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Solarian Cruisers (SPOILER)

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Re: Solarian Cruisers
Post by PeterZ   » Tue May 01, 2018 3:34 pm

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Regardless of the actual fleet mix, there are more ex-SLN hulls of BC mass and below that the GA has to adopt an emphasis on lighter combatants to cover their deployment needs.

Those ships will likely be sold off to either independent systems, New SL member systems or to anyone multistellar with enough credits to buy the darned things. That from those initial buyers the SLN hulls will get into pirates' hands goes without saying. That means that merchant ships will be more exposed in the near term after the SL is reformed.

Add to this the reality that Spyder ships can get the first big strike in any engagement and that they are as yet nearly undetectable, and the concentrated risk of SDPs make them suboptimal as a primary military investment. The current number already make the battle fleets of the GA superior to ANYTHING in the galaxy they can see coming. Spyders can take them out at will until they can be detected by the GA sensors. It follows that investing heavily in SDPs before solid sensors can detect the Spyder drive simply places more of the production at risk any time the MAlign chooses to deploy those Spyders.

In the mean time, all the demands GA cruisers can deploy for will go under served because production is being directed to SDPs. I'll point out that the conversation surrounding deploying Abigail into small ships seems even more appropriate after the SLN has been trounced. The need for smaller units will be even greater now than after the war with Haven has been won. The risks for not investing in those lighter hulls has also increased markedly.
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Re: Solarian Cruisers
Post by Eagleeye   » Wed May 02, 2018 11:31 pm

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PeterZ wrote:
In the mean time, all the demands GA cruisers can deploy for will go under served because production is being directed to SDPs. [...] The risks for not investing in those lighter hulls has also increased markedly.


No argument against the 2nd sentence; but ... After Filareta at the latest, even the most stubborn manticoran/GA military thinker has to concede, that at least for the forseeable future (say: 5 years, to be conservative) the SD(P)s of Manticore/Grayson, Haven and (even if we didn't see them fight 'on screen') Anderman and Erewhon/Maya are the ultimate sledgehammers in space; and at the moment all these navies are not inimical to each other. So there could be a change in building priorities.

I don't know the actual numbers (nobody but RFC and - maybe - Bu9 will have them) but if I make a WAG and say that at least 60% of the available yard capacity went to wallers and only the rest to cruisers so far, that could change rather rapidly to no more than 40% for wallers and min 60% for cruisers of all classes. Maybe even more extreme - after all, the new built yards in Manticore and Grayson can start building new cruisers far earlier than building new wallers.
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Re: Solarian Cruisers
Post by pappilon   » Thu May 03, 2018 2:56 am

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Eagleeye wrote:
PeterZ wrote:
In the mean time, all the demands GA cruisers can deploy for will go under served because production is being directed to SDPs. [...] The risks for not investing in those lighter hulls has also increased markedly.


No argument against the 2nd sentence; but ... After Filareta at the latest, even the most stubborn manticoran/GA military thinker has to concede, that at least for the forseeable future (say: 5 years, to be conservative) the SD(P)s of Manticore/Grayson, Haven and (even if we didn't see them fight 'on screen') Anderman and Erewhon/Maya are the ultimate sledgehammers in space; and at the moment all these navies are not inimical to each other. So there could be a change in building priorities.

I don't know the actual numbers (nobody but RFC and - maybe - Bu9 will have them) but if I make a WAG and say that at least 60% of the available yard capacity went to wallers and only the rest to cruisers so far, that could change rather rapidly to no more than 40% for wallers and min 60% for cruisers of all classes. Maybe even more extreme - after all, the new built yards in Manticore and Grayson can start building new cruisers far earlier than building new wallers.


At this point, the GA needs to finish what's currently under construction and stop. They need to concentrate their efforts on (1) integrating R&D, and digesting the stuff from Ganymede. Developing the streak drive and working on the spider. (2) Construction of manufacturing platforms and training workers. (3) the almost futile search for the MAlign's rabbit hole. (4) digesting Silesia and the Quadrant- skimming the best and brightest and using them as the core for quadrant defense. Increasing their manufacturing bases and starting the process of improving the education system.

They have some few years. Its the time for catching up, not freaking out about what cannot be anticipated. Yes, the MAlign is out there, yes their strength is unknown, Their numbers is unknown, their location is unknown. You can't do anything about the unknown, but running around peeing your pants becsuse things are unknown is the worst thing to do. igs just totally unproductive and wastes mental energy that can be better spent accomplishing the foreseeable.
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The imagination has to be trained into foresight and empathy.
Ursula K. LeGuinn

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Re: Solarian Cruisers
Post by Armed Neo-Bob   » Sat May 05, 2018 6:17 am

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bold is the focus of my comments.

PeterZ wrote:SNIP

Add to this the reality that Spyder ships can get the first big strike in any engagement and that they are as yet nearly undetectable, and the concentrated risk of SDPs make them suboptimal as a primary military investment. The current number already make the battle fleets of the GA superior to ANYTHING in the galaxy they can see coming. Spyders can take them out at will until they can be detected by the GA sensors. It follows that investing heavily in SDPs before solid sensors can detect the Spyder drive simply places more of the production at risk any time the MAlign chooses to deploy those Spyders.


You're overrating the spider's capability, maybe.

I assessed all of that quite differently. Mostly because no spider ship has ever engaged anything.

Spider equipped graser torpedoes have gotten in undetected--in dumped off shipping cartons. They aren't nearly the size of a ship.

To Date, no spider drive ship has ever come close to an SDP--one of the Ghosts went to silent running to avoid some cruisers in Grayson. The only advantage a spider ship has is stealth--lose that, and it is pathetically slow, has no wedge, can't raise sidewalls or a bubble sidewall and move, and is unlikely to have anything close to enough missile defense.

The Malign Navy's major offensive units will be the SDF's of Mannerheim and other RF systems, which will likely start getting some major upgrades Real Soon Now.

Spiders have the same combat role as a Sirius-type Q-ship. Sneak attack. That is it. The reason the MA was pushing ahead with the Lenny D ships was to 1) finish Oyster Bay by hitting Haven; 2) Then hit the surviving shipyards in the League. After which, they'd likely be mothballed. Note that shipyards and other non-mobile infrastructure has been the target of every attack of the graser torpedoes.

Regardless of the propulsion system, every ship will be detectable by some sensor--and Ben Detweiler refused to commit them to Trevor's Star to even attempt to take down the new wallers and their grass-green crews.

The oyster bay attack succeeded because no one knew the spider torpedoes existed; they got smuggled in to Beowulf on a commercial freighter, not a Shark. But spider drive ships still have hyper footprints; still have fusion plants, and the need to dump excess heat; still have electronics systems, which will have some sort of emissions. And once spotted, they are too slow to run.

YMMV, of course.

Rob
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Re: Solarian Cruisers
Post by PeterZ   » Sat May 05, 2018 7:50 pm

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The GRASER torps are propelled by spider drives. Those torps were driven through Manticore, Spynx, Gryphon, Grayson and Beowulf's sensors net without a ripple being detected. Had the Sharks entered Mantocore's sensor net, they may well have escaped attention. However, as slow as they are, light speed sensors may have detected them. Had that happened, they may well have been hunted down by Home Fleet just as enough ships can hunt down submarines.

My though is the LennyDs can enter a system nearly undetected just as spider torps can. Once they open fire, they can be detected. So, that opening salvo had better be a knockout punch or the remaining ships will tear then a new a$$hole.

The Demonic Duo may well solve this riddle before we next visit the Honorverse. Until then the evidence suggests a near certain first strike belongs to the spiders.
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Re: Solarian Cruisers
Post by Somtaaw   » Sat May 05, 2018 9:30 pm

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PeterZ wrote:The GRASER torps are propelled by spider drives. Those torps were driven through Manticore, Spynx, Gryphon, Grayson and Beowulf's sensors net without a ripple being detected. Had the Sharks entered Mantocore's sensor net, they may well have escaped attention. However, as slow as they are, light speed sensors may have detected them. Had that happened, they may well have been hunted down by Home Fleet just as enough ships can hunt down submarines.


Wrong, the Graser torps coasted ballistically the entire time, from the time they "launched" a light-week away from Manticore until they reached attack distance, and went active.

Mission of Honor, Chapter 28 wrote:Now the Mesan attack came sweeping in out of the darkness. The incoming weapons had extraordinarily low radar signatures, and they were coming in at barely 60,000 KPS. Even if some of them had been detected, their velocity was so low it was unlikely to pop through the defenders' threat filters. As it happened, however, none of them were picked up as they sliced deeper and deeper in-system, unseen and undetected, like the talons of some huge, lethal, invisible bird of prey.


Bolded the critical portions, they came in slow, and ballistic, and they were completely undetected from their launch point one light-week out. And the Sharks themselves arrived a full light-month, and almost 4 T-months prior to the attack. The ships could/should have been detected because they were creeping around, the graser torpedos could not due to ballistic.

PeterZ wrote:My though is the LennyDs can enter a system nearly undetected just as spider torps can. Once they open fire, they can be detected. So, that opening salvo had better be a knockout punch or the remaining ships will tear then a new a$$hole.

The Demonic Duo may well solve this riddle before we next visit the Honorverse. Until then the evidence suggests a near certain first strike belongs to the spiders.


The Lenny Dets would still be detected when they breach the Alpha Wall of hyperspace. Even Mesa (through Benjamin) know that Manticore would pounce on ANY hyper event with so many ships it'd be impossible for even a spider Ghost-class scout to slip through. Something like a Lenny Det which makes podnoughts green with size envy, due to them being nearly the size of forts would be detected considerably easier.


The ONLY way a Lenny Det would successfully reach attack range, would be to translate even further away than the "merchant" that dropped off the Ghosts and Sharks did at a light-month and sneak in that way.... my guess is the Lenny Dets would need to translate at six light-months out, or even a full light-year to successfully reach Manticore orbit.
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Re: Solarian Cruisers
Post by PeterZ   » Sat May 05, 2018 11:13 pm

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Indeed the torps coasted, but Silver Bullet was spider driven into position after they were jettisoned from the Kolikainos freighter in Beowulf. This bit suggests that the spider does a a gravatic signature. It is simply very weak.
Chapter: September1922 Uncompromising Honor wrote:Benjamin snorted. The Wraith was the Mesan Alignment Navy’s equivalent of the Manty Ghost Rider recon platforms, and without Manticore’s new stealth systems—and their damned thumbnail fusion plants—building something equally hard to see had been a challenge. The good news was that the spider drive’s gravitic signature was incredibly faint compared to conventional impellers, so it didn’t require as much stealthing in the first place. The bad news was that the drive itself took up a lot of space and its plasma-charged accumulators took up almost as much. From the sketchy information they’d been able to assemble on Ghost Rider, a Wraith was probably at least seventy percent bigger than a current generation Manticoran recon drone. It was also much slower and lacked Ghost Rider’s FTL capability, but it was probably at least as difficult to detect, and indications were that its onboard sensors were a bit better even than the RMN’s current hardware. But if Daniel was talking about something big enough to carry a pair of Wraith power packs, then he was talking about something which was probably at least two or three times as big as the MAN’s graser torpedo…which was already nearly twice the size of a Manticoran Mark 23 MDM. In which case, calling it “large” was something of an understatement, especially from the perspective of the man whose navy would be trying to deploy the damned things.
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Re: Solarian Cruisers
Post by Armed Neo-Bob   » Sun May 06, 2018 1:49 am

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PeterZ wrote:Indeed the torps coasted, but Silver Bullet was spider driven into position after they were jettisoned from the Kolikainos freighter in Beowulf. This bit suggests that the spider does a a gravatic signature. It is simply very weak.


The thing about this is, yes it is faint, but they brought the drives up in a region well inside of the sensor shell; no one was looking for it; the ship making the drop was a known "friendly"; and their stealth is very good. But "faint" is neither "undetectable" nor "invisible"--and one of the main reasons they were never deployed to Trevor's Star is that the Malign knows that Manticoran sensors are better than theirs.

They couldn't take the risk that the Manties could figure out a means of detecting them, and blow all their training cadre out of space. In particular, the Ghost Rider deployed drones are as good or better than the SLN's cruisers' ship-board sensors--and by now, the Malign knows it. Get a drone close to a spider, and it can detect it--and the spider ship may not be able to detect the drone.

If spider-ships were really that dangerous, the Detweilers' revenge for Daddy would have been in Manticore, not Beowulf. I am sure they are tracking the (by SL standards) astonishing pace of recovery.

Another thought: I don't think the text has shown them to have completed any of the Lennies. So, so far, using them may not be on the table --yet.

Of course, if RFC didn't intend to use them . . . . :D

Regards,

Rob
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Re: Solarian Cruisers
Post by PeterZ   » Sun May 06, 2018 10:29 am

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Armed Neo-Bob wrote:
PeterZ wrote:Indeed the torps coasted, but Silver Bullet was spider driven into position after they were jettisoned from the Kolikainos freighter in Beowulf. This bit suggests that the spider does a a gravatic signature. It is simply very weak.


The thing about this is, yes it is faint, but they brought the drives up in a region well inside of the sensor shell; no one was looking for it; the ship making the drop was a known "friendly"; and their stealth is very good. But "faint" is neither "undetectable" nor "invisible"--and one of the main reasons they were never deployed to Trevor's Star is that the Malign knows that Manticoran sensors are better than theirs.

They couldn't take the risk that the Manties could figure out a means of detecting them, and blow all their training cadre out of space. In particular, the Ghost Rider deployed drones are as good or better than the SLN's cruisers' ship-board sensors--and by now, the Malign knows it. Get a drone close to a spider, and it can detect it--and the spider ship may not be able to detect the drone.

If spider-ships were really that dangerous, the Detweilers' revenge for Daddy would have been in Manticore, not Beowulf. I am sure they are tracking the (by SL standards) astonishing pace of recovery.

Another thought: I don't think the text has shown them to have completed any of the Lennies. So, so far, using them may not be on the table --yet.

Of course, if RFC didn't intend to use them . . . . :D

Regards,

Rob


Agreed. The underlying point was that SDPs are not a priority until spider drive can be detected at sufficient ranges. The current number of deployed SDPs by the GA is seen as sufficient by their leadership. Once detection ranges are quantified, the risk of a spider ship can be more accurately assessed. At that point, build either more screening cruisers/DDs or SDPs for the battle fleets to best address the risk. I am assuming LACs will remain close in for missile support.

In the mean time build cruisers to patrol and escort merchies as those ex-FF BCs begin to find private buyers. Buyers that will somehow manage to lose those ships to pirates.

A thought. The MAN has the Ghost class ship. I am guessing these are bigger than GA LACs but smaller than pre-Roland DDs. Call it a frigate. If the GA develops their own spiders, would it make sense to do a stealth LAC? Something that works with a carrier to either search out enemy spider drives or sneak past defenses.
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Re: Solarian Cruisers
Post by Armed Neo-Bob   » Sun May 06, 2018 12:54 pm

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PeterZ wrote:
Agreed. The underlying point was that SDPs are not a priority until spider drive can be detected at sufficient ranges. The current number of deployed SDPs by the GA is seen as sufficient by their leadership. Once detection ranges are quantified, the risk of a spider ship can be more accurately assessed. At that point, build either more screening cruisers/DDs or SDPs for the battle fleets to best address the risk. I am assuming LACs will remain close in for missile support.

In the mean time build cruisers to patrol and escort merchies as those ex-FF BCs begin to find private buyers. Buyers that will somehow manage to lose those ships to pirates.

A thought. The MAN has the Ghost class ship. I am guessing these are bigger than GA LACs but smaller than pre-Roland DDs. Call it a frigate. If the GA develops their own spiders, would it make sense to do a stealth LAC? Something that works with a carrier to either search out enemy spider drives or sneak past defenses.


Why? LACs would still be using drones to extend their sensor range, anyway. So if you reaaallly need sensor coverage, either build 350k ton light cruiser drone tenders, or a Hydra sized drone carrier.

Weren't spider drive ships bigger than impeller ships for the same class? Or my memory is failing (again). The Ghosts made it back to Manticore on their own, so they had to have hyper capability. Possible the Ghosts and Sharks also had the Streak drive, too. Test beds for all their tech. I'd guess they might be the size of the Talisman class surveillance ships.

irt podlayers, it is useful to remember why they were built: to put as many launchers as possible in space at once, with the least number of personnel. But the pods themselves take up a lot of space. The original Medusa had less than 500 pods, an Agamemnon's load; the Invictus has 1074 pods with 9 missiles excepting the controller--almost identical to a King William class's load under the 2-for-1 rule. With the big population boost they got with the Empire, personnel issues will dissolve in a couple years; and a larger number of smaller ships can add external pod hangers (rails?) to a more useful internal loadout. Just build Cruisers! Since missile defense on the Wallers is getting more and more difficult, make the targets smaller.

And, as far as paying for it, unlike the League, the Empire can assess a modest tax on what, 54 planets now? Right now, I expect it is being invested in local improvements. Ought to make up somewhat for the economic hit in a year or three. Something like the post-war economic miracles of Germany and Japan--ought to be good for the budget in Landing fairly soon. Especially as the education, tech, and industrial bases of those previously very risky investment opportunities absorb the investment money I would have been pulling OUT of the Old League systems.

For escort duties, HOS indicated the White Haven Admiralty was going to build Wolfhounds and Avalons to replace previous classes. More than good enough, until someone can match them as light vessels.

huh. I just realized I had been expecting Lyonheart to comment on all this speculation.

Regards,

Rob
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