Weapon Scales, vehicle armor, targeting passengers etc..

Jak Nazryth

Couple of items related to vehicle armor and personal weapons.

Since there is a 10-to-1 ration of personal weapons and vehicle armor, how does armor piercing work? A gauss rifle has AP5. But will that ever matter for vehicles? Removing .5 points of armor doesn't work. Perhaps is some cases instead of dividing your personal weapon by 10, you can simply multiply the armor to defeat by 10?
A ground car comes to mind
If you look at a standard ground car, (page 141-Beta) it has an armor value of 5!
IMHO it seems like a gauss weapon should be able to easily pierce the thin sheet metal, or composite (sci-fi skin) of a car. You would need to do over 50 points of damage to even have a chance of hitting the driver of the car. If you multiplied the armor points by 10, then removed the 5ap, you would need 45 points of damage to punch through a thin skin car door. To me this seems a bit extreme. Many assassinations in 3rd world countries today take place with assassins on motorbikes pulling up beside a target and spraying 9mm sub-machine guns, brutally killing the driver or passenger. In the example above, an Uzi would simply bounce off the skin of a normal car. Also... much of the upper portion of a car is glass. In fact, about 90% of the surface area above the hood, door, and trunk is glass, (when attacking from street level) where most people are exposed. I know it might become an issue if things get WAY too complicated, but I can foresee one of my players driving up to a target vehicle, and spraying the driver side window with automatic fire. It's very unlikely any of the fire will ever shoot through the glass.
In addition on the coverage table on Beta-page 74, civilian vehicles gives 10 points of additional armor. I realize there are different conditions when crouched behind a vehicle engaged in a fire fight, vs sitting inside a vehicle firing out of an open car window. The result is that sitting inside a car, firing out an open window you technically get 50 points of additional armor, but crouched behind the entire vehicle, exposing yourself just enough to fire over the car, you only get 10 points of armor.
When using a vehicle for cover, and someone fires an AP round at you, does the AP first reduce the 10 points additional armor of the vehicle? As in the first example above, technically even a Guass Rifle with AP 5 will never put a scratch in the door of a car. So will you always have the 10 points behind a car?
In addition, does a vehicle with no cover (like an air/raft or grav bike) still provide cover for someone crouching behind it?
I REALLY love this rule covering extra armor for coverage/partial cover. Love it! But these are just questions.
There are several issues to think about. My players are ALWAYS throwing my curve balls. So it's good to discuss this and resolve or rethink the two separate rules (crouched behind a vehicle VS sitting inside them)

For fully enclosed armored vehicles, with small gun ports, I can fully understand the armor.
Maybe the simple solution is to give ground cars an armor value of 1, or 2 at most.
Not sure what to do about all the glass.
As in an earlier post about an air/raft, perhaps there are traits to vehicles that grant partial cover or partial armor. You might be able to state that a car door gives cover (-1 or -2 to hit) and if the attacker misses by that much, you get to apply the armor value of the vehicle. If the attacker scores a successful hit despite the partial cover, his attack is reduced by 1 point (glass) or more (Armored glass) with the rest hitting the target. (or no reduction to the damage if the window is down)
But this is where the vehicle combat chart deviates from normal rules. If my character pulls up to a rival gangs car, and I spray the drivers side door and window with bullets, I first have to punch through an adjusted 50 points of armor, then role randomly to see if I even hit a passenger/driver if I'm lucky enough to punch through the door.

I know Mongoose wants to keep things simple, but this situation could easily happen within any traveller game. Maybe we can come up with a solution or perhaps some guidelines for GM's.

Sorry for the long post



Cosmic Mongoose
A gauss rifle with AP5 and 4D damage, to me, means 5 points of the target's armor is ignored. And Effect gets added to the 4D damage that gets through.

I'm on page 134. So it looks like personal weapons needs to be explained more precisely what "personal weapons" mean in the game. Because I'm sure somewhere else in the book, a new meaning gets slapped on it.

Ok. On the same page. Something about dividing my 4D by 10. So if I (very rare to happen) roll a 4, that's .4 damage. (More reading...) It says round down. So 0 damage. Hopefully, my Effect will put a ding in its paint job.

Try again... I rolled 24 (also very rare). So 2 damage. Houston, we have a problem. Hopefully, my Effect is something like 6. So 8 damage is heading towards an armor of X - 5.

Does rolling a natural 12 count for anything anymore in Traveller combat? I think gamey 2 and 12 rolls should count, since we're using all kinds of gamey things like initiative and combat rounds.

Jak Nazryth

You would need a PGMP (which will bounce off the car door 5 out of 6 times) or FGMP to even have a chance to punch through a car door. Even a TL 16 plasma rifle (6d6) would never have a chance punching through a car door.
Don't get me wrong guys, I DO VERY MUCH like the new scales. In the past it was simply 50-to-1 scale for ship weapons vs. everything else. Heavy weapons, including vehicle mounted weapons, just did a boat load of dice.
But in the beta rules, a TL 6, 7, 8, 9, etc.. Car Door should not have 5 times the armor value as TL 12 combat armor.
Not sure how to deal with it, except reduce the armor value of most civilian vehicles. That or make a multiple of 5 instead of 10 for scaling civilian vehicles. Since the destructive damage is hard baked into the new armor/scale system, my gut tells me to simply revisit some of the vehicle armor values. Maybe rethink how to target an individual in a car instead of hoping to randomly hit a person sitting in the driver seat.

Rikki Tikki Traveller

Cosmic Mongoose
BUT, the car door should not be Armour 0 either.

1 point of armour stops 10 (actually 14) points of personal combat damage. But today, a pistol can shoot through a car door, but not every time...

AutoPistol: 3D-3+Effect. Let's call it 3D for an average of 10-11 points of damage
Groundcar: Armour 5

If the groundcar had 1 point of armour, it would stop about 1/2 of the bullets from an Autopistol, that makes sense and "feels" right.

The Groundcar listed with Armour 5 would be an "Armoured Car" not a standard vehicle.

Jak Nazryth

I agree. 1 point for most civilian vehicles, 2 points max for heavy civilian vehicles, (heavy trucks and other utility vehicles like dump trucks, construction vehicles, etc..)

Rikki Tikki Traveller

Cosmic Mongoose
So there will be a BIG jump in armour between Civilian and Military. Civilian vehicles will be designed to reduce/eliminate damage from PERSONAL weapons, while Military vehicles will be designed to reduce/eliminate damage from VEHICLE weapons.

Fun toys like the FGMP cross the line from Personal to Vehicle with the Destructive trait.