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LAC on LAC warfare

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Re: LAC on LAC warfare
Post by cthia   » Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:34 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:
cthia wrote:Thanks for the info. I'm not sure which battle gives us the "LACs were never meant to close with SDs," but they did, and they caused significant damage. Albeit, the enemy SDs certainly may have already been damaged. However, I remember a significant factor that the enemy had a hard time targeting such a small ship. SLN SDs are built for energy battles, but they never foresaw battling bees coming at them from all angles. Also, at Hancock Station, the Peep SDs were taken on by LACs and taken out one by one because they were isolated as a result of scattering. So, perhaps one unsupported SD against a swarm of bees seems to be a different matter altogether.

At Hancock Minotaur's LACs were up against battleships; not dreadnoughts or SDs.

EoH Ch 33 specifically has the Peep commander, Admiral Kellet, mention that she wishes her force had any ships of the wall. "Thirty-plus battleships [33], ten or twelve heavy cruisers, and a half-dozen destroyers"

And even so, taking the Peeps by complete surprise, and for most of the engagement having the support of the Hancock squadron built around 5 SDs plus Minotaur sniping away with the first combat use of MDMs, the RMN lost a fair number of the 96 LACs involved (enough that they were about to break off before the Peeps scattered)

But the LACs biggest contribution was wiping out the vast majority of the Peep towed pods before they could be used to wipe out the Hancock squadron.

Thanks guys. All of your posts makes me feel like LACs would have fared even worse against the SLN if the SLN flew tighter formations with mutual defensive strategies like every other modern navy.

(Why didn't they anyway?)

I'll assume the RMN's LAC complement would double without automation. I'll also assume that most of the ten or twelve man company have nothing much to do while a LAC is attacking, until there is battle damage. Probably half of them are the second shift. Why is there a nav section? I imagined the Captain with total control of maneuvers with his joystick during attack runs.

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   » Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:30 pm

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cthia wrote:Thanks guys. All of your posts makes me feel like LACs would have fared even worse against the SLN if the SLN flew tighter formations with mutual defensive strategies like every other modern navy.

(Why didn't they anyway?)


They tried to, but they just weren't good at it or good enough. There's a passage where an RMN tac officer comments on the separations between wallers (probably at Spindle) and says that no Havenite CO would accept that. They also had some recent mutual coordination tactics and hardware update (can't remember the name) that they thought would suffice.

But that was never tested in the crucible of battle until the conflict with Manticore, and they probably didn't drill enough on it either. So when the fight came, it just didn't cut it.
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Re: LAC on LAC warfare
Post by Jonathan_S   » Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:31 pm

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cthia wrote:I'll assume the RMN's LAC complement would double without automation. I'll also assume that most of the ten or twelve man company have nothing much to do while a LAC is attacking, until there is battle damage. Probably half of them are the second shift. Why is there a nav section? I imagined the Captain with total control of maneuvers with his joystick during attack runs.

You'd have someone navigating because
a) these things still aren't fighters; you're not really laying courses by eye and dogfighting; even close. A "close range" attack with a Shrike would be a flyby as far away as our moon! That's well inside energy range; so the captain can't even see the target and the graser need to be accurate to within tiny fractions of a degree.
but also

b) they often have to navigate on their own from nearly as far out as Jupiter (when CLACs drop them beyond the hyper limit) and sneak their way in so they meet the enemy on a useful heading and with a useful closing speed. All, hopefully, without having to accelerate so hard as to be spotted. That's a lot of calculation, over hours, not just pointing the boat that a'way and heading off.

Because even if they make intercept if they get the closing direction and speed wrong they'll get a single flyby and be hour of the fight for hours before they can make it back.
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Re: LAC on LAC warfare
Post by cthia   » Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:49 am

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Jonathan_S wrote:
cthia wrote:I'll assume the RMN's LAC complement would double without automation. I'll also assume that most of the ten or twelve man company have nothing much to do while a LAC is attacking, until there is battle damage. Probably half of them are the second shift. Why is there a nav section? I imagined the Captain with total control of maneuvers with his joystick during attack runs.

You'd have someone navigating because
a) these things still aren't fighters; you're not really laying courses by eye and dogfighting; even close. A "close range" attack with a Shrike would be a flyby as far away as our moon! That's well inside energy range; so the captain can't even see the target and the graser need to be accurate to within tiny fractions of a degree.
but also

b) they often have to navigate on their own from nearly as far out as Jupiter (when CLACs drop them beyond the hyper limit) and sneak their way in so they meet the enemy on a useful heading and with a useful closing speed. All, hopefully, without having to accelerate so hard as to be spotted. That's a lot of calculation, over hours, not just pointing the boat that a'way and heading off.

Because even if they make intercept if they get the closing direction and speed wrong they'll get a single flyby and be hour of the fight for hours before they can make it back.

Understood, but I thought most Captains have the ability to make those calculations, except math handicapped Honor. But even she can do it if she needs to in a pinch, like the time she calculated the course that took Fearless just shy of Coglin's backside. But warship Captain's have a lot more to worry about, and hypering and jumping takes real geeks. But LACs don't hyper or jump. And when they're launched, they're usually driving hard to target. If they're just stooging around the system, yes. But during actual attacks, I would expect ship control to be handed over to the Captain.

What about when they're in LAC on LAC engagements? It seems fly-by-wire control would be needed. Shrug.

Dollars to donuts Honor flew by the seat of her pants in LAC 113. :D

.
Last edited by cthia on Fri Sep 18, 2020 5:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 munroburton   » Fri Sep 18, 2020 5:13 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
cthia wrote:Thanks guys. All of your posts makes me feel like LACs would have fared even worse against the SLN if the SLN flew tighter formations with mutual defensive strategies like every other modern navy.

(Why didn't they anyway?)


They tried to, but they just weren't good at it or good enough. There's a passage where an RMN tac officer comments on the separations between wallers (probably at Spindle) and says that no Havenite CO would accept that. They also had some recent mutual coordination tactics and hardware update (can't remember the name) that they thought would suffice.

But that was never tested in the crucible of battle until the conflict with Manticore, and they probably didn't drill enough on it either. So when the fight came, it just didn't cut it.


Wedge-on-wedge collisions are a real danger. There aren't many more effective ways to destroy two SDs completely - worst of all, it can happen during training exercises. 12,000 dead sailors in a flash.

The SLN, with its relatively oversized battle walls, probably feared that far more than they did missiles.

Even when one of Haven's admirals deployed in a specifically anti-LAC formation for the Battle of Elric, he didn't quite 'maximise' it out of that fear. And that was after nine years of the People's Navy eating Manticoran missiles.
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Re: LAC on LAC warfare
Post by cthia   » Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:21 am

cthia
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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
cthia wrote:Thanks guys. All of your posts makes me feel like LACs would have fared even worse against the SLN if the SLN flew tighter formations with mutual defensive strategies like every other modern navy.

(Why didn't they anyway?)


They tried to, but they just weren't good at it or good enough. There's a passage where an RMN tac officer comments on the separations between wallers (probably at Spindle) and says that no Havenite CO would accept that. They also had some recent mutual coordination tactics and hardware update (can't remember the name) that they thought would suffice.

But that was never tested in the crucible of battle until the conflict with Manticore, and they probably didn't drill enough on it either. So when the fight came, it just didn't cut it.

munroburton wrote:Wedge-on-wedge collisions are a real danger. There aren't many more effective ways to destroy two SDs completely - worst of all, it can happen during training exercises. 12,000 dead sailors in a flash.

The SLN, with its relatively oversized battle walls, probably feared that far more than they did missiles.

Even when one of Haven's admirals deployed in a specifically anti-LAC formation for the Battle of Elric, he didn't quite 'maximise' it out of that fear. And that was after nine years of the People's Navy eating Manticoran missiles.

I suppose it is a double-edged sword, that is all I can come up with, piled atop their arrogance of thinking the invincible SLN will never be attacked.

I suppose tight formations allowing mutual defense also limits evasive maneuvers. We've seen that when ships are hit and fly wildly out of formation taking out other ships. From text, we know that CIC can predict which ship, or ships, is being targeted. I suppose it takes a selfless CO with nerves of steel to remain in tight formation and trust the defensive tactic to work when you know you're being targeted, possibly exclusively.

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 Brigade XO   » Tue Sep 22, 2020 12:19 pm

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By the time the SLN gets involved with fleet level engagements (other than Crandall) the only time you see RMN LACs -with RHN LACs- in engagements with SLN SDs, the LACs are initialy in the missile defence roll and doing missle interceptions with the CMs and energy weapons.
The SLN isn't shooting at the LACs, they are way too far away to effectivly target even if the SLN was trying to do it and they were fireing both the lastest generation Cataphracts from the pods and capital ship missiles from internal launchers against the Allied fleet defening the Manticore system.
Remember that when we see LACs being used with Lacoon II, not a lot of information is getting back to the SLN about much of anything let alone what LACs can do. At that point, SLN still hadn't figured out or believed what the RMN LACs were truly capable of. Even if Fillerta was thinking about LACs, the Alignment mole plus the nanite indusced "go to hell" launch of the pods and then the disorganized follow-on by the rest of the SDs were really only targeted at the Alliance wallers and they were way out beyond any kind of management of the terminal runs of their missiles- which would have had to go with onboard at launch and then anything they could aquire if they lost their original targets from ECM interference etc. LACs were going to be destroyed but that was mostly because some lost capital ship missile found "something" to maneuver at. The LACs were primarily just outside the fireing solution of the SLN for the Alliance wallers and were mostly fireing into the incoming waves of missles from the side- both with CM, their own point defence engergy clusters and where they had them, like the Shrikes- grasers. The LACs can keep doing that as they are heading essentialy parallel to the incomming SLN missile and they can still use aft quadrant point defence energy weapons to do passing and parting shots at missles (in range) that got by them Degrade the strike, winnow down the number of missles to improve the CM intercept and point defence engagement percentage of the wallers etc.

Nothing the SLN has at the point of the end of Unconpromising Honor can do anything like what the RMN and RHN LACs can do. And probably 99% of the survining SLN has no clue and won't till POWs start filtering home.
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Re: LAC on LAC warfare
Post by Jonathan_S   » Tue Sep 22, 2020 12:55 pm

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Brigade XO wrote:\
Nothing the SLN has at the point of the end of Unconpromising Honor can do anything like what the RMN and RHN LACs can do. And probably 99% of the survining SLN has no clue and won't till POWs start filtering home.

I'd agree with that. And they're a long, long, way from duplicating even the capabilities of the current second (or possibly 3rd) generation RHN Cimeterre-classes; much less the Shrike/Ferret/Katana-classes.

OTOH it'd be pretty easy to bodge up a pure anti-missile LAC design with all off the shelf tech; carrying just CMs and PDLCs. Simply pushing the engagement window downrange and drastically multiplying the volume of point defense provides a major boost to point defense. (Though to be truly effective the SLN needs to update their systems to track and handle the terminal velocity of MDMs)

Yeah, without doing something special these LAC's accel would suck. But the Scientist-class SD's max accel is only 423 gees, a mere 14g more than an old-style LAC. This notional missile defense LAC is more expendable than a full up starship, so given that the Scientist are likely to stick to safe (80%) acceleration the LACs can keep up if they're willing to run at a slightly riskier level of around 83%. Sure all they can do is missile defense; they lack even basic self-defense against other LACs or warships. But they'd be quick to design and build and would make the fleet they're supporting far more survivable - and that alone seems to justify building them and some CLACs to carry them.

(And best part is, like aircraft carriers, CLACs make it easy to upgrade or deploy additional capabilities by simply embarking different/newer LAC designs)
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Re: LAC on LAC warfare
Post by Theemile   » Tue Sep 22, 2020 2:29 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:<snip>

Yeah, without doing something special these LAC's accel would suck. But the Scientist-class SD's max accel is only 423 gees, a mere 14g more than an old-style LAC. This notional missile defense LAC is more expendable than a full up starship, so given that the Scientist are likely to stick to safe (80%) acceleration the LACs can keep up if they're willing to run at a slightly riskier level of around 83%. <snip>)



If we are correct and the limiting factor of old LACs is the wedge power provided by a beta node only wedge, the comp isn't an issue. The compensator would still have a limit of ~530 Gs max velocity, but the wedge would only have enough power to accelerate the LAC to ~410 Gs. in short, an old fashioned LAC (or anything without Alpha nodes) would be able to drive their wedge at 100%, but sill have a Compensator working at <80% - so would never have to worry about damaging the Compensator due to running it in the max range danger zone.

So a LAC should be able to run at max velocity all the time without worry - making it essentially just slightly slower than old DD and FGs. (70Kton Nobelese/Falcon DD 80% accel is ~419gs)
******
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: LAC on LAC warfare
Post by Jonathan_S   » Tue Sep 22, 2020 3:02 pm

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Theemile wrote:
If we are correct and the limiting factor of old LACs is the wedge power provided by a beta node only wedge, the comp isn't an issue. The compensator would still have a limit of ~530 Gs max velocity, but the wedge would only have enough power to accelerate the LAC to ~410 Gs. in short, an old fashioned LAC (or anything without Alpha nodes) would be able to drive their wedge at 100%, but sill have a Compensator working at <80% - so would never have to worry about damaging the Compensator due to running it in the max range danger zone.

So a LAC should be able to run at max velocity all the time without worry - making it essentially just slightly slower than old DD and FGs. (70Kton Nobelese/Falcon DD 80% accel is ~419gs)

Now that's an interesting thought. I knew the old LACs were limited by their wedge power. But I hadn't thought that that might allow them to run safely at higher power levels.

However, I think this might not be the case. We know that the amount of acceleration a compensator can dump depends on the "the area enclosed in its field and the strength of the grav wave serving as its sump." [OBS - Ch 29]. And the natural grav wave provides a much deeper sump allowing a ship under sail to safely accelerate approximately 10x as quickly as when under its artificial wedge.

So given a more powerful sump the same exact compensator can now safely be driven to around 800-1,000% power - something that would be instantly lethal under the weaker sump of its wedge. So the safety, at least in large part, isn't based on percent of power vs the hypothetical full power but instead based on power relative to sump strength.

Now we don't know the direct scaling factor, but the weaker nodes on an old-style LAC must logically produce a weaker sump than full power nodes which logically allows less acceleration to be sunk. We just don't know exactly how much less.

In theory a LAC of 11,500 tons with a full power wedge should have been capable of driving a pre-Grayson compensator to about 545g flat out. So the roughly 409g they can actually pull is only ~75% of the theoretical max. But because we don't know the scaling factor and sump power we don't know if running the LAC at 409g is as dangerous as running a starship of that size at 545g. But it seems likely to be at least somewhat more dangerous than running that same small starship at 436g (80%).


Still, even if it is more dangerous I return to my point that you can afford to run more risks with a LAC during combat than you can even a destroyer.
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