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Rosco74

Detecting starships

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Hello, I just discovered the starship upgrade, whispethrust engine in Fly Casual expansion. It increase the difficulty to detect vessels...

How do you handle starship detection as there is no rule in the book? 

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Seems silly but a TIE or any fighter patrol would alsays miss any ship beyond short range. Short range is just beyond dogfight range according the book, so that's still'very close. In active mode they can boost their range to short, and make the easy computer check. 

Even a ship moving at speed 2 can move one range band in a maneuver, that would be your lucky day or a great hazard to fall on another ship if you consider distances in space. 

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Just keep in mind that most of these things are bloody obvious when your ship is parked, and would be considered outright illegal on most semi-civilized worlds.

You don’t want to be docking your expensive Nightshadow-equipped ship anywhere remotely close to a place where the authorities could come around with a Star Destroyer or three and ask what you’re doing there.

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4 hours ago, Rosco74 said:

Seems silly but a TIE or any fighter patrol would alsays miss any ship beyond short range. Short range is just beyond dogfight range according the book, so that's still'very close. In active mode they can boost their range to short, and make the easy computer check. 

Even a ship moving at speed 2 can move one range band in a maneuver, that would be your lucky day or a great hazard to fall on another ship if you consider distances in space. 

If the rules-as-written range of sensors and comms starts to bug you, use a different range set for them. Planetary range already has subsets of Ground and Space. I've added a third subset of Planetary range called, "Stellar". As a bit of explanation, the Comms range table is below. For Sensors I still use the Planetary (space) or Planetary (ground) scale depending on where the vehicle is. But, if scanning for planetary sized bodies (planets, moons) the sensors use Planetary (stellar) scale with a maximum of Short.

This idea I think was first suggested from someone at these forums? I can't recall please respond if it was you. :)

Table 1: STELLAR SCALE

Range

Example Distances

Starship Comms Example

Gear Comms Example

Close

To orbit, across a planet.

Common on short-ranged Starfighters.

Comlink. Core rulebooks.

Short

To another planet in the system.

Common on long-ranged Starfighters and short haul Transports.

Long-Ranged Comlink. Core rulebooks.

Medium

To a nearby star system, 10’s of light years.

Common on long haul Transports.

Short-Ranged Transceiver.  Suns of Fortune.

Long

Across a subsector, 100’s of light years.

Common on Capital ships.

Long-Ranged Transceiver. Suns of Fortune.

Extreme

Across a sector, 1000’s of light years.

Uncommon on Capital and Scout ships.

Extreme-Ranged Transceiver.

Edited by Sturn

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Yes thanks, but you say the Stellar scale is for planet size objects, so it won't change anything about a fighter unable to notice any other ship beyond short range, a few kilometers away as it is just beyond dogfight as rules says

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11 hours ago, Rosco74 said:

Seems silly but a TIE or any fighter patrol would alsays miss any ship beyond short range. Short range is just beyond dogfight range according the book, so that's still'very close. In active mode they can boost their range to short, and make the easy computer check. 

Even a ship moving at speed 2 can move one range band in a maneuver, that would be your lucky day or a great hazard to fall on another ship if you consider distances in space. 

There are recon fighters with sensor range medium, use active sensors and it becomes a long-range scan into one arc. Works out fine already. Even a grid of fighters patrolling and scanning with medium-range can cover a big area if you just have enough flights running patrols. BTW, close range is up to about 2.4km, based on the X-Wing games and comics and their maximum weapon range with fighter weapons. 

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9 hours ago, bradknowles said:

Just keep in mind that most of these things are bloody obvious when your ship is parked, and would be considered outright illegal on most semi-civilized worlds.

You don’t want to be docking your expensive Nightshadow-equipped ship anywhere remotely close to a place where the authorities could come around with a Star Destroyer or three and ask what you’re doing there.

Well, Whisper thrust engines are not obvious, nor is the pseudo-cloaking device and even the nightshadow coating does sound like a classic radar absorbing paint job, which is only obvious when someone takes out a 50 credit scanner on your ship, but not obviously for the naked eye. At least that would be my take on it. 

All three are still highly illegal, so you still want usually avoid an BoSS inspection, but at the other hand, if there are really star destroyers in the system and you are wanted anyway … it is at least a decent enough escape plan. ;-)

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11 hours ago, SEApocalypse said:

Well, Whisper thrust engines are not obvious, nor is the pseudo-cloaking device and even the nightshadow coating does sound like a classic radar absorbing paint job, which is only obvious when someone takes out a 50 credit scanner on your ship, but not obviously for the naked eye. At least that would be my take on it. 

All three are still highly illegal, so you still want usually avoid an BoSS inspection, but at the other hand, if there are really star destroyers in the system and you are wanted anyway … it is at least a decent enough escape plan. ;-)

WhisperThrust engines are VERY obvious if the ship is detected. At Speed < 4, your ship doesn't produce the exhaust signature that all legal engines give off. Sure, it makes you harder to detect, but if they do detect you, the effect of the engine is obvious.

The Pseudo-Cloaking Device is also VERY obvious when it is activated. If I can see your ship but not pick it up on scanners, then it doesn't take much effort to know you have something illegal going on. So again, if I do detect your ship, the presence of an illegal cloaking device is going to be discovered.

Nightshadow can go either way.

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4 minutes ago, HappyDaze said:

WhisperThrust engines are VERY obvious if the ship is detected. At Speed < 4, your ship doesn't produce the exhaust signature that all legal engines give off. Sure, it makes you harder to detect, but if they do detect you, the effect of the engine is obvious.

The Pseudo-Cloaking Device is also VERY obvious when it is activated. If I can see your ship but not pick it up on scanners, then it doesn't take much effort to know you have something illegal going on. So again, if I do detect your ship, the presence of an illegal cloaking device is going to be discovered.

Nightshadow can go either way.

Oh yeah, absolutely. That is a good clarifications. I was more talking about being in the docking bay of a legal port. When in action this stuff is "visible" clear as they when they try to scan you, so make sure that you have deactivated your transponder code when going silence. Which is a good advise in any case even if all the mods would not be illegal, because sending an transponder code is rather counter-productive when trying to go silent. :D

Edited by SEApocalypse

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1 minute ago, HappyDaze said:

Well, to get into that legal port, you most likely had to fly in and be read by the port's sensors/control tower, right?

Correct, so better make sure you don't get watched to closely or that the port does not bother with such sancy things like a control tower and sensor scans. Nightshadow might pass that you just slipped into a little closer before they noticed you, the issue of the whisper thrust can be dealt with going in fast and the pseudo-cloaking device should be deactivatable. :)

 

 

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5 minutes ago, HappyDaze said:

Approaching a landing field at high speed is not a good way to avoid attracting attention.

Meanwhile it should not be a big enough deal to warrant an inspection and is certainly better than getting even more attention from the whisper thrust engine. *g*

Though it certainly is not something I would try on something with heavy traffic controls, like core worlds with planetary shields, because it certainly would not work that way. Besides, that's how I always land anyway. ;-)

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4 hours ago, HappyDaze said:

Approaching a landing field at high speed is not a good way to avoid attracting attention.

LOL. Time to buzz the tower....

Hide in plain sight.  Hotshot pilot with a history of this, would probably be addressed but not unexpected. Still a risk, but..... :D

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At some point, you have to drop below Speed 4 to land, and if you came in attracting all sorts of attention, the lack of emissions is going to be noticed.

To be clear, all of these high-end stealth systems are great for making sure you're not detected. Unfortunately, once you are, they all become painfully obvious and mark you as a ship of interest to anyone with even the least amount of brains.

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On 3/18/2017 at 8:57 AM, Rosco74 said:

Yes thanks, but you say the Stellar scale is for planet size objects, so it won't change anything about a fighter unable to notice any other ship beyond short range, a few kilometers away as it is just beyond dogfight as rules says

One thing to consider is that while a ship may not appear on their sensors, it does not stop them being able to see it physically out of their cockpit window...if it is realistically possible they could see the ship, give them a perception (if actively looking) or vigilance (just happen to see it) roll.

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2 hours ago, Ferretfur said:

One thing to consider is that while a ship may not appear on their sensors, it does not stop them being able to see it physically out of their cockpit window...if it is realistically possible they could see the ship, give them a perception (if actively looking) or vigilance (just happen to see it) roll.

You could always just paint the ship black lol, space invisibility :)

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16 hours ago, Ferretfur said:

One thing to consider is that while a ship may not appear on their sensors, it does not stop them being able to see it physically out of their cockpit window...if it is realistically possible they could see the ship, give them a perception (if actively looking) or vigilance (just happen to see it) roll.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to spot even Star Destroyer size ships at any kind of distance?

Do we need to dig up the old quote about how mind-bogglingly big space is?

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5 hours ago, bradknowles said:

Do you have any idea how hard it is to spot even Star Destroyer size ships at any kind of distance?

Do we need to dig up the old quote about how mind-bogglingly big space is?

I was more considering space patrols around planets, so in a limited area where a ship may become visible...not out in deep space. I never said it would be easy to visually see the ship.

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6 hours ago, Ferretfur said:

I was more considering space patrols around planets, so in a limited area where a ship may become visible...not out in deep space. I never said it would be easy to visually see the ship.

You mean like something which is in in geostationary  orbit at 35,000km above ground? 

Example: A star destroyer is 1.6km long, that appears to be 0.15715 Minutes big on the sky from the ground. When we say a person has 20/20 vision we mean they have the acuity to discern a detail of 1 arc minute. Good luck. :)

If you cut down the distance to something like medium with something like 50 km range and to something like a TIE/LN with 6m you are still below that 1 arc minute, at 100km and 21m for an x-wings biggest profile you are still below 1 arc minute, so it is possible even to have sil 4 vehicles below visual range when at medium range in space.  

So yeah, detecting fighters at close range should be possible, detecting them at short range might sometimes still be possible, larger vessels are easier to spot. But we are talking here about incredible small details to find against a background which makes it incredible hard to spot something. And we are talking potential about the extreme dark shadows of space as ambient light is rather limited even close to planets. 

Quote

Visual Acuity

A circle is made of of 360 degrees.  A single degree is made of of 60 arc minutes.  So 1 arc minute is 1/21,600 of a full circle.

When we say a person has 20/20 vision we mean they have the acuity to discern a detail of 1 arc minute.

Some people have worse vision such as 20/40 and they can only discern at 2 arc minutes – some have better vision such as 20/10 and they can discern 0.5 arc minutes.

There is a physical limit to human visual acuity as there are only so many cones (color sensors) in the eye and while 20/8 is possible it is rare – the kind of thing you see in fighter pilots.

http://www.1728.org/angsize.htm

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