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The Fleet Ship designs, strategies, and tactics.

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Old May 16th, 2011, 11:07 AM
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Default How does Mongoose/High Guard change ship combat?

I think most of us here know the bedrock rules of combat ships in Traveller old school High Guard. Missile carrier with a spinal through TL14, Spinal Meson J through T at TL 15.

At sub 3K tons Missiles and Pulse Lasers with as much M , A, and computer as you can fit in.



I had way too much to drink Saturday, and reread Mongood and Mongoose High Guard Sunday. How does that change the game?

I started with Gazelle v Fiery. Average Crews with skill 1. Medium Range. Both ships wish to fight so I assume they try to stay at medium and use their thrust for the fight.

Initiative 2D6, both ships plus one for skill, Fiery an extra plus one for thrust. Slight advantage Fiery.

Gazelle: Sandcaster/Beam x two turrets. Beams are medium range. Damage 2D6. Also missile/missile x two turrets. Special range. Assume nuclear and 2D6 plus crew hit. Armor 8

Fiery: Beam/Beam/Beam x two turrets. All high yield so all rolls of one become a two (+1 applied one time out of six). Missile/Missile/Missile single turret. Fusion Bay 14 equals 5D6 plus medium range. Armor 8

Turn one, slight advantage Fiery. Assume no sensor locks the entire combat because the operators and gear are matched.

Assume it wins and fires all weapons. Gazelle fires the sandcasters and fires the beams at the same time because otherwise the beams are out of action. Fiery uses its thrust to skill chain the pilot's 1. The Fiery can use three actions--one for each weapon type, and still have two to dodge.

Fiery pilot chain chance is 2D6 +1 minus 8. .416 of a +1 for the gunner, however, .416 chance of a minus one or minus two for the gunner. Assume a wash on the fusion gun.

(Book one beam laser rules)

Gazelle choses to dodge and use both sandcasters on the fusion gun. It also dodges the beams. Gazelle dodge = 2D6+1 trying for 8+ (.583 chance of success). Exact same chance of success for the Fiery beam gunners if the Gazelle misses the dodge, otherwise Fiery only hits .277.

Gazelle sandcasters stop 1D6 of damage EACH .583 of the time. Assume on the first exchange Fiery fusion misses, following chance. One beam turret hits, one misses. .277 chance of any damage given the armor, assume one hit rolled on the external table at 2 points. .277 chance it will be a hull hit, followed by armor and turret at lesser percents. Assume a hull hit of 1 lowering the Gazelle to 7 hull points.

The Gazelle returns fire with two beams, both dodged. Same percentages. Assume one hits, but only .277 percent chance of making it through the armor, total.

Next round, luck is with the Fiery and its slight +1 again lets it go first. It reserves its beam turrets for point defense.

Same chances. Fusion barely misses.

Missiles also track in (one round late). Same pilot chain chances, gunnery check, assume turret had an effect 1-5. Dodging by Gazelle and point defense fire. .583 percent chance of -2. Gunnery point defense check to target missiles starts at .583 but falls off quickly.

Assume one gets through, hull hit, Gazelle has six left. One crewman radition damage.

This could just as easily been a miss.

Gazelle missiles resolved the same way, light damage.

Third round, Gazelle wins, light damage exchanged except the fusion gun hits.

5D6. Three single hits, two hull one armor. Hull now four, armor now seven.

Gazelle attempts to break off. It makes it or dies in the next three rounds

Slight advantage of the fusion gun is telling.

However, the exact same fight, with the gunners on the Gazelle and the pilot having skill two, totally change everything. The chances to dodge and hit now increase to almost 70%, and the Gazelle should win.

Of course, the same is true of the Fiery, but even more so. A pilot two and gunner two for just the fusion bay results on a triple hit on the first or second round. A second gunner two for the missiles gives two or even three hits on the second round.

Yes, I left something important out. The Gazelle has a computer rating of 20. It could run fire control 4, giving a +4 to (hopefully if the crew is smart) one of its missile shots. The Fiery can run fire control 5, giving it a +5 to the fusion gun bay. In that case, given skill level one crews, the Fiery lands a triple hit with two hull and one armor on round one, and also on round two (or two out of three missile hits the second and third round at a total of four hits on hull and armor and two crew hits per round).

The Gazelle gets one beam hit on round one and a second beam hit on round two, along with two missile hits for a missile total of four hits on hull and armor and two crew hits per round.

Skills: Gunner is most important, followed by pilot, followed by sensors, then leadership/tactics.

Computer rating is just as important.

Lesson--Having a big gun is important, but more so is the skill of the crewmen and the rating of the computer. In small ship combat, thrust 4 or more is important for the plus one/minus one it gives the ships. Armor is very important, 8 is the minimum, 10 would have been even better. Nuclear missles are useful, I did not game out smart missiles or basics because of the lesser damage.

Moving on past these small ships and using High Guard fully---If we used all of the High Guard rules, neither ship would use its beam lasers on the other until a second armor hit. The change to 1D6 means that a beam laster simply will not do damage to an 8 armor ship. In which case, the fight is a missile and fusion bay duel.

This also means that at armor 12 and above NO turret weapons will do damage so long as the ship has rad armor. The smallest offensive weapons that a destroyer escort and above should carry is a PA barbette, energy bay, or torpedo bay. A missle bay is worthless against a ship with armor 12+. For the same class, beam lasers should be restricted to point defense only, along with sandcasters.

Pulse lasers as just as bad, -2 to hit and short ranged.
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Last edited by Garyius2003; May 16th, 2011 at 11:52 AM..
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Old May 16th, 2011, 11:11 AM
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Thanks for that example and analysis.
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Old May 16th, 2011, 12:33 PM
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Thus, my Fiery II+ upgraded Close Escort and small patrol vessel:

600 ton hull, M and PP-4, J3, 4 weeks PP fuel. Streamlined, scoops, processor to refine all fuel in 1.2 days. Bonded superdense to 18 points, rad shielding.

Two PA Bay 14s, 6D6 each plus crew hit (Acc +1).

Two 3 x beam lasers-14 (Acc +1 and VarRng).

One torpedo barb 11 with two reloads (two shots per load). Bomb pumped 6D6, additional minus one to defense. Accurate +1 to hit.

20 ton Launch.

8 staterooms--Capt, pilot, 3 engineers, 3 gunners, sensor ops, 6 extra watch standers/boarding

Comp 7 for 35 rating, +5 one shot per round, auto repair or J2 running with the fire control. Adv sensors. Repair drones. Eight tons cargo space/locker.


Give it a pilot 2 or 3, a sensor ops 2 or 3, and two gunners with 2 or 3 and the ship is able to hold its own with any sub destroyer sized ship (Patrol DE has 2 PA bays where the CE armor scrubs off 18 from the max of 36--Convoy DE has two PA turrets which cannot get though the CE 18 armor--Torpoedo boats also get 18 scrubbed off the max of 36).
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Old May 16th, 2011, 01:45 PM
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Thus, against the published Patrol DE, my Fiery II+ goes second because the DE has such an awesome captain. He also has a gunner 2 on his PA bays. Long range, neither locks up the first round.

Pilot 2 on the DE tries to skill chain, and makes it for a plus one to the gunner. The gunner needs (pilot one+fire control 5+gunner 2) zero.

Fiery dodges and gets a minus one. Auto hit. (6D6 -18) X2 = figure maybe 6 X 2 is four single hits. Nothing else hits. Most likely hull, fuel, turret, or armor. Minor. The rad shielding keeps out the crew hit.

The Fiery shoots the torps at pilot +1 plus 5 fire control plus 3 gunner. It also shoots two bays at Acc+1 plus 3 gunner +1 pilot. The Fiery Captain lets his beam lasers start shooting and VarRng = -0 plus gunner +2 plus Acc +1. Maybe it can do another hull hit.

DE dodges for minus one. Both bays are likely to hit. (6D6 -8) X2 = figure maybe one double hit and three single. Armor, fuel, hull minor hits. Two crew hits, minor.

Rinse and repeat, except that in the second round the Fiery uses its +5 for the bays and reserves the torps. Minor hits, more so on the DE which is losing hull points and is down one or two armor. Maybe the beam lasers hit this round or last for a single hit or two.

The next round the Torps arrive, both hit for 6D6 and two crew hits, along with the bay shots and perhaps a laser hit or two. The DE is now in somewhat serious trouble due to hull points (15-16ish) and decides to flee.

DE moves to very long but the Fiery gets at least one more bay hit, maybe two, and the DE is in even worse shape-- it is likely down to 12-14 hull points and down an armor or three which makes things much worse.

If any of the hits by the Fiery ended up being an M-Drive hit, the DE likely to lose the fight and be destroyed (.166 chance per hit and seven to nine chances to score there). After the big hitters nibble on the armor the beam lasers start to matter and could be the M-Drive hit.

In a slugging match where the DE can't open to flee the Fiery is likely to launch a second set of torps and win.

Lessons learned--Having armor 18, weapons which do more than 18 damage, and plusses to hit are key.
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Last edited by Garyius2003; May 16th, 2011 at 01:55 PM..
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