armor and hull question

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armor and hull question

Postby Hathur » Mon Aug 06, 2007 3:51 am

I'm a bit confused by the info listed on armor and hulls (tungsten and plasteel) ... regardless of what ship I have, the rating for the armor/hull (tungsten) shows the name number (about 104 I think for tungsten armor and 500 I think for tungsten hull)... does this mean that all ships, regardless of class or size will have the exact same amount of armor or hull if they're packing Tungsten armor?

I.e. does an Orion with tungsten armor have the same amount of armor as a Tarsus with tungsten armor? Right now it seems so, since both say it gives 104 armor or so.... will the Orion really by any more durable ? Or do all ships have the same hull/armor ratings?
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Postby Dilloh » Mon Aug 06, 2007 5:15 am

From what I know yes, armor and hull always have the same effects. Though all ships seem to come with their own "factory"-hull, e.g. a Drayman takes loads of hits even w/o shields.

targ_collective once was working on a per-ship hull/armor setup, but it turned out to be a gigantic amount of engine work and therefor not (yet) worth the effort.
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Postby chuck_starchaser » Mon Aug 06, 2007 8:02 am

I think it was just a matter of making armor upgrades multiplicative; but targ wanted to have ship-specific upgrades for some reason I can't remember; which made the whole thing very complicated, and IMO unmaintainable.
Yeah, because he wanted upgrades for some ships to be or not be available at some bases...

Some engine work was needed, but not much: just to give each ship its own base armor amount, for the upgrades to multiply. What wasn't worth doing was to modify the PR 1.2 version of the vs engine, and so that whole thing, and the other thing, the armor configurations mod, are waiting for someone with the knowhow to upgrade PR and PU to use the latest vegastrike svn version. Then we could do those mods, and know that they will stay in place.
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Postby Psyco Diver 69 » Mon Aug 06, 2007 9:35 pm

I found it funny that I can use both armors and hulls, but I have to buy the pastisteel first and the tungsten second, but I can't vice versa. I just realized the other day when I bought a new computer and had to download and start a whole new game
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Postby chuck_starchaser » Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:06 am

Tungsten is better than plasteel; isometal is better than tungsten. I think it only allows you to UPgrade; unless you sell your armor first.
Should the hull be upgradable? In the novels, small hulls are made of titanium and carrier hulls are made of durasteel, and the only upgrade mentioned of hulls was durasteel lamination on top of the titanium, that Hans Kruger got for his Phantom. Can't imagine that the cost of the labor involved in taking the ship apart to substitute a new hull would be less than the purchase price of a new ship... I can't remember the hull being upgradable in Priv/RF. Was it?
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Postby Dilloh » Tue Aug 07, 2007 12:04 pm

I found it funny that I can use both armors and hulls, but I have to buy the pastisteel first and the tungsten second, but I can't vice versa.
This only works for the Tarsus, and some capships. For the Tarsus it's surely a bug, but the capships were possibly ment to be able to carry multiple equipment types.
Should the hull be upgradable? In the novels, small hulls are made of titanium and carrier hulls are made of durasteel, and the only upgrade mentioned of hulls was durasteel lamination on top of the titanium, that Hans Kruger got for his Phantom. Can't imagine that the cost of the labor involved in taking the ship apart to substitute a new hull would be less than the purchase price of a new ship... I can't remember the hull being upgradable in Priv/RF. Was it?
In the original Priv, hull didn't exist, only armor. It wasn't upgradable and it shouldn't be, as you cannot laminate a tanks or airplanes hull. Sure you don't have to face gravity in space, but fighters usually land on planets from time to time so there is a chance for rust, which you just shouldn't close with metal paint. Also ships are being damaged by gunfire regularly, so it needs to be easy to replace the hull. So you dismantle the damaged piece, like you dismantle a door on a car which got an accident, and replace it with a new one.
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Postby chuck_starchaser » Tue Aug 07, 2007 12:17 pm

Dilloh wrote:... so it needs to be easy to replace the hull. So you dismantle the damaged piece, like you dismantle a door on a car which got an accident, and replace it with a new one.

I think, quite to the contrary, the hull is very hard to repair. If the hull was easy to repair and replace piece-meal, then there would be no need for armor. That's the whole reason why there's armor: to prevent (very hard and expensive to repair) damage to the hull.
In the novels, whenever a carrier has sustained hull breaches, it spends the next year to year and a half in dry dock, as happened with the Tiger's Claw after Custer's Carnival, and to the Tarawa after its mission to Kilrah.
By the way, titanium doesn't rust, even in the presence of oxygen, except at higher temperatures; and Durasteel doesn't exist; but I think the name implies something along the lines of "stainless".
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Postby OnyxPaladin » Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:28 pm

Gotta love titanium. But more on topic, are secondary hulls not possible if not a necessity?

In so many games, movies, and TV shows we see ships with a more or less flat skin on the outside. Think of it like a submarine, there has to be a metal "skeleton" to brace the structure against the immense pressure of the sea pushing in on the submarine. In space it is the opposite the skeleton would have to be on the outside to keep the pressure that is pushing out in check.

The only possibility for this would be either a secondary hull, or having the armor anchored to the structural beams on the outside.
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Postby chuck_starchaser » Tue Aug 07, 2007 8:38 pm

In the case of a submarine, not only is the situation unstable due to pressure being from the outside in (any amount of elliptic deformation causes more pressure onto the deformation); but on top of that, the pressures are huge: 1 atmosphere equivalent at each ten meters of increasing depth. So at a kilometer of depth that's 100 atmospheres pressure. In the case of pressurized habitats in space, the pressure is never higher than 1 atmosphere; and often much less, as humans can operate quite well at half an atm of pressure, with a bit extra oxygen.
The only strength to worry about is against acceleration, accidental collision or incidental attack.

@Dilloh: To use your example of a car, notice that cars have no armor. The exchangeable parts like doors and fenders ARE the armor. The "hull" of a car is its frame, which is all welded together and not too easy to fix at all.
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Postby Dilloh » Wed Aug 08, 2007 5:52 am

chuck wrote:I think, quite to the contrary, the hull is very hard to repair. If the hull was easy to repair and replace piece-meal, then there would be no need for armor.
Sorry, I meant armor, surely cars don't have "hull and armor", but the modular principe is my point of view here.
By the way, titanium doesn't rust, even in the presence of oxygen, except at higher temperatures
Higher temperatures, like a laser hitting it?
Durasteel doesn't exist; but I think the name implies something along the lines of "stainless".
Most likely a short term for "enduring steel".
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Postby chuck_starchaser » Wed Aug 08, 2007 7:53 am

Dilloh wrote:
chuck wrote:I think, quite to the contrary, the hull is very hard to repair. If the hull was easy to repair and replace piece-meal, then there would be no need for armor.
Sorry, I meant armor, surely cars don't have "hull and armor", but the modular principe is my point of view here.

I understood. What I was trying to say is that the modular principle applies to armor, NOT to hull. I'd venture to say that the hull is all welded together into a single piece of metal, even for carriers. I haven't read this anywhere, but I think it is implied all over the place:
1) Hull breaches cause air to escape --implying that the hull is air-tight. Pretty hard to have multiple exchangable modules and make them air-tight...
2) During battles, armor damage is not considered too serious; but hull damage is considered disastrous.
3) When the hull is damaged or breached, usually a carrier spends from 6 to 18 months in dry dock --implying that repairing the hull is terribly difficult.
By the way, titanium doesn't rust, even in the presence of oxygen, except at higher temperatures
Higher temperatures, like a laser hitting it?
A laser hitting it in vacuum would not cause rusting; it would have to occur within an oxygen containing atmosphere. So, to get titanium to rust you need two conditions to be true: presence of oxygen AND high temperatures. But besides, titanium rust is superficial and non-spreading, so it's pretty much irrelevant. Much more irrelevant than aluminium: Aluminium rust is transparent, like glass, and non-spreading (causing many people to incorrectly believe that aluminium "doesn't rust"), but at higher temperatures spreads very quickly.
Durasteel doesn't exist; but I think the name implies something along the lines of "stainless".
Most likely a short term for "enduring steel".
Indeed; but the attributes of metals we are most concerned with are hardness, tensile strength, etceteras, which are related to momentary stresses. "Endurance" would seem to imply some kind of resilience to some kind of long term process, such as rusting.
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Postby zeo1234 » Wed Aug 08, 2007 8:36 am

Funny, I always thought it meant Durable Steel, as in tough and hard to damage.


chuck_starchaser wrote:I understood. What I was trying to say is that the modular principle applies to armor, NOT to hull. I'd venture to say that the hull is all welded together into a single piece of metal, even for carriers. I haven't read this anywhere, but I think it is implied all over the place:


Possible but not necessarily true, modular hulls can and do work. The peices just have to interlock so the stress is spread just like it would be if it was all fused together.


chuck_starchaser wrote:1) Hull breaches cause air to escape --implying that the hull is air-tight. Pretty hard to have multiple exchangable modules and make them air-tight...


Actually they can, all that is required is the connecting peices go together seemlessly. Like an airlock door is component yet it can still maintain an air tight seal.

chuck_starchaser wrote:2) During battles, armor damage is not considered too serious; but hull damage is considered disastrous.


Considering it is the last layer between the pilot and space, yeah that would be true regardless how the hull was structured.


chuck_starchaser wrote:3) When the hull is damaged or breached, usually a carrier spends from 6 to 18 months in dry dock --implying that repairing the hull is terribly difficult.


They are huge after all and raw materials need to be acquired for the repairs. Even if modular it'll take a lot of modules to fill in the damaged areas and of course it all has to be tested for space worthiness.

But Carriers don't get to dock very often so it may only be the smaller ships that would use the modular design.
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Postby Dilloh » Wed Aug 08, 2007 10:28 am

Hull breaches cause air to escape --implying that the hull is air-tight. Pretty hard to have multiple exchangable modules and make them air-tight...
Not necessarily... hull modules, if they existed, could have isolations like on car doors. As you said, only 1 atm or less. However, this would make the hull extremely vulnerable when the armor is broken, so the point is yours.
A laser hitting it in vacuum would not cause rusting; it would have to occur within an oxygen containing atmosphere. So, to get titanium to rust you need two conditions to be true: presence of oxygen AND high temperatures.
Couldn't the temperatures make their way towards the interior of the, ship, and there's the oxygen, and then... ah, forget it. 2:0. :roll:
"Endurance" would seem to imply some kind of resilience to some kind of long term process, such as rusting.
It could resemble to the ability to endure long periods of gun fire, or endure a large explosion, without collapsing or breaking, but bending instead.

I'm just wondering what Plasteel is. Plastics and steel?
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Postby Miramor » Wed Aug 08, 2007 10:42 am

According to the text in VS, it's fullerene-steel composite. Although if that's the case, it should be better armor than tungsten, since fullerenes have ridiculous tensile strength and thermal conductivity.
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Postby chuck_starchaser » Wed Aug 08, 2007 10:47 am

Something between handwavium and unobtainium? ;-)
Yeah, I haven't the slightest clue. The weirdest part of it is, okay, if all their materials were imaginary, that's fine; and if they were all real, even better; but sandwiched right between the Handwavium, Plasteel, and Isometal and Durasteel, suddenly we got Tungsten, which is a real material. Pretty hard, but brittle, and EXTREMELY heavy, in fact, it's been proposed as a replacement for Uranium 235 (depleted uranium) for munitions. And it's a rather dark metal, not like the aluminium-looking ingots used in Privateer to represent Tungsten. Now, what role could tungsten play on spacecraft, which, like aircraft, you'd want to make as lightweight as possible.
And more importantly, durasteel and plasteel aren't as good as tungsten, yet they are supposed to be some futuristic stuff?

EDIT:
Haha, we were posting at the same time. Any idea if this fullerene stuff comes from any WC source, or was it a VS addition?
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Postby Miramor » Wed Aug 08, 2007 11:02 am

Yeah, tungsten is a bit out of place. I'm thinking it might actually have been intended to be tungsten carbide, and extremely hard and heat-resistant ceramic.

(Tungsten carbide is also brittle IIRC, and would probably shatter on impact; I'm not sure if that would make it better armor or worse.)

On the other hand, weight is clearly not such an issue. An F-14 Tomcat, for instance, weighs about 21 tons. The Tarsus appears to be built on a similar scale (though with greater volume), and weighs something like 200 tons last I checked. This implies a) the presence of very dense materials and/or b) that a good deal more of the volume is solid metal than in an F-14. This does make sense, considering that the Tarsus contains a fusion reactor and the necessary shielding for it; likewise, the power output of a working fusion reactor would make the ship's great mass a much lesser impediment than it would be for a primitive combustion-powered aircraft or spacecraft.
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Postby chuck_starchaser » Wed Aug 08, 2007 12:18 pm

Tarsus is 200 tons?! The Gladius is 7 tons. The Hellcat is 14 tons... Where did you get that figure?
The biggest problem, really, is not so much coming up with a conceivable energy source, but with explaining the efficiency. You'd need like 99.999% efficiency to have such huge thrusts and not need excess heat radiators kilometers in size, having no air to cool you down.
Tungsten carbide sounds good; could be like pellets embedded in something else, to give elasticity.
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Postby Miramor » Wed Aug 08, 2007 12:48 pm

Hmm, looks like PR retains Vega Strike ship weights. :lol:

Re high efficiency... yeah, that requires some suspension of disbelief. The lack of heatsinks requires greater suspension of disbelief. :lol:

(I do remember once reading something about a "plasma turbine", designed to work directly with a tokamak's exhaust. Not sure how that would perform, and never bothered looking into it again for some reason. I'll see if I can find it on Google without getting bogged down in Trek fansites. At any rate, if it turns out to be feasible it might make an interesting addition some upgrade description in VS.)
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Postby chuck_starchaser » Wed Aug 08, 2007 1:22 pm

That's a VASIMR you're describing;

Image

still needs lots of heatsinking...
http://www.deeplayer.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=16
:D
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Postby Miramor » Wed Aug 08, 2007 1:46 pm

Umm, no, a VASIMR is a thruster. Nice try though. :)
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Postby chuck_starchaser » Wed Aug 08, 2007 1:50 pm

I thought you were talking about a thruster. So you mean something like a power generator that uses tokamak exhaust? In any case, the least you'd need for these kinds of things is cooling for the superconducting coils, which involves a lot of heat pumping and huge rads.
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Postby Miramor » Wed Aug 08, 2007 3:43 pm

Heatsinks would be necessary IRL, but I guess game designers feel that there's no way to incorporate really cool-looking heatsinks.

(It would also screw up stealth fighters, come to think of it. On the other hand, having thermal limitations on cloaking could be very interesting.)

I do suppose that the wings on some of the fighters could be retconned as heatsinks though.
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Postby chuck_starchaser » Wed Aug 08, 2007 4:12 pm

Depends on taste, I guess; I love heatsinks :D
Yeah, that's how I like to think of it; the whole ship's armor is a radiator and the "wings" are there to increase radiation area. Can't imagine any other purpose for wings except in small, atmospheric flight capable crafts. Well, the original Tiger's Claw's wings weren't even sold as wings; that's where 6 of the 12 launch tubes were contained. There's another question: What's the point of launch tubes? In an aircraft carrier, launch tubes are there because planes have to be going fast enough not to stall once they leave the deck. But what's the point of launch tubes in space?
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Postby loki1950 » Wed Aug 08, 2007 4:28 pm

Jumping into your fighter in your pj's comes to mind :wink:

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Postby chuck_starchaser » Wed Aug 08, 2007 4:38 pm

Yeah, I meant catapults. Too bad I don't wear pijamas. Speaking of which, I'm going back to bed.
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