Author Topic: Cloak & Dagger, Stealth Concepts for Raiding and Boarding [Quik & Dirty]  (Read 888 times)

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Offline xenoscepter

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Dagger-Class

 --- A Marine Insertion Craft which utilizes Cloaking Tech, Cryo Drop Modules (Company) and some serious Thermal Reduction (16%) to get close to an enemy before launching. Has an Active Sensor to ping a target for more accurate boarding once close. Relies on the EM /TH Passive Sensors of other ships to quietly seek out targets. Unarmed, but does pack a Compact ECM device to help it evade enemy fire. Modestly fast, decent range, very stealthy; a specialized and expensive design.

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Dagger class Marine Insertion Craft    1,000 tons     14 Crew     409.5 BP      TCS 2  TH 32.64  EM 0
10200 km/s     Armour 1-8     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 0     PPV 0
Maint Life 1.96 Years     MSP 51    AFR 40%    IFR 0.6%    1YR 17    5YR 262    Max Repair 114.75 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 0.5 months    Spare Berths 11   
Cryo Drop Capacity: 1 Company   

Dagger Internal Fusion Drive (2)    Power 102    Fuel Use 146.2%    Signature 16.32    Exp 17%
Fuel Capacity 110,000 Litres    Range 13.5 billion km   (15 days at full power)

Dagger Active Search Sensor (1)     GPS 1152     Range 46.4m km    Resolution 20
Cloaking Device: Class cross-section reduced to 10% of normal

ECM 30

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes


Cloak-Class
 --- A 3,500 Ton ultra-light carrier for stealthily carting around FACs or Fighters. One month deployment time gives it short-ish legs while the speed of under 5,000 km/s makes it a sitting duck if found. A cloaking device and jump drive alleviate this however, as they provide the Cloak class with excellent tactical mobility in the way of stealth and jump point transits. 16% Thermal Reduction and big, 150 Ton Passive Sensors make the Cloak class hard to hear, but not hard of hearing. A lack of Active Sensors is a definitive weak point. Highly specialized, expensive.

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Cloak class Raider    3,500 tons     102 Crew     754.5 BP      TCS 7  TH 48  EM 0
4285 km/s    JR 3-100     Armour 1-20     Shields 0-0     Sensors 54/54/0/0     Damage Control Rating 3     PPV 0
Maint Life 6.52 Years     MSP 472    AFR 28%    IFR 0.4%    1YR 19    5YR 288    Max Repair 168.75 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 1 months    Flight Crew Berths 53   
Hangar Deck Capacity 1000 tons     

Cloak Jump Drive     Max Ship Size 3500 tons    Distance 100k km     Squadron Size 3
Cloak Internal Fusion Drive (2)    Power 150    Fuel Use 65.68%    Signature 24    Exp 12%
Fuel Capacity 150,000 Litres    Range 11.7 billion km   (31 days at full power)

Cloak Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 54     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  54m km
Cloak EM Detection Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 54     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  54m km
Cloaking Device: Class cross-section reduced to 10% of normal

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes
« Last Edit: December 30, 2019, 02:33:51 AM by xenoscepter »
 

Offline xenoscepter

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Re: Cloak & Dagger, Stealth Concepts for Raiding and Boarding
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2019, 02:15:46 AM »
Does range to target affect boarding actions, or just the speed difference? One would think it is easier to hit the target the closer you are to it, since you don't have to lead it quite so much...

If not, the Dagger-Class only gets 100% success against targets moving at 510 km/s or less... yikes. :-X

EDIT: Just in case range DOESN'T affect the chances of a successful boarding at all, this is the Dagger II. It's a re-design of the Dagger with a focus on speed.

Dagger II

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Dagger II class Marine Insertion Craft    1,000 tons     6 Crew     729.5 BP      TCS 20  TH 80  EM 0
25000 km/s     Armour 1-8     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 0     PPV 0
Maint Life 0.95 Years     MSP 91    AFR 40%    IFR 0.6%    1YR 96    5YR 1435    Max Repair 562.5 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 0.1 months    Spare Berths 15   
Cryo Drop Capacity: 1 Company   

Dagger II Internal Fusion Drive (1)    Power 500    Fuel Use 355.76%    Signature 80    Exp 25%
Fuel Capacity 130,000 Litres    Range 6.6 billion km   (3 days at full power)

Dagger II Active Search Sensor (1)     GPS 1008     Range 40.6m km    Resolution 20

ECM 30

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes
« Last Edit: December 30, 2019, 02:32:53 AM by xenoscepter »
 

Offline Rich.h

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i believe range only occurs at zero range, thus the only factor in success is the speed difference between the craft.
 

Offline Garfunkel

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Rich is correct - boarding only takes place once the range is zero and casualties among boarding unit is determined by speed difference. So Dagger II looks much better as you want to have a 10,000 km speed advantage if possible.
 

Offline Gabethebaldandbold

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never pulled of boarding actions, does it work? what happens when you do it?
To beam, or not to beam.   That is the question
 

Offline Akhillis

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Nice design for RP purposes, but the stealth is a bit redundant. You can only board at 0 range, so if they've got any active sensors at all they'll spot you.
The Sorium must flow
 

Offline xenoscepter

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Yes, eventually they will see you, but that is the point of the stealth. You don't want to get shot at on the approach, so the cloak is there to keep the enemy from seeing you until the last possible moment. However, with the speed so low, it wouldn't matter anyway, so I offloaded the cloak to the carrier, which can use it to skulk around and launch the boarding craft at the target at the closest possible range.
 

Offline hubgbf

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If you are getting close, they will spot you.

Most ships or fleet have active sensors designed to spot small sized missile, so you will be spotted and fired on by anti missiles defense (turret, railgun, AMM, and so on)
ECM, stealth and so on are far less usefull than speed, and a bit of armor, but for RP purposes.
 

Offline xenoscepter

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Which is why I re-designed the Dagger into the Dagger II and offloaded the stealth to the Cloak-Class Carrier. The Dagger was built under the assumption that you could fire a Combat Drop module at a target from range, so the cloak would allow it to stay outside the range of AM/AF sensors (Res 1-10) and fire the Combat Module from there. Unfortunately the good people here clarified that boarding is in fact at range 0, so the Dagger II was designed with greater speed. The ECM helps you to not get hit by reducing the range/accuracy of the enemy FCS.
 

Offline hubgbf

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ECM only reduce range. IMHO it is useless for boarding ship.

Better to have some armor.
 

Offline iceball3

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Re: Cloak & Dagger, Stealth Concepts for Raiding and Boarding [Quik & Dirty]
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2020, 12:50:44 AM »
ECM affects the accuracy of beam weapons all the way up to near point blank. Considering beam weapons will be engaging from farther than point blank, it can have a measurable affect on being engaged by long range, long cooldown beam weapons. Considering it will have an impact on missile fire control too, it means you can get closer to the hostile ship before missiles start firing, assuming he missile fire control isn't significantly overengineered.
In either case, reducing the time it takes for your ship to move into drop pod range by 10% will have a similar affect to reducing the effective range of enemy weapons by 10%, with ECM only significantly reducing hit chance of beam weapons, so it's a good ideas to compare it to engines in these respects.
 

Offline xenoscepter

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Re: Cloak & Dagger, Stealth Concepts for Raiding and Boarding [Quik & Dirty]
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2020, 01:40:35 AM »
Yup, and Compact ECM is only 50 Tons or 1 HS, not much more engine overall. Plus, at higher tech the Small Craft ECM is only 25 Tons or 0.5 HS, which is VERY get up into ECM 8-10.
 

Offline hubgbf

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Re: Cloak & Dagger, Stealth Concepts for Raiding and Boarding [Quik & Dirty]
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2020, 04:29:48 AM »
My mistake about beam effects of ECM.

And yet you lack armor. One laser shot go through your armor and start destroying componnt. You loose your drop cryopod and it is a mission kill. You lost your engine, and it is a mission kill too. How much shots to kill your chip ? 2 ? 3 ?
Even without ECCM, a defensive turret designed to kill ASM will have a good chance to hit you as it is designed to kill far faster missiles with a huge salvo missile number.

But the true problem is not beam defense. At 25 kkm/s, you will go through their defensive range in 2 to 4 round at most. They will only get one good shot or two, with or without ECM.
But you will be destroyed by AMM fire from 2-3 millions kilometers. Do you think your design will be able to survive 16x5-sec increment ? (and more if you are chasing them ?)
You start getting internal damage with 2 to 9 AMM.

Or do you plan to expand lots of missiles to make them use all their AMM before?
IF it is your stratgy, then the ennemys ships could be fleeing, which means a lower relative speed and more time in laser range.

You need a cryopod, speed , and armor, everything else is nearly useless IMHO.
And your stealth CV lacks armor too.

In my curent game, I'm designing ships for a boarding attempt on huge spoiler defensive stations, somewhat like in the crusade campaign.
Tons of AMM and defensive beam weapon. I'll be going with several assault carriers with huge armor and some shields and CIWS, covered by huge salvoes of missile to make the AI choose between missiles and my assault carriers. Once at the laser range limit, I will launch FAC designed for boarding, with speed and armor, hoping enough will survive. plan is 3-4 assault carrier and 20-30 boarding FAC.
I plan to use the assault carrier later, as they are costly. They'll have less hangar bay than standard CV, but they will be far more hard to kill

 

Offline Paul M

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Re: Cloak & Dagger, Stealth Concepts for Raiding and Boarding [Quik & Dirty]
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2020, 06:57:33 AM »
The part that I don't understand is how you expect to get close enough to any warship to launch the boarding pod.  Thermal of 80 is something than any NCN warship would pick up at around 1.5 m km and those ships are around 2 tech levels below the ship in question.   You would have to be sneaking up a very low velocity.   I shudder to think where a colony would pick it up.   And at that range the main fire controls likely would be effective against cross-section 7 and the CM sensor would pick them up with no trouble.   Launching the boarding pod from outside of 125k km would be instant death for it.   It has to arrive in 5s or else it would be shredded...worst case you might launch it 375k km and hope it survives 3 rounds of fire.  Some anti-shipping lasers could engage it nearly at that range.

But how against anything that isn't stationary this would work is beyond my imagination.  Most of my thought experiments end up with both ships detected and destroyed outside a range you could expect to launch and survive.

The ECM is effective against beam weapons but well...don't you expect your enemy has ECCM?

Where I can see this working is against bases that lack defenses and a garrison but most other military ships will see you well outside a range where you can launch the boarder.  Ok...any military ship I design would pick them up on thermals outside of range so potentially this is far from a general statement.
 

Offline Michael Sandy

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Re: Cloak & Dagger, Stealth Concepts for Raiding and Boarding [Quik & Dirty]
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2020, 02:24:22 PM »
Because boarding only works at all if you have an enormous speed advantage, it is really only useful against commercial ships, disabled ships, and space stations.

For the first two, you still want enormous speed, because getting a ship all the way to zero speed risks destroying it.  If you have mostly crippled an enemy ship, it will likely be separated from their fleet, and therefore have less point blank fire power.  If you want to be safe, you can send a sacrificial 80 ton scout to check, but otherwise you are going to have to enter their envelope.  A tactic is to bait out their firepower at the edge of their range envelope, and close before their weapons can recycle, but that isn't going to protect against point defense shredding your boarding ship.

A lot depends on what you know about the enemy ships.  If they are dedicated missile combatants, you can just wait until they are out of missiles, or if they are on a 10 minute reload cycle.  If they are a beam combatant or mixed with integral point defense, you will have to risk losing boarding pods.  So the question is what are the effective and efficient ways to boarding, losing the least boarding pods?  Numbers?  Armor?  Speed? ECM?  ECM, unless you have a significant tech lead with it, is an expensive way for a fighter or FAC to defend against a capital ship.  ECM and numbers might work, if the target has a limited number of ECCM to apply to whatever is swatting the boarding pods.

Speed is going to help a bit more against missiles than point defense.  But being able to soak AMMs is going to increase the number of missiles required to disable more than pure speed is likely to.  A solo disabled ship isn't likely to have the missile density to penetrate the point defense that railgun fighters escorting the boarding pods can bring to bear.  Unless you are talking pvp, where the player will hold fire until point blank to bypass PD.

On a pure cost basis, I would generally prefer a speed + armor solution.  And it would also depend on whether I was more limited in shipyard capacity or marine companies.

Another solution is to have the boarding modules on your fast beam combatants, in cryo modules.  They are already fast, already close, and already have the armor and/or shields to be survivable, especially vs a disabled ship.  Having non-cryo boarding pods on fighters or FACS is great where you want absolute speed, for going after intact commercial ships, where you couldn't afford that engine ratio on a beam combatant.

Boarding a space station, the calculus is slightly different.  You can cross a point defense envelope before the enemy fires, and then all you lose is the boarding pod.  So cheap boarding pods would be the efficient method there, and possible have a ship at the edge of its main beam envelope drawing fire as the pods approach.

I don't see stealth boarding pods working by themselves, so evaluating them depends a lot on your doctrine of who they are working WITH.  And on whether you are talking about fighting the AI, or fighting in duels.  Or whether you want anti-player designs for RP purposes.

ECM helps most (in my opinion) in combats where both sides are using similar ranged weapons.  It can help you get off the first shot in a missile duel, or more effective in a beam engagement.  However, unless you can close the entire enemy envelope before it runs out of missiles or before it can reload, ECM isn't going to help beam ships much vs missiles, or a boarding pod versus beams.
 

 

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