Traveller: High Guard

宇宙海軍 “High Guard” (1985) is the third box set released by Hobby Japan for Traveller. Collecting material from four of the little black books by GDW, this is the set for starship enthusiasts. The translations are by Hitoshi Yasuda and box cover art by Naoyuki Kato.

High Guard expands on the rules for characters who enlist in the navy. There are now three career paths, depending upon whether they enlist with the planetary, subsector, or imperial navies, and the number of skills a character can learn is increased. The rules for starship construction are expanded to cover ships up to a million tons, and the rules for starship combat are expanded to cover additional attacks (energy weapons, particle accelerators, and meson guns) and additional defenses (sandcasters, “black globes”, nuclear dampers, and repulsors). Incidentally, the phrase “high guard” refers to a defensive position adopted when refueling ships, though 宇宙海軍 just means “space navy”.

The Japanese version combines Book 5: High Guard and Supplement 9: Fighting Ships into a single book. The supplement describes 28 ships of the imperial fleet. The original illustrations were by Jaquays, but the JV contains reworked illustrations by Naoyuki Kato. The ships range up to 500,000 tons in size, but none of them have deck plans.

The Kinunir is a translation of GDW’s well-regarded first adventure book. It contains 4 short adventures, all of which can potentially make use of the provided deck plans for a 1200 ton Kinunir class battle cruiser. These include espionage to discover details of the ship’s construction, rescuing a senator from a battle cruiser converted into a prison, and responding to a distress call from a derelict ship. There is a rumor table, and a character with streetwise skill can earn a roll on it by mixing with the local population. A character can also query the library data by typing a search term into a computer. The referee reads off the entry in the library data section if he thinks the query got a result.

Trillion Credit Squadron gives players a budget for constructing fleets and pitting them against each other in battle. The cost for a hull is 100,000 Cr per ton, and the ship designer will need to reserve additional funds for jump drives, maneuver drives, power plant, armaments, and a computer. If the bookkeeping of spending a trillion credits seems overwhelming, the players can play with a billion credit budget.

Box contents:
• “High Guard”, letter-sized perfect bound book, 72 pp.
• “The Kinunir”, letter-sized staple bound book, 36 pp.
• “Trillion Credit Squadron”, letter-sized staple bound book, 32 pp.
• “Starship Construction Charts”, letter-sized, 6 pp.
• “Navy Characters”, letter-sized, 4 pp.
• “Starship Combat Charts”, letter-sized, 4 pp.
• “How to Use High Guard”, letter-sized sheet
• “New and Old Island Star Sectors”, letter-sized sheet

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