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Month Index: February, 1995

From:     Michael Sandy <mehawk@?????.?????.com>
Date:     Wed, 1 Feb 95 18:25 PST
Subject:  Re: Ship Battles and Air Worlds
You mentioned battles _can_ take place in Wildspace, I'd like to know how.
In order to have a battle in Wildspace the two fleets must come within
visual range of each other.  Call it 5 miles, heck, call it 20 miles.
In deep space, with only a star fix to know where you are, you expect
to know where _you_ are, let alone anyone else, within 20 miles???

Even if you know the origin point, target point, and departure time extremely
accurately, what guarantee do you have that intentionally or accidently
your enemy is on a straight line between the two.  Besides, a straight
line between two objects over a thousand miles in diameter covers a lot a

It requires saying "the gods of the universe will it" an awful lot to make
wildspace combat more than a freak occurance.

As to trade winds being useless, perhaps I should say rivers of air.  It isn't
the speed that the air is moving that causes damage, its the turbulence.  It
could be possible that winds that are nearly supersonic with respect to some
'fixed' object have a sufficiently smooth flow as to be navigable.

Another reason to look for trade winds is so that the mage can rest!  More
cargo can be hauled if the winds are in your favor, especially ones with
huge surfaces like Elven Man O' Wars.

W/resp to Star Trek, I do indeed object to having two speeds when they are
wildly inconsistent from series to series as to whether combat can take
place at warp.  I don't mind being able to build up greater velocity when
travelling in a straight line, I do mind the ship being _more_ maneuverable
at Spelljamming speeds.  I do mind the instant-stop with respect to the primary
whenever another object is encountered.

Part of this is because of a few piratical schemes for capturing ships in
Wildspace, if you can overcome the obstacle of finding other ships in the
first place.

1)Have a bunch of ships with minimal crew components englobe target ship.
Prevent it from acheiving Spelljamming speeds or closing with any of your
ships.  Wait until its air goes bad.

This _has_ the disadvantage that naval patrol vessels with the same technology
could find _you_, but that requires patroling a _lot_ of space, and requires
the Game master to make a potentially destabilizing technology _common_ if
he is going to allow it at all.

Why would such a technology become common?  Because any nation that gains the
ability to detect enemy ships at great range, say 1 million miles, will rule
Wildspace until the technology ceases to be a monopoly.

According to the Spelljammer handbook, flying creatures can fly as normal
as long as their air envelope is fresh.  Flyers with maneuverability classes
A or B translates to ship maneuverability class A, everything else is class B.

As to Spelljammers not being prepared for real weather, this is true, they
are more likely to be able to spot it coming at a distance, and be
able to dodge or outrun it, and they are unlikely to be physically dashed
against anything or run aground, but they could be carried off course a
_great_ distance.  Most ships would be fairly safe if they reefed all sail,
for some ships that is actually impossible though.

Another benefit to having the campaign inside a Large air body, ~million miles,
is that ship speed do not need to be incredibly great to get you place.
At SR 3, or 1200 miles a day, a 3 month voyage takes you 100,000 miles,
arduous, but frequently done by ocean going sailing vessals.  Entering a
Jet Stream could halve that journey time.  A ship could go to the farthest
reaches of the universe in a few years, or the universe as the people of
the Cloud perceive it.  Perhaps a demented navigator theorizes that travel
could be speeded up enormously by sailing away from the Cloud, into Deep
Space, and rapidly orbiting the Cloud to enter somewhere else!

There is also a much higher premium on skilled pilots when a skilled pilot
can greatly reduce travel time.  A fleet could be greatly slowed by an
illness of one ship's primary spelljammer and having to rely on the ships'
secondary spelljammer.  A fleet having a qualitative edge on pilots, higher
skill, higher level could perform much better in _strategic_ terms than the
same fleet in Wildspace.  It would be like having an army which could march
twice as far in a day, in addition to being faster on the battlefield.

In a Spelljamming universe, there might be breathable air surrounding the
rings of Saturn, making the whole ring a potential center for Spelljamming


Previous Message: ftp sites.....again! (ARRRRGH!)
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Month Index: February, 1995

SubjectFromDate (UTC)
Re: Ship Battles and Air Worlds    Ken Lipka    01 Feb 1995 12:54:03
Re: Ship Battles and Air Worlds    Skreyn@???.com    01 Feb 1995 17:29:29
Re: Ship Battles and Air Worlds    Michael Sandy    02 Feb 1995 02:25:00

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