So that makes the trip to IO about 4AU, so 4 days. My 1g sum said just less than 6 days, so that about matches common sense. They'd be under constant acceleration/deceleration of about 1.4 g...
Which means that these numbers in the GG should be taken for military craft, and modified widely with common sense.
For example, there is NO reason why dilgar ships (which are supposed to be built "quick and cheap" and thus structurally weaker) should be slower, as ~1.4 can't be a problem for them in any case.
Civilian ships on the other hand, especially passenger liners would have a speed of about .75 AU/day, as they couln't dare inconvinience their passengers with more then 1G (of course, freighters with non-breakabkle goods and declared fast liners might go up to the 1AU/day again)
However, Minbari ships should be much faster, as their artificial gravity ought to compensate at least 3 G - means a "basic speed" of 2 AU per day at least.
Say an average speed of 1AU per day for pre- artificial gravity races, 1.5 AU for barely AG races (like the Centauri) and 2-3 AU for full AG races (like the Minbari), with, say, 5+ AU for mid borns and up to 10 AU for First Ones.
How does that sound?
Ok... But I asked in game terms. How do you rule a travel time for a liner from Babylon 5 to Mars (Back in Banylon 5 show it took Franklin and Marcus two weeks to travel from Babylon 5 to Mars)
Easy. From B5 to mars...
B5 is right next to a jumpgate - no transfer time.
Hyperspace from B5 to Sol System... if the WS can do it in 3 days, a freighter will take at least twice, maybe three times as long - say two and a half times as slow, making it one good week, 7.5 days.
Then from IO to Mars... at 1G... say, the "almost six days" mentioned before (remember the scenes of the two in the freighter - they has gravity, but didn't suffer from more then one G... while in the passenger liner, with "Captain Jack" they certainly had no more then 1G), with one day added to switch ships.
There you are, 14.5 days total travel time.
Matches with the show info...
1) Your ships accelerate to what speeds when traveling such great distances?
Top speed depends on distance. They accelerate at their chosen acceleration half the way, then turn around and decelerate the other half so they come to a stop at their destination.
Maximum top speed would depend on race and engine tech - the unfilmed Crusade scripts place the absolute maximum for a minbari-powered ship like the Excalibur at 75% of lightspeed IIRC. (which may be a bit questionable if one thinks about the bas things that could happen to a ship travelling that fast in normal space - one sand corn would be enough to seal it's doom...)
2) And what about sensors? They detect ships only in 100 squares. A ships moving faster than 100 squares a round can not be detected at all!
Now THAT is a valid point.
I think we will have to assume that these "100 squares" are not the maximum detection range...
Now, I can't really go deep into game mechanics, as I'm not playing the game in d20 (converting it into GURPS).
What are the exact rules about this?
Can it be (or can it be constructed) that these "100 squares" are the range for combat lock-ons? Or for identification? Because in that case you could have a much bigger detection range, but with far less information (a "blip" on the screen instead of an ship class ID)
within 10K squares - information: something is there
between 1000 and 100 squares: increasing chance to identify ship size, power leels (warship or civilian), and maybe even class
below 100 squares: combat distance, ship class identified and targetin systems in range...
...at least that is how I would handle it...
3) And what about space combats? Why would ships travel at speed 5 or 10, when they can travel speed 100 or 200. They move 100 squares, fire, then rotate (as in tv show - move in one direction, face - another direction) - and continue firing.
See last "Signs&Portents".
Of course it would be possible - one pass and then you'd have to wait for half a day or more until you could re-engage.
Not to mention that the slower fleet would have an incredible adantage - because the faster you go in space, the less you can turn. So, if an enemy comes at you really, really fast, all you have to do is fire lots of missiles (or mines, or even rocks) into the area of space where he has to come through. Going really, really fast, he cannot evade, while you move away from that area and watch his ships go boom without even getting anchance to shoot back efectively.
That may be why they all seem to slow down for combat...
4) How can raiders attack freighters if they travel at speeds of about 100-1000 in game terms to even cover distances between planets in months not years!!! What about liners (passengers from Earth do not travel 2-3 months to Babylon 5). And if they move at speed 1000, how can pilot maneuvre in asteroid fields, or how raiders can even hope to attack such fast moving target.
Answer - they can't. Which is why raiders will most of the time attack them at meneuvering points - like when they have to go slow to make a turn during transfer from one jumpgate to another, or when they emerge from the system's jumpgate, or when they lift off from an colony where they took on cargo, or when they have to slow down because of navigational hazards... you get the idea, right?
Raider attacks at top speed woudl be very, very rare, and could succeed only if they had the complete and accurate flight plan of their target. Then they could match velocities, and dock in-flight. (Wasn't there a movie featuring some maneuver like that? "Velocity Trap" IIRC... low-budget SF, following the same layout as "die hard" -tough hero alone against the criminals-, but quite nice...)
I ask those questions only in game terms, for gaming, not for my physics education.
Ahhh... then you may have choosen the wrong game :wink:
Remember, the use of real-life physics is what seperates B5 from such "magic tech" SF like Star Wars - a trend the game should follow.
I want to run a campaign of freelancers. They would recieve an old ship (modified from simple freighter) and they want to travel to unhabitated planets to explore them. How can raiders attack their spacecraft, when they need to travel at ultra-mega-speeds (game only states speeds of 1 to 40 as standard speeds).
Look above. Raiders can't attack them in mid-transit wiothout having the exact maneuvering info. So they'll wait at points where the ship will either start, or end it's acceleration/deceleration movement - either at the jump gate, or around the destination... or somewhere the ship has to slow down. For example, an uncharted asteroid belt... (if you know the movement of every asteroid in the belt, you can calculate a high-speed course through it - risky, but doable. If you don't, you HAVE to slow down to evade tumbeling rocks... now, your usual asteroid belt doesn't look like in "Star Wars", with rocks floating within meters of each other -that's more the kind of thing you find withing a gas giant's rings BtW-, it usually means at least several klicks of space between the rocks, with ample warning if one is on collision course - IF you go slow enough to do some maneuvering)
OtoH... if you as GM want to be really sneaky, and your players have something that justifies the effort... a bug in the navigational computer could get a raider band the info they need to match velocities...
Please answer my question: Do ships in your game use mega-high speeds to cover large distances or not?
Probably. It IS the way to gat around in normal space, and B5 prides itself on following real-life physics whenever possible (and unless the technology is sufficiently advanced)
And how do the sensors even hope to detect a ship travelling a speed of about 1000? They simply get in range, and get out of range in 1 ROUND!!!
If that's what the rules say, the rules are wrong. Period. We know from the show that ship sensors have quite a long range for detecting ships (several hours of sublight travel in fact - B5 detected B4 after all, and it did take the rescue mission quite a while to get there with their shuttles - but only as "contact", not as ID - that's why they had to send a starfury once their sensors detected the anomaly to look and see), system-based sensors will detect a ship anywhere in the system, and hyperspace probes can detect them at a distance of several days of hyperspace travel (under optimum circumstances of course)
Ok... My players arrive at ZZZ system. They want to explore 3rd planet "XXX". I state for example (based on what?) that they need 1 week to get there. Ok. One day sensors detect raiders. It's encounter.
Raiders begin encounter at speed 10 each. At what speed starts the encounter player's ship?
What is default speed of ships when they travel long distances?
See above. Logically the Raiders would have been waiting at the jumpgate OR around planet "XXX" (maybe they have a base on it, or their Battlewagon is currently in orbit, for repairs or cargo transfer to their fixers...)
Mid-intercepts of long-distance travellers are just plain stupid.
If the enemy has a ship with much better accel, he can calculate your course, and then use his ship's better delta-V to catch you, matching velocities. As written above, that will put quite some G stress on his ship and crew, so it's not a good thing to do often, but quite possible.
And of course the prey will do it's best to evade... boosting their accel and taking some extra gees too.
You are the GM.
Here's the real-life physics info.
Take it, Run with it. Dazzle your players with it! :wink:
So, 25 ly in ~36 hours equates to a roughly 6,000c average interstellar speed, if my calcs are right. That should be at or near the an upper limit for younger race warship speeds as the White Star was supposed to be one of the faster warships.
...modified by hyperspace currents of course, which introduce the "speed of plot" element! :wink:
The sublight acceleration of freighters and other civilian ships would probably be around 1g with a max emergency acceleration of no more than 1.5-2g at most. The important thing will be how much fuel can the ship carry to accelerate and who much is the company willing to spend on fuel to get the freight to it's destination.
Exactly. And how much the crew and structure (warships are built to withstand combat, but freighters are built as cheap as possible...), and freight can take.
I've had the same problems running space combat. Twice the PC's had no reason to stand and fight, so they fled. The raiders easily matched speed, but as soon as anyone tried to turn, even a simple 1 hex face, or 45' turn, it became catstrophic, and all ships were lost in a massive collision. I haven't figured out a hard rule on this myself yet.
For one - play the raiders smart, and never follow exactly behind the fleeing ship. They ought to try and match speed while flying some distance to the rear side, so that when their prey suddenly starts to change it's vector, they won't run into it...
For another... remember that most player-owned ships (means civilian hulls) won't be able to outrun a raider ship anyway, and never it's fighters. Use raiders only when your players are ready to deal with them, or you have an idea of how they could. And in some cases that will mean giving them what they want...