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Solarian Cruisers (SPOILER)

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Re: Solarian Cruisers
Post by Vince   » Sun May 06, 2018 2:10 pm

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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.
Armed Neo-Bob wrote: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
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.

We know that the graser torpedoes (at least the ones targeted on Hephaestus) were actively using their spider drives as they closed, and the spider drive can be detected, although it is very difficult to do so:
Shadow of Victory, Chapter 36 wrote:“What the fuck?
Jansen Mandrapilias, third officer of the liquid gas tanker Bernike, looked up sharply from the shipping manifest he’d been updating for their arrival at the Draco Seven orbital refinery. At the moment, Bernike was accelerating steadily away from Hephaestus, fourteen minutes and 691,000,000 kilometers out from the station on her regular bi-monthly round-trip to Draco, the central of the Manticore-A’s system’s three gas giants. Trundling back and forth between the refinery and Hephaestus’ enormous tank farm wasn’t the most exciting occupation in the world, but there was a certain solid satisfaction to the job.
Besides, Jansen had earned his watch-standing ticket just last December, barely two T-months ago, so it was all still brand, shiny new for him. Especially when the Skipper had seen fit to hand over to “Mister Mandrapilias” after clearing the Hephaestus departure perimeter. Zinaida Merkulov, who had the sensor watch, on the other hand, was at least two and a half times Mandrapilias’ age and made it a point of pride never to be surprised by anything. In fact, Jansen rather suspected the Skipper had left her unofficial instructions to keep an eye on the newbie, given that she was something of a legend in the Hauptman Cartel’s service who probably should have retired at least a T-decade or so ago. Unfortunately for those who felt she’d earned a vine-covered cottage somewhere, she routinely maxed the cartel-wide proficiency tests every year. In fact, she’d been seriously pissed this year when she came in third, instead of first.
She’d also been known to refer to one Jansen Mandrapilias as “Sonny” on certain off-duty occasions.
Under some circumstances, that could have led to a discipline problem, but not aboard Bernike, and not with Zinaida Merkulov, who was always professional on duty. Which made the totally unexpected outburst even more shocking than it might have been out of someone else.
“What?” Jansen demanded now, but she ignored him. She was punching numbers into her console at lightning speed, and then she whipped around to Cathal Viñas, the helmsman of the watch.
“Hard skew one-two-five, niner-seven-zero!” she barked. “Now!”
Jansen’s mouth dropped open, but Cathal had known Zinaida longer than Jansen Mandrapilias had been alive, and he recognized the hammered-battle steel urgency of her tone.
He snapped his joystick hard over, sending six million tons of tanker into a steeply climbing starboard turn. Warning hooters sounded as she departed radically from her filed course profile, and Jansen could already hear the reaming Management would give all of them when ATC levied the fines. If they docked his pay to cover it, he’d still be working it off when he was twice Zinaida’s age!
“Zinaida, what the hell do you think—?!”
Then another alarm sounded, and Jansen’s eyes jerked back to his own panel. He’d never heard that strident, two-toned, ear-piercing wail outside a training simulation, and he couldn’t really believe he was hearing it now.
But he was.
Something slammed into the interposed belly of Bernike’s impeller wedge and vanished with the instantaneous ferocity of a several hundred thousand-kilometers per second gravity gradient. But something else missed the wedge. It came sizzling through the tanker’s wide-open throat on a reciprocal course with a closing velocity of over 60,000 KPS, crossed the wedge’s interior at a sharp angle in approximately five-thousandths of a second, missed her enormous hull by no more than sixty or seventy kilometers, and went racing out the wedge’s kilt.
Then it was gone. The collision alert continued to sound, and Mandrapilias felt echoes of terror that hadn’t had nearly long enough to register at the time whiplash up and down his nervous system. His head jerked around to Zinaida.
“What the fuck was that?” he demanded.
He didn’t know—then—that he would never, ever forgive himself for not reporting the incident instantly to ACT. Not that three and a half minutes of warning would have done any good.
* * *
Even the inner reaches of a star system represent a vast volume, against which even the largest spacecraft is very, very tiny. On the face of things, collisions and near collisions between spacefaring vessels were low-probability events, even for those moving along well-traveled shipping lanes. They weren’t made any more likely by the fact that an active impeller wedge was among the galaxy’s most…energetic energy signatures, which made it very hard for even the least attentive sensor tech to not see one coming. And, of course, Astro Traffic Control kept a very close eye on the multi-billion tons of military and civilian shipping passing through the Manticore Binary System at any given moment.
But the interlopers slicing into the heart of the Manticore System at twenty percent of light-speed, cutting straight through the heart of the primary shipping lane from the Draco Seven gas facility, didn’t care about ATC, and their lead wave wasn’t using an impeller wedge to accelerate. It was using something the Royal Manticoran Navy had never heard of, and it was unlikely any other sensor tech—especially any civilian tech, with commercial-grade sensors—would ever have noticed the tiny gravitic anomaly which had drawn Zinaida Merkulov’s attention. She hadn’t felt any sense of alarm, really; only the inveterate curiosity which had led her to her career in the first place. It was an itch she lived to scratch, and she’d redirected the sensors Klaus Hauptman had been kind enough to provide for her personal use towards it.
She never actually “saw” the incoming graser torpedoes at all, but she’d tracked those gravitic anomalies coming straight at her ship and extrapolated their trajectory in the nick of time.

The rest of the Manticore Binary System was less fortunate.
Italics are the author's, boldface and underlined text is my emphasis.

Also, the graser torpedoes themselves, apart from the spider drive, can be detected at very close ranges, even by civilian (apparently non-gravitic) sensors. Bernike’s collision alarm sounded automatically, after Zinaida Merkulov detected the gravitic anamollies, passed the course correction to the helm, and Cathal Viñas executed the course correction.
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History does not repeat itself so much as it echoes.
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Re: Solarian Cruisers
Post by Maldorian   » Sun May 06, 2018 2:48 pm

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Wasn´t this a topic about solarian cruisers, so, why are we now talking about spider ships? Wouldn´t it be better to open a new topic for that?
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Re: Solarian Cruisers
Post by munroburton   » Sun May 06, 2018 3:00 pm

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Maldorian wrote:Wasn´t this a topic about solarian cruisers, so, why are we now talking about spider ships? Wouldn´t it be better to open a new topic for that?


Thread drift is more of a tradition than a prohibition.

However, please be careful with spoilers - references to events which happened in Uncompromising Honor should not be made unless the thread has a spoiler tag.
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Re: Solarian Cruisers
Post by Brigade XO   » Sun May 06, 2018 9:01 pm

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I finished UH two days ago.

The graser torpedoes are still essentialy undetectable by the GA. Same with the spider drive ships. The Lenny Detweiler class can still approach any given star system and translated down to normal space- at say 4 light hours or perhaps 12- and then just creep into a targeted system on spider. This is not exactly a smash and grab/blast weapon system. It it STEALTH.
You haul a crapload of spider drive graser torpedoes and whatever ballistic weapons you need (even if perhaps the final sprint is impeller) and then essentialy saturate your target enviornment with them.
IAE?, drop in spider transports and Lenny Detts way the hell out and crawl in- perhaps having some Ghosts in earlier to pick up the tactical data. It is still going to work until the GA and friends have a way to detect it.

Attack a non-GA system that doesn't have any GA provided or "GA lite" version gear, revert to the Oyster Bay premis and just devastate them. Would need to build up the supply of weapons but, hell, Darius is humming along just fine.

What I want to know is if the GA is going to call on Yulden-Technodyne and be carrying a letter of Kingsford saying---give these people EVERYTHING you have (and destroy the rest) or they will burn you down where you sit.?

Solarian crusiers.....well, perhaps Solarian Clay Targerts perhaps. The Solly tech is a death trap. Frontier Fleet had a LOT of BC, Crusiers and DD which was what they used. The Battle Fleet ships under SD size was primarily scouting and screening- we havn't actualy seen them used for much more except the occasional cruise (and hand out at a wormhole terminus to "encourage" customs and tariffs collection.
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Re: Solarian Cruisers
Post by pappilon   » Mon May 07, 2018 6:43 am

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Brigade XO wrote:I finished UH two days ago.

The graser torpedoes are still essentialy undetectable by the GA. Same with the spider drive ships. The Lenny Detweiler class can still approach any given star system and translated down to normal space- at say 4 light hours or perhaps 12- and then just creep into a targeted system on spider. This is not exactly a smash and grab/blast weapon system. It it STEALTH.
You haul a crapload of spider drive graser torpedoes and whatever ballistic weapons you need (even if perhaps the final sprint is impeller) and then essentialy saturate your target enviornment with them.
IAE?, drop in spider transports and Lenny Detts way the hell out and crawl in- perhaps having some Ghosts in earlier to pick up the tactical data. It is still going to work until the GA and friends have a way to detect it.

Attack a non-GA system that doesn't have any GA provided or "GA lite" version gear, revert to the Oyster Bay premis and just devastate them. Would need to build up the supply of weapons but, hell, Darius is humming along just fine.


Attack any system. Yes this would be a continuation of "The Master Plan" to defang the SLN and sow havoc and dissention throughout the 'Verse and have the RF be there as the "safe harbor", spreading genetic manipulation throughout the galaxy one star system at a time.

Brigade XO wrote:What I want to know is if the GA is going to call on Yulden-Technodyne and be carrying a letter of Kingsford saying---give these people EVERYTHING you have (and destroy the rest) or they will burn you down where you sit.?


No, nothing to gain. Honor already has everything, well pretty much. All their notes and prototypes were at Ganymede where the development was going on. Anything more encourages the revanchism the SEM was trying so hard to avoid. The object is a more politically responsible, not a militarily gutted, government. That is the interesting development: seeing what comes out of the convention and how many worlds remain within the new framework. As well as what those choosing to leave eventually do.

Brigade XO wrote:Solarian crusiers.....well, perhaps Solarian Clay Targets perhaps. The Solly tech is a death trap. Frontier Fleet had a LOT of BC, Cruisers and DD which was what they used. The Battle Fleet ships under SD size was primarily scouting and screening- we havn't actualy seen them used for much more except the occasional cruise (and hand out at a wormhole terminus to "encourage" customs and tariffs collection.


Yeah, they were somewhat mission deficient, weren't they. Just hang out waiting for someone to act stupid and actually attack FF, then we play F Troop and storm in to save the day. Even FF did little but hang around in orbit to smash any rebellions.

Quite unlike Manticore who had convoy duties, and anti piracy and Cherwell Convention tours ongoing, especially in Silesia. And although Beth directly stated the SEM/GA would not become the galactic Police, they will see their fair share of policing. A whole new world is being transformed at the close of the curtain.
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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 Duckk   » Mon May 07, 2018 7:50 am

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People, spoilers.
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Re: Solarian Cruisers
Post by Slneezy   » Mon May 07, 2018 8:16 am

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Brigade XO wrote:Solarian crusiers.....well, perhaps Solarian Clay Targerts perhaps. The Solly tech is a death trap. Frontier Fleet had a LOT of BC, Crusiers and DD which was what they used. The Battle Fleet ships under SD size was primarily scouting and screening- we havn't actualy seen them used for much more except the occasional cruise (and hand out at a wormhole terminus to "encourage" customs and tariffs collection.


Frontier Fleet's newer units seem pretty reasonable - not quite good enough to stand up to present day Manticoran units of similar size but not that much worse if they've got good missiles. With 'limpet' pods and equivalent missiles they'd be competitive with GA units in firepower even if they'd be slower and more manpower intesive.

Battle Fleet SDs on the other hand seem to be clearly inferior platforms to the old 1900 Manticoran SDs which speaks volumes to just how astoundingly terrible Battle Fleet was.
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Re: Solarian Cruisers
Post by kzt   » Mon May 07, 2018 3:20 pm

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Armed Neo-Bob wrote: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.

....

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.

The MAN, which has the theory and plans as well as the designers, says that they can detect it from one light second. So I rather doubt that the RMN will be detecting it from a useful distance until they have a working sample.

And no, it’s plot. Like why didn’t the MAN just blow up the critical orbital factories orbiting Beowulf instead of aiding a SLN attack that targeted them? The spider torps could have just rolled up to them and blown them all away. Basically the MAN clearly sees no real threat from the GA forces and is just playing mind games. Which doesn’t seem very rational to me.
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Re: Solarian Cruisers
Post by pappilon   » Mon May 07, 2018 6:19 pm

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SPOILER ALERT




Armed Neo-Bob wrote: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.

....

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.


The ones that were used for Oyster Bay, NOT so dangerous. The Lenny D's nearing completion??? who really knows. Still, NO MAN ships were used for the attack on Beowulf. absolutely none. Why risk ours when we can spend SLN personnel and resources to accomplish our goals. :?: And we can easily slip a few pocket nukes onto Beowulf habitat platforms. Since we blew up all the Manticoran ones during Oyster Bay, we do not have that option.

kzt wrote:The MAN, which has the theory and plans as well as the designers, says that they can detect it from one light second. So I rather doubt that the RMN will be detecting it from a useful distance until they have a working sample.

And no, it’s plot. Like why didn’t the MAN just blow up the critical orbital factories orbiting Beowulf instead of aiding a SLN attack that targeted them? The spider torps could have just rolled up to them and blown them all away. Basically the MAN clearly sees no real threat from the GA forces and is just playing mind games. Which doesn’t seem very rational to me.


The purpose was more Psyops. Disguise a MAlign terror attack as a SLN Operation Buccaneer Parthian Shot, outrage the Manties enough to begin making strategically stupid decisions like retaliating for Beowulf. Drive the SL populace into a more revanchist mind-set and we (the MAlign) have salvaged victory from the jaws of defeat.

Unfortunately, Our Man Flint was not Johnny-on-the-spot, arrived on station in time to send his self-destruct signal minutes after the nick of time. Which blew the orbitals into orbiting space debris after the last SL missile was destroyed, making it ... pretty obvious what was happening.
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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 Brigade XO   » Mon May 07, 2018 7:48 pm

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I have to wonder if anybody is going to think to compare the data about the explosion of the Space Station at New Tuscany with the ones at Beowulf?

I realize that Adm Byng might not have thought to order one but perhaps somebody in the Task Force (this was FF after all) might have thought to see what actualy blew up the station and used their own ship's sensor logs.

It is not beyond possiblilty that the 4 bombs were actual closely related warheads in those shipping containers.
That would be one more piece into the Alignment puzzle.
One presumes the weapons were staged into a location for the Alignment mission to Beowulf because it might not be so good if you had to steal (or have misplaced) three warheads from a military storage area.

Besides, if you couldn't use "stock" SLN weapons diverted from someplace - like a production line of Technodyne), then a few containers from Darius wouldn't be too hard. After all, those massive graser torpedos equiped with all that sensor gear and solar panals came from Darius (brand new design) so why not warheads?
In the short term (decades anyway) not being able to identify where the nuclear weapons were manufactured- based on analysis of explosion reside- would continue to cloud the question of "who did this".
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