Bombs Away! by David Manley

Issue: 22
System: Full Thrust
Publisher: Ground Zero Games

Bombs Away!
A "Green" Full Thrust scenario
by David Manley

This scenario for Full Thrust is something out of the ordinary. Basically it is a non-lethal scenario designed to employ some of the lesser used rules and to get players away from the usual 'shoot 'em up' scenario - play testing proved just how ingenious some people can be when presented with an unusual situation.

The year is 2185. The Kra'Vak threat is now very real and the traditional Human power blocs are developing their own weapons to deal with the 'new psychos on the block'. Whilst others develop new anti-ship technology, the Federal Stats Europa have hastened development of their new 'super weapon', the planet busting Thermostellar Bomb, capable of reducing an earth-sized planet to an asteroid belt in fairly short order. Although the FSE points out that the weapon is for use only against aggressive alien species in extreme circumstances there is widespread condemnation of the project from governments and civil pressure groups. However, given the threat posed by the Kra'Vak and the realisation that humanity may indeed need the weapon one day no direct action is being taken against the project...

The scenario is set in the Senypolia system, well away from the Kra'vak offensive, and clear of the major colonies. Senypolia is the test site for the thermostellar bomb and the final test is to be carried out shortly. The planet Senypolia 4, known locally as Roumaru, is to be the target. As the system is regarded as being safe only a small force of FSE police cruisers is present. Unfortunately the environmental group EcoStar is about to gatecrash the party, and if that wasn't enough, it looks like someone invited the Press as well!


The scenario is based on a 4' by 6' table. Roumaru is setup in the middle of the table. A space station is in orbit at 12" from the planet, with its exact location determined randomly.

FSE Forces

  • 3 'Cassard' class police cruisers and two fighter groups,set up as desired by the FSE player.
  • One Heavy Freighter, carrying the thermostellar bomb to the test site. This enters from a random direction, on a random turn between turns 1 and 6.

EcoStar Forces

  • 2 'Rainbow' class fast couriers. One carries a group of three 'StarRider' disarmed heavy fighters.
  • 'Larry King' Class courier, operated by Interstellar News Network (INN).

The EcoStar ships and the Larry King enter under FTL drive on turn 1. The EcoStar player must plot their entry points before the FSE player places their forces on the table.

FTL Entry and Exit

FTL entry and exit is limited by Roumaru's gravity well. Ships may not be plotted to enter the table closer than 24" to Roumaru, nor may FTL drives be engaged to leave the table within 24" of the planet.Ship's which are entering still roll for deviation and may end up entering closer than the 24" limit.

Winning and Losing

The EcoStar player wins if they get at least one ship or the StarRider group on to the planet's surface. From there the crew can hide out and delay the test for some time. See More Thrust for rules on orbital distances and atmospheric landings. The EcoStar player forces draw if the space station or the Heavy Freighter are occupied by protesters at the end of the 12th turn. The FSE player wins if these objectives are not met.

So, to win the FSE player could blast all the EcoStar ships before they reach the planet, right? Wrong. If they fire on an EcoStar ship whilst the EcoStar vessel is in line of sight of the Larry King the INN will get great footage and the FSE loses automatically. Note that the firing of beam batteries does not lose the game for the FSE, only INN seeing shots landing on the EcoStars. In order to stop the protesters the FSE are allowed to use their ship's Needle Beams to disable the protesters, or may board them. Rules for boarding are in More Thrust, with each ship having one boarding party. Boarding actions consist of one die roll only, and to win a player must score 2 points more than the opposition. FSE troops on the police cruisers gain +1 to the die roll. Victory against the EcoStars, the police cruisers and the Heavy Freighter means the ship comes under the control of the winning player. Success against the space station means the protesters are well 'dug in' - the FSE must mount a boarding action against the station to winkle them out, and the protesters gain a +2 modifier whilst holed upon the station.

Nothing is as simple as it seems...

During play testing, a few alternative scenarios were developed.

  1. Crazy Pierre - The FSE can ignore the restrictions on the non-use of weapons and is free to fire at will. If they so choose, the FSE player wins if neither the EcoStar ships nor the Larry King can escape using FTL (an 'orreeble acciden' in hyperspace - nothing to do wiz uz!)
  2. EcoBandits - The EcoStar mission is a cover for a band of interstellar arms dealers who are plotting to obtain the thermostellar bomb for themselves. All weapons on the EcoStar ships are active. The fighters are heavy fighters and each carries two beam weapons. The EcoStar bandits win if they capture the Heavy Freighter and escape under FTL. The FSE forces a draw if the Heavy Freighter is destroyed.

In either scenario, it is essential for the players to keep their real missions a secret until they are ready to reveal their true purpose.

Ship Data

Cassard Class.
Mass 8; Damage 4; Thrust 6; Shield 0; FireCon 1. Armed with 1 Needle Beam (forward arc), 1 PDAF, 1 'C' Class battery (forward, port,and starboard arcs)

Rainbow Class.
Uses the same type of hull as the Cassard, but EcoStar ships are unarmed. If using the EcoBandit scenario the ship carries the same weapons as the Cassard, but may replace the PDAF or the C Battery with a submunition pack.

Larry King.
Mass 8; Damage 4; Thrust 4; Shield 0; FireCon 1. Carries a long range imaging system.

Ed Note: Full Thrust is a simple, flexible and highly popular game of starship combat which must rate as one of the all time Classic games. Full Thrust has won the Best SF Rules category every time the SFSFW Awards have been held. For further details regarding price and availability, send an SSAE to Ground Zero Games PO Box 337, Needham Market, Suffolk, IPA 8LN.