On Fighting in Space

I’ve been wondering, how does one fire their weapons from inside their shield bubbles, when their shields are meant to stop the exact kind of weapons they’re using?

My Guess: Because the shield bubbles are just that “bubbles”. So there is this layer of energy surrounding the ship, once your past that protective shell, then there is nothing stopping you from shooting directly at the ship.

As for why a fighter can penetrate the shield and not a beam or bullet weapon . . i will simply refer to Dune and the “Slow Knife”

so what your saying is that hanging gratuitous amounts of metal on the top of the ship doesn’t count

Nope, I am not say that.

The question on the OP was about shields - I have said you can shoot at the ship once your inside the shields.
I am leaving the amount of armor plating you have placed on the ship to protect the hull as an entirely seperate question :wink:

On the subject of shooting through shields, the old classic SF stories by Niven and Pournelle about the Mote in God’s Eye had power-absorbing shields. Because they generated the field, they could control it all over, thus creating tiny openings for their laser beams and missiles to pass through. They also had to poke periscopes through the shield to see the enemy.

Now there is a book i have not read in awhile, it went into such detail . . (i.e. Frictionless toilets !?)
Sorry, back on topic.

I am trying to remember how the shields in the Lensmen series worked - The Mauler Class Cruisers where basiclly a ship with Heavy shields and a tractor beam but they didnt have any weapons. The idea was they would pin the target down long enough for the artillery ships to take em out

On a related note, I’ll just leave this little hand-grenade right here…

[size=50](still blown away by the hopeful surprise I read there)[/size]

Having first read “Doc” Smith’s Lensman series 28 years ago, I’m a wee bit vague on the more obscure of the many technological aspects of the saga. However, I seem to recall that Smith generally doesn’t explain how shields work; for purposes of the stories, they simply do. Yes, he goes into detail about the limitations & interactions between related things such as tractor beams, shears and zones – but for shields? Not nearly so much. :wink:

Amusingly, I recently finished re-reading The Mote In God’s Eye and its sequel, The Gripping Hand, for the nth time. A Langston Field! My kingdom for a Langston Field! :stuck_out_tongue:

I beg to differ, mate. The maulers are the artillery ships. :slight_smile: The rest of your recollection is accurate. I quote from page 131 of Galactic Patrol (volume 3 of the series):

And a short but sweet quote from the next page. This one makes me smile:

So we see that not only did the maulers (via their tractor beams) literally immobilize their prey, but they also starved them for their energy life-blood by blocking their ability to collect the so-called cosmic energy which all pre-mauler warship classes depended upon. Once this was accomplished, those colossal mauler weapons handed out the coup de grace.

I regret that this fascinating literary aside is but partially relevant to our shielding debate, but I trust it’s still food for thought.

ah - i see that i was in error (Not suprising really, given the timeframe since i last read the books) But now have the perfect excuse to liberate the Lensmen series from the Family Library . . .(along with a few other classics)

I think you’ve “got enough jets to swing that load”. [-chuckle-]

During WW1, the Germans built fighter planes that only fired while the propeller was out of the way. Before this invention, nose-mounted guns on fighters were impossible. Maybe ships in GSB use computers to shut down shields for an instant to let shots through when no enemy weapons are hitting? The only problem is beam weapons. Shields could stop them differently somehow.

The ‘interrupter gear’ was what enabled this to be done. I see no problem with advanced races inventing something similar to allow them to fire through their own shields, even opening a small gap to allow a beam weapon through shouldn’t be too hard for them to do.

I believe in a series David Weber wrote, the Honor Harrington space opera, operated this way - small openings in the side wall shields would open up briefly to allow the torpedo’s to be launched. The tops and bottoms were impenetrable slabs of infinite space-like something or rather close to a black hole but maybe not using gravity fields to provide something or rather something representing acceleration although not quite and was some what used in an alternative variation to enter something like but unlike hyperspace.

Unfortunately the good guys kept losing.

The Stargate series has an alternative possibility, mentioned in Stargate Universe. It’s comparable to the WWII type stuff mentioned above, but more high tech.

In this different weapons have different frequencies (the race they are defending against seems to use the same range for all their weapons). The shields defend against certain frequencies, and the more they match the better the shield can absorb the attack. Their shields cycle various frequencies in an attempt to defend against more attacks.

Here’s the quote of the scene where this discussion occurs.

I’ll see if I can find a more technical description somewhere.

If this was GSB’s method, using the rock, paper, scissors analogy the attacker’s weaponry would be like rock, the defender’s would be like scissors, and the shields would be paper. The defending weaponry would pass through the shields while the attackers’ would be blocked by enemy fire. I don’t think changing frequencies would work easily either; once Destiny stayed on a frequency that blocked the enemy weaponry the enemy ships ended up going kamikaze to try and penetrate (with higher than normal damage resulting).

Star Wars, while not getting too detailed, also has another method:

It would be simpler to have separate shields that each make up a small section and can be turned on and off individually. Many GSB races have patterns on their shields that could represent individual sections. Maybe the sections can be overcharged to completely block individual attacks? The overcharge could take time and some weapons could hit before a shield can be fully charged.