"The Sheilds, they wont hold, Captain!"

jedion357's picture
February 6, 2011 - 7:31am
This thread is for defenses

this area is one that particularly bugs me about KHs- having an Electron or Proton Screen that may or may not come in handy vs 1 weapon on the opposing ship. better to dump that in favor of another weapon which will come in handy.

In the house rules wiki Will proposed:Magnetic Deflection Shielding(MS): Also called mag shielding, this projects a field of coherent magnetic force equally effective against beam and missile attacks. This replaces all other energy screens in the game.

There is something to be said for this

I'm not ready to dump the MS as that is a great idea. and water is so valuable as fuel, and as a resource for living creatures.

I'm not sure I buy Will's : Anti-Beam Missiles(ABM): A system similar to the interceptor missile launcher, an ABM launcher fires missiles which blanket a hex with ice crystals and metallic chaff, the latter serving to attenuate the power of proton, electron and disruptor beams as well as lasers. ABMs completely replace masking screens in my SF game.

I have doubts that this system would be effective enough or that at the least that the number of missiles to make an effective screen would approach the huge quantity of water that a MS requires any way

I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

TerlObar's picture
February 6, 2011 - 9:51am
I'd have to agree that some sort of screen is needed to defend against beam weapons, a missile system just wouldn't work.  The only warning you have about a beam weapon comming your way is when it hits you.  Even at the 10,000 km/hex of the KH board, a laser beam crosses the entire board in 1.6 seconds.  It reaches it's maximum range in ~0.3 seconds.  Much to short of a time for a missile system to react effectively.  You would have to deploy the defense in advance of the shot being fired and the attacker would know you have done so.

You have to assume that the electron, proton and disruptor beam weapons are firing relativistic particles (i.e. >0.9c) to have any sort of impact damage and so they cross the space in almost the same amount of time.
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Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
February 6, 2011 - 12:52pm
Or, like in Star Trek the defending ship has sensors capable of determine what weapons are charged and ready to fire. 

jedion357's picture
February 6, 2011 - 1:08pm
Even the MS screen needs to be deployed befor firing and prevents maneuvering for it to be effective.

So we need a screen system that is good against beam? do we like Wills Mag screen idea?

I like it simply because its a simplified defense - gets rid of the various screens well at least the proton and electron screens.

The stasis screen (possibly based of the freeze field tech and quantum physics) might be worth discussing in greater detail.

I've always loved the MS screen for romantic reasons- In a David Brin novel a lower tech Human and dolphin crewed ship fleeing from more advanced galactics dumps the water from the main hold/deck in a high speed sling shot around a gas giant -it turns into ice and the arrogant galactics get a little surprise following the ship around the gas giant. It was just cool and a believable way for lower tech to trump higher tech.

I would say for playability make the mag screen or something like it an good all around screen, but for better protection and if you can afford to just coast during combat a MS is the ticket, providing you have space.

stasis screen can be kept or dumped though I think we should talk out what its capabilities are and keep it as a advance/optional rule and or as a plot device for a KHs module aka The Philedelphia Experiment or TNG episode with the USS Pegasus phased half into an asteroid.

Missile defense: 1. jamming & ECM ie the White Noise Broadcaster, 2. ICM or counter missiles call them ICM for continuity with KHs 1e if you like, 3. last ditch close in defense clusters- small weapons that spit out lots of ordinance (laser or mass driven) to intercept the missiles on their final run
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Putraack's picture
February 6, 2011 - 1:28pm
Could point-defense (laser) clusters become a secondary mission for the Laser Battery? It may require a software upgrade to the standard weapon, but I think I'd rather see that than add another system to the game.

jedion357's picture
February 6, 2011 - 1:43pm
Putraack wrote:
Could point-defense (laser) clusters become a secondary mission for the Laser Battery? It may require a software upgrade to the standard weapon, but I think I'd rather see that than add another system to the game.

good point- so a HS 20 battle ship will load out a bunch of grade A laser batteries (normally intended for small ships) with a view to tasking them with point defense. its simpler and thats usually a good thing. Plus I was already seeing some problems with a laser cluster or rail gun cluster that was not suppose to do damage to hulls and thus only be used for defense.

I would say that a ship facing a fire storm of missiles would set all beam weapons to point defense, this means that a cannon mounted in a broadside mount that bears shoots at missiles, all batteries shoot (they're 360degrees) any spinal mounts that bear also shoot at missiles. if a ship has gone all up point defense and a broadside or spinal mount for some reason ends up not shooting it does not get to shoot at an enemy ship its been tasked for and locked into point defense.

the normal point defense would be all battery or all laser battery weapons as you specified. a player may specify that all laser batteries are on point defense while Mass Driver/rail gun batteries are firing at ships if he wants.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

RanulfC's picture
March 18, 2015 - 4:11pm
Magnetic Shields: Don't see them protecting against everything, only charged particle (electon/proton beams and frankly I'd use only ONE type of particle beam in the first place) beams, and technically any "plasma" weapons since that's a charged mass as well. Missiles will get right through as will solid (kinetic) projectiles and laser beams. I can see "Enterprise" type charged hull plates working similarly to the proton/electron screen if anyone wanted to really keep them in the game but frankly I don't see it as being more than a "trick" in the rules and not worth the effort.

I'd suggest laser batteries in probably three flavors (light/medium/heavy) of increasing size and power. The same for a set of Particle Accelerator Weapons, and Kinetic Accelerator Weapons with the smallest of all three being capable of being used as an anti-missile system when not used in an anti-shipping role. Cannon, or fixed mount versions of these would also be available including a "fighter" weapons version. (I'd also suggest that the decision on which role the lighter weapons be used in is done BEFORE use and that they can't be re-tasked in mid turn just for play balance)
I'd also like to see dedicated Point-Defense anti-fighter/missile systems available as its really a no-brainer for space use. The systems would be small, compact and fairly cheap for defense use as they would essentially have a "range" of zero (same hex) and be something governments would encourage instead of more "offensive" weapons.

Masking screen is of course highly un-realistic (the amount of water you'd have to put out AND seeded with things like chaff and metal particles to get the desired effect) is intially huge and it would totally disipate to a useless degree in seconds let alone a 10 minute turn. But "I" like it for the simple reason its a cheap and easy screen for non-military ships. The fact that it absorbs half the damage of a laser shot (and really I see no reason it wouldn't do the same for a particle beam shot) is a bonus but I've another suggestion for that as well

A possible "all-around" barrier defense system could be "Plasma-Armor" ala Galaxy Quest. Granted it was something "thrown-in" to imitate the shields in Star Trek but it turns out that you CAN actually "tune" plasma to absorb laser, and particle beams and take the edge off some damage from things like missiles and k-rounds.