Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

T4 QSDS 1.5 Sheds Light on Cryptic 1.0 Draft

A secret cache of files over on the BITS site has granted me much enlightenment in regards to T4 ship design and combat.  (Thanks to Hans Rancke-Madsen for pointing these out to me.)  Not all of my questions are answered, but there is a glimmer of hope that I can succeed in making this thing work!

It looks like the sandcaster you buy in T4 is a single sandcaster in a small turret with a “rating” of one.  It appears that each one requires its own gunner.  (It’s still not clear whether or not a single gunner can fire several of these at a single laser or missile swarm without penalties.)  The power plants in the core T4 rulebook did not seem to vary much, but the QSDS 1.5 PDF from BITS addressess this problem.  On the other hand, the new hull definition for the 400 dton needle style airframe has a Maximum G of 3– which forces me to cut the maneuver drive back on my patrol cruiser design.  I also don’t have an official design for the small craft, so I just use the Classic Traveller designs for now.

The MayDay 4.1 PDF from BITS contains valuable rules for converting the abstract system to a hex based approach.  It also includes a new version of the sensor rules, but appears to require the T4 edition of Fuel Fire Fusion & Steel.  Oh well… we’ll take what we can get at this point.  It looks like we’re more or less at the everything but sensor rules and missile munitions now.

For my Patrol Cruiser design, I added in an additional small laser battery for point defense.  I also added several extra MFD’s to allow the gunners to control two full waves of missiles.  I couldn’t stand to just shoot 8 missiles… wait for a hit… then shoot another 8 4 turns later.  This way, the cruiser can get 20 missiles on the map at once.  Viva la barbette!  There’s not a lot of cargo space after that, so things are pretty tight on this ship, but it should be a pretty fun ship to play in a fight.

War Patrol Cruiser (QSDS 1.5)
Tons: 400
Volume: 376.2 m^3 ?
Cost: 364.48 MCr
Crew: 32
Cargo: 8
Std Controls: Std Mil (Bridge) 
TL: 12
3 Jump Drive (6 Std/Pc Fuel)
3 Maneuver (Thrust Plate, 22 Mw)
8 Size
680 Power Plant (3x 200Mw, 4x 20Mw)
A10 P4 J10 Sensors

2x Laser Battery(2) 4/3-2-0-0           
1x Laser Battery (1) 4/2-0-0-0 
2 Battery Missile Barb 5 (4)
3 Sandcasters (30×3 Cans)
Ext. Grapple (30 dton Ship’s Boat)     
10 Armor, 12 Structure

Crew Detail: 2 Engineers, 1 Electronics, 2 Maneuver, 11 Gunners, 3 Screens,
2 AuxCraft Crew, 8 Troops/Marines, 4 Command, 1 Steward, 1 Medical

Software: Predict 2 (x3), Gunner (x11), Evade-4, Anti-Hijack, Library (+33.4 MCr)

(Cost includes an additional MCr 16 for Ship’s Boat.)


Some remaining minor questions:

“Missile launchers do not have to be crewed when operating as part of a missile battery under the control of a Master Fire Director, but if assigned, a crewmember may launch missiles under local control from the weapon mount.”

Question: If a crewmember is launching missiles from the battery, how many can he control?

Guess: None.  Only unguided missiles can be launched without the benefits of a Master Fire Director.


“USD Bonus – The USD bonus for missile batteries using this equipment.”

Question: The QSDS 1.5 rules on bits introduce a “USD Bonus” in regards to Master Fire Directors.  Is this the same thing as the number of missiles that it can control or is it some new bonus for to-hit rolls?

Guess: Uh… just use it as the number of missiles it can control.


Question: Does carrying a small craft on an external grapple increase the amount of fuel it takes to make a jump?

Guess: Uh… no?


Question: Does Predict software improve to-hit rolls using Missiles or Sand?

Guess: Uh… no.  (According to robject.)


[Note: I’m not sure at this point why I continue to fiddle with such an outdated system riddled with errors and ommissions that Traveller players have long since abandoned, but here we go anyway.  I guess I partly want to be able to judge the rumored T5 edition from the standpoint of what Marc was trying to accomplish with the T4 ruleset.  Also, there are some neat features in it for those of us that haven’t gotten around to buying every single edition of the game.]

Update:  Here’s the spreadsheet detailing my Patrol Cruiser design.


3 responses to “T4 QSDS 1.5 Sheds Light on Cryptic 1.0 Draft

  1. Guy "wildstar" Garnett May 19, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    Hi, wow … I’m surprised that people are still using T4 and QSDS after all of this time. I’m the author of QSDS, and here are some answers to your questions:

    1. Your guess is correct. When launching a missile under local control, the gunner has no MFD, no communicator, and no workstation, so would find it hard to operate a controlled missile (so while the missile could be launched, it won’t do any good in combat). To be effective, the local control rule should be used with a fully-independent missile (FIM, or fire-and-forget missile). Once launched, FIMs don’t need to be controlled.

    2. Yes; USD bonus is the number of missiles controlled (when the MFD is being used to control missiles), or the to-hit bonus (when the MFD is being used to fire beam weapons).

    3. The answer to this one depends on how you designed your ship. ;-) The grapple does NOT include the volume of the small craft it carries. You can either include the tonnage of the carried craft in your design (and get full rated performance with the grapple full), or exclude it (and accept reduced performance when something is in the grapple).

    In your example design, you’ve got a 400-ton ship with jump drives and fuel designed around 400 tons. Adding the ship’s boat makes it a 430-ton ship. To make J-3, with the combined size, you would need bigger drives and more fuel than is installed on the ship. Using QSDS, you’d have to use the 500-ton line of the charts. Without the bigger drives, adding the boat reduces the performance of the ship (again, using the 500-ton line on the charts, the ship’s performance becomes J-2 and 2G with the boat).

    4) This depends on your space combat system (some combat systems use abstract DMs based on computer size, rather than use specific software packages), but no, Predict software doesn’t help with missiles or sand.

  2. jeffro June 6, 2008 at 9:38 am

    Wow… thanks for dropping in, Guy. Glad you’re still out there. :)

  3. Nick October 8, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    One thing, a ship externally grappled will affect the jump drive because the jump field is based on the total volume of the field being created. More volume = more jump drive required. FF&S goes over this briefly. Much like drop tanks needing to be dropped before jumping or else the jump field is too small. It may also affect the G rating of your ship if the ship is over mass. 1 m3 per I ton. If it’s less of a ratio, you may have a higher G rating, if it’s more of a ratio (meaning more mass per cubic meter) your actual G rating is less than the stated G rating. You can either recalculate the G rating or you can recalculate the drive you need.

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