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Ship Design Questions


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#1 Aldyramon

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 12:54 AM

So I will play in a RT Campaign soon and I studied to books. So far I most things are pretty clear rules-wise. But since I never played Rogue Trader before I lack the expierience to determine if some things are worth or feasable in the game. My Questions are more or less focused on Ship Design, but since I don't know how many SP we will get, they are mostly of a theoretical nature.

1. How importent is Speed, more specific: Can a too high Speed hinder your potential in Spip Combat? Seeing that you have to move half Speed, I imagine it would be rather hard for a Speed 11 ship to stay behind a Speed 4 Cruiser, but I don't really know if that is really an issue.

2. How "common" are Archaeotech Components? Is it rather normal to start with 1-2 Archaeotech Components (seeing that the RT Example Ship has one) or are that more the exception than the norm? (strictly speaking of PC Ships)

3. I played arround with designing some ships, but it seems to me, that a smaller ship like a raiders or the smaller frigates have barely room left after essential components and weapons, even when opting for some low quality parts. Imho is an modified Archaeotech Engine pretty much a must-have because of the Space-Cost reduction. Other than putting in mostly "good" or best Craftmanship parts, I don't have Space or Power for some sublemental components.

4. Are Lances worth the huge power+space cost in smaller ships? the technicly fit in a raider, but I would like to have some room for additional stuff.

6. How usefull are Landing Bays/Small Crafts in the game? How difficult are they to maintain, since I ruled out Torpedoes due to their ammo availbility.

5. Are there any must-have components?

 

We are probable playing in the Koronus Expanse probably in uncharted Space, starting off as an Explosion out of the Laboratories killed the Rogue Trader and most of his senior officers while they were studiing some xenos artefact. Now the on board Heir+friends(PCs) must  take over unexpecteted and carry on with the family buisness. AFAIK will the game fokus on exploration of uncharted space, maybe founding of a colony, but I want a ship that can stand on its own in a fight.

My preferred Ships Hulls as of now are:

Orion Star Clipper (the low SP solution)

Meritech/Havoc Privateer Raider

Tempest/Firestorm Frigate

Ambition Cruiser (High SP Solution and considering it costs as much a a Seclutor Light Cruiser, I rather take the "real" cruiser and I really like the fluff here)

 

are there other worthwile Ships Hulls I should look at?

 

Thanks



#2 Tristonic

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 01:06 AM

It all depends on what you need the ship to do and how many SP you have. A good Raider, or an even better Turbulent Class Heavy Frigate, should be able to use its speed to control range and go toe to toe with a cruiser. However, that's only if you need something to be good at combat.

If you need something that has lots of space, any of the cruisers or perhaps the Star Galleon, would be better suited.



#3 Kasatka

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 01:45 AM

Smaller ships generally can't fit as many supplemental components, no. However while larger ships do have more spare space to fit supplementals, you may often find yourself using that space to fit the biggest and best essential components to optimise the ship.
I have designed a LOT of ships over the years for RT games and i find that you never have more than a half dozen supplemental components on even the most utilitarian ship - that said i have never designed or played with a Goliath or Universe class.


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#4 Erathia

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 12:51 PM

I'll go through your points in order with my opinion!

1) Speed is reasonably important, but much more important is maneuverability. Since ships have to maneuver before shooting if you manage to get very close to your enemy they can potentially shoot right past you. On the other hand, with sufficient speed and range you can "strafe" an enemy at extreme distances and pick them off without taking any damage. Nothing derails a tense battle at an Orkish Rok factory like the realisation your players can destroy them all at range with no issue.

2) Archeotech Components are not supposed to be common, and really should not be present on the ship for character creationunless you get the Reqliuary of Mars history. Acquiring these should be the reward from an extremely powerful Magos or the source of an endeavour. That being said, you can design your fleets however you want but any one of these components is a marked advantage over the non-Archeotech version.

3) Smaller ships do tend to run out of room for the nice things which is why they're smaller. However they do make up for it with increased speed and maneuverability, as well as the default of a 90-degree Turning radius which will give them a huge advantage once your players are used to combat. I'm guessing the main limiting factor though is you want lots of really good guns. Since this is a Grim and Dark future, until you hit Cruiser size you will probably take the best guns you can and not have much in the way of Supplemental components. Again, remember that although "Good" and "Best" components are an option, they do carry an increased SP cost. Much like characters, don't be afraid to remind your players that their starting ships can't do everything.

4) No. Lances should be mounted Prow, and unless it's a Light Cruiser or larger, they're not going to be able to fire anywhere except Prow. Lances need to be able to be fired along with macrobatteries for maximum effectiveness.

5) Depends on your ship, but I find them fairly useful. Assault Boats in particular are great, as multiple Hit and Run actions in one turn just devastate opposing vessels. It is important to track damage though, and much like torpedoes your players will need regular upkeep tests to keep them in fighting shape. I encouraged my players to not start out with that level of complexity and they agreed, but I don't think you should outright ban them. Just make it clear that Torpedos/Fighters are great… but if you run out at a bad time you're in trouble.

6) Clemency Life Sustainers. They take up up so much more space, but a Depressurization critical hit drains your crew population and morale scarily fast, and the penalties for losing crew just get worse and worse. If you can justify the 2 extra space, you need this component. Also every ship needs a Cargo Hold of some kind. Even if they're not doing Trade missions if they're playing a ship without some sort of dedicated cargo bay it just doesn't make sense thematically.

The Orion Star Clipper is a badass vessel for everything, because of its insane Speed and its KEEL weapon, which means it will be firing on people while it runs away from them. If you'd like I can send you an NPC vessel that I constructed for my players with one, although it's more a Smuggler than an Explorer it should be adaptable pretty easily.

I think that for an Exploration vessel the Orion is an excellent choice. You may also want to look at the Turbulent Heavy Frigate from BFK as it has good space for a Frigate, and also provides you a little bit of free power.


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#5 Aldyramon

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 07:30 PM

Thanks for your imput, if someone else wants to contribute I really would love to get more opinions.

some follow up questions:

Can I get the Ship Upgrades from Into the Storm at the start of the game?

If I put a Macrocannon in Prow, where can it shoot? just prow or also to the sides?

 

Thanks

 



#6 Kasatka

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 11:23 PM

Firing Arcs

Port = 90degrees to left

Starboard = 90degrees to right

Dorsal = 180degrees facing forwards

Keel = 360degrees

Prow = depends on weapon system - 90degrees arc for macrocannons and lances when fitted on bigger ships, lances on smaller ships it is a straight forwards firing arc

Ship upgrades can indeed be acquired at character creation - my group simply allows characters to use their personal Acquisition rolls to get stuff for the ship - crew upgrades are a common upgrade.


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#7 Erathia

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 03:06 AM

Kasatka said:

Firing Arcs

Port = 90degrees to left

Starboard = 90degrees to right

Dorsal = 180degrees facing forwards

Keel = 360degrees

Prow = depends on weapon system - 90degrees arc for macrocannons and lances when fitted on bigger ships, lances on smaller ships it is a straight forwards firing arc

I don't think this is entirely correct. Based off of the diagram on Page 219 of the Core, you can see that it's not quite 90 degrees for each. Although the Fore/Aft arcs are more prominent, as you push further away from the ship, the Port/Starboard arcs spread downward. It does also say in the rules that if it's ever unclear, then assume the ship is in the Port/Starboard firing arc.

The idea for "Arcs" is that it covers Dorsal and Prow better than a rough idea of degrees. Dorsal weapons can fire into the Fore, Port and Starboard arcs. On Frigates or smaller, Prow weapons may only fire into the "forward" arc. Any ship larger than that may fire like a Dorsal weapon into the Fore, Port and Starboard arc. The type of weapon does not determine the firing arc for the Prow weapon, only the size does. Macrobatteries may be installed into Prow, but some Macrobateries are listed as "Broadside", in which case they ust go Port/Starboard.

As Kasatka said, players are free to attempt to acquire a Ship Upgrade, but as they don't have a SP cost (except for a better crew), they can't choose them as part of the normal ship creation process.


Citizens of Grace! We have defeated both the Dark Eldar and Ork menaces that threatened your system! We need no thanks nor payments, so long as you do not leave the atmosphere during our salvage operations under pain of death! - Jequin Hos of The Hos Dynasty


#8 Kasatka

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 04:33 AM

Erathia said:

Kasatka said:

 

Firing Arcs

Port = 90degrees to left

Starboard = 90degrees to right

Dorsal = 180degrees facing forwards

Keel = 360degrees

Prow = depends on weapon system - 90degrees arc for macrocannons and lances when fitted on bigger ships, lances on smaller ships it is a straight forwards firing arc

 

 

I don't think this is entirely correct. Based off of the diagram on Page 219 of the Core, you can see that it's not quite 90 degrees for each. Although the Fore/Aft arcs are more prominent, as you push further away from the ship, the Port/Starboard arcs spread downward. It does also say in the rules that if it's ever unclear, then assume the ship is in the Port/Starboard firing arc.

The idea for "Arcs" is that it covers Dorsal and Prow better than a rough idea of degrees. Dorsal weapons can fire into the Fore, Port and Starboard arcs. On Frigates or smaller, Prow weapons may only fire into the "forward" arc. Any ship larger than that may fire like a Dorsal weapon into the Fore, Port and Starboard arc. The type of weapon does not determine the firing arc for the Prow weapon, only the size does. Macrobatteries may be installed into Prow, but some Macrobateries are listed as "Broadside", in which case they ust go Port/Starboard.

As Kasatka said, players are free to attempt to acquire a Ship Upgrade, but as they don't have a SP cost (except for a better crew), they can't choose them as part of the normal ship creation process.

 

Unfortunately that diagram is rubbish - firing arcs are meant to be 90degrees each, centred on the ships front/back and left/right axis. We could technically argue that the Keel has a hemispherical firing arc below the vessel, but fortunately this isn't a 3-dimensional system! 

Apologies for the mis-information about Prow weapon systems, it's been an age since i've played with a ship without a prow lance that isn't frigate size or smaller.


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#9 HappyDaze

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 07:20 PM

The type of weapon can have an effect on what arcs it fires into. Torpedoes always fire into the forward arc and some lances have special restrictions.

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