detection rules

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steve98052
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detection rules

Postby steve98052 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:20 pm

Quoting lots from another thread:
GarethL wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:31 am
paltrysum wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:25 am
AnotherDilbert wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:18 am
Even the simple sensors reach to Distant range. We can mix in a few fighters with better sensors and the whole squadron can see better.
Ah yes, from High Guard: "However, in terms of sensors, always use the highest quality (taking into account both actual sensors and the skill of the operator) within the squadron."

Question for you: Do you extend that capability to fleets? E.g., does a single ship in a fleet with advanced sensors have the ability to feed that data to all other ships in its fleet?
I had always assumed vessels share data, I mean, warships do that now after all,
AnotherDilbert wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:56 am
paltrysum wrote: Question for you: Do you extend that capability to fleets? E.g., does a single ship in a fleet with advanced sensors have the ability to feed that data to all other ships in its fleet?
Yes, and as a consequense I allow one detection roll per squadron or fleet, because:

1) I'm lazy, one roll is easier than umpteen rolls,

2) Many rolls distort the detection chance. If you allow many rolls anything will be automatically detected even if a roll of 12+ is required. Not fun.

I don't see this as much of a problem, since nearly all warships will have good sensors anyway.
I would rule that every ship gets a roll. Each has a different angle, and stealth against one angle isn't necessarily stealth against another. For example, there's no stealth against occultation of a bright star, and that's something that sensors just might see if they're looking for something (which they presumably always are if they're somewhat automated).

A lot of difficult rolls equal a less difficult roll. If the situation comes up often, you can pre-calculate a chart with number of rolls and target number as axes, and effective target number in the table. If you have a mix of target numbers, roll once for each.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: detection rules

Postby AnotherDilbert » Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:10 am

That is probably RAW, but note that it will result in not just easier rolls, but very easy, so that detection becomes nearly automatic.

It would be much easier to remove the (many) rolls and just call it automatic detection, if detection is possible.
steve98052
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Re: detection rules

Postby steve98052 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:16 am

If it's so many rolls that it's approximately automatic, sure, don't bother rolling. A giant defense force might as well detect a massive invasion force automatically.

But a free trader that jumps into a backwater system might search for hours and not have any meaningful chance to detect a corsair hiding in the clutter of a ring system, and orbiting with all systems except life support and passive sensors operating.

I also like this house rule about shutting down systems. I might argue for an Engineering roll for bringing the power plant back to full power after running silent for a while.
NOLATrav wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:43 pm
I am using Energy Points for IR signature: 100 or less = DM-2 to detect/track, 500+ = DM+2 to detect/track. So nominally not really affecting the game but gives a bit of verisimilitude and my players can “run silent” by shutting down various systems and drifting until the last possible moment, which they absolutely love.
. . .
Linwood
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Re: detection rules

Postby Linwood » Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:25 am

I’m mulling over a house rule that would require a software package to collect and process sensor data from multiple ships into a cohesive picture. End effect would be the same as a collection net or distributed array. Distance between vessels in the net and differences in sensor capabilities ship-to-ship might influence results. And the coordinating vessel may need a dedicated sensor station.
steve98052
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Re: detection rules

Postby steve98052 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:22 pm

That's pretty much what Aegis does, so it should be possible with any combination of far future military ships, and probably also civilian ships with appropriate software. Given that commercial ships are typically subject to being activated as Merchant Marine in the event of war, such software would likely be common.

"The ihatei fleet is on the move, and the Navy doesn't have enough transport ships for ordnance and spare parts. If you want to fly with our convoy escorts, you need to install this software. You can keep it after the ihatei are defeated, assuming your ship survives. Thank you for volunteering, or for choosing the Merchant Marines instead of prison."
HalC
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Re: detection rules

Postby HalC » Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:35 pm

One of the things I did for my own Traveller Universe, was to create a set of "Fleet jump rules". It largely depends on a single ship handling ALL "fleet" jumps. The key element to the jump is that all jumps take twice as long to enter into, and all ships involved have to have a data link open that permits their real time jump drive data, be exchanged with the jump coordinating ship. That the data link is used to exchange sensor information is the whole point of the software and communications. Thing is - using active communications like that shows up on the screens of anyone with a sensor.

In any event, the Fleet Jump exercise is useful not only for warship, but is used (in my Traveller Universe) for convoy runs.

Step 1: Coordinating ship astrogator plots course for destination.
Step 2: Engineer and Pilot execute process for co-ordinating ship.
Step 3: Co-ordinating ship jumps, gives out one last coordinating signal for all other ships to jump.
Step 4: Fleet ships require engineers to activate jump drive per the coordinating ship requirements.
Step 5: Determine Emergence from Jump space per normal Rules for the Coordinating ship.
Step 6: Determine Jump emergence for all fleet ships, one roll per ship. Each ship rolls 2d6-7 x 20 minute incroments. Those that arrive earlier, can arrive as early as 1 hour earlier, those that arrive later, can arrive as late as 1 hour later. Those ships that failed to join the fleet jump properly in step 4, will emerge from Jump Space per normal jump emergence rules (ie, not with the fleet per se)

That's it. The benefit of having the data link and sufficient communications capacity to handle it all - is useful not only for warships - but also for coordinating fleet jumps.
AndrewW
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Re: detection rules

Postby AndrewW » Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:42 pm

Linwood wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:25 am
I’m mulling over a house rule that would require a software package to collect and process sensor data from multiple ships into a cohesive picture. End effect would be the same as a collection net or distributed array. Distance between vessels in the net and differences in sensor capabilities ship-to-ship might influence results. And the coordinating vessel may need a dedicated sensor station.
Could try the Battle System software for this (High Guard 2e, page: 63).
AndrewW
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Re: detection rules

Postby AndrewW » Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:44 pm

HalC wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:35 pm
One of the things I did for my own Traveller Universe, was to create a set of "Fleet jump rules".
High Guard (2e) covers Synchronised Jumps on page: 14.
steve98052
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Re: detection rules

Postby steve98052 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:47 pm

HalC wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:35 pm
. . . Thing is - using active communications like that shows up on the screens of anyone with a sensor.
. . .
Laser communicators are undetected anywhere except along the line of sight, unless a speck of dust passes through the beam by odd chance.

Nice work overall, however.
Tupper
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Re: detection rules

Postby Tupper » Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:34 am

Letting every ship in a squadron roll individually quickly leads to automatic detection. However, only allowing one roll means it's no harder to elude a squadron than a single ship. I'd suggest using the boon rules. Treat the extra ships as "helpers", so the best ship rolls, with a boon from the others.

This problem came up in the D&D game I am running. With 8 PCs, whenever they searched, someone would roll well, and they'd find what they were looking for. Now I just let the best searcher roll, and give them "advantage" (D&D's version of a boon) for the rest of the posse pitching in. The results are much more realistic: it's easier with help, but by no means a sure thing.

If it becomes contentious who actually detected the ship or found the MacGuffin, you can make opposed rolls; winner found it).
GarethL
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Re: detection rules

Postby GarethL » Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:42 pm

Looking at it, I'm starting to think that a lot of merchants will invest in "Virtual Crew/0" software for watch-keeping purposes... A lot less hassle than having a character sat at a console making a roll every turn... At MCr 1 it's a snip compared with the cost of losing a ship...
AnotherDilbert
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Re: detection rules

Postby AnotherDilbert » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:58 pm

Intellect + Expert for a personal computer is much cheaper...

But I agree Virtual Crew/0 is very practical.
Old School
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Re: detection rules

Postby Old School » Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:07 pm

Virtual crew/0 is standard on any civilian vessel I design. It just makes so much sense. In addition covering crew duties as needed for night watch, etc., it also removes the meed for a civilian merchant, scout, or science ship to carry gunners. For merchants especially this is a good return on investment.
Linwood
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Re: detection rules

Postby Linwood » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:20 pm

AndrewW wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:42 pm
Could try the Battle System software for this (High Guard 2e, page: 63).
That’s where my thoughts were headed. Trying to decide if Battle System would provide the appropriate additional analysis that would essentially turn a squadron into a massive synthetic aperture array or if it just manages the communications and coordination. In the latter case, an added software module to enhance analysis of all the available sensor data in the squadron net to tease out signatures from sources too faint or too far away for any one ship to analyze might be the best approach.

Still thinking that over...

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