Starships for The Icy Shores

Rule Changes
Fuel usage is changed as follows:
Power plants use .01 * M * Pn fuel for four weeks of operations. This increases to 400 weeks when the ship is in low power mode (only low berths occupied, no gravitics, and no maneuvering.)

Jump drives use .4 *M * Jn per jump.

(M= mass of ship, Pn= power plant number, Jn=  jump number)

The jump drive used on the Scout is an Aa. It masses 10 tons but only costs 7 Mcr. It can only be used in a 100 ton vessel and allows Jump-1.)

I've tied the sensor ranges of the ships into the computers used and assume instruments are fairly standard, true sensor power comes from processing the information available. A type 1 or 1/bis allows detection out to 1/2 light second. Model 2 or 2/bis allows detection out to one light second. Midel 3 computers allow detection out to two light seconds. So your detached duty ships have better sensors than commercial ships but not better than the military. refitting a ship with a homemade or stolen type 3 may also be a campaign in itself.

The LBBs are a little unclear on non-starships at TL 8. Air rafts and g-carriers are available at TL 8 but no word on what drives are. Are TL 8 non-starships solely powered by reactions drives? For my setting I'm ruling that TL 8 ships use drives and power plants A-D but increase their fuel use to double normal. That will also allow me to use TL 9 versions of that ship with minimal modifications. TL 8 drives and power plants cost 50% on a TL 9 world like Earth. 

TL 8 Gravitics also can't be used to generate artificial gravity or inertial compensators so the ships have spin sections for the quarters when the ship isn't under acceleration. The central section of the ship with the fuel, drives, low berths, and bridge.

Sections built to spin have +50% cost and mass. An even or odd number of staterooms can be spun. Odd numbers of staterooms have one room broken into two half rooms with an occupancy of one each. The same number of tons must be in each of two spin sections. Ships with spin sections may not be streamlined.

Civilian Ships
SF1 Fleet Scout (TL9). 100 tons. Jump-1, 2-G. 42 tons fuel.
Model/2bis. 2 staterooms
1 double turret (B-Laser, Sandcaster). Air Raft. 7 tons cargo. Streamlined. 1 crew, 3 passengers.
39.3 MCr #; 9 months. 
Using a 100-ton hull, the Fleet Scout is designed as a courier or diplomatic escort for larger vessels. It has excellent sensors and is often used to scan beligerant regions and worlds it is transporting diplomats or officials to. It mounts jump drive-1, maneuver drive-2, and power plant-2, giving a performance of jump-1 and 2-G acceleration. Fuel tankage for 42 tons supports the power plant and allows 1 jump-1. Adjacent to the bridge is a computer Model/2bis. There are 2 staterooms and 4 low berths. The ship has 1 hardpoint and 1 ton allocated to fire control; mounting one double turret. There is one ship's vehicle: a 4-ton air raft. Cargo capacity is 7 tons. The hull is streamlined.

The SF1 requires a crew of 1: (pilot/navigator); maximum life-support capacity is 4. The ship costs 39.3 MCr  (including 10% standard-design discount) and takes 9 months to build at Tech Level 9.

The ship is often crewed by 4 who spend most of their trip in low passage if only to avoid monotony on long journeys in a cramped ship. Some entrepreneurs, however, make money by selling four low passages per trip. this is an older design and lacks the newer crisis berth system. Other complaints are the lack of maneuvering fuel at a destination. Some owners modify their ships to add two more tons of fuel at the expense of cargo space.

As one of the first FTL ships mass-produced the SF1 had a reputation for causing jump sickness, making low passage more attractive. The ships are frequently given to retired scouts for their use with the understanding the ship’s sensor reading and comm logs will be downloaded for the Scout Service on occasion. 

The most common modification of the SF1 is a commercial courier with a Model 1/bis and reduced sensor range. Cost is 28.5 MCr. Cargo is increased to 8 tons. Some owners convert four tons of cargo to a stateroom if they feel there's more money to be made selling passages. 

BT Bulk Transport (TL 8). 800 tons. 1-G. 320 tons fuel.
Model/2bis. 10 staterooms
4 double turrets (B-Laser, Sandcaster). Air raft and two slow boats. 270 tons cargo. 10/30 crew, 160 passengers.
109.45 MCr; 25 months. 

Using a 800-ton hull, the Bulk Transport is designed to transport colonists and their supplies. It has excellent sensors and is often used to scan worlds it is transporting diplomats or officials to. It mounts no jump drive, maneuver drive-D, and power plant-D, giving a performance of  1-G acceleration. Fuel tankage for  tons supports the power plant and allows maneuver at 1 gee. Adjacent to the bridge is a computer Model/2bis. There are 10 staterooms and 160 low berths.  The ship has 4 hardpoints and 4 tons allocated to fire control; mounting four double turrets. There are three ship's vehicles: a 4-ton air raft and two slow boats. Cargo capacity is 270 tons. The hull is not streamlined. The ten staterooms are mounted on a spinning boom in two groups of five.

The slow boats generally have two configurations. A general transport has 10 tons of cargo and 18 small craft couches. The other is used for refueling and long range recon and holds 18 tons of fuel and 1.9 tons. 

The BT requires a crew of 10: (executive officer, science officer, pilot, navigator, engineer, doctor, steward, two assistant engineers, and a sergeant at arms) with a ten man landing party/boat crews; maximum life-support capacity is 20. The ship costs 109.45 MCr  and takes 25 months to build at Tech Level 8. 

A Free Trader: Using a 200-ton hull, the free trader is an elementary interstellar merchant ship plying the space lanes carrying cargo and passengers. It has jump
drive-A, maneuver drive-A, and power plant-A, giving performance of jump-I and I-G acceleration. Fuel tankage for 82 tons supports the jump drive and one jump-I.
- Adjacent to the bridge is a computer Model ll. There are ten staterooms and five low berths. There are two hardpoints and two tons set aside for fire control. No weapons are mounted. There are no ship's vehicles. Cargo capacity is 35 tons. The hull is streamlined.

The free trader requires a crew of four: pilot, engineer, medic, and steward. Up to two gunners may be added. The ship can carry seven high or middle passengers and twenty low passengers. The ship costs MCr37.08 (including 10% discount for standard designs) and takes 11 months to build.

Solar Strategic Command
So, Terra is making a grab for all colony worlds in the Icy Shores. Terra obviously needs warships. For the basic design of the Terran cruiser I can do no better than pay homage to the Leif Ericson! Designed by Matt Jefferies, the Leif Ericson began as an Aurora plastic model kit in 1969. It didn't do terribly well (people have no taste.) It was then reissued in '76 as an 'Interplanetary UFO Mystery Ship.' Winchell Chung does his usual excellent job telling you about it here.

The ship turns out to have an incredible pedigree for Traveller fans and most others. When Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle wrote 'The Mote in God's Eye' they used the starship for the basic design of the INS MacArthur and rationalized some of the features to indicate that ship could enter the atmospheres of gas giants for refueling. Well Marc W. Miller himself used the book for inspiration and decided gas giant refueling was pretty neat. So the reason we have fuel scoops in Traveller is the Leif Ericson.

I mean if I'm going to use a ship in my campaign can I find a better one?

Some variants can be found here.

Mr. Chung was also obliging enough to calculate the internal volume of the ship from which I got a displacement around 3000 tons, which is pretty nifty to TL 9 (yes you can do 4000 tons but we'll reserve that for battleships and such.)

Component/ Mass/ MCr
3000 ton hull/ 0/ 330/ Streamlined
WX Jump Drive/ 120/ 360/ J-1 3000 ton Hull*
 Z M-Drive/ 47/ 96/ 2 gees
Z Power Plant/ 73/ 192
Jump Fuel/ 900/ 0/ /Jump 1 
Power/ 120/ 0 /4 weeks of operations.
Bridge/ 60/ 15
Staterooms/ 208/ 1 52/ staterooms
Computer 3/fib/ 6/ 27
Computer 3/fib/ 6/ 27 Back up
Cargo /377/ 0
2 Ship’s Boats/ 60/ 32
Hangar/ 12/ 2.4/ Fuel and stores for boats
2 ATVs/ 20/ 1.2
Garage/ 5/ 0 Fuel and spares
Hard Point/ 0/ 30
30 triple turrets/ 30/ 30
30 beam lasers/ 0/ 30
30 missile launchers/ 0/ 22.5
Missile magazine/ 45/ 4.5/ 900 missiles
30 Sandcasters/  0/ 7.5
Sand box/ 45/ 0.36/ 900 cannisters
Emergency Low/ 100/ 10
Fusion rocket/ 45/ 46
Propellant/ 600/ 0/ 8 gee hours of thrust
Armoury/ 24/ 6/ 100 marines and 100 crew
Briefing rooms (3)/ 12/ 1.5
Docking Clamp/ 10/ 2/ 300 ton capacity
Supplies/ 75/ 0/ Food and spare water, O2 etc. for 6 months

Tonnage 3000 Cost 1218.46 Mcr.

*The jump drive is a new model TL 9+ (triple fuel use as opposed to the usual quadruple fuel consumption.)

The ship is a very clean design. It has honking huge scoops on the sides. This is because refueling from a gas giant can be very dangerous! The military wants their fine flagship to do it quickly and get the hell out. Bring conservative/paranoid types the military uses not only M-drives but a rarity, fusion rockets that can fire out the back of the scoops and use ambient atmosphere to provide extra thrust. With the rockets and thrusters firing ship can make 6 gees. By itself the auxiliary rocket can accelerate the cruiser at 2 gees, enough for most gas giants. Note that most commanders will avoid refueling at a beast like Jupiter on principle. 

Note the fusion rocket is a beast and commanders are prohibited from using it in the atmosphere of any nearly habitable world unless under combat or emergency conditions. Also note it's a great threat to anyone trying to rush the ship. 

The hull is very clean and that's good for refueling. Laser emitters are on the hull, the rest of the turret working are internal. This means upgrading the weapons, repairing or replacing them are a witch (-1 dm.) The plates covering the lasers are engineered to be no impediment to the beams, they will blast right through any jammed ports. 

Three of the beam lasers are actually a single massive weapon powered by a lasing tube running the length of the boom and starting from the vessel's fusion generator. The lasing apparatus is used to start up the generator. The other end of the tube ends in a single triple size emitter firing out the nose of the ship. This turret rolls once for all three beams to hit and can hit anything in a 120 degree arc to the front. Any power planet damage will disrupt the lasing tube and shut down the nose mount on a 10+. Likewise hitting the nose mount will deliver a hit to the power plant (this requires a called shot at -4 dm or a hit with a natural 12.) Some critics have pointed this out as a design flaw.

The fusion rector is rigged to be jettisoned in an emergency. New emergency doctrine is for crew to stay with the ship unless it is completely uninhabitable.

The large hatch at the stern is the exit for the ship's ATVs. It also contains a docking clamp allowing the cruiser to lock onto a captured ship to board it easily. The clamp can hold up to a 300 ton ship. It also places the boarded ship in close proximity to the fusion rocket which is somewhat useful for intimidation.

The briefing rooms give the ship's crew or Troops +1 to Tactics for missions they have time to plan for. The watch has collapsible shelters and tent to use on planet. Typically they are not thawed in space unless they are needed.

Crew Listing
Captain (pilot)
Exec (pilot)
Helmsman (pilot)
Navigators (2)
Computer Officer
Communications Officer
Engineers (15)
Medic (2)
Gunner (30)
Flight Officer
Flight Crew (2)
ATV Crew (4)
Service Crew (6)
7 Midshipmen
68 Total
10 single staterooms
29 double occupancy

10 Passengers for mission specific roles (20 with double occupancy)

Note that Cozmo Heavy Industries has a lot of variants and size comparisons for this ship on his website

I used figures for supplies from the Atomic Rocket website. The extra compartments, fusion rocket and docking clamps are from MgT. I added some extra crew so there would always be a pilot on post and there would be a couple extra engineers to nurse the special jump drive and rocket. If a fusion rocket or jump drive acts up, no one is happy.

Rumor: The nose laser of this ship is a huge vulnerability which the designers downplayed. A laser strike there can destroy the fusion power plant (modify the hit effects if true.)

Rumor: The fusion rocket was added to the ship as a weapon to intimidate rebellious populations.

Rumor: The maneuver drive had has repeated failures due to lightning strikes and the rocket is needed as a back up when refueling.

The sensors are first rate (equal to the Scout Service requirements.) The huge cargo capacity allows the ship to easily be fitted for scientific (or spying) missions.

The military is upset the ship doesn't carry lifeboats.

Starport administrators hate these cruisers. Residual radiation around the rockets necessitate special safety procedures.

The ship boats are a pain to launch and tend to surge forward before rising to clear the shuttle deck. A sure and experienced hand is needed to avoid dings and minor damage.

Special thanks to Winchell Chung and Cozmo Heavy Industries for inspiration.

The Leif Ericson provides a model for the Solar Strategic Command Cruiser Mk 1. There are others being introduced. Starship design is relatively new and there is a lot for humans to learn.

Solar Strategic Command Cruiser Mk 2 (Marco Polo)- The Mark 2 cruiser expands on the nose mounted laser emitter. Two wings on either side of the 'sail' each mount a similar emitter which works on the rules given in the Showing the Flag At the Icy Shores (8/15/14.) These emitters increase the chance of damaging the power plant to 11+. Power plant damage may shut down any or all of the three emitters (roll 10+ for each to check.)

The Mk 2 has more extensive wings and has a +1 to rolls made for wilderness refueling.

Solar Strategic Command Cruiser Mk 3 (Omar Bradley)- The Mark 3 replaces the complex arrangement of the triple emitter system with regular triple turrets. The fusion rockets are replaced with 645 tons of additional cargo or additional frozen watch and troops. These ships are often assigned support roles, landing troops, moving cargo or tending smaller scout craft.

Battlecruiser Mk X (No designation made public)- The Mk X is similar to the Mk 2 but has a larger displacement. Most of this is in a sixth deck over and around the shuttle bay/engineering section. No hard data has been released on this vessel.

Rumor- The Mk X is an attempt to address several critical design flaws in the SSC Cruiser. It has no linked emitters like earlier ships. The fusion rocket is removed in favor of more dependable thrusters and the shuttle bay enlarged to operate a squadron of boats.

Rumor- The Mk X has new particle beam cannons in place of the nose and wing lasers.

Rumor- The Mk X has a new extremely fuel efficient jump drive.

Rumor- The Mk X has components back engineered from alien technology found by archaeologists.

Rumor- The 'fuel tanks under the wings are actually probes or jump capable message torpedoes.

Custom drop tanks on the Mk X allow it to perform wilderness refueling while the tanks are in place. The tanks may not be for fuel but liquid cargo or bombs.