Travellers Needed - Missiles (check our numbers)

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Travellers Needed - Missiles (check our numbers)

Postby MongooseMatt » Tue Mar 16, 2021 3:17 pm

Good afternoon, fellow Travellers!

We are just working our way through some rules updates, and I wanted to get your take on missiles. The following are some rules tweaks we are considering, and I wanted to get your take on them. Ignore High Guard for now, and possibly also ignore the Harrier (it was always supposed to be a 'super' ship designed to keep Travellers alive throughout an extended campaign...). Assume Core Rulebook changes only, with Core Rulebook-style ships.

All comments welcome.

Trial this with Missiles doing 8D damage, and Nuclear Missiles doing 1DD damage.

Missile Rack: Though missile racks require ammunition and the warheads take time to reach distant targets, they can be very powerful weapons and, when a range of warheads is available, extremely versatile too. Missiles use slightly different rules to other spacecraft weapons, which are covered on page XX. Each turret with one or more missile racks holds 12 missiles and costs Cr250000 to refill. It takes one round to reload a missile rack (see page XX).

Missile Rack (nuclear): Highly illegal in most areas of space, adding nuclear warheads to missiles makes them devastatingly powerful, even with reduced blast effects in space. Each turret with one or more missile racks can hold 12 nuclear missiles and costs Cr450000 to refill if legally purchased. It takes one round to reload a missile rack (see page XX).

Point Defence (Gunner)
Using a turret-mounted laser (beam or pulse), a gunner can destroy incoming missiles. Note that a weapon used for point defence cannot be used to make attacks in the same combat round, and vice versa. Point Defence may only be performed against missile salvos (see page XX) as they are about to make their attack roll against a target – missiles are too small and too fast to be targeted at greater ranges. A gunner may only attempt Point Defence once every round.

The gunner must succeed at a Gunner (turret) check against any missile salvo that is about to make its attack roll against his spacecraft. The Effect of the check will remove that many missiles from the salvo. A double turret equipped with lasers provides DM+1 to this check, while a triple turret equipped with lasers will provide DM+2

Missile Combat
Unlike most weapons which travel at or close to the speed of light and so hit enemy ships almost instantly, missiles take time to cross the gulf of space. However, despite this drawback, missiles are capable of doing a great deal of damage when they hit an enemy ship.

Launching Missiles
Missiles used against targets within Adjacent or Close ranges lose any Smart trait they possess, as there is not enough time for them to obtain a solid lock and take advantage of their advanced guidance systems.

Missiles are launched in salvos. A salvo is all the missiles launched by a ship against a single target in the same combat round. This could be a single missile from one turret or dozens from multiple turrets or bays (see High Guard for more information on weapon bays).

Missile salvos effectively have Thrust 10 and will reach their target a number of combat rounds after they have been fired, as shown on the Missile Flight table.

Note that while missile salvos can be fired at Distant ranges, the attacking ship must have detected its target before they can be launched. Given the limited information that can be gained from sensors at this range, friendly fire incidents may be common among Travellers who are too trigger happy with their missiles.

If a missile has not reached its target within 10 rounds, it will run out of fuel and become inert.

Countermeasures
Combat involving missiles creates a very tense atmosphere. The target spacecraft will likely have detected the launches and its crew will have several anxious minutes to watch the blips on their sensor screens gradually get closer and closer.

Fortunately, the crew need not be idle as they await their destruction as there are several countermeasures that can be taken against incoming missiles.

As missiles can take several rounds to reach their targets, you should keep track of how many missiles remain within each salvo, reducing them as countermeasures take effect.

Electronic Warfare: A Traveller performing sensor operator duties on a spacecraft can use the Electronic Warfare action to destroy or misdirect incoming missiles before they impact their vessel or another ship within Close range.

The sensor operator must succeed at a Difficult (10+) Electronics (sensors) check in order to destroy or render inert incoming missiles within a single salvo. The Effect of this check will immediately remove that many missiles from the salvo.

Electronic Warfare may be performed upon a salvo multiple times over several rounds, with the effects being cumulative. However, a salvo may only be subjected to Electronic Warfare once per round, no matter how many sensor operators are available.

Flee: A spacecraft under missile attack may simply turn around and engage its manoeuvre drive, thrusting away from the missiles. Missiles are extremely long-ranged weapons and so it is not normally possible to outrange a missile in this way, but it can perhaps buy enough time to prolong electronic warfare or make a jump.

Point Defence: Finally, just as a salvo is about to strike, gunners may engage in point defence, as detailed on page XX.

Missiles and Targets
When a missile salvo reaches its target, the missile makes an attack roll as normal. However, the Gunner skill of the Traveller(s) that fired the salvo is not used as a DM.

Instead, the number of missiles remaining in the salvo greatly affects their chances of making a successful attack. Apply DM+1 to the attack roll for every missile in the salvo.

Note that missiles almost always have the Smart trait (see page XX). For missiles, use the TL of the missile itself or that of the attacking ship, whichever is greater.

Finally, missiles launched at Distant range expend most of their fuel just reaching their target, leaving little to counter the target’s manoeuvres. Missile salvos launched at Distant range suffer DM-6 to their attack rolls.

Impact
If an attack roll for a missile salvo is successful, the target will sustain damage. Roll for damage as if for a single missile and deduct the target’s armour as normal but do not apply the Effect of the attack roll. Instead, any damage is multiplied by the Effect of the attack roll.
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Re: Travellers Needed - Missiles (check our numbers)

Postby Annatar Giftbringer » Tue Mar 16, 2021 3:29 pm

Are other weapons getting tweaks too? 8D damage missiles sounds like a lot, why would anyone ever want any other weapon?

Other than that, I need to re-read it closely again, and compare it to the current text, but I don’t see much in the way of changes?

While you’re changing the text, perhaps add a clarification regarding fire control software and point defense reactions, the question does arise from time to time.
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Re: Travellers Needed - Missiles (check our numbers)

Postby TheMachine » Tue Mar 16, 2021 3:50 pm

Maybe add some wording to make it clear that a single missile rack can only fire one missile at a time. I was confused about this for a long time, as the ubiquitous assumption that missiles are fired in salvos, plus the "holds 12 missiles", plus the name "rack" gave me the impression a single missile rack launched a salvo of missiles each time it was used. The only number I could come up with for the max number launched per use was 12, which seemed way overpowered, but this was only settled in my mind from reading discussions on this forum.
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Re: Travellers Needed - Missiles (check our numbers)

Postby swampslug » Tue Mar 16, 2021 6:26 pm

MongooseMatt wrote:
Tue Mar 16, 2021 3:17 pm
Trial this with Missiles doing 8D damage, and Nuclear Missiles doing 1DD damage.
The increase in nuclear missile damage is welcome, although I would go further, maybe 2DD or 3DD. They should be devastating and illegal so should be very difficult to acquire.
While you state that we should ignore High Guard I think one thing that does bear thinking about now is what this means for torpedoes. 4D missiles already made them largely redundant (exception being vs. armour 14+), 8D missiles would imply that torpedoes are either no more, will be significantly more powerful and/or redesigned to fill a completely different niche.
Missile Rack:Each turret with one or more missile racks holds 12 missiles and costs Cr250000 to refill.
I'm happy to see that the turret holds 12 missiles regardless of the number of attached missile racks, the 36 missiles per triple turret suggested by High Guard is ridiculous. Also, as I posted in the core rulebook thread, I think it is worth being explicit (and getting into the habit of being explicit) that the cost given is for 12 missiles.
Missile salvos effectively have Thrust 10 and will reach their target a number of combat rounds after they have been fired, as shown on the Missile Flight table.
Something else for clarification here is at what point in the combat round does a missile salvo arrive? I assume during the attack step but, again, it is worth being explicit to avoid confusion and clarify how many electronic warfare check a defender may attempt and whether a defender can make an EW check vs a salvo launched at Medium range or less.

With regards to the salvo's attack roll, it would be useful to have clarification as to whether fire control and evasion software do in fact apply, and whether the target may also use the evasive action reaction.
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Re: Travellers Needed - Missiles (check our numbers)

Postby Condottiere » Tue Mar 16, 2021 11:35 pm

I guess I'll have to stifle my curiousity as to how you can stuff in twelve, twenty four, thirty six, or forty eight missiles reloads in a one tonne turret, whether single, double, triple or quadruply mounted, until High Guard two point five.

However:

1. I seem to recollect that each launcher has three ready reloads, so it would be valid to address how that fits into one tonne, whether three, six or nine.

2. If it happens that it's ruled that the ready rounds don't fit in that one tonne space allocated specifically for the turret, how does that work out for the reload rate and rate of fire?

This would equally apply to sandcasting.
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Re: Travellers Needed - Missiles (check our numbers)

Postby Ursus Maior » Wed Mar 17, 2021 10:52 am

MongooseMatt wrote:
Tue Mar 16, 2021 3:17 pm
Trial this with Missiles doing 8D damage, and Nuclear Missiles doing 1DD damage.
I have no issue with nuclear missiles inflicting 1DD damage, but 8D damage for regular missiles seems way too much. The current 4D work fine, I would argue, especially given the fact that damage is multiplied by the attack roll Effect after armour was deducted from the initial roll. This in fact means two things:
  • Armour is important against missiles, which it should be.
  • Adding enough armour will render ships impenetrable against missiles, making special missiles (e. g. nuclear tipped), torpedoes and the new Solomani heavy missiles a sensible branch of weapon technology development.
  • Armour costs tonnage, so it will likely only be found on the largest ships, i. e. capital ships, which sounds right.
  • Nuclear tipped missiles are great solutions against armoured ships, but only as long as nuclear dampers are not an en masse option for capital ships.
  • Nuclear missiles should not be part of the core book, that's advanced tech and far to powerful for a game not bothering with details from Highguard.
  • Increasing base damage for missiles is an ugly business best left to in-game missiles variants (or TL based options), because of the multiplication. If you heavy battleships are not all but immune to missiles, there is no need to develop long range particle beam and meson weapons. This would kill long-standing Traveller canon on why missiles are no longer ruling black navy arsenals beyond TL12 or TL13 at the latest.
MongooseMatt wrote:
Tue Mar 16, 2021 3:17 pm
Missile Rack: Though missile racks require ammunition and the warheads take time to reach distant targets, they can be very powerful weapons and, when a range of warheads is available, extremely versatile too. Missiles use slightly different rules to other spacecraft weapons, which are covered on page XX. Each turret with one or more missile racks holds 12 missiles and costs Cr250000 to refill. It takes one round to reload a missile rack (see page XX).
Please finally clarify verbatim that or if a rack can only shoot one missile per round and also how many missiles a turret can hold, if multiple racks are installed. Please also specify this for sandcasters and, if necessary, for turrets with mixed weaponry. Many solutions are technically possible, depending if the racks, casters etc. hold their ammunition externally and feed mechanisms are just attached to potential magazines or if a rack is technically a single launching arm attached to an internal magazine. A good comparison would be comparing the US Navy Mk 13 and Mk 26 launchers with magazines below deck to the Mk 16, Mk 29 or Mk 49 "boxed" multi-round launchers (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U ... ng_Systems).
MongooseMatt wrote:
Tue Mar 16, 2021 3:17 pm
Launching Missiles
Missiles used against targets within Adjacent or Close ranges lose any Smart trait they possess, as there is not enough time for them to obtain a solid lock and take advantage of their advanced guidance systems.

Missiles are launched in salvos. A salvo is all the missiles launched by a ship against a single target in the same combat round. This could be a single missile from one turret or dozens from multiple turrets or bays (see High Guard for more information on weapon bays).

[...]

Note that while missile salvos can be fired at Distant ranges, the attacking ship must have detected its target before they can be launched. Given the limited information that can be gained from sensors at this range, friendly fire incidents may be common among Travellers who are too trigger happy with their missiles.

[...]

Countermeasures
Combat involving missiles creates a very tense atmosphere. The target spacecraft will likely have detected the launches and its crew will have several anxious minutes to watch the blips on their sensor screens gradually get closer and closer.

Fortunately, the crew need not be idle as they await their destruction as there are several countermeasures that can be taken against incoming missiles.

[...]
Please specify, in this chapter (or possibly in new sensor rules), how a ship targeted by a missiles salvo will be able to detect the salvo coming. The rules offered in the core rules could be very basic, but in that case should be amended by more detailed rules in a future Highguard-style publication. Basic rules could e. g. be "Very Easy Electronics (Sensors) check performed as a Reaction by any Gunner or Sensor Operator with a DM+2 for each range band beyond Short. An additional DM-1 applies for each X missiles in the salvo." I would argue X to be either "10" (for ease of calculation) or possibly "12", because a dton of missiles equals 12 missiles. A similar solution should be enacted for torpedoes and heavy missiles with the effective number adjusted accordingly: bigger boomsticks get detected more easily. I would argue thus for a tonnage-based solution for all missile-like weapons here.

Also, in my opinion, this Reaction roll should be taken each round automatically by all specified crew members, until detection has been achieved. This is assuming that missiles actively scan for their target from the moment they launch until impact. Only then would countermeasure and point defence be possible.

Alternatively missiles "ping" only after the round of their launch, which would explain why they cannot use the Smart trait if shot very close to their target. This should in consequence mean that missile detection could not be achieved in the first round or only under more difficult circumstances. For example, highly skilled Gunners and Sensor Operators could be able to detect the launch itself, i. e. the initial exhaust plum when missiles are fired in combination with the attacking ship's targeting sensors, which would allow the attacked ship to know that something is coming and from what direction: possibly enough for point defence and a reduced chance of electronic warfare countermeasures (e. g. DM-2). One might argue that this is already too detailed for the core rulebook and should be part of more elaborate missiles warfare rules in a future Highguard volume.

I would be willing to assist here happily, of course.
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Re: Travellers Needed - Missiles (check our numbers)

Postby AnotherDilbert » Wed Mar 17, 2021 11:09 am

MongooseMatt wrote: Trial this with Missiles doing 8D damage, and Nuclear Missiles doing 1DD damage.
Double damage, or perhaps five times the damage after armour?!?

A Scout has Armour 4. It would take about 4 × 3.5 - 4 = 10 damage from an old missile. Now it would take 8 × 3.5 - 4 = 24 damage from a standard missile. With 40 Hull points it would only take two missiles to destroy the ship. Every single missile hitting would cause on average five crits from sustained damage. Way too bloody...

Missiles were already one of the best, or perhaps the best, weapon in the game...
This will likely make battleships unviable in one simple move.


There is too small difference between normal and nuclear missiles, where would say Advanced missiles fit into the picture? Previously nuclear missiles caused much more damage after armour, despite the small nominal difference.

Example: Against Armour 12 an old standard missile caused about 4 × 3.5 - 12 ≈ 2 damage whereas an old nuclear missile caused 6 × 3.5 - 12 ≈ 9 damage.

New: Against Armour 12 a standard missile cause about 8 × 3.5 - 12 ≈ 16 damage whereas a nuclear missile cause 10 × 3.5 - 12 ≈ 23 damage.

MongooseMatt wrote: Missile Rack: ... Each turret with one or more missile racks holds 12 missiles and costs Cr250000 to refill.

Missile Rack (nuclear): ... Each turret with one or more missile racks can hold 12 nuclear missiles and costs Cr450000 to refill if legally purchased.
Are you trying to say nuclear missiles require special types of missile racks that can't launch normal missiles?

Separate it into a paragraph about missile racks and another paragraph about different types of missiles.

MongooseMatt wrote: Point Defence (Gunner)
... Note that a weapon used for point defence cannot be used to make attacks in the same combat round, and vice versa. ... A gunner may only attempt Point Defence once every round.
Related: What about Disperse Sand? It has no such limiting language. Can we Disperse sand 20 times per round and [ attack or PD ] with the same turret per round?

MongooseMatt wrote: Missile Combat

Missile salvos effectively have Thrust 10 and will reach their target a number of combat rounds after they have been fired, as shown on the Missile Flight table.

Flee: A spacecraft under missile attack may simply turn around and engage its manoeuvre drive, thrusting away from the missiles.
This is a direct contradiction. Missiles hit after exactly X rounds, but we can somehow flee and delay this?

There is no mechanism for fleeing. How do we delay the salvo impact, other than Referee fiat?

MongooseMatt wrote: Electronic Warfare: A Traveller performing sensor operator duties on a spacecraft can use the Electronic Warfare action to destroy or misdirect incoming missiles before they impact their vessel or another ship within Close range.
Is this still an Action performed in the Action Step?

MongooseMatt wrote: However, a salvo may only be subjected to Electronic Warfare once per round, no matter how many sensor operators are available.
Clarify that each sensor operator can only perform one Action per round. It is not stated in the rules, but was stated in the forum during beta.

MongooseMatt wrote: Finally, missiles launched at Distant range expend most of their fuel just reaching their target, leaving little to counter the target’s manoeuvres. Missile salvos launched at Distant range suffer DM-6 to their attack rolls.
This does not really work for different sizes of salvoes. Small salvoes are completely crippled whereas large salvoes (even 24 missiles from a Mercenary Cruiser) barely notices. The HG rule that 50% of the missiles can hit works much better?

MongooseMatt wrote: Impact
If an attack roll for a missile salvo is successful, the target will sustain damage. Roll for damage as if for a single missile and deduct the target’s armour as normal but do not apply the Effect of the attack roll. Instead, any damage is multiplied by the Effect of the attack roll.
Don't forget the last part:
Impact
If an attack roll for a missile salvo is successful, the target will sustain damage. Roll for damage as if for a single missile and deduct the target’s armour as normal but do not apply the Effect of the attack roll. Instead, any damage is then multiplied by the Effect of the attack roll (the Effect cannot exceed the number of missiles in the salvo).
Last edited by AnotherDilbert on Wed Mar 17, 2021 11:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Travellers Needed - Missiles (check our numbers)

Postby AnotherDilbert » Wed Mar 17, 2021 11:20 am

swampslug wrote: Also, as I posted in the core rulebook thread, I think it is worth being explicit (and getting into the habit of being explicit) that the cost given is for 12 missiles.
Completely agreed. There should be an ammunition paragraph, not just a partial sentence in the turret paragraph. Something like:
Missiles are generally bought in packs of twelve. Standard missiles cost CrXX per pack and does XD damage. Nuclear missiles cost CrXX per pack, if you can find them legally, and does XD damage.

Sand canisters are generally bought in packs of 20 and costs CrXX per pack.

swampslug wrote: Something else for clarification here is at what point in the combat round does a missile salvo arrive? I assume during the attack step but, again, it is worth being explicit to avoid confusion and clarify how many electronic warfare check a defender may attempt and whether a defender can make an EW check vs a salvo launched at Medium range or less.
Agreed, clarity is good and this is unclear.
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Re: Travellers Needed - Missiles (check our numbers)

Postby AnotherDilbert » Wed Mar 17, 2021 11:35 am

Ursus Maior wrote: Please specify, in this chapter (or possibly in new sensor rules), how a ship targeted by a missiles salvo will be able to detect the salvo coming. The rules offered in the core rules could be very basic, but in that case should be amended by more detailed rules in a future Highguard-style publication. Basic rules could e. g. be "Very Easy Electronics (Sensors) check performed as a Reaction by any Gunner or Sensor Operator with a DM+2 for each range band beyond Short. An additional DM-1 applies for each X missiles in the salvo."
I agree in principle that is realistic, but beware too many rolls every round, especially as out-of-turn reactions. It slows down the game. Already if we have two ships on each side launching missiles on all enemy ships, that is four new salvoes each round and at least four additional rolls each round, and perhaps more if some ships did not detect every salvo last round.

It is also a book-keeping problem to keep track of if every enemy ship has detected the salvo or not.


P.S. The DMs should be sign switched? Longer range makes it more difficult (DM-2 per range band) and more missiles makes it easier (DM+1 per X missiles)?
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Re: Travellers Needed - Missiles (check our numbers)

Postby Ursus Maior » Wed Mar 17, 2021 1:56 pm

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Wed Mar 17, 2021 11:09 am
MongooseMatt wrote: Missile Combat

Missile salvos effectively have Thrust 10 and will reach their target a number of combat rounds after they have been fired, as shown on the Missile Flight table.

Flee: A spacecraft under missile attack may simply turn around and engage its manoeuvre drive, thrusting away from the missiles.
This is a direct contradiction. Missiles hit after exactly X rounds, but we can somehow flee and delay this?

There is no mechanism for fleeing. How do we delay the salvo impact, other than Referee fiat?
That's true, under the rules as written above, there is no such mechanism. One would have to give a table, similar to the one in Highguard, which gives rounds to impact according to thrust, then one would have to subtract the thrust of the fleeing ship from the thrust of the missile for an effective "remaining attack thrust".
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Re: Travellers Needed - Missiles (check our numbers)

Postby Ursus Maior » Wed Mar 17, 2021 2:07 pm

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Wed Mar 17, 2021 11:35 am
P.S. The DMs should be sign switched? Longer range makes it more difficult (DM-2 per range band) and more missiles makes it easier (DM+1 per X missiles)?
Yes, sorry, I was confusing adding to the target number (i. e. increasing the difficulty) with adding to the dice roll (i. e. "DM"). Signs should be switched accordingly.

You're probably right that this would add a lot of rolls for larger battles. I would like to see a similar system anyway, at least optionally (read: not in the core rulebook), because sneaking up on your enemy and devastating it with a salvo or using orbital mechanics to attack enemy ships from beyond the horizon of a planetoid body should be a valid tactic in a scifi setting. Plus, in reference of the super-stealthy Harrier, I think it would be good to know, when and how one can attack safely with a stealth ship and when one is giving away one's best advantage. I still cannot wrap my head around the fact that shooting a particle barbette is not aiding the opponent in triangulating their return fire.

This isn't solely a problem of a TL15 advanced stealth ship, but also a problem of the rules in general. Counter-detection rules are non-existent in the rules currently. Basically, you are screwed, if you cannot detect a ship directly. Rules for combining sensor platforms - dipper/pony tactics and multistatic search-vectors - should be an option. Especially in naval or pirate campaigns featuring stealth ships.

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Re: Travellers Needed - Missiles (check our numbers)

Postby Condottiere » Wed Mar 17, 2021 9:52 pm

Not all missile weapon systems would be equal.

Performance would depend on motivation and impact on the intended audience.
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Re: Travellers Needed - Missiles (check our numbers)

Postby Condottiere » Wed Mar 17, 2021 9:57 pm

Seriously, though, range depends on the fuel tank, acceleration on the motor, and damage on the warhead.

Change it from standard, and you have to match the launcher.

You could include a missile design system in High Guard, but you need a commercial off the shelf standardized one for Core.

Nuclear certainly wouldn't be an option.


Also, probably should self detonate after running out of fuel.
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Re: Travellers Needed - Missiles (check our numbers)

Postby Randalthor66 » Thu Mar 18, 2021 12:51 am

TheMachine wrote:
Tue Mar 16, 2021 3:50 pm
Maybe add some wording to make it clear that a single missile rack can only fire one missile at a time. I was confused about this for a long time, as the ubiquitous assumption that missiles are fired in salvos, plus the "holds 12 missiles", plus the name "rack" gave me the impression a single missile rack launched a salvo of missiles each time it was used. The only number I could come up with for the max number launched per use was 12, which seemed way overpowered, but this was only settled in my mind from reading discussions on this forum.
Personally, I don't see why a rack cannot fire off more missiles. Each combat round for space combat is 6-minutes. Me (meaning modern Earth militaries) have missile launchers that toss out scores of missiles in a single second. If a combatant wants to dump all of their missiles in a single salvo, then let them.

I agree with others saying that 8D damage is too high. Especially if it is multiplied by the Effect. It is late, I will reread it tomorrow and see if anything else jumps out at me.
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Re: Travellers Needed - Missiles (check our numbers)

Postby Ursus Maior » Thu Mar 18, 2021 9:25 am

Randalthor66 wrote:
Thu Mar 18, 2021 12:51 am
Personally, I don't see why a rack cannot fire off more missiles. Each combat round for space combat is 6-minutes. Me (meaning modern Earth militaries) have missile launchers that toss out scores of missiles in a single second. If a combatant wants to dump all of their missiles in a single salvo, then let them.
That is an option for a slightly different weapon system introduced in the Traveller Companion.
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Re: Travellers Needed - Missiles (check our numbers)

Postby PsiTraveller » Thu Mar 18, 2021 11:53 am

Container missile pods. Someone has read the Honor Harrington series. :)

8D swarms of container mounted missiles multiplied by effect would wipe out a lot of tonnage of ships. 1DD nuclear missiles would seriously impact even large ships in pods.
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Re: Travellers Needed - Missiles (check our numbers)

Postby AnotherDilbert » Thu Mar 18, 2021 1:03 pm

Let's look at the damage one turret can do against Armour 2 (Free Trader etc):

Laser: 2D+4+Effect - 2 Armour yields an average of about 12 damage. Reasonable.

Old missile: A salvo of 3 missiles hitting is ( 4×3.5 - 2 ) × 3 = 36 damage. Quite a lot, better have some defences.

New missile: A salvo of 3 missiles hitting is ( 8×3.5 - 2 ) × 3 = 78 damage. Devastating, have good defences or die instantly.

So a single turrets worth of missiles will almost kill a Free Trader in a single attack. Slightly upgraded missiles will definitely kill a 200-tonner in a single attack from a single turret.

Do we really want equal ships destroying each other in a single round?
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Re: Travellers Needed - Missiles (check our numbers)

Postby AnotherDilbert » Thu Mar 18, 2021 1:14 pm

Let's look at the military case, let's say Armour 12:

Laser: 2D+4+Effect - 12 Armour yields an average of a few points of damage. Next to nothing.

Old missile: A salvo of 3 nuke missiles hitting is ( 6×3.5 - 12 ) × 3 = 27 damage. Respectable.

New missile: A salvo of 3 nuke missiles hitting is ( 10×3.5 - 12 ) × 3 = 69 damage. Devastating, have good defences or die instantly.

So, a single turrets worth of nukes will easily destroy 150 tons of armoured warship in a single attack.

Do we really want armoured warships to destroy each other in a single round?
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Re: Travellers Needed - Missiles (check our numbers)

Postby AnotherDilbert » Thu Mar 18, 2021 2:10 pm

Let's look at two Free Traders fighting, each with a triple missile turret and a triple laser turret. Each ship has a Pilot-1, Elec(sensor)-1, and Gunner-1.

At long range missiles attack next round, so one attempt at EW possible. The laser turret is used for PD.

Round 1:
Three missiles launched, will arrive in round 2.
The target attempts EW: 2D + 1[skill] - 2[civilian sensors] - 10[difficulty]. A roll of 12 will destroy one missile, for an average of 0.03 missiles killed.

Round 2:
Missiles arrive:
The target attempts PD: 2D + 1[skill] + 2[triple turret] - 8[difficulty] = average 2.27 missiles killed.
Round to one missile remaining.
Pilot takes Evasive Action: DM-1 on the attack.
Salvo Attack: 2D + 1[# of missiles] + 1[smart] - 1[evade] - 8[difficulty]. The single missile hits on a roll of 8+ for an average of 0.4 missiles hitting.
Damage: ( 8×3.5 - 2 ) × 0.4 ≈ 10 damage.

Doesn't sound too bad on average but it is very chancy. A single missile hitting is av. 26 damage and three crits from sustained damage. If the PD roll goes badly and three missiles attack it might be av. 78 damage and the ship is basically destroyed in a single attack, just because you failed a single PD roll.

If we manage to have two salvoes attack the same round, e.g. using missiles with different speeds, we will overwhelm PD and likely destroy the target in a single round.
AnotherDilbert
Cosmic Mongoose
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Re: Travellers Needed - Missiles (check our numbers)

Postby AnotherDilbert » Thu Mar 18, 2021 2:28 pm

Now take one Free Trader as above with one laser turret and one missile turret (A) vs. a Free Trader with two missile turrets (B).

Round 1:
Ship A launches three missiles, arriving in Round 2.
Ship B launches six missiles, arriving in Round 2.
EW is insignificant.

Round 2:
Both ships takes Evasive Action.
Ship A performs PD, killing av. 2.27 missiles as above. 6 - 2.27 = av. 3.73 missiles attacking.
3.73 (round to 4) missiles attacking: 2D + 4[# of missiles] + 1[smart] - 1[evade] - 8[difficulty], for an average of 2.5 missiles hitting.
2.5 missiles does av. ( 8×3.5 - 2 ) × 2.5 ≈ 65 damage and 8 crits.

Ship B has no PD, so all 3 missiles attack.
3 missiles attacking: 2D + 3[# of missiles] + 1[smart] - 1[evade] - 8[difficulty], for an average of 1.7 missiles hitting.
1.7 missiles does av. ( 8×3.5 - 2 ) × 1.7 ≈ 44 damage and 5 crits.

Round 3:
Both ships are destroyed, unless one ship was destroyed in Round 2.


So, unless you have really skilled gunners, missile turrets are much better than laser turrets. Just load up on missile turrets and hope for a good roll (either salvo attack or damage) to destroy the target in one round. Without a good roll the second salvo will kill the target.

Way too bloody for my taste... You can easily get a TPK from a single good roll from the enemy.

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