Noble Armada 3: Sensors and Communications
This week for the Noble Armada preview I would like to take a closer look at how communication and sensors work in the game and what they do for game play.
In the Fading Suns universe that the game is a part of ships and technology have been maintained for hundreds of years as the Known Worlds went through a dark age. Some of the highest technology was sensitive sensor and communication gear capable of receiving data and sending information in real-time across great distances (faster than light). This technology is poorly understood now, even by the greatest Engineering Guild scientists and the effective range for providing accurate targeting data is greatly reduced from what it was during the Second Republic. One consequence of this reduction in targeting range is that a lot of weapon systems can fire much farther than the ship carrying them can accurately target them. Luckily, clever engineers have figured out how to link ship communications together to allow them to share sensor information and relay critical orders across greater distances.
In game, communication also serves another purpose. Ships in a fleet can take advantage of special orders from their commander only when they are able to receive orders from their commander. In the picture below we can see the flagship carrying the fleet’s commander is in communication range with the galliot. The commander can order the galliot to perform a boarding action, or perform special maneuvers using a pool of points known as the command pool.
The image below shows how ships can use communications to share sensor data as well. The Hazat frigate has long-range weapons in its turrets but cannot see the Decados raider. Luckily, there is an explorer that is in sensor range with the raider. Using the communication chain between the explorer (I) and frigate (III), the frigate is able to target the raider.
Larger ships like destroyers, cruisers, and dreadnoughts have weapons capable of covering most, if not all, of a battle zone. By setting up chains of sensors and communications they can devastate opponents from far away. Of course, the enemy is busy trying to establish their own communication chains and disrupt yours. One well placed ship could disrupt communications and isolate ships behind an enemy line of communication, leaving them vulnerable. Even without a commander to order them they will still move and fire, but they won’t have access to special command orders that could keep them in the battle longer.