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Thread: SSD Crash-Landing: Plausible Effects?

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    Default SSD Crash-Landing: Plausible Effects?

    So I had a wonderful idea for my Imperial campaign that would involve an allied SSD being sliced into, losing all guidance, and crashing (ROTS-style) onto the surface of a (non-urban) world.

    I was hoping to work in some nasty environmental effects, like perhaps ion storms in its wake or something. But I'm not sure how I could justify it, if Grievous' ship didn't ignite similar effects. Unless Grievous' ship was too heavily damaged to result in much more than a sonic boom, and of course some cosmetic damage to that conveniently-located abandoned spaceport
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    Default Re: SSD Crash-Landing: Plausible Effects?

    Originally posted by MikeLynch
    I was hoping to work in some nasty environmental effects, like perhaps ion storms in its wake or something. But I'm not sure how I could justify it, if Grievous' ship didn't ignite similar effects.
    Well, you might note that a) the Invisible Hand was a marginally "controlled" crash, thanks to Anakin and party, and concievably might have been much worse, and more importantly that b) the Executor is much much much bigger and more massive.

    Sounds like a cool idea, and I like the way you're approaching it-- in a "what seems consistent" kind of way, rather than going overboard with real world physics and the like.

    Good luck and HTH.

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    Since a Super Star Destroyer has a massive reactor powerplant, I would think that the explosion might cause something similar to a nuclear winter. Even if the reactor itself is non-nuclear, the blast could kick up enough ash and dust to block out the sun, with results similar to what happens after a major volcanic eruption.

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    Yeah, as above. Imagine a 17.5 km meteor coming down and nailing a planet. Now imagine it running on one of the largest nuclear reactors ever. This is a "planetary extinction" level disaster.
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    Hmm, planetary extinction (at least, instantaneously) is probably too much. Let's say the SSD's captain has the good sense to jettison all the mega-nuclear-explosive components of the SSD before reaching atmo, and before abandoning ship (due to a total failure to regain any steering control, which is the direction I'm leaning).

    My goal, then, is for most or all of the SSD's crew to make it safe to the surface in escape pods and other craft, but for the SSD itself to pretty much plow nosefirst into the ground (like in ROTJ, only on an actual planet). Am I right in thinking it would be perfectly plausible for the 17.5 km metal hulk to still kick up a volcano-level amount of crud into the air, causing serious but not necessarily planet-killing climatic effects?
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    Yeah, I'm gonna go with "not quite a planet-level extinction event," but definitely long-term climate altering. On the low side, you have unusually strong El Niņo effects for a few years. On the high side, you have plunge the planet into an ice age. A lot of things would survive, but life would definitely have to adapt.

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    Oh it would definately do that. Not to mention the planet wide earthquakes it would cause. Who knows, maybe the crew can pull off some kind of miracle and control it so it crashes on the surface. It would never fly again, has no way of getting off the planet.

    But that's only where the real fun begins. The position is flawed in that the ships weapons can't cover every approach, so there are weaknesses in the defense of the ship, and the crew cannot abandon it, someone could us it as a very defendable planetary base. So they crew would have to destroy the ship once rescue forces arrive to get them off of there.

    Man I could definately create some crazy adventures off of this idea. Thanks, I've already got plenty of things going in my head, just add this one and its many tangents to the pile.
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    Originally posted by MikeLynch
    Hmm, planetary extinction (at least, instantaneously) is probably too much. Let's say the SSD's captain has the good sense to jettison all the mega-nuclear-explosive components of the SSD before reaching atmo, and before abandoning ship (due to a total failure to regain any steering control, which is the direction I'm leaning).

    My goal, then, is for most or all of the SSD's crew to make it safe to the surface in escape pods and other craft, but for the SSD itself to pretty much plow nosefirst into the ground (like in ROTJ, only on an actual planet). Am I right in thinking it would be perfectly plausible for the 17.5 km metal hulk to still kick up a volcano-level amount of crud into the air, causing serious but not necessarily planet-killing climatic effects?
    I would find that plausable and very likely.
    What i would also have..

    100-150 miles out from POI - 7.5 to 8.0 rated earthquakes for 2-5 min...

    150-300 miles, 6.0 to 6.5 rated earthquakes (same duration)

    and so on..
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    Never gave to much tought of SSD crashing on a planet. I agree with what everyone has already said.

    Though it may just be possible to soft land the SSD. It would take some knowledge of the ships trajectury, speed and atmosphere density. Which would mean the ships computers and sensors need to be functioning. Additionly to actually land the SSD the maneuvering thrusters have to be functioning.

    Even with all the everything calculated out and thursters working the chances are still slim. I can almost see the the SSD starting its entry into the atmosphere and then hitting a storm front and snapping in two before crashing.

    One last thing to remember is that a SSD is built for zero-g operation therefore the superstructure could and probably would fail with catastrophic results if it entered to far into a planets gravity field.
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    I like this idea so much I almost want to use it in my own campaign! What year/era is this happening in? What planet? What's the name of the ship? It might be interesting to get some cross-campaign continuity going.
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    Oo, didn't think about that superstructure thing. Very true though. Hmm... well, the real question then is how much of the SSD would still be intact after the burn-off/crumble-apart, and whether it would be enough to cause huge earthquakes and such? Or if it would be no bigger than a chihuahua?

    What year/era is this happening in? What planet? What's the name of the ship?
    It's 15 ANH in my alternate universe campaign where Vader survives Endor and becomes the new, no-longer-Dark-Side Emperor. The SSD in question is Aggressor, now rechristened Defender, under Grand Admiral Thrawn.

    So in other words, no need to worry about maintaining continuity with li'l ol' me.
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    What book detailed the crash of the Chuun'thor (sp)? Or was it sort of glossed over? But it wasn't nearly as large as an SSD, was it? Well, supposedly it crashed in such a way there was still a dragon's hoard of loot recoverable, and it was even more fragile-looking than an SSD.
    Another thing to think about as far as how catastrophic would its crashing be to the planet is that, unlike a similarly-sized asteroid, is that an SSD is mostly empty space, and the most massive parts were probably aft. An uncontrolled fall through a gravity environment would probably have it start to flip bass-ackwards, and the tail would hit first. Trying to control its descent would bring about the whole structural failure thing, though, I agree. But maybe just one split? The back third and the front two-thirds?
    And a thikn on is how disabled is it going to be? If they cna keep some sort of shields up then the stuff on its skin might stay intact, but fi not then pretty much everything on the outside would burn up: no guns, sensors, or the outer several rooms would all burn off, I would think.
    I would think its value would be in what was deeper in that wasn't completely trashed/smashed by heat and impact.
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    scary thing to think about, if they could control the landing, and most of the interior sections survived undamaged, the survivors would then have all the Army equipment (IE: AT-AT's and such) to use to hold off the enemy should they send a recovery party. Remember, those computers would have alot of data on them that the rebels would desperately want to recover, so they know how much fighting they've got left to do, so to say.
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    It's 15 ANH in my alternate universe campaign
    Ah, it's alternate universe. Well, maybe I'll just might steal this idea. Hey, Ubiqtorate, Taresh has an SSD floating around somewhere, doesn't he?

    An uncontrolled fall through a gravity environment would probably have it start to flip bass-ackwards, and the tail would hit first.
    I think a lot of that might depend on the angle that it falls. If it dropped length-wise, certainly, but a bit of a nose dive could make it so it could concievably stay more or less in one piece, at least until impact. I don't see it maintaining too much structure when it hits, especially if it's nose first.

    'Course, a lot of that depends on what the GM wants to have happen.
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    Hi,

    Something I'd like to throw in, what if the point of impact was out to sea?

    Then you can throw in...

    - tsunami
    - superheated water
    - global climate change due to a mass of water displacement (through steam etc)
    - underwater salvage operations
    - some sections breaking away with airtight sections

    etc
    etc

    Michael

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