Sunday, September 11, 2016

I is for Interdiction

"Warning: Trespassers will be shot. Survivors will be shot again." - unknown

One of my minor frustrations with the Traveller sector generation process was the creation of Amber and Red Zone worlds. I loved that they were included in the process, but there was no way to determine why the planet had a restricted classification. I've created the table below to address the reason for and enforcement of planetary interdiction.

IMTU the reason for the restriction is usually, but not always, made public and can be determined by contacting the local TAS office, Imperial Navy public liaison, or checking with a trusted news source. Amber Zones are not usually interdicted, but Red Zones almost always are. Note that the official reason a planet has been interdicted is not always the real reason.

Travel Zone & Interdiction   (A for Amber Zone, R for Red Zone)

A1    general chaos
A2    societal upheaval
A3    local xenophobia
A4    government coup
A5    piracy
A6    oppressive government
A7    oppressive laws
A8    dangerous society
A9    minor war
R1    wildlife refuge
R2    protect developing society
R3    wealthy family's private reserve
R4    to protect valuable resources
R5    protect sensitive installation
R6    punishment of local government
R7    quarantine a disease
R8    trade embargo
R9    world war
RA    global disaster
RB    Ancient site
RC    protect military base
RD    military or arms embargo
RE    known psionic community
RF    classified

Interdiction Classification and Enforcement
Class and Actions Taken
0: No travel restrictions, not interdicted
1: Automated satellite - Broadcasts restrictions, and collects transponder data of ships entering in range of system
2: Automated satellite - Will open fire on ships entering the restricted zone
3: Automated or manned satellite- Will open fire on ships entering the restricted zone
4: Interdiction Station (400 ton) - Will open fire on ships entering the restricted zone
5: Close Escort (300 ton)- Will intercept ships and escort them away or fire upon them if necessary
6: System Defense Boat (400 ton) - Will intercept ships and escort them away or fire upon them if necessary

The class and quantity of enforcement units goes up with the Navy's assessment, but there are usually 3 to 4 units per system.

An example of a Class 2 satellite is the InSat-12, shown below.
An example of a Class 3 satellite is the 300 ton Type SMU-4C/D from GW's IISS Ship Files.
An example of a Class 4 Interdiction Station can be found in Space Gamer magazine (#67).
An example of a Class 5 Close Escort can be found in Supplement 7 - Traders and Gunboats.
An example of a Class 6 System Defense Boat can be found in Supplement 7 - Traders and Gunboats.

For the purposes of this article, interdiction refers to the prohibition of access to a world from the outside. It does not inherently prevent anything leaving the planet. Interdiction differs from a blockade, which is intended to prohibit any ships from entering or exiting a world. The typical interdicted zone is a sphere of 100 planetary diameters, although this often varies, especially for smaller worlds. The Imperial Navy views penetrating the 100 diameter sphere as indicating clear intent of planetary interaction as it is the cut-off point for safe jumps.

Weapons Platforms and Spy Satellites
The design of an interdiction satellite is not too much different from the design of an orbital weapons platform, interdiction satellites just tend to announce their intentions first. Some satellites are fitted with a wide variety of sensors, so that the conditions on the planet may be monitored.

The InSat-12 Automated Interdiction Satellite
The InSat-12 is a twelve ton, Class 2 automated interdiction satellite used by the Imperial Navy. It is fairly standard for its class, which typically range from 10 to 40 dtons. This satellite is produced at TL14 and uses a L-Hyd fueled power plant. Older models and some produced at earlier tech levels still use a generator and solar collection panels for power. It can maneuver at 1G, which allows for orbital relocation, system patrols, and basic combat maneuvers. It is armed with a double pulse laser turret and a multiple sensors.


  1. ive always wanted to campaign of investigating such worlds to update records and status

  2. I like that you went with the 2001 style of space suit. The best style of space suit!