Monday, January 7, 2013

Combat Roles for Sci-Fi Ship Combat; hard Sci-fi hacking

In theory one can make combat roles for every position on a ship, the same way you have it in a tactical miniatures game:

Gunners - Point Defense ( Blocker/Intercept) and Striker (Damage over Time)*

   Have to make resource decision how much to save for point defense, and how much to use up in active defense. Allowing the system to be overwhelming (finite resources) makes things interesting. 


Comm and Sensor take care of Electronic warfare - They are Crowd Control aka controllers... problem is this works a little different if you want to be a little more hard sci-fi


  Hard Sci-fi Hacking. Hacking is about getting direct physical access OR social engineering to be able to exploit system vulnerabilities. Assuming you dont have time to use social engineering, then the best bet for hacking is using drones to create a physical access to the system. 
  This works with a drone with sufficient payload to send micro bots that can scan and penetrate a system. The less optimally maintained the ship is the more possibility these microbots can latch on a vulnerable areas and have direct access to the system, then it will begin to use the ships own system. 
  Drones can be a "missile pod" and launch enough Electronic Counter Measures and Missiles to overwhelm the target ship. Note that Hacking is harder than attempting to kill and shoot down an opponent. It also only works in complete strategic surprise, which means any crew who has the basic discipline to follow protocol will have a very low likeliness to access the ship. 
  So most probably  like 98% of the cases of hacking is Social Engineering with microbots or traitorous personnel on board of the ship.  What will happen is that as a defensive Doctrine, merchant ships, will quarantine technology and have the Familiar Robots (i've discussed this farther back) to keep an eye for infiltrator robots. 
Why not use Nanoswarms can be ECM jammed IMTU, the trade off of nano-tech is the ECM vulnerability. So ships tend to invest in Nano-detection ECM. I have some creative ways to overcome this, I'll save it for a chance to go online and discuss with like-minds who would want to make a doctrine and protocol with me.


Pilot - Defender (inputing Evasion pattern algorithmic and using his own spatial intuition and reflexes to the ship's). 
There is one Pilot, as there is one ship. There is a limit of what the Pilot can do, so what I recommend he places all the counters. 
Engineer - Support
Engineers allocate Robot/AI, power and Material resources for various systems. This make things run more efficiently... and in combat allow it to exceed performance standards. So the Engineer basically has to juggle resources every round, he divies up resources and if they hit below performance green line he has to roll for each.    
Captain - Leader
The Captain is the one calling out orders and strategy. Actually this can be boring on the board, so I recommend he aids other players by rolling his own skill as a second roll, "saving" the ship in case of a fumble. The Captain, depending on his skill level can aid up to 3 actions if his strategy or tactics makes sense of this.  When the Leader multi-task, the trade off is that the Leader can screw with his officers roll. This means the captains margin of failure subtracts from the Officer's roll (ouch). 
This all works best with the doctrine I wrote about. The ideal is that everyone gets to do something, and those who are not normally part of the ship's armaments WOULD invest in some of the capabilities that can be very helpful. Drones are the first thing that can help and increase survival capabilities. the last thing you need to worry about the Drones is the cost since you can add it to your over all ship risk pricing assessment.  

*Extra Bridge (the small bridge or large cockpit for Drones)
*Bays for Drones (a good investment for ships that go to dangerous places)
*Point Defense Lasers - I get it, the range of the the laser is dependent on the precision of the equipment since at extreme ranges the laser becomes a cone of light and the energy is diffused. At the ranges given, the beam has diffused to harmless levels.

Hard Sci-fi Ship Combat.
No more stealth, combat is about hitting at distances of the current technology's limits of precision. Damn, I already wrote about this... too bad I wont find gamers who will be interested in such a combat.

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