# What's the point of a large bay?

#### Geir

##### Emperor Mongoose
Since editing my own work gives me a headache, I've been taking a break to design some ships (I suppose I should find a way to post my templates, because they're not entirely useless - though they would require about two pages of instruction to be useful to anyone else, but that's another story.)

Anyway, large bays, what are they good for? (Absolutely nothing! Screams the chorus --um, isolation is getting to me).

Let's compare a 500 ton particle accelerator bay to a Spinal mount and a barbette:
Spinal (baseline):
1000D damage (yes not rolled that way, given a large enough sample size, close enough): 3500 average
35 hardpoints used, 3500 tons used
Bad DMs against smaller ships, so let's call them only useful against ships greater than 10,000 tons.
1000 power = 3.5 damage per power used, per ton used damage=1.0.
Spinals can cause critical hits against all ships.
Very nice is capital ship battles, not very useful against anything smaller than 10k or 5k tons.

Large bay:
8D damage +1 to dice and +4 to hit versus large ships, so let's call it = 8 X (1 +1/3.5) +4/3.5 = 11.42 D or 40 average
5 hardpoints used, 500 tons used
No so bad against smaller ships, but they don't get that +4 to hit, so let's assume a big target (3k tons+), then.
200 power = 0.2 damage per power used, per ton used damage = 0.08
Large bays can cause critical hits against all ships (this may be their only advantage: with a +4 to hit they can cause a critical hit on a capital ship on roll alone, not cumulative damage)
A large bay is also Very Long range versus Long range for a Spinal (why?) so there is some advantage with reach.

Barbette:
4D damage or 14 average
1 hardpoint used, 5 tons used
No critical hits except on cumulative damage to ships greater than 2000 tons
15 power = 0.93 damage per power used, per ton used damage = 2.8

Clearly, if engaged with a large ship at long range or closer, a spinal mount is an effective use of space. It is more than 7 X as powerful as a large bay (87.5 X as much damage), and while 7 large bays may cause more than one critical hit based on good rolls, the spinal will definitely cause them based on damage alone on all but the largest ships.

Against smaller ships, well let's go by hardpoints, so let's say you can only fit 5 barbettes for one large bay:
Large Bay: 40 points damage, 200 power, 500 tons - good against very big ships, bad against small
5 Barbettes: 105 points damage, 60 power, 25 tons - equally effective against all ships, meaning that cumulative damage crits will occur 2.625 times faster.

Barbettes seem like a better use of space. They would require more gunners on either gunner table (either 10 vs 2 or 5 vs 4), but they can attack a wide range of targets and cause more damage over time.
So, the only use I can see for large bays is for ships too small for a spinal mount to have a chance to stand up against capital ships. Not a situation I would like to put myself in. Maybe I need to design the Forlorn Hope class destroyer: 5,000 (or 2999?) tons and a single large particle bay for sniping capital ships at very long range in groups and hoping to score critical hits (kinda already did, see the Dragon-class destroyer for the Monarchy of Lod in the Florian subsector). Otherwise, as a secondary armament on capital ships or against smaller than capital ships, I see no purpose for the large bay at all.

Next, let's look at missile and torpedo bays: Straight scaling: small, medium, large, so other than saving gunners (20 vs 10 vs 2, or 10 vs 10 vs 4), then medium to me makes the most sense: you can call combine multiple bays against one target, and you can target individual bays against different targets. In fact, given the trouble I've had using all available hardpoints on big ships without running out of space or power, then small might make the most sense, since you can break out targeting more. So again, my point: why install a large bay? (except gunners )

I guess my point is that large bay weapons look underpowered for the amount of damage they cause. The GIANT jump in damage to a spinal mount, and the small increase in damage and effect over even a barbette makes me think they should at least cause X10 the damage they actually impart to be of general use. Missile and torpedo bays, I guess it's just a question of gunners and salvo flexibility (is that a real thing, or am I making that up? Not sure if you can split a bay's attack to target different um, targets (never, never use the same word in the same sentence twice… did I mention that I'm getting a little [stir] crazy?))

This all came about when designing a 110,000 flagship. I ran out of space and power and still hard hardpoints left, so I started poking at the design. Once I reduced the large particle bays and replaced them with barbettes, the design became much more efficient.
So does this logic make sense or do I just need to adjust my meds?

I have been wondering about them also, but in a different vein. I was wondering why they have the same damage as the medium bays - or is that fixed in some errata I don't know about?

They don't. They have the same damage dice but get a DM+4 vs big ships and get a +1 on each damage die (exactly as if they were a turret with two weapons fitted)

Large Bays do have one advantage over smaller guns - they can cause critical damage to big ships (and with a +4 dm that's pretty likely).

Damage-wise they're slightly anaemic: I think medium bays have the same base stats?

So halving the number of guns gives you +12 damage (+4 on effect and +1 on each of 8 dice), whilst another gun would deliver 28 more damage....

The other question is armour. Whilst few canon designs do, a TL15 warship can pack 15 points of armour.
Against a large bay, that will tank 15 damage.
Against 100 has better, it will soak closer to 150.

Applied to the two medium bays above, you've got two bays dropping 28-15=13 damage for a total of 26 or one dropping 28+12-15=23 damage.

Geir said:
Anyway, large bays, what are they good for? (Absolutely nothing! Screams the chorus --um, isolation is getting to me).

Crit-fishing.

Since they were actually too good at that and made battleships unviable, crits were nerfed, and hence large bays became pointless.

Large missile bays are still effective.

The more I learn about the space combat of this system, the less I like it. So many little fiddly bits that are hard to find and if you don't, it doesn't seem to make much sense. There is the nugget of some good stuff in there, I just think that they should have made it a bit easier and just used a basic scaling to reflect weapons of increased size (turrets --> barbettes --> small --> medium --> large bays --> spinal mounts), sort of like the way the old West End games Star Wars by modifying the to-hit and damage up/down depending. (I also think they should just go with single target number of 8+ for all actions, and just have the DMs and Boon/Bane, but that is a different conversation.)

AnotherDilbert said:
Geir said:
Anyway, large bays, what are they good for? (Absolutely nothing! Screams the chorus --um, isolation is getting to me).

Crit-fishing.

Since they were actually too good at that and made battleships unviable, crits were nerfed, and hence large bays became pointless.

Large missile bays are still effective.

Well they can still cause crits on any ships and with +4 to hit, the odds aren't all that bad.
What I did notice after I posted this is that they're even more useless in the chapter on Captial Ship Battles, where there is no consderation for crits at all. Here, a large particle bay is worth 70 points and a medium is worth 65...

locarno24's point about armor is valid though. I hadn't considered that. An average of 40 points a shot for a large bay with 15 points of armor becomes 25 points damage. For a barbette, it becomes -1, so 0 damage. Also speaks to the advantage of armor.
(so other topic, er, random thought popping into my head: if you have 15 points of armor why on earth (space?) would you bother with any sandcasters? They'd hardly ever be needed and you wouldn't be able to predict which laser blast they'd be useful against.)

Chopping up boarding parties?

Geir said:
Well they can still cause crits on any ships and with +4 to hit, the odds aren't all that bad.
They still need to achieve 1% of target Hull damage to produce a Severity 1 critical, which they will not do against cruisers or larger ships.

Criticals can be repaired in the same round, so one or two crits are basically pointless. Only destroyed systems are unrepairable, so either massive damage or lots of criticals in the same round are needed to knock out a ship.

Just killing the ship with spinals or missiles is much easier.

Geir said:
(so other topic, er, random thought popping into my head: if you have 15 points of armor why on earth (space?) would you bother with any sandcasters? They'd hardly ever be needed and you wouldn't be able to predict which laser blast they'd be useful against.)

Effect is added to damage, so the great to-hit of lasers actually let's them do surprising damage to heavily armoured ships.

But I agree that sandcasters are not the highest priority.

Geir said:
Next, let's look at missile and torpedo bays: Straight scaling: small, medium, large, so other than saving gunners (20 vs 10 vs 2, or 10 vs 10 vs 4), then medium to me makes the most sense: you can call combine multiple bays against one target, and you can target individual bays against different targets. In fact, given the trouble I've had using all available hardpoints on big ships without running out of space or power, then small might make the most sense, since you can break out targeting more. So again, my point: why install a large bay? (except gunners )

You can target each individual missile separately, regardless of mounts, so bigger missile bays are better.

If you run out of space you can always use fixed mounts, requiring neither space nor gunners.

I have found large bays plus fixed mounts the most effective combination for missile boats.

Remember defences!

Space combat is dominated by spinals, missiles, and fighters.

You need laser turrets (or frag missiles) to defend against missiles. Without massive missile defences your ships are dead meat against missile boats. Lasers are also a great way to punish ships that have skimped on armour.

You need barbettes, preferably Particle, or missiles to defend against fighters. Without massive fighter-killing capacity your ships are dead meat against fighters. Fighters needs to be killed at range, before they can close in to dogfighting range, so long-ranged Particles are ideal. Range-extended lasers also have some effect against fighters.

You need armour to defend against most things.

In single ship combat Meson Screens can render enemy meson spinals pointless.

Nuclear Dampers can ruin the day for Fusion weapons and they are always useful against nukes. Fusion barbettes are a tempting choice for fighters, but a relatively small number of Dampers can negate them.

Non-missile bays are not really good against either spinal-armed battleships, missile boats, or fighters, so skip them. They might work as ortillery?

AnotherDilbert said:
Geir said:
Well they can still cause crits on any ships and with +4 to hit, the odds aren't all that bad.
They still need to achieve 1% of target Hull damage to produce a Severity 1 critical, which they will not do against cruisers or larger ships.
This is where it confuses me then:

Third bullet on p. 23: "Ships larger than than 100,000 tons ignore critical hits from all weapons larger than from all weapons except large bays."
Then right below that:
Large ships can also endure a great deal more
damage before the effects of any critical hits become
noticeable. The Severity of a critical hit is based on 1%
increments of the ship’s hull value (minimum 10 points
of damage). For example, a ship with 10,000 Hull
points that receives a critical hit that causes 224 points
of damage, will sustain a Severity 2 critical hit.

So does that supercede the rule that any +6 effect hit that penetrates armor is treated as critical? I didn't think so, although I acknowledge that it would be hard for that hit to be more than severity 1.
I thought, from the Core book p. 158:

The Severity of the critical hit is equal to the damage
the spacecraft has taken from the attack, divided by
ten (rounding up).

would still apply.

Next sev on on the same location would be sev 2, though.
And okay, they can be fixed with enough engineers.

Well, if that's the case, then large bays are completely worthless (expect missile bays - but... can you really split a single "launch missiles" action from a single gunner into multiple salvos? It doesn't say one way or the other. It just says you can combine launches into salvos, nothing about breaking a launch action into multiple salvos)

(complete Squirrel! random comment that should be on another thread but I tripped over this looking for something else: p. 157 Missile Rack "Each turret with one or more missile racks holds 12 missiles and costs Cr250000 to refill." ,<- "Each turret" not "Each rack" )

Yup, the turret holds 12 while each rack holds 3.
Single mount - 3+12
Double mount - 3+3+12
Triple mount - 3+3+3+12
Quad mount - 3+3+3+3+12

Back in HG81 I modified the rules so that -
turret batteries good vs smallcraft and escort class, not so good vs destroyer/light cruiser sized ships, not much use vs heavy cruiser/battleships
bays - not so good vs smallcraft, good vs escort and destroyer, not so good vs heavy cruiser/battlships
spinals - not much use vs smallcraft, not so good vs escort class, good vs everything else

Geir said:
Third bullet on p. 23: ...

So does that supercede the rule that any +6 effect hit that penetrates armor is treated as critical? I didn't think so, although I acknowledge that it would be hard for that hit to be more than severity 1.
Yes, the sidebar in HG supersedes the Core book, for large ships (where "large ships" is undefined).

Crits were specifically nerfed to avoid crit-fishing being a viable strategy to kill battleships.

Geir said:
can you really split a single "launch missiles" action from a single gunner into multiple salvos? It doesn't say one way or the other. It just says you can combine launches into salvos, nothing about breaking a launch action into multiple salvos)
There is nothing that says that missiles have to be targeted together, rather:
Core said:
Missiles are handled differently when in double or triple turrets and are always fired individually, so do not get the bonus above.

Note that there is no specific attack action for missile launch, unlike direct fire. Missiles are smart, aka fire-and-forget, you tell them what target to go after and kick them out, nothing more.

Geir said:
(complete Squirrel! random comment that should be on another thread but I tripped over this looking for something else: p. 157 Missile Rack "Each turret with one or more missile racks holds 12 missiles and costs Cr250000 to refill." ,<- "Each turret" not "Each rack" )
Yes, Core and HG disagrees. I consider HG to supersede Core for ship design.

In theory, they'd be rated secondary armaments to stave off destroyers doing torpedo runs.

You could stuff them with dogfighting missiles to act as a massive point defence shotgun.

AnotherDilbert said:
Geir said:
Third bullet on p. 23: ...

So does that supercede the rule that any +6 effect hit that penetrates armor is treated as critical? I didn't think so, although I acknowledge that it would be hard for that hit to be more than severity 1.
Yes, the sidebar in HG supersedes the Core book, for large ships (where "large ships" is undefined).

Crits were specifically nerfed to avoid crit-fishing being a viable strategy to kill battleships.

And yet you can swarm the ship with fighters and it gets dog-fight(ed?) to death....
(Don't get me started on dogfights... I have some odd questions about them but I won't pollute my own threat with them)

When you say "Crits were specifically nerfed" is that opinion or something that was specifically and intentionally altered in the beta to achieve that result?

Well, large bay is another case where despite the words, I would go with crit sev 1 for any damage that result from an Effect +6 hit. It's ambiguous enough in the book that I could support that position in some court of law, enough for reasonable doubt, anyway.
Now,the example on p. 23 for 2% is odd, perhaps even pointless, since I don't know of any way for a single attack to cause 224 points of damage with it being from a spinal mount. The example violates a round up principle from the core book, too, which supports your point, so that's another question in my head.

But if it were my campaign, the large bay would do a critical when it did damage and got a good enough roll. Rule 0 and all. And that's that, or else large bays are, as I started with, pointless.

The problem is, when I'm designing a ship that others might want to use, I want it to be a logical optimized design for the rules as written (never mind that some of the Highguard ships don't follow that principle - for historical reasons, if we're charitable).
So the rules matter to me at that level, even if I would personally interpret them my own way.

Plus, I'll ask clarifying questions when I just don't get it. And make statements that others find counterfactual, because I make mistakes and bad assumptions.

AnotherDilbert said:
Geir said:
When you say "Crits were specifically nerfed" is that opinion or something that was specifically and intentionally altered in the beta to achieve that result?

Yes, it was deliberately changed during beta for this reason, e.g. see this discussion: http://forum.mongoosepublishing.com/viewtopic.php?p=899203#p899203

Okay, I followed the thread well enough, though it points out the problem, not the remedy. So if I understand the rules as implied (RAI ?) then a large bay can still do critical damage to a 100,000+ ton ship, but only if it achieves at least 1% of total hits in damage. Of course, since a 100,000 ton ship (okay 100,001) has, standard 100,000 / 1.5 = 66,666 or so hit points, you need to do 667 points of damage, which even with the best hit with a large fusion bay (2DD, +1 on each die) would be 140 points, then it can't ever meet that threshold, so the statement about 1% completely negates the ability to cause a critical on 100,000 ton ships. Right? The only way to restore a chance of balance would be to up the damage done by a large bay to something more proportional with the energy put into the weapon. In the mean time, I'll stick to smaller bays for non-missile (or torpedo) weapons. I'll probably leave the Dragon design alone, though, since it's a vanity ship for a less than elite military.

And also, I concede to your point on splitting attacks out of a missile bay. I guess if you have 6 minutes, pointing and clicking 120 missiles at 120 different targets wouldn't be impossible, and it would be trivial for a virtual gunner. So using large missile and torpedo bays makes the most sense since it conserves gunners, which in turn lowers the tonnage for staterooms, medics, armories... a cascade of benefit for the smaller crew. That will result in some design changes as I edit my way through the larger of the 30+ ships I put together for The Beyond.

Geir said:
Okay, I followed the thread well enough, though it points out the problem, not the remedy. So if I understand the rules as implied (RAI ?) then a large bay can still do critical damage to a 100,000+ ton ship, but only if it achieves at least 1% of total hits in damage. Of course, since a 100,000 ton ship (okay 100,001) has, standard 100,000 / 1.5 = 66,666 or so hit points, you need to do 667 points of damage, which even with the best hit with a large fusion bay (2DD, +1 on each die) would be 140 points, then it can't ever meet that threshold, so the statement about 1% completely negates the ability to cause a critical on 100,000 ton ships. Right?

Exactly. And it is actual inflicted damage after armour and defences have reduced it.

And it is intended, see this discussion of the first iteration of this rule:
http://forum.mongoosepublishing.com/viewtopic.php?p=900702#p900702

It would depend.

Are bays increasing concentrated numbers of the same weapon system?

In which case, consider the difference between firing a machine gun at a tank, or a twelve centimetre cannon.

AnotherDilbert said:
Geir said:
Okay, I followed the thread well enough, though it points out the problem, not the remedy. So if I understand the rules as implied (RAI ?) then a large bay can still do critical damage to a 100,000+ ton ship, but only if it achieves at least 1% of total hits in damage. Of course, since a 100,000 ton ship (okay 100,001) has, standard 100,000 / 1.5 = 66,666 or so hit points, you need to do 667 points of damage, which even with the best hit with a large fusion bay (2DD, +1 on each die) would be 140 points, then it can't ever meet that threshold, so the statement about 1% completely negates the ability to cause a critical on 100,000 ton ships. Right?

Exactly. And it is actual inflicted damage after armour and defences have reduced it.

And it is intended, see this discussion of the first iteration of this rule:
http://forum.mongoosepublishing.com/viewtopic.php?p=900702#p900702

The key quote I get from that thread is:
"it's key that we avoid death-by-small-crits while you still have like 80% of your hull value left"

So I can see that this is very intentional. I guess the only point of a large particle bay is that you can beat up on ships in the 3000 - 5,000 ton range and score crits. Past that point it needs to be a very good hit or low armor to get 1%. Past 7 or 8,000, you can pretty much forget it.
You can do better (or hit larger) with a fusion gun bay, but then you wouldn't be sniping, because even if its increased to long range, you're within spinal range (though still with a big DM-8 or -4 to get hit if you're a small ship built around the bay). Even then, targets past about 20,000 tons (I'm guessing, not doing math because it's been a long day) you're not going to get a critical hit, so anything large enough to carry a spinal and a decent jump drive is going to be immune to critical hits from anything other than a spinal weapon.

I don't understand why the weird half measure of adding +1 to damage dice and DM+4 to hit big ships rule for large bays was invented, instead of just increasing the damage they did in some sort of reasonable progression. Like 4DD for a particle gun or 10DD for a fusion gun or maybe a little less. Or is there a thread about beta development of that that I should read?

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