The Zuraqqor Strike Back!
Alien starships for Star Frontiers Knight Hawks gaming

by Brian Valentine
Dragon Magazine, #95, pg. 71

Knight Hawks, like any other game, needs variety to keep it exciting. This article can add some of that needed variety by reintroducing the Zuraqqor, one of the Sathar's allies. The Zuraqqor first appeared in the Star Frontiers mini-module Assault on Starship Omicron. They are a race of intelligent, bipedal insects, each having small, vestigial wings, two compound eyes, and two antennae. Zuraqqor are thought to originate from a world near Zebulon, as all assaults on Federation shipping have been made in that area since the new trade route was opened.

Zuraqqor culture was well described in Assault on Starship Omicron. Only a few relevant details will be repeated here. Zuraqqor society has five classes: worker, warrior, technician, king, and queen. Technicians perform all technological labor, and their political power rivals that of the Zuraqqor kings and queens.

The kings rule the warriors, each Zuraqqor hive having one king. All hive kings vote on a district king, and district kings vote on a planetary king. All planetary kings vote on the planetary political organization that the kings have. Zuraqqor are very group oriented and will rarely, if ever, be found alone or acting individually.

Zuraqqor warships consist of two main types: battle cruisers and fighters. Four classes of cruisers are known to exist and are classified as classes A, B, C, and D (class A being the largest). Zuraqqor fighters are also known as "ground strafers" because of their frequent use in planetary assaults.

All cruisers are built large and slow: large because the Zuraqqor believe that their shipboard crew organization should resemble the hive organization as closely as possible, making the cruisers resemble huge, floating fortresses; and slow because the Zuraqqor see no need for speed. Cruisers use ion engines, while all fighters use small atomic engines.

Though slow, cruisers are nonetheless very maneuverable. They usually travel in groups of four, except during certain war situations in which much larger groups have been used. Because no space stations have been detected around Zuraqqor worlds, these warships are assumed to be built on small moons or asteroids. Ships the size of their cruisers could never lift off from a planet of any major size. Cruisers are thought to take years to build.

Class A are each equipped with a mine-neutralizing mechanism that deactivates all mines within 30,000 kilometers (three hexes) of the ship. This device cannot be duplicated by any other race at this time. Class A cruisers also each have one fighter bay that can carry one to five fighters.

Zuraqqor Ship Statistics

Zuraqqor Battle Cruiser, Class A

HS 15 HP 80 ADF 1 MR 2 DCR 150

Ion engine type A (x4)

Weapons: 2 LC, LB, EB, PB, DC, S (x2), T (x4), RB (x8)

Defenses: RH, EPS, SS, MS (x2), ICM (x8)

Zuraqqor Battle Cruiser, Class B

HS 13 HP 75 ADF 1 MR 3 DCR 120

Ion engine type B (x4)

Weapons: 2 LC, LB, EB, PB, DC, T (x4), RB (x6)

Defenses: RH, ES, PS, MS (x2), ICM (x6)

Zuraqqor Battle Cruiser, Class C

HS 11 HP 70 ADF 1 MR 3 DCR 100

Ion engine type B (x3)

Weapons: LC, LB, EB, PB, T (x2), RB (x4)

Defenses: RH, ES, MS (x2), ICM (x6)

Zuraqqor Battle Cruiser, Class D

HS 9 HP 65 ADF 1 MR 4 DCR 75

Ion engine type B (x2)

Weapons: LC, LB, EB, T (x2), RB (x4)

Defenses: RH, MS (x4), ICM (x4)

Zuraqqor Fighter

HS 2 HP 10 ADF 5 MR 5 DCR 50

Atomic engine type C (x1)

Weapons: AR (x4), LB

Defenses: RH

Scenario 1: The Zebulon Raid

In this scenario, the UPFS ships are making a run to a military base on Volturnus (off the right side of the star map), and they begin the game in formation near the left-hand side of the star map. They will only want to get to Volturnus and will try to escape any attacks. On the other hand, the Zuraqqor's orders are not to return until the UPFS ships are destroyed. Ship statistics for most of the UPFS ships may be found in the boardgame rules for the Knight Hawks game.

UPFS Forces

UPFS Arcturon (destroyer)

Location: hex 0618

Speed: 5

UPFS Arrow (assault scout)

Location: hex 0821

Speed: 5

UPFS Remora (assault scout)

Location: hex 0522

Speed: 5

UPFS Anaconda (freighter)

HS 17 HP 85 ADF 2 MR 1 DCR 71

Weapons: T (x4)

Defenses: RH, MS (x2)

Location: hex 0521

Speed: 5

Zuraqqor Forces

ZMS (Zuraqqor Military Ship) Brtz'krgr (class-B cruiser)

Location: hex 3439

Speed: 7 (heading toward hex 3338)

All UPFS ships are heading horizontally across the mapsheet. The Zuraqqor ship is moving along a diagonal to intercept the UPF convoy.

Any UPFS ship that makes it off the right side of the map is assumed to have safely outrun the Zuraqqor cruiser. The Zuraqqor ship wins if all UPFS ships are destroyed or suffer over 50% loss of their hull points. The Anaconda and at least one other ship must survive for the UPFS player to win. Note that it is possible for both sides to win this scenario. (Such are the fortunes of war.)

Scenario 2: The Volturnus Incident

This battle occurs a month after the Zebulon Raid. The Zuraqqor are attacking the only station in orbit around Volturnus, effectively cutting off the on-planet mines and military installations from the PGC and Galactic Task Force. The statistics for the Pan-Galactic ships were previously given in the Dragon Magazine issue #88, "Yachts and Privateers Return", but are repeated here for the benefit of those who lack that issue.

The planet of Volturnus is located in hex 1520 on the star map and does not move during the course of the game. The Tarnag is just leaving Volturnus, having undocked from the space station and pulled out of orbit.

Pan-Galactic Forces

PGSS Tarnag (Nova-class yacht)

HS 5 HP 25 ADF 2 MR 2 DCR 35

Weapons: LC, LB, RB

Defenses: RH

Location: hex 1921

Speed: 1 (heading toward hex 2021)

PGSS Brigadoon (Condor-class privateer)

HS 13 HP 65 ADF 3 MR 3 DCR 59

Weapons: 2 LB, EB, PB, DC, T (x4)

Defenses: RH, SS, ICM (x8)

Location: hex 1519

Speed: 0 (docked at space station, in orbit, moving counterclockwise)

PGSS Drag Net (Thruster-class privateer)

HS 2 HP 10 ADF 4 MR 5 DCR 26

Weapons: AR (x4)

Defenses: RH

Location: hex 1519

Speed: 0 (docked at space station, in orbit, moving counterclockwise)

PGSS Miner's Central (PGC-owned space station at Volturnus)

HP 30 DCR 23

Weapons: 2 LB

Defenses: RH, MS (x4), ICM (x4)

Location: hex 1519 (in orbit, moving counterclockwise)

Zuraqqor Forces

ZMS Ktr-Bltz (class-B cruiser)

Location: hex 5420

Speed: 8 (heading toward hex 5320)

ZMS Drlp'mrztd (class-C cruiser)

Location: hex 5523

Speed: 8 (heading toward hex 5423)

The first side that destroys or inflicts over 50% damage on all of the other side's ships wins, with the PGC station counting as a ship. Neither side can retreat from the star map.