Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

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Re: Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby locarno24 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:26 am

Note that at extreme range, missiles are still useful. The missile flight time goes up at longer ranges but the range DM doesn't.

At Very Long Range, you have an extra DM-1 to hit with beam lasers. Distant range, it's even worse at -2

I know nukes aren't in scope of the original question, but with their truly awful range profile plus the standing DM-2 on top, trying to engage a target at very long range with a pulse laser has a net DM-5 - meaning that a trained turret gunner with a sensor lock will manage about 8% accuracy.
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: Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby SSWarlock » Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:34 pm

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.
How would this affect nuclear missiles..or would it? Keep in mind that if the kinetic kill missiles become more effective than nukes, no one would use nukes.
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Re: Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby Dracous » Sat Aug 10, 2013 1:00 am

SSWarlock wrote: How would this affect nuclear missiles..or would it? Keep in mind that if the kinetic kill missiles become more effective than nukes, no one would use nukes.
I would give nukes the same modifiers. Nukes just have a higher base damage.
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Re: Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby Meanderer » Sat Jun 07, 2014 8:11 am

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.
This came up on another topic. A ship capable of 6G can accelerate up to 5,000 km per second in about one day. At this velocity a 10 kg ball of nickel-iron will carry the kinetic energy equivalent of an atomic bomb (Hiroshima scale). The missiles thrusters don't need to accelerate it to target, just maneuver to keep on a collision vector. At this velocity, a railgun becomes a very devastating weapon too (if you can hit the target).
How would this affect nuclear missiles..or would it? Keep in mind that if the kinetic kill missiles become more effective than nukes, no one would use nukes.


Well, the high velocity kinetic kill requires a precise hit. proximity does nothing (while a proximity explosion from a nuclear missile can still ruin your day.
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Re: Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby Condottiere » Sat Jun 07, 2014 10:22 am

The thing about a very high speed missile is that it takes quite a while to change direction, so once they spot it, they'll blow it to pieces.
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Re: Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby sideranautae » Sat Jun 07, 2014 2:23 pm

Solomani666 wrote:Why would anyone even bother using a standard ship missile?
I don't. Got rid of them in CT. I am designing a torp that works within the drive rules.
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Re: Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby DickTurpin » Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:39 pm

Currently MgT missiles are hardly worth the space and expense of carrying aboard a starship; these deficiencies have been well documented. The only advantage they have for civilian ships is that they have a much longer range than lasers.

If we look at the CT missiles, which did 1d6 hits of 1d6 damage each, they packed a much greater punch than the current missiles. On average they would do 3.5d6 total damage; just like the multi-warhead missile introduced in MgT High Guard.

It would be a simple conversion to update standard MgT missiles to perform much like the originals did. If you simply multiply the dice of damage by 3 the results are similar and missiles are once again a weapon to be concerned about.

The results would be as follows:

Standard Missile: 3d6 damage
Nuclear Missile: 6d6 damage
Long Range Missile (HG): 2d6 damage
Multi-warhead Missile (HG): 1d6 “hits” 2d6 damage (smaller warheads)
Plasma Missile (TCS): 3d6 damage, ignore 3 points of armor
Decoy Missile (TCS): 2d6 damage, -2 DM to point defense
Fragmentation Missile (TCS): 2d6 damage (see Trillion Credit Squadron for use)

Heavy missiles (or Torpedoes) also had problems. For a weapon 30 times larger than a missile, you only get four times the damage. I could allow the huge size, if they actually did enough damage to justify carrying them around. Following the process used above, multiply the damage done by four (just like current rules) and torpedoes become the devastating ship killers their name implies.

Torpedo damage:

Basic Torpedo (HG): 12d6 damage
Nuclear Torpedo (HG): 18d6 damage
Bomb-pumped Torpedo (HG): 15d6* damage, -2 DM to point defense
Ortillery Torpedo (HG): 24d6 damage, ground based targets only

* I can’t see giving them full damage when the nuclear explosion energy must be instantaneously focused into a laser beam. I deducted 3d6 damage to reflect wastage.

There may well be other missile/torpedo types in other books. The conversion would be the same.
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Re: Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby Egil Skallagrimsson » Mon Jun 16, 2014 7:41 pm

SSWarlock wrote:Ok, silly idea time. How about multiplying the damage die roll by the Effect? Or would that be overpowered?
Now, that is a good idea!

Other ideas, I have changed the range modifiers severely, so that all beam weapons have much stronger penalties when firing at medium range targets and beyond, while missiles have almost no range restrictions, making them fairly useful at long and very long.

Damage, for the main 3I campaign, have stuck with the limited damage in CRB and HG, but, if, in one round, a target is hit by enough conventional missiles to exceed the armour rating, +1, or enough nuclear missile to exceed half the armour rating, +1, then allow one roll on the hit location table. Obviously radiation effects may still apply. For the non-3I campaign, we have increased the damage from nuclear missiles and torpedoes (to 4d6 and 16d6 respectively, + radiation).

Something we have not done, but would make a lot of sense, would be increasing the rate of fire of missiles, one per 6 minutes suggests the technology is so antiquated that the gunner has to don his vac suit and reload an external rack by hand. Instead, increase to 6 missile per launcher per move. More will penetrate point defences, and, especially against less well armoured targets, the cumulative effects will be quite impressive. Of course, the ammunition supply issue becomes more of a problem, but that may be no bad thing.

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Re: Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby Egil Skallagrimsson » Mon Jun 16, 2014 7:45 pm

DickTurpin wrote: Standard Missile: 3d6 damage
Nuclear Missile: 6d6 damage
Long Range Missile (HG): 2d6 damage
Multi-warhead Missile (HG): 1d6 “hits” 2d6 damage (smaller warheads)
Plasma Missile (TCS): 3d6 damage, ignore 3 points of armor
Decoy Missile (TCS): 2d6 damage, -2 DM to point defense
Fragmentation Missile (TCS): 2d6 damage (see Trillion Credit Squadron for use)

Torpedo damage:

Basic Torpedo (HG): 12d6 damage
Nuclear Torpedo (HG): 18d6 damage
Bomb-pumped Torpedo (HG): 15d6* damage, -2 DM to point defense
Ortillery Torpedo (HG): 24d6 damage, ground based targets only

* I can’t see giving them full damage when the nuclear explosion energy must be instantaneously focused into a laser beam. I deducted 3d6 damage to reflect wastage.
Now, this is very interesting, thanks!

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Re: Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby Annatar Giftbringer » Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:00 pm

Egil Skallagrimsson wrote:Damage, for the main 3I campaign, have stuck with the limited damage in CRB and HG, but, if, in one round, a target is hit by enough conventional missiles to exceed the armour rating, +1, or enough nuclear missile to exceed half the armour rating, +1, then allow one roll on the hit location table. Obviously radiation effects may still apply.
So if a ship with armor 4 is hit by 5 missiles in one round, it takes a hit? I like it, simple way to make missiles (swarms of them anyway) somewhat useful, even against heavily armored ships!
Something we have not done, but would make a lot of sense, would be increasing the rate of fire of missiles, one per 6 minutes suggests the technology is so antiquated that the gunner has to don his vac suit and reload an external rack by hand. Instead, increase to 6 missile per launcher per move. More will penetrate point defences, and, especially against less well armoured targets, the cumulative effects will be quite impressive. Of course, the ammunition supply issue becomes more of a problem, but that may be no bad thing.

Egil
This sounds like something I've gotta try, sounds very interresting (especially when combined with the above! Bays would create huge swarms over just a single turn, and smaller ships would only be able to keep firing for a turn or two before running out of missiles but it might help them take care of that heavily armored enemy that's chasing them...
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Re: Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby mr31337 » Tue Jun 17, 2014 1:39 am

Although I support DickTurpin's suggestion I thought I'd have a look at Traveller missile warheads....just what size warhead are we talking about here?

Ships can store 12 missiles in ton, and if we assume decks are realistically 2.5m high then the practical volume of a ton used for storage aboard a ship is 11.25 metres cubed. So the maximum volume of each missile must be no more than 0.9375 metres cubed. If a missile is shaped like a cylinder, more or less, and is 2.5m in length then it must be no more than 0.69m diameter. So that's almost a 700mm warhead... :shock:

What does this mean? Well for comparison sake a sidewinder (according to Wikipedia) can be calculated to only have a volume of 0.038 metres cubed, that's roughly 25 times smaller. I think the AIM-9X has a 9kg warhead, so I guess we might vaguely expect to see a 225kg, 700mm warhead in a Traveller missile. I have no idea what this tells me, but it's interesting. :?:
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Re: Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby sideranautae » Tue Jun 17, 2014 2:16 am

mr31337 wrote:AI think the AIM-9X has a 9kg warhead, so I guess we might vaguely expect to see a 225kg, 700mm warhead in a Traveller missile. I have no idea what this tells me, but it's interesting. :?:
If you look at HG chemical m-drive specs, (missiles are too small for a Grav M-drive) vs. stated missile performance then you probably have almost no warhead as almost the entire missile is fuel & motor...
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Re: Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby mr31337 » Tue Jun 17, 2014 2:57 am

Well, yeah, put simply HG reaction drives won't fit in a missile any more than HG gravitic drives. The smallest reaction drive having a volume of 3.375 metres cubed. Neither type of HG drive is applicable, so something else must propel Traveller missiles.
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Re: Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby sideranautae » Tue Jun 17, 2014 2:58 am

mr31337 wrote:, so something else must propel Traveller missiles.
Only thing left with enough umph is Unicorn farts. Basically why I dumped missiles from my game.
Last edited by sideranautae on Tue Jun 17, 2014 3:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby mr31337 » Tue Jun 17, 2014 3:04 pm

I have also dumped unicorn farts from my game.

Regarding missiles again, an alternative route to making them more powerful might be to make them significantly cheaper. I'm considering 10% of the cost for a missile rack and missiles. As a very cheap self defence weapon for merchant vessels they could become very interesting again.
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Re: Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby Reynard » Tue Jun 17, 2014 5:55 pm

It doesn't seem standard missiles are so off. They can be launched a Very Long and Distant ranges while direct fire max at Long. These low tech weapons have the damage of a higher tech pulse laser, not that much more in starting cost and actually come in a variety of flavors for many missions some more damaging than a beam or pulse. 12 missiles in an adventure class ship is also adequate when used properly (don't use a missile in a knife fight). You have the leisure to shoot while staying at range even with a single launcher until one or more of your babies defeats any defense and hits. Hopefully this means, at worst, you enter close combat against a damaged vessel. You would still have the option to run at range if the tactic fails.

I notice all but the Gazelle escort are 0-4 armor. The basic missile is more than enough especially at range. If you plan to take on military grade or capital ships and plan to have missiles then you plan for barbettes and bay, specialty missiles and torpedoes which are just a bigger missile for killing bigger ships. If your Scout or Free Trader is taking on the Big Boys... I've got nothing for you.

So remember, missiles are the ranged weapon and direct fire are the melee weapons of space combat.
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Re: Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby Reynard » Tue Jun 17, 2014 6:01 pm

"Well, yeah, put simply HG reaction drives won't fit in a missile any more than HG gravitic drives. The smallest reaction drive having a volume of 3.375 metres cubed. Neither type of HG drive is applicable, so something else must propel Traveller missiles."

We don't put jet engines in the modern missile either. Instead they have high performance one-shot packages that get the job done cheap. The old striker construction helped visualize this. I'd have to review Fire, Fusion and Steel too.
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Re: Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby sideranautae » Tue Jun 17, 2014 6:05 pm

Reynard wrote:
We don't put jet engines in the modern missile either.
:lol: HG reaction drives aren't jet engines. Jet engines require an atmosphere with O2. ROCKET engines are what HG reaction space M-Drives are. And, we DO put rocket engines into our missiles. :lol:
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Re: Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby Reynard » Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:05 pm

Yes we do. Very small high performance one-shot packages that happen to be rockets behind a warhead and sensors. Much, much different than a jet or spacecraft engine.
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Re: Standard Missiles - Why Even Bother?

Postby sideranautae » Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:09 pm

Reynard wrote:Yes we do.
So, what is your point? I already said that and pointed to the rocket M-drive rules in HG.
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