Monday, August 22, 2011

On a Roll, but Real Life has come up.

Thanks to Dan, DC, and Ken. I'm on a roll right now, if not for real life obligations and duties. I'm prettying up the Spreadshseet while testing how well it works. To minimize distractions, I plan to allow for only canon Ship design options as per Mgelis articles and the ISW book.

Inclusive in the workshseet are some building notes. I got carried away cleaning up Step 2 and 3, while inadvertently making step 4. Step 1 was supposed to be the Benchmarks and notes on Doctrinal Sizes and the cliff notes on how each has changed per TL.

I promised myself to stick to ISW and Mgelis's articles, then fill out the other nagging details later on. there are a lot of ideas bugging me:

Ultra-Tech and Special Warhead and Missiles. Mgelis has an article on scouts that detail missile drones. Ultra Tech and the JTAS article "Common Fighters of Third Imperium" has stat breakdown of missiles allowing you to use the other warhead type like: Jammers, EMP, swarm etc. I cannot tackle this until I finish the basic ship creation.

In combination with reading Atomic Rockets, to keep me grounded. There are still a lot of things that can be done despite the limitations it imposed. You cannot overcome line of sight, unless you intentionally put something between LoS that can screw with visual and thermal passive sensors.

Also I think the assumptions of Traveller sci-fi Tech vs that of Atomic Rockets de-mystifies should be put on a list.

How many guns can a gunner coordinate? I have to make a rule for this. but plan that fire control is one person, even on a warship. In a warship, despite there is only one Gunner who controls all the weapons he has to coordinate with the EW (electronic warfare) officer. I have to figure out what the Gunner does or what role he plays in a non-combat condition. Also consolidate the differences between UT computers and ISW computers.

Details about Sensor, Com and EW officers. There are multiple roles of officers, so that the GM and players have a better idea of how to allocate officers/specialists is by simply dividing the focus on Combat/Emergency Status and Non-emergency/Non-Combat Status.

I will have to dedicated post on attention/job allocations for bridge crew. There are tasks that require full concentration and attention, and are long ongoing actions in a combat scenario. Then there is the Job-load of an officer in a non-combat scenario.

Detailing this will give some flexibility and guidelines for players and GMs for ad-hoc actions. eventually there is a limit of options, but it will always be an exercise of creativity, preparation, innovation to develop ones own approach/doctrine.

All non-missile weapons fire pinpoints of energy but... The fire pattern in a 30min round of non-missile weapons appear to be cones, with a very narrow oval at its base, with its widest measure equal to the distance the target has traveled. The Ranges are a built in aspect of the fire-control computer where it cannot effectively manage the fire pattern anymore.

All non-missile weapons fire a constant beam or a continuous, very rapid bursts.

Bay weapons and Spinal Weapons and Turrets. Since Bay and Spinal weapons eat up turrets, a Carrier's. Troop Carrier, and Auxiliaries have the most turrets for its size. Strangely it is the fighters carried by Capital Ships, not just carriers, which provide them valuable point defense.

Big Missiles 500mm and Point defense Doctrine. even if missile volume triples when the diameter doubles, the damage just doubles. So even if the damage and energy packed by a warhead is x3, gurps damage is just x2, it follows that rule in GURPS where damage dice progresses slower than the actual energy.

Still, considering missiles and the sizes they can take in these modern times, even with miniaturization compensating to keep sizes much like modern times. Swarming the enemy with enough missiles that their defenses cannot cope in ranges far greater than they can effectively defend against is still an avenue to pursue.

Considering that Honoverse has thoroughly created a doctrine how such engagements work, its easier to figure out the limits of the method. Hi-Accel, and stealthed drones with powerful sensor or fighters can allow warships to launch these missiles of greater endurance and firepower at such great range (light seconds or minutes away in ambushes), which can reach speeds that allow them to overwhelm the defense layers of other ships.

Missile arrays that take up 8 to 10 turrets, sacrifice 16-20 point defense opportunities for the ability to launch 24-36 200mm missiles. Thats is going to be a juggling act. and a decision that will need me to figure out how many 300mm and 500mm missiles I can fit in such arrays.
A small bit of calculation, a light missile array occupies 27-32ksf.
8 Ship Escort for a Squadron. this is the doctrine according to Mgelis. My first concern was how to visualize this, where are the ships positioned? Then I imagined a D8 where each ship in in a center of a Die's facing relative to the ship it is escorting, that escorted ship is in the very center of the D8.

When enemy facing is determined, practical geometric formations are another thing I have to figure out in the future.

Day Dreaming some more work for myself. Fun thing about dreaming is that the possibilities are endless and one can dwell in that reality for that brief instant of its inception.

Not just stopping at the spreadsheet that can generate warships and macro that lets me keep building a detailed stat block of such. The next would be a 3d Template or Blender 3d guidelines to make warships and space ships in general. That means documentation of how to arrange for a 3d ship, internally and externally.

Documentation that is very idiot proof (since I always assume I will forget everything I learned, that I could be that very idiot). That can allow any sci-fi gamer to just grab Blender and install a list of other stuff necessary, then build a traveller warship. Then allow that gamer to render the ship in realistic detail (there are rendering services that get it done very quickly if you can't leave your pc or its slave to render), along with other useful props like planets and space stations.
Note learning curve plus a basic warship design project will take about 40 man hours initially, spread out in a few months. Its like building a model ship, but this is 3d.
This has its uses in a semi-practical pursuit. the ability to quickly generate props for a Game or 3d Animated Sci-fi adventure show (maybe 10minutes long each episode for youtube). Imagining the logistics of how to make such a show, makes me want to start listing and organizing the amount of time each action needed and listing all the skills and personnel needed (something my Multi-Media degree has prepared me for).

Too bad there not much other gamer geeks in the BPO industry :(
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