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Old 01-15-2023, 07:37 PM   #11
Polydamas
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Central Europe
Default Re: Making EM Guns Viable in Space Combat (3e)

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Originally Posted by GURPS Fox View Post
I still consider them missiles, just with a KE warhead instead.
Well, like, how are you defining kinetic energy weapons? You talked about railgun projectiles with terminal guidance (some kind of engine to change their vector as they approach the target and way of aiming at that target) in which case the projectiles are missiles (although there is definitely a difference between a gun-launched missile and a missile which gets all its velocity from an onboard engine).

You also talked about range, and in space the range of a projectile is "until it hits something" so maybe this term means something different to you.
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Old 01-15-2023, 07:44 PM   #12
GURPS Fox
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Default Re: Making EM Guns Viable in Space Combat (3e)

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Cannons have been pretty much obsolete in aerospace combat since TL 7, and the space combat environment is even more hostile to their use than the air combat environment.
... that sucks. I don't want anyone to say that I'm outright copying Traveller with some of these settings...
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Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
More like TL8. There were lots of kills with cannons in the 60s and 70s, even from forces with AAMs, and that's only considering air-air combat.
True, and there was the one time an EW F-111 caused a fighter to pancake across a mountain...

... though what I'm getting from Anthony is, 'once DEWs become viable, go straight to DEWs and kick KEWs to the curb' in terms of cannon.

I was thinking of making them akin to 'shotguns': they might not be able to hit as far as their rifle counterparts but pack a hefty punch when they hit. Especially useful in areas like the rings of the gas giants, where 'lol multi-megameter sniping' isn't as viable to give an example.
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Old 01-15-2023, 07:48 PM   #13
GURPS Fox
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Default Re: Making EM Guns Viable in Space Combat (3e)

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Originally Posted by Polydamas View Post
Well, like, how are you defining kinetic energy weapons? You talked about railgun projectiles with terminal guidance (some kind of engine to change their vector as they approach the target and way of aiming at that target) in which case the projectiles are missiles (although there is definitely a difference between a gun-launched missile and a missile which gets all its velocity from an onboard engine).

You also talked about range, and in space the range of a projectile is "until it hits something" so maybe this term means something different to you.
True enough, though I'm planning to build games with these settings, and the range calcs make it easier for gameplay flow, or at least that's what I'm getting from my readings of the various rules.
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Old 01-15-2023, 08:06 PM   #14
Anthony
 
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Default Re: Making EM Guns Viable in Space Combat (3e)

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... though what I'm getting from Anthony is, 'once DEWs become viable, go straight to DEWs and kick KEWs to the curb' in terms of cannon.
No, it's "once missiles become viable, go straight to missiles". Missile vs DEW is a trickier subject.
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Old 01-15-2023, 08:14 PM   #15
GURPS Fox
 
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Default Re: Making EM Guns Viable in Space Combat (3e)

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No, it's "once missiles become viable, go straight to missiles". Missile vs DEW is a trickier subject.
Oh boy, that's going to be a subject then.

So TL10 aircraft and spaceships are basically missile boats and only missile boats in your book?
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Old 01-15-2023, 08:17 PM   #16
Polydamas
 
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Default Re: Making EM Guns Viable in Space Combat (3e)

And obligatory reminder that as Agamegos says, "interesting human stories" and "combat between spacecraft in a universe like our universe" are a contradiction in terms.

Games like Attack Vector: Tactical and Children of a Dead Earth try but even then they have to move the decimal points in the direction of drama (and they are wargames, not stories about people).
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Old 01-15-2023, 08:19 PM   #17
Anthony
 
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Default Re: Making EM Guns Viable in Space Combat (3e)

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Originally Posted by GURPS Fox View Post
Oh boy, that's going to be a subject then.

So TL10 aircraft and spaceships are basically missile boats and only missile boats in your book?
No, they might use DEWs. It depends on your tech assumptions (there's a threshold effect -- it takes a certain quantity of missiles to overwhelm energy weapon point defense. If that quantity is too small, beams just increase the cost of attacking. If it's large enough, you wind up with a beam-dominant paradigm and missiles fall out of use).

Incidentally, neither one produces remotely interesting combat. Space is about the most boring combat environment possible, and it's mostly complex environments that result in interesting tactics.
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Old 01-15-2023, 08:24 PM   #18
Polydamas
 
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Default Re: Making EM Guns Viable in Space Combat (3e)

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Oh boy, that's going to be a subject then.

So TL10 aircraft and spaceships are basically missile boats and only missile boats in your book?
Manned and unmanned aerial vehicles today do almost all their offense against targets that can defend themselves with guided projectiles. Even against targets that can't defend themselves such as insurgents without ground-to-air missiles, craft like the A-10 Warthog have the problem that strafing is not very precise so endangers friendlies and bystanders. You don't need to be an elite operator to figure out "the foreigners are all going into hard cover, they must have called in artillery or air strikes so we should take cover or get out of the way." I'm sure someone has tried mounting a machine gun on a drone and using it to shoot at another drone, but it does not seem as common as crashing a cheaper drone into it or dropping a ground-attack munition on it while it is hovering.

My understanding is that air-to-air combat has been dominated by guided or seeking missiles since at least the 1980s (to the extent that it happens at all). An early example was the Iraqi air force covering their invasion of Iran finding that its aircraft kept exploding with no sign of the enemy; Iranian fighters with the Shah's NATO kit were spotting and killing them with missiles before they could be detected. After a little of that, the Iraqi air force became cautious.
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Old 01-15-2023, 09:19 PM   #19
Fred Brackin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: Making EM Guns Viable in Space Combat (3e)

[QUOTE=GURPS Fox;2465996

So you're telling me to just give up on KEW cannon entirely?

.[/QUOTE]

For evasive targets? Yes.

You could bombard fixed targets with them or use them in situations where the engagement range is artificially shortened. However, "effective" range is still probably a flight time under 1 second.
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Old 01-15-2023, 09:36 PM   #20
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Making EM Guns Viable in Space Combat (3e)

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Originally Posted by Polydamas View Post

My understanding is that air-to-air combat has been dominated by guided or seeking missiles since at least the 1980s
Use of the first radar missiles c. 1960 was limited by operating skills so arcane that they might as well have been Ritual Magic.

Sidewinder D (heat seeker used by US forces in the late 60s) was finicky but usably dangerous.

Sidewinder J (used by British forces in the Falklands c. 1980) was pantingly eager to go go kill its' targets at about 3x the range as D. Still heat seekers though.

In Desert Storm (c. 1990) the Allied score was 26 kills for radar missiles, 6 for heat seekers (and at least 2 of those were by the Royal Saudi AF) and maybe 1 helicopter gunned down by an A-10. Many of the radar kills were at night too and from single-seater fighters. No guy-in-back needed.
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