The Close Escort: not viable?

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paltrysum
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The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby paltrysum » Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:50 pm

From MgT2 High Guard: "Hundreds of Gazelle-class close escorts have been built and many remain in service in the Imperial Navy, despite the fact that in a combat situation, they are nearly worthless. The close escort, even when new, was not intended to stand up to combat vessels; rather it was envisioned as an antipiracy and revenue patrol ship. In that role, it has performed well, but when pressed into combat duties it has invariably suffered
disproportionate losses."

I used to think of the Gazelle-class close escort as a mainstay of the Imperial Navy, but this text relegates the Gazelle to the most minor of roles. Does anyone dispute that or at least see a way to give the Gazelle a broader range of duties?
"Spacers lead a sedentary life. They live at home, and their home is always with them—their starship, and so is their country—the depths of space."
Sigtrygg
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Re: The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby Sigtrygg » Mon Jun 12, 2017 6:12 pm

The Gazelle belongs to the small ship paradigm of the 3I where a 1200t Kinunir is a battlecruiser.

When the 3I was reconned into a large ship universe post HG 80 the Gazelle became nothing more than coast guard patrol boat.
Condottiere
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Re: The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby Condottiere » Mon Jun 12, 2017 6:29 pm

It's pretty dependent on prevailing design and combat rules.

Close escort may be stretching things, it's what we call an off shore patrol vessel.
Reynard
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Re: The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby Reynard » Mon Jun 12, 2017 6:37 pm

Doesn't take a genius for the past 40 years to glimpse the stats of a Gazelle and know it's not meant for titanic space battles. In any war when things are getting tough, units of all sorts get pressed into roles they were not meant for. Gazelles would tend to escort military convoys than defend battle ships thus freeing larger escorts and destroyers. Imperial navies absorb sector, subsector and then local unit as need and desperation demand but a navy would have to be very desperate to blindly sacrifice such small units in a real fight unless the battles or the war is near collapse.

Best role a Gazelle or any small fighting ship can do during war is watch and protect the home front.
phavoc
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Re: The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby phavoc » Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:32 pm

In a 2,000 ton ship universe it makes sense. HG changed everything. So there's a disconnect in the naming conventions.

One way to look at it is that PC's would rarely own ships over 2k tons, so when a PC is tooling around in say an 800 ton Broadsword, a Gazelle really can be a close escort vessel and fit in.
Reynard
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Re: The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby Reynard » Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:05 am

This may give an insight on the inspiration of Traveller close escort.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Destroyer_escort

Looking over the Gazelle, it's not really a close escort, not with particle accelerators. That's offensive and meant to scare the specefeces out of pirates and privateers. They're being used as attrition craft when the fleet's numbers are wearing down, i.e. desperate. The fer-de-lance class is more in line with a classic naval destroyer escort and the addition of Point Defense software and Point defense batteries would be appropriate. From the naval DE description, it might be interesting if the chrysanthemum DE replaced the Fusion and Particle barbettes with torpedoes.
h1ro
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Re: The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby h1ro » Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:32 am

Loosely related question, has anyone sat down and written the economics of the Third Imperium to a point where we know how much can be spent on naval ships?

Was this the raison d'etre for TCS? (I don't own it and haven't read it)

Post High Guard and the 2000 ton limit, when ships became huge and correspondingly expensive, it seems a reasonable question tho, I wouldn't know where to start with regard to answering it.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby AnotherDilbert » Tue Jun 13, 2017 5:01 am

h1ro wrote: Loosely related question, has anyone sat down and written the economics of the Third Imperium to a point where we know how much can be spent on naval ships?
The Traveller Wiki has GDP numbers for the Imperium, hence puts a rough limit on spending. Reputably GT has the most detailed economic model.

h1ro wrote: Was this the raison d'etre for TCS? (I don't own it and haven't read it)
No, it's more for pocket empires.
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Re: The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby AnotherDilbert » Tue Jun 13, 2017 5:06 am

Sigtrygg wrote: The Gazelle belongs to the small ship paradigm of the 3I where a 1200t Kinunir is a battlecruiser.
The Gazelle was always an oddity, a LBB5 ship built for the LBB2 combat system?

It is no more than a speed-bump for a well-designed warship in the same size class.

Together with the Patrol Corvette I think of it more like a police or customs vessel, not a warship.
h1ro
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Re: The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby h1ro » Tue Jun 13, 2017 5:22 am

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Tue Jun 13, 2017 5:01 am
h1ro wrote: Loosely related question, has anyone sat down and written the economics of the Third Imperium to a point where we know how much can be spent on naval ships?
The Traveller Wiki has GDP numbers for the Imperium, hence puts a rough limit on spending. Reputably GT has the most detailed economic model.

h1ro wrote: Was this the raison d'etre for TCS? (I don't own it and haven't read it)
No, it's more for pocket empires.
Thanks
:)
Condottiere
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Re: The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby Condottiere » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:45 am

Basically, you have to define the role they're supposed to play, and how much resources you want to invest in it, in terms of yard space, manpower pool, and operating costs.

They are to deter asymmetrical forms of warfare and commerce raiding.

It's not so much volume base, except in the form that Traveller design rules insist on it in order to exchange hardpoints for weapon system slots.
ShawnDriscoll
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Re: The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:18 am

All Traveller ships are plot devices. Nothing more.
Reynard
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Re: The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby Reynard » Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:31 am

"Loosely related question, has anyone sat down and written the economics of the Third Imperium to a point where we know how much can be spent on naval ships?"

There have been different systems published for determining economics from the simplistic Trillion Credit Squadron to the combination from Pocket Empires and Imperial Squadrons which has you determining how many warships and SDBs a planet's economy can possibly produce. I also would love to see the results from PE and IS for just the Spinward marches which is the current setting and flashpoint for war. You would experience what assets are available locally and sector wide, the fluidity and chaos of forces. In the case of the Gazelle, local forces would spend their money on them and it would be money well spent on their functions. Larger organized forces would be building fleets for larger conflicts. The fleets position and patrol the border as needed subsector and sector wide while local planets and groups of worlds keep the peace freeing up larger organizations. Once war starts and ship clash, Imperial forces begin absorbing subsector assets and later local assets. The Gazelles get grabbed up as a last resort.
dragoner
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Re: The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby dragoner » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:45 pm

paltrysum wrote:
Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:50 pm
From MgT2 High Guard: "Hundreds of Gazelle-class close escorts have been built and many remain in service in the Imperial Navy, despite the fact that in a combat situation, they are nearly worthless. The close escort, even when new, was not intended to stand up to combat vessels; rather it was envisioned as an antipiracy and revenue patrol ship. In that role, it has performed well, but when pressed into combat duties it has invariably suffered
disproportionate losses."
It is verbatim copied from 1981's Supplement 9: Fighting Ships; the Gazelle debuted in the Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society, probably in 79 or 80, and probably book 2, then was used in Supplement 7: Traders & Gunboats.
h1ro
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Re: The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby h1ro » Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:32 pm

ShawnDriscoll wrote:
Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:18 am
All Traveller ships are plot devices. Nothing more.
Meh, Shawn Driscoll
Condottiere
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Re: The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby Condottiere » Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:14 pm

Current listed price is a quarter of a billion schmuckers.

So the question would be, are you getting your bang for your buck?
Reynard
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Re: The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby Reynard » Thu Jun 15, 2017 1:46 am

From Third Imperium Sector Fleet:
"Close escorts such as the Gazelle and Fiery classes, massing around 300t, are intended for piracy suppression, patrol of commercial routes and of course the close escort role. In the latter, the close escort shelters under the big guns of a larger ship and in turn protects it from attack by light craft.

Close escorts are effective in this role, being quite capable of destroying incoming fighters or gunships. However, their value in open combat is almost negligible. Despite this drawback, shortages of ships result in close escorts being assigned as the sole protection for a convoy, or to solo patrol. The type has always fared badly in this role."

They do what they do best. When pressed into other roles, they are used for what they do best, screen larger vessels from 'nuisance' craft. Hand them any other role and it's not their fault.
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Re: The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby AnotherDilbert » Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:51 pm

Reynard wrote: Close escorts are effective in this role, being quite capable of destroying incoming fighters or gunships.
Any reasonable craft designed for combat, including a fighter, will crush a Gazelle with little problem.
A Gazelle can harass Free Traders, but that is about all.

Or in the words of High Guard:
... despite the fact that in a combat situation, they are nearly worthless.
h1ro
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Re: The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby h1ro » Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:58 pm

Now there's a good role playing opportunity: you are a descendent of the original Gazelle designer. You are a noble with a steady income from royalties on the ship's sales. You are haunted by the deaths of so many in the ship you have become wealthy over and hounded by the relatives of the dead!
dragoner
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Re: The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby dragoner » Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:22 pm

In it's original configuration, 2x triple lasers and 2x PA barbettes @ 4d6, is pretty healthy, even before figuring in the two upgrades.

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