DIY starship part 4

This is the final installment of the Intercept design system tutorial, you can get the files you need here (updated 2010-08-01).

Well, we are done with the design work for our Suleiman class Scout/Courier, lets see what game stats it got and what they mean. Eventually we will fill in one of those DataCards for the ship so it can be used in Intercept.

Crew requirements

There is a table that lists crew requirements for your ship located to the right. All crew members except technicians need crew stations to function. There is some leeway for crew on smaller ships, especially if they are civilian in nature. A ship can get by with just one sensor operator as long as it never performs more than one scan per turn (Intercept has a rule that says each side can only do two scans per turn, they must be of a unique types for a single ship and the Visual/IR cannot both be used from the same ship, only one scan per sensor op however.

Sensor ops can double as gunnery crew but then the ship may not use sensors (aside from maintaining tracks) if the ship attacked earlier in the turn. Astrogators can double as pilots on small civilian ships. If a crew must perform double duty, in a roleplaying situation, he must say so at the first task and suffers a -3 DM on both tasks. Do not allow this in non rpg play.

Technicians are the maintenance crew for the ship, one for each 50 MCr of ship or fraction thereof. The technicians also form the repair crew that will move around the ship and do jury-rigs on battle damage. Repair crew are assumed to wear vacc suits and can do repairs on the outside of the ship (hull and surface locations) but this is done at considerable risk, especially when the ship is thrusting.

Signatures

A ships signatures, or Sig for short, measures how much the ship radiate for the various sensors, for radar it measures how much radar energy it reflects. Signatures depends on how you design your ship but also what the ship does, the captain has several options for signature reduction available to him.

Size The Size value is not really a signature, it simply represents the size of your ship. Each +2 in Size equals x10 larger ship in volume (and +6 DAB). Visual(Hull), Infrared(Hull), Radar(Hull) and Mass(Hull) all increase with your ships Size but so does the surface area, tradeoffs, tradeoffs. If a Sig has a value in parenthesis after the regular one it shows your ships Sig when the Hull has taken Light or more damage.

Visual(Hull) This is a measure of your ships reflectiveness in visual light. If the ship is in planetary shadow this Sig is reduced by -6. If a ship is Streamlined or better and faces directly towards the sun the Visual(Hull) Sig is reduced by -2, this does not apply in planetary shadow. Our Suleiman has +5(+7) as Visual(Hull) signature.

Visual(Thrust) This represents the bright light from the hot exhaust plume of fission or fusion rockets, it increases with ship size and thrust. Ignore this signature when the ship is drifting. The Suleiman has neither fission nor fusion rockets so there is no Visual(Thrust) signature.

Infrared(Hull) This represents the thermal radiation from the ships hull, this Sig increases with the Size of the hull. Infrared(Hull) is usually quite low but is valid even if the power plant is off from battle damage. The Suleiman has +1 as its Infrared(Hull) signature.

Infrared(Power) This represents the thermal radiation from the powerplant radiators, this Sig increases with power output. If a ship uses 10% or less of powerplant full power its Infrared(Power) is reduced by -2, this is called running on idle. The Suleiman with its 1.93 EP (if 1 dTon = 5 m3 48.3 MW) powerplant has an Infrared(Power) signature of +4.

Infrared(Thrust) This represents the thermal radiation from the hot exhaust plume of fission or fusion rockets, it increases with ship size and thrust. Ignore this signature when the ship is drifting. The Suleiman has neither fission nor fusion rockets so there is no Infrared(Thrust) signature.

Radar(Hull) This represents the radar reflective area of the ship, it increases with ship size and is significantly larger for open frame hulls. Popped down ships with retracted sensors and weapons have radar(Hull) reduced by -2 (it has no effect on open frame hulls), they are also unable to attack and suffer -2 on sensors. The Suleiman has a Radar(Hull) signature of +7.

Neutrino(Power) This represents the neutrino radiation from the fission or fusion powerplant, this Sig increases with power output. If a ship uses 10% or less of powerplant full power its Neutrino(Power) is reduced by -2, this is called running on idle. The Suleiman with its 1.93 EP (if 1 dTon = 5 m3 48.3 MW) powerplant has an Infrared(Power) signature of +4.

Neutrino(Thrust) This represents the neutrino radiation from the ships fission or fusion rockets, it increases with ship size and thrust. Ignore this signature when the ship is drifting. The Suleiman has neither fission nor fusion rockets so there is no Neutrino(Thrust) signature.

Mass(Hull) This represents the gravity force from the ships hull and its floorfield if present, it increases with ship size. A ship with its floorfield turned off has Mass(Hull) reduced by -2. The Suleiman has a Mass(Hull) signature of +7.

Mass(Thrust) This represents the gravity distortions from the ships reactionless thruster, it increases with ships size and thrust. A ship that is drifting has no Mass(Thrust) signature. The Suleiman has a Mass(Thrust) signature of +13 when thrusting.

The next section of the ship data holds the sensor values for each of the ships sensor types.

Scan = Sensor + Scan radius modifier (+Integration bonus)

Signal = Scan + Signature

-1 or less Undetected The target was not registered in any way and you get no information from it, not even if there was a target inside the scan or not.

0-2 Noticed You know there is something out there but not where, except somewhere inside your scan. The sensing ship is automatically Spotted if the target gets a Noticed+ result.

3-5 Detected You know where the target is but not its vector. Detected Radar targets will give you there vector instead of their position. The target is not spotted so you will not be shown its next move and you cannot yet attack it.  Radar only: The sensing ship is automatically Spotted by the target if it gets a Noticed+ result.

6+ Spotted You know where the target is, what its vector is and what kind of target its is. As long as the target is within max spotted range and line of sight is not blocked (from planet or aft centerline) it will remain Spotted and you will see how it moves before you perform yours. Oh, did I mention that you can now attack your target. Attacking with any beam weapon except meson guns will have the attacker spotted by the target automatically.  The sensing ship is automatically Spotted if the target gets a Noticed+ result.

The Suleiman has a Visual/IR Scan of +2 and a Radar Scan of +1.

ARM and DAB

Armor and damage absorption, or ARM and DAB for shorts, represent how hard the ship is to penetrate (except for meson gun fire) and how much damage the ship can take. Both ARM and DAB are logarithmic values where each +6 means x10 more (x10 thicker armor, x10 more hitpoints if you will). If a weapons PEN (Penetration) is less than the targets ARM it cannot harm the target and if a weapons DAM (damage) is less than the targets DAB it cannot harm the target. The table shows the values for ARM and DAB for each of the ships six hitlocations.

The Surface and Power locations need further elaboration. Surface hitlocation has two ARM values, the left one is when the sensors and weapons are popped up and the second value, after the slash, is for when they are popped down. When a ship is in popped down mode it cannot fire weapons, its sensors are reduced by -2 and all but open frame ships have their Radar(Hull) signature reduced by -2. Some designs may have two ARM values for the Power hitlocation as well. If so, the two values represents the ARM value when the powerplant operates normally and when running idle at 10% power output. The reason for this is that ships with high enough power density must have their power plant heat radiators extended from the hull and this make the more vulnerable.

Our Suleiman have the ARM and DAB values as shown on the table, not much to speak about there. As it has 2 EP or less per 100 dTon (0.1 MW per m3 or less) the power location has just a single value.

Well, thus endeth the fourth lesson in Do It Yourself starship design, please post questions, complaints or praise here at the blog/ Backman

Mnemonics Neatly Eliminate Mankind’s Only Nemesis;

Insufficient Cerebral Storage.

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