Ship Design Philosophy

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
-Daniel-
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2317
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2008 5:20 pm
Location: Burbank, CA

Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby -Daniel- » Thu Aug 11, 2016 4:41 pm

wbnc wrote: Most Sci-fi is just a way to tell a story with modern/futuristic trappings instead f wizards and dragons. How much science is involved is based on what the writer/artist wants to focus on.
That's why we have terms like....
I agree. I would also point out that often time changes how we see the "science" in a story as well. As we invent, discover, grow in understanding, the projections used in any particular SciFi story can be impacted.
wbnc
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 1553
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:57 pm

Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby wbnc » Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:50 pm

-Daniel- wrote:
wbnc wrote: Most Sci-fi is just a way to tell a story with modern/futuristic trappings instead f wizards and dragons. How much science is involved is based on what the writer/artist wants to focus on.
That's why we have terms like....
I agree. I would also point out that often time changes how we see the "science" in a story as well. As we invent, discover, grow in understanding, the projections used in any particular SciFi story can be impacted.

I started using quantum manipulation as a basis for a lot of tech in my settings a while back.insted of generating exotic particles that produce thrust anti-grav devices manipulates small points of spacetime. it's also how they generate power..small input of power generates a larger output.

I came up with the idea after reading a few articles on how scientists were able to cause quantum changes in objects....it seemed more exotic than traditional technology in scifi...I mean who wants to take a ship into combat that's lugging around enough anti-matter to detonate a small city...and fusion is pretty much the tired old standard for most systems...
Condottiere
Warlord Mongoose
Posts: 8642
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:07 pm

If it did something kinetic that had some effect in either real space, or hyperspace:

Image
Condottiere
Warlord Mongoose
Posts: 8642
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:19 pm

Spaceships: Armaments

Don't you wish our turrets were like this:

Image
-Daniel-
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2317
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2008 5:20 pm
Location: Burbank, CA

Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby -Daniel- » Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:33 pm

Condottiere wrote:Spaceships: Armaments

Don't you wish our turrets were like this:
LOL, I wish my ship even had that many turrets.
wbnc
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 1553
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:57 pm

Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby wbnc » Fri Aug 12, 2016 1:54 am

Condottiere wrote:Spaceships: Armaments

Don't you wish our turrets were like this:
Kind of how I imagined some bay weapons might be arranged ...
Condottiere
Warlord Mongoose
Posts: 8642
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Fri Aug 12, 2016 5:18 pm

Image

I think they require more volume.
wbnc
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 1553
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:57 pm

Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby wbnc » Fri Aug 12, 2016 6:55 pm

what shows outside the ship can be just a portion of the assembly. the power distribution and other portions of the system can be out of sight inside the vessel. Of course, if this is the case any fluff text, or deck plans might mention it.
PsiTraveller
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 990
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2014 11:47 pm

Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby PsiTraveller » Fri Aug 12, 2016 7:10 pm

I see six turrets, so it is a 600 ton ship. Triple turrets with Pulse Lasers. :)
User avatar
alex_greene
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3821
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 11:29 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby alex_greene » Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:13 pm

I can envisage the page count here doubling pdq when High Guard 2e comes out.
Board moderator. Product List [DriveThruRPG]: Blood Path [Legend]; Cosmopolite [Traveller]; Castrobancla [Traveller]
-Daniel-
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2317
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2008 5:20 pm
Location: Burbank, CA

Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby -Daniel- » Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:33 pm

alex_greene wrote:I can envisage the page count here doubling pdq when High Guard 2e comes out.
LOL, well after a delay as we all speed read the sections we want to know more about. :lol:
wbnc
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 1553
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:57 pm

Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby wbnc » Fri Aug 12, 2016 9:03 pm

alex_greene wrote:I can envisage the page count here doubling pdq when High Guard 2e comes out.
double??? that may be on the first day alone :D
Condottiere
Warlord Mongoose
Posts: 8642
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Sat Aug 13, 2016 3:56 am

Starships: Dreadnought Cruiser

. Heavy reconnaissance. Because of their power, the Invincibles could sweep away the screen of enemy cruisers to close with and observe an enemy battlefleet before using their superior speed to retire.
. Close support for the battle fleet. They could be stationed at the ends of the battle line to stop enemy cruisers harassing the battleships, and to harass the enemy's battleships if they were busy fighting battleships. Also, the Invincibles could operate as the fast wing of the battlefleet and try to outmanoeuvre the enemy.
. Pursuit. If an enemy fleet ran, then the Invincibles would use their speed to pursue, and their guns to damage or slow enemy ships.
. Commerce protection. The new ships would hunt down enemy cruisers and commerce raiders.


While in real life, battlecruisers were a dead end development evolved from the armoured cruiser, and eventually superseded by the fast battleship and it's roles theoretically usurped by the super cruiser, it occurred to me while chasing down every single capital in the early stages of the Great Patriotic War with a hunting pack of nine Admiral class, you know, a whole bunch of Hoods, that on paper, battlecruisers killed. Numbers helped.

Also noticed that the Italians and Germans built battlecruisers in the interwar years, not that it helped them, since I had a fairly good idea when the war was going to start, and parked outside of Kiel, and surfed the Med; the Japanese never concentrated their forces (enough), possibly because Yamamoto was looking across the Pacific, though seemed to think he could take New Guinea with two or three carriers and four or six battleships. Of course, I was waiting for him with all my battle, heavy and light cruisers; and four carriers. And twelve battleships.

At this point, you can switch production to light cruisers and destroyers.

Getting back to the paper part, it would seem in Traveller you end up in the Dreadnought era at tech level twelve. Battlecruisers and battleships will be built at the same weight, but they optimize characteristics most suited to fulfilling their roles.

Bearing in mind that armour strength is dependent on the material the hull is built with, armour plating takes up from seven and a half percent to ten percent, with the largest big ass meson gun available, that bypasses physical armour, meson guns being the torpedo analogue, whereas our torpedoes are just oversized missiles.

Normally, maximum speed and range would be a given, but with the range opening to nine gees, and possibly with a reaction turbo overdrive, so that engineering and bunkerage would take up fifty to sixty percent of volume.

Presumably, hundred thousand tonnes is still the limit at tech level twelve.

At tech level fourteen, the guys that wrote Fighting Ships of the Solomani got it correct, fast battleships predominate, and that's the end of the battlecruiser; though there might be a case for the improved armoured cruiser.

That leaves us with tech level thirteen, still stuck with crystaliron armour, the period you'd built an intermediate fast battleship, which would be the equivalent of the Admiral class, which could jump four parsecs, and ten percent of volume given to armour. That alone would be half of the ship, so the other half would be a compromise between armour, speed and firepower, and actual power. Of course, whether the designers would actually go for four parsecs, or stick with three is hard to tell, but assuming the rule is still for a single spinal mount, all that extra volume would allow for it.
Condottiere
Warlord Mongoose
Posts: 8642
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Sat Aug 13, 2016 1:08 pm

Starships: Armoured Cruiser

The armored cruiser was a type of warship of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was designed like other types of cruisers to operate as a long-range, independent warship, capable of defeating any ship apart from a battleship and fast enough to outrun any battleship it encountered. Varying in size, it was distinguished from other types of cruiser by its belt armor—thick iron (or later steel) plating on much of the hull to protect the ship from shellfire much like that on battleships ... The armored cruiser was developed ... as an attempt to combine the virtues of the armored ironclad warship and the fast and long-ranged, but unarmored, cruisers of the time. Such a ship was desirable to protect overseas trade and ... to police ... vast overseas empires. The concern within higher naval circles was that without ships that could fulfill these requirements and incorporate new technology, their fleet would become obsolete and ineffective should a war at sea arise. Concern over obsolescence in official circles was further fueled by the race between the increasing size of naval guns and of armor strong enough to withstand such fire.

Other naval authorities remained skeptical. Mahan called the interest in armored cruisers "a fad," then explained:

She is armored, and she is a cruiser; and what have you got? A ship to "lie in the line"? as our ancestors used to say. No, and Yes; that is to say, she may at a pinch, and at a risk that exceeds her powers. A cruiser? Yes, and No; for, order to give her armor and armament which do not fit the line, you have given tonnage beyond what is needed for the speed and coal endurance proper for a cruiser. By giving this tonnage to armor and armament you have taken it from other uses; either from increasing her own speed and endurance, or from providing another cruiser. You have in her more cruiser than she ought to have and less armored vessel, or less cruiser and more armored ship. I do not call this a combination, though I do call it a compromise.... I do not say you have a useless ship. I do say that you have not as useful a ship as, for the tonnage, you ought to have.


Fisher was an advocate, and a fan of the fast second class battleship, but that was covered in the previous post.

If tech level twelve represents the Age of Dreadnoughts, tech level eleven would be the Pre-Dreadnought era.

The two fundamental breakthroughs would be jump factor two, and a twenty five percent increase in the efficiency of fusion power plants.

Armoured cruisers could match battleships of their period in size and price, though outrun and out endure them; that means you'd find no armoured cruisers larger than fifty thousand tonnes, which by sheer coincidence, happens to be the weight of the Ghalalk class, described as the workhorse of the Imperium Navy, though built at tech level fourteen with jump factor four motors.

Never formally adopted the armoured cruiser, and the lack of enthusiasm to build cruisers in large numbers probably means they never will, though they might have requisitioned examples as the opportunity present(ed/s) itself.

Armour would be between seven and a half to ten percent of the volume, and while it does have a spinal mount, it was more meant to perform the coup de grace, as the armoured cruiser would rely on its secondary armament to shoot up any opponent.

Armoured cruisers tend to be roomy, since only twenty five percent would be dedicated for transitioning, which would have made them attractive command or troop transportation ships. Any remaining examples within the Solomani Confederation would likely belong to system defence forces, where it's two parsec range wouldn't be a limiting factor.

The armoured cruiser had a limited renaissance in tech level thirteen, as a long range commerce raider with near capital class armament, that would allow it to outfight anything it couldn't outrun.

It would appear the Imperium would continue to use an improved variant of the tech level thirteen armoured cruiser in a bonded superdense hull, allocating the full ten percent of volume to armour plating.
wbnc
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 1553
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:57 pm

Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby wbnc » Sat Aug 13, 2016 1:40 pm

I think both the armored cruiser, and Battlecruiser would have a niche in the Imperium fleet. Once heavy fast battleships made their appearance the ship would probably be shifted from main fleet asset to secondary roles such as defense/patrol/show the flag duties for the armored cruiser, and fast raiding/deep srike, scouting in force, commerce raiding, and flanking operations for the battlecruiser.

The battle cruiser was done in by tactical and strategic factors. Mainly putting them up against battleships. and the armored cruiser was just no match for the concentrated firepower of a battleship. a Battlecruiser with a frigate or destroyer escort would slice through the escort of any convoy they encountered with frightening ease. The could also be used for probing enemy defenses, and drawing off resources with diversionary attacks. if they ran up on anything powerful enough to threaten them they would be wise to withdraw or engage in a highly mobile engagement.

While the armored cruiser would be useful as a screening or fire support vessel for a battleship or dreadnought they would definitely not be something that made up a major portion of the primary battle formation. However, if you used them as the core of a smaller formation they could prove fairly effective as flotilla or squadron leaders.
Condottiere
Warlord Mongoose
Posts: 8642
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Sat Aug 13, 2016 5:31 pm

While it's mentioned that battlecruisers weigh in around one fifty to two hundred thousand tonnes, I don't think there are any canonical examples except for the two hundred kay Diaspora class; there might be some intersection or confusion with light battleships. It's mentioned in QLI's Fighting Ships that they aren't favoured by the Imperium Navy.

I suspect the Solomani made a strategic decision to emphasize speed and firepower, having a very clear programme of gradual evolution along that battlecruiser technical branch to fast battleships.

The battlecruiser is great at everything, except standing in the line of battle; the Imperium seems to prefer to allocate those roles to either heavy cruisers or battleships, and since it they a technical edge, it probably works out for them.

There's no development branch for the armored cruiser, and I basically just tried to reconcile real life with technical levels. It's mentioned in Classic that the Ghalalk class is one of the workhorses in the Imperium Navy, though not how that type was developed.

At least for the Solomani, I've always emphasized all cruisers' role as command ships, but I'd say that while at tech level thirteen they designed a new battlecruiser at one fifty kay Zeus
class battlecruisers, they switched to seventy five kay jump factor four strike cruisers.
Condottiere
Warlord Mongoose
Posts: 8642
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:24 am

Starships: Battlecruiser

In real life, battlecruisers have always been a controversial and contentious issue, but I thought I'd approach this from a more statistical angle.

While the recognized features of the battlecruiser, firepower and speed at the expense of armour, could be universally and timelessly applied, it took Fisher to bring it to the fore.

The sweet spot appears to be twenty sevenish thousand tonnes, speed depending on (sub)tech level, and armament nine twelve inchers, eight to ten twelve inchers, eight thirteen to fourteen inchers, or six fifteen inchers. No larger "pure" battlecruiser was completed, some were converted to aircraft carriers

This translates in Traveller terms to hundred thousand tonnes, if you assume that at tech level twelve weight was at parity with battleships, but that most naval staffs started preferring to invest in more survivability, rather than speed and range, at tech level thirteen. The Solomani constructed the Zeuses at one fifty kay, while the Imperium designed the tech level fourteen Diaspora to weigh in the same as a battleship, at two hundred kay. Both were singular classes, though for different reasons. For the Solomani they were an intermediate step, while for the Imperium filled a niche requirement they felt they didn't need or actually want.

While battlecruisers are the perfect peacetime capital ship, providing a fast response to potentially critical situations, and power projection in low risk scenarios, arguably useful for short, sharp conflicts. Their roles would be taken over by higher teched super cruisers, which while they didn't match them in size and firepower, were more efficient in it's application.

Uparmouring and upgrading battlecruisers, especially at the expense of speed, tends to turn them into intermediate fast battleships, or if you try to reconcile Traveller, light high tech battleships. It should be noted, that means I see it viable to increasing the actual tonnage of the hull.

The Dunkerques and the Renowns were likely the only true battlecruisers at the start of the Great Patriotic War, and by the start of the Great War, the Splendid Cats had hit the sweet spot in nineteen ten, with eight thirteen and a half inchers, and weighing in at twenty seven kay tonnes.

While the Imperium might have commissioned battlecruiser classes prior to tech level fourteen, there are no canonical examples, and by the language used in books dealing with the Imperium Navy, they'd be reluctant to do so.

Likely, any remaining battlecruisers, outside of the Diasporas, would tend to be refurbished tech level twelves hundred kay and under, perhaps uparmoured to turn them into light battleships.
wbnc
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 1553
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:57 pm

Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby wbnc » Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:01 pm

detailed commentary as always...

I have always wondered if the Battle Cruiser concept had been developed with the more advanced engines and fire control of the second world war. how much effect it would have had as a fast escort or commerce raider? The few heavy fast surface ships Germany built were enough to tie up a lot of resources, and that was with them setting in harbor most of the war.. If the Bismark, (Pocket Battleship Heavy Battlecruiser) had managed to break out into the Atlantic as planned she would have ad a major advantage against the slower older ships used to escort convoys.

Overall, I think I agree with your take on it. If Imperium battle cruisers exist they aren't part of the main battlefleets and have been phased out as newer more heavily protected versions come on line. The Zhodani and Solomani might have them on the roster but only the Solomani would be using them heavily...since as best I read it they rely on smaller faster, more diverse types.

In the imperium fleet, it is likely they would be in fast raider groups, Insurgency suppression, or as ships seconded out to reserve or system fleets. A non-canon, backdoor way to justify the existence of a Battlecruiser in a homebrew or third party add-on.

A fast battleship using high-end tech would have the speed and protection to handle the role of a heavy screening, or fire support vessel in a major formation, and stand in the line with heavier dreadnought and heavy battleships due to better armor and screens. Heavy cruisers and Super cruisers with modern drives, and subsystems could conceivably pack the armor and firepower of a light battleship into their hulls making them the ultimate expression of the Battlecruiser development tree.
Condottiere
Warlord Mongoose
Posts: 8642
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Mon Aug 15, 2016 3:00 pm

It's a question of balance of forces; without treaty restrictions, the RN would have had enough battleships to cork the North Sea, so unless the Germans launched enough battleships to take them on, they could only sneak their commerce raiders through, as a breakout would have a lot of cruisers shadowing them, until the battleships, fast ones, can catch up, and only if they had managed to get past the battle squadrons waiting for them.

Corking is rather difficult in space.

The Germans had learnt that the ideal commerce raiders, Great War onwards, were large unobtrusive merchantmen armed with torpedoes and six inchers, where endurance and deception counts, rather than speed.

The war came too soon for the Germans, and while major units would spend a lot of time running down warship rated raiders, you have to ask what the strategic purpose of them would be. Not tactical, not operational, but strategic, because sinking resources into a battleship that can't be used, or is misused, is a strategic error.


My take on the Solomani is that since they're a tech level behind the Imperium, they know what works, or at least what can work, so they standardize their designs, and while they may still have a lot of legacy battlecruisers, they only build fast battleships at tech level fourteen, which combines the features of both battlecruisers and battleships.

The Imperiums must know that the Confederation has for all intents and purposes stopped building heavyish cruisers, so they don't need a cruiser killer; on the other hand, any meeting with an Imperium Navy Battlecruiser squadron and a Confederation Fleet Squadron, or even a Fleet Division, they'd wipe the floor with the battlecruisers, even one tech level down. Solomani commerce raiders can likely be tackled by major fleet units, whether armoured, strike or heavy cruisers.

I guess I'll have a look at the Zhodani Navy to get a feel of what's going on there.

For the Vargr, battlecruisers may give them doggie boners, but they may be salivating over the Kinunir.
Condottiere
Warlord Mongoose
Posts: 8642
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Tue Aug 16, 2016 7:11 pm

Starships: Battlecruisers

Doing a little statistical analysis, you could have three different categories of battlecruisers, one which didn't historically exist:


Dreadnought Cruisers

These would sort of match early tech level twelve dreadnoughts at around fifty thousand tonnes, with a slightly lighter armament, and trading speed for armour; since transitioning three parsecs doesn't really involve more than about forty percent of the volume, that sacrifice isn't that critical, though at this stage, Naval Staff would view this class as more capable armoured cruisers, and not commit them to the line of battle, beyod scouting ahead, covering the flanks, and harassing engaged enemy ships.


Battlecruisers

Late tech twelve, where naval architects are coming up with the fast battleship concept, so a battlecruiser would need to have a twenty percent speed advantage over the new breed of dreadnoughts; depending on the new design formulas, the Solomani may have calculated that they prefer tactical speed advantage, possibly on the assumption that an arriving naval task force would be scattered, and being able to concentrate on orphaned ships before the rest of the gang arrives would allow to defeat them in detail. If the shoe is on the other foot, speed would allow them to avoid defending ships, until the rest of the task force transitioned in.


Super Battlecruisers

Would be tech level thirteen, tonnage would range between one fifty and two fifty kay. Naval staff would have a hard time justifying their procurement, in the face of open ended battleship designs, where survival might be a more attractive quality. Arguably, the Admiral class fitted in here.


In Traveller, battlecruisers would be in the same class as contemporary battleships, with perhaps a slighter armament and certainly less armour plating, but maximum viable jump range, at least a realspace twenty percent speed advantage. Jump factor five would make the battlecruiser too fragile, considering the capital investment.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 22 guests