Snapshot (1979)

A Traveller potpourri this week, starting with Snapshot (1979).

Billed as a tactical wargame, Snapshot is basically a combat system built around boarding starships and fighting in them, room to room. It expands on the basic personal combat rules from Classic Traveller and sets them on a grid. There are rules that make it playable on its own, but that doesn’t make a ton of sense to me — looking back from my vantage forty years in the future, this seems clearly intended as a rules expansion for Traveller proper — the box includes floorplans of the Type S Scout and the Free Trader ships, both of which are central to the RPG and both of which, to my knowledge, had not previously appeared elsewhere.

The system isn’t particularly complex. You’re essentially rolling to hit after determining a host of modifiers dependent on environment, proximity and so on. The original D&D has about the same level of tactical depth. Traveller doesn’t require this level of detail necessarily, and I prefer the basic rules, but I can see a certain sort of player wanting and appreciating this box set.

Cover art by Jennell Jaquays, which was cool and surprising!

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