Spinal Mount Weapons

Weapon/Defence Archive: Weapons: Spinal Mount

[Bobbler] -[C+ Cannon] -[Enhanced Beam Batteries] -[Expanding Plasma Bolt Launcher] -[Heavy Beam Battery] -[Ion Pulse Cannon] -[M.A.D. Generator] -[Nova Cannon Updated] -[Spatial Discontinuity Cannon] -[Wave Beam] -[Wave Gun Updated] -[Wavefront Energy Field]


Spinal Mount Weapons, usually just referred to as 'Spinal Mounts' or 'Spinal Weapons', are the 'big guns' of space battles. The name refers to their construction, a Spinal Mount is usually built into the long axis of a space ship, and may even double as a structural component!

It should be noted, that although most of the weapons in this section are quite large, for a small enough ship, even a pulse torpedo launcher or needle beam could be considered a 'Spinal Mount'.

As a rule of thumb, for a weapon to be considered a Spinal Mount, it should follow at least some of the following criteria:

  1. A Spinal Mount Weapon should occupy at least 10%, and preferably 20% or more, of the MASS of the ship.
  2. A Spinal Mount Weapon should predominantly face forward, preferably it should only fire into the fore (F) arc, more preferably, it should be a Fixed Mount in the straight ahead position. Technically, you could have a Spinal Mount fixed to fire straight aft as well, but that is rather rare.
  3. The Spinal Mount Weapon should be the most powerful weapon on the ship, or among the most powerful.

Although the only Spinal Mount Weapons named as such in Full Thrust are the Spinal Mount Nova Cannon (Full Thrust, page 19–20), and the Wave Gun (More Thrust page 3–4), there are several weapons in Fleet Book 2 that approximate to Spinal Mount Weapons;

The Kra'Vak Kinetic Guns (Fleet Book 2, page 9) often occupy a reasonable proportion of the carrying ship's MASS, and predominantly fire forward, although they are usually mounted on outriggers, rather than along the ship's central axis.

The Phalon Plasma Bolt Launcher (Fleet Book 2, page 36) also usually occupies a fair proportion of the ship's MASS, and is mounted along the ships axis. They tend to have wider fire arcs than most Spinal Mount Weapons however, and some of the larger Phalon ships carry additional, smaller Plasma Bolt Launchers in outrigger pods.

Spinal Mount weapons often have some special restrictions, for instance, firing a Spinal Mount Nova Cannon is the only action the carrying ship can perform in a turn, Wave Guns require charging up, cannot be fired in the same turn any other weapons are fired, and disable the forward arc screens of the carrying ship. They also inflict damage upon the carrying ship if they fail a threshold check while charged. Plasma Bolt Launchers can only be fired on every other turn. Another possible restriction is that a Spinal Mount Weapon is hard to repair or cannot be repaired as it doubles as a structural component of the ship.

As a final note, although a weapon may be listed in this section, it need not be classified as a Spinal Mount Weapon if it is installed upon a large enough ship.


[Noam Izenberg]

The 'Bobbler' creates a large, spherical field within which all time either comes to a complete stop, or passes at a rate so slow with respect to space 'outside' the field that it makes no practical difference. For the sake of Game Balance, the 'Stasis Bubbles' or 'Bobbles' created by this weapon are of only short-term duration.

To determine whether a Bobbler affects a target ship, and if so, for how long, roll 1 die: On 1-3, no effect; 4-5, target 'Bobbled' for 1 turn; 6, target 'Bobbled' for 2 turns, and re-roll for additional duration. The Bobble duration can be tracked with a die or marker that travels with the 'Bobbled' ship.

Bobbled ships may not perform any action, nor can they be targeted or take damage in any way. Bobbled ships maintain their heading and speed from the turn that they were 'bobbled' until the effect expires.

Collisions of Bobbled ships with planets or stars do no damage to the Bobbled ship. Ricochets off planets and/or what happens after the bobble pops when a ship is deep inside a gas giant (or star) are left as an exercise for the reader.

Bobbles may be nested. A Bobble inside another does not "age" until the outer Bobble pops.

The range of a Bobbler is determined by its class and the MASS of the target, using the following formula:

Range = (150 mu × Bobbler MASS)/Target MASS

For typical MASS of Bobbler and target ship:
Bobbler Range for Target with a MASS of: (in mu)
Class 10 20 50 80 100 150 200 250
Class 5 75* 37 15 9 7 5 4 3
Class 10 150* 75* 30 18 15 10 7 6
Class 15 225* 112* 45 28 22 15 11 9
*Or Maximum Sensor Range (if using sensor rules), whichever is shorter.

A ship may Bobble itself if its Bobbler class is 10% of its mass or greater. The 'Bobbled' duration (between 1 and 3 turns) is written during the orders phase of the turn of self-Bobbling. The Ship self-Bobbles before the movement on this turn (say, during Phase 4) LAUNCH ORDNANCE), and 'unbobbles' at the end of the last turn of bobbling, after all firing, etc. (say Phase 10) TURN END). Self-Bobbled ships are not tracked with a duration marker.

The Bobbler is a spinal mount weapon, and can thus can only be mounted to fire in the Fore (F) fire arc, or the Aft (A) arc if desired.

The Bobbler has a MASS requirement equal to its class, and costs 3 points per MASS.

ICON (example):    Bobbler  (the number is MASS/class of bobbler.
It would be helpful to write the range table on the SSD as well.

(inspired by The Peace War and Marooned in Realtime by Vernor Vinge, and List comments by Laserlight)


[Bif Smith] (GZG-L 1-Feb-2001)

From Donald Hosford, the "Darlington Space Rifle", I know as the C+ cannon, from the beserker series of novels, a very good read. My two pennerth worth is a rail gun that projects a hyperspace field around the projectile, popping the round into hyperspace, and the field is charged to drop the round out of hyper at the point you calculate the enemy ship will be. The hyperspace field is generated by the hyperdrive on board the ship, and if the hyperdrive is disabled, the gun cannot fire.

The projectile consists of a core made out of the same material as a hyper space core, with a piece of anti-matter (AM), contained in a sphere of superconductor magnets, to ensure that the AM does not come into contact with any normal matter. When the projectile hits the target, the magnets are smashed by the impact, allowing the AM to come into contact with normal matter, and KABOOM!! A hit on the weapon would detonate the magazine with the AM, detonating any AM still on board, and probably destroy the ship itself.

The C+ Cannon is a placed marker weapon, like the Salvo Missile Launcher, however, its range is as follows: for a 2mu 'attack radius' the range is 10mu per MASS of the FTL drive mass.
For an attack with a 0 mu 'attack radius' (the shot must pinpoint the target exactly, i.e. only useful when attacking space stations or other targets that cannot manoeuvre) the range is unlimited at Tactical game scale. An undamaged FTL system is required for the C+ Cannon to operate.

If the target is within 2 mu of the marker, the round hits the target, bypassing all defences (armour, shields, PDS, etc.), causing 3D6 damage points directly to the hull.

If rounds are damaged on-board the carrying ship, it causes the same damage PER round to the carrying ship, as internal damage.

FTL can't be used to jump the ship while using this weapon, and for 2D6 turns after last firing. The gun cannot be used until 1D6 turns after a ship has used its hyperdrive. If the gun is disabled, but the magazine is untouched, the remaining rounds can be jettisoned to prevent detonation from damage. The rounds can only be jettisoned at the start of the turn, and must be written during orders phase on the previous turn.

The C+ Cannon can only be fitted to fire into the fore arc of the carrying vessel.

The C+ Cannon has a MASS requirement of 5 for the actual cannon, and costs 25 points. The magazine requires a MASS of 1 for every two rounds carried. Each round carried costs 3 points (6 points per MASS of ammo).

ICON:    C+ Cannon


[Oerjan] My atomic physicist acquaintances would make lots of fun of this, pointing out the average lack of "KABOOM" when AM meets normal matter in this way. According to them it's more like a slow fizzle, unless you have VERY large areas of AM meeting similarly large areas of normal matter... and you don't get that without some very careful arrangements <sigh>

[Charles] I agree with Oerjan's comments about anti- matter, although this is probably not the place for a dissertation on the subject. However, on the subject of the C+ Cannon's FTL disabling effect, according to Fleet Book 1 it takes at least 6 hours between FTL jumps, so unless you're using 1 hour turns, the FTL non-use time is not unreasonable. What I would like to know is does the 'cannot use C+ cannon until 1D6 turns after the ship has last used its FTL drive' include the use of the FTL drive to operate the C+ cannon? The target area should probably be enlarged, preferably to the same as SMLs. Also, the Hyperspace Torpedo Launcher is a very similar weapon, but with less restrictions.


[David F. Stuckey (Feb 2002)]

Enhanced Beam Batteries are spinal–mounted units, usually Class 3 or greater with a forward arc of fire. Utilizing a gravity–focussing system of a new type, the Enhanced Beam Battery can focus fractionally better onto a target vessel and deliver more power per hit making it useful at both long range attack and close–in assault.

Proposed rules –

  1. Add 1D6 to each range band when firing an Enhanced Beam Battery – DO NOT add an extra range band, as the power is not increased that significantly, only the ability to deliver it on target. Fire is resolved normally.
  2. The focussing gear adds 5/10/15% to the MASS of the weapon. (This is to be decided...) Cost is to be 5/10% extra to Cost of weapon (Again, to be decided... Note that the striking power is not increased greatly,so it isn't like boosting the battery up to the next class size.)
  3. If the system is damaged, the focussing gear is not able to be repaired by onboard Damage Control Parties in the time frame of a game and/or requires a dockyard operation (Involving major equipment to be used, like repairing the gravity system of a ship for instance). So, if the Enhanced Beam Battery is damaged and repaired, it is treated like a single–arc standard battery of its class, e.g. a Japanese SDN mounts a Class 5 Enhanced Beam Battery [They ain't fooling around...], which is damaged during a lucky SM attack. If repaired it becomes a standard Class 5 [which should be enough for most people anyway! :-)].

ICON:    Enhanced Beam Battery   (cross out the "!" after it has been damaged and repaired)


[Charles Stanley Taylor] (via e– mail)

This could be a human development derived from the pulse torpedo, or a Phalon weapon derived from the plasma bolt launcher, or even a Kra'Vak weapon developed from their own K–gun technology combined with reversed engineered Phalon technology, for example. It is inspired by the Spinal Mount Nova Cannon (Full Thrust 2, page 19–20), and has an identical PSB, although this version is both available in a number of classes, and is easier to defend against.

The weapon uses a large railgun to fire a fast moving, expanding cloud of plasma.

The weapon comes in a range of classes (even numbers only). The weapon has to be mounted on a fixed mount, facing directly forward.

The use of the EXPL is declared during Phase 4) LAUNCH ORDNANCE. The player places the first template (of 2 mu diameter, or a marker may suffice) 6 mu from the firing ship within the fire arc of the EXPL. The template or marker should have some means of indicating its direction of travel, and should be placed so that its direction is directly away from the firing ship.

During the Phase 6) ALLOCATE ORDNANCE AND FIGHTER ATTACKS, the template is moved 18 mu in the direction indicated on it. Any ship whose centre point is touched by the template should be noted, probably by placing a marker indicating the current strength of the Expanding Plasma Bolt at that point. The initial strength of the EXP is equal to the class of the launcher.
During Phase 7) POINT DEFENCE FIRE, any ship that was touched by the template in Phase 6 may attempt point defence fire, resolved as if it were against a Plasma Bolt (Fleet Book 2, page 36), also, any ships equipped with area–defence weapons within 6 mu of the template at any time may also use area defence against the Expanding Plasma Bolt (EXP). Fighter groups may attack it as if it were a Plasma Bolt. The effects of point defence fire causes a reduction in strength of the EXP just as if it were a Plasma Bolt. Note, however, that these reductions in strength only occur from the point the point defence fire occurred.
The effects of the EXP are resolved during Phase 8) MISSILE, PLASMA BOLT AND FIGHTER ATTACKS, each ship touched by the template suffers damage as if it had been struck by a plasma bolt with a size equal to the strength of the EXP at the point where it affected the ship (screens provide the same defence as against plasma bolts.

On each successive turn, the template enlarges in diameter by 2mu, and moves a further 24 mu. Its strength is reduced by 2 for each successive turn. If an EXP was reduced in strength by point defence or area defence fire, only half of this reduction is carried over to the next turn (rounded down).
An EXP that is reduced to zero or negative strength AT THE BEGINNING OF A TURN has burned out, and is removed from play.
For example, a Class 6 EXPL is fired, during the first turn it is reduced in strength by 3 from point defence fire. At the beginning of the second turn, the reduction is reduced to 1, giving a strength of 5, that reduces to 3. It suffers no further point defence fire, so is reduced to strength 1 at the beginning of the third turn, and at the beginning of the forth turn it is reduced to strength –1, and burns out.

The MASS requirement and point cost of an Expanding Plasma Bolt Launcher are given on the following table:

Class MASS Requirement Point Cost
2 3 9
4 6 18
6 12 36
8 24 72
For larger EXPL's, double the MASS for each increase in class by +2. The cost is 3 points per MASS.

ICON:    Class 6 EPBL
(Alternative):    Class 4 EPBL   (Class 4)    Class 6 EPBL   (Class 6)     Class 8 EPBL   (Class 8)
(The number of 'stars' if half the class).


[Alan Brain] (GZG–L, 9 March 2001)

Alan Brain's Heavy Beam Battery can be used as a spinal mount if it is restricted to a single, forward facing fire arc, or even a Fixed Mount.


[Many People] (Many Places)

Either version of the Heavy Beam Weapon can be used as a spinal mount if it is restricted to a single, forward facing, Projector, or even a Fixed Mount projector (MASS 1, cost 3 points).


[Paul Wellman] (Samuel Penn's Website) WotW #2

This is a massive EMP–type weapon, capable of knocking out many ships systems at considerable range.

The Ion Pulse Cannon is a spinal mount, – it can only be fitted to fire through the F arc of ships large enough to carry it. The cannon has a range of 54mu and does threshold roles to ships hit, as shown below:

Range To Hit Effect
0–18mu 3+ Target ship makes a threshold roll for every system on board.
Systems are knocked out on rolls of 4+
18–36mu 4+ As above, but systems are knocked out on rolls of 5+
36–54mu 5+ As above, but systems are knocked out on rolls of 6 only.

The pulse of the Ion Pulse Cannon is powerful enough to overcome any screens the target ship has, so screens have no effect against the blast.

The Ion Pulse Cannon has a MASS requirement of 16, and can only be installed in Capital ships. It costs 3 points per MASS.

ICON:    Ion Pulse Cannon


[WotW #2]This weapon was discussed as part of WotW #2, however, no consensus was reached.
[Noam] I suggest decreasing mass, and possibly range, and allowing screens to modify threshold rolls by –1/level.
[Oerjan] Yet another basic EMP gun; this time long–ranged. Mass and cost for Full Thrust 2, not Fleet Book X.
[Charles] In some respects it is a 'big brother' to Noam's Scrambler Pulse. The MASS should be increased to 20, and the cost to at least 180 points, alternatively, the range should be reduced.


[Kerr] (Kerr's Page)

The M.A.D. Generator weaponry consists of a generator and charges. In order to use the charges a ship must have a generator to set them off. Each charge fires off an immense shock wave at a huge range, however the damage dissipates quickly. It order to use a charge, the firing vessel must be at a complete stop. Firing a charge is written in movement orders and announced with movement. Any ship would be able to detect a power surge of that magnitude.

M.A.D. generators must activate each charge. Roll a D6 each turn and add it to the running total, when a total of 12 is reached, the charge may be fired on the following turn. If the firing vessel is not at a complete stop, the charge overloads and the carrying ship is destroyed. If the generator should take a hit due to a failed threshold roll or a successful needle beam attack, a number of damage dice equal to half the charge is applied to the M.A.D. equipped ship as internal damage.

Range Damage
0–6mu 4D6
6–12mu 3D6
12–24mu 3D6
24–36mu 1D6

The M.A.D. Generator has a MASS requirement of 10, and costs 50 points. Each charge costs an additional 50 points, but requires no additional MASS.

ICON:     MAD Generator


[Noam] Arcs and areas of effect are not delineated. Probably best thought of as a Wave Gun variant. Some template needs to be made for it. The weapon is fragile and over– restricted.
[Charles] From the description, I get the impression that it hits everything in the carrying ships forward arc (like my Wavefront Energy Field, but I agree with Noam – It is too restricted, also, I suspect that the MASS and point cost are pre– Fleet Book.


[Charles Stanley Taylor] (via e–mail)

This is just a set of guidelines on using a Spinal Mount Nova Cannon (see Full Thrust page 19–20) with the updated Fleet Book rules.

Under this revision, use of the Spinal Mount Nova Cannon (SMNC) is still noted during Phase 1) WRITE ORDERS FOR ALL SHIPS, and is the only order that can be written for the carrying ship (write "NOVA" or something).

The SMNC template is placed during Phase 4) LAUNCH ORDNANCE in a position 6 mu from the firing ship in the SMNC firing arc (the SMNC is counted as a forward firing Fixed Mount weapon; i.e. it has a half width forward–facing fire arc). The direction arrow of the template must face directly away from the firing ship.

The SMNC template is moved during Phase 8) MISSILE, PLASMA BOLT AND FIGHTER ATTACKS, i.e. after ship movement but before normal weapons fire. Unlike the similar Expanding Plasma Bolt point defence fire has no effect on the bolt from a SMNC.

The SMNC uses a template as described on page 20 of Full Thrust (however, if different sizes of mu are used, such as 1 mu = 1 cm, then the templates should be scaled to the units used). The template is moved as described on that page. On later turns the template is replaced by progressively larger ones, and is moved as described. All SMNC template movement occurs during Phase 8.

Any ships whose centre point is touched by the SMNC template takes damage as described in Full Thrust. This damage is not reduced by screens, but is not counted as penetrating, i.e. apply damage to armour first, damage is only applied to hull after all of the armour has been destroyed.

Use of the SMNC disables all other power–using systems that turn, this includes all drives and weapon systems, PDS and screens, but does not include 'passive' systems, such as stealth hulls (NOT stealth systems), armour (including carapace and shell) etc.

The SMNC has the MASS and point cost listed for it in Fleet Book 1, page 11). A recommended further restriction is to require that the SMNC–carrying ship has at least 20 MASS in other power using systems, such as drives, etc. but not including FTL drives or missile magazines as well as the SMNC.


A 'classed' version of the Spinal Mount Nova Cannon is possible. This would be handled exactly like the standard SMNC, except that the first template would inflict 2D6 damage per class of the CSMNC, and each progressively larger template would inflict 2D6 less damage than the one previous to it.

Under this classification, the 'standard' SMNC would be a class 3.

A CSMNC has a MASS and points cost as shown on the table below, additionally, it is recommended that the carrying ship should also have a minimum MASS in other power–using systems (not including FTL drives or missile magazines) equal to the MASS of the CSMNC.

SMNC Class MASS Requirement Point Cost
1 8 24
2 12 36
3 20 60
4 33 99
+1 Previous × 12/3 MASS ×3

ICONS:    Class 1 SMNC   (Class 1)    Class 2 SMNC   (Class 2)    Class 3 SMNC   (Class 3)    Class 4 SMNC   (Class 4)


[Charles Stanley Taylor] (via e–mail)

This was inspired by a conversation with a friend about the old Space Battlecruiser Yamato 'Wave Motion Gun'. I liked the idea of a weapon powered by the ships FTL drive.

This weapon uses the ships own FTL drive to create an unstable bubble in space time, the bubble is then projected forwards (or aft) along the ships main axis at light speed, expanding as it travels. Anything caught in the area of effect takes damage both from space–time sheer effects and because of the energy released as local space undergoes a phase change (PSB overload! :-)).

In game terms, the weapon is used as follows; on the turn before the one on which it is to be fired, the player writes that the firing ship is powering its FTL drive for its written orders. All of the rules for powering up an FTL drive apply (i.e. no manoeuvres or weapons fire). He need not state the purpose of the FTL power up, but must announce it. As an option, if sensor rules are in use, use of sensors may reveal the purpose of the FTL power–up. Obviously, to do this, the FTL drive must be functional.

On the next turn, the player writes orders as usual, the Spatial Discontinuity Cannon (SDC) is fired like any other weapon when that ship is activated during the Firing Phase.

The SDC does a number of D6 of damage equal to its class, minus 1 for every full 12 mu of range. The beam is 2 mu wide per 12 mu of range (so, at a range of 30 mu, the beam is 6 mu wide, and the damage is a number of d6 equal to the Class–2). Damage is applied half to armour, and half to hull (or the next layer of armour), and ignores screens and vapour shrouds. Fighters and MT missiles in the area of effect are destroyed. As an option, any ship with an FTL drive that is struck by an SDC blast must make a threshold check for the FTL drive at its current threshold level, or with a –1 penalty if the damage forces a normal threshold check.

If the firing ship has its SDC fail a threshold between powering up the FTL drive and firing the SDC, and fails to repair it during that turns damage control phase, it must make a jump to FTL (and thus, flee the board) on the turn when it would have been firing the SDC.

To fit a ship with an SDC, the ship must have a sufficiently large FTL drive, there is no reason why a ship might not have an oversized FTL drive (see Tugs and Tenders, Fleet Book 1, page 8), also, if the ship has a sufficiently large FTL drive, it can mount more than one SDC, however, all SDCs must face either forward or aft.

Class Minimum FTL Drive MASS Required MASS Requirement Point Cost
1 1 2 6
2 2 4 12
3 4 8 24
+1 As previous Class ×2 Required FTL MASS ×2 MASS ×3

ICONS:    SDC-1  (Class 1)     SDC-2  (Class 2)     SDC-3  (Class 3)    SDC-4   (Class 4)
(Optionally, draw a line connecting it the FTL drive system)


[Charles] Unfortunately, with the 'canon' Tuffleyverse imposing a FTL cycle time of at least 6 hours, this weapon will not get to fire very often! One way out is to assume that the weapon does not require a full FTL charge–up, another possibility is to require that the carrying vessel have an 'advanced' FTL drive (MASS is the same, but it costs MASS ×3 points). In other genres/settings with shorter FTL cycle times this may not be a problem.
Some of the features of this weapon may be incorporated into an updated/variant Wave Gun, making this weapon obsolete.


[Pat Shephard] ( Full Thrust New Systems Index.)

Wave beams are a variant of the Wave Gun, and must be charged in precisely the same way. Unlike a Wave Gun, however, Wave Beams are targetable weapons. They choose a target anywhere in their front arc which they fire a thin beam at, always hitting. If the target is from 0–12mu away, it suffers 4D6 of damage. From 12–24mu the damage is 3D6, and from 24–36mu the damage is 2D6. Additionally, draw a straight line from the center of the attacking ship to the center of the target ship, any ships which this line intersects take damage as though they were the target.

The Wave Beam has a MASS requirement of 12, and costs 36 points.

ICON:    Wave Beam


[Charles] I think the 'ships between firer and target take damage' feature could be discarded. The original version was for the Full Thrust 2 rules, I've updated the MASS and point cost to match the similar update to the MASS and point cost of the Wave Gun in Fleet Book 1. I assume that all Wave Gun restrictions not explicitly addressed above still apply.


[Charles Stanley Taylor] (via e–mail)

This is just a set of guidelines on using a Wave Gun (see More Thrust page 3–4) with the updated Fleet Book rules.

The roll for Wave Gun charging is made during Phase 2) ROLL FOR INITIATIVE. As an option, the firing of the Wave Gun should be declared during Phase 4) LAUNCH ORDNANCE, while the actual Wave Gun fire is resolved when the firing ship is activated during Phase 9) SHIPS FIRE. This allows for Missiles to take advantage of the lack of PDS capability, and for Plasma Bolts to take advantage of the lack of screens protecting the carrying ships forward arc.

The Wave Gun has a Fixed Mount fire arc. The range and template size are as described in More Thrust, page 4, with the units changed if necessary. The Wave Gun ignores screens and vapour shrouds, but, contrary to what is stated in More Thrust does not ignore armour (the More Thrust description applies to the pre– Fleet Book 2 Kra'Vak armour, which is no longer in use). Wave Gun damage should be treated as half–penetrating, like a Pulse Torpedo (apply half the damage, rounded up, to armour, apply the remainder to hull, or the next layer of shell armour).

Should the Wave Gun fail a threshold check due to damage or suffer a successful Needle Beam attack, the carrying ship will suffer internal damage equal to the current charge level.

To prevent the abuse of Wave Guns by mounting them on the smallest possible hulls (which negates many of the Wave Gun disadvantages as the systems that cannot be used in the same turn as the Wave Gun are not there at all), the following options are suggested:

  1. Instead of using the charging mechanic, give the wave gun a Rate of Fire of 1 shot every N turns, where N = 36 ÷ MASS of carrying ships FTL drive. In this case, if the Wave Gun is damaged, the carrying ship suffers damage equal to N, alternatively, roll 1D6, if the result is N or less, the carrying ship suffers the effects of a failed Power Core Core Systems Threshold check.
  2. The charging mechanic is used, however, the number of charges needed to fire is equal to 126 ÷ MASS of carrying ships FTL drive.
  3. The charging mechanic is used, however, instead of rolling 1D6 each turn, the player rolls a number of dice equal to the MASS of the carrying ships FTL drive × 0.25 (rounded to the nearest whole number); each roll of 1–3 gives 0 charges, 4–5 gives 1 charge, and 6 gives 2 charges (no re–rolls).
  4. The charging mechanic is used, however, the 1D6 roll for charging is modified by adding a modifier equal to [Square Root of (1 + FTL MASS ×8)] ÷2 – 7 (rounded to the nearest whole number).
These mechanisms are based on the carrying ship's FTL drive MASS as this provides a simple way of speeding up the rate of fire if required (buy a Tug FTL drive), and for genre PSB reasons.

It may be helpful to modify the existing Wave Gun icon to provide a space to record its current charge level, as follows:

Wave Gun RoF Shows the Rate of Fire if using option 1 above.
Wave Gun Charge Write the current charge level in the box if using a standard More Thrust Wave Gun or options 2, 3, or 4 above.
Wave Gun Charge As above, but the number to the left shows the number of charges required to fire, which can be varied if using option 2 above.
Wave Gun Charge Tick a number circles equal to the charge gained, the total number of circles represents the charge needed to fire, and can be varied if using option 2 above.
Wave Gun Charge As above, but also shows the recharge rate, either as a D6 (standard Wave Gun), a number of beam dice (option 3 above), or a modified D6 (i.e. D6–1, option 4 above).


A 'classed' version of the Wave Gun is possible. This would be handled exactly like the standard Wave Gun, except that the damage in the first 0–12mu would be a number of D6 equal to the class+1, in a path 2mu wide. For each additional 12mu of range the path widens by 1mu, while the damage drops by 1D6, the maximum range is that at which the damage is 2D6, thus:

Class of
Wave Gun
Damage at Range (in mu)
0–12 12–24 24–36 36–48 48–60 60–72
1 2D6
2 3D6 2D6
3 4D6 3D6 2D6
4 5D6 4D6 3D6 2D6
5 6D6 5D6 4D6 3D6 2D6
6 7D6 6D6 5D6 4D6 3D6 2D6

The MASS requirement, point cost, and charging rate of a Classed Wave Gun is given on the following table:

Wave Gun Rate of Fire/Charging option
Class MASS Requirement Point Cost 1) Rate of Fire 2) Charges to Fire 3) Charging Dice 4) Charge Die Modifier
1 6 18 144 ÷ FTL MASS 504 ÷ FTL MASS FTL MASS ÷ 16 [SQRT(9 + FTL MASS ×72) – 42] ÷ 24
2 8 24 192 ÷ FTL MASS 672 ÷ FTL MASS FTL MASS ×3 ÷ 64 [SQRT(9 + FTL MASS ×72) – 42] ÷ 32
3 12 36 288 ÷ FTL MASS 1008 ÷ FTL MASS FTL MASS ÷ 32 [SQRT(9 + FTL MASS ×72) – 42] ÷ 48
4 18 54 432 ÷ FTL MASS 1512 ÷ FTL MASS FTL MASS ÷ 48 [SQRT(9 + FTL MASS ×72) – 42] ÷ 72
5 27 81 648 ÷ FTL MASS 2268 ÷ FTL MASS FTL MASS ÷ 72 [SQRT(9 + FTL MASS ×72) – 42] ÷ 108
6 41 123 984 ÷ FTL MASS 3444 ÷ FTL MASS FTL MASS ÷ 110 [SQRT(9 + FTL MASS ×72) – 42] ÷ 164
+1 Previous ×1.5 MASS ×3 MASS ×24 ÷ FTL MASS MASS ×84 ÷ FTL MASS FTL MASS ×3 ÷ (MASS ×8) [SQRT(9 + FTL MASS ×72) – 42] ÷ (MASS ×4)
The columns 1) to 4) refer to the 4 options for varying rate of fire/charging rate based on the MASS of the carrying ship, above.

Under this classification, the 'standard' Wave Gun would be a class 3.

ICONS:    Class 1 Wave Gun   (Class 1)    Class 2 Wave Gun   (Class 2)    Class 3 Wave Gun   (Class 3)    Class 4 Wave Gun   (Class 4)

A charge indication could be added, as shown above.


[Charles Stanley Taylor] (via e–mail)

(named by Oerjan Ohlson)
This weapon creates a rapidly expanding field of energy that fills an entire fire arc out to the weapon range limit. The Wavefront Energy Field (WEF) Generator is fired during the normal firing phase, for each ship within its arc of fire roll a number of dice equal to its class, reduced by 1 for every full 6 mu of range. The dice are treated like beam battery dice with regards to determining damage, the effects of armour and screens, etc. but with one exceptions, although rolls of 6 a re–rolled, screens and armour still apply to the re–rolls.

Fighter groups and MT missiles in the area of effect treat the damage rolls as PDS fire (i.e. each damage point scored removes 1 fighter or missile). Heavy fighters still get their defensive bonus. (PSB – the damage field is clumpy, lucky fighters can dodge through the gaps).

The WEF has a MASS and points cost as follows:

Class MASS Requirement Point Cost
1 3 12
2 6 24
3 12 48
4 24 96
+1 Previous Class ×2 MASS ×4

ICON:    Wavefront Effect Field


[Oerjan] (who can't remember naming the system) This weapon is very effective against fighters and long–range MT Missiles, but unless you fire it during the PDS phase rather than the ship combat phase it'll have nil effect vs Salvo Missiles.

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Last Update May 31, 2002, NRI