Matrix Games Forums

Forums  Register  Login  Photo Gallery  Member List  Search  Calendars  FAQ 

My Profile  Inbox  Address Book  My Subscription  My Forums  Log Out

Active Radar

 
View related threads: (in this forum | in all forums)

Logged in as: Guest
Users viewing this topic: none
  Printable Version
All Forums >> [Classic (Free) Games] >> Titans of Steel - Warring Suns >> Active Radar Page: [1]
Login
Message << Older Topic   Newer Topic >>
Active Radar - 9/27/2004 7:04:28 PM   
Burzmali

 

Posts: 312
Joined: 7/28/2004
From: Boston
Status: offline
For a while now I've played ToS:WS and I haven't been able to shake the feeling that some important concept has been missing from the whole "realistic" Mecha combat angle. I was thinking about how to convert a Mekton battle when it stuck me. Active Sensors! That's what's missing. As it stands, the only time ATs can engage, is when at least partial LoS has been established. Whenever I lose a target in the woods at 2-3 hex range I keep thinking, how can you be hiding 40 - 200 tons of metal in a forest less than a mile away? Shouldn't my sensors be able to pickup something through the trees? Sure, 600+ meters of trees would block most EM signals an AT is likely to be emitting, but this is the future™ haven't ground penetrating radars shrunk down to less than say 10 tons?

Game Mechanics:

First, since an Active Radar (AR) is a type of scanner, there's no need to purchase it separately. The rating of an ATs AR would simply be same as the ATs Scanner.

Second, AR and Sensor Range. The AR is supplemental to the current sensor array (which behaves as a Passive Radar), so to maintain play balance the range of passive sensors would need to be scaled down slightly*, and AR would have a range slightly greater than the current sensors**.

* Passive vs. Active Sensors. If one AT is using AR and another is using passive sensors, the AT with passive sensors can detect the AT using AR at extended range (i.e. a range = passive sensors range + 1/2 targets AR range).

** AR and Extended Range. This extended range applies only to ATs, not terrain. An opponent could hide behind a mountain and evade an AT using AR. Furthermore, AR would reduce the effects of cover for purposes of during whether or not a target can be detected.

Third, AR and weapons. As GME are designed to target radiation sources, they gain a bonus for targeting an opponent with AR engaged (though if they get a bonus for having any scanners on that bonus would be reduced/eliminated for passive sensors). In addition, if coding would allow it, a new weapon would be created for the GM family, the GMR. The GMR would require that the launching AT have AR engaged, and have range, heat, and damage determined by whatever the GM family is missing the most. ECM would act to deflect GMRs in the same manner as flares deflect GMHs.

Fourth, AR and Hiding. Hiding with AR on is impossible as the AT is broadcasting its position. Against a hiding, using AR would reduce the cover modifier either directly (i.e. by rating/10) or by some factor (i.e. 1/(1 + rating/10)). I don't know enough about hiding to wager a guess as to which method is better.

Fifth, AR and targeting/scanning. Painting a target with AR makes establishing a lock quick, but is easily countered by ECM. The time to lock would by reduced by (scanner rating - ECM rating)/2 (or 3, 4 ...) seconds where the attacker can't establish a lock if the target has a higher ECM rating until the target enters passive sensor/visual range. Scanning would work the same way, AR (well imaging radar/ladar in this case) decreasing the time to scan and increasing the accuracy based on ECM and scanner ratings. Conversely, locking on a target that is using AR would be easier as well. The time to lock would be reduced by (scanner rating - ECM rating/2)/2 (or 3, 4 ...) seconds where both the scanner rating and ECM rating of the target are used. I'm not sure how scanning would be affected, but at the very least, AR should reduce the effectiveness of ECM.

Sixth, AR and buttons. While AR, passive, and off, should probably have its own 3-position toggle, the simplest place to put the selection would be as a submenu of the toggle scanner button. The menu would be similar to how the shields are handled.

There you have it, active radar in a nutshell. I know that implementing all that jazz now that the game has been released is well ... less than feasible, but its something to think about for a future release, maybe an expansion pack or sequel. Before anyone starts worrying about balance, all you have to do is increase the power requirements and heat generation from using AR to the point that recons running around with AR aren't broken, and an Assault has to think twice before flipping on AR while sporting a shield, ECM and running.
Post #: 1
RE: Active Radar - 12/7/2004 12:47:58 AM   
Black Knight

 

Posts: 68
Joined: 8/16/2003
From: Austria
Status: offline
That all would make the whole concept of sensors, direct/indirect sight, scanning, ect. unnecessarily complicated. In fact, it is an interesting idea, but TOS hadn't had problems without an Active Radar since, so it's better to keep the good ol' concept as it is. Besides, the programers would have to make some changes to the whole game engine, and that's a lot of work for such a little gain.

_____________________________

"Der Tiger sucht seine Beute"

(in reply to Burzmali)
Post #: 2
RE: Active Radar - 12/7/2004 6:18:40 AM   
Burzmali

 

Posts: 312
Joined: 7/28/2004
From: Boston
Status: offline
It's all another level of realism, something I'm always fond of. I have no specific issue with the system as it stands, but I think that adding active/passive radar would add depth to the game. As it stands, combat begins as soon as someone enters visual LOS, regardless of the radiation their sensor array is pumping out. Realistically, active radar would be a big red flag betraying your position, but uncovering any hiding units in range. Passive radar would be less likely to pick up a hiding AT, but allowing you to normally target visible targets. I like active radar as it allows for beyond visual range encounters with anti-radiation missiles and IF weaponry.

(in reply to Black Knight)
Post #: 3
RE: Active Radar - 12/7/2004 12:40:54 PM   
Thorgrim

 

Posts: 2369
Joined: 10/11/2001
From: Portugal
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Burzmali
I think that adding active/passive radar would add depth to the game.


The scanner already works like active radar. Active scan should mean something

quote:


As it stands, combat begins as soon as someone enters visual LOS, regardless of the radiation their sensor array is pumping out.


Not really. Visual LoS is 15 hexes. Combat can be initiated long before that. Missiles can be fired without direct LoS.

quote:


Realistically, active radar would be a big red flag betraying your position, but uncovering any hiding units in range. Passive radar would be less likely to pick up a hiding AT, but allowing you to normally target visible targets. I like active radar as it allows for beyond visual range encounters with anti-radiation missiles and IF weaponry.


Check out how hiding (HD) works. How the GME (extended range) works.

_____________________________

Iceman

(in reply to Burzmali)
Post #: 4
RE: Active Radar - 12/7/2004 2:51:12 PM   
Burzmali

 

Posts: 312
Joined: 7/28/2004
From: Boston
Status: offline
Thorgrim, while those points are technically true, those conditions are only true for the vast minority of games. I can count on one hand the number of times I have had an extended indirect LOS engagement with the AI, and more often then not combat begins with at least some of the combatants acquiring a direct LOS. While active scanning is an "active" use of the ATs sensors, it can only happen once a target is locked and takes awhile. Why couldn't the same technology be used to sweep an arc and uncover potential targets that are hidden or behind trees?

(in reply to Thorgrim)
Post #: 5
RE: Active Radar - 12/7/2004 4:53:03 PM   
Thorgrim

 

Posts: 2369
Joined: 10/11/2001
From: Portugal
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Burzmali

Thorgrim, while those points are technically true, those conditions are only true for the vast minority of games.


I thought we were discussing ToS here
I guess the other games will have something specifically called active radar. In ToS, you have basic sensors in the cockpit, and you may add a scanner to enhance your performance. That scanner, when in "active" mode and focused at a given target, allows you to collect data about it. Other games will have other systems, each game trying to be unique in the way they deal with stuff. It's only natural IMO.

quote:


I can count on one hand the number of times I have had an extended indirect LOS engagement with the AI, and more often then not combat begins with at least some of the combatants acquiring a direct LOS.


Hmm, one of the advantages of missiles is precisely the indirect fire capability. If you don't take advantage of that, it's not because you can't, but because you choose not to. There's even an indirect fire skill to go with the indirect LoS firing capability. Excelelnt tactical advantage, especially with spotters.

I fail to see your point too. Only GMHs have an extreme range of 26 hexes, scanners have more or less that range. Extending their range wouldn't have any advantage (or change) in "normal" engagement range. Combat usually happens in direct LoS, yes, but direct LoS and visual are two different things. For me it usually starts in direct, long range, with missile fire (if I have a support wing of course). I guess that's true for most people. That's the whole point of supports.

quote:


While active scanning is an "active" use of the ATs sensors, it can only happen once a target is locked and takes awhile. Why couldn't the same technology be used to sweep an arc and uncover potential targets that are hidden or behind trees?


Because they'll uncover themselves by breaking the treetops, jumping up, active scanning, activating shields, firing, moving, etc.

_____________________________

Iceman

(in reply to Burzmali)
Post #: 6
RE: Active Radar - 12/8/2004 7:39:53 PM   
Burzmali

 

Posts: 312
Joined: 7/28/2004
From: Boston
Status: offline
grrrr.... I meant to say battles, not games.

Basically, if I had an active array, I could use it for a lot more than scanning to see how thick someone's armor is, and if he is human or machine. I'll give a for instance, if I have a scanner that can penetrate inches of steel and accurately gauge it's thickness at 2 mile round-trip, I should be able to scan a section of trees or smoke and determine if someone is hiding in it. Likewise, if I am scanning those trees, someone else, should be able to lock in on my location from well outside their sensor range.

In game terms, I'd say that we should be able to scan any hex we can lock on to reduce the HD of anyone hiding there or to negate smoke (and reveal the surrounding 6 hexes). However, anyone that is using a scanner should show up on other ATs sensors at extended distance (something like their original sensor range + scanning ATs range / (Scanner skill / 10)).

Unfortunately, to pull this off, you would have to be able to lock on any hex you obsured but not blocked LOS on.

(in reply to Thorgrim)
Post #: 7
RE: Active Radar - 12/9/2004 1:13:52 AM   
Thorgrim

 

Posts: 2369
Joined: 10/11/2001
From: Portugal
Status: offline
If you meant battles, then you're completely off IMO. The campaigns/missions provide you with lots of LR battles. In random maps, you have to go for the high ground if you have LR support.

About scanning trees, yes, you could then gauge their thickness , one by one. You do realise that an hex is 333m across, how many trees would that be? Seriously, when you lock a titan, you can focus your scanner on it and active scan. Locking a hex full of trees, well, you're not really focusing on anything specific. You don't even know if there really is something there. Say you're in a 400 hex map. Will you scan each and every woods hex looking for hidden titans?
As for locks outside the scanner range, that's pretty much impossible. The scanner's max range is precisely what the name says, the maximum range of detection. Wouldn't want someone locking on to you half way across the planet, would you? Anyways, if the target is outside your scanner range, it is outside your weapons range most likely, so what good is it?

In game terms, if you start negating HD and smoke, you lose the tactical advantages of ambushes and smoke screens.
Would there be a good reason not to have your active radar on all the time?

_____________________________

Iceman

(in reply to Burzmali)
Post #: 8
RE: Active Radar - 12/9/2004 3:43:01 PM   
Burzmali

 

Posts: 312
Joined: 7/28/2004
From: Boston
Status: offline
I didn't say that LR battles aren't common, I said battles fought without direct LOS are rare. As only the GMH really excels at IF, unless both sides happened to be loaded with GMH ATs a IF exchange is probably limited to a salvo or two before consistent contact is achieved.

As far as scanning goes, if I can determine the thickness of a sheet of metal moving at 30 mph, a mile a way in the middle of 333m of trees, it stands to reason that I should be able to detect the presence of a large metal object while sweeping the scanner over a much larger area.

The concept of "Max Sensor Range" is flawed to begin with. In theory, visual scanning range is limited to a mile or 2 under the best of circumstance, but on a clear night I can easily see object hundred of light-years away. If an object is emitting a form of radiation your system can detect, you will pick them up at a much further distance than if you were relying on your own emissions (or reflections) to hit the target and reflect back. As for weapon ranges, what about night missions or fog shrouded planets that have vastly reduced visiblities? I think there is something in the map editor for reducing visibility...

As for negating HD and smoke, sure its possible that it would, but it can be balanced. Make scanning cost more energy and give a higher to-hit bonus for GMEs, even reduce the weight/spaces/heat of GME to make them more attractive.

The problem with leaving on an active radar (assuming that an omnidirectional AR is possible) is detection. If you are pumping out all kinds of emissions, the enemy is going to spot you before you spot him. If the enemy happens to have GMHs or LRMs, you'll take hit. In addition, any highly mobile forces will manuever to encircle you before you get in range.

(in reply to Thorgrim)
Post #: 9
RE: Active Radar - 12/9/2004 5:14:16 PM   
Thorgrim

 

Posts: 2369
Joined: 10/11/2001
From: Portugal
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Burzmali
I didn't say that LR battles aren't common, I said battles fought without direct LOS are rare. As only the GMH really excels at IF, unless both sides happened to be loaded with GMH ATs a IF exchange is probably limited to a salvo or two before consistent contact is achieved.


Ok. Still I fail to see what AR would help with indirect fire.

quote:


As far as scanning goes, if I can determine the thickness of a sheet of metal moving at 30 mph, a mile a way in the middle of 333m of trees, it stands to reason that I should be able to detect the presence of a large metal object while sweeping the scanner over a much larger area.


Because the scanner is focused at the object the targeting computer is locked onto? So it can't be actively sweeping any area.
Or you could just imagine that titans have this built-in radar stealth system.

quote:


The concept of "Max Sensor Range" is flawed to begin with. In theory, visual scanning range is limited to a mile or 2 under the best of circumstance, but on a clear night I can easily see object hundred of light-years away.


Visual in ToS (no *scanner*) is 15 hexes, 5 klicks, that's roughly 3 miles. In fact, I can see the horizon in all but the worst weather conditions, and it is how many miles away? It's not what we're talking about, is it?

quote:


If an object is emitting a form of radiation your system can detect, you will pick them up at a much further distance than if you were relying on your own emissions (or reflections) to hit the target and reflect back.


Depends on the strength of that emission, the sensitivity of the radar, the electronics associated with the reception of the signal,... A scanner's max range is the maximum distance it can pick up any signal from another titan, whatever the source.
Notice that HD reduces scanner ranges, it doesn't negate them. Light woods don't really hide much, and dense woods are exactly that, dense. You can also hide in water. You still have to be completely "immersed" in them to be able to hide, and most actions will negate it.

quote:


As for weapon ranges, what about night missions or fog shrouded planets that have vastly reduced visiblities? I think there is something in the map editor for reducing visibility...


You mean weapons have lower ranges at night? Lazy bastards, huh? As for fog, ToS has smoke/steam. Affects visibility, yes, not ranges.
What the ME has to reduce visibility is cover, (water) and fire/smoke. Whatever affects HD.

quote:


As for negating HD and smoke, sure its possible that it would, but it can be balanced. Make scanning cost more energy and give a higher to-hit bonus for GMEs, even reduce the weight/spaces/heat of GME to make them more attractive.


I don't think you understand the implications. More power for the scanner? Now that would be a pain. Shields already are a big pain... Change GMEs to become an unbalanced weapon? And for what? I still don't see the benefit, except for negating hiding. But for that all you'd need was a military satellite in orbit, or recon flights. Then you'd also get rid of FoW altogether. And the game would be dull.

quote:


The problem with leaving on an active radar (assuming that an omnidirectional AR is possible) is detection. If you are pumping out all kinds of emissions, the enemy is going to spot you before you spot him.


Assuming he won't have his AR on too. So then it is a game to see who turns it on and who doesn't, right? I still don't see any change.

quote:


If the enemy happens to have GMHs or LRMs, you'll take hit. In addition, any highly mobile forces will manuever to encircle you before you get in range.


Oh yeah, my only AR titan will be perfectly still, alone in the battlefield, waiting for you. Maybe it's a trap?
So you were suggesting a huge increase in scanner range? Was that it? Still, by the time your force gets to weapons range I'll have detected them too. Still no change.

< Message edited by Thorgrim -- 12/9/2004 3:15:18 PM >


_____________________________

Iceman

(in reply to Burzmali)
Post #: 10
RE: Active Radar - 12/9/2004 7:51:17 PM   
Burzmali

 

Posts: 312
Joined: 7/28/2004
From: Boston
Status: offline
Quick experiment, in a darkened room light a candle and give it to a friend, have the friend walk awat from you. At some point your friend will be unable to see you, but you will be able to see him just fine. The same applies to radar, sonar, and any other system that works by detecting emissions of any kind. Since, having your sensors on does not betray your position, they are passive and rely on ambient light/heat/n-rays to detect other ATs. The "normal" ambient emissions sets the "max" range. If an AT increases its emissions, it should be detected more easily(reduced HD) and/or at a longer range.

Now, I've proposed 2 possible types of Active Radars. The first works like the normal sensors, only at increased range and lower cover benefit. Unfortunately, turning it on reveals your location to distant enemies and uses more energy. The second is a directional radar more akin to scanners. It would allow scanners to sweep a small area (say a 1 to 2-hex radius) to uncover hidden ATs and negate smoke and steam. In exchange, the scan takes time and prevents you from locking a "real" target.

Now, I don't have the map editor in front of me, but I do recall the ability to change certain contants in the game and I thought a visibility index was among them, but I may have been wrong. If I am wrong, chop chop Larkin, get to work

I don't suggest a huge increase in scanner ranges, heck sometimes I imagine they are too big as it is. I'd imagine the benefit to an AT having an AR on would be a better detection chance inside it's sensor range, instead of a longer one.

< Message edited by Burzmali -- 12/9/2004 5:51:55 PM >

(in reply to Thorgrim)
Post #: 11
RE: Active Radar - 12/10/2004 11:41:04 AM   
Thorgrim

 

Posts: 2369
Joined: 10/11/2001
From: Portugal
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Burzmali
Quick experiment, in a darkened room light a candle and give it to a friend, have the friend walk awat from you. At some point your friend will be unable to see you, but you will be able to see him just fine. The same applies to radar, sonar, and any other system that works by detecting emissions of any kind. Since, having your sensors on does not betray your position, they are passive and rely on ambient light/heat/n-rays to detect other ATs. The "normal" ambient emissions sets the "max" range. If an AT increases its emissions, it should be detected more easily(reduced HD) and/or at a longer range.


I'll be able to see the *candle*, not him. Ok, I might see some faint and diffused piece of him, but that's because light is a very particular type of radiation, and the human eye is a very particular kind of transducer, which allows not only detection but also identification.
Now, with other systems working with other types of radiation, you can (also) only detect the source of the energy emission, not the carrier of that source. You'll get a blip on your radar indicating there's something there emitting a signal, but you won't know what it is. Could be anything, not necessarily a titan. You'll get a red ball in your tactical map, but that's all, since scanners will not allow you to id anything beyond their max range. So you'll see the blips but not weight classes or anything else, so it's not really of much use. You'll have to get into scanner range anyway, to see what you're facing.

I think you should read how HD works. Increased emissions (active scan, shield) do affect HD. Relative height between target and source too. Lots of little details.

quote:


Now, I've proposed 2 possible types of Active Radars. The first works like the normal sensors, only at increased range and lower cover benefit. Unfortunately, turning it on reveals your location to distant enemies and uses more energy.


Like I said, increased range isn't that much of a benefit. Lower cover means less tactical interest. More power isn't such a good idea, especially for recons.

quote:


The second is a directional radar more akin to scanners. It would allow scanners to sweep a small area (say a 1 to 2-hex radius) to uncover hidden ATs and negate smoke and steam. In exchange, the scan takes time and prevents you from locking a "real" target.


And how long would that detection last? You can't really see them, not even through VH, so you can't keep track of them. So they'll still be hidden when you remove the hex lock. They may also move to a new position, and remain in hiding.
If you had a real target to lock, you wouldn't be needing to scan the trees

quote:


Now, I don't have the map editor in front of me, but I do recall the ability to change certain contants in the game and I thought a visibility index was among them, but I may have been wrong. If I am wrong, chop chop Larkin, get to work


Nope, HD base values are fixed. And the programmer of the ME is Christian, not Henrik.

_____________________________

Iceman

(in reply to Burzmali)
Post #: 12
Page:   [1]
All Forums >> [Classic (Free) Games] >> Titans of Steel - Warring Suns >> Active Radar Page: [1]
Jump to:





New Messages No New Messages
Hot Topic w/ New Messages Hot Topic w/o New Messages
Locked w/ New Messages Locked w/o New Messages
 Post New Thread
 Reply to Message
 Post New Poll
 Submit Vote
 Delete My Own Post
 Delete My Own Thread
 Rate Posts


Forum Software © ASPPlayground.NET Advanced Edition 2.4.5 ANSI

0.352