The spacecraft design sequence is very much like Classic Traveller Book 2. Things are still measured in dTons, which is a unit of volume equal to one hundred tons of liquid hydrogen, or roughly 14 cubic meters. In TMB all you can design are space craft from 100 dTons to 2000 dTons. Bigger or smaller craft needs the rules in Book 2 High Guard. There aren't any real surprises, assuming you know book 2. Computers are assumed into the bridge so they don't eat up space, but do have a cost.
Well, I say there aren't any surprises, but there are, in that there are alternate versions of both drives and power plants that take you right out of the Classic Traveller mode and can do damn near any sort of SF. For drives, you have Warp, Teleport and Hyperspace, for power plants you have Fission and Anti-matter. Added note. Jump drives still eat 10% of the mass of the ship per jump number in fuel.
MTU errata. Fission plants exists, (as do the chemical and battery power options in High Guard), but none of the alternate drives exists, nor do Anti-matter drives.
One of the things that every ship is assumed to have is a "ships locker". This is a "simplify bookkeeping" rule, not a portable hole of has every thing. There is, addition to the rules on the locker a bit of shadowed text box about not allowing players to abuse it.
The basic weapons give are missiles, lasers and particle beams. Aside from cost, and possible legal issues, particle beams are the hands down best weapon systems.
Bay weapons take up 51 tons and include missiles, particle beams, fusion guns and meson guns. While the rules don't say so, I suspect that there is supposed to be a limit of one particle beam per turret, other wise you have a turret doing 3x3d6 damage, which is a bit high.
In High Guard there is a limit on particle beams based on your power plant size
For defenses, you have armor, sand-casters, nuclear dampers and meson screens, all of which work vs various different attack forms, with armor working against every thing but meson guns.
I need to add that rules as written, 6 points of armor makes you pulse laser proof and 12 points manes you beam laser proof. These two laser type reverse how much damage they do in High Guard for no explained reason, but the point still stands that a fully armored TL 12 ship is turret class laser proof, which is one reason why the Particle Beam weapon is so much better. RAW mention using nuclear missiles near inhabited planets or orbitals, but don't say any thing about particle beams, which also cause radiation hits above and beyond their 3d6 basic damage.
The following ship designs are given
- Type S Scout
- Free Trader Type A
- Far Trader
- Subsidized Merchant
- Laboratory Ship
- Gazelle Close Escort
- Heavy Freighter
- Mercenary Cruiser
- Serpent Police Cutter (not a jump ship)
Small craft, with minimal rules for them, are listed.
- Ship's boat
- Modular Cutter
- Light Fighter