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Old 04-15-2018, 10:18 AM   #31
Ulzgoroth
 
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Missile shield vs. ramming: two questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agemegos View Post
Isn't that what Michael Thayne is fretting about? Isn't ramming the whole issue of the thread?
Somewhat, but didn't seem to consider that the attack drones could be entirely unarmed. You're right though that that's totally appropriate for the "dedicated suicide drones" mentioned in the OP.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Thayne View Post
I think the issue is how range scales. A 30,000x increase in mass (and more importantly, cost!) only yields a 10x increase in range. So I'm not super-excited about this strategy. It's maybe compelling when you're designing something to assault space stations, which can't close range.
Even if you have only moderately more range (never mind 10x more range) that's just fine if either your target cannot close that range fast (realistic rockets outside of a high-speed pass) or you don't need very many shots to resolve things (any moderate number of targets that aren't of similar size and massively armored).

But, to be fair, I do agree that the Big Gun strategy is likely to falter if you enable the Big Missile Swarm strategy, which leaves large ships facing off against thousands of KKVs and zero targets worth hitting with a 5000+ ton cannon.
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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
Your theories about this do not match up with my experience of Spaceships battles. My experience is that superior range wins hands down and quickly too.

The only time I have seen drone saturation work was against a space station that could not get out of the way v. a massive number of targets that had a closing velocity of 70 miles per second. This speed also allowed the vessels carrying the drones to stay out of range.

Hardening the drones played no role. If you're going to saturate the target's defenses adding missile launchers instead of armor is a much better deal.
Can you say what rules you used?

Because you probably remember all the analysis of point defense vs. massed missile fire back when Spaceships was new.
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Old 04-15-2018, 10:53 AM   #32
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Missile shield vs. ramming: two questions

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
Hardening the drones played no role. If you're going to saturate the target's defenses adding missile launchers instead of armor is a much better deal.
The opposite of what the Op wanted but this is an interesting idea.
Build suicide drones that have their own missile launchers that they use once they get close enough.
The drones would be more vulnerable to getting hit at longer range by big guns but once they close they unleash a swarm to overwhelm point defense.

Overall though with the Missile Shield option turned on I think big ships are much more likely to survive but also escort ships that focus on point defense systems would be added.
With Super science drives a fighter screen also might be an option, though they would be wiped out quickly if used offensively.
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Old 04-15-2018, 12:13 PM   #33
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Missile shield vs. ramming: two questions

Continuing the "square root-based damage thread", my proposed HP progression above gives an SM+10 ship 1000 dHP. That means 100 dHP of penetrating damage disables a system, 500 dHP of penetrating damage destroys a system, and 6000 dHP of penetrating damage auto-kills the ship.

One option is to leave kinetic damage as-is. On this approach, a 16cm missile traveling at 10 mps will average 840 points of damage—usually destroying a system, but not instantly vaporizing the ship the way it does under RAW. OTOH if you want damage from kinetic weapons to be more-or-less consistent with ramming damage, there's a case for significantly nerfing small warheads. Under the second approach, a 16cm missile might have a base damage of, say, 11d. at 10 mps, that's an average damage of 385. Now you're just disabling a system, not destroying it. Either way, this is probably an improvement.

I don't know what to do here partly because I think RAW missile damage is slightly too high to make logical sense–especially not for proximity burst, which should probably halve effective caliber. It does look like there's a germ of a solution to the "large ships are underpowered" problem here, though.
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Old 04-15-2018, 12:55 PM   #34
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Missile shield vs. ramming: two questions

In my scifi-setting spacehips and other large things are tough. Basically all large things use standard hitpoints, but have a raising injury tolerance(damage reduction).

To get he IT value look up the SM and use the corresponding speed as IT. So that a SM +7/300 ton scoutship is at IT (30) and SM +11/30 000 tons ship is IT(150).

(The scifi part is not the only one where I use that, I also apply it to large fantasy monsters in my current superheroic fantasy game)
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Old 04-15-2018, 01:46 PM   #35
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Missile shield vs. ramming: two questions

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In my scifi-setting spacehips and other large things are tough. Basically all large things use standard hitpoints, but have a raising injury tolerance(damage reduction).

To get he IT value look up the SM and use the corresponding speed as IT. So that a SM +7/300 ton scoutship is at IT (30) and SM +11/30 000 tons ship is IT(150).

(The scifi part is not the only one where I use that, I also apply it to large fantasy monsters in my current superheroic fantasy game)
Personally I think IT:DR should be an optional system, though 1 level of it is already a freebie option for ships.
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Old 04-15-2018, 02:07 PM   #36
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Missile shield vs. ramming: two questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by weby View Post
In my scifi-setting spacehips and other large things are tough. Basically all large things use standard hitpoints, but have a raising injury tolerance(damage reduction).

To get he IT value look up the SM and use the corresponding speed as IT. So that a SM +7/300 ton scoutship is at IT (30) and SM +11/30 000 tons ship is IT(150).

(The scifi part is not the only one where I use that, I also apply it to large fantasy monsters in my current superheroic fantasy game)
This is fairly convergent with the occasionally-discussed option of adjusting wounding factors by the size of the target. Except that that would also factor in very big weapons, like nearly all Spaceships weapons, starting from a more favorable position than small arms.
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Old 04-15-2018, 03:48 PM   #37
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Missile shield vs. ramming: two questions

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Originally Posted by Michael Thayne View Post
I think the issue is how range scales. A 30,000x increase in mass (and more importantly, cost!) only yields a 10x increase in range. So I'm not super-excited about this strategy.
What ought range to go with, realistically? Naively (i.e. ignoring the engineering of pointing the things) the diameter of the objectives ought to go with [strikethrough]the square of[/strikethrough] ship length. And spot size can go with objective diameter where the weapon is constrained by beam intensity on the objective mirror. Which means that range ought to go with the 2/3 power of ship mass, divided by wavelength.

A factor of 30,000 in ship mass ought to deliver a factor of about 900 in range.
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Old 04-15-2018, 04:14 PM   #38
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Missile shield vs. ramming: two questions

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Originally Posted by Agemegos View Post
What ought range to go with, realistically? Naively (i.e. ignoring the engineering of pointing the things) the diameter of the objectives ought to go with the square of ship length. And spot size can go with objective diameter where the weapon is constrained by beam intensity on the objective mirror. Which means that range ought to go with the 2/3 power of ship mass, divided by wavelength.

A factor of 30,000 in ship mass ought to deliver a factor of about 900 in range.
Er, do you mean objective area where you say diameter? Because it certainly doesn't seem logical that objective diameter should scale as the square of ship length, which would eventually lead to objectives bigger than the ship.
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Old 04-15-2018, 04:35 PM   #39
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Missile shield vs. ramming: two questions

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
Er, do you mean objective area where you say diameter? Because it certainly doesn't seem logical that objective diameter should scale as the square of ship length, which would eventually lead to objectives bigger than the ship.
Yes. Sorry, I got tangled up while composing on a mobile device and without a pencil and paper. Objective diameter scales with ship length, not the square therefore. Effective damage range scales with the square of objective diameter, therefore with the 2/3 power of ship volume and mass.

But you get trouble with slew time, and lightspeed delay eventually reaches a point where targets' random evasion can take then entirely outside the beam path (depends on their diameter, unused acceleration, and ability to orient at random). That makes effective aiming distance an issue against an evading target.
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Old 04-15-2018, 07:36 PM   #40
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Missile shield vs. ramming: two questions

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
Can you say what rules you used?

Because you probably remember all the analysis of point defense vs. massed missile fire back when Spaceships was new.
Well, I used all of the Spaceship rules at different times.

I first went into missile salvos v. point defense during the playtest for Spaceships 1. This obviously became very important when the one shot kill quality of kinetic weapons at very high velocities became evident.

A general principle that one tertiary battery given over to point defense tended to cancel out one missile battery.

A bit of fluff text in the write-up for an "Ares" battlecruiser (I think it's in the Designer's Notes) about a possible weakness v. missile boats caught my eye. So I took the Ares and swapped out the main beam weapons for missile batteries and called the new ship type the Hydra..

The first thing I discovered was that the Ares had many light guns and was unable to penetrate its' own frontal armor and this made it an almost automatic loser against it's mirror image. So I made an Ares II that swapped a secondary battery for a larger one. That one showed little special vulnerability to missile barrages mostly because it could limit engagement length by damaging/killing its' opponent..

From this we develop the principle that a big gun is better than an equivalent mass of little guns except for missile defense. This fuelled my preference for main battery/spinal mount and tertiary battery with nothing in between.

You also see support for this in the damage rules where you want weapons heavy enough to actually disable the target hit location and not just damage it.

Then Spaceships 3 and 4 were tested together and it was with the mapped rules I did the space station attack. I used a Gibraltar station in defense and a Nova carrier with a bay full of TL8 ASATs.

The Novas stated out at Mars which is how they built up that 70 mile per second velocity. What I remember was that this came to 100 ASATs. There may have been multiple Novas to get that number.

Each ASAT could fire 3 missiles so the total number of incoming targets was 400 and this was too many to counter. Just one of the missiles gave you a _hard_ kill on the SM+14 asteroid station too.

A general result from multiple test battles is that they tend to be short in terms of number of turns. I attribute this to Spaceships realistic rules bias that mimics modern naval combat with its' "one shipkiller missile to one ship" tendencies.

Even older battles that appear longer and more epic only seem that way because we tend to count shots fired rather than those that hit and almost all shells fired miss. One shell from Bismarck sank the Hood. One shell from the Rodney effectively killed Bismarck.
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