Ætherjack’s Almanac #5: More Æthercraft (Troika!)
The fifth installment of this series of mini-zinis providing essentially spelljamming rules/rules-conversions for Troika! clocks in at 4 pages – the pages are presented in a broad, landscape style, and can be folded in the middle to make a digest-sized booklet, so it’s more closer to 7 digest-sized pages than 4; the first page of the pdf contains the front cover, as well as supplemental text, while the other 3 each provide a new dogfighting-sized æthercraft.
First of all, the Locksley MK 9 and two of the new æthercraft herein are classified as moon-rat vessels, and glade at maneuver ½, with SR 1. The WNG-F/LC has an enclosed cockpit and twin fire-linked engine-mounted fusils. How is fire-linking represented? Two attack rolls per attack. Makes sense. As before, the vessels are portrayed as a silhouette, and come with weight, wing-span (also, thank the spheres, with values in both imperial system and metric system), and its cargo is contingent on whether it’s designed to carry cargo or passengers. This one also has two engines – a fact elaborated in the text, which, in combination with the previous examples and fuel-rules, actually can be rather interesting!
The second æthercraft, the Swyer no.3 also has fire-linked fusils, but those are mounted on the nose; with a SR of 9 and Armor 3, but relatively low Hull, it’s a surprisingly-resilient dogfighter, obviously designed to battle monsters and other vessels.
There is a third vessel, the L5er Fritillary, which can sail on its wings at SR 1 with no maneuver change – because it’s essentially a massive, genetic/arcane-engineered butterfly! I love this, and it’s weaker than the other vessels, but has a distinct engine – the butterfly has fire-linked thorn throwers that operate like crossbows, making these pretty great bosses for less experienced groups. They also showcase how you can use this engine without ever getting even close to scifi, steampunk or dieselpunk territory…or spelljamming, for that matter. Big kudos!
Speaking of which, the supplement comes with a couple of nice guidelines pertaining to Stars Without Number, called attacks and the like. Oh, and as an aside, with fire-linking now covered and the amount of material accumulated by now, we can use the Ætherjack’s Almanac series to relatively easily draw upon the wealth of e.g. Starfinder-ships without too much of a hassle.
Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no hiccups on a formal or rules-language level. Layout adheres, as noted, to a standard that lets you fold the supplement when printed into a digest-booklet. Color-wise, we have yellow/green this time around. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length. Artworks, as noted, are fitting, colored silhouettes. The pdf comes with a second b/w-version that is easier on the printer – kudos!
Ian Woolley’s Ætherjack’s Almanac-series is a genuine boon to Troika! The engine is fun, and while these pdfs are brief, they deliver quality. I consider them all appropriate, and considering that #2 and #3 combined unlock a TON of ships from a wide variety of systems, this series is most assuredly worth getting if you even remotely enjoy Troika! – particularly since Troika!’s Golden Barges etc. scream for these rules. I can’t wait to see where the author goes with these. My final verdict will be 4.5 stars, rounded up due to in dubio pro reo.
You can get this pdf here on OBS!
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