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Why can't strikefighters make an independent warp transit?

Set in the Starfire strategy game universe, co-authored by David and Steve White, these novels feature the clash of the Terran Federation, the cat-like Orions, the genocidal Rigelians, and the "Bugs"...join us in the discussion!
Why can't strikefighters make an independent warp transit?
Post by nelliott   » Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:33 pm

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Every passage touching on this in the Starfire books that I've found just categorically states that fighters can't make an independent warp transit without stating why.

I'd always assumed it was because fighters were either a. too small or b. lacked some sort of needed warp drive. But after re-reading, neither of those explanations work. For the first, recon drones and courier drones are both smaller than fighters yet can make unassisted warp transits. For the second, everyone but the Orions discovered warp transit by accidentally stumbling through a warp point and finding themselves in a different star system, no special warp drive required.

While this question hasn't exactly been keeping me up at night, is anyone able to shed some light on this? Am I missing something really simple?

Thanks!

Nathan
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Re: Why can't strikefighters make an independent warp transi
Post by Duckk   » Wed Aug 20, 2014 3:10 pm

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IIRC, it's because their drive fields were too weak to protect them from the stresses of transit. It took a quite a while to get RDs tough enough to be able to survive even a single transit, let alone a second one to get back.
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Re: Why can't strikefighters make an independent warp transi
Post by Roguevictory   » Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:41 pm

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Duckk wrote:IIRC, it's because their drive fields were too weak to protect them from the stresses of transit. It took a quite a while to get RDs tough enough to be able to survive even a single transit, let alone a second one to get back.


I thought s did one transit to reach the area they scan and one to return the data to the fleet that launched them?

Honestly I would be shocked if someone somewhere in the Starfire universe hasn't developed a warp capable Strikefighter but the known powers haven't encountered them yet AFAIK.

I personally thing that by the Exodus/Extermis era they probably could develop warp capable strikefighters if they wanted to put the resources into the project but given the way they are focused on building bigger and bigger warships plus the fact that if I remember correctly, and I'm almost certain that I do, strikefighters can't use the new more advanced sublight drive developed between Insurrection and Exodus I don't think anyone in the Alliance is seriously trying to make warp capable strikefighters.
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Re: Why can't strikefighters make an independent warp transi
Post by nelliott   » Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:45 am

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Duckk wrote:IIRC, it's because their drive fields were too weak to protect them from the stresses of transit. It took a quite a while to get RDs tough enough to be able to survive even a single transit, let alone a second one to get back.


Courier drones were already warp capable at the beginning of In Death Ground, e.g. the survey ship Argive called for assistance in the Bug Home Hive after being ambushed by sending a drone through the warp point in the very beginning of the book. I'd expect that the drive field on a small drone wouldn't be near as strong as one on a (larger) fighter, especially given the performance expected out of a fighter in terms of acceleration and maneuverability.

Incidentally, this raises another question as to why you couldn't program one of these drones to just turn around after going through a warp point, returning with scans. This wouldn't work for new warp points, where the stresses and such haven't been mapped, but why wouldn't it work for known warp points?

If it's a question of drive field strength, is the drive field that protects a ship from warp transit the same as the one the original (accidental) discoverers of warp nodes had fitted? I remember a few sentences on the intertial compensators in fighters, but not one on drive fields.

Thanks for your thoughts!
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Re: Why can't strikefighters make an independent warp transi
Post by coldsteel   » Wed Dec 31, 2014 11:19 pm

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The reason strikefighters cannot make warp transit is because the 'intermediate' drive they have, while similar to the reactionless drive used by ships, is not powerful enough to survive transit. That's why external ordnance slows fighters down (remember the issue with catching gunboats in IDG?).

Courier Drones are vastly simpler devices. They transit, then reboot, reorient on a beacon, then keep going single-mindedly to deliver their mail. Recon Drones are advanced versions of CDs, and needed higher tech capability to transit, scan, then come back with a degree of success.

The ships that found warp points had a 'zeroth' version of the reactionless drives, which allowed transit, but nowhere near the speeds attained currently.

I play this game avidly and own copies of all the books. Used to be on the redesign group to streamline 3rd Edition a few years ago.
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Re: Why can't strikefighters make an independent warp transi
Post by DDHvi   » Thu Jan 08, 2015 11:14 pm

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coldsteel wrote:I play this game avidly and own copies of all the books. Used to be on the redesign group to streamline 3rd Edition a few years ago.


Speaking of games, there is one that started as a method of providing (simulation) practice in those financial seminars where you pay to improve your finances. The "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" series of books goes into basics that most of us should know, the game gets it into our mental reflexes. Our finances have improved, since it was learned and practiced.

PS, the game can be thought of as "Monopoly" after major weight lifting training, and is just as much fun.

PPS, at first the game was $195, I just got on Ebay and was low bidder for it over a few months until someone didn't outbid me. Current price is about a fourth of that.
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Re: Why can't strikefighters make an independent warp transi
Post by fallsfromtrees   » Fri Jan 09, 2015 2:14 pm

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DDHvi wrote:
coldsteel wrote:I play this game avidly and own copies of all the books. Used to be on the redesign group to streamline 3rd Edition a few years ago.


Speaking of games, there is one that started as a method of providing (simulation) practice in those financial seminars where you pay to improve your finances. The "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" series of books goes into basics that most of us should know, the game gets it into our mental reflexes. Our finances have improved, since it was learned and practiced.

PS, the game can be thought of as "Monopoly" after major weight lifting training, and is just as much fun.

PPS, at first the game was $195, I just got on Ebay and was low bidder for it over a few months until someone didn't outbid me. Current price is about a fourth of that.

A little bit off topic, but I found that it tended to focus on real estate too much, and not on other forms of wealth management.
The only problem with quotes on the internet is that you can't authenticate them -- Abraham Lincoln
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Re: Why can't strikefighters make an independent warp transi
Post by HB of CJ   » Fri Feb 20, 2015 6:04 pm

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Maybe it is because Fighters are too small? We never do learn what they mass, only that most fighters carry only one pilot and that command fighters carry two or three?

Also, are drones much bigger than fighters? Again, we never really learn how much bigger. Perhaps they mass 10x what a fighter does and therefore are stronger?

Thus being heavier and stronger perhaps thay have a much stronger and more powerful drive? We do know they have much more endurance/range than a strike fighter.

Bug/Gorn gunboats are many times larger than strike fighters. Big enough that some weapon systems can target them. We do know that Bug gunboats can make very long trips.

Finally, it is quite possible that such strike fighter limitations, (including the inability to transit) is because the Authors wanted it that way? This works for me.

HB of CJ (old coot) The Bugs will be back. I got a bad feeling about this. Yikes!
Last edited by HB of CJ on Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why can't strikefighters make an independent warp transi
Post by coldsteel   » Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:56 pm

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HB of CJ wrote:Maybe it is because Fighters are too small? We never do learn what they mass, only that most fighters carry only one pilot and that command fighters carry two?

Also, are drones much bigger than fighters? Again, we never really learn how much bigger. Perhaps they mass 10x what a fighter does and therefore are stronger?

Thus being heavier and stronger perhaps thay have a much stronger and more powerful drive? We do know they have much more endurance than a strike fighter.

Bug gunboats are many times larger than strike fighters. Big enough that some weapon systems can target them. We do know that Bug gunboats can make long trips.

Finally, it is quite possible that such strike fighter limitations, (including the inability to transit) is because the Authors wanted it that way? This works for me.

HB of CJ (old coot) The Bugs will be back. I got a bad feeling about this. Yikes!


Per info I have seen back in the day (when David worked with TFG on Starfire), CDs are not much bigger than 2 people. The limit on fighters was a gameplay limit, not authorial license; Strikefighters able to transit warp points were WAY too powerful. Almost as bad as SBMHawks.
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