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Re: New guy (Inertialess)

From: Jeff Miller <shadocat@p...>
Date: Mon, 08 Nov 1999 14:55:51 -0800
Subject: Re: New guy (Inertialess)

Michael Llaneza wrote:

> >>  >Weapons fire gets tricky since beams don't work at FTL speeds (if
> >>you try, the
> >>  >ghost of Einsein shows up and smashes your ship with a big club).
> >>So you have
> >>  >to rely on inertialess missiles.  These travel until they are in
> >>contact with
> >>  >the enemy and then explode.  If used while not inertialess, the
> >>missiles would
> >>  >act as p-torps.
> >>
> >>  Mmmmmmmm..... problem with that is that the ship bounces away from
> >>  the shockwave.
> >
> >I wasn't relying on the shockwave but the heat.  Maybe just fly over
> >a mini fission
> >reactor and pull the rods.  Just China Syndrome the ship....
> Heat is IR radiation, which is (can be) treated as particles
> impacting the ship.

Yeah, I know.  Maybe the bomb grapples or otherwise sticks to the enemy
ship?  At
any rate the ships shouldn't just sit there and stare at each other. 

> There's a handwave available in that there is
> always some resistance to the ship, so the inertialess drive can't
> avoid 100% of the energy transfer, and a big warhead might transfer
> enough energy to hurt the ship. This is all pretty clear in GURPS
> Lensman

It's been a whil since I read that supliment.

> >The hardest thing for me was figuring out a way to damage someone
while going
> >faster than light using what we know about physics.
> >
> >Maybe a tachyon beam?  You could probably only produce one while
> >going faster than
> >light and it would not effect anyone going slower than light.
> >Unfortuantly, within
> >the ship, relative to the ship, everything is going at speeds that
> >are relatively
> >slower than light.
> Beams in the Lensman series are usually described (in the novels) as
> "a corruscating beam of pure force."

Uh, OK.  <grin>

I could handwave it like that too.  I would just rather avoid it.

> >  > The closest to a missile used in Lensman is a big
> >>  honking shell that travels down a force field tunnel to impact a
> >>  tractored ship. For beams, I think the ghost of Einstein blinks if
> >>  your relative velocity to your target is < c.
> >
> >Yeah, but how often is *that* going to happen.  Unless you are
> >referring to the
> >inertail velocity.  But thinking about how you can fire a beam while
going FTL
> >gives me a headache.  <grin>
> The target is tractored at short range, you just have to manage that.
> In fact, in GURPS Lensman all beam combat requires that the ships be
> tractored together or the impact and recoil of the beams would throw
> the ships around like a leaf in a hurricane, explosions are equally
> ineffective.

The trouble with that is that I'm not entirely comforable with tractor

> >I had been thinking about shape.  I figured that Partially
> >Airodynamic would give
> >the ship a +1 on their movement multiplier.	Fully Airodynamic would
> >operate like
> >partial, the extra airodynamics would be offset by the drag of teh
> >surfaces.  Alternatively, I would propose another shape Needle
> >Shaped.  It would
> >give a +2 on the movement modifier but would function in an
> >atmosphere, it acts as
> >Partially Airodynamic.
> And streamlining is already in the FT design sequence, so we're set.

Yep.  Where possible, use existing rules.

> >>  >The major restriction that I'm puting on them is that without
> >>super-science,
> >>  >they can't see much except big things that don't move and things
> >>that have an
> >>  >active inertialess system.  They *are* traveling faster than
> >>  >and the view
> >>  >out the ports is changing far faster than most computers could
> >>  >handle.	It also
> >>  >keeps them from totally dominating other ships.
> >>
> >>  Like stutterwarp, only worse.
> >>
> >
> >Yep.
> >
> >I want to come up with a functional, not uber movement system.
> Barring a requirement for ultra-rare minerals (like GDW did with
> stutterwarp in T2300) a Bergenholm drive from the Lensman series is
> an uber drive. Now a toned down version with no (or minimal)
> acceleration limits, fast turns and a fixed but high maximum speed
> would be deadly but not uber.

Yep.  I figured there were three ways that you could handle the
inertialess/inertail conflicts.  One, assume that innertialess ships
move too fast
to shoot at or be shot by inertial ships.  The second is to balance slow
inertialess (semi-inertialess) movement.  The third is to assume that
combat canot
take place while inertialess.  In tht case the rules are functionally
the same as
those already in the book.


Jeff Miller
Program Director/Webmaster for Agamemcon IV

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