Battle Riders

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

Postby baithammer » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:14 pm

Adding in space for a jump drive and fuel takes away from their point of existence.
A low jump drive uses trivial amount of space and offsets the biggest vulnerability of the battle rider, namely the in ability to extract itself from the area of operation if over matched. Also means the tenders aren't required to stay on the field, so don't require being equipped with heavy armament.
phavoc
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby phavoc » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:28 pm

Do you consider 15% of a ships displacement trivial? That 15% could be used for additional armor, or faster M-drives so that they could outrun defenders, rendezvous with their tender and jump out before they could be engaged by heavier forces.

A more sound tactic would be for an invading force to jump in near a gas giant, deploy the riders to destroy any enemy opposition, allow the tender to refuel while deploying scout elements, and then make the decision on whether or not the defending forces would be able to mount a credible defense to the invading force. All this could be accomplished within 72hrs, which is insufficient time for out-system forces to reinforce the defenders.

The disadvantage to this is that it allows a defender to marshal any forces spread out in the system. Though since most systems will generally have a single primary target this is not necessarily an advantage.

Setting up a fuel dump in deep space, or rendezvous with tanker support is possible, but probably not practical. It would take a great deal of time to build up sufficient fuel stores, or the dedication of a large number of tankers (though to be fair with the reduction of fuel needs in v2 tankers become more viable).
baithammer
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby baithammer » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:40 pm

Do you consider 15% of a ships displacement trivial?
It would be closer to 12.5% and in the grand scheme of things yes its trivial.
That 15% could be used for additional armor, or faster M-drives so that they could outrun defenders, rendezvous with their tender and jump out before they could be engaged by heavier forces.
Max armor is generally assumed in the battle rider design so that isn't a factor, faster m-drives can already be added and docking with a tender after being already engaged takes a long time to reattach the battle riders and spool up the jump drive. ( Also risk losing the tender and all riders.)

Where provisioning both the rider with a jump 1 drive allows for a far more rapid escape and having a jump 1 fuel on the tender removes the risk of leaving them on field. ( Also allows for the tender to carry larger riders per volume as the tender wouldn't require as much armaments.)
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby baithammer » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:54 pm

A more sound tactic would be for an invading force to jump in near a gas giant
Which generally are heavily defended in at risk systems and leaves the fleet vulnerable as it requires sitting at that location until resupplied.
allow the tender to refuel while deploying scout elements
Scouts are deployed before the fleet enters system anyways as it determines where the fleet should enter and evaluates whether its feasible for the fleet to overcome the opposition.

Refueling takes at least an hour if using unrefined fuel and if using refiners adds at least a day to that. Way too long to be on field for the tenders, which adds to the risk with the riders as they can't escape until the tenders are fueled.
Setting up a fuel dump in deep space, or rendezvous with tanker support is possible, but probably not practical.
The deep space point would be setup in advance of the operation via scouts.
It would take a great deal of time to build up sufficient fuel stores
Since we're using high guard, high volume tankers aren't that rare and could use skimming boats to speed the process of refueling.

And since both jumps and communication are done in weeks of time its not uncommon for a long build up.
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby phavoc » Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:26 am

Assuming a 50,000 ton battlerider, a J-1 drive would require 6,250 tons (5,000 tons for fuel, 1,250 tons for the drive itself), MCr 1,875 and 5,000 power points.

By not taking the jump drive you could install 12 large torpedo bays and add 360 torps per turn to your attack, or a Meson-A, Particle-A or Railgun-C spinal mount. The exact configuration would depend on a variety of design choices, but by building the battle rider without the jump drive it will always, assuming TL stays the same, have a significant advantage over an enemy of the same tonnage.

If you were to equip your ships with J-1 drives you might as well jump to your target system, using the already proposed tankers or deep space fuel depots. If you used this tactic you could build fleets with lower-scale jump drives (J-2 would be sufficient) and jump into an enemy system from 1 parsec away and have a reserve of J-1 to retreat if needed. But this means tying up a lot of credits in a fleet that is half as slow strategically than the standard J-4 warship of the Imperial fleet. So the question is would you trade strategic maneuverability for more firepower? The older materials had fleets with a mix of hulls. Obviously the tender is the most vulnerable part of a battle-rider squadron. But, generally speaking, you'd have to defeat the battle riders in battle in order to destroy the tender. Not an impossible task, but one that would not be an easy one.

None of these arguments are new, however. They have been debated, often vociferiously, first on the mailing lists, and now in the various forums. The original TCS tournaments aren't necessarily good examples of what real naval deployments would look like. There ships are designed to fight a battle. In reality a war would have different needs, and thus battleriders might shine more, or less, or work as advertised.
baithammer
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby baithammer » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:08 am

By not taking the jump drive you could install 12 large torpedo bays and add 360 torps per turn to your attack, or a Meson-A, Particle-A or Railgun-C spinal mount. The exact configuration would depend on a variety of design choices, but by building the battle rider without the jump drive it will always, assuming TL stays the same, have a significant advantage over an enemy of the same tonnage.
Assuming the enemy is defending with Jump ships only, a more likely scenario would be defending with larger system defense ships which can out tonnage the battle riders negating the extra 12 large bays as the riders are stuck in system while over matched.

With having the extra jump 1 on the tender and the riders having independent jump capability, being over matched isn't fatal. ( Also doesn't require the tender to stay in system eliminating the biggest risk in the Battle Rider concept.)

In mgt 2ed the 50,000t rider is at serious disadvantage as its only crit immune from small bays and under. ( 100,00+ t buys crit immunity from anything lower than a large bays.)

The tender can be setup with 7x clamps so can bring in 3 x 100,000 t riders or 7x 50,000t riders. (The 50,000t riders would act more like cruisers.)
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby PsiTraveller » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:47 pm

Just to add in a bit of a wrench to the calculations. IMTU I always figure if a system has asteroid belts, or moons they do not mind chopping up the system monitors are planetoid construction. This drops the price down to 4000 per ton. You lose 20 percent of space, but the cost savings allow you to build more ships than an attacker building ships at 50 000 per ton. So the system ship vs Rider ship calculations might have to go to a budget analysis to see how many extra ships a planetoid built defense navy might be able to field.

Although the real cost of a ship is the weapons, but on a 100 000 ton ship you are saving 4.6 billion, so you could pay for more weapons and personnel.
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby AnotherDilbert » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:17 pm

baithammer wrote:
Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:40 pm
Do you consider 15% of a ships displacement trivial?
It would be closer to 12.5% and in the grand scheme of things yes its trivial.
No. Take a simple BR designed around a 24DD Meson:
125 kDt, Armour 15, 9G, Meson 24DD, 100 small bays, 430 turrets, 500 Screens, GCr 95 in quantity.

It has no room to spare, so if we add J-1 capability it becomes:

150 kDt, Armour 15, 9G, Meson 24DD, 100 small bays, 430 turrets, 500 Screens, GCr 111 in quantity.

So it is about 17% more expensive and the tender is 20% more expensive. With other words we get 15% less of them for the same budget.


It is not trivial, but it will probably be worth it the first time a few BatRons can jump out of a loosing battle, instead of being completely destroyed.
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby AnotherDilbert » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:20 pm

baithammer wrote:
Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:54 pm
It would take a great deal of time to build up sufficient fuel stores
Since we're using high guard, high volume tankers aren't that rare and could use skimming boats to speed the process of refueling.

And since both jumps and communication are done in weeks of time its not uncommon for a long build up.
We already have massive transport ships capable of moving large amounts of fuel: the Tenders. Just have them hauling filled fuel tanks instead of the BRs.
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby phavoc » Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:27 am

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:17 pm
No. Take a simple BR designed around a 24DD Meson:
125 kDt, Armour 15, 9G, Meson 24DD, 100 small bays, 430 turrets, 500 Screens, GCr 95 in quantity.

It has no room to spare, so if we add J-1 capability it becomes:

150 kDt, Armour 15, 9G, Meson 24DD, 100 small bays, 430 turrets, 500 Screens, GCr 111 in quantity.

So it is about 17% more expensive and the tender is 20% more expensive. With other words we get 15% less of them for the same budget.

It is not trivial, but it will probably be worth it the first time a few BatRons can jump out of a loosing battle, instead of being completely destroyed.
Increasing the size of the ship isn't a fair comparison. To make a fair comparison you'd have to stay at 125kDt and then compare a J-1 version of it to a non-jump version.
baithammer
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby baithammer » Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:44 am

500 Screens
Wow, that makes spinal weapons useless as every 5 screens reduce 1dd with max at 24DD only need 120 screens.

Which makes the small bays a big liability as the opposition will be crit immune, would be good to have a few large bays in order to deal with the primary targets and rely on cruiser riders to handle the smaller stuff.

Also don't really need to have a lot of extra volume on the riders as they operate with support fleets and for efficiency should be at the sweet spot for effectiveness and volume constraint.
We already have massive transport ships capable of moving large amounts of fuel: the Tenders. Just have them hauling filled fuel tanks instead of the BRs.
Or better yet, replace riders with skimming boats with UNREP System on board for fleet refueling and keeping the tenders out of gravity wells.

Also use some tenders to carry Jump fuel tanks for the tenders on deployment boats for fast redeployment. ( Might be able to combine tank / skimming boats by using modular design.)
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby AndrewW » Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:14 am

baithammer wrote:
Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:44 am
500 Screens
Wow, that makes spinal weapons useless as every 5 screens reduce 1dd with max at 24DD only need 120 screens.
Screens don't protect against particle or railgun spinal mounts.
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby baithammer » Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:31 am

The particle spinal taps out at 10DD, while the railgun taps out at 7DD with ammo limitations and both are reduced by armor before applying the destructive trait.

And no one can afford to not have meson screens as the meson ignores armor below Molecular Bonded (tl16+) and tops out at 24 DD.
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby AndrewW » Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:06 am

baithammer wrote:
Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:31 am
The particle spinal taps out at 10DD, while the railgun taps out at 7DD with ammo limitations and both are reduced by armor before applying the destructive trait.
Not useless though.
baithammer wrote:
Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:31 am
And no one can afford to not have meson screens as the meson ignores armor below Molecular Bonded (tl16+) and tops out at 24 DD.
Molecular Bonded armour doesn't offer any extra protection against Meson.
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby baithammer » Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:57 am

Got confused with tachyon AP removal, which just makes the meson a nastier threat.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby AnotherDilbert » Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:04 pm

baithammer wrote:
500 Screens
Wow, that makes spinal weapons useless as every 5 screens reduce 1dd with max at 24DD only need 120 screens.
Not against spinals, as the capital ship rules confirm. 500 screens is a random (low) amount just to give it some appearance of defences.

baithammer wrote: Which makes the small bays a big liability as the opposition will be crit immune, would be good to have a few large bays in order to deal with the primary targets and rely on cruiser riders to handle the smaller stuff.
Crits are pointless against ships. The hundreds of engineers in the crew will repair them before next round. Anything with a spinal will be immune to crits from even large bays due to minimum damage.

At 125 kDt the BR will have ~100 000 Hull, so you need to do at least 1% of that or 1000 damage to inflict a critical hit. A large bay tops out at ~125 damage, and is completely unable to inflict a crit on large ships.

Against ships small enough to actually inflict crits, you will disable them with Hull damage before you disable them with crits.


But you can replace the 100 bays with 20 large bays if you think that is better.
Last edited by AnotherDilbert on Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby AnotherDilbert » Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:12 pm

phavoc wrote:
Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:27 am
Increasing the size of the ship isn't a fair comparison. To make a fair comparison you'd have to stay at 125kDt and then compare a J-1 version of it to a non-jump version.
That is precisely the fair comparison in my opinion. A warship is crammed full of components, if we want to add capability we have to make the ship bigger.

I generally design for capability, not some arbitrary size.


But sure, we can remove capability instead. The 125 kDt BR with J-1 would have an 18DD spinal, so have 25% less firepower (and some free space) if that makes you happier.
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby AnotherDilbert » Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:22 pm

baithammer wrote: ... and both are reduced by armor before applying the destructive trait.
Destructive before armour, but it doesn't matter for spinals, since both effects are multiplicative.
baithammer wrote: And no one can afford to not have meson screens ...
If the enemy uses meson spinals, otherwise the meson screens are just dead weight.

If the enemy instead prefers massive amounts of particle, fighters or missiles you need other defences.
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby baithammer » Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:02 pm

Anything with a spinal will be immune to crits from even large bays due to minimum damage.
Crits are pointless against ships. The hundreds of engineers in the crew will repair them before next round. Anything with a spinal will be immune to crits from even large bays due to minimum damage.
Not based on how critical hits are explained, as there are two types of critical hits.

1.)
If an attack roll against a spacecraft has an Effect of
6 or higher and it causes damage (rather than just
bouncing off armour), a critical hit has been scored
2.)
A ship will suffer a severity 1 critical hit everytime it
loses 10% (rounded up) of its starting hull.
Number 2 is further modified by the following 2 addendum.

1.)
• Ships larger than 2,000 tons ignore critical hits
from turrets and barbettes.
• Ships larger than 10,000 tons ignore critical hits
from all weapons except medium and large bay
weapons.
• Ships larger than 100,000 tons ignore critical hits
from all weapons except large bays.


2.)
The Severity of a critical hit is based on 1%
increments of the ship’s hull value (minimum 10 points
of damage).
I also suspect the damage in question is the total after defenses are taken into account for the turn rather than per individual system given the following.
All effects are cumulative, and
any extra damage caused by the effects of critical hits
ignores the spacecraft’s Armour.
As to the Screens part, base rules have 1DD reduced per 5 screens with the meson topping out at 24DD.

The Fleet rules are a bit wonky with the handling of screens with the 5 per screen multiplied by crew skill compared to the 10,000 per DD for the meson even after the /10 damage.
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby AnotherDilbert » Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:49 pm

Umm, no.

There is only one type of crit. It can be inflicted in two ways.

Cumulative sustained damage: Each 10% of Hull lost inflicts a crit. This is not modified or reduced by anything.

Critical attack: Effect 6+ and damage larger than 0, or Hull × 1% for large ships. This is reduced by:
• Ships larger than 2,000 tons ignore critical hits from turrets and barbettes.
• Ships larger than 10,000 tons ignore critical hits from all weapons except medium and large bay
weapons.
• Ships larger than 100,000 tons ignore critical hits from all weapons except large bays.

This applied to effects of critical hits, not how they are inflicted:
All effects are cumulative, and any extra damage caused by the effects of critical hits
ignores the spacecraft’s Armour.

Note that:
Repair System (Engineer)
A Traveller on engineer duty can attempt to effect a quick repair to the effects of a critical hit. This requires an Average (8+) Engineer check (1 round, INT or EDU) with a negative DM equal to the Severity of the critical hit. ...
Note that only the effects of the critical hit can be repaired, and these quick repairs will only last for 1D hours. Any Hull damage and destroyed equipment and weapons cannot be repaired this way and will require the spacecraft to leave combat.
So normally any crits will be repaired quickly. The only exception is destroyed systems such as Fuel or Jump Drive severity 4 effects.

So unless you can inflict lots of crits, or many severity 4 crits they will not be very noticeable.


From what I understand from the beta program, crits are not supposed to disable large ships such as battleships. Only massive attritional damage is supposed to do that.

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