Torpedo Boats in Traveller

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Condottiere
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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby Condottiere » Fri Oct 15, 2021 9:20 pm

Before I forget, in either case, it's a quick route to bankruptcy, except for large interstellar polity militaries.
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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby adzling » Fri Oct 15, 2021 10:04 pm

Condottiere wrote:
Fri Oct 15, 2021 9:20 pm
Before I forget, in either case, it's a quick route to bankruptcy, except for large interstellar polity militaries.
Yeah we had that discussion in our PoD campaign last few weeks.

"Is it better to equip ships with weapons that cost money to fire <missiles/ torpedoes> vs. cost no money to fire <every thing else>?"

They decided to equip one ship as a "missile boat" and the rest with "free to fire" weapons such as pulse lasers, fusion guns and particle accelerators.
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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby ottarrus » Fri Oct 15, 2021 10:24 pm

Missiles can do things that energy weapons cannot. The reverse is also true.

The Ziru Sirka [the Vilani First Imperium] organized her fleets with all-laser ships supporting all-missile ships for budgetary reasons and found to their very great detriment that the Terran Confederation hybrid ships beat the pants off them. Much of this was due to Vilani conservatism at the squadron command level... an all-laser squadron CO having 'command influence issues' with an all-missile squadron CO. Ruling by committee works alright at the ship level and even at the squadron level, but at the fleet level things break down in a hurry when you need to reach consensus on tactics before you engage an aggressive opponent who uses a clearer chain of command that prizes initiative over bruised feelings.

It should be said in this argument that what really turned the tide in the Terran's favor was both the invention of fielding of a J-3 drive and the meson gun spinal mount. This lends some weight to energy weapons position, but I still feel that launched ordinance deal more damage over the course of an engagement than beams do.
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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby Condottiere » Fri Oct 15, 2021 10:25 pm

There is a case to be made for ordnance based weaponry, but you have to be very clear in your mind how best to employ them, and why you'd go with that option in the first place.
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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby ottarrus » Sat Oct 16, 2021 8:03 pm

Condottiere wrote:
Fri Oct 15, 2021 10:25 pm
There is a case to be made for ordnance based weaponry, but you have to be very clear in your mind how best to employ them, and why you'd go with that option in the first place.
VERY true.

There is always an argument among designers of big-ticket military procurement items [ships /tanks /fighter planes] between 'generalist' and 'specialist' platforms and both sides have valid points. I myself served on an M1 Abrams in the US Army, a platform designed specifically to kill T-72/80/90's in large batches. But the tank still had enough capability to be an effective infantry support platform. One very specific design requirement was that the main gun have a flechette 'buzz bomb' round to suppress infantry in the open [DAMNED handy when going after ATGM teams] and when the Abrams was up-gunned to the Rheimetal M256 [L/44] gun, the Watervliet Arsenal had to specifically design one.

In a Traveller naval sense, this means that a missile primary armament is intended for one thing and a beam armament another. The Imperial Navy has experimented with several varieties of specialist ships over the millenia and has found that it prefers generalist ships unless there is a specific design criteria they're trying to meet. They prefer battleships over battle cruisers or battle riders, for example, but are willing to expend resources on specialists like rift cruisers, planetary bombardment ships, intel gathering ships, etc.
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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby Condottiere » Sat Oct 16, 2021 9:22 pm

Current published iteration of Confederation naval doctrine is all over the place. so lemons and lemonade; I get the impression they're expecting a repeat of the Battle of France.

Current practice seems to be assessing threats and prioritizing targets; energy weapon systems allow snap shots, while missile and torpedo salvos would have to be premeditated.

The accompanying infantry fighting vehicles are supposed to neutralize dismounted threats, so while it's great that the main battle tank has the means to deal with them as well, that would be a distraction from it's principal mission, running over fleeing infantry.
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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby ottarrus » Sat Oct 16, 2021 9:59 pm

LOL!!!

Turning grunts into mudholes on purpose is against the Geneva Conventions. OTOH we were always told that using a .50 cal. 'Ma Deuce' against people was illegal too. They could only be used against equipment. Then it occurred to us that helmets and gas masks are, by definition, 'equipment'. :D

Something that most ship and vehicle designers never seemed to understand... Ever since Sargon of Sumeria developed the professional paid soldier in 3000 BC, there has only TWO branches of service: the Infantry and various flavors of Support. And i say that as a proud cavalryman. Look, more often than not wars are decided on a piece of terrain. You can do a lot with terrain. You can bomb, shell it, mine it, gas it, 'area-deny' it, nuke it... a whole menu of Very Bad Things. But until you put a scared 19 year old kid with his basic weapon and an NCO on top of it, that terrain simply doesn't belong to you. And everything else, EVERYTHING else, is just 'support' for that kid and a sergeant that might scare him more than the enemy does.

OTOH, I STILL wouldn't trade my time crewing C-22 /C-Troop, 2nd Sqdn, 11th ACR for anything....
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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby Condottiere » Sun Oct 17, 2021 1:15 pm

Slight difference between current naval warfare and that in Traveller, is that Traveller Starwarships have the High Ground (or Guard), and directly target anything dirtside, and with meson weapons, anything within the interior, if they had the coordinates.

If return fire is a little too hot, they can back off a ways, and throw stuff at the planet.

The thing about the navy is that you don't have a unit type which you support, besides the line of battle, it's more of a combined arms organization, or perhaps, organized higher tier combined arms units, that can work independently or together, depending on circumstance and/or need, to maintain, retain or gain sea control or command of the sea.
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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby Bill Sheil » Mon Oct 18, 2021 10:37 pm

Turning grunts into mudholes on purpose is against the Geneva Conventions. OTOH we were always told that using a .50 cal. 'Ma Deuce' against people was illegal too. They could only be used against equipment. Then it occurred to us that helmets and gas masks are, by definition, 'equipment'. :D
Honestly I don't think anyone stupid or gullible enough to believe that should be allowed weapons in any modern military.
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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby Condottiere » Tue Oct 19, 2021 11:53 am

There's a lot of attention on NATO militaries, so members are encouraged to behave.

In an existential fight, a lot of conventions and rules go out the window, including that improvised explosive device, that officially, no one, hypothetically, explains how it's made with available material.
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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby ottarrus » Wed Oct 20, 2021 3:18 am

Bill Sheil wrote:
Mon Oct 18, 2021 10:37 pm
Turning grunts into mudholes on purpose is against the Geneva Conventions. OTOH we were always told that using a .50 cal. 'Ma Deuce' against people was illegal too. They could only be used against equipment. Then it occurred to us that helmets and gas masks are, by definition, 'equipment'. :D
Honestly I don't think anyone stupid or gullible enough to believe that should be allowed weapons in any modern military.
Bill Sheil wrote:
Mon Oct 18, 2021 10:37 pm
Turning grunts into mudholes on purpose is against the Geneva Conventions. OTOH we were always told that using a .50 cal. 'Ma Deuce' against people was illegal too. They could only be used against equipment. Then it occurred to us that helmets and gas masks are, by definition, 'equipment'. :D
Honestly I don't think anyone stupid or gullible enough to believe that should be allowed weapons in any modern military.
OK, this is NOT me barking my hoo-ah bark or trying to act like I am more than I am. And I'm certainly not trying to condescend to or insult anyone. This is only my personal experience, to be taken with however many grains of salt are necessary.

I'm a combat veteran. I've been decorated by my country for my performance and I've been wounded in process thereof. I do not call myself anything like an 'expert'. I survived. People I knew, people I consider better men than me, did not. That's about the sum of it.
I did my 'long walk in the woods' in Central America during the Reagan era. My experience is this: when the **** drops in the pot, there are remarkably few observers of the Geneva convention on either side. Heavy machine guns, shotguns, booby traps, etc. are all in the grab bag if needed. And they WILL be needed.
If you're manning the .50 cal. and you see some clown running down the street with an RPG launcher on his shoulder, you waste his ass right then and there. Any hesitation on your part leaves people on your side at greater risk while you moralize with yourself. This will not be appreciated by your friends. In 'my war' [cuz all of them are different and the same at the same time], about the only real solid thing we observed was making a real effort to try and keep civilians out of the way. Sometimes that wasn't possible, but we made every effort to MAKE it possible. Other than that, anything went. Have I thrown a Willy Pete [a white phosphorous grenade] into a building to burn out the asshole firing an MG at us? Yes I did. Have I done some things that keep me up at night? Yes I have, though the WP grenade wasn't one of them. We warned the sum'bitches that grenades were next if they didn't surrender, they had their chance.
But stuff like this happens in every army in every war. Your army is no more virtuous or heroic than the other guy's is. If you've seen Saving Private Ryan, then you saw this kind of thing in the D-Day portion of the movie.
And remember, there are only two teams in the whole universe, 'Us' [your people /nation] and 'Them' [anybody else]. And when our species takes a vote on who's gonna win, Us or Them, we vote 'Us' about 99.5 percent of the time.
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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby Reynard » Fri Oct 22, 2021 3:36 pm

My rendition for a torpedo bomber. This is not a PT style torpedo boat but rather a fighter specific for attacking large ships and ortillery bombing. More like a Star Wars Y-wing.

Torpedo bomber TL 12, 35 tons, MCr.22.239
Hull Close
Armor 7 crystaliron
Maneuver 7
Powerplant Fusion 12 [35pp]
Fuel 85 days operation
Bridge Dual cockpit [Pilot/Co-pilot sensor operator]
Computer 15
Software Maneuver/0, library, Evade/2
Sensors Military, holographic controls
Weapons Firmpoint - Torpedo barbette (2 torpedoes)
Options Torpedo hold - 9 torpedoes
Armored bulkheads (Bridge, Drive, Powerplant, Sensors)
High burn thrusters 9
Thruster fuel 6t (10 rounds)
Cabin space

A hardy and swift torpedo delivery system as part of base defense and carrier operations for planetary bombing and fleet assaults. Built to avoid and take small arms fire to reach Medium range and launch squadron level salvos on a specific target. The firm point can launch two rounds on separate runs before needing reload. The ammo hold carries 9 torpedoes that will often be of varying ordinance allowing mission selection mixing types to confound defense.
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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby Bill Sheil » Sat Oct 23, 2021 1:41 pm

ottarrus wrote:
Wed Oct 20, 2021 3:18 am
If you're manning the .50 cal. and you see some clown running down the street with an RPG launcher on his shoulder, you waste his ass right then and there. Any hesitation on your part leaves people on your side at greater risk while you moralize with yourself. This will not be appreciated by your friends.
Apologies for the ongoing temperament of my reply but underlying this is a serious issue that you are managing to totally misunderstand.

Let me explain it again:

The Geneva convention has never prohibited the use of .50 cal weapons against combatants. This is a lie and such an obvious, stupid and transparent lie that (again) if you believed it you should not have been permitted to bear arms for your country. There is simply no justification for anyone with an ounce of common sense or general knowledge to believe such a thing could possibly be true.

But most importantly it is currently a pernicious lie in the US military and one that seeks to belittle the Geneva Convention, a pillar of modern civilisation, in favour of a false "us versus them" camaraderie. Doubly so because the US military's own Military Code is derived from and directly references the Geneva Convention as an requirement for treating and the expectation of being treated by an enemy.

It may give some trumped up little Vietnam-era marine drill sergeant or weapons tech a hard-on to lie to recruits and tell them that they need to "... aim for the shirt buttons of the enemy when using a AA weapon because the Geneva Convention hates you and you can only rely on your comrades in arms..." but it is a lie and one that directly contravenes the US military's own standards. The servicemen from the previous era who had come to understand the importance of the Geneva Convention when witnessing the liberation of the death camps and overseeing the trials at Nuremberg would have a very poor opinion of the anyone spreading or being stupid enough to believe this kind of thing. There is nothing good to be said about the apparent failure to challenge this in the current US military.
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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby ottarrus » Sun Oct 24, 2021 5:32 am

Well, I can only say that in repeated 'Law of Land Warfare' briefings I received in Germany ['82-'84], we were instructed that .50 cal. MG's were illegal to fire at troops.
It was also made perfectly clear to us that very few people gave a flying frig in rolling donut about it... no one had any intention of reporting anyone to anybody over it.
Like most enlisted men, I haven't read the text of the Geneva Conventions. Perhaps it wasn't the Geneva Conventions. Perhaps is was NATO guidance of the era. Perhaps is was the whim of the Secretary of the Army. Beats me. My command gave me the information, I accepted it as valid, case closed.
But I also knew that I was on the Ma Deuce and some Ivan was on the wrong side of the Trace, that I was going to deal with him in a perfunctory manner with the weapon I had to hand.

As for the Geneva Conventions specifically... it has been a 'pillar of civilization' inasmuch as it regularized the treatment of EPW's and civilians in warfare. For that, I give it full and deserved credit. Furthermore, the United State military has regulations regarding the treatment of EPWs that applies even to those enemies who are of nations not signatory to the Conventions. Were I in a shooting war with, say, North Korea, I would still be bound by regulations to treat NK's captures with all the strictures of the Conventions even though their country has repudiated them. ISIS tangos have a different status. Since they can claim no nation-state, they are de-facto terrorists captured in a war zone. Since I got out of the Army several decades ago, I have no idea what current regulations state regarding the capture of terrorists. I DO know that murdering them out of hand after they've been rendered safe is patently against regulations and a couple of former Army soldiers are doing serious time for ignoring that fact.
As for the Geneva Conventions actually barring the use of a weapons system in combat... I'm a lifelong military historian and I know of only ONE weapons system that is commonly banned by most militaries: flamethrowers. Other than that, everybody still uses mines, shotguns, fuel/air explosive bombs, napalm and an whole host of systems that HAVE been mentioned as 'poor sportsmanship' by Geneva.
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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby ottarrus » Sun Oct 24, 2021 7:21 am

Reynard wrote:
Fri Oct 22, 2021 3:36 pm
My rendition for a torpedo bomber. This is not a PT style torpedo boat but rather a fighter specific for attacking large ships and ortillery bombing. More like a Star Wars Y-wing.

Torpedo bomber TL 12, 35 tons, MCr.22.239
Hull Close
Armor 7 crystaliron
Maneuver 7
Powerplant Fusion 12 [35pp]
Fuel 85 days operation
Bridge Dual cockpit [Pilot/Co-pilot sensor operator]
Computer 15
Software Maneuver/0, library, Evade/2
Sensors Military, holographic controls
Weapons Firmpoint - Torpedo barbette (2 torpedoes)
Options Torpedo hold - 9 torpedoes
Armored bulkheads (Bridge, Drive, Powerplant, Sensors)
High burn thrusters 9
Thruster fuel 6t (10 rounds)
Cabin space

A hardy and swift torpedo delivery system as part of base defense and carrier operations for planetary bombing and fleet assaults. Built to avoid and take small arms fire to reach Medium range and launch squadron level salvos on a specific target. The firm point can launch two rounds on separate runs before needing reload. The ammo hold carries 9 torpedoes that will often be of varying ordinance allowing mission selection mixing types to confound defense.
NOT BAD! And I mean that with absolutely no sarcasm.
Obviously, you'd have to have them in squadron service [12-24 craft in USAF parlance] and multiple squadrons at that. As Condottierri put it, 'expensive...'
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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby Sigtrygg » Sun Oct 24, 2021 9:58 am

So capital ships carry interceptors - drones that have one job...

they can be smaller and cheaper than the bombers...

A support vessel within the squadron can be a defensive drone carrier, providing intercept capability for the squadron.
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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby Condottiere » Sun Oct 24, 2021 11:41 am

1. A missile is a missile, implied to have some form of guidance.

2. Drone implies a larger one, possibly more sneaky.

3. The balance is whether a drone would have a greater effect acting as a weapons platform, or kamikazeing.

4. At the moment, they're evaluating a crewed aircraft/drone mix, pure drone carriers likely some ways off in the future.

5. In Traveller terms, depends on what you want to do with them and which would be cheaper to operate, (human) piloted or non piloted.

6. Unless Scooby Snacks count as currency.
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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby Reynard » Sun Oct 24, 2021 12:41 pm

"NOT BAD! And I mean that with absolutely no sarcasm.
Obviously, you'd have to have them in squadron service [12-24 craft in USAF parlance] and multiple squadrons at that. As Condottierri put it, 'expensive...'"

Everything is expensive. What's important is the expensive squadron of bombers launching dozens of torpedoes that need to be addressed as individual salvos striking immediately against an expensive target while evading being hit and being able to absorb enough damage losing as few as possible in the process. Expensive interceptors and drones have to be very effective and be at the right place trying to protect every possible target on the line. All is relative.
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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby ottarrus » Sun Oct 24, 2021 3:48 pm

Probes and drones are roughly the same size in that they launch from the same sized launcher [aka 'larger than missile launchers'].
Drones, if used for combat, could be modeled on the K'kree fighter drones, but the drones would be MORE expensive than torpedoes in that case.
[One thing I didn't like in AoCS1 was that removing 'the Crazies' from the K'kree...]
And if you REALLY want to see the past masters of 'drone warfare' check out the Hiver Federation Navy. Ithklur are aggressive enough to be fighter pilots, but at 2+ meters tall are kind of big for fighter pilots. And since the Squiggles build the best robots in Charted Space, why not put that to use?

As for everything being expensive, it's all a matter of cost /benefit and cause and effect. What's cheaper, maintaining a wing of expensive cruiser killers in addition to meson batteries and SDB squadrons, or taking your world back from the Zho's? Pretty sure the good citizens of Jewell, Efate, and Rhylanor have an answer for you on that one... And for that matter, every Imperial system in Corridor Sector above TL 10 with a population able to industrially support such a wing. Nothing says 'corsair be gone' like a wing of torpedo bombers coming in at 3Gs faster than you and your threat receivers lighting up like it's Holiday Eve. [No, I don't know how to sing 'Danger Zone' in Gvegh, but Sterling Archer had better be in there somewhere]

I would guess that system of TL 10+ would need a Pop stat of about 8 or so [hundreds of millions] and a moderately authoritarian government [to push the spending through the bureaucracy] to afford a wing [2 to 3 squadrons of 12 each] of these types of boats. For a REALLY authoritarian government in a high threat area [Corridor, Solomani Rim, the border Subsectors of the Marches] could probably get a way with a pop of 7 [tens of millions] by making service aboard these death traps prestigious in the regime hierarchy.

And make no mistake, the boats would be priority targets for any invading force... even before the SDB's. Those torpedoes pack more of punch than a couple of missile launcher and beam lasers.
As the old RAF /USAAC song goes "Live in fame, go down in flames"
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Re: Torpedo Boats in Traveller

Postby NOLATrav » Sun Oct 24, 2021 5:19 pm

ottarrus wrote:
Sun Oct 24, 2021 5:32 am
Well, I can only say that in repeated 'Law of Land Warfare' briefings I received in Germany ['82-'84], we were instructed that .50 cal. MG's were illegal to fire at troops.
I never served but I recall from that same era my uncle, who was stationed in West Germany for a while, told me a similar tale. Also, my best friend’s father, who served as a commander of an M113 APC in Vietnam, told us the same. .50 cal MGs were only to be used in anti-materiel roles.

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