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craigpearson81

Rogue Trader shuttles and lighters

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Hi, I was hoping someone could help with this. Our GM is wanting to know just how many of each a star ship would be equipped with. We will be using a Firestorm Frigate with a cargo hold and lighter bay and although it is entirely at his disgression, he was hoping people could let us know about how many they allow groups to use.

Thanks :D

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To this question, you will receive many a reply.

But to be earnest, none will be more valid then you own assumption. RT has no info on this yet, and since a lot of Warhammer 40K Publications from different "systems" contradict each other here and their everything "Non-RT" is just "assumption".

My take:
A fifth of the ships "Space" value equals the number of Cutters/Lighters it holds.

Thereby, most ships will have between 7 and 8 of them. Please take note that this is ridicilus if you think about how cargo space a ship must have. This is "intentionally". In one novell I read a discription abouth how planet based shuttles started to swarm over ariving ships for making money by bringing cargo up and down.
It makes sense from a logistic point of view as well: Why giving up valuable space for Lighters if you can hire them at the star ports? This way, there is more space for cargo, and cargo means coin! Of couse, you will always have SOME Lighters of your own. There is always some cargo you would rather deliver yourself....

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Gregorius21778 said:

To this question, you will receive many a reply.

But to be earnest, none will be more valid then you own assumption. RT has no info on this yet, and since a lot of Warhammer 40K Publications from different "systems" contradict each other here and their everything "Non-RT" is just "assumption".

My take:
A fifth of the ships "Space" value equals the number of Cutters/Lighters it holds.

Thereby, most ships will have between 7 and 8 of them. Please take note that this is ridicilus if you think about how cargo space a ship must have. This is "intentionally". In one novell I read a discription abouth how planet based shuttles started to swarm over ariving ships for making money by bringing cargo up and down.
It makes sense from a logistic point of view as well: Why giving up valuable space for Lighters if you can hire them at the star ports? This way, there is more space for cargo, and cargo means coin! Of couse, you will always have SOME Lighters of your own. There is always some cargo you would rather deliver yourself....

This is generally how I run it too. Having lots of lighters at spaceports/spacestations is more sensible than trying to fit them all on the ships themselves.

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However as RT, you will be visiting a lot of places without a proper space station or planet with nice shuttles and lighters to help out. It makes sense to have more of them then a chartist captain who visits established imperial worlds. After all, time is money and you want your cargo holds loaded and unloaded fast.

Plus, hit and run tactics require quite a few assault shuttles as well. Once more requiring a good amount of them.

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Wow this is hard. So far havnt had to use many shuttles or cutters. However later on I can see that I might have to conquer planets. The frigate is outfitted with barracks so when we return to one of the systems we are going to have a regiment of troops to persuade the natives the advntages in joining the imperium. However I guess later I might have to figure out exactly how many Imperial guard I can make a beachhead in one go, Even severn gun cutters carrying 20 men means you can disembark about 140 men in one go. Hardly going to make the feral tribes quake....And yet severn sounds about right...

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@Sistere Callida and "those whose name we shall no recount" gui%C3%B1o.gif

Valid points. Especially the "have to a regiment" thing.  Then, how about one "Lighter" for every  point of space?

If one "troop transporter" is able to bring down about  60 infantriest and their gear,  a 40-space-vessel could bringt to bear a 2400 men in one landing.

... of course, before every a mission an RT would have to decide if he wants "lighters or landers". But to it seems just fine that an RT has to "change gear" (so to speak) in order to prepare for a full-blown war. ... and makes "occupy a planet and ramsack it afterwards" something you would like to have Cruiser for, not a Raider angel.gif

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While my players have yet to use them yet their cruiser has 40 shuttles (each capable of carrying 160 men or a mixture of men and vehicles), 4 lighters (designed for freight but could be converted to land men and vehicles, these are supposed to be very big), 2 tankers (on the same scale as the lighters but for liquid transport), 100 Arvus lighters and 5 Aquila landers.  They also have around 50 bombers and the same again of fighters along with some assault boats.  That may seem like a lot but they are in a cruiser with flight bays and also the shuttles, lighters and tankers would die horribly in an opposed landing by any opponent with equivelent technology of the 50's onwards, the arvus lighters and aquila landers are the only things vaguely capable of a combat and the arvus lighters would be easy prey to ground fire and aircraft. 

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Erretnorb said:

While my players have yet to use them yet their cruiser has 40 shuttles (each capable of carrying 160 men or a mixture of men and vehicles), 4 lighters (designed for freight but could be converted to land men and vehicles, these are supposed to be very big), 2 tankers (on the same scale as the lighters but for liquid transport), 100 Arvus lighters and 5 Aquila landers.  They also have around 50 bombers and the same again of fighters along with some assault boats.  That may seem like a lot but they are in a cruiser with flight bays and also the shuttles, lighters and tankers would die horribly in an opposed landing by any opponent with equivelent technology of the 50's onwards, the arvus lighters and aquila landers are the only things vaguely capable of a combat and the arvus lighters would be easy prey to ground fire and aircraft. 

Aehm...you fighters and bombers are not cabable of combat? gui%C3%B1o.gif

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 Well, considering that it apparently takes massive modifications to make Fury interceptors (the Navy's current fighter craft of choice) atmosphere capable, and that Starhawk bombers apparently void-only, I can see his point.

I'd note, however, that for the same mass and volume as a Starhawk (according to Execution Hour), you could fit 2 Marauder bombers (according to Imperial Armour), although you'd need extra volume for the needed support gear for the second Marauder. Marauders can't carry as much in the way of payload, and aren't quite as agile in void-combat, but they are capable of air-breathing flight.

Also, if memory serves, the Arvus doesn't mount any weapons...

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Thanks, Alesso

 

but what happend to the good old Lighting / Lighting Strike Fighters? I sought they were both cabable of Void & Atmosphere. So no "Deep Void Fighters", they were mentioned to operate from "orbiting space ships" in the "Imperial Armour" (yes, bedamned be cross-referencing...but so be it!)

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Gregorius21778 said:

but what happend to the good old Lighting / Lighting Strike Fighters? I sought they were both cabable of Void & Atmosphere. So no "Deep Void Fighters", they were mentioned to operate from "orbiting space ships" in the "Imperial Armour" (yes, bedamned be cross-referencing...but so be it!)

The Thunderbolts and Lightnings of the Imperial Navy are both void-capable... just. They're capable of deploying from and returning to orbiting carriers where necessary, but it's preferable to operate them from an established terrestrial airbase instead, partly because it takes a fair amount of fuel for a fighter to leave a planet, and partly because Thunderbolts and Lightnings aren't really very good in void combat (amongst other things, they're tiny one-man fighters, and hardly effective against the generally far larger craft that perform the equivalent role in the void).

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Remember too that if you're following canon times for things coming into or leaving use, the Lightning has just entered service in the segmentum and is being produced at Cypra Mundi.  The Marauder has been phased out in many sector commands as a space bomber in favor of the Starhawk, but continues to see use in some sectors, as well as use as an atmospheric bomber. 

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BaronIveagh said:

Remember too that if you're following canon times for things coming into or leaving use, the Lightning has just entered service in the segmentum and is being produced at Cypra Mundi.  The Marauder has been phased out in many sector commands as a space bomber in favor of the Starhawk, but continues to see use in some sectors, as well as use as an atmospheric bomber. 

Canon times are canonically subject to inaccuracy (that's the purpose of the check digit in the Imperial dating system). We don't know the actual check digits for many dates given (as we're frequently only given the year and millennium digits), but between the vagaries of Warp travel and Astrotelepathy, a given date should be viewed as only approximate unless it involves Terra directly.

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Remember, however, the size of the shuttles and the like. They seem to usually be about 50m long, and between 30-70m wide (depending if they have wings or not). They will take up a lot of space, especially in anything smaller than a Light Cruiser. That's why I go for about 10 shuttles, maximum of 20, because each of those can carry 10 or so tonnes worth of supplies back up to the ship, which yea, will take a few days, if alone on an alien world, to restock the ship. However, it's getting a balance of space on the ship for goods, and space on the ship for shuttles.

Just think of it like big commercial shipping tankers nowadays. They might have a crane on board to help unload the goods, but 9 times out of 10, there are cranes, forklift trucks, etc waiting at the dock to unload it all for them.

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You see my idea was that while normal traders would probably have minimal secondary craft relying on local craft to shift freight about the whole point of rogue traders is that they are out on the edge where it might be vital to be able to do it themselves.  I've ruled that their fighters and bombers can be converted by them to work in atmo, but as they wern't designed for it they arn't very good at it (the fighters are supposed to be 747 size after all!) and so would probably have problems with atmospheric craft (basically you don't want to do it unless you have to) also it takes a long time to convert them back and forth (and can horribly break the craft)  so they can, but could take very heavy losses and they wouldn't have them available for space combat while doing this. 

 

I've also got a module for ships in my game that is basically "so you want to land on a planet and hurt people" which allows them to have ships (for better ability at landing troops) and atmospheric fighter/bomber craft. 

 

They also have to think about it as being far out into the void they will have dificulty getting replacement craft (Arvus lighters excepted as in the past there has been bumph about shipboard artisans making small secondary craft and the Arvus seems to fit the bill) and so if they expend their secondary craft they may not have them when they need them or at least not of the quality.  So far they have used them sparingly using the bombers to finish off damaged enemy ships so that they can move onto the next threat with their ship and using the fighters for escort and CAP missions.

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One simplistic way to approach this is to assume that every ship has two broad classes of civilian shuttles/lighters:-

1. A couple of light shuttles capable of carrying personnel (like an Aquila Lander or arvus lighter)

2. A couple of very heavy but incredibly slow and vulnerable cargo loading shuttles that can also ferry large numbers of crew around.

If pretty much every unmodified ship is restricted to these two types of civilian shuttle, then the ship would be able to do whatever is asked of it. It can deliver player characters to the surface of planets quickly and efficiently. The larger shuttles can transfer cargo and large numbers of crew around, but very slowly, and a great deal of planning/cunning would be required to put large numbers of crew into a combat situation, given the vulnerability of the larger shuttles. You could also theoretically unload the entire crew from your ship using the larger shuttles, but this would take days of trips back and forth.

It also means that there is a tremendous incentive to upgrade your ship to include proper guncutters and dropships capable of entering combat properly, or effecting aggressive boarding operations against rival vessels.  

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For a group of new players, I give the players default options.  Better than some, but room for improvment.

Paramilitary grade cargo transports and transport vessels.  They don't use civilian gear, because its too fragile, and they don't have military grade - because the players have not invested any proft into it.   Their vessels are armed and armoured, could easily threaten a civlian populations and make any paramilitary group very nervous - and a notable concern for a small military force.

The craft that serve as armed vessels with no primary transport function are controlled directly by the RT and the dedicated 'police' force.  They also have a dedicated dock, that is more guarded and secured than the bulk freight.

Naturally, the RT also has a richly appointed launch for personal use, including impressing passengers, and a private and very secure and equally luxuriously appointed berth.

I also exclude any dedicated military equipment and forces (no tanks, bombers, fighters, or iG/PDF equivilents), from starting equipment:  any such additions are a choice by players to focus on military matters, and require an investment of resources to do so.

That said, i would give the players two large bulk carriers, a half dozen mid-sized and a dozen small craft.  The dedicated guard craft would include 3 mid-sized escorts and a half dozen small craft. 

Of the total amount 3/4 of them are considered "in-storage" and require a certain amount of work to be serviceable. 

 

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