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Proposal of a defense type that converts stored power into AC

Made the original post here.

The spirit of the suggestion
I propose these items not as a kibble or gimmick I fancy for, but as a means to open up more avenues for design choices, more means for craft specification, and so builders have more options available to them when they choose how to build and focus their craft. As such, consider this a suggestion as to how to improve the diversity of the game using concepts available already to enrich the experience of building. For this reason, I suggest not static blocks, but blocks, or rather systems, that tie into the energy/material economy of designs.

Ferrofluid Armouring
This would be an armour type whose AC/health (up for debate) is dependant on the charge level of attached batteries/w convertor. Efficiency is lost the more surface area the batteries have to power, and impacts on the armour drain the charge from the attached battery dependant on explosive and kinetic impact. It might even have a health regen dependant on attached battery power, and a passive battery drain dependant on the surface area/volume covered (if we permit this type of armour to be more than 1m thick. Due to its nature (impact dispersion), this armour could be made a specific counter to hesh and sabot shells, whose only counter currently is spalliners and shielding.

As such, this might be seen as a physical rather than energetic equivalent of shielding a vessel.

I propose this, because it would be slick to be able to make a link between battery storage/power and physical defense as a design option.

Considered on a purely abstract level, we can transmit engine power (As a resource) to shields or lasers to deter physical munitions, both with loss along the conversion. This means we can sacrifice the power resource to deter impacts as a defense.

Power-loss-> active defense (less hits)

However, with an armour type dependant on battery power to soak direct impacts, other avenues of defense become available. We can now sacrifice engine power to batteries, keep balance through the waste of conversion of battery power to armour class or health regen of attached blocks.

Power->battery storage->loss->passive defense (does not prevent impact, migitates impact)

Balance wise/setup
we have a set of structural blocks equivalent to other structural blocks (slopes, wedges, ...). However, the ferrofluid armour does not count as a structural block, ie, confers no benefit to block in front of it. It can also not recieve structural support from blocks behind it; the whole is a blob of liquid armour material suspended over vulnerable magnetised projector plates after all. this means that while the armour can be very effective, it cannot be hideously Op and must be fully self-sufficient when used, or that independant backup measures must be in place. This ensures that to be effective, it needs enough (and surplus) power availability, which of course ties directly into the choices the builder must make for his design.
This means that having powerful impact absorption AND shields will be prohibitively expensive as a balancing measure. The armour could be disrupted by either disruptor shells or EMP weaponry (PACS, CRAM, missiles) in general so that EMP gets to play a bigger role in the grand game of counters and attack types that is the spice of life for this game.

As a stretch goal, The battery to armour convertor might offer a set of tweakable options to allow further specification. This might be overclock factors (lower consumption efficiency to boost protection), hardening (AC increase) vs HP regeneration, or even HP increase, and a heat protection factor, and EMP hardening (surge adsorption, lose X% percent of AC gain to be able to absorb y*X% of emp damage as battery power). At very high power levels, the AC gain curve slopes of and gets big diminishing returns because the densily heaped material becomes less plastic. this means that enormous setups are not generally stupid op, but might start gaining a bit of efficiency instead.

consider this also
a non energy shield option, non active defenses aproach might be a support to realistic builders who eshew such things, but who still desire competitive builds. As such, there is still a need to build vital power infrastructure, and some suspension of disbelief, but with these a "realistic" craft might be able to rely on structural armour instead of sci-fi gimmicks for its survival, especially if the armour is hidden underneath a hull of conventional material.
Imperium Age of Sail Campaign Custom Campaign Dev Idea -> Check it out here!

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Proposal of a defense type that converts stored power into AC - by Carolus Magnus - 2019-06-27, 02:30 PM

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