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Humabout 01-29-2018 03:38 PM

Re: [Blog] n-Body Politics
 
Further thoughts!!

So first the bad news: As long as I can pack more energy into a weapon - including k8netic energy - I can eventually vaporize anything I hit. This suggests you might look at how AKVs can NotGetHit (tm). Options include enhanced vehicular dodge, large ships have triuble tracking small ships, or stealth. None of these sre realistic, but they would be necessary for your purposes.

Tell me, do you see AKVs more as fighters or torpedo boats?

kreios 01-30-2018 01:42 PM

Re: [Blog] n-Body Politics
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Humabout (Post 2154112)
I guess what I'm getting at is that you're still taking everything as it is written in the books. If you want guns to have a certain feel, just change their stats so they meet your needs. Deciding weaponry and technology based on what works in RAW Spaceships combat may be contrary to your overall setting goals.

Oh, I definitely will. This is currently for testing an actual implementation of everything. The next step (which has been partly written) will be modifications (HP, for example)

Quote:

Originally Posted by Humabout (Post 2154117)
Further thoughts!!

Always glad for them.

Quote:

So first the bad news: As long as I can pack more energy into a weapon - including k8netic energy - I can eventually vaporize anything I hit. This suggests you might look at how AKVs can NotGetHit (tm). Options include enhanced vehicular dodge, large ships have triuble tracking small ships, or stealth. None of these sre realistic, but they would be necessary for your purposes.
True, more energy will always mean more damage. However, there are disadvantages even without introducing rules changes (which I might still do too). As an example: Assume an SM+8 spacecraft can mount a major battery which can threaten AKVs. Alternatively, an SM+10 spacecraft's major battery vapourizes them. But I can attack the latter with ten times the number of AKVs to get the same cost-benefit ratio. So there's a clear tradeoff between those two.

Quote:

Tell me, do you see AKVs more as fighters or torpedo boats?
Interesting question. I guess at the moment, I see them as a combination of two different roles: (a) In peacetime and against lightly-armoured opponents, they extend the effective range of spacecraft. (b) Against well-defended opponents, they are self-defending missiles.
I guess an analogy might be a kamikaze drone with submunitions which usually returns to be rearmed.
Or, to stay with naval terminology, maybe an unmanned PT boat with an additional spar torpedo which detonates a few tons of explosives in the boat?

(E) 01-30-2018 03:21 PM

Re: [Blog] n-Body Politics
 
Scott Westerfeld has written "the risen empire" and "the killing of worlds" the space combat in those books has some parralels with gurps' eggshell space ships.

One aspect of the combat in that series is the use of detached armour. Basically a large chunk of metal is detached from a vessel and kept between the vessel and the enemy.
Variations on this idea might include things like a solar sail that is used for concealment.

Humabout 01-30-2018 10:55 PM

Re: [Blog] n-Body Politics
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by kreios (Post 2154334)
True, more energy will always mean more damage. However, there are disadvantages even without introducing rules changes (which I might still do too). As an example: Assume an SM+8 spacecraft can mount a major battery which can threaten AKVs. Alternatively, an SM+10 spacecraft's major battery vapourizes them. But I can attack the latter with ten times the number of AKVs to get the same cost-benefit ratio. So there's a clear tradeoff between those two.

Oh I just point out that wanting to avoid instagibbing AKVs as a goal isn't necessarily feasible outright. Someone can always make a big enough gun for that. With that said, other limiting factors, like one big gun vs. lots of little ones, will come into play. This still begs the question: If I can make one really big gun that can pink-mist AKVs and bang up big ships at long ranges, why use AKVs that will get pink-misted by the enemy when I can just shoot him in the face myself?

One answer might be that he has a really big pink-mist-making gun, too. I'd rather send in a swarm of AKVs, hope one or two get through, and stay the heck out of his range. Another might be that AKVs are cheap enough that it's more economical to risk a swarm of them instead of putting my mothership at risk.

This is all just food for thought.

Quote:

Originally Posted by kreios (Post 2154334)
Interesting question. I guess at the moment, I see them as a combination of two different roles: (a) In peacetime and against lightly-armoured opponents, they extend the effective range of spacecraft. (b) Against well-defended opponents, they are self-defending missiles.
I guess an analogy might be a kamikaze drone with submunitions which usually returns to be rearmed.
Or, to stay with naval terminology, maybe an unmanned PT boat with an additional spar torpedo which detonates a few tons of explosives in the boat?

Well, the reason I ask this is because airplanes and boats operate very differently within a naval battle. Aircraft are, by the nature of the medium in which they operate, faster and more maneuverable. They also have to be lighter, meaning they get destroyed really easily when you do hit them.

Boats, on the other hand, take a walloping and still don't sink, but they are slower, less maneuverable, and easier to hit. A torpedo boat is small and maneuverable compared to a dreadnought, but it is far easier to hit than a dodgy kamakaze zero, at least in movies (which I'm using a common point of reference for the sake of discussing feel).

If you are going more for the airplanes vs. naval ships feel, I'd suggest reading Planet-Hopping with the 273rd Fleet in So You Want to Build a Spaceship... It addresses mechanical changes to make some spaceships feel like airplanes and others like naval vessels.

On an unrelated side note, naval vessels in WWI and WWII generally took around 10 or 12 torpedo hits to actually sink. That's a nice benchmark for how fast you want your big spaceships to die (fewer hits and you get more like Cold War-era and modern naval warfare; more hits and it's more like Age of Sail broadsides).

kreios 02-03-2018 01:13 PM

Re: [Blog] n-Body Politics
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by (E) (Post 2154367)
Scott Westerfeld has written "the risen empire" and "the killing of worlds" the space combat in those books has some parralels with gurps' eggshell space ships.

One aspect of the combat in that series is the use of detached armour. Basically a large chunk of metal is detached from a vessel and kept between the vessel and the enemy.
Variations on this idea might include things like a solar sail that is used for concealment.

I'll look those up.
With regards to the detachable armour, I don't think there's much of an advantage compared to regular or reactive armour.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Humabout (Post 2154465)
One answer might be that he has a really big pink-mist-making gun, too. I'd rather send in a swarm of AKVs, hope one or two get through, and stay the heck out of his range. Another might be that AKVs are cheap enough that it's more economical to risk a swarm of them instead of putting my mothership at risk.

Agreed - and it will take some tweaking to get everything nicely calibrated.



Quote:

Well, the reason I ask this is because airplanes and boats operate very differently within a naval battle. Aircraft are, by the nature of the medium in which they operate, faster and more maneuverable. They also have to be lighter, meaning they get destroyed really easily when you do hit them.

Boats, on the other hand, take a walloping and still don't sink, but they are slower, less maneuverable, and easier to hit. A torpedo boat is small and maneuverable compared to a dreadnought, but it is far easier to hit than a dodgy kamakaze zero, at least in movies (which I'm using a common point of reference for the sake of discussing feel).

If you are going more for the airplanes vs. naval ships feel, I'd suggest reading Planet-Hopping with the 273rd Fleet in So You Want to Build a Spaceship... It addresses mechanical changes to make some spaceships feel like airplanes and others like naval vessels.
I actually think that the airplane/ship distinction of the current sea combat (and by extension WW2 sea combat, and by extension also the 273rd Fleet article) is quite exactly that which I want to avoid. No different mediums to move through, and probably little dodging. Let's see whether I actually manage to do that, though.

Quote:

On an unrelated side note, naval vessels in WWI and WWII generally took around 10 or 12 torpedo hits to actually sink. That's a nice benchmark for how fast you want your big spaceships to die (fewer hits and you get more like Cold War-era and modern naval warfare; more hits and it's more like Age of Sail broadsides).
That's probably a good reference number, thanks.

kreios 02-11-2018 02:21 PM

Re: [Blog] n-Body Politics
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Space Combat Iteration 2: Rules
The original space combat system test showed some issues. How do we fix them? For now, by importing 3e's system.

Continue reading...
First go at customizing the Spaceships system.

Apologies for the non-weekly update. I had thought my queue of posts to last a bit longer...

Humabout 02-11-2018 06:05 PM

Re: [Blog] n-Body Politics
 
Why don't ypu have to roll to hit with a speed of light weapon? You still have to point it at the target effectively. If an argument exists to remove rolls, it's the Active Defense roll, but Kromm has said repeatedly that even that is a measure of the target's evasiveness - not him literally dodging. This is why Dodge is allowed against guns and lasers and such in RAW.

Also, why does a railgun have a range at all? There isn't any appreciable drag to slow a projectile until it hits something. Its range is infinite with the caviat that ships can use objects as cover.

kreios 02-12-2018 01:42 PM

Re: [Blog] n-Body Politics
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Humabout (Post 2157699)
Why don't ypu have to roll to hit with a speed of light weapon? You still have to point it at the target effectively. If an argument exists to remove rolls, it's the Active Defense roll, but Kromm has said repeatedly that even that is a measure of the target's evasiveness - not him literally dodging. This is why Dodge is allowed against guns and lasers and such in RAW.

That's actually an artifact from 3e's rules which I hadn't well clarified (the corresponding part has been updated). Essentially, in 3e's THS (p. 197) specified a to-hit roll; however, on failing, you still did half damage. In the interest of keeping it simple, I kept those rules for now.

Quote:

Also, why does a railgun have a range at all? There isn't any appreciable drag to slow a projectile until it hits something. Its range is infinite with the caviat that ships can use objects as cover.
I've also edited in a clearer explanation for that in the blog. Essentially, what I'm looking at isn't maximum range, but range in which I can guarantee a hit. Essentially, at 75 kilometres, you cannot avoid a projectile closing in at 15km/s with 0.5G.

In writing this, I also added a completely new section on guided railgun projectiles - and, spoiler alert, they're extremely nice!

Humabout 02-12-2018 07:34 PM

Re: [Blog] n-Body Politics
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by kreios (Post 2157929)
Essentially, what I'm looking at isn't maximum range, but range in which I can guarantee a hit.

But by Kromm's own posts and comments, Dodge represents moving erratically to force a miss. It's an abstraction. Similarly, the skill roll to hit is to see if you are sufficiently on target to potentially score a hit against an unaware or non-defending target. Of course all of this assumes you're using 4th edition rules, and as of the your last post, it looks like you're playing 3rd edition THS. So that might by moot.

kreios 02-13-2018 12:51 PM

Re: [Blog] n-Body Politics
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Humabout (Post 2157998)
But by Kromm's own posts and comments, Dodge represents moving erratically to force a miss. It's an abstraction. Similarly, the skill roll to hit is to see if you are sufficiently on target to potentially score a hit against an unaware or non-defending target. Of course all of this assumes you're using 4th edition rules, and as of the your last post, it looks like you're playing 3rd edition THS. So that might by moot.

I may have overshot there - my original intention with that range computation was to replicate SS3's tactical system's "guaranteed dodge", i.e. not being in the same hex as the salvo. However, I then decided to just compute when you wouldn't be able to dodge at all - even a ten-kilometre hex would take almost two turns to clear (i.e. a range of 540 kilometres from rest).

However - this brought me towards another idea (thanks for that!). We do have rules for long projectile flight durations, specifically from Tactical Shooting (p. 32 [i]Bullet Travel]). It tells us to take 1d-5 per additional second and apply the result as a modifier to the skill roll.

Now, for some Fermi Estimation: A human being is about two metres high. A spacecraft has roughly the same aspect ratio as a human being. A human moves at about 6m/s (according to the GURPS rules).
Let's take an SM+12 spacecraft (200m long) accelerating at 1G. At 20 second-turns, it can change its position by 2000 metres, which is 10x its length.
In a one-second combat turn, a human can change their position by about 3x their length.
Accordingly, we can use the following rule: Roll 1d-5 per two full combat turns a projectile attacking a spacecraft has been in flight and apply that value as a modifier to the attack roll. Modify this time by the following: Divide it by the square root of the spacecraft's acceleration, and divide it by two for every two SM you're smaller than SM+10.

As an example:
The modified Predator AKV I've been using (SM+6, 4.5G) divides that time by 2 (from acceleration) and by 4 (4 SM smaller than 10), i.e. you roll 4d-20 per turn it takes for the projectile to reach you.

The modified Oberth SDV (SM+9, 3G) divides the time by 2 (from acceleration; it's a rough estimate), i.e. you roll 1d-5 per turn.

Hm. While I like the general idea (because it nicely abstracts out relative velocities, for example), the numbers do seem a bit strange. But wait - I have the Hnd numbers available! So, take Hnd into account (representing size and reorientation for the main drive to propel you into a different direction)? In this case we can multiply it by 0.5 (Hnd 0), 1 (Hnd -1), 2 (Hnd -2) and 4 (Hnd -3)

That would give the AKV 2d-10 per turn and the SDV 1d-5. That seems nicer, and I'm looking forward to gaming it out.

Although I might apply this as a bonus to dodge instead, since that would mean that multiple projectiles (restricting your dodge vector) make it much more difficult to dodge than a single projectile.

(Well, that post went kind-of-rambly.)


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