Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The First Thrust -- a Full Thrust Cross Dimensions Battle Report

Long ago long ago in a basement not so far away I played a game called Full Thrust.  In many ways this was the ultimate in space naval gaming.  It had ship design rules, vectored movement, and tons and tons of options.  It is probably one of the most widely used sets even today.  Somewhere along the way, our group sort of fell out of the habit of playing Full Thrust.  My love for spaceship combat has never left me though.  I've continued collecting, until now I have hundreds of ships for a dozen or more fleets.  They range from Star Wars to Star Trek, to Battlestar Galactica and some old Star Frontiers minis.  I decided after a decade or more that it was time to return to some "generic space gaming."  I pulled out and painted up a couple of older fleets from The Ground Zero Games "Tuffley Verse."  I downloaded and printed out the latest iteration of the Rules, Full Thrust: Cross Dimensions.  They are a fully authorized fan updating of the classic rules.  Miniatures on the table, I say down this weekend with Jake and Andrew for a little skirmish.  Well...okay...it wasn't so little.


I had two fleets painted up and ready to go.  The night before the battle I sat down with an online design tool and created some quick and easy designs.  Since it was our first game I kept it simple, arming them with only various types of beam weapons and some shields and armor.  Next time I'll add in some torpedoes or missiles.  The Eurasian Solar Union force consisted of two DNs, one BB, two BCs, two CA, and two DDs.  They were armed for an aggressive game with forward facing heavy beams and lots of secondaries for when they got close.  They were also slightly more protected than the Neu Swabian League opponents.

The NSL fleet followed a different design philosophy.  They were designed to carry LOTS of heavy beams in more limited arcs (trading mass for limitations in order to carry more beams).  They are a turn broadside and open the range kind of fleet.  Their fleet composition was very similar with two DNs, one BB, two BCs, one CA, and four DDs.

The two fleets closed to engagement range and the ESU opened the ball as the DNs, BB, and BCs opened fire on a couple of NSL DDs and the BB.

The ESU fleet maintained formation with the screening elements forward.  (note later in the batrep the two ships at the front corners of the formation will be swapped with those at the rear.  I messed up the ship damage cards and was using the CA card for the BCs for the first few turns.)

The NSL fleet begins a gradual turn to Starboard to open up their long range broadsides.  They still maintain a slightly closing course.

Here the switch in minis has been made.  The ESU stays on target flying into the face of the NSLs fire.  They are closing in on range of their abundant secondaries.

Damage begins to mount as the two fleets close.  The Destroyers are the first victims.  One of the ESU DDs explodes after a volley from the NSL BB and a DN.  The second is crippled, but its FTL drive remains intact and it escapes.  The ESU return fire vaporizes two NSL DDs in the exchange, but the greater weight of mid range firepower from the Russian DNs finally tears down the NSL BB after critical damage causes her shields to fail.

 The NSL line reformed a bit around the two DNs  while the ESU fleet slows to keep the adversary in their forward firing arcs.  A gentle turn to port allows them to track the NSL ships as they cross their bows.

The next exchange of fire sees the ESU CAs crippled.  One of them crumbles to a wreck while the other loses its FTL drive, all of its Fire Con, and all of its steering.  It is locked on a fixed course and speed.  In the exchange the NSL loses a BC and the last two DDs.

With all of the light combatants eliminated through destruction or rendered combat ineffective, the big boys get down to it.  The two heavy gunlines meet.  The NSL ships close to within point blank range.  Their fire is concentrated on the rightmost ESU DN.  She is crippled over the course of two turns but her FTL remains intact and she escapes as they shift fire to the next target once she is without weapons.

The fire of the ESU heavies destroys the second NSL BC and strips the CA of all of its fire control.  It is down to the two DNs now.
The ESU DN Kiev launches a devastating volley against the NSL Derfflinger.  In a volley of fourteen beam shots I rolled nine sixes.  Since sizes use the "exploding six" mechanic of rolling an additional attack and doing two points of damage it was like shooting 2.5 times.  The volley cripples the Derfflinger, and a brief followup reduces her to atoms.

Alone now, the last NSL DN soldiers on.  Staring down the barrel of a DN, a BB, and two BCs she fights valiantly, inflicting crippling damage on the last of the ESU DNs.

The ESU launches yet another attack on the remainder of the NSL fleet.  The Damage inflicted takes out the Fire control of the DN, leaving them incapable of offensive action.  Wisely, admiral Jake decides to withdraw at that point.
The ESUS Vladivostok, crippled, and adrift will live to fight another day as the BC squadron takes her under tow.

 The NSL swears revenge for the ships lost this day.  The final tally is one CA and one DD destroyed outright for the ESU.  The NSL losses are one DN, one BB, two BCs, and four DDs.  All completely destroyed.  The intelligence learned from collecting the escape pods will no doubt aid the war effort.

It was a fun game, and closer than the end results would indicate.  I was lucky not to lose more FTL drives, allowing most of my cripples the ability to disengage.  Jake and Andrew had the ill fortune of losing the FTL on several ships leaving them no choice but to fight to the death.  Full Thrust is a great system, and the Cross Dimension refinements make it even better.  Gone are the old days of full vector movement, replaced with "cinematic" vectored moves that split the turning of a ship throughout its move in order to achieve the same basic effect.  I wouldn't consider my two opponents big time space or naval gamers (they are bigger fans of WW2 and Horse and Musket) but both showed an interest in playing this again.  If you are at all interested in space gaming, I highly recommend giving these rules a try.



  1. Phew! You've certainly caught up with the AARs. They made excellent reading and it's nice to have a different perspective to Mike's reports. Very well done.Keep it going.

  2. Hi Dan,
    Did the Empire game on the 20th go ahead?

    Best wishes.


  3. Check out above, Gregory. It wasn't as big as expected, but fun nonetheless.