Space is big, and also empty, which means most Full Thrust battles are conducted on an empty board. These rules are an attempt to bring terrain and objectives into the game through the use of planets.
More Thrust provides some rules for handling planets (p.13), but they are very simplistic and don't fit in well with the vector movement system introduced in the Fleet Book. As such, I've made an attempt at modelling planets in a bit more detail and using the vectored movement rules. If you're using cinematic movement, then these rules won't make much sense.
All these rules assume that a scale of 1“ = 1,000km and 1 turn = 1,000s. See the page on modelling planets for details.
Attacking a Planet
Though most combat in Full Thrust occur entirely in space, it is sometimes necessary to assault military targets on a planet's surface. Doing so is similar to attacking another ship or space station, but planetary bases are often hidden beneath an atmosphere, and may be further protected by rock.
Attacking Through an Atmosphere
A thick atmosphere can be quite effective at preventing a large number of attacks, especially energy weapons. The most effective weapons against targets within an atmosphere are Ortillery weapons, which ignore any atmospheric effects.
Atmospheres come in different types: Very thin, Thin, Standard, Dense, Very dense.
|Very dense||+30” ++||-5||x300|
+ Also counts as one level of shield.
++ Also counts as two levels of shields.
Beam weapons have their range modified by the atmosphere, which may mean smaller beam weapons cannot penetrate at all. For example, the range against targets within a Standard atmosphere is increased by 18“. This would mean that a class 1 weapon cannot reach, and a class 2 weapon would do only 1d damage if less than 6” above the target.
Torpedo attacks have their 'to hit' chance reduced, and have each damage die reduced as well (to a minimum of zero per die).
Grasers are affected in a similar way to beam weapons, but the range penalty is doubled. The damage die of each graser hit is also reduced as per a torpedo. Grasers aren't very good at penetrating atmospheres.
Heavy missiles aren't designed to enter an atmosphere, and have a chance of simply burning up on re-entry. For each missile, roll a die, modified by the 'torpedo' column above. On a 1+, the missile makes it through to the target.
However, any missile that does hit the target is more effective, due to the extra shock wave produced by the atmosphere. Against unarmoured targets, multiply the damage by the missile column for that type of atmosphere. A typical heavy missile will do around 210 points of damage against a settlement (see below).
Similar to heavy missiles, they are not good at entering an atmosphere, but more effective if they do hit. Reduce the number of missiles that hit by the penalty, and multiply damage as for heavy missiles.
An ortillery system is a non-nuclear strike designed to penetrate bunkers and other heavily defended targets. As such, they are not as effective against civilian targets as missiles, but no civilised invasion should be attacking civilian targets anyway.
Ortillery rolls to hit like a pulse torpedo, but with a range band of 3“.
On a hit, it does 2d6 damage to the target, with half (round down) penetrating any armour.
A civilian population centre shouldn't normally be the focus of an orbital attack, but sometimes these things happen. A settlement has a number of 'hull boxes' equal to the square root of its population.
Wiping out a city can be a major undertaking, and most starships aren't equipped to do this in any reasonable period of time. Since settlements are generally unarmoured, using missiles or ortillery systems is the normal way to go.
Settlements have four rows as per starships. The first row represents about 10% of the population killed or displaced. The second row represents another 20% (30% total), the third another 30% (60% total), and the fourth is the last 40% of the population.
Military targets are costed similar to ships - each point of hull or armour costs 2 points. Armour can be layered, at extra cost, by any nation. They do not have to pay cost for the total size of the installation.
Military installations may have point defence systems (against fighters or missiles) or Surface-to-Space weapons. An installation on an airless planetoid can use any weapon system used by ships, for the same cost.