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Old 02-09-2019, 10:25 AM   #31
Ulzgoroth
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Default Re: [Spaceships] How does large-scale space warfare play out (without superscience)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
The standard Gurps 4e rules for Rapid Fire were used throughout.

To be specific all identical attacks at the same target were grouped together and then given one roll only with a bonus for ROF as described in Basic. When those attacks were subject to Point Defense PD fire was conducted agaisnt the missiles that would hit using the same proceedure.

In the cruiser battle missiles may have been launched in the first Turn but neither their launcher nor their targets lived long enough for them to matter. Agaisnt the Gibraltars the ASATS and their submunitions may have been combined into one salvo (which perhaps they shouldn't have been) but the Gibralter under attack conducted 3 separate PD fires. Once with the Main Battery, once with the Gib''s Missile battery and then with its' Tertiary.

If you wonder, I reported all this to David on a roll by roll basis and he did not correct my procedure though he had done so when other issues came up. He even caught it when I was using an table from Spaceships 1 that had later been replaced.

If you have issues with this procedure I believe they are rooted in the basic 4e rules for Rapid Fire. I have my own issues with them but for playtests you use the Rules As Written.
As discussed a decade ago, adding together the RoF of multiple turrets is an extremely clear violation of the Spaceships RAW. I can't comment on why David Pulver didn't have a problem with that at the time, and as far as I know we have never gotten any word of god on that.
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Old 02-09-2019, 12:14 PM   #32
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: [Spaceships] How does large-scale space warfare play out (without superscience)?

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Originally Posted by RyanW View Post
If it is going 10 mps, it isn't in GSO.
Technically, you can be at GSO without being in GSO (GSO is a distance as well as a delta-v). In the case of the example, the spacecraft would diverge away from the planet after releasing the bombs at GSO. The momentum of the bombs would carry them over the next forty-five minutes towards their targets, and their maneuver thrusters would help them make the final approach.

As for it being an illegal manuever, ballistic attacks travel forever in space. In the case of range, I see that as maximum accurate range for specific locations, but 10 megaton bombs really do not need specific locations (until kinetic kill weapons). As long as you are within a 1 km of your target, that is all you need.

In order to counter the bombs, you would need to be able to engage and destroy 2,700 SM+0 targets in 15 3-minute combat turns. At the same time, the major batteries of the spacecraft are attacking surface targets as it does its flyby. Depending on the protocol, it may also have released its drones, which may release their own bombs. For example, a SM+4 drone with one major battery of bombs can have 15 16cm 100 kiloton antimatter bombs. With 900 such drones, that means that there would also be 13,500 SM-2 bombs to deal with. Of course, we are talking about a terror load rather than a combat load.

Now, more targeted bombardment could be done, though the strategy would likely involve engaging soft targets with 30 GJ lasers from GSO, launching drones at MEO so they can drop their 100 kiloton bombs on hard targets when they enter LEO, and then using the 10 megaton bombs to clean up everything else. If done correctly, over a billion people die in the first hour and the vast majority of the survivors die in the next month. With their infrastructure destroyed and their planet depopulated, the survivors would likely take a century to recover. Of course, any defending fleet exists to prevent that exact scenario from occurring.
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Old 02-09-2019, 04:31 PM   #33
Michael Thayne
 
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Default Re: [Spaceships] How does large-scale space warfare play out (without superscience)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
The standard Gurps 4e rules for Rapid Fire were used throughout.

To be specific all identical attacks at the same target were grouped together and then given one roll only with a bonus for ROF as described in Basic.
Where is that approach in Basic? A few genre-specific supplements like Supers and Zombies use something like that approach for when hordes of mooks are attacking the PCs, but I don't think it's the standard approach. Certainly two PCs with two identical weapons attacking the same target should get to make separate attack rolls, and AFAICT one PC with two identical weapons always rolls separately for each weapon. Linked vehicular weapons do work this way (High-Tech p. 229), but it's not a general rule. Spaceships makes it sound an awful lot like fixed mounts are linked in the way described in High-Tech but seems to imply turrets aren't. I can easily believe that Spaceships wasn't meant to have the same rule for handling huge numbers of interchangeable NPCs that Supers and Zombies has, but it doesn't seem to have made it into the text.
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Old 02-09-2019, 05:16 PM   #34
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Default Re: [Spaceships] How does large-scale space warfare play out (without superscience)?

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
Technically, you can be at GSO without being in GSO (GSO is a distance as well as a delta-v). In the case of the example, the spacecraft would diverge away from the planet after releasing the bombs at GSO. The momentum of the bombs would carry them over the next forty-five minutes towards their targets, and their maneuver thrusters would help them make the final approach.
You've got a non-superscience fusion rocket. That gives 0.005g acceleration, enough to divert the ship all of 74 miles in the time it takes to get from 22,000 miles up at 10 miles per second. If you intend a fly-by on Earth, releasing the bombs at 10 miles per second closing velocity, and you want to miss the Earth you need to move 4000 miles off your original course, unless you're okay with your bombs just landing on a thin band of the planet around one edge in which case you can get away with a 100 miles or so move movement (but ~70 miles isn't really enough). The latter means starting your course correction about 26,000 miles up. The former means doing so ~160,000 miles out.

And no, GSO: Geosynchronous Orbit. It's not just a distance.

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As for it being an illegal manuever, ballistic attacks travel forever in space. In the case of range, I see that as maximum accurate range for specific locations, but 10 megaton bombs really do not need specific locations (until kinetic kill weapons). As long as you are within a 1 km of your target, that is all you need.
At which point you aren't using the basic combat rules.
Quote:
In order to counter the bombs, you would need to be able to engage and destroy 2,700 SM+0 targets in 15 3-minute combat turns. At the same time, the major batteries of the spacecraft are attacking surface targets as it does its flyby.
Note that you have to find the ground systems, and that's a lot harder than finding a spaceship, or a bomb in space.
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Depending on the protocol, it may also have released its drones, which may release their own bombs. For example, a SM+4 drone with one major battery of bombs can have 15 16cm 100 kiloton antimatter bombs. With 900 such drones, that means that there would also be 13,500 SM-2 bombs to deal with. Of course, we are talking about a terror load rather than a combat load.
Now you're starting to talk serious amounts of warheads, and $27 billion just for the payloads.
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Old 02-09-2019, 06:27 PM   #35
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: [Spaceships] How does large-scale space warfare play out (without superscience)?

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Originally Posted by Michael Thayne View Post
Where is that approach in Basic?
The Rapid Fire rules are on p. 373 and expanded on p. 408 and that is what I meant. Please note that attacks in Spaceships are given Recoil stats. You use that with the Rapid Fire rules.

It may seem somewhat "Meta" that you use Rapid Fire when the same _Player_ is making multiple identical attacks rather than just the same _Character_ but it seemed obvious to me that you do not roll 30 times for a Tertiary Battery. Apparently it was obvious to David and everyone else in the playtest too.

I know that the Rapid Fire rules nerf all examples of very ROF attacks and they do it contrary to reality too. Modern Gatlings don't just put more rounds on target than single barrelled machine guns. They put a higher percentage on target too. The numbers I have read were that where a single barrel would put 7% of rounds on target a Gatling would put 9%. So that would be 70% chance of 1 hit with a ROF 10 gun but 9 solid hits with a ROF 100 Gatling.

This of course is totally opposite of what the Gurps Rapid fire rules would predict but I believe it to be the result of a deliberate meta-game decision by the creators to promote their ideas of playability.

What would I do if I were setting up a Spaceships game? I'd play with my defense and propulsion assumptions so that mass missile barrages didn't work. Kinetic impact weapons too. That generally prevents me from having to worry about the "realism" of conventional guns in space combat too so it's a win-win all around.
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Old 02-09-2019, 07:02 PM   #36
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Default Re: [Spaceships] How does large-scale space warfare play out (without superscience)?

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
It may seem somewhat "Meta" that you use Rapid Fire when the same _Player_ is making multiple identical attacks rather than just the same _Character_ but it seemed obvious to me that you do not roll 30 times for a Tertiary Battery. Apparently it was obvious to David and everyone else in the playtest too.
Which has vastly reduced my trust in the GURPS development process, since that's such an obvious violation of the rules in the book.

The only way to justify it apparently requires (A) inventing rules for multiple characters per player, out of zero textual source, and (B) having those rules allow the multiple characters to simultaneously act as multiple characters (to be allowed to perform the multiple gunnery tasks to run multiple turrets) and one character (to make a singular attack roll with all controlled weapons).

This isn't the biggest Spaceships-related rules disaster, but it really horrifies me that this could have happened in the playtest and apparently had nobody take any note.
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Old 02-09-2019, 07:25 PM   #37
Michael Thayne
 
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Default Re: [Spaceships] How does large-scale space warfare play out (without superscience)?

I found this thread where Fred and Ulzgoroth argued at great length about how having multiple PD guns works. Based on the text of the Spaceships rules, Fred's approach seems to be right for fixed mounts but not turrets. P. 53 says, "A gunnery task allows a character to control one of the following: a single turret weapon; a single spinal weapon; all identical fixed mount weapons in a major, medium, secondary, or tertiary battery." And p. 57 says, "All identical fixed mount weapons in the same battery may be fired simultaneously multiply RoF by number of fixed mounts."

Re: "it seemed obvious to me that you do not roll 30 times for a Tertiary Battery", I'd certainly agree that in practice few players or GMs are going to want to make 30 rolls for 30 nameless NPCs. So I'm really sympathetic to playtesters who applied the rule for one character controlling multiple fixed mounts to N NPCs controlling N turrets. But I can't find this approach being suggested anywhere in Campaigns (as opposed to Supers or Zombies, which do contain similar rules).
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Old 02-09-2019, 07:26 PM   #38
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: [Spaceships] How does large-scale space warfare play out (without superscience)?

The expense of missile barrages is one of the reasons why I prefer long range beam attacks. Missiles are just too expensive to waste in a barrage, but point defense does not work again TJ lasers.
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Old 02-09-2019, 07:37 PM   #39
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: [Spaceships] How does large-scale space warfare play out (without superscience)?

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Originally Posted by Michael Thayne View Post
Fred's approach seems to be right for fixed mounts but not turrets. P. 53 says, "A gunnery task allows a character to control one of the following: a single turret weapon; a single spinal weapon; all identical fixed mount weapons in a major, medium, secondary, or tertiary battery." And p. 57 says, "All identical fixed mount weapons in the same battery may be fired simultaneously multiply RoF by number of fixed mounts."
<shrug> I don't know what it would do for Utzgoroth's faith but if something had been done to "fix" the above passage it almost certainly would have been to remove the words "fixed mount". It certainly wouldn't have been to roll 30 times for every turret in a Tertiary battery.
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Old 02-09-2019, 07:48 PM   #40
Michael Thayne
 
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Default Re: [Spaceships] How does large-scale space warfare play out (without superscience)?

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
<shrug> I don't know what it would do for Utzgoroth's faith but if something had been done to "fix" the above passage it almost certainly would have been to remove the words "fixed mount". It certainly wouldn't have been to roll 30 times for every turret in a Tertiary battery.
Let's grant all this. There's still the question of how you handle point-defense in formations, which is not a problem confined to massive space battles no one wants to actually roll the dice for. N PCs in N identical fighters flying in formation seems like a very likely thing to actually come up at the gaming table, and point-defense could be important if, say, they're on escort duty. Were situations like that playtested, and if so do you remember how they were run?
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