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21
C# Aurora / Re: STO Operations
« Last post by jonw on Yesterday at 05:42:23 PM »
Steve, thanks for reconsidering. I think Whitecold has made some really good points. I don't necessarily think a turret needs room to maneouvre - I have always envisaged eneergy weapon turrets being fast-moving MIRRORS anyway, you're just moving optics not the weapon. A fortified, agile STO weapon could be a laser buried 5 miles under the surface, but with multiple redundant subterranean beamlines and surface optical assemblies

It also makes sense to me that if a planet has energy weapons, approaching it should indeed be hell, and trying to force a hostile landing with small, lightly armoured craft would only be possible if you're willing to except massive losses. I think my amphibious forces are going to want shielding...

On the other hand... there's no rule that says orbital bombardment has to be done while in orbit. If the STO weapons are gauss based (I assume railguns still wont be able to be turreted), the orbiting ships can easily conduct some bombardment while staying out of gauss range, and if the STO weapons reveal themselves they'll be vulnerable to being bombarded from out of range (and if they choose not to reveal, the attacker could try launching a few missiles or land ground forces in stages). If they're laser based, they'll have considerably longer range against ships but at the cost of being much less effective against missiles. And a mixture of gauss weapons vs heavy lasers would still mean the ships could engage the lasers from outside the gauss range.

Question - if I have laser based on the Moon with sufficient range/FC to hit targets on earth, shouldn't the lunar laser be able to assist if Earth is invaded?
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C# Aurora / Re: Collateral Damage
« Last post by Hazard on Yesterday at 05:36:55 PM »
Collateral damage from ground combat can be meaningful even without heavy civilian casualties.

Civilians are useless without facilities after all, even if facilities are useless without civilians.

Because of this, it's completely alright if the threat of loss of workforce is much less direct and much more the result of the loss of habitable environment conditions. Populations tend to bounce back much faster in real life compared to the damage done to the economy and environment in wars after all.
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C# Aurora / Re: STO Operations
« Last post by Bremen on Yesterday at 05:17:02 PM »
The 'downside' is that some planets/bases may become very hard to defeat, although that is not necessarily a bad thing. It also restricts the potential use of small, fast craft for dropping troops and the best option is probably large, heavily-armoured assault ships. Again, not necessarily a bad thing.

I admit, my first thought was picturing entire corps of fast tracking STO weapons making the planet an absolute deathtrap for any orbiting ships and also nearly impervious to missiles.

On the other hand... there's no rule that says orbital bombardment has to be done while in orbit. If the STO weapons are gauss based (I assume railguns still wont be able to be turreted), the orbiting ships can easily conduct some bombardment while staying out of gauss range, and if the STO weapons reveal themselves they'll be vulnerable to being bombarded from out of range (and if they choose not to reveal, the attacker could try launching a few missiles or land ground forces in stages). If they're laser based, they'll have considerably longer range against ships but at the cost of being much less effective against missiles. And a mixture of gauss weapons vs heavy lasers would still mean the ships could engage the lasers from outside the gauss range.

I think in practice it will still be extremely difficult to make a planet immune or prohibitively expensive to attack. What it might do is turn the invasion of a heavily fortified planet into a multi-stage siege affair (first engaging any heavy STO weapons from long range, gradually working one's way inward as they're reduced, then forcing the short ranged PD weapons to reveal themselves with successive attacks so they can be picked off). Which... actually sounds pretty fun to me.

Mind you, I'm not opposed to the dedicated CIWS vs anti-ship weapons either. I think they both sound like workable concepts.
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C# Aurora / Re: Collateral Damage
« Last post by Steve Walmsley on Yesterday at 05:04:23 PM »
I've always thought that collateral damage was too high in VB6 Aurora and would happily see it generally become slightly less in C# Aurora. One round of ground combat on Earth (5-days) can easily produce a million dead civilians if the armies are large enough, even without using weapons of mass destruction. That is just crazy. No human conflict has ever produced civilian casualties at such rates. Nuking big cities is of course an entirely different matter. I dunno about the math, but any change that reduces collateral damage from what it used to be gets my vote.

Note that I'm not advocating getting rid of collateral damage, or reducing it to something meaningless.

Also, Infrastructure as padding against collateral damage sounds interesting.

As the new rules currently stand, it would take 500 points of collateral damage to kill 1m civilians. That is one round of 500,000 infantry or 2250 heavy tanks (100 tons). While that is still higher than historical, it is lower than VB6 and populations in Aurora tend to be larger than those of historical combatants and therefore more likely to be densely populated. Also, for game play purposes the collateral damage losses need to be meaningful. BTW I'm not saying the current level is definitely right - that will depend on playtesting.
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C# Aurora / Re: STO Operations
« Last post by Steve Walmsley on Yesterday at 04:42:21 PM »
I've read through the above posts and I will give STO vs CIWS more thought.

My original thinking for excluding turret-based weapons on planets was the intended 'static' STOs would be well-fortified and therefore not ideal for tracking fast targets such as missiles. Turrets would need room to 'manoeuvre' and therefore didn't match the well-fortified concept. CIWS on the other hand were very short-range and intended to hit targets coming directly at them.

Another reason for not having turrets was that I didn't necessarily want planets to have defences that were so strong you couldn't penetrate them, because those turrets would be as effective as orbital bases but much harder to kill.

However, some good arguments have been made against those concepts. Firstly, CIWS in this context are effectively covering the whole planet, which doesn't really match the CIWS on ships. Secondly, the new STO units are really the same type of integrated weapon as CIWS, making CIWS less 'special' in this context. It probably does make more sense (and is more consistent) to remove planetary CIWS and allow STO to include fast tracking weapons, as CIWS is really just an integrated gauss turret anyway. This also makes it clear that planetary defences can protect ships that are in orbit or close to the planet. If I made this change, I would add point defence modes to the other automated options for STOs, which would also mean that 'normal' STO could be used for point defence in an emergency.

The 'downside' is that some planets/bases may become very hard to defeat, although that is not necessarily a bad thing. It also restricts the potential use of small, fast craft for dropping troops and the best option is probably large, heavily-armoured assault ships. Again, not necessarily a bad thing.

I think I decided early on to go with non-turreted STO plus CIWS and then stayed on that track. At this point I am just stepping back and questioning my own assumptions :)
26
Aurora Chat / Re: What's going on in your empire/planet/battlefield?
« Last post by boggo2300 on Yesterday at 04:20:08 PM »
Oops. Turns out they've penetrated into Sol from Alpha Centauri now. Hopefully that destroyer squadron gets there before my own cargo group gets destroyed.
That's always a classic blunder :D I've experienced it many times!

Second only to "Never get involved in a land war in Asia"?

Or "Don't invade Russia in the middle of winter"

In other news, I did not have that particular Spoiler enabled, so now I am doubly weirded out.

Never go up against a Sicilian when death is on the line!

though, being from Australia, I have no fear of deadly Iocaine powder!
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C# Aurora / Re: Collateral Damage
« Last post by Hazard on Yesterday at 01:01:04 PM »
Keep in mind that the Second World War, one of the most vigorous wars ever fought with one of the highest per day casualty rates, killed on average 10 000 soldiers per day and twice that many civilians. Certainly, a part of that was deliberate action to commit genocide, but another sizable chunk was battles being fought in and around urban areas as well as the results of deprivation of food and other resources necessary to maintain the war effort.


And while modern day weapons are considerably more accurate than WW2 weapons, they are in many cases also more powerful, and thus more likely to cause collateral damage.
28
The Corporate Federation / Re: Corporate Federation - Comments
« Last post by Garfunkel on Yesterday at 12:43:29 PM »
Damn, those logs. We often just skip over the fate of hapless surveyors who get stranded in systems with spoilers. Probably for the best, since it's a pretty chilling thought to imagine yourself in their place.
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C# Aurora / Re: STO Operations
« Last post by Whitecold on Yesterday at 12:31:17 PM »
The main question is, if CIWS works, why can't you use the other beam weapons like it. Why should you need to mount a laser in orbit for it to be able to intercept missiles, when the same laser works identical on ground against anything but missiles?
While I understand the need to keep everything working functionally the same across the board, and I do agree with that goal, making CIWS more useful just kills the need for purpose-built PD ships. And if ground units CIWS are as limited as ship CIWS, then they could only defend their own formation instead of the planet, which kinda defeats the purpose of having them in the first place, ie to protect the civilian population and ground-based facilities in addition to the military units.
I don't want to change anything on CIWS. What I would like to change is the functionality of STO weapons to make them work as PD. This would make ground force CIWS redundant, as you can simply build Gauss STOs, but then again CIWS is a fix to allow PD on civilian ships.
There is no such thing as civilian ground forces, so there is no special need for a civilian, purely defensive version. STO already include their own fire control and sensor, meaning even less need for a special integrated CIWS unit, instead of allowing turrets as STOs, because every unit is essentially an integrated weapon system already unlike ship mounted beams.
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C# Aurora / Re: Collateral Damage
« Last post by Garfunkel on Yesterday at 12:27:52 PM »
I've always thought that collateral damage was too high in VB6 Aurora and would happily see it generally become slightly less in C# Aurora. One round of ground combat on Earth (5-days) can easily produce a million dead civilians if the armies are large enough, even without using weapons of mass destruction. That is just crazy. No human conflict has ever produced civilian casualties at such rates. Nuking big cities is of course an entirely different matter. I dunno about the math, but any change that reduces collateral damage from what it used to be gets my vote.

Note that I'm not advocating getting rid of collateral damage, or reducing it to something meaningless.

Also, Infrastructure as padding against collateral damage sounds interesting.
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