Monday, April 28, 2014

Modular Ships 1

I had an idea the other day as I was driving in to work, modular ships for MFZ: Intercept Orbit.  A set of base "hulls" for Frigates and Carriers/Cruisers that allow you to attach modular sections for Attachments and greebling.  Weapons, sensors, defenses, and catapults will all be detachable and interchangeable.  Wings, cockpits, engines, etc. will all be detachable and interchangeable.

The core for a Frigate is a stack of paired, alternating (north/south and east/west) 1x2 Technic Bricks.  The stack is 9 bricks long to leave room for modules and not break the 12 stud length limit for Frigates.


The core for a Cruiser/Carrier is a stack of paired, alternating (north/south and east/west) 1x4 Technic Bricks with regular 1x2 Bricks to fill in the gaps.  The stack is 12 bricks long to leave room for modules and not break the 16 stud length limit for Cruisers/Carriers.


These may look a little ugly.  Okay, they're a lot ugly.  But I'm hoping this design idea will allow new players to quickly build the base hulls to play the game and also allow players to easily remove attachments to reflect battle damage.

Here's a look at both hulls with a few Attachments and greebles.















The Attachments that I added are Turret (2 Red dice at Assault range), Mass Driver (2 Red dice at Support range), Sensor Pod (1 Yellow die).  The greebles that I added are the Bridge and the Engines.

I'll show you pictures of the modular plug-ins in my next blog post.

7 comments:

  1. This makes a lot of sense for a space vessel. I wouldn't call the result "ugly," just not aerodynamic.

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    1. Seconded. And they're built for low-friction environs anyway, so why bother with streamlining? They're not pushing through any noticeable atmosphere, are they? Actually, they remind me of the UNSC ships from the Halo universe, UNSC "Port Stanley" notwithstanding...

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  2. I like it for beginning players and these type of pieces are easier to find.

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  3. And there's no air in space anyway! Now it's a matter beyond that of building smooth bits that fit into the extra module slots well.

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  4. Love the idea for demo/introductory purposes.

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  5. Aerodynamics still play a part in a spaceship if they are built planetside. Newton's original body leaving Earth's orbit was the most aerodynamic form possible; the cannonball. That begs the question; how many :IO factions build their ships in zero-g? This concept plays as a really cool bridge between the two: build the core of the ship (bulkhead to bulkhead) on land, and modify it once it's in space. Theoretically, an empty core could be stocked with attachments that have been built planetside and shipped off to be assembled in space. I'm really digging this from both a practical and narrative standpoint.

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    1. Arguably, space-side production facilities could easily exist. After all, the MFZ Universe has Transit Gates in orbit, aye? It makes sense that critical components, such as weapons systems and sensor arrays, would be constructed land-side and then be shipped up to the craft being built space-side, facilitating the use of small shuttles (what a way to add back the concept of moving cover!) Essentially, it's more efficient to construct the smaller, more easily transported components on the surface of a planet where environmental hazards are more regulated than in a space station, while space-side production and repair facilities would exist in orbit over the same planet. Furthermore, having refineries for raw ore and materials necessary for spacecraft production in space themselves would save the effort needed to transport them to the surface safely, and save fuel and finances getting them back in orbit (mining out asteroids). I say that the larger items are more practically constructed in space, while the smaller components can be shipped up as required. Perhaps this is just my love for shuttlecraft that inspires this line of thought, or logical practicability of space-side production. In either case, I swear both of us have read too much Asimov and Clarke in our time!

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