September 2007



A few of the finer points of the technique need to be mentioned. First, note that neither the ship using the ARF nor its target can tractor the other, else the ARF is nullified. Second, if you have more than two ships, you need to plot speeds that work efficiently with tractor linkages; otherwise you will lose movement due to lost fractions when calculating pseudo-speeds. Third, to maximize efficiency, you should arrange your speed changes so that ships will be moving more slowly when they are pushed, faster when they are pushing. Fourth, you need to pay attention to the arcs of the ARFs on your various ships. The smaller ships tend to have FX arcs, while the larger ships will tend to have LS/RS arcs. Finally, you need to realize that on a roll of 5-6, the ARF will be limited to three hexes. This could limit the effectiveness of the pushing ship, or result in the pushing ship getting left behind. You can correct for this by having lead ships side slip in and out to waste hexes of movement, but keep in mind that Alunda ships cannot use reserve warp or impulse, so you will not be able to fix things with an unplotted speed change.

Here is an example to illustrate. Suppose you have a Huntship, a Devourer, and a Tracker, starting in the same hex with the same facing. The Huntship will start at speed 16 (using one point of impulse power toward movement); the Devourer, at speed 18; the Tracker will go speed 30. On Impulse #2, all three ships will move straight ahead. Note, by the (C1.313) order of movement precedence, the Huntship and Devourer will be on the #1 shield of the Tracker. The Huntship tractors the Devourer (pseudo-speeds are 11 and 6), while the Tracker targets the Huntship with its ARF in repulsive mode. Assuming the ARF achieved full effect, by Impulse #12, the Huntship and Devourer have moved 17 hexes, the Tracker 11, and the field is broken. At this point, the Tracker announces a speed change down to 15, while the Huntship and Devourer accelerate to 27. The Huntship releases the tractor beam. Impulse #13, only the Tracker moves. The Huntship uses one of its ARFs in attractive mode on the Tracker.

If the ARF failed to achieve full range, the Huntship could either use the other one on Impulse #14 (this would also require that the Devourer tractor the Huntship on Impulse #13 to negate the Impulse #14 movement of the Huntship), or simply leave the Tracker behind. Having the Tracker safely behind the rest of the squadron is not such a bad thing. For this example, let's assume that it achieved full effect.

On Impulse #20, the Devourer announces a speed change to 28. By Impulse #21, the Huntship and Devourer have moved 24 hexes, and the Tracker is one hex behind. The ARF was deactivated this impulse because the Tracker entered the hex of the Huntship during the Involuntary Movement Stage (6A1). At this point, the Huntship slows to speed 13 and tractors the Tracker (pseudo-speeds are 10 and 3). The Devourer fires its ARF at the Huntship in repulsive mode. (Note that it is in arc because the Huntship moved before the Devourer in the Sequence of Play.) For purposes of our example, we will assume that it did not achieve full effect, and is limited to a range of three hexes.

On Impulse #25, the Tracker announces a speed change to 17. By Impulse #26, the ARF has been deactivated. The Huntship releases the tractor beam, and by the end of the turn, all three ships will have moved 35 hexes. The Huntship plotted 18 hexes of movement, the Devourer 23, and the Tracker 21. Each ship used one ARF. With faster speeds plotted, or the use of the fourth ARF, the squadron could have moved even faster, but opted instead to maximize its movement efficiency so that it could arm more weapons.