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Thread: What is combat going to be like?

  1. #21
    Your concept is flawed. I think you are unconsciously applying "airfight/ship logic".
    If a device intercept a target path THEN MATCH ORBIT, what you obtain is a device that stay at THE SAME DISTANCE of the enemy while they admire the firework (because they'll have the same orbital parameter)
    The explosion would create debris yes, but those debris will only be as fast as the explosion with no added speed (and matching orbit is the most slowest you can get in relation of a target).
    It IS a valid solution if you want to **** up the orbit in the long term, and if you enemy is too fragile to survive any impact. But if you want to annihilate as efficiently as possible something that could survive it, you'll need to do it differently.


    I think you mixed up space-physics with the air/sea medium where FRICTION will make a mine stop in front of a vehicle that actively accelerate toward it.
    But there's no "dive" in orbit, or rather you are constantly "diving" aka "letting gravity shape your trajectory"
    What you want is to intercept the target itself. (as in get at the same position at the same time)

    Then you have the choice :
    1) Match orbit at close range, bringing your spaceship at rest with one another. "same speed"
    2) Not match orbit, we fly by each other then our inertia pull us away.
    3) Collide with it.


    EXAMPLE :
    - My ship launched a drone
    (In a very bad, horribly inefficient and sub optimal way here)
    - We will follow the drone as it "dive" on the target
    (note : it make no difference if the planet surface is "below you" and the enemy "above", space don't care that way)
    - My drone is on a FLYBY trajectory, it will pass by the enemy, then (if it doesn't match speed) it's inertia will pull it away.

    Example :

    When the drone get at range for its railgun :

    There will be 3 phases (assuming it doesn't fire its thruster)
    - Approach : relative velocity will add up to the projectiles' speed, (more kinetic energy = more damage) (same goes for the enemy)
    - The closest approach : It only last an instant, and would add no speed to your projectile, you would only be the closest from your enemy. (same goes for the enemy)
    - Escape : relative velocity will subtract from the projectiles' speed, (meaning less energy) (same goes for the enemy)

    Result:
    (because this game do allow you to test and even design your own vehicles and weapons)

    If my drone was a Kinetic-missiles (meant to collide with the target) then the approach would give less time for the enemy to intercept it.
    If my drone was a Explosive-missile I would have it explode at the closest approach
    However since my drone is throwing unpropelled projectile it mean I only had a shorter window of opportunity to fire with a buff, before it become a debuff.
    If my drone dropped a "bomb" it would have to do so on a collision trajectory and then burn to avoid colliding with the target itself. The bomb would only inherit the relative speed, making it slower than a missile and easier to intercept.

    LAST AND MOST IMPORTANT POINT :
    If I want to meet my enemy again, I would have to maneuver far away on the orbit to keep it economical, or waste TOO MUCH fuel doing it during escape (I tried, and my drone ran out)
    So for/against a warship that can only win/loose during a longer fight it would have been better to match velocity, then get close enough (fast enough) to overwhelm the enemy with drone.
    Ideally your warship/drone would matched velocity at their best weapon's range. Problem is : the enemy get a vote too, if I do that the enemy would shoot at me while I'm busy maneuvering.


    So as said, the closest you get of a "dive" is an intercept course where the source of gravity is behind your enemy. Which bring no tactical advantage over an intercept from a lower orbit.


    ps: there's a lot more subtlety and different lateral thinking and winning approach I didn't go into. But it show you the BALLISTIC logic of a real space battle.

    edit 1: reworded to be clearer

  2. #22
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    Thanks for your time and excelent explanation Kegereneku. My question should had been accompained whit a drawing to illustrate my thoughts more accurrately. I really think that my approach is flawled, but atm I can't see why. If I understood correctelly, your exemple happen in a scenario where the two ships are orbiting in the same direction (clockwise, for instance), but I'm thinking in a scenario where both move in oposite directions, so, the released device can match the target's orbit and still reach the target whit great speed/efficiency, of course, if this scenario is possible to be achived. I will let a illustration below to illustrate better my thougts, again, thank you.

    Attachment 21036
    I apologize in advance for any grammatical error or misuse of words, unfortunately my english is not good, but I've been working to improve it. Thank you all.

  3. #23
    Nice picture (what did you used to make it ?)
    The REVERSE orbit is a BIG detail that change a little of everything.

    Now this approach of yours is NOT flawed. But is part of a specific and irreversible strategy.
    - It is absolutely good if you want to start and maximize a Kessler syndrome, forever denying this orbit (so after dropping the device you better raise your periapsis away from that orbit and hope you never need to ever get close again of this planet)
    - It is horrible if you intended to use the orbit after. (it's also far less economical to be in a orbit opposite to the one used by eventual space station and spaceport)

    To answer your original question :
    was wondering, is an "orbital dive attack" an effective way to destroy a target?
    Technically both are "diving" because you are both ballistic vehicle who keep cleverly missing the planet surface (aka: orbiting)

    Your strategy is good if you want to :
    - maximize kinetic damage
    - maximize relative velocity (less time to dodge)
    - and **** up the orbit forever
    To hit the target you didn't "need" to have the device match a "reverse-orbit", but doing so avoid the debris spreading on higher orbit (and yours) as well.
    The only way to increase relative velocity even more would make you go faster than orbital speed and leave orbit. Ex: Attachment 21038 (which is good if you want to kill things, go home, and avoid surface defense as much as possible)

    So yes, you will absolutely ruin the day of your target, you'll ruin his day and the next days forever. all ship in those orbits will face perpetual storms (plural) of anti-tank projectiles-debris coming from all direction.

    Aside :
    If you wanted to minimize space debris, the ideal would be to match orbit (in the right direction) with your target, use low penetration projectile, less explosive or attack with lasers. (aka doing it the hard way)

    For more information :
    You'll learn here that tactical decision (like dodge or attack range) for orbital warfare change a lot if ships have enough fuel to change orbits several times in a row.

    Ps : Testing this in "Children of a Dead Earth" is probably possible, but it ask for a custom missile capable of fast correction and dodge. A problem with the game engine more than with its realism. It also don't keep track of space debris.

  4. #24
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    The more elliptical your orbit is, the more kinetic energy you will have at periapsis and the greater chance that projectiles fired will have escape velocity instead of permanently cluttering up the orbit.

    Arguably, you don't have to make the trip yourself, your projectiles or weapons drone can do that for you. Imagine a cluster bomb fired in a Cycler orbit. The deployment can happen anywhere along the cycler orbit path. Just chuck away a cluster bomb at the correct velocity once you intersect such an orbit, then you can detonate it later at an opportune moment when it is about to pass a high value target. Avoiding a single salvoe may be possible, but if it is a cluster bomb, the enemy wont know where the respective pieces will go before it detonates.

  5. #25
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    @Kegereneku, again, thank you for your detailed explanation, I find the knowledge brought by you to this forum very helpful, by the way, I did that illustration using Corel Draw.
    @Tormod, this Cycler orbit was a great adition to the conversation, I find this concept very interesting, I hope that we can see something like that in RogSys.
    I apologize in advance for any grammatical error or misuse of words, unfortunately my english is not good, but I've been working to improve it. Thank you all.

  6. #26
    Just for clarity, what Tormod describe is the step just before what I posted above : Attachment 21038 (at a speed above Escape Velocity like in a Cycler the attacker ship is not in orbit anymore)


    For the "Cycler strategy" suggested by Tormod I must insist that STEALTH IS IMPOSSIBLE IN SPACE, the enemy will likely now where every bombs are from the moment they are launched. Even a cold non-powered/cooled bomb can be tracked, especially more since Cycler trajectory need regular corrective maneuvers to not drift out into a non-specific solar-orbit.
    What Tormod can play on however, is that the projectile will be coming FAST and by splitting like cluster buster : overwhelm a planetary defense.

    But I'm skeptical over the usefulness a Cycler trajectory for weapon. I would hazard that it could be adapted like a "sword of Damocles" : "Obey or I nudge a cycle of hard-to-intercept kinetic bomb toward you", capitalizing on minimizing the time before a strike and the inability for the defender to preemptively attack the bombs since they would be too far.
    This would imply of course that the enemy LET YOU install a series of "swords of Damocles" above his head and with it the ability to nuke him with less than a week to prepare (rather than months if he had to launch all those bombs from Earth)
    In short it's very dependent on the context.
    Astonishingly this particular strategy is NOT explored on the Atomic Website. Someday I'll have to suggest it.



    Note about the Cycler :
    Originally the idea behind using cycler trajectory would be to stop having to accelerate the mass of a self-sustaining life-support, allowing all rockets taking the passenger to the cycler and to the target planet to not carry a farm/relaxations areas/spinning-habitat since it would be already on the way.
    http://www.projectrho.com/public_htm...Aldrin_Cyclers

    More importantly, the cycler is a type of trajectory that takes YEARS or MONTH at best, to use. Hardly something we want in Rogue System if interplanetary travel are (a)faster than days (b)using crygenic casket (c)or using FTL-drive.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kegereneku View Post
    More importantly, the cycler is a type of trajectory that takes YEARS or MONTH at best, to use. Hardly something we want in Rogue System if interplanetary travel are (a)faster than days (b)using crygenic casket (c)or using FTL-drive.
    Agreed, in the core module this don't have much usage, but I was thinking in the future when the sandbox mode arrives (sorry, again, this wasn't obvious in my last post), in this mode some supply stations or freighters can use this principle to create trading routes betwen planets, mons, etc. The way I see it, we will not travel using those orbits, but some of the structures that we can interact with will.
    I apologize in advance for any grammatical error or misuse of words, unfortunately my english is not good, but I've been working to improve it. Thank you all.

  8. #28
    I fail to understand your logic.
    If you have FTL or Reactionless drive there is no reason to put a cycler-station stuck at various point in the middle of nowhere, your FTL spaceship will have no reason to stop here anymore. There's several periods possible for cycler, some of them leave the station at the opposite or its final destination for several years, and the simpler one don't have the cyclers right in-between the two planets.

    Ironically I suggested myself a way to make them relevant : If your FTL-drive still feel the effect of gravity... then make a FTL-cycler (assuming of course the way it feel gravity is compatible)
    Keeping on this same veins, if your FTL-drive do thread along gravitational source the same way normal space-craft do, then there's the so-called "Interplanetary Transport Network", an even more radical use of gravity gradient that allow to go everywhere in the solar system using the lowest use of propellant. The catch ? Using that method a Earth-Moon transfer take 2 month (against 3 days for a classic transfer). If only we had a warp-drive that make time irrelevant...

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kegereneku View Post
    I fail to understand your logic.
    If you have FTL or Reactionless drive there is no reason to put a cycler-station stuck at various point in the middle of nowhere
    Yes you're right, if we have a cheap way to travel we would not need something like what I suggested. Sorry, I think I got excited by this concept
    I apologize in advance for any grammatical error or misuse of words, unfortunately my english is not good, but I've been working to improve it. Thank you all.

  10. #30
    Well, it happen even to the best author.

    "Wow I just learned about that new engine/technology/concept, let's apply it on anything I can think of !" (Plasma thruster for everything! Hail the space-tether! Praise beamed energy from solar-plant in space, Genetic engineering for everything!)

    Long ago it was TESLA this TESLA that, dynamogravitic drive, then it was ATOMIC rocket this ATOMIC toaster that.
    Ironically the most realistic part of (say) 2001 space odyssey wasn't the spaceship or the moon base, not even the space shuttle. It was the smartphone that can connect to news site described in 1968.

    I think you can even say that cheesy "don't care" SF sometime get thing incredibly right just because they took a different approach to things. I have no example for that but I'm pretty sure I should.

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