Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday Starships: Thinking about Full Thrust

Lately, I've also been reading through the various incarnations of Full Thrust, the space combat game created by designer Jon Tuffley.  I think if I ever do a privateers campaign, I'll use this set of rules.  The rules basically came about as a vehicle for the author's company Ground Zero Games to sell miniatures, but the background quickly captivated fans and took on a life of its own.  The game, of course, is now available for free, as are all the supplements (see the links below):
  • Full Thrust: The second edition of the original, hard-to-find rulebook came out in 1992.  It introduced the movement, firing, and ship system displays still in use today.  This book also included a design system for creating your own starships.  However, a lot of the nuts-and-bolts details were superseded by later publications.  The game also gave us the background to the "Tuffleyverse," a future history featuring various Earth factions in conflict with one another.
  • More Thrust: The first expansion to FT hit game stores in 1994.  More Thrust included new weapons and other optional rules, expanded fighter rules, and suggestions on interfacing with ground combat games.  This book also advanced the timeline of the background setting, giving the various human factions alien adversaries (with their own unique ship systems).
  • Fleet Book 1: This 1998 book provided a vector movement system, increased the number of fire arcs from four to six, revamped the weapons rules, and added more details in the way of ship systems.  It also overhauled the rules for designing starships.  More importantly, FB1 contained official ship system displays of four of the human factions in the Full Thrust universe, as well as examples of noncombatant vessels.
  • Fleet Book 2: The second fleet book went on sale in 2000, and it further refined the rules as amended in the initial fleet book.  It also contained official starship designs for the three alien species introduced in earlier supplements.
  • Full Thrust Light: GZG released a four-page electronic summary in 2008 containing enough basic rules for a quick game of FT.  There are actually only two pages of game mechanics, the remaining half of this publication contains ship displays for the vessels involved in the introductory scenario.
  • Full Thrust Cross Dimensions: This isn't actually a supplement, but a publisher-sanctioned consolidation and revision of the rules from the first four Full Thrust publications.  Written by fan Hugh Fisher, FT:XD (as the kids are calling it) has all the rules and most of the weapons in one place, along with some new systems and tweaks to the game mechanics.  No ship designs, though. 
That's it for official and semi-official Full Thrust material, but there's a ton of unofficial rules and designs and background and scenarios on the internet.  I'm curious: What's your favorite fan-made Full Thrust creation?  What do you recommend I should check out or download? 

5 comments:

Don M said...

When I first got my first computer in 2000 there was so much out there on the web on Full Thrust
that is now gone...however I printed all of it and it's in two huge binders! So I'm thinking of scanning it all in and putting It up on the blog...)

Jeff said...

The space combat system in the original Babylon 5 RPG was based on Full Thrust with setting specific rules.

Don M said...

True Jeff I have that Rule set.

bluebirds40 said...

thanks, i download a copy.

Paul said...

I also have a huge ring binder with all the rules printed out!

I'd give the "Full Thrust Ship Creator" a try. Not sure of the url (I downloaded it 3 or 4 years ago) but there seem to be a few versions you can find if you search for it. Allows you to print the little ship diagrams and everything, but only for Fleet Book 1 style ships (ie. human, so no Kravak, Savasku etc.).

Program is a bit buggy, will sometimes crash with the result that you lose everything you're working on, so make sure you save regularly!