Really Big Meson Guns

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
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Reynard
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Re: Really Big Meson Guns

Postby Reynard » Sat May 16, 2015 10:30 pm

This is Traveller and spinal mounts are frikkin' big tubes. Even a 3D rotation one is going to need a huge assembly for aiming. It's housing size will be tremendous.

These untouchable monstrosities still have their weakness, sensors arrays. Those must be on the surface where ever they plan to detect and collect targeting information. That's a lot of targets and all you need do is blind one area. That's why you don't see the Mesons of Navarone everywhere.
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Re: Really Big Meson Guns

Postby F33D » Sat May 16, 2015 10:31 pm

Reynard wrote: These untouchable monstrosities still have their weakness, sensors arrays. Those must be on the surface where ever they plan to detect and collect targeting information. That's a lot of targets and all you need do is blind one area. That's why you don't see the Mesons of Navarone everywhere.
The sensors can densitometers buried under 1km of iron...
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Reynard
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Re: Really Big Meson Guns

Postby Reynard » Sat May 16, 2015 10:37 pm

So I repeat, why isn't the Traveller universe completely protected by untouchable meson guns?
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Re: Really Big Meson Guns

Postby F33D » Sat May 16, 2015 10:38 pm

Reynard wrote:So I repeat, why isn't the Traveller universe completely protected by untouchable meson guns?
Because the author didn't REALLY understand the rules of the game. Same reason robot ships don't dominate the jump routes...
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Re: Really Big Meson Guns

Postby phavoc » Sat May 16, 2015 10:56 pm

One word - screens.

So long as the meson screens are up a ship is invulnerable to meson damage. Just like nuclear weapons are useless against ships with nuclear damper fields.

It's why, in some ways, conventional weapons have a distinct advantage against ships with heavy defenses.
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Re: Really Big Meson Guns

Postby Reynard » Sat May 16, 2015 11:06 pm

Ah yes, that too. For every offense there is a defense.
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Re: Really Big Meson Guns

Postby Jeraa » Sat May 16, 2015 11:09 pm

phavoc wrote:One word - screens.

So long as the meson screens are up a ship is invulnerable to meson damage. Just like nuclear weapons are useless against ships with nuclear damper fields.

It's why, in some ways, conventional weapons have a distinct advantage against ships with heavy defenses.
Meson screens just reduce damage in normal combat, or require you to roll to penetrate in capital ship combat. They don't make you immune to meson damage. Screens can make it really hard to deal damage, but won't make you immune.
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Re: Really Big Meson Guns

Postby Reynard » Sun May 17, 2015 1:11 am

Still better than auto kills from untouchable guns. Same goes for buried meson spinal mounts as targets and they are a lot easier to target, they don't move.
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Re: Really Big Meson Guns

Postby phavoc » Sun May 17, 2015 2:26 am

Jeraa wrote:Meson screens just reduce damage in normal combat, or require you to roll to penetrate in capital ship combat. They don't make you immune to meson damage. Screens can make it really hard to deal damage, but won't make you immune.
(edited for clarity)

No, that's not entirely correct. First off meson screens affect nothing but meson attacks (including barrage). Nuclear dampers can affect nuclear attacks, but not meson or conventional. Up to a certain point you ARE immune to meson attacks. In High Guard, pg 75, the chart shows the penetration chances of spinal mounts. And yes, even the smaller spinal mounts have a decent chance of getting through weak or average meson shield factors.

Before they can damage their target, Meson Guns must penetrate the target’s meson screen and ensure that it decays within the ship. Compare the penetration rating of the meson gun with the configuration of the ship and the number of screen points being generated (2 or screen or 3 if the screens to full action is being used) and roll the number indicated or more on 2d6 to penetrate the ship’s defences.

Strong meson screens protect against normal attacks, but spinal mounts are designed for penetrating shields. Properly equipped ships (computers, crew) or ground mounts, with higher TL spinal mounts have a high probability of smashing through all but the strongest of shields. Assuming you have a TL-15 opponent who has type V deep-site meson guns, they have a better than 50-50 chance to penetrate maximum shields on an attacking ship - and that's assuming that the attacker has maxed out their defenses. If they haven't, and you are able to hit them, their shields get automatically penetrated.

Even firing a meson spinal mount is a -6 to your attack roll, which can be offset through better computers and such. Defending against them is tough, as it should be. And attacking with them isn't a guarantee of victory either.
Last edited by phavoc on Sun May 17, 2015 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Really Big Meson Guns

Postby Jeraa » Sun May 17, 2015 2:52 am

phavoc wrote:
Jeraa wrote:Meson screens just reduce damage in normal combat, or require you to roll to penetrate in capital ship combat. They don't make you immune to meson damage. Screens can make it really hard to deal damage, but won't make you immune.
No, that's not entirely correct. First off meson screens affect nothing but meson attacks. Nuclear dampers can affect nuclear attacks, but not meson or conventional. Up to a certain point you ARE immune to meson attacks. Only the strongest spinal mounts can hope to penetrate full shielding. High Guard, pg 75
I never said (or even implied) screens were effective against everything. This conversation is only about meson weapons, so I didn't specify meson weapon damage.

And either we have different definition of "immune" or different copies of the book. In my copy, any level of protection from meson screens can potentially be penetrated by even the weakest spinal mount, even if it isn't likely in some cases. Not likely to happen is not the same thing as being immune. A type A spinal meson gun (Penetration 1) can penetrate even full protection (6 screens, 3 points of protection each, 18 points total) from meson screens. You just have to roll a 12 on 2d6 to do it.

Against non-spinal meson guns, screens are effectively 2 points of armor each (in barrage combat). So 12 points of protection max. With decent rolls, you can still damage a ship with full meson screens, even if it isn't likely.
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Re: Really Big Meson Guns

Postby phavoc » Sun May 17, 2015 3:35 am

I see where you are coming from. Yeah, spinal attacks of any class are pretty deadly. What I said up thread should have been made clearer. A ship needs to max out it's bonuses to hit (firing is a -6DM just to start). I'm not sure an A spinal mount and crew can overcome that 18 necessary to roll, though I suppose it's always possible.
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Re: Really Big Meson Guns

Postby Condottiere » Sun May 17, 2015 2:17 pm

Which means that navies will use expendable ships for planetary assault against well dug in and prepared opponents.
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Re: Really Big Meson Guns

Postby Epicenter » Sun Jun 21, 2015 9:29 am

phavoc wrote:The Darrian sourcebook only says "Unlike the capital ships of the Imperium and Zhodani Consulate, the Darrians scale their spinal weapons to fit the size of the warship, using design philosophies
conceived before the Maghiz. This makes their primary armament very frightening on their larger ships."
Elvessss Innnnn Spaaaaaceeeeee.

No, seriously. This is just some author trying to make the Darrians awesome again.

In traveller, a Spinal Mount is a weapon you build your ship around. None of this "unlike the capital ships of the Imperium and Zhodani Consulate" garbage. Everyone builds their ships around spinal mounts. You cram the biggest gun you can into the ship and build your ship around it.

I'd just ignore it as the author being a foof and trying too hard to make the Darrians awesome.
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Re: Really Big Meson Guns

Postby Infojunky » Sun Jun 21, 2015 9:37 pm

Epicenter wrote: Everyone builds their ships around spinal mounts. You cram the biggest gun you can into the ship and build your ship around it.
Ok then where is the spinal mount for the 400 dTon Patrol Cruiser? :twisted:
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Re: Really Big Meson Guns

Postby F33D » Sun Jun 21, 2015 11:33 pm

Infojunky wrote:
Epicenter wrote: Everyone builds their ships around spinal mounts. You cram the biggest gun you can into the ship and build your ship around it.
Ok then where is the spinal mount for the 400 dTon Patrol Cruiser? :twisted:
Around the Spinal Mount. NOT around the ship. Your question would properly be: "Where is the SHIP for the "x" sized Spinal Mount?"
Last edited by F33D on Mon Jun 22, 2015 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Really Big Meson Guns

Postby Beastttt » Sun Jun 21, 2015 11:45 pm

It is called a 5dton barbette or 50 dton bay

Infojunky wrote:
Epicenter wrote: Everyone builds their ships around spinal mounts. You cram the biggest gun you can into the ship and build your ship around it.
Ok then where is the spinal mount for the 400 dTon Patrol Cruiser? :twisted:
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Re: Really Big Meson Guns

Postby Condottiere » Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:49 am

Warships are built around weapon systems, and the most appropriate example I can think off that involves the entirety of the ship, would be a prow mounted ram.
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Re: Really Big Meson Guns

Postby Solomani666 » Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:35 am

phavoc wrote:The Darrian sourcebook only says "Unlike the capital ships of the Imperium and Zhodani Consulate, the Darrians scale their spinal weapons to fit the size of the warship, using design philosophies
conceived before the Maghiz. This makes their primary armament very frightening on their larger ships."

So this doesn't really tell you anything other than that cruisers would get cruiser-sized spinal mounts and battleships would get battleship sized ones. Without any examples the explanation is relatively meaningless.
My point exactly...

.
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Re: Really Big Meson Guns

Postby Solomani666 » Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:40 am

phavoc wrote:Yes. You still need power, and fusion generators give off telltale tachyons.
I think you mean neutrinos...
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Re: Really Big Meson Guns

Postby Condottiere » Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:16 am

Apparently, chemical batteries would give you a stealth boost.

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