I had one or two ideas for advanced technology based on thinking about doing ships from Babylon 5 in SFB. I came up with the ASIF when I wondered how I would work the super-advanced Vorlons and Shadows in SFB. How would I make them tougher without padding the ships with a lot of pointless hull or other systems. I didn't want armor because armor is 1) restricted to old-tech and 2) it only provided surface protection. It would not give a feeling of "toughness." Big shields by themselves have the same problem as 2). So I decided to shield each line of the DAC. I could control how tough a ship would be at each column by varying the amount of shielding. Applied to 2X ships, I could also vary the depth and protection to provide additional racial flavor.
Cost: The ASIF costs the same as the cost of going from minimum shields to full shields. For SC4 units, the cost is 1/2, SC3 is 1, SC2 is 3. The power may come from any source. The power may come from reserve power.
Operation: The ASIF is raised or lowered at the same time and same manner as standard shields are raised and lowered. The ASIF may be raised and lowered independently from other shields. It may not be raised in response to combat damage. An operating ASIF may be reinforced in response to combat damage (see Reinforcement below) The ASIF may be raised and lowered under the same rules as normal shields. The ASIF is independent form other shields on the ship. It may be raised regardless of whether the ship is using full, minimum or no shields.
Procedure: The ASIF is a single 360-degree shield that blunts penetrating damage by shielding some or all of the columns of the DAC. The ASIF display on the ship's SSD shows the shield boxes designated for the DAC columns it defends. When a point of damage would normally be done to a column protected by an undestroyed ASIF box, a box on the corresponding column of the ASIF display is marked off instead. When all boxes for the column are marked as destroyed, damage is allocated normally using established DAC procedures. The player must record damage to the ASIF before recording any damage to the corresponding column of the DAC (or deeper columns). He may not choose to let some damage through.
Reinforcement: The ASIF may be reinforced by
either general or specific reinforcement. It may be reinforced in response
to combat damage. All reinforcement is cut in half, round fractions down.
Reinforcement fills in the ASIF starting from the deepest columns working out
toward the "A" column. Each column must be filled in before reinforcement
can fill in the next column. If the "A" column is entirely
filled, the reinforcement adds onto the "A" column.
Repair: Both CDR and energy allocated to Damage Control may be
repair ASIF shield boxes (if so designated at Energy Allocation). The cost is twice that of regular shield
boxes. By the X1 rules, 1 point of power allocated to Damage Control will
repair 1 shield box. Under these circumstances, 2 points of Damcon energy
will repair 1 ASIF box. The ASIF box repairs similarly to
reinforcement. All deeper ASIF columns must be repaired before a shallower
one may be repaired.