Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-06-2015, 01:33 PM   #31
Ulzgoroth
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Default Re: GURPS Starships line errata (and some observations)

Quote:
Originally Posted by weevis View Post
Speaking of missiles: Even though some of the example ships in the Spaceships series mount the extremely-lethal missiles of the SS rules, the ship designers seem unevenly worried about them. Sometimes a weapons system that appears to be intended for missile defense is present but most often it is not. But the Space combat rules about point defense seem to be urging me to ALWAYS equip an obsolete (since damage doesn't matter in missile defense) very rapid fire turret of some kind in the central section to use as a point defense weapon.

Then it occurred to me: Maybe these were all just all supposed to be NPC ships meant to blow up more regularly and satisfyingly than the one the adventurers are using?
Spaceships has sort-of-realistic rules for missiles, but tends to be written as if it had wooshy-Space-Opera missiles.

This includes the loadouts of most ships. You'll notice a distinct lack of massed tertiary missile batteries...
__________________
I don't know any 3e, so there is no chance that I am talking about 3e rules by accident.
Ulzgoroth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2015, 02:04 PM   #32
Mailanka
 
Mailanka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Default Re: GURPS Starships line errata (and some observations)

Quote:
Originally Posted by weevis View Post
Speaking of missiles: Even though some of the example ships in the Spaceships series mount the extremely-lethal missiles of the SS rules, the ship designers seem unevenly worried about them. Sometimes a weapons system that appears to be intended for missile defense is present but most often it is not. But the Space combat rules about point defense seem to be urging me to ALWAYS equip an obsolete (since damage doesn't matter in missile defense) very rapid fire turret of some kind in the central section to use as a point defense weapon.

Then it occurred to me: Maybe these were all just all supposed to be NPC ships meant to blow up more regularly and satisfyingly than the one the adventurers are using?
It seems to me that most of the designed ships are meant to emulate something out of fiction, either a hard postulation of what a ship might look like, or whooshy space opera.

For example, the Starhawk is clearly an X-wing. It has four forward-fixed blasters, wings a missile launcher and an engine room (with a robot in it, usually). Why? Because x-wings have wings, four forward fixed blasters and a missile launcher (which fire proton torpedos, of course). The Typhoon is clearly a tie-fighter, so it has two blasters (which really should be fixed, but isn't, for some reason), is highly agile, and lacks shields. It's light, small, maneuverable and disposable.

But what actually happens in a fight? Do they circle around one another trying to shoot each other? Nope. The fight comes down to whether or not the Tie fighter uses up its weapons in point-defense or not, because if it doesn't, the x-wing WILL hit it it with that missile, and it will kill the tie-fighter. The only reason NOT to do this would be to save ammo.

There's some good material, some good game-play, in Spaceships, but it takes some work to ferret it out, and the example spaceships don't really take advantage of interesting tactical spaces. They'll work, after a fashion, because the SS series is hardly the worst mechanics in the world, but they work better if you finesse them.

For example, missiles aren't nearly as lethal as people seem to think. Guns and missiles scale slower than beam weapons. A beam weapon doubles its damage (and armor doubles its DR) every +2 SM, while ballistics do the same every +4 SM. I noticed this when I started working on some very large ships and I noticed that the missiles weren't nearly as much of a problem as I thought they were. Fighters are just destroyed by missiles (an SM +5 fighter has 20 hp and can sport a 20cm missile launcher, which deals an average of 100 damage, which is nearly instant death against an unarmored ship, and when you account for the minimum of 2x damage, surely instant death). Huge dreadnoughts, though, have less of a problem (An SM+15 ship has 1000 hp and can carry a 112 cm missile, which deals an average of 560 damage, which isn't enough to even bring the dreadnought to negative HP. If you double the damage because of minimum speed, you'll bring the dreadnought to negative HP, but if you put any armor on it (A single system of Nanocomposite Armor at SM +15 is already DR 300) and a missile hit is quite survivable Put three systems on (900 DR, 1000 HP vs 560-1100 damage) and you're barely taking any damage. Of course, if the missile hits directly, it has an armor divisor of 2, but if your armor is hardened, you can remove that. Never mind Exotic Laminate: three systems of that is DR 2100.

You can get around that problem by making faster missiles (Super-missiles do 10x damage rather than 2x, and any missile in a faster, farther scale will do more and more damage), but you could keep scaling the sizes up to take advantage of that ratio problem, if you were really so inclined. Effectively, unconventional warheads become a must at some point. But my real point is this: Understanding this and how things scale, you can move things around for your chosen TL and your chosen combat-model until you had just the right sizes, ranges, time-scales, etc. Finding those, is a problem... though I've been doing some homework. When I have some results, I'll post them.
__________________
My Blog: Mailanka's Musing. Currently Playing: Psi-Wars, a step-by-step exploration of building your own Space Opera setting, inspired by Star Wars.
If you want to support me, check out my Patreon!
Mailanka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2015, 03:55 PM   #33
Ulzgoroth
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Default Re: GURPS Starships line errata (and some observations)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mailanka View Post
For example, missiles aren't nearly as lethal as people seem to think. Guns and missiles scale slower than beam weapons. A beam weapon doubles its damage (and armor doubles its DR) every +2 SM, while ballistics do the same every +4 SM. I noticed this when I started working on some very large ships and I noticed that the missiles weren't nearly as much of a problem as I thought they were. Fighters are just destroyed by missiles (an SM +5 fighter has 20 hp and can sport a 20cm missile launcher, which deals an average of 100 damage, which is nearly instant death against an unarmored ship, and when you account for the minimum of 2x damage, surely instant death). Huge dreadnoughts, though, have less of a problem (An SM+15 ship has 1000 hp and can carry a 112 cm missile, which deals an average of 560 damage, which isn't enough to even bring the dreadnought to negative HP. If you double the damage because of minimum speed, you'll bring the dreadnought to negative HP, but if you put any armor on it (A single system of Nanocomposite Armor at SM +15 is already DR 300) and a missile hit is quite survivable Put three systems on (900 DR, 1000 HP vs 560-1100 damage) and you're barely taking any damage. Of course, if the missile hits directly, it has an armor divisor of 2, but if your armor is hardened, you can remove that. Never mind Exotic Laminate: three systems of that is DR 2100.
This is part of the really basic analysis. Big ships (and they don't have to be SM+15 really, because a 112cm missile is easy to stop with point defense) can carry enough armor to stand up to conventional missiles.

The 'oh, wait' for that is that they're not so much on standing up to 25 kt nukes.
__________________
I don't know any 3e, so there is no chance that I am talking about 3e rules by accident.
Ulzgoroth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2015, 12:28 AM   #34
Mailanka
 
Mailanka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Default Re: GURPS Starships line errata (and some observations)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
This is part of the really basic analysis. Big ships (and they don't have to be SM+15 really, because a 112cm missile is easy to stop with point defense) can carry enough armor to stand up to conventional missiles.

The 'oh, wait' for that is that they're not so much on standing up to 25 kt nukes.
It's as much a mistake to make everything available all at once in GURPS Spaceships as it is in GURPS Ultra-Tech. TL 9 soldiers can toss nukes at each other too, and none of their armor is going to stand up to that either.

If you want your combat paradigm to be about throwing nukes at each other, then you'll get a different game than if you don't allow people to throw nukes at each other. But you can get interesting gameplay out of either scenario.

The problem with the pre-designed spaceships isn't that they don't make full use of all possible elements, or that they don't use your preferred combat paradigm, but that they don't really make for interesting combat in their own paradigms. You don't expect X-wings to toss nukes at people, because that's not in-genre. You expect them to have blaster fights with tie-fighters. But if you follow the rules and you use the written design, you won't get those blaster fights. It comes down to missiles and point defense, and that's a problem.
__________________
My Blog: Mailanka's Musing. Currently Playing: Psi-Wars, a step-by-step exploration of building your own Space Opera setting, inspired by Star Wars.
If you want to support me, check out my Patreon!
Mailanka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2015, 05:49 AM   #35
Ulzgoroth
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Default Re: GURPS Starships line errata (and some observations)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mailanka View Post
It's as much a mistake to make everything available all at once in GURPS Spaceships as it is in GURPS Ultra-Tech. TL 9 soldiers can toss nukes at each other too, and none of their armor is going to stand up to that either.
There are reasons other than author-imposed style for infantry not to be playing nuke-tag. It's really hard to come up with a reason that nuclear warheads aren't a valid response to SM+15 space dreadnoughts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mailanka View Post
The problem with the pre-designed spaceships isn't that they don't make full use of all possible elements, or that they don't use your preferred combat paradigm, but that they don't really make for interesting combat in their own paradigms. You don't expect X-wings to toss nukes at people, because that's not in-genre. You expect them to have blaster fights with tie-fighters. But if you follow the rules and you use the written design, you won't get those blaster fights. It comes down to missiles and point defense, and that's a problem.
I think if Spaceships actually wanted to be about modeling arbitrary mostly-implausible paradigms, it very much needed to address that directly, at length and in detail.

What it did instead is give us a modular quasi-hard science system with some patches and toggles you can use for less-hard stuff.

I probably prefer the latter, really. But it seems like there's a lot of desire to make it out to be the former. And it's totally the wrong product for that.
__________________
I don't know any 3e, so there is no chance that I am talking about 3e rules by accident.
Ulzgoroth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2015, 07:17 AM   #36
Mailanka
 
Mailanka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Default Re: GURPS Starships line errata (and some observations)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
I think if Spaceships actually wanted to be about modeling arbitrary mostly-implausible paradigms, it very much needed to address that directly, at length and in detail.

What it did instead is give us a modular quasi-hard science system with some patches and toggles you can use for less-hard stuff.

I probably prefer the latter, really. But it seems like there's a lot of desire to make it out to be the former. And it's totally the wrong product for that.
Basically, you don't like the Spaceships line. Got it.
__________________
My Blog: Mailanka's Musing. Currently Playing: Psi-Wars, a step-by-step exploration of building your own Space Opera setting, inspired by Star Wars.
If you want to support me, check out my Patreon!
Mailanka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2015, 07:29 AM   #37
Ulzgoroth
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Default Re: GURPS Starships line errata (and some observations)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mailanka View Post
Basically, you don't like the Spaceships line. Got it.
The problems I have with the spaceships line are about the particulars of mechanics, not anything in that post. As I said, I like the way it's set up. I just think it's not making any real effort to serve the agenda that you, and a lot of other people, want it to.
__________________
I don't know any 3e, so there is no chance that I am talking about 3e rules by accident.
Ulzgoroth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2015, 07:36 AM   #38
Mailanka
 
Mailanka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Default Re: GURPS Starships line errata (and some observations)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
The problems I have with the spaceships line are about the particulars of mechanics, not anything in that post. As I said, I like the way it's set up. I just think it's not making any real effort to serve the agenda that you, and a lot of other people, want it to.
I think you're making assumptions about what I want out of Spaceships. In fact, I really have no idea what you're talking about. We're having a discussion about how badly or well-written we find ships like, say, the Starhawk space fighter, and you're saying that A) you love the Spaceships line and think that it's great and B) we're fools for wanting it to have ships like the Starhawk space fighter.

So I no longer know what you're trying to say.
__________________
My Blog: Mailanka's Musing. Currently Playing: Psi-Wars, a step-by-step exploration of building your own Space Opera setting, inspired by Star Wars.
If you want to support me, check out my Patreon!
Mailanka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2015, 09:12 AM   #39
Ulzgoroth
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Default Re: GURPS Starships line errata (and some observations)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mailanka View Post
I think you're making assumptions about what I want out of Spaceships. In fact, I really have no idea what you're talking about. We're having a discussion about how badly or well-written we find ships like, say, the Starhawk space fighter, and you're saying that A) you love the Spaceships line and think that it's great and B) we're fools for wanting it to have ships like the Starhawk space fighter.

So I no longer know what you're trying to say.
You wrote about how Spaceships fails to support the combat paradigm that motivates the Starhawk fighter existing.

There are plenty of ship writeups that, like the Starhawk, seem to belong to paradigms that the rules don't support or make any sort of effort to support.

My assertion is that Spaceships comprehensively fails to provide any kind of support for dealing with the whole alternate paradigms idea that people involved in writing the books, posters on the forum, and seemingly you in particular want it to.


Then you threw a dismissal at me about how I apparently hate Spaceships (which is somewhat true, but for completely different reasons) and I responded to that.
__________________
I don't know any 3e, so there is no chance that I am talking about 3e rules by accident.
Ulzgoroth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2015, 12:48 PM   #40
David Johnston2
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Re: GURPS Starships line errata (and some observations)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mailanka View Post
It seems to me that most of the designed ships are meant to emulate something out of fiction, either a hard postulation of what a ship might look like, or whooshy space opera.

For example, the Starhawk is clearly an X-wing. It has four forward-fixed blasters, wings a missile launcher and an engine room (with a robot in it, usually). Why? Because x-wings have wings, four forward fixed blasters and a missile launcher (which fire proton torpedos, of course). The Typhoon is clearly a tie-fighter, so it has two blasters (which really should be fixed, but isn't, for some reason), is highly agile, and lacks shields. It's light, small, maneuverable and disposable.

But what actually happens in a fight? Do they circle around one another trying to shoot each other? Nope. The fight comes down to whether or not the Tie fighter uses up its weapons in point-defense or not, because if it doesn't, the x-wing WILL hit it it with that missile, and it will kill the tie-fighter. The only reason NOT to do this would be to save ammo.
It's a good reason, mind you. Spend your missiles on Typhoons and you have little way to hurt the bigger ships the missiles are actually for. Although in the actual Star Wars paradigm you wouldn't use the torpedoes against tie-fighter any way because because you can't hit tie-fighters with torpedoes
David Johnston2 is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
spaceships

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:57 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.