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The Fleet Ship designs, strategies, and tactics.

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Old July 19th, 2007, 09:15 AM
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Wink One on One High Guard

In combats between only two vessels, what size, type and armament is most likely to prevail and survive intact? Which is better, heavy offense or strong defense? A one-round fight in which two battleships destroy each other with type-T meson guns is not very exciting. If you've read the early Honor Harrington novels by David Weber, that's the kind of fight I'm looking for - who can outlast the opponent without resorting to one-shot-zot weaponry.


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Old July 21st, 2007, 01:45 PM
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Sooo....

You're advocating that a battleship not be designed to take the enemy out in one shot? Even if it can be done? That's seems dangerous and innefficient to me.

No, it's not particularly exciting. But basically what you're advocating is for battleship combat to become exciting like Craps is exciting, or the kids card game "War" is exciting. Because that's the only difference from a one shot kill to a 10 shot kill.

One takes one die roll, the other takes 10. With the one shot kill game, you get to find out the results in one die roll, coin flip, win lose. With the 10 shot game, you probably find out in 5 die rolls, with the rest just finishing the job, since the tide will eventually turn to one side or the other.

Is that what you're looking for? It makes for great narrative, I guess, as far as game play, to me, IMHO, it's not particularly interesting.

Because the simple fact is that once the ships engage, the result, while it may not be known, is out of the hands of players. It's like a game a of Risk. The strategy is in the army placement, but not the actual battles. That's pure statistics/luck. And, yes, I've had my larger army killed by a lone survivor in Risk, so it's not a foregone conclusion. There's an aspect of luck in all battles.

But unfortunately, with Traveller combat, it's pretty much all luck once the ships are engaged. They just stand there and slug it out.
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Old July 21st, 2007, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whartung View Post
But unfortunately, with Traveller combat, it's pretty much all luck once the ships are engaged. They just stand there and slug it out.
The results of the Trillion Credit Squadron competitions held at GenCon way back when (I think), would suggest that giant ships with one shot kill weapons will NOT win the battle. Although not a perfect model of High Guard combat, it is the largest sample of combat between “equal” forces that we have available.

The consistent winner was a fleet of tens of kilo dTon ships with lots of armor and lots of missiles.

I suggest selecting/designing a HG dreadnought with a spinal mount and having it slug it out with an equal priced fleet of 20,000 dTon ships armed with missiles. See for yourself how it goes.

Navies tend to be practical and adopt what works. Nobody builds modern battleships because aircraft carriers and missile cruisers work better. Is the same true of Traveler Dreadnoughts?

Last edited by atpollard; July 21st, 2007 at 02:23 PM..
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Old July 21st, 2007, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
The consistent winner was a fleet of tens of kilo dTon ships with lots of armor and lots of missiles.
my conclusion as well. but this is because hg2 damage rules are ... not the best. under those rules 1) a hit on a 2000 dton destroyer has exactly the same effect as a hit on a 100 000 dton battleship, 2) riders that have no jump fuel and battleships that have .4 of their hull space devoted to fuel use exactly the same damage tables, and 3) beyond a certain (low) limit all ships carry exactly the same weapons.
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Old July 21st, 2007, 05:25 PM
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Bit o' games theory here:

HG is a Critical Hit based system, that is, damage is only noted if sufficient to affect ratings.

Because of this, a lot of HG is rapid wearing away of capabilities. Pretty much like modern missile warfare at sea... either it does next to nothing, or it seriously impairs ship function.

Book 2 is a cumulation of hits model... hits accumulate until the system ceases to function (Fuel, Computer, weapons) or is reduced in function (drives). VERY different paradigms

HG can not easily replicate the back and forth, since the scale provides enough damage to KO or impair most ships, but provides no cumulation for non-impairing hits. Further, most hits WILL, under HG, inflict impairments.

If, however, you keep all battery sizes below 10, you don't get the "big crunch" factor.

One other problem with HG: only the strongest hits will reduce protections...

Looking at it, I can see a couple ways to "cure" the one hit wonder problem.

Simplest, and I've playtested it in years gone by, is to make the damage rolls
2d6 + tAr + tSz - aWUSP - NET
tAr = Target's Armor USP (standard)
tSz = Target's Hull Size USP
aWUSP = Attacker's Weapon USP rating
NET = No Effect Tally each "No Effect" result is tallied until a damage result occurs, when it's reset.

Do not use the DM for low USP; it's replaced by size and usp


This actually increases the punch of battleships against non-battleships, but also adds a non-effect damage cumulation, allowing minor weapons against armored targets to slowly build up and do something.

It removes the "immunity factor" from small ships by the cumulation, provided the big guns are out of action.

It also makes a factor 9 versus a scoutship far MORE dangerous.

I suspect it will do what the OP wants, in part.
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Old July 21st, 2007, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atpollard View Post
The results of the Trillion Credit Squadron competitions held at GenCon way back when (I think), would suggest that giant ships with one shot kill weapons will NOT win the battle. Although not a perfect model of High Guard combat, it is the largest sample of combat between “equal” forces that we have available.

The consistent winner was a fleet of tens of kilo dTon ships with lots of armor and lots of missiles.
I should clarify things a bit here, as I don't disagree with what you're saying.

My basic thesis with regards "luck" is simply that once the fleets engage, from that point on it's pretty much die rolling to determine the victor, just like the battles in Risk.

The player skill comes in to play in the actual fleet design, but not necessarily the actual combat itself.

Now, HG has a front and a rear, and a player can choose to bring ships up and back. But, beyond perhaps leaving vessels in the back that have a specific vulnerability to the enemy fire until that enemy capability is reduced or for things like carriers vs riders, it seems to be that the front and rear lines of the battle don't really have that dramatic of an effect on the actual outcome of the battle. And beyond choosing priority targets, that's about as far as player input goes when it comes to actual battles.

But specifically with regards to the one on one scenario, it's basically luck that decides the day.
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