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Old 02-22-2019, 10:33 AM   #31
Anthony
 
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Default Re: FTL rate of movement for GURPS SPACESHIPS

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
While it lends itself to certain types of adventures, a faster FTL speed for smaller spacecraft distorts everything. Why have capital ships when you can use the same tonnage in automated bombers to accomplish the same military goals faster? Why have merchant haulers when you when you can use the same tonnage in automated cargo pods to accomplish the same commercial goals?
Automation doesn't have a lot to do with size, you can automate SM+10 craft just as easily as SM+4, but an easy way to avoid that sort of distortion is to place a limit on the number of drives large ships can have, so small ships can be faster (by having more drives relative to their size) but aren't more efficient.
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Old 02-22-2019, 01:04 PM   #32
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Default Re: FTL rate of movement for GURPS SPACESHIPS

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Automation is not mandatory on capital ships. When it comes to long distance SM+4 or SM+5 spacecraft though, automation is mandatory because they cannot have habitats. In addition, smaller spacecraft only need to pay for automation if they have an Engine Room. If their designers are willing to accept a -1 HT (after all, who cares in the case of a drone), they do not need to pay for automation.

Since you automatically have automation for long distance SM+4 spacecraft and since SM+4 spacecraft are the fastest spacecraf in this scenario, conflicts end up being decided by whom can send the most antimatter warhead equipped drones against the other side. It would not be unreasonable for a TL10 developed planet to be capable of fielding multiple wings of ten thousand such drones, which would mean 250,000 16cm missiles with 25 kiloton antimatter warheads of each. Since they would travel faster than larger spacecraft, such a world could torch the worlds of their enemies and have their drones return for resupply long before the capital ships of their enemies reached their systems.
No, you do not automatically have automation. What you have is minimal to no maintenance being done, which may or may not matter.

Nor, by the way, are they much faster than the enemy's slightly larger gunships, which will be breaking down less often.
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Old 02-22-2019, 03:21 PM   #33
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Default Re: FTL rate of movement for GURPS SPACESHIPS

They are, however, much cheaper, so breaking down more often does not matter (and automation refers to control as well as maintenance). For example, the majority of SM+4 fighter-bomber drones are going to be around $1M, meaning that you can get six of them for the cost of one SM+5 fighter-bomber drone with Total Automation. Since they are disposable, the breakdown chance does not terribly matter.
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Old 02-22-2019, 03:23 PM   #34
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Default Re: FTL rate of movement for GURPS SPACESHIPS

Dumb question:

Why does High Automation require size 12+ vessels, but Total Automation has no size requirement?

High Automation costs 20% less than Total automation, and can reduce up to 90% of the workstations required for the ship in question.

Just seems odd.

Either way, there doesn't seem to be any maintenance rules in effect when dealing with GURPS SPACESHIPS - unless it is present in the only rule set I didn't purchase (#7).

In any event, heavily automating starships or total automation makes for a Beserker style campaign - and frankly, that seems like a shame in my eyes.

Moving on to the other rules, it would seem that smaller craft do suffer a penalty where it comes to complexity of computer systems carried on board. This in turn, when coupled with the rules on page 14 of SPACESHIPS #4, make it such that depending on the Tech level, the IQ of the computer driven AI becomes considerably lower.

I won't make a big deal about it, but I largely detest the rules for Robots and AI's in Ultratech for 4e as compared against Ultratech or Robots for 3e. In effect, AI's are now built with character points rather than anything else (or so it seems to me).

Just for giggles? Would someone build (step by step) a functional Complexity 6 AI for use with a TL 10 Hull size 5 vessel?

I'd like to get a feel for what such a vehicle's functional skills would be like when contrasted against a ship whose crew might be trained to skill level 12 as a general rule.
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Old 02-22-2019, 03:33 PM   #35
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Default Re: FTL rate of movement for GURPS SPACESHIPS

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Originally Posted by hal View Post
Dumb question:

Why does High Automation require size 12+ vessels, but Total Automation has no size requirement?
For the practical reason that High Automation reduces the workspace requirement by a factor of 10, and at SM 11 and below each system has less than 10 workspaces. At SM 9 and below systems don't even have workspace requirements (except for the Engine Room).

This would result in ships with High Automation needing to keep track of partial workspace requirements, which is messy and against the core KISS tenant of the Spaceships rules. It would also have some odd results in dealing with damaged/destroyed systems and where the workspaces actually are. I could certainly see a case being made for allowing SM 10-11 ships to have High Automation and simply apply the reduction to the total workspace requirement for the ship, with a minimum of one workspace.
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Old 02-22-2019, 06:10 PM   #36
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Default Re: FTL rate of movement for GURPS SPACESHIPS

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For the practical reason that High Automation reduces the workspace requirement by a factor of 10, and at SM 11 and below each system has less than 10 workspaces. At SM 9 and below systems don't even have workspace requirements (except for the Engine Room).

This would result in ships with High Automation needing to keep track of partial workspace requirements, which is messy and against the core KISS tenant of the Spaceships rules. It would also have some odd results in dealing with damaged/destroyed systems and where the workspaces actually are. I could certainly see a case being made for allowing SM 10-11 ships to have High Automation and simply apply the reduction to the total workspace requirement for the ship, with a minimum of one workspace.
What I did for my rough costing exercise (which involved split systems in an SM+12 ship) was to round up the crew requirement in each highly-automated SM+11 system from 0.3 to 1. But since I was assuming a three-watch crew anyway I could have gone with giving each such system a technician in one watch out of three.
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Old 02-22-2019, 06:22 PM   #37
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Default Re: FTL rate of movement for GURPS SPACESHIPS

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Originally Posted by hal View Post
Dumb question:

Why does High Automation require size 12+ vessels, but Total Automation has no size requirement?
I assume that this is as ericbsmith suggests, because you can't cleanly reduce a crew requirement by 90% that isn't a multiple of ten.

Quote:
High Automation costs 20% less than Total automation, and can reduce up to 90% of the workstations required for the ship in question.
Is that right? My read is that total automation is G$5 million per workstation i.e. G$5 million per technician on watch saved, whereas high automation is G$1 million per workstation i.e. G$1.11 million per technician on watch saved i.e. 78% cheaper.

Quote:
Either way, there doesn't seem to be any maintenance rules in effect when dealing with GURPS SPACESHIPS - unless it is present in the only rule set I didn't purchase (#7).
Not in #7. I figure that by taking an interest in maintenance costs I am playing wrongly.

Quote:
I won't make a big deal about it, but I largely detest the rules for Robots and AI's in Ultratech for 4e as compared against Ultratech or Robots for 3e. In effect, AI's are now built with character points rather than anything else (or so it seems to me).
I, too, am dissatisfied with this approach. It obscures the incentives that drive the behaviour of PCs, NPCs, and institutions.
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Old 02-22-2019, 10:28 PM   #38
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Default Re: FTL rate of movement for GURPS SPACESHIPS

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Originally Posted by Agemegos View Post
What I did for my rough costing exercise (which involved split systems in an SM+12 ship) was to round up the crew requirement in each highly-automated SM+11 system from 0.3 to 1.
That's not a bad approach for SM+11 ships, as it keeps things simple.

For SM+10 the number of workspaces are almost certainly going to be less than 10, and by necessity they are less than 20, so you could just assume that it reduces the workspaces to 1 for the entire ship; or optionally 2 if the ship requires 11+ workspaces normally.

For SM+9 the only workspace requirement is the Engine Room, which has two workspaces, so reducing that to one is logical.

For SM+8 and below reducing workspaces is meaningless since an Engine Room only requires one workspace.
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Old 02-23-2019, 01:11 AM   #39
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Default Re: FTL rate of movement for GURPS SPACESHIPS

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At 8% interest, insurance, & depreciation (which was as low as I dared to go) each workspace totally automated costs G$400,000 per year. Spaceships 2 suggests a crew employment cost of $67,200 per year for base-level crew, plus which it costs G$150,000 (G$12,000 per year) to give them a cabin, $75,000 to give them a shared stateroom or couchette, or $37,500 a bunk in a bunkroom. And $730 per year for consumables.
No, that's not right. You have at least three watches on a merchant ship. Each workspace is G$400,000 per year if totally automated, but it's G$212,790 per year if served by three shifts of Merchant Rank 0 technicians in bunkrooms (G$239,790 per year if the techs get cabins). No wonder, then, that high automation works out in my model. It costs G$88,889 per year per workspace eliminated, which is a lot cheaper than three shifts of techs.
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