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Old 06-28-2019, 10:42 PM   #31
Rysith
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Default Re: Some questions on Spaceships

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
It's fairly hard to justify countermissiles rather than point defense beams or cannon. (Except for countermissile nuking.) You could have 16cm countermissiles used to shoot down larger 'shipkiller' missiles, but it's difficult to make larger shipkillers useful.
Having a missile that counters an opposing, larger missile gives a ship a larger envelope in which to perform the intercept, and allows dedicated counter-missile ships to free up mass on other ships to mount more anti-ship weapons. It might end up below the resolution at which Spaceships operates, but in principle having a missile that could engage multiple opposing missiles may be useful - something like a 32cm laser head that can engage up to 16 incoming missiles.

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How do you do 'surgical' a gigantic hypervelocity impactor?
You make it less gigantic and hypervelocity. Consider a missile intended to close at high speed and shower a target ship's engines (or other subsystem identified on or after launch) with 2cm kinetic projectiles while missing with the main body, gaining accuracy from the close approach but attempting to leave it drifting in space rather than a sphere of expanding plasma. It should even be possible to adjust the relative velocity of the projectiles depending on the desired probabilities of damage / crippled / destroyed results. That might be veering into the territory of tube-launched single-use drones rather than missiles, though in some sense there isn't much difference between the two.
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Old 06-28-2019, 11:00 PM   #32
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Default Re: Some questions on Spaceships

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Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
There SHOULD be variety of missiles. For instance countermissiles should cost about a fraction per salvo of a shipkiller (or why didn't they throw them at the other formation in the first place).
That's "use a smaller missile", but when it comes down to it, beams are probably a better choice for PD fire simply because they don't use up ammo.
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Missiles for delicate stuff like gunboat diplomacy, policework, and piracy should be more surgical.
You're throwing lumps of matter around at multiple miles per second. There's nothing surgical about it.
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Conversely shipkillers should have better armor penetration capability than either countermissiles, or missiles made for light units or for skirmishing (the latter two can often be the same model).
They do - it's called not using proximity detonation, or it would if hardened armour didn't make using one-piece warhead attacks on warships pointless.
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There should be different warheads like EMPers, Nukes, Laserheads, recon (and possibly conterrecon) drones, different attack plans and so forth.
Nukes and laserheads exist. Recon and drones, well they should probably be made as small unmanned spaceships. Different attack plans means 'close more slowly, but hope that this makes the PD miss', and really, that's already assumed (otherwise the PD would never miss). As for EMP, tricky when most target ships are metallic and are thus Faraday cages.
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Old 06-28-2019, 11:03 PM   #33
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Default Re: Some questions on Spaceships

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Originally Posted by Rysith View Post
You make it less gigantic and hypervelocity. Consider a missile intended to close at high speed and shower a target ship's engines (or other subsystem identified on or after launch) with 2cm kinetic projectiles while missing with the main body, gaining accuracy from the close approach but attempting to leave it drifting in space rather than a sphere of expanding plasma. It should even be possible to adjust the relative velocity of the projectiles depending on the desired probabilities of damage / crippled / destroyed results. That might be veering into the territory of tube-launched single-use drones rather than missiles, though in some sense there isn't much difference between the two.
Use a small missile, from behind, aim at the engine systems. All doable, though probably easier in the tactical rules where you can move missiles around to get them behind a ship more readily.
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Old 06-28-2019, 11:36 PM   #34
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Default Re: Some questions on Spaceships

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Originally Posted by Rysith View Post
Having a missile that counters an opposing, larger missile gives a ship a larger envelope in which to perform the intercept, and allows dedicated counter-missile ships to free up mass on other ships to mount more anti-ship weapons. It might end up below the resolution at which Spaceships operates, but in principle having a missile that could engage multiple opposing missiles may be useful - something like a 32cm laser head that can engage up to 16 incoming missiles.
What does a larger envelope actually do for you, though?

You don't need to be using missiles for one ship to provide cover to another. Any space weapon has range that trivializes the size of ships and the space between them needed to stay out of each others' way. It might be possible to have a defensive missile ship provide cover to ships in a separate maneuver element. But that would require relatively long-legged (and thus not cheap) countermissiles and some reason for actually having separate maneuver elements.

You don't want to try to engage incoming missiles with a single beam each - unless you're using the Missile Shield rule, I suppose, but at that point you definitely don't have any need for antimissiles. VRF (improved) lasers delete all incoming while barely even trying.
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Originally Posted by Rysith View Post
You make it less gigantic and hypervelocity. Consider a missile intended to close at high speed and shower a target ship's engines (or other subsystem identified on or after launch) with 2cm kinetic projectiles while missing with the main body, gaining accuracy from the close approach but attempting to leave it drifting in space rather than a sphere of expanding plasma. It should even be possible to adjust the relative velocity of the projectiles depending on the desired probabilities of damage / crippled / destroyed results. That might be veering into the territory of tube-launched single-use drones rather than missiles, though in some sense there isn't much difference between the two.
Yeah, that's not a missile, it's a drone. And it probably doesn't want to be closing at overly high speed, that limits engagement time and (greatly) increases the damage done by the impactors.

Frankly, it's not clear why it's a drone rather than a armed cutter with boarding parties. If you wanted to disable the ship mostly intact, presumably the next step is boarding, ideally conducted as quickly as possible after the disabling.
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Old 06-29-2019, 12:10 AM   #35
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: Some questions on Spaceships

The most unconventional missile I ever saw was the boarding missile from Gall Force. It punched through the hull of the Star Leaf and then opened up to release it's passenger. Of course that the passenger was a mass of invertebrate goo was the only reason it could survive the trip.
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Old 06-29-2019, 09:06 AM   #36
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Default Re: Some questions on Spaceships

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Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
You're throwing lumps of matter around at multiple miles per second. There's nothing surgical about it.
Sure it can be. If you want to assassinate President Evil, your missile can be programed to drain off velocity before entering atmosphere. Then it can approach his glorious palace at a speed no greater than a pre-starflight missile and explode wrecking the whole place but carrying no bigger a load than needed for that.
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Old 06-29-2019, 09:22 AM   #37
Ulzgoroth
 
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Default Re: Some questions on Spaceships

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Sure it can be. If you want to assassinate President Evil, your missile can be programed to drain off velocity before entering atmosphere. Then it can approach his glorious palace at a speed no greater than a pre-starflight missile and explode wrecking the whole place but carrying no bigger a load than needed for that.
...And are you proposing that this incredibly inefficient, hyperspecialized, not-really-a-space-weapon missile is something that 'should be' present in Spaceships?

(Also, you cannot "drain off" velocity in space. 'Slowing down' and 'speeding up' are the same task of acceleration, and both are brutally expensive.)
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Old 06-29-2019, 10:18 AM   #38
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Default Re: Some questions on Spaceships

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
Yeah, that's not a missile, it's a drone. And it probably doesn't want to be closing at overly high speed, that limits engagement time and (greatly) increases the damage done by the impactors.

Frankly, it's not clear why it's a drone rather than a armed cutter with boarding parties. If you wanted to disable the ship mostly intact, presumably the next step is boarding, ideally conducted as quickly as possible after the disabling.
I'd think that you would want a drone because you're concerned about the ability of your target to shoot it down. It's a lot easier to throw a bunch of drones at a ship and hope one of them gets through, and then demand that the now-crippled ship receive boarders or be destroyed than it is to throw a bunch of boarding parties at a ship and hope that one of them gets through.

But that seems like the answer to what FeiLin was asking - if you want complex missiles, build them as drones and use 'hangars' to launch them rather than weapon systems. Given that a 16cm missile only masses 1/10 of a ton you'd need to scale a lot of the systems down to SM-1, but that means that the cost might actually compare favorably with the $100K a normal missile costs. As a GM I might even both allow you to launch them out of weapon systems as a special option and give a cost discount for 'single use' - I'm sure that there are all sorts of corners you can cut if you expect an operational lifetime measured in hours at best.
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Old 06-29-2019, 10:54 AM   #39
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Default Re: Some questions on Spaceships

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Originally Posted by Rysith View Post
I'd think that you would want a drone because you're concerned about the ability of your target to shoot it down. It's a lot easier to throw a bunch of drones at a ship and hope one of them gets through, and then demand that the now-crippled ship receive boarders or be destroyed than it is to throw a bunch of boarding parties at a ship and hope that one of them gets through.
That works if your problem is a ship that can fight small craft and can run away from but can't fight your ships. I'm not sure I see that as a likely problem, but yeah, in that case some disposable 'bola' drones to shoot out the propulsion could be called for.
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Originally Posted by Rysith View Post
But that seems like the answer to what FeiLin was asking - if you want complex missiles, build them as drones and use 'hangars' to launch them rather than weapon systems. Given that a 16cm missile only masses 1/10 of a ton you'd need to scale a lot of the systems down to SM-1, but that means that the cost might actually compare favorably with the $100K a normal missile costs. As a GM I might even both allow you to launch them out of weapon systems as a special option and give a cost discount for 'single use' - I'm sure that there are all sorts of corners you can cut if you expect an operational lifetime measured in hours at best.
I don't think drones really address anything FeiLin was asking about. I do think that a ship (unmanned or otherwise) of appropriate SM being designed to launch from missile tubes is quite reasonable, though.
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