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MegaTraveller Discuss of the MegaTraveller ruleset and the Rebellion Milieu

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  #1  
Old March 17th, 2012, 02:45 AM
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Default Gunnery skill in Space Combat (probable errata)

McPerth posted this question quite a while back, and it fell between the cracks.

Quote:
In MT RM (p 95) says: 'Gunnery skill (turret/bay, spinal or screens) may be used in place of computer DM or weapon table DM on the to hit and defensive tasks'.

Following this, some questions arise:

- So, if you have gunnery 4 and are on a ship with computer 1, you can use 4 as computer DM. If you're on a ship with computer 6, difference between a gunner with gunnery 0 and one with gunnery 6 is null.

- If your character with gunnery skill 1 is firing a factor 3 missile battery against a repulsor 5 equipped ship, can you use your skill 1 in place of the repulsor table DM (-6)? It seems me quite a powerful use of the skill...

- If your character with skill 3 fires a factor 5 meson bay against a meson screen 4 equipped ship whose operator has skill 5, what's the DM? +3 (firer's skill)? -4 (table's DM)? -5 (defenderís skill)?, -2 (firer's skill - defenderís skill)? (after all, it's a confrontation task, but in this case, even having a defender more skilled than the firers, it's easier to penetrate it). Also, in this last case, having a factor T meson spinal or having a factor 5 meson bay makes no difference on its ability to penetrate screens...
Seems overpowered to me... thoughts?
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Old March 17th, 2012, 11:37 AM
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Well, part of the problem is simply that realistically, it's hard to have gunnery skill matter much. You could try adding the gunnery skill as an additional DM, but then you'd need to have another to counter it. (The defender's pilot's pilot skill?) Replacing the penetration DM is obviously not good, but maybe they mean the DM to hit from the weapon's factor? That might work, although it makes gunnery skill unimportant for ships with good computers and powerful batteries.
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Old March 18th, 2012, 06:27 AM
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I can agree that with good computers most of the weapon firing in starships would be mainly by computer work, but that would make Gunnery skill nearly useless, and, frankly, as skills are the greatest asset characters have, I hate useless skills. In this sense, you could as well put an untrained guy to work your turret in your free trader, and he will do as good as one with turret gunnery skill 1 (I guess he wouldn't use its skill -4 instead of the computer modifier).

Even so, if you pitch your untrained gunner (so -4, or raising difficult level by one grade), with a single missile turret (factor 2) in a computer 6 equiped ship against a ship equiped with a repulsor 6 equiped ship, it would be worth to use your -4 skill instead of the -8 DM in the table, as rules are written. I guess we all agree this is not the spirit of the rules...

I guess Aramis has resumed all this in another thread about other aspects of MT starship combat:

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Originally Posted by aramis View Post
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Old March 18th, 2012, 10:10 PM
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Ok, if that sensor thread answers your question, I'll close out the Gunnery skill issue.
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Old March 19th, 2012, 05:22 AM
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No, it doesn't answer my question, only that I see the same problem Aramis said there, bad editing.

Anyway, I guess some way to use the skill should be defined, as the way it's written in the rules gives way to much abuse (as told above) or to usefulness of the skill.
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Old March 20th, 2012, 02:00 AM
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My preference would be to first remove the problem, and then after a discussion come up with a better rule. But first, we should all agree on the problem and what needs to be removed.
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Old March 24th, 2012, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travlar View Post
You could try adding the gunnery skill as an additional DM, but then you'd need to have another to counter it. (The defender's pilot's pilot skill?) Replacing the penetration DM is obviously not good, but maybe they mean the DM to hit from the weapon's factor? That might work, although it makes gunnery skill unimportant for ships with good computers and powerful batteries.
When I tried to use MT starship combat system, I borrowed from HG the idea of using (skill-1)/2 modifier. I used it for ship's tactics skill, as in HG, for pilot, also as HG, but allowing agility to be at most doubled, and for gunnery skill, both in to hit and to penetrate (but in the latter case the skill of the defending gunner was confronted).

One of the criticisms I've made about CT:HG was it didn't feature crew quality (only ship's tactics and Pilot may have some influence). MT (in HT, IIRC) featured it in the average skills the crew had, but gave (IMHO) the worst use of skills (about starship combat, not in other fields) I've seen in any Traveller version.
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Old May 17th, 2012, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Gunnery skill (turret/bay, spinal or screens) may be used in place of (...)or weapon table DM on the to hit and defensive tasks.
What if that was rewritten to say
Gunnery skill (turret/bay or spinal) may be used in place of (...) weapon table DM on the to hit task
Gunnery skill (screens) may be used in place of (...) screen table DM on the defensive tasks
Gunnery skill (turret) may be used in place of (...) laser table DM on the defensive tasks

Would that make it more logical?
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Old May 17th, 2012, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher.boote View Post
What if that was rewritten to say

(...)

Would that make it more logical?
I see some of the same problems here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher.boote View Post
Gunnery skill (turret/bay or spinal) may be used in place of (...) weapon table DM on the to hit task
Quite usable

Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher.boote View Post
Gunnery skill (screens) may be used in place of (...) screen table DM (used as negative) on the defensive tasks
(bold part is addition from mine)

This makes this skill quite powerful. Imagine you have a level 1 meson screen crewed by a Skill 2 gunner. You're attacked by a battleship with a T rated spinal meson. You substitute the +7 in the table by a -2 for your skill. Suddenly, your tiny meson screen became Yamato's armor...

Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher.boote View Post
Gunnery skill (turret) may be used in place of (...) laser table DM on the defensive tasks
Same as above. Your single laser (factor 1 battery) with a skill level 1 gunner attacked by 9 rated battery missiles. Modifier +11 becomes -1...

If anything, the skill should be added (substracted if defensively used) to the modifiers, not substitute it.
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  #10  
Old May 17th, 2012, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McPerth View Post
If anything, the skill should be added (substracted if defensively used) to the modifiers, not substitute it.
That makes perfect sense to me - and that's probably why it wasn't in MT 8-)

So...

Gunnery skill (turret/bay or spinal) of the attacking gunner may be used as a favourable DM on the 'to hit' task
Gunnery skill (screens) of the defending gunner may be used as an unfavourable DM on the 'to hit' task
Gunnery skill (turret) of the defending gunner may be used as a favourable DM on the anti-missile defensive tasks
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