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Battle of Spindle

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Re: Battle of Spindle
Post by Loren Pechtel   » Fri Apr 26, 2019 11:34 pm

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gclarkii wrote:On the subject of ramming at a sidewall, has anyone considered that the incoming missile has a wedge of it own and sidewalls are not at the very outside of the ships wedge. And as far as I know, a starship's wedge is just little bit more powerful than a missiles', at wedge impact the missile will vaporize. And as far as radiation from that event goes, how wide is a ship's wedge? A general fireball(however energetic it might be) is not going to effect something 50, 100, 150 kilometers from where it's at, especially in space. A laserhead only works because of the focusing/amplification of the rods, and it is aimed to boot.


Here I disagree. When the missile is doing over .7c I think it's still going to be devastating to the ship behind (assuming it's pointed right) even if it's vaporized. Lets say that sidewall is 100km out from the ship. The vaporized material hits in less than half a millisecond--how much spreading out is it going to do in that time? And remember that the vaporized missile has several orders of magnitude more energy than the warhead.

I think a correctly aimed ram kills any ship out there, the existence of the programming in the missiles will force the enemy to ensure it can never be used which means they must roll wedges against all attacks and thus impair their defenses.
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Re: Battle of Spindle
Post by SharkHunter   » Sun Dec 22, 2019 7:30 am

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I smile at the sneaky references, because sneaky is entirely how you defeat a larger bullying force. You punch them out before they get to deliver their first blow. But IIRC, of course Admiral Henke didn't warn them -- her ships were in hyper and simply closed the door to the trap that Crandall's forces walked into. I think Gov. Medusa provided adequate warning, however. The battle was successful because Henke and co-horts correctly predicted both Crandall's bullish mentality and the SLN strategic doctrine before the SLN ships even arrived in-system.

How they used the Mark 23-E missiles to control salvos is entirely consistent with the progression of battle tactics implied over the course of some prior books, and basically amounts to "overwhelming force at time on target" vs. totally unhittable missiles. I just read a paper describing how the US military's multiple-rocket system (I forget the initials) that they call "steel rain" was devastating, because the Iraqi forces couldn't isolate the launchers before being effectively carpet bomb-letted out into submission. Those missile systems have only become more deadly with the addition of GPS, etc. which is effectively what Apollo does in the Honorverse. The deployment of the launchers? always done sneaky. But in both cases, what you can't do is punch out multiple task force targets battle theatre wide.

Say for example that Crandall pops over the hyper limit with about half a dozen superdreadnoughts, sufficient cruisers to look good, etc. and does the exact same thing... warning Spindle blah blah blah, and at the time limit, all of her remaining ships pop across the hyper limit from three divergent directions to the planet... a much more difficult battle ensues.

But that wasn't RFC's authorial goal -- a tough battle. What he shows us is that the Mesan alignment was very deliberate and successful in trying to get bullheaded, strategically bullheaded idiots into position to lose SLN ships in massive quantities.

The interesting thing is that if you collected some of the RMN strategy in fights from the last couple of books, especially the sequences in Uncompromising Honor, we see that the SLN command officers are getting better, their weapons and tactics improving -- but we're talking at a level akin to "early chess players" vs. "four dimensional chess players" backed by institutional experience and about a gazillion rounds of tough tactical simulations and after-sim reviews.

Playing "author/strategist" in the Honorverse would be fun -- I kinda mapped out a whole sequence where a relatively small RMN force actually defends the Sol system from an Oyster-Bay style attack. Working out the battle plan that would put the ships into the right place at the right time to do something sneaky, do their defensive thing, and NOT get caught by the SLN when their ammunition starts to run dry?

Tough yes, but arguably way easier than how to have the RMN admiral (well, a Captain acting at the Commodore level actually, and no, not Zavala or Terekhov) correctly figure out the unpredictable pre-battle psychology of the three different forces to get them all into the furball to begin with.
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All my posts are YMMV, IMHO, and welcoming polite discussion, extension, and rebuttal. This is the HonorVerse, after all
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Re: Battle of Spindle
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Sun Dec 22, 2019 11:56 am

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SharkHunter wrote:How they used the Mark 23-E missiles to control salvos is entirely consistent with the progression of battle tactics implied over the course of some prior books, and basically amounts to "overwhelming force at time on target" vs. totally unhittable missiles. I just read a paper describing how the US military's multiple-rocket system (I forget the initials) that they call "steel rain" was devastating, because the Iraqi forces couldn't isolate the launchers before being effectively carpet bomb-letted out into submission. Those missile systems have only become more deadly with the addition of GPS, etc. which is effectively what Apollo does in the Honorverse. The deployment of the launchers? always done sneaky. But in both cases, what you can't do is punch out multiple task force targets battle theatre wide.

Say for example that Crandall pops over the hyper limit with about half a dozen superdreadnoughts, sufficient cruisers to look good, etc. and does the exact same thing... warning Spindle blah blah blah, and at the time limit, all of her remaining ships pop across the hyper limit from three divergent directions to the planet... a much more difficult battle ensues.


Very good post, SharkHunter.

I assume you meant in this multi-vector attack that Crandall's forces remain outside the hyperlimit? If so, then yes, some forces could escape to bring the news back and report on what RMN technology was like.

The problem is I can't think of why she'd do that. She did dismiss the reports that MDMs existed, despite Byng's BC being destroyed from outside its range. Even if she accepted they did, her reaction would have been to concentrate her forces to provide maximum defence. Splitting provides for "defeat in detail". And finally, as you pointed out, Terekhov, Khumalo, Henke and Gov. Medusa goaded her very effectively.

The moment her forces were within 65 million km of the MDM launch platforms, they were doomed, regardless of how many attack prongs there were. In fact, they were probably doomed from much further out, if Henke and Terekhov accepted a coasting phase.
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Re: Battle of Spindle
Post by Loren Pechtel   » Sun Dec 22, 2019 11:34 pm

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SharkHunter wrote:Say for example that Crandall pops over the hyper limit with about half a dozen superdreadnoughts, sufficient cruisers to look good, etc. and does the exact same thing... warning Spindle blah blah blah, and at the time limit, all of her remaining ships pop across the hyper limit from three divergent directions to the planet... a much more difficult battle ensues.


This wouldn't be any harder. Whether the fleet is together or dispersed makes no difference, they're still hammered to bits before they enter their effective range. Popping in behind them had no effect on the battle, it was just to keep them from running.

Dispersing her forces actually makes her weaker. The salvos sent her way were only capable of engaging 1/3 of her fleet--that means 2/3 of her ships were capable of their normal defensive fire without being engaged. The countermissiles were basically useless but the point defense lasers worked normally--they just got only one shot each as the recharge time exceeded the time the missiles took to cross the laser zone.

Suppose she splits her force into three equal groups. The missile storm goes for only one of the three--and faces only 1/3 the defensive fire. Splitting her forces further has no effect--if she sends in 6 forces 2 of them are engaged in the first salvo.

The instant her trajectory committed her to spending even one minute in the missile envelope that was it, her only choices were surrender or die.
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Re: Battle of Spindle
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Mon Dec 23, 2019 2:46 pm

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Loren Pechtel wrote:The instant her trajectory committed her to spending even one minute in the missile envelope that was it, her only choices were surrender or die.


The one thing she should have done is to leave a ship behind, close to or outside the hyperlimit, to go back and report in case things go horribly wrong. Like The Bear did at New Tuscany: he left one of his DDs out under stealth while three went to meet Byng in orbit.

But of course she wouldn't do that. Her arrogance wouldn't allow it. Not just hers, any Sollie flag officer. Even a sensible one, like Filareta seemed to be, wouldn't have, at least not at this point. What amazes me is that even after battle after battle getting no direct sensor data, they didn't start doing that.

Not that it would have helped her anyway. Sollie stealth wasn't up to Manticoran standards, so Ghost Rider would have found any ship hiding inside the hyper limit. Any left outside of it would find itself under Henke's guns asking for the surrender before the missiles struck Crandall's forces.
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Re: Battle of Spindle
Post by Loren Pechtel   » Tue Dec 24, 2019 12:05 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
Loren Pechtel wrote:The instant her trajectory committed her to spending even one minute in the missile envelope that was it, her only choices were surrender or die.


The one thing she should have done is to leave a ship behind, close to or outside the hyperlimit, to go back and report in case things go horribly wrong. Like The Bear did at New Tuscany: he left one of his DDs out under stealth while three went to meet Byng in orbit.


Sensible, yes--but she was picked for arrogance, not sensibility.

But of course she wouldn't do that. Her arrogance wouldn't allow it. Not just hers, any Sollie flag officer. Even a sensible one, like Filareta seemed to be, wouldn't have, at least not at this point. What amazes me is that even after battle after battle getting no direct sensor data, they didn't start doing that.


I think Filareta would have at Spindle. There was no real point in it at Manticore, though, because that was basically for all the marbles anyway. If Filareta lost at Manticore the SLN was doomed.

Not that it would have helped her anyway. Sollie stealth wasn't up to Manticoran standards, so Ghost Rider would have found any ship hiding inside the hyper limit. Any left outside of it would find itself under Henke's guns asking for the surrender before the missiles struck Crandall's forces.


Disagree. Ships lying doggo are very hard to detect and it's hyper footprint would have been lost in the herd.
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Re: Battle of Spindle
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Tue Dec 24, 2019 2:15 pm

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Loren Pechtel wrote:
Not that it would have helped her anyway. Sollie stealth wasn't up to Manticoran standards, so Ghost Rider would have found any ship hiding inside the hyper limit. Any left outside of it would find itself under Henke's guns asking for the surrender before the missiles struck Crandall's forces.


Disagree. Ships lying doggo are very hard to detect and it's hyper footprint would have been lost in the herd.


Not against Ghost Rider close by and especially against a forewarned defence who even knew the vector Crandall was approaching from. It's possible the hyper footprint of every ship wasn't individually accounted for when she translated in, but the ship would need to bring its wedge up to accelerate away from the emergence point. If they did, then the wedge was detected; if they stayed put, then a Ghost Rider would definitely come investigate that location and find the ship.

No, no ship of hers would be lost from sensor coverage at Spindle.
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Re: Battle of Spindle
Post by Loren Pechtel   » Tue Dec 24, 2019 8:08 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
Loren Pechtel wrote:Disagree. Ships lying doggo are very hard to detect and it's hyper footprint would have been lost in the herd.


Not against Ghost Rider close by and especially against a forewarned defence who even knew the vector Crandall was approaching from. It's possible the hyper footprint of every ship wasn't individually accounted for when she translated in, but the ship would need to bring its wedge up to accelerate away from the emergence point. If they did, then the wedge was detected; if they stayed put, then a Ghost Rider would definitely come investigate that location and find the ship.

No, no ship of hers would be lost from sensor coverage at Spindle.


They know the vector, they don't know the exact emergence point--it's not that accurate after an interstellar trip. That's quite a volume to scour, even more so if it moves away on it's maneuvering thrusters.
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Re: Battle of Spindle
Post by Theemile   » Wed Dec 25, 2019 12:43 am

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Loren Pechtel wrote:
ThinksMarkedly wrote:
Not against Ghost Rider close by and especially against a forewarned defence who even knew the vector Crandall was approaching from. It's possible the hyper footprint of every ship wasn't individually accounted for when she translated in, but the ship would need to bring its wedge up to accelerate away from the emergence point. If they did, then the wedge was detected; if they stayed put, then a Ghost Rider would definitely come investigate that location and find the ship.

No, no ship of hers would be lost from sensor coverage at Spindle.


They know the vector, they don't know the exact emergence point--it's not that accurate after an interstellar trip. That's quite a volume to scour, even more so if it moves away on it's maneuvering thrusters.


I would agree, with the caveat that it is a Matter of distance to the nearest drone when they arrive. At Mantiore they didn't get a precise emergence count immediately, and if anyplace is oversaturated with sensitive system drones, Manticore is.

Now, if you translate on top of a drone (which one will probably be inside the least time emergence loci), the chances are higher that the defenders will get a good emergence count, no matter how big the fleet is. And multiple, close platforms just drive that probability up.
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Re: Battle of Spindle
Post by Galactic Sapper   » Wed Dec 25, 2019 1:30 am

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Loren Pechtel wrote:They know the vector, they don't know the exact emergence point--it's not that accurate after an interstellar trip. That's quite a volume to scour, even more so if it moves away on it's maneuvering thrusters.

Maneuvering thrusters aren't going to get a ship away from its emergence point fast enough to matter. They'd still be detected and localized.

The problem is that Crandall could have brought an observer but not without announcing the fact. The main fleet arrival was big enough to maybe hide a couple additional arrivals in but they'd never get clear. Instead, have a couple destroyers arrive separately, twelve light hours out at widely separated emergence points, and then go max stealth speed on their wedge for a couple hours to break contact. The Manties would definitely spot the translations but would likely not be able to track and follow the destroyers close enough to kill them simultaneously with the main force.
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