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Author Topic: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?  (Read 6552 times)

Daryk

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #30 on: 22 May 2022, 14:42:22 »
Do you, by chance, have a link to this essay? ???

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #31 on: 22 May 2022, 16:01:53 »
Where is this fan made TRO?   Or at least a name I can search for?

I'd also throw AFFC: Navy onto the pile of 'must read'.  It's certainly original.  Try the battletech Fanon wiki for more.
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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #32 on: 22 May 2022, 21:22:26 »
Quote
If there is going to be a rule revamp it will be towards Alphastrike. Simplification. It has been the trend since AT1. Naval combat lends itself to increasing complexity as you add more and more escorts, screens, and CAPs.This has to be playable and 12 units a side is kind of BattleTech's sensible maximum.

Im in this camp too.  Ive played my share of games, and to reiterate what I said earlier, playing battlespace will take away from playing battletech.  I cant play both, to play one means giving up the other.  If I play 4 btech games a month, Id hate to play only 2 btech games in order to play 2 battlespace games on my limited game days.

I would use simplified rules though, in support of my campaign games.  In this way, with alpha strike speed and nice simple rules, I WOULD be able to have a quick 30-1 hour TOPS alpha-battlespace game to insert my ground force, and still play my ground btech game.  I like the crossing engagement rules for this, if they were cleaned up.  A quick pass with a few options for each unit, make 1-2 sets of attack rolls for closing/chaser fire and missiles, and move onto the battletech game where you deal with the consequences of the naval battle.

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #33 on: 23 May 2022, 00:49:13 »
At this point you've got a lot of systems good for targeting stationary objects, because your sensors are still limited to Newtonian speeds.  Great for aiming at a planet or other fixed body, not so great for a dynamic engagement-your weapons are moving faster than light, but your sensors aren't overcoming light delay.

Put it this way: there's about a 20 minute lag on signals from Mars to Earth.  It takes 8 minutes for light from the sun to reach earth at closest approach.

You're showing off weapons that reach interstellar distances instantaneously.  There's not a lot of advantage in having FTL munitions at ranges where an enemy can't evade a light beam by using random-walk evasion.

which he'd be using at newtonian line of sight anyway.

AOE isn't going to do you much good in hard vacuum either-the shielding necessary to keep your crew safe in peacetime will handle the radiation pulse of a nuke at close range, and there's no medium for translating shockwaves outside the hull, so the blast wave and most secondary effects aren't going to carry very far.

main problems I see then, are that you have to completely revamp the tech base, at which point, you might as well be playing a different game entirely-one that includes FTL sensors and FTL targeting, with cheap, low-effort broad-band FTL commo.

Oh, sorry.  I briefly mentioned the sensors are also K-F based as well, but I didn't elaborate.

Either way, you make a board game on a hex map work, THEN you work out how the sci-fi mumbo-jumbo works to match the gameplay.  Fun trumps science.

So, I do actually have FTL sensors.  You can target a ship a long ways off and hit it, and know you hit it.   None of it is Newtonian.

What scale that works out to be I kind of want to be vague about, since science geeks will over-analyze it, push their glasses up their nose, saying, "Well, actually.....".  I don't need that sort of headache.

The core rule/thing is that weapon ranges, the speeds ships can move, and sensor ranges all scale the same rates, so a fight in deep, deep interstellar space will be LONG distances, but a hell of a lot less distances are involved when near a planet.  So on a hex map that is taking cues from BattleTech, lets say its about 9 hexes is still medium range, 21 is long range.  However, in a solar system the distances are a lot less, and near a planet with a moon, probably a lot shorter ranged in reality.

But it still the same 9 hexes on a map.  Each hex is it's own distance that gets larger as you get farther away from any heavy mass objects like planets and stars.  A ship with a speed of 3 is going to take 10 turns to cross a mapsheet on your kitchen table that is 30 hexes wide.  A dense asteroid belt map (and in reality the Sol asteroid belt rocks are actually really far apart from each other), you may be fighting a battle that is less than that in size, physically, but it still a hex map 30 hexes wide.  The gameplay will be the same.  Ships move the same, guns fire the same ranges, and sensors can see all of it.

If you want initial numbers, and I'm not set in stone what I want yet anyway, I am thinking of ships crossing solar systems in about a single day, and weeks to cross the space between stars.

The goal is to have gameplay that is a lot more like WW-1 ships in space, but with islands (planets) to maneuver around.  A map could have a single solar system on it, and you can explain why the vast distances between planets, especially in the outer solar system are so short is because of that non-linear scale.  And that scale affects sensor ranges, movement speeds, and weapon ranges all the same as they're all based on my new K-F tech, so you don't need new statistics for every single different environment.

Long story short.  Its a game.  It won't always make total sense, but its the way it is for gameplay.  Even newer BattleTech rulebooks mention how ridiculously short the weapon ranges are, but you are just to go with it and not worry about that stuff.  Same goes here.
« Last Edit: 06 July 2022, 21:23:17 by Weirdguy »

Weirdguy

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #34 on: 23 May 2022, 01:06:24 »
There is a fan made essay out there, structured pretty similarly to Mahan, with wide peer acceptance, which explained much if the weirdness for one faction at least. But when the time came to use it the writers didn't even know that it existed. Why should they? It was yet another piece of fan made fluff on a marginal issue.

If there is going to be a rule revamp it will be towards Alphastrike. Simplification. It has been the trend since AT1. Naval combat lends itself to increasing complexity as you add more and more escorts, screens, and CAPs.This has to be playable and 12 units a side is kind of BattleTech's sensible maximum.

Strategically you won't see a change. It opens too many cans of worms for too little gain. How does it help the ground pounders? If it helps just imagine there are a lot of unlisted naval JumpShips and naval regiments. Just like it says back in the 1980s House books. Not everything is written down in field manuals.

The issue of not enough shipping yards is problematic. But it is hard enough getting people to attack worlds with Mech factories, not the barren ball next door. FASAnomics is a woollen jumper you don't pull at the threads of too much. Shut your eyes smile and nod. If someone was paying Cannonshop levels of attention no shipyards would have survived the Jihad. Woollen threads.

I would agree with the sizes of the gameplay of a warship game.

It needs to be a fleet of ships.  A battleships, a couple of cruisers, and screen of destroyers.

I'm thinking in terms of a game of 5-10 vs 5-10 ships.

That would put it on the same gameplay as Alpha Strike, or other game company’s ship games like Full Thrust or BattleFleet Gothic.
« Last Edit: 24 May 2022, 00:36:57 by Weirdguy »

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #36 on: 23 May 2022, 16:50:55 »
Thank you, sir!  :thumbsup:

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #37 on: 01 June 2022, 14:02:16 »
I sometimes think the bare minimum would be a third pass at the art.  The ships need to be drawn more like a tower, and symmetrical.  And I want to see the gravity wheels. 

I would still like a complete overhaul of the weapons and stats.  I want the ships to be memorable like real world warships.  If I can remember that the USS Texas has 14-inch guns mounted in pairs in 5 turrets, then is should be able to rattle off the SLDF Texas guns.   
« Last Edit: 02 June 2022, 17:30:38 by Weirdguy »

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #38 on: 02 June 2022, 13:38:40 »
There are several fan articles/rules about what could be done to improve Warships in BT, but if I link those then this thread might be moved to Fan Rules.

For me, I'd be tempted to start over with the ship rules. The basic would be using % of mass for fuel consumption, rather than fixed plateaus.

The other ideas involve correcting/simplifying the Warship costs, changing the armor and SI limits, changing the station-keeping fuel consumption, Bay and weapon limits based on ship mass, giving a reason for civilian engines/fuel consumption, and a few other ideas that fall under Fan Rules.

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #39 on: 02 June 2022, 13:43:13 »
There are several fan articles/rules about what could be done to improve Warships in BT, but if I link those then this thread might be moved to Fan Rules.

For me, I'd be tempted to start over with the ship rules. The basic would be using % of mass for fuel consumption, rather than fixed plateaus.

The other ideas involve correcting/simplifying the Warship costs, changing the armor and SI limits, changing the station-keeping fuel consumption, Bay and weapon limits based on ship mass, giving a reason for civilian engines/fuel consumption, and a few other ideas that fall under Fan Rules.

I like the idea of linking fuel use to tonnage instead of having fixed plateaus, it's more realistic.

The problem of course, is keeping it simple enough to game without becoming accountanttech (Or Spreadsheet Battles)

Costs is its own nightmare in the battletech context, not sure what you could even attempt that would work out, given the nature of Fasanomics.
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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #40 on: 02 June 2022, 14:03:12 »
They do burn tons of fuel though. WarShip burn days don't have to round to the nearest day, and it's fairly simple to convert your days burned back into tons (or, depending on how granular you're getting, kilograms). In combat, WarShips have fuel points and burn them just the same as any other aerospace unit, and likewise it's trivial to convert that back to tons/kilograms.
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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #41 on: 02 June 2022, 14:13:37 »
I like the idea of linking fuel use to tonnage instead of having fixed plateaus, it's more realistic.

The problem of course, is keeping it simple enough to game without becoming accountanttech (Or Spreadsheet Battles)

Costs is its own nightmare in the battletech context, not sure what you could even attempt that would work out, given the nature of Fasanomics.

Most of the calculations would be done during the ship design phase, not during the game.  You just list tons/burn-day, and maybe round to the nearest 2 significant digits?  Current designs use 3-4 significant digits (1.84 t/bd for small Dropships all the way to 39.52 t/bd for Warships over 200 ktons), so only using 2 significant digits would be an improvement.


For costs, the main goal would be the Support System costs, where the current calculations are:
Jumpship: 10,000,000 x (Unit Tonnage ÷ 10,000)
Warship: 20,000,000 x (50 + Unit Tonnage ÷ 10,000)

At least change these equations to:
Jumpship: 1,000 x Unit Tonnage
(there is no reason to divide by 10,000, then turn around and multiply by 10 million)
Warship: 1,000,000,000 + 2,000 x Unit Tonnage
(again, dividing by 10,000 then multiplying by 20 million, plus changing the first value to a constant)


The problem with the Warship Support Systems costs is that it is very easy to double the mass of a Warship, almost doubling its capabilities, and the price only goes up by ~10% (compare the Sampan-III and Sampan-IV)

One step to take would be to have a cost breakdown of the various components of a Warship, so we can see what is expensive and what is a minor issue.  For example adding a single Dropship Collar to a Warship will cost 400 million C-Bills, but converting 10,000 Heat Sinks from standard to Double strength only costs a net of 40 million C-Bills (this is before the Warship Cost multiplier)

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #42 on: 02 June 2022, 18:10:58 »
And this is why this thread should have been in Fan Rules from the beginning...  ::)

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #43 on: 03 June 2022, 09:33:17 »
And this is why this thread should have been in Fan Rules from the beginning...  ::)

I’m not so sure.  The idea was to get the official rules redone.  As it stands right now I have no interest in playing a BattleTech warship game.  None. 

So, if it’s broke, fix it. 

I do feel the guys running Catalyst Games are not willing to do that.  I get it.  It’s an idea with no hope.  Only if I win the lottery and buy BattleTech.  Then a retcon is coming, no matter what. 

But right now I would rather play something else like Full Thrust or Starmageddon. 
« Last Edit: 03 June 2022, 09:36:23 by Weirdguy »

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #44 on: 03 June 2022, 13:20:36 »
structured pretty similarly to Mahan,

We don't need Mahan, we need more Mohan.
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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #45 on: 04 June 2022, 21:23:55 »
Do you think a retcon set of rules for space warships be complex or simple?

I think keeping it simple is a good idea.  It’s a niche product, so complexity isn’t desirable.  Just make some basic rules that could pass for a quick start set, and stop there.

It’s also why I think ships need their armament simplified.  I want ship stats I can remember. 

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #46 on: 04 June 2022, 21:36:55 »
Revise or retain away.  Just don't try to involve CGL.  May I suggest a single guideline?  Or two.  Two.

Set a page limit.  And throw the rulebook away; if it was working already, you wouldn't be doing it yourself.

You might want to start a thread for those of us interested in such a thing to offer opinions.
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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #47 on: 04 June 2022, 21:48:37 »
Revise or retain away.  Just don't try to involve CGL.  May I suggest a single guideline?  Or two.  Two.

Set a page limit.  And throw the rulebook away; if it was working already, you wouldn't be doing it yourself.

You might want to start a thread for those of us interested in such a thing to offer opinions.

This sounds like something I could do, but should go in the fan rules forum. 

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #48 on: 07 June 2022, 10:46:25 »
I sometimes think the bare minimum would be a third pass at the art.  The ships need to be drawn more like a tower, and symmetrical.  And I want to see the gravity wheels. 

TRO2750 art was at least close to this v/s the 3057 stuff.

I got the impression the wheels were built into the hull at armor level v/s sticking way out like you see on some space stations.   (Like cigar wrapper art piece)
Given how far across they are in relation to the length of the ships that made the most sense to me.

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #49 on: 07 June 2022, 10:52:30 »
For costs, the main goal would be the Support System costs, where the current calculations are:
Jumpship: 10,000,000 x (Unit Tonnage ÷ 10,000)
Warship: 20,000,000 x (50 + Unit Tonnage ÷ 10,000)

At least change these equations to:
Jumpship: 1,000 x Unit Tonnage
(there is no reason to divide by 10,000, then turn around and multiply by 10 million)
Warship: 1,000,000,000 + 2,000 x Unit Tonnage
(again, dividing by 10,000 then multiplying by 20 million, plus changing the first value to a constant)


The problem with the Warship Support Systems costs is that it is very easy to double the mass of a Warship, almost doubling its capabilities, and the price only goes up by ~10% (compare the Sampan-III and Sampan-IV)

One step to take would be to have a cost breakdown of the various components of a Warship, so we can see what is expensive and what is a minor issue.  For example adding a single Dropship Collar to a Warship will cost 400 million C-Bills, but converting 10,000 Heat Sinks from standard to Double strength only costs a net of 40 million C-Bills (this is before the Warship Cost multiplier)

IIRC Large Craft were the only C-Bill cost multiplier that didn't go up with Size.

All the ASF, Mechs, & Vees went up with size so that a 100 Ton mech cost you more than 5 Bugs at 20t each.

Adding a multiplier of for every X-KTs or even just a % of Max Tonnage would have been an improvement and affected very little since C-Bills weren't even on the Large Craft RS AFAICR.
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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #50 on: 07 June 2022, 12:20:30 »
I'm pretty happy with the rules as-is, with the exception of the armour. I'd be fine with a simple retcon adding a number of additional zeros to armour and thus; warship mass.
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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #51 on: 07 June 2022, 16:54:10 »
All Jump capable ship costs bow to the cost of the KF drive...  8)

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #52 on: 10 June 2022, 19:55:45 »
I like warships and think there should be more of them but they feel wrong. I don't get too much into the space side of things but it feels like warships are the biggest units in BT. Should they be though?

In real life though the biggest warship is the carrier and it's still tens of meters shorter than the biggest container ships. Battleships are a good 33% smaller than that. In terms of length at least. I guess it's because BT just uses tonnage as a scale. A smaller ship can be heavier than a larger ship but BT warships feel larger than jumpships, not just heavier.

The movie Greywolf is a great example. A destroyer is escorting a convoy of merchant ships during WWII and the crew is looking up at the cargo and troop ships towering over their destroyer as they sail past them. That's how I want to picture BT space ships but they feel too big. Maybe it's because many are also part Landing Ship as they carry dropships? Of course, Dropships are also an issue. Look at how many hexes they take up and their construction rules, then look at the rules for support wet navy ships and mobile structures. It's like dropships are beach balls and wet navy ships and mobile structures are bowling balls. It's a problem I don't see being fixed without a complete grown up redo and I don't want that.

I think maybe the easiest fix is to just make ortillery more complicated and thus rarely used. Beyond that though, maybe size classes like wet navy ships? Other than that, I don't know.  :-\

As to different factions developing their own tech, Welcome to Nebula California.  ;)  It would be nice if there were more alternative tech or faction specific versions though. Not just the universal standard of X Item = Y tonnage and Z crit space.

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #53 on: 10 June 2022, 20:00:26 »
Ortillery is plenty complicated and dangerous as is, at least as long as the opposition can still contest the orbitals.  Parking yourself to deliver ortillery is a BAD idea if any thing can attack you...  ^-^

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #54 on: 10 June 2022, 20:05:50 »
True but make it more so. I'm not sure I can say how without going into Fan Rules territory though.

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #55 on: 25 June 2022, 00:05:14 »
I sometimes think this is what warships should look like in BattleTech.  This is a 3D model I made of what I like as a space warship.  Is it BattleTech?  No, even I know it doesn't match the tech presented in the rules.  Honestly, this looks more like something you would see in Star Blazers.  But is that a bad thing?  That is why I started this thread.  I don't like what we have in this game right now.  So much, that if I could retcon it out, I would.  This is what I like.

A symmetrical ship with distinct weapons instead of forgettable groups of weapons that nobody can recall what ship has what weaponry mounted on it.  I can recall the speeds and weapons of nearly ever 3025 mech, and many of the 2750 mechs, and the Prime loadouts of the initial Clan set of mechs.  Hell, I can remember most 3025 aerospace fighter loadouts.

I can't think of ANY warship's weaponry or stats.  None.  I just know their names and that is about it.

The white parts are sensors.  You have to see to hit stuff.  They look like bridge towers, but that is a bit of a conceit for style's sake.  In reality the CIC is deep in the middle of the shop.

The fins are part of the FTL drive.  Again, I prefer ships that cruise around as ships, not dragging a parachute behind it collecting sunlight. 

The disk out the sides is a gravity wheel deck.  Probably two, housed inside the ship running opposite directions to cancel torque.  Sort of like a subway train running a loop-de-loop.  No rotating joints to leak air.

The "front" of the ship is the top, actually, and is a cargo bay and hangar.  There are three fuel tanks on top of a reactor bit, then seven nuclear rocket engines at the bottom.

Armor all faces the sides, where most enemy fire comes from.

This reminds me of a battleship.  A true battleship.  Maybe it is a bit too on the nose and resembles a WW-1 battleship too much, but I like it that way.


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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #56 on: 25 June 2022, 03:29:39 »
Where is this fan made TRO?   Or at least a name I can search for?

There's also - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1c6CDj_IhfmjOjGkVJ2jryRWylbHXXOqH/view Delranes Fighting ships which was an attempt to try and correct some of the visual mistakes with the art from TRO3057 to stop things like the Potempkin looking like a fleshlight and so on.

With the WarShips they need a re-vamp really. The tonnage is waaaaaaaay too low, I recall reading a thread where someone worked out the thickness of the armour based on the size/weight of the ship and its weight of armour and even a McKenna had armour about as thick as a sheet of paper, possibly less. WarShips probably need a 0 added to their tonnage so that even small ones are million ton vessels.

As for the fluff reasons, easy you split it into eras, you have the Reunification War, the Amaris Civil War, 1st/2nd succession wars, then Dropship battles in the 3rd and 4th and the return of the fleets in the era after.
« Last Edit: 25 June 2022, 03:34:32 by marauder648 »
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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #57 on: 25 June 2022, 20:43:54 »
Marauder648 instead of adding a 0 to tonnage, which makes the ships far too heavy when still tracking .5 ton machine guns, just reduce the volume of the ship.  Its silly to have a kilometer long ship that is expected to turn; make the dimensions half (so 500 meters long, still very very long) and the density is 8x more.  Changing a fluff number is way simpler than bloating tonnage even more.

Wierdguy, im with you about visual recognition.  A mckenna has a lot of HNPPCs, but visually the weapons dont stand out at the scale battlespace chooses.  The Iowa and other ww2 ships had those 3 big turrets with triple guns, making for a striking profile.  The star destroyer emphasized its visual design of the ship since the guns were too small in scale.  Battletech doesnt really do either.  There is far too many ships in battletech for one ship to have a stand out appearance akin to the star destroyer (where the small total diversity in ship types creates easier recognition), and you can't recognize the design by its weapons like you can like a warhammer versus a rifleman.

idea weenie

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #58 on: 25 June 2022, 21:26:04 »
One other detail is that a Warship's KF core is 45.25% of its mass.  So assuming the Warship and KF core are similar in shape (i.e. both cylindrical, both ellipsoid, etc) and density, then a KF core will be  ~76.77% the length of the ship.  Now if the rest of the ship is .25 tons/cubic meter and the core is ~5 tons per cubic meter, then the KF core will only be 28.28% the length of the ship.

So you might have an interesting 4-part description of the ship's layout:
Fore - the whole decks that are above the KF core (above as referring to the direction of 'gravity' when under acceleration)
Straddle - the decks that are wrapped around the core
Aft - the whole decks that are below the KF core (below as referring to the direction of 'gravity' when under acceleration)
Core - the central part that allows for FTL travel (the KF crystal itself, the containment, the cooling, and the on-site monitoring)

(for the percentages, I did set up a few cells in a spreadsheet to take in LWH, calculate volume, take in density, get a ship mass, get the Core mass, take in a core density, get the core volume, extract the core dimensions using input LWH ratios, and compare those to the input LWH to get the ratios of their LWH)


So assuming the Warship is a rough ellipsoid in shape (i.e. a stretched pill) where the height is 5* that of the diameters, using .25 tons per cubic meter average mass, then a 100 kton Warship would need to be ~268 meters tall, and 53.6 meters across.  If that Warship's core massed 5 tons/cubic meter (anyone know the density for common superconductors today?), then its core would be 75.8 meters tall and 15.16 meters across.  A 2.5 MTon Warship would be ~782 meters tall, ~156 meters across, and have a core that was 221 meters tall, and 44.2 meters across.

Not sure how it would help, but it could give us ideas for what the interior of a Warship would look like.  One thing I would expect is a lot of thermal padding between the main fusion engines and the cryogenic equipment needed for the KF core.

Daryk

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #59 on: 26 June 2022, 03:37:30 »
I've been working with the idea that the core is what drives the length of the ship, on the theory that the KF field can only effectively extend so far from the core itself.

 

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