Fleet combat?

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paltrysum
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Fleet combat?

Postby paltrysum » Wed Oct 31, 2018 9:41 pm

What mechanics do you use for fleet combat in your campaign? The "Capital Ship Battles" rules on p. 86 of High Guard? The rules presented on p. 286 of Pirates of Drinax, Book 1? We're about to get to the point where fleet combat rules might be useful and I'd like to hear what peoples' experiences have been with it?

When do you use them? When you have 5+ ships in a battle? 10+? 20? The more details you can share, the better! :D
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AnotherDilbert
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Re: Fleet combat?

Postby AnotherDilbert » Fri Nov 02, 2018 2:27 pm

I haven't looked at Drinax.

I use the Fleet system for big ships and the basic system for small ships (~400 Dt?).

If a lot of die rolls are necessary I automate them, except a few important, so the players have a few to roll.
Old School
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Re: Fleet combat?

Postby Old School » Fri Nov 02, 2018 3:41 pm

Youv seen my rundown of the Battle of Exe, which had 19 ships, including fighters. One was disabled, one out of range, and 4 destroyed in the opening moments of combat, and real combat only lasted 3 rounds, but I found it to be managable.
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Re: Fleet combat?

Postby paltrysum » Fri Nov 02, 2018 4:56 pm

Old School wrote:
Fri Nov 02, 2018 3:41 pm
Youv seen my rundown of the Battle of Exe, which had 19 ships, including fighters. One was disabled, one out of range, and 4 destroyed in the opening moments of combat, and real combat only lasted 3 rounds, but I found it to be managable.
So you just used the basic ship combat system to conduct the battle?

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Fri Nov 02, 2018 2:27 pm
I use the Fleet system for big ships and the basic system for small ships (~400 Dt?).

If a lot of die rolls are necessary I automate them, except a few important, so the players have a few to roll.
Gotcha. So you just generate a series of die rolls and attribute them to a sequence of some sort based on the ships involved?
My published Traveller adventures on DriveThruRPG:
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Old School
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Re: Fleet combat?

Postby Old School » Fri Nov 02, 2018 6:06 pm

Yes. I think the type of ships is as important at the number of ships. Small ships, the kind that travellers would bum around in, don’t have many weapons. Ships with hundreds of turrets would be a drag to play.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: Fleet combat?

Postby AnotherDilbert » Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:31 pm

paltrysum wrote: Gotcha. So you just generate a series of die rolls and attribute them to a sequence of some sort based on the ships involved?
A spreadsheet with the common tasks resolved and damage calculated.

Most results for a single round of combat generated instantly.
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Re: Fleet combat?

Postby paltrysum » Fri Nov 02, 2018 8:22 pm

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:31 pm
A spreadsheet with the common tasks resolved and damage calculated.

Most results for a single round of combat generated instantly.
That's actually a brilliant idea. Have multiple columns set up, organized by ship, one for each weapon, including the skill level of the gunner, add any software bonuses (Fire Control/2, etc.), and just generate them as you go. I think I will set that up to prepare for some upcoming encounters. Thanks for the inspiration.
My published Traveller adventures on DriveThruRPG:
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AnotherDilbert
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Re: Fleet combat?

Postby AnotherDilbert » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:49 pm

Works well for ground combat too.

A combat and a secondary task for each NPC. Also a convenient way to keep track of damage.
Sigtrygg
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Re: Fleet combat?

Postby Sigtrygg » Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:51 am

For fleet vs fleet I use FFW/IE counters and combat resolution. For operational system scale movement I adapted Double Star. For the actual tactical resolution then its either range band or vector movement of the counters.
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Re: Fleet combat?

Postby locarno24 » Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:53 am

Old School wrote:
Fri Nov 02, 2018 3:41 pm
Youv seen my rundown of the Battle of Exe, which had 19 ships, including fighters. One was disabled, one out of range, and 4 destroyed in the opening moments of combat, and real combat only lasted 3 rounds, but I found it to be managable.
In fairness, I got the impression bulk of that fight was the squad-level fight inside the main warship.
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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Re: Fleet combat?

Postby Old School » Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:26 am

Of course it was. That doesn’t invalidate the space combat, which was four ships on one side, and three ships plus six fighters ( not including the four that were pot shotted to kick things off).

Space combat in traveller is similar to personal combat, in which a better armed or positioned side will tend to dominste quickly. Space combat also has a tendency to be brief, as losing ships will jump if possible. Had the travellers not killed the crews of two ships with radiation, those shops would have jumped and combat would still be over.
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Re: Fleet combat?

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:49 pm

I ran a campaign several years ago, before HG came out. I didn't use any grander mechanics than the Core Rulebook.

As the Referee, I decided how the overall battle was going to go. If I needed to, I rolled a couple of dice to give me an indication of who was lucky.

All of the PCs were on a single Cruiser. So I let them roll for attacks and rolled attacks against their ship. It gave the atmosphere I needed, and let the PCs affect the overall outcome - if their Cruiser easily defeated their enemy due to great actions by the characters, I gave them a better chance of winning.

I used this technique twice - once the PC's were very heroic and defeated their enemy, but the battle was lost and they had to fleet. In the second one, their actions turned the course of the battle, and their side won.

If you make it about the PCs, not the War, then you don't need a lot of special rules. Make some decisions and then have the PCs play through the action. No PC group is going to be important enough to affect an entire interstellar war, or even a single battle with Trillion Credit Squadrons attacking each other - BUT, they can and should affect a single combat within that overall battle, which could ripple across the war.

They could have the only winning battle in a losing war ala Sheridan in Babylon 5, or they could be the only ones to lose a battle in an overall route of the enemy, or anything in between.
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