In this comment, @GrimmTheOpiner claims

...shields are a universal Sci-Fi trope and Star Trek is no more guilty than any/many others! The only "shields" I can bring to mind that were explained differently were in the computer game "iWar" [sic].

Can someone explain what is unique about the shield mechanics in I-War?

(I'm assuming this is a reference to I-War (1997 video game) and not I-War (1995 video game).


The manual for Independence War describes the function and operation of shields in this fictional universe.

The NSO 929 is also fitted as standard with two Displacement array shields fitted on wide swivel mountings. Although provided as a defensive mechanism, they may be used offensively, albeit at close range.

The principle of linear displacement has been used as a method of propulsion for over 200 years. Its potential as a defensive device is a more recent innovation. The shield array projects a steerable region of disrupted space. Radiation or material passing through that space is displaced in random directions by amounts of up to 100meters.

The shields region of disruption can be between 100m to 200m from the array itself. The region can vary in radius between 2 and 10 meters. The newest shield arrays can easily block the blast from a particle beam cannon.

An important point to remember is that the shielding zone must be kept between the ship and any hostile adversary. For this reason, the LDA is mounted on a fast linkage mechanism which can automatically track hostile vessels and keep the ship protected. The NSO-929 is fitted with two such LDAs mounted at complementary positions - each capable of covering one hemisphere.

The LDA has also been used with some success as a hostile weapon at low range, by being able to displace elements of the enemy ship's hull.

The manual for Independence War 2: Edge of Chaos gives some additional info about their tactical uses and weaknesses.

LDA shields

Combat ships are usually protected by one or more Linear Displacement Array (LDA) shield systems. LDAs are an offshoot of LDS technology that uses local spatial distortions to disrupt a small area of space in front of the shield projector. This disperses the energy of an incoming weapon, preventing it from damaging the hull. Or that’s what the technical manual says. All you need to know is that if you see a purple flash when you shoot a ship, you didn’t do it any damage.

“Shield coverage varies from ship to ship. However, the drives are always vulnerable, so cover your ass while shooting theirs.”

Another important point to remember about shields is that each LDA decides which is the most likely enemy to fire at you and tracks that vessel with the shield projector. You can use this to your advantage by getting your wingmen to attack your target. The target’s LDA will not be able to deflect the weapons from both attackers if they attack from a different angle.

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    ...so pretty much the same as Star Trek imo – NKCampbell Jul 16 '18 at 16:29
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    @NKCampbell - Very much not so. In Star Trek the shields are a projected force-field. In I-War, the shields are a projected region of disrupted space-time. – Valorum Jul 16 '18 at 16:41
  • @Valorum - Because that's so much more scientific. :) – Adamant Jul 16 '18 at 22:06
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    @NKCampbell : The TNG Technical Manual describes shields in very similar terms: "the deflector system creates a localized zone of highly focused spatial distortion" (Section 11.8, pg. 138). – Praxis Jul 16 '18 at 22:39

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