Express Boat, Tender, and Scout Ship
Deck Plans in 15mm scale
Express Boat, Tender, and Scout Ship.
S. R. Greene.
Seeker Gaming Systems (no website available)
Price varies (secondhand market)
For MegaTraveller the Express Boat, Tender and Scout Ship Deck Plans has classic William H. Keith cover art with pretty much defined Traveller in the early days and it hardly ever disappoints. The back page has the master deck plan reference so you can essentially see what you are buying or have an overview of the deck plans if needed.
Inside you get a short description of the X Boat, the Tender, and the Scout Ship, how they are used, why they are used, variants, and details connected to the deck plans. You also get their Book 2 details in this descriptive text. This ends with the ships stats in 2nd Edition High Guard. None of this description is bad, it’s just straight from Classic Traveller Supplement 7. There wasn’t anything else to give it any umph. So it’s nothing new. In addition to the descriptions you get two pages of deck plan keys which are just “1 Galley” and you get the MT ship stats for all three ships as well. These designs were done by Michael T. Shozi, and as these were done in the early days of MegaTraveller at least two are incorrect designs. The X Boat doesn’t have a powerplant for a start and the Type S is a direct pull from the original Imperial Encyclopaedia so it’s fuel stat is way off. There are two blank pages at the back of the booklet which are shouting out to be filled with something.
The main bulk of the product are the 15mm deckplans, and this is what the product is really all about. These are based on, or rather straight copies from Classic Traveller Supplement 7. You get two overview pages, side view and Master Deckplans. This is something that I like; the side view gives you much more of the flavour of the ships, and the master deck plans give you an overview for scenario planning. You get the X Boat on a page of A4 (or rather its American equivalent) [US Letter, or equivalently, ANSI A - ed.], and the Type S on a page of A3, with the Tender on two pages of A3, scaled 1m to ½” squares, Snapshot scale.
And this is what this product is for: Snapshot skirmishes, or ship explorations by PCs and it pretty much does what it sets out to do. It doesn’t lend itself to anything else, but then it doesn’t need to. It comes with some ½” Snapshot counters for use with the deckplans and these are William H. Keith again. Scouts and general crew, some ladies and gents and what looks like two Vargr and an Aslan, which are fine if the detail is a little lost. They would work better at 25mm scale.
Overall the product sets out to provide you with some deckplans and it does that. It could have been more. The MT stats are printed in a font size to fill pages that could be used for something else, and the whole two blank pages at the back are just screaming out to be filled with Snapshot scenarios. One half-decent scenario based on the counters that came with the deckplans would have improved the product no end, they could have added a couple of variations and away you could have gone. But … no. It wouldn’t even have had to be Snapshot, this is an MT product after all. Just something, anything.
Available on the second-hand market priced quite high due to it’s rarity I’d not bother if you were intending to use this for play. There deckplans available for the Type S and X Boat on the web for nothing, or you could scale the ones in Classic Traveller Supplement 7 PDF and print them yourself. When I was collecting back in the day I probably paid a premium for this. I wouldn’t do it now. Unless you are a completist spend your money on something current you can use in play which will likely be better value for your gaming pound.
Having said that I’ll probably use these for a couple of Snapshot scenarios … well because I’ve got them … and if I do I’ll send them in to Freelance Traveller.