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Old 01-17-2017, 12:57 AM   #1
PTTG
 
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Default Making Carriers Carry: a Mass Combat tweak

Basic Mass Combat rules have carriers as a single 48,000 TS element, including its air wing.

Considering that (this prevents naval aircraft from participating in in-land battles, and)(incorrect) it decreases the ability to use carriers in unconventional ways (replacing the aircrews and systems with stone-age warriors, for instance), I sought to provide an alternative.

I would change it so that the carrier includes only its built-ins. The stats are:

Code:
Element			TS*	Class		Mob	Raise	Maintain	TL
Escort Carrier		3000	Nav, T244	Sea	450M	18M		6
Fleet Carrier		12000	Nav, T488	Sea	900M	36M		7
Flagship Carrier	40000	Nav, T816	Sea	1.5B	60M		8
Code:
Nominal Loadout:	Size-8 Elements	TS of air wing at TL 8	R$	M$
Escort Carrier		30			90000		$450M	$18M
Fleet Carrier		60			180000		$900M	$36M
Flagship Carrier	100			300000		$1.5B	$60M
This makes Fleet Carriers approximately equal to stock carriers provided they are stocked with Jet Fighter-Bombers, and it makes a TL8 Flagship Carrier have a similar total number of aircraft as a modern carrier.

For further compartmentalization, the Flagship Carrier should contain a Command Post that is purchased separately and cannot be removed without an overhaul. On the other hand, it doesn't take up transport space. One other special rule: Carriers can only refuel and support aircraft of the same quality level and lower, and only of the same TL; one can't skimp out on the carriers to buy better planes.

I think that the T816 capacity actually does make some sense. I suppose that, if you hollowed out an aircraft carrier and removed everything related to, you know, aircraft, you could get the thing to carry 8,160 screaming stone-age warriors if you wanted to. The GM should do some sanity checking so that players understand that such an operation would be a major overhaul of the ship, and not as simple as rolling the aircraft into the sea and saying "ALL ABOARD!"

Among other advantages, this allows military planners to specialize for specific missions with an assortment of aircraft. As a rule of thumb, GMs should probably assume that 50% of a given aircrafts' WT is in fact equipment that's bolted down and would take serious effort to remove.

Updated version with more accurate TS and C3I coverage:
Code:
Element			TS*	Class		Mob	Raise	Maintain	TL
Escort Carrier		1000	Nav, T244, C3I	Sea	$50M	$18M		6
Fleet Carrier		4000	Nav, T488, C3I	Sea	$100M	$36M		7
Flagship Carrier	8000	Nav, T816, C3I	Sea	$220M	$60M		8
Code:
Nominal Loadout:	Size-8 Elements	TS of air wing at TL 8	R$	M$
Escort Carrier		30			90000		$450M	$18M
Fleet Carrier		60			180000		$900M	$36M
Flagship Carrier	100			300000		$1.5B	$60M

Last edited by PTTG; 04-19-2017 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 01-17-2017, 02:17 AM   #2
Michele
 
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Default Re: Making Carriers Carry: a Mass Combat tweak

I like the idea, but I'd also wish to point out that if the Carrier is in range of a land battle, it can be used. It belongs to the Air Class, so, regardless of its Mobility, it can participate in a land campaign (p. 26), as long as the GM decides that it is within useful range.
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Old 01-17-2017, 09:57 AM   #3
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Default Re: Making Carriers Carry: a Mass Combat tweak

Quote:
Originally Posted by PTTG View Post
As a rule of thumb, GMs should probably assume that 50% of a given aircrafts' WT is in fact equipment that's bolted down and would take serious effort to remove.
Spaceships has around 70% of a Hangar Bay's mass actually taken up by the craft within, with the other 30% being for the sort of equipment you're referring to. However, that doesn't include the fuel and ammunition a carrier typically carries for its aircraft complement, so your 50% figure looks like it's probably in the right ballpark.
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Old 01-17-2017, 12:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: Making Carriers Carry: a Mass Combat tweak

I neglected the cost of the aircraft one presumably loads onto one's carrier. It turns out that 60 Jet fighter-bombers cost exactly as much as the stock carrier.

I'll try to figure out a fair cost for an "empty" aircraft carrier. It might actually be quite cheap.
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Old 01-17-2017, 01:25 PM   #5
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Default Re: Making Carriers Carry: a Mass Combat tweak

I like what you are doing, but something doesn't feel right. Without it's airwing, I'd expect even the biggest modern carriers to have maybe a triple digit TS, not a 5 digit TS, unless you mean it's TS is purely C3I, then I can roll with it.

Edit: Thinking about it, the best Mass Combat model for a carrier would be a fortress you can freely move around the ocean that carries an airwing and has several infantry units to repel and amphibious attacks (boarders). They arguably aren't really Naval units in the Mass Combat sense.
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Last edited by Tyneras; 01-17-2017 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 01-18-2017, 04:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: Making Carriers Carry: a Mass Combat tweak

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyneras View Post
Edit: Thinking about it, the best Mass Combat model for a carrier would be a fortress you can freely move around the ocean that carries an airwing and has several infantry units to repel and amphibious attacks (boarders). They arguably aren't really Naval units in the Mass Combat sense.
They participated in naval campaigns (mostly WWII in the pacific) as warships. With the range of abstractions Mass Combat encompasses, I'm not sure how they can not be Naval units.
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Old 01-18-2017, 05:06 PM   #7
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Default Re: Making Carriers Carry: a Mass Combat tweak

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
They participated in naval campaigns (mostly WWII in the pacific) as warships.
Not really. Carriers don't attack by themselves, though they do defend. It's probably most accurate to class Carriers as a special type of Logistics.
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Old 01-18-2017, 06:40 PM   #8
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Default Re: Making Carriers Carry: a Mass Combat tweak

But carriers are directly attacked, not just hit in Raids. If you have a series of carrier battles that are solely raids so that you can actually sink the carrier, you have a rather weird Mass Combat game.

Giving carriers a small TS and C3I and a huge T capability seems the best way to represent them.
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Old 01-19-2017, 03:47 AM   #9
Michele
 
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Default Re: Making Carriers Carry: a Mass Combat tweak

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Not really. Carriers don't attack by themselves, though they do defend.
If that were the case, then it would be a case to define them as having the Neutralize Naval capability, i.e. (Nav), in GURPS Mass Combat code.

But I'm not so sure that's a good solution. Sure, carriers don't go around unescorted. Is that because they cannot or because that's not good tactics (nor good strategy)? Tanks also stopped going around in tank-only large units at some time in the initial stages of WWII; that wasn't because they couldn't, but because combined arms worked immensely better.
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Old 01-19-2017, 02:02 PM   #10
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Default Re: Making Carriers Carry: a Mass Combat tweak

A carrier without an airwing is like a tank without it's turret, it's most potent attack is now ramming. This isn't combined arms changing tactics, it's a weapon platform without it's weapon, it can move around but little else. The wises course of action is to leave the battle and get a new weapon.

The handful of weapons a carrier has could be considered (Nav) and (Air) because they can (maybe, hopefully) shoot up suicide bomb boats and incoming missiles, but having served on one I'd rather we just ran away and not kill 3000 people and a billion dollar ship for no reason.

This obviously doesn't apply to the hybrid battleship carriers that briefly existed in WW2.
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