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 Post subject: Re: Future Small Arms?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:48 am 
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EUBanana wrote:
You don't use diamond alone, but it's one component of composite armour. Hard is brittle, yes, but you want a hard layer. Hence the spider silk / diamond / aerogel armours which work pretty well.

They describe their armour as being lots of tiny plates, I could see a plate, like a reactive armour plate, being made out of diamond IRL. I'm not sure having ALL your armour made out of little plates is a good idea though. What if it gets hit in the seam between plates? Given the weapons are often railguns effectively firing grains of hard sand in a continuous sandblaster stream, it's going to track across your target and get into those seams. Tank turrets are one piece casts as much as possible for a reason. Ideally you'd want your complicated composite armour to be pieces that fit snugly up against each other, it'd not be easy to make. it isn't easy to make, that's why tanks are expensive.

Nukes in COADE are flashbulbs, it's about heat transmitted to the target, according to the inverse square law. If the explosion is close enough they are deadly, as you can melt ships to catastrophic failure, but meters of aerogel and layers of nuke flash resistant titanium carbide mean it's not a death sentence in one nuking unless it's very close. Nukes interfere with nearby nukes too, causing them to misfire, so it's not like 'moar missiles' is necessarily a solution.

I think reflectivity is modelled in some sense, hence the titanium carbide. The energy the nuke transmits to the ship has to go somewhere so insulation alone is not necessarily relevant, aerogel might take a while for the heat to dissipate through it - but it will eventually. Unless it's radiating from the hot aerogel back into space faster than it's getting through the armour. I did read a discussion on it and how the game models it on their wiki I think it was.

Radiation effects on the crew are not modelled at all which is the gripe, but supposedly if you have a nuking which delivers enough radiation to instantly incapacitate the crew, short of odd designs (100m of aerogel armour!) the ship will be toasted anyway. That said some scenarios in game are, say, 20-30 days long, which would be enough for milder but still lethal radiation sickness to kill.

And yes, it's a horrible way to die. I think one thing in general I picked up from COADE is that space combat would be a truly hellish experience, even worse than naval combat IRL is. I used to think being in the bowels of a sinking battleship would be horrifying but being aboard one of COADE's flying dildoes in the typical COADE battle would be far worse. TBH dealing with things like salvoes of nukes which will impact you 2 days from now would be bad enough on the nerves, even if you came through it all unscathed.



Nuclear detonation is like someone fired a wide spectrum high intensity laser near you. If the energy yield is sufficient the material absorbing the radiation will vaporize and anything outside of the vaporized portion will experience a shockwave traveling through the material at speed of sound for the material.

The nicety about gels is that it's cheap, easy to replace (it's a fluid!) and when it comes to absorption it is really good at it.

What's being completely forgotten are neutron bombs, all nuclear weapons cause neutron activation to all materials near them but neutron bomb version causes ~8x the amount of neutron activation. Essentially it turns the materials it interacts with into radioactive isotopes meaning the ship parts themselves become sources for ionizing radiation. Hence neutron activation is good at taking out crew and electronics, the half times can be days or weeks.

For instance you could hit the enemy fleet with a couple of really big, 100Mt neutron warheads and then just flee for a week across the system while laughing to your beard as the enemy are being irradiated by their own ship with all sorts of malfunctions.


Maybe indeed diamond could be a component in some armor design, though I wouldn't be surprised if some fully artificial and purpose designed nanomaterial was superior for the purpose.

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 Post subject: Re: Future Small Arms?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:29 am 
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I dunno.

A neutron bomb is simply a very low yield thermonuclear weapon, as I understand it - in the kiloton range. When you have a bomb that small, the radiation effects are the killer, compared to blast and heat. As I understand it there's no such thing as a 100 megaton neutron bomb.

Furthermore, neutron bombs are a bit of a failed experiment; they just aren't all that effective - again, they would have to be detonated so close to the target to get an instant or near instant radiation kill that the blast, even from a neutron bomb which releases most of its energy as fast neutrons, is the important bit. I don't think secondary radiation was generally deemed a big deal, someone set off a small nuke 500m from a Centurion tank and I think the tank was a-ok? Deemed usable. The only time I can think of offhand when nuclear contamination was a really big immediate deal was the underwater explosions they tested on warships, turns out soaking a ship in irradiated water is extremely bad news, far worse than they thought it would be.

But not relevant for space.

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 Post subject: Re: Future Small Arms?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:30 am 
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There are such things as nuclear pumped one shot lasers as well, not a thing in COADE but a potential weapon.

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 Post subject: Re: Future Small Arms?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:13 pm 
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I reckon the dude is either too busy in his day job or bummed that his game sold like shit. He did respond in one thread on there where I speculated that the "AI cheats" and made a point to say "No, the AI does not cheat."

It is a shame, because with another development cycle equivalent to however long it took him to get it to this stage, and with the factors we are griping about covered it could really be a fantastic game. Get enough revenue to hire one or two folks part-time and use that to make a proper expansion!

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 Post subject: Re: Future Small Arms?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:33 am 
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EUBanana wrote:
I dunno.

A neutron bomb is simply a very low yield thermonuclear weapon, as I understand it - in the kiloton range. When you have a bomb that small, the radiation effects are the killer, compared to blast and heat. As I understand it there's no such thing as a 100 megaton neutron bomb.

Furthermore, neutron bombs are a bit of a failed experiment; they just aren't all that effective - again, they would have to be detonated so close to the target to get an instant or near instant radiation kill that the blast, even from a neutron bomb which releases most of its energy as fast neutrons, is the important bit. I don't think secondary radiation was generally deemed a big deal, someone set off a small nuke 500m from a Centurion tank and I think the tank was a-ok? Deemed usable. The only time I can think of offhand when nuclear contamination was a really big immediate deal was the underwater explosions they tested on warships, turns out soaking a ship in irradiated water is extremely bad news, far worse than they thought it would be.

But not relevant for space.


I never bothered to read of the mechanism of how they manage to ramp up the neutron output of the blast but I don't see how that cannot be scaled up.

That said, I'd just go for the big yield bombs for the missiles, call the big slow missiles torps because that sounds cool. Neutrons, no neutrons, once you scale the bomb up enough - it's going to be quite a nice piece of your arsenal with many uses.

Neutronium activated tanks - the thing is, if the irradiation is low you can just keep using it. Sure, the crew might die within 30 years to cancer but they're far more likely to die tomorrow if they aren't using the tank. Pretty much the same until when the life expectancy hit starts to be counted in weeks, in which case you are starting to consider if you can afford to wait the tank to cool off for a couple of weeks, which it only takes.

As for being hit with a big one, well, let's just say that Kursk isn't a thing for nuclear war. You gather 10 tank brigades around a single city, you're asking for the enemy to throw a few megatons that way and you'll lose the tanks - all the eggs in the same basket.

In space there are many tricks to getting couple of big nuclear missiles near the enemy fleet - for instance throw in similarly looking more stronger radiating armored dummies to soak up the PD fire so the actual real warheads have a higher chance to get through - while the dummies can at the same time be used as kinetic missiles. And the nicety about really big yields is that they can potentially take out every ship in, say, 15km radius. Which means just the potentiality of having them will affect the enemy formation - don't want to tighten the formation too much even if it has advantages if the enemy can then hit you with big nukes.


Does CDE have Casaba Howitzers?

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 Post subject: Re: Future Small Arms?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:27 am 
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Kameolontti wrote:
I never bothered to read of the mechanism of how they manage to ramp up the neutron output of the blast but I don't see how that cannot be scaled up.


They don't do any ramping afaik, that's the thing. It's just literally a very small hydrogen bomb. They come about because radiation effects do not scale with yield as much as blast/thermal destruction do.

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In space there are many tricks to getting couple of big nuclear missiles near the enemy fleet - for instance throw in similarly looking more stronger radiating armored dummies to soak up the PD fire so the actual real warheads have a higher chance to get through - while the dummies can at the same time be used as kinetic missiles. And the nicety about really big yields is that they can potentially take out every ship in, say, 15km radius. Which means just the potentiality of having them will affect the enemy formation - don't want to tighten the formation too much even if it has advantages if the enemy can then hit you with big nukes.


I dunno, 15km radius from thermal radiation only seems rather unlikely unless we're talking one really big mutha. Thermal radiation is certainly dangerous but the main destructive element is blast. You need to actually melt the (aerogel?) hull of the ship by heat alone. Nukes are going to be extremely inefficient at doing this due to the inverse square law again.

15km is a long way. A 1 megaton bomb will cause third degree burns to 6km from flash burn alone, and in space that's all you have, even assuming it's a little more efficient because the flash will transmit better in vacuum than through air. Even so clearly you need a lot more heat to damage a warship than you would to do damage human skin by flash alone. I would hazard that will do sweet FA to a steel warship, let alone one designed to be resistant to this sort of attack. To melt a ship designed to not be melted with aerogel and whatever, your nuke flash is going to have to be very close - close enough for Hiroshima shadow type effects, close enough to vaporise things from thermal flash alone, things not made out of weak human flesh, but steels and aerogels and composites which are far tougher.

I think COADE is accurate on nukes being lacklustre, that said I've never tried a Tsar Bomba esque giant bomb before. I guess I'll have to try it out. I do know the inverse square law though and I do know that nuclear weapon yield suffers from similar diminishing returns (hence MIRVs being used instead of giant bombs, Trident "only" has 200kT warheads not a single giant warhead, for a reason).

COADE does not allow for things like nuclear shrapnel. But that seems a possibility to me, like a frag grenade but nuclear powered. The Orion drive idea came about because of a solid metal plate that got blown clear of a test nuke at an incredible velocity - seems to me there's no reason why you couldn't do something similar to the Orion idea but with the intent being to scatter big lumps of shrapnel around at extremely high speeds. Doesn't really matter if it's a glowing blob of vaporised metal even, if it transmits energy to the target when it hits it. Maybe something like that could have a wide blast radius, at least under certain circumstances (relatively low speed differential between target and missile).

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 Post subject: Re: Future Small Arms?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:47 am 
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EUBanana wrote:
Kameolontti wrote:
I never bothered to read of the mechanism of how they manage to ramp up the neutron output of the blast but I don't see how that cannot be scaled up.


They don't do any ramping afaik, that's the thing. It's just literally a very small hydrogen bomb. They come about because radiation effects do not scale with yield as much as blast/thermal destruction do.

Quote:
In space there are many tricks to getting couple of big nuclear missiles near the enemy fleet - for instance throw in similarly looking more stronger radiating armored dummies to soak up the PD fire so the actual real warheads have a higher chance to get through - while the dummies can at the same time be used as kinetic missiles. And the nicety about really big yields is that they can potentially take out every ship in, say, 15km radius. Which means just the potentiality of having them will affect the enemy formation - don't want to tighten the formation too much even if it has advantages if the enemy can then hit you with big nukes.


I dunno, 15km radius from thermal radiation only seems rather unlikely unless we're talking one really big mutha. Thermal radiation is certainly dangerous but the main destructive element is blast. You need to actually melt the (aerogel?) hull of the ship by heat alone. Nukes are going to be extremely inefficient at doing this due to the inverse square law again.

15km is a long way. A 1 megaton bomb will cause third degree burns to 6km from flash burn alone, and in space that's all you have, even assuming it's a little more efficient because the flash will transmit better in vacuum than through air. Even so clearly you need a lot more heat to damage a warship than you would to do damage human skin by flash alone. I would hazard that will do sweet FA to a steel warship, let alone one designed to be resistant to this sort of attack. To melt a ship designed to not be melted with aerogel and whatever, your nuke flash is going to have to be very close - close enough for Hiroshima shadow type effects, close enough to vaporise things from thermal flash alone, things not made out of weak human flesh, but steels and aerogels and composites which are far tougher.

I think COADE is accurate on nukes being lacklustre, that said I've never tried a Tsar Bomba esque giant bomb before. I guess I'll have to try it out. I do know the inverse square law though and I do know that nuclear weapon yield suffers from similar diminishing returns (hence MIRVs being used instead of giant bombs, Trident "only" has 200kT warheads not a single giant warhead, for a reason).

COADE does not allow for things like nuclear shrapnel. But that seems a possibility to me, like a frag grenade but nuclear powered. The Orion drive idea came about because of a solid metal plate that got blown clear of a test nuke at an incredible velocity - seems to me there's no reason why you couldn't do something similar to the Orion idea but with the intent being to scatter big lumps of shrapnel around at extremely high speeds. Doesn't really matter if it's a glowing blob of vaporised metal even, if it transmits energy to the target when it hits it. Maybe something like that could have a wide blast radius, at least under certain circumstances (relatively low speed differential between target and missile).



That's the thing really. You cannot compare atmospheric burn distances with vacuum burn distances.

The atmosphere is like blowing up a grenade in pudding. It is enormously dampening. This is why the blast radius stops increasing in any significant amount as yield size increases, the increase of the radii is thwarted by the atmospheric absorption which works to slow down the release and distribution of energy while constantly converting radiation into heat, sound etc.

In space there are no dampening forces, there is only the square inverse law. This means that the high yield bombs are more effective in space. In atmospheric setting you achieve most of the time the same mission parameters with tactical as well as you reach with strategic nukes. Kilotons are quite sufficient and you rarely even want more than a few megatons for the biggest bombs.

Image

In space, 50 megatons is twice the amount of energy hitting your area at same distance as 25 megaton yield.

Quick calculation, 100Mt yield is going to give at 15km 50% of the energy to your ship than being hit in immediate proximity (say, ~100-1000m) by 1Mt nuclear bomb.

Of course once we're at 15km the inverse square law is hitting the strength really hard. But still, those big warheads. For instance ramping up the sq cm energy absorption from 38 billion joules to 771 billion joules up from 5Mt to 100Mt, quite different results.

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 Post subject: Re: Future Small Arms?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:31 pm 
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Kameolontti wrote:
Quick calculation, 100Mt yield is going to give at 15km 50% of the energy to your ship than being hit in immediate proximity (say, ~100-1000m) by 1Mt nuclear bomb.

Of course once we're at 15km the inverse square law is hitting the strength really hard. But still, those big warheads. For instance ramping up the sq cm energy absorption from 38 billion joules to 771 billion joules up from 5Mt to 100Mt, quite different results.


Well, that itself means that you've increased the yield by two orders of magnitude in order to get merely 50% more damage, albeit in a wide area.

Though 15km ain't that wide for space.

This is also kinda numberwang unless you know how much energy you need to destroy a given ship. In IRL warheads are designed to take out specified targets, in this case we have no idea what the targets are and how tough they are. Hence all the nuclear weapons tests on ships and tanks and mocked up silos and the like. It may be that nuclear weapons would be quite effective, it also may be that thermal pulse might be countered effectively by defences.

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 Post subject: Re: Future Small Arms?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:09 pm 
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Having done a little digging, due to the lack of atmosphere radiation effects in space from nuclear weapons would be very roughly ten times the effect they would have in an atmosphere. If you're talking multi-megaton warheads that would mean a lethal radiation zone of hundreds of miles.

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 Post subject: Re: Future Small Arms?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:31 pm 
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EUBanana wrote:
Having done a little digging, due to the lack of atmosphere radiation effects in space from nuclear weapons would be very roughly ten times the effect they would have in an atmosphere. If you're talking multi-megaton warheads that would mean a lethal radiation zone of hundreds of miles.


Are you active on that games board? If you are, you should post that with a link to some of the tailings from your digging expedition. Watch the fanbois go apeshit! :P

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