High Guard: fighting hull-to-hull

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Moppy
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High Guard: fighting hull-to-hull

Postby Moppy » Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:59 pm

Two situations:

1) One craft wants another craft to leave, but they don't want to shoot. Today this would be resolved by aggressive maneuvering to force away (such US vs China in South China Sea) or outright ramming (UK vs Iceland in Cod War).

2) Suicide shuttle. Plot intercept course, light fuse, jump out airlock (last part optional).

How to High Guard?

Adjacent range is 1 km and allows boarding.

What happens when you get closer?

Is it piloting or morale to play space craft chicken?

How much damage does bumping do?

How much damage does a shuttle full of kaboomite do?

Does using a sandcaster in this situation count as "started a shooting war"? (edit: Also tractor/repulsor?)
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Re: High Guard: fighting hull-to-hull

Postby Condottiere » Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:15 pm

If it were feasible, I considered using a planetoid to play chicken, as a few more dents aren't going to matter, but I imagine that more as a shoving contest, rather than a head on collision, as they fly side by side and bump one another.
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Re: High Guard: fighting hull-to-hull

Postby AnotherDilbert » Wed Jan 30, 2019 5:27 pm

Moppy wrote: 1) One craft wants another craft to leave, but they don't want to shoot. Today this would be resolved by aggressive maneuvering to force away (such US vs China in South China Sea) or outright ramming (UK vs Iceland in Cod War).
If a ship is too close, just bump the throttle. Even 1 g for 10 s will add 500 m to the distance.
Ramming is probably not advisable, after a minimal burn of 1 g for 10 s you have a speed of 100 m/s = 360 km/h = 225 mph.

Moppy wrote: 2) Suicide shuttle. Plot intercept course, light fuse, jump out airlock (last part optional).
Speed kills, but hitting an evading target is difficult...
After accelerating for more than a minute the shuttle is faster than a bullet, a bullet of about 1000 tonnes. I don't think any explosives are necessary.

Moppy wrote: How to High Guard?
Mostly no rules so I can only guess.

Moppy wrote: Adjacent range is 1 km and allows boarding.

What happens when you get closer?
We have rules for docking and forced docking. If you don't want to hit you are unlikely to.

Moppy wrote: Is it piloting or morale to play space craft chicken?
Chicken is chicken? The type of vehicle isn't the important thing?
Controlling the swerve is Piloting?

Moppy wrote: How much damage does bumping do?
At any speed, I guess a lot?

Think in terms of dropping a battleship on top of another from a good height. This represents just a few seconds of acceleration.

Or perhaps a couple of tanks in a frontal collision at a few hundred km/h?

Of course if one ship is much bigger it is in a much better position to survive.

Moppy wrote: How much damage does a shuttle full of kaboomite do?
70 Dt kaboomite ≈ 700 tonnes of kaboomite ≈ 1 kt nuke. Count as nuke missile?

On the other hand a nuke (or equivalent) that goes off inside a small ship instead of outside should blow it out completely and vaporise everyone...

Moppy wrote: Does using a sandcaster in this situation count as "started a shooting war"? (edit: Also tractor/repulsor?)
A sandcaster or tractor against a spacecraft is very much a non-lethal attack. Unless emotions are running very high I doubt it would start a war.
If people in vacc suits are involved it's a lethal attack.
Old School
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Re: High Guard: fighting hull-to-hull

Postby Old School » Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:33 pm

A similar example from a published adventure is a yacht used to lure a traveler ship before detonating a nukes on board. Destroys the yacht and does 6D damage to anything within close range. I'm thinking it should be higher for adjacent range.
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Re: High Guard: fighting hull-to-hull

Postby Moppy » Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:25 pm

I found the forced docking rule. It's an opposed piloting check with bane. Bumping or shoving might use the same rule. Ramming might be easier because there is no need for alignment and safety. It seems very easy to do in the game.
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Re: High Guard: fighting hull-to-hull

Postby Linwood » Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:14 am

I once considered creating an alien race whose naval strategy involved mass swarms of armored boarding craft designed to ram their opponents. Fun to think about but I eventually rejected it as impractical except in very limited situations.
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Re: High Guard: fighting hull-to-hull

Postby Condottiere » Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:46 pm

Image
baithammer
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Re: High Guard: fighting hull-to-hull

Postby baithammer » Fri Feb 01, 2019 4:19 am

In the mainbook there is collision rules under vehicles and getting that close would put things into dogfighting rules which deals with maneuvering close up.
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Re: High Guard: fighting hull-to-hull

Postby AnotherDilbert » Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:06 am

HG, p85 has a simple system for fighters bumping into their carriers during recovery.
HG, p85 wrote:Failure will result 1D damage, multiplied by any Thrust expended by fighter or carrier. However, any armour possessed by either will not reduce this damage in any way.

Armour should probably count if ships bump hulls?
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Re: High Guard: fighting hull-to-hull

Postby baithammer » Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:06 pm

Look at the various ship accidents, armour doesn't work so well when your dealing with large objects and high relative speeds.
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Re: High Guard: fighting hull-to-hull

Postby Moppy » Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:52 pm

baithammer wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:06 pm
Look at the various ship accidents, armour doesn't work so well when your dealing with large objects and high relative speeds.
I cannot find much data on armored ships ramming. Modern ships have some ballistic protection, but aren't armored in the Traveller and World War 2 sense. The majority of the world war 2 incidents involved destroyers, which were not armored. Where a destroyer struck an armored warship (such HMS Glowworm ramming Admiral Hipper) the displacement differential was huge (Hipper lost a section of armor belt and remained fully effective while the destroyer bouncned off and sank, but the displacement tonnage ratio was 10x in favor of Hipper). In the reverse, where a destroyer rammed a submarine, the effect was enough in the destroyer's favor that they liked it. There's 2x mass differential there in the destroyer's favor, but subs are constructed very differently and cannot resist leaks as well as a surface ship. (edit: That's maybe incorrect. The British navy told them to stop doing it after some destroyers got themselves hurt, but they'd happily trade a destroyer for a submarine and they didn't actually stop)

I looked further into this, and in the pacific, carriers with armored flight decks returned to operation quicker than unarmored ones, after being struck by Japanese Kamikaze planes. The difference was often hours, fixed at sea, vs weeks in dock. Again, there's a large mass differential between the plane and the ship.
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Re: High Guard: fighting hull-to-hull

Postby AnotherDilbert » Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:01 pm

Traveller spacecraft are not armoured like surface ships. Traveller spacecraft are generally equally armoured in all directions, the armour is the hull or at least a shell around the hull.

Armoured spacecraft should deform less and likely take less damage.
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Re: High Guard: fighting hull-to-hull

Postby Condottiere » Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:15 pm

That's one of those huge debates of the virtues of British carriers versus American ones, though I don't much remember much controversy over Japanese design(s), except for the fact that once damaged, they tended to self destruct; one major difference someone pointed out was that you really wanted an experienced and well coordinated damage control crew on your carriers (as well other warships), that difference may well have helped the American carriers from sinking.

Postwar, carrier design appears to have split the difference.

If you can afford attrition, you can encourage your commanders to be aggressive, and taking out a submarine should be considered worth potentially trading a (premodern) destroyer for, which is what they are for, disposable assets.

As I've always maintained, if you want to play chicken on the high seas, send an ice breaker to the South China Sea for freedom of navigation exercises.

Outside of our game mechanics, nothing stops anyone from just adding more armour to the prow of a spaceship, and I've always thought it might be a neat idea to embed a cluster of laser drills there.
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Re: High Guard: fighting hull-to-hull

Postby baithammer » Sat Feb 02, 2019 2:25 am

Or invest in bigger torpedoes instead.
phavoc
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Re: High Guard: fighting hull-to-hull

Postby phavoc » Sat Feb 02, 2019 2:54 am

The British seemed to ram BB into BB during the early 1900s. The Hawk collided with the Olympic (a liner) and lost most of it's bow. The Queen Mary sunk the CL Caracoa by running over it amidships, causing the bow plates to be heavily damaged. The QM didn't lose any speed, but the poor Caracoa sunk within minutes, what with being cut in half and all that.

Much like anything else it's going to depend on the mass of the ships, the angle of the collision, and their speed.
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Re: High Guard: fighting hull-to-hull

Postby Old School » Sat Feb 02, 2019 4:49 am

Call up a Hemmerhead Corvette. I have an idea.
Moppy
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Re: High Guard: fighting hull-to-hull

Postby Moppy » Sat Feb 02, 2019 12:02 pm

I believe all modern US CVNs have the equivalent of an armored deck, though it might be for structural reasons with the size of the deck, making it not optional. Then again, it may not be purely structural: CVN-65 Enterprise managed to airstrike herself and was saved by the deck armor & effective damage control.
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Re: High Guard: fighting hull-to-hull

Postby Condottiere » Sat Feb 02, 2019 3:47 pm

I think the point was to integrate an armoured deck into the overall superstructure.

There are no current equivalents to the escort carrier, though I suspect what would happen is a bunch of container ships will get commandeered, and they'll use F-35Bs on top of a bunch of improvised containers creating a landing and take off deck, plus whatever support, ordnance and spare parts they'd need.
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Re: High Guard: fighting hull-to-hull

Postby Annatar Giftbringer » Mon Feb 04, 2019 12:37 pm

I found something regarding ramming in Pirates of Drinax:
“Pirates of Drinax, book 1, p.154” wrote:The Traveller must make a Pilot check (DEX) to dodge the Patrol Corvette; failing means a collision that inflicts 5D damage on both ships.
Sure, it sounds more like an accidental collision than deliberate ramming, and it doesn’t mention if armour reduces damage. Probably does, since it sounds like “regular damage”.
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Re: High Guard: fighting hull-to-hull

Postby phavoc » Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:50 pm

Annatar Giftbringer wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 12:37 pm
I found something regarding ramming in Pirates of Drinax:
“Pirates of Drinax, book 1, p.154” wrote:The Traveller must make a Pilot check (DEX) to dodge the Patrol Corvette; failing means a collision that inflicts 5D damage on both ships.
Sure, it sounds more like an accidental collision than deliberate ramming, and it doesn’t mention if armour reduces damage. Probably does, since it sounds like “regular damage”.
Armor on which ship? The one being rammed, or the one doing the ramming? Since most ships aren't designed to take that sort of thing I would say it wouldn't help. 5D damage sounds like a glancing hit rather than a full-on impact.

Naval disasters are replete with examples of what happens when two ships collide.

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