Loren Pechtel wrote:I don't think prediction is a meaningful option--the ships should move entirely randomly within a defined area, impossible to predict.
No. In warfare there is always the possibility to predict an opponent.
You simply cannot just flit around at complete random, because then you would never have a chance to know where to shoot at yourself even(unless of course the enemy was completely
Loren Pechtel wrote:All that counts is maneuverability--and Dahak has vastly more of that than SW ships. He will be much farther from the "predicted" location than a SW ship. (And most SW combat occurs at ranges short enough that such random evasion isn't relevant--thus they might not even have such capability.)
On combat range, that´s another problematic point, as it has been "movie-ised" to be visible and dramatic, not "realistic". Depending on what sources you look at, max ranges for common antiship weaponry varies greatly.
At it´s best stated ranges, the DS should have somewhat/slightly less range than Dahak´s shorterranged weaponry, while the supergun is pretty much in range if it hits(ie, it´s range is unlimited, but practical range is drastically less so).
But overall yes, as i´ve already noted, Dahak has a massive mobility advantage, and a clear size advantage as well, it´s just going to have one hell of a troublesome time punching through DS shields with anything.
Effectively, the most likely outcome is that Dahak wins or scores a "draw" after neither sides manages to damage the other, and Dahak has the option of withdrawing, while it is a bit unclear if the DS can do that.
Loren Pechtel wrote:Actually, it makes sense. Shields have costs. The shield they put on the original DS was porous for this reason. They didn't consider fighters a realistic threat and thus saved by not engineering their shields to stop them. (I'm not saying it was for budgetary reasons--more likely for capability reasons. They were more interested in shields that could stand up to pounding from the rebel cruisers than fighters that could only do superficial damage--except for that exhaust port.)
Yeah, that works in theory up until you look at how fighterlaunched missile weapons then would also have no trouble at all getting through, and it´s clearly stated elsewhere(and indirectly in the movie as well) that the DS is pretty much impervious to that kind of attack.
Loren Pechtel wrote:No--I do understand. You're thinking of an antimatter weapon as simply delivering a chunk of antimatter. I do agree a particle screen would render such an attack basically meaningless. Nobody would bother with an antimatter beam weapon against a SW ship.
We are talking about missiles, though--missiles that have missile bodies. The missiles that Dahak fires are tens of meters long and pack a hyperdrive generator. That's a lot of mass. The warheads are only a small fraction of this. (Look at the yields to see this.) When the containment is switched off the antimatter will react with the missile itself. The antimatter does not attack the target, it's simply a source of energy.
Nope, you still miss the point. Warheads work in a certain way, no way around that.
In regards to antimatter, the particle shields interfere with the very reaction that is meant to cause the explosion.
Hence why i stated that you would effectively get an antimatter version of a directed charge warhead, and it would automatically get redirected OUTwards, meaning that if you have an antimatter warhead exploding right on the shields, >99% of the energy is blasted outwards, while the shields will absorb the rest without much trouble. If you try to have them pierce the shields, the deflector shields will effectively crush the missile and either have them do the above explosion, or even negate the warhead completely.
So, best chance is actually to have antimatter warheads to explode just outside the shields, so that the blast effect is still pointed at the target, as then the shields will have to absorb the vast majority of the blast instead of just a miniscule minority. Of course, stand-off range reduces the total effect on the target from the warhead, and achieving "perfect range" is never easy.
Loren Pechtel wrote:You don't need to bring matter--you have the missile itself.
No, bad bad bad idea. If you do that, mmm, it´s like putting a keg of blackpowder in a modern ATGM and call it a great antitank weapon because of the huuuuge warhead. You might get a big bang from it, but it´s going to be utterly useless to destroy tanks with.
The antimatter is going to react with nearby matter, and the SHAPE of the resulting explosion will depend completely on where each and every matter and antimatter particle is when AM containment is dropped.
You want the shape to be such that as much as possible of the blast is direct at the target, otherwise you are going to end up dissipating at least 65-90% of the total energy AWAY from the target, just due to the warhead shaping.
There is absolutely NO WAY you will get an effectively shaped explosion from just having the AM react with their delivery vehicle.
Delivering the AM right into the target and using the target mass as reaction mass, that´s actually one of the optimal solutions, as that greatly reduces the size needed of the missiles(this is the trick the SW "micro mines" use to be made small enough to slip through shielding(together with having their own not normal shields doubling as containment)), but this wont work as any regular warhead large enough to be useful is going to go *splat* against the shields.
In theory, it might be possible to do some kind of two-stage warhead using tech like the SW micromines, but trying to actively deliver those through the shields is rather unlikely to work well.
Loren Pechtel wrote:And when it hits the DS 50% of the energy is going to be absorbed.
No, nowhere even remotely close to that much.
Even with a perfect hit from a wellshaped warhead are you likely to achieve 50% efficiency. And what you suggested would be a BADLY shaped one. Expect maybe 10-15% effect.
Loren Pechtel wrote:What I'm wondering is if a Fifth-Imperium drive does a kamikaze what's the energy release? Do they hit with relativistic energy or does the destruction of the drive drop them to low velocity?
That´s one of the wildcards. Dahak MAY be able to use parasite warships or drones as a suicide squad, letting them impact at VERY high speed.
They would at least deplete the shields, but beyond that? Open question.
I think the shields should stop them, but i´m much less inclined to say whether, or if, how much damage can be forced to leak through.