Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
phavoc
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 4623
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:13 pm

Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby phavoc » Sun Feb 24, 2019 7:59 pm

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:50 am
Quite, but skill level would generally be low, compromising the performance of the systems we have payed dearly for. I have included Virtual Crew/1 with the ships, that would be Gunnery-0 and no characteristic mod if used to fire weapons. A professional gunner would add +2 or so.
A cut-rate freighter is going to be lucky to have a gunner-1. It's not a warship nor is it something that should expect to fight that often, if at all.

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:50 am
The first 12 missiles are included in the mount. Only reloads take more space. We probably don't need reloads.
This assumes you are hitting the target and their defenses (lasers, EW) are rendering your salvos ineffective. 12 rounds (4 salvos per turret) doesn't leave much room for error.
AnotherDilbert wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:50 am
Missiles can also kill incoming missiles.
Yes, that's true. I did mention that you could have different missiles for different functions. Of course that also means the enemy could have fragmentation missiles, and if the budget freighters typically carried no reloads they could just wait for their victims to drop their 12 missiles and then they would be defenseless.
AnotherDilbert wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:50 am
Yes, indeed, that is the fundamental question. I assumed a freighter that might be able to survive an occasional encounter with a pirate. Victory is not needed, just survival. Scaring the pirate off without a fight is the best kind of survival.

The mortgage system implied low loss rates for commercial shipping. If the loss rates were even 1%/year we would have a cumulative risk of loss ~33% before the mortgage was payed off. That would mean that the mortgage system would be much more expensive, or simply unavailable outside the safe core of the Imperium.

Piracy is a low risk, or else the trade system breaks down completely.

If we intend to fight every few weeks we need much sturdier ships. And much higher freight prices.
We'd also have to look at min-max the weapons here. We could cut the costs in half by switching to a pulse laser. Since it's only TL7 we could take 3 advantages and increase the cost by only 50%. Or drop it to just a 25% cost increase and give it long range and accurate capabilities. It might be better to go with pulse lasers (even baseline ones) and have sandcasters. Sand will give you defense against lasers while you are running, shooting your lasers means you have offensive/defensive weapons they have to deal with, and you also have the ability to launch chaff. Though this, too, is getting further into the realm of a military ship and not a cheap merchantmen.

Agreed piracy is not going to be a norm in civilized space. The outskirts or rarely-travelled, or near warzones, then yes, we may see more piracy.

I'm not sure how easily a pirate will be scared off. What would we use as the norm upon which it would decide to flee? Pirates, by definition, must prey upon merchants to survive. If they run at the first (or third) shot, then piracy would mostly die out on it's own. Modern-day pirates prey on unarmed vessels. They are essentially thugs with speedboats, RPGs and assault weapons. A more closer analog might be the pirates of sail. Those pirates closed and engaged with armed merchants regularly, even smaller warships. I would think piracy in Traveller would be closer to the ships of sail than the pirates of the Indian ocean. Modern day pirates do often flee if someone on the tanker shoots back (those few that employ armed mercenary guards). The reason is they expect little, to no resistance because of the thugs with guns attitude.

I suppose pirates in Traveller might be like the Ice Pirates (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-YZ8WOU1-w). They even have breakaway hulls.
baithammer
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 866
Joined: Wed May 31, 2017 2:21 am

Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby baithammer » Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:36 am

Most pirates will be using civilian ships much like the merchants but with a preference for better sublight speed, a few will have decommissioned military vessels and the those who stay at the game long enough would have corsairs / specialty craft.
AnotherDilbert
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3627
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:49 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby AnotherDilbert » Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:01 pm

phavoc wrote: A cut-rate freighter is going to be lucky to have a gunner-1. It's not a warship nor is it something that should expect to fight that often, if at all.
I assume a freighter that has invested MCr ~20 or more in armaments is going to hire professionals (say skill-2?) to make it worthwhile. It expects to have to be able to fight, even if it would prefer to do it as seldom as possible.

phavoc wrote: This assumes you are hitting the target and their defenses (lasers, EW) are rendering your salvos ineffective. 12 rounds (4 salvos per turret) doesn't leave much room for error.
Each missile rack carries 12 ready-rounds, so a turret or fixed mount can carry 36 missiles. Without magazines we can carry 12 battery rounds. Except missile barbettes.

Hitting isn't much of a problem when launching over 10 missiles.
Even PD isn't much of a problem; just make sure several salvoes reach the target simultaneously.
Hi-tech military ECM with optimised crew would make short work of such salvoes, standard small ships with civilian crews will not.

If we are fighting ships with hi-tech military ECM (such as Imperial destroyers) we lose anyway...

phavoc wrote: Of course that also means the enemy could have fragmentation missiles, and if the budget freighters typically carried no reloads they could just wait for their victims to drop their 12 missiles and then they would be defenseless.
Agreed, it becomes a game of who has the more launchers and missiles. No standard ship at remotely similar cost to the Planetoid Trader will have four hardpoints, so they will have less launchers.

But a Patrol Corvette or Corsair with full missile armament, or even missile barbettes, and large magazines will win against the far cheaper Planetoid Trader, just as they would if we carried lasers.

A small, cheap freighter can't compete with far more expensive combat-optimised ships, obviously.

phavoc wrote: We'd also have to look at min-max the weapons here.
Agreed.

phavoc wrote: We could cut the costs in half by switching to a pulse laser.
Pulse lasers are the standard choice at MCr 1 per weapon. Beam lasers are cheaper, but have far shorter range.

phavoc wrote: Since it's only TL7 we could take 3 advantages and increase the cost by only 50%. Or drop it to just a 25% cost increase and give it long range and accurate capabilities.
Long Range and Accurate both require two advantages. You can have one, but not both. But I agree, we should probably have one of them, if we use lasers. It increases the cost of a laser turret to MCr 5.

phavoc wrote: It might be better to go with pulse lasers (even baseline ones) and have sandcasters. Sand will give you defense against lasers while you are running, shooting your lasers means you have offensive/defensive weapons they have to deal with, and you also have the ability to launch chaff.
Agreed, but:
Sandcasters only work against lasers, not missiles.
Sandcaster ammo runs out. It may take an hour or two, but eventually the lasers burns through.

But I agree that Laser,Laser,Sand-turrets would win over Laser,Laser,Laser-turrets, ceteris paribus.

phavoc wrote: Though this, too, is getting further into the realm of a military ship and not a cheap merchantmen.
Lasers and sandcasters are still quite well within the civilian grasp, IMHO.

phavoc wrote: I'm not sure how easily a pirate will be scared off. What would we use as the norm upon which it would decide to flee? Pirates, by definition, must prey upon merchants to survive. If they run at the first (or third) shot, then piracy would mostly die out on it's own. ... A more closer analog might be the pirates of sail. Those pirates closed and engaged with armed merchants regularly, even smaller warships.
Agreed. Pirates are still a business and have to keep a close eye on the profit margin. Unfortunately for the traders repairing combat damage is rather cheap. Doing a few points of Hull damage, or even a crit or two, isn't going to deter a pirate.

We have to be able to threaten death or destruction to be an inconvenient prey. Fusion or Particle barbettes doing radiation damage should work, unless the pirates have rad shielding, but they are big and expensive. Large missile salvoes are quite dangerous, and certainly something pirates have to look out for.

Example:
Let's say Long range and we launch 12 standard missiles in round 1, then 12 Frag missiles in round 2.
Both salvoes arrive and attack round 2. Average 11 missiles from each salvo hit, for a total of 22 missiles.
The enemy does PD with four triple laser turrets with skill-2, average 3 missiles killed by each turret for a total of 12 missiles killed.
22 - 12 = 10 missiles does damage so 10 × ( 3D - Armour ) for an average of 65 damage, assuming Armour 4 like a Patrol Corvette.
A standard 400 Dt ship has 160 Hull, so that is 40% of its total Hull (and four crits). We destroy such a ship in 6 rounds using 72 missiles costing MCr 1.35. Cheap and effective. (We could do it quicker with more expensive missiles.)

After such an attack the pirate is worried, and looking to disengage (immediately).
AnotherDilbert
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3627
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:49 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby AnotherDilbert » Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:05 pm

baithammer wrote: Most pirates will be using civilian ships much like the merchants but with a preference for better sublight speed, a few will have decommissioned military vessels and the those who stay at the game long enough would have corsairs / specialty craft.
Agreed, most pirates will use whatever ship they can lay their hands on, whether suited or not.

It also means that if we build a trader that can defeat a pirate, that ship becomes a rather attractive pirate-ship itself...
phavoc
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 4623
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:13 pm

Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby phavoc » Mon Feb 25, 2019 3:31 pm

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:01 pm
phavoc wrote: This assumes you are hitting the target and their defenses (lasers, EW) are rendering your salvos ineffective. 12 rounds (4 salvos per turret) doesn't leave much room for error.
Each missile rack carries 12 ready-rounds, so a turret or fixed mount can carry 36 missiles. Without magazines we can carry 12 battery rounds. Except missile barbettes.
That's a physical impossibility. A hardpoint sets aside 1 ton, supposedly for fire control gear. 12 missiles require 1 ton. This is taking the Tardis concept of bigger on the inside way too far. This means our 1 ton hardpoint now occupies 4 tons of space - 1 ton for fire control and 3 tons for missiles. Who needs magazines when you can magically get 300% free room?
AnotherDilbert wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:01 pm
Hitting isn't much of a problem when launching over 10 missiles.
Even PD isn't much of a problem; just make sure several salvoes reach the target simultaneously.
Hi-tech military ECM with optimised crew would make short work of such salvoes, standard small ships with civilian crews will not.

If we are fighting ships with hi-tech military ECM (such as Imperial destroyers) we lose anyway...
I would assume that any pirate crew that is going to prey on others (and in the Traveller universe basically every ship is armed) that they would have sufficient defenses to survive in their preferred line of work. Thus it would make sense for them to have an all-laser armament for maximum offense/defense. Plus at least one extra sensor operator to do ECM on missiles salvos.

The other advantage for pirates is that without the need for spare missiles they aren't as dependent upon outside sources for supplies. A helpful thing if you don't have a local pirate paradise you can dock at for resupply of expendables.
AnotherDilbert wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:01 pm
Agreed, it becomes a game of who has the more launchers and missiles. No standard ship at remotely similar cost to the Planetoid Trader will have four hardpoints, so they will have less launchers.
.
Hardpoints are a function of tonnage. Most ships will have four hardpoints if they mass 400 tons. Whether or not they utilize them is another thing. I agree that the cheaper you make your vessel the less likely you'll find heavy armaments.

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:01 pm
Pulse lasers are the standard choice at MCr 1 per weapon. Beam lasers are cheaper, but have far shorter range.
You are right. I had reversed the pricing.

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:01 pm
Agreed, but:
Sandcasters only work against lasers, not missiles.
Sandcaster ammo runs out. It may take an hour or two, but eventually the lasers burns through.

But I agree that Laser,Laser,Sand-turrets would win over Laser,Laser,Laser-turrets, ceteris paribus.
Sand is cheap. And you get 20 barrels to the ton. If you haven't gotten where you need to be (planetside or at your 100D) or help hasn't come in an hour, then you are probably doomed anyways.

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:01 pm
Lasers and sandcasters are still quite well within the civilian grasp, IMHO.
Indeed. However that's not what was being referred to. Civilians would use missiles, sand, beam, pulse lasers. Beyond that (particle beams, fusion weapons, anti-missile-missiles, jammers, torpedoes, etc, etc) are up in the military arena.

As was pointed out, if you spend MCr40 for a ship you'd expect defenses. However reality has ships worth $100 million today going through the Indian ocean without even armed guards or weapons being provided to the crew. In the Traveller universe that MCr40 is the cost of a semi-truck. Plus we have a cheap merchant ship. Which means cost is the primary factor in the ships operations. Weapons cost a lot, as does the crew and maintenance for said weapons. If you are already paying insurance for the ship an operator fixated on costs will not pay for armaments until the cost of insurance becomes too great. Simple merchant economics.

So both our proposals would probably be oriented towards an owner-operator who works on the fringes.

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:01 pm
We have to be able to threaten death or destruction to be an inconvenient prey. Fusion or Particle barbettes doing radiation damage should work, unless the pirates have rad shielding, but they are big and expensive. Large missile salvoes are quite dangerous, and certainly something pirates have to look out for.
This is definitely getting into the realm of military-grade weapons. Even though there are no clear indicators regarding where the line is drawn (other than nuclear weaponry being retained exclusively for governments), radiation-based weaponry is getting to be a close second. Plus the costs increase rather dramatically over laser-based weapons.

Example:
Let's say Long range and we launch 12 standard missiles in round 1, then 12 Frag missiles in round 2.
Both salvoes arrive and attack round 2. Average 11 missiles from each salvo hit, for a total of 22 missiles.
The enemy does PD with four triple laser turrets with skill-2, average 3 missiles killed by each turret for a total of 12 missiles killed.
22 - 12 = 10 missiles does damage so 10 × ( 3D - Armour ) for an average of 65 damage, assuming Armour 4 like a Patrol Corvette.
A standard 400 Dt ship has 160 Hull, so that is 40% of its total Hull (and four crits). We destroy such a ship in 6 rounds using 72 missiles costing MCr 1.35. Cheap and effective. (We could do it quicker with more expensive missiles.)

After such an attack the pirate is worried, and looking to disengage (immediately).
[/quote]

So the merchant has just tossed out about half a million credits. The pirates could turn and plink the missiles down (the frag missiles have thrust 15 and standard missiles are thrust 10). A pirate ship would be expected to have better thrust than the average merchant, so around 2-4G. This assumes no attempts at using ECM to break the missile locks either. Depending on the range a good sensor operator (if they have two they can each do this per salvo, per round) might be able to get rid of half the missiles before they engage at range. If the merchie waits for the ship to close the pirate will have fired numerous times already. Until the ship is disabled or they know more about it's defenses they will probably keep the range open - especially if they are just interested in cargo and not the ship itself.

Missiles are a good option for many ships, especially ones that don't want the added expense of a gunner for a laser turret. But they have distinct drawbacks as well (e.g. even if you just scare the opponent away you've blown through months worth of profits). Sand is useful for people who just want to run away, and lasers can be picked up cheap, too, if you search long and hard enough (all the prices we are quoting are new).

There's also the open question of how much maintenance does a missile require? Everything else requires annual maintenance on a ship, and missiles should require servicing regularly as well to ensure the seekers are working, the thrusters function, etc. Boxed missiles today are the same - they have a shelf life. Naval missiles (like SM-3) get removed from VLS storage cells about once every two years and get a complete overhaul. So a true cost comparison requires knowing how often Trav missiles need the same.

More than likely a cheap merchie isn't going to carry much armament because it's a budget ship to begin with. Over time, depending on where it goes and local conditions, we might see some adding some weapons, probably sand and/or missiles to start because cost. And depending on how things are they might get some lasers as well.
Old School
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 575
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:41 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby Old School » Mon Feb 25, 2019 5:39 pm

Despite the concept of a barbette carrying less missiles than a triple turret making absolutely no sense, if one interprets the RAW that is what it says. A triple turret can hold three missile racks, and each rack holds 12 missiles.

I consider this errata and interpret it as 12 missiles per turret (or fixed mount).

Looking at previous editions, I don't see that MgT1, MT or CT give any missile storage in the turret other than rounds ready to fire. I don't know how, if at all, they addressed the concept of reloading.
DickTurpin
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 221
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:49 pm

Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby DickTurpin » Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:25 pm

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:01 pm
Each missile rack carries 12 ready-rounds, so a turret or fixed mount can carry 36 missiles.
"Each turret with one or more missile racks holds 12 missiles. . ." CRB p. 157. Triple missile turrets burn through the ready missiles in four rounds instead of twelve.

One thing that is not clear from the rules is if beam lasers get their +4 DM to attacks (+2 DM for pulse lasers) when used for point defense. I would allow it since in effect they are "attacking" the incoming missiles.
Sigtrygg
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1210
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2006 9:23 am

Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby Sigtrygg » Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:41 pm

This is the CT version of missile capacity:
Each standard missile rack can hold one missile ready to fire and two additional
missiles ready for future game turns
. The role of the gunner in the turret is to aim
and fire the weaponry in the turret; once the missile racks and ready missiles are
exhausted, the gunner must reload them with new missiles. A gunner can load new
missiles into the racks and still operate the weaponry in a game turn.
The standard turret has room to store an additional 12 missiles in it. Once these
missiles have been used, the turret must be restocked with missiles carried elsewhere
in the ship (usually in the cargo hold).
A single turret thus has 15 missiles available, a double turret 18 and a triple turret 21.
Old School
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 575
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:41 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby Old School » Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:41 pm

Sigtrygg - thanks, what page what that on? I was looking for it and found something else. Thanks again.

DickTurpin - the point defense is written as a Gunner Skill check same as an attack, but the bonuses as shown are specifically "when attacking". Point defense also doesn't show that you get a modifier for Dexterity. You do get a +1 for double turrets and a +2 for triple turrets during point defense, which you don't get when attacking. My take on this is that point defense is a Gunner (Turret) (Dex) check, with beam lasers getting a +2. Giving them a +4 and pulse lasers a +2 seems a bit much, but it also makes no sense for beam lasers to be more accurate in all situations except for when missiles are approaching.

These are the kind of things where it would be so much help if the authors sat down at the table and ran ship combat, and provided us with a roll by roll, step by step recap. Whether beam lasers get a +4, a +2, or no modifier at all for point defense can be decisive when playing out a combat scenario.
Sigtrygg
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1210
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2006 9:23 am

Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby Sigtrygg » Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:14 pm

It's from the CT Missiles special supplement that was included in a JTAS and is on the CT cd/flash drive from FFE.
AnotherDilbert
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3627
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:49 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby AnotherDilbert » Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:10 pm

phavoc wrote: That's a physical impossibility. A hardpoint sets aside 1 ton, supposedly for fire control gear. 12 missiles require 1 ton. This is taking the Tardis concept of bigger on the inside way too far.
We have discussed this before. Those are still the rules. Supposedly turrets occupy some space outside the hull.

phavoc wrote: I would assume that any pirate crew that is going to prey on others (and in the Traveller universe basically every ship is armed) that they would have sufficient defenses to survive in their preferred line of work. Thus it would make sense for them to have an all-laser armament for maximum offense/defense. Plus at least one extra sensor operator to do ECM on missiles salvos.

The other advantage for pirates is that without the need for spare missiles they aren't as dependent upon outside sources for supplies. A helpful thing if you don't have a local pirate paradise you can dock at for resupply of expendables.
Agreed. Energy weapons are probably better for a pirate, a Particle barbette to frighten prey to surrender in particular (like the Harrier?)

phavoc wrote: Hardpoints are a function of tonnage. Most ships will have four hardpoints if they mass 400 tons. Whether or not they utilize them is another thing. I agree that the cheaper you make your vessel the less likely you'll find heavy armaments.
My point was that the Planetoid Trader is marginally more expensive than a Free Trader. It might survive an encounter with e.g. a ~3 times more expensive 400 Dt Patrol Corvette, but throw in a 800 Dt Mercenary and it will lose, badly...

phavoc wrote: Sand is cheap. And you get 20 barrels to the ton. If you haven't gotten where you need to be (planetside or at your 100D) or help hasn't come in an hour, then you are probably doomed anyways.
Agreed, sand is cheap.

Close the 100d limit we can easily be several hours away from the planet. Even 6 g SDBs might be a few hour away.

phavoc wrote: Indeed. However that's not what was being referred to. Civilians would use missiles, sand, beam, pulse lasers. Beyond that (particle beams, fusion weapons, anti-missile-missiles, jammers, torpedoes, etc, etc) are up in the military arena.
I only restrict nukes and spinals. Free Traders and similar small ships can hardly afford more than turrets. Anti-missiles are just missiles. Decent sensors and electronics are very expensive for small ships, but very cheap for large ships.

phavoc wrote: As was pointed out, if you spend MCr40 for a ship you'd expect defenses. However reality has ships worth $100 million today going through the Indian ocean without even armed guards or weapons being provided to the crew. In the Traveller universe that MCr40 is the cost of a semi-truck. Plus we have a cheap merchant ship. Which means cost is the primary factor in the ships operations. Weapons cost a lot, as does the crew and maintenance for said weapons. If you are already paying insurance for the ship an operator fixated on costs will not pay for armaments until the cost of insurance becomes too great. Simple merchant economics.
Total cost is irrelevant. Risk is the important thing as we seem to agree. Even in the piracy hot-spots today the actual risk of being attacked is low, hence no cost-based case for real defences. Likewise I assume real risk is quite low in the Imperium (and the other major empires). In the case of the Planetoid Trader it is quite a lot more expensive than the earlier budget ship, so would need a real risk to be motivated. Using heavier weapons would require very high risk to motivate.

phavoc wrote: So both our proposals would probably be oriented towards an owner-operator who works on the fringes.
Agreed.

phavoc wrote: This is definitely getting into the realm of military-grade weapons. Even though there are no clear indicators regarding where the line is drawn (other than nuclear weaponry being retained exclusively for governments), radiation-based weaponry is getting to be a close second. Plus the costs increase rather dramatically over laser-based weapons.
I don't really make that distinction. The Imperial Rules of War informally bans weapons that can devastate entire regions, hence ABC WMDs, even from local governments in the Imperium. Particle and Fusion barbettes does not come even close to be banned on this ground.

phavoc wrote: So the merchant has just tossed out about half a million credits.
Quite, but we saved over MCr 20 up-front by not buying 4 laser turrets. And perhaps 20 Dt cargospace representing potential income of kCr 20 per jump or kCr 500 per year. And salaries, life support, maintenance, etc...

phavoc wrote: The pirates could turn and plink the missiles down (the frag missiles have thrust 15 and standard missiles are thrust 10). A pirate ship would be expected to have better thrust than the average merchant, so around 2-4G.
No, when the missiles are fired they will attack after a fixed number of rounds. Not even 25 g fighters can outrun missiles, strangely enough.

phavoc wrote: This assumes no attempts at using ECM to break the missile locks either. Depending on the range a good sensor operator (if they have two they can each do this per salvo, per round) might be able to get rid of half the missiles before they engage at range.
With a good ECM suite and/or very good operators, yes. With standard sensor suites and normal non-optimised operators, not really.

I would assume a pirate would normally need to be within Long range in order to identify the target to get Limited sensor information make sure the target is not a military ship pretending to be a helpless merchant.

In that case the pirate only get a single attempt at ECM against the slow salvo in my earlier example.

phavoc wrote: Missiles are a good option for many ships, especially ones that don't want the added expense of a gunner for a laser turret. But they have distinct drawbacks as well (e.g. even if you just scare the opponent away you've blown through months worth of profits). Sand is useful for people who just want to run away, and lasers can be picked up cheap, too, if you search long and hard enough (all the prices we are quoting are new).
Everything has advantages and disadvantages. Missiles cost per shot and run out. Sand only works against lasers. Lasers are expensive (for a civilian ship).

phavoc wrote: There's also the open question of how much maintenance does a missile require? Everything else requires annual maintenance on a ship, and missiles should require servicing regularly as well to ensure the seekers are working, the thrusters function, etc. Boxed missiles today are the same - they have a shelf life. Naval missiles (like SM-3) get removed from VLS storage cells about once every two years and get a complete overhaul. So a true cost comparison requires knowing how often Trav missiles need the same.
Unfortunately we know that maintenance is based on ship cost and that ammunition is not included in ship cost. I agree missiles should require maintenance and probably have a shelf life.

phavoc wrote: More than likely a cheap merchie isn't going to carry much armament because it's a budget ship to begin with. Over time, depending on where it goes and local conditions, we might see some adding some weapons, probably sand and/or missiles to start because cost. And depending on how things are they might get some lasers as well.
The Planetoid Trader is deliberately built to be able to fight, it has already payed MCr 10-20 for armour, sensors, bigger drives, etc before we add weapons. If we don't need weapons, we don't need a Planetoid Trader.
Last edited by AnotherDilbert on Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
AnotherDilbert
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3627
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:49 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby AnotherDilbert » Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:37 pm

Old School wrote: Point defense also doesn't show that you get a modifier for Dexterity.
It's a Skill Check:
Core, p57 wrote:Skill Checks
For a skill check, the Traveller adds both his skill level and an appropriate characteristic DM. The combination of skill and characteristic varies depending on the situation:
The Referee chooses an appropriate characteristic. I use DEX, without any good reason.

But I agree that the combat system should define the basic rolls.
AnotherDilbert
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3627
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:49 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby AnotherDilbert » Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:51 pm

DickTurpin wrote: "Each turret with one or more missile racks holds 12 missiles. . ." CRB p. 157. Triple missile turrets burn through the ready missiles in four rounds instead of twelve.
But:
HG, p25 wrote:Each missile rack holds 12 missiles (missile racks on Firmpoints hold four missiles).

DickTurpin wrote: One thing that is not clear from the rules is if beam lasers get their +4 DM to attacks (+2 DM for pulse lasers) when used for point defense. I would allow it since in effect they are "attacking" the incoming missiles.
As OldSchool points out that is actually clear. The DM is given on p156 specifically for attacks. PD is not an Attack, but a Reaction.
Linwood
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 370
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:41 am

Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby Linwood » Tue Feb 26, 2019 2:06 am

phavoc wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 3:31 pm

Depending on the range a good sensor operator (if they have two they can each do this per salvo, per round) might be able to get rid of half the missiles before they engage at range.
Ummm - doesn’t High Guard say only one sensor operator can attempt an ECM action on any one salvo in a round? I’m thinking of house-ruling multiple sensor operators can collaborate on a jamming attempt to get around that limitation.
phavoc
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 4623
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:13 pm

Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby phavoc » Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:38 am

Linwood wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 2:06 am
phavoc wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 3:31 pm

Depending on the range a good sensor operator (if they have two they can each do this per salvo, per round) might be able to get rid of half the missiles before they engage at range.
Ummm - doesn’t High Guard say only one sensor operator can attempt an ECM action on any one salvo in a round? I’m thinking of house-ruling multiple sensor operators can collaborate on a jamming attempt to get around that limitation.
Yes, that's correct. But in the explanation there were two salvos, one of std missiles, one of fragmentation. Std missiles have thrust ten and frag have thrust fifteen. Plus they launched on different rounds.

So they should be treated as two different salvos.
AnotherDilbert
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3627
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:49 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby AnotherDilbert » Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:49 pm

phavoc wrote: So they should be treated as two different salvos.
Yes, they are separate salvoes.
AnotherDilbert wrote: Example:
Let's say Long range and we launch 12 standard missiles in round 1, then 12 Frag missiles in round 2.
Both salvoes arrive and attack round 2. ...
The second salvo is launched and arrives in round 2, before the defender has a chance to attempt EW in the Action Phase.

With a Military Sensor and a reasonable operator (skill-2) the EW action kills 2D +0[sensor DM] +2[skill] -10[difficult] missiles for an average of 0.56 missiles.

Totally about half a missile would be lured away by EW from the slower salvo under these assumptions.
phavoc
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 4623
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:13 pm

Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby phavoc » Wed Feb 27, 2019 1:25 am

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:10 pm
phavoc wrote: That's a physical impossibility. A hardpoint sets aside 1 ton, supposedly for fire control gear. 12 missiles require 1 ton. This is taking the Tardis concept of bigger on the inside way too far.
We have discussed this before. Those are still the rules. Supposedly turrets occupy some space outside the hull.
Similar issues have discussed before and corrected. It's called errata.

Though in this case it's pretty clear a missile hardpoint with missile racks will only hold 12 missiles (so the Tardis properties are less than proposed) -
CRB p157 - Each turret with one or more missile racks holds 12 missiles and costs Cr250000 to refill. It takes one round to reload a missile rack (see page 161).
AnotherDilbert wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:49 pm
phavoc wrote: So they should be treated as two different salvos.
Yes, they are separate salvoes.
AnotherDilbert wrote: Example:
Let's say Long range and we launch 12 standard missiles in round 1, then 12 Frag missiles in round 2.
Both salvoes arrive and attack round 2. ...
The second salvo is launched and arrives in round 2, before the defender has a chance to attempt EW in the Action Phase.

With a Military Sensor and a reasonable operator (skill-2) the EW action kills 2D +0[sensor DM] +2[skill] -10[difficult] missiles for an average of 0.56 missiles.

Totally about half a missile would be lured away by EW from the slower salvo under these assumptions.
Ok, I see where you are getting your arrival times. You are right, they would arrive at the same time. However there's nothing in the rules that states you cannot use EW on a salvo. The rule states:

CRB - p162: Electronic Warfare: A Traveller performing sensor operator duties on a spacecraft can use the Electronic Warfare action to destroy or misdirect incoming missiles before they impact his vessel or another ship within Close range.

The bold emphasis is mine. HG introduces missiles with different flight times from CRB (which are all 10). According to HG, a fragmentation missile, at thrust 15 is immediate. Long range is between 10,000 and 25,000 km. The section of the CRB that lists what you can for countermeasures against missiles lists both EW and point defense. Since the missiles are not light-speed weapons (and the book points out that "its crew will have several
anxious minutes to watch the blips on their sensor screens gradually get closer and closer." it's implied that EW countermeasures are always allowed, like point defense, before missile impact. In the example above, a ship having two EW stations would have two attempts at EW from the speed 10 missiles and 1 attempt at the frag missiles (spread over the two rounds - limit is still one EW attempt per salvo/per turn). At that point the ship would be able to engage the missile in point defense with its lasers.

Depending on the rolls, a ship with triple laser turret could swat two triple missile launchers worth of missiles, though using frag missiles against a starship is questionable. By design they are meant for small craft, or missile salvo's. It would be questionable if they would have any effect against ships over 100 Dtons.

So the trusty missile tubes on the rock freighter had best score early hits and hope the enemy doesn't keep the range open to plink them to death (or if they are like lots of ships and have high-burn thrusters, they can simply turn and keep the range open on missile salvo's until the ship runs out of ammo. A few hours of high-burn thruster fuel means many turns the poor merchant will be at risk.
AnotherDilbert
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3627
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:49 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby AnotherDilbert » Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:25 am

phavoc wrote: Similar issues have discussed before and corrected. It's called errata.
Mongoose can issue errata. We can only make house-rules.

phavoc wrote: Though in this case it's pretty clear a missile hardpoint with missile racks will only hold 12 missiles (so the Tardis properties are less than proposed) -
CRB p157 - Each turret with one or more missile racks holds 12 missiles and costs Cr250000 to refill. It takes one round to reload a missile rack (see page 161).
HG changed that to:
HG, p25 wrote:Each missile rack holds 12 missiles (missile racks on Firmpoints hold four missiles).
Note that that includes fixed mounts and firmpoints.

phavoc wrote: Ok, I see where you are getting your arrival times. You are right, they would arrive at the same time. However there's nothing in the rules that states you cannot use EW on a salvo.
Review the round sequence:
Core, p154 wrote: 1. Manoeuvre Step: In order of initiative, each ship manoeuvres based on its Thrust.
2. Attack Step: In order of initiative, each ship can attack, using weapons or conducting boarding actions.
3. Actions Step: In order of initiative, ships can perform other, miscellaneous actions, such as repairing damaged systems, jumping out of the system or launching craft.
Missiles are launched and attack in the Attack Step.
EW is done in the Action Step.

So, if the missile salvo does not have a hang time, it can't be EW'd.

phavoc wrote: Depending on the rolls, a ship with triple laser turret could swat two triple missile launchers worth of missiles, ...
That requires very good optimised gunners or very good rolls.

With a triple laser turret and a reasonable civilian gunner PD kills 2D +2[triple] +2[skill] -8 for an average of 3.11 missiles killed per turret.

phavoc wrote: ... though using frag missiles against a starship is questionable. By design they are meant for small craft, or missile salvo's. It would be questionable if they would have any effect against ships over 100 Dtons.
Frag missiles have a well-defined effect: 3D damage. With enough armour you can basically ignore it, whether small craft or ship.

phavoc wrote: So the trusty missile tubes on the rock freighter had best score early hits and hope the enemy doesn't keep the range open to plink them to death (or if they are like lots of ships and have high-burn thrusters, they can simply turn and keep the range open on missile salvo's until the ship runs out of ammo. A few hours of high-burn thruster fuel means many turns the poor merchant will be at risk.
Agreed, with high acceleration (>6 g) the attacker can change range to its advantage before it's destroyed. It would also need optimised weapons with Very Long range and optimised ECM to take advantage of the range.

Against an optimised almost-warship a MCr ~50 merchant is obviously chance-less.
baithammer
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 866
Joined: Wed May 31, 2017 2:21 am

Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby baithammer » Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:21 am

EW is kind of messy as the Broad Spectrum EW engages any salvo automatically within long range and has a weird note that manual ew attempts are to be attempted before the automatic one. ( The manual one your supposed to wait till close range or closer.)

I would suggest EW be treated like point defense.

1.) Counts as a reaction and require a crew member action for the turn.
2.) Barring Broad Spectrum EW, it occurs in the same range as point defense. ( Reverse the suggested order with Broad Spectrum EW occurring first and a single EW reaction per salvo last.)

Use gunners for EW or Point Defense or Attack, penalties for multiple actions like any skill test.

As for turrets, the 1 dt is the internal connector volume not the full size of the turret. Think of it like drop tanks, with the drop tank collar being inside the hull of the spaceship and the tank itself outside the hull.

Personal preference would be to adapt vehicle handbook turrets as they have some interesting options. ( 1 space = 0.25dt)
Linwood
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 370
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:41 am

Re: Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft.

Postby Linwood » Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:20 am

Baifhammer, can you point me to the Broad Spectrum EW rule? I’m having trouble tracking it down. I’ve got an upcoming space battle to run where it could be really important.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Hakkonen and 5 guests