Upgrading Jump Engines or M Drives

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PsiTraveller
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Upgrading Jump Engines or M Drives

Postby PsiTraveller » Fri Sep 16, 2016 12:36 am

Odd question: I am playing around with a scenario where a Far Trader (HG pg 119) is being retrofitted to improve performance. I suddenly realized that if I want to put in another couple of tons of Jump Drives or M Drives I would be having to shuffle walls around because the engineering section is not large enough to handle more M-Drives. This is easy enough to map on paper, the wall at the cargo bay is moved into the cargo bay enough to move the Power Plant area forward, and then more Jump Drives added into the newly opened area. The M Drives would be slotted into the M Drive area and the extra mountings taking up more interior space.

Do other GM's allow this? Do you let players enlarge engine capacity to improve Thrust or Jump numbers? Do you have it impact quirks or critical hits because of the new construction? Or do you just reduce the cargo space available by the needed tonnage and keep playing?
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Re: Upgrading Jump Engines or M Drives

Postby Reynard » Fri Sep 16, 2016 2:58 am

Not that I have the deck plans at hand but isn't the Far Trader a Free Trader with the cargo wall moved to accommodate the larger engine room?
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Re: Upgrading Jump Engines or M Drives

Postby -Daniel- » Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:47 am

PsiTraveller wrote: Do other GM's allow this? Do you let players enlarge engine capacity to improve Thrust or Jump numbers? Do you have it impact quirks or critical hits because of the new construction? Or do you just reduce the cargo space available by the needed tonnage and keep playing?
To be honest I have never had a group want to do this. They have always just traded up one ship for another or never owned the ship or were part of a military etc.

However, having said that, I would not have an issue with you doing so as long as you had a logical plan, money, and a willing construction yard. :D
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Re: Upgrading Jump Engines or M Drives

Postby Condottiere » Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:53 am

It should be prohibitively expensive to increase engine room capacity; modernization or refits tends to use more powerful engines, though similarly sized.
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Re: Upgrading Jump Engines or M Drives

Postby haveahappy » Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:31 am

Reynard wrote:Not that I have the deck plans at hand but isn't the Far Trader a Free Trader with the cargo wall moved to accommodate the larger engine room?
And the bigger fuel tanks too.

This is something I imagine is prohibitiveley expensive to do as a modification, although that would have been how that configuration originated.

Most likely method of modding would be expanding the fuel tanks with demountable expansions (fairly cheap in the High Guard book), and "renovating" the engine room to make it bigger.

I expect though that it would be more efficient to simply sell the existing free trader and buy a far trader. Should be no issue at any class A or B starport.
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Re: Upgrading Jump Engines or M Drives

Postby PsiTraveller » Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:55 am

I am primarily looking at M Drive expansion, but improving a Jump engine by a few tons is a good investment as well. Here is my reasoning:

Jump Drives:
Well looking at the Far Trader it has 15 tons of Jump Engine (10tons + 5 tons, the 10 tons being 5% of hull moved + 5 Tons like it says on pg 14 of Highguard). this gives it a Jump 2 at 200 tons. This also means that the 10 tons of engine can move 400 Tons Jump 1. So adding a Jump Net or cargo mounts can add 200 tons of freight income for a Jump 1 Main.

Adding 5 tons more Jump Engine would give Jump 2 to a 300 Ton load, and allow 600 tons (15/.025) to move J1. This would allow some serious tonnage in cargo to be moved. This could offer a smaller ship the ability to get more freight contracts, or move SDB's etc. So up sizing an engine pays off.

M Drives: moving that extra tonnage.

The second challenge is to move the extra tonnage. The 2 tons of M Drive in the Far Trader is 1% of 200 Tons, giving a Thrust of 1. So a fully loaded 400 ton J1 load could not move out to the Jump point. The cargo would have to be brought out by tender freight and strapped onto the cargo mount or Netted at the 100 Diameter location. M Drives would need to be 4 Tons to give Thrust 1 at 400 Tons, 6 Tons for the 600 Ton load I mentioned.

So if you want to have a smaller ship turn a bigger profit you need to retrofit the M Drives and J Drives. IMO that is one of the drawbacks of most of the 1st and 2nd edition designs. The engines are just enough to move the ship itself. There is no extra capacity to move extra tonnage in the event of an emergency. So this cuts out a lot of chances for adventures, rescue missions, taking extra provisions for disaster relief, hauling a crippled ship to safety, stealing an entire ship etc. The external cargo trader in Scoundrel is a pretty good design example of this. A 300 ton hull with 500 Tons of extra capacity.

So I am looking at retrofitting smaller ships and increasing the profits of small tramp traders. They may be small, but they are creative and get more cargo per unit of ship than the big boys. It is how they stay profitable at such a small size.
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Re: Upgrading Jump Engines or M Drives

Postby Condottiere » Fri Sep 16, 2016 5:22 am

A modular design, as opposed to modular hull, where components can be rearranged.

Like personal computers.
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Re: Upgrading Jump Engines or M Drives

Postby PsiTraveller » Fri Sep 16, 2016 6:32 am

A modular design would be great, if the ship was modular. I am trying to figure out if a Far Trader can be retrofitted. Or any standard design. None of them are modular.
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Re: Upgrading Jump Engines or M Drives

Postby allanimal » Fri Sep 16, 2016 7:19 am

-Daniel- wrote:
PsiTraveller wrote: Do other GM's allow this? Do you let players enlarge engine capacity to improve Thrust or Jump numbers? Do you have it impact quirks or critical hits because of the new construction? Or do you just reduce the cargo space available by the needed tonnage and keep playing?


I would not have an issue with you doing so as long as you had a logical plan, money, and a willing construction yard. :D
Me too. I'd allow it, though it may require significant downtime at a shipyard.

It would be nice if HG v2 mentioned refits. Drives, sensors, weapons, computers, etc. Most of these have potential tonnage impact.
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Re: Upgrading Jump Engines or M Drives

Postby AnotherDilbert » Fri Sep 16, 2016 7:22 am

No need to speculate. There are clear rules for this:
There are two different types of refit that can be used. Major refits cover changes in power plant, manoeuvre or jump drive, as well as changes to spinal mounts or launch facilities (such as launch tubes). Removing these components costs 0.5 times the cost of the original system, while removing them and then installing new ones costs 1.5 times the cost of the new system. The time this takes is one quarter of the time required to build a new ship of the same size.
Trillion Credit Squadron (MgT 1e), p16.
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Re: Upgrading Jump Engines or M Drives

Postby -Daniel- » Fri Sep 16, 2016 7:28 am

AnotherDilbert wrote:No need to speculate. There are clear rules for this:
There are two different types of refit that can be used. Major refits cover changes in power plant, manoeuvre or jump drive, as well as changes to spinal mounts or launch facilities (such as launch tubes). Removing these components costs 0.5 times the cost of the original system, while removing them and then installing new ones costs 1.5 times the cost of the new system. The time this takes is one quarter of the time required to build a new ship of the same size.
Trillion Credit Squadron (MgT 1e), p16.
True, for those of us who don't mind mixing editions and who have access to the Trillion Credit Squadron book/game. :D
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Re: Upgrading Jump Engines or M Drives

Postby allanimal » Fri Sep 16, 2016 7:28 am

AnotherDilbert wrote:No need to speculate. There are clear rules for this:Trillion Credit Squadron (MgT 1e), p16.

Calling that "Clear rules" is a stretch, as that's not 2nd ed. Its a good starting point for a GM to make a decision, but it isn't rules for 2nd ed.
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Re: Upgrading Jump Engines or M Drives

Postby Reynard » Fri Sep 16, 2016 10:57 am

One thing Mongoose said is 2e still has compatibility with 1e. That rule is still usable between both editions. Someone asked if there is a actual rule and there it is.
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Re: Upgrading Jump Engines or M Drives

Postby allanimal » Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:06 am

Reynard wrote:One thing Mongoose said is 2e still has compatibility with 1e. That rule is still usable between both editions. Someone asked if there is a actual rule and there it is.
One look at the 1st edition gazelle and the 2nd edition gazelle says to me compatibility between editions was not really a goal, even if they said it was.

I agree that many things from 1st are usable in 2nd without much thought, but high guard was intended to be the holy grail of having all ship building rules In one place. Leaving out refits, which I consider a piece of the whole ship designing process, to be a miss.

The fact that the refit rule is on trillion credit squadron, a book I don't have (it's just so far out of the realm of the types of games I play), doesn't help. But since you have quoted it above, I can use it as a basis for my own refit rules.
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Re: Upgrading Jump Engines or M Drives

Postby Solomani666 » Fri Sep 16, 2016 1:42 pm

Reynard wrote:Not that I have the deck plans at hand but isn't the Far Trader a Free Trader with the cargo wall moved to accommodate the larger engine room?
You could put in a higher tech level drive with the Size Reduction advantage.
Even if the numbers do not line up perfectly, I would still allow it.

I am currently doing this in one of my campaigns, where the players were given a badly maintained and somewhat damaged Empress Marava as payment ("Food Runner" from a JTAS Magazine.)
The players eventually find out that it was modified as a covert ops ship for one of a mega-corporations 'fixer' teams.
I am currently converting it to 2.0 but still using the 1.0 deckplans from a third party source.
(I'm liberal with deckplans as long as players don't try to use the deckplans to justify adding additional equipment.)

Added stuff:
A Computer/35/fib that acts like a Computer/5 until a command code is entered.
Military grade sensors.
An alterable transponder
Reflec armor under the ships paint
Maneuver-2
Efficient power plant to to power weapons
Hidden compartments
2 Lowberths replaced with Cryoberths.

The ship is 2 years past maintenance and a wreck at the moment with hardly anything working
Maneuver-1 due to damage.
Cracked Power Plant casing.
One turret doesn't work and the other has a bane plus a -1.
Maneuver thruster problems.
A flakey computer.
Toilets that sometimes overflow explosively.
Stinky air scrubbers.
A mummified dead body in one of the Cryoberths (Actually a dead clone of the Agent PC who doesn't know he is a clone)
Oh, and a 10 year old girl stowaway that everyone thinks is a boy except for the medical officer.

Eventually the party will be approached by a mega-corporation with the proposal of becoming one of their 'Fixer Teams'.
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Re: Upgrading Jump Engines or M Drives

Postby PsiTraveller » Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:40 pm

I am trying to avoid the higher tech level drive size reduction because I want the ship TL 12 for ease of repair and maintenance. To get to Thrust 1 at 400 tons I would need 2 more tons of M Drive worth 4 Million credits. The total M Drive tonnage would be 4 tons. The 10 percent savings would be 0.4 tons of space at a cost of an extra 1 million credits. So I would still need to find 1.6 tons of space to pack the drives into.

Reynard is quite right in pointing out the Far Trader/ Free trader changes. The lowberths are cut from 20 to 6 and the power plant is shifted to the right to make way for the extra fuel tonnage. This makes me more comfortable in moving that area of the ship around. It has been done before and the book mentions a lot of modifications.
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Re: Upgrading Jump Engines or M Drives

Postby -Daniel- » Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:29 pm

Reynard wrote:One thing Mongoose said is 2e still has compatibility with 1e.
While this was the spirit of the new edition, there are areas that they clearly had to make changes and ship design is one. Care does need to be used in mixing the editions so as to avoid broken or confusing situations. :D

But you are right, if there is an old rule that seems to work, try it out and see. :mrgreen:
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Re: Upgrading Jump Engines or M Drives

Postby Reynard » Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:34 pm

Oh I found out you don't mix the editions, you use the spirit of the ship design from 1e to base a comparable version for 2e and I have found the 2e will resemble the ship but with quite a bit of new stuff mostly more room.
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Re: Upgrading Jump Engines or M Drives

Postby Condottiere » Sat Sep 17, 2016 6:01 am

Engineering is an issue for larger ships, since the volumes have increased for comparable performance.

Power plants can be compromised, because now you can try and budget output.

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