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  • File : 1314073914.jpg-(284 KB, 1920x1080, event-horizon-original.jpg)
    284 KB Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)00:31 No.16031628  
    Hello /tg/, I’ve just started designing a simple starship system for use in my Science Fiction RPG, and I wanted to get some opinions on my current Ideas.

    The first stage is starship creation, the party starts with a selection of base hulls to choose from and customizes these by installing systems of their choice. Base hulls come in a verity of classifications, which limit the number and type of systems that can be installed. There are five types of systems; Support Systems, Weapons Systems, Propulsion Systems, Generators, and Armor. After deciding on a hull type and installed systems, it is time to determine the ships statistics.

    First are the main statistics which are; Hull Integrity, Firepower, and Mobility. Hull Integrity functions as a ship’s HP, and is determined by combining a base hull rating value and the average durability of the installed systems. Firepower is the combined power of all the ship’s installed weapons. Mobility is a combination of the ship’s acceleration and maneuverability.

    Then there are the derived statistics, which are determined by a number of variables they include; Cargo Capacity, Crew Requirement, Power, and Sufficiency. Cargo capacity determines the total amount of weight a ship can pull and still operate effectively, it is derived from engine type and hull size. Crew requirement is the total number of crew needed to operate the ship properly; this number is based on hull size and number of installed systems, but can be reduced by installing certain support systems (AIs, auto repair systems, etc.). Power is the total electrical output of the ship’s reactors, represented by points that are spent in combat and travel. Sufficiency is a rating of the amount of time a ship can go without resupplying, it is determined by the size of the crew and quality of life support systems.

    So, what does everyone think of these rough ideas? Any suggestions would be nice.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)00:37 No.16031689
    I really dislike Event Horizon so I'm not going to even try to read all that
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)00:38 No.16031703
    It has nothing to do with Event Horizon, I promise! I just chose a random starship from my folder.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)00:50 No.16031820
    By the time we get to spacefaring, I think that resupplying will be rather unnecessary through the use of hydroponics (food production/air renewal), algae (food), and waste reprocessing.

    I don't think I like the idea of using the average HP of each section to figure total HP. I think that I'd roll with having the ship's HP be determined by a combination of hull materials and construction methods (with the better protection coming from higher mass and from more expensive construction techniques). The either increased/decreased mass would have an affect on the craft's ability to accelerate.
    Acceleration to my mind is the most important aspect of maneuverability to a spacecraft (as top speed is essentially unlimited given enough time to accelerate to it, well at least below c). So the total mass of cargo/ship/systems should have an affect on acceleration (and this is in any direction, although will work slightly differently for turning as then you're working around a pivot point). It's all about overcoming the moment of inertia yo. I guess what I'm saying with all of this is that your ability to maneuver is a function of your ability to accelerate. Additionally, even the most piddly engine can move a great giant mass (out in the middle of space), but may take a *very* long time to get it to any useful speed.

    Just my opinions on such, feel free to ignore or use, as always :)
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)00:58 No.16031884
    Needs stuff for sensors and computing power. Very important stuff.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)01:03 No.16031923
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    >By the time we get to spacefaring, I think that resupplying will be rather unnecessary through the use of hydroponics (food production/air renewal), algae (food), and waste reprocessing.

    Which would all be options that could extend sufficiency all the way to self sufficient, but some people might like to cheap out, or use that space for something else if the ship isn't going to going on any long trips.

    >I don't think I like the idea of using the average HP of each section to figure total HP.

    It isn't just an average HP of every section, that is only one factor. The hull rating of the base hull is one major factor, and that represents quality of construction and materials used.

    I'm going for a simple system, so I'm not going to focus on the realistic physics and mechanics of space very much.

    >Needs stuff for sensors and computing power

    That would fall under support systems, I'll go ahead and list everything I have for systems in a bit.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)01:15 No.16032022
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    >Support Systems
    Sensor Arrays
    FTL Devices
    Automated Repair Systems

    >Weapons Systems
    Directed Energy Weapons
    Missile Tubes

    >Propulsion Systems
    Interplanetary Drives
    Secondary Drives
    Maneuvering Thrusters

    Power Cells
    Secondary Reactors

    >Armor Plating
    Hull Plating (Unarmored)
    Light Armor Plating
    Heavy Armor Plating
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)01:18 No.16032042

    In addition to the armor weights, armor types.

    Heavy Plate
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)01:21 No.16032062
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    That will come in with the specifics, like different types of reactors, drives, etc. Giving suggestions for these is really helpful though, thanks.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)01:23 No.16032075
    >Weapons Systems
    >no grappler arms

    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)01:25 No.16032103
    I think that would fall under Support, more of a multi purpose thing.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)01:27 No.16032110
    >Not single most powerful weaponry one can equip

    Are you sure you know what you're doing?
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)01:32 No.16032142
    Let me be more clear on why I wouldn't use the average of any system/section whathaveyou: It frankly makes no sense. It'd be more logical to just add them together, and even then that doesn't make too much sense to anyone who thinks too deeply on it. What would make the most sense would just be to retain the HP of each system and the Hull...when the hull breeches, damage then flows to whatever section was behind that taking away from that section. As is, for some reason the HP of a system at the rear of a ship affects the HP of a system at the front. While this may be a step to streamline, it's one that can end up causing some rather confused situations later on down the line, especially considering how sections can be sealed (a practice that's been around since preWWI that I don't see going anywhere) from each other/ship possibly blown in half and the like.

    As for the acceleration I was talking about, it would be fairly simple to implement: rate each engine in terms of megagrams per one unit of acceleration. For the engines used for yaw and attitudinal controls, measure it in megagrams per degrees of arc per time unit (whatever your turn length is). So for main engines, you'd just have a little table listing the different engine choices against the acceleration rate for various mass levels.
    In game terms, this all means just keep track of the mass of the ship, when it hits a certain point, they get -1 to their acceleration rate, next higher point a -2, so on and so forth. Then do something similar for the maneuvering engines, but take off degrees of arc (which can be kept simple by keeping it in terms of how long it'll take to rotate a given mass level 45 degrees).
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)01:51 No.16032286
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    Let me explain what my concept of Hull Integrity, it isn't going to be strait up HP, it will be pretty abstract. It is going to represent the overall toughness of the ship, and as the value lowers systems throughout the ship are going to start failing, with the lower durability ones going first. These lower durability systems lower hull integrity overall because damage control/auto repair has to focus on them fore than they do the tougher systems.

    A ship wouldn't be dead once it reaches zero either, systems will just have a much high chance of failing. If you are lucky, or have a great damage control team, you could end up with a ship at zero hull integrity still fighting. The fusion reactor could go up at any moment, but you could still keep up the fight until then. Hope that gets my concept across, I can be bad at explaining things sometimes.

    As for acceleration, I could see realistic acceleration being simple enough, but not so much for turning arches or 3D movement. No real way to see until I get to the play testing stage though.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)01:55 No.16032310
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    This all looks very familiar...
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)02:05 No.16032375
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    Some hull classifications I've come up with so far, feel free to suggest any if can think of them.

    Transport Shuttle
    Assault Shuttle
    Utility Shuttle
    Heavy Lift Shuttle

    Transport Freighter
    Cargo Freighter

    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)02:31 No.16032585
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    Bump, but also a word on ammunition.

    How does lenses being used as "ammo" for directed energy weapons sound?
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)02:48 No.16032703
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    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)02:58 No.16032758
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    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)03:01 No.16032779
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    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)03:13 No.16032864

    Uh, what do you mean by that exactly?

    Lenses aren't consumed when firing, they can't be or it wouldn't work. If they are being damaged while you are firing, the beam quality will suffer. and if the beam quality isn't top notch, it won't matter for shit if you can point your laser right on target at 1000km+, you may as well be pointing a flashlight at them for all the good it's going to do.

    Fresh coolant makes for a much better laser "ammunition" fluff wise. You'll get it back once the fighting is done and you have a chance to cool everything back down, but it's a limited resource when you're firing everything balls-out.

    I doubt they'll be of much use past a few years into the future because the development of high power solid state lasers, but chemical lasers require specialized chemical fuels to fire. They are very much a kind of laser that requires ammunition.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)03:17 No.16032888
    The heat of the laser or particle beam eventually warps the lens, you won't have to replace them as often a magazine for a Gauss cannon, but it is still an expense to consider.

    I just need something to balance out the lack of conventional ammunition, coolant is also a good idea though, thanks.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)03:23 No.16032930
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    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)03:31 No.16032971
    Lenses for big lasers will be adaptive optics, like in big telescopes. They'll be able to correct for minor warping. Anything beyond that, and the thing is worthless. You won't be able to change them in combat, they are extreme precision instruments, so it would probably take days. You wouldn't build one that would wear out over the course of a reasonable battle because all your weapons would break before you finished fighting. But if they don't wear out over the course of one battle, then they'll have time to cool back down and take very little damage from the ordeal.

    A particle beam doesn't have a lens. Not in the regular sense anyway. Couldn't have a lens, really, because you'd be talking about a lens for matter, for *stuff*, which doesn't make all that much sense. Particle beams have to focus and manipulate everything with magnets, typically electromagnets, and those don't wear out. If you've got silly levels of scifi tech, I suppose you could use forcefields to shape the beam instead, but that's all technobabble.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)03:43 No.16033050
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    If lasers remain anywhere near as fragile as they are now, they will have no place in a warship. If there is a small problem with the weapon, and the laser cannon isn't simple enough for the repair crew to fix they just won't be used at all. We have to assume that advances have been made in these areas for them to be at all usable.

    As for particle beam weapons, the most plausible designs I've seen incorporate a low powered laser to help "guide" the particle beam. An example in this picture, an electron beam with and without laser guidance.

    Coolant might just be the way to go for the sake of simplicity though.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)03:50 No.16033100
    Balancing energy beams? That's easy. Power requirements. In order for a ship to fire a beam at a certain rate, it will need a power generator that's able to keep up.
    I assume you're using a point buy system here, I'd certain hope so. Major systems, such as reactor, should cost points. Capacitors should also be there, but they would be eventually exhausted.
    As for Particle beams; Those things are/should be fucking powerful. They should be fixed mount only (unless the ship is fucking huge).

    I'd also recommend putting implementing armour penertration. It would help balance directed energy weapons, because they wouldn't have it.
    Particle beams would though, because relativity is awesome like that.

    That's an electro laser bro. It fires electrons. They have charge. The laser is creating a plasma 'path' for the electricity to follow in space.

    That dosen't work in space
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)04:04 No.16033192
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    The system is point buy, but I want it to remain simple. I could easily balance energy weapons with energy requirements, but that means implementing a somewhat detailed power management system, which I'm not really sure I want to do. Armor penetration will also be a feature. Lasers would are used more for pin-point attacks on external systems, intercepting missiles, and butchering unarmored ships.

    On particle beams, they are indeed powerful. Only one faction in the setting actually has them, and they aren't sharing. Everyone else mostly uses Gauss cannons and sometimes missiles, with lasers mostly as a support weapon.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)04:12 No.16033245

    Lasers offer a performance advantage that cannot be ignored. Despite the fact that any repairs will take the attention of a highly trained professional, the fact that they can effectively engage targets at many times the range of any other weapon bar missiles makes them the only direct-fire weapon worth considering in space. Particle beams can do good damage, but their range is simply too short. And there's no point in "guiding" a particle beam with a laser, ever. You're probably thinking of an electro-laser, which uses a laser to ionize a channel through the air to make it conductive to high-voltage electricity. The idea is to make a wireless ranged taser. Those aren't quite mature technology for a number of reasons. They are not particle beams, however and won't work in space for obvious reason. (that is to say electrolasers won't work in a vacuum for obvious reasons. Inside a pressurized space station they'll work as well as they do on the ground.)
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)04:14 No.16033258

    This is a fairly good resource for hard sci-fi regarding spaceships. Might be a downer regarding combat.

    For ammo, instead of lenses you could either have coolant or capacitors.

    As nice as a fusion reactor may be, I doubt that most will be able to provide enough power during combat to adequately fire the guns without handy capacitors.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)04:24 No.16033305
    power management doesn't have to be that complex.
    Everything has a certain power requirment/bonus.
    Just say a reactor gives +100 power
    For example; lets say that the following figures represent the normal running cost for each system:
    life support: crew stuff, etc - 20
    fusion engines -30
    Guns: -10
    Targetting sensors: -5
    Missiles -5
    now, this ship has 20 power left over, but that doesn't mean that 20 power is gonna get wasted. An overload system would be good; allowing players to either use up excess power or take power from other systems to boost another system.
    It also lets players scream:

    This overload boost would come at either damage to the system or overheating, but it'd be worth it.
    In guns alone, you could boost tracking (giving a slightly better change to hit) or fire rate.

    This would allow greater tactical depth in gameplay.
    In addition, it would allow for special ships that can not run all systems simeltaneously. This is both an advantage and a disadvantage; as it would allow a ship to back considerable forepower or defensive systems, but they would probably be unable to manouver while they were firing, due to the power being diverted from the engines. This in turn would allow enemy ships to fire on them with ease.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)04:24 No.16033306
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    Been there and read all of that, many years ago. It was a very nice resource for some things, but I can't get past the authors attitude. It was also the place that told me >>16033050 was the way to do particle beams, so I feel cheated and lied too.

    My setting isn't hard science by a long shot anyway, and I don't really care all that much about realism. I try my best to maintain internal consistency, authors should put more effort into it instead of realism, I find it matters so much more.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)04:31 No.16033359
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    I was going to have a basic power distribution system, but I think this would actually work just fine. I can't see this over complicating things too much, the detailed power system I first thought of was pretty horrifying though.

    Anyway, thanks for the ideas.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)04:36 No.16033390
    I also mentioned guns tracking there. Are you going to implement tracking for weapons?
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)04:40 No.16033406
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    I'm going to have the Fire control systems integrated into the weapons systems, it will provide an accuracy bonus. So you could have two similar Gauss turrets from different companies, but one could have a better FCS installed making it more accurate. I suppose installing an AI should also provide some bonuses.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)04:40 No.16033408

    By the time we get to spacefaring, I think that resupplying will be rather unnecessary through the use of hydroponics (food production/air renewal), algae (food), and waste reprocessing.

    If the amount of dry food it takes to supply a person over the expected duration of the trip (plus a safety margin) weighs less than the amount of hydroponics it takes to keep a person supplied with nutrition and calories, then the ship will use stored consumables for food. This will almost certainly be the case for any trip lasting less than a few weeks. Water will probably be recycled on all but the smallest of ships, though.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)04:41 No.16033417

    Whoops, that top part there was meant to be greentext'd because it's a quote. my bad.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)04:47 No.16033452
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    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)04:48 No.16033455
    Acutely, lasers are in any sort of hard science fiction pretty awful offensive weapons in space. While they strike at light speed, they lose focus quickly with distance and are at best about 40% thermally efficient.

    To use a 40 megawatt laser you need to radiate away 60 megawatts of heat. Even a crappy, modern railgun dose much better then that and they are spending a significant amount of energy turning their own rails into plasma.

    Assuming your ships only have a few gravities of acceleration a railgun that can manage 10km/s acceleration on a projectile is going to have a much greater useful range then a laser, and transfer much more energy focused on a smaller area then a laser using the same amount of power.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)04:52 No.16033488
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    >> New DM Questions 08/23/11(Tue)04:56 No.16033503

    yeah i think hydroponics is only for multiple-year missions
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)04:56 No.16033510
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    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)04:58 No.16033518
    The ships will be limited by reaction mass and fuel anyway, so why invest in heavy and complicated systems to recycle everything when instead you can transfer your waste products to a station for recycling when you dock to gas up, then take on fresh supplies?

    Ships made for long cruses could carry more advanced systems for recycling, but one made to, for example, transfer materials from Earth's L2 point to resources collection operations in the asteroid belt is likely only going to carry enough supplied for a few weeks or months.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)05:00 No.16033529
    As for "Why not carry years of fuel and reaction mass?" Because it quickly runs away from you to carry more and more fuel, because for every gallon of gas you carry, you have to add engines to move another gallon of gas. Chemical rockets of today have that problem at it's most extreme point: 90% of the fuel is used to lift fuel.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)05:01 No.16033537
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    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)05:01 No.16033541
    I wasn't talking about accuracy, I was talking about tracking.
    A turret can only turn so fast. The bigger the turret, the slower it turns, etc.
    if a snip is moving perpendicular to a turret, the turret will have to turn to fire. If the ship is moving faster than the turret can turn, the turret will not be able to track it and will miss.

    This stops xbox hueg battleship guns hitting smaller ships and insta-killing them. Tracking combines with accuracy to give a hit.
    A weapon with low accuracy but high tracking is a perfect CIWS for defense against smaller, faster ships and even missiles. It doesn't ahve to be accurate because the target will be so close, but it will have to turn fast because the target will also be moving fast.
    This may seem a bit daunting to implement, but it's not really. Simply have a set number of turret sizes, each with their own tracking stats... (continued)
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)05:05 No.16033563
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    Current best railgun: 2500m/s
    Laser: 3.0 x 10^8 m/s

    Orbital velocity is around 6500 m/s.

    I'll stick with the laser, thanks. It's not going to defocus under ranges that matter in a vacuum.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)05:07 No.16033584

    Yeah, but light (typically) goes straight. Speed of light is fast and all, but considering how far a space ship might be, that ship may be in a different place by the time the light reaches the ship. Missiles can track and adjust accordingly; light can't.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)05:08 No.16033589
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    I do have turret sizes; light, medium, and heavy. Each one has bonuses and negatives to hit different sized targets. Those number aren't finalized yet, I need to do some play testing first.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)05:14 No.16033627
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    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)05:16 No.16033636

    Current railguns are made to be used in atmosphere. Rather then a useing a 9cm projectile that is large and heavy enough to survive atmospheric resistance when fired at sealevel, a 9mm projectile with 40 times the speed could be used by a 10 megajoule railgun.

    Keep in mind, a 10 MJ impact? Roughly equivalent to being hit by a truck at a three hundred miles an hour.

    A 9mm projectile hitting the air at 100km/s would explode like it had hit solid steel, of course, limiting their use currently.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)05:17 No.16033639

    particle beams do no better on thermal efficiency and lose focus far faster. Lasers have the advantage that their range is proportional to the diameter of their main lens. The range of a particle beam ultimately depends on the energy per particle of the beam. And it's much easier to build a bigger lens than it is to build a higher velocity particle beam. A bigger lens increases in weight exponentially with size. A higher velocity particle beam increases in power consumption exponentially with velocity, which comes with a whole host of problems. Furthermore, a high energy particle beam, however, will eventually be irradiating a ship rather than damaging it, and losing most of it's energy to overpenetration. Still pretty deadly to living beings and computers, but won't do much to dead metal.

    Guns of all sorts are pretty much right out due to accuracy and velocity issues. Just plain no good beyond maybe a hundred km.

    Missiles are where it's at for the near future, though I'll grant.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)05:18 No.16033643
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    >implying that lasers aren't mounted on some kind of tracking turret, or that you can't maneuver to keep focused
    >implying that missiles would somehow chase down violently maneuvering space vessels thousands of kilometers away.

    They would have an initial burn phase with a solid rocket engine, and some kind of vernier jets, but intercepting shit moving in three dimensions is a lot harder than it seems. That's why the Shuttle can't just go full burn and chase down the ISS, for example.

    Buuuut... space torpedoes, that's something that sounds like fun. (I have no idea what would make them different from space missiles, but they're cooler.)
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)05:24 No.16033680

    It would take a pretty ridiculously large and advanced laser to reach out to distances where lightspeed lag mattered. like 200m wide lens x-ray laser ridiculous.

    And by the same token, it would take weeks or months for the missile to get there even at (similarly ridiculous) "resonable" relativistic speeds , giving ample time for a ship to use a high specific impulse engine to thrust away from the missile and build up enough velocity that the missile would never be able to hit it.

    Basically the only reason anyone would try to engage at that sort of distance is because they've built a gigiantic super X-ray deathray laser gun that outranges anything else ever built and they want to get the most advantage out of it. Since the target has no possible way of knowing where the shots are going, they can't "dodge" they can only take evasive maneuvers. And the guy shooting at them has a couple of days to land a shot, which to me seems like pretty good odds.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)05:25 No.16033687

    >Doesn't understand how distance works.

    It doesn't matter how much the base system tracks it, once it fires, where it points is where it shoots. A slight deviation of where the ship was "supposed" to be, even a fraction of a degree, will make the laser miss. Horribly. At any real distance the laser missing will likely miss by thousands of meters, minimum.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)05:26 No.16033696
    Lasers are limited to defensive roles, unless you are willing to put a truly giant focusing system on them. Even then, photons are nearly mass-less. Even a powerful laser is a bad way to try and crack armor, but it's a perfect way to kill an incoming missile.

    A solid projectile's range is limited by the ability of the target to maneuver, the amount you can accelerate the projectile and the targets ability to detect the projectile. (And possibly, deflect it).

    While those limiting factors seem major, there is no real upper limit to how much power you can transfer with an electromotive weapon, with more power meaning more damage and more range, as opposed to lasers, where more power remains useless beyond the range where you can focus the laser onto a reasonably small area. (A gigawatt class laser focused on a five square meter area is a lot of heat, but isn't going to cut armor.)
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)05:27 No.16033698
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    Just say a turret has a tracking value of 10.
    that means that if something was flying at a speed of 10 past it at point blank it would have at x0 modifier for rolling to hit.
    If the target was going at a speed of 5, then the turret would have a x2 multiplier bonus. Or you could have it be the difference (in this case it would be a +5 bonus) or whatever.
    Now, this isn't that complex because you have chunks for range, as shown here.

    The smallest circle should be at the range for the most reasonable accuracy. You wouldn't show a range of 100km for a highly innacurate gun. Neither would you show a range of 10 for a huge artillery piece that has no chance of hitting anything moving at that range.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)05:28 No.16033705
    This is a problem for every weapon, not just lasers. Besides missiles with adequate fuel to correct for the error, laser would handle this best.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)05:28 No.16033712

    >take a pretty ridiculously large and advanced laser to reach out to distances

    When mankind has the technology to build these kinds of ships, I have no doubt they'll also have the technology to blow up these same ships. From very far away.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)05:29 No.16033718

    The guy he was responding to was talking about lightspeed lag, which is another issue entirely.

    The precision of turrets is an issue, though. I have my doubts that a turret could be built to engage targets at a light second of distance even if the beam could damage things that far out, barring some serious shennanigans.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)05:33 No.16033739
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    Uh.. if we had to fight space men tomarrow, we'd do it with the Standard Missile 3. This bad boy can do something you apparently weren't aware of..

    Have stages.

    The way to attack a spaceman with this? On launch, the first stage burns, providing about 3km/s delta V, then falls away. The next stage can be lit after that, let's say after coasting into the neighborhood of your evil spaceman. When you light that candle, it's another 6km/s delta V to play with.

    Then the itty bitty thing at the end goes a'hunting. It don't have much delta V, but when it hits it's like the hammer of fucking god simply because it's moving really goddamn fast in relation to the evil spaceman.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)05:33 No.16033740
    Also OP, rocket assisted projectiles, better accuracy over range, bonuses to tracking over range
    Since there's all this laser talk, don't forget about masers, x-ray lasers and the like.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)05:34 No.16033743
    fuck year, relativity.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)05:37 No.16033760

    Lasers scale better in range than slugthrowers. Imparting more velocity to a slug after a point brings up a whole lot more problems than building a wider mirror. Some of the problems with linear motors can be solved by making the "barrel" longer, but not all. Coilguns run into issues with how fast the coils can be switched. Railguns have all sorts of problems with arcing and friction/arc welding of the projectile and wear on the rails and the destructive forces the magnetic fields impart on the rails even at the relatively sane velocities a ground based artillery-grade railgun operates at.

    With a laser, you just make the primary mirror wider if you want more range. That's difficult on the ground because gravity, but in space it's easy.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)05:39 No.16033769
    fuck year, indeed.

    A modestly sized destroyer, the kind that is considered a "tin can" for surface fleet can carry 96 of them ready to fire at a rate of more then 30 per minute. The only reason they have to go that slow is so the backblast of the last one doesn't interfere with the next one.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)05:40 No.16033775
    I don't get why everyone assumes space battles would always be at such long distances in deep space. The only time there is going to be a fight is if there is something worth fighting over, and there is nothing worth fighting over in deep space.

    The vastness of space is another factor, if two opposing fleets are heading for each other and one has any kind of advantage, the lesser fleet is going to break and run long before anyone is in weapons range. Unless there is something too valuable to lose, or blow up, like a nice planet. If this is the case, they will most likely hang out on the other side of the planet until the other fleet is really close, to use any advantage they can.

    I just don't see super long range fights being common, someone is always going to have an advantage.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)05:42 No.16033796

    That's all fine and good, but it's still got a limited viable range. Say you're shooting at a hot-rodded nuclear electric spacecraft that can pull a miligee of acceleration. That's slow as fuck, but it can keep it up for months at a time, giving it an assload of delta-v. The missile can use it's better acceleration and reasonable total delta-v to chase down the spaceship no matter how it accelerates, unless the spacecraft is so far away that it has time to accelerate itself so fast that the missile cannot possible match the ship's manuvers using it's fuel.

    Too tired to actually do the math and tell you the viable range of a standard missile against a manuvering target with a .001g drive right now though.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)05:43 No.16033802
    Except you'd need to find a mirror and lens that can be huge and survive stupendous thermal effects and acceleration. There are no even theoretical materials that could do so in any spectrum useful for laser weapons. The best bet for current combat lasers are FELs that simply can't scale to high ranges. Nobody's even imagined a mirror and lens material that would survive multiple gravity accelerations.

    No, optical sapphire doesn't count.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)05:46 No.16033826

    how is a destroyer a "tin can" in a modern surface fleet? As combatants, they're bigger and more capable than frigates and littoral ships, and the only non-carrier class that's bigger is the cruiser, and they're pretty rare because they don't really do anything a destroyer can't. Since all ships can do serious damage to each other with a single missile, the destroyer is the primary surface combatant for anyone who doesn't own a carrier, which is most countries.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)05:48 No.16033836
    The math is beyond being worth it to me tonight, but you know it is "way the hell higher then any practical laser likely to exists in the next 80 years."

    Still, slap some megawatt class FEL's on your ship and use them to kill incoming missiles.

    If you have a 0.001g drive the range of a SM3 (A weapon made for use in frigging -atmosphere-) has an engagement range measured in hours at a reasonable relative velocity. (If you are moving at 400km/s relative to the target, you will have a rather shorter engagement of course.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)05:48 No.16033840
         File1314092929.jpg-(382 KB, 1280x800, vltactiveopticsactuators.jpg)
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    herp derp active optics. Correct for distortions mechanically using hundreds of linear actuators. Like we already do on huge mirrors.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)05:52 No.16033868
    Acutely, modern crusers tend to be build on destoryer hulls, so there is no real difference in the size of the two.

    Frigates are the primary surface ships, as multirole vessels capable of escort duty, ASW, pirate hunting and showing the flag, as well as launching missiles. Destroyers are rather more specialized as escorts and ASW craft, and tend to be the ships used by the big boys as part of major fleets.

    Destroyers as tin cans is a leftover idea from the world wars, when they were light escort ships.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)05:53 No.16033875
         File1314093230.jpg-(280 KB, 1920x1080, __nostalgia_for_infinity___by_(...).jpg)
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    >Nostalgia for Infinity not the coolest starship ever
    inb4 Conjoinerfags arguing their ships have hyper-dyper weaponry or or super-duper engines
    just fuck off, Nostalgia has John Armstrong Brannigan
    >> NeoBlackAnon !!I5ZrXxVHq/N 08/23/11(Tue)05:55 No.16033881
    Uh, put it this way. Its a pain in the god damned ass to fire missiles to go very long distances. There is a reason atomic missiles cheat by using the Earth's own gravity, or why every damn spaceship uses gravity assists. Fuel is so damn expensive that staging is pointless to go beyond the range of Earth.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)05:55 No.16033885
    Never heard of it, and it looks lame.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)05:55 No.16033888

    While I'm pretty sure you're right about the missile having stupendous range compared to modern lasers, the problem is that more advanced engines don't tend to scale down very well. The missile cannot really cost-effectively mount a nuclear-electric drive because then it's in the same general size and cost brackets as the thing you're aiming at.

    Conventional missiles are without question the appropriate tool for blowing up near-future rockets because the performance of, say, a restartable bi-propellant rocket is competitive with the best engines available in the near future over reasonable distances. But when any high performance spaceship requires it's own onboard nuclear reactor, things might change a bit.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)05:56 No.16033891
    read Revelation Space
    even I agree it looks lame, but that's not what matters is it
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)05:58 No.16033899

    >I don't know what a collimator is or why it is important.

    Fixed that for you.
    >> NeoBlackAnon !!I5ZrXxVHq/N 08/23/11(Tue)05:58 No.16033906
    That's not true at all! The modern Destroyer hull and the Cruiser hulls are not at all similar. Cruiser hulls are smaller, and filled with heavy electronics as they tend to serve as occasional missile boats but mainly as anti missile and electronic warfare boats.

    Frigates now are being slowly replaced with LCS, which is cheaper, faster, and generally superior to the old, functionally obselete frigate.
    Destroyers are generally used as front line all purpose combatants, with the ability to take on any threat, land, sea, and air.

    THIS. The Navy is currently researching free electron lasers as a weapons upgrade to CWIS systems. Taking them to space is a logical conclusion.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)06:02 No.16033933

    The Ticondaroga and Spruance class have something to say to you..
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)06:05 No.16033957
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    Psh, many European nations are making modern frigates that do a fine job of all the roles they're meant to do, while being far less of a gigantic expensive mess than the US's LCS project.

    Pic more or less related
    >> NeoBlackAnon !!I5ZrXxVHq/N 08/23/11(Tue)06:07 No.16033968
    But.. compared to the mainline Arleigh Burke Class, its quite literally not the same ship (and the Spruance is old and going to be retired, god that thing is a metal deathtrap), its much heavier, and ... faster for that matter.

    And I bet that thing is a pain and lacks the ability to adjust its mission profiles, unlike LCS, (which has finally launched, even if one model had initial teething issues, but what new project doesn't), because the modern frigate was too large for what they were expected to do.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)06:07 No.16033970
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    OP here, thanks for the help everyone, but it is late and I really need some sleep.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)06:07 No.16033975
    Even if a ship can carry a plasma rocket with a unbelievable specific impulse and an exhaust velocity ten times what you can get out of a chemical rocket, it's still going to be limited to accelerations it's crew can survive. A conventional rocket used to attack might be less efficient, but it can afford to be 90% fuel and reaction mass.

    Conventional rockets can remain effective for a long time as an offensive option. Even when they aren't, putting five ton missiles that are nothing but reaction mass tanks, a tokamak and a plasma torch could be viable, at least in theory.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)06:10 No.16033990

    That's mostly important for laser power, pure range depends more on the primary mirror. We can clearly build collimators that operate under at least 1g and at megawatt levels of power, seeing as that shit exists today.

    Barring shenniagans, no forseeable spacecraft with any appreciable range to it is going to have a max acceleration anywhere near 1g, let alone multiple g's.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)06:10 No.16033995
    Eh, space isn't a true vacuum so you'd have attenuation of the beam over distances. Optics would also have to be OMFG perfect to maintain any type of maser beam at extended distances (which are likely to be the kind of ranges that space battles will take place). Hitting a target at relativistic speeds, while you're traveling at relativistic speeds with a maser or projectile would be OMFG difficult...it would be easier just to blow a cloud of sandy type substance in front of it (yeah, that whole speck of dust containing the kinetic energy of a few tons of tnt thing)...then, those speeds will also reduce maneuver options relative to each other, in some cases reducing real options to a nigh on linear battle...
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)06:19 No.16034063

    >And I bet that thing is a pain and lacks the ability to adjust its mission profiles, unlike LCS, (which has finally launched, even if one model had initial teething issues, but what new project doesn't), because the modern frigate was too large for what they were expected to do.

    It's only a few hundred tons heavier than the LCS and what the fuck would it need to change mission packages for? It carries a helicopter, a fair number of VLS cells for a ship it's size, a number of missiles for CIWS, a pair of 20mm guns for shooting up pirates and a 100mm automatic cannon for whatever else needs doing.

    And here's the important bit: It costs about a third as much.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)06:21 No.16034081
    This thread is "New and in-progress game design."As such, it has been archived.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)06:26 No.16034118
    I had a thought today about what use EMPs could be in space. Obviously you're never going to bring down a ship with one, as mission critical electronics would be shielded anyway, but what I was considering was how far your typical military organization would go to harden the 'comfort' systems and whether there would be reason to fire off some electrons when you first engage, just so their crew would be working under emergency lighting, or eating cold food or whatever, during the weeks it would take to resolve the battle.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)06:29 No.16034138

    Basically all space hardware needs to be heavily shielded because of all the electrical fuckery that goes on in space. Solar flares blast that shit out like woah. Also, nukes don't produce an EMP in vacuum, and a non-nuclear EMP device probably has a smaller effective radius than a regular-ass bomb.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)06:38 No.16034198
    The broad spectrum pulse of radiation's unlikely to penetrate a hull made to shield the target from hostile fire and the background radiation of space.

    You could still fuck 'em up, however, as things like laser emitters, sensors, communication systems and other weapons need to be on the outside of that armored hull to do their job. At a few kilometer "miss" by a nuke you could slap those around with a huge bit of broad spectrum radiation.

    The easy solution, of course, is to keep more sensors, communication systems and ect. in armored housings retracted into the hull, moving them out and repairing the ones damaged. This could be a good idea anyway, as other weak attacks, like a laser or plasma discharge, could also damage vulnerable surface systems.

    Plasma weapons could work either by being fired from a railgun, or the good old fashioned Mr. Fusion method of shooting a pellet of deuterium with lasers then channeling them down a barrel open at one end.

    Plasma dissipates quickly in space and transfers all it's energy into the first thing it hits, making it a relatively poor antiarmor weapon.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)14:29 No.16037634
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    Oh hey, my thread is still alive. Might as well give this a bump, I still would love suggestions for the system. I also always enjoy the arguments that come up in spaceship threads.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)14:34 No.16037682
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    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)14:39 No.16037717
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    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)14:41 No.16037732
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    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)14:42 No.16037743
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    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)14:43 No.16037753
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    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)14:46 No.16037783
    I always found the idea of coherent plasma kinda foolish. What I think would be interesting and workable would be a sort of plasma torpedo: essentially a small automated craft that would either strafe another ship with plasma weapons (unlikely due to the accelerations required for any strafing run past the first) or attach itself to the hull and start pumping plasma into the hull. Then after it runs out of its power source, it blows up.

    Writing about it, it occurs to me that it wouldn't be too good of a weapon to use against a fully mobile ship, but pretty good against one whose engines are disabled but main weapons are still online.

    Also, maser diffusion clouds emitters as a countermeasure: basically a fog machine that spits out stuff that breaks up the coherency of a any maser beam, only lasts for a couple of turns though.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)14:54 No.16037851
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    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)15:02 No.16037925
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    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)15:03 No.16037945
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    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)15:07 No.16037977
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    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)15:11 No.16038013
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    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)15:37 No.16038305
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    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)16:03 No.16038542
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    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)19:46 No.16040570

    How is that better than, say, a nuclear missile that just blows the ship up instantly?
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)19:47 No.16040575
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    OP here, with an update.

    I've been working on this for the past few hours, and I'm really starting to make some progress. I'm about half done with a starship "character" sheet, which I will post when I finish it.

    So, what do people want in a starship sheet? Make suggestion and I'll incorporated them.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)19:59 No.16040671
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    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)20:00 No.16040678
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    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)20:00 No.16040682
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    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)20:01 No.16040690

    Even though the idealized math works that way, railguns in practice can't be rebored for tiny projectiles for absurd velocities. For one, if the projectile is too small, it'll instantly vaporize from all the current running through it instead of being accelerated.

    Also saying an (x) joule impact is like something isn't saying much at all. Energy scales with the square of velocity, while momentum scales directly with velocity. The energy of a very high powered compound bow for hunting big game is about 90 joules. That's less than half the energy of a .22 rifle, which is barely suitable for small game. But a 90 joule punch from a heavyweight boxer would be absurdly strong and probably break your neck.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)20:02 No.16040692
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    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)20:03 No.16040703
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    And with that, my starship folder is officially tapped out.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)20:05 No.16040727
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    >>shielded hull
    Actually, that's better - any current flowing through that's gonna heat that shit like a can of beans. And losing heat is pretty hard in space.

    My opinion is that even something as crude as pic related is going to be tried, even if all it accomplishes is messing with comm signals.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)20:33 No.16041025
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    Okay, got a rough draft of the sheet done, here is the main page.

    I decided to make Power a main stat, and added a Damage Control derived stat to replace Power. Below the statistics are a condition track and Power consumption/distribution tables.

    How does this look? Is there anything that should be added?
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)20:36 No.16041050
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    Then we have the Cargo Manifest sheet, not much to explain. Same questions as above.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)20:39 No.16041090
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    And finally the Systems Sheets, which all look like this with a different title. Every system will have a little card that can be pasted right over the blank spaces, each type of system has different details.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)21:00 No.16041288
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)21:21 No.16041517
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    Found a few more, but I'm pretty sure this is all I have left.
    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)21:21 No.16041524
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    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)21:22 No.16041528
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    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)21:23 No.16041535
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    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)21:23 No.16041541
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    >> Anonymous 08/23/11(Tue)21:54 No.16041932
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    One final bump, and then I'll wait a day or two before trying again.
    >> Anonymous 08/24/11(Wed)01:27 No.16044084
    The advantage of a fusion gun is that you don't need to generate a whole lot of energy to power it, just enough to initiate fusion, then you direct it down the barrel with magnetic fields. Given the energy levels involved the plasma remains dangerous for a fair distance simply because it's moving at damn near the speed of light with a kinetic energy transfer fit to reduce anything it hits to radio static and vapor. A somewhat brutal antimissile option that can scale down pretty far, if you have the technology to make it.

    That said, again, this doesn't have the range of a missile or railgun, or even a laser.

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