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Old 11-16-2016, 02:32 PM   #1
Jeminai
 
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Default Laser Dazzler Question

In UT 113 the weapon table for Laser Dazzlers include a distance in parentheses under the damage column. I am not understanding what this is for.

Can someone clarify this for me?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-16-2016, 03:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: Laser Dazzler Question

See the note on the table. The parenthetical number is the width of the cone at maximum range. This typically means you still need to aim at the face - a three yard wide circle is great and all, but not when it's 4,500 yards away.

EDIT: If you'd like, here are the Range+SM values at which the beam will hit the target's eyes without specifically aiming at them. That is, you need to take the lesser penalty of the below and aiming for the Face (which is being generous, should probably be the eyes).

Carbine: -17
Penlight: -13
Mini Laser Flashlight: -14
Heavy Laser Flashlight: -16
Laser Searchlight: -22

I suspect this wasn't actually the intent, and that the cone sizes were meant to be what they looked like at typical combat ranges.

Last edited by Varyon; 11-16-2016 at 03:18 PM.
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Old 11-17-2016, 09:24 AM   #3
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Default Re: Laser Dazzler Question

Do you think it would be unbalancing to make the cone size listed be the size at 1/2 D range and then maybe they get a bonus to resist beyond that?
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Old 11-17-2016, 10:06 AM   #4
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Default Re: Laser Dazzler Question

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Originally Posted by Jeminai View Post
Do you think it would be unbalancing to make the cone size listed be the size at 1/2 D range and then maybe they get a bonus to resist beyond that?
Getting a bonus to resist is how D normally works with Afflictions. But the cone size should logically be max range, otherwise you get some inconvenient calculations.
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Old 11-17-2016, 12:08 PM   #5
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Default Re: Laser Dazzler Question

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Originally Posted by Jeminai View Post
Do you think it would be unbalancing to make the cone size listed be the size at 1/2 D range and then maybe they get a bonus to resist beyond that?
Might work out alright; you'd arguably need to test and see.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Getting a bonus to resist is how D normally works with Afflictions. But the cone size should logically be max range, otherwise you get some inconvenient calculations.
How wide is the beam on the dazzler carbine at 2,000 yards? Changing the range where it hits some nominal size doesn't change the need for calculating things.

The problem with the current widths being at maximum range is that they basically mean the cone aspect is borderline useless - the best one for actually hitting a target (the penlight) just caps the penalty for aiming at the face at -13. Heck, that statement really shows what the issue is - the best dazzler weapon isn't the purpose-built dazzler carbine, it's a freaking penlight.
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Old 11-17-2016, 02:47 PM   #6
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Default Re: Laser Dazzler Question

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
The problem with the current widths being at maximum range is that they basically mean the cone aspect is borderline useless - the best one for actually hitting a target (the penlight) just caps the penalty for aiming at the face at -13. Heck, that statement really shows what the issue is - the best dazzler weapon isn't the purpose-built dazzler carbine, it's a freaking penlight.
Talking pure hypotheticals for the purpose of demonstration.
Say you have a D of 75, a Max of 1,000, and a cone width of 3 at D. What's the cone width at Max? It's (1,000/75)3 = 40. Do you really want to be doing something like that? It seems much more convenient to either have the cone width defined at 1 yard (thus you just multiply it by range), or at Max (in which case you multiply it by the percentage of Max, which is more intuitive).
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Old 11-17-2016, 03:10 PM   #7
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Default Re: Laser Dazzler Question

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Talking pure hypotheticals for the purpose of demonstration.
Say you have a D of 75, a Max of 1,000, and a cone width of 3 at D. What's the cone width at Max? It's (1,000/75)3 = 40. Do you really want to be doing something like that? It seems much more convenient to either have the cone width defined at 1 yard (thus you just multiply it by range), or at Max (in which case you multiply it by the percentage of Max, which is more intuitive).
Honestly, you don't even need to go that far. 3 yards wide at 70 yards (we'll stick with SSR because it'll make things a lot easier) means the area hit has a Range+SM penalty of -6, so that's the cap on the Range+SM penalty. If your targets fit within that area, you hit them; if they don't, you don't. Most GURPS combat is against point targets at relatively close range; if you want to hit a large group, it's worth it to do a little math to work it out.

Also, your example doesn't match the (much easier to handle) trend seen with dazzlers, where Max is always 3x 1/2D, not 13x. Multiple of 1/2D isn't much more problematic than fraction of Max, honestly. If it's all that problematic, just recalculate the cone sizes for Max to start with - 1 yd becomes 3 yd, 2 yd becomes 6 yd, 3 yd becomes 9 yd.
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Old 11-18-2016, 07:14 AM   #8
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Default Re: Laser Dazzler Question

Can we do laser dazzlers on the battlefield yet?

It seems that many of those fights in Syria right now would go a lot better for the attackers is any defender looking that direction goes blind. Especially if the blindness is long duration and is from a laser operating outside the visible spectrum (thus they don't know where it is coming from...).

Something that looks like an APC parked three or four miles thataway could easily carry generators and batteries for a longer range dazzler and nobody would ever suspect it.
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Old 11-18-2016, 09:15 AM   #9
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Default Re: Laser Dazzler Question

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Can we do laser dazzlers on the battlefield yet?
Blinding laser weapons are prohibited by a 1995 UN treaty (signed by 107 countries). Temporary dazzling is permissible. The first use was, I think, by the Royal Navy in the Falklands back in 1982. The US also tried them as non-lethal weapons in Iraq, sometimes ad hoc, sometimes with purpose-designed devices.

If the laser isn't in visible wavelengths, it's not going to dazzle, or at least it's going to be very much harder, since those are wavelengths to which the retina isn't sensitive, by definition. You might still cook eyeballs with UV or microwaves, but that falls into the prohibited category. The only real dazzlers I know about are visible wavelength ones.

Laser warning receivers already exist. Honeywell once built a prototype system to do "Laser Detection And Reciprocal Targeting (LDART)", which is to say automatically shoot anything that paints a vehicle with a laser. And of course, laser-guided missiles simply home on laser reflection from the painting device. It'd be easy to build one that tracked enemy laser signals, like the HARM missiles that home on enemy radar stations. That hypothetical APC using a invisible laser isn't going to be immune to being noticed. It's transmitting an active signal that says "here I am; kill me".
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Old 11-18-2016, 01:09 PM   #10
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Default Re: Laser Dazzler Question

I didn't know about the treaty banning them. This explains why we haven't heard anything about them being used even though it seems well within at least US capabilities.

Anti laser systems are to be expected if lasers are deployed. I was envisioning their use against dug in lower TL opponents. After all, if you can see the target in your sniper scope you can perfectly place a shot that will blind the target. Lots of suddenly blind people is bad for morale if you can't counter the attacks effectively.
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