Changes to Electronic Warfare

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Re: Changes to Electronic Warfare

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Fri 29 Mar 2013 05:30

I agree that general purpose smct shouldn't be turned into substitute fighters. However, I do see roles for smct that don't translate well to the tactical level. For example, customs patrols, revenue collection, perhaps even anti piracy to an extent. I'm not sure that an unarmed smct would be effective in any of those roles. I'm also not sure how to handle the arms that such a unit might possess. Perhaps a low power (and limited number of shots) short range (0 hex) version of the IND-2 laser would do the trick. Make it ineffective against armor, but at 0 hex range it would do a single point of damage.
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Re: Changes to Electronic Warfare

Postby Crucis on Fri 29 Mar 2013 07:09

AlexeiTimoshenko wrote:I agree that general purpose smct shouldn't be turned into substitute fighters. However, I do see roles for smct that don't translate well to the tactical level. For example, customs patrols, revenue collection, perhaps even anti piracy to an extent. I'm not sure that an unarmed smct would be effective in any of those roles. I'm also not sure how to handle the arms that such a unit might possess. Perhaps a low power (and limited number of shots) short range (0 hex) version of the IND-2 laser would do the trick. Make it ineffective against armor, but at 0 hex range it would do a single point of damage.


Sorry, Alexei, but that's what patrol frigates or corvettes are for.

There will be no weapons on general purpose small craft that can be used for space based combat in any way. This includes the fXO racks on those 2nd gen assault shuttles and pinnaces. From what I could see from various write ups, etc. of 3E campaigns, general purpose smallcraft were often used in combat for ramming even at lower TL's, and assault shuttles were forced into being the low tech counter due to their mounting of point defense. No more, on both counts.
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Re: Changes to Electronic Warfare

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Fri 29 Mar 2013 20:30

Even without weapons there is nothing to stop smct from ramming. I think the real issue with 2nd gen smct is their potential anti ship use. I will whole heartedly agree that putting serious anti ship weapons on general purpose smct is not desirable. My only issue is that completely unarmed ast and pn don't seem to serve much purpose in the game at least at the tactical level. They work for SAR after a battle, or to move personnel and cargo in a non combat situation. In a combat situation short of suicide they are almost useless. Ast are a prime example. Their mission is to land troops on hostile worlds. This implies that they at least need a means to defend themselves as they perform their mission. If they can't be armed for defense, they need to greater survivability via to hit modifiers.
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Re: Changes to Electronic Warfare

Postby Crucis on Fri 29 Mar 2013 21:05

AlexeiTimoshenko wrote:Even without weapons there is nothing to stop smct from ramming.


There may be nothing to stop them from making the attempt. That doesn't mean that they have to be allowed to do damage.

I think the real issue with 2nd gen smct is their potential anti ship use. I will whole heartedly agree that putting serious anti ship weapons on general purpose smct is not desirable. My only issue is that completely unarmed ast and pn don't seem to serve much purpose in the game at least at the tactical level.


They're not supposed to serve much purpose in combat. That's the point.


They work for SAR after a battle, or to move personnel and cargo in a non combat situation. In a combat situation short of suicide they are almost useless. Ast are a prime example. Their mission is to land troops on hostile worlds. This implies that they at least need a means to defend themselves as they perform their mission. If they can't be armed for defense, they need to greater survivability via to hit modifiers.


Assault Shuttles and Pinnaces can still drop "bombs" in a planetary assault situation.
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Re: Changes to Electronic Warfare

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Fri 29 Mar 2013 21:56

Crucis wrote:Assault Shuttles and Pinnaces can still drop "bombs" in a planetary assault situation.


The issue is survival to attack range. I guess I'm being a bit of a pessimist with the odds of an inbound bombing run having enough smct survive to do significant damage to the planet. You are right though that D on smct is only useful vs other smct until AFM are available. As such, to limit the misuse of smct, I would limit things to Db on the 2nd gen ast/pn and at that limit smct Db to targeting missiles. That should limit smct from being used as ersatz fighters. In this way smct would have no offensive combat use short of suicide or bombing runs, and their only defensive function would be self preservation against enemy missile attacks.
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Re: Changes to Electronic Warfare

Postby Hawkeye on Sat 30 Mar 2013 02:22

Crucis wrote:


There may be nothing to stop them from making the attempt. That doesn't mean that they have to be allowed to do damage.



I, for one, wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment.
Given ships (and SMCT) use reactionless drives, there is no momentum involved at all, so kinetics doesn´t play _any_ role in a ramming attack.
As I see it, a SMCT (or a fighter for that matter) ramming a CA is like a rowing boat being run over by a supertanker. If you stand at the right spot on the tanker, you _might_ hear a small cracking sound, but that´s it.


AlexeiTimoshenko wrote:

The issue is survival to attack range. I guess I'm being a bit of a pessimist with the odds of an inbound bombing run having enough smct survive to do significant damage to the planet. You are right though that D on smct is only useful vs other smct until AFM are available. As such, to limit the misuse of smct, I would limit things to Db on the 2nd gen ast/pn and at that limit smct Db to targeting missiles. That should limit smct from being used as ersatz fighters. In this way smct would have no offensive combat use short of suicide or bombing runs, and their only defensive function would be self preservation against enemy missile attacks.



I like that approach!
Just say, due to the limited space available, the SMCTs can only carry small laser clusters (no anti-missile-missiles) with limited tracking capability (again limited space prevents the installation of larger computers/sensors) and thus can only engage approaching missiles at extremely short range and are therefore utterly useless vs. fighters, other small craft or laser warheads.
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Re: Changes to Electronic Warfare

Postby Crucis on Sat 30 Mar 2013 03:31

Hawkeye wrote:
Crucis wrote:


There may be nothing to stop them from making the attempt. That doesn't mean that they have to be allowed to do damage.



I, for one, wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment.
Given ships (and SMCT) use reactionless drives, there is no momentum involved at all, so kinetics doesn´t play _any_ role in a ramming attack.
As I see it, a SMCT (or a fighter for that matter) ramming a CA is like a rowing boat being run over by a supertanker. If you stand at the right spot on the tanker, you _might_ hear a small cracking sound, but that´s it.


I've referred to is as "bugs on a windshield", but the end result is the same.
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Re: Changes to Electronic Warfare

Postby tmul4050 on Thu 02 May 2013 19:56

Actually I disagree.
A vessel moving at 5% to 10% C would inflict horrendous damage. As for the removal of inertia, or an inertialist drive (brings back my ee doc smith novel reading days) that does remove mass, just its effect for movement purposes. You can tell this by the way that the vessels don't automatically fly apart when hit by something like a missle and that turn modes exist. Besides I vaguely remember reading that only partial inertia removal occurs (could be wrong about that as It was a long time ago). Besides how does a missle damage its target. Could a vessel do less, especially if it had been prepared for it (fill the bay up with nukes bob. Its a one way trip).
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Re: Changes to Electronic Warfare

Postby Crucis on Thu 02 May 2013 20:13

tmul4050 wrote:Actually I disagree.


Disagree with what? It helps to quote the posts you're replying to, tmul. ;)

A vessel moving at 5% to 10% C would inflict horrendous damage.


IF the ramming unit actually strikes the target unit rather than its drive field. In the tech description of the I-drive, there's this little tidbit that describes the drive field:

the combination of the drive field's propulsive capabilities with the tremendous “space-warping” effect of distributing a ship's mass over its surface, creates a barrier that provides protection against collision with all but the most massive space debris or direct hits with projectile weapons.


This basically describes the DF as having a tremendous protective effect, which I think could be easily construed to indicate that smallcraft are, as I so often put it, "bugs on a windshield".



Additionally, it should be considered with 2 ships each moving at a fraction of light-speed (either 5% or 10% for a speed 6 ship), it may prove to be far more difficult for starships to ram each other than as presented in the game.

And beyond this, there are game play reasons to limit or remove some aspects of ramming, if not all of it. For one thing, from my reading of the old Starfire List, small craft ramming often got out of control, when some players would use mass waves of cutters and shuttles in low tech kamikaze attacks. And to make matters worse, the defenders almost always ended up using assault shuttles as low tech anti-kamikaze fighters, which is far outside of their intended game play role.

I have made it plain that no non-fighter/non-GB small craft will carry point defense. It's also my intention to not allow smallcraft to cause ramming damage because I think that they abuse the game system.
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Re: Changes to Electronic Warfare

Postby Vandervecken on Fri 03 May 2013 00:14

If someone is absolutely set on small craft ramming, small craft Defenses and/or offensive weapons, or small craft being able to get bigger with Viagran fuel cells, then house rule it into your game. But you have been forwarned, as Crucis and others have given some compelling reasons to think it over before you do.

Anyone have more on 'Electronic Warefare' ?
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