Ship computer...

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Annatar Giftbringer
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Ship computer...

Postby Annatar Giftbringer » Wed Jan 22, 2014 3:22 pm

Greetings,
I've started looking at ship combat, and ran into some questions...

Evade software. From what I can tell, simply running evade software gives everyone -1 to hit the ship. The next part however confuses me...

"The ship can make a number of dodges each round equal to the listed number. "

I understand that dodge is a reaction, and is limited by thrust and available reactions. Let's say I reserve 3 thrust for reactions, and my initiative allows me 3 reactions.

Every successful dodge gives the enemy -2 to hit, which combines with the passive -1 from the evade program, right?

Assume my ship computer runs evade/2. Does this mean that the ship may make 2 dodges in addition to the three the pilot has available, or that the ship may perform 2 of the 3 dodges, or even that evade/2 allows the pilot up to two dodges per round, the same way that jump control/2 is required to be able to make a jump 2? The last one would mean that a ship without evade-software can never evade attacks?

Follow-up question: if I shut down the evade program (my computer rating is too low for evade and fire control and I wanna kill stuff) would I only lose the passive -1 or would I become unable to evade at all also?



Next question: how often can I change active programs for the ship's computer?

Let's say my ship has a computer with rating 25. I run intellect (rating 10) leaving me with 15 rating for other software. How often can I change active programs? I guess I can't run fire control/2 (rating 10) and switch to evade/2 (15) when reacting, since they occur in the same phase. Or? A human pilot can both pilot the ship and react/dodge without penalties.

Can I switch to auto-repair/1 (10) during the ship action phase, since the fire control-program is useless during this phase, and then back to fire control at the beginning of next round? Is a skill check needed to change programs?

What happens if I shut down the intellect program in order to free up computer rating? Would I need to dedicate one crew member to manually using the computer for the loaded programs, or can I instruct the intellect program to assist with aiming (fire control) and close intellect software to boot up evade and then just keep going? What would it take to reboot intellect?



And finally...
Is there any way to make the computer take care of lock-on and electronic warfare during the ship action phase?




That's it for now, more will surely follow!
coldwar
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Re: Ship computer...

Postby coldwar » Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:24 pm

Every successful dodge gives the enemy -2 to hit, which combines with the passive -1 from the evade program, right?
Correct
Assume my ship computer runs evade/2. Does this mean that the ship may make 2 dodges in addition to the three the pilot has available, or that the ship may perform 2 of the 3 dodges, or even that evade/2 allows the pilot up to two dodges per round, the same way that jump control/2 is required to be able to make a jump 2? The last one would mean that a ship without evade-software can never evade attacks?
In order to Dodge, you first need Evade/1 at least. So a ship with Evade/2 can dodge up to two times.

About running programs.
They should be chosen per round/turn. Not for each phase. And if the program is not being used, it's benefits cannot be used.
So, say in your ship, running Intellect and Fire control/2, you would not gain the minus one modifier to enemies firing at the ship. Nor be able to evade.

Lastly, having the ships computer, do things, firstly will require a skill program. In your example to lock on to a target, the computer would need the Sensors Skill program, so that it can operate the sensors itself. Though this would eat in to the processor as well.
Annatar Giftbringer
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Re: Ship computer...

Postby Annatar Giftbringer » Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:04 pm

Aha, so that would mean that most ships in the core book can never evade attacks, and thus they must rely upon sand casters?

And... If I'm not totally mistaken the Corsair's ship computer can't even run most of the software installed in it? (most program exceeds the computer's rating)
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Re: Ship computer...

Postby coldwar » Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:08 pm

The designs in the book, are common bog standard designs. Many bog standard ships would go around highly populated areas, so the common designs show those ship types. Those on frontiers or backwaters would have weapons put in to turrets, and extra programs installed on to the computer.

Remember, computer programs can be installed and uninstalled at any time during the ships life. As well as weapons and turrets.

So, yes, the standard designs can evade, but would have to have the extra installs made.

Commonly, though, military type programs like fire control and evade would be hard to get for the average civilian ship. Could also be a plot hook for an adventure if your players really want to get an evade program. And if there is a PC in the group he can go to town creating programs and installing them on to the ships computer.

And on the othr note you mentioned about the Corsair. I've always resolved that by the following way:
Turn 1: Starts program, program needs 20 units of processing power to run. However the computer is only Model/2 (Rating 10) so only runs half of the program that turn.
Turn 2: Completes the program and now gains the benefit this turn.
Rikki Tikki Traveller
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Re: Ship computer...

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:39 pm

I have started adding a second "fire control computer" when I arm up a standard design. This fire control computer can then run all the software for the new weapons etc.

For the price of a Model/2 computer, you can buy 5 Model/1 computers and have a LOT more flexibility.
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Re: Ship computer...

Postby Condottiere » Fri Jan 24, 2014 6:40 pm

I'm inclined towards dedicated computers as well.

Since they have in theory no mass, you have to attach them directly to the control panel they're dedicated to.
Annatar Giftbringer
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Re: Ship computer...

Postby Annatar Giftbringer » Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:22 am

Ok, I think I understand how computers work now, thanks all! It's harder to make a more automated ship than I thought, but as I start to understand the rules for ship combat, I realize I might not need to be able to run all systems at once.

Also, great idea with secondary computers! I didn't even know that was possible, but I guess I could fill an entire stateroom with lesser computers, and let the main one run intellect and control the others?

Final question on computers (for now):
Say I want my ship computer to be able to pilot the ship and/or use the sensors, what is needed for this? What do I need to write on the ship sheet for this to be doable?
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Re: Ship computer...

Postby CosmicGamer » Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:36 pm

Annatar Giftbringer wrote:Final question on computers (for now):
Say I want my ship computer to be able to pilot the ship and/or use the sensors, what is needed for this? What do I need to write on the ship sheet for this to be doable?
I'd say maneuver is needed to pilot and while included for free on a ships computer, one better make sure it's still there on a used ship - GM's can be evil.

From the core rules, "A ship running an Intellect program and Expert Pilot can be the
pilot." My book on page 113 says Intellect Allows a ship to understand and obey verbal commands. This sounds more like Intelligent Interface from the computer rules on page 92 and 93. The rules on these pages indicate you need Intelligent Interface to interact with a Computer running a Expert program and the computer needs Intellect to run a Expert Program.

I'll let you take from that what you will since certainly this is something not well detailed and could be interpreted different ways by different people with none being wrong.

I don't know if high guard goes into this in better detail?

I'd base the costs and such for Expert Pilot on the other ship software detailed. Perhaps using similar tech level, rating, and costs as the fire control software listed in the book.

I also like the concept of dedicated computing that was brought up. Perhaps a possibility is that a specialized computer in the appropriate skill with the ship version of Intellect is needed to run each expert program. I'm imagining at a high TL, each station on the bridge could have it's own AI personality quirks and issues working together.
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Re: Ship computer...

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:50 pm

Expert Programs are the way to go for any skills you want the Computer to use.

I have made extensive use of Expert Programs on my larger civilian ships to reduce the crew size.

I use Expert Pilot, Expert Gunner, Expert Engineer, Expert Mechanic etc. all the time. I usually insist that the Navigator be human but there is no reason that couldn't also be automated.

Full use of Expert Programs COULD let you have a ship that is entirely automated with no living crew - NOT per Third Imperium Canon, but there is nothing in the rules as written preventing it.
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hdan
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Re: Ship computer...

Postby hdan » Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:14 pm

Combined with an Agent to be "Acting Captain" while the human crew is off-shift, Expert programs should be able to keep the ship going through normal operations, and if you have any repair drones and control software, even during less than normal operations.

(For some reason, the idea of having "Scutters" on a Traveller ship works for me, even though it's quite far from canonical...)
/hdan
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Re: Ship computer...

Postby Annatar Giftbringer » Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:00 pm

Ok, let's see if I understand this...
In order to use expert programs, I need an intelligent interface. I will assume that this is included in the ship version of intellect. I will still need the personal variant of intellect installed in the ship's computer for it to be able to un expert programs, with its rating equalling the number of programs it can run simultaneously. Or? Is this also included in ship intellect?

After that I just add all the expert programs I need, such as pilot, sensors and of course carouse! "Ship, entertain me!" If I wish, I can add the expert programs so that they include the processing power needed, as per specialized computer on p 92. Otherwise they take up processing power like everything else.

A lower expert rating is of more benefit to a living operator (if the operator has a higher skill than the computer (s)he gets +1 DM) However, a lower rating can only assist with simpler operations (p.93). And of course a computer with higher rating does a better job all-round when in auto-mode.

If I install expert pilot/2 the ship will fly itself like a human pilot/1, i.e. +1 DM to all tests. Or, a human pilot with skill 3 or more will function as skill 4.

Is everything correct so far?

Next, if I install a secondary computer running only fire control/2 I won't need intellect on that one too, since the main computer has it and the powers of computer network allows them to communicate? I simply say "computer, attack that ship" and it does just that? Same with sensors, auto repair and all that...?

Now, for the part I do not understand... Agent programs. Where and how do I use them, where and why do I want them, do they offer anything more/else than intellect? Do I buy agent or agent(the skill I want)? What does an/the agent program do?

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