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Author Topic: System Monitor style Warships and random ideas  (Read 2199 times)

idea weenie

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Re: System Monitor style Warships and random ideas
« Reply #60 on: 10 February 2020, 00:22:03 »
Well, Space Stations aren't completely stationary so they can get into weapon range to conduct ortillery attacks. Also depending on where its parked in relation to the jump point could mean a difference in where the attacking dropships can land which could mean longer distances that the ground troops have to travel to hit the target. And if, Daryk's numbers are right, and I don't know why they wouldn't be a Space Station can mount three times the armor a same tonnage warship can. So they're not that vulnerable.

Space stations can get into range, but are tactically immobile.  Their orbital adjustments would be trackable well in advance (since they only have .2 Thrust, vs an ASF having a minimum Thrust of 3).  A Space station at orbital speeds goes over the battlefield at roughly 4.76 miles/sec (using the ISS as a comparison), and each space hex is 18 miles across.  So every 3.78 seconds the space station will cross a space hex.  IIRC you have a max range of 7 hexes, so that is less than 30 seconds where the space station is able to provide ortillery.  The ortillery footprint of a space station is a circle 126 miles wide

A space station parked at the 'Jump point' is trying to patrol all of space outside of the Jump limit.  The station's weapons will not cover enough space, only its onboard Small Craft and ASF will.  Remember that the Zenith/Nadir Jump points are just the locations on the jump limit that are close to the poles of the star system.  They are not small wormhole-like locations like DS9, they are not like Jump holes from the Wing Commander movie, they are an entire region of space that is at a distance greater than the local star's Jump limit.

A space station between the planet and the jump points is avoided by the attacker in transit.

A space station in orbit won't be able to bring enemy space-based forces under fire since its orbit is easily known and avoided.  Having only .2 Thrust means a space station will take much longer than a Dropship to change its orbit, so it can be attacked whenever the invader feels like, and cannot pursue damaged attackers.

Compare that to a Warship that can 'hover' over the ground and fire turn after turn at the attackers.

Space stations can mount 3* the armor of a Warship, but is limited to an SI of 1.  Warships can have an SI of up to 30* its Max Thrust, and their Max Thrust can get high.  Assuming 3/5 accel, that means it can have up to 150 SI, massing 15,000 tons on a 100 kton ship, allowing up to 300 tons of armor, or about 75% of a station.  The Warship would also get bonus armor from its SI (15 pts).

Thanks. That makes more sense but wouldn't pressurized bays be internal and thus covered by armor?

Or a bubble on the exterior with armored hatches for crew to go through.

Why not have ER versions of Naval Lasers? Or make larger Lasers like a NL240?

I wanted to work with existing weapons first, before going with custom weapons as well as custom rules.  But having a Naval Laser that is in the same damage range as an NPPC is a nice idea.


I would just continue how things are now. Satellites go up to a certain size and then they become Space Stations. I would also think with unmanned satellites sitting out in space for a long time that maintenance isn't that big an issue. Manned satellites I would think would need more routine maintenance, even if its just to the life support systems. A tech should be able to do that if they've got the parts.

True, I am trying to think of some way to show a difference between a giant satellite massing 300 tons, and a small space station massing 300 tons.  I was hoping to use the Hubble space telescope as an example of a satellite that required external maintenance aid, vs a space station that could repair itself.  But space stations have humans on board.

Then we would have to classify an unmanned CASPAR floating structure that is 2.5 MTon in mass.  It is unmanned, but can perform basic maintenance/repairs on itself.

That sounds like a satellite. I also think it'd be easier to just stick them in a tiny closet on a dropship or other aerospace than to make a another vehicle. If you're going to make a punishment satellite make it so that it has a purpose. Like putting weapons on it to attack passing fighters or something.

Putting the person in a closet on a Dropship means they have a small chance of escape, plus they have the familiar sounds of other human beings.  This is just a metal ball with nobody around, and nothing to breathe outside the metal shell.  Bonus is if the ball has a slowly deteriorating orbit, so if the prisoner causes trouble the jailers just let them burn on re-entry.  Add in a self-destruct charge on the outside if anyone without the proper codes gets close (or if it receives a transmission).

Pity about the various fixed costs for stations, that would make this prison ball very expensive.

RifleMech

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Re: System Monitor style Warships and random ideas
« Reply #61 on: 10 February 2020, 11:56:42 »
Space stations can get into range, but are tactically immobile.  Their orbital adjustments would be trackable well in advance (since they only have .2 Thrust, vs an ASF having a minimum Thrust of 3).  A Space station at orbital speeds goes over the battlefield at roughly 4.76 miles/sec (using the ISS as a comparison), and each space hex is 18 miles across.  So every 3.78 seconds the space station will cross a space hex.  IIRC you have a max range of 7 hexes, so that is less than 30 seconds where the space station is able to provide ortillery.  The ortillery footprint of a space station is a circle 126 miles wide.

A space station parked at the 'Jump point' is trying to patrol all of space outside of the Jump limit.  The station's weapons will not cover enough space, only its onboard Small Craft and ASF will.  Remember that the Zenith/Nadir Jump points are just the locations on the jump limit that are close to the poles of the star system.  They are not small wormhole-like locations like DS9, they are not like Jump holes from the Wing Commander movie, they are an entire region of space that is at a distance greater than the local star's Jump limit.

A space station between the planet and the jump points is avoided by the attacker in transit.

A space station in orbit won't be able to bring enemy space-based forces under fire since its orbit is easily known and avoided.  Having only .2 Thrust means a space station will take much longer than a Dropship to change its orbit, so it can be attacked whenever the invader feels like, and cannot pursue damaged attackers.

Compare that to a Warship that can 'hover' over the ground and fire turn after turn at the attackers.

So since it can move, slowly, it can park over a ground location and provide ortillery? It could also sit in front of an approach. I know its not going to stop an incoming force but it could force them into a landing point further away. It could also force them to keep moving their dropship or eventually risk it being attacked from orbit. That'd deprive the force of repair and resupply, as well as a secure place to rest. It could also delay their departure and risk being caught by vengeful ground forces. Even if they don't get caught, its a lot of stress on the attackers.

I also don't mean it should try to patrol all of space. Just a point where the enemy needs to go through or go around. Going around takes more time that can be used by the defenders to prepare for their arrival. Going faster and the dropship uses more fuel and generates more stress on the crew and passengers.


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Space stations can mount 3* the armor of a Warship, but is limited to an SI of 1.  Warships can have an SI of up to 30* its Max Thrust, and their Max Thrust can get high.  Assuming 3/5 accel, that means it can have up to 150 SI, massing 15,000 tons on a 100 kton ship, allowing up to 300 tons of armor, or about 75% of a station.  The Warship would also get bonus armor from its SI (15 pts).

So it's fast and well armored. Doesn't that takes away from weaponry?


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I wanted to work with existing weapons first, before going with custom weapons as well as custom rules.  But having a Naval Laser that is in the same damage range as an NPPC is a nice idea.

It does sound fun.  >:D  I don't know how you can increase a weapons range without changing the weapon or using Extreme and LOS ranges.


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True, I am trying to think of some way to show a difference between a giant satellite massing 300 tons, and a small space station massing 300 tons.  I was hoping to use the Hubble space telescope as an example of a satellite that required external maintenance aid, vs a space station that could repair itself.  But space stations have humans on board.

Then we would have to classify an unmanned CASPAR floating structure that is 2.5 MTon in mass.  It is unmanned, but can perform basic maintenance/repairs on itself.

I don't know on that one. Other than size, what's the difference between satellite and space station?  ???


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Putting the person in a closet on a Dropship means they have a small chance of escape, plus they have the familiar sounds of other human beings.  This is just a metal ball with nobody around, and nothing to breathe outside the metal shell.  Bonus is if the ball has a slowly deteriorating orbit, so if the prisoner causes trouble the jailers just let them burn on re-entry.  Add in a self-destruct charge on the outside if anyone without the proper codes gets close (or if it receives a transmission).

Pity about the various fixed costs for stations, that would make this prison ball very expensive.

I would think they wouldn't want to escape when the only hatch opens to vacuum. Plus there's all kinds of noise abating equipment which would cut down on human contact.

Col Toda

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Re: System Monitor style Warships and random ideas
« Reply #62 on: 12 February 2020, 07:31:57 »
Bang for the C-Bill optimized pocket warships and aerospace fighters  is by far a better investment . A 6 collar Starlord Jump Ship with 4 pocket warships in a Navel C3 network and 2 CV CV dropship should be able  to take on just about any warship that costs 2x as much to make and uses 2× the manpower  to boot . Offense or defense  it does not matter . Any loss taking down a warship means you just killed the domestic  planetary product for 25-50 years . Sinking that kind of concentrated  resources  in any one combat unit invites economic  disaster  . Look at the cold war one side builds a huge expensive  conventional  fleet of warships the other side goes bankrupt  trying to maintain military parity  using the same military doctrine  . War is as much or more about economics than concentrated firepower  .

A shipyard builds say a dozen pocket  warships a year or less than one warship . If you lose 10 pocket warships  for every warship taken out and lose about the same amount  of fighters you are ahead of the strategic game . The loss of trained crew in a warship represents  a huge infrastructure  investment  as well .
The trend of  going to pocket warships  and fighter carriers  seems to be permanent.  The combat vehicle  and mech resources  seem to be increasing  per unit while  the big Aerospace  units seem to be getting less investiture proportionally.  The proliferation of XL engines  and fuel cell on combat vehicles  it seems the ICE attrition  unit is being moved away from . Different  ERA different  doctrines  and hardware .
« Last Edit: 12 February 2020, 12:39:11 by Col Toda »

RifleMech

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Re: System Monitor style Warships and random ideas
« Reply #63 on: 13 February 2020, 13:47:16 »
All that is true however, lose the jumpship and you lose the dropships too as they're now trapped in the system. You're also presuming a 5 on 1 fight. Why can't that warship also be carrying pocket warships?

Minemech

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Re: System Monitor style Warships and random ideas
« Reply #64 on: 13 February 2020, 22:23:03 »
 If I had to give an example of a canon Monitor within the real naval warship class, it would be the Mako class. They are short ranged, but have brutal broadsides for their mass.

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Re: System Monitor style Warships and random ideas
« Reply #65 on: 13 February 2020, 22:28:39 »
 As for the design of system Monitors, I would think they would be more items of accident (KF Drive fried) than attempted canon construction, therefore designs ought to be improvised, and suit a roleplayer's needs.

idea weenie

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Re: System Monitor style Warships and random ideas
« Reply #66 on: 15 February 2020, 13:40:00 »
So since it can move, slowly, it can park over a ground location and provide ortillery? It could also sit in front of an approach. I know its not going to stop an incoming force but it could force them into a landing point further away. It could also force them to keep moving their dropship or eventually risk it being attacked from orbit. That'd deprive the force of repair and resupply, as well as a secure place to rest. It could also delay their departure and risk being caught by vengeful ground forces. Even if they don't get caught, its a lot of stress on the attackers.

The station will only be overhead for 30 seconds, or one space turn.  In Battlemech scale you only have to worry about ortillery for 3 turns, and if you are performing a raid you can just land 'behind' where the space station just passed over, and not worry for the next ~90 minutes.  The station's orbit will be easily plottable, so you can tell the raider group that you will be landing at X location, moving to Y location at a certain time, then moving to Z location for pickup.  Each location you move to is where the space station's ortillery footprint just went past, so the ortillery is effectively useless.  You just need to tell the raiding group to not be in the open by HH:MM, otherwise they will be spotted and splattered.

Don't know off-hand the time needed to change the orbit of a space station, using the .1G thrust they are capable of.  But plotting that would be the function of a Longscan system, where it plots the maximum possible change for the space station, the resulting ortillery locations, and allows the Captain of the raiders to be outside that attack area.  With the low acceleration of a space station, and only 90 minutes of advance prediction needed, this is fairly easy (scroll down to the Trumpet Bell Effect, and figure that as a rough estimate of the orbital path a space station will take as seen from 'above').

If it is a full attack needing dedicated ground repair/resupply, the space station should be fighting for its life against enemy ASF/Dropships.

I also don't mean it should try to patrol all of space. Just a point where the enemy needs to go through or go around. Going around takes more time that can be used by the defenders to prepare for their arrival. Going faster and the dropship uses more fuel and generates more stress on the crew and passengers.

Space is really big and empty.  The space station's orbit will be fairly easy to spot.  Intercepting at the jump Point (Zone) is practically impossible (unless you are using ASF/Small Craft/Dropships).  Intercepting between either of the Jump Zones and the target planet means you have a 50/50 chance of being wrong, plus there is so much empty space that the Dropship can easily go around.  Intercepting in orbit means that the space station has to be in the right orbit at the right time, and the Dropship can just observe the space station and stay behind it transmitting "Neener-neener"

So it's fast and well armored. Doesn't that takes away from weaponry?

Warships carry the same weapons as a space station, and can maneuver to focus fire on a single target while minimizing return fire.  If the space stations cluster together for protection (an Empire State Formation), they are leaving the rest of the planet unprotected.

It does sound fun.  >:D  I don't know how you can increase a weapons range without changing the weapon or using Extreme and LOS ranges.

House rules are the only option I can see.

I don't know on that one. Other than size, what's the difference between satellite and space station?  ??? 

From what I can see, there should be almost no difference.  Tactical Operations mentions that Medium satellites can be manned for various operations, so habitability is not the issue. The 2.5 MTon CASPAR space station would be unmanned, so technically it could be either.  Satellites built without engine systems can be built unmanned, but this limits what systems can be installed in them (i.e. anything that needs a human).  But that still counts as a satellite, not a space station.

Perhaps a space station is designed as something that can keep a separate environment from the vacuum outside?  This could be a dedicated gas chamber for detecting fusion reactors, to life support for humans, to an orbital aquarium.  A CASPAR system needs a separate cooling environment for its main supercomputer, while basic targeting systems don't.

A satellite is not designed for making the separate environment, and adding that capability would increase costs (eventually it would be cheaper to make it a space station).

I would think they wouldn't want to escape when the only hatch opens to vacuum. Plus there's all kinds of noise abating equipment which would cut down on human contact.

Ah, you means putting the prisoner in an airlock, and disabling the internal door.  I was assuming an internal cell/box,

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Re: System Monitor style Warships and random ideas
« Reply #67 on: 15 February 2020, 13:49:58 »
What do you think about satellites as primitive space stations?
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idea weenie

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Re: System Monitor style Warships and random ideas
« Reply #68 on: 15 February 2020, 14:21:36 »
What do you think about satellites as primitive space stations?

That could work, as habitable spaces could be seen as an add-on to the existing power and cooling structures of the ISS.  Sealable doors between components quarters would reflect different life support environments, which are more expensive than if you were able to build the whole thing in orbit.

So a satellite might be half the cost multiplier of a space station, but anything habitable costs 4(?) times as much?  This would make Satellites cheaper for communications/sensors/experiments, but putting people in it means the costs go up faster.

RifleMech

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Re: System Monitor style Warships and random ideas
« Reply #69 on: 17 February 2020, 09:22:31 »
The station will only be overhead for 30 seconds, or one space turn.  In Battlemech scale you only have to worry about ortillery for 3 turns, and if you are performing a raid you can just land 'behind' where the space station just passed over, and not worry for the next ~90 minutes.  The station's orbit will be easily plottable, so you can tell the raider group that you will be landing at X location, moving to Y location at a certain time, then moving to Z location for pickup.  Each location you move to is where the space station's ortillery footprint just went past, so the ortillery is effectively useless.  You just need to tell the raiding group to not be in the open by HH:MM, otherwise they will be spotted and splattered.

That's the thing though. The time factor would put pressure on the raiders to hurry. The defenders would also know routes, best landing places, and how long it'd take the station to be overhead. They could plot out where the raiders could be and arrange to meet them. Plus any delay on the ground means the station gets closer to firing on them.



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Don't know off-hand the time needed to change the orbit of a space station, using the .1G thrust they are capable of.  But plotting that would be the function of a Longscan system, where it plots the maximum possible change for the space station, the resulting ortillery locations, and allows the Captain of the raiders to be outside that attack area.  With the low acceleration of a space station, and only 90 minutes of advance prediction needed, this is fairly easy (scroll down to the Trumpet Bell Effect, and figure that as a rough estimate of the orbital path a space station will take as seen from 'above').

Other than guessing does Battletech have systems like that? As for plotting that can be used both ways.

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If it is a full attack needing dedicated ground repair/resupply, the space station should be fighting for its life against enemy ASF/Dropships.

One would think so. The old saying, "No plan survives contact with the enemy" is still valid though and applies to raids. What should  be a simple snatch and grab and turn into a pitched battle or a game of hide and seek. All kinds of things can go wrong which could require resupply and repairs.


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Space is really big and empty.  The space station's orbit will be fairly easy to spot.  Intercepting at the jump Point (Zone) is practically impossible (unless you are using ASF/Small Craft/Dropships).  Intercepting between either of the Jump Zones and the target planet means you have a 50/50 chance of being wrong, plus there is so much empty space that the Dropship can easily go around.  Intercepting in orbit means that the space station has to be in the right orbit at the right time, and the Dropship can just observe the space station and stay behind it transmitting "Neener-neener"

I never said it'd be easy. Plus all those things distract from the enemies mission.

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Warships carry the same weapons as a space station, and can maneuver to focus fire on a single target while minimizing return fire.  If the space stations cluster together for protection (an Empire State Formation), they are leaving the rest of the planet unprotected.

Yes warships can maneuver but doesn't the weight of those engines take from the tonnage that could be used on weapons?


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House rules are the only option I can see.

Most likely. I prefer to try to apply existing rules though, even if they need bending a little. Adding Extreme and LOS ranges is simple. Trying to work out rules for Rail Guns not so simple.

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From what I can see, there should be almost no difference.  Tactical Operations mentions that Medium satellites can be manned for various operations, so habitability is not the issue. The 2.5 MTon CASPAR space station would be unmanned, so technically it could be either.  Satellites built without engine systems can be built unmanned, but this limits what systems can be installed in them (i.e. anything that needs a human).  But that still counts as a satellite, not a space station.

I would think that Drone Remote Systems could also be used to have unmanned Satellites.


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Perhaps a space station is designed as something that can keep a separate environment from the vacuum outside?  This could be a dedicated gas chamber for detecting fusion reactors, to life support for humans, to an orbital aquarium.  A CASPAR system needs a separate cooling environment for its main supercomputer, while basic targeting systems don't.

A satellite is not designed for making the separate environment, and adding that capability would increase costs (eventually it would be cheaper to make it a space station).

I'd say that Space Stations are intended to be manned while Satellites, being manned is just an option. Thing is real life early space stations were Satellite sized. Even the larger ones were made up of satellite sized sections. So for me the only difference really isn't the size but having a crew. It doesn't work with the rules but that's how I think of them.


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Ah, you means putting the prisoner in an airlock, and disabling the internal door.  I was assuming an internal cell/box,


One with lots of sound proofing and no windows.

idea weenie

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Re: System Monitor style Warships and random ideas
« Reply #70 on: 22 February 2020, 12:05:14 »
That's the thing though. The time factor would put pressure on the raiders to hurry. The defenders would also know routes, best landing places, and how long it'd take the station to be overhead. They could plot out where the raiders could be and arrange to meet them. Plus any delay on the ground means the station gets closer to firing on them.

The fun part is a raiding Dropship can pick one of several locations, using their 1.5 G engine to rapidly change target location.  Unless the defenders know what the raiders are going after, there are plenty of nice targets.  Factories, water purification sites, precious metals, local jails (for pirate recruits), warehouses, etc.

But that is standard for any raid that occurs and the defenders know the incoming Drosphip is hostile.

Other than guessing does Battletech have systems like that? As for plotting that can be used both ways.

When one side has at least 30* the acceleration capability of the other side, plotting their landing site is a matter of guessing what they want based on available data and hoping they won't change course

One would think so. The old saying, "No plan survives contact with the enemy" is still valid though and applies to raids. What should  be a simple snatch and grab and turn into a pitched battle or a game of hide and seek. All kinds of things can go wrong which could require resupply and repairs.

The repairs can be performed on the Dropship, or just dump the mangled Mek into the cargo bay to deal with while leaving.  Attackers would have strict rules about how long to stay before their ride comes under fire.  ASF at a nearby spaceport would be a bigger threat than a space station.

Plus, if there is a space station for defense, I expect the attacker to ask for more money up front, either to hire more people/Mechs, or to purchase replacement Mechs that are abandoned due to damage.

I never said it'd be easy. Plus all those things distract from the enemies mission.

Space stations at the Z/N (or between the planet and the Jump points) without ASF, Small Craft, or DS support are at best notes for the attackers to ignore.  The best use for a space station in any of those locations is a forward observer to let the planet know what will be arriving.

Yes warships can maneuver but doesn't the weight of those engines take from the tonnage that could be used on weapons?

The engines take away tonnage, but if 3 Warships can bring their weapons to bear on a single space station due to the Warships maneuvering to keep the others out of range, then the space stations can be swatted one at a time.  The Space stations cannot support each other, and when the Warships are finished they can choose to leave (or having each of them leave as their armor gets reduced).  A space station with weak armor cannot retreat to protection of its fellow stations.

RifleMech

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Re: System Monitor style Warships and random ideas
« Reply #71 on: 22 February 2020, 15:02:48 »
The fun part is a raiding Dropship can pick one of several locations, using their 1.5 G engine to rapidly change target location.  Unless the defenders know what the raiders are going after, there are plenty of nice targets.  Factories, water purification sites, precious metals, local jails (for pirate recruits), warehouses, etc.

But that is standard for any raid that occurs and the defenders know the incoming Drosphip is hostile.

Sure but it is possible for a station to be parked in a location where the dropships movements would give a good indication of where they're going. Plus if the dropship moves to avoid the station you know its hostile and the defenders can prepare accordingly.


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When one side has at least 30* the acceleration capability of the other side, plotting their landing site is a matter of guessing what they want based on available data and hoping they won't change course

okay


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The repairs can be performed on the Dropship, or just dump the mangled Mek into the cargo bay to deal with while leaving.  Attackers would have strict rules about how long to stay before their ride comes under fire.  ASF at a nearby spaceport would be a bigger threat than a space station.

Plus, if there is a space station for defense, I expect the attacker to ask for more money up front, either to hire more people/Mechs, or to purchase replacement Mechs that are abandoned due to damage.

Depending on the era Mech's aren't going to be abandoned if it can be avoided. With strict times the Dropship could take off to avoid the Station but don't repairs under heavy or zero g take longer? Plus there's the travel time to get back to the ground units. Also isn't anything that throws off the attackers time table a good thing for the defenders?  The Dropship could keep avoiding the Station but the longer they stick around the more likely they'll miss their jumpship.

That would come under contract negotiations and depending on the era and the mission those hiring the merc might be agreeable to some compensation or laugh at them.


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Space stations at the Z/N (or between the planet and the Jump points) without ASF, Small Craft, or DS support are at best notes for the attackers to ignore.  The best use for a space station in any of those locations is a forward observer to let the planet know what will be arriving.

Even if the Space Stations didn't have ASF, SC, or DS, and I would think they'd have something, the early warning they can give the defenders would still spoil the attacker's plans.



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The engines take away tonnage, but if 3 Warships can bring their weapons to bear on a single space station due to the Warships maneuvering to keep the others out of range, then the space stations can be swatted one at a time.  The Space stations cannot support each other, and when the Warships are finished they can choose to leave (or having each of them leave as their armor gets reduced).  A space station with weak armor cannot retreat to protection of its fellow stations.


If the stations aren't placed right then no, they're not going to be able to support each other. Having the station outnumbered doesn't help either.

Charistoph

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Re: System Monitor style Warships and random ideas
« Reply #72 on: 06 March 2020, 14:10:08 »
Monitors in SF parlance usually refers to non-FTL capable ships.  More analogous to the original U.S.S. Monitor and other ships of her class, which could operate in coastal waters but was demonstrably not seaworthy.

Not in all cases.  There are a few where they are of a more titanic scale of ship, such as in Starfire and Dropfleet series.

Of course, there is the Monitor class of wet water vessel in the Battletech universe which could cause some level of confusion, along with the Hegemony Essex-class Warship to also be added to the not-Pocket Warships.

Yes warships can maneuver but doesn't the weight of those engines take from the tonnage that could be used on weapons?

Yes, however maneuver is one of the great strengths in battle allowing one to control initiative and there are many land forts in history who have faced naval fleets who found that out the hard way.  It's one of the strengths that the Navy has over the Air Force.
« Last Edit: 07 March 2020, 14:55:01 by Charistoph »
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RifleMech

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Re: System Monitor style Warships and random ideas
« Reply #73 on: 07 March 2020, 03:05:57 »
Yes, however maneuver is one of the great strengths in battle allowing one to control initiative and there are many land forts in history who have faced naval fleets who found that out the hard way.  It's one of the strengths that the Navy has over the Air Force.

Agreed.

 

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