Ship Design Philosophy

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
Somebody
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Somebody » Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:31 pm

Well, my craft have them for changing orientation and close in maneuvers. Or for docking
Condottiere
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:21 am

1. Launch tubes, unless they have an incredibly high reliability rate, would likely need to be built in pairs.

2. Whereas any craft below a certain tonnage can use the tubes, standardizing the tonnage of most or all smallcraft will allow a more efficient usage of both the tubes and hangar space (if you like that sort of accuracy).

3. In theory, not all craft are ready to fly, some may be disassembled, if replacements require some time to catch up, or if it's role is something that's normally not immediately required. If anyone remembers Starcom, with transformable spacecraft compacted to save space in storage; a press of a button and it power deploys.

3a. If you ignore the cheesy dialogue and the hackneyed plots, rather inspiring on the SDB and inner system front. Magna locks would be neat alternative to grapples.

4. Modular smallcraft in large numbers might appear attractive on paper, but operations are probably more efficient with specialized craft when you have lots around.

5. One variant of a high low mix would be to make a cheap patrol vessel, but give it's smallcraft a strike capability. That's probably one reason four hundred ton hulls are popular, equipped with a decent electronic suite, sufficient armament to dissuade raiders and a multipurpose smallcraft. The operating cost would be tuned to be substantially cheaper, and one line of thought is to make them modular, so that a specific role could be optimally carried out, rather than either under equipped, or stuffed to the gills.


6. Too bad there's no mention of vertical launching systems; while you can't reload them without a tender or a station with the proper equipment, since they can only be accessed from the outside, it would cut down on fire control and gunnery personnel, and use less tonnage to install, as well as increase the rate of fire.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby SSWarlock » Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:39 pm

Condottiere wrote:6. Too bad there's no mention of vertical launching systems; while you can't reload them without a tender or a station with the proper equipment, since they can only be accessed from the outside, it would cut down on fire control and gunnery personnel, and use less tonnage to install, as well as increase the rate of fire.
There is now. Adventure 3: Trillion Credit Squadron, page 22, provides details on a new weapon mount, "Missile Pack", which is essentially a VLS.
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phavoc
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby phavoc » Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:19 pm

SSWarlock wrote:
Condottiere wrote:6. Too bad there's no mention of vertical launching systems; while you can't reload them without a tender or a station with the proper equipment, since they can only be accessed from the outside, it would cut down on fire control and gunnery personnel, and use less tonnage to install, as well as increase the rate of fire.
There is now. Adventure 3: Trillion Credit Squadron, page 22, provides details on a new weapon mount, "Missile Pack", which is essentially a VLS.
Yeah, the missile pack allows you 12 missiles for 1 ton. Difference is you can salvo 1 to all of them in a single turn.

There's a couple of flaws in their design though. There's no tonnage required for the missile housing, cost is only 2x the price of the missile (it allows you to mix them), and it's stated they can be only reloaded in a starport.

There's been a number of discussions for VLS-type missile systems being added to flesh out missile combat in Traveller setting.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:28 pm

Our VLS reserves/uses up a standard cubic area of space, which means anything larger than the given dimensions doesn't fit, and anything smaller wastes the space.

Though it's good to know that it's been covered; have they anything similar for torpedoes?
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby phavoc » Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:40 am

Condottiere wrote:Our VLS reserves/uses up a standard cubic area of space, which means anything larger than the given dimensions doesn't fit, and anything smaller wastes the space.

Though it's good to know that it's been covered; have they anything similar for torpedoes?
Some of the discussions centered around just straight tonnage. I had proposed doubling the displacement of the missile/torpedo to account for the launch cannister, and reloads were done by ejecting the launch cannister and replacing with a new one. Unlike the TCS rules, I had proposed reloads could be done in space if you weren't in combat, whilst TCS says you need a starport.

There have been a couple of threads regarding this. The last one, I think, also mentioned having more than one size missile, but kept the concept of torpedo as the biggie of the missile class.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:55 am

Still digesting Merchants and Cruisers.

Two designs, a 2kT Escort Carrier and the Centaur class 800T Jump-1 mercenary carrier seem relevant, though those two grappling arms make it look more like a centipede. The Escort carrier lists twelve ten-ton fighters in a rather cramped hangar but it's Jump-4, and it has a launch tube.

So to summarize, twelve fighters, two full bays for complete maintenance, instant launch.

Going back to the centipede reference, have a maintenance hangar, grapple the fighters to the hull and save the displacement of the launch tube.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby F33D » Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:01 pm

phavoc wrote: There's a couple of flaws in their design though. There's no tonnage required for the missile housing, cost is only 2x the price of the missile (it allows you to mix them), and it's stated they can be only reloaded in a starport.
I don't see why it couldn't be designed to be "breach" re-loadable.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby phavoc » Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:55 pm

F33D wrote:I don't see why it couldn't be designed to be "breach" re-loadable.
That's quite reasonable. But I would assume you would want the ability to re-arm (or in this case reload) your weapons as quickly as possible after a fight. It's a great one-shot weapon, but totally worthless if you can't run back to a starport after combat.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:20 pm

VLS is more of a convenience when space is at a premium. If you have the space for reloading, a bay variant might be more convenient. Though I'd make an exception for a U-Boot aesthetic.

You could re-arm if you have a tender with the requisite loading equipment.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby phavoc » Sat Nov 09, 2013 2:58 am

Condottiere wrote:VLS is more of a convenience when space is at a premium. If you have the space for reloading, a bay variant might be more convenient. Though I'd make an exception for a U-Boot aesthetic.

You could re-arm if you have a tender with the requisite loading equipment.
I see a VLS system useful by allowing you to launch more missile in a shorter time frame than a standard missile mount, and for ships, like say a freighter, that wants to have a quick-punch of firepower but really doesn't want to deal with launchers, magazines, etc.

For my Trav setting VLS missiles are in boxed-launchers (that can be refurbished and reloaded after usage). I used my experience with MLRS rocket pods as an example. They allow for a quick ripple-fire sort of attack, then you can eject the pod and place a new one in there. There are other examples of similar missile setups (both ground and naval based). My setting doubles the size of the missile for a pod (standard missiles are 12/Dton, boxed launchers are 6/Dton). It could be less, but it's an easy rule-of-thumb. A VLS system is most effective in an alpha-strike format. Otherwise a missile system that has a magazine is better in a longer battle. But I also don't have missile 'turrets'. For me all missile launchers are built into the hull. The VLS is really just the disposable-type missile, while the standard ones have a magazine feeding the internal launcher(s).

It's easier to slap a new pod in place than individual missiles. The pods can be refurbished if you want, but if you are in a combat situation I would suspect they'd probably be discarded. In peacetime or in a civilian setting they'd probably get stored back in cargo.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:12 am

Ripple fire is inherent; though I wonder if they were a game mechanism to limit it.

I also wonder if fratricide is a factor.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Sat Nov 09, 2013 8:25 am

I calculate the size of standard missiles as 1.08 cubic metres/80 kilos, give or take.

TL12 missiles minimize out at 0.675 cubic metres/50 kilos.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby phavoc » Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:00 pm

Condottiere wrote:Ripple fire is inherent; though I wonder if they were a game mechanism to limit it.

I also wonder if fratricide is a factor.
Till the missile pack came out in TCS, by the rules at least, you ROF was max 3 per turret, or more if you had bays. But yeah, ripple fire should be considered.

Oh, and as far as fratricide being an issue? Naw. The missiles would clear the tubes more than fast enough. My old system, MLRS, the rockets were going supersonic before they fully left the launch tube. We could ripple fire the entire dozen in less than 60 seconds - and that was changing targets (had to rotate/elevate the launcher).
Condottiere wrote:I calculate the size of standard missiles as 1.08 cubic metres/80 kilos, give or take.

TL12 missiles minimize out at 0.675 cubic metres/50 kilos.
As best as I read the rules, the sizes of missiles don't go down as the TL goes up. Plus you have generic missiles, so all missile launchers take all missiles. Universalism! If I recall correctly, in the very first release of Traveller, like for the Scout ship, there was some verbiage out there that said the gunner manually reloaded the turret. But this was 1979, so anything was possible in the dark ages... even computers that displaced tons! :)
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby F33D » Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:12 pm

Condottiere wrote:VLS is more of a convenience when space is at a premium. If you have the space for reloading, a bay variant might be more convenient. Though I'd make an exception for a U-Boot aesthetic.
I consider a re-loadable VLS a missile bay in my game. But, they are torps instead as missiles (those small things) don't exist.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:24 pm

1. Weapons - HG page 53, you get to choose between miniaturization or improvements.


2. Tried to design a TIE Fighter; solar panels inadequate for required performance. Primary hull without aesthetic paired antennas seems rather beach bally. If catapulted out of launch tubes, probably reminiscent of Wing Commander Mass Driver projectiles.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby phavoc » Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:42 pm

F33D wrote:I consider a re-loadable VLS a missile bay in my game. But, they are torps instead as missiles (those small things) don't exist.
The annoying (not another one!) thing about bays, especially missile ones, is that they are frustratingly light on logic and reasoning. A 50ton bay can launch 12 missiles in a salvo. But there's no info on why the damn thing takes up so much space. 12 missiles only displace a single ton. The description offers no information on what the other 49 tons of space are used for. Torpedo bays are the same.

This is the same lack of detail surrounding missile turrets and torpedo barbettes. Nothing is there about on-mount ammunition, or the requirement for a magazine. If you "store" a missile as cargo, that shouldn't normally be considered ammunition for the launcher.

Augh! Where is the Definitive Guide to Traveller Starships? Where is Janes when you need them??
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby F33D » Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:59 pm

phavoc wrote:
F33D wrote:I consider a re-loadable VLS a missile bay in my game. But, they are torps instead as missiles (those small things) don't exist.
The annoying (not another one!) thing about bays, especially missile ones, is that they are frustratingly light on logic and reasoning. A 50ton bay can launch 12 missiles in a salvo. But there's no info on why the damn thing takes up so much space. 12 missiles only displace a single ton. The description offers no information on what the other 49 tons of space are used for. Torpedo bays are the same.

This is the same lack of detail surrounding missile turrets and torpedo barbettes. Nothing is there about on-mount ammunition, or the requirement for a magazine. If you "store" a missile as cargo, that shouldn't normally be considered ammunition for the launcher.

Augh! Where is the Definitive Guide to Traveller Starships? Where is Janes when you need them??
Everything above & more is why I've taken the SRD and am basically rewriting. One ship design system (from 100t on up), a new weapon system (turrets are more like close in weapons. Think Millennium Falcon turrets. Large Bays & Spinal are LONG range, heavy weapons), sensor systems that are actually better than TL 7. ;). Etc., etc.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Sat Nov 09, 2013 8:13 pm

The definitive guide to Traveller technology is probably Fire Fusion and Steel.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby locarno24 » Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:43 am

12 missiles only displace a single ton. The description offers no information on what the other 49 tons of space are used for. Torpedo bays are the same.
True, but I can just about buy into a 50 dTon bay for Torpedoes. After all, you're 'flinging' 7.5 dTons per shot, in three 2.5 dTon blocks. Handling equipment for weapons like that taking up most of a decent-sized room is more or less believable.

A missile bay, by comparison, fires only 1 dTon's worth of ordnance, as you point out. I've no idea what the rest is for, either. If the 'missile launcher' was explicitely some sort of mass driver to impart an initial acceleration, fair enough, but then there would be/should be a difference between the turret missile racks and the missile bay tubes.
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