Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - byron

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 59
C# Aurora / Re: Fire controls assignement
« on: November 28, 2017, 07:37:01 AM »
The problem is that this would require a complete revision of the way weapon/target allocation is handled.  Currently, there are links between the weapon and the FC, and the FC and the target.  There's no direct weapon-target link, and this would require adding that, and then including a way for weapons to pull FC onto the target.  In practice, I almost never adjust my FC allocations once I've got them set up. 

C# Aurora / Re: Replacing PDCs
« on: November 28, 2017, 07:32:32 AM »
i think the idea is that the drop enabled modules represent shuttles or drop pods or Roks or what have you, whatever's necessary to go the last bit from the ship to the surface.

i'm a little sad at losing dropships, but i can make it work for me RP wise, personally.
I get that we aren't literally putting the ship on the ground.  But I still really don't like the idea that the only size of troop transport we get is the one that is set up to carry them indefinitely.  So if I want to land on a planet's moon, subdue it, then shuttle troops to the planet?  Sorry, takes the same size of shuttle that it took to get them there in the first place. 

C# Aurora / Re: Replacing PDCs
« on: November 27, 2017, 01:13:30 PM »
My current thinking is to have three types of troop transports bays: standard, orbital insertion and ship-to-ship boarding, all of which have capacities in tons. Standard is similar to the current troop transport bays, where loading and unloading takes several hours or days. Orbital Insertion Bays have abstract drop-ships built into the transport bays (significantly more expensive and a little larger than standard bays). Orbital Insertion Bays can be used as normal troop transport bays, with normal load and unload times, or they can be used to instantly drop troops on to a planetary surface from orbit, in which case the bay is damaged and has to be repaired by a shipyard (replacing the abstract drop-ships). Ship-to-ship boarding bays can also function normally, but have a secondary function for launching infantry units (with boarding capability) against  other ships. This doesn't damage the bay. Standard Bays would be commercial, while the other two would be military systems.
I really, really don't like this.  It seems intuitively obvious that the roles of 'move troops long distances' and 'land troops on hostile planets' will be separated, particularly in a setting where the last line of ground defenses is much stronger than it is in 7.1.  I understand the micromanagement aspect, but this just seems bizarre.  We can only land with LSTs and LCIs?  There's literally no way to build a ship where we cram them into seats for a few hours before landing them, keeping the big ships out of range of the last-ditch point-defense fire?  The life-support facilities are big and expensive.  Why am I hauling them into the teeth of enemy fire?

C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: November 13, 2017, 01:31:43 PM »
My comments were based on the results of testing nuclear weapons in space:
I'm reasonably familiar with those results.  All of the energy from the weapon has to go somewhere.  To a first approximation, how badly you are hurt depends on how much energy you get hit with and how durable you are.  There's nothing magic about blast which makes it so much more damaging than the flood of X-rays you get in space.  Spaceships are durable, but so are lots of other things (just not houses, which may, admittedly, be specifically vulnerable to blast).  And space is big, so you're less likely to get multiple targets close enough together to be killed with one hit. 
See for more details.

Re the behavior of missiles and damage pattern, we can probably reconcile it with only a bit of handwaving.  Maybe there's some sort of focusing being used (see Casaba-Howitzer in the link above) or maybe TN materials are so tough it has to get close enough to start to show near-field effects. 

C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: November 13, 2017, 12:17:58 PM »
Also, nukes in space are far less powerful than nukes in atmosphere (well, less powerful in heat/blast but more powerful in radiation terms)
This isn't really true.  There are two major differences.  First, space is big, and thus you aren't likely to have multiple targets within the damage radius because things are spread out more.  Second, spacecraft are pretty durable.  There are durable things on Earth, too, but most people's perceptions of nuclear weapons are shaped by very flimsy Japanese houses getting knocked over and dramatic test footage that doesn't give a good sense of scale. 

C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: November 06, 2017, 12:06:17 PM »
From what I understand we are descendent of rodents which survived from the Dinosaurs by digging underground not that long ago...

So if you want a more scientific explanation: What if that asteroid that wipes the dinosaurs out never hits Earth but intelligent life develop underground by necessity of hiding from the big beasts instead?
A lot of animals burrow to get shelter.  Very few of them live exclusively underground.  Those that do tend to be smaller, because moving underground isn't very energy-efficient, and being big means that you need to cover a lot of territory looking for food.

C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: November 06, 2017, 11:40:09 AM »
What says that anything besides the leaves of the vegetation need to be above the surface?
The bit where I can get more energy from my neighbor by being taller than him.  And the bit where I don't have to push stuff out of the way to grow.

I'm not saying that underground life is impossible, just that I wouldn't expect complex life to occur entirely underground. 

C# Aurora / Re: Replacing PDCs
« on: November 06, 2017, 08:25:28 AM »
If a steel round only penetrates up to 6 times its length in ground once sufficiently large speeds are achieved and you can form needles of arbitrary lengths on demand you've basically got the perfect fortress breaking round right there. Only thing you need to do is relative densities and how far down you need to go and the round stops right as it has passed the reinforced concrete. And if it doesn't, it hits with enough force to make it moot anyway.
That's not quite how it works.  6x depth is based on the Newtonian/hydrodynamic penetration approximation.  Basically, at some point your ability to penetrate is limited by your ability to push things out of the way, regardless of how fast you're going.  However, at higher speeds you start making craters, which can penetrate deeper.  Even if you're not quite to proper cratering, all of that energy has to go somewhere, which is likely to be unpleasant to those nearby.

C# Aurora / Re: Replacing PDCs
« on: November 06, 2017, 07:39:51 AM »
Also, a steel round hitting dirt will only penetrate about 6 times it's length. All the extra kinetic energy will go outwards and make a crater.
That's going to be dominant at really high velocities.  Long rods are still useful for armor penetration at tens of km/s.  In Aurora, you probably couldn't tell the difference.  The near future is a rather different matter.

C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: November 06, 2017, 07:35:32 AM »
What about planets where all life evolved subterranian? Hivemind insect homeworlds and so on?
What's your energy source there?  Life is on the surface because the energy is there.  Yes, I know about extremophiles living in deep-sea vents or geysers in Yellowstone.  But the surface seems overwhelmingly likely, particularly for complex life.

Re terrain, fantastic to hear.  I can't wait to try it out.  How fast does terrain change during terraforming?  Creating jungle mountains on your fortress world sounds great, but unless you're actively seeding, I can't see how it could grow in less than a couple centuries.  Even with seeding, it would probably take decades.

C# Aurora / Re: Replacing PDCs
« on: November 03, 2017, 12:53:33 PM »
This isn't exactly true.  A railgun round is denser than a traditional battleship round.  Aerodynamics, including wind, correlate with the density of the round, not just the surface area or volume.  A stone ball with a diameter of 1m, thrown at 20m/s will go further than an inflated rubber ball of the same diameter at the same speed.  Because the rubber ball is less massive, the force of drag affects it more.
If we're going to be really pedantic, the actual controlling factor is sectional density, mass/unit area.  Tungsten is ~2.5x as dense as steel.  (HE content of US AP shells was very low, and can be ignored at this scale.)  Mass scales with the cube of size, area with the square.  So a tungsten shell with the same sectional density will be 40% of the size of an equivalent battleship shell.  For a US 16", that means 6.4" diameter and about 2.5' long.  This is considerably bigger than a railgun shell being hypothesized.  Playing with the shape of the railgun round doesn't help, because what you gain in one dimension you lose in the others.
(OK, the actual controlling number is ballistic coefficient, but assuming similar shapes that drops out to sectional density.  And a long rod is more vulnerable to crosswinds than a normal shell, so that doesn't help the railgun, either.)

C# Aurora / Re: Replacing PDCs
« on: November 03, 2017, 12:19:45 PM »
Ofcourse there is...

What you need to understand is that inaccuracy depends on unplanned deviation during projectile travel which scales linearly with travel time. ( deviations in course both from a moving target and on the projectile itself ).
Battleship gunnery is a major interest of mine, to the point I've read several books mostly or wholly devoted to the subject, and written a couple of essays on it.  So yes, I know that's one cause of inaccuracy.  But only one.  If it was the major one, then I'd expect that it would affect all shells in a salvo equally, and that the primary cause of misses would be tight patterns landing off-target.  This is not really the case.  Pattern size was often greater than Mean Point of Impact error.  Yes, I'd expect a railgun to be better at consistency than a WWII-era 16" gun.  If nothing else, you have a lot lower variation in muzzle velocity.  But not enough to make unguided KE rounds work at >10 km. 

If a railgun projectile travels at 5km/s compared to a battleship shell at 500m/s this means the projectile can travel 10 times as long distance before the inaccuracy from outside influence becomes identical.
That assumes the railgun projectile is the same size as the battleship shell.  This is not true.  It's considerably smaller, which means it's much more affected by wind.  Look at a 5" vs 16" range table if you don't believe me.
That aside, let's assume you're right.  Typical battleship pattern size for a 3-gun salvo was about 1% of range.  We'll take 10% of that.  At 36 km (outer limits of battleship range) you're still missing by an average of 18m (1% is diameter, not radius).  An M1 tank has a hull that's 8m long and 3.66 m wide.  It covers about 3% of the area we expect our projectile to land in.  I'll take my guided projectiles, thank you very much.

This is further helped by the railgun shell spending less time at lower altitude in "thicker" atmosphere where the deviations are higher then at higher altitudes ( for example wind or air/particle resistance ).
Flatter trajectory means this isn't true, either.

If you fire in space and your projectile travel at 50000km/s then the projectile spends less then a millisecond traveling through the thicker atmosphere compared to a battleship shell spending up to 30 seconds or more traveling meaning it's over 30,000 times more accurate...
You're moving the goalposts.  This particular discussion started with someone bringing up the Navy's railgun program.  Orbital fire support with that kind of velocity of weapons is a very different thing, and a somewhat better case for unguided projectiles.

Further orbit isn't as far away as you would think... The ISS orbits at 300-400km up compared to Battleship guns max range of 30-40km, that's just 10 times as far which compared to the other numbers involved here is nothing.
Can you please stop assuming things about what I think?

C# Aurora / Re: Replacing PDCs
« on: November 03, 2017, 09:21:05 AM »
Do you seriously think the US Navy would invest billions into railgun research to replace guided cruise missiles if the tech as you claim were useless as artillery and inaccurate?
1. For long-range land attack, they absolutely are looking at guided projectiles.  For other missions like point-defense, maybe not.  But there is no way you can use a weapon with the sort of range we're talking about without either guidance systems or a much larger damage radius than this provides.
2. Different kinds of targets require different damage profiles.  Against ships, planes, and missiles, unitary KE is great.  It's OK against bunkers, and terrible for infantry in the open.  This is a solvable problem, but it does compromise 'the projectiles are just chunks of metal'.
3. This isn't a cruise missile replacement.  They're looking at a range of 110 nm, which is an order of magnitude lower than Tomahawk.  It's a fire support weapon, not a strike weapon.  It also has roles in air and missile defense. 

C# Aurora / Re: Replacing PDCs
« on: November 03, 2017, 07:47:43 AM »
I'm not sure where you are getting that. A railgun round is just a rod of metal. All of the round's energy is kinetic. There is no explosive filler, no primer, no fuse, no guidance system (unless you want it), and you really don't even need a ballistic cap either.
No, for two reasons:
1. Simple metal rods are of limited use against most targets.  Maybe I kill one vehicle, but the rest of the rod's energy is expended digging a hole in the ground behind it.  That's fine in a tank, but not particularly good for artillery.  And tanks usually have some sort of explosive round, too.
2. I want to actually hit something at long range.  That means I need a guidance system, period. 
Railguns are interesting and powerful.  But they aren't a panacea, and they will require sophisticated ammo.

C# Aurora / Re: Replacing PDCs
« on: October 31, 2017, 07:32:52 AM »
If manoeuvre warfare is so effective that you can't have set fortifications that can't be moved when you are the defender and thus plonking your defenses right in the path the enemy's forces will take you need something that can pick up and go instantly because they are going to be flanked. And that means no towed guns.
I never said that.  I was pointing out (again) that people were misunderstanding what the 'static' classification meant. 

And with shells weighing in at 800 kilograms or more for the Iowa's 16 inch guns, and heavy naval artillery doesn't seem to come lighter than a few hundred kilograms. In theory you could create a sling and haul it with crewmen, so long as the stairs permit it anyway. Realistically though? If the hoists are dead so is the gun.
I'm pretty sure there's manual operation on the hoists, although as a practical matter, they'd be too slow to matter.  There's no way at all you could manhandle a shell up to the gun.  "Stairs" are near-vertical on a battleship, and the shells themselves are really heavy.

Strangely we may see a return of heavy gun artillery; if the railgun currently in development by the US Navy is developed to the point it's as good as promised it's effective range with a properly guided munition is hundreds of kilometers at a minimum. It'd be much cheaper per shot than a missile and not risk a human pilot.
Yes, but each round is going to be relatively expensive.  Not as much as a missile, but a lot more than a gun round.

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 59