Author Topic: Current Concensus on Space Combat in the RG  (Read 10005 times)

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Offline Yuu

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Current Concensus on Space Combat in the RG
« on: October 17, 2011, 04:13:53 am »
So, what is it?  ???

Does it even exist?  :P

How do we treat stuff like combat range and formations, asteroid belts and MAD?

Personally, I'm not sure about combat ranges and formations since it seems to vary from RP to RP. Though, yeah, I still think we should make up our minds about this one to make things more consistent and adjust any stats on our ships that might need some tweaking, like weapon ranges and movement speeds.

Asteroid belts and planetary rings couldn't be used for cover at all, let alone as obstacles for fighters and ships to maneuver or plow through. They're just too diffused to be of any value, since asteroid thickets are, naturally speaking, impossible unless built on purpose.   :(

MAD, on the other hand, I really, really think we should formulate some kind of canon reason for why nobody is paranoid about MAD despite diplomatic tensions and widespread use of FTL drives by pirates and civilians alike. An extremely secure planet-wide point defense system perhaps? However, that might be a problem for less developed worlds, unless the governments are willing to cover each and every planet completely, which might end up being prohibitively expensive.   :-\


So, what do you guys think?   ???

If we settle it now, it would make things much easier for people who write the battles, not to mention avoid inconsistencies.



Offline UFO King

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Re: Current Concensus on Space Combat in the RG
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2011, 03:29:16 pm »
1. There is no FTL travel, strictly speaking. Only hyperdrives which create wormholes, and warp drives that bend space. Besides, only a handful of species use the warp drive.
2. Actually, planetary rings would be pretty good for cover, but you wouldn't want to hide in them. Asteroid belts you got right.
3. What do you mean by MAD?

I've got an idea. I could write up a whole topic on explanations for and on the physics of this universe. It could explain away absolutely everything from thermodynamics to stealth in an easy-to-understand way. No more inconsistencies. What do you say?
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Offline GroxGlitch

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Re: Current Concensus on Space Combat in the RG
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2011, 04:10:57 pm »
1. There is no FTL travel, strictly speaking. Only hyperdrives which create wormholes, and warp drives that bend space. Besides, only a handful of species use the warp drive.
2. Actually, planetary rings would be pretty good for cover, but you wouldn't want to hide in them. Asteroid belts you got right.
3. What do you mean by MAD?

I've got an idea. I could write up a whole topic on explanations for and on the physics of this universe. It could explain away absolutely everything from thermodynamics to stealth in an easy-to-understand way. No more inconsistencies. What do you say?
YES YES YES YES YES.
That is all.

Offline UFO King

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Re: Current Consensus on Space Combat in the RG
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2011, 09:26:39 pm »
Oh boy! I'll get it up in a few days! (I've got a few other projects going on too right now.)

Have no fear, for soon you shall all know the inner workings of artificial gravity!
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Offline Yuu

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Re: Current Concensus on Space Combat in the RG
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2011, 02:32:17 am »
I've got an idea. I could write up a whole topic on explanations for and on the physics of this universe. It could explain away absolutely everything from thermodynamics to stealth in an easy-to-understand way. No more inconsistencies. What do you say?
YES YES YES YES YES.
That is all.

AWW YEAH!


In other words: Yes.



3. What do you mean by MAD?


"All the energy put into achieving that velocity had transformed the Intruder into a kinetic storage device of nightmarish design. If it struck a world, every gram of the vessel's substance would be received by that world as the target in a linear accelerator receives a spray of relativistic buckshot. Someone, somewhere, had built and was putting to use a relativistic bomb -- a giant, roving atom smasher aimed at worlds...

The gamma-ray shine of the decelerating half was also detectable, but it made no difference. One of the iron rules of relativistic bombardment was that if you could see something approaching at 92 percent of light speed, it was never where you saw it when you saw it, but was practically upon you...

In the forests below, lakes caught the first rays of the rising Sun and threw them back into space. Abandoning the two-dimensional sprawl of twentieth-century cities, Sri Lanka Tower, and others like it, had been erected in the world's rain forests and farmlands, leaving the countryside virtually uninhabited. Even in Africa, where more than a hundred city arcologies had risen, nature was beginning to renew itself. It was a good day to be alive, she told herself, taking in the peace of the garden. Then, looking east, she saw it coming -- at least her eyes began to register it -- but her optic nerves did not last long enough to transmit what the eyes had seen.

It was quite small for what it could do -- small enough to fit into an average-sized living room -- but it was moving at 92 percent of light speed when it touched Earth's atmosphere. A spear point of light appeared, so intense that the air below snapped away from it, creating a low-density tunnel through which the object descended. The walls of the tunnel were a plasma boundary layer, six and a half kilometers wide and more than 160 deep -- the flaming spear that Virginia's eyes began to register -- with every square foot of its surface radiating a trillion watts, and still its destructive potential was but fractionally spent.

Thirty-three kilometers above the Indian Ocean, the point began to encounter too much air. It tunneled down only eight kilometers more, then stalled and detonated, less than two-thousandths of a second after crossing the orbits of Earth's nearest artificial satellites.

Virginia was more than three hundred kilometers away when the light burst toward her. Every nerve ending in her body began to record a strange, prickling sensation -- the sheer pressure of photons trying to push her backward. No shadows were cast anywhere in the tower, so bright was the glare. It pierced walls, ceramic beams, notepads, and people -- four hundred thousand people. The maglev terminal connecting Sri Lanka Tower to London and Sydney, the waste treatment centers that sustained the lakes and farms, all the shops, theaters, and apartments liquefied instantly. The structure began to slip and crash like a giant waterfall, but gravity could not yank it down fast enough. The Tower became vapor before it could fall half a meter. At the vanished city's feet, the trees of the forest were no longer able to cast shadows; they had themselves become long shadows of carbonized dust on the ground.

In Kandy and Columbo, where sidewalks steamed, the relativistic onslaught was unfinished. The electromagnetic pulse alone killed every living thing as far away as Bombay and the Maldives. All of India south of the Godavari River became an instant microwave oven. Nearer the epicenter, Demon Rock glowed with a fierce red heat, then fractured down its center, as if to herald the second coming of the tyrant it memorialized. The air blast followed, surging out of the Indian Ocean -- faster than sound -- flattening whatever still stood. As it slashed north through Jaffna and Madurai, the wave front was met and overpowered by shocks rushing out from strikes in central and southern India.

Across the face of the planet, without warning, thousands of flaming swords pierced the sky...

Then out of no where -- out of the deep impersonal nowhere -- came a bombardment that even the science fiction writers had failed to entertain.

Just nine days short of America's tricentennial celebrations, every inhabited planetary surface in the solar system had been wiped clean by relativistic bombs. Research centers on Mars, Europa, and Ganymede were silent; even tiny Phobos and Moo-kau were silent. Port Chaffee was silent. New York, Colombo, Wellington, the Mercury Power Project and the Asimov Array. Silent. Silent. Silent.

A Valkyrie rocket's transmission of Mercury's surface had revealed thousands of saucer-shaped depressions where only hours before had existed a planet-spanning carpet of solar panels. The transmission had lasted only a few seconds -- just long enough for Isak to realize there would be no more of the self-replicating robots that had built the array of panels and accelerators, just long enough for him to understand that humanity no longer possessed a fuel source for its antimatter rockets -- and then the transmission had ceased abruptly as the Valkyrie disappeared in a silent white glare.

Presently, most of the station's scopes and spectrographs were turning Earthward, and Isak found it impossible to believe what they revealed. The Moon rising over Africa from behind Earth was peppered with new fields of craters. The planet below looked like a ball of cotton stained grayish yellow. The top five meters of ocean had boiled off under the assault, and sea level air was three times denser than the day before -- and twice as hot...

The sobering truth is that relativistic civilizations are a potential nightmare to anyone living within range of them. The problem is that objects traveling at an appreciable fraction of light speed are never where you see them when you see them (i.e., light-speed lag). Relativistic rockets, if their owners turn out to be less than benevolent, are both totally unstoppable and totally destructive. A starship weighing in at 1,500 tons (approximately the weight of a fully fueled space shuttle sitting on the launchpad) impacting an earthlike planet at "only" 30 percent of lightspeed will release 1.5 million megatons of energy -- an explosive force equivalent to 150 times today's global nuclear arsenal... (ed note: this means the freaking thing has about nine hundred mega-Ricks of damage!)

The most humbling feature of the relativistic bomb is that even if you happen to see it coming, its exact motion and position can never be determined; and given a technology even a hundred orders of magnitude above our own, you cannot hope to intercept one of these weapons. It often happens, in these discussions, that an expression from the old west arises: "God made some men bigger and stronger than others, but Mr. Colt made all men equal." Variations on Mr. Colt's weapon are still popular today, even in a society that possesses hydrogen bombs. Similarly, no matter how advanced civilizations grow, the relativistic bomb is not likely to go away..."


- Excerpt from The Killing Star by Charles Pelligrino and George Zebrowski


And the RG isn't necessarily the most politically stable of galaxies.   :-\



1. There is no FTL travel, strictly speaking. Only hyperdrives which create wormholes, and warp drives that bend space. Besides, only a handful of species use the warp drive.

I know that, but that's somewhat beside the point since some guys do have fraction of c drives currently in service. And considering the presence of terrorists, pirates and generally genocidal civilizatinos out there, it's kinda unsettling.

In any case, I've always thought of using a comprehensive "net" of FTL-sensor-equipped high-velocity defenses, both in and out of normal space, to defend vital worlds and the like. But then I found that using such a system still wouldn't be able to negate the fact that some commercial space craft [probably cargo-carrying ones], which usually "fly too low" to be intercepted in time, still possess some pretty fast drives, some of which can reach a considerable fraction of c. That, or the enemy military could just spam unmanned ship hulls with fraction of c drives strapped on to them.   :-\

And then there's the fact that if this is implemented, it'd be mind-bogglingly expensive, potentially as expensive as a full blown fleet. For each planet protected. Basically, for civilizations that have only a handful of inhabited worlds, it would be somewhat financially feasible. But for expansive civilizations, it'd be far too expensive, which would mean outer worlds are insufficiently guarded, which would scare off potential colonists and investors.   :(

I was also thinking of just placing a surface-wide kinetic barrier as an alternative, though that would be retardedly expensive, both time and power wise, and prone to technical problems and sabotage.

So yeah, I got nothin'...   :S


2. Actually, planetary rings would be pretty good for cover, but you wouldn't want to hide in them. Asteroid belts you got right.

Aren't they still too small for anything larger than a fighter, though?   ???
« Last Edit: October 18, 2011, 02:42:37 am by Yuu »

Offline Crazen

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Re: Current Concensus on Space Combat in the RG
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2011, 10:27:33 am »
your aware astroids are huge, right?
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No capitalization......

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Offline Yuu

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Re: Current Concensus on Space Combat in the RG
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2011, 04:06:31 pm »
I was talking about the debris that make up most planetary rings.

As for asteroids, it still wouldn't work since even asteroids in the belt are so far apart that any enemy with a good telescope and mapping system will already know that you're headed to that one particular asteroid. By the time you get there, a smart enemy has already fired several shots ahead of your traveling path, or if they have them, sent several high-powered missiles or drones to ambush you. If the enemy has allies, it could have also as easily relayed info about your trajectory to them and ordered them to flank you.

Then there's the fact that a significant number of asteroids have the same consistency as dirt.   :-\

Asteroid cover only makes sense if you have ridiculously fast propulsion systems, that are able to retain maneuverability. But by that point, it's likely you're already powerful enough to shoot through even the densest of asteroids in the first place.

Offline omegatripod

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Re: Current Concensus on Space Combat in the RG
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2011, 09:47:47 pm »
There's no friction in space, and there are still three dimensions to move about. There's no need for aerodynamics, and you need reverse thrust to slow down.

So it's not like aerial combat (Star Wars) or naval combat (Star Trek sometimes); space combat is like submarine warfare.

With Ohio-sized subs.

In an endless ocean.

Made of teflon.

Offline Yuu

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Re: Current Concensus on Space Combat in the RG
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2011, 06:13:55 am »
Exactly.

And I'm actually currently designing my little project under that premise, since I considered that Viri Voltei space warfare just wasn't realistic enough even as it was.

Prepare to see a lot of practical ships, as well as strategies and tactics, once I'm done refining them for my new premise.  :)

Offline Kitkat

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Re: Current Concensus on Space Combat in the RG
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2011, 07:07:43 pm »
I really think that RPs that take place as space battles should be handled in a strategy game-like way, with a visual display of the current goings-on frequently updated.

Also we need more pictures when we move. Lots more. Especially in RPs.
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Offline Yuu

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Re: Current Concensus on Space Combat in the RG
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2011, 09:39:38 pm »
While I'm not in favor of a drastic conversion, maybe we could at least get a semblance of each nation's military strength?

For example, I've seen some instances where a given race's fleet numbers fluctuated between "less than a dozen" and "an unholy combination of Zerg rushing and Holy Terra".

Also, if we took tabs on stuff like this, it would make it much, much easier to plan things in a strategic scale, ie. no more making fleets out of thin air to deal with a threat. This would not just make the strategic maneuvers that we cook up in our heads much more sensible, but also motivate people to actually think about where they should place their forces, as well as give all of us a greater appreciation of logistics' role in the military. That, and setting up semi-hard numbers for the military would also require people to budget it appropriately, thus making each nations economical capacity more than just a bunch of useless numbers. The same goes for colonies and the labor pools which they contribute.

Also, tech-levels. The more advanced a thing is, the more expensive it is. There will probably be some concessions, though, in certain circumstances. Like say, nations specializing in gravity tech will probably be able to build gravity-based weapons more cheaply than a nation that specializes in say lasers, tophats or monocles, or lasers mounted on tophats while also wearing a monocle.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2011, 09:48:50 pm by Yuu »

Offline Kitkat

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Re: Current Concensus on Space Combat in the RG
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2011, 09:47:20 pm »
Yes, exactly. A living world, not just stuff people are saying.
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Offline UFO King

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Re: Current Concensus on Space Combat in the RG
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2011, 09:54:22 pm »
Righto! This is why maps are very important. They shape both life and plot! Here's an example: During our "maps are bad" phase, the Photos were quite active in the war against the PSR. But according to the official galactic map, the two species were on opposite sides of the galaxy! I've turned this into a plot point because it reinforces the ideas that the Photos are very militaristic, and to many other species have no business tromping around everywhere.

I wasn't very keen on the military aspects of science fiction, but now I see its importance. You're right; we've got to establish solid statistics and descriptions of the inetrstellar squadrons!
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Offline Yuu

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Re: Current Concensus on Space Combat in the RG
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2011, 10:27:14 pm »
Indeed.


During our "maps are bad" phase, the Photos were quite active in the war against the PSR. But according to the official galactic map, the two species were on opposite sides of the galaxy! I've turned this into a plot point because it reinforces the ideas that the Photos are very militaristic, and to many other species have no business tromping around everywhere.

The Photos' seat of government is a giant military base with three fully dedicated anti-space guns, nine primary shield generators, its own air wing and armored division, and a whole menagerie smaller guns, point defenses and silos, both discreet and indiscreet.

I'm pretty sure everyone already knew that they were militaristic.  :P

Or paranoid.

Then again, considering the stuff that regularly happens in this galaxy, I really can't blame them. ^_^

Still, you're right on how this would be perceived in the eyes of the common galactic citizen, especially after that recent mind-altering pathogen incident.

And then there's the corporate media. >_>

Diplomacy suddenly became a thousand times harder after I mentioned that last sentence, didn't it? -_-
« Last Edit: November 02, 2011, 10:29:32 pm by Yuu »

Offline GroxGlitch

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Re: Current Concensus on Space Combat in the RG
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2011, 09:28:44 pm »
The reason I've always had for the Photos being able to turn up all over the place was far-flung colonies all over the place. And the mind altering pathogen thing = bad solution for a bad, shallow plot establishment on my part. I've got my good moment but generally I can go back and slap myself in the face for doing things one way when they really would have been easier to read and make more sense another way.
For example, in that position, I had Val'ones going all "rage-a-holic" when in reality he's more of a cool, collected smart@$$ (or at least tries to be). Considering that was totally out of character and really made no sense, I had to come up with something, hence the pathogen thing.
...
Aaaaaanyway, I like the concept of a map, it helps keep boarders clean-cut and established. Especially with the "tromping around everywhere" thing.
As for logistics, the whole of the space fleet of the Photos comprises about a million vessels, spread out into task forces of 25 ships. Now, task forces are your bread-and-butter deployment for the Photos: they run patrol, scouting, pickets, pretty much everything. Also, something that I'm very aware of and working to fix, is their over-use of capital ships. The Photos tend to dreadie-spam, and I've been slowly attempting to introduce smaller and smaller ship classes. So far it's expanded from their single dreadnought class to
1 Dreadnought (Posideon, I had plans to phase this out post the Nameless invasion but that fell through, perhaps I'll just do it anyway)
1 Assault Ship (Can't remember the name >.<)
1 Carrier (Same for this >.>)
1 Transport (Hothgar, only been seen as a Waratica mech' transport, but it's really a big hauler retrofitted for Waratica use)
And I believe there are some smaller ones, but I can't remember. I'm currently working on a Frigate-class and Destroyer class, but they were delayed by the fact that I've had a nasty ear infection the last few days and really haven't been able to do too much of anything. Now that it's for the most part cleared up, I'll hopefully have those up soon.
The reason the Photos can run such a vast fleet (1,000,000 ships, for a direct number?) is the fact that pretty much every developed planet of theirs (aka MOST OF THEM) sports at least one shipyard.
The reason for the Photos' high level of militancy is their view of being guardians, peacekeepers, ect ect. While, of course, you always have opinion and differing views getting in the way of things, they at least try to make everyone happy.
Also, there's a large level of plot-armor, plot-guns, ect ect factored in here. Really, the need for any major ground military is pretty much non-existent, as I believe it was Omega that pointed out; anything a few squads of infantry or a tank can do, a few well-placed orbital shots can do just as well if not better.
Also factor Rule of Cool: Gigantic 50-foot tall Walkers? Fear factor and what not may apply, but you've still got to factor that it's a fire magnet for everything within a few nautical miles, including those nice, big, heavily armed naval vessels floating in orbit.