Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
Nerhesi
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Nerhesi » Sat Apr 19, 2014 5:19 am

Infojunky wrote:That book, ok then, There are a whole buncha flaws in it, the Game mechanics are sound, but a lot of the assumptions are way out there. Then there is the factoid of the sample designs don't jive with the numbers in the various aliens books. Just as a not a modern MBT has a rough shipping displacement of 5 to 6 tons or so. Your standard 4 dton Air/Raft is basicly a Deuce and a half that floats. (Hint shipping the classic Jeeps you could average 2 per dTon, though if you want to be able to drive them off you need to ship them at 1 to dTon)
Yeah but I'd say the main purpose of the pick, is actual vehicle creation - the small semantics around size are secondary to the excellent construction rules. Which dont differentiate between different armors (spacecraft vs whatever).
Back to my earlier comment on Battledress and PGMPs and FGMPs, remember at introduction Combat Armor/Battle dress is required to protect the operator, not defend against being targeted by said weapons.
I have no idea where you got this :) Combat armor can do this, and lets say the earlier battle dress only does this (then why would you even care about battledress.. but whatever, lets kepe going). Then why keep introducing more advanced Battle dress, with significant armor options and armor upgrades if all that nothing to the weapon you introduced 3 TLs ago?

TL 11 FGMP should not be equally as effective against a TL11 combat armor, tank or battle dress AND their TL15 equivalents...
Infojunky
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Infojunky » Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:06 am

Nerhesi wrote: Logic, and Hard Scifi, is based on making an assumption that something "magical" is a factual, possible truth. Then you build based on that, what must logically follow.
Hard Science Fiction, is based on currently understood science with no or very few deviations from Fact. (Note Traveller isn't Hard SF, but is largely based on science and technology as well as Golden era SF tropes.) Logic in the terms I was referring was in the Mathematical sense in which I used the relations of properties of a object to defend my assertions. Note the Logic that people use as a term to deride others thinking as a function no holds barred debate.
Nerhesi wrote:For example, the magic-assumption is that there exists armor that can stop particle weaponry, nuclear weaponry, plasma guns, and so on. The predicate logic that follows is that, since I my space ship armor is 2cm thick, I can therefore create bullet-proof vest equivalents of this.

That is logic, which is used to make a scifi game "harder".
As I respond that makes no sense, even if the the armor itself is undeformed by said great shock of energy released upon said bullet-proof vest, the resulting shock on the soft squishy bits inside will be far in excess of its ability to withstand, i.e. we get to pour what is left out of the boots of said armor.

In that I used science as we currently understand it to support my position on said irresistible force meeting unbreakable yet woeful moveable bullet-proof vest. Ergo Hard Science Fiction using Science as we currently understand it defining the fictional bits that we made up.
Nerhesi wrote:Logic isn't "this is how armor works today, so therefore this is how it will work in the future". Not at all. Scifi, by definition, is the assumption that things WILL be different in the future. Things can completely and utterly change in the future. Another point of magic that is still logical in Traveler? Jump Drives!
Crap! >Putting on my Grognard cap (Mine is Navy Blue and has a Ship's name on it)< Yes, I agree you are kinda right. But mind you, there is 35 years of history behind this game with many of those bits have changed or magically work have been thought about, discussed and published with real world equivalents, and the vast chunk that follows real world physics as well. And that mass informs that which was handed to Mr. Sprange to write his edition from. In fact many of the books you will reference and quote will be from authors who also are informed by said mass. With this there a knowable factors based in science that we at least have to give modcum of lip service to...
Nerhesi wrote:I also think it was obvious that "2cm thick" is an abstraction. Whether we are discussing 2 CC or 2cm is irrelevant. The entire point of the argument is that there exists materials that are as magic to us today, as Induction Charging is to 200 years ago. If I can use these materials in a spaceship, I can use them in anything.
Yes, and you are still limited by the structural limits of the Meat inside the suit.
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Infojunky
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Infojunky » Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:20 am

Nerhesi wrote:
I have no idea where you got this :) Combat armor can do this, and lets say the earlier battle dress only does this (then why would you even care about battledress.. but whatever, lets kepe going).
Sorry was conflating note from a conversation with Frank Chadwick on Combat armor and Battle dress from a couple of years ago, not from published material as such it should be Battle dress only.
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AndrewW
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby AndrewW » Sat Apr 19, 2014 9:08 am

Nerhesi wrote:We know this, because 2cm of armor on a 300,000 dton ship, gives you the same protection as 2cm of armor on a 10 ton fighter (it is a fixed percentage based on volume for the same protection).
Actually, a 10 ton fighter requires the same armour as a 20 ton fighter.
High Guard page 57 wrote:1 or one ton, whichever is greater.
This has the effect of making a 10 ton fighter take the same armor (by tons) as a 20 ton fighter.
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Old timer » Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:01 pm

OK my thoughts on these play test rules and the above debate on DD weapons.

(Warning, bit of a wall of text incoming :) )

First, i like most of these weapons, i think some of the AP on some of them still needs some tweaking (Gauss longarms should have AP, the AP 5 for the full bore bolt action rifle seems a little to high i would of thought that AP3 or 4 would be a better fit).
I like the initial idea for destructive weapons, and the second idea as well (ignoring 50 points of armour per DD).
The reason why i like them?
Lets look at the rules as they stand, and the rules for building battle dress in the vehicle book. By using the rules in supplement 5-6, you can build a suit of TL15 battle dress, medium chassis, that will have a total armour of 24 max, plus extra armour (+6) and armoured coveralls (+2) for a total of 32.
This makes it just about immune to a lot of the 'longarm' weapons even with AP (though super AP from a gauss rifle will penetrate on a good roll) and that is fine with me, but it is not much protection from the man portable artillery that are the PGMP and FGMP family of weapons.
Based on pure average of the dice rolled for damage of these weapons, the TL14 PGMP does 12d6 auto 6. Lets assume that it is fired at said suit above on burst fire and the effect of the hit roll is +2. The damage on an average roll is then 42, +6 for auto rating, and +2 for effect, for a total of 50 damage. Battle dress stops 32 of this, so 18 goes straight though to the wearer. If that does not kill him, he is almost certainly now unconscious from the damage just caused to him.
Or lets auto fire on the battle dress wearer, and assume for the sake of this that all six dice pair up to create 3 hits on him, each with an effect of 2, so on average this means each shot does 44 damage, so 12 goes though each time, for a total of 36 damage. This will kill most in battle dress there and then.
This gets deadlier if the weapon used is a FGMP, which at the matching tech level does 16d6 auto 4(!) The average of that on burst fire would be 60, again just about instant death for the battle dress wearer. Even if we get a bit silly and build a ultra heavy suit which you could max out at 40 armour, the wearer of this suit is going to get seriously injure/ killed by the same tech level FGMP.
The destructive trait as first suggested, reflects this as well, battle dress is great protection against more 'mundane' weapons, but even it is not going to take a hit from FGMP or other man portable weapons (autocannon with super AP will go through a medium suit, let alone the anti armour gun that can be mounted on the suits or the mass driver cannon). Whether using the first idea, that armour is ignored and damage is x10, the result against battle dress come to pretty much the same thing, the wearer is going to take 30-40 damage on a 1dd weapons, and 70 for a 2dd weapon, which is a little higher than the above examples but the end result is the same, the battle dress user is now dead.
The same happens if it just ignores 50 or 100 points of armour as the second suggestion for DD weapons. So on the more personal scale i am happy that these weapons are destructive. DD weapons against vehicles is not something i have tested yet, and bear in mind that the current rules for making plasm/fusion weapons destructive/ultra destructive means that they can kill other vehicles with side/rear shots quickly (Sphere tank, 150 armour, fusion z would reduce the armour by 56 per shot, meaning second to third shot would damage/disable tank, and some of the current weapons with ultimate AP one shot it anyway ( heavy hyper velocity cannon ignores 90 armour).
I think that the new rules on DD still reflect the current reality of traveller weapons, and that the ignore x points of armour is possible the best for balance, but i would be happy with either in my games.
Sorry if this post is a bit of a 'ramble' and a bit rules lawyer, but i think the arguments above where not taking into account the current rules when it comes to plasma/fusion man portable weapons and by comparing them i hope to illustrate that little changes when you make PGMP/FGMP destructive weapons as suggested by these play test rules.
Nerhesi
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Nerhesi » Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:34 pm

No worries about rambling.

That is exactly my point. We go from having a nice exchange between advanced weapons an armor, to TL11+ weapons completely ignoring armor and armor mods that made specifically to counter them (ERA and Electrostatic defence) - which range all the way up to TL15.

I completely agree we can clean up the system from the previous 5 different AP notations, and 2 different Destructive notations - but without flipping balance on its head.

That is what brought on the discussion and welcome to it :)
Last edited by Nerhesi on Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Nerhesi
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Nerhesi » Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:48 pm

AndrewW wrote: Actually, a 10 ton fighter requires the same armour as a 20 ton fighter.
High Guard page 57 wrote:1 or one ton, whichever is greater.
This has the effect of making a 10 ton fighter take the same armor (by tons) as a 20 ton fighter.
Really?! You going to nitpick on tha- actually. Thanks a ton bud, gotta be accurate :)

I should have used the example of a 20-ton craft and up for scaling armor requirements. The point is that we can make TL10 for example smallcraft "tanks" that are flat out immune to missiles and beam lasers. By TL12, they can be immune to nuclear missiles, pulse lasers etc.
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby GypsyComet » Sat Apr 19, 2014 4:06 pm

Nerhesi wrote:
Infojunky wrote: Back to my earlier comment on Battledress and PGMPs and FGMPs, remember at introduction Combat Armor/Battle dress is required to protect the operator, not defend against being targeted by said weapons.
I have no idea where you got this :) Combat armor can do this, and lets say the earlier battle dress only does this (then why would you even care about battledress.. but whatever, lets kepe going). Then why keep introducing more advanced Battle dress, with significant armor options and armor upgrades if all that nothing to the weapon you introduced 3 TLs ago?
As with combat armor today, Battledress can stop or minimize incidentals like shrapnel, and can handle direct hits from small stuff, but the heavy weaponry available in the last three TLs will still kill the wearer on a direct hit.

Traveller PGMPs and FGMPs have always required the operator to wear Battledress due to radiation and heat protection and very high recoils. Only the last PGMP avoids this due to advanced integral gravitics. Fusion weaponry sheds the requirement only at TL16.

Just because it isn't necessarily in Mongoose doesn't mean it isn't in Traveller.
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Sigtrygg
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Sigtrygg » Sat Apr 19, 2014 4:36 pm

GypsyComet wrote:
Traveller PGMPs and FGMPs have always required the operator to wear Battledress due to radiation and heat protection and very high recoils. Only the last PGMP avoids this due to advanced integral gravitics. Fusion weaponry sheds the requirement only at TL16.
Your version of LBB4 must be a different printing to mine because nowhere in it does it say this.
The PGMP-13 and the FGMP-14 are the only two that require the firer to be in BD.

There is even a CT adventure where an FGMP-15 is used by an unarmoured Imperial agent to dispose of some thugs in an alley - Argon Gambit.
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby tuz_sen » Sat Apr 19, 2014 7:51 pm

Nerhesi wrote:So, to address the issue of "clean" rules for AP, and keep the lethality of what happens should you get hit by giant ship-scale plasma cannon on a vehicle, we can stick to the following:

a) Destructive weapons (D notation after the dice) - multiply their damage by 10.
b) Each 2DD = 1D in ship scale damage. (So basically, a Particle turret equivalent, is a 6DD weapon)
c) Using the above, balance the weapons we have (from anti orbital laser, to advanced PGMPs and FGMPs between the scale of 1DD to 3DD, with maybe some extreme 4,5DD examples).

Info, Hiro, everyone else, here is what we end up with:

1DD weapons will annihilate non-battledress troops and most light vehicles. Even the heaviest battle dress troops will be destroyed 33% of the time from a 1DD weapons.
2DD weapons - kiss your ass goodbye unless you're in an advanced battletank (80+) armor.
3DD weapons - kiss your ass goodbye... unless .. I found one example: Darrian TL15 super advanced tank with maximum armor allowed by the construction rules.
4DD weapons - You're being hit by a pulse laser from a ship.. what is wrong with you!?
5DD/6DD - You dont even want to be in most ships when this hits you.

Basically, this doesn't require a complete revisit of the existing construction rules for vehicles (which were recently redone in supplement 5-6), and it allows for a the conversion scale of 20 personal/vehicle armor to 1 spaceship armor point.

Sound good?
I fully agree with this break down because it maintains current designs as valid under the new rules, which is important because we are not writing a new game.

A personal feelings about the limiting of gun combat specializations, which I feel is the more important debate, If you limit it to 2 maybe 4 remember that there are careers that will hand the character 2+ gun combat 1 skills. Also I my experience most traveller ground combat is gun based so forcing characters to specialize a little more is not a bad thing, that way you can give enemies better weapons and not give the party better weapons with out a trade off.
Infojunky
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Infojunky » Sun Apr 20, 2014 2:32 am

Nerhesi wrote:So, to address the issue of "clean" rules for AP, and keep the lethality of what happens should you get hit by giant ship-scale plasma cannon on a vehicle, we can stick to the following:

a) Destructive weapons (D notation after the dice) - multiply their damage by 10.
b) Each 2DD = 1D in ship scale damage. (So basically, a Particle turret equivalent, is a 6DD weapon)
c) Using the above, balance the weapons we have (from anti orbital laser, to advanced PGMPs and FGMPs between the scale of 1DD to 3DD, with maybe some extreme 4,5DD examples).

Info, Hiro, everyone else, here is what we end up with:

1DD weapons will annihilate non-battledress troops and most light vehicles. Even the heaviest battle dress troops will be destroyed 33% of the time from a 1DD weapons.
2DD weapons - kiss your ass goodbye unless you're in an advanced battletank (80+) armor.
3DD weapons - kiss your ass goodbye... unless .. I found one example: Darrian TL15 super advanced tank with maximum armor allowed by the construction rules.
4DD weapons - You're being hit by a pulse laser from a ship.. what is wrong with you!?
5DD/6DD - You dont even want to be in most ships when this hits you.

Basically, this doesn't require a complete revisit of the existing construction rules for vehicles (which were recently redone in supplement 5-6), and it allows for a the conversion scale of 20 personal/vehicle armor to 1 spaceship armor point.

Sound good?
No Matter what I said subsequent to this post, go with this. While I have issues that I stated Nerhesi has a workable solution here.
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phavoc
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby phavoc » Sun Apr 20, 2014 3:44 am

In a somewhat related note... shouldn't there be some sort of scaling factor for armor and weaponry? A 10ton fighter shouldn't be able to have the same armor level that say a 100 ton scout does, or a 50,000 ton cruiser. So the 10ton fighter might be limited to factor 1 armor, the scout to factor 2 armor, and the cruiser to factor 10 armor. I've always scratched my head at how you could make such smaller ships be armored leviathans.

Another way to look at it would be that a battle-dress equipped trooper might be able to shrug off small arms fire, but anti-vehicle weaponry should chew him up since his armor is designed to defeat smaller scale weaponry.

Some of this is taken care of by the penetration factor, but other parts don't seem to make sense. Obviously high tech weaponry should chew up just about anything it touches, and a man with a musket wouldn't be able to do much to a soldier in battle dress. But put enough energy behind the projectile and it's gotta go somewhere - even if it can't by the rules penetrate the armor.

Though I'm not really sure exactly how to create charts that would make sense and still make it easy to play.
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby GypsyComet » Sun Apr 20, 2014 3:28 pm

Sigtrygg wrote:
GypsyComet wrote:
Traveller PGMPs and FGMPs have always required the operator to wear Battledress due to radiation and heat protection and very high recoils. Only the last PGMP avoids this due to advanced integral gravitics. Fusion weaponry sheds the requirement only at TL16.
Your version of LBB4 must be a different printing to mine because nowhere in it does it say this.
The PGMP-13 and the FGMP-14 are the only two that require the firer to be in BD.

There is even a CT adventure where an FGMP-15 is used by an unarmoured Imperial agent to dispose of some thugs in an alley - Argon Gambit.
Odd that the PGMP-13 requires it but the -12 doesn't, don't you think? MegaTraveller does list the BD requirement for the PGMP-12, leaving only the PGMP-14. As for the FGMP-15 not needing it, I had conflated the TL16 intro of the Plasma Rifle with no longer needing BD for the FGMP. I use the gratuitously powerful weapons only rarely.
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Sigtrygg
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Sigtrygg » Sun Apr 20, 2014 3:49 pm

Nope, not odd at all. Read the text and it all becomes clear.

The PGMP13 is designed to be used with battledress, the PGMP12 wasn't, but does require the shooter to miss a turn due to recoil.

MT authors goofed with the asterisk in the PH, the IE makes no mention of BD being required, pretty sure this is on the errata list somewhere.

Also check Striker.
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby GypsyComet » Sun Apr 20, 2014 4:37 pm

Don's most recent MT errata has nothing to say on the matter.
TNE with errata does indicate that recoil is an issue, but doesn't specifically call out BD.

As such, there are multiple answers. I'm going to drop this now as it no longer bears on Mongoose, except to note that Infojunky is still essentially correct: BD is an enabler for the heavy weapons more than a defense against them.
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Sigtrygg » Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:29 pm

I agree, I used to equip my BD troops with light machine guns and auto ram grenade launchers :)
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Dracous » Mon Apr 21, 2014 2:18 am

I think that there should be more differentiation of PGMP's and FGMP's. A the moment they are functionally identical. It would be nice if they could do more damage at higher tech levels.

My suggestion for this is perhaps have DD do 5 times damage, then we can have 1DD, 2DD, 3DD and 4DD ranges on the man portable plasma/fusion weapons. (All the other DD weapons will need to have there damage adjusted to suit. Although I have to admit, multiplying by 10 is easy.

Also, I would expect more of the personal weapons to have AP values. The AP can help differentiate the weapons from each other. I was surprised to see that the Gauss weapons didn't have AP, as well as a few of the others.

Will there be special rounds that give a bullet AP properties?
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Infojunky
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Infojunky » Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:31 am

phavoc wrote:In a somewhat related note... shouldn't there be some sort of scaling factor for armor and weaponry? A 10ton fighter shouldn't be able to have the same armor level that say a 100 ton scout does, or a 50,000 ton cruiser. So the 10ton fighter might be limited to factor 1 armor, the scout to factor 2 armor, and the cruiser to factor 10 armor. I've always scratched my head at how you could make such smaller ships be armored leviathans.
I agree with you wholeheartedly but this is out of scope for what Matt is asking here. If we can beat out a standard here then in a different thread we can attack the inadequacies of starship construction and combat in its own thread. (note, in earlier editions often you really couldn't effectively armor anything under 1000 dTons, but that mostly wasn't an explicit rule)
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Infojunky » Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:34 am

Dracous wrote: Also, I would expect more of the personal weapons to have AP values. The AP can help differentiate the weapons from each other. I was surprised to see that the Gauss weapons didn't have AP, as well as a few of the others.

Will there be special rounds that give a bullet AP properties?
After a certain point all the slug throwers got multiple ammunition types, if anyone remembers the Tranq rounds for the 4mm series of gauss weapons.
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Nerhesi
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Nerhesi » Mon Apr 21, 2014 6:06 pm

Infojunky wrote: If we can beat out a standard here then in a different thread we can attack the inadequacies of starship construction and combat in its own thread.
I think we finally have ladies and gents (based on the replies in this thread).

(a) Destructive notation is indicated via a "D" after the damage dice. Example 1DD = 1 dice damage, destructive.

(b) When a Destructive weapons does damage to personal/vehicle scale armor, multiply the damage by 10.

(c) Destructive weapon scale to do ship damage as follows: Every 2DD is equivalent to 1D ship scale damage. The reverse is true for ship weapons scaling downwards.

Examples:

Ship Beam Laser 1D ship damage, 2DD vehicle/personal damage.
Ship Pulse Laser 2D ship damage, 4DD vehicle/personal damage.
Ship Particle Beam/Plasma Gun ship damage, 3D ship damage, 6DD vehicle/personal damage.

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