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The Fleet Ship designs, strategies, and tactics.

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  #21  
Old October 17th, 2020, 07:57 PM
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Mike's comments inspired me to think harder about the difference between a small craft and a ship as a clue to what is included in the bridge volume and how much room it takes. Here are some new ideas:

As Mike reminds us, small craft don't have to have a bridge - a couch and a computer will do, but then your 1 dt comp-1 becomes a comp-0. Ergo, minimal controls are a 0.5 dt pilot seat and 1 dt of avionics.

A small craft bridge is 4 dt minimum and has two seats plus life support. Ergo, 1 dt for seats, 1 dt for avionics, and 2 dt for life support.

Here I think a house rule is needed, as a bridge should give a small craft longer endurance since you are adding that life support. I'd rule for a small craft to have longer than 24 hours operations you need BOTH a stateroom (which is RAW) AND a bridge. YMMV.

That is what we can discern just looking closely at the small craft rules. Then we can think about the differences between ships and small craft to get from 4 to 20 dts.

First is the airlock which I judge as 1 dt itself. (I see the wiki says its 0.5 dt, but that is awful small and I can't find a source for that.)

Then there is fact that ships move a lot more air than small craft. Not only must the airlock be evacuated/pressurized, but in 20 (HG) or 30 (B2) minutes, each of the bridge proper, all the staterooms, the hold and engineering, and (not mentioned in RAW but must be true) the flight deck can be as well. I'd think each of these sections would have its own dedicated air pumps and pressure control stations too. At 0.5 dt each that is 2.5 or 3 dt on vacuum control.

Next I'd add at least 2 damage control stations (fore and aft) at 0.5-1 dt each for fire suppression, CBR hazards, hull integrity monitoring and battle damage repair coordination, supplies and equipment.

Finally, starships in particular need to pump a lot of fuel (10 to 60% of volume) very quickly. Similarly, there is a much bigger need for water and sewage pumps on ships than small craft. I'd allocate at lease 1 dt to each of those systems in a pumping room.

Summary minimum volumes:
2 dt bridge proper, 4 seats
1 dt avionics
2 dt life support
1 dt airlock
0.5 dt airlock pump & control station
2 dt auxiliary vacuum pump control stations (4x 0.5 dt for bridge, staterooms, hold, eng)
1 dt damage control stations (2x 0.5 dt each)
2 dt fuel, clean water, & sewage pump rooms

That is 11.5 dt minimum right there.

Personally, I'd add 1 dt to the bridge just for more access/mobility for 4 people. I wouldn't have a problem bumping up ship life support another 2 dt either given all of the components. DC could easily be another dt or more. Those 3 changes add 4 dt for 15.5 dt. If you are willing to add the ships' locker (and I am coming around to the idea) I'd also say there should be an EVA ready/store room adjacent the airlock as well as a weapons locker. If those are 1 dt, 1dt, and 0.5 dt respectively, now we are at 18 dt. The last 2 dt could be distributed through the ship (lights, comms, power, plumbing, vents, gravity, etc.)

That would get us comfortably to 20 dt. Apparently there is a lot of overhead in those volumes because a 100 dt and 1000 dt ship can make do with the same 20 dt, but I'm OK with that. A lot of the space IS access to my mind.

EDIT

on still further reflection, 2 dt for life support is for a 20 dt small craft. a 99 dt small craft has a ~20 dt bridge and still only 2 dt are couches/avionics. Is our "bridge" actually 18 dt of life support? That doesn't seem right either, but it does encourage me to raise the life support dt on a ship up from 2.

Last edited by vegas; October 17th, 2020 at 09:01 PM..
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  #22  
Old October 18th, 2020, 04:06 AM
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I would note that in the old days a cockpit for a crew of 4 (pilot, copilot, navigator, engineer) would fully fit within 1 dT (14 cumets, approximately 8' cube in freedom units). It would be barely tall enough for an average man to stand. The cockpit wasn't the full width of the aircraft body, as the fuselage would be narrowing to a cone-like nose, and the cockpit was usually perched at the top, not the whole height of the fuselage.


People keep forgetting that 1 dT is a stupidly large volume to use as a basis of measurement. 4 workstations in 14 cumets comes to 3.5 cumets each. Workstations don't need full 3.5m height typical of floorplans. They can use areas where the hull is sloping.


All those other things people describe aren't "bridge." They're needed, and they can and should be invoked to explain some of the overly large requirement holding over from the original game. But they aren't "bridge."
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  #23  
Old October 18th, 2020, 04:25 AM
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A small craft can get by with 1.5Td "bridge" (Mod/1 and 1 seat) up to 99Td. Granted, this substitution costs MCr1.525-MCr1.925 more than the default option (lowest difference at 99Td, highest at 20Td or less), but oddly, it doesn't seem to have any in-game effects on performance or combat capability aside from the initial computer down-rate.

It does make computer upgrades far more expensive though.

Wait. Can a small craft have two computers? Use 1 Mod/1 for the flight controls, and a second Mod/1 for the weapons systems. This gets you Mod/1 capability for the same tonnage as a Mod/2 down-rated to Mod/1, but for MCr7 less!

Conceptually, these are:
Computer and a seat or two as bridge: fighter cockpit, minimal radome (think F-16, not F-15)
Small craft bridge: Airliner flight deck including forward radome (this is F-15 and early commercial aircraft radar sized)
Starship bridge: Oceangoing ship bridge

Last edited by Grav_Moped; October 18th, 2020 at 04:50 AM..
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  #24  
Old October 18th, 2020, 04:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grav_Moped View Post
Wait. Can a small craft have two computers?
Yes, of course.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Grav_Moped View Post
Use 1 Mod/1 for the flight controls, and a second Mod/1 for the weapons systems.
No, only one can be operational at any given time. The other(s) are reserves in case of damage.
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  #25  
Old October 18th, 2020, 05:08 AM
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The bridge is well defined since time immemorial:
Quote:
Originally Posted by LBB2'77
The Bridge: All starships must allocate 20 tons displacement for basic controls, which include guidance radars, drive and power plant controls, communications equipment, and other devices required for proper control of the ship. Basic controls cost CR 500,000 per 100 tons of hull mass displacement.
The basic controls do not include the ship's computer, which is installed adjacent to the bridge and is available in a variety of configurations, ...

The "bridge" isn't a room, it's all the equipment you need for C3I including sensors, communications (internal and external), avionics, and crew workstations.
The control workstation in Engineering: "Bridge".
The intercom system: "Bridge".
The command systems that allows control of the drives from the control room: "Bridge".
The local "wifi" network: "Bridge".
Radar antennæ: "Bridge".
Radio communication system that can reach lightseconds: "Bridge".
And, of course, the central control room: "Bridge".



Life support, galleys, or air locks are not part of the bridge, but "stateroom" tonnage.
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  #26  
Old October 18th, 2020, 06:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Straybow View Post
I would note that in the old days a cockpit...
Analogizing to a cockpit isn't great. The human endurance required is longer - 24 continuous hours - and so is the machine endurance. There is no ground crew for maintenance for weeks at a time so reliability needs are higher and maintenance must be performed underway. That means more redundancy, more access space for repairs and maintenance, and more ergonomic constraints than a terrestrial cockpit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Straybow View Post
All those other things people describe aren't "bridge." They're needed, and they can and should be invoked to explain some of the overly large requirement holding over from the original game. But they aren't "bridge."
The RAW are quoted up thread and they are explicit that bridge volume refers to much more than the bridge proper.
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  #27  
Old October 18th, 2020, 06:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherDilbert View Post
Life support, galleys, or air locks are not part of the bridge, but "stateroom" tonnage.
I agree it would make more sense for life support to come out of stateroom tonnage (size scales with number of bodies) but the CT small craft rules are explicit that bridge includes life support.

I agree galleys probably aren't bridge - they aren't operating equipment - though I wouldn't die on that hill if someone disagreed.

Airlocks on the other hand I'm more inclined to include - they are required for operations along with all the auxiliary vacuum control for other sections. Vacuum control is a core life support function along with other atmospheric controls.
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Old October 18th, 2020, 07:07 AM
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Very small craft wouldn't have airlocks, but instead depressurize the cockpit/bridge.
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  #29  
Old October 18th, 2020, 07:13 AM
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Yes, as per RAW. Hence the air lock is something that is a part of a ships bridge 20 dt but not part of a small craft 4 dt bridge.
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Old October 18th, 2020, 07:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherDilbert View Post
Yes, of course.



No, only one can be operational at any given time. The other(s) are reserves in case of damage.
Rules lawyering: Simply by being committed to operating the flight controls and navigation, the first one is reduced to zero factor. The "weapons can still be used" statement means they're being fired without computer assistance.

At that point, the second computer is the backup, placed into operational status.

Yeah, it's a weak argument. But then, the whole computer-as-bridge thing shouldn't be providing sensors equal to what you'd get from a 4Td-minimum bridge anyhow (and under LBB2, military-grade sensors!), but it does.
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