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LAC on LAC warfare

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Re: LAC on LAC warfare
Post by Jonathan_S   » Fri Sep 11, 2020 11:56 pm

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tlb wrote:We are told that the wedges slant, so that one opening (the front?) is wider than the other. But how does the wedge know which is which? There has to be something in the powering of the nodes that causes this. So reversing would just be a matter of reversing the slant. The only problem that I can imagine is that the compensator has a preferred direction.

If it did not work because the was nothing to push against, then the wedge would not work at all; because what is there to push when going forward? Fortunately it must push the alpha wall, or something like that.

My suspicion is that its the ultra delicate nano-scale structures within the impeller nodes themselves that "hardcode" the direction of the wedge.

You might be able to build nodes able to reverse the wedge angle; but even if possible they'd probably be much larger devices. But we also know that gravity effect of running a wedge can cause damage to those structures if they aren't powered (or protected by a baffle-like field); so it's also possible that reversible nodes would require different parts of the internal structures to be powered depending on which way the wedge was sloping; and that means generating the wedge might well damage the ability to reverse the wedge (or at the very least dramatically reduce the service life of each node).

So there's probably good reason that the engine builders accept the annoyance of having to flip ship to keep the direction of acceleration constant. And I doubt it's the compensator caring about direction.

But really this is all pretty much barely-informed speculation because RFC hasn't given up enough details to know why wedges don't have a reverse gear.
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Re: LAC on LAC warfare
Post by Jonathan_S   » Sat Sep 12, 2020 12:15 am

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cthia wrote:Been meaning to circle back around to this. If the MA break the fission barrier and choose not to utilize the extra mass but to eliminate it in favor of an even smaller, faster target, 25 % smaller, could it be worth the effort? Even with less space on the hull for toys. It would be like the more maneuverable Mig, deployed in favorable odds.

Also, getting back to LAC tactics. If another LAC is on your six, can you flip quickly and engage? With the same result as the loop performed by an F-14?

Actually a Shrike seems so far off on the end of the compensator efficiency curve that trimming 25% more tonnage off hardly makes a noticeable change to acceleration.

A Shrike-B masses 21,250 tons as House of Steel gives its accel (apparently its design accel) as 635.5g. Applying the acceleration curves I worked out a LAC with the same tech but massing only 15,938 tons would a barely different 637.8g. Yeah, it's quicker and given time could run down a Shrike; but it's hardly enough quicker to turn it into a noticeably more maneuverable target.

As for spinning around; well the Shrike can fire its missiles back over it's shoulder so it can target enemies behind it. But except in a stern chase I'm not sure how an enemy LAC managed to get itself stuck onto your 6 in the first place. These things aren't fighter jets that can turn and burn.
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Re: LAC on LAC warfare
Post by cthia   » Sat Sep 12, 2020 3:41 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
tlb wrote:Do you mean Parthian shot? Or is there a "Pavel Maneuver" (which I thought was just "run away")?


Oh, good, I'm not the only one who's missing the context. I thought it was something you'd come up with in the forum before I joined or some reference to other sci-fi I missed.

It's definitely not a Picard Manoeuvre.

Pavel Maneuver is a play on Picard Maneuver. Attributing a useful maneuver to Pavel Young's cowardice hardly seems appropriate, but I can't resist a moment of humor. I just can't. My funny bone just won't let me.

Attacking through a formation of capital ships, you do want to let loose your ordnance then get the hell out of Dodge. Run away. The flip and run accomplishes that. Though running isn't actually what you're doing in this case. Pavel made the flip and run his own. Though as I recall, he didn't actually flip at Hancock, he crabbed away. At any rate, I was referencing one of my posts in the Humor thread. My apologies.

I'll stop using Pavel Maneuver since it is misleading. It is still funny, but misleading.

At any rate, turn and burn, or, flip and fire, could have been used by a LAC after it flew through enemy formations at breakneck speeds.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: LAC on LAC warfare
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Sat Sep 12, 2020 12:20 pm

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cthia wrote:At any rate, turn and burn, or, flip and fire, could have been used by a LAC after it flew through enemy formations at breakneck speeds.


An LAC wouldn't do that, except if by accident. Flying through an enemy formation means being in range of all their PDLCs, each of which is more than sufficient to kill the LAC if it manages to get a shot through an aspect that isn't defended by wedge or walls. And in order to have both side, stern and bow walls, the LAC has to be coasting. That means flying in a straight line. That means those very same ships could target it with their grasers to burn through, or with CMs to bring them down.

No, an LAC would never get that close to enemy ships. Maybe a 4:1 numerical advantage against a lone DD that is out scouting, but I don't see the case for anything bigger or more numerous.

Instead, they'd fire from stand-off range. The Shrikes have range advantage with their overpowered graser against anything smaller than a BC. If they're flying past (not through) a DDron or CruRon, the LACs would perform a manoeuvre like what you describe. I'd expect them to fire once, as they enter range; flip turtle to show a wedge to the enemies, while spitting CMs to defend against missiles; then fly backwards to fire the graser a second time.
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Re: LAC on LAC warfare
Post by Brigade XO   » Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:23 am

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We know that the maximum acceleration rates on both civilian and military ships is primarily limited by the compensators. That is interelated to the wedge of the impeller.
What we typicaly see is ships acclerating into places and then flipping end for end and accelerating in the opposite direction to come to rest relative to something- usually a planet- (with things they don't talk about like they have to manuver to come into a parking or operational orbit relative to the target) Ships change velocity and direction by two primary methods. Mostly we see wedges for starships but they can or must use thrusters when too close to something that will react badly (and also the ships nodes will blow back) to a wedge, like a station or other ship.

Maneuvering using wedge seems mostly to be orienting the ship and applying either acceleration or declereation ( accelertating in the opposite direction rather than cutting down power and loosing velocity thrugh friction or action of gravity) and the ship starts to effectivly sart to "slid" laterally (relative to ship's orientation) while acceleration is applies to send it off in another direction. This isn't a sharp angle turn or the change of an aircraft turning or manking another change as the ship is keeping the momentum it had in the original direction while it now arcs around to its' new intended direction. You may be heading to the hyperlimit or turning to better engage a target but you are going to scribe some kind of arch (even if the relative slope keeps changing.

Unlike sailing (or modern aircraft) or cars, you arn't going to come to a hard stop or very quickly stop heading in the original direction because there is nothing other than the force of you acceleration acting on you. Planitary or solar gravitatonal effects are essentialy negligible for a starship with the kinds of speeds you are talking about. And no, the "slingshot" effect so loved in Star Trek isn't going to have any real effect as you won't be getting close enough to the star to do that.

The compensators appear to work withing the confines of the fields generated by the impeller. Oddly, or perhaps not so oddly, as long as the compensators are working, your internal ship's gravitational orientation remains constant up to a point where the compensators stop working or there are power fluctiations that effect them. So if your at 300km/sec going in X direction and then "rotate" the ship to align the impellers to push you in Y direction and you have maintained the same acceleration as before, you DON'T lean or heel into the turn as a sailboat or a motorcycle making a turn at speed. You are in your own little bubble of relative gravity and that will be fine unless your compensators (and/or grave plates) maintain integrity.

We don't see the calculations we just usualy hear the report of the tactical/helm people on what is possible under conditions that are now in effect (or if we change within a certain range , usualy max military power for the slowest of ships in company) if you change course to do AA (best course to hyperlimit avoiding known advisaries)

Which is a long way to get to: IF it is possible for a Spyder Drive ship to "set a pick" or possibly cut or reduce the power to two of the three legs of their propulsion system and so suddenly try to orbit a point in the Alpha Wall to become a "ball on a string" and make a seriously hard turn around a single point even if that point (is moving where it is hooked to the Alpha Wall) before either reducing power on the active leg or repower the other two legs and go shooting off in the new direction.
??? What happens when you slam an emergency turn and you have cut power to 2/3 of your drive but one part is at high power? Were you still under acceleration? What happens to you compensators? Do they function at a lower capasity? Will that kind of turn damage (minor to catastrophic) your ships structure? How will that "anchor" affect the speed of the ship given you have been playing games with your drive field? Is it possible or even probable that you will overstress your compensators (not recommended) making a radical high speed turn.

I know what happens when you do that with a sailboat.
Not quite as dramatic as automobile (movie stunts) which might even slide a bit before rolling over and over and over in a highspeed crash where the turn looses control and the tires "catch" and all that energy keeps going in the original direction so the car is rolling over time after time sideways relative to the front of the vehicle.
The sailboat will try to turn, actually quite quickly, but the hull stops cutting through the water which acts like a wall and every piece of the boat not incontact with the water is going to try to keep going it's original direction. Your propulsion system (the wind in the sails) may or may not still impart any usefull energy but it will lay you flat on your beam. And things have already started to fail.
(long story, idiot in a perhaps 50' yaul cut through-at speed- though a marked course for a whole lot of 15' racing sailboats who were in a large gaggle with a good wind behind us. I didn't hit him, managed not to be run down but "emergency turn" stopped me by dumping us. Hard. Not my boat, got towed in.
So can a Spyder drive essentialy pivot on one leg of it's proposition system and survive?
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Re: LAC on LAC warfare
Post by tlb   » Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:08 am

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Brigade XO wrote:Which is a long way to get to: IF it is possible for a Spyder Drive ship to "set a pick" or possibly cut or reduce the power to two of the three legs of their propulsion system and so suddenly try to orbit a point in the Alpha Wall to become a "ball on a string" and make a seriously hard turn around a single point even if that point (is moving where it is hooked to the Alpha Wall) before either reducing power on the active leg or repower the other two legs and go shooting off in the new direction.
??? What happens when you slam an emergency turn and you have cut power to 2/3 of your drive but one part is at high power? Were you still under acceleration? What happens to you compensators? Do they function at a lower capasity? Will that kind of turn damage (minor to catastrophic) your ships structure? How will that "anchor" affect the speed of the ship given you have been playing games with your drive field? Is it possible or even probable that you will overstress your compensators (not recommended) making a radical high speed turn.

You were doing well, until you mention compensators in connection with the spider drive. Compensators only work with wedges in normal space, so their place is taken by gravity plates in a spider drive ship. So just mentally replace "compensators" with "grav-plates" in this paragraph.

I prefer to think that the grab of the Alpha wall is not a hard grab, but is more similar to rowing a heavy boat or throwing out a sea anchor and pulling on the rope. So you cannot just grab a point and whip around it like a tether ball. That gives me a better picture of braking, because if you do a hard grab then the tractor beam is stretching and has to release before breaking.

Anyway; anytime that the ship changes speed or direction, that is the result of acceleration and has to be compensated by the gravity plates. Since the gravity plates have decreasing effectiveness with increasing acceleration, there are hard limits on how abruptly changes can be made based on damage to the ship or the crew.
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Re: LAC on LAC warfare
Post by Jonathan_S   » Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:07 am

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tlb wrote:You were doing well, until you mention compensators in connection with the spider drive. Compensators only work with wedges in normal space, so their place is taken by gravity plates in a spider drive ship. So just mentally replace "compensators" with "grav-plates" in this paragraph.

I prefer to think that the grab of the Alpha wall is not a hard grab, but is more similar to rowing a heavy boat or throwing out a sea anchor and pulling on the rope. So you cannot just grab a point and whip around it like a tether ball. That gives me a better picture of braking, because if you do a hard grab then the tractor beam is stretching and has to release before breaking.

Anyway; anytime that the ship changes speed or direction, that is the result of acceleration and has to be compensated by the gravity plates. Since the gravity plates have decreasing effectiveness with increasing acceleration, there are hard limits on how abruptly changes can be made based on damage to the ship or the crew.

Also, we know the compensator (within its limits) renders the ship zero-g -- none of its acceleration is experienced by the crew.
Back in the Manticore Ascendant days many ships had rotating spin sections to produce internal gravity; only the newest had grav plates to provide a steady 1g everywhere in the ship (and of course all current ships use grav plates for that)

And as you note grav plates alone don't work like that; once you exceed a threshold value they can only provide a proportional reduction in experienced acceleration. But even within the limit where they can totally counteract gravity I'm not sure if they can counter acceleration laterally across them; or only acceleration towards (or away) from the plate. So you might need even more grav plates mounted on the walls to handle side to side acceleration.

So setting a pick for a hard turn might a) easily exceed the 50g or so that a grav plate can fully counter and b) might provide acceleration in a direction they're not oriented to deal with (because their decks set like a skyscraper; to be oriented into the acceleration of all 3 spines dragging the ship forward). Using 1 spine to "set a pick" is going to provide acceleration 90 degrees off from normal accel. And of course keeping the turning force down to just 250 gees makes that slower turn you mentioned; not the tetherball whip that some (including me, initially) might intuitively envisioned.

So, even if the ship is designed to mitigate lateral acceleration, going to the MAlign's maximum emergency 250 (IIRC) gees acceleration they're still going to get 5 gees trying to throw them at the walls.
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Re: LAC on LAC warfare
Post by cthia   » Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:34 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
cthia wrote:At any rate, turn and burn, or, flip and fire, could have been used by a LAC after it flew through enemy formations at breakneck speeds.


An LAC wouldn't do that, except if by accident. Flying through an enemy formation means being in range of all their PDLCs, each of which is more than sufficient to kill the LAC if it manages to get a shot through an aspect that isn't defended by wedge or walls. And in order to have both side, stern and bow walls, the LAC has to be coasting. That means flying in a straight line. That means those very same ships could target it with their grasers to burn through, or with CMs to bring them down.

No, an LAC would never get that close to enemy ships. Maybe a 4:1 numerical advantage against a lone DD that is out scouting, but I don't see the case for anything bigger or more numerous.

Instead, they'd fire from stand-off range. The Shrikes have range advantage with their overpowered graser against anything smaller than a BC. If they're flying past (not through) a DDron or CruRon, the LACs would perform a manoeuvre like what you describe. I'd expect them to fire once, as they enter range; flip turtle to show a wedge to the enemies, while spitting CMs to defend against missiles; then fly backwards to fire the graser a second time.

I agree, "Lacs were never meant to close with SDs," says textev. But Murphy didn't get the memo.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: LAC on LAC warfare
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:04 pm

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cthia wrote:
ThinksMarkedly wrote:An LAC wouldn't do that, except if by accident.

I agree, "Lacs were never meant to close with SDs," says textev. But Murphy didn't get the memo.


I disagree. I think Murphy did get the memo. That's why he does what he does.
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Re: LAC on LAC warfare
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:08 pm

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tlb wrote:I prefer to think that the grab of the Alpha wall is not a hard grab, but is more similar to rowing a heavy boat or throwing out a sea anchor and pulling on the rope.


I think a row boat is a very good analogy to a spider-driven ship. The spider is like the oars: each of which can push against the medium and pull the ship along. Like oars, the more of them you have, the higher the acceleration you can achieve with the same power level per oar. Unlike oars, there's no speed limit.

That doesn't explain why the ship needs to be a triangular-section prism. You can still place spider emitters 120° apart on a cylinder.
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