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Why "Torpedoes"?
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 4:35 pm    Post subject: Why "Torpedoes"? Reply with quote

Something that has long bothered me about missiles and torpedoes in the SWU is that there is no clear distinction between the two. Why is one a torpedo and the other a missile? What's the difference? Now, I have long been a proponent of missiles and torpedoes being blocked by shields, but I have recently been struck by a possible alternative.

In the real world, while torpedoes are far slower than missiles, they have the advantage of being practically impossible to intercept. Only recently has technology become available to provide anti-torpedo point defense for warships. I've been watching a lot of World of Warships replays lately, and that inability to shoot them down is a clear advantage. No matter how formidable a ship's anti-aircraft batteries may be, there is no way to stop a torpedo apart from not getting hit by them.

What I find myself wondering is if a torpedo might be a specific class of weapon that is specifically designed to penetrate defenses. The most obvious canon use of proton torpedoes shows them apparently sheathed in energy; what if this is a similar effect to bowcasters, a solid projectile in an energy sheath?

Suppose the energy sheath, combined with relatively slow speed, allows proton torpedoes to slip through energy shields.

I'm just spit-balling here, mostly because I'm trying to find a way to make torpedoes for my cloaked ship concept more in line with real-world torpedoes, but I do like the idea of there being a substantive difference between missiles and torpedoes, for several reasons.

Thoughts?
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Raven Redstar
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the idea. It's also supported by the films: "The shaft is ray-shielded, so you'll have to use proton torpedoes."

You also didn't see Tarkin getting updates that the fighters were firing torpedoes, so you could speculate that all ships but the one firing have no idea it's been fired, or where it's headed except by Mk-1 eyeball.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Raven Redstar wrote:
I like the idea. It's also supported by the films: "The shaft is ray-shielded, so you'll have to use proton torpedoes."

That was on my mind as well, although the concept of a solid projectile in an energy sheath would seem to turn the WEG concept of ray shields - a shield that stops only energy weapons - on its head, as a ray shield would block the energy. And of course, there is still a need for the weapon to be able to make the 90 degree turn at precisely the right moment to go down the exhaust port, but perhaps the relatively low speed plays into that as well...
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Raven Redstar
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unless you think of the energy sheath like the ray shield equivalent of Teflon on a bullet. The ray-shield grabs onto the energy sheath allowing the torpedo to slip through.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unless we're thinking about ray shields wrong.

There are two different kinds of shields mentioned in the original film: ray shields and deflectors. What if the difference between the two is actually a difference in function, in that where deflector shields divert or dissipate projectiles and energy away from a ship, ray shields actually destroy or disrupt it. This would fall better in line with using ray shields to entrap Anakin and Obi-wan in RotS. Either way, an energy sheathed projectile could be designed specifically to penetrate both types of shields...
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Last edited by CRMcNeill on Sat Sep 01, 2018 7:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Raven Redstar
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That makes a lot of sense to me.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Why "Torpedoes"? Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
Something that has long bothered me about missiles and torpedoes in the SWU is that there is no clear distinction between the two. Why is one a torpedo and the other a missile? What's the difference? Now, I have long been a proponent of missiles and torpedoes being blocked by shields, but I have recently been struck by a possible alternative.

In the real world, while torpedoes are far slower than missiles, they have the advantage of being practically impossible to intercept. Only recently has technology become available to provide anti-torpedo point defense for warships. I've been watching a lot of World of Warships replays lately, and that inability to shoot them down is a clear advantage. No matter how formidable a ship's anti-aircraft batteries may be, there is no way to stop a torpedo apart from not getting hit by them.

What I find myself wondering is if a torpedo might be a specific class of weapon that is specifically designed to penetrate defenses. The most obvious canon use of proton torpedoes shows them apparently sheathed in energy; what if this is a similar effect to bowcasters, a solid projectile in an energy sheath?

Suppose the energy sheath, combined with relatively slow speed, allows proton torpedoes to slip through energy shields.

I'm just spit-balling here, mostly because I'm trying to find a way to make torpedoes for my cloaked ship concept more in line with real-world torpedoes, but I do like the idea of there being a substantive difference between missiles and torpedoes, for several reasons.

Thoughts?


It's a nice idea, but as is, torpedos already do MORE damage than missiles in game (8d missile 9d torp, or advanced missiles doing 9d to advance torps doing 10).. So allowing torps to ignore shields, is giving them a major power boost..

For me the diff, is missiles can lock onto targets and 'pursue' them, while torps can't.
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Raven Redstar
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
For me the diff, is missiles can lock onto targets and 'pursue' them, while torps can't.


I don't remember seeing any rules that say that. Do you have a source or is it a house rule?
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 10:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Why "Torpedoes"? Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
It's a nice idea, but as is, torpedos already do MORE damage than missiles in game (8d missile 9d torp, or advanced missiles doing 9d to advance torps doing 10).. So allowing torps to ignore shields, is giving them a major power boost..

For me the diff, is missiles can lock onto targets and 'pursue' them, while torps can't.

See, I'd like to combine both your points. Make torpedoes big, clumsy and slow, but can pack a major punch while degrading the effectiveness of shields, then make missiles fast and smart, but with a lighter punch. Per the RAW, concussion missiles aren't that different from proton torpedoes, just slightly less damage and better range. Besides, advanced torps aren't actually part of the RAW, just somebody's house rule as part of a badly done attempt to make stats for the X-Wing / TIE Fighter games.

Raven Redstar wrote:
I don't remember seeing any rules that say that. Do you have a source or is it a house rule?

There's a rule in Pirates & Privateers for a homing concussion missile. I don't think the rule is all that great, but it does at least show that the RAW acknowledges the capability.
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Raven Redstar
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So Torpedoes are anti-capital ship.

Missiles are anti-fighter/freighter.

We could drop the damage and up the scale for torpedoes.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Raven Redstar wrote:
So Torpedoes are anti-capital ship.

Missiles are anti-fighter/freighter.

More that Proton Torpedoes are for use against big, shielded stuff and missiles are for use against fast and maneuverable stuff, and the pilots will have to pick which types they want to load up on prior to take off.

And it's not that torps / missiles will be limited to a single size, either. I'm already picturing three different sizes of torpedoes; light ones launched by X-Wings, medium sized ones carried externally on strike fighters like the Y-Wing, and big ones fired by capital ships.
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Darklighter79
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you noticed how small are the torpedoes (diameter, length) on all presented schematics (compared to real world missiles on fighters)? Theoretically these could fired by a character...
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with the premise of this thread.

I never understood why anyone who could choose torpedoes or missiles would ever choose missiles.

I think that a good "lock on" rule would be nice for missiles (heck, just give them a fire control bonus if you want to keep it super simple), while torpedoes can be more destructive, but less versatile (make them easy for small ships to dodge, for example. Perhaps by way of the scale system).

Another basic idea for locking on could simply be that a missile will continue to pursue it's target until it hits (something), or runs out of fuel (or, it gets diverted to another target by way of confusing it's heat sensors or some such). This simply forces the target to take a MAP to dodge the missile, making it that much harder to engage enemy fighters.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
I agree with the premise of this thread.

I never understood why anyone who could choose torpedoes or missiles would ever choose missiles.

I think that a good "lock on" rule would be nice for missiles (heck, just give them a fire control bonus if you want to keep it super simple), while torpedoes can be more destructive, but less versatile (make them easy for small ships to dodge, for example. Perhaps by way of the scale system).

Another basic idea for locking on could simply be that a missile will continue to pursue it's target until it hits (something), or runs out of fuel (or, it gets diverted to another target by way of confusing it's heat sensors or some such). This simply forces the target to take a MAP to dodge the missile, making it that much harder to engage enemy fighters.

I actually addressed all of this in my Advanced Starfighter Combat System.

Here's an example of a Standard Concussion Missile under that system that addresses pretty much everything you mentioned:
    Standard Concussion Missile
    Cost: 1,500
    Skill: Starship Gunnery
    Lock-On Time: 1 standard action (for MAP purposes. Firing may be split between two rounds if the player chooses)
    Fire Control: 4D (7D for Follow-Up Attacks)
    Space Range: 1-5/12/25
    Atmosphere Range: 100m-500m/1.2km/2.5km
    Duration: 4 rounds (Once duration ends, the missile runs out of fuel and self destructs).
    Damage: 6D
    Special: If the missile misses, compare the degree of miss on the Gunnery roll to the following table.
      Missed By = Result
      <10 = Weapon is still homing, and may attack as normal the following round.
      10-20 = Weapon is out of position, but still in range. May not attack its target next round, but can attack normally in the round after next.
      21+ = Weapon has lost lock and can not re-engage. Safety settings engage and the weapon self destructs.

With this as an option, I can still see a use for WEG-type unguided concussion missiles. Ships like the A-Wing are equipped (per the EU if not the RAW) with tube-style concussion missile launchers that are smaller in diameter than proton torpedoes. An A-Wing could still find a use for a powerful, short range unguided rocket for use against much heavier targets (like, say, the bridge deflector screen projectors on an Executor-Class Super Star Destroyer).
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darklighter79 wrote:
Have you noticed how small are the torpedoes (diameter, length) on all presented schematics (compared to real world missiles on fighters)? Theoretically these could fired by a character...

Star Wars tech definitely has achieved a much greater degree of miniaturization than real-world tech. It's likely the warheads used are not "conventional," perhaps using thermonuclear, anti-matter or some form of extremely powerful explosives to achieve yields far in excess of "normal" explosives.

For the purposes of this rule, however, I doubt I'd allow characters to shoot shoulder-fired variants of this. If pressed, I'd just say that the energy packet surrounding the torpedo is too intense and hazardous for unprotected characters to survive the launch. That, too, is not without precedent in the RW.
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