Wednesday, August 19, 2009

GURPS Traveller: Interstellar Wars - Vehicle Based Campaign

Traveller: Vehicle Based Adventure
In terms of space combat, I noticed unlike ground side engagements its harder to Role-play individual initiative in Space combat unless the Players are working as a group of ships OR if the rules were more elaborate (so that roles like Tactical, EW, Piloting, and Engineering can be role-payed tactically independent of the captains commands.).

A vehicle based Traveller Game will be pretty complex (since it will extensively be using the Space combat system) and is going to be very much like a Mechwarrior with most of the focus on the Vehicles. The GM will need to add a bit more literature to the ship combat rules for the Players and make up quick and dirty rules for the other stuff that has yet to be made.

Here is a simple set up of roles for the ship combat. Honorverse and Lost Fleet is a great source for Ship Combat scenarios if you can translate them into GT space combat terms. If anyone would care to contribute more sources, please do.

Blockers or Fighter = Point Defense Screening Element
Flankers or Striker = Missile Platforms
Controller = Primary Scanner, ECM, and EW Platform
Leader = Jump Capable Tender

I can see this can be quite exciting as an Bounty Hunter force hired by Frontier System Governors and Communities. Basically a party operating a Q-ships that carries a nice little surprise for Pirates and small ship forces like those of a military junta, guerrillas, and privateers. PCs could be owning up contracts measured in the Millions and Salvage Rights.

Akkigish Class or ISW QIAN class in JTAS can have twice the armament, Power Plant, and M-Drive load out of the Hero Class with more room left over.

The lightning class is also good but may be too well armed to lure prey. Certainly pursuit will be more interesting with the Lightning's legs.

The Phidippides or Harmonious Class could also be used modified to be highly armed bounty hunter ships.

My assessment would be that the Akkigish/QIAN would be the best for a varied play style. You switch between a ground side and topside when one or the other gets boring.
Ground Side objectives are pretty easy since it could be a simple as gathering intelligence or sabotage (and getting away with it) while under the cover of a Hapless Merchant.

Add Hangar Bay (5x 6-Dton variable-role ultra-light crafts slots)
+66 Dtons, +7.5 tons, +$0M
Add Launch Tube (can fit 10dton craft)
+4 Dton, +40 tons, +$0.4M, +1MW

If Hero Class
Add 2 Heavy Turrets
+3 tons, +$0.4M
Add 8 Missile Racks and 4 Pulse Lasers (disguised as Sand Casters, UT15 disguised)
+20 tons, +$20M
Add 3 Rear Facing Missile Racks on Fixed Mount
+3 tons, +$2.25M
Add (2) EW Drone Missiles Loads
+3.6 tons, +$7.2M
Add (2) EW Penetration Aid Missiles Load
+3.6 tons, +$7.2M
Add (7) Shape Charged Missiles Loads
+12.6 tons, +$2.52M
Add 2 M-Drives
+2 Dton, +8 tons, +$2M
Add 3 Fusion Plants
+3 Dtons, +12 tons, +$9M
Replace Model-1 Scan with Model-3 (Scan-18)
+1 Dton, +12tons, +$4M

Cost $123M
EWT 313.5 tons
LWT 715 tons
Accel 2G

6-DTON Ultra Light Variable Craft.
Tech Level: 10.
Hull: 6-dton Needle/Wedge Airframe hull (3.5ksf, 3.5tons, $0.175), dDR 13 armor (22.75tons, +$0.18), Stealth (+0.875tons, +$0.26).
Systems: 2.5 Maneuver Drive (2.5Dtons, 10tons, $2.5, -50MW, 500tons of thrust), Small Cockpit (0.5 Dtons, 3tons, $0.5), Model-0 Sensors (Scan 14) (0.5dtons, 6tons, $2, -4MW), 2.5 Fusion Plant (2.5Dtons, 12tons, $6, 50MW), 3 fixed mounts 6 forward facing Missile Racks (16.8tons, $6.66 ), 2 TL-9 Pulse Laser (6 tons, $1, -5MW), Rear facing Sandcaster /ECM (1ton, $0.75).
Statistics: EMass 70 tons, Lmass 80 tons, Cost $22M, SM +2, ASig -4, Hull dHP 15, no life support capacity, sAccel 6G/5G with Beam weapons, no jump capacity, Top Air Speed 4,500 mph.

Quick and Dirty Rule for EW (until a better idea comes along)
EW Drones based on UT Expendable Jammers, since it closely resembles the GT:GF p112 rules. So instead of affecting Comm as in UT157, Drones Affect Target Acquisition. The Missile or the Gunnery Section officer re-rolls his artillery vs -2 per drone deployed (reduced ability because of the extreeme ranges of performance). Failure mean the missiles lock on to one of the Drones.

Penetration Aids do roughly the same but against Point defense. They give a -2 per Pen-aid to the Gunner's Point Defense roll to Hit. Since Recoil determines how many additional missiles were hit count the Pen aids first.

How Pirates can use 20Dton Assault Craft for raids. (The equivalent of modern day pirates attacking ships with fast inflatable speed boats).

Modify 20dton Assault Craft
Add Stealth Hull
+1.54 Tons, $0.46M
Remove 2 Seating and Replace with 2 Bunks
-2 Dtons, -2 tons, -$0M
Replace Light Turret with Heavy Turret
-0 Dtons, +0.5 tons, +0.1M
Add 6 forward facing missile Racks on 2 remaining Fixed mounts.
+0 Dtons, +4.5 tons, +$4.5M
Add 2 M-Drives
+2 Dton, +8 tons, +$2M
Add 2.5 Fusion Plants
+2.5 Dtons, +10 tons, +$7.5M
Replace original turret weapon load-out with 4 Pulse Lasers and 2 Missile Racks
+9 tons, +$3.5M
Add (2) EW Penetration Aid Missiles Load
+3.6 tons, +$7.2M
Add (1) EW Drone Missile Loads
+1.8 tons, +$3.6M
Add (1) EMP Drone Missile Loads
+1.8 tons, +$36M
Add (2) Shaped Charged Missile Load
+3.6 tons, +$0.72M

total $93M
EWt. 145
LWt. 167
Accel 6G
Life Support 21 (basic crew of 2 + prize crew and boarders)

Remaining 1Dton of Cargo are supplies and equipment.
Typically Armored Vacc Suit with Rugged but Cheap Stealth Exo-Skeletons
Boarding Tools

Basic Logistics.
- supported by corrupt system governments, corporations, and go-betweens of much more powerful factions.
- These patrons bail them out, give them targets, fence their goods, and maintain their ships.

Simple Tactics:
- Threats. A couple of well placed communication drones to give ample warning for victims to surrender without Giving position away.
- Trap A few EW drones to shape the sensor readouts in a way to make the ship plot a predictable Vector. Then sneak in as close as possible, if cover is broken use EMP missiles (1.8 ton load of 12 costs $3.6M) UT157 (roll against ships HT).
Example Procedure. Watch for the limited Jump Entry points in a system with Stealth Scan Drones. Plot navigation vectors for typical merchant parameters for safety and leave bait, misdirection, or a false sense of security or alarm.
The easiest procedure is for a ground-side to get advanced warning and sending it up to the pirates.

- Hunting Party Several 20Dton assault craft using tactics above. __________________

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