Converting a Freighter for combat use

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
baithammer
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 912
Joined: Wed May 31, 2017 2:21 am

Re: Converting a Freighter for combat use

Postby baithammer » Thu May 30, 2019 2:57 pm

Its pretty silly to consider armour as part of the hull, but I do agree it isn't trivial.

1.) To maintain displacement, you'd need to pare back the hull in order to accommodate the armour displacement.
2.) It isn't as simple as bolting on plates, as the plating needs to be fitted to the hull shape.

As to adding armour hulls to external mounts, you'd need enough hulls to inclose the entire ship and would end up with with worse performance.
Moppy
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1044
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2015 12:42 pm

Re: Converting a Freighter for combat use

Postby Moppy » Thu May 30, 2019 6:14 pm

No arguments from me about bolt-on armor being less effective than integral armor.

However covering the entire hull isn't necessary. Maybe it's just over critical areas (external component armor?), or maybe it's just covering one facing. When running for a jump point a lot of battles are going to be stern chases.

How is the stern armored on a Traveller ship anyhow? In the art and plans, the thruster disks seem to take up almost all of the rear surface area (I assume they're disks and not cones inside?)
Reynard
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3446
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: Converting a Freighter for combat use

Postby Reynard » Thu May 30, 2019 7:46 pm

Just while we're here. Does this hypothetical fighter equipped must be expecting trouble beyond turret weapon solutions heavy freighter in fact have armor? From my earlier assessment it seems reasonable it would have at least a minimum similar to the Far Trader and Type A Free Trader who stick their financial noses in dangerous places.
HalC
Mongoose
Posts: 159
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:42 pm

Re: Converting a Freighter for combat use

Postby HalC » Thu May 30, 2019 8:38 pm

Reynard wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 1:13 pm
I needed to go back to the original situation with the sparse information known.
1) A 1500 ton freighter to be converted to escort status
2) Needed as quickly as possible compared to building a comparable warship
3) Has three cargo holds, port and starboard 60 ton holds and a 120 aft (central?) hold
4) Has facilities for two 30 ton escort fighters, an interface pinnace and a fuel skimmer
5) Wish to create facilities to add 6 fighters by converting the port and starboard holds

Not much information but first thing I see is this is a very special freighter before conversion. Freighters normally don't carry fighters. This freighter is meant for special missions from the start. It would be interesting to know its weapon capacity as well as armor. Possibly the fighter capacity was an earlier upgrade.

The pinnace is reasonable for fast transfer of passengers and cargo to worlds without a Highport. The fuel skimmer as well as the pinnace implies this vessel commonly has missions away from better port facilities for fuel service and/or needs to avoid high traffic areas by wilderness refueling. Since the freighter can't use standard escort ships on missions yet needs those fighters, its missions call for very low profile. The fighters may be needed to fend off pirates prowling gas giants. Might also explain a need for hangars rather than docking space if the freighter must do battle damage repairs while continuing a mission.

Something calls for a massive increase in protection that expensive fighters plus support crews and facilities must take precedence over cargo capacity.

My call here is to have all fighters in their own docking space at 33 tons each. If you really NEED a hangar then have only one that is shared for repair and maintenance. Fighter can be swapped out as needed. For docks, you will need maybe 3 tons each from the 120t hold. The port and starboard dock now hold four more plus the original two. Each dock launches independently so all fighters can be launched simultaneously. The hangar can hold another and you would need to sacrifice 60 more tons from the aft hold for a total of eight fighters. Next you need to find more tonnage for the pilots and small craft support crew.

Not sure what's being hauled in the remainder of the aft hold but it has to be damned important!
Sorry for the sparce information, but part of the issue is that this campaign I'm running is based on GURPS TRAVELLER rather than MgT. Overall, the craft is a Jump-2 Manuever 1 freighter, whose intentions are for a Milieu Zero campaign set in the year 98 (we're now up to 99 with the Centennial coming up with the player characters on Mora in the Spinward Marches. The reason for the build of this particular ship are:

1) it was intended to carry materials necessary for the upgrading of Mora's Starport from its current level to the next level. Per T4's Pocket Empires, starports can be upgraded from an X to an E in 1 year for no cost. It can be upgraded from an E to a D in 1 year at double the cost. From a D to a C takes 10 years under normal circumstances, or 5 years at double cost, etc. Since the Imperium made such a STRONG effort to colonize Mora after ignoring the low hanging fruit of better or closer worlds in Deneb or even the Corridor subsectors, as GM, I'm going with the campaign premise that something caught Emperor Cleon's eye when he was at the Library on Vland - something so important that he set into motion, the colonization of a world some 152 parsecs distant from Sylea (or Capital as it would become). That same "urgency" was continued by the second Emperor (since Mora was not colonized until just after Cleon's death, but within the time frame required for a colony ship from the Third Imperium to arrive at Mora from Vland. In any event, the IMS Hargoth is a "City class" Freighter built at 1500 dTons in an era where much of Deneb and/or Spinward Marches is relatively undeveloped. Toss in fewer Class A starports, mandate that many of them are NOT Imperial ports, and we end up with a campaign that is not at all something you'd expect for a Third Imperium campaign set in say, 1105.

As a consequence of this - plus the fact that the Hargoth has better than 16% Iridium Throne backing (2 % publically, 14% from hidden factors) - its design was intended to deter ordinary pirates from attacking it immediately. If the bulk of pirate ships are between 200 to 400 dTons, a 1500 dTon freighter with 10 active turrets (5 hardpoints that do not have turrets installed) - plus two fighters for overwatch while wilderness refueling - plus a dedicated gas skimmer where necessary...

Well - you begin to see why this freighter is not your average expected 1500 dTon hull.

The fact that this was originally designed using GURPS TRAVELLER: STARSHIPS rules, might help explain why the information is sparce. If you want, I can send my copy of the ship description (it is in PDF format) so as to help explain some of the ship's capabilities. Otherwise, the fact that this is a Milieu Zero design based ship, might help to explain other things better. ;)
HalC
Mongoose
Posts: 159
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:42 pm

Re: Converting a Freighter for combat use

Postby HalC » Thu May 30, 2019 8:42 pm

Reynard wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 7:46 pm
Just while we're here. Does this hypothetical fighter equipped must be expecting trouble beyond turret weapon solutions heavy freighter in fact have armor? From my earlier assessment it seems reasonable it would have at least a minimum similar to the Far Trader and Type A Free Trader who stick their financial noses in dangerous places.
For what it is worth, if you remember MERCHANT PRINCE - they had missions called "Exploratory Trade". Technically, the IMS HARGOTH (City Class Hvy Freighter) is engaging in Exploratory Trade in the near vicinity of Mora, having set out from Vland in the year 88 near the start. It is now 6 month's shy of the Centennial of the Founding of the Third Imperium - and the crew has traversed space between Vland to Mora through space that is NOT the Imperium's space.
Reynard
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3446
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: Converting a Freighter for combat use

Postby Reynard » Thu May 30, 2019 8:48 pm

The Leviathan is also an exploratory trader, correct?
HalC
Mongoose
Posts: 159
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:42 pm

Re: Converting a Freighter for combat use

Postby HalC » Thu May 30, 2019 9:18 pm

Reynard wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 8:48 pm
The Leviathan is also an exploratory trader, correct?
Never looked at it to be honest. Will look shortly...
HalC
Mongoose
Posts: 159
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:42 pm

Re: Converting a Freighter for combat use

Postby HalC » Thu May 30, 2019 9:26 pm

I had largely ignored the Leviathan due to the material that was retconned as being inadmissible in canon. But, reading it now, I see that it is a Jump-3 ship with a backup Jump-2 drive. Overall, at 1800 dTons and only 70 dTons of cargo capacity, I largely would have ignored it for my campaign even had I read the material.

As it stands - I've a few more ship classes to work on for use with the campaign, including a floating dockyard type ship used to repair jump drives where destroyer class hulls are in need of such repairs.

To the best of my knowledge, aside from GURPS TRAVELLER, there doesn't seem to be much guidance in building such ships for use with the Traveller Universe.
AnotherDilbert
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3933
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:49 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Converting a Freighter for combat use

Postby AnotherDilbert » Thu May 30, 2019 10:04 pm

HalC wrote: As it stands - I've a few more ship classes to work on for use with the campaign, including a floating dockyard type ship used to repair jump drives where destroyer class hulls are in need of such repairs.

To the best of my knowledge, aside from GURPS TRAVELLER, there doesn't seem to be much guidance in building such ships for use with the Traveller Universe.
Actually, MgT2 has sparse rules for turning asteroids into finished spacecraft (or presumably repaired spacecraft). See HG, p45 "Construction Deck", HG, p65 "Manufacturing Plant", and HG, p73 "Belt Mining".

Example:
viewtopic.php?p=899942#p899942
Quick attempt to make the ship readable despite the board butchering the formatting:

Code: Select all

TL_15__________Hull_19_350____________________________23_873,0_______Sensor_DM__+6__
Civilian_0_______________Desired__∆TL__Rat___#___dTon___Cost___Power___HardP__Crew__
Hull____________________________________________43000___________8600_____430____
Config__Sphere_______________3__________3_______________1720
Hull_strength__Standard______2__________2______
Rad_Shielding________________1__________1_______________1075
________________________________________________________________________
JumpD______Budget_EneIneff___3____-0____3____1___3230___3634___16770___________92
ManœuvreD__Budget_EneIneff___2____-0____2____1____860___1290___11180___________25
PowerP_____Standard__________________________1___2093___4186___41859___________60__
____Emergency_Power__________1_______________1____209____419________
________________________________________________________________________
Drop_Tank_Collar_12 900_dT___1__________1____1_____52_____26________
Drop_Tanks_______12 900_dT___3___________________________323________
Fuel,_Jump___________________3__________3____1__12900__________
Fuel,_Power__________________4__________4____1____209__________
Fuel_Purification_________48_h_______48_h____1____323_____16________
________________________________________________________________________
Command_Bridge_______________1_______________1_____80____323________
____Holographic______________1_______________1____________81________
Comp_________CORE/50________10_________50____1____________60________
Backup_Comp__CORE/40_________9_________40____1____________45________
____/fib_____________________1_______________1____________53_______________
________________________________________________________________________
Sensors__Advanced____________9__________4____1______5______5_______6______
Array__Distributed___________9__________3____1_____10_____11________
Mineral_Detection__________________________________________5________
Extension_Net__None____________________
Signal_Processing__Enhanced__9__________2____1______2______8_______2______
Shallow_Pen_Suite____________9_______________1_____10______5_______1______
Countermeasures__Military____9__________2____1_____15_____28_______2______
________________________________________________________________________
Staterooms________________100%_______1300_1300___5200____650________
Common_Areas_______________25%________25%____1___1300____130________
Escape_Capsule_______________1____________2600___1300_____52________
Briefing_Room_______________20______________20_____80_____10________
Library_____________________10______________10_____40_____40________
Medical_Bay__5%_of_crew______1______________13_____52_____26________
Workshop____________________10______________10_____60______9________
Armoury______________________1______________62_____62_____16________
Marine_Training_Facilities___5_______________5_____10______2______10______
Brig________________________10______________10_____40______3________
Low_Berths__________________10_________10____1______5______1_______1______
Cargo_____________________________________________961__________
Cargo_Crane__________________1_______________1______6______6________
Cargo_Net___________________________________________5__________
Collapsible_Fuel_Tank______500_____________500______5______0________
________________________________________________________________________
Shipyard__________________2500____________2500___5000___2500____5000__________500__
Manufactoring_Specialist__5000_____________200___3333___3333____6667__________278__
Smelter__________________10000_____________400___4000___2000____4000___________80__
Mineral_Refinery_________20000____________1600____800___1600_____800___________16__
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
Craft__________100_dT________5_______________5____550____138___________________25__
________________35_dT________5_______________5____193_____48___________________15__
Condottiere
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 7461
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Converting a Freighter for combat use

Postby Condottiere » Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:10 am

Engineering volume is fixed because I assume the primary bulkhead separates it from the rest of the spaceship.

Also, I assume that the engines, especially the rockets and thrusters, have to be tied down.
Reynard
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3446
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: Converting a Freighter for combat use

Postby Reynard » Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:24 am

So, upgrading and modifying is a bitch.
baithammer
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 912
Joined: Wed May 31, 2017 2:21 am

Re: Converting a Freighter for combat use

Postby baithammer » Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:11 am

Spaceships are complex constructs, very similar to submarines.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: AnotherDilbert, heron61 and 22 guests