November 2009

Ask Admiral Growler (Continued)

Tholian Webs

- by Mike Filsinger

Gary Bear asks: Can a web caster be used to create one hex of (anchored) normal web i.e., web that will not dissipate if held with a valid anchor? If yes, can the firing ship be the anchor?

Answer: According to (E12.25), a web caster only creates linear webs. According to (G10.11) linear webs require two anchors.

Terry Blake Ball asks: I was re-reading the web rules and want to make sure I understand Damage Due to Deceleration, and breakdown.

A ship moving speed twenty runs into a strength-ten web and is "trapped" for as many impulses as it takes him to expend ten more movement points. No breakdown (as web strength is less than twelve) and no damage.

A drone moving speed 32 hits the same strength-ten web. The drone is "trapped" until it expends ten hexes of movement, and there is no damage as the web has less than twenty strength points.

If the web were strength twenty in both examples, the ship would have a chance to break down, and would take eight points damage because it is moving speed twenty, while the drone would take twelve points of damage, and probably be destroyed, because it is moving speed 32. Do I understand this properly?

Answer: Here is a quick and dirty way to calculate web deceleration effects:
1. Find the smaller number between the web strength and the ship's speed.
2. Subtract twelve from that above amount (twenty for a drone, shuttle, or PF).
* If the difference is negative, nothing happens except for spending time in the web.
* If the difference is exactly zero, the ship (but not a drone or fighter, of course) rolls for breakdown, but takes no damage.
* If the difference is positive, the ship rolls for breakdown and takes damage equal to the difference. A drone, shuttle, or PF takes damage equal to the number of movement points above twenty, but only the PF would have a chance of breaking down like a ship.

William T. Wilson asks: Suppose a ship and one of its manned shuttles are stuck in the same web hex and the player wants to use (J1.61) to recover the shuttle (since both units have an effective speed of zero). Is this possible?

Answer: If the shuttle and ship are in the same (web) hex, nothing prevents either launch or landing. In the case of landing aboard, this is a form of docking which is allowed under (G10.554).

William T Wilson asks: Can a tractor link "hop" over a web hex? Consider the situation: Tholian ship in 2215, Tholian web in 2316, enemy ship in 2317, tractor link from the enemy to the Tholian, and the Tholian (only) is due to move. If the Tholian moves into 2315, this would cause the tractor link to "cross" the web hex in 2316, even though the state before and after is legal by going along a hex edge. Does this "crossing" of web break the tractor? If so, does the enemy ship move before it breaks or does it break first, leaving the enemy ship in 2317?

Answer: The tractor link breaks as it cannot exist in the web hex, and sometime (definable or not in game terms) it was in a web hex. See (G7.125).