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LAC on LAC warfare

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Re: LAC on LAC warfare
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:19 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:And as you note grav plates alone don't work like that; once you exceed a threshold value they can only provide a proportional reduction in experienced acceleration. But even within the limit where they can totally counteract gravity I'm not sure if they can counter acceleration laterally across them; or only acceleration towards (or away) from the plate. So you might need even more grav plates mounted on the walls to handle side to side acceleration.


I was going to say that we do know they can handle acceleration not perpendicular to their mounting plane. We saw Honor accelerate in Cerberus using regular ships, which have regular decks. The gravity plates are parallel to the wedges (roughly, since the wedges aren't parallel to each other).

But then I realised that there is one configuration that would allow her to accelerate the same way that the spider drive ships do: upwards. The ships don't have to go bow first (accel) or stern first (decel). In a vacuum, her ships could simply be going top-first. All she needed was thrusters mounted on the ventral surface. Or vice-versa: moving bottom-first with thrusters mounted on the dorsal surface. That even makes sense, since those surfaces are the ones most likely to have thruster nozzles capable of such high accelerations: the port, starboard, fore and after aspects are already taken by missile tubes, graser mounts, PDLC, pod launching doors (optional equipment), and some sensing equipment.

And "ventral" means "belly", and moving "belly-first" is after all our usually way of moving.
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Re: LAC on LAC warfare
Post by tlb   » Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:42 pm

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tlb wrote:I prefer to think that the grab of the Alpha wall is not a hard grab, but is more similar to rowing a heavy boat or throwing out a sea anchor and pulling on the rope.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:I think a row boat is a very good analogy to a spider-driven ship. The spider is like the oars: each of which can push against the medium and pull the ship along. Like oars, the more of them you have, the higher the acceleration you can achieve with the same power level per oar. Unlike oars, there's no speed limit.

That doesn't explain why the ship needs to be a triangular-section prism. You can still place spider emitters 120° apart on a cylinder.

Maybe you need additional bracing for the tractor mounts, because there are so many of them?
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Re: LAC on LAC warfare
Post by Jonathan_S   » Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:48 pm

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tlb wrote:
tlb wrote:I prefer to think that the grab of the Alpha wall is not a hard grab, but is more similar to rowing a heavy boat or throwing out a sea anchor and pulling on the rope.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:I think a row boat is a very good analogy to a spider-driven ship. The spider is like the oars: each of which can push against the medium and pull the ship along. Like oars, the more of them you have, the higher the acceleration you can achieve with the same power level per oar. Unlike oars, there's no speed limit.

That doesn't explain why the ship needs to be a triangular-section prism. You can still place spider emitters 120° apart on a cylinder.

Maybe you need additional bracing for the tractor mounts, because there are so many of them?

Or possibly they're powerful enough that they need some clear area around each emitter; and having the hull curve up that close to them might be bad.

Or maybe the MAlign just wanted flat surfaces to mount all their 'broadside' weapons on so they don't have to mess with curved armored hatches. The Lenny Dets seem big enough they may not miss the interior volume they give up by making the bits between the spines flat instead of curved out.
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Re: LAC on LAC warfare
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:29 am

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Jonathan_S wrote:Or possibly they're powerful enough that they need some clear area around each emitter; and having the hull curve up that close to them might be bad.

Or maybe the MAlign just wanted flat surfaces to mount all their 'broadside' weapons on so they don't have to mess with curved armored hatches. The Lenny Dets seem big enough they may not miss the interior volume they give up by making the bits between the spines flat instead of curved out.


Remind me again: the tractor emitters are on the triangular edges? Or the faces? If they are on the edges, then there is less mass around them. If they are on the faces, especially if those faces are slightly concave, there's more mass around them than on a cylinder, which would improve structural bracing.
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Re: LAC on LAC warfare
Post by tlb   » Tue Sep 15, 2020 12:25 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:Or possibly they're powerful enough that they need some clear area around each emitter; and having the hull curve up that close to them might be bad.

Or maybe the MAlign just wanted flat surfaces to mount all their 'broadside' weapons on so they don't have to mess with curved armored hatches. The Lenny Dets seem big enough they may not miss the interior volume they give up by making the bits between the spines flat instead of curved out.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:Remind me again: the tractor emitters are on the triangular edges? Or the faces? If they are on the edges, then there is less mass around them. If they are on the faces, especially if those faces are slightly concave, there's more mass around them than on a cylinder, which would improve structural bracing.

I would say that they are on the edges and you are trying to brace against the outward pull of the tractor, which is most effectively done by a triangular support (you do not need much bracing for side to side motion, since the only side force is along the rib holding the tractor beams. But this is a guess on my part.
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Re: LAC on LAC warfare
Post by Jonathan_S   » Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:59 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
Jonathan_S wrote:Or possibly they're powerful enough that they need some clear area around each emitter; and having the hull curve up that close to them might be bad.

Or maybe the MAlign just wanted flat surfaces to mount all their 'broadside' weapons on so they don't have to mess with curved armored hatches. The Lenny Dets seem big enough they may not miss the interior volume they give up by making the bits between the spines flat instead of curved out.


Remind me again: the tractor emitters are on the triangular edges? Or the faces? If they are on the edges, then there is less mass around them. If they are on the faces, especially if those faces are slightly concave, there's more mass around them than on a cylinder, which would improve structural bracing.

My recollection

Went back and looked and found this text in MoH
Mission of Honor Ch. 28 wrote:And in that respect, even the spider drive’s lower theoretical maximum acceleration presented a definite challenge, given the fact that it produced no impeller wedge. Without a wedge, it also produced no convenient “sump” for an inertial compensator, and that meant the maximum survivable normal-space acceleration for a spider drive-equipped ship was limited by the ability of currently available grav plate technology to offset the consequences of acceleration. Unfortunately, grav plates were far less capable in that respect than inertial compensators, which had an inevitable effect on the maximum accleration a spider-drive ship could attain. It also meant that unlike impeller-drive vessels, a spider-drive ship’s decks had to be aligned perpendicular to its axis of movement rather than parallel, which was a large part of what produced its shorter, “squatter” hull form, not to mention requiring some significant rethinks about the way spacecraft designers had been arranging ship interiors literally for centuries.

Although the Alignment’s physicists had been inspired to push grav plate technology harder than anyone else, there were still limits. Up to an actual acceleration of one hundred and fifty gravities, it could achieve an efficiency of over ninety-nine percent, producing a “felt” acceleration of only one gravity. Above that level, however, the plates’ efficiency fell off dramatically. The physical plant itself grew larger and more massive on a steeply climbing curve, which cut into internal volume, and even then, each additional gravity of actual acceleration produced a “felt” increase of approximately .05 g. That didn’t sound too terrible, but what it meant was that fifty additional gravities produced an apparent increase of two and a half gravities, which raised the ship’s internal gravity to 3.5 g, at which point the crew’s ability to move about and perform even routine duties began to become ... impaired. And it also meant that grav plates powerful enough to produce that effect required almost twice the volume required to produce the 150:1 ratio.

After considering the situation carefully, the architects had designed and stressed the ship structures and control stations to permit effective maneuvering and combat at up to four gravities, but combat efficiency began to decline noticeably at that rate of acceleration due to the physiological limitations of the crew. Moreover, that still equated to an actual acceleration of only two hundred and ten gravities, which was pathetic by the standards of any impeller-drive warship. Actual acceleration could be pushed—in emergencies, and briefly, at least—to almost three hundred and ten gravities, but that produced a “felt” gravity of 9 g. Crew acceleration couches were provided for just that contingency, yet three hundred and ten gravities was still barely half of the acceleration which the RMN’s biggest superdreadnought could currently attain, and even with the best acceleration couches in the universe, no one could stand nine gravities for long. Worse, smaller spider-drive ships had no acceleration advantage over larger ones. And the need to stabilize the ship relative to the hyper wall required at least three sets of “spider legs,” which led directly to the “triple skeg” hull form which had been adopted. Which, in turn, meant that instead of two broadsides, a spider-drive ship had three ... none of which could be protected by the impenetrable barrier of an impeller wedge. That meant both that areas no impeller-drive ship had to armor did require massive armor protection aboard a spider-drive warship and that there was no wedge floor and roof for a side wall to stitch together. And just to make matters even more interesting, the spider drive could not be used through a spherical sidewall like the ones fortresses generated.


The shark class, and graser torpedo, are later described as having "trilateral symmetry"

Okay - It doesn't say that the spider legs are on the skeg "spines"; but, like tlb, that's cerainly how I'd assumed they were constructed. Oversized, over-powered, tractor projectors sticking out of each point of the triangular cross section with the sensors and weapons mounted in the 3 broadsides on the flat sides of the triangular cross section. And, since "skeg" refers to things sticking out beyond the main (underwater) hull of a ship to support either drive shafts or rudders -- things involved in propelling and steering the ship -- I defaulted to assuming the 3 skegs of the spider drive were the ridge formed by the points of the triangular cross section, sticking out from the broadsides, and that the spider nodes were mounted in/on those protruding skegs.


But I guess it's not necessarily inconsistent with the description to have the spider nodes running down the middle of the flat faces, while the 3 skegs instead mount the weapons with the point of the triangle pointed at you while weapons fire past it from both flats (kind of like if you cut the noses off a bunch of Star Destroyers and welded them into a stack; with all their bows pointed at you).
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Re: LAC on LAC warfare
Post by tlb   » Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:55 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:The shark class, and graser torpedo, are later described as having "trilateral symmetry"

Okay - It doesn't say that the spider legs are on the skeg "spines"; but, like tlb, that's cerainly how I'd assumed they were constructed. Oversized, over-powered, tractor projectors sticking out of each point of the triangular cross section with the sensors and weapons mounted in the 3 broadsides on the flat sides of the triangular cross section. And, since "skeg" refers to things sticking out beyond the main (underwater) hull of a ship to support either drive shafts or rudders -- things involved in propelling and steering the ship -- I defaulted to assuming the 3 skegs of the spider drive were the ridge formed by the points of the triangular cross section, sticking out from the broadsides, and that the spider nodes were mounted in/on those protruding skegs.

But I guess it's not necessarily inconsistent with the description to have the spider nodes running down the middle of the flat faces, while the 3 skegs instead mount the weapons with the point of the triangle pointed at you while weapons fire past it from both flats (kind of like if you cut the noses off a bunch of Star Destroyers and welded them into a stack; with all their bows pointed at you).

I do not know: but if the graser torpedo has the triple skeg design, then those are for the tractor beams; since it only has the single graser as a weapon (so it needs nothing in triplicate).

However trilateral symmetry is still consistent with a circular cross-section. Since an arachnid does not have trilateral symmetry, but a native of Basilisk does; then maybe it should have been called the Medusan drive, instead of the spider drive.
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Re: LAC on LAC warfare
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:38 pm

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tlb wrote:However trilateral symmetry is still consistent with a circular cross-section. Since an arachnid does not have trilateral symmetry, but a native of Basilisk does; then maybe it should have been called the Medusan drive, instead of the spider drive.


Indeed, that's what I meant: you can get a trilateral symmetry in a cylinder, by dividing it into pizza slices of 120° (which no one would do in an actual pizza, lest the author of such a feat be mercilessly hazed by his/her fellow pizza-eaters). Nothing we've seen so far seems to require that the tractors be away from more mass. But we can simply take it as a given there's a reason and we aren't told.

The other interesting part of the passage is the "shorter, 'squatter' hull form." I've so far visualised all non-atmospheric ships with a much bigger length than width/radius/beam. We're told a ship needs more tractor mounts to accelerate more, which is compatible with my row-boat analogy. The passage justifies this by the fact that you need a massive grav plate generator somewhere in the ship, so you need the internal volume for it. And it makes no sense to add more tractors past a certain point, since the ship will be limited by how much the grav plates can compensate.

But that makes for a very large internal volume. And it has to be taken up by storage -- you can't add too much equipment, as your ability to dissipate heat is proportional to the area, but your heat production from active equipment is proportional to the volume. That means... more missiles and torpedoes.
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Re: LAC on LAC warfare
Post by tlb   » Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:56 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:The shark class, and graser torpedo, are later described as having "trilateral symmetry"

Okay - It doesn't say that the spider legs are on the skeg "spines"; but, like tlb, that's cerainly how I'd assumed they were constructed.
--- snip ---
And, since "skeg" refers to things sticking out beyond the main (underwater) hull of a ship to support either drive shafts or rudders

tlb wrote:I do not know: but if the graser torpedo has the triple skeg design, then those are for the tractor beams; since it only has the single graser as a weapon (so it needs nothing in triplicate).

Since RFC used the word "skeg", which does imply something sticking out, and since a graser torpedo has only one weapon (not broasdsides' worth); then I believe we are safe in describing the tractors as sitting on projections from the hull that run some distance from fore to aft (absent evidence that the graser torpedoes lack those skegs).
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Re: LAC on LAC warfare
Post by cthia   » Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:21 am

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cthia wrote:
ThinksMarkedly wrote:An LAC wouldn't do that, except if by accident.

I agree, "Lacs were never meant to close with SDs," says textev. But Murphy didn't get the memo.


TM wrote:I disagree. I think Murphy did get the memo. That's why he does what he does.

I don't think Murphy depends on insider information. Murphy is inherent in the Universe, he's built-in. That's why LACs did close with SDs in storyline.

Besides, why wouldn't an overwhelming horde of Katanas NOT drive into knife range of SDs in a Saganami style last stand? After all, they are named after the two-handed Japanese sword.

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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