# Damaging large vehicles

#### Tupper

##### Banded Mongoose
Are large vehicles too easy to kill with criticals?

Picture this scenario: a farmer is standing on a headland when he sees an Achilles class Frigate go steaming by at full speed. Out of sheer devilment, he pulls out his trusty old rifle, aims for 2 rounds (6 minor actions), and then fires at the Frigate. The farmer has skill level 2 with his rifle (he's shot a few foxes in the past). The ship is well north of 50 tons, so he gets +6 to attack due to size. Aiming nets him another +6, and his skill earns him +2. The ship is moving at speed "Slow", so he gets -3 for that. Overall, he gets +11 to his attack. A roll of 7 gives him a total of 18, or effect 10. Rolling damage, he scores a 10 on 3D, adds his effect of 10 for 20 points of damage. The ship has armour 10, and, since his rifle does less than 4D damage, it gets its TL (9) added on. 1 point of damage gets through, so the farmer gets to inflict a critical. He rolls the dice, and gets 7: hull. Since he had an effect of 10, he does a level 5 critical, and the ship will sink in 1D minutes. Rolling a 3, the ship will sink in 3 minutes. The farmer lights his pipe to watch the show.

Note that I've had this happen in medium range. If it was long range (-2) the farmer would need a roll of 9 to sink the ship with similar alacrity. At extreme range (-4), he'd need an 11.

We could quibble with this by saying that the vehicle rules don't mention effect being added to damage (unlike the "regular" combat rules or the spaceship combat rules). However, if we give the farmer a gauss rifle (4D damage), he would cut through the ship's armour of 10 like a hot knife through butter. Or, alternatively, if the target was an unarmoured civilian ship (minimal armour 3), a rifle might do damage with a roll of 13 or more, and a similar critical kill could easily result. As an aside, this interpretation may be needed to avoid the example from the Traveller companion of someone kicking a dune buggy apart (once effect is added, a kick could easily damage a small vehicle; the dune buggy has armour 2 + TL 6 = 8).

I'm not an expert on naval matters, but I gather that modern warships are very lightly armoured, and could be penetrated by small arms fire, so the ability to damage a frigate with a rifle seems reasonable. However, I'm a bit dubious that the damage a bullet could do once it was inside the ship would be so catastrophic that a ship would sink as in the example above.

I wonder if a rule is needed regarding what it takes to cause a critical on a large vehicle (like the starship combat rules have). Maybe, once a vehicle is over XXX tonnes, only destructive damage weapons can cause criticals? Or maybe a weapon has to penetrate with more than YYY damage in order to cause a critical on a large vehicle?

Indeed it is absurd. And it would still be the same level of stupid if firing at a 10 million ton frigate.
Perhaps the small arms vs ships (starships) is better used here.

I would also have alert crew that can make repairs.

Thanks for the replies.

Using starship scale would have three advantages. First, the bonus to hit for size would fall to +3 (+2 for starship scale +1 for being north of 1000 tons). Second, rounding down when converting between the scales would mean that there would only be a critical if 10 points of damage got through. Lastly, one might reasonably expect the hits from criticals to be starship scale too, so you get more bang from them. Of course, the ship would sink from hull crits themselves long before it sank from the hits they caused.

I would rule that Armour subtracts from Effect first, or ignore Effect entirely as you say. Large targets being easier to hit doesn’t necessarily equate to them being easier to hit critically.

I'm not sure some of this is correct, mechanically.

The reason I say this is because as we've said small scale vs Starship scale is appropriate here. So, your bonus to hit would include+2 based on the Ground to Spacecraft Target, but not the +1 for every full 1000 tons of the target. This is because those common modifiers are based on Gunner checks, not Gun Combat, so I don't think that extra +1 per 1000 tons would apply, unless you're using a vehicle weapon.

Naturally, this lessens the To Hit roll.

I also think Travellers, Vehicles, and Starships are three different "categories" when it comes to combat modifiers and putting this all together. Certain bonuses apply and some don't when combat mixes the three categories. Meaning, the "Common Modifiers To Spacecraft Attacks" on pg. 167 is only for Spacecraft vs Spacecraft.

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This is based on a misreading of the vehicle combat rules. CRB p.134:
The Severity of the critical hit is equal to the damage the vehicle has taken from the attack, divided by ten (rounding up)
A hit of 1 point of hull is equal to 1/10 rounded up, or a critical hit of 1 (personally, I would round down), but this isn't unusual for a good shot who spent two rounds aiming.

Per the example, a critical hit on the Hull incurs an additional 1D, so the 1 point of damage increased up to 7, which is still trivial for a vessel with 14000 hull.

If vehicle with gauss 1DD dmg + 10 AP shoots at starship, do you take AP in to consideration?
If a traveller with a handgun (gauss rifle, AP5) shoots at a vehicle do you take AP in to consideration?
If a traveller with a handgun (gauss rifle, AP5) shoots at a starship do you take AP in to consideration?

This is based on a misreading of the vehicle combat rules. CRB p.134:
Core 2022, p139:
The Severity of the critical hit is equal to the Effect of the attack roll minus 5.

It was, as you say, better pre-update:
Core 2020, p134:
The Severity of the critical hit is equal to the damage the vehicle has taken from the attack, divided by ten (rounding up).

If vehicle with gauss 1DD dmg + 10 AP shoots at starship, do you take AP in to consideration?
If a traveller with a handgun (gauss rifle, AP5) shoots at a vehicle do you take AP in to consideration?
If a traveller with a handgun (gauss rifle, AP5) shoots at a starship do you take AP in to consideration?
Yes, AP is considered. The hit must make damage, after Armour and AP, to be a crit.

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