Author Topic: Newtonian-Rule Sample Ships  (Read 2982 times)

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Offline sublight (OP)

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Newtonian-Rule Sample Ships
« on: March 21, 2013, 09:49:54 PM »
Just as a sanity check I'm posting my first set of complete Newtonian-Motion sample combat ships here to see what, if anything, is missing, broken, unbalanced, or unrealistic even compared to everything else.

Changes so far:
HomoPolar Generators: Essentially a series of high-energy fly-wheels rotated in a powerful magnetic field, these devices offer higher density energy storage than capacitors with only a slightly slower discharge rate. The first three tech levels look to be 100 MJ/ton, 125 MJ/ton, 150 MJ/ton: but I may go revise this to scale faster. Any ship with direct-fire weaponry must have enough homopolar generator capacity to fire every weapon simultaneously.

Missile Launchers:
Standard Launcher: 10x missile size in mass, including mass-budget for one missile. This includes launch tubes, reinforced rapid-shutters to avoid armor weakening, and access corridors for reloading.

Magazines: As in aurora, but require a standard launcher to provide the hull openings to load the missiles.

Pylons: An external weapon mount. 2.5x missile size in mass, including mass-budget for attached missile. There is a 50% chance that if a ship takes damage sufficient to destroy a missile that any given attached missile will be lost. These may only be reloaded/rearmed inside a hanger or by maintenance facilities.

Box-Launcher: An internal launch tube that, by eliminating access corridors and internal reloading mechanisms, is only 50% the size of a standard launcher. Further technology improvements allow missile stacking to store multiple missiles inside the same launch tube rather than making a launcher even smaller.

Fire Control:
Direct beam fire control ranges reduced to 1/10th original suggestion. Even so, the ranges are still long enough I'll need to add some sort of bonus to make anything bigger than a minimal 10-ton fire control useful. Maybe a target tracking bonus based on time the fire control has been tracking a target.

I'll try to work out likely combat results on paper to see if combat has the right feel, but it could be a week before I get around to that. So for now, the sample ships for Tech Level-1, TL-2, TL-3.
Maybe their fighting over a sorium-rich gas giant with a habitable moon.

Barbarians: Tech Level 1
6x 2,000 ton Frigates: 2 Red, 2 Grey, 2 Coyote. A typical small fleet of specalists designs.
10% engine, 45% fuel, 5% armor, 15% overhead, 25% weapons and sensors

Wolf-Thermal Drive.
Size: 100 tons each.   Thrust: 300 kN.   2.125 L/MN fuel usage
(2.5 base, 85% size mod, 100% power)->(4,616 s isp)

Code: [Select]
Red Frigate
Armor: 2x34 (50 MJ) Target Cross Section: 89

Twin Wolf-Thermal Drives.
Max Full Acceleration: 0.3 m/s. 76.5 L/minute at full thrust.
Fuel: 900,000 L Burn Time: 8.2 days DeltaV: 281 km/s

40 ton 80 MW Pressurized water Reactor.
160 ton 32 MW Active Scanner (Res 1) range = sqrt(160 ton * 0.2 active/ton * 0.1 passive/ton * 1 res)*2m km  = 3.5 m km
160 ton 32 MW Active Scanner (Res 144) rang = 42m km
20 ton HomoPolar Generator [2,000 MJ]

40-ton Vanguard PD-FC. range = 40 * sqrt(0.2 * 0.1 * 0.5 res / 4x_missiles) * 0.1m km = 200k km

4x Misquito-Laser.
20 ton, 100 MJ, aperture: 5cm Minimum Divergence: 0.34 m/k km
Actual Divergence: 0.5 m/ k km Weapon Jitter: 1.0 m/k km
Max Range (5 MJ/m^2) 5k km. 25% efficient, 400 MJ to fire, 5 second cool down (rounded up from 4.5)

Code: [Select]
Grey Frigate
Armor: 2x34 (50 MJ) Target Cross Section: 89

Twin Wolf-Thermal Drives.
Max Full Acceleration: 0.3 m/s. 76.5 L/minute at full thrust.
Fuel: 900,000 L Burn Time: 8.2 days DeltaV: 281 km/s

2x 10Ton-Missile launchers (100 tons each)
150 ton 75% magazine (112 ton capacity)
100-ton Vengeance Fire Control (144 res, 4x missiles) range = 84.9m km
50-ton Valiant Fire Control (1 res, 2x missiles) range = 5m km

4x Doom Song 10-ton Nuclear Missiles
8x Scream 10-ton Fragmentation Missiles

Code: [Select]
Coyote Frigate
Armor: 2x34 (50 MJ) Target Cross Section: 89

Twin Wolf-Thermal Drives.
Max Full Acceleration: 0.3 m/s. 76.5 L/minute at full thrust.
Fuel: 900,000 L Burn Time: 8.2 days DeltaV: 281 km/s

3x 40 ton 80 MW water reactors
4x 20 ton HomoPolar Generators [4x2GJ]

2x Vanguard PD-FC
20-ton Passive EM Scanner

2x Gemini Gauss Cannons
50-ton, 1kg 250 MJ Muzzle Velocity: 22,360 m/s
Jitter: 1.0 m/k km 25% efficient, 1,000 MJ to fire, 7 second cool down (143 MW)

1x Apollo Scatter Rail
100-ton, 2kg (100x 15g +sabot) 500 MJ Muzzle velocity: 22,360 m/s
Jitter: 1.0 m/k km 25% efficient, 2,000 MJ to fire, 8 second cool down (250 MW)
Spread: 2.0 m/k km

Missiles: 10% warhead, 20% engine, 20% sensors, 50% fuel

Doom Song:
Engine: Rebel Red      Warhead: 100 kTon nuke
Starting_Accell: 0.75 m/s   DeltaV = 189.3 km/s, Reserve DV = 39.3 km/s
Max Burn Time: 2.1 days
Proximity Detonation: 150m   Damage at PDR: 1,485 MJ/m^2
Guidance: Fire Control + Onboard
1.36 ton active scanner, Res 36, Range = 989k km.
0.14 ton reactor

Engine: Rebel Red      Warhead: 1 ton filler w/ 1.0 MJ bursting charge
Starting_Accell: 0.75 m/s   DeltaV = 189.3 km/s, Reserve DV = 39.3 km/s
Max Burn Time: 2.1 days
Proximity Detonation: 1.5k km   Debris Cloud: 5 tons minimum, 14 m/s minimum expansion rate
Guidance: Fire Control + Onboard
1.36 ton active scanner, Res 36, Range = 989k km.
0.14 ton reactor

Rebel Red 125% power
Size: 2 ton, Thrust = 7.5 kN, 3.663 L/MN fuel usage
(2.5 base, 111% size, 132% power)->(2,678 s isp)

TL2: A single large ship intended for long deployments. The Enterpirse carries the weapons and geology sensors, some sister class carries the jump drive and gravitational sensors.

10,000 ton 30% engine, 10% armor, 25% overhead, 35% weapons and sensors
Code: [Select]
Enterprise Life-Scout
Armor: 7x58 (80 MJ) Target Cross Section: 261

Triple Enigma Reactionless Drive
Size: 1,000 tons each: 3450 MW (including +15% size efficiency bonus)
Optimal Thrust: 100 kN --> Max Thrust: 200 kN Max Speed: 69 km/s

Enterprise Max Acceleration: 0.06 m/s
Triple 150 ton 450 MW pebble bed reactors
Triple 50 ton HomoPolar-II Generators [3 x 7.5GJ]
200 ton 48 MW Active Scanner (Res 1) range = sqrt(200 ton * 0.24 active/ton * 0.12 passive/ton * 1 res)*2m km  = 4.8 m km
200 ton 48 MW Active Scanner (Res 25) range = 24m km
200 ton 48 MW Active Scanner (Res 400) range = 96m km
150 ton Passive EM Sensor (Strength 1,000 from 18m km)
150 ton Passive TH Sensor (Strength 1,000 from 18m km)

6x 100 ton, 500 MJ 'Phasors' GRASERS
aperture: 10cm Minimum Divergence: 0.16 mm/k km
Actual Divergence: 0.5 m/ k km Weapon Jitter: 0.7 m/k km
Max Range (5 MJ/m^2) 11k km. 30% efficient, 1,667 MJ to fire, 5 second cool down (rounded up from 4.8) (333MW)

2x White Rabbit Spinal Railguns
250-ton, 2kg 1,750 MJ Muzzle Velocity: 41,833 m/s
Jitter: 0.7 m/k km 30% efficient, 5,834 MJ to fire, 10 second cool down

3x 5-ton missile launchers (50 ton each)
3x 150-ton 80% efficient magazines (360 ton capacity)
15x Eraser Nuclear AMM
45x Jealous Fragmentation AMM
15x Killer Pumped-Laser ASM

2x 50-ton Zelda PD-FC. range = 50 * sqrt(0.24 * 0.12 * 0.5 res / 3x_missiles) * 0.1m km = 340k km
2x 100-ton Link M-FC. range = 100 * sqrt(0.24 * 0.12 * 1.0 res / 3x_missiles) * 1.0m km = 9.6m km

Missiles 30% warhead & guidance, 30% engine 40% fuel

General Fusion AMM-standard   (250% power)
Size: 1.5 tons, Thrust = 15 kN, 13.3 L/MN fuel usage
(2.3 base, 112% size, 520% power)->(737 s isp)

Eraser Nuclear AMM
Mass: 5 tons
Engine: 1x G.F. AMM-Standard   Warhead: 187.5 kTon Nuke
Starting_Accell: 3.0 m/s   DeltaV = 38.4 km/s, Reserve DV = 8.4 km/s
Max Burn Time: 2.8 hours
Proximity Detonation: 409m   Damage at PDR: 375 MJ/m^2
Guidance: Fire Control      Range at 5 MJ/m^2: 3,539m

Jealous Fragmentation AMM
Mass: 5 tons
Engine: 1x G.F. AMM-Standard   Warhead: 1.25 tons HMX
Starting_Accell: 3.0 m/s   DeltaV = 38.4 km/s, Reserve DV = 8.4 km/s
Max Burn Time: 2.8 hours
Proximity Detonation: 400 m   Debris Cloud: 3 tons minimum, 42,866 m/s minimum expansion rate
Guidance: Fire Control

Killer Pumped-Laser ASM
Mass: 5 tons
Engine: 1x G.F. AMM-Standard   Warhead: 135 kTon Nuke
Starting_Accell: 3.0 m/s   DeltaV = 38.4 km/s, Reserve DV = 8.4 km/s
Max Burn Time: 2.8 hours
Proximity Detonation: 1.5k km      Damage at PDR: 0 MJ/m^2
Lasing Rods: 1       Rod Output: 708 MJ   Jitter    7 m/k km
Beam at PDR:   3m wide, 100 MJ/m^2

Two identical light cruisers that made the mistake of trying to do everything.

2x  5,000 tons: 15% engine, 40% fuel, 5% armor, 20% overhead, 20% weapons and sensors
Code: [Select]
Rama Light-Cruisers
Armor: 3x46 (120 MJ) Target Cross Section 164

Single: Ion Core Drive (60% power)
Size: 750 ton. +1 level internal armor -> 35 ton armor, 715 ton engine
Thrust: 2,145 kN. 0.977 L/MN fuel usage (2.1 base, 72.2% size mod, 64.4% power)->(10,041 s isp)
Max Full Acceleration: 0.429 m/s. 125.74 L/minute at full thrust.
Fuel: 2,000,000 L Burn Time: 11 days DeltaV: 522.8 km/s

120-ton 38.4 MW Generalist Scanner range = sqrt(120 ton * 0.32 active/ton * 0.16 passive/ton * 9 res)*2m km  = 14.9m km
100-ton 450 MW TL-3 Reactor
100-ton HomoPolar-III Generator [15 GJ]

50-ton Lightning Guidance range = 50 * sqrt(0.32 * 0.16 * 0.5 res / 3x_missiles) * 0.1m km = 461k km
30-ton Swarm Guidance (5x missile, Res 35) Range = 18m km

1x Tesla Laser
250 ton - 2,500 MJ
aperture: 15cm Minimum Divergence: 0.116 m/k km
Actual Divergence: 0.17m/k km Weapon Jitter: 0.5 m/k km
Max Range (5 MJ/m^2) 74k km. 35% efficient,

2x Iron Storm Scatter-guns
100-ton, 1kg (100x 7.5g +sabot) 1,000 MJ Muzzle velocity: 44,721 m/s
Jitter: 0.5 m/k km 35% efficient, 2,857 MJ to fire, 7 second cool down
Spread: 1.0 m/k km

10x 6-ton Missile Pylons [15 tons each]
10x Fast Neutron 6-ton missiles

ION Banshee   (180% power)
Size: 2.0 tons, Thrust = 18 kN, 5.618 L/MN fuel usage
(2.1 base, 111% size, 241% power)->(1,746 s isp)

Fast Neutron
Mass: 6 tons
Engine: 1x ION Banshee      Warhead: 100 kTon Nuke
Starting_Accell: 3.0 m/s   DeltaV = 138.9 km/s, Reserve DV = 8.9 km/s
Max Burn Time: 10.7 hours
Proximity Detonation: 175m   Damage at PDR: 1,091 MJ/m^2
Guidance: Fire Control
« Last Edit: March 22, 2013, 08:50:05 AM by sublight »

Offline sublight (OP)

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Re: Newtonian-Rule Sample Ships
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2013, 07:09:45 AM »
Ok, after a week of number crunching I'm happy with how direct fire weapon combat is looking, but missiles may need more work. Currently a missile is the most amazingly awesome utterly useless weapon ever conceived. A single missile will utterly destroy anything of any tech level, but no missile will ever hit anything that has even a half-competent missile defense.


The Barbarians detect the Enterprise on the deep space tracking array, and dispatch a response group of 6 frigates. The Barbarians coast outbound at 30 km/s, and then turn to make an attack run on the Enterprise at 65 km/s.

Combat begins when the task groups are 80m km apart. Time to Interception: 14.25 Days.
The barbarians launch 8x missiles in two waves. The waves are, perhaps, 120 seconds apart with each wave consisting of a pair of missiles 5 seconds apart. Each pair contains 1 Doom Song and 1 Scream. By the end of the day the missiles have finished accelerating, and now have a closing speed of 215 km/s. Reserve deltaV is burnt at a rate of 0.05 m/s to keep up with the random maneuvering of the Enterprise, leaving the missiles 9 days of endurance. Impact will occur in less than six. While their target is outside of ship active scanner range, each missile has onboard sensors to handle the final approach.

On the 5th day the the Enterprise spots the incoming missiles, 4.8m km out. Time to impact: ~6.2 hours.
At this point the Enterprise has three options: The While Rabbits, Phasors, or the AMMs.

The White Rabbit rail gun is jitter limited. If they open fire when a 10% hit chance firing solution is available they we will fire when the incoming missiles are 8.6k km out. With a 10s cool down the rabbits will fire again at 6.5, 4.4, and 2.3 k km. With a relative closing speed of 256.8 km/s every hit will deliver 66 GJ of energy obliterating the targeted missile. With accuracy increasing with shot as the missiles get closer the rabbits might take out 4 missiles. However, allowing for projectile travel time the earliest impact will not occur until 1.4 k km out, making this weapon useless at stopping the Scream. All in all, the White Rabbit is a good example of what not to use for point defense.

Instead, the Enterprise energizes the Phasors and opens fire at 9.9 k km. At this range the phasors have 6.9m of jitter, and 5.0m of speed. Add in the 1.9m radius of the target missiles and they can't miss. If damage is rounded down to MJ/m^2 * diameter, then GRASERs strike with 24.2 MJ at this distance for a 97% kill chance. At their maximum sustainable rate of four phasor blasts every 5 seconds then they can shoot down waves of up to 32 missiles. If missile defense is instead limited by fire controls that have an arbitrary 15 second fire delay when switching to new targets, the Enterprise will -still- have time for three point defense volleys each destroying six missiles, for a total of 18 missile kills before anything can close to within 2k km of the ship. The barbarian missiles are doomed.

The disappointed barbarians then launch two waves of 4 fragmentation missiles, with plans to remotely detonate them into a cumulative debris cloud. In order to deal at least 55 MJ/m damage the cloud will need a 1.2 gram/m^2 cross sectional density at impact. Four fuel-depleted missiles mass 20 tons total, restricting the cloud to be no more than 2.3 km in radius on impact. The 14 m/s expansion rate allowing detonation to occur outside point defense range at 35k km. However, space is big and self destructed debris clouds are classified as a natural unguided hazard with a (Diameter / 1k km) collision chance: here 0.46%. Long odds, but it might just stripe an armor layer off.

However, the Enterprise sees the incoming pack as a good chance to try out their Eraser Nuclear AMMs, and launches 2: one at each wave. These intercept their target ~ 0.5m km out, and the 409m proximity leaves no possibility of a miss. The detonation dumps 375 MJ/m^2 into the first target it vaporizes. The missiles are all aimed at the same target, and so are within 1-2 km of each other. The 2nd missile is 1 km away, and eats 60 MJ/m. It also vaporizes. The 3rd missile is 1.5 km away. It eats 26.7 MJ/m, and is soft killed. The 4th missile is 2.0 km away, and eats 15MJ/m: also becoming soft-killed.

At this point the Barbarians give up on missiles, but once the barbarians enter detection range the Enterprise launches two waves of 3 missiles offensively: 2x Killer ASMs and a Jealous AMM per wave.

The barbarians detect these when they are 3.5m km distant. While two Doom Song's could be used defensively to take the incoming missiles out, the barbarians only have 4 left and decide to use the Apollo Scatter Rail and Misquito-Laser systems.

With missiles incoming at 30 km/s, and outgoing scatter shot traveling at 82.3 km/s the Apollo systems have 1.6 m/k km of spread vs 1m/k km of jitter. The scattered shot pattern can't miss, and will have a 100% chance of at least one pebble hitting the 1.5m radius incoming missiles at ranges up to 9.4k km. Each bead is only 15g, but strikes with 94.5 MJ of energy at the given closing speeds. A single pebble hit is all that is needed. The scatter guns open fire at 29.7k km when they have a 10% hit chance, and again every 8 seconds. However, the low muzzle velocity relative to the closing speed means that the missiles will only be 5.9k km distant when the first shot pattern impacts, and by the time the missiles are 7.5k km apart it will be too late to intercept them before the Killer's enter proximity range. Still, their slow closing speed does leave time for 30 follow up rounds with accuracy steadily increasing up to 100%. While over a dozen missiles could be destroyed this way, the lag between firing and hits leave a risk of overkill and leakers.

The Mosquitos open fire at 3.5 k km. They have 1.75m spread, 3.5m jitter, and can't miss their 1.5 m radius targets. Each hit dumps 30 MJ of energy into the target, frying the 12.5 MJ integrity incoming missiles. If the fire controls, again, take an arbitrary 15 seconds to retarget the Red Frigates will be able to zap a 5th incoming missile each if the active scanners are left on, or an additional set of four if the scanners were deactivated to divert more power to recharging the homopolar generators. With only six missiles incoming in groups of just three, the Barbarians are content to let the reliable mosquito final-defense handle everything.

The two sides are now just 1.57m km apart and closing, but neither is optimistic enough to continue firing missiles.

In theory, the Apollo Scatter Guns could start scoring hits on an Enterprise-sized target from as far out as 1.4m km. As designed, the system is limited by the 200k km fire control range. In practice, the Enterprise isn't stationary and the minimal 1% weapon accuracy isn't met until the sides have closed to just 127k km. T-1955 seconds until flight paths intersect.

T-1354s: 88k km to go. The Apollo is still the only weapon system that can accurately fire, although accuracy has increased to 8.1% at this distance the scattered shot have 35.2 ±17.6 m spacing, and multiple bead impacts are possible.

T-738s: 44k km to go. Gemini sold-shot now have a chance of impacting, but the Barbarians continue to use reactor power to fire the Apollos.

T-500s: 32.5k km to go. First Apollo scatter shot impacts with 57 MJ of energy. Lets leave some chance of armor damage, and say (Impact Energy/Armor Energy)^2 chance of destroying one armor box, or 51% in this case.
By now, 323 apollo rounds have been fired, of which about ~100 shot-beads will impact destroying 50 units of armor. The barbarians switch to using reactor power to fire Gemini sold rounds. These currently have little more than a 3% hit chance, but strike with 3,810 MJ of energy.

T-178s: 11.6k km to go. The White Rabbit rail guns gain a firing solution against the smaller and more maneuverable barbarian frigates. The Gemini, by contrast, are now up to a 70.7 % hit rate.

T-120s: 7.8k km to go. By now 12 white rabbit rounds have been fired up to accuracy of 3.3%, but the Enterprise diverts power from one white-rabbit to bring two phasors online. At this range each phasor strikes with 10 MJ/m in a 7.8m wide beam. There is only a 1% chance of armor damage at this range, but a total of 19.5 MJ penetrate to the internal components.

Also, at about this time the first Gemini sold round scores a hit, blasting a 7 m-wide, 1.6m deep crater into the High Density Duranium Armor of the Enterprise. However, the armor was only 70cm thick, has been sandblasted down to 60cm by the apollo shot, and allows 1,100 MJ of damage to leak through. Something non-vital, such as one of the multiple active scanners, is destroyed.

T-90s: 5.85k km. The Gemini cross minimum range and stop firing. Crossing fleets are assumed to come no closer than the point blank distance of 1k km. For simplicity the Z-axis separation isn't actually calculated for range and closing speeds, but instead weapons are given a minimum range cut-off corresponding to an elevation/depression of 30 degrees when fired against other non-ramming ships.

T-77s: By now the Enterprise has been disabled, and the Mosquito Lasers begin to fire just to add insult to injury.

T-0s: The range between fleets begins to open.

The Outcome:
22 offensive missiles launched. Zero Hits.
Apollo: 323 shot canisters fired, ~ 100 bead impacts, destroying ~50 armor tiles. No internal damage inflicted.

Gemini: 158 rounds fired, with ~63 hits.
All remaining armor destroyed. Over 200 GJ of internal damage.

Mosquito: ~30 hits totaling ~1.4 GJ of internal damage.

The Enterprise has 50 GJ of integrity, and 200 GJ of potential soak. It is still alive with ~ 20% of the components still intact... at least until the barbarians launch a Doom Song missile behind them to mop up. The Doom Song inflicts an additional 86 GJ of punishment. Most of this is soaked by ship wreckage, but some of the hot plasma finds and squashes whatever engineering or life support was keeping the ship together.

Before dying, the Enterprise:
Fired ~16 white rabbit rounds.
One hit, inflicting 11.4 GJ of damage, capable of blasting a crater 13m wide and over 7m deep into solid Duranium armor. Just over 10 GJ penetrate the thin 20cm armor of the Red frigate. This single hit could destroy up to 40% of luckless red if only undamaged components were rolled by the damage allocation table, but in this case 'only' 600 tons worth of internal components were destroyed. Most of the damage is taken by large components (more probable targets), such as one or more of the active scanners, a large 200 ton fuel tank or two, and possible an engine.

Fired ~17 Pulsar blasts.
These inflicted from 17.5 MJ - 31.8 MJ internal damage each that occasionally destroy a small and/or unlucky component. A homopolar generator is disabled here, an engineering compartment there. If focused on one ship these might have rendered one of the frigates combat ineffective.


I still haven't run through the battles involving the Rama cruisers, but my conclusions so far:

> Lasers are very good at point defense. Solid round rail-guns are very bad at point defense.
> Having a higher acceleration may be of minimal use in strategic movement, but is a significant advantage when closing to direct fire weapon ranges.
> Direct fire weapon combat feels right.
> Missile combat mechanics feel like they need work.

Any ship design or tactic suggestions/comments are appreciated.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2013, 04:08:18 PM by sublight »

Offline chrislocke2000

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Re: Newtonian-Rule Sample Ships
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2013, 04:13:41 PM »
Interesting stuff to say the least! A few thoughts:

On the tactics I would have thought that the Enterprise would have been far better off to have simply reversed course and worked to reduce the closing speed to a minimal level. This would meant that the scatter shot would have more significant dispersal and slower impact velocity, greatly reducing its effectiveness. It would also increase the closure time of the solid shot, giving the ship more time to evade. With the effectiveness of the anti missile fire and the attackers inability to overwhelm it this leaves the energy weapons which are in the enterprises favour and would suspect that the enterprise would cause serious damage as the barbarians try to close to use their lasers.

On the weapons I kinda like the idea that the missiles are pretty poor at engaging but can be devastating when they hit. Agree though that this may mean a bit more balancing. I assume in the scenario that the enterprise was not trying to manoeuvre to avoid the shot? It seemed to be surprising effective at being able to score a hit given the ranges and muzzle velocity. Also on the canister shot would you consider continuing to project its path in case further missiles / ships encounter it?

On damage to the ships it feels to me that they can absorb a lot of damage once their armour has been destroyed. In your comments you note massive craters but only a couple of modules destroyed which just feels wrong.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2013, 05:43:06 AM by chrislocke2000 »

Offline Maxsimal

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Re: Newtonian-Rule Sample Ships
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2013, 03:09:53 PM »
Hey, here are some thoughts on the missile issue, and a few issues I've got with the tech (I've only recently taken a look at Aurora, and never played StarDrive)

Missile Engagement/Tactics issues.

One big assumption this makes is that there is no effective ECM in space.   Everything seems to have perfect track on everything else, there's no usage of decoys, ECM, etc.   Which means that all the fire control is pretty heavy overkill.   So one easy 'fix' is to create PD miss chance out of passive or active missile ECM.     This is one of the solutions used by Weber in the harrington novels, which you're likely familiar with.

Anyway, given that situation, and the tech involved, the most likely answer to getting misses past PD is to use MIRV's.


If you consider that each missile could carry a payload of 1000 20cm long, 2mm cross section 1kg high density (osmium) bars, each of which would deliver 23 GJ of energy.   This would hole any of the ships armor's, as well as spalling interior components.   They would also release enough chaff to confuse the position of penetrators.

To kill the barbarian ships, the bars could create an 800m diameter saturation kill field to make sure 1 strikes.   Vs the enterprise, this widens out to 2. 3km's.

Because of the barbarian ship's acceleration, the missile can release the unguided bars about 75 seconds before contact.   16k kms away, well outside the point defense engagement envelope.

Further, even if the barbarian picked the 'right' bar to burn, the laser would not be able to dump enough energy into the bars at such a low cross section.   Even the laser fired at point blank range, (200 km, 1 second before impact, no time for a second shot), its spot size would still be large enough (15cm) that it would only put 17kj into the bar.   If we cared, we could put a cap of 10 grams of cryogenic hydrogen on the top of each bar, which would gas off but still be -151 Kelvin.    Or we could just make the bar thinner and longer (which also increases armor penetration depth)  Gauss cannon jitter would of course give no chance at all of an intercept.

Even if they got that bar - the next missile's shotgun pattern would be 1 second behind it, the next a second behind that, no time for the point defense to engage each.

The Enterprise, given its sluggishness and greater size, fares much more poorly.   The missile could release much much earlier (200 seconds, 40k kms), or just go for a much denser kill pattern

This leaves AMM systems to kill incoming missiles, which is more along the lines of what you'd want.   Even in that case, missiles would probably be built with many small guided sub munitions, which would deploy and spread out linearly to prevent them from being killed by a single nuke- and for certain, actual missiles would NEVER clump together 1km apart the way yours did.    Sub munitions would spread out over dozens of kilometers , and given the large amount of reserve delta V, the missiles themselves would all incoming be on slightly different converging vectors, rather than all being on the same vector, giving them additional spacing.   The only limitation on submunition size would be the minimum size of an effective drive - the lack of any ECM/ECCM and fire control being relayed from a control submuntion would make guidance otherwise trivial.

So AMM's would either be Mirv'd themselves or just be much lighter and more numerous, which creates the appropriate 'missile duel' feeling.

Given all that, I think you would be better off creating some sort of ECM/ECCM system for missile combat, which would at least keep missiles 'intact'.   


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