Possible justifications for Point Defenseless

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Jub
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Re: Possible justifications for Point Defenseless

Post by Jub » 2018-05-06 10:18pm

PoisonSymic wrote:
2018-05-06 09:03pm
It is clearly indicated in TLJ that the siege dreadnought's defensive guns work exactly this way: Poe is able to destroy them even though it's explicitly stated that his X-Wing's weapons are too light to penetrate the dreadnought's hull armor belt.

It is also stated that those defensive guns would lethally no-sell the rebel bomber attack if even one or two survived, thus the need for Poe's Act Of Plot Ace.
Plot armor aside, any PD weapon that can't track a fighter isn't worthy of the name. Something close in size to the Falcon's quad guns would have been more useful than those lumbering things.

This, too, is largely Act of Plot. The Empire initially underestimated the threat of high end multirole starfighters, and subsequently chose to focus point defense on dedicated platforms -- Lancer class frigates -- which are conveniently absent anytime Rebel Fighter Heroes do their thing.
EU and now non-cannon. In the movie universe, I don't know that we have that level of acknowledgment of the problem fighters pose.

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Q99 wrote:
2018-05-04 04:05am
Unless doing so results in you actively being blinded permanently, and once you're in close the information situation degrades period and that's just part of how things work, once the slugfest begins data degrades and part of the tactics is knowing when to go close for blinding and when done- and if you can do a brief pass when your opponent has their sensors out and you are then you permanently blind them more and then you can kite them to death thanks to your superior sensors since they can't pop them back out.

Remember, we're talking hypothetical tech bases for a space opera. There is no 'it has to work this way,' if writers want to make it so that fighting involves making that kind of choices that's how it works. A paradigm of mutual sensor blindness when battle is engaged would make for some interesting tactics and choices and figuring out how to gain info edges by engaging with some units to blind opponents while keeping others away or what have you could be a very interesting one.
Even in that case why not keep a backup array behind your armor for deployment if/when you get blinded?

I also can't think of many realistic ways that all sensors would be blinded on a close high-speed pass. The closer and faster you get the less effective laser blinding would be at targeting your visual sensors so even as your radar style sensors go deeper into your ECM your visual sensors would keep you from being totally blind for your attack run. I guess perhaps you could try to retract your other sensors for such a pass but I can't see such a complex design being deployed.

The fact is that any realistic sci-fi setting can't have total sensor blindness one a close pass unless it's as a result of previous sensor damage earlier in the battle. Even then, you'd still keep your main array up for a close pass because any sensor data on approach is better than none so it's hard to imagine a doctrine that values saving sensors for a second pass over one that instead values making the most of your single pass so you don't need to make another one.
Or heck, maybe you can just weave the sensors into the armor, your whole hull works as a big sensor array, and there's nothing vulnerable at all, unlike PDs, and what blinds you is total armor degradation, if you don't want to do it but still have PD be less good, but I think it's fun.
Unless we're talking something like the nonsense that is Battletech armor I don't see this working. I mean you could try to work something into Whipple shield style armor but your sensors would still likely be more vulnerable than the armor itself. Even so, I can't see why you wouldn't have that kind of sensor alongside more traditional sensors.
That really assumes you have a choice in the matter. If you have a choice between a thick visor that mostly-blinds you and being blinded in an eye for a much longer period/permanently, you tolerate the visor... until/unless you can take away their blinder. And note that 'blinding laser weapons' is something that has seen RL research, it's not like blinding opponent ships isn't a line of research weapons designers wouldn't leap at, for pretty much these reasons.

Not quite sure what you mean by 'the other way around.' Of course you use your main sensor when it's an opinion, but the local weapons setup making it not be an option is why you need to have a way to hide them in the first place.
If such lasers became commonplace I'd imagine there would be countermeasures that don't involve blinding yourself near completely. You'd be better off running multiple sensors and opening new ones as your old ones get burned away. You could probably get favorable results by having several sensors taking very quick peaks past armored shutters and having your computer weave those images into a single snapshot of the battlefield. They're not open long enough or predictably enough to be vulnerable to any but the most concerted blinding effort and you still get a workable picture of the battlefield.
That'd be the part of the game, wouldn't it be? You need to send out buoys when you have a chance, you can't let them get too far or the opponent will shoot them down or cut you off from them, while meanwhile you try and take our theirs, and they tell you when your opponent is far enough to pop open main ship sensors- but your opponent will try and fool you and aim to make it so you pop at the wrong time and then they can blind you for real, and meanwhile you're trying to do the same to them, and buoys are a limited resources so you're trying to win before running out and they're trying to run you out....
If the reason you're dropping sensor bouys is that your main sensors are so vulnerable to enemy weapons what's stopping the enemy from blinding your bouys as you drop them? In space, distance isn't going to matter for laser blinding. Distance also isn't going to make them any better at slicing through thick ECM, in fact, multiple smaller bouys will be worse at defeating many kinds of ECM than a single more powerful array will be.

In any realistic scenario, you'd want to drop bouys as a backup to your main sensors. They make the most sense as pickets to cover sensor blind spots and to keep covered up when you're not running manned patrols through an area.

Look at how sensor bouys are used in IRL naval combat and you'll understand that you have a solution looking for a problem.

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Re: Possible justifications for Point Defenseless

Post by PoisonSymic » 2018-05-06 11:26pm

Jub wrote:
2018-05-06 10:18pm
PoisonSymic wrote:
2018-05-06 09:03pm
It is clearly indicated in TLJ that the siege dreadnought's defensive guns work exactly this way: Poe is able to destroy them even though it's explicitly stated that his X-Wing's weapons are too light to penetrate the dreadnought's hull armor belt.

It is also stated that those defensive guns would lethally no-sell the rebel bomber attack if even one or two survived, thus the need for Poe's Act Of Plot Ace.
Plot armor aside, any PD weapon that can't track a fighter isn't worthy of the name. Something close in size to the Falcon's quad guns would have been more useful than those lumbering things.
They're only "not tracking" a plot-shielded ace of aces flying a suicidally aggressive attack in a fighter fitted with a strap on booster. I would therefore put that down more to Act Of Plot than incapability, and moreover that is doubling down on top of the preceding Act of Plot that General Hux created an opening in their defenses by refusing to authorize preemptive deployment of a fighter screen.

This, too, is largely Act of Plot. The Empire initially underestimated the threat of high end multirole starfighters, and subsequently chose to focus point defense on dedicated platforms -- Lancer class frigates -- which are conveniently absent anytime Rebel Fighter Heroes do their thing.
EU and now non-cannon. In the movie universe, I don't know that we have that level of acknowledgment of the problem fighters pose.
Actually, the Lancer frigate has been recanonized in the new-canon book "Before the Awakening". It's not described in detail, but it canonically exists again, and is at minimum established as an Imperial-era antifighter frigate.

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Jub
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Re: Possible justifications for Point Defenseless

Post by Jub » 2018-05-06 11:48pm

PoisonSymic wrote:
2018-05-06 11:26pm
They're only "not tracking" a plot-shielded ace of aces flying a suicidally aggressive attack in a fighter fitted with a strap on booster. I would therefore put that down more to Act Of Plot than incapability, and moreover that is doubling down on top of the preceding Act of Plot that General Hux created an opening in their defenses by refusing to authorize preemptive deployment of a fighter screen.
Isn't defending against suicidally aggressive attacks and/or fighters that approach through your fighter screen exactly what PD is for? As for the boosters, I seriously doubt they got Poe's X-Wing going faster than dedicated speedy fighters like an A-Wing. So, given that we cannot factor in plot shielding (outside of a Jedi doing Jedi stuff) we have to determine that the point defense was woefully inadequate as designed/implemented in spite of it being common knowledge that fighters are massive threats to capital ships...

Just more proof that TLJ was a shit show in so many easily fixed ways.
Actually, the Lancer frigate has been recanonized in the new-canon book "Before the Awakening". It's not described in detail, but it canonically exists again, and is at minimum established as an Imperial-era antifighter frigate.
That's good to know. Too bad everybody seems to have forgotten the idea of running a proper fleet composition in order to make the nonsense that was TLJ happen. You'd think that you'd want to have proper escorts for your super weapons/flag ships as the standard operating procedure, like we have with modern carrier fleets, but I guess having WWII in space without looking at how actual WWII fleets were constructed is just a step too far.

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Re: Possible justifications for Point Defenseless

Post by Patroklos » 2018-05-07 01:31am

This idea that you would blind yourself to a potentially crippling or outright destroying star fighter pass so you can have your sensors later is daft. There is no point in having your sensors survive if the likely result of retracting them is exposing yourself to a one-shotting star fighter attack.

It would be one thing if the movies gave us star fighters and capital ships engaging in extended engagements of attrition, dozens of attack runs wearing down capital ship armor with the fighters being picked off slowly. That's not what we get. What we get is acute, devastating attacks by single fighters destroying capital ships outright in a single pass if they make it (ANH, RotJ, TPM, TFA, TLJ, R1). They have even gotten away from the unknown to the enemy exploitable flaw (ANH) or some reasonably clever if not entirely satisfying hook (RotJ, TPM) and gone to this just being the bog standard reality of starfighter vs capital ship fights (TFA, TLJ, R1) where you can just waltz up to them and have flaws readily available or just unload randomly into the hull and achieve an instakill (TLJ, R1). You can't turtle up and ride it out when this is the likely result. You go balls to the wall all and worry about the next bridge when you get to it, because if you don't you probably won't get to the next bridge anyway.

This is of course how modern naval AAW warfare works currently. There is no point it reserving sensors and missiles for the next engagement if you get hulled by an exocet NOW. Its as stupid as keeping your star QB fresh for the firth quarter.

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