The ship doesn't have anything close to that performance. When operating with NTR it will usually have no more than 10km/s delta v, while operating with MPD it will have acceleration in the microgees. It's not a torchship, it's just got two very different systems of engines - sort of like two gears.
Pretty much everyone puts an MPD on their ships nowadays, because they are very little additional mass and give a ton of additional delta v. You can't use them in deep gravity wells due to the glacial acceleration, though.
Essentially, yes. The NTRs are only meant for orbital and emergency combat maneuvers. The MPDs are meant for interplanetary travel. Completely untested in Jovian systems due to lag issues, so I don't know how much utility it may have there.
I haven't played in a while, but if I recall it had around 12 km/s NTR dV, but at least 10 km/s. Enough to dodge a bit of KE fire and hypervelocity missiles that the lasers can't burn and hopefully have enough propellant to rendezvous with a tender.
Since you guys didn't like my railgun design and it didn't kill gunboats fast enough, I made a more optimized design. It's an autocannon that can fire 4 450t nuclear cartridges per second, and is still fairly light and spammable. I put 24 of those on a ship that goes fast, resulting in a rate of fire of ~5,800 RPM.
How do they even work? Or do you mean pulsed lasers?
I mean projectile weapons with very low projectile mass and extreme muzzle velocity. 5 Mm/s within a 10,000 km engagement range is effectively instant, hence the comparison to lasers. As to how they end up working, I see that as kind of irrelevant as long it's not prohibitively massive or costly. Advanced railguns or Induction coilguns could achieve the desired performance.
I wonder what the people who voted "None of the above" have in mind. Warp bubble cannons aren't exactly feasible as far as we know. Cassaba howitzers would be most useful as warheads on missiles. Bomb-pumped X-ray lasers would still fall under the "Laser" category. I can't really see ballista's competing with the list above. Or do they think conventional/explosive cannons will be dominant? Or light gas guns? Or RAM-accelerators? Or blast wave accelerators? Particle cannons perhaps?
I leaned towards a mixture of weapon systems as well. There will be a niche for every weapon type.
As we've seen laserstar/swarms are likely to be the main offensive weapon. Useful for point defence at all ranges and able to snipe enemy subsystems. But highpervelocity missiles will be useful for saturation attacks in combat and possibly orbital/infastructure bombardment. Kenetic CWIS can serve as a last line of defence (especially when nuclear). Needleguns strip radiators at MM range. Micromissiles are cheap and can be launched by the thousands. Slideshows aside a 10,000 missile barge is possible and damned hard to counter. Not only that but it can be cheap.
There is a use for everything.
I see a large, needle-shaped cruiser with an interplanetary MPD/NTR combo drove that carries a wide range of specialized drones. (I like to call it a "Strike Cruiser"). This carrier itself should be able to fight if it has to, but drones should be able to maintain defense out to at least 10Mm. The carrier may carry "laser booms" and sandblaster armor for protection but most combat will be done by massed laser drones in in attrition style warfare. Current lasers, FELs, or whatever works best but drone swarms all the same that can be replenished and managed by the cruiser. This sphere of effective laser coverage acts as a "shield" around the cruiser, which can throw HKVs around at leisure while able to stay nose on against the greatest threat to maximize its armor. Parking one of these guys in orbit would be like having a Nimitz class in port. They'd be a force projection/planetary assault platform.
So yeah, something like that as the dominant "weapon".
Interesting. Are most of the guns surviving? It would be interesting to set the AI to a mode that will target those first, or put the drones on AI and run the Deep Fryers yourself. And they have a lot of DV, so they could try to avoid the high-speed encounter, but their acceleration isn't that high so maybe not?
That said, I think it looks likely at this point that skinny railgun drones are a hard counter to pure-MPD laserstars. I'm getting similar results; 50Kc of 'Duck' drones will get the kill against one DF AI-on-AI and so far I'm not doing much better operating the laser manually. Which is ridiculous, although those drones have very little dV to spare and modest (1G+) acceleration, so they're a lot more susceptible to countermeasures and would likely require a carrier drone in many situations, which will at least triple the cost (still cheap). MPD Laser drones would do better but I'm not sure they'd be enough better. Dodging might be effective; one thing I noticed in my testing was that the drones would expose their sides while trying to keep intercept with a dodging target, which is of course bad.
Another interesting question is whether there's an easy counter for this class of drone. In my very limited testing they do well against most things.
It may be that the meta ends up being about MPD-drive (or MPD/resistojet hybrid?) drone carriers fighting to arrange/prevent their desired/disliked intercept speeds.
as one of them veers off, a salvo of sprint type missiles launch onto intercept before you can say vampire
As a hard counter a few 1MW point defence lasers could just be slapped on.
I did a quick test with a 1.7m thick diamond radiation shield, and it looks like the drones are effective even in a completely legit loadout. The shield brought the combined price up to 11 Mc though, so I'll need to do some further testing to see how cheap I can make them. Here's an image showing one surviving drone. The turrets aren't even protected by the shield, but they still survived fine with their own diamond armor.
I would say this one would be exploit free, and it should still add protection to the guns instead of mounting them on the nose. A shot showing a closeup of the barrels level with the hull would help, but it looks like the guns are mounted so that they fire clear of the forward armor. Thought about adding a large spacer so it's got an armored nosecone to defect sandblasters? A rad shield bulkhead would still protect against getting hulled by lasers.
I've had some success with the micro-railgun-drones I just posted in the Share Your Designs thread; they will often kill Deep Fryers and occasionally survive with as little as one 3Kc drone per 100Mw laser. There may be something funky going on with targeting or damage model for extremely small frontal area... I can repost that here with a carrier if people are interested.
Going to have to try to hybridize it with this other thing now
Ultimately I suspect the lasers will be forced to a broadside MPD/resistojet model, which will be much harder.
I know I would like to see it. Are you using a boost vehicle or do the drones themselves burn towards the target?
I would also love to see broadsides make a comeback. Ive always thought they had merit.
This thread seems more appropriate for continuing my anti-laser ship posting so I'll use this from now on.
Apophys previously said that my win against his laser star was moot since my ship died before any bullets hit home, rendering my clear victory invalid. I was also a little unhappy with the near-draw result, so I created a ship that can take down the laser star without any losses. My first idea was to use a drone, leaving the launching ship intact and therefore I could claim to have won the fight in a very obvious manner. However, after some tweaking, I was able to create a drone that can destroy the laser boat without dying itself. The secret lies in its two meter thick diamond armor plate that covers only the nose of the ship. It provides a thick enough obstacle for the laser that the drone can empty its ammo bin without losing too many cannons, and can survive until the laser ship is torn into bits by the cannon fire.
The full package costs a whopping 10 kc less than apophys's design, meaning that it would've been the better choice even if both the ship and launcher died in combat. However, since both the drone and the launcher survived, there should be no question of which design is the superior one, hopefully finally proving that lasers are not the only good weapon in the game, as some people seem to think.
I had a go against the laser boat apophys linked and I sort of beat it. That is to say, both ships died but mine had less people and credits in it so it's way more efficient The laser boat has practically no thrust, so I don't need to worry about dodging, which means that conventional guns can easily hit it even from 1000km away.
My design. It's ~400kc cheaper and has one less crew than the ship apophys used.
A few seconds into the combat. My ship died but it managed to squirt off a few hundred rounds before that. Now we wait.
About a minute later, the bullets are still on their way. Getting closer though.
And here we go. The laser boat died instantly since it has no armor. There's only a few broken pieces left of it.
This only works because of terrible AI; it stops trying to dodge as soon as all enemies are dead (even if projectiles are en route). The acceleration would be more than enough to dodge conventional cannons if it actually tried.
10 mg0 acceleration would move the ship over 700 m distance (more than enough to dodge everything) in 2 minutes. Here's a calculator.
Oh that's handy.
Like jtyotjotjipaefvj said, I think hypervelocty kill vehicles have some good potential to beat the "laser gap". Kenetics themselves not so much, but a good sandblaster bomb can do a lot of damage.
"The US Navy has teamed up with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to develop and 3D print a proof-of-concept submersible. The collaborative team was set the challenge to design, print and assemble the vehicle in just 4 weeks and they have achieved just that."
Neat. I wonder how long it would take to print out a missile with a few hundred years of tech maturation?
Meanwhile, I'm over here designing the absolute dumbest concept I can think of.
I present to you, the Trireme:
Secondary armament consists of a battery of conventional cannons, but the primary armament is simply a massive vanadium chromium steel nosecone for ramming anyone dumb enough not to get out of your way.
Basically, it's a manned KKV, because, well, why the hell not? It's horribly finicky to use because the default crewed homing command uses such naive guidance, but when it does actually hit, it's hilarious.
Needs giant osmium radiators.
Wait, does that work? Why don't I already have that on my KKVs?
I do believe this concept was touched on back around November. Theyre cool, but I imagine mass-for-mass blast launched frags would be more effective.