Battle Riders

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
AnotherDilbert
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Battle Riders

Postby AnotherDilbert » Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:36 am

Continued from thread "The Close Escort: not viable?": viewtopic.php?f=89&t=120352

Some old discussion from the beta here: viewtopic.php?f=89&t=118701

h1ro wrote: For shits and giggles I started the smallest ship that will hold the largest meson spinal this morning. I quickly realized it was going to be a battle rider. Will finish it up at some point (120,000 ton ships take a lot of work) along with a battle tender to carry it. Will see how many I can clamp to one tender.
AnotherDilbert wrote: I don't think Battle Riders are a good idea in MgT2. A Battleship will have a lot more Hull points, and hence be a lot harder to kill. But I have only worked through a few simple examples.
...
Since MgT2 combat is entirely attritional, the Battleship is now the better choice.
AnotherDilbert wrote: 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.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby AnotherDilbert » Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:14 am

Let's fight it out...

We get 1.77 BBs for each BRH with equal budget, let's call that 16 BBs against 9 BRHs.

To hit at Long Range: _ +6[gunner] +5[software] +1[aid gunner] -2[range] -3[evade] -6[dodge] = +1, hit 7+ (58%).
After dodges are done: +6[gunner] +5[software] +1[aid gunner] -2[range] -3[evade] = +7, autohit (100%).

A BB does about 8 × 3.5 × 1000 ≈ 28000 damage against a BRH Hull of 81500, so three hits kills a BRH.
A BRH does about 24 × 3.5 × 1000 ≈ 84000 damage against a BB Hull of 84700, so one hit kills a BB (or close enough to be mopped up with secondary armaments).

With 9G you have 1 aid gunner action and 8 dodge action, which seems enough.

The 16 BBs hits on average 16 × 0.58 ≈ 9 times, killing 3 BRHs, which is 33% of the enemy force.
The 9 BRHs hits on average 9 × 0.58 ≈ 5 times, killing 5 BBs, which is 31% of the enemy force.

So in combat they are about equal, but the BRHs have severe tactical disadvantages in being unable to retreat and needing to protect the tenders.

I'll take the BBs.
h1ro
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby h1ro » Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:43 pm

At the end of the day, a BR is just an SDB. Add a BT into the equation and it becomes mobile but at a disadvantage as it's reliant on the tender tho perhaps the tender is a normal part of SDB operations as few systems will have the facilities to build such large ships and the ships will need to be placed. A doctrine could be worked out for best implementation as a defensive ship and in certain situations one where it could be used offensively.

Interesting question for the number crunching discussion - at what point would a ship surrender/escape rather than be lost? These are expensive ships that are not easily replaced. Now I know that's a tactical question rather than one aimed at the sense behind the design but it's still relevant.
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby phavoc » Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:04 pm

h1ro wrote:
Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:43 pm
At the end of the day, a BR is just an SDB. Add a BT into the equation and it becomes mobile but at a disadvantage as it's reliant on the tender tho perhaps the tender is a normal part of SDB operations as few systems will have the facilities to build such large ships and the ships will need to be placed. A doctrine could be worked out for best implementation as a defensive ship and in certain situations one where it could be used offensively.

Interesting question for the number crunching discussion - at what point would a ship surrender/escape rather than be lost? These are expensive ships that are not easily replaced. Now I know that's a tactical question rather than one aimed at the sense behind the design but it's still relevant.
System warships don't have as much need for interstellar transport as Imperial naval units do. It's always a trade-off. One could think of a large battle rider as a mobile defense platform.

Smaller battleships (coastal battleships pre-WW1) would be deployed in home waters to toughen up defenses. Though the doctrine was never put to use, so it remains an untested theory.
baithammer
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby baithammer » Sat Jun 24, 2017 11:05 am

h1ro wrote:
Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:43 pm
Interesting question for the number crunching discussion - at what point would a ship surrender/escape rather than be lost? These are expensive ships that are not easily replaced. Now I know that's a tactical question rather than one aimed at the sense behind the design but it's still relevant.
Considering it would take a week to send a request for aid, it would be advised to surrender or retreat once you lose the possibility of winning the engagement.

If your ships have good endurance its possible to lay low in system and avoid engagement until reinforcements arrive or arrangement for jumping out can be made.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Jun 24, 2017 2:12 pm

It is not a tactical decision. It depends entirely on the strategic situation.

If a single planet navy defends its homeworld, it should probably never retreat.

In a confrontation between vast empires, a fleet should probably decline to offer battle in unfavourable conditions.
Condottiere
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby Condottiere » Tue Jun 27, 2017 12:17 am

You get court martialed if you surrender your command while it's still capable of fighting; hopeless odds are a mitigating factor, but likely fatal for your career and/or hopes for promotion.

That's why you at least make one pass at the enemy before skedaddling.
baithammer
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby baithammer » Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:14 am

Being able to fight doesn't trump the in ability to complete the action due to being outgunned/out numbered, of course the only one with discretion to do so would be the commander of the fleet. ( Politics on the other hand can trump pretty much anything.)
locarno24
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby locarno24 » Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:16 am

Condottiere wrote:
Tue Jun 27, 2017 12:17 am
You get court martialed if you surrender your command while it's still capable of fighting; hopeless odds are a mitigating factor, but likely fatal for your career and/or hopes for promotion.

That's why you at least make one pass at the enemy before skedaddling.
"For the honor of the flag" is an easy way to take unnecessary casualties, though.

If there is no way in hell he's going to achieve anything but take casualties, you keep your command intact and avoid action. It is an unpopular choice - and, as noted, can cause serious damage to your career - but far less so with people who's opinion actually matters than "so you got two heavy cruisers blown to dust bunnies in a pointless attack run because you didn't want to admit you were running away when that's exactly what you were - and should have been - doing".
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
locarno24
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby locarno24 » Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:17 am

Condottiere wrote:
Tue Jun 27, 2017 12:17 am
You get court martialed if you surrender your command while it's still capable of fighting; hopeless odds are a mitigating factor, but likely fatal for your career and/or hopes for promotion.

That's why you at least make one pass at the enemy before skedaddling.
"For the honor of the flag" is an easy way to take unnecessary casualties, though.

If there is no way in hell he's going to achieve anything but take casualties, you keep your command intact and avoid action. It is an unpopular choice - and, as noted, can cause serious damage to your career - but far less so with people who's opinion actually matters than "so you got two heavy cruisers blown to dust bunnies in a pointless attack run because you didn't want to admit you were running away when that's exactly what you were - and should have been - doing".

Ultimately it normally boils down to whether the objective you're defending (or attacking) is more valuable than a continued fleet-in-being.
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby phavoc » Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:12 pm

baithammer wrote:
Sat Jun 24, 2017 11:05 am
h1ro wrote:
Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:43 pm
Interesting question for the number crunching discussion - at what point would a ship surrender/escape rather than be lost? These are expensive ships that are not easily replaced. Now I know that's a tactical question rather than one aimed at the sense behind the design but it's still relevant.
Considering it would take a week to send a request for aid, it would be advised to surrender or retreat once you lose the possibility of winning the engagement.

If your ships have good endurance its possible to lay low in system and avoid engagement until reinforcements arrive or arrangement for jumping out can be made.
A captain who threw his ship away needlessly should be court martialed - assuming they survive the battle.

I agree that in the face of overwhelming forces and there is nothing they can do in the short-term, the SMART commander will disengage and retreat to the outer system and harass the enemy and gather intelligence for as long as they can while waiting for reinforcements.

It would actually take a week for any request to arrive at it's destination, and at least a week for reinforcements to arrive. Most likely it would take a day or two to get the ships ready and a plan formed (assuming there are jump-capable assets present AND they are sufficient to defeat the enemy).

This is where planetary defenses would need to hold off the enemy while help is assembled and arrives. But if the enemy is simply doing a raid their retreat clock would start counting down upon arrival in system.
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby steve98052 » Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:26 pm

One situation where a suicide attack is the right thing to do is if you can do massive damage to the enemy in the process. If you're the commanding officer of a monitor ship (one term for a non-starship that's too big for the term "boat") facing a raid by a larger starship of lesser acceleration, where it's likely that the raider is intent on attacking your homeworld is to fly directly toward the raider, concentrating all your weapons on point defense, and ramming. As long as you can survive long enough to get there, you'll be able to destroy -- pretty much vaporize -- any ship that can't disable your maneuver before you get to it.

On the way to such a mission, the entire crew gets a vote: do you want a posthumous Starburst for Extreme Heroism or an escape pod and discharge with reduced mustering out benefits? If too few vote for the medal to crew the ship through the suicide mission, some stay under orders (and get a lesser medal posthumously). Everyone who stays gets a break to dictate a goodbye message while the ship accelerates toward the raider.

If the raider figures out what's going on and either jumps out or agrees to a cease fire long enough for it to refuel at a gas giant and leave, everyone who voluntarily stayed aboard the monitor gets a lesser medal. Those who stayed under orders but did their duty are quietly transferred to decent dead-end jobs, and those who headed for the escape pods start planning their post-Navy careers. Those who refused to stay under orders may face charges -- minimal if they're doing mandatory service, or moderate if they enlisted under terms that included consent to a suicide mission if necessary.

Anyway, that's a lot of words devoted to a situation that's probably rare, since such an attack risks extreme reprisals against the attacker's worlds.
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby Condottiere » Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:27 am

The Royal Navy used to prefer to have aggressive commanders, probably because you're less likely to make a mistake in attacking than running away; also, since they had the largest number of ships, attrition works for them, they can afford on the job training, and all that combat experience tends to shift the odds in their favour in any event.

To keep their crews focussed, prize money keeps both officers and men motivated to close with the enemy and capture their opposing numbers as in tact as possible.
h1ro
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby h1ro » Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:07 am

Speaking personally, if I were crew on a ship that the Captain, in his/her infinite wisdom had decided that a suicidal mission was "good for the cause" I'd be having issues with their captaincy.... just saying is all...
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby phavoc » Wed Jun 28, 2017 3:18 pm

steve98052 wrote:
Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:26 pm
One situation where a suicide attack is the right thing to do is if you can do massive damage to the enemy in the process. If you're the commanding officer of a monitor ship (one term for a non-starship that's too big for the term "boat") facing a raid by a larger starship of lesser acceleration, where it's likely that the raider is intent on attacking your homeworld is to fly directly toward the raider, concentrating all your weapons on point defense, and ramming. As long as you can survive long enough to get there, you'll be able to destroy -- pretty much vaporize -- any ship that can't disable your maneuver before you get to it.

On the way to such a mission, the entire crew gets a vote: do you want a posthumous Starburst for Extreme Heroism or an escape pod and discharge with reduced mustering out benefits? If too few vote for the medal to crew the ship through the suicide mission, some stay under orders (and get a lesser medal posthumously). Everyone who stays gets a break to dictate a goodbye message while the ship accelerates toward the raider.

If the raider figures out what's going on and either jumps out or agrees to a cease fire long enough for it to refuel at a gas giant and leave, everyone who voluntarily stayed aboard the monitor gets a lesser medal. Those who stayed under orders but did their duty are quietly transferred to decent dead-end jobs, and those who headed for the escape pods start planning their post-Navy careers. Those who refused to stay under orders may face charges -- minimal if they're doing mandatory service, or moderate if they enlisted under terms that included consent to a suicide mission if necessary.

Anyway, that's a lot of words devoted to a situation that's probably rare, since such an attack risks extreme reprisals against the attacker's worlds.
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. 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.
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby Condottiere » Thu Jun 29, 2017 1:01 am

It's what you signed up for.

The Imperium has the technological advantage, and can probably indoctrinate their military to press that in the face of overwhelming odds.
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby baithammer » 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.
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby h1ro » 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 guess it could also be argued that a BR with suitable M drive can always attempt to disengage but it still leaves the BT relatively close and vulnerable.

That it also means a 1 week jump to potentially, the middle of nowhere, where there's no fuel for either the tender or the rider could also be a problem.
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby h1ro » Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:04 pm

Which kinda brings up another argument. When your hostile battleship jumps into system, unless it refuels first, presumably at a heavily defended gas giant, its not going anywhere any faster than an arriving BR dropped by a tender. Now I guess that fleets could include tankers but they're gonna be as vulnerable as the battle tenders.

Ahh, the wonder of logistics, an army fights on it's stomach!
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Re: Battle Riders

Postby phavoc » Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:34 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.
The problem here is that the tender would need fuel to jump into the system, then jump out. And you'd have to have fueling sources, or at least tankers, at the other system.

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).

With the decrease in jump fuel required in V2, tankers now become more useful.

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