Ship Design Philosophy

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

Postby Condottiere » Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:56 am

Spaceships: Armaments and Warheads

1. Examining the suicide drone, it's Bomb-Pumped Laser Torpedo Warhead is listed at one tonne and priced at MCr 0.1.

2. The actual torpedo itself is listed at MCr 0.018 for the entire weapons system.

3. My interest at this particular time is just the warhead size.

4. You attach , or exchange an appropriate fuse, that will allow a contact hit with maybe something less dangerous than a bomb pumped laser, whether ortillery, nuclear or basic.

5. This would be a true dive bomb, without any propulsion than the velocity provided by the delivery platform.

6. The warheads are attached as external cargo, and then released with explosive bolts.

7. Naturally, despite the tricky bit of getting close enough to the target to drop the warhead, there is no limit to the number of bombs that could be carried.
Condottiere
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:07 pm

Spaceships: Armaments and Fire Control Systems

Use the turreted beam laser as a laser designator for missile and torpedoes; you can hand off any number of ordnance fired in that general direction to specific radiation codes plinking out welcome signs on opposing spaceship hulls, making lock on easier and probably sectionally specific.
hiro

Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby hiro » Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:11 pm

If your (weaponised) laser is holding a lock on a target for the sake of a missile that's going to take how long(?) to get to it's target, why not turn the power up and just use the laser? It's a little faster than the missile and if your designator isn't having trouble with anti laser devices (sand or whatever) the laser cranked up to "kill" isn't gonna have trouble either.

:?
Condottiere
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:35 pm

You could be looking at cruiser class armour, or the hull may have a reflec coating.

This is meant for major targets.

And ordnance en route don't need to pick up the targets until they're a turn away, so the lasers only need to light up those hulls just before that point.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Mon Jul 20, 2015 8:38 am

Spaceships: Armaments and Long Range Communications

Another role that lasers, whether beam or pulse, can play is as long range communications, the power out put should be detectable across the system, and would need a way to refine power variation or pulsing to transmit complex compressed messages.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Mon Jul 20, 2015 7:25 pm

Spaceships: Armaments and LIght Detection And Ranging

Use the beam laser as a very active lidar.

Not too sure how far the pulses could range and a fairly clear signal return.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby wbnc » Tue Jul 21, 2015 6:58 am

How about this idea..Set one of you lasers to low output continuous beam, the paint a ship fitted with a black Globe....that would let you detect it's flicker rate, and patterns giving you a chance to punch a well timed laser, or directed energy weapon into the target ship by matching its flicker rate and timing the shot so the beam/pulse arrives on target while the Black Globe is down...

I'm sure it wouldn't be as easy as it sounds, but it would give you a slightly better chance than just lobbing shots at the target and hoping.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:14 am

I'm sure there's lot's of interesting stuff we could do with the turreted beam laser, though it probably requires a more refined degree over the output.

How about lasers upgraded to barbette size? How much more effective will they be in terms of damage and range?
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby wbnc » Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:50 am

Condottiere wrote:I'm sure there's lot's of interesting stuff we could do with the turreted beam laser, though it probably requires a more refined degree over the output.

How about lasers upgraded to barbette size? How much more effective will they be in terms of damage and range?
Or if your really trying to make someones day tougher set up a laser to fire low intensity beams along infrared, or ultraviolet wavelengths to dazzle/burn out enemy optics, and light based sensors...<sings blinded by the light badly off key>

A lot of those neat trick to play with lasers can be handled by GM calls on the fly, and assigning difficulties for computer/engineer/gunnery skills.I personally like giving players options over just raw damage/range variables for weapons. It gives players more to think about and lets them get creative.


Laser barbettes...Yeah I want those too...its basically a nice midpoint between turret and bay.

Ssay...
Mounts six individual lasers+ fire control
5 tons
Cost
Beam 8 Mcr ( 1mcr Per laser+2 Mcr for what is basically 2 triple turrets) for

Pulse 5 Mcr

I'd probably give a beam barbette 3d6 to begin with. Thats 1 d6 base,+1 d6 per 2 weapons after the first pair...

for pulse lasers I like the idea of 2d6 with the option of auto-fire say auto-6, maybe eight to give a bit more bang for the buck...

I also like the idea of allowing the barbette to have a minimum power plant rating to be mounted on small craft. using up two ship-type weapon slots on small craft.Also specifically allowing small craft to be able to use the Full auto feature of the barbette as another trade off for the extra volume...

lets see extra tonnage used......
Extra energy requirement for small craft....
Extra cost over turreted weapons
vs
More damage/flexibility
Auto fire for small craft
cant be concealed from sensors by making the mount a pop up( role play/ story balancing factor)
definitely classifies as an offensive system.( roleplay/story balancing factor)



one gives you a nice solid punch by burning through armor with concentrated fire, while the other gives the ability to shred light targets with multiple hits.

you get a bit more punch, and flexibility for that 5 tons of volume you have to give up over a triple turret.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:25 am

I was considering the other option of lasers that are fivefold in size.

They might not be able to be used as point defence, but they should do more than just boil the paint off a battleship's hull.

Which brings up the issue of power usage, if there's some minimum power plant requirement.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby wbnc » Tue Jul 21, 2015 4:51 pm

Condottiere wrote:I was considering the other option of lasers that are fivefold in size.

They might not be able to be used as point defence, but they should do more than just boil the paint off a battleship's hull.

Which brings up the issue of power usage, if there's some minimum power plant requirement.
If you go much higher than 3-4 d6 in damage you give a barbette laser more punch than a 50 ton bay...

If you allowed the beam barbette to fire in two modes, standard fire giving it a +2 to attack rolls, and barrage fire to give it a concentrated punch..with limits on how often if can fire a barrage..say only every other round, with the weapon out of action while powering back up/cooling down after barrage.

Allowing the barbette to act as a self contained barrage would be a nasty threat to anything short of a well armored combat vessel. Especially if multiple barbettes are mounted and combined into a barrage.

to keep it within the rules tweak the number of beam lasers mounted to 10, and adjust the cost slightly for the extra two weapons(final cost 10Mcr) . The final cost would be higher than a particle barbette or rail-gun barbette but the extra punch would be worth it.

That would allow for a lot of damage potential, Barbette barrage potential, (10-laser-long-1)

trading off point defense, internal volume, extra cost, and rate of fire, for respectable firepower.



no point defense..there I strongly agree there :D


Power requirements....
Well there's the catch, while i think a heavy weapon array like a multiple projector system like a multi-laser barbette should be a power hog and require some extra juice from the reactor...it doesn't make sense to tag them with a power limitation when bays aren't.

I think that the easiest way to handle that is to specify that each barbette has it's own capacitor, bank, or independent reactor to supply the extra power the weapons need. Either by direct generation, or by storing up power as the ships cruises along.

If you go with capacitors you can tag on a limit of say 20 shots for the mount before out have to recharge( reload) the bay with power from the reactor... During recharge the weapons cant fire, and I'd drop the ships thrust rating by one to allow for the massive drain on the ships power as you have to replace gigawatts of power in a very short period of time... a warship mounting multiple barbettes would be forced with loosing mobility in a battle, or being forced to withdraw for several rounds to recharge it's capacitor banks for multiple barbettes.

if you give barbettes their own reactors I'd make them more vulnerable to damage, dropping the number of hits it takes to destroy the weapon mount from 3 to 2...first shot disables the mount until a repair check is made, second shot knocks the battery out of action completely unless the first one has already been repaired.
A good way to simulate the independant reactor being knocked off line or a dangerous fuel leak occurring which has to be repaired by the crew before they can fire again.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Tue Jul 21, 2015 6:20 pm

I guess we could excuse a smaller than optimum number of lasers (I'd say nine times three) by overheating.

Going by spinal mounts, capacitors might allow you a double shot in lieu of a smaller number of lasers, but don't see an advantage there.

A battery seems expensive, but could be used until it's charge is finished.

The reason you might not have larger lasers might be diminishing returns, though I don't recall that's ever been addressed.

And back to overheating, if there are so many lasers concentrated, though I'd have supposed that the vacuum of space would make a good heat sink.

As regards to a fuel link, maybe keep it to a limited supply of hours, instead of days.

Bays do have a limitation on power plant drain, based on capacity and type, though to be honest, it doesn't make sense when you try to assign a value on possible power drain.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby wbnc » Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:33 pm

Condottiere wrote:I guess we could excuse a smaller than optimum number of lasers (I'd say nine times three) by overheating.
a good angle on that idea.
Condottiere wrote:Going by spinal mounts, capacitors might allow you a double shot in lieu of a smaller number of lasers, but don't see an advantage there.
Got nothing on this one....the double shot approach jalways seemed to defeat the purpose...fire two shots one round and non the next, unless you were fairly sure you could finish off a vessel with a well placed double tap it's not much of an advantage.
Condottiere wrote:A battery seems expensive, but could be used until it's charge is finished.
batteries are an option if you wanted to be able to fire from a powered down state, but other than a suprise shot without powering up your reactors it's not much of a return on the investment...you'd basically get one hour of combat time for a coupleof million credits...

a 1.2 ton Sa fusion power plant is cheaper and will fit nicely into the barbettes 5 ton volume.it would boost the cost of a barbette by 3 Mcr, but then the barbette can fire independently of the ships power plant allowing it to continue to fight even if her primary power system is offline.
Condottiere wrote:The reason you might not have larger lasers might be diminishing returns, though I don't recall that's ever been addressed.
not to my knowledge..But it seems to be a logical answer to why you would go with multiple small lasers over one big one...it might also be a good way to explain why there are no Laser Spinal mounts...
Condottiere wrote:And back to overheating, if there are so many lasers concentrated, though I'd have supposed that the vacuum of space would make a good heat sink.
It's the exact opposite, vacuum is a great insulator, there isn't anything to help carry the heat away. Even on small craft like the shuttle or apollo, when the systems are powered up the capsules were prone to overheating. Solid state cooling, or some sort of liquid gas cooling would be best..say use the liquid Hydride from the fuel tanks as a coolant, run them back through a solid state cooling unit and
Condottiere wrote: As regards to a fuel link, maybe keep it to a limited supply of hours, instead of days.
good solution, if you only have say .1 tons of fuel in each barbette it would give the internal reactor you only have 33 hours at standard operation.
if you assume the reactor is pumping at maximum output instead of standard you could justify it having to burn a lot more fuel. if it's burning 4x the fuel on maximum output to rapid fire the weapons...that leaves only 8 hours before the tank runs dry and you have to refuel it from the ships tanks.
It doesn't sound like a lot, but if a ship has multiple barbettes that's tons of extra fuel it has to carry on long missions.
Condottiere wrote: Bays do have a limitation on power plant drain, based on capacity and type, though to be honest, it doesn't make sense when you try to assign a value on possible power drain.
It's sort of a blind guess.

to accurately assign a power drain you would have to set down and figure out the output of the weapon, then assign it and efficiency..output vs input needed, then decide how that affects the ships reactor load

which then means you have to decide on the output of a reactor, how much each system consumes, and how efficient the design is at converting fuel into energy..And since I am no mathematician and have no way of filling in any of those blanks.....sometimes a wild ass guess, or arbitrary number, is about as close as you could ever get.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:26 am

I think I've run out of military applications for the laser.

There's the industrial one of cutting, which you could use to cut a hole into the hull of ship you plan to board.

As for the barbette, I think it's stuck due to the lack of information that you could extrapolate on to either create turbolasers or a single barrage battery.

I don't think Lucas has copyrighted turbolasers, though the Mouse might.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:27 pm

Spaceships: Armaments and Sandcaster Canisters in Missile Tubes

Standard sandcaster canisters are smaller than standard missiles.

You could adapt canisters to fit into missile launchers, and have a very low powered setting in the missile launcher to launch a canister.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby wbnc » Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:49 pm

interesting idea...I could see a few problems from a mechanical view but nothing a clever engineer couldn't fix.

how about a combination launcher, the gunner can select from missile sand or other launched payloads.

Using containers of the same size and shape the launcher loads the selected container and a small charge from a rocket or disposable gravitic drive boosts it out of the launcher...

the combination launcher would need it's own ammo canisters, and you would get fewer sand barrels per ton, but the flexibility would be a good trade off.

ammo types off the top of my head.
Missile
sand
pebble
chaff/decoy
Pulse: detonates causing EMpulse for knocking out drones, missiles torpedoes at range
Sandcutter:
explosive fragmenting: for small craft/boarding parties, maybe ground support
interceptors missiles: would take down missiles at longer range than point defense.
"Dogfight" Missile: for use at short close and adjacent rages, more powerful but limited range
rocket: multiple unguided rounds for use at adjacent ranges, or ground support fire.


more exotic loads...
limpet rounds: fire them at a ship then threaten to detonate them.
Spoiler: fired at adjacent ships and it uses a short duration thruster to ruin the ships maneuvers
Web: cancels out or disrupts gravitics and prevents jump drives from functioning.
jam: fires a sticky goop that covers sensor arrays....raspberry flavored. :P
Condottiere
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:25 pm

If you adapt the canister completely to the missile launcher, you could add in a small rocket motor to increase the range.

And maybe a way to miniaturize the bomb pumped laser warhead to fit onto a missile.

That way, the missile launcher becomes the Swiss Army Knife of weapon systems.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby wbnc » Wed Jul 22, 2015 7:28 pm

it would make missiles Less useless as they are viewed by some folk. and streamline a military vessels weapons load out.

If multi-role missile launchers were designated as new military hardware, with an increased cost it would avoid having to rework older designs.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:02 pm

Spaceships: Armaments and Canistered Missiles in Sandcaster Launchers

Giving sandcasters a missile capability is rather more difficult, as standard missiles missiles are larger than standard canisters.

However, the smallest missile takes up only seventy five percent of a canister volume, by my reckoning. However, that means no tech level upgrades.

The missile is carried within the canister like a sabot round. As it's ejected from the launcher, the canister splits apart, and the missile ignites it's rocket motor
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby wbnc » Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:38 pm

Condottiere wrote:Spaceships: Armaments and Canistered Missiles in Sandcaster Launchers

Giving sandcasters a missile capability is rather more difficult, as standard missiles missiles are larger than standard canisters.

However, the smallest missile takes up only seventy five percent of a canister volume, by my reckoning. However, that means no tech level upgrades.

The missile is carried within the canister like a sabot round. As it's ejected from the launcher, the canister splits apart, and the missile ignites it's rocket motor
True,and sand casters are cheaper by far.

perhaps a selection of alternate loads for both systems would be useful, depending on which system your ship has you select your load out from generic ordnance canisters, and switch between payloads as needed.

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