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 Post subject: hardpoints
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 3:19 am 
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Something has been bothering me about the usual ship design practices and combat. The usual design systems tell us that you get a single hardpoint per 100 dtons. But this seriously shortchanges smaller ships when compared to larger ships.
For example, a 100dton cube ship gets a single hardpoint for its 732 square meter surface area, whereas a 100,000dton cube ship gets a hardpoint per 73 square meters of surface area. A million dton ship gets a hardpoint per 34 square meters.
This has carried over since the beginning with all versions following it except TNE.

I think hardpoints should be related to vol^(2/3) of a ship.
A quick way could be the usual number of hardpoints^(2/3) times 5 ( ignore the sixth side of the cube for the engines/thrusters ).

A 25,000 dton ship might have (250^(2/3))*5 = 198 hardpoints
A 325,000 dton ship might have (3,250^(2/3)*5 = 1,097 hardpoints.

*732 m^2 is the total surface area of a 100 dton cube ship... 6*(100dtons*13.5)^(2/3), but I'd ignore one side of the cube to give room for the engines... let a 100dton cube have 5 hardpoints. Let sensors take up a hardpoint each too.... perhaps fixed mounts should only count as taking up 1/2 a hardpoint.

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Last edited by Ishmael on Mon May 30, 2011 2:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: turrets
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 3:58 am 
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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.
It looks like a rapid slope to 'Not Traveller Anymore'.

My personal pet peeves are "Why can't I install 2x 50 dTon Bays in a 1000 dT hull?" and "Why doesn't the 20 dT bridge on a 200 dT ship look just like the 20 dT bridge on a 1000 dT ship? - the ships require the same bridge size and crew or they do not."

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 Post subject: Re: turrets
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 7:15 am 
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I think some previous iterations of Traveller (MT?) related turrets to surface area. It makes sense, but it may be a level of detail too far. A rule should always be worth its weight in complication.

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 Post subject: Re: turrets
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 7:44 am 
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Surface area was used a lot in TNE (they even divvied up the ship into 20 regions (rollable on 1d20) for combat damage, and antennae took up surface area too).

That said, from what I can find in FF&S they said that turrets are 3dt and barbettes are 6dt, and either can be fit into 'sockets' on the ship, but all the ship stats seem to assume 1 socket per 100dt.

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 Post subject: Re: turrets
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 9:39 am 
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Ishmael wrote:
Something has been bothering me about the usual ship design practices and combat. The usual design systems tell us that you get a single hardpoint per 100 dtons. But this seriously shortchanges smaller ships when compared to larger ships.

Yes, it does.

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-
pons.

This is why I would very much prefer an "energy point" system, where a power
plant of a specific size generates a number of energy points, which are then used
for the ship's various systems and the weapons. A military ship would have a big-
ger power plant (or several power plants), and could therefore also have more
and more powerful weapons, while a commercial ship would have to do with a
smaller power plant and less weapons, but would also have more space for pas-
sengers and cargo.

It should not be too difficult to write such a system for Traveller, the Classic Tra-
veller High Guard already had a similar approach, but since the starships of my
settings usually are only lightly armed (if at all), I never started to work on any-
thing like this.


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 Post subject: Re: turrets
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 2:23 pm 
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atpollard wrote:
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.

atpollard wrote:
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.
-------------------

rust wrote:
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-
pons.


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.....

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 Post subject: Re: turrets
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 2:40 pm 
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Ishmael wrote:
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.

Yep, but since the thread is titled "turrets", I ignored all the other stuff. :)

The best way to get a maximum of surface area for all kinds of fixtures
would probably be an open structure, a framework of "beams" just strong
enough to carry the fixtures in question, whether weapons or electronics.
The bridge, habitat section and drives could sit somewhere in this frame-
work, like a spider in a rigid net.

For a more close structure an extendable "beam" for modular electronics
could be an idea. Instead of having all the communicators and sensors pre-
sent on the ship's hull all of the time, the ship could only deploy the ones
actually needed at the moment.


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 Post subject: Re: turrets
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 2:47 pm 
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rust wrote:
Yep, but since the thread is titled "turrets", I ignored all the other stuff. :)

Touche'
I've changed the topic title to "hardpoints" instead.

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 Post subject: Re: turrets
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:59 pm 
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atpollard wrote:
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.
It looks like a rapid slope to 'Not Traveller Anymore'.

My personal pet peeves are "Why can't I install 2x 50 dTon Bays in a 1000 dT hull?" and "Why doesn't the 20 dT bridge on a 200 dT ship look just like the 20 dT bridge on a 1000 dT ship? - the ships require the same bridge size and crew or they do not."

The ships require the "same" bridge size, but I have always seen that as including various other things besides just the actual bridge. Stuff like the ship's locker, airlock, a bit of corridor leading up to the bridge, etc, etc, etc.

I don't have the rules handy (and I don't actually play them, anyway) but I think that the MgT rules DO allow you to mount more bays on a ship based on the rating of the power plant.

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