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Attacking Darius:

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Re: Attacking Darius:
Post by Jonathan_S   » Wed Sep 22, 2021 3:52 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
cthia wrote:It occurred to me that the GA will not have the benefit of the Mycroft platforms when attacking Darius. And the Keyhole platforms might be eliminated as well. Aren't they just as vulnerable?


Yes and no. We know Keyhole II has ECM, PDLC clusters and can fire CMs. We know that because they contribute to the mothership's defence.

Also the Keyhole II platforms, once deployed, are tethered (via tractor beams) to their mothership (though IIRC at a couple thousand km away). And of course when not deployed they're slotted into their semi-recessed cradles along the flanks of the SD(P).


The good news, for the MAlign, is that this drastically limited the search area -- you presumably know pretty well where the SD(P)s are and so you know their Keyhole IIs are nearby.

The bad news, for the MAlign, is that there are a lot of them (2 per SD(P); plus any replacement spares the fleet train might have brought) and those SD(P)s may be swanning around the Darius system at nearly 3 times the best acceleration a graser torp (or presumably Silver Bullet) can produce.

The MAlign presumably won't have the weeks it took to sniff out the location of all the Mycroft relays. Even if they did have to time to try, the Keyhole IIs are likely moving around too much to be caught and eliminated like that. Oh and they're sitting near the heart of all the sensors and point defense of an entire fleet, its screening elements, and their screening recon drones -- even graser torps are unlikely to be able to reliably sneak undetected past that many sensors looking from that many angles.

So the MAlign might get lucky, but I wouldn't bet heavily on their chances of taking out enough Keyhole II to mater. (And of course, if you do, then you're still facing the 2nd deadliest long range missile system that universe have ever seen -- Apollo under "only" light-speed control)
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Re: Attacking Darius:
Post by cthia   » Wed Sep 22, 2021 8:47 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
cthia wrote:It occurred to me that the GA will not have the benefit of the Mycroft platforms when attacking Darius. And the Keyhole platforms might be eliminated as well. Aren't they just as vulnerable?


Yes and no. We know Keyhole II has ECM, PDLC clusters and can fire CMs. We know that because they contribute to the mothership's defence.

Jonathan_S wrote:Also the Keyhole II platforms, once deployed, are tethered (via tractor beams) to their mothership (though IIRC at a couple thousand km away). And of course when not deployed they're slotted into their semi-recessed cradles along the flanks of the SD(P).


The good news, for the MAlign, is that this drastically limited the search area -- you presumably know pretty well where the SD(P)s are and so you know their Keyhole IIs are nearby.

The bad news, for the MAlign, is that there are a lot of them (2 per SD(P); plus any replacement spares the fleet train might have brought) and those SD(P)s may be swanning around the Darius system at nearly 3 times the best acceleration a graser torp (or presumably Silver Bullet) can produce.

The MAlign presumably won't have the weeks it took to sniff out the location of all the Mycroft relays. Even if they did have to time to try, the Keyhole IIs are likely moving around too much to be caught and eliminated like that. Oh and they're sitting near the heart of all the sensors and point defense of an entire fleet, its screening elements, and their screening recon drones -- even graser torps are unlikely to be able to reliably sneak undetected past that many sensors looking from that many angles.

So the MAlign might get lucky, but I wouldn't bet heavily on their chances of taking out enough Keyhole II to mater. (And of course, if you do, then you're still facing the 2nd deadliest long range missile system that universe have ever seen -- Apollo under "only" light-speed control)

GA ships, drones and platforms swanning around the system at their normal Autobahn high speeds is what I continue to question. Consider what comes natural when you are traveling on an unfamiliar road in unfamiliar country. You have to proceed with caution or you may run right smack dab into something. I just don't think the GA will be free to use their accel advantage in this system. When you cannot see invisible warships and weapons you have to proceed with caution. Or the enemy has plenty of time to position himself for a head on engagement, says the spider to the fly.

Sure, you could send in missiles hoping to hit something, but even the spider drive is fast enough to move out of the way by the time the blindly fired missiles arrive. And drones will simply disappear, telling you that something is out there, yes. But then, you knew that already. But you still don't know exactly where. And LACs will simply be turned into system resources.

When your headlights are broken you have to travel slowly. Even if they do work, you must be careful not to outrun their coverage.

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: Attacking Darius:
Post by Jonathan_S   » Wed Sep 22, 2021 10:05 pm

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cthia wrote:GA ships, drones and platforms swanning around the system at their normal Autobahn high speeds is what I continue to question. Consider what comes natural when you are traveling on an unfamiliar road in unfamiliar country. You have to proceed with caution or you may run right smack dab into something. I just don't think the GA will be free to use their accel advantage in this system. When you cannot see invisible warships and weapons you have to proceed with caution. Or the enemy has plenty of time to position himself for a head on engagement, says the spider to the fly.

Sure, you could send in missiles hoping to hit something, but even the spider drive is fast enough to move out of the way by the time the blindly fired missiles arrive. And drones will simply disappear, telling you that something is out there, yes. But then, you knew that already. But you still don't know exactly where. And LACs will simply be turned into system resources.

When your headlights are broken you have to travel slowly. Even if they do work, you must be careful not to outrun their coverage.

I guess it depends on how much the GA fleet knows about the acceleration limitations of the Spider drive by the time they're attacking the Darius system.

Running down a road with burned out headlights in dangerous. But ships or convoys moving slowly enough to allow largely invisible submarines to sneak into position are in more danger.

I think if the GA is aware of the spider's accel issues they'll be using fairly high acceleration (probably not flat out, but fairly high) combined with 3D zig-zaggin course changes. So they won't use 600 gees to charge straight at the planet; but may use up to that much to dance around the periphery, climb or dive relative to the ecliptic, or even partially reverse course. (All while flooding the system with drones). Moving around at high acceleration in unpredictable directions is the kind of zig-zagging that keeps a slower, lower accel, invisible ship or weapon from easily sneaking up on you. They might run themselves into a trap doing that -- but it's probably less risky than going slow enough to let the spider drive ships and weapons converge on them.


OTOH if they're unaware of that spider performance limitation then you might well see them keeping their speed and accel down; while they expel clouds of recon drones. Basically trying to avoid building up a base vector too large to let them break off and evade enemies, minefields, etc. once finally detected. And if they do that then they might well end up letting spiders and graser torps easily pull off intercept courses.
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Re: Attacking Darius:
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Thu Sep 23, 2021 1:00 am

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cthia wrote:Sure, you could send in missiles hoping to hit something, but even the spider drive is fast enough to move out of the way by the time the blindly fired missiles arrive. And drones will simply disappear, telling you that something is out there, yes. But then, you knew that already. But you still don't know exactly where. And LACs will simply be turned into system resources.


Eh, maybe. It depends.

Assuming the mothership had something it was firing at, instead of blindly firing, the spider-driven asset can't get enough out of the way. If the missile is powered all the way through, in 9 minutes of the range of an MDM, the spider asset can only move about 215,000 km at 150 gravities. That's not the usual range of attacking ships with sidewalls, but the spider assets don't have sidewalls. It's definitely within energy beam range, so a graser stiletto will ruin the asset's day. It's also within the 1-light-second detection range that the stealth can be burnt through.

If the asset can do 250 gravities of emergency acceleration, the range can open up to 357,500 km, which means the missiles would probably lose lock.

But this assumes the missiles didn't course-correct along the way. If the mothership knew what it was firing at and didn't lose lock or at least some spectre of a sighting, it would send course-corrections to the missiles and they'd be on top of the target. There's no evading that.

This all depends on the mothership knowing what it's shooting at. If it's a blind missile firing at no target at all, then it's anyone's guess. Given the ranges above, it's possible for almost all assets to get out of the detection burn-through range, but then again there's also no reason why the missiles would fly in a straight line all the way. There's even less reason for all missiles in a blind swarm to go to the same place. They'd spread out.
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Re: Attacking Darius:
Post by Jonathan_S   » Thu Sep 23, 2021 8:59 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:Eh, maybe. It depends.

Assuming the mothership had something it was firing at, instead of blindly firing, the spider-driven asset can't get enough out of the way. If the missile is powered all the way through, in 9 minutes of the range of an MDM, the spider asset can only move about 215,000 km at 150 gravities. That's not the usual range of attacking ships with sidewalls, but the spider assets don't have sidewalls. It's definitely within energy beam range, so a graser stiletto will ruin the asset's day. It's also within the 1-light-second detection range that the stealth can be burnt through.

If the asset can do 250 gravities of emergency acceleration, the range can open up to 357,500 km, which means the missiles would probably lose lock.

But this assumes the missiles didn't course-correct along the way. If the mothership knew what it was firing at and didn't lose lock or at least some spectre of a sighting, it would send course-corrections to the missiles and they'd be on top of the target. There's no evading that.

This all depends on the mothership knowing what it's shooting at. If it's a blind missile firing at no target at all, then it's anyone's guess. Given the ranges above, it's possible for almost all assets to get out of the detection burn-through range, but then again there's also no reason why the missiles would fly in a straight line all the way. There's even less reason for all missiles in a blind swarm to go to the same place. They'd spread out.

Now I'm wondering how effective a Lenny Det's stealth would be if it was backlit (or even side, or front, lit) by a bunch of exploding nukes...

Could the GA brute force a detection system by firing nukes downrange to produce enough photons and particles that the stealth systems couldn't prevent reflection -- or at least didn't have the emitter power for their 'project the background' trick to work?
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Re: Attacking Darius:
Post by cthia   » Thu Sep 23, 2021 1:50 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
Eh, maybe. It depends.

Assuming the mothership had something it was firing at, instead of blindly firing, the spider-driven asset can't get enough out of the way. If the missile is powered all the way through, in 9 minutes of the range of an MDM, the spider asset can only move about 215,000 km at 150 gravities. That's not the usual range of attacking ships with sidewalls, but the spider assets don't have sidewalls. It's definitely within energy beam range, so a graser stiletto will ruin the asset's day. It's also within the 1-light-second detection range that the stealth can be burnt through.

If the asset can do 250 gravities of emergency acceleration, the range can open up to 357,500 km, which means the missiles would probably lose lock.

But this assumes the missiles didn't course-correct along the way. If the mothership knew what it was firing at and didn't lose lock or at least some spectre of a sighting, it would send course-corrections to the missiles and they'd be on top of the target. There's no evading that.

This all depends on the mothership knowing what it's shooting at. If it's a blind missile firing at no target at all, then it's anyone's guess. Given the ranges above, it's possible for almost all assets to get out of the detection burn-through range, but then again there's also no reason why the missiles would fly in a straight line all the way. There's even less reason for all missiles in a blind swarm to go to the same place. They'd spread out.

I see what you're chewing on, and you may have something tasty. I think a missing variable is not knowing exactly what having a "missile lock" actually means regarding an LD. Ordinarily if a missile has a lock it does not, usually, lose lock. Although it has happened often enough. I just don't know what having a lock on a Spider would mean, unless the Spider has a fault and the mother ship has locked onto that fault, i.e., an emissions signature or something. And, if it is something like that, I suppose the fault can disappear before the missile gets close enough.

I always wondered what makes a missile lose lock on the HV other than as a result of ECM. On Earth today, an extreme maneuver can result in the missile ending up out of its field of view. I suppose that can happen in the HV except it is hard to imagine such a huge target evading HV missiles w/o ECM and solely on maneuvering.

And we all wonder what ECM a Spider has. Since the GA may not have much to go on, the MA can create any kind of signature to get a missile launch, baiting the GA to waste ammo. If the MA knows that the GA are working on a detection system, they may be able to create false spider drive signatures as a counter measure.

At any rate, that "asset" could simply be dummy system defense ECM platforms seeded throughout the system to simulate a Spider drive, yet the real signature is still undetectable. Remember, this is the MA's tech. They have been playing and gaming with it far longer, and they have the MilSpec manual on it.

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: Attacking Darius:
Post by cthia   » Thu Sep 23, 2021 2:08 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:
ThinksMarkedly wrote:Eh, maybe. It depends.

Assuming the mothership had something it was firing at, instead of blindly firing, the spider-driven asset can't get enough out of the way. If the missile is powered all the way through, in 9 minutes of the range of an MDM, the spider asset can only move about 215,000 km at 150 gravities. That's not the usual range of attacking ships with sidewalls, but the spider assets don't have sidewalls. It's definitely within energy beam range, so a graser stiletto will ruin the asset's day. It's also within the 1-light-second detection range that the stealth can be burnt through.

If the asset can do 250 gravities of emergency acceleration, the range can open up to 357,500 km, which means the missiles would probably lose lock.

But this assumes the missiles didn't course-correct along the way. If the mothership knew what it was firing at and didn't lose lock or at least some spectre of a sighting, it would send course-corrections to the missiles and they'd be on top of the target. There's no evading that.

This all depends on the mothership knowing what it's shooting at. If it's a blind missile firing at no target at all, then it's anyone's guess. Given the ranges above, it's possible for almost all assets to get out of the detection burn-through range, but then again there's also no reason why the missiles would fly in a straight line all the way. There's even less reason for all missiles in a blind swarm to go to the same place. They'd spread out.

Now I'm wondering how effective a Lenny Det's stealth would be if it was backlit (or even side, or front, lit) by a bunch of exploding nukes...

Could the GA brute force a detection system by firing nukes downrange to produce enough photons and particles that the stealth systems couldn't prevent reflection -- or at least didn't have the emitter power for their 'project the background' trick to work?

That's an interesting morsel to chew on. And something Honor would think of on the fly. However, I didn't get the feeling that a whole lot of nukes are carried aboard ship. They don't have much use. In fact, I still can't figure out why any warship would carry even a single one. I can't understand why they aren't outlawed in the galaxy. And if I am right, there won't be enough to try that trick but once or twice.

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: Attacking Darius:
Post by Jonathan_S   » Thu Sep 23, 2021 3:10 pm

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cthia wrote:
Jonathan_S wrote:Now I'm wondering how effective a Lenny Det's stealth would be if it was backlit (or even side, or front, lit) by a bunch of exploding nukes...

Could the GA brute force a detection system by firing nukes downrange to produce enough photons and particles that the stealth systems couldn't prevent reflection -- or at least didn't have the emitter power for their 'project the background' trick to work?

That's an interesting morsel to chew on. And something Honor would think of on the fly. However, I didn't get the feeling that a whole lot of nukes are carried aboard ship. They don't have much use. In fact, I still can't figure out why any warship would carry even a single one. I can't understand why they aren't outlawed in the galaxy. And if I am right, there won't be enough to try that trick but once or twice.

Um, there's a nuke (well a grav pinch thermonuclear hydrogen bomb of ludicrous power) at the heart of every laserhead. And in any GA attack missile designed in the last 20ish years it is a software setting for how you want to use that boom (laserhead, directional, omnidirectional)

And of course the RHN's triple ripple used "the biggest, nastiest, dirtiest nuclear warheads Mitchell Clapp or anyone he could recruit had been able to design." [WoH - CH.20] "The initial detonations ripped a thermonuclear hole straight through the electronic shield which had sheltered the Manticoran LACs" [WoH - CH.20]

So there's no shortage of nukes aboard Honorverse warships.


I'm just speculating about using them as god's own strobe lights; to see if the Spiders will cast shadows :D
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Re: Attacking Darius:
Post by cthia   » Thu Sep 23, 2021 4:10 pm

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I was under the impression that "Guns" had to sneak a nuclear warhead into attack range via a staggered launch because it was a huge hulking missile with a conventional warhead. My badd.

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: Attacking Darius:
Post by kzt   » Thu Sep 23, 2021 4:14 pm

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cthia wrote:I was under the impression that "Guns" had to sneak a nuclear warhead into attack range via a staggered launch ecause it was a huge hulking missile with a conventional warhead. My badd.

IIRC, he used an obsolescent missile warhead that was selectable between laser-head or sidewall penetration mode.

But all the warheads are nukes.
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