# Armor Factors

#### Condottiere

##### Emperor Mongoose
Critical hits; what's a tap on the wrist for a battleship, could be catastrophic for a fighter.

The way the design systems are set up, dirtside is more about mass, while in space volume matters.

#### Bardicheart

##### Mongoose
AnotherDilbert said:
This leads to cruisers with Armour 100 and battleships with Armour 200 or so.
And fighters will still have ridiculous armour since they don't have to accommodate all that jump fuel.
And you have to rebuild the entire combat system...

Pretty well sums it up for me. I agree the problem isn't that fighters can have 15 points of armor, its that cruisers can't have 100. But as Dilbert points out if you try to do that then you have to rebuild everything else. The juice ain't worth the squeeze.

#### steve98052

##### Mongoose
One issue that affects the amount of armor a vehicle can carry is the square/cube relationship. Suppose you have two ships, one a 5 meter cube, the other a ten meter cube. The former has an area of 150 square meters and volume of 125 cubic meters (9 dtons); the latter has an area of 600 square meters and volume of 1000 cubic meters (71 dtons). The area of the larger is four times that of the smaller, but it's volume is eight times larger.

In terms of armor, suppose we add 0.5 meters of armor. That takes 75 cubic meters of the smaller ship, or 60%, but 300 cubic meters of the larger, or 30%. No, that double counts edges and triple counts corners; to calculate correctly, do the remaining volume of 64 and 729, or 51.2% and 72.9%, thus 48.2% and 27.1% armor.

It's not necessary to calculate actual areas to use a square/cube relationship, because we're armor points, not physical units.

#### AnotherDilbert

##### Cosmic Mongoose
steve98052 said:
One issue that affects the amount of armor a vehicle can carry is the square/cube relationship.
That is what this models:
AnotherDilbert said:
Size adjusted Armour volume = Armour volume × 0.5 ^ ( log₁₀( craft displacement ) - 1 )
So,
10 Dt craft use the normal volume,
100 Dt craft use half the normal volume,
1000 Dt craft use quarter the normal volume,
100000 Dt craft use sixteenth the normal volume,
etc.

Example: Take a spherical ship, deduct 0,5 m armour, how much space did it take?
A 100 Dt ship is a 1400 m³ sphere with a radius of 6,94 m, deduct 0,5 m is 6,44 m or a sphere of ~1119 m³. The armour takes 281 m³ or 20%.
A 1000 Dt ship is a 14000 m³ sphere with a radius of 14,95 m, deduct 0,5 m is 14,45 m or a sphere of ~12642 m³. The armour takes 1358 m³ or 10%.

Ten times bigger ship, the same thickness armour takes half the relative space, approximately.

A

#### Anonymous

##### Guest
phavoc said:
The rules allow for a small 50ton fighter to have the same armor factor as a 500,000 Dton dreadnought. That has always struck me as nonsense.

Given how abstract traveller is, I don't really have a problem with it.

Machinegun fire can disable the sights of a tank causing a firepower kill, or disable a track, causing a mobility kill. There's nothing that should make a battleship completely immune.

Likewise, a powerful weapon on a target that's smaller than its intended, may waste much of its energy by passing through a target or knocking it away. Imagine a very powerful solid round going in one side of an unarmored jeep, and out the other, hitting nothing in the process. A couple of splinters, and that's it. However against a tank, with a massive block of armor, more of the projectile's energy will be transferred to the vehicle.

I just assume it all averages out, or that they use different ammunition types or beam firing modes against different targets.

#### Sigtrygg

##### Emperor Mongoose
You really should resurrect weapon batteries and use a similar logarithm
scale for increasing/deacreasing their damage based on the relative scale of battery factor vs size factor.

#### Condottiere

##### Emperor Mongoose
Central fire control does favour the concept.

Knock it out, whether temporarily or permanently, turrets revert back to local control, but after a number of turns, say D3, and only if they are manned.

#### AnotherDilbert

##### Cosmic Mongoose
Sigtrygg said:
You really should resurrect weapon batteries and use a similar logarithm
scale for increasing/deacreasing their damage based on the relative scale of battery factor vs size factor.
Just because you fire several guns at the same target should not increase penetration potential?

Damage inflicted after armour is penetrated should probably increase linearly, not logarithmically?

#### Sigtrygg

##### Emperor Mongoose
There are other factors - if I am firing six lasers at you from two turrets I have six chances to hit, six chances to critical, those lasers are hitting a similar area on the target so they should have additional penetration potential etc. Not to mention that is six lasers are linked to all be firing at exactly the same spot they are effectively one big laser.

Batteries that scale logarithmically and armour that does the same solves a lot of issues of scale between 10t fighters and 1000000t battleships.

A

#### Anonymous

##### Guest
Sigtrygg said:
There are other factors - if I am firing six lasers at you from two turrets I have six chances to hit, six chances to critical, those lasers are hitting a similar area on the target so they should have additional penetration potential etc. Not to mention that is six lasers are linked to all be firing at exactly the same spot they are effectively one big laser.

Batteries that scale logarithmically and armour that does the same solves a lot of issues of scale between 10t fighters and 1000000t battleships.

I liked the battery system in original High Guard but like everything there were things that weren't right. Generally one uses a battery of linked guns when one can't make a larger gun. Because of the need to designate the battery size at construction time I thought it was their way of saying it's actually a bigger gun but the deck-plans disagreed.

Back when we played original Traveller, we always allowed battery re-designation during combat (space combat turns were 20 minutes?) so you could choose 1 big shot or 10 little shots, etc.

We thought about allowing ships to link their batteries but this broke the game. Apart from "Traveller is a luddite's game" (with apologies to any triggered Mongeese: I know your version is less so, but still dependent on original source material) we saw no reason why the system wasn't designed to support this.

I think they would have several choices with the "6 lasers" situation.

You fire them as a spread, increasing the hit probability, but reducing the chance of multiple hits.

You fire them independently.

You fire at the same point using one dice roll. Either they all hit, or they all miss (with some random factor relating to the precision of your turret traverse).

I don't think it's necessarily true that multiple "linked" weapon hits would have greater armor penetration (as in the thickness they can penetrate, because I doubt their armor works simply by thickness alone) but each "round" that contacts should have the chance to crit where I intepret "crit" as getting a special damage roll.

#### AnotherDilbert

##### Cosmic Mongoose
Sigtrygg said:
There are other factors - if I am firing six lasers at you from two turrets I have six chances to hit, six chances to critical, ...
If you could aim for the same spot exactly, you can't have six independent chances to hit, but only one chance to hit with all the weapons.

Sigtrygg said:
... those lasers are hitting a similar area on the target so they should have additional penetration potential etc. Not to mention that is six lasers are linked to all be firing at exactly the same spot they are effectively one big laser.
But hitting exactly the same spot at thousands of kilometres is a fantasy.

HG batteries increased the hit chance, but still only produced a single hit; implicitly you fired a spread, like a pattern of depth charges, or a machine gun.

Just like you fire many times in a round but can still only hit once.

Sigtrygg said:
Batteries that scale logarithmically and armour that does the same solves a lot of issues of scale between 10t fighters and 1000000t battleships.
But batteries that scales logarithmically is just as unrealistic as constant percentage armour.

If you want a more realistic system, you basically end up with FFS, where you need bigger guns to penetrate the heavier armour of bigger ships.

#### Linwood

##### Mongoose
Seems like the squadron rules essentially allow ships to coordinate fire on a single target. Not exactly linking and it’s more to simplify gameplay but the effects are similar.

A

#### Anonymous

##### Guest
Linwood said:
Seems like the squadron rules essentially allow ships to coordinate fire on a single target. Not exactly linking and it’s more to simplify gameplay but the effects are similar.

Yes, Mongoose has done to a lot to fix & develop the game.

#### Condottiere

##### Emperor Mongoose
With ordnance it's easier, since they tend to stagger their arrival.

The first can degrade the armour, so the follow ons have less to attrition, or break through.

#### phavoc

##### Cosmic Mongoose
Moppy said:
phavoc said:
The rules allow for a small 50ton fighter to have the same armor factor as a 500,000 Dton dreadnought. That has always struck me as nonsense.

Given how abstract traveller is, I don't really have a problem with it.

Machinegun fire can disable the sights of a tank causing a firepower kill, or disable a track, causing a mobility kill. There's nothing that should make a battleship completely immune.

Likewise, a powerful weapon on a target that's smaller than its intended, may waste much of its energy by passing through a target or knocking it away. Imagine a very powerful solid round going in one side of an unarmored jeep, and out the other, hitting nothing in the process. A couple of splinters, and that's it. However against a tank, with a massive block of armor, more of the projectile's energy will be transferred to the vehicle.

I just assume it all averages out, or that they use different ammunition types or beam firing modes against different targets.

If you've fired a .50cal (anything less is pretty much useless against a tank), you'll figure out that disabling the sights on a tank is about as likely as winning the lottery. What's possible and what's practical are two separate issues. Even in the abstract.

There shouldn't be an issue with a battleship being immune to certain classes of weapons. Of course it depends on what we are talking about "being immune". Can a machinegun scratch the paint? Yes. Can it knock out a radar dome? Ehh, maybe. Can it materially affect the outcome or capability of the ship? No, even in the abstract. Some things just need a common sense rule. If the two vessels were of the same relative size it's closer (though if you are doing space opera, ala Star Wars, it's ok to have critical defects that will allow snub fighters to destroy moon-sized starships).

An APFSDS round from a 120mm Rheinmetal smoothbore on the M-1 can, in fact, pass right through many objects nearly unimpeded, such as opposing tanks of the T-72 and T-64 class, as the Iraqi army found out. In that case the spalling inside the tank sends sharpnel zipping around until the energy is gone from the flying objects. Meat bags often help absorb that energy... Now if you were to shoot that same round through a tent, then yeah, kinda pointless and of no material effect - so long as nothing gets in the way of the round.

When gaming in the abstract, one does have to simplify concepts. But the combat process generally has already taken that (hopefully!) into account. Which means when firing your weapon at something you have rules that say "sorry, your weapon is too puny to hurt my ship!", all the way up to "you sank my battleship!". Which is kind of the point of these discussions. Getting things worked into the system at the start means all you need to do later is just check the range, can I hit, what are the plus/minus, roll, and then calculate damage if you hit or not.

#### phavoc

##### Cosmic Mongoose
Moppy said:
Sigtrygg said:
There are other factors - if I am firing six lasers at you from two turrets I have six chances to hit, six chances to critical, those lasers are hitting a similar area on the target so they should have additional penetration potential etc. Not to mention that is six lasers are linked to all be firing at exactly the same spot they are effectively one big laser.

Batteries that scale logarithmically and armour that does the same solves a lot of issues of scale between 10t fighters and 1000000t battleships.

I liked the battery system in original High Guard but like everything there were things that weren't right. Generally one uses a battery of linked guns when one can't make a larger gun. Because of the need to designate the battery size at construction time I thought it was their way of saying it's actually a bigger gun but the deck-plans disagreed.

Back when we played original Traveller, we always allowed battery re-designation during combat (space combat turns were 20 minutes?) so you could choose 1 big shot or 10 little shots, etc.

We thought about allowing ships to link their batteries but this broke the game. Apart from "Traveller is a luddite's game" (with apologies to any triggered Mongeese: I know your version is less so, but still dependent on original source material) we saw no reason why the system wasn't designed to support this.

I think they would have several choices with the "6 lasers" situation.

You fire them as a spread, increasing the hit probability, but reducing the chance of multiple hits.

You fire them independently.

You fire at the same point using one dice roll. Either they all hit, or they all miss (with some random factor relating to the precision of your turret traverse).

I don't think it's necessarily true that multiple "linked" weapon hits would have greater armor penetration (as in the thickness they can penetrate, because I doubt their armor works simply by thickness alone) but each "round" that contacts should have the chance to crit where I intepret "crit" as getting a special damage roll.

I agree here with Moppy - you can fire them independently (six separate rolls) or individually. But firing them all at once shouldn't give you a better chance to crit - it's just a rolling ease. I really prefer you just roll once per turret. More weapons per turret means more damage rolls. If you go back to the big gun era you had a turrets that would essentially fire individually, and later it was possible to fire all three (or two, or four) guns at once. Energy weapons and ballistic weapons do act differently. For both types it's possible to hit with one tube and miss with another, but it's much less likely for light-speed weapons than ballistic.

Some other games, like SFB, made combat relatively quick and simple, with each weapon type having it's own range and damage boxes. And you rolled each type of weapon once in a combat round, then rolled dice for each hit. Total damage was allocated and then after shields, armor and battery defenses were taken into account you applied damage. But it was directional, not omni-directional like traveller. Changing your facing brought a new potentially undamaged side to bear. Renegade legion took that one step further by having weapons with different damage potentials, some stripped away armor, some punched holes. It made for an interesting mechanic.

A

#### Anonymous

##### Guest
phavoc said:
Moppy said:
[
Machinegun fire can disable the sights of a tank causing a firepower kill, or disable a track, causing a mobility kill. There's nothing that should make a battleship completely immune.

If you've fired a .50cal (anything less is pretty much useless against a tank), you'll figure out that disabling the sights on a tank is about as likely as winning the lottery. What's possible and what's practical are two separate issues. Even in the abstract.

There shouldn't be an issue with a battleship being immune to certain classes of weapons. Of course it depends on what we are talking about "being immune". Can a machinegun scratch the paint? Yes. Can it knock out a radar dome? Ehh, maybe. Can it materially affect the outcome or capability of the ship? No, even in the abstract.

You're right - there's theoretical, and practical, and the practical is highly unlikely. But given enough engagements - I've read that several Abrams tanks were disabled in OIF (2003) from MGs and small arms setting external stores on fire.

I certainly wouldn't be happy with machine-guns sinking a WW2 battleship but as you say, it may lose a radar. An autocannon or even a man-portable weapon like an RPG should certainly be able to damage the sensors or the missile launchers (obviously we mean the still "active" USN ones) should they somehow manage to get close enough.

I guess it depends if you play the RPG like a wargame, or a storytelling engine. In the first case, machine-guns don't counter tanks. In the second, no-one can beat a type-S when it's full of PCs.

#### phavoc

##### Cosmic Mongoose
Moppy said:
You're right - there's theoretical, and practical, and the practical is highly unlikely. But given enough engagements - I've read that several Abrams tanks were disabled in OIF (2003) from MGs and small arms setting external stores on fire.

I certainly wouldn't be happy with machine-guns sinking a WW2 battleship but as you say, it may lose a radar. An autocannon or even a man-portable weapon like an RPG should certainly be able to damage the sensors or the missile launchers (obviously we mean the still "active" USN ones) should they somehow manage to get close enough.

I guess it depends if you play the RPG like a wargame, or a storytelling engine. In the first case, machine-guns don't counter tanks. In the second, no-one can beat a type-S when it's full of PCs.

I had not heard of that. M-1 didn't carry external fuel drums like Soviet tanks have in the past. Though I've seen them stuffed with crew gear on the outside of the turret. I read of some in Desert storm 1 being hit by hellfires (friendly fire), and some iraqi tank fire. But for the most part even other M-1's had difficulty penetrating turret and forward-facing armor with 120mm APFSDS rounds. Though the engine compartment is always vulnerable since it's top armor is relatively light. And all track vehicles are vulnerable from side shots. I was an M-270 crew member (MLRS) and we did not (thankfully) mount the protective panels to protect tank wheels from small arms fire. What a pain they would have been to clean and maintain! Changing track pads was crappy enough as it was.

I've always been more of a fan to do plotted movement, aka SFB or RL, than the very abstract that ships with the system. It's too vague, especially if you want to have people use their skills and thought processes. I find players are more involved when they are moving their ships around on a map than using vague range bands. One can RPG both.

A

#### Anonymous

##### Guest
phavoc said:
Moppy said:
You're right - there's theoretical, and practical, and the practical is highly unlikely. But given enough engagements - I've read that several Abrams tanks were disabled in OIF (2003) from MGs and small arms setting external stores on fire.

I had not heard of that. M-1 didn't carry external fuel drums like Soviet tanks have in the past. Though I've seen them stuffed with crew gear on the outside of the turret.

I did some Google work.

No comment on the accuracy, because who knows, people sometimes lie ... err, engage in information warfare.

But you want (this link) and from there (this powerpoint) which claims to be "U.S. ARMY TACOM June 2003 -- This briefing captures some of the key equipment performance issues and lessons learned as interpreted by PM Abram's personnel deployed forward with the Divisions during Operation Iraqi Freedom"

There's some photos of broken tanks with holes in, and words about how they supposedly got broke. Reading it, it says "Externally stored items highly vulnerable to small arms fire. In some cases catastrophic losses resulted from burning EAPU materiel and/or packaged POL products dripping down into the engine compartment. Many cases where TA-50 lost ... snip ... Lesson learned: Review and stick to established load plans"

I never liked plotted movement in SFB as I enjoyed the reactive nature of the movement, and energy allocation was all the plotting I needed. However I would a love a working 3d board and counters. Attack Vector got it working but they used newtonian drive, not reactionless, so you had inertia.

#### AnotherDilbert

##### Cosmic Mongoose
Moppy said:
Attack Vector got it working but they used newtonian drive, not reactionless, so you had inertia.
Traveller drives may be reactionless, but they are not inertialess. They are Newtonian (at low velocity).

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