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Old 02-16-2018, 04:53 PM   #66
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Default Re: [Blog] n-Body Politics

Originally Posted by kreios View Post
Interesting point, although I am wondering whether you actually need ranging pings - you probably can get a fairly decent fix just by using passive sensors (or just ping several times per second; modern LIDARs like the high-end Velodynes already produce a few hundred thousand datapoints per second (granted, that's 360). And, once you have the distance to the target determined to within a kilometre or so, do you actually lose much efficiency compared to a centimetre-exact distance?
Well, a kilometer or two can be quite a lot. Lasers work because they are highly focused, and I've heard of cutting lasers not doing anything useful if their focal length is minute fractions of a percentage off. Really, though, Luke Campbell is the better person to speak to actual tolerances.

That said (and linked), remember that as soon as you use any active sensor to ping the target, they know about you and should be assuming you're going to pull the trigger as soon as the signal gets back to you. This basically starts the Dodge Clock ticking and sets a minimum time limit - and consequently a maximum undodgeable range - on speed-of-light weapons. Nothing says the pilot isn't asleep at the wheel or his reflexes kind of suck. But those sorts of things are determined through surprise rolls and active defense rolls.

It also tells you that the most weapons will attempt to extend their range to that point, but the number that try to exceed it will drop off due to reduced efficacy. I'd expect the typical range of space-based weapons to be something like a skewed Guassian distribution with the mean around the maximum undodgeable range and weighted toward the undodgeable side, since that's the more effective side of things. Of course, super-long-range lasers are still plenty effective against unsuspecting, unpowered, or particularly unmaneuverable craft.

Originally Posted by kreios View Post
A computer, even today, should be able to get you some sort of dodging software within milliseconds. Assuming you have recognized a laser through some sort of heat detection, you should be able to propagate that information directly to the RCS and/or drive systems. I could probably write something like that today (if you give me the interface) that's limited by engine speed, not computation power.
I'm not really surprised. It looked pretty high, but I wasn't vetting anything when I grabbed the number, and we all know how reliable the internet is. Either way, even if it is that high, somehow, it wouldn't break my suspension of disbelief for futuristic computers to do this effectively instantly.

Originally Posted by kreios View Post
That's a good idea. I'll have to see whether it adds anything to the game itself except for additional rolls, but it would be a start. Hm, I have the feeling I'm Tactical Shooting will soon become my second-most referred-to book...
That rule doesn't add any rolls to the attack resolution sequence. It just limits defenses in specific ways for certain weapons.
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