Ship Design Philosophy

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
tuz_sen
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby tuz_sen » Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:42 am

4. As per RAW, Page 48 HighGuard: torpedo barbette fires one torpedo per round, using the normal rules. A torpedo barbette can fit no other weapon. A torpedo barbette costs MCr 4, taking up five tons of space and does not include any ammunition.
Actually as per RAW page 49 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.

on page 48 it is referencing that ammo must be purchased independently of the weapon.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Nerhesi » Sun Mar 16, 2014 2:33 pm

Quoted me before my last edit where I did mention this!

Again though, this is not an inconsistency. A barbette takes X tons inside the ship and X tons outside the ship - the latter of which we don't count or care about. That means the "2" stored torpedos could be on the inside, or outside, or even stored in tandem with 1 on the outside and 1 on the inside; leaving 2.5 tons for fire control and whatever you need. After all, despite the fact it can hold "2", it only fires 1 torpedo a turn.

Regardless of how you envision it (look at Darrian Barbettes), RAW makes perfect sense and is consistent, here are some examples:

Single beam turret - 1 ton
Double beam turret - 1 ton
Triple missile launcher - 1 ton
A missile pack that has 24 missiles and the fire control required - 1 ton
2 plasma guns + heating (triple turret) - 1 ton
Anything in triple turret that isn't a pop-up - 1 ton
Any pop-up turret, whether it holds 1 garbage beam laser or 3, accurate, resilient pulse lasers? - 2 tons!

This means, that by RAW, fire-control takes up 1 ton, and we don't care whether the exterior is a tiny single weapon, or 3 big bulky things - it is not figured into the calculation.

So regardless even if a torpedo barbette could hold 3 torpedoes, it presents no problem as the entire system can be some 10 ton monstrosity, but we only care that 5 tons are within the ship's volume!
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:53 am

1. Rules as written are meant to be levelling the playing field for everyone, especially in wargames or designing weapon systems since you do not want anyone to have undue advantages and you'd like the design process to have some consistency.

2. Except for Warhammer, where the rules are modified as part of a merchandising campaign to promote the latest range of figurines they want to sell.

3. Rules for RPGs are a framework over which you structure the story and give an ambiance to your setting. It's not meant to be a level playing field (otherwise the protagonists are likely to end up dead), and the DM will (or should) fiddle the dice rolls before, in the midst, and after throwing them during rather existential moments.

4. My goal is creating legal designs; which wouldn't discourage me from exploiting loopholes, pointing these out and/or commenting on and suggesting solutions for inconsistencies, illogical concepts or bottlenecks.

5. Bottlenecks occur when I come across some hindrance to my vision, for example a Jump1/Power 1/Man 1 hundred ton starship.

6. Actually, I'd like to construct smaller ones, but the rule is absolute about hundred tons.

7. The rules are less absolute about drive factors, as demonstrated by the existence of smallcraft engines.

8. There is also no logical reason for not taking the engines out of a dual sectioned 2001 capital ton hull and placing them in a 2000 ton single section adventure hull, the controversy in my mind is whether you actually need the second command module either in the 2001 hull or in the 2000 hull.

9. Gravitic drives may be referenced for starships, but no design process exists to construct them. As such, I list both them and the normal reaction drives as options which as such isn't RAW.

10. Torpedo barbettes are a rather egregious example; are we looking at an enlarged missile turret or the more traditional torpedo tube agglomeration you can witness on our destroyers? If so, why can't we clump five tubes together? If not, where's the space for the launching equipment? Regardless, the barbette doesn't have space for one ton of fire control, and not quite sure how the torpedoes are going to be reloaded.

11. If fire control is half a ton for operator space and half a ton for the associated electronics that would be logical. Combined with a single turret, you still have half a ton that can't be accounted for, assuming that the actual space the turret now occupies is half a ton, and there is no space for a gunner.

12. Pop ups provide another problem when calculating volume. For example, a pop up on a hundred ton scout, is the scout 101 tons when it pops, or 99 tons when it depops?

13. Do we allow barbettes to be operated at source? Traveller tropism would indicate so, so that's at least half a ton of operator space that should be allocated. Anything that the weapon system doesn't really need can be eliminated and the remaining tonnage can then be mounted, saving volume at the expense of independent targeting.

14. Bays are easy, because we allocate a lot of space, and the only variable we have to worry about is physical ordnance, if any. No one expects the operator to sit inside one, and even if he did there's more than enough place.

15. Triple turrets only indicate that you could squeeze in three weapon systems, which just helps to approximate their weight, less than 166 kilos each. A single turret could use the empty sections as a spare linen closet.
tuz_sen
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby tuz_sen » Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:36 pm

1. Yes
2. It not that bad all the time.
3. That very much depends on the group but I would say yes
4. good goal
5,6,7,8. Rules will be rules and have their limitations
9. If I am not mistaken the rules for gravitic drives on spaceships are just the rules from the core rule book when it comes to price and displacement.
10. I always assumes one torpedo was in the surface mount one ton of fire control a second torpedo (2.5 tons) and the last 1.5 tones were the reloading system
11. Everything in the turret, not the fire control, is outside the hull and does not by RAW effect the dTons of the craft
12. well just slaping it on it would always be 101 tons deployed or not (in reality it would lose one ton of cargo and stay at 100 tons though)
13. That depends on your personal design, I put controls at the weapons but you could have it controlled from the bridge
14. easy for fire control anyways
15. yes turrets are small that's why the fire control is separate (kind of)
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby phavoc » Tue Mar 18, 2014 3:16 am

The issue I see with calculating Dtons for weapons mounts is that the rules aren't following an established rule.

The example of the torpedo barbette displacing 5 tons, but being able to accommodate 2 torpedoes (at 5dtons), so in effect the mount takes up zero space. But that rule is not carried forward for missile mounts. And it makes no sense when applied to bay weapons either. The scaling up for the bay (50dton bay being able to fire 3 vs 1 for a 5 ton mount) is illogical.



As far as the turret volume vs. fire control volume, I find this to be a problem too. It's ok to have arbitrary rules so long as the same logic follows suit from start to finish. But that's not quite how it works out. Volume calculations determine everything in the system.

And when they don't add up you scratch your head and wonder how in the hell this ship is supposed to exist. Sure, you could do the hand-wavium (it's a game after all). If that is the case though, then why even have a set of design rules if they aren't going to be used? There are other obvious holes in the system that beg to be fixed.

The whole point of paying for a game's rulebooks are to use them as a guide for your gaming sessions. That's a given, and I accept that. But it's damn annoying when the rules put forth by the publisher don't follow their own established guidelines. There is (or should be) a basic expectation of accuracy and logic when paying for something professionally published. At least that's how I see it.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Infojunky » Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:46 am

Condottiere wrote:1. Rules as written are meant to be levelling the playing field for everyone, especially in wargames or designing weapon systems since you do not want anyone to have undue advantages and you'd like the design process to have some consistency.
Yes, as Traveller is a collection of somewhat interrelated Mini games you think they would be more consistent between each other. (Hint the only edition to ever do this was TNE, T5 might but that book is such a mess, Who could tell?)
Condottiere wrote:4. My goal is creating legal designs; which wouldn't discourage me from exploiting loopholes, pointing these out and/or commenting on and suggesting solutions for inconsistencies, illogical concepts or bottlenecks.
Without a consistent Mini-game for starship combat what defines legal? Or in another perspective legal is what works for your Traveller game, it has always been a broad framework. The only time specifics where ever invoked where for the CT era High Guard tournament in the early 80's. And to be honest one could pick and choose which design system works for them and express the results of that in Mongoose terms and a majority of people out there wouldn't bitch much...

[Hint I have been more than half tempted to use the 81 edition of CT High Guard to build a base framework for ships and then pull in appropriate bits from other editions to flesh said designs out]
Condottiere wrote:5. Bottlenecks occur when I come across some hindrance to my vision, for example a Jump1/Power 1/Man 1 hundred ton starship.
6. Actually, I'd like to construct smaller ones, but the rule is absolute about hundred tons.
7. The rules are less absolute about drive factors, as demonstrated by the existence of smallcraft engines.
8. There is also no logical reason for not taking the engines out of a dual sectioned 2001 capital ton hull and placing them in a 2000 ton single section adventure hull, the controversy in my mind is whether you actually need the second command module either in the 2001 hull or in the 2000 hull.
9. Gravitic drives may be referenced for starships, but no design process exists to construct them. As such, I list both them and the normal reaction drives as options which as such isn't RAW.
Ok, all of these and a bunch of other little details all stem from a fact that there isn't a over riding tech document for the Mongoose edition, it is a mass of one off rules that riff on two or three mini games none of which have been completely published, edited or referred to by the author of the section in question. Unfortunately this is kinda par for the course over the life of Traveller the RPG.
Condottiere wrote:10. Torpedo barbettes are a rather egregious example; are we looking at an enlarged missile turret or the more traditional torpedo tube agglomeration you can witness on our destroyers? If so, why can't we clump five tubes together? If not, where's the space for the launching equipment? Regardless, the barbette doesn't have space for one ton of fire control, and not quite sure how the torpedoes are going to be reloaded.
Ok, the rules kinda state one thing and indicate another, in that it states a Torpedo barbette has room for two torpedoes, thus from a volume point of view some of that gotta hang outside in the same space turrets languish. Note if you ask me I exactly how big a Torpedo is I would say 1.25 dTons i.e. 1.5 meters square by 7.5 meters long and the other half of the listed space would be the auto loader.

But the is a bigger issue here in that the Torpedo Barbette has two battery rounds, How many do the other missile launchers? (Note in other editions this was nominally 3 per launcher in the turret (both Sand and missiles))
Condottiere wrote:11. If fire control is half a ton for operator space and half a ton for the associated electronics that would be logical. Combined with a single turret, you still have half a ton that can't be accounted for, assuming that the actual space the turret now occupies is half a ton, and there is no space for a gunner.
12. Pop ups provide another problem when calculating volume. For example, a pop up on a hundred ton scout, is the scout 101 tons when it pops, or 99 tons when it depops?
13. Do we allow barbettes to be operated at source? Traveller tropism would indicate so, so that's at least half a ton of operator space that should be allocated. Anything that the weapon system doesn't really need can be eliminated and the remaining tonnage can then be mounted, saving volume at the expense of independent targeting.
14. Bays are easy, because we allocate a lot of space, and the only variable we have to worry about is physical ordnance, if any. No one expects the operator to sit inside one, and even if he did there's more than enough place.
This is a tradition question, mostly it used to be settled that "Fire control" was the volume of the turret, again reaching in to the 81 edition, where turrets had a fixed volume that you accounted for weather or not the Hard-point was occupied. Which in this edition is nebulous.
Condottiere wrote:15. Triple turrets only indicate that you could squeeze in three weapon systems, which just helps to approximate their weight, less than 166 kilos each. A single turret could use the empty sections as a spare linen closet.
Er? Oh I get it.... Rule of thumb, Starship mass is 10 metric tons per Displacement Ton of Volume

Lastly Yes i go into earlier edition for a number of my answers and thoughts, couple major reasons, first and foremost is in a lot of ways Mongoose wrote a good draft based off the material the licencor provided, unfortunately it was the draft that they published. With that and knowing generally what information Marc was drawing on to provide them with the mother document, I as a long time Traveller Game Master can make some general suppositions. I am not claiming any special knowledge here just the experience 25+ years of discussions about the game with my fellow fans and the creators of the game.

Condottiere you make some great observations and requests. I hope this gives you some insight....
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Tue Mar 18, 2014 8:22 am

1. Cheers to all who posted.

2. Turrets are just a football to kick around, but important if you have the view that on the normal RPG scale you're more likely to meet and travel on Adventure class starships.


3. Smallcraft starships - I've been mulling this question over last night and this morning I noticed that someone suggested extending spars to create a virtual shape that encompasses the supposed space a hundred ton ship would take and complete the grid.

4. Mongoose perspective - hundred tons is absolute, though I question the requirement that you need an Adventure hull, since we use a jump bubble and the costs between smallcraft and hundred ton Adventure hulls are relatively the same.

5. Minimums - you need a ten ton bridge, sixteen ton A-suite, ten tons jump fuel, two tons power plant fuel, four ton stateroom, half ton airlock, half ton ship's locker, one ton rocket fuel, forty three, which we'll round off to fifty tons.

6. Exposed cargo hold - the basis to initiate transition, besides the equipment, is an enclosed volume of a hundred tons, first I thought you just open up an empty cargo hold to space that would have a capacity of fifty tons, which would half he volume of the starship and doubled the performance of the enigines. Not quite sure I could get away with that.

7. Puffer fish - another option that I thought of were popped out sections, which would increase passenger/crew space/comfort during transition, since after closer examination using fuel bladders to contain jump fuel didn't pan out.

8. Hyper wings - ever notice how the Star Wars shuttles tend to fold and extend their wings? I'm not sure of the optimum configuration, shape or operation, but hull quality wings or extensions, would extend just before the ship jumps to enclose the required space, turning a fifty ton hull to a hundred ton one.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby leopard » Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:42 pm

Always thought the 100T lower limit reflected more on the smallest size you could make the drive and still have it work.

I.e. if you want to put a jump drive on a 50T hull there is nothing stopping you, but the drive will be the same size it would be on a 100T hull, and use the same fuel, with the same control requirements.

Not overly cannon but doable, not economic for a merchant but possible for special forces type stuff the players will probably never own, but may get to play with occasionally.

Not canon of course, but makes a level of sense
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:39 am

1. Personally, I'm more of the view that mass is the deciding factor, in which case I'd construct a ship with the densest possible materials that still can fly. But you know, you work with what you got.

2. Also, while the rules indicate an absolute of hundred tons, I rather doubt that God would be that strict when forming up the laws of physics. There probably is some variance there, whether 1% or 10%, but it could be that taking advantage of it increases the chance of a misjump.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:28 am

1. Hyperspace transiting - reshaping the jump bubble may have an effect on travel; teardrop solar sail variant might be slower but require less fuel/energy, or a streamlined cone (point forward) might be faster.


2. Hull-size - Thirty thousand tons looks optimum for light cruisers and similar combatants, due to the largest size for three sections.


3. Detachable bridges - apparently can fly at 0.1 gees and safely land; would have thought you'd need grav 1 for that, unless the bridges are equipped with some form of gravity neutralizers.


4. Docking clamps - two thousand ton hulls seems optimal, as that's the maximum limit mentioned for a twenty ton clamp; anyone know the maximum tonnage a fifty ton clamp can handle?
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Fri Mar 21, 2014 8:30 am

If fleet support vessels are in attendance then another three months can be added to the time needed before maintenance is required.

1. Incredibly vague; probably would need some system of maintenance and repair points.

2. It could be implied, that for every one percent of cargo devoted to stores and spare-parts in a supply ship devoted to a particular class or type of ship, it can go for another month.

3. Could this fleet support be onboard and inhouse, giving it an inherent extra three months?

4. After four months, is it mandatory to dock at a starport for routine maintenance?

5. When do ships need an overhaul, or a mid-life refurbishment?

6. Can starport facilities be enabled on a mobile space station?
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:33 am

Smallcraft Starship

1. New variant, variant of a variant.

2. The ship splits in the middle, but both halves are connected by a docking clamp variant or extendable tunnel/corridor.

3. As the halves separate, folded hull metal unfolds fan like, and when fully extended, are rigid.

4. Not quite sure if air tight.

5. Or, they could unfold concertina like. This would probably be air tight, but not quite sure if the material could take too much damage from micro-meteorites.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:03 am

Detachable Bridges

1. Fifteen tons, for a ten ton bridge.

2. Five tons includes 0.1 grav (presumably) drive, two week batteries, life support (for how many people), pantry. Airlock?

3. 0.1 grav drive 0.0375 tons at 75'000 Cr.

4. Fifteen ton hull 1.15 MCr.

5. 0.1 power plant 0.09 tons; battery 1000 hours/1 hour full manoeuvre at 0.9 MCr.

6. 80 MCr. for this particular option installed in a Scoutship seems a tad expensive.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:52 pm

Sandcasters

1. They shoot out canisters of sand. Amongst other things.

2. However, how does the launch mechanism work, is it a powered down mass driver?
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:15 am

1. Thorium reactors - supposedly easier to handle and cheaper to fuel: whatever happened to them? There's been three millenia to work out the bugs.


2. Waste disposal - always assumed that would get shunted into the reactor. Or do spaceships litter?
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Sat Mar 29, 2014 2:34 am

1. Militarized Multi-hulled Multi-purpose Modular Mothership - I like that.

2. Discarding most of the hangar space and using docking clamps to hold the smallcraft in space, you'll come to the conclusion you need a central strut to which the docking clamps can be attached, at a mionimum, and be used as a bridgeway to the docking clamps.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Wed Apr 02, 2014 5:41 pm

Militarized Multi-hulled Multi-purpose Modular Mothership

1. Maximum hull size of 2KT, due to the fact you need to sectionalize anything above that, including probably drop tanks.

2. A lot of ships would probably be built around 30KT, since it's the largest size before you need to add in another section and command module.

3. The M5 design would be built around three primary parts, each containing it's own command module.

4. In the rear, you have the propulsion section where you would have a power plant feeding the manoeuvre drive.

5. In front, you'd have the payload modules, including the navigation bridge.

6. The heart of the design would be the central hull, that originally I had six 2KT drop tanks attached, containing the requisite jump drive and power plant.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby rje » Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:02 pm

Cheers Condottiere!
Condottiere wrote: 3. Smallcraft starships - I've been mulling this question over last night and this morning I noticed that someone suggested extending spars to create a virtual shape that encompasses the supposed space a hundred ton ship would take and complete the grid.

4. Mongoose perspective - hundred tons is absolute, though I question the requirement that you need an Adventure hull, since we use a jump bubble and the costs between smallcraft and hundred ton Adventure hulls are relatively the same.

5. Minimums - you need a ten ton bridge, sixteen ton A-suite, ten tons jump fuel, two tons power plant fuel, four ton stateroom, half ton airlock, half ton ship's locker, one ton rocket fuel, forty three, which we'll round off to fifty tons.
Got a couple extra thoughts for you.

(a) Two 30-ton drop tanks, attached to a pinnace equipped with a jump drive, is sufficient to push the volume to 100 tons and allow it to jump. For a maneuver performance gain, drop the tanks upon entry into your target system. A bit of a trade-off, but it's a fun topic.

(b) No reason small craft can't have a proper jump-capable hull -- it is possible that small craft that are grappled to the outside of a starship have this anyway. And, though 100 tons is absolute in every Traveller system except for TNE... it's not absolute for any game where a referee wishes to have jumpboats... and (perhaps) any published variant which doesn't adhere to that part of the Traveller rules?

(c) Minimums - tho the rules only allow a 10-ton bridge, it seems reasonable that smaller, perhaps more cramped bridges are possible.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby AndrewW » Thu Apr 03, 2014 5:21 pm

rje wrote:(c) Minimums - tho the rules only allow a 10-ton bridge, it seems reasonable that smaller, perhaps more cramped bridges are possible.
Well, if you are going with small craft those bridges are smaller.

There is also the compact-bridge option in High Guard.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby rje » Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:13 pm

AndrewW wrote:There is also the compact-bridge option in High Guard.
Thanks for that reminder -- I'll look that up.
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