Space battle above, was Re: Land Battles on, Basilisk
From: Oerjan Ohlson <f92-ooh@n...>
Date: Fri, 15 Nov 1996 07:44:40 -0500
Subject: Space battle above, was Re: Land Battles on, Basilisk
On Thu, 14 Nov 1996, Tom Granvold wrote:
> > On Wed, 13 Nov 1996, Tom Granvold wrote:
> > > While I tend to like space combat over ground, I did find
> > > possibly interesting fictional source. I just finished reading
> > > Honor Harrington novel, _On Basilisk Station_. The final space
> > > wouldn't make an interesting scenerio. A frigate chasing a Q ship
> > > size of a dreadnought!
> Oerjan Ohlson wrote:
> > ...no, a light cruiser chasing a Q-ship, in what is mainly a missile
> > with lots and lots of ECM. The Grav Lance and Energy Torps (...why
> > they remind me of Starfire's Plasma Guns?) could be interesting in
> > though...
> Opps, yes Harrington's ship is a cruiser not a frigate. But it
> seems a unbalanced fight to me. Her ship, the Fearless, had two
> missile tubes to the Q ship's six. Also, she had far fewer missiles.
> They both have point defense against the missiles in addition to
> anti-missile missiles.
Ah, but the Manty equipment was far, far superior to the PN units.
Someone on the net has an FT variant where most equipment is graded, and
you compare the grade of opposing things - eg, missile ECM vs
point-defence targetting - to modify the success chances.
> The Fearless only won because Honor Harrington
> lured the Q ship into the Grav Lance range (very short range) and hit
> the Q ship by surprise. The Q ship could have easily destroyed the
> Fearless by firing on it from medium range. The only other advantage
> the Fearless had is that its technology was somewhat better that that
> of the Q ship.
First of all, a missile in the HH universe is far less powerful than a
missile. Even a destroyer usually survives the first few missile hits
least from laser warheads)... On the other hand, a ship can have lots of
them, leading to long missile engagements (which FT currently isn't very
good at modelling :( )
Second, although the captain of the Q-ship made a fatal blunder in
the range, his ship had taken a severe pounding. In FT terms it had
at least one, and quite probably two, treshold rolls, judging from the
terms a DN-sized Q-ship would need to suffer about 7 points of damage to
take those two rolls!)
Third, the Manties' tech superiority was considerable in the Basilisk
incident. It grew during the next five or so years - at the outbreak of
the war, the PN admiralty considered Manty ships to be equal to about
of their own hull mass in PN capital units - but the Basilisk incident
the first substantial proof of it.
Finally, in FT the Fearless would have been in the rear arc of the
Q-ship, so it couldn't have been shot at ;)
In FT, the difference in damage points would be 11 for the RMNS Fearless
to somewhere between 15 and 20 (ie, DN- to SD- sized Q-ship) for the PNS
ship; not too great a difference.
In the HH universe, ship size grown much, much faster from class to
than in FT. The Fearless was a light cruiser massing a mere 90.000 tons,
while an average heavy cruiser massed 300.000 tons and a
masses about 8.000.000 tons. The Q-ship massed about 10.000.000 tons,
it didn't use very much of that space for weapons - it operated as a
merchant ship, and had huge store-rooms. In FT I would model this as a
huge commercial super-ship packed with (lower-grade) weapons rather than
Having said all this: You shouldn't have to be lucky to win this battle
you need a dumb opponent...
"Father, what is wrong?"
"My shoes are too tight. But it does not matter, because
I have forgotten how to dance."
- Londo Mollari