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Ideal armor thickness for a somewhat independent ship

#1
Good evening,

I havent played FtD in a while but had a sudden urge to play it again.
The first idea was it, to completly overhaul an old ship hull I had laying around.
Im happy with overall size and shape, but im not sure with the armor.
How should the armor layout be to be somewhat effective while not beeing horrendously expensive?
My guess would be [Shield] [Space] [Metal] [Metal] for the hull itself and [Shield] [Metal] [Heavy Armor] for 
stuff like the magazine / the part of the turrets thats below deck.

Grateful for any tipps.

The hull in question:


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#2
That's a large hull. It would be silly to go cheap on something that large. You could put quite a bit of armor on that without major problems. Something like this:

(Shields) [Metal Beam] [Metal Beam] [HA Beam] [Alloy Beam] is pretty decent medium-large or larger ship armor for an all-a-round sort of ship.

You can cheap out a bit if you only use HA beams where shots hit (waterline-ish) and where important stuff is, like turrets, ammo, AI, engines, etc. I'd also put an air-gap inside and another layer of metal to make turret wells to eat up HEAT/HESH spaghetti. In the campaign, a bottom of Metal+Alloy is plenty. Maybe do double metal under turrets and important stuff. A deck of Wood beams over Metal beams is generally fine. You could use the new metal+wood reinforced decking if you want, but I'd still rather use two layers on a hull as large as that.

Don't forget to wrap the in-hull part of turrets in armor too. Since turrets tend to face enemies, use HA beams in the front, Metal or Alloy in the back for turret wrapping. Also ensure there's no voids inside a turret because, should the turret armor get hit, HESH/HEAT can spawn in the air-gap and boop the whole turret. Just fill air-gaps with wood blocks if you can't tetris anything good in there.
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#3
Thanks for the advice. I will go with your armor layout.
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#4
As your unit seem quite large, I would recommend (from outside to inside) 2m metal, 1m wood, 2m air gap, 1m metal. This remains not too much expensive while giving decent protecion:
[Image: 99B9F22229BEF5DAECF053BABCA94B5931C10862]
Wood in the inner layer is there to limit effect of HESH shells (spalling AP depends on last layer AC; "soft" material makes soft fragments).

Fitting HA around important parts (AI, turrets, ammo,...) is a good idea; you can limit to the upper part of the armor (the part above water, which take the most impacts) if you want to limit weight and cost. As for shield, dual layered strength 4 is sufficient to repel most high-speed sabot shells. 

Finally, the best protection againt shells remains a good LAMS system; the old struggle between guns and armor is largely won by guns here.
-"Speed is armor" - Admiral john 'Jackie' Fisher

-"Firepower is better armor" - Blitzkrieg Bob
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#5
I have to second pastor's post here: you don't want to cheap out on the armor on a ship this big

regarding HESH/HEAT
-unless you're expecting stupid amounts of HEAT anything more than a 1m air gap tends to be overkill unless you're also using that space to float (in which case make sure to compartmentalize that armor section.)
HEAT just isn't good enough to add that many extra meters of width to the vessel especially since HEAT tends to get eaten by well-designed internal spaces anyway.

-HESH is a similar story.   HESH can be devastating, but it suffers almost as much as kinetics against shields which means it's not necessarily optimal to devote a whole layer to spall liners.  Against HESH, LAMs and Shields are your first defense while your armor should be there to take hits shields can't stop (missiles) or that are devastating once the shields drop (HE, Kinetics, Frag).  remember, there are two ways to counter HESH spall AP.  you can limit the spalling itself OR you can strengthen the next layer it hits. Instead of [metal][metal][wood][gap][metal] I would instead make [metal][metal][gap][metal][metal].  does it take more damage from HESH frags? yes, BUT it resists everything else better AND still resists the frags well.  remember, full damage is applied when AP is twice the AC both AP reduction and AC increase are viable methods of countering HESH. 
-another good counter to HESH is low-power, internal shields inside the armor airgap, this again allows you to get the full value of that inner armor layer and reduces spall damage better than using a low AC backing material.
-Finally, another way to potentially stop HESH, is to have a more, or less, completely solid vessel where you expect HESH to be a problem.  This completely eliminates frag spawn from the equation a strategy that works well against HEAT as well.
-Do not bring forth an argument as fact that can be disproven with a 10 minute Google search.
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#6
Okay, got that. Went with a [Shield] [Metal] [Gap] [HA] [Metal] layout, because I loathe the HA-look. That said: Whats a good +400mm shell for such a big (capital)ship?
Two years ago I opted for a 4m HE-AP PenDepth shell, but what would be todays best choice? Or what combination of various turrets/shells?
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#7
Many designs are actually viable, and that's much up to your preferences. Personnaly, I go with HESH, or with a compound HESH / secondary HEAT. You can also make your gun fire "sequences" by assigning different shells to its intakes; like 3 HESH, one smoke, 3 HESH, one DC.

PenDepth are good with a high-velocity shell and I guess a 4m one will pack some punch; maybe you can keep that and pair with som DC to pass shields.
-"Speed is armor" - Admiral john 'Jackie' Fisher

-"Firepower is better armor" - Blitzkrieg Bob
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#8
I'd swap the [gap] and [HA] in that armor layout at the very least, so it looks like:

(outside) [metal] [HA] [gap] [metal] (inside)

This will make the outside layer of metal much tougher, is still 4 blocks thick, and will save you repair costs in the long run.

I would highly recommend another layer of metal outside, especially on a hull that large.

(outside) [metal] [metal] [HA] [gap] [metal]


I wouldn't use Penetration Depth fused shells unless you're making a giant (800m/s or faster) railgun. And I'd recommend against the super-railgun. My modest capital ship actually has a pretty beefy railgun on it, kept entirely for my amusement; occasionally it will one-shot some weaker enemy. It's quite a rare event, however. Swapping the railgun out for another standard (rail assist only) turret would be more effective against stronger foes.

Shields and armor-stacking are why penetration depth shells generally suck. Pen-depth shells need high velocity to get high kinetic damage and AP in order to actually penetrate the stacked armor. The high velocity means shields stop everything. If you can reliably and quickly take shields down, it might be effective. But that would be a very high cost in disruptor conduit rounds just to make one railgun work. It's not worth the effort.

Try an inertial-fused 180deg. frag or a squash head+HA combo (HESH) for your main guns. Mixing in an occasional smoke warhead helps get through LAMS. 4m is a good shell length for reasonable main guns.
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#9
this shows the current armor-layout of my cruiser lineup

it's as heavy as it can be (33,000tons) (without using ton's of hydroflois and/or propellers/deliblades)

it's not perfect, the buttom is overkill(will be redone in the next generagtion of cruisers)

the beltarmor is that thick to withstand shell's from its own gun's and up(285mm railgun's with a Muzzleveloceti of 1300m/s)
and to compansate for the lack of shielding(cause i dont like the look and the mechanic)


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like's strange music Tongue
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#10
Well, "overkill" seems to be the word here! XD For armor as much as guns...

Without shields, you might suffer badly from HESH or AP-based APS. On the other hand, a 33kT monster will take time to grind, even by the Mighty Thyr.

Speaking o' shields, high shells velocity increases probability of reflection; 1300m/s monster is a two-edged sword: most shells will bounce, but the on which pass will dig a hole deeper than Mariana Trench in the armor. How much is rate of fire, and how many guns/barrels will you fit? Sufficient overall RoF will reduce the issue. You can also mix some DC shells (like, every 4 shells) to get rid of shields and negate the issue.
-"Speed is armor" - Admiral john 'Jackie' Fisher

-"Firepower is better armor" - Blitzkrieg Bob
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