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Would Dispersing Shipyards Blunt or Stop a Second Oyster Bay

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Re: Would Dispersing Shipyards Blunt or Stop a Second Oyster
Post by tlb   » Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:17 am

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tlb wrote:Haven managed to keep the locations of both Bolthole and Hades secrets for years, by limiting access to need to know. No un-vetted civilians nor any civilian ships is a minor inconvenience.

A wormhole lane with only naval traffic is a curiosity when known, but is not a secret breaker.

Jonathan_S wrote:In both cases that was helped by the minimum of required traffic. Bolthole had a resident population and vast resources to man and fuel it's yards. I'm sure there was quite a bit of initial traffic during the early set-up phase - but after that traffic was minimal; and even better IIRC the terminus in Peep space was in an uninhabited system; so no one would be in position to see those initial seed freighters or the odd courier pop through.

That's a far cry from trying to feed a hidden yard in hyper or deep space where you can't mine local resources so you'd have a steady stream of freighters hauling in raw or processed material from mining operations. Now you could in theory just repeat bolthole - and it need not be down a wormhole. Just find some mineral rich system with a habitable planet far from your normal systems (so scouts are unlikely to stumble over it) then set up a colony, mining infrastructure, and yards. But without the existing, but unknown, planetary population to draw from you'd have to ship in a several hundred thousand at least to set up a system able to be self-sufficient in food, mining, construction, etc. (power'd be the easy bit)

Simply relocating that many people would be very hard to hide, and would very quickly clue in adversaries that there was something major to look for.

Yes, it would be a clue that there was something to search for; but without a clue where to look. Once the new ships joined the Navy, it would be clear that there was a hidden shipyard. But until that was found, it would be safe from attack.

Even after its location was known; because there was no civilian traffic permitted, some of the sneaky ways to attack it would not work. Note that the locations within the Manticore System of the targets for Oyster Bay were well known ahead of time.
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Re: Would Dispersing Shipyards Blunt or Stop a Second Oyster
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Sun Sep 29, 2019 10:40 am

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Jonathan_S wrote:In both cases that was helped by the minimum of required traffic. Bolthole had a resident population and vast resources to man and fuel it's yards. I'm sure there was quite a bit of initial traffic during the early set-up phase - but after that traffic was minimal; and even better IIRC the terminus in Peep space was in an uninhabited system; so no one would be in position to see those initial seed freighters or the odd courier pop through.

That's a far cry from trying to feed a hidden yard in hyper or deep space where you can't mine local resources so you'd have a steady stream of freighters hauling in raw or processed material from mining operations. Now you could in theory just repeat bolthole - and it need not be down a wormhole. Just find some mineral rich system with a habitable planet far from your normal systems (so scouts are unlikely to stumble over it) then set up a colony, mining infrastructure, and yards. But without the existing, but unknown, planetary population to draw from you'd have to ship in a several hundred thousand at least to set up a system able to be self-sufficient in food, mining, construction, etc. (power'd be the easy bit)

Simply relocating that many people would be very hard to hide, and would very quickly clue in adversaries that there was something major to look for.


The point is that everyone knew Bolthole existed. Whether Manticore knew it was reached through a wormhole or not isn't clear -- it wasn't to us readers. But the point is that even if your enemy knows the location of the near end of the wormhole, you can't know where the far end is unless you transit yourself. Observing transits may tell you the direction within a few a 10° or 20° cone, with maybe a distance value within 100 ly. The problem is that there are millions of stars in that volume.

But you're right that Bolthole was special. There was a population that was very grateful to be found and to work in those shipyards, and had no one else to talk to. If a new terminus exited close to anywhere inhabited, they're going to hop on a ship and tell the Galaxy. If it exits in uninhabited region, then you need to bring people over and allow them to come home to visit family.
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Re: Would Dispersing Shipyards Blunt or Stop a Second Oyster
Post by tlb   » Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:11 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:But the point is that even if your enemy knows the location of the near end of the wormhole, you can't know where the far end is unless you transit yourself. Observing transits may tell you the direction within a few a 10° or 20° cone, with maybe a distance value within 100 ly. The problem is that there are millions of stars in that volume.

Do we know enough to know that is true? Or is the first transit a complete surprise as to which direction the ship was sent? We do know that the distance is unknown ahead of time.
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Re: Would Dispersing Shipyards Blunt or Stop a Second Oyster
Post by kzt   » Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:42 pm

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The more people who know a secret the less secure it is. When you get to thousands of people who know the secret and it’s something as simple as coordinates then it’s going to leak.
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Re: Would Dispersing Shipyards Blunt or Stop a Second Oyster
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Sun Sep 29, 2019 3:50 pm

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tlb wrote:
ThinksMarkedly wrote:But the point is that even if your enemy knows the location of the near end of the wormhole, you can't know where the far end is unless you transit yourself. Observing transits may tell you the direction within a few a 10° or 20° cone, with maybe a distance value within 100 ly. The problem is that there are millions of stars in that volume.

Do we know enough to know that is true? Or is the first transit a complete surprise as to which direction the ship was sent? We do know that the distance is unknown ahead of time.


We also know that there's a relationship between how far the WH is from the primary and how long the bridge is. They also know a bit more about wormhole physics, so I made an educated guess that there's a relationship between the entry vector and the WH vector. That may not be true.

But it's not really useful information if you can't tell where it'll exit with a lot better precision. A 20°x20° pyramid[*] is 1/18 * 1/9 of the volume of the sphere and let's say they can range the exit between 400 and 600 light years. The volume for the search is then 1/18 * 1/9 * 4/3 * pi * (600³ - 400³). That's nearly 4 million cubic light years, or about 16000 star systems.

[*] Because I'm lazy to look up how to calculate the volume of a conical shard of a sphere.
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Re: Would Dispersing Shipyards Blunt or Stop a Second Oyster
Post by Brigade XO   » Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:13 pm

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Bolthole is one option. What the Alignment has with Darius is another and much more secure- so far- place to live and build what it needs.

For the rest of the Honorverse, so far, your options are fairly limited to comming up with better defensive schemes to protect you home systems and their infrastructure.

If you do dispers both your shipyards (using the Grayson methods) and a number of industrial fabrication stations plus add at least the defensive elements talked about so far at Manticore, what you are doing is making it as difficult as presently possible for an opponant to get weapons into the space occupied by said installations.

You might also add some sort of random and irregular (but frequent) changes of location and orbital speed/direction to your facilities. That does make them a bit harder to hit with something like the delivery from long range by what were essentialy ballistic weapons systems till they engered engagement range.
Remember that what the Alignment had going for it- in addition to a new and then undetectable drive system for the ships (and the G-torps) and extreme stealth systems, was that the targets were all in nice predictable orbits for which you can plot intercepts from much of the way across a system.
The earlier system defenses were based on the then-known abilities of miliatary hardware and that presumabley all of the targets had both some sort of shielding (bucklers and sidewalls) and evacuation protocols to deal with getting people out of the stations/yards if incomming attacking ships were detected and then to engage the ships/weapons with some level of local defence. That would be the stations, any seperate industrial platforms and Grayson style dispersed yard structures.

Bolthole and Darius both will be faced with the same problem as any other star system once their location is discovered and a sufficent force is sent to attack them using hyperspace. Even if the Alignment is able to deploy up to hundreds of Spider Drive defensive ships in-system, they still have to end up getting into positions where they could engage at least the weapons (and we are now talking MDM with all sorts of range) which could be fired into the system ballistic or powered and end up making multiple signifant course changes of one or more stages to avoid interception on the way to targets. At the moment only the Alignment has the combined stealth/drive capability but IF/When Manticore gets a position on the Darius, I'm sure they could come up with something interstiing.
How about pop fleets out of hyper at multiple points outside the hyperlimit, flood the system with GhostRider drones and flush multiple volleys of MDS in-system at best guess areas, updating the targeting as the GhostRiders identify potential orbital and other targets. From a practical matter, that could also be applied to ships (at least non-Spider at the moment) since multiple MDMs in any group could be retasked to engage moveing targets (this is actual space combat).
Perhaps the most sticky part would having some really well stealthed ships remain coasting outside the hyperlimit to continue to get the feeds from the GhostRiders after the strike since the GA might not want to hang around just where they were and let Spider Drive ships come out to them to engage with things like the G-torps.

Yeah, what about the "civilian" population on the orbitals and any possible non-military ships? Well, somebody is going to have to make a decision about how far the GA is going to go in order to limit non-military casualties. One suggestion: When a GA fleet shows up outside the hyperlimit and opens fire, that will be multiple hours more warning than the Alignment gave anybody at Manticore and Grayson.....how about that for a best effort- you can evaculate, like you never gave our people a chance too?
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Re: Would Dispersing Shipyards Blunt or Stop a Second Oyster
Post by kzt   » Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:25 pm

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Brigade XO wrote:
Yeah, what about the "civilian" population on the orbitals and any possible non-military ships? Well, somebody is going to have to make a decision about how far the GA is going to go in order to limit non-military casualties. One suggestion: When a GA fleet shows up outside the hyperlimit and opens fire, that will be multiple hours more warning than the Alignment gave anybody at Manticore and Grayson.....how about that for a best effort- you can evaculate, like you never gave our people a chance too?

Just like Manticore did with Sphinx when the entire RHN was boring in on them, right?
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Re: Would Dispersing Shipyards Blunt or Stop a Second Oyster
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Sun Sep 29, 2019 10:29 pm

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Brigade XO wrote:You might also add some sort of random and irregular (but frequent) changes of location and orbital speed/direction to your facilities. That does make them a bit harder to hit with something like the delivery from long range by what were essentialy ballistic weapons systems till they engered engagement range.
Remember that what the Alignment had going for it- in addition to a new and then undetectable drive system for the ships (and the G-torps) and extreme stealth systems, was that the targets were all in nice predictable orbits for which you can plot intercepts from much of the way across a system.


That nice, predictable orbit is called "orbiting a planet". Even geosynchronous orbit is little more than a tenth of a light-second in radius. Jinking and randomly changing your orbit around a planet is both dangerous and possibly worthless. From a million km away, that entire volume is little more than 4°. Pretty sure the weapon could fire on the platforms wherever they are, so long as they're not behind the planet.
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Re: Would Dispersing Shipyards Blunt or Stop a Second Oyster
Post by Galactic Sapper   » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:31 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:We also know that there's a relationship between how far the WH is from the primary and how long the bridge is. They also know a bit more about wormhole physics, so I made an educated guess that there's a relationship between the entry vector and the WH vector. That may not be true.

This is very specifically NOT true. There is no relation between wormhole location and length, nor is the vector predictable in any way.

The Manticore Junction alone has seven known links varying in length from 180 LY to 712 LY - almost a factor of four difference. Surely if there was a link between the junction's distance from its primary and the length of the wormhole the length of the Manticore legs would be a bit more consistent, wouldn't they?

Although we've been told a wormhole can theoretically be nearly any length, the longest explored is under 1000 LY and the shortest not yet specified (probably 50-100 LY).
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Re: Would Dispersing Shipyards Blunt or Stop a Second Oyster
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:01 pm

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Galactic Sapper wrote:This is very specifically NOT true. There is no relation between wormhole location and length, nor is the vector predictable in any way.

The Manticore Junction alone has seven known links varying in length from 180 LY to 712 LY - almost a factor of four difference. Surely if there was a link between the junction's distance from its primary and the length of the wormhole the length of the Manticore legs would be a bit more consistent, wouldn't they?

Although we've been told a wormhole can theoretically be nearly any length, the longest explored is under 1000 LY and the shortest not yet specified (probably 50-100 LY).


We are definitely told that further WH termini from the primary imply longer WH bridge lengths. That may not apply to Junctions, though.
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