Pocket Battleship and Dreadnought

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
baithammer
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 375
Joined: Wed May 31, 2017 2:21 am

Re: Pocket Battleship and Dreadnought

Postby baithammer » Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:24 pm

So, show me a scenario in which screens win major battles.
Run the scenario with Screened Battleships versus your Pocket Dreads, outcome changes.
100 000 ton of metal isn't very limiting
As you like to say about credits, for the same 100,000t I can get a third hull for every two hulls of the smaller scale ones.
AnotherDilbert
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2461
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:49 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Pocket Battleship and Dreadnought

Postby AnotherDilbert » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:00 pm

baithammer wrote: Run the scenario with Screened Battleships versus your Pocket Dreads, outcome changes.
Does it?
If by "Pocket Dread" you mean "unscreened ship of 150 kDt, GCr 95, and 12DD spinal", we could do that.
The screened BB is 200 kDt, GCr 244, meson spinal 8DD, and 4000 meson screens. So for each screened BB we get 244 / 95 ≈ 2.57 "pocket dreads", so for 10 ScBB we get 26 "pocket dreads".

10 ScBB do 10 × 8 × 3500 ≈ 280 000 damage, killing 2.55 "pocket dreads" or 10% of the force.
26 "pocket dreads" do 26 × 12 × 3500 ≈ 1 092 000 damage, killing 1092000 / ( 146666 + 4000 × 28 ) ≈ 4.2 ScBB or 42% of the enemy force.
Screened ships lose badly.

baithammer wrote:
100 000 ton of metal isn't very limiting
As you like to say about credits, for the same 100,000t I can get a third hull for every two hulls of the smaller scale ones.
I'm sure it will come as an unpleasant surprise for e.g. the US Navy that ship procurement isn't limited by the naval budget, but only by steel production, since China produces 10 times more steel than the US.
baithammer
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 375
Joined: Wed May 31, 2017 2:21 am

Re: Pocket Battleship and Dreadnought

Postby baithammer » Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:10 pm

Lets get a more reasonable comparison.

UnShielded Pocket Dread 42,000 damage ave
Hull 100,000

Shielded Battleship 28,000 damage ave
Hull+screen 202,666

USPD 4.8:1
SBS 3.6:1

Takes 4.8 UnShielded Pocket Dreads to kill 1 Shielded Battleship vs 3.6 Shielded Battleships to kill a UnShielded Pocket Dread.

As to the US Navy, no its really the budget after all the major projects it undertook in the last decade ballooned over budget and faced 8 years of budget cuts and funding freezes. ( Market is saturated by steel.)

The pocket dreads however are easier to replace and are a better fit when defense budgets are constrained.
phavoc
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 4030
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:13 pm

Re: Pocket Battleship and Dreadnought

Postby phavoc » Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:27 am

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:15 am
Which is reasonable for a cruiser intended to be deployed singly on patrol or raid, but not for a ship intended to stand in the line of battle. In the line of battle your line must face and survive the attacks from many ships. A defence, like screens, that can only stop a single attack is easily overwhelmed and not very valuable.
I'm going to have to disagree here. Ships and fleets come and go, get assigned depending on current situation, and then there is always the concept of ships being out of commission or outright destroyed and not available. Naval architects design ships with a specific mission and arm / armor it accordingly. You never know when a ship is going to have to operate outside of a fleet. During WW1 the British dispatched a pair of their newest battlecruisers to the Falklands to track down and destroy a German cruiser squadron that was raiding British shipping. The Invincible and Inflexible were designed to support dreadnoughts in the line of battle. But they were dispatched to form the core of a squadron to kill the Germans. While Fisher and others muddied the waters with battlecruisers, one of their missions was to participate in the line of battle - which they did (to some unfortunate results for some). Which is why I don't agree with the idea.

The issue with the screens is a different argument. Defenses are never wasted, but finding the right balance of offense/defense is not an easy one.

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:15 am
You can only use bigger ships at the same cost if you leave out the expensive components (screens). Since size (Hull points) is the ultimate defence, the expensive components must be better than not just the displaced weapons, but also the lost Hull points at the same time.
Isn't this the same argument as the always debated quantity vs. quality? It still doesn't address the core issue of the efficacy of providing defensive capabilities to your ships and personnel.

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:15 am
In war you will lose ships. Winning battles and losing few ships are better than losing battles and losing more ships.

People are not that stupid, you can't just say "We have the best screens in the known Universe!" and ignore that your ships are outnumbered and outgunned, and you lose battles because of it.
There's no question that war causes casualties. Hell, peacetime causes casualties. Yes, in war you will lose ships. But also in war losing ships constantly (and the thousands of trained personnel) is not without consequence. Nearly all empires are affected by large-scale losses- especially when it seems like the soldiers were sacrificed for nothing. Look back at the history of previous wars and how nations reacted morale-wise to losses.

Defenses come at the expense of offensive capabilities. But so do a lot of other things. Providing life pods or small craft in sufficient numbers to allow for a crew to escape isn't cheap. But if you send someone to battle with no chances of potentially getting off a ship alive, it affects your military personnel. Nobody likes to be considered expendable because it's cheaper - and the hope that they'll die in fewer numbers to save some credits for the people back home. Players in games say that, but it's not the norm for navies and such. Even the Russians give more than lip service to safety (not much more, but a tad more).
baithammer
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 375
Joined: Wed May 31, 2017 2:21 am

Re: Pocket Battleship and Dreadnought

Postby baithammer » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:45 am

Too many times we treat designs as min/max situations, however this often goes into over-specialization, it is often better to refine designs based on sufficiency.

Also figured out an advantage of screens, if the ship survives the first turn the screens recharge and prolong its life.
AnotherDilbert
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2461
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:49 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Pocket Battleship and Dreadnought

Postby AnotherDilbert » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:04 am

baithammer wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:10 pm
Lets get a more reasonable comparison.

UnShielded Pocket Dread 42,000 damage ave
Hull 100,000

Shielded Battleship 28,000 damage ave
Hull+screen 202,666
So you are saying a 200 kDt GCr 244 ship barely beats a 136 kDt GCr 105 ship? It bloody well should!

I vehemently disagree that a 50% larger ship at more than twice the cost is a reasonable comparison.
AnotherDilbert
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2461
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:49 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Pocket Battleship and Dreadnought

Postby AnotherDilbert » Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:03 am

phavoc wrote: I'm going to have to disagree here. Ships and fleets come and go, get assigned depending on current situation, and then there is always the concept of ships being out of commission or outright destroyed and not available. Naval architects design ships with a specific mission and arm / armor it accordingly. You never know when a ship is going to have to operate outside of a fleet.
So would it be a good idea to double or triple the cost of a carrier to provide increased protection from submarines (but not airborne missiles), just in case the carrier would have to operate alone, and hence halve the number of carrier groups in the navy?

My argument is not that defences are bad, my argument is that screens are not cost effective in the battle line.

phavoc wrote: The issue with the screens is a different argument. Defenses are never wasted, but finding the right balance of offense/defense is not an easy one.
I think we basically agree.

But you make no effort to quantify the usefulness of the defences you argue for, despite their massive cost. Note that the screens on the screened BB cost more than half of the total cost of the ship, yet fail to protect the ship, even against the only specific weapon they are supposed to defend against.

phavoc wrote:
AnotherDilbert wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:15 am
You can only use bigger ships at the same cost if you leave out the expensive components (screens). Since size (Hull points) is the ultimate defence, the expensive components must be better than not just the displaced weapons, but also the lost Hull points at the same time.
Isn't this the same argument as the always debated quantity vs. quality? It still doesn't address the core issue of the efficacy of providing defensive capabilities to your ships and personnel.
No, I don't think so. Hull points are a defence just as armour or screens, and unlike other defences it works against all weapons.


phavoc wrote: There's no question that war causes casualties. Hell, peacetime causes casualties. Yes, in war you will lose ships. But also in war losing ships constantly (and the thousands of trained personnel) is not without consequence. Nearly all empires are affected by large-scale losses- especially when it seems like the soldiers were sacrificed for nothing. Look back at the history of previous wars and how nations reacted morale-wise to losses.
Morale is a tricky matter. Did Pearl Harbor hurt US morale? Did Leyte Gulf with the loss of 3 carriers and 3000 casualties hurt US morale? Did Stalingrad (with ~1M casualties) hurt Russian morale? Did Operation Barbarossa in 1941 (~30%, >1M casualties) hurt German morale?

I would vaguely say that when it matters, casualties are martyrs, but when it does not matter, casualties are considered wasted, hurting morale.

Hence the Normandy campaign with ~200 000 Allied casualties did not hurt morale, but the Vietnam War with ~200 000 US casualties for no perceived possible gain seriously hurt morale.

phavoc wrote: Defenses come at the expense of offensive capabilities. But so do a lot of other things. Providing life pods or small craft in sufficient numbers to allow for a crew to escape isn't cheap. But if you send someone to battle with no chances of potentially getting off a ship alive, it affects your military personnel.
Providing lifeboats at 1% (?) of ship cost is very different from a not very effective defence that more than double the cost of the ship.

Would current sailors prefer to go to battle outnumbered, lacking offensive weapons, but well protected from laser weapons?
Condottiere
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 5527
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Pocket Battleship and Dreadnought

Postby Condottiere » Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:30 pm

1. The primary mission of Fisher's dreadnought armoured cruisers was to hunt down first class commerce raiders, which essentially von Spee's squadron would be in the event of war.

2. Seems a little hard to define a pocket dreadnought for Traveller, since it would fall into the battleship category.

3. Torpedo bulges fulfill the same function as shields, being designed to disperse the energy of a torpedo hit before it touched the hull proper.

4. Carrier being a little nebulous here, since the point of an escort is to provide buffer, deterrence and defense, and our carriers could do that by themselves, plus reconnaissance and power projection; also, a little hard to sneak up on a vessel in the middle of space, nor surprise one with a sudden dash over the horizon. The escorts do provide the carrier task group commander with more flexibility.

5. Most crews like to think they'll win in an engagement, and that a ship is sufficiently protected that there's a good chance that most of them will come out alive at the end of it.
baithammer
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 375
Joined: Wed May 31, 2017 2:21 am

Re: Pocket Battleship and Dreadnought

Postby baithammer » Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:25 am

Most traveller battleships are 200kdt in size with a 8dd - 10dd spinal mount with dreads going up to 500 kdt with 12dd+ spinals.

So a pocket dread would be less than 500kdt with a spinal mount of 12dd+.

Code: Select all

My argument is not that defences are bad, my argument is that screens are not cost effective in the battle line.
Which seems to come from a pov of all or nothing, screens have the added advantage that a ship that survives a round of attack receives there screen back on the next turn effectively augmenting the amount of hull for the round. Compared to to a non screened ship which simply stuck at the amount of hull remaining.
AnotherDilbert
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2461
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:49 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Pocket Battleship and Dreadnought

Postby AnotherDilbert » Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:40 am

baithammer wrote: Most traveller battleships are 200kdt in size with a 8dd - 10dd spinal mount with dreads going up to 500 kdt with 12dd+ spinals.

So a pocket dread would be less than 500kdt with a spinal mount of 12dd+.
There is no rule that limits ships sizes or what spinals they carry. (The 50% rule is not really a limit for jump capable ships). This terminology is your invention, and there is no reason to believe any potential enemies will feel limited by them.

By HG, the Kokirrak and Plankwell, both at 200 kDt, are considered Dreadnoughts by the Imperium.
Battleship: A very large capital ship with thick armour and powerful weapons. Sometimes called ships-of-the-line, battleships are the strength of a fleet and are designed to destroy any enemy they meet.
Note that is says nothing about actual size or narrow limitations on spinals.


baithammer wrote:

Code: Select all

My argument is not that defences are bad, my argument is that screens are not cost effective in the battle line.
Which seems to come from a pov of all or nothing, screens have the added advantage that a ship that survives a round of attack receives there screen back on the next turn effectively augmenting the amount of hull for the round.
Not if the ship is destroyed...

That is why screens work in single ship actions (where we cannot concentrate fire), but not in squadron battles (where we can concentrate fire).

In major battles the system encourages us to concentrate fire to kill opponent ships. That may be simplistic, but that is the system we have.



Let's take another example:
The enemy cheats by using particle spinals. They field a force of small cheap ships with 10DD particle spinals, say 105 kDt, GCr 70, Hull 77000, let's call them "BP".
For one screened BB we get 244 / 70 = 3.5 BPs. Squadron combat might be 10 ScBB vs. 35 BPs.
ScBBs do average 10 × 8 × 3500 ≈ 280 000 damage, killing 280000 / 77000 ≈ 3.6 BP or 10% of the enemy force.
BPs do average 35 × 10 × 3500 × 0.55 ≈ 673 750 damage, ignoring the screens, killing 4.6 ScBB or 46% of the enemy force.
ScBBs lose badly.


The enemy might even cheat further by building small ships with 1DD particle spinals, say 8 kDt, GCr 5.9, Hull 3520, classified as BLP.
For each ScBB we get 244 / 5.9 = 41.3 BLPs
ScBBs kills average 10 BLPs or 2.4% of the enemy force.
BLPs do average 413 × 1 × 3500 × 0.55 ≈ 795 000 damage, ignoring the screens, killing 5.4 ScBB or 54% of the enemy force.
ScBBs lose very badly.
Condottiere
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 5527
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Pocket Battleship and Dreadnought

Postby Condottiere » Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:26 pm

Definitions tend to be edition specific.

I tend to rate the Tigresses as super dreadnoughts.

There are larger examples, but I'd like them to be canon to either Classic or Mongoose.
baithammer
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 375
Joined: Wed May 31, 2017 2:21 am

Re: Pocket Battleship and Dreadnought

Postby baithammer » Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:41 pm

The Kokirrak-class are one of the olderclasses of dreadnoughts in Imperial service, and are now being phased out of service.
and
Lacking the extensive troop complement and the large fighter screen, the Plankwell fulfills a more traditional
battleship role,
The dreadnought designation is for when these ships came into service, however with newer designs such as the tigress this makes them outmoded in the dreadnought classification but still well within battleship territory. The tigress definitely throws a curve ball for designations as it not only has armour / armaments but also serves as a fleet carrier...
Note that is says nothing about actual size or narrow limitations on spinals.
Going with mgt cannon ships which only have a few examples, of which both the 200kdt dreads are either being taken out of service or effectively down rated with the tigress stretching the dreadnought designation.
Not if the ship is destroyed...
Which is the point of statement on surviving the first turn, in apple to apple comparison the SBS would have at least 1 SBS with some damage but still operational so it would get its screens in the next turn. ( Was even predicating the USPD had initiative which gives them an advantage.)
That is why screens work in single ship actions (where we cannot concentrate fire), but not in squadron battles (where we can concentrate fire).
Works in all cases as the screens are a hull point buffer which comes back if the ship survives the turn, compared to USPD which will generally be much lower in hull if it survives and receives no buffer in the next turn lowering the amount of ships needed to kill it.
small ships with 1DD particle spinals
Which are reduced by armor to the point of 45%...
AnotherDilbert
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2461
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:49 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Pocket Battleship and Dreadnought

Postby AnotherDilbert » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:42 pm

baithammer wrote: The dreadnought designation is for when these ships came into service, however with newer designs such as the tigress this makes them outmoded in the dreadnought classification but still well within battleship territory.
Image
The Kokirrak-class dreadnought ...
The Plankwell-class dreadnought ...
The 200 kDt Kokirraks and Plankwells are clearly classified as dreadnoughts.

Not that it matters much since Dreadnought simply means "large Battleship":
Dreadnought: The largest fighting ships of a fleet, dreadnoughts are over-sized battleships, fulfilling the same role but with notably more firepower and greater durability.


baithammer wrote:
That is why screens work in single ship actions (where we cannot concentrate fire), but not in squadron battles (where we can concentrate fire).
Works in all cases as the screens are a hull point buffer which comes back if the ship survives the turn, compared to USPD which will generally be much lower in hull if it survives and receives no buffer in the next turn lowering the amount of ships needed to kill it.
Yes, that was badly formulated. I meant screens are cost-effective in single ship actions, but not in major battles, which I think you realise.


baithammer wrote:
small ships with 1DD particle spinals
Which are reduced by armor to the point of 45%...
Certainly, which is why I included that in the damage calculations:
AnotherDilbert wrote: BLPs do average 413 × 1 × 3500 × 0.55 ≈ 795 000 damage, ...
baithammer
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 375
Joined: Wed May 31, 2017 2:21 am

Re: Pocket Battleship and Dreadnought

Postby baithammer » Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:46 pm

Notice how it ends up requiring over matching numbers? Thats a hint that on average the SBS have a balance on defensive action within a battle.

The trade off in this case is lower jump coverage, which brings back the notion of strike battleships in order to slow down the advance of jump 4 class ships.

There is a place for the unscreened ships, where a crash fleet build up is required as the lower displacement can be built using parallel manufacturing as there more slips available at the displacement and the amount of materials required is lower. ( Other than the spinal.)
AnotherDilbert
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2461
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:49 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Pocket Battleship and Dreadnought

Postby AnotherDilbert » Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:41 pm

baithammer wrote: Notice how it ends up requiring over matching numbers? Thats a hint that on average the SBS have a balance on defensive action within a battle.
The relative numbers merely reflect the difference in cost. The ScBBs are extremely expensive, hence has to fight at a numerical inferiority.

You protested when I made bigger ships of equal cost, so I made the unscreened ships smaller, hence cheaper, hence more numerous, to please you.

We can certainly make more expensive ships, say with 24DD spinals, if you prefer...
baithammer
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 375
Joined: Wed May 31, 2017 2:21 am

Re: Pocket Battleship and Dreadnought

Postby baithammer » Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:41 am

Could you provide a full design for the USBS?

I do appreciate the back and forth, the trick is I need to be able to reach tipping points in outside views.

Like figuring out the point where screens make sense, which is around a 200kdt hull and higher.
Condottiere
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 5527
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Pocket Battleship and Dreadnought

Postby Condottiere » Sat Oct 14, 2017 4:11 am

The Imperium definition of a dreadnought is the newest and most powerful classes of battleship.

Again, this is probably edition specific.

However, Mongoose did commission Sector Fleet.

The best and newest (and most expensive) line-of-battle ships are designated dreadnoughts. They form the backbone of the front-line battle squadrons and continually evolve to meet new threats or exploit new ideas. As a dreadnought class loses its cutting-edge status, it is downgraded to Battleship designation. The two hundred kilotonne Kokirrak class dreadnought is about to suffer this reduction in status, reflecting the fact that the design is becoming obsolescent. Current Imperial dreadnoughts include the Plankwell class (two hundred kilotonnes) and the awesome Tigress class (semimegatonne), which carries three hundred fighters in addition to its main armament.
AnotherDilbert
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2461
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:49 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Pocket Battleship and Dreadnought

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:19 am

baithammer wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:41 am
Could you provide a full design for the USBS?
Do you mean this?
Image
It's just a copy of your BB with the screens removed and the spinal enlarged.
baithammer
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 375
Joined: Wed May 31, 2017 2:21 am

Re: Pocket Battleship and Dreadnought

Postby baithammer » Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:08 am

Been going over the numbers for comparison and spotted a number of errors on my part.

Screens at base really need to be a persistent reduction to incoming fire and I would suggest the angle screens action be a tactic used to stop an attack that is too heavy for the standard screen and as a consequence lose a proportion of the screens used in the attempt for other incoming attacks.

As it stands now, the only defense system of consequence are the black globe generators with its own quirks.

Also been going over other editions of ship classifications and MT Fighting Ships of the Shattered Imperium seems to have a better classification system which with a few adaptions could be a good reference for 2 ed MGT.

An example.
Dreadnought: A dreadnought is a superbattleship, designed
to be the best possible battleship. The Imperial Navy places the
dreadnought designation on its latest, most-effective battleships,
redesignating them simply as battleships when their superior abilities
are supplanted by newer construction.
Condottiere
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 5527
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Pocket Battleship and Dreadnought

Postby Condottiere » Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:55 am

Post Industrial Revolution, about twenty years.

However, since we have fixed technological levels, until the hull wears out and the quirks become actual liabilities.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Jeraa and 15 guests