New Technology

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Re: New Technology

Postby Cralis on Wed 25 Jul 2012 01:32

TerryTigre wrote:The truth is, youre right. conventional magnetic shield, inside the drive field would require that much power. That is what conventional shields are, generators for magnetic fields inside the drive field. They rely on a drive field of sorts to do some of the work for them.


EDIT: Strike the following sentence and read my follow-up a couple posts below here.
Magnetic shields are OUTSIDE the drive-field. It is required in order for certain rules to be possible (such as blocking ADM before impacting the drive-field, taking damage from terrain when the drive-field is up, etc.)

Only physical matter is blocked from transiting the drive-field. Massless (or near massless) energetic particles and energy fields have no such limitations.

Area shields however, are a different kettle of fish. They rely on a low strength drive field that is generated in the entire tactical hex. The strength is so low that generating the energy becomes practical. The real breakthrough is allowing the low strength drive field to exist regardless of the presence of other units with drive fields.


Low-strength drive-field? First, magnetic shields and drive-fields are completely and totally unrelated. Second, the energy required to generate a drive-field of that size would make your hex-sized-magnetic-shield energy problem seem like cake. Third, a drive-field creates spatial effects that would have drastic effects on anything "else" in the hex, oh like planets, stars, asteroids, dust & debris, etc. Not to mention the whole question about whether or not the other ships in the hex are dragged inside the drive-field.

You need to avoid using the drive-field for any part of this explanation, at least if you want to stay within the assumptions made for STARFIRE's pseudo-sciences.

Now the way damage is stopped is similar to positronic shields, only in a bit more extreme version. The entire shield strength is used to stop very local points of penetration. This also suggests a few limitations of the area shields. In particular, it would not work well against things like large area attacks that would impact on the entire tactical hex, like sun damage. 1 point of sun damage would probably be enough to bring down 1000 or more area shields. Likewise it would not do well against things like multiple exploding warheads, like a shuttle filled with warheads, assuming such effects could travel across a hex side. A suicide ram against an area shield would do for example 1 damage/warhead involved, instead of using a multiplyer based on the number of warheads.


What you describe here would be a great game mechanic and limitation. Any time a planet, moon, asteroid, etc. enters the hex the shield would go down. And anytime an enemy unit enters the hex, it would effectively be ramming the shield.

But for the purposes of pseudo-science, you need to find another mechanic that drives the technology.

This is also why it is 1 tactical hex instead of 7 or 19 tactical hexes (range 1/2) the low strength drive field is that big.


I'm not sure what you are saying here.
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Re: New Technology

Postby TerryTigre on Wed 25 Jul 2012 08:06

Cralis said:
Magnetic shields are OUTSIDE the drive-field. It is required in order for certain rules to be possible (such as blocking ADM before impacting the drive-field, taking damage from terrain when the drive-field is up, etc.)

Only physical matter is blocked from transiting the drive-field. Massless (or near massless) energetic particles and energy fields have no such limitations.



Hmm, then perhaps the wording on page 270 of the Starfire rules can be made a bit clearer. Upon reading that i got the impression the shields were present inside the drive field. Particulary the sentence that the shields deflect or absorb energy coming through the drive field.

But this is one of the reasons to post this in the first place, better understanding of the mechanics involved can only help the resulting rule. Unless it results in a system that needs more than 1 gallon of mountain dew a day to work...

Crailis said:


This is also why it is 1 tactical hex instead of 7 or 19 tactical hexes (range 1/2) the low strength drive field is that big.

I'm not sure what you are saying here.


Imagine a ship in a hex. That does occur from time to time on a hex grid ;)
Now imagine that same ship and the 6 hexes around it. These are all the range 1 hexes, and incluing the central hex 7 in total.
If we include the 12 range 2 hexes the grand total would be 19.



Now for another pseudo science approach. No drive field is involved as it cant do wat we want here. Instead lets postulate a neutral faster than light particle called a Tachyneutrino. It has a weak interaction with normal matter/drivefields/shields, just like a neutrino. It has a limited lifespan, measured in fractions of a second, and then splits into two other particles, one that returns at faster than light speeds, and a slower than light particle that has some effect in the normal world. With the proper timing, this split can occur at 75.000 km range (or however much the range is to that border). If the split point has only empty space, then almost all will return, save some that will bounce of an hydrogen atom or so present in empty space. However if matter is present (or sufficiently strong energy beams) the return particle will bounce in a random direction. No return means something is out there, and that something usually means something to be stopped in the case of a space battle. As a result the main tachyneutrino projectors are focused on that area untill they burn out from the stress/need new circuit breakers. This allows the ship generating the area shield to ignore known causes, assuming the projectors can be sufficiently controlled. The slower than light particle would have a shielding effect, slowing matter/powering down energy beams. It would not act like an energy beam/gamma ray itself (unless you want a weapon that penetrates everything and ignores atmosphere/planets to boot), much like shields can stop damage at a distance, but not inflict damage at a distance.

Note that this leaves the area shield effects intact, for example two or more ships can combine their area shields, as they both can react to the same disturbance. Ignoring the known cause sun would do little good, as then everything must be ignored, assuming the sun is strong enough to inflict damage in the first place. Also the system would not work as well in a nebula, as bogeys are present everywhere, asuming a non uniform density.

Note: edited twice to correct gramar. :oops:
Last edited by TerryTigre on Wed 25 Jul 2012 13:54, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: New Technology

Postby Cralis on Wed 25 Jul 2012 08:53

Ehhh..... I think we are going to have to go back to the drawing board on shields. I've been using one assumption on how shields work for years. But I was just informed that the assumption used by Marvin was different... and it is a compelling argument.

Marvin's argument is that the shields have to go INSIDE the drive-field or else one of the drive-field's primary purposes - to deflect dust and debris in space - wouldn't be possible because the shields would take the hits instead.

This is something that can't be ignored. But it seems in contradiction with the pseudo-science of other rules (Something Marvin was never really concerned with). So I'm going to let the existing ULTRA-based assumption on shields stand until I can think this through.
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Re: New Technology

Postby Dawn Falcon on Wed 25 Jul 2012 09:43

Hmm.

"The entire shield strength is used to stop very local points of penetration."

Which suggests to me that it might well have a maximum damage/salvo it can block, as well as the overall limitations. That would discourage swarms at higher EL as well.
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Re: New Technology

Postby drakar on Wed 25 Jul 2012 10:12

I am pro area shields from what I have read so far but the implementation would have to be based on your Z tech as well so that the linked group of ships can coordinate the shields.

By doing this you could give it the limitation of not having to encompass the whole hex but make more like group reactive shields the Z would cause the shields to counter any incoming projectiles excluding L that targeted any of the linked ships.

Then viably you could have them function like other shields.
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Re: New Technology

Postby TerryTigre on Wed 25 Jul 2012 12:38

Dawn Falcon wrote:Hmm.

"The entire shield strength is used to stop very local points of penetration."

Which suggests to me that it might well have a maximum damage/salvo it can block, as well as the overall limitations. That would discourage swarms at higher EL as well.


Yes, the upper limit of what it can stop is the number of area shields present. So with the 100 ship with 15 area shield each example, the upper limit would be 1500 hits.

drakar wrote:I am pro area shields from what I have read so far but the implementation would have to be based on your Z tech as well so that the linked group of ships can coordinate the shields.

By doing this you could give it the limitation of not having to encompass the whole hex but make more like group reactive shields the Z would cause the shields to counter any incoming projectiles excluding L that targeted any of the linked ships.

Then viably you could have them function like other shields.


Datalinked area shields only would be another viable explaination. In this case Datalink is required to to make it work. The problem here is that it can lead to several datalinked groups in the same hex, including friendly/enemy ones. Not that the new interactions are too hard to do, but those kind of area shields would not have the weakness against fire from the same hex, as that fire would still be from outside the area shield.

In fact, perhaps there is no difference between datalinked area shields and tactical hex area shields, with the same system being capable of both, and each use having its own limitations.
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Re: New Technology

Postby LesMasters on Wed 25 Jul 2012 13:08

TerryTigre wrote:

"Now for another pseudo science approach. No drive field is involved as it cant do wat we want here. Instead lets postulate a neutral faster than light particle called a Tachyneutrino. It has a weak interaction with normal matter/drivefields/shields, just like a neutrino. It has a limited lifespan, measured in fractions of a second, and then splits into two other particles, one that returns at faster than light speeds, and a slower than light particle that has some effect in the normal world. With the proper timing, this split can occur at 75.000 km range (or however much the range is to that border). If the split point has only empty space, then almost all will return, save some that will bounce of an hydrogen atom or so present in empty space. However if matter is present (or sufficiently strong energy beams) the return particle will bounce in a random direction. No return means something is out there, and that something usually means something to be stopped in the case of a space battle. As a result the main tachyneutrino projectors are focused on that area untill they burn out from the stress/need new circuit breakers. This allows the ship generating the area shield to ignore known causes, assuming the projectors can be sufficiently controlled. The slower than light particle would have a shielding effect, slowing matter/powering down energy beams. It would not act like an energy beam/gamma ray itself (unless you want a weapon that penerates everything and ignores atmosphere/planets to boot), much like shields can stop damage at a distance, but not inflic damage at a distance." (sic)

What you are describing here should more properly be treated as an active defence in the way that point defence is, rather than like a shield (which is a passive defence). If I am understanding you correctly, the area "shield" first of all operates as a low energy field over the full 75000 km tac hex, then switches to a narrow beam of tachyneutrinos aimed at the unknown(s) with which the low-energy field has interacted. This will certainly require die rolls against hit probabilities. Burnout (or avoiding it) should also reuqire a roll.

The pseudo-science is a definite improvement, though - what you originally described (and expanded upon in a subsequent post) sounded a bit too much like the perpetual motion device: something for nothing. Or, at least, an effect out of all proportion to the size of the device.

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Re: New Technology

Postby Dawn Falcon on Wed 25 Jul 2012 13:33

TerryTigre wrote:Yes, the upper limit of what it can stop is the number of area shields present. So with the 100 ship with 15 area shield each example, the upper limit would be 1500 hits.


No, not what I'm suggesting. I'm suggesting say...EL*2+10 from any single volley. Then there's a hole in the shield which the rest of THAT salvo passes through.
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Re: New Technology

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Wed 25 Jul 2012 19:50

To go a bit further on my ESG comparison, think of the area shield as a drive field inhibitor. The up side is that the area shield will stop any incoming drive field. The down side is that it will also stop any outgoing drive field. The system is limited to one active datagroup at a time. As it affects outgoing drive fields, smct not moving at the same speed as the ships generating the area shield WILL be destroyed.
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Re: New Technology

Postby drakar on Wed 25 Jul 2012 21:31

Sorry for the vagueness of my psuedo science theory for the Z Area Shields.

In my scenario of them being a reactive the shields are not maintained as per normal shields and thus there would be no conflict of whose shields take presedence. Instead the power that they use is contained in the unit (like a rechargable battery) but when used they are projected in a specific area (targeted area on linked ship) to stop a projectile targeted at any of the linked ships. This projection would "drain the battery" on the unit and would need time to charge again after use granted that the ship was not using that charging energy elsewhere.

In the order of shield regeneration all shields dedicated to the specific ship would be reset before any area shields would be reset. Also this would negate the complexity of how many shots in a salvo would sneak by or ramming situations.
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