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Cloaking Devices = SWU Submarines?
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 4:07 am    Post subject: Cloaking Devices = SWU Submarines? Reply with quote

The only mention ever made of cloaking devices in the OT (or the prequels, for that matter), was Captain Needa saying no ship that small (the size of the Millennium Falcon) has a cloaking device. I've always thought it was rather unfortunate that WEG took that one phrase and turned cloaking devices into the Holy Grail of stealth instead of doing something fun and useful with them. Based on the Thrawn trilogy's description of cloaking tech, I think it would be a very exciting optional rule to make cloaking devices more common and to have cloaking device equipped ships behave like WWII submarines. Here's what I propose:

-Cloaking devices as described by WEG are more like 2nd generation technology, almost the equivalent of nuclear submarines compared to diesel submarines. 1st. Gen cloaked ships would normally operate uncloaked, only using the cloak when stealth was a necessity, while 2nd Gen. could operate indefinitely and be subject to far fewer restraints on their performance.

-Since no common sensors can detect a cloaked ship, I invented a new one: Subspace Detection and Ranging. The premise is, even with a full cloak, a ship will still be present in space, and will create "ripples" in the fabric of subspace that can be detected by "SuDAR". A SuDAR equipped vessel can also use active subspace pulses to detect a cloaked ship, but will automatically give away its own position, so most vessels tend to stick with passive scanning.

-Crystal Gravfield Trap Arrays are the only known sensors that can detect a cloaked ship, but they are rare and expensive. However, the original description of the CGT said nothing about an array, just a single Crystal Gravfield Trap. The premise here is that CGT Arrays would be a field of multiple CGTs tied into a single processor that could extrapolate a cloaked vessel's location based on variations in the sensor signatures. CGTs would act like MAD sensors (Magnetic Anomaly Detectors, which don't provide exact location, but they do give you a sensor spike if you pass to close to a magnetic anomaly, like the metallic hull of a ship). I see CGTs doing the same thing; pass to close to a cloaked ship, and your ship's CGT will detect the mass.

-Periscopes would have their equivalent in the form of stealthed sensor pods that could be extended through the cloaking field to make normal sensor readings without dropping the cloak.

This is something I thought of years ago, but have had to put on the back burner for a variety of reasons. It's pretty late where I am, but I'd like some list input on this.

Thoughts?
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Fallon Kell
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had thoughts along similar lines. (The torpedo boat that looks like a crocodile and the low observable destroyer on my artwork thread are a result of this thinking!) I always understood cloaking devices as a way to warp light and sensor emissions seamlessly around a star ship. The essential guide to weapons and technology also lists a double-blind effect which would, I suppose be the effect of sensor emissions being wrapped back around to the cloaked ship.

There seem to be a couple of simpler ways to solve the problem of hiding a space ship, though. The first is using light and sensor absorbing materials like the RAM we use on modern stealth aircraft. I'd say this would increase the cost of your ship by 200 to 300% and provide a significant bonus to resist detection. (4D? 6D?) You would be restricted to passive sensors, and you probably wouldn't be able to charge energy weapons without showing up on enemy sensors.

A second method would be to use destructive interference to neutralize EM, engine, and reflected sensor emissions. This would provide invisibility, active sensor resistance, no double-blind effect, and the ability to fire weapons, but it would probably have a "burn-through" range where a sensor system could overpower the countermeasures. Weapons fire would give away your position, and the processing requirements would be enormous and extremely expensive to name a few other restrictions.

These methods would make invisible ships uncommon, but not extremely rare like in the EU.
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Rerun941
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check out the New Republic stealthships, the Prowler and the Ferret from Cracken's Threat Dossier.

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Prowler-class_reconnaissance_vessel
http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Ferret-class_reconnaissance_vessel

Just scale those up a little bit and you have instant submarines (at least WWII era submarines)
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rerun941 wrote:
Check out the New Republic stealthships, the Prowler and the Ferret from Cracken's Threat Dossier.

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Prowler-class_reconnaissance_vessel
http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Ferret-class_reconnaissance_vessel

Just scale those up a little bit and you have instant submarines (at least WWII era submarines)


That would work, but one of my goals here is to bring cloaking devices more into the main stream. If I were to make up cloaking device stats, they wouldn't simply provide a bonus to avoid detection; it would be impossible to detect a cloaked ship without a ship equipped with specific sensor types, in much the same way that a submerged ship can't be seen or picked up on radar in the real world.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While i could see a lesseining of the availability for cloaks, i don't see them being a mainstream tech.. look at earth.. We have had decent cloak tech (stealth tech) for what, 30+ years. But other than a few countries who have those planes, it is not out there for anyone to get.
That is how i see SW as being for cloak tech. We had Darth maul's cloak ship, the thrawn stealth tech and the shadow x fighters in the NJO..
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Rerun941
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the big difference is that in submarine warfare you have a complete medium change. (Three if you count surface, air and submerged.)

A better comparison/analogy would be if a ship could disappear into hyperspace and reappear at will (without traversing any distance). That would be more akin to a submarine diving to avoid detection.

Babylon 5 had this kind of setup with their jumpgates. And an anime movie I once saw called Sol Bianca had a neat effect that was very similar.

So, back in realspace you'd need a gravity well projector or hyperspace transceivers and other technobabble stuff to detect, attack and "flush out" the hypership.
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jmanski
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the idea of the WWII subs (I've had that idea floating in my head for some time now, as well). But I can't decide if cloaking is involved or not. I'd say cloaking for short periods as well as lots of stealth like the Prowler.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jmanski wrote:
I like the idea of the WWII subs (I've had that idea floating in my head for some time now, as well). But I can't decide if cloaking is involved or not. I'd say cloaking for short periods as well as lots of stealth like the Prowler.


Cloaking for short periods would be in line with WWII submarines, which traveled on the surface more often than they submerged, using their submersible ability to make stealth approaches and break contact with pursuers. Often, torpedo attacks would be made while the ship was surfaced.

Basically what I want to do is keep the high-end WEG cloaking device as technologically similar to a nuclear submarine, while the more common type of cloaking device would be more akin to diesel subs, which operated primarily on the surface, could submerge when needed, but could not operate submerged for extended periods of time. A Type 1 Cloaking Device (Diesel Sub equivalent) would not be able to use its hyperdrive and cloaking device simultaneously, but could possibly use its backup hyperdrive on a limited basis. It wouldn't be able to run its main drive at full capacity while cloaked, nor could it use any weapons other than its torpedo tubes, although it would still be equipped with cannon. There are a few other limiting factors that I'm working on that mostly parallel the limitations of WWII era submarines, such as not being to run their diesel engines while submerged and vulnerability to depth charges and the like.
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jmanski
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As long as you post what you come up with.... Smile
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Giving this a bump because I'm curious to see people's opinions on what the stats for a cloaking device would actually look like. In particular, I'd like to hear thoughts as to how the double-blind effect affects the cloaked ship with regard to piloting, sensors and fire control.
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Saikoyu
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One, not sure if this was before the Clone Wars episode came out, or you all are just ignoring it, but in Cat and Mouse Anakin pilots a Stealth Ship which is mostly a high speed WW2 sub type of thing. They can see out, but it is invisible to the eye and most sensors, and can not fire while cloaked. Other points are that apparently the cloak can be seen through if another ship gets close enough, as at a point a flight of driod bombers fly by and they shut down main power to not get detected. Also the ship can be located by locking on to the magnetic signature before it cloaks. IT also had flares to distract incoming missiles. So I think this mostly matches the WW2 sub idea better than a double blind type of cloak since during WW2 the sub could usually see out pretty well, while the surface ships could not see in.

Game Stats wise, I would give the cloak the following:

Cloak
Can not fire any weapons while cloaked
While Cloaked +20 difficulty to detect or hit
If within close range (point blank) +10 to detect or hit unless cloaked ship shuts down main power then +20
If ship decloaks and then recloaks, ships gains +5 to detect/to hit each round until reaches max of +20

If uncloaked ship can be locked onto with magnetic sensors (standard equipment for military grade ships) and fired upon with tracking torpedoes (standard equipment for larger warships), even if the ship cloaks again.

Now if you want to go full Das Boot, I cooked this up after watching the Space Battleship Yamato 2199 reboot which has an actual space submarine: Link Here, warning its all in Japanese Please note this is pretty much a direct conversion of SBY mechanics into the WEG D6 frame. So the hyperdrive is based on the SBY jump or warp drive and the shields are the same.

Craft: Space Submarine
Type: Prototype
Scale: Captial
Length: 144m
Crew:110; gunners:11, Skeleton:3 /+5
Passengers: 5
Cargo Capacity:100 Mt
Consumables: 3 months
Cost:Priceless
Hyperdrive Multiplier: X1
Hyperdrive Backup: N/A (Uses “Jump” drive, roughly equivalent in speed to a X0.01 hyperdrive, but each minute of travel time requires one hour of recovery time)
Maneuverability: 2D
Space units: 4
Atmosphere: 280;800kmh
Hull: 3D
Shields: 1D (only when not “submerged”)
Sensors:
Passive: 6/1D
Scan: 12/2D
Search: 20/3D
Focus: 2/4D

Weapons:
1 Deck Gun:
Fire Arc:Front/left/right
Crew:2
Skill: Cap Ship Gunnery
Fire Control: 1D
Space Range:1-5/20/50
Damage: 4D

1 Anti-Starfighter Gun:
Scale: Starfighter
Fire Arc:Back/Left/Right
Crew:1
Fire Control: 2D
Space Range:1-3/10/20
Damage: 5D

8 Torpedo Launchers:
Fire Arc: 6 Front, 2 rear
Crew:1
Skill: Cap Ship Gunnery
Fire Control: 1D
Space Range:1-6/12/18 (subspace: 2-6/12/18)
Damage: 9D

NOTE:
The ship can't deploy the shields in the same round that they have just used the jump drive or “submerged” as they pull from the same power source. The shields cover all arcs and should they be blow or drop, the jump drive or "submerge drive" can't be used until the power sources comes back online.

This ship does not cloak per say in order to hide, but rather translates into a separate parallel dimension, similar to hyperspace. This dimension can be used to travel large distances in dimensional jumps, however, with proper modifications to a drive, the effect can be stretched out until a ship will stay in the same area of local space relative to both dimensions. On this ship, the effect can be controlled to the point of having parts of the ship in realspace, while the rest of the ship is in this, “subspace.” This is useful as most sensors do not work well between dimensions. Active sensors loose half their range between dimensions (but their use will instantly give away the position of the ship making the broadcast), and passive sensors loose any bonuses to their use. Most operators tend to put their sensor sets in an audio visual mode to track down any hint of the ship. However, the precise ability to have part of the ship in realspace with the rest hidden in subspace allows the use of a visual and sensor probe to be “raised” in order to locate targets. This is a miniscule target (very difficult to detect and hit) and even if detected, the ship itself in subspace can not be harmed by most conventional weapons. If necessary, more of the ship can be moved to realspace in order to bring the deck gun into play.

Weapons can not pass from real space to subspace, however, in order to stay in subspace, a working engine must be maintained at all times. Therefor, large torpedoes such as on this ship and other physical weapons can be launched from the ship and will then translate by themselves back to realspace. However, an attack can only be made with the targeting data gathered by a direct realspace observation, passive or even active sensors can not make the necessary targeting observations between the realspace/subspace interface unless firing mostly blind (-3D to target, and no bonus from fire control, minimum 1D). Energy weapons of any type do not work in subspace.

Also, these torpedo attacks can be shoot down, as they emerge into realspace 1 space unit after leaving the submarine, and require 1 more space unit to be able to target and explode (no subspace to realspace attack can be made at lest than 2 space unit distance, and 1 space unit will also be in realspace (torpedoes travel at 6 space units per round, but if the distance is less than 6 SU, you still get the full round to attack. After 18 SU, three rounds, the torpedo self destructs as it runs out of power) Very Hard roll to hit but any hit will kill the torpedo.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I’m aware of it, but it’s obviously different than the WEG version, where you can’t see in or out.
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jmanski
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a thought: what if the cloak enveloped the ship, but a dedicated 'sub' would have a small cluster of passive sensors that protruded past the cloak to allow for a small bit of information (ala the periscope).
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jmanski wrote:
I had a thought: what if the cloak enveloped the ship, but a dedicated 'sub' would have a small cluster of passive sensors that protruded past the cloak to allow for a small bit of information (ala the periscope).

That was one of my original suggestions, IIRC. I picture it as a purely passive sensor that increases the detectability of the cloaked ship.
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Pel
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WWII boats (subs are boats, ships are targets) primarily operated on the surface under diesel power (we didn't have the German snorkel technology yet) and only submerged to attack, evade detection, or escape an attack. While submerged the boats operated on battery power with greatly reduced speed and endurance. If you want to capture the WWII atmosphere I suggest the following:

No new sensors are needed. Just increase the searcher's Sensors difficulty to find the cloaked ship. Passive sonar (listening only) was common, but active sonar (one ping only) less so. Remember that active sensors have a greatly reduced range from passive ones so if the pursuer gets close enough and goes active, the gig is probably up anyway. Also, CGT's could level the playing field and as cloaks become more prevalent, the Empire could refit dedicated hunters with those sensors or something equivalent.

While the ship is cloaked, I suggest a top speed of 20-25%% of maximum and then only for short duration before auxiliary power (the battery) is depleted, and no energy weapons or shields (torpedoes and missiles only). A cruising speed of 10% maximum should provide several hours of endurance to evade. You're basically limited by your battery capacity vs. speed and life support. Total EMCON is the rule and even a minor power or atmosphere leak (caused by damage or neglected maintenance) could leave a trail for pursuers to track the ship.
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