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Old 09-08-2016, 11:40 AM   #11
tshiggins
 
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Default Re: Building a Fun Spacecraft Combat Paradigm

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
Consigning realism to the Ion Storms of Regulus 5 you still probably want to have missiles maneuver around the chaff clouds. On the one hand , the 32 cm missiles from Spaceships are coming in at c. 20 miles per second and KE damage numbers for such a speed are something like "explode on contact with a force of TNT equal to 80x mass" and you'd need a bunch of armor on your missile to get through that only "damaged". At the very least even a dust speck will kill sensors at that sort of velocity.
That's pretty cool, then, and so much the better for the idea. :)

Putting missiles straight through the cloud of chaff will wreck them, and lasers and other beam weapons fired through get at least somewhat dispersed. Spacecraft spit out chaff clouds as a form of defense, and use maneuvers to keep the clouds between themselves and opponents -- even clouds that other spacecraft deployed.

I'm liking the autonomous AKV idea even more, and maybe even "Hellburner" style attack vessels piloted by human beings. You'd need fast, maneuverable vehicles to position themselves for clean shots.

https://www.amazon.com/Hellburner-C-...r+C.J.+Cherryh

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
There's an upside to this though and that is that dodging all these obstacles makes missile combat at least theoretically more complicated. It helps justify why the number of missiles your ship can control is practically rather than just theoretically limited.
A good point, and I hadn't even thought of this.
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Old 09-09-2016, 11:20 AM   #12
ericthered
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Default Re: Building a Fun Spacecraft Combat Paradigm

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Originally Posted by PTTG View Post
Don't neglect delta-v on those missiles. Going around a chaff cloud eats a ton of d-v.

Also, a lot of space combat assumes that two forces are going to meet in a pitched battle in deep space. I think that it's more interesting if we plan space combat more like, say, urban combat. A few small ships in a place with lots of collateral damage potential. For instance, if your fight is in LEO, nuking the crap out of your enemy will mean you probably kill a large number of weather and com satellites, and you put SM+15 irradiated hulks into a decaying orbit of an essential biosphere.
If you have reactionless engines, you may have reactionless missiles as well. Though that depends.

The "Urban Combat" approach to space warfare is an interesting one. You certainly want some ships for those kind of duties. Urban combat is inherently asymmetrical though -- you have an attacker and a defender. Its not sufficient to drive away ships preying on commerce.
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Old 09-10-2016, 07:40 AM   #13
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Default Re: Building a Fun Spacecraft Combat Paradigm

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Originally Posted by PTTG View Post
Also, a lot of space combat assumes that two forces are going to meet in a pitched battle in deep space. I think that it's more interesting if we plan space combat more like, say, urban combat. A few small ships in a place with lots of collateral damage potential. For instance, if your fight is in LEO, nuking the crap out of your enemy will mean you probably kill a large number of weather and com satellites, and you put SM+15 irradiated hulks into a decaying orbit of an essential biosphere.
That's an extremely good point. Since I had planned for most planets to not be unified into a single polity but rather more complicated, orbit would probably reflect that, and would be extremely busy.

This might also make me change some other setting assumptions: If we assume combat to be interesting because it occurs in orbit, a reactionless drive is no longer necessary to keep travel times smaller than "too long". Meaning I could dispense with them altogether, and use something like the fusion rocket or - more extreme - the fusion torch engine. Combining this with a closer jump (maximum range for beam weaponry is 20,000 miles; we can put this out to the moon to allow for some manoeuvres plus missiles).
Putting the same engine into missiles, or - as ericthered suggested - reactionless drives, would then increase both the missile range and - if we assume a certain minimum engine size - missile size. Increasing missile size to one to ten tons (and adding some armour) would both circumvent having hundreds or thousands of micro-missiles and having hundreds or thousands of laser rifles as point defense.
AKVs would then probably present a reasonable expansion of that concept, greatly increasing lethality while not necessarily being a kamikaze weapon like the torch/reactionless missiles. I definitely have to think about that!
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