Register Register

Author Topic: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race  (Read 47386 times)

Alsadius

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 859
Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« on: 03 June 2018, 19:21:39 »
I have an experiment in mind, and I'd like to get some other interested folks to help make it happen. We see a lot of WarShip designs posted here, but they're almost all standalones, not part of a complete, unified force. I'm a bit of a stickler for complete, unified forces, so I want to try something different. Inspired by Jellico's classic essay on SLDF doctrine and an ongoing series on a wet-navy blog I like, I want to do a group challenge where everyone plays a nation and tries to build a fleet from the ground up.

We'll start at the dawn of the WarShip, in the 2300s, and then follow the various fleets through the Age of War, and ideally go as late as the early Succession Wars when the WarShip fleets were effectively eliminated. One person will be GM, adjudicating how the in-universe combat turns out and giving a sense of the economic limitations that everyone is operating under. Everyone else takes one of the great houses, and tries to guide them into having the best navy around. I expect we'd move fairly slowly, perhaps one new design a week per person, with a new design being introduced every 10-20 years in-universe. I assume I'll probably be GM, but if someone's really keen I can step back.

So, who's game?

GAME STATUS - Last Updated: February 11th
Turn 1(2350-2359)
Turn 2(2360-2369)
Turn 3(2370-2379)
Turn 4(2380-2389)
Turn 5(2390-2399)
Turn 6(2400-2409)
Turn 7(2410-2419) - Incomplete

This game is now finished. Thanks to all who played.

Start date is the year 2350, and we'll proceed at a rate of ten years per turn, with turns happening about once every two weeks when all goes well. The master construction tool will be CryHavoc's spreadsheet. Save a copy to your own Google Drive to use it. There's a spreadsheet tracking technology, rules, ship designs, and fleets available here. A set of links to all full ship designs posted thus far is available here.
« Last Edit: 11 February 2019, 10:36:07 by Alsadius »

Starfox1701

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 519
Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #1 on: 03 June 2018, 20:35:19 »
Might I recommend 2400 as the start date. There's really no one who can challenge the Hegemony in 2300 and the historical texts say it took roughly 70 years for everyone else to catch up on the warship front. There's also the huge economic limitations placed on everyone maintaining the communication command circuits before HPGs.

Alsadius

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 859
Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #2 on: 03 June 2018, 21:06:13 »
Might I recommend 2400 as the start date. There's really no one who can challenge the Hegemony in 2300 and the historical texts say it took roughly 70 years for everyone else to catch up on the warship front. There's also the huge economic limitations placed on everyone maintaining the communication command circuits before HPGs.

I'm flexible on details. I was thinking mid-2300s, so everyone would have at least the start of a navy, but I didn't have an exact start year in mind.

And to be clear, this isn't intended as a game where "catching up" in raw weight of metal is the goal, per se - this isn't a wargame where the TH player can just kill everyone, it's a forum game where the process of figuring out how to catch up may be interesting in its own right. The German fleet in 1900 would be an interesting design challenge, even if the process of actually fighting it out with the Brits would be horribly lopsided (as, indeed, it was IRL). What would you do as Reynard Davion or Robert Marsden if you know the Terrans have a gigantic lead in naval forces and you want to try to close the gap to make your empire less vulnerable?

Sharpnel

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 10021
  • Nil timere messorem
Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #3 on: 04 June 2018, 04:47:10 »
Nevermind
« Last Edit: 04 June 2018, 04:50:20 by Sharpnel »
Takehiro 'Taco' Uchimiya, SHD-2H Shadow Hawk 'Taco', Crimson Oasis Trading Company
Tai-i Shizuko Lofgren, Third Infantry Company, Oniwaka

"Of what use is a dream, if not a blueprint for courageous action" -Adam West
It's an Omni, so I can build it into whatever I please - JHB
"Life is too short to be living someone else's dream" - Hugh Hefner

marauder648

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 6326
Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #4 on: 04 June 2018, 05:14:26 »
Hmm...initially my thought would be making carriers and lots of them.  ASF's can provide all the punch needed and if you're shipping nukes with your fighter strikes then you could bathe the terran battle line in nuclear fire.  Basically its the Junne Ecole idea the French had.

 Several younger officers had the idea that the way to counter the British fleet in the late 1800s was to spam torpedo boats and use them to swarm and sink the RN battleships.  They were cheaper, quicker and easier to build and put less strain on France's ship building industry which simply could not keep up with the UK at that point.  At this point the RN was pumping out the 9 strong Majestic class which the French simply couldn't even come close to matching.  So the idea won support of various Admirals and eventually became the corner stone of French naval doctrine for a good few years. 

The torpedo boat swarms were accompanied by large numbers of long range cruisers who's job was to go commerce hunting either in the Med or Atlantic and sever the UK's trade lifelines (as submarines were barely a thing and were basically a barely mobile minefield rather than the weapons they would become). 

So basically you can't match the Terran's for tonnage or firepower, so go at them a different way and that way would be carriers i'd say.

Ghost Bears: Cute and cuddly. Until you remember its a BLOODY BEAR!

Alsadius

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 859
Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #5 on: 04 June 2018, 07:20:24 »
That is certainly an option. Just to give an example of what I had in mind, let's play that one out. I'll assume you're FedSuns for the sake of this, and I put together a quick and dirty design that'd work in the mid-2300s(350 kton, 3/5, 100 SI, 700 tons=280 points of standard armor, 144 fighters, 12x NAC/20, 20x NL/45, and the usual various sundries, total cost $6.77 billion, BV 77,784).

Quote
The newly-designed Marauder-class light carriers got their first workout against a surprisingly organized band of pirates on the rimward stretches of the Federated Suns. Calling themselves the "Taurians", they were originally thought to be Capellan colonists until further contact was established. The only large-scale battle was fought at the zenith jump point in Rollis in 2368, when an AFFS task force advanced on the planet and was surprised by Taurian forces jumping into their midst. Despite the element of surprise, the decision by Rear Admiral Markwardt to keep an active fighter patrol in space while her ships were recharging proved to be a wise one. Her gunnery crews proved ill-prepared and displayed very poor marksmanship in the fight, but the fighters proved sufficient to harry the light Taurian corvettes and prevent them from driving home any serious attacks. The FSS Marauder was significantly damaged in the fight, and spent nine months in dock after returning to Federated Suns space repairing its damage, but recordings suggest that a lucky fighter strike on the largest Taurian ship convinced their forces to break away before they could finish the Marauder off. However, an unarmoured JumpShip was destroyed with a fully loaded DropShip still attached, and 31 fighters were lost in the fighting.

I rolled for skill and luck on each side, and then took into account descriptions of the ships on each side, to determine a plausible path for the battle to take. In this case, the Taurians got a better skill roll(so they got the drop on your forces), but the FedSuns got the better luck roll. The fight was based on a fight in the fluff, where the Taurians killed two WS and captured a third, because the Davion vessels were too heavy and slow to maneuver, so the carrier design definitely turned out to be an improvement.

I want to use battle reports like this, instead of raw stat comparisons, because it's how real navies learn about their strengths and weaknesses. In eras where fighting is light, the wrong lessons can very easily be learned purely by chance - e.g., how the battle of Lissa convinced 19th century naval engineers that rams were useful weapons, because it happened in a brief period where armour technology had advanced faster than gun technology.

marauder648

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 6326
Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #6 on: 04 June 2018, 08:26:26 »
In the Davion and Davion (Deceased) novel the FedSuns has the same basic issue, and adopt a fighter heavy doctrine for their fleet with a new carrier that was based on the older New Syrtis Class (http://www.sarna.net/wiki/New_Syrtis_(WarShip_class) ) with the argument being that Carriers offered more flexibility and were more suvivable than a Battleship, and even if a BB or BC was damaged but victorious, she could spend months in a yard getting repaired. A CV can lob its fighters at long range and try and run if something goes wrong.  There was also a lighter carrier based on the Robinson class transport and in the story these proved to be quite decisive in several critical engagements.

And yeah the Battle of Lissa was a bit of an oddity and it did lead to the construction of some truly mostrous guns 100+ ton breech loaded ones being the upper end of the armour/weapon debate at that time which was countered by 41-inches of armour on HMS Inflexible. 

Fighters offer a cheap and relatively expendable way of dealing with WarShips, the other houses have to think outside the box if they want to challenge the Hegemony, or at least make themselves enough of a threat to do so. 
You could even make a 'MTB' on dropships and swarm with them, a dropper with a few missile launch tubes in the nose and away you go.
« Last Edit: 04 June 2018, 08:29:31 by marauder648 »
Ghost Bears: Cute and cuddly. Until you remember its a BLOODY BEAR!

marauder648

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 6326
Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #7 on: 04 June 2018, 09:59:05 »
Here's a dinky little carrier based on the Vincent, I stripped out the NAC-10's and added a lot of barracuda's with decent ammo, some large lasers and MG's as the AMS
But her main punch comes from 48 fighters carried onboard, as well as the flexibility of 12 small craft which I'd see as being tankers or a kind of SAR, and maybe some kind of AWACS to help coordinate them.  There's also a small NCSS as she's basically a flying airbase and that would improve her sensors and control for fighter direction, last thing you want is someone sneaking up on you.

Code: [Select]
Class/Model/Name: Kalamazoo Class Light Carrier
Tech: Inner Sphere
Ship Cost: $5,492,278,000.00
Magazine Cost: $3,220,000.00
BV2: 12,968

Mass: 420,000
K-F Drive System: Compact
Power Plant: Maneuvering Drive

Safe Thrust: 4
Maximum Thrust: 6

Armor Type: Ferro-Carbide

Armament:
20 Capital Launcher Barracuda
20 Laser Large
20 Machine Gun (IS)

Class/Model/Name: Kalamazoo Class Light Carrier
Mass: 420,000

Equipment: Mass
Drive: 100,800.00
Thrust
Safe: 4
Maximum: 6
Controls: 1,050.00
K-F Hyperdrive: Compact (10 Integrity) 190,050.00
Jump Sail: (4 Integrity) 51.00
Structural Integrity: 40 16,800.00
Total Heat Sinks: 668(1336) Double 175.00
Fuel & Fuel Pumps: 10000 points 4,080.00
Fire Control Computers: 0.00
Armor: 216 pts Ferro-Carbide 270.00

Fore: 38
Fore-Left/Right: 35/35
Aft-Left/Right: 35/35
Aft: 38

Dropship Capacity: 0
Grav Decks:
Small: 1 (100 meter) 50.00

Escape Pods: 28 196.00
Life Boats: 28 196.00

Crew And Passengers:

28 Officers in Steerage Quarters 140.00
101 Crew in Steerage Quarters 505.00
33 Gunners and Others in Steerage Quarters 165.00
156 Bay Personnel

# Weapons Loc Heat Damage Range Mass

4 Capital Launcher Barracuda Nose 40 80 (8-C) Extreme-C 360.00
4 Laser Large Nose 32 32 (3.2-C) 20.00
4 Machine Gun (IS) Nose 8 (0.8-C) 2.00

4 Capital Launcher Barracuda FL 40 80 (8-C) 360.00
4 Laser Large FL 32 32 (3.2-C) 20.00
4 Machine Gun (IS) FL 8 (0.8-C) 2.00

4 Capital Launcher Barracuda FR 40 80 (8-C) 360.00
4 Laser Large FR 32 32 (3.2-C) 20.00
4 Machine Gun (IS) FR 8 (0.8-C) 2.00

4 Capital Launcher Barracuda LBS 40 80 (8-C) 360.00
4 Laser Large LBS 32 32 (3.2-C) 20.00
4 Machine Gun (IS) LBS 8 (0.8-C) 2.00

4 Capital Launcher Barracuda RBS 40 80 (8-C) 360.00
4 Laser Large RBS 32 32 (3.2-C) 20.00
4 Machine Gun (IS) RBS 8 (0.8-C) 2.00


Ammo Rounds

Capital Launcher Barracuda Ammo 500
Machine Gun (IS) Ammo 4000

Aerospace Group

48 x Fighters
12 x Small Craft

Cargo - 81,842 tons

6,120,202


'Cheap' at 6,120,202 credits too.
Ghost Bears: Cute and cuddly. Until you remember its a BLOODY BEAR!

Maingunnery

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4711
  • Pirates and C3 masters are on the hitlist
Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #8 on: 04 June 2018, 12:59:14 »

Would it be an idea to have really old ships use only SC bays (for SC and ASF)?
Herb: "Well, now I guess we'll HAVE to print it. Sounds almost like the apocalypse I've been working for...."

Fan XTRO: The Society

Starfox1701

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 519
Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #9 on: 04 June 2018, 17:06:32 »
How come no on builds battlestars? I find it odd that everyone try to enforce this blue water separation of roles between battleships and carriers. I mean its totally unessicary in the game. Aerospace fighters can't project power. Over the same comparable ranges in space that real world fights can. You don't get the long range over the horizon type fighter strikes that you have in the real. A carrier/battleship combo could very effectively anchor a battle line and later form the core of a good defenses in depth

Sharpnel

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 10021
  • Nil timere messorem
Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #10 on: 04 June 2018, 17:13:53 »
Well that didn't work
« Last Edit: 04 June 2018, 17:15:49 by Sharpnel »
Takehiro 'Taco' Uchimiya, SHD-2H Shadow Hawk 'Taco', Crimson Oasis Trading Company
Tai-i Shizuko Lofgren, Third Infantry Company, Oniwaka

"Of what use is a dream, if not a blueprint for courageous action" -Adam West
It's an Omni, so I can build it into whatever I please - JHB
"Life is too short to be living someone else's dream" - Hugh Hefner

marauder648

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 6326
Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #11 on: 04 June 2018, 17:15:33 »
They do and did, the McKenna and Texas could easily be called a 'battlestar' like ship, they carry 60 fighters and 6 DropShips which can and probably will include a carrier DropShip in there for yet more fighter spam  (seriously, slap two Lee CV's on a McKenna and you'd be laughing with 140 fighters).   They also have lots of armour and guns and really are only able to be supported by a near post scarcity society like the Hegemony was. 

I'm sure they could carry more fighters but because the way the original ship rules were done, which seems to be this;

1 - Load numbers into a smoothbore breech loaded cannon.
2 - Fire at a large white peice of cloth 50 feet from the cannon muzzle.
3 - Look at where the numbers landed and what they total, go with those.

Repeat steps 1 - 3 for EVERY ship.

Which is the only way I can explain some ships having utterly bonkers designs, stats and numbers, usually in the cargo department or the Texas having NO frontal or rear firing guns. Why? Because! And so on.  So yeah you could probably fit a few dozen more fighters into a McKenna if you was willing to sacrifice some of the cargo space that allows you to loose a super-liner in, but really you'd have to basically re-do the whole line of ships.  I did that with Matt Plog and Shimmering sword to make the art look decent instead of the god aweful refits of 3057 (although I did insist that some ships look a bit like them because some of the designs were nice, but the artwork wasnt), but you'd still have to re-do all the numbers and the like, to try bring them a bit more up to date instead of being..well...'quirky' if I was being polite.
« Last Edit: 04 June 2018, 17:21:29 by marauder648 »
Ghost Bears: Cute and cuddly. Until you remember its a BLOODY BEAR!

Alsadius

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 859
Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #12 on: 04 June 2018, 17:29:30 »
How come no on builds battlestars? I find it odd that everyone try to enforce this blue water separation of roles between battleships and carriers. I mean its totally unessicary in the game. Aerospace fighters can't project power. Over the same comparable ranges in space that real world fights can. You don't get the long range over the horizon type fighter strikes that you have in the real. A carrier/battleship combo could very effectively anchor a battle line and later form the core of a good defenses in depth

BT is more battlestar-friendly than most settings, IMO. As Marauder said, there's a lot of them in canon. It's just a shame that the canon WarShip designs suffer so badly from rulebook obsolescence - the original Atlas and Marauder hold up fine, but the old WS are just confounding under modern rules. And even then, I think there needs to be a new rule set to deal with certain things(AMS are horrifyingly broken right now, for one).

Also, I see a lot of people discussing this idea - is anyone interested in joining?

Cryhavok101

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 1842
Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #13 on: 04 June 2018, 18:01:00 »
How come no on builds battlestars? I find it odd that everyone try to enforce this blue water separation of roles between battleships and carriers. I mean its totally unessicary in the game. Aerospace fighters can't project power. Over the same comparable ranges in space that real world fights can. You don't get the long range over the horizon type fighter strikes that you have in the real. A carrier/battleship combo could very effectively anchor a battle line and later form the core of a good defenses in depth

Many warships carry fighter screens in battletech. They don't call them battlestars, because that's a unique designation to a specific universe. You'll find the term battlecarrier a lot more common.

However, there are three major factors on why everything isn't a full-on carrier in addition to it's other roles:

1-After the death of the star league and the succession wars, the only major powers with full warship fleets was the clans... and their rules of engagement encouraged dueling, which made the fighter screen much less useful. They also heavily encouraged mech supremacy over aerospace supremacy, so most found a mech battle preferable over air/space strikes, further reducing the desire for balanced, or even in some cases balanced, aerospace forces.
2-Dropships. Dropships can be used to customize the role of a warship. Need a carrier, toss on several titan dropships and you have one. This also means that everything with a jumpdrive is potentially a carrier. It's why warships with 6+ dropship collars are so valuable as well.
3-Putting all your eggs in one basket is not always a good idea. Between jump mishaps, ambushes, and the like, focusing that much force in one location makes it vulnerable. It can all be lost in an instant if the wrong thing happens. By diversifying such loads among the dropships that can be detached and often fend for themselves, they payload of deadly and dangerous fighters is far less vulnerable to catastrophe.

Bonus reason-Almost none of the canon designs are made efficiently. They are often designed purposely with horrible flaws in them. This is largely due to rules and system changes over time.

Starfox1701

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 519
Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #14 on: 04 June 2018, 18:47:45 »
I guess considering the era that these ships fly in I don't consider 60 fighters even close to an adequate strike group core. At minimum I'd consider 144 to 168 fighters a good core for a fleet in that era.

The 3057 clan ships are a real problem. Since the visuals are considered cannon then in my mind the stats and write-ups have got to be retconed. They just don't work and those ships represent a huge missed opportunity for naval tech advancement. The jihad source books show us that they don't represent late block variants of the ships since all the WOB SL ships were exodus vintage but are marked specifically as 2750 version. The writeup need to reflect the new art and if you are making such huge changes why wouldn't you altar the weapons to better suit the new combat style the clans use in naval battles?

BT is more battlestar-friendly than most settings, IMO. As Marauder said, there's a lot of them in canon. It's just a shame that the canon WarShip designs suffer so badly from rulebook obsolescence - the original Atlas and Marauder hold up fine, but the old WS are just confounding under modern rules. And even then, I think there needs to be a new rule set to deal with certain things(AMS are horrifyingly broken right now, for one).

Also, I see a lot of people discussing this idea - is anyone interested in joining?

That's something I'm looking into however its not as easy as it sounds while preserving and reconciling all the existing cannon. The AMS issue is emblematic of the overall problem of how mech scale guns are treated in a capital scale game. They are just way to powerful however anything that nurfs them back to were they belong is tantamount to a death sentence for the modern spheriod fleets and the usefulness of combat dropers. There's no easy fix that's for sure.

Many warships carry fighter screens in battletech. They don't call them battlestars, because that's a unique designation to a specific universe. You'll find the term battlecarrier a lot more common.

However, there are three major factors on why everything isn't a full-on carrier in addition to it's other roles:

1-After the death of the star league and the succession wars, the only major powers with full warship fleets was the clans... and their rules of engagement encouraged dueling, which made the fighter screen much less useful. They also heavily encouraged mech supremacy over aerospace supremacy, so most found a mech battle preferable over air/space strikes, further reducing the desire for balanced, or even in some cases balanced, aerospace forces.
2-Dropships. Dropships can be used to customize the role of a warship. Need a carrier, toss on several titan dropships and you have one. This also means that everything with a jumpdrive is potentially a carrier. It's why warships with 6+ dropship collars are so valuable as well.
3-Putting all your eggs in one basket is not always a good idea. Between jump mishaps, ambushes, and the like, focusing that much force in one location makes it vulnerable. It can all be lost in an instant if the wrong thing happens. By diversifying such loads among the dropships that can be detached and often fend for themselves, they payload of deadly and dangerous fighters is far less vulnerable to catastrophe.

Bonus reason-Almost none of the canon designs are made efficiently. They are often designed purposely with horrible flaws in them. This is largely due to rules and system changes over time.

I sat battlestar because everyone instantly knows what kind of warship I mean no explanation need. Of course BT is going to call it something else just like they call bolters gyro jets.

Reason 1 I agree 100%

Reason 2 I concede that this is how the system currently works but personally consider this horribly inefficient waste of the strike package fleet concept for fleets large enough to actually use it. Not the tiny anemic battles fleet in the current cannon.

Reason 3 again I'm thinking big fleets. 250 battlestars vs the 250 McKennas the SL built is hardly an all in 1 basket strategy. Granted losing a battlestar hurts more then a McKenna but that extra versatility and combat power means fewer battlestars come under close range attack in the first place.

Bonus Reason. Well yea this is kind of necessary as a narrative tool. Besides if everything was uber optimized there would never be any need to fight a battle. You would just look at the orders of battle and you would see from the start who's going to win.

Cryhavok101

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 1842
Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #15 on: 04 June 2018, 19:03:39 »
I sat battlestar because everyone instantly knows what kind of warship I mean no explanation need. Of course BT is going to call it something else just like they call bolters gyro jets.

No worries, I only mentioned it in case you missed stuff while searching the forums :thumbsup: What term you use is largely irrelevant as long as people understand you.

Reason 2 I concede that this is how the system currently works but personally consider this horribly inefficient waste of the strike package fleet concept for fleets large enough to actually use it. Not the tiny anemic battles fleet in the current cannon.

Reason 3 again I'm thinking big fleets. 250 battlestars vs the 250 McKennas the SL built is hardly an all in 1 basket strategy. Granted losing a battlestar hurts more then a McKenna but that extra versatility and combat power means fewer battlestars come under close range attack in the first place.
Yeah, I was only really talking about the current canon universe with that. Design wise, absent of fluff, there is almost no reason for every design to not max out their armor for their current SI, and to have enough AMS to be immune to missile fire for as long as ammo holds out. 150 fighters does take up 22,500 tons, which a lot of cruiser sized and bigger ships have available in cargo easily, but some smaller ships might balk at. Also, ton for ton, there are some capital weapons that are basically worthless and should never be taken, and others that should always be the primary armament of basically everything.

Starfox1701

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 519
Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #16 on: 04 June 2018, 21:42:57 »
Yeah, I was only really talking about the current canon universe with that. Design wise, absent of fluff, there is almost no reason for every design to not max out their armor for their current SI, and to have enough AMS to be immune to missile fire for as long as ammo holds out. 150 fighters does take up 22,500 tons, which a lot of cruiser sized and bigger ships have available in cargo easily, but some smaller ships might balk at. Also, ton for ton, there are some capital weapons that are basically worthless and should never be taken, and others that should always be the primary armament of basically everything.

I absolutely hate how the game uses an AMS designed to shoot down what amounts to big model rockets to shoot down 1 ton cap missiles. It's absolutely loudacriss.

150 fighters is about right for a cruiser. 300 for a battlestar. 60 to 100 for a destroyer or frigate.

The damage curve on cap weapons doesn't match the one for mech scale weapons. Quite a few cap weapons have what I consider uselessly low amounts of damage. I'm not a fan of the whole damage bays thing either. I would have done something different. Of course I'm a big turret fan.

marauder648

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 6326
Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #17 on: 05 June 2018, 01:19:15 »
AMS works fine in space in my head, its a small lump of metal moving exceptionally fast hitting something thats also moving at absurd speed coming the other way, and that other thing is full of fuel etc.  The kinetic energy from a colission at the speeds we're probalby looking at here would be enough to wreck or detonate a missile.
Ghost Bears: Cute and cuddly. Until you remember its a BLOODY BEAR!

Tyler Jorgensson

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1240
Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #18 on: 05 June 2018, 03:17:34 »
A couple of random thoughts although I haven't touched anything in BT aerospace related (short of testing the construction rules and not posting the designs)

First: See Leviathan II and Leviathan III. Huge naval contingent (on top of a massive Dreadnought of course). Having an entire Galaxy of fighters on three ships and dozens of dropships to back them up... enough said.

Second: Dropships. Their was a thread I'll have to find about Castrums versus modern Warships. An interesting topic but I still favor the idea that heavy dropships might be a way to try and expand an army's race: similar to the torpedo boat idea brought up by Marauder.

Third: Finally there is the idea of death by a thousand cuts. How many Mako or Foxes could theoretically take on a McKenna? What about a design built small but packing a punch to work in groups. Slap a couple NL/45s, a missile or two, a dozen fighters and a pair of dropships or two and click copy and paste. A proto-SDS style fleet without the SDS.

Just random thoughts

Cryhavok101

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 1842
Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #19 on: 05 June 2018, 09:35:45 »
AMS works fine in space in my head, its a small lump of metal moving exceptionally fast hitting something thats also moving at absurd speed coming the other way, and that other thing is full of fuel etc.  The kinetic energy from a colission at the speeds we're probalby looking at here would be enough to wreck or detonate a missile.

That part is fine, the part I have a problem with is it's unlimited activations per turn on large spaceships

Vehrec

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 903
  • Mr. Flibble is Very Cross
Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #20 on: 05 June 2018, 09:41:17 »
I think that a 2300 start year means that you probably have a lot of people starting not with warships, but with Dropshuttles, heavily armed ones, acting as either escorts or attack ships against merchant shipping.  Those are the leaves of the great tree of a black-navy, and when the seed sprouts it gives first a green shoot and leaves to gather strength for establishing it's trunk and so on.  Especially in a pre-HPG era, commerce raiding is gonna be a primary activity for most fleets, especially against the Terran Hegemony which you can't face in a straight fight.
*Insert support for fashionable faction of the week here*

Alsadius

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 859
Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #21 on: 05 June 2018, 10:06:58 »
A couple of random thoughts although I haven't touched anything in BT aerospace related (short of testing the construction rules and not posting the designs)

First: See Leviathan II and Leviathan III. Huge naval contingent (on top of a massive Dreadnought of course). Having an entire Galaxy of fighters on three ships and dozens of dropships to back them up... enough said.

Second: Dropships. Their was a thread I'll have to find about Castrums versus modern Warships. An interesting topic but I still favor the idea that heavy dropships might be a way to try and expand an army's race: similar to the torpedo boat idea brought up by Marauder.

Third: Finally there is the idea of death by a thousand cuts. How many Mako or Foxes could theoretically take on a McKenna? What about a design built small but packing a punch to work in groups. Slap a couple NL/45s, a missile or two, a dozen fighters and a pair of dropships or two and click copy and paste. A proto-SDS style fleet without the SDS.

Just random thoughts

Agreed on all counts, except one. The Leviathan 3 is a gigantic investment, and while it's individually quite scary, it's balanced somewhat by the extreme cost. You can get 3 McKennas for the cost of two Lev3's, and if you up-armoured the McKenna to the value allowed under the new rules I think that'd be a pretty fair fight - the McKennas would be on the back foot as regards fighter escorts, but their long-range firepower is superior, and they'll get a lot more threshold crits with those big batteries. Or if you're worried about fighters, use a pair of McKennas and a pair of Volgas.

I think that a 2300 start year means that you probably have a lot of people starting not with warships, but with Dropshuttles, heavily armed ones, acting as either escorts or attack ships against merchant shipping.  Those are the leaves of the great tree of a black-navy, and when the seed sprouts it gives first a green shoot and leaves to gather strength for establishing it's trunk and so on.  Especially in a pre-HPG era, commerce raiding is gonna be a primary activity for most fleets, especially against the Terran Hegemony which you can't face in a straight fight.

Yup, that'd probably be how some fleets would start. Players will have access to compact KF drives from the start(and to be clear, it will start in the 2300s, not exactly the year 2300 - a couple people raising this point make me think some time around 2350 or so would be better). But you can structure this a few different ways, and I'd be curious to see what'd come out of it.

Retry

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 453
Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #22 on: 05 June 2018, 10:34:25 »
Agreed on all counts, except one. The Leviathan 3 is a gigantic investment, and while it's individually quite scary, it's balanced somewhat by the extreme cost. You can get 3 McKennas for the cost of two Lev3's, and if you up-armoured the McKenna to the value allowed under the new rules I think that'd be a pretty fair fight - the McKennas would be on the back foot as regards fighter escorts, but their long-range firepower is superior, and they'll get a lot more threshold crits with those big batteries. Or if you're worried about fighters, use a pair of McKennas and a pair of Volgas.
Since the Lev III has 1000 capital-scale points per arc, and the max capital-scale damage any arc can do in one hit is 70 because of bay hits, the McKennas aren't getting any threshold crits on a Lev.

marauder648

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 6326
Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #23 on: 05 June 2018, 11:00:21 »
You can threshold a Levi but you have to charge it at full speed and it has to charge you and you have to have either a large cluster of NACs or paried heavy gausses, the closing speed damage boost should in theory put you up above the 100 point damage threshold. JUST.
Ghost Bears: Cute and cuddly. Until you remember its a BLOODY BEAR!

Cryhavok101

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 1842
Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #24 on: 05 June 2018, 12:12:46 »
You can threshold a Levi but you have to charge it at full speed and it has to charge you and you have to have either a large cluster of NACs or paried heavy gausses, the closing speed damage boost should in theory put you up above the 100 point damage threshold. JUST.

Or you can somehow manage to hit it with a heavy mass driver, that'll also do the job.

Alsadius

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 859
Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #25 on: 05 June 2018, 12:33:49 »
Since the Lev III has 1000 capital-scale points per arc, and the max capital-scale damage any arc can do in one hit is 70 because of bay hits, the McKennas aren't getting any threshold crits on a Lev.

I think this is one of those cases where I'm thinking of an optional rule as the default - thresholds going down with battle damage will probably allow the McKenna to get thresholds first, but that's not vanilla rules. (Same as how I'm so used to 20+ damage PSRs increasing in difficulty with the amount of damage done and standing still being -1 to hit, because that's how it works in my MegaMek games.)

marcussmythe

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 766
Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #26 on: 05 June 2018, 13:04:31 »
This sounds like my sort of catnip.  Im totally down.

Some questions:
1.)  Where are you looking at on a scale of Fluff-----Munchkin in designs?  Real world designers try to build the best thing they can within their constraints.  Battletech designs are often intentionally suboptimal.  Something like the '4 corners' layout would, once put into practice, revolutionize in-universe warship building the way AON armor and all-big-gun armament did real world warships.

2.)  What optional rules, if any, are you considering?  I know theres been discussion of 'how to fix the warship rules' relating to warship armor vs. standard scale weaponry and how anti-missile systems work.  This is particularly salient in light of question #1, given the phenomenal firepower of standard scale weaponry per ton when compared to capital weaponry.  Replacing big guns with small ones costs you some range, but you can easily get enough firepower to simply erase ANYTHING that does come within your range - and you also immunize yourself against fighters.  It is too good.

3.)  We need to know what resources are.  How many slipways?  How big?  Whats the procurement budget in general terms?  Do we care about listed costs as a hard reality thing, or is it more fluff?  Whats our air arm look like?  Can we afford to grow it if we want to go CV heavy?  Do we need to restrict fighter usage because the Government says air assets are for ground support?  Whats our existing force like, or are we designing from an initial clean sheet?  ((Compact Cores are Discovered!  The Hegemony is building a Navy, and now YOU SHOULD TOO!))  We build very differently if we have infinite budget and limited slipways than we do with infinite slipways and limited budget.  We build very differently depending on how maintenance costs compare to construction costs, and how attrition units cost in production vs. maintenance.  We build very differently if a ship is expected to last 5 years or 250 years.

4.)  What is our threat environment?  What are our opponents like?  Who do we expect them to be?  Do we expect nukes to figure in every engagement, or do we believe (truly or falsely) that We Just Dont Do That?  Designs for a "Davion and Davion-Deceased" universe are going to look very different from a "Ares Accords Control" universe?

5.)  Whats our strategic posture/anticipated mission?  A 'defensive' force intended to stop enemy planetary landings looks different than an offensive force intended to support an invasion looks different from a commerce raiding force from a commerce protection force from a blah blah blah.

I'm not saying you have to set out all of this!  But more information is good, and I look forward to seeing the different solutions various players propose to various problems.

Alsadius

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 859
Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #27 on: 05 June 2018, 13:28:51 »
This sounds like my sort of catnip.  Im totally down.

 :D

Some questions:
1.)  Where are you looking at on a scale of Fluff-----Munchkin in designs?  Real world designers try to build the best thing they can within their constraints.  Battletech designs are often intentionally suboptimal.  Something like the '4 corners' layout would, once put into practice, revolutionize in-universe warship building the way AON armor and all-big-gun armament did real world warships.

70/30? I want to use BT construction rules, but I don't intend to adjudicate battles with BT combat rules. A "4 corners" layout would be legal, but I'd be much more likely to have a battle wind up with someone getting into your blind spot, or to have half your anti-fighter weapons blown apart by one PPC barrage, if you try to munchkin like that. This is part of the appeal of using battle reports as the means to communicate back to you guys what works and what doesn't - I can avoid the official AMS rules(and thus make sure we don't obsolete a whole weapon class) without needing to specify exactly what I'm using in its place. Real military designers don't get to design around a given set of dice roll statistics.

2.)  What optional rules, if any, are you considering?  I know theres been discussion of 'how to fix the warship rules' relating to warship armor vs. standard scale weaponry and how anti-missile systems work.  This is particularly salient in light of question #1, given the phenomenal firepower of standard scale weaponry per ton when compared to capital weaponry.  Replacing big guns with small ones costs you some range, but you can easily get enough firepower to simply erase ANYTHING that does come within your range - and you also immunize yourself against fighters.  It is too good.

I don't have a formal rule set you could use to play tabletop written up, but I'll be going with common sense. AMS knocks down missiles, and more is better, but you don't get immunity. Fighters can threaten warships, but not using Mech-scale small lasers - I'll probably fluff it that armour resists small weapons, but that capital missiles are fitted to bomb hardpoints on fighters as an anti-shipping weapon. Using Mech-scale weapons to attack WarShips will work once you've already breached their armour and you just want to trash the guts of the ship, or if you want to attack systems on the surface of the ship(blinding sensors, attacking light AA mounts, etc.), but it'll do very little to intact armour plates.

3.)  We need to know what resources are.  How many slipways?  How big?  Whats the procurement budget in general terms?  Do we care about listed costs as a hard reality thing, or is it more fluff?  Whats our air arm look like?  Can we afford to grow it if we want to go CV heavy?  Do we need to restrict fighter usage because the Government says air assets are for ground support?  Whats our existing force like, or are we designing from an initial clean sheet?  ((Compact Cores are Discovered!  The Hegemony is building a Navy, and now YOU SHOULD TOO!))  We build very differently if we have infinite budget and limited slipways than we do with infinite slipways and limited budget.  We build very differently depending on how maintenance costs compare to construction costs, and how attrition units cost in production vs. maintenance.  We build very differently if a ship is expected to last 5 years or 250 years.

It'll probably vary by faction and over time. As of 2350, probably one or two yards that can each build a single-digit number of ships, a few supporting factories to make the specialty equipment(naval guns, etc.), and a budget in the range of perhaps a hundred billion a year. That will increase over time, and then decrease rapidly when the nukes start flying post-Amaris. I'm not sure if I'll add an economic simulation aspect to this or not - I like the idea, but it could be complicated, and the tradeoffs(i.e., a lower budget for ground forces) would need to be included for it to be fair.

Re ship durability, in canon they routinely lasted centuries. (Helps that there's no water to corrode them and tech progress is rather slow, of course). I assume a typical design can be operated for a couple centuries as long as it gets proper maintenance throughout.

4.)  What is our threat environment?  What are our opponents like?  Who do we expect them to be?  Do we expect nukes to figure in every engagement, or do we believe (truly or falsely) that We Just Dont Do That?  Designs for a "Davion and Davion-Deceased" universe are going to look very different from a "Ares Accords Control" universe?

Your opponents are each other, so I leave that to your twisted imaginations  >:D

I will say that I'll definitely read the fluff and follow through on your stated doctrine whenever plausible. If you say you're operating your empire on a no-first-nuke rule and trying to use your L-F batteries solely to disengage from fights going badly, then I'll have your admirals work to follow through on that doctrine in practice. A force designed around high strategic mobility and nodal defence will play differently than one designed around offensive pirate point invasions, or one designed around massed fighter strikes in set-piece battles.

5.)  Whats our strategic posture/anticipated mission?  A 'defensive' force intended to stop enemy planetary landings looks different than an offensive force intended to support an invasion looks different from a commerce raiding force from a commerce protection force from a blah blah blah.

I'm not saying you have to set out all of this!  But more information is good, and I look forward to seeing the different solutions various players propose to various problems.

As above, you're different empires that have a tendancy to fight each other. It's still the standard BT universe, so ground forces are primary, and naval vessels are used in a supporting role more often than not. You still want to conquer planets, gain factories, and the like. This won't be a railroaded RPG campaign - I'm pretty much willing to roll with any ideas you might have. Just be aware that (much like IRL) some ideas are very bad.

marcussmythe

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 766
Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #28 on: 05 June 2018, 13:47:15 »
:D

70/30? I want to use BT construction rules, but I don't intend to adjudicate battles with BT combat rules. A "4 corners" layout would be legal, but I'd be much more likely to have a battle wind up with someone getting into your blind spot, or to have half your anti-fighter weapons blown apart by one PPC barrage, if you try to munchkin like that. This is part of the appeal of using battle reports as the means to communicate back to you guys what works and what doesn't - I can avoid the official AMS rules(and thus make sure we don't obsolete a whole weapon class) without needing to specify exactly what I'm using in its place. Real military designers don't get to design around a given set of dice roll statistics.

I don't have a formal rule set you could use to play tabletop written up, but I'll be going with common sense. AMS knocks down missiles, and more is better, but you don't get immunity. Fighters can threaten warships, but not using Mech-scale small lasers - I'll probably fluff it that armour resists small weapons, but that capital missiles are fitted to bomb hardpoints on fighters as an anti-shipping weapon. Using Mech-scale weapons to attack WarShips will work once you've already breached their armour and you just want to trash the guts of the ship, or if you want to attack systems on the surface of the ship(blinding sensors, attacking light AA mounts, etc.), but it'll do very little to intact armour plates.

It'll probably vary by faction and over time. As of 2350, probably one or two yards that can each build a single-digit number of ships, a few supporting factories to make the specialty equipment(naval guns, etc.), and a budget in the range of perhaps a hundred billion a year. That will increase over time, and then decrease rapidly when the nukes start flying post-Amaris. I'm not sure if I'll add an economic simulation aspect to this or not - I like the idea, but it could be complicated, and the tradeoffs(i.e., a lower budget for ground forces) would need to be included for it to be fair.

Re ship durability, in canon they routinely lasted centuries. (Helps that there's no water to corrode them and tech progress is rather slow, of course). I assume a typical design can be operated for a couple centuries as long as it gets proper maintenance throughout.

Your opponents are each other, so I leave that to your twisted imaginations  >:D

I will say that I'll definitely read the fluff and follow through on your stated doctrine whenever plausible. If you say you're operating your empire on a no-first-nuke rule and trying to use your L-F batteries solely to disengage from fights going badly, then I'll have your admirals work to follow through on that doctrine in practice. A force designed around high strategic mobility and nodal defence will play differently than one designed around offensive pirate point invasions, or one designed around massed fighter strikes in set-piece battles.

As above, you're different empires that have a tendancy to fight each other. It's still the standard BT universe, so ground forces are primary, and naval vessels are used in a supporting role more often than not. You still want to conquer planets, gain factories, and the like. This won't be a railroaded RPG campaign - I'm pretty much willing to roll with any ideas you might have. Just be aware that (much like IRL) some ideas are very bad.

Think about what level of control you want from your players.  Are they in charge of naval procurement? In charge of naval strategy? In charge of the whole house, and were just focused here on the naval side of things?

I do ask that you hold up an 'are you sure' sign when a player starts to do some things that are Very Bad Ideas.  Some ideas are very bad, but its not always possible for the player to see into the GM's head - things that would be medium reasonable in front of one GM are insanely stupid in front of a second and the Best.  Idea.  Evar. in front of a third, because each GM has their own picture of the universe in their head.

Alsadius

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 859
Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #29 on: 05 June 2018, 14:07:23 »
Think about what level of control you want from your players.  Are they in charge of naval procurement? In charge of naval strategy? In charge of the whole house, and were just focused here on the naval side of things?

I do ask that you hold up an 'are you sure' sign when a player starts to do some things that are Very Bad Ideas.  Some ideas are very bad, but its not always possible for the player to see into the GM's head - things that would be medium reasonable in front of one GM are insanely stupid in front of a second and the Best.  Idea.  Evar. in front of a third, because each GM has their own picture of the universe in their head.

Both reasonable requests. I was thinking that players would be in charge of naval design and procurement at a minimum, and if they're like me then they'll almost instantly use that to take control of strategy and support infrastructure as well. If players are somewhat less enthusiastic, then it can be filled in fairly easily. And yes, you're all running large organizations, so there'll be advisors who have things to say about decisions if need be. That said, some decisions may be perfectly reasonable, and merely unlucky - deploying a generation of cargo-heavy ships when you happen to spend the next 30 years fighting all your battles on the defensive will make you feel a bit dumb, and getting bad luck rolls in the battle where your tactics are first tried out might lead you to think that a perfectly reasonable tactic is actually a dog.