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The Fleet Ship designs, strategies, and tactics.

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  #1  
Old May 12th, 2003, 07:53 AM
Cymew Cymew is offline
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Hi!

Are there anyone here that can testify that the MegaTraveller rules for designing starships actually work after using the 4/1/88 and 10/1/88 errata sheets?

I remember that the rules seemed very broken and now I have found those errata sheets on the web and wonder if I can use my old MT rules after all. I don't have the money to buy T20 yet...

/andreas
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Old May 13th, 2003, 04:09 AM
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Ben W Bell Ben W Bell is offline
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They do work, but are as complicated as hell. It takes some time to design a ship using them.
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Old May 13th, 2003, 09:51 AM
Cymew Cymew is offline
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Thanks for the assurance Ben!

Before I do all the work of pencilling in the errata in my books I'd love to know that the effort would yield a usable system.

I know it is kind of compilcated. That's what I like about it! I know I'm not sane...
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Old May 13th, 2003, 10:38 AM
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Well I like them, they have a more realistic feel to them I think than the others do. More detailed.
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Old May 13th, 2003, 11:06 AM
dougmedic dougmedic is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by BenBell:
Well I like them, they have a more realistic feel to them I think than the others do. More detailed.
I like them as well...as long as you have a fully errated set!!!!!

I find that, although not necessary, a spreadsheet helps..A LOT! [img]graemlins/file_21.gif[/img]

The advantage to MT ship construction is the level of detail you can get. I also like the integration of the systems with tasks such as sensor ops/etc.

For quick ships, without needing a lot of detail, I use HGS, a wonderful little program!
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Old May 13th, 2003, 02:08 PM
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Probably the most important part of designing ships in MT is knowing what to ignore. Since the same design sequence is used for vehicles and spacecraft, a lot of the steps and table entries only apply to one or the other. Once you know what steps and tables to ignore, it's not that much more complicated than HG, with a couple of big exceptions:

Power Plant: First off, the power plant fuel consumption rates in MT match those in Striker and are, thus, roughly 1/6 as efficient as those in HG (i.e. a ship designed under MT will require approx. 6x as much fuel for its PP as an equivalent ship designed under HG). Also, because pretty much everything uses power from the PP, you're not going to know how big it needs to be until the end of the design, by which time you probably won't have enough room left in the hull to fit the PP and all its fuel. It's a juggling act and it's hard to do and the only way to get better at it is to design enough ships that you get an intuitive feel for how big the PP will probably be (thinking in blocks of 250 MW (HG's EP) makes this estimation a little easier).

Control Points: This is actually my favorite part of the MT craft design system, but it's not in HG and is kind of a hassle. Every ship system has a number of 'control points' based on its price and TL. Enough control panels and/or computers must be installed to equal the number of required CP. The total CP of the systems also determine crew requirements. This, like the power plant, is another iterative function that you'll probably need to refigure several times per ship design, but at least it's easier to do.

A very helpful hint when designing ships in MT is to prefigure as many calculations as possible. Figure out the size (including fuel requirements for 30 days) for a PP to produce 100 MW and 250 MW at each TL and write it in the margin of the book. Figure out the total costs (power, price, volume, mass) of life support (environ, basic, extended, ic) per dton of ship and write it in the margin. Write the percentage formulae for j-drive and m-drive (from HG) into the margins of the j-drive and m-drive tables. These kinds of shortcuts will help A LOT.

Another hint: if you're designing a ship with significant weaponry install a separate weapons-only PP with a much lower duration (1 day or 5 days). If you don't do this your PP will use so much fuel that you won't be able to install anything else (like, say, decent m-drives or j-drives).

Try to design a couple ships. Start with something easy (like converting CT's standard designs -- but don't try to reverse-engineering the specs in the Imperial Encyclopedia 'cause AFAICT it won't work) and work your way up. Once you get the hang of it you'll probably begin to like it better than HG (I know I do). If you run into trouble ask here and I (or somebody else) will probably be able to help you out.
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Old May 13th, 2003, 02:18 PM
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Good thoughts T. Foster. One thing I recall from when I was able to churn out MT designs years ago is that I found the design order slightly easier if I left the powerplant till last, after I knew how much energy I needed. Of course at that time I had a good feel for the general percentages so I could estimate each section pretty close based on the ship required.

I'd also say, IIRC, that even when I had the last, fullest, errata there were still a few points that needed to be addressed. I'd also advise against using the published designs as a yardstick as I seem to recall attempting to recreate them and finding it not quite working in most if not every case.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 05:43 AM
Cymew Cymew is offline
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Thanks for the hints Foster!
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Old May 17th, 2003, 02:34 PM
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MT ship design has nit picky details, is mathematically intensive and I've yet to see two people come up with identical ships even if they try.
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Old May 18th, 2003, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by T. Foster:
Probably the most important part of designing ships in MT is knowing what to ignore. {snip}

Power Plant: First off, the power plant fuel consumption rates in MT match those in Striker and are, thus, roughly 1/6 as efficient as those in HG (i.e. a ship designed under MT will require approx. 6x as much fuel for its PP as an equivalent ship designed under HG). Also, because pretty much everything uses power from the PP, you're not going to know how big it needs to be until the end of the design, by which time you probably won't have enough room left in the hull to fit the PP and all its fuel.
Yes But ....

Jump drives fuel is much less in MT than in HG for jumps greater than 1.

Jump-1 HG = 10%, MT = 10%
Jump-2 HG = 20%, MT = 15%
Jump-3 HG = 30%, MT = 20%
Jump-4 HG = 40%, MT = 25%
Jump-5 HG = 50%, MT = 30%
Jump-6 HG = 60%, MT = 35%

You can design a good ship using pencil, paper and a calculator but it really takes a spreadsheet or deticated program to design a great ship. I spent a long time writing a Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet that I use. There are a lot of things that are just very tough to do without a computer. For example, calculating PP fuel consumption. Expert starship designers typically have three 'levels' that their PP runs at, In jump (typically 5%-10%), Cruising (no weapons, little or on agility), and full combat (100%). Then there are the tweaks like not placing life support in your fuel tanks.

Quote:
Originally posted by Vargas:
MT ship design has nit picky details, is mathematically intensive and I've yet to see two people come up with identical ships even if they try.
True, very true.

I also use several "House Rules" or "Designers Tricks" in my design sequence. One other trick that I haven't mentioned yet is the way you compute control points. Instead of multiplying all systems by the ships TL, multiply each individaul item by its TL. For example, if a ship is built at TL 15 but uses a TL 13 Jump Drive, calculate the control points for the Jump Drive based on TL 13 not TL 15. Why should the exact same drive need more control points in a higher TL ship?

-Swiftbrook

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