Guardship (Pirates of Drinax)

Erias

Mongoose
So my players attacked the Duam (small trader) ship in an act of piracy, they looted it and when they realized captain Lars was not kidding about having a contract with the Imperium, they utterly blasted the ship to the Kingdom to come (planting bombs in key locations including fuel tanks). In the description (Drinaxian Companion p 162), it’s written that the imperium would be very likely to deploy a ‘Guardship’ as a sign of authority.

So, first question: do you think a destroyer escort would do? (High Guard p 150) or should I go for the destroyer (High Guard p 165)? Any suggestion would be welcome but for those unfamiliar with the Trojan Reach, we are on the fringe of the Imperium here.

Second question: as I understand it, it’s more about showing-off and local politics than about getting the real culprits ; thus, when it’s written (loose recollection of mine): ‘they’ll shoot down a couple of pirate’ ships’ (and I trust my players’ wit so they won’t be around for a while) it might be interesting if the Navy took down pirates my players do know about (they tend to like Irontooth).

Third question: when the Imperium deploys vessels against piracy, how many systems do you think it covers? (They stroke on the Drinax Chain) will the Chain be be totally surveyed or just a part of it and how big? Given how remote it is I doubt the whole Drinax Chain will be monitored but I’d like your feedback.

Last question, but not the least, when your players blast evidence like mine did, can the authorities conduct any investigation at all if said authorities are quite motivated?
 

cunningrat

Banded Mongoose
Erias said:
So, first question: do you think a destroyer escort would do? (High Guard p 150) or should I go for the destroyer (High Guard p 165)? Any suggestion would be welcome but for those unfamiliar with the Trojan Reach, we are on the fringe of the Imperium here.
Looking at the Imisaa and Ardasii Flotillas (in the Borderland ebook) I would say a destroyer at a minimum, with a couple of smaller auxiliaries. Depending on how peeved the Navy is, it might decide to use it for a pretext for an actual "showing the flag" visit -- a task force, centered around a light cruiser with a couple of destroyers and (again) small fry. The Imperium Does Not Kid Around (tm): they will bring down a very heavy hammer. (Mind you, it'll likely completely miss what it's aiming at, but it'll be a big hammer.)

Erias said:
Second question: as I understand it, it’s more about showing-off and local politics than about getting the real culprits ; thus, when it’s written (loose recollection of mine): ‘they’ll shoot down a couple of pirate’ ships’ (and I trust my players’ wit so they won’t be around for a while) it might be interesting if the Navy took down pirates my players do know about (they tend to like Irontooth).
Not sure what the actual question is here. :) If you're doing Pirates of Drinax, taking down named pirates might reduce the later punch of "The Game of Sun and Shadow". But yes, it's very much about pour encourageur les autres.

Erias said:
Third question: when the Imperium deploys vessels against piracy, how many systems do you think it covers? (They stroke on the Drinax Chain) will the Chain be be totally surveyed or just a part of it and how big? Given how remote it is I doubt the whole Drinax Chain will be monitored but I’d like your feedback.
There's information in a number of books, but I am having trouble tracking it down. I *think* if you're looking at the Drinax Chain specifically, it would be the task force landing someplace like Pourne or Paal, and sending destroyers and escorts to at least do a sweep or two of the rest of the systems.

Erias said:
Last question, but not the least, when your players blast evidence like mine did, can the authorities conduct any investigation at all if said authorities are quite motivated?

Heh. I do believe your players messed up in this case.
Fuel tanks for a fusion plant are just hydrogen, and in the absence of air hydrogen doesn't actually go boom (IIRC). So the explosion was likely much smaller than they planned, and what you actually have at this point is a slowly-expanding cloud of debris travelling in the same direction and at the same speed as the Duam was. It might be missing some pieces that had a sufficient delta-v to head off someplace else, or were vaporized, but most of the evidence will still be there. A sufficiently motivated authority, if they got there fast enough, could reconstruct a great deal of what happened.

If it takes a couple of months for the motivated authorities to show up, then they would only be able to reconstruct anything if they got really lucky. However, them getting really lucky is really up to you. What do you think would be the most interesting thing to happen?
 

Condottiere

Cosmic Mongoose
Essentially, an available warship that would deter an attack against the facility, a harbour usually, it was guarding.

Usually, something economic to operate, that isn't worth refitting.

So, what's likely to try and attack the area, what's about the minimum that will hold them off.
 

Erias

Mongoose
First off, thanks for your swift reply

I’m afraid I don’t have the Borderlland e-book (and I have many ^^) but, if I’m getting your point, we are not talking about a single ship but a full armada on steroid (ok I might be exaggerating but the Imperium is really pissed-off, right ?)

My second question is about dedication. Suppose that by the time the flotilla arrives, my PCs left for quite a while. Politically speaking the Imperium would have to find a plausible scapegoat (then I was just rambling on on Ironttooth ^^). How far do you think they’ll push their investigations?

Concerning the third question: in this sector, the answer would be 3-4 parsecs away or just escorting merchant ships for a while?

As for the last question, I’m afraid we all did overlook this technically. I will bring it to them in our coming session so they will have to cover it all. I smell opposing checks in Computer, any other suggestion?
 

Erias

Mongoose
Condottiere said:
Essentially, an available warship that would deter an attack against the facility, a harbour usually, it was guarding.

Usually, something economic to operate, that isn't worth refitting.

So, what's likely to try and attack the area, what's about the minimum that will hold them off.
And we are back to the investigation. After they blasted everything (or not so much according to some recent feedback ^^). Anyway, I guess they might be able to find out the ship surrendered within one round (they attacked with the Harrier plus an Escort Gazelle).

So, economically speaking I was thinking maybe a destroyer or a destroyer’s escort but it might be much more.

And while we are talking about this, how would you change the stat for older vessels? Hull points? More?
 

cunningrat

Banded Mongoose
Erias said:
I’m afraid I don’t have the Borderlland e-book (and I have many ^^) but, if I’m getting your point, we are not talking about a single ship but a full armada on steroid (ok I might be exaggerating but the Imperium is really pissed-off, right ?)

First of all, I apologize -- I confused the destroyer escort with a Gazelle-class fleet escort. Two different animals.
But no, we aren't talking about a single ship. The Drinax chain is quite far away, and a single ship can only be in one place at one time. So if you're going to send *something* that far, and have whatever you send have a decent endurance on station, you don't send a singleton. You send a small flotilla. For example, a destroyer escort, with 2-3 gazelles or similar, and a tender of some sort. If this is an opportune time to do a flag-showing visit anyway -- i.e. if piracy has been increasing in general -- the flotilla might be larger.

Erias said:
My second question is about dedication. Suppose that by the time the flotilla arrives, my PCs left for quite a while. Politically speaking the Imperium would have to find a plausible scapegoat (then I was just rambling on on Ironttooth ^^). How far do you think they’ll push their investigations?
You answered this yourself -- if they don't find the real culprit, they'll find a plausible scapegoat, and if they can't do that they might just go blow up some asteroids out-system and claim they were fighting pirates. If they can't actually do something they need to be seen to be doing something.
However, that's the task force as a whole. Don't naval auxiliaries have a naval liaison aboard? I could definitely see someone who knew and cared about that person fighting to get themselves assigned to the task force, and then doing whatever it took to find the real culprits. Including going against orders if necessary.
Depends on what you think would make the best story.

Erias said:
As for the last question, I’m afraid we all did overlook this technically. I will bring it to them in our coming session so they will have to cover it all. I smell opposing checks in Computer, any other suggestion?

Well... that depends.
What, if anything, did they do with the flight recorder?
What, if anything, did they do with the sensor data that recorded their ship?
What, if anything, did they do with the internal security logs and footage?
Did they make sure any of these weren't replicated to a secondary, secure location? (Unlikely on a far trader, but you never know.)

I guess the real question is... what is your end goal as the GM? Let them get away with it scot-free? Give them a couple scares? Give them a couple brown-pants-level scares? Have the consequences come home to roost at a near-TPK level? It's all about what would make the best story.
 

Condottiere

Cosmic Mongoose
Old ships tend to develop quirks, battle damage, or just depreciate certain equipment, that in the overall scheme of things, might not effect the overall performance, but could specifically.

Personally, if it's within home territory, it could be degraded tactical or strategic movement, basically, the jump drive might be a bit iffy.

If it's on a foreign station, could be the armament.

One example of an ad hoc guardship was the Canopus, that was slowing down an interception force, so they dumped her in Port Stanley, which surprised the Germans when they turned up there. There were a couple of other surprises, but having the Canopus on guard dissuaded the Germans from going into the harbour.
 
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