Citizens of the Imperium

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-   -   [SBRD] OOC Discussion: Chapter 01 (http://www.travellerrpg.com/CotI/Discuss/showthread.php?t=30671)

Fritz_Brown September 8th, 2013 05:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SpaceBadger (Post 452242)
I was actually going to gloss over that

Good. (Cold sweat stops)

Quote:

Originally Posted by SpaceBadger (Post 452242)
I think our different ideas here are due to a different perception of what the grav unit built into each of these containers is actually doing. I guess even in Traveller I just can't bring myself to completely ignore mass. A solid cube of Lanthanum of 1/4 dTon volume has an ungodly mass, surely more than two or three air-rafts all added together, and I just can't see that tiny grav unit (which is small enough that we are ignoring its volume in simplifying these nice 1/4 ton cubes) being able to completely negate the effective mass.

My view (for what it's worth): The lifter negates gravity - not mass. All it does is take the gravitational pull and cancel it out. This means you don't have to push the mass up AND work against the pull of gravity to lift the mass. (IMTU a phenomena occurs when you switch the field on that causes something similar to "ground effect" - the lifter 'bounces' ever so slightly, causing the mass to rise a few inches, so it "floats".)

So, if you want to push something upward, instead of needing 80tons of force to lift 40 tons of metal at an acceleration of 1g, you only need 40tons of force.

So, the cargo bot will push and shove and grunt to push the 40tons forward (and to stop it in the appropriate spot). But they don't have to lift it. (If they can't do that, either, that's fine.)

[Though, these are only 20 tons, since you made them half height.]

Quote:

Originally Posted by SpaceBadger (Post 452242)
They each require handling by a heavy-duty forklift that is counter-weighted on the back so it doesn't tip forward when lifting them. You want to pick up and handle them as few times as possible.

If they didn't have any lift help, that would be very true. If you're only using the lifters as a weight-reducing machine, then it will be slightly less true. If you use it as a gravity-negater, then they need the weight to make sure they can grip the ground and push (otherwise, the remaining weight of the container will serve that purpose).

FYI, the maximum weight of a standard cargo container (either 40' or 20') is... [drum roll] ... 20 tons (though Canada allows up to 26 in some cases).

Quote:

Originally Posted by SpaceBadger (Post 452242)
I dunno if even your built-in hoist and track system could move these puppies around, I think it might be damaged in trying.

Well, if it's weight limited, we should probably know what its limits are.

Quote:

Originally Posted by SpaceBadger (Post 452242)
So either you have two ant-like lines of forklifts, one carrying cubes into the cargo bay and another line of empties going back down the mine for another cube; or else you have some forklifts from below bringing them up and lining them up alongside the landing pad, then another two or three each picking up one of those and carrying it inside to where it is set down in place to be fastened.

Then I would say this will take approximately 8 minutes per container as the base calculation (from the time it is positioned at the entrance to the cargo bay). That makes for ~27 hours. Not counting any breaks.

sabredog September 8th, 2013 06:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SpaceBadger (Post 452183)
I was just discussing this with "Kalos" the other day, and thought I would ask for input from y'all before we get into our first big combat scene (not that there necessarily is one coming soon, but y'know, just in case... :devil:)

We will be using basic CT combat for everything that it covers. Sabredog sent me some spreadsheets that he made that will help a lot, combining the lookups for armor and range mods for different weapons.

Movement: I don't think CT covers movement real well if you are trying to play on any kind of map, or even trying to visualize with a map in your head. It is fine if all you care about is abstract range bands, otherwise, not so much. I think as long as y'all keep movements each round reasonable, I have no problem. Just so you know, if I have some doubt about whether some move ought to be reasonable, I'll be looking at Snapshot. Not that I ever liked actually playing it with all of that Action Point accounting, but I think it makes a reasonable base for judgment, and it is customized for shipboard combats.

The range bands are synched to the CT combat ranges, which in my experience tends to be pretty much only Close to Medium anyway. Anything longer than that tends to require planning in advance (like and ambush or assault).

I would think that would make it easier to use them in this way of running the game than otherwise. Just state the range the battle takes place at and go from there.

Quote:

Originally Posted by SpaceBadger (Post 452183)
Info that I want about each character each round:

1) Participating in combat:
- - a) Hiding or otherwise trying not to be involved;
- - b) Taking one careful shot per round;
- - c) Taking as many aimed shots as opportunity allows while evading;
- - d) Just blazing away as fast as your weapon can go, such as area fire or trying to make the enemy keep their heads down;
- - e) Punching, kicking, grappling, stabbing... other combat actions besides shooting a gun.

2) Evading or Not Evading (for those that don't know, this is a Traveller thing that means you are moving around or using cover to get a defense bonus to avoid being hit, or popping in and out of cover; however, it also makes it harder for you to aim and hit your enemies).

3) Any movement or other actions your character is doing: crawling, running, climbing, reloading, giving first-aid to himself or someone else, basically anything else he might be doing.

If I don't have instructions on a particular character and we need to keep things moving, they will either continue previous action (if that still makes sense), or do whatever seems reasonable (to me, the GM), or do nothing.

Are there any other actions or options that y'all can think of that need to be included in what a character is doing in combat?

Ammo: I don't want to be an ammo-accountant for everyone. You can do this for your own character if you want, or else just try to keep it real as far as how often you ought to reload considering the amount of firing your character is doing. If you aren't saying anything about reloading, I might remind you once in awhile.

Are we still using the ten-second combat round from CT? If so, then everyone needs to be aware of how many actions can be made, or not in that time frame. Per the rules "it takes a single round to reload during which the character is considered to be evading."

And how many "aimed shots" can we take in that timeframe? And what difference does a "single carefully aimed shot" have from the "as many aimed shots as opportunity allows while evading"? And what does that second line mean - running in serpentine while blazing away right and left at every bad guy who pops up? For ten seconds?


Quote:

Originally Posted by SpaceBadger (Post 452183)
EDIT 2: Wow, was just looking at the Evading rule in TTB and it appears that we have been doing it wrong all of these years!!! We had it pictured as ducking and weaving, bobbing up and down from behind cover or doorways or whatever, taking what shots you can get. We imposed a defense bonus and an offense penalty, reasoning that if you were evading you couldn't aim very well, taking mostly snapshots. Now I read in TTB that when you are evading you cannot attack at all! My whole worldview of Traveller evasion is upside down? How do you represent the kind of fighting that I thought we were doing with Evasion? Comments, suggestions?

You clarify the words used within the context of the timeframe of the combat round.

There are some universal rules to a gunfight I always remind my players of and keep in mind while running the game so it doesn't turn into a detail-fest of un-enjoyable proportions. They help me keep it simple.

For this evasion thing the rule is: If you are not shooting, you should be talking, evading, and reloading. Those are the only choices you have within the time allowed for the round.



IMTU I do it this way:

In ten seconds you can have enough time to dive behind cover, duck and weave, or whatever you think you can do to avoid being hit and that means you are not focusing on shooting but getting out of the way. If you want to get to cover you have to evade that round (dive for cover) towards cover if it is available. The enemy gets a negative DM to shoot at you while you evade and you cannot shoot back.

Or you can shoot this round. Once, if you have a single shot weapon (group hits for a shotgun may apply, though). Twice at one target if you have a four round burst (or one roll each at two targets and the targets are next to eachother). Three times if your weapon fires ten+ rounds bursts at a single target or once each at up to three targets next to eachother.

If you fire from behind cover (after probably reaching cover last round through evading) the enemy gets a negative DM to hit you. But you don't have a negative DM to hit him unless he is also behind cover.

This tends to be pretty much the way it works IRL, too - in fact, it's damn hard to hit anyone behind cover unless you can shoot through the cover - hence the difference behind cover and concealment. Cover stops fire, concealment does not - all things being relative to the weapon you are using and the materials the target is behind, so the definition can be somewhat fluid.

So:

If you want to shoot through the cover just treat cover as a bonus to the armor worn by the target behind it - like a brick wall gives a -4DM to hit, but a wooden office door only -1DM (only because you can't see the target behind it completely). This is for shooting through the cover - not the regular cover DM. Shooting through cover is harder than shooting the guy who exposed himself to fire unless the weapon you are using is powerful enough (like a gauss rifle or PGMP, say) to blow through the cover's material.

SpaceBadger September 8th, 2013 06:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fritz_Brown (Post 452260)
My view (for what it's worth): The lifter negates gravity - not mass. All it does is take the gravitational pull and cancel it out.

But you need a certain amount of grav lift to cancel an equal amount of real gravity - and these units aren't big enough. Say they can cancel out half a G, that still leaves these big cubes of metal not only massy but also pretty darn heavy! Remember how if an air-raft loses some of its grav units it starts to drop? These containers don't have enough grav units to compensate for the mass of all that metal. They can reduce its weight, but not cancel it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fritz_Brown (Post 452260)
Well, if it's weight limited, we should probably know what its limits are.

True. I think I'd want to work out the weight of standard cargo containers that it usually needs to move around (w/out any grav lifters on them) and use that. Which I suspect is still less than what these weigh even at half-G. How often would you lug around that kind of weight? The system would be over-engineered to be able to move stuff that it "never" needs to move.

sabredog September 8th, 2013 06:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fritz_Brown (Post 452260)
Good. (Cold sweat stops)


My view (for what it's worth): The lifter negates gravity - not mass. All it does is take the gravitational pull and cancel it out. This means you don't have to push the mass up AND work against the pull of gravity to lift the mass. (IMTU a phenomena occurs when you switch the field on that causes something similar to "ground effect" - the lifter 'bounces' ever so slightly, causing the mass to rise a few inches, so it "floats".)

So, if you want to push something upward, instead of needing 80tons of force to lift 40 tons of metal at an acceleration of 1g, you only need 40tons of force.

So, the cargo bot will push and shove and grunt to push the 40tons forward (and to stop it in the appropriate spot). But they don't have to lift it. (If they can't do that, either, that's fine.)

[Though, these are only 20 tons, since you made them half height.]


If they didn't have any lift help, that would be very true. If you're only using the lifters as a weight-reducing machine, then it will be slightly less true. If you use it as a gravity-negater, then they need the weight to make sure they can grip the ground and push (otherwise, the remaining weight of the container will serve that purpose).

FYI, the maximum weight of a standard cargo container (either 40' or 20') is... [drum roll] ... 20 tons (though Canada allows up to 26 in some cases).


Well, if it's weight limited, we should probably know what its limits are.


Then I would say this will take approximately 8 minutes per container as the base calculation (from the time it is positioned at the entrance to the cargo bay). That makes for ~27 hours. Not counting any breaks.

Does the fact that the ship is built for roll-on/roll-off loading and should have a floor with rollers and tracks for moving cargo containers around inside, much like a Ro/RO ship or plane today does make a difference to this epic grognardy-ness?

And wouldn't we be able to merely adjust the gravity plates in the cargo bay, anyway, to account for cargo weight when loading? Yes, mass remains and issue, but the cargo bots and loading vehicles would be able to compensate for that if they are designed to do the job properly.

SpaceBadger September 8th, 2013 07:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sabredog (Post 452270)
Does the fact that the ship is built for roll-on/roll-off loading and should have a floor with rollers and tracks for moving cargo containers around inside, much like a Ro/RO ship or plane today does make a difference to this epic grognardy-ness?

And wouldn't we be able to merely adjust the gravity plates in the cargo bay, anyway, to account for cargo weight when loading? Yes, mass remains and issue, but the cargo bots and loading vehicles would be able to compensate for that if they are designed to do the job properly.

Yes and Yes, but a big part of what we are talking about is getting the containers to the ship.

However, it's true that does fix the issue of using the ceiling-mounted hoist-and-track system - just put the cargo bay in zero-G.

Fritz_Brown September 8th, 2013 07:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SpaceBadger (Post 452269)
But you need a certain amount of grav lift to cancel an equal amount of real gravity

But, you're cancelling a force, not producing an equivalent amount of negative matter. The density/mass of the matter is irrelevant - remember that in a vacuum the feather and the bowling ball reach bottom at the exact same time. Gravity doesn't act based on density/mass, it merely acts.

To look at it from the opposite perspective, are the grav plates in the deck of the ship limited in what they can act upon? Will a figure in battle-dress tend to drift off the floor a little because he's so massive, and the plates just aren't that powerful? Or, do they generate 1g, regardless of how much or how little mass is sitting on top of them?

Quote:

Originally Posted by SpaceBadger (Post 452269)
Remember how if an air-raft loses some of its grav units it starts to drop?

But, that's because the multiple units cover only part of the vehicle (IMO). All of a sudden, one portion is being dragged down by gravity, while the others are still buoyed. One other important difference - an air/raft is actually using a grav drive, not simply a floater.

Quote:

Originally Posted by SpaceBadger (Post 452269)
I think I'd want to work out the weight of standard cargo containers that it usually needs to move around (w/out any grav lifters on them) and use that.

Again, maximum weight in a standard cargo container (both 40' and 20') according to US regulations is ... 17-22 tons. So, anything designed to lift/move standard cargo containers (RL, TL-7) will be rated up to >20 tons. (This was based on some googling, and finding some information on limits that the US and Canada impose. And, the Canucks will allow 26 tons for some containers.)

Quote:

Originally Posted by SpaceBadger (Post 452269)
Which I suspect is still less than what these weigh even at half-G.

Nope. You make them 1/4dTon, and they are 20 tons for lanthanum. Now, doing a little more research, the lanthanum is probably the lighter of the rare earth elements. So, other containers (if they were packed by element, rather than spread about for even weighting) might weigh as much as ... ~26 tons. And, that's before applying any sort of labor-saving device.

Quote:

Originally Posted by SpaceBadger (Post 452269)
The system would be over-engineered to be able to move stuff that it "never" needs to move.

Yep. [st]Depends on the safety factor your engineers build in. If it's 1.3, and they're rated to 20 tons, then they will actually handle 26 tons before catastrophic failure. However, there's no actual guarantee above the rating.[/st] One consideration as to the rating (just random idea here): Could you fit a launch in the cargo bay? How much would that mass? I would think that (assuming you bought a system designed for this type of ship, and didn't buy a Yugo suspension for a Hummer in order to skimp credits) any cargo handling system would be rated to handle something like moving a kaput ship's boat, with that being the largest single hunk of stuff it would normally be expected to pull into the bay.

As a reminder, I'm not arguing with the referee. I'm trying to give some good information so you can establish the best-supported answer for how you want to make it work. If you want grav lifters to somehow produce essentially a "negative mass", then that's how they work. It's YTU. :)

Fritz_Brown September 8th, 2013 08:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sabredog (Post 452270)
Does the fact that the ship is built for roll-on/roll-off loading and should have a floor with rollers and tracks for moving cargo containers around inside, much like a Ro/RO ship or plane today does make a difference to this epic grognardy-ness?

Yes, and I should have thought of that, too, since I mentioned the lock-downs. It is going to be rated to a certain weight*, though - but it should be a really heavy weight for this kind of application. You would much rather push things around on the rollers than drive forklifts around in your nice cargo hold.

* The weight to which it would be rated would be based on whether or not you want to get them out of the way once you are done loading. The mechanism that locks them in the up position will be the limiting factor on what sort of pounding they will take. If you leave them up permanently, they do become a hazard for personnel maneuvering in the hold.

Oh, btw, this is where your cargo space maintenance cost comes in - you have to replace these rollers and the lockdowns and the tie-down rings on a pretty regular basis. They get banged up, bashed around, occasionally don't meet spec, etc. You also have to buy new cargo straps regularly.

Quote:

Originally Posted by sabredog (Post 452270)
And wouldn't we be able to merely adjust the gravity plates in the cargo bay, anyway, to account for cargo weight when loading?

You still have to get it into position over the cargo decking.

Quote:

Originally Posted by SpaceBadger (Post 452272)
just put the cargo bay in zero-G.

LOL, you can cancel out the planet's gravity inside the bay (which will make it really hard for anyone to push this stuff around, unless you are anchored in some way - I assume mag boots), but you can't simply cancel the gravity under a box? ;)

My suggestion would be to not set 0-g in the bay, but to use the rollers combined with the container lift units and the hoist system to maneuver the boxes. An idea, though ... do we have any extra deck grav plating? We could set those up out at the entrance to the cargo bay as a loading dock - the forklifts would drop off the containers there, then they could be handled by the bots at a lighter g. If we did it right, we could actually have moving light-g zones, so the bot would be at full-g behind the container, pushing it over a moving 0.1g zone to keep the container essentially weight-free. Heck, we might be able to do that with the cargo deck plating - activating lo-g zones based on which track of rollers we're using at any one time. Either of those would allow us to get a queue going, instead of simply having forklifts idling and holding up these massive containers.

Fritz_Brown September 8th, 2013 08:13 PM

BTW, all you guys with "Cargo Handling-1", this is why it really would be a skill. :)
(EDI: Just the first 30 or so questions apply to cargo, the rest to refueling and other in-flight operations.)

sabredog September 8th, 2013 08:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fritz_Brown (Post 452281)
Yes, and I should have thought of that, too, since I mentioned the lock-downs. It is going to be rated to a certain weight*, though - but it should be a really heavy weight for this kind of application. You would much rather push things around on the rollers than drive forklifts around in your nice cargo hold.

* The weight to which it would be rated would be based on whether or not you want to get them out of the way once you are done loading. The mechanism that locks them in the up position will be the limiting factor on what sort of pounding they will take. If you leave them up permanently, they do become a hazard for personnel maneuvering in the hold.

Oh, btw, this is where your cargo space maintenance cost comes in - you have to replace these rollers and the lockdowns and the tie-down rings on a pretty regular basis. They get banged up, bashed around, occasionally don't meet spec, etc. You also have to buy new cargo straps regularly.


You still have to get it into position over the cargo decking.


LOL, you can cancel out the planet's gravity inside the bay (which will make it really hard for anyone to push this stuff around, unless you are anchored in some way - I assume mag boots), but you can't simply cancel the gravity under a box? ;)

My suggestion would be to not set 0-g in the bay, but to use the rollers combined with the container lift units and the hoist system to maneuver the boxes. An idea, though ... do we have any extra deck grav plating? We could set those up out at the entrance to the cargo bay as a loading dock - the forklifts would drop off the containers there, then they could be handled by the bots at a lighter g. If we did it right, we could actually have moving light-g zones, so the bot would be at full-g behind the container, pushing it over a moving 0.1g zone to keep the container essentially weight-free. Heck, we might be able to do that with the cargo deck plating - activating lo-g zones based on which track of rollers we're using at any one time. Either of those would allow us to get a queue going, instead of simply having forklifts idling and holding up these massive containers.

The reason the ship has the hoists and gantry system over the rear doors is to help with this sort of thing under gravity and otherwise.

The hoists lift the containers in to the bay entrance and then the bots and handlers can go from there. The deck plates should be user-selectable and have safety paths marked out for the handlers so they are walking on 1G plates, while the containers are routed down plates set for less.

The bots and containers can lock onto roller tracks set in the middle of the plates to guide the containers and allow the bots something to push and pull against when moving along low-grav plates. The containers likewise lock onto the roller tracks so they don't just slide off the plate if someone messes up or the ship is under acceleration.

The gantry/hoist at the door is also good for pulling cargo or whatever across to the entrance when the ship is in space. Mass is still a factor so the mass of the ship helps there, too, when using the hoists for moving things around outside. Once inside the same grav plate system with roller lock guideways and such makes moving the cargo fairly quick and easily.

The system could even adjust the gravity under the containers up and down as the container is moved so it helps to decelerate the motion of the container and pull it into place when it reaches where the handler wants it. The handler can have a handheld controller that allows the on-the-fly operation of this system, and the bots can tie into that for assistance. Gradually add gravity as the container moves to slow down the container and pull it down into place.

Fritz_Brown September 8th, 2013 08:28 PM

Excellent. Given your explanation, the only problem we have (on the hold side of things) is stacking these boxes two high to bring them in.

But, as SB mentioned, our discussion began on the basis of how to queue them up for bringing into the bay (or the area the hoists/gantry reach). We have different views on how grav floaters work. :)


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