Movable/Adaptive Armor

Jan 15, 2020
So I have this fairly simple idea in theory, and while executing it may be complex its still very interesting to say the least, so, based off of the armored windows and a few other moving parts we've seen in dev. videos etc, lets just assume it would work in one way or another. So, I'm imagining a ship, that's cigar shaped and relatively harmless looking, BUT its covered in armor panels and below them maybe it hides all the weapons to surprise anything that attacks it IDK, but the point is this ship has the ability to shift these panels, all of them, to the front of the ship, in one way or another, revealing the rear of the ship yes, but consequentially moving the CG forward, making the ship look like an umbrella. Essentially, this transformation will make the ship have an incredible turn rate because all the weight will now be up in the front AND, now uncovered however, the rear of the ship will basically only consist of an extremely strong, reinforced boom, with maneuvering thruster's on the end of it, and what this will do is because of where the force for turning is acting on the ship it will be like a lever meaning that little force is required to rotate the ship and the idea is that this will allow you to keep your nose on an opponent in a space dogfight no matter what. Hopefully what this allows is for you to hit all your shots and anything that hits you is hitting layers upon layers of armor. So yes this has some drawbacks, what if two ships attack you, will you be able to see out of it enough to aim, etc, but imagine it scaled way up or way down.(I'm imagining a medium sized ship much bigger than a fighter but smaller than some of the biggest ships we've seen in the dev. videos) Anyways point is I think it would make for a decently formidable opponent in a dogfight, assuming it works good and can just eat projectiles like a sponge.

So question is, do YOU think stuff like this will be viable assuming it works?
Could you imagine a system like this becoming a meta of some kind?
How would you try to fight a ship like this? Or, Would you run in fear the second this Innocent looking cargo vessel expanded into this decently intimidating, crazy flower of death thing that can move like nothing else? (I'm kind of seeing this idea as less of a tactic for attacking someone and more of an intimidation tactic/defensive tactic)
Any thoughts or suggestions? ways of countering it?(besides multiple ships, were talking 1v1 here)


Master endo
Aug 9, 2019
From technical perspective, it won't work.
Current options for moving parts are too structurally weak to support heavy objects at high speed or dynamic manoeuvres. And you need those for dogfight.

From practical perspective (if it can work in game), you waste a lot of mass on sliders, movers, hinges. Such ship will never be close to efficiency of one piece ship.
There is also additional building and maintaining cost, due to complexity. KISS.

If you really want to surprise your enemies, you don't need to morph the whole ship. Just build the ship in your desired combat configuration (forward CoM and armour, long tail for manoeuvring, ect.) and build permanent, light, empty decoration around it. Or make it drop the decoration at the start of combat.
Or give your combat ship ways to attach cargo externally, and actually become cargo ship. Then drop it when needed.
Or build cargo ship with autopilot and hidden docked fighter. Once the fight begins, send cargo ship home on autopilot and jump into fighter.


Veteran endo
Aug 9, 2019
Yeah.. not going to be worth it. No way you’re going to be able to satisfy the structural stability and make a ship with that many moving parts. In addition; placing the thrusters would be an absolute nightmare.
Jan 20, 2020
I think the problem that people face when dealing with retracting or moving parts on any ship is that it adds unnecessary complexity to an already complex endeavor. Starbase will not be the easiest game to pick up and learn, I'm certain some will find ship building easy, but YOLOL will take a bit to get used to for a newcomer. So from the building perspective I don't really see a particular reason to do things like this or to design ships with these features. The exception to this comes from maybe armor plates over windows as we have seen in developer videos, but even then, why not simply design less exposed command bridges for ships?

When it comes to weapons, I think retracting them kind of defeats the purpose of having them. If you have a gun, showing it off is simply another way of deterring someone who has ill intentions. If I'm a merchant hauling cargo, I want my weapons to be on display. If anyone sees me, they know that I'm armed and I will put up a fight. Granted it might not be much of one, depending on how heavily armed my opponents are, but even if they pause for just a moment to decided, that's more ground I've put between me and them. If i'm a flying a warship, what reason is there to hide my weapons? I want to have force projection and intimidate my opponents. The only area I think retractable weapons will see any use in is possibly for "stealth" or "recon" in enemy territory. However, this would probably even be limited depending on how ships are identified or if your name/clan tag is displayed in game.

The second area that bothers me with retractable parts is that most machines follow a very simple rule, the more moving parts, the more likely it is to break or fail. It's also as a result generally harder to repair as well (though that probably won't be an issue in this game). While I admit the concept of a "transformer-like-ship" does sound cool, I don't see it being practical or really useful. You also deal with the speed in which it "transforms" or "retracts/deploys" its parts, that is time that could be simply saved if those parts were just simply there in the beginning. Oh, and don't forget the nightmare of programming all that YOLOL code. If it can be done, I congratulate anyone who can make it and I can't wait to see their designs. But, I don't think we will be seeing anything like this.

I think your design has merit, but I would simply make it in the "umbrella" shape you mentioned in the first place and call that good.


Veteran endo
Aug 22, 2019
A variation of this that I could see being at least a bit more practical, and a lot simpler, would be having a fairly standard, thin'ish ship design, but with front facing armour plates on rails at the front of the ship. Activating them spreads them out in an umbrella like shape to provide forward facing cover for things like guns, the cockpit, and whatever other fragile, external modules their might be. This wouldn't hide the parts, just provide cover from the front while a weapon is reloading or something like that. And even that depends on how reloading ship weapons even works.

I don't see this improving the ships maneuverability or speed; in fact it would most certainly slow it down. But it could provide temporary protection of fragile components, and be a lot easier to build than a fully transforming ship. Whether this is at all practical would depend on so many things, but mostly the effectiveness of armour, the effect of the added weight at the front, and whether it's better to just be more maneuverable.
Also, from the way dogfights usually go, front facing armour would be pretty useless as most incoming fire will be from ships coming in behind you.

This design might be more practical for a torpedo boat, something to use against, larger, slower ships (if there even are any) or stations.
I'm imagining you deploy armour plates on approach, ready torpedos, missiles, whatever in the provided cover, retract armour plates and fire.