Post by realscifi on Apr 21, 2018 9:10:07 GMT
I would envisage "denfensive" being a targeting option assigned to weapon modules as an alternative to "target ships" or "target shots".
A weapon with "defensive" ticked would then have a number of shots selected (or dwell time for a laser weapon).
A defensive weapon would cycle through all targets within range starting with the closest and fire the selected number of shots at each before moving on to the next. It would not re-engage a target until both all other valid targets were engaged and the forst batch of shots had passed it / been neutralised (in a similar manner to max payloads in flight for missile launchers). Targets would be shared between all available defensive weapons.
For example a 60mm cannon with "defensive" targeting and 10 shots selected, would, when a 50 strong missile salvo enters range fire 10 shots at the closest missile then move on to the next firing 10 shots at it and so on. After all 50 missiles are engaged the system would stop firing until the first 10 shots had passed the first missile at which point it would fire another 10 shots at it and so on.
Similarly an interceptor missile launcher with 1 shot selected would fire 1 missile at each target and not fire any more until the first missiles had engaged their targets. For a missile system it may also be appropriate to add a minimum engagement range below which missiles would not be fired (instead engagement would be transferred to a gun based system, giving a layered defensive system).
The advantage of this is that when faced with a large missile swarm the defensive weapons would not start shooting at one target and carry on focused on it until it is destroyed but would engage a much larger number of the missiles (potentially destroying a larger number of them). The other proposed advantage is that because the system would operate indepently of a human operator (in a similar manner to a modern close in weapon system) it would not require crewing during an engagement.
The disadvantage of the system arise from not being crewed during an engagement and are:
1. The system never ignores range.
2. The system cannot be assigned targeting priorites
3. The system cannot target modules.
However it would permit a ship to be fitted with 60 x 60mm cannon to beat off missile attacks without increasing crew requirements. Further it should be an option that would be relatively easy to include in the game.