The Close Escort: not viable?

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
dragoner
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Re: The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby dragoner » Thu Jun 22, 2017 12:58 pm

The sad thing about the CE getting nerfed is that it is likely to be the player's ship ...
AndrewW
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Re: The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby AndrewW » Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:17 pm

Condottiere wrote:
Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:12 am
You can correct a beam laser in real time.
Image

You do it by adjusting the mirrors.
h1ro
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Re: The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby h1ro » Thu Jun 22, 2017 5:52 pm

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:54 pm
h1ro wrote:
AnotherDilbert wrote:Yes, but you also get rewarded with Hull points for encasing all that fuel into the battleships armour.
I need to do the number crunching to see how big a difference it makes.
Take a simple BB: 105 kDt, GCr 72.7, J-4, 9G, Armour 15, Hull 84700, Meson 8DD.
A BR with the same payload: 34 kDt, GCr 43.7 incl tender, J-0, 9G, Armour 15, Hull 20570, Meson 8DD.
A Docking Clamp J-4 tender is 11 kDt + 30 kDt Drop tank.

We get 1.66 BR for each BB, let's call it 5 BR vs 3 BB for equal budget.

3 BBs have Meson 24 DD and 254 100 Hull.
5 BRs have Meson 40 DD and 102 850 Hull.
BBs does 0.6 the damage and have 2.47 as much Hull. BBs win.


Perhaps we need bigger BRs with the bonus for being over 100 kDt?

A BRH would be: 101 kDt, GCr 129.2 incl J-4 tender, J-0, 9G, Armour 15, Hull 81473, Meson 24DD.

We get 1.77 BBs for each BRH.
1.77 BBs have 7 DD meson and 150 000 Hull against 24 DD and 81 500 Hull for the BRH.
BBs have 0.3 times the damage and 1.84 times the Hull. BRH wins.

Oops, I seem to have proven myself wrong.

The BBs will have more dodges available, since there are more of them; that and screens might save them. BRHs have a severe tactical problem of where to hide the tenders so that the enemy can't get to them, they cannot be close to the fighting.
Thanks for the number crunching.

I kinda figured that a sensible close escort would be left with the tender way out in the outer system and the tender's only expense would be the best stealth and countermeasures. Make the tender big enough and it ignores critical hits from the smaller ships and will have a decent number of hull points, make it a close structure to beef up the HP.

Not sure about drop tanks as that makes the tender reliant on fresh tanks in the target system, one that is possibly not friendly!

I haven't finished the BRH I spoke of, to be honest, it's a beast of a ship and there are other things I'd rather be doing with the time but at 120,000 tons you can get the largest meson spinal, max armour and enough bays and turrets to do a lot of damage. The 2e allows you to use virtual gunners so the crew/stateroom requirements are manageable.

What are people's thoughts on using multiple core computers? I can't recall if the rules say you can't, I know there's now a back up but why not multiples?
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Re: The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby AnotherDilbert » Thu Jun 22, 2017 6:40 pm

h1ro wrote: I kinda figured that a sensible close escort would be left with the tender way out in the outer system and the tender's only expense would be the best stealth and countermeasures. Make the tender big enough and it ignores critical hits from the smaller ships and will have a decent number of hull points, make it a close structure to beef up the HP.

Not sure about drop tanks as that makes the tender reliant on fresh tanks in the target system, one that is possibly not friendly!
I do not intend to ever drop the tanks, I agree that is logistically unacceptable. I use drop tanks since they are slightly cheaper than hull.

A small escort does not matter, if enemy warships can get at the tenders they die. Stealth would be desirable, but is very expensive. Superior stealth is economically unfeasible.

h1ro wrote: I haven't finished the BRH I spoke of, to be honest, it's a beast of a ship and there are other things I'd rather be doing with the time but at 120,000 tons you can get the largest meson spinal, max armour and enough bays and turrets to do a lot of damage. The 2e allows you to use virtual gunners so the crew/stateroom requirements are manageable.

What are people's thoughts on using multiple core computers? I can't recall if the rules say you can't, I know there's now a back up but why not multiples?
A ship may have a maximum of two computers (a primary and a backup), but the second must have a lower Processing score than the primary.
If we could use multiple computers we would just use hundreds of m/5, basically for free.

I will continue with a single computer operating at a time.

And that limits Virtual Crew and Virtual Gunner for large ships. There is a lot of other software you want to run. Besides meatsacks can have greater skill than the software, which you really want.
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Re: The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby phavoc » Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:06 pm

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Thu Jun 22, 2017 6:40 pm
I do not intend to ever drop the tanks, I agree that is logistically unacceptable. I use drop tanks since they are slightly cheaper than hull.

A small escort does not matter, if enemy warships can get at the tenders they die. Stealth would be desirable, but is very expensive. Superior stealth is economically unfeasible.
For drop tanks, do you assume that they have the same level or armor that hull does? That seems to take all the advantages of drop tanks without any disadvantages. In theory your drop tanks have the possibility of occluding turret arc's of fire, covering up sensors, etc. If you model them like normal aircraft drop tanks they are sufficient to do the job but cannot survive combat (i.e. they have zero armor). If you think of them like an F-15s FAST packs, they provide weapon stores capability since they are conformal. Each one (2 are possible) carries 850gal, as opposed to the internal fuel capability of 3,500gal.

From a combat perspective drop tanks should get shredded at the first incident of combat, hence drop tanks are also a liability in that sense.
AnotherDilbert wrote:
Thu Jun 22, 2017 6:40 pm
h1ro wrote: I haven't finished the BRH I spoke of, to be honest, it's a beast of a ship and there are other things I'd rather be doing with the time but at 120,000 tons you can get the largest meson spinal, max armour and enough bays and turrets to do a lot of damage. The 2e allows you to use virtual gunners so the crew/stateroom requirements are manageable.

What are people's thoughts on using multiple core computers? I can't recall if the rules say you can't, I know there's now a back up but why not multiples?
A ship may have a maximum of two computers (a primary and a backup), but the second must have a lower Processing score than the primary.
If we could use multiple computers we would just use hundreds of m/5, basically for free.

I will continue with a single computer operating at a time.

And that limits Virtual Crew and Virtual Gunner for large ships. There is a lot of other software you want to run. Besides meatsacks can have greater skill than the software, which you really want.
There's really no practical reason why you would be limited to having a backup computer of lesser quality.
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Re: The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby AnotherDilbert » Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:14 pm

phavoc wrote: For drop tanks, do you assume that they have the same level or armor that hull does?
...

From a combat perspective drop tanks should get shredded at the first incident of combat, hence drop tanks are also a liability in that sense.
No, I use them as RAW: No armour and easily destroyed. Hence only ships that do not plan on being shot at can rely on them.

phavoc wrote: There's really no practical reason why you would be limited to having a backup computer of lesser quality.
Agreed, but it's a very small point.
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Re: The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby Condottiere » Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:05 am

1. Imperium Navy doctrine seems clear: you only commit battle rider squadrons with overwhelming force.

2. Computers have no volume, only cost and bandwidth; we know from current experience there is bandwidth multiplied by core speed, and there is such a thing as diminishing returns. Computers in Traveller don't make sense.
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Re: The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby h1ro » Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:35 pm

The rules mention distributed networks for capital ships, makes sense to me that all ships have distributed networks and that the numbers for cost and bandwidth reflect this. That would make it a simple argument for not having multiple computers thru the ship as that's what's already there.
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Re: The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby steve98052 » Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:42 pm

locarno24 wrote:
Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:08 am
. . .
Assume shots are being exchanged at long range at 30,000km apart. That's 0.1 light seconds (because I like making maths easier).

. . . That means I have to guess your target point based on 0.2 seconds of unobserved acceleration.
. . .
This is the line of reasoning I took when I puzzled over how Traveller combat should work if real lasers of that power, sharpness, and steadiness of aim are assumed possible.

Note that sharpness is limited by the diameter of the aiming system (larger is better) and the wavelength of the light (or X-rays, if there is a way to generate them besides detonation lasers). Those are hard limits of physics, not technology. This explains in terms of viewing optics, but also applies to projection optics:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diffracti ... ted_system

When trying to hit a dodging target, there are two approaches, and the choice depends on the degree of possible dodging. One is to try a single great pulse, which hurts a lot if it hits but risks a miss. The other is a salvo, which always hits, with the number of hits proportional to the ratio of angular area to angular dodge area. Continuous beams are more complicated than pulses, obviously.
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Re: The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby steve98052 » Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:42 pm

locarno24 wrote:
Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:08 am
. . .
Assume shots are being exchanged at long range at 30,000km apart. That's 0.1 light seconds (because I like making maths easier).

. . . That means I have to guess your target point based on 0.2 seconds of unobserved acceleration.
. . .
This is the line of reasoning I took when I puzzled over how Traveller combat should work if real lasers of that power, sharpness, and steadiness of aim are assumed possible.

Note that sharpness is limited by the diameter of the aiming system (larger is better) and the wavelength of the light (or X-rays, if there is a way to generate them besides detonation lasers). Those are hard limits of physics, not technology. This explains in terms of viewing optics, but also applies to projection optics:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diffracti ... ted_system

When trying to hit a dodging target, there are two approaches, and the choice depends on the degree of possible dodging. One is to try a single great pulse, which hurts a lot if it hits but risks a miss. The other is a salvo, which always hits, with the number of hits proportional to the ratio of angular area to angular dodge area. Continuous beams are more complicated than pulses, obviously.
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Re: The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Jun 24, 2017 11:30 am

Reynard wrote:
Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:55 pm
Going back to the original question, "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?".
...
Question now is what would a true fleet escort look like?
How can we kill fighters streaking in towards dogfight?

If we assume that we have some fighters closing in towards some ships that tries to keep the distance open to avoid dogfight.
We start at Distant range. The ships accelerate away from the fighters at 8G and use 1G "Aid Gunners". The fighters accelerate towards the ships with 22G and use 3G to be able to dodge thrice every round.

We then spend 3 rounds at Distant range, 2 rounds at Very Long, 1 round at Long, and then we are in dogfight.

At Very Long range we can attack with Pulse lasers(Long Range advantage) and Particle barbettes.
The ships turrets hits at (pulse laser adds additional +2):
+6[gunner] +3[AdvFireCntl] +1[aid gunner] -4[range] -2[evade] -6[dodge] = -2, hit 10+ (16.7%).
The fourth attack on each fighter, that cannot be dodged:
+6[gunner] +3[AdvFireCntl] +1[aid gunner] -4[range] -2[evade] = +4, hit 4+ (91.7%).

A Pulse laser turret (2D+4) at ±0 to hit against Armour 15 does 0.1 average damage.
A Pulse laser turret (2D+4) at +6 (no dodge) to hit against Armour 15 does 1.93 average damage and has a 35% chance of a critical hit.

A Particle barbette (4D) at -2 to hit against Armour 15 does 0.21 average damage.
A Particle barbette (4D) at +4 (no dodge) to hit against Armour 15 does 2.82 average damage and has a 15% chance of a critical hit.

If we give the Particle barbette an Accurate advantage:
A Particle barbette(Accurate) (4D) at -1 to hit against Armour 15 does 0.40 average damage.
A Particle barbette(Accurate) (4D) at +5 (no dodge) to hit against Armour 15 does 3.56 average damage and has a 26% chance of a critical hit.

If we give the Particle barbette an Intense Focus advantage:
A Particle barbette(Focus) (4D, AP 2) at -2 to hit against Armour 15 does 0.40 average damage.
A Particle barbette(Focus) (4D, AP 2) at +4 (no dodge) to hit against Armour 15 does 4.27 average damage and has a 16% chance of a critical hit.

Given the smaller size, Pulse laser turrets are doing quite well, especially as they are also effective against missiles. We should strongly consider equipping our fighters with Reflec.

A Pulse laser turret (2D+4) at ±0 to hit against Armour 15 + Reflec does 0.00 average damage.
A Pulse laser turret (2D+4) at +6 (no dodge) to hit against Armour 15 + Reflec does 0.59 average damage and has a 20% chance of a critical hit.

To kill a medium fighter (Hull 17) it would take about 25 laser attacks or about 7 particle attacks if they dodge thrice.

So, to build a dedicated anti-fighter escort we should use Particle barbettes, or to build a multi-purpose anti-fighter & anti-missile escort we should use laser turrets. The same goes for any unfilled hardpoints on major warships. Note that escort ships have no advantage over such tertiary armament.
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Re: The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby baithammer » Sat Jun 24, 2017 1:19 pm

Could use a mix of missile barbettes and pulse lasers with a couple of type 3 point defense systems. ( One type 3 to defend the ship with the second one to defend the escorted vessel.)

Usually would have more than one escort ship as well.

Fragmentation missiles can be an interesting touch.
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Re: The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Jun 24, 2017 1:59 pm

At TL 15 a basic escort might have J4, 9G, Armour 15 + Reflec, and a ship's boat.

At 1900 Dt (frigate) it would cost MCr ~1500 and have ~250 Dt left over for armaments. Most of the space will be consumed by gunnery crew. 19 barbettes will barely fit, and 19 turrets will leave 75 Dt. Barbettes will cost MCr ~100 more.

At 5100 Dt (destroyer) (to get a rebate on the crew requirements) it would cost MCr ~3500 and have ~1000 Dt left over for armaments, plenty of space for either barbettes or turrets. 51 barbettes will leave ~600 Dt and 51 turrets will leave ~800 Dt.


The frigate would be much better protected against bays and especially spinals, but be vulnerable to criticals from turrets. Yet who would waste spinals on mere escorts? The destroyer is more efficient and has a lot of space for bays, screens, fighters or marines. The destroyer might be vulnerable to criticals from large bays as it might carry itself.

Let's see: At 5100 Dt the destroyer would have about 2244 Hull, 1% of that is 22 Hull so 22 Damage is required to achieve a Severity 1 critical.

A large Particle bay with Accurate advantage at, say, Long range would hit at:
+6[gunner] +5[FireCntl] +1[aid gunner] +1[accurate] +4[largeBay] -2[range] -3[evade] -6[dodge] = +6, hit 2+, critical 8+ (42%). Once we overcome dodges we autocrit.
Average damage on crit: 8D × ( 3.5 + 1 ) +6[Effect] -15[Armour] ≈ 27 damage, so Severity 1.
We need ~48 criticals to disable a ship, so this is less efficient than just doing damage with smaller bays.

A large Fusion bay with Long range advantage:
+6[gunner] +5[FireCntl] +1[aid gunner] +4[largeBay] -2[range] -3[evade] -6[dodge] = +5, hit 3+, critical 9+ (28%).
Average damage on crit: 2DD × ( 3.5 + 1 ) × 10 -15[Armour] ≈ 75 damage, so Severity 3 (or 28% chance of Severity 4).
We need about 20 such crits to achieve a Severity 4 Fuel crit and hence disable the ship. Still less efficient than destroying the ship with damage.

So, we need not be overly worried about crits.

Conclusion: It seems a 5 - 10 kDt destroyer is suitable as a fleet escort.

Such a ship will not defeat an equal budget of either battleships or fighters, but will be somewhat effective against either.
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Re: The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby h1ro » Sat Jun 24, 2017 2:27 pm

OK, I may be putting my foot in my mouth (again) but what about fighting fire with fire? Will fighters provide the best defence against fighters?
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Re: The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Jun 24, 2017 2:28 pm

baithammer wrote:
Sat Jun 24, 2017 1:19 pm
Could use a mix of missile barbettes and pulse lasers with a couple of type 3 point defense systems. ( One type 3 to defend the ship with the second one to defend the escorted vessel.)

Usually would have more than one escort ship as well.

Fragmentation missiles can be an interesting touch.
We could use modular mounts, but a module containing either a 1 Dt turret or a 20 Dt PD Battery would probably waste space.

Otherwise laser turrets is the compromise armament, it is at least marginally effective in all situations, probably better than a mix of weapons where only some of them are effective in any given situation.
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Re: The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Jun 24, 2017 2:40 pm

h1ro wrote: OK, I may be putting my foot in my mouth (again) but what about fighting fire with fire? Will fighters provide the best defence against fighters?
Fighters are very effective against fighters, but among reasonably equal fighters the greater number will quickly win with limited losses.

If you have a regular fleet and some fighters, and the enemy have lots of fighters, then your fighters will be killed with very small losses for the enemy.

If you can build dedicated escort fighters that are much cheaper than strike fighters (that needs a massive acceleration advantage to get to dogfight range) so that you can have a regular fleet and still have almost as many fighters as the enemy, that wold be an effective way to neutralise fighters.
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Re: The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby baithammer » Sat Jun 24, 2017 3:19 pm

Was thinking of an escort of around 1,900t with same speed as the escort ships but with 2x type 3 Point Defense systems, 8x triple pulse laser turrets, 8x Missile Barbettes and a single small torpedo bay so it has something to bear on bigger ships.
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Re: The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Jun 24, 2017 3:58 pm

baithammer wrote:
Sat Jun 24, 2017 3:19 pm
Was thinking of an escort of around 1,900t with same speed as the escort ships but with 2x type 3 Point Defense systems, 8x triple pulse laser turrets, 8x Missile Barbettes and a single small torpedo bay so it has something to bear on bigger ships.
You could, but it would take a lot of space for the bay that would not be very effective. The bay launches only 3 torpedoes, such a small salvo will be killed by even a half-hearted EW action.

Missiles and torpedoes are best launched in overwhelming salvoes.

Something like 3 medium missile bays (reduced size) + 16 missile fixed mounts would probably be a better idea, it would launch a salvo of 120 missiles, not easily swept away with EW. With frag missiles it would even be rather effective against missiles. It would save a lot of gunners.
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Re: The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby Reynard » Sat Jun 24, 2017 4:28 pm

Moved to suitable thread.
Last edited by Reynard on Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
baithammer
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Re: The Close Escort: not viable?

Postby baithammer » Sat Jun 24, 2017 4:50 pm

An all missile setup would limit the escorts endurance and would make it more of an offensive platform than an escort.

It should only operate as a single picket in a case of a low threat environment, in normal operation it would work in at least pairs or as part of picket squadrons for larger fleets. ( Which the small bay adds to group offensive capability.)

The torpedoes allow it to hit above its weight limit while still acting as a picket. ( Using multi-warhead torpedoes can have them count as if 9 torpedoes.)

The ship is also designed to use bog standard weapons and systems in order to allow for mass production and per unit cost. ( None of the high tech addons.)

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