Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

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Solomani666
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Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby Solomani666 » Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:06 pm

Why would anyone even bother using a standard ship missile?

They take 2+ turns to reach their target
Are susceptible to a wide variety of countermeasures (chaff, pebbels, beam lasers, jamming)
Only hit about half the time even without countermeasures
Are worthless against ships with 6+ armor
Cost lots of money
Can run out of munitions
And only do the same amount of damage as a beam laser

Seriously, why would anyone put one of these in a turret?
rust
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Re: Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby rust » Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:18 pm

Did you not see the half naked girls the company which
produces the missiles uses for its advertisements - sex
sells ... :twisted:
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Re: Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby phavoc » Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:37 pm

Missile combat in Traveller is broken. It has been for quite some time.

Some of the bigger problems (in addition to those you pointed out):

* Missile combat should take place beyond energy weapon range, thus making them desirable
* Missiles need to be able to do more damage than the currently do to justify their extra expense
* Missiles combat rules need to be adjusted to allow for additional salvo's during a combat turn so that they can overwhelm a ship's defenses
* Missile defenses need to be added (like last-ditch anti-missile lasers, counter missiles, etc).
* Missiles need to come in more varieties than two to reflect different missions and targets.
* Missile launch mechanisms need to be changed to reflect technology better (i.e. no turret is required, bays should be able to launch many more missiles than they currently can).

For most PC's, missile-equipped ships are a bad idea unless someone else is paying your ammunition bill. But if you changed the rules, then missiles would make more sense for military ships to engage. PC's might carry some onboard for added firepower.
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Re: Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby Mytholder » Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:41 pm

In any putative revision of Traveller, missiles would be a lot better. You're quite right - they're underpowered in MGT.
hdan
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Re: Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby hdan » Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:57 pm

To make matters worse, the missile USED to be the most effective weapon you could mount in a turret, doing the equivalent of 6d6 damage. Posing such a big threat made ships turn their lasers on them for point defense, and the cost kept people from just throwing them around for fun. ("Well, the pirate ship was destroyed, but replacing those missiles is going to cost the entire profit for this run....")

I understand the logical argument that what amounts to a modern AAM would not have a powerful enough warhead to damage a starship hull, but that doesn't make for as good a game experience in my opinion.
/hdan
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Re: Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby rust » Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:58 pm

David Brin's "Uplift War" has a weapon called "flicker-swivver", a
semi-portable high tech missile (?) that can completely destroy a
battle cruiser with a single shot. While this seems a bit over the
top, it is still much closer to my idea of futuristic weapons than
the Traveller standard missile with its only slightly better perfor-
mance than a Congreve rocket of 1804. My only explanation for
the weakness of Traveller's standard missiles - apart from the
half naked girls in the advertisements - is that they were desig-
ned with the aim to make space combat possible while ensuring
that no player characters on board of the starships are seriously
endangered.
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Re: Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby Ishmael » Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:18 pm

The 'standard' missile, as far as I know, is nothing more than an AIM-9 Sidewinder....in spaaace. At least when based on volumes and the like from older editions.
Not much of a ship killer there.
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Re: Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby Solomani666 » Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:33 pm

IMTU

I am considering doubling the damage from all standard missiles and torpedoes and quadrupling the damage for nukes.

Do you think that this will help to correct things?
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Re: Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby phavoc » Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:46 pm

Ishmael wrote:The 'standard' missile, as far as I know, is nothing more than an AIM-9 Sidewinder....in spaaace. At least when based on volumes and the like from older editions.
Not much of a ship killer there.
I've always felt nukes didn't get near enough damage that they deserved. Even a micronuke should be far more powerful than conventional damage. Nukes, of course, can be stopped with nuclear dampers, but any kind of hit by a nuke should be massive. Small ships should essentially cease to exist, and larger ones, assuming they are heavily armored, should slough off the armor that gets vaporized.
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Re: Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby hdan » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:12 pm

Solomani666 wrote:IMTU

I am considering doubling the damage from all standard missiles and torpedoes and quadrupling the damage for nukes.

Do you think that this will help to correct things?
If you want to follow the way the rest of CT damage was "ported" to MgT, you should give missiles d6d6 damage (roll d6, then roll that many d6's for damage), and nukes d6d6d6 damage. (Nukes do the damage of 1d6 missiles.)

(CT missiles did 1D damage. But damage was in "hits", not damage points. Since Beam lasers did 1 hit and pulse did 2 hits, it's safe to presume that MgT took CT damage values and changed them to 1d6 per "hit", which, when combined with the damage lookup table, on average amounts to the same thing.)
/hdan
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Re: Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:35 pm

Solomani666 wrote:Why would anyone even bother using a standard ship missile?

They take 2+ turns to reach their target
Are susceptible to a wide variety of countermeasures (chaff, pebbels, beam lasers, jamming)
Only hit about half the time even without countermeasures
Are worthless against ships with 6+ armor
Cost lots of money
Can run out of munitions
And only do the same amount of damage as a beam laser

Seriously, why would anyone put one of these in a turret?
Because that may be what's onboard.
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Re: Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby hdan » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:44 am

ShawnDriscoll wrote:
Solomani666 wrote:Why would anyone even bother using a standard ship missile?
Because that may be what's onboard.
I think the question was more, "who the heck would ever buy one of these to begin with?"

I reject the idea that corruption and kickbacks would be the cause of ALL missile racks in the 3I. As they are, they do seem pretty useless. The racks alone cost MORE than pulse lasers.
/hdan
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Re: Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby dragoner » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:46 am

hdan wrote:
If you want to follow the way the rest of CT damage was "ported" to MgT, you should give missiles d6d6 damage (roll d6, then roll that many d6's for damage), and nukes d6d6d6 damage. (Nukes do the damage of 1d6 missiles.)

(CT missiles did 1D damage. But damage was in "hits", not damage points. Since Beam lasers did 1 hit and pulse did 2 hits, it's safe to presume that MgT took CT damage values and changed them to 1d6 per "hit", which, when combined with the damage lookup table, on average amounts to the same thing.)
That would make missiles much better, I also have moved everything but missiles back one column on the combat table, because effectively lasers have infinite range with just a negative DM, I'm thinking of leaving particle accelerators where they are (or maybe not).
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Re: Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby Dracous » Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:17 am

I have also been wondering about the relative uselessness of missiles, but have been approaching the solution from a slightly different perspective. I have started toying with the idea of of increasing the damage of the missile based on the final velocity when intercepting the target.

The idea is that a missile is essentially a device the explodes and sprays small fast peices of shrapnel (micro-meteors) across the hull of your ship, and the kinetic energy of those particles is the main driver for the damage.

With that in mind, I was thinking that the longer the missile has been accelerating, the shrapnel will have overall higher kinetic energy when striking the ship.

So for each velocity difference of 10 (round down), add +1 to the damage of the missile.
If you are not using vector based movement in your combat, you can use the range table on page 146 of the core rules to determine the modifier. Divide the "thrust to change" column of the table by 10, round down, and you have modifiers to apply to damage.

Adjacent - 0
Close - 0
Short - 0
Medium - 0
Long - 1
Very Long - 2
Distant - 5

Now it becomes advantageous to stand off at distant range and shoot the target with missiles, because the longer acceleration times cause them to do more damage. I'd also like to add a couple more range bands to the table, have not worked out the "thrust to change" on the extra bands yet.

Still have not worked out the kinks, not sure how to apply the mods in barrage damage for capital ship combat. But I like the idea of making missiles the weapon you use when "standing off at range".
Dracous
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Re: Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:22 am

hdan wrote:I reject the idea that corruption and kickbacks would be the cause of ALL missile racks in the 3I.
You lost me.
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Re: Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby Nerhesi » Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:24 am

I think the Darrian book has some sort of upgraded missiles.

As someone who's only barely scratched previous editions of Traveller (and a bit of T5), I'm not sure as to the intent of how effective incredible slow weapons are supposed to be though.

Sure they become near obsolete in small-scale engagements when considering high levels of armor, but don't they shine again high-guard fleet scale barrages?
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Re: Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby SSWarlock » Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:49 am

Ok, silly idea time. How about multiplying the damage die roll by the Effect? Or would that be overpowered?
Nerhesi wrote:I think the Darrian book has some sort of upgraded missiles.
You may be thinking of the Darrian stealthed torpedoes, not missiles. And the torps are much, much bigger than missiles..completely incompatible with standard missile racks.
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Re: Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby Solomani666 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 2:28 am

Dracous wrote:I have also been wondering about the relative uselessness of missiles, but have been approaching the solution from a slightly different perspective. I have started toying with the idea of of increasing the damage of the missile based on the final velocity when intercepting the target.

The idea is that a missile is essentially a device the explodes and sprays small fast peices of shrapnel (micro-meteors) across the hull of your ship, and the kinetic energy of those particles is the main driver for the damage.

With that in mind, I was thinking that the longer the missile has been accelerating, the shrapnel will have overall higher kinetic energy when striking the ship.

So for each velocity difference of 10 (round down), add +1 to the damage of the missile.
If you are not using vector based movement in your combat, you can use the range table on page 146 of the core rules to determine the modifier. Divide the "thrust to change" column of the table by 10, round down, and you have modifiers to apply to damage.

Adjacent - 0
Close - 0
Short - 0
Medium - 0
Long - 1
Very Long - 2
Distant - 5

Now it becomes advantageous to stand off at distant range and shoot the target with missiles, because the longer acceleration times cause them to do more damage. I'd also like to add a couple more range bands to the table, have not worked out the "thrust to change" on the extra bands yet.

Still have not worked out the kinks, not sure how to apply the mods in barrage damage for capital ship combat. But I like the idea of making missiles the weapon you use when "standing off at range".
Since they are effectively a directional 'kinetic kill weapon', your idea makes a lot of sense.

As velocity increases, the chance to hit should severely decrease, thus missiles should taper their relative velocity at some point to some optimum probability to hit vs damage.
At least against a ship with a functioning maneuver drive.


I also apply sensor hit modifications to non-smart missiles:
I apply a -2 to the missile hit roll after the first sensor hit.
All non-smart missiles in flight loose targeting if the sensors are disabled from a second sensor hit and no non-smart missiles can be launched.
Last edited by Solomani666 on Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
hdan
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Re: Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby hdan » Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:23 am

ShawnDriscoll wrote:
hdan wrote:I reject the idea that corruption and kickbacks would be the cause of ALL missile racks in the 3I.
You lost me.
Sorry, it was a bit of a leap. Here's how I got there.

Rust (jokingly) suggested that people bought missile racks because of effective advertising campaigns, since there's clearly no economic reason to buy them. So that leaves being tricked into mounting racks, or buying them because you're being paid off by the manufacturer as valid reasons to find missile racks on MgT starships.

I probably should have replaced "cause of" with "only reason people buy". Clear as mud? ;)
/hdan
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Re: Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby Infojunky » Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:40 am

Solomani666 wrote:
Dracous wrote:I have also been wondering about the relative uselessness of missiles, but have been approaching the solution from a slightly different perspective. I have started toying with the idea of of increasing the damage of the missile based on the final velocity when intercepting the target.

The idea is that a missile is essentially a device the explodes and sprays small fast peices of shrapnel (micro-meteors) across the hull of your ship, and the kinetic energy of those particles is the main driver for the damage.

With that in mind, I was thinking that the longer the missile has been accelerating, the shrapnel will have overall higher kinetic energy when striking the ship.

So for each velocity difference of 10 (round down), add +1 to the damage of the missile.
If you are not using vector based movement in your combat, you can use the range table on page 146 of the core rules to determine the modifier. Divide the "thrust to change" column of the table by 10, round down, and you have modifiers to apply to damage.

Adjacent - 0
Close - 0
Short - 0
Medium - 0
Long - 1
Very Long - 2
Distant - 5

Now it becomes advantageous to stand off at distant range and shoot the target with missiles, because the longer acceleration times cause them to do more damage. I'd also like to add a couple more range bands to the table, have not worked out the "thrust to change" on the extra bands yet.

Still have not worked out the kinks, not sure how to apply the mods in barrage damage for capital ship combat. But I like the idea of making missiles the weapon you use when "standing off at range".
Since they are effectively a directional 'kinetic kill weapon', your idea makes a lot of sense.

As velocity increases, the chance to hit should severely decrease, thus missiles should taper their relative velocity at some point to some optimum probability to hit vs damage.
At least against a ship with a functioning maneuver drive.


I also apply sensor hit modifications to non-smart missiles:
I apply a -2 to the missile hit roll after the first sensor hit.
All non-smart missiles in flight loose targeting if the sensors are disabled from a second sensor hit and no non-smart missiles can be launched.
This amuses me, I have long considered converting Special Supplement 3 Missiles into MgT terms with each hit representing 1d6 of damage in MgT
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