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Sticky for Newbs - Dead Horses

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Sticky for Newbs - Dead Horses
Post by Theemile   » Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:28 pm

Theemile
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OK, the following are sensitive subjects (aka "Dead Horses) which have been discussed to death. I have attempted to distill David's words on the subjects into each of the forms or answer the question in a manner appropriate for the Honorverse. Currently, all words are mine, but well researched, and corresponding with David's posts and writings.

Please Review, and edit - but before you just say "That's not right!" research your answer, show the post or the text that proves otherwise. I'm not saying that these are the final word and everything is 100% correct (it's not my literary universe), but I'm not just making stuff up either. Like many others I've been on this forum almost since it's beginning, and prior to that I was active on Baen's Bar for 7+ years.

And please - this thread is to make the stickies, not debate the subjects. Please build a new subject if you feel it needs to be debated... again.

In addition, Come up with some other Dead Horses. While David put a spike in the old, captured SDs, that subject is another dead horse, that keep appearing. Is the Battle of Manticore in AAC a dead horse? How about Honorverse extension cords and Pods? I know I'm forgetting a couple others - what are they?

Here we go.
Last edited by Theemile on Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
******
RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
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Dead Horses - Discussion
Post by Theemile   » Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:29 pm

Theemile
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Posts: 4155
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 4:50 pm
Location: All over the Place - Now Serving Dublin, OH

Conversation Topic: Fighter Craft in the Honorverse

Common Post: Posters wonder why the Honorverse doesn’t have Fighter craft and what their capabilities would be if they did exist.

Discussion Outcome: Fighter analogues do exist in the Honorverse. They are commonly known by the title of sting ship, pinnance and assault shuttle. The term “sting ship” covers a wide array of armed combat types from Helicopters, to trans-atmospheric attack craft. Pinnances and assault shuttles are armed small craft designed for deep space and atmospheric travel. However, all small craft have no place in combat with purpose built warships.

All of these types suffer from 3 detriments in Honorverse combat with Space warships.
1) The weapons they carry are insufficient to penetrate warship defenses, and unable to penetrate warships armor. A pinnance masses 2-300 Tons, where a small Destroyer laser masses 5-600 tons alone. The small lasers on a “fighter”, which may mass 1-2 tons each, are just not in the same class as warship weapons. Similarly, a small destroyer ship-killer missile masses ~70 tons, or as much as a small sting ship. The small missiles an assault shuttle might carry are not close to the capability of a warship missile. Small craft weapons can damage un-protected merchant ships of all sizes, but at best can do surface damage to warships.
2) In space, the acceleration of a Honorverse small craft is roughly the same as a warship – if it has any advantage, it is only a handful of Gs worth of advantage over a destroyer or frigate of the same technology. In addition, most small craft have a limited top speed due to their particle screens, making them ultimately slower than a warship in deep space. Most importantly, space fighters do not have an extra dimension or other media to maneuver in which gives them an advantage over “surface ships” like aero fighters do; the same rules and limitations which are used for warships are applicable to space fighters.
3) Stingships, pinnances are shuttles are vulnerable to anti-missile defenses. Laser clusters and counter missiles capable of interdicting dozens of missiles maneuvering at 10s of thousands of Gs are easily capable of mowing down a squadron or 2 of small craft maneuvering at 500 Gs. The main arsenal of a warship isn’t even required to deal with small craft swarms, though is more than capable to do so.
Ultimately it may be possible for small craft to do mission-killable damage to a small warship or cripple it by destroying it’s exposed drive nodes, but it would take hundreds of small craft on essentially a suicide mission to overwhelm and damage a single destroyer or light Cruiser.

Books Discussed in:
Echoes of Honor
Shaddow of Saganami
House of Steel
******
RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
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Re: Sticky for Newbs - Dead Horses
Post by Theemile   » Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:30 pm

Theemile
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Posts: 4155
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Conversation Topic: Frigates in Honorverse Navies

Common Post: Posters wonder why the Starship Class of Frigates cannot make a comeback in the Honorverse.

Discussion Outcome: Prior to 1900 pd, Frigates were described as the smallest possible hyper combatant possible with a minimum defense/offense suit, designed with the specialization of long cruise duration over all other capability. It was used as a cheap presence unit and light scout, protecting merchants from pirates and other military forces by its presence, and enabling a major navy to have eyes everywhere, cheaply. This mass range was originally 45-65Ktons, but has grown over the years as ship sizes have crept up. Some navies also design small destroyers in this range, but they are more focused on firepower and sensor capabilities, sacrificing cruising range.

With the advent of the laserhead, then pod based warfare, combat has focused more on missile warfare. The large standoff range of the laserhead has made Frigates became less and less survivable in engagements as defenses require more focus on CMs for defense – A classic frigate sized hull simply cannot hold enough CMs (and launchers) to be survivable even in a limited combat engagement, and have been removed from the OOB of most major navies in the 1895-1900 pd timeframe, as larger DDs and CLs have been adapted to take Frigate's missions.

In addition, the procurement cost of a Frigate is at least 75-80% that of a similar tech Destroyer, with almost identical longterm maintenance and manning costs, while getting a Hull that has 50% or fewer capabilities.

While Frigates will continue to be used by small Honorverse navies, major navies have abandoned the type as functional requirements require larger and larger hulls to be survivable in the current munitions reliant combat environment.

Books Discussed in:
Echoes of Honor
Shaddow of Saganami
House of Steel
******
RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
Top
Re: Sticky for Newbs - Dead Horses
Post by Theemile   » Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:31 pm

Theemile
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Posts: 4155
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 4:50 pm
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Conversation Topic: Long ranged Energy Weapons/Oversized Energy Weapons

Common Post: Posters want a new class of Energy weapons which have longer range

Discussion Outcome: Energy weapons are limited by 2 factors, the ability to focus the beam to supply sufficient energy to strike through sidewalls, and the ability to aim the beam at the location of your target.

The first part is straight forward: better collimation of the beam, a larger beam diameter, and/or a more powerful beam will allow more power to punch through sidewalls and strike a ship. Assuming Jitter and thermal effects are minimized (which they can’t always be), and stellar medium is properly focused for (you can only account for so much variance), a big enough beam should be able to do enough damage.

However, the largest problem in energy combat is finding your opponent to aim at them. A warship with wedge and sidewalls is obscured from direct observation by said wedge and Sidewalls and its location must be determined by locating it in a general volume of space. This volume of space is the volume where the wedge physics determine that the ships must be to produce the wedge. Unfortunately, the physics allow the ship’s location to vary by multiple ship lengths in any direction and thus is difficult to localize if the sidewalls and defenses are not damaged. In addition, Ship ECM is designed to confuse the issue further, making the locus of the ship more difficult to determine. Traditionally, this has been overcome by using more, small energy weapons to bracket the probable volume with many shots (similar to a game of Battleship), trading off damage for higher hit probability.

For long distance shots, the light speed limit is a paramount concern. At 1 million km (~3 light seconds) what your targeting data shows you is at least 3 seconds old when you fire, and another 3 seconds old when the laser/graser reaches the target range, meaning you have to determine where your target will be 6 seconds in the future when you fire. With this in mind, as a defensive measure, Ships automatically vary their location inside the wedge and very their base line of travel (Like a world war convoy’s zig zag), to make it difficult to predict the actual location of the ship several seconds in advance. Making the ships probably location an even larger volume of space that the ship actually lies in when the beam reaches it – requiring a larger # of beams to produce a hit.

Over a light second, the probability of hitting a moving ship decreases rapidly, making it pointless to fire at a longer distance, even if the beam could do sufficient damage. So increasing the power of the beam does not increase the probability of hitting the target - especially at long range.
******
RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
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Re: Sticky for Newbs - Dead Horses
Post by Theemile   » Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:32 pm

Theemile
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Posts: 4155
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 4:50 pm
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Conversation Topic: Heavy Attack Craft (HACs)/Corvettes

Common Post: Posters are wondering why Navies do not field HACs or Corvettes in addition to LACs
Discussion Outcome: Heavy Attack Craft (HACs) or Corvettes are sub-light military vessels massing over ~30 tons which do not mount hyper drives. Traditionally, Corvettes mounted the same or similar armaments and sensors suites as a Frigate, but without hyper capability. However HACs could refer to ships up to CA range in size and weaponry, that do not have Hyper capability.
The costs of building a ship minus just the hyper equipment is usually 80-90% that of a ship of similar size and tech with the hyper equipment, while giving the ship no strategic movement, nor the tactical flexibility of jumping from one location to another outside a system’s hyper limit (Which is usually well inside a solar system.).
Most importantly, the heaviest part of the Hyper system, the sail producing Alpha Nodes, are the main motive power provider in ships in 1900pd. Replacing The Alpha nodes in a drive ring with only Beta nodes gives a wedge which has ~50% of the motive power of the full Wedge, limiting a LAC or HAC to far less acceleration than it’s compensator can handle, let alone the acceleration of any foes. Outside the Nodes, mass penalties for the Hyper system fall rapidly as ships grow, to the point where a Heavy Cruiser sized HAC is only saving 10 -20 ktons by removing the rest of the Hyper equipment.
Due to the limitations, and the relatively high costs of such a system versus a standard hyper combatant, no major modern navy is going to field such a system, and any Minor navy which is fielding such ships is doing so due to economic and technical limitations, not doctrinal reasons.
******
RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
Top
Re: Sticky for Newbs - Dead Horses
Post by Theemile   » Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:33 pm

Theemile
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Posts: 4155
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 4:50 pm
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Conversation Topic: Grav Lances - aka The Weapon that should not be Named (TWTSNBN)

Common Post: Posters are positing new uses for a Grav Lances or advanced Grav Lances

Discussion Outcome: David has been inundated by so many ideas for Grav Lances that the device has pretty much been dropped from the series.

The use of the Grav Lance on the Courageous was not new, the device already had existed for years and normally was installed on Capital ships which had the spare mass to carry a system like the Grav Lance which had little chance of being used. The new concept was to mount it on a small hull, which could turn the ship into a Captal ship killer. In production, this was intended to be a CA, but the only available testbed at the time was the soon to be retired CL, the Courageous. Unfortunately, the tests showed that the idea was a 1 trick pony – after it worked the first time, any possible light ship which looked like it was about to attempt such a maneuver was hammered by every opposing capital ship.

It must be noted, the Grav Lance is not a weapon system. It is an engineering system that uses a ship's wedge to temporarily destabilize and drop the sidewall of an opposing ship. An additional weapons system must then be used to damage/destroy the opposing ship – in the case of the Courageous, this was an array of energy torpedoes, which otherwise would have been useless against sidewalls.

The Grav Lance requires the drive system of a hull of about 85Ktons at a minimum to function – it cannot work without all the hardware necessary to generate the ship’s wedge. It also has a max range of less than 150,000 KM –less than ½ the range of an energy torpedo, 1/4rd the range of Lasers, 1/8th the range of Grasers. Any ship attempting to use them had to survive through missile range and 85% of energy range to do so. In Honorverse Naval terms, this is the equivalent of knife fighting in a (small) coat closet.

Manticorian miniaturization and research since 1900 has not overall affected the above stats. It cannot be placed on a significantly smaller hull, it cannot have a noticeably longer range, it will never do physical damage on its own, it will never drop a warship’s wedge. Manticore did not launch the intended CA class with the Lances, did not install lances in any SD(p) classes and removed the lances from some of the existing capital ship classes in refits over the years as it simply was never used as energy battles became rarer and rarer in combat.

Because of the above, The Grav Lance will never be placed on an economical mine, will never be placed in a reasonably sized missile, and will never be mounted on a LAC. It will never destroy ships on it’s own. It will never have millions of KM’s of range. It probably will never be used in combat again.
******
RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
Top
Re: Sticky for Newbs - Dead Horses
Post by Duckk   » Sun Jan 19, 2020 5:21 pm

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Thread split, discussion continued over at:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=10394
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Shields at 50%, taunting at 100%! - Tom Pope
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