In my quest to simplify Classic Traveller High Guard by using Fighter Squadrons I may have actually broken the game. Thanks to a further look at the Statistical Combat Resolution system from Classic Traveller Adventure 5: Trillion Credit Squadron (GDW, 1981, p.15) I can see my mistake.
What got me to reconsider was a section from Traveller’s Aide #9: Fighting Ships of the Solomani Confederation (Quiklink Interactive, 2009). The Assault on Depot saw nearly 1000 Imperial Grigrot fighters involved. In particular:
“Another 400 Grigrots went directly for the Solomani line, attacking a Yamamoto class Strike Cruiser. 64 hits were scored, leaving the Strike Cruiser dead in the water and with multiple weapons and fuel hits.” (TAS 9, p. 12)
This looked to be a perfect example of using the Statistical Combat Resolution. Indeed, when I ran the numbers, it yielded 67 hits (close). Additionally, 10 Sandcaster batteries in defense will stop a further 3 hits from penetrating for a total of 64 penetrating hits (surprise!). Using the Statistical Combat Resolution system to derive damage, one gets 2x Weapon-2, 4x Maneuver-1, 21x Fuel-1, and 37x Weapon-1 damage. This degree of damage can easily be described as “dead in the water and with multiple weapons and fuel hits.”
So feeling a bit smug, I tried the same attack using my Fighter Squadrons system. The attack USP goes from 5 to 7 in this case, making the To Hit 5 with a DM of (Computer -1, Relative Agility +1, Size +1) +1. Using the Statistical Combat Resolution system the 40 squadrons attacking will score 7 hits. The 10 defending Sandcaster batteries stop 1 attack, leaving 6 penetrating hits (4x Weapon-1, 2xFuel-1). This is less than 10% of the damage using the rules-as written. That doesn’t work!
So at the end of the day I think the best approach to using large numbers of fighters is NOT the fighter squadron concept as I envisioned it. Instead, I may have to consider a mechanic that assumes that any hit in a fighter renders it a “Mission Kill” and have a system in the Terminal Step to determine just how many of those Mission Kill fighters are actually lost and how many are recovered and repaired to fight another battle.