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Old 03-02-2017, 01:48 PM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2013
Default Some Mecha Questions

OK the first one is a bit of a rambler: Building and using Bits and Funnels or other remote attack drones.

In Spaceships the building looks simple enough, just call it one of these (Although SS doesn't offer hulls small enough) but in Mecha it's a bit harder, there's be no cockpit and I'd use the advice on VE55 on Sonobouys and Other Remote Sensors and give the computer Datalink, but what else? (I get how to add weapons, but the controls are the question)

The follow is is rules for controlling these sorts of drones, how do those work? What penalties do I take for controlling multiple craft?

The second question is simpler: If using Mecha what sort of DR should I take as a base mark for ships that carry mecha? The reason I ask is that anti-shipping weapons should be something mecha can carry.
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Old 03-03-2017, 09:04 AM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Some Mecha Questions

In Vehicles, a drone shouldn't need any sort of Control Station - all it needs is a computer good enough to operate the drone. Assuming remote operation, that's not much. Otherwise, you need one good enough to host the AI controlling the ship. The reason Spaceships requires a Control Room for automated vehicles is because the weight and cost of the actual control stations are a small fraction of the system's weight and cost - the built-in communications system is another small fraction, with the bulk actually being the attitude jets, control surfaces, etc (which Vehicles apparently made part of the motive system).

As for controlling multiple drones, that's a bit hairier, and depends on how you're controlling them and how autonomous they are. Do you control them like you control Master Chief in Halo, or do you control them like you control James Raynor in Starcraft? For the former, you need very little AI on the drone, but it's nearly impossible to control more than one at a time. For the latter, you need the drones to be mostly autonomous, simply taking orders rather than following exact commands. There's also the issue of if you're using physical controls or a neural uplink - the former is much more limiting. I'd say, with physical controls, you can't really directly control more than one drone at a time; controlling multiple requires both that they have decent AI and that you make some use of the Tactics skill. With a neural uplink, you can directly control multiple drones at a time, but are at -4 to all rolls per drone beyond the first. Compartmentalized Mind reduces this - each "mind" you have can control one drone without issue, and is at -4 to all rolls per drone beyond the first, but you can share the load - someone with CM 1 could control 2 drones without issue, 3 drones at -4 to 2 of them and no penalty to the other, or 3 drones at -2 to everything, and so forth.
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Old 03-03-2017, 10:09 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Default Re: Some Mecha Questions

Have you seen Spaceships 4? They have mecha rules and SM+4 hulls (smaller ones aren't that hard to extrapolate, things like propulsion, power plants, cargo, fuel tanks are always going to be proportional and weigh 1/20th of the hulls weight. Hull weight falls a 1-3 progression while HP and DR follow a 2/3rds progression and so on).

For GURPS Mecha, there are premade cockpits listed but if you want a more 4th ed version a cockpit would consist of either a computerized control station, holographic control station or if TL10 a multi sensory crew station (Ultra-Tech pg. 24), at lest a personal computer with harden and possibly high capacity (Ultra-Tech pg. 22&23) and some form of life support but that depends on how long the Mecha is supposed to be used (see Ultra-Tech armor design fromPyramid 3/96 Tech and Toys IV for more on life support options). I can help you out if you let me know your assumptions.

Now for ship DR, that's a whole hella lot of "it depends". Most modern warships aren't armored in like WWII ones were, even the Russia Kirov class large cruisers aren't armored (hence why the Russians don't consider it a battlecrusier like everyone else does). Their bulls at best are made of the higher end of mild steel (maybe DR56/in). If they are going to be armored then they should be able to stop the average damage of whatever is considered their main gun. Of course keep in mind that it is hard to armor ships in Spaceships since the TL9+ armor options are basically that TL's version of mild steel rather then military grade armor though that can be handled by just using armor that's 1TL higher.
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drones, mecha

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