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General I don't understand the Patrol Cruiser...

Spinward Scout

SOC-14 5K
Baron
I have trouble wrapping my head around the type T Patrol Cruiser.

Why would you use a Patrol Cruiser instead of a System Defense Boat?

And what are the bug-eyes looking things on the front of it?

It's a nice ship with a lot of weapons, but the Imperial Navy has better choices, I think.

What do you think?
 
I have trouble wrapping my head around the type T Patrol Cruiser.

Why would you use a Patrol Cruiser instead of a System Defense Boat?

And what are the bug-eyes looking things on the front of it?

It's a nice ship with a lot of weapons, but the Imperial Navy has better choices, I think.

What do you think?
You'd use it if you were in an early LBB2-only universe. Under those rules, it's fairly decent -- not great, but decent. The only thing a SDB gets you under LBB2 compared to a starship of similar tonnage is maybe the budget for a computer that can handle better combat programs and drives for 6G capability (which isn't anywhere near as big an advantage as it is in LBB5 and later rule sets). Agility isn't a thing, and armor doesn't exist.

In a universe that includes LBB5 or later, you're using Gazelles in place of the Type T Patrol Cruiser. You aren't going to have just 4G for a ship designed as a combatant, and it's going to need some armor and a better computer. The trick is that Gazelles are mostly just self-deploying SDBs themselves.

The "bug-eyes" are effectively a pair of bubble cockpits side-by-side, at least on the old FASA plans. In the Mongoose version it's a pair of armored elliptical but flat-roofed cockpits, which looks weird IMO. Mongoose appears to have adapted the FASA plans and reverse-engineered the exterior appearance rather than reverse-engineering from the FASA pictures, and it shows... (No criticism of Mongoose's artists intended -- the drawings are well-executed, but W.H.Keith's illustrations had much cleaner lines.)

Of course, there's always... my way [narrator laughs menacingly as the floor drops out...] (Yeah, that's my "Type T Deckplans, Fixed" thread).
 
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Outside of whatever the art directions were given, or the artist's intent, a sleek streamlined starcruiser meant for atmospheric landings on low tech planets.
The fluff text in the wiki description says it's meant to dogfight in gas giant atmospheres. Honestly, I'm not sure that's a viable combat concept in LBB2 or even LBB5/MT/etc. -- but it feels like it's something Mongoose's rules would encourage.

IMTU (that is, the one I'm using for my PbP and fanfic thingy) they're mostly used by the IISS for patrol/customs work.
 
Why would you use a Patrol Cruiser instead of a System Defense Boat?
You need it to jump? It covers more than one system?


It's a nice ship with a lot of weapons, but the Imperial Navy has better choices, I think.
It was never intended for the Navy:
LBB2'81, p20:
_ _ Patrol Cruiser (type T): Using a custom 400-ton hull, the patrol cruiser is a military vessel used for customs inspections, piracy suppression, and normal safety patrols.
It's something like a coastguard ship. It's not a combat ship, it's an armed civilian ship.



Or it's just a ship for adventurers who can't be bothered with trade?
 
I have trouble wrapping my head around the type T Patrol Cruiser.
When it was created, it was the most powerful "small" starship available in the inventory. It had a decent balance of drive capabilities (it could catch anything but a few small craft) and was well suited to its paramilitary role of "customs inspections, piracy suppression, and normal safety patrols" as a peacekeeper ship.

In the Grand Scheme of Things™ which includes later LBB5 BCS stuff ... the Type-T is basically a "low tech/low end militia" craft that is capable of pursuit and arrests in a law enforcement capacity, rather than any kind of "fleet on fleet" military naval combatant.
Why would you use a Patrol Cruiser instead of a System Defense Boat?
In a word ... Hegemony.
In slightly more words ... Hegemony and Influence.

You have to remember that Traveller becomes something of an "archipelago experience" at the interstellar scale (see: Pocket Empires) in which some worlds are more powerful and have more influence (and/or technology) than their neighbors. This means that there is a market for security/law enforcement services in locations that cannot locally support those operations due to immature local economies (see: Non-industrial trade code) or a variety of other reasons.

One way for a specific world to increase its power (both hard and soft) is through exchanges ... of trade, diplomacy and military assistance. The Type-T is the TL=10 "answer" to that particular need for worlds capable of expanding their influence (and "protection") to neighboring star systems. By doing so, the sponsoring world gains "leverage" in a variety of spheres over their near neighbors ... because the Type-T is jump capable and can conduct patrol operations, meaning it can be deployed outside of the sponsoring home star system. This is a necessary building block on the way to an interstellar hegemony and the foundation for a nascent Pocket Empire seeking to expand its sphere of influence.

In a TL=15 Third Imperium, the Type-T is a relic of a bygone age, now centuries past ... but still relevant to keeping the peace as a policing ship.

During a "Long Night" type of era ... the Type-T could be "the most powerful ship in the sky" at any given time, simply due to a scarcity of competition! 😳

Remember, Traveller spans a LOT of technological eras and ages ... sometimes, simultaneously!
It's a nice ship with a lot of weapons, but the Imperial Navy has better choices, I think.
A TL=15 Imperial Navy certainly does have better choices!
"I'll take 1 Tigress and keep the change. Thanks." :cool:

But a TL=10 Planetary Navy, building for "local and near abroad" defense and security using domestic resources would find the Type-T to be a compelling option to expand their patrol range and security sharing arrangements with neighboring worlds.
In a universe that includes LBB5 or later, you're using Gazelles in place of the Type T Patrol Cruiser.
Gazelles are TL=14 ... while the Type-T is TL=10.

Gazelles are more of a "fleet recon" type of ship (more akin to a helicopter than a surface vessel, if comparing to wet navy missions and roles) that is capable of RAPID (self-)deployment when necessary to particular hotspots.

Type-Ts are more of a "beat cop" type of ship that just cruises around primarily as a deterrence to trouble, rather than as some kind of frontline combatant meant to take on all attackers and win every single time (without need for backup). 👮‍♂️👮‍♀️
IMTU (that is, the one I'm using for my PbP and fanfic thingy) they're mostly used by the IISS for patrol/customs work.
Which makes a lot of sense.
Since so much of the IISS is standardized around TL=10 ... making supply chains MUCH shorter and easier to maintain ... the Type-T slots in rather nicely into the IISS inventory as either a "big scout" ship or as a "big courier" ship, along with a variety of other potential roles and missions.

In fact, now that I think about it, perhaps the S3 Scout Squadrons that showed up in the Fifth Frontier War tabletop game were in fact simply Type-T squadrons! 🤔
This seems more law enforcement, than military.
THIS.
At lower tech levels (TL=10) the Type-T is perfectly adequate as a militia/military ship for a planetary navy.
At higher tech levels, the Type-T becomes something of a "hand me down" class to law enforcement and policing. 🚓
It's something like a coastguard ship.
As technologies advance, the Type-T gets relegated towards more civilian/peacekeeper roles, which it is perfectly capable of accomplishing relative to most free traders and small time merchant traffic (with the occasional pirate and smuggler thrown into the mix).
Perhaps not intended for the Imperial Navy, but it would certainly work for subsector or system navies.
Agreed.
For low tech "small time" planetary and subsector navies, the Type-T remains relevant to security, policing and pursuit or law breakers.
 
I think of the Type T as a Coast Guard/Revenue Cutter. It's mostly an in-system ship that can deploy to other systems as needed. Or something like the old China Gunboats showing the flag.

"And what are the bug-eyes looking things on the front of it?"
Looks like the cockpit windows on the Starduster.
 
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They could also do convoy escort between the home system and neighboring systems and back where piracy is active or an armed deterrence is needed.

Imagine the bragging rights of a Trader who can turn a profit with a Type T Patrol-Trader doing Spec Cargo over the long term, especially if trading in systems frequented by pirates or other impediments to profitable trade.

My big beef with the Type T is that in the Ship Design it has a Needle Configuration (T20) but the art work looks half Needle and half Close Structure.
 
They also make some sense for a multi-star/multi-world system in which the companion stars are fairly widely separated. SDBs and other system defenders/monitors patrol locally and close to their assigned defense points. Patrol Cruisers/Corvettes can Jump between the stellar subsystems quicker than M-drives can maneuver there and carry communiques, escort, and have some combat capability. And they patrol/scout/picket the entire star system.

And any system that has a far companion, even if its local system is not inhabited, will need to patrol it to keep it from being used as a muster point for invasion and/or raiders and piracy.
 
The FASA (WHK's) drawings are Needle configuration, but the deck plans are Close Structure.

Then everyone started doing drawings based on the FASA deck plans, and here we are.
Here's what I'm talking about, from my "Fixing it" thread (here). And this isn't showing the really blocky top and bottom decks of the FASA plans, either.

Left side is the FASA plans, right side is the plans reconstructed from the illustration.


index.php
 
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They also make some sense for a multi-star/multi-world system in which the companion stars are fairly widely separated. SDBs and other system defenders/monitors patrol locally and close to their assigned defense points. Patrol Cruisers/Corvettes can Jump between the stellar subsystems quicker than M-drives can maneuver there and carry communiques, escort, and have some combat capability. And they patrol/scout/picket the entire star system.

And any system that has a far companion, even if its local system is not inhabited, will need to patrol it to keep it from being used as a muster point for invasion and/or raiders and piracy.
Only needs J-1 capability for that, but perhaps fuel for multiple jumps would be in order.
 
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