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MSI Ideas

on Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:00 pm
Well I'd like to pose a few possible ideas I've come up for the MSI, as well as pick the brains of my fellow MSI members to figure out where this faction is headed.


First I'll ask a few things I've been wondering.
...Note that these don't necessarily apply to the "sub-factions" we've got, just to the MSI proper. Anyone feel free to speak up anyway, though. Razz

-Do we have any particular examples of the "technology" we use? I've noticed a lot of Star Wars influence, as well as plenty of modern day military, and of course we all individually have things we draw on such as ARC's HH, Spud's Stargate, and so on. But does the MSI itself have a specific "tech level" it's at?

-What's the MSI's canon timeline? ...And yes, "we don't really have one yet" is an acceptable answer. Razz
But aside from just being really curious what our faction's history it is, I wanna know what to avoid coming up with myself to avoid contradicting already-established events. Razz

-This is really important for building despite being a short question, but what approximate "size range" do MSI warships fit in?
Are they Star trek-y, being a hundred meters or so on average (someone tell me if that's not right Razz)?
More Star Wars-ish, with average being around a klick or so? Something else?

-And a more complicated question, do we have anything established about ground unit types/command structure/etc.?




And then, I have a handful of ideas to present real fast...

To start with, I notice that the MSI seems to possess Star Wars-level Hyperspace-style FTL travel. And yet, at the same time, we're somehow stuck in this tiny little region with no more than a handful of populated worlds.
So, what if we came up with some sort of "colonies" far out from our territory and perhaps even outside of the main area of the different factions' territories? SW hyperdrives could easily make a quarter-of-the-galaxy's-distance trip in a few days tops, and even if we significantly decreased that it wouldn't be more than a matter of weeks perhaps, which still allows for easy colonization.
...Thus, I think the MSI could easily manage colonizing a few clusters of distant habitable planets. That would help a lot with expanding our reach, as well as finding more materials and also getting more land for the MSI's population.

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:42 pm
Personally I feel that it would be a bit more fun/better fit with the PCG-verse if your Hyperdrive level was only equivalent to a little faster than the fastest warp of the other factions, to where a trip that would take a warp 9.9999 capable PCG ship might take you five days, or something like that. Basically so that you're not so much faster so that where all other factions are taking upto seventy years to cross the galaxy it only takes you a week or so. Otherwise I don't really see how you couldn't have colonized just about the entire galaxy, having conquered pretty much everywhere with speeds like that.
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Re: MSI Ideas

on Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:15 pm
A few things I'd like to add here:
-I'm pretty sure no one has worked out the timeline yet. Razz I mean, J-red has his timeline, but it's pretty vague on anything not directly related to his character. Razz

-I'm also pretty sure pretty much everyone in the PCG-verse builds at roughly the same size area (except for PXR and Jace, to a lesser extent, as they both go for a more SW scale)- that is, with most ships ranging from ~200-~800+ or so meters long (personally, I think this is a bit too shafted towards ST, and should be extended to something more like 350-ish to a little over a klick). Or course, that doesn't apply to supercruisers, which can really be as big as we can build them. Razz

-Like Damage said, I really feel SW and ST FTL tech should be modified to be more similar- heck, everything needs to be normalized. Like you pointed out however-long-ago-it-was, having respective SW/ST tech as-is would make any kind of combat... silly, to say the least. Razz That being said, the PCG-verse, in terms of territory, heavily borrows from ST, wherein borders are much more porous- what looks like a solid boundary is just a claimed area, often only lightly explored/colonized.

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Wed Feb 11, 2015 7:55 pm
I'm not a member, but I will comment. I think that hyperdrive could be scaled down in speed, however, as far as I know, we have access to Transwarp tech (I use it anyway) and Quantum Slipstream Drive. (I also use that) with the former being up to infinitely fast, and the latter being considerably faster than the fastest warp speeds. 

As to sizing, the hundred meters average is WAY lower than even the average Trek warship. Trek warships range from around 300-800 meters standard, with the biggest getting up to around a klick or more in the EU, and with plenty of PCG ships getting into 1-1.5+ klicks (with a very few getting as large as 3 klicks so far) so I think you'd be safe building them as big as your comp can handle, but still around the 10-13 meters per stud range. But frigates would probably be around 300-550 meters, cruisers would likely be in the 400-950 meter range, battle cruisers could easily get up to well over a klick, and battleships could range from around a klick to until your computer explodes, and so on, with other classes following a similar fashion. 

As to tech level, it seems to me, just from observation, to be about on-par with Star Wars. (Probably because that is the most common inspiration universe used by most long-term MSI builders) 


As to history... the PCG can't even get it's own history straightened out... maybe MAD can be of more help than I. Razz Seriously... good luck. Razz However, I THINK that the MSI allows small member worlds... like NATO... but... effective. So (I'd check with MAD first if I were you) I THINK that you could come up with your mini-faction with it's own history. 


Good luck.

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:31 pm
On my older ships, I always used SW tech, but I've mostly transitioned to Halo-ish weaponry like magnetic accelerators and some lasers for point-defense. I suppose we use the same vague communications and sensor technology that's pretty much ubiquitous in sci-fi.

As for our history... well, if we go by what actually happened back on the Creation Lab, we started out as the Minotaur Mercenary Force and gradually grew until we became the Imperium. That said, I've long wanted to retcon most of our actual history and replace it with something better. I tend to view the MSI as sort of a parliamentary empire, steeped in centuries of military and government tradition, with the government composed of a few dozen to a hundred or so powerful "core" worlds, each ruling over a fiefdom of lesser worlds; each core world has delegates in the common government, which is presided over by a powerful, almost monarch-like military commander. Obviously this doesn't fit very well with our mercenary origins, but I wouldn't have a problem with replacing our actual history, if that's allowed (honestly, I'd also be in favor of altering our name, as it doesn't make a ton of sense for such an organization to have "Minotaur" in its name). That's all just my opinion, though.

My ships tend to be around 250 to 1000 meters in length, as do most other MSI ships. Obviously, we have smaller and larger ships, but I think the backbone of our navy is made up of ships around the size of frigates or light destroyers.

As for land troops, that's divided up into the Marines and the Army. Jace mostly handles the Marines (though a lot of your mechs have been used for it as well), which is generally used for protecting the Navy and as a smaller expeditionary force. The Army is the larger, though often less well-trained and equipped, force to be used for defending the home planets and carrying out large-scale invasions and occupations. As for organization within the branches, I have no idea. Razz

I definitely like the idea of colonies--that would mesh well with our generally imperial nature. I also agree with Dino and Mightyman that it might be a good idea to nerf our FTL capabilities a bit to fit with the rest of the universe (though if they're using the especially OP ST stuff, hyperspeed probably isn't a big deal).

Anyway, those are my answers. I hope they helped!

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:43 pm
I think I have an idea in terms of history- perhaps what is now the MSI was another confederacy-type power like how you described, but became engulfed in a civil war. During this civil war, the MMF sorta slid in and wrested power, essentially reforming the hierarchy to turn their leaders into a military junta of some description and generally putting themselves in charge. Over time, the members of the old order slowly wrested control away from the military leaders, which would give an in-universe explanation of the name change 9as well as an explanation of why it was called that in the first place).

IDK, just a thought I had. Razz

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Arik wrote:I'm ready to get back to worldbuilding now... Razz

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Fri Feb 13, 2015 5:56 pm
I happen to quite like that idea, actually. It pretty much solves all of the continuity problems. Razz

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:32 pm
Wow, sorry for being Mr. Invisible for the last two weeks. I got hit with a bunch of schoolwork and a major sinus infection at the same time, so for past 10-12 days pretty much all I've been able to do is lay around saying "Cad I hab sub bore Kleenex, please?" Razz

Anyway, as to these proposed changes, I'm liking what I'm seeing. Technology-wise, it does make sense that FTL travel becomes a little more universalized. I also like the idea of distant MSI colonies. Mighty's idea for MSI history sounds good as well.

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Wed Feb 18, 2015 5:52 pm
Oh I thought I already replied to this. Huh. Everything here so far I'm in agreement with, although I've kind of turned the Marines into something more capable of at least spearheading an invasion and/or hitting a specific target (ground-based anti-orbital weapons, communications centers, industrial nodes, etc.) while also being able to just general ruin any opposing planetary forces if they're deployed as fully supported combination forces and not just mechanized infantry units.

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Sun Mar 22, 2015 5:29 pm
I thought I'd run some thoughts by for possible "standard weapon types" for the MSI if anyone's interested. Just suggestions of course, feel free to dispose of any of them or do differently. Razz Most of these are unoriginal, too, I'm just trying to solidify it more than anything.

Lastly, these are exclusively small-arms-ish weapons, though I suspect these could easily be upscaled to the levels of ground vehicles and naval warships as well. But I just wanted to clarify that I'm not including all the other many potential weapons that could be used on vehicles and ships, just the basic, infantry-level stuff.

To make note, I needed a solid "setting" to base most of this off of and compare it to. I've got a bit of MSI projects underway, and for a setting for them I actually chose the early days of the Old Republic from SW. Aside from the fact that it's just had my interest as of late, the massively toned-down tech level of this early part of Star Wars canon fits much better with the predominantly Trek and IRL-ish tech level of the rest of the forum. Not to suggest in the least that I intend to try and force that setting on the MSI or even necessarily use it myself, but it's a nice start for figuring out what our "toned-down-ified SW tech" might look like. Razz


Projectile Weapons:
The projectile weapon ideas I'll be listing, as usual, seem to outdo the energy weapons in most areas as far as practicality and overall effectiveness go. Surprise surprise. Razz Maybe there'll still be hope to improve the energy weapon concepts to a point that they'll be effective though.

-Pulsers: So, lately I've basically fallen for at least this one bit of ARC's HH tech. Razz Their pulsers sound so cool... Anyway, ARC, feel free to correct me in any part of this. Razz Pulsers essentially seem to work by using some kind of "anti-gravity" generator to repel the projectile from the firing chamber and out of the gun. Real nice and simple.

The specifics of this anti-grav propulsion are hard to define exactly, though I assume (in my lack of sufficient science-y nerdiness Razz) something as simple an electromagnet that repels the projectiles. Something like Star Wars' repulsor technology (a repulsor coil mounted in the firing chamber) would also work fabulously, and be a good SW-based explanation if that's preferred. And I'm sure there's plenty of other conceivable technologies that could also be used, so these are hardly the only good options.

The beauty of a pulser, at least in my opinion, lies with its simplicity. You'll have some electronics of course, which is generally what you want to avoid if you want it to fire again after you've dragged it through the Slime-Swamps of Obax Q'zog IV, but that can be dealt with other ways and it's not the kind of "simplicity" I'm referring to. What I am talking about is how simple the gun is in terms of how it fires: Magazine presses bullet-esque metal thing into firing chamber. Anti-grav thingamabob pushes bullet thing. Bullet thing flies out of gun.
...There's absolutely no moving, mechanical parts in the entire firing mechanism basically. Or really the entire gun, besides the trigger and whatever pushes the rounds from the magazine into the chamber. Also of great importance is that you could technically keep the anti-grav thingamabob running indefinitely, as long as there was still power running to it.
So why are these significant? Fire rate. Basically, a pulser can just keeping pushing with its anti-grav propeller, and so as soon as a bullet enters the chamber it's getting hurled through the barrel. So the only factors limiting fire rate are how fast the magazine can shove bullets into the gun and making sure the bullets leave the gun before the new ones enter.

Sooo, yeah. Super-high-fire-rate put-thirty-rounds-in-you-before-you-can-blink guns. Razz

There's one big issue I see though, and that's its ability to be scaled up. For example, let's say you wanna double a bullet's diameter. Under the assumption you also increase its length proportionately, this means you're cubing its volume, and thus its weight. To give an example of this, compare the 5.56 and 7.62 NATO rounds. At just 1.06mm diameter and 6mm length larger, it's roughly 2.5 times the total mass.
Point being, unless pulsers and their power sources can be scaled up proportionately to the round being fired, it's a weapon that'll be very difficult to make a bigger version of.


-Slugthrowers: Yep, I used the SW term. Razz This is just ordinary, IRL-style, chemical-propelled, bullet-shooting guns. Sooo, not too much description needed here of how they work or compare to other weapons, though we should figure out their role.

Since pulsers seem to outdo these in every possible way, it's hard to think of practical uses for such a weapon. Probably our best bet would be, due to the one noteworthy issue I see with pulsers, using chemical-propelled weapons in areas where a larger caliber is needed and the pulser would become too bulky to be practical. Not that this would necessarily be very common, so it might be safe to say that this weapon group is pretty much obsolete. Reliability and sturdiness may be another minor advantage, but even then it's probably gonna be a small one.

-Railguns and Coilguns: I doubt weapons like these would be terribly practical as infantry-level firearms, but I can still think of a few uses. Best of all would be as heavy weapons, where their sheer power could be used to make large, hard-hitting/long-range projectile weapons. Applications could include heavy-duty sniper rifles or anti-vehicle weapons. (Personally, I think it'd be really cool to have something like a bazooka-sized shoulder-mounted railgun for light anti-tank duty Razz)

-Lastly, there's plenty of ammunition choices for these weapons. Explosive rounds, flechettes and other dart-like rounds, normal bullets, heavy slugs, you name it.



Energy Weapons:
Energy weapons, like many technologies in science fiction, tend to be more "rule of cool" than anything, and frequently get outperformed by projectile weapons. Having said that, there's still areas where they have some potential to excel. Add in a sci-fi touch by making tech a bazillion times better and there's still an opportunity for them to still be worthwhile and maaaaybe even succeed at finally outdoing their projectile weapon counterparts.

-Laser Rifles:
Ordinary lasers get overlooked a lot in most newer sci-fi materials, but I think they may actually have a lot of promise in a few applications.
Sniper rifles in particular might work well. Lasers are invisible, make no sound, have no recoil, are flawlessly accurate, have no bullet drop, have a high velocity (lightspeed, duh Razz), you name it. Drawbacks of such a weapon include needing time between shots to recharge, requiring an extensive power supply, and limited "stopping power".

Damage could probably consist of killing unarmored or lightly armored targets, though heavier armor would likely stop the shot. Personally I think something like this might also be nice against electronic systems, vehicles, and things like that. A sniper could damage basically anything on the outside of a vehicle that wasn't sufficiently armored, including things like sensors, small weapons, and other things that would leave it blind and helpless. The same could be done against fortifications and structures, targeting electronics, gunners/weapon emplacements, and so on.

Laser rifles could be used to great effect at extreme distances. Perfect accuracy, lack of bullet drop, and effectively-infinite range mean you can pretty much hit anything you can see. ...Whiiich, shooting over the horizon might be an issue, but with a high vantage point and a clear view you could take huge advantage of this. Furthermore, auto-targeting systems could assist in helping a sniper hit his mark at distances that a person wouldn't normally be able to hit at.


-Pulsed Beam Tube: Here's a new one I thought I'd throw out there. Beam tubes are an archaic predecessor to blasters from SW's pre-Republic era. The PBT could be considered something of an advanced successor to it, though it would still be a sub-par weapon compared to particle beam blaster weaponry.

While the original beam tube would have presumably been a continuous stream of energy, perhaps looking something like ST's phasers, this would have a single pulse of light traveling across the beam in the same manner as particle beam weapons, and thus would be nearly indistinguishable from other blasters visually-speaking.
The pulse would be a strong concentration of what would normally be "distributed evenly" across the beam, allowing for, instead of a steady stream of damage, individual concentrated "bolts" which would do significantly more damage with each shot.
Because the beam could be maintained for as long as the weapon's power supply and cooling systems allow, the PBT would essentially be considered something of a "fully-automatic" energy weapon, releasing high-damage energy pulses along its beam at a steady rate.

Anyway, just an interesting weapon idea I had with this one while looking through pre-Republic stuff and also general Mech weapon stuff. Razz




-Particle Beam Blasters: And here's the more modern blaster weapon. In my more recent research on how SW's blaster/laser/etc. weapons work, I've come to have a slightly better idea how SW's in-universe particle beam weaponry operates. Essentially, particle beams are a beam of energized particles (yeah, yeah, you already figured on that from the name, I know Razz), which travel at the speed of light and strike the target, and for some reason also emit a visible glowing "bolt" which travels along the beam at less than lightspeed. For further nerdy details, consult Dr. Curtis Saxton. Razz

Anyway, this is a lot more similar to the beam tube weapon I described than I'd have expected, despite the way it operates being extremely different. Mostly in that the PBT functions as a continuous beam that's sort of just focusing its power on the "pulses" where the beam is stronger than other parts, whereas particle beam weapons are actually, genuinely "bolts" of energy, albeit with what you see as the "bolt" being nothing but light being bled off.

Assuming Pulsed Beam Tubes get accepted as a possible weapon type for the MSI, particle beam weapons would essentially be a more advanced weapon by comparison. Newer, probably more complex, and harder to manufacture, but with dramatically better stopping power as a result. Power efficiency could also be another benefit, though with more heat build-up due to the more intense rounds being fired by it and also perhaps a slower fire rate closer to a semi-automatic weapon's compared to the PBT's essentially full-automatic fire rate.


-Plasma Blasters: Plasma, as I discovered on the interwebz, is utterly useless as an "energy bolt" weapon like SW shows it. Razz The enormous pressure of the plasma means that it'd just disperse into a big, formless blob without something to contain it, and even if some method of containing it was devised that pressure means the containment method would need to be extremely strong. And because of its low mass, a bolt of plasma in atmosphere would literally float up and away out of the atmosphere. Sooo, not too effective. Razz

While plasma isn't necessarily as practical or damaging as the other energy weapons listed anyway, it's a disappointment because of its other uses, such as ion weaponry that can disable electronics.

So aside from discarding it entirely, there's maybe two ways of going about it, at least that I can think of. Feel free to pipe in with alternate ideas. Razz
One, we ignore real life and just go with the sci-fi version. Razz
Or two, my idea was to fire a projectile of some kind that would travel with it, generating a super-strong electromagnetic field to contain the plasma. I'm not sure how this would work, even with lots of Unobtanium and super-advanced tech to make it more doable.




Anyway, that sums up my thoughts I think. Opinions?

...And yes, I'm quite aware that I probably screwed up lots with my limited knowledge of science and IRL weaponry, if not plenty of other things. Razz ARC, feel free to correct me on my understanding of HH tech and anything real-world-military related. Razz
Supe, Dino, and any others who are more science-y than me, no, you may not correct me on my physics or anything like that. This is science fiction. Razz

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Sun Mar 22, 2015 6:54 pm
If you look at the pulser article on the Honerverse Wiki, Arik, it says that it doesn't use any kind of electromagnet system. Do I know what they do use? Nope. But they don't use EM systems. However, for the sake of explanations, let's call it that, but that would really make it more of a Verp, and require ferrous rounds (although Verps can fire rocks, which aren't necessarily ferrous, so...)

Not gonna lie, only read that part since I get the feeling I'd know the rest anyway. Razz

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Sun Mar 22, 2015 6:56 pm
I don't know if I know more about science than you, I just have teh interwebz. Razz But I do question the offered explanation of SW blasters. Quite simply the damage ALWAYS (in the movies, at least as I have observed) occurs when the visible bolt strikes the target, and not before. So perhaps they work at less than light-speed, but have, maybe, such extreme concentrations of heavily charged particles, that they glow? Or maybe the particles are mixed with plasma and are clumped together with the "charge" being a thin energy jacket of some kind that holds it all together, kind of like a micro-shielding system. Not a very scientific explanation, but it seems to make more sense to me than the light-speed idea. But what do I know? Razz 

Oh, interesting fact, many ST beam weapons are also inexplicably glowing charged particle weapons, with some being inexplicably functional plasma weapons . 
Spoiler:

  Phasers were the most common and standard directed energy weapon in the arsenal of Starfleet and several other powers. Most phasers were classified asparticle weapons and fire nadion particle beams, (Star Trek: First Contact;TNG: "The Mind's Eye"; VOY: "Time and Again", "Demon") but some like theFerengi hand phaser were classified as plasma weapons and fired forced plasma beams. (TNG: "Descent") Based on the intensity and field of the beam and a variety of adjustments, a wide variety of effects could be achieved. 


directed energy weapon is a weapon that inflicts damage via a beam or pulse of electromagnetic radiation, high-energy particles, or more exotic forms of energy.

The most common types of directed energy weapon are phasers and disruptors, though a wide range of other energy-based weapons have also been developed. (TOS; TNG; DS9; ENT)

- Memory Alpha
Disruptors seem to vary from particle weapons, to plasma weapons, to sonic weapons. 


I think that the electromagnetic radiation/maybe sonic weapons could make for very interesting, less than usual sci-fi weapon types. But I think that a true lightspeed charged particle weapon could also work very scarily well. Seriously, no recoil, no visible fire, no muzzle flash, lots of light weight ammo, and instant hits for light-speed models, and completely silent high subsonic versions. However... further thought makes me wonder...  
     A wouldn't anything moving that fast would create a sonic boom, and therefor not be silent. 
     B As we have never (to my knowledge) gotten anything but light up to the speed of light, I would think that there would be a very high possibility of catastrophic destruction caused by an in atmosphere particle stream traveling at light speed, if we want to be really technical. Razz  Or it's possible that they use tachyons/meta-particles, which (in theory, which doesn't really have evidence behind it as I understand it) ALWAYS travel at light speed. So... they're somehow contained, and then charged and released without destroying the gun.... scratch  But they ARE accepted (along with transports, gravity plating, and replicators) in ST canon. Or it would be possible to just use high sublight charged particles, for a sonic boom, near instant hit, without the loss of the lives of everyone within an undetermined distanced. Razz 


So a near light-speed charged particle weapon could be the slightly slower moving, louder, significantly harder hitting "replacement" for lasers.       


Another idea, one that I believe AA is quite fond of, would be some sort of charged solid projectile weapon, likely a rail-gun. It would do a number on both shields and armor, and would not be rendered useless be even the most advanced energy dampening fields. (Although forcefields designed to stop both energy weapons and physical objects would probably still stop it.)   


And I think that, unless you're going for ONLY extremely theoretically possible tech, (as opposed to your run-of-the-mill "we can do whatever we want to make it cool" sci-fi) that a SW repulsor system might work well for those pulsers. I read the page on them, and it only says that they use gravity instead of electromagnetism. So I think that you're going to have to decide if gravity plating is something you're okay with having in your universe... Alternatively, a tractor beam could probably be used to through the projectiles out. Either a repulsor/gravity thingy or a micro-tractor beam would allow the weapon to fire rocks, unlike a "real" Verpine shattergun.


A word on repulsor tech.
Spoiler:

The repulsorlift or repulsorlift engine, often referred to simply as arepulsor, was an anti-gravity technology capable of levitating an object. It was created from subnuclear "knots" of space-time made by enormous unmanned power refineries encompassing black holes.[1] Repulsorlifts were widely used, and were included on virtually every type of vehicle.

Repulsorlifts only worked within a gravity well, as the technology required mass to push against. For a typical habitableplanet such as Alderaan, "antigrav range" was approximately six planetary diameters, or around seventy-five thousand kilometers. Repulsorlifts used minimal power and were reliable enough to be utilized continuously.
Repulsorlifts could be assembled in arrays, clusters, or vanes studded with micro-coils of gravitic "knots". These units were then mounted on a vehicle or spacecraft, usually on the underside. The many repulsorlifts needed for a large ship were typically powered by a dedicated "antigrav generator."[1]
-Wookieepedia

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:46 am
As far as lazers go, they really aren't the best either in my opinion. Over long distances the beam noticeably spreads out to encompass a wide area. Not only does this make targeting difficult, but it drastically reduces the power you can put on your target. A three meter wide beam is going to do less damage than when the beam is still concentrated to the size of a penny (or smaller). Think of it as similar to trying to focus the sun's rays through a magnifying lens. A very small variation goes from burning whatever near instantaneously to not even making it all that warm. Now when you shoot that beam over four thousand meters, you're going to go from a penny sized laser beam to one that's roughly meter (that's accounting for advanced tech having reduced how much lasers beams spread out some).

And you're going to need a whopper of a power source in a small weapon to power it. (conceivably possible with sci-fi tech though). The problem you run into is getting enough power into a small-arms type weapon to where you have instantaneous burn through. Even modern day mega-powered super lasers used to shoot down missiles (granted it's still in testing) have an entire naval warship powering them, are huge (for small-arms), and while they can shoot a ways out, they take a good while to burn through a non-armored missile and destroy it.

And then there's powering a decently sized beam. Powering one with the diameter of a needle isn't going to be near as hard as powering on the size of a penny, but a needle sized hole in someone really isn't going to be a problem. They're going to yell "ouch!" and move on. So unless you can hit their eye, or head, you're not going to really do a whole lot. Even hitting their head might not be a kill (look at how many people have survived a bullet, which does much greater damage for reasons other than size, to the head.)

To make the beam bigger, you have to add more power. And then you have to add enough power to make your quarter sized hole (I would prefer atleast that if I was using a laser) able to burn instantaneously through your target. It's quite possible that you'll simple wound them by causing severe burns over a part of their body then you are to drill a hole through them, especially if you're shooting their armor (which would transfer the heat to them, unless they're armor systems are designed well enough to avoid that sort of thing).

Even if you do burn a hole through them, you now have a perfectly cauterized wound that's only so big. Bullets do alot of damage because they send shockwaves through the body (because you have a super-fast moving mass pushing other mass out of the way. Which cause internal bleeding, not to mention that what they do cut through then beings to bleed. If you hit a major artery, the person's gonna bleed out. If you shoot that same artery with a super powerful laser, then it's been cauterized, won't bleed out, and the person is still in the fight (though not as fight capable granted).

Example of bullet shockwaves: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIFkLAgGy6w

That's how you can get a huge hole in somebody, several inches big, from something only 7.62mm wide. (Note: this is not for all bullets, depending on the bullet type, weight, etcetera it will do more or less of what is seen in the video. For example, a FMJ 7.62x39 would not begin to cause those kind of "shockwaves" though the material until roughly 7-10 inches in, aka, outisde of a body (although it might for for some aliens, IDK). Before that it simple cuts a roughly 7.62mm hole through the material. But it's still alot more than a laser would do, a laser isn't sending force through the body like solid mass would, this is what is known as "stopping power". If it feels like your insides all just got compressed and shoved around you're going to feel it alot more than if you feel like you've had a 7mm spike driven through your spleen. )

So fix all that on a laser, and you now have a very noticeable heat signature coming from your gun (atleast the barrel of it if you're gun is good at masking heat signatures), especially detectable for advanced sensors of sci-fi. Your position has now been compromised. By comparison, railgun type stuff, or even conventional chemical munitions, should produce much less of a heat signature (although still alot for chemical munitions, plus sound and what not).

In conclusion, lasers seem to be pretty much worthless as a small-arms type weapon. Maybe mounted on a vehicle where you have more power it could be used to put a hole into sensitive equipment or burn a hole through to the engine block of an enemy vehicle, or used to shoot down missiles/enemy fighters. Because here all you have to do is put a small hole into some piece of equipment and it's down. Burn a small hole in a circuit board, or a critical component, or through a wire, or wherever, and it isn't going to work, or at least be usable. Think about any piece of equipment you now own or use, where could you get even if a small hole in it without ruining it?

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:46 pm
ARC: Personally, I'm just fine with something more "anti-gravity"-ish, like SW's repulsors or some other comparable technology (which I think the MSI has...?). Which ought to work quite well, if not better. Smile

Dino: To my knowledge, the idea behind this "particle beam" is that it's particles of some kind of energy, like light particles or something, as opposed to particles of matter. ...Not that I'm certain on this, or have much idea what the implications of it are... Razz

As to appearances, SW's "official description" of these particle weapons (which I think I presented semi-accurately... Razz) actually fits quite well if you think about it in the case of naval weaponry. At closer ranges the visible "bolt" would nearly coincide with the invisible actual shot being fired, so they'd both strike close to the same time. And at longer (not that the movies really show any, even at Coruscant and Endor...) ranges there'd probably be a delay. Add in the fact that there'd be a delay before the light from the sub-lightspeed glowing bolt actually reached you, and it probably would appear to be as slow as it looks in the movies.
When it comes to the tank-round-speed bolts fired by blasters, unfortunately I can only really blame it on the poorly-thought-out special effects of the movies. Razz
Personally, I'd consider the blaster weapons I'm talking of here to work more like what's see in the SW: The Old Republic trailer:

Spoiler:





As to plasma weaponry, I really don't have the vaguest idea, but honestly your idea sounds just as legitimate as any other sci-fi explanation. Razz



Ant: Admittedly, to this point, I didn't have the slightest idea that lasers spread like that. Razz Having said that, SW's weaponry typically devotes a very great deal to focusing the shots from its weapons, so in this setting I suspect it would be far more plausible than in real life.

A power source, on the other hand, should be absolutely no problem. If you think about it, SW already has highly compact power cells that can each superheat gas into plasma and fire it a hundred times or more before being spent, which is no mean feat.
Even with lesser tech capabilities than what's seen in the SW movies, a nice, big power cell could easily get 3-4 shots of a strength that outdoes real-world weaponized lasers.

With heat, personally I somewhat doubt it'd be an issue. Chemical weapons heat up plenty too, and seriously, railguns? If a laser is likely to give your position away, a railgun is like posting a giant theater sign with all the flashing bulbs and a giant neon-lit arrow pointing at you. Razz Not to mention that at least lasers are invisible and silent. Razz

As to actually being fatal, the trick would be accuracy. Despite leaving a very small hole and the fact that it would cauterize the wound, a shot to the head or heart or another vital organ would still kill, even if not instantly. Even still, I'd agree that its usefulness lies much more in damaging an enemy's equipment than in eliminating living targets.

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Tue Mar 24, 2015 10:53 am
I'm not really sure how a railgun is going to have a larger heat signature. Power sources aside, all you have is a magnetically propelled slug, with friction from air causing the only heat which, kept at reasonable speed and with a well shaped slug, won't be near as much as forming and projecting a super concentrated super powerful beam of light (I mean, floodlamps as they are get plenty hot, spotlights on today's helicopters can't go lower than 50 feet or they set the grass on fire), the laser is just a super powerful concentrated flashlight, there's alot of heat, especially if you're looking at it more from the end of the barrel (and if you're on the receiving end of the laser, you will be.)

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Tue Mar 24, 2015 12:14 pm
As to railguns, read here: Razz
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railgun#Heat_dissipation

Admittedly this is another bit I don't know much about, seeing as I wasn't even aware that lasers would heat up like that. Razz Having said that, the beam would be there only very briefly, and it could be given an extensive cooling system.

Furthermore, if it comes to lasers vs. railguns (not I specifically intended for it to be, but railguns probably would be the next best weapon to fill this role), you'd need some kind of special materials to make a railgun work properly. These materials could just as easily be used to make the laser weapon out of, and probably to much greater effect. Razz

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Tue Mar 24, 2015 12:31 pm
Mmmmhmmmm.....so we need unobtanium to make railguns out of? Seems doable. Razz With lasers I was talking about mass amounts of heat during when it's fired, which would yes quickly dissipate, not so much the entire system heats up. (so similar to a flashlight, not exact). Long term use would end up heating the system up, but cooling systems would solve it. I was more of talking about a "flash" appearing on someone's thermals.

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Tue Mar 24, 2015 2:01 pm
Good thing Unobtanium is so easy to obtain in the future. We'd be in trouble otherwise. Razz

Ohh, gotcha. ...Though, even then, would the beam itself be detectable without the thing detecting it being hit by the beam? I get maybe the beam heating up the air and stuff is passes through, leaving a very slight heat signature along the beam's path, but I wouldn't think it'd be enough to detect. Would the emitter leave a signature of some kind, perhaps?

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Wed Mar 25, 2015 9:45 am
Yeah, utilizing the SFSR drill technology (Sci-Fi Sudo Reality), unobtanium is as easy as grabbing a fist-full of dirt and coming up with a fancy word! Razz

I was thinking those within a roughly 5 degree declination from the gun to it's target would be able to see the heat signature from the emitter (which is what I figure would have that "flash" of heat), so if you're in the group with whoever just go sniped then you'ld see it, especially if you're standing right next to him, provided the sniper is 500m, 700m, or a klick or so away. But if you're a perpendicular to the sniper-target line (facing the sniper) or something, you probably wouldn't see it. That's more of what I was figuring.

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:53 pm
A heads-up to my fellow MSI-ers, I have stuffz I'm gonna be adding to the MSI soon, including some models, characters, planets, and companies, and with it probably a bit of MSI backstory. Razz

Considering we're not super-active at the moment, I'm just gonna go ahead and take that creative liberty in adding them, but feel free to go through it all and retcon or dump whatever you guys don't like. I'm just trying to fill in the MSI more. Razz

Also, would it be alright if I made a map of the MSI's territory?



On a different note, another idea I wanted to throw out there. Razz This is an old one, and most/all of you may have heard of it already-

Basically, what if we "replaced" tanks with hovering gunships? (not really, just couldn't think of a better way of wording it. I'll explain that in a minute Razz)

You can see similar things elsewhere, such as real-world helicopter gunships, Halo's larger VTOL craft like the Pelican and Vulture, Star Wars' repulsor gunships, and so on. The basic idea behind it is to take a tank and make it able to fly. Razz 

I see a lot of benefits to such a thing. Probably at the top of the list is the maneuverability and speed that would be attainable by a vehicle capable of airborne flight and hovering.
Another is that it would give it a better view of its surroundings, allowing it to attack targets that would be visually obscured for ground vehicles. And I suspect it would make it a lot harder for infantry and ground vehicles to engage it back, too.


Now, before you begin to fear that I'm trying to make your cool new tanks obsolete, ARC, these gunship-tanks would have several drawbacks as well.
To begin with, they'd be several times more difficult to build. An ordinary tank would be far more economic to make. They'd probably be more reliable and easy to maintain, too. (I mean, seriously, compare the cost of the Abrams to the Apache Razz)
They'd certainly have to fill a different role overall. The armament would be totally different, if nothing else.
Also, while being in the air gives you excellent visibility, it works both ways. You'd be a lot more exposed, and if I understand correctly not getting hit tends to be just as important to a tank's survival as heavy armor.

Anyway, just my thoughts on the matter. Razz What's everyone think?

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Thu Mar 26, 2015 1:47 pm
As far as simple "hover" tanks go (like AATs for example), it always seemed to me to be way to easy to disable the repulsors and turn the tank into a not-bolted-to-the-ground hardpoint, be it with grenades, weapons fire, mines, obstacles (all sorts of booby traps could be designed), the repulsors on the bottom always seemed fragile to me, although there are definitely a ton of benefits as far as speed, terrain, and maneuverability go. (Although again, repulsors aren't going to "grip" the ground when you need to not slide, makes for not falling off a cliff a bit more difficult.) But maybe they arn't that fragile, IDK, but that's always how I saw it.

Futuristic Apaches (Pelican or such) would be different, after all, they're gunships, not tanks. I always figured on having some sort of light close-air-support for my military (like a banshee, but lower ceiling limit, less star/air-fighter like, more manuverable. So like a STAP combined with a banshee). I think an armored one of those might be sorta what you're thinking of, but I might be wrong. Razz

Also, maps, sure, everyone loves making maps of this place every once in a while. I put one up a while back, tell me what you think about the MSI's placement and feel free to create your own, maybe we can collaborate.

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Sun Mar 29, 2015 2:35 pm
I generally agree with pretty much everything that has been said here. Razz

Definitely post any background or character stuff for the MSI that you have. A map would be great, as well.

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Sun Mar 29, 2015 6:03 pm
I think an armored gunship has its place, as a scout/escort, but if you want a heavy-hitter, get a good tank on the ground or bomber in the air.
EDIT: Now, if we're talking some big, scary, AC-130 Spooky kind of thing, I could be talked into it. I've been meaning to make something along those lines for awhile, but...see below.

Yes I know I'm late I hardly check this place nowadays since I'm currently out of ideas. I also know I'm supposed to be working on new HH/SW ships but right now I'm working on details and such for a real military and not just the stuff that makes things go boom.

That and college prep is burning me out, along with finishing IB. Just gotta get through May and exams'll be over. Robotics competition is 19 June. So I'll be active mid-late June, promise. Razz Until about mid-August, right before my birthday.

By the way, I got into Virginia Tech, where I've wanted to go for like five-six years. So I'm happy about that.

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Sun Mar 29, 2015 7:07 pm
Congrats Jace! Very Happy Take all the time you need, and don't stress man. It's not like this place is super active and you're slowing things down. (Crickets chirp.) The idea here is to have fun, so no worrying about this hobby when IRL is crazy and stressful enough already.

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Sun Mar 29, 2015 7:40 pm
MAD: Sounds good. Razz


ARC: Hey, you're fine. Smile Basically everyone around here seems to be pretty busy right now. Razz Probably once we hit spring/summer-ish things'll get a little more lively.

And congrats getting accepted! Very Happy Hope everything goes well with that. Whatcha looking to do? (And a robotics competition? Cool... Razz)



...As to the "tank gunship" idea, basically think of what the Alby was supposed to be, but taking out the troop dropship capability, making it all guns and armor. So essentially a big-ish gunship with a decent bit of armor and loads of firepower.

Having said that, a tank is obviously gonna be able to deliver a much harder blow from a longer distance, and probably without its target being able to hit back or even know it's there.
Thus far, I have really no idea how to get any sort of main weapon like what a tank mounts on a gunship. It's just too huge. And it's even harder to make it turreted, which is almost a necessity if you want to land a shot accurately over several klicks' distance. Probably the closest alternative is a missile, and that has plenty of flaws that a giant hunk of metal fired from a tube won't.

Probably what these gunships would do is be more along the lines of support units, sticking close to ground forces from the air and giving them extra firepower whenever they run into trouble.

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