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Flattened Sphere April 16th, 2019 06:18 AM

Unbreaking High Guard
 
Hi all ... I've not been around for a while.

Last time I was around, I engaged in a few discussions on just how Broken High Guard rules for starship construction and combat are, and what needs to be done to fix them.

I've been experimenting with a number of tweaks ... most of which fix one thing, only to break something else.

BUT ... I think I'm reaching a viable alternative set of workable rules. Purists won't like 'em. But I'll be happy to share them (once I've fully written them up) so that open-minded enthusiasts can give them a go and see how they like them.

Here are some of the key adjustments:

(1) end to the unlimited supply of missiles and sand canisters: you need to put in a magazine to hold them, and this takes up ship space

(2) restrictions on how much armour you can put on smaller ships (sliding scale, becoming more generous at higher TLs) so you don't have these 1000 ton ships that simply can't be touched by anything other than massed missile batteries or spinal weapons

(3) the "to hit" size modifiers become 0, +1, +2, +3 and +4 so that hits are more readily registered, making combats shorter and sharper, and meaning that encounters between small, agile ships with their weapons grouped into smaller batteries don't become total stalemates. I am also contemplating adjusting the agility DM, but need to see how this plays out first.

(4) spinal weapon potency adjusted. Instead of one roll to hit and penetrate and then umpteen rolls on the damage table if they do hit, they get umpteen attempts at a hit, and each hit that penetrates gets one roll. So instead of going turn after turn after turn and then landing a single crippling blow, they are doing steady work of degading the enemy.

(5) Failure to penetrate the meson screen doesn't kill the meson hit altogether - it just means the meson screen's factor is added as a DM to the damage roll. Failure to penetrate the configuration does kill it, however.

(6) Reduction in additional rolls for armour is one per two factors of armour, rather than one per factor, so those big particle accelerators aren't quite so impotent against heavily armoured ships

(7) Reduction of critical hits by over-size weapons is one per factor of armour, not one per two factors, but so that there will always be at least one critical hit. This makes hits by oversize weapons more survivable, whilst still ensuring that they make a nasty dent.

(8) Armour DOES reduce critical hits by oversize meson guns. The rationale is that these critical hits are the result of the additional shock of being shaken about by a massive blast (think depth charges and submarines), and armour is about improving the structural integrity of the ship. This logically would reduce the additional damage done by the shock of the blast, irrespective of whether the blast was inside or outside the ship.

(9) A requirement for additional life support supplies to be carried (and tonnage to be allocated to them) on ships intended for prolonged cruises away from their bases (or, alternatively, the provision of support ships to bring them these supplies); with rules of half rations and its effect on fighting efficiency when a ship finds its supplies running low for any reason.

(10) Command and control rules to give some greater prominence to the Fleet Tactics skill.

(11) "Fuel Tanks Shattered" and "Hangar/Boat deck destroyed" have been switched, so that Fuel Tanks Shattered is a critical hit result not a standard internal explosion result.

Additionally, I've tweaked a few of the tables to correct some anomalies that look like they were unintended.

Like I say, I don't think the total package will be to everyone's liking; but if you'd like to give it a whirl and would like a copy of my revised rules, let me know.

wbuthod April 16th, 2019 11:25 AM

Yes
 
Please and thank you.

whartung April 16th, 2019 03:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Flattened Sphere (Post 600826)
(4) spinal weapon potency adjusted. Instead of one roll to hit and penetrate and then umpteen rolls on the damage table if they do hit, they get umpteen attempts at a hit, and each hit that penetrates gets one roll. So instead of going turn after turn after turn and then landing a single crippling blow, they are doing steady work of degading the enemy.

I guess I just have to fundamentally disagree with this.

I don't consider a spinal weapon to be a big hose that's slowly ablating the target ship over time. It's not a shotgun using birdshot against a bear. It's using a slug against a duck. It's the 16" gun off the New Jersey hitting a Destroyer. You're the bug, I'm the hammer. You can skitter about as fast as you like, and I will continue to come down on you. Eventually, I will hit you.

Quote:

(8) Armour DOES reduce critical hits by oversize meson guns. The rationale is that these critical hits are the result of the additional shock of being shaken about by a massive blast (think depth charges and submarines), and armour is about improving the structural integrity of the ship. This logically would reduce the additional damage done by the shock of the blast, irrespective of whether the blast was inside or outside the ship.
A nuclear weapon is a fast expanding ball of nasty energy. A meson blast is a pre-expanded ball of nasty energy.

Most attacks are a ball (or lance, in the case of a laser) of energy that detonates with expanding force, crushing and tearing through things, but consuming energy as it goes. That's not what a meson attack is. A meson attack is the closest that Traveller has to a Star Trek transporter beaming down in to solid rock. One moment, there are no particles. The next they're all intermixed. It's a trillion tiny explosions within a sphere (a rather large sphere in large meson gun case).

As it says in Striker. "Everything within the radius is destroyed." If a ship is penetrated with a meson gun, the mesons are interacting with the armor, with the air, with the water, with the fuel, with the people, consoles, wires, pipes, tubes, fried chicken, potatoes and gravy. All of it, at the same time. The armor is on fire, the air is on fire, you are on fire, your skin, your hair, your heart, your brain, all of you.

Big Mesons crit more against smaller ships because the meson radius is bigger, thus destroying more of the ship in one gulp.

Since you're trying to make mesons less effective it's ok to let the screen let some slip through. I wouldn't want them near me at all, personally, which is why I'm content on the screens stopping them wholesale.

Flattened Sphere April 16th, 2019 04:36 PM

As I said Whartung - I don't think the whole package will be to everyone's liking, and that's fine.

What I'm trying to achieve is for HG starship combat to be a more enjoyable experience for players than it is at the moment. But there's room for more than one view on the question of what is enjoyable.

mike wightman April 16th, 2019 06:15 PM

I have more fixes for High Guard than you can shake a stick at, you have arrived at a couple I have used for long time.

My principle dislike is the need for statistical resolution for battles - I much prefer the idea of only one roll to hit and one roll to penetrate per weapon system rather than for every single battery bearing.

A logarithmic scale, which is what HG'79 appeared to be aiming for, could be arrived at.

This would solve several issues, such as AV15 on a 25t fighter being equivalent to AV 15 on a BB.

There is a pseudo-log scale built into the size mods for ships, it is just a matter of finding a way to use them. I have been mulling it over for decades now...

-2 0-99t weapon factors 1-4, individual rolls are fun
-1 100-1,999t weapon factors 1-9, bays, can still roll for individual weapon systems
0 2,000-19,999t multiple batteries, bays, spinal, getting to the limit of actually rolling the dice.
+1 20,000-74.999t too many batteries for anything but statistical resolution
+2 75,000t+ even worse

Condottiere April 17th, 2019 12:08 AM

As I mentioned elsewhere, tabletop gamining will evolve into two directions, dead simple rules, or technology based solutions aiding game play.

infojunky April 17th, 2019 05:13 AM

It looks like you are trying to reduce a Fleet combat simulator to a ship combat simulator. While I don't have any specific objections to the change you are suggesting, I will comment that it will dramatically slow down play of the game in fleet actions.

I also would point out that maybe you need to look a bit at the rules in the 1st Edition of High Guard as they are cover some of the points you specifically mention.

I should point out at this point that my pet project is how to handle ship built under High Guard with in the Book 2 ship combat rules. Note my focus is on adventure scale ships. I have considered the 1000 dTon baseline ships as well and it becomes clear a different scaling factor would be needed to comfortably handle them.

kilemall April 17th, 2019 02:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by infojunky (Post 600867)
I should point out at this point that my pet project is how to handle ship built under High Guard with in the Book 2 ship combat rules. Note my focus is on adventure scale ships. I have considered the 1000 dTon baseline ships as well and it becomes clear a different scaling factor would be needed to comfortably handle them.


I'll throw my hat in the ring and say I am working up my version of HG, but in terms of CT movement. Obviously not a TCS friendly system especially since my system involves tracking on missile movement, but should be able to handle the ACS on ACS and ACS interacting with BDS (Big Damn Ships) and BDS vs. BDS small squadron fights.

kilemall April 17th, 2019 02:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Flattened Sphere (Post 600826)
(1) end to the unlimited supply of missiles and sand canisters: you need to put in a magazine to hold them, and this takes up ship space


I go one step further, you have to track on usage, each round of shot uses up X missiles, you have to pay for them, and you have to spend time loading if you exceed the normal fire rate. This last part is particularly important in terms of nukes.


Quote:

(2) restrictions on how much armour you can put on smaller ships (sliding scale, becoming more generous at higher TLs) so you don't have these 1000 ton ships that simply can't be touched by anything other than massed missile batteries or spinal weapons

I have a recent thread in The Fleet that goes into my take. Bottom line, armor is a real nice payoff but is exorbitant for small craft and painful for small shipe, whereas the bigger ships wlll tend to get most or max out and still have room for power, weapons and agility.


Quote:

(3) the "to hit" size modifiers become 0, +1, +2, +3 and +4 so that hits are more readily registered, making combats shorter and sharper, and meaning that encounters between small, agile ships with their weapons grouped into smaller batteries don't become total stalemates. I am also contemplating adjusting the agility DM, but need to see how this plays out first.

I'm not touching any of that except in terms of range, further away you are the less likely to hit and less damage done, conversely as the range drops down below 100,000km the more likely to hit and more damage.


Quote:

(4) spinal weapon potency adjusted. Instead of one roll to hit and penetrate and then umpteen rolls on the damage table if they do hit, they get umpteen attempts at a hit, and each hit that penetrates gets one roll. So instead of going turn after turn after turn and then landing a single crippling blow, they are doing steady work of degading the enemy.

I'm out to reduce the die rolling to a dull roar. As such I am going with a total tonnage of damage the shot does, split the damage and roll two times (three if small critical systems like computer or screens are hit), depending on the nature of the weapon it gets surface and then possible internal/overall, two overalls, internal then overall (meson), and radiation (which will expand the possible effects). So spinals are more likely to either miss, or blow the heck entirely out of a major system. In some cases they will break the integrity of the hull and the target ship isn't destroyed in a fireball, it loses major system control and can't accelerate much and eventually will break up into a debris cloud.


Quote:

(5) Failure to penetrate the meson screen doesn't kill the meson hit altogether - it just means the meson screen's factor is added as a DM to the damage roll. Failure to penetrate the configuration does kill it, however.

Eh, this is a taste thing- I looked at using a combination of the config and screen roll as a sort of armor, but ended up sticking with the rolls as is.


One of the things you have to remember when fiddling with HG is if you are going to fiddle with the combat system, you are also by extension messing with the economics of the ship building, and IMO you want to maintain the desirability and drawbacks of each system and not by accident back into only one perfect build design.


Quote:

(6) Reduction in additional rolls for armour is one per two factors of armour, rather than one per factor, so those big particle accelerators aren't quite so impotent against heavily armoured ships

I went with a different direction- the armor negates damage if it is equal or greater to the weapon factor. That means a lot of rolls don't have to be made since at X range Y weapon won't penetrate Z ship. This comes from tank and ship armor, it's pretty much bounce/a little spall/catastrophic penetration.


Quote:

(7) Reduction of critical hits by over-size weapons is one per factor of armour, not one per two factors, but so that there will always be at least one critical hit. This makes hits by oversize weapons more survivable, whilst still ensuring that they make a nasty dent.

One of the things I did was put critical hits in reach of everyone- if they can penetrate the armor/defenses. But critical hits aren't 'system destroyed', they are for the most part 'system disabled/damaged'. The idea is to create a lot more 'engineering drama'. The tables are redone of course and look more like the CT ship damage table.


Quote:

(8) Armour DOES reduce critical hits by oversize meson guns. The rationale is that these critical hits are the result of the additional shock of being shaken about by a massive blast (think depth charges and submarines), and armour is about improving the structural integrity of the ship. This logically would reduce the additional damage done by the shock of the blast, irrespective of whether the blast was inside or outside the ship.

I went at this CT/HG project about six different ways, and came up with one iteration where designers would spec different types of armor. For Meson Guns I came up with Nautilus armor, like that seashell the ship is heavily bulkheaded with the idea of limiting internal damage. I decided to go with the Striker version of MGs, the big internal nuke, so that didn't make the final cut.


Quote:

(9) A requirement for additional life support supplies to be carried (and tonnage to be allocated to them) on ships intended for prolonged cruises away from their bases (or, alternatively, the provision of support ships to bring them these supplies); with rules of half rations and its effect on fighting efficiency when a ship finds its supplies running low for any reason.

Good campaign stuff, but since I would be inclined to use the life support supply rules from Beltstrike, life support is pretty light on the cargo bay and lighter still with access to a planet with food air and water. The thing to really gig a ship on when away from base is maintenance/parts, and reloading those magazines.


Quote:

(10) Command and control rules to give some greater prominence to the Fleet Tactics skill.

I have a simple mechanism for that- the loser of the Fleet Tactics roll has to declare what their accels and course headings will be for all of his ships, and the target priorities. The winner then moves his ships and starts the firing order.


Between duels involving Ship Tactics same thing, except the winner also decides what systems get damaged in choice scenarios like weapons.



Quote:

Like I say, I don't think the total package will be to everyone's liking; but if you'd like to give it a whirl and would like a copy of my revised rules, let me know.

You could post them up in the files section for everyone to pull whenever they want to.

Carlobrand April 17th, 2019 03:35 PM

I wouldn't call it broken so much as intended for a purpose other than what we want. High Guard was intended to be simple and to be something you could do at cons: you bring your fleet, clash it against other people's fleets, see who wins the design contest. It would have made a very nice vehicle for promoting Traveller at cons - except of course that guy found a very clever way to figure out an optimized fleet that blew everyone away, which is another tale.

Thing is, most of us want it to be more than that, which is why we complain about it not supporting the canon universe, not being very realistic, and so on, and so forth, which is why a lot of us take a shot at the "fixing".

Quote:

Originally Posted by Flattened Sphere (Post 600826)
...
(1) end to the unlimited supply of missiles and sand canisters: you need to put in a magazine to hold them, and this takes up ship space ...

With the note that there is usually some supply integral to the weapon. Missile turrets by canon, for example, hold three shots per launcher plus another 12 in storage for reload. For the typical fighter, that means he's got 7 salvoes available before he has to head back to dock and reload. One could adopt something similar for bay missiles - it kinda pushes credulity to believe that a hundred dTon bay can only fire a hundred 50 kg missiles before reloading from a magazine. One could adopt something similar to the turrets - say 8 or 10 salvoes available before it either has to draw from bays or rotate to the reserve for reloading from a supply ship.

It's also worth noting that this makes fleet scale combat difficult, as you're having to track ammunition for what is likely to be more than one class of ship, including such technicalities as fewer rounds being used as bays take damage during the course of the battle. This works for ship-on-ship combat, but one might do better setting some arbitrary target based on the average number of salvoes aboard: "Fleet X can fight for Y rounds before it's out of missiles," and then declare the fleet's out of missiles Y rounds later irrespective of what damage occurred to missile batteries in the meantime.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Flattened Sphere (Post 600826)
...(2) restrictions on how much armour you can put on smaller ships (sliding scale, becoming more generous at higher TLs) so you don't have these 1000 ton ships that simply can't be touched by anything other than massed missile batteries or spinal weapons...

Interesting note: High Guard's percentage-based armor system means a 100-ton ship has armor 1/10 as thick as a 100,000 ton ship, and High Guard's size DMs are based on a factor of 10: craft up to 99 dTons get a -2, craft 100 to 1999 dTons get a -1, craft 2000 to under 19,999 dTons, and so forth. An easy trick is to double the size modifier (-4/-2/0/+2/+4) and take that as a DM to the damage table, since 2 is reasonably close to the cube root of 10. Smaller craft gain an agility advantage but pay with an armor disadvantage.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Flattened Sphere (Post 600826)
...(3) the "to hit" size modifiers become 0, +1, +2, +3 and +4 so that hits are more readily registered, making combats shorter and sharper, and meaning that encounters between small, agile ships with their weapons grouped into smaller batteries don't become total stalemates. I am also contemplating adjusting the agility DM, but need to see how this plays out first. ...

A popular mod is to apply agility only against spinal weapons, since that makes it play a bit more like Book-2 and since the armor already significantly impacts the usefulness of secondary weapons. At intervals under about 100,000 to 150,000 km, there isn't really enough time to dodge a beam moving at the speed of light.

Missiles are debatable: in space, your 6G ship can't dodge laterally any faster than that 6G missile can compensate, but forcing it to zig and zag laterally trying to maintain a course that hits you as you dance around means it can't apply that energy towards increasing its impact speed, which might increase your odds of pulling off a last-second pivot that causes it to impact at a sharp angle rather than head-on. On the other hand, a nuke doesn't really care. I don't know what's best there.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Flattened Sphere (Post 600826)
...(4) spinal weapon potency adjusted. Instead of one roll to hit and penetrate and then umpteen rolls on the damage table if they do hit, they get umpteen attempts at a hit, and each hit that penetrates gets one roll. So instead of going turn after turn after turn and then landing a single crippling blow, they are doing steady work of degading the enemy. ...

We're already operating under the assumption that the spinal mount is firing many times over a 20-minute round to land a single hit, as a justification for it needing all that energy for a full 20-minute round (else we could give it batteries and allow it to take 1/20th the energy). Plus, probably an individual taste thing, but I prefer the spinal mount to act more like a big ol' 18" cannon than a trio of 6" cannons.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Flattened Sphere (Post 600826)
...(5) Failure to penetrate the meson screen doesn't kill the meson hit altogether - it just means the meson screen's factor is added as a DM to the damage roll. Failure to penetrate the configuration does kill it, however.
...
(8) Armour DOES reduce critical hits by oversize meson guns. The rationale is that these critical hits are the result of the additional shock of being shaken about by a massive blast (think depth charges and submarines), and armour is about improving the structural integrity of the ship. This logically would reduce the additional damage done by the shock of the blast, irrespective of whether the blast was inside or outside the ship. ...

A submarine that might survive a depth charge will be destroyed by having a torpedo or the batteries explode inside the ship. The canon description of meson guns has them going off inside the ship - which is bad science but, leaving that aside, basically means something very like a small nuclear explosion is occurring inside the ship. The crits aren't the result of additional shock; they're the result of an expanding blast-front of superheated plasma caused by ship-material raised to temperatures in the tens of thousands of degrees by an intense concentration of gamma photons. We could correct the science and have them go off on the armor, but that makes them behave the same as particle beams.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Flattened Sphere (Post 600826)
...(6) Reduction in additional rolls for armour is one per two factors of armour, rather than one per factor, so those big particle accelerators aren't quite so impotent against heavily armoured ships.

(7) Reduction of critical hits by over-size weapons is one per factor of armour, not one per two factors, but so that there will always be at least one critical hit. This makes hits by oversize weapons more survivable, whilst still ensuring that they make a nasty dent....

I agree there's a need to address the spinal particle beam's anemic performance, but why do you want hits by oversize weapons to be more survivable? I hadn't thought there was a problem in that area. One per factor essentially eliminates the critical from over-size weapons since most spacecraft intended for combat will carry a decent amount of armor.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Flattened Sphere (Post 600826)
...(9) A requirement for additional life support supplies to be carried (and tonnage to be allocated to them) on ships intended for prolonged cruises away from their bases (or, alternatively, the provision of support ships to bring them these supplies); with rules of half rations and its effect on fighting efficiency when a ship finds its supplies running low for any reason....

I'm not sure when this would come up, but it might be useful if you were setting up a specific scenario like what they did in Arrival Vengeance.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Flattened Sphere (Post 600826)
...(10) Command and control rules to give some greater prominence to the Fleet Tactics skill. ...

What did you have in mind?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Flattened Sphere (Post 600826)
...(11) "Fuel Tanks Shattered" and "Hangar/Boat deck destroyed" have been switched, so that Fuel Tanks Shattered is a critical hit result not a standard internal explosion result. ...

Given that the fuel tanks typically comprise a large percentage of a ship's volume, I kind of expect to see them on the interior explosion chart. It might be easier to cap the amount of fuel loss, say to 25% of fuel up to a maximum 10,000 dTons, on the argument that ships would have multiple tanks in different locations so that one explosion wouldn't get them all.

kilemall April 17th, 2019 04:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Carlobrand (Post 600878)
Given that the fuel tanks typically comprise a large percentage of a ship's volume, I kind of expect to see them on the interior explosion chart. It might be easier to cap the amount of fuel loss, say to 25% of fuel up to a maximum 10,000 dTons, on the argument that ships would have multiple tanks in different locations so that one explosion wouldn't get them all.


Actually I assume the fuel tanks are external by design, acting as a sort of ersatz armor and radiation shielding. In HG I assume most warships have an internal hull that carries all the inner goodies, weapons fuel and maneuver wrapped around that internal hull and then the external hull covering those. More like a submarine then anything else. I brought that assumption forward for my version.



I do allow meson guns to possibly do fuel hits, but only after a guaranteed internal hit, the idea then is that the meson 'detonation' occurred between whatever internal system and the fuel tanks to the immediate exterior of that system.


I translate Fuel Tank Shattered to Fuel System Disabled and apply whatever tonnage to Fuel. The Fuel System can then be repaired but the tonnage hit is gone.

Carlobrand April 17th, 2019 07:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kilemall (Post 600880)
Actually I assume the fuel tanks are external by design, acting as a sort of ersatz armor and radiation shielding. In HG I assume most warships have an internal hull that carries all the inner goodies, weapons fuel and maneuver wrapped around that internal hull and then the external hull covering those. More like a submarine then anything else. I brought that assumption forward for my version. ...

Interesting. Since the armor mass calculations are based on the entire volume rather than the volume less fuel, I assumed they're within the armor but between the armor and the chewy caramel center. I figured, since they were storing liquid hydrogen at cryogenic temperatures, they were responding to hits that caused heating of the hull by venting hydrogen before it could heat up and rupture the tank (ergo the individual tanks are about 1% of the fuel volume each). The other way would be interesting as it would reduce armor mass and volume, but then the tanks wouldn't get the benefit of the armor on the surface damage chart and we'd have to figure some other way of calculating surface damage.

That might be an interesting variant: protected cruisers on which armor weight was decreased - or armor thickened over vital areas - by having the armor only protect the vital bits.

mike wightman April 18th, 2019 03:45 AM

Fuel tanks are inside the armoured hull.

Rules for external tanks exist in the form of drop tanks and external demountable tanks, TCS has this to say:
Quote:

Both drop tanks and exterior demountable tanks are very vulnerable to battledamage. Whenever a battle damage die-roll, if unmodified by ship armor, would produce a fuel hit, all exterior or drop tanks are destroyed.
For example, suppose a ship equipped with drop tanks and level 8 armor is hit by a factor 5 fusion gun. After defenses are penetrated, damage is rolled; the unmodified die roll is 4. The modified roll for ship damage is 18 (+8 for the armor, +6 for a weapon code of 9 or less). The modified roll for the drop tanks is 10 (ignoring the armor), resulting in Fuel-I ; the drop tanks are destroyed.

Condottiere April 18th, 2019 04:02 AM

You can compartmentalize bunkerage, and place most of the armour behind them, having blow out panels that directs a blast outwards.

The equivalent of torpedo bulge.

kilemall April 18th, 2019 04:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Carlobrand (Post 600885)
Interesting. Since the armor mass calculations are based on the entire volume rather than the volume less fuel, I assumed they're within the armor but between the armor and the chewy caramel center. I figured, since they were storing liquid hydrogen at cryogenic temperatures, they were responding to hits that caused heating of the hull by venting hydrogen before it could heat up and rupture the tank (ergo the individual tanks are about 1% of the fuel volume each). The other way would be interesting as it would reduce armor mass and volume, but then the tanks wouldn't get the benefit of the armor on the surface damage chart and we'd have to figure some other way of calculating surface damage.

That might be an interesting variant: protected cruisers on which armor weight was decreased - or armor thickened over vital areas - by having the armor only protect the vital bits.


That was the direction of my detailed armor bits iteration, but decided ultimately it had minimal play value.


What you describe is how battleship armor was done.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_or_nothing_(armor)


If I were to superprotect something, it would be the power plant, the computers, the capacitors and magazines. A noble's yacht might superprotect the noble's quarters or getaway small craft.




But just looking at how damage slides, it's clear fuel tanks are served up as the sacrificial lambs of damage and are the first things to get hit along with weapons and maneuver, both systems that are on the exterior skin.

kilemall April 18th, 2019 05:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mike wightman (Post 600894)
Fuel tanks are inside the armoured hull.

Rules for external tanks exist in the form of drop tanks and external demountable tanks, TCS has this to say:


Are you presenting this in opposition to my conception?


I'm saying in HG they are demonstrably under an armor hull as less fuel gets lost the more armor you have, but if you look at the effects of armor the first thing it does at lower levels is wall off internal damage from surface weapons. Between that and the continuing vulnerability of fuel even after you've laid on heavy armor, it's clear the tanks are on the outer layer of the ship.

mike wightman April 18th, 2019 06:17 AM

I agree that you wrap the fuel tankage around the more critical internal systems as extra protection where possible.
It goes armour - fuel - internals.

Have you ever messed around with Renegade Legion:Leviathan?

Carlobrand April 18th, 2019 10:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mike wightman (Post 600894)
...Rules for external tanks exist in the form of drop tanks and external demountable tanks...

Yes, those were rules applied to temporary tankage. There isn't a concept of "protected cruiser" in the game - and, yes, it's the same basic concept behind "all-or-nothing" armor. (That link doesn't work right.) It was applied to some late 19th century cruisers to make something that was lighter and quicker than an armored cruiser while having similar durability in battle; it fell out of favor when better armor and better engines became available.

What I'm thinking here isn't tankage slapped on external to the hull. Rather, it's placing the armor around the drive space, bridge, and other critical areas, to reduce the mass of armor used. Were a designer to design warships with permanent tankage vulnerable to damage, they would certainly design the tankage to limit fuel loss in the event of damage. One concept might be a honeycomb pattern of small tanks.

Actually, as I think about it, the idea may already be part of the damage table. I tend to assume armor is evenly applied around the hull when we deal with those percentages, but the damage table arranges damage so that internals stop happening first, and then it gets harder to get at the maneuver drive (which by function and location would be harder to protect), so clearly some sort of selective armoring is going on at the lower levels.

AnotherDilbert April 18th, 2019 10:32 AM

The board places the closing parenthesis outside the link. You have to make sure the link is correct yourself.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_or_nothing_(armor)

Condottiere April 18th, 2019 11:32 AM

As general categories, you had protected, unprotected and armoured cruisers, and sub divided between first and third classes.

Protected cruisers used an armouring scheme that bet on the shells falling on the deck, and covering that with an armoured layer.

Most Traveller spaceship design mechanics don't permit that degree of selective armouring.

kilemall April 18th, 2019 01:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mike wightman (Post 600898)
I agree that you wrap the fuel tankage around the more critical internal systems as extra protection where possible.
It goes armour - fuel - internals.

Have you ever messed around with Renegade Legion:Leviathan?


No can't say that I have.

McPerth April 18th, 2019 02:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by whartung (Post 600846)
I guess I just have to fundamentally disagree with this.

I don't consider a spinal weapon to be a big hose that's slowly ablating the target ship over time. It's not a shotgun using birdshot against a bear. It's using a slug against a duck. It's the 16" gun off the New Jersey hitting a Destroyer. You're the bug, I'm the hammer. You can skitter about as fast as you like, and I will continue to come down on you. Eventually, I will hit you.

I fully agree with you, tough the example I give (as told in other threads) about it as comparison is another:

to me, the Spinals are like the rams in Ironclads age: a potentially decisive weapon (usually one hit one kill), but difficult to use and dangerous to try to bring to bear while the less devastating (per hit) but more numerous artillery (secondaries, mostly missiles, in this casae) are still active.

Quote:

Originally Posted by whartung (Post 600846)
A nuclear weapon is a fast expanding ball of nasty energy. A meson blast is a pre-expanded ball of nasty energy.

Most attacks are a ball (or lance, in the case of a laser) of energy that detonates with expanding force, crushing and tearing through things, but consuming energy as it goes. That's not what a meson attack is. A meson attack is the closest that Traveller has to a Star Trek transporter beaming down in to solid rock. One moment, there are no particles. The next they're all intermixed. It's a trillion tiny explosions within a sphere (a rather large sphere in large meson gun case).

As it says in Striker. "Everything within the radius is destroyed." If a ship is penetrated with a meson gun, the mesons are interacting with the armor, with the air, with the water, with the fuel, with the people, consoles, wires, pipes, tubes, fried chicken, potatoes and gravy. All of it, at the same time. The armor is on fire, the air is on fire, you are on fire, your skin, your hair, your heart, your brain, all of you.

Big Mesons crit more against smaller ships because the meson radius is bigger, thus destroying more of the ship in one gulp.

Since you're trying to make mesons less effective it's ok to let the screen let some slip through. I wouldn't want them near me at all, personally, which is why I'm content on the screens stopping them wholesale.

While this is quite true in atmosphere, where the expanding air in the fireball and shock wave may be devastating, I guess those firballs will be less in vacuum. The shock produced by an explosión is dependant on the density of the médium (that's why torpedoes are quite more dangerous than artillery), and if the médium is vacuum only the direct exposition (and radiation) will affect your ship.

Of course, in the case of mesons, where the explosión is inside the ship, the own ship's atmosphere makes them so devastating, but i na sameller ship, if the "explosión sphere" is largr than the ship, only the part inside it is really relevant (expet, maybe, for radiation effects).

Quote:

Originally Posted by mike wightman (Post 600850)
My principle dislike is the need for statistical resolution for battles - I much prefer the idea of only one roll to hit and one roll to penetrate per weapon system rather than for every single battery bearing.

Fully agreed in your dislike for statistical resolution. That's why I like the MgT:HG (at least in 1E, I have not seen MgT2E:HG) barrage rules for the secondaries (though spinals on it are less devastating).

This does not mean I believe it to be a flawless system, as my long discussions in MgT forum clearly show...

Quote:

Originally Posted by Flattened Sphere (Post 600826)
(1) end to the unlimited supply of missiles and sand canisters: you need to put in a magazine to hold them, and this takes up ship space.

Fully agrees to here. For one battle match, the point you say about magazines taking space it's the main part of it; fro a more strategic campaign, the cost of those nukes (that I don't expect to be cheap) would be another important limiting factor, as a battle will be quite expensive, even if the ship's damages are minimal.

Carlobrand April 18th, 2019 11:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by McPerth (Post 600909)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Flattened Sphere (Post 600826)
(1) end to the unlimited supply of missiles and sand canisters: you need to put in a magazine to hold them, and this takes up ship space

Fully agrees to here. For one battle match, the point you say about magazines taking space it's the main part of it; fro a more strategic campaign, the cost of those nukes (that I don't expect to be cheap) would be another important limiting factor, as a battle will be quite expensive, even if the ship's damages are minimal.

While we're fixing broken things, let's bring up nuclear missiles. For all the worry about unlimited supplies, they don't do much. Something that one-hit kills a tank, no matter how heavily armored, barely attracts the notice of a capital ship, or a destroyer, or even a fighter (unless they're in large batteries, in which case they do the same damage that HE missiles would). You fire off a thousand missiles, you take out one weapon - maybe, if his armor isn't so thick that he shrugs it off. Cost-benefit analysis doesn't look good there, and not very realistic considering even the baby ones are delivering gamma energy equivalent to 6 tons of TNT to the point of impact. It's a bit of a logic fail when a 10-dTon tank is destroyed on impact by a single missile while a similarly armored 10 dTon fighter walks away with maybe a damaged turret - and maybe not that.

Some of that could be addressed with one of the fixes to the armor rules we discussed earlier, but it's still pretty obvious the nuke is anemic. They wanted to nerf it down enough that it wouldn't outclass dreadnoughts, but I think they took that a bit farther than needed.

mike wightman April 19th, 2019 03:31 AM

I agree. Looking at the black globe rules you see how much energy is dumped by weapons into a black globe screen - for a nuke it is 100 x factor.

My solution is to treat nukes as factor A+ weapons so they don't get the +6DM on the damage table, but continue to get their -6DM.

They also get a number of hits equal to their factor.

kilemall April 19th, 2019 08:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Carlobrand (Post 600922)
While we're fixing broken things, let's bring up nuclear missiles. For all the worry about unlimited supplies, they don't do much. Something that one-hit kills a tank, no matter how heavily armored, barely attracts the notice of a capital ship, or a destroyer, or even a fighter (unless they're in large batteries, in which case they do the same damage that HE missiles would). You fire off a thousand missiles, you take out one weapon - maybe, if his armor isn't so thick that he shrugs it off. Cost-benefit analysis doesn't look good there, and not very realistic considering even the baby ones are delivering gamma energy equivalent to 6 tons of TNT to the point of impact. It's a bit of a logic fail when a 10-dTon tank is destroyed on impact by a single missile while a similarly armored 10 dTon fighter walks away with maybe a damaged turret - and maybe not that.

Some of that could be addressed with one of the fixes to the armor rules we discussed earlier, but it's still pretty obvious the nuke is anemic. They wanted to nerf it down enough that it wouldn't outclass dreadnoughts, but I think they took that a bit farther than needed.


The volume rules I was referring to helps with that- even at TL15, going Armor 15 on a small craft ends up taking 48% of volume, and TL14 Armor 14 is 90% volume. That will balloon up the fighter so that far fewer can be carried, and at a certain point the critical hits start adding up to not worth it.


As for nukes, I have the luxury of detaching myself from the tyranny of those tables and their flaws and multiple frustrations and die rolling. An individual nuke does 1000 tons of damage and penetrates like a spinal weapon, so in my system the bigger costs are justified. But, I'm also making PD somewhat easier, and ships are going to tend to carry more lasers and repulsors just as much for the kinetic effects of conventional missiles as nukes.



I find the loss of a dreadnaught's Maneuver drive to dinky weapons far more egregious. That's what pushed me over the edge to ditch that resolution.

kilemall April 19th, 2019 08:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mike wightman (Post 600923)
I agree. Looking at the black globe rules you see how much energy is dumped by weapons into a black globe screen - for a nuke it is 100 x factor.

My solution is to treat nukes as factor A+ weapons so they don't get the +6DM on the damage table, but continue to get their -6DM.

They also get a number of hits equal to their factor.


Nicely elegant for those that want to stay with most of the table resolution.

mike wightman April 19th, 2019 09:30 AM

<These are house rules for clarity.>

I have three lines for weapon USP.

Top line is for spinals and nuke bays,
second line is for bay weapons
third is for turrets.

Bays don't get the +6DM on the damage table either, this makes bay weapons a bit more dangerous than a turret battery of equivalent factor.

whartung April 19th, 2019 02:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mike wightman (Post 600928)
Bays don't get the +6DM on the damage table either, this makes bay weapons a bit more dangerous than a turret battery of equivalent factor.

They don't?

I thought anything <= factor 9 was impacted by the DM. Doesn't say anything about the source being a bay weapon or a turret. At least not in the "DMs for Damage Tables" section.

In a quick glance, I don't see anything about Bays standing out in the combat section.

kilemall April 19th, 2019 02:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by whartung (Post 600934)
They don't?

I thought anything <= factor 9 was impacted by the DM. Doesn't say anything about the source being a bay weapon or a turret. At least not in the "DMs for Damage Tables" section.

In a quick glance, I don't see anything about Bays standing out in the combat section.


He's saying that's his homebrew rule to handle the 'should be' force of turrets vs. bays vs. spinals vs. nukes.

mike wightman April 19th, 2019 04:05 PM

Exactly - this is an IMTU thread.

I want a trinity of weapon systems:

spinals and nukes vs capital ships - but the suffer from the agility DM
bays - good against escort ships
turret batteries - good as point defence and vs smallcraft.

Carlobrand April 20th, 2019 12:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mike wightman (Post 600923)
...My solution is to treat nukes as factor A+ weapons so they don't get the +6DM on the damage table, but continue to get their -6DM.

They also get a number of hits equal to their factor.

I like that. Gives them a nice punch while not being too overwhelming for capital ships. Makes them behave like nukes when they hit something unarmored. If you're doing any kind of size-based armor adjustment, you almost have to have capital ships 'cause smaller craft are getting hit hard by the nukes, but the capital ships below TL14 are still finding nukes a significant factor. I presume rolls less than 2 equal 2.

Regarding armor, if the aim is to create a situation where the armor factor represents roughly the same armor thickness, I ran numbers based on the volume of a sphere and the volume of a sphere 1/2 meter smaller and then 1 meter smaller, and I hit pretty close with a 1/2/4/8/16 bit, which is to say whatever your starting point is, the L-P needs twice the percentage of the Q+, the B-K need four times as much, and so forth. I was thinking I'd set the Q+ to require 1/4* the indicated %, the L-P 1/2* the indicated %, the B-K 1* the indicated %, the 1-A 2* the indicated *%, the 0 4* the indicated %. Definitely makes fighters vulnerable, especially if you play with the "agility only applies to spinal mounts" bit.

(Still debating whether agility should apply to missiles.)

Quote:

Originally Posted by mike wightman (Post 600928)
<These are house rules for clarity.>

I have three lines for weapon USP.

Top line is for spinals and nuke bays,
second line is for bay weapons
third is for turrets.

Bays don't get the +6DM on the damage table either, this makes bay weapons a bit more dangerous than a turret battery of equivalent factor.

I like this. Also thought instead about giving bay weapons a bonus equal to their factor. Means they get more powerful as the armor gets more powerful with increasing tech levels, which is usually the way the contest between armor and weaponry goes. Also considered some sort of bonus for the particle accelerator barbette/turret, given its power consumption - maybe a -3 (i.e. a net +3 DM after the penalty).

Means you've got to up-power the particle accelerator spinal. I thought maybe give them a -1 damage bonus per 100 EP. That gives them some serious teeth, not as nasty as a meson but, given they're more likely to score a hit and don't have to deal with a meson screen or configuration, they're serious contenders, especially as cruiser weapons.

A lot depends on what you're doing about the armor because, if you play around with armor adjustment by any of the methods discussed, you get pretty heavily armored battlewagons.

aramis April 20th, 2019 08:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mike wightman (Post 600928)
<These are house rules for clarity.>

I have three lines for weapon USP.

Top line is for spinals and nuke bays,
second line is for bay weapons
third is for turrets.

Bays don't get the +6DM on the damage table either, this makes bay weapons a bit more dangerous than a turret battery of equivalent factor.

That's canon in MT and T20 versions.

Carlobrand April 20th, 2019 11:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aramis (Post 600979)
That's canon in MT ...

Did I miss a supplement or an erratum? MT inverted the table and then gave bonuses only to the spinals and nukes, which as near as I can tell gave the same results as High Guard's table with the penalties to weapons of factor 9 or less.

AnotherDilbert April 21st, 2019 06:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Carlobrand (Post 600986)
Did I miss a supplement or an erratum? MT inverted the table and then gave bonuses only to the spinals and nukes, which as near as I can tell gave the same results as High Guard's table with the penalties to weapons of factor 9 or less.

No, you are correct. In MT only spinals and nukes get DM +6, not bays even if they are factor-A.

McPerth April 21st, 2019 06:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Carlobrand (Post 600986)
Did I miss a supplement or an erratum? MT inverted the table and then gave bonuses only to the spinals and nukes, which as near as I can tell gave the same results as High Guard's table with the penalties to weapons of factor 9 or less.

In fact, I guess Aramis means that what is canon in MT is the fact you can have spinals, bays and turrets of the same weapon in diferent lines (in fact ,the only weapon you can have all three is PA, but you can have Spinal and bay MG in the same ship, or Fusion bays and turrets in the same ship, just to give some examples).

Quote:

Originally Posted by AnotherDilbert (Post 600990)
No, you are correct. In MT only spinals and nukes get DM +6, not bays even if they are factor-A.

I'm afraid you're wrong here. The damage tables DMs (RM, page 94) says:

Quote:

If the weapon inflicting the hit has a UCP factor of 9 or less, apply a DM of -6
So, it's not being a bay or a Spinal what gives this DM, but being factor 9-. If you have a bay with factor A+ (e.g. TL16 100 dton meson bay), or even if you have a turrets battery with a factor A+ (only posible with 30 TL16 blasers), you don't have the DM.

What is only given to spinals, no matter the factor of any bay, is the multiple damage rolls.

mike wightman April 21st, 2019 06:59 AM

Note you can get high TL factor A missile bays too, which get both the bonus for being a nuke and a bonus for being factor A...

this is pretty much what inspired my house rules, grant bays the bonus regardless of factor and they become more effective than a battery of turret weapons of equivalent factor.

The disadvantage I gave them is they are affected by target agility.

So IMTU HG80

spinals - affected by target agility
bays - affected by target agility but get the bonus on the damage table (nukes being the special case already discussed)
turrets - unaffected by target agility.

AnotherDilbert April 21st, 2019 10:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by McPerth (Post 600991)
I'm afraid you're wrong here. The damage tables DMs (RM, page 94) says:
Quote:

If the weapon inflicting the hit has a UCP factor of 9 or less, apply a DM of -6

This sentence has an erratum:
Quote:

Page 94, left column, DMs for Ship Damage Tables, second entry (correction): Replace “If the weapon inflicting the hit has a UCP factor of 9 or less...” with “If the weapon inflicting the hit has a UCP factor of A or more, apply a DM of +6.”
This seems to be corrected in late printings, like my printed copy of the RM:
https://i.imgur.com/bkrcbwW.jpg

Yet the scans I have shows:
https://i.imgur.com/rrWERAP.png

Is my computer pranking me?

mike wightman April 21st, 2019 11:17 AM

Depends on which version you have electronically...

AnotherDilbert April 21st, 2019 11:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mike wightman (Post 600998)
Depends on which version you have electronically...

MT CD-ROM Issues (Aug 2010)?

mike wightman April 21st, 2019 03:26 PM

The other thing you need to 'unbreak High Guard' is a tactical movement system, not as detailed as Newtonian (although it has it be compatible) but allowing for some maneuvering. High Guard 79 had more rules for this than High Guard 80 - my own house rules use range bands...

kilemall April 21st, 2019 06:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mike wightman (Post 601001)
The other thing you need to 'unbreak High Guard' is a tactical movement system, not as detailed as Newtonian (although it has it be compatible) but allowing for some maneuvering. High Guard 79 had more rules for this than High Guard 80 - my own house rules use range bands...


I tried the range band thing for my unbreaking version which I put up for comment, but really I'm going Newtonian because of the kinetic damage effects of missile impact, which greatly affects maneuvering.



I'm less worried about all the tracking because I anticipate most ships will operate in globular blobs in order to screen damaged/critical support ships plus mutual PD support. So most fleets are going to probably operate in just 2-3 globes plus strike fighters and scouting elements.

Carlobrand April 21st, 2019 09:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kilemall (Post 601009)
I tried the range band thing for my unbreaking version which I put up for comment, but really I'm going Newtonian because of the kinetic damage effects of missile impact, which greatly affects maneuvering. ...

Kinetic effects are tricky since any target is going to do its level best to put a sharply angled face to an inbound missile to minimize the impact, rather than take it on the flat. Those same kinetic effects mean a pursuer is at a disadvantage. If a fleet can hold the kinetic effect to something acceptable by taking hits at a sharp angle, there won't be much maneuver - they'd want to stay at their preferred range to favor their spinals. They'll also be willing to pursue when needed. If it's significant, they'll have trouble staying in spinal range 'cause they'll be doing circles running from inbounds and then circling back for an attack, and nobody's going to pursue an opponent with lethal missiles falling downhill. Question then becomes: can the opposing fleets hold kinetic effects down to something that allows them to behave more or less like we expect?

I'm playing with a bit where the damage bonus is based on how successful the to-hit roll was. Presumably, the better the hit, the better the angle of impact.

Quote:

Originally Posted by kilemall (Post 601009)
...I'm less worried about all the tracking because I anticipate most ships will operate in globular blobs in order to screen damaged/critical support ships plus mutual PD support. So most fleets are going to probably operate in just 2-3 globes plus strike fighters and scouting elements.

Why split your force? Why put your support ships at risk? We don't have any rules that make it worthwhile to take a ship in flank or rear.

kilemall April 21st, 2019 10:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Carlobrand (Post 601013)
Kinetic effects are tricky since any target is going to do its level best to put a sharply angled face to an inbound missile to minimize the impact, rather than take it on the flat. Those same kinetic effects mean a pursuer is at a disadvantage. If a fleet can hold the kinetic effect to something acceptable by taking hits at a sharp angle, there won't be much maneuver - they'd want to stay at their preferred range to favor their spinals. They'll also be willing to pursue when needed. If it's significant, they'll have trouble staying in spinal range 'cause they'll be doing circles running from inbounds and then circling back for an attack, and nobody's going to pursue an opponent with lethal missiles falling downhill. Question then becomes: can the opposing fleets hold kinetic effects down to something that allows them to behave more or less like we expect?


I'm less worried about the angle bits as I'm assuming the missile design is less direct impact ala the missile supplement and more missile turns it's entire body into a kinetic debris field with extra boost from the warhead for heavy leading penetrators getting a last second multi-G boost. In that situation my assumption is the field is aimed at a center mass point and sloped effects are not that big (but the rule does allow for less kinetic damage in that case). The maximum benefit is if the target is able to evade intercept at all through radical course change or outrunning the missile.


Quote:

Why split your force? Why put your support ships at risk? We don't have any rules that make it worthwhile to take a ship in flank or rear.
Several reasons.


* You might want to box in a force so they can't readily escape.

* You might want to force a wider 'globe' to protect the screened ships and therefore thinner EW at any given point. This would be particularly important against BR or CV or AO or TR formations.

* You might have one set of heavy spinal ships that are using greater range and penetration to be the anvil, and a fast moving kinetic missile fleet/fighter group to be the hammer, making runs at the target fleet to 'punch above their weight', or at least face an unpleasant choice as to maneuver to allow damage from one but not both types of attack formations.

* You might need to have at least two formations to catch and damage a defending fleet that is using close orbit at a moon or planet to avoid fire.


* In my conception of Maneuver HG range affects penetration and damage as well as to hit, and so different mixes of ships may be more optimal at different ranges relative to an opponent's design and formation maneuver.


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