Issue: 23
System: Full Thrust
Publisher: Ground Zero Games

Extra Firepower - More SFSFW Starships
by Tony Francis

NB These stats are for Full Thrust 2nd Edition. Updated versions compatible with the revised design rules presented in the Fleet Books are available from the Brigade Miniatures' web site gaming pages.

The Brigade Models starships range has now been re-organised is no longer tied to the SemFed background. Brigade have provided a conversion list showing the product codes in the old and new ranges.

Ben-Gurion class SuperDreadnought

These gargantuan warships are the largest ships-of-the-line (as opposed to carriers or support vessels) in the SemFed fleet. The design is based upon one proposed by Neu Bayerisches MasehinenWerk for an NSL requirement but which was rejected in favour of the Von Tegetthoff class SDN.

Lahav Military ThruSpace Systems Group bought the design from its NBMW and modified it heavily to reflect SemFed naval philosophy and practice. Since standard SemFed doctrine means that ships are rarely, if ever deployed without tighter cover from a carrier, the NSL requirement for two fighter groups and associated hanger and launch facilities was discarded. The space that was made available was used to house three additional 'A' class particle beam batteries. The Ben-Gurion also carries an ECM suite to screen its giant bulk from enemy sensors, plus an Elta enhanced sensor array.

The Ben-Gurion class, with their massive long-range firepower and sophisticated sensor suites, are used to form the backbone of Strategic Action Groups (SAGs). Very few known ships are capable of matching them in a drawn-out engagement, even outnumbered and surrounded they would be difficult to destroy since each one can bring at least four of its main batteries to bear in any arc apart from the rear one. If they have a weakness it would be vulnerability to fighter attack if caught without adequate cover. With no integral fighter squadrons and only moderate anti-fighter defences, a mass attack by fighter craft would pose a real problem. However, no Ben-Gurion has yet been deployed without at least an Escort carrier for company, so it seems that the SemFed naval hierarchy recognise this threat to their most prized assets.

Full Thrust Stats: Ben-Gurion class Mass 80, Damage Points 40, Thrust 2, FTL, Level 3 Screens, 4 PDAF, 8 'A' Batteries (2 FPS, 1 FP, 1 FS, 2 P, 2 S), ECM, Enhanced Sensors, 596 pts.

(NB if you don't use More Thrust, delete the ECM and sensors and add an additional 'A' battery (Forward fire only) @ 576pts).

The Tal Class System Defence Cruiser

The Tal class was originally designed as one of the SemFed's BattleRiders, non-FTL capable ships transported by enormous tenders with masses of 120 or more. The expense of these tenders, and the limited number of facilities available for constructing such massive vessels, means that far more BattleRiders exist than can be carried at any one time by the tenders available.

The Tal design was matched to the Goliath tender, capable of carrying four (Goliath I and II) or even six (Goliath III class) BattleRiders at one time. Only a few are still used in their intended role and most Tals are now employed as System Defence Cruisers, patrolling the SemFed's core systems.

The ship's designers took advantage of the space saved by not fitting FTL drives to equip the Tal with a heavy, long-range weapon system. Originally all were fitted with a Pulse Torpedo tube and four 'A' class particle beam batteries, along with heavy anti-fighter firepower. Recently however, approximately one in four of the Tals built have been converted to carry the new Zion Military Industries Wave Gun in place of the torpedo mounting. Externally the two types are indistinguishable. Internally the additional power generators and control equipment required for the Wave Gun have meant that one 'A' battery and some of the anti-fighter mountings have had to be sacrificed.

Tals have seen active service as BattleRiders, notably in the disastrous Battle of Salzburg, when a number of ships were ambushed during deployment from their tenders. Other engagements were rather more successful, especially against the Islamic Federation and unpublicised actions against FSE forces during the Third Solar War when SemFed forces were under the pay of the NAC.

With the current trend in SemFed naval thinking turning towards smaller, destroyer sized BattleRiders (driven mainly by budgetary restrictions), production of the Goliaths has ceased. It seems increasingly likely that the Tals will see out their final days patrolling the SemFed homeworlds and involving themselves in fighting off the increasing number of Kra'Vak incursions.

Stats: (as built) Mass 36, Damage Points 18, Thrust 4, No FTL, 4 'A' Batteries (2 FPS, 1 FP, 1 FS), Pulse Torpedo, 4 PDAF, Level 2 Screens, 267 points.

(modified) Mass 36, Damage Points 18, Thrust 4, No FTL, 3 'A' Batteries (1 FPS, 1 FP, 1 FS), Wave Gun, 2 PDAF, Level 2 Screens, 263 points.

The Yoffe Class Torpedo Destroyer

The Yoffe class fills an important gap in the SemFed's naval armoury. Whereas the Hofi class frigate is used as a general purpose patrol and escort vessel but is not expected to be capable of standing in the line during a major fleet action, the Yoffe is seen as a small ship-of-the-line in its own right. This is due almost entirely to its Pulse Torpedo mounting which gives it substantial long-range firepower. However, the space that this system occupies means that there is little room left over for anything other than minimal additional armament.

Yoffes have often been used as part of SemFed mercenary groups, hired out to navies whose small ships do not carry similar heavy weapons. One NAC-sponsored squadron of Yoffe class ships, accompanied by NSL Ehrenhold and Waldburg class escorts, was responsible for almost completely destroying an FSE battlegroup, including a Jeanne D'Arc class carrier, when they were caught at their moorings around the Outworld of Nueva Barçeloña in 2166. The small Swabian / SemFed ships managed to evade detection until it was too late for the FSE forces to react, and this action was instrumental in allowing the follow up NSL ground forces to land unhindered.

Stats: Mass 16, Damage Points 8, Thrust 6, FTL, Pulse Torpedo, 1 'C' battery (FPS), 2 PDAF, 98 points.

See also:

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.