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Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:32 pm
  

D-Bee

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Diverged from the other thread about planetary-emplaced weaponry.

The only major example we have of a "defense oriented" space station in stats is the UWW Tanget-class Space Station, which makes it hard to draw conclusions about what a tech power could do with a similar budget (I.E. "unlimited" - those Tangent stations are Immune to Energy, that alone has to cost Billions).

This probably isn't even a good facsimile, given that it uses the Station-creation rules in Three Galaxies, but is a decent example of the bare minimum of what a Tech Power like the CCW or TGE could accomplish.

Quote:
CCW Aegis-Class Orbital Defense Platform

Large Station: 400 Points Available
MDC of the Station: 5 million

The Station’s Function:

Military: Adds +20 points to Defenses, +10 points to Internet Security Personnel, and +10 points to Supplies

Power Systems:

Matter/Anti-Matter Reactor (-20 points); Fusion Power x2 (-20 points) - redundant systems

Defenses: (20 free points)

- Shields: 30,000 MDC per side (-30 points)
- Point Defense Weapon Systems (-5 points) - 6D6+12
- Short-Range Weapons (-10 points) - 6D6+6
- Medium Range Weapons (-20 points/free) - 6D6
- Heavy Weapons (-40 points) - 3
- Space Fighters (-60; 4 squadrons)
- Point Defense Satellites (10, for a total of 60 satellites; -20 points)

Sensors:

Superior Sensors (-40)

Communications:

Advanced Communication (-15)

Station Maintenance:

Top Priority (-15)

Supplies: (10 free points)

Semi Self Sufficient (-15, total -5)

Internal Security Personnel: (10 free points)

Crack Security Force (-35) + Magic and Psionic Squad (-20, 10 free, total -10)

Security Systems:

Maximum Security Measures (-25)

Environmental Systems:

Advanced System (-25)

Independent Business:


Small Businesses (-5)

Tansients:

N/A (military station)

Weapon Systems:


36 Point Defense weapons:


12 Poiint Defense Particle Beam Cannons: 2D4x10 MDC, range 8000ft. Unlimited Payload
12 GR-100 Gravity Cannons: 1d6x10+10 MDC, range 3 miles. 500 Bursts before being reloaded
12 Point Defense Mini-missile Clusters (technically not allowed RAW, but i don’t think there’s an argument against this)

30 Short-Range Weapons:

10 Light Particle Beam Cannons: 1d4x100 MD; range 3 miles. Unlimited Payload
10 GR-500 Gravity Cannons: 2d6x10 MD; range 6 miles. 1000 Bursts before being reloaded
10 Short Range Missile emplacements. (Again, not technically feasible RAW as there are no missile weapons)

24 Medium-Range Weapons:

4 Dual-barreled Medium laser Cannons: Range 16 miles, 4d6x100 MD; Unlimited Payload
4 Dual-barrel Medium Particle Bean Cannons: Range 14 miles, 6d6x100 MD; Unlimited Payload
4 GR-1000 Gravity Cannons: Range 12 miles, 4d6x10 MD; 500 Bursts before being reloaded
4 Medium-Range Missile Emplacements.

3 Heavy Weapons Systems:
3 HI Heavy Laser Cannons: Range 100 miles, Damage 1D6x1000 MD. Unlimited Payload.


I actually think this is conservative, given that it uses the Station Creation rules.

For a dedicated military defense platform that is meant to protect a planet, i'd imagine a much higher budget than this is actually possible.

Even then... It's pretty good. Even a small fleet would have serious issues tackling this thing; if you didn't have Battleships or Dreadnaughts, or a truly MASSIVE fighter wing... you're never going to take this thing with Cruiser-weight ships and smaller.

If I were given carte-blanche to design the thing, i'd add:

an additional Heavy Weapon (1 more HI Heavy Laser Cannon)
4 LRM batteries
Double the Fighters
A Combat Space Patrol of 120 Power Armor
Double the Shield Strength (60k per side - i actually could have just done this by omitting like.. 1 Heavy Weapon)
Double the close-in Point Defense Weapons (more particle beams and an array of HI Lasers for their higher ROF).

Still... gives an example of what a tech-based Military defense station could look like.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 1:50 am
  

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For something using the existing rules I think it's a really good PoC. My only difference was a change to weapons mix.
- Slightly more PDFs but not double, maybe 20% to 20% more
- No Short or Medium range weapons
- More Heavy Weapons
- More satellites, mix of anti-fighter and disposable missile pods

The problem with creating a massive, almost impregnable fortresses in orbit around a planet is that you need to either build a lot of them or the enemy can just avoid them attacking the planet from another angle.

If you do big bad orbital road blocks there would have to be several and place them around the planet. Now if these stations could mount weapons with ranges in the thousands of miles instead of hundreds then these forts would be almost unstoppable.

Now if major worlds do have forts like you created then this alone would be a reason for Dreadnoughts. Only a fleet anchored by a Dreadnought could penetrate those defenses without horrific losses.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 2:31 am
  

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At what speed would you consider maneuvering thrusters to take a defensive weapons platform from 'platform' to 'monitor' classification?

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"Trouble rather the Tiger in his Lair,
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The Armies and Works that you hold Dear,
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To be turned over with the Flick of a Finger,
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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 2:33 am
  

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taalismn wrote:
At what speed would you consider maneuvering thrusters to take a defensive weapons platform from 'platform' to 'monitor' classification?

How are you defining a Monitor? I don't think I've seen any in the books.

But, no matter how fast these platforms are if the weapons ranges are the same that we have seen in the books then anything short of standard warship speed, say Mach 8 to 12, is not going to eliminate the problem I listed above.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 5:07 am
  

D-Bee

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Warshield73 wrote:
For something using the existing rules I think it's a really good PoC. My only difference was a change to weapons mix.
- Slightly more PDFs but not double, maybe 20% to 20% more
- No Short or Medium range weapons
- More Heavy Weapons
- More satellites, mix of anti-fighter and disposable missile pods

The problem with creating a massive, almost impregnable fortresses in orbit around a planet is that you need to either build a lot of them or the enemy can just avoid them attacking the planet from another angle.

If you do big bad orbital road blocks there would have to be several and place them around the planet. Now if these stations could mount weapons with ranges in the thousands of miles instead of hundreds then these forts would be almost unstoppable.

Now if major worlds do have forts like you created then this alone would be a reason for Dreadnoughts. Only a fleet anchored by a Dreadnought could penetrate those defenses without horrific losses.


You dont need more than 2. You place them in polar orbits. Theyd be able to hit anything down to the equator. There would be a slight "Dead zone" under their cone of fire right at the equator, but you could cover that easily enough with smaller stations or even just planet-based defenses.

If you went up to 3, theyd have 100% coverage.

Edit: depending on planet size*

This was more a thought exercise though, just to see what a tech force could do compared to a Tangent. - 'cause lets face it, those Tangent stations are hillariously good. (Impervious to Energy?!, Self-repairing? Can summon ships from any other Tangent in the UWW?)''

I can see most "high end" civilized worlds (the ones with hundreds of millions to billions of people having enough defense stations to cover the planet.

More marginal worlds (tens to hundreds of millions) might only have one or two and/or a small local defense fleet.

And.. well, them's the breaks of living on marginal worlds. You're a lot more vulnerable to attack.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:11 pm
  

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Warshield73 wrote:
taalismn wrote:
At what speed would you consider maneuvering thrusters to take a defensive weapons platform from 'platform' to 'monitor' classification?

How are you defining a Monitor? I don't think I've seen any in the books.

But, no matter how fast these platforms are if the weapons ranges are the same that we have seen in the books then anything short of standard warship speed, say Mach 8 to 12, is not going to eliminate the problem I listed above.


There isn't any classification for a 'monitor' in Palladium systems, but I'm thinking of heavily armed non-FTL spacecraft of cruiser or greater class, meant for system defense. Heavy on armor and firepower, or maybe built around a single large heavy weapons battery allowing the ship to punch above its weight class.

And yeah, Palladium space weapons ranges are worse than knife fighting range.

So perhaps minefields of small high fractional c missiles going at speeds like aMach 120...but those require constant maintenance and attention to keep in formation, and replenish due to drift losses and breakdowns. Not the cheapest of solutions.

_________________
-------------
"Trouble rather the Tiger in his Lair,
Than the Sage among his Books,
For all the Empires and Kingdoms,
The Armies and Works that you hold Dear,
Are to him but the Playthings of the Moment,
To be turned over with the Flick of a Finger,
And the Turning of a Page"

--------Rudyard Kipling
------------


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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 11:41 pm
  

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Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
You dont need more than 2. You place them in polar orbits. Theyd be able to hit anything down to the equator. There would be a slight "Dead zone" under their cone of fire right at the equator, but you could cover that easily enough with smaller stations or even just planet-based defenses.

If you went up to 3, theyd have 100% coverage.

Edit: depending on planet size*

This was more a thought exercise though, just to see what a tech force could do compared to a Tangent. - 'cause lets face it, those Tangent stations are hillariously good. (Impervious to Energy?!, Self-repairing? Can summon ships from any other Tangent in the UWW?)''

I can see most "high end" civilized worlds (the ones with hundreds of millions to billions of people having enough defense stations to cover the planet.

More marginal worlds (tens to hundreds of millions) might only have one or two and/or a small local defense fleet.

And.. well, them's the breaks of living on marginal worlds. You're a lot more vulnerable to attack.

I understand how the geometry of this but not the range. The largest range we have seen is about 120 miles, the Altess super tech only goes to 250 miles I believe. Any planet developed enough to be able to afford this kind of defense is going to have massive orbital infrastructure that will minimum orbit between 250 and 500 miles (the ISS orbits at around 280 miles I believe) and may even go as far out as 1,000 miles. But lets say these stations orbit at 300 miles the weapons just won't reach. Now missiles will work but the this station could be replaced with thousands of orbiting missile pods for a fraction of the cost. If a station like the one you are talking about is going to have any use at all it would be in heavy energy weapons, IMHO.

taalismn wrote:
Warshield73 wrote:
taalismn wrote:
At what speed would you consider maneuvering thrusters to take a defensive weapons platform from 'platform' to 'monitor' classification?

How are you defining a Monitor? I don't think I've seen any in the books.

But, no matter how fast these platforms are if the weapons ranges are the same that we have seen in the books then anything short of standard warship speed, say Mach 8 to 12, is not going to eliminate the problem I listed above.


There isn't any classification for a 'monitor' in Palladium systems, but I'm thinking of heavily armed non-FTL spacecraft of cruiser or greater class, meant for system defense. Heavy on armor and firepower, or maybe built around a single large heavy weapons battery allowing the ship to punch above its weight class.

And yeah, Palladium space weapons ranges are worse than knife fighting range.

So perhaps minefields of small high fractional c missiles going at speeds like aMach 120...but those require constant maintenance and attention to keep in formation, and replenish due to drift losses and breakdowns. Not the cheapest of solutions.

I like this designation and in fact I described something similar that I use in the Planetary Defense Post that spawned this topic but calling them monitors is a cooler.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 9:23 pm
  

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Warshield73 wrote:
[
I like this designation and in fact I described something similar that I use in the Planetary Defense Post that spawned this topic but calling them monitors is a cooler.



Thanks. :-D
I was thinking of the old European 'coastal defense ships' that evolved out of the waterborne artillery batteries and ironclads that came earlier. They could, in some cases, be considered 'pocket cruisers', but their ocean-going capabilities tended to suck(I.e.. they lacked the fuel bunkers for long range, they sat low in the water, or they tended to roll badly in open ocean storms).

The old FASA Star Trek tactical game also had monitors, which were essentially heavily armored impulse-only flying phaser batteries and carrier platforms.

_________________
-------------
"Trouble rather the Tiger in his Lair,
Than the Sage among his Books,
For all the Empires and Kingdoms,
The Armies and Works that you hold Dear,
Are to him but the Playthings of the Moment,
To be turned over with the Flick of a Finger,
And the Turning of a Page"

--------Rudyard Kipling
------------


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Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:25 am
  

D-Bee

Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:22 am
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Warshield73 wrote:
I understand how the geometry of this but not the range. The largest range we have seen is about 120 miles, the Altess super tech only goes to 250 miles I believe. Any planet developed enough to be able to afford this kind of defense is going to have massive orbital infrastructure that will minimum orbit between 250 and 500 miles (the ISS orbits at around 280 miles I believe) and may even go as far out as 1,000 miles. But lets say these stations orbit at 300 miles the weapons just won't reach. Now missiles will work but the this station could be replaced with thousands of orbiting missile pods for a fraction of the cost. If a station like the one you are talking about is going to have any use at all it would be in heavy energy weapons, IMHO.


There's no particular reason to hang them that high in Orbit. Though it would depend on the depth of the atmosphere, etc.

And missiles are the long-range armament du-jour here. A station can have more individual tubes/launchers than the equivalent tonnage of starship, and have a FAR higher depth of ammo.

The heavy energy weapons would still be there, but it depends on how developed the world is as to how much use they are.

If you're a middle-range world, you can hang the station in orbit above most of your major population, and its energy weapons can reach the surface. So if the enemy lands their troops "outside the reach" of your sole station - the majority of your population is still protected. Troops on the ground dont fare well against being hit by heavy energy weapons. (IIRC correctly, maybe from the Doombringer - dont have books near me at the moment, one of the lasers that hits a surface target does several hundred MD to a pretty large area - a couple hundred feet) and even LRM strikes.

More populated planets can probably afford more than one station to cover their populated areas and contest the orbitals.

"A fortress avoided ceases to be an obstacle; a fortress destroyed ceases to be a threat. Never forget the difference."

There's been a lot of talk of c-Fractional strikes, but we have no evidence at all that anything like that exists in the PW universe, for whatever reason.

If i had to guess, it would be because their FTL technology (and the only way they have to really accelerate to a sizable fraction of light speed in less than weeks/months) ceases working if the drive shuts down. The moment you turn a CG drive off, the ship/object stops as gravity re-asserts itself. Same for a Phase drive.

There's no real way to get something going to a sizable fraction of c that doesn't involve a CG drive... which dont work close to planets. Even if the station were not near a CG/Phase-disrupting gravity well, one of the primary purposes of a c-fractional strike is to not let the enemy see it coming (no active engine, emissions, etc, so its nightmarishly hard to detect or find)... whereas anything being powered by a Phase or CG drive would be screaming its presence and could be (relatively easily, depending on how far out you can detect it) interdicted.. even if "interdicted" is just moving a ship or something in the way.

I mean, im not saying Stations dont have weaknesses. They ARE relatively stationary targets (allowing for orbit), their energy range is strictly limited (but then again, any Dreadnaught that wants to achieve orbit is going to have to slug it out with the station eventually; the Station probably has way more long-range missiles (LRMs and CRMs) than any given Dreadnaught, and can probably even be resupplied from the planet... so itll come down to an energy slugging match eventually if you want to dominate the orbitals.

Now, on more marginal planets with less coverage you could enter geostationary orbit around the other side of the planet or something and land troops... but on those planets, the station is also a lot more likely to be able to defend the major population center from ground assault... so youll still probably have to enter energy range and slug it out if you want your ground troops to not get crispifried from orbit.

Now.. if you amass a large enough fleet, any station is going to be toast. You could just stand off and swamp their defenses with CRMs and LRMs until enough got through to trash the station - since it cant move around like a fleet can. And they'd be a lot more vulnerable to fighter strikes than combatant ships that can move around (some of them even go faster than fighters, or fast enough to make a stern chase a LONG and drawn out process) - a heavy fighter strike with CRMs could cripple a station's weapons and make sweeping in for a boarding action or just blowing it out a lot easier.

But theyre far from worthless.

And the one reason you dont want to just hang a ton of missile satellites up there? Those are a lot easier to destroy. You could just sun-wall the area with enough missiles and they'd be toast. Or they'd expend themselves trying to defend themselves against a missile strike.

IMO, defense satellites work best when they are combined with a station.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 4:59 am
  

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taalismn wrote:
Thanks. :-D
I was thinking of the old European 'coastal defense ships' that evolved out of the waterborne artillery batteries and ironclads that came earlier. They could, in some cases, be considered 'pocket cruisers', but their ocean-going capabilities tended to suck(I.e.. they lacked the fuel bunkers for long range, they sat low in the water, or they tended to roll badly in open ocean storms).

The old FASA Star Trek tactical game also had monitors, which were essentially heavily armored impulse-only flying phaser batteries and carrier platforms.

In Rifts Space /MiO I really magnified Freedom station and I moved it to a Sol-Earth Lagrange point. A big part of the defense I created for them were mobile platforms that I called Redoubts. These served a lot of the same purposes as the coastal defense ships.

Again I have several version of system defense ships that are sub-light and carry heavy weapons that are way above there weight class. To me this sounds like what you are going for with the Monitors.

Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
Warshield73 wrote:
I understand how the geometry of this but not the range. The largest range we have seen is about 120 miles, the Altess super tech only goes to 250 miles I believe. Any planet developed enough to be able to afford this kind of defense is going to have massive orbital infrastructure that will minimum orbit between 250 and 500 miles (the ISS orbits at around 280 miles I believe) and may even go as far out as 1,000 miles. But lets say these stations orbit at 300 miles the weapons just won't reach. Now missiles will work but the this station could be replaced with thousands of orbiting missile pods for a fraction of the cost. If a station like the one you are talking about is going to have any use at all it would be in heavy energy weapons, IMHO.

There's no particular reason to hang them that high in Orbit. Though it would depend on the depth of the atmosphere, etc.

As far as orbit for a fortress it is going to depend far less on atmospheric conditions and far more on orbital infrastructure. In terms of warfighting in a spacefaring society orbital works are going to be far more valuable than anything on the surface. In many ways a planets only real function in such a situation is to support the orbital stations. If you are at war with such a planet destroying shipyards and other facilities in orbit is way more important then hitting population centers in orbit.

If you're an Honor Harington fan you will remember operation Oyster Bay or what was called the Yawata Strike. If you're not just Google it, it is a quick read. Conquest of a planet is going to be pretty limited, the biggest threat would be commerce and infrastructure raids. Forts need to be in a position to stop those or there usefulness is limited.

Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
And missiles are the long-range armament du-jour here. A station can have more individual tubes/launchers than the equivalent tonnage of starship, and have a FAR higher depth of ammo.

The heavy energy weapons would still be there, but it depends on how developed the world is as to how much use they are.

The problem with missiles is that they are easier for ships to defend against under the PB rules. For a capital ship energy weapons really are the biggest threat as they cannot really dodge.

I agree that missiles are the biggest part of planetary defenses but those can be in unmanned satellites placed around orbit. Yes a fortress could have really deep magazines but the big advantage to having a large fortress that doesn't need engines so it can be as heavy as you want it can have massive reactors and huge energy weapons.

Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
If you're a middle-range world, you can hang the station in orbit above most of your major population, and its energy weapons can reach the surface. So if the enemy lands their troops "outside the reach" of your sole station - the majority of your population is still protected. Troops on the ground dont fare well against being hit by heavy energy weapons. (IIRC correctly, maybe from the Doombringer - dont have books near me at the moment, one of the lasers that hits a surface target does several hundred MD to a pretty large area - a couple hundred feet) and even LRM strikes.

More populated planets can probably afford more than one station to cover their populated areas and contest the orbitals.

"A fortress avoided ceases to be an obstacle; a fortress destroyed ceases to be a threat. Never forget the difference."

There's been a lot of talk of c-Fractional strikes, but we have no evidence at all that anything like that exists in the PW universe, for whatever reason.

If i had to guess, it would be because their FTL technology (and the only way they have to really accelerate to a sizable fraction of light speed in less than weeks/months) ceases working if the drive shuts down. The moment you turn a CG drive off, the ship/object stops as gravity re-asserts itself. Same for a Phase drive.

There's no real way to get something going to a sizable fraction of c that doesn't involve a CG drive... which dont work close to planets. Even if the station were not near a CG/Phase-disrupting gravity well, one of the primary purposes of a c-fractional strike is to not let the enemy see it coming (no active engine, emissions, etc, so its nightmarishly hard to detect or find)... whereas anything being powered by a Phase or CG drive would be screaming its presence and could be (relatively easily, depending on how far out you can detect it) interdicted.. even if "interdicted" is just moving a ship or something in the way.

I mean, im not saying Stations dont have weaknesses. They ARE relatively stationary targets (allowing for orbit), their energy range is strictly limited (but then again, any Dreadnaught that wants to achieve orbit is going to have to slug it out with the station eventually; the Station probably has way more long-range missiles (LRMs and CRMs) than any given Dreadnaught, and can probably even be resupplied from the planet... so itll come down to an energy slugging match eventually if you want to dominate the orbitals.

Now, on more marginal planets with less coverage you could enter geostationary orbit around the other side of the planet or something and land troops... but on those planets, the station is also a lot more likely to be able to defend the major population center from ground assault... so youll still probably have to enter energy range and slug it out if you want your ground troops to not get crispifried from orbit.

Now.. if you amass a large enough fleet, any station is going to be toast. You could just stand off and swamp their defenses with CRMs and LRMs until enough got through to trash the station - since it cant move around like a fleet can. And they'd be a lot more vulnerable to fighter strikes than combatant ships that can move around (some of them even go faster than fighters, or fast enough to make a stern chase a LONG and drawn out process) - a heavy fighter strike with CRMs could cripple a station's weapons and make sweeping in for a boarding action or just blowing it out a lot easier.

But theyre far from worthless.

And the one reason you dont want to just hang a ton of missile satellites up there? Those are a lot easier to destroy. You could just sun-wall the area with enough missiles and they'd be toast. Or they'd expend themselves trying to defend themselves against a missile strike.

IMO, defense satellites work best when they are combined with a station.

Now I'm not saying fortresses are worthless but I'm not sure what tactical advantage a stationary fortress would have vs. a squadron of Monitors supported by fighters and missile pods.

Now with the Tangent we see that a magical fort can have a big advantage over a ship but I'm not seeing it for a technological station.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 8:07 pm
  

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Warshield73 wrote:
[
Now with the Tangent we see that a magical fort can have a big advantage over a ship but I'm not seeing it for a technological station.


Ewwww....If the fortress could magically teleport...would that make it a ship? :D

_________________
-------------
"Trouble rather the Tiger in his Lair,
Than the Sage among his Books,
For all the Empires and Kingdoms,
The Armies and Works that you hold Dear,
Are to him but the Playthings of the Moment,
To be turned over with the Flick of a Finger,
And the Turning of a Page"

--------Rudyard Kipling
------------


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Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2019 2:20 am
  

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taalismn wrote:
Warshield73 wrote:
[
Now with the Tangent we see that a magical fort can have a big advantage over a ship but I'm not seeing it for a technological station.


Ewwww....If the fortress could magically teleport...would that make it a ship? :D

Mobile Platform

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Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2019 7:59 pm
  

D-Bee

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Warshield73 wrote:
taalismn wrote:
Thanks. :-D
I was thinking of the old European 'coastal defense ships' that evolved out of the waterborne artillery batteries and ironclads that came earlier. They could, in some cases, be considered 'pocket cruisers', but their ocean-going capabilities tended to suck(I.e.. they lacked the fuel bunkers for long range, they sat low in the water, or they tended to roll badly in open ocean storms).

The old FASA Star Trek tactical game also had monitors, which were essentially heavily armored impulse-only flying phaser batteries and carrier platforms.

In Rifts Space /MiO I really magnified Freedom station and I moved it to a Sol-Earth Lagrange point. A big part of the defense I created for them were mobile platforms that I called Redoubts. These served a lot of the same purposes as the coastal defense ships.

Again I have several version of system defense ships that are sub-light and carry heavy weapons that are way above there weight class. To me this sounds like what you are going for with the Monitors.

Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
Warshield73 wrote:
I understand how the geometry of this but not the range. The largest range we have seen is about 120 miles, the Altess super tech only goes to 250 miles I believe. Any planet developed enough to be able to afford this kind of defense is going to have massive orbital infrastructure that will minimum orbit between 250 and 500 miles (the ISS orbits at around 280 miles I believe) and may even go as far out as 1,000 miles. But lets say these stations orbit at 300 miles the weapons just won't reach. Now missiles will work but the this station could be replaced with thousands of orbiting missile pods for a fraction of the cost. If a station like the one you are talking about is going to have any use at all it would be in heavy energy weapons, IMHO.

There's no particular reason to hang them that high in Orbit. Though it would depend on the depth of the atmosphere, etc.

As far as orbit for a fortress it is going to depend far less on atmospheric conditions and far more on orbital infrastructure. In terms of warfighting in a spacefaring society orbital works are going to be far more valuable than anything on the surface. In many ways a planets only real function in such a situation is to support the orbital stations. If you are at war with such a planet destroying shipyards and other facilities in orbit is way more important then hitting population centers in orbit.

If you're an Honor Harington fan you will remember operation Oyster Bay or what was called the Yawata Strike. If you're not just Google it, it is a quick read. Conquest of a planet is going to be pretty limited, the biggest threat would be commerce and infrastructure raids. Forts need to be in a position to stop those or there usefulness is limited.

Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
And missiles are the long-range armament du-jour here. A station can have more individual tubes/launchers than the equivalent tonnage of starship, and have a FAR higher depth of ammo.

The heavy energy weapons would still be there, but it depends on how developed the world is as to how much use they are.

The problem with missiles is that they are easier for ships to defend against under the PB rules. For a capital ship energy weapons really are the biggest threat as they cannot really dodge.

I agree that missiles are the biggest part of planetary defenses but those can be in unmanned satellites placed around orbit. Yes a fortress could have really deep magazines but the big advantage to having a large fortress that doesn't need engines so it can be as heavy as you want it can have massive reactors and huge energy weapons.

Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
If you're a middle-range world, you can hang the station in orbit above most of your major population, and its energy weapons can reach the surface. So if the enemy lands their troops "outside the reach" of your sole station - the majority of your population is still protected. Troops on the ground dont fare well against being hit by heavy energy weapons. (IIRC correctly, maybe from the Doombringer - dont have books near me at the moment, one of the lasers that hits a surface target does several hundred MD to a pretty large area - a couple hundred feet) and even LRM strikes.

More populated planets can probably afford more than one station to cover their populated areas and contest the orbitals.

"A fortress avoided ceases to be an obstacle; a fortress destroyed ceases to be a threat. Never forget the difference."

There's been a lot of talk of c-Fractional strikes, but we have no evidence at all that anything like that exists in the PW universe, for whatever reason.

If i had to guess, it would be because their FTL technology (and the only way they have to really accelerate to a sizable fraction of light speed in less than weeks/months) ceases working if the drive shuts down. The moment you turn a CG drive off, the ship/object stops as gravity re-asserts itself. Same for a Phase drive.

There's no real way to get something going to a sizable fraction of c that doesn't involve a CG drive... which dont work close to planets. Even if the station were not near a CG/Phase-disrupting gravity well, one of the primary purposes of a c-fractional strike is to not let the enemy see it coming (no active engine, emissions, etc, so its nightmarishly hard to detect or find)... whereas anything being powered by a Phase or CG drive would be screaming its presence and could be (relatively easily, depending on how far out you can detect it) interdicted.. even if "interdicted" is just moving a ship or something in the way.

I mean, im not saying Stations dont have weaknesses. They ARE relatively stationary targets (allowing for orbit), their energy range is strictly limited (but then again, any Dreadnaught that wants to achieve orbit is going to have to slug it out with the station eventually; the Station probably has way more long-range missiles (LRMs and CRMs) than any given Dreadnaught, and can probably even be resupplied from the planet... so itll come down to an energy slugging match eventually if you want to dominate the orbitals.

Now, on more marginal planets with less coverage you could enter geostationary orbit around the other side of the planet or something and land troops... but on those planets, the station is also a lot more likely to be able to defend the major population center from ground assault... so youll still probably have to enter energy range and slug it out if you want your ground troops to not get crispifried from orbit.

Now.. if you amass a large enough fleet, any station is going to be toast. You could just stand off and swamp their defenses with CRMs and LRMs until enough got through to trash the station - since it cant move around like a fleet can. And they'd be a lot more vulnerable to fighter strikes than combatant ships that can move around (some of them even go faster than fighters, or fast enough to make a stern chase a LONG and drawn out process) - a heavy fighter strike with CRMs could cripple a station's weapons and make sweeping in for a boarding action or just blowing it out a lot easier.

But theyre far from worthless.

And the one reason you dont want to just hang a ton of missile satellites up there? Those are a lot easier to destroy. You could just sun-wall the area with enough missiles and they'd be toast. Or they'd expend themselves trying to defend themselves against a missile strike.

IMO, defense satellites work best when they are combined with a station.

Now I'm not saying fortresses are worthless but I'm not sure what tactical advantage a stationary fortress would have vs. a squadron of Monitors supported by fighters and missile pods.

Now with the Tangent we see that a magical fort can have a big advantage over a ship but I'm not seeing it for a technological station.


Order of magnitude Higher MDC comes to mind.

That large station i built has 5 million MDC, and i didnt spend a single point on increasing it.

The city-sized station has tens of millions.

Monitors also make poor orbital platforms for receiving shipping, doing commerce, etc, which a Station can also do.

Again, not saying the concept of a system defense fleet is just a wash in terms of a station, but a station is probably more affordable for a lot of the marginal worlds. And im not 100% convinced that Monitors as a concept are workable in the 3Gs.

As someone pointed out in a different thread, (and i honestly hadnt thought about it until then) the range at which FTL is disabled is pretty small, comparatively, so the lack of ability to enter FTL might be a giant issue. As was pointed out in that other conversation, ships can FTL out of the reach of fighters and missiles pretty easily unless they are engaged right up against the gravity well of a planet.

It honestly wasn't something that ever occured to me about combat in the 3Gs until i read that thread and thought about it, but RAW, its correct.

In my head FTL in-system was just a no go at all times. But its not actually like that.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:18 am
  

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I a, taking your points out of order because my first answer rolls into the second, hope you don't mind
Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
As someone pointed out in a different thread, (and i honestly hadnt thought about it until then) the range at which FTL is disabled is pretty small, comparatively, so the lack of ability to enter FTL might be a giant issue. As was pointed out in that other conversation, ships can FTL out of the reach of fighters and missiles pretty easily unless they are engaged right up against the gravity well of a planet.

It honestly wasn't something that ever occured to me about combat in the 3Gs until i read that thread and thought about it, but RAW, its correct.

In my head FTL in-system was just a no go at all times. But its not actually like that.

The minimum FTL range from an Earth sized planet is 16,000 KM. The average capital ship is slower than Mach 10 or 12,348 KpH. This means, unless I screwed up my spreadsheet for the last decade and half, that the average ship would need over an hour to move from minimum safe to attack range of a planet, and the same time to retreat. This is why I always felt that almost everything of value in a Three Galaxies star system would be within the gravity well of a planet or moon. This is also why I feel that almost any battle of consequence will take place within a gravity well, as opposed to open space, because in a battle in open space as soon as one side starts to loose it will just leave. Even defenders would fall back to a defensive fortification or simply evade to recharge and repair.

Now while this area is small, in stellar terms, in terms of the average speeds of these ships and the weapons ranges, maxing out at around 1,600 KM. This means that the gravity well around a planet is probably it's single best defense. This is actually the reason I created sub-light defense ships , what taalismn called Monitors. FTL drives and the support systems onboard have to be unbelievably expensive. Creating what amounts to a sublight gun battery is much cheaper than FTL ships of equivalent power. You also have to factor in that CG sensors can detect an FTL ship at 10 LY out, so somewhere around 2 hours. Add to that the 1 hour sub-light cruise to target and that means that any Monitors would have anywhere from 1 to 3 hours to prepare and position themselves.

In my Phase World I also have a political reason for these ships. The Kreeghor emperor likes to have planets heavily defended but doesn't like to give too much power to Governors or fleet commanders. Using massive numbers of these monitors make TGE planets hard to attack while at the same time limiting there ability to revolt. I have always envisioned TGE System Defense Ships as being like submarines on the inside with most areas being to small for Kreeghor and them being 100% manned by client races like humans and wulfen. But that's just me.


Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
Order of magnitude Higher MDC comes to mind.

That large station i built has 5 million MDC, and i didnt spend a single point on increasing it.

The city-sized station has tens of millions.

Monitors also make poor orbital platforms for receiving shipping, doing commerce, etc, which a Station can also do.

Again, not saying the concept of a system defense fleet is just a wash in terms of a station, but a station is probably more affordable for a lot of the marginal worlds. And im not 100% convinced that Monitors as a concept are workable in the 3Gs.

I agree that the MDC is a huge advantage, but what I was saying is that it would be interesting if the technology gave it some special ability the way the Tangent gets.

Again, the way I have always die defenses in PW consists of stations, satellites, fighter bases, and system defense ships/Monitors. As well as large sensor platforms placed "above" and "below" the plain of the solar system to detect ships and objects in bound.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 2:21 am
  

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I would think the bulk of planetary orbital defense would be done by unmanned defense satellites. The main support they would have in my mind would be fighter/bombers. This would be cheaper and remove the need to have ship yards on every planet.

Revolting does not require taking other planets just protecting the planet that declares its independence. So a sub-light fleet of ships could be used to assist in a planetary revolt. (AS could any planetary defense force.) In order for a planet to have sub-light defense fleet would require it to have access to build capital ships, that can be adapted to produce FTL. (Not something the Kruger would want every planet to have.)

I see the Kruger being more along the lines of automated defense that fires upon any one that does not have a proper access code, the planet would be unlikely to have control of the satellites. Also they would probably have a way to remotely turn the weapons on to attack the planet.

Planets may have a commerce space station, but a defense station would likely be limited to planets with a high amount of tactical importance. Ship yards or boarder/strategic point for fleet refit and regrouping for main attacks.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2019 9:32 pm
  

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Warshield73 wrote:
FTL drives and the support systems onboard have to be unbelievably expensive.


Im not sure the stats back that up.

You can, after all, get a Black Eagle fighter with an FLT drive for not a lot more than the regular Black Eagle.

One of the books (might be Three Galaxies, might be Fleets, im not near my books) has a listing of drives and their cost.

Ill have to look it up, but im not sure that FTL drives really add all -that- much to the cost of a ship, all things considered.

And, for something like a Monitor (usually i see that term used as "Bigger than a Super Dreadnaught", but we can use it here to mean the large system defense ship)... it doesn't need to be a FAST FTL drive.

Even a drive that does a paltry 1LY per hour gets you across the system nearly instantly and allows you to evade fighters and missiles when you aren't pinned in a gravity well.

Edit: friend i was messaging with looked it up for me.

5 Million for a CG-A drive that does 1LY/hour.

I'd still fit it to a Monitor. Thats nothing compared to the total cost of the ship and gives you a huge advantage and potential for springing ambushes and evading.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2019 9:43 pm
  

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Thinking about it, cost/benefit wise, you're probably best off having slow-FTL equipped Escort Carriers (destroyer hulls that are basically just flight decks) and truckloads and truckloads of fighters.

That way you can move your fighters around, the ships are cheap, and you can put tons of anti-shipping firepower on target with fighter-launched LRM and CRMs.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2019 3:12 am
  

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Blue_Lion wrote:
I would think the bulk of planetary orbital defense would be done by unmanned defense satellites. The main support they would have in my mind would be fighter/bombers. This would be cheaper and remove the need to have ship yards on every planet.

I always thought that drones and unmanned systems would be a major part of this too, and in my PW game it is, but according to the information in Fleets there are very few to none. It is described as an AI phobia.

The problems with leaving everything up to fighters is they are very fragile and have limited payload of heavy weapons. Mixed fleets (capital, sub-capital, and fighters) tend to have an advantage.

Blue_Lion wrote:
Revolting does not require taking other planets just protecting the planet that declares its independence. So a sub-light fleet of ships could be used to assist in a planetary revolt. (AS could any planetary defense force.) In order for a planet to have sub-light defense fleet would require it to have access to build capital ships, that can be adapted to produce FTL. (Not something the Kruger would want every planet to have.)

Sub-light defense ships limits the spread of a rebellion. The problem with the Revolt on Good Hope was that armed ships streamed in from other systems, these system defense ships make that impossible.

So if you have 5 systems in revolt and each system has predominately sub-light warships then you can concentrate a smaller force and defeat them in detail. Also the SDS's I created are much cheaper and less advanced then FTL warships of equivalent size. Also I have large bulk freighters, roughly carrier sized, that can transport ships of this size from the yards to their stations which to me makes more sense than having a yard in every system.

Blue_Lion wrote:
I see the Kruger being more along the lines of automated defense that fires upon any one that does not have a proper access code, the planet would be unlikely to have control of the satellites. Also they would probably have a way to remotely turn the weapons on to attack the planet.

Again I would agree but the AI phobia seems to apply here. Also, as we saw with the revolt on Good Hope, if anyone in system has control over those satellites they can be taken by revolutionaries. If they are not controlled by anyone in the system then maintenance costs go way up. We also know from Good Hope that it is possible for rebels to take control of those defenses.

Blue_Lion wrote:
Planets may have a commerce space station, but a defense station would likely be limited to planets with a high amount of tactical importance. Ship yards or boarder/strategic point for fleet refit and regrouping for main attacks.

I think we all agree with this. We are talking about planets with populations in the hundreds of millions to billions population range or systems with strategic importance.

Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
Warshield73 wrote:
FTL drives and the support systems onboard have to be unbelievably expensive.


Im not sure the stats back that up.

You can, after all, get a Black Eagle fighter with an FLT drive for not a lot more than the regular Black Eagle.

One of the books (might be Three Galaxies, might be Fleets, im not near my books) has a listing of drives and their cost.

Ill have to look it up, but im not sure that FTL drives really add all -that- much to the cost of a ship, all things considered.

And, for something like a Monitor (usually i see that term used as "Bigger than a Super Dreadnaught", but we can use it here to mean the large system defense ship)... it doesn't need to be a FAST FTL drive.

Even a drive that does a paltry 1LY per hour gets you across the system nearly instantly and allows you to evade fighters and missiles when you aren't pinned in a gravity well.

Edit: friend i was messaging with looked it up for me.

5 Million for a CG-A drive that does 1LY/hour.

I'd still fit it to a Monitor. Thats nothing compared to the total cost of the ship and gives you a huge advantage and potential for springing ambushes and evading.

Yes the list is in the Three Galaxies book pg. 132. I had always assumed that was for small craft, smaller than a destroyer, or larger ships need more engines. Otherwise you have a 15 million ton Protector which cost 50 billion being moved by roughly the same drive that a 300 ton Runner ship uses. That Runner ship, BTW, costs only 30 million but the drive alone is supposed to cost 40 million on its own. So if you weren't already aware of how broken the Phase World spacecraft creation is this should drive that home. I mean within the same book on page 144 they have CG-Sleds that also cost less than the drive on its own.

Now you are correct that any FTL drive, forget 1 LYpH even 0.01 LYpH would move a ship around a system incredibly fast and if there is no weight limit to it and a 5 million dollar drive can move around a Battlecruiser than there would be no point in having any ship that is not FTL.

Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
Thinking about it, cost/benefit wise, you're probably best off having slow-FTL equipped Escort Carriers (destroyer hulls that are basically just flight decks) and truckloads and truckloads of fighters.

That way you can move your fighters around, the ships are cheap, and you can put tons of anti-shipping firepower on target with fighter-launched LRM and CRMs.

The problem with this is the losses. The kind of ships you are talking about would be incredibly vulnerable and could be destroyed easily necessitating large numbers of defenders which in turn reduces the combat power.

I am a big believer in CVEs and I have a bunch of them in my PW games but fighters have limits, mainly due to payload.

That being said, as I said earlier, the defense doctrine I created for PW is heavily dependent on fighters. Planet based, station based and carry based.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2019 6:38 pm
  

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Warshield73 wrote:
The problem with this is the losses. The kind of ships you are talking about would be incredibly vulnerable and could be destroyed easily necessitating large numbers of defenders which in turn reduces the combat power.


Incredibly vulnerable to... what? You dont exactly deploy carriers into the heat of battle. You stooge them around 1000+ miles away and launch fighters.

Equipped with a CG-A drive, they can FTL out of the way of any incoming missiles with tens of minutes to spare, same with fighters, or even enemy ships.

You wouldn't necessarily have to even keep fighters on them; you could use them as out-system re-arming points for your fighters that are launched from the planet. They simply maneuver to pre-arranged jump points to meet fighter wings for rearmament.

Quote:
I am a big believer in CVEs and I have a bunch of them in my PW games but fighters have limits, mainly due to payload.


Depends entirely on the fighter, to be sure, but... and? If your first strike takes out half the enemy fleet, and encourages them to go away, mission accomplished.

No one is trying to say theyre going to magically stand off a huge fleet.

We're talking about marginal worlds, not large well established ones (which will almost certainly have an IDF, at least a small planetary defense station, etc) or even large colonies.

But 300-400 fighters staged in a dozen floating flight decks will stand off pirates and would be tin-pot dictators from the next system over all day every day. Pirates arent there for conquest, they're there for money. Once you make it a losing proposition, theyll leave. A tin-pot dictator wont be able to risk his (more expensive) ships against your forces for fear of losing them and then not being able to maintain power back at home. The only thing you have to worry about then is crazy-go-nuts Firefly-Reaver style attacks, which while not unheard of, are not the most common threat to such worlds.

And they may have payload limitations, but fighters are actually a lot more likely to be able to close to the 1-mile Sprint Mode range for Cruise Missiles (where they cannot be interdicted, or the 3-mile range for all missiles where they cannot be dodged); so they're a LOT more likely to actually deliver a useful payload. You might throw 1000 CRMs from a Heavy Cruiser and only 100 of them will hit (or less) at long range. But if 100 fighters get through to deliver their missiles and salvo intelligently, a LOT more of those missiles will hit and get through shields.

And CRMs are limited in payload.. but there are a couple fighters that have pretty potent LRM payloads, and especially the modified merchantment and light combatants that Pirates and Raiders are likely to have.... LRMs are almost as dangerous as CRMs against them.

Again, im not saying this is going to stand off a dedicated attack from even a middle-weight power, but against the threats that face most marginal worlds.. it could actually be quite potent.

Quote:
That being said, as I said earlier, the defense doctrine I created for PW is heavily dependent on fighters. Planet based, station based and carry based.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2019 11:02 pm
  

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Is there not a issue with use of ftl in planetary gravity wells.

Fighters may be more fragile than capital ships, but are cheaper require smaller crews. While 1 fighter may have limited affect against 1 capital ship but it will not be 1 to 1. Also bombing a planet could make in uninhabitable so the main threat to a colony is the shuttles deploying troops. Squadron of fighters are ideal for shooting those down. Invading a low inhabited world of say 100K requires 5-8 times the local military(25-40K troops) and huge expenditure of equipment costing around at least 50 billion. (that is just for troop transport.) fleets of the three galaxies pg 12. In addition the main guns of your capitals ships are unsuited for attacking fighters. Strength of fighters are found on page 14 of fleet of three galaxy. Against larger ships a swarm of fighter bombers can deliver missiles inside point defense so there is no time for them to defend then fire off point blank crews missile attacks allowing a swarm of fighters to take down a dreadnought.

Odds are battles are happening closer to planet sphere than edge of safe FTL. Capital ships are easier to detect and target at greater range and you can focus heavy weapons on them.

Unmanned defense platform really are not any more AI than smart missiles, or turrets (the tge is not listed as not having automated turrets only 1 nation was listed as lacking it). Unmanned satellites are not really maintenance heavy. Not having a local admin does not allays add to the maintenance cost. They could use long range comms that the planet already has to send a time linked stand down code for maintenance if any is needed. However if he GB is maintenance free(only combat damage needs maintenance) then it is logical that unnamed satellites would be the same.

Costs for FTL can be found on page 132 of Three galaxies Dimension book 6, the only mass limit ever mentioned is in the dreadnought range. They start at 5 million credits for 1 ly per hour. Given that sub capital ships, often cost more than 100 million it does not appear to be a extreme increase in cost. The CCW explorer class cruiser has a cost of 35 billion with a drive ftl drive of 6 ly per hour valued at 75K, so less than 1% of the total cost. Is saving 1% cost worth limiting a fleet to just 1 system? The Scimitar patrol frigate cost 400 million credits to build drive value 40 million, so on a small ship it is 10% for a rather high end drive.

Also population size and strategic importance are often unrelated. A high population may be of economic importance but unless it is the main builder of your fleets or military gear it may not be strategically important. Strategic importance would be things like fleet command, Ship yards, proximity to planets in danger. I can see the CCW having a line of strategic systems near the TGE to serve as fleet staging areas for defense. Because these systems will have resources to stage and repair fleets they would be the first targets in an invasion. When possible an intelligent fleet command would choose less densely populated systems and launch attack fleets from here to rescue higher population besieged worlds. Smaller civilian population makes it harder to place spies.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 7:52 pm
  

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Before I sound off on these I just want to say that all of this depends on information about FTL travel that we either don't have or is poorly defined. We know that an FTL drive needs to be at least 10,000 miles from a planet and twice that is safer. But what does this mean. What happens if I drop out of FTL at 9,750 miles or jump to FTL at 5,000 miles? Does it not work, or break down, or blow up. and what does it mean that "twice that is safer". If I jump to FTL at exactly 10,000 miles is there a danger of some kind that I can avoid waiting to 20,000 miles?

More Questions:
How fast are you traveling when you exit FTL and how accurate is your exit, i.e. how close to a target can you exit FTL?
How fast can you jump to FTL, or how long does it take bring up the FTL and go to lightspeed?

Lastly is the cost of FTL. If you take the list of prices in DB 6, pg.132 for every ship below Dreadnought. If it is than ther is no reason for any ship larger than a shuttle to not have FTL and there are very few reasons for any of those ships to use anything less than CG-G drive to do 7+ LYpH. Think about it if a Packmaster costs 20 billion and according to the Erata does 5 LYpH. for just 110 million more, or an increase in cost of 2.2% you can increase the FTL to 7 or an increase in 71.43%. So the question is if these are the costs for all ships why are they not all 7 LYpH?

Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
Warshield73 wrote:
The problem with this is the losses. The kind of ships you are talking about would be incredibly vulnerable and could be destroyed easily necessitating large numbers of defenders which in turn reduces the combat power.


Incredibly vulnerable to... what? You dont exactly deploy carriers into the heat of battle. You stooge them around 1000+ miles away and launch fighters.

Equipped with a CG-A drive, they can FTL out of the way of any incoming missiles with tens of minutes to spare, same with fighters, or even enemy ships.

You wouldn't necessarily have to even keep fighters on them; you could use them as out-system re-arming points for your fighters that are launched from the planet. They simply maneuver to pre-arranged jump points to meet fighter wings for rearmament.

If you look at the rules for FTL combat in DB 12 they would be vulnerable to anything with a higher FTL speed then them. The ships you are describing would be meat for a trio of Proctors. Also you should remember that you are talking about these as defensive ships that means there will be FTL attackers in system and these ships would be juicy targets.

Also you have to keep in mind that the FTL limit of 10,000 miles. Assume a very fast fighter of Mach 16 that means a 48 minute flight time. This means that fighters would be out of the fight for more than an hour and a half just to reload. Now this doesn't mean that the carrier can't go this far out it just means that the attack isn't sustainable.

Now something else to keep in mind is that fighters can not damage any ship with more than 3,500 MDC main body except with cruise missiles. This is in DB 13 pg. 14 and we had a long discussion about it here if you remember. This means that once those fighters fire there cruise missiles they are of limited use against capital ships.

Now I agree with you that any ship capable of jumping to FTL could avoid combat or damage by jumping to FTL. This is why I have always found the idea that most battles are in deep space, as is stated in DB 13, to be a little strange. But according to the rules a ship with faster FTL can catch and attack so that is what it would be vulnerable to.

Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
Warshield73 wrote:
I am a big believer in CVEs and I have a bunch of them in my PW games but fighters have limits, mainly due to payload.


Depends entirely on the fighter, to be sure, but... and? If your first strike takes out half the enemy fleet, and encourages them to go away, mission accomplished.

No one is trying to say theyre going to magically stand off a huge fleet.

We're talking about marginal worlds, not large well established ones (which will almost certainly have an IDF, at least a small planetary defense station, etc) or even large colonies.

But 300-400 fighters staged in a dozen floating flight decks will stand off pirates and would be tin-pot dictators from the next system over all day every day. Pirates arent there for conquest, they're there for money. Once you make it a losing proposition, theyll leave. A tin-pot dictator wont be able to risk his (more expensive) ships against your forces for fear of losing them and then not being able to maintain power back at home. The only thing you have to worry about then is crazy-go-nuts Firefly-Reaver style attacks, which while not unheard of, are not the most common threat to such worlds.

And they may have payload limitations, but fighters are actually a lot more likely to be able to close to the 1-mile Sprint Mode range for Cruise Missiles (where they cannot be interdicted, or the 3-mile range for all missiles where they cannot be dodged); so they're a LOT more likely to actually deliver a useful payload. You might throw 1000 CRMs from a Heavy Cruiser and only 100 of them will hit (or less) at long range. But if 100 fighters get through to deliver their missiles and salvo intelligently, a LOT more of those missiles will hit and get through shields.

And CRMs are limited in payload.. but there are a couple fighters that have pretty potent LRM payloads, and especially the modified merchantment and light combatants that Pirates and Raiders are likely to have.... LRMs are almost as dangerous as CRMs against them.

Again, im not saying this is going to stand off a dedicated attack from even a middle-weight power, but against the threats that face most marginal worlds.. it could actually be quite potent.

Quote:
That being said, as I said earlier, the defense doctrine I created for PW is heavily dependent on fighters. Planet based, station based and carry based.

I agree with most of this in fact I have always had sort of a scale for planetary defenses based on a few ideas.
- Population, how many people
- Economic output, what can they afford and how valuable are they
- Geography, are they in a dangerous neighborhood
- Strategic Value, this would be related to geography but not limited to it. A System might have strategic importance if it has ancient ruins or a valuable wormhole or rift or ley-line system or just resources.
- Age, older colonies will have had a longer time to build up defenses while a newer colony of the same size may not have

All of this would determine how much local defenses there are and how much outside help they have. So looking at a CCW system how big and well equipped is the IDF and how much CAF support does it have?

Also we keep talking about defending a planet but really we need to defend a system. To grow a colony would need to make use of resources in asteroid belts and around gas giants so it does little good to protect your populated planet if all of your industry is floating around a gas giant unprotected.

And yes pirates are not in it for conquest but imagine a pirate flotilla coming into a system and just destroying asteroid mining and gas collection stations and space infrastructure until you pay them a few hundred million credits.

If I'm the TGE and I'm at war with the CCW I could give less than two craps about the 60 billion people on Tera Prime, I want to destroy as many ship yards and mining facilities as I can. This is why I believe that most of these would be tucked into a gravity well were they can be protected.

Blue_Lion wrote:
Is there not a issue with use of ftl in planetary gravity wells.

Yes I covered this at the top.

Blue_Lion wrote:
Fighters may be more fragile than capital ships, but are cheaper require smaller crews. While 1 fighter may have limited affect against 1 capital ship but it will not be 1 to 1.

Agreed but a fighter squadron is always going to be more effective and take fewer losses when supported by larger ships in a mixed fleet. Fighters are an attrition unit, they are there to take the hits so 1 or 2 people can die instead of the 40 to 1,000 that might die from that same hit on a capital ship but you still want to limit your losses. Every fighter you loose is one less weapons platform for the next attack. That is really all I was saying.

Blue_Lion wrote:
Also bombing a planet could make in uninhabitable so the main threat to a colony is the shuttles deploying troops. Squadron of fighters are ideal for shooting those down. Invading a low inhabited world of say 100K requires 5-8 times the local military(25-40K troops) and huge expenditure of equipment costing around at least 50 billion. (that is just for troop transport.) fleets of the three galaxies pg 12.

The thing is, this is for an invasion. I don't need your planet I just need to control the space around it and I can do that for a fraction of the above cost. A good place to read about warfare like this is in the Honor Harrington books how the Solarian League, particularly how OFS or Office of Frontier Security operates. Once I clear the space I just starve you out. No interplanetary commerce, no off world aid of any kind. If I see you doing something that might threaten me from the surface I hit it with a heavy energy cannon. Over time the planets population gets tired of it and they want things "back to normal". This could take years or decades but it won't cost me as much as an invasion. Everyone assumes a space war will be like a planetary war but really once I have control of the orbital space around your planet I control every square inch of your planet. This is why in Honor Harington and other settings like it planets are expected to surrender when the enemy controls the orbital space. Because at that point you can just start droping bombs or even rocks on peoples heads until they give.

Also you talk about damaging the environment as if everyone will care about that. If I'm just interested in striping your world of resources and leave the people to starve to death. In that case all I need is just some remaining breathable atmosphere.

Blue_Lion wrote:
In addition the main guns of your capitals ships are unsuited for attacking fighters. Strength of fighters are found on page 14 of fleet of three galaxy. Against larger ships a swarm of fighter bombers can deliver missiles inside point defense so there is no time for them to defend then fire off point blank crews missile attacks allowing a swarm of fighters to take down a dreadnought.

I largely agree here accept for the last part. I ran the numbers for this a while ago when we were having the discussion I linked above. Given the damage rules I mentioned from DB 13 pg. 15 and the limited cruise missile payload the number of fighters needed to take down a Dreadnought would be unreal. You also have to accept that while the big guns have no effect on fighters they do have point defense and often have MRM and LRM with huge magazines. This combined with just the robot and power armor defenders means you are going to loose hundreds of fighters on each and every bombing run. Yes if I was killing a Dreadnought I would use a huge swarm of fighters up front to destroy sensors, PDT, even engines. But I would want to start it off with have weapon and missile fire to weaken the shields (I mean if your fighters have to use there CMs to drop the shields they have nothing left for the ship) and I would want to end with destroyers and maybe even Cruisers.

Blue_Lion wrote:
Odds are battles are happening closer to planet sphere than edge of safe FTL. Capital ships are easier to detect and target at greater range and you can focus heavy weapons on them.

Not sure I understand what you are saying here but I think I already agreed to it up above.

Blue_Lion wrote:
Unmanned defense platform really are not any more AI than smart missiles, or turrets (the tge is not listed as not having automated turrets only 1 nation was listed as lacking it). Unmanned satellites are not really maintenance heavy. Not having a local admin does not allays add to the maintenance cost. They could use long range comms that the planet already has to send a time linked stand down code for maintenance if any is needed. However if he GB is maintenance free(only combat damage needs maintenance) then it is logical that unnamed satellites would be the same.

I largely agree with your point on drones. I have had dozens of different drones in use by all major powers in my games for the last 20+ years. As for just the humans being AI phobic that doesn't seem to be what the book says. DB 13 pg. 15 gives AI phobia a it's number 9 reason for fighter craft and talks about it being three Galaxies wide. It does mention humans are more phobic than others but it is not exclusive to them.

As for control, no matter how you control an AI planetary defense it can be hacked and if you have a robot army controlling and defending your planet it no longer requires thousands or millions to rise up in rebellion, it requires one guy with a laptop. Again, I have always assumed that defenses are mixed with some drones and some manned craft to give you the best of both words and limit the problems of each.

Blue_Lion wrote:
Costs for FTL can be found on page 132 of Three galaxies Dimension book 6, the only mass limit ever mentioned is in the dreadnought range. They start at 5 million credits for 1 ly per hour. Given that sub capital ships, often cost more than 100 million it does not appear to be a extreme increase in cost. The CCW explorer class cruiser has a cost of 35 billion with a drive ftl drive of 6 ly per hour valued at 75K, so less than 1% of the total cost. Is saving 1% cost worth limiting a fleet to just 1 system? The Scimitar patrol frigate cost 400 million credits to build drive value 40 million, so on a small ship it is 10% for a rather high end drive.

I covered this above. If this is meant to cover all ships up to Battleship size then you are correct there is no point in manufacturing anything larger than a shuttle or smaller than a Dreadnought without an FTL drive. Now, this makes no sense as it is like saying the same engine that flies a Cessna can also power a C-5 Galaxy but hey lots of things in the train wreck that is Phase World make no sense. But, if you base engine cost on weight, as I do, then yes this factors in.

Blue_Lion wrote:
Also population size and strategic importance are often unrelated. A high population may be of economic importance but unless it is the main builder of your fleets or military gear it may not be strategically important. Strategic importance would be things like fleet command, Ship yards, proximity to planets in danger. I can see the CCW having a line of strategic systems near the TGE to serve as fleet staging areas for defense. Because these systems will have resources to stage and repair fleets they would be the first targets in an invasion. When possible an intelligent fleet command would choose less densely populated systems and launch attack fleets from here to rescue higher population besieged worlds. Smaller civilian population makes it harder to place spies.

I think I covered this above and I agree with all of it. I do think that such staging ground systems near borders would have stock pile of gear but little industry of there own. You want these systems to be as disposable as possible and you want them to be free of things you need to defend when the enemy comes to play.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 4:26 am
  

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I disagree on your statement about fighters and mixed fleet. They are not an attrition unit to take a hit. Aniti ship fleet weapons are as stated not designed to track fighters that well. That means anti fleet weapons look for fleet targets. Fighters would be target by lighter AA and point defense systems. So the weapons used to fight the fighters are not used against other fleet ships. They are used to take out enemy fighters and deliver missiles into the can't respond range.

Fighters defending a planet with the aid of a orbital defense network would be effective even without fleet to support it. A fleet would help but there is no need to build sub-light fleets to defend a planet. Create a network of early warning sensors and move a FTL fleet where it is needed. If you build ship yards to make sub-light ships at every world then your enemy can seize them to make FTL ships to attack you.

Nothing in the listing indicates they where drives for low mass ships and they work by altering the affects of gravity and mass. If the effective mass is 0 then the same drive can power any ship regardless of size. The reason they do not just build battle ships is cost. The reason they put FTL on smaller ships is because it is also cost. It is cheaper to build a fleet of 10 ships with FTL to defend 10 planets than to place 2 ships at every planet without FTL. The FTL fleets can go where ever they are needed while sub-light ships are stuck at the system they are built at.

If you are building something for defense of just a planet you would go with the most cost effective plan. Fighters and siege guns, with FTL fleets going to systems in need.

I do not recall seeing but do they ever discuss how long range communication is done in Phase world. They would need a way for worlds to contact each other quickly and contact fleets.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 3:14 pm
  

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Blue_Lion wrote:
I disagree on your statement about fighters and mixed fleet. They are not an attrition unit to take a hit. Aniti ship fleet weapons are as stated not designed to track fighters that well. That means anti fleet weapons look for fleet targets. Fighters would be target by lighter AA and point defense systems. So the weapons used to fight the fighters are not used against other fleet ships. They are used to take out enemy fighters and deliver missiles into the can't respond range.

First, not all PDWs are light. Most are and have ridiculously short ranges but they can include weapons in the 4D6 to 6D6 X10 range and can reach out to well beyond fighter ranges. They also include some LRMs and lots of MRMs. Second attrition units are just a way of describing what was pointed out above by others. A squadron of fighters can deliver almost as many CMs as a destroyer but when a fighter is destroyed you loose 1 to 3 people instead of 40 to 100.

Every unit, from Dreadnought to fighter has weaknesses the more varied your order of battle more weaknesses you can cover for.

Blue_Lion wrote:
Fighters defending a planet with the aid of a orbital defense network would be effective even without fleet to support it. A fleet would help but there is no need to build sub-light fleets to defend a planet. Create a network of early warning sensors and move a FTL fleet where it is needed. If you build ship yards to make sub-light ships at every world then your enemy can seize them to make FTL ships to attack you.

3G FTL travel is not slow in terms science but in terms of combat it is. If I have an FTL capable QRF at a central node, give them an average speed of 5 LYpH and lets say they cover just a 25X25 LY area which is small. That means even if the fleet was ready to go as soon as the battle starts the battle would wage for 2.5 hours before the fleet even arrives in system and another hour before they can get down the well to fight. DB 3 even talks about how all IDFs are expected to be able to hold it's own without outside help.

As for construction most of these sub-light ships would be brought in the same way the fighters would but if you have the industry to build space platforms and orbital works like refiners and factories, you can build simple ships.

Blue_Lion wrote:
Nothing in the listing indicates they where drives for low mass ships...

Agreed, but it doesn't make the slightest bit of sense and we do know that these drives can not work on Dreadnought class so they do have some limit. I'm not saying your wrong in that they may have intended this list to cover ever ship from Black Eagle to Pack Master, but if it was that is really ridiculous and makes no sense.

Blue_Lion wrote:
and they work by altering the affects of gravity and mass. If the effective mass is 0 then the same drive can power any ship regardless of size.

This makes no sense, even in universe. Look at the description of the Contra-grav pack in DB2. It has real weight limits on just the ability to fly sub-light. By this logic I should be able to strap a CG pack to a packmaster and move it at Mach 10. Not only should this be dependent by mass the speed should also be dependent on power supply. A ship with a nuclear power plant does not have the same power to put into a drive as a ship with an A/M reactor or something more exotic.

Blue_Lion wrote:
The reason they do not just build battle ships is cost. The reason they put FTL on smaller ships is because it is also cost. It is cheaper to build a fleet of 10 ships with FTL to defend 10 planets than to place 2 ships at every planet without FTL. The FTL fleets can go where ever they are needed while sub-light ships are stuck at the system they are built at.

I'm not sure what you are getting at here. Again if those costs cover all ships from fighter to carrier than any ship Cruiser or above, with lists costs, has no reason not to slap on the most powerful drive. The cost differential is just negligible and the faster the platform the more useful it is. Smaller ships you could have a reason to go slower or have sub-light but only destroyers down. Anything, anything larger is so expensive to build that just adding the faster drive is barely noticeable in cost.

Blue_Lion wrote:
If you are building something for defense of just a planet you would go with the most cost effective plan. Fighters and siege guns, with FTL fleets going to systems in need.

The thing to keep in mind, and this is probably the biggest reason not to have sub-light defense ships, is that you must defend a system not just a planet. Fighters are great but they are even less capable of defending an entire system than larger ships with greater endurance.

Again, I do think fighters would be a major part of a planets defense and on planets with low population, econ value, or strategic value would have most of it's defense in fighters.

Blue_Lion wrote:
I do not recall seeing but do they ever discuss how long range communication is done in Phase world. They would need a way for worlds to contact each other quickly and contact fleets.

Yes, DB 3, pg. 7. I think there is also some other systems listed in DB 5 or 6 but those are limited use.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 3:04 am
  

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Warshield73 wrote:
Blue_Lion wrote:
I disagree on your statement about fighters and mixed fleet. They are not an attrition unit to take a hit. Aniti ship fleet weapons are as stated not designed to track fighters that well. That means anti fleet weapons look for fleet targets. Fighters would be target by lighter AA and point defense systems. So the weapons used to fight the fighters are not used against other fleet ships. They are used to take out enemy fighters and deliver missiles into the can't respond range.

First, not all PDWs are light. Most are and have ridiculously short ranges but they can include weapons in the 4D6 to 6D6 X10 range and can reach out to well beyond fighter ranges. They also include some LRMs and lots of MRMs. Second attrition units are just a way of describing what was pointed out above by others. A squadron of fighters can deliver almost as many CMs as a destroyer but when a fighter is destroyed you loose 1 to 3 people instead of 40 to 100.

Every unit, from Dreadnought to fighter has weaknesses the more varied your order of battle more weaknesses you can cover for.

Blue_Lion wrote:
Fighters defending a planet with the aid of a orbital defense network would be effective even without fleet to support it. A fleet would help but there is no need to build sub-light fleets to defend a planet. Create a network of early warning sensors and move a FTL fleet where it is needed. If you build ship yards to make sub-light ships at every world then your enemy can seize them to make FTL ships to attack you.

3G FTL travel is not slow in terms science but in terms of combat it is. If I have an FTL capable QRF at a central node, give them an average speed of 5 LYpH and lets say they cover just a 25X25 LY area which is small. That means even if the fleet was ready to go as soon as the battle starts the battle would wage for 2.5 hours before the fleet even arrives in system and another hour before they can get down the well to fight. DB 3 even talks about how all IDFs are expected to be able to hold it's own without outside help.

As for construction most of these sub-light ships would be brought in the same way the fighters would but if you have the industry to build space platforms and orbital works like refiners and factories, you can build simple ships.

Blue_Lion wrote:
Nothing in the listing indicates they where drives for low mass ships...

Agreed, but it doesn't make the slightest bit of sense and we do know that these drives can not work on Dreadnought class so they do have some limit. I'm not saying your wrong in that they may have intended this list to cover ever ship from Black Eagle to Pack Master, but if it was that is really ridiculous and makes no sense.

Blue_Lion wrote:
and they work by altering the affects of gravity and mass. If the effective mass is 0 then the same drive can power any ship regardless of size.

This makes no sense, even in universe. Look at the description of the Contra-grav pack in DB2. It has real weight limits on just the ability to fly sub-light. By this logic I should be able to strap a CG pack to a packmaster and move it at Mach 10. Not only should this be dependent by mass the speed should also be dependent on power supply. A ship with a nuclear power plant does not have the same power to put into a drive as a ship with an A/M reactor or something more exotic.

Blue_Lion wrote:
The reason they do not just build battle ships is cost. The reason they put FTL on smaller ships is because it is also cost. It is cheaper to build a fleet of 10 ships with FTL to defend 10 planets than to place 2 ships at every planet without FTL. The FTL fleets can go where ever they are needed while sub-light ships are stuck at the system they are built at.

I'm not sure what you are getting at here. Again if those costs cover all ships from fighter to carrier than any ship Cruiser or above, with lists costs, has no reason not to slap on the most powerful drive. The cost differential is just negligible and the faster the platform the more useful it is. Smaller ships you could have a reason to go slower or have sub-light but only destroyers down. Anything, anything larger is so expensive to build that just adding the faster drive is barely noticeable in cost.

Blue_Lion wrote:
If you are building something for defense of just a planet you would go with the most cost effective plan. Fighters and siege guns, with FTL fleets going to systems in need.

The thing to keep in mind, and this is probably the biggest reason not to have sub-light defense ships, is that you must defend a system not just a planet. Fighters are great but they are even less capable of defending an entire system than larger ships with greater endurance.

Again, I do think fighters would be a major part of a planets defense and on planets with low population, econ value, or strategic value would have most of it's defense in fighters.

Blue_Lion wrote:
I do not recall seeing but do they ever discuss how long range communication is done in Phase world. They would need a way for worlds to contact each other quickly and contact fleets.

Yes, DB 3, pg. 7. I think there is also some other systems listed in DB 5 or 6 but those are limited use.

Your assumption on response time is with system based detection. Early warning sensors are placed to detect at a distance that would allow your fleet to move to any system before the enemy arrives. This means that if the fleet requires 6 hours to gather at a planet the system would be designed to send the message 7 hours before the hostile fleet arrives. Early warning is a combination of satellites and patrol ships, or if available magic/psi. (With magic/psi it might be possible to detect large scale invasions days in advance.)

Even with your time line, the idea that it takes less than 2.5 hours to capture a planet is some what laughable. While not having a fleet for the initial fight would not be ideal, not sufficient to justify building ship yards to military ships on every planet when. 1 attempts to capture planets are rare. 2 Most factions do not want to destroy worlds.

The main thing that reduces the risk on large pop worlds is the population itself.
To capture a planet requires a ground force minimal 10% of the population. But can require 40% the population if there is a risk of civilian resistance. To capture a planet with a population of 100K would require 2-4 ships the size of pack master ships to transport the invading army. (PG 12 fleets of the three galaxies.) A planet with a population of 100 million would require 200-400 ships the size of pack master just to bring the troops. Now then if you are going to send in 200 carriers you going to want another 400 ships to escort them, as you can not afford to loose the army you need. Now then how many manned ships you going to use to counter the 600 ships to attack force.

Sub-light ships would be to slow to defend a whole system. It would take a sub-light ship 30 hours at mach 10 to get from Hubble space telescope orbit to the moon. To respond to incoming threats to the whole system would either require a insane number of sub-light ships to cover every possible location to attack as they could not travel to a defense point quickly. Congrats you just defeated your own sub-light fleet augment.

Unless a planet is paranoid or key statistic center orbital defenses are going to be light. Mostly to fend off pirates and slavers, not geared towards fleet combat. Because planetary invasion over all is rare and your intelligence should detect the enemy gathering large fleets.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 5:39 am
  

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Blue_Lion wrote:
Your assumption on response time is with system based detection. Early warning sensors are placed to detect at a distance that would allow your fleet to move to any system before the enemy arrives. This means that if the fleet requires 6 hours to gather at a planet the system would be designed to send the message 7 hours before the hostile fleet arrives. Early warning is a combination of satellites and patrol ships, or if available magic/psi. (With magic/psi it might be possible to detect large scale invasions days in advance.)

Not sure what you're talking about here. I mentioned the 10 LY range of sensors in the system. If you are saying that a system would have sensor stations lightyears outside there system...that would be massive. Just to double the range in all 3 dimensions would require hundreds of platforms and every lightyear you extend it would increase that number maybe exponentially. I don't know my math isn't good enough to even figure the formula I would use.

Also, there is no indication in any of the books that they monitor every ship flying between systems. I mean we don't even monitor every plane flying on Earth, ask Malaysia airlines. In fact several places in the books describe the travel as dangerous and that if you call for help it may never come.

Also in my scenario I assumed that the second a ship or group of ships was detected that they would know they are invaders. This seems overly optimistic as rules in the book say only that ships can be detected at 10 LY, not identified. When we see radar for instance it talks about range for detection and ID. DB 13 pg. 25 gives a set of sensors that only talks about IDing a ship at 250,000 miles so for all we know identifying a ship may be impossible at FTL. I don't think so but there is nothing in the book that says it is. There is nothing psi or magic that I have seen that would ID a threat even at stellar distances, much less

To be honest I'm not sure where you are getting this idea that every system would be withing range of reinforcements in such short time. The time I put in is so ridiculously low that if it was even the average it would require a fleet of millions of ships.

Blue_Lion wrote:
Even with your time line, the idea that it takes less than 2.5 hours to capture a planet is some what laughable. While not having a fleet for the initial fight would not be ideal, not sufficient to justify building ship yards to military ships on every planet when. 1 attempts to capture planets are rare. 2 Most factions do not want to destroy worlds.

We have so many threads going on this I guess it wasn't clear on this one. Most of the threats faced by planets defenses are going to be of the slaver or pirate or terrorist variety and as I've said they don't need to hit the planet. Pirates swooping in and taking a freighter or other ship near the FTL limit or raiders just there to blow up part of the infrastructure.

Blue_Lion wrote:
Again in a setting like Phase World the really important industries will be in orbit or around gas giants or asteroids.

The main thing that reduces the risk on large pop worlds is the population itself.
To capture a planet requires a ground force minimal 10% of the population. But can require 40% the population if there is a risk of civilian resistance. To capture a planet with a population of 100K would require 2-4 ships the size of pack master ships to transport the invading army. (PG 12 fleets of the three galaxies.) A planet with a population of 100 million would require 200-400 ships the size of pack master just to bring the troops. Now then if you are going to send in 200 carriers you going to want another 400 ships to escort them, as you can not afford to loose the army you need. Now then how many manned ships you going to use to counter the 600 ships to attack force.

I agree with all of this but again this is only a tiny part of what an IDF or other system defense force would need to do.

Blue_Lion wrote:
Sub-light ships would be to slow to defend a whole system. It would take a sub-light ship 30 hours at mach 10 to get from Hubble space telescope orbit to the moon. To respond to incoming threats to the whole system would either require a insane number of sub-light ships to cover every possible location to attack as they could not travel to a defense point quickly. Congrats you just defeated your own sub-light fleet augment.

As I already said any system defense would have a mixed fleet. This means that some sub-light and some FTL as well as some fighters and some cruisers and some platforms. System defense ships would only be for planets with whose value (in lives or cash) are worth a permanent force and FTL would be for going between the others.

If you are correct and these drives that allow 100,000 tons of cruiser to break the laws of physics take up no space and cost nothing relative to the cost of the ship than yes there would be no need for the large system defense ships I describe or the Monitors that were discussed earlier. However smaller sub-light craft I mentioned, which are effectively cutters and gunboats, that are between the fighter and destroyer in size would still be extremely economical.

Blue_Lion wrote:
Unless a planet is paranoid or key statistic center orbital defenses are going to be light. Mostly to fend off pirates and slavers, not geared towards fleet combat. Because planetary invasion over all is rare and your intelligence should detect the enemy gathering large fleets.

This seems at odds with the giant FTL detection array you described above but I largely agree. Again the size of any defense forces would be relative to the "value" of the system, however you define it.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 9:27 am
  

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Our nation monitors aircraft to a range that we can respond before they enter our air space.(Planes have to fly under our radar to smuggle in.)

We also have a ring of sensors to detect tsunamis for evacuation.
Even if you did not want to monitor every light year of space near you would want to monitor your boarders with hostile nations like the TGE.

Even if you could not identify what FTL ships are (not sure that you can't) a fleet of ships heading to world X from lets say TGE would send up a red flag.

The part about systems was a misunderstanding on my part I thought you where saying that sub-lite ships where to defend a nation.

As to early psi and magic detection- Clairvoyance for psi allows he psi to detect possible futures. A network of psi with this power could probe for possible futures that endanger a planet more so if they are part of the planets defense force. There is a spell Oracle that does the same thing. A intelligence agency in Phase world that has reasonable access to these powers and does not use them to attempt to prevent large scale disasters and attacks would be incompetent. (so there should be no large scale sneak attacks in any pb setting with those powers.

Odd that you are talking about protecting a whole system in a thread on defense platforms.

To deal with raiders and pirates you need a ship fast as possible. Fighters are much faster than sub capital and capital fleet ships. So the monitor that was proposed is not really much cheaper and has many draw backs that I pointed out and would have a slower response than fighters.

Now that you admitted the main threat is raiders hitting less guarded points the monitors make even less sense do they not. Fighters can be carried by larger FTL ships so they can be moved to where they are needed and you do not need to give every planet the ability to make them for them to use them. Any thing they can not respond to would be why you have FTL fleets.

Early warning systems are not orbital defense systems. They are general and system defense systems.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2019 2:14 am
  

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Blue_Lion wrote:
Our nation monitors aircraft to a range that we can respond before they enter our air space.(Planes have to fly under our radar to smuggle in.)

We also have a ring of sensors to detect tsunamis for evacuation.
Even if you did not want to monitor every light year of space near you would want to monitor your boarders with hostile nations like the TGE.

Oddly enough I just had a discussion about this, from the other side, a few months ago on Maps of the Three Galaxies where it was argued that the Three Galaxies would not even have real borders and certainly couldn't monitor them in an real way and now you are saying that they would be monitoring large swaths of it.

If a CG sensor has a radius of 10 LY then it can monitor a volume of just over 4,100 LY. This means it would require hundreds of thousands of platforms just to monitor the borders. this just doesn't seem feasible. Your analogy of US airspace just doesn't seem to apply. This is a very limited area compared to a section of even one galaxy. Now heavily populated areas and well travelled routes will probably be monitored but get even a few LY from those routes or areas and it is likely to be completely unmonitored but this would largely be determined by what kind of game you are running as it is not covered in any of the books.

Whenever I think about things like this I always fall back on the material in DB 2 and DB 3 where id describes traveling long distances in space as lonely and dangerous giving the analogy of ocean travel in the 17th(?) century. This means that what we can all agree on is what is in the book and that means a 10 LY radius from a system or ship.

Blue_Lion wrote:
Even if you could not identify what FTL ships are (not sure that you can't) a fleet of ships heading to world X from lets say TGE would send up a red flag.

I simply pointed out that if we are going by the book it said track only ad that when a sensor can identify targets it states that. Again in my games I have specific ranges and rules for IDing ships at FTL but those are house Rules.

There are so many routes that such a fleet could take I just think it isn't practical to monitor them all. Also, just a point but if what you are describing is possible and the CCW has it then it seems highly likely that the TGE would have it. If that is true then what is described for the FWC activities and tactics are almost impossible.

Blue_Lion wrote:
As to early psi and magic detection- Clairvoyance for psi allows he psi to detect possible futures. A network of psi with this power could probe for possible futures that endanger a planet more so if they are part of the planets defense force. There is a spell Oracle that does the same thing. A intelligence agency in Phase world that has reasonable access to these powers and does not use them to attempt to prevent large scale disasters and attacks would be incompetent. (so there should be no large scale sneak attacks in any pb setting with those powers.

The description of these psi/spells is much more limited then what you are describing. I agree that most intel agencies would use these, in fact I had an entire group within the GSA that does this sort of thing in my game, to add to there tool box but they don't tell you everything and even if you could see an attack coming the when and how would be very limited.

Also, since we do know that magic and psionic forces can be surprised in the PB system we know these are limited.

Blue_Lion wrote:
Odd that you are talking about protecting a whole system in a thread on defense platforms.

Not to sound too much like a 10 year old or Billy Joel I didn't start it. taalismn asked his question about Monitor, I innocently asked what a Monitor is and it went from there.

Blue_Lion wrote:
To deal with raiders and pirates you need a ship fast as possible. Fighters are much faster than sub capital and capital fleet ships. So the monitor that was proposed is not really much cheaper and has many draw backs that I pointed out and would have a slower response than fighters.

I already agreed with you that if you run the system so that a fighter and a mile long carrier use the exact same FTL drive then you are correct, no advantage. As to sub-light ships the size of destroyers on down I would disagree. Again fighters vs. large ships you just loose too many to sustain without support. Also, to bring it back to the OP that means stationary platforms are useless too.

Most of the sub-light ships I use are between the proctor and CAF assault shuttle in size and they are classified as cutters and gunboats (which I also have carried on large carriers into combat zones). A fighter can not do the job of inspecting ships or boarding a vessel suspected of piracy, you need a cutter with a team of inspectors and probably marines to do that. Fighters are not a multi-tool. They can not accomplish every job on there own. The bigger Monitors as taalismn called them would only be in the most important systems.

Blue_Lion wrote:
Now that you admitted the main threat is raiders hitting less guarded points the monitors make even less sense do they not. Fighters can be carried by larger FTL ships so they can be moved to where they are needed and you do not need to give every planet the ability to make them for them to use them. Any thing they can not respond to would be why you have FTL fleets.

Again, raids are the main threat, not raiders. In war or pirates/slavers damage to or destruction of the orbital infrastructure from a fast attack (before outside fleets can respond) are going to be the threat. Look at the description of Tera-Prime in the book. A fleet just needs to destroy those "rings" of orbital habitats and industrial works around the planet to do catastrophic damage from which it would take decades, maybe longer, to recover. These would be the systems where, under my system you would find large sub-light defense ships or Monitors. What they are there to guard can not move so they wouldn't either. Also, I have only eluded to this but there is a political component. People will be paying vast sums for defense here and there will be some emphasis on weapons systems that can not be easily stripped and moved to another system for political reasons.

Blue_Lion wrote:
Early warning systems are not orbital defense systems. They are general and system defense systems.

I'm not sure what you are getting at hear but if I am reading it right I would have to say it is both. If I am protecting a whole system I want to know where and how many attackers are coming. If I am protecting just one planet in that system and the orbital space around it I need to know that as well.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2019 5:51 am
  

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Why is 100s of thousands of sensors not feasible in phase world? Unmaned sensors can be dropped and checked on by patrol frigates. These would also be in place to detect ships in trouble. The reason I said that a early warning is not orbital defense is because they would be placed outside the planets detection range. So if the planet defenses can detect 10 light years away early warning sensors would be more than 10 light years from the planet. Because they allow you track all incoming traffic the network protects a whole section of CCW space.

While the US air space is small compared to phase world it is large compared to most nations on the planet. Given the budget of the CCW it would be easy for them to place most this system as a 1 time cost and replace tens of thousand per year unless they made them insanely expensive to build. Then you also have patrol ships augmenting them.

Raiders are people conducting raids you can not have a raid without raiders. So raids are the main threat then the enemy that needs to be stopped would be the raiders(those conducting the raids.) If there are no raiders there is no raid.

The power can be triggered by thinking about a person place or event. If the even was say the next threat to the planet/city that i live(event) a planet could be a place. So it is withing the powers scope to detect a general threat to a planet. Distance and time kind of are irrelevant, when you are doing something that affects the whole planet and dedicated intelligence resources. It would take extra effort to figure out the exact time and cause of the threat but you would be for warned and thus for armed.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:05 pm
  

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I would guess the feasibility and effectiveness any kind of sensor network will depend on the range of sensor units available vs the scale of distances involved and i'll be the first to admit to having no familiarity whatsoever with nitty-gritty of the subject in the 3Gs.

How many astronomic units, light-years, parsecs per individual "radar tower/buoy" are we talking about in the first place?
Because just one cubic light-year is a crapload of AUs or kilometers to cover and any one of the 3 Galaxies will have upwards to trillions of those.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:32 am
  

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SolCannibal wrote:
I would guess the feasibility and effectiveness any kind of sensor network will depend on the range of sensor units available vs the scale of distances involved and i'll be the first to admit to having no familiarity whatsoever with nitty-gritty of the subject in the 3Gs.

How many astronomic units, light-years, parsecs per individual "radar tower/buoy" are we talking about in the first place?
Because just one cubic light-year is a crapload of AUs or kilometers to cover and any one of the 3 Galaxies will have upwards to trillions of those.

As you can guess the information is limited.

In DB 2, Pg. 153, we learn that a ship in FTL can be tracked at 10 Light Years. It does say that stealth reduces this but it doesn't say by how much or at what speeds.

Given the size of the Three Galaxies, the geopolitics, and working in three dimensions you can assume that some areas will be heavily covered and other areas might be hundreds of LY between sensor stations. But again nothing in the books about it.

Sensors at sub-light are in DB 13, Pg. 25, with a range for most sensors of 250,000 miles. When you combine this with basic telescopes it means covering a solar system is more feasible but so expensive that it is likely to only occur in very populated, or strategically valuable, star systems. In Theory.

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Unread postPosted: Fri May 08, 2020 3:04 pm
  

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taalismn wrote:
At what speed would you consider maneuvering thrusters to take a defensive weapons platform from 'platform' to 'monitor' classification?


Enough delta-V to reach local escape velocity...and enough tankage to make the cost of intra-system travel less than prohibitive.

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Unread postPosted: Fri May 08, 2020 11:34 pm
  

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Borast wrote:
taalismn wrote:
At what speed would you consider maneuvering thrusters to take a defensive weapons platform from 'platform' to 'monitor' classification?


Enough delta-V to reach local escape velocity...and enough tankage to make the cost of intra-system travel less than prohibitive.

I have embraced the name Mobile Platform for structures like you describe but I think most Three Galaxies space stations are probably laid out in such a way that maneuvering any more than maintaining orbit is unlikely.

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Unread postPosted: Mon May 11, 2020 2:52 pm
  

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Warshield73 wrote:
SolCannibal wrote:
I would guess the feasibility and effectiveness any kind of sensor network will depend on the range of sensor units available vs the scale of distances involved and i'll be the first to admit to having no familiarity whatsoever with nitty-gritty of the subject in the 3Gs.

How many astronomic units, light-years, parsecs per individual "radar tower/buoy" are we talking about in the first place?
Because just one cubic light-year is a crapload of AUs or kilometers to cover and any one of the 3 Galaxies will have upwards to trillions of those.

As you can guess the information is limited.

In DB 2, Pg. 153, we learn that a ship in FTL can be tracked at 10 Light Years. It does say that stealth reduces this but it doesn't say by how much or at what speeds.

Given the size of the Three Galaxies, the geopolitics, and working in three dimensions you can assume that some areas will be heavily covered and other areas might be hundreds of LY between sensor stations. But again nothing in the books about it.

Sensors at sub-light are in DB 13, Pg. 25, with a range for most sensors of 250,000 miles. When you combine this with basic telescopes it means covering a solar system is more feasible but so expensive that it is likely to only occur in very populated, or strategically valuable, star systems. In Theory.


So, however the GM feels more confortable setting up things for a game.


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Unread postPosted: Tue May 12, 2020 1:18 am
  

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Warshield73 wrote:
[
As you can guess the information is limited.

In DB 2, Pg. 153, we learn that a ship in FTL can be tracked at 10 Light Years. It does say that stealth reduces this but it doesn't say by how much or at what speeds.

Given the size of the Three Galaxies, the geopolitics, and working in three dimensions you can assume that some areas will be heavily covered and other areas might be hundreds of LY between sensor stations. But again nothing in the books about it.

Sensors at sub-light are in DB 13, Pg. 25, with a range for most sensors of 250,000 miles. When you combine this with basic telescopes it means covering a solar system is more feasible but so expensive that it is likely to only occur in very populated, or strategically valuable, star systems. In Theory.


I remember in the old (original) 'Cosmos' series, an animation showing how two interstellar cultures, one capable of making long leaps(STL or FTL) between systems and another capable of smaller shorter trips, or perhaps capable of colonizing a wider variety of solar system environs, might have their domains of colonized systems actually intermesh and interpenetrate for -centuries- before either culture became aware of the other. It gave me intriguing thoughts about how interstellar powers might really look on 'geopolitical' maps of space.

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Unread postPosted: Tue May 12, 2020 3:34 am
  

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SolCannibal wrote:
Warshield73 wrote:
SolCannibal wrote:
I would guess the feasibility and effectiveness any kind of sensor network will depend on the range of sensor units available vs the scale of distances involved and i'll be the first to admit to having no familiarity whatsoever with nitty-gritty of the subject in the 3Gs.

How many astronomic units, light-years, parsecs per individual "radar tower/buoy" are we talking about in the first place?
Because just one cubic light-year is a crapload of AUs or kilometers to cover and any one of the 3 Galaxies will have upwards to trillions of those.

As you can guess the information is limited.

In DB 2, Pg. 153, we learn that a ship in FTL can be tracked at 10 Light Years. It does say that stealth reduces this but it doesn't say by how much or at what speeds.

Given the size of the Three Galaxies, the geopolitics, and working in three dimensions you can assume that some areas will be heavily covered and other areas might be hundreds of LY between sensor stations. But again nothing in the books about it.

Sensors at sub-light are in DB 13, Pg. 25, with a range for most sensors of 250,000 miles. When you combine this with basic telescopes it means covering a solar system is more feasible but so expensive that it is likely to only occur in very populated, or strategically valuable, star systems. In Theory.


So, however the GM feels more confortable setting up things for a game.

Yes, I mean that is always the case in a TTRPG but if you're trying to stay close to the game you probably want to keep it close to these numbers. I also forgot to mention that in DB 6: Three Galaxies pg. 104 has a description of how sensors function giving basic functions of passive, active & focus (which I had been doing since the old Robotech 1e because my players and I liked the idea from West End Star Wars) which I think you can safely apply to shipboard sensors. With this in mind I think you can make a few assumptions.
- Important systems and more populated regions have better sensor coverage
- Passive sensor arrays that are built large and away from "noise" , like say beyond the orbit of Neptune or even out to about a quarter LY away from the system primary can probably have a better range than a ship.
- Areas with lots of people probably have better sensor coverage but also have a lot more traffic and ships might blend in.

To me this means if you are operating in the back of beyond somewhere there shouldn't be massive sensor coverage but again a personal preference.

taalismn wrote:
Warshield73 wrote:
[
As you can guess the information is limited.

In DB 2, Pg. 153, we learn that a ship in FTL can be tracked at 10 Light Years. It does say that stealth reduces this but it doesn't say by how much or at what speeds.

Given the size of the Three Galaxies, the geopolitics, and working in three dimensions you can assume that some areas will be heavily covered and other areas might be hundreds of LY between sensor stations. But again nothing in the books about it.

Sensors at sub-light are in DB 13, Pg. 25, with a range for most sensors of 250,000 miles. When you combine this with basic telescopes it means covering a solar system is more feasible but so expensive that it is likely to only occur in very populated, or strategically valuable, star systems. In Theory.


I remember in the old (original) 'Cosmos' series, an animation showing how two interstellar cultures, one capable of making long leaps(STL or FTL) between systems and another capable of smaller shorter trips, or perhaps capable of colonizing a wider variety of solar system environs, might have their domains of colonized systems actually intermesh and interpenetrate for -centuries- before either culture became aware of the other. It gave me intriguing thoughts about how interstellar powers might really look on 'geopolitical' maps of space.

I get what you are saying but that seems very different than the setting. Also, that would assume that there are resources in a system that one group or the other aren't interested in which doesn't seem to be the case in the PW setting. At the very least I don't see the Kreeghor or Splugorth tolerating this.

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