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Captain Zilwicki's options in SVW?

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Re: Captain Zilwicki's options in SVW?
Post by cthia   » Sat Jun 05, 2021 3:02 pm

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One other - completely divergent - comment in this thread.

Even though the author says it is unusual, difficult, and rare to ambush in hyper, the Peeps managed to pull it off quite easily on the first attempt. IINM, the proffered excuse was that they knew the convoy's schedule and destination. Then they simply lay in wait on what essentially is one of the "major highways" akin to I-95. I-40, etc. Actually I think text says the Peeps only needed to know the destination, and perhaps the time. Color me stubborn, but it seems possible the tactic can easily be reproduced. All that is needed are ships, and patience to lie in wait along the major routes. Eventually, the hunted Salmon are going to swim upstream.

Ships, especially freighters, are always going to choose the fastest routes, thus, the major routes. Major routes also have the same benefit as our own major routes. If you break down, there is a chance someone will happen along, than if you're stranded on a back road.

At any rate, I don't see why commerce raiding didn't fan out to include hyper. Especially for pirates. If pirates wanted to attack freighters today, simply lie in wait along the truck routes. The prey will swim right to you. Like Salmon swimming into the waiting jaws of hungry bears.

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: Captain Zilwicki's options in SVW?
Post by Brigade XO   » Sat Jun 05, 2021 9:19 pm

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You have one warship trying to protect 6. Sound like something you heard before?
The original engagement with Edward Saganami.

No normal freighter is going to be able to outrun, let alone defend itself against any warship. Pirates are a different story and if you have something like Pirates Bane and it's captain, the pirate is dead meat.

In the RMN, the calculus for an escorting warship is mission kill or destroy as many of the attacking ships to allow the MAXIMUM number of freighters to escape. Get you charges out of harms way or maximize the number that can get away. That is the standard.
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Re: Captain Zilwicki's options in SVW?
Post by cthia   » Sat Jun 05, 2021 9:38 pm

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Brigade XO wrote:You have one warship trying to protect 6. Sound like something you heard before?
The original engagement with Edward Saganami.

No normal freighter is going to be able to outrun, let alone defend itself against any warship. Pirates are a different story and if you have something like Pirates Bane and it's captain, the pirate is dead meat.

In the RMN, the calculus for an escorting warship is mission kill or destroy as many of the attacking ships to allow the MAXIMUM number of freighters to escape. Get you charges out of harms way or maximize the number that can get away. That is the standard.

I don't hesitate at all agreeing with this Brigade. In fact, if you reduce the escort to its most common denominator which is a body guard, you should expect as much. A bodyguard of any type should be willing to give his life to save his charge. And feel like a complete failure if a single one of them died and he lived. And all of that would ring true even without the added pressure of Saganami's legacy and tradition. But I also think the RMN would not be surprised if its officers somehow found a way to simultaneously save their charge AND stay alive. I imagine there are lots of after action analyses.*

For instance, what is the officer's name who achieved the impossible facing an overwhelming SLN force, against the orders of her superior? Was that the Battle of Ajay, and another Helen? In fact, Honor offered up a bit of praise and some after action analysis herself.

Dammit, I hate it when my memory goes on the Fritz.

The bit of boob-tube this bit reminds me of is during the movie "Top Gun" when the beautiful woman Charlie deflated the ego of Maverick with her analysis of one of his maneuvers during training. Just a bit. She definitely struck a nerve.

Nice post!

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: Captain Zilwicki's options in SVW?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Sat Jun 05, 2021 10:30 pm

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cthia wrote:One other - completely divergent - comment in this thread.

Even though the author says it is unusual, difficult, and rare to ambush in hyper, the Peeps managed to pull it off quite easily on the first attempt.


Who says it was the first attempt? How do you know the Peeps didn't have another dozen task forces trying to intercept convoys and all of them failed? How many other convoys passed this task force and they failed to generate an intercept?

IINM, the proffered excuse was that they knew the convoy's schedule and destination. Then they simply lay in wait on what essentially is one of the "major highways" akin to I-95. I-40, etc. Actually I think text says the Peeps only needed to know the destination, and perhaps the time. Color me stubborn, but it seems possible the tactic can easily be reproduced. All that is needed are ships, and patience to lie in wait along the major routes. Eventually, the hunted Salmon are going to swim upstream.


One thing you're forgetting is that the Peeps caused this convoy to exist. They knew there would be a convoy, what its nature would be, even if they didn't know the exact ship count. Or maybe they even did, because they could have a picket that saw them leave and raced ahead to let the ambushers know the exact composition and schedule.

This is a very different scenario from commercial raiding. Which in turn is different from piratical activities, when the pirates have poorly-maintained and older warships.

Ships, especially freighters, are always going to choose the fastest routes, thus, the major routes. Major routes also have the same benefit as our own major routes. If you break down, there is a chance someone will happen along, than if you're stranded on a back road.

At any rate, I don't see why commerce raiding didn't fan out to include hyper. Especially for pirates. If pirates wanted to attack freighters today, simply lie in wait along the truck routes. The prey will swim right to you. Like Salmon swimming into the waiting jaws of hungry bears.


Probably because an n-space ambush is probably more economical and more likely to succeed. In n-space, the pirate is lying doggo, with minimal systems powered. In hyper, they may not be able to do that and therefore would be putting wear and tear on their ship. In hyper, the particle horizon also makes spotting freighters more difficult. So in regular hyper, I'd say that means ships are likely to be further away, harder to notice at the same distance as n-space (thus detecting an escort more difficult too), and because they are not inside a hyper limit, all the ships can translate and thus attempt to escape.

In a grav wave, that gets even more complex. You must have your Warshawskis running and your sails up, so stealth for anyone except well-trained military crews might be difficult. You can also not fire missiles as warning shots and there's no such thing as striking the wedge to surrender. Intercept in a grav wave implies closing to energy range, which may not be the best idea. Intercepts in a grav wave are for military search-and-destroy, not for boarding and seizing cargo (you can't send a shuttle!). Intercepts on entry and exit points to grav waves were known to happen, though.

Another aspect might be that attempting to ambush on a major traffic route will likely work only once. Pirates have one or, at best, two ships. A convoy of three would then likely have at least one ship escaping to tell the tale, thus causing the endpoints to send escorts. This is a major artery after all, so someone with a proper navy is going to be interested in protecting it.
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Re: Captain Zilwicki's options in SVW?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Sun Jun 06, 2021 12:18 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
One thing you're forgetting is that the Peeps caused this convoy to exist. They knew there would be a convoy, what its nature would be, even if they didn't know the exact ship count. Or maybe they even did, because they could have a picket that saw them leave and raced ahead to let the ambushers know the exact composition and schedule.

And don't forget they had spies giving them the convoy's exact schedule.
Short Victorious War wrote:But the heavy cruiser PNS Sword and her consorts had no need for such hit-or-miss hunting techniques, Captain Theisman thought. Thanks to Nav Int's spies, Commodore Reichman knew her prey's exact schedule.

That makes it sound like the schedule included enough detail to have very high certainly of not only the convoy's timing but it's course.

And don't forget - with 6 ships Reichman's heavy cruiser squadron can spread out until each ship is at the edge of sensor range with it's nearest squadron-mate to greatly increase the volume of hyper that the squadron can collectively observe. (SVW doesn't mention that; but we know the later Peep commerce raiding is Silesia used that tactic)

So even with really good data on the exact schedule of your target bringing most ships along increases your chances of detecting it. But most pirates don't hunt in coordinated squadrons - so they'll have a harder time spotting a ship in hyper than a military squadron would (even if you ignore the likely significant difference is the quality of each's sensors)


And as you said - we don't know how many similar attempts came up dry. We only know of 2 convoys attacked in hyper in the prelude to war, while the Peeps were provoking incidents along the frontier (Captain Zilwicki's and Convoy Mike-Golf-Nineteen en-route to Yeltsin[1]).

But we don't know if that was a 100% success rate or a 0.5% one. Even with spies and assigning whole squadrons to the attempt it seems a chancy business. Space is huge and it doesn't take much deviation it course or schedule (deliberate, caused by outside forces, or just slopping navigation) to pass beyond even an entire dispersed squadron's sensor range -- given the crappy sensor conditions that are the norm in hyper.
So I tend to suspect that even with the best intel their spies could ferret out that the Peep squadrons came up empty far more often than they found their prey.

However as a large nation with a huge navy they could easily afford to send many squadrons of cruisers off to disrupt their enemy's war preparation efforts and attempt to pull Manticore's force into disadvantageous dispersed positions before launching their main attack.


[1] Mike-Golf-Nineteen was the one where the GSN cruiser Alvarez's saw the final freighter (Queensland) killed just after it crashed over Yeltsin's hyperwall. Unfortunately the warships chasing it (believed to be a CL and 2 DDs translated down after it and killed it within a minute or so
; then escaped. And it was a not so minor miracle the freighter made it that far, she'd pushed everything to the point she'd been moving at 0.6c, 20% faster than her particle shielding was designed for in hyper, and then made a crash translation into Yeltsin. And despite driving her harder than as freighter should survive bought herself only enough time to broadcast a few sentences before her destruction. She got off part of a Mayday annoncing the convoy had been attacked, and the escort and 2 other freighters already kill.
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Re: Captain Zilwicki's options in SVW?
Post by cthia   » Sun Jun 06, 2021 10:42 am

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cthia wrote:One other - completely divergent - comment in this thread.

Even though the author says it is unusual, difficult, and rare to ambush in hyper, the Peeps managed to pull it off quite easily on the first attempt.


ThinksMarkedly wrote:Who says it was the first attempt? How do you know the Peeps didn't have another dozen task forces trying to intercept convoys and all of them failed? How many other convoys passed this task force and they failed to generate an intercept?

To be fair, I don't know that. But IMO it was implied. Theisman even argued with the CO of the convoy. "She" was given command of the Peep force because Theisman already had his clock cleaned once by Honor. But storyline leaned more towards the attempt being rather new. Perhaps not new in the history of the Galaxy, no. But certainly new to the then current administration. And, no, I didn't get the feeling there were other attempts of the same tactic being carried out elsewhere in hyper. It seems like text would have indicated as much.

But, other attempts which may have failed to generate an intercept? I thought we just discussed the ability to always generate an intercept. I also got the feeling that a head on intercept would have been just as easy to pull off.

This leads me right into one of my questions about the structure of the highway in hyper. I got the impression that they were not all that broad. I mean, they are probably thoroughfares of multi-lane hwys, but not so wide that a ship lying in doggo can't detect the sails of another ship. Yet, one passage seems to indicate that the lanes are wide enough to perform a U-turn instead of simply flipping and reducing accel. IINM, it appears that a U-turn is the maneuver that Helen performed instead of flipping and decelerating. (Which is one reason I asked if flipping was possible. And because in a wet navy, pulling such a maneuver with sails can get you dead in some cases.) I was also unsure whether the mechanics of hyper - not so much prevents flipping - but somehow makes an actual U-turn more efficient and faster. On the high seas, it would be much faster to perform a U-turn than to adjust sails to kill accel then raise sails to continue in the opposite direction. It is also hazardous.

cthia wrote:IINM, the proffered excuse was that they knew the convoy's schedule and destination. Then they simply lay in wait on what essentially is one of the "major highways" akin to I-95. I-40, etc. Actually I think text says the Peeps only needed to know the destination, and perhaps the time. Color me stubborn, but it seems possible the tactic can easily be reproduced. All that is needed are ships, and patience to lie in wait along the major routes. Eventually, the hunted Salmon are going to swim upstream.


ThinksMarkedly wrote:One thing you're forgetting is that the Peeps caused this convoy to exist. They knew there would be a convoy, what its nature would be, even if they didn't know the exact ship count. Or maybe they even did, because they could have a picket that saw them leave and raced ahead to let the ambushers know the exact composition and schedule.

This is a very different scenario from commercial raiding. Which in turn is different from piratical activities, when the pirates have poorly-maintained and older warships.

You bring up a good point which touches on something that occurred to me a few klicks back. How exactly are different freighters identified in hyper? How would you know if the particular freighter you are after is the same one that is currently on your sensors? I wouldn't imagine transponders are being broadcast in hyper, or if the local disturbance doesn't affect communications across the board. But it is a moot point if the attacker is a pirate that isn't going after something juicy, thus in particular. But a firm ID would appear to be very important to this operation. So, like you say, I can see a lead scout ferrying the information back to the Peep force.

cthia wrote:Ships, especially freighters, are always going to choose the fastest routes, thus, the major routes. Major routes also have the same benefit as our own major routes. If you break down, there is a chance someone will happen along, than if you're stranded on a back road.

At any rate, I don't see why commerce raiding didn't fan out to include hyper. Especially for pirates. If pirates wanted to attack freighters today, simply lie in wait along the truck routes. The prey will swim right to you. Like Salmon swimming into the waiting jaws of hungry bears.


cthia wrote:Probably because an n-space ambush is probably more economical and more likely to succeed. In n-space, the pirate is lying doggo, with minimal systems powered. In hyper, they may not be able to do that and therefore would be putting wear and tear on their ship. In hyper, the particle horizon also makes spotting freighters more difficult. So in regular hyper, I'd say that means ships are likely to be further away, harder to notice at the same distance as n-space (thus detecting an escort more difficult too), and because they are not inside a hyper limit, all the ships can translate and thus attempt to escape.

No doubt the author agrees with you. But the stubborn in me sees it differently. First off, it seems like it would be less wear and tear on a pirate's ship in the long run. And more economical since there would be less galavanting about the Galaxy looking for strays only to go back home empty handed. But fishing at a choke point like hungry bears where Salmon are known to swim upstream would be different. Effective. Less effort. And always worth the trouble. Ask the bears. Using this tactic, bears are able to gorge on 120 pounds of Salmon a day to store food prior to hibernation. It seems pirates or commerce raiders can do the same.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:In a grav wave, that gets even more complex. You must have your Warshawskis running and your sails up, so stealth for anyone except well-trained military crews might be difficult. You can also not fire missiles as warning shots and there's no such thing as striking the wedge to surrender. Intercept in a grav wave implies closing to energy range, which may not be the best idea. Intercepts in a grav wave are for military search-and-destroy, not for boarding and seizing cargo (you can't send a shuttle!). Intercepts on entry and exit points to grav waves were known to happen, though.

You may be right, but I dunno. I would imagine that freighter Captains, many who undoubtedly are retired officers would be well aware of how to run silent in hyper if given the need and the chance.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:Another aspect might be that attempting to ambush on a major traffic route will likely work only once. Pirates have one or, at best, two ships. A convoy of three would then likely have at least one ship escaping to tell the tale, thus causing the endpoints to send escorts. This is a major artery after all, so someone with a proper navy is going to be interested in protecting it.

True, but a pirate would only need it to work once. Especially if they are going to hit the mother load. And especially when it seems they will always likely go home richer. They won't be stupid enough to try it again the following week. They'll let things die down a bit. Governments can't afford a naval escort day in and day out.

BTW, I assumed it would be easy to target a certain part of a freighter to make it drop out of hyper, instead of trying to grab the booty there.

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: Captain Zilwicki's options in SVW?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Sun Jun 06, 2021 1:55 pm

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A general follow up on the flipping discussion from a page to two back. I was rereading the scenes around the interception of Helen's convoy and realized that the trailing RMN destroyer flipped directly around to fall back and check out the new contacts.

So even if the negative grab value of sails could be used to simple slow down without changing heading that's not what we saw the DD do.

Short Victorious War wrote:"Battle stations," MacAllister told his tactical officer grimly, and alarms began to whoop as he turned to his com officer. "Ruth, get a signal off to Captain Zilwicki. Tell her we have bogies coming up from astern—append Tactical's present data—and that I'm turning for a positive ID."
"Aye, aye, Sir."
"Helm, bring us around one-eight-zero degrees. Maximum deceleration."
"Aye, aye, Sir."
"Manny," MacAllister looked at his astrogator. "I want a turnover that puts us back at our present closure rate at ten light-minutes.
[...]
HMS Hotspur decelerated towards the bogies at over 51 KPS2 as her Warshawski sails channeled the grav wave's power. Nineteen minutes later, she flipped end for end, accelerating away from them until their overtake speed had dropped
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Re: Captain Zilwicki's options in SVW?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Sun Jun 06, 2021 2:22 pm

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cthia wrote:This leads me right into one of my questions about the structure of the highway in hyper. I got the impression that they were not all that broad. I mean, they are probably thoroughfares of multi-lane hwys, but not so wide that a ship lying in doggo can't detect the sails of another ship. Yet, one passage seems to indicate that the lanes are wide enough to perform a U-turn instead of simply flipping and reducing accel. IINM, it appears that a U-turn is the maneuver that Helen performed instead of flipping and decelerating. (Which is one reason I asked if flipping was possible. And because in a wet navy, pulling such a maneuver with sails can get you dead in some cases.) I was also unsure whether the mechanics of hyper - not so much prevents flipping - but somehow makes an actual U-turn more efficient and faster. On the high seas, it would be much faster to perform a U-turn than to adjust sails to kill accel then raise sails to continue in the opposite direction. It is also hazardous.

Broad. Insanely broad. You can sail in pretty much any part of the grav wave you like. And when intercepted Helen's convoy was four light-hours from the nearest edge of the "highway".

Yes, the books have described them as "narrow in interstellar terms" :shock: But something that's narrow compared to its length of several dozens of light years can still be wider than a solar system. So, really, they're only small in comparison to the vast gulf of distance between stars, even in hyper. But for practical purposes they're vast and wide almost beyond human comprehension!
(Maybe think of it less like a highway lane and more like the Gulf Stream current; just way faster. Yeah, compared to the entire Atlantic the Gulf Stream is narrow - but it's still ~100 km wide; more than far enough for tall ships to pass each other while even their sails are over the visual horizon from each other)


And sensor range is poor in hyper - Hosspur picked up the closing Peeps at about 16.5 light-minutes. The freighter sails aren't as powerful, but on the other hand they don't have ECM so they're probably detectable for at least as far. But let's round up and estimate 20 LM.

But even following the same basic course you don't need to deviate far from that shortest possible course to 2, 3 or even 4 times that radius off to some side; and Helen's convoy had at least 480 LM of "highway lane" to play with.
Last edited by Jonathan_S on Sun Jun 06, 2021 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Captain Zilwicki's options in SVW?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Sun Jun 06, 2021 2:39 pm

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cthia wrote:At any rate, I don't see why commerce raiding didn't fan out to include hyper. Especially for pirates. If pirates wanted to attack freighters today, simply lie in wait along the truck routes. The prey will swim right to you. Like Salmon swimming into the waiting jaws of hungry bears.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:Probably because an n-space ambush is probably more economical and more likely to succeed. In n-space, the pirate is lying doggo, with minimal systems powered. In hyper, they may not be able to do that and therefore would be putting wear and tear on their ship. In hyper, the particle horizon also makes spotting freighters more difficult. So in regular hyper, I'd say that means ships are likely to be further away, harder to notice at the same distance as n-space (thus detecting an escort more difficult too), and because they are not inside a hyper limit, all the ships can translate and thus attempt to escape.

No doubt the author agrees with you. But the stubborn in me sees it differently. First off, it seems like it would be less wear and tear on a pirate's ship in the long run. And more economical since there would be less galavanting about the Galaxy looking for strays only to go back home empty handed. But fishing at a choke point like hungry bears where Salmon are known to swim upstream would be different. Effective. Less effort. And always worth the trouble. Ask the bears. Using this tactic, bears are able to gorge on 120 pounds of Salmon a day to store food prior to hibernation. It seems pirates or commerce raiders can do the same.

[snip]

BTW, I assumed it would be easy to target a certain part of a freighter to make it drop out of hyper, instead of trying to grab the booty there.

What you're missing is that the choke point is where the travel lanes (especially ones that are grav waves) intersect with a system's hyper limit. The grav waves themselves, or the depths of hyper, are the antithesis of a choke point.

The author even tells us that explicitly just before we're told that the Peep squadron going after Helen's convoy didn't need to bother with that due to the details their spies had given them.
Short Victorious War wrote: Merchant skippers, for example, vastly prefer to ride a grav wave clear through their final hyper translation. Power costs are lower, and riding the wave through the hyper wall reduces both the structural and physiological stresses. Which means raiders often lurk at points where inbound grav waves intersect a star's hyper limit, waiting for prey to amble up to them.
And, if all else fails, there is always the blind chance method. Ships are at their most vulnerable at and shortly after they translate back into normal space. Their base velocities are low, their sensor systems are still sorting out the sudden influx of n-space information, and for at least ten minutes or so, while their hyper generators recycle, they can't even dodge back into hyper and run away if something comes at them. A translation right on the system ecliptic is the norm, if not the inviolable rule, so a patient raider might put his ship into a solar orbit right on the hyper limit, run his power (and emissions) down to minimum levels, and simply wait until some fat and unwary freighter translates within his interception envelope.



Also your assumption might be a bit off. Ships don't need hyper generators to stay in hyper, but they do need a working one to exit hyper. So there's no device on a ship that you can hit which will cause it to drop out of hyper (but if you destroy the hyper generator they won't be able to leave hyper). Even if you managed to cause a cascading failure that would lead to the hyper generator becoming disabled the emergency fail-safes on it won't flip a ship out of hyper before generator failure unless the hyper log shows the ship to be close enough to an inhabited system. (And it'd be insanely hard to cause enough damage to trigger the fail-safe without simply destroying the hyper generator -- but it's pointless to try as it won't push the ship out of hyper unless you're quite close to an inhabited system)

However, if you close to energy range there are parts of the ship you could hit without being likely to strand it in hyper, accidently destroy it, or destroy the cargo you're hoping to capture -- and so you could attempt to force the crew to take the ship out of hyper by threatening to attack them or even firing demonstration shots on those less critical areas.
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Re: Captain Zilwicki's options in SVW?
Post by cthia   » Sun Jun 06, 2021 6:53 pm

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cthia wrote:At any rate, I don't see why commerce raiding didn't fan out to include hyper. Especially for pirates. If pirates wanted to attack freighters today, simply lie in wait along the truck routes. The prey will swim right to you. Like Salmon swimming into the waiting jaws of hungry bears.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:Probably because an n-space ambush is probably more economical and more likely to succeed. In n-space, the pirate is lying doggo, with minimal systems powered. In hyper, they may not be able to do that and therefore would be putting wear and tear on their ship. In hyper, the particle horizon also makes spotting freighters more difficult. So in regular hyper, I'd say that means ships are likely to be further away, harder to notice at the same distance as n-space (thus detecting an escort more difficult too), and because they are not inside a hyper limit, all the ships can translate and thus attempt to escape.

No doubt the author agrees with you. But the stubborn in me sees it differently. First off, it seems like it would be less wear and tear on a pirate's ship in the long run. And more economical since there would be less galavanting about the Galaxy looking for strays only to go back home empty handed. But fishing at a choke point like hungry bears where Salmon are known to swim upstream would be different. Effective. Less effort. And always worth the trouble. Ask the bears. Using this tactic, bears are able to gorge on 120 pounds of Salmon a day to store food prior to hibernation. It seems pirates or commerce raiders can do the same.

[snip]

BTW, I assumed it would be easy to target a certain part of a freighter to make it drop out of hyper, instead of trying to grab the booty there.

Jonathan_S wrote:What you're missing is that the choke point is where the travel lanes (especially ones that are grav waves) intersect with a system's hyper limit. The grav waves themselves, or the depths of hyper, are the antithesis of a choke point.

The author even tells us that explicitly just before we're told that the Peep squadron going after Helen's convoy didn't need to bother with that due to the details their spies had given them.
Short Victorious War wrote: Merchant skippers, for example, vastly prefer to ride a grav wave clear through their final hyper translation. Power costs are lower, and riding the wave through the hyper wall reduces both the structural and physiological stresses. Which means raiders often lurk at points where inbound grav waves intersect a star's hyper limit, waiting for prey to amble up to them.
And, if all else fails, there is always the blind chance method. Ships are at their most vulnerable at and shortly after they translate back into normal space. Their base velocities are low, their sensor systems are still sorting out the sudden influx of n-space information, and for at least ten minutes or so, while their hyper generators recycle, they can't even dodge back into hyper and run away if something comes at them. A translation right on the system ecliptic is the norm, if not the inviolable rule, so a patient raider might put his ship into a solar orbit right on the hyper limit, run his power (and emissions) down to minimum levels, and simply wait until some fat and unwary freighter translates within his interception envelope.

Understood. It is like I-95 splitting and going off in different directions. Even though you are on a major hwy, you still need to know the destination of the freighter you're trying to ambush. They may have taken, or will take the detour "wave." But my point is that unless you are hitting a specific target, you can simply lie in wait on the major waves.


Jonathan_S wrote:Also your assumption might be a bit off. Ships don't need hyper generators to stay in hyper, but they do need a working one to exit hyper. So there's no device on a ship that you can hit which will cause it to drop out of hyper (but if you destroy the hyper generator they won't be able to leave hyper). Even if you managed to cause a cascading failure that would lead to the hyper generator becoming disabled the emergency fail-safes on it won't flip a ship out of hyper before generator failure unless the hyper log shows the ship to be close enough to an inhabited system. (And it'd be insanely hard to cause enough damage to trigger the fail-safe without simply destroying the hyper generator -- but it's pointless to try as it won't push the ship out of hyper unless you're quite close to an inhabited system)

However, if you close to energy range there are parts of the ship you could hit without being likely to strand it in hyper, accidently destroy it, or destroy the cargo you're hoping to capture -- and so you could attempt to force the crew to take the ship out of hyper by threatening to attack them or even firing demonstration shots on those less critical areas.

That's pretty much what I meant. You can target something trivial as a warning shot.

At any rate, if I understand you correctly, what I am missing is that the width of the wave is so wide that an ambushing force actually needs to know which lane in thousands of lanes across a given wave.

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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