Travellers Needed - Missiles (check our numbers)

AnotherDilbert

Cosmic Mongoose
Randalthor66 said:
Personally, I don't see why a rack cannot fire off more missiles.

Because game balance. Otherwise vast missile storms would kill all combatants in a single salvo, and combat would be boring.


Look at it as one attack, rather than one missile, if you prefer.
 

Condottiere

Emperor Mongoose
1. I think the Russians got there first with missile weapon system inside a container.

2. Nuclear damage potential isn't an issue, if only the military can legitimately use them; the best a civilian could do is maybe obtain a couple of them on the black market, and reported use would instantly set off a man hunt.

3. Separate nuclear racks would be more a security and safety issue, rather than a handling one.

4. Apparently, the Confederation Navy is planning to be rather reckless with nuclear missiles, even civilian infrastructure; that wouldn't have been my take on it, but there we are.

5. With missile pods, it's always been a question of accurate targetting; with unguided rocket pods, it wouldn't matter.
 

Condottiere

Emperor Mongoose
6. Oh, regarding letting off more than one missile every six minutes, dogfighting rules would allow one every six seconds.
 

AnotherDilbert

Cosmic Mongoose
Let's look at two Patrol Cruisers with four missile turrets each.

Round 1:
Each ship launches 12 missiles, arriving in Round 2.

Round 2:
12 missiles attacks: 2D + 12[# of missiles] + 1[smart] - 1[evade] - 8[difficulty], for an average of 10.4 missiles hitting.
10.4 missiles does av. ( 8×3.5 - 4 ) × 10.4 ≈ 250 damage and destroys the target with plenty of overkill (250 damage vs. 160 Hull is 50% overkill).


Both ships dead in Round 2. Yay!
 

AnotherDilbert

Cosmic Mongoose
MongooseMatt said:
Point Defence (Gunner)
...
A double turret equipped with lasers provides DM+1 to this check, while a triple turret equipped with lasers will provide DM+2

That does not say what you want to say.

It should probably say:
A turret with two lasers provides a DM+1, with an additional DM+1 for each additional laser.

The DM is not based on the size of the turret, but on the number of lasers.

A triple turret with two lasers and a sand caster should have a DM+1 on PD, but the original text gives it a DM+2, since it is a triple turret equipped with lasers (plural).
 

AnotherDilbert

Cosmic Mongoose
MongooseMatt said:
Point Defence (Gunner)
...
A gunner may only attempt Point Defence once every round.

So five gunners controlling a total of one turret can PD five times?

Rephrase to something like:
Each gunner and each turret may only attempt Point Defence once every round.
 

AnotherDilbert

Cosmic Mongoose
MongooseMatt said:
Launching Missiles
...
Missiles are launched in salvos. A salvo is all the missiles launched by a ship against a single target in the same combat round.

Missiles of different types makes this awkward. A ship launches 3 Standard missiles, 3 Nuclear missiles, and 3 faster Advanced missiles at the same target in the same round. Is it all one salvo? Which missiles are killed by defences?

It should probably be:
Missiles are launched in salvos. A salvo is all the missiles of the same type launched by a ship against a single target in the same combat round.

or
Missiles are launched in salvos. A salvo is all the missiles of the same speed launched by a ship against a single target in the same combat round.

And then you would have to note that missiles lost to EW and PD should be proportionally of all types of missiles in the salvo.
 

Tupper

Banded Mongoose
Following from my question in the other missile thread, I think it would be good to clarify that regular range DMs don’t apply to missile salvoes, nor does fire control, but evasion and evasive action (if used) do.
 

Sigtrygg

Emperor Mongoose
Repulsors need to be re-introduced to the game as the primary missile defence.

Most Traveller versions include them, they were removed in TNE when missiles were changed to bomb pumped lasers - although using FF&S you could build kinetic kill missiles...

At the ACS scale of things ECM, sand and point defence will make small missile salvos unlikely to score a hit, but if one gets through...

at the BCS scale then you have repulsors, ECM, sand, point defence - take a look at GT especially ISW to get an idea of how to integrate repulsors back into the game.
 

MongooseMatt

Administrator
Staff member
Suppose we added this..?


Detecting Missile Launch
Once missiles have been launched at a ship, the target has options to avoid the attack or reduce the number of missiles that reach it. However, in order to do this, the crew must know that missiles are in-bound!

When a ship launches missiles, sensor operators on board other ships may make an immediate Average (8+) Electronics (sensors) check in order to detect them. If the firing ship has not been detected itself, this becomes a Difficult (10+) check.

Undetected missiles may be picked up by the sensor operator at the start of every combat round with a Difficult (10+) Electronics (sensors) check.
 

Ursus Maior

Mongoose
I definitely like the direction this is going, but I would reduce the difficulties by one step each, and that's for three reasons: First of all, this system should be open for more detailed variations, either from house-rules or future publications, e. g. adding DM for the distance the missiles are fired from. So the base difficulty - let's say at medium range - shouldn't be too high up. Second, missiles are usually not built for stealth, but are essentially mini-spacecraft designed to penetrate various layers of defences, before inflicting massive damage. That means high burn rates, maybe clunky edges for maximized penetration and no stealth capabilities to keep costs down. And third, there might actually be stealth missiles (or torpedoes) in the future, which should be able to fit into the system at the higher end of detection difficulties.

Still, even the stealthiest missiles should leave room for detection, if only for player empowerment or "bad luck" on the Traveller's part. My take would be like this:

When a ship launches missiles, sensor operators on board other ships may make an immediate Routine(6+) Electronics (sensors) check in order to detect them. If the firing ship has not been detected itself, this becomes a Average (8+) check.

On the other hand, if a target does not pick up missiles immediately after launch, it might very well not be as easy in the following rounds, since missiles are really small targets and will point their tips into the general direction of the target. That means comparatively litte sensor cross-sections and a masked drive-plum (if such a thing exists around. TL12). So why not leave the last sentence intact.

In any future and/or house rules, these numbers could be modified according to:

  • detection/sensor ranges,
  • thrust expended by the missiles,
  • stealth or low-observability coatings used in the construction of missiles,
  • the use of radiation war-heads (Battlestar Galactica featured such sensors AFAIK and at least I would build my ships to detect incoming nukes especially),
  • the general type of weapon (missiles, heavy missiles, torpedo) etc.
 

swampslug

Mongoose
I think the missile detection rules are a step in the right direction but agree with Ursus Maior that the difficulties should be reduced, these should reflect the narrative of the situation rather than be arbitrary values.


  1. For the target to be hit either the launching ship or the missiles themselves need to be actively scanning/locked-on to the target. Having it be the launching ship be actively scanning helps hide the missiles but would prevent the attacker hiding. Having the missiles be actively scanning should make them easier to detect.
  2. Missiles use reaction drives for high thrust but limited endurance. This implies they are expelling hot exhaust, which would be detectable by thermal sensors.
  3. Salvo size should make a difference. Even if all missiles are semi-active (i.e. launching ship actively scanning) and not under thrust, the odds of the salvo being detected should increase the larger the salvo.
Based on this I would make the sensor check be either Routine (6+) or Easy (4+) modified by range, salvo size (DM+1/10 missiles?), sensor system quality (as per High Guard) and whether the missiles are actively or semi-actively scanning. I would not increase the base difficulty in later rounds.

I don't think detecting a missile salvo should be a difficult check unless the missiles and launch platform have been specifically designed for stealth. This is especially important if missiles deal 8D damage due to the increased chance of eliminating an unaware opponent in one salvo. As AnotherDilbert's maths shows, with 8D missiles, sufficient point defence and awareness to use it becomes incredibly important for survival.
 

Ursus Maior

Mongoose
swampslug said:
  1. Salvo size should make a difference. Even if all missiles are semi-active (i.e. launching ship actively scanning) and not under thrust, the odds of the salvo being detected should increase the larger the salvo.
Based on this I would make the sensor check be either Routine (6+) or Easy (4+) modified by range, salvo size (DM+1/10 missiles?), sensor system quality (as per High Guard) and whether the missiles are actively or semi-actively scanning. I would not increase the base difficulty in later rounds.

Thank you, that's an excellent point, which I think I made earlier or at least wanted to. Also, since the ability "Smart" explicitly allows for the TL of the firing ship being used, rules for remote guidance of missiles would be nice. That should not be necessary, if it's only about an attack roll made. However a good remote operatore might get in the way of a electronic warfare/sensor operator. That would make for some nice contested rolls.

Other rolls on Electronics (remote ops) should be available to offer different benefits.
 

Condottiere

Emperor Mongoose
1. Anti aircraft missiles come in basically 4 types (some others have been tried but aren't in common use).

Active radar homing
Passive radar homing
Infrared homing
Laser guided
Active radar homing has a radar in the missile sending out signals. Those signals can be detected and classified by the target aircraft.

Passive radar homing has a receiver in the missile reacting to specific signals bounced off of the target by the launching system. These too can be detected and classified by the target aircraft.

Infrared missiles are completely passive and can't be detected this way.

Laser guided missiles are like passive radar homing missiles, except they react to reflections of a laser beam rather than a radar signal. These too can of course be detected and classified with appropriate sensors.

There have been some attempts at detecting missiles by their own infrared signature, typically their engine exhaust. But this is problematic because most of that is of course blocked from the missile's target by the missile body, and also many missiles will spend a lot of their flight towards the target in an unpowered glide state, thus not having a hot engine exhaust.

Other systems generally can't be detected by the target either. Think optical guidance using a radio link with the missile (while you might be able to detect the link, you can't readily know what it's doing or that you're the target if you do recognise it as a missile guidance link).

Optical guidance using control wires is not generally used with anti-aircraft missiles, but sometimes anti-tank missiles using these systems are used against slow flying aircraft. These are utterly impossible to detect.



2.A general search radar, because it has to search a much larger portion of the area around the plane, can only scan so many times a second.

When that radar finds a target, and the pilot commands the system to lock onto the target, it enables a different radar system, that searches a much smaller portion of the area around the plane where the target is known to be. This gives not only greater resolution on the target, but it can scan it much faster because it's only scanning a small portion of the area around the plane.

Targeted missiles also only scan a small portion ahead of them, and do so very quickly so they can react quickly to changes in target vector and position.

Most "missile lock indicators" simply listen to how frequently a radar scan takes place, and when it starts happening very quickly it indicates that the faster, more focused radar has found them and is considered locked on, or that a missile with a fast, focused radar has found them and is locked on.



3. The subject of a radar lock-on may become aware of the fact that it is being actively targeted by virtue of the electro-magnetic emissions of the tracking system, notably the illuminator. This condition will present a heightened threat to the target, as it indicates that a missile may be about to be fired at it.
 
Currently, the Core Rulebook confines point defence to lasers (p. 160). It would be helpful to revise this rule to include all beam weapons. The relevant sentence could read as follows: "Using a beam weapon, a gunner can destroy incoming missiles." In this way, plasma, fusion, and particle weapons could be used to conduct point defence.

Our group recently concluded a sixteen-week campaign that included a considerable amount of space combat. Careful deployment of fragmentation missiles (High Guard p. 30) was pivotal to success in many engagements. It might be helpful to include these in the Core Rulebook.
 

Condottiere

Emperor Mongoose
Rate of fire and time lag, not really addressed.

It's why pulse lasers used to be popular as point defence, and plasma ones might require the time to build mass.
 

Randalthor66

Banded Mongoose
Ursus Maior said:
That is an option for a slightly different weapon system introduced in the Traveller Companion.
I have that book and I don't know which weapon you are referring to. Could you tell me? Pretty-please? *bats eyes*
AnotherDilbert said:
Randalthor66 said:
Personally, I don't see why a rack cannot fire off more missiles.
Because game balance. Otherwise vast missile storms would kill all combatants in a single salvo, and combat would be boring.
How about if missiles were treated like turrets? My triple missile turret fires off my missiles* and 6 hit. Instead of that being, what 4Dx6 (ave. 84) in damage, it is 4D+20 (ave. 34). Respectable, but not earth shattering. I do think that nuclear missiles (and Antimatter, as well) should be 1DD, or at least 10D-12D. (But once you are rolling that many dice, you might as well just go with a multiplier.)

Up thread you had a -10 [Difficulty] for one of your examples. (Maybe the first one?) Could you tell me where that difficulty mod came from?

What I see small groups of missiles being now are nothing more than ways to keep some turrets busy. Not a complete waste, but missiles cost money and shooting lasers don't. Plus, missiles run out, lasers don't (not until something is very wrong, anyway).

I recently did a test battle between a Gazelle and a System Defense Boat. I was in the SDB. (Yes, the Gazelle won because of the Particle Beams/Radiation. Though everyone survived, if bald. :mrgreen: ) My two triple missile turrets were only good for keeping 1 turret busy, though in the first round we were far enough away that neither of his beam lasers could hit, so both were put on PD. After the first round, one of his laser turrets was damaged and suffered a Bane. In the next round, when we were closer, he just put that damaged weapon on PD and still easily shot down all 6 of my missiles.

I was thinking that using laser turrets for PD should have the following mods: single and double: +0, Triple and Quad: +1. I know that isn't a big change, but that is why I think it is a good one; it will make missiles a tiny bit more viable, but not make turrets useless at the same time.


*Old numbers. I don't think they need to be increased (except for nuclear and antimatter, as I mentioned above).
 

AnotherDilbert

Cosmic Mongoose
Randalthor66 said:
Up thread you had a -10 [Difficulty] for one of your examples. (Maybe the first one?) Could you tell me where that difficulty mod came from?
The rules for Electronic Warfare in Core and the first post:
MongooseMatt said:
Electronic Warfare:
...
The sensor operator must succeed at a Difficult (10+) Electronics (sensors) check in order to destroy or render inert incoming missiles within a single salvo. The Effect of this check will immediately remove that many missiles from the salvo.



Randalthor66 said:
What I see small groups of missiles being now are nothing more than ways to keep some turrets busy.
Agreed, missiles should be fired in swarms, or not at all.


Randalthor66 said:
I recently did a test battle between a Gazelle and a System Defense Boat. I was in the SDB. (Yes, the Gazelle won because of the Particle Beams/Radiation. Though everyone survived, if bald. :mrgreen: ) My two triple missile turrets were only good for keeping 1 turret busy, ...
He had very good gunners?

A triple laser turret operated by a Gunner-2 and no other mods should kill
2D +2[three lasers] +2[skill] -8[difficulty] ≈ average Effect 3.11,
so about 3 missiles per round on average.


Depending on range, you could have launched missiles with different speeds, so that several salvoes arrived in the same round, overwhelming PD.

Example:
Assume Long range.
Round 1: Launch Multi-Warhead missiles, will arrive after 1 round, so in Round 2.
Round 2: Launch Long Range missiles, will arrive Immediately, so Round 2.

His PD will now have 12 missiles to stop, and the Multi-Warhead missiles will be more difficult to kill. Quite a few are likely to get through...
 

AnotherDilbert

Cosmic Mongoose
MongooseMatt said:
When a ship launches missiles, sensor operators on board other ships may make an immediate Average (8+) Electronics (sensors) check in order to detect them. If the firing ship has not been detected itself, this becomes a Difficult (10+) check.

Why?

If missiles use chemical or fusion rockets, the vast bright clouds of ejected propellant would be trivial to detect, and detection should be automatic.

If missiles use gravitic drives they are much smaller and should be more difficult to detect than ships. Stealth at MCr0.1 per Dt would be trivial to apply to missiles, and can be considered standard...

The launch process itself should not be easier to detect.


For gravitic missiles I would suggest:
When a ship launches missiles, sensor operators on board other ships may make an immediate Difficult (10+) Electronics (sensors) check in order to detect them.

Undetected missiles may be picked up by the sensor operator at the start of every combat round with a Difficult (10+) Electronics (sensors) check. If you know the missiles are there, e.g. because another ship has told you, you get a Boon on the roll.

Note that most civilian ships with mediocre sensors and operators will generally not detect this without a good bit of luck. Military ships with good sensors and operators will detect more or less automatically.


Basically I see additional out-of-sequence rolls that slows down the game, introduces lots of book-keeping, and risks crippling standard adventurer ships such as Free Traders. Perhaps make it optional?
 

Condottiere

Emperor Mongoose
1.Depends on how complex you want to make it for Core.

2. Missile defence can be layered.

3. You could have an advanced screen of smallcraft to intercept salvos.

4. The other side could send their own screen to clear the way, and/or an initial salvo of missiles to do the same.

5. Companion gives the option of having other vessels act as close escorts, as well as dogfighting and area defence missiles that could be used to take out these missiles.

6. Trillion credit has a point defence network.

7. Fusion and plasma weapon systems might need to warm up first, eaily done when you can see the salvos coming.

8. Going by The Expanse, you could have close in weapon systems, probably gauss, set up a wall of metal for the missiles to run into.

9. You could also have ion effect based weapons fry their little brains.
 
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