Author Topic: STO Operations  (Read 2728 times)

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Offline Whitecold

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Re: STO Operations
« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2018, 12:53:16 PM »
One reason one would want bigger planetary sensors is to rack up tracking time for your point defense.
I asked this in another place, but did not get an answer: Can one set STOs to point defense?
Also, can turreted weapons be used for STO? Any STO will require some kind of turret, since you can't turn the planet to point it at its target, but can you get higher than your racial tracking speed on your STOs? This is not only important against missiles, but also to intercept supporting fighters.

Also, what is the hit chance against active STOs compared to passive STOs in hiding? I assume hiding STOs are treated like any other ground unit.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2018, 01:05:53 PM by Whitecold »
 

Offline Bremen

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Re: STO Operations
« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2018, 04:24:42 PM »
I don't think this is as much of a balance problem as it seems at first glance. I vote for automatic firing, like PD, for STO weapons. The attacker can overwhelm the STO defences with cheap flying bricks, but they can already do that against missile-armed PDC defenders too. And in real life, target acquisition is a real issue, you can't always select perfectly what you want to shoot at.

Of course, allowing both, if feasible, would be ideal.

With a missile PDC, you can manually target the ship you want to. With automatic targeting, it gets tricky.

Let's say automatic targeting picks a target at random. An attacker could use 20 1000 ton blocks of armor (or perhaps shields) and 1 30,000 ton battleship to bombard; the result is that 20/21 STO shots are wasted. If instead automated targeting picks the largest ship, then a fleet could have a single large armor brick and a bunch of smaller bombardment ships, and again avoid fire.

The solution Steve seemed to be proposing was that the defender could set their own targeting priorities, whether it was biggest ship, slowest ship, etc, but I really don't think there's a user friendly way to do this; it would either have to be a limited set of options (which could be gamed) or basically end up as a pseudo coding system.

Having STO weapons be something you can target but also have an autofire setting where they pick targets at random seems a good compromise.
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: STO Operations
« Reply #17 on: October 13, 2018, 05:50:51 PM »
One reason one would want bigger planetary sensors is to rack up tracking time for your point defense.
I asked this in another place, but did not get an answer: Can one set STOs to point defense?
Also, can turreted weapons be used for STO? Any STO will require some kind of turret, since you can't turn the planet to point it at its target, but can you get higher than your racial tracking speed on your STOs? This is not only important against missiles, but also to intercept supporting fighters.

Also, what is the hit chance against active STOs compared to passive STOs in hiding? I assume hiding STOs are treated like any other ground unit.

STO cannot be turreted and are not intended for point defence. You can have CIWS on planets though. The idea behind the STO weapons is best represented by a book called Through Struggle the Stars.

https://www.amazon.com/Through-Struggle-Stars-Human-Reach-ebook/dp/B005FGNLDM

STO hit chances are based on normal ship-to-ship hit chances and use the tracking speed at design time. This is briefly covered in one of the rules posts, along with a screenshot:

http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=8495.msg105824#msg105824
 

Offline conquer4

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Re: STO Operations
« Reply #18 on: October 13, 2018, 05:55:26 PM »
So just thinking, I'm reminded of the Space to planet interactions in The Shiva Option.  Will/could there be something like the kinetic interdiction strike system?  I myself would love to do a Operation Cushion Shot and ram planetoids together  :)

To be honest, as long as there is a way to sit back and just destroy all life on a planet (constant barrage of missiles?) without being exposed to return fire I'll be happy.  (which if our missiles have the same range as mine, shouldn't shooting out of a atmo/gravity field reduce range?)
 

Offline Bremen

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Re: STO Operations
« Reply #19 on: October 13, 2018, 06:12:49 PM »
For those who haven't read it, in The Shiva Option there's a planet so massively fortified by genocidal aliens that the protagonist side ends up diverting an asteroid on a collision course, because any frontal assault would be suicide. Diverting the asteroid takes months, and could be stopped by the enemy warships, but the friendly fleet escorts it in - it basically forces a naval engagement instead of just defending the planet since the hostile ships have to come out and try to divert it.

I don't think an option like that is really possible or necessary in Aurora. You can always, as you note, bombard a planet with missiles from outside STO range, since there isn't an option for ground units that launch anti-ship missiles.

As I understand the system, if you're faced with an ungarrisoned enemy colony, you can just vaporize it with beam weapons at essentially no cost (maybe a few MSP due to the new weapon failures), or you can bring in enough troops to garrison it and gain a functioning colony. If the colony is defended by ground forces, you have various options:

1a) Destroy it with missiles from out of STO weapon range. No danger to your ships, but costs missiles (potentially a LOT of missiles if the planet has large numbers of CIWS ground units). Enough CIWS relative to your fleet might eliminate this option, though I imagine it would be cost prohibitive.
1b) Destroy it with beam weapons. Means you'll probably take some hits from their STO weapons, but it would be in many ways similar to a fight between warships.
2a) Bombard the ground units with missiles, then invade. This will destroy a lot of the stuff you're trying to capture since missiles inflict more collateral damage than beams and (I think) the STO weapons don't reveal themselves until they fire, so you'll have to bombard all the ground forces.
2b) Engage the STO weapons with your warships, then conquer the planet with orbital fire supporting your ground forces. Like 1b, involves a fight in which some of your warships will probably be damaged if not destroyed. Inflicts less collateral damage and wont use up your missiles.
2c) Launch an invasion unsupported by orbital ships; you might lose some troop transports to STO fire but hopefully most will get through, drop their troops, and retreat. Will likely inflict the least collateral damage and give you the most loot captured buildings.
 

Offline conquer4

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Re: STO Operations
« Reply #20 on: October 13, 2018, 08:58:56 PM »
Thanks for the clarification Bremen! I've been trying to keep up with all the ground forces changes and interactions and i'm always thinking in the back of my head: But what if I don't want to inhabit the planet. . . I just want to glass it.  (preferably with low casualties) And wish I could just throw rocks down the gravity well rather then missiles. 

Although now that I think about it, if CIWS is defending and shooting incoming objects, would that require supply to be used as they are in combat? (just thinking that might be another attrition aspect).
 

Offline Father Tim

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Re: STO Operations
« Reply #21 on: October 13, 2018, 10:19:48 PM »
But what if I don't want to inhabit the planet. . . I just want to glass it.  (preferably with low casualties) And wish I could just throw rocks down the gravity well rather then missiles.

Well, then you're just out of luck.  I mean, you absolutely CAN just boil the seas, melt the crust, and blast off the atmosphere. . . but you have to do it with (expensive) missiles, not cheap rocks if you want zero friendly casualties.

Or you risk getting shot at and move closer to use your guns.
 

Offline Father Tim

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Re: STO Operations
« Reply #22 on: October 13, 2018, 10:22:43 PM »
Manual will be a little messy, as I will have to create a new targeting system to replace the fire controls, weapon assignments, etc. that the combat code currently uses and create a targeting UI on the ground combat window. I'll probably add automatic first and then manual later.

I vote for automatic first (-and-only) for C# Aurora 1.0, and save manual targeting (with rules) for 1.0.1.
 
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Offline Whitecold

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Re: STO Operations
« Reply #23 on: October 14, 2018, 02:31:54 AM »
One reason one would want bigger planetary sensors is to rack up tracking time for your point defense.
I asked this in another place, but did not get an answer: Can one set STOs to point defense?
Also, can turreted weapons be used for STO? Any STO will require some kind of turret, since you can't turn the planet to point it at its target, but can you get higher than your racial tracking speed on your STOs? This is not only important against missiles, but also to intercept supporting fighters.

Also, what is the hit chance against active STOs compared to passive STOs in hiding? I assume hiding STOs are treated like any other ground unit.

STO cannot be turreted and are not intended for point defence. You can have CIWS on planets though. The idea behind the STO weapons is best represented by a book called Through Struggle the Stars.

https://www.amazon.com/Through-Struggle-Stars-Human-Reach-ebook/dp/B005FGNLDM

STO hit chances are based on normal ship-to-ship hit chances and use the tracking speed at design time. This is briefly covered in one of the rules posts, along with a screenshot:

http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=8495.msg105824#msg105824


Through Struggle the Stars is not the best example, since their laser batteries switch between missile defense and anti-shipping duties.

My main concern is that one thing I would expect from fixed fortifications is the ability to defend shipyards and any ships that retreat there. If that can only be accomplished by orbital bases, you already need a heavy point defense screen there to make it viable, making planetary CIWS redundant.
Furthermore, likely landing craft and fighters will have much higher speeds than racial base speed, so you want turrets to intercept them. With ECM and no ECCM on ground units you will be able to build uninterceptable landing craft.
 

Offline chrislocke2000

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Re: STO Operations
« Reply #24 on: October 14, 2018, 05:00:52 AM »
Automated firing looks fine to me. I’m less worried about gaming the system, people can ultimately always do that just through the use of save games so trying to avoid other ways of doing it should always be a bottom priority.

I assume in any case that if there are undetected stos that are on the planet they are going to get the first shot in any case as ships will need to move into range to trigger them firing and have the same disadvantage of needing a detection phase before they can fire first time round?
 
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Offline space dwarf

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Re: STO Operations
« Reply #25 on: October 14, 2018, 09:38:30 AM »
Quote from: Whitecold link=topic=10187. msg110389#msg110389 date=1539502314
Quote from: Steve Walmsley link=topic=10187. msg110381#msg110381 date=1539471051
Quote from: Whitecold link=topic=10187. msg110378#msg110378 date=1539453196
One reason one would want bigger planetary sensors is to rack up tracking time for your point defense.
I asked this in another place, but did not get an answer: Can one set STOs to point defense?
Also, can turreted weapons be used for STO? Any STO will require some kind of turret, since you can't turn the planet to point it at its target, but can you get higher than your racial tracking speed on your STOs? This is not only important against missiles, but also to intercept supporting fighters.

Also, what is the hit chance against active STOs compared to passive STOs in hiding? I assume hiding STOs are treated like any other ground unit.

STO cannot be turreted and are not intended for point defence.  You can have CIWS on planets though.  The idea behind the STO weapons is best represented by a book called Through Struggle the Stars. 

https://www. amazon. com/Through-Struggle-Stars-Human-Reach-ebook/dp/B005FGNLDM

STO hit chances are based on normal ship-to-ship hit chances and use the tracking speed at design time.  This is briefly covered in one of the rules posts, along with a screenshot:

hxxp: aurora2. pentarch. org/index. php?topic=8495. msg105824#msg105824


Through Struggle the Stars is not the best example, since their laser batteries switch between missile defense and anti-shipping duties.

My main concern is that one thing I would expect from fixed fortifications is the ability to defend shipyards and any ships that retreat there.  If that can only be accomplished by orbital bases, you already need a heavy point defense screen there to make it viable, making planetary CIWS redundant.
Furthermore, likely landing craft and fighters will have much higher speeds than racial base speed, so you want turrets to intercept them.  With ECM and no ECCM on ground units you will be able to build uninterceptable landing craft.

Seeing as large aurora ships (Above Fighter-class) simply cannot enter atmosphere, bear in mind that all shipping infrastructure is already orbital-based and therefore ground-based defense may be suboptimal at defending them
 

Offline jonw

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Re: STO Operations
« Reply #26 on: October 14, 2018, 11:10:00 AM »
It would be good to have no ambiguity on this. Shipyards are incredibly precious. I would iniitially hope that planetary CIWS would defend them from missiles, just as it would defend other shipping from missiles if they are at stationary orbit of the planet. I would have thought the same for planetary energy weapons as well, even though they might not be effective due to low tracking. In this case, there might be a tactical reason to hold fire (ie. not give away the STO weapon as a target)

Quote from: Whitecold link=topic=10187. msg110389#msg110389 date=1539502314
Quote from: Steve Walmsley link=topic=10187. msg110381#msg110381 date=1539471051
Quote from: Whitecold link=topic=10187. msg110378#msg110378 date=1539453196
One reason one would want bigger planetary sensors is to rack up tracking time for your point defense.
I asked this in another place, but did not get an answer: Can one set STOs to point defense?
Also, can turreted weapons be used for STO? Any STO will require some kind of turret, since you can't turn the planet to point it at its target, but can you get higher than your racial tracking speed on your STOs? This is not only important against missiles, but also to intercept supporting fighters.

Also, what is the hit chance against active STOs compared to passive STOs in hiding? I assume hiding STOs are treated like any other ground unit.

STO cannot be turreted and are not intended for point defence.  You can have CIWS on planets though.  The idea behind the STO weapons is best represented by a book called Through Struggle the Stars. 

https://www. amazon. com/Through-Struggle-Stars-Human-Reach-ebook/dp/B005FGNLDM

STO hit chances are based on normal ship-to-ship hit chances and use the tracking speed at design time.  This is briefly covered in one of the rules posts, along with a screenshot:

hxxp: aurora2. pentarch. org/index. php?topic=8495. msg105824#msg105824


Through Struggle the Stars is not the best example, since their laser batteries switch between missile defense and anti-shipping duties.

My main concern is that one thing I would expect from fixed fortifications is the ability to defend shipyards and any ships that retreat there.  If that can only be accomplished by orbital bases, you already need a heavy point defense screen there to make it viable, making planetary CIWS redundant.
Furthermore, likely landing craft and fighters will have much higher speeds than racial base speed, so you want turrets to intercept them.  With ECM and no ECCM on ground units you will be able to build uninterceptable landing craft.

Seeing as large aurora ships (Above Fighter-class) simply cannot enter atmosphere, bear in mind that all shipping infrastructure is already orbital-based and therefore ground-based defense may be suboptimal at defending them
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: STO Operations
« Reply #27 on: October 14, 2018, 11:23:54 AM »
It would be good to have no ambiguity on this. Shipyards are incredibly precious. I would iniitially hope that planetary CIWS would defend them from missiles, just as it would defend other shipping from missiles if they are at stationary orbit of the planet. I would have thought the same for planetary energy weapons as well, even though they might not be effective due to low tracking. In this case, there might be a tactical reason to hold fire (ie. not give away the STO weapon as a target)

Planetary CIWS only defend the surface of the planet. Even this is stretching things a little as CIWS can only defend the mounting ship - in this case the 'ship' is a planet. If planetary CIWS can defend ships in orbit than it would be difficult to explain why the CIWS on a ship in orbit can't defend all the other ships in orbit.

However, what you can do is build a orbital weapon platform with point defence. Normally, such a platform is vulnerable to energy-armed ships that move within their own range but outside the range of the platform's point defence weapons. You can use the STO weapons on the planet to defend the OWP from energy attack, which in turn can defend other ships in orbit from missile attack.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 11:26:45 AM by Steve Walmsley »
 
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Offline papent

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Re: STO Operations
« Reply #28 on: October 14, 2018, 11:44:35 AM »
Automatic with options sounds reasonable for a first pass. yes its possible to game the system with it by sending in armoured bricks small and large but that would be at the player discretion (but this is a single player game after all not an e-sport).

 I personally prefer the automatic system with PDS style controls, it seems to give just enough control to allow for tweaking with a small element of randomness of what targets exactly are going to be hit.
 

Offline Whitecold

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Re: STO Operations
« Reply #29 on: October 14, 2018, 12:31:22 PM »
It would be good to have no ambiguity on this. Shipyards are incredibly precious. I would iniitially hope that planetary CIWS would defend them from missiles, just as it would defend other shipping from missiles if they are at stationary orbit of the planet. I would have thought the same for planetary energy weapons as well, even though they might not be effective due to low tracking. In this case, there might be a tactical reason to hold fire (ie. not give away the STO weapon as a target)

Planetary CIWS only defend the surface of the planet. Even this is stretching things a little as CIWS can only defend the mounting ship - in this case the 'ship' is a planet. If planetary CIWS can defend ships in orbit than it would be difficult to explain why the CIWS on a ship in orbit can't defend all the other ships in orbit.

However, what you can do is build a orbital weapon platform with point defence. Normally, such a platform is vulnerable to energy-armed ships that move within their own range but outside the range of the platform's point defence weapons. You can use the STO weapons on the planet to defend the OWP from energy attack, which in turn can defend other ships in orbit from missile attack.

Well, that is why I consider shipbound CIWS a waste of space on anything but support ships I want to qualify for civilian maintenance. I'd propose to allow turreted lasers/etc to be valid options for STOs, and have STOs be able to set them to point defense.
Missile defense is one thing, the other is invincible ships. At the same tech level racial tracking speed = 20% engines at x1 power multiplier. 2x power at 40% engines gives you 25% chance to hit, with ECM3 that is 0% chance to hit. Tack on some plasma carronades, and you have an invincible bombardment ship.
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?
 

 

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