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In My Traveller Universe Detail what parts of Traveller you do (or don't) use in your campaign.

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Old July 6th, 2017, 08:07 PM
Carlobrand Carlobrand is offline
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Default Meson screens as armor

This isn't new. It's pretty much the stock modification. I'm examining it statistically to see what we end up with.

Under current game rules, meson spinals are lethal to the point that even light cruiser weapons tend to be 1-hit kill weapons. The result makes the battleship an obsolete weapons platform by roughly TL 13: the little cruiser-sized factor E meson spinal has a statistical probability of delivering a crippling fuel result in about 1 out of 2 successful hits and a crippling critical result in about 70% of successful hits. To avert this (assuming one wants dreadnoughts to remain prominent), enhance the power of the meson screen.

The meson screen causes the premature decay of mesons interacting with it. Because of this, if the meson weapon penetrates the screen, the screen is treated as armor against meson fire, reducing the number of additional rolls by one for each level of the screen and giving a penalty to the damage roll equal to the screen rating, but a weapon always gets one roll if it hits.

ANALYSIS:
  • TL 11: no screen, A gets 2 rolls, B gets 3 rolls.
  • TL 12: F1 screen, C gets 4-1=3 rolls, D gets 5-1=4 rolls, K gets 11-1=10 rolls.
  • TL 13: F3 screen, E gets 6-3=3 rolls, F gets 7-3=4 rolls, L gets 12-3=9 rolls, P gets 15-3=12 rolls.
  • TL 14: F6 screen, G gets 8-6=2 rolls, H gets 9-6=3 rolls, M gets 13-6=7 rolls, Q gets 16-6=10 rolls, S gets 18-6=12 rolls.
  • TL 15: F9 screen, J gets 10-9=1 roll, N gets 14-9=5 rolls, R gets 17-9=8 rolls, T gets 19-9=10 rolls.

Note that the E/G/J spinals tend to be light cruiser weapons, the C/F/H/N spinals tend to be heavy cruiser weapons, the A/D/L/M/R spinals tend to be battlecruiser weapons, and the B/K/P/Q/S/T spinals tend to be dreadnought weapons. In effect, cruisers will tend to get between 1 and 5 rolls depending on size and tech level, while dreadnoughts get 10-12 rolls except at TL 11, when the meson spinal is introduced.

Lethality decreases as the screens improve:

At TL 11, the B-meson has a 6/36 chance of an internal critical and a 1/36 chance of a radiation critical on each roll, about a 47% chance overall. There is a 30% chance of a fuel-tanks-shattered result and of course the lesser hits.

At TL 12 (assuming fibre optic computer):
  • The cruiser C meson has about a 23% critical chance overall with a 23% chance of a fuel-tanks-shattered result, and on average will also inflict about 1 jump drive hit, 1 power plant hit, 1-2 screen hits, 58% chance of a computer hit, 2 weapon hits, and will kill 1 crew section.
  • The dreadnought K meson has about a 58% critical chance overall with a 58% chance of a fuel-tanks-shattered result, and on average will also inflict about 3-4 jump drive hits, 3 power plant hits, 5 screen hits, 2 computer hits, 6 weapon hits, and kill 3-4 crew sections.

At TL 13:
  • The cruiser E meson does not do criticals, has an 8% chance of a fuel-tanks-shattered result, and on average will also inflict about 1 jump drive hit, 1 power plant hit, 1-2 screen hits, 2/3 chance of a computer hit, 3 weapon hits, and kill 1 crew section.
  • The dreadnought P meson does not do criticals, has a 29% chance of a fuel-tanks-shattered result, and on average will also inflict about 3-4 jump drive hits, 4 power plant hits, 5-6 screen hits, 2-3 computer hits, 13 weapon hits, and kill 3 crew sections.

At TL 14:
  • The cruiser G meson does not do fuel-tanks-shattered results. On average it has a 56% chance of a jump drive hit, a 56% chance of a power plant hit, a 72% chance of a screen hit, a 44% chance of a computer hit, will inflict 2-3 weapon hits, and has a 17% chance of a crew section kill.
  • The dreadnought S meson does not do fuel-tanks-shattered results. On average it will inflict about 3 jump drive hits, 3 power plant hits, 4 screen hits, 2-3 computer hits, 15 weapon hits, and kill 1 crew section.

At TL 15:
  • The cruiser J meson on average has a 33% chance of a jump drive hit, a 36% chance of a power plant hit, a 36% chance of a screen hit, a 16% chance of a computer hit, will inflict 1-2 weapon hit, and has an 8% chance of a crew section kill.
  • The dreadnought T meson on average will inflict about 4 jump drive hits, 4 power plant hits, 4 screen hits, 2 computer hits, 17-18 weapon hits, and kill 1 crew section.

The net here is the meson remains lethal, but it's no longer devastating. A cruiser's light spinal isn't wrecking dreadnoughts the way it had been, while the dreadnought spinal is hitting hard. The light cruiser is not a slouch - it's getting in and doing more damage than a destroyer could do - but it's, well, being a light cruiser rather than the deadly force that the current rules create.
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