Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
Libris
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Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby Libris » Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:41 am

Condottiere wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 5:56 am
I interpret this somewhat differently, and I'll simplify the equation:

Snip interesting stuff... :D
This is my take on it as well. Otherwise every Jump 1 or Jump 2 ship at TL12+ would have an advanced drive. Smaller and cheaper? Why even bother with a standard one?
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AnotherDilbert
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Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby AnotherDilbert » Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:40 am

DickTurpin wrote: Which book is cf?
Cf, abbreviation of confer: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cf.

I meant HG, p140, since that book was under discussion.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby AnotherDilbert » Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:52 am

Condottiere wrote: .. technology level fourteen
... advanced
.... decreased size
..... ninety tonnes
... cost
.... 165 megabux
You can do as you wish in your game, of course.

But the official rule seems clear (HG, p140):
Image

Size = (5 + 400 × 2.5% × 3) × (100% - 2 × 10%) = 35 × 80% = 28 Dt
Cost = 28 Dt × MCr 1.5 × (100% + 25% ) = MCr 42 × 125% = MCr 52.5


The cost is simply based on actual size, not what the size would have been, had we not modified it.
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Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby AnotherDilbert » Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:17 am

baithammer wrote: Pricing is out of whack as in too many cases the high tech version is far cheaper than the average at the same tech level, not to mention fusion power plant TL12 + 3 TL = 1t per 19.5 pow compared to TL15 at 20 per power. ( Also 1.5 mcr per ton compared to 2 mcr per ton.)
The higher tech version is not far cheaper than the base model, it's more expensive. Only the Reduced Size drives are roughly the same price.

Yes, the stellar tech fusion plant (TL12) with Reduced Size is (slightly) smaller and cheaper than the high stellar (TL15) fusion plant at exactly TL15 but already at TL16 the high stellar plant is smaller, but more expensive. Choose whichever plant suits the craft best.

Power plant with 100 Power:
TL12: 6.7 Dt, MCr _6.7 (TL12, base)
TL14: 5.3 Dt, MCr _6.7 (TL12, Reduced Size × 2)
TL15: 4.7 Dt, MCr _7.0 (TL12, Reduced Size × 3)
TL15: 5.0 Dt, MCr 10.0 (TL15, base)
TL16: 4.5 Dt, MCr _9.9 (TL15, Reduced Size × 1)
TL17: 4.0 Dt, MCr 10.0 (TL15, Reduced Size × 2)

The difference at TL15 is not huge and hardly invalidates the system.
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Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby AnotherDilbert » Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:36 am

Libris wrote: This is my take on it as well. Otherwise every Jump 1 or Jump 2 ship at TL12+ would have an advanced drive. Smaller and cheaper? Why even bother with a standard one?
The standard designs are not optimised, they are apparently designed to be as close to the LBB2 originals as possible.

So, if the LBB2 Free Trader had 10 staterooms and ~80 Dt cargo, the current version has 10 staterooms and ~80 Dt cargo (and any excess space is deliberately wasted).


The Advantage/Disadvantage system adds extra complication to the base system, not everyone desire that and they can simply disregard the complication.
Condottiere
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Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby Condottiere » Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:49 am

Well, I'm not going to go out on a limb and insist this was the intent of the author, because, plotholes.

However, I will state that it is the literal interpretation of the given algorithm.

It does ensure that the more advantages you claim, there is a substantial premium.
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Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby AnotherDilbert » Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:15 pm

I believe it is difficult to argue that it's not the authors intent, when the author explicitly use it that way.


Cost of drives are per actual dTon, not imaginary "would-have-been" dTons:
HG, p15 wrote: Manoeuvre drives cost MCr2 per ton. Reaction drives cost MCr0.2 per ton.
...
Jump drives cost MCr1.5 per ton.
Change the size of the drive, and you change the cost of the drive.
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Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby Condottiere » Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:42 pm

If that's from Chapter One, my gut instinct says that's the default price for default drives created by Chapter One.
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Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby AndrewW » Mon Feb 18, 2019 5:49 pm

Condottiere wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:49 am
Well, I'm not going to go out on a limb and insist this was the intent of the author, because, plotholes.
Yes, reduced size drives can be cheaper. It is based on the tonnage of the drive, not what it would have been without the size reduction.
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Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby baithammer » Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:42 am

Power Plants

TL12 1.0 dt per 15 pow / 1dt = 1.0 Mcr
TL13 0.9 dt per 15 pow / 1dt = 1.1 Mcr Reduced Size 1
TL14 0.8 dt per 15 pow / 1dt = 1.25 Mcr Reduced Size 2
TL15 0.7 dt per 15 pow / 1dt = 1.5 Mcr Reduced Size 3

TL15 1.0 dt per 20 pow / 1dt = 2.0 Mcr

@300 pow

TL12 20 dt / 20 Mcr
TL13 18 dt / 19.8 Mcr
TL14 16 dt / 20 Mcr
TL15 14 dt / 21 Mcr

TL15 15 dt / 30 Mcr

This means its cheaper and less dt to go with TL12 Advanced Materials than bog standard TL15 material, this isn't such a good result.
Old School
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Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby Old School » Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:52 pm

The powerplant example is one of the many issues where the construction rules don’t quite flow. You have to decide what works for your game what what doesn’t. For my games:

- Power plants: You have three options already. No advanced or primitive tech.
- Drives: price is based off the base tonnage, not the reduced tonnage. This keeps the rules consistent: higher tech is better, and it costs more. This also means reduced fuel is the most bang for your buck when it comes to main systems.
- No increased range on energy weapons, other than small craft which have very limited range to start with. Increasing the range one band for a 10% increase in weapon price would be the standard if it were available. This is done so that upgraded player ships can’t dominate standard ships for an upgrade that is a fraction of 1% of total ship cost.
- Other weapons upgrades are available.
- Reduced tonnage is an option per the RAW. This means that reduced tonnage bay weapons are the most reduced tonnage per credit.
- I allow budget drives, just because I think they make sense. This could lead to cheesiness: e.g. budget maneuvre drive and very advanced missle bays could cancel out tonnage wise with a significant cost savings, but it hasn’t come up yet. Budget drives for fighting ships make sense for SDBs in particular.

Logically applying even these limited advanced tech rules would mean that every warship in High Guard would use these to increase space available for armor and armament. A basic M-6, J-4 ship is very limited in its available tonnage, so reducing fuel needs and bay sizes can drastically increase the firepower of your ship. Firepower for your credit would make this tech a necessity for ships of the line. This really doesn’t matter unless you are actually going to use the basic space combat rules for cruisers and dreadnaughts to duke it out, which I doubt many people do.

I also don’t use missile barbettes. Because Jump-4 ships struggle to use all their available hardpoints, the tonnage per missile issue between triple turrets, barbettes, and bays can be game breaking, so removing the barbette reduces that issue somewhat. Smaller ships can use missile turrets, but if you want to fire alot of missiles, man up and use bays. That’s the way I think the game was intended. Other than missiles, I like the concept of barbettes. Powerful energy weapons require a bigger turret. I also don’t use the high technology optional weapons.
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Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby Baldo » Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:37 pm

Old School wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:52 pm
- No increased range on energy weapons (...). Increasing the range one band for a 10% increase in weapon price would be the standard if it were available.
Wait a minute, my High Guard book says: "Long Range requires two Advantages and may only be applied once" (page 49), it's a +25% here, not +10%.
Old School
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Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby Old School » Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:02 pm

You’re right it does. Good catch. Doesn’t change my logic, however. That’s 250,000 credits to move a pulse laser from long to very long range, which will dominate any ship that doesn't have very long range weapons. In typical battles between far traders, scouts, etc, this is decisive. A ship with standard weapons will be cut to pieces before it can close the distance.
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Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby AnotherDilbert » Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:24 pm

baithammer wrote: This means its cheaper and less dt to go with TL12 Advanced Materials than bog standard TL15 material, this isn't such a good result.
Old School wrote: The powerplant example is one of the many issues where the construction rules don’t quite flow.
I really don't see a major problem here. Refined low tech is cheaper than newly introduced high tech, until it also gets refined. Isn't that rather normal?
Old School
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Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby Old School » Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:38 pm

Your game, your rules.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby AnotherDilbert » Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:13 pm

Old School wrote: That’s 250,000 credits to move a pulse laser from long to very long range, which will dominate any ship that doesn't have very long range weapons. In typical battles between far traders, scouts, etc, this is decisive. A ship with standard weapons will be cut to pieces before it can close the distance.
I'm not so sure civilian fights are necessarily stared at VLong (or Distant) range.

Civilian myopic sensors and civilian less than perfect sensor operators are not guaranteed to discover each other at extended range. Military sensors and highly trained operators is a whole other ball game.

The information provided by normal civilian sensors at more than Long range is Minimal, i.e. basically a blip on a screen. We can certainly shoot at it, but we cannot identify it, except by transponder. Transponders can lie...


I agree that VLong range weapons are good, but we still have Particle barbettes and Missiles. Even if we assume that fights are generally at VLong range and civilians generally don't have Particle barbettes, or Long Range lasers, then the logical choice is all Missile armament. Just slug it out and see who has more missiles...


Don't forget the opportunity cost: at Long range or less Accurate lasers will cut Long Range lasers to shreds...
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Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby AnotherDilbert » Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:25 pm

Old School wrote: Your game, your rules.
Agreed, of course.
phavoc
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Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby phavoc » Tue Feb 19, 2019 6:29 pm

This is a good example of the law of unintended consequences. There's nothing per se wrong with the changes allowed under for tech levels. As it has been pointed out that's the natural progression of advancement. However, it also means that the ships used for playing don't reflect any of the possible ranges in the rules either. So the examples don't follow what seems like what should be the norm for spacecraft (minimizing cost / maximizing space / maximizing firepower).

The rules state how much the Imperium loves standards across known space, so that could account for the official designs not taking advantages of the TL rules. Which would mean, by default, that there would have to be some sort of disadvantage from deviating from the norm other than the cost/space ones, else why isn't every merchant flying around with budget drives? I'm sure trying to keep with all the previous designs had something to do with it.
Libris
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Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby Libris » Tue Feb 19, 2019 6:39 pm

[/quote]
I really don't see a major problem here. Refined low tech is cheaper than newly introduced high tech, until it also gets refined. Isn't that rather normal?
[/quote]

Not when the “new” high tech is demonstrably worse across all metrics.
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Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby Sigtrygg » Tue Feb 19, 2019 7:15 pm

I doubt very much if the game designer considered all of this - running these numbers for every system takes time, the fact that stuff like this is just being discovered leads me to agree with phavoc - unintended consequence.

Putting options in because they are 'kewel' is fine, but for a setting such as the Third Imperium the tech has to fit within certain established paradigms.

As I have said many times a lot more effort should have been put into clarifying which bits of HG are setting appropriate for the OTU and which bits are for a cinematic Star Wars rip off.

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