Questions on small craft weapons and turrets

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Questions on small craft weapons and turrets

Postby Geir » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:31 pm

High Guard is a little fuzzy (at least in my mind) about the effects and limitations of weapons on small craft. Below is how I’ve interpreted it, but I would be interested in some feedback, since it has some rather large effects on the combat capabilities of small craft.

By default, small craft use Firmpoints, 1-3 depending on size, but these “can be upgraded to a single (not double or triple) turret”.
This leads to several questions:

1. A large small craft, say 80 tons, could have three Firmpoints. Can they all be upgraded to single turrets? That seems silly. The logical answer would be to allow two Firmpoints to upgrade to a double turret and three to a triple. Reasonable?

2. Weapons on Firmpoints also have range limitations. “A weapon on a Firmpoint may not have its range increased beyond Close by any means.” Okay. Fine for lasers, but what about missiles? My assumption is that this does not apply to missiles and their “special” ranges. Missiles do what missiles do regardless of platform.

3. I also assume that the “Close Range Rule” is strictly for Firmpoints. A turret on a small craft would revert to turret rules, and a pulse laser would be good to long range, very long if you paid extra to have it upgraded in range potential. This suddenly makes a fighter with a pulse laser turret deadly at far greater range, but it is logical, right? A turret is a turret and not some fixed mount that you need to aim the entire ship to fire.

4. Turret capacity: And this applies to all turrets, not just small craft. Missile racks hold 12 missiles; sandcasters hold 20 (the text says 12 at one point, but the table and the Core rules clearly show 20, so I’m sticking to that). What about a mixed turret, say a triple turret with one missile rack and two sandcasters? You could read the rules to say it could hold 12 missiles and 20 sand canisters (or 40?), but given their storage requirements, its seems more logical to limit the total ammunition in a turret to 1 ton, so in the example above, 6 missiles and 10 sand canisters would make the most sense. Right?

What do you think? Am I out of line or out of my mind in my reasoning? Can I put a double turret with extra-long-range pulse lasers on a pinnace? Nine power points might cut into its acceleration, but it could handle it.
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Re: Questions on small craft weapons and turrets

Postby GarethL » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:17 pm

1/ Your call. RAW its three single turrets (important as it increases the number of crew, power and mass needed),

2/ Firm point Missile racks only hold four missiles (as per pg. 25), I'm not sure about range, but again, RAW they're reduced range.

3/ A firm point turret is still a firm point - and should, I think, suffer the same penalties. Otherwise you can drastically up the firepower (you're already getting a lot of bang for your buck) to something easily comparable to a bigger ship (a three firm point vessel can fit a barbette as well as a single turret, nastier than a lot of 100t vessels) .

4/ See 2 above, not sure about sand, but RAW they get a full magazine - probably not game-breaking though. I concur about sand being magazines of 20.
Last edited by GarethL on Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Questions on small craft weapons and turrets

Postby AnotherDilbert » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:20 pm

Geir wrote: By default, small craft use Firmpoints, 1-3 depending on size, but these “can be upgraded to a single (not double or triple) turret”.
By default small craft have Fixed Mounts on Firmpoints, these can be upgraded to Turrets on Firmpoints. Yes, it's a bit fuzzy.

Geir wrote: 1. A large small craft, say 80 tons, could have three Firmpoints. Can they all be upgraded to single turrets? That seems silly. The logical answer would be to allow two Firmpoints to upgrade to a double turret and three to a triple. Reasonable?
Probably reasonable, but not RAW.

Geir wrote: 2. Weapons on Firmpoints also have range limitations. “A weapon on a Firmpoint may not have its range increased beyond Close by any means.” Okay. Fine for lasers, but what about missiles? My assumption is that this does not apply to missiles and their “special” ranges. Missiles do what missiles do regardless of platform.
Missile racks have no range, as you have noted. Small craft use the same missiles as any other craft. Missiles have Distant range.

Geir wrote: 3. I also assume that the “Close Range Rule” is strictly for Firmpoints. A turret on a small craft would revert to turret rules, and a pulse laser would be good to long range, very long if you paid extra to have it upgraded in range potential. This suddenly makes a fighter with a pulse laser turret deadly at far greater range, but it is logical, right? A turret is a turret and not some fixed mount that you need to aim the entire ship to fire.
No. Small craft always use Firmpoints. Either Fixed Mounts or Turrets can be mounted on the Firmpoint. So, Turrets and Fixed Mounts have the same range and other limitations.

Geir wrote: 4. Turret capacity: And this applies to all turrets, not just small craft. Missile racks hold 12 missiles; sandcasters hold 20 (the text says 12 at one point, but the table and the Core rules clearly show 20, so I’m sticking to that).
High Guard changes this to 12 rounds of ammo per rack or caster (p25). "Each missile rack holds 12 missiles (missile racks on Firmpoints hold four missiles)". So a Sand-Laser-Missile turret would hold 12 missiles and 12 sand canisters (unless small craft).
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Re: Questions on small craft weapons and turrets

Postby Geir » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:29 pm

Ok, ignorant. RAW, Rules As Written? If so, they’re not clear as written, so that’s my issue.
As for sand. Go to page 31 of High Guard and it’s all by 20s again, so I’m of the belief that the 12 reference was a mistake, not a new rule.
As for Firmpoints still being Firmpoints if they’re turrets, the sentence reads:

“A Firmpoint on a small craft is a fixed mount (typically forward-facing, but there is no requirement for this), but can be upgraded to a single(not double or triple) turret.”

If it’s upgraded to a turret, it’s a turret, not a Firmpoint. At least that’s what I take “upgraded” to mean.

But that's my opinion. English isn't technically my first language.
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Re: Questions on small craft weapons and turrets

Postby GarethL » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:30 pm

A question of my own:

Playing Drinax, the players have Stealth, and a reason to use it,

A target fails initial detection - what now? When do they check again? Is there a bonus? It seems unreasonable that the PCs can just drive up to knife-fighting range? Is it just a skill check per turn if the target has a sensor operator on lookout? (the Harrier has a typical TN of about 14+ to detect, so most merchants can barely succeed even if you're knocking on the hatch!)
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Re: Questions on small craft weapons and turrets

Postby Geir » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:34 pm

GarethL wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:30 pm
A question of my own:

Playing Drinax, the players have Stealth, and a reason to use it,

A target fails initial detection - what now? When do they check again? Is there a bonus? It seems unreasonable that the PCs can just drive up to knife-fighting range? Is it just a skill check per turn if the target has a sensor operator on lookout? (the Harrier has a typical TN of about 14+ to detect, so most merchants can barely succeed even if you're knocking on the hatch!)
I'd think it be the same sensor rule as doing Countermeasure on missiles, which the Harrier also does really well. One check per turn. You'd think there would be some DMs for running silent versus charge at 6G, though.
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Re: Questions on small craft weapons and turrets

Postby GarethL » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:37 pm

Geir wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:29 pm
Ok, ignorant. RAW, Rules As Written?
Yup
Geir wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:29 pm
But that's my opinion. English isn't technically my first language.
No worries,
As for sand. Go to page 31 of High Guard and it’s all by 20s again, so I’m of the belief that the 12 reference was a mistake, not a new rule.
That's my reading of it too,
it’s upgraded to a turret, it’s a turret, not a Firmpoint. At least that’s what I take “upgraded” to mean.
My reading is that it's a turret mounted on a firm point, but I can see where you're coming from,

Put it this way, three single turrets is a lot more flexible than anything a full spaceship can mount, which feels wrong, we're in the territory of Fighters and small raft here,
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Re: Questions on small craft weapons and turrets

Postby Geir » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:45 pm

GarethL wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:37 pm
Geir wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:29 pm
Ok, ignorant. RAW, Rules As Written?
Yup
Geir wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:29 pm
But that's my opinion. English isn't technically my first language.
No worries,
As for sand. Go to page 31 of High Guard and it’s all by 20s again, so I’m of the belief that the 12 reference was a mistake, not a new rule.
That's my reading of it too,
it’s upgraded to a turret, it’s a turret, not a Firmpoint. At least that’s what I take “upgraded” to mean.
My reading is that it's a turret mounted on a firm point, but I can see where you're coming from,

Put it this way, three single turrets is a lot more flexible than anything a full spaceship can mount, which feels wrong, we're in the territory of Fighters and small raft here,
That's why I want to say add one to the turret, not add more turrets. Not as written, but more sensible than 3 single turrets, which is just silly.

The bigger issue is whether or not the turret "upgrade" follows turret or Firmpoint rules, and that makes the biggest difference in the effectiveness of a small craft with a turret upgrade.
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Re: Questions on small craft weapons and turrets

Postby AnotherDilbert » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:47 pm

GarethL wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:30 pm
Playing Drinax, the players have Stealth, and a reason to use it,

A target fails initial detection - what now? When do they check again?
I allow a new detection roll for each new range band, but that is a home rule.
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Re: Questions on small craft weapons and turrets

Postby AnotherDilbert » Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:00 pm

Geir wrote: As for Firmpoints still being Firmpoints if they’re turrets, the sentence reads:

“A Firmpoint on a small craft is a fixed mount (typically forward-facing, but there is no requirement for this), but can be upgraded to a single(not double or triple) turret.”

If it’s upgraded to a turret, it’s a turret, not a Firmpoint. At least that’s what I take “upgraded” to mean.
No, it's the Fixed Mount that is upgraded to a Turret. Small craft can only ever have Firmpoints, not Hardpoints.

Yes, this is a bit confusing:
Weapons are mounted in Mounts (p24: Fixed Mounts or Turrets) that are affixed to Hardpoints (or Firmpoints on small craft).

The Mount can be upgraded, the firmpoint can never be upgraded.


I was even more confused than you, Nerhesi taught me:
Nerhesi wrote:
Mon Jan 04, 2016 7:53 pm
It does actually. It is refering to the fact that smallcraft firmpoints can be fixed mounts or turrets. Extra clarity is given so if you use a smallcraft firmpoint fixed mount, you can still only mount 1 weapon there, not 3 as is indicated in the base rules.

Examples with each firmpoint labelled 1-, 2- or 3-:

30 ton fighter A: 1 - fixed mount pulse laser (reduced range & power consumption)
30 ton fighter B: 1 - single turret beam laser (reduced range & power consumption)
30 ton fighter C: 1 - single turret missile launcher (no change)
etc
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Re: Questions on small craft weapons and turrets

Postby CaladanGuard » Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:12 pm

I have turrets follow the firmpoint rules. Only single turrets. Two firmpoints for a barbette (which gives you that bigger bang for your buck) and no better range than Close. Small craft weapons also reduce power requirements, so the equipment must also be smaller, they're small craft versions of the full weapon systems. I also don't imagine they're full manned turrets, like the ones often envisioned on larger ships, but just a smaller weapon on a mount with a full weapon arc.

For gameplay purposes, allowing a pinnace to mount a particle barbette (which it can) and form into a squadron of the same design, then shoot away at very long range with the squadron rules is terrifying. The defence that larger ships have against fighter squadrons is the distance they have to close to get into a knife fight with their smaller weapons (admittedly, also very unpleasant once they get into a dogfight with you) I already have fighters fit with particle beams designed by my PC's...the range rules make me happy.
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Re: Questions on small craft weapons and turrets

Postby Geir » Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:17 pm

So to summarize: A Firmpoint is always a Firmpoint, regardless of whether it has a fixed mount or a single turret.
Got it.
It seems balanced, too. Especially if it prevents Particle Accelerator pinnaces at very long range. I still think adding morew than one single turret to a small craft is silly, though.
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Re: Questions on small craft weapons and turrets

Postby AnotherDilbert » Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:30 pm

Geir wrote: I still think adding morew than one single turret to a small craft is silly, though.
You do as you wish in your game, of course. I don't think it will wreck the system since you can mount barbettes anyway.
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Re: Questions on small craft weapons and turrets

Postby GarethL » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:04 pm

Geir wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:17 pm
So to summarize: A Firmpoint is always a Firmpoint, regardless of whether it has a fixed mount or a single turret.
Got it.
It seems balanced, too. Especially if it prevents Particle Accelerator pinnaces at very long range. I still think adding morew than one single turret to a small craft is silly, though.
If it helps, assume it's a smaller turret to go with a smaller weapon (ie: it isn't the same as a full-size single turret),

FWIW: you can still mount the particle beam - you just need to mount a barbette (takes two firm points).. It will of course still have reduced range,

Actually Missile and torpedo barbettes are worse - RAW they get their full payload,
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Re: Questions on small craft weapons and turrets

Postby AnotherDilbert » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:10 pm

GarethL wrote: Actually Missile and torpedo barbettes are worse - RAW they get their full payload,
Not quite:
HG, p26 wrote:A missile barbette fires 5 missiles at a time, and holds enough missiles for 5 full salvos (a total of 25 missiles). Missile barbettes on Firmpoints hold eight missiles.
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Re: Questions on small craft weapons and turrets

Postby paltrysum » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:53 pm

GarethL wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:30 pm
A question of my own:

Playing Drinax, the players have Stealth, and a reason to use it,

A target fails initial detection - what now? When do they check again? Is there a bonus? It seems unreasonable that the PCs can just drive up to knife-fighting range? Is it just a skill check per turn if the target has a sensor operator on lookout? (the Harrier has a typical TN of about 14+ to detect, so most merchants can barely succeed even if you're knocking on the hatch!)
Sort of a variation on your question: If you do have the Harrier in close, short, or maybe even medium range, when might you lose it? When it gets to long range as it burns its 6G maneuver drive to get away, does its stealth and countermeasures suddenly make it invisible?
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Re: Questions on small craft weapons and turrets

Postby AnotherDilbert » Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:05 pm

paltrysum wrote: If you do have the Harrier in close, short, or maybe even medium range, when might you lose it?
There is no RAW, so it's up to you...

I would say you would have to fail an easier (say +4?) sensor check to lose a target you have already acquired.
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Re: Questions on small craft weapons and turrets

Postby Pyromancer » Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:16 pm

Could you please stick to one question per topic? How will we find the answer to the stealth question in a few months/years when it's hidden in a topic about small craft turrets?
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Re: Questions on small craft weapons and turrets

Postby paltrysum » Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:43 pm

Pyromancer wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:16 pm
Could you please stick to one question per topic? How will we find the answer to the stealth question in a few months/years when it's hidden in a topic about small craft turrets?
Sorry about that. Believe me, I considered relocating the question, but since the question came up here, and I felt the poster and/or others who had read the question here had a higher likelihood of answering it here as well, I went off topic. As a good citizen of the forums, it would have been better to do it as you say. :)

In an effort to get broader participation, I'm going to do just that.
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Re: Questions on small craft weapons and turrets

Postby Linwood » Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:11 am

I keep thinking of that High Guard rule that allows a fighter to be fitted with two torpedoes - a nasty surprise for a larger vessel.

Which brings me to my question - since most fighter designs don’t have much more than bare-bones sensors, won’t that limit missile engagement ranges?

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