Posting mode: Reply
Password(Password used for file deletion)
  • Supported file types are: GIF, JPG, PNG
  • Maximum file size allowed is 3072 KB.
  • Images greater than 250x250 pixels will be thumbnailed.
  • Read the rules and FAQ before posting.
  • ????????? - ??

  • File : 1245717498.jpg-(23 KB, 500x363, eve-online01.jpg)
    23 KB Anonymous 06/22/09(Mon)20:38 No.4966294  
    What's a good way to roleplay space battles that doesn't feel slow and clunky?

    Pic related, it's slow and clunky space combat.
    >> teka 06/22/09(Mon)22:01 No.4967080
         File : 1245722480.jpg-(63 KB, 500x306, postnatal.jpg)
    63 KB
    train for more Drones.
    ( 13 Drones skills trained, for a total of 5,243,387 skillPoints. )

    Erm.. I mean.. Thats actually a good question. While Eve, the lovely example, can be both slow and clunky and insanly fast paced, Scifi and space battles, especially Hard Scifi can seem very slow.

    "Okay captain, we fired the missles and lasers. The lasers may or may not hit them in an hour, the missles should make contact some time next week.."

    "well done everyone, take a break, get some snacks"

    A few options:
    Handwave on some physics and put micro-FTL drives in your missiles and use 'lasers" that fire bursts of unipolar energy that travel in an alternate dimension and achieves crazy multiples of C until it reaches the calculated target area. This means everyone is taking action and dealing with actions on the same Day at least.

    Move in close. We are talking dogfights with Gatling railguns, last-ditch micronukes lobbed around to blind enemy sensors in that all important half second you cross their fire control, etc, etc. Some handwaving here too, because without some Superscience tech, or else the first time your fighters try to make a sudden course correction at multi-hundred Kps they might just become a smear on the bottom of the cockpit.

    Example for option one would be the Empire from the Ashes (Aka Dahak Saga) where the biggest part of missile combat is massive predictive calculations trying to drop your missiles out of hyperspace inside their shields, while trying to maneuver and avoid the same in return.

    Option two might be well shown in the early dogfight/combat scenes in The Apocalypse Troll (weber) or the space combat in A Hymn Before Battle (ringo) or, hmm, maybe the Gundam anime?

    Options, at least. did you have a specific system in mind someone could help with, were you looking for suggestions? or simply looking for a barebones concept of rules to bend to your own dark will?
    >> Anonymous 06/22/09(Mon)22:10 No.4967151
    You're going to have to go with fighter/corvette dogfights it seems like. Larger ships only do slow and clunky, if they didn't the game would feel strange.

    Some limitation ideas:
    1. Space flight is a new development; no body can afford huge ships.
    2. Long range missiles/slugs are ineffective because defensive technologies swat them down.

    Thus, close range combat with agile ships is the only way to go.

    To keep things simple, combat is done on 2D space. Each ship is allowed to move a certain distance. The distance and direction it moved effects it's accuracy and evasion. Smart pilots will move in way which won't limit their accuracy, but helps their evasion. After a movement, the ship is allowed to shoot.

    You would need incremental rods to show which direction a ship has moved, and how far. After all ships have had their turns, the rods are removed and the you move the miniatures to the new location.
    >> Anonymous 06/22/09(Mon)22:16 No.4967205

    Ships don't have to move their maximum distance if they don't want to. Moving a lot will increase your evasion but lower your accuracy.

    "Single Shot" type weapons deal a lot of damage, but rely on either the enemy ship not moving or the enemy ship heading straight towards you. "Rapid Shot" weapons aren't as sensitive to movement, but deal less damage. "Missiles" ignore movement, but can be jammed.

    The incremental rods would be like "vector rod." They show how fast a ship is moving and which direction. You are almost guaranteed to hit the enemy ship if the vector stick is pointing directly at you or away from you. You are very likely to miss if the vector rod is perpendicular to your aiming, or if the rod is too long (which means fast).
    >> Anonymous 06/22/09(Mon)22:23 No.4967271
         File : 1245723802.jpg-(2 KB, 200x200, Untitled.jpg)
    2 KB
    From the picture, your ship is guarenteed to hit 2 because 2 is heading straight at you, regardless of it's speed. 1 is hard to hit because the vector rod is too long and perpendicular to your aim. 3 is easier to hit because the vector rod is short, even if it is perpendicular to your aim.

    Figuring out accuracy and evasion when both you and the enemy ships move is a bit more difficult. You could probably simplify it by only allowing ships to move in eight directions or something.
    >> teka 06/22/09(Mon)22:27 No.4967299
         File : 1245724022.jpg-(69 KB, 650x460, thefear.jpg)
    69 KB
    And if one is not using a mini-based game?
    >> Anonymous 06/22/09(Mon)22:28 No.4967311
    Well, I think a lot of it is going to depend on the setting and backstory. I think in the most "realistic" scenario we'll see the rather dull super-long range combat where you never even see your opponent. Compare how modern long range aircraft fighting is, it's certainly not the heroic dogfighting seen in WW1 and WW2.

    Lets, brainstorm a bit, what would be required in a setting to get ships to get in each other's faces and duke it out. Here's some you could try

    1. Laser technology has proven unsuitable as a direct weapon. Specialty armor's have developed that are reflective/conductive/heat resistant enough that they can disperse the energy of all but the hugest lasers. Most military craft has this armor, but most space commerce and pirate vessels do not. Some ships are specially built around massive laser/ion cannons. These ships are usually used for orbital bombardment, but there have been tales of desperate broadsides against other spacecraft. Lasers are still critical however, as they form the main missile-defense system of most ships. The tracking capabilities of lasers make standard long-range missile attacks of little threat.

    >> Anonymous 06/22/09(Mon)22:31 No.4967344
    I have no idea how that would really work out. If you aren't going to use miniatures, then you would be working with large, slow ships. In EVE online, large ships just pound it out with each other. Frigates rely on speed and maneuverability. Choose the system that you want.

    So to wrap my idea up, ships would have these stats:

    Hull Integrity
    Shields/Armor (Optional)
    Speed (The maximum length vector rod it can use)
    Maneuverability (How much it can "turn" from it's previous movement, like 90 degrees)
    Weapon Loadout

    Accuracy and Evasion are figured out from the movement of the ships along with some dice rolling. Limiting the ships to movement in eight direction would make things drastically simpler.
    >> Anonymous 06/22/09(Mon)22:39 No.4967429

    2. Missile technology has changed due to the effectiveness of fast-tracking laser anti-missile defense systems. Missiles can still be highly destructive when employed in one of three ways. The first method is to utilize large, armored "torpedos". These weapons often are delivered at relatively short ranges and often serve as a killing blow against an enemy vessel. The second method is to release short range swarming missiles to overwhelm laser defense systems and score multiple, if not high yield, explosions on the enemy hull. The third use is to use conventional missiles to finish off disabled ships who no longer have operational laser defense systems. Pirates like to use missiles, often crude home-built ones, as their merchant prey rarely have expensive laser defense systems.

    3. With lasers not very efficient, and missiles too easy to counter with fast-tracking lasers. Good old kinetic weapons are the favorite of warships. These ships often have huge caliber cannons with which they exchange fire with other warships. Some ships use a high-yield turreted design, while others use a "broadside" of fixed guns at close range. A battle between two large, equally matched warships can often be devastating for both parties, often it is hard to imagine any survivors on either ship. Most battle protocol promotes disabling the enemy ship as much as possible to avoid heavy damage on your own vessel.

    4. Because direct kinetic gun fights are so costly, boarding is a common tactic. The space around conflicting battleships is often swarming with boarding vessels from either side. This space is filled with flak, tracking guns/lasers, and even enemy interceptors. A lot of pride is placed on having skilled and deadly marine teams that can board and disable the enemy vessel. This requires both ships to carry a considerable number of capable fighting men, both to board and defend.

    >> Anonymous 06/22/09(Mon)22:44 No.4967476
    Space Combat happens at close skirmish range, by these reasons:

    -Advances in armouring and insulants make it hard for everything except specialized explosives and railguns to work on the cruisers.
    -This makes Frigates firebases for specialized weapons that take cover using the cruisers and realize semi-static support or daring boarding operations.
    -Dogfighting among drones(small missiles)), remotes (small and stealthy) and fighters(heavy skirmish weapons) are now the main way to disable the enemy. At the end of disabling, the armour makes it very hard to obliterate the nemy should it choose to escape.


    Cruisers: Wide-Lasers and E-Bombs disable systems with ease (thus enforcing skirmish tactics). Special Shells and Railguns are the main armour-busters. Drones, Remotes and Fighters can be deployed and command from here. Also can use all the other weapons, but coordination is fuck difficult.

    Frigates: Seeker misiles, Railguns and Disruptors that fend off the small wings realizing operations. Mechanical Busters for boarding and Drones for def/off support can be loaded.

    Fighters and Remotes: Remotes are commonly stealth units vying for intelligence, a sharp hit or squad/defenses disruption. Fighters are menat to disable weapon systems in dinamic maneuvers to force the nemey out and dogfight Remotes and Fighters to maintain spae dominance.
    >> Anonymous 06/22/09(Mon)22:45 No.4967482

    5. Due to the necessity to close in with your foe, many battleships are mounted with massive, superdense ramming heads. While the battle is raging, it's often common to see the navigators of each ship trying to land or avoid a brutal ramming manuver. There are reports of full-speed, surprise ramming attacks that have broken even large warships apart at the midsection. Some warships suited for boarding action will often seek to ram their foe to lodge the ships together. At which point large scale boarding operations may begin. This can be dangerous, however, as any large scale explosions of one ship can wreak havok on them both.

    So there you go, a space combat system with justification to close in close to your enemy, often similar to ship combat that took place well before the 21st century. Pirates, boarders, torpedos, ramming, marines, etc.
    >> Anonymous 06/22/09(Mon)22:47 No.4967499
    Sail charms.
    >> Anonymous 06/22/09(Mon)22:47 No.4967501
    Totally unrelated to that other guy, btw, i'm just amking a resume as to why space fights would be Napoleonic messy skirmishes.
    >> Anonymous 06/22/09(Mon)22:51 No.4967529
    boarding seems even more vulnerable to laser defenses than the missiles.
    >> Anonymous 06/22/09(Mon)22:52 No.4967542
    Give us more details. Are you dealing with characters who want to have fast paced space battles? Are they supposed to be pilots of fighters, or leading large frigates? What's more important to you, a tactical based system, or a strategy based system?
    >> Anonymous 06/22/09(Mon)22:53 No.4967555
    The military laser used today can be stopped by a mattress. Aerogel (also present today) or even ballistic ceramic should be enough to stop overcharged sci-fi lasers.
    >> Anonymous 06/22/09(Mon)22:53 No.4967562
    Savage Worlds has a good if abstract space combat system in the form of the chase system and combat rules. Worked fine for us.
    >> Salamanders Fanbro !!IkBm+qsTaW7 06/22/09(Mon)22:57 No.4967592
    Napoleonic naval warfare didn't typically devolve into the bloody skirmishes beloved so much by the spectators. It instead revolved around the primacy of the large ships of the line forming opposing lines of battle and exchanging gunfire for hours or even days. Boarding was comparatively rare in Napoleonic times, at least among the navies.

    As a side note, space fighters, while cool, are idiotic.
    >> Anonymous 06/22/09(Mon)22:59 No.4967604

    Most boarding crafts are just large and armored enough to make it through the laser grids. If there aren't many missiles to track, the lasers often will turn against enemy boarding crafts, but it tends to take a lucky shot to dissuade one. Large killing-blow torpedos can be of similar size and armor to boarding craft, as both are designed to be just big and armored enough to make it through the laser defense grid. Standard, unarmored missiles are just too fragile to connect.
    >> Anonymous 06/22/09(Mon)23:05 No.4967646
    Oh pardon, I wasn't talking naval nor setpiece battles. I was referring to how battlefront land skirmishes (those that could last many days) were realized, with units taking farms/churches or villages and defending or slowly advancing until one army was too weary/disperse and had to bail out.
    >> Anonymous 06/22/09(Mon)23:16 No.4967722
    I don't think ranges that extreme for hard sci-fi make sense. At the very least, a few light seconds, possibly even closer, would work. Enough so that missile and possibly laser/plasma salvoes can be exchanged with only a slight delay.
    >> teka 06/23/09(Tue)02:49 No.4969219
         File : 1245739766.jpg-(50 KB, 550x313, 0030-1239597320228.jpg)
    50 KB
    bumping, because if you let this thread off sensors you can expect a tacnuke floating into your fleet formations.

    And why not super long range? Almost every development of modern military stuff is ways to kills someone from even Farther away. See US Navy Railgun project.

    You telling me that it wouldnt at least be Fun to try and nail that invader Just as they pass Mars on their way in from outsystem? From our polar-orbiting battleship, of course.

    If NASA managed to scribble enough math to get a tin can full of fighter pilots to the moon and back, I hold out hope that awesome scifi could scan, chart someones course and speed and then bracket the ship with clusters of heavy metal projectiles timed to fill up every possible change of speed and direction from that point.

    *click* "Aannd.. we got'em"
    "what do you mean? We've only just fired, that pattern wont reach them until tomorrow"
    "And when it reaches, its going to hit. The AI has a success calculation that nears unity.. that whole ship is dead, they just don't know it"

    Of course, this would push advances in stealth, spoofing, unmanned swarms and counter-AI smart systems to wring that one last impossible trick from the nav systems at the last moment.

    This probably comes back to clunky gameplay, Im afraid.

    "roll for stealth.. ok, your ship explodes.. on Tuesday"
    "But.. but.. its Wednesday"
    "Yeah, well.. they think they might have Possibly seen something coming, so they fired. You have no escape. Now, roll to see how many crew members take their suicide pill"

    Railroads.. In.. Space!

    disclaimer. I take no responsibility for posts after 2am local.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)03:52 No.4969683

    Depends on the speeds. The faster the ships travel, and the more time lapsing between launch and arrival of ordinance, the more of an area you have to cover. And by a wider area, I mean a fuckhuge area. Three dimensions and large possible accelerations make the area they 'will end up' an absolutely enormous area. Large enough that getting any sizable piece of matter there would be silly. Now, if you have GIANT LAZZORS then you have a chance, for your first shot, of hitting the fuckers, if they don't know you're trying to hit them.In noncombat situations, there isn't a reason for a large number of course changes if you already know where you're going, so in that case, you could assume your course, shoot at where they will be when they will be there, and if you hit, you might be able to do some real damage. Again, a problem arises if you MISS, because now they won't likely approach in a straight line anymore. They can't see the first attack coming because your weapon was traveling at the speed of light, but if you try to fling something slower than that at them, they'll likely see it, and have ample time to do something about it before it gets there.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)03:53 No.4969687
    >>4969683 (cont'd)

    I've always liked Honor Harrington's space battles. The ships are huge, and quite a bit of time IS passing, but Weber tends to skim over the delays in the narrative in a smooth fashion. So, insofar that DMing is writing, you might want to take a peek into that.

    You could also try something like Star Wars, or some other sci-fi that isn't very hard. (Not that I'm saying Honor Harrington is really hard Sci-Fi, but compared to Star Wars... Yeah.) Fighters dodging in and out between frigates lobbing cannon fire at each other wouldn't feel slow or clunky.

    You could put in technology that counters long-range attacks (They have really long-range missiles? We have a point-defense system that can snipe them just before they get here), while letting short-range attacks stay much more useful. Depending on how you do it, it could turn a large clunky fight into a dogfight, or a jousting match, where the two ships flying at each other at high speeds don't want to decelerate or collide, so they fly at each other in such a way that weapons range only lasts a few seconds at a time between 'turn arounds' which last a couple minutes. Setting up the run wouldn't take too hard, and each 'round' with the dice/damage exchange could just be one of those short jousting sessions.
    >> Muon 06/23/09(Tue)03:57 No.4969714
    I wish that one anon hadn't linked me to the "hardcore science" science fiction analysis site. Now I can't even look at this.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)07:08 No.4970855
         File : 1245755337.gif-(10 KB, 720x450, spacewarfare.gif)
    10 KB
    One hit, one kill. No shields, no armour, no hiding, no cloaking. Just nukes, counter-missiles, decoys and sensor jamming.

    Just shooting your nukes, and hope you don't get hit, and your enemy does get hit.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)07:24 No.4970913
    I mastered a lot of space battles and IMHO, it's not worth the hassle. Most of the times the PC were only in control of part of the ship's systems anyway, so why roll out the whole battle when the PC only control 1 weapon system and some engine components, and must follow orders. Narrative is much more important for suspense, so I just roll some general numbers, like who wins and how bad the damage is, and fudge the rest.

    If you want to have the PC in control of (a) whole ship(s), I strongly suggest sticking to a 2D grid and use an old Battletech hex sheet and miniatures/placeholders. Simplify as much as possible, 1 movement, 1 attack, resolve, repeat. Otherwise a simle 2 ship skirmish will lturn into a session filling freeze frame crawl.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)07:31 No.4970945
    No one likes my Dying Fetus "One Hit One Kill" theory?
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)07:35 No.4970963
    I like it, but I do think stealth would be a factor, since it's surprisingly hard to find objects in space that aren't reflecting or emitting significant amounts of radiation.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)07:39 No.4970978
    But you can't hide a spaceship... You're emitting huge amounts of warmth, radiation and energy... you'd have to turn off ALL auxiliary systems and hide inside the "killzone" of a sun to hide in space.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)07:41 No.4970983
    Usually space battles are modeled after historic naval warfare. Use a system for that.

    If you want hard SF realism, forget about battle. Automated systems react so much faster than humans that all the latter should be doing is setting mission parameters and pressing start. Miniaturized vehicles beat the crap out of any capital ship. The limitations of maintaining live support and survivable inertia make any manned ship a sitting duck. And most engagements will be over moments after they've begun, crews just die or don't without having any influence.

    A typical attack would be more like a terrorist strike. Launched at relativistic speeds from outside the system to maintain some stealth (engine activation cannot be concealed, space is empty and cold, anything hot sticks out).

    The only thing PC can do is strategize, set tactics and roe, and watch it unfold, preferably from far away. A devious gambit on the other hand could still give the characters the chance to 'win the war'.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)07:44 No.4970998

    Actually, stealth is probably the most important factor in spess ship combat, its just normally ignored. Regular sci fi battles are the futuristic equivalent of old revolutionary war era british tactics.

    Hiding ships inside planetoids, or making ships OUT OF planetoids, is probably the best bet.

    You might even have settings in which the required Elder Race has disguised a ship as a moonlet of some gas giant in the system, leaving it there for bajillions of years.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)07:47 No.4971010
    A hard sci fi RPG could be pretty cool, especially since fights would be QUICK.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)07:50 No.4971027
    Great to have a defense moon in place. But if you move it into position, the stealth is gone. Stellar bodies, no matter how small, can be projected reliably into the future. So once your planetoid moves to get a shot off, it's revealed.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)07:52 No.4971032
    I know stealth is incredibly important... but you can't HIDE in space... You'll always leave traces.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)07:59 No.4971054
    Ironically the improvement of defense technology makes war absolute. Weapons travel as fast as the medium (electrons?) your defensive technology uses. That means when you realize you've been shot at, you're either already dead, or about to die before your finger reaches the raise-shields-button. Anyway the only option you have is to fire at any enemy as soon as you detect him. Chances are your weapons will pass each other, and all get killed.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)08:06 No.4971087
    Tricks of fightan in space: Paint your ship black. When you are reasonably sure the enemy has seen you, put up ultra-perfect heat-resistant mirrors that cover half the ship.

    Fire a laser at the enemy from an obscene range. It can be one of those 4-euro tourist lasers if you want, it doesn't matter. It's going to take the enemy so long to get to you that it's perfectly OK to heat them up a little at a time. It's even better if they don't notice it happening.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)08:15 No.4971117
    Yup. And it's also why ground combat would be a pipedream. Nobody would risk landing troops when you could just glass the planet and be done with it.

    It might sound paranoid, but this is one reason I think we should be more cautious about trying to find alien life... it might just find us first, and if it considers us a threat or a competitor, it won't give us a chance.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)08:32 No.4971191
    >Nobody would risk landing troops when you could just glass the planet and be done with it.

    unless you..you know, wanted the planet intact. which would be most of times,unless you were involved in total war with aliens.

    anyway, back to OP's question-i'd just use one of the availible wargames, most of them have ship construction system,so you can even stat out your party's ship/fleet. give the player's ship some boni,like reroll to hit or better manouvering, so they aren't just another ship, and it's done. you don't even need models, all the games take into account the base only, so cutting some bases and writing names on it would be enough.it will be somewhat time-consuming to play out a task group engagement, but i bet it'll still take less time than playing out a battle in pure RPG system.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)09:09 No.4971322
         File : 1245762542.gif-(21 KB, 301x550, dropcapsule-02.gif)
    21 KB
    That's what cap troopers are for.
    >> teka 06/23/09(Tue)09:28 No.4971397
    c'mon you apes! you wanna live forever?
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)13:05 No.4972606
    You just need one small bomb...
    ...if you can send it through time.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)13:09 No.4972632
    >...if you can send it through time.

    I'm hating you to death.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)13:18 No.4972682
    Hard sci fag here.

    There is no stealth in space.
    The two big weapons are missiles and lasers.
    "Missiles" means any kinetic mass, accelerated to over 3km/s.
    Lasers win, in terms of asskicking per joule.
    Whoever can handle the most heat wins a laser battle.
    Planets can handle a LOT of waste heat.
    Planets are motherfucking laser death machines.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)13:22 No.4972703
    If you want the planet intact, it's even easier. You don't even have to ACTUALLY glass it, you just threaten to glass it, and they'll bend over eventually.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)13:25 No.4972712
    >>4972682 is correct, and it dovetails nicely with what I put here >>4972703.

    Lasers won't hurt planets.
    Nukes do.

    Nukes won't hurt ships (because you shoot them down with lasers, and lasers are faster than nukes).
    Lasers do (since you can't shoot them down, and can only be dispersed by adding mass, which makes your ships slower and easier to hit with a missile).
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)13:26 No.4972719
    Threaten to glass it and they'll mop the floor with you. It's you in a little ship versus them in a big, big planet. You're dead, boyo.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)13:27 No.4972732
    Planets can shoot down nukes as well. Know how much diffraction lasers get when firing straight out of the atmosphere from a ground-based platform?

    Virtually none.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)13:30 No.4972750
    To really leave our system and come back, you need FTL anyway, so keeping it hard SF is hard to do. Bending space around yourself seems as plausible a way to do that as any. If you can bend space, you already have the perfect weapon. A single warhead could mess with the orbit of planets, sheer vessels to shreds, even destroy stars' criticality balance.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)13:31 No.4972757
    Eh, it's one of those situations where the planet has more to lose than the ship. There would probably be a lot more people on your average planet (50 million+) than on your average starship (10-50).
    >> Salamanders Fanbro !!IkBm+qsTaW7 06/23/09(Tue)13:31 No.4972758
    You niggers really need to learn about sum delicious BPL
    >> Salamanders Fanbro !!IkBm+qsTaW7 06/23/09(Tue)13:33 No.4972774
    Also if any of you faggots seriously suggest manned fighters I will hate you to death.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)13:34 No.4972775
    No, you just need to resign yourself to a couple of centuries per round trip. AI could do it easy, or Singularitied humans, or some kind of cryosleep. While none of those are ROCK hard sci fi, they're sure as hell harder than telling physics to go screw just cause it interferes with your story.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)13:37 No.4972789
    No it isn't. They'll swat you like a fly. Unless you're an Outsider of some kind with totally unknown capabilities, that kind of bluff with those kind of odds will always be called.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)13:37 No.4972792
    >people on your average starship (10-50)
    What's that based on? Stargate?

    SciFi tends to either feature ridiculously understaffed ships with a crew of just about party size, or incredibly big floating cities with thousands of inhabitants.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)13:44 No.4972838
    For comparison's sake, most modern aircraft carriers have complements of over 5000 men. To do all that IN SPAAACE should require at least that much.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)13:44 No.4972839
    With enough armor and/or conducting materials on the outer hull of a ship lasers can be rendered near useless. Particle beams have some mass behind them but it's equivilant to sand blasting a classic car. Yes you'll ruin it's nice look but it'll keep going.

    Kinetic kill vehicles are where it's at. They have their own unique problems, mainly in that they're short range compared to the other two but there are ways to get around that.

    Missiles carrying a heavy mass instead of a live payload for instance.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)13:46 No.4972849
    >What's that based on? Stargate?
    Understand, there are not any starships right now to base it on.

    I'm operating under the assumption that starships will have small crews thanks to mechanization of most tasks. Passenger ships will probably have lots of people on them, but they will not fight anybody.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)13:46 No.4972856

    These remain my favorite rules in the thread.

    By the way, we should archive this for posterity.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)13:48 No.4972868
    The best and most entertaining descriptions of space battles I've read in recent years were in Alastair Reynolds' Revelation Space trilogy. I'm not qualified to tell how "hard" that scifi is, but it felt pretty realistic.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)13:49 No.4972878
    Given that we are not currently IN SPAAAAACE, you can probably reasonably assume that by the time we are, most of the tasks filled by your average aircraft carrier crew will be filled entirely by machine: 1) sensors monitoring, 2) repair, 3) piloting of aircraft.

    Hell, items 1 and 3 can practically ALREADY be done by remote or not even by humans at all, but it's a piece of mind thing, like having train conductors or pilots for cargo aircraft.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)13:51 No.4972893
    The more armor you pile on, the less effectively you can jink. The less you jink, the easier it is to hit you. Mass starts to win out when you can sink more heat than the enemy can dodge, but by that point you're flying a hollowed-out asteroid.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)13:51 No.4972894
    The problem with the underlying assumption that lasers are ineffective in ship-to-ship combat is the fact that armor increases mass, and the amount of mass required to nullify high-powered lasers would probably make the ships difficult to move around, which means space combat is pretty unlikely to occur in the first place.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)13:52 No.4972899
    Wow, fuck me, PEACE OF MIND, not piece.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)13:54 No.4972917
    kinetic kill mass is fine to obliterate planets, but when hunting a ship you need to be able to compensate for course corrections. And at relativistic speeds, even getting that information is a real deal breaker. But you'd better kill all opposition with your first lazor salvo, because tracers work both ways.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)13:56 No.4972923
    If you want to follow THAT logic, hell, why have anyone on board at all? Computers would have to calculate where to aim, they can fire by themselves, and unless you're driving an asteroid, getting hit means you die anyway. Remove the humans and you remove the need for life support, and you can jink with as many Gs as you like.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)13:59 No.4972940
    You really wouldn't need them. Maybe you want them around for peace of mind, just like how you don't want your trains to drive themselves now.

    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:01 No.4972946
    >armor and/or conducting materials
    Weigh your ship down, bro. You only have access to so much fuel and there may be quite a lot of downtime between refuels, so adding on weight that you have to spend more fuel to drag along isn't generally a good idea unless you're defending an area or if you bring a big ass (and highly vulnerable) tanker with you.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:01 No.4972949
    Well, your "peace of mind" requires constant supply and makes the ship a shitton easier to hit in combat. Sure we still have jet pilots around, but most of the real action these past few years has been done by remote control.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:07 No.4972981
    I'm not saying that isn't true. At a certain point, however, you can handwave in reasons for there to be SOMEBODY on board, i.e. computers may not be able to completely repair everything, or you are required by international law to have a human at the helm of any armed warship, or perhaps there's an inertial dampening chamber that human beings can go into the moment they enter the operational theater (i.e. Forever War).
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:07 No.4972986
    I like brick vs needle -ship debates.

    Bricks need more fuel to move, but it you're flying a brick you won't need to jink in combat, making extended combat a fuel-cheap proposition. So it'd take more fuel to get somewhere, but once there you can stick around much longer than a needle could.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:10 No.4973006

    coat your ship in a material like this geared to common scanning frequencies, all though it would leave you blind
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:10 No.4973010
    Your handwaving can go eat a dick.

    Why do humans have to be shoehorned into every space story? Why not have an AI protagonist? If they truly are intelligent, they should be capable of loyalty and patriotism as well, no?
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:12 No.4973033
    >remote control.
    remote control is not computer or AI-today, it's the human operator that controls the drones, and if you want to do that in SPAAACE, you're fucked by the distances involved..it's what, few minutes between mars and earth, so either both sides have very limited control over the battle, or one side puts humans into the hulls, and have upper hand.AI/Computers without any human input might be an answer,but...what sane species would field armed vessels it has no immediate control of? fuck,even a civilian ship could do immense damage if you shoved it into a planet fast enough.If we're ever going to war in space, and we're still fleshy, there will be humans aboard.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:12 No.4973034

    >Nukes won't hurt ships (because you shoot them down with lasers, and lasers are faster than nukes).

    You'd have to have one fuck off powerful laser to vaporize enough of any sort of missile (let alone something as a dense as a nuke) for a plain old kinetic impact to be safe. Basically it comes down to a completely hypothetical question of whether the laser guy has enough power and heat dissipation to run a laser(s) that can burn up missile guy's missile(s) before they strike. There's no right answer because it's all make believe technology.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:13 No.4973051
    *assuming said ship survives atmosphere entry of course.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:14 No.4973055
    There is no stealth in space.


    Even if they can't see you, even if they don't know you're there, the instant you try to move within firing range, they'll know exactly where you are, where you're headed, how big you are, and very probably how well your engine has been maintained. Unless you speak up right fucking quick you're getting a laser up the ass, coating or no.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:14 No.4973056
    An aircraft carrier's crew is roughly half ship's complement and half air crew for the 80-90 aircraft.
    Also note that the size of modern supercarriers is due to the increased size of the aicraft they carry -- the actual quantity of aircraft is the same as it has been since the 40s. So, for SPAAAACE carriers, if you went the drone route, if they are individually intended to be expendable, you could either dramatically reduce the size of the ship or dramatically increase the quantity of drones carried.

    People often forget that the amount of crew you need is actually double or even triple the number of jobs you have for them to do, because you have to operate 24/7.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:15 No.4973068
    doesn't the atmosphere have a focusing effect on nuclear explosions increasing the destructiveness
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:15 No.4973071
    So you're suggesting that there will never be an ai smart enough for us to trust with war? Oh boy.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:19 No.4973101
    1) Fire/stop firing is all you need. The computer can handle the rest. That works fine, even from minutes away.

    2) Why would an AI crew be necessarily more capricious than humans? We're wily, treacherous bastards and they've either been programmed for loyalty or selected as least as stringently for it.

    3) >>If we're ever going to war in space, and we're still fleshy, there will be humans aboard.

    Repeating your argument doesn't make true.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:19 No.4973102

    >There's no right answer because it's all make believe technology.

    Haha, oh wow.

    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:22 No.4973134
    It certainly does, and what's more: In atmosphere nukes generate EMP.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:24 No.4973160
    The Aliens Technical Manual as probably the best (realistic but still fun) depiction of possible space combat. Basically, it's written up like submarine warfare. Lots of trying to be stealthy and avoid attention, then sudden brief fights.

    They talk about things like avoiding motion against the starfield from the perspective of your potential target. If your ship happens to move in front of a star while somebody is looking in your direction, BLAM!

    The longest range weapons are massive two-stage guided missiles. Second to that are long-range lasers, which although they can hit faster, their damage attenuates with range. Then the rarely-used close-in weapons: railguns. And finally some point-defence lasers.

    Also, a truly awesome weapon: a bigass net. You drop one while in orbit and it uses thrusters to slow itself down just enough so that another ship comes plowing into it at orbital speeds and gets killed.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:27 No.4973184
    Even if the nuke didn't explode, the force being hit by being hit by a multi-tonne object traveling at mach 10 (keep in mind that that is how fast we can chuck objects using contemporary railguns) would probably take the wind out of you unless your ship's hull was made of titanium diamonds.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:31 No.4973215
    The reason why you don't put humans on a battleship is because they take up mass and space, both of which are at a premium. An AI-operated ship doesn't need to be weighed down with life support and radiation shielding, which lets you put in more engine, guns and reaction mass. Simply put, keeping a human alive in space is just too much work - I mean, NASA no longer puts PAINT on their shuttles because the extra mass of a coat of paint is something that you can do without and be happier. If you can also remove the mass of the humans and all the stuff they need to stay alive, you make your ship way more effective.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:31 No.4973221
    >Why would an AI crew be necessarily more capricious than humans?
    never said that. i said humans won't TRUST AI enough to hand over an entire branch of warfare to it. Unless of course something dramatic changes our entire civilization,and suddenly we're trusting hippes.

    >That works fine, even from minutes away.
    if we're talking SF, then inter-stellar warfare is possible..and then what? send the controller with the ships?then you have one extremely tempting and vunerable target. spread the controllers over a few ships? you'v just got crewed ships. or go back to fully autonomous ai/computer idea...
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:32 No.4973228
    Yes, but simple kinetic kills are hard to arrange when you're shooting at a target that's a light second away and trying very hard not to be hit.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:33 No.4973234
    A Mote in God's Eye had a nice way to keep space combat interesting: the Langston field. It was a completely opaque field of energy enveloping your ship that could absorb the kinetic energy of any lasers and missiles fired at it. The more energy it absorbed, the hotter it got. If you absorbed too much energy without a chance to vent some of it, then the field would "break" and went all of the built-up energy right into your ship, killing you instantly. You could also have "burn-throughs" where a large amount of kinetic energy focused on a single part of the field would momentarily penetrate and hit the ship.

    To fight back, you would have to extend cameras and sensors through your field for a few seconds to find the enemy, then you would fire your lasers and missiles at his projected coordinates, computer opening a hole in your field juuust wide enough to accomadate the passing beam or missile before closing again.

    It allowed for close-range, real-ish space battles that weren't over at the first shot, but didn't take forever to resolve either.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:34 No.4973240
    I submit to you that the humans who don't trust AI are going to be wiped out by the cheaper and more effective warcraft of the humans who do trust AI.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:34 No.4973247
    so the consensus of this thread is that there is no way to make hard sci-fi space battles.

    stick with space opera and you can make it whatever you like. age of sail in space, WWII pacific theater in space, submarine warfare in space, ect.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:38 No.4973274
    Happy Medium: Have ships be completely AI controlled, with only one human member who has executive control on their actions.

    The human would be someone who, as a baby, had his brain scooped out, placed in an electroencephalic nutrient jar, and taught the ways of negotiation, starship tactics and command, AI interface, and other such things necessary for commanding a starship.

    The brain woudn't require even half the resources as a full-bodied human and would be conditioned from birth to be perfect for his role.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:39 No.4973275
    Fucking fail, idiot. Those are extremely short range lasers that are designed to destroy ICBMS, they can't vaporize a nuke; but that's beside the point anyway, because we have no idea how small 'battle lasers' could be made with SPPPPAAACCCEEE technology or how efficient they could be or how much heat you'd need to damage SPPPACCCEEE metal. The technology in general is so far in the future that nobody can know for sure, get it?
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:40 No.4973286
    >AI are going to be wiped out by the cheaper and more effective warcraft of the humans who do trust AI.
    who then will trust the AI,which is allowed to kill humans, not to wipe them out in turn, or terrorize them into submssion(remeber,the AI now controls the most powerful weapons of said humans)...i don't know, maybe it's different where you live,but i'd have hard time finding so trusting people.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:41 No.4973297
    That could work, but another advantage to electronic machinery over flesh is that it can handle the g-forces better. So someone whose ship can pull a 10g turn will win over someone who can only do a 5 g turn before the entire crew is knocked unconscious.

    I don't know how much your brain-in-a-jar can handle. Maybe it's even better. I'm just throwing it out there as something to consider.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:41 No.4973301
    >>send the controller with the ships?then you have one extremely tempting and vunerable target

    ... who will be sitting pretty a few light MINUTES from a battle being waged by ships a few light SECONDS from each other. At a distance where jinking is much less fuel intensive and retreat is easy to accomplish.

    The alternative is to put humans directly on your ships and be completely fucking destroyed by enemies that can get closer than you can without being hit.

    It's not hard math to do.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:43 No.4973310
    Yet another alternative is digitized humans, Kurzweil style. We can fully trust the AIs because we ARE the AIs.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:45 No.4973321
    I'd say it's a question of having an edge over the other guy. If someone isn't willing to use AI-controlled dronecraft, then someone else will simply because it means that they now have more power than you, fearing that if they didn't, you might have power over them.

    I guess you could have some sort of space convention where everyone agrees not to have AI droneships, so anyone using AI droneships automatically becomes the enemy of everyone else and even their edge doesn't help them against overwhelming numbers.
    >> TurnBasedAnon 06/23/09(Tue)14:45 No.4973326
    We should archive this.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:46 No.4973332
    Oh, we could do hard sci-fi, just not in a way that would be interesting in any way.

    The easiest thing to do is just say "Fuck space" and stick to the air: WWI-level technology, with battle zeppelins exchanging cannon and rocket fire, biplanes and triplanes machinegunning each other, etc. You still have (limited) 3d movement, dogfighting, stealth, and all of that other stuff that people want out of space games but can't get thanks to physics.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:46 No.4973335
    We trust people with that all the time. And people regularly DO turn and bite the hand that feeds them. Because of your fear and ignorance you're holding AI up to a standard that mere humans would fail every time.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:46 No.4973337
    It's very hard to change direction in space, especially if there are humans on board. That's of course assuming that you're trying to hit the enemy with a hunk of slag rather than a guided missile shot from a rail gun. Also, you realize that lasers lose focus over distance right? You'd need an even BIGGER laser to destroy a missile from that far away.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:49 No.4973366
    That brings us to one problem (not a logical or scientific problem, a narrative problem) with that sort of technology. If you can digitize and/or upload human minds, then you can back up your personality. Which means that you lose a lot of narrative tension, since it makes everyone immortal so long as nobody blows up ALL your backups, you can always come back to life, just without the memories you gained between backing up and dying.

    So you don't have a valiant space commander sacrifice her life to save a bunch of people, you have her die and immediately be resurrected after her death is confirmed. All she's lost is memories of what happened between backing up and her heroic "last stand".
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:51 No.4973383
    >... who will be sitting pretty a few light MINUTES from a battle being waged by ships a few light SECONDS from each other. At a distance where jinking is much less fuel intensive and retreat is easy to accomplish.

    Defender has more than one force. you'll either split your force to intercept the one sent to kill your controller,risking losing the advantage of numbers, or they'll be in such position from the start(bad luck, good intel,whatever) that you won't be able to intercept in time. having humans on (at the very least) few ships in the actual flotilla allows for command chain that will survive the loss of one of it's parts. it just doesn't makes sense to put all the eggs into one basket-what you will gain in tonnage, you'll lose in flexibility. of course, you can argue that if we have technology advanced enough to send ships into another system, and colonize it, we'd probably have tech good and small enough to make life support feasible and not that constraining. That is if we're not all posthumans, in which case "no Johnny, you are the spaceships"
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:53 No.4973396
    Whole lot more character exploration, though. When you're "restored," are you the same person? Sure you feel like it, but you - the other you - did in fact die. What would be the religious ramifications of this kind of scheme? What if, due to the legal history of the backups, you're considered legally dead? Not every story has to include I HAVE TO FIGHT THE DEMONS as its compelling motivation.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:53 No.4973404
    The missile will get closer eventually, and you have the benefit of knowing where it's going. The missile doesn't know your movements, but you can predict the missile's movements because it ultimately has to hit you, so you know where it has to go while it doesn't know where you're going to go. And of course since the missile is burning delta v to adjust its heading to hit you, it's making itself very obvious which again makes it easier to aim at. And given the probable distance between the missile and the point defense laser, the laser will have a LOT of time during which it can attempt to disable the missile.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:57 No.4973429
    Presumably, your character is not the first human ever to back up their personality and then use it as a restore point after they die. So I'd feel kind of silly telling a story about what you suggest, because it'd be stupid for people to just now start asking themselves questions like "is the backup a real person" when they've been using the technology for decades. By then, a consensus should already have arisen, with simple, easy answers people accept.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)14:57 No.4973438
    Battlestar Galactica handled this pretty well. The humanoid cylons could only resurrect if they were in range of a resurrection ship (Fix #1: keep players away from any kind of rez ship, far out on the frontier of their civilization, making death for them a permanent one).

    There was also the problem that, every time you resurrected, it got more and more painful each time, and the memories from a previous life carried over with you (Fix #2: some kind of recurring penalty every time you rez, and he fact that your character can learn from the mistakes of death, perhaps even become embittered or even insane from it).
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)15:00 No.4973460
    YOU are the one who suggested "all the eggs in one basket," remember? You're the luddite here. Were I to design it, I'd have AI doing the whole thing.

    Besides, if they go after the humans, the humans could just run. Sending a stop signal from fitteen light minutes away is just as good as sending it from five.

    >>or they'll be in such position from the start(bad luck, good intel,whatever) that you won't be able to intercept in time.

    THERE IS NO STEALTH IN SPACE. They'll know you're coming for a looong time, and you'll know exactly how they've set up to receive you.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)15:00 No.4973464
    of course you could just send your backup to do that nasty killing, and if it did survive,merge it's memories, or if it didn't...well,nothing of value was lost.though if humans are mostly digital creatures, the battles would probably focus on trying to cripple or corrupt your personality/memory data rather than physically harm.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)15:02 No.4973480
    Well let's just fuck the cat and make it Simmons Style. Endymion's Pax depeche ships kill the crew with every jump. So travel time is limited by resurrection time. Of course the cruciform humans were hardly more than ai drones themselves.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)15:02 No.4973482
    Yeah, but BSG basically treated it like they don't keep a permanent backup on file, but instead transmit the personality back to the resurrection ship just an instant before death, so of course the new body is burdened with the memory of the trauma leading up to the death of the previous one.

    I meant something like backing yourself up every week. So no matter what happens, no matter where you go and what happens, you're never going to lose more than a week's worth of memory when you suddenly open your eyes after starting the backup procedure and being told that it's one week later and they found your body lying in a ditch and the police would like to ask you a few questions if that's alright.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)15:05 No.4973503
    Hmm...I suppose that backed up memories would be vulnerable to editing and viral corruption...
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)15:06 No.4973508
    People still seem to get their panties in a bunch about sex, and we've been doing it since the beginning. This cuts even deeper than that, to the very core of existence. Religion and possible afterlives aren't just going to go away. People are going to care and there won't be a good answer for them. Even if society as a whole is very accepting of it, it's still a hell of a mind fuck. I'd expect at the least to see counseling and cheaply-produced pamphlets with titles like "Coping with Restoration."
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)15:06 No.4973510
    And the age old rebuttal to that argument goes:

    1) What if the missile is moving really, really fast?
    2) What if the missile is very good at absorbing heat?
    3) What if I fire a hundred missiles at you, or a thousand?

    All comes down to in the end is whether you prefer lasers or missiles.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)15:11 No.4973542
    >Sending a stop signal from fitteen light minutes away is just as good as sending it from five.

    You've just lost a lot of expensive ships because you'v run and left them without control. if the enemy is thinking, he'll refit them, and use them against you.
    Of course if both sides have electronic warfare,it's getting absurd, with both sides trying to block the other's orders by scrambling the transmissions etc.

    >Were I to design it, I'd have AI doing the whole thing.

    yes, you'v proven you're a traitor to the species already, giving over our weapons to alien intellect,no need to repeat it.

    is there also NO MANOUVERING? i don't need to hide to send some ships around to get the control ship behind your lines-it may take them more time, but you;ll need to respond somehow-either ignore, and hope to win the battle before they're in range, send some of yours to intercept, or retreat.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)15:15 No.4973573
    I haven't read the entire thread, but to the guy who keeps saying there is no stealth in space, that only holds true if we have super-science sensor fields that can monitor everything within a several light-minute radius simultaneously.

    As it stands, that's not really possible.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)15:17 No.4973591
    You don't need super science sensor fields. With modern day technology, we could spot a shuttle in orbit around fucking SATURN. It's simply a question of space being really, really cold and any sort of spaceship lighting up like a Christmas tree against a dark background. A Christmas tree that's on fire in the middle of a moonless night.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)15:19 No.4973604
    >Of course if both sides have electronic warfare,it's getting absurd, with both sides trying to block the other's orders by scrambling the transmissions etc.

    It's called a com laser
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)15:23 No.4973627
    >It's called a com laser

    So, both sender and reciever must be still relative to each other, and not doing any sudden moves,or the laser goes off target,and depending on laser's strenght and cohesion having control range limits? genius idea, especially in battle conditions.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)15:24 No.4973646
    Would it be plausible for people to simply sign some sort of Space Geneva Convention that forbids warfare in space?
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)15:25 No.4973648
    >>You've just lost a lot of expensive ships because you'v run and left them without control.

    No, you've left them without restraint. It doesn't take a super-intelligent AI to process a "kill everything in range" command.

    >>yes, you'v proven you're a traitor to the species already, giving over our weapons to alien intellect,no need to repeat it.


    >>to the guy who keeps saying there is no stealth in space, that only holds true if we have super-science sensor fields that can monitor everything within a several light-minute radius simultaneously.

    Yeah. We have them already. Actually, that's the ONLY part of this discussion we've already got.

    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)15:26 No.4973662
    Unlikely. Infact it's more likely that they'd do the opposite: no use of nuclear arms inside of a planetary atmosphere.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)15:29 No.4973683
    OP is stupid.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)15:34 No.4973739
    >No, you've left them without restraint.
    what's gonna stop the enemy from sending their own override command now that you're not there? complete lockdown of communications?

    you smell of ripe raspberries and AI fetish.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)15:35 No.4973747
    >>is there also NO MANOUVERING? i don't need to hide to send some ships around to get the control ship behind your lines-it may take them more time, but you;ll need to respond somehow-either ignore, and hope to win the battle before they're in range, send some of yours to intercept, or retreat.

    Actually no, there isn't maneuvering the way you seem to think of it. If your control ship is directly behind the battlefield, any enemy maneuver that doesn't involve going through your forces' kill range is going to have to skirt them at several light-seconds distance. Which would probably take several days to do, plus weeks to actually close in to the distance where they could conceivably hit you.

    So, no to that as well.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)15:38 No.4973770
    >>what's gonna stop the enemy from sending their own override command now that you're not there? complete lockdown of communications?

    The fuck? This isn't a goddamn hacker movie, numnuts, that shit's gonna be encrypted nine ways to Sunday.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)15:41 No.4973788
    >Which would probably take several days to do, plus weeks to actually close in to the distance where they could conceivably hit you.

    assuming there isn't more efficient propulsion system.most sf involves one. but anyway, if we do assume the sole human controller and the rest is computer,why bother with ships at all? strap as many missiles/one shots on a skeleton+engine,bring that with you, and just oversaturate the enemy defenses-it's cheaper than building full spaceships, and you can ditch them afterwards with no pain.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)15:45 No.4973829
    >>strap as many missiles/one shots on a skeleton+engine

    That sounds like a perfectly well-designed ship to me. Bare bones, light, maneuverable. A little fuel can jink for a long time. Probably long and thin, with all the weapons concentrated forward. A needle.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)15:47 No.4973848
    >The fuck? This isn't a goddamn hacker movie, numnuts, that shit's gonna be encrypted nine ways to Sunday.

    everything that can be encrypted can be read, and if the fleet was ditched with only "kill" command, you can run till you broke the code, or ran out of fuel.and that's without any fucking espionage to help you beforehand. i mean,you do have all the computers and probably AI(never said anything about not using AI's at all, just not for military uses) of your own planets to help you out.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)15:52 No.4973897
    doesn't matter,doesn;t have to manouver,or dodge,or do shit, it can look like a fucking vagina, all it has to do is deliver the missiles in one piece, and then die,or drift forever. it's not a ship, it's a launch tube with engines. yes, it's sensible,but it's also fucking boring. space combat should be about giantic leviathans of alloys and steel, blasting each other into oblivion with ranks upon ranks of guns, not faggy little gunboats.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)15:54 No.4973909
    Since you have access to your computers before the battle, you can give them a one-time pad encryption with the stand down order. If the key is longer than the message (it will be), it CANNOT be mathematically broken. You might as well wait for the ships to run out of fuel themselves, and hope the retreating humans didn't leave a "and if you haven't heard back by then, self -destruct" order.

    They won't run out of fuel, though. This scenario's between remote-controlled and human-staffed ships, remember? The humans will have died long before the AIs' tanks are empty.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)15:58 No.4973954
    >>doesn't matter,doesn;t have to manouver,or dodge,or do shit

    Actually, it does. The range at which lasers are deadly extends well beyond the range at which the lasers are accurate enough to hit a jinking foe. If you don't bother to dodge at all, they can hit you from waaay the hell off.

    But hey, those are some perfectly good engines there. Add on a laser and fuel to dodge, you got yerself a warship fit for the best of them. It doesn't make sense NOT to send it into combat, it's 80% kitted out as it is.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)15:58 No.4973963
    Large manned ships with FTL capability launch small autonomous drones and navigating missiles against other ships, and boarding parties and ground troopers in landing vessels against strategic targets. Powerful directed energy weapons can only be carried on the large ships, so bringing them into battle is the ultimate risk. Small beam projectors and mass countermeasures defend the large ships.

    So we have a basic carrier infrastructure with drones providing a perimeter and specialized ships for different missions. The capital ships are never supposed to meet in direct combat.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)16:05 No.4974042
    >The range at which lasers are deadly extends well beyond the range at which the lasers are accurate enough to hit a jinking foe

    launch the drones/missiles before the enemy's lasers are in range-multiple missiles, even if they'll have limited manouvering, are still harder to eliminate than bigger ships, and if they have nuke-pumped laser warheads the damage one missile can do is good enough. hell,even with nukes sending lots of missiles is more economical than any, ai or human controlled warship. you'll probably have one or two real ships to mop up later, but the actual battle will come down to who can launch more and more accurate missiles in shortest time.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)16:10 No.4974087
    Surely one of the better weapons would be a scattershot of kinetic projectiles? I realise the trick is either getting to close range or spewing out enough volume-worth of projectile, but otherwise you've got lumps of stuff that'll be hard to target, lots of them, (presumably) going fast enough to tear through hulls?
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)16:16 No.4974151
    This might give you some inspiration.

    Ship mobility dominates space combat; the primary objective is to align the mass accelerator along the bow with the apposing vessel's broadside. Battles typically play out as artillery duels fought at ranges measured in thousands of kilometers, though assault through defended mass relays often occur at "knife fight" ranges as close as a few dozen kilometers.

    Most ship-to-ship engagements are skirmishes between patrol vessels of cruiser weight and below, with dreadnoughts and carriers only deployed in full-scale fleet actions. Battles in open space are short and often inconclusive, as the weaker opponent generally disengages.

    Once a ship enters FTL flight the combat is effectively over; there are no sensors capable of tracking them, or weapons capable of damaging them. The only way to guarantee an enemy will stand and fight is to attack a location they have a vested interest in, such as a settled world or a strategically-important mass relay.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)16:17 No.4974166
    Shells lofted by surface navies crash back to earth when their acceleration is overwhelmed by gravity and air resistance. In space, a projectile has unlimited range, it will keep moving until it hits something.

    Practical gunnery range is determined by the velocity of the attacker's ordinance and the maneuverability of the target. Beyond a certain range, a small ship's ability to dodge trumps a larger attacker's projectile speed. The largest-ranged combat occurs between dreadnoughts, whose projectiles have the highest velocity but are the least maneuverable. The shortest-range combat is between frigates, which have the slowest projectile velocities and highest maneuverability.

    Opposing dreadnoughts open with main gun artillery duel at EXTREME ranges of tens of thousands of kilometers. The fleet close, maintaining evasive lateral motion while keeping their bow guns facing the enemy. Fighters are launched and attempt to close to disruptor torpedo range. Cautious admirals weaken the enemy with ranged fire and fighter strikes before committing to close action. Aggressive commanders advance so cruisers and frigates can engage.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)16:18 No.4974172
    At LONG range, the main guns of cruisers become useful. Friendly interceptors engage enemy fighters until the attackers enter the range of ship-based GARDIAN fire. Dreadnoughts fire from the rear, screened by smaller ships. Commanders must decide whether to commit to a general melee or retreat into FTL.

    At MEDIUM range, ships can use broadside guns. Fleets intermingle, and it becomes difficult to retreat in order. Ships with damaged kinetic barriers are vulnerable to wolfpack1 frigate flotillas that speed through the battle space.

    Only fighters and frigates enter CLOSE "knife fight" ranges of 10 or fewer kilometers. Fighters loose their disruptor torpedoes, bringing down a ship's kinetic barriers and allowing it to be swarmed by frigates. GARDIAN lasers become viable weapons, swatting down fighters and boiling away warship armor.

    Neither dreadnoughts nor cruisers can use their main guns at close range; laying the bow on a moving target becomes impossible. Superheated thruster exhaust becomes a hazard.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)16:18 No.4974180
    >Bare bones, light, maneuverable

    Which is fine, until the opponent builds a war-moon, or super-dreadnough(deathstar,however you wish to name it)-huge, heavy,armored like fucker, and with enough defenses to intercept those missiles enemy might be launching. You can make it AI, or human controlled, since it's going to be so big the human supplies won't take any serious space.
    It won't be able to dodge for shit, but the lighter invaders will either have to engage it or flee.Both designs(naked launch platforms and this) depend on how strong you make armour and weapons-if nothing is able to survive massed projectile spam, then the naked-launchers are best,but if you can up-armor enough to survive and attack, then the heavy ships are better idea.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)16:18 No.4974181
    A warship's kinetic barriers reduce the damage from solid objects, but can do nothing to block GARDIAN lasers, particle beams, and other forms of Directed Energy Weapon (DEW). The inner layer of warship protection consists of ablative armor plate designed to "boil away" when heated. The vaporized armor material scatters a DEW beam, rendering it ineffectual.

    A scaffold was built around the interior pressure hull, with sheets of ablative armor hung from the structure. Ships typically have multiple layers of armor separated by empty baffles, spaces often used for cargo storage. Cruisers, which lack the internal space to fit dedicated fighter hangers, store the shipboard fighter complement in the baffles. It is not unknown for enlisted crew to build illicit alcohol distilleries in some obscure corner of the baffles, safe from prying eyes.

    Disruptor torpedoes are powered projectiles with warheads that create random and unstable mass effect fields when triggered. These fields warp space-time in a localized area. The rapid asymmetrical mass changes cause the target to rip itself apart.

    In flight, torpedoes use a mass-increasing field, making them too massive for enemy kinetic barriers to repulse. The extra mass gives the torpedoes a very sluggish acceleration, making them easy prey for defensive GARDIAN weapons. So, torpedoes have to be launched at very close range.

    Torpedoes are the main anti-ship weapon used by fighters. They are launched from point-blank range in "ripple-fire" waves reminiscent of the ancient Calliope rocket artillery launchers (thus their popular nickname "Callies"). By saturating defensive GARDIAN systems with multiple targets, at least a few will get through.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)16:19 No.4974190
    A ships' General ARea Defensive Integration Anti-spacecraft Network (GARDIAN) consists of anti-missile / anti-fighter laser turrets on the exterior hull. Because these are under computer control, the gunnery control officer needs to do little beyond turn the system on and designate targets as hostile.

    Since lasers move at light speed, they cannot be dodged by anything moving at non-relativistic speeds. Unless the beam is aimed poorly, it will always hit its target. In the early stages of a battle, the GARDIAN fire is 100% accurate. It is not 100% lethal, but it doesn't have to be. Damaged fighters must break off for repairs.

    Lasers are limited by diffraction. The beams "spread out", decreasing the energy density (watts per m2) the weapon can place on a target. Any high-powered laser is a short-ranged weapon.

    GARDIAN networks have another limitation: heat. Weapons-grade lasers require "cool-down" time, during which heat is transferred to sinks or radiators. At lasers fire, heat builds within them, reducing damage, range, and accuracy.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)16:20 No.4974205
    GARDIAN networks have another limitation: heat. Weapons-grade lasers require "cool-down" time, during which heat is transferred to sinks or radiators. At lasers fire, heat builds within them, reducing damage, range, and accuracy.

    Fighters attack in swarms. The first few WILL be hit by GARDIAN, but as the battle continues, the effects of laser overheat allow the attacks to press ever closer to the ship. Constant use will burn out the laser.

    GARDIAN lasers typically operate in infrared frequencies. Shorter frequencies would offer superior stopping power and range, but degradation of focal arrays and mirrors would make them expensive to maintain, and most prefer mechanical reliability over leading-edge performance where lives are concerned. Salarians, however, use near-ultraviolet frequency lasers with six times the range, believing that having additional time to shoot down incoming missiles is more important.

    Lasers are not blocked by the kinetic barriers of capital ships. However, the range of lasers limits their use to rare "knife fight"-range ship-to-ship combat.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)16:21 No.4974217
    The dreadnought is the ultimate arbiter of space warfare; millions of tons of metal, ceramic, and polymer dedicated to the projection of firepower against an enemy vessel of like ability. No sane commander would face a dreadnought with anything less than another dreadnought.

    A dreadnought's power lies in the length of its main gun. Dreadnoughts range from 800 meters to one kilometer long, with a main gun of commensurate length. An 800-meter class accelerator is capable of accelerating one 2 kg. slug to a velocity of 283 km/s every two seconds. Each slug has the kinetic energy of 38 kilotons of TNT, three times the energy released by the fission weapon that destroyed Hiroshima.

    When used to bombard planets, some of this kinetic energy is lost due to atmospheric re-entry friction. As a rule of thumb, each Earth-atmosphere of air pressure saps approximately 20% of a projectile's impact energy.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)16:22 No.4974224
    All races provide their fleets with organic fighter support. Cruisers fit a handful in the space between the interior pressure hulls and exterior armor. Dreadnoughts have a hangar deck within the hull. Humans – who had only recently "graduated" from surface to space combat – were the first to build ships wielding fighters as the main armament.

    In fleet combat, carriers stay clear of battle, launching fighters bearing disruptor torpedoes. Fighters are the primary striking power of the ship; if a carrier enters mass accelerator range of the enemy, things have gone very wrong.

    It is possible to recover and rearm fighters during combat, though most carriers seal the flight deck and try to stay out of the way. The flight deck is essentially a corridor through the armor and into the heart of the vessel. A single well-placed torpedo is enough to gut a carrier.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)16:23 No.4974229
    Cruiser-weight starships are the standard combat unit encountered away from large naval bases, the "poor bloody infantry" of most fleets. Nimble scouting frigates have neither the punch nor the stamina to stand up to serious combat, and the mighty dreadnoughts are a strategic resource, carefully hoarded and committed to the most critical battles.

    Cruisers perform routine independent "show the flag" patrols in settled systems and lead flotillas of frigates in small engagements, such as pirate suppression campaigns. In major fleet engagements, cruiser squadrons support the dreadnought battle line by screening their flanks against enemies attempting to maneuver for a main gun "bow shot" from their vulnerable broadsides.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)16:23 No.4974234
    Frigates are light escort and scouting vessels. They often have extensive GARDIAN systems to provide anti-fighter screening for capital ships, and carry a squad of marines for security and groundside duty. Unlike larger vessels, frigates are able to land on planets.

    Frigate drive systems allow them to achieve high FTL cruise speeds. They also have proportionally larger thrusters and lighter design mass, allowing them to maneuver more handily. In combat, speed and maneuverability make a frigate immune to the long-range fire of larger vessels; in the time it take projectiles to reach them, frigates are no longer where they were predicted to be.

    In fleet combat, frigates are organized into "wolf pack" flotillas of four to six. Wolf packs speed through enemy formations, hunting enemy vessels whose kinetic barriers have been taken down by fighter-launched disruptor torpedoes. The wolf pack circle-strafes vulnerable targets, using their superior speed and maneuverability to evade return fire.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)16:24 No.4974242
    Fighters are single-pilot combat small craft. They are lightweight enough that they can be economically fitted with powerful element zero cores, making them capable of greater acceleration and sharper maneuvers than starships.

    Kinetic barrier shields changed starship battles from short, vicious bloodbaths to extended, indecisive slugging matches. Only the main gun of a dreadnought could punch a mass accelerator slug through the barriers of an opposing dreadnought. This changed with the development of the fighter-launched mass disruptor torpedo, a short-ranged weapon that can penetrate kinetic barriers to destroy their projector assemblies.

    Starship GARDIAN defenses must be overwhelmed through swarm tactics. Fighter groups can take heavy casualties pressing their torpedo attacks home. Once fighter-launched torpedoes have crippled an enemy's barriers, the mass accelerators on frigates and cruisers can make short work of them.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)16:25 No.4974255
    Heat limits the length and intensity of ship-to-ship combat. Starships generate enormous heat when they fire high-energy weapons, perform maneuvering burns, and run on-board combat electronics.

    In combat, warships produce heat more quickly than they can disperse it. As heat builds within a vessel, the crewed spaces become increasingly uncomfortable. Before the heat reaches lethal leaves, a ship must win or retreat by entering FTL. After an FTL run, the ships halts, shuts down non-essential systems, and activates the heat radiation gear.

    Combat endurance varies by ship design and by the battle's location. Battles in the deep cold of interstellar space can go on for some time. Engagements close to a star are brief. Since habitable worlds are usually close to a star, battles over then are usually more frantic.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)16:26 No.4974269
    Yes. What you do is shoot it in front of the enemy ship so he flies into it and gets ripped to pieces.

    The thing about this kind of thing though, is that he's going to see you fire those projectiles and he's going to know where they're going. They're not useful as a means of killing him, but as a way to reduce his maneuvering options so your OTHER weapons can kill him.

    The primary ship-killers in space are going to be missiles at long range, and lasers at short range.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)16:27 No.4974271
    Faster-than-light drives use element zero cores to reduce the mass of a ship, allowing higher rates of acceleration. This effectively raises the speed of light within the mass effect field, allowing high speed travel with negligible relativistic time dilation effects.

    Starships still require conventional thrusters (chemical rockets, commercial fusion torch, economy ion engine, or military antiproton drive) in addition to the FTL drive core. With only a core, a ship has no motive power.

    The amount of element zero and power required for a drive increases exponentially to the mass being moved and the degree it is being lightened. Very massive ships or very high speeds are prohibitively expensive.

    If the field collapses while the ship is moving at faster-than-light speeds, the effects are catastrophic. The ship is snapped back to sublight velocity, the enormous excess energy shed in the form of lethal Cherenkov radiation.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)16:27 No.4974277
    New space travelers ask, "What does it look like outside a ship moving faster-than-light speed?" Part of the answer can be seen in a simple pane of glass. Light travels slower through glass than it does through open air; light also moves slower in conventional space than it does in a high-speed mass effect field. This causes refraction - any light entering at an angle is bent and separated into a spectrum. Objects outside the ship will appear refracted. The greater the difference between the objective (exterior) and subjective (interior) speeds of light, the greater the refraction.

    As the subjective speed of light is raised within the field, objects outside will appear to red-shift, eventually becoming visible only to radio telescope antennae. High-energy electromagnetic1 sources normally hidden to the eye become visible in the high blue spectrum. As the speed of light continues to be raised, x-ray, gamma ray, and eventually cosmic ray sources become visible. Stars will be replaced by pulsars, the accretion discs of black holes, quasars, and gamma ray bursts.

    To an outside observer, a ship within a mass effect drive envelope appears blue-shifted. If within a field that allows travel at twice the speed of light, any radiation it emits has twice the energy as normal. If the ship is in a field of about 200 times light speed, it radiates visible light as x-rays and gamma rays, and the infrared heat from the hull is blue-shifted up into the visible spectrum or higher.

    Ships moving at FTL are visible at great distances, though their signature will only propagate at the speed of light.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)16:28 No.4974285
    As positive or negative electric current is passed through an FTL drive core, it acquires a static electrical charge. Drives can be operated an average of 50 hours before they reach charge saturation. This changes proportionally to the magnitude of mass reduction; a heavier or faster ship reaches saturation more quickly.

    If the charge is allowed to build, the core will discharge into the hull of a ship. All ungrounded crew members are fried to a crisp, all electronic system are burned out, and metal bulkheads may be melted and fused together.

    The safest way to discharge a core is to land on a planet and establish a connection to the ground, like a lightning rod. Larger vessels like dreadnoughts cannot land and must discharge into a planetary magnetic field1.

    As the hull discharges, sheets of lightning jump away into the field, creating beautiful auroral displays on the planet. The ship must retract its sensors and weapons while dumping charge to prevent damage, leaving it blind and helpless. Discharging at a moon with a weak magnetic field can take days. Discharging into the powerful field of a gas giant may require less than an hour. Deep space facilities often have special discharge facilities for visiting ships.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)16:28 No.4974286
    Look up Whipple Shields. A shotgun-spread of tiny bullets is much less effective than a single slug of the same mass.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)16:30 No.4974309
    Planetary assaults are complicated if the target is a habitable garden world; the attackers cannot approach the defenders straight on.

    In a straight-on attack, any misses plough into the planet behind the defending fleet. If the defenders position themselves between the attackers and the planet, they can fire at will while the attacker risks hitting the planet.

    Successful assaults on garden worlds hinge upon up-to-date intelligence. Attackers need to determine where the enemy's defenses are, so they may approach from an angle that allows them to fire with no collateral damage. Note this is not necessary for hostile worlds.

    Once control of orbit has been lost, defensive garrisons disperse into the wilderness. An enemy with orbital superiority can bombard surface forces with impunity. The best option for defenders is to hide and collect reconnaissance in anticipation of relief forces.

    Given the size of a planet, it is impractical to garrison entire conquered worlds. Fortunately, colonization efforts tend to focus on building up a dozen or fewer areas. Ground forces occupy the spaceports, industrial facilities, and major population centers. The wilderness is patrolled by unmanned aerial vehicles1 and satellite reconnaissance. If a defender unit is spotted, airmobile rapid deployment units and satellite artillery are used to pin down and destroy them.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)16:31 No.4974316
    The crucial choice for any attack through mass relays is how to divide the fleet for transit. The accuracy of a relay's mass-projection depends on the mass being moved and how far it’s going. Any long distance and/or high mass jump will see "drift." That is, a ship may be hundreds or millions of kilometers from its intended drop point, in any direction from the relay.

    Distance can't be chosen by admirals, but a relay is told how much mass to transit. For example, if told to move a million metric tons of mass, the relay will scan the approach corridor, find four 250,000-ton freighters, and transit them together, maintaining their relative positions.

    A commander has the option of moving his fleet as one large, coherent formation that may be wildly off-position, or breaking it up into many smaller formations that will be individually closer to the intended attack point, but could be widely dispersed.

    Conservative assault doctrine holds that fleets should be moved en masse, maintaining concentration of force and reducing the chances of collision. The only time it is reasonable to split up a formation is during blockade running.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)16:31 No.4974322
    Dispersal of heat generated by onboard systems is a critical issue for a ship. If it cannot deal with heat, the crew may be cooked within the hull.

    Radiation is the only way to shed heat in a vacuum. Civilian vessels utilize large, fragile radiator panels that are impossible to armor. Warships use Diffuse Radiator Arrays (DRA), ceramic strips along the exterior of the armored hull. These make the ship appear striped to thermographic sensors. Since the arrangement of the strips depends on the internal configuration of the ship, the patterns for each vessel are unique and striking. On older ships, the DRA strips could become red- or white-hot. Dubbed "tiger stripes" or "war paint" by humans, the glowing DRA had a psychological impact on pirates and irregular forces.

    Strip radiators are not as efficient as panels, but if damaged by enemy fire, the ship only loses a small portion of its total radiation capacity. In most cases, a vessel's DRA alone allows it to cruise with no difficulties. Operations deep within solar systems can cause problems.

    A ship engaged in combat can produce titanic amounts of heat from maneuvering burns and weapons fire. When fighting in a high heat environment, warships employ high-efficiency "droplet" heat sinks.

    In a droplet system, tanks of liquid sodium or lithium absorb heat within the ship. The liquid is vented from spray nozzles near the bow as a thin sheet of millions of micrometer-scale droplets. The droplets are caught at the stern and recycled into the system. A droplet system can sink 10-100 times as much heat as DRA strips.

    Droplet sheets resemble a surface ship's wake through water. The wake peels out in sharp turns, spreading a fan of droplets as the ship changes vectors and leaves the coolant behind.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)16:32 No.4974329
    "Light lag" prevents sensing in real time at great distances. A ship firing its thrusters at the Charon Relay can be easily detected from Earth, 5.75 light-hours (six billon kilometers) away, but Earth will only see the event five hours and 45 minutes after it occurs. Due to the light-speed limit, defenders can't see enemies coming until they have already arrived. Because there is FTL travel and communications but no FTL sensors, frigates are crucial for scouting and picket duties.

    Passive sensors are used for long-range detection, while active sensors obtain short-range, high quality targeting data.

    Passive sensors include visual, thermographic, and radio detectors that watch and listen for objects in space. A powered ship emits a great deal of energy; the heat of the life support systems; the radiation given off by power plants and electrical equipment; the exhaust of the thrusters. Starships stand out plainly against the near-absolute zero background of space. Passive sensors can be used during FTL travel, but incoming data is significantly distorted by the effect of the mass effect envelope and doppler shift.

    Active sensors are radars and high resolution ladars (LAser Detection And Ranging) that emit a "ping" of energy and "listen" for return signals. Ladars have a narrower field of view than radar, but ladar resolution allows images of detected objects to be assembled. Active sensors are useless when a ship is moving at FTL speeds.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)16:33 No.4974335
    >The primary ship-killers in space are going to be missiles at long range, and lasers at short range.

    Frankly, i'm not sure. i may be a bit shaky on the actual physics, but a kinetic projectile would deliver more energy than any ship-borne laser,no? not to mention relativistic kinetic projectiles,but those consume so much juice it's not funny.
    Anyway, how do you classify a kinetic projectile with manouvering capability? is it a missile already?
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)16:33 No.4974340
    A mass effect drive core decreases the mass of a bubble of space-time around a ship. This gives the ship the potential to move quickly, but does not apply any motive power. Ships use their sublight thrusters for motive power in FTL. There are several varieties of thruster, varying in performance versus economy. All ships are equipped with arrays of hydrogen-oxygen reaction control thrusters for maneuvering.

    Ion Drives electrically accelerate charged particles as a reaction mass. They are extremely efficient, but produce negligible thrust. They are mainly used for automated cargo barges.

    The primary commercial engine is a "fusion torch", which vents the plasma of a ship's power plant. Fusion torches offer powerful acceleration at the cost of difficult heat management. Torch fuel is fairly cheap: helium-3 skimmed from gas giants and deuterium extracted from seawater or cometary bodies. Propellant is hydrogen, likewise skimmed from gas giants.

    In combat, military vessels require accelerations beyond the capability of fusion torches. Warship thrusters inject antiprotons into a reaction chamber filled with hydrogen. The matter-antimatter annihilation provides unmatched motive power. The drawback is fuel production; antiprotons must be manufactured one particle at a time. Most antimatter production is done at massive solar arrays orbiting energetic stars, making them high-value targets in wartime.

    The exhaust of fusion and antiproton drives is measured in millions of degrees Celsius. Any vessel caught behind them will melt like wax in a blowtorch.

    Any long-duration interstellar flight consists of two phases: acceleration and deceleration. Starships accelerate to the half-way point of their journey, then flip 180 degrees and apply thrust on the opposite vector, decelerating as they finish the trip. The engines are always operating, and peak speed is attained at the middle of the flight.
    >> Slade 06/23/09(Tue)16:35 No.4974358

    Your spelling is terrible, but your tactics are sound. A+!
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)16:41 No.4974410
    ITT: Pseudo-Intellectuals
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)16:52 No.4974497
    Looks like someone threw up a rulebook.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)16:58 No.4974557

    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)17:22 No.4974797

    That's taken directly from the ingame fluff for Mass Effect.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)17:33 No.4974873
    You know, there were some good battles, all at fractions of C, over thousands of km, at the end of Larry Niven's Gripping Hand. It'd pretty Hard Scifi, and the battle still seems intense. Half of the battle is trying to anticipate what your opponent will do, and anticipate, rather than react. So query:

    tldr; Could a battle system be made that does not simulate actions, but a series of assumptions? Whose ever assumptions gave a tactical superiority would win.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)18:14 No.4975227
    >Frankly, i'm not sure. i may be a bit shaky on the actual physics, but a kinetic projectile would deliver more energy than any ship-borne laser,no? not to mention relativistic kinetic projectiles,but those consume so much juice it's not funny.
    Anyway, how do you classify a kinetic projectile with manouvering capability? is it a missile already?

    Kinetic weapons would do a lot more damage in an instant than laser weapons would, and kinetic weapons have greater range, but as they're non-guided munitions, they're easy to dodge. Which is why it's up to lasers and missiles.

    A missile doesn't need to be armed with a warhead to be effective, and generally speaking the mass is better used as fuel for the engines to gain greater acceleration and speed than as an explosive which adds negligible damage compared to the released kinetic energy. The exception to this is nuclear warheads.

    The most effective ship would be equipped with mostly nuclear missiles, backed up by an extensive laser defense array and a smattering of kinetic launchers to restrict the opponents' maneuvering envelope.
    >> teka 06/23/09(Tue)18:41 No.4975431
         File : 1245796872.jpg-(45 KB, 450x450, Science-tastic.jpg)
    45 KB
    Loving this thread.
    How to make with recommending to archive?
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)19:02 No.4975578
    4chanarchive.org is down
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)19:03 No.4975588
    >> Guardsman Ted 06/23/09(Tue)19:11 No.4975657
         File : 1245798694.jpg-(316 KB, 816x1000, h3.jpg)
    316 KB
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)19:14 No.4975689
    Sorry, but that archive is reserved for 40k and Quests
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)19:38 No.4975910
    >tldr; Could a battle system be made that does not simulate actions, but a series of assumptions? Whose ever assumptions gave a tactical superiority would win.

    you know, i'v thought about something very similiar, but with weapons based on shit like quantum mechanics, chaos theory etc(basically,whatever sounds cool in physics and maths), with boths sides calculating probablity, etc etc, and whoever got to the best position or out-equated the enemy won, since both sides knew how it would end. basically, the entire battle was played out in phase space. of course there wasn't a shred of real science to the idea, but your character would get to say cool things like "deploy schroedinger's mines!"
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)20:14 No.4976239
    The reason that space combat takes too long is that
    1) Ships travel too slowly, meaning combat only takes place as fast as your serious threats can get there.
    2) Ships have too much HP.

    So: make hyperspace cheap and widespread and used to tactical advantage, and make ships go boom a lot faster.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)20:15 No.4976255
    Pure kinetic attacks wouldn't even work to restrict the target's movement unless they were either VERY fast or very close or very numerous. Very close means the target's lasers fry you. Very fast/numerous means you either burn a lot of propellant to fire them or carry a big energy-intensive magnetic launcher to fire them, any of which increase your mass and reduce your manuverability, which increases the chances your target fries you with lasers.

    Keep in mind ideal laser engagement range is probably several light seconds, and ship-launched kinetic weapons probably won't get over a few percent lightspeed, so if you're 4 light seconds apart (and manuverable enough that an 8 second round trip time lets you move enough to be hard to hit), then you've got 40 to 400 seconds to dodge the bullets.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)20:26 No.4976355
    Continuing >>4976255

    Missiles are even less useful; the more kinetic impact you want from them, the more fuel (and therefore mass, and therefore reduced manuverability of your ship that carries them) you need to burn whether at launch or as part of the missile. As others have said, you can see them coming and shoot them down, and I'll add that since they're all fuel they're pretty easy to shoot down. Due to the whole thrust/mass rocketry math, missiles are only going to be worth if it they fusion-propelled and fission (or antimatter) armed. You wouldn't fire them directly at the target... you'd do a cold kinetic launch of a whole bunch of them in a circle. They coast, unpowered, for several hundred seconds, then turn and light up, coming in at the target from many directions at once, such that it can't dodge/kill all of them while simultaneously dodging/killing you.

    The flaw in this is that you still do need a bunch of them and they do have mass, and you'll need a bunch of launchers which also have mass, and then you'll need to survive long enough for them to kill the target. If you're dead before they get close, the target can light up his main drive and has a chance to kill all the missiles, so you can't even quite manage mutually assured destruction with this tactic.

    This also means huge "fixed position" things like big asteroids may use missiles. Again, provided that they're fusion-propelled and nuclear/antimatter armed. Chemical rockets absolutely suck at the kind of distances we're talking about here.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)20:30 No.4976384

    So, Railguns?
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)20:30 No.4976387
    >big energy-intensive magnetic launcher to fire them

    as opposed to big,energy intensive laser? if there is juice enough to power multiple lasers,there is juice enough to power multiple railguns. Even today, we have working(if very early stage) military railguns,and our biggest lasers can barely kill a missile, not particularliy armored thing.
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)20:54 No.4976556
    Well, since the railguns alone couldn't kill anything, you'd need to have the railguns AND the lasers. Note that the lasers are also easier to aim-while-jinking, whereas you'd have kill your sideways motion to fire the rail slugs without the slugs continuing to drift sideways...

    And IIRC, the railguns take more power than the lasers, if you're going to bring in present day applications. They're talking about mounting lasers on jets and railguns on next gen aircraft carriers...
    >> Anonymous 06/23/09(Tue)22:37 No.4977540
    A wise commander wins first, and then goes to war.
    The foolish man goes to war and then seeks to win.
    -Sun Tzu
    >> teka 06/23/09(Tue)23:51 No.4978325
         File : 1245815466.jpg-(139 KB, 717x939, Rad Counter.jpg)
    139 KB
    A wise commander keeps a few extra nukes hidden, just in case.

    After all, worst comes to worst, take off, nuke the site from orbit.

    (only way to be sure)

    back on topic.
    Hmm.. Take a look at Cowboy Bebop.
    Not just because it is nifty, but the space is handled nicely.

    Abstracted a bit, it seems that spaceships are cheap, most combat is handled at close range due to the natural traffic around certain important points (the transport gate-things, stations, planets)

    Large ship combat is feasible, but small time people fly small-time ships and still get around just fine.

    Might have to work on proper skills a little, perhaps a home-chopped system based on Shadowrun4e? Attibute+Skill (Reaction + Small-Craft Piloting?) +/- Modifiers (+1 for Targeting Computer, -3 for Asteroid Field?) = Xdice, roll for hits against a target number.

    Dunno, dig into the SR4th rulebook? Depending on how flexible/creative the players were, a cobbled system shouldnt require fancy figures. A few placeholders on a gridded sheet should do fine, with the understanding that Space grids are, I dunno, hundred yards or something instead of a few feet?

    Any way you do it, simply trying to quietly not mention certain holes in the system should help. "What do you mean, 'how does this ship fly?', player one? You are a pilot, not a technician"

    It can still be Hard, or at least Very Firm Scifi even if you dont explain every little detail. Just skip things like "The ships are powered by rainbows and elf-tears lol" and assume some of the same black-box thinking that people use with their cars. Press the button, the ship goes. Press That button*, the machine gun fires. Simple, aint it?

    *Sadly, some cars lack machine guns. Use a boring example if you have to, like ejector seats.

    Delete Post [File Only]
    Style [Yotsuba | Yotsuba B | Futaba | Burichan]