Ship Design Philosophy

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Reynard
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Reynard » Fri Jul 03, 2015 11:21 pm

In the words of Dr. Clayton Forrester "They're the atomic glue holding matter together. Cut across their lines of magnetic force and any object will simply cease to exist!"
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Sat Jul 04, 2015 1:16 pm

First I thought it might be gravity related, like practically every other technological innovation in this game, and now I think the effect, though not necessarily the base technology, is the release of those bonds.

I think there must be a second field operating, protecting the ship.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Sun Jul 05, 2015 6:59 am

Spaceships: Parking

The scoop includes anti–gravity baffles to minimise the impact but using a scoop with a high relative velocity is not recommended.

A larger version could act as anti-meteorite screen, or throw off missiles.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Sun Jul 05, 2015 2:26 pm

Space Stations: Mix and Match and Power Plants

System integration with differing design systems has always been a tricky issue.

Space stations are very attractive as the foundation of a space going vessel:

1. No limitations on volume.

2. Command modules are 0.2%.

3. Command modules can be swapped individually for standard bridges.

4. Power plants can be swapped out for higher factored ones.

5. Manoeuvre drive is 1.5%.

6. Hulls are intrinsically weaker but cheap.

There is a canonical power plant that's even smaller than mine, introduced for the Defence Station at factor three weighing twenty five tonnes, so theoretical, you can swap out the basic space station power plant factor one, with a capital grade factor one, which at a thousand tonnes would be fifteen tonnes. Could it be smaller, probably, but that's speculative, and this appears pretty definite.

Why is it important to be able to swap out a space station power plant with a capital grade, or even a small ship power plant?

The answer, the capability to enter jump space, which is implicit with an alphabet or capital power plant, not so with a space station one.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Mon Jul 06, 2015 11:59 am

Space Stations: Mix and Match and Jump Drives

Having acquired a power plant that ensures that the space station will function with a jump drive, the next question is, can it transition?

That would depend on the hull holding together during this process, and nothing indicates that it won't, despite being structurally twice as weak as a comparable starship hull, whether being shuttled or being the primary transition focus.

Even if this were an issue, the space station could be built using a normal spaceship hull.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Mon Jul 06, 2015 7:37 pm

Space Stations: Mix and Match and Hulls

One issue that you would come up with if you swap out the hulls is that the spaceship sectional distribution is larger, which means that in theory, a unisectional space station could be two thousand, instead of one thousand, tonnes, and have one, instead of two, command module of four tonnes each.

System integration is important, one reason that you have to take care when you start cherry picking components from different design systems.

In fact, smallcraft specifically warns against this, but even minimal reflection would indicate to anyone that it's an easy cop out, since it provides an excuse not to deal with obvious issues in that the original designs were based on adventure class engineering.

Factor one manoeuvre drives and power plants are based on the same formulas used to calculate capital class factor ones, at any volume, though charitably let's assume they're ten tonnes and up.

Can space stations move faster than factor one? Hard to say, since their hulls are weaker, but if swapped out with spaceship ones, almost certainly. The problem remains as to whether you can switch them out with alphabet ones, since they use space station command modules, and if the alphabet drives would be compatible with capital class or space station class power plants.

You can certainly swap out command modules for standard bridges.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Tue Jul 07, 2015 9:23 am

Space Stations: Mix and Match and Command Modules

A station requires one command module per section. These are the station's control rooms, and in some they often double as administration centres, traffic control and strategic planning areas. Each command module takes up 0.2% of the station's total tonnage and costs MCrO.1 per ton. One of these must be designated as the station's bridge, but any can use speciality bridge options.

Presumably, that includes standardized bridges, though that may have been considered superfluous, since you only need them for jump drives. You've got to love the implications, for the smaller stations, it could be like reclining in a Lazy Boy like some nerdy voyeur and controlling everything.

So having swapped out a command module for the probable capital designed bridge, the space station can now transition to another star system on it's own.

It also brings up an issue that I've always thought should have applied in spaceship design, that only one half a percent bridge was actually needed to control the ship, the rest were backups, CIC, options and relays.
Again, the question comes about as to whether a bridge from one design system can directly control engineering from another.

We know that the command modules can control the power plants from the capital ships, unlikely the jump drives even if it's implied it's an entirely computer controlled operation, but possibly the manoeuvre drives.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Tue Jul 07, 2015 10:55 pm

Space Stations: Mix and Match and Manoeuvre Drives

While factor one corresponds with the capital class formula, the subfactors don't, which I at one point I put down to the distributed nature of the space station, as I expected thruster clusters to handling manoeuvring, which would explain the additional tonnage.

The factor one would seem to dispel that expectation, especially if you assume manoeuvre drives create a field effect, instead of a directional thrust.

Of course, reaction drives would be more likely candidates for thruster clusters.

If capital class bridges can control space station power plants, and that seems highly likely since they can be swapped for capital class power plants, than capital class bridges can control space station manoeuvre drives.

At the moment, it's tough to ascertain if a space station structure could tolerate greater stress than factor one gee velocity.

Though, of course, a computer would be required to coordinate engineering.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:22 am

Space Stations: Mix and Match and Shipboard Computers

To keep track on what's happening in the ship and coordinate it's systems, you need a computer.

The basic computers outlined in the main book don't appear to have any limitations, besides their ratings, so the assumption could be made that they'll fly anything upto two thousand tonnes, at which point Core variants take over. It's strange but not the issue for today.

Space stations have the Distributed variant, though like engineering, you have to wonder if it's more in name rather than actuality, but since computers have virtual volume, I'll assume that it's meant to be split up amongst the various command modules, and their probable lag time means that it can't be used to accurately calculate and control hyperspace transitions.

So the question comes up if you can swap the Distributed variants for the basic computers, especially if there is only one command module in a unisectional space station. This should allow a direct and accurate control of a jump drive, if any had been installed onboard

There's no doubt that you could swap it for the Core variants, as you can with most ship systems, but cost factors in, by a considerable margin. This has less to do with controlling the transition, since you could always add in a second basic computer and connect it exclusively to the power plant and the jump drive, but rather finding a way to give the space station for it's normal operations a cheap computer.

Though, space stations tend to be sitting ducks, so a cheap computer might be a false economy if you're expecting trouble.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Fri Jul 10, 2015 2:22 am

Space Stations: Mix and Match and Armaments

If you're a sitting duck, you should have some way to defend yourself.

Anything factor one and above power plant energized weaponry would be covered in High Guard, but what about sub factor one? Minimal tonnage per bay is mentioned, but since space stations transcends the boundaries between smallcraft, adventure class and capital class, interpretation of permissible weapon systems might be a touch hazy.

Missiles, torpedo barbettes, railgun barbettes, and sandcasters wouldn't be an issue, neither would lasers, railgun bays, and torpedo bays after a hundred tonnes, though particlized turrets would respectively be limited to 20%, 15% and -/+7.5%.

Then you have a spinal mount if you upgrade to a factor two power plant, but aiming might be an issue, since the spinal mount can' do so independently from the platform, and less so from a wildly manoeuvring target.

This s not something that you can solve with a more suitable hull configuration.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby wbnc » Fri Jul 10, 2015 1:09 pm

Condottiere wrote:Space Stations: Mix and Match and Armaments

If you're a sitting duck, you should have some way to defend yourself.

Anything factor one and above power plant energized weaponry would be covered in High Guard, but what about sub factor one? Minimal tonnage per bay is mentioned, but since space stations transcends the boundaries between smallcraft, adventure class and capital class, interpretation of permissible weapon systems might be a touch hazy.

Missiles, torpedo barbettes, railgun barbettes, and sandcasters wouldn't be an issue, neither would lasers, railgun bays, and torpedo bays after a hundred tonnes, though particlized turrets would respectively be limited to 20%, 15% and -/+7.5%.

Then you have a spinal mount if you upgrade to a factor two power plant, but aiming might be an issue, since the spinal mount can' do so independently from the platform, and less so from a wildly manoeuvring target.

This s not something that you can solve with a more suitable hull configuration.
It's not an unknown concept to put spinal mount type weapons on platforms.they show up in movies, and games regularly..like the MAC Cannon armed defense platforms in HALO
http://halo.wikia.com/wiki/Orbital_Defense_Platform

It wouldn't be hard to come up with the specs for a massive weapons emplacement. by basically buying one at the cost of multiple large emplacements totaling the cost and size of the emplacement.

a size 5000 emplacement for a spinal mount/"main battery" would be roughly 100 50 ton emplacements..so cost is 50Mcr..and tonnage would be 5000 Dtons which would fit a type A spinal mount...

I'd suggest including extra cost, and required tonnage to handle the details of fire control, and the means of aiming the monster gun inside the emplacement...say..an extra 20% in size required for the emplacement, and an extra 50% cost....

so "Main Battery" type A would require a 6000 ton emplacement, and cost 75Mcr9 plus cost of type A sinal mount)

the trick would be to determine how much power you needed to fire the beast.....

they fact a platform mounted a spinal mount sized main gun would be more than enough to make people think twice about trying to approach with hostile intent...it could easily make life hard on anything but a major assault fleet.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby AndrewW » Fri Jul 10, 2015 3:16 pm

wbnc wrote:they fact a platform mounted a spinal mount sized main gun would be more than enough to make people think twice about trying to approach with hostile intent...it could easily make life hard on anything but a major assault fleet.
Send in a team to disable it beforehand.

Use 'snub' fighters that it can't target.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Askold » Fri Jul 10, 2015 3:58 pm

AndrewW wrote:
wbnc wrote:they fact a platform mounted a spinal mount sized main gun would be more than enough to make people think twice about trying to approach with hostile intent...it could easily make life hard on anything but a major assault fleet.
Send in a team to disable it beforehand.

Use 'snub' fighters that it can't target.
And now we have reached the very reason why such a platform would exist.

The enemies will be afraid to bring their ships into firing range (whatever that range is) and therefore they are reduced to using swarms of fighters and bombers (which will be much easier to handle by the defending fleet and the secondary weapons on the defensive platform) or bringing in teams of saboteurs and special forces (which may have the element of surprise but are also easier to handle than a major fleet offensive.)

Just like the coastal artillery used to be a major deterrent the massive "MAC cannons" and other space stations built around massive weapons will make any attacker rethink their plans.

...Unless they have massive technological advantage or are willing to sacrifice as many ships as necessary.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby wbnc » Fri Jul 10, 2015 4:40 pm

The use of commandos to take out major guns is an old and tested approach....However it sometimes goes wrong.

and Yep the primary asset of a big shore battery is in keeping the bigger targets out of gun range. I recall that duRing the invasion of north Africa a french battleship was moored in harbor ad turned into a improvised shore battery...

During the D-day operations German shore batteries at Cherburg were a serious enough threat to have battleships assigned to the force sent to bombard them....and they were only150mm guns with a handful 11.5 inch(289mm) guns, not even the largest shore guns around.

The rangers most notable effort in the D-day invasion was its assault on Point Du Hoc. The rangers were able to take the site..but well they ended up capturing empty bunkers..Just the threat of the guns stationed there was enough to require a pretty serious effort to neutralize it rather than engage it with gunfire.

During the civil war Vicksburg and other River cities had to be taken by land forces to deal with the guns they had mounted to cover the river and deny it's use to the Union Forces. often at substantial cost in manpower and lives lost.

Fort Mchenry..it had the British forces, which had steamrolled every thing in front of it, stymied and eventually forced the fleet to withdraw. when the British couldn't force a land assault, and their bombardment was less than successful the British officers decided it was not worth the effort to try and force their way past the fort, or seize it from the landward side....To which there was great rejoicing by the badly outclassed defenders.

To be fair the British ships were firing from extreme range to stay clear of the American short ranged guns...But that's sort of the idea of a gun battery.

It wasn't even that heavily armed compared to Gun Batteries put up by the major powers at the time...it was pretty much a second rate fortress with less than impressive guns.

Honestly there aren't that many cases of the really heavy shore batteries being dealt with by gunfire from heavy ships...Seems planners value their Battlewagons pretty highly.

Based on that I can see a serious effort put into building heavily armed stations around key planets. Even if the cost and complexity is high, the fact it causes the enemy extra headaches and, may force them to hold back their heaviest assets in favor of fighters and troops is enough to make the project worthwhile.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Fri Jul 10, 2015 7:13 pm

Space Stations: Mix and Match and Armaments

1. As an ortillery platform, it should be enough to cow the grounders.

2. Fighting a highly mobile enemy battle squadron, the chances of getting hits seem unlikely.

3. You may want to demount the weapon system from the spinal portion of the hull, and allow some degree of independent movement from the primary vessel, so that the weapon can more easily be trained on and follow targets.

4. You'd have to set up a series of heavily armed, mutually supporting orbital forts, to prevent a battle squadron manoeuvring it's units to approach the fort divergent degrees, so that only one can be targetted, assuming it can be hit, at one time, and traversing the large weapon system to aim it at another part of the heavens would take quite a while.

5. The coastal guns are a cost effective method of deterring warships, even those of far larger calibre, as they are embedded into the landscape, have the requisite ranges, and are very stable compared to a more wildly tossing platform that constantly needs to readjust it's guns to take account of the changing ranges and angles, and costs far more to build and maintain than a coastal battery, which can be relatively easily repaired or replaced.

6. What the coastal battery lacks in firepower, it makes up in resilience, all things being equal.

7. Which is why you're more likely going to face a buffered planetoid monitor, that can shift position.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby wbnc » Fri Jul 10, 2015 7:54 pm

Condottiere wrote:Space Stations: Mix and Match and Armaments

1. As an ortillery platform, it should be enough to cow the grounders.

2. Fighting a highly mobile enemy battle squadron, the chances of getting hits seem unlikely.

3. You may want to demount the weapon system from the spinal portion of the hull, and allow some degree of independent movement from the primary vessel, so that the weapon can more easily be trained on and follow targets.

4. You'd have to set up a series of heavily armed, mutually supporting orbital forts, to prevent a battle squadron manoeuvring it's units to approach the fort divergent degrees, so that only one can be targetted, assuming it can be hit, at one time, and traversing the large weapon system to aim it at another part of the heavens would take quite a while.

5. The coastal guns are a cost effective method of deterring warships, even those of far larger calibre, as they are embedded into the landscape, have the requisite ranges, and are very stable compared to a more wildly tossing platform that constantly needs to readjust it's guns to take account of the changing ranges and angles, and costs far more to build and maintain than a coastal battery, which can be relatively easily repaired or replaced.

6. What the coastal battery lacks in firepower, it makes up in resilience, all things being equal.

7. Which is why you're more likely going to face a buffered planetoid monitor, that can shift position.
I'll agree on all points here.

Point 2: can be addressed using the weapon Emplacement modules from STARPORTS. The description states that the emplacements are capable of moving and tracking targets, which means that instead of a spinal mount you would have a truly massive turret system. Of course you might want to bump the tech level of that sort of module a point or two to reflect that it is far more comlex and difficult to construct than a standard weapons module.



I like the buffed Planetoid Idea... Park a Small asteroid in orbit fit it with enough drives drives to be capable of re-positioning to meet incoming forces.The lower cost of the hull, would make it cheap to build compared to an equivalent sized ship, and by adding armor, internal bulkheads, and screens/shields it would be a real pain in the butt to deal with.

50K ton Regular hull 0.1mcr/ton = 5000 mcr
50k ton planetoid 4,000cr/ton= 200 mcr

that's a price savings that makes a six pack of orbiting planetoids look cheap
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby AndrewW » Fri Jul 10, 2015 8:13 pm

Askold wrote:Just like the coastal artillery used to be a major deterrent the massive "MAC cannons" and other space stations built around massive weapons will make any attacker rethink their plans.
Guns of Navarone.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Sat Jul 11, 2015 7:48 am

It's not that space stations can't manoeuvre, they have upto factor one on standard designs, but they're not optimized for space battles.

As for Navaronne, I'm thinking deep site meson gun.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Sat Jul 11, 2015 6:37 pm

Spaceships: Planetoid Hulled


Planetoid and Buffered Planetoid hulls cost Cr 4000 per ton to transport from the local planetoid belt and to drill out. Only 80% of the volume of a planetoid hull is useable and 65% of the volume of a buffered planetoid is useable.

A capital ship is divided into between two and six sections, depending on its tonnage.



1. If you want a very cheap hull, you can't a much better bargain than paying four thousand schmuckers per tonne actual, five thousand schmuckers per tonne adjusted, compared to the cheapest list price at twenty thousand schmuckers per tonne for a hundred tonne alphabet hull.

2. What happens when you want to drill it out in situ? Does it cost less, and if so, by how much? Drilling and transportation are separate issues, as you might not want to completely beehive the planetoid, and you may want to install the ship systems on site.

3. Installing ship systems seems tricky, especially the large ones, since I don't see them being taken in pieces through the airlocks and then assembled, and I don't see hull being built around them, since the point was of a planetoid is that it's an existing hull that's being hollowed out, not opened up.

4. One interesting issue is not so much as to whether planetoids have sections, but what happens if they aren't completely or even at all drilled out? Weapons can still damage that section, but resilience has to be increased, since they're hitting solid rock.

5. With a hull that's twenty times cheaper than most hulls, why don't commercial entities use them?

6. There are additional costs involved, which might not all be reflected in the design process.

7. To achieve a specific performance, engineering has to inflate tonnage by twenty five percent.

8. You've lost a considerable portion of cargo space.

9. It's unique configuration means that docking at space stations might require special equipment, or adjusting standard ones.

10. Hollowed out passages, living quarters and engineering spaces might not be completely air tight, due to weaknesses in the geological structure of the planetoid.

11. Using a planetoid might prejudice customers with a view of the company's financial viability.

12. Maintenance and repairs might cost more, since it's harder to get to the machinery.

13. Structural damage might be harder and more expensive to repair.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Sun Jul 12, 2015 6:01 am

Spaceships: Armed and Armoured Drop Tanks

1. Can you have drop tanks smaller than fifty tonnes? Yes, the question is more if you need two tonnes for the fittings for less than fifty tonnes. Maybe a minimum of one tonne for twenty five tonnes of fuel and below.

2. Making the drop tanks of more resilient metal should ensure that they won't get dented once jettisoned; and if you add to that armour plating, a lot harder to destroy during combat, and by being on top of the primary hull, the ship itself.

3. For drop tanks meant to actually drain for jump fuel during the transition, the minimum could well have to remain at fifty tonnes.

4. However, by adding control elements and a power plant, you could attach a turret on top; on a bigger tank you could attach one or more bays, depending on the tonnage and the power plant factor.

5. Arming and armouring a drop tank would lower the amount of space available for fuel.

6. This, of course, can double potential fire power.

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