimes think the ships don't have enough crew as the rules essentially only calculate one shift. Where is your relief if you have to be on duty for more than 8 hours?

Command crew bugs me too though especially on small ships with large powerplants where the engineering crew numbers can really bulk up inflating your command crew which are supposedly all placed on "Bridge" workstations!

In response to you own question though in play if my players are short on for crew (and they usually are) I allow the electronics officer to double as the astrogator as both tasks will require the use of sensors. In Brilliant Lances Damage Control parties are determined by dividing engineering crew number in half rounding down and adding maintenance personel. I therefore concluded that engineering can be opperationally staffed by half, rounding up, of the listed engineering crew requirements.
Thanks for the insight, Badbru.

Yeah, I tend to agree with you there. The only other thing I would add would be to make tasks more difficult if there is one person doing all the flying.

No free lunch, and all that. ;)