Battle Riders

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
baithammer
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby baithammer » Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:43 pm

The problem here is that the tender would need fuel to jump into the system, then jump out.
Drop Tanks can allow the initial jump and use internal jump fuel for the return.
And you'd have to have fueling sources, or at least tankers, at the other system.
Any time your committing a Battle Rider fleet, you will want a support fleet close by.

For the fleet tankers, I'd add scoop boats so you don't risk the tankers near large bodies.
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby AnotherDilbert » Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:22 pm

h1ro wrote:
Thu Jun 29, 2017 5:59 pm
baithammer wrote:
Thu Jun 29, 2017 5:48 pm
One way to solve the Battle Rider Tender issues would be to add a jump-1 drive to the rider and have the tenders jump out to a jump-1 rally point.
Interesting idea, have you designed a few to see what the jump fuel and drive take from the offencive/defencive of a BR?
I have tried in CT. Very expensive.

By a quick estimate MgT2 is more forgiving: A 12 kDt BR with a 2DD Meson would become 14 kDt and little more than 10% more expensive. Probably worth it.
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby AnotherDilbert » Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:50 pm

phavoc wrote:
Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:34 pm
Jumping to outer gas giants, or even an ice asteroid would be better. The Sol system has three gas giants, plus numerous other options for refuleling (Mimas for example, plus the Oort belt).
Quite, you can't defend all refuelling points in most systems. If you split your forces you risk being defeated in detail.

It is probably better to concentrate around the main world, that is what you are trying to defend anyway.


If at all possible it is preferable to jump in with some fuel in reserve, enough to jump out again immediately. E.g a J4 fleet should try to jump in from 2 Pc. If you have time you can build up a deep space fuel cache near the enemy held system.

Jumping into probable combat with empty tanks is a desperate gamble...
baithammer
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby baithammer » Thu Jun 29, 2017 8:08 pm

The thinking with the purposed design is to have scouted a deep point 1 jump away from the planned area of operation, bring in fleet tankers / Battle Tenders/other support ships and then jump the tenders in using fuel from drop tanks.

When on site, detach the battle riders and jump the tenders back to the deep point.
h1ro
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby h1ro » Thu Jun 29, 2017 8:41 pm

Makes for a cool strategic game... I wonder if Matt's hinting at the FFW being a focus for 2018 will mean a new version of the board game?

If so, I dearly hope they redesign the ships from 2e but as it seems 2e makes so many classic/canon ships redundant it'd be quite a leap against "The Grognard Nation"!

;)
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby steve98052 » Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:20 pm

phavoc wrote:
Wed Jun 28, 2017 3:18 pm
In this case a good captain would ask for volunteers and have the non-essential crew use escape pods (though a lot of ships don't include them) or the small craft to leave. Part of his primary duty is to keep his crew alive.
Good point. I guess the call for volunteers would be a matter of counting whether there were enough crew for the suicide mission (which could turn out to be a "make them blink" mission), and if there are more than enough volunteers in a department, the captain says, "You leave anyway, for the next time," and if there aren't enough, the captain says to some of the non-volunteers, "I need five more of you." (On larger ships, department heads might make the call.)

I think every ship would have enough escape pods for the entire crew near their assigned stations, and extras near their quarters, and more extras in common areas. They're just a tough balloon, a rebreather, a beacon, water and snacks, and maybe a dose (or several) of Fast drug. They don't take significant space.
There would be no negative career reactions for those crew who evacuated. Those who stayed would probably get a bump in pay, or rank, a medal or any/all three things. Obviously a raider attacking someone's homeworld has to realize the people are defending their home, and that people doing that are willing to take any risk to protect family - more so than just plain duty. That's part of the human condition.
Yes, in a homeworld defense situation, people would have a different outlook. If crews are chosen well in the first place, I could imagine the entire crew stepping forward, and having to draw lots to decide who has to go to the escape pods.
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby phavoc » Sat Jul 01, 2017 6:07 pm

steve98052 wrote:
Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:20 pm
I think every ship would have enough escape pods for the entire crew near their assigned stations, and extras near their quarters, and more extras in common areas. They're just a tough balloon, a rebreather, a beacon, water and snacks, and maybe a dose (or several) of Fast drug. They don't take significant space.
Most of the basic designs lack escape pods or small craft sufficient for the crew to escape in.
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Jul 01, 2017 7:06 pm

Rescue Bubbles are better than nothing in an emergency, but if you want to survive in space a few hours until you can be picked up you need Re-entry Capsules, or much better lifeboats.

I generally include two capsules per stateroom, especially on military designs, a small but noticeable cost.

At TL12 a 10 Dt automated lifeboat can seat 32 people for a mere MCr 3, or equipped with two brigs it can sleep 24 with hot-bunking. Quite efficient for larger vessels. Obviously not comfortable, but it will keep you alive for a few weeks.
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby steve98052 » Sun Jul 02, 2017 7:44 am

steve98052 wrote:
Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:20 pm
I think every ship would have enough escape pods for the entire crew near their assigned stations, and extras near their quarters, and more extras in common areas. They're just a tough balloon, a rebreather, a beacon, water and snacks, and maybe a dose (or several) of Fast drug. They don't take significant space.
phavoc wrote:
Sat Jul 01, 2017 6:07 pm
Most of the basic designs lack escape pods or small craft sufficient for the crew to escape in.
It's possible that we're referring to different things as escape pods. What I mean is essentially an inflatable bag with short term life support, which can be used as extended life support with Fast drug. To use it you climb in, sack-race into an airlock, and shove out when the doors open into space. They're pretty much like space suits, except they store smaller, and you can scratch your nose in them.

I get the impression that you're referring to a hard shell object with a launcher. Those would indeed be specialty equipment.
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sun Jul 02, 2017 6:32 pm

RESCUE BUBBLE (TL9)
A large (2 metre diameter) plastic bubble. ...
Core, p115. (2 kg, Cr 600)

Re-entry Capsule (TL8)
These capsules allow the quick exit of a spacecraft to the surface of any planet it is orbiting. They feature heavy heat-shielding and can provide a rocky, though relatively safe, passage through the atmosphere. Each capsule holds one person and is generally used as an emergency escape facility to save lives when a ship is in danger of being destroyed.
A re-entry capsule consumes 0.5 tons and costs Cr20000.
HG, p46.
phavoc
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby phavoc » Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:26 am

steve98052 wrote:
Sun Jul 02, 2017 7:44 am
It's possible that we're referring to different things as escape pods. What I mean is essentially an inflatable bag with short term life support, which can be used as extended life support with Fast drug. To use it you climb in, sack-race into an airlock, and shove out when the doors open into space. They're pretty much like space suits, except they store smaller, and you can scratch your nose in them.

I get the impression that you're referring to a hard shell object with a launcher. Those would indeed be specialty equipment.
Yes, I'm referring to more of an escape pod that launches itself violently away from a ship you are evacuating - generally because it's become hazardous and will soon be of many smaller pieces. :) If a ship itself is dead, then you could stay onboard and not need a rescue bubble, or at least tether yourself to your hulk since it's easier to find. If your ship was in danger of de-orbiting around a planetary body then you'd want the ability to leave it. You man not want to use a reentry pod if the planet below is a hazard or mayhaps it is a vacuum.

In any case an escape pod should provide basic lifesupport, a rescue beacon and basic means to quickly escape from the ship - as well as the ability to land on a planet if needed. small ships like a free trader probably wouldn't have any, as they are essentially big rigs in space. But any passenger liner, and warships of a certain size or above, should. You can use today's vessels as rough space analogues to determine what kind and number of escape pods (life rafts and small boats are naval equivalents) would be needed. Though Traveller ships have rarely mounted them.
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby steve98052 » Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:53 pm

phavoc wrote:
Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:26 am
Yes, I'm referring to more of an escape pod that launches itself violently away from a ship you are evacuating - generally because it's become hazardous and will soon be of many smaller pieces. :) If a ship itself is dead, then you could stay onboard and not need a rescue bubble, or at least tether yourself to your hulk since it's easier to find. If your ship was in danger of de-orbiting around a planetary body then you'd want the ability to leave it. . . .
Agreed. For the case of the planetary defense suicide mission I mentioned, the Rescue Bubble is the right tool for the job, because although the entire thrust provided upon partial evacuation is a shove out the airlock door, the ship would soon be flying off at ramming acceleration, so the evacuated nonessential crew will be safe far from the site of the collision (or the attacker's jump or withdrawal).
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby phavoc » Wed Jul 05, 2017 6:25 pm

steve98052 wrote:
Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:53 pm
phavoc wrote:
Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:26 am
Yes, I'm referring to more of an escape pod that launches itself violently away from a ship you are evacuating - generally because it's become hazardous and will soon be of many smaller pieces. :) If a ship itself is dead, then you could stay onboard and not need a rescue bubble, or at least tether yourself to your hulk since it's easier to find. If your ship was in danger of de-orbiting around a planetary body then you'd want the ability to leave it. . . .
Agreed. For the case of the planetary defense suicide mission I mentioned, the Rescue Bubble is the right tool for the job, because although the entire thrust provided upon partial evacuation is a shove out the airlock door, the ship would soon be flying off at ramming acceleration, so the evacuated nonessential crew will be safe far from the site of the collision (or the attacker's jump or withdrawal).
The only problem with that is your rescue bubble will still have the same vector as the ship that did the ramming... so it might take you a few hours or more, but you run a real risk of continuing to drift into the debris field the ship you evacuated from just created by ramming.

I'd still prefer an escape pod that is able to maneuver and ensure you aren't just postponing your death.
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby AnotherDilbert » Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:37 pm

The Rescue Bubble is the space the space equivalent of a life vest, it might keep you alive during an emergency but is no replacement for a life boat.

It has very limited life support capacity and basically no protection against hits or radiation. Being close to a naval battle with nukes, fusion guns, and PAWs will kill you. A solar flare might kill you. Being close to a gas giant might kill you. Passing through a radiation band around a planet might kill you. Debris from the wreck or a micrometeorite might kill you.

The Bubble will only keep you alive for a very short time. Unless you are close to a major starport with fast rescue vessels standing by or another ship happens to be in the vicinity you are likely dead anyway.
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby steve98052 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:22 pm

phavoc wrote:
Wed Jul 05, 2017 6:25 pm
The only problem with that is your rescue bubble will still have the same vector as the ship that did the ramming... so it might take you a few hours or more, but you run a real risk of continuing to drift into the debris field the ship you evacuated from just created by ramming.

I'd still prefer an escape pod that is able to maneuver and ensure you aren't just postponing your death.
That's a fair point. But the ramming ship would be able to maneuver a few degrees off the ramming course while the nonessential crew jump out of the airlocks in the bubbles, and they'd end up well away from the debris field.

Maybe a better strategy -- if there's any anticipated threat of raiders who might threaten the homeworld -- would be a fleet of small, fast, very heavily armored fighters with minimal crew (just a pilot and a gunner), who sign up for a special "Suicide Squadron" assignment. The only real countermeasures to them are for the raiders to have the acceleration to dodge them, the anti-fighter firepower to disable them before they're too close to dodge, or their own suicide fighters tasked with ramming them first.

Such suicide fighters would still be useful in routine duty; a very fast fighter could encourage cooperation with local space traffic control, customs cutters, etc. Even if they never had a chance to play chicken with an Ihatei raider or a K'kree G'naak-trampler, or score a posthumous SEH, they'd still have enough to do to keep busy. And that Suicide Squadron shoulder patch might be worth a few free drinks at the Navy tavern for a few years after an incident where a raider backed off in the face of a ramming threat, even if they weren't personally involved.
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby phavoc » Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:27 pm

steve98052 wrote:
Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:22 pm
That's a fair point. But the ramming ship would be able to maneuver a few degrees off the ramming course while the nonessential crew jump out of the airlocks in the bubbles, and they'd end up well away from the debris field.

Maybe a better strategy -- if there's any anticipated threat of raiders who might threaten the homeworld -- would be a fleet of small, fast, very heavily armored fighters with minimal crew (just a pilot and a gunner), who sign up for a special "Suicide Squadron" assignment. The only real countermeasures to them are for the raiders to have the acceleration to dodge them, the anti-fighter firepower to disable them before they're too close to dodge, or their own suicide fighters tasked with ramming them first.

Such suicide fighters would still be useful in routine duty; a very fast fighter could encourage cooperation with local space traffic control, customs cutters, etc. Even if they never had a chance to play chicken with an Ihatei raider or a K'kree G'naak-trampler, or score a posthumous SEH, they'd still have enough to do to keep busy. And that Suicide Squadron shoulder patch might be worth a few free drinks at the Navy tavern for a few years after an incident where a raider backed off in the face of a ramming threat, even if they weren't personally involved.
Human history is littered with examples of zealots who willingly died for their country/leader/cause. The only problem is that zealots willing to sacrifice themselves are typically not the best trained people (as gaining experience requires living through a few battles...). It's always possible, but usually problematic. If you are going to suicide it'd probably be better to use drones of some sort. Not having to rely upon someone who might change their mind isn't a bad thing.

Today's suicide bombers are typically not very trained, just believers. The 9-11 pilots had the bare minimum of flight experience and training to do their job - fortunately for them buildings don't typically dodge or try to avoid the attack. The Japanese pilots who flew kamikaze's were terribly inaccurate (about 20% actually hit their targets) - even though the ones that did make it through caused considerable damage. The key though is that many missed because a) they were inexperienced pilots and b) their zeal to die for the cause clouded their judgement.

In any case we don't actually have any rules for how much a ramming fighter would do to a capital ship. Should a vessel that can shrug off nuclear attacks be able to shrug off fighters impacting collapsed matter armor? We already know the physics of reality don't necessarily work in the Traveller universe all the time. Something like this could be another casualty of reality.
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:48 am

I have always felt that a Battle Rider should have Jump-1. Let the Tender bring them in and release them, then jump out 1 parsec (empty space). If the ships get damaged, they can jump to safety without risking the Tender.

15% for a drive and fuel for 1 jump isn't too much and adds a lot of flexibility to the fleet.
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baithammer
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby baithammer » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:27 pm

Or fit the jump 4 fuel in a drop tank and have jump 1 reserve for system exit and link up with a deep point logistics fleet.
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby phavoc » Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:39 pm

Rikki Tikki Traveller wrote:
Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:48 am
I have always felt that a Battle Rider should have Jump-1. Let the Tender bring them in and release them, then jump out 1 parsec (empty space). If the ships get damaged, they can jump to safety without risking the Tender.

15% for a drive and fuel for 1 jump isn't too much and adds a lot of flexibility to the fleet.
This assumes that there is a system 1 parsec away that has a gas giant, ice moon or planetary water deposit from which it can refuel. And unmolested at that.

The point of battle riders is that, ton for ton, no starship can match them in lethality. Adding in space for a jump drive and fuel takes away from their point of existence.
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby AnotherDilbert » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:19 pm

phavoc wrote:
Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:39 pm
This assumes that there is a system 1 parsec away that has a gas giant, ice moon or planetary water deposit from which it can refuel. And unmolested at that.
Not really, deep space rendezvous with the tenders or fuel dump is assumed.

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