Planetary Atmospheres, a "TOaST" thread.

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What effect(s) should a planetary atmosphere have in game?

NONE! Who cares if there is air to breath or not. No difference from planets without!
0
No votes
Other than who can live there, not too much!
1
6%
I could see the potential for objects moving fast to burn up or bounce off.
5
28%
Maybe some effects on non-projectile weapons fire?
6
33%
How about other, non weapons systems?
6
33%
 
Total votes : 18

Re: Planetary Atmospheres, a "TOaST" thread.

Postby voidstalker[woe] on Fri 01 Nov 2019 13:34

Sorry for the long gap between posting above, and actually getting the Home World thread started. I had the initial post ready to make around 3am my time, but lost my ability to access the site for 5 hours, and finally called it a night around 8am.

I just looked through all my surviving notes, and as I was afraid of, none of my notes from my old computer's files made it onto the new one in regards to the planetary atmospheres, so starting from scratch, as it were.

I'll be back later tonight, and have some thoughts to share about speeds, distances, and weapons fire through an AE.

Until later tonight, here is hoping that everyone had a Happy Halloween, and is going to have a great weekend.
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Re: Planetary Atmospheres, a "TOaST" thread.

Postby voidstalker[woe] on Tue 05 Nov 2019 08:08

Well, the weekend was a total bust, and I have appointments both today and tomorrow, but I'll have some thoughts posted by this friday.
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Re: Planetary Atmospheres, a "TOaST" thread.

Postby voidstalker[woe] on Fri 08 Nov 2019 22:38

Almost forgot to post this today, got tied up with a FOIA request, and...

Anyway, here is some more thoughts on this subject.

Ok, so a speed one ship in SF travels 46,500 miles in 30 seconds, and so 93,000 miles a minute, and so 5,580,000 miles an hour.

Looking Mach speeds up, I got this site: https://www.engineersedge.com/physics/s ... _13241.htm
And that explains it is temp, not altitude (as I had previously thought) that changes things.
Sea level at 59 degrees is 761 mph.

I’m too lazy to use that number, so I’ll just round it up to an even 800 mph. We all know that high Mach speeds result in things burning up in atmosphere on reentry, so let’s looks at a NASA space shuttles mission profile for re-entry.

https://www.google.com/search?q=at+what ... e&ie=UTF-8

It says there that NASA shuttles can re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere at almost Mach 25. If we used my overly generous 800 mph speed of sound, that would still give us a speed no greater than 20,000 mph. If we posit more advanced materials, and allowed for re-entry speed 4 times greater than this, we would get speeds of no more than 80,000 mph, or Mach 100. Keeping in mind that speed one ships are the slowest ships in SF, and that guns and missiles travel many times faster than this. So, just how fast is a speed one ship traveling if we use the 800 mph speed of sound in Mach terms?

5,580,000 / 800 = 55800/8 = 6975. So, a slow ass, speed one ship is traveling at just under Mach 7,000. And given that a speed 6 ship is still far slower than guns and missiles, is still traveling at speeds approaching Mach 42,000.
I just checked my copy of SSF rules, and found projectile weapons with ranges beyond 40 hexes, and this means that, at a minimum, they need to be able to travel 40 times faster than a speed one ship, but that doesn’t take into account that they must travel that distance in less than one tactical turn, in order to make it out that far, fast enough to kill an enemy’s weapons before they can be fired, they need to be far faster than that, but even using the low end minimum speed, we get Mach 280,000.

This is what, 10,000+ times the speed that a space shuttle can enter the atmosphere? I feel the need for some house rules here, for those that, like me, want an atmosphere to have an ingame effect, on both combat and movement.

Some of my thoughts:
Currently, a speed one ft could board passengers and cargo while sitting on the pavement at the local spaceport, and IIRC, it could then take off and land on the moon (240,000 miles away), in under 3 minutes. With the current rules (if, and I say if, I understand them correctly) there is currently no limit on speeds in atmosphere, no limits on acceleration/deceleration within a planet's Atmospheric Envelope, nor any effect of such passage(s). For me, this means that regular passenger service to/from Luna/Earth, is the same as getting on or off a bus or subway is now, and is a considerably shorter journey time wise.

More later...
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Re: Planetary Atmospheres, a "TOaST" thread.

Postby Cralis on Sat 09 Nov 2019 17:19

Keep in mind that a tactical turn is 30 seconds long.
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Re: Planetary Atmospheres, a "TOaST" thread.

Postby voidstalker[woe] on Sat 09 Nov 2019 20:43

Cralis wrote:Keep in mind that a tactical turn is 30 seconds long.
Please tell me I didn't screw up the math, lol. :lol:

Working on a scenario creation project, that is a simple, probably very boring, exercise, and yet may be of use to players that take part in it, if they want to learn some things about real life space stuff, and combine that with tactical space combat using the starfire game system.
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Re: Planetary Atmospheres, a "TOaST" thread.

Postby Cralis on Sun 10 Nov 2019 14:22

voidstalker[woe] wrote:
Cralis wrote:Keep in mind that a tactical turn is 30 seconds long.

Please tell me I didn't screw up the math, lol. :lol:


Sorry, I didn't have the time to double-check your math. I just cued on your statement "...but that doesn’t take into account that they must travel that distance in less than one tactical turn"

Something moving at c over 1 tactical turn travels 120 tH (1/4 LS per tH, 30 seconds * 4 = 120 tH). Something moving at 5% of c will travel 6 tH in the same 30 seconds. That's within the range of speeds of Solar Starfire ships.

So yes, Solar Starfire ranges do take that into account. Along with all the machinations of targeting and firing the weapon. But that's why Starfire weapons have ranges in the 40's and 60's and not the 100's and 120's...

Of course, we could always just assume that the actual weapon was fired more than 30 seconds ago and it is only just arriving on the turn that you roll to-hit. We don't, but it's within the realm of assumptive possibilities.
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Re: Planetary Atmospheres, a "TOaST" thread.

Postby voidstalker[woe] on Mon 11 Nov 2019 00:12

Cralis wrote:Of course, we could always just assume that the actual weapon was fired more than 30 seconds ago and it is only just arriving on the turn that you roll to-hit. We don't, but it's within the realm of assumptive possibilities.
I've thought about that a bit, but then I remember my (very brief) career playing SFB, and having to track the drones...shudders.

I also was, at one time, toying with the idea of very long range projectile fire, if the target was just an orbital body, plodding along in a predictable path, like a planet, moon, asteroid, orbital base/shipyards etc... Then thought better of it, as doing so would make things far more complicated than desired. I then found a way to prevent such, using the Pseudo-Science and Handwavium, so that fast movers needed {something} to be able to survive extended flight times, and making that {something} unobtainable, so as to eliminate long range missile wars between worlds.

Anyway, getting back on topic...

I love my gaming, but I absolutely don’t want a planet with an atmosphere to be treated the same as one without, and no physical object needs to be allowed to strike an Atmospheric Envelope above certain speed and not be ruled to automatically burn up/bounce off of such. What this gives us is a special situation, where an AE radically changes tactical combat.

Next I'll start sharing my own thoughts for house rules for planetary interactions, both with respect to movement of ships and weapons fire down into, as well as up out of, a planetary atmosphere.

But first, has anyone done any work along the lines of ships, orbits, landing and/or taking off of a planet with an atmosphere? For instance, the ft mentioned up thread, shuttling folks back and forth to the moon? What effect would something the size of even a small freighter be on earth's atmosphere and global weather, if it were allowed to go from zero to Mach 6975 instantly?
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Re: Planetary Atmospheres, a "TOaST" thread.

Postby Vandervecken on Mon 11 Nov 2019 04:10

As Joe Walsh once sang "My Maserati does 185; they took my license, now I don't drive..."

So Joe's Maserati does 185 MPH, I bet he doesn't park it in his garage at that speed, eh ?

Just a thought that top speed or slowest movement speed, don't necessarily mean 'Only' speeds avail.


It's like saying that because the slowest racing speed in a Indy car game is 1, that the cars can never pit stop.
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Re: Planetary Atmospheres, a "TOaST" thread.

Postby voidstalker[woe] on Mon 11 Nov 2019 04:44

Vandervecken wrote:As Joe Walsh once sang "My Maserati does 185; they took my license, now I don't drive..."
So Joe's Maserati does 185 MPH, I bet he doesn't park it in his garage at that speed, eh?

I love that song!

Vandervecken wrote:Just a thought that top speed or slowest movement speed, don't necessarily mean 'Only' speeds avail.

Oh, I get that, it's just that, IIRC there isn't anything in the rules that prevents folks from going from zero to max speed, and then back to zero instantly, and nothing at all about a planet's atmospheric envelope having any effect on this, nor the effects of this on the AE.

In my own games, I have some different movement rules, and the ones for interacting with a planet's AE are coming soon to this thread. I'm just wanting to have some thoughts on what others are doing in their games, along these lines, or if I am the only one that this matters too?

For me, instant and total acceleration/deceleration are not things I am overly fond of. I can play that way, but prefer something more familiar, where one has to work up to top speed over time, and slow down from top speed to slower speeds and/or come to a complete stop over time.

**On a side note, what would the effects be of a large object leaving the atmosphere be at speed one (Mach 6975) on the earth's atmosphere? Would each such launch rib a whole in the atmosphere, and cause millions to die, or would it be more likely to just cause massive storms, like a cat 5 hurricane, instantly and without any warning?

So, does anyone else see any issues that they would like addressed for these issues? Official rules or house rules, I just want to have a good time, as I think everyone else does as well, so if folks don't care to have any effects of an AE around a planet, they can just play by the official rules and call it good, and those that want an AE to have ingame effects are free to use my own (or create their own) house rules. I would just ask that they share their ideas/house rules here in this thread.
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Re: Planetary Atmospheres, a "TOaST" thread.

Postby Cralis on Wed 13 Nov 2019 01:32

voidstalker[woe] wrote:Oh, I get that, it's just that, IIRC there isn't anything in the rules that prevents folks from going from zero to max speed, and then back to zero instantly,


With drive-fields, this is entirely possible. In fact, it's part of the presumptions we have on to-hit values and other things. If you think about it, it is in the rules. You can move forward on your first Movement Point, then stay in place on your second Movement Point, then move forward on your third, fourth, and fifth Movement Point; finally to stay in place on the Sixth Movement Point. The rules absolutely support the presumption that Drive-fields can nearly instantly start and stop movement within seconds.

and nothing at all about a planet's atmospheric envelope having any effect on this, nor the effects of this on the AE.


The atmosphere (or any dense matter) does not prevent this, but it does have other effects. The two most noticeable in the rules is that the atmosphere severely slows down a ship (a speed 6 ship can move 1.5 LS in one tactical turn, but it takes most of a tactical turn to move the one hundred or two hundreds miles in or out of an atmosphere); and second that if you ram a planet, asteroid, or something super dense the drive-field collapses and the ship takes a bunch of damage. That's the easiest two rules to see that matter does affect drive-fields.

For me, instant and total acceleration/deceleration are not things I am overly fond of. I can play that way, but prefer something more familiar, where one has to work up to top speed over time, and slow down from top speed to slower speeds and/or come to a complete stop over time.


If the drives are inertialess (or close to it), then it shouldn't take hardly any time to change speed. And from a gameplay perspective, having to record actual speed will slow down large battles.

**On a side note, what would the effects be of a large object leaving the atmosphere be at speed one (Mach 6975) on the earth's atmosphere? Would each such launch rib a whole in the atmosphere, and cause millions to die, or would it be more likely to just cause massive storms, like a cat 5 hurricane, instantly and without any warning?


Neither. The ship would be severely hampered to be low mach speeds (like 5-10) at low atmosphere, slowly speeding up as the atmosphere thins out. It won't actually move speed 1 until it leaves the atmosphere. (And even then, in Solar Starfire it will also be hampered by the Paragravity Limit, which is way out beyond the atmosphere).
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