Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
Condottiere
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby Condottiere » Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:15 am

The Imperium Navy could have mobile workshops and docks in their fleet train.

Major naval bases should also have the facilities to repair their ships.
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby PsiTraveller » Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:53 pm

I always assume a starport is TL 12 or greater, with access to higher tech levels as needed, since they offer tech repair to ships passing through.

The starports may not have the production capacity to manufacture all the items needed to build a starship, but can do repairs and maintenance on ships passing through.

The logistical needs of the Navy can be met with (cough blatant plug cough) the Logistical Production Unit available at Drivethru. :)

A Starport could (according to the rules) have drone supplied asteroid mining, smelting and production modules to produce things of any tech level you want. You just need a source of raw materials. An asteroid belt or mining operations on planets, planetoids or moons. Anything you can want could be produced. You just have to then figure out the impact of that on local trade routes.
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby Reynard » Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:32 pm

Looking over the various sources with the most recent (Mongoose and T5) information concerning Traveller starports. All gloves are off for non-3I universes. The 3I universe with starports on lower TL worlds along with the concept of Empires having control over system space and a system's space facilities are the issue. It does seem 3I starports belong to the controlling empire and it is extraterritoriality following the rules of that empire. That means it is the technology and resources of that empire. The planet might look and behave like a RenFaire dealing with chamber pots and a forge for high tech but crossing the front gate takes you into the TL of the Imperium, Consulate or Hierate featuring toilets and mini-manufacturing system. What a system can do is invest local currency and resources toward their port facility for a return in dividends and trade without actually being 'uplifted' by its presence.

What scares me is there are D class 'starports' that are TL 15 being manned by Larry the Imperial Port Authority Guy.

On a similar note from other threads is starport facilities supporting Imperial and subsector naval (astral?) elements. The Core Book has a description for the naval base which only can exist with A or B ports. The description shows these particular ports are specifically meant to handle the needs of military ships for construction, repair and supply while other ports would be overwhelmed with the additional load. Normal starport can be hosts for ports of call and probably minor repair needs but the fleet needs the systems catering to them. In emergency situations a non-naval starport could be conscripted for SOME repair work or maybe some construction needs but the vast majority of naval needs are at systems designated with the naval base. It seems a reasonable limitation to the game.
Condottiere
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby Condottiere » Thu Jun 29, 2017 1:06 am

You can patch up most hulls, and you can probably substitute inferior electronics.

It's the big ticket items, basically engineering, that you'll encounter bottlenecks, and spinal mounts.
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby steve98052 » Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:42 pm

Reynard wrote:
Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:32 pm
. . .
What scares me is there are D class 'starports' that are TL 15 being manned by Larry the Imperial Port Authority Guy.
. . .
This reminds me of an article I worked on (but didn't finish) for the former JTAS. I imagined the E starport of a high law, low technology world (where weapon technology beyond black powder was forbidden) as a landing slab, an office consisting of a modular cutter instant starport resting on a rough stone foundation, a few taverns and hotels, and a ditch with a double fence and bronze cannons to discourage unapproved crossings. The office staff is a woman knighted for some meritorious service to the Imperium, who is now the face of the Imperium, back on her homeworld.

If I resume work on the article and manage to finish it, I'll dedicate it to the late Hans Rancke Madsen, who made the description of the world in one of his Traveller books consistent with my draft article.
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:15 am

It seems to be not entirely trivial to repair even todays low-tech ships:
http://www.defensenews.com/articles/nav ... -continues

Basically it seems that a simple hole in the hull requires the ship to be carried on a larger vessel to a major shipyard...
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby baithammer » Sat Jul 01, 2017 11:35 am

To be fair, the damage under the waterline was rather extensive.
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Jul 01, 2017 11:47 am

baithammer wrote:
Sat Jul 01, 2017 11:35 am
To be fair, the damage under the waterline was rather extensive.
Agreed, but it is not exactly battle damage.

If a few ship-killers hit, there would be less structural damage but more destroyed systems?
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby paltrysum » Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:45 pm

Take, for example, the case of Sif (A765867-7) in the Trojan Reach. Located in the middle of nowhere, starport A, but tech level...7?!

Like so many other UWP oddities in the OTU, you have to construct a reason for it to exist. For Sif, I'm thinking it must be a neutral meeting ground for the Florian League, Hierate, Glorious Empire (who often cut off negotiations and storm out of the meeting hall :D ), and maybe even small factions from the Imperium since they have a naval base at Dpres. The powers' combined investments in the system enabled it to have a magnificent starport, capable of constructing, repairing, or maintaining whichever ship you want...provided you bring your own raw materials. Otherwise, it's just a sleepy little agricultural world that exports to its neighbors. I'm not sure how else I could explain why this little gem of a planet remains independent.
Last edited by paltrysum on Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby Reynard » Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:09 pm

"Basically it seems that a simple hole in the hull requires the ship to be carried on a larger vessel to a major shipyard..."

Or they bring in a mobile drydock to affect enough repairs to get it out system if the system is still dangerous.
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby phavoc » Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:32 pm

Fleets will have supply trains which will include engineering support ships that will affect battlefield repairs to damaged vessels to make them capable of returning to the rear for full repairs (if they are repairable in that manner).

Squadrons and below will rarely, if ever, have a supply train with them. They will fight and repair out of the supplies they carry onboard. Forward-deployed repair ships would provide 2nd level repairs and basic maintenance to ships.

This concept isn't new. The USN and other naval powers have been doing this for hundreds of years (but starting in WW2 the USN really took it up a notch).
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby Old School » Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:56 pm

paltrysum wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:45 pm
Take, for example, the case of Sif (A765867-7) in the Trojan Reach. Located in the middle of nowhere, starport A, but tech level...7?!
Exactly. Not only can we dismiss the RAW / Canon when it comes to starport levels and tech levels, the game material published by these same publishers forces us to do so. The known universe is littered with level A and B starports located at worlds with non spacefaring technologies.
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby steve98052 » Sun Oct 28, 2018 6:03 pm

paltrysum wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:45 pm
. . .
For Sif, I'm thinking it must be a neutral meeting ground for the Florian League, Hierate, Glorious Empire (who often cut off negotiations and storm out of the meeting hall :D ), and maybe even small factions from the Imperium since they have a naval base at Dpres. The powers' combined investments in the system enabled it to have a magnificent starport, capable of constructing, repairing, or maintaining whichever ship you want...provided you bring your own raw materials. . . .
Sounds like a Babylon 5 kind of place.
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby Reynard » Mon Oct 29, 2018 2:34 am

"The known universe is littered with level A and B starports located at worlds with non spacefaring technologies."

But are they that common to be considered normal? The mechanics still favor Class A ports associated with high tech worlds and even then TL 15 is going to be the other tail of the bell curve with TL 12-13 having A and B ports more common. Traveller 1e even made population a factor as to the starport's level which makes sense too.

B class starports can build spacecraft with maneuver drive 1 at TL 9 and reaction drive 1 at TL 7 while an A port can build a jump 1 capable ship at TL 9 too. Low TL is quite possible. How do you explain the oddities below those levels? Pocket Empires described upgrading tech level and starports. It could be done by the world's population with the right resources or a foreign contact could invest in the initial build and/or upgrade the port over time for a variety of reasons. This could be a world government, an empire's government or a corporation. A corporation could contract with the Imperium to build starport that suits particular needs with the Imperium controlling operations and the corporation running run a lot of the profit making trades and services. The reverse can happen when the Imperium negotiates a starbase with a private business with mutual advantages. Both of these can explain why a starbase of A or B class could be emplaced on low tech or even barren worlds. Like odd world profile combos, you imagine why.
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby paltrysum » Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:02 am

Reynard wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 2:34 am
B class starports can build spacecraft with maneuver drive 1 at TL 9 and reaction drive 1 at TL 7 while an A port can build a jump 1 capable ship at TL 9 too.
This is a good point. It's just very expensive. The jump-1 drive would be a "prototype" and therefore quite costly, but it can be done. No need to work any other magic than that.
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby WingedCat » Mon Oct 29, 2018 5:44 am

Old School wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:56 pm
paltrysum wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:45 pm
Take, for example, the case of Sif (A765867-7) in the Trojan Reach. Located in the middle of nowhere, starport A, but tech level...7?!
Exactly. Not only can we dismiss the RAW / Canon when it comes to starport levels and tech levels, the game material published by these same publishers forces us to do so. The known universe is littered with level A and B starports located at worlds with non spacefaring technologies.
Aren't most of these hosted by the Third Imperium or other outside starfaring powers? The local planet does not need to support them at all, in that case.
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby locarno24 » Mon Oct 29, 2018 9:08 am

Also by using tl12 ship/systems it opens up a lot more options for ports and supporting systems to deal with the civilian markets.
I swear I remember some ship design or other specifically being namechecked as being "TL12 except for [some specific system - probably the drives]" for precisely this reason.

It's certainly why sector and planetary navies often opt for a lower TL warship design; yes, all right, you get less punch per pound than the TL15 imperial navy ships, but you don't need to import components and aren't dependent on megacorp contractors for repair work and upgrades.
Aren't most of these hosted by the Third Imperium or other outside starfaring powers? The local planet does not need to support them at all, in that case.
On imperial worlds, certainly. 'Startown' - the region around the port - is essentially a kind of massive warehouse-and-dockyard laden embassy that's recognised as imperial territory and not (or at least only partially) subject to the laws of the world itself rather than imperial law. Even if an imperial world is a lower TL, it's not unreasonable to find a thriving TL12-16 city around the port, especially if the system is in a suitably strategic position.

That argument doesn't necessarily hold water in the reach, though. An imperial-sponsored high port (or a GeeDeeCo one, or - in theory - a Neo-Drinaxian one) supported from off-world can have imported facilities and massively outstrip the tech of its parent world, but I don't think there's any specific notation whether a class A port is 'locally owned' or not if there hasn't been a Library Data entry for the world.
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: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby Reynard » Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:39 am

One thing importing parts should do is drive up the costs to build ships. The farther the parts have to be moved the higher the costs. There just aren't that many TL 14-15 worlds in any region so material to ship to every other port should be expensive unless those worlds are also massive factory worlds.
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby Old School » Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:07 am

You guys are certainly correct that you can easily come up with scenarios to explain the starports in these low tech systems. But the idea that a class B starport is limited to repairing and building ships at its host worlds tech level when that tech level is 6 or 7 simply doesn’t make sense. That would be a port with no repair or build a capabilities.

What is a heck of a lot easier to explain is that the starports tech level is higher than that of the mainworld. If the empire, or GeDeCo, or whoever is sponsoring the starport, they are going to bring in the tech they need.

Of course, this all goes back to the stagnant tech levels inherent in the OTU, which is in defiance of trade, i.e. capitalism, being the driving force of the empire. The profit motive drives most space travel. Seems odd that this profit motive would greatly limit itself once you leave the starport. Some worlds are restricted in technological development by their government, but many are not. Yet they stsgnate. I know the game tries to explain this, but that is an explanation shoehorned into a fictional reality, not one that actually holds up to any critical examination.

It’s all good. It is a cool game universe. It doesn't hold up when we start peeling back layers as we like to do. It wasn’t really meant to, nor does it need to for us to enjoy the game.
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby Reynard » Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:20 pm

If you want to up tech levels and ports all over the place then be prepared to spend massive amounts of non-game time calculating each world's ability to pour time, money and resources, IF they have them, into the project. Pocket Empires gave the tools to do just that but it's a LOT of work. It would be easier to just say in YTU, over eleven hundred years, zillions of credits were found and unlimited resources were moved about to make every world with a population be TL15 and have class A ports. In the same vein, it should be just as easy to elevate every place on Earth to the same level as the most civilized nations.

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