The Code Omega Always Gets Out

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The Code Omega Always Gets Out

Postby SCC on Sun 17 Mar 2019 23:04

It should be known that I'm not really a fan of the rules regarding raiding, not only the they require a lot of extra work for a rare edge case but they also represent a case where someone is clearly asleep at the helm (so to speak) as the sudden loss of a several million dollar asset isn't cause for alarm. So imagine my surprise a while ago when reading the section on Omega Code that the buoy is always successfully lunched, as are any drones.

This means that if there are any other units in the system, knowledge of a given units destruction gets out. All this of course means that the CFN will know about any raiding pretty quick, making the detailed raiding rules pointless.
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Re: The Code Omega Always Gets Out

Postby Cralis on Mon 18 Mar 2019 00:32

SCC wrote:This means that if there are any other units in the system, knowledge of a given units destruction gets out. All this of course means that the CFN will know about any raiding pretty quick, making the detailed raiding rules pointless.


The raiding system does need work and will get it at some point. But if you really think about it, the intra-system raiding rules are more about the position of any CFN units inside the system at the point raiding begins. Any real raider is going to head to the warp points and intercept the freighters at they transit into the system.

It's not easy and it's not meant to be. But we will address it at some point.

I think we can both agree that warships will auto-launch omega buoys and/or drones. But let me ask you this question: should civilian ships auto-launch their omega buoys?

What about armed CFN units?

What about imperial freighters (military-owned freighters, like colliers or supply column freighters)?
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Re: The Code Omega Always Gets Out

Postby Xveers on Mon 18 Mar 2019 02:05

Cralis wrote:I think we can both agree that warships will auto-launch omega buoys and/or drones. But let me ask you this question: should civilian ships auto-launch their omega buoys?

What about armed CFN units?

What about imperial freighters (military-owned freighters, like colliers or supply column freighters)?


My response to all of this is as follows:

Yes unless explicitly ordered under a standing SOP (for military ships)

For CFN units, this is immediately analogous to an EPIRB Buoy, helping rescue ships finding a lost vessel. If you're a civilian, you want to have people looking for you in the hope that you're not dead, or your crew's families may get something resembling closure (OR whoever is running the company owning them to find out WHY they lost the ship, and hopefully not have that happen again). The Omega buoy carries more than just a homing beacon (also, see my own somewhat more in-depth writing on the subject at Emergency Ship Data Recorders).

For warships, this is something that depends. Peacetime, a navy wants to know what happened to their ships beyond a "Failed to report at next station" and then "presumed lost". Warships are expensive and cost time to build. No sane admiralty would just write it off with an "oops" (except maybe a VERY low RD race). In wartime, that gets fuzzier. Do you want to risk leaving a breadcrumb trail for your enemies to find? Will an omega drone carry information you'd rather not let them have? That's a bit of a crapshoot. But an RP crapshoot. Not a rules one, IMO.

@SCC
If a raider has a few ships with Y systems on it, even Ya, they should be able to detect and run down any omega drones that get away, provided they're headed for the logical places IE warp points. They're not that fast, and not THAT stealthy (beyond being AP). The biggest problem you have is the fact you need scan range to detect them. If it was even short range, that'd be a MUCH easier task. But a properly built raiding fleet with a few FGs with a Ya or Yb on them should be enough to ensure any drones remain silent.
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Re: The Code Omega Always Gets Out

Postby Lomn on Mon 18 Mar 2019 06:50

Xveers wrote:Yes unless explicitly ordered under a standing SOP (for military ships)

For CFN units, this is immediately analogous to an EPIRB Buoy, helping rescue ships finding a lost vessel.
Chiming in to say "yes, this", and to additionally note some of the responses to MH370, of improving the position reporting of aircraft black boxes and further adding automatic periodic position broadcast to airliners.

Given that I've watched boardgame Kickstarter pages occasionally play "track the container ship", I'm pretty sure that cargo ships are already doing the periodic position broadcast in addition to the EPIRB.

So, yes, from the technical end, something always attempts a launch. But!

1) EPIRBs can snag on the hull of a capsizing ship. The MH370 black box didn't do a good underwater ping as expected (or was maybe so far from where expected that no one was listening at the right time). Air France 447 didn't get found for years due to isolation. So I think there's room for a probabilistic chance of failure, even though there's not a good reason for a procedural one.

2) The economics of civilian shipping might plausibly limit the capability of Omega Devices in some sense. Maybe civilian ships don't want to pay for drones, theorizing that buoys dropped in "safe" space are sufficient.
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Re: The Code Omega Always Gets Out

Postby Whitecold on Mon 18 Mar 2019 11:20

When it comes to raiding, the Omega drones don't matter much. They can be intercepted, but what cannot be intercepted is that your ships should be pinging traffic control everywhere in friendly territory, plus you should be having picket ships/bases at all WPs. You need them anyway for your communications network.

Effective raiding currently almost requires an undiscovered WP to get in, or some surprise scenario, with the restrictiveness of WP there is little chance to sneak around the defenses.
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Re: The Code Omega Always Gets Out

Postby SCC on Wed 20 Mar 2019 23:35

@Cralis my point is more that word of the raiders will get out on the first ships they take and shipping through that system will dry up basically over night. And given that the rules (As they stand) say that all ships auto-launch their OD and OB on destruction you have to specifically write that they don't in your SOP's if for some reason you wanted that, if that's even possible.

@Xveers the OB, at least, starts transmitting the Omega Code the moment it is 'launched', so in my mind then the question becomes how little information manages to get out, even if it's destroyed on the turn it's 'launched', and keep in mind this is broadbeam, so every unit in the system hears it (Normally 300 sH).
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Re: The Code Omega Always Gets Out

Postby Cralis on Thu 21 Mar 2019 09:02

SCC, there will still be FT in-system. Even given an Omega signal, it will take those ships time to leave the system. Days... perhaps a week or two depending. You just need to plan your approach to try and capture or destroy as many as you can.

Only in rare circumstances where infrastructure is poor will you be able to turn the system into an FT eating blackhole. But those situations are likely to be in systems with less traffic. So there is a trade-off. You do what you can given the situation.
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Re: The Code Omega Always Gets Out

Postby Lomn on Thu 21 Mar 2019 14:29

Lomn wrote:So, yes, from the technical end, something always attempts a launch. But!

1) EPIRBs can snag on the hull of a capsizing ship. The MH370 black box didn't do a good underwater ping as expected (or was maybe so far from where expected that no one was listening at the right time). Air France 447 didn't get found for years due to isolation. So I think there's room for a probabilistic chance of failure, even though there's not a good reason for a procedural one.
A minor addition (more SM/roleplaying than rules): the 737 crashes and safety certification have been in the news lately. And one might think that emergency devices (like Omega Drones) are safety-critical! But modern-day specs, at least in avionics, are all about the prevention of injury or damage. Aircraft black boxes, though, are Assurance Level D, the failure of which is defined as "minor inconvenience" -- because by the time you need them, you've already had a catastrophic event. They don't protect the craft they're mounted on.

Level D is also practically the bottom rung of rigor (there is Level E, for which there is no impact on failure, but you can reasonably construe the malfunction of virtually any piece of mounted equipment as a minor hazard, so it can pretty well be ignored. The in-flight entertainment system poses a hazard if it refuses to turn off or mute while the crew is attempting to speak over the intercom.) -- so it's the logical place to cheap out and/or just accept that periodic low-event failures will occur.

Which is all to say: yeah, probabilistic Omega Drone failures are totally reasonable, particularly on the civilian side.
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Re: The Code Omega Always Gets Out

Postby Whitecold on Thu 21 Mar 2019 15:56

Frankly, omega drone failure due to hostile action on civilians does not seem worth bothering with. They likely won't have the sensors anyway to say anything beyond 'we are getting shot', and the disappearance of the freighter becomes painfully obvious due to failure to report in, and the freighter squealing on broadband for help if it does not die in a single round.

The analogy of aircraft blackboxes is insofar flawed, as they usually get damaged by impact with the ground, and the ones that get lost get lost due to being at the bottom of the ocean. Space is a much easier environment to find a buoy with radio.
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Re: The Code Omega Always Gets Out

Postby Cralis on Thu 21 Mar 2019 18:28

I’m surprised that nobody has asked if they can be shot...
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