New Mercenary and ships...

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New Mercenary and ships...

Postby Annatar Giftbringer » Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:09 pm

Greetings,
How would a non-destructive weapon interact with starships using the new Mercenary book?

a) Divide damage by 10?

b) Apply some kind of extra modifier, so non-destructive weapons become weaker against ship targets than destructive ones?

c) Not possible at all. No way.

I don't see much difference between 10D6 and 1DD, except the destructive weapon usually has a high AP value too. Even 7-8D6 should be able to, with a good roll, deal comparable damage to DD weapons. Or?
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Re: New Mercenary and ships...

Postby dragoner » Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:55 pm

Considering that the damage systems are parallel, and do not function the same, where armor is degraded in vehicle combat and the multiples are different. Rather than conversion, just assign a value for that weapon to have, otherwise you are stuck with a correction factor that may or may not scale; the amount of small arms that affect a starship are nil, realistically.
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Re: New Mercenary and ships...

Postby swampslug » Mon Jun 16, 2014 6:26 pm

This doesn't appear to have made it into the final version of Mercenary 2nd Edition but from the second iteration of the playtest:

The only weapons capable of damaging the exterior of a spacecraft are Destructive weapons, detailed on page XX.

Note that when engaging spacecraft engage personal scale targets or vice versa, combat is played with rounds of six seconds, not the usual six minutes of spacecraft scale.

Personal vs. Spacecraft
If a Destructive weapon targets a spacecraft, it loses its Destructive trait but its damage is treated as if it were a spacecraft scale weapon, rolling as normal on the table on page 150 of the Traveller Core Rulebook.

Spacecraft vs. Personal
If a spacecraft weapon targets anything on the personal scale, be it a vehicle or a (very unlucky!) character, it gains the Destructive trait and then rolls for damage normally, likely vaporising any character it strikes or seriously damaging even the most heavily armoured vehicle.
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Re: New Mercenary and ships...

Postby phavoc » Mon Jun 16, 2014 6:36 pm

The question of personal/vehicle/starship weaponry destructive comparisons has never ceased. It's unfortunate that the rules have never been adapted to a reflection of reality.

A vehicle can mount the same weapons that a starship can, and the damage for the weapon should be based on the weapon, not whether it's mounted on a vehicle or starship. So if you had a vehicle with a beam laser, it should be treated as the same as a beam laser mounted on the starship.

Armor factors have also never been up to snuff. You can have a heavily-armored tank that should have more capabilities to resist weapons damage than that of a zero-armor merchant. It used to be that ships would be armored with collapsed-matter hull plating, which does offer a great deal of armor factor, but by the same factor a grav tank could also have the same type of armor. The argument would be that the tank is designed to get shot at while the free trader isn't. So, in theory at least, the tank should have superior armor resistance. The difference between the two is that the free trader is much larger and has the potential ability to soak up shots that a tank cannot (though the tank should be able to resist the damage better).

And then there's the personal weaponry. A .50cal machine gun can easily punch through hull plating on a modern ship. Only ships built to resist shell impacts have the ability to shrug off the shells. If you scale it up, a trooper armed with a FGMP weapon should also be able to punch hulls in unarmored starships because of the destructive capability of his weapon and the fact that the ship is not designed to be combatant. It would take a higher armor factor to be able to resist the destructive force of the weapon.

Or at least it should, assuming weapons of the future are simply scaled up high-tech analogues of past weaponry (which itself was scaled-up high-tech analogues of previous weapons).
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Re: New Mercenary and ships...

Postby sideranautae » Mon Jun 16, 2014 6:43 pm

phavoc wrote: A vehicle can mount the same weapons that a starship can, and the damage for the weapon should be based on the weapon, not whether it's mounted on a vehicle or starship. So if you had a vehicle with a beam laser, it should be treated as the same as a beam laser mounted on the starship.
Yep (remember to bring along the starship sized PP) and you can only shoot every 6 minutes or so... 8)
phavoc wrote:Armor factors have also never been up to snuff. You can have a heavily-armored tank that should have more capabilities to resist weapons damage than that of a zero-armor merchant.
Not really. A merchant going from Earth to the nearest GG has to shrug off micrometers that when collided with, have KE value of 4,195 MJ. A depleted Uranium perpetrator fired from a 120mm tank cannon has a KE of only ~9 MJ. Not EVEN close.

Therefore, a B-laser that is going to damage an unarmored starship is gong to totally vaporize a modern MBT. It HAS to per the game. Meanwhile, the cannon on a modern MBT can't even scratch an unarmored star ship hull at point blank range. It might chip the paint. Maybe...
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Re: New Mercenary and ships...

Postby phavoc » Mon Jun 16, 2014 8:05 pm

sideranautae wrote:Yep (remember to bring along the starship sized PP) and you can only shoot every 6 minutes or so... 8)
A starship can only fire once every six minutes anyways, so no problems there. :)
phavoc wrote:Armor factors have also never been up to snuff. You can have a heavily-armored tank that should have more capabilities to resist weapons damage than that of a zero-armor merchant.
Not really. A merchant going from Earth to the nearest GG has to shrug off micrometers that when collided with, have KE value of 4,195 MJ. A depleted Uranium perpetrator fired from a 120mm tank cannon has a KE of only ~9 MJ. Not EVEN close.

Therefore, a B-laser that is going to damage an unarmored starship is gong to totally vaporize a modern MBT. It HAS to per the game. Meanwhile, the cannon on a modern MBT can't even scratch an unarmored star ship hull at point blank range. It might chip the paint. Maybe...[/quote]

I wasn't referring to a TL7 MBT going up against a TL10 starship. I was referring to a TL10 going up against a TL10 starship. A APFSDS round from a 120mm Rheinmetal gun can easily pass through a modern ship (assuming you don't get unlucky and hit an engine or something else quite large and massive). Even modern destroyers and cruisers hulls can be easily penetrated with vehicle-mounted weaponry. The only real armor they get is over the vitals.

As far as a starship needing armor to shrug off micrometeroids, you could armor the forward and aft sections and leave the rest alone. But that's assuming the rules take this into account, which they don't.
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Re: New Mercenary and ships...

Postby sideranautae » Tue Jun 17, 2014 12:39 am

phavoc wrote: As far as a starship needing armor to shrug off micrometeroids, you could armor the forward and aft sections and leave the rest alone.
Not really. You might need to turn the craft all different directions while underway. Bringing weapons or sensors to bear. The entire ship needs protection. No one would chance the destruction of a ship on an off chance incident. No one would loan on them or insure them.
Last edited by sideranautae on Tue Jun 17, 2014 1:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Mercenary and ships...

Postby CosmicGamer » Tue Jun 17, 2014 1:00 am

My understanding is that high speed objects, ship debris, a wrench a space walker dropped, whatever, not just micrometeorites, could hit the ship at high velocity from just about any angle?
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Re: New Mercenary and ships...

Postby mr31337 » Tue Jun 17, 2014 2:01 am

Where is the evidence to support all the micrometeorites or other super high velocity stuff in spaaaace? Sure it exists, no denying that, but what are the minute odds of actually colliding with some? Remember, space is really-really big. NASA don't put bonded super dense armour on their spacecraft, stations and satellites do they? Yet they seem to survive the alleged perils of outer spaaaace.
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Re: New Mercenary and ships...

Postby sideranautae » Tue Jun 17, 2014 2:12 am

mr31337 wrote:Where is the evidence to support all the micrometeorites or other super high velocity stuff in spaaaace?
Tons of it hits the Earth daily. What other evidence do you need? The high velocity comes from the ship's movement.
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Re: New Mercenary and ships...

Postby mr31337 » Tue Jun 17, 2014 2:37 am

The evidence I would like to see is an explanation of how present day space craft survive 'tons' of super high velocity micrometeorites.
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Re: New Mercenary and ships...

Postby sideranautae » Tue Jun 17, 2014 2:39 am

mr31337 wrote:The evidence I would like to see is an explanation of how present day space craft survive 'tons' of super high velocity micrometeorites.
???? Our space craft today aren't traveling at hundreds or thousands of kilometers/sec. So why do you want to see what doesn't exist and what isn't relevant to the conversation?
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Re: New Mercenary and ships...

Postby mr31337 » Tue Jun 17, 2014 3:13 am

sideranautae wrote:???? Our space craft today aren't traveling at hundreds or thousands of kilometers/sec. So why do you want to see what doesn't exist and what isn't relevant to the conversation?
I don't think very many Traveller ships routinely travel quite that fast, why wouldn't they be jumping when they travel at over 66% of the speed of light?

Voyager 1 is travelling at 17km/s, a more likely speed by Traveller standards, but doesn't seem to be bothered by dust.

It is relevant because without the concern for space dust or micrometeorites then Traveller ships would never have been claimed to be so absurdly tough & armoured. Once past that argument maybe we can consider the OP's issue more clearly.
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Re: New Mercenary and ships...

Postby sideranautae » Tue Jun 17, 2014 3:19 am

mr31337 wrote:
sideranautae wrote:???? Our space craft today aren't traveling at hundreds or thousands of kilometers/sec. So why do you want to see what doesn't exist and what isn't relevant to the conversation?
I don't think very many Traveller ships routinely travel quite that fast, why wouldn't they be jumping when they travel at over 66% of the speed of light?
??? Speed of light is 300,000 km/sec. 66% of the speed of light would be 198,000 km/sec. No one said Trav ships go that fast. Trav ships when traveling to the outer system ROUTINELY get up to a few thousand km/sec. You just need to do the calcs yourself. Figure the speed and the K.E. of running into something on the order of 1/10 - 1/2 gram and get back with the calcs and figures...

Peace out
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Re: New Mercenary and ships...

Postby locarno24 » Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:51 am

I wasn't referring to a TL7 MBT going up against a TL10 starship. I was referring to a TL10 going up against a TL10 starship. A APFSDS round from a 120mm Rheinmetal gun can easily pass through a modern ship (assuming you don't get unlucky and hit an engine or something else quite large and massive). Even modern destroyers and cruisers hulls can be easily penetrated with vehicle-mounted weaponry. The only real armor they get is over the vitals.

True, but the 'battle tank' main guns of TL10+ tanks are going to be Destructive weapons which can hurt a ship. Or at least they should be - once in a technology regime where heavy infantry are packing PGMPs (which can definitely hurt ships), anything vehicle-mounted should definitely be Destructive in nature.
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: New Mercenary and ships...

Postby dragoner » Tue Jun 17, 2014 3:25 pm

locarno24 wrote:True, but the 'battle tank' main guns of TL10+ tanks are going to be Destructive weapons which can hurt a ship. Or at least they should be - once in a technology regime where heavy infantry are packing PGMPs (which can definitely hurt ships), anything vehicle-mounted should definitely be Destructive in nature.
So just assign them the ability to damage starships, and there still will be limited by range.
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Re: New Mercenary and ships...

Postby Annatar Giftbringer » Tue Jun 17, 2014 6:26 pm

I can easily houserule something, I was wondering if there was anything official, and from the sound of it the official version is DD or don't.

I'm thinking perhaps divide none-DD damage by 20 instead of 10, or allow a high enough damage-roll (20? 50?) from a non-DD weapon to cause a single hit, or something like that...
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Re: New Mercenary and ships...

Postby Dracous » Thu Jun 19, 2014 10:53 pm

sideranautae wrote:
mr31337 wrote:Where is the evidence to support all the micrometeorites or other super high velocity stuff in spaaaace?
Tons of it hits the Earth daily. What other evidence do you need? The high velocity comes from the ship's movement.
ISS has been up there for ages now, and has not been mission killed by a micrometeorite. Voyager probes also have not been killed. Some probes have made it through Saturn's rings an survived. I don't see micrometeorites as such a huge issue it needs super armour to counter them.

I find the argument that the hulls are designed for prevent micrometeorite strikes from doing a little hard to accept, as it runs into the following problems.
1. Missiles traditionally do not strike the ship, but instead are proximity detonated and rely on fragments striking the ship. (I believe this was explained int he Classic Trav special supplement on missiles). Such shielding would render these missiles ineffective.
2. Micrometeorite Storm is a random space encounter encounter (MGT Page 139) which can damage the ship.
3. Seems a little wasteful when collision avoidance sensors would be a better option. (I imagine a laser based system that automatically moves the ship in the event of an object in it's path)

Hopefully there will be a new edition of High Guard, which will think about these sort of things. And perhaps come up with a rule to explain how spacecraft hulls interact with normal weapons.

In the meantime, I am thinking of using a house rule based on destructive weapons.
Divide damage by 10, round down. (Not sure what to do about AP properties. Mercenary us unclear on that. Perhaps I'll divide AP by 10 and round down as well).

Yes, I know that gives a pistol a chance to damage an unarmored ship, But since a pistol can damage the ISS at the moment, I can live with that. Your standard free trader has 4 points of Armour. So that means your weapon will need at least 50 points of damage to get 1 point in. Or it will need some Armour Piercing properties. So we are getting into the realm of heavier weapons anyway.

I really hope that "Starships start with Super Impenetrable Armour" rule does not become default in MGT. I'd live with it if it does do that, but it would annoy me.
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Re: New Mercenary and ships...

Postby CosmicGamer » Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:44 pm

Dracous wrote:ISS has been up there for ages now, and has not been mission killed by a micrometeorite.
The solar panels do have bullet sized holes in them. The ISS hull is made up of multiple layers designed to contain and slow down debris so that it doesn’t pierce through.
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Re: New Mercenary and ships...

Postby Dracous » Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:55 pm

CosmicGamer wrote:
Dracous wrote:ISS has been up there for ages now, and has not been mission killed by a micrometeorite.
The solar panels do have bullet sized holes in them. The ISS hull is made up of multiple layers designed to contain and slow down debris so that it doesn’t pierce through.
Cool. And I think it helps reinforce my point. The ISS has armour, but is not impenetrable.
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