Cap Ship Shields

Gliderboy

Spaceman
After playing WCP, I have begun to wonder how the shields on Cap Ships work. It seems that the only way to penetrate their shields is through the use of torps, but why is it that the guns on the ships are not shielded. Even the light guns on a Tigershark can quickly take out all the guns on almost any enemy Cap Ship in the game.
 

Maj.Striker

Swabbie
Banned
My advice...don't try it. Some things are just fine the way they are. There's not a good true logical explanation for them, just accept them the way they are. If you want to question things, question why you can hear the explosions in space or why the ships aren't flying in newtonian physics. These problems are pretty much universal in all good sci-fi universes. The only explanation I could offer to your question is this: The capital ships' turrets are not covered by the shield. Why aren't they covered by the shield? Because then they couldn't fire out now could they? (it's not a one way mirror). That's logical I suppose. I'm sure Loaf has a much better explanation but that's all I got right now.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I suppose sheilds worth both ways -- turrets placed inside of them wouldn't be able to fire out, just like guns outside can't fire in.
 

TheRedDuke

Spaceman
I've thought about this topic at length, as it's not really addressed in any WC literature. One theory of mine I've applied from the the Star Trek universe: phasers and other weapons, as well as small craft, are tuned to the defense shield's frequency, which allows those objects to pass in and out of the shield, while protecting the ship from enemy fire. In ST Generations, Lursa and B'etor discovered that shield frequency through subterfuge, which allowed them to penetrate the Enterprise's shields with their disruptors. Under that hypothesis, it would be a one way mirror. This could also explain how fighters might take off and land from a carrier or cap ship while shields are in place.

And as for explosions in space - the louder, the better.
 

Sarty

Rear Admiral
Thats the same way I figured it. It is a one way mirror, but when set to the same frequency and whatnot, its all integrated and works together. And in Fleet Action the Marine LC's during the Battle of Earth would switch their IFF transponders to stolen Kilrathi codes just before hitting the shields, allowing them to pass through unharmed.
 

Maj.Striker

Swabbie
Banned
I'll contradict that statement...if it in such a one way mirror then how is that a fighter's guns can bust through the shield and destroy turrets? Are you trying to say that a fighter's lasers/mass gatling/tachyon/plasma etc are all attuned to the same frequency of the shields? Furthermore are you saying that dumbfire etc missiles are attuned to the right frequency? The only frequency adjustment reference that I can find is in the torpedoes which are aimed at the "shielded" parts of the ship thus they must be attuned to the frequency of the shields in order to pass through them. If it takes so long to get the torpedoes attuned why are the guns instaneous? The simpler and far more reasonable answer is that the turrets and such are not covered by the capship's shields.
 

Sarty

Rear Admiral
Well i would imagine that torpedoes would take so much longer because the torpedo has to FIND the enemies frequency, through all the ECM as well. While YOUR guns and missiles are already set to the correct frequency of your shields.
 

Aron Figaro

Spaceman
Your OWN shields, yes. THEIR shields? No. That's why their shields stop your guns. The turret issue is another one altogether, and it really doesn't make a lot of sense. The only thing I can think of is that a phase shield works like a "skin", and the shape and motion of a gun turret would disrupt the shield, therefore they are unshielded.
 

Manic

Spaceman
Then why would a fighter like the vampire have rotating thruster parts? I think it's one of those things they did just for gameplay's sake.
 

junior

Spaceman
And there's also the problem that you can't exactly tune mass drivers and missile launchers to a shield wavelength, as both types of weapons fire physical objects. Wavelength tuning would only work with energy weapons.

Another idea that might work is that as noted, outgoing weapons fire can't go through the shield. So the shielding for the gun turrets is performed by smaller shields that can be lowered and raised again in the split second that it takes a weapon to fire a single shot. The drawback is that in order to make it possible to rapidly turn the shields off and then back on again, a weaker shield has to be used instead of one that's as strong as the primary shield used by the ship.

But its all conjecture and speculation.
 

Iceman16

Vice Admiral
I bet that the reason why ships guns can fire through their own shields is because of little holes in the shield where the bolts go through. it is possible for their to be holes in shieldin, remember in HotT when Blair shoots down a Vaktoth and explains that just behind the cockpit theres a hole in the sheilds due to poor design. just my two cents...
 

Fatcat

Swabbie
Banned
Do the shields also seal a vacuum around the ship, because on almost every carrier, there are no doors on the flight deck (i.e. the Victory). I would have to agree with the theory that the turrets can't be shielded because then they can't fire out, and on fighters the shielding system would be small enough to keep the guns barrels unshielded without making a large gap in the shield. What I want to know is why your fighter's guns can penetrate the phase shields in Wc3-4.
 

Aron Figaro

Spaceman
Maniac - I mentioned PHASE shields. Fighters have a shield "bubble" rather than a "skin" like capships have. Holes in shielding are possible because shield generators are projectors - directional ones. Phase shields again don't succumb to the same thing, else you'd see shield generator hardpoints, most likely.

Why fighter guns can penetrate phase shields in 3-4? Balance of power. Weapons were getting more powerful faster than the shields again, so it's like back in WC1.
 

Viper61

Spaceman
The energy weapons matching frequency with the shielding is one explanation, though the phase shields and wespons systems would have to be on the same frequency rotating algorithm (since if a single burst of a capital ship weapons fire hit you, you could analyze the frequency spectrum, find out where the power spike is and bang, you know exactly what frequency the enemy capital ship shields are operating at - actually, it probably wouldn't have to hit you).

But to further analyze WC by 21st century physics (which is conjecture at best, but fun conjecture), this can't be the case as the energy weapons in WC are visible (never mind that they don't move at the speed of light :) ). That follows that, to allow energy weapons to pass through, shields are probably operating at a frequency between 4000 and 7500 THz (visible spectrum) so the shields themselves would actually be visible (the color depending on the frequency).

A less involved explanation of why frequency matching of the shields/weaponry is probably not the solution is that capital ships use flechlete launchers and mass drivers as close quarters weaponry and point defense against torpedoes, both of which, as mentioned above, cannot be tuned.

I guess a 'current' explanation to suit all cases (weapons eminating/inbound for fighters and capital ships) is that the shields are 'molded' to allow gaps for these weapons to shoot out and (vice versa) fighters to shoot through (as LOAF has said - actually isn't this addressed in the 'gas shields' explanation? Can't remember off the top of my head). Explaining 27th century technology with 21st century knowledge is problematic at best :D.

C-ya
 

Mekt-Hakkikt

Mpanty's bane
Aron Figaro said:
Maniac - I mentioned PHASE shields. Fighters have a shield "bubble" rather than a "skin" like capships have. Holes in shielding are possible because shield generators are projectors - directional ones. Phase shields again don't succumb to the same thing, else you'd see shield generator hardpoints, most likely.

Why fighter guns can penetrate phase shields in 3-4? Balance of power. Weapons were getting more powerful faster than the shields again, so it's like back in WC1.
The cutscene in WCP when the Midway uses its Plasma weapon the first time: I think there's a (half)bubble forming around the Midway too.
Thinking about it: bridges, engines, hangars and the other components seem to be outside the shields as well. I don't remember clearly: if you shoot with a plasma weapon at them they get the "armour hit" effect and with a non-plasma weapon you get a shield effect. Or is it the same effect each time?
(I mean when hitting an unshielded component on Confederation ships or the Triton, not a Nephilim bridge/engine before the shield emitter is destroyed)
 

LightNinja

Spaceman
Okay.... the difference is because of different shields are used for capships and for fighters (at least since times of WC2, while WC1 the phase shields were not invented, so the weak "bubble" shields were also used for capships, same technology as fighters, just bigger and with more energy in it, so a little bit stronger).

Capships etc. use PHASE SHIELDS. Phase shields cannot be penetrated by anything, regardless if it comes from the outside or the inside. So the turrets can't be shielded, otherwise they could not shoot.

Fighters etc. use "BUBBLE" SHIELDS, which can be penetrated by anything that comes from inside, but blocks things from the outside (or tries to block it).

Another problem is fighters launching. Obviously you cannot land on a ship, while it's in combat, because the shields have to be inactivated for a brief second or two (long enough for the ship to take serious damage). In WC1 it's no problem to launch fighters while you're under attack, because you only have the bubble shields. But in the never versions it has to be something else. First possibility: The launch bay isn't shielded by phase shields, but only by the energy field which keeps the athmosphere in, but can be penetrated by solid objects that come out of the hangar, but blocks everything, just like the bubble shields (perhaps it's only a slight variation of the technology), that comes from the outside. The other possibility is, that the fighter's (bubble-)shields are adjusted to the same frequency as the capship's (phase-)shields to allow the fighter to pass the PHASE shield.

The torpedoes can penetrate the phase-shields, because it analyzes the shield frequency and has some sort of own energy field around it, which is adjusted to the phase-shield's frequency.
Other missiles just explode on the shield so it loses energy. Laser Cannons and such things are to weak to do serious "damage" to the PHASE shields.

Obviously it is not possible to set the guns to the same frequency as the shields, because the enemy hit by it could find out the frequency and/or it just doesn't work just because the frequency range of shields and guns are too different.

I hope this explains the things. This is, in fact, how I would explain it and how I think about it. (I explained it my little brother that way!)
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Fighters in Wing Commander III use the same type of phase shields which capital ships used in Wing Commander II. There's also no evidence of a fundamental difference between Meson and Phase shields in terms of ability to fire through them.
 
Top