Thousand Wandering Tribes Ships
Asteroid ships vary extensively within each class. The designs shown here are typical, though a given ship of that type might have a different weapons array, different power, more or fewer shuttles and so on. Most Wanderer ships are symmetrical, but some have different weapons or firing arcs on either side.
The crew boxes on the SSD indicate only those personnel trained to operate the ship; in addition asteroid ships will carry five to ten times that number of civilians: the teachers, cooks, children and elderly, artists, scientists, farmers, shipbuilders and a wide range of others. Some of those might be able to help fix ship systems (hence the high Damage Control rating) but they otherwise have no game effect. In time of danger, civilians will immediately get to a safe space out of the way of the crew and stay out of the way until explicitly ordered. Metal ships have a lesser complement of civilians, equal to perhaps half the crew.
(RJD1.2) MT. EVEREST (EVE)
: Only the richest tribes can afford to build and operate these mighty behemoths of space, moving starbases by any other name. Suitable asteroids of this mass are extremely rare and highly sought-after. Unconfirmed rumours persist of even larger ships, provisionally codenamed Olympus Mons.
(RJD1.3) MT. ACONCAGUA (ACO): Most substantial tribes are led by an ACO.
(RJD1.4) MT. DENALI (DEN): The DEN is the second most common asteroid ship, and the usual flagship for small tribes. There are some variants.
(RJD1.5) MT. ST. HELENS HEAVY CARRIER (STH): Two or three of these huge carriers were known to be operating in various parts of the galaxy in the mid-Y170s. They were considered prestigious but uneconomic, partly because the Wanderer fighters were not very good. There is no formal escort, but many carried Phaser Cutters for defence.
Y174+ 24 x Meteor-1, 6 converted foreign
Y176+ 12 x Meteor-1, 12 x Meteor-2, 6 converted foreign
Y177+ 24 x Meteor-2, 6 x Meteor-P
(RJD1.6) MAUNA KEA CARGO SHIP (MNK): An inglorious vessel, the Mauna Kea was commonly treated as a punishment posting for disloyal or inefficient hetmen and their families. Its lack of substantial weaponry ensured that rebellion was not an option. Most tribes included a Mauna Kea or Mt Cook cargo vessel, though few required more than one.
The MNK can carry up to three external pods on its mech-links if required, each pod taking two links. Each pod increases the movement cost of the MNK by one quarter. Carrying two or three pods changes the ship's turn mode to G.
The MNK's asteroid armour absorbs only every sixth point of internal damage.
(RJD1.7) MT. FUJIYAMA (FUJ): The ubiquitous Fuji is considered a poor second choice compared with the Denali, and constructed only because asteroids of this size are relatively plentiful. Variants of the Fuji are common.
(RJD1.8) MT. KINABALU CARRIER (KIN): A few of these were believed to have been constructed in the Y170s. A poor compromise between the combat-optimised carrier concept and the original mining mission, they were not popular. Many reverted to carrying Prospecting Shuttles instead of fighters. There is no formal escort.
Y171+ 12 x Meteor-1, 6 converted foreign
Y176+ 12 x Meteor-2, 6 converted foreign
Y177+ 12 x Meteor-2, 6 x Meteor-P
(RJD1.9) MT. COOK CARGO SHIP (COK): A more common but even less prestigious command than the MNK, this was the Wanderers' primary cargo vessel. Like the Mauna Kea, it can carry two external pods on its mech-links, blocking them. It cannot carry one pod. The added pods increases the movement cost of the Cook to two and its turn mode to F.
The COK's asteroid armour absorbs only every sixth point of internal damage.
(RJD1.10) MT. EREBUS TENDER (ERE): Optimised for the construction and repair of Cutters and Gigs, the Tender was a common variant of the Fujiyama and a feature of many tribes. It can carry up to three pods (each blocking a pair of the aft tractors) but this was seldom done. Each pod increases the movement cost of the Erebus by one quarter. Carrying 2 or 3 pods increases the ship's turn mode to F.
(RJD1.11) MATTERHORN (MAT): Ships of this class were surprisingly uncommon, given the plentiful asteroids of this size, and were probably considered uneconomic, vulnerable or embarrassing.
(RJD1.12) MT. VESUVIUS CARGO SHIP (VES): A basic asteroid cargo box, scarcely better than a bulk freighter, the Vesuvius is cheap, slow and largely defenceless, and often considered expendable if there is little cargo and no valuable personnel on board. The Federation reporting name derives from the ship's tendency to explode. After Y160, these ships were considered obsolete.
The VES's asteroid armour absorbs only every sixth point of internal damage.
(RJD1.13) ALAMUT (ALA): The only military asteroid ship, the Alamut is a Matterhorn-sized rock with the extraneous cargo space and civilian equipment replaced by power, weapons and support for small combat units. In combat, it relies on surprise or its immense bulk to withstand the punishment it will take before crushing its opponent. Like all asteroid ships, it is sluggish and relies on a fleet of cutters and metal ships to give it support and prevent its being outmaneuvered. The prospecting shuttles were frequently replaced by casual fighters.
(RJD1.14) HEAVY CRUISER (CA): Built on a stretched CL hull, the CA is more accurately considered a Command Cruiser. It is used to lead a detachment of metal ships sent on a raid. When the tribe itself is in combat, command usually defers to the chieftain on board his asteroid flagship. More than most Wanderer ships, the CA is optimised for combat.
The CA was rare, and no larger metal ships were ever seen. It is assumed that few tribes had the facilities to fabricate the large hull plates needed for a ship of this size.
(RJD1.35) MEDIUM CRUISER (CM): The CM is a cheaper version of the CA, using the front of a CL and rear of a CA with CF engines. It affords the command capability of the CA, albeit with inferior offensive ability. Despite the engines, it is not a 'fast' ship.
(RJD1.15) LIGHT CRUISER (CL): The Wanderers' workhorse combat vessel, small enough to be made by any respectable tribe or risked in combat but large enough to be safe.
(RJD1.16) SHORT CRUISER (CS): A slightly cheaper version of the CL, with two of the larger (10-box) engines and no centre engine, the CS is a little slower and has slightly less firepower. The extra torque provided by the shorter hull and larger side engines gives it improved maneuverability compared to the CL.
(RJD1.17) SURVEY CRUISER (SV): Based on the CL, the SV is used to explore new asteroid fields for valuable ores or as an advance warning vessel. It commonly carries Scout and Combat Cutters when operating alone.
There are rumours of a Short variant, but these have never been confirmed. It is believed that the lower speed of the Short Cruiser would be less attractive in a survey ship.
(RJD1.18) TUG (TUG): Based on the CL, the Tug is variously used as a PF Tender or to tow pods. The option boxes are usually configured either as Repair, Fab or Cargo depending on the mission.
Unusually for a tug, this ship loses phasers but retains what other races would consider its heavy weapons. The Wanderers consider the Accelerators and AMC to be mining tools and the phasers superfluous.
The tug can carry one or two pods, each increasing its movement cost by 1/3. If carrying two, they are attached to and block the rear flank tractors. If carrying one, it blocks all four of the midships tractors.
The internal mech-links on the left and right rear flank tractors are associated with option boxes 4 and 5 respectively. Only Repair in those boxes can be used on those links. Use of Repair with the external collapsible bay link is unrestricted.
(RJD1.19) PF TENDER (PFT): A specialised version of the Tug, the PFT was used as a combination of scout, Cutter maintenance vessel and conventional PFT. It retained the Tug's AMC, as this function could not be performed by the cutters, and the Wanderers were loath to reduce its commercial potential still further. The Wanderers preferred the versatility of a full tug with a separate, more capable scout vessel, so the PFT was not often built.
The PFT cannot carry pods. Any repair-capable mech-link can be used with any repair box.
(RJD1.20) CARRIER (CV): A simple conversion of the CL, the CV was used as much for prospecting operations as for combat. The fighters were found convenient for performing quick searches of asteroid fields when hostile bases were suspected to exist. In more peaceful areas, some of the fighters might be replaced by prospecting shuttles and the fighters returned to storage.
The CV had no formal escort but would often carry phaser cutters for defence.
Y170+ 6 x Meteor-1, 6 converted foreign
Y176+ 6 x Meteor-2, 6 converted foreign
Y177+ 12 x Meteor-2
(RJD1.34) FAST CRUISER (CF): The Wanderers had little use for a 'Fast' ship, but a couple of these units were seen making long-range journeys. The 'Lab' replacing the weapon in the nose of the ship provided navigation data during high-speed travel.
(RJD1.21) DESTROYER (DD): Usually used as an escort and home vessel for a squadron of cutters, the DD is a viable combat unit, well equipped with accelerators but short of phasers.
(RJD1.22) ESCORT DESTROYER (DDE): When the FFE was found to be too small to survive in a fleet battle, some tribes modified their destroyers to provide increased phaser firepower. They were not used as carrier escorts in the conventional sense and did not have Ready Racks for fighters.
Phaser-1 fire control, originally developed on the minesweeper, was standard for the rear engine phasers. Aegis fire control was never available and the result was unimpressive, so most DDEs were converted back and the escort duties delegated to Cutters and fighters.
(RJD1.23) SCOUT (SC): A cheaper alternative to the Survey Cruiser, the undergunned Scout seldom operated alone. In most cases the smaller FFS could fulfil the same role, albeit wthout Cutter support.
(RJD1.24) MINESWEEPER (MS): The threat of mines became an effective area denial weapon employed by the galactic races to keep the Thousand Tribes off their territory. With considerable reluctance, many tribes converted a destroyer or two for minesweeping duties. They were never used as minelayers, as the Wanderers never developed advanced mine technology, declaring it dishonourable, wasteful and churlish.
The forward shielding units (the system used in the CA) were not quite adequate to the task, meaning that the ship relied on large amounts of power for reinforcement. The light accelerators were retained for minesweeping and prospecting operations, while the less accurate medium accelerators were replaced by tractors, carrying the ubiquitous cutters.The AMC was replaced with extra phasers, the improved fire control being useful for safe minesweeping.
All prospecting shuttles aboard were fitted with the minesweeping system (RJD1.F2M) when it became available.
(RJD1.25) LIGHT CARRIER (CVL): Another simple conversion, the CVL was merely a destroyer carrying fighters in the option boxes. There is no formal escort.
Y170+ 6 x Meteor-1, 3 converted foreign
Y176+ 3 x Meteor-1, 6 x Meteor-2
Y177+ 9 x Meteor-2
(RJD1.38) DESTROYER TUG (DDT): A more substantial conversion using a pair of cruiser engines, the DDT was very fast without a pod but slow and ungainly with one. The outsize engine mounts blocked some of the phasers, which were replaced with cargo space.
Carrying a pod blocks the use of both tractors.
(RJD1.26) FRIGATE (FF): Considered a little too small for combat, and unable to mount mech-links for cutters, the frigate was not a popular vessel. It was nevertheless fast and cheap so had value for harassing enemy prospecting operations.
(RJD1.27) ESCORT FRIGATE (FFE): When the Accelerator was found to be an inadequate weapon for dealing with fighters, drones and especially plasma, frigates were produced with extra phasers for defensive work. They were not entirely successful, being considered too small and lacking any improvements to fire control (ie, the FFE does not have Aegis or Phaser-1s). They were not used as carrier escorts in the conventional sense and did not have Ready Racks for fighters.
(RJD1.28) SCOUT FRIGATE (FFS): A common variant until around Y165, when it became excessively vulnerable to enemy action, the FFS was used for the same missions as the Scout.
(RJD1.29) ESCORT CARRIER (CVE): The CVE was often used in a genuine escort role, its fighters supporting prospecting operations in hazardous areas. Some tribes used the CVE to support an asteroid carrier, providing alternative reload and repair facilities. There is no formal escort.
Y170+ 3 x Meteor-1, 3 converted foreign
Y176+ 3 x Meteor-1, 3 x Meteor-2
Y177+ 6 x Meteor-2
(RJD1.36) CARGO FRIGATE (FFC): This was an unusual variant replacing the wing engines with small cargo pods and a single rear engine. The extra bulk and length made the ship rather unmaneuverable.
(RJD1.37) TRANSPORT FRIGATE (FFT): A more common variation of the Cargo Frigate, this had much greater cargo capacity at the cost of weapons and speed. The larger cargo pods blocked some of the phasers, which were removed.
(RJD1.42) COMMANDO FRIGATE (FFG): The Wanderers performed very few ground actions on planets, but would occasionally attack fixed installations on asteroids or attempt to capture other tribes' construction projects. This was the only dedicated commando variant of a ship. As the frigate is unable to land, it might be accompanied by Commando Cutters (RJD1.PF26) though these would necessarily be towed by a larger ship.
Destroyers and occasional Light Cruisers might be adapted for commando operations by installing barracks and either cargo, shuttles or transporters as suited for the operation.
As well as a few captured or purchased standard small and large freighters, the Wanderers use their own designs constructed from cargo pods and standard hulls. They behave for most purposes the same as Galactic freighters. Despite using components from cutters and gigs, they are always treated as SC4 with none of the special PF rules.
The vast majority of freighters used cargo pods, but some Accommodation and Prospecting pods were seen on freighters.
As for other freighters, removing the pod(s) takes some hours and cannot be done in a scenario.
(RJD1.39) SMALL FREIGHTER (F-S): A cargo pod attached to the back of a modified Cutter, the Small Freighter is slow, cramped and vulnerable.
The freighter can move without a pod in ballast configuration, with Move Cost 1/4 and Turn Mode B. It has no attachment for a mech-link and cannot be towed as a PF.
(RJD1.40) LARGE FREIGHTER (F-L): The Large Freighter adds a modified Gig body, providing the extra power and the stability required to move two pods together. It is marginally faster and more defensible than the Small Freighter but no more popular.
The front hull is identical to that of a Small Freighter. The rear hull can operate independently, but move only on impulse power and has no attachment for a mech-link.
With a single pod, the freighter has a Move Cost 2/5 and Turn Mode D. In ballast configuration it has Move Cost 1/3 and Turn Mode C.
(RJD1.41) HEAVY FREIGHTER (F-H): The Heavy Freighter adds a modified Skiff body instead of the Gig body, allowing more speed, accomodation space and weaponry. It is more expensive than the Large Freighter but barely more useful, so rare.
The front hull is identical to that of a Small Freighter. The rear hull can operate independently as a Skiff and move on warp power.
With a single pod, the freighter has a Move Cost 2/5 and Turn Mode E. In ballast configuration it has Move Cost 1/3 and Turn Mode D.
Simple metal boxes similar to those in use by many races, Wanderer pods could be towed on the mech-links on the Cargo and Tender variants of the asteroid ships or the Tug, requiring two links per pod. Pods cannot be mounted on any other ship but can be towed or fitted into conventional freighters. An asteroid ship carrying a pod cannot use Asteroid Disengagement.
Wanderer pods are Size Class 4.
(RJD1.30) CARGO POD (P-C): A simple metal box similar to those in use by many races, the cargo pod could be towed on the mech-links on the Cargo and Tender variants of the asteroid ships or the Tug, requiring two links per pod. It cannot be mounted on any other ship. An asteroid ship carrying a pod cannot use Asteroid Disengagement.
(RJD1.31) PROSPECTING POD (P-P): A cargo pod could be fitted with workshops, laboratories, spartan accommodation and a small impulse engine for use as a field workshop. When docked to a ship, the pod can use its engine for power but not movement.
(RJD1.32) ACCOMMODATION POD (P-A): Accommodation Pods were often used as 'site huts' to provide convenient worker housing, temporarily affixed to asteroids being mined or converted to ships.
They were also used in rare cases when living space was required in a hurry, perhaps after an asteroid ship had suffered a mishap and its crew needed somewhere to stay until a replacement could be found. A cargo pod could be converted to accommodate these unfortunates relatively quickly.
No such pod would be found anywhere near a combat zone if this could possibly be avoided.
(RJD1.33) CARRIER POD (P-V): Several tribes operated carrier pods, which served a dual role as a prospecting shuttle base when fighters were unavailable or unnecessary.
Y170+ 3 x Meteor-1, 3 converted foreign
Y176+ 2 x Meteor-1, 4 x Meteor-2
Y177+ 4 x Meteor-2, 2 x Meteor-P
No other types of Wanderer pod have been confirmed to exist. It is extremely doubtful that the mountings for a pod could withstand the shock of an Accelerator launch or the torque generated by an AMC, so battle pods are regarded as impossible. In any case, such a pod would prevent the carriage of Cutters, more useful in both war and peace.
(RJD1.T1) MT. BLANC TOURNAMENT ASTEROID (TAS): The Mont Blanc follows all normal asteroid ship rules (RJD1.1), except that its CDR is limited to its Damage Control rating (ie, 4 boxes). To confirm - it does take half internal damage and it does suffer the usual maneuver restrictions. It starts the game with Accelerators fully charged. It has the overload and overheat refits.
It carries two prospecting shuttles which do not have minesweeping ability.
(RJD1.T2) TOURNAMENT HEAVY CRUISER (TCA): This is a conventional metal ship. It starts the game with Accelerators fully charged. It has the overload and overheat refits.
It carries two prospecting shuttles which do not have minesweeping ability.
Cutters and Gigs
(RJD1.PF0) GENERAL: The Thousand Tribes use Cutters and Gigs for prospecting work. These were easily able to deal with or outrun any threat from the younger races during the Early Years, but after about Y125 the use of the slower Gig began to decrease. As time went on, even the Cutter came under threat from ships that could match it for speed with power to spare for weapons. Only with the advent of Warp Packs provided by the Orions did the Cutter regain its edge.
Cutters and Gigs act in all ways as PFs and Interceptors respectively, except that they cannot use Warp Packs until Y182 and most have lesser EW capabilities. They do not normally operate in formal flotillas, though Scout Cutters are sometimes configured to support a group of up to 5 other Cutters or Gigs (in which case these operate as a flotilla). Variants occasionally turn up on all ships.
No Fi-Cons have been observed, but massed Combat Cutters on an independent strike might each carry a fighter, usually a Meteor-P, on its mech-link.
The cargo boxes on Cutters and Gigs can hold 25 cargo units each.
As with PFs and Interceptors, the BPV shown assumes that the unit has Warp Booster Packs. If these are not included, reduce the BPV by 3 for a Gig or 5 for a Cutter.
A civilian prospecting unit needs only enough ECCM to see clearly through asteroids and dust. It does not need to hide. As a result, non-combat Gigs and most non-combat Cutters have only 2 free ECCM, and do NOT have the free 'swing' EW points usual on a PF. All Scout and Combat variants do have two 'swing' points.
Gigs and all Non-Combat Cutters except the Scout can control a number of seeking weapons equal to half their sensor rating. Scouts and all Combat versions of Cutters except the Phaser Cutter can control a number of seeking weapons equal to their sensor rating.
The Prospecting Cannon (E19.35) fitted to Gigs and Cutters has four charges. Reloads (and the reloads for the Prospecting Shuttles) may be carried in Cargo space. The SSD shows the ammunition track; ignore it for scouts and other variants without Prospecting Cannons.
Combat Gigs and Combat Cutters may receive the Overload
(FRJD1.5) and Overheat
(FRJD1.6) LNA refits. Non-combat units have no batteries, so would not benefit.
DAMAGE TO CUTTERS AND GIGS
Regarding the PF DAC (K5.1), the following definitions are used
Neutronium Accelerator is hit on WPN-A
Tractor and Prospecting Cannon are hit on WPN-B
Phaser-2 and Phaser-3 are hit on WPN-C
Works is hit on Battery
Cargo is hit on Hull
CASUAL PFT OPERATIONS
Most Wanderer ships can carry PFs and almost all of them have one or more repair-capable mech-links. If the ship has no Repair boxes, it cannot repair cutters during a scenario but can use its own (D9.4) repair capacity on the cutter(s) between scenarios.
A flotilla can be carried by any Wanderer ship with 6 or more mech-links, even if it is not a true PFT.
(RJD1.PF1) GIG (GIG): The Gig is a cheap Interceptor-sized mining unit. It is essentially a civilian vessel and is not intended for combat, where it is slow and performs poorly against modern opposition. While similar in size to a Skiff, it is not expected to operate alone for extended periods. While the cargo bays could be fitted out with extra supplies and fuel, the Gig is unable to flush its own engines. The Gig is regarded a a cheap second best to the Cutter, used mostly by poorer tribes. There are no Leader Gigs; they are led by Cutters instead.
The Gig can control a number of seeking weapons equal to half its sensor rating; it has no 'swing' EW points.
(RJD1.PF2) COMBAT GIG (GGC): The Combat Gig is a Gig with the Prospecting Cannon replaced with another Light Accelerator, the Works replaced by a battery and the shields strengthened. These would sometimes be used to disrupt mining operations or as extra firepower on a raid, but were generally unpopular. They were considered too small and painfully slow for serious combat and uneconomic in mining operations.
The Combat Gig can control a number of seeking weapons equal to half its sensor rating; it has two 'swing' EW points.
(RJD1.PF3) SCOUT GIG (GGS): The Scout Gig has the Combat Refit, but the Prospecting Cannon and Light Accelerator are replaced with Interceptor EW pods (K3.75). These are of little value in prospecting, so all are normally used for combat support..About one Combat Gig in ten is a GGS. The pods are hit on WPN-A.
The Scout Gig can control a number of seeking weapons equal to its sensor rating; it has two 'swing' EW points.
(RJD1.PF4) MINESWEEPER GIG (GGM): No minesweeping Gigs have been observed in operation, though it is assumed that the Thousand Tribes would have adapted the prospecting cannon of a standard Gig as they did on the CTM
(RJD1.PF11) and MSS
The GGM has the shields of a Combat Gig, and the Cargo is replaced by a tractor with a shuttle mech-link. It is treated as a minesweeper (M8.3), but it is otherwise similar to a normal Gig.
(RJD1.PF22) INTERCEPTOR (INT): The Interceptor is a slightly upgunned Combat Gig. No better than a Cutter in combat, woefully underpowered without packs and of little economic use, they were very rare.
The Interceptor can control a number of seeking weapons equal to half its sensor rating; it has two 'swing' EW points. Warp packs were standard, and the overload and overheat refits were included.
(RJD1.PF5) CUTTER (CT): The Cutter is a larger and more capable version of the Gig. It is treated in most ways as a PF. Like the Gig it cannot operate alone for extended periods. It carries a Prospecting Shuttle on a mech-link.
The Cutter can control a number of seeking weapons equal to half its sensor rating; it has no 'swing' EW points.
(RJD1.PF6) COMBAT CUTTER (CCT): Like the Gig, the Cutter has a combat variant, more common than the Combat Gig. In later years, some carried fighters on the mech-links, though they could not rearm any fighter weapons beyond Prospecting Charges. With Warp Packs and the Overheat refit, the CCT is almost a match for a PF, though it is still saddled with its prospecting heritage.
The Combat Cutter can control a number of seeking weapons equal to its sensor rating; it has two 'swing' EW points.
(RJD1.PF7) SCOUT CUTTER (CTS): Approximately one cutter in ten has scout systems. These are used to search for valuable ore deposits, but have value in early warning and combat. Like the normal Cutter, it carries a Prospecting Shuttle.
The Scout Cutter can control a number of seeking weapons equal to its sensor rating, and can use a scout channel to improve this. It has two 'swing' EW points.
The combat variant (CCS) adds shields and replaces the Works with a battery.
(RJD1.PF8) LEADER CUTTER (CTL): The expensive 'stretched' version of the Cutter is not a conventional PF Leader, in that it is not usually assigned to command a group of Cutters, and the only extra facility it offers is a Transporter. About one cutter in ten is a Leader, but this varies wildly amongst tribes. The CTL can carry a T-bomb in one cargo box and a dummy in the other.
The Leader Cutter can control a number of seeking weapons equal to half its sensor rating and has no 'swing' EW points.The Combat variant (CCL) increases this and has two 'swing' EW points.
(RJD1.PF9) CARGO CUTTER (CTC): Some tribes operate a few cargo cutters. The CTC has no Accelerator, but retains the Prospecting Cannon and Works. There is no Combat variant.
The Cargo Cutter can control a number of seeking weapons equal to half its sensor rating; it has no 'swing' EW points.
(RJD1.PF10) PHASER CUTTER (CCP): Defence against fighters and seeking weapons remained a longstanding problem for the Wanderers. Many tribes experimented with replacing the Accelerators on some of their Combat Cutters with phasers; the CCP had negligible long-range firepower and results were mixed.
The Phaser Cutter can control a number of seeking weapons equal to half its sensor rating, despite the Combat refit. It has two 'swing' EW points.
(RJD1.PF11) MINESWEEPING CUTTER (CTM): A few Cutters sport the adapted prospecting cannon used on the MSS
(RJFD16.F2M). The CTM has the shields of a Combat Cutter and is treated as a minesweeper (M8.3), but it is otherwise similar to a normal cutter.
The combat refit (CCM) is similar to a CCT but is treated as a mineweeper.
(RJD1.PF12) LONG CUTTER (LCT): A few tribes operate a different design of cutter, which uses three Gig engines rather than the two larger engines on the standard cutter. It is believed that while the Long Cutter might be cheaper and more reliable, using low-temperature engines, it occupies two mech-links on the tender. Theoretical analysis suggests that it might be less maneuverable than the standard cutter but practice has not borne this out. It is otherwise identical to the standard Cutter. The usual variants are known.
(RJD1.PF24) TRANSPORT CUTTER (CTT): A Cargo Cutter optimised for freight with minimal weaponry, the CTT is rare. There is no Combat variant; it can control a number of seeking weapons equal to half its sensor rating and has no 'swing' EW points.
(RJD1.PF25) SHIPBUILDING CUTTER (CTB): The Shipbuilding Cutter is a Cargo Cutter adapted for assembling ships. It is small enough to maneuvre around the vessel under construction, yet powerful enough to tow components or hold them securely in place during assembly. This method largely removes any need for a fixed dock as used by the terrestrial races.
There is no Combat variant; it can control a number of seeking weapons equal to half its sensor rating and has no 'swing' EW points.
(RJD1.PF26) COMMANDO CUTTER (CTG): The Wanderers seldom conducted ground assaults, but used a militarised Cargo Cutter in the rare cases this happened. It would generally be accompanied by other cutters or gigs carrying tanks and other heavy equipment.
The CTG is considered a Combat Cutter variant with the corresponding shields and electronics. It can control a number of seeking weapons equal to its sensor rating and has two 'swing' EW points.
(RJD1.PF13) SKIFF (SKF): The Skiff uses a Leader Cutter hull with a single 6-box engine from a Frigate. As such, it is capable of long journeys without any risk of engine degradation (K7.0), unlike a normal cutter. It has an acceleration of 10 or to double its current speed and cannot mount Warp Packs, but is otherwise considered a PF.
The Skiff is used for independent long-distance journeys, carrying small amounts of valuable freight or personnel. It is not expected to enter combat, and there are no combat variants.
It can carry a pair of inflatable cargo packs (shaded on the SSD), which increase its movement cost to 1/4 and remove its Nimble status. These can be dropped as though from a tug, but are then considered destroyed. It must carry two packs or none.
It can control a number of seeking weapons equal to its sensor rating and has two EW swing points. Like a Long Cutter, it occupies two mech-links on the tender.
(RJD1.PF14) SURVEY SKIFF (SKS): The Survey Skiff is a Skiff optimised for searching out valuable prospecting material. It is sometimes used as a better-defended version of the normal Skiff, albeit with reduced cargo space.
It can carry the same cargo packs as the normal Skiff.
(RJD1.PF15) FAST PATROL SHIP (PF): Forced to recognise the inadequacy of the Combat Cutter when faced with real PFs, the Wanderers produced this no-compromise variant. PFs replaced Combat Cutters and were occasionally deployed in conventional flotillas. They were cramped and lacked long-term space-keeping ability even compared with normal PFs so were unpopular with crews and seldom went far from the supporting ships.
The PF can control a number of seeking weapons equal to its sensor rating; it has two 'swing' EW points. Warp packs were standard, and the overload and overheat refits were included.
(RJD1.PF16) PF SCOUT (PFS): A very rare and expensive variant, the PF Scout was used only to support PF flotillas.
(RJD1.PF17) PF LEADER (PFL): The PF Leader returned some of the prospecting facilities to the PF while providing the facilities and extra storage space required for long-range offensive missions.
(RJD1.PF18) SMALL CARGO POUCH (PCS): The Small Cargo Pouch is an Interceptor-sized cargo box that can be towed on a normal PF mech-link. The large pouch is more common.
(RJD1.PF19) LARGE CARGO POUCH (PCL): The Large Cargo Pouch is an PF-sized cargo box that can be towed on a normal PF mech-link.
(RJD1.PF20) ACCOMMODATION POUCH (PAL): This is a Large Pouch-sized version of the Accommodation Pod.
(RJD1.PF21) PROSPECTING POUCH (PPL): This is a Large Pouch-sized version of the Prospecting Pod, though it cannot move and has no shields, so is usually attached to a promising asteroid rather than moving from one to another.
(RJD1.PF23) GROUND-BASED WEAPONS (GBDx): The Wanderers use a variety of Cutter-sized ground-based weapons. These are attached to asteroids in the event that the Wanderers expect to be in that region for a considerable time, such as when building ships. They follow the same rules as (R1.14) with the following exceptions:
Weapon arcs are limited to 180º even on an asteroid.
The shuttle bay may be replaced by a transporter. The BPV does not change. The SSD shows both a shuttle and T-bomb; either one or the other is available.
Works may be replaced by a 25-space cargo box. This is replaced by a battery in the Overload refit.
The MNA and LNA versions may have the Overload and Overheat refits; the phaser-2 version may have the phaser refit.
The scout systems are fully-functional, rather than limited to PFS functions.
Ground-based weapons may be carried on PF links, in which case all systems are non-functional and hit as Cargo.
Shuttles and Fighters
(RJD1.F1) ADMINISTRATIVE SHUTTLE: The Thousand Tribes have always operated shuttles essentially similar to those of the terrestrial races. They also use many of the common variants, including heavy transport (R1.F5), recovery (R1.F22), (R1.F23), salvage (R1.F24) and advanced shuttles (R1.F17), (R1.F18), (R1.F19). They do not operate Ground Assault, minelaying, minesweeping (but see
(RJD1.F2M) ) or rescue shuttles.
(RJD1.F2) PROSPECTING SHUTTLE: as (R1.F12). Any or all spare shuttles (including fighters) on a Wanderer ship might be Prospecting shuttles. Advanced versions as per (R1.F17), are available after Y180.
(RJD1.F2M) MINESWEEPING SHUTTLE: The Thousand Tribes managed to modify the fire control of the prospecting cannon on the prospecting shuttle to sweep mines. After Y158, any PS can be fitted with this system for 1 BPV. This enables the shuttle, operating by remote control, to sweep mines as an MSS (M8.3), but can make only one attempt per turn and each attempt uses a prospecting charge.
The Wanderers never developed a conventional MSS, though a very few were captured or bought from the Orions.
Wanderer fighters with prospecting charges could use this adaptation, but this was very seldom done.
(RJD1.F3) MULTI-ROLE SHUTTLE: The Wanderer Multi-Role Shuttle is essentially a very capable Prospecting Shuttle. It acts as all ways as an MRS. Its weaponry consists of a 360º phaser-3, a 4-shot Prospecting Cannon (FA), a single-shot LNA, which is armed by the carrying ship and can hold up to 2 power, and a tractor-lifter. There is an Advanced version ((R1.F21) available after Y180.
Fighters The Thousand Tribes found themselves forced to compete on an unexpected new playing field, as enemy fighters proved their maneuverability in asteroids. The Wanderer native fighters were based on the Prospecting Shuttle with captured or Orion technology and retained much of their mining heritage. Some tribes used fighters captured from other races.
The Wanderers were never very fond of fighters, finding them generally inferior to their own Cutters. They were used primarily as combat support for Cutters and to assist in drone defence. There are no reliable reports of native Wanderer Heavy Fighters, though they did convert some captured ones.
Unlike the terrestrial races, the Thousand Tribes never adopted a formal doctrine on fighter deployment. The listings given for the various carriers are guidelines. Some tribes (who refused to deal with the Orions) never used captured foreign fighters; others used them exclusively.
Prospecting Charges on fighters and prospecting shuttles can be rearmed on Cutters' mech-links. They cannot be used in a dogfight.
LNAs mounted on fighters are armed by the carrier and can hold two rounds, each armed with up to 2 power in a single turn. They cannot be Overloaded or Overheated and cannot be used in a dogfight. They cannot be rearmed on mech-links.
Fighter SSD Sheet
(RJD1.F4) METEOR-1 FIGHTER: This is an armoured Prospecting Shuttle with bigger engines, the tractor lifter and cargo bay being replaced with a phaser. Its prospecting cannon holds four charges. It is not streamlined and cannot operate in atmosphere or land on planets. It cannot carry pods, even under (J11.111).
(RJD1.F5) METEOR-2 FIGHTER: An improved version of the Meteor-1 with a Accelerator in place of the prospecting cannon. Some used warp packs. Unlike the Meteor-1, it can land or take off from planets using the powered system, but is still unstreamlined and incapable of atmospheric flight. It can carry two pods under (J11.111).
Meteor-2B: The warp pack technology provided by the Orions allowed the Thousand Tribes to improve the performance of the basic Meteor-2 engine, beginning in Y179. This became standard by late Y182, though is not shown on the SSD.
(RJD1.F6) METEOR-E FIGHTER: An EW version of the Meteor-2, replacing the Accelerator with a pair of EW pods.
Meteor-EB: There is a B refit.
(RJD1.F7) METEOR-P FIGHTER: Another attempt to combat plasma races resulted in the Accelerator's replacement by a phaser. This was found advantageous in dogfighting and the Meteor-P was often used against enemy fighters. As well as being included in a mixed squadron with M-2s, it was sometimes carried by Combat Cutters to augment their firepower, as the Cutters could not reload the Accelerator on a normal fighter. It was however frowned upon as useless for prospecting, and was slightly slower than the Meteor-2 due to the phaser's power requirements.
Meteor-PB: There is a B refit, which overcame the phaser's power drain and the allowed the Meteor-PB the same speed as the Meteor-2B.
(RJD1.F8) METEOR-3 FIGHTER: A totally new design created with Orion assistance, the Meteor-3 moved the phasers forward, allowing increased speed and agility and adding space for a second LNA. It can launch one round from each accelerator per turn. The hull was streamlined to allow atmospheric maneuvers, though that was seldom necessary. Wider wings supported two type-1 rails capable of carrying pods (J11). The M-3 was not universally adopted, many tribes being suspicious of its Orion origins and high maintenance requirement as well as the extra power drain on the carrier.
(RJD1.F9) METEOR-3E FIGHTER: An EW version of the Meteor-3, replacing one accelerator with two EW pods.
(RJD1.F10) METEOR-3C FIGHTER: Wanderer fighters were always hampered by the short range of the accelerator. A few Meteor-3s had their accelerator mounts reinforced to hold a fully-charged (3 energy) round. The stress of firing a full-power round damaged the fighter's frame, so this modification was rare.
The accelerator can be armed with 3 energy over two turns (max 2 per turn). If armed with more than 2 energy, it does 1 point of damage to the fighter when fired.
(RJD1.F11) CONVERTED FIGHTERS: The Wanderers attempted to adapt numerous types of captured fighter to their own technology, but the results were seldom as effective as the original. To convert foreign fighters:
Plasma fighters replace each D-torp with a single 1-shot LNA, and each F-torp with a 2-shot LNA (can fire 1 shot per turn).
Fusion fighters replace each fusion beam with a single shot LNA (can fire both on the same turn) or a dual-shot Prospecting Cannon..
Hellbore, Disruptor and Photon fighters replace each weapon with a single shot LNA or dual-shot Prospecting Cannon.
Drone fighters replace each type-I rail with a 1-shot Prospecting Charge (cannot fire both on the same turn), and each Special or Type-IV rail with a single-shot LNA. Type-VI rails are removed. ADD racks are replaced with a chaff thrower (1 extra chaff pack per ADD shot).
Phasers remain unchanged, except that the Wanderers cannot maintain Gatlings and replace them with single Phaser-2s.
Thousand Wandering Tribes Home
The Master Ship Chart
The Master PF Chart
The Master Fighter and Shuttle Chart
Created by Jim Davies.
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