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Kaihlik

Small craft and ground vehicles

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One thing I have been trying to work out before my Rogue Trader game starts is the often asked how many smaller ships should they have. The ship comes with one hanger bay able to accomodate up to 6 craft of varying size.

My Solution has been to allocate the Vehicles a points value that is directly related to their Availability up to 9. I then give the players access to any vehicles in the book up to 30 points. Players could increase or decrease the quality of the vehicle by adding 1 for good quality and 2 for best quality (at the moment I dont have any rules for them but they mostly look better) or subtracting 1 for poor quality. The points cannot excede 9.

The points were simply

Ubiquitous          1
Abundant            2
Plentiful               3
Common            4
Average               5
Scarce                 6
Rare                    7
Very Rare            8
Extremely Rare  9

For Lighter bays I am having it so that the max capacity is either 8, 10 or 12 Arvus Lighters I have yet to decide.

For both the lighter bay and the Drop Pods the players will roll a d100 at the start of the game

01-75      Full Compliment  (Max Capacity)
76-95      Half Compliment (1/2 Max Capacity)
95-00      Quarter Compliment (1/4 Max Capacity)

This roll represents the chance of previous losses that the ship has experianced either through battle damage, poor maintenance or lack of replacement parts.

I think this is a fairly elegant solution to the question of smaller vehicles and has the advantage of being easily customisable by the GM, if you want them to have more vehicles just increase the points allowance. You could allocate points for each type of vehicle if you want them to focus more on shuttles or have a minimum amount of ground transport. Also it gives the players a level of choice and allows them to customise their small vehicle loadouts.

Let me know what you think  or changes you would make.

Kaihlik

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 I think determining which special vehicles (Aquila Landers, Guncutters, Fury Interceptors) the group has is important, especially how many, but I wouldn't put a number on their cargo shuttles...simply say...a lot!

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I honestly don't like the alot approach. It gives way to too much ambiguity which doesn't matter most of the time but when the circumstance comes up when you need to know how much stuff you can move then its not very good. Im going by the idea that the ship will either dock directly with the station to take on supplies or the station will supply it with

Plus I dont like the devaluing that it has on taking the Lighter bay, I know it gives a mechanical bonus to completing objectives but the characters hardly think about the achivement point totals. I wanted a tangable benifit for taking the lighter bay.

Its not in the rules and I am still considering upping it. In fact I am considering making it all relative to hull type. Transports having large launch bays and a number of points that they can only spend on lighters and barges, cruisers having a large launch bay and points total with no restictions. Im just very aware that the ship book will add launch bays as a component so I dont want to have rules that make those seem pointless.

Kaihlik

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Okay, this is not completely related but it has come up. My group's ship has barracks, and I ruled that this would also come with a commensurate number of "landing boat" ships to carry the troops either to another ship or planetside. I described them as big and clunky, rather like the boats that stormed the beaches at Normandy. Just a way to get troops from here to there. They are unarmed and clumsy. The players do use them occasionally to move small amounts of goods around (such as materials to build quick bunkers) but that's about all. Now that Into the Storm is out, they were talking about getting something more versatile like a Guncutter, but I didn't assume they just had one. They also have a Teleportarium so we haven't had to deal as much with the complications of getting planetside. I never really thought about what other vehicles might be around to be honest.

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High Kaihlik,

first, I do not think that their is anything like a one point vehicle. As far as I can see, the aren´t that common. Your table (although very neat) starts to low, me thinks.

Otherwise, I think it is a good approach. In case of the arvus Lighter, giving them only six with the Lighter Bay is a little wanting in my books. The Arvus Lighter is essential a van. Not more. If the Lighter Bay is to be of any value for moving cargo around; I would talk about twenty of them. At least. 

Talking "six vehicles without any need for ship component", I would raise this point defnitively. After all, the "Hit & Run manouvre" is something meant to be performed by a group of attack crafts. Eighteen would be my suggestion. (12 Fighters of unknown type and 6 large shuttles intended for transport. Perhpas only 5 shuttles and the Lord-Captains gun-cutter). 

Talking fighters and stuff: I wonder how this "hit and run" is supposed to work? Are we to expect that every ships has a dozen of fighter ready without buying any component? If not, where did the fighter craft for the combat manouvre came from?

 

Greetings
Gregorius21778

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 I've generally been assuming (and ruling) that hit+run is being done pretty much wholly by armed shuttles (as it is in BfG; the IN's favourite apparently being Shark Assault Boats). What little cover and SEAD (if you can call it that in a vacuum) they get is being done by craft in their own formation, or possibly one or more unloaded (and so more maneuvrable) shuttles flying "pathfinder" ahead of the main formation.

You want fighter cover, you have to get fighters essentially.

I'll also throw in an opinion blatantly stolen from Traveller, as well as some of the "harder" sci-fi/space operas: fighters have excellent acceleration, but their limited volume means their consumables (fuel, air, ammo, etc.) are also rather limited. This means that they must be somewhat circumspect with their delta-vee, and so are most useful when actively accelerated on their intended base course by their home vessel. Without such an initial boost, their operational range is far more limited.
Essentially,  you could swap out cargo shuttles, lighters, skiffs and ship's boats for Starfuries and similar, and launch them from the shuttle bays; but you'd get much better bang for your buck from a purpose built combat launch bay (think Battlestar Galactica).

Rules-wise, I just treat that as an intercept/strike range of 8VUs (Bombers get 6-7, and the standard array of small craft, assault boats and common quality guncutters are 5, as in the RAW), but only when they're being "combat launched". If you don't have a hangar bay, or can't/don't want to use it for some reason, you're stuck with the 5VU range.

As for how many each ship has, well, military small craft do not exactly come as standard, but what I have done is guesstimate an approximate available cubage for each component, and assign values for how much space each boat takes up (including necessary support equipment), and allow players to pick and choose their small craft up to the maximum available cubage (30 for the main cargo bay, 45 for the cargo and lighter bay, and 20 for a compartmentalised hold- an Arvus/Aquilla costs 1 cubage, a Lightning/Thunderbolt fighter takes up 2, a Fury/Marauder takes 3, a guncutter/Starhawk bomber takes 4, while most Guard dropships and medium/large cargo shuttles take 5).

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