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Author Topic: Fighter as a Carrier's weapons  (Read 34234 times)

Gothars

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Re: Fighter as a Carrier's weapons
« Reply #60 on: October 10, 2015, 04:41:49 AM »

Or maybe it will be quite the opposite! There is no such thing as stealth in space, crew are squishy and take a awful lot of space, heat dissipation is a nightmare, so maybe ALL combat ships will be fighter sized drones: they would be expendable, cheap, and far more mass-produceable (I'm talking about a swarm of several thousands units here, for probably the same cost as a handful of crewed space-battleships).


In his novel "Weapon Systems of the Twenty First Century or the Upside-Down Evolution" Stanislav Lem describes swarms of tiny insect-like drones (Synsects) that make all conventional weapon systems obsolete. A similar concept is explored in his "The Invincible". I find it pretty convincing.



 
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Clockwork Owl

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Re: Fighter as a Carrier's weapons
« Reply #61 on: October 10, 2015, 05:31:21 AM »

Or maybe it will be quite the opposite! There is no such thing as stealth in space, crew are squishy and take a awful lot of space, heat dissipation is a nightmare, so maybe ALL combat ships will be fighter sized drones: they would be expendable, cheap, and far more mass-produceable (I'm talking about a swarm of several thousands units here, for probably the same cost as a handful of crewed space-battleships).
Nah make it several millions. Drones are never enough. XD

True, big spaceship will have heat dissipation problem and its radiator would be a giant weak point. Drone carriers? Maybe. Assuming the drones aren't big enough to mount a warp drive if we have it.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2015, 05:35:13 AM by Aron0621 »
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Re: Fighter as a Carrier's weapons
« Reply #62 on: October 10, 2015, 05:51:39 AM »

*Mandatory link to the Atomic Rockets website for more information*
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Re: Fighter as a Carrier's weapons
« Reply #63 on: October 10, 2015, 07:26:26 AM »

I've been there for my sci-fi story works. Really helpful.
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Re: Fighter as a Carrier's weapons
« Reply #64 on: October 10, 2015, 09:50:13 AM »

A fantastic suggestion!
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celestis

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Re: Fighter as a Carrier's weapons
« Reply #65 on: October 10, 2015, 12:17:48 PM »

Talking about star wars, in RoTJ rebel command orders to keep enemy fighters away from capital ships. This means that they must have been a reasonable threat to them.
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xenoargh

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Re: Fighter as a Carrier's weapons
« Reply #66 on: October 10, 2015, 12:30:38 PM »

We've brought this one up before and I'm still in favor of it; it'd get rid of a lot of the balance issues with fighters overall and make carriers coherent.  I actually had a working example of something like this in Vacuum (using a Large Missile slot) and it worked all right.

I'm not in favor of having three size slots; I think that would just make it more complicated without adding much gameplay value.  At best, it'd differentiate between Wing sizes spawned or the amount of respawns; neither thing would give enough benefit.

I think that carriers should have two stat-lines, though:

1.  A FighterBuildTime stat, float, nominal 1.0.  Higher means slower replacement of losses; lower means faster replacement of losses.  Reflects the engineering capabilities of the ship.  This would provide a much-needed differentiation between ships that are Escort Carriers (1.5-3.0; i.e., their first launch is their most important contribution to a battle), Light Carriers (at 1.0) which are mainline military vessels, and Fleet Carriers (0.5-0.75) that are designed to be the heart of a fleet's carrier component.  

This stat would use the formula fleet pts / num * FighterBuildTime * SomeConstant (probably 5.0 or so, nominal, should be moddable as a core constant) to determine how long a given fighter takes to build from a given Launcher.

2.  A FighterReplacements stat, integer.  This is the number of points of Fighters the Carrier can ultimately replace, with the results rounded up if necessary (i.e., if the next replacement up needs 3 points and you only have 1 left, let it get replaced and set to 0).

These two things get rid of the need for the # of replacements and speed of replacement per Wing, making the FP / num the determinant of how many replacements can ultimately be made and how quickly.



This means, among other things, that a Carrier mounting two Wings with wildly-different FP values, say like Talons and Tridents, might run out of FighterReplacements due to fast Talon losses, even though relatively-few Tridents have been built or lost.

This would be most sensible and in keeping with the lore concept; basically, the Carrier only had so much Stuff to use up, regardless of what it's ultimately used up for.

But it would also mean that slower-to-build and expensive fighters could be balanced rather nicely against their real effectiveness, whereas right now... to be really honest, I feel that the balance of fighters is all over the place and what they cost to deploy has very little to do with how effective they really are.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2015, 12:32:11 PM by xenoargh »
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Aeson

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Re: Fighter as a Carrier's weapons
« Reply #67 on: October 10, 2015, 01:23:45 PM »

If we're going to keep discussing Star Wars fighters, perhaps we should get another thread. Regardless, in response to celestis:
Spoiler
Talking about star wars, in RoTJ rebel command orders to keep enemy fighters away from capital ships. This means that they must have been a reasonable threat to them.
The Rebel fleet contains a significant number of relatively light warships, at least judging from the size of the ships. It also contains at least a couple of ships which at least appear to be of the same class as the transports used during the evacuation of Hoth, suggesting that not all of the Rebel ships present at Endor would be frontline combatants if the Rebellion had the resources to field something else. I also note that we don't actually see any TIE Fighters, TIE Bombers, or TIE Interceptors firing on anything bigger than the Millenium Falcon in the entire battle sequence, despite the comment that there are "too many" Imperial fighters in the view of at least one Rebel fighter pilot, suggesting that at least some fighters should be available to make attacks against the large warships (nor, for that matter, do I recall seeing any TIE Bombers in the engagement, which from the name might be expected to be used against heavy ships, especially since they're clearly not designed for atmospheric use, despite there supposedly being something like a dozen of them per Star Destroyer and the TIE Fighter and TIE Interceptor armaments being exclusively fighter-grade laser cannons, as far as is demonstrated in the movies). The only dialogue indicative of attacks against large Rebel warships are that comment about drawing fire away from the cruisers and a later comment about fighters heading for the medical frigate; under the assumption that ship classes (destroyer, frigate, cruiser, etc) follow roughly modern naval patterns, a frigate is a rather light vessel and could therefore be expected to be relatively vulnerable to the light weapons carried by Imperial fighters.

Moreover, there are more reasons than just that the fighters pose a credible threat to the capital ships for why you might want the fire of the fighters to be drawn away from the cruisers. We know from the first Death Star run that fighters can at least disable some weapon emplacements and cause minor surface damage to (presumably armored) hull, and we know from the Endor battle sequence that fighters are capable of taking out what appear to be sensor domes (which are likely at best lightly armored; EU claims and a confusion of cause and effect have made the domes into Star Destroyer shield generators). Fighters have not demonstrated an ability to destroy capital ships in Star Wars (barring incredible luck), but they have demonstrated the ability to cause damage which might adversely affect a heavy ship's combat performance. We also know that at least the Rebel fighters are capable of concentrating their shields in a specific direction or setting them to a more even distribution of protection; if the capital ships are likewise able to concentrate their shields, there is an obvious reason to want the fighters to be dealt with - keeping them from strafing the cruisers allows the cruisers to concentrate their full shield strength in the direction of the enemy capital ships without needing to worry about suffering minor damage which poses no real threat to the ship but nevertheless adversely affects combat performance. Then there's the issue that even if fighter weapons are not nearly as potent as capital ship weapons, it's still energy that the shields have to deal with if the shields intercept the shots, and when you're already dealing with a collection of heavy warships which apparently outclasses your fleet ("we won't last long against those Star Destroyers") every little bit probably counts.
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This means, among other things, that a Carrier mounting two Wings with wildly-different FP values, say like Talons and Tridents, might run out of FighterReplacements due to fast Talon losses, even though relatively-few Tridents have been built or lost.
I don't see why the replacement fighter pool for Talons should be shared with Tridents. They're very different fighters from very different eras; it's not terribly unlikely that these two fighter types share very few common parts, so if the carrier is assembling them (which is an explanation I've always found ridiculous, but whatever) you'd need to go to the even more silly extreme of assembling from raw materials rather than prefabricated parts in order to justify it. Running out of replacement crews, perhaps (though standard military practice would suggest that the crews for the Tridents and the pilots for the Talons are two different groups of people), but not replacement fighters.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2015, 01:30:00 PM by Aeson »
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SafariJohn

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Re: Fighter as a Carrier's weapons
« Reply #68 on: October 10, 2015, 02:00:59 PM »

My suggestion earlier was the same sort of fighter replacement pool, just divided between types before the battle started.
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Gothars

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Re: Fighter as a Carrier's weapons
« Reply #69 on: October 10, 2015, 02:55:01 PM »

I'm not in favor of having three size slots; I think that would just make it more complicated without adding much gameplay value.  At best, it'd differentiate between Wing sizes spawned or the amount of respawns; neither thing would give enough benefit.


Wait, why not just go all the way with the weapon analogue: Fighter use the carrier's OP, and better Fighters use more OP. Than you'd have a  OP competition situation for each carrier, either you invest in having great fighters on it or you give the carrier itself more oomph. Fighter reproduction speeds would be a fighter specific stat as now, and maybe influenced by carrier hullmods.

I think having extra carrier stats would be an unnecessary complication and make it even harder for newbies to know what's going on.
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xenoargh

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Re: Fighter as a Carrier's weapons
« Reply #70 on: October 10, 2015, 02:57:31 PM »

@Gothars:

I presumed that launchers would use OPs.  I'm just not sure that size classes would add much.  Single-fighter Wings?  IDK.

@Aeson:

Yes, it's silly, but the whole premise is fairly silly.  In the real world, if you have 50 fighters on board a carrier, you can launch all 50 in an emergency.  

Most of the time, you don't, of course; that costs too much money and it exhausts your aircrew and service crew and risks all kinds of disasters.  

But dealing with this issue in a way that's both half-plausible and balanced?  Kind of hard.

The best excuse we've got is that you can't fly more fighters than you have crew to control them from a distance.  So perhaps the issue is that you need some sort of FTL teleoperator rig, and transceiver is big and bulky and delicate.  So that's why a giant carrier like the Astral has such a small effective complement.  OK, that explains away that part in a reasonably-plausible way (and pilot deaths are, idk, "feedback trauma" or some Sci Fi chestnut like that).  

True drones don't work because of Heisenberg Resonance Fields from ship engines, that can instantly wipe out quantum AIs in small vessels (yes, I just made all of that up) which is why the missiles of SS are also pretty dumb; only a dumb missile with specially-shielded circuits can survive the modern battlefield.  Or something.  

This also hand-waves away why ships can only deploy X drones, too.

So fine; now we're just talking about fighters as ammunition and whether that makes for good / bad gameplay.  

I don't really have any fundamental problems with that; I think there are arguments both for / against.  I'd still like the ship stat-lines, though, because not all ships would be equal, in terms of how quickly they'd be able to deploy, and it's an important gameplay distinction that could add some real flavor, rather than the system of Decks, which is a little too simple for my tastes, because of how it affects power.  For example, if torpedo carrying fighters were heavy on FP costs, deploying them as a one-time launch from a Condor (an inefficient launcher example) might make more sense than using up the same launcher points on a Heron, where you're going to want to get more "space dominance" out of the chassis.  So there could be meaningful and interesting balance results from this :)
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The Soldier

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Re: Fighter as a Carrier's weapons
« Reply #71 on: October 10, 2015, 03:04:23 PM »

But dealing with this issue in a way that's both half-plausible and balanced?  Kind of hard.

The best excuse we've got is that you can't fly more fighters than you have crew to control them from a distance.  So perhaps the issue is that you need some sort of FTL teleoperator rig, and transceiver is big and bulky and delicate.  So that's why a giant carrier like the Astral has such a small effective complement.  OK, that explains away that part in a reasonably-plausible way (and pilot deaths are, idk, "feedback trauma" or some Sci Fi chestnut like that). 
I think a simple solution would be this - flight control.  With all of your fighters deployed and roaming about, the "control tower" (much like the control tower on an Earth-based carrier) cannot keep track of and direct all the fighter wings with any amount of efficiency.  They still have to be controlled by flight directors, as far as I can tell.  So the limiting factor is the "control tower" on the ship - larger control tower with better tech means you can direct more wings at once.  Seems reasonable.
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Gothars

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Re: Fighter as a Carrier's weapons
« Reply #72 on: October 10, 2015, 03:23:09 PM »

@Gothars:
I presumed that launchers would use OPs.  I'm just not sure that size classes would add much.  Single-fighter Wings?  IDK.

Really? Cause, well, if equipping fighter wings simply costs between "quite some" and "a whole lot" of OPs, I don't see why we would need any other factors, be it different sized slots or any carrier numberwang :)
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Clockwork Owl

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Re: Fighter as a Carrier's weapons
« Reply #73 on: October 10, 2015, 04:03:17 PM »

Regarding fighter replacement: Or, since it is weapon, make the replacement chassis 'ammo'. Fighter-specific and replaced per-battle.

I see some problem here, tho.
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Xeroshiva1029

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Re: Fighter as a Carrier's weapons
« Reply #74 on: October 11, 2015, 07:47:09 PM »

make added fighter wings increase crew cost of that ship by like 1/2 of what they currently cost.. ie talon wing wants 4 crew.. make the carrier need 2 more crew for equipping 1 wing..  carriers do carry the flight crews IRL.

assign fighters to carriers for resupply.. talon wing 1 reports to carrier A for resupply and wing 2 reports to carrier B since thats the home ports they launched from.
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