Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

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Jeraa
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Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby Jeraa » Sat Aug 26, 2017 5:24 pm

My 50 ton heavy fighter (TL15):

streamlined hull
15 points of bonded superdense armor
Radiation Shielding
9-g maneuver drive
10-g High Burn Thruster (reaction drive) - High Technology, triple fuel efficient; TL 13
5 tons reaction fuel - 50 Thrust points worth
Dual cockpit - Pilot and Electronic warfare. Either could operate the weapon depending on circumstances.
Computer/25 - usually running Evade/2 and Fire Control/2
Fusion Barbette - 5D damage + radiation; reduced power due to being a firmpoint mount
4 ton TL15 fusion plant - produces 80 power; ship uses 77 at full draw. Running at minimum basic power would free up 5 points if necessary.
1 ton power plant fuel - 4 weeks operation (because of the minimum allowed)
Advanced Sensors - +2 on Sensor related checks
Countermeasure Suite - +4 on electronic warfare checks (+6 total with sensors)

Total cost is MCr51.165, plus MCr6 for the typical software. Doesn't include any discount for standard designs. 5 tons of free space (more reaction fuel? vehicle-scale weapons for atmospheric use?).

It could very likely be better, but I would take it over any of baithammers designs. Or the poorly armed preexisting one. Even if it does lose the dogfighting roll, as it mounts a turret it can still fire. And the armor is enough to protect against lasers and most missiles (Standard ones can potentially do some damage, while advanced or nuclear ones can deal damage on average. The average electronic warfare check (roll 7, +6 from the hardware = 13) is enough to remove 3 missiles shot at it/round (plus, that isn't counting the operators skill). The fusion barbette packs enough punch to get through even the heaviest of armors, and can be even better if made Very High Yield (raising the damage from an average of 17.5 to 20, or from 2.5 to 5 against 15 points of armor.)

I've having a bit of a problem coming up with a 10 ton fighter that can be a credible threat to military vessels, however. Probably because that isn't what they are for. Though mounting a Long Range, High Energy laser drill would give it the same range as a typical laser, and deal an average of 14.67 damage per shot. Almost enough to get through all armor. It would need a more powerful than normal computer, however, to run the Fire Control software necessary to make up for the -3 DM that using a laser drill as a weapon has. THe only other way it can be a credible threat to military ships is if it and a lot of its buddies fired enough missiles to overwhelm a ships point defenses.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Aug 26, 2017 5:53 pm

baithammer wrote:
so in a 1 vs 10 fight they get +9, and almost always win the dogfight, negating any fixed lasers the expensive fighters may have.
First part is countered by High Guards squadron dogfight addendum as follows.
That has nothing to do with numbers.
If you wish to use squadrons you will have 10 and the enemy will have 100 small fighters, giving them a +90 DM.

baithammer wrote: And its not the pulse lasers the pre-designed fighters should be worried about,
Then why have them?
baithammer wrote: its the missile salvos from the light and heavy designs, which is 10 missiles light / 50 Missiles heavy.
If you have 10 expensive, the enemy will have 100 small fighters. Each small laser fighter can PD several missiles.
baithammer wrote: ( With fragmentation missiles it gets even more dangerous as each of the those missiles are able to hit up to 3 additional targets adjacent to the initial target. )
Unless the targets are armoured, in which case they will do next to nothing.
baithammer wrote: Which also means no dogfight bonus until the pre-existing light fighters can get into close range.
Sorry? There can never be dogfight at more than Close range?

baithammer wrote:
Basic rule:
Pilot: Flies the ship, responsible for changing course and making evasive manoeuvres.
...
Turret Gunner: Each turret has its own gunner. A Traveller must choose which turret he is manning at the start of the combat.
This exception allows the pilot to fire weapons at all:
Weapons on board a spacecraft are fired by Travellers assigned to gunner duty. However, a pilot may fire any weapons that are noted as being in fixed mounts
The Multiple actions rule explicitly applies.
Several counters to this point.

1.) The pre-designed light fighter only has a single pilot and a fixed pulse laser as well.
2.) The movement step allows the pilot to aid gunner starting a task chain to possibly aid combat step gunnery roll.
3.) Missiles don't use the gunnery skill and gain a +1 dm per missile in the slavo, a minimum of +1 if both the attacking and defending craft are of the same TL.
1.) The pilot is explicitly allowed to fire it, with a malus.
2.) So? So can an Astrogator/Engineer when performing the jump tasks.
3.) The missiles make their own attack, so are always unaffected by the gunner's DMs.

baithammer wrote:
So for the same cost as 10 of your missile bombers
First, those are torpedo bombers.
Second, they would be deployed with a heavy fighter squadron.

So, 20 Pulse Laser turrets for point defense.
10 Torpedoes
50 Missiles
The torpedo bombers are even more expensive. 10 torpedo bombers and 10 heavy fighters would cost 10 × 100 + 10 × 120 + carrier ≈ GCr 3 - 4.
A ship with the same cost (GCr 3) would be about 3700 Dt, launch ~170 missiles and have 20 laser turrets (and some screens). Clearly superior to the bombers. The ship should not split it's missiles, since small salvoes are just killed by ECM, and neither should the fighters.

baithammer wrote:
A 10 Dt fighter with a single missile rack, 9 + 16 = 25 G
Which is operating outside the extent of this exercise where thrust is limited to 9 for ships with missiles topping out at thrust 15.
There is no such limitation in the rules.
If you want us to play under your house rules, just state that clearly from the beginning?

For the same cost as a missile bomber we could get 14 small fighters. They would easily kill all missiles launched by the bomber with PD, and still inflict (a little) damage with the lasers. With superior acceleration they would decide the engagement range, and whether to break off or not. The missile bomber would be dead meat.
Make up your mind, missile or pulse laser not both.
[/quote]
No, why? I can of course build both missile fighters and laser fighters and mix them in the same squadron.

A good heavy fighter should be able to meet either and defeat them.
Jeraa
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Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby Jeraa » Sat Aug 26, 2017 6:13 pm

baithammer wrote: Which also means no dogfight bonus until the pre-existing light fighters can get into close range.
Sorry? There can never be dogfight at more than Close range?
No, there can't be.
Battling spacecraft within Close or Adjacent range of one another use these ‘dogfight’ rules. This is a series of manoeuvres whereby the pilot of one ship attempts to gain a position of advantage over another.
Anything beyond that isn't a dogfight. Anything beyond that is also a missile-only fight - other weapons have their ranges reduced when mounted on firmpoints (to a maximum of Close).

Both of those (the dogfighting rules and the reduced ranges) are stupid additions to the rules. But hey, no one asked my opinion.
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Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Aug 26, 2017 6:44 pm

Jeraa wrote: My 50 ton heavy fighter (TL15):
...
but I would take it over any of baithammers designs. Or the poorly armed preexisting one.
I agree.

I get 10 rounds and hence 100 Thrust out of 5 Dt fuel.

You have 5Dt over, I would make it smaller and hence cheaper. No need to make fighters bigger than necessary, carriers are expensive.

You only really need one or two ECM craft in every squadron, so you could make two versions, one cheaper without expensive sensors.

You can fit a gunner in the barbette, that will only impact the carrier.

I get the cost to MCr 56, not 51?

Jeraa wrote: The average electronic warfare check (roll 7, +6 from the hardware = 13)
I think you only get +4; you can count either sensor DM or CM DM, plus signalling processing.

Luckily you can exchange the CM Suite for an Enhanced SP in the same space, but at an additional cost of MCr 4 and get both sensor and ECM DM +6


Jeraa wrote: I've having a bit of a problem coming up with a 10 ton fighter that can be a credible threat to military vessels, however. Probably because that isn't what they are for.
I agree, that is a problem. They can be cheap, so you can have lots of them, but you need lots of pilots and you will lose quite a few of them.

Jeraa wrote: Though mounting a Long Range, High Energy laser drill would give it the same range as a typical laser, and deal an average of 14.67 damage per shot. Almost enough to get through all armor. It would need a more powerful than normal computer, however, to run the Fire Control software necessary to make up for the -3 DM that using a laser drill as a weapon has.
Don't forget to add the Effect. Even if you only can do damage if you roll high on both attack and damage roll you will do damage occasionally. With lots of fighters, and lots of turns in a dogfight you do considerable damage.
Jeraa
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Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby Jeraa » Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:04 pm

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Sat Aug 26, 2017 6:44 pm
I get 10 rounds and hence 100 Thrust out of 5 Dt fuel.

You have 5Dt over, I would make it smaller and hence cheaper. No need to make fighters bigger than necessary, carriers are expensive.

You only really need one or two ECM craft in every squadron, so you could make two versions, one cheaper without expensive sensors.

You can fit a gunner in the barbette, that will only impact the carrier.

I get the cost to MCr 56, not 51?
The calculations were done quickly, so it is likely something is wrong. I didn't save the sheet that had them, so can't go back and check.

I thought about making it smaller, but decided against it. I prefer nice round numbers - 50 tons sounds better than 45 tons. And at 50 tons (with 5 tons free), you can install aerofins (2.5 tons) plus 2.5 tons of smaller (vehicle) weapons. You know, for those ground scale things you don't want to smash with a (5D+Effect) x 10 damage fusion gun that puts out an average 700 rads/shot (an additional 6D damage and sterility) to everything within 10 meters of the impact (starship weapons gain Blast 10 against ground scale targets).
Jeraa wrote: The average electronic warfare check (roll 7, +6 from the hardware = 13)
I think you only get +4; you can count either sensor DM or CM DM, plus signalling processing.

Luckily you can exchange the CM Suite for an Enhanced SP in the same space, but at an additional cost of MCr 4 and get both sensor and ECM DM +6
I was pretty sure that that wouldn't quite work. But as you said it is easy enough to fix, at just an additional MCr4 and 1 additional power point.
Jeraa wrote: I've having a bit of a problem coming up with a 10 ton fighter that can be a credible threat to military vessels, however. Probably because that isn't what they are for.
I agree, that is a problem. They can be cheap, so you can have lots of them, but you need lots of pilots and you will lose quite a few of them.
I looked into making it a drone, but with the 2e changes (making it a program instead of a cockpit-equivalent option like in 1e) it becomes too expensive to mount the virtual crew program, a higher than standard fire control program, and a more powerful computer to handle it all.
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Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby Sigtrygg » Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:23 pm

Hmm - you considered making it a drone...

why does software have a cost but crew training doesn't?

Once you have written the software and paid for it you can have as many copies of it as you want surely.

Training the crew for these fighters should cost MCr, and then there is their pay, upkeep, pension plan (if they live long enough).

So if you pay for software you should have to pay for crew to balance it up.
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Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby Jeraa » Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:34 pm

Sigtrygg wrote:
Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:23 pm
Hmm - you considered making it a drone...

why does software have a cost but crew training doesn't?

Once you have written the software and paid for it you can have as many copies of it as you want surely.

Training the crew for these fighters should cost MCr, and then there is their pay, upkeep, pension plan (if they live long enough).

So if you pay for software you should have to pay for crew to balance it up.
Theoretically, you can copy software.
Software packages of more than 1 Bandwidth cannot be copied easily, as they require a non-trivial amount of bandwidth to transfer.
How easily it could be done, however, is rather vague. Since there isn't anything concrete about it, I chose to ignore the possibility as it would be something that varies from group to group and would essentially be a houserule.

If I ever actually play instead of just theorycraft(*), I would come up with something for my own use.

(*)The only local RPG players I know, only play 3.5 D&D. The one time we manged to get something else going, was Star Wars d20 (which is based on 3.5 D&D). Though at the moment I am more partial to GURPS, Traveller is simpler and something I can more likely convince them to play. Assuming I can kick them out of their dungeons.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:54 pm

Theoretically the Imperial Navy, or any other large ship operator, should have an enterprise license, and not pay software costs per craft. Or just develop the software itself. Well, at least we are not paying per core...


Crew costs are baked into the operating cost of 10% of ship price if you use TCS logic.
MgT1 TCS p6 had a (much to low) cost for each crew of a specific skill.
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Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:12 pm

Jeraa wrote: I looked into making it a drone, but with the 2e changes (making it a program instead of a cockpit-equivalent option like in 1e) it becomes too expensive to mount the virtual crew program, a higher than standard fire control program, and a more powerful computer to handle it all.
You can probably afford Virtual Crew-0, possibly Evade-1, and trust numbers and the dogfight DMs to carry the day for you. Fire Control is just too expensive for small fighters.

You save 1.5 Dt in the fighter which is quite a lot in a small fighter.

You could automate the pilot, but place a human gunner in the turret? I have not tried that.

Real crew is much better but also costs 2 Dt each on the carrier.


But a cheap medium fighter with a barbette will generally beat light fighters, in my experience.
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Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:29 pm

Jeraa wrote:
Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:04 pm
2.5 tons of smaller (vehicle) weapons. You know, for those ground scale things you don't want to smash with a (5D+Effect) x 10 damage fusion gun that puts out an average 700 rads/shot (an additional 6D damage and sterility) to everything within 10 meters of the impact (starship weapons gain Blast 10 against ground scale targets).
Not want big bang? The fallout is the problem of the poor bloody infantry, not the Navy.

But, OK, auto-cannons have nice auto-fire bonuses.
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Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby AndrewW » Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:38 pm

Jeraa wrote:
Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:34 pm
(*)The only local RPG players I know, only play 3.5 D&D. The one time we manged to get something else going, was Star Wars d20 (which is based on 3.5 D&D). Though at the moment I am more partial to GURPS, Traveller is simpler and something I can more likely convince them to play. Assuming I can kick them out of their dungeons.
Could try a ship dungeon, capital ship buried under the sand or something. Exploring ancient ruins could also fit the bill. To get them interested before moving onto other things.
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Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby baithammer » Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:13 am

There is no such limitation in the rules.
If you want us to play under your house rules, just state that clearly from the beginning?
Not house rules but observation of the basics of design with the intent to bend but not break existing mechanics, this is where the insistance of using High Burn Thruster is fustrating as it really does break mechanics as evidenced by every design using that one component. ( Which in order to restore balance with missiles would end up with missiles in the thrust 40 range.)
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Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby Jeraa » Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:43 am

baithammer wrote:
Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:13 am
There is no such limitation in the rules.
If you want us to play under your house rules, just state that clearly from the beginning?
Not house rules but observation of the basics of design with the intent to bend but not break existing mechanics, this is where the insistance of using High Burn Thruster is fustrating as it really does break mechanics as evidenced by every design using that one component. ( Which in order to restore balance with missiles would end up with missiles in the thrust 40 range.)
Even without an added grav drive, you can make ships with only reaction drives that can outrun missiles. Combining a grav drive with the reaction drive just makes it easier, but it can be done with just the reaction drive.

Way back at the dawn of time (late 70s, early 80s), Classic Traveller had a supplement for designing missiles. They had the exact same range of accelerations as spacecraft did (1-6g). T20 missiles have 6g acceleration, same as the fastest ships. I'm willing to bet the other editions had similar limits. In other words, missiles had the same limits on acceleration as ships did, and at best equaled the fastest ships.
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Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby baithammer » Sun Aug 27, 2017 9:24 am

In other words, missiles had the same limits on acceleration as ships did, and at best equaled the fastest ships.
Which isn't true given the rules we are operating under, where missiles are topped out at thrust 15 with no option to increase thrust, ships are able to top out at thrust 25 and still carry pilot, armor and weapons.

Would be better to use the drone rules and slap a space ship energy weapon on it and call it a day.
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Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sun Aug 27, 2017 10:38 am

We don't know how missiles work. We have no tech specifications or design system.

We have "slow", "normal", and "fast" missiles, generally rated at some approximate acceleration.

Missiles can in earlier editions not use m-drives, since m-drives have a minimum size. Missiles probably use reaction drives of some sort. Reaction drives are more limited by carried fuel than instant thrust, hence acceleration. A real reaction drive will obey the rocket equation and increase acceleration as the mass of the missile decreases as fuel is expended. A "10G" missile will accelerate at much less than 10 G the first turn, and much more than 10 G the tenth turn.

The movement systems for both ships and missiles are highly simplified so that we don't have to solve partial differential equation systems to determine when or if missiles can hit. That is a good thing.


A 25 G craft can probably outrun missiles, if you escape Distant range you are not longer covered by the combat system and have probably exited combat, and left any missiles behind you. This is not explicit in the combat system, but my interpretation.
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Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby baithammer » Sun Aug 27, 2017 12:00 pm

The movement systems for both ships and missiles are highly simplified so that we don't have to solve partial differential equation systems to determine when or if missiles can hit.
This brings back nightmares of certain versions of gurps vehicles which ate up significant time trying to model simple concepts to significantly detailed mechanics.
A 25 G craft can probably outrun missiles, if you escape Distant range you are not longer covered by the combat system and have probably exited combat, and left any missiles behind you.
Given the chart in mgt 2ed mainbook only takes 94 thrust to go from adjacent to distant ( So a thrust 15 missile chasing a thrust 25 vessel would take just over 9 turns to outrun the remaining 50% of the missiles left.), although mgt High Guard 2ed expands range bands with very distant and far.

The thrust 15 missiles most certainly seem to imply a reaction engine as it wouldn't require adding a power source with various minimum displacement requirements.
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Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby Sigtrygg » Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:01 pm

Slight aside how are people applying the fuel efficiency to reaction engine fuel use?

One advantage is a 20% saving so you use 80% of the calculated fuel.

Two advantages - is it 20% + 20% for a 40% saving or is it 80% of 80% so 64% of the calculated fuel.

Three advantages - 20 + 20 + 20 for a 60% saving or is it 0,8x0.8x0.8 = 51.2% of base fuel required.

If reaction engines can stack with gravitic engines in the 3I then every warship in the OTU needs redesigning...
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Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby baithammer » Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:10 pm

I have a feeling its more to do with the advance technology not increasing the cost to compensate for the improvements as 25% / 50% increases don't really seem reasonable.
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Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sun Aug 27, 2017 6:38 pm

Sigtrygg wrote: Three advantages - 20 + 20 + 20 for a 60% saving or is it 0,8x0.8x0.8 = 51.2% of base fuel required.
I'm afraid I do "- 20 + 20 + 20 for a 60%", but if a value is modified by two different sources I multiply, e.g. Hull gets -10% from hull strength and +10% from configuration I do 90% × 110% = 99%

"0,8x0.8x0.8 = 51.2%" seems more natural, but no-one else seemed to do it that way during beta...

Sigtrygg wrote: If reaction engines can stack with gravitic engines in the 3I then every warship in the OTU needs redesigning...
No really, ships can't afford the space for Jump fuel, regular drives, weapons, and additionally reaction drives and fuel.

Fighters have some empty space, so can use reaction drives. Besides they really need to close to dogfight range quickly.
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Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby Sigtrygg » Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:07 pm

Jump fuel is reaction drive fuel...

SDBs and BR can spare the space for reaction engines...

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