The Independence Armed Freighter looks like an ideal ship for players. It actually close to an Armed Merchantman or a Q-Ship, in that it sacrifices 50 tons of cargo capacity for armour and it has lots of pop-up weapons. It’s useful for working in high risk areas. It has 3G and J2 performance so would also make a decent pirate ship. It could be assigned to support a fleet, involved in anti-piracy operations, gun-running or smuggling. The players could even be travelling as the 4 security troops the ship carries and sorting out problems at each port of call. There are lots of possibilities.
You get 10 deck plans and a 23 page pdf booklet.
The 10 plans are full size, with each deck square around 3.5 cm squared when you display it at actual size. If you want to print them off, you’ll need to find an A3 printer. The ship has 4 decks. You get two plans for the top two decks, one bare and the other cluttered with things that might be present. I thought it was an interesting touch and brought the ship to life. You get three full size plans of each of the two cargo decks, one bare, one with some cargo and one packed with as much as you can fit in.
The pdf booklet starts with a short introduction, explaining the ship’s design brief. It’s just a page long and serves to set the scene. I dislike supplements that give several pages of fiction. You’re buying a ship plan, not the introduction to a novel. I thought this was about the right length.
The supplement has lots of good quality illustrations. There’s a plan view of the top, bottom, right, the front and rear of the ship with a few pages of text describing what’s on each deck. The large scale deck plans are reproduced at a more useful size. One thing I really liked was they show what each number on the plan is on the same page. I’ve bought ship supplements where you had to scroll down several pages to find what each number represents in the key.
There are a lot of views showing the ship in different colours. I liked this, it reminded me of aviation books where they show you several images of a Spitfire in different colours. There’s a plan and side view showing where the weapons are. There are 3D views too, showing the ship in space.
You get a worksheet, showing the details of the design. If you wanted to make yourself a pure merchantmen, without the armour and weapons, you can do so very easily.
The supplement is very lavishly illustrated, it’s also only $5.43 (£4.02) so about the same price as a a fancy coffee. What are you waiting for?