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Re: ship design encyclopedia

PostPosted: Sat 13 Oct 2012 05:51
by procyon
AlexeiTimoshenko wrote:Lets put this into some real terms. Your ships and the enemies are moving at about .003c. Three hours into the strike you've covered the distance from Earth to Mars at closest approach. Your comm systems are still limited to light speed (no better than what we have now). What happens if something changes? Assuming the enemy has sensor ships of his own, he's tracking and feeding data to his defenses effectively in real time, whereas your strike is using data that's several minutes old.


A lot depends on the dynamics of what is going on and the relative speeds.
.003c is pretty slow in Starfire. About speed 0.5 ish.

At the ranges you are talking about:
(180 minutes x 60 seconds/minutes x 300,000 km/s x.003) / 70,000km /hex = about 139 tH.

If each side has Yb, and isn't in LOD, they are tracking each other pretty adeptly.
It only had to guide the 'strike' about half way to the target before its Ya could find the enemy on its own (assuming Redbeards, Reavers, etc...). The lag time to that point on Commo would be just a tiny bit over one turn. I don't think the targets movement is going to make a big difference.

Now if you are trying to pull of a GB sortie at 3sH, and none of the GB has sY because they won't make it without carrying sQ - it can get trickier when you are 36LM out. That translates to 72 turns both ways for transmissions.

The saving grace is that the target will only be able to detect the GBs at medium range, which is usually less than 100 tH unless you are quite a way up the EL/SL ladder. If you are on long range sorties it is better to have the GB spread out so their sensors just overlap. Makes it easier to find your target and with a sensor range of 20tH is twice as far as the opponent can shoot you.
It is also helpful to just get onto the target course and move along it. Unless the target is manuevering - you will run into them eventually.
It can be somewhat more difficult with long range sorties. But far from impossible.

Re: ship design encyclopedia

PostPosted: Sat 13 Oct 2012 06:14
by AlexeiTimoshenko
Sorry, typo on my par. I meant .03c. The ships as designed are capable of .075c. 9 hexes per turn gives 3240th in 3 hours. 3240th = 13.5lm if my math is correct. How do you effectively communicate at that range? The comm/data loop is now approaching 30 minutes.

Re: ship design encyclopedia

PostPosted: Sun 14 Oct 2012 13:50
by procyon
AlexeiTimoshenko wrote:Sorry, typo on my par. I meant .03c. The ships as designed are capable of .075c. 9 hexes per turn gives 3240th in 3 hours. 3240th = 13.5lm if my math is correct. How do you effectively communicate at that range? The comm/data loop is now approaching 30 minutes.


Ok. Here we go.

I am going to approach it from the manner we play it. Under current rules you would just be trying to find a group of ships in an adjacent sH. But that tends to oversimplify it for us. And for you by the sound of it.

If they are actually at 3200+tH, then your sensor vessel has to have Ycb just to find them.
So lets assume you have a sensor ship (FGb) with Ycb. Enough for the sensors, but not much in combat.

For the sake of arguement - lets assume you are going after a group of FTs supporting an invasion of your colonies.
So it has a bunch of FTs with Qt and H, accompanied by a number of CVEs. All of them can cruise at speed 4.
We are also going to assume they have nothing better than Ye. Otherwise - if they can see your ships coming at a distance measured in sH - they are going to drop into LOD while you are thousands of hexes away and you will never find them.
This sound ok?

If you have a 30 minute loop, this would be 60 turns in game.
In this time your targets are going to move 240 tH.
You also only have D detection so you can only fix your targets within a 60tH radius.
Now, with Ya - you will have some trouble finding your targets. Best chance would be to have the CT/FG group move in front of the targets and turn into them. Just direct them to a point out in front of the target by 600tH or so and have them turn into the targets. The Ya should have enough range to pick up the targets as its long range matches the 'error' range of the Ycb at that range.
But the CVEs with Ye are going to see you coming and launch. At long range the CT/FG won't see the sqns until they are 30tH away. Not much time to react. And the targets are going to start reacting. Whats worse is the CVEs will likely drop into LOD while the FTs scatter to the winds. The sensor ship will track the FTs while the CVEs launch one sortie after another on the CT/FG group.
Not a good plan.

But lets re-evaluate with the Ye equiped CT.
Now, we are moving toward the FTs and trying to steer in front of them.
And, with a sensor range of 480tH - your commo loop is down to 25 minutes until the CT/FGs can find the targets on their own. So less issue with target movement.
The targets will only be moving 100tH when you can see for 480tH.
And - the CVEs will only see you when your CT/FGs see the FTs/CVEs. So you will be homing in on the targets as soon as they know you are there. If you get lucky - you may be able to get out in front of them and drop into LOD and let them run into you. Then the CVEs might be in trouble.

Re: ship design encyclopedia

PostPosted: Sun 14 Oct 2012 16:51
by AlexeiTimoshenko
I'm still not used to seeing squadrons going up against CT/FG. By the time my campaigns had carriers most of us were building DDE's or CLE's as escorts for our strike groups. We also didn't tend to leave our sensor platforms quite that far back.

Re: ship design encyclopedia

PostPosted: Mon 15 Oct 2012 05:25
by TerryTigre
I see that I will have some challenges turning this into a computer program...

The problem here is not player vs computer, or computer vs computer, but player vs player.

The saving grace here is that if only one side sees the other, the surprised side is effectively played by the computer as standing orders still take effect.

But as soon as both sides are aware, they should both have input, unless i adopt the approach that they will use standard orders only, until changed by HQ...

The Operational level challenge here is worthy of a sub campaign. Perhaps this is an idea for a simplified Quick Start Campaign? No construction, no research, no colonisation, no diplomacy, just a set level of reinforcements, and one planetary combat (for example) that both sides must try to get supplies to like for example Gualdalcanal... In this case winning the naval battle is only part of the problem, and with the right victory conditions not even the most important one... Lets not forget that fundamentally fleets exist to protect freighters and populations...

Re: ship design encyclopedia

PostPosted: Mon 15 Oct 2012 06:39
by Vandervecken
TerryTigre wrote: Lets not forget that fundamentally fleets exist to protect freighters and populations...


Strangely, my daughter believes that fundamentally fleets exist to destroy freighters and populations, hehehe.

And although I like where you are coming from, as any more small expansions of the Starfire Quick-Start rules will be welcome in my house .. I remind you that time and history are intertwined such that if Gualdalcanal had taken place just 10 or 20 years later, we might now be refering to them as the 'Radioactive Glass Islands. The circumstances to allow a Gualdalcanal style situation could exist in a Starfire scenario/campaign, but both sides would need to feel like that piece of ground (maybe that world in Starfire) is worth enough to both to not get nuke/bombardment happy for it or to deny it to the enemy. It could make for a nice piece of Starfire fiction if done right, as well as a fun little campaign.

Re: ship design encyclopedia

PostPosted: Mon 15 Oct 2012 07:07
by TerryTigre
Vandervecken wrote:
TerryTigre wrote: Lets not forget that fundamentally fleets exist to protect freighters and populations...


Strangely, my daughter believes that fundamentally fleets exist to destroy freighters and populations, hehehe.

And although I like where you are coming from, as any more small expansions of the Starfire Quick-Start rules will be welcome in my house .. I remind you that time and history are intertwined such that if Gualdalcanal had taken place just 10 or 20 years later, we might now be refering to them as the 'Radioactive Glass Islands. The circumstances to allow a Gualdalcanal style situation could exist in a Starfire scenario/campaign, but both sides would need to feel like that piece of ground (maybe that world in Starfire) is worth enough to both to not get nuke/bombardment happy for it or to deny it to the enemy. It could make for a nice piece of Starfire fiction if done right, as well as a fun little campaign.


How about just after an empire split up? The Old and the New empire both have half, with the Homeworld as contested zone. This might even involve into a 3 side conflict if the homeworld has kept up its home fleet and home army in the home system... ;)

Re: ship design encyclopedia

PostPosted: Mon 15 Oct 2012 19:34
by krenshala
procyon wrote:
AlexeiTimoshenko wrote:Lets put this into some real terms. Your ships and the enemies are moving at about .003c. Three hours into the strike you've covered the distance from Earth to Mars at closest approach. Your comm systems are still limited to light speed (no better than what we have now). What happens if something changes? Assuming the enemy has sensor ships of his own, he's tracking and feeding data to his defenses effectively in real time, whereas your strike is using data that's several minutes old.


A lot depends on the dynamics of what is going on and the relative speeds.
.003c is pretty slow in Starfire. About speed 0.5 ish.

At the ranges you are talking about:
(180 minutes x 60 seconds/minutes x 300,000 km/s x.003) / 70,000km /hex = about 139 tH.

I'm catching up, but you are slightly off on two points here Procyon. ;)

Speed 1 is actually 0.0083(3)c. This does make 0.003c just a bit under speed 0.5, however. ;)

Also, since GSF (or was it 3rdR?) a tactical hex has been 75,000 km in diameter, not 70,000 km. None of this really invalidates your math, however, since you would only have to add 1 hex for every 15 you calculated (less than 10 tH off).

Re: ship design encyclopedia

PostPosted: Mon 15 Oct 2012 19:50
by AlexeiTimoshenko
My question had to do with guiding a strike in when your sensor ship is back almost a system hex. I'm used to keeping my ships somewhat closer together. My fear is that with the strike almost 12 LM ahead, the sensor ship could detect a change in status from the opposing forces, yet not have the time to warn the strike units about the change.

Re: ship design encyclopedia

PostPosted: Mon 15 Oct 2012 21:07
by krenshala
AlexeiTimoshenko wrote:My question had to do with guiding a strike in when your sensor ship is back almost a system hex. I'm used to keeping my ships somewhat closer together. My fear is that with the strike almost 12 LM ahead, the sensor ship could detect a change in status from the opposing forces, yet not have the time to warn the strike units about the change.

Just try to make sure your sensor units are close enough that the warning can get to the fleet before the enemy units can get into the fleet's own sensor range. ;) Not easy if you don't know the speed of your enemy, but then you can't predict what you can see and a DF down enemy is the worst thing to run over. ;)