Need a quick ruling - missile countermeasures

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Old School
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Need a quick ruling - missile countermeasures

Postby Old School » Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:06 pm

Need a quick rule interpretations for MgT2 space combat:

Missiles fired a medium range or less attack immediately, i.e. in the same turn. Missiles fired at close or adjacent range also lose the smart trait.

Question: What about countermeasures? With an "immediate" attack, would the defending ship still have one chance to to use countermeasures? My interpretatkion is no, as countermeasures are a full round action, so you don't get the opportunity in the round the missiles are to reach their target. In that round you get point defense, but no countermeasures.

If you really want to get technical, I could see that at Medium range you get a rushed (DM -2) countermeasures attempt, as Medium range goes out to 10,000km. Short range is 1,250km or less, so no countermeasures attempt at Short, Close or Adjacent.

How would you handle this in your games? What is your interpretation?

Thanks!
Moppy
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Re: Need a quick ruling - missile countermeasures

Postby Moppy » Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:21 pm

If the missile has lost "smart" and is unguided, electronic countermeasures shouldn't affect it unless they also affect direct fire weapons like lasers.

For "same turn launch" I would allow countermeasures as they more likely work during the terminal part of the flight. Making it lose lock in mid-flight is kinda useless if it just re-acquires a few seconds later. Making it lose lock a few seconds before it maneuvers to hit is much more impactful.

edit: Although mongoose allows counter-measures mid-flight on a multi-turn salvo so I don't know what that is. Just flip a coin for the ruling, I guess.
DickTurpin
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Re: Need a quick ruling - missile countermeasures

Postby DickTurpin » Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:21 am

I agree that Point Defense would be allowed against missiles fired from Medium Range or closer because it is a Reaction which takes place during the Attack Step. Countermeasures would not be possible because Electronic Warfare is done in the Actions Step after the missiles have already impacted the target.
Moppy
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Re: Need a quick ruling - missile countermeasures

Postby Moppy » Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:34 am

DickTurpin wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:21 am
I agree that Point Defense would be allowed against missiles fired from Medium Range or closer because it is a Reaction which takes place during the Attack Step. Countermeasures would not be possible because Electronic Warfare is done in the Actions Step after the missiles have already impacted the target.
Yea, I checked & thats right for countermeasures. According to sequence of play, you can't countermeasure them if they impact on turn turn of launch.
Old School
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Re: Need a quick ruling - missile countermeasures

Postby Old School » Sun Jan 06, 2019 1:08 am

That's what I thought too. Thanks, guys.

I think the countermeasures during a longer flight means the missile has been destroyed or its guidance system completely overwhelmed. It's not something that happens at the last moment like point defense.

What this means is that if you're using your super cool Sindalian Harrier to irritate a much larger and heavily armed ship, you should really, really, REALLY keep your distance.

Live and learn, I suppose. And they did live, although it was a bit dicey. :D
phavoc
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Re: Need a quick ruling - missile countermeasures

Postby phavoc » Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:02 am

Old School wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:06 pm
Need a quick rule interpretations for MgT2 space combat:

Missiles fired a medium range or less attack immediately, i.e. in the same turn. Missiles fired at close or adjacent range also lose the smart trait.

Question: What about countermeasures? With an "immediate" attack, would the defending ship still have one chance to to use countermeasures? My interpretatkion is no, as countermeasures are a full round action, so you don't get the opportunity in the round the missiles are to reach their target. In that round you get point defense, but no countermeasures.

If you really want to get technical, I could see that at Medium range you get a rushed (DM -2) countermeasures attempt, as Medium range goes out to 10,000km. Short range is 1,250km or less, so no countermeasures attempt at Short, Close or Adjacent.

How would you handle this in your games? What is your interpretation?

Thanks!
(1) Missiles should never lose the 'smart' trait regardless of the range they are fired at. Someone is watching too many Hunt for Red October movies. It's a stupid rule that needs to be ignored.

(2) Yes, you should always get a chance for countermeasures. They aren't light-speed weapons, and after all a turn is supposed to be six minutes long. Countermeasures should be employed against all incoming fire for that turn, regardless of where it's coming from. The only thing that would negate that would be incoming fire from just a few km out. It's just too close for ECM and PD could, potentially, come to bear on it, but at a disadvantage due to the shortness of the engagement time. That would really be missiles fired as sprint-mode direct fire weapons - they too would lose all traits and essentially be unguided weapons. But that, too is outside the normal ruleset.
Old School
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Re: Need a quick ruling - missile countermeasures

Postby Old School » Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:16 am

I could see replacing the smart trait with gunner skill at adjacent or close range, and keeping the smart trait at short range, but I’ve really got no problem with the RAW.

As for countermeasures, I can see it being a full round action or nothing (although that does make it different than other skill checks, and more similar to weapons fire). Its not like you can fire a pulse laser 10x as fast if you take the DM-2. I’m good either way: allowing a DM-2 counter measures check at short range mskes sense, but I’m not going to house rule that into my game.

The only changes I make from the RAW for space combat are that I give +2 DM for beam lasers used in Point defense, recognizng their accuracy advantsge over pulse lasers, and I ignore the whole concept of the six second dogfighting round. I keep the other dogfighting rules, but lesve the round at 6 minutes. I know others do the same.
baithammer
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Re: Need a quick ruling - missile countermeasures

Postby baithammer » Sun Jan 06, 2019 1:15 pm

(1) Missiles should never lose the 'smart' trait regardless of the range they are fired at. Someone is watching too many Hunt for Red October movies. It's a stupid rule that needs to be ignored.
There is such a thing as time to lock...
Countermeasures should be employed against all incoming fire for that turn, regardless of where it's coming from.
Countermeasures are a manual action unless you invested in the Broadspectrum EW program which automatically engages all salvoes in a turn.

Further, with the Point Defense/1 and /2 programs you can engage in point defense for other ships within close range for /1 and short range at /2.

Even better, invest in a Point Defense /1 /2 /3 system, and it automatically generates d6 /2d6 /3d6 point defense without a need for a gunner and a gunner skill check.
Condottiere
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Re: Need a quick ruling - missile countermeasures

Postby Condottiere » Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:03 pm

You have upto six minutes, in theory, for the defences to respond.

Detection, assessment, prioritization, allocation.

Constant acceleration minus possible evasive manoeuvres, adjusting distance travelled by target.
phavoc
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Re: Need a quick ruling - missile countermeasures

Postby phavoc » Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:33 am

baithammer wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 1:15 pm
(1) Missiles should never lose the 'smart' trait regardless of the range they are fired at. Someone is watching too many Hunt for Red October movies. It's a stupid rule that needs to be ignored.
There is such a thing as time to lock...
Countermeasures should be employed against all incoming fire for that turn, regardless of where it's coming from.
Countermeasures are a manual action unless you invested in the Broadspectrum EW program which automatically engages all salvoes in a turn.

Further, with the Point Defense/1 and /2 programs you can engage in point defense for other ships within close range for /1 and short range at /2.

Even better, invest in a Point Defense /1 /2 /3 system, and it automatically generates d6 /2d6 /3d6 point defense without a need for a gunner and a gunner skill check.
Sure, that's an IFF missile (self-guidance). Unless you are passing the lock to the missile it's a fire and forget thing. But if you have missiles and sensors then it's only common sense that you would pass the targeting info to your missile prior to launch. If you can do it with an AMRAAM or Sidewinder today, then it'd be easy-peasy in 52nd century. According to CRB most missiles have the Smart trait, so that would, potentially, mean that in close/adjacent combat missiles have to have a lock to be launched in the first place. So that either means they are considered command guidance and any EW is against the attacking ship, or that they are useless. Neither of which fits into the combat model.
baithammer
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Re: Need a quick ruling - missile countermeasures

Postby baithammer » Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:28 am

At close/adjacent the missile is in terminal mode where no further tracking is occurring.

Further, EW would occur before reaching close / adjacent range anyway.
phavoc
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Re: Need a quick ruling - missile countermeasures

Postby phavoc » Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:52 pm

baithammer wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:28 am
At close/adjacent the missile is in terminal mode where no further tracking is occurring.

Further, EW would occur before reaching close / adjacent range anyway.
That's not how missiles work. A missile launched always has a target (in reality). It then goes into self-guidance mode (e.g. smart mode) or it is being guided through command guidance by the launching craft. In any case tracking is ALWAYS occuring by either the missile or the launching craft. That's how missiles work. The exceptions are if it's fired and loses it's target or else it's dumb-fired and no countermeasures other than counter fire or counter missiles can affect it. A missile that loses it's target will do whatever it's programmed to do after losing a target. Some missiles will circle waiting to find a new target (such as a HARM missile), others will seek out any other secondary target (either via it's EM/thermal radiance) or else it will attempt to lock on to a secondary target type (such as a missile that is programmed to seek out a ship of X size, it may then lock on to the next available target, such as a DD or CA instead of the BB). A lot depends on what the underlying default targeting controls of the missile are.

A missile fired with pure IFF mode turned on will look for anything in it's sensor envelope and attempt to lock on to the new target after losing the old one. And pretty much all missiles would be set to self destruct if they cannot engage any target. This is a safety measure since nobody wants missiles drifting around that could impact your own ships at some point. It would most likely be installed as a defacto setting at the time it was built since nearly all missile manufactures are going to be on the up and up (where their stuff goes after it leaves the factory isn't up to them).

EW, again in reality, is a constant activity. It actually works better the closer you get to the emitter because you have more power output and therefore it's MORE effective at close/adjacent than at long range. But this, too, would depend on the type of guidance the missile has. A command guidance missile that is still within range of it's controller gets to rely up on the more capable sensors and power of the launching craft than it's own onboard sensors. Electronics and EW are all about power when it comes to jamming. Generally whoever has more power (output and processing) wins the EW game. Thermal works differently.

Some links on this:

https://www.nutsvolts.com/magazine/arti ... ndamentals

Inevitable Wiki article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_warfare (learned something new here. didn't know the russians wanted to jam the Japanese radio! Smart guy who was turned down).

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/19 ... ea-mission
Condottiere
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Re: Need a quick ruling - missile countermeasures

Postby Condottiere » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:59 pm

Watching The Hunt For Red Oktober reminded me it could depend on attack/safety protocols instituted.
baithammer
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Re: Need a quick ruling - missile countermeasures

Postby baithammer » Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:07 am

phavoc wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:52 pm
baithammer wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:28 am
At close/adjacent the missile is in terminal mode where no further tracking is occurring.

Further, EW would occur before reaching close / adjacent range anyway.
That's not how missiles work. A missile launched always has a target (in reality). It then goes into self-guidance mode (e.g. smart mode) or it is being guided through command guidance by the launching craft. In any case tracking is ALWAYS occuring by either the missile or the launching craft. That's how missiles work. The exceptions are if it's fired and loses it's target or else it's dumb-fired and no countermeasures other than counter fire or counter missiles can affect it. A missile that loses it's target will do whatever it's programmed to do after losing a target. Some missiles will circle waiting to find a new target (such as a HARM missile), others will seek out any other secondary target (either via it's EM/thermal radiance) or else it will attempt to lock on to a secondary target type (such as a missile that is programmed to seek out a ship of X size, it may then lock on to the next available target, such as a DD or CA instead of the BB). A lot depends on what the underlying default targeting controls of the missile are.

A missile fired with pure IFF mode turned on will look for anything in it's sensor envelope and attempt to lock on to the new target after losing the old one. And pretty much all missiles would be set to self destruct if they cannot engage any target. This is a safety measure since nobody wants missiles drifting around that could impact your own ships at some point. It would most likely be installed as a defacto setting at the time it was built since nearly all missile manufactures are going to be on the up and up (where their stuff goes after it leaves the factory isn't up to them).

EW, again in reality, is a constant activity. It actually works better the closer you get to the emitter because you have more power output and therefore it's MORE effective at close/adjacent than at long range. But this, too, would depend on the type of guidance the missile has. A command guidance missile that is still within range of it's controller gets to rely up on the more capable sensors and power of the launching craft than it's own onboard sensors. Electronics and EW are all about power when it comes to jamming. Generally whoever has more power (output and processing) wins the EW game. Thermal works differently.

Some links on this:

https://www.nutsvolts.com/magazine/arti ... ndamentals

Inevitable Wiki article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_warfare (learned something new here. didn't know the russians wanted to jam the Japanese radio! Smart guy who was turned down).

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/19 ... ea-mission
Consider the speed the missiles are going at where thrust 1 in atmosphere is considered 6,000 Km/h, with missiles typically between thrust 6-15. That presents a window where the missile doesn't have time to lock before its launched, ideally you would avoid doing so.

Further, missiles have a terminal range where the missile is close enough to the target that further tracking isn't needed. ( Basically the target is close enough that it is highly unlikely to avoid being hit.)
phavoc
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Re: Need a quick ruling - missile countermeasures

Postby phavoc » Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:13 am

baithammer wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:07 am
Consider the speed the missiles are going at where thrust 1 in atmosphere is considered 6,000 Km/h, with missiles typically between thrust 6-15. That presents a window where the missile doesn't have time to lock before its launched, ideally you would avoid doing so.

Further, missiles have a terminal range where the missile is close enough to the target that further tracking isn't needed. ( Basically the target is close enough that it is highly unlikely to avoid being hit.)
That's a matter of (1) scale for space combat (it can be ten thousand or more KM) and (2) electronics work at, literally, the speed of light. The instant a missile is launched it is active and seeking/tracking (assuming you aren't launching in command mode). Logically there is no reason for that other than a bad rule that defies common sense and logic. Or, perhaps, it was put in there specifically to make close-quarters combat more about beams than missiles.

Missiles CAN have a terminal range - it depends on the tracking mechanism. Command guided missiles will remain command guided until released, the control is broken, or the missile is destroyed. But you are correct in that some missiles will switch to internal tracking when they enter terminal guidance mode. It's possible to have both, with the onboard sensors being the backup to the command guidance. This becomes more of an issue the further the distance the missile is from the command ship and the time lag between the sensor readings and the commands back to the missile.
baithammer
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Re: Need a quick ruling - missile countermeasures

Postby baithammer » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:15 am

Close range is 10 Km, thrust 1 is 6,000 km/h. The slowest missile is thrust 6.
Condottiere
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Re: Need a quick ruling - missile countermeasures

Postby Condottiere » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:23 am

In theory, the targets are likely in a state of motion, though the missiles would be constantly accelerating.
phavoc
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Re: Need a quick ruling - missile countermeasures

Postby phavoc » Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:59 pm

baithammer wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:15 am
Close range is 10 Km, thrust 1 is 6,000 km/h. The slowest missile is thrust 6.
(shrug) speed of light is still much faster. That's the speed that electronics operate. It's well within their operational parameters. Electronics on a missile would be hot and primed prior to launch (unless you are a total idiot), therefore the seeker would be active and ready to seek the instant it's released.
baithammer
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Re: Need a quick ruling - missile countermeasures

Postby baithammer » Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:20 pm

That would be transmission speed, processing the data is far slower especially with the scale we're looking at.
phavoc
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Re: Need a quick ruling - missile countermeasures

Postby phavoc » Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:50 am

That's true, but processing in the far future is no different than it is today, only faster. It's not like you need petaflops to do this (which is probably the norm for a 52nd century CPU on a seeker missile). It's literally rocket science that we do today.

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