I should Keep my mouth shut.

Tollon's picture
Tollon
May 3, 2017 - 7:53pm
My perspect on this game and others don't always match those of the avid gamer who loves this and other games that influenced me over my decade and a half playing RPGs.  Such was the case in the "Silent Running' thread.  I know artifical gravity is a sensitive subject on this forum and should have keep my thoughts to myself. It seems like everytime I open my mouth, I end up killing the threat.  So I wish to apologise for that right now. 
Comments:

KRingway's picture
KRingway
May 9, 2017 - 6:56am
Shadow Shack wrote:
Again: fighters. 

ADF/MR 5 & 5 respectively, operated by the same grade of pilots the system ships use. They can be ferried on a "system carrier" with a fleet into deep space, based at a orbital station, and (government permitting) on the ground. There's simply no excuse to have 16 undefended worlds in the Frontier for the Second Sathar War, at least not beyond creating a balanced game anyways (which is exactly why there were 16 undefended worlds).

As far as fighters being regulated as system ships: this is due mostly to the lack of life support, they can only go as far as their space suits LS equipment allows (60 hours, base 20 plus two back-ups). Personally, I handwave that because as noted, it can still attain jump velocity in that period (more so at ADF:5). As such I have my fighters equipped with "jump governors" that kick in just before the ship reaches jump velocity. Technically you could make atomic system ships in the same manner, but then you're looking into the much higher cost factor just to get starship grade performance and then throwing in the additional cost of making it not-a-starship via the governors. Fighter craft are inexpensive in the game, so it's not a budget killer.



That might work if your pilots are sufficiently skilled, but possibly this is beyond the remit of a system ship pilot? Maybe a system fighter is it's own particular breed, with extra oxygen supplies? Maybe they also have two crew, so that long partols can be run in shifts? I guess it depends on whether they're needed to maintain constant pickets. If not, a carrier ship need not be anything too fancy and thus might be cheaper - but as system ship they just can't move quickly to face incursions. On the whole, system defence ships seem to offer possibilities as their own particular species.

JCab747's picture
JCab747
May 9, 2017 - 8:03am
I think one would have to view the Knight Hawks board game's version of the Second Sathar War as a simplified form. Meaning, if the Frontier was a real place, it would have more ships and planets would probably have more defenses, especially after the experiences of the First Sathar War. The "few" ships provided are probably for simplicity sake and to move the game along. If you've played Axis & Allies, you know what I'm writing about.

If you want a more complex and longer SWII board game, by all means add more ships to the UPF, militias, mega corp fleets and the invading Sathar. Then you could probably thrown in the Zuraqqor and the Rim Coalition if you want and have a real field day... or two... or three... fighting it.

That being said, I do think Knight Hawks needs a major fan-created update along the lines of what Tom Stephens has hinted at in his project. I don't see why more ships can't be made aerodynamic enough to land on some planets or moons -- what about those 0.1 gravity moons?

How about the rule that you can't use defense screens when wearing a space suit because the suit's material supposedly interferes with the field being generated? But, later day powered armor allows defense screens.

Anyway, it's a game with flaws but we love it so.
Etc., etc.
Joe Cabadas

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
May 9, 2017 - 7:12pm
KRingway wrote:
That might work if your pilots are sufficiently skilled, but possibly this is beyond the remit of a system ship pilot? Maybe a system fighter is it's own particular breed, with extra oxygen supplies? Maybe they also have two crew, so that long partols can be run in shifts? I guess it depends on whether they're needed to maintain constant pickets. If not, a carrier ship need not be anything too fancy and thus might be cheaper - but as system ship they just can't move quickly to face incursions. On the whole, system defence ships seem to offer possibilities as their own particular species.

Going by canon a fighter is a single crew vessel limited to the oxygen supply ("approximately 20hours" according to the description...which coincidentally is exactly what a space suit permits sans back-up LS packs), so it goes without saying that it's a system ship since there is no room for an astrogator to plot a jump...which again takes far more time than what the oxygen supply permits (40 hours for the shortest jump on the Frontier map, and that's not counting time for sleep/rest). Also noteworthy fighters are ferried around on carriers rather than jumping like the assault scouts sporting the equivalent size atomic drives are doing.

Also going by cannon the pilot certification table in the "skills" section spells out that a lv-1 pilot can operate "system ships of any size" while a lv-2 pilot can operate "star ships up to HS:3". Hence, since the fighter is not classified as a star ship by design limitations, a lv-1 pilot is all that's needed.

So...while a "system carrier" is not a mandatory vessel it certainly helps for the deeper space missions a planetary militia may have to face, especially considering the limited range via oxygen supply fighters offer. As you suggest it does not have to be anything fancy, just a basic system ship with bays to ferry the fighter craft. It could essentially be a "freighter" that can carry one fighter per hull size point, so a HS:12 system carrier could carry a pair of six fighter squadrons along with their support crews.
___________________________________________

Drifting away from canon you can always add a second crew member to a fighter. After all it's a 10m long vessel, technically you could make a "civilian space RV" out of a HS:1 hull that accomodates 2-4 people (I actually have such a beast drafted up somewhere). Taking the hull specification variance rule in canon (what is it, an extra 20 or 25% variance either way) you can safely add another two meters of hull length and still be a HS:1 classification, more than enough room for a second person, much like modern military fighter craft have a back seat for the navigator/systems operator. 

A 2 person life support system would add a mere 1300Cr to the cost, and bumping the astrogation equipement from system ship to star ship would be an additional 10K Cr and going from the 6 function point/6K Cr software to 24 function point/24K Cr software which is also not overly costly...but sourcing the AD computer rules those 18 extra function points could easily vault the computer from a meager 20kg/level 3 unit that is easily stashed away in the cramped hull into a space chewing 100kg/level 4 mainframe. Granted the KH rules do not account for volume but even so, realistically speaking, where would you mount a 100kg beast in that cramped hull?

As such I have house-ruled "heavy fighters" that are HS:2 which can accomodate such upgrades readily & easily and thereby becoming a jump capable fighter. But for practical purposes, I keep HS:1 fighters as one or two crew system ships that may or may not have the range-extending life support equipment.
___________________________________________

PLOT ISSUE --- With the fighter being regulated to system ship duty and never jumping (although as I stated earlier, it's certainly possible at ADF:5 coupled with the limited oxygen supply), technically a fighter's atomic drive will never need refueling since it never depletes a fuel pellet while jumping. The initial 10K price of a fuel pellet certainly has some allure over the repeated "250Cr per load" chem drive rules over the long haul. ;)
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

JCab747's picture
JCab747
May 9, 2017 - 7:08pm
Amazing how system ship fuel is only 250 Credits per load!

Now, going by AD cannon rules, the cost to recharge a measely type I parabattery with its 500 SEUs, giving you only 1,000 km in range is... drum roll please ... 5 Credits per SEU or 2,500 Credits! It's far cheaper to blast off and travel around a system than it is to recharge your average hovercycle.

Could they have meant 250k Credits per load or 250,000 Credits?
Joe Cabadas

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
May 9, 2017 - 7:25pm
JCab747 wrote:
Amazing how system ship fuel is only 250 Credits per load!

Now, going by AD cannon rules, the cost to recharge a measely type I parabattery with its 500 SEUs, giving you only 1,000 km in range is... drum roll please ... 5 Credits per SEU or 2,500 Credits! It's far cheaper to blast off and travel around a system than it is to recharge your average hovercycle.

Could they have meant 250k Credits per load or 250,000 Credits?

While I won't argue the semantics of space travel being considerably more expensive than atmospheric travel...on one hand the ground vehicles have to contend with constant friction along with directional and velocity changes and the space craft (once in space anyways, canon does at least make some sense by doubling the fuel cost to break an atmosphere) only needs a short burst to get moving and can drift forever without actually expending any energy. Still, the six month LS supply in SF would never permit such lengthy cross-system endeavors at such low speeds.

Still, it should be more than 250Cr per trip. Atomic fuel costs 10K per trip and ion drives, despite being far more fuel efficient at 10Cr (per ADF burst) unit and storing 10K units of fuel...250Cr really is a bargain at "unlimited" ADF:1 performance that matches the ion drive.

I drafted up chemical drive rules for my pf-100 scenario and while they're not perfect by any means, they make considerable more sense than the limited FUBAR'd canon ruling.


Granted those prices reflect 100 years prior to the UPF being founded, but it's a start.

No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

KRingway's picture
KRingway
May 10, 2017 - 5:26am
A HS:1 system fighter without the need for a jump capabilty would probably be small, lean machine and a second crew member shouldn't be a problem. Even if one needed a 100kg computer for an FTL-capable version, it's weight and component parts could be spread around the ship rather than taking up one big space.

A system carrier may not even need bays - it could be quite skeletal and the fighters could be parasitic. Repairs, refueling, etc could be done in space. The fighter pilots and crew could live in some other part of the ship. Fighters could be parasitic on regular ships - if they can carry a shuttle, a fighter isn't all that different.

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
May 10, 2017 - 6:37am
KRingway said: A HS:1 system fighter without the need for a jump capabilty would probably be small, lean machine and a second crew member shouldn't be a problem.

Yep, like I said just add the extra two meters of hull length in accordance to the rules and you easily get the space.


KRingway said: Even if one needed a 100kg computer for an FTL-capable version, it's weight and component parts could be spread around the ship rather than taking up one big space.

When you consider how canon shoehorns 10 cubic meters worth of AR launcher along with another 30 worth of rockets into a 31 cubic meter hull and still somehow manages to have room for an operator, drives, avionics, etc etc etc...what's another 100kg? 

In that context it's really not the issue I made it out to be. Wink

It also begs the question: why not just swap in the 40 cubic meter laser cannon and have an endless supply of shots that can inflict almost as much damage as one of three rockets. Oh yeah, MHS:5. Go figure.

KRingway said:  A system carrier may not even need bays - it could be quite skeletal and the fighters could be parasitic. Repairs, refueling, etc could be done in space. The fighter pilots and crew could live in some other part of the ship. Fighters could be parasitic on regular ships - if they can carry a shuttle, a fighter isn't all that different.

All true. I'm just a bit old school on the thought process and like the idea of an enclosed bay that can be pressurized thus allowing the techs to ditch those DEX-sapping vac suits. Plus, it would be tough to perform work while the ship is under 1G acceleration with the fighters docked on the exterior and no bulkheads to catch loose parts. But yeah, it's still quite feasible you just have to tailor the game to non-movement repairs etc. Then again, as I suggested the bulk of a system ship's movement is coasting so it can still work out nicely.
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

JCab747's picture
JCab747
May 10, 2017 - 7:53am
Tom Stephens, we need your Knight Hawks 2.0 project!

But, back to one earlier point, regarding fuel costs. I think it should be far costlier to fuel up one of these starships than it is to purchase a ground transport?

Now, the buying power of the average Frontier Credit appears to be real good, except when you are recharging batteries at 5 Cr. per SEU. I've been thinking of writing an article about this subject with the tagline: "Will Work for SEUs."

If a character wants to have a robot, run around with powered devices and operate a vehicle, they will need to be making some serious Credits... Oh, wait, the some of the modules give them "Monty Hall" rewards (I bet you haven't thought of that term since the 1980s) for either saving Kraatar or beating off Streel in Mission to Alcazzar.
Joe Cabadas

KRingway's picture
KRingway
May 10, 2017 - 8:04am
The problem, if one can call it that, of a closed bay is that the access doors have to keep opening and closing. If there's a lot of activity, i.e. on-going combat, that won't do much for a quick turnaround. It's probably better to just have the lot exposed to the vacuum. One wonders if a variety of manual work could not also be left to robots, with some crew as overseers. There could even be some sort of system in which an in-bound fighter is automatically guided to it's own particular hardpoint, in the same manner as a pit-stop. This doesn't exlude the idea of a bay of some sort for more involved work, but one imagines that a bay for all of the fighters is a bit of overkill.

JCab747's picture
JCab747
May 10, 2017 - 9:53am
KRingway wrote:
The problem, if one can call it that, of a closed bay is that the access doors have to keep opening and closing. If there's a lot of activity, i.e. on-going combat, that won't do much for a quick turnaround. It's probably better to just have the lot exposed to the vacuum. One wonders if a variety of manual work could not also be left to robots, with some crew as overseers. There could even be some sort of system in which an in-bound fighter is automatically guided to it's own particular hardpoint, in the same manner as a pit-stop. This doesn't exlude the idea of a bay of some sort for more involved work, but one imagines that a bay for all of the fighters is a bit of overkill.


Good thinking
Joe Cabadas

Tollon's picture
Tollon
May 10, 2017 - 10:47am
Hanger could be open.

Service bays are entirely different.  They would be pressurized to make it easier for the people working on the craft.

Docking bays.  They are the same as Service Bays except for off loading cargo.

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
May 10, 2017 - 6:45pm
JCab747 said: Oh, wait, the some of the modules give them "Monty Hall" rewards (I bet you haven't thought of that term since the 1980s) for either saving Kraatar or beating off Streel in Mission to Alcazzar.

Don't forget the 250K worth of Vibrillium & Tomarillium (whatever that stuff is) from the original Volturnus trilogy. Not enough to buy a ship, but more than enough for a down payment on one.
_______________________

KRingway said: The problem, if one can call it that, of a closed bay is that the access doors have to keep opening and closing. If there's a lot of activity, i.e. on-going combat, that won't do much for a quick turnaround. It's probably better to just have the lot exposed to the vacuum. 

Well it all depends on the task at hand...reloading the trio of assault rockets? Yeah, it's a simple & quick stop and go, no need to close the doors and pressurize the bay etc. Repairing hull damage along with a FUBAR'd maneuver jet, close those bay doors and get to work because that's going to take a while.

One wonders if a variety of manual work could not also be left to robots, with some crew as overseers. There could even be some sort of system in which an in-bound fighter is automatically guided to it's own particular hardpoint, in the same manner as a pit-stop. This doesn't exlude the idea of a bay of some sort for more involved work...

I dedicate a single bay to one or two craft...in my game a single fighter bay can accomodate a HS:2 heavy fighter or a pair of HS:1 light fighters. My carriers accomodate their HS in fighter hulls, in other words a HS:12 carrier can ferry 12 HS:1 fighters or six HS:2 heavy fighters, or any combination according to the one bay per two HS worth of craft.

...but one imagines that a bay for all of the fighters is a bit of overkill.

One cavernous bay for all the fighters? That's no carrier...it's a space station.

No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
May 10, 2017 - 7:30pm
JCab747 wrote:
Tom Stephens, we need your Knight Hawks 2.0 project!

Actually, I've been working on it and it's mostly done for a "minimum change" rule set.  I'd like to add in a fuel cost over and above the atomic fuel pellets for the atomic engines but that requires a new "hand-wavium" design of the atomic engines along the lines of what I included in my novel and doesn't match the standard description.  I have made fuel for the larger engines cost more and limited a load of fuel for chemical rockets to one trip up and down out of a planet's gravity or a total of 8 ADF in space.  I think the only thing I really need is to crunch some numbers on the "range" that a load of fuel gives for the different engines.
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JCab747's picture
JCab747
May 11, 2017 - 5:27am
TerlObar wrote:
JCab747 wrote:
Tom Stephens, we need your Knight Hawks 2.0 project!

Actually, I've been working on it and it's mostly done for a "minimum change" rule set.  I'd like to add in a fuel cost over and above the atomic fuel pellets for the atomic engines but that requires a new "hand-wavium" design of the atomic engines along the lines of what I included in my novel and doesn't match the standard description.  I have made fuel for the larger engines cost more and limited a load of fuel for chemical rockets to one trip up and down out of a planet's gravity or a total of 8 ADF in space.  I think the only thing I really need is to crunch some numbers on the "range" that a load of fuel gives for the different engines.


Sounds great. Especially if the fuel costs are more realistic -- i.e. less than recharging one's warbot... I'll have to write up a "Will Work for SEUs" story about what I thik of the 5 Cr./SEU rule.
Joe Cabadas

Tollon's picture
Tollon
May 11, 2017 - 6:20am
I like simplicity and given this some thought.  What if number of trips related to the hull size?

Hull size 1: Planet to Orbit
Hull size 2: Planet to Orbit and back again, or one way travel to the moon.
Hull size 3: Round trip from planet to moon.

etc...

Just a thought....

KRingway's picture
KRingway
May 11, 2017 - 8:23am
But as such distances may vary, you might run into problems.

JCab747's picture
JCab747
May 11, 2017 - 8:36am
Simplicity works.
Joe Cabadas

Tollon's picture
Tollon
May 11, 2017 - 3:44pm
KRingway: I figure around hull size 5 it would be 1 AU or 93 Million miles one way, that would cover all the inner planets of our solar system. You also have to realize that, a chemical engine can turn on an off it's engine which will allow it to cruise to greater ranges as well.  At 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20 you would also getting an MR bonus.

The problem with KH rules is it is not weight based.  Adding more fuel takes doesn't affect the preformance of the ship.  According to my idea, a Hull Size 1 could add a second fuel tank and travel back and forth between planet and orbit without refueling.

Again it's just a thought...

Tollon's picture
Tollon
May 11, 2017 - 3:48pm
Here is my attempt at solving the problem. http://sfus.starfrontiers.info/node/8600

JCab747's picture
JCab747
May 11, 2017 - 6:21pm
Tollon wrote:
Here is my attempt at solving the problem. http://sfus.starfrontiers.info/node/8600


Interesting
Joe Cabadas

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
May 11, 2017 - 6:51pm
Tollon's link isn't working for me. :(

My Chem drive rules reflect drop tanks for increased performance and/or range, and the three different engine sizes also have varying increased fuel capacities and corresponding performance/range. This translates to teh A drive system ships being orbital or planet-to-moon veseels while the larger B & C drives can get higher velocities needed for longer inner-system trips without resorting to starships or freeze fields. ;)
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

Tollon's picture
Tollon
May 12, 2017 - 5:48am

Chemical Drives

Chemical drives are the cheapest and simplest spaceship engines.  They come in two types; solid and liquid fuel.  Chemically driven ships must carry a lot of fuel, and cannot accelerate long enough to achieve interstellar speeds. Therefore, there main use is for interplanetary travel.

 

Any hull that is outfitted with chemical engines must have the full complement of engines for that hull. For example, a ship with a hull size of 13 needs four chemical engines. These engines are mounted at the tail of the ship, instead of away from the ship on struts.

 

All ships with chemical engines have an ADF of 1.

 

The Chemical Drive Price Table lists the prices of the three types of chemical engines. Because these engines are simple and easy to build, the cost is the same at all construction centers.

 

CHEMICAL DRIVE COST CHART

Engine Size

Cost

A

50,000 Cr

B

100,000 Cr

C

200,000Cr

 

Solid Fuel rockets are the most common type of rockets.  They are used in fireworks, munitions and booster rockets for the space shuttle.   Solid fuel rockets burn a solid propellant to create thrust.  Once they are ignited they can't be stopped and there rapid burn rate depletes the fuel quite rapidly.  This rapid usage of fuel gives an aircraft or spacecraft an extra 'burst of speed" when taking off .  They can also be used to aid a rocket with a large payload achieve orbit.

 

On spacecraft solid fuel rockets are used as booster rockets that enable spacecraft to achieve orbit.  Booster Rockets are rented.  They are mounted to the hull by special equipment or permanent fixtures bought at time of spacecraft construction.  Once the propellant has been used up during launch, the rocket is ejected, after a delay meant for the spacecraft to clear the area a parachute opens and the rental company recover it.  The number of Booster Rockets needed is the same as the full complements of engines for that hull.  The cost to rent one these is 250 Cr x the hull size of the ship for each Booster Rocket.

 

Liquid Fuel Rockets fuel of choice is Liquid Hydrogen and Oxygen (HyLox for short).  The hydrogen and oxygen are stored in two different tanks, with the hydrogen being the largest of the two.  The fuel is mixed and ignited in the engine to create thrust.  The engine can be switched off and on as needed.  Ships using chemical drives burn a load of fuel on every voyage, as a general rule. The cost of one load of fuel is 250 Cr x the hull size of the ship for each engine.

 

Ships design for planetary reentry, such as shuttles and landing craft, must carry twice as much fuel for landing and takeoff.  Ships designed for long range exploration must carry 1/3 or 33% of the fuel if they are expected to make the return trip.  Extra fuel tanks can be mounted  on the hull with specialized equipment or with permanent fixtures bought at time of the ship's construction.  Additional fuel tanks cost 100 Cr per hull size.

 

Ion Drives

Ion engines work by ionizing (electrically charging) particles of fuel. These charged particles are then released from the rear of the engines at tremendous velocity. Even though the particles are extremely small, there are enough of them to provide a ship with a steady and long-lasting thrust. Ion drive engines require very little fuel.

 

Ion engines must be mounted on struts, away from the hull of the spaceship. Any ship equipped with ion drives must have the full complement of engines for that hull size in order to accelerate and decelerate normally. The ADF of a ship with ion drive always is 1.

 

Prices for ion engines are listed on the Ion Drive  Price Table. Note that ion engines are not available at Class III Construction Centers, and that they are more expensive at Class II Centers.

 

Ion Drive Cost Chart

Engine Size

Class I Center

Class II Center

A

100,000 Cr

150,000 Cr

B

150,000 Cr

200,000 Cr

C

200,000 Cr

Not Available

 

The drive uses liquid hydrogen as a propellant. The engine can be switched off and on as needed.  Since they use so little fuel  they can make multiple trips on a single load of fuel. Ships using Ion drives burn a load of fuel depending on their Engine Size. The cost of one load of fuel is 100 Cr x the hull size of the ship for each engine.

 

Fuel Usage for Ion Drives

Engine Size

Number of Trips per Fuel Load

A

8

B

16

C

24

 

Ships that are intended for combat missions burn one load of fuel during combat, as a general rule.

 


Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
May 12, 2017 - 6:59pm
Shadow Shack wrote:
Tollon's link isn't working for me. :(

So it's not the link that isn't working for me, it's the entire site. When I posted that it took dial-up forever and I eventually got the 404 message just like I did when I tried clicking the link.

I'm hesitant to hit "submit" now...
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

ExileInParadise's picture
ExileInParadise
May 12, 2017 - 7:20pm
Tollon wrote:
Exile:  The only problem I see with the Bussard Ram is how much free floating Hydrogen is in the system.  I know Atomic Rocket suggest there is not enough free hydrogen floating in interstellar space to use with that system.  Electromagnitic fields are power hogs and the reward might not be worth the power necessary to collect the hydrogen.

Clarification: When I talk about the pellet being 'burnt' in the micro reactor to power the FTL system, I mean it is spend and becomes depleated uraium by the time the ship is done generating the jump.  I suppose, you can keep the spent fuel rod and sell it back at 1/2 price when you refuel?


Yep, the Bussard ramjet idea has serious problems with proton-proton fusion. I haven't seen anything that definiteively rules out a modified carbon-nitrogen-oxygen fusion chain (not that I've looked), but all bets are off over C anyway which is why Star Trek cracks me up.

 Thankfully, with Star Frontiers - we never get near C. And I agree on the burnt pellet being spent ...

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
May 19, 2017 - 6:53am
I got the 404/boot after posting this as well. It's been a week since I last visited, so let's see if the trend is still ongoing...

Shadow Shack wrote:
Shadow Shack wrote:
Tollon's link isn't working for me. :(

So it's not the link that isn't working for me, it's the entire site. When I posted that it took dial-up forever and I eventually got the 404 message just like I did when I tried clicking the link.

I'm hesitant to hit "submit" now...
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
May 19, 2017 - 9:04pm
Okay, for those that want to see it, I just posted up the most recent version of my engine descriptions in the Knight Hawks 2.0 project  I"ve only updated the engine page in the document relevant to the current discussion so the other pages may not mesh up with this one anymore. Anyway, here's the current version:

Content of Knight Hawks 2.0 project

Engines


Engines

Now that we know the mass of our ship, it's finally time to determine its propulsion. Each type and size of engine is rated to have a specific thrust and fuel capacity. Your ship's hull size determines the maximum number of engines it can support. You don't have to have to fill all your engine slots if that number of engines is not needed to achieve the performance you desire. And regardless of hull size and engine type, the maximum acceleration of any ship is 6g.


Hull Size

Max Engines

1

1

2-4

2

5-8

4

9-12

6

12+

8


Engine thrust is given as an arbitrary thrust rating that has been scaled to work with the mass of the ship as given in tons. To determine the maximum acceleration of your ship, add up the thrust ratings of all your engines and divide that by the total mass of your ship in tons. The resulting number is the maximum acceleration of your ship in multiples of one standard gravity (10 m/s/s). Round all fractions down to the nearest tenth of a g. (Add in a ½ A engine for fighters/shuttles)

Chemical Engines

These engines use a high efficiency chemical fuel that burns and is expelled out the engine nozzle to provide thrust. These engines are relatively cheap and easy to produce. While very powerful, because of the large volume of fuel needed, these engines have limited capability in regards to how long the engines can operate on a single fuel load. These engines are typically used for ground-to-space shuttles and system ships.

Ion Engines

Ion engines work by ionizing hydrogen and accelerating the resulting protons and electrons to high velocity and expelling them out the back of the engine to provide thrust. Each engine contains a small nuclear reactor to provide the power needed to ionize the hydrogen and accelerate the particles to the relativistic speeds needed to generate thrust. This reactor uses the same atomic fuel pellet as an atomic engine but only needs to be replaced once every 10 years. The initial fuel pellet is included in the cost of the engine.

While not as powerful as chemical or atomic engines, Ion engine fuel is relatively cheap and if a ship is properly equipped, can be harvested from any gas giant for free.

Because of the nature of the engine, ships with ion engines cannot land or take off from planets.

Atomic Engines

An Atomic engine is a supercharged version of the chemical engine and uses the same fuel. The engine works by generating a quantum field that temporarily increases the momentum of particles by a factor of hundreds. These temporarily super-massive particle are ejected out of the back of the engine to generate the thrust for the ship. Because each particle is effectively much more massive, less fuel is needed to achieve the same thrust and instead of a single fuel load lasting for only few minutes of thrust, it can last for days and allow the ship to accelerate to Void jump speeds.

However, generating this field requires a huge amount of energy (which is transferred to the particles) during operation. To provide this power, each engine contains its own nuclear reactor, similar in design to the reactor in the ion engine. However, the large power requirement of the atomic engine means that it consumes one atomic fuel pellet after only 10,000 minutes of full thrust operations (about 8.5 days) instead of the 10 year life span for the atomic fuel pellet in an ion engine.

In addition, atomic engines require an overhaul every few jumps, again depending on the size of the engines. This overhaul is necessary to make sure that the quantum field generators are properly aligned and positioned to only affect the fuel and not the body of the engine itself. The number of trips that a ship can go between overhauls depends on the size of the engine and is give in the table with the fuel costs below.

Engine Costs

The following table gives the cost and thrust values for each of the different types and sizes of engines. Determine the number, size, and type of engines your ship will use and then record the engines chosen for your ship.


Class A

Class B

Class C

Engine Type

Thrust

Cost

Thrust

Cost

Thrust

Cost

Chemical

6,250

50,000

20,000

175,000

80,000

770,000

Ion

3,000

100,000

10,000

400,000

40,000

2,000,000

Atomic

6,250

250,000

20,000

1,100,000

80,000

6,000,000



Fuel

Next you need to provide fuel for your engines and how much acceleration each fuel load will provide for your ship. Each engine uses different types of fuel and has different storage capabilities and requirements.

Chemical Engines

Each fuel load allows a chemical engine to operate at maximum thrust for 60 minutes. This is typically enough to allow the ship to make one round trip between the ground and orbit or limited acceleration and maneuvering in space. Each engine can only hold a single fuel load and must be refueled after each load is expended. The cost of a fuel load depends on the size of the engine and is given in the following table.


Engine Class

Cost of a fuel load

Class A

300 cr

Class B

1000 cr

Class C

4200 cr


Ion engines

Although not as powerful as chemical or atomic engines, these engines are reliable and can hold more fuel. While they can technically run off any material, the fuel of choice is hydrogen. Using any other fuel source decreases the thrust provided by the engines by a factor of two. Each engine can hold 10,000 fuel units and each unit provides 10 minutes of operation at maximum thrust (A fully fueled ion engine can operate continuously for over 80 days without refueling). A fuel unit costs 5, 17, or 70 cr per unit for Class A, B, or C engines respectively.

Once every 10 years, the atomic fuel pellet in the ion engine’s reactor needs to be replaced, the cost for this fuel pellet is the same as that for a similarly sized atomic engine.

Atomic engines

Like the other engines, Atomic engines store all their fuel internally. The fuel for these engines consists of two parts. The first is a load of fuel like the chemical rockets, the second consists an atomic fuel pellet (typically uranium) to power the reactor. The amount of fuel that can be stored depends on the size of the engine and is given in the table below.

Each atomic fuel pellet and load of chemical fuel provides enough fuel for 10,000 minutes (about 8.3 days) of operation at maximum thrust. The cost of a fuel pellet depends on the size of the engine, given in the table below. The cost of the chemical fuel is identical to that of the chemical engines of the same size.

Consult the table below to determine the number of fuel loads & pellets held and time between each overhaul for each engine size.

Engine Class

Trips between overhauls

Maximum Fuel Pellets loaded

Cost per pellet (cr)

Class A

1

3

10,000

Class B

3

6

32,000

Class C

10

12

125,000



Compute total acceleration per fuel load

Acceleration is measured in ADF One ADF is defined as 10 minutes of acceleration at 1g.

If you want to keep it simple, you can simply assume the following:

  • a load of fuel in a chemical rocket provides just enough thrust to make one round trip between the ground and orbit around a planet or can provide a total of 8 ADF in space.

  • Ion engines use one fuel unit per engine per ADF and a total of 1000 fuel units per engine for a single interstellar jump

  • Atomic engines use one chemical fuel load and one atomic fuel pellet for a single interstellar jump or the same fuel provides enough thrust for a total of 1000 ADF if operating solely in-system.

If you want to be a bit more exact and track the exact fuel usage you can do the following to computer the total number of ADF that a load of fuel will provide for your ship depending on the type of engine you have.

  • Chemical Engines – Take the maximum acceleration you calculated for the ship earlier and multiply it by 6. This is the total number of ADF your ship gets from using one load of fuel in each engine.

  • Ion Engines – The maximum acceleration calculated above is the number of ADF provided by expending a single ion fuel unit in each engine.

  • Atomic Engines – Take the maximum acceleration calculated earlier and multiply by 1000. This is the total ADF provided by using one unit of chemical fuel and one atomic fuel pellet in each of your engines.

Examples

Chemical Engine

Fully loaded a Digger Shuttle (HS 2) has one Class A chemical engine and a maximum acceleration of 4.7g. Since it has chemical engines, the total ADF provided by the single load of fuel in its engine is 4.7 x 6 = 28.2 or 28 ADF.

Ion Engine

A small (HS 7) freighter is equipped with four Class B ion engines. Fully loaded, its maximum acceleration is 1.1g. Thus by using up one fuel unit in each of it's four engines, it has 1.1 ADF available. If each engine carries it's maximum fuel load (10,000 units each), the total ADF available to the ship is 11,000 ADF. Since each interstellar jump typically takes 1000 ADF to complete, the ship can make 11 trips without refueling if it needed to.

Atomic Engine

The newly designed Swift class assault scout has a total mass of 2470.83 tons and two Class A atomic engines for a total thrust of 12500. This gives a maximum acceleration of 5.059g which rounds to 5.0. The total ADF available to the assault scout from one load of fuel in each engine is therefore 5x1000 = 5000 ADF. After expending this much thrust, the assault scout will have used two loads of chemical fuel and two atomic fuel pellets, one in each engine.

Used with permission from TerlObar

(I thought that was just going to post the link but you got the entire text)

This is a mass based construction system so some of the details take that into account and in this system ships are much more expensive so you'll see higher prices for some things.  However, you can see how I am describing the engines and their operation as well as their fuel requirements.  Besides caculating the final computer requirements, cost, and Hull Points, picking your engines is the last step in the ship design process. 
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Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
May 21, 2017 - 10:36am
Cool ideas folks... and no one should feel they are shutting down threads here. We all got oppinions, ideas, fixes and directions we have taken things. I enjoy the different perspectives. As forums go in general I think this is one of the best because of the people on it. I am a memeber on other forums for research reasons but hardly ever ever post or in some case have never posted I simply don't want to deal with some folks on said other forums. So just saying your all great folks despite having different vissions of the game (as it should be). :)

I think the basic problem with Knight Hawks is they barrowed game mechanics from another TSR game that allowed for tech advancement in variuos areas, and they did not really fully think it out. They simplified some of those mechanics, changed the scale of the maping, and complicated other mechanics... but never really gave out updated rules for SF for the ship tech advances.

I do plan to get back working on these old rules as a what if project for SF but I really like what a lot of folks have done with the current lines of thought. 
"Zoinks!"

SFAndroid's picture
SFAndroid
June 2, 2017 - 8:47am
Safe reactors.

Why not include some ANCIENT technology....the LFT. (Liquid Fluoride Thorium) Otherwise known as a breeder reactor.

Gen 1 LFT - Reuses the spent fuel from an standard nuclear reactor.
Gen 2 LFT - Reuses the spent fuel from the Gen 1 LFT.
Gen 3 LFT - ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Gen 2 LFT.
Gen 4 LFT - ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Gen 3 LFT (Current Tech)

How much use can you get out of one pellet?

Also, LFT's are safe, really safe.  Their static state is off. They have to be forced to generate power. If something fails, it shuts off. They don't melt down and with each iteration, they give off less and less radiation.
You can't argue with the invincibly ignorant. - William F. Buckley

JCab747's picture
JCab747
June 13, 2017 - 7:51pm
I like the idea of ancient technology, especially for other races the Frontier might encounter that aren't up to snuff.

For example, the S'sessu were supposed to be a bit technologically behind the UPF when they were first encountered (from "Zeb" Cook's story).
Joe Cabadas