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Fw: Weapons for Newtonian based FTIII

From: "Roger Gerrish" <Roger.Gerrish@b...>
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 1997 17:56:08 -0400
Subject: Fw: Weapons for Newtonian based FTIII

> From: Phillip E. Pournelle <>
> To:
> Subject: Weapons for Newtonian based FTIII
> Date: 30 April 1997 19:38
> Since Newtonian Physics state that objects retain
> their momentum unless acted upon by a force, this also means that any
> "Dropped" by a vessel retains the Momentum of the parent vessel.  This
> that you have to use Point of Origin or Vector Arrow Markers for all
> including ships, fighters, missiles and other things.
> This also means that all weapons such as missiles, fighters, ships
> etc. must all pre-plot their movement and execute them using the Real
> rules.

We have played several games now using the Real Thrust movement system,
although we liked it a lot, somtimes the use of Vector arrow markers
confusing unless each was clearly and distinctly marked, also moving
on the table quite often resulted in counters being knocked and moved.
was just using vector movement on ships. last night we had a game with a
couple of carriers and a total of 7 escorts,(9 vector arrows). Now if we
add arrows for the 10 Fighter groups
in play + a possible 6 more for the Missile carried by some of the
we have 25 vector arrows on the board at once. Also I think having, in
case, to write orders for each fighter group and missile would slow down
I'm not knocking the use of Vector movement for fighters / Missiles and
others (sand cloud weapons etc) and hope such development will continue
however the additional 'physical mechanics' that may be necessary to
represent them needs to be watched.
Integrating standard FT/MT rules for Fighters and missiles in games
the ships use vector movement has proved fairly painless. Yes in
fighters and Missiles ought to follow the same rules as ships but,  we
explain it away with PSB. Ie.that these units use a different method of
propulsion, or in the case of fighters can achieve such high
factors that fighter movement as simulated in Full Thrust (especially at
24" move rate) is possible in the 'Newtonian' universe.    

>However, after objects have moved, check their movement lines and
>see if they crossed during the movement phase, this can have certain

Would you apply some sort of proportional movement to the objects to see
at the point their movement lines crossed they occupied roughly the same
point in space?.  

Example: As a Sand cloud can't thrust (and assuming they are launched at
the beginning of the turn) I can fairly easily predict where any
Sand Cloud launched by a ship will finish its move. Now supposing my
after applying Main Drive, Thruster or Rotation passes through the
of the cloud, will it automatically be judged for damage, if so then the
Sand Clouds area of effect is 3" wide and its vector x 1" long. If this
not the case then without proprtional movement its going to be difficult
judge whether a hit takes place.
> Sand Clouds drift at the rate of their momentum.  If a vessel, or
> any other object (other than another Sand Cloud) cross through the
> Cloud it recieves damage of 1D6 for every 12 inches of velocity

I can see loads of arguments between players debating whether their ship
did physically pass through the cloud at some point during either of the
objects movement.

> Beam Weapons fired through a Sand Cloud act as if firing on a ship
> with an active screen.  Sand Clouds and Screens effects are

If I try and fire through 2 clouds will simulate level-2 screens.

I like the idea of Sand clouds in Sci-Fi games (ever since Traveller), I
think a good use of it is as a way of simulating shields, ie a magnetic
field manipulating a cloud
of 'sand' around a ship, thickening it in the face of enemy fire and
opening holes to let your own weapons shoot, I suppose it would also
make a
good anti-meteor or Interstellar dust defence (PSB+). 

>	  Standard Newton Missiles:	  Mass: 2	  Cost: 6
> Acts like a Missile out of FTII except that for maneuvering, it
> momentum of the firing ship and has three turns of up to 12 inches of
> thrust.  It effectively has no facing since it can rotate 180 degrees
> turn, however it may thrust only in one direction for a particular
> After three turns it effectively becomes a mine with 2D6 damage or
> effect was selected.

This missile would work fine the only cons being the need to plot and
another vector arrow. Would it attack at the end of movement or sometime
during it.

>	  Newton Fighters:		  Mass: 6	  Cost: 20
> Acts just like a fighter squadron out of FT I & II except that it uses
> Newtonian physics to maneuver.  Fighter Squadrons have 12 inches of
> each turn and can apply that thrust in any direction.  Disengagement
> do not apply unless squadrons matched velocities to dogfight.

This makes a fighter group a Thrust 12 ship with 6 DP and 6 C Batteries.
I imagine it would be next to impossible to initiate a dogfight.

>	  With all of the missiles, fighter etc flying around, we'll
> beef up our XDAFs.  Therefore PDAFs and C Batteries act just like
> except they have a range of 3 inches.  PDAFS act as before with their
> extended range.

Why the above, if anything using Real Thrust for Missiles and Fighters
probably reduces their effectivness and flexibility.  

> Please tell me what you think. I would especially apreciate
> feedback on the Sand Weapons.
> Phil P.

Phil, I'm sorry if the above seems negative but we have been playing FT
with the Real Thrust rules for some time now and  I know its difficult
integrating fighters and missiles into the same system.

I might be missing somthing major and about to be shot down in flames,
the above are just my first impressions.


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