Showing posts with label Deckplans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Deckplans. Show all posts

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Digging Deeper into Star Smuggler - Surprises in the Events Booklet - Battleship (e081)

Star Smuggler was a set of rules with two small booklets. The rule set was a 24 page booklet which included everything you needed to play. It was seamlessly integrated with a 20 page event booklet. In doing some careful analysis, I have yet to find a mistake not covered by the short errata sheet.

One of the fascinating things about the rule set is how well it plays off the event booklet. One of the complaints about this game is the number of "game breaking" events that can end your game via a single die roll. Well, those are flaws, those are features of a choose your own adventure style book.

Within the events booklet are hidden 30+ new items for the player to enjoy or be challenged by. They range from axes to battleships and when such items are stat'ed out, they never break the system laid out in the rules booklet.

I'll be taking a look some of these items, as this system can easily be fleshed out into a full rpg, complete with a campaign setting.

The first surprise I would like to look at is a ship described in one of the events - The Battleship. This is a TL-2 ship with 12 turrets and 120 hits. It's a beast. I took the time to stat it up in the normal parlance of the game. To say it's OP is an understatement, but Duke can be victorious over this beast with careful game play.

Using the basic ship, the Antelope, I extrapolated what a battleship might look like. I'm not happy with the re-skin of the Buffalo Transport, so I will be revisiting this ship's layout soon.

The first conclusion that I came to was the fact that this might be a Pocket Battleship. The limitation comes from the description of the ship itself. It's TL-2 ship, which is pretty weak.

Even so, it is a massive ship. The Pocket Battleship is 410 CU in size and it's the largest ship in this image. The Antelope is the smallest ship.


Let me know what you think. I'll be continuing this series on a weekly basis.

Monday, March 30, 2020

100th Day Post Celebration

Today, I made it to my 100 day playing Star Smuggler. I thought I should do something to celebrate. A few weeks ago, my dad sent me a foam cutter, so I decided to try it out using my drawing of the Buffalo Heavy Transport. 


Not bad so far. You'll notice I have a very shaky hand. My Dad uses these foam cutters like a kid uses crayons. I'm not very good right now, so why not check out one of his castles
Top view
Cockpit, top down
Cockpit, bottom up
Rear of ship, bottom side
Bottom of ship
I've only cut the rough details and not even all of them. The aft bottom of the ship is nearly featureless. I can't wait to finish this project.

Wish me luck!

And thank you for sticking around for 100 days of game play.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

More Pen Work

What do you think is going on? My wife has asked for a new tattoo, I've been doing starship deckplans. How could those to things come together.

Perhaps, one is warm up for the other. 


Maybe I am thinking of a new project.


Or two.



Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Eagle Torch Ship Deckplans

I've been making deckplans for Star Smuggler style ships, which probably also could be included a great deal of other gaming products. This one didn't work out, but I like the style so far. This is good Inkscape practice.


I'm not done by a longshot, but some of the ideas running through my head is a mercury capsule like crew compartment at the nose, surrounded by all kinds of mechanical workspaces. The large rounded wings like structures are for solid cargo while the circular parts are for liquid and gaseous materials. The engines are inaccessible by the crew, except by spacesuit. 

I'm still brainstorming ideas. I pictured this vessel as a control space, an engine, life support and a lot of open space not really dedicated for anything. If it has a shuttle, there are probably two double parked in one of the larger areas of the ship. It is not optimal for any purpose except space for work. 

Monday, March 16, 2020

Alicorn Light Transport for Star Smuggler and Other Science Fiction Games

I named a second ship the Alicorn while playing, but this would be Emily's dream ship. It can be purchased at the outset or from e036.


This ship has 161 CU of space and is configured for crew comfort. It has dual bays, which are interchangeable, but most of the time the Boat Bay is on the port side. For humanitarian missions, sometimes both bays are for cargo or carries a hopper in each. The two cargo tanks can carry liquids and gases only, which can be mixed in any combination. They are plumbed to refuel the ship's hopper. Aside from this, they can only be loaded and reloaded from the exterior. They are not detachable. It does not have a stasis unit or hidden compartments. The Alicorn can take 8 hits before being destroyed.

The ship has an unusual set of hypercharges. It carries 5, but the fifth hypercharge is special. In an emergency, it can be used 3 times. If the fifth charge is used at all, the engine needs an overhaul before more hypercharges can be installed. The cost of this is 1000 secs. on top of the price for the hypercharges themselves.

If you would like to incorporate this into Star Smuggler, I have pricing and other information here to mix into e001 and e036.

Buffalo Heavy Transport for Star Smuggler and Other Science Fiction Games

On page two of the Star Smuggler rules comes some sage advice. "Gamemasters of science fiction role-playing games may wish to use this as an adventure or campaign guideline (with appropriate rules adjustments to suit their own RPG system)."

It is now time for some adjustments.

This is the Buffalo Heavy Transport. It tops out at 290 CU.

The Buffalo has some rather interesting quirks. The boat bays are mounted topside of the ship meaning that replacement boats must be flight ready. The boat bays also have enough room for the boat plus skimmer, usually deployed on the boat. The centerline bay is meant for ingress and egress and also has sufficient space for single skimmer. A ramp deploys out the bottom of the ship. The port and starboard bays are big enough for a tank or a ship's boat. Crew quarters are shown in their spacious configuration and can be further partitioned for more crew. This ship has no hidden compartments. Pilotage is so spacious, players must purchase one stasis unit per chair (3) to protect everyone in the space. The Buffalo has 8 hypercharges and can take 15 hits before being destroyed.

If you would like to incorporate this into Star Smuggler, I have pricing and other information here to mix into e001 and e036.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

USN Cetus and Chesterton Transport

USN Cetus
I have this horrible cough which is preventing me from working in ink. I have managed to cobble together final designs for USN Cestus and the Chesterton Transport ship in Inkscape.

Yesterday, I posted a lot about the Chesterton Transport Ship, so today I will lead with the USN Cetus.

The Cetus has four decks, like the transport, but their arrangements are wildly different.

Deck 1 is dedicated to sensors and a pair of anti-missile turrets.

Deck 2 is the shuttle operation and missile deck. It serves as the main point of ingress and egress for the crew. Often, the missiles are replaced with shuttles. Theoretically, the ship has a secondary capacity for missiles on the lower deck. Because this is a government operation, the ship often has no missiles in either location. Shuttles and drones are cheaper.

There are 4 common ships carried here. The Cetus can carry 3 manned Centaur or 4 unmanned Zombie fighters. Typically, doesn't carry anything so advanced. It is normally equipped with a pair of ABLE recon drones and a Fastback shuttle. The ABLE drone is a wonderful sensor package, but the Fastback shuttle is perversely named vehicle. It's roomy, but profoundly slow. It has two massive doors on either side like a conversion van. It carries 12 passengers or very small cargo loads.

As mentioned before, next deck holds the crew quarters slung between the fuel pods and engine mounts. The Equipment Locker holds many cargo/weapons tractors and fire fighting equipment. Two more Phalanxes are mounted on the leading edge of the ship, which makes this Frigate a wonderful carrier escort. The heavy weapons spaces are designed to carry continent busting nukes, but this configuration is rarely loaded out. The "heavy weapons" are often a pallet of 2 lasers and a single railgun, port and starboard. Sometimes, the Cetus class carries just one of these pallets with the other space being given over to either special sensors or rarely, extra space for the crew. Typically, the officers will sleep in this space, if given a chance.

The lowest deck has the main airlock, which is identical to the Chesterton's hatch. It has very little purpose on the Frigate variant. The Consumable Hold is jam packed with food. The Cargo Bay carries an unusual mix of rescue pallets and maintenance materials. There is a running gag that one Cetus can build a second Cetus from the stuff jammed in the holds.

The Chesterton Transport
Ok, back to the Chesterton. This ship features a science package on Deck 1. This deck is called the Nerd Nest as the science packages are not determined by the ship's owner. The sensors and experiments are specified in the Decadal Survey, which is the result of suggestions by the greater science community. The crew has a manual for maintenance, but only the nerdiest crewmen and women understand the equipment placed here.

Shuttle Operations is two lies for one. Most Chesterton owners cannot afford shuttles for their ships and unlike the Cetus, this space is poorly arranged for commercial shuttles. Usually each Chesterton has a hanger queen, which is only used to test to the inadequate facilities. More often than not, this area is used for recreation. The shuttle refueling lines are bled dry to prevent accidents when used for crew activities.

The third deck is well appointed with crew space to the fore and a large central Engineering space. Having Engineering in the center of the ship supports improved crew and ship safety. In an odd quirk, the bridge is arranged just like the CIC on a Cetus. This was in case of a wartime refit. This only occurred twice in the history of the program and the CIC was the only part of the ship requiring large modifications. The bridge of the Chesterton is far more roomy than the CIC of the Cetus as it has far fewer fittings for crew consoles. The "small holds" are actually larger than crew quarters and have adjustable atmospheric controls.

Deck four carries the lion's share of cargo. Strangely, it has small tractors, trams and locomotives to transport cargo from one ship to other via the main hatch. Unlike the Cetus, the main hatch is used as the main entry point for the crew.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

The USN Chesterton, Growler and Variants

I'm not feeling so hot tonight. I have a cough and cold, so I can't do detail work. I figured I will just do the write up on this ship. This is middle and largest deck of 5 levels. 

The USN Chesterton was peace-time design for a frigate. The ship featured a large central engineering bay with the bridge just fore of it. Along the front rim of the disc, a variety of weapons were mounted. In the aft area were the crew quarters along with the main elevators. The engines were mounted at an angle, which gave the ship incredible maneuverability at the cost of top speed. 

Since this was a peace-time design, the frigate never made it off the drawing board. Instead, it was re-purposed into heavy tug and transport vessel. 


This configuration necessitated switching the crew quarters away from between the engines to the forward section of the ship where the weapons would have been in the name of safety. It was felt that damage to the engines could too easily breach the hull and kill the crew. USN crews fight suited, so this was not a concern for a frigate. 

When the war started, the Chesterton dry dock facility was already tooled up for transport production and switching to frigate production was easy. Since there were a great many Chesterton tugs and transports already plying the spaceways, this variant was given the name of "Growler" to set it apart. Before the first ship was released from the dock, the class name was changed again to "Cestus".

Because the Chesterton was a proven design, the Cestus/Growler configuration was only minimally tested. The placement of the tightly packed crew quarters in the rear of the ship was never studied. The crews soon found that the engines caused vibrations in the crew spaces. Unofficially, the crews reverted to the "Growler" designation as commentary on the ship's qualities. While not a fatal flaw, the ship was strongly disliked by their crews.

The first and last ship of the Cestus class do not have these problems as they were built to the specifications of the Chesterton for special missions such as mine warfare and electronic intelligence collection.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Dervish and Sword and Flame

The USN Thresher
Prototype
I am try to get the hang of Inkscape. It's going pretty well. I have made improvements to the Sword and the Flame (Thresher) class ship deck plans.

I have even created a variant of it called the Dervish. You can read the write up on the Thresher ship here.

The Dervish is still a work in progress and is far less bleeding edge than the first ship. You can tell that they were built on the same hull, but their operations are completely different. Owning to the fact that the Dervish does not have a unique and experimental engine, the hull is completely smooth.

The USN Dervish Class
The Dervish is a platform designed for modification. It was first designed for engine research followed by a search and rescue ship. Other varients are a scout ship, a science/explorer ship or a gun boat. The ship's interior is a wasp shaped affair with fore and aft open spaces for research. The belt of the ship provides 8 bunk rooms for the crew. As a military ship, this is luxurious.

8 domes are suitable for sensors, science experiments or in the case of the gun boat, weapons. There will be a lower deck, but is sparse on amenities. These are more like semi-optional palettes on an F-15, they contain consumables, with little space for moving around. Unlike the Thresher, the Dervish has no turret.

The search and rescue variant has airlocks on the aft domes and auxiliary thrusters on the fore domes. The test model mounts engines in the fore and aft compartments, which vent out the domes. For testing, instrumentation is mounted on the exterior.

I haven't designed the engines for the Dervish yet, but they will be powerful for a ship of it's size. They will extend the lenth of the ship by about 1/3.




Saturday, February 15, 2020

Starship Design - Centaur Transport

The Centaur Transport is a very successful design, for a warship. It is a mediocre transport. The central hull of the ship is of fixed design with 2 mass drivers as propellant. The wing pods are interchangeable cargo spaces. In this image, the right is plumbed for liquids while the right carries 20 missiles in VLS tubes and 12 nose mounted drones.

The ship is a tumbling pigeon design, meaning gravity is generated by having the ship flip end over end along it's flight path. All work is done in the back end of the ship, in front of the spherical weapons room. Typically, the crew only spins up the ship when they are coasting for long periods of time.

While this depiction shows missiles and drones, this is actually the least commonly used loaded out. The ship's mass drivers make a very effective weapon.

When used as a transport instead of a gunship, it uses aerobraking to slow down to orbital speeds before using small thrusters to match orbits. It is a very ungainly design for a transport.

As a gunship it simple barrels in on it's target, VIFFing (Vectoring in Forward Flight) to dodge fire while using the mass drivers to bombard the enemy as it slows down.

The USN Thresher AKA Between the Sword and the Flame

In my last post, Duke Springer and the crew of the Antelope battled a Talitarian scout ship. Quite possibly, this ship is my favorite ship ever.

Rather than doing a mod of it, I have redesigned the ship from the ground up and designed a deckplan and backstory for this version.


The United Space Navy's Thresher Scoutship utilizes bleeding edge technology which is not available except for a few prototype ships. The ship is tiny. After the size, the next notable feature is it's engines.

Interior, with engines off done in Inkscape.
The engines have four nodes which manipulate space-time in some rather horrifying ways. The engine requires that the ship be sealed from the outside while the interior can have NO closed spaces. To meet this requirement, the hull was grown from a single seed of metal. The walls look organic and flowing. The engine is called "the Flame" by the crew as it throws off a flickering light throughout the interior of the ship. Anecdotally, it is reported that any one who enters the engine area while the ship is in motion is erased from the entire space-time continuum as if they never existed.

In the center of the ship is a single turret and four staterooms. While these spaces have doors, they are not sealed to be airtight. The "turret" is a standard crewspace for the gunner which can move like a regular ball turret, but the gun mount on the exterior of the ship is actually a tiny remote piloted vehicle which flies in formation with the ship at all times, as if it was attached to the vessel.

On the starboard side of the ship is a second weapon, called "the Sword". It is a gravometric weapon which will kill any humans in the target area. It can strike inside an enemy ship without passing through the intervening space or shields and armor. "The Sword" theoretically has unlimited range, but the crew must have details of the target point, which means it is limited to sensor range.

It's a surgical weapon, but is subject to considerable quantum uncertainty when fired. It often fires with no measurable results. "The Sword" has one other side effect. It will kill any crew inside the Thresher in front of the barrel. For this reason it is fired with a delayed trigger so the crew can take refuge in the turret area or staterooms.

A final quirk to this weapon is it will not operate unless it is mostly sealed away from the rest of the ship. It does have a connection to the engines. The area which looks like a hatch is welded closed before take off and cannot be serviced in flight.

The engines also have a similar disconcerting quirk. They must be operated from behind. A crew of three engineers are stationed in the back compartment and cannot leave this area while the ship is in operation. The engines require exactly 688.5 kg of mass to be located in this space and three living people. No one knows why.

This is just enough room for food, water and air for three days, plus 3 people and 3 space suits. Typically these crewmen stay suited for the duration of the flight as it makes weigh distribution static.


Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Updated Designs - Blockade Buster Ships

I didn't like how the quarters looked in the last version, so I updated them. I might have to thicken the walls, it's a start.



Sunday, February 2, 2020

New Generic Deck Plans

I'm still tinkering with Inkscape. This is a much larger vessel than the Blockade Buster. This is deck one of 3 or 4. 

Let me know what you think in the comments. 


Once you start designing ships. You can just stop. Check out this Lego set for the ISS. The picture below is a link to Lego.com, where you can support this site via commissions on a purchase. 


Generic Starship and Small Craft Deckplans

As promised, here are some generic deck plans for the Blockade Buster and associated Boats. The Orbiter Bay can hold a Hopper class boat, an Intercept or a Fast Boat, but the Boat Bay is limited to Hoppers, Interceptors and Fast Boats.


I designed these ship's boats with the idea that the Orbiter is 20% bigger than the Interceptor or Fast Boat. The Fast Boat has more fuel than the Interceptor, but the Interceptor is quicker and more agile than the other two.


Starship Deck Plans for Hopper Alternates (Star Smuggler)

I came up with three alternates for Ship's Boats. One is a completely new product, an Orbiter, which takes up 50 CU inside a 60 CU cargo bay. It really not a good choice for the Antelope, but it can be done.

The Orbiter is roughly 25% bigger than a Hopper Ship's Boat. It is able to carry a skimmer. This ship is big enough to provide it's own Life Support just like a Starship. Even though it has enough cargo space for guns, there is no way to mount them due to the wing configuration. It is always unarmed.

The second ship is a regular sized Hopper, but reconfigured for longer trips. It does not provide Life Support, so some cargo will have to be used for that.

The third ship is called an Interceptor, because... well, it's an interceptor. It has integrated guns. They can be upgraded or downgraded, but never removed. It has a dedicated space for Fuel and Life Support Units. These spaces can't be used for other things, just like the gun space.

Each and every one of these ships have the ability to break out of gravity wells. See r214b. The Orbiter must use it's cargo for fuel to escape, while the other two ships can do it with just their fuel tanks. The Orbiter has a max power of 15, the Fast Boat has a rating or 16 and the Interceptor has a rating of 20.

In order to boost to a speed of 20, the Interceptor must purchase external fuel tanks on the planet is is leaving. Each tank holds just enough fuel to break orbit from that planet and are jettisoned on take-off. These tanks can be purchased for standard price 500 each and are available from ground based areas which offer offer Hypercharges (eg. e025). These tanks are extraordinarily dangerous and can only be stored on a planet or on a military vessel, like a carrier. They are never available at space stations.

All three of these items can be purchased or sold from e034 or e035. They can never be found in the Ruins.

Prices are:

Orbiter, e034. 1800 secs. base price. e035 is 2400 secs.
Fast Boat, e034. 1000 secs. base price. e035 is 1500 secs.
Interceptor, e034. 2500 secs. base price. e035 is 5000 secs.

Check out a Wacom Tablet at New Egg. Each click support this website via commission. The picture below will take you to NewEgg.com.


Starship Deck Plans for Antelope Alternates (Star Smuggler)

A few weeks ago, I brainstormed an Antelope-class starship alternate. I inked out a Buffalo-class starship. I really didn't like how it looked, but did like some of the ideas.

Last night, I busted out the Wacom Tablet and gave it another go. It turns out I am really not good with either Inkscape or a Wacom Tablet and had to resort to mouse and keyboard. However, the results were nice. I came up with one new design I call a Blockade Buster, which is designed to fight and fly. It is more than twice the size of an Antelope-class starship and has a couple of different options for cargo and ship's boats.

First, the ship. The Antelope-class has 126 CU of space. The Blockage Buster has 256 CU of carrying capacity, but some of it is limited. The Boat Bay, Cargo Bay 1 and turrets are identical to those of the the Antelope-class.


However, the Blockade Buster has two turrets. Engineering, and Pilotage is twice the size of the Antelope's. There is a Bay for an orbiter, which is a larger shuttle that can carry a skimmer. The Cargo Bay 2 is specifically designed for consumables. It can hold one skimmer and has 36 racks for any type of consumable unit, such as Life Support, Repair or Fuel. In the corner is space for 4 Utility Suits. There is a locker for weapons near the officer's quarters. On the opposite side of the ship is a large suite of rooms for crew quarters. The Blockade Runner holds 12 hypercharges.

Special Rules for this ship: There are no hidden storage places. Cargo Bay 2 cannot be reconfigured to hold other items, the racks are a part of the hull. The ship has no installed Stasis Units. This ship has 12 hits.

If you would like to incorporate this into Star Smuggler, I have pricing and other information here to mix into e001 and e036.

Next post, we'll look at the Alternate Hopper Class Boats. I will also post some generic deck plans for any game system.

Check out a Wacom Tablet at New Egg. Each click support this website via commission. The picture below will take you to NewEgg.com. 

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Playing with Inkscape and an Orion Type Ship

If I could make my own universe, I'd probably run with something like Traveller. However, the ships I have in mind are sort of WTF level.

This is an Orion Type ship. I'm tinkering with Inkscape and coming up with ship designs. This one is a Bixby class exploration ship. The difference between battleship and explorer is slight with an Orion class ship.

Typical models are 10 meters across and about a hundred meters long. The long spar from the base to the top is where the payload goes, which I haven drawn yet. The whole ship is over 600 meters long.

Orions don't scale down, period. 10 by 100 meters is an arbitrary limit that one hits if you merely want to fill a spaceship with niceties like a 50-100 kg barber chair just because you might want one.


Typical Orion type ships have HUNDREDS of kiloton nuclear devices used to push the ship forward. This one probably has thousands. The grey area above the orange is the magazine for these propulsion devices. Often, the nuclear device will be deployed by a gun like mechanism through a hole in the pusher plate. That is option 1.

Option 2 is to have the nuclear device mounted on a missile that flies out the sides of the ship and to the target area 30 meters behind the pusher plate. The delivery rate is a leisurely 1 device per 1.1 seconds and one launcher would have the ability to perform this task. However, this ramped up version has 16 launchers, each one capable of launching nukes once a second, plus the gun-like arrangement at the bottom.

Theoretically, this is an unarmed ship. You can read a story about it in action here. The tech level in this story is all over the place, no FTL, but lots of AIs and reefer sleep. The AI is beginning to think about arming itself.


Monday, November 12, 2018

I Just Can't Stop...

I just can't stop.

While organizing my desk, I happened upon a book by Robert Pearce. It is an incredible set of ship plans for Traveller. Sure, it says "Traveller", but it could be used for any game system. The detail and scope is amazing. It is campaign fuel for sure.

 Why not take a look yourself.

I know I will be pouring over this book for days to come. For some odd reason, it isn't even for sale. It's free.

Damn. A mighty big thanks to you Mr. Pearce, you made my day.