"Nozzles" on the Element cruisers

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Hakkonen
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"Nozzles" on the Element cruisers

Postby Hakkonen » Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:38 am

The M-drive is gravitic and reactionless, right? So what are those rocket-nozzle-looking things at the rear of the Element-class cruisers? Am I just overlooking the bit where they're specified to use reaction drives?
Sigtrygg
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Re: "Nozzles" on the Element cruisers

Postby Sigtrygg » Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:39 am

They are gravitic heat exhausts. During normal space maneuvering waste heat is converted by gravitics to stuff that gets emitted from the nozzles.
phavoc
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Re: "Nozzles" on the Element cruisers

Postby phavoc » Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:06 am

Gravitic drives are supposed to work against a gravity well or source. Though other versions have proposed different mechanisms for thrust.

I've always treated them kind of like ion drives. It's essentially reaction less, but still there are some "things" coming out of the exhaust. At least that makes the imagery match the explanations.
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Re: "Nozzles" on the Element cruisers

Postby Condottiere » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:22 pm

Transforming heat into some form of ion drive propulsion, would be an interesting solution.
Aldaron
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Re: "Nozzles" on the Element cruisers

Postby Aldaron » Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:19 am

It's the disposal of the virtual particles created by the Casimir effect as part of the M-drive's function. <insert suitable Treknobabble here> :D
HeadlessGunner
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Re: "Nozzles" on the Element cruisers

Postby HeadlessGunner » Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:08 am

They are plot devices so the heros can track the emission signature to find the lost/highjacked/crashed starship carrying the princess/priceless artifact/container of your favorite recreational substance/basket of puppies...
They are also convenient incinerators for the chief engineer to flush the contraband when the guard is approaching the ship to be inspected.
Linwood
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Re: "Nozzles" on the Element cruisers

Postby Linwood » Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:35 am

It’s a Imperial styling essential. Spacecraft simply don’t look like spacecraft without nozzles!!
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Re: "Nozzles" on the Element cruisers

Postby alex_greene » Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:58 am

"Well, the thing's gotta have a tailpipe!"
- Lt Uhura, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

I think it's SF expectation. Science fiction shows and movies show the ship's stern end, and if its backside looked like that no wonder it's stern, and then the big pipes at the back would glow whatever colour looks pretty, you hear an improbable roaring noise, and the ship moves.

Despite that it technically is already moving, and that even if it did move you'd not notice the stars moving past it.

Presume that the ship has some waste something that needs radiating. Heat is a pain to get rid of, because there's no medium in space to conduct or convect it so, ironically, you're more likely to cook yourselves to death than freeze to death unless you can bleed out the excess heat, which can only be emitted through radiation. Which is where the stern-mounted heat radiators come in.

The fact that they look like rocket exhausts is probably a legacy of the days when they really were chemical rockets. Or something.
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Condottiere
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Re: "Nozzles" on the Element cruisers

Postby Condottiere » Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:20 pm

I wonder if a photon drive would work.
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Re: "Nozzles" on the Element cruisers

Postby phavoc » Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:51 pm

Well, from all the materials we know that ships function the same way as rockets - something is pushing them forward. And to slow down or stop they have to rotate 180 degrees and apply the same amount of thrust for the same period of acceleration to cancel out their forward momentum.

So something is working, in that sense, to do all this. Even on planets the ship is pushed forward like conventional engines do. With pretty much a singular exception, all versions have more or less ignored this issue when it comes to the nuts and bolts of things. Which leaves it up to players and such to debate on the boards.

Since every version of the game has this mechanic, and since pretty much every artist rendering or cover shows a roughly similar thing, I'm of the opinion the nozzles are there for a purpose and spitting something out. Whether that be ions, photons, heat or fair dust, something magical is coming out of the tailpipe.

Uhura may fire when ready!
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Re: "Nozzles" on the Element cruisers

Postby Sigtrygg » Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:59 pm

The latest youtube spacedock video makes an interesting point.

In a universe with Newtonian movement and main drive thrust coming out of the back most battle will be fought tail towards the enemy so that you can maintain range - eg in CT High Guard abstract movement, and the various boardgame versions that require facing as a factor (Brilliant Lances, Battle Rider, Power Projection, Squadron Strike, possibly GT too I would have to check that one)

Spinals should be built rear facing to take advantage of this, while bays should be on pylons offering forward and rear firing arcs.

The only time I have I have seen it considered in the mention of a Janus mount for spinals in TNE...

here's a link to the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfW8hP3LZJ4
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Re: "Nozzles" on the Element cruisers

Postby Condottiere » Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:12 am

With reaction rockets, it's easy to redirect the heat into the reaction chamber, and it leaves the spaceship.

You have magnetic bottles for a reason, you could also redirect all the excessive heat there.
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Re: "Nozzles" on the Element cruisers

Postby baithammer » Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:21 am

Sigtrygg wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:59 pm
The latest youtube spacedock video makes an interesting point.

In a universe with Newtonian movement and main drive thrust coming out of the back most battle will be fought tail towards the enemy so that you can maintain range - eg in CT High Guard abstract movement, and the various boardgame versions that require facing as a factor (Brilliant Lances, Battle Rider, Power Projection, Squadron Strike, possibly GT too I would have to check that one)

Spinals should be built rear facing to take advantage of this, while bays should be on pylons offering forward and rear firing arcs.

The only time I have I have seen it considered in the mention of a Janus mount for spinals in TNE...

here's a link to the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfW8hP3LZJ4
You wouldn't be pointing your engines towards the enemy as it would leave your drives vulnerable, instead you'd be changing vectors to thread an orbit depending on what your objective is. ( You'd only pull away if your disengaging.)
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Re: "Nozzles" on the Element cruisers

Postby Sigtrygg » Thu Mar 21, 2019 7:15 am

Accelerate to halfway, turn and decelerate to match the vector of the object you need to match vectors with.

You are arse first towards your target for the latter half of your journey.

Don't believe me? Dig out a game with Newtonian movement (not MgT) and then game it...

You can not maintain range unless you are pointing your drives towards the enemy. So unless space combat consists of two opposing fleets approaching each other and then remaining at a set range...
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Re: "Nozzles" on the Element cruisers

Postby phavoc » Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:29 pm

Most people don't quite get the ballet that Newtonian combat is. Battle "lines" as proposed in the rules would not really exist. In the age of sail and steam they did, and they sound cool, but in space they fall apart.

Fleets would need to be traveling the same direction in order for it to work. And they'd have to desire to not interpenetrate. While ships could stop accelerating, rotate and bring their spinal to bear, if one fleet was chasing the other then each time they did this they would lose their accel advantage. This is not part of the rules. And ships that big would doubtfully be that nimble.

Traveller starship combat rules suck. But it's not a ship combat game either, so that's understandable. If you want better rules, or more realistic ones don't use the books. Go find another set or rules you like and use them instead. Then rpg your characters after you have clashed in space.
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Re: "Nozzles" on the Element cruisers

Postby Sigtrygg » Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:05 pm

I completely agree with your points.

I have long been of the opinion that fleet combat in Traveller requires the opposing fleets to 'agree' to the battle.

The fleets would have to match vectors to be almost stationary with respect to each other so they can maintain range, send in waves of disposable assets, and only close if a victory is assured or run away to fight another day. I call it 'cloud warfare'.

Closing to within a few hundred km with the weapons available in the Traveller 'verse should be suicide - a laser that can carve hole in a ship half a light second away will slice a ship at a few km into chunks - note this is a bit of an exaggeration to make a point.
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Re: "Nozzles" on the Element cruisers

Postby NOLATrav » Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:19 pm

The Lost Fleet series by Jack Campbell envisions fleets closing on one another to find optimal range then there's a flurry of fire and defensive actions all run by computers because relative velocities are so high. Assessment and damage control happen as the ships streak away from each other and prepare for another run.
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Re: "Nozzles" on the Element cruisers

Postby Sigtrygg » Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:34 pm

The thing is under Newtonian movement you can't just bank and turn away - this isn't Star Wars with handbrake turn starfighters.

If you have a high closing velocity you will fly through each other's battle lines. You will then take a long time to dump velocity, turn and come back.

As phavoc says, not enough people understand Newtonian movement, they think the cinematic stuff they see in Star Wars etc is how it is. That is not the way it works in Traveller. Watch the Expanse, and even that takes liberties with Newtonian mechanics.
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Re: "Nozzles" on the Element cruisers

Postby NOLATrav » Thu Mar 21, 2019 8:35 pm

Sigtrygg wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:34 pm

If you have a high closing velocity you will fly through each other's battle lines. You will then take a long time to dump velocity, turn and come back.
Yes, precisely. In the books that time is spent on damage control and assessing the tactical situation post-attack run. No handbraking or swooping.
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Re: "Nozzles" on the Element cruisers

Postby Condottiere » Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:11 pm

Large scale naval battles tend to be geographically based, bottlenecks or areas that need to be defended.

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