Double turret with a pulse laser and a sandcaster

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Double turret with a pulse laser and a sandcaster

Postby paltrysum » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:40 pm

Can both be fired in the same round? The rules seem to indicate they can. Just wondering what others think based on the somewhat conflicting language in the Core Rulebook.
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Re: Double turret with a pulse laser and a sandcaster

Postby Annatar Giftbringer » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:56 pm

The way I remember it - been a while since I read that chapter - only one type of weapon per turret may attack per round, so you can’t fire
Both the laser and the sandcasters, but you can make an attack with one weapon and use the other to make a defence reaction.

You may not use the same weapon within a turret to both make an attack and conduct a defensive reaction. I don’t remember an actual rule saying you can’t make two different reactions with the same turret (anti-missile
With the laser and anti-laser with the sandcasters, for example) but it doesn’t sound right. Perhaps it falls under the “mat only fire a single type of weapon” rule..?
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Re: Double turret with a pulse laser and a sandcaster

Postby Moppy » Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:36 pm

Isn't a space combat turn several minutes?

Other thing that's weird is why you'd have all these weapons in a single turret. "1 turret per 100 tons" should be "3 weapons per 100 tons" if you need to restrict weapons for balance reasons. You also run out of surface area, but they had no problems fitting 4 turrets on a B-17.
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Re: Double turret with a pulse laser and a sandcaster

Postby Condottiere » Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:25 pm

Six minutes is a long time.

You could link differing offensive weapon systems, so that if one hit, so probably would the other; with sandcasters, the laser could have a secondary function as red dot pointer, if you're using it in it's anti personnel role.

As I interpret the rules, one weapon system per turn per turret.
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Re: Double turret with a pulse laser and a sandcaster

Postby paltrysum » Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:45 pm

That's what I thought, too, but a re-reading of the rules tells us this:

Double and Triple Turrets
Some spacecraft are fitted with double or triple turrets, which allow two or three weapons to be mounted in the same turret. If these weapons are different (a pulse laser, missile rack and sandcaster in the same triple turret, for example), then only one type may be used to attack an enemy in a combat round. However, if two or more weapons are of the same type, they may be fired together. One attack roll is made for all weapons being fired, but each additional weapon adds +1 per damage dice to the final damage total. (p. 158)

Right, so seemingly this would mean you have to choose one or the other, but...there are two things there that give me pause: 1) it says only one type may be used to "attack" an enemy in a combat round. Use of a sandcaster for defensive purposes is not an attack and, in fact, occurs in a separate phase of a combat round: the Reaction phase, described below. First let's consider Point Defense:

Point Defence (Gunner)
Using a turret-mounted laser (beam or pulse), a gunner can destroy incoming missiles. Note that a weapon used for point defence cannot be used to make attacks in the same combat round, and vice versa. Point Defence may only be performed against missile salvos (see page 161) as they are about to make their attack roll against a target – missiles are too small and too fast to be targeted at greater ranges. A gunner may only attempt Point Defence against once every round.

Okay, so a laser used for point defense cannot be used to attack in the same round. If you have a missile rack and a laser in a turret, then the text in "Point Defense" section seems to imply that you could fire the missile and still do point defense with the laser in the same turn. You just couldn't attack with the laser and do point defense with it in the same turn.

Fair enough. So if that's the case, let's consider sandcasters:

Disperse Sand (Gunner)
While cheap and versatile, laser weapons are easily foiled by dispersed particles, or sand as it is often called. Sandcasters are designed to create temporary defences against incoming laser attacks. Using a turret-mounted sandcaster, a gunner can attempt to block laser attacks. The gunner must succeed at a Gunner (turret) check against a laser weapon and, if successful, he will add 1D plus the Effect of his check to the ship’s armour against that laser attack only. Each Disperse Sand reaction uses one canister of sand. Sand may also be directed against incoming boarding parties. If the Gunner (turret) check is successful, each target in the boarding party suffers 8D point of damage at Personal scale.

It does describe how a sandcaster is used for defense, but also it can attack boarding parties. I might argue that using it against boarding parties would occur in the attack phase, but maybe that's splitting hairs.

The basic case is that if a missile could be fired and a laser used for defense from the same turret, couldn't a laser be used for attack and a sandcaster for defense from the same turret? Or am I getting it all twisted up and confused?
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Re: Double turret with a pulse laser and a sandcaster

Postby Condottiere » Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:48 pm

Boarding is technically adjacent, and if you have line of sight, becomes dogfighting.

Then you readjust targetting in six second intervals.
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Re: Double turret with a pulse laser and a sandcaster

Postby AnotherDilbert » Tue Feb 05, 2019 1:02 am

paltrysum wrote: Can both be fired in the same round? The rules seem to indicate they can.
Yes, technically, but I hope that is not intended.

All other actions clearly state that a turret can only be used once in a round, but not the sandcaster action.

Unless we enforce the (unstated) rule about only one action per person in space combat (cf EW) the sandcaster can even fire several times in a round.

Note "a gunner can attempt to block laser attacks [plural]". It makes some sense that a triple SC turret can block three laser attacks, one sandcaster against each attack.

Also note that a single laser can attack and kill potentially many missiles in the same salvo with a single PD action.


In the end I am lazy, I allow one action per turret. The only advantage with a triple sandcaster turret is more ready rounds, but that is probably overkill.

I believe there is thread or at least a note about this from beta, so early 2016?
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Re: Double turret with a pulse laser and a sandcaster

Postby baithammer » Tue Feb 05, 2019 12:08 pm

Each round has several phases, in this we're dealing with the attack phase and reaction phase.

Point Defense requires the weapon ( Not Turret) not be used for anything but the Point Defense action. ( Reaction Phase)

Disperse Sand is in the reaction phase for either laser defense or boarding action.

And for giggles, High Guard doesn't have Sand Casters listed as an option for the Capital Ship combat rules....
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Re: Double turret with a pulse laser and a sandcaster

Postby Annatar Giftbringer » Tue Feb 05, 2019 12:42 pm

baithammer wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 12:08 pm
Each round has several phases, in this we're dealing with the attack phase and reaction phase.

Point Defense requires the weapon ( Not Turret) not be used for anything but the Point Defense action. ( Reaction Phase)

Disperse Sand is in the reaction phase for either laser defense or boarding action.

And for giggles, High Guard doesn't have Sand Casters listed as an option for the Capital Ship combat rules....
Yeah, sounds like that just about sums it up.

Regarding capital ship combat and sandcasters, I noticed that too, but then I thought that perhaps sandcasters are assumed to always be used to full effect, and their damage reduction is already accounted for?
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Re: Double turret with a pulse laser and a sandcaster

Postby AnotherDilbert » Tue Feb 05, 2019 1:52 pm

baithammer wrote: Point Defense requires the weapon ( Not Turret) not be used for anything but the Point Defense action. ( Reaction Phase)

Disperse Sand is in the reaction phase for either laser defense or boarding action.
Yes, you are correct.

I seem to have introduced a house rule about here viewtopic.php?f=89&t=119548 and forgotten that it is a house rule...

I think I will stick with my house rule for simplicity. At the very least I would enforce "Multiple Tasks", p59 on the rolls.
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Re: Double turret with a pulse laser and a sandcaster

Postby Condottiere » Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:50 pm

By default, it's streamlined game mechanics.

I'm sure if you break it up into six second segments, you could calculate how much time it takes to acquire each target, and then reconfigure the weapons platform to perform another task, latency caused by possible physical and mental fatigue, or increased accuracy by more carefully aligning targetting, sensor information and computer predictor.
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Re: Double turret with a pulse laser and a sandcaster

Postby baithammer » Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:39 am

I think I will stick with my house rule for simplicity. At the very least I would enforce "Multiple Tasks", p59 on the rolls.
It's one of the reasons I prefer the Type Point Defense Systems, which require no man power and automatically engage missiles without a task check.
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Re: Double turret with a pulse laser and a sandcaster

Postby Old School » Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:31 am

Dedicated PD is obviously superior to a laser turret for the purpose, but hard to fit point defense systems on a 100-300 ton ship that most travellers wander around in.
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Re: Double turret with a pulse laser and a sandcaster

Postby Condottiere » Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:51 pm

It also takes up twenty tonnes.

At this scale, and what does seem like the probable intent of the original source, the turret was meant to accommodate differing weapon systems on a single weapons platform, giving an option between offence and defence for any particular situation.

As to whether the current rules set would permit both in the same six minutes, I couldn't say.

It probably screws over scouts, but freetraders could optionally have one turret act as defence, and have the other loaded for bear.

Since smallcraft have to separate their weapon systems, thirty five tonners and above can do the same.
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Re: Double turret with a pulse laser and a sandcaster

Postby AnotherDilbert » Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:06 pm

Old School wrote: Dedicated PD is obviously superior to a laser turret for the purpose, but hard to fit point defense systems on a 100-300 ton ship that most travellers wander around in.
PD Batteries are (slightly) better than laser turrets per hardpoint, but much worse per tonnage.

Laser turrets are highly dependent on crew skill, PD Batteries are not.

PD Batteries can target several salvoes, laser turrets can't

Neither is obviously superior in all use cases.
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Re: Double turret with a pulse laser and a sandcaster

Postby Old School » Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:24 pm

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:06 pm
Old School wrote: Dedicated PD is obviously superior to a laser turret for the purpose, but hard to fit point defense systems on a 100-300 ton ship that most travellers wander around in.
PD Batteries are (slightly) better than laser turrets per hardpoint, but much worse per tonnage.

Laser turrets are highly dependent on crew skill, PD Batteries are not.

PD Batteries can target several salvoes, laser turrets can't

Neither is obviously superior in all use cases.
You’re actually agreeing with me, even though you appear to be trying to disagree.
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Re: Double turret with a pulse laser and a sandcaster

Postby AnotherDilbert » Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:12 pm

Old School wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:24 pm
You’re actually agreeing with me, even though you appear to be trying to disagree.
I'm not trying to disagree.

I believe we mostly agree, but not quite.

E.g. if we are building a 100 kDton BC we probably do not have ~15 kDton space for PD batteries, so we could fit many more laser turrets, providing better PD capacity.

I think in this case PD batteries are not superior, but that is perhaps not what you meant?
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Re: Double turret with a pulse laser and a sandcaster

Postby Old School » Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:52 pm

We do agree, and I made that exact same point in my post.
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Re: Double turret with a pulse laser and a sandcaster

Postby AnotherDilbert » Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:41 pm

Old School wrote: We do agree, and I made that exact same point in my post.
OK, then I misunderstood.
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Re: Double turret with a pulse laser and a sandcaster

Postby steve98052 » Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:13 pm

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:06 pm
Neither is obviously superior in all use cases.
I think the design goal for the three space weapons in classic Book 2 was a bit like "rock, scissors, paper". Missiles hurt a lot, but both lasers and sand can defend. Lasers hurt, and only sand can defend. Sand defends well, but can't attack.

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