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Posted by: byron
« on: June 03, 2013, 12:15:02 PM »

Ah, I see.  I thought you meant fighters were "small manned spacecraft". 
Manned is part of it, but I personally wouldn't classify a dedicated kamikaze craft as a fighter.  Nor would I employ such a thing, unless the situation was truly desperate. 

Quote
Still, I see no (conceptual) problems with the suicide fighter approach.  They're going to be cheaper than a ship, so mutual suicide is perfectly fine.  XD
My point was that if the railguns are powerful, then there is a chance that your ships could avoid suicide.  We'll have to see how it works when (or if) Steve gets us NA.
Posted by: jseah
« on: June 02, 2013, 11:06:36 PM »

In my book, a fighter by definition must be recovered.  What you describe is a missile.
To some point, yes.  But I think you underestimate the tactical problems inherent in this approach, namely that you either have to go for mutual suicide or fire at very long range to give you space to stop.
Ah, I see.  I thought you meant fighters were "small manned spacecraft". 

Still, I see no (conceptual) problems with the suicide fighter approach.  They're going to be cheaper than a ship, so mutual suicide is perfectly fine.  XD
Posted by: byron
« on: June 01, 2013, 01:39:13 PM »

Do they?  =P  I question your assumptions. 
In my book, a fighter by definition must be recovered.  What you describe is a missile.

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2nd point: Engines far outclass railguns, you want more engine and less railgun. 
To some point, yes.  But I think you underestimate the tactical problems inherent in this approach, namely that you either have to go for mutual suicide or fire at very long range to give you space to stop.
Posted by: jseah
« on: June 01, 2013, 02:41:33 AM »

There are two problems with this.  First, the fighter has to stop and come back.  This takes fuel.  Second, the fighter's railgun is likely to be considerably inferior to the one on a bigger ship.
Do they?  =P  I question your assumptions. 

2nd point: Engines far outclass railguns, you want more engine and less railgun. 
Posted by: byron
« on: May 26, 2013, 02:11:05 PM »

Here's my two cents on fighters in Newtonian Aurora. Instead of loading them with missiles, you could put railguns on instead. You send the fighters out, and have them accelerate to high speeds, and then get them to fire the railguns. Even if the fighter is going only 3 times the speed of the railgun projectiles, it will do around 16 times the damage, not counting relativistic effects ((3+1)^2). It will require far less fuel than doing it with capital ships, and if you do it at extreme ranges, the enemy ships might not even know anything's happening, and won't do evasive maneuvers.

Not sure if this has been already discussed, as I only read the first couple pages of the thread.
There are two problems with this.  First, the fighter has to stop and come back.  This takes fuel.  Second, the fighter's railgun is likely to be considerably inferior to the one on a bigger ship.
Posted by: Zatsuza
« on: May 26, 2013, 06:09:17 AM »

I haven't even thought about atmospheres yet :) but this is an interesting idea. I wouldn't restrict it to small craft but allow a general rule for making a spacecraft atmosphere-capable. I imagine it would more commonly used for smaller craft such as fighters though.

Steve

Finally, we can crash 200kt ships into planets at relativistic velocities :D
Who needs orbital bombardment when you've got ground support.

Also, launching missiles from a craft at a high initial velocity would add to the velocity of the missile, which would be awesome (e.g, ship at 10,000kps, average missile speed of 20,000kps = actual missile velocity of 30,000kps. Not taking into account acceleration. Should allow for missiles to cover a much larger range for static or slow targets, e.g bombing runs on cruisers with c-fractional velocity missiles.)

On the subject of drones, anything a fighter can do a drone can do better. Still, drones would be strictly limited to their programming, or their controller aboard the carrier vessel. I'm quite sure a single controller could control a full squadron of drones-- more likely multiple squadrons for that matter, which means dependent on squadron size a similar fighter-equipped ship could be outnumbered 10~30:1, before we even get into the maneuvering advantages drones would have over fighters. Assuming a single operator would be controlling 10 drones per squadron I don't think three to five squadrons is entirely out of the question. Personally I'd go with smaller squadron sizes, but assigning each operator more individual squadrons-- and I'm quite sure a drone commander's CIC would easily be able to house a few handfuls of operators.

-- Addenum: Of course, this is all considering that such drones would be within the command range of their carrier vessel and a smart enemy commander would no to stay the hell away from that command range unless he had enough armour and energy weapons to be sure of a very fast victory. Beyond it, fighters would be the superior choice, as the human element would allow for modification of orders on the fly, while any drones running their pre-programmed orders would need to be updated from the command ship. Hitting drones in an evasive pattern of movement with a wire laser would be horrendous.
Of course, you could just launch more drones with different orders-- they are disposable after all.

Also, if the CV was destroyed any surviving drones could revert to kamikaze orders and destroy any targets marked before the CV bit the dust, or just attack everything in range that isn't an IFF friendly before running out of fuel or hitting the operational limit and returning to a friendly carrier. Again, fighters could do this but I think they'd probably just dump missiles and alter course to power away to the nearest carrier before they run out of fuel.
Posted by: Din182
« on: May 25, 2013, 08:35:34 PM »

Here's my two cents on fighters in Newtonian Aurora. Instead of loading them with missiles, you could put railguns on instead. You send the fighters out, and have them accelerate to high speeds, and then get them to fire the railguns. Even if the fighter is going only 3 times the speed of the railgun projectiles, it will do around 16 times the damage, not counting relativistic effects ((3+1)^2). It will require far less fuel than doing it with capital ships, and if you do it at extreme ranges, the enemy ships might not even know anything's happening, and won't do evasive maneuvers.

Not sure if this has been already discussed, as I only read the first couple pages of the thread.
Posted by: UnLimiTeD
« on: June 28, 2012, 05:16:01 AM »

Drones don't need special decisions;
You program them to search and destroy; You give them an attack vector, and occasionally redirect them if their current task is done.
There are no civilians in space; and to survive in the face of railgun barrages, tactical nukes, and laser batteries, they need an acceleration way above human tolerances, more so on later tech levels.
Sure you can have a control ship near them with one dude to take the responsibility, but that ship will be the first to die.
Posted by: PTTG
« on: June 27, 2012, 07:10:05 PM »

Except, as I said, making executive decisions when 1-lightsecond or more away from base.
Posted by: jseah
« on: June 27, 2012, 05:31:11 AM »

Well, the difference between a fighter and a drone would be an organic pilot. Even modern day airforces are reaching the point where drones are going to take over. So, technically, 1. Most fighters would be drones 2. Drones would be reusable 3. Drones can be used as missiles, if required.
I don't see how fighters are any different from drones (apart from possible weight/cost savings by replacing life support with supercomputers).  Whatever a drone can do, a fighter can do. 

Including being used as missiles.  =D
Posted by: PTTG
« on: June 27, 2012, 01:11:54 AM »

Even after you've automated all the things you can, you've still got a few executive functions which may ultimately require human control. Right now we obviously use telepresense- but what happens when you're trying to control a fighter that's 2 Light Seconds away? Four? thirty? Obviously Ansibles exist in Aurora, but from a practical direction, (and assuming that the Gs are at relatively low values), we might find we need pilots, or at least drone shepard that aren't too far from the rest of the fleet.
Posted by: swarm_sadist
« on: June 23, 2012, 05:53:08 PM »

Well, the difference between a fighter and a drone would be an organic pilot. Even modern day airforces are reaching the point where drones are going to take over. So, technically, 1. Most fighters would be drones 2. Drones would be reusable 3. Drones can be used as missiles, if required.
Posted by: UnLimiTeD
« on: June 20, 2012, 02:21:52 AM »

Where's the picture of that dead horse?  :P ;D
Well, at least the race and ship weight.
Given that NA is based around Physics first and gameplay later (maybe afterwards we'll get minor optional adjustments to make it more playable^^) fighters can indeed be assumed to be rather limited.
Drones, on the other hand, will probably see a use if that tech exists.
Also, if a fighter can do the job, it tends to be cheaper than a missile, which you will not get back.
Posted by: swarm_sadist
« on: June 20, 2012, 01:54:10 AM »

Would we be able to fire fighters and missiles from ship based mass drivers, something like a catapult system? Maybe give them a little free push.

Just touching on the fighter vs missile problem, if missiles where so much better compared to fighters, wouldn't they faze out fighters and vise versa? Fighters have a role, missiles have a role.

EX: You have an unknown target at 3 o'clock. The problem is your moving perpendicular to the unknown, and turning a 10k ton ship is slow and costly. Instead, you fire a electronic warfare fighter at your 3 o'clock, at which point the fighter would accelerate at the target to identify. Or you could fire a missile at the unknown and blow it up. It's what I usually do.

Question ^^: Is there such thing as an unknown contact? Or will you be able to tell the make and model of the ship by it's thrusters?
Posted by: Steve Walmsley
« on: January 08, 2012, 08:16:34 AM »

Perhaps fighters could try to hit specific components on the ship, where as capital ships could only go so far as to "Shoot at Ship 1" instead of fighters "Shoot at Ship 1's engine".

Fighters are just small ships so I don't want to assign them any special powers based on being below an arbitrary size limit, I used to play a game called Starfire in which fighter weapons were far superior in terms of damage vs mass than ship-based weapons. No one ever explained why ships didn't just mount hundreds of fighter size weapons :)

Steve
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