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# Re: [FT] Weapons Cost for firing every other turn

From: Allan Goodall <awgoodall@c...>
Date: Tue, 24 May 2005 08:38:31 -0500
Subject: Re: [FT] Weapons Cost for firing every other turn
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The GZG Digest wrote on 5/24/2005 1:00 AM:

> Date: Mon, 23 May 2005 22:28:23 -0400 From: Chip Dunning
> <chip.dunning@fuse.net>
>
> Again. Unnecessarily rigid.
>
> Turret is rotated so that the main weapon in the turret is firing at
> a single target. Secondary weapon within that turret can lock on to
> another, but maybe only within the same arc that the turret is
> current facing.

Sorry, it doesn't work that way, and Oerjan explained why.

Arc has nothing to do with it. It's how quickly the target moves through
that arc, and how quickly turret has to move in order to track the
target, that is the sticking point.

If two targets are traveling parallel at the same speed, and one is
further away than the other, the closer target will pass through an arc
in front of the shooter more quickly than the more distant target.

Here's a little experiement. Point straight ahead. Have someone walk
past you at walking speed. How quickly must you turn in order to keep
pointing at that person. Now, stand a dozen yards/metres from a street.
Do the same thing with a passing car. How quickly must you turn to keep
your finger pointed at the car. Try it with a passing airplane high in
the sky. How quickly must you turn to keep pointing at it? The relative
speeds of someone passing by you versus a car versus a plane are roughly
3 mph, 30 mph, and 300+ mph, yet the person closest to you is likely to
be the hardest to track.

In other words, your turret has to rotate faster (perhaps _much_ faster)
in order to track a close object than a distant object. If one weapon in
a two weapon turret is firing at a close target, it's almost impossible
to hit a distant target, unless that distant target is obliging enough
to be traveling parallel to the close target _and_ at a sufficiently
high enough speed that it travels through the same period of arc as the
closer target. That's not likely to happen.

This doesn't even touch what needs to be done in order to "lead" a
target (in the case of slower-than-light speed weapons).

The reason modern multi-missile mounts can fire at multiple targets is
because they are missiles. You can fire them in the general direction of
a target and the missile will track it. It's quite possible to fire two
missiles at two targets within the same arc but with radically different
velocities from the same missile turret. You can't do that with guns,
nor could you do it with FT beams.

> Thus targeting two opponents with different weapons might be a simple
>  matter of elevating the second weapon an extra degree or two.

Guns are elevated to counter gravity. Guns in a modern turret elevate
independently so that if one gun is damaged you don't lose the elevation
capability for both guns. Shore bombardment in World War II could allow
one gun to be aimed higher than another in order to hit two different
parts of a beach. For the most part, though, a single salvo was fired
with the same elevation.

> Again this is all within the fungible definition of a "turn" in FT.
> Within that turn everyone is actually still moving - again we only
> conform firing to the end of this "turn" to make the game easy.

Sure, and we could assume that the one gun in the turret fires at one
target for a while, then the second gun in the same target starts
tracking a second target in the same turn. In other words, the first
weapon could track target A for part of the turn, and the second weapon
could track target B for the second part of the turn. However, if we do
that, we have to come up with a penalty for two weapons in the same
turret firing at two different targets, because if they were in
independent turrets they could each fire at the two weapons for the full
length of a turn (regardless of how long that is).

So, yes, I can see your point of allowing two weapons in the same turret
engage two different targets. To allow it, you have to come up with some
sort of modifier so that it doesn't do as much damage to either target
as you would get with a weapon in its own turret. And you'd have to come
up with modifiers for each of the direct fire weapons, since they each
use different mechanics.

Personally, I would find it simpler just to say that one turret can only
engage one target per turn.

> We can probably table this discussion since we are not reaching any
> type of middle ground and instead stand apart churning the same
> ground. My view of FT is that it provides a set of basic rulebooks
> that do not set out to tell you how anything is actually done, only
> what effect they have on the game world.

Yes, but they still have to conform to some modicum of realism. As I
explained above, it's just not realistic to assume that two direct fire
weapons in the same turret could hit two different targets, unless
things lined up _very_ precisely.

Allan
--

Allan Goodall		http://www.hyperbear.com
agoodall@cmaaccess.com	  agoodall@hyperbear.com
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