Combat questions

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
hdrider67
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Combat questions

Postby hdrider67 » Thu May 01, 2008 5:45 pm

I asked this yesterday morning in the rulemasters forum but got no bites. Since all of the MGT activity seems to be aroung these parts, I'll try again here.


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In missile combat, is there a limit on time or distance for missile endurance? Is it within the real of reason for someone with a long enough head start to be able to outrun a missile attack?

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Is the number of reactions per crew member (or operational section) or is it per ship? I will have players manning different stations and I'm not sure how to allocate the initiative based reactions.

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Is the point defense cumulative DM going to apply to all turrets attacking an incoming missile? How many shot attempts are allowed against any particular missile?

The text seems to imply each gunner gets a shot at each missile with a -1 cumulative DM as he changes from one missile to another. Is this correct?

Do point defense shots count per gunner with the max being 4 as determined by initiative? Do multi tube turrets grant more chances per missile and / or do they count as a single attempt or as multiple (thus incurring the -DM)?

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Am I assuming correctly that the missiles can only be destroyed in the last round before hitting? The book says lat moments but is not specific.

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Lastly is a non exclusively a combat question. Ship sensors are highly degraded at long distance and beyond and get quite a bit better at short or less distance. Should there not be a distance based DM for sensor readings and combat rolls? I know that a better or worse sensor package provides a DM but it would seem to make sense that losing half of your sensor capability (the transition from Medium to Long range) would degrade detection and (especially) targeting.

Maybe the DM is in the book somewhere but I'm missing it? I had a hard time finding the rule for related skills (it was in chargen rather than rules) so I wouldn't be shocked to find I missed it somewhere.
hdrider67
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Postby hdrider67 » Mon May 05, 2008 12:55 pm

Bump


I don't know if any of the Mongoose folks read this or not. If so, a quick acknowledgment would be cool. I expect to be needing these rules pretty early on in my game.

Thanks!
Rikki Tikki Traveller
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Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Mon May 05, 2008 2:28 pm

Regarding the point defense question, I read it as the PD weapons can only fire on the missile in the SAME round that it will hit. Meaning you designate certain turrets for Point Defense and they only get to fire on incoming missiles.

You target the incoming missile with your Triple Pulse Turret and hit it with the first shot! You can then retarget the other two pulse weapons to the next missile (with a -1 DM) and you hit it with your first shot! So, your third and final Pulse Laser can be targeted at a third missile (-2 DM). If you originally assigned multiple turrets to PD, then the DM could continue to accumulate unless you took chances and divided up your shots and hoped for the best.

Under the MGT rules, Pulse lasers have become low cost Point Defense Weapons almost exclusively. With their short range and low damage, they are not good for much else besides knocking down incoming missiles.
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hdrider67
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Postby hdrider67 » Tue May 06, 2008 12:51 pm

OK, so if I have two turrets with three pulse tubes each, I get six total shots. So far, so good.

Turrets 1 2, and 3, Lasers 1 & 2

I have six incoming missiles. Turret one laser 1 fires and misses missile one. Laser two on turret one fires with a -1DM. Hit. three left.

Turret two goes into action targeting missile two. Hits. Targets missile... And this is where I lose the DM trail. Should this be -2 or no DM? Does the DM reset per turret or continue degrading? What about per gunner? If I have three gunners, wouldn't the first shot from each be ad a DM of 0?
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Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Tue May 06, 2008 1:51 pm

I would do it like this:

3 Triple lasert turrets (A, B and C) and 4 Missiles incoming (W, X, Y and Z).

So, as the player, I state: Turret A targets Missile W, Turret B targets Missile X and Turret C targets Missile Y; the player is hoping that left over weapons will take care of Missile Z.

Turret A fires 3 times at Missile W, hitting it on the second shot (so doesn't fire the third laser)

Turret B fires 3 times at Missile X and hit it on the first try.

Turret C fires 3 times at Missile Y and misses all three.

The Player retargets Laser A3 at Missile Z (DM -1) and B2 and B3 at Missile Y (also DM -1)

A3 misses but B2 hits. The player then retargets B3 at Missile Z (the only one left) but now at DM -2.

I would only use the DM for actual weapons retargetted. Doing it the other way, assuming all weapons aim at the first missile and then move the next once it is destroyed would be very inefficient.

I would also require all weapons within the same turret to be aimed at the same target or suffer the DM -1 penalty for retargeting.

Hope that helps.

Any other ways to do it?
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far-trader
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Postby far-trader » Tue May 06, 2008 3:23 pm

Rikki Tikki Traveller wrote:I would do it like this:...

(snippage of excellent example)

Any other ways to do it?
Sounds like how I'd do it for whatever that's worth. Makes good sense and it's well written out.
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hdrider67
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Postby hdrider67 » Tue May 06, 2008 4:16 pm

RTT,

I agree with Far Trader your way works best.

The way I was reading it (I don't have the book open at the moment) was that the Gunner could just keep shooting until he finally missed and then he could perform point defense. That gave a seemingly large number of total attacks (in theory up to 7 + his gunner DM) from a turret with a max of three tubes so I wasn't sure if this was per individual gunner or per ship.

I guess I'll need to fish my book out during lunch as I'm not sure if I remembered the wording correctly. I seem to remember the gunner having attacks limited only by his missing an attempt (which is really screwed if he misses attempt #1).

Any opinions on my other questions? I'm thinking sensors should make a targeting difference, at least in terms of max range since you can't shoot what you can't see, regardless of your weapon stats.
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Postby Chronus » Mon May 12, 2008 1:34 am

Wow, I think I'm reading ship combat totally different than some of you guys.

Here's how I see it:

Each weapon on a ship can attack another ship once per round. This is pretty straight forward.

In ADDITION to the attacks mentioned above, the ship can react to a number of incoming attacks based on its initiative. This is similar to Personal Combat as stated in the 2nd paragraph on pg. 146.

As an example, a ship with an initiative of 6 has 2 reactions to incoming attacks. More reactions, if possible, may be bought with the "Burning Initiative" rule (but I won't go there for the sake of some brevity).

The three possible reactions are Dodge, Point Defence (PD), and Fire Sand. Each of these constitutes 1 reaction.

If a ship has more than 1 reaction, all of these reactions, in any combination, may be spent in one combat round. So our "2 reactions" ship mentioned above could do 2 Dodges to avoid 2 separate beam attacks, or 1 Dodge and 1 PD reaction, or some other combination (this assumes the ship qualifies in other areas, such as Manoeuvre).

A Dodge or Fire Sand reaction entails one Gunner roll, per the rules on page 149.

A PD reaction also entails a Gunner roll, with additional rolls coming with cumulative penalties. There is no keeping track of which turret (or weapon) is aiming at what missile . . . the ship's player just keeps rolling the dice, with incremental penalties. As soon as a miss occurs, the PD Gunner rolls are finished and the PD reaction is over. I see this as an abstraction of several turrets who manage to get off a few quick bursts at some missiles before they hit (or fly by). Remember, PD only occurs against missiles on the combat round they reach their destination (per the first paragraph on pg. 149). At such close range, the tiny missiles are coming in fast and furious, so there's going to be a lot of turrets who simply don't have the time to make a good shot. I want to stress ABSTRACTION. It doesn't explain why a ship with one turret has an equal chance at PD as a ship with two or three turrets (although it could be argued that a ship with multiple turrets is affected by the proximity of those turrets . . . half of them, for example, could be on the other side of the ship. Some may have blind spots. Use your imagination).

Being a fan of "rules-lite", I am certainly hoping that my PD understanding is the official idea but, as a GM, I guess I could do it whatever way I want. :twisted:

I applaud RTT's example but I don't see anything in the MGT rules that would demonstrate keeping track of which turret is firing at which missile. Just my humble opinion, of course.

Am I off base here? Any corrections in my thinking?
SableWyvern
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Postby SableWyvern » Mon May 12, 2008 5:59 am

I think Chronus is right on the money for how it's meant to work as written, and it's a perfectly reasonable way of doing things -- especially if, as he mentions, you want light and abstract but still believable.

Far Trader's example makes just as much sense, is internally consistent and works, but doesn't mesh as closely with the RAW.
far-trader
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Postby far-trader » Mon May 12, 2008 7:32 am

SableWyvern wrote:...Far Trader's example makes just as much sense, is internally consistent and works, but doesn't mesh as closely with the RAW.
Just to clarify, it was RTT did that bit of good work, I only liked it :)
Dan "far-trader" Burns

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hdrider67
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Postby hdrider67 » Mon May 12, 2008 11:25 am

far-trader wrote:
SableWyvern wrote:...Far Trader's example makes just as much sense, is internally consistent and works, but doesn't mesh as closely with the RAW.
Just to clarify, it was RTT did that bit of good work, I only liked it :)
That's just my lysdexia talking. Forgive me, RTT?

Chronus,

I think the methods were pretty ambiguous but IMO the use of single combat doesn't scale well on a ship with potentially dozens of dedicated PD mounts. If the ship as a whole (as opposed to individual gunners) missed the first PD shot, then it loses its PD reaction. That doesn't fit well with every missile fired from a bay getting its own individual attack roll. Perhaps if all missile attacks from a given ship also failed after the first miss, this would make more sense to me.

What might not be a bad idea is if a pulse array was assigned a roll-less DM based on the gunner's skill or perhaps a single roll for the gunner to determine his effect and this matched as resistance to individual missile attacks (which don't have a -1 cum per consecutive attack) If the effect was a 2, then all missiles would need a 10 (not inclusive of DMs) to hit anything between an 8 or 10 would be described by the game master as a PD success. effect of sensors checks could be added (or subtracted) from this effect as an aid another check.

Hmm. I'll need to try that out.
Rikki Tikki Traveller
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Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Mon May 12, 2008 1:31 pm

Forgiven, I did the same thing a couple of days ago. Embedded quotes can BITE.

After rereading the ship combat rules last night, I agree with Chronus's assessment of how the Reaction is supposed to work.

One gunner roll against as many missiles as you can hit (with cumulative -1 DM) once you miss, the reaction is done.

HOWEVER, I also agree with HDRIDER67, this system won't work for larger ships. I am designing a TL14, 2000 ton Destroyer Escort and have run in to that wall already. It doesn't make sense to have 20 triple laser turrets and only be able to knock down (potentially) the same number of missiles as the scout ship with a single pulse laser.

Not sure what High Guard will use for those 500,000 ton monsters with 2000 PD lasers... Hope they've thought about it!
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SableWyvern
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Postby SableWyvern » Mon May 12, 2008 1:59 pm

Rikki Tikki Traveller wrote:Forgiven, I did the same thing a couple of days ago. Embedded quotes can BITE.
'Spose I should pop back and apologise as well, although I blame hdrider for my part in the attributation mix-up. :wink: 8)

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