Planetary Atmospheres, a "TOaST" thread.

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What effect(s) should a planetary atmosphere have in game?

NONE! Who cares if there is air to breath or not. No difference from planets without!
0
No votes
Other than who can live there, not too much!
1
6%
I could see the potential for objects moving fast to burn up or bounce off.
5
28%
Maybe some effects on non-projectile weapons fire?
6
33%
How about other, non weapons systems?
6
33%
 
Total votes : 18

Planetary Atmospheres, a "TOaST" thread.

Postby voidstalker[woe] on Wed 30 Oct 2019 18:37

OK, so this is the first thread in the TOaST thread series, where I am going to attempt to engage folks in some discussions about various topics.

In this thread, I'm going to make the case for discussing the potentials that a planetary atmosphere could have in game, if folks were of a mind to want them too. So think of this type of thread as a combined spitballing/brainstorming/optional/house rules kinda place, and we should be golden.

The first thing that comes to mind for me with the possibilities for some in game special situations in regards to atmospheres, is their potential impact on weapons fire, combat, and that kind of thing. Keep in mind, that in this thread, we care what the official rules are, but also are interested in the potential offered for some other/additional options.

In this first post, I'll just ask folks to tell me what effects they would like to have an atmosphere have on things in game, and how (or if) they should potentially be included in game.
Last edited by voidstalker[woe] on Fri 01 Nov 2019 20:38, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Planetary Atmospheres, a "TOaST" thread.

Postby voidstalker[woe] on Wed 30 Oct 2019 18:53

For weapons fire, I would like some discussion on possibilities for things to have to adjust for the fact that, if engaging a planet in combat, that has an atmosphere as opposed to one that does not, there should be some differences from the one to the other.

I'll start off with some specific weapons, and ask what modifications or options other folks would like to discuss.

Guns. Like all non-guided, non-self propelled projectiles, a guns projectile has all the energy it is ever going to have, right at the moment it leaves the barrel.

Crap, I lost track on time and have to leave this as is for a bit.

More later...
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Re: Planetary Atmospheres, a "TOaST" thread.

Postby Cralis on Wed 30 Oct 2019 20:27

You should state whether you are focusing on a particular version of the rules, and whether you are using the existing rules in that version. Because there are already rules for the planetary atmosphere in almost every version of Starfire.

I guess I'm curious why you want to rehash the rules. Are you looking for something different? Are you unsatisfied with the rules as they are now?

I'm not trying to discourage you, but without knowing your intent it's hard for me to participate in a discussion like this. We have pages of discussions about topics like this in our private section, for example.
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Re: Planetary Atmospheres, a "TOaST" thread.

Postby voidstalker[woe] on Wed 30 Oct 2019 21:06

Cralis wrote:You should state whether you are focusing on a particular version of the rules, and whether you are using the existing rules in that version. Because there are already rules for the planetary atmosphere in almost every version of Starfire.

I guess I'm curious why you want to rehash the rules. Are you looking for something different? Are you unsatisfied with the rules as they are now?

I'm not trying to discourage you, but without knowing your intent it's hard for me to participate in a discussion like this. We have pages of discussions about topics like this in our private section, for example.
I'm hoping, in this series of "TOaST" threads, to get discussions that cause the rules from all versions to get brought into it, so that I can get a complete picture of how things are done in different version, and in other folks house rules as well.

My walk took allot more out of me than I suspected it would, and I need to eat and take a nap... :(
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Re: Planetary Atmospheres, a "TOaST" thread.

Postby Cralis on Wed 30 Oct 2019 22:22

Well I'll start by reminding you that a "gun" in Starfire is not a canon that fires a dumb projectile, but rather a missile launcher designed to fire "sprint missiles", that move at a high percentage of c and that's why they are considered unguided.
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Re: Planetary Atmospheres, a "TOaST" thread.

Postby voidstalker[woe] on Thu 31 Oct 2019 05:06

Cralis wrote:Well I'll start by reminding you that a "gun" in Starfire is not a canon that fires a dumb projectile, but rather a missile launcher designed to fire "sprint missiles", that move at a high percentage of c and that's why they are considered unguided.
Heh heh, well this will get good coverage of how the different versions covered things. Cole's "Gun" was a cannon, and he likened it to the naval guns of the day (in 1979). When did the "Gun" get switched over to a missile, game version wise? It certainly makes more sense that a 'sprint missile' should be able to have a range half that of a real missile, as opposed to the Cole version.

Anyway, what I am looking to do is get the idea that a planet with an atmosphere should {Potentially} be allowed to have special considerations, and then look at what these things might be. Then we can build scenarios to playtest out some of these ideas.

Currently, I have plans for testing out some house rules for battles involving planets, but before I go and spend the time doing the actual scenarios themselves, I want to have input from many folks, and get the benefit of many folks thoughts, ideas, and house rules. Who knows, there may be many different ways to do stuff that never occured to me, that others are doing right now in their own games.
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Re: Planetary Atmospheres, a "TOaST" thread.

Postby voidstalker[woe] on Thu 31 Oct 2019 05:34

So, what effect should an atmosphere have on gunfire in game?

One answer, is none at all. If this answer is the one that folks enjoy, then that is what they play. For me, though, I like to have special situations, where there are factors that need to be thought about, and force me to adapt too, and one missed opportunity for such things would be to write off an atmospheric envelopes potential to pose problems.

One possibility to consider, if an Atmospheric Envelope (AE) could force an attacker to not be able to lob gunfire down onto the surface on the fly so to speak, what interesting situations might arise from this, and would these things make for some interesting planetary bombardment scenarios? Would an AE have the same game effect, whether the guns were being fired down into a planet or up form it? Gravity too should be a consideration (potentially), for physical projectile weapons, being fired from a planetary surface.

Basically, we can either have an AE having no effect in game, and planetary combat is boring and no different than ship to ship, or we can decide to have all sorts of interesting possibilities to discuss and playtest.

Here is one scenario idea I have been wanting to write up for a number of years now, and still have not gotten done.

A squadron of imperial ships is tasked to reduce a planets PDC's. Use whatever version of the game that you prefer. Set an amount of MC (or MCr) for the attacking player to build their forces for the attack. Conduct the attack with whatever the version you are playing has for such rules, then play it again, with identical forces, but using the special house rules about fighting down into an AE.

My thoughts are that, if special rules are allowed and applied, a simple and straightforward task could actually get rather interesting, rather fast, and much additional fun could be had. If anyone was interested in getting to playtest something like this, let me know and I'll see about setting something up for later in November.
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Re: Planetary Atmospheres, a "TOaST" thread.

Postby aramis on Thu 31 Oct 2019 12:06

Atmosphere is notable for several relevant things:

1) adds concussion to nuclear detonations
2) slows missiles by friction
3) heats missiles by friction
4) produces impact shock on high velocity objects (as a turbulence, not a singular event)

2 & 3 both should result in a penalty to fire through.

1 is reflected in 3rd by 4.09.05. It notes a x5 damage from missiles (which includes guns, per 1.05.03) for PDCs in vacuum, and x6 if in atmosphere. I don't think that's high enough for atmosphere, and think it's too high for vacuum.

Ships firing into/through with missiles other than fG are unpenalized (4.10), and no energy weapons other than Primaries work through atmosphere (ibid.).
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Re: Planetary Atmospheres, a "TOaST" thread.

Postby voidstalker[woe] on Thu 31 Oct 2019 15:18

aramis wrote:Atmosphere is notable for several relevant things:

1) adds concussion to nuclear detonations
2) slows missiles by friction
3) heats missiles by friction
4) produces impact shock on high velocity objects (as a turbulence, not a singular event)
Hey, thanks for the reply. Interesting information on 3rd, I never played that edition, and so never heard of these rules before. I agree with 1-4.

aramis wrote:1 is reflected in 3rd by 4.09.05. It notes a x5 damage from missiles (which includes guns, per 1.05.03) for PDCs in vacuum, and x6 if in atmosphere. I don't think that's high enough for atmosphere, and think it's too high for vacuum.
How did they justify the 5x damage vs a PDC in vacuum as opposed to an orbital base? What does 3rd say about shields on a PDC, in or out of an atmosphere? Never played the 6x damage, but thinking about it, and shields, I wonder about a higher ratio when shields down?

aramis wrote:Ships firing into/through with missiles other than fG are unpenalized (4.10), and no energy weapons other than Primaries work through atmosphere (ibid.).
What is (ibid.)?? I would also take a look at the firing platform, and decide if moving should make a difference when penetrating into an AE. Also, all beams will lose strength the farther they travel, so I would explore the potentials of firing from within an AE up and out (when the beam is at it's strongest/most focused) as opposed to firing down into an AE, when the beam is fired from a distance, and is thus weaker and less focused when it reaches and punches through the AE. Of course, an attacking ship, sitting motionless (relatively) in orbit at speed zero, would be a distance zero, and there wouldn't be any penalties for beams either on the planet or the attacking ships. That is to say, one platform would be at the same advantages/disadvantages as the other, so whatever effect, if any, the atmosphere was going to have, it would have on both equally in that situation.

I seem to have the dim memory of there being, at some point in time, a table that explored this, in one version or another. Anyone remember what that was?

aramis wrote:2 & 3 both should result in a penalty to fire through.
I agree.
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Re: Planetary Atmospheres, a "TOaST" thread.

Postby voidstalker[woe] on Thu 31 Oct 2019 23:59

Right now, we are just in the starting stages of what I hope will become a long and fruitful discussion, and one that gives incentive and motivation to participate to all. I'm going to start up a couple of the other threads within a few hours of now, just so I can get them started and moving forward, so I'll have to start sharing time between these threads as they begin to develop.
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