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Wormhole Assault: MA Style

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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by Jonathan_S   » Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:43 am

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Theemile wrote:Ships in the transit queue do not have their wedges down. In every read of wormhole transits, the ship transiting has been under wedge in the queue, then transitions to sail, one sail at a time, when entering the terminus.
Probably the best description we got of this was way back in the first book, where Fearless is about to transit to Basilisk. And it's as you say:
1) approaches under wedge:
She's approaching under wedge, at 20 gees, "aligning herself perfectly on the invisible rails of the Junction" [OBS Ch.5].

2) Then as she reached the critical point (transitioning into the transit lane) She first converts her forward impellers from wedge into her foresail. "Fearless's impeller wedge dropped abruptly to half-strength. Her forward nodes no longer generated their portion of the normal-space stress bands; instead, they had reconfigured to produce a circular disk of focused gravitation that extended for over three hundred kilometers in every direction from the cruiser's hull." [ibid]

Then creeps forward under impeller until the foresail "bites"

3) and rigs the aftersail (her wedge disappearing as the aft impeller rings also convert into projecting a sail).

4) Then she accelerates down the transit lane until she reaches the terminus itself and transits to Basilisk.

5) As she sails out of the arrival lane and once the power to the sails drops off (begins clearing the end of that grav lane) she does the reverse; and "folded her sails back into her impeller wedge and moved forward more rapidly" [ibid](presumably also one sail at a time, though I guess when leaving the lane it's be safe to could coast clear of the grav effect after both the sails lost their "bite"; so I guess a ship could do that and convert both sails at once if she wanted to be slow about it)
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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by Theemile   » Thu Apr 08, 2021 3:04 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:
Theemile wrote:Ships in the transit queue do not have their wedges down. In every read of wormhole transits, the ship transiting has been under wedge in the queue, then transitions to sail, one sail at a time, when entering the terminus.
Probably the best description we got of this was way back in the first book, where Fearless is about to transit to Basilisk. And it's as you say:
1) approaches under wedge:
She's approaching under wedge, at 20 gees, "aligning herself perfectly on the invisible rails of the Junction" [OBS Ch.5].

2) Then as she reached the critical point (transitioning into the transit lane) She first converts her forward impellers from wedge into her foresail. "Fearless's impeller wedge dropped abruptly to half-strength. Her forward nodes no longer generated their portion of the normal-space stress bands; instead, they had reconfigured to produce a circular disk of focused gravitation that extended for over three hundred kilometers in every direction from the cruiser's hull." [ibid]

Then creeps forward under impeller until the foresail "bites"

3) and rigs the aftersail (her wedge disappearing as the aft impeller rings also convert into projecting a sail).

4) Then she accelerates down the transit lane until she reaches the terminus itself and transits to Basilisk.

5) As she sails out of the arrival lane and once the power to the sails drops off (begins clearing the end of that grav lane) she does the reverse; and "folded her sails back into her impeller wedge and moved forward more rapidly" [ibid](presumably also one sail at a time, though I guess when leaving the lane it's be safe to could coast clear of the grav effect after both the sails lost their "bite"; so I guess a ship could do that and convert both sails at once if she wanted to be slow about it)



In short, a ship's vulnerability without wedge is during the passage of the entrance emergence lane and 15-30 seconds immediately prior/post the lane to reform the wedge.

At best, you can catch 7 ships (one at each termini) in part of this evolution at a time - the rest of the ships around the Junction waiting to enter or forming up are going to be under wedge.
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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by cthia   » Thu Apr 08, 2021 3:56 pm

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cthia wrote:[2] I reserve judgment as to whether those intense scans will be able to locate the LD. Especially since a certain passage which featured Abigail Hearns had to specifically direct scans to "concentrate on this particular region of space." I don't think those glaring scans on steroids will be looking for mice all snug as a spider in a nest in their own coat pockets.
TM wrote:Agreed it's unknowable until RFC tells us.

Agreed. And to be fair, we don't know if the GA's new technology to locate a Spider hasn't been installed at the WH. Or if it, also, has to be directed to specific locations. Admittedly, I'm assuming a lot in this thread. I've made "an ass of me" before. But it is obvious that missiles cannot penetrate the turbulence, and therefore that fact alone is an opportunity for exploitation. I also wonder if that fact has occurred to the RMN, and has already been used in battle around the junction in the early history of defending the WH. By the RMN or any of its enemies.

cthia wrote:Another thing. Certainly the 25 or so SDs already awaiting the go ahead are toast. But I'd think SOP of the additional mass transit to follow will already have their wedges down ready to move into the lane under thrusters. I doubt SOP allows extremely flammable lighter fluid near a flame. Which means the group of ships that would transit next will also be under fire.

Textev in a newer post provided by Theemile clearly shows I am in error on that accord.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:I don't think I was clear, but I might not have understood you either.

I was talking about the scenario after the mass transit, which is what triggers the attack: there are 25-35 SD(P)s with full wedges and sidewalls up, in full battle readiness, performing standard evasive manoeuvres while moving off the exit lane towards the assembly point, and 25 SD(P)s that have just arrived, with sails up and wedges down. Those 25 are the only ones that can be attacked, plus a few more that can be targets of opportunity for up-the-kilt or down-the-throat shots. It can't be all of the rest because they'll be under battle conditions.

Theemile understood my original intent, but in your favor the textev he provided still only allows for an attack on half the fleet.

TM wrote:But as I said, I might not have understood you: did you mean something different? Did you mean an attack on both sides of the Junction?

No, I was only talking about an attack on one side of the junction. Half the ships in the lane, the other half in the queue. Which as stated above isn't possible because it has been established that the ships in the queue still have wedges up.

Note: I wasn't sure how finely maneuverable impellers are. Once forward momentum begins, can a ship stop on a dime, which is what they'd seemingly have to do when stacking for a mass transit. I thought thrusters would have more fine control. But probably time and distance from outside of queue to inside queue is too great for thrusters in a hurry and wait scenario.

However, and as a response to Theemile altering the plan, I did say that nests could be established on both sides of the junction (also a nest at Trevor's Star), which if transiting from Trevor's Star the Spider in Trevor's Star's nest could leave the first group of ships to the Spider on the other side, and it could get the next group of ships. There won't be enough time for a ship to warn them.

cthia wrote:Possibly obscuring lines of sight, which the MA would have foreseen in their meticulous perusal of the specific minute details of the WH maps that noone has scrutinized for centuries. Maps that have never been scrutinized at all for nefarious purposes of ways someone who has certain kinds of unimaginable and untold stealth could exploit.
ThinksMarkedly wrote:You're making a huge assumption here that a) such a nest is even possible and that b) such a nest's line of sight to the exit lane won't be blocked by the ships newly arriving. Unless there's a pressing reason to do otherwise, given that the Junction is a spherical volume, the vector from the exit lane to the hyperlimit can be arbitrarily chosen. The transit time to Manticore is mostly spent in hyper and getting to the hyperlimit; the point you choose the hyperlimit is negligible. If this point can be arbitrarily chosen, then there's a great chance that the nest won't have up-the-kilt shots to the assembling ships (and you don't want down-the-throat because that means they're coming towards you, decreasing distance and increasing detection probability).

But I admit that this is also a conjecture. It's entirely possible that the path from exit lane to hyperlimit is predictable and thus can be stalked. Military planners shouldn't make themselves predictable (Rule #1 of Space Warfare), but this may not be obvious until hindsight.

Agreed. It is ALL conjecture on my part. I won't bank on any of it being possible. But as far as the nest, I think that will depend on the efficacy of the Spider's stealth, in both sneaking in and while maintaining stealth once "there."

My point is that if the tactic is adopted by the MA, they will have went over it with a fine-toothed comb with maps of the MWJ at their disposal. And, do note that they can practice at their own WH.

cthia wrote:Half of the Fleet in one-fell-swoop is certainly an acceptable trade-off. And remember, the other half may be ambushed by the other nest on the other side of the junction if someone with a sixth sense misses it while caught up in the crucible of battle. But even if the other side is warned of the possibility of a nest, the LD still has to be found in very short order. And, I don't think the other side will suddenly become aware of exactly what tactic, and exactly where to look to find the LD.
TM wrote:The other half or 65% has wedges and sidewalls up and is performing standard evasive manoeuvring.

If the LD fires while there are dozens of ships and forts linked into a tac net, it will be found and will be destroyed within seconds. The Bellerophon was ambushed by a BC squadron at the start of the war with Haven and shot those out of the sky within seconds, and the Bellerophon wasn't even ready for action. This is independent of how good their stealth is. The graser beams can be tracked back to the origin point by all units that survive the strike.

See above.

cthia wrote:The LD needs to fire its graser torpedoes only, not itself. That means the LD should be nowhere near the exit lanes in the first place. It should be close enough that it can control the torpedoes with acceptable lag, but it shouldn't its own graser mounts. As we've said before: if the LD has to fire any mounts it has, the plan has already gone to hell.

Unless the plan is a suicide mission which reaps great rewards. Even if only half the fleet can be destroyed, that isn't an acceptable trade-off for the loss of a single LD of a fleet exceeding one hundred? Damn, you are WAY too bullish on the market. :D

At any rate, the LD cannot fire torpedoes into the turbulence either. I am not certain if the standoff range of the graser torpedoes would come into play from any such nest's location and range.
cthia wrote:At any rate, killing half of Eighth Fleet and eliminating the other half by turning them into cowards fearing transit might be acceptable to the outcome of the battle.
cthia wrote:What transit? They're already on the hither side of the wormhole.

Already covered.

cthia wrote:Also, I keep harping on the fact that an all-out war by the MA will cause them to take off their gloves too (a shout-out to Michelle Henke), and there will no longer be any reason for them to withhold full use of all of their tech. Namely, nanite compulsion. Someone could be "persuaded" to order the first mass transit of the series that totally shuts down the junction, and Eighth Fleet.
ThinksMarkedly wrote:That can't happen, for all we know of the compulsion. First, said order can only be given by the CO of the fleet in question. Second, it isn't a macro that takes rote action to perform: making a mass transit takes an hour to prepare, with the navigation and piloting crews of two dozen superdreadnoughts participating. Third, that means there are at least 3 admirals in this, one per battle squadron (assuming we return to 8-ship squadrons, otherwise 4 admirals), each one with their staff of a dozen people, and their flag captains. Then there's ACS, that has to permit such a transit to happen and will want to discuss specifics. Someone is going to wonder why you're locking down the Junction for 19 hours at the start of the battle and whether this tactic is sound. A simple call to the CO to ask for confirmation should dispel the compulsion or, alternatively, confirm said CO is not of sound mind.

You're undoubtedly right about that. Even I don't think it is possible. Plus, the Admiralty usually doesn't backseat drive. But, I'm still not willing to put ALL of my eggs in one basket against a total unleashing of nanite compulsion, i.e., an extraordinary number of people affected.

cthia wrote:But, like the Japanese planes in WWII, perhaps their payload can be configured when they set sail. LOL
ThinksMarkedly wrote:Internal payload, sure. Replacing graser mounts is a multi-month-long job at a yard.

Sure, they can make such a one-off ship for a special occasion.

I'm not talking about replacing graser mounts, I'm suggesting that stealthy graser platforms can be dropped off all along the periphery of the nest. Nest(s). The GA has their own graser platforms made from captured SL junk. These platforms could be part of an LD's payload striking at helpless ships from a nest. A payload that eclipses Foraker's platforms. (This is one reason I said that the GA's small power plants would be invaluable to the MA.)

cthia wrote:Suicide. The LD choosing a course which takes it directly into the Maelstrom to be ripped apart into constituent atoms.
ThinksMarkedly wrote:Hmm... given that it's spider-driven, unless it's totally destroyed, it will retain manoeuvring capabilities. A similar impeller-driven ship could be disabled by knocking both sets of impellers offline or compromising the compensators. So it is possible for it to keep moving while severely damaged.

Interesting consequence. I wonder if it's occurred to RFC.

But I'm not sure going into an open blender is the best solution. And I use the metaphor intentionally: when you run a blender without cover, bits and pieces fly off in every direction. The gravity eddies should shred the ship indeed, but do so by flinging pieces in all directions. Some of those might be big.

I would go for a much simpler solution: a controlled self-destruct.

I think the fact that no unexplained debris exists before the discovery of the WH implies there is no unexplained debris to be discovered. Or, unexplained debris would suggest the existence of an undiscovered WH.

Also, recall that in the debris thread it was established that the net vector of the LD and its debris will be greater than the explosion. Which means any ejecta will continue on into the turbulence.

At any rate, if subterfuge and cunning can be married together in an unconventional attack to destroy at least half and possibly all of an enemy's main Fleet, it would be lunacy not to use it. Especially since this is the very nature and definition of the MA and its modus operandi. In fact, I doubt any navy would turn down such an opportunity.

Do forgive the late edits.

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: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by Brigade XO   » Thu Apr 08, 2021 5:56 pm

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We have been told that, post Oyster Bay, almost everything that has sidewall capability in orbit is going to have them up and keep them up -wear on components be dammed in favor of maintaining infrastructure over having it blown up again. That and other measures like travel lanes to make navigation into a good attack positions at least difficult. That would suggest that there is stuff now placed relative to infrastructure to make life interesting if you want to come sailing in on a station etc without using the "lanes". Perhaps minefields?

My take is that ALL the forts out at the Junction, (and at various termini) along with the relevant AstroControl facilities (and they are NOT on forts though they will be at least defensively armed) are going to have sidewalls up for the foreseeable future. Oh, the forts will continue to do the (perhaps more randomized ) dance of shifting in and out of close approach (possible energy range) of the incoming and outgoing transit lanes but while most of the Off Duty" forts will have possibly the majority of their crews standing down, they will have their sidewalls up and some of their weapons systems ready in case of emergencies.

I's the whole once burned idea. If they can't yet see the Alignment warships, then they are going to have to respond like they are surrounded by vipers under the water all the time and keep defences up. That will be just the normal cost of doing business till someone developed a practical Spider Drive detector.
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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by kzt   » Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:55 pm

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Where did it say that? And if that is the case why did the entire fleet at Beowulf have cold nodes?
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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:35 pm

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Note: I wasn't sure how finely maneuverable impellers are. Once forward momentum begins, can a ship stop on a dime, which is what they'd seemingly have to do when stacking for a mass transit. I thought thrusters would have more fine control. But probably time and distance from outside of queue to inside queue is too great for thrusters in a hurry and wait scenario.


Since everything is relative, yes, it can stop on a dime. It can stop accelerating.

That doesn't mean it can achieve zero relative velocity towards a given objective in negligible time. It cannot. The time to decelerate to zero relative is the same as it took to accelerate to whatever speed it is at.

Anyway, don't think of the transit queue as everyone stopped relative to the wormhole. There's no indication that it is the case. I'd expect that under normal conditions, they're probably all moving, slowly relative to the transit lane, and at the same speed. That means relative to one another they are "stopped" and stop relative to the wormhole in case of an emergency in a short amount of time.

The situation in which the SLN DB found itself during the SLN attack on Manticore was different. In that case, all traffic was halted, so the queues probably stopped moving too.

However, and as a response to Theemile altering the plan, I did say that nests could be established on both sides of the junction (also a nest at Trevor's Star), which if transiting from Trevor's Star the Spider in Trevor's Star's nest could leave the first group of ships to the Spider on the other side, and it could get the next group of ships. There won't be enough time for a ship to warn them.


There's only one "group" of ships: the one of the mass transit. Either it's here or it's there. All other ships are singletons and therefore will have their wedges up. They've either already transited or they won't transit for another 19 hours.

Unless the plan is a suicide mission which reaps great rewards. Even if only half the fleet can be destroyed, that isn't an acceptable trade-off for the loss of a single LD of a fleet exceeding one hundred? Damn, you are WAY too bullish on the market. :D


That's half of one fleet, not half of the fleet. Eighth Fleet had 60-70 SD(P)s at the end of the war with Haven, when it became Home Fleet and then later sailed to Haven for the peace talks. But the Grand Fleet had upwards of 400 SD(P)s, which is how many Honor brought to Sol. If the GF had transited in the plan we're talking about, the LD might catch 25 out of 400, a puny 6.25%.

Even if the GF is dispersed, the GA's total strength is going to be around 600-800 capital ships. Destroying half of one of their fleets is not such a great result, by itself. It would need to be combined with other actions that basically win the war in one shot.

I'm not talking about replacing graser mounts, I'm suggesting that stealthy graser platforms can be dropped off all along the periphery of the nest. Nest(s). The GA has their own graser platforms made from captured SL junk. These platforms could be part of an LD's payload striking at helpless ships from a nest. A payload that eclipses Foraker's platforms. (This is one reason I said that the GA's small power plants would be invaluable to the MA.)


Sure it can seed the area around the exit lanes with GTs. But as I said before, the LD has to be nowhere near that in order to attack.

I think the fact that no unexplained debris exists before the discovery of the WH implies there is no unexplained debris to be discovered. Or, unexplained debris would suggest the existence of an undiscovered WH.


What debris? At 7 light-hours from the primary, the MWHJ is one of the furthest (if not the furthest) wormhole, and that's well inside the heliopause. In the Sol System, that's inside the Kuiper Belt, albeit almost at the outside edge. The chance of random encounter is astronomically (literally) small and even if it happens, it's only going to get flung in a different trajectory, possibly broken up in smaller pieces due to gravitational shearing. So you can't tell that there's a wormhole out there just by observing the chaotic motion of some Kuiper Belt bodies, especially if the wormhole is in orbit the same way those bodies are.

In the Manticore system, given that there are two stars, this is a no-man's-land where the gravitational forces of both stars cooperate to destabilise the orbit of anything. This zone is clear of debris that could fall into the junction.

Maybe in some other system with a dense asteroid field at the same distance as the wormhole, the lack of asteroids at a particular region could be telling. And if the wormhole doesn't orbit the star, then it would even cut a ring in that asteroid field.

Also, recall that in the debris thread it was established that the net vector of the LD and its debris will be greater than the explosion. Which means any ejecta will continue on into the turbulence.


That's a good point, but the turbulence may impart sufficient vector change to push pieces back out.

At any rate, if subterfuge and cunning can be married together in an unconventional attack to destroy at least half and possibly all of an enemy's main Fleet, it would be lunacy not to use it. Especially since this is the very nature and definition of the MA and its modus operandi. In fact, I doubt any navy would turn down such an opportunity.


See above.
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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by Jonathan_S   » Fri Apr 09, 2021 10:02 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
Note: I wasn't sure how finely maneuverable impellers are. Once forward momentum begins, can a ship stop on a dime, which is what they'd seemingly have to do when stacking for a mass transit. I thought thrusters would have more fine control. But probably time and distance from outside of queue to inside queue is too great for thrusters in a hurry and wait scenario.


Since everything is relative, yes, it can stop on a dime. It can stop accelerating.

That doesn't mean it can achieve zero relative velocity towards a given objective in negligible time. It cannot. The time to decelerate to zero relative is the same as it took to accelerate to whatever speed it is at.

Anyway, don't think of the transit queue as everyone stopped relative to the wormhole. There's no indication that it is the case. I'd expect that under normal conditions, they're probably all moving, slowly relative to the transit lane, and at the same speed. That means relative to one another they are "stopped" and stop relative to the wormhole in case of an emergency in a short amount of time.


Well we have seen that wedges can't apply as much rotational velocity as they can forward velocity. And I'm not sure if they have any ability to slow down or move laterally without first pointing the ship in the desired direction. That'd might make precision station keeping, interesting. I could potentially see ships trying to hold very close formation at nominally identical velocities using their thrusters in conjunction with their wedge for fine adjustment of velocity and lateral separation.

OTOH if the wedge can provide even a tiny amount of lateral or reverse acceleration that's all you'd need for station keeping around the junction; as we saw in OBS a normal transit has the ship creeping into the lane, preparing to rig sails, at a sedate 20 gees. So it's already using only a fraction of the wedge's full power; so if the wedge could apply a few percent of it's forward acceleration is other directions that'd let you fine tune position, or hold yourself stationary, without having to supplement it with thrusters.


Though I'd think you wouldn't need to achieve precise formation for mass transit until well after you've transitioned to sails. And given their ability to have negative grab factors I suspect sail are more likely to be able to provide at least some reverse vector, or hold the ship stationary relative to a fixed point, without first changing heading.
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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by cthia   » Fri Apr 09, 2021 2:15 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
Note: I wasn't sure how finely maneuverable impellers are. Once forward momentum begins, can a ship stop on a dime, which is what they'd seemingly have to do when stacking for a mass transit. I thought thrusters would have more fine control. But probably time and distance from outside of queue to inside queue is too great for thrusters in a hurry and wait scenario.


Since everything is relative, yes, it can stop on a dime. It can stop accelerating.

That doesn't mean it can achieve zero relative velocity towards a given objective in negligible time. It cannot. The time to decelerate to zero relative is the same as it took to accelerate to whatever speed it is at.

Anyway, don't think of the transit queue as everyone stopped relative to the wormhole. There's no indication that it is the case. I'd expect that under normal conditions, they're probably all moving, slowly relative to the transit lane, and at the same speed. That means relative to one another they are "stopped" and stop relative to the wormhole in case of an emergency in a short amount of time.


Jonathan_S wrote:Well we have seen that wedges can't apply as much rotational velocity as they can forward velocity. And I'm not sure if they have any ability to slow down or move laterally without first pointing the ship in the desired direction. That'd might make precision station keeping, interesting. I could potentially see ships trying to hold very close formation at nominally identical velocities using their thrusters in conjunction with their wedge for fine adjustment of velocity and lateral separation.

OTOH if the wedge can provide even a tiny amount of lateral or reverse acceleration that's all you'd need for station keeping around the junction; as we saw in OBS a normal transit has the ship creeping into the lane, preparing to rig sails, at a sedate 20 gees. So it's already using only a fraction of the wedge's full power; so if the wedge could apply a few percent of it's forward acceleration is other directions that'd let you fine tune position, or hold yourself stationary, without having to supplement it with thrusters.


Though I'd think you wouldn't need to achieve precise formation for mass transit until well after you've transitioned to sails. And given their ability to have negative grab factors I suspect sail are more likely to be able to provide at least some reverse vector, or hold the ship stationary relative to a fixed point, without first changing heading.

Nice posts everyone. I am enlightened.

In the transit lane there are grav waves heading into the junction. Think of a canoe in the raging rapids carrying the canoe along with it. All points in the rapids aren't equally as strong, with a much greater pull at some canoes than others. So, a need to perform some sort of station keeping. In the rapids you have your paddle.

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: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by Theemile   » Fri Apr 09, 2021 2:42 pm

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cthia wrote:Nice posts everyone. I am enlightened.

In the transit lane there are grav waves heading into the junction. Think of a canoe in the raging rapids carrying the canoe along with it. All points in the rapids aren't equally as strong, with a much greater pull at some canoes than others. So, a need to perform some sort of station keeping. In the rapids you have your paddle.


I think of it more like a Toll freeway onramp.

Picture a line up at the toll both on a freeway. The cars queue up to the toll booth in a line slowly moving forward under their own power. Once a car passes the booth, it is launched forward up the freeway ramp, onto the freeway.

So the queue where the ships line up and wait is just an arbitrary void of free space leading to the transit lane; when the ships cross the threshold of the transit lane (where my toll booth would be) they translate into sail and are pulled along the terminus lane (aka Freeway ramp) to the Junction (Freeway).
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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: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by cthia   » Sat Apr 10, 2021 2:58 am

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cthia wrote:Unless the plan is a suicide mission which reaps great rewards. Even if only half the fleet can be destroyed, that isn't an acceptable trade-off for the loss of a single LD of a fleet exceeding one hundred? Damn, you are WAY too bullish on the market. :D


ThinksMarkedly wrote:That's half of one fleet, not half of the fleet. Eighth Fleet had 60-70 SD(P)s at the end of the war with Haven, when it became Home Fleet and then later sailed to Haven for the peace talks. But the Grand Fleet had upwards of 400 SD(P)s, which is how many Honor brought to Sol. If the GF had transited in the plan we're talking about, the LD might catch 25 out of 400, a puny 6.25%.

Even if the GF is dispersed, the GA's total strength is going to be around 600-800 capital ships. Destroying half of one of their fleets is not such a great result, by itself. It would need to be combined with other actions that basically win the war in one shot.

Yes, that is half of one fleet, however, it is the main fleet which showcases the lion's share of the talent. The Salamander herself represents fifty plus percent of the total talent of the GA, (is that the sound of pitchforks being sharpened?) Plus, if the Salamander is cooked, the sails will be let out of a lot of Manticore. So thinks most enemies since "the Salamander" was born.

This tactic can always be reserved for Sally herself. The MA will not know that the Salamander has been given a pass.

If successful, anyone willing to bet which half of the fleet would die? The most significant or least significant?

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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