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  #1  
Old February 3rd, 2017, 08:58 AM
MongooseMatt MongooseMatt is offline
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Default Vehicle Handbook Preview

The next Traveller rulebook is due very soon now - the Vehicle Handbook does for vehicles what High Guard did for ships, allowing you to build just about any design you can think of, modify existing vehicles, and comes complete with a veritable catalogue of vehicles ready to pop up in your campaigns.

We have put together a little step-by-step guide on how to create vehicles with the super easy system included in the Vehicle Handbook, having unleashed a set of players upon the design. You can grab the preview here: http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/pdf/vhbpreview.pdf

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Old February 3rd, 2017, 03:45 PM
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Hi MongooseMatt,

great news that this product is ready, and the sneak preview is fun!

I'm sure the book is full of interesting and useful vehicles and a robust design system (third time is the charm!)

However, I still struggle with taking the vehicles and using them in an adventure situation under the MgT Corebook (2ed) rules.

I was hoping you wouldn't mind stepping us through how you as a GM would run a combat session using the Corebook rules if I sketch out what I think is a not atypical scenario.

Let's say the travellers have committed some crime on a particular world (surely not!) and are now trundling along in their Honey Badger to the starport to board their Free Trader and make an exit. As they get close to the docking bay they encounter a security patrol of six average NPCs on foot armed with assault rifles and a RAM grenade launcher. Let's also say that you as GM have decided secretly that after 1D6 minutes they will call a second security patrol that will arrive in an air/raft (from the Corebook page 138 but fitted with Improved sensors) armed with a TL10 Tac Launcher (anti aircraft) as specified on page 133 of CSC (2ed).

For the sake of this scenario, let's also say the travellers have decided they want to stay in their vehicle rather than stop and hop out. In fact, they are determined to get to their starship, hop in and fly away.

Can you run us through how you would resolve this scenario using the rules as written? I'm particularly interested in how you handle the interaction in a combat setting between people on foot and a vehicle, the later interaction between two vehicles but with some people on foot as well involved simultaneously, and then finally the addition of a starship.
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Old February 5th, 2017, 01:58 AM
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Just the fact that "Entertainment System" is included you have won me over. I can design the Hummer that I used the first time I played Twilight 2000 in 1987!

"Just like the Mako!" Best line ever in a Mongoose book. Hands down.
BTW, I like the preview.
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Old February 6th, 2017, 12:38 PM
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Sorry it took me a while to get back to you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jec10 View Post
However, I still struggle with taking the vehicles and using them in an adventure situation under the MgT Corebook (2ed) rules.
Well, first I would say, don't over think things - the new vehicle rules are designed to be fast and to 'flow'. Don't worry about getting every exact detail right. What actually happens in your games is far ore important.

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Originally Posted by jec10 View Post
As they get close to the docking bay they encounter a security patrol of six average NPCs on foot armed with assault rifles and a RAM grenade launcher.
This is going to be easier than you think

First off, remember that in this edition of Traveller, there is no 'scaling' until starships start appearing (which is going to happen a lot less than what you are describing here).

So, at its heart, you are just following the normal Traveller combat system. Roll to hit, roll for damage, deduct Armour, then minus the result from the vehicle's Hits.

If you did nothing more than that, you would already be following 90% of the vehicle combat rules.

The Honey Badger is a closed vehicle, so unless the Travellers start winding down the windows and firing out (and if anyone aims at them doing that, just use rules for cover), all damage will be applied against the vehicle itself.

So, the only things you might want to look at adding to this combat are:

1. Critical Hits: Which are only applied on Effect 6+, making them very easy to deal with.
2. Speed: If the Travellers are stationary or just rolling forward, then no DM applies and this can be ignored. If they are moving fast, then DM-1 per Speed Band (as we can count enemies on foot as stationary) for everyone involved in the combat.
3. Being a Traveller, the driver is likely to want to do some vehicle actions (page 132 of the rulebook). However, as things like Evasive Action impose a DM on the passengers as well as enemies, he might only be trying it once

And... that is about it. Basically, you can treat vehicles as characters most of the time, and just need to worry about whether they are going fast or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jec10 View Post
Let's also say that you as GM have decided secretly that after 1D6 minutes they will call a second security patrol that will arrive in an air/raft (from the Corebook page 138 but fitted with Improved sensors) armed with a TL10 Tac Launcher (anti aircraft) as specified on page 133 of CSC (2ed).
Okay, now this is exactly the same, but for two things (three, if you figure vehicle actions become more important in vehicle vs. vehicle combats).

1. When pursuing, relative speed is what is important. Basically, who is faster. And, as it happens, the Honey Badger can outrun an air/raft! So, in a desert, you might figure there is one or two rounds of combat before the Honey Badger accelerates out of range.

Of course, if you are in a city, the Honey Badger is not going to be going top speed (!), while the Air/Raft might well be able to. So, you might rule that you instead switch to...

2. The Dogfight rules. This is a special action designed to handle manoeuvering vehicles that are travelling at comparable speeds - just as you describe.

Mechanically, this is just a series of opposed Drive/Fly checks, but the winner can out his vehicle in whatever fire arc he likes of the enemy - basically, giving a big advantage to vehicles with limited fire arcs, like the Honey Badger with a forward-facing pintle mount. Every time the air/raft pilot wins this opposed check, he gets behind the Honey Badger and the Travellers cannot shoot back. Same applies to the air/raft if the Tac Launcher is on a fixed mount (cannot imagine you put it on a turret!).

And that is about it.

To summarise, vehicle combat uses all the normal rules for Traveller combat and is applied in exactly the same way. The only differences arise when you bring in critical hits (not all that common) or when you start moving at speed.

When vehicles fight one another, you still use the normal Traveller combat rules, but you may find the emphasis starts moving towards the Vehicular Actions, which basically provide players with more options and allow you to play out every chase scene you have ever seen on film.

Simples!
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Old February 7th, 2017, 06:00 AM
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Quote of the preview:

"Space allocation for seating can actually be done at any time during vehicle design, but we figured there was no way the average Traveller would even consider it until after the weapons had gone in…"

How well you know the typical PC...
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Old February 7th, 2017, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyphen View Post
Quote of the preview:

"Space allocation for seating can actually be done at any time during vehicle design, but we figured there was no way the average Traveller would even consider it until after the weapons had gone inů"

How well you know the typical PC...
*Snorts a laugh* missed that one.
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Old February 7th, 2017, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyphen View Post
Quote of the preview:

"Space allocation for seating can actually be done at any time during vehicle design, but we figured there was no way the average Traveller would even consider it until after the weapons had gone inů"

How well you know the typical PC...
Like I said, I loved how it was written. Can't wait to see the book.

Matt, will you be doing something similar to what you did wit High Guard where if you pre-order the hardcover from the Mongoose site you get the PDF free?
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Old February 8th, 2017, 05:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MongooseMatt View Post
Sorry it took me a while to get back to you.

...

To summarise, vehicle combat uses all the normal rules for Traveller combat and is applied in exactly the same way. The only differences arise when you bring in critical hits (not all that common) or when you start moving at speed.

When vehicles fight one another, you still use the normal Traveller combat rules, but you may find the emphasis starts moving towards the Vehicular Actions, which basically provide players with more options and allow you to play out every chase scene you have ever seen on film.

Simples!
Thanks for your response. I'm not sure if I'm overthinking it but I have tended to take what is written in the rules and repeated by you here literally and I'm still mystified how you can say that you just use the normal rules for Traveller combat.

For starters, the normal rules for Traveller combat use 1.5m squares or hexes to determine range and specify the location of things relative to other things. (see the Corebook 2ed page 70 under the heading "Maps"). But I can't see how the vehicle stat blocks allow you to meld them into that system as it doesn't specify movement rates compatible with that system.

And the way you've described combat flowing above it strikes me as an entirely more abstract and loose system than that used for normal combat. You don't seem too bothered about range for weapons or movement (beyond generic opening or closing range) that might be determined by counting hexes or squares. Dogfights seem to be the way you envisage vehicles engaging each other, with that abstract system depending on the outcome of a dice roll.
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Old February 8th, 2017, 05:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DickNervous View Post
Matt, will you be doing something similar to what you did wit High Guard where if you pre-order the hardcover from the Mongoose site you get the PDF free?
We will indeed - expect to see both ebook and pre-orders up by Friday at the latest!

Oh, and Garden Worlds within the hour!
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Old February 8th, 2017, 05:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jec10 View Post
And the way you've described combat flowing above it strikes me as an entirely more abstract and loose system than that used for normal combat. You don't seem too bothered about range for weapons or movement (beyond generic opening or closing range) that might be determined by counting hexes or squares. Dogfights seem to be the way you envisage vehicles engaging each other, with that abstract system depending on the outcome of a dice roll.
Ah, I think I see the issue

I believe I am right in saying that there is not one word of squares of hexes anywhere in the rulebook - indeed the core book is wholly, entirely, and intentionally not designed to be used with miniatures.

There will be a Traveller miniatures game, and it likely will have links with the RPG, but that is not the direction the rulebook goes (you mentioned range, this is the reason we have very few range 'bands').

That said, there is nothing to stop the use of maps and miniatures. As far as vehicles go, if you are using 1.5 m per square/hex, then any vehicle going much more than Idle speed is going to be off the map (unless you are using some really awesome maps!) in a single round, so it should not crop up too many times.

As for vehicle vs. vehicle, remember the important thing is relative speed. If you have the Honey Badger going up against a jet fighter, then the latter will make a strafing run and be off the map - that is better abstracted than using miniatures. When vehicles are moving at closer speeds, we abstract to the dogfighting rules, which removes the need to track acc/dec, turning ability, etc, all of which we feel firmly belong in a miniatures game.

Would be very interested to hear what you would like to see in this area though.
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