New Russian 'light' carrier

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phavoc
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New Russian 'light' carrier

Postby phavoc » Sat Jan 25, 2020 7:40 pm

In Traveller fighters aren't quite the same effective power that they are in real life. Though one would expect that force projection would always be a useful concept, Traveller mostly models WW1 ships, where whoever has the biggest guns and heaviest armor tends to win the slugging matches (poor armor design and usage of up-gunned cruisers in your line of battle aside).

But smaller system navies might find smaller carriers to be of greater use when trying to fight smaller foes like pesky pirates and insurgents flying around in small freighters. The Krylov will displace about 40k tons, carry 46 aircraft, and also have a semi-catamaran hull style. It's carried stores (fuel, ammo) for the onboard aircraft will be relatively small, however the plan would be for it to operate with a supply vessel for engagements further from home, or ones that are expected to be high tempo.

Having a dedicated supply vessel (or fleet train) is something that most Traveller doesn't really get in to. The old adage of tanks and infantry win battles, but logistics wins wars seems quite appropriate for Traveller as well. While smaller system navies could make do with shorter legs, it is more tactically advantageous to supply your ships while they are in their forward areas of operations than to return to port.

Always interesting ideas from the real world for gaming.

https://www.globalsecurity.org/military ... va-lma.htm
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Re: New Russian 'light' carrier

Postby Condottiere » Sat Jan 25, 2020 9:26 pm

Good luck to them, building a class of warship traditionally launched by current Ukrainian shipyards, on a hull configuration they aren't familiar with.

Since the cold war is turning hot in the Arctic, and the American like supercarriers, they can finally get around to building the Habakkuk.

You could substitute pykrete for ferrous nickel, basically the cost for water, wood pulp and labour.
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Re: New Russian 'light' carrier

Postby Reynard » Sun Jan 26, 2020 3:05 pm

Hmm, multi-million credit taxpayer bought warships with the latest tech escorting incredible numbers of freighters travelling at different times to different ports just in case a low cost pirate ship happens to not do their homework. You need to be hauling something very important to rate a Gazelle or Type-T for a run. At least Traveller universe ships sometime pack heat. If it's commerce raiding by another power then you see convoys and many escorts.

Today's nations have astounding naval assets and we could built much smaller carriers with less advanced aircraft to function as escorts for such commercial vessels which, more often than not, are under flags other than the taxpayer's nation and corporations with loose ties to that nation too. Might be cheaper to have coast guard cutters running along side each freighter on the high seas. Corporations would love that but know they'll never get such freebies so they take a chance and pay ransoms.

One advantage the universe of Traveller gives commercial vessels is jump space. The vast majority of traffic goes to the well protected 100d mark of one world and disappears for a week untouchable then reappears near the well protected 100d mark of the destination. Can you imagine a freighter leaving London port with patrol vessels watching nearby to vanish and avoid the African coast entirely and reappear days later just outside of a port in India?
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Re: New Russian 'light' carrier

Postby Old School » Sun Jan 26, 2020 6:36 pm

One advantage the universe of Traveller gives commercial vessels is jump space. The vast majority of traffic goes to the well protected 100d mark of one world and disappears for a week untouchable then reappears near the well protected 100d mark of the destination. Can you imagine a freighter leaving London port with patrol vessels watching nearby to vanish and avoid the African coast entirely and reappear days later just outside of a port in India?
Yup. For all the talk of piracy in traveller, the set up makes it extremely difficult.

I’ve given a little thought to an alternate setup, with faster jump times, but a jump shadow of 500 or 1000 diameters. Would be a very different experience.
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Re: New Russian 'light' carrier

Postby phavoc » Sun Jan 26, 2020 6:39 pm

Reynard wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 3:05 pm
One advantage the universe of Traveller gives commercial vessels is jump space. The vast majority of traffic goes to the well protected 100d mark of one world and disappears for a week untouchable then reappears near the well protected 100d mark of the destination. Can you imagine a freighter leaving London port with patrol vessels watching nearby to vanish and avoid the African coast entirely and reappear days later just outside of a port in India?
That assertion (trade being primarily between star systems) has always struck me as an economic oddity. A star system is HUGE, with vast amounts of resources. There will always be a certain level of trade between systems that support different products and in some cases technologies. However trade has always worked along the scarcity model (I have widgets, or can make it cheaper, you have gadgets, or can make them cheaper - let's trade) - classic Adam Smith. But Traveller also posits things like megacorps that have a stranglehold on a lot of trade, and will even employ mercenaries against rivals (also mentioned in Wealth of Nations, but monopolies are a bad thing).

Trade either has to be highly profitable, or very cheap, to create the environment where there are many ships plying between worlds. If it's highly profitable then some enterprising soul(s) will attempt to replace it with local production and reap the cost savings. A very cheap cost of trade is one that Traveller seems to be better suited for. Adding Cr10,000 to the costs of all the goods in a 10Dton container is reasonable.

So if we take the idea that traveling between star systems for trade is economical, and the bulk of trade is between main worlds in a system, what of the other worlds that make up said system? Are they all barren rocks, or they exist for only resource extraction? We see throughout the maps planets with large populations and less then nice environments. So obviously if people are willing to do that there, intra-system trade would also be present, and depending on the system, quite busy.

Pirates around the world would see their business drop off considerably simply by allowing merchant ships to carry armaments. The placement of mini-guns (because they are far more generous to shooters with low skill levels) on the port and starboard wings off a bridge would do a great deal to minimize the majority of pirates out there today. However most governments and port authorities intensely dislike the idea of armed merchantmen in their ports, thus it doesn't happen. But it HAS happened in the past, during the age of sail, when more than a few (though not all) ships mounted a few cannons for self-protection. However arming a ship and having trained crew is an expense most merchants don't want to assume. Assuming that piracy is so bad you need to arm a ship, well, isn't that what you pay taxes to the government for? Too much piracy means huge costs to insure ships and cargo's, thus trade becomes economically untenable except in times of war. It is quite the vicious circle.
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Re: New Russian 'light' carrier

Postby Old School » Sun Jan 26, 2020 7:53 pm

Pirates around the world would see their business drop off considerably simply by allowing merchant ships to carry armaments.
This doesn’t exist on any scale because piracy doesn’t exist on any scale. The vast majority of “piracy” incidents are petty theft. A couple of locals with a dinghy sneak onto a boat at night and steal some gasoline, for example. In the case of Somalia a decade ago, this was resolved mainly by your solution: arming the vessels. The weapons are taken aboard in international waters, and taken off again before the ships crosses back in sovereign territory as it approaches port. Military patrols certainly helped, but arming the ships did (and does) happen, and it largely ended the attacks.
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Re: New Russian 'light' carrier

Postby phavoc » Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:46 pm

Old School wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 7:53 pm
Pirates around the world would see their business drop off considerably simply by allowing merchant ships to carry armaments.
This doesn’t exist on any scale because piracy doesn’t exist on any scale. The vast majority of “piracy” incidents are petty theft. A couple of locals with a dinghy sneak onto a boat at night and steal some gasoline, for example. In the case of Somalia a decade ago, this was resolved mainly by your solution: arming the vessels. The weapons are taken aboard in international waters, and taken off again before the ships crosses back in sovereign territory as it approaches port. Military patrols certainly helped, but arming the ships did (and does) happen, and it largely ended the attacks.
Somali piracy got a lot of press because of the larger ships that were being stolen. However piracy on the high seas is still alive and well. The Malacca straight was a very busy zone for pirates up through the mid 2000's until navies got together and squashed them. While the absolute number is relatively low (around 200 in 2018, the last year a full report is available), it's still certainly a problem. Check out the ICC's report here - https://www.icc-ccs.org/index.php/1259- ... -of-guinea
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Re: New Russian 'light' carrier

Postby Old School » Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:13 pm

That report makes my point. Of your 200 incidents of piracy, 143 were “vessel boarded”, but not considered a kidnapping or hijacking. This means someone snuck on a ship to steal something.

Grand total of 6 hijackings worldwide in 2018. Given shipping volumes, even assuming all six of those targeted commercial vessels, its not a large scale problem.
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Re: New Russian 'light' carrier

Postby Condottiere » Mon Jan 27, 2020 6:58 am

1. When piracy changes from nuisance to threat, that's usually when you have organized naval expeditions to root them out.

2. Or you're looking for live fire practice, like the Royal Navy.

3. The piracy threat can increase to the point that it can challenge militarily the local regime, at which point they will marshal their martial forces, or call in outsiders with the muscle to deal with it; hence you have Ching Shih who's considered the most successful pirate (queen) in history, despite her fleets' near command of the sea, makes a strategic decision to compel the Chinese government to pension her and her men off with money and a pardon, by military force. She may have come to the realization that at some point, the Manchus would ask the Europeans for help, with their advanced warships.

4. I think a lot of piracy in the Malacca Straits is what Piper described as chicken stealing.
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Re: New Russian 'light' carrier

Postby locarno24 » Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:43 am

To be fair, a lot of piracy in Traveller probably occurs in equivalent situations.
Yes, you disappear at the 100D limit of your point of origin, but you reappear at the 100D limit of the mainworld or gas giant in an intervening system.

Where said intervening systems aren't really capable of intervening when a ship gets pounced on (because they've got missile launchers protecting the port but no SDBs or fighters, for example) then that's basically the 'straits' equivalent - shipping comes through there and isn't meaningfuly protected, so if you're going to attack, you attack there.

There are occasional logistics ships designed - the Dromedary class for example, and we now have the UNREP system as a standard thing - a general purpose logistics/tanker class is likely, especially with both the voracious appetite of military-grade jump warships for fuel and the fact that missile-heavy combat makes ammo supply vital.
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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Re: New Russian 'light' carrier

Postby phavoc » Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:57 pm

Old School wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:13 pm
That report makes my point. Of your 200 incidents of piracy, 143 were “vessel boarded”, but not considered a kidnapping or hijacking. This means someone snuck on a ship to steal something.

Grand total of 6 hijackings worldwide in 2018. Given shipping volumes, even assuming all six of those targeted commercial vessels, its not a large scale problem.
To be fair, there were 6 reported hijackings, and 34 attempted hijackings (a nearly 600% difference). Had those 34 succeeded it would have been 40 hijackings, which as we saw with the Somali pirate issue a few years back, would have led to additional attempts due to the envy of other criminals looking for an easy big score. However, given the total number of ships out there, statistically speaking, it's not very likely it will happen to a vessel. But a handful of hijackings does increase the costs for every mariner through added security and insurance. Pirate attacks are down internationally overall due to increased patrols, by elimination of the shore bases Somali pirates used (though let's be honest, their low-tech resources can be quickly replaced). Where the attacks are increasing are areas where law enforcement is lax and/or grossly underfunded, with little to no military presence.

The Traveller universe posits a much different view on piracy. Nearly every ship is armed, thus it indicates that piracy and combat occurs far more often than it does here. The model of pirates and defense against said pirates (and privateers and others plying the Traveller universe looking to take out opponents shipping) is far more along the lines of Golden Age of piracy (about a hundred year period, starting around 1650). Most of the pirate attacks on ships in reality are from thugs with speedboats and light weaponry. Traveller pirates are armed with starships. But ship combat is more akin to the age of the big gun (late 1800s to about 1940). It's a hodge-podge of models from reality.
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Re: New Russian 'light' carrier

Postby Old School » Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:10 pm

Well, sure. 6 hijackings means the problem doesn’t warrant more escalation. 40 would change that. A fair number of those 34 failures were due to armed security, which is already an escalation from previous shipping practices.

No wants a game modeled on boring reality.
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Re: New Russian 'light' carrier

Postby phavoc » Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:51 pm

Old School wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:10 pm
Well, sure. 6 hijackings means the problem doesn’t warrant more escalation. 40 would change that. A fair number of those 34 failures were due to armed security, which is already an escalation from previous shipping practices.

No wants a game modeled on boring reality.
You've never played Accountants in Spaaaacccceeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!?
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Re: New Russian 'light' carrier

Postby Condottiere » Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:26 pm

If you're going to tweak with the jump shadow, you could make it fifty diameters per parsec jumped; makes the ten percent reduction on diamter for advanced jump drives a lot more attractive, and the fifty percent increase possibly fatal.
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Re: New Russian 'light' carrier

Postby Reynard » Tue Jan 28, 2020 2:19 am

"The Traveller universe posits a much different view on piracy. Nearly every ship is armed, thus it indicates that piracy and combat occurs far more often than it does here. "

If that's so then why are so many non-warships unarmed or carry no turret at all for a factory fresh vessel? Looking over ships from 1e and 2e sources, civilian ships that pack heat to start are usually meant to spend a lot of time on frontiers or quaternary trade routes far from protected ports. I'd say that most civilian vessels don't have PCs on them and know there's a pirate waiting for them at every jump entry or exit.

Subsequent point. The Space encounter represents the most common encounters for the 11,000 world of the Imperium. There are 60 most frequent encounters. Referee come up with others, travellers beware. There are 3 pirate encounters, one of which is 'unusually daring'. By the way, the two Free Trader and one scout should be a good reason to pick up MgT 1e Book 6: Scoundrel. Just saying. The one chance for a hostile vessel is just to justify PC paranoia. On the other hand, there are 3 security vessels and 2 warships in the PC's favor though that depends on 'hostile vessel' encounter. This is why NPC parties take the chance when they enter the new ship lot or take a ship with history and no guns to start their freelance careers.

If you're getting shot at by pirates, plus Zhodani, Aslan or Vargr corvettes every other scenario, please talk with your referee.
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Re: New Russian 'light' carrier

Postby phavoc » Tue Jan 28, 2020 4:03 am

Ok, fair point. The ships are often left unarmed so the players have to purchase the weapons their self (and turrets in some instances). Nearly all the core book ships (with a few notable exceptions like the lab ship) list weapons as being installed. However if you look in HG you find the far trader being armed & the asteroid ship being armed. There are some inconsistencies across CRB and HG. MGT v2 doesn't require ships to set aside tonnage for hardpoints at the time of design like previous versions. Acquiring the credits to buy weapons for you ship is a common theme for the games I've played, as shooting is generally part of the adventuring.

Not being shot at by others every other scenario, that's a bit extreme. And unless your campaign is playing with military vessels, getting shot at by any alien corvette is basically a death sentence for the average player group in the average player ship (scout, free trader/far trader). However space combat itself has always been a core aspect of the game, even in the abstracted form it's played in. Or, I should say, as I've played/GM'd.
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Re: New Russian 'light' carrier

Postby locarno24 » Tue Jan 28, 2020 8:06 am

Reynard wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 2:19 am
"The Traveller universe posits a much different view on piracy. Nearly every ship is armed, thus it indicates that piracy and combat occurs far more often than it does here. "

If that's so then why are so many non-warships unarmed or carry no turret at all for a factory fresh vessel? Looking over ships from 1e and 2e sources, civilian ships that pack heat to start are usually meant to spend a lot of time on frontiers or quaternary trade routes far from protected ports. I'd say that most civilian vessels don't have PCs on them and know there's a pirate waiting for them at every jump entry or exit.

Subsequent point. The Space encounter represents the most common encounters for the 11,000 world of the Imperium. There are 60 most frequent encounters. Referee come up with others, travellers beware. There are 3 pirate encounters, one of which is 'unusually daring'. By the way, the two Free Trader and one scout should be a good reason to pick up MgT 1e Book 6: Scoundrel. Just saying. The one chance for a hostile vessel is just to justify PC paranoia. On the other hand, there are 3 security vessels and 2 warships in the PC's favor though that depends on 'hostile vessel' encounter. This is why NPC parties take the chance when they enter the new ship lot or take a ship with history and no guns to start their freelance careers.
Indeed. One reason that the 'default' setting for 2nd edition moved 'over a bit' from the Spinward Marches to the Trojan Reach was precisely so it is "on frontiers or quaternary trade routes far from protected ports".

In the same way the 'average' Imperial citizen lives on a TL14+ high population megacity world (because the rest of the population of the sector can disappear into one as a rounding error), the 'average' Imperial starship is unarmed and happily so, because as noted it travels from 100D limit of a well-defended world to the 100D limit of another well-defended world. It's only delusional, bankrupt and desperate imbeciles (i.e. PCs!) who head out to the rim of civilised space who need to bolt weapons to their ships, because doing so produces a ship about as effective as the ship that - might - turn up if you call for help.

As an example from Reach Adventure 4 - the "Lancer-class Corvette" - which is the most pretentious name imaginable for what is basically a Type A free trader with two twin popgun mounts welded to the roof of the coffee lounge. (Don't get me wrong, I like the ship design, but a dramatic name like 'Lancer' is pushing it a bit and 'corvette' has to be a marketing ploy by someone)

"If you're getting shot at by pirates, plus Zhodani, Aslan or Vargr corvettes every other scenario, please talk with your referee."

Depends entirely what you're doing in that intervening adventure.... :mrgreen:
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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Re: New Russian 'light' carrier

Postby Reynard » Tue Jan 28, 2020 4:48 pm

"Nearly all the core book ships (with a few notable exceptions like the lab ship) list weapons as being installed. "

Which is nice if the party plans to purchase a ship other than one from the career benefit tables by using ship shares. You're definitely going into adventures dressed to the nines but it will be expensive with starting mortgage payments. The benefit ships - Free Trader with merchant, yacht for noble, laboratory for scholar and scout for scout do not come with weapons and the scout is the only one with a turret. If the universe will be so deadly from the very beginning, why are the ships stripped of armaments? The referee will need to be very generous with space encounters especially random encounters so they can survive long enough to acquire the additional funds for turrets and weapons. Otherwise, PCs need to be VERY careful where they go while in space. The encounter table is the same whether you are in a highly developed system or one far off the primary trade routes with E or X facilities. Big difference will be what security a system offers at or beyond the 100d of a homeworld.

What I would like to believe is referees level the challenge of space combat to the assets of the PCs. PCs don't have to fight a 400 ton corsair every time a pirate encounter is rolled. As Book 6: Scoundrel states, many 'pirates' use various size normal ships and attempt to trick a target. There's also the 100 ton Jumpcusser which is a notable pain in the exhaust duct. These encounters can be survivable even when PCs are unarmed.

An alternative I experienced when I was a player in a Pirates of Drinax campaign; the referee let us use our ship shares to modify and equip our starting ship. I used my shares to get a turret and weapons. We played it out that, during her pre-gam pirate career, she and her old crewmates had stashed the equipment in the wilderness and we has an adventure retrieving it. Just needed to pay port facilities to assemble and mount. If players really want to be fore armed then give them that option.
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Re: New Russian 'light' carrier

Postby phavoc » Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:09 pm

Reynard wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 4:48 pm
Which is nice if the party plans to purchase a ship other than one from the career benefit tables by using ship shares. You're definitely going into adventures dressed to the nines but it will be expensive with starting mortgage payments. The benefit ships - Free Trader with merchant, yacht for noble, laboratory for scholar and scout for scout do not come with weapons and the scout is the only one with a turret. If the universe will be so deadly from the very beginning, why are the ships stripped of armaments? The referee will need to be very generous with space encounters especially random encounters so they can survive long enough to acquire the additional funds for turrets and weapons. Otherwise, PCs need to be VERY careful where they go while in space.
Well, depends on which ships and books, but to answer your question - weapons are an add-on for merchant ships. Plus getting enough credits to purchase weapons has pretty much been a universal standard in Traveller games as far as I can tell looking at what others write about their sessions.

Reynard wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 4:48 pm
The encounter table is the same whether you are in a highly developed system or one far off the primary trade routes with E or X facilities. Big difference will be what security a system offers at or beyond the 100d of a homeworld.
The TABLE is, yes. The DM's to potentially encounter a pirate vessel are not. The more you are away from bigger starports and civilization the more likely you are to encounter a pirate ship based on the DM's for your area. That is, of course, the random generator. Most GM's seem to try and let players build up some credits before shooting them out of the sky - unless that's part of the plot that the GM has created.
Reynard wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 4:48 pm
What I would like to believe is referees level the challenge of space combat to the assets of the PCs. PCs don't have to fight a 400 ton corsair every time a pirate encounter is rolled. As Book 6: Scoundrel states, many 'pirates' use various size normal ships and attempt to trick a target. There's also the 100 ton Jumpcusser which is a notable pain in the exhaust duct. These encounters can be survivable even when PCs are unarmed.

An alternative I experienced when I was a player in a Pirates of Drinax campaign; the referee let us use our ship shares to modify and equip our starting ship. I used my shares to get a turret and weapons. We played it out that, during her pre-gam pirate career, she and her old crewmates had stashed the equipment in the wilderness and we has an adventure retrieving it. Just needed to pay port facilities to assemble and mount. If players really want to be fore armed then give them that option.
100% agree. In the LBB days it' was hard enough to survive the character creation process. Who wants to spend the hours it takes to roll a survivor, get your ship and equipment all selected and die in the vacuum of space 30min into your gaming session? That would just suck (and would be totally non-fun to boot).
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Re: New Russian 'light' carrier

Postby Condottiere » Tue Jan 28, 2020 6:47 pm

There's always the option to install Quaker guns in a turret.

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