FULL THRUST: JUMPGATE RULES

Jumpgates are large constructs which allow non-FTL-capable ships to travel through hyperspace. The limitations of using/having jumpgate technology over onboard FTL drives really comes into play in campaign games (since you'd need a jumpgate at the other 'end' of your travels to exit from hyperspace if your ship isn't already equipped with a jump engine). So while they allow for players to construct tougher/stronger ships which do not have FTL capability, their overall mobility is limited to systems with jumpgates. But conversely, it makes for a good defending area (oops; shades of Starfire!).

Campaign rules for jumpgates will be covered in a future edition of these rules. For the time being, these rules cover basic jumpgates, which are essentially 'terrain features' on the map that players can use to enter or exit from hyperspace.

For all intents and purposes, jumpgates act like FTL drive rules in Full Thrust (enabling ships to enter and exit from hyperspace), with the following additions.

Jumpgates are essentially large linear pylons which can open a jump point into hyperspace for ships to enter or leave from. It takes 1 turn for a jumpgate to open a jump point.

Each jumpgate requires 4 pylons. Each pylon is Mass 60, can take 30 pts damage, and have the following internal components: 3xFire Control, 3xJump 'Engines' (the FTL drives from Full Thrust). The Fire Control are used to control the activation of the jumpgate and open up the jump point. The jump 'engines' are the actual mechanisms which open up the jump point.

Narn 3-pylon jumpgates will be covered in future rules.

Activating the jumpgates. It takes 1 turn for a jumpgate to open up a jump point into hyperspace (or out from hyperspace). Any ship with an undamaged Fire Control box can activate a jumpgate from normal space (unless the jumpgate is slaved to a monitoring unit, such as a nearby space station). Any unit can activate a jumpgate from hyperspace if the gate is not shut down (see also damage rules below for damaged jumpgates). One turn after the command is given for a jumpgate to open a jump point, the jump point forms. It will remain open for up to three turns if opened by a ship, and upwards of 10 turns if opened by a dedicated control unit, such as a space station. Jump points can be kept open by the activator for slightly longer durations than this, but it places a strain on the activating unit and the jump engines of the jump gate. For each turn beyond the maximum stated that the jump gate is held open, roll a d6. On the first turn past the maximum if the roll is a '1', the jumpgate shuts the jump point down. It keeps it open on a 2-6. On the second turn past the maximum the jumpgate shuts down the jump point on a 1 or a 2, and keeps it open on a 3-6. On the third turn the jump point closes on a 1-3, and remains open on a 4-6. Etc. Should a ship be going through the jump point on the turn the jumpgate shuts it down, the ship(s) is(are) destroyed. This roll is made after the movement phase, but before the fire phase.

Jumpgates activated by a spaceship will close the jump point at the end of the turn the activating ship enters the jump point. Any ship *following* has a 50-50 chance of getting through the jump point itself without being destroyed. On a 1-3 it made it through, on a 4-6 it did not.

Jumpgates can be shut down if another ships tries to activate it, but only under certain circumstances. A jumpgate slaved to a unit (such as a space station) cannot be overriden. Another ship can try to activate the jumpgate, but the slaving unit has the option of denying the activating ship success.

For jumpgates that are not slaved to a given unit, anyone can activate them at any time. Conflicts can arise when one person wants to activate the jumpgate, and someone else wants to shut it down. This is the hierarchy in who gets first call:

To enter a jump point formed by a jumpgate, the entering ship must move to intersect the jump point created in the middle of the jumpgate (ie, must move to be between the pylons while the jumpgate is open). Also, the ship must be pointed within 30 degrees of the opposite direction the jumpgate is 'facing' (all jumpgates must have a designated facing, and this remains fixed for a scenario; to change a jumpgate's facing requires an inordinate amount of time and energy, in which the pylons must be powered down, the individual pylons moved to the new heading, and perfectly spaced and realigned wrt each other (otherwise dangerous instabilities in the jump point will be created)). For example, a jumpgate is facing in direction '5'. Ships entering a jump point created by the jumpgate must be facing either direction '10', '11', or '12'. If a ship is pointing outside of this 60-degree arc and enters a jump point, it will in effect 'ram' through the 'walls' created by the 'well' of the jump point, and suffer (n+1)d6 damage for every speed unit over '0' it is going (where 'n' is the speed of the ship in question)

A vessel may not be executing a turn when it enters the jump point. It must be going straight.

A ship must be 2" away from the jumpgate (2" away from the nearest pylon, not where the jump point is forming) when it is activated and during the turn it brings a jump point up (dedicated control units can be substantially farther away; they have dedicated hardware to compensate for the distance). Otherwise that ship will suffer the consequences drawn up under FTL Drive rules ('Leaving the Table Under FTL Drive', page 23/24 of the 2nd ed) in Full Thrust. After the jump point is brought up, ships can freely get closer to the jumpgate and jump point (and even enter if it is so desired). If you do the math (from the dimensions given below) you'll note that your ships can be closer than the minimum distance a ship can be to another opening a jump point in Full Thrust. Those rules all still apply for normal FTL operations! Only here the jumpgate mechanisms set up overlapping fields which reduce the 'danger zone' somewhat (not much, but a little).

There are maximum safe speeds that spacecraft may travel at when entering a jump point (from either direction). For non-combat vessels the maximum safe speed is '4'. For combat/warships, the maximum safe speed is '6' (combat vessels have a stronger structural integrity to them, since they are built for combat enviroments). Ships CAN go at higher than max safe speeds through a jumpgate, however! But at an increasing risk to the safety of the ship. For every increment above the maximum safe speed a ship is going when it enters a jump point, it will suffer 1d6-1 points of damage, applied immediately and directly (ie, unstoppable by screens, armor, etc). If the ship in question survives, it also suffers threshold damage checks (systems are checked and destroyed on a roll of 5 or 6). Pure carriers can only go max speed '5'.

Fighters can use jumpgates, just as a ship can. Due to the structural construction of fighters, their max speed is '6'. They can NOT go faster through a jump point, or they are automatically destroyed. Heavy fighters can go maximum of speed '7'.

Missiles and other weapons may not be fired into a jump point. Missiles attempting to enter a jump point are automatically destroyed (if they aren't destroyed outright, they lose tracking in hyperspace and are hopelessly lost, so for all intents and purposes are destroyed; rules governing weapons fire in hyperspace are a seperate issue entirely).

As the Jumpgate is not a moving target trying to dodge incoming fire (or the firing ships are not trying the dodge fire from their targets), ships firing at a jumpgate pylon gain a +2 on their 'to hit' rolls. If the jumpgate has been activated and a jump point is open, the firing ship only gets a -1 on its 'to hit' roll (the energies generated by the open jump point interfere with weapons tracking systems). If the firing vessel is at speed '0', it gets a +3 on its 'to hit' roll (easier to hit something when you're not moving and it's not shooting back at you!). For 'to hit' rolls that exceed '6', +1 damage points are inflicted by all weapons over their normal damage done (ie, beam weapons do 3 pts damage, missiles and pulse torpedoes do 1d6+1, etc.

Threshold damage on jumpgates. For ever 5 points of damage a jumpgate pylon sustains, the controller of the jumpgate (or the SM) rolls for threshold damage as per the Full Thrust rules.

Should one jump 'engine' and/or fire control unit on a pylon be destroyed, the jumpgate can still open up a jump point, but it will fail on a 1 or 2 (d6) as soon as something attempts to enter the jump point (from either direction). The roll takes place the moment something enters a jump point. If the jumpgate fails and a ship has entered the jump point, that ship is destroyed.

If two jump 'engines' and/or fire control units are destroyed on the same pylon, the jumpgate will NOT operate on a 1 or 2, and fail as above on a 3 or 4. If three jump 'engines' and/or fire control units are destroyed on a given pylon, the jumpgate will NOT operate on a roll of 1-4, and will fail on a roll of 5. On a roll of 6, reroll as soon as a ship enters the jump point. On a 1-3 the jumpgate fails as above. On a 4-6 it operates normally for that ONE TURN ONLY. Then the jump point closes up. If more than one pylon has internal components damaged, roll for each pylon damaged. These check rolls only occur when someone attempts to activate the jumpgate.

The size of jumpgates is rather significant. On the inches 'scale' given in Full Thrust, jumpgate pylons are about 6 or so inches long, and seperated by about 3 inches (give or take). You could make them if you want out of leftover bits from model kits, old pens, etc.

Jumpgates cost 2000 pts (this reflects the cost of each pylon, cost of each fire control computer, cost of each FTL unit, plus stabilizer thrusters which are not on the ship record sheet, and the non-standard manner in which the FTL and fire control computers need to be installed). But this should be used for campaign games, not necessarily for when putting together standalone scenarios.

There is a lot of room for expansion to these rules. They'll be covered as I come up with them, and as time permits.

End Basic Jumpgate Rules.