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Ship Design Assistant
I forgot that I had signed up for a game of Galac-Tac a while back. I am in the turn order program, now. And it seems that every ship design that I come up with yields a message of: A design of this size may not have any star drives

Can someone toss some insight my way?
My pleasure!

The number of star (and interia) drives is limited by the size of the rest of the ship (calculated in SSD).  A tiny ship of only 2 SSD can have up to 30 star drives and travels quickly across the galaxy.  A battleship of 30 SSD can only move with up to 12 star drives.  Ships larger than that are stationary platforms that can only be used where they're built.

Take a look at your Shipyard Report (on the web screen or in the GTac Assistant) to see some examples of ship designs.  For instance, a 6P/4;;/21-14 (commonly called a Destroyer) is 10 SSD big, has reasonably good firepower and can move around relatively well, making it a good intermediate-class ship.

Here's a chart of size ranges and their maximum drive limitations:

_SSD_ Max engines
 1-2  30-20
 3-5  24-16
 6-10 21-14
11-15 18-12
16-25 15-10
26-30 12-8
31-35   -8

Does that help?
In that chart, why would a ship of 31 to 35 SSD need engines, at all, much less 8, as in the example, if stationary platforms that can only be used where they're built?
The engines on a ship are of two types:  star drives, which move you from star to star, and impulse drives, which are used for in-system combat.  The "-8" maximum there lets you build an extra-large ship for in-system defense that has combat maneuverability but still can't "jump" out of system.

The larger platforms can't move at all and are more like sitting ducks in combat.  But to offset that, you can put LOTS of weapons and/or shields on them and they're much less expensive so you can built more of them.

The two types of engines are both listed in the rating separated by a dash, and aren't related.  For instance, a ship design of //30-1 is really a very useful ship.  It can't fight at all (no weapons and almost no combat maneuverability), but this works very well as a long-distance scout (for which there is always plenty of need).  OTOH, a 1P//-20 serves well as a local system "guard", patrolling his area and watching for incoming scouts or other intruders.
Thanks for the explanation!
Sure!  That's all explained in the full rule book, of course, but at first it may be difficult to sort through all the details.  I'm happy to discuss any rules or questions that anyone has, and play styles, ship designs, and strategies as well.
BTW, if you download the GTac Assistant program, it comes with a ship designer assistant screen, too.  But this one is friendlier and easier to use than the one on the web site since you don't have to click on the button and interact with the web server on every tentative change.  Thus, it can remind you of movement limitations and the cost of engines (and total size and other such factors) every time you make a change to your ship's plan, so it's more obvious what's being affected by your choices.

Since ships are designed using 9 different parameters in almost unlimited combinations, being able to see the details of what you're cooking up while you're typing is very handy.

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