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Old 01-20-2023, 01:09 AM   #51
RyanW
 
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Default Re: Making EM Guns Viable in Space Combat (3e)

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The straightforward way to have 'fighters vs battleships' is by having two core drive technologies with different preferred scales. In the traditional case, it's because water drives get more efficient as you get bigger up to some enormous scale, whereas aircraft drivetrains don't scale up very well.
Aircraft are not dragging themselves through molasses, but also are not supported but said molasses. So to duplicate it, you would need an engine technology that allows smaller things to go an order of magnitude faster than bigger things.

A more plausible metaphor might be 'torpedo boats vs battleships'. Less Midway and more Tsushima.
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Old 01-20-2023, 04:21 AM   #52
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Default Re: Making EM Guns Viable in Space Combat (3e)

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Aircraft are not dragging themselves through molasses, but also are not supported but said molasses. So to duplicate it, you would need an engine technology that allows smaller things to go an order of magnitude faster than bigger things.

A more plausible metaphor might be 'torpedo boats vs battleships'. Less Midway and more Tsushima.
Except that Tsushima was heavy ships vs heavy ships. The torpedo boat attack was later, at night, when the Russians were already effectively defeated.

By 'fighters' vs 'battleships' is that if 'fighters' (actually closer to what in WWII were torpedo-bombers and dive bombers) can kill battleships, why build battleships? We don't build battleships today because aircraft (and then missiles) can kill them from far enough away that they can't get at the aircraft/missile's launch platform.

If, on the other hand, battleships either can't be killed by 'fighters' or can handily see them off without being mission-killed or worse, why have those small ships?

There are answers, but if you don't want annoying naval historians and wargamers asking difficult questions this needs to be addressed beforehand. Just not having one or the other is an easy solution, of course (i.e. not having 'WWII in space' as your starting point).
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Old 01-20-2023, 05:25 AM   #53
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Default Re: Making EM Guns Viable in Space Combat (3e)

The usual answer in scifi fiction (at least that I have read) is:

FTL travel (whatever flavor) requires drives of a size that you get 'Battleships' or something similarly honking huge.

Fighters are possible, do damage outside their weight class, are not very survivable...and are carried in FTL buy a combination of Battleships, Carriers, etc.
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Old 01-20-2023, 05:46 AM   #54
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Default Re: Making EM Guns Viable in Space Combat (3e)

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The usual answer in scifi fiction (at least that I have read) is:

FTL travel (whatever flavor) requires drives of a size that you get 'Battleships' or something similarly honking huge.

Fighters are possible, do damage outside their weight class, are not very survivable...and are carried in FTL buy a combination of Battleships, Carriers, etc.
Yeah, that leads to 'carriers', not battleships. 'Battleships' and 'battlecarriers' is such situations are almost certainly a waste of tonnage (and thus money, resources, and crew). If they're not, because their big guns, missile launchers or whatever are worth having, you then have to explain why the small craft are worth carrying. Note that nobody's ever got a 'torpedo boat carrier' to work, and certainly not as a major fleet element.

Also note that WWII is an example of when you did see battleships and carriers at the same time, because it was a major war right at the point of transition between one and the other. You can do this in a space setting as well, of course - someone invents a new high-performance but size-limited drive making small craft viable as offensive units, or a gun/shield combination that only works if it's large that makes missile-carrying small craft become obsolete once it's in general use.
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Old 01-20-2023, 12:31 PM   #55
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Default Re: Making EM Guns Viable in Space Combat (3e)

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Yeah, that leads to 'carriers', not battleships. 'Battleships' and 'battlecarriers' is such situations are almost certainly a waste of tonnage (and thus money, resources, and crew). If they're not, because their big guns, missile launchers or whatever are worth having, you then have to explain why the small craft are worth carrying. Note that nobody's ever got a 'torpedo boat carrier' to work, and certainly not as a major fleet element.
There have been schemes proposed for large ships to tow smaller craft that don't have the range to reach distant operation areas. Germany's 1890s plans for an invasion of the US had such provisions, IIRC. Though that's not quite the same thing as a carrier platform (akin to confusing the Queen Mary with an attack transport).
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Old 01-22-2023, 02:58 AM   #56
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Default Re: Making EM Guns Viable in Space Combat (3e)

So, I leave for a while and see all this great discussion abound. Also, a lot of discussion of the Technological Context (the sum of knowledge and its applications) as well as other elements.

So, skimming a lot of this has me seeing a lot of 'what sort of tech is available' and 'themes of the setting' posts... which are pretty good-looking...
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Old 01-22-2023, 04:07 AM   #57
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Default Re: Making EM Guns Viable in Space Combat (3e)

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Note that nobody's ever got a 'torpedo boat carrier' to work, and certainly not as a major fleet element.

Also note that WWII is an example of when you did see battleships and carriers at the same time, because it was a major war right at the point of transition between one and the other.
As to getting a 'torpedo boat carrier' to work. If fighters turn out to be superior in applying combat power and Carriers are the only way to manage FTL drives. Someone will figure out a way to put fighters/PT boats on them. Even if Duct Tape is required.

In WW2 both BBs and CVs were viable. However you couldn't really have one without the other. Sometime in the 60's-80's the US Naval War College gamed out what would happen at Midway if Yamamoto had brought the Main Force (BBs) forward and invaded the island, the result was that the USN lost. Indeed if Spruance had listened to the advice of his subordinates (aviators mostly) and had chosen not to move east, Yamamoto might have forced a night action which WW2 CVs were mostly helpless in and wrecked the US Fleet.

Anyhoo there is a lot of scope for a GM to determine how he wants Spaceflight and Naval Power to work in a Space campaign.
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Old 01-22-2023, 07:03 AM   #58
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Default Re: Making EM Guns Viable in Space Combat (3e)

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As to getting a 'torpedo boat carrier' to work. If fighters turn out to be superior in applying combat power and Carriers are the only way to manage FTL drives. Someone will figure out a way to put fighters/PT boats on them. Even if Duct Tape is required.
Sure.

Quote:
In WW2 both BBs and CVs were viable. However you couldn't really have one without the other. Sometime in the 60's-80's the US Naval War College gamed out what would happen at Midway if Yamamoto had brought the Main Force (BBs) forward and invaded the island, the result was that the USN lost. Indeed if Spruance had listened to the advice of his subordinates (aviators mostly) and had chosen not to move east, Yamamoto might have forced a night action which WW2 CVs were mostly helpless in and wrecked the US Fleet.
WWII was right at the transition point. You can see the shift as the war went on.
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Anyhoo there is a lot of scope for a GM to determine how he wants Spaceflight and Naval Power to work in a Space campaign.
Absolutely. But I do think it bears some thought, rather than just saying "there are fighters and carriers and..." without making sure that makes sense within the rules you're using.
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Old 01-22-2023, 08:08 AM   #59
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Default Re: Making EM Guns Viable in Space Combat (3e)

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Yeah, that leads to 'carriers', not battleships. 'Battleships' and 'battlecarriers' is such situations are almost certainly a waste of tonnage (and thus money, resources, and crew). If they're not, because their big guns, missile launchers or whatever are worth having, you then have to explain why the small craft are worth carrying.
My intent for Harpyias is that "fighters" use a high-performance, low-efficiency drive, while capital ships typically use low-performance, high-efficiency drives. These aren't size-limited, but a ship using the high-performance drive can't carry enough energy to go very far at all. There are some hybrid designs that use a mix of drives (high-performance for combat, high-efficiency for travel), but they have to give up too much performance in other areas to be serious battlefield assets (such are better suited as what one of the Star Wars RPG's called Space Transports, straddling the line between fighter and capital ship, being usable for transporting small amounts of cargo as well as serving as a gunship if necessary - the Millennium Falcon was in this category). Capital ships are typically carriers, but battleships (and hybrid battleships/carriers) do exist, because spacecraft - particularly large spacecraft - in Harpyias are unrealistically resilient (the fact combat takes place at speeds more akin to WWII aerial and naval assets also helps - no cheating by dropping a brick at 100 mps). This means that while fighters certainly can damage and destroy capital ships, a Spinal Mount on a capital ship will do it faster. How it basically works out is that small, agile craft are generally the best suited to taking out other small, agile craft (defensive turrets help make you not completely defenseless, but having your own fighters is optimal), while large battleships are better suited to taking out capital ships. If you just used capital ships, you'd likely get destroyed by an enemy deployment of fighters (although it would take a bit of time), and of course while you're busy engaging those fighters if the enemy has any battleships they can line up their shots relatively-unharassed. If you use only fighters (or, rather, carriers), you won't be able to take down enemy capital ships nearly as readily, while their own battleships are a serious threat to your carrier. That's the idea, anyway. I also want boarding craft to play a role - they would fall under the "fighter" paradigm (albeit typically on the large side, considering they'd need to carry a boarding party), with the purpose being to capture (taking the Control Room and pacifying any resistance), sabotage (take out the shield generator and/or AEGIS heat-dissipation system and the ship will fall in short order), or outright destroy the ship (the supercapacitors storing the ship's energy reserve typically store enough energy that loss of containment will outright destroy the ship; even if it doesn't, it will no longer have power for weapons, drives, or the AEGIS system, crippling it).
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Old 01-22-2023, 12:35 PM   #60
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Default Re: Making EM Guns Viable in Space Combat (3e)

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In WW2 both BBs and CVs were viable.
Not really. If you already had a BB you might as well keep using it, but you didn't build new ones.
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