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Re: Miniatures combat

Posted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:54 am
by SciFiGuy
Good post!

What I meant by several hundred-thousand miles away... the lag between the remote drone and the pilot back onboard the Mother Ship would be too long.
So, launch Joe Schmoe and have put a pair of Mk I's on the scene.

:)

Now I want to make some sort of wall-mountable surface that I can put a grid on and plot the courses of the elements on the board.
The Handy-Dandy clipboard underneath would hold the current x & y locations on the grid and the direction her nose is pointing, and it's delta vee.

Now we need a Java app that remembers all that stuff for us and we can plug it into view web browsers and see the board update in real time...

Re: Miniatures combat -- OTOH

Posted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:39 pm
by FingerAndToeGlenn
You're about to run a boarding scenario--so skirmish miniatures are also a possibility. Over at RPGNOW.COM there's a company Skeleton Key Games that makes a lot of ship layout tiles, as does another named Ki-Ryn Studios. At the same site, OneMonk does some good paper miniatures. The tile sets and miniatures are cheap and could be used with any rules set. Star Wars Miniatures Battles is readily available, but it's not my favorite.

Re: Miniatures combat

Posted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:44 am
by NefariousDrO
You know, with the quality artwork that's a part of this comic, plus the fantastic supporting material he has in his extras, you could easily set up markers using printouts of images of the craft. Deciding on the scale of your tabletop would be more difficult, as the comic is generally vague on acceleration and such of the ships involved. The problem with futuristic combat is that the top-line combat aircraft of today already engage their targets "over the horizon" (that is, beyond visual range of human eyesight) the only time aircraft dogfight eyeball-to-eyeball is when there's a requirement of confirming the nature of the target (i.e. make sure it's not a civilian plane in the wrong place at the wrong time) And in space it's really hard to disguise your heat signature, much less the emissions of a nuclear reactor. Stealth isn't really an option in space, so you either find something even more "noisy" to hide yourself in, or make darn sure nobody with big guns gets close enough to use them.
I know that from a story point of view it's not something we'd want to read about, but the U.S. military is trying really hard to develop drones able to operate autonomously, recognize profiles of known enemy craft/vehicles, etc. These are inevitable, and we as SciFi fans have to recognize that, unfortunately, the human will be the "great wizard" in the background sending out the mechanicals to do the ugly part. Machines are alot cheaper than people. Now that said, I don't see computers getting smart enough to fully replace us. I do see, however, drones that are basically sensor-platforms being launched from fighters. Small and fast, they close in and locate/ID the exact nature of the targets. They're expendable, so you don't care if they emit lots of EM noise. In fact, while your enemy is blasting them, you've got more information on their weapons. Now you have more details on the profile, you feed that to your missiles and launch. While the enemy is dealing with that problem, you close in even more, and keep hitting him with as many missiles and such as you can. You want to hurt him before he can hurt you.
Think of submarine warfare: torpedos can self-target using sonar, and aircraft drop sonar buoys to locate submarines so that the ships don't have to use active sonar, but rely on someone else to announce their location and then get shot at for it.
Sorry, this has gotten rather long, but it's my take on a table-top of space warfare.

Re: Miniatures combat

Posted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 5:47 am
by neutral stalker
you know, after reading this, i gotta say im intrigued to see what develops. if things work out, somebody could end up making several nerds severely---nevermind, but yeah, keep out dice rolls and random stuff like that...ive played a lot of hex based miniature games that end very badly because of a few lucky,(or unlucky as the case may be) dice rolls...not saying any names... *cough* WARCRAFT *cough*

Re: Miniatures combat

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:50 pm
by Dhraakellian
neutral stalker wrote:keep out dice rolls and random stuff like that...ive played a lot of hex based miniature games that end very badly because of a few lucky,(or unlucky as the case may be) dice rolls...not saying any names... *cough* WARCRAFT *cough*
I'd be inclined to disagree.

The whole game shouldn't rely on dice rolls alone, certainly, but you still need that element of chance.

http://darthsanddroids.net/episodes/0038.html (RPG rather than tabletop miniatures wargame, but still)

Re: Miniatures combat

Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:08 pm
by neutral stalker
well, i guess i could understand that. now i'll go back to playing dnd.

Re: Miniatures combat

Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:56 pm
by SciFiGuy
I'm printing out some custom-made graph paper on A2-sized paper, laminate it, and mount it on my office wall.
Couple of grease pencils and some reference cards to track the vectors for the ships and I'll be right.
Planning on a weapons range device of some sort - either a circular piece of laminated paper, a protractor/compass, or two pins with a piece of measured string between them.

I'm hoping to get some metal sheeting that a magnet will stick to and if I do, I'll mount the paper to the metal sheet and get some small magnets from Tandy/Dick Smith & glue paper markers to them.

I'm going over some final numbers in a spreadsheet, trying to find a good scale that takes into consideration both weapons range and ship accelleration.

I'll take a photo of it & post it when I have it set up.

Re: Miniatures combat

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:49 am
by NefariousDrO
Wow, you're really going to be set up! I like your vector arrows idea, I wonder how best to account for weapons range. What scares me about simulating space combat is that an awful lot of targeting is going to be more like probability than anything else. You're sensors can tell you where the ship was several seconds ago (or even longer, how scary is that?) and the relative trajectory, but you're going to be doing guesswork on where it's going to by the instant you fire, and then where it's going to be the time your weapon reaches said destination. Yikes, talk about blind man's bluff! Lessons from submarine warfare might help: inert projectiles will be traveling at scary speeds, and be darn hard to detect, but are slow compared to lasers. Lasers pack alot of energy, but you have to hold your laser on target long enough for that energy to build up enough to do some real damage. Plasma weapons will pack alot more punch, take up less storage space, but disperse very fast. Given how weapons are portrayed in the comic, I tend to assume that they are projected plasma or some such, rather than lasers. Of course, the engagements we've seen are close in, so maybe others are going to be very different. I hope you enjoy math!

Re: Miniatures combat

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:19 am
by neutral stalker
2d space travel. fun times. take that einstein!

anyways, sounds cool.

Re: Miniatures combat

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:11 pm
by Dhraakellian
NefariousDrO wrote:What scares me about simulating space combat is that an awful lot of targeting is going to be more like probability than anything else. You're sensors can tell you where the ship was several seconds ago (or even longer, how scary is that?) and the relative trajectory, but you're going to be doing guesswork on where it's going to by the instant you fire, and then where it's going to be the time your weapon reaches said destination. Yikes, talk about blind man's bluff!
Have you ever played Battlefleet Gothic?

There's a weapon on some of the Imperial ships called the Nova Cannon. Basically, you point it at the enemy ship, it fires exactly in that direction, but you have to estimate the range yourself (in centimeters) with no premeasuring.

Froggy and I were both scarily good shots with that thing, but I know that he, at least, looks for systems without that guestimation element these days. (I, on the other hand, just tend to not do much of any miniatures wargaming these days.)