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Wormhole Assault: MA Style

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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by cthia   » Sun Jan 17, 2021 3:04 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:
cthia wrote:At any rate, if I am correct, it doesn't change the fact the RMN doesn't expect any targeting problems, applied to the norm. No mere enemy is supposed to be able to get close enough to hide behind the junction.

I'm not actually sure "the junction" is a single point you can hide behind.

I can't recall anything in the books that says whether or not the (now) 7 links to remote termini are colocated together in a giant blob (just with slightly different approach vectors) or if they might be thousands of km apart just all loosely grouped within the general area called the junction.

I'm not sure either Jonathan, but it is fairly certain that that question needs to be answered. Like you say, it could just as easily be several distinct points. But if so, it gives the possible unorthodox tactic a familiar meaning. Remember the old arcade game Space Invaders? The LDs may be able to move across a vector achieving purchase and hiding behind various junction points... "backdoors." They can slide in and out like the ship in Space Invaders and shoot down corridors that may exist between "grav cones."

Jonaghan_S wrote:Modern forts are going to be hanging back a fair ways from the emergence point(s), so they have distance to bring their missile pods and LACs to bearleaving energy weapon fire to mines and remote energy platforms, rather than exposing themselves to energy weapons fire from anybody suicidal enough to make a hostile transit. And they're going to be above, below, and on all side of the emergence point(s). So it seems to me that even if we have a single giant "blob" of emergence points and grav shear the terminus will be covering only a few of degrees of sky from each fort - so even if the fort(s) directly on a given side of it are destroyed I think any "blind spot" where one or another of the remaining forts can't see (without looking through the terminus area) would be both very small and very close to the terminus. And of course the remaining forts (and the LACs stationed on them) can arc recon drones around the terminus to get a better look.

Your reasoning is solid, but assuming. First off, those LACs may find a hard time launching in a sea of invisible killer whales. Those recon drones may be destroyed mimicking the same tactic the Manties dealt their foe. And, those drones still have to locate the LD.

Jonathan_S wrote:And if the 7 termini are actually scattered around then presumably each one would be smaller, and the first shell of forts around each provide even more lines of sight around the others.

It would seem difficult to both station forts around each termini and also at a standoff range away from energy fire.

Plus, I'm not so sure about the whole separation thing. All several termini have to be close enough together that it continues to be considered as a "single" junction. Instead of a junction and an extra termini. This "area" is the MWJ.

The area an LD can hide behind would be quite large compared to an LD, if the LD is hugging it like a tree in the forest for cover. Each point has to be able to stack a gaggle of ships in the transit hemisphere a certain distance apart. That's a fair sized wall for an invisible LD to use as a shield. So, it would seem to make the situation even worse for the GA by supplying seven purchase points. Trenches in space.

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   » Sun Jan 17, 2021 3:27 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
Joat42 wrote:This is something that has bugged me for a very long time. How are the termini situated?

If they are relatively close and considering the amount of traffic passing through the junction, I find it amazing that a ship didn't pass through the 7th termini by accident before it was discovered. Unless of course, the traffic patterns decided by the other termini's lanes steered ships past the 7th termini.

Considering the textev from when they where hunting for the 7th termini, it seems that the termini are quite far apart.


Speculation: there are more gravity shear zones in the Junction volume that are not termini. Those are well mapped and the ships follow routes around them. They don't have to be precise for this, just "avoid this sphere of 50,000 km radius."

Any ship that ignores those warnings gets Darwin Awards, so they're not likely to either.

Harvest Joy's job was to wander into those areas very cautiously to figure out if the shear was a terminus and, if so, what the correct vector for transiting was.

Also, given that an outbound transit told it how to return, it stands to reason the outbound and arrival lanes are highly correlated, even if not back-to-back.


Theemile wrote:It could also be that the emergence lanes are more "active" after a ship has emerged - The wormhole has to dump all that energy somewhere - it could be that part of the disturbance locking down the junction is an increase in the gravity turbulence for a period of time corresponding with the mass transited. Not necessarily that the wormhole cannot be used (ie cannot make a connection to the far side) - but the turbulence makes it unusable.

If this is a case, under fallow conditions, the lanes are no more than a speed bump of turbulance - there, but not ship killing shoals. However, once the wormhole has been activated, the gravity in those becomes a roaring monster until the wormhole has settled back down to it's resting energy level.

Add this to the random grav spikes that surround the area, this would make actually finding the lanes of a sleeping giant like finding the pattern in the potholes of a badly maintained parking lot.

Interesting Theemile. I imagined something similar a salmon or two upstream when we were pondering whether or not the junction has mass. The junction's mass-like influence could actually increase when the junction is active, right down to the size of the transit deciding the amount of the effect. If so, the maximum size transit that shuts the junction down would exert significantly more gravitational effect.

Question:
When ships are in a holding pattern while sitting in the transit lane, aren't they affected by the grav waves in the turbulent rapids? Are thrusters constantly firing?

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   » Sun Jan 17, 2021 8:37 pm

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cthia wrote:Question:
When ships are in a holding pattern while sitting in the transit lane, aren't they affected by the grav waves in the turbulent rapids? Are thrusters constantly firing?

Well ships wouldn't be sitting in the transit lane. The holding area are well back from that - which is why they can be policed by pinnaces (such as when Fearless's detachment supported Basilisk Astro Control back in OBS). Pinnaces could police ships in the transit lane because you need sails to survive there and pinnaces don't carry sails.

Under common operation there probably aren't multiple ships in a given transit lane at the same time. RFC was talking about emergence lanes, not departure lanes, when he said the ones at the Junction took 4.5 minutes to traverse. But I doubt the departure lanes take any longer. (I swear there's a description RFC provided about the holding areas - but I'm not quickly finding it).

Certainly in OBS when Fearless first transits to Basilisk she watches the freighter ahead of her in line transit, her transit queue position updates to 1, and only then does she move forward and prepare to convert to sails. So Fearless must not have been in the departure lane yet when the previous ship transited. (Though the narrative eludes over the elapsed time between sails being completely rigged and the transit)

Of course OBS also mentions that the Junction was averaging a ship ever 3 minutes - and that would have been split among its 6 then known termini. So it would seem usually ACS would have no need to let ships crowd each other.


You'd only need 2 ships in the same departure lane simultaneously if you had reduced the interval between ships headed there to below 4.5 minutes. And I get the impression that, even now almost 2 decades later, Junction traffic rarely justifies crowding ships like that.

That said, certainly some of the military transits crowded it closer. White Haven racing from Trevor's Star to Basilisk comes to mind; as does 3rd and 8th fleets racing back to the Battle of Manticore. (The later of course topped off by the final bits of 8th fleet pulling off the only simultaneous transit we've seen)
So it's a fair question to ask if there's any extra turbulence they experienced. And, we just don't know.

All I can say is:
1) Any turbulence those warships might have experienced wasn't worth RFC mentioning; either as a risk or an experience.
2) We're told that Astro Control minimum allowed interval between ships is 1 minute - and they didn't say that was only for warships. That hints that freighters would also be able to stand up to any extra turbulence from transits.

So make of it what you will.
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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by Jonathan_S   » Sun Jan 17, 2021 8:38 pm

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BTW, there's also a brief description in OBS Ch 5 of a freighter making a connecting transit at the Junction.
On Basilisk Station wrote:sails reconfigured into impeller stress bands, and the freighter slowly gathered way, accelerating out of the nexus while it cleared its final destination with Junction Central and requested insertion into the proper outbound lane to continue its voyage.

However, similar to Fearless's departure transit in that same book, the time it took to clear the arrival transit lan was eluded over in the description. That's something RFC explained elsewhere later.
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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by Joat42   » Wed Jan 20, 2021 6:48 am

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kzt wrote: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.

You don't actually need the sails when you already are in a grav wave, just like you don't need an engine running if you are just coasting.

---
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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by cthia   » Wed Jan 20, 2021 6:54 am

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Joat42 wrote:
kzt wrote: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.

You don't actually need the sails when you already are in a grav wave, just like you don't need an engine running if you are just coasting.

Joat, I was wondering about that quite some time ago. Just like a sailboat, if there are no sails in the wind and waves, how does one control the boat? Likewise, how does a warship go back and forth between bands or cross hyper walls? Like a wet navy, the adjustments of the sails is responsible for the speed increase. No?

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 Joat42   » Wed Jan 20, 2021 7:17 am

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Joat42 wrote:
kzt wrote: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.

You don't actually need the sails when you already are in a grav wave, just like you don't need an engine running if you are just coasting.

cthia wrote:Joat, I was wondering about that quite some time ago. Just like a sailboat, if there are no sails in the wind and waves, how does one control the boat? Likewise, how does a warship go back and forth between bands or cross hyper walls? Like a wet navy, the adjustments of the sails is responsible for the speed increase. No?

Exactly. Although, if I remember correctly, the ability to move between bands is why ships have a hyper-generator.

---
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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by Jonathan_S   » Wed Jan 20, 2021 10:40 am

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Joat42 wrote:
kzt wrote: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.

You don't actually need the sails when you already are in a grav wave, just like you don't need an engine running if you are just coasting.

Pretty sure that's incorrect - and you do need a sail to survive in a grav wave.
Short Victorious War wrote:They'll open their broadsides to bring every beam they can to bear, and they'll go for our forward alpha nodes. If they take out even one, our own foresail will go down, and this deep into a grav wave—"
He didn't have to complete the sentence. With no forward sail to balance her after sail, it was impossible for any starship to maneuver in a grav wave. They would be trapped on the same vector, at the same velocity. They couldn't even drop out of hyper, because they couldn't control their translation attitude until and unless they could make repairs, and even the tiniest patch of turbulence would tear them apart. Which meant the loss of a single sail would cost Reichman at least two ships, because any ship which lost a sail would have to be towed clear of the wave on a consort's tractors.
If it's that dangerous to have only a single sail I'm pretty sure that having no sails is an almost immediate death sentence.

And we also know that the early reaction powered hyper exploration ships were usually destroyed if they even brushed the periphery of a grav wave. Also you apparently can't even use reaction thruster small craft within a wave (hence why Honor wasn't able to transfer back to her convoy flagship before HMS Prince Adrian scouted ahead into the system where she was captured) - but if a sail wasn't necessary while the ships were coasting at max velocity then you'd expect small craft to be usable (as long as they avoided using a wedge)


But losing a sail isn't like on a sailboat on a calm lake where it's just an annoyance and you still float there just fine. A grav wave seem more analogous a tall ship caught at sea in a major storm - lose your sails and you can't maintain headway nor keep your bow into the waves. (And so you're very likey to get capsized and sunk by the storm)
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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by Joat42   » Wed Jan 20, 2021 11:14 am

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Jonathan_S wrote:
Joat42 wrote:You don't actually need the sails when you already are in a grav wave, just like you don't need an engine running if you are just coasting.

Pretty sure that's incorrect - and you do need a sail to survive in a grav wave.

You read too much into my comment. I never said it was a good idea to coast along in a grav wave without sails, I just said it's possible. Sails isn't technically a prerequisite to travel along a grav wave after you entered it, but it is if you want to survive the experience. Just like being in a sail-boat in the high-seas, without sails you are SOL if you run into a squall but until then you'll be just fine (relatively speaking).

---
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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Wed Jan 20, 2021 1:31 pm

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Joat42 wrote:You read too much into my comment. I never said it was a good idea to coast along in a grav wave without sails, I just said it's possible. Sails isn't technically a prerequisite to travel along a grav wave after you entered it, but it is if you want to survive the experience. Just like being in a sail-boat in the high-seas, without sails you are SOL if you run into a squall but until then you'll be just fine (relatively speaking).


Another point is that grav waves only exist in hyperspace. You don't need a sail in normal space where a grav wave exists if you don't use your hypergenerators.

Transiting a wormhole does use the hypergenerators and sails are necessary. The question is whether the sails are necessary even if you don't use the generator. That is, can you enter the outbound lane without sails (and without impellers) and coast through?

I don't see a reason why not. But we haven't been told either way.

If this is possible, though, a missile can enter a departure or arrival lane, so long as it shuts down its impeller before doing so. It can therefore get closer to the ship it's going to attack before firing its payload. I guess this isn't done because, without its impellers, the missiles are sitting ducks ("coasting ducks" ?) for point defence. And I don't suppose the RMN is in the habit of keeping rocket-powered missiles for this purpose and that's even assuming they'd have any better performance...
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