Marines and Point Defense.

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Askold
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Marines and Point Defense.

Postby Askold » Thu Feb 18, 2016 2:46 pm

So, as I was discussing the rule differences between the first and second Mongoose editions of Traveller with a pal of mine a question came up. Can Point Defense weapons shoot down marines who are jumping onto a ship in Battledresses? I haven't read the new rules yet (my pal is the one who got it and we have been thinking of using at least some of the new rules in our current Traveller game) but since the rules concerning missiles and torpedoes have changed greatly this subject came up.

Because if PD can shoot down something as small as a person (who may not be as big as a missile but they are also much less maneuverable so that should make them an easy target) you can't board a ship by throwing marines at it until its defenses are down.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: Marines and Point Defense.

Postby AnotherDilbert » Thu Feb 18, 2016 4:12 pm

Technically PD is an action can kill missiles (and torpedoes), nothing else.
All turrets including sandcasters can fire at boarders, i think.
Fragmentation missiles are intended against small craft, but should work against boarders.

The boarder probably want to dock and use a breaching tube.
Torbyne
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Re: Marines and Point Defense.

Postby Torbyne » Thu Feb 18, 2016 4:21 pm

Not an expert on the rules but from what i gather its limited to sandcasters... but those do pack a nice punch in an anti boarding role, enough to damage through Battledress at least.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: Marines and Point Defense.

Postby AnotherDilbert » Thu Feb 18, 2016 4:39 pm

If you are closer than 10 km you use the vehicle combat rules, not the space combat rules.
So I think all weapons can fire at people, but anything larger than a barbette will have trouble hitting.
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Re: Marines and Point Defense.

Postby Torbyne » Thu Feb 18, 2016 4:43 pm

AnotherDilbert wrote:If you are closer than 10 km you use the vehicle combat rules, not the space combat rules.
So I think all weapons can fire at people, but anything larger than a barbette will have trouble hitting.
Ooh, i forgot about that... Must be pretty terrifying to see your space buddies flashing away into nothing as a pulse laser starts tracking you...
Askold
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Re: Marines and Point Defense.

Postby Askold » Fri Feb 19, 2016 7:57 am

AnotherDilbert wrote:If you are closer than 10 km you use the vehicle combat rules, not the space combat rules.
So I think all weapons can fire at people, but anything larger than a barbette will have trouble hitting.
...In other words, life of a marine got just a little bit harder (and possibly shorter as well.)

Well, it makes things harder for the attacker once again but there are still ways to handle this. ...Though it does seem that taking a ship intact is pretty hard unless the defenders can be threatened into surrendering.
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Re: Marines and Point Defense.

Postby AnotherDilbert » Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:46 pm

AnotherDilbert wrote:If you are closer than 10 km you use the vehicle combat rules, not the space combat rules.
So I think all weapons can fire at people, but anything larger than a barbette will have trouble hitting.
It was explained to me on the beta board that I was completely wrong about this. Space craft always uses the space combat rules in space, never the vehicle combat rules.

Still the Spacecraft Damage Scale hints that spacecraft can attack smaller targets, so I guess it is possible to use turrets to attack people.
Core, p157 wrote:While spacecraft are theoretically capable of mounting vehicle-type weapons, such as autocannon and howitzers, they may also carry beam lasers, missile racks and other high-energy weapons, all of which are able to vaporise an unlucky Traveller or vehicle in a single shot.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: Marines and Point Defense.

Postby AnotherDilbert » Fri Feb 19, 2016 4:05 pm

Core, p162 wrote:CLOSE RANGE COMBAT
As mentioned at the start of this chapter, spacecraft fighting at ranges of less than 10km, or attacking vehicles or Travellers directly, ...
So any weapon can attack the Marines directly, but at -6 to hit anything but lasers might have a problem hitting.
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Re: Marines and Point Defense.

Postby Meeko100 » Wed Feb 24, 2016 3:23 am

If you want to board, I guess the only option is to either shoot the turrets offline and find a way to stop the engines (EMP, power plant hits, m-drive hits).

A ion gun could power down a ship and leave it for you to board safely. Until the power came back on.
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Re: Marines and Point Defense.

Postby AnotherDilbert » Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:39 am

We can use small craft and breaching tubes to safely deliver the marines into the interior of the target ship. Boarding seems rather viable in MgT2.
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Re: Marines and Point Defense.

Postby phavoc » Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:57 am

A single missile with a cluster style warhead wouldn't do much damage to a starship. But it would decimate a boarding party. You could even detonate them on your own hull to scour it clean of boarders. Any damage a boarder takes is fatal in space.

Battle dress is tough, but it's nothing compared to starship hulls. In the past attackers on a tanks hull were killed by another tank simply shooting the other with its machine guns. No damage to the tank but it would kill all the guys outside of it.

Boarding would work against a civilian ship far better than a military one. But any vessel that had maneuvering thrusters could turn off or turn down their anti grav field so it doesn't reach beyond the hull. Then they could induce a spin and watch as the boarders become helpless while those inside would just watch the stars spin. But a boarder would be affected by the spins effect because they have no field. Not to mention they'd be puking in their helmets pretty fast from it.

Boarding a ship that is expecting a boarding and has maneuverability is tantamount to suicide. Now if you can get there withough them knowing, well, that's a different story.
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Re: Marines and Point Defense.

Postby AnotherDilbert » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:34 am

phavoc wrote:But any vessel that had maneuvering thrusters could turn off or turn down their anti grav field so it doesn't reach beyond the hull. Then they could induce a spin and watch as the boarders become helpless while those inside would just watch the stars spin. But a boarder would be affected by the spins effect because they have no field. Not to mention they'd be puking in their helmets pretty fast from it.
That is quite a problem. But as you spin around two axis, you lose your ability to manoeuvre, your thrust will spin around and not accelerate you in any direction.

The boarders with tough small craft and inertial compensators can simply ram you to get stuck or even breach your hull and get their marines inside.

When there is a will, there is a way. I must admit to be predisposed to like "Marines in Spaaaace!!", so rather like the idea that boarding is possible. But you are right, we should not lose contact with reality completely.
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Re: Marines and Point Defense.

Postby phavoc » Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:43 pm

You'd only need to impart a spin along one axis, along the length of the ship should be sufficient. That would mean anyone on the outside of the hull would be tossed off unless they were secured, and if they were secured by a line they would be whipped around at the end of the line. Effectively they would be helpless, even assuming they could secure their boot magnetically to the hull. The rest of them would still have to fight against the rotational effect, so arms/legs, etc. Not to mention physiologically their blood would begin to pool in their 'lower' extremity, which would now be their heads. Physics for the win!

See, where it would be all sneaky and ****, and entire doable I believe, would be to board a ship while it's not expecting anyone or anything. So you get your boarding party and launch them at your target from kilometers away so their launch isn't seen (and this is where tiny little thruster objects would be helpful, like divers use, to make the crossing faster, but also to be used as brakes the closer you got to your target. I think I described something like that in another thread).

Trying to board a ship with the ability to maneuver AND thrust is next to impossible. Even trying to board with another small craft, all you'd need do is impart rotation and you'd make your airlocks a moving target that would make it impossible for another ship to dock to. Unless you were punching a hole in the hull. Then your boarding craft would have reinforced noses to simply punch their way through the hull and let their boarders out on the inside. Would make a mess of things, but I would assume most people are capturing a ship for it's tech, it's info or it's cargo, and a few holes aren't going to matter all that much.
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Re: Marines and Point Defense.

Postby Torbyne » Wed Feb 24, 2016 2:12 pm

Hmm, space boarding actions... yup, either disable the target and maybe even tell them if they dont resist the boarding then some will live. If i ever want to conduct a boarding i plan on taking a note from FTL, it is a distressed or derelict object in space that is loaded up with pirates who take advantage of the player's greed/sympathy. Also i figure anywhere in "civilised" space there are laws requiring aid to be rendered to distressed spacers, so boarders can take advantage of that. Wonder if i can find some stats for an assault boarding shuttle. Short range, high thrust, giant ablative shield up front that is discarded right before impact followed by tons of clamps, grapples and boarding tubes.
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Re: Marines and Point Defense.

Postby AnotherDilbert » Wed Feb 24, 2016 4:24 pm

phavoc wrote:You'd only need to impart a spin along one axis, along the length of the ship should be sufficient.
But then there is somewhere on the hull where that axis crosses the hull, that point is not moving, just rotating gently. That is where I can dock.

If you are spinning around two axis all parts of the hull move violently, denying me docking.

People will not swim through space with a dagger between their teeth, small craft with inertial compensators will force-dock on your hull and burn through.

Yes, docking on a disabled ship would be much easier.
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Re: Marines and Point Defense.

Postby phavoc » Wed Feb 24, 2016 6:39 pm

AnotherDilbert wrote:
phavoc wrote:You'd only need to impart a spin along one axis, along the length of the ship should be sufficient.
But then there is somewhere on the hull where that axis crosses the hull, that point is not moving, just rotating gently. That is where I can dock.

If you are spinning around two axis all parts of the hull move violently, denying me docking.

People will not swim through space with a dagger between their teeth, small craft with inertial compensators will force-dock on your hull and burn through.

Yes, docking on a disabled ship would be much easier.
Lets take a free trader as our example. Pretty much all ships will have airlocks on axis (so lets say port/starboard). If you impart a spin to the ship you are spinning along your axis, thus all of your airlocks are spinning as well. Even if you had a dorsal/ventral airlock, it, too, will be spinning. IF you had an airlock in your nose section or rear engine section, those would still be in rotation, but not nearly as bad. Of course to mate airlocks your ship would have to be matching the spin AND direction AND speed. If your airlock is along your own axis, it would be quite the formidable process. The ship trying to avoid docking would only need to cut engines to throw off your docking sequence, or add a 2nd set of axis movement.

That small craft would have more of a chance to make that dock if it had some sort of anchor it put on there. But, keep in mind, even with the inertial compensator protecting the people inside, whatever mechanism you are using to dock has to take the strain and stress of the ship spinning. So it can't be flimsy.

The best way would be to swim through space with the proverbial knife between your lips. No one expects to be boarded like that... just like no one expects the spanish inquisition.
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Re: Marines and Point Defense.

Postby AnotherDilbert » Wed Feb 24, 2016 7:32 pm

Quite. But I do not intend to mate airlocks. I intend a forced dock and breach the defenders hull. Forced dock would mean hanging on somehow, as you call it an anchor. Match vector and spin "close enough" and force attach.

But spinning around two axis that possibility goes away. No point on the hull moves slowly.

Theoretically the attacker could still ram to attach itself and pierce the hull. The attacker would go through, um, quite a lot of acceleration, depending on what deforms on impact.


Ultimately it boils down to taste and what handwave we choose.
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Re: Marines and Point Defense.

Postby phavoc » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:37 pm

AnotherDilbert wrote:Quite. But I do not intend to mate airlocks. I intend a forced dock and breach the defenders hull. Forced dock would mean hanging on somehow, as you call it an anchor. Match vector and spin "close enough" and force attach.

But spinning around two axis that possibility goes away. No point on the hull moves slowly.

Theoretically the attacker could still ram to attach itself and pierce the hull. The attacker would go through, um, quite a lot of acceleration, depending on what deforms on impact.


Ultimately it boils down to taste and what handwave we choose.
Breaching at an airlock means you are entering the corridors of the ship. Breaching anywhere else means you could run into a fuel tank, the latrine, etc. If you are ramming thie ship you are far better to do that, and then let your marines exit their own airlocked breached. You will want to be able to pump atmo back in quickly to care for your wounded and such. Also going in through an airlock would tend to be less mess to the ship overall, and you might actually be able to get it back home...
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Re: Marines and Point Defense.

Postby AnotherDilbert » Thu Feb 25, 2016 1:03 am

phavoc wrote:Breaching at an airlock means you are entering the corridors of the ship. Breaching anywhere else means you could run into a fuel tank, the latrine, etc. If you are ramming thie ship you are far better to do that, and then let your marines exit their own airlocked breached. You will want to be able to pump atmo back in quickly to care for your wounded and such. Also going in through an airlock would tend to be less mess to the ship overall, and you might actually be able to get it back home...
Oh yes, breaching an airlock would be easier, but we are the Imperial Marines, why would we make things easy when we can just blow **** up?

When we have A) rammed the ship with lots of assault shuttles, and B) sent in a lot of trigger-happy goons, sorry I mean highly trained marines, with FGMPs to blow the interior up, I think we would be very lucky if we could actually fly the remains of that ship...
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Re: Marines and Point Defense.

Postby phavoc » Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:35 am

AnotherDilbert wrote:
phavoc wrote:Breaching at an airlock means you are entering the corridors of the ship. Breaching anywhere else means you could run into a fuel tank, the latrine, etc. If you are ramming thie ship you are far better to do that, and then let your marines exit their own airlocked breached. You will want to be able to pump atmo back in quickly to care for your wounded and such. Also going in through an airlock would tend to be less mess to the ship overall, and you might actually be able to get it back home...
Oh yes, breaching an airlock would be easier, but we are the Imperial Marines, why would we make things easy when we can just blow **** up?

When we have A) rammed the ship with lots of assault shuttles, and B) sent in a lot of trigger-happy goons, sorry I mean highly trained marines, with FGMPs to blow the interior up, I think we would be very lucky if we could actually fly the remains of that ship...
Never underestimate the amount of fun you can have melting a starships innards... and get paid for it!

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