BARD PAPER: MARI0000

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Rescue Ru(i)n

by
Franklin W. Cain

Synopsis

The Reformation Coalition sends a rescue mission to Keipes to free the Dawn League prisoners. Because the data priests, the true rulers of Keipes, are xenophobic, the RC has every reason to believe that the one or two ships at Keipes will be from Keipes' own space force. Thus, they hope to jump in, "guns blazing," knock out the sensors for the meson gun "deep site," drop the troops on top of the prison camp in the middle of a desert, free their people, pick up everyone, and jump out, before Keipes has a chance of calling in any reinforcements.

Unfortunately, between the time the RCS Thunderchild departs the RCN HQ at Aurora and the time the Thunderchild jumps into Keipes' system, the data priests of Keipes undergo a change of leadership. The new leader had already made secret arrangements to auction off the prisoners to whomever was interested. Arturo I, Emperer of Kide, was one such interested person. So were a couple of traders from the Merchants' Guild of Diaspora.

So now, we have three semi-hostile forces warily watching each other, wondering if the other two will gang up on them, or if they can gang up with one to take advantage of the third. Naturally, *this* is the moment that the Thunderchild breaks out of jumpspace, and proceeds with its attack...


Background: In 1199, the Dawn League sent the DLS Eos, a Bastien-Class Liner, to Keipes (0132/Aubaine/Old Expanses, B677884-6) to explore the possibility of trade and diplomatic contact. The crew of the Eos were taken prisoner, and the ship was seized.

In 1200, the DLS Trigger attempted to free the imprisoned crew of the DLS Eos. Unknown to them, Keipes had a functional meson gun in a "deep site" emplacement. The rescue mission was a failure.

Now, it's 1/VI/1202. The Reformation Coalition Navy has a 50-ton Meson Screen Module for their Modular Clipper Ship. They know where the prisoners are being held. It's time to bring their people home...


Brother Jarrod of the Order of Revealed Knowledge, Caretaker of the Most Holy Retreat of Solitude and Meditation, was a up-and-coming member of the order of "data priests" that truly ruled the planet Keipes. In the fullness of time, he could have expected to succeed Most Reverend Brother Willem as the head of the Order. Unfortunately for Brother Willem, Brother Jarrod didn't know the value of the virtue Patience.

Now, Most Reverend Brother Jarrod, with his head bowed with grief over the "peaceful passing in his sleep" of his predecessor, has opened contact with useful offworlders. In exchange for the sullen and uncooperative prisoners, he wants these other offworlders to teach his data priests how to travel to the stars...


"The Emperer of Kide sends greetings to Our Esteemed Cousin, The Most Reverend Holy Brother of the Order of Revealed Knowledge. It is Our most fervent wish that this missive find you in excellent health and of good cheer. We have entrusted this messenger, Our most faithful vassal, to entreat you for the favor of the starship you liberated from the Star Vikings. He speaks with Our voice in these negotiations. We are prepared to be most generous in wealth of arms and munitions. Ask, and it shall be yours..."


The Merchants' Guild of Diaspora is always interested in opening new markets. Teaching some backwoods shamans how to blow themselves up with a starship in exchange for some highly trained slaves is a deal too good to pass up. And if the rubes should prove not to know how to properly guard their starships, well, now...


The RCS Thunderchild, commanded by Commodore Sean "Hammer" Lathrop and Captain Pat "Who Me" Ritter, will make best possible speed from Hq RC Navy, Aurora (0535/Aubaine/Old Expanses) to confirmed deep-space location at 0133/Old Expanses to rendevous with two Oasis-Class Tankers (modified XBoat Tenders; already waiting at location).

Thunderchild will take on full load of fuel and prepare for jump to Keipes (0132/Aubaine/Old Expanses) for rescue mission. Extreme precision should be used for calculating the jump vector into Keipes to optimize the attack.

Due to expected/usual patrol routines of local defense craft, refueling once in-system is *not* advisable. Thus, the need for tanker support one parsec away. Jumping one parsec in and one parsec out will leave the Thunderchild with reasonably high amount of maneuvering fuel. The optimal path of approach is a *direct* line to Tresek, Keipes's moon, and Keipes itself, keeping Tresek between Thunderchild and Keipes until the last possible minute. This will hide Thunderchild from ground-based sensors on Keipes. This will also make Thunderchild blind to any activity on Keipes. This handicap is compensated for by the use of a listening post (see below).

Currently in-system at Keipes is RMS Knife's Edge (Scout/Courier), landed at Keipes' moon, serving as a listening post. Thunderchild will establish tight-beam-commo link with Knife's Edge as soon as feasible upon arriving in-system.

Included with this mission order is detailed information on:

  • Location of Tanker Squadron at 0133/Old Expanses.
  • Relative location of Keipes and Tresek (moon of Keipes).
  • Location of RMS Knife's Edge on Tresek as well as commo-frequency and protocols to be used.
  • Location of ground-based sensor sites used by "deep site" meson gun.
  • Location of Dawn League/RC prisoners. Good luck.

    Keipes' System Data

     
    
    System Details and UWP Data for 1201: 
    Orbit#    Name               UWP         Trade Codes     Remarks 
    Primary   Sokess             F6 V
      0       ---                YS00000-0   Ba Va
      1       ---                Y300000-0   Ba Va
      2       ---                Y300000-0   Ba Va
          6   ---                YS00000-0   Ba Va
         11   ---                YS00000-0   Ba Va
      3       Lyrra              Y420000-0   Ba De Ir
          8   ---                Y100000-0   Ba Va
      4*      Keipes             B677884-6                   Pop:4
         60   Tresek             Y200000-0   Ba Va Ir
      5       Apenes             Y521000-0   Ba Ic
      6       Stones of Sokess   Y000000-0   As Ba
      7       Volan              SGG (UWP size 65)           Patrol
          2   Volan's Pearls     YR00000-0                   Ring system
          6   ---                YS00000-0   Ba Va
          9   ---                YS00000-0   Ba Va
         40   ---                Y200000-0   Ba Va
         55   ---                YS00000-0   Ba Va
        225   Klarek             Y100000-0   Ba Va Ir
      8       Rasu               Y8A4000-0   Ba Fl Ir        Patrol
          7   ---                Y300000-0   Ba Va
    
    UWP Data for 1120: 
    Name    UWP      Bases  Trade Codes     Remarks 
    Lyrra   H42011F-A       De Lo Ni Po     Pop:8
    Keipes  A6778BC-B  N                    Pop:3
    Tresek  G20046D-B  N    Ni Va           Pop:7
    Klarek  H10036E-B  N    Lo Ni Va        Pop:3
    Rasu    H8A423B-B       Fl Lo Ni Re     Pop:5
    
    
    Trade Codes
    Ir = Imperial ruins
    Re = Research lab.

    Remarks
    Pop:#: "#" is the Population Multiplier (usually part of TPPG).
    Patrol: Usually patrolled by one of Keipes' SDBs.

    Keipes' Space Forces
    3x SDB
    1x Bastien-class Liner (former "DLS Eos")
    1x Free Trader


    Setup -- Option I

    Maps
    
        +-------------+   Arrange at least four maps from "Brilliant Lances" 
        |             |   (BL) and "Battle Rider" (BR) as shown to the left.  
        |      A      |   
        |             |   Note that hexes 0111 and 1811 of map A will be 
        +-------------+   covered, respectively, by hexes 0101 and 1801 
        |             |   of map B, hexes 0111 and 1811 of map B will be 
        |      B      |   covered, respectively, by hexes 0101 and 1801 
        |             |   of map C, and so on.  
        +-------------+   
        |             |   If not enough maps are available, map A can be 
        |      C      |   used for map D once the RC Clipper has entered 
        |             |   map B.  Likewise, if needed, map B can be used 
        +-------------+   for map E as long as there are no ships or missiles 
        |             |   on map B.  This can be continued as needed.  
        |      D      |   
        |             |   
        +-------------+   
        |             |   
        | E (if used) |   
        |             |   
        +-------------+   
    
      (Placement): 
    
        Keipes:  Hex 1008 on map D 
    
        Tresek:  Hex 1008 on map C 
    
        RC Clipper Ship: 
    
          Targeted Point of Emergence from Jump:  Hex 1004 on map A 
    
          Actual Point of Jump Emergence: 
            Use the Tables below to find the correct hex on map A 
    
            Table 1. (Roll 1D20):           Table 2.b. (Roll 1D20): 
              01 - 05 : On target!            01, 02 : Hex 0805 
              06 - 15 : Off by one hex.       03, 04 : Hex 0804 
                          Use Table 2.a.      05, 06 : Hex 0803 
              16 - 20 : Off by two hexes.     07, 08 : Hex 0902 
                          Use Table 2.b.      09, 10 : Hex 1002 
                                              11, 12 : Hex 1102 
            Table 2.a. (Roll 1D20):           13, 14 : Hex 1203 
              01 - 04 : Hex 0904              15, 16 : Hex 1204 
              05 - 08 : Hex 0903              17, 18 : Hex 1205 
              09 - 12 : Hex 1003              19, 20 : Roll again on this 
              13 - 16 : Hex 1103                         table.  
              17 - 20 : Hex 1104 
    
    

    Setup -- Option II

    Maps
    
    
        +-------------+-------------+   Arrange at least eight maps from 
        |             |             |   "Brilliant Lances" (BL) and "Battle 
        |      A      |      Z      |   Rider" (BR) as shown to the left.  
        |             |             |   
        +-------------+-------------+   Note that hexes 0111 and 1811 of 
        |             |             |   map A will be covered, respectively, 
        |      B      |      Y      |   by hexes 0101 and 1801 of map B, 
        |             |             |   hexes 0111 and 1811 of map B will 
        +-------------+-------------+   be covered, respectively, by hexes 
        |             |             |   0101 and 1801 of map C, and so on.  
        |      C      |      X      |   
        |             |             |   If not enough maps are available, 
        +-------------+-------------+   maps A and Z can be used for maps D 
        |             |             |   and W once the RC Clipper has 
        |      D      |      W      |   entered map B or Y.  Likewise, if 
        |             |             |   needed, maps B and Y can be used 
        +-------------+-------------+   for maps E and V as long as there 
        |             |             |   are no ships or missiles on maps B 
        | E (if used) | V (if used) |   or Y.  This can be continued as 
        |             |             |   needed.  
        +-------------+-------------+   
    
      (Placement): 
    
        Keipes:  Hex 1808 on map D 
    
        Tresek:  Hex 1808 on map C 
    
        RC Clipper Ship: 
    
          Targeted Point of Emergence from Jump:  Hex 1804 on map A 
    
          Actual Point of Jump Emergence: 
            Use the Tables below to find the correct hex on map A or Z 
    
            Table 1. (Roll 1D20):           Table 2.b. (Roll 1D20): 
              01 - 05 : On target!            01, 02 : Hex 1605 of Map A 
              06 - 15 : Off by one hex.       03, 04 : Hex 1604 of Map A 
                          Use Table 2.a.      05, 06 : Hex 1603 of Map A 
              16 - 20 : Off by two hexes.     07, 08 : Hex 1702 of Map A 
                          Use Table 2.b.      09, 10 : Hex 1802 of Map A 
                                              11, 12 : Hex 0102 of Map Z 
            Table 2.a. (Roll 1D20):           13, 14 : Hex 0203 of Map Z 
              01 - 04 : Hex 1704 of map A     15, 16 : Hex 0204 of Map Z 
              05 - 08 : Hex 1703 of map A     17, 18 : Hex 0205 of Map Z 
              09 - 12 : Hex 1803 of map A     19, 20 : Roll again on this 
              13 - 16 : Hex 0103 of map Z                table.  
              17 - 20 : Hex 0104 of map Z 
    


    Special Conditions

  • Because of the Scout/Courier on Tresek acting as an observation post, the RC fleet cannot be surprised.
  • All of the ships that are landed at the starport are powered down. Also, they have a +1 Diff. Lvl. penalty to man battle stations, if surprised.
  • The RC knows the location of the three sensor sites used for the "deep-site" meson gun.
  • The 18 Dawn League/RC prisoners are at the starport. The RC player will *not* discover this fact until *after* assaulting the previous known location of the prisoners.
  • Any ship wanting to jump to another system must get at least 34 hexes away from Keipes to be safe. The minimum safe jump distance for Tresek is 11 hexes, but as Tresek is 10 hexes away from Keipes, this is actually immaterial to the fleeing ship.
  • The drop troop assault will be resolved using the "Boarding" rules.

    Team Briefings

    RC Player/Team
    Keipes Player/Team
    Kide Player/Team
    Guild Player(s)

    Author's Notes: I detailed the assets by skill (instead of by crew level) to better reflect the roleplaying aspect of the game. In TNE, it is *much* harder for a character in the Wilds to get skills from the Space Tech, Space Vessel, and Tactics skill clusters than from the Technician cluster (let alone, Leadership skill).

    I used the "unskilled attempt penalty" rule from TNE to handle those skills that are *not* available to the character(s) belonging the the players' teams.


    References

    ("BL") Brilliant Lances -- The starship combat boxed set.

    ("C:74") Challenge magazine, issue # 74 -- Where GDW published the 50-ton Meson Screen Module, and other Modules, for the RC Modular Clipper Ship.

    ("TNE") Traveller: The New Era-- The core rules for this version of Traveller.

    ("PoT") Path of Tears -- Info on Keipes and the failed contact mission.

    ("RCEG") Reformation Coalition Equipment Guide -- Detailed info on the RC Modular Clipper Ship and its Modules.


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