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The Torch Wormhole

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Re: The Torch Wormhole
Post by cthia   » Fri Oct 09, 2020 5:43 pm

cthia
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Jonathan_S wrote:
Brigade XO wrote:As to forts being a waste, that doesn't count that when the Alignment does start using that wormhole for anything, they will want it defended on that side and have the equivlent of an Astro Control station for it. Even after they eventualy "deal" with Torch, it represents an access to something they want hidden and very few people outside the Alignment know exactly what you are going to find on the other side. Staff the forts mostly with Dariusians and an Alpha Command staff. Cheap enough insurance to act as a rat-trap for any ship that comes through without permission.

It's a guard force, do the same thing as Manticoer and move the modular sections of the forts there for assembly (more workforce training) and some place where you could put pods with Cataphracts at short removes to thicken coverage and extend the range against anything that might fight it's way through.

It's also a location for a protected logistics support base at a fair distance from Darius. It's not like the Alignment can't aquire the amount of trained staff to install and operate warehouses and even a small repair yard plus a waystation and R&R faciity. Eventualy this is a nodal point for the Alighment Empire next to Erwhon and both Erwhon's wormhole access to the (eventualy to be the Former) SL but the Maya sector. You put the good stuff behind the door.

There's one minor downside to putting your repair yard on the far side of a wormhole; but it can be mitigated. And as you say there are security advantages to having it "behind the door".

The minor downside is ships with damage to their alpha nodes (or whatever the MAN spider ships use to safely transit wormholes) or hyper generators. Most systems aren't in a grav wave and so damaged ships can still retreat through hyper with damaged alpha nodes (they just need to avoid any grav waves). Even if they lose their hyper generator they can potentially still retreat by having a buddy expand their generator volume large enough to bring them both into (and later out of) hyper. But it doesn't seem to be possible to transit a wormhole without both working sails and hyper generator of your own. So if MAN ships get damaged and fall back on Congo to reach a repair yard at The Twins they won't be able to get to it. They could potentially go the long way - but if you could avoid having that systems actual location in their computers then you eliminate one way your enemies might find it; plus it's undoubtedly a much longer trip for a damaged ship. The better workaround would be to have either a mobile repair ship or a ship-carrying ship based in The Twins that could pop forward to Congo and either patch up or bring back any damaged units that made it that far.

We saw this transit problem firsthand with the delay in getting Hexapuma back to Manticore after the Battle of Monica. She needed months with a repair ship to patch her up enough to transit the wormhole under her own power (and then immediately went into the repair yard to finish the rest of her repairs)

Why can't the damaged LD and the repair ship retire to an undisclosed region of space and effect repairs there? Ships, like colliers, rendezvous with the rest of the fleet at classified coordinates all the time. It would be like repairing your car on a vacant side road off an out of the way back road. At least until she's able to transit.

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: The Torch Wormhole
Post by tlb   » Fri Oct 09, 2020 5:53 pm

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cthia wrote:Why can't the damaged LD and the repair ship retire to an undisclosed region of space and effect repairs there? Ships, like colliers, rendezvous with the rest of the fleet at classified coordinates all the time. It would be like repairing your car on a vacant side road off an out of the way back road. At least until she's able to transit.

That would work very well. What would be more difficult is doing it at the Torch system, even if the planet is under control; because that is a known location that people are going to check.
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Re: The Torch Wormhole
Post by Brigade XO   » Fri Oct 09, 2020 6:16 pm

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If the mAlignemnt ships have damage such that they can't transit a wormhole, they indeed could make a meeting at some set point in normal space via hyper and be repaired. They don't need a system, they just need a set of coordinates and go there to meet with a repair ship. Once repairs are compleated- and it only has to be those that are required to make them capable of generating W-sails. Several times we have seen planned meetings out in the deep dark well away from any star or shipping routes to transfer things. The last one to come to mind is the transfer of the Silver Bullet containers to the "normal" freighter who delivered it to Beowulf. If you are sitting in the dark with your impellers warm you can wait and get a reading on anything that "just happens" to show up and if you don't like what you see on sensors you can bring your drive all the way up and just leave- unless they drop in right on top of you- which means that you are going to have to be somewhere with X distance from the meet-point.

As to holding the Torch end of the wormhole, that is going to take being ready to essentialy announce that somebody is there and they have a reason to be there. That alone would tell anybody who shows up that something is going on. So until such time when the Alignment is ready to move out into more of the open, they are unlikely to want to do that. It is possible to use something already in the Alignment inventory- like say a Shark- to hang around just outside the hyperlimit of the Torch wormhole and watch. If there truly isn't anybody around they could eventualy pass the work back but that is going to be a long term thing. Extended servailence mission. A Shark would have the capasity of releaseing a Graser Torpedo or two and ambushing any unfriendly visitors. Even a RTN frigate, perhaps especialy a RTN frigate.

It's all just a thought.
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Re: The Torch Wormhole
Post by cthia   » Fri Oct 09, 2020 6:25 pm

cthia
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Jonathan_S wrote:
cthia wrote:
#2. Torch should be taken only after the Streak Boat arrives with confirmation the fireworks have begun. Torch is the least defended. Getting word to her will be too little too late. Also, I am not proposing the move on Haven will be based out of Torch. I am proposing the support of the operation to be based out of Torch by deploying units forward to take the wormhole and allow for other forces to come thru.

BTW, I am also positing the coordination of the traditional warships of the RFN. Like everyone agrees, their original plan is kaput. They may decide to permanently take Torch and set up housekeeping with their RFN. Why are you all assuming it would be easy to retake Torch? The GA's goodies are not located in the Torch system. And I'm sure the MA will shoot the ass off of anything trying to drag in huge detection arrays to detect the Lennys. Why can't the Torch whj be just as difficult to take as the MWJ, if the RFN is just as formidable as the GA? If not, they can always be ready to pull a Houdini thru the wormhole.

Thanks for clarifying. I'd misunderstood your earlier posts and that led to us somewhat talking past each other.

And I don't know that Torch would be easy to retake. But if the only place you know the enemy is is occupying Torch then at least is a place were you can try hitting back. Whereas until Darius is located Haven and Manticore would be just as unable to launch a counterattack to a Oyster Bay redux as Manticore and Grayson were to the original. Very hard to hit back when you've no idea where the enemy is.

That said, it might be to the MAlign's benefit to expose an (ultimately expendable) target like Torch as it could give their Lenny Dets (once resupplied from the initial strikes) a place to attempt to ambush naval units that couldn't be caught during the initial strikes. Even if they end up temporarily yielding the system and terminus it's give them a chance to try and further bleed the Grand Alliance forces.
(AKA It's a trap!)

Though I'd say Torch would be difficult to retake in an entirely different way than the Manticoran Junction. The Junction is deadliest to attack by transiting from a remote terminus (basically suicide). But even in normal space it's defended by a significant number of the most modern forts anybody has ever seen - which by now should be equipped with full Apollo capabilities. They should by now be at least as capable as the forts installed on the Lynx terminus and before Apollo was added to either side those Lynx forts were supposed to be able to stand off a couple hundred RMN SD(P)s!

We know that the MAlign hasn't yet shown any ability to replicate the performance or FTL fire control of Apollo. And they likely won't have time to construct significant numbers of modern forts at the Torch terminus. So the GA forces wouldn't face that exact defense, and they'd definitely be attacking from normal space because even if crazy enough to want to mount a wormhole assault through the terminus they don't know where the other end of the Congo wormhole is.

On the other hand, the MAlign have ships and graser torps that are virtually undetectable, and can drop Cataphract pods to act as minefields, and with nothing in the system that must be defended at all costs they can afford to play a slower ambush game - because they don't have to make a last stand anywhere. After all, what does it mater if the Grand Alliance forces blockage the terminus or occupy Torch orbit? That just ties them to one spot for the MAlign units to sneak up on.

Exactly! "Come on in," says the spider to the fly. Torch would be the MA seizing the initiative and choosing the place to meet the GA on their own terms and away from Darius. They can set up an ambush that would make the trap Honor set for the SL look like child's play.

"AMBUSHES & Toys R US!"

The MA can turn Torch into a meat grinder! Also, wouldn't it be nice if storyline gave us our first Forts transiting a wormhole, from Darius to Torch. Stealthy Forts. Mean, stealthy Forts.

Rooks to Queen 1. Check.

If MA Forts scale up to the LD
as
GA Forts scale up to the SD
:o
Merry X-Mas Wesleys!

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: The Torch Wormhole
Post by Jonathan_S   » Fri Oct 09, 2020 7:04 pm

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cthia wrote:
Jonathan_S wrote:There's one minor downside to putting your repair yard on the far side of a wormhole; but it can be mitigated. And as you say there are security advantages to having it "behind the door".

The minor downside is ships with damage to their alpha nodes (or whatever the MAN spider ships use to safely transit wormholes) or hyper generators. Most systems aren't in a grav wave and so damaged ships can still retreat through hyper with damaged alpha nodes (they just need to avoid any grav waves). Even if they lose their hyper generator they can potentially still retreat by having a buddy expand their generator volume large enough to bring them both into (and later out of) hyper. But it doesn't seem to be possible to transit a wormhole without both working sails and hyper generator of your own. So if MAN ships get damaged and fall back on Congo to reach a repair yard at The Twins they won't be able to get to it. They could potentially go the long way - but if you could avoid having that systems actual location in their computers then you eliminate one way your enemies might find it; plus it's undoubtedly a much longer trip for a damaged ship. The better workaround would be to have either a mobile repair ship or a ship-carrying ship based in The Twins that could pop forward to Congo and either patch up or bring back any damaged units that made it that far.

We saw this transit problem firsthand with the delay in getting Hexapuma back to Manticore after the Battle of Monica. She needed months with a repair ship to patch her up enough to transit the wormhole under her own power (and then immediately went into the repair yard to finish the rest of her repairs)

Why can't the damaged LD and the repair ship retire to an undisclosed region of space and effect repairs there? Ships, like colliers, rendezvous with the rest of the fleet at classified coordinates all the time. It would be like repairing your car on a vacant side road off an out of the way back road. At least until she's able to transit.

As long as you've got a repair ship, in addition to your repair yard, the damaged LD and your repair ship could certainly retire to some vacant spot to do the work.

That's why I pointed out that having a repair ship is one way to mitigate the issue of having your closest repair yard on the far side of a wormhole.

Admittedly I was thinking more of using it under the protective "guns" of the forces defending the Congo terminus. But as long as you've got a repair ship with access to the spares or raw material it needs there's no particular reason it can't go anywhere and carry out the repairs. You probably don't have enough repair ships to them forward to secret backup rendezvous spots near each attack. But if you were willing to risk them away from your defenses just for the off-chance of survivable damage to an LD I guess you could pick some empty system closer to all your targets to cut down on transit time compared to holding them back at Congo or The Twins until summoned to help.
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Re: The Torch Wormhole
Post by Jonathan_S   » Fri Oct 09, 2020 7:25 pm

Jonathan_S
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cthia wrote:Also, wouldn't it be nice if storyline gave us our first Forts transiting a wormhole, from Darius to Torch. Stealthy Forts. Mean, stealthy Forts.

Rooks to Queen 1. Check.

If MA Forts scale up to the LD
as
GA Forts scale up to the SD
:o
Merry X-Mas Wesleys!

Certainly something the size of a fort could transit a wormhole - unless the wormhole had an extremely low mass ceiling. (IIRC we're told the Manticoran Junction had the highest known mass ceiling - could handled the largest known mass transit. But also IIRC we aren't given an indication of how widely the mass ceilings vary. Is is a factor of 2, of 10, of 100? We don't know, so we don't know if any wormholes top out as low as, say, 20 million tons)

The reason they don't is because the fort would be very inefficient for its size if forced to accept the compromises required for it to self-transit a wormhole. It would have to give up a lot of interior space for a hyper generator and accept a ship-like hull form with full Alpha nodes to get the sails.
And for something that would hardly ever be done.

If you really want to move entire operational forts forward you'd be better off building a stupidly large fort transporter. Something with a hyper generator and alpha nodes in the right spots proportional to a size large enough to carry a fort. It could mostly be open scafolding as long as the nodes and impeller rooms were in the right spots. Using it you'd be able to bring intact forts forward one at a time. And that way once they're in place their combat efficiency isn't impacted by the compromises needed for a rare strategic movement.
The fort transporter would still spend most of it's life hanging around with nothing to do, but at least you presumably didn't sink those resources into every single fort so you've got less wasted capability once they're in place.
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Re: The Torch Wormhole
Post by cthia   » Fri Oct 09, 2020 7:38 pm

cthia
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Posts: 12869
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:10 pm

Jonathan_S wrote:
cthia wrote:Also, wouldn't it be nice if storyline gave us our first Forts transiting a wormhole, from Darius to Torch. Stealthy Forts. Mean, stealthy Forts.

Rooks to Queen 1. Check.

If MA Forts scale up to the LD
as
GA Forts scale up to the SD
:o
Merry X-Mas Wesleys!

Certainly something the size of a fort could transit a wormhole - unless the wormhole had an extremely low mass ceiling. (IIRC we're told the Manticoran Junction had the highest known mass ceiling - could handled the largest known mass transit. But also IIRC we aren't given an indication of how widely the mass ceilings vary. Is is a factor of 2, of 10, of 100? We don't know, so we don't know if any wormholes top out as low as, say, 20 million tons)

The reason they don't is because the fort would be very inefficient for its size if forced to accept the compromises required for it to self-transit a wormhole. It would have to give up a lot of interior space for a hyper generator and accept a ship-like hull form with full Alpha nodes to get the sails.
And for something that would hardly ever be done.

If you really want to move entire operational forts forward you'd be better off building a stupidly large fort transporter. Something with a hyper generator and alpha nodes in the right spots proportional to a size large enough to carry a fort. It could mostly be open scafolding as long as the nodes and impeller rooms were in the right spots. Using it you'd be able to bring intact forts forward one at a time. And that way once they're in place their combat efficiency isn't impacted by the compromises needed for a rare strategic movement.
The fort transporter would still spend most of it's life hanging around with nothing to do, but at least you presumably didn't sink those resources into every single fort so you've got less wasted capability once they're in place.

I see. But if you built something like that, is there a reason it can't double as a backup to tow a damaged LD?

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: The Torch Wormhole
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Fri Oct 09, 2020 7:41 pm

ThinksMarkedly
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cthia wrote:
ThinksMarkedly wrote:Because the DB did know. It couldn't not have known.

You got textev? Because from that side of the junction, all roads led to ignorance.


Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. At no point do they report to Adm. Imogene Tsang that the forts are down. That conversation is simply missing.

We've discussed this and we don't seem to reach an agreement. I don't want to rehash it this thread. My position is that the DB had known (just didn't report the obvious), therefore the RTN in the Torch side of the Congo Wormhole would know if forts are moved and set up there. And as I said before, I suspect they're constantly monitoring the WH, even if they don't have forts of their own. They might have a picket controlling a handful of missile pods.
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Re: The Torch Wormhole
Post by Jonathan_S   » Fri Oct 09, 2020 8:37 pm

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cthia wrote:
Jonathan_S wrote:If you really want to move entire operational forts forward you'd be better off building a stupidly large fort transporter. Something with a hyper generator and alpha nodes in the right spots proportional to a size large enough to carry a fort. It could mostly be open scafolding as long as the nodes and impeller rooms were in the right spots. Using it you'd be able to bring intact forts forward one at a time. And that way once they're in place their combat efficiency isn't impacted by the compromises needed for a rare strategic movement.
The fort transporter would still spend most of it's life hanging around with nothing to do, but at least you presumably didn't sink those resources into every single fort so you've got less wasted capability once they're in place.

I see. But if you built something like that, is there a reason it can't double as a backup to tow a damaged LD?

You should certainly be able to design and built one such that it could grab either a fort or an LD - given than the MAlign designers would know the shapes of each.

Should just be mater of large enough voids to dock either and then wrapping the necessary ship systems in the area left outside those voids but inside the safe volume prescribed by your alpha node placement. (Might or might not end up a little larger than a uni-task design that could only carry an LD or only carry a <mumble>-mton fort. But if you do build some such beasts it seems good to invest in the flexibility; even if it's a little larger/costlier)


And in fact a ship-carrier for an LD was my other suggestion for a damaged LD on the other side of a wormhole from its repair yard. But hadn't thought of making it capable of moving a fort.
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Re: The Torch Wormhole
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Fri Oct 09, 2020 10:40 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:Should just be mater of large enough voids to dock either and then wrapping the necessary ship systems in the area left outside those voids but inside the safe volume prescribed by your alpha node placement. (Might or might not end up a little larger than a uni-task design that could only carry an LD or only carry a <mumble>-mton fort. But if you do build some such beasts it seems good to invest in the flexibility; even if it's a little larger/costlier)


And in fact a ship-carrier for an LD was my other suggestion for a damaged LD on the other side of a wormhole from its repair yard. But hadn't thought of making it capable of moving a fort.


If you're going to bring such a big thing to the Haven Sector and stash it away somewhere in an uninhabited system, why bother with the Congo System?

There are four more termini that they could use: the Twins, Felix, and the other two termini of the junction we don't know details of. Plus there's the possibility of using the streak drive directly to Darius. Supplies can also be brought in from any of the RF systems, or pilfered from the SL.

Neither Congo nor Erewhon are not particularly close to the Haven Sector. They're close to some back areas of Haven. It's only fast to get to them because of the Terra Haute-Hennesy Wormhole "Junction," which is not something that the MAlign can use.
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