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The Strategy of Castling

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The Strategy of Castling
Post by cthia   » Tue Jun 08, 2021 2:51 pm

cthia
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Castling

I've been contemplating the RMN Castling since that thread. It is a move which closely resembles the strategy on a chessboard whereby the Rooks are moved closer to the King in support. Certain tactical positions call for a developed Rook to be recalled.

I see Forts as Rooks. During the battle with the SLN where I proposed the idea, could the Forts have been recalled to cover the planet? Or even before the climactic battle with the Peeps.

How large an area is covered by the MWJ as opposed to the planet? It seems the same concentric ring of Forts positioned around the planet would prevent any Navy from controlling the orbitals. And a shell of Forts about the planet would also be in a perfect position to intercept debris with energy weapons.

Now, I know lots of things would have to go wrong before the RMN would even consider it. But is it plausible?

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: The Strategy of Castling
Post by Theemile   » Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:05 pm

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cthia wrote:Castling

I've been contemplating the RMN Castling since that thread. It is a move which closely resembles the strategy on a chessboard whereby the Rooks are moved closer to the King in support. Certain tactical positions call for a developed Rook to be recalled.

I see Forts as Rooks. During the battle with the SLN where I proposed the idea, could the Forts have been recalled to cover the planet? Or even before the climactic battle with the Peeps.

How large an area is covered by the MWJ as opposed to the planet? It seems the same concentric ring of Forts positioned around the planet would prevent any Navy from controlling the orbitals. And a shell of Forts about the planet would also be in a perfect position to intercept debris with energy weapons.

Now, I know lots of things would have to go wrong before the RMN would even consider it. But is it plausible?


1) the WMJ zone is a little over a light second in size. the actual volume of warehouses, transfer stations, repair bases, forts, entry queues, minefields, pod shoals, IEWPs, and sensor arrays has not been stated.

2) the volume of the Earth/Luna System and it's Lagrange points is an oblate spheroid of ~5 light Seconds radius on it's long axis,

3) The Manticorian home worlds have local forts for defense. Their number and capabilities have never been stated, but they do control clouds of pre-placed pods. We believe the number is 4-12 at each planet is placed in high orbits to intercept incoming threats, so would have been out of place to intercept debris. It was mentioned early on each planet they also have defensive wedge buoys - a LT. Cruiser sized "ship" with SD sized drive nodes kept at 24/7 readiness. In the even of an attack they fire up their wedges and place them in an overlaping shield to defend against incoming attacks. Similiar was done at Beowulf in UH using freighters.

4) the distance to move from Manticore to the Junction is about 22 LH iirc, and would take several days travel at a Fort's 50c.

5) relieving a captured home planet by the junction Forts after the mobile force was destroyed has been mentioned several times by posters in the past (I for one mentioned it several times during discussions of alternate outcomes of BoMA), but is limited by their extremely low response time. Unfortunately, they would have to leave behind some of their pre-positioned pods, their protective minefields, and any IEWPs, making them less effective in Battle than they would be if they were at the junction.
******
RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
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Re: The Strategy of Castling
Post by Jonathan_S   » Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:16 pm

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[And that's what I get for looking stuff up and doing some calculations. Theemile beat me to most of my points. Oh well]
cthia wrote:Castling

I've been contemplating the RMN Castling since that thread. It is a move which closely resembles the strategy on a chessboard whereby the Rooks are moved closer to the King in support. Certain tactical positions call for a developed Rook to be recalled.

I see Forts as Rooks. During the battle with the SLN where I proposed the idea, could the Forts have been recalled to cover the planet? Or even before the climactic battle with the Peeps.

How large an area is covered by the MWJ as opposed to the planet? It seems the same concentric ring of Forts positioned around the planet would prevent any Navy from controlling the orbitals. And a shell of Forts about the planet would also be in a perfect position to intercept debris with energy weapons.

Now, I know lots of things would have to go wrong before the RMN would even consider it. But is it plausible?

Let's start by looking at how possible it is.

Though moving the junction forts would require giving up the control of the junction and basically writing off what's got to be a couple centuries of investment in stations, warehousing, etc. that's all parked out there. Plus the Junction's defenses aren't just the forts, they're the independent energy weapons platforms, the mines, the missile pod shoals -- that stuff is going to take longer to round up and relocate than the forts will. (But you wouldn't want to leave most if the there without some forts keeping an eye on it lest someone trying to walk off with some samples to reverse engineer)

However; could the forts physically have been moved? Sure. They're capable of n-space travel and seem to be able to pull around 50 gees. The Junction is 412 LM from Manticore-A [HoS] (just under 7 light-hours), and Manticore is 11.5 LM from Manticore-A. So depending on where it is in its orbit it'll be somewhere between 400.5 and 423.5 LM from the Junction. The Junction forts should all be within half a million km of its center (to be well within its small hyper limit), which is basically negligible at this scale. And if Manticore was at its furthest the forts would need to take an slightly indirect route as they can't exactly fly straight through the star to get there :D)

So let's round up and say they're never more than 430 LM from the planet (call it 7.73 billion km). At 50 g sustained, they can make a zero-zero trip of 430 LM is slightly less than 3 days (2 days 22 hours). If the planet was closer you'd shave a little off that time but not much.

Far too slow to respond tactically, but quick enough for a strategic redeployment.




As to whether or not they would. Well one issue with placing forts all around a planet is that it guarantees that an attacking force is going to have to throw large numbers of missiles in that direction. The chances of something going wrong and plowing a missile (or several) into the planet at over 0.7c go way up. I think Manticore would rather risk surrender than risk having the planetary ecosystem ruined and virtually everybody on the surface killed!!

And that wouldn't even be an Eredani Edict violation because they were fired at a legitimate (and unquestionably tough) military target and the planet isn't allowed to be used as a human shield to prevent military attacks on it's anti-naval defenses.

Remember that during the Battle of Manticore the RMN decided not to use the missile pods controlled by Sphinx's fixed defenses (read forts) even after Home Fleet had been destroyed because that would force Tourville's force to return fire, sending swarms of MDMs more or less towards the planet. (Or rather decided not to fire them unless Tourville first launched against Sphinx)
So even though Manticore has fixed defenses, around at least Sphinx, they're still reluctant to do things that will force an MDM equipped enemy to engage those defense from long range - the risk of incurring a devastating collateral damage is just too high.


As for the forts being effective at intercepting debris; it depends on where the debris originates from. We've seen in "Admiral Cluster Bomb"'s bloody suppression of the Leveler's coup attempt at Haven that a fort isn't much good engaging anything that's gotten between it and the planet (too much risk of hitting the planet and that would be very bad). And defensive forts wouldn't be packed together in low orbit - they'd be further out and more dispersed; probably at least 500,000 km out. At that distance any forts that could have, or may have, been around Manticore would have been useless against the debris caused by Oyster Bay. The planet would be behind any debris and so anything able to reach that far would also strike the planet -- which could be worse that letting even massive debris bombard it.
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Re: The Strategy of Castling
Post by cthia   » Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:28 pm

cthia
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Theemile wrote:
cthia wrote:Castling

I've been contemplating the RMN Castling since that thread. It is a move which closely resembles the strategy on a chessboard whereby the Rooks are moved closer to the King in support. Certain tactical positions call for a developed Rook to be recalled.

I see Forts as Rooks. During the battle with the SLN where I proposed the idea, could the Forts have been recalled to cover the planet? Or even before the climactic battle with the Peeps.

How large an area is covered by the MWJ as opposed to the planet? It seems the same concentric ring of Forts positioned around the planet would prevent any Navy from controlling the orbitals. And a shell of Forts about the planet would also be in a perfect position to intercept debris with energy weapons.

Now, I know lots of things would have to go wrong before the RMN would even consider it. But is it plausible?


1) the WMJ zone is a little over a light second in size. the actual volume of warehouses, transfer stations, repair bases, forts, entry queues, minefields, pod shoals, IEWPs, and sensor arrays has not been stated.

2) the volume of the Earth/Luna System and it's Lagrange points is an oblate spheroid of ~5 light Seconds radius on it's long axis,

3) The Manticorian home worlds have local forts for defense. Their number and capabilities have never been stated, but they do control clouds of pre-placed pods. We believe the number is 4-12 at each planet is placed in high orbits to intercept incoming threats, so would have been out of place to intercept debris. It was mentioned early on each planet they also have defensive wedge buoys - a LT. Cruiser sized "ship" with SD sized drive nodes kept at 24/7 readiness. In the even of an attack they fire up their wedges and place them in an overlaping shield to defend against incoming attacks. Similiar was done at Beowulf in UH using freighters.

4) the distance to move from Manticore to the Junction is about 22 LH iirc, and would take several days travel at a Fort's 50c.

5) relieving a captured home planet by the junction Forts after the mobile force was destroyed has been mentioned several times by posters in the past (I for one mentioned it several times during discussions of alternate outcomes of BoMA), but is limited by their extremely low response time. Unfortunately, they would have to leave behind some of their pre-positioned pods, their protective minefields, and any IEWPs, making them less effective in Battle than they would be if they were at the junction.

You mentioned it before? Several people? Whew! Thank God I'm not another loon on a limb alone. This time. Sorry I missed that. Is any of it still on the forum?

Just considering the logistics of it makes me cringe.

Why would the pods need to be left behind? Are they even needed anymore with Shannon's new graser array? Plus, the mines would still be there.


An aside: Has anyone else noticed the way in which the question which was on everybody's mind has been answered? What evil can Shannon create if she had the time?

A hell and brimstone energy platform should have been intuitive, 'eh? LOL

.
Last edited by cthia on Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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: The Strategy of Castling
Post by cthia   » Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:43 pm

cthia
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Jonathan_S wrote:[And that's what I get for looking stuff up and doing some calculations. Theemile beat me to most of my points. Oh well]
cthia wrote:Castling

I've been contemplating the RMN Castling since that thread. It is a move which closely resembles the strategy on a chessboard whereby the Rooks are moved closer to the King in support. Certain tactical positions call for a developed Rook to be recalled.

I see Forts as Rooks. During the battle with the SLN where I proposed the idea, could the Forts have been recalled to cover the planet? Or even before the climactic battle with the Peeps.

How large an area is covered by the MWJ as opposed to the planet? It seems the same concentric ring of Forts positioned around the planet would prevent any Navy from controlling the orbitals. And a shell of Forts about the planet would also be in a perfect position to intercept debris with energy weapons.

Now, I know lots of things would have to go wrong before the RMN would even consider it. But is it plausible?

Let's start by looking at how possible it is.

Though moving the junction forts would require giving up the control of the junction and basically writing off what's got to be a couple centuries of investment in stations, warehousing, etc. that's all parked out there. Plus the Junction's defenses aren't just the forts, they're the independent energy weapons platforms, the mines, the missile pod shoals -- that stuff is going to take longer to round up and relocate than the forts will. (But you wouldn't want to leave most if the there without some forts keeping an eye on it lest someone trying to walk off with some samples to reverse engineer)

However; could the forts physically have been moved? Sure. They're capable of n-space travel and seem to be able to pull around 50 gees. The Junction is 412 LM from Manticore-A [HoS] (just under 7 light-hours), and Manticore is 11.5 LM from Manticore-A. So depending on where it is in its orbit it'll be somewhere between 400.5 and 423.5 LM from the Junction. The Junction forts should all be within half a million km of its center (to be well within its small hyper limit), which is basically negligible at this scale. And if Manticore was at its furthest the forts would need to take an slightly indirect route as they can't exactly fly straight through the star to get there :D)

So let's round up and say they're never more than 430 LM from the planet (call it 7.73 billion km). At 50 g sustained, they can make a zero-zero trip of 430 LM is slightly less than 3 days (2 days 22 hours). If the planet was closer you'd shave a little off that time but not much.

Far too slow to respond tactically, but quick enough for a strategic redeployment.




As to whether or not they would. Well one issue with placing forts all around a planet is that it guarantees that an attacking force is going to have to throw large numbers of missiles in that direction. The chances of something going wrong and plowing a missile (or several) into the planet at over 0.7c go way up. I think Manticore would rather risk surrender than risk having the planetary ecosystem ruined and virtually everybody on the surface killed!!

And that wouldn't even be an Eredani Edict violation because they were fired at a legitimate (and unquestionably tough) military target and the planet isn't allowed to be used as a human shield to prevent military attacks on it's anti-naval defenses.

Remember that during the Battle of Manticore the RMN decided not to use the missile pods controlled by Sphinx's fixed defenses (read forts) even after Home Fleet had been destroyed because that would force Tourville's force to return fire, sending swarms of MDMs more or less towards the planet. (Or rather decided not to fire them unless Tourville first launched against Sphinx)
So even though Manticore has fixed defenses, around at least Sphinx, they're still reluctant to do things that will force an MDM equipped enemy to engage those defense from long range - the risk of incurring a devastating collateral damage is just too high.


As for the forts being effective at intercepting debris; it depends on where the debris originates from. We've seen in "Admiral Cluster Bomb"'s bloody suppression of the Leveler's coup attempt at Haven that a fort isn't much good engaging anything that's gotten between it and the planet (too much risk of hitting the planet and that would be very bad). And defensive forts wouldn't be packed together in low orbit - they'd be further out and more dispersed; probably at least 500,000 km out. At that distance any forts that could have, or may have, been around Manticore would have been useless against the debris caused by Oyster Bay. The planet would be behind any debris and so anything able to reach that far would also strike the planet -- which could be worse that letting even massive debris bombard it.

As usual, nice post!

I was mostly interested in the possibility of it. A lot likely has to go wrong, I'm certain. But like I said a klick upstream, just considering the logistics of it all, boggles the mind. What should be left at the junction. Should there be a skeleton squadron of Forts left at the junction. And how would they be repositioned.

Jonathan, something like this would only be attempted in the most dire of circumstances. I didn't begin thinking about it until "The Eridani Edict Violation of the most Dismissive Kind" thread. Against an opponent who has already carried out a scorched Earth policy against several planets may make you drastically rethink your strategic position.

A really ruthless opponent doesn't make you change your rulebook. He makes you throw it out the window.

Like when the Nazi War Machine made Britain adopt massive bombing of civilian cities.

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: The Strategy of Castling
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Tue Jun 08, 2021 6:31 pm

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cthia wrote:I see Forts as Rooks. During the battle with the SLN where I proposed the idea, could the Forts have been recalled to cover the planet? Or even before the climactic battle with the Peeps.


How would they know that the forts will be needed for an attack before the attack happens?

Remember that forts can pull 50 gravities at best. The Junction is 7 light-hours away, which means the forts would need 69 hours to get from the Junction to the inner system, topping at a measly 0.2c at turnover. I doubt they have hyper generators, but even if they did, they couldn't get to the inner system in less than 2 hours, at which point the battle has been joined and possibly won or lost.

How large an area is covered by the MWJ as opposed to the planet? It seems the same concentric ring of Forts positioned around the planet would prevent any Navy from controlling the orbitals. And a shell of Forts about the planet would also be in a perfect position to intercept debris with energy weapons.

Now, I know lots of things would have to go wrong before the RMN would even consider it. But is it plausible?


Each Junction travel lane is bigger than an Earth-like planet. So the forts do cover a much bigger volume than a planet.

Anyway, how about the forts in orbit of the planets themselves? There should be some. If Manticore is capable of building dozens of them for the Junction, they can spare a few for the three inhabited planets. They were MIA during the first Battle of Manticore, for some unexplained reason. For the second, Honor & Theisman didn't need them.
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Re: The Strategy of Castling
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Tue Jun 08, 2021 6:41 pm

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Theemile wrote:5) relieving a captured home planet by the junction Forts after the mobile force was destroyed has been mentioned several times by posters in the past (I for one mentioned it several times during discussions of alternate outcomes of BoMA), but is limited by their extremely low response time. Unfortunately, they would have to leave behind some of their pre-positioned pods, their protective minefields, and any IEWPs, making them less effective in Battle than they would be if they were at the junction.


That gets worse.

Any warship worth being called a warship has an acceleration much bigger than the fort. So they can choose when to attack and when to disengage. Meanwhile, the fort can't move except ballistically while it has its bubblewall up. So it gets pretty easy for the attacker to prevent the zero-zero intercept by just harrassing the fort while it's trying to get home. Though do note it requires a lot of missiles, since the fort does still have active defences besides the wall and does have thick armour. But anyone who may have managed to get past Home Fleet and the system defence missiles will have brought massive firepower to do that.

Anyway, the problem is that the forts can't respond in time to prevent the conquering of the inner system.
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Re: The Strategy of Castling
Post by Daryl   » Tue Jun 08, 2021 8:40 pm

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This discussion leads me to think that a useful next technological breakthrough would be for much more durable wedge and sidewall generators. Thus purpose built block ships could be permanently stationed around planets and their space infrastructure. You would then need mapped safe access routes for friendly shipping.
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Re: The Strategy of Castling
Post by cthia   » Tue Jun 08, 2021 9:40 pm

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Let's assume they do have time to move them. IINM, they had more than three days lead time when they found out the gorilla was coming to dinner.

Albeit, I agree that it would be a nightmare if they got caught in the middle of castling. What a heck of a logistical nightmare. I would imagine a plan like that would already have to have been discussed and drawn up. It would involve the entire system.

Anyway, yes, the ships are more maneuverable. But now when Home Fleet goes out to meet the enemy, the planet is no longer uncovered. I think the MA will make the Galaxy rethink a lot of its strategy, and tactics.

Hmm... covering one of the other planets in the system with Forts could be considered castling Queen Side. Manticore, of course, would be Castling King Side. :D

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: The Strategy of Castling
Post by Brigade XO   » Tue Jun 08, 2021 10:40 pm

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If you move Junction forts in to defend the planets in the system they are going to leave their deployed pods behind. Why? Because they are, in fact, deployed and at a significant distance from the forts. Think minefield. The forts ROTATE though active and inactive duty (and maintenance etc) and that suggests that while the minefields are generally static in relation to the part/parts of the Junction they are deployed in, the control of the pods is handed off to whichever Forts are 1) On Duty, 2) in the process of "changing the guard" so to speak as they are cycled though the rotations.

It takes time and craft to go out and collect (and "safe") the pods and then transport them at the same as the forts would have to move in-system
It is possible that there are Ammuntion ships and or Minelayers (with full magazines of pods) stationed out with the Junction as both replenishment if the pods get used (and then your are really really really want more quick) or at least the Minelayers and various small craft are doing endless ongoing preventive maintenance on the minefields.

So, while the Forts probably have various supplies of Pods tractored to them or in storage bays, that is what they would be bringing.

Of course you might want to consider building Superforts what had truly massive Impeller drives and station at interesting places within the system to act as non-hyper capable SD (not actualy a good idea) as some kind of random floating fire brigade.

And no, you can't change the physical obit of a planet like you can move a Rook when you Castle......perhaps you could set it slightly out of phase and so weapons etc would pass right though the space it should be occupying......oh, wrong universe.....Big Smile.
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