Author Topic: Pancake Ship  (Read 5670 times)

Offline Riggatto

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Pancake Ship
« on: September 05, 2013, 09:30:18 pm »
Was thinking that would move forward slowly, but have excellent turning and vertical power. Basically a circular ship with a monstrous balloon, with 1-2 light guns at 4 ends of the circle.

Just a thought

Offline Dutch Vanya

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Re: Pancake Ship
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2013, 09:38:23 pm »
That movement is basically what the mobula does. Otherwise i'm not so sure what you mean with this design. Maybe show us a simple sketch?

Offline Eukari

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Re: Pancake Ship
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2013, 09:51:05 pm »
That movement is basically what the mobula does. Otherwise i'm not so sure what you mean with this design. Maybe show us a simple sketch?

I think it's more like a flattened Spire, with guns facing all four directions instead three. Imagine a Frisbee with four guns, one at each point.

I think the biggest worry would be, while it has no blind spot, you would spread the guns out so much that it would be weak from every side.

Offline Riggatto

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Re: Pancake Ship
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2013, 11:59:49 pm »
Hmm, perhaps two lights guns at each end? Positioned in a way that makes impossible or at least difficult, to use two sides at once


As far as sketching goes. I'm bad at it. So picture in your mind a crosshair. The circle of the crosshair is the ship itself, while the four lines are the gun Ports

Offline Gambrill

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Re: Pancake Ship
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2013, 09:15:42 am »
Grab a plate. Stick blue tac at 4 sides equally apart and place plastic guns in them. Throw it across the room. Boom!

Offline Cheeseycom

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Re: Pancake Ship
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2013, 10:46:55 am »
I would have to agree with Eukari - it might not have any blind spots, but it wouldn't necessarily be able to concentrate enough fire-power in any one direction to be worth using in most battles (although it could potentially be very useful for holding capture points).

Giving it two light guns at each end would give it far more guns than any ship out there at the moment.. it might not be able to aim them at someone all at once, but it would allow crews to outfit themselves with just about every light weapon there is.. which might be its only advantage - with a good crew and a smart pilot aiming the correct side in the right direction at the right time, this ship could be a short, medium and long range attack ship all at the same time.. just not a particularly powerful one.

It would be damn difficult to use effectively.. I think it would probably end up becoming a support ship at best.

I like the idea, but I think it may still need a little work. ^^

Offline Cheeseycom

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Re: Pancake Ship
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2013, 11:18:00 am »
Busting out my epic MS Paint skills (because I CBA to open up Photoshop right now xD ), I did a rough diagram from your description, Riggatto, as well as a suggestion of my own.

On the left is your suggestion, with two guns at each point of the 'crosshair'.. I wasn't sure if the guns were supposed to sit on the edge of the balloon or project just beyond it on walkways, but it's a small detail.

On the right is my alternative suggestion.. basically 4 forward mounted guns spaced so that there is a small overlap window for at least 3 of them to be facing one target at the same time (a bit like the Mobula, only with the guns all on the same level). However unlike the Mobula, it would also have 2 rear mounted guns to deal with ship sneaking up from behind.
While it wouldn't have a rear blind spot, it would have two large gaps on either side that would give enemy ships some opportunity to approach unwary crews.

The lines inside are for suggested walkway paths, allowing fairly quick access to each gun. I'd suggest that maybe the hull, balloon, and pilot wheel are all located on a separate level, otherwise it might make using this ship a little too easy.

It'd be interesting if the main bulk of the ship sat mostly inside of the balloon (including the walkways, again much like the Mobula), making spotting enemies much more difficult since there would be nowhere with a clear view all the way around. A crows nest of some kind could be stuck on top and accessed via a ladder, forcing a crew member to be away from their post if they want to keep a lookout (the only alternative being that the crew has to split up and hang around opposite ends of the ship).

Offline Eukari

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Re: Pancake Ship
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2013, 12:23:32 pm »
I love your version, Cheesey, but if I could make a suggestion? I think having four light guns on the front veers us a little too close to the Mobula. What if, instead, we had two heavy guns on the front, and two light guns to the rear? That gives us something we don't really have yet (only ship with more than one heavy gun is the Galleon, and those are pointed to the sides) while still fitting into the "floating gun turret" theme we've got going.

For the layout, I'm thinking something like this:
    _______
   /              \
   |               |   Front view
   |               |
   \_______/
   __/_H_\__    Upper deck (H = helm)
   \_G___G_/    Lower deck (G = heavy guns)

    _______
   /              \
   |               |   Rear view
   |               |
   \_______/
   __/LM_\__   Upper deck (L = light gun, M = main engine)
   \_T_L_T_/    Lower deck (L = light gun, T = turning engines)

The upper deck houses the helm (facing forward, in between the two prongs of the "Y" formed by the guns), the balloon repair hardpoint (inside the little "cabin" there, centered under the balloon), the main engine (at the end of the "Y", on the direct back of the ship) and a light gun (next to the engine, on the starboard side).
The lower deck houses the two heavy cannons (at the 10 and 2 o'clock positions formed by the "Y", giving them some overlap but not perfect), the hull repair hardpoint (in the middle of the ship, under the "cabin"), the two turning engines (at the back, forming another "Y" shape with the helm) and a light gun, at the aft of the ship (under the main engine, forming a "Y" with the heavy guns).

The pilot has a good view of the front of the ship, but is reliant on his crew/teammates to spot and call out any enemy ships behind or above him. The dual light guns on the rear somewhat help with that; you can get an easy bifecta on anything trying to sneak up behind you. Because there's only two decks, you'd likely put the pilot on the upper deck, the gunner on the lower deck (to work the heavy guns) and the two engineers would float between, based on what needs done. One could man the second heavy gun, or you could have both go to the rear of the ship...I think it'd be complex to crew, but ultimately rewarding.

The weaknesses are it's blind spots to the sides, the very low visibility for the pilot, slow speed and the massive balloon. The strengths are the overlapping heavy guns, the overlapping light guns to the rear and the quick turning speed. It's basically a floating gun turret- a big of a fusion of the Galleon and Mobula, with a touch of Spire thrown in.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2013, 12:26:31 pm by Eukari »

Offline Cheeseycom

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Re: Pancake Ship
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2013, 03:50:52 pm »
Hmm interesting.. you know, I'd completely forgotten about engine placement >.<

I like your suggestion for having heavy guns instead of dual light guns - it would certainly bring something to the table that no other ship currently does (other than, as you mentioned, the Galleon). I was a little worried my suggestion was too close to the Mobula, this would certainly mix things up a bit.

I also like your suggestion for the helm placement.. I'd actually drawn something like that myself, but I erased it since I couldn't figure out where to include the helm on Riggatto's version. It basically makes the corridor layout look a bit like a peace sign ^^

I basically agree with everything you've said (including the balloon/hull hardpoint placements) with the exception of two things - First, I believe the rear guns could both be located on the upper deck on either side of the main engine, forcing crew members to switch decks if they want to cover the back of the ship.
However, rather than joining these decks with ladders, a ramp in the middle could lead from the lower front of the ship to the upper back, with passing spaces on either side (or the reverse, with small ramps on either side and a corridor down the middle). Possibly there could be ladders on either side of the helm cabin leading down to forward guns, which would also allow a shortcut for engineers looking to get to the balloon hardpoint as fast as possible.

It would work a bit like the Mobula does is some respects.. there would be two areas to be divided up between two engineers, as well as additional guns for them to use when they aren't repairing. If anything it might be more complicated for the gunner, as he would have to run back and forth a fair bit if the engineers are busy (or if the pilot is asleep and doesn't think to turn the ship fast enough xD)

The other thing was the shape of the ship you outlined.. I realize it's only a basic text layout to give us an idea of what you were talking about, but I actually envisioned the hull and balloon being integrated together much like Mobula.. a sort of.. hamburger shape, a bit like this:

    ______
   /  ____  \
_/_/   H   \_\_   Front View
\__G___G__/
   \______/

    ______
   /  ____  \
_/_/L M L\_\_   Rear View
\__T___T__/
   \______/

As you said, its main weakness would be poor visibility and a massive target in the shape of the balloon.. however by sandwiching the hull inside the balloon, it might help split the damage between hull and balloon, and make it a bit more challenging to take down - especially by ramming.
It would also have something of a blind spot above and below as well, since the turrets are all relatively close to the hull, there wouldn't be any way to look directly underneath or above - a small ship could conceivably hover there while they recover from an attack.

I'm still kind of keen on the idea of the crows nest coming out of the top though.. it would negate the visibility penalty somewhat, but as I mentioned it would take crew members away from the main hull, making it more or less unusable in battle. It would be useful for spotting at a distance though, and a well coordinated crew might even make use of it tactically (for example, outfitting Field Guns on the rear, and relaying directions to the pilot to fly backwards while they get in some long range hits).
It probably isn't necessary though.. I guess it would be down to the folks at Muse to determine if it added or unbalanced anything.

Offline Eukari

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Re: Pancake Ship
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2013, 07:34:51 pm »
That's pretty good; I agree about putting both light guns on the upper deck.  As to the ways to get around...how about a ramp on the port and starboard sides of the ship that lead different ways- i.e. from the helm down to the turning engines and hull, and from the light guns and main engine to the heavy guns. This sort of splits the ship into two halves- one with the helm, balloon and turning engines; and one with all the guns, main engine and the hull. Of course, you still have the upper and lower decks as divisions as well.

I am worried, though, that with the ship being entwined in the balloon we're edging back too close to the Mobula; this time thematically instead of functionally.

This was an idea I had, but didn't mention in the last post: What if the balloon was shaped like a big inner-tube? The body of the ship hangs mostly beneath it, but you have some sort of scaffolding rising into a tower that goes up through the center. It could be accessed from the bottom deck via ladder, allowing a lookout to quickly reach the main guns- or the hull repair point- when needed.

Offline Cheeseycom

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Re: Pancake Ship
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2013, 09:01:21 pm »
Hmm.. I'm not sure if that kind of division would work.. as it currently stands one Engineer has to deal with repairing all of the guns, the hull and the main engine, while the other only has to fix the turning engines and balloon. It's not really an even load. The Mobula works with that kind of layout because it's symmetrical, and crossing over to the opposite side isn't too difficult if necessary.

I don't mind the idea of the alternating ramps leading from upper to lower and vice-versa, but where would the joining point be? At the moment it seems like they pass each other without meeting anywhere. And if they do meet somewhere in the middle, the next question would be; why is this layout better than a ramp from upper to lower in the middle of the ship, with a central corridor also leading from front to back?
The idea makes me think of the Spire, with it's spiralling ramp that runs all the way around.. but it only works because the Spire is small and the central ladder is there if needed.


As for the idea resembling the Mobula - you're right, it does in some ways.. but I wouldn't worry about it so much. After all, the majority of the ships currently included in GoIO mostly conform to the 'ship hull slung under a balloon' design, with only a few exceptions and some variation in general layout of components and pathways.
It's not unreasonable that another ship like the Mobula could also exist - and there are enough differences for it to stand out as its own ship.
Also, the Mobula sits atop its balloon, whereas I envisioned this ship as being almost entirely engulfed by it, with balloon bulging out both above and below. It would be less of a 'hovering flight deck' like the Mobula, and more of a 'balloon flying fortress'.

The limited visibility wouldn't just extend to the sides, but also the top and bottom of the ship.. so I reckon if is given high manoeuvrability and vertical mobility, but slow speed, this would balance out the increase in firepower it has over the Mobula. It would perhaps need increased armour.. possibly this could be a sort of 'Galleon' version to the Mobula's 'Goldfish'?


I think I see what you're getting at with the torus-shaped balloon - that's a pretty good idea, and works very well with the crows nest/watchtower idea..
Only thing about separating the hull and balloon is that it would mean losing the visibility restrictions that would require the tower in the first place.

What if.. the torus were turned on its side, and the main bulk of the hull sat in the hole in the middle, with a spindly double-decker gantry leading out to the engine/gun platform at the rear? A bit like a screw and washer.



..ok that's not precisely a screw and washer, but it better illustrates what I mean! >.<

The watchtower/crows nest could come up from in front or behind of the balloon, since the hull sticks out on either side.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2013, 09:05:09 pm by Cheeseycom »