Large Scout Ships?

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paltrysum
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Large Scout Ships?

Postby paltrysum » Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:02 pm

Canonwise, is the IISS known to have any large (e.g., 1,000+ tons) starships? MgT1 Scouts doesn't list any above a few hundred tons. I have seen mention that the scouts have made use of a retired Lightning-class cruiser, but other than that, I haven't seen any specific designs.
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Re: Large Scout Ships?

Postby AnotherDilbert » Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:19 pm

CS S9 Fighting Ships, p9 wrote:Scouts: The Scout Service controls a wide variety of craft up to cruiser class, but scouts proper are vessels up to 200 tons designed for exploration, survey, and courier work.
CS S9 Fighting Ships, p9 wrote:Cruisers: ... Sizes range from 20,000 to 100,000 tons.
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Re: Large Scout Ships?

Postby Old School » Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:24 pm

High Guard 2e makes a similar comment about the Kokirrak 200,000 ton dreadnought as it does the Lightning class. No idea what the Scout service would do with a ship that large.
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Re: Large Scout Ships?

Postby Sigtrygg » Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:55 pm

There is the ISS Talon, a 40,000 ton jump 5 cruiser mentioned in Agent of the Imperium. It's mission is to explore -
Talon was eight years out on a twenty-year mission coreward of the Imperial borders, generally to chart new systems, contact new cultures, and increase the empire’s knowledge of uncharted space.
The ships has a complement of Imperial Star marines in addition to the IISS crew, and the other thing of note is that it is a jump 5 ship in the year 434...
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Re: Large Scout Ships?

Postby Annatar Giftbringer » Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:29 pm

Can’t remember where I read it, but I recall something about a scout cruiser... Pytheas perhaps? 3,000 dt IIRC.
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Re: Large Scout Ships?

Postby Sigtrygg » Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:47 pm

GURPS Traveller: First In...
Annatar Giftbringer
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Re: Large Scout Ships?

Postby Annatar Giftbringer » Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:01 pm

Thanks!

Also: some of the ships from the Deep Space Explorer’s Handbook (from the Great Rift box) are probably used by the scout service, like the 1,000 dt Armstrong class.
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Re: Large Scout Ships?

Postby AnotherDilbert » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:14 pm

Sigtrygg wrote: ... and the other thing of note is that it is a jump 5 ship in the year 434...
Which is perfectly acceptable in the current systems (MgT2, T5) with prototype drives.

Example:
Image

It would also imply prototype J-8 X-boats in 1100...
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Re: Large Scout Ships?

Postby Sigtrygg » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:26 pm

It's not a prototype, it is part of the fleet reconstruction of the late 300s
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Re: Large Scout Ships?

Postby AnotherDilbert » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:30 pm

Sigtrygg wrote: It's not a prototype, ...
Nothing stops you from building your entire fleet with "prototype" systems. It's just very expensive.
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Re: Large Scout Ships?

Postby Condottiere » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:53 pm

An old battleship probably isn't the most economical ship to run, and tends to present the wrong message in an exploratory voyage.

Might be another issue in surveying the Vargr Extents.
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Re: Large Scout Ships?

Postby Reynard » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:57 am

"High Guard 2e makes a similar comment about the Kokirrak 200,000 ton dreadnought as it does the Lightning class. No idea what the Scout service would do with a ship that large."

Planets are HUGE. Once you take those sample readings from the 100 ton or 1000 ton scouts, you bring in an extensive orbiting laboratory with every necessary science and the supporting facilities and teams to scour a world from pole to pole.
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Re: Large Scout Ships?

Postby baithammer » Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:14 am

Or a lot of probe drones.
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Re: Large Scout Ships?

Postby Yaldabaoth » Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:08 am

From S7: Scouts, p. 15: "In some areas, an exploratory cruiser of perhaps 10,000 tons will carry a squadron of ten or more scout/couriers. As the cruiser passes through an area, individual scout/couriers will range ahead or to the flanks and perform actual data gathering missions." I don't know of any published designs, though.

Off-the-cuff MgT2 calculations imply that, utilizing Tl15 Decreased Fuel optimized jump drives, one could make a 10,000dT J3 ship with fuel for 3+3+1 jumps, or J-4 ship with fuel for 4+2 jumps. This assumes 8 Type S scouts in Docking Bays and 2 scouts in a 400dT hangar. Depending on the M-Drive, there is probably tonnage gravy left over for minor bay armaments, a few small craft, etc, but this won't be a warship, nor cheap. Don't care about rifts? Reduce the supernumerary jumps, and add more scouts and hangar space.
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Re: Large Scout Ships?

Postby RogerMc » Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:51 am

Wasn't one of the Azhanti High Lightning cruisers (60,000 dtons IIRC?) handed over to the Scouts?

Correction: IISS had 4 Lightning class cruisers transferred to them.
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Re: Large Scout Ships?

Postby phavoc » Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:47 pm

The role of the scout service is one that doesn't really require large capital ships. They have a bigger need to be more places simultaneously than needing to be in a fewer places with a bigger stick.

One problem with the Traveller universe for this aspect is that the Imperial borders are pretty well set. There are other (known) empires at all their borders so they have no need to do explorations with cruiser squadrons. In the Starfire universe the scout service had the most updated cruiser-sized elements because of how star travel worked there - warp points could take you anywhere and you had no idea if there was a dead system or a rabid alien race looking to eat you (literally) in the next star system. So scout flotillas had cruisers armed with the latest weaponry, sensors and stealth, backed up by very lethal support carriers, destroyers and supply ships.

Beyond the more capable scout ships mounting more capable sensors, Traveller ships can jump into a systems outer edge and stooge around for months looking to find out what kind of alien civilization may exist in the few unexplored systems. So justifying 60k cruisers is tough. Justifying a 2k cruiser is far easier. And justifying thousands of tiny 100 ton Serpent ships is really easy.
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Re: Large Scout Ships?

Postby Condottiere » Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:44 pm

The Azhantis are hand me downs; I've never come across canon that says they were passed a battleship.

If you're looking for an Enterprise NCC-1701, the Solomani are far more likely to have that, since their Navy is tasked with the missions and roles of the Imperium Scout Service, and have the Rim to explore, while the Imperium is boxed in.
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Re: Large Scout Ships?

Postby Garran » Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:16 pm

The naval / element cruiser sourcebook has 'exploration pods' among the modular options for the ships, and that entry talks about their use in scouting operations. They aren't owned and operated by the scout service when working in that capacity, though, even if scout service personnel are assigned to the ship.

I'd imagine that the only 'big ships' that the scout service would use on a semi-regular basis are cargo haulers that get sent out to establish scout bases in uninhabited areas, but those ships aren't likely to be doing any actual 'scouting' themselves.
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Re: Large Scout Ships?

Postby Sigtrygg » Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:51 pm

phavoc wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:47 pm
The role of the scout service is one that doesn't really require large capital ships. They have a bigger need to be more places simultaneously than needing to be in a fewer places with a bigger stick.
Canon disagrees. The IISS had 40,000t cruisers on twenty year mission exploring beyond Imperial space in AotI and they have four 60,000t AHLs in 1105+. The ISS does use large cruisers - to cruise in the old fashioned mission sense of the word.
One problem with the Traveller universe for this aspect is that the Imperial borders are pretty well set.
There are routes the IISS scout cruisers can take that allow them to explore beyond Imperial space and avoid their powerful neighbours even in 1105+, not flotillas but certainly large cruisers with auxiliary jump vessels would fit the bill.
Beyond the more capable scout ships mounting more capable sensors, Traveller ships can jump into a systems outer edge and stooge around for months looking to find out what kind of alien civilization may exist in the few unexplored systems. So justifying 60k cruisers is tough. Justifying a 2k cruiser is far easier. And justifying thousands of tiny 100 ton Serpent ships is really easy.
For a twenty year exploration mission a cruiser sized ship is necessary so that it can carry the machinery to conduct its own maintainance. Maker shops, stores, spares all take up space. Using jump 5 or higher means you need a big ship to have enough room left over after jump fuel for everything else you need - large crew quarters, extensive medical facilities etc.
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Re: Large Scout Ships?

Postby Sigtrygg » Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:53 pm

Condottiere wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:44 pm
The Azhantis are hand me downs; I've never come across canon that says they were passed a battleship.

If you're looking for an Enterprise NCC-1701, the Solomani are far more likely to have that, since their Navy is tasked with the missions and roles of the Imperium Scout Service, and have the Rim to explore, while the Imperium is boxed in.
There are the huge motherships that were sent to explore the rim...

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