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Ships of Clement Sector 13: Strikemaster Class Brig (OGL)
by Daniel C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/15/2016 17:52:58

One of the things I love about these Gypsy Knight products is the effort they put into the complete package. It is not just a deck plan nor is it just game specs. They work to bring together a back story, logical reasons why it even exists, and then add in game stats and a great deck plan to go with it. Another purchase that I am very happy with. Keep it up Gypsy Knight, you are doing a great job.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ships of Clement Sector 13: Strikemaster Class Brig (OGL)
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Ships of Clement Sector 13: Strikemaster Class Brig (OGL)
by paul h. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/15/2016 15:00:35

Strikemaster class Brig, by Gypsy Knight Games


Once again I picked up a new ship from Gypsy Knight Games (GKG) based solely on the enjoyment I had from past products. I wasn’t specifically looking to integrate this ship into a Traveller campaign (which is easily doable), and I don’t have an ongoing set of gaming sessions set in their alternate Clement Sector setting. I got this for three very simple reasons. The first is that they put out some kick-ass high quality gaming supplements. I have yet to be disappointed with any of the things I have purchased from them. Secondly the artwork and deckplans are nice. Many publishers scrimp on the artwork, especially full color artwork. The Traveller GURPS materials where chock-full of grey-scale artwork, but it added a lot to the pleasure of the game, and I wish more publishers would listen to their gaming constituency and do the right thing. Finally I like to support my gaming community, especially the small publishers who do this more for the love of the game than as an attempt to earn a living at it. Enough of the fan-boying, let’s get on with the review!


The cover is always a helpful sales tool, and as usual the artwork of Ian Stead is enjoyable just to look at. The ship, while small, still looks deadly and menacing without having to resort to a lot of distractions. The first few (five to be exact) pages provide some history behind the creation of the ship. When I first saw the teaser post that the Strikemaster class brig was coming, I first thought, “WTF… a brig?? Nobody has used the term brig for a naval vessel since the end of sail”. Luckily enough, the included introduction answers that very same question I had! There are a couple of pages of fiction outlining the beginning of the civil war, with ships having to pick which side they want to support. The fiction itself is decent enough, and with a little bit more polish it could be easily expanded upon for a nice short story.


One of the things to keep in mind is that the Clement sector setting is very much about smaller-scale ships. No 500,000 Dton Tigress class dreadnoughts floating around. The Strikemaster itself comes in at 400 tons. Building multi-thousand ton warships is fun in and of itself, but most gamers play with much smaller ships, so this fits well within a gaming session. It also lends itself to a size of ship that a player has a remote chance of surviving an encounter with. A full-up 5k Dton destroyer typically wouldn’t even break a sweat swatting down a PC’s Free Trader or other smaller adventure-class ship. But at 400 Dtons, the Strikemaster does fit the role of ye olde naval brig - a small, fast combatant that is able to hold it’s own with similarly sized naval vessels and poses a significant threat to mere merchanters.


Ship Design and Description
Once again GKG does an excellent job of describing the layout of the ship, both visually and textually. They make note that the primary armament, a particle beam barbette, is mounted dorsally. The accompanying images also amply illustrate this fact. The ship layout is well done, both logically and visually. You see not only the expected areas (bridge, airlock, crew quarters, docking bay, etc), but little things like the bathing facilities that would not be in every cabin like on a passenger liner. Areas set off from the mess deck for food preparation and storage, even between-deck lifts. I do like the fact that some designers call these out on deckplans. It just makes them feel more realistic.


The room descriptions match well with the deck plan illustrations. The ship itself has three primary decks, with the upper level being officers country, with an officer’s mess, the main deck with the control spaces, ships crew quarters/mess, ships troops/mess, and the hangar. The lower deck is set aside for cargo and engineering. All pretty standard and logical. I do have a couple of quibbles and questions about the choices though. It’s a small ship, and to have three separate mess areas seems a bit excessive to me. While larger ships have more space to burn, smaller ships do not. And the design follows the idea of a ship with a crew much larger than this one’s. I could see, perhaps, keeping officers and crew separate, but not the ships’ crew and troops. A ship this small is really not the type that can afford the luxury of dedicated marines.


While there is a great level of detail and information concerning the ship itself, there seems to be relative dearth about the crew. The total crew complement is listed on the ships information card (5 officers, 14 crew, 6 troops), but I didn’t see anywhere a breakdown on exactly what positions were being filled. Obviously the 6 ships troops makes for easy reading, but is that 5 troops and a single officer, or is that 6 troops? How many are ratings vs. NCO’s? Are the troops led by a marine LT? The background of the brig specifically calls out the typical level of command for the ship itself. Since it’s considered a junior command (and also was in the days of sail), that would mean there would also be more junior officers, such as 2nd Lt, or ensigns still working on their skills as an officer.


Artwork and Extras
One of the things I really enjoy about the GKG ship supplement is the artwork. I’ve said it before and it really bears repeating – you can’t put in enough great art in a sci-fi book or gaming supplement. The game itself requires imagination, and it’s far easier to visualize things when you have something to start with. The credits call out Ian Stead, and two other artists (Bradley Warnes who did the people portraits, and Michael Johnson who did ship deck plans). It’s (almost) like you are getting a Jane’s style explanation of a warship with the different views of the ship outside of the normal imagery of them being in space. Being able to see a ship from different views really helps to sell the fantasy.


The last few pages are taken up with some illustrations of a ships’ commander, Benjamin Waters, and a d6 chart of possible missions/encounters for a game master to use when wanting to incorporate a Strikemaster into their gaming session. This is a nice touch and an added bonus in my opinion.


Shortcomings
I was (and am) pleasantly surprised with the details for the ship itself and descriptions on the interior of the compartments. Always helpful if you need something to help describe the interior to players that happen to be onboard one of the ships, for whatever reason. It also really helps in selling the image. There’s an entire page dedicated to a commander of one of the ships, but sadly absolutely nothing about a crew. Not even a breakdown of the typical crew positions. A few more pages, even just two, could have done a lot to provide more details and background for the ship, it’s crew and it’s operations.


Do keep in mind that what I consider to be shortcomings may not be universally agreed to. Every designer has to make their own choices, and ultimately it’s going to be up to the individual player and purchaser to agree or not. For some what they are getting may exceed their expectations. Others, such as myself, like to see things fully fleshed out.


Should you pick it up?
That’s an easy one. Ab-so-lutely! The price point (a very inexpensive $4.99) makes it a literal steal for what you are getting. Plus you know you have the satisfaction of supporting one of the few independent gaming houses out there that support Traveller in a consistently high-quality way. None of the “shortcomings” that I’ve mentioned take away from the quality of the work, the great art, or the enjoyment. For the price of cheap burger I can support my gaming community and get something of value – as opposed to an expanded waistline! 



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Introduction to Clement Sector
by Adrian S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/22/2015 11:58:33

Clement Sector is the house setting for Gypsy Knight Games. It represents an alternative universe for use with the Traveller RPG and is designed to be used with the Mongoose Traveller rules. 'An Introduction to' does just what it says on the cover, providing a wealth of background and flavour for the setting.


The layout is A4 in a two-column format, and is clear and easy to read. The artwork is excellent and the whole feel is crisp and professional.


Clement Sector itself is a region of space around 60,000 light years from Earth, originally connected to the homeworld by a wormhole called the Conduit. Eleven years ago the Conduit collapsed, leaving the sector utterly isolated from the rest of humanity and reliant upon itself for survival.


The book opens with a credits page and some scene-setting fiction. It includes an overview of the sector's history and background, including early developments on Earth, the nature of the Conduit, exploration, colonization and expansion, and finally isolation. Sidebars provide additional atmosphere, including notes on sporting leagues and narcotic substances.


It also covers, in pleasing detail, the Zimm drive, the device that allows faster than light travel. This technology is functionally quite different to the Jump Drive familiar to most Traveller players. Rules for its use are included.


A Sector/Subsector map gives a good sense of the layout of Clement sector. Human settlement in the region is concentrated in the coreward regions; expansion is restricted by areas of low stellar density and the limitations of the Zimm Drive.


'An Introduction to' includes a comprehensive lest of recommended books and some FAQs, including a few notes relating to possible future developments. It also has a sample scenario from Gypsy Knights' '21' series. This adventure meshes well with the other background material presented in the book.


And this is pretty much where the introduction ends. It is an excellent teaser for the setting and is produced to a very high standard. Thoroughly recommended.


But theres more!


The Osiris system is provided as an example of a star system within Clement Sector. The material makes up nearly a half of the content of the 'An Introduction to' book. There are no less than seven pages of text and four pages of full colour maps.


It begins with brief overviews of each of the planets and bodies orbitting Ra, the primary star. The maps show the layout of the system and also depict all of the major worlds in a classic geodesic format. Next comes a detailed physical examination of Osiris itself, including its atmosphere, geography, hydrosphere, and major flora.


The people who live on the world are examined in some degree of detail. Their society and government are covered, as are local laws. The population's general outlook, attitudes, and culture are also detailed. There is even information about the major centres of population.


Osiris is excellently detailed and is arguably comparable to similar Traveller products such as GDW's Tarsus and Beltstrike. It could easily be used with almost any other Traveller setting or version of the rules, with only minimal effort. Though the population is low the whole system is awash with opportunities for adventure.


Osiris is an unexpected gem. Perhaps Gypsy Knights should make more of the fact that An Introduction to Clement Sector is also a free Osiris System Sourcebook.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Introduction to Clement Sector
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Ships of Clement Sector 11: Fedpost Mail Courier
by Michael S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/10/2015 04:41:54

Ah, the x-boat of Clement-verse, the pony express of the space lanes!


A great addition to the setting, the mail courier is a perfect plot device. Rob the courier, protect the courier, be the courier - or just pass by in the darkness of space.


For small (1-2 people) groups the ship - along with the brand new fedpost career (included in the ship book) can be the focus of a gaming session or campaign. I know at least I got a kind of pony express/Wild West vibe from reading the book, and I can see lots of potential for a fedpost campaign filled with dangers and adventure!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ships of Clement Sector 11: Fedpost Mail Courier
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Ships of Clement Sector 10: Lee-class Merchant Vessel
by paul h. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/07/2015 20:36:37

I picked up the Lee because I've been continually impressed with GKG's solid product line. As usual they have included a sample crew and fiction in regards to time aboard the ship. And you really can't beat the wonderful ship illustrations they put between the covers. It's so hard to convey to publishers sometime that art really helps sell things - especially sci-fi things. It's already a world of fantasy and when you put in decent illustrations it brings it even more to life than just the text. I also really liked the idea that some of the sample crew were uplift characters. It gives more flavor and character - something many ship supplements lack.


The layout and design of the ship is pretty solid. Even though it's for their alternate Traveller setting, a referee or playing group could easily drop it into a new or ongoing campaign. At 400 tons the Lee is a solid tramp freighter. And just a few things to dance a little gleefully over - lifts for movement between decks, airlocks with actual storage nearby, decks laid out in a logical manner... even something as simple as stairs to move between the lower and upper areas of the cargo hold/engineering stations. That might seem rather boring and simple to most, but I find realism in ship plans rather refreshing!


The narrative about the ship gives some background on how the design and certain aspects of the ship came about. The additional touch of something like that is generally the hallmark of people who know how to catch the imagination of a player. A brief description of the upper and lower decks follows. Each compartment and room has sufficient enough text explaining the features and functions. Even simple things like what is generally stored where in lockers is included. Because the designers decided to separate the crew from the passengers by placing them on separate decks, each has a full galley (with storage space) for each deck. The cargo area is equally generous in both size and features. There are loading hatches at the rear, the port and starboard. Internally the deck is double-high (6m) that allows the carriage of larger outsized cargo, or containers stacked two-high. While it's not necessary, I think it would have been nice to have had a little bit more description here, like if there is any sort of internal cargo movement mechanisms, or perhaps where many crews like to park their grav forklift or similar cargo moving gear. While one can assume that most ports have their own equipment (and unions to unload it!), ships like this don't always call at the best of places and thus need to be prepared for all contingencies.


I exchanged email with the publisher in regards to the armaments of the ship. Like many Traveller ships, the turrets are sometimes positioned where you cannot have a magazine present beneath (or above) the turret mount on the hull. The write-up of the ship explains that there are no reloads available. When discussing this with GKG it was explained that the ship is built for carrying cargo, not fighting. While I would not want to have a ship that only had a single missile or sand canister in my turrets, it's a fair enough explanation. It would be interesting to see some variants that actually were able to carry some ammunition in properly placed magazines. Another refreshing aspect is that they explained the why and how of their decisions. Often you'll find a design that just allocates cargo space to ammo even though it's not practical, or sometimes even possible, to reload the weapons.


All in all I am very happy with my purchase. The price point makes even these minor quibbles pale in comparison to what you are getting for your money. It's DEFINITELY worth $5.


I guess the only thing "bad" I have to say is that some of the ship description text could be tightened up a bit to make it flow better from a reader's perspective. Not that it's grammatically incorrect or anything like that. It's an extremely minor thing and I only bring it up because I had to write so many papers in college and grad school that my instructors beat proper writing into my head. :)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ships of Clement Sector 10: Lee-class Merchant Vessel
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Hub Federation Ground Forces
by Daniel C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/03/2015 13:58:43

This was well worth the cost. The background information was quite complete and the feel of the "history" and present state felt realistic. This material fit well with the previous materials I have bought from them. A lot of the art is the same CGI type feel, but they did a good job using it to show off various elements of the text. Uniforms for example. The equipment section contained many items you would expect from a ground force book, but because they tried to tie in the background it made even such generic items as a combat knife feel interesting.


If you love Traveller an love military settings/organizational backgrounds this is a great product for you.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hub Federation Ground Forces
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Clement Sector Player's Guide
by Daniel C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/18/2015 22:51:33

I loved the way this setting is handled. It feels realistic and I had fun reading the product. I would suggest this setting to anyone looking for an alternate to the 3I setting of Traveller.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Clement Sector Player's Guide
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Clement Sector
by Robert J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/17/2015 15:24:26

I’ve bought this wonderful setting book several years back and it is the best ATU available in my mind. It details everything needed to run a campaign in the Clement Sector. This setting is very much tied to earth’s history and the author does an excellent job of detailing all the background. The systems in this setting were settled from earth through a wormhole that opened in 2200. The Sector is on the opposite side of the Milky Way from earth. The wormhole collapsed in 2331 so all the colonists are stranded and cut off from earth. What you get is a wonderfully detailed sector that’s populated by mostly independent systems spanning over half the sector set in 2342. There is an incredible amount of detail that will make you hunger for the subsector books available with this setting. The subsector books completely detail every system with system maps, planet maps and a complete background. Never have I seen a setting so rich in history and detail as this setting. There are plenty of unexplored areas and frontier worlds. You will also find well organized systems up to TL 12. The ships and the 21 Plot books that go with the setting (also available through DTRPG) make it a fantastic setting to run a campaign in and will save hours of fleshing out for the referee. The detail of the setting will impress you and the possibilities for adventure are endless. Look no further for an Alternate Traveller Universe.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Clement Sector
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Ships of Clement Sector 9: System Defense Boats
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/30/2015 06:30:10

Another fine addition to the ever-growing fleet of Clement sector! Good to see some of the alternate modules from the ship-building book make an entrance, such as crew berth and PD nodes. And an interresting new take on the standard stateroom, with the fresher taking up 2x0,5 squares instead of the usual 1x1.


Great to finally see the Raptor sloop, along with its non-zimm River version! The River particular packs a very heavy punch, able to defend important systems from just about any foe.


Clement warships have always been heavily armed. I mean, juts compare the 1,200 dt farragut destroyer with the much heavier Agashaam from Fighting Ships! This is of course true also for the SDBs in this book, just look at the River with its dual meson bays - but the Rattlesnake must be some kind of record-breaker! Just look at it, it's a beast, wow!


With the way zimm drives work, in-system ships can be build much larger than FTL-ships, so I was kinda surprised to see that nothing in this book was larger than 600 dtons - but a separate book will be coming out later with larger SDBs, in-universe classed as monitors.


I'm really glad to see zimm-modules for several of the boats - basically self-propelled zimm-drives to allow system-to-system transfers for when the boats need redeploying. I would however have liked to see more images of the boats docked with their modules, but one can't get everything.


5/5, another job well done!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ships of Clement Sector 9: System Defense Boats
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Introduction to Clement Sector
by Philip W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/01/2015 03:19:11

A very good introduction to the Clementsector. Good background information is given.


The Clement Sector offers a refreshing change from the standard Traveller settings. Gives the impression of being closer to 2300AD than 'regular Traveller. '


I would recommend this to anyone thinking about gaming in this setting.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Introduction to Clement Sector
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Ships of Clement Sector 8: Berlin-class Colonial Destroyer
by Michael S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/22/2015 07:53:17

The Berlin might just be the perfect adventuring warship. It's built for solo work, so no need for an entire squadron of warships - always easier to write adventures for a lone superhero than the entire justice league.


As a destroyer however, it also has a place in the line of battle, or as a convoy escort. Sure, in a pure combat situation it brings less firepower than the Farragut class destroyer, but in every other situation it has more to offer, especially since it carries multiple small craft and a sizable troop detachment.


In a setting like Traveller, where FTL is slow, it strikes me as a very good idea to have some troops aboard every military ship that can carry them. You just don't know when you might need an armed landing party. Most warship in the Clement setting do have some marines, but the Berlin carries an entire platoon - plus supporting vehicles!


This opens up for a wider range of missions, both solo and when part of a squadron.


All this makes the Berlin the perfect adventuring ship. Its wide range of possible missions, the broad collection of tools it brings to the table. It's a perfect ship for a Mass Effect-style campaign, or an extended patrol that lets the ship (and thus, the players) run into a wide variety of situations.


The Berlin makes a fine squadron leader for a bunch of patrolling Kiviats, or if we turn the tables it's the perfect "enemy boss-ship" (like in the story example from Superpirate!)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ships of Clement Sector 8: Berlin-class Colonial Destroyer
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Clement Sector Player's Guide
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/18/2015 09:01:22

Designed to enhance your enjoyment of Gypsy Knights Games's Traveller setting, the Clement Sector, this book concentrates in the main on creating characters that will fit right in. As it is a fairly self-contained region of space, if you run it as written all your characters will have been born and raised there, so the selection of backgrounds provided ought to be useful.


Opening with a couple of pages of fiction to get you into the mood, the first part of the book consists of an extensive series of tables to use - in standard random Traveller manner - to create a past for your character. You can follow through the random process as directed, or if you prefer (and your Referee permits) choose the option that appeals the most. After you have rolled up your characteristics (UPP) according to the core rulebook, the tables here will let you determine which planet in the Clement Sector is your homeworld, and then you can find out the background skills you would have learned growing up there. Note that you are going to need a set of percentile dice as well as D6s. Once you know where you come from, the next step is to determine your native language - Clement Sector was fairly recently colonised from Earth, and people tend by and large to use the language they spoke 'back home'. There's a note on translation technology to ensure that everyone can (more or less) communicate with each other, though.


Next comes the beginnings of the 'lifepath' backstory, beginning with their youth modelled by two rolls to determine significant events in ages 4-8 then 9-12. Some of these are good, some less so. Events for the teenage years are resolved with another two rolls (or, of course, choices - but rolls are more fun and more in the spirit of Traveller character generation). As in real life, next you deal with time in college or university (should your character choose to attend and manages to gain admission). By the time you've finished all this and are ready for a career, you will have a vivid thumbnail sketch of your character's formative years... even if, rather ominously, the final table in this section is Prison Events!


The rest of the book is taken up with Clement Sector careers. There's a list of careers in other Gypsy Knights Games books, useful if you have a good collection or it might even inspire you to pick something up if you like the sound of some of the careers in it, and of course there are plenty more here. You can even be a celebrity or a professional sportsperson, never mind more likely careers such as being a merchant or in the military. Each career has the normal set of tables to help you build a solid backstory.


For those who like things a little less random, a series of Character Packages are provided. These give the skills accrued and other details, but not quite as detailed a personal history. Most are military careers but there are some civilian ones such as journalist, orbital construction worker... and you can still become a celebrity by this route. Finally there's a section on new skills and specialties.


Illustrated throughout with some atmospheric artwork (some of the poses are a bit awkward, but the scenery and spaceships are good), this provides a solid grounding for any character who is going to be played in the Clement Sector.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Clement Sector Player's Guide
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21 Vehicles
by paul h. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/14/2015 14:45:01

Look in the discussion area for my in-depth review. This is a great supplement with no major flaws. There are a number of minor ways they could improve it and make it even better. It's a solid 4 stars, and it definitely is worth five bucks.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
21 Vehicles
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Career Companion
by Wayne Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/11/2015 11:17:29

Specifically tailored to Mongoose Traveller and the Clement Sector setting, highly adaptable to CT/MT. The uplifts and altrants are particularly well done, the alternate experience rules are something to consider as a very viable option. Nice book chock full of good ideas for a decent price.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Career Companion
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Ships of Clement Sector 6: Jinsokuna Chirashi-class Yacht
by Michael S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/23/2014 04:10:05

Aye, she's a beauty, with those sleek yet aggressive lines!


The Swift Flyer is a perfect ship for the rich and powerful, the government or megacorporation or the independent opportunity-seeker*


*Yeah, that'd be pirates, corsairs and raiders.


With 16 staterooms - plus two large suites - There's plenty of room for all your noble drinking buddies and their servants, your important business associates or your fellow marauders, depending on personal taste. As the included alternate versions of the ship show, the interior can easily be reconfigured for other duties. Sacrifice the large common room to make room for some barracks, or perhaps replace some state rooms with labs, armories, or whatever might be needed.


The baseline ship offers a solid foundation to build from, with decent thrust, protection, hull size and armament, and the model could easily be reconfigured for a multitude of roles. Apart from the ones included in the book (yacht, pirate ship, naval escort), I could imagine it'd work great for mercenaries or small Spec-ops units. I kinda wanna slap on a coat of stealth paint, name the ship Normandy and play a mass effect-like campaign - or why not introduce it in the third imperium setting, Vargr corsairs are gonna love it!


Nice touch with the fictive tv show, giving us action characters as sample crew and plot hooks in the shape of episode synopsis made for some fun reading, now I wanna watch Superpirate!


Overall I'm quite fond of this yacht, great work!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ships of Clement Sector 6: Jinsokuna Chirashi-class Yacht
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