Eject the core!

This came up in a session today where my crew got the ever living stuffing knocked out of them by the Dominion:

When you eject the core, does the core basically drop out and remain at close range? Or is it propelled?

Given that a ship needing to dump their core has likely taken critical damage to their engines (destroyed) and are therefore unable to manoeuvre, does this mean that the two are likely to remain locked in position unless a third party acts on one of them?

I may have missed something when I was writing my rules summary, but my players raised a good point that by design the core must be getting ejected away from the ship at sufficient speed to provide a possibility of avoiding the damage?

Thanks in advance

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According to the tech manual it looks like they are more reliant on the ship’s impulse drive to get the ship away from the core. It does not reference what produces the force behind the ejection.

I figured the same, as all the cannon examples show the ships moving at speed when the core is released. That all relies either on existing momentum etc, which isnt a rule in STA, or the engines being fully functional, which again by the rules obviously isnt the case. Not sure if there was a rules as intended addition to this?

Considering that Close Range in starship terms is still likely to be tens of thousands of kilometres, yes, an ejected Warp Core remains within Close range. The main advantage to ejecting it is that it’s no longer inside the ship when it explodes, so you take damage from the blast rather than being instantly destroyed.

I’d also still allow the ship to use thrusters to manoeuvre after a core ejection, as the thrusters are a distributed system with layers of extra redundancies, so there’ll still be some function even if main power/main propulsion is offline.

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Thanks for the reply. The scale of the range band was actually a point that I made to the players, and that did make a lot of sense.

I too allowed them to manoeuvre in the end, because of the lack of a power requirement, however this seems directly contrary to the rules? The Engines Destroyed condition literally states that the ship cannot manouevre. On the other hand, allowing this made the core going critical seem somewhat trivial (it’s pretty easy to dump the core and manoeuvre before the end of the round checks)

I can imagine these rules don’t come up overly often, but the way they are written does seem somewhat problematic. That said, a warp core doesn’t actually do that much damage, especially given that they now have no core for further breaches to affect.

The Maneuver task specifically states that it uses thrusters, which is a low-power system, basically just expelling high-pressure gases to propel the ship in space. If the engines are destroyed, then it is possible that the thrusters would be off-line until a repair check was made to negate the effects of the damage until they could return to a starbase to effect repairs. At the very least, you could increase the difficulty of the task, as well as the complication range due to the ship being damaged.

True, Warp cores do a base damage, and if they are still within the vessel when they go, you get to add the scale of the ship into the damage to nearby ships.