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Old 09-08-2013, 09:33 AM   #1
martin_rook
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Default Spaceships: "improved" guns?

I'm trying to work out some stuff in Spaceships and came across something that seems to need straightening out, though I can't find any mention of it in the Errata.

A note on the RoF Table (pg 58) says "Beam or gun RoF is doubled for 'improved' beam or gun weapons."

However, under Weapon Types on pg 28-29, the "improved" option is only listed under the Beam Weapons heading, and not listed as on option for guns. All the examples or sample ships I can spot with improved weapons only apply the option to beam weapons.

So, can guns also use the "improved" option, or is that note on the chart an error?
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:07 AM   #2
SCAR
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Yorkshire, UK
Default Re: Spaceships: "improved" guns?

Quote:
Originally Posted by martin_rook View Post
I'm trying to work out some stuff in Spaceships and came across something that seems to need straightening out, though I can't find any mention of it in the Errata.

A note on the RoF Table (pg 58) says "Beam or gun RoF is doubled for 'improved' beam or gun weapons."

However, under Weapon Types on pg 28-29, the "improved" option is only listed under the Beam Weapons heading, and not listed as on option for guns. All the examples or sample ships I can spot with improved weapons only apply the option to beam weapons.

So, can guns also use the "improved" option, or is that note on the chart an error?
I spotted that too. Improved is not listed as an option for guns.
Then again, I'm not sure it would do any harm to allow it.
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:28 AM   #3
Varyon
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Default Re: Spaceships: "improved" guns?

An improved laser is more efficient, so it gets doubled RoF either by using a single weapon with a capacitor that charges twice as fast or by using two weapons that each weigh half as much as the original. As Spaceships assumes 19 seconds of Aim followed by a 1 second attack, I'd say the two weapons (in the same mounting) at half weight each seems the more likely.

For guns, you might be able to have better materials that can withstand the recoil more effectively, allowing you to double up on weapons, but this is a bit more iffy than the efficiency gains beam weapons enjoy. Off hand, I'd say you can manage to have "improved" guns for weapons of 2 TL lower. If I remember the way Spaceships works correctly, you'll be trading accuracy for rate of fire, because guns use TL to determine sAcc.
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:44 AM   #4
SCAR
 
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Default Re: Spaceships: "improved" guns?

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
An improved laser is more efficient, so it gets doubled RoF either by using a single weapon with a capacitor that charges twice as fast or by using two weapons that each weigh half as much as the original. As Spaceships assumes 19 seconds of Aim followed by a 1 second attack, I'd say the two weapons (in the same mounting) at half weight each seems the more likely.

For guns, you might be able to have better materials that can withstand the recoil more effectively, allowing you to double up on weapons, but this is a bit more iffy than the efficiency gains beam weapons enjoy. Off hand, I'd say you can manage to have "improved" guns for weapons of 2 TL lower. If I remember the way Spaceships works correctly, you'll be trading accuracy for rate of fire, because guns use TL to determine sAcc.
Gun sAcc is based purely on Calibre, for each of Conventional and EMG.
I don't think you need to really consider mechanically or technically how 'Improved' would work. Especially given the RoF variation by Turn length.
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:46 AM   #5
vierasmarius
 
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Default Re: Spaceships: "improved" guns?

I'd have no problem allowing Improved versions of Emag and Gravitic guns, since their fire rate is likely limited by their capacitors, same as energy weapons. And since regular guns are already pretty poor compared to the other choices available, I'd allow it for them as well. Of course, this shouldn't increase the available ammo supply, so such guns will only be able to fire for half as long.
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Old 09-08-2013, 12:29 PM   #6
Varyon
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Default Re: Spaceships: "improved" guns?

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Originally Posted by SCAR View Post
Gun sAcc is based purely on Calibre, for each of Conventional and EMG.
I sit corrected. I don't remember what the minimum TL for conventional guns is, but I'd imagine setting the base at TL7 would probably be the way to do it.
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Originally Posted by SCAR View Post
I don't think you need to really consider mechanically or technically how 'Improved' would work. Especially given the RoF variation by Turn length.
Perhaps I am again mistaken, but as I recall RoF is simply multiplied based on multiples of 20 seconds - RoF 1 at 20 seconds is 3 at 1 minute, 30 at 10 minutes, etc.

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Originally Posted by vierasmarius View Post
Of course, this shouldn't increase the available ammo supply, so such guns will only be able to fire for half as long.
That's an important consideration. TL improvements may result in lower propellant weight for conventional weapons, allowing them to carry a bit more ammo, but it's probably not enough to make a serious difference.
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Old 09-09-2013, 02:18 AM   #7
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Default Re: Spaceships: "improved" guns?

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
An improved laser is more efficient, so it gets doubled RoF either by using a single weapon with a capacitor that charges twice as fast or by using two weapons that each weigh half as much as the original. As Spaceships assumes 19 seconds of Aim followed by a 1 second attack, I'd say the two weapons (in the same mounting) at half weight each seems the more likely.
Can you point me to any page reference which explains how 'Improved' Lasers use fast capacitors or two weapons?

Or where it says Spaceships assume 19 seconds of Aim and 1 second of attack?

Even if it was, 18 seconds of Aim and 2 seconds of Attack, or 2x (9 seconds of Aim + 1 second of Attack) would double RoF.

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Perhaps I am again mistaken, but as I recall RoF is simply multiplied based on multiples of 20 seconds - RoF 1 at 20 seconds is 3 at 1 minute, 30 at 10 minutes, etc.
And does it seem even remotely 'realistic' for Spaceship Guns to only have an 'effective' RoF of 1 in 20 seconds (even if only firing a 1 second attack burst), and only RoF 3 in a minute, etc?

It's an abstraction, and Improved Guns (Conventional, EMG or Gravitic) seems perfectly reasonable and playable, especially stacked against Improved Beams with unlimited ammo, and the Imp.Guns will be running through their, generally quite limited, ammo supply more quickly.
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:23 AM   #8
Varyon
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Default Re: Spaceships: "improved" guns?

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Originally Posted by SCAR View Post
Can you point me to any page reference which explains how 'Improved' Lasers use fast capacitors or two weapons?

Or where it says Spaceships assume 19 seconds of Aim and 1 second of attack?

Even if it was, 18 seconds of Aim and 2 seconds of Attack, or 2x (9 seconds of Aim + 1 second of Attack) would double RoF.
It was a friend of mine that had Spaceships, and I no longer have access to it (probably get around to buying it eventually, though, I really liked the series). I think the aiming bit is rolled into sAcc - there's a box somewhere in SS1 explaining just what sAcc includes, so I'd suggest finding that. As for Improved weapons, there's never an explanation of how they work, I was simply mentioning the only two logical ways they could work - a single weapon shooting twice as fast, or two weapons in the same mounting.

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Originally Posted by SCAR View Post
And does it seem even remotely 'realistic' for Spaceship Guns to only have an 'effective' RoF of 1 in 20 seconds (even if only firing a 1 second attack burst), and only RoF 3 in a minute, etc?

It's an abstraction, and Improved Guns (Conventional, EMG or Gravitic) seems perfectly reasonable and playable, especially stacked against Improved Beams with unlimited ammo, and the Imp.Guns will be running through their, generally quite limited, ammo supply more quickly.
Considering range penalties (SS combat is at very, very long ranges), GURPS rules for telescopic sights (1 second of Aim is necessary per +1) and pre-Tactical Shooting rules for effect of attacking on Aim bonuses (Basic Set has you lose any Aim bonus upon attacking), 1 attack per ~20 seconds doesn't sound that outlandish. Adapting Tactical Shooting rules, you could continuously fire at a target with base Acc, although you'd lose your bonus from the telescopic sights. With a completely recoilless weapon like a laser, it might not be unwarranted to let you maintain this bonus as well, but note this will make SS combat even more lethal (and make beam weapons far preferable to guns, provided the beam weapons do sufficient damage to get past DR).
All that said, I don't really have a problem with Improved Guns. Doubling RoF for +1 TL seems a bit much (I think guns have much less room for improvement than beam weapons), but it won't really break anything.
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:50 AM   #9
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Spaceships: "improved" guns?

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Originally Posted by SCAR View Post
Can you point me to any page reference which explains how 'Improved' Lasers use fast capacitors or two weapons?
That's just the text on p. 30 of Spaceships where it says a "high efficiency or multi-barreled unit". It doesn't actually mention the source of the improved efficiency. Capacitors would be only one possibli9ty.
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:55 AM   #10
Ulzgoroth
 
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Default Re: Spaceships: "improved" guns?

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Originally Posted by SCAR View Post
And does it seem even remotely 'realistic' for Spaceship Guns to only have an 'effective' RoF of 1 in 20 seconds (even if only firing a 1 second attack burst), and only RoF 3 in a minute, etc?
Why not? It's perfectly reasonable for a weapon to have a lengthy cycle time. 20 seconds might be a bit high for the lower-caliber weapons, but by Spaceships standards of precision?

Not that 10 seconds instead of 20 is not plausible. IIRC the autoloading tank cannon in HT has an 8-second reload.
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