Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
silburnl
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby silburnl » Thu Jul 25, 2019 3:26 pm

Old School wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 4:34 pm
A ship with anti-rad shielding like the Harrier
Note that the Harrier does NOT have radiation shielding
Huh - I'd just assumed that the ship was rad-shielded but you're right.

However having a ship that can't fire its main weapon without hospitalising half the crew is really very dumb, even for Drinax; so for my campaign I'm not going to do that. I'll say the design is clever enough that the crew-spaces are shielded from the big gun. Of course if they mix it up with a Gazelle then things will get interesting....

Failing to spend 25KCr per dTon for rad-shielding on your multi-MCr vessel is a really bad design decision if you frequently encounter weapons with the radiation trait, so I guess neither the Imperials or the old Star Kingdom forces expect such weapons to be common among the typical adversaries for these classes - Harriers and Gazelles are both small ships that are intended to be used against armed civvies rather than real warships, so that makes some sense I suppose.

Regards
Luke
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Currently running Pirates of Drinax
AnotherDilbert
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby AnotherDilbert » Thu Jul 25, 2019 3:30 pm

Old School wrote: That’s not at all what I said, or what the campaign books say.
Sorry, I misunderstood.
Old School
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby Old School » Thu Jul 25, 2019 4:32 pm

Fair enough. Moving on then. How would you actually handle it in a campaign you were running?
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby AnotherDilbert » Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:10 pm

Old School wrote: How would you actually handle it in a campaign you were running?
I assume any warship, such as Gazelles, has Rad Shielding.

I would assume the Harrier has Rad Shielding, unless it was a specific plot device to make the particle barbette come with serious disadvantages to make the characters wary of using it.

And:
AnotherDilbert wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 2:53 pm
I tend to simplify it a bit: any Rad Shielded ship ignores Radiation damage. Any crew on unshielded ships are automatically dead after a few shots (so they generally surrender).
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby Moppy » Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:16 pm

silburnl wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 3:26 pm
Old School wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 4:34 pm
A ship with anti-rad shielding like the Harrier
Note that the Harrier does NOT have radiation shielding
However having a ship that can't fire its main weapon without hospitalising half the crew is really very dumb, even for Drinax

Regards
Luke
Cutting edge technical (armed civilian truck) from the (Libyan?) war ...

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Condottiere
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby Condottiere » Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:41 pm

1. I'm just guessing here, partially because it was never an issue in the past, but either the radioactive weapon systems are heavily shielded, or the beam does a neutron dance later on; that leads to the question of minimum range.

2. There should be a cheap way of detecting radiation both within and without the hull; cheap, because ship owners are stingy.
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby WingedCat » Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:13 pm

silburnl wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 2:13 pm
I'm going to assume that the Harrier's particle barbette is sufficiently well shielded that the 'close to the firer' text in item 1 does not apply to crew on the Harrier (although the prospect of dosing the PCs with 1-200 rads every now and again *is* amusing) and the implication of the 'simple to apply' text in item 2 is that anyone on a low tonnage adventurer class of ship is 'close to the target' of a particle barbette strike.
In general, one can assume that ship (or vehicle) mounted weapons with the Radiation trait have sufficiently shielded backsides to not inflict radiation damage on their crews. Otherwise, no sane crew would use them; they'd be ejected from the ship at the first possible opportunity. "Commit suicide for middling advantage" is not an order that is often obeyed.

Ship-to-ship distances are usually measured in kilometers at least, while radiation damage spreads over meters. Except for small ships in very tight formation (such as fighter squadrons), no ship other than the target is going to be hit. Indeed, on big ships only a portion of the ship (and the crew within it at the time) will be subject to radiation damage (so targeting the bridge - the highest concentration of crew - can be a viable tactic).
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby Linwood » Sat Jul 27, 2019 1:39 am

I suppose they could invest in a couple of dtons of radiation blankets....
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby DickTurpin » Sat Jul 27, 2019 5:26 pm

Some common sense needs to be applied here. The rules for the Radiation weapon trait in the CRB are intended for the FGMP heavy weapon that actually "fires what amounts to a directed nuclear explosion". Spaceship weapons (except the fusion gun), do not work like that. A particle beam generates the radiation when it impacts other matter, the radiation is created at the target, not the origin point. Nuclear and antimatter missiles and torpedos work the same way, the radiation comes from the warhead exploding near the target rather than upon launch.

For rules consistency, consider the warhead explosion location or the particle beam impact point as the "firer" and apply the rule as written. In the case of a fusion gun, assume that the weapon itself is built with radiation shielding on the ship side to protect the crew and passengers.
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby Moppy » Sat Jul 27, 2019 6:42 pm

DickTurpin wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 5:26 pm
Some common sense needs to be applied here.
What's "common" here? There are specialised military weapons that carry much danger for the operator unless precautions are taken when firing. In the absence of weapons control law and rad shielding on even Gazelles and Broadswords, why doesn't every free trader carry a particle beam? Because the wespon is too unmanagable or dangerous for the average operator to handle
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby Linwood » Sat Jul 27, 2019 7:07 pm

I could see where a civilian vessel with a particle beam weapon might run into issues with the authorities in some systems. They could get profiled by the local space patrols as pirates, for example.

DickTurpin’s point is well taken - if the radiation is a secondary effect of the beam contacting solid matter then it’s likely the radiation risk to the gunner is relatively small. Maybe less than 10% of the effect on the target?
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby Condottiere » Sat Jul 27, 2019 7:12 pm

As I recall, fusion turrets used to be double in volume.
Sigtrygg
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby Sigtrygg » Sat Jul 27, 2019 7:18 pm

I also fail to see how a particle accelerator produces a radiation effect in the firing ship. I don't believe plasma guns or fusion guns should produce radiation effects in the firing ship either.

The radiation effect being applied to the target on a successful hit makes some sort of sense.
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby Condottiere » Sat Jul 27, 2019 7:24 pm

If I recall correctly, particle accelerator weapon systems could only be mounted in monoturrets, compared to laser optional triturrets.
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby DickTurpin » Sat Jul 27, 2019 7:29 pm

Moppy wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 6:42 pm
What's "common" here? There are specialised military weapons that carry much danger for the operator unless precautions are taken when firing. In the absence of weapons control law and rad shielding on even Gazelles and Broadswords, why doesn't every free trader carry a particle beam? Because the wespon (sic) is too unmanagable or dangerous for the average operator to handle
Or maybe because a particle barbette costs MCr. 8, takes up 5 tons of space, and uses 15 power to fire; most Free Trader captains cannot afford any of the three is he wants to run his ship and still make a profit.
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby baithammer » Sun Jul 28, 2019 4:09 am

Sigtrygg wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 7:18 pm
I also fail to see how a particle accelerator produces a radiation effect in the firing ship. I don't believe plasma guns or fusion guns should produce radiation effects in the firing ship either.

The radiation effect being applied to the target on a successful hit makes some sort of sense.
Which is how weapons that produce radioactive secondary effects are supposed to work, at the point of impact.
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby phavoc » Mon Jul 29, 2019 12:24 pm

Generally speaking, a weapon mounted on a ship would be designed to NOT inflict damage to the crew firing it. Gun crews tend to not be very efficient at firing their weapon if there's a high risk of injuring themselves.
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby AnotherDilbert » Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:51 am

Condottiere wrote: As I recall, fusion turrets used to be double in volume.
Condottiere wrote: If I recall correctly, particle accelerator weapon systems could only be mounted in monoturrets, compared to laser optional triturrets.
By default no Particle or Fusion turrets in MgT2. If you use the High Tech chapter you can use four of them in standard Quad turrets.
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby AnotherDilbert » Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:57 am

Fusion weapons fire a "bolt" of fusing plasma, i.e. a naked, unshielded nuclear reaction. It will radiate in all directions.


The particle beam of a Particle weapon IS radiation, but it is directed toward the enemy.
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby baithammer » Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:46 am

Particle beams aren't firing radiation at the target, instead its a stream of particles that on contact with the target super heat it and create ionization. ( Radiation flash.)

Fusion guns are a bit trickier, as they are an up gunned plasma gun which creates plasma and the usual means to achieve a projectile from it is to use a magnetic bottle. ( Only needs to form to clear the weapon system.)

In theory the bottle could hold the plasma short of fusion and when it contacts the target, it is no longer kept in check as can reach sub-critical mass which could result in radioactive event.

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