# Space Combat Bands and Movement conundrum

#### Scarecrow

##### Banded Mongoose
Reading the Space combat rules in 2nd edition (2022 Update) and I'm not sure I understand the range band movement rules.

Am I right in thinking that in order to move from one band to another, a ship has to expend the required amount of thrust to achieve it?
If a ship only has a Thrust of 2 and needs to expend 10 points of thrust to cross from one range band to another, presumably that ship then commits at least one point of thrust per turn until it has 'saved up' 10 points, allowing it to move across to the new band?
Next, which cost applies to which band?
Very Long is listed as 25 and Distant is listed as 50? To cross from Very Long to Distant or vice versa, does it cost 25 or 50?

If you are approaching an object that is not itself attempting to change the distance between you, every point of Thrust allocated to closing the distance in the Maneuver phase counts as 1 point. If the other object is using thrust to close the distance as well, you add the combined Thrust. If it is attempting to open the distance, the difference in thrust is added to whichever range change has the higher allocated Thrust.

The totals are how much Thrust is needed to move to the next band. So if you are Distant, it takes 50pts of Thrust to get to Very Long. Then 25 more to get from VL to Long and so on. The distances in the higher range bands are enormous.

If you are approaching an object that is not itself attempting to change the distance between you, every point of Thrust allocated to closing the distance in the Maneuver phase counts as 1 point. If the other object is using thrust to close the distance as well, you add the combined Thrust. If it is attempting to open the distance, the difference in thrust is added to whichever range change has the higher allocated Thrust.

The totals are how much Thrust is needed to move to the next band. So if you are Distant, it takes 50pts of Thrust to get to Very Long. Then 25 more to get from VL to Long and so on. The distances in the higher range bands are enormous.
Sure. That makes sense. So, presumably a Scout with Thrust 2, has to keep committing thrust each turn until it's commited a total of 25 to get from Very Long to Long?

Also, Long is listed as 10, so is it 25 or 10 to move to Long? Do you use the Thrust value of the band that you are moving from rather than the band you are moving to? Hence it would be 25 points to move from Very Long to Distant, but 50 points to move from Distant to Very Long?

So no such thing as momentum in the MgT ship combat rules...

I can't decide which are worse, the MegaTraveller ship combat movement rules of the CRB MgT ship combat movement rules.

At least you can get vector movement rules in other MgT supplements, or adapt the range band system from CT Starter Edition.

As a fan of 'Zones' I actually quite like the simplified, player-focussed nature of range bands and I get that they grow exponentially larger. I just wanted to be sure I guessed the Thrust rule right and also which values should be used for each band.

At least you can get vector movement rules in other MgT supplements, or adapt the range band system from CT Starter Edition.
Vector rules scare the willies out of people. That is why we put them in the new Companion

Our group is used to tabletop miniatures games, so we convert the range bands to inches/cm and do not use vectors, unless they are trying to coast (stealth infiltrations).

Sure. That makes sense. So, presumably a Scout with Thrust 2, has to keep committing thrust each turn until it's commited a total of 25 to get from Very Long to Long?

Also, Long is listed as 10, so is it 25 or 10 to move to Long? Do you use the Thrust value of the band that you are moving from rather than the band you are moving to? Hence it would be 25 points to move from Very Long to Distant, but 50 points to move from Distant to Very Long?
Yes, the cost is the cost to move out of the current range band:
Core22, p166:
MOVEMENT
The amount of Thrust required to increase or decrease the Range Band between ships by one category, up or down, is shown on the Ship Movement table – the Thrust listed is the amount required to move from that Range Band to either the next closest or next furthest. A ship can spend Thrust over multiple rounds to close or open a category.

Yes, the cost is the cost to move out of the current range band:
Of course it was right in front of me the whole time! Thank you.

I'm currently learning Fleet Combat rules in preparation for a Naval Campaign with the Fifth Frontier War as the meilu.

Thrust has momentum and there is a Vector Rule.
pg 116 High Guard 2022
You have to track direction and "how many successive rounds are spent accelerating in one direction. For example, a fleet or squadron that applies 6 Thrust in one direction for two rounds moves at twice the speed had it only applied 6Thrust for one turn."

The illustration on pg 117 shows a thrust 6 ship moving at 6 the first round, 12 the second and 18 the third.

(Vector rules will also show you how getting to dogfighting range and then staying there is... not usually viable. If I had my druthers, the 'range limitation' of small craft weapons would be based on their sensor systems, not their arbitrary tonnage, and dogfighting would cease to be a thing. Oh, and point defense would work against fighters just as well as against much smaller and faster missiles, because, yeah.)

Smallcraft weapon system rules never made sense; if you get that close, divebomb that carrier with a bombardment torpedo, or dumb rockets.

Sure. That makes sense. So, presumably a Scout with Thrust 2, has to keep committing thrust each turn until it's commited a total of 25 to get from Very Long to Long?

Also, Long is listed as 10, so is it 25 or 10 to move to Long? Do you use the Thrust value of the band that you are moving from rather than the band you are moving to? Hence it would be 25 points to move from Very Long to Distant, but 50 points to move from Distant to Very Long?
The key thing here is that during the Maneuver phase, the character in the Pilot role decides what to do with the Thrust available to the ship. They can use it to try to change range or they can use it for various purposes that don't change range (evading, aiding the gunners, docking).

While it is abstract, the idea is that ships are maneuvering. So, while you would still be moving in the last direction noted if you turned off your engines, this is not really mechanically relevant because the other ship could adjust course so that your vector is no longer closing the distance to them if you are not expending Maneuver continuously to maintain an approach vector. And if you are spending your Thrust on other maneuvering, again, you stop being on an approach path to the target, so range is not changed.

If the target is literally immobile, the abstraction breaks down a bit, but that is a rare enough instance that you can probably just safely ignore it.

(Vector rules will also show you how getting to dogfighting range and then staying there is... not usually viable. If I had my druthers, the 'range limitation' of small craft weapons would be based on their sensor systems, not their arbitrary tonnage, and dogfighting would cease to be a thing. Oh, and point defense would work against fighters just as well as against much smaller and faster missiles, because, yeah.)
IMTU, manned fighters as a fleet combat element are not a thing. You have remote ops "pilots" on the carrier. Manned fighters are used for customs patrols, convoy escorts, and other things where you might be operating independently of a ship and/or may need to make non combat judgement calls.

The other "interesting" thing about fighters is that many of them can't defend themselves against missiles except by using thrust for evasion, because Point Defense requires a turret rather than a fixed mount AND someone in the Gunner role to make the reaction. PD is not something the pilot can do as a secondary action unless I am totally missing something. So only the "heavy" fighters are good for screening the ships from missile attacks.

The other "interesting" thing about fighters is that many of them can't defend themselves against missiles except by using thrust for evasion, because Point Defense requires a turret rather than a fixed mount AND someone in the Gunner role to make the reaction. PD is not something the pilot can do as a secondary action unless I am totally missing something. So only the "heavy" fighters are good for screening the ships from missile attacks.

I think you can, you just won't hit very well.
Core22, p62:
A Traveller can try to do two or more things at once, like firing a spacecraft’s weapons while also flying, or disarming a bomb while hiding from guards. For every extra thing the Traveller is doing, the level of difficulty for each task is made one level harder. So, an Easy task becomes Routine, while a Very Difficult task becomes Formidable.

You can also let a computer do some of the work:
Core22, p164-165:
AUTOMATED DUTIES
A ship’s computer can cover several duties if it is running the appropriate software.
• Fire Control programs can either act as gunners or assist gunners.
• A ship equipped with repair drones and Auto-Repair software can perform damage control.
• A ship running an Intellect program and Expert (engineer – j-drive, m-drive or power) can act as an engineer.
• A ship running an Intellect program and Expert (pilot) can act as the pilot.
• A ship running an Intellect program and Expert (electronics - sensors) can act as a sensor operator.

Perhaps you can toss a robot into the turret, to offload the fighter's computer?

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I think you can, you just won't hit very well.

You can also let a computer do some of the work:

Perhaps you can toss a robot into the turret, to offload the fighter's computer?
Yeah, the pilot is explicitly allowed to attack with 1 turret. But PD is not in the Attack phase where that rule is stated. PD is a Reaction available to the Gunner role specifically.

The Fire Control program is allowed to fire turrets, of course. Presumably this counts as having a gunner, so they can take Reactions not just attack. More relevant, though, is that bandwidth on fighter computers can be challenging. The one man fighters often don't have a turret and when they do, often running Fire Control would take up all the Bandwidth, so Evade and other programs would not be able to be active.

Yeah, the pilot is explicitly allowed to attack with 1 turret. But PD is not in the Attack phase where that rule is stated. PD is a Reaction available to the Gunner role specifically.
Doing two things simultaneously is a general rule, with DM-2 on both tasks.

The Fire Control program is allowed to fire turrets, of course. Presumably this counts as having a gunner, so they can take Reactions not just attack. More relevant, though, is that bandwidth on fighter computers can be challenging. The one man fighters often don't have a turret and when they do, often running Fire Control would take up all the Bandwidth, so Evade and other programs would not be able to be active.
Sure, it's a bad choice, but better than no choice.

You really want a dedicated gunner with a decent skill.

So then the pilot is doing two tasks by taking on the Pilot and the Gunner role, which is -2 to both tasks. There is a separate rule that says that the pilot can fire one turret at -2 or all fixed mount weapons (presumably at no penalty), but that is part of the attack phase rules.

I found this very useful for space combat. Moving the target down the track the amount the attacker is applying to thrust.

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