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Episode 1723: One Ship, Two Ship, Sped Ship, Through Ship


If you want a dramatic scene in a game, have something huge and moving moderately slowly crash into something else. The momentum is enormous because of the mass, so it's virtually impossible to stop, but the slowness of the collision means the crash takes a relatively long time. Think the cargo ship crashing in The Lost World: Jurassic Park, or the train crash in Super 8. Think a giant cruise ship crashing into the harbour of a city. Heck, The Invisible Hand crash landing on Coruscant in Episode III.

Have something on this scale happen in your game and describe it in slow, languid language for your players, while all they can do is watch helplessly. Or maybe not so helplessly... is there anything they can do to stop a hundred million tonnes of inexorably moving metal??

[Reminder: Our guest commentators have not seen Rogue One. Part of the fun is seeing how their untainted impressions re-interpret the movie through the lens of our comic.]

In the small insert on the left side (would that be panel three, panel four, or something else?), we see what looks like a small ship pushing a large ship. DMM assures me that that is not a one-man fighter. And, we can see four good-sized jets on its back.

But that star destroyer is huge.

There is a certain amount of thrust that those engines are designed to put out. That thrust to mass ratio has suddenly changed. It looks like the star destroyer might mass 1000 to 1500 times the mass of the small ship.

Now let's add a second star destroyer.

We were told that the first star destroyer lost its engines. So I can understand it not moving out of the way. But the second one?

If the star destroyer is massing 1000 times the mass of the small fighter, it should be accelerating one one thousandth as fast. That means, it should be moving into the second star destroyer so slowly that the second star destroyer could get out of the way. Or, use its engines which are not destroyed, and vastly more powerful than those four tiny little jets on the tiny fighter, to push the "rammed" star destroyer away from the gate.

Such a slowly accelerating pair of ships, that just seems like it happens to bull's-eye the gate with enough speed to completely obliterate it, without moving out of the way, with no one shooting at the ramming/pushing ship...

Nom nom nom nom nom

More popcorn please.

— Keybounce


Admiral Raddus: Also Bria, that plan of yours to open the gate... we're transitioning to Plan C.
Bria: Plan C?
Captain Oquoné: We've been pushing the star destroyer, after a glorious impact.
Admiral Raddus: {to Oquoné and crew} It's a good thing you were wearing those helmets.
Captain Oquoné: But the weapons are still disabled, the gate's not opening, and there's no way to stop the ship before it crashes into the gate.
Captain Oquoné: Oh, and there was another star destroyer in the way.
[SFX]: Krruuuuunncchhh! {the star destroyer being pushed by the Lightmaker crashes into another star destroyer}
Bria: My plan is working brilliantly! But what about the boarding party? They'll be killed!
[SFX]: Krraaaasshhh! {which crashes into the force shield gate}
[SFX]: Kaboom! Kaboom! Kaboom!
Admiral Raddus: Almost no detail overlooked.

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Published: Sunday, 28 October, 2018; 03:11:02 PDT.
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