High Guard 2e Turret and Ammo

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
phavoc
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3861
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:13 pm

Re: High Guard 2e Turret and Ammo

Postby phavoc » Mon May 08, 2017 6:14 pm

Juums wrote:
Fri May 05, 2017 12:54 pm
I've basically ceased using turret-based missiles for the reason this thread exists. It's just a pain in the butt house-ruling your way through the ammo storage issues.

My cutting of the Gordian knot, FWIW, was just to declare all "missile racks" essentially VLS systems whose ordnance soft-launch and orientate towards the target before igniting their main burn. Mechanically, all you're doing at that point is paying for missile storage with a fixed hardpoint to actually launch the missiles from. Means you can only launch 1 missile/round per hardpoint at that point, but I've found that removes a fair bit of the rocket tag problem adventurer-scale ships face from missile racks in triple turrets and that it gives missile barbettes a needed shot in the arm.
VLS systems are great for firing a big salvo. However you can't reload them in combat. For that you need a magazine and launchers. Then your time in combat is limited by how space you want to put in your magazine. So do you want staying power or to try and overwhelm your enemy at the beginning? I like the idea of having both, as each as it's pro's and cons
h1ro
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 238
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:06 pm
Location: Co Front Range

Re: High Guard 2e Turret and Ammo

Postby h1ro » Mon May 08, 2017 6:30 pm

phavoc wrote:
Mon May 08, 2017 6:14 pm
VLS systems are great for firing a big salvo. However you can't reload them in combat. For that you need a magazine and launchers. Then your time in combat is limited by how space you want to put in your magazine. So do you want staying power or to try and overwhelm your enemy at the beginning? I like the idea of having both, as each as it's pro's and cons
OK, my knowledge of VLS and how it works is pretty close to zero but why, in the future, can't you reload a VLS in combat?

I am assuming that current VLS are loaded thru the port the missile is fired thru, ok, but given for launching from a ship in micro G a soft launch is arguably best, why shouldn't a launch system be reloadable from the side or below?
Rikki Tikki Traveller
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3280
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2007 3:20 pm
Location: Arlington, TX USA

Re: High Guard 2e Turret and Ammo

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Mon May 08, 2017 8:04 pm

Despite what is said in the rulebook, I will continue to use 3 missiles in the Rack, so a triple turret would have 9 missiles it can fire - 3 at a time.

12 missiles per ton includes stowage space etc. I believe the old canon had a missile at 200 kg and 1/12 of a Dton of space - but my memory is fuzzy on that.

I have also used the general rule that a 1 ton turret is 1 ton of INTERNAL space, there can be some added space outside the "hull". Remember, a HULL has no size of it's own, which makes no sense but it show the rules are written.
My friends call me Richard.
You can call me Sir.
Condottiere
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 5164
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: High Guard 2e Turret and Ammo

Postby Condottiere » Mon May 08, 2017 10:34 pm

VLS is convenient since you don't need to worry about reloading gear, where internal space was at a premium and/or no depth.

No internal reloading equipment means less moving parts, and the ordnance is sealed away, so that simplifies maintenance.

Reloading has to be done externally, optimally at dead rest, with specialized cranes, and no one shooting at the reloading crew.

Other than that, it could be done if you dock with a replenishment vessel and do it underway, but likely in the rear area.

You could use the torpedo tube variant, which I don't think has been described anywhere in Traveller.
h1ro
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 238
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:06 pm
Location: Co Front Range

Re: High Guard 2e Turret and Ammo

Postby h1ro » Mon May 08, 2017 10:38 pm

Or your whole inventory of missiles is stored in VLS, no separation between magazine and launcher, as a VLS appears to be both.

Now, if only we had surface area in the ship design sequence ;)
Condottiere
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 5164
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: High Guard 2e Turret and Ammo

Postby Condottiere » Mon May 08, 2017 10:43 pm

The advantage we have over sea going vessels is, we can point them in any direction, top, side and bottom, back and front.
phavoc
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3861
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:13 pm

Re: High Guard 2e Turret and Ammo

Postby phavoc » Tue May 09, 2017 12:37 am

h1ro wrote:
Mon May 08, 2017 6:30 pm
OK, my knowledge of VLS and how it works is pretty close to zero but why, in the future, can't you reload a VLS in combat?

I am assuming that current VLS are loaded thru the port the missile is fired thru, ok, but given for launching from a ship in micro G a soft launch is arguably best, why shouldn't a launch system be reloadable from the side or below?
Modern VLS systems have the missiles loaded in port. Reloads of the smaller ones (like a RAM AA/AAM system are small enough to reload at sea, but ships don't carry spare missile cannisters, especially the larger Tomahawks (for US ships). Russian vessels have the same limitations, and they have even larger missiles than the US does.

If you go back to the pre-VLS systems, USN cruisers and some DDG's mounted twin-rail launchers that reloaded from a magazine. The bigger the magazine the longer you could stay. A VLS system has a huge advantage over a standard launcher by it's rate of fire - you can fire them about one per second, or even faster. But there are other risks, too. Rail launchers can eject dud's, VLS cannot. Rail launchers can share magazines, VLS can't. A hit on a VLS typically will destroy or disable any remaining missiles. A hit on a launcher puts the launcher out of commission, but the ammunition can still be moved to other launchers - assuming you have them that is. A VLS could have multiple launch cells spread around a ship to offset the risk (rules don't cover this though, VLS wasn't invented in1970).

Depends on how you want to do your game. Magazines are nice from a design perspective, but some gamers barely want to keep track of ammo. :)
h1ro
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 238
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:06 pm
Location: Co Front Range

Re: High Guard 2e Turret and Ammo

Postby h1ro » Tue May 09, 2017 3:38 am

phavoc wrote:
Tue May 09, 2017 12:37 am
Modern VLS systems have the missiles loaded in port. Reloads of the smaller ones (like a RAM AA/AAM system are small enough to reload at sea, but ships don't carry spare missile cannisters, especially the larger Tomahawks (for US ships). Russian vessels have the same limitations, and they have even larger missiles than the US does.

If you go back to the pre-VLS systems, USN cruisers and some DDG's mounted twin-rail launchers that reloaded from a magazine. The bigger the magazine the longer you could stay. A VLS system has a huge advantage over a standard launcher by it's rate of fire - you can fire them about one per second, or even faster. But there are other risks, too. Rail launchers can eject dud's, VLS cannot. Rail launchers can share magazines, VLS can't. A hit on a VLS typically will destroy or disable any remaining missiles. A hit on a launcher puts the launcher out of commission, but the ammunition can still be moved to other launchers - assuming you have them that is. A VLS could have multiple launch cells spread around a ship to offset the risk (rules don't cover this though, VLS wasn't invented in1970).

Depends on how you want to do your game. Magazines are nice from a design perspective, but some gamers barely want to keep track of ammo. :)
Thanks for the post :)

How do we take this info forward into the 57th century?

Some suggestions:

First up, no more magazines. Everything is a VLS. Or, as there is no vertical in space, Perpendicular Launch System.

Secondly, disperse the missiles to reduce the effect of damage.

Thirdly, just as a squadron of fighters will take off from an airfield/carrier deck and assemble into a formation, do the same with missiles. With no gravity to require an immediate burn to leave the launcher, a missile can launch and manoeuvre into a salvo to then best attack. This will need to be prompt or will need to be done ahead of time. Perfect planning prevents piss poor performance. Luckily we have computers to work this stuff out cos players sure as hell won't...

Fourthly (is that a word?), introduce surface area to the design sequence, it figures into many things: weapons, sensors, radiators (ok, I'm thinking 2300 now), airlocks, external clamps and cargo etc.

Re tracking ammo, at this point, I'm thinking of modding the ship building sequence, this is for the fun of building ships. In all honesty, neither version of MgT has anything like a moderately accurate method of expending/tracking small arms ammo, missiles on ships seem pretty good so I'm really not worried by it.
phavoc
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3861
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:13 pm

Re: High Guard 2e Turret and Ammo

Postby phavoc » Tue May 09, 2017 1:30 pm

h1ro wrote:
Tue May 09, 2017 3:38 am
Thanks for the post :)

How do we take this info forward into the 57th century?

Some suggestions:

First up, no more magazines. Everything is a VLS. Or, as there is no vertical in space, Perpendicular Launch System.

Secondly, disperse the missiles to reduce the effect of damage.
That's all benefit with no penalty. That's not how reality works. Magazines are heavily protected and, in theory at least, if you score a hit on a VLS system you can get sympathy detonations, and VLS systems don't have the traditional protections of a magazine. Western ships mounting external launch cannisters typically have them somewhat away from the superstructure, so if they are hit their detonations won't seriously damage the ship. Now these are relatively small warheads (Harpoon-class for USN/RN). Tomahawks have a much larger warhead and footprint. The Russians, like the Sovremenny class DD, mount a pair of 4 cell Sunburns astride of the main superstructure. Like all external mounted missiles they are sealed against the weather, but they have no real ballistic protection. Sympathy detonations of these would probably decapitate the ship's bridge.

Plus the current system has no counter-missile capability. To be fair if you were going to introduce VLS systems you should also introduce counter-missiles and point-defense gatling laser clusters (as well as a series of missiles sized for the ships launching them and their respective targets). Look at the old Starfire gaming system. Each class of ship had missiles sized for it's class, and their damage capabilities went up and down the size scale. They even had external missile racks to increase your initial throw-weight (but they were vulnerable to EMP detonations, so they were always used as an Alpha strike, then ships went to their magazines to sustain themselves in battle.
h1ro wrote:
Tue May 09, 2017 3:38 am
Thirdly, just as a squadron of fighters will take off from an airfield/carrier deck and assemble into a formation, do the same with missiles. With no gravity to require an immediate burn to leave the launcher, a missile can launch and manoeuvre into a salvo to then best attack. This will need to be prompt or will need to be done ahead of time. Perfect planning prevents piss poor performance. Luckily we have computers to work this stuff out cos players sure as hell won't...
The issue here is that you'd have to your missiles linked together for them to do that. Missiles are expensive already (or should be). Putting in even more sophisticated systems means their costs would increase - and they would become more vulnerable to countermeasures, jamming, disrupting their datalink, etc. It's an achilles heel of missiles - which is why having a machine and a human in the mix works best since they can offset the limitations of the other.

You are right in that in space you can simply eject the missile in any orientation and then have it's own internal gyroscope or thrusters orient it and then ignite it's drive. It would even be possible to have the missiles pre-programmed to keep their drives at a certain setting for X seconds in order to have say two turns worth of launches combines into a single larger salvo.

The only problem with all this is that it makes the game turn far more complicated. And Traveller starship combat has never been about complexity, as the design system also reflects.

You may want to pick up a copy of the out-of-print FASA game called Leviathan. It was all about capital ship combat, and the damage system reflected different types of weaponry (some took off layers of armor, some punched holes). It was fairly balanced, it had enough detail to force you to make tactical decisions, and it was able to keep the pace of the game moving.
Annatar Giftbringer
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 516
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:35 am
Location: Uddevalla, Sweden
Contact:

Re: High Guard 2e Turret and Ammo

Postby Annatar Giftbringer » Tue May 09, 2017 5:41 pm

Regarding VLS style launchers... wasn't there an option in 1st ed to purchase a missile rack of 12 missiles, mount it on the hull and fire them all in a single volley with no way to reload, like a one-shot missile bay?
AnotherDilbert
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2279
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:49 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: High Guard 2e Turret and Ammo

Postby AnotherDilbert » Tue May 09, 2017 6:06 pm

Missile Packs, TCS, p22.

Such VLS cells would break the combat system in MgT2.

Missiles are already extremely powerful. If we could launch even more of them any other weapons would be superfluous.
Condottiere
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 5164
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: High Guard 2e Turret and Ammo

Postby Condottiere » Tue May 09, 2017 11:05 pm

Time on target isn't a new or foreign concept.

Let's say, you just need to invest in a lot more control gear.

Against a near peer opponent, they can see the missiles coming a long way off, and since unlike the Honorverse, combat is assumed to start at dead rest, they can turn tail and outrun them.
AnotherDilbert
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2279
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:49 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: High Guard 2e Turret and Ammo

Postby AnotherDilbert » Wed May 10, 2017 10:17 am

Condottiere wrote: Against a near peer opponent, they can see the missiles coming a long way off, and since unlike the Honorverse, combat is assumed to start at dead rest, they can turn tail and outrun them.
The combat system does not handle speed at all. Yes, it's simplified. It might assume that the relative speeds are not too large.
You can't outrun missiles, they hit after the specified number of rounds, whatever your relative speed or acceleration. Yes, it's simplified.
Condottiere
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 5164
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: High Guard 2e Turret and Ammo

Postby Condottiere » Wed May 10, 2017 4:25 pm

At default values, for a standard missile, one fifth of the volume is taken up by the reaction rockets, a quarter by the fuel, and slightly over half by the electronics and the warhead.

Once the missile runs out of fuel after a hundred thrusts, it can't be steered.

Also fifty percent chance it wanders off on it's own, after five turns.

It takes ten turns to for a missile to reach a distant target at ten gees; in the meantime, that target moves one distant band further away.
phavoc
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3861
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:13 pm

Re: High Guard 2e Turret and Ammo

Postby phavoc » Wed May 10, 2017 6:46 pm

Condottiere wrote:
Wed May 10, 2017 4:25 pm
At default values, for a standard missile, one fifth of the volume is taken up by the reaction rockets, a quarter by the fuel, and slightly over half by the electronics and the warhead.

Once the missile runs out of fuel after a hundred thrusts, it can't be steered.

Also fifty percent chance it wanders off on it's own, after five turns.

It takes ten turns to for a missile to reach a distant target at ten gees; in the meantime, that target moves one distant band further away.
If missiles were that inaccurate they wouldn't be terribly effective. Missile chances would have to be 1% or less of failures of that type. They are that way today.
h1ro
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 238
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:06 pm
Location: Co Front Range

Re: High Guard 2e Turret and Ammo

Postby h1ro » Thu May 11, 2017 6:32 am

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Tue May 09, 2017 6:06 pm
Missile Packs, TCS, p22.

Such VLS cells would break the combat system in MgT2.

Missiles are already extremely powerful. If we could launch even more of them any other weapons would be superfluous.
Break seems a bit strong ;)

Change the dynamics of for sure but the big drawback of missiles is the logistics chain. If you can't resupply easily and quickly then missiles really aren't as good as they first seem. Being able to skim a gas giant or ocean to juice up your weapons gives a ship a much more independent position to wage war from.

I also think that missiles benefit from the simplification of movement in space. There's no way I'd allow a missile to turn around and reacquire a target after missing, not after the missile has been accelerating at 10G for any amount of time. Now that's all house rules and getting way off topic which was all about how to interpret the RAW.
AnotherDilbert
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2279
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:49 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: High Guard 2e Turret and Ammo

Postby AnotherDilbert » Thu May 11, 2017 7:48 am

h1ro wrote:
AnotherDilbert wrote: Missile Packs, TCS, p22.

Such VLS cells would break the combat system in MgT2.
Break seems a bit strong ;)
Perhaps, but consider two ships, one with 4 missile packs (48 missiles) and one with 4 laser turrets.

The missile ship launches 48 missiles, the laser ship can shoot down about 4 × 6 = 24 missiles with good gunners, the rest of the missiles (48 - 24 = 24) hit and does 24 × 17.5[5D] = 420 damage on a ship with 160 Hull. Basically that is an auto-kill in one attack, regardless of what the dice says. I call that broken...
h1ro
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 238
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:06 pm
Location: Co Front Range

Re: High Guard 2e Turret and Ammo

Postby h1ro » Thu May 11, 2017 2:33 pm

First up, to the OP, I hope you got answers that you can work with.

AnotherDilbert, I think this opens up a whole other discussion, one that perhaps deserves a new thread. It's probably been discussed before so I don't know if it really warrants going over again.

The gist of the discussion is what serves as balance in the game?

To your example, I'd make a comparison of an unarmoured person being shot with a PGMP. It can happen, it's gonna be messy but should we take the PGMP out of the game? If we look at current weapons and armour, overkill is prevalent.

Why should a ship be able to sustain damage? There are real world naval examples, the Atlantic Conveyor and HMS Sheffield in the Falklands War, where one or two missiles caused the loss of each ship. The historical wet naval analogy isn't one I'm overly fond of but we often fall back on it.

Your example also features unarmoured ships. At TL12 it's feasible to put 12 points of armour on a ship and 2e features point defence systems. These things could reduce the damage.

I'd agree that in general, massed missile attacks go against what we've seen in the Third Imperium setting but I don't think that equates to breaking 2e MgT.

I'd continue to argue that as far as military ships go, the logistics of keeping missiles supplied far from port weighs heavily against them but we mostly don't model those things in our games, nevermind our discussions ;)

If we do accept that overkill is a distinct possibility, it would perhaps change the decision to engage or make the conflict about not being hit, countermeasures and tactics being the best way to wage that war. From a role playing point of view, I'd much prefer to avoid ship combat but that's an opinion few others seem to share.
Condottiere
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 5164
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: High Guard 2e Turret and Ammo

Postby Condottiere » Thu May 11, 2017 11:44 pm

The advantage that missiles give is the capability to overload the defences.

There are two possible ways, waves that are fired off in subsequent rounds but are programmed to arrive at the same time.

Or getting into dogfighting range and and pumping out sixty per launcher in six minutes.
h1ro
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 238
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:06 pm
Location: Co Front Range

Re: High Guard 2e Turret and Ammo

Postby h1ro » Thu May 11, 2017 11:49 pm

OK, so I know it's in the rules, but really, there is no dogfighting in space...

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests