Modular Lego Ships

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PsiTraveller
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Modular Lego Ships

Postby PsiTraveller » Sat Mar 18, 2017 1:08 am

AnotherDilbert's cool idea in the Lego ship thread got me thinking about flexible ship hulls. I think his design pushes hard on the firmpoint/hardpoint tonnage rule. (Although if he lmited his bnreakaway sections to units of 100 ton increments I think a unit with a turret would not raise any issues.

My alternative concept would be to make a modular ship with a core unit that is 25 percent tonnage of the total design, as per the modular ship rules.

The remaining 75 percent of the ship would be modular, allowing multiple configurations of modules. By keeping the modules of 100 tons in size they are allowed 1 Hardpoint per module. This makes weapon counting easy. In addition the 100 ton modules would lose an additional 2 percent as per the Breakaway rules and allow the M Drives, Jump Drives and power plants to function with the ship as a whole. THere may not be a need for a bridge on each section, the aim is to not actually fly the pieces apart, just work together.

Taking inspiration from the Breakaway modules the modular pieces could contain extra Jump engines, M Drives and Power Plants. A ship could be loaded with an advanced computer and software to handle long Jumps and extra Jump engine tonnage modules added on. This would allow long range movement.

A more basic computer module and Jump engines could allow large scale freight transport shorter distances.

In this way a ship could be built to meet the needs of a specific mission and the loadout changed for different operations.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: Modular Lego Ships

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:22 am

PsiTraveller wrote:
Sat Mar 18, 2017 1:08 am
The remaining 75 percent of the ship would be modular, allowing multiple configurations of modules. By keeping the modules of 100 tons in size they are allowed 1 Hardpoint per module. This makes weapon counting easy. In addition the 100 ton modules would lose an additional 2 percent as per the Breakaway rules and allow the M Drives, Jump Drives and power plants to function with the ship as a whole. THere may not be a need for a bridge on each section, the aim is to not actually fly the pieces apart, just work together.
This, unfortunately, is definitely a home rule.

This model breaks the specific rules for both Modular Hulls and Breakaway Hulls. Modules cannot contain extra drives. Each breakaway section must have a bridge (& power).

There is also a conceptual problem: removing a module does not make the ship smaller, removing a breakaway section does make the remaining vessel smaller. That does not mean that you cannot use both Modular Hull and Breakaway Hull on the same ship, see the Modular, Breakaway, Drop Tank, Jump Fighter system: viewtopic.php?p=899459#p899459


The model you describe is rather like the model used by the clipper ships of TNE, so it is not without precedent. If you like it, go for it!
Sigtrygg
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Re: Modular Lego Ships

Postby Sigtrygg » Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:22 am

The TNE RC Aurora class Clipper says hi

In the TNE era the RC builds a lot of its ships as modular so that they can be configured to specific missions.
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Re: Modular Lego Ships

Postby Condottiere » Sat Mar 18, 2017 12:22 pm

I don't recall High Guard addressing this.

You could interpret it that modulations have to follow hull rules: you need a minimum of ten tonnes to install a firmpoint, and a hundred for a hardpoint.
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Re: Modular Lego Ships

Postby Sigtrygg » Sat Mar 18, 2017 2:40 pm

It wasn't in HG - it was FF&S.
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Re: Modular Lego Ships

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Mar 18, 2017 3:02 pm

If I recall correctly there was no system to make modules in TNE, they were done the old-fashioned way: They just did it, without any extra cost.
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Re: Modular Lego Ships

Postby Sigtrygg » Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:54 pm

You misremember.

The rules are in Brilliant Lances Technical Booklet (page 12) and in FF&S (pages 61 to 62).

The ship to which the module will be attached has to cover the cost and volume requirements of the grapples needed to mate the module.

The module itself is built like any other vehicle/ship.

The Clipper and the Victrix both made use of modules.
Last edited by Sigtrygg on Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: Modular Lego Ships

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:05 pm

Thanks, I'll look it up.
PsiTraveller
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Re: Modular Lego Ships

Postby PsiTraveller » Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:30 pm

SO here is a scenario. Assume a pg 120 Type A Free Trader Thrust 1 Jump 1 with 81 tons of cargo space. TL 12 Jump engines.

The ship gets a job to make a Jump 3 run somewhere. They could install Jump software in the computer, put an extra 40 tons of Demountable Fuel tanks in the cargo Hold. Could they also stuff 10 extra tons of Jump drives (or a 10 ton Lego module to borrow the idea from AnotherDilbert) and hook the drives up temporarily and make a Jump 3 Jump? Is there a tonnage penalty like a breakaway ship?

And another question. A breakaway ship technology allows the cumulative total of the Jump engines to be combined to calculate total Jump capacity. (pg 12 HG). These Jump engines could be fairly distant from each other distance wise, depending on the ship is linked together. Does this imply there may be a way of connecting two ship together that are not Breakaway hull tech, but allow the Jump fields to be synchronized and allow the two ships (one Docking Clamped to another for example) to combine the Jump fields to aid in the Jump? This could save tonnage in moving smaller ships via Jump train.

Just an idea
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Re: Modular Lego Ships

Postby Condottiere » Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:09 pm

Image
AnotherDilbert
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Re: Modular Lego Ships

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sun Mar 19, 2017 12:16 am

PsiTraveller wrote: The ship gets a job to make a Jump 3 run somewhere. They could install Jump software in the computer, put an extra 40 tons of Demountable Fuel tanks in the cargo Hold. Could they also stuff 10 extra tons of Jump drives (or a 10 ton Lego module to borrow the idea from AnotherDilbert) and hook the drives up temporarily and make a Jump 3 Jump? Is there a tonnage penalty like a breakaway ship?
The only rule that allows us to combine drives is the breakaway hull system. Most earlier editions, including MgT1 explicitly banned combining drives (backup systems), but I'm not aware that MgT2 does. So I would not allow it based on tradition.

PsiTraveller wrote: And another question. A breakaway ship technology allows the cumulative total of the Jump engines to be combined to calculate total Jump capacity. (pg 12 HG). These Jump engines could be fairly distant from each other distance wise, depending on the ship is linked together. Does this imply there may be a way of connecting two ship together that are not Breakaway hull tech, but allow the Jump fields to be synchronized and allow the two ships (one Docking Clamped to another for example) to combine the Jump fields to aid in the Jump? This could save tonnage in moving smaller ships via Jump train.
Same answer.
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Re: Modular Lego Ships

Postby PsiTraveller » Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:30 am

That is what I thought, but the breakaway technology shows that it is possible to combine Jump components. So can there be a linkage made? If so, at what cost, TL and tonnage?
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Re: Modular Lego Ships

Postby Sigtrygg » Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:15 am

You may not be allowed to link jump drives, but you are allowed to install more than one.

So you could stick a jump 3 engine module in your cargo bay and link it to ship systems. You could not use your regular jump 1 engine which has just become dead weight for the trip.

An option for modular/breakaway ships would be to have swappable drive modules/hull sections, so for one trip you pick the jump 3 module, for another the jump 1.

But you can not gang three jump 1 modules to produce jump 3.
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Re: Modular Lego Ships

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:57 am

To make drives flexible you have to use the breakaway system.

If you pay your 2% tax, include a tiny computer (w Virtual Crew), sensor, and battery in each section you have perhaps satisfied the letter of the rule, if probably not the intent, and can swap out or add drives.

Things are simpler if you do not try to make the size of the ship flexible...
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Re: Modular Lego Ships

Postby PsiTraveller » Sun Mar 19, 2017 11:56 am

Sigtrygg: If your Jump Drives that are giving you Jump 1 performace are TL 12, you could just add more tonnage to get you to Jump 3 performance. That and Jump 3 software. You just need enough tonnage of drives to meet the percentage for Jump 3 which is 7.5 tons of Jump Drive (+5 tons) for 12.5 tons. So you could salvage Tl12 Jump Drives from a Jump 1 tramp trader and put them into another ship and get Jump 3 performance. The Jump 1 engine may well be adding tonnage to the calculation for Jump capacity.
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Re: Modular Lego Ships

Postby PsiTraveller » Sun Mar 19, 2017 12:02 pm

I had an idea about a flexible drive system. If you had a double ended Jump Net for both ships involved in the Jump, that is 2 percent of the ships tonnage. Add in another couple of percent for harmonizing connections and 1 percent for giggles and grins and you have a 5 percent of tonnage linkage that allows the Jump field to be harmonized and send two ships into Jump space at the same time using their combined tonnage.

Not sure of TL or cost, but improvements might lower the percentage down by a point every TL over the base TL.

Just a thought. It would be a house rule of course, but I can rationalize how such a system might work within the rules using the idea of a Jump net to extend a Jump field.
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Re: Modular Lego Ships

Postby Sigtrygg » Sun Mar 19, 2017 12:56 pm

PsiTraveller wrote:
Sun Mar 19, 2017 11:56 am
Sigtrygg: If your Jump Drives that are giving you Jump 1 performace are TL 12, you could just add more tonnage to get you to Jump 3 performance. That and Jump 3 software. You just need enough tonnage of drives to meet the percentage for Jump 3 which is 7.5 tons of Jump Drive (+5 tons) for 12.5 tons. So you could salvage Tl12 Jump Drives from a Jump 1 tramp trader and put them into another ship and get Jump 3 performance. The Jump 1 engine may well be adding tonnage to the calculation for Jump capacity.
My long time understanding is that there is considerable difference between the dimension accessed by a jump 1 engine and the dimension accessed by a jump 3 engine.
Jump 1 engines can never access jump 3 space, doesn't matter how many of them you have.

Stick a TL12 jump 3 engine from a 1000t ship in a 500t ship, can it now operate as a jump 6 if you have the software?
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Re: Modular Lego Ships

Postby PsiTraveller » Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:10 pm

No, because TL 12 engines max out at Jump 3 as per page 14 if HG. If you had TL 15 engines then yes it could make a Jump 6. Jump range is percentage of TL capable engine + 5 tons compared total tonnage going on the trip.

So scavenge all the Jump engines and M Drives of good TL ships that you find and hook them up in your cargo hold. You could get home faster by changing from a J2 to a J4 for a time. As long a you have a fuel supply as well. Demountable tanks for example.

The dimensions accessed you mentioned could be by TL not engine. a TL 9 engine can only get to Jump 1 Tl 11 to Jump 2. TL 12 get to Jump 3 etc.

Given that engines all cost the same, always try and buy the highest TL engine you can and record it. You may be able to get to a higher Jump number if you ever get enough tonnage.
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Re: Modular Lego Ships

Postby Condottiere » Sun Mar 19, 2017 3:45 pm

My take on it, is that you can synchronize various onboard jump drives if you configure them as modules, their compatibility depending on their similarity, be they clones, twins, siblings or distant cousins.

You're likely to incur an increased overhead in bandwidth, and an increasingly likelihood of a misjump. the more spread out the family tree is.

You cannot have a longer range than the lowest common denominator, though you can increase tonnage.
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Re: Modular Lego Ships

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sun Mar 19, 2017 4:25 pm

Sigtrygg wrote: My long time understanding is that there is considerable difference between the dimension accessed by a jump 1 engine and the dimension accessed by a jump 3 engine.
Jump 1 engines can never access jump 3 space, doesn't matter how many of them you have.
Yes, correct, but if we at design time say that this is half a TL12 Jump-3 drive (that can also do J-1), and then we add another half in a breakaway section it should work...

Sigtrygg wrote: Stick a TL12 jump 3 engine from a 1000t ship in a 500t ship, can it now operate as a jump 6 if you have the software?
No.

But a J-3 drive from a 1000 dT ship could be used as a J-1 drive in a 3000 dT ship.

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