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Starship cannon vs. you.


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#41 Yoshiyahu

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 05:59 PM

It's part of standard base security protocols, even during non-alert times. 

 

 Patrolling is sort of where [snip] soldiers spend most of their duty time. 

 

You've not been on many bases, have you?

 

Security Forces and Military Police are the ones who drive around bases in cop cars and try to catch people speeding. Those same personnel are going to be checking ID's and credentials at the gate(s), if the job hasn't been farmed out to private contractors. "Perimeter patrols" aren't really a thing, at least, not in the way you're describing them. Certain portions of a base might be under tighter security, such as the flight line of an Air Base. In some bases, (Joint Base Balad being a notable example) perimeter security is going to be handled by sentries in guard towers.

 

Your typical "soldier" (I assume you mean infantry types?) spends most of his time training or doing some additional duty to keep his unit running smoothly. Unless, of course, you mean in a "deployed" or combat environment, in which case what the soldier spends most of his time doing is entirely dependent upon which type of unit he's in.

 

Edit: Typos; clarification.


Edited by Yoshiyahu, 10 April 2014 - 08:28 PM.

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#42 RogueCorona

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 06:02 PM

 

Yeah until the crew needs to eat, or sleep, unless it has enough troopers onboard to keep up rotating shifts. and has been mentioned those guns are not meant for targeting infantry. It would be like trying to use a small cannon on a ship to target a lone man. Yes in theory you could but it would be very iffy and odds are the crew would do more good with rifles than manning the big guns, unless the players or allies bring in their own ships.

 

There's a good reason that the only times we see ships firing on infantry in the Star Wars movies the shots are either serve as little more than a distraction (AOTC) or are being fired by weapons specifically installed for use against infantry. (ESB)

I think you have it backwards. They scouts would eat, sleep, and otherwise 'live' on the ship (its designed for doing this for up to six months). The guys on the ground are the ones pulling a shift doing patrols or sentry duty.

 

 

 

 

Hmm perhaps. The problems with trying to use directed energy weapons designed to target something the size of a spacecraft against infantry remain though.


Edited by RogueCorona, 10 April 2014 - 06:04 PM.


#43 HappyDaze

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 06:55 PM

 

 

Yeah until the crew needs to eat, or sleep, unless it has enough troopers onboard to keep up rotating shifts. and has been mentioned those guns are not meant for targeting infantry. It would be like trying to use a small cannon on a ship to target a lone man. Yes in theory you could but it would be very iffy and odds are the crew would do more good with rifles than manning the big guns, unless the players or allies bring in their own ships.

 

There's a good reason that the only times we see ships firing on infantry in the Star Wars movies the shots are either serve as little more than a distraction (AOTC) or are being fired by weapons specifically installed for use against infantry. (ESB)

I think you have it backwards. They scouts would eat, sleep, and otherwise 'live' on the ship (its designed for doing this for up to six months). The guys on the ground are the ones pulling a shift doing patrols or sentry duty.

 

 

 

 

Hmm perhaps. The problems with trying to use directed energy weapons designed to target something the size of a spacecraft against infantry remain though.

 

The problem is represented by a base Difficulty 4 (assuming a Silhouette 4 ship and Silhouette 1 characters). The is the equivalent of a personal scale shot at Long Range. This applies regardless of how close the target is to the ship or how far away they are, the Difficulty is the same even if the ship is FAR above the ground, so long as it's not beyond Close Range (so, no more than a few kilometers up). If the gunner is good enough to make that shot with even a single success, he can pick off man-sized targets. Even Agility 2, Gunnery 1 with an Aim maneuver is going to succeed enough to cause nightmares for the footsloggers.


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#44 RogueCorona

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 09:08 PM

That doesn't with anything ever shown on screen though. According to the rules you could add sets of 10 linked lasers or turbolasers to a ship and only use 1 hardpoint but the odds on a GM allow it are almost zero. The same is true for pinpoint accuracy against infantry with an anti-ship weapon. Yes anti-ship lasers can hit infantry targets but unless there is some massive mitigating circumstance, or they are dumb enough to bundle up in a tight formation hits should be very, very rare. The guns in question just aren't designed for that. Remember how much trouble the Death Star's turbolasers had targeting the rebel fighters in A New Hope? The same principle applies here but in this case there are actually more targets and a vastly smaller number of guns, and positions firing on them, at least for the shipgrade weapons though obviously the anti-infantry weapons won't have the accuracy issue.



#45 TarlSS

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 11:51 PM

 

It's part of standard base security protocols, even during non-alert times. 

 

 Patrolling is sort of where [snip] soldiers spend most of their duty time. 

 

You've not been on many bases, have you?

 

Security Forces and Military Police are the ones who drive around bases in cop cars and try to catch people speeding. Those same personnel are going to be checking ID's and credentials at the gate(s), if the job hasn't been farmed out to private contractors. "Perimeter patrols" aren't really a thing, at least, not in the way you're describing them. Certain portions of a base might be under tighter security, such as the flight line of an Air Base. In some bases, (Joint Base Balad being a notable example) perimeter security is going to be handled by sentries in guard towers.

 

Your typical "soldier" (I assume you mean infantry types?) spends most of his time training or doing some additional duty to keep his unit running smoothly. Unless, of course, you mean in a "deployed" or combat environment, in which case what the soldier spends most of his time doing is entirely dependent upon which type of unit he's in.

 

Edit: Typos; clarification.

 

 

Nope, I've never been in the military.

 

I guess what I'm talking about then is police and security forces.

That it does mean that there is someone out there constantly standing watch, driving around in a vehicle, and that's certainly not an outlandish thing at all.


Edited by TarlSS, 10 April 2014 - 11:51 PM.


#46 HappyDaze

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 06:05 AM

That doesn't with anything ever shown on screen though. According to the rules you could add sets of 10 linked lasers or turbolasers to a ship and only use 1 hardpoint but the odds on a GM allow it are almost zero. The same is true for pinpoint accuracy against infantry with an anti-ship weapon. Yes anti-ship lasers can hit infantry targets but unless there is some massive mitigating circumstance, or they are dumb enough to bundle up in a tight formation hits should be very, very rare. The guns in question just aren't designed for that. Remember how much trouble the Death Star's turbolasers had targeting the rebel fighters in A New Hope? The same principle applies here but in this case there are actually more targets and a vastly smaller number of guns, and positions firing on them, at least for the shipgrade weapons though obviously the anti-infantry weapons won't have the accuracy issue.

I'm just telling you how the rules handle it. Difficulty 4 is supposed to be pretty hard, but this game makes basic success on tasks rather common even at such levels. By the game's rules, turbolasers on the Death Star should have scored several fighter kills just through sheer volume of fire before the fighters were even in range to launch their own attacks.


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#47 2P51

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 07:06 AM

Military vessels maintain a 24 hour watch, in fact all vessels maintain a 24 hour watch.  In regards to targeting people with ship weapons, if a ship weapon can be used to target another spacecraft going thousands of miles per hour I doubt a man sized target going man sized speeds is all that hard.  


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#48 Yoshiyahu

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 10:38 AM

That depends, doesn't it? I mean, a purpose-built drone is going to be fairly successful at hitting a human sized target from a respectable distance. Of course, the drone is using guided munitions (which would be reflected in the weapon quality) and is travelling relatively slowly. 

 

The main gun on a main battle tank, on the other hand, is designed to hit other tanks and would be completely unwieldy against a person, unless you were just trying to annihilate a building and everyone in it. That same tank might have a machine gun mounted on it that is designed for infantry types, and would be much more successful at hitting individuals.

 

Battleships (like the now decommissioned U.S.S. Missouri and U.S.S. Iowa) used huge guns to barrage an area, but when they needed a specific target destroyed, they could fire cruise missiles. Carriers have point-defense weapons for use against anti-ship missiles, but they're going to farm out all of their "attack" jobs to fighters, which may or may not be better equipped to attack a person sized target depending on their loadout and the type of aircraft.

 

All that to say: I doubt a Star Destroyer (the Battleship-Carriers of Star Wars) is going to drop into the upper atmosphere and use its turbolasers to bump off a single individual. The Star Destroyer is purpose built for orbital bombardment, which is going to destroy everything in a huge area and/or ship-to-ship combat. The quad-lasers on a YT-1300 (or similar) are probably more analogous to a couple of .50 cals mounted on the side of a helicopter or in the turrets of a B-29.


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#49 HappyDaze

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 11:18 AM

A quad mounts 50 cal would be murderous against infantry. Even more nasty would be the quad 23mm guns Soviets mounted for antiaircraft use.


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#50 Yoshiyahu

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 11:58 AM

Well, that was kind of my point. On a low, slow, helicopter, .50 cal machine guns are very effective against infantry and soft targets. In a B-29 at 30,000 feet, going 190 knots, they're only going to be effective against other high flying, fast moving aircraft. A YT-1300 flying a little above treetop level (as we see on Yavin IV) should at the very least be effective at suppressing infantry, if not outright destroying them. Of course, that same YT-1300 is going to be a ripe target for AAA and interceptors if it's flying in contested airspace.

 

That said, I've always had a much harder time shooting small targets accurately in an X-Wing: Alliance simulation of a YT-1300 gun turret than I ever did shooting machine guns out of helicopters.


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#51 2P51

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 12:13 PM

That depends, doesn't it? I mean, a purpose-built drone is going to be fairly successful at hitting a human sized target from a respectable distance. Of course, the drone is using guided munitions (which would be reflected in the weapon quality) and is travelling relatively slowly. 
 
The main gun on a main battle tank, on the other hand, is designed to hit other tanks and would be completely unwieldy against a person, unless you were just trying to annihilate a building and everyone in it. That same tank might have a machine gun mounted on it that is designed for infantry types, and would be much more successful at hitting individuals.
 
Battleships (like the now decommissioned U.S.S. Missouri and U.S.S. Iowa) used huge guns to barrage an area, but when they needed a specific target destroyed, they could fire cruise missiles. Carriers have point-defense weapons for use against anti-ship missiles, but they're going to farm out all of their "attack" jobs to fighters, which may or may not be better equipped to attack a person sized target depending on their loadout and the type of aircraft.
 
All that to say: I doubt a Star Destroyer (the Battleship-Carriers of Star Wars) is going to drop into the upper atmosphere and use its turbolasers to bump off a single individual. The Star Destroyer is purpose built for orbital bombardment, which is going to destroy everything in a huge area and/or ship-to-ship combat. The quad-lasers on a YT-1300 (or similar) are probably more analogous to a couple of .50 cals mounted on the side of a helicopter or in the turrets of a B-29.


Imo opinion you are confusing what is a gun on a weapon system designed to destroy with can it hit a target. The 120 mm smoothbore is designed to destroy other tanks. It is fully capable of hitting a man sized target. Sitting on Bradley ranges with the 30mm chain guns. They are capable of easily hitting man sized targets. The principle difference between a weapon in a tank turret as opposed to a crew served weapon is the turreted weapon is a vastly more stable firing platform with a vastly better gun sight.

You don't miss with those weapons and if someone is approaching a perimeter with them you stay out of the arc of fire.

In reagrds to a shell from an old 16" battleship gun, they have a ridiculous kill radius invluding blast and frgamentary effects of up to several hundred meters. No need for too much accuracy....

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#52 RogueCorona

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 04:36 PM

Well, that was kind of my point. On a low, slow, helicopter, .50 cal machine guns are very effective against infantry and soft targets. In a B-29 at 30,000 feet, going 190 knots, they're only going to be effective against other high flying, fast moving aircraft. A YT-1300 flying a little above treetop level (as we see on Yavin IV) should at the very least be effective at suppressing infantry, if not outright destroying them. Of course, that same YT-1300 is going to be a ripe target for AAA and interceptors if it's flying in contested airspace.

 

That said, I've always had a much harder time shooting small targets accurately in an X-Wing: Alliance simulation of a YT-1300 gun turret than I ever did shooting machine guns out of helicopters.

 

Rate of fire is a big factor in such cases I would imagine. A quadlaser barrel takes 1.3 seconds between firing shots. A 50. cal machine gun fires between 7 and 8 shots per second.on the low end and 20 shots per second on the high end.



#53 Yoshiyahu

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 06:06 PM

Imo opinion you are confusing what is a gun on a weapon system designed to destroy with can it hit a target. The 120 mm smoothbore is designed to destroy other tanks. It is fully capable of hitting a man sized target. Sitting on Bradley ranges with the 30mm chain guns. They are capable of easily hitting man sized targets. The principle difference between a weapon in a tank turret as opposed to a crew served weapon is the turreted weapon is a vastly more stable firing platform with a vastly better gun sight.

You don't miss with those weapons and if someone is approaching a perimeter with them you stay out of the arc of fire.

In reagrds to a shell from an old 16" battleship gun, they have a ridiculous kill radius invluding blast and frgamentary effects of up to several hundred meters. No need for too much accuracy....

 

 

Fair points, all. I suppose I was thinking of an M1A3 loaded with sabot rounds against a group of people at very close range. Yeah, you could probably hit a person from two miles away with a 120mm canon, but in most cases, why would you? Economy of force, and all that.

 

The 30mm on the Bradley has proven to be very effective against infantry, but I don't really consider the Bradley a tank.

 

As far as the 16" guns go, I was pointing out that they're an area effect weapon, not a precision guided munition. 


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#54 2P51

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 07:44 PM

I'm not speaking to the cost effectiveness of the round being used, just that turreted weapon systems are far more accurate. The coaxial MG on the M1 is death.  

 

I don't think that there is any drawback in the form of mechanical penalties to aiming ship weapons at individuals. They will have restrictive arcs of fire and not be able to change direction as fast as a trooper with a rifle, but if the target is in sight I wouldn't penalize players aiming at man sized targets.


Edited by 2P51, 11 April 2014 - 07:44 PM.

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#55 TarlSS

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 03:47 AM

 

Imo opinion you are confusing what is a gun on a weapon system designed to destroy with can it hit a target. The 120 mm smoothbore is designed to destroy other tanks. It is fully capable of hitting a man sized target. Sitting on Bradley ranges with the 30mm chain guns. They are capable of easily hitting man sized targets. The principle difference between a weapon in a tank turret as opposed to a crew served weapon is the turreted weapon is a vastly more stable firing platform with a vastly better gun sight.

You don't miss with those weapons and if someone is approaching a perimeter with them you stay out of the arc of fire.

In reagrds to a shell from an old 16" battleship gun, they have a ridiculous kill radius invluding blast and frgamentary effects of up to several hundred meters. No need for too much accuracy....

 

 

Fair points, all. I suppose I was thinking of an M1A3 loaded with sabot rounds against a group of people at very close range. Yeah, you could probably hit a person from two miles away with a 120mm canon, but in most cases, why would you? Economy of force, and all that.

 

The 30mm on the Bradley has proven to be very effective against infantry, but I don't really consider the Bradley a tank.

 

As far as the 16" guns go, I was pointing out that they're an area effect weapon, not a precision guided munition. 

 

 

 A more apt comparison would be the various close air support gunships

http://en.wikipedia...._Thunderbolt_II

http://en.wikipedia....Lockheed_AC-130

 

Both are equipped with weapons (autocannons) that are more than capable of shredding enemy vehicles, infantry, and aircraft. Their main weakness is of course against anti-air fire and fighter craft.



#56 RogueCorona

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 09:30 AM

1: The ship in question is described by the TC as a scout ship not a specialized air support craft.

 

2: Autocannons have a much higher rate of fire than Laser cannons in Star Wars which means the autocannons can have a much higher miss to hit ratio and still eliminate infantry targets effectively. It only takes one direct hit to knock out an infantry target with either weapon but the higher rate of fire of the autocannon means it will still be effective even if it takes 10 or 20 shots to score that one hit, that isn't true for the laser cannon.



#57 thecableton

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 01:54 PM

An update since we ran our session today. 

The PCs were sensible enough to not take on the ship directly so they weren't glassed on sight... However... they were lured into a kill zone by the 5 scouts + an NCO. three of them stepped into wire traps and over the space of a 3 and 1/2 hour combat encounter with over 18 turns in a round... They lost 17 people and the Scout Troopers lost 3 forcing a mutual retreat. ~

In the end the PCs were able to retake their own starship and use it to assault the scout ship to bring them to a pyrrhic victory.

Thanks for all the advice guys.



#58 Voice

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 09:10 PM

Good to hear that they were at least smart enough not to intentionally face a weapon that will hit nearly 50% of the time, dealing 70+ points of damage each time.  It's a shame they were so callous/careless with the soldiers under their command.  That's not going to win them any friends.



#59 thecableton

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 09:14 PM

Hah. Well. there's no one left alive to make them any enemies, either. They're burning as much sky as they can at the moment to hand over their paydata and put all this messy business behind them. Still, there are forces at work which will not forget.






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