Torpedo Boats in Traveller

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adzling
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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby adzling » Tue Nov 02, 2021 3:14 pm

Reynard wrote:
Tue Nov 02, 2021 2:03 pm
I notice historically we didn't give up on torpedo bombers just because someone said hypothetically some may get shot down.
that's because you only need one well placed bomb or torpedo to cripple an aircraft carrier.
which is not the case at all with traveller space combat.
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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby Reynard » Tue Nov 02, 2021 4:13 pm

In other words, in the real world, sometimes they get a crit and everyone remembers that and forget all the misses or low damage rolls. In game, people remember the failures more often. So the game mechanics say you must build more weapon delivery systems to hit the opponent better whether ship, bomber or fighter.

I need to learn the fleet combat system better and see how outcomes conclude.
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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby Arkathan » Tue Nov 02, 2021 6:35 pm

Game mechanics ignore the politics of military contracting.
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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby Condottiere » Tue Nov 02, 2021 6:47 pm

Bribery.

Carousing.

Administration.

Liaison.

Investigate.

Advertising in political news channels and military journals, so Art.
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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby Condottiere » Tue Nov 02, 2021 7:10 pm

1. As regards Midway, the terms overcomplex, blind luck, and commander's intent tend to come to mind.

2. I'll have a go at trying to simplify my view of the battle.

3. Yamamoto, after Coral Sea and the Doolittle Raid, came to the conclusion that American carrier power in the Pacific was still a threat and must be eliminated, if only temporarily.

4. He's lost the use of his two most modern carriers (though in theory, one carrier/air group could have been combined) and sends off his light carriers as part of a deception; he's also thinks there are only two American carriers, not knowing that Yorktown survived Coral Sea and is in the process of being repaired.

5. This isn't space, where you can see everything, and everything can see you, since there is no stealth, as has been variously pointed out.

6. The Americans have broken the Japanese naval code, and have figured out that Midway is their objective.

7. Japanese reconnaissance planes fail to locate the American carriers, until it's too late.

8. The Americans make a couple of lucky guesses, and the timing of their attacks discombobulate the Japanese, plus training, allows their dive bombers to take out three of the four Japanese carriers.

9. Yamamoto failed to impose his will on Nagumo, as to the primary objective of the operation was destruction of the American carriers, not the reduction of Midway.
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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby adzling » Tue Nov 02, 2021 9:38 pm

Reynard wrote:
Tue Nov 02, 2021 4:13 pm
In other words, in the real world, sometimes they get a crit...
Not really.

There are no crits in mg2e that reflect what an actual torpedo or dive bomber can accomplish irl.

In mg2e it's mostly about stacking damage until you, eventually, manage to destroy a critical component by repeated crits on the same location stacking crit effects.

Whereas irl you either miss entirely (almost all the attacks on the japanese fleet at midway missed) OR you hit and cripple (not critical, cripple) the ship.

Once the ship is crippled it's easy prey for more attacks.

At least that's what the battle of midway teaches about surface navies from @80 years ago har.
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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby Bill Sheil » Wed Nov 03, 2021 11:07 am

adzling wrote:
Tue Nov 02, 2021 9:38 pm
There are no crits in mg2e that reflect what an actual torpedo or dive bomber can accomplish irl.

In mg2e it's mostly about stacking damage until you, eventually, manage to destroy a critical component by repeated crits on the same location stacking crit effects.
Yes, Traveller ship combat is mostly just boom versus bigger boom with a few rare additional attributes like armour piercing or radiation.

Trying to compare with the 20th century naval/air combat paradigm never really holds up to scrutiny. There is no effect comparable with catastrophic flooding from torpedo hits below the waterline (except general decompression from any weapon type) or dropping a bomb on an unarmoured deck. Similarly, regardless of size, starships and star fighters all operate in the same medium with the same performance envelope - unlike naval and aerodynamic craft - so, in traveller, large ships versus small boats (E-Boats, PT boats, Vospers but without naval torpedoes) are a better model to understand how combatants would interact.

I wouldn't mind if torpedoes did a bit of extra damage or there was a bit more AP in the stats just to add variety.

Edit: Actually I think the best comparison is with age of sail naval combat (nelson, napoleon etc) where firepower is the sole deciding factor and warship design considerations are gun count, robustness of the vessel, and range and maneuverability to bring the weapons to bear. You could put a couple of cannons on small vessels like gunboats or sloops for reconnaissance, flag waving or policing but in battle they are going to be pretty worthless against dedicated large combat vessels - Men-of-War, Frigates and Galleons. Specifically the larger ships can take hits and keep fighting whereas smaller vessels are much easier to eliminate from the gun count.
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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby Condottiere » Wed Nov 03, 2021 11:46 am

1.We don't sink, unless we happen to be in a decaying orbit around a gravity well, and our fuel and ammunition doesn't blow up.

2. The spinal mount is meant to mission kill opponents, the bay weapon systems are the secondary anti destroyer armament, and the turrets, in capital ships, are anti fighter/point defence.

3. In theory, I'll speculate, that technological level eleven combat is closer to predreadnought naval engagements.
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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby AnotherDilbert » Wed Nov 03, 2021 12:44 pm

Reynard wrote: Watching Midway.
The Battle of Two Suns isn't Salamis, Lepanto, Jutland, or Midway.

It is not likely that the tactics or technology used at Salamis would work at Midway. Neither is it likely that the tactics and technology used at Midway would work at the Two Suns.

Remember that Midway is closer to Salamis (~2500 years) than the Two Suns (~3000 years).
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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby AnotherDilbert » Wed Nov 03, 2021 12:51 pm

Bill Sheil wrote:
adzling wrote: There are no crits in mg2e that reflect what an actual torpedo or dive bomber can accomplish irl.
Yes, Traveller ship combat is mostly just boom versus bigger boom with a few rare additional attributes like armour piercing or radiation.
Yes, in MgT2.

Crits were nerfed to make battleships viable, as canon proscribes.

Some earlier editions worked differently, e.g. CT LBB2 (edit: no, obviously LBB5) made battleships unviable since a spinal hit killed any ship, regardless of size.
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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby Bill Sheil » Wed Nov 03, 2021 2:16 pm

Spinal weapons weren't in CT LBB2 which only had designs for up to 5000 DT. CT Book 5 High Guard introduced spinal weapons but only capital ships could mount them anyway. They were capital versus capital weapons but small ships remained unviable as mainline ships could still neutralise them fast and weapon attrition (Lanchester style) therefore made them ineffective.

Edit: You may have been thinking of TNE which IIRC made heavy penetrating lasers overwhelming better that any other weapon system.
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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby AnotherDilbert » Wed Nov 03, 2021 2:43 pm

Bill Sheil wrote: Spinal weapons weren't in CT LBB2 which only had designs for up to 5000 DT. CT Book 5 High Guard ...
Yes, thank you, I was of course thinking of LBB5.
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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby Bill Sheil » Wed Nov 03, 2021 3:10 pm

Capital ships certainly weren't rendered obsolete by spinal weapons by LBB5 either, not in TCS competitions anyway (and using the HG1980), although battleriders tended to dominate depending on the rules iteration. Pilot count was admittedly another factor though but that seemed to be more about controlling the size of fleets. Small ships didn't have spinal mounts anyway so they could not have really threatened big ships with one shot kills. One shot spinal weapon kills were not really, in my recollection, ever a thing. Excepting meson weapons basic armour would mostly ameliorate criticals; and for meson guns there were shields. But, even if spinal criticals were a factor, designs would have optimised around the small capital ship for precisely the reason that they were needed for spinal weapons.

But there really was a problem with either MT or TNE (I cannot remember which) with the big lasers. That led to an even more monochromatic warship paradigm where the only viable ship was a stripped down optimised single weapon carrier.
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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby AnotherDilbert » Wed Nov 03, 2021 3:50 pm

Bill Sheil wrote: Capital ships certainly weren't rendered obsolete by spinal weapons by LBB5 either, not in TCS competitions anyway (and using the HG1980), although battleriders tended to dominate depending on the rules iteration.
Any meson J+ hitting was an automatic Fuel Tanks Shattered, hence misson-kill, with statistical combat resolution. A GCr 10 rider was at least as combat effective as a GCr 100 battleship. Battleships (100+ kDt warships) were non-viable.

Sub-2kDt craft could be very effective, and could easily strip ships of weapons since you could not have heavy armour, fast agility, and decent jump capacity in the same ship. Only the pilot requirement stopped them, at least in Tournament, but not in Campaign.

At lower TLs missile rocks dominated, see Eurisko.

Spinals were the only way to really kill (as opposed to mission-kill) even minimally armoured ships, so to win wars you needed spinals.

Bill Sheil wrote: But there really was a problem with either MT or TNE (I cannot remember which) with the big lasers. That led to an even more monochromatic warship paradigm where the only viable ship was a stripped down optimised single weapon carrier.
Very strong lasers were TNE. MT was basically LBB5 with less armour.
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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby Sigtrygg » Wed Nov 03, 2021 6:51 pm

Just to correct you - spinal meson guns in LBB5 could mission kill BBs but it is not a certainty. Good luck getting a factor J to hit and penetrate (9+), even a factor N only has a 50/50 chance of penetrating a factor 9 screen, so you will need a big ship to carry the big spinals.

PA spinals stand little chance of damaging a BB in LBB5 since size and armour will reduce auto crits to 0, and additional hits due to factor are also reduced.

So BBs need to be big to counter PA spinals and carry a factor 9 meson screen - I would then load it out with bay missiles and forget about a spinal for a BB.

Spinal meson guns are for battle riders which you build as small as possible to make them a bit more difficult to hit, max out their armour and screens and at TL 15 you may as well put a jump 1 drive in there if you can make it fit. Use drop tanks to jump into a system with a fuel reserve to jump out again to rendezvous with tenders.

The Third Imperium obviously never read LBB:5 :) because the ship designs in S:9 are inadequate.
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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby dmccoy1693 » Wed Nov 03, 2021 7:20 pm

ottarrus wrote:
Wed Oct 06, 2021 9:38 pm
I'm a lifelong military historian, not just a hobbyist, but a reenactor with a couple of published articles. To put another way, I'm long past the 'cool looking airplane /boat /rifle /uniform' stage of the game and am interested in the real depths of the subject. I'm interested in the serious trivia and ephemera of history... not the battles, but the people who fought the battles; not battleships but the destroyer escorts and 'small boats' that shouldered most of the naval load...
That's something I keep wondering about. Would Traveller fans be interested in a deep dive into the people? Something like the details of Ensign Gar'rith, the vargr that saved the surviving crew on the Starchaser battling pirates off of the third moon of Regina or Lieutenant Brenda Pierce, who discovered the Solomani terrorists before they could blow up the ship's torpedoes. Not "fiction" so much as "documentary" style of reading.

Thoughts?
Download our newest book: Solomani Worlds: Vehicles of the Rim today.

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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby AnotherDilbert » Wed Nov 03, 2021 10:29 pm

Sigtrygg wrote: Just to correct you - spinal meson guns in LBB5 could mission kill BBs but it is not a certainty.
Sorry, I was sloppy. With "hitting" I meant hitting and penetrating aka "doing damage". I make no difference between "hitting" rolls and "penetrating" rolls, both have to be made at the same time.

Sigtrygg wrote: PA spinals stand little chance of damaging a BB in LBB5 since size and armour will reduce auto crits to 0, and additional hits due to factor are also reduced.
Agreed, PAs are used to kill small ships with crits. They are expensive, but their high hit chance makes them the most efficient way to kill 1 kDt missile frigates and smaller craft.

Sigtrygg wrote: So BBs need to be big to counter PA spinals and carry a factor 9 meson screen - I would then load it out with bay missiles and forget about a spinal for a BB.
Then what would be the point? They would just be a speed-bump for meson sleds.

Sigtrygg wrote: Spinal meson guns are for battle riders which you build as small as possible to make them a bit more difficult to hit, max out their armour and screens and at TL 15 you may as well put a jump 1 drive in there if you can make it fit.
Agreed, small, cheap riders rule LBB5 combat. Jump capability is extremely expensive and mostly pointless, since the riders can screen their own tenders.

The same logic applies to missile bays. Place then on small size A riders, that are much more difficult to hit and take many more weapon hits to suppress.

Sigtrygg wrote: The Third Imperium obviously never read LBB:5 :) because the ship designs in S:9 are inadequate.
As usual RPG campaigns are written in complete disregard of the implications of the rules.
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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby AnotherDilbert » Wed Nov 03, 2021 10:49 pm

Sigtrygg wrote: Good luck getting a factor J to hit and penetrate (9+), even a factor N only has a 50/50 chance of penetrating a factor 9 screen, so you will need a big ship to carry the big spinals.
IIRC a meson N is the most efficient choice at TL-15.

Against a common size K rider at long range it has 10+ (6/36=17%) to hit, 7+ (21/36=58%) to penetrate the screen, and 4+ (30/36=83%) to penetrate configuration 1; for a total kill chance of 17% × 58% × 83% = 8%.

Short range changes that to 42% × 58% × 83% = 20%.

Battleships are easier to hit: 42% × 58% × 83% = 20%, or 72% × 58% × 83% = 35% at short range.


So, it takes about 5 mesons (or 3 mesons at short range) to mission-kill a BB. BBs can't expect to last more than one or possibly two rounds against the same cost of riders (w/ tenders).


Edit: BBs are +2 to hit, not +1. Oops...
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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby AnotherDilbert » Wed Nov 03, 2021 11:00 pm

Against a small size A missile rock at long range it has 11+ (3/36=8%) to hit, 7+ (21/36=58%) to penetrate the screen, and 6+ (26/36=72%) to penetrate configuration 9; for a total kill chance of 8% × 58% × 72% = 3.5%.

So, a single meson has 20% chance of killing lots of bays on a BB or 3.5% chance of killing a single bay on a missile rock. Small missile rocks are much more survivable.
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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby Condottiere » Wed Nov 03, 2021 11:03 pm

As I recall meson gun spinal mounts, jay is a kilotonne, enn is two kilotonnes, and there's no minimum hull size.

Particle accelerators were around three and a half kilotonnes.

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