Last modified March 21, 1997

Fusion Drive (Fd/Fdc)

The Fusion Drive is a parallel development to the Ion Engine. Utilizing the same basic technology, the Fusion Drive manages to obtain similar operational effects to the Ion Drive, with a boost in speed and efficiency paired with a reduced safety factor.

The Fusion Drive is subject to all of the drawbacks of the Ion Engine, including the chance of engine burnout, when operated at high speeds for extended periods, and a maximum speed ceiling for a given hull size. However, the Fusion Drive is capable of a higher maximum speed for a given hull, and is capable of generating that speed using less engines per movement point.

While the Fusion Drive is not capable of the high speeds attainable by the Tactical Engine, nor is it as maneuverable, it does not have the same vulnerability to missile attack. The Fusion Drive's performance comes solely through an increase in power generation. This increase comes at a price, however.

The Fusion Drive's major drawback is a necessary result of it's increased ability. In order to obtain higher maximum speeds, the engineers who designed the Fusion Drive had to drastically increase the output of the fusion reactors powering the engine systems. This increase left these reactors much more vulnerable to damage than the Ion Engine. Whenever a Fusion Drive mounting ship is damaged in an engine room, there is a 20% chance of a catastrophic failure of the reactor containment system. This failure can result in a terrible explosion, ripping the ship apart from the inside out.

Rules

Engine Power Requirements
Hull Designation Hull Size Fd Fdc
EX/FT0 5-7 1/6 (12) 1/6 (6)
ES/FT1 8-12 1/4 (12) 1/4 (6)
CT/FT2 13-16 1/3 (10) 1/3 (5)
FG/FT3 17-20 1/2 (10) 1/2 (5)
DD/FT4 21-30 2/3 (8) 2/3 (4)
CL/FT5 31-45 1 (8) 1 (4)
CA/FT6 46-60 1.5 (8) 1.5 (4)
BC/FT7 61-80 2 (7) 2 (4)
BB/FT8 81-100 2.5 (7) 2.5 (4)
SD/FT9 101-130 3 (6) 3 (3)
ML/FT10 131-165 4 (5) 4 (3)
MT/FT11 166-200 5 (5) 5 (3)
MH/FT12 201-250 6 (4) 6 (2)
SM/FT13 251-300 7.5 (4) 7.5 (2)
LN/FT14 301-400 9 (3) 9 (2)
JG/FT15 401-500 12 (2) 12 (1)

Catastrophic Failure Rules

Any time a Fusion Drive ship takes damage in an engine room, and the engine room ceases to be operational, roll a d10. On a roll of 1 or 2, the drive has suffered a catastrophic failure of the emergency shutdown system, and explodes. The ship immediately suffers damage equal to 2*(number of engine systems originally in engine room). This damage is suffered equally in both directions on the control sheet from the engine room. If this damage hits another engine room, then make another roll for that engine room.

In effect, a catastrophic failure has the possibility of created a chain reaction, wiping out the ship. This necessitates protecting the engines from enemy fire.


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