The Armed Packet

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
Garnfellow
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The Armed Packet

Postby Garnfellow » Sat Apr 13, 2019 12:01 pm

T5 introduced a pretty useful new ship class: the Armed Packet, a 300 ton, Jump 3 ship providing “unscheduled passenger service for those in a hurry. The crew can be trusted, but these little ships still find themselves jumping in harm’s way.” For my money, this is an excellent ship for PCs to tool around in.

Although T5 doesn't give stats on this ship, Rob Eaglestone had come up with his own design that helped guide me as I tried out the Mongoose 2e High Guard design rules. I also gave a shot at drawing up some deck plans:

The Armed Packet for Mongoose Traveller
Moppy
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Re: The Armed Packet

Postby Moppy » Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:35 pm

To comment on the deck plan, I would expect the crew and passenger areas to be separate, and the crew or staff not to have to travel through the passenger area or make some climb through the engine room and cargo for their regular work shifts.

Either the engineer is stomping through the passenger living room in work boots (0/10 on ship's spacebook page for that), or the staff (on a passenger ship, people that support the passengers like hairdressers) is climbing all over the engines to get back to their cabin and making the engineer stressed (how many rules about unsupervised untrained people in engineering does this violate?), or the crew can't get to the bridge without going through the cargo hold and losing you your cargo security certification.

The free trader is a good example with all the passengers up at the top on their own deck.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: The Armed Packet

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:00 pm

Agreed, the passengers should not have access to bridge and engineering. Swap the crew space forward and isolate the passengers aft?

It looks like a really useful ship. It could also make a very nice fast Yacht.

'Streamlined' configuration in MgT is roughly what is called 'Airframe' in T5, so you don't really need Aerofins:
MgT2 HG, p4 wrote:Streamlined Hull: A ship designed to fly through atmosphere – will feature a wing or lifting body.
Even Partially Streamlined ships can enter atmospheres and land.

Staterooms are about the same size and cost (with a reasonable T5 Comfort), but it's only one item in MgT instead of separate room, fresher, commons, and life support as in T5.



I would like to see a few more Dt cargo to store the odds and ends the passengers or PCs might collect.

Perhaps a little better sensors to see what you shoot at? Military sensors are only MCr 1 more and Improved are not much more.

A backup m/10bis computer would cost next to nothing. Not necessary, but nice to have.

20 Dt is a regular bridge, 10 Dt would be a small bridge. I like to add Holographic Controls.

You have quite a lot of power, you could save a few Dt and MCr there.

12 Staterooms is 68 Dt.

Fuel Consumption is doubled.

Total cost is off? I get something like MCr 125. (You could save MCr 15 with Budget drives.)

Repair Drones seems to fit the ship concept?

A small Collapsible Tank could enhance power plant endurance when needed?
Garnfellow
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Re: The Armed Packet

Postby Garnfellow » Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:51 pm

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:00 pm
Agreed, the passengers should not have access to bridge and engineering. Swap the crew space forward and isolate the passengers aft?
Yeah, I think that is a good comment and can be addressed by shuffling the staterooms around.
AnotherDilbert wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:00 pm
'Streamlined' configuration in MgT is roughly what is called 'Airframe' in T5, so you don't really need Aerofins.
Although I'm not 100% committed to the aerofins, the T5 description of airframe certainly sounds like an MgT streamlined ship with aerofins.
AnotherDilbert wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:00 pm
Perhaps a little better sensors to see what you shoot at? Military sensors are only MCr 1 more and Improved are not much more.

A backup m/10bis computer would cost next to nothing. Not necessary, but nice to have.

20 Dt is a regular bridge, 10 Dt would be a small bridge. I like to add Holographic Controls.
Yeah, I think these are good ideas.
AnotherDilbert wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:00 pm
You have quite a lot of power, you could save a few Dt and MCr there.
I did wonder about that . . . what would be a reasonable downgrade?
AnotherDilbert wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:00 pm
12 Staterooms is 68 Dt.
Good catch. Luckily it was correct in my spreadsheet. 5 crew staterooms x 4 tons plus 12 passenger staterooms x 4 = 68.
AnotherDilbert wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:00 pm
Fuel Consumption is doubled.
Another good catch.
AnotherDilbert wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:00 pm
Total cost is off? I get something like MCr 125. (You could save MCr 15 with Budget drives.)
MCr125 would be closer to the costs Rob had for his T5 version, so I would love to find an error. My cost also includes a 10% discount for a standard design.
AnotherDilbert wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:00 pm
Repair Drones seems to fit the ship concept?

A small Collapsible Tank could enhance power plant endurance when needed?
More good ideas -- thanks so much for the comments!
AnotherDilbert
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Re: The Armed Packet

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Apr 13, 2019 6:02 pm

Garnfellow wrote: Although I'm not 100% committed to the aerofins, the T5 description of airframe certainly sounds like an MgT streamlined ship with aerofins.
They are not exactly the same. MgT2 Aerofins is perhaps closest to T5 Foldable Fins.

Aerofins are very good, they are also expensive at 15 Dt ≈ three staterooms with commons.

Garnfellow wrote: I did wonder about that . . . what would be a reasonable downgrade?
The absolute minimum is Basic systems 60 Power + 90 Power for either M-drive or J-Drive = 150 Power.
With 180 Power (12 Dt) you can run all systems with a small margin. If you need more Power you can temporarily reduce power to Basic Systems.

Garnfellow wrote: MCr125 would be closer to the costs Rob had for his T5 version, so I would love to find an error. My cost also includes a 10% discount for a standard design.
I can show my calculations:
Image
Garnfellow
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Re: The Armed Packet

Postby Garnfellow » Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:18 pm

Boom -- there it is: I was calculating MCr0.5 per ton of stateroom, rather than per stateroom. Basically 4 x the cost. Thank you so much for posting your calcs!

I'll update the math for the design "as is" and eventually post a revised design incorporating your suggestions. The smaller power plant certainly makes a difference!
baithammer
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Re: The Armed Packet

Postby baithammer » Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:49 am

The aerofins are more craft that can't use streamlined hull type as they need a different option and for Interface Fighters which need to compete with vehicle scale fighters.
Condottiere
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Re: The Armed Packet

Postby Condottiere » Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:21 am

Aerofins are for if you're spending a great deal of time in an atmosphere, and don't add on gravitational lifters.
baithammer
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Re: The Armed Packet

Postby baithammer » Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:56 am

Grav lifters don't improve piloting DMs, which aerofins do.
Garnfellow
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Re: The Armed Packet

Postby Garnfellow » Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:00 pm

Right now I've got a couple tons devoted to "missile storage" in keeping with Rob's T5 design, but is this worth it? I didn't see any Mongoose design that had missile storage. 2 tons missile storage is 24 missiles, which is "only" 4 extra shots with two triple turrets.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: The Armed Packet

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sun Apr 14, 2019 5:20 pm

Garnfellow wrote: Right now I've got a couple tons devoted to "missile storage" in keeping with Rob's T5 design, but is this worth it?
A few extra missiles never hurts, but it is not really worth it. It's not a warship. With six launchers you already have capacity for 72 missiles.

If you have not killed the enemy with 12 salvoes a few more are unlikely to make much difference.
Garnfellow
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Re: The Armed Packet

Postby Garnfellow » Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:34 pm

Are there any programs beyond Jump Control that would be helpful?
AnotherDilbert
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Re: The Armed Packet

Postby AnotherDilbert » Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:09 am

Garnfellow wrote: Are there any programs beyond Jump Control that would be helpful?
Auto-Repair fits with Repair Drones, but is expensive for small ships.
Virtual Crew can stand bridge watch in a pinch.
Virtual Gunner/Crew can replace gunners, but with low skill.
Evade for combat.
Fire Control aids the laser turret.
Expert can help crew.
Garnfellow
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Re: The Armed Packet

Postby Garnfellow » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:51 am

Are computer programs included in the costs for the ships in the core rules or High Guard?
AnotherDilbert
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Re: The Armed Packet

Postby AnotherDilbert » Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:19 pm

Garnfellow wrote: Are computer programs included in the costs for the ships in the core rules or High Guard?
The ones listed in the ship's description should be included in the price.

Software, Craft, and Ammo are not discounted for standard designs, they already are standard.
Old School
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Re: The Armed Packet

Postby Old School » Tue Apr 16, 2019 4:58 pm

Great work. Love the concept and the old school art.

The only “flaw” I see is the aforementioned crew and passenger movement due to stateroom placement, but that’s an easy fix. Everything in the stat sheet is a defensible choice.

My execution would be a little different, largely along the lines of AnotherDilbert’s suggestions:

A ship designed as an armed courier should be built expecting combat. So I’d upgrade the sensors and add some armor. Full size bridge as well (300 ton ships suffer under the MgT2 bridge size rules, unfortunately). Those changes would necessitate losing the aerofins, which are a luxury.

I’d keep the small amount of ammunition storage. I like the idea of being able to reload at least once after an encounter.

I’d say a few less passenger cabins to free up room for a little bit of cargo. As designed, it’s a courier for high value (i.e. high paying) passengers only. How often due you have 12 of these? 8 cabins with some cargo space would give it versatility to carry high value cargo as well. I see this as something that could be specified at purchase within the standard design. Or you could use the module concept similar to the POD Harrier Supplement to have flexibility in how you use cargo space.

You have five cabins plus four bunks for four crew plus three gunners. Even at single occupancy that leaves two extra spots. Marines / security? Doesn’t really matter. 1 dton for a weapons locker should be included regardless on an armed courier.

As a design issue, I’d note that it is built for 21 people, with only an air raft and no escape modules. So lets hope we don’t have to abandon ship. Free trader designs have the same issue, so I assume this is acceptable to those in need to unscheduled transport.
phavoc
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Re: The Armed Packet

Postby phavoc » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:28 pm

Here's my CR.02:

I would expect three flavors of this ship - one optimized for cargo, one for passengers, and one somewhere in the middle. This would follow the normal process for aircraft and ships today and in the past. This sort of ship would also be an ideal candidate for modularization for the cabins. The USAF KC-10 operates as a hybrid cargo/troop/refueller. They can install seating to support troop transports, they can take cargo containers or break-bulk cargo, and in the lower decks they carry fuel.

If you don't want to try and modularize the passenger compartments, then you would need specific flavors of the vessel for the specific needs. This would allow for routes or carriers that specialized in hot-shot cargo, or say VIP transports for passengers. I would expect this sort of craft to be employed by corporations, governments and very rich individuals. I don't see how it could make money in regular passenger service, it's too small and too specialized for regular use.

For small ships like this you really don't have the luxury of separate areas for crew and carried passengers. Keeping the bridge and engineering and even cargo hold locked out from regular passenger service makes sense. But with their small size you can't offer both crew and passengers a lot of recreational space due to size limitations. The ship design doesn't lend itself well to multiple decks, but that would be one way to keep the two sections separate (as was previously mentioned. That would mean crew could go about their business without running into passengers unless it was desired. This is something that would be preferred I think, as it's how yachts and cruise ships work (long-range airliners aren't quite the same since crew rest quarters are meant for short periods of occupation between duty shifts).

Armament would really vary between operators and perceived threat levels. Sandcasters are a good, cheap way to attempt to defend while you can run away. Missiles/lasers are much more offensive oriented than defensive (lasers do kind of straddle that). Most merchants, especially any that carry passengers, prefer to run whenever possible than try to fight it out with a pirate. There's no profit to be made in that sense.

Sensor upgrades to help evade, or at least detect, potential enemies is a good investment. For those that prefer flight over fight, emphasizing ECM defenses is an option (though possible more expensive for non-military operators).

Ships that spend most of their time traveling point to point could probably go without a medical bay. If you are really worried install a cold berth (or two) and save the space.
Garnfellow
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Re: The Armed Packet

Postby Garnfellow » Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:08 am

Thanks to all the helpful criticism and suggestions, I have posted the next iteration of the Armed Packet:

https://greatdungeonnorth.blogspot.com/ ... acket.html
Moppy
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Re: The Armed Packet

Postby Moppy » Thu Apr 18, 2019 8:41 am

Much better now that there is clear separation between passengers and crew.

If you built that under modern regulations for ships, it would probably be uncertifiable (i.e. illegal) because of the requirement to provide for escape routes. Access to all airlocks passes though a single area - the cargo bay - and that's a problem in an emergency.

You can deal with a fire by venting air in the cargo bay, but if you crash on a planet and the lower part of the nose is buried in the ground (quite likely?) you can't get out of the ship.
Garnfellow
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Re: The Armed Packet

Postby Garnfellow » Thu Apr 18, 2019 8:52 am

I do have one "free" airlock that could placed in the aft of level 3. For that matter the cargo bay doesn't need two airlocks; one could be relocated to engineering or somewhere forward on level 3.

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