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Author Topic: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses  (Read 45892 times)

Embolism

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #150 on: August 27, 2018, 09:28:38 AM »

Is there in-game difference between planets with and without atmosphere?

Logically atmosphere-less planets should be WAY more vulnerable to bombardment: Just drop/shoot anything from orbit with correct trajectory... Or if it is a really small moon, just park your Onslaught overhead and shoot pointblank (Starsector ships clearly have ridiculous enough deltaV and acceleration to afford this).

As for atmo-planets, I suspect dropping suitably large asteroids with jury-rigged engines (or in tug-like manner) is likely a better way to spend Antimatter fuel than directly using it as pd-vulnerable bombs. With an asteroid, unless defenders manage to totally annihilate it, it's still going to cause a lot of damage even if shattered.

Oh definitely. If we're going for maximum realism then a plain old pure kinetic colony drop would be the best way to bombard a planet, none of this explosives or designed-to-work-in-a-vaccuum-not-in-an-atmosphere weaponry nonsense.

(If we're talking about tactical bombardment then dropping an asteroid on it might not be the best way to go about it, but large kinetic slugs would still be superior to explosives.)

I'm only bringing up the realism angle because "dumping fuel into the atmosphere", "you can't aim unguided projectiles from orbit with space-age technology", "you have to enter the atmosphere to bombard a planet" etc. etc. is being thrown around.

Honestly, at the end of the day Alex has justified why things work they do for the sake of game mechanics. Making it plausible enough to suspend disbelief is just a bonus.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2018, 09:39:32 AM by Embolism »
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Megas

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #151 on: August 27, 2018, 09:52:26 AM »

@ Retry:  For stuff like resolving things quickly instead of spending an hour to travel, sure I buy that.  But for things like why nearly every weapon is effectively a punching glove or melee weapon and not a gun, not so much.  I like having a few weapons that can snipe and kill things across the map.  So far, the only weapons that do this are fighters (and beams and Gauss used by battlestation).
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Unreal_One

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #152 on: August 27, 2018, 10:18:03 PM »

Is there in-game difference between planets with and without atmosphere?

Logically atmosphere-less planets should be WAY more vulnerable to bombardment: Just drop/shoot anything from orbit with correct trajectory... Or if it is a really small moon, just park your Onslaught overhead and shoot pointblank (Starsector ships clearly have ridiculous enough deltaV and acceleration to afford this).

As for atmo-planets, I suspect dropping suitably large asteroids with jury-rigged engines (or in tug-like manner) is likely a better way to spend Antimatter fuel than directly using it as pd-vulnerable bombs. With an asteroid, unless defenders manage to totally annihilate it, it's still going to cause a lot of damage even if shattered.

Oh definitely. If we're going for maximum realism then a plain old pure kinetic colony drop would be the best way to bombard a planet, none of this explosives or designed-to-work-in-a-vaccuum-not-in-an-atmosphere weaponry nonsense.

(If we're talking about tactical bombardment then dropping an asteroid on it might not be the best way to go about it, but large kinetic slugs would still be superior to explosives.)

I'm only bringing up the realism angle because "dumping fuel into the atmosphere", "you can't aim unguided projectiles from orbit with space-age technology", "you have to enter the atmosphere to bombard a planet" etc. etc. is being thrown around.

Honestly, at the end of the day Alex has justified why things work they do for the sake of game mechanics. Making it plausible enough to suspend disbelief is just a bonus.

I don't think deorbiting is nearly as dominant as a lot of y'all do; a 10 gram payload antimatter bomb is comparable to a 30,000 ton "rod from god" from high orbit of an earth mass planet (or a 500kt nuke). Sure, it may be more energy efficient to put an asteroid on a collision course, but that can be detected and stopped in the months it would take, unless the orbits are a lot closer than they are in the solar system. If the 10g antimatter bomb uses a 10 kg delivery missile, you'd have to get the delivery missile going about .06c to get the same effect on target. This gets mooted if you are using ship's power to accelerate it (say, using a railgun), since you're getting the power to accelerate it to those speeds from your antimatter reactor anyway.
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Deshara

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #153 on: August 28, 2018, 12:35:58 AM »

I bet alex is glad his blog post about raids and planetary defenses has produced ten consecutive pages of people arguing about de-orbiting mechanisms lmfao
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Histidine

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #154 on: August 28, 2018, 01:58:44 AM »

Non-serious idea I had: make metals rather than fuel the bombardment resource.
This gives a use to a commodity that is currently abundant vendor trash, rather than something already essential for other gameplay elements, and provides a tie-in to the popular kinetic bombardment trope.

(Random aside: if the idea behind the fuel-based bombardment is reusing the AM in warheads, I'd expect it to consume supplies as well for the bomb casings, guidance kits and such. I understand if this is abstracted away for reasons of gameplay simplicity though.)
« Last Edit: August 28, 2018, 02:23:08 AM by Histidine »
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Alex

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #155 on: August 28, 2018, 10:33:47 AM »

I bet alex is glad his blog post about raids and planetary defenses has produced ten consecutive pages of people arguing about de-orbiting mechanisms lmfao

It's the only way to be sure.


Non-serious idea I had: make metals rather than fuel the bombardment resource.
This gives a use to a commodity that is currently abundant vendor trash, rather than something already essential for other gameplay elements, and provides a tie-in to the popular kinetic bombardment trope.

(Hah, yeah, that'd be a fun nod to the concept.)

(Random aside: if the idea behind the fuel-based bombardment is reusing the AM in warheads, I'd expect it to consume supplies as well for the bomb casings, guidance kits and such. I understand if this is abstracted away for reasons of gameplay simplicity though.)

Yep!
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Retry

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #156 on: August 28, 2018, 03:17:28 PM »

Non-serious idea I had: make metals rather than fuel the bombardment resource.
This gives a use to a commodity that is currently abundant vendor trash, rather than something already essential for other gameplay elements, and provides a tie-in to the popular kinetic bombardment trope.


I had a similar, slightly more serious idea of using Transplutonics and making the refined product illegal or restricted to certain military markets & the black market instead of out in the open (similar to drugs & guns).  Now we'd have an existing resource that now has a role for the player, set the foundation for a role of Kinetic Bombardment ship that'd presumably also be heavily restricted in markets (even if that role is in-name-only for a while like the Valkyrie used to be), and the setting's WMDs and their best distributors are no longer sold cheaply nearly everywhere on the open market.
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Cik

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #157 on: August 28, 2018, 07:24:49 PM »

well, high energy stuff is a WMD but also a nice fuel. i'm not against the idea of using AM as a weapon. it would be fun to sneak it on-world and then just kind of erase 30% of the planet's mass in a giant superexplosion.

another thought: how many tons of AM is 1000 "units"? is every planetary settlement essentially a huge planetkiller that could go off at any time?

no wonder people join spaceships where they are de-facto slaves with a 10 minute life expectancy!



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The Soldier

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #158 on: August 28, 2018, 10:09:16 PM »

well, high energy stuff is a WMD but also a nice fuel. i'm not against the idea of using AM as a weapon. it would be fun to sneak it on-world and then just kind of erase 30% of the planet's mass in a giant superexplosion.

another thought: how many tons of AM is 1000 "units"? is every planetary settlement essentially a huge planetkiller that could go off at any time?

no wonder people join spaceships where they are de-facto slaves with a 10 minute life expectancy!
From the looks of the icon, it has the rough shape of an oxygen tank used for diving.  Makes sense - easily man-portable at an individual level yet easy to move in bulk on pallets (during WWII pretty much every army moved their fuel around using 5-gallon "Jerry" cans and nearly nothing else, not even dedicated tanker trucks).  However, I suspect that the antimatter foam (or is it antimatter pellets as described in Sindria's planet description?  Which would kind of make the fullerene shells described in Fuel's description feel a bit off as they're pellets and not a gas, liquid, or foam, suggesting that a shell would be unnecessary, not like Fluorine anyhow) is pumped out of these tanks and move into the ship's dedicated fuel tank (or in the case of tankers, giant fuel cells).  David would have to clarify that as loremaster. :)

As to every planet being a giant bomb - well, both Sindria's planet description and the Fuel item description describe AM fuel as, and I quote,  "relatively stable fuel pellets" and "Fairly safe".  So I think it's a bit like C4 explosive, where it's difficult to set off unless a specific set of circumstances are met; in the case of C4, it can only be set off by the shock wave from another explosion (like det cord), and shooting it with fire arms won't even set it off.  Not sure how you might weaponize this relatively stable composition, it's not exactly your everyday explosive.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2018, 11:41:29 PM by The Soldier »
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Troll

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #159 on: August 29, 2018, 04:43:44 AM »

As usual, a meaty and very interesting update.
More not-complex-for-complexity's-sake interactions between the various mechanics is always greatly welcome.

Big thanks to you Alex for the recommendation. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Space Viking.
It also fits extremely well with Starsector's lore. An (very) ambitious modder could make a Space Viking campaign and it would not look out of place at all.

Can't wait to get my hands on the hopefully near 0.9 release.
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David

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #160 on: August 29, 2018, 08:56:01 AM »

However, I suspect that the antimatter foam (or is it antimatter pellets as described in Sindria's planet description?  Which would kind of make the fullerene shells described in Fuel's description feel a bit off as they're pellets and not a gas, liquid, or foam, suggesting that a shell would be unnecessary, not like Fluorine anyhow) is pumped out of these tanks and move into the ship's dedicated fuel tank (or in the case of tankers, giant fuel cells).  David would have to clarify that as loremaster. :)

Fullerene shells are pretty small, so their low-scale physical properties are probably based on whatever that acts like, though they can (it seems) be suspended in various solvents. (Sidenote: and apparently fullerene suspended in oil is purple! Neat.) The pellet talk is (probably) about AM-packed fullerenes mixed at some optimal ratio with whatever fuel is being used for the nuclear reactions proper, whether in solution or larger nanotech-created packages that are still small enough to be treated as a fluid on a macro scale.

Producing antimatter at scale requires ridiculous amounts of energy, of course, so even if the AM itself is safely stored, the production facility is going to have very large scale power generation/transmission/handling going on.

So a few points:

  • Fuel is stored in tanks and can be pumped into other tanks, so whatever the ultimate mix actually is, it is liquid-like.
  • Fuel is hard to make because to package it properly requires getting AM into fullerines at the least, so file the entire process under "not easily reconstructed post-Collapse".
  • Starship reactors/engines presumably have some process of making the magic happen by deconstructing and mixing everything in a controlled, efficient manner.
  • One supposes that fuel can be persuaded to ignite in a larger-scale and presumably less ultimately efficient manner via some jury-rigged process. Only a monster, of course, would unleash such a process on an inhabited world.
  • Fuel: It's Fairly Safe™
« Last Edit: August 29, 2018, 09:03:05 AM by David »
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Megas

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #161 on: August 29, 2018, 09:15:29 AM »

One supposes that fuel can be persuaded to ignite in a larger-scale and presumably less ultimately efficient manner via some jury-rigged process. Only a monster, of course, would unleash such a process on an inhabited world.
My character might end up being said "monster" with glee.  He already nonchalantly spaced crew on a whim during the Starfarer days, plus opened fire on his own ships and destroyed them to accelerate xp/level gain.
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Alex

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #162 on: August 29, 2018, 12:04:28 PM »

Big thanks to you Alex for the recommendation. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Space Viking.

Cool!

It's part of a bunch of books set in the same world; if you enjoyed that, you might like the other stuff, too. Most of it is on gutenberg as well.
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Troll

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #163 on: August 29, 2018, 12:36:29 PM »

Big thanks to you Alex for the recommendation. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Space Viking.

Cool!

It's part of a bunch of books set in the same world; if you enjoyed that, you might like the other stuff, too. Most of it is on gutenberg as well.

I know what I'm reading for the next weeks / months.
Big bear hugs for you  :D.
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Deshara

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #164 on: August 29, 2018, 12:37:35 PM »

    • Starship reactors/engines presumably have some process of making the magic happen by deconstructing and mixing everything in a controlled, efficient manner.
    • One supposes that fuel can be persuaded to ignite in a larger-scale and presumably less ultimately efficient manner via some jury-rigged process. Only a monster, of course, would unleash such a process on an inhabited world.
    • Fuel: It's Fairly Safe™

    I actually like this. Volatile fuel is an affectation of the early 1900's; IRL fuel, even nowadays, is pretty stable and can't burn without being pressurized in a system that is... very hard to recreate accidentally. It's weird to imagine a pan-galactic star-faring civilization that never figured out to have all their trillion dollar ships have fuel that is carried in a chemically stable state and then catalyze it apart from its stabilizing elements -in the reactor- upon use
    it'd be like imagining the current world except all the cars are running on a tank full of nitro glycerin that'll det if you so much as hit a speed bump
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