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Captain Zilwicki's options in SVW?

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Re: Captain Zilwicki's options in SVW?
Post by cthia   » Sun Jun 06, 2021 7:11 pm

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Galactic Sapper wrote:
Jonathan_S wrote:Now if the escort had been 5 RMN CAs, especially if they'd all been modern Star Knights, then the calculus changes significantly and they'd have a quite good chance of defeating the 6 Peep CAs in a missile fight. In that scenario it would make sense to try to move the fight into normal space.


Though even so, going to missile combat with freighters nearby does increase the risk that one or more of them will eat a missile during the combat. You might have missiles get lost and go after the big juicy signature of a freighter. Or you might have the Havenite ships deliberately target some missiles on them to force the RMN warships to divert the majority of their point defense to keep those missiles off the otherwise defenseless freighters; potentially making it easier to start damaging the RMN warships...

Correction: aim ALL of their missiles at the freighters. The point of the exercise was to kill the freighters, not the escorts.

The same goes with splitting the freighters in normal space or anywhere else. The Peeps would simply follow the scattering freighters and kill them, while effectively ignoring the escort. Any situation that results in a missile combat is a loss for the convoy, as only the energy-range combat that actually occurred allowed them to get quick kills or disabling damage on the much heavier Peep ships.

Indeed! I can really appreciate this post. Getting inside an opponent's strategic range has been a tactic of fighting for centuries. (Even boxing.) Driving to energy range is sometimes the only recourse.

It is the point Theisman made to his CO even before this plan was adopted. She made a comment that the probability of the enemy seeking an energy battle was low because it would be suicidal. Theisman made it clear in his eyes the error of her ways. She had never fought Manticorans before. Let alone a Salamander in a Manticoran uniform. LOL

At any rate, Theisman obviously survived, seems Helen could have too. I suppose the DD engaged the enemy first. Or would all of them have formed up together and engaged the enemy as a single force?

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 cthia   » Sun Jun 06, 2021 7:16 pm

cthia
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Jonathan_S wrote:
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.

I missed this post! Thanks! Very informative!

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 9:50 pm

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cthia wrote:At any rate, Theisman obviously survived, seems Helen could have too. I suppose the DD engaged the enemy first. Or would all of them have formed up together and engaged the enemy as a single force?

The description makes it sound like the entire RMN escort force engaged the enemy together so it was a single simultaneous 5 vs 6 engagement.

And that makes sense. Attack one at a time and the enemy can more easily defeat you as they've got much greater numerical superiority for each encounter, so instead of being the primary focus of 1 or (or worst case 2) ships the singleton is now the focus of all 6 -- so it's taking hits much faster and will almost certainly die sooner; and having gotten less shots off.

Your best chance of crippling as many enemy as possible is to force them to split their fire across all your units; so each of your ships lasts as long as possible and maximized the number of shots it gets off before dying.
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Re: Captain Zilwicki's options in SVW?
Post by cthia   » Mon Jun 07, 2021 5:00 am

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Jonathan_S wrote:
cthia wrote:At any rate, Theisman obviously survived, seems Helen could have too. I suppose the DD engaged the enemy first. Or would all of them have formed up together and engaged the enemy as a single force?

The description makes it sound like the entire RMN escort force engaged the enemy together so it was a single simultaneous 5 vs 6 engagement.

And that makes sense. Attack one at a time and the enemy can more easily defeat you as they've got much greater numerical superiority for each encounter, so instead of being the primary focus of 1 or (or worst case 2) ships the singleton is now the focus of all 6 -- so it's taking hits much faster and will almost certainly die sooner; and having gotten less shots off.

Your best chance of crippling as many enemy as possible is to force them to split their fire across all your units; so each of your ships lasts as long as possible and maximized the number of shots it gets off before dying.

Of course, the RMN wouldn't have wanted to allow the Peeps to defeat them in detail. But I wasn't sure how far the trailing DD was initially from the group. And, I wasn't sure if the RMN wouldn't keep at least a single unit with the freighters.

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   » Mon Jun 07, 2021 9:27 am

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

(context: with energy weapons)

The problem with that for a pirate is that if they've closed to energy weapons, it's too late to run away if it turns out that there's a warship escort tucked in with the freighters. It'll have had an hour to get to battle stations and prepare a firing solution.

And all it needs to do is damage the sails. The grav wave will do the rest.
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Re: Captain Zilwicki's options in SVW?
Post by cthia   » Mon Jun 07, 2021 9:37 am

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

(context: with energy weapons)

The problem with that for a pirate is that if they've closed to energy weapons, it's too late to run away if it turns out that there's a warship escort tucked in with the freighters. It'll have had an hour to get to battle stations and prepare a firing solution.

And all it needs to do is damage the sails. The grav wave will do the rest.

Pirates should attack in squadrons of at least two in hyper if possible. As a single unit a pirate should lie in wait running silent as the entire Peep ambushers did.

Identify the prey passing by completely oblivious of your presence. Then change bands and "cut them off at the pass." At any rate, only after a fat, juicy, unescorted target is chosen should they attack. And when they attack, it should be head on.


While muddling along at the hyper limit waiting for ships to sidle up to them, pirates can also choose to follow prey into hyper.

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   » Mon Jun 07, 2021 5:08 pm

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cthia wrote:Pirates should attack in squadrons of at least two in hyper if possible. As a single unit a pirate should lie in wait running silent as the entire Peep ambushers did.


Agreed, they should. But they don't, because getting one warship is difficult enough. Getting two makes that exponentially more difficult. Plus pirates are not the type of people known for obeying orders and rules, so the captain of one ship may not tolerate being told what to do by the other.

That said, if they have a minimum of intelligence, they should see the benefit of working together, if possible. Even if they'll have half their ATO's attention focused on the other ship, expecting to be double-crossed. Or finding the opportunity to double-cross.

Either way, two ships can't catch three in hyper. It suffices for the three to choose three different bands and they have four plus n-space available. Unless the pirates manage to get to range before any of them can bring their hyper generators online and transit. Since pirates don't have MDMs or DDMs (yet; I'm pretty sure some Cataphracts will end up in their hands soon enough), that's the 3-minute missile range.

While muddling along at the hyper limit waiting for ships to sidle up to them, pirates can also choose to follow prey into hyper.


There may be a lot of energy bleed on the arrival band. We know this happens when going down the bands, because of the speed loss. We also know that the departure band may not see the transition, whether it was going up or down. So there's a good chance that the arrival band is always an energetic event.

That means the pirate is no longer stealthy. If they weren't known to the prey, they would at that point.

But if they were already pursuing, I suppose they could continue the chase to hyper and force the freighter to heave to. I just find it hard to believe a freighter would continue running if it is clear the pirate will overtake.
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Re: Captain Zilwicki's options in SVW?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Mon Jun 07, 2021 6:19 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:But if they were already pursuing, I suppose they could continue the chase to hyper and force the freighter to heave to. I just find it hard to believe a freighter would continue running if it is clear the pirate will overtake.

I guess it depends on how quickly the pirate is overtaking and what odds the freighter captain thinks there are for someone to intervene.

Lets say the system the freighter just left has an effective navy/sdf. Maybe that's why the pirate is attempting to grab them in hyper after following them out of the system; far less likely somebody will show up to interfere.
In that situation, as the freighter I'd look at how long I could keep out of weapons range, and compare that to how soon my hyper generator would be ready to go again. If I can play tag long enough for it to recharge I might be able to circle around (though that'll increase the pirate's overtake) and make a crash translation back into the system I just left and start screaming for assistance.


But if there's no chance of anybody intervening then continuing to run until the pirate reaches weapons range is likely to just annoy them; and that's a bad idea when there's likely no upside to the delay.
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Re: Captain Zilwicki's options in SVW?
Post by cthia   » Tue Jun 08, 2021 4:06 am

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Jonathan_S wrote:
ThinksMarkedly wrote:But if they were already pursuing, I suppose they could continue the chase to hyper and force the freighter to heave to. I just find it hard to believe a freighter would continue running if it is clear the pirate will overtake.

I guess it depends on how quickly the pirate is overtaking and what odds the freighter captain thinks there are for someone to intervene.

Lets say the system the freighter just left has an effective navy/sdf. Maybe that's why the pirate is attempting to grab them in hyper after following them out of the system; far less likely somebody will show up to interfere.
In that situation, as the freighter I'd look at how long I could keep out of weapons range, and compare that to how soon my hyper generator would be ready to go again. If I can play tag long enough for it to recharge I might be able to circle around (though that'll increase the pirate's overtake) and make a crash translation back into the system I just left and start screaming for assistance.


But if there's no chance of anybody intervening then continuing to run until the pirate reaches weapons range is likely to just annoy them; and that's a bad idea when there's likely no upside to the delay.

ThinksMarkedly brings up an interesting point. Would a freighter automatically yield if being chased by a pirate in hyper? Initially I considered that freighter Captains would adopt the same policy as bankers and tellers. Don't resist, your life is more important than the money, which is insured. But in contrast, the lives aboard a freighter are not guaranteed just because you do as you're told and "heave to." On the contrary!

Also, a pirate has a few options. When attacking in n-space a pirate would want to get it over with immediately before help arrives or someone stumbles onto the attack. In hyper a pirate can choose not to contact the vessel it is pursuing. How can a freighter know it is a pirate approaching from astern if the vessel hasn't indicated its intentions? It could simply be a warship in a hurry. Unless, of course, certain maritime laws of right of way are observed in hyper. Even so, I was just informed of the immensity of the waves, so, what prevents what should be a common occurrence of a warship which is in a hurry and have far greater accel from overtaking without evil intentions of attacking? And if that is common as a sports car overtaking freighters on the interstate, then how can a freighter be sure? Why would a pirate prematurely tip its hand by establishing contact and ordering prey to heave to without first entering energy range?

Also, in n-space a pirate's sensors can detect anyone else who is around, thus know when the "coast is clear." If a pirate forces prey into n-space from hyper, how can the pirate know the conditions they are dropping into?

Also, the tactic of sitting in a grav wave under stealth seems like a hazard. What is keeping another ship from running right up your keister?

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   » Tue Jun 08, 2021 10:55 am

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cthia wrote:Also, a pirate has a few options. When attacking in n-space a pirate would want to get it over with immediately before help arrives or someone stumbles onto the attack. In hyper a pirate can choose not to contact the vessel it is pursuing. How can a freighter know it is a pirate approaching from astern if the vessel hasn't indicated its intentions? It could simply be a warship in a hurry. Unless, of course, certain maritime laws of right of way are observed in hyper. Even so, I was just informed of the immensity of the waves, so, what prevents what should be a common occurrence of a warship which is in a hurry and have far greater accel from overtaking without evil intentions of attacking? And if that is common as a sports car overtaking freighters on the interstate, then how can a freighter be sure? Why would a pirate prematurely tip its hand by establishing contact and ordering prey to heave to without first entering energy range?


Those are very good points. Like the false flag discussion on the other thread, a pirate does not have to raise the black flag until they're ready to demand surrender. The freighters have no way of knowing that the pursuers are hostile.

Or maybe they do: like in high seas, with very wide hyperspace travel lanes, even in a grav wave, someone on an intercept course wants something. I suppose authenticating the sender is easy, so a pirate can be spotted by either the failure to authenticate or lack of communications, the same way we have ways of authenticating websites with HTTPS (BTW, Duckk, when is the forum going to transition to HTTPS? LetsEncrypt certs are free).

Also, in n-space a pirate's sensors can detect anyone else who is around, thus know when the "coast is clear." If a pirate forces prey into n-space from hyper, how can the pirate know the conditions they are dropping into?


Good point too: a pirate wouldn't force a transition into a band or system that they don't know to be clear. So they wouldn't force a transition out of hyper when arriving at a system they're not in cahoots with.

But forcing a transition in outer space should be fine. The chances of there being someone else around are, literally, astronomically small (and I used "literally" in the proper sense).
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