How common are planetoid hulls?

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Hakkonen
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How common are planetoid hulls?

Postby Hakkonen » Mon Mar 25, 2019 1:16 pm

Using the rules in High Guard, the basic Type A free trader has a MCr12 hull: 200 tons times Cr50,000 per ton, plus 20% for streamlining. That's over a quarter of its ~MCr45 purchase price.

A 250-dton rock costs MCr1: Cr4,000 per dton to pull it out of orbit and hollow it out for use as a hull, with the same amount of usable space (200 dtons, 80% of 250) as the Type A.

The Type A has 80 Hull Points. The Type-A-equivalent planetoid has 100, and is dramatically cheaper. OK, you give up streamlining, but... flaming hell, you're saving eleven million credits. Can this be right? Am I missing something?
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Re: How common are planetoid hulls?

Postby AnotherDilbert » Mon Mar 25, 2019 1:40 pm

The drives are bigger and hence more expensive. You need more jump fuel which decreases cargo space.

With an unstreamlined hull you are completely unable to refuel without help from local shuttles. If local shuttles are unavailable you get stuck... So you probably need an interface craft that steals additional cargo space.

Planetoids are cheap and nice, but somewhat specialised. Design the whole ship before you decide if it's worth it.
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Re: How common are planetoid hulls?

Postby Condottiere » Mon Mar 25, 2019 1:42 pm

Engineering tends to increase by twenty five percent; I doubt that you could break even at jump factor two, one is about doable.
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Re: How common are planetoid hulls?

Postby phavoc » Mon Mar 25, 2019 3:13 pm

For vessels that ply an asteroid belt, or maybe back and forth within a system they'd be more likely to be around. For traders, especially smaller ones like free traders, not so much. Traders like that operate on the fringes, so being able to land your ship to take on and unload cargo is going to be pretty important. Small ships like that don't have the tonnage to spare for a shuttle.
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Re: How common are planetoid hulls?

Postby DickTurpin » Mon Mar 25, 2019 4:09 pm

One of the best uses for planetoid hulls is for System Defense Boats or Monitors. Without the need for oversized jump drives and extra fuel, you avoid many of the drawbacks while getting full use of the benefits. A Buffered Planetoid with additional armor makes a tough, inexpensive ship for system defense.

As an added bonus, they can hide in plain sight in the asteroid belt or as a small moon orbiting a gas giant to keep an eye on two potential trouble spots in a system. They can be spotted if they use thrust or active sensors, or even by an alert sensor operator on another ship, but the sensor operator has to think to scan for them first.
M J Dougherty
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Re: How common are planetoid hulls?

Postby M J Dougherty » Mon Mar 25, 2019 5:03 pm

I agree they're very useful for system defence craft, perhaps as mobile forts rather than fast striking vessels. An asteroid ship could hide in a belt pretty effectively.
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Re: How common are planetoid hulls?

Postby msprange » Mon Mar 25, 2019 5:09 pm

M J Dougherty wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 5:03 pm
I agree they're very useful for system defence craft, perhaps as mobile forts rather than fast striking vessels. An asteroid ship could hide in a belt pretty effectively.
Do I sense another JTAS article?
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Moppy
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Re: How common are planetoid hulls?

Postby Moppy » Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:25 pm

Just how long can you "go bush" in an asteroid belt anyway?

I haven't put planetoids though a combat resolver yet but in my experience the Traveller rules don't match what the game background says people are using. Even if they turned out 1980 High Guard level of broken (900 ton planetoid at TL 15 can be built immune to non-spinal), you wouldn't see them everywhere.
Hakkonen
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Re: How common are planetoid hulls?

Postby Hakkonen » Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:59 pm

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 1:40 pm
The drives are bigger and hence more expensive. You need more jump fuel which decreases cargo space.
Condottiere wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 1:42 pm
Engineering tends to increase by twenty five percent; I doubt that you could break even at jump factor two, one is about doable.
Can I get a citation, please? High Guard doesn't mention anything about planetoids needing bigger drives, or more maintenance (that a search for the word "planetoid" reveals, anyway).
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Re: How common are planetoid hulls?

Postby Moppy » Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:16 pm

Hakkonen wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:59 pm
AnotherDilbert wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 1:40 pm
The drives are bigger and hence more expensive. You need more jump fuel which decreases cargo space.
Condottiere wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 1:42 pm
Engineering tends to increase by twenty five percent; I doubt that you could break even at jump factor two, one is about doable.
Can I get a citation, please? High Guard doesn't mention anything about planetoids needing bigger drives, or more maintenance (that a search for the word "planetoid" reveals, anyway).
"Wasted" hull volume from the planetoid configuration. Compared to a metal ship of the same usable volume, your drives are larger so you have even less space.

1000 ton planetoid has 800 tons of space, but you're paying for drive to move 1000 tons. An 800 ton ship will have smaller drives for the same thrust.
Hakkonen
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Re: How common are planetoid hulls?

Postby Hakkonen » Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:05 pm

Aha, that makes sense. That should probably be made explicit in the rules, though.
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Re: How common are planetoid hulls?

Postby AnotherDilbert » Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:49 pm

Hakkonen wrote: Aha, that makes sense. That should probably be made explicit in the rules, though.
I believe it is fairly clear in the rules. A 200 Dt planetoid hull requires the same drives as any other 200 Dt hull.

We we just a step ahead and compared a regular 200 Dt hull with a 250 Dt planetoid hull with 50 Dt wasted space and 200 usable space. Of course the 250 Dt planetoid requires bigger drives than the 200 Dt regular ship.
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Re: How common are planetoid hulls?

Postby Condottiere » Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:32 am

Also, at two hundred and fifty tonnes, the bridge is larger and wiring costs more.
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Re: How common are planetoid hulls?

Postby Reynard » Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:37 am

First issue is you need a system with a belt with planetoid sample to choose from. This could be handled by having a shipyard and manufacturing facilities in the region of a belt thus accessing hulls and resources to build such ships. How frequent are systems with belts? Systems without belts are not going to have planetoid monitor access unless you can afford expensive jump tugs.

Planetoid hulls are cheap. If you want cheap and have the infrastructure to support them such as highports and other non-planetary facilities, they're as good as any standard partial or streamlined craft. Freighters and tankers should be a natural.
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Re: How common are planetoid hulls?

Postby baithammer » Tue Mar 26, 2019 11:04 am

Or bolt a one-shot jump drive in order to transit it to the desired facility.
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Re: How common are planetoid hulls?

Postby ChalkLine » Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:07 pm

DickTurpin wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 4:09 pm
One of the best uses for planetoid hulls is for System Defense Boats or Monitors. Without the need for oversized jump drives and extra fuel, you avoid many of the drawbacks while getting full use of the benefits. A Buffered Planetoid with additional armor makes a tough, inexpensive ship for system defense.

As an added bonus, they can hide in plain sight in the asteroid belt or as a small moon orbiting a gas giant to keep an eye on two potential trouble spots in a system. They can be spotted if they use thrust or active sensors, or even by an alert sensor operator on another ship, but the sensor operator has to think to scan for them first.
Hiding is still difficult if they have a power plant or crew. Most detection looks for infrared emissions.
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Re: How common are planetoid hulls?

Postby Reynard » Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:46 pm

What about a tactical use of high efficiency batteries? Have vessels and/or facilities with decent sensor suites and extension nets to detect incoming targets allowing monitors and other planetoid units to go silent on battery power and gain advantages for not being detected.
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Re: How common are planetoid hulls?

Postby Moppy » Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:56 pm

ChalkLine wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:07 pm
DickTurpin wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 4:09 pm
One of the best uses for planetoid hulls is for System Defense Boats or Monitors. Without the need for oversized jump drives and extra fuel, you avoid many of the drawbacks while getting full use of the benefits. A Buffered Planetoid with additional armor makes a tough, inexpensive ship for system defense.

As an added bonus, they can hide in plain sight in the asteroid belt or as a small moon orbiting a gas giant to keep an eye on two potential trouble spots in a system. They can be spotted if they use thrust or active sensors, or even by an alert sensor operator on another ship, but the sensor operator has to think to scan for them first.
Hiding is still difficult if they have a power plant or crew. Most detection looks for infrared emissions.
You can probably mask one side with an asteroid then go to low power and use something like these refridgerated tiles on your hull.

https://www.baesystems.com/en/feature/a ... visibility

Theoretically space stealth can't work but full invisibility isn't required. Merely enough to be able to shoot first, or be over-looked at long range. If they go vacc-suiting over every rock they will find you, but they will take a lifetime to check the asteroid belt.
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Re: How common are planetoid hulls?

Postby Condottiere » Thu Mar 28, 2019 2:17 am

At default, one percent volume usage for batteries are sucked up in about half an hour for basic ship systems.

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