Friday, 18 February 2011

Friday Freebie: Full Thrust!

HPIM3829Image by robartesm via FlickrIt seems my internet is back on, temporarily at least, which allows me the pleasure of introducing the free game that's probably inspired me the most:  GroundZeroGames' Full Thrust.

Full Thrust got me completely and utterly into space fleet wargaming, and it can't just be coincidence that GZG also make and sell some very nice starship minis to play the game with.  The newer designs are particularly nice - check out the ScanFed, for example - and far as I can tell from my research, GZG ships set the benchmark in 1:3000 scale space minis.

So... what's the game like?
Full Thrust uses big handfuls of d6, has well balanced weapons and defences for the different fleets, and also possibly the single most aggravating movement system ever.  The (also free) updated rules More Thrust introduce new, streamlined and frankly more logical inertial movement rules - so no need to worry there.

Where Starmada tracks damage as hull, weapon, shield or engine hits, Full Thrust has damage tracks and requires rolls to be made for each of the ship's systems when certain damage thresholds are reached, which makes for a tenser game.

Full Thrust's weapons are simple - which influenced our decision to switch to the completely customisable Starmada - but work... and on reflection, if we'd spent less time tinkering with our weapon systems in Starmada we might have spent more time learning good ways to deploy and manoeuvre a fleet.

On reflection, although Full Thrust seems book-keeping heavy and less "exciting" than its competitors, it seems it's still the most popular space combat tabletop wargame - and is well worth your time.

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  1. I prefer Full Thrust to any other space system out there.

  2. I've played Full Thrust, but it didn't scratch my itch so to say. It isn't a bad, not by a long shot, but to me the number of weapons options felt too constrained. The other thing is that if you want all the updated rules, you have to work across four books which can get confusing. If there were an official update that consolidated all the rules I think it would be better. For me though, I learned that hexes in starship gaming aren't necessarily bad things, it made it easier to teach my boys to play. Otherwise, it does flow well once you get the hang of movement and gives a good fun game. And of course, being a free download has a virtue all it's own.

  3. @Sargeant Crunch - that about sums up my gripes with the system too: the weapons options are too limited, and it's hard to find the info you need.

    If there was a system somewhere between the two... with easier movement, damage tracking, and less overall paperwork - I'd sign up for it like a shot.

  4. Maybe it's because I ran across Full Thrust only after ten years as a BattleTech player, but I find the amount of paperwork in Full Thrust liberatingly light. Also, there is now a file floating on the net called "Full Thrust Remixed" which consolodates the core rulebook, More Thrust, and Fleet Book 1 into one volume.


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