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How to make a Q-Ship...
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 1:11 am    Post subject: How to make a Q-Ship... Reply with quote

Q-Ships and their associated missions offer a lot of potential for a good campaign. Historically, Q-Ships were used as lures or decoys, drawing commerce raiders in close before attacking with hidden weaponry. They could even be used as intel platforms or as bases for covert missions. Their weaponry wasn't generally powerful enough to take on true warships, but it was not unheard of for a warship to be successfully surprised and damaged or destroyed.

In a SWU campaign, the vast majority of the Imperial Fleet's ships are too powerful for the average PC to do anything other than turn tail and run. However, a Q-Ship offers alternate possibilities. On the Imperial side, a Q-Ship can be a nasty surprise for a group of PCs on a convoy raid, while still potentially being a worthy opponent. On the Rebel side, the characters themselves could be the crew of a Q-Ship, performing privateer raids or special operations support to Alliance operations.

Here are some thoughts, as a discussion starter:

1). Because of the nature of Q-Ships, it might be counterproductive to make a generic stat, as using multiple ship types as Q-Ships would increase their surprise factor. Rather than making basic stats, would it be more effective to make a Q-Ship template that is then applied to basic ship stats? By template, I mean a listing of modifiers applied to the stats of an existing ship to convert it into a Q-Ship by decreasing cargo space, adding crew and weapons, etc.

2). What ships are best suited for use as Q-Ships? I'm inclined toward just Capital-Scale bulk freighters and the like.

3). What modifications are appropriate for Q-Ships? Stealth equipment and possible limitations? What kind of weaponry? Concealed starfighter transport?
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check out the complete starships guide. It has several 'scout ships' in that would qualify, like the NR Prowlers.
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Kytross
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

or the tactic in the Thrawn Trilogy and Wraith squadron of using a bulk freighter as a pocket carrier
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shootingwomprats
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My issue with this is that Q-Boats were designed to bring submersibles up, then attack. Slapping extra armament on a freighter is just going to make your average capital class ship laugh, unless it's a turbolaser battery. How would you hide one of those?
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cheshire
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a more significant problem with the general design of a Q ship:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bztY0SOV9zg
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
Check out the complete starships guide. It has several 'scout ships' in that would qualify, like the NR Prowlers.

Those aren't really suited to the mission. A Q-Ship is usually a converted cargo ship, but the key is that it still appears as a cargo ship, with weapons mounted behind concealed ports. Obviously, in a sci-fi setting, sensor countermeasures would be needed to complete the effect.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kytross wrote:
or the tactic in the Thrawn Trilogy and Wraith squadron of using a bulk freighter as a pocket carrier

The only problem with that example is that the freighter was designed to blow up to release its starfighter complement. IMO, the freighters featured in the opening actions of X-Wing book 2 would be a better example.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shootingwomprats wrote:
My issue with this is that Q-Boats were designed to bring submersibles up, then attack. Slapping extra armament on a freighter is just going to make your average capital class ship laugh, unless it's a turbolaser battery. How would you hide one of those?

Film evidence shows turbolaser batteries mounted inside of ship's hulls firing through ports. If the firing port was sufficiently camouflaged, it would escape visual detection. Sensor counter measures would be necessary to shield it from detection (perhaps like smuggling compartments, only on a larger scale).

The concept of the Q-Ship dovetails with that of the Merchant Raider or the Auxiliary Cruiser, in that while the ships are converted cargo ships with disguised weaponry, the merchant raider is more of a pirate or privateer. There is a lot of similarity in armament, with the primary difference being mostly in mission, but a Q-Ship could likely perform the same sorts of missions as a Merchant Raider or Auxiliary Cruiser and vice versa.

The name Q-Ship derives from the ships being based out of Queenstown, Ireland, during WWI, but it has somewhat carried over into modern sci-fi. David Weber's Honor Harrington series features several naval battles with Q-Ships, but with the Star Kingdom of Manticore being heavily based on Great Britain, the use of the term Q-Ship is understandable.

A more modern use would be something like the SS Oregon from the Oregon Files.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cheshire wrote:
I have a more significant problem with the general design of a Q ship:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bztY0SOV9zg


HAha!
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shootingwomprats
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

crmcneill wrote:

Film evidence shows turbolaser batteries mounted inside of ship's hulls firing through ports. If the firing port was sufficiently camouflaged, it would escape visual detection. Sensor counter measures would be necessary to shield it from detection (perhaps like smuggling compartments, only on a larger scale).

The concept of the Q-Ship dovetails with that of the Merchant Raider or the Auxiliary Cruiser, in that while the ships are converted cargo ships with disguised weaponry, the merchant raider is more of a pirate or privateer. There is a lot of similarity in armament, with the primary difference being mostly in mission, but a Q-Ship could likely perform the same sorts of missions as a Merchant Raider or Auxiliary Cruiser and vice versa.

The name Q-Ship derives from the ships being based out of Queenstown, Ireland, during WWI, but it has somewhat carried over into modern sci-fi. David Weber's Honor Harrington series features several naval battles with Q-Ships, but with the Star Kingdom of Manticore being heavily based on Great Britain, the use of the term Q-Ship is understandable.

A more modern use would be something like the SS Oregon from the Oregon Files.


Then you're looking at power reactor changes. It would take some serious sensor baffling to spoof such power output. I'm getting a bit into the crunch on this one, though.

What, convert all the cargo space over for reactor, weapons, and sensor baffles, maybe?
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shootingwomprats wrote:
Then you're looking at power reactor changes. It would take some serious sensor baffling to spoof such power output. I'm getting a bit into the crunch on this one, though.

What, convert all the cargo space over for reactor, weapons, and sensor baffles, maybe?

If not all, then at least a large percentage of it. There could also be other tech solutions to the disguise problem. One of the smuggler ships listed in Wanted by Cracken mounts a concealed quad-laser and shunts the extra power required by the cannon into an array of power convertors when the gun is stowed to help conceal the power usage from sensors. Something similar could be done to a ship's drives, in addition to sensor masks or baffling.

The need for conversion would also be a major factor in the base ship type used. The German Auxiliary Cruisers in WWII were originally reefer ships, with refrigerated holds used to transport produce from the tropics. The need to get the produce to the market before it spoiled required that the ships be faster than the average freighter. In WH40K's Battlefleet Gothic system, there is a ship option called a Fast Clipper, which is similar in size to the freighters used in the game, but sacrificing 50% of its cargo capacity for much greater speed. While the concept of a fast clipper doesn't exist in the SWU, it wouldn't be too hard to come up with stats for a fast merchant ship.
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shootingwomprats
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not at all. Look at the Falcon. Han modified it out the yang for what it has.

I certainly see it as possible.
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Kytross
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could get around the over powered reactors problem with capacitors. Sensors read the heat off reactors, It would be quite difficult to sense any number of capacitors, especially behind a metal hull. And the capacitors don't have to be anywhere near the gun emplacements. With the proper gauge wire/cable to handle the load and you can put the capacitors anywhere on the ship.

The trade off is you have a limited number of shots before you have to reload your capacitors. Recharging the capacitors would probably take quite awhile because you have a normal reactor on board.
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cheshire
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kytross wrote:
You could get around the over powered reactors problem with capacitors. Sensors read the heat off reactors, It would be quite difficult to sense any number of capacitors, especially behind a metal hull. And the capacitors don't have to be anywhere near the gun emplacements. With the proper gauge wire/cable to handle the load and you can put the capacitors anywhere on the ship.

The trade off is you have a limited number of shots before you have to reload your capacitors. Recharging the capacitors would probably take quite awhile because you have a normal reactor on board.


Now THAT's an idea.

Give them 5-6 shots in the capacitor bank. Make the recharge time something like 1 hour for every pip of capital scale damage. 12 hours is a long time, but 4D capital scale damage is quite a punch.
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Kytross
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Once again, Cheshire has a brilliant idea, which I endorse wholeheartedly.

I'll see if I can stat it out, but I've only got the smart phone right now. Maybe I can use d6holocron. I expect the installation would be the expensive part.

I'm thinking 20% over cost for the equivalent weaponry and very expensive Installation costs.

Or, instead of jacking up the installation costs, make it a very difficult installation roll. Maybe even an engineering roll. Jury rigging it is going to cause unforeseen circumstances.

Thoughts?
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