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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 May 28th, 2017, 10:52 PM
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Default Casemate turret weapons

A casemate is basically a gunport cut into the hull of the ship itself; a small bay is constructed behind the port and a weapon turret mounted within it, firing through the gunport. This is most often done to convert cargo ships for combat as auxiliaries or Q-ships. The weapon has about a 120 degree field of fire.

Casemates are rarely installed as a planned design feature. Rather, they are installed when a ship has not been provided sufficient hardpoints for weapons and there is a need to increase the firepower of the ship after construction. Gunports are cut into the hull over cargo bays or boat bays, or bay doors are removed and replaced with gunports. A small bay is constructed behind the casemate port, giving the turret access to space while sealing it from the rest of the ship, except for an access hatch. The casemate bay's volume is the volume of the turret and, if power is added, the dedicated power plant serving the turret. The turrets are mounted within the casemate bays, emerging from the gunport. For power-intensive weapons, power plants dedicated to the weapons may be mounted in the bay with the weapons. The total number of casemate ports and hardpoints may still not exceed the maximum number of hardpoints based on hull size.

For example, the 400 dT subsidized merchant is constructed with 2 hardpoints. Casemates for two more turrets may be cut into the hull over the cargo bay and casemate bays built behind the casemates, reduce the size of the cargo bay by the size of the casemate bay. Turrets may then be installed in the casemate bays. If the weapons were anything but missiles or sandcasters, and if the ship did not have sufficient power to serve them, then a dedicated power plant would have to be installed in the bay to serve the casemated weapons, and the casemate bay would need to be large enough to accommodate both weapon and power plant. That power would not be available for other ship needs.

A casemate weapon is typically built with a door over the weapons port, rendering the port invisible to most space-based sensors until the port is opened for firing. Naval warships and patrol cruisers carry densitometers capable of spotting the hidden weapons of a casemate bay at short range at TL 12-13 and at long range at TL14+. Certain exploratory ships including scout/couriers also carry densitometers capable of such scans and Class-A ports will typically have a ship orbiting with short-range densitometers as part of their customs inspection routine. The better equipped Vargr raiders have been known to carry densitometers, most often of short range but sometimes of long range, as have the corsairs operated by the wealthier organized crime syndicates, but most pirates and raiders are not so well equipped. The port is not obvious visually but will be spotted on a close visual inspection.

Treat a casemated turret battery as a regular battery of that type with a -1 to hit; penetration is normal. Note that if casemated weapons and hardpoint turret weapons are grouped in a battery together, the battery still gets the -1 DM to hit. Casemated sandcasters function at a -1 penalty as well. Note also that the dedicated power plant shares the fate of the turret: if the weapon is damaged, the dedicated power plant is damaged as well.

An alternative to casemated weapons is pop-turret weapons as seen in Challenger #25, with turrets mounted on an elevator that raises it through a hatch to fire with a 180 degree field of fire. Like the casemate, the pop-turret is not visible to most space sensors. The pop turret takes up twice the volume of a standard turret but does not suffer a -1 penalty. Pop turrets are somewhat more difficult to install than casemates, usually requiring the resources of a Class A or B port, while casemates have been improvised with varying degrees of success at C and D ports on frontier worlds struggling to deal with piracy problems.
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