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Power Source For Combat Mechs
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Stahlseele
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

And mayhaps we just need to think smaller.
WH40K Dreadnought. Technically a piloted Mech.
But only about Tank size. Very low center of gravity.
Good for close combat against tanks(and most anything else), if they can close the distance. Also come with some very big Anti Tank weapons.

CBT Protomechs. About Tank Size again(which in CBT means still pretty big) But way more agile. Weaker in both Firepower and Protection though.

CBT CLAN Battlearmor? This is a bit closer to the Hulkbuster Iron Man Suit.
Simply makes really big and tough Warriors even more so to allow faster movement for longer times without breaking their endurance. Also Allows them to carry a wide variety of very heavy usually crew operated anti tank weaponry. Such as a double SRM launcher with a reload so 4 SRM in total. And a small laser. Some models use pulse lasers, light gauss rifles, tank calibre flamethrowers, heavy MGs and then THEY can still crew operate even heavier AT weaponry such as PPCs.
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Hiram McDaniels
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2016 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Mechalich wrote:

That's a distance of roughly 400 miles (depending on route), which is considerably further than the operational range of an M1A1 Abrams Tank (265 miles). Might want to downgrade that a bit.


Yeah. Good call.

Mechalich wrote:

Those are somewhat contradictory impulses. Have you watched a guy drive a forklift? I've been there, swift and acute aren't really the words that come to mind. Forklifts can move fast and turn with shocking rapidity, but operators generally avoid driving and moving the forks at the same time and there's a lot of herky-jerky maneuvering when handling actual loads.


Oh I know. I drive a forklift at work, and you're right. For the most part, you have to do things in stages.

But the thing is that a person in cockpit flipping switches and pulling levers ala' Gundam or Macross just plain looks cooler than a guy in a motion capture suit doing calisthenics ala' Pacific Rim or G Gundam.

Likewise the most practical design for a mech is probably a quadroped or like a sea urchin made of gun barrels, but humanoid just looks cooler to me.

But it does make sense that certain repetitive functions like walking be completely automated.
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Judging__Eagle
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2016 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Hiram McDaniels wrote:

But the thing is that a person in cockpit flipping switches and pulling levers ala' Gundam or Macross just plain looks cooler than a guy in a motion capture suit doing calisthenics ala' Pacific Rim or G Gundam.

Likewise the most practical design for a mech is probably a quadroped or like a sea urchin made of gun barrels, but humanoid just looks cooler to me.

But it does make sense that certain repetitive functions like walking be completely automated.


If you think "levers & switches" is a good way to control mechanisms modeled on the kinesics of the human body, this would be where your understanding of forklifts, crashes into your understanding of kinesiology. Especially if we're talking about controlling any sort of "arm"; let alone any form of "forearm" or "hand".

The reality of the human body, is that it's (still) one of the most complicated machines we know. Structures like the human forearm are so complicated that I've never heard of an fellow anatomy student ever claim that doing studies of the muscle trains of the forearm weren't "incredibly difficult" just to draw in 2D or sculpt in 3D (most telling, it's not just the students who are poor at anatomy who make the complaint, although I'm certainly not the best at anatomy; but even the best ones in the class, and our instructor themselves, admit that the forearm is one of the hardest things to understand; skeletons? no problem. facial musculature? a piece of cake for some (humans notice faces instinctively), but it's forearms that are challenging to understand).

Really; you are going to be looking at some waldo'd control system for mech aspects that are replicated human kinesics, like the arm.

Also, 7-8m is... rather large for a mech. You could get away with something as small as 3-5m and still have something people would acknowledge as a "giant robot".

S.Korea's Method-1 uses waldo arms; bipedal legs; and really isn't that tall. It's also closer to being a source material version of a "mech" than either Kuratas or Megabot; which could be seen as ironic b/c most people don't expect Korea to have tech advances that outstrip the US or Japan, but really tech progression is disparate and inconsistent in the human record.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMWuPKUza7Q
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Whipstitch
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2016 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

If you want guys sitting in a captain's chair or sci-fi cockpit instead of doing mocap bullshit just incorporate some direct neural interface that handles the gymnastics without much movement while things like the wave motion gun require you to physically turn the safety off before you annihilate something.
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Judging__Eagle
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2016 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Our current brain sensing equipment for handling machinery is at a pretty advanced stage.

One aspect that really sticks out is that if this is meant to eventually portray "fast action" mech on mech combat.... if any mech combat game that was remotely close to realism tends to involve the best mech pilots only targeting cockpits & pilots. In the various Mech Commander games; "Target Cockpits" is a key to long term success/wealth; in the Mechwarrior games, it's very similar. While they were originally in the PC games Robocraft, their "Pilot's Seat" components were removed because their status as a binary component to the integrity of the entire robot made targeting strategy straightforward (peel armour towards cockpit; kill pilot/robot)); and it's necessity made building durable 'robots' difficult.

The field mechs may also be being observed/operated from drones; as well as being drones themselves. Without an internal pilot, the very fragile nature of military equipment could translate into gameplay where military vehicles fail at realistic rates; while not greatly impinging upon the players development of their character.

I'm also not sure if you're familiar with Mobile Frame Zero; meant to model this sort of game: http://mobileframezero.com/mfz/
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2016 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

If you want to have mechs launched out of space stations, you're going to need ranges that are measured in thousands of miles rather than hundreds of miles. It's 238,900 miles to the Moon. Orbital anything requires ranges that are several orders of magnitude larger than coastal defense crap.

-Frank
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Jason
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2016 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
If you want to have mechs launched out of space stations, you're going to need ranges that are measured in thousands of miles rather than hundreds of miles.


That. Also you'd need to escape the gravity well of whatever celestial body you are trying to leave to get there. Compared to actually leaving the gravity well of earth in the first place takes pretty much most of the fuel of any spacecraft we are sending out there, be it to the moon, a comet or even mars. If you can get your mech actually spaceborn from a planetary surface then covering surface distances is a trivial task at most, even several times around.

EDIT: since at that point you are basically piloting a spaceship, you might also find this page interesting, Hiram McDaniels:

http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/


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Hiram McDaniels
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2016 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Whipstitch wrote:
If you want guys sitting in a captain's chair or sci-fi cockpit instead of doing mocap bullshit just incorporate some direct neural interface that handles the gymnastics without much movement while things like the wave motion gun require you to physically turn the safety off before you annihilate something.


Yup; this.

Most manual control is through a potentiometer system for motor functions, with internal regulators to constantly adjust the machine's center of gravity and allow for a smooth gait. The mech can march, but it can't run. It has a tread and wheel system built into the feet for fast overland travel, and a thrust system that allows for limited flight and jumping.

The cockpit has a control console for boot up functions, as well as diagnostics and maintenance, emergency manual override, etc. The primary user interface for software control functions is a neural interface.

The cockpit also has a HUD display that is fed in realtime by some future number megapixel camera in the head with different modes like sonar and thermal imaging, as well as an omnidirectional sensor array. The armor plating over the torso can be jettisoned for a natural view through a dense, polymerized "windscreen", but this leaves the pilot exposed to attack.

That is close enough to verisimilitude for my purposes.

Judging__Eagle wrote:

Also, 7-8m is... rather large for a mech. You could get away with something as small as 3-5m and still have something people would acknowledge as a "giant robot".


I'm not married to the size or anything, but one of my favorite designs from fictional mecha anime is the Aestavalis from Martian Successor Nadesico, which stands about 7m. This is ~ the size of a large moving truck. Gundams, Valkries, and other anime mecha stand well above 10m so I thought this would be a good compromise.

Judging__Eagle wrote:

One aspect that really sticks out is that if this is meant to eventually portray "fast action" mech on mech combat.... if any mech combat game that was remotely close to realism tends to involve the best mech pilots only targeting cockpits & pilots. In the various Mech Commander games; "Target Cockpits" is a key to long term success/wealth; in the Mechwarrior games, it's very similar. While they were originally in the PC games Robocraft, their "Pilot's Seat" components were removed because their status as a binary component to the integrity of the entire robot made targeting strategy straightforward (peel armour towards cockpit; kill pilot/robot)); and it's necessity made building durable 'robots' difficult.

The field mechs may also be being observed/operated from drones; as well as being drones themselves. Without an internal pilot, the very fragile nature of military equipment could translate into gameplay where military vehicles fail at realistic rates; while not greatly impinging upon the players development of their character.


For real world combat applications, a bipedal humanoid mecha piloted internally by human meat would probably be pretty dumb. If you're shooting at a human being (full disclosure: I never have in real life and doubt that I ever would) you would aim for center mass. The same applies if you're shooting at a giant, metal human. So why would someone put the squishy meat engine of the machine right where all the beam lasers and giant bullets and heathawk axes are going? Because that's how anime does it, and mecha anime is rad as balls. Amuro Ray and Rick Hunter are better than drones in a saturday morning cartoon fantasy, even though in the real world drones make much more sense. Saturday morning cartoon fantasy is exactly what I'm shooting for here.

Anyway, I know that I'm definitely not doing any sort of "hit location" system for damage. I have something completely different in mind.

FrankTrollman wrote:
If you want to have mechs launched out of space stations, you're going to need ranges that are measured in thousands of miles rather than hundreds of miles. It's 238,900 miles to the Moon. Orbital anything requires ranges that are several orders of magnitude larger than coastal defense crap.

-Frank


I envisioned them defending space stations as a secondary or tertiary line of defense. If they have to travel on an away mission, they would be shuttled to the operational area via some sort of carrier or shuttle.

Wouldn't gravitational differences lead to a wider range in space than a terrestrial environment, since less powered would be used in transit?

Jason wrote:

That. Also you'd need to escape the gravity well of whatever celestial body you are trying to leave to get there. Compared to actually leaving the gravity well of earth in the first place takes pretty much most of the fuel of any spacecraft we are sending out there, be it to the moon, a comet or even mars. If you can get your mech actually spaceborn from a planetary surface then covering surface distances is a trivial task at most, even several times around.

EDIT: since at that point you are basically piloting a spaceship, you might also find this page interesting, Hiram McDaniels:

http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/


Oh I wasn't picturing these mechs as an actual spaceship capable of sustained interstellar traval. They can't break the gravity well of a planet under their own power, and would be destroyed upon re-entering the atmosphere. These are just manned craft that engage in smaller scale missions. Smaller scale relative to the USS Enterprise at least.
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Stahlseele
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

A Mech in a low gravity environment could move much faster.
But do not forget that "less weight" does not equal "less mass".
So if your LEG-Shock-Absorbers and internal Structure are constructed to hold up to 20t of moving metal at 1g at 60km/h, they will still break if the mech suddenly only weights in at 10t because of reduced gravity but also manages to suddenly hit 120km/h . . mass is weight times velocity scquared if i am not misremembering this, so you have effectively quadrupled the strain on the components. But i have always been bad at maths so i could have the numbers way off there <.<

Same for jumping maneuvres . . You get up higher because you weigh in at less, but you also come down from much further resulting in more accelleration time. And again more mass to deal with.

CBT is actually pretty good at this stuff and i seriously encourage you to take a long hard look at the CBT stuff and figure out if it is what you want or if it is something you could at least adapt to your purposes.

AND I MEAN CBT, THE BOARD GAME!
Do NOT look at the so called RPG <.<
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Prak
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2016 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Keep in mind that mounting anything important, like sensors, in a head means that people will target the mech's head, if the pilot is also in the head, then you've created guillotine tag.

I understand the desire for head-mounted cameras to orient the pilot, whose biological sensory apparatus is in their head, but think about at least back-up sensors that are more widely distributed.
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Omegonthesane
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2016 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Stahlseele wrote:
CBT is actually pretty good at this stuff and i seriously encourage you to take a long hard look at the CBT stuff and figure out if it is what you want or if it is something you could at least adapt to your purposes.

AND I MEAN CBT, THE BOARD GAME!
Do NOT look at the so called RPG <.<

Since I assume you mean neither the therapy nor the fetish, you might wanna spell out what CBT you are on about.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Classic BATTLETECH. Sorry, i thought what with the context being big stompy robots and not anime mecha that was kind of a given . .
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Prak
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Given I've never heard of the game before, not really
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Stahlseele
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

How can you not? O.o
CBT is basically the grand daddy of western Mechs.
Of course, most of the designs are straight up stolen (at least the originial few) from japanese anime . .
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

It's mostly a big fish, small pond deal. I'm vaguely aware of Battletech because of the Mechwarrior video games but when someone says "CBT" the first thing that comes to my mind is cognitive behavioral therapy.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I assumed the "BT" stood for Battletech, but I had no clue what the C stood for, because while I've heard of Battletech as a franchise and a license applied to various things, I have never heard of something called Classic Battletech.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 4:26 am    Post subject: Re: Power Source For Combat Mechs Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Hiram McDaniels wrote:

Iron Man - from Marvel Comics - powered by ARC reactor. Some sort of electromagnetic atom smasher if I remember correctly, but requires a radioactive isotope of palladium for some reason? And can be built in a cave with a hammer rather than a clean room with diffusion modules and atomic layer deposition machines somehow? I'm clearly not a physicist.


Iron Man was originally powered by batteries. It was a major issue, since his chest plate was the only thing keeping him alive, and he had to recharge it regularly.

Hiram McDaniels wrote:

But the thing is that a person in cockpit flipping switches and pulling levers ala' Gundam or Macross just plain looks cooler than a guy in a motion capture suit doing calisthenics ala' Pacific Rim or G Gundam.


I would suggest you split the difference.

Instead mocap suits, your mocap system is basically these giant metal sleeves and gloves that you stick your arms into, which are connected to the mech by hydraulicly-assisted manual linkage.

It's basically the same as using levers, but the levers are physically attached to your arms.

And if you don't want that, level of fine control, you can pull your arms out of the sleeves and just use the other levers.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

How do you envision combat to look in this game, how many people will be involved and what actions will they be taking to resolve it?
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

OgreBattle wrote:
How do you envision combat to look in this game, how many people will be involved and what actions will they be taking to resolve it?


Small squad based combat mostly. Vying for superior tactical positioning. Ranged, melee and tech attacks.

I'd like to accomplish this without the need of a battlemat, but I'll have to see how well it works with zones and shit.

As far as actual combat mechanics, I'm still figuring that part out. I want something that plays fast. I want something swingy.

Stahlseele wrote:
Classic BATTLETECH. Sorry, i thought what with the context being big stompy robots and not anime mecha that was kind of a given . .


I was aiming at anime mecha rather than big stompy mecha.

Prak wrote:
Keep in mind that mounting anything important, like sensors, in a head means that people will target the mech's head, if the pilot is also in the head, then you've created guillotine tag.

I understand the desire for head-mounted cameras to orient the pilot, whose biological sensory apparatus is in their head, but think about at least back-up sensors that are more widely distributed.


You make a good point, but hit locations aren't really going to be a thing, at least not directly, so I don't foresee that problem arising. If it does, I owe you a coke.

Besides, I like mechs with heads. And what else would you do with a mech head?
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Hiram McDaniels wrote:
Besides, I like mechs with heads. And what else would you do with a mech head?

Turret mount for a weapon. Comms suite, so it's away from other potentially-interfering devices.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Stahlseele wrote:
mass is weight times velocity scquared if i am not misremembering this, so you have effectively quadrupled the strain on the components.


You are, very much so.

Mass isn't a derived unit, it is an absolute property of matter.

Force is mass times acceleration.

Weight is just a special case of force, mass times the acceleration of gravity.

Mass times velocity squared is kinetic energy, and means nothing in this context.


Force is what matters, mass times acceleration. It is acceleration that puts stress on components.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

angelfromanotherpin wrote:
Hiram McDaniels wrote:
Besides, I like mechs with heads. And what else would you do with a mech head?

Turret mount for a weapon. Comms suite, so it's away from other potentially-interfering devices.

Graphic display for rude gestures and messages?
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Stahlseele
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

@Hiram
still, do give CBT (Classic BattleTech / BattleTech the Miniature Board Wargame) a look.
You are basically describing that game in what you want.
Nowadays there are anime like mechs in there as well, much to the chargrin of the older players . .
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Hiram McDaniels wrote:
OgreBattle wrote:
How do you envision combat to look in this game, how many people will be involved and what actions will they be taking to resolve it?


Small squad based combat mostly. Vying for superior tactical positioning. Ranged, melee and tech attacks.

I'd like to accomplish this without the need of a battlemat, but I'll have to see how well it works with zones and shit.

As far as actual combat mechanics, I'm still figuring that part out. I want something that plays fast. I want something swingy.


DP9's Heavy Gear system is fast and swingy. Calculate attacker's margin of success against the defender, multiply MoS by weapon damage, compare result to 3 armor thresholds: if less than the lowest, no effect, less than the middle, light damage, less than the highest, heavy damage, and more than the highest, vehicle destroyed. Damage reduces thresholds against future attacks and also rolls on a random damage table: fire control/weapons, engines/maneuverability, crew, sensors/other. Light damage generally reduces fire control or speed while heavy damage cripples the system and in some cases destroys the vehicle (ammo/fuel explosion or pilot incapacitation, etc). Vehicle weapons generally achieve heavy damage with a better than average roll and instant kills with a good roll and favorable tactical positioning (ie, back shot on a damaged vehicle).

Again, I don't think you should use DP9's Heavy Gear system but I'd certainly look at it for inspiration. They also do Jovian Chronicles as an expy of Gundam (but same system mechanically) and Lightning Strike as a stripped down version of Heavy Gear/Jovian Chronicles for fast fleet engagements.

Classic Battletech, while a fun game, is much more ponderous and slow: roll to hit, roll hit location, reduce ablative armor, consider critical effects. It's also much more dependent on tactical position. It would be hard to play Heavy Gear without a tactical map but it would be impossible to play CBT without one. I'd most use CBT for information on what not to do.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yeah, i do agree on the slow and pnderous bit about CBT.
A Game 4 Mechs VS 4 Mechs can take up to an hour per mech, if you have two really good players facing each other and going for the best tactical positions.
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