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Author Topic: Let's talk Modular Warships...  (Read 1746 times)

Cannonshop

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Re: Let's talk Modular Warships...
« Reply #30 on: 16 November 2022, 13:37:07 »
Some questions, assuming you accept my thesis here:

1) How many 'core' variants should exist? should this design concept be spread across multiple weight classes? 
2)What should the 'base chassis' look like?  should it have Dropship collars or should it be 'clean' of them? is Li-Fu integration important, do the answers depend on your weight class? How many (if multiple) weight classes should be looked at for establishing a full-service navy?

Possible Answers:

1.
A) A corvette weight class (100,000 to 300,000) with either no dropship collar, or one dropship collar. (thrust 4/6 to 5/8)
B) a Destroyer weight  class (250,000 to 680,000) with between two, and four dropship collars (Thrust 3/5 to 5/8)
C) a Cruiser weight class (680,000-750,000) with four to six collar spaces (Thrust 3/5 to 4/6)
D) a Battleship (700,000 to 2,000,000) class with six to eight collar spaces (thrust 2/3 to 4/6)

Notice there are some overlaps?  It's because there's likely to be overlap in requirements depending on whether a single weight class is selected for design in this fashion, or multiple.  Corvettes should not be slow.  They are the least well protected (SI and armor) regardless, yet because of their size (Lowest weight class over all) they're likely to be the most produced in order to have SOME naval coverage. (we're assuming a functional industrial base here.)

Top speed on a Battleship matching the cruiser, is because of the same reason that the bottom range of Battleships overlaps with the top range of Cruisers by weight.  Some nations won't build cruisers, some will, some will build 'battlecruisers' while others will forego the concept.

Straight up roles by weight:

corvettes/frigates/sloops: These are your lightest warships, used for roles ranging from mid-priority convoy escort to antipiracy to commerce raiding to reconaissance to whatever you might want a small selection of heavy firepower on a relatively quick hull that has interstellar capability, but doesn't have the need to coordinate, say, an RCT's planetary conquest operation.  these are ships for 'limited wars' and relatively low intensity conflict, or to operate in the specific against enemy shipping that isn't heavily escorted by something bigger (or often, of the same size/firepower).  Predators, in other words, ships that fill the roles between coast guard cutters, and U-boats from the world wars.

Destroyers: Heavier firepower than a corvette, can overlap on most roles, but also made to escort larger vessels or work in 'packs' to protect convoys of ground assault ships on the attack (protecting the troop transports from enemy defenders until they can ground).  Destroyers are a 'workhorse' that can, without nukes, challenge larger designs at least temporarily, or chase down all but the swiftest corvettes and dropships (anything faster in regular space may find itself being chased down by the dropships released by a destroyer, or by fighters...)

Cruisers: Your first vessel type that can coordinate a group of other Warships on a serious assault.  Cruisers are also optimized for endurance and duration missions, or are able to coordinate/support something as twisty as a planetary invasion.  They're better protected than Destroyers or Corvettes, but carry less firepower than a dedicated Battleship.  Suitable for fleet level engagements, with good planning, and outgunning all but the dedicated Battleship class.

Battleships: This is your Hammer, now go pound someone into dust.  The soul of the Battleship, is to be the biggest, scariest thing you can put to sea/space, with the most firepower, the lord of the Fleet Action, Flagship for multiple GROUPS of Cruisers, Destroyers, and Corvettes, the core of a major invasion force, kings of space, monsters that no Corvette or Destroyer can hope to challenge without nuclear ordnance.  Nightmare dragon gods of the skies...and absurdly, bank-breakingly, welcome-to-poverty expensive to build, maintain, and crew.

Modular conceptions for this:

Selected weapons (or other mission equipment) modules that fit across all the weight classes, with certain weapons modules that 'floor' at a given ship class because of their weight/complexity, but in general using the same basic parts and layout regardless of what you slap it on-the main divider is how MANY you can load on it.  A corvette might only carry a couple mission modules (bays), while a battleship might carry an entire four ship corvette GROUP's weapons on one side and still have room for more.

Thus, the same stores you had waiting for the Battleship "Boondoggle" can be used to supply replacements for Corvette group "Wolfpack" without needing customization.  (a benefit if the Legislature or exchequer or central bank say "Welll your cheque bounced on the boonie, but you can fit out a group of the smallboys and still have a budget for next year")


Ideally, your cost budget should scale up roughly this way:

A Battleship costs four times what a Cruiser costs.
A Cruiser should cost twice as much as a Destroyer
A Destroyer should cost twice as much as a Corvette
A Corvette is your cost baseline.

Plus or minus a multipler.  (an expensive cruiser might cost three times as much as a Destroyer, for example...)  This makes the modularity work..within reason.  Your upscaling is a reflection of role and capability divided by the relative cost of re-using standard components and having a deeper logistics base to reduce your actual costs.
« Last Edit: 16 November 2022, 13:42:27 by Cannonshop »
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Daryk

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Re: Let's talk Modular Warships...
« Reply #31 on: 16 November 2022, 18:53:17 »
I think what you're looking for is the Vincent, honestly.  I stand by my assertion that drop collars and LF batteries are beyond modularity.  That said, I think your ship class idea should be defined by how many drop collars it carries (since it will be fixed).

Wrangler

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Re: Let's talk Modular Warships...
« Reply #32 on: 16 November 2022, 19:09:18 »
That's true, Vincent Class fluff wise alleged to be modular in nature, but only I think equipment wise.  However, there no real info on how extensive modular it is.  I figured internal equipment, not the big bulky stuff.
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AlphaMirage

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Re: Let's talk Modular Warships...
« Reply #33 on: 16 November 2022, 19:19:07 »
I would say the Cruiser/Heavy Frigate would be the optimal choice for omni-capability.  Corvettes and Battleships are probably best as dedicated designs (also sans Drop-collars IMO) while the Destroyer's job should be anti-aerospace/assault dropship since that works for lots of situations the Omni-Cruiser might find itself in.

idea weenie

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Re: Let's talk Modular Warships...
« Reply #34 on: 16 November 2022, 19:53:27 »
(all costs are from MML 0.48.0)

The fun part is ship prices almost exclusively depend on the KF core and modifications to it:

Comparison: Warships with T/OT of 1 & 2, 1% mass as Fuel, Max armor, SI of 50:
100 kton Warship: 3,804,386,000 C-Bills
100 kton Warship + 1 Dropship Collar: 4,606,586,000 C-Bills
100 kton Warship + LFB: 6,553,386,000 C-Bills
200 kton Warship: 4,221,674,000 C-Bills
1 MTon Warship: 7,594,806,000 C-Bills
2.5 MTon Warship: 13,864,730,000 C-Bills

A 200 kton Warship compared to a 100 kton Warship has a price only ~400 Million C-Bills or about 11% higher, yet is twice the mass.
A 1 MTon Warship compared to a 100 kton Warship has a price about 2* higher, yet is 10* the mass.

The 2.5 MTon ship has a Jump core 25* larger, but the ship is only ~4* as expensive as the base design, ~3* as expensive as the base design with a single Docking Collar, and just over twice as expensive as the base design with a Lithium-Fusion Battery.

Using the McKenna as an example, here are the following prices for it:
#1 - Existing: 30,974,056,800 C-Bills
#2 - As #1, but remove just the LFB: 18,476,556,800 C-Bills
#3 - As #1, but remove just the Dropship Collars: 16,536,856,800 C-Bills
#4 - As #1, but remove both LFB and Dropship Collars: 13,663,356,800 C-Bills
#5 - As #4, but removing all the weapons and Bays: 12,291,804,800 C-Bills

For #5, removing all the weapons, bays, and grav decks from the already stripped-down McKenna only dropped the price by about 10%.

Weapons are not that big of an issue when it comes to cost.  The KF Core, LFB, and Dropship Collars are the only things you should worry about when it comes to price, and they are barely affected by hull mass.  Going bigger on the base hull does not affect the KF core price, so feel free to make your ships bigger than you think.


The nice part with Warships is that thrust is a flat percentage, so there is not much advantage or disadvantage to making a 2 MTon vessel have 5/8 thrust if you want, compared to 2 ships each of 1 MTon moving 5/8.

The real fun is the Fire Control tonnage.  In larger ships you run up against this fairly quickly, so I'd want to separate Capital Weapons and Standard weapons into their own arcs, so you might only have 30 Capital Weapons in an arc, and 400 Standard Weapons in another arc.  If you tried to make it 15 & 200 in each of the tow arcs, your Fire Control tonnage would be much higher.

So I'd recommend Battleship tonnage ranges, with 5/8 Thrust, separating the Captial and Standard weapons into their own Bays, and using excess Hull tonnage for ASF Bays, Small Craft Bays, and spare cargo.  Maybe 1-2 Dropship Collars.  If you go modular with it, the Structural mass will be appropriate for a vessel of 5/8 Acceleration, but any engines that are removed can only be replaced by cargo pods of equal tonnage.

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Re: Let's talk Modular Warships...
« Reply #35 on: 16 November 2022, 20:01:02 »
I think that's the OP's (and my) point exactly.  Modularity isn't that expensive as long as you exclude things that touch the core.

DOC_Agren

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Re: Let's talk Modular Warships...
« Reply #36 on: 16 November 2022, 20:30:16 »
The other thing is I bet you find most of your Modular Ships stay in 1 role most of the time.  Why, because that ship has a "role" assigned to it.  I have used "Modular" ships not in BT but in GZG Full Thrust campaigns, and where my modular ships came in handy was "upgrading" or repairing damage but rarely would I exchange a Jeep Carrier to a Gun Cruiser or vice verse. 

I have seen someone who built "military grade" Merchant Marine Cargo Ships that could converted into Warships/Carriers/Missile Boats given the lead time but their crews were increased and need that familiarization on that ship and like Irose TC Dropship, the base crew was naval reserve forces while they were cargo haulers.
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idea weenie

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Re: Let's talk Modular Warships...
« Reply #37 on: 16 November 2022, 21:53:58 »
I think that's the OP's (and my) point exactly.  Modularity isn't that expensive as long as you exclude things that touch the core.

Not just modularity being relatively cheap, but the entire rest of the ship is cheap.  Even the ship's mass is semi-independent of the KF Core's cost.

Going bigger will not increase the cost of the Warship noticeably, as even just doubling the mass of the Warship only got a 11% cost increase.  Going from the other direction, a base 2652 McKenna with LFB and 6 Dropship Collars that has had all of its weapons, ammo, and Bays removed would only save 1,341,552,000 C-bills.

So my advice is as follows:
- A single design in the 1 Megaton range so it has the tonnage for sufficient variety of missions (no need to reconfigure via modules when the base design is sufficiently effective)
- Give it 5/8 Thrust, as you can always remove one or more of the engines and put more cargo, fuel, or ASF/SC pods in their place
- Separate the Standard and Capital Bays for Fire control Tonnage savings
- maybe 1-2 Dropships as that is where your costs will occur

The only modules for this ship would be the 60 kton 'pods' that are mounted where main engines are removed.  You'd have ASF pods, SC pods, cargo pods, Fuel pods, etc.  Each one would need its own tonnage for Structural Integrity, Armor, etc.  Since they would be Warship tech, they would use the Strategic Operations Cost tables on pages 146-147.  Also since they are Warship tech, they can only crash on a planet once.

lrose

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Re: Let's talk Modular Warships...
« Reply #38 on: 17 November 2022, 09:46:30 »
Before World War 2 the US navy focused most of it's efforts on building Battleships and Carriers- destroyers, subs, assault transports/landing ships and cruisers were either ignored completely or built in small numbers. When war broke out the US saw the need for huge numbers of destroyers to provide escorts for larger ships and merchant convoys and amphibious ships for landings.  The lack of ships allowed the German U-boats to inflict heavy damage on merchant ship, while the lack of landing craft limited the ability to conduct landings in the Pacific and Europe. The US did ramp of production of all these ships but it took until 1943 for them to start reaching the fleet in large numbers. 

The limited number of carriers combined with losses, until the Essex class entered service, threatened the ability to fight the Japanese fleet.   This led to the US building the Independence class on the hull of the Cleveland class Cruisers.  (which is not quite modular but heading along that lines.)

Now imagine if the US had a merchant fleet that could be quickly converted to escorts - that would have helped reduce losses to the German U-boats.  More landing ships and assault transports would have helped supply the troops  on Guadalcanal, etc.

Using these historical cases- I would argue that the best reason for a modular ship would be to provide escorts/assault transports and even light carriers - ships which are not emphasized during peacetime.  These ships don't need to be fast so they can use smaller engines - 3/5 thrust, maybe 4/6 and the changes can be limited to adding armor plating, weapons and maybe fighters.  I would think that the number of docking collars would be a big part of determining what role a ship is converted to - base ships with 0-2 docking collars would be designed to convert to the destroyer/escort role, while ships with more docking collars would fill the assault transport role. 

Cannonshop

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Re: Let's talk Modular Warships...
« Reply #39 on: 17 November 2022, 09:54:14 »
when I was tossing up the possible cost projections, it was more or less trying to imagine something that was more rational than Fasanomics really allows.

I should've probably done them as BV, not C-bills, costs to reflect the difference in roles, but here, too, there are too many wrong answers when compared to what's in the Canon.

so my apologies folks.

I blundered all the way around.
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AlphaMirage

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Re: Let's talk Modular Warships...
« Reply #40 on: 17 November 2022, 10:15:01 »
The thing is Irose that Light Carrier and Escort duties could also be done with dropships as part of your normal naval deployment. The Titan or Vengeance can bring a lot of fighters to bear while an Achilles or Avenger can put a hurt on enemy dropships. I would suspect that only the lightest Warships would be sent commerce raiding so a pocket warship might be able to fight them off as well.

Cannonshop

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Re: Let's talk Modular Warships...
« Reply #41 on: 17 November 2022, 11:11:24 »
The thing is Irose that Light Carrier and Escort duties could also be done with dropships as part of your normal naval deployment. The Titan or Vengeance can bring a lot of fighters to bear while an Achilles or Avenger can put a hurt on enemy dropships. I would suspect that only the lightest Warships would be sent commerce raiding so a pocket warship might be able to fight them off as well.

Alpha, have you actually tried out those theories on the table?  Just curious, as I've found PWS to be extremely expensive range targets that pop, not effective combat units, except when the scenario's radically slanted in their favor and they've got the backing of something with some actual structural value, or where they're up against 3rd succession wars style forces that don't have access to even basic warships.

But my experience may not be typical, so please, share with the class.  (I'm not kidding or giving you shit here, I really want you to share your experiences, there's so damned little actual play-on-the-table data out there that every after-action report is actually valuable.)

Too many things in the sourcebooks and novels don't actually work that way in play, and too many of the more prominent things released (like the usefulness/value of PWS) are overblown once you actually take it onto the table.
« Last Edit: 17 November 2022, 11:13:48 by Cannonshop »
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AlphaMirage

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Re: Let's talk Modular Warships...
« Reply #42 on: 17 November 2022, 11:39:03 »
I have a whole thread on it (Second Star League Guide to Warships, linked in sig below) with a few AARs. My group isn't a huge fan of Aerospace so its mostly solo play. PWS are definitely not the end all be all but against a Corvette or similar light warship Sub-Caps can hurt a lot as can Fighter squadrons armed with Anti-Shipping missiles and heavy ballistics.

idea weenie

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Re: Let's talk Modular Warships...
« Reply #43 on: 17 November 2022, 11:54:02 »
when I was tossing up the possible cost projections, it was more or less trying to imagine something that was more rational than Fasanomics really allows.

I should've probably done them as BV, not C-bills, costs to reflect the difference in roles, but here, too, there are too many wrong answers when compared to what's in the Canon.

so my apologies folks.

I blundered all the way around.

Nah, it means you are being sensible, and we missed some details.

So in this case KF core prices are proportional to their mass, and even more expensive as the mass goes up? I.e. a core for a 200 kton vessel will be more expensive than two cores for 100 kton vessels, as if you screw up 3/4 of the way on the 200 kton's core, you almost have to rubble it and start over.  But the cores for the 100 kton ships would have been complete.

Other ideas:
- For Fire Control, make it where larger ships can have more weapons per arc before Fire Control limitations occur?  Or make it based on the number of Bays present?
- For Bay Damage-dealing capacity, instead of the flat 70 pts limit, make it where the limit is (Vessel Mass)/10,000?  So a 100 kton Sampan has a limit of 10 pts per bay, while a 2.4 MTon Leviathan II has a limit of 240 pts per bay?
- No armor limit.  If you want a slab of metal, you can have it.  Of course that tonnage also means less room for other stuff.  Of course I'd also want to reduce the pts of armor per ton
- Smaller ships have lower Structural requirement per unit of thrust.  So a 100 kton ship with a T/OT of 5/8 will have a lower mass fraction than a 2 MTon vessel with T/OT of 5/8
- Larger ships can have nastier Targeting and Jamming systems.  An ASF trying to get a lock on to a Warship that has a 1 kton Jammer will need to get very close to hit
- Make weak weapons less likely to score damage against larger ships.  This means anti-shipping ASF need weapons with high individual damage, rather than just mounting a mess of Medium Lasers and thinking they are good
- Energy weapons would mainly do straight damage against armor, but kinetic weapons would be used to break through Threshold (this makes the Clan Gauss Rifle very nasty, as it has range and is good at breaking armor)
- Armor would not provide a lot of Threshold, but Armor-Support Structure would.  So you need internal bracing to help protect vs kientic hits, while vs an energy-using opponents you just put additional layers of armor on
- ASF not in a squadron take penalties to their to-hit and enemy units get a to-hit advantage against them (the pilot is trying to monitor everything equally well, meaning equally poorly).  This encourages fighters to get into a squadron, reducing the number of counters you have to keep track of.  (If the lone ASF are destroyed due to being easier to hit, that is another way to remove the counters)
- Monitors exist but are not strategically viable.  They can only defend the system where they are built, so the only way to use them offensively is to park a shipyard far enough out from the target system, assemble pieces of the pre-fabricated Monitor at that yard, then bring it with you.  Add in better sensors and the locals will likely know where that yard is before you have finished.  At best you might get a 300 kton ship built in time, but at that point it might be better to have a Star Lord with six Combat Dropships as they can be moved around much faster than the Monitor can be built.


For ship designs, think of these ships as Sampan-series:
- all of these designs are fairly balanced in armament.  No specialization except in removable pods.
- Pods are used to replace any removed engines, and mass the same as that removed engine (i.e. 6% of the ship, so a Frigate-scale pod would mass 14.4 ktons, and a Frigate could carry up to 5 of them)
- All classes are designed to fight anything smaller, and provide missile support vs anything heavier
- Corvette - a 7/11 @ 120 ktons, using the same basic casings as a Merchant to let its shipyard crews practice.  It will have a balanced armament, and any pods would be used to replace any removed engines.  2 Dropships to help hide its identity
- Frigate - 6/9 @ 240 ktons, a straight doubling of the mass, so allow a Frigate to carry either a Frigate-scale pod, or two Corvette-scale pods.  Non-Frigate pods would stick out clumsily meaning they would not be protected by the armor. 
- Destroyer - 5/8 @ 480 ktons, a straight doubling of the mass, so allow a Destroyer to carry either a Destroyer-scale pod, or two Frigate-scale pods.  Non-Destroyer pods would stick out clumsily meaning they would not be protected by the armor.
- Cruiser - 4/6 @ 960 ktons, a straight doubling of the mass, so allow a Cruiser to carry either a Cruiser-scale pod, or two Destroyer-scale pods.  Non-Cruiser pods would stick out clumsily meaning they would not be protected by the armor.
- Battleship - 3/5 @ 1,920 ktons, a straight doubling of the mass, so allow a Battleship to carry either a Battleship-scale pod, or two Cruiser-scale pods.  Non-Battleship pods would stick out clumsily meaning they would not be protected by the armor.

Each increase in ship mass would first be accompanied by studying what pods were primarily used by the smaller hull.  So if they found that the Corvette mainly carried ASF pods, then the Frigate would have ASF as a larger feature of its inherent armament.  Similarly, for the Destroyer design they would study the Frigate pod use, etc.

Larger vessels moving slower makes sense as the larger vessels need more of their mass% as the thrust goes up (assuming two ships with as much as possible identical, mass is based on volume, while structural strength is based on cross-section area).

worktroll

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Re: Let's talk Modular Warships...
« Reply #44 on: 18 November 2022, 17:35:50 »
Can I bring in a totally left-field idea? Really Modular WarShips. Bear me out ...

Imagine a module much the same shape as a tuna can. 20,000 tons. First type has engines, fuel, armour, and point defense, and room for a KF core to run through. Pretty much nothing else.

It needs to be connected to a command can, with bridge, sensors, accomodation, and connections. Likewise room for a KF core to run through.

Imagine other cans - missile can, gun can, fighter can, cargo can, marine can with shuttle bays and some guns.

Assemble in stacks, then run an appropriate sized KF core down the middle, then add the armour plugs to protect it. Maybe a 3-can stack - engine, marines, command - fills the Sampan patrol frigate role, Engines/missiles/command fills the Sampan raider role. Bigger stacks handle bigger jobs - eg. destroyer with engine/guns/missiles/command, carrier with engines/cargo/fighter/fighter/guns/command. Obviously larger stacks are slower, but that's workable around.

Not classic Battletech, but I could almost seek Kowloon doing something like that. Or a base hull, with room to clip on modules (not can shaped.)

Advantages? POtentially
- Can be built at smaller yards, then assembled at the KF drive forges
- Standardised for cheapness and reliability
- Able to introduce new version/upgrades & field more easily than a total rebuild
- Makes battle salvage easier - quite feasible to take reasonably intact cans from heavily damaged hulls & put them back on the line quicker.

Old man's moment of madness, or something worth a though?
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Daryk

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Re: Let's talk Modular Warships...
« Reply #45 on: 18 November 2022, 19:19:04 »
It could work if each can had a KF antenna.  That would mean the core in question would need to have "docking collars" for each "can".  An interesting idea for sure, but I'm less sure of its practicality.

DOC_Agren

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Re: Let's talk Modular Warships...
« Reply #46 on: 22 November 2022, 22:01:19 »
Can I bring in a totally left-field idea? Really Modular WarShips. Bear me out ...

Imagine a module much the same shape as a tuna can. 20,000 tons. First type has engines, fuel, armour, and point defense, and room for a KF core to run through. Pretty much nothing else.

It needs to be connected to a command can, with bridge, sensors, accomodation, and connections. Likewise room for a KF core to run through.

Imagine other cans - missile can, gun can, fighter can, cargo can, marine can with shuttle bays and some guns.

Assemble in stacks, then run an appropriate sized KF core down the middle, then add the armour plugs to protect it. Maybe a 3-can stack - engine, marines, command - fills the Sampan patrol frigate role, Engines/missiles/command fills the Sampan raider role. Bigger stacks handle bigger jobs - eg. destroyer with engine/guns/missiles/command, carrier with engines/cargo/fighter/fighter/guns/command. Obviously larger stacks are slower, but that's workable around.

Not classic Battletech, but I could almost seek Kowloon doing something like that. Or a base hull, with room to clip on modules (not can shaped.)

Advantages? POtentially
- Can be built at smaller yards, then assembled at the KF drive forges
- Standardised for cheapness and reliability
- Able to introduce new version/upgrades & field more easily than a total rebuild
- Makes battle salvage easier - quite feasible to take reasonably intact cans from heavily damaged hulls & put them back on the line quicker.

Old man's moment of madness, or something worth a though?
I'm think a bit of maybe worthwise madness

Issues I see:
When assemble how solid if the ship..when these cans clip together around the core?  If to use your example the destroyer with engine/guns/missiles/command takes a major hit to Gun Can, can it knock Engine on Missiles Can loose?

But I can see something like this being built like WW2 Liberty Ships, I'm just not sure I would want to ride them in direct combat roles. 

and yes I can see Kowloonese building these
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Cannonshop

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Re: Let's talk Modular Warships...
« Reply #47 on: 23 November 2022, 00:16:49 »
I'm think a bit of maybe worthwise madness

Issues I see:
When assemble how solid if the ship..when these cans clip together around the core?  If to use your example the destroyer with engine/guns/missiles/command takes a major hit to Gun Can, can it knock Engine on Missiles Can loose?

But I can see something like this being built like WW2 Liberty Ships, I'm just not sure I would want to ride them in direct combat roles. 

and yes I can see Kowloonese building these

things that always matter on the macro scale, but aren't always apparent on the micro-scale, include what OTHER roles you would use armed ships for in a Navy, besides fleet actions.

Y'know, the strategic stuff, that a Navy should be able to do even in peacetime.  I kind of imagine WT's concept being shaped more like a donut with a section bit out of it, and sliding down around the core, with a 'locking section' inserted along the ventral axis to provide the wraparound and rigidity, and modular connectors between sections terminating in caps at the ends (along with spiral or linear bracing to hold the assembly rigid once locked together).

Kind of a jigsaw style work, mainly optimized for mass production.  (Need more space? add more sections!)

For armed support ships this idea has some merit-they're not INTENDED to rush in and fight a battle, but they still have enough potential firepower to serve as Q-ships, or to defend themselves while acting as depot vessels for the fleet, or as various forms of commerce protection/tax collection/monitoring vessels and the like.

Maybe a 3150s or 3160s development?
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DOC_Agren

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Re: Let's talk Modular Warships...
« Reply #48 on: 23 November 2022, 14:23:40 »
things that always matter on the macro scale, but aren't always apparent on the micro-scale, include what OTHER roles you would use armed ships for in a Navy, besides fleet actions.

Y'know, the strategic stuff, that a Navy should be able to do even in peacetime.  I kind of imagine WT's concept being shaped more like a donut with a section bit out of it, and sliding down around the core, with a 'locking section' inserted along the ventral axis to provide the wraparound and rigidity, and modular connectors between sections terminating in caps at the ends (along with spiral or linear bracing to hold the assembly rigid once locked together).

Kind of a jigsaw style work, mainly optimized for mass production.  (Need more space? add more sections!)

For armed support ships this idea has some merit-they're not INTENDED to rush in and fight a battle, but they still have enough potential firepower to serve as Q-ships, or to defend themselves while acting as depot vessels for the fleet, or as various forms of commerce protection/tax collection/monitoring vessels and the like.

Maybe a 3150s or 3160s development?
Hell I was think Kowloon could be looking at least 3050era..or earlier prior to the "warship era" building on "Merchant or Invader style Jump Cores"
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Maingunnery

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Re: Let's talk Modular Warships...
« Reply #49 on: 09 December 2022, 19:52:30 »

I got inspired to finish up the record sheets (attached) for my suggestion (using the Alexandria as basis):
https://bg.battletech.com/forums/aerospace/let-s-talk-modular-warships/msg1882770/#msg1882770

Alexandria Prime (full set)
 
Alexandria Base220,473x1220,473
Prime NOS Module84,790x6508,740
Prime FLS Module33,368x6200,208
Prime FRS Module33,368x6200,208
Prime ALS Module39,357x6236,142
Prime ARS Module39,357x6236,142
Prime AFT Module25,315x6151,890
Total: 1,753,803 BV
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marcussmythe

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Re: Let's talk Modular Warships...
« Reply #50 on: 31 December 2022, 23:25:06 »
This is so timely!  I have an online FT campaign coming up, and have been looking at modularity as well…

My big concern with mission modules is the idea that you have a pile of spare, unused guns/fighters/sensors/etc. lying around somewhere - having consumed resources to produce, to maintain, and to keep people trained to use.

If I have, say, 3 sets of mission modules for one hull (carrier, naval gun, and say naval missile - for example)… should I just build another hull or two to slap the mission modules on, and have 3 ships?

I do like the idea, even so - but maybe more in a ‘rationalizing mass production’ way than a ‘turn ships into different ships’ way.

Admittedly, though… in Battletech, your construction costs are core, collars, and battery.  Everything else is a tiny fraction of your cost - so it might be made to work.


Daryk

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Re: Let's talk Modular Warships...
« Reply #51 on: 01 January 2023, 00:10:20 »
A mobile HPG is the only other thing that will move the cost needle significantly.

idea weenie

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Re: Let's talk Modular Warships...
« Reply #52 on: 01 January 2023, 00:47:16 »
My big concern with mission modules is the idea that you have a pile of spare, unused guns/fighters/sensors/etc. lying around somewhere - having consumed resources to produce, to maintain, and to keep people trained to use.

If I have, say, 3 sets of mission modules for one hull (carrier, naval gun, and say naval missile - for example)… should I just build another hull or two to slap the mission modules on, and have 3 ships?

I do like the idea, even so - but maybe more in a ‘rationalizing mass production’ way than a ‘turn ships into different ships’ way.

Admittedly, though… in Battletech, your construction costs are core, collars, and battery.  Everything else is a tiny fraction of your cost - so it might be made to work.

Is this the same argument used on Omnimechs?  Where every Omnimech is supposed to have all loadouts for all of its variants?

The modular ships allow for rapid-changing on equipment, not always having extra equipment around.  Figure a loadout would be enough equipment to fully equip 1 ship.

So a base hosting a squadron of 4 Modular Warships might have 4 direct-fire loadouts, 2 carrier loadouts, and one 'support' loadout.  With these modules a base can rapidly refit the ships to a variety of mission needs.  Need a squadron of raiders - equip them with direct-fire loadouts.  Need a long-range carrier support group - 2 direct-fire and 2 carrier loadouts.  Need a self-protecting repair/maintenance setup - 1 direct-fire, 2 carrier, and one support loadout.

You'd have multiple modules at the base, but not always 3 sets per ship.

Cannonshop

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Re: Let's talk Modular Warships...
« Reply #53 on: 01 January 2023, 01:35:43 »
Is this the same argument used on Omnimechs?  Where every Omnimech is supposed to have all loadouts for all of its variants?

The modular ships allow for rapid-changing on equipment, not always having extra equipment around.  Figure a loadout would be enough equipment to fully equip 1 ship.

So a base hosting a squadron of 4 Modular Warships might have 4 direct-fire loadouts, 2 carrier loadouts, and one 'support' loadout.  With these modules a base can rapidly refit the ships to a variety of mission needs.  Need a squadron of raiders - equip them with direct-fire loadouts.  Need a long-range carrier support group - 2 direct-fire and 2 carrier loadouts.  Need a self-protecting repair/maintenance setup - 1 direct-fire, 2 carrier, and one support loadout.

You'd have multiple modules at the base, but not always 3 sets per ship.

My original thought was really that on SMALLER vessels, there might be more assigned modules at a base or supporting transport, but that the 'modular design' would speed up maintenance and repair.

IOW let's say you have a corvette or destroyer who's been chewed to hell but can still make the yard, having modules ready to install (and being able to remove the damaged sections without compromising the core structure) to get it back in fighting trim-possibly before you've finished the funerals for the guys killed in the last battle.

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idea weenie

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Re: Let's talk Modular Warships...
« Reply #54 on: 01 January 2023, 08:31:37 »
My original thought was really that on SMALLER vessels, there might be more assigned modules at a base or supporting transport, but that the 'modular design' would speed up maintenance and repair.

IOW let's say you have a corvette or destroyer who's been chewed to hell but can still make the yard, having modules ready to install (and being able to remove the damaged sections without compromising the core structure) to get it back in fighting trim-possibly before you've finished the funerals for the guys killed in the last battle.

Sounds like a design where you would have fewer connections to make changing out a weapon easier, but that also would mean fewer flex points in case of impacts or dealing with recoil.  You would likely also need to make those attachment points larger in order to handle the quick-replace systems, compared to a solid structure putting them in place.  So lasers, NPPC, and missiles would be good, but recoil-based weapons would not.  Ammunition might have to be stored in-module, and only re-armed between fights.  Otherwise the module system would also have to deal with ammunition transfer feeds.

Are you planning on just replacing like with like, or are you going for semi-omni capability?  If just like-to-like that makes things semi-easy, though your opponents will always know what your ships are armed with.  If going for more flexibility, then the modules will become more expensive (have to handle the maximum heat that the module can produce, handle all the ammunition types, the maximum recoil, maximum Fire control, etc).


For quick-replace armor panels you would need an air-tight seal between two armor plates, or designate the outer layers of the ship as vacuum-only 24/7.  Since the core structure is supposed to remain intact, that means any impacts had to be absorbed at the armor level instead of being transmitted and dissipated through the rest of the structure.  Similarly I'd expect armor to have fewer armor points per ton as a result.

So figure a mass penalty due to the larger connectors, and a lowered Threshold due to fewer support locations on the armor.  On the bright side you can change out damaged systems faster.

The other issue is that potentially you are changing out weapons that are undamaged, as they are part of the module.  For example a Turret with 4 NL in it has 1 of them damaged.  That turret might be changed out fast, but you are having to change out the entire turret instead of just the damaged NL.


DOC_Agren

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Re: Let's talk Modular Warships...
« Reply #55 on: 01 January 2023, 15:42:14 »
This is so timely!  I have an online FT campaign coming up, and have been looking at modularity as well…

My big concern with mission modules is the idea that you have a pile of spare, unused guns/fighters/sensors/etc. lying around somewhere - having consumed resources to produce, to maintain, and to keep people trained to use.

If I have, say, 3 sets of mission modules for one hull (carrier, naval gun, and say naval missile - for example)… should I just build another hull or two to slap the mission modules on, and have 3 ships?

I do like the idea, even so - but maybe more in a ‘rationalizing mass production’ way than a ‘turn ships into different ships’ way.

Admittedly, though… in Battletech, your construction costs are core, collars, and battery.  Everything else is a tiny fraction of your cost - so it might be made to work.
I have played FT with a modular fleet, it offers a nice "ability" to turn a Heavy Cruiser Gunship into Missile Boat or even a Light Carrier or Escort Ship or in peacetime the idea I can have a armored Cargoship.  But honestly, I have found most of the time what every config I "build" the ship as, becomes what it mostly stays at.  What I found was sometime easier to replace the gun module with another gun module if the weapons were messed up or "upgrade to guns". 
The reason is most of the "fleet" has a role, and it would be rare to swap Jeep Carrier to a Gun Cruiser or vice verse, because we planned on that ship primary filing X role in the fleet.


"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"