I bought the WOIN Starship Construction Manual in both print and pdf. Upon receiving my download, I was anxious to start reading on how to design ships. After reading it, I am pleasantly suprised how easy the system is. Campared, to Traveller's ship construction, this is a breeze! Simply, choose from a list of options and keep track of everything via the provided worksheet.
Ships are rated according to their Hull Class which represents the overall size of the ship and each Hull Class provides specific values for Tonnage, Cost, Crew requirements, Cargo Units, Defense, Fuel, and Initiative penalties. Cargo Units or CU represents the total number of components that you can add to your ship. Your ship has a Super Structure that represents how much damage the hull can take before the ship is destroyed. It has to be manually calculated and starts at 3 times the Hull Class.
Then you buy your CPU budget which represents the maximum capacity of your computer to operate ship sytsems and components. Your CPU can reduce the total crew requirement, give bonuses to your SOAK and Defense as well as determines the number of CPU Cycles which is basically the total number of things the computer can control. Max FTL determines the limits of your ships ability to calculate FTL navigation coordinates to get somewhere, which effects the ships overall speed.
Sensors will be needed as well to detect ships as well as scan planets to determine atmosphere composition and whether there is life. They have a range and can provide bonuses to Defense.
Then you can buy a Navigation Computer, which can increase your FTL speeds by making your ship more efficient in the routes that it plots to take advantage of hyperspace shortcuts or gravity slingshots.
Your ship will need an engines for propulsion as well as to provide power to all the various systems. There are a number of options for a variety of settings and tech levels such as engines using liquid fuel, fusion reactors, ion engines, solar sails, hyperdrive engines, and anti-matter engines that are the equivalent of Star Trek warp engines.There are even optional exotic engines such as probability drives and a rotor drive capable of making your ship travel in space and time.
There are a ton of weapon options as well such as phasers, projectile cannons, nukes, missles, railguns, quad cannons, ion cannons, railguns, disruptors, torpedos, particle beams, blasters, and even mines.
As far as defensive options, the book has a variety of shield systems and deflector shields that provide a SOAK value for the ship and absorb damage. There are variants for armor such as ice armor, rock armor, fluidic armor, organic living armor that heals, and regenerative nano composites that can heal both the armor and hull underneath.
Additional systems such as cloaking devices, tractor beams, fuel scoops, external cargo bays, command and control systems that provide bonuses to friendly ships that are in range for their Initiative and attack rolls, Electronic Warfare Systems and Counter Measures, as well as Hardened Electronic Shielding.
You can provide additional crew and passenger compartments, add hanger bays, repair bays that can fix your ships Super Structure, cabins, galleys, messhalls, ship bays, brig, sickbay, and holodecks.
Finally, the book ends with 6 new ships designs such as a transport, cargo ship, battleship, research vessel, Seeker Scout, and Carrier. Then there are 3 ships that we have seen before in the NEW Core Rules such as the ugly egg-shaped Junker Courier, the Talon, and the Endeavor Cruiser. The artwork for these ships are grainy as well.
My only complaint is that there are no rules to damage any of these specific ships systems. I'm also surprised that it does not have rules for adding a hydroponics garden to feed your crew or options for Life Support Systems as well as rules for adding gravity to your ship. The head/bathroom should be added as well. These areas are completely ignored yet they play a critical role to a star ship.
It would have been nice to have rules about building ships that can only stay in space as well as models that can land on a planet. There are no rules about manueverability either.
There are no bookmarks in the pdf either. It makes trying to reference rules in it a pain in the ass.
Overall, I am impressed with the Starship Construction Manual. It allows you to build a variety of ships for your game in a manner that is straight forward and not too complex. Unfortunately, most of the art in this book is recycled images that appear in the NEW Core Rules. I'm also disappointed that there were only 6 new ship designs and I wish the artwork for them was better too. They look so blurry! There are still no deck plans either for any of the ships either. Plus, I wish that there was a way to damage a ships sub systems. I give this book a 4 out of 5.