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Author Topic: Futuristic Sub Warfare Project  (Read 2846 times)

Offline soulman

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Re: Futuristic Sub Warfare Project
« Reply #60 on: June 05, 2020, 12:32:39 PM »
So nice to pop in and see this has brought people back to the idea of future sub combat... Like the end of the GI JOE film, its was just aircraft but underwater..

As the other gentleman said... in the future it be very hard to hide, and it be speed and dodging that count.. 

Work on the rules for moving and shooting and then come back to the detection rules at a later date.. you may say " we don`t need them" etc...   As pointed out the dropship rules could be a cool idea...

I was also working on this a few years ago... need to dig my rules out.... subs was blips, the moment the first person fired he appeared on the board and then it was a case of who wants to shoot next... then all models appeared at some point to chase each other down...  maybe start at that point.. rules for movement and shooting and then backtrack... for me the hardest part was the detection part... keep up the good work all...

Offline Easy E

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Re: Futuristic Sub Warfare Project
« Reply #61 on: June 05, 2020, 01:52:22 PM »
Yes, detection is the hardest BUT I would argue also the most critical to differentiating a Sub game from a car combat or aerial game.
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Offline Macrossmartin

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Re: Futuristic Sub Warfare Project
« Reply #62 on: June 06, 2020, 02:12:14 AM »
Yes, detection is the hardest BUT I would argue also the most critical to differentiating a Sub game from a car combat or aerial game.

A WW2 or modern sub game, yes. But I suspect it will become less consequential in a few decades, given the technologies now being developed. Let me develop an argument here, because I think we are putting the cart before the seahorse when we get into the grit of detection mechanics before we even know when or where the game might take place.

The Stingray tribute games I have seen did not dwell on detection as a core mechanic. This was probably the right call, because the source material did not make sonar and stealth key plot devices. In that respect, one could argue that Stingray was actually Fireball XL5 in a fishtank; it could just as easily have been set in outer space. 

In other words, a Stingray game does not need complex sonar rules to accurately capture the feel of the show. In fact, such rules might harm such a game, because it slows the action down, and does not reflect what we see on our TV screens.   

Another game setting could be that which extrapolates current submarine development to its logical conclusion: A future vision in which excellent sensors, coupled with seriously fast data translation systems would make the ocean depths as digitally transparent as air. There are very good grounds to advocate that prediction, for we know that's the direction modern navies are exploring. That vision justifies a future sub game that plays similarly to air or space combat wargames.

With that in mind, I think it is more appropriate to question not what we are trying to simulate, but why. Why do we want a game that portrays futuristic undersea battles? What's the hook? How is it different from the hundreds of other hardware fire-and-maneuver wargames out there?

In fact, is it any different, or is this something that can be gamed perfectly well by modding (say) X-Wing, Full Thrust, or even Wings of War?

That certainly depends on your vision of undersea combat in the future. If there is a hook (aside from 'submarines are cool'), it is probably the issue of detection. The fact is, we have a rather cliched, pop culture gestalt of what sub combat looks like - basically, it is Hunt for Red October, with subs sneaking up, 'crazy Ivans', "one ping only", torpedoes everywhere, breeching 688 Class boats (straight out of Stingray!) and terrible Russian accents.   ;)

If that is the kind of stuff we want to see in a game, then I suggest we need to accept that the objective is not to accurately reflect trends in real submarine development, but to create a 'space opera' (sea opera?) setting, in which the tech does not follow present development paths. 

Personally, I don't see much wrong with this. After all, Stingray is still a fun show, and none of its future tech has come to reality, and in fact now looks amusingly dated. (As does much of Star Trek's, but I still game it!) So, I think we're looking to model an alternate reality, in which submarines still rely on acoustic sonar, and the skilful ears of sonar techs.

If that is the right direction, then we need to decide the tech level of our setting. Could it be a 'retro future' such as Stingray portrayed (as we perceive it now)? How about a post-apocalypse world, with tech frozen at (say) 1980s levels? An alternate WW2, with German super-subs fighting French submarine cruisers with 10 inch guns?

Once we have decided on the setting for the game, then we can look to mechanics that simulate its technologies.

 
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Offline Blackwolf

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Re: Futuristic Sub Warfare Project
« Reply #63 on: June 06, 2020, 02:23:25 AM »
How about a alternate world setting,similar in flavour to Crimson Skies/ Michael Moorcock?
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Offline Mako

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Re: Futuristic Sub Warfare Project
« Reply #64 on: June 06, 2020, 06:11:13 AM »
Lots of interesting discussion.

Martin, it's good to see your Sci-Fi subs once again!

Offline Macrossmartin

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Re: Futuristic Sub Warfare Project
« Reply #65 on: June 06, 2020, 09:56:30 AM »
Lots of interesting discussion.

Martin, it's good to see your Sci-Fi subs once again!

Mako! Good to see you!  :)

Keep watching, because I have some more to come!

Offline Mark Plant

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Re: Futuristic Sub Warfare Project
« Reply #66 on: June 06, 2020, 11:28:02 PM »
There's another wrinkle to submarine warfare that no-one else has mentioned -- the almost total lack of communication.

Submarines struggle to communicate when submerged at depth at the best of times. If they do send a signal, then they are immediately spotted by every opponent (in the modern world) -- unless they surface and send a tight beam to a satellite, which is not wise in combat operations.

So your commanders cannot command. They cannot send reliable signals to their units, and their units cannot send back any information that they have.

It's far worse than the "Battleship" double board system. Each submarine is operating entirely independently.

Offline Macrossmartin

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Re: Futuristic Sub Warfare Project
« Reply #67 on: June 07, 2020, 02:04:58 AM »
Mark Plant makes a very good point; this inability of submarines to communicate on a tactical level has long been a problem for naval planners. In essence, each SSN or SSK hunts alone, rarely coordinated in 'wolfpack' formations. Even if a formation of subs is directed toward the same target, their cooperation becomes impossible during the actual attack, because of the need to maintain silence and stealth.

By that reasoning, a game of multiple submarines fighting each other cannot present the tactical conditions facing real, modern sub commanders.

We must assume a significant alteration of the conditions - one in which the advantages of instantaneous coordination outweigh the loss of concealment.

That suggests to me once again a 'transparent' ocean, in which speed and maneuver are more useful than silence and stealth.

Offline Commander Roj

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Re: Futuristic Sub Warfare Project
« Reply #68 on: June 07, 2020, 11:53:25 AM »
My thoughts would be that if we are aiming for a hard Sci-Fi version, we can discern some trends but we canít predict reality with confidence. There may be advances in detection, but I seem to recall (I canít reference, sorry) that there are efforts a counter detection too. If drones can be used to make a lot of underwater noise, perhaps some of the utility of such systems can be drowned out, not to mention efforts at  actively cloaking a platform with artificial marine sounds. What I am trying to say is, detection can still feature if we want it to.

Communication too. Blue-green lasers have been suggested for detection, but could also be used for comms too.

I would like to see a game that transitions from detection to high speed, almost dogfight like action. A game where players are trying to push their luck to gain detection and positional advantage, balancing the need to act with trying to remain undetected until they make the decision (or are forced) to throw caution away.

Iím not so into sub fighters (manned), but would like to see drones. Including the drones I would aim for roughly 5-7 platforms a side. That is where I am coming from. The USP, would be how it transitions from a creeping/ stealth game to something more akin to an aerial dogfight style style game.

Roj.

Offline Easy E

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Re: Futuristic Sub Warfare Project
« Reply #69 on: June 08, 2020, 04:28:07 PM »
Making a sub game into a flight game would be ridiculously easy.  I say this from experience as my game is basically Aeronautica Imperialis, but with subs instead of planes.  Just take out the detection bits and it IS just upside down planes.     

All you need to do is re-skin Blue Maxx (or its various copycat games). Except going down is harder than going up in a sub game.  You have various max depths and below = destroyed.  You could even get rid of "maneuvers" like you have in traditional airplane games since subs do not do Immelman's or Wing Overs.  Honestly, a super fast paced sub game that apes a space fighter/airplane game would be super simple to do. 

That's why it sort of bores me.... but that is just me.  I feel it really needs some strong "Hook" other than the genre.     

Offline Commander Roj

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Re: Futuristic Sub Warfare Project
« Reply #70 on: June 08, 2020, 07:54:28 PM »
Ah, but Easy E, it is a game of . You start of sort of sneaky push, until you decide to go for broke (at least with one or more platforms, but probably not all). It is the bluffing, pushing your luck, flushing out and finally the burst of acceleration and ď super cavitation torpedoís away!Ē Not an air game, just finishes a bit like one. Iím biased though, I like air games. But do you see what I am driving at? You donít start a Ď60ís - 70ís- air game trying to hide, itís all tight turns, climbs and dives (no pun intended) from the outset. Thatís why the game I favour isnít a modern sub game or an air game. It is something unique to itself somewhere in between.

Offline Easy E

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Re: Futuristic Sub Warfare Project
« Reply #71 on: June 19, 2020, 06:41:27 PM »
Fair enough.  I am eager to see what you come up with. 

I am surprised that more air war games (WWI to Korea) do not feature more "hiding" based on my readings of history.  That is a topic for another day though. 

60's+ I get that radar and other detection reduces that.  There it is more about ECM vs ECCM. 

 

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