Perhaps FGMP/PGMP need a nixing/modding...

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
Nerhesi
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 1525
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:46 pm

Perhaps FGMP/PGMP need a nixing/modding...

Postby Nerhesi » Mon Oct 13, 2014 2:49 pm

Once upon a time - not so long ago, battle dress was useless. This is because youre average TL14/ TL15 , 3 Million Credit battle dress, was handily defeated by a trooper using a 1 tech level below 20,000 to 100,000 credit weapon. Basically, that meant that battle dress shouldn't exist because at one tech level earlier, it was handily defeated (one shot - instantly destroy the armor and the trooper). It would be like developing full plate after rifles were readily available.

Then, when the new vehicle book came out (combined supplement 5-6), things where fixed. The armor values on vehicle and battledress could readily reach levels where it did make sense for them to exist.

Enter Mercenary Second edition, we're back to where we started, and even a bit worse off. Now some of you will remember my arguing for reduction of the new DD rule because of how it made vehicle armor redundant, and how it was not logical because armor should not differ between vehicles or spacecraft.

I had completely forgotten / didnt take into account battle dress at that time. :(

The following example is the best case scenario for a battle dress. A TL15 assault battle dress facing off against TL12 regular troops:

A couple of TL12 troopers + combat armor (if strength 12, or powered plate) + PGMP-12s is < 0.5 MCr
VS
A TL15-16, top of the line, Assault battle dress, with Static Armor defence, MCr 3.52 at minimum (this is just suit, and armor).

The TL12 PGMP-12 troopers would be doing. 1d6x10 AP 30 vs 53 armor. So trooper wounded on a 3+, out of action on a 4+. The instant we hit TL13 or 14, it becomes an instant kill on any hit, due to FGMPs and improved plasma. Again, this is comparing the earlier available weaponry vs the absolute top of line armor 2-3 TLs above that weapon...

The more I look at this, the more I consider the central supply catalog values as internally consistent... (at least for the FGMP/PGMP weaponry). I really like the merc 2nd edition (bought it) and the the values for pretty much every other handheld weapon.
sideranautae
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1412
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:28 pm

Re: Perhaps FGMP/PGMP need a nixing/modding...

Postby sideranautae » Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:18 pm

If I hit a soldier in TL 7 Battle armor with a TL 5 bazooka it is also an insta kill. Or, it I hit him with a TL 4 AT rifle it is insta kill...
Image
Nerhesi
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 1525
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:46 pm

Re: Perhaps FGMP/PGMP need a nixing/modding...

Postby Nerhesi » Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:36 pm

sideranautae wrote:If I hit a soldier in TL 7 Battle armor with a TL 5 bazooka it is also an insta kill. Or, it I hit him with a TL 4 AT rifle it is insta kill...
Yeah! and the game does a wonderful job of modeling this!
TL7 armor, cloth + flak = 7 armor!

TL5 Heavy Bolt Rifle 4d6+4
TL5 AT rife 6d6
TL6 Bazooka 7d6!

Thankfully we're not talking about TL7 battle armor right? We're talking about armor that costs 20-50x the cost of a weapon in a highly advanced society! :roll:

To make it easier for you, its like saying that today's 1st world armies are issuing brand new, recently developed armor that is 20 times more expensive than the rifle theyve been issue for 100 years; except that it provides zero protection against that rifle...
GypsyComet
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2166
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 4:09 am

Re: Perhaps FGMP/PGMP need a nixing/modding...

Postby GypsyComet » Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:48 pm

Weapons are almost always ahead of armor. Often by a LOT.
Battledress in MGT is in about the same spot as it was back in CT, before subsequent editions decided that BD needed to be much more awesome. Even so, BD has never been enough resistance to take a direct hit from the PGMP or FGMP. It isn't intended to do that. What it is intended to do is allow the wearer to ignore just about anything else and require that direct hit, while allowing the wearer to carry similarly destructive weaponry.
CTMTTNET4GTT20THMGTT5
It's all Traveller, so it's all Good.
Nerhesi
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 1525
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:46 pm

Re: Perhaps FGMP/PGMP need a nixing/modding...

Postby Nerhesi » Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:57 pm

GypsyComet wrote:Weapons are almost always ahead of armor. Often by a LOT.
Battledress in MGT is in about the same spot as it was back in CT, before subsequent editions decided that BD needed to be much more awesome. Even so, BD has never been enough resistance to take a direct hit from the PGMP or FGMP. It isn't intended to do that. What it is intended to do is allow the wearer to ignore just about anything else and require that direct hit, while allowing the wearer to carry similarly destructive weaponry.
The problem with this is two-fold Gypsy. If I may:

a) Battledress should then not exist. No world/organization would invest millions per trooper when they get be defeated by forces that are possibly centuries behind. I can carry similarly destructive weaponry without millions in battledress (grav assist, high strength, etc) and I can have protection against all other weapons through advanced combat armor plus advanced cloth plus subdermal armor. All this for a fraction of the cost of battle dress.

b)Weapons are almost always ahead of armor, as youve indicated. Almost always. This is not so in the OTU as we have armor that can stand up to ship scale lasers, plasmas, particle weaponry, nuclear missiles, etc. Material is Material - regardless of where it is mounted. In fact, when you consider that some bonded superdense on spacecraft is CHEAPER than battledress, then there is no excuse that BD material shouldnt be the same.

At the very least, to support your position, the OTU would need to drop the battledress costs by a factor of 20 or so, at least at that point it may be logically sound to develop/create the paper suits.

Also, prior to Merc 2nd edition, BD interaction with fusion/plasma was much more interesting. You could possibly shrug off the first hit or two, but the armor was getting deteriorated due to the destructive quality, so that you would be destroyed in time. This of course was against the small-scale plasma and fusion, not the vehicle mounted ones that could still annihilate you in one hit.
hiro

Re: Perhaps FGMP/PGMP need a nixing/modding...

Postby hiro » Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:10 pm

I won't argue with you on the numbers, personally, I'm not a fan of the CSC and other aspects of the combat system in MgT but that's not why I'm posting...

An aspect I think is greatly underplayed in Traveller (and yes, I think that's because its a period sci-fi and needs to be seen in it's own little bubble) is the detection side of things. As for the most part we're talking about modernising Traveller to amend for it's view from the 1960/70s I think this is pertinent.

Looking at current day combat it seems to me for the most part, if you can see it, you can kill it. On a lightly armed personal level this may not be true, service calibre pistols are no guarantee of a kill and even less so against soft or hard armour but once we get to vehicles and the weapons designed to use against them, they're toast! This follows on as we up the TL as you've noted.

The tweak I'd suggest is to make the detection of battle dress much harder. It's what we've been trying to do with the squillions spent on stealth technology for the last couple of decades and, this is sci-fi after all, let's wave a few more hands and make the stuff nigh on invisible with a TL difference applied as a DM for detection. Visible/IR chameleon, anti grav decoys with similar signatures mimicking movement of troops, fake density signatures, whatever can be thought of... Combat becomes much more sneak/tactics based and if you're a PC, deadly cos if you're detected, it's lights out.
sideranautae
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1412
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:28 pm

Re: Perhaps FGMP/PGMP need a nixing/modding...

Postby sideranautae » Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:16 pm

Nerhesi wrote: Thankfully we're not talking about TL7 battle armor right? We're talking about armor that costs 20-50x the cost of a weapon in a highly advanced society!
Each individual ceramic plate in TL 7 armour costs as much as the TL 4 AT rifle. A little research will serve you better than playing with emoticons when faced with real data... :roll:
Image
phavoc
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 4687
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:13 pm

Re: Perhaps FGMP/PGMP need a nixing/modding...

Postby phavoc » Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:20 pm

Just because it's super expensive doesn't mean it isn't worthwhile. If you look at today the paradigm still exists. A US carrier (with air wing) costs around $6billion dollars. An ss-n-26 costs about $1million. Say you fired a spread of 100 missiles at the carrier, assume a 1-2% hit rate, and you spent $100 million to sink or cripple a $6billion dollar target. That's a pretty good return on investment.

On the flip side, a US carrier battlegroup has the potential to smack the willies out of just about anyone. Even Russia is leery of their capabilities. Now scale that down to battledress equipped marines dropping on your head. Those TL-15 marines with their fusion weaponry will have a capability far in excess of their numbers.

COULD you overwhelm them with TL-12 troops? Sure. That particular concept has been around since, like, forever. At the Battle of Blood River, 10k-20k thousand Zulu's took on about 500 Dutch who were sheltering in a circle of Ox wagons. Using just the rifles of their time (1830) and a single light cannon, they killed about 3k Zulu's. The Zulu's could, had they better leadership, simply swarmed the Dutch and killed them all, but they didn't have the tactics or leadership to do so. Arguably that same logic might be applied to any battlefield, regardless of the TL.

It's not always a simple $$ issue. Battledress troops are considered elite units, they have the best possible weapons and training available, and they should have an outsized presence on any battlefield. But Traveller isn't a ruleset that is designed to showcase well the differences between elite and standard troops, nor is it a pure wargaming model. So it's hard to fairly debate this within the rules as provided.
sideranautae
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1412
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:28 pm

Re: Perhaps FGMP/PGMP need a nixing/modding...

Postby sideranautae » Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:22 pm

hiro wrote: Looking at current day combat it seems to me for the most part, if you can see it, you can kill it. On a lightly armed personal level this may not be true, service calibre pistols are no guarantee of a kill and even less so against soft or hard armour but once we get to vehicles and the weapons designed to use against them, they're toast! This follows on as we up the TL as you've noted.
Now that you mention it...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AT4 The new CS model of this allows it to be fired in a confined room. This makes it much more possible to position to hit an MBT from above or behind. Anything less than an MT is insta-toast. Also, man portable AA weapons...
Image
hiro

Re: Perhaps FGMP/PGMP need a nixing/modding...

Postby hiro » Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:27 pm

Are we talking game prices or real world? Not that I know what real world prices are but anyway... a TL4 AT rifle is way harder to wield, especially at close ranges and not too accurate against man sized targets moving thru cover and concealment. Not an easy one to reload and has a poor magazine capacity for when the hoards of ceramic armour wearing grunts are swarming down on you...

I get your point tho, overkill is I think a default and shouldn't be tweaked out of the game.

Better to not be shot... more fun to role play that way too
hiro

Re: Perhaps FGMP/PGMP need a nixing/modding...

Postby hiro » Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:38 pm

sideranautae wrote:Now that you mention it...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AT4 The new CS model of this allows it to be fired in a confined room. This makes it much more possible to position to hit an MBT from above or behind. Anything less than an MT is insta-toast. Also, man portable AA weapons...
and... we've seen plenty of pictures of Syrian MBTs being killed and the Iraqis are losing M1s. Now granted from what I've read their tactics suck donkey dick cos they are not employing dismounted troops, combined ops in urban areas will do a lot to mitigate infantry anti tank weapons.

but back to topic, it ain't hard to kill the best armoured target with a weapon that costs a lot less.

It's tactics that will save your BD troops, not their BD.

It's interesting to me to see the next generation of tanks that will be deployed here in the 21st century, will we go (as I think the designs are suggesting) to lighter more mobile vehicles that still have armour to stop most weapons but won't stop an AT missile or APFSDU round.

Sounds like grav belt assisted battle dress to me ;)
sideranautae
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1412
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:28 pm

Re: Perhaps FGMP/PGMP need a nixing/modding...

Postby sideranautae » Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:44 pm

hiro wrote:Aa TL4 AT rifle is way harder to wield, especially at close ranges and not too accurate against man sized targets moving thru cover and concealment. Not an easy one to reload and has a poor magazine capacity for when the hoards of ceramic armour wearing grunts are swarming down on you...
The Finns had a real nice one they skied around with. Easy to carry and shoot. Would go right through ANY personal armor worn today. In any event, hordes of soldiers coming against a lone armored soldier of any TL will mean that the lone soldier dies.
Image
Nerhesi
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 1525
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:46 pm

Re: Perhaps FGMP/PGMP need a nixing/modding...

Postby Nerhesi » Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:49 pm

Hey folks, I think we're going a little off-course with comparisons to real world TL6/7 armor and weaponry.

We are discussing TL12+ technology, where we know, we have thin armor material that stops nukes, fusion guns and plasma weaponry. The issue is internal consistency and the logic behind something existing, not the bias based on our tech level.

So with that mind, does it make sense that I'm somehow using inferior materials on my battle dress?

And if I am, why am I making battledress?
Last edited by Nerhesi on Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
hiro

Re: Perhaps FGMP/PGMP need a nixing/modding...

Postby hiro » Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:57 pm

Not sure I'd agree with you there, tho granted, it's your OP so you do get to choose :)

The comparison of different TLs is relevant as it's part of the OP but I think what you're asking is should TL12+ (or whatever you want the higher TL to be) change the rule of overkill.

I'm saying no!

If you're asking is the CSC/CRB broken, as I mentioned I am not great with the numbers and I'm not sure there is a correct way, it can be whatever you want it to be. For me I think there is precious little consistency within CSC but I am not the best at arguing it so I will now shut up cussing it!
Rick
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1452
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2005 9:13 am
Location: Lincoln, UK

Re: Perhaps FGMP/PGMP need a nixing/modding...

Postby Rick » Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:58 pm

Different tools for different jobs. The current trend towards lighter, mobile, less armoured vehicles is following the recent trend in asymmetric warfare. You don't need armour that will defeat a 3rd gen heavy ATGW if the most you are facing are RPG's. The advantage of Battledress is very similar - it can go through terrain that vehicles can't, with armour that most insurgent groups will never be able to penetrate.
If you were going up against a modern armoured battle-group, you wouldn't field Humvee's, you'd field Abrams and Bradley's, but against lightly armed insurgents?
"Understanding is a 3-edged sword" bit like a toblerone, really.
Nerhesi
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 1525
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:46 pm

Re: Perhaps FGMP/PGMP need a nixing/modding...

Postby Nerhesi » Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:59 pm

hiro wrote:Not sure I'd agree with you there, tho granted, it's your OP so you do get to choose :)

The comparison of different TLs is relevant as it's part of the OP but I think what you're asking is should TL12+ (or whatever you want the higher TL to be) change the rule of overkill.

I'm saying no!

If you're asking is the CSC/CRB broken, as I mentioned I am not great with the numbers and I'm not sure there is a correct way, it can be whatever you want it to be. For me I think there is precious little consistency within CSC but I am not the best at arguing it so I will now shut up cussing it!
Nah hiro, your opinion is always welcome. Although I know from previous discussion me and you dont see eye to eye on this. I appreciate your approach from an overkill perspective in that you think it should remain - that is a perfectly valid game reason. I guess similar in vein to games like L5R when compared to D&D mechanics for example (where overkill exists in the previous game regardless of how "advanced" you get)
sideranautae
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1412
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:28 pm

Re: Perhaps FGMP/PGMP need a nixing/modding...

Postby sideranautae » Mon Oct 13, 2014 5:00 pm

Nerhesi wrote: We are discussing TL12+ technology, where we know, we have thin armor material that stops nukes, fusion guns and plasma weaponry.

The issue is internal consistency and the logic behind something existing, not the bias based on our tech level.

True but, how thick and heavy do you think star ship armor is? If it is super dense stuff it might not be usable even on advanced personal armor. But, I see your point. This is tough then. Okay, I thought of an angle that might explain.

Look at the size of the high TL Battle Dress. Now look at the size of the TL 12 fusion or plasma weapon. Equivalent to a large BB's spinal weapon vs. another large ship.

I haven't done much HG big ship battle but, without energy type shields what happens to a large TL 15 (15 armor point) ship when it gets hit by a TL 12 spinal mount?
Image
Nerhesi
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 1525
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:46 pm

Re: Perhaps FGMP/PGMP need a nixing/modding...

Postby Nerhesi » Mon Oct 13, 2014 5:02 pm

Rick wrote:Different tools for different jobs. The current trend towards lighter, mobile, less armoured vehicles is following the recent trend in asymmetric warfare. You don't need armour that will defeat a 3rd gen heavy ATGW if the most you are facing are RPG's. The advantage of Battledress is very similar - it can go through terrain that vehicles can't, with armour that most insurgent groups will never be able to penetrate.
If you were going up against a modern armoured battle-group, you wouldn't field Humvee's, you'd field Abrams and Bradley's, but against lightly armed insurgents?
On that line of thought, you definite have a point. Would I just use orbital bomardment and smallcraft and not bother with troops against an nearly advanced force, correct?

I think the point remains however, in that - even against those dissimilar insurgents, why would I spend 3.2 mill on battledress or even 2 mill, when I get the same protection from combat armor, subdermal and under-cloth... for a fraction of the cost?
Nerhesi
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 1525
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:46 pm

Re: Perhaps FGMP/PGMP need a nixing/modding...

Postby Nerhesi » Mon Oct 13, 2014 5:05 pm

sideranautae wrote:
Nerhesi wrote: We are discussing TL12+ technology, where we know, we have thin armor material that stops nukes, fusion guns and plasma weaponry.

The issue is internal consistency and the logic behind something existing, not the bias based on our tech level.

True but, how thick and heavy do you think star ship armor is? If it is super dense stuff it might not be usable even on advanced personal armor. But, I see your point. This is tough then. Okay, I thought of an angle that might explain.

Look at the size of the high TL Battle Dress. Now look at the size of the TL 12 fusion or plasma weapon. Equivalent to a large BB's spinal weapon vs. another large ship.

I haven't done much HG big ship battle but, without energy type shields what happens to a large TL 15 (15 armor point) ship when it gets hit by a TL 12 spinal mount?
If its a particle spinal mount, at TL12, it may not even penetrate at all. Mesons. well.. mesons will be meson - haha :)

As to thickness, I've wanted to get around to doing that but I have been thoroughly avoiding the not-so-difficult math (lazy). Here is a prime example, getting 12 armor from bonded superdense on a 40 ton fighter, will takes up 4 tons of space.

So what is the thickness of 4 dtons of armor, covering the remaining 36 dtons of "craft"?
hiro

Re: Perhaps FGMP/PGMP need a nixing/modding...

Postby hiro » Mon Oct 13, 2014 5:06 pm

The arms race is alive and kicking int he 57th century!

Make something strong, I'll make something stronger. We are better at making bigger guns than we are at making bigger tanks (tho bigger tanks have their own problems like breaking bridges or sinking in mud).

Do you want that to be the case in YTU? If so then go for it! I've given up hoping for consistency in rules written by a variety of people over a period of many years with no central guidance. I hope Mongoose can forgive me for saying it on their forums but that's my take...

The danger with this discussion tho is we're getting back to the need for MgT to have a unified design process for weapons and vehicles that uses one scale for everything. Oh wait, I've said that before ;)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Galadrion and 23 guests