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Re: NI stealth project

From: "Oerjan Ohlson" <oerjan.ohlson@t...>
Date: Tue, 26 Jan 1999 20:45:26 +0100
Subject: Re: NI stealth project

John Leary wrote:

[snipped my vision of how battery fire works - I repeat it below anyway]

>      Having failed to make my point, I try again.

You didn't fail to make your point. I just don't agree with your
premises, so I find your point rather pointless (pun only

>      The stealth ship is 22 inches from my ship.   I fire a type 3
> because the ship is within the range where I can see it on my sensors. 

With you so far.
> The type two beam cannot hit the stealth ship because it cannot see
> stealth ship using  the same sensors.   Why, because the type 2 has
> the weapons range reduced by the stealth not the sensor range.  

And this is where we differ in opinion.  I'll try to explain myself in
more detail this time. It'll take some time, but I promise to return to
your example at the end of the post.

I see one "beam die" worth of shooting as a whole bunch of shots. Could
be twenty, could be a hundred, could be any large number - doesn't
matter. In order to inflict enough damage to count as 1 damage point, a
certain number of these need to hit the target. Due to long ranges, a
normal fire solution doesn't aim to get all shots to hit the target;
instead it saturates the probable area where the target will be when the
shots arrive in a pattern designed to (hopefully) achieve the required
number of hits to inflict 1 damage point. The number may vary between
different battery sizes depending on how much power goes into each shot;
it doesn't really matter.

This means that even a "miss" can include a low number of hits and
inflict minor damage on the target, scratch the paint etc - but too
little for the granular FT damage system to record it.

In order to achieve saturation of the right area of space, you need two

* Good focussing equipment (or the equivalent for plasma blobs or what
have you) to put the shots exactly where you planned, and

* A good notion of where the target is, and will be in the near future. 

If you only have a vague notion of where the target is, you have to
disperse your fire pattern more to get at least some hits on it - but
this reduces the probability that you'll hit it enough times to reach 1
damage point. The further away the target is, the poorer your notion on
exactly where the ship is will be and the longer it'll be able to move
before your fire reaches it, so the longer the range the more your fire
pattern will be dispersed. Beyond a certain range, which varies between
the different weapon types, the fire solution will either be too
dispersed to be able to inflict enough damage to count as 1 damage point
or it will cover too small a volume of space to have any measurable
chance of bracketting the intended target - in other words, the target
"out of range" in FT terms.

As I see it, a Class-2 battery doesn't have as accurate focussing gear
a Class-3, or it may be unable to put out as great a volume of fire, or
both. Either option means that the range where the Class-2 can no longer
bracket the target with a high enough density of shots to inflict at
least 1 damage point is shorter than the corresponding range for the

If the target is stealthed, your notion of exactly where it is and where
it is going isn't as accurate as if it is not stealthed. This means that
your fire solutions need to cover a larger volume of space at any given
range to bracket the target than it would need to against an unstealthed
target. Since the number of shots your weapon can put out in a given
is in all likelyhood fairly constant, a greater volume of space to cover
means a lower density of shots - and therefore a lower maximum range at
which the weapon can inflict FT-level damage.

So, to return to your example: The Class-2 isn't unable to *see* the
target. It, and your entire ship, is just unable to locate the target
with enough precision to narrow the volume where it might pass through
enough to allow the Class-2 put enough shots through that space to
inflict enough damage to make FT notice it. 

The Class-3 is degraded in the same way - all *range bands* are reduced,
not just the *maximum* range. Against a Stealth-2 target the Class-3
throws 3 dice out to range 8, 2 dice from range 8 to range 16, and 1 die
from range 16 to range 24. Thus, at range 22 it would normally throw 2
dice. Since the target in your example is stealthed, it has to spread
fire so much to allow any hit at all that it only rolls 1 die; had it
been at range 25 (assuming a Stealth-2 target) not even the Class-3
be able to put enough shots into the probable location of the target -
because the probable location in question can be anywhere in too large a
volume of space.

> Do you see a problem here, I do. 

No, I don't. I've described the reason why I don't see it as a problem
twice; I hope you see my point this time - even if you don't agree with
it, or its premises. 


Oerjan Ohlson

"Life is like a sewer.
  What you get out of it, depends on what you put into it."
- Hen3ry

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