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Freighter Design
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terryoc
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Joined: 07 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A mobile base during construction wouldn't be anything but a target, AFAIK.
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Hod K'el
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Joined: 21 Aug 2008
Posts: 301
Location: Lafayette LA

PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 5:05 pm    Post subject: Don't think so... Reply with quote

djdood wrote:
You can do that anytime you like. Simply ignore the cargo boxes on the ship card and you are there. The only SSD's for freighters "in-ballast" in SFB were just diagrams in an article in Captains Log (IIRC) without the play-data. I don't recall any discussion of changes in movement costs, etc. (and, since it's so rare, why bother).


You have a problem with your thinking, methinks. Just because you do not have cargo does not mean that you do not area. You still have a cargo hold and it can still take damage, even if it is empty. It just means that no one will be destroying the cargo (which you do not have) but you will have to repair your ship before you can take on more cargo, which will take time; so the enemy has done his duty by disruption of the supply route(s).
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pinecone
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Joined: 03 May 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 5:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Don't think so... Reply with quote

Hod K'el wrote:
djdood wrote:
You can do that anytime you like. Simply ignore the cargo boxes on the ship card and you are there. The only SSD's for freighters "in-ballast" in SFB were just diagrams in an article in Captains Log (IIRC) without the play-data. I don't recall any discussion of changes in movement costs, etc. (and, since it's so rare, why bother).


You have a problem with your thinking, methinks. Just because you do not have cargo does not mean that you do not area. You still have a cargo hold and it can still take damage, even if it is empty. It just means that no one will be destroying the cargo (which you do not have) but you will have to repair your ship before you can take on more cargo, which will take time; so the enemy has done his duty by disruption of the supply route(s).


You wouldn't even have the hold if you dropped off the container.
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Scoutdad
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 5:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Don't think so... Reply with quote

Hod K'el wrote:

You have a problem with your thinking, methinks. Just because you do not have cargo does not mean that you do not area. You still have a cargo hold and it can still take damage, even if it is empty. It just means that no one will be destroying the cargo (which you do not have) but you will have to repair your ship before you can take on more cargo, which will take time; so the enemy has done his duty by disruption of the supply route(s).

Actually, Will is correct...

According to all the "fluff" from the various CL articles, SFB R-modules, and fiction pieces...
A freighter is basically two pieces that bolt onto a standard pod.
The command section bolts onto the front of the pod... and the engine section bolts onto the rear... crating a freighter.
A freighter captains career goes something like this:
Buy the frieghter...
Locate a cargo pod in the solar system destined for vulcan...
Dock-workers (longshoreman...) attach your freighter to the pod..
you travel to Vulcan...
dockworkers un-attach your freight from the pod and atach it to one headed for Alpha-Centauri...
While you transit to Alpha Centauri, the pod you delivered to Vulcan is unloaded...
Once you reach Alpha Centauri... there are no outgoing loads currently ready...
You know have a choice... do you sit here for the two weeks it will take to complete loading of the next outgoing pod... or,
Do you travel to Brecon in ballast mode to pick up a pod that loaded and awaiting shipment be to Earth?
If you choose to travel to Brecon, then the dockworkers will simply attach the command section of your freighter to the engine section and you head out...

This is what Will was referring to. One of the SFB Modules has SSDs for freighters in ballast mose, but Fed Comm does not have those ship cards.
For whatever reason, if you wanted to recreate such a thing - you could aproximate it by simply ignoring the cargo spaces as the "pod" would not be there.
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pinecone
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Joined: 03 May 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What Hod'kel said, (and this is not a blow against you), is that you would still count the cargo boxes, but they would be empty. At least I think that's what he said...
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djdood
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry guys. Scoutdad and I have been reading SFU stuff for 25 years and in this case it's a pretty established bit of SFU tech.

The generic SFU freighters are like modern "tractor trailer" big-rig trucks ("lorries" to you Brits).

When they don't have a trailer attached (or a cargo pod in the case of freighters), they have no cargo. If the pod was left behind in some other star system, then the boxes in that pod are not there to be damaged.

A freighter with no pod(s) is just engines and a small control module (the bits forward and behind the cargo boxes on the ship card). That's all. A big-rig with no trailer is just an engine, wheels, and cab. Same type of thing.

Here's a picture (note the giant cargo pod and tiny other bits):


If you really wanted to show a freighter "in ballast" mode (with no pod) just cross off all the cargo boxes (and pretend the command module was directly attached to the engine module). The cargo boxes aren't destroyed or disabled, they simply aren't there (and they don't count into the ship's point value). That SFB module would show the point-value for such a rarity as a freighter with no pod(s) (and making no money), but I don't have it handy.
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SWO_Daddy
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Joined: 14 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back when I had pods and time to spare, I built a couple of "foreign" freighter minis:





A Klingon E4, Kzinti FF and Kzinti DN engine died in this cause (actually, they were sacrifical anodes for other projects), but the point is obvious enough. These guys look different, but I've always assumed they would represent a typical F-AS. One of these days, when I get really bored, I'll do a F-AL version on them.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do note that a freighter travelling in ballast will also have an decreased movement cost, at least in SFB. However, the way it works in SFB won't work in FC. So, any movement cost reductions would have to be refigured. Because of the F-S's 1/4 movement rate, it might not even be possible to decrease the movement rate.
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pinecone
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1/8?
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djdood
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike -

Thanks. I figured.
The number messiness for the movement costs alone is enough to make me not ever want to bother with "in ballast" freighters in FedCom.

Jeremy -

That Klingon freighter of yours inspired me several years ago when I first saw a picture of it.

I've been toying with the idea of doing my own, but I'll probably just do one (each, of FS and FL) for each major empire and then I'll cast a few copies in resin. I have some ideas for the Klingon in particular that I want to try out.
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Hod K'el
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Joined: 21 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Sorry guys. Scoutdad and I have been reading SFU stuff for 25 years and in this case it's a pretty established bit of SFU tech.

That's very commendable, and almost as long as I have been reading and playing.

I apologize for any misunderstanding as I thought you were talking about deadheading, hauling an empty cargo pod, to a given point to load it. In this situation, your container, though empty, will still absorb damage.

I also want to thank ScoutDad for the example. That made me realize that you were talking about running with NO container. In this situation, you will die faster! I guarantee!
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djdood
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed. There really isn't much to a freighter with no pod.
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junior
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the other hand, there isn't much point in attacking a frieghter that isn't hauling a cargo pod. You can't get any loot from it. And blowing it up doesn't affect the local economy all that much since it's not actually transporting anything.
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pinecone
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Destroying one today mean one less in the better protected convoy tommorow Wink
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pinecone wrote:
1/8?

The problem is not a 1/8 movement rate, per se. The problem is using that a 1/8 movement rate at squadron scale, which means you would be using a 1/16 movement at fleet scale. And that is a problem.

Plus, the other problem is that SFB has an extra step. In SFB, you have 1/2, then 1/3, then 1/4. In Federation Commander, you go straight from 1/2 to 1/4. The steps are just to big to justify, even with the loss of a huge, bulky cargo pod.

Right now, I would recommend that we just say that ballast is an "unstable" configuration for freighters. It is doable and used, but doesn't gain a movement gain. So, no change to the movement rate.
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