Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Traveller Tuesday: Sydkai Detached Cruiser

So once again there's a ship that I think can be designed better...

My use of Traveller setting and dress falls under
fair use guidelines for both Mongoose and Far Future Enterprises.

OK, so during the days of MegaTraveller, the Sydkai-class cruiser was invented. It had a similar purpose to a Kinunir , but was larger by 800 dtons to give it greater operational scope and range. It was, basically, a colonial cruiser on steroids, and it became known as a "detached duty cruiser" because its purpose was to perform long-term anti-piracy and anti-insurgency patrols along the Imperial border.

The problem is that it was only statted according to MegaTraveller rules, which use a totally different system of ship creation from any other version of Traveller.

And lo, the Sydkai did languish in disuse, until such time as Ian Stead upgraded it to Mongoose rules for that project I'm not yet allowed to talk about (yes, he's working on it too), for such stats were necessary for me to do my thing.
And while it was a faithful translation of an MT ship into an MgT ship, I felt the results were unsatisfying, because a faithful translation doesn't take into account all the cool improvements to be found in the various Mongoose books, nor does it stand a change against player cheese and ingenuity when armed with such improvements.

In other words, I made it deadlier.

  • First things first: 16 triple missile turrets out of 20 is just plain ineffective. Replacing them with four 50 dton missile bays still grants me the ability to unleash a flight of 48 missiles at once. Sure, you can argue that I've lost flexibility in targeting,  but now I have more hardpoints to play with and therefore engage more targets. 
  • I've added my usual hellish mixture of particle beams for long range, fusion beams for mid-range fighting, and pulse lasers & sandcasters for point defense. Things like "high yield"
     and "variable range" make me giggle due to the sheer bloody-minded effectiveness of overlapping fields of fire for weapons batteries. 
  • I also upped the thrust rating to 4, because 3Gs from a warship designed to kill pirates is just not sufficient to my mind. Jump-4/4G is fleet minimum, and while the Sydkai can get by with J-3 for is mission, maneuver drives are cheap and their benefits are immediate. 
  • Naturally, all these goodies (namely the bays) do come with some drawbacks, and so I had to sacrifice some armor. Of course, I upgraded it to Bonded Superdense (because come on, this is supposed to be a TL 15 ship here) and to only 2 points of armor were lost. 
  • In another of my signature moves, I added "free armor" mods of reflec coating and radiation shielding, because I honestly don't see why warships don't have these things standard. They don't cost tonnage, only money, and I've yet to see a government care that much about cost. 
  • A higher-tech hull and structure increases the amount of punishment it can absorb, and the addition of meson screen and nuclear damper further increase its survivability. 
  • I'm honestly not sure if a magazine of 2400 missiles and 1000 sandcaster barrels is sufficient. I really wanted a magazine size of 3000 and 2000, respectively, but I didn't have the tonnage. 
  • I wasn't sure how much cargo space I needed. I started with around 100 but reduced it to 85 in order to get 4G thrust, which to my mind is worth the spent volume. 
  • Added goodies like probe and repair drones, because warship. 
  • Rather than break down the number of staterooms for everyone, I just shoved everyone except the Captain into a barracks  (a barracks takes the same space as double occupancy staterooms anyway, so it works for volume calculations.)

Sure, I've taken a billion-credit ship and made it 2.5 times as expensive, but let me ask you which is more expensive in the long run: a billion-credit ship that's lost or destroyed because it's ineffective, or a 2.5 billion ship that trounces its opponents and stays alive?
Besides, the Third Imperium regularly builds Tigress-class Dreadnoughts that cost over a quarter of a trillion credits without blinking, so don't give me that nonsense about "cost overruns".

Art courtesy of Ian Stead

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