To make this work, all of the other surface area things (like armor and hull cost and 'size vs hit' modifiers) should follow a similar progression.
supposedly, armor and cost are related to surface area already; numbers in a chart are based on the surface area of a sphere of the given dtonnage and then modified by configuration modifiers to give differing values based on the differences between that sphere and boxes,wedges, etc.
Actually, although I haven't tinkered with this too much yet, the final number of hardpoints determined like this should be modified with configuration modifiers to show the varying surface areas per unit volume that different shapes have. I already do something like this in my own private spreadsheet, except I base the volumes and areas off an ellipsoid to account for variances due to dimensions such as length,width and height, instead of off a sphere with finess rations of 1:1:1. This has a large affect on X-sections which also affects aerodynamic coefficients and performances.
This would lead to conscious design decisions concerning the balance of cost,armor,mobility and firepower. If you want more firepower/hardpoints, then choose a configuration with more surface area, but it'll be slightly easier to hit ( x-sectional area increases ), have a greater cost for the same armor protection and also have greater mass which will cut performance, unless you decide to cut the armor down, which will make it more vulnerable to damage if it is hit.
size vs hit_# should be based on cross sectional area ( also related to vol^(2/3) ) for most weapons and volume for meson guns. I think MT makes a stab at that distinction.
It looks like a rapid slope to 'Not Traveller Anymore'.
Not necessarily a bad thing.
In fact, I am beginning to feel that it would be a good thing, considering how many sanfu's there are in the rules, imho. These rules will never change officially because of the overriding desire for newer rulesets/setting to be backwardly compatible with the original rules and setting. Like forcing IBM's Watson to be backwards compatible with CP/M.
However, I see the connection between size / surface area and armament of
a ship as a very bad idea anyway. I would tend to base the number of weapons
on a ship on its power and power transfer as the limiting factor, and less so the
ship's surface area - there cannot be more turrets than the ship can supply with
power, no matter how much surface area remains "unused", and I think that po-
wer would "run out" much faster than surface area, especially with energy wea-
I think you may have misunderstood a little. This surface area thing is merely limit on the number of hardpoints available that a hull may have instead of using the 1 per 100 dtons_volume. This puts an upper limit on any fixtures mounted to the hull. Not all of them need to be weapons. And if you say that each hardpoint mounts 1 dton of turret, then 4 hardpoints can give a 4 dton turret ( for bigger weapons ), or that a 100dton bay takes up 100 hardpoints.
Naturally, you'd still have to be able to power any weapons that you choose to install. What's the use of installing a turret at 30 hardpoints if all you have to power them is a 1kw honda portable generator?
I also think this number of hardpoints should also act as a limiter to sensor arrays mounted on a hull. Hence my suggestion that each sensor takes a hardpoint to mount on the hull.... and you'd have to be able to power those as well. Perhaps even the same for any communications arrays, too, but I haven't made any decisions about hat yet for SFMU ( purposely the "T" to "SF" because I'm deliberately moving into the not_Traveller_anymore
realm... at least by grognards' viewpoints. <shrug> I've always been a heretic anyways.... )
For example, my Springbok close escort would have 10 hardpoints of which 5 are weapons ( 2 gun turrets, a 3 dton PA* mount ) with 2 passive sensor arrays, 3 active sensor arrays....10 hardpoints used )
*any PA weapon I can design using FF&S1 that can fit into 6dtons; 3 dtons external mount and 3 dtons internal machinery...but this little bit might change on a whim. Just as my Sprinbok ship can change.....