Saturday, February 2, 2013

A Less Traveller Road: Abstract Book 2 Space Combat

By Paul Elliott

Art by David Reddington

There was nothing really like Traveller’s original ship combat rules, with its acceleration vectors and computer-programming-on-the-fly. For me, though, the novelty was soon replaced with the burning desire to get on with the story and find out how it all ends. One screenwriter in Hollywood is a critic of the car chase, describing it as a gap in the plot, a gaping hole that leaves the audience waiting for the outcome. I’d been wanting to plug Traveller’s ‘plot gap’ for years, but only recently come around to the task when I decided to jump into a Book 1, 2 and 3 only, universe.

The system I developed is an abstraction of the Book 2 space combat rules as they stand. An important point to make is that it leaves the starship construction rules unchanged; any book 2 design can participate in these abstract combats quite easily. I wanted to know very quickly, 'who wins?' without deciding which programs to feed into the computer, or which turrets should fire on which targets. There involves a short assessment procedure for any participating craft which assigns each a number, a Combat Rating (CR).

Download the complete rules HERE!

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