To finish off the year I’m going to review one of the Gypsy Knights Games products that came out earlier in the year, the ‘HSOCS1 (Historical Ships of the Clement Sector) Trent-Class Destroyer‘ for GKG’s Traveller RPG compatible ATU. This is a spacecraft supplement with a slight difference in that it features one of the older types of ship that can be encountered in the Clement Sector, a design that dates back around 150 years. A small number of these destroyers were trapped in the Clement Sector at the collapse of the worm hole. The book’s ‘historical’ title reflects this as the ship uses older technology and are almost classed as ‘museum pieces’.
What is apparent about the book is that a lot of thought has gone into design so that at an evolutionary level, it compares well against ships that are projected as much later designs. It reminds me of spacecraft that have been imagined as ‘near-future’ designs for later in the 21st century as ways to travel across the solar system. The ship is made up from four major sections; the huge ‘dome’ at the front which acts as fuel tankage and protection from solar radiation and micro meteorite impacts, a rotating ‘command’ section which provides a section of the ship with gravity. The third section is ‘amidships’ which holds cargo and utility craft and finally the fourth rear section contains the engineering and aft weapons control.
The ship is well armed; it bristles with particle beam barbettes, rail guns and short range weapons. In some ways it reminds me of a battleship from WWII in that the ship has to be positioned ‘side on’ to make use of its weapons as they can’t be fired forwards, due to the front dome. Two service craft are featured, a ‘work pod’ which has a very utilitarian design and a very stylish-looking ships boat, which can also be used as an escape craft should the need arise.
As a US-produced spacecraft, the books character images are instantly recognisable as US-Navy crew dress; I did notice that the standard crewman’s dress attire doesn’t seem to have changed much in a few hundred years! The character images are provided by Bradley Warnes along with 3D views by Ian Stead and deck plans by Michael Johnson. Michael must have had a nightmare in working out the deck plans as the ship has so many distinct parts and there is no ‘up or down’, ie. some decks have gravity and some do not. Therefore there is more than one way to move around the ship. However the ship is clearly illustrated with plenty of breakdowns of the ship sections and locations of weaponry.
What also helps to set up the ‘historical’ background of the Trent-class is a few pages describing a moment in time during a famous action between the USS Shannon and a Chinese destroyer in a dispute over claim rights of a new world. It’s a shame there wasn’t more than a few pages as I found the text really engaging and I would have liked to have known what happened next!
The book is 41 pages long and covers every aspect of the Trent-class including an appendix on changes to missile rules, needed to reflect the older types in use. The book can be downloaded from Drivethru RPG for the dirt-cheap $4.99. As I’ve mentioned, it’s copiously illustrated with plenty of colour and monochrome images throughout the book. There is the usual single page of adventure seeds and a featured NPC, namely the USS Shannon’s captain. There is plenty of background and history provided about the Trent-class, along with background as to current duties of the ships remaining in the Clement Sector. The author Michael Johnson (along with additional material from Bradley Warnes) has put together a very comprehensive and engaging book about the Trent-class. I hope to see more of the ‘Historical Ships of the Clement Sector’ in the future if this first book is anything to go by! Many thanks to John Watts of Gypsy Knights Games for sending me a copy to review.
With that, I’d like to thank all my visitors and people who have got in touch and commented over the past year, all the publishers (especially Gypsy Knights Games) for sending me review material and I’d like to wish everyone a very happy 2016!