Capital ship construction questions

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Chas
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Re: Capital ship construction questions

Postby Chas » Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:29 am

Nice to see you on the thread barnest. I'll be interested in your thoughts on the vessel chassis I'll be putting up (hopefully over the weekend, almost there).
Chas wrote:
Yeah, the spinal mounts and armor are a no-brainer, but I notice that none of the big vessels in Fightships or the Trillion Credit squadron in any way down play or sideline sandcasters and I was curious about the tactical balance here. I'm also not sure how the -2DM for pulse lasers for point defense pans out in the wash, I'm still working on that...
For TCS, the inclusion of sandcasters was... fluff, honestly. Traveller ships use them, therefore it only makes sense 'in universe' for their cap ships to have a few batteries of them. Personally, I would have stuck to PD lasers, but it made sense for the fluffy side of things.
Ah, good, I'd half suspected as much. Regards sandcasters I think the premise of them in the tactical balance at mid-Tech levels works, when armor values are not so high, and/or you're trying to cost save, that extra DM really counts vs. barrages if you've got mid-range armor. And the balance is right where they are now becoming obsolete as armor has developed. Heck they should be history at TL15.
Galadrion wrote:
And a swarm of carried drones each equipped with a missile pack, all tied to the carrier through a fire control grid, appears to be bringing the universe of Honor Harrington into Traveller...
I love this, because it wasn't my intention at all at the time of writing and I am overjoyed to see what has come from it. My original idea was basically cheap mass launchers for merchants, and also to fight that niggling irritation at the use of tube launchers instead of proper VLS cells :P
I will argue that introducing Harrington to Trav is no bad thing :P
Yes, at the end of the day, fleets need something to keep the opposition honest and when I saw the missile pack I thought it would be good for that. To stop masses of low cost lightly armored tenders providing a cheap spinal mount chassis in fleet combat. Part of what the fleet fighter screen role is for presumably. This concept might take the reverse route, where missile drones demolish fighter screens clearing the path for lighter tenders to close with the enemy line of battle. You could have a supercarrier with massed missile drones and say 4 mid-armored spinal weapon tenders as a very effective fleet component.

Edit: hmmm... the missile drones will still have problems dealing with higher tech heavy fighters like the automated assault craft I think. Which is good.
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Re: Capital ship construction questions

Postby barnest2 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 12:59 am

Chas wrote:Nice to see you on the thread barnest. I'll be interested in your thoughts on the vessel chassis I'll be putting up (hopefully over the weekend, almost there).
I can't wait to take a look at her. I love the cap ship design system despite its flaws. It makes for some pretty ships as well (especially if you get mongoose contracted artists to have a look over them :P)
Ah, good, I'd half suspected as much. Regards sandcasters I think the premise of them in the tactical balance at mid-Tech levels works, when armor values are not so high, and/or you're trying to cost save, that extra DM really counts vs. barrages if you've got mid-range armor. And the balance is right where they are now becoming obsolete as armor has developed. Heck they should be history at TL15.
Yeah, once bonded superdense comes in and armour becomes ridiculous (and you can ignore light laser weapons) sand casters really lose their appeal for cost v tonnage. I mean, a beam laser can act both as an offensive weapon and against all sorts of ordnance. Sandcasters can only act against incoming laser weapons (and they're a bit fuzzy physics wise but shhh)...
It's a no brainer. They're really of average utility. I would never mount one on a merchant for instance. Better to have a better laser armament or none at all.
Yes, at the end of the day, fleets need something to keep the opposition honest and when I saw the missile pack I thought it would be good for that. To stop masses of low cost lightly armored tenders providing a cheap spinal mount chassis in fleet combat. Part of what the fleet fighter screen role is for presumably. This concept might take the reverse route, where missile drones demolish fighter screens clearing the path for lighter tenders to close with the enemy line of battle. You could have a supercarrier with massed missile drones and say 4 mid-armored spinal weapon tenders as a very effective fleet component..
Actually, I built one of those for TCS. A 3000 ton railgun spinal armed gunboat. They're pretty ^^ and also a bit worrying capabilities wise. I needed to show off that weapon though :P
But yeah, 10 light fighters for around 80MCR can have the same throw weight when carrying boxes as a 1000 (more likely 2000) tons missile frigate or some such. Which will cost orders of magnitude more credits. Course, it's one shot, but still, 120 missiles coming your way is nothing to sniff at.
It gets better if you look at... well, the gyges class. She's 3000 tons, mounts 10 missile bays (throw weight of 120 missiles per turn) and costs on the order of 1700Mcr. Now... lets assume for fairness sake that a light fighter with a missile box costs 10Mcr. You could have 170 for the same cost, giving a throw weight of... ohh, only 2040 missiles in one round. And faced with only 10 point defence guns...
Of course it wouldn't actually work like that, one hopes. Certainly not in a TCS tourney :p But those fighters are certainly a worrying concept...
Chas
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Re: Capital ship construction questions

Postby Chas » Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:12 am

barnest2 wrote:
Chas wrote:Nice to see you on the thread barnest. I'll be interested in your thoughts on the vessel chassis I'll be putting up (hopefully over the weekend, almost there).
I can't wait to take a look at her. I love the cap ship design system despite its flaws. It makes for some pretty ships as well (especially if you get mongoose contracted artists to have a look over them :P)
Interesting you should say that, ho ho. I'd like to have a shot at putting a finished product into the Traveller's Writers Wanted and if it all panned out was wondering if I might be able to bribe a Mongoose professional to help with the deckplans.
Ah, good, I'd half suspected as much. Regards sandcasters I think the premise of them in the tactical balance at mid-Tech levels works, when armor values are not so high, and/or you're trying to cost save, that extra DM really counts vs. barrages if you've got mid-range armor. And the balance is right where they are now becoming obsolete as armor has developed. Heck they should be history at TL15.
Yeah, once bonded superdense comes in and armour becomes ridiculous (and you can ignore light laser weapons) sand casters really lose their appeal for cost v tonnage. I mean, a beam laser can act both as an offensive weapon and against all sorts of ordnance. Sandcasters can only act against incoming laser weapons (and they're a bit fuzzy physics wise but shhh)...
It's a no brainer. They're really of average utility. I would never mount one on a merchant for instance. Better to have a better laser armament or none at all.
Can still save one's butt I think in terms of being used against the longer ranged missile/torpedo salvoes and lasers targeting sections that have suffered armour damage from spinal hits. I'm keeping a few on say a 10 armor cruiser. Still mulling dropping them entirely for the 15 armor variants.
Yes, at the end of the day, fleets need something to keep the opposition honest and when I saw the missile pack I thought it would be good for that. To stop masses of low cost lightly armored tenders providing a cheap spinal mount chassis in fleet combat. Part of what the fleet fighter screen role is for presumably. This concept might take the reverse route, where missile drones demolish fighter screens clearing the path for lighter tenders to close with the enemy line of battle. You could have a supercarrier with massed missile drones and say 4 mid-armored spinal weapon tenders as a very effective fleet component..
Actually, I built one of those for TCS. A 3000 ton railgun spinal armed gunboat. They're pretty ^^ and also a bit worrying capabilities wise. I needed to show off that weapon though :P
But yeah, 10 light fighters for around 80MCR can have the same throw weight when carrying boxes as a 1000 (more likely 2000) tons missile frigate or some such. Which will cost orders of magnitude more credits. Course, it's one shot, but still, 120 missiles coming your way is nothing to sniff at.
It gets better if you look at... well, the gyges class. She's 3000 tons, mounts 10 missile bays (throw weight of 120 missiles per turn) and costs on the order of 1700Mcr. Now... lets assume for fairness sake that a light fighter with a missile box costs 10Mcr. You could have 170 for the same cost, giving a throw weight of... ohh, only 2040 missiles in one round. And faced with only 10 point defence guns...
Of course it wouldn't actually work like that, one hopes. Certainly not in a TCS tourney :p But those fighters are certainly a worrying concept...
Ah HAH! By supercarrier what I'd meant is actual line of battle Class D meson tenders with a jump carrier. But what you've mentioned there is exactly what I was thinking of doing after this design if I've still time and motivation. I love the Strike Carrier (Wind Class) concept in Fighting Ships but was thinking of rather than having a bunch of fighters to use rail gun hulks as tenders. A heavy cruiser with a spinal mount disgorging a few of those 3000 ton type railgun based designs 8)
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Re: Capital ship construction questions

Postby locarno24 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:56 am

Got it thanks. Still not as gruesome as the cargo weight of massed salvoes of torpedoes
Yeah, but those things HURT.

Also, torpedo barbettes hold two rounds in a ready mag.
But yeah, 10 light fighters for around 80MCR can have the same throw weight when carrying boxes as a 1000 (more likely 2000) tons missile frigate or some such. Which will cost orders of magnitude more credits. Course, it's one shot, but still, 120 missiles coming your way is nothing to sniff at.
It gets better if you look at... well, the gyges class. She's 3000 tons, mounts 10 missile bays (throw weight of 120 missiles per turn) and costs on the order of 1700Mcr. Now... lets assume for fairness sake that a light fighter with a missile box costs 10Mcr. You could have 170 for the same cost, giving a throw weight of... ohh, only 2040 missiles in one round. And faced with only 10 point defence guns...
Of course it wouldn't actually work like that, one hopes. Certainly not in a TCS tourney :p But those fighters are certainly a worrying concept...
See the SLAM-12 concept:
Hull: TL12 Distributed S1 (10 dTons)
Armour: None
Manouvre Drive: sA Reaction Drive
Manouvre Fuel: 1 G/Turn
Power Plant: sA Chemical Plant (Emergency Power Equivalent Only)
1% Base Fuel
Bridge: Drone Command Unit (Remote Operations Only)
Electronics: Basic Electronics Suite (Uses Targeting From Launching Ship)
Weapons Hardpoint #1: Missile Pack (Very High Yield Nuclear Missiles)
Extras: TL10 Rescue Transponder
Reinforced Structure: 5 Layers (5 additional structure)

Purchase Cost: 7.6 MCr
Reload Cost: 45,000 Cr
Monthly Maintenance/Overhaul cost: 633 Cr

12 Nukes aren't an especially scary deal, but this thing can be bootstrapped to the hull with a 1 dTon clamp, and doesn't require a hardpoint, not to mention the fact that it's 20% the size and ~60% the price of a twelve-tube missile bank.
With an effective 11 dTon volume and MCr 7.6, it's quite useable. Take a Gyges and swap out here missile bays for pod racks on a "per volume" basis and you'd be able to punt out 50 pods, giving you a one-turn alpha strike of 600 missiles instead of a sustained rate of fire of 120.

Of course, that relies on a 1,000 dTon FCN elsewhere in the fleet to pick up the targeting duties, but that's just good business practice anyway - you wouldn't want to fire a 1,200-missile-long-2 salvo without every positive DM you can scrape together!

It's not quite as bad as you paint things in your example - fighters vs warships is an unfair comparison in the same way as SDBs vs warships because you aren't paying for or accomodating jump engines or jump fuel. By the time you've bought a launch deck for them to operate off, it's a lot more even. Also, in a fair exchance of fire, those missile boats are unarmoured (save for the DM-4 for being a fighter swarm) whilst the Gyges isn't. Admittedly, once their missile packs are empty you may not give a monkeys about their survival but their pilots may disagree - hence honorverse style missile pods.

I have a heavier version, too, the SLAM-6:

viewtopic.php?t=46124
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: Capital ship construction questions

Postby Chas » Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:15 am

locarno24 wrote:Also, torpedo barbettes hold two rounds in a ready mag.

Where's this please Locarno? Reading the HG entry it states the 5 tons includes no ammo...
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Re: Capital ship construction questions

Postby locarno24 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:18 am

You've read "Torpedo Weapons":
A torpedo barbette costs MCr 4, taking up five tons of space and does not include any ammunition
But look further down, under "Torpedo Types":
Each torpedo takes up two and half tons of space. They are normally purchased in two–shot loads of five tons each. A barbette holds two torpedoes.
The MCr4 for the torpedo barbette doesn't include ammo for free. The space for the barbette does include a slot for two rounds if bought seperately.
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
Chas
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Re: Capital ship construction questions

Postby Chas » Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:28 am

Ah, and I'd just been looking to switch out to barbettes as my final tweak. Good stuff. Except it doesn't seem to make sense vs bays if bays don't get the ammo carry as well. You're effectively saving 5 tons of cargo space for a barbette that costs you 5 tons, and the whole benefit of barbettes is to save weight vs. bays, you're already winning here. Yes, you pay in loss of hardpoints if you use barbettes vs. torpedo bays, but that made a reasonable balance for the straight weight saving without considering ammo cargo, you get to choose to go one way or the other.

Just looking at this further I'm not sure if this line here on page 48 under Torpedo Bay:
"Otherwise this weapon performs as a normal torpedo launcher"
Can't be extrapolated to include an equivalent amount of ammo i.e. two torpedoes held in the bay/salvo (6 for 50t, 12 for 100t). Certainly torpedoes could do with the weight saving break :lol: but that's getting a little streeechy...
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Re: Capital ship construction questions

Postby barnest2 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:48 am

I'd certainly run with something like that. Torpedoes are farr too massy for what they can do, so anything to give you a couple more shots without crippling your internals would be good.

Locarno, I love the SLAM's. Would they be operating as deployed drones? And was there ever a limitation placed on clamps?
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Re: Capital ship construction questions

Postby locarno24 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:37 am

There have never been specific rules for operating remote weapons, but since Trillion Credit Squadron we have the Fire Control Net, which can provide fire control (and fire control software) for a volume of warships from another point source.

Essentially, the launching ship would pack a FCN and a number of pods in clamps, or else you'd have a 'pod barge' and a seperate, dedicated targeting ship which is mostly FCN emplacement.

The pods only have TL12 Drone Systems, which allows remote non-combat operations (i.e. separation from the mothership) but not combat operations - so they need an external FCN to provide them with firing solutions. Which is why they don't have anything beyond basic electronics suites.

There is no stated limitation on the number of clamps you can fit, or the number you can detach in one go. More importantly, there is no listed restriction or guidance on the rate you can launch ships at all, aside from the launch tube.

Since clamps are external - which is why a clamped ship can be hit whilst one in a docking bay can't (at least until you start taking structural damage), and reduce the performance of the ship carrying the clampees, you'd like to think they'd be pretty quick to drop.
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
Chas
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Re: Capital ship construction questions

Postby Chas » Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:43 am

barnest2 wrote:I'd certainly run with something like that. Torpedoes are farr too massy for what they can do, so anything to give you a couple more shots without crippling your internals would be good.

Locarno, I love the SLAM's. Would they be operating as deployed drones? And was there ever a limitation placed on clamps?
I'm trying to avoid 'interpretation' but I think I'll go with that in the final wash. Probably I won't include it in my initial drafts for comment...
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Re: Capital ship construction questions

Postby AndrewW » Fri Jul 19, 2013 4:39 pm

Chas wrote:Where's this please Locarno? Reading the HG entry it states the 5 tons includes no ammo...
High Guard Errata, page: 2 wrote:A barbette holds two torpedoes.
http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/pdf/t ... errata.pdf
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Re: Capital ship construction questions

Postby barnest2 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 5:16 pm

Chas wrote: I'm trying to avoid 'interpretation' but I think I'll go with that in the final wash. Probably I won't include it in my initial drafts for comment...
Hehe. Should have seen the arguments over barrage rules before I got to them.
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Re: Capital ship construction questions

Postby Chas » Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:47 am

barnest2 wrote:Actually, I built one of those for TCS. A 3000 ton railgun spinal armed gunboat. They're pretty ^^ and also a bit worrying capabilities wise. I needed to show off that weapon though :P
But yeah, 10 light fighters for around 80MCR can have the same throw weight when carrying boxes as a 1000 (more likely 2000) tons missile frigate or some such. Which will cost orders of magnitude more credits. Course, it's one shot, but still, 120 missiles coming your way is nothing to sniff at.
It gets better if you look at... well, the gyges class. She's 3000 tons, mounts 10 missile bays (throw weight of 120 missiles per turn) and costs on the order of 1700Mcr. Now... lets assume for fairness sake that a light fighter with a missile box costs 10Mcr. You could have 170 for the same cost, giving a throw weight of... ohh, only 2040 missiles in one round. And faced with only 10 point defence guns...
Of course it wouldn't actually work like that, one hopes. Certainly not in a TCS tourney :p But those fighters are certainly a worrying concept...
Hey barnest, I take it the rail gun hulk never made it to print? I'd be interested in using the design for a carrier/tender build. Any chance you might be able to let me see it? Can build my own of course but would like to get hold of it regardless just to check it out.
Meh. Found it. :roll:

By the way, would be interested in your comments on my drop tank cruisers. Much the same comments that are included in TCS regards the Arakoine class strike cruiser would apply to them. "This capability comes at a cost..." :)
viewtopic.php?f=89&t=56448

Edit: hmmm... interesting conundrum these gunboats. That much hasn't changed. Need to be heavily armoured enough not to be blown away by a massed torpedo salvo, yet against their own type battle is hugely attritional. The heavy type B meson canon gunboat still rules the roost but the railguns offer some interesting options.
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Re: Capital ship construction questions

Postby barnest2 » Thu Jul 25, 2013 12:12 pm

Chas wrote:Edit: hmmm... interesting conundrum these gunboats. That much hasn't changed. Need to be heavily armoured enough not to be blown away by a massed torpedo salvo, yet against their own type battle is hugely attritional. The heavy type B meson canon gunboat still rules the roost but the railguns offer some interesting options.
The sort of vague concept behind them was for them either ambush merchants (as mentioned in the fluff) and therefore act sort of like space-u-boats against super traders which they can pop with just a few rounds, or for them to skulk around the edges of the battle and pounce on damaged warships trying to limp away. They're not really armoured enough, fast enough or powerful enough to be front line units. This is what happens when you try to cram a spinal weapon into a tiny hull :p

I'll take a look at your ships, but last I saw, everyone was saying what I wanted already :P
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Re: Capital ship construction questions

Postby Chas » Thu Jul 25, 2013 1:41 pm

barnest2 wrote:
Chas wrote:Edit: hmmm... interesting conundrum these gunboats. That much hasn't changed. Need to be heavily armoured enough not to be blown away by a massed torpedo salvo, yet against their own type battle is hugely attritional. The heavy type B meson canon gunboat still rules the roost but the railguns offer some interesting options.
The sort of vague concept behind them was for them either ambush merchants (as mentioned in the fluff) and therefore act sort of like space-u-boats against super traders which they can pop with just a few rounds, or for them to skulk around the edges of the battle and pounce on damaged warships trying to limp away. They're not really armoured enough, fast enough or powerful enough to be front line units. This is what happens when you try to cram a spinal weapon into a tiny hull :p

I'll take a look at your ships, but last I saw, everyone was saying what I wanted already :P
I'm working through gunboats now (excel's great! when I first did ship design I didn't even have a calculator ho, ho). 10ktons for C meson guns, 5K for B meson, 6k for railguns is where I'm at, at TL15. But they're vulnerable to their own kind. You build a bunch to hunt cruisers and if the enemy's got a bunch of cheaper smaller kinds even though they can't hunt the big ships they can kill the big tenders. So I'm seeing a B meson gunboats as an optimal vessel and am kicking around a carrier for them... expect to pinch the missile salvo drones concept...:)

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