By Steven John Satak


As part of the special series, “Putting The Mega Into Traveller”, you were treated to a capsule review of the major changes in the area of starship construction, and a sample of an “improved” Scout craft, one designed according to the High Guard rules. It was originally intended to present the same craft design according to MegaTraveller rules, but lack of space prevented this.

As I began the task of translation, it became clear that the new rules were not only more specific, they were very closely tied in with each other and added a new dimension which had not been in the previous rules – volume. Very soon, it was obvious I could no just swap numbers – the ship had to be rebuilt from the ground up. So while every attempt has been made to maintain the concept of the Armored Scout, I.S.S. Vega, the ship you see in this article bears only a passing resemblance to the High Guard version.

Armored Scout
Craft ID: Armored Scout, Type SA, TL 15, MCr 85.1323.
Hull: 90/225, Disp=100, Config=1SL, Armor=55G, Unloaded=1597 tons, Loaded=1675.5 tons.
Power: 1/2, Fusion=1344MW, Duration=24/72.
Loco: 8/16, Maneuver=3, 3/6, Jump=2, NOE=190kph, Cruise=2138kph, Top=2850kph. Agility=1.
Commo: Radio=System, Maser=Far Orbit.
Sensors: Passive EMS = Interstellar, Active EMS = Far Orbit, Densitometer = High Pen/1km. ActObjScan = Routine, ActObjPin = Routine, PasObjScan = Routine, PasObjPin = Impossible, PasEngScan = Routin, PasEngPin = Impossible.
Off: Beam Laser=x04, Batt=1, Bear=1.
Def: Def DM=+6.
Control: Computer=4x4, Panel=Holodynamic link x 180, Spcial=Large holodisplay, heads up holodisplay, Environ=Basic Env, Basic LS, Extended LS, Grav Plates, Inertial Comp.
Accom: Crew=1 (Bridge/Engineer=1), Stateroom=3, MidPsg=4 (noncommercial), Subcraft=Air/Raft.
Other: Cargo=24 kliters, purification plants, scoops, ObjSize=Average, EM Level=Moderate.

The original concept of the Vega class remains the same: high-security courier missions, exploration, escort duty with survey ships going into amber/red zones, and “showing the Flag” in various starports under Imperial rule. To accomplish this, she is armored and furnished with more sophisticated support equipment than a standard Scout of her displacement. In designing her, we’ll begin with the hull; there’ll be five aspects we’ll keep track of: UCP is the Universal Craft Profile; power is in megawatts; weight is in metric tons; volume is in kiloliters; price is in megacredits; and CP is the number of Control Points required for the section being designed.

Item Power Volume Weight Price
UCP 100 1350 40 0.134
Needle config Mod x1.2
Streamlined Mod x1.0
Bnd. Superdense Arm. x0.14 Mod x1.0
Armor 55 x123 Mod x123
UCP=100 (CP=2937) 0 1350 688.8 19.58

Note that the price modifiers are not cumulative, but rather applied one at a time as the various specifications are chosen, in the order shown. CP’s are determined by multiplying the price shown by 10 and then by the ship’s tech level. (Here, it’s TL15, so: 19.58x10x15 = CP sum). Doing this now will save you the heartache of having to do it all later when we do the bridge. When designing with armor, keep in mind that (1) minimum armor for starships is 40, and that for purposes of combat, every 3 levels of armor after 40 counts as 1 armor factor.

Next in the book is power supply. However, from sad experience, I have found this a real pain to do in the order suggested. At this point, how do you know how big of a power plant you’ll need? So we’ll just go on to locomotion.

Item Power Volume Weight Price
Jump 2 (3 units) 40.50 81.00 9.000
Jump fuel 202.50
Maneuver 3 (8 units) 56.0 108.00 280.00 5.600
Avionics (TL15) 0.1 0.05 0.02 0.017
Totals (CP=2193) 56.1 350.55 361.02 14.617

For a starship, this section’s pretty simple. The fuel tank allocated to the jump drive is enough for a single jump-2 (or 2 J-1’s). Keep track of all totals. Avionics are needed if you want to zip around dirtside without hitting a mountain or something.

Item Power Volume Weight Price
Radio (System) 0.007 0.014 0.007 0.150
Maser (Far Orbit) 0.014 0.028 0.014 0.112
Totals (CP=39.3) 0.021 0.042 0.021 0.262

If you look at the simple ships in the Imperial Encyclopedia, you’ll see most are equipped with basic radio and have “fancy” communicators only when their mission requires it. As you can see, though, they’re cheap and it makes sense to have an alternate system if you find your comms being jammed.

The fun part is deciding which sensors are right for the ship. Vega isn’t all that different from an S-type Scout; she’s outfitted with both active and passive EMS and a high penetration densitometer. It’s easier to work these prepackaged sensors into the ship than buying them individually. There are other sensors and devices for special purposes, and are worth looking into if you have something special in mind.

Item Power Volume Weight Price
High Pen. Denstr/1km 0.40 7.00 1.500 0.40
Active EMS (far orbit) 0.03 0.06 0.030 0.60
Passive EMS (Interst.) 0.16 0.32 0.016 0.32
Totals (CP=363) 0.59 7.38 1.55 2.42

A word about weapons: the original Vega was equipped with three missile racks, and had a missile magazine as well. In High Guard, missiles are very powerful. However, with MegaTraveller, you need a lot of explosives to do much damage to starship hulls. Second, turret energy weapons have a rate of fire (ROF) 30 times that of missiles. Because of this, I decided to go with beam lasers. Keep in mind that while missiles aren’t as effective as they were, they can penetrate and need practically no power (1 megawatt/rack vs. 250 Mw for beam lasers.)

Item Power Volume Weight Price
Beam Laser (x3) 750 12 3
Total (CP=450) 750 0 12 3

The next section is for screens, but this doesn’t apply to Vega, so we’ll move on to the bridge.

Item Power Volume Weight Price
Basic environment 1.35 6.75 6.75 0.0135
Basic Life Support 1.35 67.50 67.50 0.4000
Extended Life Support 2.70 4.00 4.00 0.2700
Artificial G-Plates 67.50 13.50 27.0 0.6700
Inertial Compensators 27.00 13.50 27.0 0.3370
Totals (CP=254) 99.90 105.25 132.25 1.6900

Now we must figure the ship’s CP total. The book says to determine CPs by hull, power supply, locomotion, communications, sensors, weapons, screens, and environment control. At this point, we have to start juggling figures, though (thankfully) not much. We can’t figure power supply CP’s because as yet, we have none. However, since computers and control panels don’t use much power, it’s safe to use the ship’s overall power requirements (up to this point) as a good estimate. The power supply and computer design tables are forgiving of this “guesstimation”. There is no required figuring of CP’s for the fuel or accommodations sections (I can’t tell you why). Once can assume (as we did) that they are included under power plant and environment control, respectively, or you can just forget them, as they will only make a significant difference in larger ships/ Therefore, let’s do these before we decide on our computer.

Item Power Volume Weight Price
Staterooms (2) 0.002 108 8 0.80
Small stateroom 0.006 27 2 0.04
Totals (CP=128) 0.008 135 10 0.84

Item Power Volume Weight Price
Purifier (12-HR) 1.95 78 156 0.0453
Scoops 0.10125
Totals (CP=9) 1.95 78 156 0.14655

Now we can figured the power plant cost, with all the other sections worked out. The ship’s total power requirements at this point is 907 Mw. For Vega, we want to allow extra for the computer, control panels, and agility. After guesstimating the power required for Agility-1 using the ship’s estimated final tonnage and the figures in the design evaluation section, we get down to the actual design of the power plant.

Item Power Volume Weight Price
Fusion (TL15) – Efficiency multiplier (x2)
112 Units +1344 10.08 224 22.4
Totals (CP=3360) +1344 10.08 224 22.4

The power plant has been figured, so now let’s add them all together. Remember that accommodations and fuel will also be added.

Ship’s Total Control Points
Hull 2,937
Locomotion 2,193
Communications 39.3
Sensors and electronics 363
Weapons 450
Environmental control/accommodations 382
Power plant/fuel 3,347
Total control points 9,732

When choosing a computer, you can elect to get one which just covers the CP input, or you can get one which reduces the amount of control panels required and gives you a better advantage in combat. It depends on your budget and the purpose of the ship. I used a Model 4 because of the reduction in total control panels and the increased defensive DM.

Computer and Control Points
Item Power Volume Weight Price
Model 4 (x3) 0.005 16.5 4.2 19.20
Holodyn link x180 0.360 3.6 5.4 0.18
Holodisplay (LG/1500) 0.050 2.0 1.0 0.5
Holodisplay (H-U/200) 0.020 1.0 0.5 0.1
Totals (CP=N/A) 0.435 23.1 11.1 19.98

As an example of how the number of control panels and add-on features were added, it looks like this: the number of CPs is 9.732. First, subtract the CP value for the special control panel add-ons. This is 1,700, so now we have 8,032 CP’s. The Model 4 CP multiplier is 30, for a value of 267 (rounded off). Since we chose holographic linked control panels (CP multiplier of 1.5), divide 267 by 1.5 to get 178. This was increased to 180 for the sake of future modifications.

Next, work out the crew. The minimum bridge crew is 2, so that’s what we used. (It should be noted that when figuring the engineering crew, the formula uses “L” without telling you what “L” is! My best guess is that “L” standards for locomotion CP.) The crew segment value is one due to the tonnage of the ship. Air/Rafts are listed as having a UCP 2 volume (27 kl), so it will require 150% of that for the Air/Raft bay.

Air/Raft & Bay
Item Power Volume Weight Price
Air/Raft (open top) 27.0 1.6 0.281
Air/Raft Bay 40.5 0.004
Totals 0 40.5 1.6 0.285

The ship’s equipment volume is 750. There’s 600 left for power plant fuel and cargo. Since we already calculated in a fuel purifier for 24 days of fuel, we’ll install it. There’s 24kl of room left for cargo. Final weight is unloaded weight (fuel weighs 54.5, cargo is 24.) Loaded weight is 1675.5. Powerplant output is 435 in excess of what we need, so agility becomes 1.

Item Power Volume Weight Price
(CP=9,734) 909 750 1,597 85.23355