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Wormhole Assault: MA Style

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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by cthia   » Tue May 11, 2021 9:49 am

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:o

Reverse engineering someone's thoughts from the :?: thread, is there any reason the LDs cannot operate as hybrid engines? Why can't they utilize both propulsion systems? Wedges and Spider drive?

If it is possible, then an LD can essentially use the Spider's stealth to infiltrate a system's defenses then bring up it's wedge and bubble walls up close and personal. That would essentially be like a Fort materializing in orbit right off the planet's starboard bow.

:o

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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Tue May 11, 2021 10:50 am

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cthia wrote::o

Reverse engineering someone's thoughts from the :?: thread, is there any reason the LDs cannot operate as hybrid engines? Why can't they utilize both propulsion systems? Wedges and Spider drive?

If it is possible, then an LD can essentially use the Spider's stealth to infiltrate a system's defenses then bring up it's wedge and bubble walls up close and personal. That would essentially be like a Fort materializing in orbit right off the planet's starboard bow.

:o


If designed to do so, no, there's nothing preventing that. They'd never run both engines at the same time, though, for two reasons. First, the wedge blocks the spider tractors: remember that inside the wedge volume, the entire space is an inertial frame of reference. So the spider tractors would need to reach outside of the wedge, which means sides, throat, and kilt, to be of any use. And this is assuming that they can contribute anything.

Second and most importantly, the presence of the wedge completely negates the stealth. The wedge of a warship is one of the brightest sources in gravitic sensors. We do know there are ways to stealth a wedge somewhat, q.v. the Ghost Riders, but we haven't seen ships under power stealth themselves.

All that is irrelevant, though. The Leonard Detweiler class does not appear to have been designed to run with wedges. In order to maximise the spider, it has a triangular cross-section. David has told us they mount Warshawskis and Warshawski sails, which tells me they have hammerheads with alpha nodes. But nothing has been told about them having wedges and sidewalls. Even if they did, their cross-section would mean the ship can't fight with a wedge up. It would be a last resort to run away.
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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by Jonathan_S   » Tue May 11, 2021 12:20 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
Second and most importantly, the presence of the wedge completely negates the stealth. The wedge of a warship is one of the brightest sources in gravitic sensors. We do know there are ways to stealth a wedge somewhat, q.v. the Ghost Riders, but we haven't seen ships under power stealth themselves.
Actually we have see wedge powered ships under stealth; but only at fairly long ranges and under quite low acceleration settings.

They're still nowhere near as stealthy as a Spider, even at the low accelerations a Spider's grav plates can support.


But your 3rd point (not quote) is probably the key one. The LD geometry is all wrong for a wedge, and if you fired one up that was mounted to it's triangular hull form it'd likely rip large parts of the ship's 3 spider keels apart.

There are reasons that wedge powered ships have a tapered cylinder hull form -- and its because that's the maximum volume shape that can be fit within given sized wedge - stick something out past that and the grav stresses during wedge start-up will shred it. (But warships can flare their hammerheads back out because they're beyond the impeller rings). You'd need an LD's impellers mounted on a standoff ring that was at least as far from the hull as the tip of the spider emitters atop the keels.
Normally that's be extra silly because that makes the ship look bigger to its compensator and thus reduces its accel - but an LD is already too large for a compensator to do anything and so it'd be under grav plates whether using Spider or Wedge.

(Which is another reason they likely wouldn't bother with a wedge - it doesn't give them any performance advantage over a spider in a ship that large. Its performance is limited by its grav plates; not its drive)
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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Tue May 11, 2021 7:20 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:Actually we have see wedge powered ships under stealth; but only at fairly long ranges and under quite low acceleration settings.

They're still nowhere near as stealthy as a Spider, even at the low accelerations a Spider's grav plates can support.


True, but this an area where the Alliance tech is ahead so it's not something the MAN can bank on. We've seen time and again that the RMN forces could see the ships trying to stay hidden during the liberation of the Madras sector and even during the war with Haven. And often it didn't seem the Ghost Riders were even especially close.

But your 3rd point (not quote) is probably the key one. The LD geometry is all wrong for a wedge, and if you fired one up that was mounted to it's triangular hull form it'd likely rip large parts of the ship's 3 spider keels apart.

There are reasons that wedge powered ships have a tapered cylinder hull form -- and its because that's the maximum volume shape that can be fit within given sized wedge - stick something out past that and the grav stresses during wedge start-up will shred it. (But warships can flare their hammerheads back out because they're beyond the impeller rings). You'd need an LD's impellers mounted on a standoff ring that was at least as far from the hull as the tip of the spider emitters atop the keels.


Indeed I was thinking that a Spider-driven ship, be it a Ghost, a Shark, or an LD, will have a massive, round-shaped ring in its hammerheads. The triangular main part of the body would be inscribed in that ring, never exceeding its projection. So this ship would have smaller internal volume than equivalent ship of this size drive by a wedge, were such a size to be feasible.

Normally that's be extra silly because that makes the ship look bigger to its compensator and thus reduces its accel - but an LD is already too large for a compensator to do anything and so it'd be under grav plates whether using Spider or Wedge.

(Which is another reason they likely wouldn't bother with a wedge - it doesn't give them any performance advantage over a spider in a ship that large. Its performance is limited by its grav plates; not its drive)


Oh, indeed! That's actually a nail in the coffin: the lack of compensators. The MAN grav plates can only compensate 150 gravities down to 1 and that's already less than the spider can pull at full power. There's no point in adding a wedge, since the ship cannot accelerate any faster, if it wants the crew and loose equipment to remain undamaged.
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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by Jonathan_S   » Tue May 11, 2021 9:02 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:Oh, indeed! That's actually a nail in the coffin: the lack of compensators. The MAN grav plates can only compensate 150 gravities down to 1 and that's already less than the spider can pull at full power. There's no point in adding a wedge, since the ship cannot accelerate any faster, if it wants the crew and loose equipment to remain undamaged.

There's still maybe one reason for a wedge; despite having no acceleration advantage here. But I deliberately avoided cluttering up my prior post with it.

A wedge might make a discovered and under fire spider ship slightly more survivable. Even if it mounts a bubble sidewall we're told the spider drive can't work while one's active; so if attacked and it pops a up a bubble it then can't maneuver or flee. But if they put in the wasteful entire extra drive system, plus full sets of powerful sidewall generators, then a spider ship that came under fire could potentially switch over to wedge, raise sidewalls, and try to fight its way out.
The 150g (or somewhat more if you're willing to force the crew into acceleration couches and lose most of their ability to perform damage control) that its grav plates can give you is pitifully low acceleration for a warship trying to flee. But it's infinitely better than no acceleration at all, which is what its spider drive could provide while sidewall protected.
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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Tue May 11, 2021 9:46 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:A wedge might make a discovered and under fire spider ship slightly more survivable. Even if it mounts a bubble sidewall we're told the spider drive can't work while one's active; so if attacked and it pops a up a bubble it then can't maneuver or flee. But if they put in the wasteful entire extra drive system, plus full sets of powerful sidewall generators, then a spider ship that came under fire could potentially switch over to wedge, raise sidewalls, and try to fight its way out.
The 150g (or somewhat more if you're willing to force the crew into acceleration couches and lose most of their ability to perform damage control) that its grav plates can give you is pitifully low acceleration for a warship trying to flee. But it's infinitely better than no acceleration at all, which is what its spider drive could provide while sidewall protected.


In theory you're right.

In practice, I see two problems, one at each moment. The first is when to turn that wedge and sidewalls on: powering impeller nodes up from cold takes time. I don't think we've been told how much that is on modern ships, only the 45 minutes from Travis' time, but a 15-minute delay is reasonable. The problem is that if there is such a delay, the ship may not have time to bring the wedge and sidewalls up in time to protect itself or run away. I suppose it could have hot nodes instead, ready to bring the wedge up in a minute or less, but all signs point to those having gravitic leakage and therefore being detectable at some distance. This goes back to my previous post: RMN sensing tech on gravitics is second to none, so keeping hot nodes is a gamble.

The second moment is the running away. As you said, the ship is limited to 150 gravities due to its lack of compensators. And I agree that 150 gravities is infinitely better than zero (literally; it's a division by zero). But like divisions by zero, the value you get after undoing may not be useful: 150 gravities can't outrun Travis' destroyers, much less modern ships. If the threat was significant enough that it had to bring the wedge and sidewalls up, can the ship run away?

RFC has made it clear that one doesn't throw destroyers at SDs, so I suppose we wouldn't send CLs, DDs or LACs on an LD: it's going to be deadly even with just CMs and onboard mounts. But any of those can fire DDMs and command MDMs from pods. Against a Keyhole-enabled Nike or something better, the mobility isn't going to buy you almost anything.
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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by kzt   » Tue May 11, 2021 11:05 pm

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It was stated to be long in the last book. Ut that has always served as a plot device any time it is invoked. Like when Honor popped up a wedge in OBS.
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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by cthia   » Wed May 12, 2021 6:30 am

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Interesting stuff guys. Of course, I was thinking the wedge would only be used in emergencies. While under fire. Hopefully, an LD has already destroyed everything in its vicinity. Like a fleet of sitting ducks in orbit. It may simply need to survive an avalanche of orphaned missiles. Orphaned, but they still have a mind of their own. It could also be used to entice a smaller ship(s) to fire itself dry.

Am I correct that the LD has to rely on grav plates rather than a compensator only because of its massive size? Or, and, it's irregular shape?

At any rate, I always wondered why a ship can't be designed to only compensate part of the ship, which would mainly be the part which houses the crew. If missiles and drones can operate with a wedge and survive, why can't a ship be designed to do so?

Also, while inside bubblewalls, are thrusters inoperative as well? Unlike GA ships, if bubblewalls and sidewalls operate very close to the skin of the ship - if need be - why can't thrusters operate thru traditional "gun ports."

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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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by cthia   » Wed May 12, 2021 6:54 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
Jonathan_S wrote:A wedge might make a discovered and under fire spider ship slightly more survivable. Even if it mounts a bubble sidewall we're told the spider drive can't work while one's active; so if attacked and it pops a up a bubble it then can't maneuver or flee. But if they put in the wasteful entire extra drive system, plus full sets of powerful sidewall generators, then a spider ship that came under fire could potentially switch over to wedge, raise sidewalls, and try to fight its way out.
The 150g (or somewhat more if you're willing to force the crew into acceleration couches and lose most of their ability to perform damage control) that its grav plates can give you is pitifully low acceleration for a warship trying to flee. But it's infinitely better than no acceleration at all, which is what its spider drive could provide while sidewall protected.


In theory you're right.

In practice, I see two problems, one at each moment. The first is when to turn that wedge and sidewalls on: powering impeller nodes up from cold takes time. I don't think we've been told how much that is on modern ships, only the 45 minutes from Travis' time, but a 15-minute delay is reasonable. The problem is that if there is such a delay, the ship may not have time to bring the wedge and sidewalls up in time to protect itself or run away. I suppose it could have hot nodes instead, ready to bring the wedge up in a minute or less, but all signs point to those having gravitic leakage and therefore being detectable at some distance. This goes back to my previous post: RMN sensing tech on gravitics is second to none, so keeping hot nodes is a gamble.

The second moment is the running away. As you said, the ship is limited to 150 gravities due to its lack of compensators. And I agree that 150 gravities is infinitely better than zero (literally; it's a division by zero). But like divisions by zero, the value you get after undoing may not be useful: 150 gravities can't outrun Travis' destroyers, much less modern ships. If the threat was significant enough that it had to bring the wedge and sidewalls up, can the ship run away?

RFC has made it clear that one doesn't throw destroyers at SDs, so I suppose we wouldn't send CLs, DDs or LACs on an LD: it's going to be deadly even with just CMs and onboard mounts. But any of those can fire DDMs and command MDMs from pods. Against a Keyhole-enabled Nike or something better, the mobility isn't going to buy you almost anything.

That certainly is a problem, so if an LD has to rely on a cold start, it's toast. So, warm the nodes up just before engaging. Or just after engaging, whatever the situation warrants. Granted, the RMN may be able to detect leakage, but not too quickly at a considerable range. It would take a fair amount of time. Especially initially, when the GA isn't aware there's a Spider(s) in-system.

At any rate, I always thought that the significant time it takes for wedge startup is a function of the limitation of the available reactors. Which goes back to the advantage I posted upstream of an LD which may have five or six reactors whose total output is all available for other purposes, like the aforementioned hellfire energy weapons, or fast emergency wedge starts.

Plus, after an LD has survived it's emergency (an avalanche of orphaned missiles) it can reinitiate the Spider-drive. The GA may not be aware of its limited acceleration, therefore guessing the wrong area to target. If possible, who is to guess how many times or how quickly this process can be accomplished. Spider <-> wedge <-> Spider.

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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Re: Wormhole Assault: MA Style
Post by Theemile   » Wed May 12, 2021 8:27 am

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cthia wrote:That certainly is a problem, so if an LD has to rely on a cold start, it's toast. So, warm the nodes up just before engaging. Or just after engaging, whatever the situation warrants. Granted, the RMN may be able to detect leakage, but not too quickly at a considerable range. It would take a fair amount of time. Especially initially, when the GA isn't aware there's a Spider(s) in-system.

At any rate, I always thought that the significant time it takes for wedge startup is a function of the limitation of the available reactors. Which goes back to the advantage I posted upstream of an LD which may have five or six reactors whose total output is all available for other purposes, like the aforementioned hellfire energy weapons, or fast emergency wedge starts.

Plus, after an LD has survived it's emergency (an avalanche of orphaned missiles) it can reinitiate the Spider-drive. The GA may not be aware of its limited acceleration, therefore guessing the wrong area to target. If possible, who is to guess how many times or how quickly this process can be accomplished. Spider <-> wedge <-> Spider.


Warm (and warming) nodes are visible on grav sensors at a considerable range (several light minutes), so that would negate stealth, and could interfere with the spider drive.

All SDs currently have 4-6 monster fusion reactors - I would expect an LD to have the same - for the same reasons an SD has them.
******
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