Grav/Anti-Grav and Tech-Level

Reisender

Cosmic Mongoose
I guess since a lot of Traveller groups use the official Third Imperium background with its Tech-Level(TL)-15, most people probably do not bother, because grav/anti-grav technology is well established by then.
But since I'm working on a TL-10 campaign I would like to have more input on how others treat the grav/anti-grav technology.
Let's begin with an official example listing of grav-vehicles from both MGT2e Core rulebook and vehicle handbook:
  • Air/Raft: TL-8
  • Dragonflyer Gravcopter: TL-8
  • Thunder Hover Tank: TL-8
  • G/Racer: TL-9
  • Paladin Laser Grav Tank: TL-9
  • Skystrike G/Fighter: TL-9
  • G/Runner City Car: TL-10
  • Grav Floater(One-Man-Air/Raft): TL-11
  • G/Bike: TL-12
  • Grav-Belt: TL-12

I think we can deduct the following three points from this list:
  1. The development of anti-grav technology occurs over 4 tech-levels, which rather seems to be a very long period of time.
  2. As always new technology develops with military vehicles faster than that on the civilian sector.
  3. The smaller the vehicle the higher the required TL, which makes sense considering the amount of energy needed and the miniaturisation of technology over time.

So here is my question:
Does anti-grav provide full flight ability right from the start (TL-8) or does it develop from slightly hovering above ground (TL-8),
over reaching some meters above ground (TL-9 to 10) to being able to reach orbit (TL-12)?

The above list does not seem consistent with the later one.
 
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MasterGwydion

Banded Mongoose
Air Rafts can reach orbit, but you have to be wearing a Vacc Suit so you don't die, so right from TL-8 they are capable of orbital flight.

Over 4 tech levels sounds right, as far as the rules go. prototypes 2 TL earlier plus advanced models from 2 or even 3 TLs higher.
 

Condottiere

Emperor Mongoose
I'm not too familiar with gravitational technology, but each level could increase it's efficiency, like fusion reactors.

Presumably, it tops out at technological level twelve.
 

Reisender

Cosmic Mongoose
MasterGwydion said:
Air Rafts can reach orbit, but you have to be wearing a Vacc Suit so you don't die, so right from TL-8 they are capable of orbital flight.

So the Paladin Laser Grav Tank(TL-9) and the Thunder Hover Tank(TL-8) can reach orbit as well? Or are they too heavy for that? If so,
where or what is the limit (Light Grav vs. Heavy Grav Vehicle)?
Why have "traditional" aircrafts such as the Avante Jet fighter at TL-10 or the Birdseye Reconnaissance Aircraft at TL-11,
wich are both listed as Flyer(Wings), when you can have anti-grav instead?

Condottiere said:
I'm not too familiar with gravitational technology, but each level could increase it's efficiency, like fusion reactors.

I was thinking the same, but it seems that the examples contradict this to some extent. For example the air/raft is listed as TL-8 but the G/Runner City Car appears at TL-10 though the weight and size difference is not that great. And I would not consider the Air/Raft a purely military vehicle, which could have explained its earlier development.
 

Condottiere

Emperor Mongoose
Having a look at the current technological table, efficiency is expressed as speed and range, so you're going off a minimum size as default, which can be adjusted performance up or down.
 

MasterGwydion

Banded Mongoose
Reisender said:
MasterGwydion said:
Air Rafts can reach orbit, but you have to be wearing a Vacc Suit so you don't die, so right from TL-8 they are capable of orbital flight.

So the Paladin Laser Grav Tank(TL-9) and Thunder Hover Tank(TL-8) can reach orbit as well? Or are they too heavy for that? If so,
where or what is the limit (Light Grav vs. Heavy Grav Vehicle)?
Why have "traditional" aircrafts such as the Avante Jet fighter at TL-10 or the Birdseye Reconnaissance Aircraft at TL-11,
wich are both listed as Flyer(Wings), when you can have anti-grav instead?

Condottiere said:
I'm not too familiar with gravitational technology, but each level could increase it's efficiency, like fusion reactors.

I was thinking the same, but it seems that the examples contradict this to some extent. For example the air/raft is listed as TL-8 but the G/Runner City Car appears at TL-10 though the weight and size difference is not that great. And I would not consider the Air/Raft a purely military vehicle, which could have explained its earlier development.

This works better if you look at the delay in TLs as a delay in changing a world's infrastructure from sea/air/land to everything being grav-based. Roads are a thing of the past, so are seaports. Everything becomes landing pads, air traffic control, and spaceports. This takes time to change over to. Remember, TL is the level of general availability near urban centers, not the max TL for a world. Worlds are often 2 TLs behind in the rural areas and the high-end tech of the world is likely to be 1 TL higher than the UWP code would indicate.
 

MonkeyX

Banded Mongoose
Also size may be a factor in tech level. Air raft is about the limit at TL8, we carry bigger stuff as the TL improves but by the time we reach grav belts we also have miniaturisation too
 

MasterGwydion

Banded Mongoose
Also remember the TL limit on M-Drives is not because they can't generate more thrust to go faster, but that the artificial gravity plating inside the ship can only counteract so many Gs at that TL.
 

DickTurpin

Banded Mongoose
Reisender said:
Why have "traditional" aircrafts such as the Avante Jet fighter at TL-10 or the Birdseye Reconnaissance Aircraft at TL-11,
wich are both listed as Flyer(Wings), when you can have anti-grav instead?

Looking at the rules in the Vehicle Handbook, a Heavy Grav vehicle at TL11 costs Cr. 80,000 per space, has a speed of Fast, and a Range of 3,000 km while a Heavy Aeroplane at the same TL costs only Cr. 25,000 per space, has a speed of Very Fast, and a range of 5,000 km. Grav technology is great, but it cannot match aeroplane performance until TL15 and it is still more than three times the cost for the same performance.
 

Condottiere

Emperor Mongoose
It's like fusion reactor, once you have it, you've got it made.

Grav belts implies the capability of miniaturizing the technology, which should be considered a distinct sub category.

Does it make sense, I don't know, but I have qualms about mini fusion reactors as well, which may be what you're carrying in your backpack for the portable versions of the fusion gun.
 

Sigtrygg

Emperor Mongoose
The CT plasma backpack is recharged at a ship (fusion) power plant. At TL 13 this changes to a personal fusion reactor which only has a mass of 15.4 miu...
 

Sigtrygg

Emperor Mongoose
yes at TL14 for plasma guns, for some reason these grav compensators don't work on fusion guns until TL15 which makes very little sense.

TL12 plasma gun, v high recoil, recharge backpack at ship power plant
TL13 plasma gun, battledress only, backpack fusion power - wonder if this means you could use the TL13 fusion power pack with a TL12 plasma gun.
TL14 plasma gun, grav compensated
 

Condottiere

Emperor Mongoose
1. Grav compensation would probably be used on other weapon systems, and equipment; at what technological level, maybe depends on the size.

2. Grav belt plus backpack fusion reactor, possibly orbital, maybe intercontinental range.
 

Reisender

Cosmic Mongoose
MasterGwydion said:
Reisender said:
MasterGwydion said:
Air Rafts can reach orbit, but you have to be wearing a Vacc Suit so you don't die, so right from TL-8 they are capable of orbital flight.

So the Paladin Laser Grav Tank(TL-9) and Thunder Hover Tank(TL-8) can reach orbit as well? Or are they too heavy for that? If so,
where or what is the limit (Light Grav vs. Heavy Grav Vehicle)?
Why have "traditional" aircrafts such as the Avante Jet fighter at TL-10 or the Birdseye Reconnaissance Aircraft at TL-11,
wich are both listed as Flyer(Wings), when you can have anti-grav instead?

Condottiere said:
I'm not too familiar with gravitational technology, but each level could increase it's efficiency, like fusion reactors.

I was thinking the same, but it seems that the examples contradict this to some extent. For example the air/raft is listed as TL-8 but the G/Runner City Car appears at TL-10 though the weight and size difference is not that great. And I would not consider the Air/Raft a purely military vehicle, which could have explained its earlier development.

This works better if you look at the delay in TLs as a delay in changing a world's infrastructure from sea/air/land to everything being grav-based. Roads are a thing of the past, so are seaports. Everything becomes landing pads, air traffic control, and spaceports. This takes time to change over to. Remember, TL is the level of general availability near urban centers, not the max TL for a world. Worlds are often 2 TLs behind in the rural areas and the high-end tech of the world is likely to be 1 TL higher than the UWP code would indicate.
Well, the limitation in my campaign is not the TL of individual worlds but that the highest TL is 10.
In general TL is a very broad representation. For example it is written nowhere, for a good reason, how long it takes a civilisation to reach a certain TL. Yes, we may deduct this information for the "historical" TL below 8. Plus we have only one TL for all fields of technology, while in reality different fields progress at different speeds, depending on interests in the society. In short TL leaves a lot open for interpretation.
B.t.w I have noticed that I did not receive an answer to the question concerning the full flight capability of grav-tanks.
 

AndrewW

Emperor Mongoose
Reisender said:
Plus we have only one TL for all fields of technology, while in reality different fields progress at different speeds, depending on interests in the society.

True, but there are occasional references about a given world that has a given TL in one area while a different TL in others.
 

NOLATrav

Banded Mongoose
Reisender said:
Condottiere said:
Sub technological trees.
Where do I find these in the rulebooks?

The old MegaTraveller World Builders’ Handbook allowed for differing TLs on a world for differing aspects of that society. Like many things MT, it was rather complicated and not necessarily intuitive.

IMTU (MgT 2e) I allow for six basic tech paradigms (Energy, Habitat, Medicine, Transport, Military, Infotainment) and if a world warrants the detail I allow for 1D3 - 1D3 variance in each category. Thus a TL9 world might have a TL7 military but TL11 habitat modules.

I find it makes for a more believable interstellar economy while still allowing for a wide range of differences between worlds. Also some interesting world-building tidbits: why has that TL9 world limited it’s military?
 

Condottiere

Emperor Mongoose
1. Strategic computer games can serve as example.

2. Capability and building a factory are two different things.

3. And sometimes, we skip over a step, and only build a factory when it's a capability we want.
 
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