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Wormhole Assault: MA Style

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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by Jonathan_S   » Sat Jan 16, 2021 9:38 am

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Jonathan_S wrote:So, like a couple earlier posts said, the ships are not carrying any significant velocity through - and in the 4.5 minutes we're told it takes a warship to clear emergence zone they simply don't build up all that much new velocity. So there'd be no significant delay even if an emergence zone pointed directly away from rest of the system.

Random follow-up thought.

Ships transit at such low velocities there's been no reason for RFC to mention it, but I wonder if a wormhole transit bleeds off energy and velocity like cracking a hyper wall does.

(If going through the Junction simply mirrored entering then exiting Alpha then the ship's initial velocity would be reduced by 99.36% - which would really make residual exit velocity irrelevant)
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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Sat Jan 16, 2021 1:11 pm

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cthia wrote:A bit-o-tid, or tidbit if you prefer. It has to be one or the other as far as the orientation of the positive hemisphere of the junction. One of the reasons why I thought that the orientation is towards the planet is giving storyline the benefit of the doubt. In an emergency maneuver - like when Honor was charging to the termini at Trevor's Star - it would eat up a lot of time if Eighth Fleet had to first kill the velocity of that hard charge to the junction, in addition to the lanes being inconveniently located in the negative hemisphere. Imagine hauling ass and driving hard to the safety of a government complex or your garage. But instead of being able to drive right in, you have to maneuver around behind the house, then enter. Then you must either enter by swinging wide to make the turns, or choose a maneuver that involves killing accel completely, then reversing course. You've got to kill that accel.


See Jonathan's reply right above.

The analogy would be more like whether you parked your car backwards or forwards when starting a 3-hour drive. The time it takes to reverse is negligible compared to the whole trip.

A plea to ThinksMarkedly
Why exactly do you subscribe to the belief that the LDs stealth has a limitation of one light second? Manticoran drones don't have that same limitation, and MA stealth is a cut above. Sure, the LDs are huge. But so is the jungle they're hiding in.


Textev.

We are told that the MAN sensors could not locate a Shark at one-light-second distance, even knowing it was there.

I admit there are several assumptions built into what is not said:
  • does it mean that under 1 light-second, they could locate it? What was the threshold of detection?
  • were those active sensors or just passive?
  • we don't really know how good the MAN sensors are compared to state-of-the-art GA tech. We only have the MAlign's word for it and they have to be making assumptions based on classified GA tech.

I assume that gravitic sensors are always passive and that's also the only FTL type of sensor that there is. At least until David comes up with a "gradar" and that wouldn't be too far-fetched. But radar and lidar are active sensors, even if limited by light-speed. The stealth, as described, is mostly against passive detection (black, shines background through) even if they have some active countermeasures (low reflectivity).

Another thing to consider is what happens when you have multiple platforms attempting to detect. With a group of Ghost Riders plus the ships themselves, the resolution should increase. If nothing else, the tiny blips that the stealth could not correct will add up and could pass the threshold of detection.

So I put my money on the good guys saying that against a determined defender, relying stealth under 1 million km (3.3 light-seconds) is reckless and under 1 light-second is suicide.

Forts
Are forts completely invulnerable to 3 second graser torps? Or to any kind of massed attack that an enemy ship like the stealth of an LD may be able to deliver, up close and personal?


We don't know. A 3-second graser beam is likely very powerful, but we simply don't know how they fare against sidewalls at all. All we know is that quantity works against sidewalls, not duration. I expect that 3 seconds would be enough to burn through any ship's sidewall, though.

Against a fort, it becomes unknown again, since these are likely the Galaxy's strongest walls. We are talking about a full fort's power generation being used for nothing but those walls at the time of the attack.

Another question: just how many torpedoes can the MAN deliver to the scene of the action? If you're right and there are only certain possible angles to manoeuvre a ship or a torpedo through, then one single torpedo can't position itself to hit two or more targets with a little deflection. That would mean one torpedo per fort.

Energy Platforms about junction
I'm not too concerned about those energy platforms. They are immobile. Sitting ducks. All of those platforms will go bye-bye simultaneously, inspired by Kzt's flaming datums.


I don't think they're either immobile or sitting ducks. They have thrusters. But they aren't likely to be evading before the attack.

The two problems you have making them go bye-bye are the fact that they are stealthed in their own right and the sheer quantity of them. To disable that many, you need a volume-effect warhead like a nuclear detonation. That means getting close, in the middle of it. Missiles can do that, but missiles can be seen before they arrive. A stealth payload runs the risk of being detected.

Moreover, you need multiple such warheads, more than a hundred at least, probably closer to a thousand. The chances of detection go up with the the number of vehicles and the attacker needs the stealth to work every time. A single detection would put the defenders in high alert. Also, the more warheads you have, the more the chances that some of them will fail to accomplish the goals, thus leaving energy weapon emplacements left.

And all of this needs to basically happen in the same 100 ms timeslice. You can't launch missiles at the weapons after the attack has begun, because then they will be evading and will have point defence active. You can't open up with taking out the energy weapons either because then the forts will bring up their defences.

The Lethality of the Lenny Dets
One very serious caution I feel I must issue regarding the LDs. We must not take their lethality for granted, as it appears most of you are doing. Sure, LDs may be eggshells in general. But we don't know what kind of ECM she has either. Like AF One shitting out flares at a phenomenal rate. But more than that, I must stress again that I don't think you can afford to let something that big set up housekeeping on your front lawn. It is a fair trade of metal if the MA loses an LD which manages to take out a third or more of the forts, warships waiting to transit, and energy platforms. Let alone what several of these LDs can do operating as part of a Wolfpack.

Do consider that of any foe that has ever fought in the HV, the MA must take "short victorious war" to a whole new level. Sure, the MA will not want to lose a single LD, but if an LD's sacrifice is worth it. Game on. When the MA attacks, they will be looking to be decisive. There is no tomorrow for the enemy. Losing two or even three LDs for the price of the MWJ and hopefully an unsuspecting GA fleet, is acceptable.


We are not taking the LDs lethality for granted. We're actually questioning that lethality because it doesn't make sense. It's not a way to conduct a successful war.

The MAlign may be attempting a Short Victorious War, but they can't count on it. They must have a backup plan in case Plan A doesn't work. There needs to be something more. All the tactics we've discussed so far, including in this thread, plus the conduct of the war, right now they depend on everything going right for the MAlign. A single detection throws off an attack. A single system throwing off an attack represents an unacceptable threat. And a single breakthrough in scanning negates the entire effectiveness of the LD and the spider drive.
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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by Jonathan_S   » Sat Jan 16, 2021 5:32 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
Forts
Are forts completely invulnerable to 3 second graser torps? Or to any kind of massed attack that an enemy ship like the stealth of an LD may be able to deliver, up close and personal?


We don't know. A 3-second graser beam is likely very powerful, but we simply don't know how they fare against sidewalls at all. All we know is that quantity works against sidewalls, not duration. I expect that 3 seconds would be enough to burn through any ship's sidewall, though.

Against a fort, it becomes unknown again, since these are likely the Galaxy's strongest walls. We are talking about a full fort's power generation being used for nothing but those walls at the time of the attack.

Another question: just how many torpedoes can the MAN deliver to the scene of the action? If you're right and there are only certain possible angles to manoeuvre a ship or a torpedo through, then one single torpedo can't position itself to hit two or more targets with a little deflection. That would mean one torpedo per fort.

I think it's pretty safe to say that a fort's sidewall isn't invulnerable to a graser torp - at least when fired from close range. (For whatever reason energy weapons seem to lose effectivness against sidewalls relatively short increases in range).

Still, Forts aren't presented as being invulnerable to capital laserhead fire and the graser torps are more powerful that that:
Mission of Honor wrote:the torpedo’s graser wasn’t remotely comparable to that of the weapon mounted by current-generation Shrikes, yet it was more powerful than any single bomb-pumped laser head.
[...]

its long-range hit probability was significantly higher on a per-beam basis than anything short of Apollo itself.
[...]

a bomb-pulsed laser had a burst endurance of barely five thousandths of a second; a laser torpedo’s graser’s endurance was a full three seconds . . . ​and it had a burn-through range against most sidewalls of over fifty thousand kilometers.

Mind you the current IAN, GSN, and RMN navy laserheads also have burn-through ranges of fifty thousand kilometers. So the graser sounds like it has only a slight edge there (otherwise the quote would have said "sixty" or "seventy" thousand)

All that makes the torp's graser equivalent to no more than a CA's graser - which would do nearly nothing to an SD's sidewall at 500,000 km. But it is stronger than a a capital missile's laserhead - which will burn-through sidewall and damage an SD at 30-50,000 km (it was only during WoH that we saw some navies' laserhead standoff ranges improve to 50,000 km)

Still, while forts are invulnerable to laserheads, it does probably takes at least a few hundred hits from them to take one out through its sidewall. I serioualy doubt the torp's graser is hundreds of times more powerful than a laserhead, so my WAG is that you probably need at least 50 hits to seriously cripple or kill a modern fort with its sidewall up.

So, as you said, it seem to come down to how many torps the MAlign can bring to bear. We do know that 50 torps is a lot more that a Shark was Mcguvered up to carry; but we don't have any data on how many torps are in a Lenny Det's magazines; in addition to its missile pods.



(Incidentally if you were exceptionally lucky you'd catch a fort that decided it needed to reposition. To do that it has to switch from the full coverage bubble sidewall to a wedge with conventional sidewalls, and as it has lower accel than the graser torp you might well be able to sneak some torps undetected into position to bypass the sidewalls with a down the throat or up the kilt shot. That'd be vastly more damaging than trying to damage it through its bubble wall)
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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Sat Jan 16, 2021 7:08 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:I think it's pretty safe to say that a fort's sidewall isn't invulnerable to a graser torp - at least when fired from close range. (For whatever reason energy weapons seem to lose effectivness against sidewalls relatively short increases in range).


I'm not saying it's invulnerable. I'm saying we don't know what exactly makes a burn-through of a sidewall. Is it a single graser? Or is it a combination of multiple beams?

Mission of Honor wrote:a bomb-pulsed laser had a burst endurance of barely five thousandths of a second; a laser torpedo’s graser’s endurance was a full three seconds . . . ​and it had a burn-through range against most sidewalls of over fifty thousand kilometers.


That's 600x the duration but is that 600x the energy? It could be 1x the energy, with a 1/600th of the power. The likeliest energy is that it is delivers more total energy than a laserhead missile, but with less power at any instant. Whether that can penetrate a bubblewall, we'll need some celery to answer.

Still, while forts are invulnerable to laserheads, it does probably takes at least a few hundred hits from them to take one out through its sidewall. I serioualy doubt the torp's graser is hundreds of times more powerful than a laserhead, so my WAG is that you probably need at least 50 hits to seriously cripple or kill a modern fort with its sidewall up.

So, as you said, it seem to come down to how many torps the MAlign can bring to bear. We do know that 50 torps is a lot more that a Shark was Mcguvered up to carry; but we don't have any data on how many torps are in a Lenny Det's magazines; in addition to its missile pods.


The wall failure is probably a function of both power and energy. An analogy analogy can be that of heating: to get water to boil, you need to deliver a certain amount of energy to the mass. You can deliver it over a long or short period of time, but it can't be so long that the power you're delivering is less than the heat dissipation.

Let's say a single graser torp can deliver 50x the energy of a missile. So one graser torp delivers the same energy as 50 missiles do. However, since the beam lasts 600x longer, the power of the torpedo is actually 1/12th of each missile, much less of 50 missiles striking at roughly the same time. Is that enough to burn through?

So I expect that a single torpedo per fort with bubblewall up is insufficient. If nothing else, the MAlign can't afford to come up short. Until they have data, they have to go for overkill.

(Incidentally if you were exceptionally lucky you'd catch a fort that decided it needed to reposition. To do that it has to switch from the full coverage bubble sidewall to a wedge with conventional sidewalls, and as it has lower accel than the graser torp you might well be able to sneak some torps undetected into position to bypass the sidewalls with a down the throat or up the kilt shot. That'd be vastly more damaging than trying to damage it through its bubble wall)


Sorry, that makes no sense. Bubblewalls are skin tight to the fort (tens of km away from the surface, at most). There's just no way you can park a torpedo at that range and not be noticed.

Planning an attack for when one single fort decides to reposition isn't smart. To do that, the torpedoes would need to be on-station for a long period of time, awaiting the opportunity. The longer they wait, the longer the chance of random detection that negates the entire plan.
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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by Theemile   » Sat Jan 16, 2021 9:12 pm

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Grasers and Lasers...

And Sidewalls...

Sidewalls are said to Obscure the target behind the sidewalls and bend and diffuse the beam of a laser or graser. Any single beam might be bent away from a target, missing it entirely independent of energy spent, and shots that do hit are diffused, so their energy is spread over a larger area, slowly eating through the armor layers. In the latter case, a more powerful laser, or one that is held on target longer, will do more damage.

Traditionally, many smaller energy weapons were used to spread fire along the probable volume a ship might be in inside the wedge (given that a ship has to have a certain spatial relationship with the wedge to attain a certain acceleration efficiency.) Fewer, larger weapons are mounted on modern combatants knowing that sidewalls and ECM will be attrited as opponents approach under heavy laser head missile fire, allowing modern sensors, who have been analyzing the opposition ECM for the better part of an Hour or more, to better see where a target is actually at.

Against a fresh target, with no damage and full ECM, determining it's location under a sidewall reverts to the problematical probability of tradition - no matter how powerful, you need numbers to defeat the target.

As for the Graser Torp size, remember, A smallish DN sized Shark could not carry one in it's pod bay - they are larger then a 10 missile missile pod. Each Shark could only carry 2-3 in modified external racks. (actually, the Sharks carried "double" pods - one bolt on pod held extra capacitors and shielding to protect the missile pods as they spent months coasting through the system. So each Graser torp is bigger than 2 missile pods.

It still doesn't speak to how many a LD carries, just the difficulty to do so in great number along with a sizeable pod bay.
******
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 Jonathan_S   » Sat Jan 16, 2021 10:43 pm

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Mission of Honor wrote:a bomb-pulsed laser had a burst endurance of barely five thousandths of a second; a laser torpedo’s graser’s endurance was a full three seconds . . . ​and it had a burn-through range against most sidewalls of over fifty thousand kilometers.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:
That's 600x the duration but is that 600x the energy? It could be 1x the energy, with a 1/600th of the power. The likeliest energy is that it is delivers more total energy than a laserhead missile, but with less power at any instant. Whether that can penetrate a bubblewall, we'll need some celery to answer.
I guess RFC could declare that a fort's bubble sidewall was invulnerable to a graser torp. But since he did clearly say in the text that the torps graser could burn-through most sidewall at (somewhat) over 50,000 km I seriously doubt he'd say they couldn't burn through a fort's.
(At most I could see them having to close up a bit, down to say 40 or even 30 thousand km)


Sorry, that makes no sense. Bubblewalls are skin tight to the fort (tens of km away from the surface, at most). There's just no way you can park a torpedo at that range and not be noticed.

Planning an attack for when one single fort decides to reposition isn't smart. To do that, the torpedoes would need to be on-station for a long period of time, awaiting the opportunity. The longer they wait, the longer the chance of random detection that negates the entire plan.
I did NOT say you'd plan for it - nor that you could reasonably hope for it to occur when you were trying to attack. No sane plan relies on being "exceptionally lucky" for its success.


I mostly making a tangential observation about an exceedingly unlikely situation; and the theoretical vulnerability it entails.

Though I don't know what the closeness of the bubble sidewall to to fort has to do with this - since I'm discussing a situation where the bubble sidewall can't be used (it is incompatible with the wedge - which is why RFC said forts also have normal sidewalls; for use when they do need to use their wedge)
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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by kzt   » Sat Jan 16, 2021 11:48 pm

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In terms of penetrating bubble fields, well, we have never heard anything more detailed than:
1) they exist
2) You can use then in grav waves (How this works??)
3) They are very large, and are a problem to fit even when you are dealing with a massive ship that has lots of space.
4) Forts have them.
5) The destroyed stations had them.
7) They are extremely rare outside of forts and military stations.
6) It's perfectly feasible to fit them on a LD.

How effective they are is very unclear. How effective they are compared to a sidewall is very unclear. How big the field is or can be is unclear.

For that matter, how effective a sidewall is against a CA class graser vs a CA class x-ray head is not at all clear.
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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by Jonathan_S   » Sun Jan 17, 2021 12:56 am

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kzt wrote:In terms of penetrating bubble fields, well, we have never heard anything more detailed than:
1) they exist
2) You can use then in grav waves (How this works??)
3) They are very large, and are a problem to fit even when you are dealing with a massive ship that has lots of space.
4) Forts have them.
5) The destroyed stations had them.
7) They are extremely rare outside of forts and military stations.
6) It's perfectly feasible to fit them on a LD.

How effective they are is very unclear. How effective they are compared to a sidewall is very unclear. How big the field is or can be is unclear.

For that matter, how effective a sidewall is against a CA class graser vs a CA class x-ray head is not at all clear.

8) An LD's spider drive wouldn't be able to operate through them.
9) [bonus fun fact] Manticore can't generate a sidewall bubble around a moon eight thousand kilometers in diameter [HotQ] :D
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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by kzt   » Sun Jan 17, 2021 3:09 am

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Jonathan_S wrote:
kzt wrote:In terms of penetrating bubble fields, well, we have never heard anything more detailed than:
1) they exist
2) You can use then in grav waves (How this works??)
3) They are very large, and are a problem to fit even when you are dealing with a massive ship that has lots of space.
4) Forts have them.
5) The destroyed stations had them.
7) They are extremely rare outside of forts and military stations.
6) It's perfectly feasible to fit them on a LD.

How effective they are is very unclear. How effective they are compared to a sidewall is very unclear. How big the field is or can be is unclear.

For that matter, how effective a sidewall is against a CA class graser vs a CA class x-ray head is not at all clear.

8) An LD's spider drive wouldn't be able to operate through them.
9) [bonus fun fact] Manticore can't generate a sidewall bubble around a moon eight thousand kilometers in diameter [HotQ] :D

True.

But still, not a lot.

And writing this up I'm still confused about how a sail is supposed to project through a bubble field. Because it has to to allow the bubble to work in a grav wave for more than a few milliseconds.
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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by cthia   » Sun Jan 17, 2021 2:24 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:
Jonathan_S wrote:So, like a couple earlier posts said, the ships are not carrying any significant velocity through - and in the 4.5 minutes we're told it takes a warship to clear emergence zone they simply don't build up all that much new velocity. So there'd be no significant delay even if an emergence zone pointed directly away from rest of the system.

Random follow-up thought.

Ships transit at such low velocities there's been no reason for RFC to mention it, but I wonder if a wormhole transit bleeds off energy and velocity like cracking a hyper wall does.

(If going through the Junction simply mirrored entering then exiting Alpha then the ship's initial velocity would be reduced by 99.36% - which would really make residual exit velocity irrelevant)

I see your point, and enthusiastically yield. It is probably better that way anyhow. When ships are being packed in like sardines, Stephania Grimm's job would be nearly impossible with high velocity exits. It would be difficult for a ship not to run up someone's bum. It seems as if the junction gives a new meaning to tailgating.

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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