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Re: MSI Ideas

on Sun Mar 29, 2015 7:53 pm
Computer controlled precision maneuvering? Turreted nose? Think bigger, maybe? Two side mounted tank turrets on a mega-sized gunship?

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:33 pm
Jace- Congrats on you acceptance, man! Like Dino said, site's pretty quiet ATM- so between that and your academics, you can be excused for not being terribly active. Razz

Arik- IDK, maybe try turning a tank upside down and replacing the treads with V-22-esque thrusters? Razz

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

Tetrahedron wrote:I'm not sure if we should interrupt Ant like this...
He might kill us with his cow bombs

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Mon Mar 30, 2015 6:26 pm
^^^ I think Tetra just solved your monster flying tank problem. Now just add extendable landing gear so you don't sit on your turret when you land, and some rocket racks on the sides, and a minigun in the nose, and you're good to go.

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Mon Mar 30, 2015 6:26 pm
ARC: Congratulations on getting into VT! And yeah, don't stress about staying active here. I've barely done anything for awhile now, and I'm supposed to be in charge. Razz

As for the tank, it seems like you could fit a fair-sized tank turret on the underside of an LAAT-sized gunship. The thing would be sluggish and hard to maneuver, but I can see how such a craft would be very useful, especially in mountainous terrain or urban areas where being able to get from point A to point B without needing to secure roads or passes would be important, and where the gunships would be able to fly over and around cover.

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Mon Mar 30, 2015 8:39 pm
Thanks all for your congratulatory messages. I'm currently undecided, because I want to explore what Tech has to offer.

As for the gunship Arik, you seem to be talking about a cannon-based AC-220 Vulture. I figure if you take that and mash it with the Spooky gunship, you may be able to come up with something cool. Perhaps a spinal-mounted cannon might work if you want something heavy. But then again, look at the A-10 and the GAU-8. If World of Tanks is at all accurate to real life (and it may well not be but I think it is as far as a game can be) then it has taught me that an auto-cannon with AP rounds and a good RoF will mess you up faster than a tank destroyer's cannon will.

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:11 pm
Tetra/Dino: Yeah, a "flying upside-down tank" could potentially work. As could having fixed guns and some kind of super-precise automated flying maneuvering systems. The latter sounds like it could easily be malfunction-prone, though, even with our level of technology.

MAD: Exactly. There's certain places that a tank's gonna have trouble getting to. And while a Mech or something might be able to access them, I have yet to mount the kind of big, bulky cannons that tanks generally use onto one (well, short of the Thunderer, but that's a Superheavy and not exactly cost-efficient Razz). The closest might be a quadrupedal artillery Mech, and even those aren't going to be a good match.


ARC: Basically seems like it, yeah. Razz Dunno if I'll make anything too big, though. If the Alby's any indication, my building techniques (and my computer, for that matter) don't work very well for large aerial vehicles. Razz

I'd say the key difference lies mostly in range. While a good autocannon or an autocannon like the GAU-8 does good against something like a tank, and with a much more compact design no less, a tank gun generally outranges it. For example, according to Wikipedia, the Abrams' M256 gun is capable of 4-8 times the range of the Warthog's GAU-8. Though maybe range isn't worth as much as I might think. I dunno. Any thoughts?

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Tue Mar 31, 2015 9:00 am
Make it a full-auto railgun. Slugs moving at that speed should have PLENTY of range, even if bigger (tank) railgun slugs still travel farther... it's an aircraft... if you need the round to go farther, tell the computer what you want to hit, and then let it's guidance systems take you up higher higher to compensate for drop-off. The only thing you have to worry about is wind, and loss of energy. but I can't image that most shots THAT BIG moving THAT FAST would be effected THAT MUCH by a breeze. A hurricane is another matter entirely, and anything in between is a gray area. As to loss of energy... a slug moving at 6 kilometers per second should still have PLENTY of energy behind it within a reasonable range. 

Although range CAN be EVERYTHING at times. You want to hit the enemy before they hit you. So this vehicle could very well be "inferior" to traditional tanks in some respects, which makes sense. 

So my advice is to have it as a troop/ground support vehicle. Add some rockets to increase the effective range, remember that tough as it will be it probably won't be AS TOUGH as an MBT, and that it is up in plain view. Will it replace tanks? No. Can it fill a niche? Yes. Can it assist tanks in major operations? Yes.

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:38 pm
In my experience as an RTS player, range is far more valuable than any damage or defensive upgrades, as it lets you effectively "kite" enemies- a general strategy where you fire, retreat a bit, fire again, an keep repeating until they're either dead or've caught up to you. That being said, kiting also requires three other factors: enough site range to make use of your superior range; mobility; and a large area to maneuver. The advantage of a rail- or coilgun-equipped gunship is that it would have all of these things in spades, allowing it to theoretically destroy any armored or infantry force without risk of retaliation. In practice, of course, I'm sure hostile fighters and long-ranged AA weapons will have something to say to that, but the point is clear: it's a winning combo.

Go for it! Razz

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Tetrahedron wrote:I'm not sure if we should interrupt Ant like this...
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Re: MSI Ideas

on Wed Apr 01, 2015 10:00 am
Tetrahedron wrote:In my experience as an RTS player, range is far more valuable than any damage or defensive upgrades, as it lets you effectively "kite" enemies- a general strategy where you fire, retreat a bit, fire again, an keep repeating until they're either dead or've caught up to you.

Add in freezing temperatures and you have Russia's strategy for war. The American's would be "Screw it! Fire everything!". Razz

Personally I've always liked a combination of both; depending on the factors I like a casualty reducing but time-intensive kite strategy, but also find the advance and dump everybit of firepower into them to be useful as well.

Historically, and in a tactical (not strategical) sense, fire-superiority is more important, that is being able to lob more lead at your enemy, making them keep their heads down and stay on the defensive. It means they can shoot less at you, and less accurately, meaning you have less casualties and can maneuver into a position that allows you do destroy them, instead of vice-versa. Applying this I would say a gunship with a ton of rockets and/or chainguns/autocannons (like an Apache) would be good, possibly with a long-range hunter variant that could "snipe" and/or "kite" from extended range, this being armed with fewer rockets, but with an extended range and guided, and a large cannon instead of a smaller rapidly firing one.

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:29 pm
Tetra: I dunno if "kiting" with a gunship would necessarily be a worthwhile strategy. Assuming a tank can hit the gunship at all, it's got the advantage of several klicks' range, so chances are it'll outrange the gunship by quite a bit. And if it isn't able to reliably hit a gunship, then there's no need for the gunship to stay outside its range anyway. Razz

Having said that, this is definitely an ideal vehicle to try and make such a technique work. Sooo, we'll see. Razz

As to enemy fighters (and probably AA guns, too), those are almost certainly going to be the gunship's greatest weakness. A gunship is way too slow and unmaneuverable to evade a fighter's attacks, and isn't likely to carry the kinds of weaponry that are ideal for fighting back. (Then again, I've heard the Warthog, which is basically the same kind of weaponry but mounted on a plane, has done a decent job at killing aircraft... Razz)


Ant: Unfortunately for vehicle combat, "suppression fire" doesn't do much when you're taking on a tank. Razz

Basically, I see two main roles for it thus far.
The first is as a "close air support" gunship, basically just like the IRL helicopter counterpart, which just sits above the enemy ground forces and makes itself a general pain in the rear.
A good armament is something that can kill ground vehicles as efficiently as possible, probably involving missiles or other explosives and/or a heavier, short-ranged (auto?)cannon, then something that can shred up groups of particularly-ornery enemy soldiers that are harassing your troops. Most likely just a gun with a nice high rate of fire.
The second is as a long-ranged tank-killer, which basically just takes a hard-hitting cannon with long range and plenty of accuracy, or could theoretically be done just as well with some big, long-ranged missiles, albeit with less ammo-efficiency. Energy weapons could also be a viable option, for when something is too tough to be blown up in one hit and too far away to land two or more hits in the same spot.
A railgun or coilgun would work nicely on the projectile weapon side, most likely with Dino's auto-steering/aiming idea to guarantee a hit at multi-klick ranges. Energy weapons would be the same set-up, though the biggest drawback with an energy weapon is maintaining line-of-sight, whereas projectile weapons can curve their fire arcs. Missiles are obviously nice and easy, though the longer range they have either the bigger they need to be or the less explode-y-ness they have, and with them you only get a couple shots.

And of course there's always the option of combining parts of both roles. (Or building the gunship big enough to just have everything... Razz)

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:32 am
It still works when you have vehicle on vehicle combat, although slightly differently yes. Granted infantry on tank kinda negates fire-suppression somewhat, unless the crew are inexperienced and you have the advantage of terrain. If you do, then you fire a ton at the tank, particularly the hatches, and the crew buttons up (who wants to put their head up in the middle of a firestorm?), then with their restricted view, you sneak up and blow the treads off, set incendiary grenades on the hull, put a mine somewhere, plug up the barrel, you know, whatever you really feel like doing, although I for one wouldn't be for the plugging up of barrels. Razz

As for kiting, sure a gunship could do it, even if an tank has longer range. Imagine an tank trying to hit a flying, small target. Like an Abrams trying to hit a flying Apache. Now take that Apache, and tell it to kill that Abrams, that's what Apaches do best (along with A-10s). Most specifically with Hellfire missiles (or Mavericks if it's an A-10).
I wouldn't build a large can-do-everything gunship, makes for a slower, larger target, and if you specialize roles then it gives you an excuse to build more than one. Making a one-size-fits-all doesn't allow you to do that. Razz

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Thu Apr 02, 2015 1:15 pm
Well I guess you could just force the crew to stay in the tank and then sabotage the tank without them knowing, but that's really not quite the same thing as suppression fire in an infantry-vs-infantry sense. Razz It also requires that the crew actually not have enough situational awareness inside the vehicle (I know my tanks and Mechs generally do) that they need to come out of the vehicle to see you coming. Razz

Like I said, the "fire at the target then retreat a bit" kiting tactic isn't necessarily valid. If tanks can't hit gunships, then the gunship might as well just stick around and blow up all the tanks without having to worry about them firing back. Razz
The "kiting" technique works nicely under the assumption that the gunship can out-range the tanks' "anti-gunship" weaponry but that the "anti-gunship" weaponry has a way of closing the distance before the gunship can blow up the tanks.

Yeah, it won't be huge or anything. Razz 'Course, if I apply my Mechs' modularity (REALLY easy to do. Mechs and helicopter-y gunships use extremely similar designs/techniques and stuff), then one design will still be able to do everything, just not all at once. Razz

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Thu Apr 02, 2015 1:46 pm
Yeah, kiting is almost always used with and army of land units facing another army of land units, when one has the range advantage*; an army of land units without AA support versus an army of gunships is called "shooting fish in a barrel". Razz

*or occasionally air-versus-air, if it's something like StarCraft where pure-air armies are somewhat of a thing. Razz

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Tetrahedron wrote:I'm not sure if we should interrupt Ant like this...
He might kill us with his cow bombs

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Thu Apr 02, 2015 1:52 pm
So like Jace's tanks? That's kinda what I was thinking, sorta like Hueys from Vietnam, They usually carried either rockets, a minigun, a grenade launcher, or where of the classic cargo/troop carrying type, plus the iconic door guns. You could have either long range missiles, or a couple smaller guns and rockets for close air support type stuff.

As for kiting, it can work depending on terrain. For example, you have a flat open area and then some trees, hills, mountains, whatever some distance away. The gunship can hover behind this cover, pop-up, fire, pop-down, and either change positions or retreat to a new position where they're behind cover. Of course instead of kiting you can always use hit-and-run tactics, fly in close, fire, and fly out. Or if your target (tanks) does not have good anti-air defenses, kiting with long-range missiles would still work. Tanks can't really hit a flying helicopter sized object a six clicks out, and if all they have are flak guns, then their anti-air defense vehicles might not reach out that far either, again, this would be talking about effective range, not total range. SAMs would be different, but gunships typically don't go where those are until ground forces or fighters have made it from "where those are" to "where those were". Razz

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Tue Apr 07, 2015 12:11 pm
If you were to take the Firefly gunship and match it up with the Alby, you might be able to pull something like that off. Fire-linked (pulser?) auto-cannons on the wingtips, hardpoints on some kind of "wings" for additional weapons (missiles, rocket pods, MGs, grenade launchers, more cannons, etc.) and maybe have some kind of cannon/mortar style weapon along the dorsal spine? Or a pair of somewhat smaller ones (I hope you aren't thinking of putting anything like a 120mm tank cannon on a gunship...) on either side of the cockpit for additional rate of fire. Then the biggest challenge would be where to put all the ammo and how to keep that thing in the air.

Because something also worthy of note is that I see "helicopter" gunships as two types: A) the faster, higher-altitude, lightly armored, repeated-strafing/fly-in-circles-while-shooting gunship, or B) the slower, lower-altitude, heavily armored, carries-so-many-weapons-that-one-is-enough "air artillery" gunship. I'm assuming you're going after the latter. Then you have gunships like the Spooky, Larty, Pelican, etc. but those are plane-like not helo-like.

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Mon May 18, 2015 12:22 pm
DISCLAIMER: The following wall(s) of text will apply almost exclusively to Star Wars-based tech, which is what I'll be basing my own MSI technology off of very closely. If you aren't interested in using SW tech (or at least the way I'm portraying it Razz), feel free to ignore it and continue using your own tech.

To those who are particularly concerned about it *coughSupecough Razz* - It will also probably not be very scientifically-accurate, despite my best efforts to overthink everything and going into extreme detail. Star Wars' creators weren't always the most knowledgeable about this stuff, nor am I. So if you've got complaints about this or that not being realistic... well, you can still bring it up, and I'll try to correct it, but if unable to reconcile it all I'm probably just gonna ignore it. Razz




ANYWAY. I've been seriously rethinking the way I've always thought of Star Wars space battles and how they work.

Here's my previous mindset:

Naval battles can last as much as several hours. During this time, combat consists of the opposing fleets sitting at near-maximum ranges, bombarding each other with absurdly-powerful, super-accurate, super-long-ranged energy weapons, which impact continuously on the ships' incredibly-strong, extremely-slow-recharging energy shields until those shields break through, at which point the shieldless ship is left with just its comparatively-very-weak armor plating, and usually sustains significant damage (possibly even being destroyed) before it can escape or get its shields back online.


But, since reading some more SW material (most notably re-reading Labyrinth of Evil), I think I have it wrong. Razz And anyway that doesn't leave much room for tactics, and it's overall kinda boring, since it basically consists of sitting there until the fleet that gets luckier with all their shots, does a little more damage, and wins the battle. Razz


Here's my new mindset.

-Only difference: shields are a lot weaker. A ship can take a couple hits before its shields buckle. And they recharge much faster.


So a battle would look like this.
-Fleets fire their turbolasers in volleys probably. This gives them the best chance of all hitting an enemy ship at once, allowing them to, if enough of the shots hit, break through the shield and deal some damage to the ship. An enemy ship's shields would then probably recharge between these volleys.
-Range would be important for a slew of reasons. For example, larger ships, with their longer-ranged, more accurate weapons, bigger target profiles, and less maneuverability, would need to keep more of a distance from the enemy fleet than smaller ships. (Then again, a large ship could get closer, let their stronger shields and armor keep them safe, and do more damage to the opposing fleet with their stronger guns).
-Starfighters would actually be useful! Razz Most fighter ordnance (proton torpedoes, for example) is usually described as being on par with individual turbolaser shots. A fighter squadron, shooting two dozen proton torpedoes, would barely dent a shield that can take a few hundred turbolaser hits before collapsing. But if a mere handful of turbolaser shots can do the job, then a fighter or bomber squadron would be incredibly dangerous to a ship.



Anyway, this is basically how I'm gonna treat the tech from now on.


...At this point, I think I'm actually going to branch off into two new topics to discuss both my SW-based MSI tech in depth and also to develop tactics for this.

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Fri May 29, 2015 5:03 pm
Sooo, MSI people (who all seem to have dropped off the face of the earth suddenly, except Nik Razz), I'm gonna look into putting together a map of the MSI's territories.


I need planets, first and foremost. I'll keep any map stuff I make as Illustrator documents so I can keep adding to them, but having an idea of what I'm making at all would be handy.
So far I've got:
-Velonna (from MAD)
-Narkova (from Spud)
-Grelfucan (from ARC. ...Did I spell it right this time? Razz)
-About 8 planets of my own, 5 of which will be new once I ever get to introducing them. I'll have several more soon, though.

...Any extras would be really nice to have, so get making planet names and backstories! Razz


Also, I've got an idea of how to lay them out and all that, as well as some backstory for why, but I'll run it by you all first.

Layout:
Spoiler:


1. - This is Velonna, the MSI capital world.
2. - This would be the MSI's "key worlds", which would have been the first worlds to be colonized by Velonna. They'd be the MSI's most important and well-populated worlds probably.
3. - This would be the less-critical territories within the MSI, being colonized later on, but still having been a part of the Imperium for a very long time.
4. - This would be the "industrial space", where most of the MSI's factories and other industry, such as mining, fuel refineries, the bulk of civilian production, and so on would be located.
5. - This territory would be where the most recent MSI worlds are placed. This would also be sort of where our "sub-factions" (like my Arnhem, and presumably a few others) that are more or less separate entities from the MSI but still members/allies of them would probably be.
6. - Finally, in that general direction is where we could have a "new" set of colonies. These would be freshly-discovered and would probably be a section of space quite far away from the MSI.


Notes:
-This is a very generalized map, and I'll modify it extensively. Razz For example, sectors 3, 4, and 5 wouldn't have that big gap between them. I just drew it like that because I was lazy (Razz) to help make it easier to distinguish between them. The map will also probably be more vertical-ish, since that seems to be (if I recall) how it was made for the PCG maps.

-For that brand-spankin'-new colony region (#6) that the arrow points to, my idea is that this could be one of a few ways the MSI takes advantage of its somewhat above-par FTL tech. Seeing as we seem to be sort of "stuck" in a small region of known space, and basically surrounded on all sides by other major factions, my thoughts are that we could have a new colony region well outside of MSI territory and outside of these other PCG factions' space too. Because we have such fast FTL travel, we could simply make the short trip through some other faction's space, go to this untouched part of the galaxy, and set up shop with a brand new set of colony worlds. Razz
Spoiler:




So, what's everyone think?

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Fri May 29, 2015 5:09 pm
I'm not an MSI member, so I won't say much; I *will* say, however, that by my understanding, the MSI worlds are basically scattered all over, so making a comprehensive map without any context of the location of other factions might be difficult. Razz Still, good initiative; I'm looking forward to how this will pan out. Razz

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Meanwhile, on the chat....
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Tetrahedron wrote:I'm not sure if we should interrupt Ant like this...
He might kill us with his cow bombs

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Fri May 29, 2015 9:31 pm
I like the layout. I think that generally "Industrial Space" would be scattered throughout the rest of the sectors, as whether or not a world becomes a major industrial center depends largely on things like location and available resources, which wouldn't probably be concentrated in one area of space over another. Other than that, it works great. I'll see if I can get a few more planets up soon.

Tetra: I don't know anything about that. Razz As far as I know, the Imperium's space is about as concentrated as most other powers. That's the way it's always been in previous maps, at least.

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Fri May 29, 2015 9:34 pm
Wow, sorry for vanishing into thin air for a month! I got swamped in school and other things.

Anyhoo, I've been checking on this thread occasionally for a while, and I like what I'm seeing. That map makes a lot of sense. Keep these ideas coming! Very Happy

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Re: MSI Ideas

on Fri May 29, 2015 10:03 pm
MAD- By my understanding of it, the MSI (or whatever power preceded it) essentially got hemmed in by the other major powers, but then used it's FTL advantage (hyperdrives) to continue expanding-resulting in several blobs scattered all over the map rather than a single concentration.

Of course, that could very well be completely wrong. 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 Sat May 30, 2015 1:53 pm
Just stopping by to say "two thumbs up for the video, Arik!: Razz Very Happy


And hostile factions may not like you flying through there space. Maybe have some space-lanes that the MSI is permitted to use by an ally/neutral neighbor or two, or three? Just a thought. It would be kind of weird for MSI ships to go charging into enemy space constantly, just to get to their land.... I sense a New World sort of colonization rush, with a highly contested "sea" (space) between the major powers and a newly discovered section of space or two.  

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