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Movement and Range
Vehicle Movement
Vehicles list their move-
ment in meters per Phase
and kilometers per hour.
Vehicles usually travel at
cruising speed, equal to
half their top speed. Trav-
eling at lower speeds
should impart a bonus to
the operator in the form of reduced Maneuver
Value. A craft traveling at half speed will suffer only
half its MV rounded up. A craft traveling quarter
speed will quarter its MV rounded up, and so on.
Starfighter and Starship Movement
Starfighters do not measure their movement in me-
ters, or even kilometers. The distances involved are
simply too large to realistically keep track of in a
game. Instead, Starfighters and Starships measure
their movement in abstracted units called Hexes.
Using hexes makes it easy to keep track of combat
using miniatures and hex maps, and leaves the
technical details of the setting to the GM. Hexes
arent an exact form of measurement, the scale of a
hex is exponential. 1 hex equals 50 meters but 2
hexes equal 200 meters and 3 hexes equal 450 me-
ters. They are abstracted in this way to preserve a
useable scale on which to play a game on a table-
top or map. Therefore, a crafts MOVE or a
weapons range wont match up to a linear scale in
hexes. For example, even though a Peacekeepers
Beam Guns have a listed range of 5 kilometers their
range is abstracted to 10 hexes. See Appendix 1
(page 206) for a handy conversion of MOVE and
Range to meters and kilometers.
Size and Scale
The relative size of vehicles and spacecraft play a
large role in combat. Large targets are easier to hit
with small weapons while small targets find it easy
to dodge the less accurate larger weapons. To
simulate this, there are five scales of size in Lights-
peed: Human, Vehicle, Starfighter, Starrunner, and
Starship. Against targets of similar scale, weapons
of that scale suffer no penalty or bonus for size.
However, when attacking a target that is higher
scale of the weapon being fired, the attacker re-
ceives a cumulative +2 AV bonus per scale differ-
ence. Likewise, attacking small targets with larger
scale weapons suffer cumulative 2 AV per scale
penalty to hit.
For example, a starfighter targeting a human run-
ning on the ground with its Beam Guns suffers 4 to
his AV (-2 per scale difference) ot hit. Similarly, a
Grav-mounted Heavy Blaster firing at a Starship
would receive a +6 AV bonus (+2 per scale) to hit.
Reality Check
You may find yourself wondering, How can a star-
ship have a top speed in space? Well, the realistic
answer is that they wouldnt. However, this game
tries to capture the feel of the science fiction movie
genre, and makes little attempt to be realistic. In
that regard, spacecraft require constant thrust to
maintain constant velocity, can react and maneuver
like a modern jet aircraft, and make lots and lots of
noise regardless of a medium for the sound to
travel through.
In a harder science fiction setting, a spacecrafts
thrusters would continue accelerating the craft until
it reached the halfway point where it would have to
turn around and decelerate to stop at its destina-
tion. When was the last time you saw THAT in Star
Wars or Star Trek? Should players or Gamemas-
ters wish to model this type of realism, simply treat
every 2 MOVE as 1G of acceleration, or 10m/s2.
Therefore a Peacekeeper Starfighter with a maxi-
mum MOVE of 8 would be capable of performing a
4G acceleration.
A realistic space combat simulation would also en-
tail much greater ranges and velocities than those
mentioned in this game. The unrealistically short
ranges and slow velocities are also an attempt to
model popular science fiction films. In reality,
spacecraft would be traveling at hundreds of thou-
sands of kilometers an hour and would engage at
ranges in the tens of thousands of kilometers. In a
harder science fiction setting, each hex would rep-
resent 10,000 kilometers instead of only 50 meters.
Likewise, players and Gamemasters should multi-
ply a vessels sensors and communications ranges
by 500 to determine a more realistic range in kilo-
meters.
Vehicle Movement
1/4 Top Speed = 1/4 MV
1/2 Top Speed = 1/2 MV
Top Speed = normal MV
Scale Examples
Tiny Datapad, Weapon, Bullseye
Small Dog, Cat, Arm, Leg
Medium Human
Large Vehicle, Tree
Very Large Strider, Starfighter, House
Huge Starrunner, Barn
Gigantic Starship, Town
Scale Chart
Enormous Asteroid, Small Moon, City
Humongous Moon
Astronomical Small Planet (Earth)
Large Planet (Jupiter)
Cosmic Star (Sun)
Chapter 6: Shields Up! Fire all Missiles!
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122
Sensors
The human eye can discern spacecraft only out to a
few kilometers. Beyond that distance the spacecraft
is lost in the void of space. Space, however, is infi-
nitely huge and does not accommodate to human
abilities. Therefore, a starships sensors augment
and enhance the crews own abilities, allowing them
to detect and see starships much farther than nor-
mal.
A spacecrafts sensors use a combination of pas-
sive visual and EM sensors as well as active ladar
and radar emitters to provide the pilot with an accu-
rate picture of the space surrounding the craft. More
sophisticated sensors even employ advanced Gra-
vimetric sensors to detect the mass of a remote
starship and Hyperspace Wave Distortion sensors
to detect active Hyperdrive use or Hypercomm
transmissions. Civilian spacecraft rely on accurate
sensor readings to navigate and maneuver while
military spacecraft use even more accurate sensors
to acquire and track threat spacecraft as well as co-
ordinate the activity of allied or subordinate craft.
Under normal operations, all spacecraft navigate
and maneuver using active sensors. Active sensors
provide detailed and accurate information but are
easily detected by other spacecraft. Under certain
circumstances a spacecraft may operate under pas-
sive sensors only. Passive sensor operation pro-
vides less accurate or detailed information than ac-
tive sensor operation since it can only detect emit-
ted or reflected ambient EM radiation but has the
advantage of making the vessel itself harder to de-
tect.
Sensor Range
Each spacecraft equipped with sensors lists the
crafts Sensor Level. Sensors are rated by their De-
tection Range and Identification Range.
Detection Range
The Detection Range is the distance at which point
the spacecraft will become aware of the existence of
an object or energy source. At this point, the infor-
mation provided by the sensors is too limited to pro-
vide an accurate identification of the remote object.
All that is known is the objects size or mass, its
heading, and what kind of energy it might be gener-
ating or transmitting.
Identification Range
The Identification Range is the distance at which the
sensors provide enough information for an accurate
identification of the object. At this range, sensor op-
erators, or computer databanks, can determine the
identity and intention of the craft or object. Identifica-
tion Range is considered the maximum range at
which a spacecrafts weapons can target and open
fire on an opponent.
Passive Sensors
A spacecraft operating with passive sensors only, or
running silent, can detect other craft if the other
craft is using active sensors at a range equal to the
other crafts Detection Range.
Scan
Spacecraft equipped with advanced sensor suites
may attempt a Scan against a single target. A suc-
cessful System Operation skill test provides more
detailed information about that target, including life
signs, power output, material construction, etc.
Examples
A starship can detect a human-sized object at the
range listed on the Sensor Range Table below.
Each increase in the size of the object increases the
effective range at which that sensor can detect that
object. For example, a starfighter can detect a hu-
man-sized object at 3000 kilometers but can detect
another starfighter out to 300,000 kilometers or a
starship out to 3 million kilometers. The starfighter
can only identify a human-sized object within 30
kilometers or can identify a specific starfighter out to
3000 kilometers.
A starships sensors, on the other hand, can detect
a human-sized object out to 300,000 kilometers, the
equivalent distance of the Moon from the Earth. It
can detect the presence of another starship out to
30 billion kilometers, roughly the same distance of
Pluto from the Sun, though it couldnt identify the
starship from any other starship until it was within
300 million kilometers, roughly the distance of Mars
from the Sun. It can detect the presence of any
Jupiter-sized planets out to 30 trillion kilometers
(approximately 3 light years or 1 parsec).
A sophisticated orbital observatory can detect a
man-sized object such as an meteor or satellite any-
where within the same star system out to 200 AU
(Pluto is roughly 40 AU from the Sun) thought it
could only discern the features of said object, such
as whether it was a man, a meteor, or a satellite,
within 2 AU. That same observatory can detect a
remote star as far away as 300 quintillion kilome-
ters, 300 times farther than the Andromeda Galaxy,
though it could only determine the features of stars,
chemical make-up, age, etc., within our own Galaxy.
Chapter 6: Shields Up! Fire all Missiles!