The Dichotomy of Piracy

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
steve98052
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Re: The Dichotomy of Piracy

Postby steve98052 » Sat Nov 17, 2018 5:19 pm

Here's an article about the greatest pirate in history: a Chinese woman.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ching_Shih
Welf
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Re: The Dichotomy of Piracy

Postby Welf » Sat Nov 17, 2018 8:39 pm

Piracy in Traveller is quite different compared to piracy today. Space is very big and it takes a lot of time for someone to get.the news.
First of all someone needs to get the info. A pirate attack happened? Did it show on someones sensors? Is it necessary to jump to get the info to the authorities that might intervene?
The moment someone has to jump, and that's nearly always the case if the pirates aren't desperate and attack in an inhabited system, it will take 2 weeks for any response. The pirates will be far away after this time.
Furthermore a star system is quite big and your sensors won't be able to scan everything right after you jumped in. And even if you did and find the pirates on the other side of the system it will take quite some time to reach them. Enough time for them to flee to wherever. You won't know to which sytem they jumped and what the jump capabilities are.

Of course the same points make piracy more difficult because you have to be at a place some target might pop up and not on the other side of the system.

Nonetheless if a pirate is careful and doesn't stay at the same place for too long it should be quite hard to catch them. The most problematic case is the vastness of space and the slow flow of information. Some place gets the info of the pirate attack? The pirates could already be doing their second jump.

It doesn't make catching pirates impossible but you have to put in lots of and lots of ressources to do so. And if they only go for small fry (which is still a lot of credits for relatively small crews) it might not be considered worth it.
Reynard
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Re: The Dichotomy of Piracy

Postby Reynard » Sun Nov 18, 2018 2:12 am

Even at the 100D mark, space is still big. Just as important is trade activity. More trade more ships. Smart pirates don't just go fishin' and hope for a nibble. They learn the ponds and know the fish. They know how much opposition there is and how to lay in wait and time patrols. They use deception such as using known ships, modified or not, to allay suspicion. They try to intercept toward rather than away. Targets will announce themselves with a jump flash when they arrive and will not have fuel for another jump. A pirate, on the other hand, always has a full tank just in case. Most ships do not come screaming blindly into a system especially at the 100D range if they want to live so they are easier to intercept.

Capturing a ship is an art not luck. A severely damaged ship is worthless if it can't jump. That means it take precious time, skill and tactics to carefully wear it down. You need to convince the crew to give up because you have all the advantages.

Notice most commercial craft don't come with weapons. Except for very generous referees and munchkin players, you don't start with an armed ship without serious consideration you can guarantee income for a higher mortgage. That's why most ships hug the 100D entering and leaving systems and often depend on local enforcement. Smart pirates take this all in and see if it's cost effective otherwise move on to another fishin' hole. Smart pirates don't fish too often in one spot giving the patrols time to get lazy and trade to feel it's safe again.

For pirates, high burn thrusters are worth the money but you still need to get close first.

Space pirates are NOT Somali peasants, organized or otherwise, with assault weapons and a couple grenades in tiny boats taking on weaponless crews.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: The Dichotomy of Piracy

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:52 am

Reynard wrote: Space pirates are NOT Somali peasants, organized or otherwise, with assault weapons and a couple grenades in tiny boats taking on weaponless crews.
They can very well be. A fast small-craft with a breaching tube is quite able to effect a boarding.
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Re: The Dichotomy of Piracy

Postby Reynard » Sun Nov 18, 2018 12:19 pm

"No seriously, who sold these local yahoos a boarding shuttle?!"
AnotherDilbert
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Re: The Dichotomy of Piracy

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sun Nov 18, 2018 12:39 pm

Reynard wrote: "No seriously, who sold these local yahoos a boarding shuttle?!"
They modified a standard small craft themselves? A bit of elbow grease and a magic 3D printer later...
Sigtrygg
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Re: The Dichotomy of Piracy

Postby Sigtrygg » Sun Nov 18, 2018 1:21 pm

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:52 am
Reynard wrote: Space pirates are NOT Somali peasants, organized or otherwise, with assault weapons and a couple grenades in tiny boats taking on weaponless crews.
They can very well be. A fast small-craft with a breaching tube is quite able to effect a boarding.
Not if you still have an operational m-drive and you can spin and roll...
Linwood
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Re: The Dichotomy of Piracy

Postby Linwood » Sun Nov 18, 2018 4:03 pm

I had one band of would-be pirates try that on my players, pretending to be a local customs inspection team. The players were not fooled. It served as a nice little introduction to space combat... :)
Condottiere
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Re: The Dichotomy of Piracy

Postby Condottiere » Sun Nov 18, 2018 4:56 pm

I donno.

A souped up air/raft in low orbit.

Image

Image
AnotherDilbert
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Re: The Dichotomy of Piracy

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sun Nov 18, 2018 6:09 pm

Sigtrygg wrote:
AnotherDilbert wrote: They can very well be. A fast small-craft with a breaching tube is quite able to effect a boarding.
Not if you still have an operational m-drive and you can spin and roll...
Ok, you also need a:
HG, p43 wrote: Forced Linkage Apparatus (TL7)
Used by scavengers and pirates to board spacecraft, derelict or otherwise, forced linkage apparatuses are close range devices that allow attempts at forced docking.
Opposed boarding is quite possible in MgT.
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Re: The Dichotomy of Piracy

Postby Annatar Giftbringer » Sun Nov 18, 2018 7:38 pm

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 6:09 pm
Sigtrygg wrote:
AnotherDilbert wrote: They can very well be. A fast small-craft with a breaching tube is quite able to effect a boarding.
Not if you still have an operational m-drive and you can spin and roll...
Ok, you also need a:
HG, p43 wrote: Forced Linkage Apparatus (TL7)
Used by scavengers and pirates to board spacecraft, derelict or otherwise, forced linkage apparatuses are close range devices that allow attempts at forced docking.
Opposed boarding is quite possible in MgT.
Thanks for the reminder, I'd totally forgotten about Forced Linkage Apparataus!

I'm in the process of designing a small boarding Craft, and it looks like it could prove very useful…. But I gotta make room for it somehow…. Ah well, bye bye military sensors!
AnotherDilbert
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Re: The Dichotomy of Piracy

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:12 pm

Quite, military small craft tend to be very tightly packed and either huge or leaving some things out.

I tend to skimp on sensors and rely on flight control from the mothership or specific EW craft. The squadron rules support this. But it does not make fighters very good at sensor locks...
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Re: The Dichotomy of Piracy

Postby Annatar Giftbringer » Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:53 pm

Yeah, and large won’t work for this one, it has to fit in a 20 dt launch tube.

The sensors were a very tough choice, I kinda wanted military sensors, I feel that military craft ‘should’ have it, and it helps them to function independently, but they’re expensive both in credits and tonnage...
Reynard
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Re: The Dichotomy of Piracy

Postby Reynard » Mon Nov 19, 2018 4:27 am

"Thanks for the reminder, I'd totally forgotten about Forced Linkage Apparataus!"

I make FLAs almost a mandatory compliment with Breaching Tubes. I added one to the boarding shuttle from Fighting Ships.

"I'm in the process of designing a small boarding Craft, and it looks like it could prove very useful…. But I gotta make room for it somehow…. Ah well, bye bye military sensors!"

Boarding craft should not be regularly dealing with undamaged targets. After a main ship or squadron has incapacitated the target and the target refuses to stand down and surrender, the BC is launched and approaches to take the ship by force. They don't need the best systems and defenses and the weapon they carry is more for making a breach.

Remember that multiple BCs can attack various points of a ship to spread defenders and/or capture important sections such as engineering and command.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: The Dichotomy of Piracy

Postby AnotherDilbert » Mon Nov 19, 2018 1:45 pm

Reynard wrote: I make FLAs almost a mandatory compliment with Breaching Tubes.
Agreed.

Reynard wrote: Boarding craft should not be regularly dealing with undamaged targets.
Boarding fully functional warships is a viable tactic in MgT2. It requires tough boarding craft, though.
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Re: The Dichotomy of Piracy

Postby Annatar Giftbringer » Mon Nov 19, 2018 2:46 pm

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 1:45 pm
Reynard wrote: I make FLAs almost a mandatory compliment with Breaching Tubes.
Agreed.

Reynard wrote: Boarding craft should not be regularly dealing with undamaged targets.
Boarding fully functional warships is a viable tactic in MgT2. It requires tough boarding craft, though.
While the ideal boarding scenario means that the target has cut power to its M-drive, won’t shoot when you approach, the airlock is unlocked and all crew are gathered in the common room with hands in the air, there will of course be times that are a bit trickier :)

I’m hoping that thrust 6, armour 12 and takeoff via launch tube will be enough for successful boardings, aided by forced linkage apparatus and breaching tube, but that remains to be seen... :)

I’ll post stats soon-ish in a separate post, no need to detail this one more than necessary!
Condottiere
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Re: The Dichotomy of Piracy

Postby Condottiere » Mon Nov 19, 2018 2:48 pm

I'm thinking ion cannon.
Sigtrygg
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Re: The Dichotomy of Piracy

Postby Sigtrygg » Mon Nov 19, 2018 2:50 pm

In the OTU governed by Newtonian movement and conservation of momentum boarding a ship that is capable of maneuvering during combat is impossible, in MgT cinematric cartoon physics ship combat it is allowed.

The ion cannon is not OTU either.
Condottiere
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Re: The Dichotomy of Piracy

Postby Condottiere » Mon Nov 19, 2018 2:55 pm

Seems more OTU than a meson bay.

If we assume Mongooseverse.
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Re: The Dichotomy of Piracy

Postby AnotherDilbert » Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:08 pm

Annatar Giftbringer wrote: I’m hoping that thrust 6, armour 12 and takeoff via launch tube will be enough for successful boardings, aided by forced linkage apparatus and breaching tube, but that remains to be seen... :)
It might be iffy to run down retreating enemies, unless the mothership takes you to withing Short range?

With "only" Armour 12 I would recommend Reflec, otherwise a single laser hit risks killing the craft.

Annatar Giftbringer wrote: I’ll post stats soon-ish in a separate post, no need to detail this one more than necessary!
Looking forward to it!

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