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RE: Limiting number of fighters per target - was RE: Fighters....Re: Full Thrust vs Starmada

From: "B Lin" <lin@r...>
Date: Sun, 1 May 2005 13:56:35 -0600
Subject: RE: Limiting number of fighters per target - was RE: Fighters....Re: Full Thrust vs Starmada

Fighters aren't worried about fratricide either.  If they are carrying
large nuclear warheads, then they are obviously using some sort of
short-ranged missile to deliver them, otherwise they would be immolated
in the radiation wave from their own warheads.	If they are using some
sort of laser/beam weapon then those weapons are not omni-directional
and shouldn't have much of an effect on craft next to or behind them.
Because of the volume of space available, planning attack runs that
don't overlap is not the limiting factor.

>From a coordination point of view, with a volume of space 523 cubic
kilometers (sphere with a radius of 5km) it seems imminently
unreasonable that you couldn't cram 36, 72 or even 100+ fighters through
that space in a given turn and guarantee that they won't collide. 

Here is the basis for that conclusion:

Assuming that you can fire out to 5000 m, the critical collision area
for fighters is within the 5km sphere previously stated.  Assuming a
large fighter has a frontal area of 707 meters square (15m radius
circle), each fighter carves out a max volume of 0.007 cubic km on an
attack run (707 meters squared x 10 km). So a squadron of 6 will carve
out a maximum volume approximately 0.042 cubic km's. Absolute ideal
situation, non-crossing flights paths based on volume is 523 km3 divided
by 0.042 km3/squadron = 12452 squadron paths.

If you increase attack distance to 10 km's the volume of space increases
to 4188 km3 (10km radius sphere) with each ship taking up 0.014 km3 on
an attack run, this generates nearly 50000 volume independent runs for

If you allow that flight paths can cross in time and are not volume
exclusive, the then number jumps to something quite a bit higher
depending on your timing allowances.  

Even allowing for the volume of the target craft (probably not more than
a few cubic km's even for a large carrier (Star Destroyers excepted as
they are ships with km's of length and huge volume) and perhaps a
"no-survival zone" of one km from the target that no fighter could
survive, you still have several thousand possible choices of flight
paths that are guaranteed to not cross each other.

In addition, this does not include the idea of longer range stand-off
weapons that allow a fighter to just barely get into range and doesn't
acutally have to enter the critical 5km sphere. There are many more
possible flight paths that simply intersect as a tangent to the critical
sphere that allows for the firing of weapons without having to enter. 

A note that a 5km is well within range of modern guns that have to deal
with gravity and air-resistance. I would hope that in the fuure, the
technology of weapons would be greater in space than their current
terran-bound ancestors. 
I think the real issue is what flavor are you trying to capture:

WWI aircraft - Planes are roughly equal but surprise and individual
skill mattered
WWII aircraft - planes vary widely in quality, speed and armnament, but
individual skill still matters
Post-korea to modern - planes are roughly similar in physical qualities,
but technology matters most. Individual pilot skill is secondary to the
use of technology. (i.e. it's not how well you can pilot the plane, but
use your radar to get a lock-on for a kill).

Note that Battle Star Galactica follows the WWI model with fighters on
both sides being roughly equivalent, but he skill of a few individual
pilots can turn the tide of a battle. Star Wars and B5 follow the WWII
model where certain fighters are heavily out-classed in technology, but
personal skill can still make a difference in an overall battle. Honor
Harrington with the LAC's is probably the closest to following the
modern airwar model that I know of.

You will be hard pressed to find a single rule set that will fit all
three types of simulation and work well with all three.

--2 mega credits worth of comments,


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-gzg-l@lists.CSUA.Berkeley.EDU
[mailto:owner-gzg-l@lists.CSUA.Berkeley.EDU]On Behalf Of Ground Zero
Sent: Saturday, April 30, 2005 3:46 AM
Subject: Re: Limiting number of fighters per target - was RE:
Fighters....Re: Full Thrust vs Starmada

>Note that under the current rules, there is no limit to the number 
>of SM's that can attack a single target, so it seems odd that there 
>should be a limit to the number of fighters that can attack.  If 
>unlimited SM's can attack then they are using some sort of targeting 
>system that doesn't interfere with other SM's, and you should be 
>able to use the same system for fighters.

Well, SMs are not so concerned about fratricide (it only reduces the 
overall effectiveness, rather than kills craft and pilots...), plus 
they don't have to zoom out the other side after their attack run!
A lot depends on whether you are considering the fighters as 
standing-off and launching ordnance at the target ship, or doing a 
surface-skimming close pass with guns that we so often see on TV and 
in the movies.....?

Jon (GZG)

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