How big an area is Long Range in Starship combat, or Medium or Short for that matter?
However big the GM says it is? The ranges are somewhat abstract compared to games like D&D. Using the battle-mat from ‘Had my Mystic Mountain battle mat printed’, I’ll tell you what I would rule the areas as.
If your ship is placed on the exact center, where the dot is in the middle, then the 4 ‘pie’ shaped sections surrounding it would be considered close range. The next section out would be Medium, next circle would be long range, and the final circle would be extreme.
Alternately, the 4 wedges in the center could be considered as ‘contact’ with the ship, and the 8 blocks surrounding it would be close, then medium, and long being the final circle. As I said at the beginning, it depends on how the GM is viewing it and how they want it to work.
That is what I figured, but since I do not have the rules memorized, I thought I would ask to see if there was anything I missed. Thanks!
As you say it is abstract, (and we have had a player or two that cannot seem to grasp the concept!). When using this map we have played it as the ship is in a given segment/zone, not on lines or points.
Every ship in the same segment/zone is in close range to each other and every line you have to cross increases the range by one step. Again this is not across points.
For example if you are in one quadrant of the innermost “bull” everything in that quadrant is close, the quadrant to the sides are medium, and the quadrant mirrored on the diagonal is considered to be long range.
If you want set distances, a single zone can be thought of as a space approximately 80,000-100,000km across (so that, a ship in the middle of the zone is within transporter range - around 40,000km - of basically the whole zone). If you’re going with fixed-size zones, I recommend a hex pattern rather than a grid, as it’s a bit more flexible with directions of movement.
So, Close Range is anything within the same hex, Medium is anything within an adjacent hex, Long is anything 2 hexes away, and Extreme is anything 3+ hexes away.
This does interfere with some of the useful properties of variable-size zones - the ability to vary size can be a useful way to emulate some kinds of dense “terrain”, so the zones in a nebula or dust cloud can be smaller (representing limiting effects on weapons and sensors, and a need to move more slowly), while zones in ‘open’ space are larger because they can be traversed and scanned across quickly and easily (same on personal scale - a big empty room might be one zone, but a dense forest might be several, to represent how they affect engagement range, line of sight, and movement).
The abstract scaling of zones in both starship and ground level operations offer possibly the best example of how the Modiphius Trek system differs from many other RPGs. There isn’t a lot of crunchy nuts and bolts, which gives the GM and players both some flexibility to act outside of fixed rules, much as the Trek series have done. (The rules of Trek Tech were infamously variable in the service of plot during all of the series.)
Personally, I’ve been slowly house ruling some of this. I like to keep zones on starship maps somewhat loosely defined in terms of range, and it only really becomes significant for dialogue. (If the tactical officer wants a range to call out, I’ll come up with a number, usually close to what you’d get from Nathan’s estimate above.)
On the other hand, I’ve made the zones less concrete, stealing maneuver rules from Star Trek Attack Wing, and adding weapon arc data to the ships. Given the vagueness of weapon stats in this system, my arcs are also pretty vague, as they account for all weapon mounts of a single type across the entire ship. There are no starboard phaser arrays. Either the ship has phaser arrays or it doesn’t.
Unless a full stop is ordered, ships always have some forward movement from kinetic energy.
Range is no longer defined by static zones, but by the 3 segment Attack Wing range ruler. (Yes, I’ve also stolen a playmat from X-Wing for space battles…) Range 1 = close, 2 = medium, 3 = long and anything past the ruler is extreme range.
We’ve also modified ground level stuff for using gridded maps from Starfinder, DnD, and Star Wars, but that’s a separate issue.
Point is- it’s yours and your group’s game, so house rule to make it play the way you want.
I’m using the measuring sticks from Fallout Wasteland Warfare
How do you rule forward momentum effects? Do you require the ship to move to a new zone unless pulling to a stop?
Forward momentum is a simple, straight move at speed 1 (about 1.5”, give or take, using the Attack Wing templates).
Ah, I was thinking you were using the zones-style combat rules.
I use a hex-grid for ship combat.
I’ll note that the Impulse drives are probably not actually thrusters; they seem to be able to due near instant speed changes without killing the crew, so I suspect some form of displacement drive (essentially an STL Alcubierre-White warp field) … which, at STL, also has the advantage of making a starship impact not result in pulling cubic kilometers off the body hit when doing 0.1C to 0.75C…
Turn it off, the ship stops. I have allowed inertial thrust separately… cost in power is size, and it adds 1 hex per turn.
Forward momentum is not really Star Trek-y. We have never seen this to be an issue, except for maybe in niche situations.
As part of a Complication and when the engines are disabled, I could imaging the ship being pulled towards a star or something.
And yet, there are “thrusters” which are used in very confined spaces, i.e. spacedock; one assumes they are also involved in the ships attitude and orientation. Then there are impulse engines, powered by fusion reactors (which have a limited fuel supply - at least in TOS) and of course warp drive.
We can work out from STTMP that thrusters ahead full is about 1 to 2 m/s² … about 0.1 to 0.2 G.
If memory serves from the TNG technical manual, impulse drive is basically a reaction-less drive that grips onto subspace to pull the ship in a given direction. The exhaust ports on the ship are just that - exhaust not outlets for thrust - so a ship can move backwards on impulse. In TOS they’re powered by fusion, while in the TNG eram they seem to operate off the warp-core, which seems a little short-sighted to me!
Thrusters are real-world Newtonian reaction drives that push mass one way, so the ship moves the other. They can be seen on the series ships as the yellow triangles around the edge of the saucer (and other locations) which control pitch, yaw and roll, and also in the four grooves on the dorsal hull of the secondary hull of the TMP Enterprise (and I think the D?), for general forward motion.
Hope that helps?
The Impulse Drive on the Galaxy-class starship is powered by fusion reactors. The refit Constitution-class runs off plasma produced by the ships warp reactor during standard flight mode, the auxiliary fusion reactor when warp power is offline, or impluse fusion reactors during separate flight mode.
I stand corrected!
Impulse drives are powered by two fusion reactors on the original series COSTITUTION class.
Yeah nothing connected the matter/antimatter integrator on the ship’s original configuration depending on where the chose to locate engineering that day.