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

From: Beth Fulton <beth.fulton@m...>
Date: Tue, 09 Nov 1999 09:12:04 +1000
Subject: Re: [FT] Fire and Forget MT missiles (was MT missile control...)

G'day Oerjan,

>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.

I think you're talking at cross purposes here as Derek meant its entire
flight not the final 6mu. He understands why people may well abhor
book-keeping in the game, but if the missle is autonomous then you
proabbly plot something otherwise you may well get a missle doing a
of target only a 1/3 of the way through its flight. I know nothing of
artillery ammunition and Derek isn't here to respond personally, but can
the mortar change its target on a fraction of the way into its flight or
it only in the final stages?
And to forestall another set of cross wires, maybe such a change isn't
possible under standard MT missles rules with their limited turn
(or whatever it is, I must confess to be ignorant on that one), but it
well be very possible under the plethora of MT missle houserules that
proliferated while we wait in eager anticipation for FT3.

>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 :-/

Regardless of how you may have interpreted Derek's intent, he really
post the stuff in an effort to convince everyone to accept new rules or
change the way they play. He just wanted (at least would've liked) some
constructive criticism and discussion. 

>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.

I guess that's upto the players to decide. Derek's houserules give them
same sensor capability, but maybe yours would be different.

>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.

That'd be when it gets out its Janes and quickly flicks through..... ;)
Seriously, I think what he was trying to convey was that you'd need a
really good sensor contact on the firing ship first so then you'd be
to pick out some specific ship characteristic (say power plant leakage
profile due to battle damage or something) and tell the missle to look
that alone. You'd probably have a default fall back position in case you
can't find anything when you get to your 6mu range (as you suggested
above), but I don't think specific target designation is beyond the boil
(especially if they have better sensors than fighters as you suggested
above). I think some of the issues here are potentially coming from
differing opinions on how the missles work, so how do you think the
tracking and target acquistion systems/processes work?

>> 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>

I think we was pointing out that it came down to how far you wanted to
it - the ideas were based on general concepts he picked up from reading
reference books and playing modern naval and he thought maybe some would
interested in extending it to FT as well).



Elizabeth Fulton
c/o CSIRO Division of Marine Research
GPO Box 1538
Phone (03) 6232 5018 International +61 3 6232 5018
Fax (03) 6232 5199 International +61 3 6232 5199


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