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Re: tugs and firing arcs

From: J Noble <jnoble@a...>
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 19:21:09 -0900
Subject: Re: tugs and firing arcs

Oerjan Ohlson wrote:

>Glen wrote:
>> A ship is towing a pod into battle (i.e., a "battle tug").  Are both
>> the ship and pod portrayed as one unit or as two separate units?
>Anything towed by a tug counts as a separate unit. True modular units
>(where the modules are bolted semi-permanently to the hull) count as
>single units, but it would be easier to refit than normal ships in a
>campaign game.
>> This affects targeting, firing sequence, plotting (although I think
>> that one plot affects both), critical systems, threshold checks,
>> hull layout.  The modular Sparrowhawk design from SFB gave me
>> some ideas for ship designs but I'm not sure how it should be
>> implemented in the game.  Using the towing rules I can gain 10% space
>> for items.
>Which towing rules? The "tug and tender" sections in FT2 and FB only
>cover FTL tugs and not sub-light ones while the special rules in the
>scenario "You call, we haul" in MT restricts the sublight tug/towee
>pair to a velocity of 4mu/turn in a straight line; neither seems
>entirely appropriate for what you describe.

The Tug rules, and related docking rules, are sadly missing.  I played
around with some stuff for this once - I was throwing together modular
freighters for some discussions we were having on the list.  What I did
(and this was entirely off the cuff) was this:

Design the tug with it's tug-class FTL - this gives you known FTL
Attach fairly beefy main drive to tug if you want the ability to move
another ship in normal space.

For the combined pair, add their masses together, and find out what
percentage of the total the main drive of the tug is.  From there you
out what level of thrust you can use based on the happy formulas from
fleet book.  Simple enough really - So a mass 100 tug could have thrust
8, but when "towing" another mass 100 ship, it has an effective thrust
4.  If it were capable of towing mass 300 external, then it would have a
thrust of 2.

Now the wrinkle -

Since the tug write up does not talk about linkage for normal thrusting,
there should probably be some portion of tug mass set aside for the
equipment to mate with another ship and allow it to maneuver it with the
tug's main drive.  Here's my $.02 -

If multiple ships are specifically designed to mate, (such as a modular
freighter) a portion of their total combined mass must be set aside as
'linkage' - it may be distributed between the individual ships as the
designer sees fit.  I do not this this should take more than 10% mass (I
rather think 5%).  So, for example, you could put all of the linkage
into a tug, and not have to pay the cost for each and every cargo
When combined the ships act as a single target (more details on that
another time).

If, instead you wanted a tug capable of relatively "universal" mating -
perhaps a fleet rescue tug - the percentage set aside for linkage must
higher.  I generally think that the 2 ships could then be separate
at least at short ranges.

Tonnage of linkage could also make some difference in quality of link -
maximum thrust the linkage could maintain - limits on turns - that kind

Does that make any sense?  Any interest in pursuing this further?

Jared Noble

<unlurking after being off-list for 5 months - you guys have been busy!>

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