Aurora 4x

Aurora => Newtonian Aurora => Topic started by: chrislocke2000 on November 07, 2011, 07:11:16 AM

Title: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: chrislocke2000 on November 07, 2011, 07:11:16 AM
Given how this was getting mixed up in the more general discussion thought I would take the suggestion and start a new thread.

From the existing topics I think there is a clear argument as to why Fighters will no longer be the highly effective weapon platforms that we see in Aurora today. However, I really enjoy playing with fighters so would like to see if we can come up with some suggestions as to how Steve could implement fighters such that they remain a viable tactical option.

Some thoughts from me are:

1) Fighters need to be substantially more fuel efficient than missiles at the same levels of performance. Ie they would need engines to be at least four times more efficient than a missile engine. This allows the journey to target and back without a substantially less effective use of carried fuel.

2) Situationally they could be good for bringing weapons to bear on off axis targets. Ie a lot cheaper, fuel wise to turn a 200 ton fighter round to intercept a hostile contact than shifting say 100,000 tons of ships. Of course a missile could do just this in any case.

3) Potentially all fighters start as UAVs from the very start with controllers staying based on the carrier. As a UAV this would allow substantially better acceleration and deceleration performance than a crewed ship. Again this could be matched by a MIRV unless the cost of building the weapon bus is prohibitive if you don't get it back?

4) Potentially use them as guided slug throwers with relatively low acceleration coil guns. From previous discussions I think there is an expectation of ships moving relatively slower than in to days Aurora and that head on attacks at very high velocities are likely to be pretty dangerous to both sides. It's also clear that the relative velocity gain of shells compared to ship speeds will be pretty low. UAVs could address this quite nicely:

- With high acceleration the UAV can generate a far better closing speed on the enemy compared to a ship and with a low comparative cost it can afford to take the risk. It can also get in position a lot more easily than ships to attack off axis threats.
- As majority of attack speed comes from engines instead of the coil guns these can be lower power and smaller than their ship counter parts, allowing a better rate of fire for a given slug size
- UAV carriers batteries only and recharges from the carrier. Carrier could also hold both generators and batteries so UAVs can be quickly recharged as well as refueled and rearmed.
- Set the cost of UAVs so that say five uses of them, plus say 10% loss rate, is cheaper than the equivalent 5 * MIRV. After that the UAV is substantially more cost effective. Also set relative price of coil guns so you would would not want to just mount them on a one shot platform.

This would then give you a weapon platform that would enable strikes against hostile ships with intelligent slugs that would hitting at a magnitude higher than those fired from fleet ships without risking the fleet ships themselves and in the long run being cheaper than MIRV equivalents.

5) My last thought is a subset of fighters that have an aero package and hence can operate in a planets atmosphere. The idea being that they can then make precision attacks on installations / military units / PDCs with far less collateral damage and without causing atmospheric dust etc. This would also allow precision attacks without having to get your ships into reasonably close orbit for use of lasers etc and hence exposing them to counter fire from the planet. Depending on what you do with ground combat I guess you could also give them an attack strength to support your troops on the ground.

Anyway that's my starter for ten!
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: byron on November 07, 2011, 10:08:42 AM
There are only three kinds of practical fighters in my mind:
1. Improvised:  These are cobbled together if two space colonies decide to go at it, simply do to cost and time reasons.  It has an engine, a weapon, and a guy to run them.  They probably won't outlast the first war.
2. Lancers: This is the technical term for using your engine to put a projectile on track to intercept a target.  Only really practical when the dominant engine is too expensive for missile use and too good to pass up.  Will be unmanned.
3. Aerospace: Probably based on the surface, pops up, launches missiles, goes back down.  May or may not be manned.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: scoopdjm on November 07, 2011, 01:20:45 PM
As per my previous statement I still maintain fighters have a higher damage per Weight/cost ratio then missiles EDIT: thnx for making a new thread
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: HaliRyan on November 07, 2011, 01:39:13 PM
As per my previous statement I still maintain fighters have a higher damage per Weight/cost ratio then missiles EDIT: thnx for making a new thread

Don't take this the wrong way, but that's not even true with existing modern jet fighters. A missile has a much, MUCH higher damage per weight ratio, and a modern cruise missile like the Tomahawk costs a little under $1m while an F-22 runs in the neighborhood of $150m.

In space a fighter has to carry (as the OP said) a minimum of 4 times the fuel of a missile, is limited in its acceleration/maneuverability by human tolerances (which is a much more crippling penalty in vacuum than in atmosphere), and has a host of other problems associated with their use.

I'm not saying they shouldn't be included, just that they're most definitely a rule-of-cool item rather than a realistic one.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: Steve Walmsley on November 07, 2011, 01:54:16 PM
Fighters in Newtonian Aurora (as with normal Aurora) are just small spacecraft and the same rules will apply in both cases. There won't be any fighter-specific systems or rules. In terms of mass comparison, fighters in standard Aurora are around 200-300 tons compared to 'normal' warships that resemble modern naval warships in terms of size. Therefore a "fighter" is much more comparable to a real world fast attack craft. For example, a Russian Project 205 Tsunami (NATO designation: Osa) is a 200 ton missile boat with four P-15 Termit (SS-N-2 Styx) missiles.

With regard to Newtonian Aurora, I think fighters will actually be more dangerous than in standard Aurora and don't need any special help. Small, expendable and easily replaceable craft are always useful for attacking a well defended enemy fleet, especially now you can no longer fire your missiles and turn away. In addition to a loadout of missiles, they will be able to carry the equivalent of "iron bombs" and act as the delivery system, which means the number of reloads for a carrier will be much higher than at the moment. The smallest railgun is 25 tons (or 0.5 HS in standard Aurora), which means a fighter 'beam weapon' is now possible. As they are based on a mothership, they will be able to mount more powerful, less fuel efficient engines and dedicate more of their tonnage to those engines, allowing greater acceleration and therefore more options. As well as being hard to detect, they will also be hard to hit as target size is now a significant factor. Finally, their range will be far greater than in standard Aurora as they can be launched at extreme range and coast most of the way. Or launched at extreme range and accelerated up to high speed before launching missiles or kinetic weapons, both of which will have the initial momentum of the fighter. The fighters are more likely to be able to avoid defensive fire after launching as they are hard to detect, hard to hit and will likely have greater acceleration/turning capability than a full size warship.

They will obviously be susceptible to nukes but they were susceptible to missiles before and as a single nuke could potentially kill a capital ship in Newtonian Aurora, using one against a fighter will be more overkill than in standard Aurora. I would advise spreading out the squadron though :)

Carrier operations will be more involved, as the fighters will have the momentum of the carrier. A modern version of: "Officer of the deck - turn the Nimitz into the wind"

Steve
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: Steve Walmsley on November 07, 2011, 02:48:17 PM
5) My last thought is a subset of fighters that have an aero package and hence can operate in a planets atmosphere. The idea being that they can then make precision attacks on installations / military units / PDCs with far less collateral damage and without causing atmospheric dust etc. This would also allow precision attacks without having to get your ships into reasonably close orbit for use of lasers etc and hence exposing them to counter fire from the planet. Depending on what you do with ground combat I guess you could also give them an attack strength to support your troops on the ground.

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
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: byron on November 07, 2011, 03:16:29 PM
As per my previous statement I still maintain fighters have a higher damage per Weight/cost ratio then missiles EDIT: thnx for making a new thread
This is not even physically possible unless you are working over multiple missions.  And for a given battle, you will probably get only one mission.  Why?  The fighters have to stop, turn around, and come back.  We're looking at at least four times as long for a given mission as a missile of the same delta-V.  Not to mention that you either have to stop before the target, or turn around and go past them a second time to get home.  Or spend a bunch of delta-V to go around.  You don't win in any of the above.

Fighters in Newtonian Aurora (as with normal Aurora) are just small spacecraft and the same rules will apply in both cases. There won't be any fighter-specific systems or rules. In terms of mass comparison, fighters in standard Aurora are around 200-300 tons compared to 'normal' warships that resemble modern naval warships in terms of size. Therefore a "fighter" is much more comparable to a real world fast attack craft. For example, a Russian Project 205 Tsunami (NATO designation: Osa) is a 200 ton missile boat with four P-15 Termit (SS-N-2 Styx) missiles.
I find this far more plausible then classical fighters.  Though I will point out that nobody has ever made an FAC (or PT boat) carrier.

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With regard to Newtonian Aurora, I think fighters will actually be more dangerous than in standard Aurora and don't need any special help. Small, expendable and easily replaceable craft are always useful for attacking a well defended enemy fleet, especially now you can no longer fire your missiles and turn away. In addition to a loadout of missiles, they will be able to carry the equivalent of "iron bombs" and act as the delivery system, which means the number of reloads for a carrier will be much higher than at the moment. The smallest railgun is 25 tons (or 0.5 HS in standard Aurora), which means a fighter 'beam weapon' is now possible. As they are based on a mothership, they will be able to mount more powerful, less fuel efficient engines and dedicate more of their tonnage to those engines, allowing greater acceleration and therefore more options. As well as being hard to detect, they will also be hard to hit as target size is now a significant factor. Finally, their range will be far greater than in standard Aurora as they can be launched at extreme range and coast most of the way. Or launched at extreme range and accelerated up to high speed before launching missiles or kinetic weapons, both of which will have the initial momentum of the fighter. The fighters are more likely to be able to avoid defensive fire after launching as they are hard to detect, hard to hit and will likely have greater acceleration/turning capability than a full size warship.

They will obviously be susceptible to nukes but they were susceptible to missiles before and as a single nuke could potentially kill a capital ship in Newtonian Aurora, using one against a fighter will be more overkill than in standard Aurora. I would advise spreading out the squadron though :)

Carrier operations will be more involved, as the fighters will have the momentum of the carrier. A modern version of: "Officer of the deck - turn the Nimitz into the wind"

Steve
I'm not so sure.  Yes, they can extend range.  But how will missile fire control work?  A fighter can't carry the same fire control a battleship can, and thus, if it is range-limited as it is now, it probably can't launch from outside the target's envelope.  Particularly not if it's a lancer.  As for getting missiles up to speed, the only time you will want to do that is if you can't fit an equivalent engine inside the missile.  A fighter will not have a useful delta-V and acceleration, and a useful payload, and still be cheaper then another stage on the same missiles.  The only time it would be a good idea is if you're using it for pacification duty, facing inferior opponents.  They probably can't touch it if handled properly, so the cost savings are realized.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: jseah on November 07, 2011, 03:37:13 PM
I find this far more plausible then classical fighters.  Though I will point out that nobody has ever made an FAC (or PT boat) carrier.
If you're talking about normal Aurora, I have.  A bunch of FACs were made as early defence force and relegated to back line duty later.  So I created a 6kton hangar space carrier to ship them around.  And reload their box launchers. 

Very useful those.  Blew up a minor spoiler incursion.  But then my FACs outweighed them 10 to 1 so... =P
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: Steve Walmsley on November 07, 2011, 03:41:20 PM
I find this far more plausible then classical fighters.  Though I will point out that nobody has ever made an FAC (or PT boat) carrier.

There must be something along these lines or FAC built in one part of the world would never make it anywhere else and they plainly do. Whether that could be adapted to deploy them at sea is an interesting question.

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I'm not so sure.  Yes, they can extend range.  But how will missile fire control work?  A fighter can't carry the same fire control a battleship can, and thus, if it is range-limited as it is now, it probably can't launch from outside the target's envelope.  Particularly not if it's a lancer.  As for getting missiles up to speed, the only time you will want to do that is if you can't fit an equivalent engine inside the missile.  A fighter will not have a useful delta-V and acceleration, and a useful payload, and still be cheaper then another stage on the same missiles.  The only time it would be a good idea is if you're using it for pacification duty, facing inferior opponents.  They probably can't touch it if handled properly, so the cost savings are realized.

I think we will have to agree to disagree until we see what turns out to be effective in the game. I suspect that the flexibility provided by fighters will make them more useful than ultra-long-range missiles in many situations.

Steve
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: Yonder on November 07, 2011, 03:59:49 PM
I’d like to weigh in on the whole fighter debate.
1. People have been saying that fighters require four times the delta-V, that’s not actually true. They actually require around twice the delta-V of a missile:
a. Accelerate towards target (49% deltaV budget)
b. Stop after attack run (49% deltaV budget)
c. Accelerate towards home (1% deltaV budget)
d. Stop at home (1% deltaB budget).
There is no reason for a fighter to have to return home at combat speed. Unless you have to recall them more quickly due to needing them for another engagement they can take as long on the return trip as their maintenance supplies permit. They may not even need to slow down again once they get home, they could be chased down and recovered with tugs, or even recovered by the very Mass Drivers that catch tons of high speed mineral packets every day!

Don't take this the wrong way, but that's not even true with existing modern jet fighters. A missile has a much, MUCH higher damage per weight ratio, and a modern cruise missile like the Tomahawk costs a little under $1m while an F-22 runs in the neighborhood of $150m.

Those aren't fair comparisons, you are comparing a decades-old, well understood, mass produced land-attack missile with a the most expensive and advanced air superiority jet fighter ever developed, which never really left the development and testing production runs and into the actual, cheaper production of the finished model.

Lets compare the Tomahawk with an F-16 holding 6 Mavericks (another tactical missile designed to attack ground targets) and 4 GBU-10 Paveway II bombs. We will ignore the anti-air missiles and its gatling gun.

Tomahawk: The most modern one has a much more advanced guidance system and will cost around $1.5 million, but we will go with Wikipedia's 1999 price of $569k since the F-16 armaments we will be using harken back to that era. It delivers a 450 kg explosive, so we are looking at $1264 dollars per kg of explosive.

F-16: Costs $18.8 million in 1998 dollars (so we won't bother with currency conversions), the Mavericks each cost $110k and deliver a 136kg warhead ($809 per kg). But the Mavericks are still just missiles, they are smaller and cheaper than Tomahawks, but for the real bang for your buck you have to look at armaments which have had nearly all of their propulsive needs provided by the fighter. Like the Guided Bomb Unit 10, with a MK84 warhead. This only costs $25k, but delivers a 900kg warhead ($28 per kg).

After you pay that initial $18.8 million you really start saving money, in this example each F16 run costs $760k, and does the work of 9.8 Tomahawks ($5576k). At that rate the F16 pays for itself on the fourth trip. (And if it doesn't survive four trips... Oops! Should have used Tomahawks! Well, that's actually an overly simple statement, if your short-range fighter weapons are more effective at punching through their defenses, than the increased damage you do to the enemy could make up for the higher amount of money you paid to inflict that damage).

I have some other talking points, but not enough time to go over them right now.

Edit: Forgot to include my source for some of those munition costs:
http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/usaf/docs/munition-cost-11-1.htm
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: UnLimiTeD on November 07, 2011, 04:32:16 PM
I think the main point here is that if fighters survive and make the attack run, you can't get them back until after the battle.
They have precisely ONE attack run.

I really like the suggestions so far, though;
An Aerospace fighter than dives from it's mothership to a planets surface to give firesupport for a ground invasion when you do not just want a pointless planet, and unmanned fighter craft. Will those be possible?
Most people already use them like the bytes they are.^^
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: Yonder on November 07, 2011, 04:39:50 PM
I think the main point here is that if fighters survive and make the attack run, you can't get them back until after the battle.
They have precisely ONE attack run.

Right, so the F16 isn't going to pay for itself with four attack runs in one battle, but strategically it will pay for itself (if it survives) in four battles.

Just from that  perspective it's similar to the current Missile/Beam conundrum in regular Aurora. Missiles are far and away superior for any particular battle, but once you start to consider the logistic requirements of an ongoing action it becomes more complicated.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: UnLimiTeD on November 07, 2011, 05:05:45 PM
Additionally, you have to calculate the terrain:
In a defensive situation, it's sort of fine, but on the attack, zipping past an enemy to fly deeper in system is likely to result in certain death, just as it would if the home fleet needs to leave for summersale.
I expect the logistics to be a lot more complicated.
Which is kinda what I want ;D
Hell, I still want food as a resource X-D.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: HaliRyan on November 07, 2011, 05:11:26 PM
I’d like to weigh in on the whole fighter debate.
1. People have been saying that fighters require four times the delta-V, that’s not actually true. They actually require around twice the delta-V of a missile:
a. Accelerate towards target (49% deltaV budget)
b. Stop after attack run (49% deltaV budget)
c. Accelerate towards home (1% deltaV budget)
d. Stop at home (1% deltaB budget).
There is no reason for a fighter to have to return home at combat speed. Unless you have to recall them more quickly due to needing them for another engagement they can take as long on the return trip as their maintenance supplies permit. They may not even need to slow down again once they get home, they could be chased down and recovered with tugs, or even recovered by the very Mass Drivers that catch tons of high speed mineral packets every day!


The problem with this is that you then have only one attack run per battle, so if you don't get them in 1 pass you're SOL. Having only 1 attack run also imposes a hefty penalty on your effective throw weight throughout a fight compared to a more conventional missile-based ship.

Those aren't fair comparisons, you are comparing a decades-old, well understood, mass produced land-attack missile with a the most expensive and advanced air superiority jet fighter ever developed, which never really left the development and testing production runs and into the actual, cheaper production of the finished model.

You're right, that was a bad choice of comparison. On the other hand the F-16 was pretty much the cheapest of its generation, wasn't it? In 1998 dollars (yay wikipedia!) the F-15 was close to $30m, an F-14 was almost $40m.

I'm also not sure a bomb's really useful for comparison in this situation, as without the expensive guidance and propulsion systems you need to get very close to hit an evasive target, and then you're going to start incurring (expensive!) losses. And while the ability to carry bombs gives the fighter idea some extra utility by being able to hit stationary targets like a shipyard or starbase, why not just use a railgun from long range for that?
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: scoopdjm on November 07, 2011, 05:43:38 PM
I think people are taking fighters as everything or nothing, you wouldn't use just fighters in a carrier battle. Fighters are just the first strike weapon.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: Rastaman on November 07, 2011, 05:56:51 PM
Code in drop tanks.

Use fuel caches and tankers. Create little maintenance ships that can hold a single fighter to rearm in the field.

Can missiles stop and hover? While out of fire control range of the main ships? Can they decide when to hold fire, when and what to engage, when to run away, circle around? Can they move past targets at an angle and fire iron bombs (or iron nukes at railgun speeds)?
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: byron on November 07, 2011, 06:18:05 PM
If you're talking about normal Aurora, I have.  A bunch of FACs were made as early defence force and relegated to back line duty later.  So I created a 6kton hangar space carrier to ship them around.  And reload their box launchers. 

Very useful those.  Blew up a minor spoiler incursion.  But then my FACs outweighed them 10 to 1 so... =P
I meant in real life.

There must be something along these lines or FAC built in one part of the world would never make it anywhere else and they plainly do. Whether that could be adapted to deploy them at sea is an interesting question.
They generally just move them port to port or ship them as deck cargo, as far as I know.  I am certain that nobody has deployed them at sea, at least on any serious scale.

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I think we will have to agree to disagree until we see what turns out to be effective in the game. I suspect that the flexibility provided by fighters will make them more useful than ultra-long-range missiles in many situations.

Steve
This might be true in a lot of situations outside of pitched battle.  I just question if taking the trouble of carrying them around is worth it.  Maybe a few, but they certainly won't be the main striking force.


I’d like to weigh in on the whole fighter debate.
1. People have been saying that fighters require four times the delta-V, that’s not actually true. They actually require around twice the delta-V of a missile:
a. Accelerate towards target (49% deltaV budget)
b. Stop after attack run (49% deltaV budget)
c. Accelerate towards home (1% deltaV budget)
d. Stop at home (1% deltaB budget).
There is no reason for a fighter to have to return home at combat speed. Unless you have to recall them more quickly due to needing them for another engagement they can take as long on the return trip as their maintenance supplies permit. They may not even need to slow down again once they get home, they could be chased down and recovered with tugs, or even recovered by the very Mass Drivers that catch tons of high speed mineral packets every day!
This violates so many principles of military planning.  I will admit that 4x delta-V is probably not required.  However, you will want them to be able to make it home in a reasonable amount of time.  Taking 50 times as long coming back is almost by definition unreasonable.  As for mass drivers...Really?  And if you're using fighters in an enemy-held system?  You might not want to stick around for that long.

As for fighters vs. missiles, the examples throw around illustrate exactly what's going on.  For reasonably soft targets where losses are likely to be low, fighters are great.  For hard targets, missiles are far and away superior.

Code in drop tanks.
Seconded.

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Use fuel caches and tankers. Create little maintenance ships that can hold a single fighter to rearm in the field.

Can missiles stop and hover? While out of fire control range of the main ships? Can they decide when to hold fire, when and what to engage, when to run away, circle around? Can they move past targets at an angle and fire iron bombs (or iron nukes at railgun speeds)?
Um, this is newtonian.  That makes most of these somewhat impractical.  You have to match both position and velocity to use tankers and caches (which don't work terribly well on the offensive anyway).  And fighters can hover, sure, but that takes away most of their advantage.  We don't know what fire control will look like.  And missiles have no need of iron bombs.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: blue emu on November 07, 2011, 06:23:29 PM
... Taking 50 times as long coming back is almost by definition unreasonable...

... ummm... using 1/49th the fuel gets you home in 7x the time, not in 49x the time... doesn't it?

Power Law? Inverse square?
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: Yonder on November 07, 2011, 06:47:40 PM
This violates so many principles of military planning.  I will admit that 4x delta-V is probably not required.  However, you will want them to be able to make it home in a reasonable amount of time.  Taking 50 times as long coming back is almost by definition unreasonable.  As for mass drivers...Really?  And if you're using fighters in an enemy-held system?  You might not want to stick around for that long.

The principle of military planning is what makes sense. All of the battles in Aurora I have had, or read about (that didn't take place among two factions that lived in the same system) have taken the form of a single encounter, or two at most, which have lasted a few minutes, and then months pass before another fight.

I don't really understand your issue with the Mass Drivers, it seems like a reasonable secondary purpose for an installation which magically captures every single high speed mineral packet which approaches it regardless of size.

In the case of an offensive campaign you could either reserve a higher proportion of the delta-V budget for the return trip, or do other sneaky things like have a second carrier that never goes in on a close approach to enemy forces. Launch your fighters forward on the intercept and then have them turn to the secondary, hidden carrier which isn't as concerned about being found by the enemy. There are no more jump points, the carrier can jump out wherever it wants once the fighters return.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: byron on November 07, 2011, 06:54:36 PM
... ummm... using 1/49th the fuel gets you home in 7x the time, not in 49x the time... doesn't it?

Power Law? Inverse square?
Assuming instant acceleration, no, it does take 49 times as long.  It will be slightly less, depending on how much of the original time was spent accelerating, but at best, you're looking at about 25 times.

The principle of military planning is what makes sense. All of the battles in Aurora I have had, or read about (that didn't take place among two factions that lived in the same system) have taken the form of a single encounter, or two at most, which have lasted a few minutes, and then months pass before another fight.
But that means that the fighters will be out of service for a couple of months.  I'm not sure that's a good tradeoff.

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I don't really understand your issue with the Mass Drivers, it seems like a reasonable secondary purpose for an installation which magically captures every single high speed mineral packet which approaches it regardless of size.
The fighter has to be headed at the mass driver for this to work.  I'm sorry, but I don't see that happening.  Plus, a pilot is a lot squishier then a mineral packet.

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In the case of an offensive campaign you could either reserve a higher proportion of the delta-V budget for the return trip, or do other sneaky things like have a second carrier that never goes in on a close approach to enemy forces. Launch your fighters forward on the intercept and then have them turn to the secondary, hidden carrier which isn't as concerned about being found by the enemy. There are no more jump points, the carrier can jump out wherever it wants once the fighters return.
That might work, but it's an incredible amount of extra stuff to do, and it could go wrong.  Not to mention that everything is moving all the time.  You can't just stop. 
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: scoopdjm on November 07, 2011, 07:12:03 PM
@Byron

Why are we assuming that the figher wouldn't have the fuel capacity? (or am I being stupid again *derpface*)

Fighters are a complex weapons platform, if your empire is in a state of peace there is really no need to maintain fleets of them considering how fast they can be produced.

The mass driver idea is a bit shifty, but in theory you could slow down the fighter with a similar device (electro-magnets?)

I would agree that two carriers is not really a good idea. It's like having someone stand behind a person with a glove to catch the bullet so you can reuse it, without getting shot... and in space.

EDIT: like I said earlier chances are if you HAD fighters they would be used in conjunction with missiles (fired from designated cruisers)



Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: blue emu on November 07, 2011, 07:47:28 PM
Assuming instant acceleration, no, it does take 49 times as long.

But "instant acceleration" isn't acceleration.

If we assume constant acceleration up to turnover, followed by constant decceleration to the target area, then the time required varies as the inverse square of the fuel consumption. AFAIK.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: Yonder on November 07, 2011, 08:28:58 PM
That might work, but it's an incredible amount of extra stuff to do, and it could go wrong.  Not to mention that everything is moving all the time.  You can't just stop.
Ok, you are starting to drive me a little crazy, can we please assume that our TN cultures are going to have the ability to solve basic calculus and plot basic rendezvous courses with each other? I mean sure, if every single pilot in the fleet has a stroke or instant-onset Alzheimer's, and all of the guidance computers simultaneously short out, then there will be problems. Lets just say that scenario won't happen.
The ISS is moving all the time and the US, the Europeans, the Japanese, and the Russians can all dock with it, the moon is landing all the time and we can still land on it. We get it. Things move all the time in space.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: byron on November 07, 2011, 08:59:16 PM
Ok, you are starting to drive me a little crazy, can we please assume that our TN cultures are going to have the ability to solve basic calculus and plot basic rendezvous courses with each other? I mean sure, if every single pilot in the fleet has a stroke or instant-onset Alzheimer's, and all of the guidance computers simultaneously short out, then there will be problems. Lets just say that scenario won't happen.
The ISS is moving all the time and the US, the Europeans, the Japanese, and the Russians can all dock with it, the moon is landing all the time and we can still land on it. We get it. Things move all the time in space.
I do understand that.  The problem is that you don't seem to.  For three reasons:
1. This is a game.  While I have been known to do that sort of thing for fun, I really don't want to do so very often.  If you do, be my guest.
2. "Have another carrier waiting": Given how the FTL mechanics work, setting up a rendezvous is a pain in the neck.  See the previous comment.
3. You're into Rube Goldbergism to justify fighters.  A military will work on the theory that they can't assume such things.  Someone might once use a second carrier, but they certainly won't build the fighters on that assumption.

As a general comment:
I'm somewhat OK with the idea of defensive fighters.  The use of fighters on the offense is an entirely different matter.

But "instant acceleration" isn't acceleration.

If we assume constant acceleration up to turnover, followed by constant decceleration to the target area, then the time required varies as the inverse square of the fuel consumption. AFAIK.
It's actually the square root of delta-V (which is related to fuel consumption only loosely).  However, if you have a fixed exhaust velocity drive, then you want to accelerate as quickly as possible.  If the full delta-V ship does constant-burn, and the returning ship does full burn, then you get 1/25th.  (Average velocity is 50% of max).  I think.  It's getting late, and calc is doing nasty things to my brain.

Why are we assuming that the figher wouldn't have the fuel capacity? (or am I being stupid again *derpface*)
Sorry, I lost context on that one.

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Fighters are a complex weapons platform, if your empire is in a state of peace there is really no need to maintain fleets of them considering how fast they can be produced.
This makes them well-suited for system defense.  However, the same can't be said of carriers, so offensive fighters must basically be built ahead of time.  Yes, you could wait, but it would make no sense.

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The mass driver idea is a bit shifty, but in theory you could slow down the fighter with a similar device (electro-magnets?)
Only with a really long mass drive, or a really slow fighter.  Assuming 100m/s^2, you'll cover 50,000 km going from 100 km/s to 0.  That's at the outer edges of human tolerances, mass driver length, and practical fighter speed (the low end, not the high).
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: Bremen on November 07, 2011, 10:04:27 PM
Something people are overlooking is I expect fighters will be almost immune to kinetic weapons (higher acceleration + tiny targets) at anything beyond point blank range.  Also consider that the effective range of kinetic weapons depends on how big and slow the target is; it's not impossible that fighters could be skirmish units capable of poking at larger ships while staying at ranges where they're very difficult targets.  Which of course means the best counter for them would be your own fighters. . .

Second, the first two strategic implications I got of newtonian Aurora were, A) Acceleration is important and B) Fuel supply is important.  Normally these are contradictory (engine power vs efficiency tradeoff) but the one way around that is a high efficiency carrier ship for transport that launches parasites (fighters, or even parasite cruisers of some flavor) at (relatively) close range for combat purposes.

Without more numbers to play with we can't say for sure how things would turn out, but I could see a fighter paradigm working like this:

Bombers would be fairly large (for fighters) ships that are basically a large, very high speed railgun (or torpedo/guided projectile gun if those make it in) and fast engine with an anti-capital ship role; the idea would be to stick to long range and shoot at the big, easy targets.  Ideally they'd be able to attack from out of laser range, and incoming kinetic projectiles would have very low accuracy (but not be completely inaccurate; one thing I dislike about standard Aurora is how often combat involves one side shooting without the other being able to return fire).  Lets estimate; Assuming a bomber has 1/10th the cross section of the target its shooting at, and twice the acceleration, then a bomber's weapon would have 40x the accuracy of an equal weapon being shot back at it.  That's quite a force multiplier, even considering a capital ship would be much tougher and have more weapons.  The best counter for these would be fast escorts or:

Fighters would be smaller than bombers and probably mount small size laser weapons; they would be primarily anti-bomber, fighter, and missile craft.  The laser is unlikely to be very effective against large craft at anything beyond point blank range, and unlike standard Aurora point blank range will be suicide for a fighter.  On the other hand their high acceleration would enable them to chew small, but still slower, craft completely apart.  For anti-missile roles, remember that missiles are expected to have stand-off weapons in Newtonian Aurora; it would be hard for the target ship to destroy missiles before they get into firing range, but if you could deploy a fighter "screen" ahead of the force they could destroy said missiles before the activate, or force the enemy to waste missiles destroying your cheap fighters.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: sloanjh on November 07, 2011, 10:09:50 PM
I find this far more plausible then classical fighters.  Though I will point out that nobody has ever made an FAC (or PT boat) carrier.

There must be something along these lines or FAC built in one part of the world would never make it anywhere else and they plainly do. Whether that could be adapted to deploy them at sea is an interesting question.

What about LPD with LCAC embarked - does that count?  I'm not sure if it's been done, but one could put a Harpoon box launcher on an LCAC and....

Even if you don't think it counts for attack capabilities, it certainly counts from a landing craft point of view.

John

Disclaimer:  I have no clue what the comments were leading up to Steve's post :)
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: byron on November 07, 2011, 10:41:26 PM
What about LPD with LCAC embarked - does that count?  I'm not sure if it's been done, but one could put a Harpoon box launcher on an LCAC and....

Even if you don't think it counts for attack capabilities, it certainly counts from a landing craft point of view.

John

Disclaimer:  I have no clue what the comments were leading up to Steve's post :)
I'm not sure you can mount harpoons on an LCAC, and even if you could, they don't.  That's exactly my point.  We have the capability to carry vessels inside other vessels across the ocean.  And what do we use it for?  Everything but FACs.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: Yonder on November 07, 2011, 10:59:02 PM
I'm not sure you can mount harpoons on an LCAC, and even if you could, they don't.  That's exactly my point.  We have the capability to carry vessels inside other vessels across the ocean.  And what do we use it for?  Everything but FACs.

I think that out modern navy which is completely and totally in every way focused on the enormous aircraft carriers which for the US navy battle strategy is based on may be a poor example for trying to argue how unimportant fighters are. :) We may not use that many FAC or Corvette sized vessels anymore, but I would argue that that is because they have been replaced by airplanes and helicopters.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: Yonder on November 07, 2011, 11:36:52 PM
I mentioned I had more thoughts on fighters, here we go!

First of all I think that we all need to remember that there are a huge variety of types of battles that you can run into or try to foster, and as such there are a large variety of ships/fleets to design. Because of that any particular ship doesn't have to excel in every task, but it could still be a perfectly valid choice for other tasks.

Newtonian Aurora is going to have a larger spectrum of battles than Aurora, simply because the velocity spreads will affect each battle so much. At the low tech Steve has shown us you could have two fleets closing on each other at a combined speed of anything from 30 km/s to 30000 km/s. At the slower speeds lasers will rule the day, as they will have a longer range and do damage regardless of the velocity. Kinetic Missiles will also be effective, as they themselves will be able to accelerate to decent speeds at longer range. The faster you go the more slugs will start to be important. They'll never be as accurate as a laser, by eventually you'll get to the point where one hit will be crippling, if not fatal, and it will become worthwhile to put up huge amounts of flak for that purpose. Kinetic missiles will grow more important as well, as their damage also reaches collosal levels, with an improved chance to hit compared to slugs (with the downside of being able to be intercepted). Nuclear missiles will probably be similarly effective for a wide range of closing speeds.

And this is just a first run analysis, who knows what sort of arms races will start to pick up, maybe it turns out lasers stay effective at high closing speeds, because they end up being good at shooting down kinetic missiles, maybe at slower speeds you use nuclear missiles offensively, as nothing else gives the knockout punch you really want, but in a battle with shrapnel flying past at .1c they are used purely defensively in the hope of knocking out opposing kinetic missile salvos.

In the higher speed fights fighters will have an advantage because their small size will make it harder for them to be shot by the one hit required for a kill, while at the same time their kinetic weapons will be able to cripple an opponent orders of magnitude larger than them. In slower speed fights a fighter may actually have the delta-V to make several runs on the enemy, and the time to do it as they slowly close.

Also, each fleet you make may have to handle any of these combat situations, maybe you design a fleet purely to raid an enemy colony, blowing past at 20k km/s and not slowing down until the next system, but if you run into a defensive fleet that matches your speed to intercept you in the system before your objective at a tenth the speed you planned you could be in enormous trouble. I am guessing that flexibility and combined forces doctrine are going to be much more important in NA.

At this point in Aurora, a missile is just not able to give you the flexibility that a fighter can. That won't necessarily remain the case in NA, maybe in NA you'll be able to give a drone a waypoint, have him shoot off a few missiles, give it another waypoint, have it shoot off some more missiles, etc etc. I think many of us, however, are not anticipating that to be the case, let alone doing things like installing railguns on drones. However if we get to the point that Drones fly like a fighter, shoot like a fighter, and quack like a fighter, sure, we may not need Fighters.

I think part of the problem here though is that we are trying to plan battle fleets with one of the biggest pieces missing: sensors. With those mechanics up in the air it's really impossible to make an attempt to do the sort of analysis this topic entails. It seems clear that a lot of the lines exist between the beam and missile weapons now are being eliminated. Slugs and laser beams will be propagated, some missiles will purely be kinetic kill weapons, laser warheads are getting an overhaul, new shrapnel weapons will be introduced. I'm sure along with these changes huge sensor changes will come in. For example random hit chances are going away, which pretty much throws out the entire Beam Fire Control play book. There has been talk of locking on to targets with thermal readings, the increased combat range may require resolution tweaks, the list goes on.

Until we know how far out a capital ship will see a fighter and attack it, or how far out a fighter has to get before it can target enemies the main fleet can't, we won't know how much they will get you. Likewise, until we start to have a good idea of how hard it is to see and shoot down kinetic missiles we won't know if you'll have a choice to use anything but fighters. The battleship is obsolete in modern days because a fighter that costs a hundredth as much as a battleship can easily sink it. As we put more and more realistic physics into NA I'm a lot more worried about the battleship becoming obsolete than the fighter. People keep saying "why launch a fighter when you can launch a missile" the fighter is just as much a replacement to that Missile Cruiser as it is the missile it launches, because once the enemy's one-hit kill weapons arrive at your fleet, you're going to want them one-hit-killing smaller, cheaper warships.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: byron on November 08, 2011, 12:21:06 AM
I think that out modern navy which is completely and totally in every way focused on the enormous aircraft carriers which for the US navy battle strategy is based on may be a poor example for trying to argue how unimportant fighters are. :) We may not use that many FAC or Corvette sized vessels anymore, but I would argue that that is because they have been replaced by airplanes and helicopters.
That isn't the point.  To my knowledge, nobody has ever done this.  Several navies have at one time or another had LSDs or equivalent ships, but nobody has ever used them to transport light craft to battle.  Not now, not during the cold war, and not during world war 2.  Why not?  I'd speculate it simply isn't worth it.


Until we know how far out a capital ship will see a fighter and attack it, or how far out a fighter has to get before it can target enemies the main fleet can't, we won't know how much they will get you. Likewise, until we start to have a good idea of how hard it is to see and shoot down kinetic missiles we won't know if you'll have a choice to use anything but fighters. The battleship is obsolete in modern days because a fighter that costs a hundredth as much as a battleship can easily sink it. As we put more and more realistic physics into NA I'm a lot more worried about the battleship becoming obsolete than the fighter. People keep saying "why launch a fighter when you can launch a missile" the fighter is just as much a replacement to that Missile Cruiser as it is the missile it launches, because once the enemy's one-hit kill weapons arrive at your fleet, you're going to want them one-hit-killing smaller, cheaper warships.
This might, might make the fighter a good choice for system defense.  It will not help the fighter on the attack.  You still have to get your fighters there, and I'm now going to explain why carriers are a bad idea.

To put it simply, a fighter's logistical advantages are virtually nonexistent.  I'm going to take one of the more common scenarios, using a fighter as the first stage of a missile.  Let's assume that we wish to launch our missiles at 50% of exhaust velocity.  That gives us a starting mass ratio of about 1.65 (e^.5 if you wish to be pedantic).  That means that about 40% of starting mass is fuel to accelerate.  After we launch the projectile, we need 40% of what's left to decelerate to a stop, and then however much we want to get home.  I'll assume that missile throw weight is 30% of launch weight.  That leaves us with .3 launch weight to return.  .12 of that is spent coming to rest.  I'll lastly assume that we wish to return at 25% of exhaust velocity, which gives .072 fuel and .108 bringback.  So, for 100 tons launch to put 30 tons on target, we spent 59.2 tons of fuel.  Yes, a carrier might have a larger magazine, but that will be more then offset by the fuel requirements.  And don't forget we have to cram engines, tanks, structure, and maybe crew into the last 10.8 tons, which likely means low accelerations and thus long cycle times, reducing throw weight farther.  In comparison, for the 89.2 tons, if we chose to fire straight rockets, we would get 54.1 tons throw weight.  That's an 80% increase.  I know that a decent bit of that might be engines and tanks, but assuming we're firing kinetics, that doesn't matter.
Fighters might work from a planet, where you really only need it in an emergency and logistical capacities like this are feasible.  When you have to bring it all with you?  No way.

All this reminds me.  Steve, can we please have unmanned ships?
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: Elouda on November 08, 2011, 12:46:05 AM
That isn't the point.  To my knowledge, nobody has ever done this.  Several navies have at one time or another had LSDs or equivalent ships, but nobody has ever used them to transport light craft to battle.  Not now, not during the cold war, and not during world war 2.  Why not?  I'd speculate it simply isn't worth it.

I think this is moreso because of the medium/environment of operations that make it a problem; the 'terrain' of the high seas (domain of the blue water navies) and coastal areas (domain of littoral forces) is vastly different. Sea states, radar clutter from land formations, visibility, etc, etc, all mean that taking a ship designed for one into the other is inadvisable and not cost effective. A FAC would have issues with stability and likely be unable to make use of its speed somewhere like the North Sea, while being just as exposed as larger vessels to radar. Conversely, in a place like the Baltic, a FAC is not limited by draft the same way a heavier ship would be, allowing it to hide from long range detection amongst the terrain while making full use of its speed to react to the opponents moves. No sane CO takes a FAC into an open ocean, just like no sane CO would take a Ticonderoga into waters 10 miles off a coast (unless it was for NGFS bombardment, in which case that region would have been comprehensively swept by air assets, etc).

tldr; navy ships arent the best example here because the medium imparts different advantages to the craft. In space the medium is all the same.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: Panopticon on November 08, 2011, 12:53:26 AM
Kinda what I was thinking, it seems rather silly to talk about what is done with wet navy stuff and then say it can't be done in space.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: HaliRyan on November 08, 2011, 02:01:09 AM
Kinda what I was thinking, it seems rather silly to talk about what is done with wet navy stuff and then say it can't be done in space.

Or to talk about what is done with wet navy stuff and then say it can be done in space.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: byron on November 08, 2011, 07:10:47 AM
tldr; navy ships arent the best example here because the medium imparts different advantages to the craft. In space the medium is all the same.
Um, that was exactly why I used the example in question.  Both big ships and FACs operate on the water, while fighters operate in the air.  A hypothetical FAC carrier is much closer to an Aurora carrier then an aircraft carrier is.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: Yonder on November 08, 2011, 08:04:29 AM
To put it simply, a fighter's logistical advantages are virtually nonexistent.  I'm going to take one of the more common scenarios, using a fighter as the first stage of a missile.  Let's assume that we wish to launch our missiles at 50% of exhaust velocity.  That gives us a starting mass ratio of about 1.65 (e^.5 if you wish to be pedantic).  That means that about 40% of starting mass is fuel to accelerate.  After we launch the projectile, we need 40% of what's left to decelerate to a stop, and then however much we want to get home.  I'll assume that missile throw weight is 30% of launch weight.  That leaves us with .3 launch weight to return.  .12 of that is spent coming to rest.  I'll lastly assume that we wish to return at 25% of exhaust velocity, which gives .072 fuel and .108 bringback.  So, for 100 tons launch to put 30 tons on target, we spent 59.2 tons of fuel.  Yes, a carrier might have a larger magazine, but that will be more then offset by the fuel requirements.  And don't forget we have to cram engines, tanks, structure, and maybe crew into the last 10.8 tons, which likely means low accelerations and thus long cycle times, reducing throw weight farther.  In comparison, for the 89.2 tons, if we chose to fire straight rockets, we would get 54.1 tons throw weight.  That's an 80% increase.  I know that a decent bit of that might be engines and tanks, but assuming we're firing kinetics, that doesn't matter.
That is a very limited analysis of the scenario.
1. You aren't considering that the larger fighter engines will be more efficient, aka have a higher exhaust velocity.
2. You are just looking at one scenario, and I'm not sure how plausible it is. 50% of exhaust velocity in NA is probably way more than you are going to be able to get, or want to get (Actually there is a pretty big issue here that needs to be addressed, I calculated the exhaust velocity of the Daring's propulsion system at 1.5c... ignoring that for now...). If you rerun all of those numbers with assuming a combat speed of 10% Ve and a coasting speed of half that then your same fighter will carry 77.2 tons of missiles, from there using missiles is only a 17% increase in delivered payload, once again ignoring any different efficiencies.
3. Now we are getting into the part I said we didn't have enough information to really model. You are saying that 1kg of long range missile delivered payload is equivalent to 1kg of short range fighter delivered payload. What if that's not true? What if, because of the fighter's closer sensors, or the shorter amount of time the enemy has to intercept a munition, a fighter's munitions are 10x more effective than longer range ones? That changes everything, and we don't know if that will be the case.
4. What about your own casualties? What if in high velocity fighting any one of your ships that enters enemy firing range has a 70% chance of being destroyed. Your first thought is "Well I guess that means those fighters won't be getting the 4 attack runs they need to be cost-effective." Your second thought should be "wait a second, if I'm not sending my fighters into the 70% suicide zone, then I am sending my cruisers and battleships into the 70% suicide zone."

Kinda what I was thinking, it seems rather silly to talk about what is done with wet navy stuff and then say it can't be done in space.
Or to talk about what is done with wet navy stuff and then say it can be done in space.
How about we use critical thinking skills to apply useful lessons from a variety of different combat environments to space warfare, while at the same time screening out incorrect conclusions caused by the different environment?

Both big ships and FACs operate on the water, while fighters operate in the air.  A hypothetical FAC carrier is much closer to an Aurora carrier then an aircraft carrier is.
No, because the only reason FACs have fallen out of favor is because an alternative combat system that does operate in an entirely different medium is able to take its niche in fight. Applying that case to Aurora would be saying "See, we don't need FACs and Fighters because these extra-dimensional phase-blinking drones that don't use space as a medium of transit fullfill their role much better!"

If you look back to WWI when airplanes didn't exist with their z plane of movement (although submarines still did) then you see a much wider spectrum of combat naval vessels. In fact, the current "Destroyer" platform evolved out of the "Torpedo Boat Destroyer" moniker. FACs and torpedo boats filled a similar role to what many of us are proposing with fighters.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: sloanjh on November 08, 2011, 08:43:24 AM
That isn't the point.  To my knowledge, nobody has ever done this.  Several navies have at one time or another had LSDs or equivalent ships, but nobody has ever used them to transport light craft to battle.  Not now, not during the cold war, and not during world war 2.  Why not?  I'd speculate it simply isn't worth it.

How were Japanese midget submarines deployed to Pearl in WWII?  This wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midget_submarine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midget_submarine) seems to indicate they were deployed from a mother ship, which is what I suspected.  This seems to fit the criteria for transporting light craft to battle, and for the same reason one would do it in Aurora - the smaller craft have a lower detection probability.

John
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: UnLimiTeD on November 08, 2011, 08:44:15 AM
So, I suppose we now need small craft Hyper Engines with a size limit to make "Aircraft"-carriers possible again? X-D
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: scoopdjm on November 08, 2011, 08:54:07 AM
no, it would be feasible without them.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: chuckles73 on November 08, 2011, 09:00:45 AM
Why are people still arguing about this? You will be allowed to create small craft. You will be allowed to dock them as long as the larger craft has hangar space. You will be able to put weapons on the craft.

Wait until the game comes out to see whether or not fighters are useful. This is just getting annoying.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: byron on November 08, 2011, 09:07:25 AM
That is a very limited analysis of the scenario.
1. You aren't considering that the larger fighter engines will be more efficient, aka have a higher exhaust velocity.
They don't have an inherently higher exhaust velocity.  You can set it up that way, but you can't assume it will be.

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2. You are just looking at one scenario, and I'm not sure how plausible it is. 50% of exhaust velocity in NA is probably way more than you are going to be able to get, or want to get (Actually there is a pretty big issue here that needs to be addressed, I calculated the exhaust velocity of the Daring's propulsion system at 1.5c... ignoring that for now...). If you rerun all of those numbers with assuming a combat speed of 10% Ve and a coasting speed of half that then your same fighter will carry 77.2 tons of missiles, from there using missiles is only a 17% increase in delivered payload, once again ignoring any different efficiencies.
This might be true.  However, it doesn't change my point that a fighter requires more fuel for a given throw weight.  And that means a bigger carrier with more engines...

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3. Now we are getting into the part I said we didn't have enough information to really model. You are saying that 1kg of long range missile delivered payload is equivalent to 1kg of short range fighter delivered payload. What if that's not true? What if, because of the fighter's closer sensors, or the shorter amount of time the enemy has to intercept a munition, a fighter's munitions are 10x more effective than longer range ones? That changes everything, and we don't know if that will be the case.
I think we can reasonably assume they will be roughly similar.  The "fighter's closer senor" argument makes no sense.  You won't send out the fighters unless you know what's there, and you will probably have a decent idea of what you're shooting at.  As for longer time to intercept, that's actually a bad thing.  The time when they might intercept the missile?  They can intercept the fighter instead.

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4. What about your own casualties? What if in high velocity fighting any one of your ships that enters enemy firing range has a 70% chance of being destroyed. Your first thought is "Well I guess that means those fighters won't be getting the 4 attack runs they need to be cost-effective." Your second thought should be "wait a second, if I'm not sending my fighters into the 70% suicide zone, then I am sending my cruisers and battleships into the 70% suicide zone."
This assumes that fighters and battleships have both the same the same threat environment and the same survivability.  Both are almost certain to be catastrophically wrong.  A battleship's missiles have to face the same threat environment as a fighter.  But 70% suicide on missiles doesn't bother me at all.  A battleship has to face the enemy's long-range missiles, but it will be far better equipped to defend itself.  A larger ship can have more redundancy, more armor, and more defenses.  

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How about we use critical thinking skills to apply useful lessons from a variety of different combat environments to space warfare, while at the same time screening out incorrect conclusions caused by the different environment?
This sounds like an excellent idea.  Fighters seem to have come about from reasoning by analogy to aircraft carriers.  Let's look at a case in which all vessels operate in the same medium...
Oh.

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No, because the only reason FACs have fallen out of favor is because an alternative combat system that does operate in an entirely different medium is able to take its niche in fight. Applying that case to Aurora would be saying "See, we don't need FACs and Fighters because these extra-dimensional phase-blinking drones that don't use space as a medium of transit fullfill their role much better!"

If you look back to WWI when airplanes didn't exist with their z plane of movement (although submarines still did) then you see a much wider spectrum of combat naval vessels. In fact, the current "Destroyer" platform evolved out of the "Torpedo Boat Destroyer" moniker. FACs and torpedo boats filled a similar role to what many of us are proposing with fighters.
You're still not getting it.  My point with respect to modern FACs and torpedo boats is that nobody has ever found it useful to carry them on offensive operations.  Ever.  The phrase I bolded is exactly my point.  I can see their use in planetary defense.  They're cheap and provide a high punch-to-cost ratio.  Taking them on offensive operations is another matter.

How were Japanese midget submarines deployed to Pearl in WWII?  This wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midget_submarine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midget_submarine) seems to indicate they were deployed from a mother ship, which is what I suspected.  This seems to fit the criteria for transporting light craft to battle, and for the same reason one would do it in Aurora - the smaller craft have a lower detection probability.

John
That's a bit different.  For one thing, the minisubs were designed to attack harbors.  They were not used in open-water operations.  The same is true of all submersible small craft used during the war.  Also, if you look at their success rate, it might suggest that it was a bad idea.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: Yonder on November 08, 2011, 09:56:33 AM
So, I suppose we now need small craft Hyper Engines with a size limit to make "Aircraft"-carriers possible again? X-D

No, I don't want any special rules for fighters, the current FAC and Fighter engines and their weird constraints bug me, and I'm really glad that NA is dispensing with that. If the mechanics get fleshed out to be moderately realistic and internally consistent and fighters turn out to be woefully poor combatants that is fine with me. I am just arguing that it is much too soon to categorically state that that will be the case.

Why are people still arguing about this? You will be allowed to create small craft. You will be allowed to dock them as long as the larger craft has hangar space. You will be able to put weapons on the craft.

Wait until the game comes out to see whether or not fighters are useful. This is just getting annoying.

I agree with you, and that is what I'm trying to get across, however I don't think that these sort of discussions are worthless. Since the mechanics of the game are still getting fleshed out I think (hope?) that these sorts of discussions can help Steve with his brainstorming of what sorts of mechanics are worth exploring. Four or five of us can do a lot more brainstorming and researching than just Steve himself.

They don't have an inherently higher exhaust velocity.  You can set it up that way, but you can't assume it will be.
Engine Size: You can now select the size of engine from 1 HS to 50 HS. Larger engines are more fuel efficient so Fuel Efficiency is modified by 1 - (EngineHS / 100). In simpler terms, each HS of engine reduces fuel efficiency by 1%, so a size 10 engine reduces Base Fuel Efficiency by 10% and a size 25 engine reduces it by 25%.
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I think we can reasonably assume they will be roughly similar.  The "fighter's closer senor" argument makes no sense.  You won't send out the fighters unless you know what's there, and you will probably have a decent idea of what you're shooting at.
Wow, that sort of sounds like the sort of thing that depends on the sensor rules doesn't it. Sort of like how now a fleet may spot a bunch of thermal sensor contacts, but have no way to actually fire at those contacts, so they send in fighters to intercept.
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This assumes that fighters and battleships have both the same the same threat environment and the same survivability.  Both are almost certain to be catastrophically wrong.  A battleship's missiles have to face the same threat environment as a fighter.  But 70% suicide on missiles doesn't bother me at all.  A battleship has to face the enemy's long-range missiles, but it will be far better equipped to defend itself.  A larger ship can have more redundancy, more armor, and more defenses.
I was applying the 70% suicide to the ships as well as the munitions, stating that if you are going to lose 70% of your ships it's better to send 200 fighters than 10 battleships. You are assuming that armor and defenses will save you, but when there are invisible 1 kg Gigaton shells flying around you aren't going to increase your armor to try to save you, you're going to be curling up in an ever smaller ball and hoping not to get hit.
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My point with respect to modern FACs and torpedo boats is that nobody has ever found it useful to carry them on offensive operations.  Ever.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PT_boat
Edit: Removed my snarkiest sentence out of shame after Beersatron spoke great wisdom.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: Beersatron on November 08, 2011, 10:28:49 AM
Lets keep the handbags out of this folks :)
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: byron on November 08, 2011, 11:05:21 AM
Wow, that sort of sounds like the sort of thing that depends on the sensor rules doesn't it. Sort of like how now a fleet may spot a bunch of thermal sensor contacts, but have no way to actually fire at those contacts, so they send in fighters to intercept.
I find that only vaguely plausible in the current version.  I would send in a radar picket, and have big fire controls.

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I was applying the 70% suicide to the ships as well as the munitions, stating that if you are going to lose 70% of your ships it's better to send 200 fighters than 10 battleships. You are assuming that armor and defenses will save you, but when there are invisible 1 kg Gigaton shells flying around you aren't going to increase your armor to try to save you, you're going to be curling up in an ever smaller ball and hoping not to get hit.
And how fast are these projectiles going again?  And what about your carriers?  Are they hiding behind their magical shield of "I want fighters"?  I find applying a flat number to be incredibly bizarre.  If active defenses are any use at all, a bigger ship will be more survivable ton-for-ton.  And Steve seems to be trying to avoid instant death for everyone.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PT_boat
And?  I've specifically used PT boats repeatedly in my examples.  And if you notice, they always operated out of land bases or tenders, after being shipped in as deck cargo.  During the invasion of Okinawa, the US didn't load up an LSD with PT boats and use them to cover the landing against suicide boats.  They could have, and it might even have been useful.  But the didn't.  There is no mention of PT boats after about 1943, because that was when the war moved out across the open ocean.  Yes, they did exist, and were used largely as I suggest fighters will be.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: scoopdjm on November 08, 2011, 11:12:15 AM
so then what are we arguing about?
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: jseah on November 08, 2011, 11:15:24 AM
You are assuming that armor and defenses will save you, but when there are invisible 1 kg Gigaton shells flying around you aren't going to increase your armor to try to save you, you're going to be curling up in an ever smaller ball and hoping not to get hit.
Not happening at missile ranges (and also the ranges the carrier will be if you're using fighters at)

I think the main thread has conclusively proved that hit rate beyond a couple of light seconds is incredibly poor for unguided projectiles. 

Guided projectiles are missiles btw. 

And missile nukes trying to kill fighters will face much less PD but much more dodging.  Too bad that missiles are on a one way trip and thus can spend all the excess space fighters use for fuel to pack a more powerful engine.  Or apply the trade-off given in the main thread that less fuel efficient engines have higher power to weight ratio. 
This pretty much means that missiles will inevitably have higher accelerations than fighters and thus missiles will likely be able to catch them. 
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: Rastaman on November 08, 2011, 01:19:48 PM
Big ships might not be the solution either. Any ship can be one-shotted after all. Fighters could have good point defence in numbers, each fighter can have multiple guns or anti-missiles. Redundancy can well be had in numbers, not just in tonnage. Maybe the ideal fleet is a multitude of medium sized ships. Bigger ships become a strong point that is ultimately a weak point.

In the words of the master, Iain M. Banks:

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And there was one behemoth in there, a giant ship, probably a command-and-control lander- and troop-carrier plus facili-ties-and-repair vessel. At least a billion tonnes, klicks across, doubtless very heavily armoured and armed and escorted, but a classic grade-A high-value target, a possible king-piece, a back-breaker, if it could be successfully engaged and destroyed or taken out of action or even captured. Just posting a powerful-enough guard-ship screen to try and keep it safe in the event of a serious attack threat would significantly sap the invading/occupying force's abilities, cut down their dispositional options and drastically curtail their split-regroup capacity.

The Fleet tacticians had been positively cruel about this dinosaur of a ship. A vanity piece, they called it, an Idiot Aboard! sign hung round the neck of the enemy fleet. Every space-faring species that built warcraft quickly found out one way or another - often the hard way - that big ships just didn't work except as a hideously expensive way of impressing the more credulous type of native. Flexibility, maneuverability, low unit risk-cost, distributed inherent damage resistance, fully parsed battle-space side-blind denotation control grammar . . . these and other even more arcane concepts were what really mattered in modern space warfare, apparently, and a Really Big Ship just didn't sit too comfortably with any of them.

The tacticians pretty much spoke their own language, were mostly very intense, and blinked a lot.
'So a strong point that's really a weak point,' Taince had suggested at one of their briefings.
'That would be a viable alternative definition,' one of them said, after a moment or two's thought.


Really looking forward to this forum developing a fully parsed battle-space side-blind denotion control grammar.  ;D
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: Bremen on November 08, 2011, 03:35:03 PM
Quote from: Rastaman link=topic=4320. msg42842#msg42842 date=1320779988
Big ships might not be the solution either.  Any ship can be one-shotted after all.  Fighters could have good point defence in numbers, each fighter can have multiple guns or anti-missiles.  Redundancy can well be had in numbers, not just in tonnage.  Maybe the ideal fleet is a multitude of medium sized ships.  Bigger ships become a strong point that is ultimately a weak point.

In the words of the master, Iain M.  Banks:


Really looking forward to this forum developing a fully parsed battle-space side-blind denotion control grammar.   ;D

Well, there are advantages to large ships.  Since armor and shields are based on surface area, a large ship will be much better protected than a smaller ship with the same % tonnage dedicated to armor and shields.  A lot has been made about instant kills by contact nukes, but I think missiles are going to play a far smaller role in Newtonian Aurora than TNE (and most people haven't realized it yet).  And in the case of anything but a contact hit (IE proximity detonation, laser head, or shrapnel) a large ship will be far more survivable than a small one.  They also get more efficient drives, regardless of power/efficiency ratios, simply because large engines are more effective than smaller ones; if you trade this for power you actually get large ships being slightly faster than smaller ones for the same fuel efficiency.

What large ships will need is escorts, but I could easily see fleet concept being a backbone of Capital ship(s), some escorts, and some fighters/bombers.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: byron on November 08, 2011, 03:46:03 PM
Big ships might not be the solution either. Any ship can be one-shotted after all. Fighters could have good point defence in numbers, each fighter can have multiple guns or anti-missiles. Redundancy can well be had in numbers, not just in tonnage. Maybe the ideal fleet is a multitude of medium sized ships. Bigger ships become a strong point that is ultimately a weak point.

This depends on how you interpret the phrase "bigger ships".  Yes, it is probably a worse idea to have a few huge ships then it is to base your fleet around fighters.  That doesn't mean that effectiveness scales inversely with size, either.  I'm not going to speculate farther until we know more.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: Yonder on November 08, 2011, 03:56:23 PM
I find that only vaguely plausible in the current version.  I would send in a radar picket, and have big fire controls.
That may be the way to go, sending a handful of drones with active sensors or something of that nature. One of the reasons I am thinking that smaller fire controls closer to the enemy would be better is because I was sort of hoping that sensors would degrade with the square of range, instead of linearly like they currently do.
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And how fast are these projectiles going again?
A 1 kg projectile going 30k km/s has an impact energy equivalent to 109 megatons of TNT.
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And what about your carriers?  Are they hiding behind their magical shield of "I want fighters"?
That and the idea of a layered fleet (this next fleet deployment is for high velocity fighting when one hit will be crippling/lethal). The idea is that the approaching fleet has to get through your missiles, fighters, destroyers, then cruisers, etc. Each layer does its best to destroy every enemy layer that it meets so that they don't have the chance to destroy the more valuable allies behind them. Each layer also does its best to survive each enemy wave so that it can attack the enemy's more expensive rear waves. The hope is that after getting through all of the combat waves your enemy will either be destroyed, crippled, out of ammo, or otherwise be unable to destroy your carriers and other support vessels, and you hope that your own waves survived.
The reason for doing this is the idea that at these speeds every enemy combatant is a threat that you must face. At 30k km/s the smaller slugs from a fighters cannon are basically as dangerous as the large shells from a battleship, but the firing platform is cheaper. Since all of your ships are about as lethal as any other you send the cheapest ones first, any damage they do is great, and any munitions that the enemy uses on them (and they must, because even the cheap ships are lethal) isn't being used against your more expensive ships.
Now the question becomes "why have expensive ships at all?" Because in this example fight of a combined 30k km/s approach they are a liability, however in other circumstances (like when they arrive at the planet they are meant to invade and slow down to a 5km/s invasion) the heavy armor and armaments of those larger ships is now important. Now the battleships laugh off the 1kg fighter slugs that no longer bore through them like Swiss cheese. Now their 70kg high speed shells go 80% faster than their smaller brothers' weapons instead of .000003% faster.

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And?  I've specifically used PT boats repeatedly in my examples.  And if you notice, they always operated out of land bases or tenders, after being shipped in as deck cargo. During the invasion of Okinawa, the US didn't load up an LSD with PT boats and use them to cover the landing against suicide boats.  They could have, and it might even have been useful.  But the didn't.  There is no mention of PT boats after about 1943, because that was when the war moved out across the open ocean.
First you said that FACs were only ever used defensively on coastal waters. You said that they were never, ever used offensively and no one ever even tried to take them from their coast to another coast. Then I link a page that gives references to them being shipped overseas and used defensively around friendly naval bases, offensively against opposing capital ships and naval bases, offensively to raid enemy supply convoys, and offensively to support operation D-Day and your response is "well yeah, I totally talked all about PT Boats, but they weren't transported across the ocean in the right way (aboard LSDs) and they weren't involved in this specific battle." It just seems like at this point your criticisms have been met and you are changing your definition of what is required of an offensive FAC.
To meet your latest concerns, PT Boats were indeed used in both the Atlantic and the Pacific after 1943, a small selection of reports of actions PT Boats were involved in can be found here: http://www.ptboats.org/20-07-05-reports-001.html , and further searching can dig up more examples.
After some quick googling ("LSD PT Boat") the first hit ( http://www.usscabildo.org/lsds.html ) states that all LSD craft were equipped with facilities for the maintaining and repairing of the PT Boats that they often supported. A later link ( http://www.hullnumber.com/LSD-1 ) specifically mentions the USS Ashland picking up a load of PT Boats to take to (hilariously enough) Okinawa, though this was after the close of that battle and the war. I'm guessing those were reinforcements, or maybe planned as preparation to support invasion of the mainland, who knows. That last one was a pretty lucky find because reading that page and the pages for the other LSDs, it rarely states the specific craft that the LSD is loading and transporting.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: UnLimiTeD on November 08, 2011, 04:12:06 PM
Why don't we all wait how it'll play out?^^
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: byron on November 08, 2011, 05:17:06 PM
That may be the way to go, sending a handful of drones with active sensors or something of that nature. One of the reasons I am thinking that smaller fire controls closer to the enemy would be better is because I was sort of hoping that sensors would degrade with the square of range, instead of linearly like they currently do.
So fighters might be plausible, if the sensor model changes turn out just like you want them.  OK.

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A 1 kg projectile going 30k km/s has an impact energy equivalent to 109 megatons of TNT.
And it will of course behave exactly like a bomb of that yield whenever it strikes a target.

Quote
That and the idea of a layered fleet (this next fleet deployment is for high velocity fighting when one hit will be crippling/lethal). The idea is that the approaching fleet has to get through your missiles, fighters, destroyers, then cruisers, etc. Each layer does its best to destroy every enemy layer that it meets so that they don't have the chance to destroy the more valuable allies behind them. Each layer also does its best to survive each enemy wave so that it can attack the enemy's more expensive rear waves. The hope is that after getting through all of the combat waves your enemy will either be destroyed, crippled, out of ammo, or otherwise be unable to destroy your carriers and other support vessels, and you hope that your own waves survived.
The reason for doing this is the idea that at these speeds every enemy combatant is a threat that you must face. At 30k km/s the smaller slugs from a fighters cannon are basically as dangerous as the large shells from a battleship, but the firing platform is cheaper. Since all of your ships are about as lethal as any other you send the cheapest ones first, any damage they do is great, and any munitions that the enemy uses on them (and they must, because even the cheap ships are lethal) isn't being used against your more expensive ships.
Now the question becomes "why have expensive ships at all?" Because in this example fight of a combined 30k km/s approach they are a liability, however in other circumstances (like when they arrive at the planet they are meant to invade and slow down to a 5km/s invasion) the heavy armor and armaments of those larger ships is now important. Now the battleships laugh off the 1kg fighter slugs that no longer bore through them like Swiss cheese. Now their 70kg high speed shells go 80% faster than their smaller brothers' weapons instead of .000003% faster.
This is almost preposterous.  Nobody will want to close at .1 c, because of this exact problem.  Not to mention that you have to slow down and reassemble your fleet.  If I'm the defender, I'll shoot missiles out at lower speed, because you have conveniently made yourself such a tempting target.  On the attack, I'll do much the same.

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First you said that FACs were only ever used defensively on coastal waters. You said that they were never, ever used offensively and no one ever even tried to take them from their coast to another coast.
Where, exactly, did I say that?  I said that nobody had ever build an FAC or PT boat carrier, and never used them offensively from a ship, even though several navies have possessed vessels that could be used.

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Then I link a page that gives references to them being shipped overseas and used defensively around friendly naval bases, offensively against opposing capital ships and naval bases, offensively to raid enemy supply convoys, and offensively to support operation D-Day and your response is "well yeah, I totally talked all about PT Boats, but they weren't transported across the ocean in the right way (aboard LSDs) and they weren't involved in this specific battle." It just seems like at this point your criticisms have been met and you are changing your definition of what is required of an offensive FAC.
My definition of what is required from an offensive FAC is not that it is used to attack the enemy.  It is that it is carried into battle on a larger ship to attack the enemy.  If you have FACs in the same system as an enemy planet because you share the system, then by all means, use them.  But that assumes you have a foothold.  

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To meet your latest concerns, PT Boats were indeed used in both the Atlantic and the Pacific after 1943, a small selection of reports of actions PT Boats were involved in can be found here: http://www.ptboats.org/20-07-05-reports-001.html , and further searching can dig up more examples.
After some quick googling ("LSD PT Boat") the first hit ( http://www.usscabildo.org/lsds.html ) states that all LSD craft were equipped with facilities for the maintaining and repairing of the PT Boats that they often supported. A later link ( http://www.hullnumber.com/LSD-1 ) specifically mentions the USS Ashland picking up a load of PT Boats to take to (hilariously enough) Okinawa, though this was after the close of that battle and the war. I'm guessing those were reinforcements, or maybe planned as preparation to support invasion of the mainland, who knows. That last one was a pretty lucky find because reading that page and the pages for the other LSDs, it rarely states the specific craft that the LSD is loading and transporting.
I spoke hastily in dismissing them after 1943.  You will note, however, that their prominence did go down.
I had no clue about the Ashland, but it still changes nothing.  They used an LSD to transport PT boats, not to operate them in support of some invasion.  That is what I'm pointing out has never, to my knowledge, (and probably never ever, given that you haven't found it) be done.  I will concede the point if you can find an example where a vessel was used to deploy and recover PT boats during a battle while those boats were operating against the enemy.
Or to put it more simply, I've never heard of PT boats, FACs, or anything similar being used in a manner we would consider consistent with a carrier-based "fighter".  Period.

Edit:
Just for fun, let's take a look at another attempt to operate one vehicle from another in the same medium.  I refer to aircraft carrying aircraft (or aircraft aircraft carriers).  I know of three examples: the XF-85 goblin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XF-85), the FICON project (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FICON_project) and the F9C Sparrowhawk (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curtiss_F9C_Sparrowhawk).  The first two were plans to operate aircraft (the XF-85 and a modified F-84) from B-36 bombers.  The last was a biplane fighter that flew from dirigibles.  The first two were cancelled, while the third ended when both airships crashed.  I also ran across a fourth, the Zeveno project (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zveno_project).  It was also cancelled, though it did see combat briefly.
So why didn't it work?  Part of it is the fact that landing an airplane on another airplane is really difficult.  I am aware of this fact.  However, all (except the Sparrowhawk) failed because it simply wasn't worth it.  It's generally better to build one airplane to do the job, rather then build two and try to separate them.  Not to mention the performance penalties on the parasite, which is specifically what doomed the XF-85.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: Steve Walmsley on November 09, 2011, 04:51:56 AM
Why don't we all wait how it'll play out?^^

Good idea :). At the moment, we are in danger of arguing how many angels can dance on the head on a pin. I think there are many variables involved and everything will likely be influenced by factors that won't even become apparent until we start playing. The whole concept may even turn out to be unplayable. I am really just putting the pieces in place and one of the things I am really looking forward to is to see how they interact. I am sure there will be plenty of unforeseen consequences.

Steve
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: chrislocke2000 on November 09, 2011, 05:04:10 AM
Probably something for the very long term but what really strikes me about all of these discussions is that it would be the fantastic to be able for us to be able to "put our money where are mouth is" and play one another with the various strategy options. I would not expect to be able to do this as part of a campaign but to be able to give players x tech points and y build points to build their fleets and then let them go at one another would be fantastic.

On the fighters point, sorry for kicking off such a heated debate! Cant wait to see more developments but in the mean time Would love to see what a fighter performance might look like in comparison to the posted ship example at the start of the other thread.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: Steve Walmsley on November 09, 2011, 05:33:27 AM
On the fighters point, sorry for kicking off such a heated debate! Cant wait to see more developments but in the mean time Would love to see what a fighter performance might look like in comparison to the posted ship example at the start of the other thread.

Very quick example of fighter and comparable tech warship. No real design thought has gone into this - I just threw a few systems together. The beam fire control in the destroyer is a placeholder. The engine designs are shown below. The fighter is using an engine with a 75% power boost and a corresponding 183% increase in fuel use. Engine + fuel is 38% of hull size for destroyer and 52% for fighter.

Twin Ion Engine class Fighter    166 tons standard     256 tons full load      2 Crew     80.95 BP
Length 20m     Armour 1-16     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 0     PPV 1.8
Maint Life 0 Years     MSP 0    AFR 51%    IFR 0.7%    1YR 3    5YR 47    Max Repair 20 MSP
Active Signature 5.12    Thermal Signature 52.5    EM Signature 0/0
Magazine 24    

Fighter Ion Drive (2)    Total Power 5.25 MN    Fuel Use 205.8 litres per hour   Exp 17%
Full Load Acceleration  20.51 mp/s (2.09G)    Hourly Acceleration 73.83 km/s    Daily Acceleration 1771.87 km/s
Standard Acceleration  31.63 mp/s (3.22G)    Hourly Acceleration 113.86 km/s    Daily Acceleration 2732.53 km/s
Fuel Capacity 30,000 Litres    Delta-V Budget (Full Load) 11,441 km/s    Full Burn Duration 6.1 days

S6 Box Launcher (4)    Missile Size 6    Hangar Reload 45 minutes    MF Reload 7.5 hours
Missile Fire Control (1)     Range 60.0m km    Resolution 100

Resolution class Destroyer    3,895 tons standard     4,895 tons full load      186 Crew     951.3 BP
Length 103.5m     Armour 6-46     Sensors 1/20/0/0     Damage Control Rating 1     PPV 16.92
Maint Life 1.69 Years     MSP 121    AFR 191%    IFR 2.7%    1YR 51    5YR 763    Max Repair 100 MSP
Active Signature 97.9    Thermal Signature 225    EM Signature 10000/2160000

Rolls Royce 7500 KN Ion Drive (3)    Total Power 22.5 MN    Fuel Use 299.2 litres per hour   Exp 10%
Full Load Acceleration  4.6 mp/s (0.47G)    Hourly Acceleration 16.55 km/s    Daily Acceleration 397.14 km/s
Standard Acceleration  5.78 mp/s (0.59G)    Hourly Acceleration 20.8 km/s    Daily Acceleration 499.1 km/s
Fuel Capacity 1,000,000 Litres    Delta-V Budget (Full Load) 61,875 km/s    Full Burn Duration 139.2 days

24 GJ Shield Generator (3)     Max Strength: 72 GJ    Max Point Strength: 1790 MJ    Recharge Rate: 150 MJ/s
690 MW Stellarator Fusion Reactor (2)     Total Power Output: 1380 MW    Exp 10%
11 GJ Homopolar Generator (3)     Total Power Storage: 33,000 MJ    Recharge Time: 24 seconds

Odin 4800 MJ Heavy Railgun (1)    Energy: 4,800MJ    Velocity: 69,282 m/s    Power Reqt: 13,714 MJ    Cooldown: 30 secs
Thor 2400 MJ Railgun (1)    Energy: 2,400MJ    Velocity: 69,282 m/s    Power Reqt: 6,857 MJ    Cooldown: 24 secs
Firestar 1.5 GJ Far Ultraviolet Laser (1)    Energy: 1,476MJ    Wavelength: 1,476 nm    Power Reqt: 4,217 MJ    Cooldown: 13 secs
Beam Fire Control (1)    Max Range: 192,000 km   TS: 4000 km/s     95 90 84 79 74 69 64 58 53 48

R100 Active Search Sensor (1)     GPS 10000     Range 100.0m km    Resolution 100   Power Reqt: 500 MW
EM20 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 20     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  20m km

Fighter Ion Drive
Power Output: 2.625 MN     Exp Chance: 17     Fuel Efficiency: 39.2016    Thermal Signature: 26.25
Base Acceleration: 52.5 mp/s (5.35G)
Fuel Use at Full Burn: 102.9042 litres per hour
Engine Size: 50 Tons    Engine HTK: 0
Cost: 13.125    Crew: 2
Materials Required: 3.2812x Duranium  9.8438x Gallicite
Development Cost for Project: 131RP

7500 KN Ion Drive
Power Output: 7.5 MN     Exp Chance: 10     Fuel Efficiency: 13.3    Thermal Signature: 75
Base Acceleration: 30 mp/s (3.06G)
Fuel Use at Full Burn: 99.75 litres per hour
Engine Size: 250 Tons    Engine HTK: 2
Cost: 37.5    Crew: 4
Materials Required: 9.375x Duranium  28.125x Gallicite
Development Cost for Project: 375RP

Steve
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: Steve Walmsley on November 09, 2011, 10:18:18 AM
Actually there is a pretty big issue here that needs to be addressed, I calculated the exhaust velocity of the Daring's propulsion system at 1.5c.

I am just revisiting this point. After further reflection, it occurs to me that if I restricted the game to exhaust velocities below the speed of light, which is only reasonable in a game where realistic physics are supposed to be important :), it would actually slow everything down without having to change engine thrust. This is relatively straightforward as I just need to change the fuel efficiency tech line. I would ensure that the most efficient possible engine at max tech level does not have an exhaust velocity beyond that of light speed and then work backwards. Ships would either have to carry more fuel or live with a much lower top speed. This solves some of the issues around very high speed kinetic impacts. I'll play around with this and then post the resulting changes.

I starting thinking seriously about this when I started looking at the impact energies for kinetic missiles :)

EDIT: The reason that this issue has arisen was that I was using standard Aurora as a baseline for likely speeds when instead I should have been looking at the physics involved. It's looking like fuel consumption is about to increase by 10x, which should have a significant impact on the game :)

Steve

Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: blue emu on November 09, 2011, 12:08:59 PM
Twin Ion Engine class Fighter    166 tons standard     256 tons full load      2 Crew     80.95 BP
Length 20m     Armour 1-16     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 0     PPV 1.8
Maint Life 0 Years     MSP 0    AFR 51%    IFR 0.7%    1YR 3    5YR 47    Max Repair 20 MSP
Active Signature 5.12    Thermal Signature 52.5    EM Signature 0/0
Magazine 24    

Fighter Ion Drive (2)    Total Power 5.25 MN    Fuel Use 205.8 litres per hour   Exp 17%
Full Load Acceleration  20.51 mp/s (2.09G)    Hourly Acceleration 73.83 km/s    Daily Acceleration 1771.87 km/s
Standard Acceleration  31.63 mp/s (3.22G)    Hourly Acceleration 113.86 km/s    Daily Acceleration 2732.53 km/s
Fuel Capacity 30,000 Litres    Delta-V Budget (Full Load) 11,441 km/s    Full Burn Duration 6.1 days

S6 Box Launcher (4)    Missile Size 6    Hangar Reload 45 minutes    MF Reload 7.5 hours
Missile Fire Control (1)     Range 60.0m km    Resolution 100

Excellent... more numbers to toss around.

A six-day fuel endurance means 36 hours to turn-over, which in turn gives a range of about 2.5 billion km at constant acceleration.

Sound right?
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: Steve Walmsley on November 09, 2011, 12:24:57 PM
Well, it did until I just changed all the fuel numbers: Now it looks like this:

Twin Ion Engine class Fighter    166 tons standard     256 tons full load      2 Crew     80.95 BP
Length 20m     Armour 1-16     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 0     PPV 1.8
Maint Life 0 Years     MSP 0    AFR 51%    IFR 0.7%    1YR 3    5YR 47    Max Repair 20 MSP
Active Signature 5.12    Thermal Signature 52.5    EM Signature 0/0
Magazine 24    

Fighter Ion Engine (2)    Total Power 5.25 MN    Fuel Use 2058 litres per hour   Exp 17%
Full Load Acceleration  20.51 mp/s (2.09G)    Hourly Acceleration 73.83 km/s    Daily Acceleration 1771.87 km/s
Standard Acceleration  31.63 mp/s (3.22G)    Hourly Acceleration 113.86 km/s    Daily Acceleration 2732.53 km/s
Fuel Capacity 30,000 Litres    Delta-V Budget (Full Load) 1,145 km/s    Full Burn Duration 14.6 hours

S6 Box Launcher (4)    Missile Size 6    Hangar Reload 45 minutes    MF Reload 7.5 hours
Missile Fire Control (1)     Range 60.0m km    Resolution 100

And the destroyer is now:

Resolution class Destroyer   3,895 tons standard     4,895 tons full load      186 Crew     951.3 BP
Length 103.5m     Armour 6-46     Sensors 1/20/0/0     Damage Control Rating 1     PPV 16.92
Maint Life 1.69 Years     MSP 121    AFR 191%    IFR 2.7%    1YR 51    5YR 763    Max Repair 100 MSP
Active Signature 97.9    Thermal Signature 225    EM Signature 10000/2160000

Rolls Royce 7500 KN Ion Drive (3)    Total Power 22.5 MN    Fuel Use 2992 litres per hour   Exp 10%
Full Load Acceleration  4.6 mp/s (0.47G)    Hourly Acceleration 16.55 km/s    Daily Acceleration 397.14 km/s
Standard Acceleration  5.78 mp/s (0.59G)    Hourly Acceleration 20.8 km/s    Daily Acceleration 499.1 km/s
Fuel Capacity 1,000,000 Litres    Delta-V Budget (Full Load) 6,186 km/s    Full Burn Duration 13.9 days

24 GJ Shield Generator (3)     Max Strength: 72 GJ    Max Point Strength: 1790 MJ    Recharge Rate: 150 MJ/s
690 MW Stellarator Fusion Reactor (2)     Total Power Output: 1380 MW    Exp 10%
11 GJ Homopolar Generator (3)     Total Power Storage: 33,000 MJ    Recharge Time: 24 seconds

Odin 4800 MJ Heavy Railgun (1)    Energy: 4,800MJ    Velocity: 69,282 m/s    Power Reqt: 13,714 MJ    Cooldown: 30 secs
Thor 2400 MJ Railgun (1)    Energy: 2,400MJ    Velocity: 69,282 m/s    Power Reqt: 6,857 MJ    Cooldown: 24 secs
Firestar 1.5 GJ Far Ultraviolet Laser (1)    Energy: 1,476MJ    Wavelength: 1,476 nm    Power Reqt: 4,217 MJ    Cooldown: 13 secs
Beam Fire Control (1)    Max Range: 192,000 km   TS: 4000 km/s     95 90 84 79 74 69 64 58 53 48

R100 Active Search Sensor (1)     GPS 10000     Range 100.0m km    Resolution 100   Power Reqt: 500 MW
EM20 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 20     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  20m km

Steve
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: Yonder on November 09, 2011, 12:40:50 PM
Sweet, that does a heck of a lot to limit the ability of easy, small-scale kinetic attacks to genocide a planet. I have been looking at 1/5th Delta-V as a baseline for combat operations, and in that case the old Resolution would be making attack runs of 12.3k km/s, now it's only going 1.23k km/s.

That's 100 times less kinetic energy for murdering innocent women and children!
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: blue emu on November 09, 2011, 12:45:32 PM
So that looks like 2.5 m-km to burn the first 1/4 of your fuel... then you would coast at 400-odd kps (1.5 m-km per hour) out to turnover.

Have you considered maling fuel tankage take up less displacement? That could be used as a balancing element, to tweak these changes in delta-v.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: Yonder on November 09, 2011, 12:54:21 PM
So that looks like 2.5 m-km to burn the first 1/4 of your fuel... then you would coast at 400-odd kps (1.5 m-km per hour) out to turnover.

Have you considered maling fuel tankage take up less displacement? That could be used as a balancing element, to tweak these changes in delta-v.

It's better to think in terms of delta-V than fuel. If you break your burn times up into 1/4 fuel mass burns it's more confusing because each burn gets you a different speed. It's simpler to think of 1/4 delta-V as being a quarter of your capacity. Then the only thing you have to watch out for is other changing masses. For example if you have a "full load" (what Steve has been quoting in his designs) delta-V of 5k km/s and you burn for 2k km/s, then drop off all of your missiles, you'll have more than 3k km/s of Delta-V left.

You could actually run into situations where you have to launch your missiles at random waypoints since your mission plan assumed you would use 3/4 of your missiles at this location, and you don't have the delta-V to get back unless you leave your missiles behind (although I'm guessing most of us won't be planning missions with that little margin for error).
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: Steve Walmsley on November 09, 2011, 01:01:53 PM
It's better to think in terms of delta-V than fuel. If you break your burn times up into 1/4 fuel mass burns it's more confusing because each burn gets you a different speed. It's simpler to think of 1/4 delta-V as being a quarter of your capacity. Then the only thing you have to watch out for is other changing masses. For example if you have a "full load" (what Steve has been quoting in his designs) delta-V of 5k km/s and you burn for 2k km/s, then drop off all of your missiles, you'll have more than 3k km/s of Delta-V left.

The Delta-V Budget (Full Load) number assumes you start at full load but it includes changing mass. The class design code runs a loop that updates the fuel mass (and therefore ship mass and acceleration rate) every minute of a simulated maximum burn.

Steve
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: chuckles73 on November 09, 2011, 02:16:37 PM
The Delta-V Budget (Full Load) number assumes you start at full load but it includes changing mass. The class design code runs a loop that updates the fuel mass (and therefore ship mass and acceleration rate) every minute of a simulated maximum burn.

I think Yonder was specifically talking about lowering your mass through using missiles, not using fuel.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: Yonder on November 09, 2011, 02:42:34 PM
I think Yonder was specifically talking about lowering your mass through using missiles, not using fuel.

I was, for example the Resolution has only lasers and railguns, so it wouldn't be affected, but the fighter appears to have 30 tons of fuel and 60 tons of missiles. If it never fires its missiles (or fires them at the end of its journey) it will have the displayed "full load" delta-V of 1,145km/s. If it leaves without its missiles it has a delta-V of 1,526 km/s. Lastly if it made an attack run of 50% full-load delta-V it would burn 15.5 tons of fuel to reach 572 km/s, then if it launched its missiles the remaining delta-V would actually increase from 572 km/s to 774 km/s, giving a total delta-V of 1346 km/s.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: Steve Walmsley on November 09, 2011, 03:01:38 PM
I was, for example the Resolution has only lasers and railguns, so it wouldn't be affected, but the fighter appears to have 30 tons of fuel and 60 tons of missiles. If it never fires its missiles (or fires them at the end of its journey) it will have the displayed "full load" delta-V of 1,145km/s. If it leaves without its missiles it has a delta-V of 1,526 km/s. Lastly if it made an attack run of 50% full-load delta-V it would burn 15.5 tons of fuel to reach 572 km/s, then if it launched its missiles the remaining delta-V would actually increase from 572 km/s to 774 km/s, giving a total delta-V of 1346 km/s.

Sorry, I misunderstood. By the way, the missile sizes in Newtonian Aurora are based on tons, not Missile Size Points. So a size 6 missile is 6 tons rather than 15 tons. The launchers are correspondingly smaller, so a box launcher for a size 1 missile is 3 tons rather than 7.5 tons.

I will try and post a missile design section soon but there are a lot of factors involved and haven't even started on some of the warhead types. It might be worth posting what I have so far though.

Steve
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: Yonder on November 09, 2011, 03:08:21 PM
Sorry, I misunderstood. By the way, the missile sizes in Newtonian Aurora are based on tons, not Missile Size Points. So a size 6 missile is 6 tons rather than 15 tons. The launchers are correspondingly smaller, so a box launcher for a size 1 missile is 3 tons rather than 7.5 tons.

Hmm, is that change reflected in the fighter stats? I had thought that the fuel massed 1 ton per thousand liters, which would mean the Fighter had 30 tons of fuel, and the remaining 60 ton difference between standard and full mass would be the four 15 ton missiles. If the Missile sizes have already been updated then it only has 24 tons of missiles.

Is there something else being jettisoned along with the missiles?

P.S. Sorry I'm being a nitpicky pain in the ass.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: UnLimiTeD on November 09, 2011, 03:27:01 PM
Thinking about it, will we be able to mount "box launchers" outside the armor and jettison them after the attack?^^
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: Steve Walmsley on November 09, 2011, 03:28:04 PM
Hmm, is that change reflected in the fighter stats? I had thought that the fuel massed 1 ton per thousand liters, which would mean the Fighter had 30 tons of fuel, and the remaining 60 ton difference between standard and full mass would be the four 15 ton missiles. If the Missile sizes have already been updated then it only has 24 tons of missiles.

Is there something else being jettisoned along with the missiles?

P.S. Sorry I'm being a nitpicky pain in the ass.

Well spotted! Please keep being nitpicky :)

I had adjusted empty space in magazines for the new rules but forgot about missile launchers. Updated fighter below:

Twin Ion Engine class Fighter    202 tons standard     256 tons full load      2 Crew     80.95 BP
Length 20m     Armour 1-16     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 0     PPV 1.8
Maint Life 0 Years     MSP 0    AFR 51%    IFR 0.7%    1YR 3    5YR 47    Max Repair 20 MSP
Active Signature 5.12    Thermal Signature 52.5    EM Signature 0/0
Magazine 24   

Fighter Ion Engine (2)    Total Power 5.25 MN    Fuel Use 2058 litres per hour   Exp 17%
Full Load Acceleration  20.51 mp/s (2.09G)    Hourly Acceleration 73.83 km/s    Daily Acceleration 1771.87 km/s
Standard Acceleration  25.99 mp/s (2.65G)    Hourly Acceleration 93.56 km/s    Daily Acceleration 2245.54 km/s
Fuel Capacity 30,000 Litres    Delta-V Budget (Full Load) 1,145 km/s    Full Burn Duration 14.6 hours

S6 Box Launcher (4)    Missile Size 6    Hangar Reload 45 minutes    MF Reload 7.5 hours
Missile Fire Control (1)     Range 60.0m km    Resolution 100

Steve
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: Steve Walmsley on November 09, 2011, 03:30:21 PM
Thinking about it, will we be able to mount "box launchers" outside the armor and jettison them after the attack?^^

Not at the moment. A box launcher is only 3 tons per missile ton so you wouldn't save a huge amount. I will probably add drop-off fuel tanks at some stage though so some type of missile launch pod might be possible too.

Steve
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: UnLimiTeD on November 09, 2011, 03:40:49 PM
2 tons per missile ton? :o
Thats 200%!
Just saying :D
I suppose it would be somewhat wasteful anyways.^^
Enemy hitting you and they are all gone.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: scoopdjm on November 09, 2011, 04:53:07 PM
Will fighters have any sort or ciws system? Or some form of missile deterrent?
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: Yonder on November 09, 2011, 05:13:29 PM
Will fighters have any sort or ciws system? Or some form of missile deterrent?

Steve said that the smallest railgun would now be 25 tons, does that count?
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: byron on November 09, 2011, 05:47:15 PM
It's better to think in terms of delta-V than fuel. If you break your burn times up into 1/4 fuel mass burns it's more confusing because each burn gets you a different speed. It's simpler to think of 1/4 delta-V as being a quarter of your capacity. Then the only thing you have to watch out for is other changing masses. For example if you have a "full load" (what Steve has been quoting in his designs) delta-V of 5k km/s and you burn for 2k km/s, then drop off all of your missiles, you'll have more than 3k km/s of Delta-V left.

You could actually run into situations where you have to launch your missiles at random waypoints since your mission plan assumed you would use 3/4 of your missiles at this location, and you don't have the delta-V to get back unless you leave your missiles behind (although I'm guessing most of us won't be planning missions with that little margin for error).
This is another issue with fighters.  If the missiles are a very significant fraction of vessel mass, then they will almost have to be fired.

I do like the change.  The velocities seemed to be getting entirely too high.

As for revised rail launchers, I also support that.  A modern fighter launch rail is about 25% of missile mass.  Of course, the missiles are outside the armor, and might go off...
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: Yonder on November 09, 2011, 06:03:57 PM
As for revised rail launchers, I also support that.  A modern fighter launch rail is about 25% of missile mass.  Of course, the missiles are outside the armor, and might go off...

The F-22, F-117, B-2, B1B and some other craft have internal launchers. I don't know how you'd go about making an estimate of the additional door mechanism mass that requires in addition to the launch rails though. Torpedo Tubes may be a better example (For normal launchers, not Boxes), but I don't know how you'd go about finding the mass of a torpedo tube.

Other examples you could look at include the Autoloaders for tanks, and even the mass of shoulder mounted missile launchers.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: byron on November 10, 2011, 07:29:36 AM
The F-22, F-117, B-2, B1B and some other craft have internal launchers. I don't know how you'd go about making an estimate of the additional door mechanism mass that requires in addition to the launch rails though. Torpedo Tubes may be a better example (For normal launchers, not Boxes), but I don't know how you'd go about finding the mass of a torpedo tube.

Other examples you could look at include the Autoloaders for tanks, and even the mass of shoulder mounted missile launchers.
I was specifically referring to modern external missiles in the context of "hardpoints".
Also, a thought.  Shouldn't box launchers only mass twice that of the missile in question, as the missile itself will provide the rest?
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: Steve Walmsley on November 10, 2011, 07:58:58 AM
I was specifically referring to modern external missiles in the context of "hardpoints".
Also, a thought.  Shouldn't box launchers only mass twice that of the missile in question, as the missile itself will provide the rest?

They mass 3x because I also have to account for volume. If the missile is absent, the launcher only accounts for 2x mass but still 3x volume.

Steve
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: UnLimiTeD on November 10, 2011, 05:39:48 PM
Given they are just hard points with tinfoil cover, I'd say they'd probably be that much in size, but less in weight.
Thats something different now, isn't it?
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: Steve Walmsley on November 11, 2011, 09:20:30 AM
Given they are just hard points with tinfoil cover, I'd say they'd probably be that much in size, but less in weight.
Thats something different now, isn't it?

When I think of box launchers, I am visualizing enclosed launchers on a warship, rather than hardpoints on a fighter. For example:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:SS-N-12_Sandbox_surface-to-surface_missiles.JPEG

Steve
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: UnLimiTeD on November 11, 2011, 12:54:12 PM
Those don't necessarily look like 2x the missiles weight.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: byron on November 24, 2011, 02:15:32 AM
Sorry to drag this thread out of the dustbin.  I found here: http://www.hnsa.org/doc/pt/doctrine/part1.htm#pg8 in paragraph 1204:
Quote
Employed in tactical units of relatively large numerical strength, the motor torpedo boat squadron becomes a powerful offensive weapon. These squadrons may operate from a fleet base or from the motor torpedo boat carrier. It has been considered feasible to develop a carrier by which squadrons of MTB's could be carried, launched and recovered at sea.
A quick google turns up three separate results.  One is the manual mentioned above, but no mention of farther US pursuit.  Another is a British patent.  The third is a German submarine.  All seem to have not gotten very far.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: Elouda on November 24, 2011, 05:27:54 AM
(http://www.pinetarpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/beating-a-dead-horse-2.jpg)

Terrain in which FACs/MTBs and blue water vessels operate is drastically different. Not so for space fighters, which share a medium with their mothership.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: TheDeadlyShoe on November 24, 2011, 06:59:07 AM
@Unlimited - it's never just the box, it's the mounting and structural reinforcement.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: UnLimiTeD on November 24, 2011, 09:26:01 AM
Thats the point, you don't need the box, you only need a mount strong enough to withstand the fighters acceleration.
But I agree with Elouda, and the picture he posted.
I've long given up on the missiles, and that fighters are unlikely to work has also been established.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: byron on November 24, 2011, 10:40:42 AM

Terrain in which FACs/MTBs and blue water vessels operate is drastically different. Not so for space fighters, which share a medium with their mothership.
This was not a case of "I told you so", it was merely historical interest.  This was seriously contemplated enough to be added to US doctrine.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: UnLimiTeD on November 24, 2011, 01:32:03 PM
Torpedo boats worked at the time of the first ironclads.
Though, mainly, the boats sort of were the torpedo.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: PTTG on December 02, 2011, 11:23:47 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

Makes sense that it would be far cheaper to make a very small craft fly, even as a percentage of initial cost. Although I guess you'd need two definitions- there's stuff like an areospace fighter, or the Space Shuttle (may she rest in peace), which has areodynamic lift, and stuff like your average frighter or the apollo vessels, which are merely capable of reentry. Both of those sound far better than landing in the ISS, of course.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: MrAnderson on December 29, 2011, 05:00:51 PM
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".
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: Yonder on December 29, 2011, 07:57:13 PM
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".

I think that we are trying to avoid hard and arbitrary cutoffs for abilities of different ship masses.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: byron on December 30, 2011, 01:36:33 PM
Seconded.  I'm skeptical of sniping, particularly as Steve has abstracted facing out of the game.  If we did have facings, then it would make more sense.  After all, you can't shoot at the engine of a ship that's pointing towards you.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: Mormota on December 30, 2011, 01:49:44 PM
Yes you can. We're in space, you know. Engines on all sides. Or at least, that's how it should be.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: byron on December 30, 2011, 06:30:13 PM
No, that's not right.  While it theoretically works, economies of scale and simple engineering dictate that a ship will have one set of main thrusters.  We see that in Aurora today.  And even if you are right, the ship's performance will be largely undegraded until all are gone.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post by: UnLimiTeD on December 31, 2011, 12:58:04 AM
Engines are to be installed on the rear and all sides of the ship, leaving the front devoid of them aside maneuvering thrusters.
On smaller ships this is less than a problem, and from what we have assembled so far, a smaller ship (less than 20k or around that) would be the ideal design anyways, so ships might actually have only one set of main thrusters, for ease of production.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post 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
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post 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?
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post 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.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post 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.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post 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.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post 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
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post 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.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post 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.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post 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.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post 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.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post 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.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post 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. 
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post 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.

Quote
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.
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post 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
Title: Re: Newtonian Fighters
Post 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.