AnotherDilbert said:I think based on the designs people share on this forum alone, ships are definitely min-maxed designs. It what players do in virtually all RPG games. They want the toughest, fastest, meanest ships to ever fly in the universe.
Optimising things what engineers (such as naval architects) do. Any warship will have been optimised by hundreds of engineers. Building non-optimised ships is simply bad role-playing.
Meh, I'm not sure I would agree with that analogy, but I don't claim to be a naval architect. From building architecture I know that, at the academic level at least, all architects start off roughly the same. But from what I knew of some classmates (both architectural and engineering) the architects did not have the rigorous training in engineering design, material science and math that the engineers did. They did high-level designs, but would defer to actual engineers to sign off if their designs could actually be built with real-world materials. I suspect naval architecture works the same as far as armor and things like that.
Players don't play at that level nor do the design at that level. As I said, they don't live in the real world, they game in fantasy. Thus the designs are based upon how much fun and mayhem they can have during a gaming session. They don't live with budgets and things like that. This is where I expect the gaming universe to lay the groundwork. Obviously if everyone in the gaming universe ran around in the min/max style designs players made it would be more space opera. And I'm sure players would have much less fun since everyone would have the same super-killer ships. Pirates would be facing fanatical crews who would ram/suicide just like PC's typically do when faced with capture and death. Merchants would be running around with meson bays and crewmen would be in battledress at their duty stations - just like players tend to build and play. But if that's the accepted norm, gaming is a lot less fun don't you think?
AnotherDilbert said:Terran warship designers have the problem of basically not knowing how the next war will be fought. Imperial warships designers should not have this problem, since warship design and hence warfare has been stable for millennia (at least until the Black Globe was discovered).
Min/max-ing characters is something completely different.
Very few warship designers have any clue about how the next war will be fought. What they do is (usually, the LCS ships of the USN show that stupidity can creep in as well - though they aren't the only examples of bad designs) design a ship based on costs and mission. HMS Dreadnought was basically designed by a single man (Jackie Fisher), along with a hand-picked board that he presided over. He got exactly what he wanted. Though he wasn't a fool. He spent a lot of time understanding other nations designs and taking into account reports of how other ships survived battle and the pro's and con's of other ships - including the RN. Less than 20 drafters and naval architects drew up all the engineering drawings for the ship.
While I have seen a few players take the equivalent of 777777 stats for their player character, it's been the exception rather the norm in my experience. And I understand that completely. PC's are just normal people, they are supposed to be hero's with at least some non-average characteristics (wealth, strength, intelligence, skills, etc). I don't know about you but I certainly am not interested in playing Bob the clerk from the local convenience store, who slays cash reports and who's best skill is stocking shelves faster than anyone else. So yes, I think we agree that player min-maxing is the expected norm. I don't see any difference in creating the PC vs. creating the environmental landscape they would play in.
Agreed. And that's my point. I'm not advocating for them, but I'm using this point as a reason WHY.AnotherDilbert said:Because we have no rules or requirements to optimise for.
Yes. You see some of the core designs as being average and balance. And I agree some official published designs (which establish canon) to be less than well thought out.AnotherDilbert said:The small LBB2 designs were reasonably well optimised. The Fighting Ships designs were mostly just silly.
AnotherDilbert said:By recreating them in the more efficient MgT2 system they had to deliberately waste space to get back to the same silly designs. Using them as a benchmark of anything is not something I will even contemplate. Unless you want to postulate that the Imperial Navy is run by morons that does not have any idea how space combat works?
I dunno if I would agree the MGT2 design system is more "efficient". The MGT2 system has it's own set of foibles, some brought along from the original and others self-inflicted. Ideally any design system that originates from as far back as Traveller should have, logically, evolved and gotten better version over version. But that's not what we've gotten. Instead we have a mish-mash of design rules taken from various versions, previously accepted and canon technology tossed out, and an attempt to continually re-create the same version of ship done under multiple design rules. I don't know about you but that leaves me really scratching my head as to where the efficiency is supposed to come from.
I do agree trying to benchmark ships between versions is silly. Each set of ships needs to stand or fall within it's own design universe. But since continuity, especially with Traveller, is important to sell new versions, I understand why it's done. Understanding need not be equated with agreeing when it comes to sales.
I would never tend to postulate that the Imperial navy is run by morons, bureaucrats and political toadies! That would invite a visit by an unseen IBIS agent who might kill me with a spork. Though I might question the reasonableness of having carriers with spinal mounts, battleships with little armor, and bridges/combat centers not buried in the bowels of a ship (though that last part may be crossing far too many sci-fi universes).
AnotherDilbert said:I'm sure I have: Missiles in MgT2 are only effective in overwhelming numbers, launching just a few is generally completely ineffective, so silly to waste space on.
Note that Traveller missiles are not WWII torpedoes or current shipkillers, they are just small attritional weapons that must be used in large numbers.
So, I think we are far likelier to see battleships with 2000 torpedo-launchers than with a measly 100 launchers.
I agree with you about missiles needing overwhelming numbers to penetrate defenses. But shouldn't that be the norm? That's how they work after all. They are essentially powered and guided bombs. When bombs were first invented they were no different than shells, if, perhaps, slightly more accurate. You try shoot the plane out of the sky so it can't drop it's bomb. You try to sink the other guys' ship so he can't shoot you. And you'd want to shoot the missiles down before they hit you. The logical progression seems rather self-evident to me.
Of course this all is predicated upon the defenses of the other guy. If they are non-existent missiles are great. If they exist then you run the risk of using up valuable tonnage and credits in mounting a weapon that essentially won't do any damage to your opponent. So, like all warfare, you have to deploy overwhelming firepower. It's no different than nearly all other forms of combat. Infantry are only useful in overwhelming numbers, as are tanks, if your opponent has walls, or say artillery, or really good tank killer weapons.
But this line of discussion still doesn't get back to the concept of mounting thousands of torpedo launchers on a ship. As we've seen with the combat rules (and you've provided a number of spreadsheets showing the math/dice rolls), there is a practical upper limit to tonnage before you start making mobile tombs. Though this assumes an enemy capable of responding with equivalent tech levels, to an extent at least.
And yes, I'm quite aware of the difference between Traveller missile/torp tech and wet-navy torpedoes. This has been hashed through probably a zillion times. Though if you read any H.Beam Piper you'd have noted that there are equivalents in his books - Hellburners and Planetbusters are one-shot, one kills - assuming you can get one to hit the other guys ship or planet. Then again there are logical inconsistencies here too - grav-powered starships shooting cannons at one another, equipped with collapsed matter armor. Smaller vehicles firing 155mm and .50cal against vehicles also equipped with collapsed matter armor. Oh, and Piper had anti-missile missiles, which we have in reality and Traveller doesn't have (yes, MGT2 finally introduced a type, finally).
So maybe the argument would be more around is a 500,000dton ship really useful in such a universe? Or would it be more of a flag-flying target waiting to be pounced upon by multiple smaller battleships? This discussion probably belongs in a different thread. We've really taken it a bit far from the OP's point. Ah, thread-drift!