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Tanks On Crafts


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#1 Vicarious

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Posted 12 June 2005 - 06:54 PM

Rather then placing tanks inside the ship like the original I think thanks should be attached to the bottom of the ship. When the user wants to use the tank they simply press the detach button and the tank drops to the ground immediately ready for combat.

I wouldn't mind having some extra space for troops in my ship however if people feel making that much more space in a ship would be bad we also make the ship a bit smaller.

Later in the game when users get hovercrafts they can attach those to the top of the ship. I was thinking two tanks for the bottom and two for the top.

This also opens up several different ideas that are related but do not need to happen:

tanks that are still attached being able to fire, acting like turrets.

if the ship takes damage while attacking the alien craft the tanks can be damaged or destroyed

different transports being able to have various amounts, one on bottom only for the begining craft.

#2 NKF

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Posted 12 June 2005 - 11:51 PM

That's a nice idea, actually, but perhaps reserve it for the more sci-fi looking aircraft with the proper equipment for securing the tanks (which make the tanks look like part of the plane), yes, but not on any of the aircraft based off real planes. This would leave something for the player to look forward to when the new aircraft come into production.

On bigger ships (Assuming we have them) you could even have specialised tank compartments, basically like a smaller version of the troop seating area, but designed just for tanks. (HWP closets)

Or an even zanier idea. A tank that folds up into a cube or some other easily stored shape (as parts or as one whole unit) and having it fit into a storage compartment (on the outside the ship). No, this would be more suited to rapidly transporting a tank on a small vehicle, like a jeep.

I think there should be a limit to the type of tanks that attach to the outside of the ship. Perhaps the smaller and lighter variety of tanks on the wings and the medium versions on the underbelly. The larger tanks would have to go inside.

For the hover versions, perhaps ships with an iris on the ceiling (and a raising platform ala the X-Com UFO intro) would be rather adequate method of deploying them skyward.

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Edited by NKF, 13 June 2005 - 06:10 AM.

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#3 Blehm 98

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Posted 13 June 2005 - 12:25 AM

Remember, that works for real tanks, but HWP's aren't tanks, they are small robotic fighting machines. They are approximately the size of teh main part of a car, without the front of it on it
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#4 NKF

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Posted 13 June 2005 - 06:33 AM

Say what? But Blehm, we are talking about HWPs. The very thought of strapping an Abrams or a Tiger to the underbelly of plane sends shivers down my spine! *

HWPs are tanks. Perhaps not a tank in the main battle tank sense, but in the armoured vehicle sense - despite the smaller size. Now, an AI controlled machine gun arm on a mechanised photographer's tripod... um, it's not exactly a tank but it could still be considered a weapons platform. I guess - oh forget it. I hate battles of semantics.

---

Just in passing, does this idea have any connection to how Warthogs are transported in Halo? Played it recently and the similarities just hit me.

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* edit: No, scrap that, the thought of attaching a pair of tanks to the sides of a plane is actually freaking awesome. It's just the 'getting off the ground' part which bothers me. ;)

Edited by NKF, 13 June 2005 - 06:41 AM.

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#5 mikker

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Posted 13 June 2005 - 10:27 AM

now.... would they be operable during flight then? I mean, extra craft cannons? There wouldn't really be anything agenst this if this was implanted. I'm not sugesting it, as it seems unbalancing, but it appears logical to me that the X-CAPS may be used during flight if strapped on the outer hull with duckttape.

Hmmm.. what if they got hit in a firefight?

What about the lowered speed of the craft due to aurodynamics?

or speed of the craft due to weight?

Edited by mikker, 13 June 2005 - 10:30 AM.

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#6 Snakeman

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Posted 13 June 2005 - 11:18 AM

I think, that while inflight to a landing site on the geoscape, these fitted exterior tanks acting as turrets would be a nice level of protection that transports have never seen in the older game with the Avenger. It could also help solve somewhat, the desire to have aliens actually trying to intercept your craft in flight rather than leaving it up to the player to do all the intercepting.

I mean, if you only had two standard weapons hardpoints on such an advanced craft, having two extra ones in the form of those removeable tanks might help it against larger threats later depending on how the war environment or threats shifts in the air or space late game.

As for firing while attached to the ship on the battlescape, I think it should be limited to one turn while attached to either fire or disengage from the transport. You could tie into this too, the thought that while their on your ship like that, they have to shift from having been geared to target ships to aliens on the ground, with the turn used to reorient their programming shift.

Meaning, if you want them to fire within the first turn on the footsoldier, I think they should disengage from the hull of your transport first so that the tanks don't get all the initiative...After all, the aliens will still have reactions to work from if they see movement and there are some near your ship.

#7 Exo2000

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Posted 13 June 2005 - 01:45 PM

Just in passing, does this idea have any connection to how Warthogs are transported in Halo? Played it recently and the similarities just hit me.

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Nope, the 'hog is transported with a bloody huge magnetic field. :D
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#8 Blehm 98

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Posted 13 June 2005 - 03:49 PM

Well, the tiny cannons and rockets on HWPs could do absolutely nothing to an alien craft... Now, the Fusion HWP, that could so serious damage, especially if it hits the power source...
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#9 Vicarious

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Posted 13 June 2005 - 06:41 PM

Firstly, blehm is right, the weapons on a hwp couldn't do anything to a ship, firstly anyone who's tried to shoot through the hull of a ship with heavy plasmas (yes I've tried) knows that it is litterally impossible, in fact it takes an average of 7 shots to get through interior walls. As for fusion hwp, they could do something. On the battlescape they can put a whole in a ship, but we're talking about a small whole, making their attack comparable to the laser cannon from the original, not the fusion launchers. There are two other problems with the fusion hwp firing in the geoscape, fusion hwp have 8 shots, a firefight against a good sized craft can easily go through half of that ammo, leaving you crippled in battle. Finally, the range of the weapon, I'm willing to conceed that a blaster bomb could have it's waypoint neglected to just follow, even at high speeds, but ship weapons have huge ranges. In xcom the shortest range is the cannon with a range of 10 km. (the longest is the fusion ball launchers with 65k) Although there are no physical limitation in the battlescape I doubt that a weapon designed to go 100 m would be fuelled for 10000 meters. Basically, although it could thoretically work you'd have to be practically touching the enemy ship, doing a miniscule amount of damage and using up your fusion balls for later.

I said this at top too, but one of the downsides is they could get hit in a firefight, keep in mind though this wouldn't be too bad because in xcom for example it was rare for your avenger to get hit and you knew which ships were going to hit it.

as for aerodynamics, hwp in xcom looked pretty damn smooth, especially the hovering ones. ironically the avenger was the very square looking ship.

as for the weight, i don't think it'd make a significant different, but if it did I think we would have to figure the difference cause by the weapons we bring also. 80 heavy plasmas has to be heavier then a hwp.

The only problem I see with being able to fire on the battlescape while still attached to the ship is that the enemy can't fire back as easily, otherwise it's very similar to having a hwp inside. a fusion hwp can fire from where it is on the inside and it's real hard to shoot it back, the same as if it were on the top of the craft, but in both cases it's still suceptable, for example a gernade anywhere on the top of the avenger would reak havoc on the hwp. as for

Meaning, if you want them to fire within the first turn on the footsoldier, I think they should disengage from the hull of your transport first so that the tanks don't get all the initiative...After all, the aliens will still have reactions to work from if they see movement and there are some near your ship.


every type of hwp fires single shots and the second they fire one shot anyone with reactions that sees them is firing back. you're right that fusion hwp would be able to do some damage, but in xcom if you had a fusion hwp at the opening of your ship you do the same thing (or a guy with a blaster bomb for that matter). Plus, fewer aliens can fire back when you're in the ship, you have 180-300 degrees (depending on ship design) to get fired at from if you're on a wing. Odds are most people will take their foottroops out first a pick a few guys off before the hwp fires so it doesn't get hit with all the return fire.

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#10 GARAK

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Posted 14 June 2005 - 05:36 PM

I have no opinion on this topic.

#11 Markowic

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 08:00 AM

One thing to be concerned about is, if you have a HWP outside the ship and it takes a direct shoot from the enemy or even from a trooper it will be damaged, since the HWP isn't so heavy shielded like the ship. Do you want your weapons damaged before fighting?

#12 Blehm 98

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 09:05 AM

The interceptor isn't as shielded as an HWP. Most Aricraft have relatively thin(thin as in thin, not thin as in apollo capsule thin) aluminum armor, which is substantially weaker than 1 inch steel or titanium... HWPs probably have a half inch, so there
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#13 Exo2000

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 02:42 PM

The only exclusion to this rule was the Skyranger, which could take a Blasterbomb to it's inside and not be damaged, therefore it must be made of Adamantium. :D
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#14 mikker

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 02:49 PM

The only exclusion to this rule was the Skyranger, which could take a Blasterbomb to it's inside and not be damaged, therefore it must be made of Adamantium. :D

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actually raises a good question! What if your craft is destroyed in the battle? Then your team would have to wait for the pick up squad! heh!

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#15 Snakeman

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 08:58 PM

This is where I think it would be nice to have a reinforcement option. You never know when things will go bad, but it does suck to immediately lose everyone just cause you had a few guys left with no ride :)

Actually, I think it should be there if you have any survivors not currently under mind control during the turn between having lost your first ship and being able to then call some - and if there are any aliens left/objectives not yet met at the same time.

Perhaps a good use too in terms of what form you'd like various 'reinforcement options' to look like sort of like we discussed in a similar thread (and with relation to this, giving a little more functions to HWPs in particular). Maybe all you want to do is bug out with your survivors but your ship bit the dust. Another ship could have dispatched its hovering HWPs to swing down, drop tow lines so you can watch them zip on out of there. If it didn't have any, it would have to land its self.

Reinforcements could enter the arena similarly, or the whole ship could land. Anyway, I think it'd be a nice utilitarian feature for at least the hovering HWPs to have exterior places to fasten to later model transports. It can alter the way you might deploy soldiers in the field or evac them.

#16 MightyBalrog

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 03:37 PM

I think this Idea is incompused in the simplicity of the ORIGINAL X-COM. The real decission being made is with the trade off of Soldiers vs. Tanks. The placement of the tank is irrelivent. In real life the factors for airlifting are constant.... Wieght, Balance, Aerodynamics, Lifting Power. For an example lets say an Intercepter can lift a load of 10,000 pounds ... the wieht has to be placed near center fusalage. Would it matter much if you put the tank on top of the plane probably not as long as it didnt interfere with the aerodynamics the tank would still subtract 5 - 6 thousand pounds from allowed wieght. allowing 4000 pounds for equipment and soldiers. Lets say that is 5 soldiers and their equipment = 3980 pounds. The intercepter might have room for 5 more people but it would be unable to fly with these people as now the total would be more like 14000 pounds which is to heavy. So the final payload would be 1 Tank outside craft, 5 soldiers and thier equipment. If the tank only took the space of 4 soldiers your final payload could be 1 tank inside and 5 soldiers with equipment. In either case no more equipment, people, or tanks could be taken.

If you did allow outside mounted HWG it would allow for diffrent types of Tanks. This would allow you to take tanks that had less armor movement for a beefier weapon capable of pentrating aircraft / ufo's... You could take tanks that transport soldiers for less armor and less of a weapons system allowing for additional soldier transport in a ship. This is what the real benifit of an outer mounted vehicle would be. Its not that it should free up space but allow you to make tough deccision about the style of play you prefer.

#17 Blehm 98

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 11:21 AM

HWPs don't way much more than a few hundred pounds, they are only about 4x4x6 feet or so, so maybe a little bit over a thousand pounds at the most. you aren't going to fit big guns onto one of them, and lighter armor makes them even more fragile
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#18 Moriarty

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 11:27 AM

this whole discussion is based on a faulty assumption. (sorry! :) )
as blehm said in his first post, HWPs are not tanks. they were developed to be soldier-like in terms of transport, so that you don't need specially designed ships for transport, so the whole idea of strapping HWPs to the hull of a ship is just plain wrong.

if you start considering building ships that can actually support heavy units strapped to the hull, you don't need to worry about the basic restraints of HWPs anymore, and this would lead to a totally different type of "tank". :P
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#19 Snakeman

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 09:37 PM

Perhaps you might not need a redesigned ship to transport HWPs a certain way, but then again you might...when it comes to taking the war to lower gravity environments for instance. On top of this is if the world had little or no atmosphere to speak of - there'd be no need for wings in the design.

In that kind of situation I'd suspect even if the scale of the HWPs didn't change all that drastically, you could actually afford to make them more reinforced than they otherwise could have been in a heavy gravity environment.

On Earth trying to do this I should think the units would have to be very lightly armed and armored to work in the ways described here so far.

#20 Dover

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 12:45 PM

I agree that HWPs aren't tanks.

So why not add tanks?

#21 NKF

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 01:08 PM

Ah, semantics. A heavy weapon platfrom is just a small armoured platform and a heavy weapon. And tanks are just a type of vehicle covered in armour plates. It doesn't have to be the size of an Abrams to be a tank. Let's not forget that they are indeed referred to as tanks in the originals.

If we're redefining the term for Xenocide - well, fair enough. :)

True, it isn't realistic for a tank to just detach and drop off the hull of a ship, unwind itself (i.e. extend its wheels or tracks or propulsion unit) and roll out, but it certainly would make you go "Yeah - that's cool".

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P. S: For those interested, try and look up Bob Semple's Tank. I thought it might amuse some.

Edited by NKF, 15 February 2006 - 10:45 PM.

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#22 boinker

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 05:40 AM

Some interesting concepts being discussed here about external mounted HWP's, and I think they add to the coolness factor. I do worry it will make the game too easy. It seems to give too much firepower to xcom, and players are against just AI as it is.

It would make sense that if humans have LZ - landing zone - clearing weaponry on their craft, there is no reason aliens would not have plasma firing defenses shooting from their landed UFO's. These would of course be UFO's that landed on their own, while shot down and crashed UFO's may have these systems damaged and out of action, depending on the damage.

#23 NKF

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 06:33 AM

It shouldn't really be unbalancing. Technically, it's just a HWP that starts outside of the ship in an immobile state (i.e. attached to the ship). While it's on the ship, the turret section will still be exposed to danger, and detaching it from the ship will leave the whole HWP entirely exposed to enemy fire while it reconfigures itself into its vehicular form.

Perhaps the aliens could have the technology first, with external turrets detaching to become bipedal robots (ala the sectopod). Then you could develop a light troop carrier with one or no weapons and a few HWP 'hardpoints', and rely entirely on the special HWPs designed for the ship to act as its primary weapon systems for ship-to-ship combat.

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Edited by NKF, 13 April 2006 - 06:41 AM.

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#24 Snakeman

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 07:30 PM

I think this sounds very much like something the aliens would have first, then you have to research and incorporate into a new transport type(s).

I figure you could have a couple varieties, one that's just basically the turret of the HWP, no body and doesn't detach, and one that can.

The second one, detachable HWPs themselves, implies a larger "hardpoint" area since your also making room for the whole tank. This also implies a larger transport design element.

What I definitly like though is the idea that it can free up the cargo hold area for more troops and more tanks - or could be a tradeoff situation akin to the Lightening design for the first incarnation

i.e. Little troop capacity within and no internal HWP capacity at all. A new Lightening variant could carry 1 externally on its belly, and optionally, at a loss of one powerful craft weapon, have one on its roof.

Ultimately though, I think the usefulness of modifications like this hinges on how protracted engagements on the ground can get as well as how the aliens are outfitted (and/or if they can spawn in waves or something for a time).