Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
Jeraa
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 527
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:01 pm

Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby Jeraa » Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:51 am

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:36 am
Jeraa wrote:
Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:49 am
Only because Mongoose changed the rules for no good reason.
Both firmpoints and dogfights comes from T5?

MgT2 has some coordination with T5.
T5 doing is isn't a good reason to change it in MgT. They could have kept the rules from MgT 1e and updated them for 2e, but instead chose to rewrite them. Now it may not entirely be Mongooses doing. Marc may have had something to say, but him changing the setting is just as bad, even if it is his creation. You don't change something that worked fine after 40 years just because you want to. That is like removing elves and dwarves from the Forgotten Realms (D&D) - sure they might not exist in some settings, but if they've been a part of the setting for that long, you should think twice before removing/changing them. The same goes with Traveller fighters.
Sigtrygg wrote:
Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:48 am
No, dogfighting and firmpoints do not come from T5.
Firmpoints are in T5. Not sure about the dogfighting stuff (Edit: Yes, T5 has dogfighting). T5 firmpoints:
Firmpoints. A Firmpoint is a small Hardpoint with restricted capabilities primarily for pods and small craft (although they may be installed ion Hulls).

Any Pod or small craft Hull (less than 100 tons) may have one Firmpoint per 35 tons. The first Firmpoint may be installed on a Pod or Subhull between 10 and 35 tons.

A Hull may substitute three Firmpoints per Hardpoint.
Firmpoint weapons also have reduced range in T5 compared to the normal turret versions.
Last edited by Jeraa on Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
Sigtrygg
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 776
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2006 9:23 am

Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby Sigtrygg » Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:57 am

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:31 am
Sigtrygg wrote:
Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:52 am
and the armour equivalence of a 300ky BB and a 25t fighter is just plain wrong - it's been glaring wrong since HG '80.
Yes, but it's also a vast simplification, just like ignoring mass.
Ignoring mass can be handwaved away since the magic maneuver drive affects a volume since it is 'gravitic' (which falls faster a 5kg hammer or a 500kg car?), as does the jump drive.
We could use FFS to build ships with hulls like in CT Striker.
Yes, or like in GT or GT:ISW or better yet take ship displacement and % of hull allocated to armour into account when determining armour factor rather than just hull %
And use a 3D-vector combat system.
Pointless with the rates of fire and ranges of Traveller ship weapons - maneuver is only a factor in getting to the engagement zone, once within weapon lock range you are going to get hit the closer you get to the enemy, get too close and you are autohit.
Somehow neither of these complications caught on...
That all depends on if you like Attack Vector or not ;)
baithammer
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 382
Joined: Wed May 31, 2017 2:21 am

Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby baithammer » Tue Aug 08, 2017 12:30 pm

better yet take ship displacement and % of hull allocated to armour into account when determining armour factor rather than just hull %
Covered by crit immunity based on hull displacement and 2ed is the same as 1ed for armor, all that was changed was doing the calculation in a single step and eliminating the multiple sections which could have different values.

If you want the sectional component, use the breakaway hull rules as a guide.
Ignoring mass can be handwaved away since the magic maneuver drive affects a volume since it is 'gravitic' (which falls faster a 5kg hammer or a 500kg car?), as does the jump drive.
Volume influences mass so that really isn't a problem and in a vacuum mass / volume is only affected by gravity which is the same for the hammer as it is with the car.
Sigtrygg
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 776
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2006 9:23 am

Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby Sigtrygg » Tue Aug 08, 2017 12:33 pm

baithammer wrote:
Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:42 am
The dog fighting rule isn't about ww2 in space, but the reality of getting under the big guns of larger vessels and only occurs with close range or less which also is the range limit for small craft mounted guns.
And how do they magically appear at that range? How do they aim their fixed weapons while evading a turreted weapon that can track much faster than the fighter can spin around?
baithammer
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 382
Joined: Wed May 31, 2017 2:21 am

Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby baithammer » Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:00 pm

And how do they magically appear at that range?
Using debris cover, shadowing a planet until intercept and the use of screening ships.
How do they aim their fixed weapons while evading a turreted weapon that can track much faster than the fighter can spin around?
Using the same movements available to all ships and being able to use thrust to change orientation and direction to do attack passes. ( No banking needed.)

Besides, only pulse lasers and beam lasers have bonuses in close range which triggers the -6 to hit from 100 dt + ships.
h1ro
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 239
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:06 pm
Location: Co Front Range

Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby h1ro » Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:15 pm

Debris?

You're kidding right?
AnotherDilbert
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2467
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:49 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby AnotherDilbert » Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:21 pm

Jeraa wrote: T5 doing is isn't a good reason to change it in MgT. They could have kept the rules from MgT 1e and updated them for 2e, but instead chose to rewrite them.
They could, but at least I am happy they did not.

The MgT1 system was a mess with 3 different design systems and two different combat systems, one of which was just broken (barrage roll). Fighters rules space and ships were just sitting targets.

Good riddance!
Sigtrygg
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 776
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2006 9:23 am

Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby Sigtrygg » Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:23 pm

baithammer wrote:
Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:00 pm
Using debris cover, shadowing a planet until intercept and the use of screening ships.
You are joking yes?
Using the same movements available to all ships and being able to use thrust to change orientation and direction to do attack passes. ( No banking needed.)
Newtonian movement says otherwise.
Besides, only pulse lasers and beam lasers have bonuses in close range which triggers the -6 to hit from 100 dt + ships.
If anything they should get a +6 bonus to hit anything so close, at a range of 10,000km there or thereabouts it is impossible for a ship to move its centre of mass quickly enough to avoid being hit by a laser, and once again if the fighter is evading it can not bring its fixed weapons to bear without lining itself up as a target.
AnotherDilbert
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2467
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:49 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby AnotherDilbert » Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:42 pm

Jeraa wrote: You don't change something that worked fine after 40 years just because you want to. That is like removing elves and dwarves from the Forgotten Realms (D&D) - ...
But it has never worked fine for some definitions of "fine".

Fighters have been overpowered (LBB2, MgT1), or totally ineffective (LBB5, MT?). Battleships have basically never been a good idea in any combat system, yet proscribed by the setting.

MgT made some effort to make at least battleships, missiles, and fighters competitive tactics in combat, and have as far as I can see been fairly successful.


Neither fighters nor battleships have been removed from the setting, but just as elves in FR, the rules mechanics have changed.
AnotherDilbert
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2467
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:49 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby AnotherDilbert » Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:50 pm

Sigtrygg wrote:
Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:48 am
No, MgT HG2e dogfighting and firmpoints do not come from T5.

Firmpoints are derived from the old HG'80 rules for fixed mounts in smallcraft, so they predate T5.
Really?

In HG'80 small craft used exactly the same weapons and hardpoints as ships.

The firmpoints seems to be directly copied from T5. Dogfights are not just implied, but explicitly mentioned in T5.
AnotherDilbert
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2467
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:49 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby AnotherDilbert » Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:02 pm

Sigtrygg wrote:
Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:57 am
AnotherDilbert wrote:
Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:31 am
Sigtrygg wrote:
Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:52 am
and the armour equivalence of a 300ky BB and a 25t fighter is just plain wrong - it's been glaring wrong since HG '80.
Yes, but it's also a vast simplification, just like ignoring mass.
Ignoring mass can be handwaved away since the magic maneuver drive affects a volume since it is 'gravitic' (which falls faster a 5kg hammer or a 500kg car?), as does the jump drive.
Sure, we can hand-wave away anything, but why would we? You wanted a more realistic system, did you not?

We could use FFS to build ships with hulls like in CT Striker.
Yes, or like in GT or GT:ISW or better yet take ship displacement and % of hull allocated to armour into account when determining armour factor rather than just hull %
[/quote]
How did GT model armour?

Another random table? The problem is of course that reasonably battleships can carry much thicker armour than small ships, but then the combat system collapses, and we end up with FFS.
baithammer
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 382
Joined: Wed May 31, 2017 2:21 am

Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby baithammer » Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:14 pm

Using debris cover, shadowing a planet until intercept and the use of screening ships.
You are joking yes?
Nope, these are valid ways small craft can survive in a high threat environment.
Using the same movements available to all ships and being able to use thrust to change orientation and direction to do attack passes. ( No banking needed.)
Newtonian movement says otherwise.
Newtonian movement allows for circling a target while keeping the nose pointed at the target.
Besides, only pulse lasers and beam lasers have bonuses in close range which triggers the -6 to hit from 100 dt + ships.
If anything they should get a +6 bonus to hit anything so close, at a range of 10,000km there or thereabouts it is impossible for a ship to move its centre of mass quickly enough to avoid being hit by a laser, and once again if the fighter is evading it can not bring its fixed weapons to bear without lining itself up as a target.
The turret at close range has a wider degree of movement necessary in order to track the target, the beam also requires being focused so there is room to out outmaneuver the turrets.

And its very possible in a vacuum to move the center of mass outside the tracking of the turret.
Jeraa
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 527
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:01 pm

Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby Jeraa » Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:39 pm

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:21 pm
Jeraa wrote: T5 doing is isn't a good reason to change it in MgT. They could have kept the rules from MgT 1e and updated them for 2e, but instead chose to rewrite them.
They could, but at least I am happy they did not.

The MgT1 system was a mess with 3 different design systems and two different combat systems, one of which was just broken (barrage roll). Fighters rules space and ships were just sitting targets.

Good riddance!
Well yes, that is better. I was more referring to how small craft worked in 1e (just small versions of larger ships), as opposed to the changes for 2e (firmpoints, dogfighting).
AnotherDilbert
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2467
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:49 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby AnotherDilbert » Tue Aug 08, 2017 6:08 pm

Jeraa wrote: Well yes, that is better. I was more referring to how small craft worked in 1e (just small versions of larger ships), as opposed to the changes for 2e (firmpoints, dogfighting).
But the dogfighting rule is the key to making fighters competitive, yet different.

If they were just small ships, the only effective armament would be missiles, and they work the same on firmpoints.
baithammer
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 382
Joined: Wed May 31, 2017 2:21 am

Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby baithammer » Tue Aug 08, 2017 6:13 pm

they work the same on firmpoints.
Well with a third of the ready to use loads as firmpoint only allows 4 missiles on the ready compared to 12 ready on a full size ship.
Nerhesi
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 1525
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:46 pm

Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby Nerhesi » Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:27 pm

Sigtrygg wrote:
Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:48 am
No, MgT HG2e dogfighting and firmpoints do not come from T5.
Unfortunately Sig, they do. That was my design constraint. I had to adhere to that and I actually had to really argue and drive to get anything other than a single turret pulse/beam/missile to be allowed.
Firmpoints are derived from the old HG'80 rules for fixed mounts in smallcraft, so they predate T5.
They may have started there. But the current implementation is based in trav5 not earlier versions. It does differ significantly (example - range decrease of firm points I believe)

Also, if I may:

It logically sound to say that space fighters belong in traveller in their current form because traveller has established many ad hoc things that are not realistic.

If we are to say that space fighters are in realistic, then it would logically follow for us to look at what else is unrealistic, such as:

any large ship (completely silly to have large combat ship given the potential loss vs the linear increase in fire power)
Manned combat ships
Skill having any gunnery or evasion (tactics maybe - and minimally so)
Missiles being of any use in space combat given how accurate weapons can be. They should be trivially shot and destroyed from extreme ranges.
Armour hardness is fine - because endurance for armour is measured through hull. Considering we have magic armour - it is perfectly sound to assume that fighters and battleships can have the same reduction. Both systems (armour being higher or equivalent for larger ships) are equally valid abstract representation because they're ultimately combined with a hull value.

Sorry for the late reply :) life has picked up with the introduction of a mini me
Sigtrygg
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 776
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2006 9:23 am

Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby Sigtrygg » Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:43 pm

IMHO Star Wars like space fighters have no precedent within the 3I setting and the dogfighting rules should be a cinematic option rather than a core rule.

The importance of your last sentence just sunk in - congratulations :)
Last edited by Sigtrygg on Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
phavoc
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 4030
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:13 pm

Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby phavoc » Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:50 pm

baithammer wrote:
Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:00 pm
Using debris cover, shadowing a planet until intercept and the use of screening ships.
Unless you are fighting in an extremely dense asteroid belt, debris should never be an issue. We are talking about space, and the amount of space in a planetary system is huge when compared to the masses which may share the same area. And the nearly all that mass will be in the sun, planets and the planetary bodies in orbit around the planets. Even asteroid belts will be limited to a relatively small area. Unless there is a specific reason for a fleet to be defending or attacking a facility in an asteroid belt they won't be there. Most space battles are going to occur near a target of significance.
baithammer wrote:
Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:00 pm
Using the same movements available to all ships and being able to use thrust to change orientation and direction to do attack passes. ( No banking needed.)
This is where fighter 'dogfighting' breaks down. You can't continuously orbit another craft, especially if that craft is accelerating unless you have a huge delta-v advantage over the other craft. The fighter craft might possibly orbit around the target in a perpendicular motion, but it would have to also continuously have lateral thrust applied to maintain it's current heading. Every point of energy to go, say 'right' in space, would require 2 points of energy to go 'left' because you first have to cancel out your 'right' momentum. It quickly becomes an untenable activity to do this because you run out of energy. Plus, since the target is at the center of the combat action, it requires nearly zero energy to roll whereas the fighter would required significantly more energy to stay hovering over the same area of the ship. If you've ever played tetherball or skated you can easily experience how that momentum and energy work together.
baithammer wrote:
Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:00 pm
Besides, only pulse lasers and beam lasers have bonuses in close range which triggers the -6 to hit from 100 dt + ships.
This is where the rules do a horrible job of modeling space combat - especially space combat under newtonian rules. If you try to apply very much logic and reasoning it just falls apart. And Traveller, with it's range bands, has never done a good job of modelling space combat. There are other combat systems, such as SFB or Renegade Legion that deal with headings and turn radius, weapon arc and bearing, that would be a better base for space craft combat. Since Traveller was an RPG with space combat bolted on and not a space combat simulator to start, it's why we are left with such a system.
Sigtrygg
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 776
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2006 9:23 am

Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby Sigtrygg » Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:07 pm

Some versions of Traveller have very good space combat rules.

The original vector movement rules in LBB2 and the Mayday series 120 game only have one main failing - lack of weapon arcs (but since everything wat meant to be in turrets I suppose this is forgivable - however weapon arcs are important for spinal mounts and fixed mounts).

Brilliant Lances and Battle Rider for TNE were both pretty good.

The vector combat systems in GT and GT ISW are ok too.
baithammer
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 382
Joined: Wed May 31, 2017 2:21 am

Re: Revisiting Fighters in a Post High Guard Era

Postby baithammer » Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:15 am

Unless you are fighting in an extremely dense asteroid belt, debris should never be an issue. We are talking about space, and the amount of space in a planetary system is huge when compared to the masses which may share the same area. And the nearly all that mass will be in the sun, planets and the planetary bodies in orbit around the planets. Even asteroid belts will be limited to a relatively small area. Unless there is a specific reason for a fleet to be defending or attacking a facility in an asteroid belt they won't be there. Most space battles are going to occur near a target of significance.
Asteroid belts are rather large but not very dense bodies, but when dealing with fighter sized craft there isn't much required to limit exposure.

Further, this is only one tactic.
Most space battles are going to occur near a target of significance.
Which as a gravity well will attract debris and objects, not enough to hide a battleship but enough to potentially allow small craft to reduce enemy response time.
This is where fighter 'dogfighting' breaks down. You can't continuously orbit another craft, especially if that craft is accelerating unless you have a huge delta-v advantage over the other craft.
I was responding to the newtonian physics comment not the actual tactic in an attack pass. The point isn't to orbit the target but the idea a small craft has more positional change options to create more uncertainty for a turret to track.
it requires nearly zero energy to roll
Which gives no advantage to the target and would in a simulation make its turret targeting far more erratic.
There are other combat systems, such as SFB or Renegade Legion that deal with headings and turn radius, weapon arc and bearing, that would be a better base for space craft combat.
Which are still abstracted in a turn based system, it generally gives a sense of completeness but rarely in practice generates a end result much different in totality from simpler systems. ( Also have different technological considerations as well.)

The only firmpoint system with minimal changes seems to be missiles and torpedoes which don't have a range band but instead have a burn limit. ( With the exception that missiles and torpedoes lose the smart feature if launched from close or adjacent range.)

The missile / torpedo situation is where the light fighter has no current use as it has to give up any other means of defense or offense to have a weapon system usable in a combat environment, as it stands the answer in every case is a medium fighter of varying tonnage.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests