KH - Why Perpendicular Deck Configuration?

AZ_GAMER's picture
AZ_GAMER
June 2, 2008 - 1:26am
I always recognized, and most of the time used, the original KH concept of starship decks being perpendicular to the ships axis but never gave it a lot of serious thought. From an earlier discussion in another topic's explanation about ADF using hard science examples, this placement of decks makes a lot of sense. However, I would like to try and reconcile this if possible with the common sci-fi media concept which often uses a horizontal to axis deck arrangement much like that of modern millitary naval craft. I hope the community can help me out with some thought provoking discussion here. Can horizontal deck placement be used? If so what hard science would be needed or support this (conventional or speculative)? How are atmo capable vessels with perpendicular deck placement effected by flying horizontally when operating in atmo?, and finally thoughts on why most artistic depictions seem to be of horizontal deck placement and how to reconcile to keep with the continuity and spirit of the game's vision. Thanks meet me at the new topic to discuss.
Comments:

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
June 2, 2008 - 5:00am
I've got to run to my pre-launch collaboration meeting but here is a short answer.  In order to get the parallel to axis decks to work you need at the minimum artificial gravity generators and preferably inertial dampners as well.  These would be needed to overcome the effects of acceleration due to the ship's engines and to keep your feet on the floor.

For atmospheric capable ships you can assume gimballing chairs or even decks if you want.

There are some great discussions on this topic over in the starfrontiers.org forums in the Ship Shape Discussion forum.  You should check those out and read them.  I'll try to find specific links later when I have a chance.

Got to run, T-4 days to launch!
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Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
June 2, 2008 - 6:59am
There is an assault scout in one of the modules, (The War Machine??) that has a bridge that pivots. Perp for space flight and horizontal for atmo flight.

Sam's picture
Sam
June 2, 2008 - 7:08am
That was the Elenor Mores (SP) that had the pivoting bridge, I think. There was a pic in War Machine showing the assault scout landed as a regular aircraft. Having perpendicular arrangements for decks would prove dangerous should something happen to your inertial dampners/artificial gravity -- everyone would get slammed around, far worse than you ever saw in Star Trek.

Imperial Lord's picture
Imperial Lord
June 2, 2008 - 8:02am
I have thought a lot about this - not so much from a realism perspective as a coolness perspective.

Having a warship parked standing up just looks dumb and rather phallic, actually.

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
June 2, 2008 - 9:12am
Let's make sure we use consistent language here so we don't get confused.  When I say perpendicular decks I mean that the "floor" of the deck is perpendicular to the thrust axis so that engaging the engines results in a preceived force pushing you to the floor like gravity.  Parallel decks means that the "floor" of the deck is aligned with the thrust axis so if the ship is sitting on it's side on the ground you can stand up and walk around.  If you're in space with this arrangement and turn on your engines you will be pushed against the back wall if you don't have something to compensate for the forces.
    So perpendicular decks are safe when the gravity generators die as the acceleration is still toward the floor.  Parallel decks smash you into the back wall and you have to walk around sideways.

    As far as I could tell skimming back through the modules (reading text and looking at diagrams), the Eleanor Moraes doesn't have a pivoting bridge, just the chairs that could lock into differnt positions.  There is no room in the hull as drawn to pivot the entire bridge. 
    The Sathar scout ship on the other hand, does has a parallel deck floor plan.  However, this seems to be as much an atmospheric craft as a space craft and the rooms that would be used most in spaceflight, the bridge and crew decks look like their contents could easily swivel to handle the different force vectors.
    As for that picture with the AS on it's side on the ground, I just never liked that one.  I always calked it up to the artist not reading the rulesInnocent carefully.  It does look nicer to have the AS on it's side, but it doesn't look bad to have it standing up either athough it is not as easy to hide that way Smile.  The KH deckplans for the AS included on back of the map are perpendicular.  Thus everything in that ship would be on it's side and the crew is walking on the walls.

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Sargonarhes's picture
Sargonarhes
June 2, 2008 - 7:22pm
Well only ships HS 3 with atomic drives can land on a planet, HS 5 for ships with chemical drives. So this simplifies the design a bit. A HS 3 ship in reality doesn't need very large rooms for it's crew, a room that's a 2 meter square cube will be enough for sleeping quarters. With fixed compartments to be used in various gravities, the bed can be adjusted for the gravity.


 

If the ship is too big to land then this cabin arrangement will not be needed.

However if you are going to use artificial gravity and inertial dampeners, then there should also be anti-gravity which would allow you to land any size ship on a planet.

In every age, in every place, the deeds of men remain the same.

AZ_GAMER's picture
AZ_GAMER
June 2, 2008 - 7:40pm
Great discussion everyone!

Corvus's picture
Corvus
June 3, 2008 - 12:18am
Sargonarhes's picture reminds me that Dream Pod 9's Jovian Chronicles would make a great source of stuff for a Star Frontiers game that incorporates a lot of ship-based action.  Its ships have perpendicular decks and no inertial comps or artificial gravity, for example.
If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe. -- Carl Sagan

AZ_GAMER's picture
AZ_GAMER
June 3, 2008 - 2:49am
as a matter of curiosity, a poll if you will, who is using the classical perpendicular to axis configuration with the hard science approach, and who is using the speculative science approach (artificial grav and intertial dampening) approach of parallel to axis configuration. I currently use the classical because it is whats  in the game but a lot of ship designs could go either way and I am partial to the submarine style deck structure or modern naval vessel configuration for many of my non SF designs.

Imp lord, LOL yes sometimes my spacecraft art has been accused of being phallic in appearance by non-scifi folks. However in the void of open space where up down and sideways orientation are relative to the body observing them, I don't think it really matters what direction those Saturn rocket shaped space craft are facing. The observing subject could be upside down and parallel inverted to the craft being observed so asthetically I don't think it reallistically falls into the truely phallic appearance when in flight. Though it seems you were intending that humorously.

Imperial Lord's picture
Imperial Lord
June 3, 2008 - 10:55am
AZ - the phallic comment was both serious and humourous.  I just have to be careful with the words I use, so I don't get Larry and Bill don't get too excited...  LMAO

As to your poll, to be honest, I never knew about the perpendicular thing until it was explained to me on Art's site about a year ago.  In my tender teenage years, I (and the rest of my game group, for that matter) never got the perpendicular thing from the rules.  There is no direct mention of it in the canon, by the way.  You have to deduce it from the nature of the maps.

So we played along with the KH modules, blissfully ignorant, all the way through Warriors of White Light and even the capture operation of the Sathar Light Carrier in The Face of The Enemy.  The fact that we went through those modules, and had a great time, in spite of the misinterpretation of the science is proof that science stuff is not all that important in the first place.  I realize that you and others in this thread hold it near and dear, and that is the point of this thread.  But I want everyone to know that "scientific reconciliation" is not that big of a deal.  I hope everyone around here believes that and is just doing these threads as a fun intellectual exercise.

On other boards that shall remain nameless, I have seen knock-down, drag-out battles over stuff like this, which just saddens me.  After all, there are so many elements to the game other than science - and they are much more important.  Check my signature at the bottom of this post for more data.

But I digress...

Back to the poll.  Let me just put it this way: if there COULD be a way to have a parallel deck, I would much prefer it to a perpendicular one.  Through all of my years of watching and playing sci-fi, I had always envisioned it to be that way.  The films also portrayed it that way, pretty much.  At least it seemed that way to me and my people.  And I mean every single one - this was never even brought up in my group, which was a group of about 8 geeks that normally would think about this stuff.

As of now, I have accepted the perpendicular configuration.  This is similar to Bill's thread about the spaceship prereqs: I would take the side of the majority in the interest of not confusing or irritating my players.  But if parallel could be done, I think it would be much cooler, at the very least, and probably better, as well.

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
June 3, 2008 - 12:35pm
Actually, it is explictly in the canon rules in the section on deck plans.  (3rd paragraph, p 23 of the KH Campaign book)  It is also implied in other places when describing acceleration and decceleration (most noticably on p 33).

In any case, Imperial Lord is correct.  It's really not that important.  You can play the game just fine and not worry about it.  The only time I've ever seen where it becomes an issue is when you are designing small ships (HS 1 or 2).  In that case it can make a difference.  On the larger ships (even on the HS 3 Assault Scout), the hull is big enough in diameter that it doesn't really matter or at least becomes less important.  The AS deck plans on the KH map are 30' by 18' per level (with the corners cut off) and have about 500 sq ft per level.  It has 4 levels that size and two smaller levels.  That makes it bigger than the 4 bedroom townhome I lived in in Maryland.

If you haven't already guessed, I use the perpendicular plans personally.Smile
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Sargonarhes's picture
Sargonarhes
June 3, 2008 - 1:23pm
Corvus wrote:
Sargonarhes's picture reminds me that Dream Pod 9's Jovian Chronicles would make a great source of stuff for a Star Frontiers game that incorporates a lot of ship-based action. Its ships have perpendicular decks and no inertial comps or artificial gravity, for example.


Yes Jovian Chronicles can easily be adapted as a source for Star Frontiers, just drop the giant robots and add FTL drives to the ships. Although having worked on a conversion between Star Frontiers and Jovian Chronicles I find Jovian Chronicles ships like the Valiant strike carrier isn't much bigger than Star Frontiers minelayer, and it carrys 12 exo-suits or fighters. Which in turn justifies loading a Star Frontiers carrier with 20+ fighters.

Further hard sci-fi design has the larger ships from Jovian Chronicles with a rotating section, which extends it's range. I have seen websites for Star Frontiers where fans have introduced the same idea in various forms, although I think it's safe to save their influence and Jovian Chronicles for the idea was Babylon 5's Earth ships.
In every age, in every place, the deeds of men remain the same.

Corvus's picture
Corvus
June 3, 2008 - 6:48pm
Sargonarhes wrote:

Further hard sci-fi design has the larger ships from Jovian Chronicles with a rotating section, which extends it's range. I have seen websites for Star Frontiers where fans have introduced the same idea in various forms, although I think it's safe to save their influence and Jovian Chronicles for the idea was Babylon 5's Earth ships.


I love the design of the Valiant.  I'm not usually one for "hard" SF design when it comes to big space warships, but something about the Valiant really grabs me.  I think the EA destroyers from B5 are also quite nifty.  I'd be interested in seeing some Knight Hawks conversions, even though I'm not big on KH itself.
If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe. -- Carl Sagan

AZ_GAMER's picture
AZ_GAMER
June 4, 2008 - 12:55am

Just a clarification, I am not a solid hard science SF gamer, I like to balance the game with both elements of hard sci-fi and speculative/soft sci-fi. As a artist thought, especially when creating original works it is important to know one why something or form/function and two what the audience I am making the art for has as a expectation of what something should look like. In SF I have only too often seen inconsistent art lending confusion to players about how something should look or work. True, its Sci-fi and we can make it look, feel, or do pretty much an yway we like within reason. However, I have found that when esplaining to a player why his attempted action failed or succeed it is easier to do so when you have a little in the know behind the science of the science fiction. I never liked refs that just said that the reason your action failed is due to rule blah, blah, page, blah blah, etc. and didnt bother to explain why my 18th level near industructable pc just got knocked on his tookus. LOLFoot in mouth  So as far as reconcilliation, I know that we can do anything we want, the real beauty of a role playing games flexibility, however, I like to establish consistency to keep players intereted and engaged in a fair game. I guess the same reason why I don't allow Jedi or Jedi type characters in my campaigns because it is not particuarly consistant with the game universe being used in my game. However, I will never say never, and may allow it if a new campaign universe suggested or plot device supported a need for it.


AZ_GAMER's picture
AZ_GAMER
June 4, 2008 - 12:55am

Just a clarification, I am not a solid hard science SF gamer, I like to balance the game with both elements of hard sci-fi and speculative/soft sci-fi. As a artist thought, especially when creating original works it is important to know one why something or form/function and two what the audience I am making the art for has as a expectation of what something should look like. In SF I have only too often seen inconsistent art lending confusion to players about how something should look or work. True, its Sci-fi and we can make it look, feel, or do pretty much an yway we like within reason. However, I have found that when esplaining to a player why his attempted action failed or succeed it is easier to do so when you have a little in the know behind the science of the science fiction. I never liked refs that just said that the reason your action failed is due to rule blah, blah, page, blah blah, etc. and didnt bother to explain why my 18th level near industructable pc just got knocked on his tookus. LOLFoot in mouth  So as far as reconcilliation, I know that we can do anything we want, the real beauty of a role playing games flexibility, however, I like to establish consistency to keep players intereted and engaged in a fair game. I guess the same reason why I don't allow Jedi or Jedi type characters in my campaigns because it is not particuarly consistant with the game universe being used in my game. However, I will never say never, and may allow it if a new campaign universe suggested or plot device supported a need for it.


Will's picture
Will
June 4, 2008 - 1:16am
Arizona wrote:
and didnt bother to explain why my 18th level near industructable pc just got knocked on his tookus.


Y'mean," 'cause I said so, and I'm the GM," doesn't work anymore? :D


Seriously, I use parallel with artificial grav for my two future settings, perpendicular when in other people's houses, and, it really doesn't matter what's "canon" as long as the gaming's all good.

"You're everything that's base in humanity," Cochrane continued. "Drawing up strict, senseless rules for the sole reason of putting you at the top and excluding anyone you say doesn't belong or fit in, for no other reason than just because you say so."


—Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stephens, Federation

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
June 4, 2008 - 12:20pm
Before I got my hands on the Knight Hawks boxed set, let alone even knew of its existence, I had penned my own starship rules (more like guidelines...). At the time I used decks-parallel so when I did acquire teh KH set I translated my existing craft to the "new" rules and retained all the deckplans. After all the Serena Dawn was obviously a decks-parallel craft (moreso with the Omicron upper deck from the ref Scren).

It wasn't until recent years I began to redesign my ships to the KH decks-perpendicular ruling for "realism". In any event, as it was mentioned earlier...the science shouldn't be so precise as to ruin the fun of the game. If you want to incorporate neo-gravitics and inertial compensators (like the Traveller game does) then so be it, as long as it's all in the interest of a fun game.


Sargonarhes wrote:
Well only ships HS 3 with atomic drives can land on a planet, HS 5 for ships with chemical drives.


And this can be further developed to HS:5 starships with planetfall capabilities...after all why should the engine type be the defining characteristic? If a streamlined HS:5 system ship can land why not a streamlined HS:5 starship?

The atomic drive becomes an ethical issue in either event, as the debate of how much nuclear readiation emits from them exists. So to have auxilliary chem drives available for atmo-duty...it still stands to reason any HS:5 craft can make planetfall assuming a streamlined hull.
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

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Sargonarhes's picture
Sargonarhes
June 4, 2008 - 5:27pm
I don't use the KH decks-perpendicular ruling for realism as much as for species design preferences, then it can really confuse PCs when they board a ship with a combanation of both deck arrangments. I do this to allow for very advance races to have some features on their ships that others don't have, a Dralasilite ship will not need acceleration chairs for a Vrusk unless one signed on and so forth.
In every age, in every place, the deeds of men remain the same.

AZ_GAMER's picture
AZ_GAMER
June 5, 2008 - 5:18am
great input, I think the term realism fits this discussion well, because something that has not yet been invented like inertial dampening could be realistic even though it is not yet science fact. I would say realisitc does not necessarily indicate an absolute adhearance to hard science fact when creating as your game universe as much as plausible or possible. For example FTL, theoretically possible and thus using it in a realistic fashion could greatly contribute to a fair, balanced, and well crafted game. On the other side of the coin, as unexplainable plot device, FTL can leave you feeling unbalanced if not tempered with a dose of realism. Star Trek I think is one that is infamous for this, in making FTL so casual in the star trek universe they have made un-realistic and at times down right silly, way too common place and casual. Now one example that I like, though I do detest the explanation and visual effects used in the movie was Supernova (Yes, a realatively weak entry in the bubblegum sci-fi catagory). But I really liked the idea that making a jump in this movie universe was a big deal not to mention a potentially dangerous big deal. Nothing casual about making the wrong calculations and returning to normal space in the middle of some cosmic body/or folding space and poping out on the other side halfway through a moon (depending on the model of FTL you subscribe to or like). The point being, I think that both deck configurations hold merit in different circumstances and using different technologies, but a sense of realism is needed to help the players 1 suspend disbelief, 2 create a fair and equible game experience, and afford a sense of consistency. Not that we all have to have cookie cutter designs, I am very much against that, as seen in my earlier posts. There is a certain charm and uniqueness to perpendicular deck placement. Since windows, are pretty much only as good as your visual range and available light. Having capital ships with wheelhouse configurations or bridge "cannopies" is pretty much only a matter of asthetic taste as opposed to functionality. I wont say they are useless, just not particuarly necessary, unless the ship is atmo capable. So in capaital ships that never touch foot on the land spending their entire existence in the void of space, perpendicular deck arrangement is not a bad thing. I have several great 3d models that have a parrallel axis format that I have purchased for use in my 3d digital artwork, fortunatley they come with spinning gravity generating wheel assemblies so at least I can incorpoarte that concept into their use however, if it begs to differ that if I'm gonna use this model then why not go soft scifi all the way and just include field drive propulsion and teleporting technology too, this way we wouldnt need to be inconvienced in turning the ship around to decelerate (see adf thread) LOL. I think I will continue to try to reach the middle ground reconcilling a balance between what I would like to see possible with what already is known to be possible. But as mentioned, ultimately its up to the gamer and ref as to what kind of world they want to play in Jedi or astronaut, theres room for both in this remarkably versatile and timeless game we all love so much.

Imperial Lord's picture
Imperial Lord
June 5, 2008 - 6:38am
I would say that, for campaign purposes, it is probably very important to allow *any* ship to land on a planet.  Not to divert the thread, but I just wanted to get that out there.

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
June 5, 2008 - 7:07am
Absolutely.  It may not be a controlled landing and it may not be able to take off again but even a battleship could end up on a planet's surface.Smile
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Imperial Lord's picture
Imperial Lord
June 5, 2008 - 8:49am

I forgot who wrote it (Beowulf?  Terlobar?) but there was an excellent story relating to that on Art's site for a PBEM campaign about a year ago.  So good that I will probably steal, um... I mean "adopt" the storyline myself at some point.

In a nutshell, it was about a huge spaceliner (HS 20) misjumping and crash-landing on a distant planet.  Then the passengers and crew had to figure it all out, Gilligan-style.  Very cool and great potential.

Actually I think there was a thread about it on here at one point concerning certain aspects of the story.

In any case, the point remains - it is better to have the big ships able to land on planets, too, just to give refs a little more flexibility with their storylines.  Make up the necessary suitable tech - chemical atmospheric landing jets or filtration/reprocessing systems of atomic exhaust, or simply landing with manuever jet propulsion.  I think any of those three would be reasonable.

You could imagine a case where a PC says, "Hey, you can't land that Destroyer on planet Eeeboo!  It's a Hull Size 6!"  Grrrr...

Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled programming...


And yes indeed the Serena Dawn had a parallel deck configuration!  How about that?  Star Frontiers - game of contradictions!  LOL


Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
June 5, 2008 - 2:20pm
Imperial Lord wrote:

I forgot who wrote it (Beowulf? Terlobar?) but there was an excellent story relating to that on Art's site for a PBEM campaign about a year ago. So good that I will probably steal, um... I mean "adopt" the storyline myself at some point.

In a nutshell, it was about a huge spaceliner (HS 20) misjumping and crash-landing on a distant planet. Then the passengers and crew had to figure it all out, Gilligan-style. Very cool and great potential.

Beowulf -- and I'm working on coverting it from the sf.org/forums to an article for the SFMAN!

Wish we could keep playing that PBEM! It was fun.


Will's picture
Will
June 5, 2008 - 3:00pm
Imperial Lord wrote:

I forgot who wrote it (Beowulf?  Terlobar?) but there was an excellent story relating to that on Art's site for a PBEM campaign about a year ago.  So good that I will probably steal, um... I mean "adopt" the storyline myself at some point.

In a nutshell, it was about a huge spaceliner (HS 20) misjumping and crash-landing on a distant planet.  Then the passengers and crew had to figure it all out, Gilligan-style.  Very cool and great potential.

Actually I think there was a thread about it on here at one point concerning certain aspects of the story.

In any case, the point remains - it is better to have the big ships able to land on planets, too, just to give refs a little more flexibility with their storylines.  Make up the necessary suitable tech - chemical atmospheric landing jets or filtration/reprocessing systems of atomic exhaust, or simply landing with manuever jet propulsion.  I think any of those three would be reasonable.

You could imagine a case where a PC says, "Hey, you can't land that Destroyer on planet Eeeboo!  It's a Hull Size 6!"  Grrrr...

Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled programming...


And yes indeed the Serena Dawn had a parallel deck configuration!  How about that?  Star Frontiers - game of contradictions!  LOL



You read my mind...I allow ships of (almost)any HS to maneuver in atmo and land using maneuver jet thrust.

As for the Dawn, I have the specs round here somewhere(in the pile of papers and crap I did bring back from Georgia)for the Dawn-class starliner, which had a lenticular(lenslike)-shaped hull with four evenly-spaced Void engine pods and landed on its bottom when it made planetfall(the Serena Dawn's sister ship, the Golden Dawn, does this, when it lands at Gozzorf Starport in the module Dark Side Of the Moon), resembling a flying saucer the entire time it was grounded(and in atmo), and looking like a flying saucer set on its side, when in space. 


As the airlocks were set in the deck of the ship(per the Starship Bridge Area Map), allowing for goods and passengers to be uploaded from the ground via the bottom part of the ship, this makes perfect sense.

Least it does to my simple-minded self....

"You're everything that's base in humanity," Cochrane continued. "Drawing up strict, senseless rules for the sole reason of putting you at the top and excluding anyone you say doesn't belong or fit in, for no other reason than just because you say so."


—Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stephens, Federation

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
June 5, 2008 - 5:20pm
TerlObar wrote:
Absolutely.  It may not be a controlled landing and it may not be able to take off again but even a battleship could end up on a planet's surface.Smile


And survivng the impact becomes a whole new adventure...

Realistically, with minimal gravity and atmosphere any ship can land on a world. The HS:3 starship/HS:5 system ship (or simply any ship up to HS:5 as I like to play it) rule works for a 1G world, but for a 0.6G yazirian world I see no reason to expand that upwards accordingly in hull size to say...HS:8
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

AZ_GAMER's picture
AZ_GAMER
June 6, 2008 - 2:03am
Well, personally I don't think I subscribe that all HS ships regardless of size should be atmospheric capable. Sure I agree with misjump scenario and crash situations but having a battleship able to land on a planet under its own power and then lift off again is not a direction that I would go in unless the planet was extremely low gravity or low atmosphere. So I will agree that we can disagree on that area but I do respect your idea of using it in your campaign world. In the starwars universe they made some of the smaller old republic/imperial star destroyer type vessels atmo capable in the prequels but I thought it was really soft sci-fi and a big stretch, but maybe possible, anorexically thin maybe, but maybe. I will run some limitations on that, but thats just me. Not to mention the mess those huge vessels would make when they powered up and took off.

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
June 6, 2008 - 5:24am
Shadow Shack wrote:
Realistically, with minimal gravity and atmosphere any ship can land on a world. The HS:3 starship/HS:5 system ship (or simply any ship up to HS:5 as I like to play it) rule works for a 1G world, but for a 0.6G yazirian world I see no reason to expand that upwards accordingly in hull size to say...HS:8

Yes, the gravity is the key.  In space, there is nothing that has to support forces acting on the entire mass of the ship, except maybe the engine struts that have to withstand thier fraction of the total mass.  On the ground, whatever landing gear system you employ has to be able to support the entire weight (gavity x mass) of the vessel so with lower gravity you can support more weight and theoretically a larger ship could land.

Engine power would in theory not be an issue.  As long as the ship had an ADF higher than the gravity of the planet they were landing on they should have enough thrust to get off but would make a mess of where ever they landed if it wasn't designed to support them.
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AZ_GAMER's picture
AZ_GAMER
June 6, 2008 - 5:54am
ok, it bugged me so bad that I actually had to consult the rules. On the online PDF verson of the rules Page 67 the rule for planet landing does not specify any limitations on landing planet side based on Hull Size. For some reason I seem to remember that the original boxed set had some kind of rule reguarding Assault Scouts being the largest landing capable warship. Maybe I'm remembering it wrong but it seemed that the rule use to be more specific. I still have problems envisioning a HS20 Battleship making a graceful set down on an earth like planet. And as for landing gear, ok star trek voyager was a little bit of a stretch, but I was able to suspend disblief enough not to turn off the television everytime they decided to make a landing with such a massive craft. Landing an HS20 seems like your gonna need a lot of room for landing gear. And then begs the question? will it land horizontally or vertically (perpendicular decks). If it were landing vertically wouldnt that amount to dropping a large building out of the sky? I having a lot of trouble viewing this as necessary even if it is possible. After all isnt that what shuttles and small craft are for, ferrying personell from ship to shore or ship to ship (since we dont use teleporters or transporters in this game but maybe someone will develope this technology for use in their SF game or house rules). What in the wonder would a Battleship need to land on a planet for anyway? Then this begs the question, if captial ships can land planet side then dont we need a rules system for landed ship combat or ship based weapon use in atmoshpere? Some weapons may function differently inter atmosphere. For that matter I am not sure a masking screen would do anything planet side other than create a rainstorm (but it might be useful in putting out a fire) I might be willing to reconsider my current standing on the use of HS 5 or larger ships going atmosphereic if someone has some good answers as to the hows and whys.

AZ_GAMER's picture
AZ_GAMER
June 6, 2008 - 6:55am
The spacecraft in the movie the last starfighter landed vertically, however I think that was probably a HS 2 maybe a 3, and it was pretty big requiring an elevator for boarding.

Rum Rogue's picture
Rum Rogue
June 6, 2008 - 7:20am
AZ_GAMER wrote:
ok, it bugged me so bad that I actually had to consult the rules. On the online PDF verson of the rules Page 67 the rule for planet landing does not specify any limitations on landing planet side based on Hull Size. For some reason I seem to remember that the original boxed set had some kind of rule reguarding Assault Scouts being the largest landing capable warship.


SF Remastered book bottom of page 65 top of page 66
Take Offs from Planets
As described in the Spaceship Design section, only a few types of ships can land on planetary surfaces.  These types include all shuttles, system ships of hull size 5 or less, assault scouts, and other scout class starships. Scout class starships include military, exploration and research ships of hull size 3 with two atomic engines.

I like the idea of increasing that for lower grav worlds.

I was thinking that larger ships might be able to make a water landing. 

I have read some of the Lt. Leary books (by David Drake iirc), and all of their ships make make water landings. Some of the ships made dry gorund landings, but it was tricky becasue the rebounding thrust could skew the craft and cause it to loose its balance and make it crash.  Those ships had artificial gravity but only inside. So on landings and take off they required nothing but pure thrust to get the job done.
The starports were built around or made into harbors.  The engines used water as fuel/reaction mass.
Travel between stars could take a few weeks. One type of engine pushed the ship into a version of hyperspace, but then the crew went out on the hull and installed sails and rigging to actually make them move between stars.
Oh, and the decks were horizontall.
Time flies when your having rum.

Im a government employee, I dont goof-off. I constructively abuse my time.