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Re: [FT] Fire and Forget MT missiles (was MT missile control...)

From: "Oerjan Ohlson" <oerjan.ohlson@t...>
Date: Mon, 8 Nov 1999 20:27:27 +0100
Subject: Re: [FT] Fire and Forget MT missiles (was MT missile control...)

Derek wrote via Beth:

[On MT missiles without sensor house rules]

> The only modification to this I would suggest is to write down the
> target at the time of launch. Why? Simple, it ensures honesty, I
> mean to upset anyone but some people will take advantage of the 
> paperless system and have their missiles change to more opportune 
> targets after launch (for example; the intended target is destroyed
> goes FTL before the current wave of missiles hit. All of a sudden the
> missiles deviate from their course and move toward a 'new' target.) 

This is a very good description of what the Swedish STRIX mortar
grenade does - changes to a new target within its sensor footprint if
the one it originally aimed for is destroyed by something else before
the grenade can strike. Of course it doesn't always find a new target
to attack before it hits the ground, but the MT missile has the same
problem if there are no other targets to attack within 6mu.

In other words, we had the ability Derek considers potentially
dishonest in smart artillery ammunition ten years ago - though of
course the sensor footprint of these smart rounds is vastly smaller
than that of MT missiles. So are the rounds themselves; an MT missile
is some 10,000 times bigger than a STRIX, and built with far more
advanced technology to boot.

Suggestion rejected as unrealistic as well as unnecessary :-/

> But if you're using sensor rules things start to get interesting.
> Let me ask a question, what is the range of the sensor/fire-control 
> system on board the missile?

Probably a bit better than that of a fighter, given that the missile is
bigger and doesn't waste mass on long-range endurance (only 3 turns as
opposed to effectively unlimited non-combat endurance) or life support
:-/ The warhead can't be that big - not when you can cram six
half-sized ones into an SM salvo - so I'd expect at least some of that
extra mass to be sensors.


> Of course another way to launch at targets beyond the missiles sensor
> range is to allow some sort of inertial guidance. The launching
> player would have to pre-plot the missile course at the time of
> the missile would travel this course until its endurance is expended.
> As the missile travels along the pre-plotted course potential targets
> will come into the missile's sensor range; there are several options 
> which can be used to determine whether the missile will accept a 
> possible target as a valid target and attack.

> The missile may simply attack the first target that comes into it's
> sensor range this may be modified by allowing IFF identification to
>prevent the accidental targeting of friendly vessels.

Not "may". "Will" :-/

> Mass can be a factor, the launching player can specify a mass
limitation, > for example, attack only targets above mass 50. The
missile will 
> discount all possible targets of mass 50 or smaller. 

> The launching player could even specify the exact ship,
> attack only targets resembling the superdreadnought 'Tiger',
> this would only be possible if the launching player had good sensor 
> information (a sensor roll resulting in you getting to see the SSD of
> the ship you want to target). 

This also requires the *missile* to make such a successful sensor roll
against each enemy unit in sight, until it detects a target which fits
the profile. Sounds somewhat unlikely if starships with sensors as big
as the entire missile are limited as to how many targets they can scan.

> The launching player could also designate where and when along its 
> course the missile will start searching for a target (terminal active

> homing?) or whether it will use active or passive sensors.

These latter options only matters if the active sensors give the
would-be target a better chance to avoid or destroy the missile before
it hits <shrug>


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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