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How would your favorite ship do in its place?

For the first week, Battlestar Galactica 1978 version. Assume it is fully loaded with Vipers and in its heyday.

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Well, having never really seen old BSG, I can't really say.

 

For one of my favorite ships, however, I'll pick the Hyperion from StarCraft.

 

starcraft2-hyperion.jpg

 

The Hyperion is a Behemoth-class Battlecruiser, armed with multiple laser batteries (although, going by their appearance, they seem to be more of a plasma weapon. Who knows, maybe lasers are used to generate the plasma, like a Hellbore?), multiple Wraith fighters, and a Yamato Cannon. I'll cover what each of these are.

 

First, the Wraiths:

Wraith_SC1_CineOpenRebellion1.jpg

 

Wraiths are the mainstay fighters of humanity, and are a quite versatile fighter. Armed with three laser cannons, and multiple Gemini missiles, which are probably swapped between nuclear for space combat, and conventional for aerial, these little fighters are great in swarms for taking out targets. However, that is not their biggest advantage. That would lie in their cloaking devices. And the ability to fire while cloaked. These advantages against those mines would be obvious.

 

The second advantage is the Hyperion's Yamato Cannon. This is a weapon wherein a nuclear explosion is concentrated in a magnetic field and redirected as a coherent energy beam at whatever needs to be blown up. While the nuclear explosion for the Yamato Cannon is stated to be somewhat "low-yield", this is in the SC universe, where high-yield nukes are in the triple-digit teraton range. So, saying that this might be in the mid-megaton range isn't too far-fetched.

 

The Hyperion's third advantage is Gabriel Tosh:

GabrielTosh_SC2_Story1.jpg

 

A powerful psychic, I shouldn't really have to spell out the advantages he would normally have, but against the Shadows, whose ships are weakened by telepaths, he would have an immense advantage.

 

Now, if they don't know that the Shadows are coming, they'd still be on battle alert, thinking that a Centauri battlecruiser is in the area. Now, as the Hyperion and its Wraiths are taking care of the mines, the Shadows arrive, and find themselves in for more trouble than they bargained for. While the cloaked Wraiths wreak havoc on the Shadows, while Tosh's telepathy disables the Battlecrabs, allowing the Hyperion to pick off the Battlecrabs with both its main weapons and Yamato Cannon.

 

If the Hyperion crew knows that the Shadows are coming, well, I don't see how the Bugs fro Z'ha'dum have a chance.

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The Goa'uld Ha'tak mother ship, circa season 4, prior to the introduction of Anubis' upgrades and also of the conventional stock, not one that Apophis had fitted with a cloaking device. With a full wing of Death Gliders. All foes are cowed by the audacious stylishness of this mighty vessel and assume it must be an as yet undocumented First One, assume resistance is futile and bow before their god. :-) or not, I look forward to seeing it either way.

 

Ahem.

 

My take:

 

Firepower: whenever we see Goa'uld ships using energy weapons against anything measurable such as a planetary surface, the results are not especially impressive. In particular the most defining scene I can recall is when a task force of six motherships bombarded Anubis' mothership, were not particularly accurate about it, and not only did the city it was floating over remain largely intact, there were numerous ground bursts from their energy weapons that did not result in anything more dramatic than conventional explosives.

 

On the other hand, they have excellent heat dissipation capabilities. They are highly resilient to thermal and radiation effects, as demonstrated by their ability to spend time very close to stars and have naquada enhanced nukes with a theoretical yield of 1,000 megatons explode on their shield perimeter without apparent consequence.

 

They can damage one another with their conventional weapons, Anubis' mothership, a massive beast some four times the diameter of a typical mothership and substantially more massive, did have its shields penetrated by a task force of around a dozen motherships led by the System Lord Yu - though the task force was unable to achieve any significant damage before being routed and later, as was mentioned earlier, the very same mothership was caught with its shields compromised in a planetary atmosphere and pounded until it broke up by a strike group led by Baal.

 

Death Gliders have limited firepower against capital vessels but are fairly agile. They would be useful for drawing the fire of the mines and their cannons could plausibly damage the guns of the mines. The Gliders in all likelihood do not have anywhere near the firepower to make a useful contribution to the fight against a Shadow vessel.

 

The Ha'tak's endurance is pretty impressive while its firepower is anemic. I personally believe that off camera quotes that imply Goa'uld have the ability to cause enormous devastation to a planet are due to naquada based weapons of mass destruction similar to the naquada enhanced nuclear weapons Earth developed to fend off the Goa'uld and other foes. Besides the limited utility of their energy weapons in causing large scale destruction when the camera is looking, I also submit a line in the Season 7 2 parter "Lost City" where a military officer informs the President that they have deployed ABLs, which in this context I believe to refer to anti-ballistic lasers or airborne lasers. I do not expect a Death Glider to stand still or fly predictably long enough for the 3 - 6 seconds it takes the ABLs currently in testing to burn through their hulls, therefore I believe that the US military felt it was likely Anubis' fleet might use munitions that the ABL could conceivably intercept.

 

Unlike Earth, however, the Goa'uld have not demonstrated that they have a readily available delivery system for weapons of mass destruction other than to perhaps load one up on a cargo ship and fly it at a Shadow vessel (which would most likely destroy it with casual ease.) The Goa'uld can, however, use their hyperdrive more or less at will, and I thus believe that they can withstand sufficient fire from the Shadow vessel to withdraw.

 

With prior knowledge of the imminent arrival of the Shadows, the Goa'uld could conceivably rig naquada weapons to Death Gliders and cargo shuttles and attempt to overwhelm the Shadow vessel. The Goa'uld, while not having used any version of this particular strategy that I can refer to in series, are generally at their most comfortable waging war via cloak and dagger and trickery and have no qualms about sacrificing their servitor races to get the upper hand. Should the Ha'tak in question have access to a cargo ship with a cloaking device, it may just be possible to sneak a bomb close enough to fry the Shadow and win the day, assuming the Ha'tak can weather the Shadow's fire long enough for the cargo ship to complete its mission. Opening a hyperspace window to get out of dodge before being mission killed is still a possible option for the Ha'tak, although it would mean yielding the base to the tender mercies of the Shadows.

Edited by scvn2812
Added my assessment after viewing the video and realizing it wasn't just a suggestion thread.

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Those are all good choices for future weeks. But this week is about Galactica.

 

Apparently every last one of us missed the point that we were supposed to argue about the current choice not just suggest our own and wait for the video. Oops. :o

 

I'm going to say that group that can hit nearly the speed of light before they age noticeably (even with time dilation) should have some pretty impressive acceleration, power generation and durability. When you hit speeds where background radiation would flay the hull from the structure members of conventional materials, I'd say you must have some durability, to say nothing of just how awful dust of all things would be.

 

I'm not sure that the Centauri weapon platforms can hurt a Galactica that operates according to anything resembling physics as we know it. The Shadows might have a hard time of it as well.

 

I don't know enough about the show to really say for sure how this scenario would play out. I've only seen a few episodes on the Sci-fi channel. I vaguely remember some fairly impressive explosions caused by fighter weaponry splashing against ship hulls and beyond visual range fighting for the rare capital ship brawls. That's about all I remember.

 

I think Galactica takes this one, with or without prior knowledge of the Shadows. Fuel might be an issue though, I do remember that Pegasus' ability to serve as an outrider for the rag tag fleet and spoil the Cylon attack before they caught up to the RTF, where Cain said he would take her up to light speed and perhaps beyond (might be grand standing, might be literal) would be very costly in fuel.

 

On the other hand, they don't really need to go quite that fast in this scenario, so they probably won't drain their fuel reserves too badly.

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Apparently every last one of us missed the point that we were supposed to argue about the current choice not just suggest our own and wait for the video. Oops. :o

 

I'm going to say that group that can hit nearly the speed of light before they age noticeably (even with time dilation)

what? how would they age?

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what? how would they age?

 

By accelerating slowly enough that time is passing closer to "real" time for the crew of the Galactica than not. Time dialation requires really fast speeds to have a noticeable impact. At least percentages of C before it becomes obvious (or useful for the purposes of getting to point B, if point B is another star system several dozen lightyears away and you don't want to die en route.)

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i was worried you thought they would age. They had a superman cartoon where they had superman speed up time with gravity. That made me face palm. Anyhow. For bsg not to have a way to travel between the stars beyond Newtonian motion is silly. The other ships are no where near as fast as the galactica which would make the premiss of the ships being able to travel as a group illogical. Even in his newer show he had star gates(buck rogers). They probably had method of traveling which involved either worm holes, or other predictable natural ftl phenomenon which happen.

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Yeah, I think I spotted the typo you saw. I'm typing on a really shoddy wireless keyboard or on my phone (which does not handle this site well) a fair portion of the time when I go in this site, and either method occasionally causes me to lose entire words. Not that I'm a perfect typist either.

 

I scoured the Battlestar wiki trying to absorb as much as I could without having actually seen the show or sitting down and reading all the scripts. My impression is also that they must have a way to go FTL beyond just brute force acceleration. It probably requires them to get pretty far out beyond the edge of a star system (since a planet with a very big gun in the way is an obstacle) and they probably don't have the delta v to throw around willy nilly until they can get clear of Cylon controlled space and stop and produce some fuel and/or propellant. Some of the civilian fleet may literally have not had the spare fuel to alter their trajectory to get around the planet.

 

Still, anything that can operate for half a millennium and accelerate to relativistic speed AND survive, has got to have some phenomenal resilience. I'm not familiar with the magitech of BSG in the same way that I am with other shows, so I cannot say whether or not BSG should be ranked quite highly or if it has a lot of explicit cheats that make it less capable. If it can hit light speed or beyond with mostly brute force and minimal magic, then its up there with the ICS interpretations of Star Wars.

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just use okam's razor:) no worries about typos. I typo a lot:)

 

bsg is decent. It's windows are transparent titanium which is a lot stronger then transparent aluminum. Though the later is build for speed. The galactica however is no where near as manuveral at high speeds then most science ficiton shows. It is a brick. It is even longer then the sharlins. it is also severely under staffed for something that big. http://en.battlestarwiki.org/wiki/Galactica_%28TOS%29 they have okayish firepower. Their fighters are a typical for that, they are however very fast and maneuverable compared to b5 equivalents. The shadow would be the biggest threat to it. The hull i would range better then earth alliance standard, probably better then centauri standards. It is by no means fragile. adama also does have esp. If he is able to hold the shadow while they broad side it. then game over. But he has to know that he can use it and he has to hold it long enogh for the galactica to bombard the hell out of the shadow.

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Why is it understaffed? Yes a modern day aircraft carrier has around 5,000 people on it but one would assume that the Colonials are not stupid and would staff their ship with as many people as they felt were necessary to maintain the ship out of combat, fight her and fly her in combat as well as perform damage control. If they get by with a fraction of the crew we do on our equivalent ships, then its probably because their equipment requires less maintenance and more of the ship is automated than you would find on a modern warship.

 

The only mention of ESP I could find was Adama spoon bending on the wiki.

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New video is uploading to YouTube. Khas has earned the right to name the next ship, so Hyperion from Starcraft it is!

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New video is uploading to YouTube. Khas has earned the right to name the next ship, so Hyperion from Starcraft it is!

cool! I look forward to it. While we may not agree one some things. You are one of the quality people in the vs community. I do respect what you have done!

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I'm sure the question of whether the original Galactica has FTL capability will be disputed (otherwise, how did they expect to find Earth in a reasonable amount of time), but let's skip to the StarCraft Hyperion for a moment.

 

The warship suggested by Khas has formidable armament, fighters than can potentially evade detection by the mines, and a captain who can potentially slow or disable the Shadow ship that will show up (if he's got the mental fortitude to withstand telepathic contact with it).

 

Totally missing from Khas's description of the Hyperion is any data about it's FTL speed, so I have no idea whether it can get to the threatened planet in time to do a damned thing. I therefore have no opinion on its chances. In my limited experience with StarCraft, certain resources and infrastructure have to be in place to put a military asset into the theatre of combat, and I have no reason to think they are already in place in this scenario, so it doesn't look like a winner.

 

I'll suggest the good old Galaxy-class Federation starship from Star Trek. Since we're postulating a distance of 10 LY, it should be able to get to the system in a matter of hours at high warp (similar to the Enterprise getting from Wolf 359 to Sol in that sort of time frame). Whitestar firepower, in my experiences, is in the range of tens of kilotons per second. A single photon torpedo delivering hundreds of kilotons of energy (pretty conservative for Star Trek estimates) should be more than sufficient to destroy one of these mines, and with hundreds of torpedoes, a Galaxy-class ship should be able to blow a significant whole in the minefield with a few salvos.

 

My own estimates put Shadow firepower in the low Petawatt range, since they can cut Narn cruisers in half in a second or so. That's a lot by Federation standards, where they usually talk in Terawatts, so Shadow firepower is probably a real problem for the Federation ship.

 

On the other hand, the Federation ship should be able to make tactical use of warp drive, so they can avoid engagement with the Shadow ship while they continue to attack the mines.

 

Whether the Galaxy-class starship can destroy the Shadow ship is irrelevant to the mission. It can get to the mission area quickly enough, it has the firepower to destroy the mines, it can withstand at least some fire from the mines, it can continue to destroy mines after the Shadows show up, and it can avoid having to fight the Shadows, so it should be able to complete the mission.

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I'm still working my way through the game, but thus far I haven't seen any indication of firepower much beyond B5 (perhaps lower actually.) Two key instances I can comment on thus far:

 

The Hyperion is first introduced in a cut scene as a get away vehicle from the protagonist and his forces who are about to be overrun by the Zerg (think the Bugs of Starship troopers on steroids.) The ship demonstrates that it is atmospheric capable and can use its FTL in an atmosphere. Speed is rather difficult to measure. The ship also opens fire on enemy ground positions using what appear to be either pulse cannons or dumb fired rockets. The results were more or less what you'd expect from a B52 carpet bombing: enemies within the few dozen meter blast radius of the detonating weapons were killed rather violently but those outside the blast were not noticeably harmed. It also has rapid fire close in weapons which appeared to be a form of machine gun which it used to take on flying Zerg.

 

The Zerg are about what you'd expect from a typical scifi alien bug race: they are fairly resilient to small arms (and small arms is something of a misnomer due to the fact that the foot soldiers of this game series wear fairly substantial power armor and wield fairly heavy rifles) but not unkillable.

 

In a second mission, the protagonist has to rescue colonists being ethnically cleansed by an alien race due to be carriers for a virus related to the Zerg. The aliens deployed a large weapons platform that destroyed each settlement Independence Day style with several minutes between firings. Granted, using anything from a video game is fraught with issues, but these settlements were not terribly large, certainly not on the scale of a major city. The alien's method was extremely inefficient and allowed the protagonist to deploy ground forces sufficient to fight off and prevent the massacre. Had the aliens possessed the ability to wreak havoc on a continental scale, such as with the hundred terraton nukes claimed elsewhere, that would have been a much more effective way of preventing the spread of the Zerg virus.

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After watching the conclusion video for Galactica, I have to say, you got me on that one, Brian. I didn't stop to think about whether Galactica could get to the planet in any reasonable time, just jumped right in to what it could or could not do once it got there.

 

I can't find anything that makes this a game breaker for Hyperion but I'm also carefully limiting my intake of information because I'm trying to avoid spoilers due to the fact that I'm currently playing the game and haven't finished yet.

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Another suggestion for replacing the White Star: The SSV Normandy from Mass Effect.

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Another suggestion for replacing the White Star: The SSV Normandy from Mass Effect.

 

Which Normandy? The first or the second?

 

Also, if we're going to suggest video game or literary ships, we should probably be providing Brian with links to do some homework with. He's stated pretty unambiguously that his knowledge base only extends to televised / movie based scifi.

 

With the Normandy (either version) I predict the weapons platforms being a turkey shoot (as far as we can tell, they're relatively stationary which means easy pickings for Normandy's kinetic weapons) but the Shadow warship might be a bad day for Normandy, on the other hand she's got acceleration capabilities far beyond any B5 race, so maybe with some fancy foot work she can last long enough to splat the Shadow with mass driver fire. No telepaths to jam the Shadow though, so its going to be at peak fighting capabilities.

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Which Normandy? The first or the second?

 

I'm really only familiar with the SR2, since I play on a PS3.

 

Also, if we're going to suggest video game or literary ships, we should probably be providing Brian with links to do some homework with. He's stated pretty unambiguously that his knowledge base only extends to televised / movie based scifi.

 

I figured that discussion here would bring out a lot of that. The Mass Effect Codex would probably be the most useful source for a non-player.

http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Codex

 

With the Normandy (either version) I predict the weapons platforms being a turkey shoot (as far as we can tell, they're relatively stationary which means easy pickings for Normandy's kinetic weapons) but the Shadow warship might be a bad day for Normandy, on the other hand she's got acceleration capabilities far beyond any B5 race, so maybe with some fancy foot work she can last long enough to splat the Shadow with mass driver fire. No telepaths to jam the Shadow though, so its going to be at peak fighting capabilities.

 

The Shadow ship wasn't jammed by anyone on the White Star, either. The Normandy has some stealth capabilities (basically it can contain the heat it generates for a period of time, so it won't show up on infra-red sensors), but they might not be much help against the Shadows or the Centauri mines. I'd say its acceleration is comparable to the White Star, but it doesn't depend on hyperspace for FTL. It can just engage the mass effect core and accelerate to FTL speed (about 15 LY per day, cruising speed), so it can escape the Shadow ship if it can get the mission done fast enough.

 

Presumably the Shadows will react to the Normandy as they did the White Star, trying to capture it instead of destroy it, because of its unfamiliar configuration.

Edited by Ted C

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Still, the question must be asked, which Normandy? I haven't finished ME2 either so I'm wary of digging into the codex beyond me1

 

Oops, missed the top of your post. ME2. Ah well, guess I'll have to stick to general observations of the ME verse.

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Still, the question must be asked, which Normandy? I haven't finished ME2 either so I'm wary of digging into the codex beyond me1

 

Oops, missed the top of your post. ME2. Ah well, guess I'll have to stick to general observations of the ME verse.

 

General observations:

-Weapons in the ME 'verse are typically solid projectiles travelling at hundreds or thousands of kilometers per second. Main guns on battleships can deliver over 30 kilotons of KE per shot.

-ME ships have point defense lasers that are very effective, making long-range guided missiles largely obsolete, at least for ship-to-ship combat.

-ME ships have "kinetic barriers" that are effective at repelling or deflecting physical projectiles, but they are pretty useless against directed-energy weapons.

-Kinetic barriers can be scaled down for use as personal shields.

-Mass effect technology allows the mass of an object to be arbitrarily increased or decreased, within unclear limits.

-ME tech also allows creation of gravitational force fields to accelerate objects in arbitrary directions.

-Power supplies are generally nuclear fusion. Batteries with very high energy density are also common. Power supply is seldom a limiting factor; heat dissipation usually limits technology sooner.

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That jives with what I've read to date. The opening of ME2 (have played that far) features the Normandy being shredded by an energy weapon in a style not all that dissimilar to the Earth Alliance against the Minbari. The weapon platforms could be pretty easy, I don't recall them maneuvering except to turn to present their guns. Their ability to dodge projectiles fired at them from outside of their range is probably minimal. The Shadow could be a very big problem, although their acceleration capabilities might not be up to the task of getting out of the way of a thousand kps projectile.

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