What Shield paradigms do you like?

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What Shield paradigms do you like?

Post by Q99 » 2018-07-29 06:12pm

A lot of ships in SF have energy shields of course, and among them there's a number of approaches.

Star Trek does 'a bubble that basically serves as most of the ship's hit points, with some leakage as they get low. Can be repaired, but slowly.'

40k does 'bubble shields that protect you pretty much entirely while they're up but they're easy to knock down relative to the firepower, easy to pop back up, and can go up and down multiple times during the fight.'

Star Wars, not entirely consistent, shield of safety again, but it recharges at a steady rate so fire beneath a certain amount per timeframe doesn't matter, and if you surpass that then you start degrading it and can knock it down. And in new canon, also provides pretty much nil protection against things in close- a weakness not unique to them as in 40k some attacks can also get under shields.


Arpeggio Klein fields do "stops damage pretty much entirely," but they're absorbing energy while doing so and eventually they have to let that energy go in an obvious way or they'll be unable to take more. Also, the more calculation capacity you have

Crest of the Stars, the shields mostly act as a damage-minimizer, reducing the omph of incoming attacks, so rather than a hard shield, some armor is still needed since a lot of attacks will have enough to at least partially get through.

Known Space does stasis field, you're safe from anything but stick in time. Skolian Saga does quasis/quantum stasis, which is *almost* like stasis but a big enough jolt can knock you out.

Vorkosigan, plasma shields, they actually charge up off enemy fire so your guns get stronger when hit up to the point where they're overwhelmed, so a long slugfest is worse than useless, it's about getting overwhelming fire on a single target fast.


Any other ones worth bringing up? Which types do you prefer or think make for interesting targets? Have any ideas of your own of a cool way to make shields work in a story?

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Re: What Shield paradigms do you like?

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-07-29 06:28pm

Traveller black globes, when switched completely on, absorb all energy at the cost of being unable to fire, accelerate or use repulsed. They can be set to flicker at a certain rate, allowing them to move, fire, etc., at a reduced ability to absorb damage.

Energy absorbed is dumped into capacitors. When their limits are reached, the capacitors no longer absorb energy, rendering them useless; when their limits are exceeded, they explode and take the ship mounting the globe with it.

Traveller also employs two types of damper fields, one for suppressing nuclear reactions, preventing nukes from detonating, while the other prevents mesons from decaying, blocking meson weapons.
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Re: What Shield paradigms do you like?

Post by madd0ct0r » 2018-07-30 01:56am

U.P. Cinnabar wrote:
2018-07-29 06:28pm
Traveller black globes, when switched completely on, absorb all energy at the cost of being unable to fire, accelerate or use repulsed. They can be set to flicker at a certain rate, allowing them to move, fire, etc., at a reduced ability to absorb damage.

Energy absorbed is dumped into capacitors. When their limits are reached, the capacitors no longer absorb energy, rendering them useless; when their limits are exceeded, they explode and take the ship mounting the globe with it.

Traveller also employs two types of damper fields, one for suppressing nuclear reactions, preventing nukes from detonating, while the other prevents mesons from decaying, blocking meson weapons.
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Re: What Shield paradigms do you like?

Post by Formless » 2018-07-30 03:46am

There can be only one answer to this question: no shields, only armor. If there are lots of energy weapons in the universe, you can perhaps do what the original Battlestar Galactica did where the armor re-radiates energy from laser beams across a wider area of armor than took the shot initially, as that is about the only shield-like scheme that makes even a little sense within known physics, but this isn't even about that. No shields means more pretty explosions on both sides of the fight, more need for ships to turn and maneuver to dodge fire entirely, more emphasis on point defense, and an overall heightened sense of tension as the audience actually gets to see damage accumulate on a ship without resorting to cheap, cliched dialogue like "shields down to 70 percent!" If you ever binge watch a Star Trek series it will start to grate on you just how often you hear those words. And really, looking at Star Trek and Star Wars its pretty clear that the writers knew what I am talking about, because on Star Trek half the time the shields go down without much effort, damage to the internal hull accumulates despite the shields (the ever popular exploding consoles aren't just a brain bug, they are an alternative way of heightening the tension without using words), and on Deep Space 9 not only do the shields not work with the Defiant's cloaking system, during the Dominion War arc the ships all seem to have their shields down half the time for no apparent reason besides visual appeal! And in Star Wars, shields are more often mentioned then they are seen, and ship hulls seem to be the main defense system in practice going off the visuals. And all this is because, like I said, it makes combat more viscerally interesting and intuitive to follow when you actually see pieces of the spaceships being blasted off every time they take a hit, and ships can't just sit there motionless in fights. Shields are largely something I feel was popularized by TV writers who didn't have the budget for proper ship-to-ship combat effects and needed a shorthand for how badly the Enterprise was doing in a fight that could be relayed in dialogue. Otherwise, I think its kind of a brain bug of science fiction that doesn't need to be in every or even most space operas anymore.
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Re: What Shield paradigms do you like?

Post by Crazedwraith » 2018-07-30 05:42am

Considering energy shields and the like were first used in sci-fi novels in the 1920s going 'oh they're just to make space battles look pretty' seems rather short sighted.

No-one's asking if they are realistic, just fun.
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Re: What Shield paradigms do you like?

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-07-30 09:50am

Formless wrote:
2018-07-30 03:46am
There can be only one answer to this question: no shields, only armor. If there are lots of energy weapons in the universe, you can perhaps do what the original Battlestar Galactica did where the armor re-radiates energy from laser beams across a wider area of armor than took the shot initially, as that is about the only shield-like scheme that makes even a little sense within known physics, but this isn't even about that.
In, other words, super-conductive armor. Reflective or mirror armor, which was s trope of SF between the 60s and very early 80s, won't work, because a wepons-grade laser will not be completely reflected back from its target.

There's also admiring schemes where power is run through the physical armor, or capacitor banks are embedded into/sandwiched between armor plating to help the physical armor resistant to energy weapons. Example:The hull plating from Enterprise.
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Re: What Shield paradigms do you like?

Post by Vendetta » 2018-07-30 09:56am

Crazedwraith wrote:
2018-07-30 05:42am
Considering energy shields and the like were first used in sci-fi novels in the 1920s going 'oh they're just to make space battles look pretty' seems rather short sighted.
No, that's why Formless also pointed out that they're a shorthand to shorthand the tension of progressive battle damage via dialogue.

The secret, like with other fictional technologies, is that how they work is only relevant if their specific functions are going to cause some kind of obstacle or challenge for the characters in the narrative.

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Re: What Shield paradigms do you like?

Post by Sky Captain » 2018-07-30 11:58am

While in current science there are no known path towards energy shields what about thick cloud of dust particles held in magnetic or electrostatic fields to reduce effectivness of lasers and hypervelocity projectiles? Dust would essentially act as replenishable soft armor up to a certaain point since multiple hits probably would scatter it too much and it would not totally stop all attacks just reduce the damage potential against main armor.

Another idea may be some sort of smart armor materials that can flow and harden when neccessary. Increase the thickness where enemy fire is coming in. After hit is received armor again turns to licquid and repairs damaged area.

Obviously armoring against direct hits from multi megaton nukes would not be possible unless ship has mass budget in billions of tons so electronic warfare, anti missiles, combat drones and point defense would be the main defensive line against missiles.

I think ideas like these make far more interesting battle tactics than generic shield bubble.

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Re: What Shield paradigms do you like?

Post by Tribble » 2018-07-30 12:26pm

Sky Captain wrote:
2018-07-30 11:58am
While in current science there are no known path towards energy shields what about thick cloud of dust particles held in magnetic or electrostatic fields to reduce effectivness of lasers and hypervelocity projectiles? Dust would essentially act as replenishable soft armor up to a certaain point since multiple hits probably would scatter it too much and it would not totally stop all attacks just reduce the damage potential against main armor.
IIRC on the main site Darth Wong speculates that's more or less how ST shields work; in universe it would help explain why the shields are quoted in percentages rather than on/off (since chunks being blown off after each hit), why they have trouble using them in some environments (as the particles may be interacting with the matter around it) as well as why they have to "reassemble" the shields after they have been knocked down.
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Re: What Shield paradigms do you like?

Post by Formless » 2018-07-30 06:08pm

U.P. Cinnabar wrote:In, other words, super-conductive armor. Reflective or mirror armor, which was s trope of SF between the 60s and very early 80s, won't work, because a wepons-grade laser will not be completely reflected back from its target.
That's where you are wrong. Mirror armor doesn't have to be 100% efficient in reflecting light to be useful (as indeed there is no such thing as 100% efficiency in reflection), but if 90% of the light is reflected that's 90% of the heat taken off of your armor. Which makes the laser vastly less effective at drilling holes in your ship. No one is expecting armor to be 100% effective when discussing kinetic weapons, nuclear weapons, or particle weapons, so why should armor meant to protect against lasers be held to an impossible standard by comparison?

Matterbeam has a good blog post not only about the mechanical specifics of mirror/high albedo armor for laser defense, but also on how to engineer the reflection angles to maximize its effectiveness; even without mirroring the surface of the armor, angled surfaces reduce the spot size of the laser which also reduces their effectiveness. The whole point of the exercise is to not only make ships better at surviving combat but also to reduce engagement ranges from the impossible to imagine tens of thousands of kilometers that some laser proponents suggest space combat will take place at to somewhat easier to imagine thousands to even mere hundreds of kilometers where other weapons can come into their own such as kinetics, nukes, and particle beams (each of which require different defensive measures).
There's also admiring schemes where power is run through the physical armor, or capacitor banks are embedded into/sandwiched between armor plating to help the physical armor resistant to energy weapons. Example:The hull plating from Enterprise.
Don't get me started on that show. Nothing sounds more ridiculous than "hull plating offline!" :roll:
Vendetta wrote:
Crazedwraith wrote:Considering energy shields and the like were first used in sci-fi novels in the 1920s going 'oh they're just to make space battles look pretty' seems rather short sighted.
No, that's why Formless also pointed out that they're a shorthand to shorthand the tension of progressive battle damage via dialogue.

The secret, like with other fictional technologies, is that how they work is only relevant if their specific functions are going to cause some kind of obstacle or challenge for the characters in the narrative.
Exactly. And also, Crazedwraith needs to learn to read. I said TV writers popularized shields, not that they invented them. I know full well that the pulps invented the concept, but I think it was for the same or similar reasons, as some writers have difficulty describing action and motion in prose fiction. Having characters discuss how quickly their shields are going down in whatever terminology they happened to invent for that story is easier for a lot of people than talking about complex maneuvers and battle damage, especially at a time where the visual language of science fiction was still in its infancy (aerial combat was still a new thing in the twenties, let alone the idea of rocketry and spaceflight). But with modern cinema, video games, and television and the advances in computer generated graphics, that shorthand is no longer needed. And if you are writing prose fiction, you still don't need shields; they are simply a crutch for those unskilled at writing action and motion.

Also, Crazedwraith, I said the opposite about shields and aesthetics. I said that getting rid of shields makes things more spectacular, not less. Shields don't make things more pretty, they allow you to completely avoid showing the battle at all. This becomes abundantly obvious when watching Star Trek: the Next Generation, where many space battles are entirely shown from the perspective of the bridge crew, because it was cheaper and easier to shake the camera and have the actors throw themselves to the floor than to pay for ship models and special effects. Having shields meant that the audience could keep up with how the battle was progressing despite the lack of camera shots outside the ship.
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Re: What Shield paradigms do you like?

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-07-30 07:27pm

Formless wrote:Don't get me started on that show. Nothing sounds more ridiculous than "hull plating offline!" :roll:
And, like much of Trek, this was borrowed from other SF works, and from Star Fleet Battles, where this type of armor was found on Rom Warbirds, War and King Eagles, as well as Fed Old Light Cruisers(in addition to ablative deflector shields).

I will get back to you on Matterbeam's blog, as soon as I've read it.
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Re: What Shield paradigms do you like?

Post by Q99 » 2018-07-30 08:32pm

Sky Captain wrote:
2018-07-30 11:58am
While in current science there are no known path towards energy shields what about thick cloud of dust particles held in magnetic or electrostatic fields to reduce effectivness of lasers and hypervelocity projectiles? Dust would essentially act as replenishable soft armor up to a certaain point since multiple hits probably would scatter it too much and it would not totally stop all attacks just reduce the damage potential against main armor.
Iirc, 40k Tyranids actually use a cloud defense, though with 'spores' rather than dust.
Another idea may be some sort of smart armor materials that can flow and harden when neccessary. Increase the thickness where enemy fire is coming in. After hit is received armor again turns to licquid and repairs damaged area.

Obviously armoring against direct hits from multi megaton nukes would not be possible unless ship has mass budget in billions of tons so electronic warfare, anti missiles, combat drones and point defense would be the main defensive line against missiles.

I think ideas like these make far more interesting battle tactics than generic shield bubble.
There's a lot of stuff that can be done with armor, but like Crazedwraith said:
Crazedwraith wrote:
2018-07-30 05:42am
No-one's asking if they are realistic, just fun.
The discussions is shields.


And for irony, I got so much flak in a recent thread for suggesting an armor-paradigm where, gasp, people would want to hide their sensors behind armor sometimes ^^


Hm, one that kinda uses both is Macross and the pinpoint barrier shields. You have armor, but you also have a few small barriers that protect your armor from having to absorb hits, so the enemy couldn't count on any single attack and had to try and provide too much to block.

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Re: What Shield paradigms do you like?

Post by Sea Skimmer » 2018-07-30 10:20pm

I favor the shields work like armor paradigm and I think at the end of the day most sci fi shields end up following it, Trek and Wars heavily. In that effects are non linear, undermatching hits do very little or nothing to the point they can be ignored, equal caliber hits deplete the shield rapidly but may or may not be fully asorbed, the same way a big slab of armor will start to crack up if you hit it with battleship shells, and overmatching shells can deal damage right through the shield but might not totally collapse it. This provides flexibility to the writer, it allows for varying tactics, and the shield still has a point over just adding more passive armor because it can cover weakspots and ordnance material that could otherwise never be protected.

Depending on what I'm working on though, I have some niche ideas I use a fair bit but don't really think are great for generalization. Such as I like the idea of scanning shield, where the shield emitter must physically create the shield piece by piece, which then begin to decay. Much in the way a CRT monitor draws an image or a radar beam sweeps the sky. At the point of creation the shield is incredibly strong, but everywhere else it's much weaker or fading. This places a focus on the idea of the shield actively responding to a threat, and able to be both very powerful and yet also vulnerable to sneak attacks or close in weapons. Which opens up a lot of possibilities in combat and ship design, but isn't excessively complicated either. I also like this because it means a stronger shield might actually be one with multiple layers or more emitters, rather then just having more notional hit points.


I kinda don't care how you absorb or reflect energy in any great detail, I think that can be interesting but its very situational as to what will be interesting, a giant rock, the encircling aether ocean of doom or the light of the human soul might fit or not, because end of the day the shield itself isn't real or even remotely complying with known physics. So at that point it's energy transmission mechanism is going to be some kind of arbitrary. I like that to fit the sitting.
U.P. Cinnabar wrote:
2018-07-30 09:50am
There's also admiring schemes where power is run through the physical armor, or capacitor banks are embedded into/sandwiched between armor plating to help the physical armor resistant to energy weapons. Example:The hull plating from Enterprise.
I have found a real life study for actual power armor, a composite in which you mix a ceramic with thousands of tiny force actuators that actively absorbs and more importantly redirect stress waves to spread out their absorption. This prevents the armor from shattering up to a much higher threshold then the same ceramic used alone. Works in a computer simulation, hell if anyone knows how to manufacture it.
Sky Captain wrote:
2018-07-30 11:58am
While in current science there are no known path towards energy shields what about thick cloud of dust particles held in magnetic or electrostatic fields to reduce effectivness of lasers and hypervelocity projectiles?


A fairly thin smoke screen of silica dust will ruin the shit out of both kinds of weapons, but it's awful impracticable to use in to void of space. You'd be better off with layers of thin armor, though possibly you could have many small bleed holes in the surface of a spaceship which expel a dust cloud close to the hull only when and where a threat is detected.

Best hard sci fi way to stop a laser attack though is just shoot your own laser back and damage the enemy laser optics. Kinetic Weapons would be avoided by moving the ship. Space is frigging huge.
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Re: What Shield paradigms do you like?

Post by Q99 » 2018-08-01 08:56pm

Sea Skimmer wrote:
2018-07-30 10:20pm
Depending on what I'm working on though, I have some niche ideas I use a fair bit but don't really think are great for generalization. Such as I like the idea of scanning shield, where the shield emitter must physically create the shield piece by piece, which then begin to decay. Much in the way a CRT monitor draws an image or a radar beam sweeps the sky. At the point of creation the shield is incredibly strong, but everywhere else it's much weaker or fading. This places a focus on the idea of the shield actively responding to a threat, and able to be both very powerful and yet also vulnerable to sneak attacks or close in weapons. Which opens up a lot of possibilities in combat and ship design, but isn't excessively complicated either. I also like this because it means a stronger shield might actually be one with multiple layers or more emitters, rather then just having more notional hit points.
I like that, it sounds interesting. You'd have a fairly wide amount of flexibility in how it's deployed- or at least potentially, depending on the emitters' limitations. Without, as you say, being super-complicated either.

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Re: What Shield paradigms do you like?

Post by Annatar Giftbringer » 2018-08-02 06:33am

Aside from the above mentioned black globes and screens, Traveller does use sand to defend against lasers.

Sand stops lasers, missiles ignore sand, lasers shoot down missiles.
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Re: What Shield paradigms do you like?

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-08-02 08:16am

Annatar Giftbringer wrote:
2018-08-02 06:33am
Aside from the above mentioned black globes and screens, Traveller does use sand to defend against lasers.

Sand stops lasers, missiles ignore sand, lasers shoot down missiles.
In the Star Carrier novels, which aren't Traveller, sand(known in-universe as anti-missile shield ordinance or AMSO) is also effective against missiles, as well as relativistic-kill rounds the enemy aliens use, though the latter employment was a desperation tactic.

And, coming back to Traveller, you can also use plasma and fusion guns as point defense against missiles.
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Re: What Shield paradigms do you like?

Post by Sky Captain » 2018-08-02 02:30pm

Honorverse gravity based shielding is interesting. Generate an area in space with extreme tidal forces that rip apart anything made from matter and bend laser beams making them mostly miss. Only way to defeat the shielding is shoot enough laser beama so some randomly strike enemy ship and destroy shield emitters. If you already have powerful graavity manipulation systems for propulsion then it makes sense to use similar technology for defence.

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Re: What Shield paradigms do you like?

Post by Q99 » 2018-08-02 04:04pm

Sky Captain wrote:
2018-08-02 02:30pm
Honorverse gravity based shielding is interesting. Generate an area in space with extreme tidal forces that rip apart anything made from matter and bend laser beams making them mostly miss. Only way to defeat the shielding is shoot enough laser beama so some randomly strike enemy ship and destroy shield emitters. If you already have powerful graavity manipulation systems for propulsion then it makes sense to use similar technology for defence.
Oh yea, and they have the Wedges, which are invincible, the shielded sidewalls, which are tough, and then the nose-tail, which have to rely entirely on armor.

And missiles with small wedges can get through sidewalls, at which point bomb-pumped lasers are the best way to strike from there (contact nukes have to give more opportunity for point defense fire to shoot them down).


The "completely safe from some angles, tough from others, vulnerable from a precise angle," is pretty interesting tactically. Well, up until the option became "roll all the pods."

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Re: What Shield paradigms do you like?

Post by Vendetta » 2018-08-02 05:55pm

Sky Captain wrote:
2018-08-02 02:30pm
Honorverse gravity based shielding is interesting. Generate an area in space with extreme tidal forces that rip apart anything made from matter and bend laser beams making them mostly miss. Only way to defeat the shielding is shoot enough laser beama so some randomly strike enemy ship and destroy shield emitters. If you already have powerful graavity manipulation systems for propulsion then it makes sense to use similar technology for defence.
How else can you have Age of Sail formations for your Hornblower iiiin spaaaace series?

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Re: What Shield paradigms do you like?

Post by Formless » 2018-08-02 06:10pm

Sky Captain wrote:
2018-08-02 02:30pm
Honorverse gravity based shielding is interesting. Generate an area in space with extreme tidal forces that rip apart anything made from matter and bend laser beams making them mostly miss. Only way to defeat the shielding is shoot enough laser beama so some randomly strike enemy ship and destroy shield emitters. If you already have powerful graavity manipulation systems for propulsion then it makes sense to use similar technology for defence.
How is that supposed to work?

1) Just because the tidal forces can spaghettify projectiles doesn't make you safe. If the gravitational field points towards your ship, then matter is being sucked towards your ship at relativistic speeds. Or at least towards the projector of the gravitational field. A stream of matter going at relativistic speeds towards your ship is a particle cannon.

2) If its a laser that you are deflecting, then a similar point applies: photons are also attracted towards gravity wells, which means that if anything, this setup should make lasers more likely to hit you from angles they would otherwise miss from. And if the laser would miss you because of gravitational lensing, it would probably have missed you anyway.

3) Assuming the tidal forces are projected at a point in space somewhere away from the ship, then you are essentially creating and sustaining a black hole orbiting your ship. If you can do that, why not make a gun that shoots black holes at your enemy? Or create gravity wave guns that break the enemy's ship apart with tidal forces? Sounds to me like anyone who can create a defensing system out of this would be better off making a weapon out of it, because the weapon is not or shouldn't be defeated by the defensive application the way Sea Skimmer says lasers can do to each other.

4) Also, this sounds like a good gateway technology for a black hole rocket that propels itself to insane velocities with the Hawking radiation the singularity gives off as it decays. Just to say that as soon as you start talking about insanely high tech applications like this you end up with unintended side effects that will likely render the original application moot.
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Elheru Aran
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Re: What Shield paradigms do you like?

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-08-02 06:36pm

Formless wrote:
2018-08-02 06:10pm
Sky Captain wrote:
2018-08-02 02:30pm
Honorverse gravity based shielding is interesting. Generate an area in space with extreme tidal forces that rip apart anything made from matter and bend laser beams making them mostly miss. Only way to defeat the shielding is shoot enough laser beama so some randomly strike enemy ship and destroy shield emitters. If you already have powerful graavity manipulation systems for propulsion then it makes sense to use similar technology for defence.
How is that supposed to work?
Honorverse is a bit of a strange duck in that it's kinda-sorta trying to be hard-SF, but it never quite meets that point where it's reasonably realistic. It has battles at ridiculous distances, IIRC no artificial gravity, it tends to focus on missiles etc... but then sidewalls are bullshit. Among other things. Thinking too hard about it, like any soft-SF universe, is pointless.
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Re: What Shield paradigms do you like?

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-08-02 06:51pm

I also think the Honorverse explains it away by saying the wedges, walls, etc., are counter-gravity fields which repel missiles and deflect beams.

I think. I know in the McClintock verse also partly written by Weber, shields are done away with altogether and replaced with counter missiles, point defense grasers and an extremely lightweight but insanely tough metal know as ChromSten, which I assume stands for Chromium-Tungsten.
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Re: What Shield paradigms do you like?

Post by Q99 » 2018-08-04 01:29pm

Another idea- casting shields. Rather than shields as things that are directly on the ship, you make a shield at a distance from your ship as cover, basically, and if you move out of the way you lose the benefit, and it slowly degrades til you cast another. Combat becomes about positioning and lateral mobility.

Tholians in Star Fleet Battle did this a bit.

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Re: What Shield paradigms do you like?

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-08-04 04:33pm

Q99 wrote:
2018-08-04 01:29pm
Another idea- casting shields. Rather than shields as things that are directly on the ship, you make a shield at a distance from your ship as cover, basically, and if you move out of the way you lose the benefit, and it slowly degrades til you cast another. Combat becomes about positioning and lateral mobility.

Tholians in Star Fleet Battle did this a bit.
They did once the 312th Battle Squadron arrived with web caster technology, while the Seltorans used the reverse of this for their shield cracker and web breaker technologies.

This was also featured in The Secret Of Dominion, if anyone's familiar with that.
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Re: What Shield paradigms do you like?

Post by Sea Skimmer » 2018-08-06 12:27am

Q99 wrote:
2018-08-01 08:56pm
I like that, it sounds interesting. You'd have a fairly wide amount of flexibility in how it's deployed- or at least potentially, depending on the emitters' limitations. Without, as you say, being super-complicated either.
I remember now why I originally started using this idea back in ~2006. I'm largely focused on terrestrial sci fi and a lot of things about traditional depictions of shields bug me, like how do they conform to a varying grade of ground level without creating some kind of vulnerability, how does sunlight pass through and radiating heat vent back to space, but a laser and an atomic bomb are both blocked? How does one shield interact with another, and if they don't, what stops an enemy shield from intruding into a friendly one and physically crushing it's emitter?

I decided one way or another that the scanning shield idea, particularly if implemented as two layers would be able to address a lot of these concerns, and it would open up a lot of shield as armor paradigms I think most shield systems already have going on (by authors actions if not by authors original intents) in a logical fashion I could deal with.

Since then I adapted the idea to some other stuff, like biological creatures generating them to provide a way for characters to not be instant killed on a true battlefield, not a Attack of the Clone Wars one, but also not just turn into illogically immortal demi gods either. Always a balancing act.
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