SpaceCombat Counters

For what's not in 'Top Priority Game Design'. Post your ideas, visions, suggestions for the game, rules, modifications, etc.

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Geoff the Medio
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#241 Post by Geoff the Medio » Mon Mar 27, 2006 4:48 am

ewh02b wrote:I hardly think we're gonna be playing in a 5 light-minute arena ...
The scale of combat hasn't been decided. There are good reasons and some interest in having it be system-scale, or light-hours across. Ship and planet and star sizes, would be very distorted, and ship and weapon speeds could be in-system FTL during battles, making any realism argument related to laser propegation time potentially completely irrelivant.
Attenuation would actually only result in a (very slight) lowering of damage as range increases.
With a laser in space, ability to focus the beam is potentially more important than attenuation.

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#242 Post by ewh02b » Mon Mar 27, 2006 5:05 am

Geoff the Medio wrote: The scale of combat hasn't been decided.
Perhaps, but actually moving your ships at less than light-speed across an area that large would seem to take quite a while. Are we going to be able to play by e-mail, or via a central server? I certainly don't want to keep my computer on for round after round of battles on a 5LY scale.
Attenuation would actually only result in a (very slight) lowering of damage as range increases.
With a laser in space, ability to focus the beam is potentially more important than attenuation.
Agreed--although presumably you could figure out the range, using a low-powered infinite focus targeting laser.

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utilae
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#243 Post by utilae » Mon Mar 27, 2006 6:09 am

ewh02b wrote: Perhaps, but actually moving your ships at less than light-speed across an area that large would seem to take quite a while. Are we going to be able to play by e-mail, or via a central server? I certainly don't want to keep my computer on for round after round of battles on a 5LY scale.
Um, the playtime should certainly not require email. That's a bit too slow for me.

The question to answer is:
1) Assuming system scale, what size in LY is the system (for big and small)?

Once we know the system size, eg if it was 5 LY, then we can determine the maximum speed for space combat. So if it was 5 LY, then we can safely say that ships will not be going 5 LY, since they will move from the begining to the end of the system instantly.

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marhawkman
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#244 Post by marhawkman » Mon Mar 27, 2006 6:28 am

At this time I feel the need to point out that it's around 3.3 lightyears from here to Alpha Centauri.
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#245 Post by ewh02b » Mon Mar 27, 2006 7:07 am

quite true. we switched from saying light-minutes to light-years on accident.

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marhawkman
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#246 Post by marhawkman » Mon Mar 27, 2006 8:03 am

5 Light-Minutes is less than the distance from Earth to the Sun. If I remember right that's around 6. so it doesn't really sound too large to me.
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Geoff the Medio
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#247 Post by Geoff the Medio » Mon Mar 27, 2006 8:47 am

ewh02b wrote:Perhaps, but actually moving your ships at less than light-speed across an area that large would seem to take quite a while. Are we going to be able to play by e-mail, or via a central server? I certainly don't want to keep my computer on for round after round of battles on a 5LY scale.
The actual scale is irrelivant because combat time can progress faster than real time, and ships in combat can move faster than light, should either be deemed appropriate.
Attenuation would actually only result in a (very slight) lowering of damage as range increases. With a laser in space, ability to focus the beam is potentially more important than attenuation.
Agreed--although presumably you could figure out the range, using a low-powered infinite focus targeting laser.
Not sure what you mean by an infinite focus laser... but it probably doesn't exist. And regardless, I don't see the relevance, since the problem with focus was that the intensity is limited when you can't focus a fixed amount of power to below a certain spot size, making objects farther away receive less intense, and thus less damaging, beam hits.
marhawkman wrote:At this time I feel the need to point out that it's around 3.3 lightyears from here to Alpha Centauri.
You might want to research such info... Proxima Centauri is 4.22 ly, and Alpha Centauri A and B are 4.36 ly from Earth.
marhawkman wrote:5 Light-Minutes is less than the distance from Earth to the Sun. If I remember right that's around 6.
You don't; it's 8.3. (aka 1 AU)

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utilae
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#248 Post by utilae » Mon Mar 27, 2006 9:21 am

Good on ya correcting them Geoff, that was funny reading that.

In any case it seems that since combat will not take place in any area bigger than a solar system, we safely say that accuracy will not be a problem for lasers.

Now, what should we talk about next. :)

I guess we should make lasers always hit (unless the enemy targeting computer is fooled) and weapons such as mass drivers have a higher risk of not hitting.

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#249 Post by Krikkitone » Mon Mar 27, 2006 6:06 pm

utilae wrote:In any case it seems that since combat will not take place in any area bigger than a solar system, we safely say that accuracy will not be a problem for lasers.
No Accuracy wil always be a problem (although attentuation would be more of a problem for REAL LIFE* lasers)

Basically those are the two issues that you have with a weapon system regarding distance
Sensors+Target Size v. Stealth+Range
and
Weapons Speed to Target+Target Size v. Ship Evasion Movement+Range

(There's also Target Resolution Time...How fast the computer processes the data +Target Size v. Ship Evasion Movement)

*Emphasized to remind us that it doesn't matter (although it might be good for the technobabble)




As for Combat scale, there are 2 measurements of Combat scale
1. the dimensions of the Field that ships will move around in during combat
2. The ranges of Weapons, Sensors, etc.

If 1+2 are close in size it becomes first to fire wins (little opportunity for manuever, hiding, etc.

If 1 >>> 2 then the game becomes more about movement and coming into the battle in the right orientation and formation (and allows running away and other strategic concepts) ... disadvantage=potential search time.


I prefer 1>>>2 with
1= System (about a dozen Light Hours)
2= less than Earth-moon (fraction of a Light Second)

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marhawkman
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#250 Post by marhawkman » Mon Mar 27, 2006 8:12 pm

utilae wrote:I guess we should make lasers always hit (unless the enemy targeting computer is fooled) and weapons such as mass drivers have a higher risk of not hitting.
Hmm... I like this idea. It gives the weapon types an actual difference between them. Gotta post list of stuff later......
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#251 Post by ewh02b » Tue Mar 28, 2006 5:51 am

Krikkitone wrote:
As for Combat scale, there are 2 measurements of Combat scale
1. the dimensions of the Field that ships will move around in during combat
2. The ranges of Weapons, Sensors, etc.

If 1+2 are close in size it becomes first to fire wins (little opportunity for manuever, hiding, etc.

If 1 >>> 2 then the game becomes more about movement and coming into the battle in the right orientation and formation (and allows running away and other strategic concepts) ... disadvantage=potential search time.


I prefer 1>>>2 with
1= System (about a dozen Light Hours)
2= less than Earth-moon (fraction of a Light Second)
Hmmm...I'd say detection range should vary a lot with the size of the craft. A fighter-sized object should be detectable (maybe not targetable) at a Earth-moon range, but a moon-sized ship should be detectable from halfway across the solar system. This also provides an incentive to research stealth, and build smaller ships.

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Kharagh
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#252 Post by Kharagh » Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:27 pm

utilae wrote:In any case it seems that since combat will not take place in any area bigger than a solar system, we safely say that accuracy will not be a problem for lasers.
Why should accuracy not be a problem for lasers in a solar system light minutes across?
If the enemy ship is 1 light minute away and I try to hit it with lasers, it has one whole minute to change course. If we assume it has no FTL sensors (and can't dodge on purpose) I still have to anticipate where the ship will be in one minute.

So we can't assume that lasers will always hit.

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marhawkman
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#253 Post by marhawkman » Tue Mar 28, 2006 9:35 pm

Kharagh wrote:
utilae wrote:In any case it seems that since combat will not take place in any area bigger than a solar system, we safely say that accuracy will not be a problem for lasers.
Why should accuracy not be a problem for lasers in a solar system light minutes across?
If the enemy ship is 1 light minute away and I try to hit it with lasers, it has one whole minute to change course. If we assume it has no FTL sensors (and can't dodge on purpose) I still have to anticipate where the ship will be in one minute.

So we can't assume that lasers will always hit.
Actually I think that's a bit unrealistic.... That's what targetting computers are for.....
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#254 Post by Kharagh » Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:10 am

@marhawkman

I don't think so. All a ship needs to do is randomly vary its acceleration or flying vector a tiny little bit every few seconds and every enemy ship more than a few lightseconds away will have a very hard time hitting it with lasers.

As long as the pattern is random, all the targeting computer can do is making guesses where the ship will be, and thats just not enough in the vastness of space.

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#255 Post by utilae » Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:35 am

We should forget this issuewith accuracy being a problem for lasers. It is more of a problem for slower weapons.

Lasers will still be more accuracte then anything else. Lasers will be better than mass drivers, and even missiles, since missiles may well be slower even though they can track and therefore are the most accurate.

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