A question and suggestion regarding missiles


Missiles, rockets, and torpedoes, to be precise.

I never seem to run out of them. I assume, then, that they are not limited in terms of ammo.

Seems to me it would make all of these weapons more interesting if they were perhaps more damaging*, but if ships contained fewer reloads for them. ( *depending on the missile in question, and how limited ammo would work balance wise).

Cruiser weapons might have more shots than frigates, and fighters might only carry a handful at most (the more powerful, the fewer).

Having the game keep track of expendable ammunition would create some really interesting (in a fun way) problems to solve in ship design and tactics. Anti-missile point defense would become more critical since letting a missile through would be more dangerous. Fighters could expend their ammo, then they RTB (as if damaged under “cautious” orders) and reload.


That would give you a reason to set the engagement ranges shorter so they save the ammo for when they can make them count more.

and you could buy “magazine space” modules to increase your capacity


True, good point.

Also, it would allow for many more types of missiles. Small missiles that swarm and do little damage (they could MIRV just after launch) but has many reloads, or a single CA missile that can wreck a frigate in one hit but the CA only holds one or two.


Arent you guys just talking about fighters?

Small, fast, limited lifetime and easy to take down.
Still they deal some damage and can be strong in groups.


no, they’re talking about all missiles.



It would add a cool Mechwarrior-like strategy element.

I think GSB must attract people full of great “what-if” ideas. I hope Cliffski knows what he got himself into here.


Actually, if I were to change anything about the missiles it would be the artwork of the turrets to make them more distinctive. I like to be able to zoom way in on a ship and get some idea what it’s throwing at me, also it would be easier in the ship design screen. I have seriously considered just not unlocking the missiles I am less likely to use just to keep down the confusion. Hopefully the game sells like hotcakes enabling the purchase of some excellent gratuitous artwork for future patches.


Dang, I tried to modify a rocket launcher to fire rockets in swarms, but it looks like one turret can only have one missile fired at once.


As far as I can determine, that’s the same for every missile/torpedo/rocket weapon in the entire game. The first seeking projectile must strike the target or be intercepted before the second can be launched. Multi-warhead missiles are, at best, a partial exception to this. I would like to eventually see the kind of functionality that you were trying to create, believe me!


Each launcher can only launch one missile or each ship? I’m pretty sure it’s each launcher.

From a visual perspective, they come from what is in effect a point (the launcher). So why not just have a launcher that fires swarms of missiles fire one missile that instantly MIRVs into multiples?

Alternately—this is a bigger mod—treat the hardpoints a little differently. The WEIGHT/ENERGY of the turret would become the driving factor to a point, and the crew. So a CA gets many more hardpoints, and missile launchers are made very light weight, low energy and low crew. Beam weapons, OTOH, have their mass/etc upped a little. The missile launcher sprite becomes tiny as well.

Say a CA has 20 hardpoints with this mod where it used to have 10. The weight/crew/energy levels make it so that using 20 large cruiser beams would become impossible, or very difficult. 20 missile launchers, OTOH, would not harm ship design at all (very few crew, low energy, low mass, etc).

Some of the big beams could be set up such that they use a ton of power. A lightweight power plant might be added that is exactly enough for one such turret. So if you want 10 heavy plasmas, the ideal solution might be 10 of those, and use the other 10 hardpoints for 10 powerplants for the plasmas. Perhaps they could be called “beam weapon batteries pack” or something like that.

Seems like this could be modded in if nothing else.


Yes, I meant it’s a per-launcher restriction. Sorry if I gave the opposite impression. I’m strenuously opposed to the restriction, but I’m not the Supreme Space Admiral. :wink:

Interesting notion, tater. Set the release range for the submunitions to be only 1 distance point away from the launcher, right? That deserves some attention.

I really hope that cliffski implements that previously-debated change to weapon modules. Having, say, four frigate weapons able to be installed into a single cruiser hardpoint would be wonderful!


Just throwing this out there because I’ll forget it otherwise.

The GSB universe has reactionless drives. OK. Missiles are in effect very small spacecraft with computers/droids instead of a pilot.

At the size of a fighter, missiles should move about like fighters. Check fighter speeds vs large missiles as a test.

Small missiles, OTOH are likely a different story. It would be a fair assumption that reactionless drives might have some minimal size. MIssiles below that would be more like what we might see nowadays.

Might be a way to balance small weapons (fighter carried missiles, etc) vs much larger weapons. More later, just posting for my own memory.


Also, it would be need to have Fighters be able to shoot down missiles and torpedoes.


What if there was a ‘complete’ set of hardware for fighters? Anti-missle flare systems, EMP weapons, tiny shields, cloaking devices? Add a standard hardware spot to any fighter that has just the basics right now.

As for the original topic- I’d love to limited ammo counts, and the ability to tweak exactly how much is on the ship, with corresponding cost and weight penalties.


The fire control solution for a missile attack is actually easy—it’s a 2d solution assuming the PD system is near the target. This is because the missile is usually in pure pursuit (possibly lead). None the less, where it is going is known—at the target ship. As such, it simplifies targeting. Back in my traveller gearhead days, we in fact figured out that PD fire was virtually guaranteed to hit. It was just a matter of how many targets might be engaged and destroyed per time interval.

Since GSB does care where the PD is WRT to the missile trajectory, it’s probably just as well that fighters are not set up to deal with missiles. There would also be fire control, and perhaps powerful active sensors (though passives reduce lag time—OTH, reactonless missiles might be hard to see).

I have to say I prefer nasty missiles and good PD such that you try and not let any through.


Being new to this game (bought it last night), I decided to start by reading the forums. This topic caught my interest so I started to read it. This game really appears to be modeled after the combat in a book series by David Weber about Honor Harrington (about 15 to 20 books in the series now and growing). A lot of the ideas that you are suggesting seem to follow the combat as it has developed in this book series. I would hope that this game is successful enough that the developers and modders would start adding some of the ideas in the books.


While I have many hundreds of SF books, I never read those. I know other traveller people who did, so that is probably where my notions come from (aside from basics physics).



I like the idea, but it seems like it would be a pain if implemented for any ships other than fighters, who can just return to a bay and refit. I think having to worry about ammo supplies just makes it a little to complex. Perhaps a realism mode for those that would enjoy the extra challenge?


You needn’t worry about ammo supplies, it’s not like we control the ships.

You have missile weapons with limited ammo. Ideally you’d have some new orders with that in mind. You’d likely add at least some beam weapon so once they expend ammo they can fight at close range. There could be ammo modules that ad ammo to missile launchers. You’d design with the the damage of each missile in mind, as well as the sum total damage of all the ammo added together.

It is better, IMO, because it creates design choices—note that I’d make all the missiles more deadly with limited ammo to make up for them running out. Complex design choices (including tactical orders) is the major fun of the game, really, or at least half of it because it’s in the design that we do more than watch.


David Weber’s “Honor Harrington” books aren’t a bad frame of reference for what we’re talking about actually.
They have a very unusual way of breaking down space combat into pages of calculations about missile velocities and so on that emphasise the huge ranges and speeds involved without reducing the pace of the action.
If you’re the kind of person that likes GSB, then I can heartily recommend them. In fact I’m pretty sure some of them are available free to download legally from Baen Books. IIRC the first in the series is “On Basilisk Station”.