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Old 03-17-2012, 04:47 PM   #11
jacobmuller
 
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Default Re: [SS] Reigning in Projectile Damage

I went with the Pyramid mods to boost beam damage, reduce explosive damage, increase armor and dHP. And the optional rule for damage control (halves damage).

As a houserule, I also use a form of advanced and experimental armor similar to the old Vehicles formats: it works really simply - Advanced lets you pay for and receive the dDR of the next SM; Experimental is SM+2.

These mods combine to make warships vastly tougher. Missiles are still lethal, just not one-hit-vaporises, except for civilians.
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Old 03-17-2012, 05:46 PM   #12
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Default Re: [SS] Reigning in Projectile Damage

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Originally Posted by jacobmuller View Post
I went with the Pyramid mods to boost beam damage, reduce explosive damage, increase armor and dHP. And the optional rule for damage control (halves damage).

As a houserule, I also use a form of advanced and experimental armor similar to the old Vehicles formats: it works really simply - Advanced lets you pay for and receive the dDR of the next SM; Experimental is SM+2.

These mods combine to make warships vastly tougher. Missiles are still lethal, just not one-hit-vaporises, except for civilians.
While I've read the Extreme Damage section closely, I haven't looked much at the alternate Beam Damage table. Let's see...

Okay, interesting. The alternate beam damage increases at the same scale as the alternate HP. Combining them means Major Battery beams inflict 70-80% of the firing ship's HP, pretty close to the original progression of 70-75% HP. While the higher HP totals does help large ships survive hits by small missiles, it actually makes large projectiles far less potent (relatively speaking) since their damage increases even slower in comparison to beams. However, that may not be a problem; missiles in Space Opera tend to be fired by tiny ships anyways, so perhaps big missiles are as useless as these numbers imply.

EDIT: Also, where are the optional Damage Control rules? In the same Pyramid issue (3/34)?

Last edited by vierasmarius; 03-17-2012 at 05:58 PM.
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:09 PM   #13
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Default Re: [SS] Reigning in Projectile Damage

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So, is the consensus that fiddling with the damage tables is a Bad Idea? And if so, why?
I believe it to be a step in the wrong direction anyway.

First Guns. Guns are a non-issue as far as I'm concerned. I've never built a ship that carried guns and I don't think I ever would unless it was something like an Assualt Lander and the "guns" were intended to represent a weapon system for in-atmopshere work and possibly in character scale.

Of course, I pay a lot of attention to what range the action should start at logically and have never had a battle start when the ships were within Gun range.

There's practicaly no such thing as a ship that couldn't auto-dodge gunfire either. You'd have to be attacking at a flight time for the shells of less than 0.1 seconds or so.

Missiles are different. Missiles can be launched en masse on high speed attack runs and this is indeed a problem. I feel it calls for adjustment of the tech assumptions though rather than fiddling with game rules. Even modest Fast Pass velocities will swamp any table-fiddling anyway.

During playtest when I did a big Star Wars-like battle that involved Capital ships at TL11^ it was conducted entirely by X-ray lasers for reasons of range. Missiles could have ben launched but no ship would have lived long enough in actual combat to see its' missiles hit. You'd need something like SubWarp missiles to change that. No combat would have started at X-ray laser range but ended at Guns range.

So I don't see the problem you're trying to solve. Spaceships has a lot of component modules that would never be used with each other but are intended to cover all tech bases. For that reason it doesn't matter rhow incompatible modules balance against each other because they'll almost never (qualifier included jsut to alow for extreme possibilitieis) be used all at the same time.
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:19 PM   #14
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Default Re: [SS] Reigning in Projectile Damage

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I believe it to be a step in the wrong direction anyway.

First Guns. Guns are a non-issue as far as I'm concerned. I've never built a ship that carried guns and I don't think I ever would unless it was something like an Assualt Lander and the "guns" were intended to represent a weapon system for in-atmopshere work and possibly in character scale.

Of course, I pay a lot of attention to what range the action should start at logically and have never had a battle start when the ships were within Gun range.

There's practicaly no such thing as a ship that couldn't auto-dodge gunfire either. You'd have to be attacking at a flight time for the shells of less than 0.1 seconds or so.

Missiles are different. Missiles can be launched en masse on high speed attack runs and this is indeed a problem. I feel it calls for adjustment of the tech assumptions though rather than fiddling with game rules. Even modest Fast Pass velocities will swamp any table-fiddling anyway.

During playtest when I did a big Star Wars-like battle that involved Capital ships at TL11^ it was conducted entirely by X-ray lasers for reasons of range. Missiles could have ben launched but no ship would have lived long enough in actual combat to see its' missiles hit. You'd need something like SubWarp missiles to change that. No combat would have started at X-ray laser range but ended at Guns range.

So I don't see the problem you're trying to solve. Spaceships has a lot of component modules that would never be used with each other but are intended to cover all tech bases. For that reason it doesn't matter rhow incompatible modules balance against each other because they'll almost never (qualifier included jsut to alow for extreme possibilitieis) be used all at the same time.
I agree that guns aren't really at issue. However, missiles do play a part in many battles of science-fiction film and literature, and only rarely match the GURPS assumption (Missile hits - everyone dies).

After looking at Jacob's suggestions (the alternate HP and Beam progressions from Pyramid 3/34) I think they provide approximately the answer I was seeking. Small ships are still quite vulnerable to missiles, but that's not really out-of-genre for Space Opera anyways - their primary defense is agility, so I just need to make sure they're suitably (cinematically) maneuverable.

How about my other suggestion, to give proximity-burst kinetic projectiles an armor multiplier? That would still allow fighters to be threatened by proximity missile attacks, but would help prevent capital ship point-defense systems from being overwhelmed by missile hits, since the missiles would need to use direct attacks to overcome the target's DR.
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:29 PM   #15
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Default Re: [SS] Reigning in Projectile Damage

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I

How about my other suggestion, to give proximity-burst kinetic projectiles an armor multiplier? .
Makes no sense in terms of any sort of realism. Even "low" speed attacks (the 1 or 2 MPS of minimum velocity) equal the highest velcoity of TL8 anti-tank munitions. That any purposely designed projectile travelling as fast as the penetrator of an M1A1's 120mm main gun (thought the actual penetrator is only 40mm) would get a multiplier rather than a divisor is a real head-scratcher.
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:53 PM   #16
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Default Re: [SS] Reigning in Projectile Damage

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Makes no sense in terms of any sort of realism. Even "low" speed attacks (the 1 or 2 MPS of minimum velocity) equal the highest velcoity of TL8 anti-tank munitions. That any purposely designed projectile travelling as fast as the penetrator of an M1A1's 120mm main gun (thought the actual penetrator is only 40mm) would get a multiplier rather than a divisor is a real head-scratcher.
I'm not talking about a direct hit from a kinetic warhead, but a proximity burst, striking only with sub-calibre fragments. By RAW, that only drops it from AD (2) to AD (1), which strikes me as far too generous. It's the equivalent of going from a single armor-piercing shotgun slug [5d(2)] to 25 pieces of buckshot [1d, +4 to-hit] yet still penetrating as though it's a normal slug [5d]. So unless all those fragments are APEP rounds (but for some reason the primary warhead is not) the fragment penetration makes no sense.

EDIT: Hmm. Now I'm tempted to scrap the RAW proximity attack rules, and replace it with the Multiple-Projectile Load rules from High Tech. Projectiles could have different warheads with varying numbers of submunitions, increasing effective RoF while decreasing damage per hit.

Last edited by vierasmarius; 03-17-2012 at 08:05 PM.
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:16 PM   #17
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By RAW, that only drops it from AD (2) to AD (1), which strikes me as far too generous.
Oh no, it's far too punitive. Shotgun ballistics are a terrible analogy anyway. Shotguns stuff goes at c.1100 fps which is a regime where solid matter (like steel anyway) tends to stay solid.

Even the minimum velocity of 1 mps isan area where things like Depeleted Uranium begin failing.

Above 2 mps you're looking at regimes where every gram of a projectile's mass (and the mass of any armor it's in direct contact with) explode as if they were made entirely of TNT or improbably more powerful explosives. Nuclear intensities in the kiloton range are not that hard to arrange.

This is the problem with trying to nerf KE space weapons. They really are that powerful in any realistic treatment. If you're abandoning realism do it comprehensively and with style. KE weapons are simply ineffective for the following <insert technobabble) reason. Not that they are only comparatively less effective than energy weapons.

It's a lot less work too. You can give your PCs a flat statement about why no one used KE weapons rather than doing all the work of re-jiggering the weapons tables and then making them figure out that no one uses KE weapons after they've pored over the tables several times.
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:17 PM   #18
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Default Re: [SS] Reigning in Projectile Damage

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Oh no, it's far too punitive. Shotgun ballistics are a terrible analogy anyway. Shotguns stuff goes at c.1100 fps which is a regime where solid matter (like steel anyway) tends to stay solid.

Even the minimum velocity of 1 mps isan area where things like Depeleted Uranium begin failing.

Above 2 mps you're looking at regimes where every gram of a projectile's mass (and the mass of any armor it's in direct contact with) explode as if they were made entirely of TNT or improbably more powerful explosives. Nuclear intensities in the kiloton range are not that hard to arrange.

This is the problem with trying to nerf KE space weapons. They really are that powerful in any realistic treatment. If you're abandoning realism do it comprehensively and with style. KE weapons are simply ineffective for the following <insert technobabble) reason. Not that they are only comparatively less effective than energy weapons.

It's a lot less work too. You can give your PCs a flat statement about why no one used KE weapons rather than doing all the work of re-jiggering the weapons tables and then making them figure out that no one uses KE weapons after they've pored over the tables several times.
Hmm... that does suggest that, for Space Opera battles that take place at distances and speeds that make WWII dogfights look vast, perhaps the projectile velocities are diminished. In fact, if I posit some superscience jamming system or force shield that can basically guarantee deflection for missiles fired from beyond Short Range, missiles will not be able to accelerate to "optimal" speed: TL 7-8 missiles will hit with a minimum speed of 1/3 mps rather than 1 mps, while TL 9+ missiles will have minimum 1 mps instead of 2 mps. Missiles will still be able to inflict significant damage, but will need to be fired basically point-blank (ie, by snub-nosed fighters on a close attack run =P ) and the damage potential will be mitigated. Combine that with the aforementioned HP rescaling, and it won't be instantly lethal for the target. Also, because of the close engagement range Nuclear warheads will be harder to use, except by kamikaze bombers.

The main purpose of missiles will be to allow these small agile ships to inflict significant damage against vital subsystems (getting close in to mitigate the targeting penalties, while using some of the cinematic options from SS4 to avoid the bulk of the defensive fire). It would make sense if subsystems could only be targeted using direct fire attacks, rather than proximity burst; this would also help the attacks overcome the DR.

Overall, I think this is a satisfactory concession to the genre, without throwing out too much of real physics.
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Old 03-18-2012, 02:56 AM   #19
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Default Re: [SS] Reigning in Projectile Damage

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EDIT: Also, where are the optional Damage Control rules? In the same Pyramid issue (3/34)?
Spaceships#3 Warships and Pirates, pg35 Greater Survivability. I also use the Advanced Armour option, although it doesn't really do anything as I use the Pulse laser option (from UT) and most missiles use proximity.

The Spaceship options I use make published military vessels useless to me but the civilian ships are fine and most roleplaying happens in a civilian setting. The military gear is just background data, eg how powerful they can be as compared to civilian ships.

Sorry I'm slow to reply - different time-zone and inconstant linking.
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Old 03-18-2012, 03:26 AM   #20
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Default Re: [SS] Reigning in Projectile Damage

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Spaceships#3 Warships and Pirates, pg35 Greater Survivability. I also use the Advanced Armour option, although it doesn't really do anything as I use the Pulse laser option (from UT) and most missiles use proximity.
How does using the Pulse Laser option (which doubles range but reduces armor divisor, and makes the beams inflict explosive damage) make the Advanced Armor option inconsequential? If anything, I'd think that making available stronger armor would serve to exaggerate the reduced beam penetration.

EDIT: Oh, I see. I thought you were talking about the option to buy effectively higher-SM amor modules. I wasn't actually familiar with the Advanced Armor option from SS3, which makes TL8+ armor Hardened for free. Yeah, I see how using Pulse lasers instead of normal ones wouldn't mean much, if armor is Hardened anyways.

The "Missile Shield" option is interesting, and is similar to the superscience option I considered in an above post. Perhaps I'll just use that, with the rationale that missiles (for some reason) don't Dodge. Maneuvering fighters, and missiles at point-blank range, would be immune to this automatic missile shield, and need to be targeted normally. I'm not sure that I'll need the Damage Reduction on top of this... I'll need to run the numbers first. But that will have to wait for morning.

Quote:
The Spaceship options I use make published military vessels useless to me but the civilian ships are fine and most roleplaying happens in a civilian setting. The military gear is just background data, eg how powerful they can be as compared to civilian ships.
This interests me. My intent is to change the feel of military confrontations. How do the above options make the published military vessels' stats useless?

Last edited by vierasmarius; 03-18-2012 at 03:42 AM.
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