Dark Nebula (game)

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This page presents information of the Traveller game Dark Nebula, see Dark Nebula Sector for the Astrographic Sector.

Dark Nebula
Dark Nebula 2 versions small box and large box
Author Marc Miller
Publisher Game Designers Workshop
Version Classic Traveller
Edition 1st
Format Game (6x9 or 8.5x11 box)
Language English
Pages TBD
Year Published 1983
Canonical Yes
Available from RPGNow
Also See Dark Nebula Sector
Product 409 or 651

Dark Nebula (game) is a Game Designers Workshop product.

Description (Specifications)[edit]

Interstellar War For Control of the Nebula: As the Aslan Hierate and the Solomani Confederation expand into unknown space, they meet and soon fight in a struggle for control that will bring the victor greater economic and political power. This is the setting for Dark Nebula, a game of interstellar warfare using the popular Imperium game system. Each side manipulates starships and troops in an effort to control worlds while denying them to the enemy.

OUT THERE: In a region of space rimward from Terra, at some time in the far future, the revitalized Solomani Confederation is struggling to establish a stellar empire simultaneously with the Aslanic Hierate. Both cultures are fighting for position, and they find themselves squared off and ready for war...

Dark Nebula is a science fiction game set in a future with interstellar travel and powerful weaponry. Eight astrographic maps provide the setting for intense rivalry between warring worlds. 120 die cut counters provide the starships and troops to wage the war, while the rules booklet gives complete instructions for play. Dark Nebula uses the popular Imperium game system. Recommended for ages 12 to adult.

Dark Nebula has 8 small boards representing sectors of about six or so star systems. The boards are placed randomly at the start of the game by both players one at a time, to their own advantage. The game is played in turns with each player's turn having a number of phases. Get the money you earn from your star systems, move your ships and combat, a reaction from your opponent (which has some restrictions), a final move and combat by you, then it is the other players turn.

  • The object of the game varies with the board placement, but basically you need to control your opponents home world for a number of turns.
  • This game uses mechanics similar to the Imperium game.

Table of Contents[edit]

Dark Nebula (game)
Section Page/s

Library Data Entries (Public)[edit]

  1. Aslan Border Wars
  2. Aslanic Hierate
  3. Resource Unit (RU)
  4. Solomani Confederation
  5. Terra

Library Data Entries (Automated)[edit]

Library data entries

Dark Nebula / Imperium Ship Types Overview[edit]

  1. Noncombatant Vessel: Civilian and paramilitary ships are not intended to engage in military battles and that function as auxiliaries in wartime.
    1. Tanker
    2. Transport
  2. Small Combatants: Smaller than a cruiser, but not expected to stand in the line of battle. Small combatants are lightly armed and armored ships intended for escort or exploration duty.
    1. Destroyer
    2. Expeditionary Ship
    3. Scout
  3. Cruisers: They encompass several types of ships. including light cruisers, strike cruisers, attack cruisers, and heavy cruisers. Cruisers form the major heavy fleet elements of any force, due to their relatively low maintenance cost, and to their high firepower.
    1. Attack Cruiser
    2. Light Cruiser
    3. Heavy Cruiser
    4. Strike Cruiser
  4. Capital Ship: The general class of capita! ship includes dreadnoughts, improved dread· noughts, battleships, and monitors. Capital ships are each capable of carrying one troop counter as cargo and ejecting jump troops for invasions. Capital ships are better equipped to defend against planetary defense fires because each has a screen factor of 7 or greater. All capital ships except monitors require two turns for construction; monitors only require one turn.
    1. Battleship
    2. Dreadnought
    3. Improved Dreadnought
    4. Monitor
  5. Special Ship: Special ship types perform a variety of missions.
    1. Missile Boat
    2. Emmisary Ship
    3. Fighter
    4. Mothership

Dark Nebula / Imperium Ship Types Entabulation[edit]

Dark Nebula / Imperium Ship Types
Supraclass Type Code Cost Stance Remarks Vilani (Red) Terran (Blue) Aslan (Red) Solomani (Blue)
Transport TR 01 RU Starship They are cargo-carrying ships capable of moving planetary defense markers and troops from place to place. One transport carries one counter as cargo. Vilani-TR.png Solomani-TR.png Aslan-TR.png Terran-TR.png
Tanker AO 02 RU Starship They are mobile stations capable of manufacturing fuel directly from stellar atmospheres. A tanker is required to properly refuel starships so that they may jump from a tertiary system hex (...though un-fuelled ships could still exit such a hex using sublight movement). Vilani-AO.png Solomani-AO.png Aslan-AO.png Terran-AO.png
Scout SC 01 RU Starship They are small, lightly armed ships originally designed for exploration and courier duties. Vilani-SC.png Solomani-SC.png Aslan-SC.png Terran-SC.png
Emmisary EM 01 RU Starship They are small, lightly armed ships designed for diplomatic duties. Their combat capabilities are insignificant and they are destroyed if engaged by enemy forces. Vilani-Emmisary-Red.jpg Terran-Emissary-Blue.jpg No Neutral-Transport-Terran.png
Destroyer DD 03 RU Warship They are small fleet units designed for escort duty and limited independent operations. Vilani-DD.png Solomani-DD.png Aslan-DD.png Terran-DD.png
Light Cruiser CL 06 RU Warship They are the smallest of cruiser-type ships. Vilani-CL.png Solomani-CL.png Aslan-CL-Light-Cruiser-Red.png Terran-CL.png
Strike Cruiser CS 10 RU Warship They are characterized by high missile factors, lending themselves to a variety of missions, especially planetary bombardment. Vilani-CS.png Solomani-CS.png Aslan-CS.png Terran-CS.png
Heavy Cruiser CR 12 RU Warship They are the standard cruiser class ship, forming the backbone of major space forces. Vilani-CR.png Solomani-CR.png Aslan-CR-Heavy-Cruiser-Red.png Terran-CR-Heavy-Cruiser-Blue.png
Attack Cruiser CA 14 RU Warship They are potent ships with high beam armament. Vilani-CA.png No Aslan-CA.png No
Expeditionary Ship EX 10 RU Warship They are scientific research ships which combine armaments with laboratories, and are used in the exploration of space and new worlds. No No Aslan-EX.png Terran-EX.png
Early Dreadnought B 13 RU Warship They are heavily armed and armored starships intended as the mainstay of the fleet. Maintenance costs for such vessels greatly hinder their usefulness. No Terran-B-B-Early-Battleship-Blue.png No No
Dreadnought B1 13 RU Warship They are heavily armed and armored starships intended as the mainstay of the fleet. Maintenance costs for such vessels greatly hinder their usefulness. Vilani-B1.png No Aslan-B1.png Terran-B1.png
Improved Dreadnought B2 14 RU Warship They are evolutionary developments of the dreadnought. Vilani-B2.png No Aslan-B2-Improved-Dreadnought-Red.png Terran-B2-Improved-Dreadnought-Blue.png
Battleship BB 15 RU Warship They are the ultimate capital ship with the highest available firepower and armor. Vilani-BB.png Solomani-BB.png No Terran-BB.png
Monitor M 06 RU Warship They are heavily armed ships incapable of performing the hyperspace jump; they may only move using sublight drive. Monitors are pre-dreadnought in design and belong only to neutrals. Because they do not have hyperdrive and because they are often assigned to the defense of outposts, monitors may pay for maintenance (...see the Maintenance Rule) when in a friendly secondary system, rather than perform the die roll. Aslan-M-Monitor-Red.png Terran-M-Monitor-Blue.png Neutral-Monitor-Aslan.png Neutral-Monitor-Terran.png
Missile Boat MB 04 RU Warship They are a strictly Terran development and represent the installation of missile launching equipment in small, easily produced hulls. This development is a reaction to the high Imperial missile factors in common use. Missile boats are equipped with hyperdrives, but do not have the endurance to allow sublight movement. No Terran-Missile-Boat-Blue.jpg No No
Fighter F 01 RU Warship They are small craft designed for tactical combat. They are incapable of either sublight movement or hyperspace jumps, but may be carried as cargoes. Fighters require a base before they may operate. A base may be a friendly world or outpost, or it may be a mothership (see below). Vilani-Fighter-Red.jpg Terran-Fighter-Blue.jpg No No
Mothership MS 07 RU Warship They are carriers capable of transporting, launching and retrieving 0-0-1 fighters for combat. One mothership can carry up to three fighters and can launch and retrieve that number per combat round. Disruption of a mothership also disrupts its fighters If they are aboard, A mothership may launch or retrieve fighters at the beginning of each space combat round. If fighters are being carried (inside the mothership), they are ignored; if they are not being carried, each counter is treated separately. Fighters are not included in the production of a mothership. Vilani-Mothership-Red.jpg Terran-Mothership-Blue.jpg No No

Meta-history & Background (Dossier)[edit]

Dark Nebula was one of the very early Classic Traveller board games.

Early Classic Traveller Game Modules[edit]

These games helped to set the setting of the very early Third Imperium in the early 1980's:

  1. Asteroid (game)
  2. Azhanti High Lightning
  3. Dark Nebula (game)
  4. Fifth Frontier War (game)
  5. Imperium
  6. Invasion Earth
  7. Mayday
  8. Snapshot
  9. Striker

Credits (Primary Sources)[edit]

Credits (Primary Sources)
Credit Authors & Contributors
Author Marc Miller
Art Direction and Graphics Paul Richard Banner
Playtesting John M. Astell, John Harshman, Tim Brown
Cover Artist Charles Bernard

External Link/s[edit]

Commentary & Data articles:

  1. EXTERNAL LINK: Dark Nebula & Imperium Overviews


  1. INTERNAL LINK: White Dwarf - Issue 20

Other Articles:


References & Contributions (Sources)[edit]

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