The Wanderers use the Accelerator not only as a tool, but as their primary heavy weapon. It is not particularly accurate, but can wreck a small ship in a single shot.
The Heavy Accelerator is found only on the large Wanderer asteroid ships. Smaller ('Medium' and 'Light') versions of the Accelerator are mounted on the "metal" ships and cutters.
(FRJD1.11) SSD: Each pair of 'HNA' boxes on the SSD represents one Heavy Accelerator. Each single 'MNA' represents one Medium Accelerator, and each 'LNA' represents one Light Accelerator. Each is armed, recorded and fired separately.
(FRJD1.12) DESTRUCTION: An Accelerator of any size is destroyed on "torpedo" hits on the DAC (D4.21).
(FRJD1.121) DAMAGE PRIORITY: An HNA comes after Plasma-R and before Implosion-S; an MNA comes after Plasma-G and before Implosion-M; an LNA comes after Plasma-F and before Implosion-L.
(FRJD1.13) REPAIR: An HNA box costs 12 points to repair. The second box of an HNA could be hastily repaired as an MNA or LNA, but the other box could not then be repaired. If one box of an HNA is destroyed, the HNA has a maximum energy capacity of 6. Its maximum charging rate remains at 4. The first box can be repaired (as an HNA) while the HNA is in use.
(FRJD1.131) An MNA box costs 10 points to repair and can be hastily repaired as an LNA. An LNA costs 4 points to repair.
(FRJD1.132) Any hastily repaired Accelerator will always fire its original rounds, with the original turn mode, holding cost and overheating cost. It is restricted to the arming limits of the lesser weapon. So an MNA repaired as an LNA can be charged with only 2 energy per turn and requires 1 energy to hold, and the round has a turn mode of 4.
(FRJD1.14) TECHNOLOGY RESTRICTIONS: The Accelerator is Wanderer technology and can be used only on Wanderer ships or in a simulator. After Y174, Accelerators can be mounted in Orion option mounts (FRJD1.7).
(FRJD1.15) SIZE CLASS RESTRICTIONS: An HNA cannot be used on any unit of Size Class 3 or smaller other than a ground base. An MNA cannot be mounted on any unit of Size Class 5, or in a Swivel mount on a unit of Size Class 4. An LNA cannot be mounted in a Swivel mount on a unit of Size Class 5.
(FRJD1.16) CREW QUALITY, LEGENDARY OFFICERS: A Poor Crew reduces the efficiency of the Accelerator: it has a warhead equal to three times the energy. An Outstanding Crew increases it to five times the energy. A Legendary Weapons Officer reduces the Turn Mode of a seeking Accelerator round by 1, or by 2 for an Overheated round (FRJD1.631).
(FRJD1.17) TACTICAL INTELLIGENCE: An Accelerator is distinguished at TacIntel level F (D17.4), and its type at level G. The arming state (armed or unarmed) of the Accelerator is distinguished at level L, and the exact level at level M. An Accelerator round is distinguished at level A; its warhead strength is distinguished at level M or by Labs.
(FRJD1.2) ARMING PROCEDURE
(FRJD1.21) ENERGY: An HNA can be charged with up to 4 points of warp power per turn, and can hold a maximum of 12 points of power. It must be held in the meantime (FRJD1.22). Arming can continue over as many turns as desired, until the weapon is full.
(FRJD1.211) An MNA can be charged with up to 3 points of warp power per turn, and can hold a maximum of 6 points of power. It must be held in the meantime (FRJD1.22).
(FRJD1.212) An LNA can be charged with up to 2 points of warp power per turn, and can hold a maximum of 3 points of power.
(FRJD1.213) Any Accelerator can be armed with fractional points of power, and can be launched with as little as 1/4 of a point of energy (or 1/5 for an Outstanding Crew, 1/3 for a Poor Crew (FRJD1.16) ).
(FRJD1.22) HOLDING: An Accelerator can be held, the energy depending on the round (FRJD1.221). This energy can be of any type, and the amount is independent of the energy in the weapon. If this is not paid, the weapon must be discharged (E1.24). If fired, all the energy in the weapon is used; none can be retained for next turn.
(FRJD1.221) An HNA requires 2 points of power to hold. An MNA requires 1 point, and an LNA requires a half point.
The Accelerator must be held if armed over multiple turns: this energy is in addition to the arming energy.
For example, to fully charge a Heavy Accelerator to its maximum of 12 power requires:
Turn 1: 4 Warp (total 4 energy in the weapon)
Turn 2: 4 Warp, 2 of any type for holding (total 8 in the weapon)
Turn 3: 4 Warp, 2 of any type for holding (total 12 in the weapon)
Turn 4: 2 of any type for holding, but no more can be added to the warhead (except by Overloading (FRJD1.5) ).
(FRJD1.23) RESERVE POWER: An Accelerator can be armed and fired with reserve warp power; reserve power could be used to increase the arming level of a partially-loaded Accelerator.
(FRJD1.231) Reserve power is the only way to Overload (FRJD1.5) or Overheat (FRJD1.6) an Accelerator.
(FRJD1.24) WEAPON STATUS: The amount of energy in an Accelerator is determined by Weapon Status.
(FRJD1.241) At WS-0 or WS-1, an Accelerator holds no energy at the start of a scenario.
(FRJD1.242) At WS-2 an Accelerator holds energy at the start of a scenario equal to one turn of full charging (ie, 2 for an LNA, 3 for an MNA, 4 for an HNA). It could hold less if the player so desires.
(FRJD1.243) At WS-3 an Accelerator holds energy at the start of a scenario equal to its maximum capacity (ie, 3 for an LNA, 6 for an MNA, 12 for an HNA).
(FRJD1.3) LAUNCHING PROCEDURE: SEEKING MODE
(FRJD1.31) PROCEDURE: The Accelerator launches a "round" in the Plasma Torpedo Firing Step (6B6). It must be aimed at a target in the Accelerator's firing arc and facing in a direction allowed by the mount (as a plasma torpedo). The round is size class 7.
(FRJD1.311) The round is not self-guiding and cannot be launched on Passive Fire Control. Its target cannot be changed in flight. Low-power fire control cannot guide the round to a target more than 15 hexes away. The round has no inherent ECCM but benefits from its controlling ship's ECCM in the usual way. Control can be transferred from one ship to another.
(FRJD1.312) An Accelerator round cannot target a plasma torpedo. It can target drones and other small targets, but is likely to miss (FRJD1.332).
(FRJD1.313) The presence of the round is shown by a counter on the map. Its warhead strength and target are not revealed until the round is examined by a successful Lab (G4.2) or Aegis (D13.31) roll. The type of round (HNA, MNA, LNA) is revealed if the mount is known and may become clear from the round's turn mode or endurance, but can otherwise be revealed by Labs.
(FRJD1.314) The round has a warhead equal to four times the energy in the Accelerator at the moment of firing. This decreases by one point per hex of movement, and can be further degraded by weapons fire. Poor or Outstanding crews alter this (FRJD1.16).
(FRJD1.32) MOVEMENT: An Accelerator round moves as a seeking weapon with a speed of 32. Its flight is fairly predictable, and it moves before drones and plasma torpedoes (of any speed) but after shuttles as regards rule (C1.313). The round must move forward on its first move.
(FRJD1.321) No Accelerator round can HET.
(FRJD1.322) An HNA round has a turn mode of 5. An MNA round has a turn mode of 4. An LNA round has a turn mode of 3. This is independent of the amount of energy in the round. An Accelerator cannot be downfired to improve the round's turn mode. A Legendary Weapons Officer reduces the Turn Mode of an Accelerator round by 1 (FRJD1.16).
(FRJD1.323) An Accelerator round can sideslip normally.
(FRJD1.324) The round loses tracking and assumes a ballistic trajectory on its current heading if control is dropped or lost. It may impact a planet or ESG field, but will not hit anything smaller.
(FRJD1.33) DAMAGE PROCEDURE: If an Accelerator round enters its target hex, roll one die and add the EW shift. A result of 1-7 indicates a hit. Note that small targets gain ECM benefits (FRJD1.332). If the round misses, it continues on its way and may strike the target later.
(FRJD1.331) The round does damage equal to the warhead (FRJD1.314). This is applied to the target's facing shield and is unaffected by EW (D6.361) or the (G13.37) cloak chart.
(FRJD1.332) The Accelerator is designed to crack billion-ton stationary boulders. It is not optimised to hit small fast-moving targets. Small targets gain 'natural' ECM as shown on the Accelerator vs Small Targets Table (FRJD1.333).
(FRJD1.333) Accelerator vs Small Targets table
(FRJD1.34) MAXIMUM RANGE: The maximum range of the Accelerator is equal to its initial warhead (ie, normally 4 times the energy), minus 1. In practice, it may be less: the round dissipates and is removed from the board if the warhead is reduced to zero by time or weapons fire.
(FRJD1.341) The round loses tracking if more than 35 hexes from its target or controlling ship, or if the controlling ship is more than 35 hexes from the target.
(FRJD1.35) FEEDBACK DAMAGE: The Accelerator causes no feedback damage to the launching ship.
(FRJD1.36) OVERLOADS: After Y159, the Accelerator can be overloaded with reserve power (FRJD1.5).
(FRJD1.37) DAMAGING THE ROUND: The Accelerator round can be damaged by weapons fire. Each point of damage done to the round reduces the warhead as though it had expended another half hex of range (ie, by half a point of damage).
(FRJD1.371) Most non-phaser weapons are penalised by 4 points of ECM, as though firing at a drone (FD1.52). The round is a drone-sized (SC7) Small Target (E1.7).
(FRJD1.372) Seeking weapons, mines and ESGs can damage the round normally. A type-VI drone does 8 points of damage. An ADD round does 1 die of damage as though hitting a shuttle.
(FRJD1.373) A PA mine has no effect on the warhead.
(FRJD1.38) WILD WEASELS: An Accelerator round is distracted by a Wild Weasel as normal.
(FRJD1.381) On entering the WW's hex, the round might miss completely (the target is probably SC6), leaving the weasel intact. If so, it continues to track the weasel and will revert to the original target if the weasel is voided.
(FRJD1.382) Accelerator rounds do not explode, but do damage by pure kinetic impact. As such, there is no collateral damage from an Accelerator round's impact on a WW.
(FRJD1.39) DIFFERENCES FROM PLASMA TORPEDOES AND DRONES: The round is neither a plasma torpedo nor a drone, but has some properties of both.
(FRJD1.391) The round has no built-in ECCM and cannot be launched under PFC.
(FRJD1.392) The round can be armed with varying levels of energy, but all are treated the same except for warhead. There are no bolt, enveloping or shotgun modes.
(FRJD1.393) The round cannot be fired from a destroyed launcher.
(FRJD1.394) The round can be damaged by any weapon (FRJD1.37). Heavy weapons are penalised by (FD1.52).
(FRJD1.395) There are no special types of ammunition for the Accelerator.
(FRJD1.396) The Accelerator uses ammunition, but it is effectively unlimited, even on SC5 units.
(FRJD1.397) The round cannot be diverted (G24.24) or have its lockon broken (G24.22) by scout systems, but can be diverted by a Wild SWAC (J9.24). It is unaffected by chaff (D11).
(FRJD1.398) The round cannot be used in a scatter-pack, even from a fighter equipped with LNAs.
(FRJD1.4) SPECIAL CASES
(FRJD1.41) TERRAIN: The round is too small and dense to be affected by dust. It is attracted by black holes (P4.0) and takes damage from gravity waves (P9.0) and pulsars (P5.0) as though from weapons. It takes no damage from Heat (P10.0) or Radiation (P15.0) Zones.
(FRJD1.411) The round takes weapon damage from asteroids and rings, rolling on the 'speed 7-14' column (P3.2) due to its small size. It cannot be 'followed' (P3.23) through an asteroid hex, but can be launched at the hex to clear a path (P3.25).
(FRJD1.412) ATMOSPHERES, NEBULAS: The round is reduced by 5 points per hex of atmosphere. It changes facing randomly in a nebula and suffers the usual ECM but is otherwise unaffected.
(FRJD1.413) An Accelerator round that impacts the Tournament Barrier (P17.0) stops, goes inert and is removed from the board.
(FRJD1.42) WEBS: The round moves through a web as a speed-32 unit, its warhead strength being reduced as time passes as though a plasma torpedo. It cannot break down, does not damage the web and does not take any damage from impact with the web. It can damage a target in a web and can be launched out of a web hex.
(FRJD1.421) An Overheated (FRJD1.6) round moves through web as a speed-64 unit, its warhead being reduced by 2 points per impulse. An overheated round of sufficient initial warhead is able (in time) to penetrate a web of even the theoretical maximum strength of 35.
(FRJD1.43) NVC: An Accelerator cannot use Non-Violent Combat. It is not sufficiently precise.
(FRJD1.44) OTHER SYSTEMS: Transporters do not affect the round. The round is too small and dense to be tractored. A round can be placed into stasis, and will resume its flight when released. If it strikes a target in stasis, the target takes no damage. If displaced, the round continues on its previous heading and can continue to track its original target.
(FRJD1.45) MINESWEEPING: An Accelerator can be used to sweep mines (M8.2) but suffers the ECM penalty (FRJD1.333) for a SC7 target. A miss by dint of EW shift will detonate the mine.
The conventional Accelerator had always been more than adequate to handle sublight and early years ships, but as the younger races developed their technology, the Wanderers found themselves no longer masters of space. In particular, the new terrestrial vessels were capable of high speeds and sharp maneuvers which allowed them to outdistance the Accelerator round. In a rare example of cooperative research, a conclave of Wanderer Tribes developed the Overload facility for the Accelerator in Y159. There are unconfirmed reports that Orion engineers were employed on the project. The technology spread to Wanderer tribes throughout the Alpha sector by Y163, though some ships were not upgraded for several years after that.
(FRJD1.51) COST: An Accelerator is overloaded using reserve warp power, and must be launched at that moment. An HNA can be overloaded with up to 3 power, an MNA with up to 2 power, and an LNA with up to 1 power. It cannot be held. This is the only way to exceed the per-turn arming limit or the total energy in (FRJD1.21).
(FRJD1.511) A damaged HNA (with one remaining SSD box) cannot be overloaded.
(FRJD1.52) EFFECT: The extra energy is added to the total when determining the warhead. It is otherwise normal.
For example, a fully-loaded MNA (6 energy) might have 1.25 more reserve warp added. The warhead is now 4x7.25 = 29.
(FRJD1.53) COOLDOWN: An overloaded Accelerator must cool down for one turn after launching. It cannot be armed or fired on that subsequent turn.
(FRJD1.54) AVAILABILITY: Accelerators can be overloaded only if the refit has been applied. This is available in Y159 and costs 3 points per HNA, 2 points per MNA and 1 point per LNA.
As the terrestrial races developed still further, their technical edge was becoming more and more evident. In particular, the new 'war' classes could outrun and outmaneuver the Accelerator rounds with ease. In Y170, the Halester tribe, one of those involved in the original Overload project, contracted with the Pharoah cartel to improve the Accelerator still further, increasing the the speed of the round. After four years of research, the Orion engineers managed to achieve a velocity of Warp 4, at a cost of reducing the round's limited agility still further.
The Halester tribe wished to keep control of this new technology, but Pharoah proceeded to sell it to other tribes, and to other Orion cartels further afield. It spread to all corners of the Alpha sector by Y176, Accelerators even being seen on some Orion vessels, though these are believed to have been 'salesman's demonstrators' rather than a serious use of the weapon (FRJD1.7).
(FRJD1.61) ARMING: The Accelerator is armed as usual. To fire as an Overheat, extra reserve warp energy must be added at the moment of launch. An Overheated Accelerator cannot be held.
(FRJD1.621) The decision to fire as an Overheated Accelerator is made at the moment of firing.
(FRJD1.622) 2 points of energy are required to overheat an HNA, 1 point to overheat an MNA and 0.5 points to overheat an LNA.
(FRJD1.623) Extra energy can be added to the warhead, but not beyond the usual per-turn arming limits, ie it cannot be Overloaded too.
(FRJD1.624) A damaged HNA (with one remaining SSD box) cannot be overheated.
(FRJD1.63) MOVEMENT: An Overheated Accelerator round moves at two hexes per turn. It is a Super Fast Unit (C1.45).
(FRJD1.631) The round's turn mode is doubled (6 for an LNA, 8 for an MNA, 10 for an HNA). It can sideslip normally.
(FRJD1.632) The round can be shot during the Direct-Fire segment, at its current range. There is no way to fire at a round before the last hex of an impulse (FP11.311).
(FRJD1.633) A hit does the same damage as a standard-loaded round (based on distance travelled rather than duration). If a round reaches its target in the first hex of an impulse, the extra hex of movement is ignored as irrelevant (FP11.312) .
(FRJD1.64) COOLDOWN: An overheated Accelerator must cool down for one turn after firing. It cannot be armed or fired on that subsequent turn.
(FRJD1.64) OTHER: An overheated Accelerator round is otherwise treated normally in all respects.
(FRJD1.67) AVAILABILITY: Accelerators can be overheated only if the refit has been applied. This requires the Overload refit (FRJD1.54), is available in Y174 and costs 2 points per HNA, 1 point per MNA and half a point per LNA.
(FRJD1.7) ACCELERATORS ON ORION SHIPS
After Y174, Light and Medium Accelerators can be mounted on Orion ships. Heavy Accelerators could theoretically be mounted on an Orion ground base (replacing a Phaser-4 on a GBP4, FA arc), but this was never observed to happen.
It is believed that a very few Orion ships were converted to use Accelerators, but that these were mere demonstrators intended for selling the Overheating technology to the Wanderers. The light Orion craft were not built to withstand the force of an Accelerator firing.
(FRJD1.71) MEDIUM ACCELERATORS: An MNA occupies two adjacent forward centreline mounts on an SC3 ship. It has a fixed FA arc. It cannot be mounted on an SC4 ship.
(FRJD1.72) LIGHT ACCELERATORS: An LNA occupies one forward centreline mount on an SC4 ship and has a fixed FA arc. It can be placed in any option mount on an SC3 ship and has a 180 swivel arc.
(FRJD1.73) SHOCK: The ship will suffer from Shock whenever firing an Accelerator. It earns a number of shock points equal to the power used to create the warhead, minus five, plus the Shock die roll. Round fractions up; the minimum is zero.
(FRJD1.731) Add two to the result for an Overheated MNA; the minimum result is 1.
(FRJD1.732) Add one to the result for an Overheated LNA; the minimum result is 1 for an SC4 ship or zero for an SC3 ship.
(FRJD1.74) SIZE CLASS 2 UNITS: It is not believed that any Orion Battle Stations were ever fitted with Accelerators, but it is possible. Likewise, the conjectural Orion DN (R8.26) might have carried them.
(FRJD1.741) An MNA replaces one P1 on a BATS module and has a 180° swivel arc. An LNA replaces one P1 on a BATS module and has a 240° swivel arc (track 240°, launch in one of 5 directions). It does not suffer from Shock.
(FRJD1.742) The DN is treated as an SC3 ship but does not suffer from Shock.
(ANNEX #7S) SHOCK POINTS FOR ACCELERATOR-EQUIPPED ORION SHIPS:OFT 3
The more adventurous tribes managed to squeeze even better performance out of their Accelerators, after approximately Y183. Even though Orion engineers apparently assisted with this development, no Orion ships ever mounted X-technology Accelerators.
(XFRJD1.11) INCREASED POWER INPUT: An X-Technology Accelerator can be charged with 1 more point of power per turn than a normal Accelerator, and has an increased ability to hold that energy.
(XFRJD1.111) An X-HNA can be charged at 5 points per turn, and can hold 16 points of energy (8 per box).
(XFRJD1.112) An X-MNA can be charged at 4 points per turn, and can hold 8 points of energy.
(XFRJD1.113) An X-LNA can be charged at 3 points per turn, and can hold 4 points of energy.
(XFRJD1.12) WEAPON STATUS: An X-Technology Accelerator holds more energy at the start of a scenario.
(XFRJD1.242) At WS-2 an X-Accelerator holds energy at the start of a scenario equal to one turn of full charging (ie, 3 for an X-LNA, 4 for an X-MNA, 5 for an X-HNA). It could hold less if the player so desires.
(XFRJD1.243) At WS-3 an X-Accelerator holds energy at the start of a scenario equal to its maximum capacity (ie, 4 for an LNA, 8 for an MNA, 16 for an HNA).
(XFRJD1.2) OVERHEAT AND OVERLOAD
(XEJD1.12) NO COOLDOWN: After launching an overloaded or overheated round, an X-Accelerator does not need to cool down.
In combat, an Accelerator works similarly to a plasma torpedo, except that it can be outmaneuvered and has less clear-cut range brackets. As such, it requires fine timing or the assistance of an AMC to employ properly against an agile target.
Most Wanderer ships have multiple Accelerators, and (unless overloaded or overheated) they can fire every turn. As such, a Wanderer (unlike a plasma boat) is never empty.
Swivel mounts are far easier to use than fixed mounts.