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Old April 17th, 2019, 02:35 PM
Carlobrand Carlobrand is offline
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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 View Post
...
(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 View Post
...(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 View Post
...(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 View Post
...(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 View Post
...(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 View Post
...(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 View Post
...(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 View Post
...(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 View Post
...(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.
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Disclaimer
Comments made are for the purpose of offering alternative campaign settings for consideration. The writer acknowledges that Traveller is intended to emulate certain common science fiction tropes and that, in the course of emulating those tropes and providing a better playing experience, some liberties must be taken with science. No statement by the writer should be interpreted as constituting a criticism of the game on that basis ... except for that bit about Virus. Dude, really?!
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