Author Topic: Time for some new tech?  (Read 1427 times)

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Offline chrislocke2000

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Time for some new tech?
« on: February 28, 2012, 10:20:19 AM »
Given the expected lethality of space combat in NA (which I have to say I do like) it seems to me that people would be spending more time and effort on technologies to stop them getting hit in the first place.

Having had a rather brief think over lunch I’ve come up with a few ideas which I’ve stuck down below however I’m sure people will have a plethora of other ideas....

ECM – Split the tech between active and passive areas:
Passive
Add in a tech on target acquisition time – improved tech makes it harder for a fire control to obtain a lock and hence slows the process. Delays won’t be large but could be helpful against ships trying to fly in undetected before launching rapid broadsides. Means attacker is exposed for a period in order to fire and gives defender a little more reaction time.

Active
Chaff and Flare launchers – have a chance of confusing fire controls / thermal sensors based on relative strength of sensor v tech of the flare etc. Expect these to be final fire, very close range defence. Would expect these to be quite cheap, could also work quite well with the above to increase time for a missile to acquire a new lock. May also make nukes a more interesting alternative to direct kinetic kills as close in detonations could still cause damage.

Decoy drones – again have a chance of confusing fire controls, may also have a chance of confusing you active sensors as well. Could be very interesting if that fleet of 5 ships you are moving towards suddenly appear to be 15. To limit use drones get very little delta v so when deployed ships would have more limited manoeuvring options if want to keep protection.

Active jamming – gives a chance of breaking the signal between a guided missile and the MFC such that if lost missile just continues or self destructs.  This could force you to include own guidance systems on missiles which can take over but may be more susceptible to other active ECM per the above. The tech could even be extended to an ability to seize control of the weapon (as Iran might have you believe they have been able to do). Successive techs would extend the strength of the jamming and the range at which it is effective.

Offensive jamming – can target hostile ships etc with a chance of disrupting all of their onboard sensors. Techs increase range and disruption strength. Would think these would need to use tracked energy in the ships much the same as other energy weapons.

Sensors
New type of sensor – gravimetric. These would be short range but highly sensitive allowing ships to detect and track incoming rail gun ordnance etc.  Basically act to fill the gap left in detection by Size 1 sensors. Also saves a redesign of the current sensor mechanic?

CIWS
Not so much a new tech but potentially an improvement in current tech. Reduce size of CIWS and provide a RoF tech that enables more targets in a 5 second segment. Could do a similar line with Gauss cannon.

Lasers
Options for say 5cm and 2cm size lasers that could have a RoF above 1 and enable relatively small turrets for fast tracking (not sure how that might fit with the no turrets position at the moment though).

Some more exotic ideas:
Molecular bonding generators (a shameless rip off from Peter Hamilton’s excellent books) - In effect these significantly increase the damage resistance of the hull and basically replace the role of shields except that they have a multiplicative benefit when you increase layers of armour. Needs a lot of energy so can’t run all the time and significant damage has a chance of putting them off line due to feedback surge or other such techno babble.
 
Shield radius extension – increases the distance from the hull and potentially improves the whipple effect of the shield.

Adaptive shields – enables the ship to change the shape of the shields to create an optimum defensive angle to deflect as much of the incoming energy as possible. Could work well with the above.
 

Offline byron

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Re: Time for some new tech?
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2012, 11:39:02 AM »
I also have a few thoughts I'd like to share.  Some are NA-specific, but most can be applied to both versions.
ECM/ECCM:
The current model strikes me as oversimplistic.  Even equal-generation systems will have some effect on each other, but there's also a limit to how effective systems can become.  I'm trying to work up a model.

Fuel tanks:
I've built a number of tankers recently, and run into a problem.  Compared to freighters and colony ships, they're expensive, and take forever to build.  This is tolerable in the current game, but might be a problem in NA.  My suggestion is to create a "bulk fuel tank".  For current aurora, it's probably size 10, carries 450,000 liters, costs 50, and has a crew of 10.  This is cheaper then current tankage, but large enough that most vessels won't bother.

Atmospheric bombardment:
Allow visible-light lasers to fire at targets through an atmosphere.  This allows bombardment ships and makes beam PDCs more interesting.

Cloaking devices:
The current cloaking system is also over-simplistic.  Ships are either stealth or not.  Something similar to the size tradeoff in lasers and missiles would be nice.  For example, for 50% of current cloaking effect, the system takes up 25% of the usual size.  This allows large vessels to reduce long-range detection without costing a huge amount.  

Edit:
My suggested EW model:
sqrt((ECCM-ECM)/10 + .7)
ECCM and ECM are the levels of the systems in question.  Multiply the chance to hit by the resulting factor, unless it's greater then 1 or less then 0.  I'm not totally sure it's worth putting in an exception for ECM=0, as there's going to be random issues that the factor of .77 covers nicely. 
« Last Edit: February 28, 2012, 11:52:32 AM by byron »
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Offline ollobrains

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Re: Time for some new tech?
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2012, 03:37:11 PM »
Fuel tanks, how about a sorium harvestor and an onboard fuel refinery module that can be accompanied by fleets of survey geo and grav and other shops to maintain a fleet in space over a few jumps for fleet exploration.  Make the tech high end for later in the game.

Trade off or a new weapons type between missiles and lasers ben discussed elsewhere.
 

Offline UnLimiTeD

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Re: Time for some new tech?
« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2012, 07:36:58 AM »
Why would you need another sorium harvester, aside from the one already existing?  ???
 

Offline byron

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Re: Time for some new tech?
« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2012, 12:24:34 PM »
I think he was referring to another way to deal with the fuel problem, not suggesting a new system.
Assuming that is the case, it still doesn't solve the deeper problem.  That sort of thing isn't an option in some cases.  Right now, moving bulk fuel is expensive, and both for NA and TNA, I'd like to see the cost come down.
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Offline jseah

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Re: Time for some new tech?
« Reply #5 on: February 29, 2012, 07:43:54 PM »
Right now, moving bulk fuel is expensive, and both for NA and TNA, I'd like to see the cost come down.
Let mass drivers shoot fuel canisters?
 

Offline Panopticon

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Re: Time for some new tech?
« Reply #6 on: February 29, 2012, 08:25:23 PM »
That sounds like a recipe for fun, and I use the term in the way that Dwarf Fortress players use it, by which I mean on fire and exploding.
 

Offline jseah

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Re: Time for some new tech?
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2012, 05:45:18 AM »
That sounds like a recipe for fun, and I use the term in the way that Dwarf Fortress players use it, by which I mean on fire and exploding.
At 1E14 J/kg in sorium, your average 10ton mass driver packet contains 10 000 litres of fuel (minus casing).  Which is E18 J. 

Please don't miss.  A hundred million lives depend on you getting the tenth decimal point correct. 
 

Offline byron

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Re: Time for some new tech?
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2012, 07:46:08 AM »
Let mass drivers shoot fuel canisters?
Not really.  I was talking about between systems, which mass drivers are useless for.  Not a bad idea, but not what I meant.
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Offline chrislocke2000

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Re: Time for some new tech?
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2012, 08:12:22 AM »
Maybe not having great ways of shifting fuel around is actually a good thing. If jump range limits to systems and the need to burn fuel to align for the next jump act as a reasonable limit on long range attacks then current restrictions on fuel movement would potentially mean the need to use forward operating bases for an attack.

This then gives defenders a chance to detect and destroy these and might help with the imposition of operational boundaries for fleets.
 

Offline TheDeadlyShoe

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Re: Time for some new tech?
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2012, 08:48:26 AM »
I'm not sure I get the original problem. My 10000t fuel tankers run about 1000 BP, and if I strip them down i get about 770 bp.  I can see how fuel tanks might start getting costly in NA, but I don't understand how they're too much currently...  I have one tanker running from jupiter to earth in my current game, and it's going 150 km/s to conserve fuel... even so it only gets about 70% fuel off 180 fuel harvester modules per run.  A single tanker can shift a lot of fuel!

OTOH, a bulk fuel module / refueling module would make the division between 'tanker fuel' and 'non-tanker fuel' far more explicit and with finer control than currently.
 

Offline PTTG

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Re: Time for some new tech?
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2012, 11:27:29 AM »
If ECM gets reworked at all, it'd be great if it was made into a flexible module rather than hundreds of different subtypes.
 

Offline Stephan

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Re: Time for some new tech?
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2012, 03:06:49 AM »
Perhaps something like ciws are now w/ different tech lines adding up to one ECM system?

Also bulk fuel tanks would be great for bigger ship designs!!!
 

Offline chrislocke2000

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Re: Time for some new tech?
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2012, 09:18:45 AM »
Probably too complicated but on the fuel tanks you could design them in a similar way to designing missile magazines. Create tech lines on storage efficiency and maximum flow rate then allow them to be individually armoured much the same way as magazines are.

Storage efficiency would work just the same as magazine efficiency which scales as the tank increases in size.

Flow rate dictates speed at which you can refuel and deliver fuel to the engines. This is a fixed size based on litres / hour rate and does not scale with size of the tank.

Armour scales with the tanks as with magazines.

This allows you to create a range of tank sizes that match to the demands of the engines and allows some differences between highly efficient weight v capacity tanks for bulk transport against less efficient tanks for military ships. The non scaling fuel delivery system also gives a decision between having lots of small tanks that are less efficient but individually less important to a ship v less large tanks whose loss in combat would have more of an impact.
 

 

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