For those of you who are considering running something set in the Fifth Frontier war, I'd like to direct your attention to the Lunion Subsector.
The reason for this is because although the Fifth Frontier War board game makes mention of battle fleets and such - it does't really go into details about what happens elsewhere in the Imperium that border the belligerents. For instance, the Sword World is right adjacent to Lunion, yet - there is nothing on the board game map for this. Clearly, the Sword Worlders didn't just ignore Lunion.
To that end, I would like to suggest a peek at SECTOR FLEET material on what ships are part of the forces in the Lunion Subsector (both Imperial Navy as well as subsector navy). I would then suggest that the opposing side (Sword Worlder ships for the most part, pirates/privateers, and of course, perhaps a ship or two on loan from the Zhodani Navy.
When the flag goes up (ie the war starts), there is going to be a certain level of uncertainty involved in just what is going on. Then there may very well be the temptation to cross the border through Lunion for a few strikes against the Sword Worlds. But I would like to suggest a possible alternative that might be worth considering for those GMs who want to have a whole new flavor...
Why not set up a small wargame of your own that instead of BATRONS and CRURONS and Carrier groups ect - you create your very own "Mini-war"? Why not concentrate on the escort hulls, the Destroyer hulls etc? Perhaps rumors that the Zhodani have reinforced their Sword World home defense fleet with a few cruisers might cause the Imperial command at any of the Imperial Naval bases to state "It is too risky to lose our Cruiser or Dreadnaught or what have you, keep them close to home). Perhaps the Sword Worlders have third rate Dreadnaughts in orbit around some defensive point.
The idea here is to get into small scale ship operations. Reading the War of 1812 on the Great Lakes might give you some inspiration on the thinking and behaviors of the relatively backwater action. Having the players deal with a Destroyer that is engaging in commerce raiding is going to be bad enough, but what if the scenario was that of a 3,000 dton destroyer plus two escorts against a Zhodani 5,000 dton Escort that was built to TL 12 tech specifications? The battle is pretty evenly decided until the Imperials discover that the Zhodani are testing a new concept for war: Jeep Carriers. It is a prototype hull being tested to see just how much it can tie up anti-commerce raiding resources. Where the player characters fit in of course, is fending off some of the Zhodani Fighters (possibly). Perhaps the Zhodani jeep carrier is intended to strike quickly while the local defenses pay attention to the destroyer and its escorts.
In short - it is a new aspect to the Fifth Frontier War that you can introduce that keeps it relatively low grade and at the level of Adventure class ships.
Just a thought.
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A few resources for such a project:
- Classic Traveller's The Spinward Marches Campaign
- Mongoose's The Lunion Shield Worlds supplement
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