[[[Playtest Focus]]] Missiles III

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[[[Playtest Focus]]] Missiles III

Postby msprange » Thu Jan 07, 2016 11:05 am

Hopefully, these are 'final' rules or, at worse, just need a little tweak.

They have just had two changes from Missiles II - we now allow missiles to be fired at Close and Adjacent ranges by losing the Smart trait, and damage is now calculated differently (it now takes armour into account, which was always missing before).

There has been a concern raised about a) the number of rolls for EW and b) for PD. The former I am not too worried about, as you can only do it once for every salvo, and not all missile launches will be at Distant range, so there will be less rolls here than it looks at first glance. As for PD, we will have mechanisms in High Guard to handle large numbers of turrets (and dedicated PD systems will take much of the strain anyway), so we really are just looking at sub-2000 tonners there. High Guard will also have 'firing solution' software that will counter the better sensors and other anti-missile devices.

The one thing I would like to draw everyone's attention to is the DM applied for the number of missiles - at the moment it is DM+1 per 5 missiles, but that is the placeholder I put in when these rules were first written. I _think_ it should probably be a sliding scale (5-10 missiles +1, 11-20 +2, 21-50 +3, or something similar). Thoughts in this direction would be appreciated.

Anyway, without further ado, I would like to present the revised Missile rules, intended for the Core Rulebook;


Missiles

[[[ Replace text on pages 161-162 ]]]

Missile Combat
Unlike most weapons which travel at or close to the speed of light and so hit enemy ships almost instantly, missiles take time to cross the gulf of space. However, despite this drawback, missiles are capable of doing a great deal of damage when they hit an enemy ship.

Launching Missiles
Missiles used against targets within Adjacent or Close ranges lose any Smart trait they possess, as there is not enough time for them to obtain a solid lock and take advantage of their advanced guidance systems.

Missiles are launched in salvos. A salvo is all the missiles launched by a ship against a single target in the same combat round. This could be a single missile from one turret or dozens from multiple turrets or bays (see High Guard for more information on weapon bays).

Missile salvos effectively have a Thrust of 10 and will reach their target a number of combat rounds after they have been fired, as shown on the Missile Flight table.

Missile Flight
Range Rounds to Impact
Short and below Immediate
Medium 1
Long 2
Very Long 3
Distant 5

Note that while missile salvos can be fired at Distant ranges, the attacking ship must have detected its target before they can be launched. Given the limited information that can be gained from sensors at this range, friendly fire incidents may be common among Travellers who are too trigger happy with their missiles.

If a missile has not reached its target within 5 rounds, it will run out of fuel and become inert.

Countermeasures
Combat involving missiles creates a very tense atmosphere. The target spacecraft will likely have detected the launches and its crew will have several anxious minutes to watch the blips on their sensor screens gradually get closer and closer.

Fortunately, the crew need not be idle as they await their destruction as there are several countermeasures that can be taken against incoming missiles.

As missiles can take several rounds to reach their targets, you should keep track of how many missiles remain within each salvo, reducing them as countermeasures take effect.

Electronic Warfare: A Traveller performing sensor operator duties on a spacecraft can use the Electronic Warfare action to destroy or misdirect incoming missiles before they impact his vessel or another ship within Close range.

The sensor operator must succeed at a Difficult (10+) Electronics (sensors) check (1 round, INT) in order to destroy or render inert incoming missiles within a single salvo. The Effect of this check will immediately remove that many missiles from the salvo.

Electronic Warfare may be performed upon a salvo multiple times over several rounds, with the effects being cumulative. However, a salvo may only be subjected to Electronic Warfare once per round, no matter how many sensor operators are available.

Flee: A spacecraft under missile attack may simply turn around and engage its manoeuvre drive, thrusting away from the missiles. Missiles are extremely long-ranged weapons and so it is not normally possible to outrange a missile in this way, but it can perhaps buy enough time to prolong electronic warfare or make a jump.

Point Defence: Finally, just as a salvo is about to strike, gunners may engage in point defence, as detailed on page 160.

Missiles and Targets
When a missile salvo reaches its target, the missile makes an attack roll as normal. However, the Gunner skill of the Traveller(s) that fired the salvo is not used as a DM.

Instead, the number of missiles remaining in the salvo greatly affects their chances of making a successful attack. Apply DM+1 to the attack roll for every full 5 missiles in the salvo.

Note that missiles almost always have the Smart trait (see page 75). For missiles, use the TL of the missile itself or that of the attacking ship, whichever is greater.

Finally, missiles launched at Distant range expend most of their fuel just reaching their target, leaving little to counter the target’s manoeuvres. Missile salvos launched at Distant range suffer DM-6 to their attack rolls.

Impact
If an attack roll for a missile salvo is successful, the target will sustain damage. Roll for damage as if for a single missile and deduct the target’s armour as normal. Any damage is then multiplied by the number of missiles remaining in the salvo.

Variant Missiles
High Guard introduces different types if missiles that are more accurate, carry more fuel or are faster, but these rules suit all missiles included in this Core Rulebook. If a ship launches different types of missile at the same target in the same round, then all the missiles of each type are counted as a different salvo.




[[[ Replace text on page 160 ]]]

Point Defence (Gunner)
Using a turret-mounted laser (beam or pulse), a gunner can destroy incoming missiles. Note that a weapon used for point defence cannot be used to make attacks in the same combat round, and vice versa. Point Defence may only be performed against missile salvos (see page 161) as they are about to make their attack roll against a target – missiles are too small and too fast to be targeted at greater ranges. A gunner may only attempt Point Defence against once every round.

The gunner must succeed at a Gunner (turret) check against any missile salvo that is about to make its attack roll against his spacecraft. The Effect of the check will remove that many missiles from the salvo.
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Re: [[[Playtest Focus]]] Missiles III

Postby Chas » Thu Jan 07, 2016 11:44 am

So can we assume by "usual rules":
- evasion works as stated
- effect is still applied to the missile damage rolls?

I was just about to post an add on to the previous thread. I quite like the idea of having evasion in the mix and then the to hit ratio. It means the pilot has an easy time jinking a couple of missiles, a very hard time jinking a lot - which is reasonable. The scale there at 1 to 5 means it will take some extra 10 to 15 missiles hitting to just break even with the pilot evasion - DM (I was actually going to revise my selection to 1 to 3) so I don't think you need a sliding scale. If evasion is in play you're only going to start getting positives on the hit DM well into big numbers of missiles which is quite logical and balanced. If you're getting hit by 30 or 40 missiles, well you should be toast anyways. Depending on how you want to play out the pilot evasion rules and include dexterity as well as the skill level then I would suggestion actually moving the ratio down. (I may be off the mark here and you should be automatically including dexterity on the pilot skill level mod, heh)
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Re: [[[Playtest Focus]]] Missiles III

Postby msprange » Thu Jan 07, 2016 11:46 am

Yes to both, and exactly my intention :)
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Re: [[[Playtest Focus]]] Missiles III

Postby AnotherDilbert » Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:15 pm

msprange wrote:Instead, the number of missiles remaining in the salvo greatly affects their chances of making a successful attack. Apply DM+1 to the attack roll for every full 5 missiles in the salvo.
I would say that this is unnecessary. If you fire many missiles, it is more likely that some hit, not more likely that all hit.

If you fire one missile, and it has 40% chance of hitting (disregarding EW & PD),
then if you fire 100 missiles they should have 40% chance of hitting, thereby getting 100 times the average damage.

With the modifier you instead have 100% chance of hitting with 100 missiles, and with the extremely high Effect each missile does a lot of more damage, for an 500+ times the average damage.

Example:
A Free Trader firing 4 missiles:
Launch is no roll.
EW ignore for now
PD ignore for now
Attack is 2D +1(smart) -2(EvasiveAction) ≈ 7 +1 -2 -8 ≈ average Effect -2, 16% chance to hit.
Damage is ( 4D +0[effect] -3[Armour] ) * 4 ≈ 44 around 50% of structure, so multiple crit. (Multiple warheads leads to instakill.)
Average damage 16% * 44 = 7

A Large Bay is firing 120 missiles:
Launch is no roll.
EW ignore for now
PD ignore for now
Attack is 2D +24(many missiles) +1(smart) -2(EvasiveAction) ≈ 7 +25 -2 -8 ≈ average Effect 22, guaranteed that ALL missiles hit
Damage is ( 4D +22[effect] -3[Armour] ) * 120 ≈ 3960 damage probably instakill.
Average damage is 100% * 3960 = 3960. (Note that Armour is completely swamped by the guaranteed high Effect.)

Note that for firing 4/120 = 30 times as many missiles you get 3960 / 7 = 565 times as much average damage, that is unintuitive to me.

We are doing a LOT of damage, only kept in check by the to hit chance, so the to hit chance must kept reasonable.


Example WITHOUT the modifier for many missiles:
A Free Trader firing 4 missiles:
Attack is 2D +1(smart) -2(EvasiveAction) ≈ 7 +1 -2 -8 ≈ average Effect -2, 16% chance to hit.
Damage is ( 4D +0[effect] -3[Armour] ) * 120 ≈ 44
Average damage 16% * 44 = 7

A Large Bay is firing 120 missiles:
Attack is 2D +1(smart) -2(EvasiveAction) ≈ 7 +1 -2 -8 ≈ average Effect -2, 16% chance to hit.
Damage is ( 4D +0[effect] -3[Armour] ) * 120 ≈ 1320 damage
Average damage is 16% * 1320 = 211.

So for firing 120 / 4 = 30 times as many missiles you get 211 / 7 = 30 times as much average damage. More intuitive?
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Re: [[[Playtest Focus]]] Missiles III

Postby Chas » Thu Jan 07, 2016 1:19 pm

Are we not applying negative Effect to damage? This was one of my key considerations in removing Effect from damage in the original proposal. If it is included at high AC the missile becomes virtually useless once you include Evasion and why I wanted to suggest some scaling. The figures there look very different if you are discussing AP 15 which any military ship will have for instance in the Imperial Navy.

AnotherDilbert, I think what you are saying makes good sense for High Guard barrage rules, but for core and expected lower numbers involved they should be more hit, or miss, perhaps rather than asking the final playing user to worry about calculating percentages each time there's a different number of missiles in a salvo, different pilot skill levels et al.

Regards the actual damage of the weapon, I'll look for Matt's input there. I'm sure he has a fair idea of what is wanted in terms of relative damage per strike and how many missiles they would like to set as the kill factor of the specific ships.
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Re: [[[Playtest Focus]]] Missiles III

Postby AnotherDilbert » Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:09 pm

Chas wrote:Are we not applying negative Effect to damage?
I assumed negative Effect was a miss, so no damage?
Chas wrote:And what happens with regards the smart trait if you have a % hitting? You then calculate the number of missiles still flying and then redo the math for the next strike?
Smart only means fire-and-forget? It will not turn around and require the target after a miss? It was intended to do that in MgT1, but I haven't seen anything like that in the MgT2 rules. As far as I know no real missile can do that, if they miss they self-destruct so as to not hurt civilians when they fall to the ground. A theoretical space missile that has accelerated at 10 G for 1 turn will have a speed of 36 km/s, if it missed a ship that itself has a probably higher speed, it would have no realistic chance to turn around, slow down, and start to chase the target in the other direction.
Chas wrote:The figures there look very different if you are discussing AP 15...
Yes, but then we would shoot nuclear missiles or torpedoes. Standard missiles are for civilians?
Chas wrote:AnotherDilbert, I think what you are saying makes good sense for High Guard barrage rules, but for core and expected lower numbers involved they should be more hit, or miss, perhaps rather than asking the final playing user to worry about percentages each time there's a different number of missiles in a salvo.
This system is all or nothing hits, no percentage hits. The user of the system doesn't have to worry about percentages, but the designer does. We do not want a system that only works for around 10 missiles, but breaks down completely for 1 or 100 missiles.


I would say: If you fire many missiles, it is more likely that some hit, not more likely that all hit.
That is why I suggested the more complicated 50%+-10%*Effect system. Even at adverse conditions, such as Distant range, some missiles would hit, but not all. Matt chose a simpler an all or nothing system, meaning we cannot have "some missiles hitting".

With the +Attack from many missiles we have made average damage proportional to the cube of # missiles launched. Roughly:
Average damage = To hit chance(proportional to #ofMissiles) * Damage per missile(proportional to #ofMissiles) * #ofMissiles.
I think that is a bad idea...
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Re: [[[Playtest Focus]]] Missiles III

Postby Chas » Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:46 pm

Okay, I got a wire crossed there reading your write up. And I was also using the previous Smart rules, not the Dec 4 version but did get caught up there before your post. :)

I need to crash. I'll have to come back to a proper response.
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Re: [[[Playtest Focus]]] Missiles III

Postby PsiTraveller » Thu Jan 07, 2016 4:58 pm

I would like to raise a hand for a system that allows a turret to fire more than 1 missile per salvo. If a ship with two turrets, and each turret is a triple turret can launch 6 missiles total and have it be considered a single salvo, why can't a triple turret fire twice in a round and have the missiles fired first not accelerate as fast and allow the second set of missiles to catch up and then all attack as a salvo.

This has been raised before, and it offers a threat of smaller ships suddenly pumping out a large number of missiles at a bigger ship to do damage. As other folks have pointed out there are rapid fire missile systems out there.

This makes a smaller ship, willing to expend a lot of ammo at a time, a threat to a bigger ship. the disadvantage for the smaller ship is how much ammo they can carry. This also offers the creation of a dedicated missile thrower that is equipped with fast launching missile racks and larger auto fed magazines. Smaller ships could swamp the defenses of larger ships, at the cost of running out of ammo faster, and being hammered in return by the larger ship salvos, or missile fire.

The single missile from a single turret per six minutes seems illogical at our current tech level now. There should be the ability to send out a lot of missiles at once, even from a smaller ship. This would make attacking ships a bigger risk.
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Re: [[[Playtest Focus]]] Missiles III

Postby Nerhesi » Thu Jan 07, 2016 7:53 pm

Hey Matt, easy way to address the problem.

Have the attack roll effect remove X missiles on a failed roll. Where X is effect. That's it. Now when you fail to hit, it's not like every missile disappears.

You don't even need the salvo bonus of hitting at this point. An ace pilot would dodge like 10 out of 20.

This will be sufficient for core rules.
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Re: [[[Playtest Focus]]] Missiles III

Postby Nerhesi » Thu Jan 07, 2016 8:29 pm

Quick Example Matt + Colleagues:

12 missiles fired.
PD and EW bring it down to 5.
Pilot 2, Evasion/2 software tries to dodge.

System 1 (matt's original post):
2D+1 (5 missiles) - 4 (evasion + dodge).
This means 11+ needed to hit or ALL missiles miss.

System 2:
As above, but it's not all hit or miss. So a 10 is 1 missile hits. 9 is 2 missiles, etc.

Infact if you want Matt - with this system, you can remove the bonus for missile salvos.

I think the benefit is obvious :)
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Re: [[[Playtest Focus]]] Missiles III

Postby AnotherDilbert » Thu Jan 07, 2016 8:39 pm

Nerhesi wrote:Have the attack roll effect remove X missiles on a failed roll. Where X is effect. That's it. Now when you fail to hit, it's not like every missile disappears.
A Mercenary Cruiser with 8 triple missile turrets:
Launch 24 missiles, EW, EW, EW no PD.
EW is 2D +2(skill) +1(INT) +0(Sensor) -10(Difficult) ≈ 0 Effect
PD None
EW + PD kills 0 missiles, 24 missiles remaining.
Attack is 2D +1(smart) -2(EvasiveAction) ≈ 7 +1 -2 -8 ≈ average Effect -2, 22 missiles remaining
Damage is ( 4D -2[Effect??] -3[Armour] ) * 22 ≈ 198 damage.
Instakill with multiple warhead missiles even on a miss.

The system works for 5, or even 10 missiles, but breaks down completely for 20 missiles.
Deducting negative Effect seems iffy?
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Re: [[[Playtest Focus]]] Missiles III

Postby hdan » Thu Jan 07, 2016 8:51 pm

Nerhesi wrote: System 2:
As above, but it's not all hit or miss. So a 10 is 1 missile hits. 9 is 2 missiles, etc.
Yes, I like this quite a lot. Positive effect adds damage, negative effect removes missiles from the salvo. Simple, easy, and conceptually matches what EW and PD do to the attack.
/hdan
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Re: [[[Playtest Focus]]] Missiles III

Postby Nerhesi » Thu Jan 07, 2016 8:58 pm

AnotherDilbert: Not really? On the flipside, It's perfectly fine!

You just described 24 missiles being fired at a target that failed to Jam or PD any of them. It then dodged 2.. sounds good!

Without a missile system ruleset at all, at most the pilot would dodge 6. (1 per thrust spent)

So it's perfectly in-line :)

(no need to have salvo bonus either, or positive effect for damage... the damage will be inherent in how many missiles smack you in the face :))
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Re: [[[Playtest Focus]]] Missiles III

Postby Nerhesi » Thu Jan 07, 2016 9:28 pm

By the way, this is only because matt likes "attack roll" :)

It can be more intuitive to replace the last roll with "pilot makes a dex+pilot roll and dodges that many missiles".

Exact same thing :)
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Re: [[[Playtest Focus]]] Missiles III

Postby AnotherDilbert » Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:15 pm

A Free Trader with two turrets with 2 missile racks and a PD laser each.
firing 4 multi-warhead missiles:
EW is 2D +2(skill) +1(INT) -2(Sensor) -10(Difficult) ≈ -2 Effect
PD is 2D +1(skill) +1(DEX) -2(multi-warhead) -8(Average) ≈ -1 Effect
EW + PD removes 0 missiles, 4 missiles remaining.
Attack is 2D +1(smart) -2(EvasiveAction) ≈ 7 +1 -2 -8 ≈ average Effect -2, 2 missiles remaining
Damage is ( 4D +0[effect] -3[Armour] ) * 2 * 3,5(multi-warhead) ≈ average 77 damage, so instakill even on a miss.

We are doing to much damage. OK, in this case it's the multi-warhead missiles.
The Core book ships doesn't have good ECM, so they are unlikely to succeed with EW.
PD requires good hardware and good gunners, most civilians won't have that.

I don't think we want ships destroyed in the first attack very often.
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Re: [[[Playtest Focus]]] Missiles III

Postby Nerhesi » Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:24 pm

You have perfectly described the problem with multi-warhead missiles AnotherDilbert. Other missiles would never match this level of destruction.

It isn't a fault of the proposed system - the system indicated that 2 missiles out of 4 were dodged. However, a property of that missile subtype magically transformed 2 missiles into 7! SEVEN!

I think multi-warhead needs a significant nerf. I think Chas and others echoed that as well - they're just way above and beyond the others :) (Either keep the -2 to PD, but dont have them do multiple damage at all, or perhaps make the mini-warheads inside only 2d or so.)
Last edited by Nerhesi on Fri Jan 08, 2016 12:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [[[Playtest Focus]]] Missiles III

Postby hdan » Thu Jan 07, 2016 11:54 pm

On the other hand, wouldn't launching salvos of multi-warhead missiles against an un- or lightly armored civilian ship be a bit like firing a PGMP at an unarmored civilian, conceptually?
Is it wrong that in such cases, the target is vaporized?

I guess the down side is that, PCs being PCs, they're find a way to get those military grade multi-warhead, high yield missiles...
/hdan
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Re: [[[Playtest Focus]]] Missiles III

Postby AnotherDilbert » Fri Jan 08, 2016 1:45 am

OK, let's ignore multi-warhead.

All core book ships, core book components, very long range:

Mercenary Cruiser, Good crew, 6 triple missile, 2 triple laser
Fire 18 missile, EW, EW, EW, PD, PD
EW is 2D +2(skill) +1(INT) +0(Sensor) -10(Difficult) ≈ 0 Effect
PD is 2D +2(skill) +1(DEX) +2(triple) -8(Average) ≈ 4 Effect
EW + PD removes 8 missiles, 10 missiles remaining.
Attack is 2D +1(smart) -2(EvasiveAction) -2(Evasion) ≈ 7 +1 -4 -8 ≈ average Effect -4, 4 missiles remaining
Damage is ( 4D +0[effect] -4[Armour] ) * 4 ≈ average 40 damage


Patrol Corvette, Good Crew, 2 triple missile, 2 triple laser
Fire 6 missile, EW, EW, EW, PD, PD
EW is 2D +2(skill) +1(INT) +0(Sensor) -10(Difficult) ≈ 0 Effect
PD is 2D +2(skill) +1(DEX) +2(triple) -8(Average) ≈ 4 Effect
EW + PD removes 8 missiles, 0 missiles remaining.
Attack is 2D +1(smart) -2(EvasiveAction) -1(Evasion) ≈ 7 +1 -3 -8 ≈ average Effect -3, 0 missiles remaining
Damage is ( 4D +0[effect] -4[Armour] ) * 4 ≈ average 0 damage


A Free Trader with 1 triple missile, 1 triple laser.
Fire 3 missile, EW, EW, EW, PD
EW is 2D +1(skill) +1(INT) -2(Sensor) -10(Difficult) ≈ -3 Effect
PD is 2D +1(skill) +1(DEX) +2(triple) -8(Average) ≈ 3 Effect
EW + PD removes 3 missiles, 0 missiles remaining.
Attack is 2D +1(smart) -2(EvasiveAction) ≈ 7 +1 -2 -8 ≈ average Effect -2, 0 missiles remaining
Damage is ( 4D +0[effect] -3[Armour] ) ≈ average 0 damage


Reasonable ships, reasonable results. You can always add enough PD to be safe from a single ship of equal tonnage. With multiple enemies PD can be overwhelmed.


If we start to push the boundaries:

A Free Trader with 2 triple missile.
Fire 6 missile, EW, EW, EW
EW is 2D +1(skill) +1(INT) -2(Sensor) -10(Difficult) ≈ -3 Effect
PD None
EW + PD removes 0 missiles, 6 missiles remaining.
Attack is 2D +1(smart) -2(EvasiveAction) ≈ 7 +1 -2 -8 ≈ average Effect -2, 4 missiles remaining
Damage is ( 4D +0[effect] -3[Armour] ) ≈ average 44 damage, >50% damage, 5 crits.
Automatic kill in two attacks.


Buy some TL15 missiles, shouldn't be to hard:
A Free Trader with 2 triple missile.
Fire 6 missile, EW, EW, EW
EW is 2D +1(skill) +1(INT) -2(Sensor) -10(Difficult) ≈ -3 Effect
PD None
EW + PD removes 0 missiles, 6 missiles remaining.
Attack is 2D +3(smart,TL) -2(EvasiveAction) ≈ 7 +3 -2 -8 ≈ average Effect 0, 6 missiles remaining
Damage is ( 4D +0[effect] -3[Armour] ) * 6 ≈ average 66 damage, ~80% damage, 8 crits.
A few Hull crits and the ship can destroy itself in a single attack.


Without serious missile defences you are a sitting duck. Perhaps not unreasonable.


For MCr 12 (ECM + EnhancedSP) +8 DM you basically become immune to small ship missile salvoes. Hmm.
Bays will overwhelm missile defences.


Perhaps as good as it gets without making it complicated?
Note that i calculated without any attack modifier for # of missiles.
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Re: [[[Playtest Focus]]] Missiles III

Postby AnotherDilbert » Fri Jan 08, 2016 2:09 am

Of course this system will break down for ships larger than 1000t or if you allow bays. So more than one system will be necessary, and there will be exploitable loopholes...
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Re: [[[Playtest Focus]]] Missiles III

Postby Nerhesi » Fri Jan 08, 2016 2:24 am

AnotherDilbert wrote:Perhaps as good as it gets without making it complicated?
Note that i calculated without any attack modifier for # of missiles.
Yup - I think that will always be the case. Right now we're dealing with 3 missiles at most per hardpoint - and then each turret, can potentially knock out more than that depending on the crew skill.
At Highguard level, you're looking at 12 or 24 missiles per hardpoint. So that means, you need a lot more than just hardpoints and a good crew to counter. That may be fine though... perhaps for larger ships, PD systems allow a more dedicated defense, such as counting as 5 x hardpoints in weapons or so.

As a sidenote, AnotherDilbert, I think you may be slightly under estimating the power of evasion, pilot skill + evasion software can get pretty high. (Again, this won't save you from a 1000 missiles, for that you need a good 300-400 PD turrets ;) )
Last edited by Nerhesi on Fri Jan 08, 2016 2:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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