Reviewing the available weapons in Full Thrust Cross Dimensions (FT), beams seem the best option for representing batteries; like batteries, beams are simple, common direct fire weapon. Lances, however, should pack a bit more punch, and it would be interesting to make them mechanically different than batteries. FT’s “pulse torpedoes” sound like what Lances are supposed to be. The one snag is FT pulse torpedoes ignore “screens” (what I’m using here for void shields) but not armor. FT doesn’t have any weapons affected by screens, but not by armor, so we’ll just have to accept that difference. The FT salvo missile launcher is a remarkably close match for the BFG torpedo launcher, both which shoot 6 projectiles per turn. Perfect. Since there is no way to simulate “reloading” in FT, we will just limit the number of salvos to 3.
Now, each lance hit in BFG does 1 damage and the ship can take 8 total damage. FT pulse torpedoes do d6 damage, so we should have roughly 3 times as many hull points. That makes the FT Lunar 24 hull points. With this level of damage in mind, a pair of Type 2 beams appear to be about the right fit for the batteries on each side. Some ships in BFG have longer range batteries, so I I’m holding back on the the larger beams to represent those. I also avoided using the Type 1 beams; unlike BFG batteries, Type 1 beams can be used for point defense, which I wanted to avoid (plus some Ork ships have even shorter range batteries that could be Type 1’s).
Base armor in BFG is 6+, so the Lunar’s 5+ and 6+ armor ratings do a lot to mitigate damage. It takes 50% more shots to kill a ship with 5+ armor than one with 6+ armor, and the Lunar has 6+ on its prow, so the Lunar class needs at least 12 pts of armor. Unfortunately since there is no way to depict different levels of protection on different faces in Full Thrust, I had to represent the heavy bow armor by bumping up the overall armor level from 12 to 15.
Given weapon ranges, I judged that dividing the top speed in centimeters by 5 would produce an appropriate FT thrust level, giving the Lunar a thrust rating of 4. The 2 turrets are represented by 2 point defense systems, BFG ships can carry up to 8 screens, so a void-shield to screen ratio of 2:1 ends up with the FT Luna carrying one shield. There’s no real equivalent to FT fire control in BFG, so I decided escorts from BFG should have 1, cruisers 2 and anything larger 3.
So here we have the Lunar Class SSD for FT:
The Nova Cannon variant might mount an FT Plasma Bolt. It takes about the same mass as the Salvo missile launcher with all its reloads, and is the only area effect direct fire weapon in the game. It has the downside of being susceptible to point defense fire, which the BFG Nova Cannon isn’t, but like the Nova Cannon, it is affected by screens and is effective at long range.
Unfortunately there is really no way to simulate most of the special orders from BFG in FT. Some of the movement special orders can be handled with FT optional movement rules, but modifying the firepower of a ship in FT is just not something that is possible.
FT is no longer supported by Ground Zero Games (other than providing free download of the rules), so there are no “official” design aides, however, it’s easy to make a design sheet and if you aren’t comfortable with Excel you can probably find a fan-made one. I had made up my own design sheet for calculating costs and mass previously, so I used that to design the ship. I used the drawing app in Google Drive to draw the ship, and since I had a ship design sheet I was able to put this together in about an hour.
This wraps up this week’s installment. Stay tuned for next week when we highlight the Lunar Class using Colonial Battlefleet.
For links to all the posts in Tim White’s first series comparing five popular 2D squadron level space combat games, see here.
For links to all the posts in Tim White’s second series working through a complete ship design in each of those games, see here.