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SPOILERS TEiF: the future of the Alignment on Darius

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Re: SPOILERS TEiF: the future of the Alignment on Darius
Post by munroburton   » Tue Oct 12, 2021 12:20 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
munroburton wrote:At that point, the best way of preventing anyone trying to explore those lanes becomes the "We already tried, the ships never came back. Go ahead if you dare..." approach.


Which is a major ticking time bomb. Even if it's for the Darius end, it implies that the defences on the other side must be on readiness ALL the time for the next century. They can't let anyone come back.

More importantly, the major reason they can't open the Felix Junction to traffic is because the MAlign needs to use it. There can be no prying eyes when a ship transits to or from Darius.


Indeed, Darius would get cut off from Felix by all this, which has consequences for how much autonomy the Renaissance Factor can get from Darius' leadership.

But they don't need to blockade the wormhole at full readiness forever - just until people stop trying to transit. After that is achieved, they can lay a heavy minefield and forget about it. If someone is willing to dare sending a survey ship where none has returned, Mannerheim can shift to stalling a bit on moral grounds(!) while a streak boat notifies the Darius blockade force to spin up to full readiness.
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Re: SPOILERS TEiF: the future of the Alignment on Darius
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Tue Oct 12, 2021 3:44 pm

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munroburton wrote:But they don't need to blockade the wormhole at full readiness forever - just until people stop trying to transit. After that is achieved, they can lay a heavy minefield and forget about it. If someone is willing to dare sending a survey ship where none has returned, Mannerheim can shift to stalling a bit on moral grounds(!) while a streak boat notifies the Darius blockade force to spin up to full readiness.


Have you ever met a scientist? Do you think that telling people it's a killer wormhole is going to cause them to be less interested?

I think it's the opposite effect: if you show a second killer wormhole, you're going to attract ALL the wormhole theorists and investigators to both Felix and Congo. This could spur the development of unmanned transit vehicles, which could later have military applications. Talk about unintended side-effects!
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Re: SPOILERS TEiF: the future of the Alignment on Darius
Post by tlb   » Tue Oct 12, 2021 8:33 pm

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munroburton wrote:But they don't need to blockade the wormhole at full readiness forever - just until people stop trying to transit. After that is achieved, they can lay a heavy minefield and forget about it. If someone is willing to dare sending a survey ship where none has returned, Mannerheim can shift to stalling a bit on moral grounds(!) while a streak boat notifies the Darius blockade force to spin up to full readiness.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:Have you ever met a scientist? Do you think that telling people it's a killer wormhole is going to cause them to be less interested?

I think it's the opposite effect: if you show a second killer wormhole, you're going to attract ALL the wormhole theorists and investigators to both Felix and Congo. This could spur the development of unmanned transit vehicles, which could later have military applications. Talk about unintended side-effects!

Not a lot of data to work with when those unmanned probes are also destroyed; there is no communication through the wormhole, except by recycling the hyper-generator (assuming the vector is known.
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Re: SPOILERS TEiF: the future of the Alignment on Darius
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Tue Oct 12, 2021 9:13 pm

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tlb wrote:Not a lot of data to work with when those unmanned probes are also destroyed; there is no communication through the wormhole, except by recycling the hyper-generator (assuming the vector is known.


You still deny wormhole access to both Mannerheim and Darius. Who's going to picket the Twins end of the Congo wormhole? Are they going to fly to the Twins by way of hyperspace? How far is that? Months of travel likely.
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Re: SPOILERS TEiF: the future of the Alignment on Darius
Post by tlb   » Tue Oct 12, 2021 9:30 pm

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tlb wrote:Not a lot of data to work with when those unmanned probes are also destroyed; there is no communication through the wormhole, except by recycling the hyper-generator (assuming the vector is known.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:You still deny wormhole access to both Mannerheim and Darius. Who's going to picket the Twins end of the Congo wormhole? Are they going to fly to the Twins by way of hyperspace? How far is that? Months of travel likely.

I was only talking about the usefulness of unmanned drones to transit a "killer" wormhole. So I do not know what relevance your text has to my statement, sorry.
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Re: SPOILERS TEiF: the future of the Alignment on Darius
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Wed Oct 13, 2021 12:32 am

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tlb wrote:I was only talking about the usefulness of unmanned drones to transit a "killer" wormhole. So I do not know what relevance your text has to my statement, sorry.


Well, on the unmanned transit drones, if they figure that the transit itself is not the problem, but whatever is on the other side (say, a black hole), they may want something that can quickly reverse course and return. It shouldn't be too difficult to do that if they have the need, even if it weighs a couple thousand tonnes. And if it returns quickly, it might be too quick for the picket on the other side to react and destroy it, especially if it is small.

Then it's not a killer wormhole.
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Re: SPOILERS TEiF: the future of the Alignment on Darius
Post by zyffyr   » Wed Oct 13, 2021 1:29 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:Well, on the unmanned transit drones, if they figure that the transit itself is not the problem, but whatever is on the other side (say, a black hole), they may want something that can quickly reverse course and return. It shouldn't be too difficult to do that if they have the need, even if it weighs a couple thousand tonnes. And if it returns quickly, it might be too quick for the picket on the other side to react and destroy it, especially if it is small.

Then it's not a killer wormhole.


"Quickly Reverse and return" is not a valid option. It takes time to figure out the return path. See what happened with the Harvest Joy when it went to Talbot.
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Re: SPOILERS TEiF: the future of the Alignment on Darius
Post by munroburton   » Wed Oct 13, 2021 5:34 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:Well, on the unmanned transit drones, if they figure that the transit itself is not the problem, but whatever is on the other side (say, a black hole), they may want something that can quickly reverse course and return. It shouldn't be too difficult to do that if they have the need, even if it weighs a couple thousand tonnes. And if it returns quickly, it might be too quick for the picket on the other side to react and destroy it, especially if it is small.

Then it's not a killer wormhole.


That's not happening. Objects in the lane have to move slowly for several minutes to exit, then they have to find the outbound lane, realign with it and enter that lane as slowly as they exited. By then, any manner of automated defenses has acted. Nothing ever survives to exit the inbound lane, let alone the rest of the process.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:You still deny wormhole access to both Mannerheim and Darius. Who's going to picket the Twins end of the Congo wormhole? Are they going to fly to the Twins by way of hyperspace? How far is that? Months of travel likely.


I'm sure the Darius System Navy can find someone to take over the Twins picket. And yes, they'll have to put up with hyperspace travel. So? Manticore at one point stopped using the Trevor's Star connection except in emergencies simply because they did not want traffic at the termini seeing their latest military hardware or tracking movements. These ships had to travel the long way instead.
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Re: SPOILERS TEiF: the future of the Alignment on Darius
Post by Bluesqueak   » Wed Oct 13, 2021 9:15 am

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munroburton wrote:
That's not happening. Objects in the lane have to move slowly for several minutes to exit, then they have to find the outbound lane, realign with it and enter that lane as slowly as they exited. By then, any manner of automated defenses has acted. Nothing ever survives to exit the inbound lane, let alone the rest of the process.
...

I'm sure the Darius System Navy can find someone to take over the Twins picket. And yes, they'll have to put up with hyperspace travel. So? Manticore at one point stopped using the Trevor's Star connection except in emergencies simply because they did not want traffic at the termini seeing their latest military hardware or tracking movements. These ships had to travel the long way instead.


I'm thinking that the weak spot is the Congo wormhole. At the moment its status is 'killer wormhole' - but if Torch or Prof Kare begin to suspect that the physics suggests that the 'killer' aspect is not due to the wormhole itself, then the Grand Alliance research teams will start looking at ways to sneak in a probe. MARS is also going to be pretty keen, but they're behind the GA technologically.

How you could sneak in a probe, I don't know. An obvious unmanned probe, with a very stealthy probe piggybacked? Is it possible for an unmanned AI to calculate the appropriate vectors for re-entry, or does it need to find where it is, then quietly depart for the nearest GA base?

But they will put their best teams on it, because once they even begin to suspect that the Harvest Joy was lost to enemy action, that wormhole becomes a pulser pointed straight at Torch and MARS. Erewhon especially, was very, very aware of that.
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Re: SPOILERS TEiF: the future of the Alignment on Darius
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Wed Oct 13, 2021 12:00 pm

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munroburton wrote:That's not happening. Objects in the lane have to move slowly for several minutes to exit, then they have to find the outbound lane, realign with it and enter that lane as slowly as they exited. By then, any manner of automated defenses has acted. Nothing ever survives to exit the inbound lane, let alone the rest of the process.


Why do they have to move slowly? There's nothing in the physics of the transit lanes that forces that for the object, it's only the wedge that is the problem. So use a different propulsion and manoeuvring system: rockets. It can't be that difficult. It is just rocket science after all.

And if you can send one, you can send several too and hope one of them makes the transit back.

I don't expect this will happen. David has been pretty adamant about what can transit a wormhole. But my point is that in-universe they can't know what David is thinking and therefore the Alignment can't bet the farm (or the planet) on that NOT happening. Aside from losing access to the wormhole, this would be a completely unnecessary risk.
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