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T20 Ship Weapon Ranges...


SOC-14 1K
Okay, quick question (this was original posted under The Fleet forum, but it was recommended to repost it here):

Can anyone explain how ship weapon ranges work in T20? I would have thought that it was -2 for each range category after the first, and that based on the weapon's range stats given in the design sequence section. However, the Range section on THB pg 154 implies instead that each ship weapon has a standard range band category like Close, Short, etc, and that the range penalty is -2 for each band beyond the base range of the ship weapon (with a -1 damage die per band penalty as well). However, the weapons don't have standard range bands. So, how is that base range determined?

Do you convert the ranges given in the Available Turret Weapons and Barbettes tables in the design section on pg 272 to range bands using the distances given on the Range Band table given at the bottom of pg 154 for Starship or Spaceship Communications, Sensors, and Weapon Ranges? If so, then we get the following:

Missile Rack - 90K - Long (up to 120K)
Mining Laser - 15K - Close (up to 15K)
Beam Laser - 30K - Short (up to 45K)
Pulse Laser - 45K - Short (up to 45K)
Plasma Gun - 4.5K - Close (up to 15K)
Fusion Gun - 4.5K - Close (up to 15K)
Particle Accelerator - 30K - Short (up to 45K)
PA Barbette - 30K - Short (up to 45K)

This approach seems to take away the advantage of Pulse Laser range over Beam Laser range, and allows Plasma and Fusion Guns to be effective at over three times the design sequence ranges given before they have a reduction in efficiency and/or ability.

In short, to me, it's all just a bit confusing and conflicting, and I'm trying to figure it out. Can anyone help clarify this for me? I don't think I'll grok space combat until I understand this aspect of it.

Thanks in advance,
Hunter? Bruce? Martin? Anybody? Surely, someone has playtested Space Combat and possibly knows the answer...

Thanks in advance,
It looks like the confusion comes from having 2 combat systems, the 'Basic' system which is pretty much linear and abstract and does not use a hex map as does the 'Advanced' system.

I've been using a fusion of the two actualy as I prefer to see where the ships are on a hexmap. Each hex is 15Kkm and I divide the weapon ranges into hexes. Apply the -2 mod for each 'band' beyond the first. Forex B-Lasers have a range 'band' of 2 hexes and -2 for every 2 hex beyond the first 2. Yes, hi-energy weapons have a range of 0 hexes and the range penalties realy add up per hex, someting like -4 IIRC.

When not using a hexmap I just try to remeber that each G of speed difference is 1 hex or 15Kkm. forex when vessels are closing or moving away from each other (as per Basic Rules) I use hexes instead of range bands.

Hope this helps, but as always YMMV.
Thanks for the feedback. I assume that you are talking about range increments (every 2 hexes, for example) instead of range bands (Close, Short, Medium, etc.) from your specific examples. Is that correct?

With Regards,
That is correct. Range increments instead of bands. (sorry if I was confused in the terminology) Range bands seem to be used in basic ship combat and yes it clumps some weapons together (such as P-Laser and B-Laser ranges). Specific range incremenets are used in the Advanced system and allow for more stratigic play.

When the work week is over, I will try to post some examples of ship combat on the other thread. One session involved a fusion gun armed fighter (the PC's ship) vs. Vargr Corsair fighters. He loved the firepower (and the critical!) but hated how he had to get on top of anything to blast it. The other scenario is Standard Patrol Cruiser v. Corsair (designs straight from the book)