Rules Modifications

Weapon/Defence Archive: Miscellaneous: Rules Modifications

[Broadside Arcs] -[Core Systems (Alternate)] -[Fighter/Missile Speed] -[Fixed Mount Fire Arcs] -[Focused Fire] - [High Resolution Full Thrust] - [Hull Costs] -[Internal Damage] -[Maximalization/Miniaturization] -[Meteor Swarms] -[Ortillery Anti-ship Mode] -[Raking Fire] -[Spread] - [Thresholds (Alternate)] - [Variable Number of Hull Rows] - [Vector Turn-Integrated Firing] - [Weak Arcs]


[Noam Izenberg] (NIFT-Midbar Ghostworks)

As an alternative to the six arcs of fire presented in Fleet Book 1 (page 4), an alternative set of six fire arcs at 30° to the standard ones could be used, as shown in the diagram below. These new arcs are designated (clockwise, from the forward position) STABOARD FORE (SF), STARBOARD (S), STARBOARD AFT (SA), PORT AFT (PA), PORT (P), and PORT FORE (PF). This reduces the aft–arc prohibition on weapons fire, and allows more realism for "long and thin" spaceship designs.

The restriction on weapons fire through the aft–arc, if it is in use, can still be applied using broadside fire arcs, where the prohibition will become the aft 30° of the PORT AFT and STARBOARD AFT arcs, as shown on the diagram.

Broadside Broadside Example
Example of Beam Battery bearing through the three port arcs (PA, P, PF).


[Charles] Can Broadside Fire Arcs be mixed with standard Fleet Book fire arcs in the same game? on the same ship?


[Daryl Poe] (

The following are non-catastrophic critical hits. They are "hit" like any other system during a threshold check (unlike the catastrophic core systems hits from the Fleet Books which are checked at - 1 on the die rolls). They cannot be targeted by needle weapons.

Core: Computer COMPUTER: Ships with computer damage must plot your movement one turn in advance (e.g. if I take the computer hit in turn 5, when writing turn 6 orders I also write for turn 7. In turn 7 I'll write for turn 8... ). Should your computer get fixed you can erase what you had previously written down for the turn and write new orders. Should you take engine hits or repair engine damage, you still need to follow the orders you had written but may change the thrust levels involved (e.g. MD4 becomes MD2 or TS2 becomes TS3; but you cannot change TS to PS — the "letters" must stay intact and thrusts cannot be reduced to zero). You do not have to plot missile firing or fighter launching in advance — only movement.
Core: Communications COMMUNICATIONS: Ships with communications damage fire after all ships with intact communications have finished. (In a PBEM game, this hit might also have an effect on your ability to communicate with your buddies.)
Core: Sensors SENSORS: Ships with sensor damage suffer the following penalty; when firing, for weapons with multiple range categories, the target is treated as if it were one range category further away. For weapons with only one range category, the target is treated as if it were twice as far away (i.e. a Class-1 battery has an effective range of 6 mu).

ICON:    Optional Core systems


[Daryl Poe] We used them in our playtest last night and I really liked them — they add flavour without turning the battle. We also used the catastrophic criticals, on which I'm ambivalent — we seemed to get them too often for my taste.
Maybe for catastrophic hits if you only made one threshold roll for the set of three (the "catastrophic hit check") and if positive, roll to see which one. That'll change the odds:
Chance of one or more catastrophic hits (cumulative chance in parenthesis):

Current system 1-check method
1st row dies none none
2nd row dies 42% (42%) 17% (17%)
3rd row dies 70% (83%) 33% (44%)
That's more to my liking. In fact, I'll probably do that for non- catastrophic criticals too:
Chance of one or more non-catastrophic hits (cumulative chance in parenthesis):

Current system 1-check method
1st row dies 42% (42%) 17% (17%)
2nd row dies 70% (83%) 33% (44%)
3rd row dies 88% (98%) 50% (72%)
I'll send lots more mail on the battle and various observations later.


[Noam Izenberg] (NIFT-Homebrew Rules)

These rules modification are found in the Fighters and Missiles sections.


[Charles Stanley Taylor] (via e-mail)

The 'spinal mount' weapons listed for Full Thrust, the Nova Cannon and Wave Gun, restrict the weapons fire to straight down the axis of the model. I have a couple of problems with this, firstly, considering the size of the model, determining the exact axis is likely to be a bit inaccurate. Secondly, consider the granularity of turning in Full Thrust, where all turns are in increments of 30 degrees so there is an uncertainty in the ship’s angular position of ±15 degrees. For this reason, I propose a 'Fixed Mount' fire arc that is a 30 deg. wedge (i.e. half the angle of a conventional fire arc). Existing 1–arc weapons can be brought with a 'Fixed Mount' at a MASS reduction of half the MASS of 1 extra arc of fire (round the final MASS up to the nearest whole number). Fixed Mount weapons can be mounted in any direction, but are usually directly forward. Fixed mount weapons are designated by the name of the arc on which they are centred, followed by the word 'FIXED', i.e. FORE FIXED. If desired, Fixed Mount weapons can be mounted with their line of fire centred on a Broadside Fire Arc.

EXAMPLE: A Fixed Mount version of a Class–4 Beam Battery has a MASS of 7 (MASS of 8 for 1–arc battery, and the requirement for each fire arc is 2 MASS, so 8 minus half of 2 is 7). and has a points cost of 21 (the ratio of points cost to MASS is unchanged.

In games using the Vector movement system from Fleet Book 1, the value of fire arcs is reduced, as a ship can point in any direction required at a cost of 1 point of thrust. Under these rules, Fixed Mount weapons should have the same MASS requirement and points cost as 1–arc weapons.

A Fixed Mount weapon is indicated by adding a thin wedge to its icon facing in the direction of the weapon mount, as shown in the diagram below.

Fixed Mount Fixed Mount Example
Example of Fixed Mount Beam Battery bearing directly forwards (F Fixed).


[Charles] There is a slight problem with this; K-Guns appear to be fixed mount (look at the models), but have a full 60° arc of fire. One answer is to suggest that the K-guns have a gravitic deflector in their muzzles to allow a wider arc of fire.


[Noam Izenberg] (NIFT-Midbar Ghostworks)

This rules modification is found in the Fire Control Systems section.


[Noam Izenberg, Chris "Laserlight" DeBoe] (NIFT-Homebrew Rules)

These rules modification are found in the NIFT Homebrew pages, directly accessed Here.


[Oerjan Ohlson] (NIFT-Homebrew Rules)

Large ships in FT are advantaged against an equal mass/cost of smaller ships. In a nutshell, smaller ships will begin thresholding and losing net firepower sooner by virtue of shorter damage rows.

From Oerjan: "I've tested a cost increase - instead of the basic hull structure having Cost = TMF, I made it Cost = (TMF^2)/100. This seems to work reasonably well for Fleet Book 1 –tech ships... but it breaks down when you apply it to Kra'Vak and Phalon ships which cost more per Mass - they effectively get a rebate. Of course it also invalidates the NPVs of the published designs. "

The following table applies a scheme for adjusting NPV to a more true combat effectiveness point value developed by Oerjan. It shows adjustments for all Fleet Book 1 ships. I throw in another column with an (untested) adjustment for fighter carriers. Fighter bays are not "combat system" in and of themselves: Empty, they do not equate to 7 mass of defences (even Hull) or weapons. If this doesn't make sense, decide whether a fighterless Jean D'arc should be able to take on three Maria Von Borgunds.

Revised Costing: Replacing Basic Hull Cost=TMF equation with COST = (TMF^2)/100

Carrier aternative: Cost Mass for Fighter bays as 1pt/Mass to avoid overpenalizing carriers.

Newcost Carrier mod

Nationality Class Name Mass Ftr Bays NPV NPV-R NPV-RCV  %dif

NAC Harrison 6
21 15

Arapaho 12
41 30

Minerva 16
61 48

Tacoma 24
81 63

Ticonderoga 30
100 79

Huron 50
167 142

Furious 64
219 196

Vandenburg 80
261 245

Majestic 106
358 364

Victoria 120
406 430

Excalibur 140 1 472 528 513 12% 9%

Valley Forge 190 2 642 813 766 27% 19%

Inflexible 140 4 483 539 487 12% 1%

Ark Royal 200 6 690 890 757 29% 10%

NSL Falke 8
27 20

Stroschen 14
47 35

Ehrenhold 20
67 51

Waldburg 30
100 79

Waldburg/M 30
101 80

Kronprinz Wilhelm 48
161 136

Radetsky 58
195 171

Markgraf 82
271 256

Maximilian 100
333 333

Richthofen 104
351 355

Maria Von Borgund 120
414 438

Szent Istvan 150 1 500 575 558 15% 12%

Von Tegetthoff 200 1 670 870 844 30% 26%

Der Theuerdank 220 4 737 1001 892 36% 21%

FSE Mistral 8
28 21

Athena 14
48 36

Ibiza 18
61 46

San Miguel 34
112 90

Trieste 42
139 115

Suffren 54
181 156

Milan 62
206 182

Jerez 88
293 282

Ypres 96
318 314

Roma 110
377 388

Bonaparte 160 1 531 627 608 18% 15%

Foch 250 3 855 1230 1129 44% 32%

Bologna 170 4 580 699 626 21% 8%

Jeanne D'Arc 280 7 955 1459 1209 53% 27%

ESU Lenov 6
21 15

Nanuchka II 14
48 36

Novgorod 22
73 56

Warsaw 28
93 73

Volga 34
115 93

Tibet 48
162 137

Beijing/B 60
201 177

Gorshkov 70
240 219

Voroshilev 78
262 245

Manchuria 94
312 306

Petrograd 116
386 405

Rostov 138 1 458 510 495 11% 8%

Tsiolkovsky 150 4 512 587 528 15% 3%

Komarov 220 1 751 1015 985 35% 31%

Konstantin 240 6 842 1178 1002 40% 19%


[Charles Taylor] (10/05/02 Update)

There are a number of systems, mostly Spinal Mount Weapons that can, under certain circumstances (usually a failed threshold check), cause damage to the ship carrying them from within. Such damage is referred to as Internal Damage, and will completely bypass all screens, shields, and armour.

OPTIONAL: Record Internal Damage by crossing off hull boxes from the last one backwards, in the same manner that Sa’Vasku biomass consumption is recorded. Except if an entire hull row is crossed off, the ship must roll a threshold check, either at its current threshold level, or, as a nastier option, at the threshold level for the row above. (i.e. internal damage has removed the bottom row of hull boxes, the ship must make a threshold check as if it had lost the third row of hull boxes, with a threshold number of 4).


[Noam Izenberg] (NIFT-Midbar Ghostworks)

This is the process of altering the MASS requirement of a system, with a balancing alteration in its points cost, to represent either a 'low tech' version, that is cheaper, but heavier and bulkier, or a 'high tech' version, that reduces its size and weight, but has an increased cost.

MAXIMALIZATION: Is an increase in size (with a corresponding decrease in the point cost). By doubling the MASS requirement of a system, its points cost per unit MASS is halved.

For example, a cheap version of an FTL drive would require MASS equal to 20% of the total MASS of the ship (rather than 10% as normal), but it would only cost a number of points equal to its MASS ×1, rather than the usual MASS ×2.

MINIATURIZATION: Is the converse of MAXIMALIZATION, a more expensive (in points) version of a system that is only a fraction of the size. Fo a system that requires half the usual MASS requirement, the points cost per unit MASS is tripled.

For example, a miniature Pulse Torpedo Launcher is procured for a new strikeship design, it has 1 fire arc, and only requires 2 MASS, but its points cost is equal to its MASS ×9, or 18, compared to a normal Pulse Torpedo Launcher, that requires 4 MASS, and has a points cost of 12.


[Charles] Using Oerjan’s Total Cost formula, a more accurate value is that for MAXIMALIZATION, the point cost per unit MASS should be equal to HALF the original, minus 1. For MINIATURIZATION the point cost per unit MASS should be TWICE the original, +3. Both these formulæ err on the size of caution (i. e. more expensive), but then, so do Noam’s versions.


[Charles Stanley Taylor] (via e-mail)

First, I suggest a revision to the rules on meteor swarms and debris in general (More Thrust, page 9). This adds the concept of 'DENSITY'. Each meteor swarm will have a density value of 1 or more, representing the number of meteors per unit volume of space.

When a ship flies through a meteor swarm, roll a number of dice equal to the DENSITY of the swarm, on each dice a roll of 1, 2 or 3 indicates no hits, a roll of 4 or 5 indicates 1 hit, and a roll of 6 indicates 2 hits, as an option, 6's can be re-rolled.

Each hit does one damage point for every FULL 6 mu of velocity of the ship, counted in a similar manner to a Multiple Kinetic Penetrator hit (see Fleet Book 2, page 9), ie. the first damage point is taken of armour, while the remainder penetrates through to hull (or the next shell layer for Phalon ships). Screens, Reflex fields, and Vapour shrouds have no effect, while shields that defend against kinetic attacks have their usual effect. If a fighter squadron or a missile salvo enter a meteor swarm or debris field, roll a number of dice equal to the swarm's density, every roll of 6 kills one fighter or missile (no re-rolls), the defence bonus heavy fighters or Stealth Fighters is not applied.

An old-style More Thrust meteor swarm is one of about density 4 under this system.

If using the 'Battle debris' rules (also More Thrust, p. 9), here is a suggested variation:

The initial debris cloud is 2 mu diameter, and has a DENSITY (q.v.) equal to the MASS of the exploded ship divided by 20, in other words, equal to the original crew factor (CF) of the ship. Each turn after that the cloud increases in diameter by another 2 mu, and its DENSITY drops by 1, until it is less than 1, at which point it disperses.

If you want to try and calculate relative velocities for determining damage from moving meteor swarms and debris fields, feel free :-).


[Noam Izenberg] (NIFT-Midbar Ghostworks)

Ortillery systems can be fired against ships in a limited fashion. The precision beam batteries, munitions, and particle cannons are focused for very short range, atmosphere-piercing attacks, and their open-space effects reflect this. Range is 6 mu in the 180° front arc. Damage is 2 beam dice, ignore screens.


  [Noam Izenberg] (NIFT-Midbar Ghostworks)

This rules modification is found in the Fire Control Systems section.


[Noam Izenberg] (NIFT-Midbar Ghostworks)

This rules modification is found in the Fire Control Systems section.


[GZG-L] Summer 2002

Engine 1: Thrust rating remains the same, but drive system frozen. Movement orders are the same for 1d6 turns, or until DamCon.
Beam:  Can be used as beam of 1 class lower, but rolls of 2 deal 1 hull damage to firing ship, rolls of 1 deal 2 damage to hull of ship.
Torp/SML: Can still be used as normal, but roll of 1 or 2 on launch detonates torp or 1d6 missiles on ship.


[Oerjan Ohlson] (via e-mail)

Instead of giving all ships 4 rows of hull boxes, they can be designed with 3, 4 or 5 rows. Three rows indicates a hull design that is particularly resistant to system damage (less threshold checks), while five rows means that the hull design has a greater vulnerability to system damage (more threshold checks). Apart from the different number of hull rows, the hull boxes are distributed between the rows as per the standard Fleet Book 1 rule (page 5). Thresholds are taken as normal (ie. systems are damaged on rolls of 6 after the 1st row, rolls of 5+ after the 2nd, rolls of 4+ after the 3rd, and rolls of 3+ after the 4th).

The point costs for these hulls are:

Nº of rows of hull boxes Point cost
3 MASS ×3
4 (standard) MASS ×2
5 MASS ×1.5


[Oerjan] In active Playtesting. Oerjan's not too happy with the fractional points costs for the 5-row hulls, but MASS ×1 is definitely too low Unhappy  And no, he doesn't have any figures for 1, 2 or 6 hull rows Indifferant.


[Noam Izenberg]

This is a possible way to make FB1-2 ships more belanced (vs. single arc-heavy "vector optimized" ships) in Vector movement. It is not yet playtested.

  1. At movement plotting, a ship may dedicate one or more maneuver thrust to "tracking". E.g. and MD4 ship could do MD2, RP3, T1 for Accelerate 2, rotated 3 Port, and Track 1. Only maneuver may be used for Tracking, so a thrust 4 ship can have max T2.
  2. Leave markers at the start points of  movement, and move all ships as plotted.
  3. If desired, eyeball the midpoint of movement as well and place markers there.
  4. When a ship is activated for firing, it picks its target(s). 
  5. Option1: Measure the start-start point range and the finish-finish point range (and if deisred, the mid-point-midpoint range) of the two ships, and average the two (or the two smallest) to determine weapon range. Fire arcs are determined at movement endpoint as normal. This option helps reduce the incidence of long range flyby jousts.
  6. Option2: Use standard endpoint range determination.
  7. For each weapon the attacker wishes to fire, targeting is determined by rolling a d6 and applying DRMs. If the roll is equal to or less than the number of arcs of the weapon, it may fire at the target. If the Targeting roll fails, that weapon may not fire at other targets this turn.


[Noam Izenberg] (NIFT-Midbar Ghostworks)

Larger caliber beams or other weapons may buy additional arcs with reduced firepower for less mass. For example, a Class 4 beam costs 8 MASS +2 per additional arc (so a 3-arc class 4 costs 12 mass/36 points). Under this rule, one could buy additional arcs that could only fire as Class 3, and cost 1 MASS. So a Forward Arc class 4 beam could fire FP and FS, but only as class 3, and require 10 MASS and cost 30 points. This could fit the PSB for spinal mounts or optimum fire arcs. Another example would be a class 3 F-arc that can fire as class 2 beams in FS and FP for a total cost of 5 MASS/15 points.

ICON (example):    Weak Arcs  (Class–3 Beam Battery with Class–2 FP and FS arcs).

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Last Update December 21, 2002, NRI