Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

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Reynard
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Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby Reynard » Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:30 am

One thing I notice. All the ships and fighters on the various thread are almost always TL 15. Are the majority of ships used in significant wars, say in the Spinward Marches, all at that level? Are Sector fleets skewed that way? Considering Traveller communications for replacing and procuring high tech craft outside the sector as well as the very small number of TL 15 shipyards and starports within the sector to build and maintain such vessels how can there be such great numbers and replacements? Attrition from battles will strain available widely spaced facilities to keep up with filling in the numbers.

I'm sure the opening battles will be grand as high tech ships engage blasting each other to dust or have them limping away unable to fight effectively but as the weeks and months go by there will be less and less of these precious vessels carrying the war and numbered fleets start replacing or filling in named fleets.

Check out Sector Fleets for detailed descriptions for fleet organization as well as the actual fleets in the Spinward Marches. Gives a better understanding what is really going on. Then try mapping the Spinward Marches for starports with their tech level to compare with your favorite ships. 'A' ports build ships while 'B' ports build fighters and 'C' ports would be good for some repairs. This would give you an overall picture how well higher TL ships can be replaced and repaired in a time of war.
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:38 am

IMTU, it would depend on what the fighting was all about, the political parties involved, and what ships in the area could be rallied/bought for the cause.
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby h1ro » Sun Jun 25, 2017 5:20 am

I look at this from a slightly different perspective.

The listed TL for the world may not reflect what the star port is capable of building and the Imperial Navy is not necessarily reliant on the local TL (starport or main world) for it's construction.

IMTU an A class port operates commercial construction facilities starting at TL13.

I can't see why a sector wide entity like the IN would allow itself to be dependent on local infrastructure.

Has anyone published a detailed description of an Imperial Naval base?
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:02 am

It's just Imperial chauvinism. The Imperial Navy is mostly TL15.

The Solomani and Zhodani mostly use TL14 equipment.

The Swordies use TL9 - 12.

The Island Cluster uses TL10 - 13.

Pick your environment, design for that environment.

Naval designs generally gets large advantages by using the highest TL possible, civilian designs are generally lower tech to ease maintenance.
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby Sigtrygg » Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:44 am

Every IN base has to be equipped to TL15 in order to maintain and repair the fleet.

IMHO every type A and B starport in a polity has access to TL15 - or whatever the highest TL equipment the polity can produce is - via the extensive trade routes that connect the worlds with A and B. It's the only way I can explain the old CT rule that a PC starship can receive its annual maintenance at any type A or B starport.

As to the effect of TL on warfare - under CT HG'80 a single TL gives you a tremendous advantage due to the computer DM rule, while certain other brake points make some TL differences pretty effective too; the reduction in armour volume at TL14, the shrinking of power plants at TL15.

In MgT HG2e it is a bit more tricky to identify the exact bonuses due to TL difference thanks to the improvement with TL that can be built into just about any ship system, but it is a fun exercise to work out the benefits of the higher TL stuff.
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby Reynard » Sun Jun 25, 2017 11:10 am

"Has anyone published a detailed description of an Imperial Naval base?"

Third Imperium: Sector Fleets and Third Imperium: Starports describe the matter.

Not that I can find it again at the moment but I thought one of the books said ship construction and system repairs were dependent on the tech level of the starport. That suggests all starports aren't automatically TL 15. If all operate at TL 15, why are all ships, which must be constructed at A and B ports, not built to TL 15 specs? Does this also mean all Imperial warships built and repaired at local ports are somehow paid for from Imperial coffers rather than the system the port is located in?
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby Sigtrygg » Sun Jun 25, 2017 11:22 am

Because there is and should be a big difference between what the military do and what civilians can get away with.

3I 1105 setting fact - every Imperial fleet can be repaired at any IN base regardless of world starport (FFW)
3I 1105 setting fact - TL15 Imperial warships have been built at ship yards on worlds with less than TL15 (Regina no less)
3I 1105 setting fact - the IN ships TL 15 spinal mounts via civilian transport companies to IN bases (the Traveller Adventure)
3I 1105 setting fact - any civilian ship regardless of TL can receive annual maintenance at any A or B starport in CT; in MgT2e it says:
Repairs and Maintenance: A ship needs maintenance, which
costs 0.1% of the total purchase price of the ship per year.
Maintenance should be carried out each month (divide the
year’s maintenance cost by 12 to find the monthly cost.
Once per year this should be performed at a shipyard.
No mention of a TL requirement.

And then there is Kinorb/Regina A663659 5

It is my contention that the TL 15 power house worlds of the Spinward Marches manufacture lots of TL15 spare parts which can be shipped to all the type A and B starports in the Spinward Marches.
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sun Jun 25, 2017 5:07 pm

Ships can only be built on worlds with sufficient TL.
Technological Level: Technological level is important in the design of a ship because it governs where the ship may be produced, and how well the crew can operate and maintain it. The technological level of the building shipyard determines the technological level of the ship being constructed (a class A starport on a tech level 14 world constructs a tech level 14 ship). Equipment and components of a starship may always be equal to or less than the ship's tech level.
HG'80, p20.

TECH LEVEL
Before you start building your ship, decide on the Tech Level of the ship yard that will construct it. This is the maximum Tech Level available for any given component you add, and will also serve as the overall Tech Level of the ship itselt.
MgT2 HG, p8.


Ships can only be repaired on worlds with sufficient TL.

Starport Repairs: Full repair may be done at any A or B starport, but j-drive repairs require double cost and time at B starports, and no starport may repair a ship system of higher tech level than the starport's tech level.
TCS, p35.

Starport Repairs: Full repairs on capital ships can be conducted at any class A or B starport. Starports cannot repair systems with a higher Tech Level than the planet they operate on.
MgT TCS, p16.


Specific yards may override the general rules, e.g. TL 15 ships built at Regina.
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby Sigtrygg » Sun Jun 25, 2017 6:04 pm

Your quotes are from rules add ons that do not necessarily apply in the 3I setting - as with many rules additions over the years the 3I wasn't necessarily modelled by them. TCS offered rules for HG campaign play, but were contradicted by the rules in FFW which did model an actual in universe event.
Space ships are constructed and sold at shipyards throughout the galaxy. Any
class A starport has a shipyard which can build any kind of ship, including a starship
with jump drives; any class B starport can build a small craft and ships which do
not have jump drives.
No mention of TL.

The Kinunir, TL15, and two other vessels of her class were built on TL 10 Regina (the fourth was never completed).

In the FFW any IN base can repair a fleet regardless of local world TL

The 3I 1105 setting doesn't always follow the rules as written, especially in the supplements (or in many cases the rules in LBB1-3)...

I've already quoted the MgT 2e CRB rules on annual maintenance which like their CT ancestor do not mention TL.

And I am still waiting to see the TL5 starships built at the Kinorb A class starport shipyard.

The only thing that makes sense in the setting is that the worlds trade with each other, and that starports have access to a full range of parts. Too many people overlook the obvious fact that 3I worlds trade with each other, and the most obvious trade items of worth for the starports are ship spares - a bit like garages ship in parts from Germany for their BMW repairs rather than locally manufacture.

There is also the new technology that has been introduced into the 3I via MWM's novel and T5 - makers allow for parts and spares to be manufactured, while wafer tech allows the engineers to have skills beyond their own.
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:47 pm

Sigtrygg wrote: I've already quoted the MgT 2e CRB rules on annual maintenance which like their CT ancestor do not mention TL.

And I am still waiting to see the TL5 starships built at the Kinorb A class starport shipyard.
As you have already pointed out it can perform maintenance on ships of higher TL (with imported parts?).

Space ships are constructed and sold at shipyards throughout the galaxy. Any
class A starport has a shipyard which can build any kind of ship, including a starship
with jump drives; any class B starport can build a small craft and ships which do
not have jump drives.
Where is this quote from? I can't seem to find it in my copy of FFW.

As far as I can see it says nothing about TLs; it only says that B ports can build non-jump-capable crafts and A ports can build both jump-capable and non-jump-capable crafts.

Compare:
Availability: Starships (with jump drives) may be constructed at the shipyard of any class A starport; non-starships (without jump drives) may be constructed at the shipyard of any class A or class B starport.
HG'80, p20.
The next paragraph describes the TL limit on ship construction. Both limitations apply to ship construction: Starport class and TL.


I would agree that FFW says that Imperial Bases can repair ships (of the appropriate type), just as S9 Fighting Ships does, and hence must be operating at TL 15. Although I would not assume that all naval bases have unlimited repair capacity.
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby Sigtrygg » Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:25 pm

Sorry I wasn't clear with my quote - it is from LBB2.

The setting - the 3I - requires us to do a bit of filling in the gaps. Clues are presented, we put them together.

The Traveller Adventure hinges upon the stealing of a couple of TL15 meson J spinals - which are enroute to the Aramis IN base. This provides proof that IN bases are stocked with TL15 gear regardless of local world TL. This ties into the repair rules in FFW.

The tournament rules in TCS and campaign rules are for a pocket empire situation such as the exemplar Islands campaign, the rules are for that game and thus are not applicable in all but a superficial way to the 3I OTU.

Within the 3I setting I think megacorporation shipyards contracted to build IN ships would have to be on a world with an IN base and can build to TL15 standards regardless of world TL.

Likewise I think every 3I A and B starport has spares and parts available that have been imported from off world or manufactured using makers.
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby baithammer » Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:49 am

One of the limitations in 2ed is the requirement of A class starport for jump drive ship construction.

Traveller Core 2nd Ed pg. 226
However only a
class A starport can construct jump-capable spacecraft.
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby AnotherDilbert » Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:40 pm

Sigtrygg wrote: The Traveller Adventure hinges upon the stealing of a couple of TL15 meson J spinals - which are enroute to the Aramis IN base. This provides proof that IN bases are stocked with TL15 gear regardless of local world TL. This ties into the repair rules in FFW.
We know two meson guns were contracted to be transported from one naval base to another naval base, once in a remote corner of the Imperium. We don't know if this is a common occurrence or an extraordinary event. Perhaps they were intended for deep meson sites, perhaps to be directly used to repair ships, or perhaps it was just a plot device? It tells us very little about the general system.

Sigtrygg wrote: The tournament rules in TCS and campaign rules are for a pocket empire situation such as the exemplar Islands campaign, the rules are for that game and thus are not applicable in all but a superficial way to the 3I OTU.
Yet it is canon and directly describes operational space warfare. I don't see that we can simply dismiss it.

Sigtrygg wrote: Within the 3I setting I think megacorporation shipyards contracted to build IN ships would have to be on a world with an IN base and can build to TL15 standards regardless of world TL.

Likewise I think every 3I A and B starport has spares and parts available that have been imported from off world or manufactured using makers.
Every edition of Traveller I have seen specifically says otherwise. Let's quote MT for a change:
Tech Level: The Tech Level of the building shipyard determines the Tech Level of the ship being constructed (a class A starport on a Tech Level 14 world constructs a Tech Level 14 ship). Equipment and components of a starship may always be equal to or less than the ship's Tech Level.

If you want YTU to work as you have described you only have to wave the magical wand of Rule 0 and make it so. But by default TL limits ship production.
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby dragoner » Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:34 pm

Current history, or experience, shows that tech isn't the determiner in warfare that it is often thought to be.

Re: Starports, iirc, a system does not need a starport at all to build warships.
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby phavoc » Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:11 pm

Common sense (and reality) tells us that a starport shouldn't be constrained in building a higher TL ship than what is locally available. If Air Somalia can do basic maintenance on a 787 (which is in excess of their current tech base) and a shipyard in China or South Korea can build a ship and install the latest electronics imported from the US/Europe, then surely the Imperium has found a way to ship in components so they can be assembled on-site?

The issue here isn't that it couldn't be done. It could quite easily. The issue is one of cost - importing a TL-15 jump drive and power plant and maneuver drive costs extra credits. There's also the concept that you may have a manufacturing facility on a lower tech world that is creating TL-15 parts and shipping them off - much like we do here on Earth with places like Malaysia manufacturing the latest processors in fabs and shipping them elsewhere for assembly. Those fabs were built using equipment shipped in from elsewhere.
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby baithammer » Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:13 pm

Except in the case of jump capable ships which is stated as requiring an A type starport.
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

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

It's a little open to interpretation.

Doctrine is clear for the Sword Worlds, lowest common denominator if it doesn't affect the capability of their weapon and ship systems.

With the Imperium Navy, frontline combat ships would be built at the current technological level, in our case, fifteen.

Support ships at precisely the technological level needed for them to perform their roles, but unlikely below twelve. This includes the primitive and advanced variant rules.

Imperium shipyards could also add highly advanced sensor array to a technological level twelve default hull.
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby baithammer » Tue Jun 27, 2017 12:21 am

Even if able to build tech level 15 ships and systems, it tends to be reserved for specialist designs and front line military usage. Also by using tl12 ship/systems it opens up a lot more options for ports and supporting systems to deal with the civilian markets.
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby steve98052 » Tue Jun 27, 2017 5:56 pm

I would reconcile the various contradictions by ruling that any class A starport can build a ship of any technology level that can be acquired through trade, but that doing so adds the cost of shipping in components if the local TL is too low, and adds the logistic complexity of making sure the necessary components are available for the construction when it happens. Likewise for non-starship construction at B starports.

Much the same applies to maintenance and more substantial repairs. Not a lot of civilian ships need an advanced ship, but suppose your ship is a rift liner running the Jump-5 route. Your Jump-5 ship needs to be a minimum of TL14, so you need TL14 maintenance parts in stock when you do your annual maintenance. If your maintenance port if TL14, no problem. But if it's lower, you better make a reservation far enough in advance for the maintenance port to order the parts. Maybe you'll even end up with the parts order arriving as cargo you transport on your own ship, if it comes across the rift. Of course, a Jump-5 ship may be mobile enough to get to a TL14 maintenance port itself without too much disruption to its business, but if not it will need to order ahead.

If you have an advanced ship that suffers battle damage or an unexpected breakdown, woe, woe. You better be close to a supplier world of sufficient TL that you can get the repair parts ordered before the bank forecloses on your ship mortgage. Or if you're anywhere near a naval base, you better hope that they have some overstock of what you need and that your reputation can get you in touch with the right logistics officer.

"As a matter of fact, we've had more Category 6 bonded superdense armor plating in those sizes than we know what to do with since my mom was an ensign. But we still can't release it to civilians without sign-off from a commodore in the surplus department."

"Oh, you served hospital ship duty in the volunteer merchant marine during the Battle of Esalin? Wow. I think I know an admiral who will want to shake your hand. We can probably get you ten years worth of that junk for the cost of hiring some locals to dig it out of the warehouse."
Last edited by steve98052 on Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
baithammer
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby baithammer » Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:13 pm

Counter point, it won't help you if you have the higher tech level parts if you don't have the proper tools for that tech level.

If you really want to go that route you'd be in the Prototype/Advanced Prototype territory with all its warts.

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