Additional Ship Countermeasures Reaction - Sensor Jam

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
Solomani666
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 781
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 3:07 am

Additional Ship Countermeasures Reaction - Sensor Jam

Postby Solomani666 » Tue May 02, 2017 1:21 am

Basically a Sensor Jam is the opposite of a sensor lock.
If a Sensor Jam is successful the attacking ship receives a bane on all attacks.

Feel free to comment.
Condottiere
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 5171
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Additional Ship Countermeasures Reaction - Sensor Jam

Postby Condottiere » Tue May 02, 2017 12:35 pm

Image
ShawnDriscoll
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2497
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:13 pm

Re: Additional Ship Countermeasures Reaction - Sensor Jam

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Tue May 02, 2017 12:46 pm

I wish that the playtesters that were into the starship chapters of the rules actually playtested them and fixed errors.
h1ro
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 239
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:06 pm
Location: Co Front Range

Re: Additional Ship Countermeasures Reaction - Sensor Jam

Postby h1ro » Tue May 02, 2017 2:50 pm

Solomani666 wrote:
Tue May 02, 2017 1:21 am
Basically a Sensor Jam is the opposite of a sensor lock.
If a Sensor Jam is successful the attacking ship receives a bane on all attacks.

Feel free to comment.
It's a good addition to the rules. Makes sense as it's consistent with the opposite method.

Are you replacing or supplementing the Electronic Warfare (Sensor Operator) action?

Must the ship have some form of countermeasures installed?
phavoc
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3886
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:13 pm

Re: Additional Ship Countermeasures Reaction - Sensor Jam

Postby phavoc » Tue May 02, 2017 7:31 pm

Solomani666 wrote:
Tue May 02, 2017 1:21 am
Basically a Sensor Jam is the opposite of a sensor lock.
If a Sensor Jam is successful the attacking ship receives a bane on all attacks.

Feel free to comment.
EW is one of those interesting game mechanics. It is a very valid activity in the real world, with ECM / ECCM operators constantly trying to beat the other or deceive the other and lure away incoming missiles (shells, on the other hand, can't be lured, but you can mess with optics and other tracking and range finding sensors in a similar method).

In the Star Fleet Battles it used to be a question of power. If one player allocated 1pt of power to ECM and the other player allocated zero, then the player with ECM got +1 on his rolls. Now that Traveller has power points it's POSSIBLE to do the same. But I don't think the game had the mechanic intended as part of the original idea, so I'm not entirely sure it will be possible to bolt on something like this without a bit thought
ShawnDriscoll
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2497
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:13 pm

Re: Additional Ship Countermeasures Reaction - Sensor Jam

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Tue May 02, 2017 8:15 pm

In Star Trek, often times they would divert all ship's power to the phasers and get +1 on all their shots rather than simply not running out of phaser bank power during a battle. It depended on the action plot in use at the time.

The blue text looks good. Referees need to learn how to use Boon/Bane in their games.
Solomani666
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 781
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 3:07 am

Re: Additional Ship Countermeasures Reaction - Sensor Jam

Postby Solomani666 » Wed May 03, 2017 2:30 am

h1ro wrote:
Tue May 02, 2017 2:50 pm

It's a good addition to the rules. Makes sense as it's consistent with the opposite method.

Are you replacing or supplementing the Electronic Warfare (Sensor Operator) action?

Must the ship have some form of countermeasures installed?
I see jamming as and additional action.
Correction: Jamming sensors should use the same rules as jamming communications

Jamming can be broken in the same way as a senor lock can be broken, by an opposing Electronics (Comms) check.
Condottiere
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 5171
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Additional Ship Countermeasures Reaction - Sensor Jam

Postby Condottiere » Wed May 03, 2017 4:24 am

You have to narrow down to the electromagnetic bandwidth you want to overwhelm with noise or cancel out the signal.
locarno24
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 2927
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 7:46 pm
Location: Wildly Variable

Re: Additional Ship Countermeasures Reaction - Sensor Jam

Postby locarno24 » Wed May 03, 2017 8:53 am

Ultimately, yes. If you can lock for a boon, you should be able to jam for a bane.

A dedicated 'countermeasures' suite as a requirement? Probably not - unless you're going to take away a standard sensor suite's ability to break sensor locks - but if you make defensive jamming more attractive, countermeasures become a more valuable asset, meaning people will want to take them anyway....
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
AnotherDilbert
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2320
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:49 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Additional Ship Countermeasures Reaction - Sensor Jam

Postby AnotherDilbert » Wed May 03, 2017 10:07 am

It looks appealing, but needs more work.

As written it risks making large ships ineffective and missiles and fighters preeminent.

In the Action Phase actions are performed in initiative order. One sensor action can be performed for each sensor operator.
First the ship with the highest initiative attempts to lock up and jam, potentially several times.
Then a ship with lower initiative attempts to break the lock and jam, and lock and jam the other ship. With enough sensor actions the first ship will generally succeed in locking on and jamming, and the second ship will generally succeed in all of: break lock, break jam, lock on, and jam. Hence the first ship mostly fires with a bane and the second ship with a boon, so the ship that lost initiative will win.

In a fight between a large ships and several small ships, some small ships will act before the large ship and some after. The small ships acting after the large ship will generally jam the large ship, so the large ship will nearly always fires with a bane. Consequence: large ships are no longer effective.
locarno24
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 2927
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 7:46 pm
Location: Wildly Variable

Re: Additional Ship Countermeasures Reaction - Sensor Jam

Postby locarno24 » Wed May 03, 2017 11:11 am

In a fight between a large ships and several small ships, some small ships will act before the large ship and some after. The small ships acting after the large ship will generally jam the large ship, so the large ship will nearly always fires with a bane. Consequence: large ships are no longer effective.
Many-on-one is a fair comment.

The opportunity is there to restrict the bane to attacks targeting the jamming ship, but that depends whether you want a ship to narratively run EW cover for a number of other ships.

It's also a question on whether the larger ship's better sensors will make a difference; I can only draw on 1e traveller, but in that, a larger ship is likely to pack a Military Countermeasures Suite - Electronic Warfare specifically is (was?) an opposed check, not a check in isolation, so breaking a sensor lock by a basic-sensor-package freighter some over-optimistic pirate has refitted with a few popguns is a whole 'nother issue to breaking a target lock by a patrol cruiser with a dedicated countermeasures suite.
With enough sensor actions the first ship will generally succeed in locking on and jamming, and the second ship will generally succeed in all of: break lock, break jam, lock on, and jam. Hence the first ship mostly fires with a bane and the second ship with a boon, so the ship that lost initiative will win.
Agreed this is a potential issue - this is largely driven by the number of sensor actions each side has. If two ships only have one sensor operator to 'spare' each, then ship A establishes a lock, and ship B breaks the lock. Since A is always playing catchup, and breaking a lock (opposed check) is harder than establishing one (unopposed check), B never gets a chance to establish a lock of its own unless it accepts the lock from A.

In 1e, a ship only got to do one 'ship action' - stopping you having multiple 'goes' at breaking or establishing a lock. If that's gone away, then yes, bigger ships with a large sensor staff will have a massive advantage.
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
phavoc
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3886
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:13 pm

Re: Additional Ship Countermeasures Reaction - Sensor Jam

Postby phavoc » Wed May 03, 2017 11:21 am

But bigger ships have ALWAYS had advantages over a horde of smaller ones - more armor, more guns, etc. The current system oddly stacks things together - with the somewhat exception of a spinal mount a 1,000,000 ton ship has the same turrets and launchers of a 1,000 ton ship - just more of them. And a fighter can have the same armor as the 1,000,000 battleship? The rules are littered with head-scratching inconsistencies. Either bigger IS better, ergo the 1,000,000 warship SHOULD have EW power to spoof better than the 1,000 ton ship, or else hordes of smaller ships rule the galaxy.

This gets back to the perennial issue of battle-riders vs. battleships, with whoever brought the optimal number of spinal mounts to the fight would win. High Guard rules have been rooted in the past for a very long time. Traveller is not the best game system to try and fight large-ship battles like this. It's fun to design them, but the rest just seems to degenerate into a continual debate that doesn't quite fit into the stated goal of Traveller being sci-fi based on some reality principles.
AnotherDilbert
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2320
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:49 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Additional Ship Countermeasures Reaction - Sensor Jam

Postby AnotherDilbert » Wed May 03, 2017 1:35 pm

locarno24 wrote: It's also a question on whether the larger ship's better sensors will make a difference; I can only draw on 1e traveller, but in that, a larger ship is likely to pack a Military Countermeasures Suite - Electronic Warfare specifically is (was?) an opposed check, not a check in isolation, so breaking a sensor lock by a basic-sensor-package freighter some over-optimistic pirate has refitted with a few popguns is a whole 'nother issue to breaking a target lock by a patrol cruiser with a dedicated countermeasures suite.
Only the Military CM Suite at TL 15 is too large to mount on a EW fighter. Only at TL15 will a BB have a slight edge in hardware and only over fighters, say EW DM+10 vs. DM+8.

EW is still an opposed check, so it's still more difficult to break a lock than to establish it.


locarno24 wrote: Agreed this is a potential issue - this is largely driven by the number of sensor actions each side has. If two ships only have one sensor operator to 'spare' each, then ship A establishes a lock, and ship B breaks the lock. Since A is always playing catchup, and breaking a lock (opposed check) is harder than establishing one (unopposed check), B never gets a chance to establish a lock of its own unless it accepts the lock from A.
The initiative order is as much a problem as the number of actions.

Maybe we could do something like:
1. Jamming, in initiative order.
2. Break Jamming, in initiative order.
3. Sensor Lock, in initiative order.
4. Break lock, in initiative order.
With ships still limited to a total number of sensor actions.
But that sounds too complicated...

Since most standard ships don't carry dedicated sensor operators, expanded EW rules are an almost automatic advantage to the players.
h1ro
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 239
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:06 pm
Location: Co Front Range

Re: Additional Ship Countermeasures Reaction - Sensor Jam

Postby h1ro » Wed May 03, 2017 2:03 pm

A lot of the discussion is based on using HG for a table top style game. If you go back to the RPG side of this where a group of Travellers are flying the ship and your engagements are a small number of paramilitary craft, does expanding the ECM add more to the game or take it away?
AnotherDilbert
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2320
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:49 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Additional Ship Countermeasures Reaction - Sensor Jam

Postby AnotherDilbert » Wed May 03, 2017 3:44 pm

Depends on taste?

Do you want a combat to take half an hour or a few hours?

I prefer combat quick, so I avoid extra rolls, especially opposed rolls.
Solomani666
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 781
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 3:07 am

Re: Additional Ship Countermeasures Reaction - Sensor Jam

Postby Solomani666 » Wed May 03, 2017 4:49 pm

h1ro wrote:
Wed May 03, 2017 2:03 pm
A lot of the discussion is based on using HG for a table top style game. If you go back to the RPG side of this where a group of Travellers are flying the ship and your engagements are a small number of paramilitary craft, does expanding the ECM add more to the game or take it away?
These rules make any PC comms/sensor operators more vital to the ships survival.
Being able to sustain a jam can mean the difference between death or fleeing from a larger vessel.

I would run Sensor Jams and Communications Jams as offensive attacks during the attack phase.
And count breaking Sensor Jams and Communication Jams as reactions.
Each ship can make one attack per sensors array manned by a sensor/comms operator.
Attacks remain persistent until broken.
The defender can make one reaction per attack.
Only one jam of each type can be made on a single ship.

Having multiple sensor arrays with multiple operators has an advantage.
Condottiere
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 5171
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Additional Ship Countermeasures Reaction - Sensor Jam

Postby Condottiere » Thu May 04, 2017 12:47 am

Jamming is either done by finesse or brute force.

If by finesse, skill and software should matter more.

If by brute force, raw power spread across the spectrum would be used.

You could accomplish this by assigning multiple countermeasure suites against one target.
h1ro
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 239
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:06 pm
Location: Co Front Range

Re: Additional Ship Countermeasures Reaction - Sensor Jam

Postby h1ro » Thu May 04, 2017 2:54 am

Condottiere wrote:
Thu May 04, 2017 12:47 am
Jamming is either done by finesse or brute force.

If by finesse, skill and software should matter more.

If by brute force, raw power spread across the spectrum would be used.

You could accomplish this by assigning multiple countermeasure suites against one target.
For a game like 2e MgT it's probably better/easier to keep it abstract and minimize the number of rolls or decisions.

I like the idea that there should be active counter measures as part of the offensive but I also like the idea of keeping it to as few dice rolls as possible.
phavoc
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3886
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:13 pm

Re: Additional Ship Countermeasures Reaction - Sensor Jam

Postby phavoc » Thu May 04, 2017 12:55 pm

Also you may factor in the relative sizes of the ships. A 200 ton free trader really wouldn't / shouldn't have much chance at jamming a 5,000 ton destroyer. If ships are roughly in the same class then it's as much of a tech/skill roll as anything else. If one ship vastly outclasses another one then the smaller ship should typically come out of the losing side every time. Larger ships will have more power, more sensors, more operators, etc... and then weight that with common sense. A 5,000 ton destroyer coming up against a 50,000 ton merchant should also win every time... military vs. civilian.

So basically it's what the ref thinks is the right way to play it. But having some guidelines to help flesh out your specific rules is always nice.
Condottiere
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 5171
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Additional Ship Countermeasures Reaction - Sensor Jam

Postby Condottiere » Thu May 04, 2017 11:40 pm

That\s why you have to install the extra hardware, to channel that power.

Also that would explain why a frigate could do to a megafreighter.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider], Google [Bot] and 17 guests