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Auman
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Postby Auman » Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:04 pm

Now, there are plenty of reasons to have ships that are a jack of all trades. Namely, troop transporting combat vessels capable of expeditionary warfare. Granted, if you are a decent military power you can very well support a large fleet of specialized warships... For the less financially blessed, it would serve just fine to start placing some, though preferably not all, of your eggs in one basket.

Expeditionary Command Vessels would be large enough to carry at least a brigade of terrestrial war fighters, their equipment, stockpiles of arms and ammunition, food, water, medical professionals, manufacturing capabilities to keep the ship and soldiers supplied with materièl, air support and guns and missiles with which to carry out saturation bombardment of enemy strongholds.

I would also argue that the vessel be able to fight it's way in and out of sketchy situations.

This would naturally serve as the command hub of operations... Deploying a variety of satellites and drones from their high vantage point in order to be an extra set of eyes for the troops.

Such a ship could be great for patrolling frontiers and killing pirates, slavers, highwaymen and all sorts of nefarious scum that threaten the integrity of the empah!
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Postby Kyuria » Fri Aug 01, 2014 9:46 pm

Out of really quick and kyurious kyuriosity (First time I ever used that on purpose, first time I don't hate myself for it! Yay! :p )
What's the general consensus -if any- on tactical squad based combat in space? Or, at the very least, on a personal level? It occurs to me just recently That I may very well be the only one who seems to really have gone in depth on the subject. Suffice to say it was too depressing an idea to contend with! Which (among other things) is far too often the case.

And I don't mean in simple terms of naval doctrine calling for x and x number of ships per group, and what their individual roles are but,....
I want to know how these squadrons aren't just organized, but rather how they develop, function, cooperate, grow and ultimately evolve over time. Are they modular, or do they come in platoon like units? Or maybe even a task force consists of a sampling of various highly specialized ships? Perhaps instead you use squadrons, or its and every-ship-for-itself type deal. Basically what I'm asking for is how you micro manage your vessels, if at all. And in either case, why? What kind of philosophy goes into planning (this aspect of) your tactics this way?

For instance, does your smallest level of organization still used a fixed set of rigid templates, like various types of battle groups, based off of traditional naval warfare? And why might this be, say, because they have little experience with space combat or perhaps it is that they have had enough to know that this is their most efficient method of organization. Perhaps they just work better with a readily familiar system. And maybe because of this, their ships do still operate primarily on an "up and down" blue print on some sort of (X,Z) coordinate plane for infrastructural purposes, (think kind of like how Star Trek and Star Wars ship always seem to be oriented the exact same way, no matter what.) but break off as necessary to engage threats.
And I mean there could be any number of reasons for this, for instance, all the planets in the home system sharing the same or at least very similar angles of orbit, much like Sol if you ignore Uranus. Or perhaps they exact opposite could be true, and because of a hectic array ships might be say, spherical, or be specifically function as different sections of "ice-cream cone" formations to be prepared for any threat from any direction. And this might necessitate each ship having different extremely heavily armored faces they point at enemies, while the ships on the opposite side of the formation use the flip side of the coin so to speak, the heavily armed opposite side of that which bears the armor.

I do suppose I'm being rather obnoxiously over complicated in the way I go about asking this, though to be honest I find som of my more complex ideas very hard to articulate,...
What'ere the case may be, I'm quite curious more so about the small group behavior of your vessels rather than the fleet wide or individual mindset RPs tend to focus on.
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Postby SquareDisc City » Sat Aug 02, 2014 6:32 am

I've tended to model my fleets on carrier battle groups. So there's the vulnerable and important stuff in the middle, such as heavy battleships that don't want to be zerg rushed by hostile little stuff, or support craft that shouldn't be fighting at all. Surrounding that is a spherical screen of mid-sized combat craft that are expected to take the bulk of the fighting, and beyond that is a perimeter of probes and small craft to extend the fleet's eyes and ears and act as a first line of defence.

On a "lower" tactical level, many craft will operate with an escort, in a leader-wingman fashion. The escort will often complement the leader rather than being the same type of craft. It's very unlikely for a craft in service to operate all by itself, though it's common for the escort to just be a cloud of probes and drones.

Is this all any good? I've no idea, but it seems reasonable enough, and I think have some shape and structure to the fleet makes it more interesting to write.
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Postby Dooom35796821595 » Sun Aug 03, 2014 7:53 pm

I was considering the design of an airborne aircraft carrier when I realised that there is a lot of potential for variations. Would It be like the Avengers helicarriers just a Nimitz class with repulsor engines, or a shielded runway like BSG, or hollow like saints row?

Each design has advantages and disadvantages, however due to weight constraints and maximising armour potential I was considering more of a saints row approach as all vehicles using it will have VTOL capability. The ship would also have significant point defences.

Is there a better alternative? And are there any improvements that could be made to the design?
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Postby The Fedral Union » Mon Aug 04, 2014 1:30 am

Dooom35796821595 wrote:I was considering the design of an airborne aircraft carrier when I realised that there is a lot of potential for variations. Would It be like the Avengers helicarriers just a Nimitz class with repulsor engines, or a shielded runway like BSG, or hollow like saints row?

Each design has advantages and disadvantages, however due to weight constraints and maximising armour potential I was considering more of a saints row approach as all vehicles using it will have VTOL capability. The ship would also have significant point defences.

Is there a better alternative? And are there any improvements that could be made to the design?



I wouldn't bother with carriers in space combat.. At least /dedicated/ ones..It'd be more economical to invest in ships that happen to carry small craft like I do and retain their ability for direct action rather than just to make a specialized class that can get its ass handed to it if its unescorted. For example if I am assaulting a planet, my Transports can carry wings of drones , as well as gunships and equipment. They're also tailored for superb air defense/point defense, being as their job is to protect the LZ, additionally they also have the ability to launch orbital strikes, as well as act as hospital ships, motor pools and so forth.

My point is, its not hard to have an adaptable design like that, a 642 meter ship has a lot of space.. Think along the lines of adaptability.
Last edited by The Fedral Union on Mon Aug 04, 2014 1:39 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby Dreadful Sagittarius » Mon Aug 04, 2014 4:23 am

Dooom35796821595 wrote:I was considering the design of an airborne aircraft carrier when I realised that there is a lot of potential for variations. Would It be like the Avengers helicarriers just a Nimitz class with repulsor engines, or a shielded runway like BSG, or hollow like saints row?

Each design has advantages and disadvantages, however due to weight constraints and maximising armour potential I was considering more of a saints row approach as all vehicles using it will have VTOL capability. The ship would also have significant point defences.

Is there a better alternative? And are there any improvements that could be made to the design?


What advantages does an airborne carrier have over a regular naval carrier or a space carrier carrying atmospheric-capable strikecraft? I don't see it being less vulnerable to AA fire, since if the enemy's got any anti-orbital weapons (that by necessity must be able to target vessels at far, far greater distances and with higher speeds), there's no stopping them retasking it to engage the airborne carrier.

Yes, it does have the advantage of having a greater area of operations than a wet carrier, but at the same time it's horrifically vulnerable. AA fire, old ICBM's, and the sheer chance of accidents happening are all real threats. Look at it like this; you can hole a wet naval carrier, and it could well still be afloat.

If I recall correctly, the USN carrier Yorktown damaged at Midway had been abandoned and then towed by a destroyer back to Pearl Harbour, and that was with a holed hull. (Admittedly a salvage team had boarded to try and save it and managed to reduce list by two degrees) On the other hand, what do you do with an airborne carrier missing a lift device? You don't have the helpful medium of water beneath you, just a long drop and a short stop.
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Postby The Fedral Union » Mon Aug 04, 2014 5:43 am

Dreadful Sagittarius wrote:
Dooom35796821595 wrote:I was considering the design of an airborne aircraft carrier when I realised that there is a lot of potential for variations. Would It be like the Avengers helicarriers just a Nimitz class with repulsor engines, or a shielded runway like BSG, or hollow like saints row?

Each design has advantages and disadvantages, however due to weight constraints and maximising armour potential I was considering more of a saints row approach as all vehicles using it will have VTOL capability. The ship would also have significant point defences.

Is there a better alternative? And are there any improvements that could be made to the design?


What advantages does an airborne carrier have over a regular naval carrier or a space carrier carrying atmospheric-capable strikecraft? I don't see it being less vulnerable to AA fire, since if the enemy's got any anti-orbital weapons (that by necessity must be able to target vessels at far, far greater distances and with higher speeds), there's no stopping them retasking it to engage the airborne carrier.

Yes, it does have the advantage of having a greater area of operations than a wet carrier, but at the same time it's horrifically vulnerable. AA fire, old ICBM's, and the sheer chance of accidents happening are all real threats. Look at it like this; you can hole a wet naval carrier, and it could well still be afloat.

If I recall correctly, the USN carrier Yorktown damaged at Midway had been abandoned and then towed by a destroyer back to Pearl Harbour, and that was with a holed hull. (Admittedly a salvage team had boarded to try and save it and managed to reduce list by two degrees) On the other hand, what do you do with an airborne carrier missing a lift device? You don't have the helpful medium of water beneath you, just a long drop and a short stop.


Should be noted, that space craft can just scoot away from the planet if they are under such heavy fire they would need to GTFO. That said, My transports and well any other persons ships should be able to conduct adequate SEAD and maintain enough air defense cover to knock down incoming missiles..

What you have to worry about, is the enemy fleet, if you don't have orbital supremacy you'll be hard pressed to even attempt a landing.
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Postby Dreadful Sagittarius » Mon Aug 04, 2014 8:57 am

The Fedral Union wrote:Should be noted, that space craft can just scoot away from the planet if they are under such heavy fire they would need to GTFO.


Thanks for rehashing my point. Yes, spacecraft can move away from any anti-orbital fire. An airborne carrier won't have that luxury unless it can get over the horizon, assuming the enemy's weapon is Line-of-Sight. If the enemy's weapon is a missile, then bye bye aerocarrier.

The Fedral Union wrote:That said, My transports and well any other persons ships should be able to conduct adequate SEAD and maintain enough air defense cover to knock down incoming missiles..


Not sure what this has to do with the topic, but okay. No wait, actually, what? Transports conducting SEAD? That's like having an oversized F-111 and sending it to destroy some enemy missile batteries, all the while toting an underslung container packed with troops.

The Fedral Union wrote:What you have to worry about, is the enemy fleet, if you don't have orbital supremacy you'll be hard pressed to even attempt a landing.


Enemy fleet is a big worry. But anti-orbital weapons should always be feared as well. Too many people make the assumption of 'Oh it's a ground based facility, we'll just nuke it from orbit.' Not easily depending on what it is. Assuming the enemy has the brains to place a thorough air-defence network around their orbital weapons, not only do you have to expend ammunition on taking out the weapon, you've got to disrupt the network as well.

Of course ground-based weapons lack the advantage of mobility available to starships, but don't knock them. A large enough amount will stop most invasion forces unless you're talking something akin to an FT version of Sword Beach in Normandy 1944.
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Postby The Fedral Union » Mon Aug 04, 2014 9:43 am

Dreadful Sagittarius wrote:
The Fedral Union wrote:Should be noted, that space craft can just scoot away from the planet if they are under such heavy fire they would need to GTFO.


Thanks for rehashing my point. Yes, spacecraft can move away from any anti-orbital fire. An airborne carrier won't have that luxury unless it can get over the horizon, assuming the enemy's weapon is Line-of-Sight. If the enemy's weapon is a missile, then bye bye aerocarrier.

The Fedral Union wrote:That said, My transports and well any other persons ships should be able to conduct adequate SEAD and maintain enough air defense cover to knock down incoming missiles..


Not sure what this has to do with the topic, but okay. No wait, actually, what? Transports conducting SEAD? That's like having an oversized F-111 and sending it to destroy some enemy missile batteries, all the while toting an underslung container packed with troops.

The Fedral Union wrote:What you have to worry about, is the enemy fleet, if you don't have orbital supremacy you'll be hard pressed to even attempt a landing.


Enemy fleet is a big worry. But anti-orbital weapons should always be feared as well. Too many people make the assumption of 'Oh it's a ground based facility, we'll just nuke it from orbit.' Not easily depending on what it is. Assuming the enemy has the brains to place a thorough air-defence network around their orbital weapons, not only do you have to expend ammunition on taking out the weapon, you've got to disrupt the network as well.

Of course ground-based weapons lack the advantage of mobility available to starships, but don't knock them. A large enough amount will stop most invasion forces unless you're talking something akin to an FT version of Sword Beach in Normandy 1944.



Yes, conducting SEAD.. These transports are 642 meters long, with drone fighters and missile tubes that are capable of precision strikes, plus directed energy weapons.

These craft who carry my assault gun ships (go go space hinds) sit in orbit and support the landing of forces, mind you any other ship can conduct precision strikes on their own. Its not far fetched I'm not going to waste resources on just one role. As per the air defense thing? Well I don't subscribe to the notion that air defense will always be that potent..

Because when your conducting EW, and lobbing enough sensor blinding warheads in to the atmo ala shock and awe to cover a few landings I would assume the defenders AA would be less effective (not neutralized though I should note) just not over the top requiring the "we have reserves" trope.

(mind you I decided this might be good to have because if anyone is like me and decides to go the Nike missile route IE: /just carpeting the sky with KT level air bursts/ then it maaay become messier than otherwise quickly.)

Anyway I would think SAM's and MANPAD's as well as low level and mid level air defense would be the most effective as opposed to anti orbital weapons. Because if your shooting something that can hurt a cap ship beam or otherwise, it will be tracked back, and it will be taken out.

That said, unlike the UTA who aren't uncivilized there are those out there that would give negative fucks about static planetary defenses. And thus from a light second or two away, aim quite a few RKV's Missiles /Nukes or just high capacity Xray lasers in the direction of that world , and just sit back as its rendered a desolate waste land. . This just ties in to a point that a fleet is always a good defense, but ground battles are fun.
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Postby Derscon » Mon Aug 04, 2014 9:57 am

Kyuria wrote:Out of really quick and kyurious kyuriosity (First time I ever used that on purpose, first time I don't hate myself for it! Yay! :p


You probably should, though. :|
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Postby Auman » Mon Aug 04, 2014 1:15 pm

"Enemy fleet is a big worry. But anti-orbital weapons should always be feared as well. Too many people make the assumption of 'Oh it's a ground based facility, we'll just nuke it from orbit.' Not easily depending on what it is. Assuming the enemy has the brains to place a thorough air-defence network around their orbital weapons, not only do you have to expend ammunition on taking out the weapon, you've got to disrupt the network as well."

I HAVE BEEN ARGUING THIS FOR 11 YEARS! D:
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Postby The Akasha Colony » Mon Aug 04, 2014 1:32 pm

Auman wrote:"Enemy fleet is a big worry. But anti-orbital weapons should always be feared as well. Too many people make the assumption of 'Oh it's a ground based facility, we'll just nuke it from orbit.' Not easily depending on what it is. Assuming the enemy has the brains to place a thorough air-defence network around their orbital weapons, not only do you have to expend ammunition on taking out the weapon, you've got to disrupt the network as well."

I HAVE BEEN ARGUING THIS FOR 11 YEARS! D:


And an air defense network would be an obstacle to orbital bombardment because...?

Or even beyond-orbital, since planets are rather difficult to move and easy targets to hit.
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Postby Nyte » Mon Aug 04, 2014 2:37 pm

The Akasha Colony wrote:
Auman wrote:"Enemy fleet is a big worry. But anti-orbital weapons should always be feared as well. Too many people make the assumption of 'Oh it's a ground based facility, we'll just nuke it from orbit.' Not easily depending on what it is. Assuming the enemy has the brains to place a thorough air-defence network around their orbital weapons, not only do you have to expend ammunition on taking out the weapon, you've got to disrupt the network as well."

I HAVE BEEN ARGUING THIS FOR 11 YEARS! D:


And an air defense network would be an obstacle to orbital bombardment because...?

Or even beyond-orbital, since planets are rather difficult to move and easy targets to hit.


It depends on what you are bombarding a planet with. If you're the type to use missiles for example (nuclear or otherwise), those ground based defenses can simply shoot them out of the sky/orbital space; likely well before they even get close to their target(s). Of course it also depends on what kind of weaponry the defense network consists of as well as different weapons will have different uses and/or ranges. There's also the fact that if your ships are in orbit shooting at the ground, the ground based weapons will be shooting right back at your ships, and odds are, those ground based weapons will be extensive unless your attacking some poorly defended border planet or some such.

Also, while I'm not actually sure of this, I do believe that a ground based laser weapon isn't any less long ranged than a ship based laser weapon, so you can sit your ships back all you want, but that laser can still hit you...

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Postby The Akasha Colony » Mon Aug 04, 2014 2:58 pm

Nyte wrote:It depends on what you are bombarding a planet with. If you're the type to use missiles for example (nuclear or otherwise), those ground based defenses can simply shoot them out of the sky/orbital space; likely well before they even get close to their target(s). Of course it also depends on what kind of weaponry the defense network consists of as well as different weapons will have different uses and/or ranges. There's also the fact that if your ships are in orbit shooting at the ground, the ground based weapons will be shooting right back at your ships, and odds are, those ground based weapons will be extensive unless your attacking some poorly defended border planet or some such.

Also, while I'm not actually sure of this, I do believe that a ground based laser weapon isn't any less long ranged than a ship based laser weapon, so you can sit your ships back all you want, but that laser can still hit you...


The problem with ground-based weapons is one of accuracy and mobility. A ship in space can be mobile and can conduct continuous evasive maneuvers, while a ground-based weapon cannot. If a ship decides to conduct a bombardment at even just one light-second, it can still accurately predict where the ground-based weapon will be a second later at the time of impact (planets have rather predictable rates of rotation and orbital speeds, of course), while the ground-based battery will have a much harder time predicting where the attacking ship will be. This becomes even harder at longer ranges (or with slower weapons), as the planet is still predictable, while the ship has even more time to displace from its targeted location.

The ultimate problem is one of proportionality: while you can build an "extensive" planetary defense network with shields and surface-to-space weapons and long-range missile batteries and air defense and such, ultimately this expenditure will be less effective and useful than if it were invested in building another fleet instead, and if attacked by a fleet of similar "cost" (in resources, man-hours, etc.), will be at a disadvantage against the attacker's ability to remain mobile and concentrate his force. They cannot be totally ignored, but I would not call them something to be "feared," just another minor obstacle that must be dealt with. There is little reason to believe that heavy fixed defenses will come back into vogue in the future, when they have been on the way out for decades.
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Postby SquareDisc City » Mon Aug 04, 2014 3:41 pm

Dreadful Sagittarius wrote:What advantages does an airborne carrier have over a regular naval carrier or a space carrier carrying atmospheric-capable strikecraft? I don't see it being less vulnerable to AA fire, since if the enemy's got any anti-orbital weapons (that by necessity must be able to target vessels at far, far greater distances and with higher speeds), there's no stopping them retasking it to engage the airborne carrier.

Yes, it does have the advantage of having a greater area of operations than a wet carrier, but at the same time it's horrifically vulnerable. AA fire, old ICBM's, and the sheer chance of accidents happening are all real threats. Look at it like this; you can hole a wet naval carrier, and it could well still be afloat.

If I recall correctly, the USN carrier Yorktown damaged at Midway had been abandoned and then towed by a destroyer back to Pearl Harbour, and that was with a holed hull. (Admittedly a salvage team had boarded to try and save it and managed to reduce list by two degrees) On the other hand, what do you do with an airborne carrier missing a lift device? You don't have the helpful medium of water beneath you, just a long drop and a short stop.
If you want to deploy aircraft from space, those aircraft need to be spacecraft too. That's going to add weight and compromise their performance as aircraft. An AAC that's space capable itself gets round that problem.

And an AAC could include redundant lift devices, so it can stay aloft even if one or two are disabled. It would be little different to a ship (which has internal bulkeads to give the same benefit) or a regular multi-engine plane in this respect.

As for specific AAC designs, the main thing to consider is the takeoff and landing process I reckon, since that's what you're likely to write about. Takeoff can be a simple drop if you like, but landing is more challenging. A conventional runway may not be practical because the carrier will be at high altitude, although a pressurised interior space with a forcefield entrance/exit would be a neat way round this. VTOLs would work, but then you have to include VTOL equipment on your aircraft, which you might not otherwise need. Another option is for returning craft to "dock" with the AAC in a fashion similar to aerial refuelling, then be pulled aboard by some sort of robot arm - and indeed this is the approach that was attempted with real-life AACs. It makes returning a very tricky bit of flying, could be fun to RP.
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Postby The Liminal Commonwealth » Mon Aug 04, 2014 4:16 pm

Nyte wrote:Also, while I'm not actually sure of this, I do believe that a ground based laser weapon isn't any less long ranged than a ship based laser weapon, so you can sit your ships back all you want, but that laser can still hit you...


High-energy lasers in atmosphere into problems with atmospheric interference - it's a phenomena called 'blooming'. You can make the laser bigger or used an array of less powerful lasers to try to make up for it, but it still means that if you want to have a laser that's capable of reaching orbit or beyond and still do damage to a target you're going to have to expend quite a bit more energy than a comparable space-to-space laser battery would. Of course, this limitation works both ways too - a ship in orbit using a laser against a stationary ground target is also going to have to pump more energy into its battery to do an equivalent amount of damage.

Ground-based lasers also run into the problem that they're limited to line-of-sight fire only - their firing arc extends only as far as the horizon at their battery. With missiles and sufficiently big artillery you can put things on trajectories that will take them to where you need to go, but with lasers you'd be stuck with a fixed range. If the enemy you're shooting at knows where your big anti-orbital lasers are, they can just sit out of their ranges and be quite safe. Orbital mirrors may help with that, but if you're having to fire ground-based lasers at targets in orbit, odds are the enemy is already going to be hard at work demolishing them.
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Postby The Fedral Union » Mon Aug 04, 2014 4:27 pm

The Liminal Commonwealth wrote:
Nyte wrote:Also, while I'm not actually sure of this, I do believe that a ground based laser weapon isn't any less long ranged than a ship based laser weapon, so you can sit your ships back all you want, but that laser can still hit you...


High-energy lasers in atmosphere into problems with atmospheric interference - it's a phenomena called 'blooming'. You can make the laser bigger or used an array of less powerful lasers to try to make up for it, but it still means that if you want to have a laser that's capable of reaching orbit or beyond and still do damage to a target you're going to have to expend quite a bit more energy than a comparable space-to-space laser battery would. Of course, this limitation works both ways too - a ship in orbit using a laser against a stationary ground target is also going to have to pump more energy into its battery to do an equivalent amount of damage.

Ground-based lasers also run into the problem that they're limited to line-of-sight fire only - their firing arc extends only as far as the horizon at their battery. With missiles and sufficiently big artillery you can put things on trajectories that will take them to where you need to go, but with lasers you'd be stuck with a fixed range. If the enemy you're shooting at knows where your big anti-orbital lasers are, they can just sit out of their ranges and be quite safe. Orbital mirrors may help with that, but if you're having to fire ground-based lasers at targets in orbit, odds are the enemy is already going to be hard at work demolishing them.



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Postby Dreadful Sagittarius » Mon Aug 04, 2014 4:41 pm

Gentlemen, if you could read the post I originally responded to in order to help reframe your posts in a more logical manner, that'd be appreciated.

Now to stop the blather of the same argument being rehashed over and over, let's try this; what role does religion play in your societies, if any at all?

In the Polyarchy, there's a divide between the pantheon-worship (The Twelve Gods) of the Sagittarians themselves, which in itself is not a universal faith; there's no shortage of non-believers, people who prefer to worship one of the pantheon over others and so on. Largely the faith, such as it is, of the Sagittarians plays little role in government, which itself tends to be composed of the more earthy sorts of people. That said, there is a wide backlash against prosthetics and those who use them led by a religious fringe which believes they harm the natural human form as created by the Twelve.

On the other hand, the Xhanese members of the Polyarchy have largely adopted ancestor veneration thanks to the upbringing of their world; without a family to help you, anyone is vulnerable to the local, and exceedingly dangerous, wildlife of their planet. Combined with the poor habitability of the world, such as poor soil for crops, environmental hazards such as dirty air and earthquakes, the burden to create a family and help the settlement grow is quite intense, and a cultural respect for the elderly, who nearly all had spent their lives looking after their children, eventually grew into something a little more formal when they became exposed to Sagittarian mores.
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Postby Dooom35796821595 » Mon Aug 04, 2014 7:36 pm

SquareDisc City wrote:If you want to deploy aircraft from space, those aircraft need to be spacecraft too. That's going to add weight and compromise their performance as aircraft. An AAC that's space capable itself gets round that problem.

And an AAC could include redundant lift devices, so it can stay aloft even if one or two are disabled. It would be little different to a ship (which has internal bulkeads to give the same benefit) or a regular multi-engine plane in this respect.

As for specific AAC designs, the main thing to consider is the takeoff and landing process I reckon, since that's what you're likely to write about. Takeoff can be a simple drop if you like, but landing is more challenging. A conventional runway may not be practical because the carrier will be at high altitude, although a pressurised interior space with a forcefield entrance/exit would be a neat way round this. VTOLs would work, but then you have to include VTOL equipment on your aircraft, which you might not otherwise need. Another option is for returning craft to "dock" with the AAC in a fashion similar to aerial refuelling, then be pulled aboard by some sort of robot arm - and indeed this is the approach that was attempted with real-life AACs. It makes returning a very tricky bit of flying, could be fun to RP.


I was considering having a specialised space ship carry the AACs to the designated world, as they are meant to be a more permanent security presence on high value worlds. Of course the ship carrying the AACs will be little more then an armoured cargo ship, but they would be escorted by a space battle fleet.

I was thinking of six vertical lift and manoeuvre engines, with the ability to stay airborne with just three of the six still operational, as well as emergency thrusters for landing in such a situation. And parking it over an enemy city might dissuade the enemy from "sinking" it due to the risk of levelling their own city.

I think the Daedalus design has the most potential on this front as having a hole through the vertical core of the ship would allow VTOL craft to be deployed at the base, while landing in their hangars from the top. As for the difficulty of the landing, it isn't too different from what is expected from a modern Helo pilot in the Royal Navy is expected to do, like landing in a tiny space with just a few meters clearance in the dark with only one night vision goggle. And I could have an auto landing system, with the expectation that the pilots can do it themselves incase the system goes down.
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Postby Dirthkos » Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:50 pm

I would like to ask for some help with designing my ftl(both travel and communications) tech. I'd like to be able to justify both with the same principle, operating under the same rules, and would like to have a requirement for highly skilled human/alien/other form of biological life navigator- no computers, but they're used elsewhere- with multiple, very precise trips(whether jumps or something like a star trek warp drive, I'm undecided) required for most trips. It shouldn't be particularly fast, but I want to be able to use it to justify multiple speeds of travel, depending on some other factor, and it should be capable of linking together a group of semi-feudal space nomad fleets, which are nevertheless isolated enough to have developed distinct cultural, dialectical, and even racial groupings.

My idea was to have *insert technobabble explanation of why the navigator has to be human(or intelligent alien)* and the main restriction on where a jump/warp flight can go being the skill and experience of the navigator. FTL communications depends largely on being able to send a regular radio message through the same jump/warp flight through *insert technobabble here*, so FTL com cannot be broadcasted, but relies on knowing exactly where the recipient is(because of the low risk, it can be sent significantly further distances).

My question is, Would that work, and how could I flesh it out?
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Postby The Fedral Union » Sat Aug 09, 2014 8:11 pm

Dirthkos wrote:I would like to ask for some help with designing my ftl(both travel and communications) tech. I'd like to be able to justify both with the same principle, operating under the same rules, and would like to have a requirement for highly skilled human/alien/other form of biological life navigator- no computers, but they're used elsewhere- with multiple, very precise trips(whether jumps or something like a star trek warp drive, I'm undecided) required for most trips. It shouldn't be particularly fast, but I want to be able to use it to justify multiple speeds of travel, depending on some other factor, and it should be capable of linking together a group of semi-feudal space nomad fleets, which are nevertheless isolated enough to have developed distinct cultural, dialectical, and even racial groupings.

My idea was to have *insert technobabble explanation of why the navigator has to be human(or intelligent alien)* and the main restriction on where a jump/warp flight can go being the skill and experience of the navigator. FTL communications depends largely on being able to send a regular radio message through the same jump/warp flight through *insert technobabble here*, so FTL com cannot be broadcasted, but relies on knowing exactly where the recipient is(because of the low risk, it can be sent significantly further distances).

My question is, Would that work, and how could I flesh it out?


FTL is one of those things that really cant be explained aside from going in to a bunch of pseudo theory and what if's my drive is based off of a-lot of things I've read in some theoretical physics books, and have seen, but that is really just going above and beyond what most people even care to do. (I just did it out of interest) ; as for FTL comns again one of those things that has so much conjecture around it , that anything said here is once more mere speculation. The speed of your FTL should be a variable, and dependant on the thread at hands plot.


If your comns are relying on knowing exactly where someone is... Well; you've got a major issue. How would you know where they are, and space is massive.. I would go with QE honestly, in my case I just link up through phase space or QE. If you want an odd form of FTL, I'd say if you were more of a stationary race you could set up FTL cannonpaults, and fling construction ships to destination systems to set up receivers and cannonpults to move on to the next before sending your people there. Or have mobile versions with their own FTL . But yeah that's a bit much to work out on. For navigation you can also just use direct interfacing with your navigation guy/gal/alien if you are loathe to have AI or some such.


(Amendment, while yes it may seem MEish, it'd work a completely different way.. I actually got inspiration from SMAC from it..Course in the vid the ship ends up like a ghostly image but.. I can see how it could work... In this case it'd have to use warp metrics/bubbles (generate them) to fling you over and the receiver would have to pop it in a sense .. In a way that wont system kill.)
Last edited by The Fedral Union on Sat Aug 09, 2014 8:27 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby Dirthkos » Sat Aug 09, 2014 8:27 pm

The Fedral Union wrote:
Dirthkos wrote:I would like to ask for some help with designing my ftl(both travel and communications) tech. I'd like to be able to justify both with the same principle, operating under the same rules, and would like to have a requirement for highly skilled human/alien/other form of biological life navigator- no computers, but they're used elsewhere- with multiple, very precise trips(whether jumps or something like a star trek warp drive, I'm undecided) required for most trips. It shouldn't be particularly fast, but I want to be able to use it to justify multiple speeds of travel, depending on some other factor, and it should be capable of linking together a group of semi-feudal space nomad fleets, which are nevertheless isolated enough to have developed distinct cultural, dialectical, and even racial groupings.

My idea was to have *insert technobabble explanation of why the navigator has to be human(or intelligent alien)* and the main restriction on where a jump/warp flight can go being the skill and experience of the navigator. FTL communications depends largely on being able to send a regular radio message through the same jump/warp flight through *insert technobabble here*, so FTL com cannot be broadcasted, but relies on knowing exactly where the recipient is(because of the low risk, it can be sent significantly further distances).

My question is, Would that work, and how could I flesh it out?


FTL is one of those things that really cant be explained aside from going in to a bunch of pseudo theory and what if's my drive is based off of a-lot of things I've read in some theoretical physics books, and have seen, but that is really just going above and beyond what most people even care to do. (I just did it out of interest) ; as for FTL comns again one of those things that has so much conjecture around it , that anything said here is once more mere speculation. The speed of your FTL should be a variable, and dependant on the thread at hands plot.

OK, would experience and skill(I'm using a long lived race, so experience won't really be much of a problem) of the navigator be a good way to try to justify it ic, though?

If your comns are relying on knowing exactly where someone is... Well; you've got a major issue. How would you know where they are, and space is massive.. I would go with QE honestly, in my case I just link up through phase space or QE. If you want an odd form of FTL, I'd say if you were more of a stationary race you could set up FTL cannonpaults, and fling construction ships to destination systems to set up receivers and cannonpults to move on to the next before sending your people there. Or have mobile versions with their own FTL . But yeah that's a bit much to work out on. For navigation you can also just use direct interfacing with your navigation guy/gal/alien if you are loathe to have AI or some such.

Yeah, I was trying to have an issue with communications, but that does seem a little bit excessive. I was trying to create a setting with a homing pigeon equivalent, but no radio equivalent.
Also, what's QE? Quantum entanglement, right? If I limited it to only being able to give exact location, maybe that could be how communications techs would know exact locations?
Last edited by Dirthkos on Sat Aug 09, 2014 8:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby The Fedral Union » Sat Aug 09, 2014 8:48 pm

Dirthkos wrote:
The Fedral Union wrote:


FTL is one of those things that really cant be explained aside from going in to a bunch of pseudo theory and what if's my drive is based off of a-lot of things I've read in some theoretical physics books, and have seen, but that is really just going above and beyond what most people even care to do. (I just did it out of interest) ; as for FTL comns again one of those things that has so much conjecture around it , that anything said here is once more mere speculation. The speed of your FTL should be a variable, and dependant on the thread at hands plot.

OK, would experience and skill(I'm using a long lived race, so experience won't really be much of a problem) of the navigator be a good way to try to justify it ic, though?

If your comns are relying on knowing exactly where someone is... Well; you've got a major issue. How would you know where they are, and space is massive.. I would go with QE honestly, in my case I just link up through phase space or QE. If you want an odd form of FTL, I'd say if you were more of a stationary race you could set up FTL cannonpaults, and fling construction ships to destination systems to set up receivers and cannonpults to move on to the next before sending your people there. Or have mobile versions with their own FTL . But yeah that's a bit much to work out on. For navigation you can also just use direct interfacing with your navigation guy/gal/alien if you are loathe to have AI or some such.

Yeah, I was trying to have an issue with communications, but that does seem a little bit excessive. I was trying to create a setting with a homing pigeon equivalent, but no radio equivalent.
Also, what's QE? Quantum entanglement, right? If I limited it to only being able to give exact location, maybe that could be how communications techs would know exact locations?


Yeah quantum entanglement. I'm not sure entanglement works that way exactly but it'd be a good way to communicate to be honest, space faring civilizations have the distinct requirement of needing good communications (at least for the most part) you cant really get around that fact in a sense. But it seems your trying to go more for an age of sail thing in space.. Thats commendable I mean alternatively you can just make the ability to communicate limited in the sense of how often per ever x amount of time you can send an FTL burst of data. You can use a wormlink. QE may be able to send back data regarding the ships position though, but as I said I'm not completely /sure/ My ships (at least most and all in Star command) have the need or ability to be tracked for logistical reasons.

Since your a semi feudalistic nomadic race though (by the way feudalism I've been told is an efficient form of government for FT but I stick with my Democratic and Republican Federalism) . You wouldn't need to have such an integrated tracking system as routine like other states (for other than communications), or indeed you can have more intricate and complex system wielded by merchants and traders... That though would depend on how your society is set up. Mind you as your nomadic you have an awesome advantage of being able to disappear due to space being huge.
Last edited by The Fedral Union on Sat Aug 09, 2014 8:53 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Dirthkos » Sat Aug 09, 2014 9:00 pm

The Fedral Union wrote:
Dirthkos wrote:OK, would experience and skill(I'm using a long lived race, so experience won't really be much of a problem) of the navigator be a good way to try to justify it ic, though?


Yeah, I was trying to have an issue with communications, but that does seem a little bit excessive. I was trying to create a setting with a homing pigeon equivalent, but no radio equivalent.
Also, what's QE? Quantum entanglement, right? If I limited it to only being able to give exact location, maybe that could be how communications techs would know exact locations?


Yeah quantum entanglement. I'm not sure entanglement works that way exactly but it'd be a good way to communicate to be honest, space faring civilizations have the distinct requirement of needing good communications (at least for the most part) you cant really get around that fact in a sense. But it seems your trying to go more for an age of sail thing in space.. Thats commendable I mean alternatively you can just make the ability to communicate limited in the sense of how often per ever x amount of time you can send an FTL burst of data. You can use a wormlink. QE may be able to send back data regarding the ships position though, but as I said I'm not completely /sure/ My ships (at least most and all in Star command) have the need or ability to be tracked for logistical reasons.

Since your a semi feudalistic nomadic race though (by the way feudalism I've been told is an efficient form of government for FT but I stick with my Democratic and Republican Federalism) . You wouldn't need to have such an integrated tracking system as routine like other states (for other that communications) . Mind you as your nomadic you have an awesome advantage of being able to disappear due to space being huge.

Thanks for the inspiration; I honestly couldn't figure out how to get around the "must know exactly where they are at all times" without a broadcast type system, which I didn't want to do because a more age of sail type setting would justify a semi-feudal society like I decided to go with. A setting with some communications difficulties would practically require some form of feudalism, or some other form of decentralized government.
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Postby Kyrusia » Sat Aug 09, 2014 9:18 pm

Dirthkos wrote:I would like to ask for some help with designing my ftl(both travel and communications) tech. I'd like to be able to justify both with the same principle, operating under the same rules, and would like to have a requirement for highly skilled human/alien/other form of biological life navigator- no computers, but they're used elsewhere- with multiple, very precise trips(whether jumps or something like a star trek warp drive, I'm undecided) required for most trips. It shouldn't be particularly fast, but I want to be able to use it to justify multiple speeds of travel, depending on some other factor, and it should be capable of linking together a group of semi-feudal space nomad fleets, which are nevertheless isolated enough to have developed distinct cultural, dialectical, and even racial groupings.

My idea was to have *insert technobabble explanation of why the navigator has to be human(or intelligent alien)* and the main restriction on where a jump/warp flight can go being the skill and experience of the navigator. FTL communications depends largely on being able to send a regular radio message through the same jump/warp flight through *insert technobabble here*, so FTL com cannot be broadcasted, but relies on knowing exactly where the recipient is(because of the low risk, it can be sent significantly further distances).

My question is, Would that work, and how could I flesh it out?


To a degree (much to my own chagrin at times), issues involving superluminal mechanics - namely Faster-than-Light transit, communication, detection, navigation, etc. - is one of the points in FT where handwaving is necessary. FTL has become, more or less, rather essential if for no other reason than plot often necessitates it; plot also, however, often determines its actual speed. In short: your FTL, in any given thread, will work (or not work) exactly how plot dictates. Aka: it will function and/or malfunction in whatever fashion benefits the story most.

This aside, there are, arguably, four "primary" things to keep in mind when deciding for yourself how your FTL transportation and communication mechanics work:

  • Aesthetic
  • Range
  • Rate
  • Travel time

Working from what I feel is the least important aspect up, travel time can be pretty much... whatever you feel works, given your relative "degree of FT-ness" and to what degree of complexity you desire. The passage of time can, for example, vary based upon the perspective in which a given object is viewed; without going too "SCIENCE", the amount of time passed between one ship departing one point and arriving at another point can vary based upon viewing it from the perspective of the individuals aboard that vessel, and individuals watching that vessel transit. An instant to an external observer can be a minute to the traveler, for example. You aren't required to have this be true for your given FTL; an instant for a traveler can be an instant for an observer, or three days can be the same for both. You can have it be whatever fits for your given rules and mechanics, but, again, this relates mostly to aesthetic (which I will cover last) and, as mentioned: plot. More often than not, the needs of the thread and your ship needing to be somewhere (or not somewhere) at a given time (or before or after that time) for a given story will often fit conveniently within whatever "travel time" you decide is pertinent.

Next, we come to one of what I call the "Two Points of Weakness". But first, rate is, simply, "How fast can my FTL engage and do its job in a given period of time? And what sort of mechanics go into this function?" In short: does your FTL drive need time to "charge" or "spool-up"? How long after one jump does the drive need to "cool" or "re-charge"? Does my drive actually need to recharge, or is the limit of my rate of jumps determined by some other factor - such as navigation calculation time or some inherent weakness to my handwaved mechanic that lets me perform FTL? I mention "weakness" because, to me, rate (and range) are some of the easiest points to employ some degree of natural "weakness" into FTL to give it a feasible functionality without allowing a player to powergame and jump from Point A to B to Z without issues and, effectively, out-position other players. An FTL drive without some bugs is a very short jump (Hehe. Puns.) to "godmoding", "power-gaming", and the employ of an "I Win Button". Keep this in mind.

As with rate, range is another "point of weakness". Chiefly, if your rate isn't much of an issue and you can do jumps in quick succession, I feel you should seriously consider how "far" those jumps actually go. If you haven't guessed, range is simply the distance a ship can transit in a given jump. Three light-years? Thirty? Three hundred? Pinning down a range is a major part of designing your transit and your communication insofar as FTL concerns. It is a fairly standard trope in FT that if a vessel can make a rapid sequence of FTL jumps, those jumps are fairly short; but if a vessel can only make one jump in a relative period of time, the range can be increased.

Play with these things - rate and range especially - and get feedback from other players you play-with or intend to roleplay with. More often than not, in this case, the wisdom of the mass can go a long way in helping you determine what is or is not "acceptable". For example, it is generally considered poor form to traverse the entire breadth of the Galaxy instantaneously, and that intergalactic travel is fairly limited - if it exists at all - to a very select group of individuals whom the community trusts and respects to not abuse such, given their experience and time spent being collaborators and creators (as well as helpers) in the community.

Lastly, but most importantly: aesthetic. Above rate, range, and travel time - at least to me - aesthetic matters more. This covers not just how the FTL jump looks to an observer and to a traveler, respectively, but how you describe it working. Does it make people sick or uneasy? Is the technology behind superluminal transit and communication cumbersome and not really understood and, relatively speaking, "backward" compared to others? Is it inherently dangerous and, if so, how dangerous? Does a simple miscalculation in navigation end-up with you being lost in space, or obliterated like a bug across the cosmic windshield? Can your FTL jump be performed anywhere and to anywhere, or do you need to jump between gravity wells (such as near stars) or near some pre-built infrastructure (such as beacons)? Does your FTL require gates? Etc.

As you can see, the questions and avenues one can follow in regards to the aesthetics of your given FTL transit and communication are, effectively, endless, and that's why it's the most important aspect to consider: one can pin down the time it takes for a drive to recharge or the range one ship can go, but one is constantly building upon the aesthetics of their given nation or entity, and thus the aesthetics for their technology constantly grows more and more complex.

Something to keep in mind when facing these questions is to consider that whether you are being consistent with your FTL tech; you should avoid changing the fundamental rules of "How this works" from one thread to another. Keep things fairly similar and try and roleplay logically and reasonably how advancements in your technology might be undertaken - this includes in designing it originally. Consider the history of your star-state and how that may have shaped your FTL technology. Also, as initially mentioned: FTL - be it in transportation, communication, sensors, etc. - is often dictated by plot. But not just by plot: by collaboration and compromise with other players. If you want your ships to be undetectable while they are in-transit, it only makes sense that said ship shouldn't be able to detect anything itself while it is transiting. The proverbial, "Nothing in? Nothing out".

Really, though, its a matter of reaching a balance between how you want your technology to be described and seen, how it works given the internal rules you have given it, and avoiding problems such as using your given technology - be it related to FTL or any other tidbit of tech, characters, culture, etc. - as an "I Win Button" or power-playing.

Remember: be creative, collaborate with others, be willing to compromise, and be consistent.
Last edited by Kyrusia on Sat Aug 09, 2014 9:48 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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