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Old 08-19-2019, 10:25 AM   #1
Alfa
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Spaceships 3 missiles in limited superscience TL10 setting

I have a question regarding spaceship missiles.

The table in Spaceships 3, page 36 gives stats for regular missiles - delta-V 10mps, acceleration 5G. This does work and seems more or less balanced, if ships are limited to non-superscience accelerations.

However, in a limited superscience setting, a ship with an High-Trust, Water-based Antimatter Plasma Torch (HTH2OAPT) drive with one fuel tank has an acceleration of 6G with 20 mps delta-V. Alternatively, 5G can be reached with five regular antimatter plasma torches, and one fuel tank providing 120mps delta-V.

In any case, a spaceship can outrun a regular missile, which seems weird. The only other RAW option are super missiles, with 500G and 500mps - somewhat extreme, in comparison with HTH2OAPT.

If one builds a missile using ship rules, with 6 HTH2OAPT, a little bit room for payload and electronics and fills the rest with fuel tanks (maybe 9) one gets 36G acceleration, and 180 Delta-V (this works regardless of size).

This seems somewhat better balanced, until you realize, that you can build a ship almost the same way, again negating missiles the advantage.

Thus, my question is, how can one stat missiles in a setting where Plasma Torch drives are common?
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Old 08-19-2019, 11:21 AM   #2
awesomenessofme1
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Default Re: Spaceships 3 missiles in limited superscience TL10 setting

The simplest answer to questions like this is "Just houserule it". Pick prices and weapon statistics that you think make sense, and just use them. If you're looking for a more RAW answer, I can't help you there, sorry.
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Old 08-19-2019, 04:29 PM   #3
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Spaceships 3 missiles in limited superscience TL10 setting

It depends on how much superscience you can tolerate. Chemical rockets are good for missiles because the reaction mass disposes of the waste heat. Superscience fusion drives produce a lot of waste heat, which may or may not matter depending on the setting. If it does matter, then having giant radiators on missiles would make them easier to hit, making them much less effective and much more massive (basically making them AKVs). If it does not matter, just increase the cost 10x and go for it.
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Old 08-19-2019, 05:41 PM   #4
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Default Re: Spaceships 3 missiles in limited superscience TL10 setting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfa View Post
Thus, my question is, how can one stat missiles in a setting where Plasma Torch drives are common?
The simple way, to me, would be to assume that a drive only intended to a single use of a fairly short duration, like a missile's drive, can develop twice the thrust of one suited for a spaceship. Thus in this case missiles should have 10-12g acceleration.

As for delta-vee, a missile doesn't need more than a ship, it's just needs enough to catch the ship with its superior acceleration before the ship can apply enough delta-vee to get away (and even if the ship does, if it used so much fuel it can't continue its mission, you've still got a mission-kill). Whether one-use drives have less efficiency than spaceship drives is up to you.
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Old 08-19-2019, 06:40 PM   #5
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: Spaceships 3 missiles in limited superscience TL10 setting

There's one option you might want to seriously consider.

Don't use missiles.

It's not actually unbelievable that the setting can't put an anti-matter containment vessel into a really small package. And many has been the thread complaining about how missiles are instakill hammers for your eggshell ships.So you might want to ask yourself if it's really a problem if for now, missiles are obsolete technology for your setting.
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Old 08-19-2019, 06:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: Spaceships 3 missiles in limited superscience TL10 setting

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
There's one option you might want to seriously consider.

Don't use missiles.

It's not actually unbelievable that the setting can't put an anti-matter containment vessel into a really small package. And many has been the thread complaining about how missiles are instakill hammers for your eggshell ships.So you might want to ask yourself if it's really a problem if for now, missiles are obsolete technology for your setting.
I heartily endorse this suggestion. Missiles are a problem when you have ships with PCs in them, since they threaten instakill TPKs that PCs have little control to avoid. Perhaps the best course is not to bring torpedoes' performance up in proportion to ships, but to rationalise their being left behind. Minimum mass for fission reactors, minimum volume for fusion reactors, minimum mass for efficient antimatter storage ó they might be lifelines.
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Last edited by Agemegos; 08-30-2019 at 03:46 AM.
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Old 08-19-2019, 07:03 PM   #7
PTTG
 
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Default Re: Spaceships 3 missiles in limited superscience TL10 setting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
The simple way, to me, would be to assume that a drive only intended to a single use of a fairly short duration, like a missile's drive, can develop twice the thrust of one suited for a spaceship. Thus in this case missiles should have 10-12g acceleration.

As for delta-vee, a missile doesn't need more than a ship, it's just needs enough to catch the ship with its superior acceleration before the ship can apply enough delta-vee to get away (and even if the ship does, if it used so much fuel it can't continue its mission, you've still got a mission-kill). Whether one-use drives have less efficiency than spaceship drives is up to you.
By way of modern example, torpedoes and air-to-air missiles have much less operational range than their targets, they just have higher acceleration.
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Old 08-19-2019, 07:13 PM   #8
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: Spaceships 3 missiles in limited superscience TL10 setting

A simple minimum size of SM+8 for superscience fusion drives would prevent a lot of combat abuse by AKVs and missiles. With spacecraft having greater acceleration and endurance than AKVs and missiles, they would be relegated to attacking stations and ground targets. Space combat would occur with beam weapons.
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Old 08-20-2019, 04:22 AM   #9
Aldric
 
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Default Re: Spaceships 3 missiles in limited superscience TL10 setting

Not using missiles doesn't really work if you're trying to replicate a setting where (for example) ships only have missiles as weapons and cannons as point defense and last resort.

That said, I havent reached spaceships 3 yet, still working through 1 so I hadn't noticed a hard number for missile acceleration. I had assumed it was related to available engine tech.

Do missiles live long enough that you need to worry about acceleration and deltaV? Because as far as I've read through the rules, they just roll to hit, then get blasted by point defense or dodged or finally they either blow up with their target or are lost.
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Old 08-20-2019, 06:44 AM   #10
Varyon
 
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Default Re: Spaceships 3 missiles in limited superscience TL10 setting

Missiles have a few ways they can out-accelerate ships. First off, they donít have squishy crew, so can actually have higher acceleration. Next up, while not RAW, I feel it should be possible to design vessels that dedicate more than 3/10ths of their mass to acceleration - a missile that has (say) a reaction drive that takes up 15 systems is going to outperform any manned ship, at least while the missile has reaction mass left. Finally, and also not RAW, is the suggestion of single-use reaction drives having better performance than the default reusable systems. A related option, from I think SS7, is to forgo the radiation shielding on a nuclear or antimatter drive system. This makes the vessel rather unsafe for passengers and reduces its HT, but IIRC doubles the acceleration (because you use the mass savings from leaving out the shielding to make the drive bigger).
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