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Looking for a Decent Ship Combat System


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I have Mayday, Book 2, the Missiles Special Supplement, GT, and GURPS: Starships. I don't have Highguard, MegaTraveller, or Power Projection.

I'd like to play ship combat scenarios-- not necessarily as part of a role playing adventure/campaign. I don't mind if the focus is hard coded for Adventure Class ships. I want some sort of workable game to play that has a Traveller flavor, is moderately playable, and has a fair amount of tactical depth.

I've looked at debugging Book 2-- ie reconciling abiguities and omissions regarding sand, pulse lasers, and missiles-- but I'm frustrated with that sort of thing. The GURPS material I have is light on game-aids and cheat sheets and seems oriented more toward integrating with GURPS rules consistently than it does with being playable on its own.

I'm leaning towards ignoring everything and just settling for Mayday warts and all because it is concise and stands alone. On the other hand, it would be nice to be able to design a variety of fighters and have them shoot each other up.

I'm really frustrated, though. Working through the material I have actually feels almost harder than designing a game from scratch. I have too many games that work out-of-the-box and I've ended up abandoning all my hopes for various Traveller ship games several times.

This is the last major "showstopper" for me to run a Traveller campaign. I realize that my being a BattleTech/Star Fleet Battles/Car Wars player causes me to bring different expectations to the table than most modern role players.

Any advice?

[Note: This is crossposted on the SJG Traveller forum.]
Hi there,
Serenity RPG

Serenity is a space game that offers an alternitive to space combat. I have not checked the ship combat system out but they treat the ships like characters and give them stats.

Is there anybody that have checked it out?
FASA's Starship Tactical Combat Simulator for their Star Trek game was very good. Hex based with a number of movement points depending on the engine power. Can do so much per movement point - bit like Battletech. Excelsior could run rings around anything. A bit difficult to get hold of now.

There was even a Starship Designer book, though it's Star Trek oriented.

I have both - haven't played the game in years though due to lack of players in the area and real-life commitments.
Power Projection looks like the way to go.

Maps, Counters, Scenarios, a new Iteration of FFW and TCS, a way to convert ships from High Guard....

I might have to get the next iteration of Snapshot (ie Close Quarters) as well. (That GT:IW lacks a weapon table is a major irritant....)

It looks like BITS has developed the several classic Traveller games to the 2.0 level.
JeffrO, I'm kind of the opposite of you. I went through a lot of skirmish-level miniatures games before picking up the Classic Traveller Games reprint and reading the Snapshot rules I hadn't played since eight grade. I suddenly realized they're better than all the more "contemporary" iterations of rules I'd played since then.

I've only now just started to take a serious look at Mayday, and I really like what I see. I'm not sure what you find lacking in it, but I don't doubt it has flaws I haven't detected yet.

Come play some games of Mayday with me via OpenRPG some time so we both can see the game in play and so you can see what you like/don't like.

More to the point of your original question, I haven't played Power Projection but I've played a bit of Full Thrust in my time (which is what PP is based on). Full Thrust is a great game. But it's strictly fleet-actions. One laser shot would incinerate a player-character style ship.
Jeffr0, have you considered Brilliant Lances?

It's kinda hard to come by these days (pops up on eBay from time to time). Although it came out during the TNE era of game supplements, it does an amazing job of capturing alot of the smaller personal/military ship types of the various Traveller eras (CT, MT, TNE).

Combat/damage resolution is quite detailed and from my sessions I would recommend only a few ships per side (2-3 on average).

But having alot of the classic vessels like the Kinunir, Broadsword Merc Cruiser and Gazelle Close Escort make it fun.
Originally posted by Jeffr0:
Mayday and Snapshot... straight out of the box?

No errata or houserules?
If you're talking about as a self-contained game, then yeah, Snapshot works out of the box. I don't love its version of character generation, and I don't love its scenarios, but they're playable.

Mayday seems to be playable out of the box, and the scenarios seem a little more balanced than Snapshot's, but I'll admit I haven't played much of it.
Well it looks like you want half wargame, without all the wargame elements, to the point of insanity.

If you're a Traveller Purist, I'd go with Brilliant lances, and convert.

MT has lot of flaws.

Mayday is very similar to CT.

The trick is, since it's vector, there is not a whole lot of turning and burning like you'd get in a decent set of star trek rules.

Traveller is a lot like modern naval, i.e. fire at range, via missiles. If that's what you are looking for then I'd go with classic using missiles supplement, but design your own missiles. We did that in my group for quite a long time, but it breaks down at the level of military ships, since CT has no PA weapons.

Oh , here you go. You also might take a look at Alternity, Alternity Starships, and Alternity Warships by TSR, late 90s their last game before WOTC killed it off so that it wouldn't interfere with 3rd edition D&D.

Pretty cheap on ebay.

Alternity has a wide range of tech levels as it is a toolkit game like Traveller, with the benefit of some 20 more years of RPG design behind it.

If you want a game with ships, and meaneuvers and such, and don't mind some conversions, Last Unicorn Games' Star Trek RPG is good for roleplay flavor, can be used weith minis, and has a most excellent free "Spacedock" Construction system .pdf available from trek-rpg.net

It's called Spacedock, but it is for starships.

Last but not least, Spacemaster by ICE is pretty cool. Again, heavy RP flavor, less wargame.

Good luck.
have you looked at the traveller game called Third Emperium? it's still in print and a very good tactical board game designed specifically with the Traveller universe in mind.