Missiles in atmosphere!

A newbies misguided attempt at Cosmic Conquest.

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Missiles in atmosphere!

Postby VoidStalker_WoE on Fri 29 Dec 2017 06:12

Ok, so let us take a look at the missiles in SF1, and then start talking about the effects that an atmosphere should have on projectiles attempting to enter it and reach the planets surface. Anyone know what speeds cause things to either burn up or bounce off? I know that not all worlds in the SF universe are going to have an atmosphere, but for those that do, there needs (IMO) to be an adjustment to the rules for combat where such atmospheres exist.

I already have a set of rules setup, but I want folks to come forth with their own ideas, which may after all be better than my own, and so will withhold mine until we get some good discussions going on.

Some things to consider:
On an inhabited world, or at least upon one that you have constructed 1 or more missile armed PDC's, how do the missiles actually work? In today's world, we have ICBMs that can hit targets over vast distances of the planetary surface, but SF missiles are capable of hitting targets at much greater distances, so don't limit your thinking to current missile technologies. In SF1, missiles can be used to 'hit' targets out to ten LS distances, and that translates to 1.8 million or so miles, and that gives us and engagement envelope some 20 LS in diameter. Keeping in mind that the Earth/Moon system is roughly expressed as a 3 LS diameter circle, missiles based upon either body would be well within range of each other.

Although SF1 handles weapons as identical, such that a "Gun is a Gun is a Gun", no matter whether its on a lowly ES, or on a mighty SD, that doesn't actually work for me, and here in the missile thread I'm going to mention that a weapon upon a planet's surface has a much larger, non-space constrained launcher, so if a ground based missile system doesn't have to cram everything into a 3 HS launcher/system, couldn't and wouldn't this larger system include more fuel/additional booster stages, to be able to exit the atmosphere/gravity well? I would think yes, and that would mean that planetary missiles would reach space, then begin acceleration outward bound, and because they don't have to fit aboard a tiny ship/OWP, they can be physically larger, without penalty, and thus should be having the fuel to achieve a greater range even accounting for the effect of escaping the planets Gravity, and while a missile using it's initial lifting stage is within the planet's atmosphere, it's not going to be traveling at any great speed, unlike an inbound missile.

I am thinking that ground based missile weapons will need to be larger, in order to escape a world's gravity, and that this means they will not be the same as the compact, miniaturized missiles that ships and bases use. Basically, ships and bases use a much more expensive version, because it takes up less precious space within the hull or on the XO racks, while the Space stations and PDC's, which don't have such space restrictions, build systems that cost the same amount in MC, but gain extra range because they can have more fuel aboard them.

So, I have to get to bed soon, and wanted to get at least one thread up before taking a nap.
Last edited by VoidStalker_WoE on Sat 27 Jan 2018 07:33, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Missiles in atmospheres!

Postby VoidStalker_WoE on Sat 30 Dec 2017 08:10

Some other things to consider, if physical projectiles burn up/bounce off a planet's atmosphere at high speeds (like normal use in SF), can a missile be 'fired' at any targets within such an atmosphere?

What effect would lines of sight have the the ability of a bombardment fleet to even locate Missile armed PDC's firing at them from the far side of the planet? As long as the player who controls the planet has any infrastructure left upon the hex side of the planet facing the enemy ships, it's a safe assumption that they will be happy to communicate this intel to all the PDC's all over the planet. Specifically, I'm going to make a Scenario where a fleet approaches a planet from a single hex side, and then the player controlling the PDC's is tasked with engaging the enemy without exposing his defenses to return fire.
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Re: Missiles in atmosphere!

Postby Cralis on Sun 28 Jan 2018 01:02

I don't know the original intent in Starfire I, but:

Classic Starfire allows missiles to travel at sublight speeds in atmosphere. HVM's from the Starfire novels makes that pretty clear.

Galactic/Ultra/Solar Starfire all presume that a drive-field driven missile will slow down to high mach speeds in an atmosphere, thus the reason missiles, plasma torpedoes, and sprint missiles are all easier to intercept when they are targeting something in the atmosphere of a planet.
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