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Author Topic: Is there a pilot in the transport craft?  (Read 3995 times)

Offline Rodmar

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Is there a pilot in the transport craft?
« on: August 01, 2016, 02:48:51 pm »
Some facts:
- the personal carriers are manned by one pilot inside a cockpit in the bow, who don't act during ground battle (except as some hidden radio relay).
- two of them have a light AA weapon mounted under the nose (either a Gattling gun or a laser turret after some research).
- in the novel,  the writer relates how a Firebird pilot can support its crew with its Gattling gun.

What if the carriers were more useful during tactical missions, besides providing some cover, but without unbalancing the game to much?

  • Battlefield Awareness:
    When present on  the map, the carrier would act as a sensor battery and relay informations to the soldier's HUD or helmet DSP.  Informations would come into the form of some small battlefield awareness enhancements, and for simplicity reasons, I'd see all of them as the current radar mode enhancements (short key 'R').
    - firstly, the pilot could see through the cockpit, just as any normal soldier.  Hence an invisible camera would be attached to the cockpit, facing forward. Eventually, this feature would be allowed for the non-piloted Herakles, provided a soldier stands on the two foremost inner squares.  This feature would be operationnal even outside the radar mode, of course.
    - a visual mode, compiling all the estimated coordinated of the visuals as emitted by the team (as the current radar mode, but only when the sensors are deployed, and not as an automatic feature);
    - an electromagnetic radiation mode, detecting all the EM radiation sources on the battlefield, a feature that would be added to the current radar mode. Radiation sources would be operated (carried) plasma weapons, particle beam weapons, robots, UFOs. As triangulation would not be possible, localizing a weapon bearer wouldn't be possible, but a complex algorithm would predict the number of energy weapons still in used on the battlefield (after deduction of the own PHALANX weapons, the known and studied UFO, any lab source nearby (declared by local authorities), etc.). The prediction wouldn't be precise though, and it would rather be a colored scale showing an estimated level of menace (with an error margin that would become smaller the more research on alien weaponry , power sources and UFO are made).
    - any squad commander could communicate to its (ai) teammates and allies (in multiplayer games) any dynamic info such as secured area, clear area, compromised/unknown area. There could be a crude, colored brush feature on the radar mode window, that would allow for drawing green/blue/red solid handmade areas or curves, as well as neutral (white) symbols or curves to display arrows, rendez-vous, etc. The colors would fade out on the next turn to show that the info is now obsolete (still remaining visible a few turns, though). This feature would have absolutely no impact on the gameplay, and would replace any (even cruder) pen and paper drawing in single player, and VoIP communication in multiplayer.
    - this feature could be available only after turn 1 or 2 has ended, and/or refreshed every other (player) turn.
    - when the troop carrier is absent from (new) maps, this would mean that the team had to walk a little in order to meet the aliens. Either the sensor feature would not be possible, or a special, carried relay item would be needed.
  • Troop Support:
    Any armed transport (Firebird, Raptor, Hyperion) would act like a static heavy weapon support point.
    - Either existing heavy weapons would be used, or new, balanced weapons would be added. For example, a SHIVA AA autogun would be replaced by a UGV HMG (including the ammo), or else the portable MMG, and a laser turret would be replaced by a UGV laser, or else the portable Heavy Laser.
    - the arc of fire would be centered on the plane's axis, and quite wide (with but poor elevation) because both the SHIVA and the laser turret are rotating and stabilized.
    - a virtual soldier button would be added at the end of team buttons' row (a 9th or 11th slot), or at its beginning (a slot 0), which should be hit in order to select the weapon (the fact a virtual soldier GUI is thus displayed is not very baneful), and targeting would be as usual, with the exception that the weapon couldn't aim a target at a different height level?
    - no reaction fire would be allowed, only active support fire.
    - ammo would be limited to the replacement weapon's clip/cell capacity. No reloading would be possible?
    - pilot firing stats would be quite good, as compared to an overloaded rooky without an aiming system.
  • Landing Zone preparation:
    Any transport would have grenade launchers to deploy a smoke cloud around it.
    - range would be very short (half an area of effect diameter) without aiming possible. Actual point of impact would still be random.
    - perhaps, this could be extended to gas grenades?
    - the number and direction of the GL would depend on the transport model. For instance, the Firebird would cover its two lateral exits only, while the Herakles could surround its rear, and fill itself with smoke, and the Raptor would deploy smoke right under itself.
    - when selecting the craft (the virtual soldier), the secondary weapon could be a grenade in the GUI (there's a problem though because heavy weapons are two-handed weapons).
    - only one barrage fire would be possible per mission, but at any desired turn (either none of the GL are used, or all of them).
    - it doesn't look like breaking the balance, as it only uses 1, 2, or 3-4 grenades, quite the same that you'd throw on the first turn if scouting is not wanted, or after scouting.

Offline geever

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Re: Is there a pilot in the transport craft?
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2016, 08:54:03 pm »
The "air support" idea was considered and rejected AFAIR.


Offline Rodmar

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Re: Is there a pilot in the transport craft?
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2016, 03:25:12 pm »
I read this, although my proposal is not about the classical air support, rather a cheap (?) ground support: no laser designated targets, no rocket swarms, no strafing by Stilettos, ...
(hence the "" I guess)