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  #91  
Old September 14th, 2021, 07:00 PM
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Been there, done that...

a 95t podule that the type s sticks into adding 95t - configurable as you see fit with cargo, passengers, mail vault or whatever - was my idea for this a few years ago. Inspiration was the hyperdrive frame that jedi starfighters use tor FTL only in this case it is a jump equipped starship that docks with the podule.

Another ship I considers was the x-boat - lots of them around and you get a jump 4 engine. The podule can be bigger and include an m-drive or you can just weld smallcraft and cutter modules to the hull
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Old September 14th, 2021, 10:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike wightman View Post
Been there, done that...

a 95t podule that the type s sticks into adding 95t - configurable as you see fit with cargo, passengers, mail vault or whatever - was my idea for this a few years ago. Inspiration was the hyperdrive frame that jedi starfighters use tor FTL only in this case it is a jump equipped starship that docks with the podule.

Another ship I considers was the x-boat - lots of them around and you get a jump 4 engine. The podule can be bigger and include an m-drive or you can just weld smallcraft and cutter modules to the hull
It's worth mentioning that an LBB2 XBoat can sling 100Td at J2. The LBB5 version can only drag 66.5Td along that far. Yeah, we all knew that...
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Old September 14th, 2021, 11:40 PM
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It's worth mentioning that an LBB2 XBoat can sling 100Td at J2.
The problem with that plan?
Being able to maneuver after breakout from jump ...

You're supposed to make deliveries to the starport (if you're a merchant), in orbit or on the mainworld's surface ... not to empty space ... a 100+ diameters away from anything useful.

Also, how do you plan to refuel that XBoat after breakout without a maneuver drive?
I'm uh ... asking for a friend ... who keeps needing to be, y'know ... rescued ...



CAN it be done?
Sure it can.

SHOULD you try and do it?
Um ...
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Old Yesterday, 12:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Spinward Flow View Post
The problem with that plan?
Being able to maneuver after breakout from jump ...

You're supposed to make deliveries to the starport (if you're a merchant), in orbit or on the mainworld's surface ... not to empty space ... a 100+ diameters away from anything useful.

Also, how do you plan to refuel that XBoat after breakout without a maneuver drive?
I'm uh ... asking for a friend ... who keeps needing to be, y'know ... rescued ...



CAN it be done?
Sure it can.

SHOULD you try and do it?
Um ...
There's a genre of ships built with surplus XBoats as a core (it comes up every once in a while). Typically the add-on component includes a maneuver drive. Yeah, rules as written says you can't, but the Rule of Cool says house-rule it and let it fly.

The obvious example uses the 95Td Shuttle from LBB2. Not terribly efficient operationally, but if you pick up the XBoat cheap ('cause it's worn out) it might make sense.
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Old Yesterday, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Grav_Moped View Post
There's a genre of ships built with surplus XBoats as a core (it comes up every once in a while). Typically the add-on component includes a maneuver drive. Yeah, rules as written says you can't, but the Rule of Cool says house-rule it and let it fly.

The obvious example uses the 95Td Shuttle from LBB2. Not terribly efficient operationally, but if you pick up the XBoat cheap ('cause it's worn out) it might make sense.
I think I might have just stumbled upon the ultimate expression of this idea after doing the ST Scout/X-Courier and the way it works with an X-Boat is even more bonkers than that ship wound up being.
  • 1 X-Boat (surplus)
  • 1 100-ton Standard Hull non-starship with -CC drives in it (15 tons) for Maneuver-6, Power Plant-6 and needs 60 tons of fuel for the power plant (which is also enough to refuel the X-Boat in 1 trip), leaving 25 tons for bridge, computer, staterooms, fire control, cargo, etc.
With just the X-Boat and Non-starship docked together the combination achieves Jump-2, Maneuver-3 at 200 tons of displacement in a "clean" configuration. However, the towing capacity of the combination would be 200 tons of external cargo yielding a Jump-1, Maneuver-1, Power Plant-1 performance at a combined 400 tons of displacement.

The problem with that plan is that 1 X-Boat costs about MCr 70.65 (new, in quantity), while 1 ST Scout/X-Courier costs MCr 32.1 (new, in quantity) ... meaning that all else being equal, it's cheaper to buy 2x ST Scout/X-Courier to transport 200 tons of external cargo than it is to buy even 1x X-Boat which then needs another hull (more expense!) to be docked to it just in order to be able maneuver 200 tons of external cargo. What you wind up with then is something on the order of 3x the cost of the ST Scout/X-Courier in order to haul 2x the external cargo ... which just isn't going to work economically when comparing the two options against each other.

Bottom line being, using surplus X-Boats to sling external cargo 1-2 parsecs is way more expensive than it's worth. Not a good use case business scenario, all things considered.
Better than nothing if you have no alternatives ... but if there are Type S Scout/Couriers available for conversion (and in Imperial space, you better believe there's plenty of them available for conversion!) ... not so much.
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Old Yesterday, 10:54 PM
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You've just discovered the awesome power of the LBB2 Standard Hull Discount.
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Old Today, 12:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merchant Data
Choleosti C200100 9 (Non-industrial, Vacuum World, G) to Margesi C575677 6 (Agricultural, Non-industrial, A)

Origin (Choleosti): Starport C, Size 2, Population 1
Destination (Margesi): Starport C, Size 5, Population 6, Amber Zone
DM: -6 (passenger), +0 (cargo), +3 (tech level), -1 first die (speculative cargo)
Passengers: No High, 1D-2 Middle, 2D-6 Low
Cargo: No Major, 1D-4 Minor, No Incidental
Starship Encounters: C 2D (10 is pirate)
Gas Giant: Choleosti data specifies the mainworld is a moon of the gas giant (1) in-system.
Gas Giant (Monoda): 1D=4 is a Small Gas Giant (LBB6, p28)
Small Gas Giant radius is 20,000km to 60,000km (LBB6, p39), so (2D6-2)*4000+20,000=(4-2)*4000+20,000=28,000km radius (56,000km diameter)
100 diameters from gas giant = 5,600,000km
Choleosti orbit of gas giant (2D=5=close) at (2D6=6) 7 radii from Monoda, 196,000km (LBB6, p28).
Passengers
1D-5 = 3-5 = 0 Middle
2D-9 = 8-9 = 0 Low

Cargo
1D-1 = 2-1 = 1 Minor (20 ton lot)

Speculative Cargo (buy)
22 Copper. Cr 2000 per ton (base price), DM: +0 price modifier. 50 tons
Buy price (2D+0=5): 80% base price (Cr 80,000 total)

Speculative Cargo (sell)
64 Computer Parts. Cr 150,000 per ton (base price), DM: +3 price modifier. 30 tons
Buy price (2D+3=11): 150% base price (MCr 6.75 total)



Far Trader

Breakout from jump at ~100 diameters from Choleosti/Vilis occurs at 20h 145-1105, ~5,600,000km from Monoda, the small gas giant that Choleosti orbits at 168,000km above the planet's cloud tops (196,000km from the center of Monoda).
Transit to Choleosti downport is 5,404,000km, which at 1G takes 775 minutes (13 hours). During this descent to Choleosti (2D6=7) there is a starship encounter with a 400-ton Subsidized Merchant departing for the jump point, bound for Vilis. The Subsidized Merchant captain warns that they booked all the available departing passengers and cargo and are leaving with unused shipping capacity.

Although most type C starports have a highport and a downport, the limited population of 13 permanent inhabitants on the Choleosti moon, most of which maintain the automated starport, means the starport has no orbital highport facilities, requiring moonfall to the surface in order to access starport services.

By 9h 146-1105 the Far Trader has touched down in their assigned berth at the starport on Choleosti.
The Far Trader has 30 tons of cargo to unload and the 6 high passengers, 1 middle passenger disembark within the 90 minutes it takes to unload the cargo by 11h 146-1105.
Of the 4 low passengers, their survival (5+ on 2D6) rolls are 12, 5, 8 and 8, resulting in 1 "touch and go" recovery that requires an extra 1 hour to resuscitate successfully. All 4 low passengers are able to disembark by 12h 146-1105.
Berthing Fees: Cr 100 for 6 days
Fuel state aboard the Far Trader is that 20 tons were used for a single jump-1 and the power plant has been operational for 13 days (4.7 tons), leaving only 0.3 tons of refined fuel remaining in the fuel tanks upon arrival at Cholesti Station. Since the gas giant Monoda is known to have a heavily contaminated atmosphere, which the specially built fuel purifiers of Cholesti Station is able to handle (albeit only up to unrefined standards), the captain decides to purchase 45 tons of unrefined fuel at the type C starport rather than risk skimming the nearby gas giant and having an even higher probability of a drive failure or misjump than is nominal when using unrefined fuel. The fuel transfer into the Far Trader's internal fuel tanks takes 1 hour. Routine 16 hour drive maintenance will be completed while the captain negotiates for cargo and passengers.
Unrefined fuel: Cr 4500 (45 tons)
Owing to the fact that Choleosti is a moon with such a low population (code: 1) and an early interstellar tech level (TL=9), it takes only a few hours for the captain to realize that there is only a single minor cargo of 20 tons that has been sitting at the starport (for weeks already) waiting for a starship bound for Margesi. It also seems that the Subsidized Merchant captain was not lying about taking all the available passengers since no one wants to book passage to Margesi. Not wanting to waste more time on Choleosti than necessary, the captain prioritizes 16 hour routine drive maintenance with the intent to liftoff once drive maintenance has been completed by 3h 147-1105.



The captain also puts out the word of the speculative cargo of 30 tons of computer parts in the Far Trader's cargo hold, asking if there are any interested buyers and within 1 hour the starport chief operations officer (1 of the 13 permanent residents on the moon) has made an above market price offer for the computer parts of MCr 6.75 in order to keep the starport's automated services and facilities operational. As a courtesy to the starport's COO, the captain accepts the offer and declines to entertain any other offers. The speculative cargo of computer parts is unloaded by 16h 146-1105.
Speculative Cargo sale: MCr 6.75 (not subject to subsidy)
At 23h 146-1105, 4 hours before liftoff, word comes in late of a discount priced speculative cargo opportunity for 50 tons of Copper, which the captain quickly realizes would need to be sold at 110% market rate on Margesi in order to make a profit on the deal, which the captain considers an unnecessary risk for not enough reward and declines to purchase the 50 ton lot of Copper.

The captain is only able to book one minor cargo of 20 tons and no passengers.
Life Support cost: Cr 6,000 (3 staterooms)
Cargo Transport revenue: Cr 20,000 (20 tons)
Cargo loading takes 60 minutes and is completed by 1h 147-1105, 2 hours prior to completion of routine 16 hour drive maintenance.



Clearance to liftoff from the Cholesti Station is granted at 3h 147-1105 (with a word of personal thanks for the badly needed computer parts). The Far Trader begins its outbound transit to a jump point, a distance of 5,404,000km, which at 1G takes 775 minutes (13 hours). During this ascent away from Choleosti (2D6=10) a 400-ton Patrol Cruiser approaching on an intercept vector makes contact with the Far Trader 5 hours into the transit.
  • Patrol Cruiser (comm): Attention Far Trader. This is the Choleosti system defense Patrol Cruiser. We have you on our scanners and are vectoring towards you. You are hereby ordered to cut your maneuver drives and prepare to be boarded for inspection of your passengers and cargo manifests for possible contraband. If you do not comply, we are authorized to open fire on your vessel. You have 1 minute to respond.
  • Far Trader (comm): We read you Patrol Cruiser. We will comply with your orders. Shutting down maneuver drives. Be advised, we have no passengers aboard and only 20 tons of cargo bound for Margesi.
  • Patrol Cruiser (comm): Acknowledged. Have everything in order for our inspection before we dock with your ship. Patrol Cruiser out.
The Patrol Cruiser docks with the Far Trader and the boarding party consists of 8 armed pirates, who immediately take control of the Far Trader and confine the Far Trader's 3 crew members to quarters. The pirates confiscate the 20 ton minor cargo (meaning the Cr 20,000 revenue for transporting it has to be refunded at the captain's expense), a process which takes 120 minutes for the transfer between cargo holds (type X starport "facilities" take 6 minutes per ton, so 2 hours to transfer 20 tons in space). The pirates also demand a ransom of (1D=6) MCr 6 to return control of the Far Trader to the captain. The Far Trader captain strongly suspects that these pirates are fully aware of the sale of computer parts to the Choleosti starport COO (and the price paid for those computer parts) less than 1 day ago, meaning there might be some back channel conspiracy involved, but suspicions are not proof. With no options in a 3 vs 8 fight and at a severe disadvantage, the Far Trader captain reluctantly agrees to pay the ransom.

Once the pirates have secured their confiscated cargo and ransom, they shut down the Far Trader's power plant cold, evacuate to their Patrol Cruiser, undock and accelerate away while the Far Trader's engineer initiates a power plant cold restart, which takes long enough for the Patrol Cruiser to accelerate beyond the range of the Far Trader's sensors before power can be restored. The disruption to the Far Trader's transit to the jump point costs an extra 8 hours and a substantial quantity of credits.
Confiscated Cargo Transport cost: Cr 20,000
Ransom cost: MCr 6


At 0h 148-1105, the Far Trader initiates jump-2 to Margesi/Vilis with no passengers or cargo and (2d6=7) a misjump does not occur.
Time spent in jump will be 166 hours.
Breakout from jump at ~100 diameters from Margesi/Vilis will occur at 22h 154-1105.
Total gross costs in Choleosti system: Cr 6,030,600
Total gross revenue in Choleosti system: Cr 20,000
Remaining revenue after subsidy: Cr 10,000
Speculative cargo sale (not subject to subsidy): Cr 6,750,000
Net profit in Choleosti system: Cr 729,400
Total net profit from 0h 001-1105 through 22h 154-1105: Cr 13,794,575
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  #98  
Old Today, 12:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merchant Data
Choleosti C200100 – 9 (Non-industrial, Vacuum World, G) to Margesi C575677 – 6 (Agricultural, Non-industrial, A)

Origin (Choleosti): Starport C, Size 2, Population 1
Destination (Margesi): Starport C, Size 5, Population 6, Amber Zone
DM: -6 (passenger), +0 (cargo), +3 (tech level), -1 first die (speculative cargo)
Passengers: No High, 1D-2 Middle, 2D-6 Low
Cargo: No Major, 1D-4 Minor, No Incidental
Starship Encounters: C 2D (10 is pirate)
Gas Giant: Choleosti data specifies the mainworld is a moon of the gas giant (1) in-system.
Gas Giant (Monoda): 1D=4 is a Small Gas Giant (LBB6, p28)
Small Gas Giant radius is 20,000km to 60,000km (LBB6, p39), so (2D6-2)*4000+20,000=(4-2)*4000+20,000=28,000km radius (56,000km diameter)
100 diameters from gas giant = 5,600,000km
Choleosti orbit of gas giant (2D=5=close) at (2D6=6) 7 radii from Monoda, 196,000km (LBB6, p28).
Passengers
1D-5 = 3-5 = 0 Middle
2D-9 = 8-9 = 0 Low

Cargo
1D-1 = 2-1 = 1 Minor (20 ton lot)

Speculative Cargo (buy)
22 Copper. Cr 2000 per ton (base price), DM: +0 price modifier. 50 tons
Buy price (2D+0=5): 80% base price (Cr 80,000 total)

Speculative Cargo (sell)
64 Computer Parts. Cr 150,000 per ton (base price), DM: +3 price modifier. 30 tons
Buy price (2D+3=11): 150% base price (MCr 6.75 total)



Spinward Flex Courier

Breakout from jump at ~100 diameters from Choleosti/Vilis occurs at 16h 138-1105, ~5,600,000km from Monoda, the small gas giant that Choleosti orbits at 168,000km above the planet's cloud tops (196,000km from the center of Monoda).
Transit to Choleosti downport is 5,404,000km, which at 6G takes 317 minutes (6 hours). During this descent to Choleosti (2D6=7) there is a starship encounter with a 400-ton Subsidized Merchant departing for the jump point, bound for Vilis. The Subsidized Merchant captain warns that they booked all the available departing passengers and cargo and are leaving with unused shipping capacity.

Although most type C starports have a highport and a downport, the limited population of 13 permanent inhabitants on the Choleosti moon, most of which maintain the automated starport, means the starport has no orbital highport facilities, requiring moonfall to the surface in order to access starport services.

By 22h 138-1105 the Spinward Flex Courier has touched down in their assigned berth at the starport on Choleosti.
The Spinward Flex Courier has (up to 5 tons of) x-mail and 10 tons of cargo which takes 45 minutes to unload by 23h 138-1105.
Berthing Fees: Cr 100 for 6 days
X-mail Delivery revenue: Cr 25,000 (LBB2.81, p9)
Fuel state aboard the Spinward Flex Courier is that 19.8 tons were used for a single jump-1 and the power plant has been operational for 9.5 days (4 tons), leaving only 26.7 tons of refined fuel remaining in the fuel tanks upon arrival at Cholesti Station. Since the gas giant Monoda is known to have a heavily contaminated atmosphere, which the specially built fuel purifiers of Cholesti Station is able to handle (albeit only up to unrefined standards), the captain decides to purchase 18 tons of unrefined fuel at the type C starport rather than risk skimming the nearby gas giant for contaminated fuel that can damage the onboard fuel purification plant. The fuel transfer into the Spinward Flex Courier's internal fuel tanks takes 1 hour and purification is completed after an additional 1 hour. Routine 16 hour drive maintenance will be completed while the captain negotiates for cargo and passengers.
Unrefined fuel: Cr 1800 (18 tons)
Owing to the fact that Choleosti is a moon with such a low population (code: 1) and an early interstellar tech level (TL=9), it takes only a few hours for the captain to realize that there is only a single minor cargo of 20 tons that has been sitting at the starport (for weeks already) waiting for a starship bound for Margesi. Not wanting to waste more time on Choleosti than necessary, the captain prioritizes 16 hour routine drive maintenance with the intent to liftoff once drive maintenance has been completed by 14h 139-1105.



The captain also puts out the word of the speculative cargo of 30 tons of computer parts in the Spinward Flex Courier's cargo hold, asking if there are any interested buyers and within 1 hour the starport chief operations officer (1 of the 13 permanent residents on the moon) has made an above market price offer for the computer parts of MCr 6.75 in order to keep the starport's automated services and facilities operational. As a courtesy to the starport's COO, the captain accepts the offer and declines to entertain any other offers. The speculative cargo of computer parts is unloaded by 3h 139-1105.
Speculative Cargo sale: MCr 6.75 (not subject to subsidy)
At 10h 139-1105, 4 hours before liftoff, word comes in late of a discount priced speculative cargo opportunity for 50 tons of Copper, which the captain quickly realizes would need to be sold at 110% market rate on Margesi in order to make a profit on the deal, which the captain considers an unnecessary risk for not enough reward and declines to purchase the 50 ton lot of Copper (which is larger than the Spinward Flex Courier's internal cargo capacity anyway).

The captain is only able to book (up to 5 tons of) x-mail and one minor cargo of 20 tons.
Life Support cost: Cr 4,000 (2 staterooms)
Cargo Transport revenue: Cr 20,000 (20 tons)
Cargo loading takes 60 minutes and is completed by 12h 139-1105, 2 hours prior to completion of routine 16 hour drive maintenance.



Clearance to liftoff from the Cholesti Station is granted at 14h 139-1105 (with a word of personal thanks for the badly needed computer parts). The Spinward Flex Courier begins its outbound transit to a jump point, a distance of 5,404,000km, which at 6G takes 317 minutes (6 hours). During this ascent away from Choleosti (2D6=10) a 400-ton Patrol Cruiser approaching on an intercept vector makes contact with the Spinward Flex Courier 5 hours into the transit.
  • Patrol Cruiser (comm): Attention … Spinward- flux? ... Flex Courier. This is the Choleosti system defense Patrol Cruiser. We have you on our scanners and are vectoring towards you. You are hereby ordered to cut your maneuver drives and prepare to be boarded for inspection of your passengers and cargo manifests for possible contraband. If you do not comply, we are authorized to open fire on your vessel. You have 1 minute to respond.
  • Spinward Flex Courier (private comm to Cholesti Station): Starport Control, this is Spinward Flex Courier en route to jump point. Do you even HAVE a system defense Patrol Cruiser under your authority?
  • Cholesti Station Control (private comm to Spinward Flex Courier): No. Why do you ask?
  • Spinward Flex Courier (private comm to Cholesti Station): Just checking. SFC out.
  • Patrol Cruiser (comm): Repeat. You are hereby ordered to cut your maneuver drives and prepare to be boarded for inspection of your passengers and cargo manifests for possible contraband. If you do not comply, we are authorized to open fire on your vessel! Respond immediately!
  • Spinward Flex Courier alters course to vector away from suspicious Patrol Cruiser at 6G acceleration in order to make a break for the jump point.

Last edited by Spinward Flow; Today at 12:41 AM..
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Old Today, 12:27 AM
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Spinward Flex Courier



Begin combat. (LBB5.80, p38-49)
  1. Battle formation: Patrol Cruiser and Spinward Flex Courier are the only combatants, both are on the front line.
  2. Initiative determination: Spinward Flex Courier has higher agility and gets +1 DM on initiative roll.
    Patrol Cruiser (1D=3)
    Spinward Flex Courier (1D+1=2)
    Patrol Cruiser wins initiative.
  3. Range determination: combat automatically begins at long range on first round.
  4. Pre-combat decision: Spinward Flex Courier is Breaking Off by Acceleration from long range. Patrol Cruiser does not use Emergency Agility.
    Patrol Cruiser: computer 3, agility: 2
    Spinward Flex Courier: computer 2, agility: 6
  5. Combat step: both ships fire all weapons at each other.
    Patrol Cruiser (TL=10, LBB2.81 p20): 6 Pulse Lasers (1 battery, code: 3), 6 Missile Launchers (1 battery, code: 3)
    Spinward Flex Courier (TL=13): 1 Missile Launcher (1 battery, code: 2), 1 Sandcaster (1 battery, code: 3)
    • Hit determination
      • Patrol Cruiser Pulse Lasers: code 3 = 7 to hit
        DMs: +1 (relative computer) -6 (target agility) -1 (size modifier) -1 (long range modifier) = -7
        Pulse Lasers require 14+ on 2D to hit. Lasers cannot hit so they are reserved for missile defense.
      • Patrol Cruiser Missile Launchers: code 3 = 5 to hit
        DMs: +1 (relative computer) -6 (target agility) -1 (size modifier) = -6
        Missile Launchers require 11+ on 2D to hit. 2D=7. Missile Launchers miss.
      • Spinward Flex Courier Missile Launcher: code 2 = 6 to hit
        DMs: -1 (relative computer), -2 (target agility), -1 (size modifier) = -4
        Missile Launcher requires 10+ on 2D to hit. 2D=5. Missile Launcher misses.
    • Defensive Fire: no attacks hit targets, so Patrol Cruiser laser defense is not needed and Spinward Flex Courier sandcaster defense is not needed.
    • Passive Defense: skip.
    • Damage Determination: skip.
  6. Damage Step: skip.
  7. Breakthrough Step: skip.
  8. Pursuit Step: Spinward Flex Courier (agility 6) successfully breaks off by acceleration from Patrol Cruiser (agility 2) and escapes the battle.
  9. Terminal Step: skip.
End combat.



Evasion of the Patrol Cruiser adds 2 hours to the transit time to the jump point for the Spinward Flex Courier due to alteration of course trajectory.

At 22h 139-1105, the Spinward Flex Courier initiates jump-2 to Margesi/Vilis.
Time spent in jump will be 166 hours.
On 141-1105, the captain pays out the another half-month of crew salaries prior to breakout at Margesi.
Crew Salaries (2 weeks): Cr 3500
Breakout from jump at ~100 diameters from Margesi/Vilis will occur at 20h 146-1105.
Total gross costs in Choleosti system: Cr 9400
Total gross revenue in Choleosti system: Cr 45,000
Remaining revenue after subsidy: Cr 22,500
Speculative cargo sale (not subject to subsidy): Cr 6,750,000
Net profit in Choleosti system: Cr 6,763,100
Total net profit from 0h 001-1105 through 20h 146-1105: Cr 19,835,950

Last edited by Spinward Flow; Today at 08:53 AM..
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And there we have it.

Choleosti (Traveller wiki link)
Quote:
Choleosti population lives underground and operates the largely automated port. In fact, there is more to Choleosti. While the permanent population, an extended family who have claimed part of Choleosti as their property, is small, the actual number of people in the system at any particular time usually numbers in the hundreds.

The sole established entity is the Cholesti Station. The Station survives by providing fuel and minor repairs to any and all who stop by. It is often thought of as a pirates haven, but receives enough business from the subsector navy to keep the pirates polite. The station is on the major moon of the large gas giant. The heavily contaminated nature of the gas giant makes the prepared fuel attractive. The Cholesti Station specially-built purifiers do not feature this problem. The station posses 1 million tons of local storage of fuel and capacity for additional 100,000 tons per week means even large Imperial fleets don't have to stay long. In exchange for free refueling of Imperial Naval and scout vessels, the Imperium maintains a platoon of well armed marines to 'assist' with keeping the peace. They patrol infrequently, usually staying in their small base adjoining the Station unless trouble breaks out.
Emphasis added on the quote from the Traveller wiki page to explain both how (and why) events turned out so differently for the two starships in this Race to Profitability.

In other words, it shouldn't take too much reading between the lines to figure out the backstory behind what went down.



The way I figure it ... even if the Far Trader had been armed (which it isn't in this race), they wouldn't have been capable of trading fire with a Patrol Cruiser and expect to escape unscathed. For one thing, under LBB5.80, if the Patrol Cruiser's turrets are organized into a single pulse laser battery (these are discount pirates out on the fringe of Imperial space, which is why they don't have beam lasers) and a single missle rack battery, those weapons have code: 3 each at TL=10. Against a hull size code: 2- ship, that's an automatic Critical Hit against a 200-299 ton hull ... and TWO automatic Critical Hits against a 100-199 ton hull ... if either of those weapons hit.

And this is where having a better computer (model/2 in a Spinward Flex Courier vs a model/1bis in a Far Trader) starts to pay off in combat situations.
The relative computer size modifier against the Spinward Flex Courier was only +1/-1 in favor of the model/3 on the Patrol Cruiser.
In the same combat situation, the Far Trader would have been at +2/-2 relative to the model/3 on the Patrol Cruiser.

And then there's the difference between Agility=6 and Agility=1 due to maneuver drives and power plants.

So the To Hit rolls for the Patrol Cruiser were 14+ with pulse lasers and 11+ with missiles at long range against a model/2 and Agility=6 Spinward Flex Courier.
Against a Far Trader, those To Hit rolls would have been 8+ for pulse lasers and 5+ for missiles respectively at long range ... due to model/1bis and Agility=1 Far Trader.

Now add in the fact that even if the Far Trader didn't get hit (or damaged) in the first round of combat ... it would have NO WAY OF ESCAPING the battle except by jumping ... within 100 diameters of the gas giant, due to the scenario described. It could be done, I suppose, by the end of round 2 of combat (at a greater risk of a misjump) after needing to declare the intent to break off by jumping in the pre-combat decision step of round 1 in order to build up the necessary EPs to jump at the end of round 2. The problem is, that means the Far Trader would be exposed to attacks for 2 combat rounds, not just 1 ... so 4 shots instead of only 2 ... and if the Patrol Cruiser won initiative in round 2 and chose close range in round 2, their To Hit rolls would have been 7+ for pulse lasers and 6+ for missiles in round 2.

When ANY hits from the Patrol Cruiser's weapons means an automatic critical hit (weapon code:3 vs hull code: 2) and the Patrol Cruiser gets to attack with dice rolls of 8+/5+ (long range) or 7+/6+ (short range) ... if I'm the Far Trader captain on the receiving end of that incoming fire ... the situation is NOT LOOKING GOOD for being able to escape unscathed.



Contrast that Far Trader scenario with what just happened in the Spinward Flex Courier scenario.
Because the starship had a powerful maneuver drive (and no energy weapons) the captain had high confidence in not only being able to evade incoming fire but also break off by acceleration from the battle so as to limit exposure to incoming fire to the absolute minimum. Furthermore, the objective wasn't to "disable" the Patrol Cruiser or otherwise "win" the engagement ... instead, the overriding objective was to escape and get out of weapons range. The Spinward Flex Courier successfully "foiled" the pirate attack simply by outrunning it, which any starship with a 4G or less maneuver drive would NOT have been able to do.

Although, if the Patrol Cruiser's missiles shot HAD hit, the roll needed to penetrate the sandcaster defense would have been 4+ on 2D, so the sandcaster would have been unlikely to save the Spinward Flex Courier from taking 2 automatic critical hits (weapon code: 3, hull code: 1), in addition to surface damage if the (HE, not nuclear, see: discount pirates above) missile shot had hit. So a lucky/unlucky missile hit would have really ruined the Spinward Flex Courier ... but fortunately, that was a rather unlikely (not impossible, just unlikely) outcome of the battle.

And it's precisely this kind of performance producing this result which is why I spent so much time extolling the virtues of having a powerful maneuver drive (and high agility) when it comes to the challenge of being a trader operating out on the fringes of Imperial space, where pirate attacks are a concern ... not just for "merchant prince" captains, but also for the accounting departments of the merchant lines who are backing them in the market space.



At this point in the race, following that pirate attack, it is exceptionally unlikely that Team Far Trader will be able to close the gap in their profit margin relative to Team Spinward Flex Courier. That pirate ransom demand just blew a massive hole into the Far Trader's balance sheet, and I sincerely doubt they will be able to recover from this setback.

Worse, I've had the feeling that this sort of event was for all intents and purposes pretty much inevitable and was going to happen at some point along the route (although exactly where was always going to be a random chance). The problem is, due to the minimalist drive performance installed into a Far Trader (and a lot of other merchant starships, go figure...) in pretty much any pirate attack situation the Far Trader would be taking a BIG RISK in fighting back, rather than just surrendering.

100 ton Pirate Scout Courier? 2G ... the 1G Far Trader can only escape by jumping or damaging the pirate's maneuver drive/fuel capacity.
400 ton Pirate Patrol Cruiser? 4G ... the 1G Far Trader can only escape by jumping or damaging the pirate's maneuver drive/fuel capacity.
800 ton Mercenary Cruiser? 3G ... the 1G Far Trader can only escape by jumping or damaging the pirate's maneuver drive/fuel capacity.

So although a 5G or 6G maneuver drive is a tremendously expensive investment upfront at the time of construction for a starship (not to mention the architect's fees!), if that ... investment ... in powerful maneuver drives can save you anywhere from tens of thousands of credits all the way up to the entire full cost of the starship (in the event the ship gets "totalled" by critical hits in combat) ... well ... shouldn't that be considered money well spent?



Or to harken back to the old saying ... you have to SPEND money in order to MAKE money ... or words to that effect.

Last edited by Spinward Flow; Today at 09:25 AM..
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