Saturday, August 2, 2014

Full Thrust Training Scenario

This scenario is designed to help players understand how inertia works and how manoeuvre orders are plotted.

Playing Area

The scenario is played on a standard 6x4ft playing surface. The map is fixed, not floating.
Six drones, or markers, are placed on the table: three on one side and three on the other. Each drone is placed nine inches from the table edge in two columns, one on the left and one on the right. The drones on the right column are placed 8, 30 and 52 inches from the base edge, while those on the left are placed 19, 41 and 63 inches from the base.


The player controls a single ship of any desired class.


The ship is placed at one end of the table exactly in the centre. It begins with a velocity of zero, a facing of 12 and a bearing of 12.


Destroy all of the target drones in the shortest amount of time.

Special Rules

Only beam weapons and pulse torpedoes may be used to fire on the drones. Regardless of the class of weapon, the maximum range is 12 inches. So, a class 3 beam weapon will still use 3 fire dice, but it can only be fired within 12” of the drone.
Drones only have 1 hull point, so a single hit is enough to destroy one.


A number of variations are possible such as, using different ships, randomising the location of the drones, have the drones move, give them more than one hull point, or even have them fire back. You can also place terrain such as asteroids or planets on the table to make movement even more difficult.

Example Play

The inertia (or vector) movement option in Full Thrust can be a little confusing to use at first, so this scenario can be used to practice how it works.

In essence, each ship has 3 attributes that affect its movement: facing, bearing and velocity. The facing is the direction the ship is actually pointing, while the bearing is the direction in which it is moving and the velocity is how fast it is moving in that direction.
Ships also have a thrust rating. This is basically movement points. Up to half of the thrust may be spent on manoeuvres, such as turning, and the reminder (up to the maximum thrust rating) may be spent on acceleration in the direction the ship is facing.
Once a ship starts to move, it will continue to move in that direction at the same speed unless it applies acceleration (or thrust) to change movement. That is, ships will obey Newton’s first law of motion: a body moving at a constant velocity will continue to move at that velocity unless acted upon by an external force.
So, let’s work through an example…
In the above scenario, the ship starts with a speed of zero. I am using a Federation Battle Frigate which has a thrust of 6. In turn one, I plot the following manoeuvre orders: Face 2, Thrust 5.
What this means is the ship turns to face direction 2 o’clock (costing one thrust point) and accelerates 5 inches in that direction (using the remaining 5 thrust points). In this instance, we can just move the ship to the new location 5 inches away in direction 2 and we know that its new facing is 2, velocity is 5 and bearing is 5. But now the ship is moving, it gets more interesting.

As it happens, the ship is now within 12” of drone 1, so it takes a shot. At this range and direction, the ship has 5 beam dice and it scores a hit so destroys the first drone.

Now we plot movement for turn 2. We are heading in the wrong direction to close on drone 2, so the best thing to do is change facing and accelerate towards the second drone. We plot face 10 and thrust 5.
To work out the ship’s new position, we first determine where its inertia will carry it. From the last turn, the ship has a bearing of 2 and a velocity of 5, so first place a marker at that location: 5 inches from the ship in direction 2 o’clock (red die). From that point, we then apply the manoeuvre orders, which were to thrust 5 in direction 10. So we measure that and place a second marker there: 5 inches from the first marker at 10 o’clock (blue die). Then we work out the ship’s new facing, bearing and velocity.

The facing is whatever the last facing order was, in this case 10 o’clock. The velocity is the distance from where the ship is now (ie where it ended its last turn) to where the second (blue) marker is. In this case 4 inches, and the bearing is the direction from where the ship is to where that second marker is. In this case 12 o’clock. So we are left with the new information that the ship is facing 10, bearing 12 and moving at speed 4.
Now we plot the movement for turn 3. As the ship is roughly heading in the right direction, we plot just a thrust of 6 (its maximum). This means the ship will move 4 inches in direction 12, then 6 inches in direction 10 (the direction it is still facing). Resulting in a total distance of 8 on a bearing of 11: F10, B11, V8.
For turn 4, we asses we are moving in the right direction, but may need to turn slightly to make sure all weapons can fire, so we simply plot F9. This means the ship continues to move 8 inches towards 12 o’clock, but finishes facing 9 o’clock. It is now within range and facing the right direction, so it shoots and scores a hit on drone 2.
The subsequent movement plots are as follows, and the diagram shows the approximate path of the ship:

Turn 5: F4, T5: resulting in F4, B11, V4.
Turn 6: F3, T5: resulting in F3, B1, V4.
Turn 7: T6: resulting in F3, B2, V9 just out of range of drone 3.
Turn 8: F9, T4, F3: resulting in F3, B1, V6 and scoring a hit on drone 3.
Turn 9: F7, T7: resulting in F7, B1, V1.
Turn 10: F11, T5: resulting in F11, B11, V5.
Turn 11: F9, T4: resulting in F9, B10, V8 and ending just in range of drone 4, destroying it.
Rather than go onto drone 5, because we are heading towards drone 6, I elect to continue and plot the following:
Turn 12: F12, T5: resulting in F12, B11, V12, but just out of range of the drone.
Turn 13: F4, T5: resulting in F4, B11, V7. We are in range of the drone, but not facing it so we can only roll 3 beam dice, but we manage a hit.
Turn 14: T6: resulting in F4, B1, V3
Turn 15: T6: resulting in F4, B3, V7
Turn 16: T4: resulting in F4, B3, V10, but we are in range and destroy the last drone (drone 5).