Ship Design Philosophy

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

Postby Condottiere » Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:29 pm

1. While the Third Imperium doesn't have the military and political need to suppress dissidence and crush insurrection, than say, the Empire, a Star Destroyer/Imperial class wouldn't come amiss in showing the flag or ensuring good behaviour.

Alas, I fear a dose of economic reality probably splashed across the faces of such sponsors.

Taking a page from more recent events, I would have thought that someone would have considered the benefits of a class of warship that I will term an Assault Carrier. The principle task of an Assault Carrier is to act as a base for a brigade of Marines, with all attached support units, including grav tanks, APCs, assault shuttles, CAS that can double as space strike/CAP, and the usual miscellaneous craft that big ships find useful. It would also act as a tender to Jump capable stealth ships specialized for insertions, favoured by the Commando arm.

It's armament would be split between weapons optimized for planetary bombardment, and point defense with enough protection to ward off serious attentions from a low tech system defense force.

It wouldn't need to keep up with the fleet, but still have a J3 range, which would allow it to patrol a subsector. M3 should be sufficient to get it where it's most useful, weapon's range of an inhabited planet, and overall may indicate that the design is ancient stretching way back to the start of the Rule of Man.

It's also a token of goodwill, as it could be immediately sent as part of a disaster relief effort that may engulf planetary governments, as well as act as an intelligence asset, collecting and sifting through all the electronic data that's being transmitted insystem.

In the event of war, units could be dispatched to recently liberated planets, to assist Imperial administrators in restoring order.


2. It's pretty much confirmed that nothing under hundred tons enters Jumpspace, which explains the popularity of the Suleiman class Scout and it's variants, probably to ensure there are no jump capable torpedoes. Though I remember when the smallest Jdrive was 1 ton (not sure metric or hydrogen), and I designed either a twenty or twenty-five ton starship as a camper van.

That explains the viability and attractiveness of the Suleiman class Scout and it's variants. However, by this day and age, I would have expected the Scout Servoice to have upped the capability of their standard scouts to J3 or J4, if only to keep up with the Fleet.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby F33D » Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:37 pm

Condottiere wrote:However, by this day and age, I would have expected the Scout Servoice to have upped the capability of their standard scouts to J3 or J4, if only to keep up with the Fleet.
The Type S is a courier. Used mainly to augment the X-Boat network for "feeder lines" where J4 isn't needed. It isn't designed to accompany a naval fleet. Hence, not J3 or above.
coldwar
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby coldwar » Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:42 pm

Thing you have to remember is that the Scout Service is a Civilian Institute and not a military one. And its main purpose is to deliver mail, explore and update charts. As well as operating in areas that have little access to higher jump range technologies, so it is easier for them to operate whilst keeping costs down.

So keeping up with the fleet isn't their priority, IMHO. Plus, the Navy does make use of its own couriers, which would be more likely to have higher jump drives so they can keep up.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby dragoner » Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:32 pm

Condottiere wrote:
Taking a page from more recent events, I would have thought that someone would have considered the benefits of a class of warship that I will term an Assault Carrier.
A CruDiv of two Ghalalks and a Wind. :wink:

It has worked for the last 30 years or so.
Yatima
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Yatima » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:43 am

The US Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) is a great model for this. Here's the Brigade-size version, the MEB.

A few years ago I read through Tom Clancy's book Marine, which provides a guided tour of such a unit. From memory, they have an assault ship, with landing craft, supporting escorts and supply ships, a squadron of ground attack aircraft, transport helicopters and a reinforced Marine battalion with attached engineering, artillery, medical and intelligence assets. The whole amounts to a small flotilla, purpose made to put troops on the ground anywhere at short notice with the carrier fitted out to serve as a command centre.

Seems like a great model to follow, it'd be nice to see a 3I version with ship designs and Order of Battle for the Imp Marines.

J
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby locarno24 » Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:10 am

F33D wrote:The Type S is a courier. Used mainly to augment the X-Boat network for "feeder lines" where J4 isn't needed. It isn't designed to accompany a naval fleet. Hence, not J3 or above.
Agreed. Navy Reconnaisance is done by proper military ships designated as scoutships (or something similar), rather than necessarily the 'scouts' (although Intelligence/Spy sneaking is part of their balliwick, I believe).

Expect something escort frigate-ish in size with a stealth jump and plenty of sensor emplacements and/or drones. The Aegis-class (a Gorgon Ship Book) was a pretty good idea of the sort of thing you might use.

The Imperium certainly maintains AssaultRons (assault squadrons) so 'invasion barges' are quite likely as a design, and as noted they do a great double duty as mass transports, emergency relief, the works. I wouldn't imagine the stealth jump is likely on a standard design, though; unless building the ship keel-out stealthy, as yes the commando arm like their special ops, but with a brigade-scale barge, you're not going to be sneaking up on...well..anyone really.
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: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby SSWarlock » Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:32 pm

Keep in mind the Kinunir-class ship is designed as an assault ship with troop drop capsules and Classic Traveller-based troop support armored vehicles. The Sulaco in the Aliens movie put me in mind of the Kinunir's purpose.
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F33D
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby F33D » Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:54 pm

locarno24 wrote: Agreed. Navy Reconnaisance is done by proper military ships designated as scoutships (or something similar), rather than necessarily the 'scouts' (although Intelligence/Spy sneaking is part of their balliwick, I believe).
Yes, the Navy would have specialized vessels for such duty. I would think that the IISS would have "Intel" ships geared towards exploration/first contact/covert surveillance of newly discovered races and the like.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:50 pm

1. I wasn't implying the Assault Carriers were stealthed, only that they could act as a tender for Commando ships that were.

2. The Assault Carriers would be a large lone symbol of Empire, primarily deployed well within the borders of the Imperium, where they wouldn't expect to meet anything that could seriously damage it beyond warships that rebels could get hold off, and then their function is both an intelligence gatherer, tripwire and early warning. If possible, preemptive strike.

3. If deployed to a war zone, it would stay behind the lines for rear area security, or a base for interdiction and siege operations.

4. It would be the command ship of a task group, which would comprise of sufficient escorts to deal with anything below cruiser class.

5. A stealthed planetoid variant I would call the Lilypad class, pre-positioned in more active subsectors.


6. I hadn't touched on the courier/payload aspect as part of a multi-role Scout, since the Navy would have their preferred transports.

7. What concerned me was more tactical reconnaissance.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Sun Oct 20, 2013 11:34 am

1. On a smaller scale, you have what's described as the Pocket Carrier, though we'd call it the Escort Carrier.

2. Apparently, the Solomani favoured them to accompany their major squadrons during the Rim War, though I wouldn't know if they still do that.

3. Frankly, I disagree with this practice. Described as being between five to ten thousand tons, and carrying around fifty fighters, they seem too small a complement to make much difference in an engagement.

4. The Imperium doesn't appear to have this class in their inventory, their smallest carrier being around thirty thousand tons.

5. This seems to be close to a strategic misdirection; Escort Carriers thrive in an environment where their primary duty is to protect rear areas against raiders, act as a transport for reinforcement fighters, platform for CAS fighters, possibly a repair facility.

6. Traditionally, CVEs were built to commercial specification, on a commercial hull, as and when needed.

7. Had fun in previous editions designing this class. What's the largest commercially built hull in the game? Two thousand tons seems a little small.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:12 pm

Can't figure out why a hundred ton hull costs 2 MCr. See potential for just grappling a bunch of hundred ton hulls together as a cheap way to gain capacity.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby F33D » Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:45 pm

Condottiere wrote:Can't figure out why a hundred ton hull costs 2 MCr. See potential for just grappling a bunch of hundred ton hulls together as a cheap way to gain capacity.
Could be because they are small and thus more easily manufactured. A VW "Bug" body is very inexpensive to build. Ya can't cobble a bunch together to make a semi-truck though...
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Yatima » Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:10 am

F33D wrote: ... Ya can't cobble a bunch together to make a semi-truck though...
This analogy doesn't work, because you can do precisely this in Traveller - this is what a dispersed hull configuration is. For spacecraft, it makes perfect sense.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby F33D » Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:40 pm

Yatima wrote:
F33D wrote: ... Ya can't cobble a bunch together to make a semi-truck though...
This analogy doesn't work, because you can do precisely this in Traveller - this is what a dispersed hull configuration is. For spacecraft, it makes perfect sense.

Umm, no. A 100 ton Type S hull isn't a dispersed hull. Try again though.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Yatima » Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:58 pm

F33D wrote:Umm, no. A 100 ton Type S hull isn't a dispersed hull. Try again though.
Where did I suggest a 100 ton type S hull was a dispersed hull?

I am saying that your analogy does not work because in Traveller, a collection of smaller hulls can make a craft with a dispersed hull configuration, so that lots of 'VW's can amount to a 'semi-truck', that is a larger, coherent vehicle.

Clear now?
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby F33D » Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:05 pm

Yatima wrote:
F33D wrote:
I am saying that your analogy does not work because in Traveller, a collection of smaller hulls can make a craft with a dispersed hull configuration, so that lots of 'VW's can amount to a 'semi-truck', that is a larger, coherent vehicle.

Clear now?
Actually, incorrect again. Show where in the ship design rules you can grab a bunch of individual, already built hulls and cobble them together into one large, working ship...
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby phavoc » Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:32 pm

You guys are basically arguing the same thing. You can weld together a score of 100ton scouts to get a 2,000 ton ship. But it would be a distributed hull ship. The rules as they exist don't really address distributed power plants, maneuver drives, etc. So it's a moot point.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Yatima » Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:02 pm

phavoc wrote:You guys are basically arguing the same thing. You can weld together a score of 100ton scouts to get a 2,000 ton ship. But it would be a distributed hull ship. The rules as they exist don't really address distributed power plants, maneuver drives, etc. So it's a moot point.
Yes, this is the point being made. Distributed hulls are a series of smaller hulls linked somehow (trusswork, central spine, whatever). The OP was asking about the cost differences between a single monolithic hull and a series of smaller hulls that provide the same volume. A simple point, and a fair one.

@F33D The shipbuilding rules don't matter here, we're talking about the ships they represent, not the guidelines for representing them in game terms. You're misunderstanding the conversation, and your tone is unhelpful.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby F33D » Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:33 pm

phavoc wrote:You guys are basically arguing the same thing. You can weld together a score of 100ton scouts to get a 2,000 ton ship. But it would be a distributed hull ship. The rules as they exist don't really address distributed power plants, maneuver drives, etc. So it's a moot point.

Actually, the rules don't allow for welding together a bunch of different complete hulls to make a ship. No matter what the config is. See hull prices.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby phavoc » Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:16 pm

F33D wrote:
phavoc wrote:You guys are basically arguing the same thing. You can weld together a score of 100ton scouts to get a 2,000 ton ship. But it would be a distributed hull ship. The rules as they exist don't really address distributed power plants, maneuver drives, etc. So it's a moot point.

Actually, the rules don't allow for welding together a bunch of different complete hulls to make a ship. No matter what the config is. See hull prices.
The rules don't even begin to address this concept. It's not prohibited, it's simply not addressed because (and I'm assuming here) it wasn't thought about at the time of creation.

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