Weapons for a special-operations ship

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Hakkonen
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Weapons for a special-operations ship

Postby Hakkonen » Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:58 am

I'm designing a special operations frigate: 2,500 tons, TL16, thrust 6, jump 4. Carries a marine company, primary mission is low-profile insertion and extraction of same. What should I arm her with? I'm thinking ion cannons, EMP torpedoes, and jumpbreaker missiles for disabling spacecraft, and conventional missiles and torpedoes when she needs to break things. Am I missing anything?
Jackstar
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Re: Weapons for a special-operations ship

Postby Jackstar » Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:29 am

Hakkonen wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:58 am
I'm designing a special operations frigate: 2,500 tons, TL16, thrust 6, jump 4. Carries a marine company, primary mission is low-profile insertion and extraction of same. What should I arm her with? I'm thinking ion cannons, EMP torpedoes, and jumpbreaker missiles for disabling spacecraft, and conventional missiles and torpedoes when she needs to break things. Am I missing anything?
How about an early prototype solar pulse generator?
Moppy
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Re: Weapons for a special-operations ship

Postby Moppy » Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:37 am

I don't understand why the weapons mix would be different from a regular warship.

Unless you're building a ship-to-ship boarding craft? But that doesn't seem low profile to me. It's kind of obvious once you fly up alongside.

A stealth shuttle of space ninjas and saboteurs seems the best way to covertly disable a planetary site.

What is the ship's actual mission? Is it considered mission failure if you have to use space weapons?
AnotherDilbert
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Re: Weapons for a special-operations ship

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:05 pm

Is it a combat ship or just a survivable platform for the spec-ops team?

Given the size and payload I assume it's not a full warship, but more of a transport or blockade runner. If so, your goal in space combat is just to survive to get away, rather than to destroy the enemy.

To survive space combat you need to worry most about missiles and fighters. Missile and laser turrets can counter both reasonably well. Missile racks on fixed mounts saves a lot of space and gunners.

Reasonable ECM equipment (countermeasures, signals processor) and a few sensor operators can counter torpedo attacks. Don't forget a single sandcaster to launch chaff to confuse enemy sensors.

20 pts of TL16 armour is very difficult to resist.

A few nuclear dampers to counter fusion barbette fighters might be a good idea, but takes a lot of space.
Linwood
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Re: Weapons for a special-operations ship

Postby Linwood » Sat Jul 06, 2019 11:51 pm

Lots of very stealthy drones for recon, surveillance, decoys, covert communications, and so forth. Maybe a few fitted with toolkits for use in tapping com networks and similar activities.
Hakkonen
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Re: Weapons for a special-operations ship

Postby Hakkonen » Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:18 am

Moppy wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:37 am
Unless you're building a ship-to-ship boarding craft? But that doesn't seem low profile to me. It's kind of obvious once you fly up alongside.
Boarding space stations and spacecraft is definitely part of the mission profile. The stealthy part is the ship's use of the "superior stealth" hull option and an emissions absorption grid. Yes, you know they're boarding you once they fly alongside, but until then you have no idea they're coming.

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:05 pm
Is it a combat ship or just a survivable platform for the spec-ops team?
Mainly the latter, but she also needs to be able to throw a punch when (not if) things go pear-shaped. If nothing else, she's the gunship rescue for when the marines need a hot extraction.
Old School
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Re: Weapons for a special-operations ship

Postby Old School » Sun Jul 07, 2019 2:40 am

My question for you is how much room does it have for weapons systems? An M6, J6 vessel just doesn’t have that much room for weapons, and you’ve also got to make room for 100+ marines and their landing craft. That’s ship that will have a hard time going to toe to toe with a similarly sized ship. Missile bays may be an extravagance it can’t afford.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: Weapons for a special-operations ship

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sun Jul 07, 2019 4:08 am

A rough attempt at such a ship: Reasonable performance but disappointing payload.

TL-16, 2500 Dt, J-4, M-6, Armour 20, Hull 1100, MCr 6000.

Superior Stealth, Emission Grid, Stealth jump drive.
Rad Shielding, Psi Shielding, EMP Hardening.

Good sensors, good countermeasures, 25 fixed mounts with 73 missile racks and 2 sandcasters (chaff).

Payload: 100 Marines + 10 officers + 2 small Deployment/Utility craft.

50 Dt cargo + 475 Dt in fuel/cargo containers normally containing J-2 fuel.

One 35 Dt module for defences, e.g. 5 Nuc Dampers, 2 Point Defence Batteries, better sensors, or a small bay for ground support.

Two 237.5 Dt modules for jump fuel or extra payload, e.g. another 100 marines or a boat bay for extra small craft or vehicles. Each module not containing jump fuel reduces jump range by 1 Pc.


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Linwood
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Re: Weapons for a special-operations ship

Postby Linwood » Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:09 am

Feels a little too general-purpose. What missions are intended? Can the base design be more modular to customize ship capabilities to specific missions?
Moppy
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Re: Weapons for a special-operations ship

Postby Moppy » Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:19 am

This thing isn't going to be able to fight off a destroyer because it's too got too much fuel and payload, and armament would basically be self-defense against smallcraft and the occasional Gazelle, milita patrol cruiser, or fanatic exploding suicide free trader. A handful of particle barbettes and missile bays for attack; some sandcasters and a beam laser for sniping; a meson bay because it can shoot through rock and hit planetary bunkers.

This has been mentioned before but take a look at the US SOCOM ship for the sort of stuff they carry, then add stealth. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MV_C_Ocean_Trader

Obviously you want atmospheric streamling, anti-personnel/anti-tank weapon in additon to anti-ship because you may be on the ground behind enemy lines (one turret has a tank gun and a couple of heavy MGs - I guess you could use anti-ship but it seems rather indiscriminate to me), the ability to launch and repair all sorts of toys like grav-bikes and submarines, a full medical center, a full command center for mission planning, more comms arrays than an x-boat, and a bunch of soldiers with all sorts of very specialised equipment so allow much more space for them. Some of the missiles in your huge mags are obviously also specialised atmospheric ones (stealth cruise and recon drone).

Somewhat interestingly the socom ship has the requirement to be able to launch boats while underway (presumably for self-defense?). In Traveller terms, you can do that anyway, and I would therefore translate this as maybe launch tubes for combat launch. And carry at least 2 fighters to escort your assault boats in and out, and for ship defense.

IMO this ain't gonna fit in 2,500 dtons. Make it larger and think about adding docking space for a jump-capable message boat. It's probably going to end up in the small cruiser size range. If the navy can't afford it, think about using a liner and pretending to be tourists. Or just do what you can in the budget allowed - but traditionally socoms have very generous budgets for their size.
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Re: Weapons for a special-operations ship

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:14 pm

Moppy wrote: This thing isn't going to be able to fight off a destroyer because it's too got too much fuel and payload,
Obviously it will not be able to fight equal size or cost of warship, never mind a destroyer.

Moppy wrote: and armament would basically be self-defense against smallcraft and the occasional Gazelle, milita patrol cruiser, or fanatic exploding suicide free trader.
A double salvo of 2 × 73 nuclear missiles will kill about 2000 Dt of TL15 warship (without PD). Missiles are a real danger even to small warships.

Moppy wrote: This has been mentioned before but take a look at the US SOCOM ship for the sort of stuff they carry, then add stealth.
Quite, but that is much larger and more expensive than the OP specification called for. That might be the mother-ship this design operates from?
Sigtrygg
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Re: Weapons for a special-operations ship

Postby Sigtrygg » Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:45 pm

I'd make a spec ops ship outwardly resemble a typical merchant...
Moppy
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Re: Weapons for a special-operations ship

Postby Moppy » Sun Jul 07, 2019 2:06 pm

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:14 pm
Moppy wrote: and armament would basically be self-defense against smallcraft and the occasional Gazelle, milita patrol cruiser, or fanatic exploding suicide free trader.
A double salvo of 2 × 73 nuclear missiles will kill about 2000 Dt of TL15 warship (without PD). Missiles are a real danger even to small warships.
I wasn't referring to your specific design, by the way. I do like that it's got a psi-shield. I forgot that, but I like to think I'd remember when I went through the book looking for appropriate systems.

What you say about missile firepower is true, but advanced missiles may be more useful as I'd expect 9-G or close to it on a TL 15 warship and a nuke only has 10-G. Strategically, high thrust is needed for interception, and tactically it's needed for range control. I wonder if missile speeds falling off at higher TLs was intentional? Whole situation reminds me of 1980s-1990s torpedoes.

TL 16 armor is pretty good.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: Weapons for a special-operations ship

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sun Jul 07, 2019 2:37 pm

Moppy wrote: What you say about missile firepower is true, but advanced missiles may be more useful as I'd expect 9-G or close to it on a TL 15 warship and a nuke only has 10-G.
Agreed, to achieve a double salvo we probably need both nuke and advanced missiles. I just simplified the calculation a bit...

Moppy wrote: I wonder if missile speeds falling off at higher TLs was intentional?
I don't see any fall off. E.g. at TL-8 we have Long Range missiles and at TL-14 we have Advanced missiles with similar properties but more damage.

Moppy wrote: TL 16 armor is pretty good.
Agreed, armour 20 at TL-16 is amazing. Turret weapons basically becomes pointless.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: Weapons for a special-operations ship

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sun Jul 07, 2019 2:50 pm

Linwood wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:09 am
Can the base design be more modular to customize ship capabilities to specific missions?
Always...

How about this?

TL-16, 2500 Dt, J-4, M-6, Armour 20, Hull 1100, MCr 6000.

Superior Stealth, Emission Grid, Stealth jump drive.
Rad Shielding, Psi Shielding, EMP Hardening.

Decent sensors, Decent countermeasures, 25 fixed mounts with 73 missile racks and 2 sandcasters (chaff).

Payload:
Two 40 Dt sensor/armament modules.
Eleven 125 Dt payload modules, of which eight is normally occupied by jump fuel modules. Two modules are required for each J-1 fuel. One payload module can carry about 50 marines.

8 Fuel modules, 2 barracks modules, and 1 boat bay/utility module approximates the previous design.

The ship can operate at J-3/M-4 with a permanently attached drop tank, leaving all 1375 Dt modular space free, presumably losing the stealth properties.

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Moppy
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Re: Weapons for a special-operations ship

Postby Moppy » Sun Jul 07, 2019 5:32 pm

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 2:37 pm
Moppy wrote: I wonder if missile speeds falling off at higher TLs was intentional?
I don't see any fall off. E.g. at TL-8 we have Long Range missiles and at TL-14 we have Advanced missiles with similar properties but more damage.
The missile speed falloff comes from maneuvre drive increasing past 6. It seems to me they wrote that drive tech table then forgot it went past 6. Perhaps it's intentional or perhaps it's taboo. Jumpbreaker missiles being 10g for example. Tech 15 has 9g ships, tech 16 has 10g, how do they expect a jump breaker to hit?
Old School
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Re: Weapons for a special-operations ship

Postby Old School » Sun Jul 07, 2019 6:05 pm

Is it specifically written anywhere that 9G is for small ships only? I’ve never seen it, but the big naval vessels still cap out at 6.

Somene at Mongoose has acknowledged that the core rules don’t do a great job of explaining what is 3I and what are options for other settings.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: Weapons for a special-operations ship

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sun Jul 07, 2019 6:32 pm

Old School wrote: Is it specifically written anywhere that 9G is for small ships only? I’ve never seen it, but the big naval vessels still cap out at 6.
The rules have no special limits: all spacecraft can have 9 g.

The ships in HG is just carbon copies of ships from CT Fighting Ships, they make no more sense under MgT2 rules than they did under CT rules.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: Weapons for a special-operations ship

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sun Jul 07, 2019 6:53 pm

Moppy wrote: The missile speed falloff comes from maneuvre drive increasing past 6. It seems to me they wrote that drive tech table then forgot it went past 6. Perhaps it's intentional or perhaps it's taboo. Jumpbreaker missiles being 10g for example. Tech 15 has 9g ships, tech 16 has 10g, how do they expect a jump breaker to hit?
1 g acceleration advantage is still a lot...

With an endurance of 1 h = 3600 s and an acceleration of 10 g (≈100 m/s²) the missile can reach 100 × 3600² / 2 ≈ 648 000 km.

A ship trying to get away at 9 g acceleration would travel 90 × 3600² / 2 ≈ 583 000 km.

The missile would have to be fired from within 65000 km (Distant range) to reach the fleeing ship.
Moppy
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Re: Weapons for a special-operations ship

Postby Moppy » Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:18 pm

more time to deal with it or jump

edit: i think your calculation looks fine but it's not resolved this way in the combat rules.

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