Erik Rutin's post on armour, from June 2013, never seemed to make it to a post of its own, so I'm copying it here, and hoping Icemania will include it in the Guide to Guides.
This is what Erik said:
"Armor is struck by weapons fire when shields are fully depleted, or when the weapon is a rail gun and it bypasses shields. When the weapon is a gravity beam or gravity area weapon (these gravity weapons completely bypass both shields and armor)
Phaser weapons are also better at penetrating armor: the reactive rating is effectively halved when a phaser strikes it, thus allowing easier destruction of the armor.
Armor protects other components from damage. The only instance where other components should be damaged before armor is in the case of a hit from a gravitic weapon, which bypasses armor. Gravitic weapons damage components randomly once they hit and they can damage armor as well as normal components. No other weapon types completely bypass armor. By design, all other weapon types must first destroy armor before any damage occurs on other components.
When weapons fire strikes Armor there may be damage to the armor when the remaining weapon strength exceeds the Reactive Rating of the Armor component, i.e. the weapon is powerful enough to penetrate the reactive rating of the armor.
If the remaining weapon strength is less than or equal to the Armor reactive rating, then there is a small chance that the armor will still be breached. The actual chance depends on the ratio of remaining weapons strength to the reactive rating of the armor, but is never more than 20%.
If the reactive rating of the armor is penetrated then there is a random chance that the armor component will be destroyed (i.e. damaged component). The actual chance depends on the ratio of the standard Rating of the armor component to the remaining weapons damage amount, but is never less than 10%.
The armor damage is in two phases:
1. Penetrating the Reactive rating of the armor (max 20% chance for weapons with insufficient power)
2. Actually damaging the armor component (always at least 10% chance)
For Phasers: Damage = (Remaining Phaser strength at time of impact - (Armor Reactive rating / 2))
For other weapons: Damage = (Remaining weapon strength at time of impact - Armor Reactive rating)
BUT when Armor Reactive rating > Remaining weapon strength at time of impact THEN:
chance of penetrating Armor Reactive rating = (Armor Reactive rating / Remaining weapon strength at time of impact) * random factor (with Maximum chance of 20% when Remaining weapon strength at time of impact = Armor Reactive rating)
AND in the above case remaining weapon damage that passes to phase 2 below is ALWAYS 1 (i.e. minimal damage)
Actual chance to destroy armor = Max(0.1, (Damage / Armor standard Rating))
Using the above equations against Standard Armor (level 1):
Level 1 Maxos Blaster from range 100:
strikes target with remaining strength of 4, Armor Reactive rating (2) reduces damage to 2
chance to destroy armor component is 20% (Armor Standard Rating = 10, damage of 2 divided by 10)
Level 1 Rail Gun from range 100:
strikes target with remaining strength of 6 (no distance losses), Armor Reactive rating (2) reduces damage to 4
rail guns (and missiles) have less chance of destroying armor (50% reduction), thus actual damage is 2
thus chance to destroy armor component is 20% (Armor Standard Rating = 10, damage of 2 divided by 10)
Level 3 Impact Assault Blaster from range 100:
strikes target with remaining strength of 9 (3 distance loss), Armor Reactive rating (2) reduces damage to 7
chance to destroy armor component is 70% (Armor Standard Rating = 10, damage of 7 divided by 10)
Level 3 Shockwave Torpedo from range 100:
strikes target with remaining strength of 20 (4 distance loss), Armor Reactive rating (2) reduces damage to 18
chance to destroy armor component is 100% (Armor Standard Rating = 10, damage of 18 divided by 10)
Keep in mind Rail guns are also less accurate and much shorter ranged.
While these values are unchanged since Legends, in Shadows we have improved the random number generator to be more random. Thus this may have also increased the chance of reactive armor penetration and/or armor destruction.
Note that there are also some special cases for Armor: Shandar have stronger armor (including reactive rating) at their spaceports (racial bonus). Also, rail guns and missiles inflict less damage on armor (i.e. less chance to destroy once penetrate reactive rating).
Against rail guns, armor, speed/maneuver (as they are short range) and ECM are the intended counters. Ships that do not have enough armor, are not faster/more maneuverable than the rail gun ship and don't have an ECM advantage should not do well.
Against gravitic weapons, the intended counters were ECM, speed/maneuver (as while they are not short range, missiles and torpedos significantly outrange them), larger ships and repair bots.
What about when firing at unarmored ships, or ships which have had their armor destroyed?
For normal components, the remaining damage is reduced by the SIZE of each destroyed component, until the damage is exhausted (i.e. single shot can damage multiple components). Damage that hits normal components (NOT armor components) is also reduced by the damage reduction percentage first, then the remaining damage amount destroys components."
"Yes, damage control is for when you take damage beyond your armor. It can significantly increase survivability by limiting damage to just one component for each hit through armor, but it does not affect damage to armor. Repair bots help repair armor and other damage, damage control makes your normal ship components more resilient."
One thing to add to my above post, in the case of the Shockwave Torpedo example, I forgot to explain how the additional damage works. The remaining torpedo damage after you reach 100% of the Standard Armor Rating will carry over and destroy the next armor component, or if no undamaged armor remains then will destroy a normal component.
< Message edited by Osito -- 5/1/2014 10:59:32 PM >