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MegaTraveller Discuss of the MegaTraveller ruleset and the Rebellion Milieu

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  #121  
Old July 3rd, 2016, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by atpollard View Post
I don't have it in front of me, but I thought that MT Radar was variable and multi-frequency to resist Jamming. The TL 5 Radar is not HISTORIC Radar from TL 5, it is near future Radar built using TL 5 technology.
Radar does require an antenna, specifically shaped and sized to the frequency being used. Unless you are totally tossing out Real World physics, the laws governing radio waves are the same in MegaTraveller as the Real World. An antenna designed for the 1.5 meter wavelength is not going to work real well with a frequency of 50cm and will not work at all at a frequency of 10cm or 3cm. Trying to use an antenna designed for the 3cm frequency for a frequency of 1.5 meters is quite impossible. By the way, the MegaTraveller design sequence for Radar has nothing devoted to antennas. Take a look at long-range aircraft warning radar domes on what used to be the DEW line for an idea of the size of the antenna. The designers of the game cannot plead ignorance about the need for radar antennas.

The three jammers carried by the B-29 each covered a different frequency range. The tubes or magnetrons that produce the radio waves that are used by the radar are designed to operate at specific frequencies and wavelengths. A magnetron designed to produce 10cm radio waves cannot produce 3cm radio waves and vice versa.

Take a look at Norm Friedman's book on Naval Radar for a very good coverage of radar development up to the early 1970s.

Go here for an idea as to the different antennas required for different frequencies.

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/...dar/index.html

Here is the principal U.S. Night Fighter radars, which also includes some cost data.

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/...ars/index.html

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A small point, but TL 5 is probably closer to WW1. Radar in WW2 was more like a TL 6 prototype.
The MegaTraveller Referee's Companion on page 26 states that Tech Level 5 is equivalent to 1930, while Tech Level 6 is equivalent to 1950. On page 28 in the same volume, on Technology Chart 1, Radar is specifically cited as a Tech Level 5 technology.

The basic radar frequencies have not changed that much since World War 2, nor have the design of antennas, what has changed is the amount of processing done to the signal when it is received back at the radar. The primary difference is the use of phase-array radar, which uses thousands of radar tubes to produce a steerable beam, and requires a lot amount of computing power. It is also highly vulnerable to damage, and does require a lot of power.

I also have a very large problem with some of the weaponry Tech Levels, and again, the designers should have known better.
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Last edited by timerover51; July 3rd, 2016 at 07:11 PM.. Reason: Added Information
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  #122  
Old July 3rd, 2016, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by timerover51 View Post
By the way, the MegaTraveller design sequence for Radar has nothing devoted to antennas.
Which is part of what leads me to conclude that 'Radar' in the MT design sequence may be based on some alternative Science from TL 9 reverse engineered to be built on a world with a Starport and roughly 1930 TL 5 manufacturing technology. The game mechanics for how radar works is the other thing that suggests that you may not be modeling HISTORIC radar using real world physics.

Honestly, as a game there is so much hand wave done to other areas of physics in the name of playability, that a radar without a correctly sized antennae doesn't even rate a raised eyebrow. I just shrug and move on.

I acknowledge your victory on the technical point, but after discarding conservation of momentum and thermodynamics in favor of playability and fun, I just can't muster moral outrage about EM Wavelengths.


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The MegaTraveller Referee's Companion on page 26 states that Tech Level 5 is equivalent to 1930, while Tech Level 6 is equivalent to 1950. On page 28 in the same volume, on Technology Chart 1, Radar is specifically cited as a Tech Level 5 technology.
Which makes my nit-picking point. The Radar equipped B29 is not a 1930 Aircraft. TL 5 is more like a Radar equipped B2 Condor.

Try reverse engineering a modern AEW&C and building it with 1930 vacuum tubes and installing it in a biplane to defend against enemy Missiles (from a higher TL).
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  #123  
Old July 3rd, 2016, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by atpollard View Post
Which is part of what leads me to conclude that 'Radar' in the MT design sequence may be based on some alternative Science from TL 9 reverse engineered to be built on a world with a Starport and roughly 1930 TL 5 manufacturing technology. The game mechanics for how radar works is the other thing that suggests that you may not be modeling HISTORIC radar using real world physics.
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Honestly, as a game there is so much hand wave done to other areas of physics in the name of playability, that a radar without a correctly sized antennae doesn't even rate a raised eyebrow. I just shrug and move on.
If you wish to handwavium the higher technologies, I can live with that. I do not like hand-waving historical technologies. The original poster was looking for what someone disliked in the game.

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Which makes my nit-picking point. The Radar equipped B29 is not a 1930 Aircraft. TL 5 is more like a Radar equipped B2 Condor.
I have seen the development of the Curtiss Condor cited both ways, with the transport version derived from the bomber, and the bomber derived from the transport. I need to look that up again in Juptner for which might be correct. I know that at least one was being operated on floats in South America.

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Try reverse engineering a modern AEW&C and building it with 1930 vacuum tubes and installing it in a biplane to defend against enemy Missiles (from a higher TL).
Hmm, you mean Project Cadillac, that used the B-17, a plane first flown in the 1930s, and equipped with an early warning radar for use against low flying aircraft. Or maybe the slightly late TBF Avenger when equipped with an APS-20 radar and data-linking the radar return to a PPI on a carrier, used for the same purpose.
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  #124  
Old July 3rd, 2016, 07:50 PM
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The original poster was looking for what someone disliked in the game.
... but if we don't debate minutiae, is there anything to talk about. [wink]
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  #125  
Old July 5th, 2016, 10:08 AM
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The basic radar frequencies have not changed that much since World War 2, nor have the design of antennas, what has changed is the amount of processing done to the signal when it is received back at the radar. The primary difference is the use of phase-array radar, which uses thousands of radar tubes to produce a steerable beam, and requires a lot amount of computing power.
Antenna designs have changed significantly with the advent of AESA radars. Instead of a parabolic dish or a flat phased array that can perform pretty much one function at a time we now have radars that can transmit, receive, conduct EW, send messages and possibly even perform cyber attacks all at the same time. Its getting to the point where the radar and data processing systems on platforms such as the F-22 and F-35 are more significant than their low observable features.
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  #126  
Old July 5th, 2016, 03:18 PM
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... but if we don't debate minutiae, is there anything to talk about. [wink]
If we debate minutiae, a post would run longer than the rule books. I repeat, I do not like the design sequences, especially when they deal with historical technologies. As the design sequences consume a large portion of the Referee's Manual, I do not view them as insignificant.

Nor do I like the whole Rebellion concept, which I do not think can be viewed as minutiae.
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Old July 5th, 2016, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by timerover51 View Post
If we debate minutiae, a post would run longer than the rule books. I repeat, I do not like the design sequences, especially when they deal with historical technologies. As the design sequences consume a large portion of the Referee's Manual, I do not view them as insignificant.

Nor do I like the whole Rebellion concept, which I do not think can be viewed as minutiae.
But I never questioned you on the Rebellion.
(That is 100% personal preference stuff.)

As a gearhead, I just challenged whether the rules even attempted to model historic radar or were attempting to model some advanced future radar capabilities built with more primitive tools.

And that ran into the debate on minutiae.

Thank you for taking the time to converse.
(I agree that the rules have some issues as a historic simulation that I, too, find disappointing.)
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  #128  
Old September 24th, 2017, 12:51 PM
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I think that they should have kept the simpler design rules, and then added a "Striker" type book for the gearheads. As it was once you got past character generation, it lost me, the Rebellion just drove a stake in the heart of Traveller from that point on. I used the Character generation and then used classic Traveller plus the additional books for everything else.
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  #129  
Old September 24th, 2017, 07:17 PM
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I think that they should have kept the simpler design rules, and then added a "Striker" type book for the gearheads. As it was once you got past character generation, it lost me, the Rebellion just drove a stake in the heart of Traveller from that point on. I used the Character generation and then used classic Traveller plus the additional books for everything else.
That's pretty much what I did with MT - It has a basic character generation system that produces characters more in line with the balance of the extended character generation system so players can use either. That's about all of MT that I actually used. Pretty much everything else I just held over from CT/Striker with a bit of re-balancing such as frigging High Guard to work better with small ships. For a battle with individual ships I just adapted the movement rules from Mayday.
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Old September 24th, 2017, 09:57 PM
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Default SUMMARY CRITICISMS OF MT

So I'm going to try to summarize the original topic.

Executive Summary:

a. "MegaTraveller's basic concepts were sound, but the actual execution and the design of several subsystems was lacking." [Tobias]

b. Wargamers create unified tools for Traveller: simultaneously a blessing and a curse. [Rob]


Pros

1. The Task System.
2. Chargen consolidated.
3. System generation updates.
4. Reference material usefully gathered (IE, RC).
5. Good artwork (for the time).
6. Hard Times.
7. More components for starships.
8. Support for greater-than-Imperial advanced tech.
9. The flowcharts.
10. We get most of the interesting OTU characters from MT.
11. The campaigns and DGP supplements.

Cons

1. The Task Library.
2. Rules got in the way; their complexity overall was an unreasonable barrier to use.
3. Extreme measures taken with setting actually damaged playability.
4. Rebellion too "stage managed" and not well developed or differentiated until too late (contrast with the great NPC character profiles).
5. Use of sophonts as aggressors is rather unlikely (Vargr in particular, but even Aslan).
6. Pre-internet days meant the excessive errata was a big problem. (Get the final printing; it has all the corrections).
7. No robot rules.
8. The new jump fuel formula.
9. "The total lack of anything for players to do." [Mike Wightman]
10. DGP seemed to take a bit of liberty with canon (just a bit). Example: the Primordials, while interesting, appear to be a symptom of a problem in the setting. Maybe not DGP's fault, either.
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