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Wormhole Assault: MA Style

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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Fri Jan 08, 2021 8:57 am

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cthia wrote:Interesting posts, all of you. I'm just not convinced the MWJ affects the negative hemisphere the same. Consider Newton's law of Universal Gravitation . . .


Forget "hemisphere."

The Junction is a volume of space one light-second in radius in which there exist multiple inbound and outbound lanes. Those lanes are cylindrical in nature and very limited in height. Outside of those lanes, space seems to be normal exactly as outside the volume of the Junction. The only reason it's different from anywhere else in deep space is the Resonance Zone and the fact that some type of gravitic sensor can tell that the Junction is there at all. Moreover, there has been no indication that electromagnetic radiation is affected at all. For all we know, a beam of light going straight down the departure lane passes through the wormhole point and continues on unaffected.

David may still contradict us and say that there are "false lanes" or other types of gravitational anomalies. He may also tell us that some EM radiation is affected in some ways.

He can't say that you can't fire from inside a lane out or outside in, since we know that has been done. So at least graser beams coming and going through the sides of the lane cylinder continue unaffected.

Finally, on hemisphere: there's no indication whatsoever that the departure or arrival lanes are oriented towards the Manticore-A system. They could be all over the place and any course corrections required to reorient would take a handful of seconds for a ship under impellers, so they wouldn't be worthy of notice in the books.

That particular relationship is going to exist more strongly between the MWJ and the planet, the two most massive objects in the system. The direction of grav eddys should extend toward the "positive" hemisphere, intuitively. Albeit, I'll certainly agree that "intuitively" isn't necessarily written in stone.


If by "planet" you mean "star," sure. But at 7 light-hours out, even the gravitational influence of a G0 star is very diminished (the escape velocity there is a mere 6 km/s, less than that of the surface of Earth and Venus, just over that of Mars). More importantly, we don't know what the mass of the WH is. There has never been any indication in any of the books of what that might be, or even if it has a mass. In fact, given that ships, forts, warehouses, and all sorts of other construction park in the vicinity of the wormholes, if they have any mass at all, they would be very small indeed.

Another aspect worthy of consideration is the fact that warships which are exiting from the junction are automatically ejected from the junction on a bearing in the positive hemisphere on a vector towards the planet. IINM, warships cannot control their bearing prior to exit. As far as I know, warships cannot exit the junction on a negative bearing facing ships hypering in from the negative hemisphere? Admittedly, that could simply be an ability the author hasn't yet had cause to share. My guess tho, would be no. The ability does not exist. The MWJ regurgitates ships in the direction of the planet.


We do not know that they are vectored towards the inner system. See above.

All of that causes me to believe the concentrated rubber band of dangerous gravity is stretched toward the planet, and it - and it's effect - is mostly directional. Leaving ships at the "back door" operating under a different set of "parameters." Which might not affect the LDs to the same degree.


Even if you're right and the distribution of legitimate traffic is hemispherically lopsided, the forts wouldn't be. The forts exist to protect mostly against attack from hyper, not via the wormholes. Therefore, it stands to reason that they would be arranged to protect as much as possible all venues of attack. There's no reason to expect the enemy to come from a particular direction in space.

Rule #1 of Space Warfare: the enemy gets a vote.

The attacking stealth ships would indeed seek to infiltrate using the least dense path possible, to maximise its own chances of remaining undetected. No doubt about that. And I suppose multiple such paths exist, even in the case of randomly-oriented departure and arrival lanes. So if there is a path through which the LD has a higher chance of remaining undetected, I expect it will try to take it.

The problem is that the RMN knows that too. So it stands to reason that the RMN and ACS will also seed those paths with buoys blaring sensors as well as Ghost Rider recon drones. In fact, the RMN may even leave stealth mines of their own there. Rule #1 above applies in reverse too: the RMN gets a vote.

Jonathan answered one of my pending questions of whether the enemy can hyper in-system on a bearing directly towards the MWJ from the negative hemisphere. I know ordinarily there shouldn't be anything to prevent this except the limitations of the Resonance Zone (RZ)? But - and probably found only in my warped brain - I would think hypering in on that vector would only be possible if a warship has traveled that route before. I didn't think a ship could find its ass in hyper if its ass hasn't traveled that route before. And I wouldn't think that the MBS would be too quick to share that astrogation data. If so, that data would surely be classified.


Hyper travel is done via a very precise inertial navigation system. So you can tell where you're arriving and our attitude relative to the reference point.

Merchant ships don't have as good a hyperlog as warships, so they drop out of hyper much farther out. After that, they manoeuvre to the outbound lanes or to the warehouses as needed. It isn't stated in the books, but I've always assumed that ships usually emerge in the direct line between source and destination. I think it is in one of the Manticore Ascendant books that a freighter is described as having a vector to or from the Solarian League. If this is correct, then ships should emerge in the vicinity of the Junction in all directions, with no preference whatsoever. In turn, that means neither the ACS nor the RMN have a reason to dedicate more resources to one direction over another.

To be clear, I'm not saying the enemy cannot emerge from hyper in the negative hemisphere. But not on a perfect line straight up the X-axis or, for that matter, anywhere in immediate contention of the junction. And if my logic is correct, already hamstrung sensors won't be trained on certain areas.


The enemy is not going to emerge from hyper. There's no stealth in doing that, since the transition itself is a very bright source. Every sensor in the forts and recon drones is going to pick you up and retain a lock for the duration of your stay.

If LDs are going to attack anywhere in the Manticore Binary System, they will have to emerge 6 light-months out and spend 8 months at 0.8c coming, in order to perform a one-pass attack.
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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by Joat42   » Fri Jan 08, 2021 9:16 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:The enemy is not going to emerge from hyper. There's no stealth in doing that, since the transition itself is a very bright source. Every sensor in the forts and recon drones is going to pick you up and retain a lock for the duration of your stay.

Consider Oyster Bay where the MAlign spider-ships transitioned from hyper extremely far out and extremely slowly to minimize the hyper-footprint and still it showed up as a "sensor ghost".

Mission of Honor, Chapter 3 wrote:DesDiv 265.2 had been sent to check out what was almost certainly a sensor ghost but which could, just possibly, have been an actual hyper footprint. It was extraordinarily unlikely that anyone would have bothered to make his alpha translation this far out, be his purposes ever so nefarious, since his impeller signature would certainly have been detected long before he could get close enough to the Manticore Binary System to accomplish anything.

---
Jack of all trades and destructive tinkerer.


Anyone who have simple solutions for complex problems is a fool.
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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by Jonathan_S   » Fri Jan 08, 2021 10:43 am

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cthia wrote:Jonathan answered one of my pending questions of whether the enemy can hyper in-system on a bearing directly towards the MWJ from the negative hemisphere. I know ordinarily there shouldn't be anything to prevent this except the limitations of the Resonance Zone (RZ)? But - and probably found only in my warped brain - I would think hypering in on that vector would only be possible if a warship has traveled that route before. I didn't think a ship could find its ass in hyper if its ass hasn't traveled that route before. And I wouldn't think that the MBS would be too quick to share that astrogation data. If so, that data would surely be classified.

You've thrown a spanner in the works stating that Forts would encompass the Junction in a sphere which also defends against any enemy from the negative hemisphere. However, I anticipated that possibility. I just don't see how warships can adjust their astrogation in hyper to pull that off, having never mapped it before. However, for certain that is most likely a matter of my own misunderstanding.

To be clear, I'm not saying the enemy cannot emerge from hyper in the negative hemisphere. But not on a perfect line straight up the X-axis or, for that matter, anywhere in immediate contention of the junction. And if my logic is correct, already hamstrung sensors won't be trained on certain areas.

A few things to remember.
One there's a fair bit of inaccuracy in hyper jumps (we've seen ships miss their aim point by "one-point-three light-minutes" "Call it twenty-three-point-seven million klicks." [EoH]. (admittedly that's on the high side; but even so nobody without an insane amount of luck is going to land directing in line with the backside of an emergence lane.

Two, in addition to the grav lanes themselves the Junction as a whole has a hyper limit, though a small one "For junctions, the limit was, less than a million kilometers" [OBS]. So you're not emerging from hyper within the mirror image volume of an approach/emergence lane - since in the Junction's case those only extend 90,000 km and the hyper limit is probably over 900,000 km.

And three, exiting from hyper produces an detectable grav signal; you can do things to minimize it but even the stealthiest emergency is going to be instantly spotted if your emerging within a few light minutes of the Junction defenses.


Your only hope of getting to your "negative vector" area undetected is to sneak in from light months out (like the OB attackers did) and try to creep through the defenses and active sensors covering every angle around the Junction area. (And the active sensors are overlapping enough I'd be very doubtful that any ship could sneak in - but certainly trying to pop out of hyper close in is going to be immediately seen)
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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by Jonathan_S   » Fri Jan 08, 2021 11:09 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:Forget "hemisphere."

The Junction is a volume of space one light-second in radius in which there exist multiple inbound and outbound lanes. Those lanes are cylindrical in nature and very limited in height. Outside of those lanes, space seems to be normal exactly as outside the volume of the Junction. The only reason it's different from anywhere else in deep space is the Resonance Zone and the fact that some type of gravitic sensor can tell that the Junction is there at all. Moreover, there has been no indication that electromagnetic radiation is affected at all. For all we know, a beam of light going straight down the departure lane passes through the wormhole point and continues on unaffected.

David may still contradict us and say that there are "false lanes" or other types of gravitational anomalies. He may also tell us that some EM radiation is affected in some ways.

He can't say that you can't fire from inside a lane out or outside in, since we know that has been done. So at least graser beams coming and going through the sides of the lane cylinder continue unaffected.

Finally, on hemisphere: there's no indication whatsoever that the departure or arrival lanes are oriented towards the Manticore-A system. They could be all over the place and any course corrections required to reorient would take a handful of seconds for a ship under impellers, so they wouldn't be worthy of notice in the books.
About the only thing we can say about the the arrival lane orientation is that they have no fixed relation to where their wormhole goes. You can't guess even an approximate bearing for the wormhole's destination from where the approach lane is pointing - that came out of the discussions around the Torch wormhole (nothing you can see about the wormhole from the Torch side gives even a hint of which part of the sky to search to find the other end)

That could mean they all point towards the star, or it could mean they all have random orientations.


I think it reasonable to believe that there's enough spurious grav effects in the general junction area to make it infeasible to positively identify an approach lane. Because if you could ID approach lanes out of the general background of the Junction area then there wouldn't be any question about how many termini a Junction might have - you'd see X approach lanes and know that meant there were X termini. (And you'd be able to quickly focus your scans to nail down the transition point and approach - be we know that there were centuries between finding the first few, and finding the most recent, wormholes within Manticore's Junction. So the approach lane for Lynx must be very hard to pick out from the rest of the grav sensor readings in the area if they weren't even 100% sure it existed until well after the start of the series.
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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by kzt   » Fri Jan 08, 2021 5:52 pm

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Joat42 wrote:Also, I'm pretty sure that any grav eddies for a terminus are very local otherwise it should be pretty easy to find and map them and we know from the books that is not the case.

David once replied to a question I poised with essentially "space is very big and the WH are a long way from the planet. So you basically won't stumble across them."

Also the entire area of the WH is weird space. It isn't just a few terminus and the rest is fine. If you try to fly between two terminus with your impellers you'll be destroyed as you enter the WH area. So you are not looking for small distinct areas of weird space, you are looking for particular subtle distortions inside a much larger dangerous chaotic area.
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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by cthia   » Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:03 am

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Two questions.

1. Is the standoff range of laserheads the same when trying to hit ships that are in the transit lane? Ships in the transit lane should be within an area of extreme gravity.

I hesitate agreeing that an extreme cone of gravity won't have any effect on light speed weapons. Extreme gravity attenuates light. At least aiming should be affected. The equation should involve the area of a cone.

2. Certain areas around the junction affects objects with wedges. Why are we assuming the LDs will be affected in the same manner? LDs don't have wedges, plus, LDs seem to have a certain amicable relationship with gravity already.

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 cthia   » Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:51 am

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Joat42 wrote:Chtia, I'm not so sure the alignment of the transition-zone is towards the planet. I'm more inclined to believe it's determined by the local star. I have no textev to support this, but it sounds reasonable since we know that the junctions are created (somehow) by the gravitational interactions between different stars.

Joat, I'm just as inclined to agree with you. Somehow I dismissed the effect of the sun because I thought it was much farther away from the junction than the planet. Therefore, the planet should be responsible for a stronger gravitic relationship with the junction. I am most likely in error. The sun most likely determines the characteristics of the junction. But then, the planet revolves around the sun. And yet, my guess, is that the sun revolves around the junction, as suns revolve around their mysterious Black Holes.

Whichever the case, questions regarding the MWJ arise when the planets in the MBS "align" as perfectly as possible in the plane.

Joat42 wrote:Also, I'm pretty sure that any grav eddies for a terminus are very local otherwise it should be pretty easy to find and map them and we know from the books that is not the case.

Agree. Harvest Joy and others like her give us those facts.

Joat42 wrote:Regardless, an attack through a wormhole at the MWJ is doomed to fail against prepared defenses. Can an attacker inflict enough damage to degrade the defenses? Possibly, but very unlikely.

I agree here too. But with an added caution. I'm questioning the effectiveness of throwing something at them that they are NOT prepared for, because it is an unorthodox attack. An unorthodox attack carrying with it the element of surprise. Dealt out by an unprecedented foe with non-traditional weaponry and tactics.

Joat42 wrote:Can a traditional attack launched from outside the system succeed? Probably, but the amount of resources you need to accomplish it would be in the extreme.

Surprise can help decrease the amount of resources needed. A successful unorthodox attack can decrease the amount of resources needed as well. See Honor at Cerberus.

Joat42 wrote:If we are speculating and if consider the MO of the MAlign it's more likely they would attack the system using some kind subterfuge and/or spoiling attacks, for example managing to smuggle bombs onto the forts.

Indeed, subterfuge is a hallmark of the MA. Smuggling bombs aboard Forts. Releasing nanites aboard Forts, and or catching them out of position - perhaps as a result of obtaining classified information involving their movement orders and schedules which are ever cycling in fresh Forts.

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 Jonathan_S   » Sat Jan 09, 2021 1:13 pm

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cthia wrote:Joat, I'm just as inclined to agree with you. Somehow I dismissed the effect of the sun because I thought it was much farther away from the junction than the planet. Therefore, the planet should be responsible for a stronger gravitic relationship with the junction. I am most likely in error. The sun most likely determines the characteristics of the junction. But then, the planet revolves around the sun. And yet, my guess, is that the sun revolves around the junction, as suns revolve around their mysterious Black Holes.

Whichever the case, questions regarding the MWJ arise when the planets in the MBS "align" as perfectly as possible in the plane.

The sun should have a much larger impact - its almost as close and many many times more massive. The MWJ is 7 light hours from Manticore A (~ 7.6 billion km - or about as far out as Pluto's apogee). The planet Manticore, depending on where it is in its orbit is, varies between 2.7% closer or further from the MWJ than its star. (Sphinx being in a more distant orbit is +/- 5% closer than the star - so part of the time closer to the Junction than Manticore, and part of the time further)

We do know planets pass (roughly) between the star and the junction during their orbit. That's what brings them into and out of the RZ. And we know Sphynx had been in the RZ until just before the battle of manticore.

And Manticore A and B orbit each other - they definitely do not orbit the MWJ. It's not a black hole or anything like one. (Which means at times the junction would presumably end up between the stars, since I assume the stars and their planets share an orbital plane (from a common accretion disc) and we know Manticore-A's planets are roughly coplanar with the junction)


Also while the junction does has some very localized destructive "grav turbulence", which interferes catastrophically with wedges and destroyed things not under sail (very like a grav wave), based on its hyper limit it seems its actual mass must be much less than a gas giant. I say that because the gas giant Urial, which the Blackbird yards orbit, has a hyper limit over 90 times larger than the MWJ (5 lightminutes vs less than a million km). If the junction had even Jupiter's mass that mass would create a hyper limit several tens of times larger than we know it to actually be.

(As an aside, it's possible that the hyper limit of a junction/wormhole is larger that the local mass would create - but I can't see how it could be smaller. So the small hyper limit size puts a cap on the possible mass present in that area)
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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Sat Jan 09, 2021 4:52 pm

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cthia wrote:Two questions.

1. Is the standoff range of laserheads the same when trying to hit ships that are in the transit lane? Ships in the transit lane should be within an area of extreme gravity.

I hesitate agreeing that an extreme cone of gravity won't have any effect on light speed weapons. Extreme gravity attenuates light. At least aiming should be affected. The equation should involve the area of a cone.


We don't know for sure. Indeed a grav distortion could blur a target such that it is much harder to pinpoint it in order to get a perfect shot. But I don't think that once fired, the graser beam will attenuate more than a negligible amount. If it did, the whole departure lane would be a major hazard to anything.

Which it might be, because:

2. Certain areas around the junction affects objects with wedges. Why are we assuming the LDs will be affected in the same manner? LDs don't have wedges, plus, LDs seem to have a certain amicable relationship with gravity already.


We also don't know that they don't. There's not enough information to speculate how the WH affects a spider. Or a ship not under power, for that matter.

The closest thing to a WH that we know of is a grav wave, which is known to destroy ships even without wedges. Hyperspace navigation was hazardous enough before the invention of the impeller and even if it hadn't been, it would be a safe solution to shut down one's impellers once the the ship is up to cruising speed in hyper. Since that wasn't the case, we must conclude that even unpowered ships will be destroyed by grav waves. They need a Warshawski Sail.

If the same is true of a WH, and I think it is, then an LD wouldn't be able to enter the departure or arrival lanes of the MWHJ without getting destroyed.

Not that I can think of a reason why it would want to. Why would anyone want to bring a ship to within 50,000 km of the target, risking detection, if they can fire from much further out? It can sit at the edge of the Junction hyperlimit and launch graser torpedoes.

I agree here too. But with an added caution. I'm questioning the effectiveness of throwing something at them that they are NOT prepared for, because it is an unorthodox attack. An unorthodox attack carrying with it the element of surprise. Dealt out by an unprecedented foe with non-traditional weaponry and tactics.


Maybe that would be, but your attack, as described, is exactly what the forts are designed to defend against. As previously stated, defence from attack through the wormhole is not that difficult compared to defence against a determined attack via hyper. It's this latter type of attack that the Junction defences are designed for.

An attack using LDs is not very different from an attack using conventional ships. After the Yawata Strike, it's likely some forts always have their bubble walls up at any point in time while others stand down for maintenance and cargo transfers. Two forts controlling shoals of mines and system defence missiles are more than enough fend off any enemy that doesn't have GA technology. And probably a significant portion of the GF too.

And an attack on the ships making transit is going to be a PR headache, but is not going to degrade the forts' capabilities in any way and is only going to increase their standard readiness state.

But an attack on the warehouses would be an economic disaster. The only problem is that it would piss off everyone, not just Manticore.
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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by kzt   » Sat Jan 09, 2021 8:06 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:But an attack on the warehouses would be an economic disaster. The only problem is that it would piss off everyone, not just Manticore.

You know, the purpose of a warehouse is to store cargo. Like cargo containers. Like say cargo containers with grav implosion bomb in them?

So you don't need a battle fleet to take out the infrastructure. You need a credit card.
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