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Old 03-30-2013, 10:48 AM   #61
Blood Legend
 
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Default Re: [Ultra Tech] Shortening Range

In my high tech operatic games I use a reflexive velocity hard-light shield which is easily accessible and perfectly legal to everyone except convicted felons. While they're legal, committing a crime while in possession of one acts as a penalty enhancement. (What is considered 'low velocity' I've yet to expand upon beyond hand-waving.) A micro-computer detects incoming objects of a particular mass traveling over a particular velocity deemed to be harmful. If it was set to 0 mass/velocity, the shield would push pots and pans (even those currently in use), notebooks, papers, pencils, clothes, and even furniture around. Basically anything that wasn't nailed down or composed mostly of fire. Factory models cannot be set this low. Extremely low-mass low velocity units can keep dust, bugs an other irritants out, these are the size of keychains. Come to think of it, there's probably a whole community dedicated to experimenting with the mass/velocity profile on these devices to achieve specific results.

The setting has this technology in its very early stages to prevent silly but entirely plausible things like 'everyone now has telekinesis' since it doesn't yet possess a tractor beam quality to manipulate objects but late enough that you could use a velocity shield to protect you from a long fall. In settings that have tractor beams, I make them entirely different technologies.

In game, the RVHL *Rival* Shield detects any damage over '5' outside of a 2 yard radius and activates a field of 10 to 25 DR (for a military model) for a couple of milliseconds, double that if set to be directional (commonly forward). They are however expensive and superfluous. Only police, swat, military, criminal underground, and civilians operating in high places have a need of use for them, and I'd imagine the current non-practical parkour scene in my setting would frown upon their use unless you were just starting out. Even then body armor is still popular and a rifle round will still go through a civilian's projected energy field. The military also has access to Pulse, AP Pulse and APEX Pulse rounds that cap an energy folding device on the front of the round. The Rival Shield cannot generally stop liquids, heat or light.

Rival Shields draw the same social penalty that you get for walking into a tavern or bar in peace time with armor or a combat vest on, so they're commonly hooked on a carry belt under a vest or jacket or disguised as a wearable computer.

---

On the larger field, EMP, ECM, scramblers and miniaturized point defense are used. In space-combat, you want to move in fairly close and fire a barrage which will occupy most of the systems.
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Last edited by Blood Legend; 03-30-2013 at 11:12 AM.
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Old 03-30-2013, 02:30 PM   #62
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Default Re: [Ultra Tech] Shortening Range

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Originally Posted by Mailanka View Post
A TL 12 antimatter round can fit into a 10mm round, which means you can fit it into a portable railgun. A portable railgun has +7 range, which we can easily increase to +9 with extended aiming. With a compact scope, that bumps up +4 to +13, and with a targeting program, that increases +2 to +15. If we brace, that's another +1, and if we go AoA, that's another +1, so we're at +17. We want to hit at least 3k yards away (which the portable railgun can easily do), which is -19. At skill 14, that still hits on a 12 or less. This attack will deal an average of 800 burning damage, and 20 million toxic/radiation damage. That's "nobody survived that hit."
One way to mitigate this somewhat is to say that there is no passively stable antimatter containment. It always needs active control, which requires at least a minimal power source and a computer. If there is an accident, if you lose power, if the antimatter round is bumped too hard, or if an EMP (or its TL 12 equivalent) fries the computer, the antimatter round detonates. If you are the one carrying it, this is A Very Bad Thing. With good point/zone/area defense, the AM round might get lased out of the sky when it is still quite close to the person shooting it, which again is not so healthy for the gunner.

Mini-nukes are a bit more problematic in this regard. Even if they are antimatter-initiated microfusion (one of the more plausible scenarios), presumably they are not armed until fired so even an accident that exposes the antimatter only makes a small boom and not a big boom. Still, a boom of few kg TNT equivalent is Not Nice when you are carrying it.

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Old 03-30-2013, 04:29 PM   #63
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Default Re: [Ultra Tech] Shortening Range

If it's space opera, throw nukes and weaponized antimatter on the same genre-inappropriate trash heap the ultratech targeting aids and postmodern computing are already sitting in.
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Old 03-30-2013, 04:31 PM   #64
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Default Re: [Ultra Tech] Shortening Range

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If it's space opera, throw nukes and weaponized antimatter on the same genre-inappropriate trash heap the ultratech targeting aids and postmodern computing are already sitting in.
The thing is a lot of high power weapons are appropriate for Space Opera.
They just are not opeating on an infranty level.
The Skylark and Lensman series for example.
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Old 03-30-2013, 04:55 PM   #65
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Default Re: [Ultra Tech] Shortening Range

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The Skylark and Lensman series for example.
Um. The Skylark series had total conversion warheads being fired from pistols. In the first book. And they weren't wimpy either, they were 'obliterate multiple warships with one shot' level.
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Old 03-30-2013, 05:00 PM   #66
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Default Re: [Ultra Tech] Shortening Range

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Um. The Skylark series had total conversion warheads being fired from pistols. In the first book. And they weren't wimpy either, they were 'obliterate multiple warships with one shot' level.
Right but they were not really used all that much for regular personal combat.
More a deterrent to it.
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:42 PM   #67
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Default Re: [Ultra Tech] Shortening Range

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Well, I was repeating my concerns because someone asked, but I think the thread has already come up with quite some solutions:
  • Have excellent jamming in place, making extremely long-range attacks difficult
  • Have some kind of shielding that makes long range attacks (especially orbital attacks) difficult or impossible
  • Reduce the effectiveness of AI, remove it completely, or make it as precious as humans
  • Have your fights primarily in cluttered areas, like forests, cities and the interior of spaceships, not on featureless plains.
  • Have social pressures that remove the ability to use massive destruction against your foes

I have no real reason not to use mini-nukes and anti-matter rounds, though, outside of social pressures, which just means the bad guys are more likely to nuke people.
Make the high-power weapons expensive. This makes them harder for most combatants to get, and easier for governments (or whoever takes that role) to restrict. If the mininukes are super-duper expensive, then even the bad guys will only use them when cheaper options won't work.

(This could be realistic, too, for both mini-nukes and antimatter. Plus, antimatter is inherently dangerous in a terrene environment, it defaults to disaster with pretty much anything going wrong with the technology.
I could readily imagine that most people, bad guys included, would be reluctant to be close to it. Kind of like carrying bottles of sulfuric acid as weapons, it might work but is it worth the risk?

Social pressure can cover a range of things, too. If it's just social disapproval, the bad guys might not care. If using the forbidden weapon means that everybody feels free to shoot at you for it, or even that your former friends and allies won't trade with you, take your money, or the like, that's something else. In the real world, there are some actions that will make even hardened criminals violently hate you. In a future world, using mininukes or other forbidden weapons might fall into that category.

Still, there's no getting around some of the problem, the regular 'in your face' battles of pop sci-fi just don't make realistic sense. You can fix some of it with various solutions, but there's no plausible way to make it really realistic on all fronts. It's not hard to come up with specific situations where an in-your-face battle happens, but I've never seen a plausible situation where it happens as a routine thing with the SFnal technologies.
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