So whats protecting the planet? Orbital defenses.

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
wbnc
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 1553
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:57 pm

So whats protecting the planet? Orbital defenses.

Postby wbnc » Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:30 am

I've noticed an odd gap in the system defenses out there. It seems one of the most basic components of a defensive network is sadly under-represented.
Orbital guns and weapons platforms.

They have advantages of being cheap and easy to maintain since they lack J-drives and large engines. The can be automated and controlled from a central command center. ew can be rotated on a regular basis so no extensive housing is required if an Organic crew is even needed. The do have a few drawbacks unless they are self-propelled they could be sitting ducks..well-armed ducks but ducks none the less. tactically they are limited due to the need to keep them close to a support infrastructure and require additional resources to protect them such as fighters and security troops.

they can range in size from 10 ton drones, to orbiting spinal mount armed asteroid battlewagons.


If they were deployed around Gas giants, or other strategic installations they could pose a serious headache fo any intruding vessel that would have to contend with mobile defenses while trying to get a firing angle on semi-sized platforms. If yu constructed a large Planetoid base in orbit around the planet or facility you could store the gun platforms in large protected hangers until the enemy approached the target area then deploy them rapidly into position Or with some modifications launch them from ground-based sites to supplement system defense boats and patrol craft if a sudden incursion occurs.
haveahappy
Stoat
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2015 4:44 am

Re: So whats protecting the planet? Orbital defenses.

Postby haveahappy » Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:59 am

I see no reason why a spinal mount sized weapon couldn't be mounted on a space station? Think this beauty from Final Fantasy 7 which was used to blow the head off of some kind of giant monster - but IN SPAAAACE"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaMDtD2QwV0

I suppose the problem is that it then lacks mobility (can't patrol the system). It's a very expensive gun to be pinning to one specific world.
AndrewW
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 4374
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2008 11:57 pm

Re: So whats protecting the planet? Orbital defenses.

Postby AndrewW » Tue Nov 15, 2016 6:17 am

wbnc wrote:I've noticed an odd gap in the system defenses out there. It seems one of the most basic components of a defensive network is sadly under-represented.
Orbital guns and weapons platforms.
They do exist:

Supplement 2: Traders and Gunboats (page: 30)- Orbital Defence System (80 tons).

Signs & Portents - Issue #85, page: 16 - Missile Defence System (200 tons).
http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/signsnportentsarchive

Expedition to Zhodane has automated monitoring beacons that fire missiles.

Also, I did an Orbital Defence Platform (400 tons) once upon a time, never made it anywhere though.

Not orbital but there are mention of planet based deep meson sites.
Condottiere
Warlord Mongoose
Posts: 8776
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: So whats protecting the planet? Orbital defenses.

Postby Condottiere » Tue Nov 15, 2016 10:07 am

It's a given, considering a deep fryer meson might be considered overkill against any target except a light cruiser upwards.

That's retconned, since bays are no longer available.
AndrewW
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 4374
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2008 11:57 pm

Re: So whats protecting the planet? Orbital defenses.

Postby AndrewW » Tue Nov 15, 2016 10:19 am

Condottiere wrote:That's retconned, since bays are no longer available.
Planet based mesons tend to be more like a spinal mount then bay.
Condottiere
Warlord Mongoose
Posts: 8776
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: So whats protecting the planet? Orbital defenses.

Postby Condottiere » Tue Nov 15, 2016 10:29 am

They would have been expendable, the equivalent of a six inch coastal artillery gun.

And probably on a water world, emplaced in a submarine
phavoc
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 4921
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:13 pm

Re: So whats protecting the planet? Orbital defenses.

Postby phavoc » Tue Nov 15, 2016 2:53 pm

You can't 'build' orbital defense satellites under the rules because the rules aren't designed for it.

Plus orbital defenses are relatively cheap (or should be), but also easy to knock out. You could have hundreds of missile satellites, each carrying 6 or 12 shots (or torp satellites). They would be tiny and impossible to target individually from a distance. Though you'd never deploy them like that except in times of war - notice how Newport News, or Scapa Flow doesn't have an active minefield around it theses days...

If you wanted items such as this you really just need to fudge the numbers and be done with it. You don't need starship-class computers, or targeting arrays or power plants.
Sigtrygg
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1464
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2006 9:23 am

Re: So whats protecting the planet? Orbital defenses.

Postby Sigtrygg » Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:58 pm

Condottiere wrote:It's a given, considering a deep fryer meson might be considered overkill against any target except a light cruiser upwards.

That's retconned, since bays are no longer available.
That's funny since there are ships in MgT HG2e that have them...
page 173 light carrier
page 204 fleet carrier
phavoc
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 4921
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:13 pm

Re: So whats protecting the planet? Orbital defenses.

Postby phavoc » Tue Nov 15, 2016 6:06 pm

Yeah, others have pointed out that shis have equpiment from the other chapters (making it non-standard, arguably non-canon).
User avatar
Reynard
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3565
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: So whats protecting the planet? Orbital defenses.

Postby Reynard » Tue Nov 15, 2016 9:29 pm

The Imperial Interdiction Satellite I revised from an old 3rd party source is an example for a fully automated defense platform. These could be additional defense for stations either remaining fully automated or command controlled from a host station. They could also form planetary nets.

viewtopic.php?f=89&t=119635

Orbital defense platforms would fill a book unto themselves and only touch a few representative types. I assume important and significant worlds automatically have ODPs as well as defense stations and are just transparent to the background. Not all worlds will have them especially if budgets don't accommodate the expense. Some worlds with low budgets but still needing protection might use only ODPs along with maybe patrol cutters. Low tech worlds are on their own. Many worlds who never face a significant threat other than pirates and raiders could not justify such costs.
wbnc
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 1553
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:57 pm

Re: So whats protecting the planet? Orbital defenses.

Postby wbnc » Tue Nov 15, 2016 11:25 pm

AndrewW wrote: They do exist:
.
Thanks for the info. I don't have those sources my library......yet ( once again, curses on thieves and leaky pipes...may the linger in the hell of the Division of Motor Vehicles queue for all eternity.)

phavoc wrote:You can't 'build' orbital defense satellites under the rules because the rules aren't designed for it.

Plus orbital defenses are relatively cheap (or should be), but also easy to knock out. You could have hundreds of missile satellites, each carrying 6 or 12 shots (or torp satellites). They would be tiny and impossible to target individually from a distance. Though you'd never deploy them like that except in times of war - notice how Newport News, or Scapa Flow doesn't have an active minefield around it theses days...

If you wanted items such as this you really just need to fudge the numbers and be done with it. You don't need starship-class computers, or targeting arrays or power plants.
Sure you can they are just automated small craft or starships with limited drives. You can build anything if you come at it from the right angle :)

I agree with you on how useful, common, and damned annoying they would be. orbiting sats and platforms would not be able to drive off a determined assault but they would sure as little green apples be part of the mix.
Reynard wrote: Orbital defense platforms would fill a book unto themselves and only touch a few representative types. I assume important and significant worlds automatically have ODPs as well as defense stations and are just transparent to the background. Not all worlds will have them especially if budgets don't accommodate the expense. Some worlds with low budgets but still needing protection might use only ODPs along with maybe patrol cutters. Low tech worlds are on their own. Many worlds who never face a significant threat other than pirates and raiders could not justify such costs.
I sort of see them breaking down into

Satellites
Platforms
Stations.

satellites would be 10 to 35 tons armed with missiles or lasers mostly nuisance factor use to defend against such things as fighters and bombers. and t keep armed commercial vessels and raiders from getting too brave. there would also be sensor and tracking satellites which might not be armed or armored but scattered throughout a system to detect and identify suspicious vessels. both armed and unarmed satellites could be used by a central command center to gather detailed information as a hostile or suspect vessel got closer to the outer line of satellites.

a number of these would always be deployed around key locations in a system, and might be useful for smuggling, and piracy suppression by virtue of being able to stay on station around a gas giant or inhabited planet indefinitely. A dedicated Tender/command vessel would be a good addition to any satellite network.An old cargo ship stripped of its J-drives and fitted with a command bridge and a few workshops would do the trick.

Platforms would be from 35 to say 500 tons barbettes and small bays being their primary weapons. Te largest platforms would be built around a single heavy weapon such as a particle or missile bay. these might also have heavy armor and other defenses to improve their survivability less expendable than sats or drones. they would also be broken down into crewed and automated versions. I sort of see these as someone mentioned as coastal defense guns deployed to control "harbors" and potential "landing beaches". not as common requiring more upkeep but definitely worth the credits spent on them.


Stations
would be anything over 1000 tons, these guys could be equal to corvettes, frigates, or even cruisers with every weapon and system available including spinal mounts. They might also act as garrisons for large marine contingents, fighter/strike craft squadrons, and as a headquarters for patrol vessels.Basically, these would be the orbital version of Pont Du Hoc. and attack plan would have to devote serious attention or large stations. a single station could deny or delay access to any region of a system they were stationed near. anyone wanting to skim at a gas giant or land on a world would have to pass within range of their big guns.


after the basic breakdown you would get into Fixed, mobile and fast reaction versions with the ability to maneuver and respond to gaps in the network caused by battle damage, or clever tricks by a hostile force. Such as ramming a "Fireship" loaded with fusion warheads into a station
phavoc
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 4921
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:13 pm

Re: So whats protecting the planet? Orbital defenses.

Postby phavoc » Wed Nov 16, 2016 3:47 am

wbnc wrote:
phavoc wrote:You can't 'build' orbital defense satellites under the rules because the rules aren't designed for it.

Plus orbital defenses are relatively cheap (or should be), but also easy to knock out. You could have hundreds of missile satellites, each carrying 6 or 12 shots (or torp satellites). They would be tiny and impossible to target individually from a distance. Though you'd never deploy them like that except in times of war - notice how Newport News, or Scapa Flow doesn't have an active minefield around it theses days...

If you wanted items such as this you really just need to fudge the numbers and be done with it. You don't need starship-class computers, or targeting arrays or power plants.
Sure you can they are just automated small craft or starships with limited drives. You can build anything if you come at it from the right angle :)

I agree with you on how useful, common, and damned annoying they would be. orbiting sats and platforms would not be able to drive off a determined assault but they would sure as little green apples be part of the mix.
Not really. If you wanted a very small satellite, consisting of say 6 missiles, a communications array and a battery for the minimal electrical usage, it would mass about 1Dton. Station keeping thrusters may/may not be needed for something this tiny (proper orbital positioning wouldn't require anything, and even if you put in LEO, any grav-capable craft could easily provide a nudge every 90 days to keep it stable. None of those items, however, would be available from a costing perspective in the rules.

You can't build 1Dton objects in the rules, the minimum size is 10Dtons. I suppose you could try using the vehicle rules, but they aren't really designed for that, either. This is where you fudge your numbers to stay reasonable and call it a day at the office.
haveahappy
Stoat
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2015 4:44 am

Re: So whats protecting the planet? Orbital defenses.

Postby haveahappy » Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:39 am

Couldn't you use the regular ship building rules?

I mean, what is an orbital weapons platform if not a big non-streamlined hull with a spinal weapon and a bridge?

A little bit of maneuvre drive to tweak the orbit when necessary and done, right?
wbnc
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 1553
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:57 pm

Re: So whats protecting the planet? Orbital defenses.

Postby wbnc » Wed Nov 16, 2016 7:48 am

haveahappy wrote:Couldn't you use the regular ship building rules?

I mean, what is an orbital weapons platform if not a big non-streamlined hull with a spinal weapon and a bridge?

A little bit of manoeuvre drive to tweak the orbit when necessary and done, right?
You can, the minimum size for hulls is only 10 tons, but you can use the rules to come up with its various stats, and price per unit. A bit of fudging is not going to cause any major breakage of the system.

a standard communications relay satellite ( Motorola Iridium satellite)has a volume of 2 cubic meters...so you could fit 6-7 of them in 1Dton volume..but a weapons sat would need to be a good bit bigger to fit in a starship grade weapon, reactor, and such things as armor and sensors.

so 3-5 tons for a throw away sat, 10 tons for a more advanced model that can function for extended periods.


if you want something smaller just use the cost of that you want on it, the sensors and some software and call it close enough as suggested above.
Condottiere
Warlord Mongoose
Posts: 8776
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: So whats protecting the planet? Orbital defenses.

Postby Condottiere » Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:02 am

Drone rules.

We do have drones? Or rules for constructing them.

My take on the ten tonne is rule is it's the minimum to support a firmpoint.
Hopeless
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1158
Joined: Sat May 20, 2006 3:14 pm
Location: UK

Re: So whats protecting the planet? Orbital defenses.

Postby Hopeless » Wed Nov 16, 2016 9:00 am

Isn't the first thing any serious attacker would do is hack those and turn them on the defenders? :twisted:
wbnc
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 1553
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:57 pm

Re: So whats protecting the planet? Orbital defenses.

Postby wbnc » Wed Nov 16, 2016 9:26 am

Hopeless wrote:Isn't the first thing any serious attacker would do is hack those and turn them on the defenders? :twisted:
I would assume that would be one tactic, but i would also bet my last credit that the operators have multiple fail-safes to prevent that. such as their own cyber warfare teams. or simply having a human crewman aboard the more powerful platforms to through the safety switch. Anti-hijack and security software would be a wise expenditure.

I am also fairly certain anyone who tried to hack a defense platform would be in for a visit from very angry marines, Imperial Security tactical team (death squads), fighter/drone strikes,and maybe even a few well-aimed railgun rounds if they were located. The reward for their identity and location would probably be high enough to get their dear sweet granny to turn them in.


Of course, if the platforms were to misfire and take out a group of civic-minded people discussing current affairs at a scenic rural retreat. It would be the result of diabolical hackers, no doubt in the employee of the Zhodani or Solomanii, who wanted to destabilize the government....the fact those civic-minded individuals were highly critical and outspoke opponents of some current official or policies would be completely coincidental, or part of the plot to make it look as though the highly respected local authorities were responsible for such a cold blooded act.
User avatar
Reynard
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3565
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: So whats protecting the planet? Orbital defenses.

Postby Reynard » Wed Nov 16, 2016 1:03 pm

I used features from space station design rules for building an ODP as it's a very small stationary vessel using station-keeping thrusters. Everything seem to fit properly.
wbnc
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 1553
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:57 pm

Re: So whats protecting the planet? Orbital defenses.

Postby wbnc » Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:26 pm

Reynard wrote:I used features from space station design rules for building an ODP as it's a very small stationary vessel using station-keeping thrusters. Everything seem to fit properly.

D'oh....
The hull of a space station is created in the same way as that of a ship, though space stations tend to be much, much larger. A 100,000 ton hull might be considered to be a very modest space station, while the largest can be as much as several billion tons. However, much smaller space stations are possible, and are used as research stations or manned orbital defences.
A basic hull costs Cr50000 per ton. The space station will have at least 1 Hull point for every full 2.5 tons of hull. (See Spacecraft of the Third Imperium for very large stations).
Space Station Hulls do not have a minimum size requirement...and if Virtual crew can replace Starship crew it stands to reason it can replace station crew. eliminating the need for a bridge, command center, living areas etc...


I would assume that space stations under 100 tons use firm points instead of Hardpoints following the rules for spaceships under 100 tons.
Jeraa
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 552
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:01 pm

Re: So whats protecting the planet? Orbital defenses.

Postby Jeraa » Wed Nov 16, 2016 5:44 pm

wbnc wrote:Space Station Hulls do not have a minimum size requirement...and if Virtual crew can replace Starship crew it stands to reason it can replace station crew. eliminating the need for a bridge, command center, living areas etc...
As written, they do have a minimum size of 10 tons.
Space stations are designed and built in the same fashion as ships, with just a few differences. Unless stated otherwise in this chapter, all rules that apply to ships also apply to space stations – in effect they are treated as large and (mostly) immobile spacecraft.
Since nothing in the space station chapter says it removes the minimum 10 ton ship size, the rule would still apply.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 50 guests