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What next after To End in Fire

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Re: What next after To End in Fire
Post by kzt   » Sat Jul 02, 2022 1:13 am

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tlb wrote:
There were still RMN ships there at the time of the attack on Beowulf in UH, but I do not remember specifically whether their wedges were down.

It took at least a half hour to bring up the wedges of the fleet (excepting the one BC(P) squadron that had at least hot nodes if not their wedge up).

So you tell me, where they effectively prepared for the possibility of an attack of hundreds of graser torps? Which can be delivered by one freighter.

What are the defenses of the fleet with no wedges or sidewalls if it's hit by a wave of 350 graser tops coming in a 0.2C? Do you feel confident that they could effectively defend themselves from this?

I'm fairly confident that the fleet would have been savaged, with at best perhaps 10% still mission capable if you squint hard and the rest either utterly destroyed or suffering catastrophic damage and surviving only due to luck and the DC training of the crew.

If the graser torps can do effective allocation of targets autonomously then it's worse, with the only (possibly) still operational ships being the BC(P) alert squadron and that requiring they get enough warning to bring up the sidewalls and bow/stern walls.

So it's my assertion that this demonstrates either unbridled arrogance (they wouldn't dare!) or a total lack of comprehension of the nature of the enemies capabilities.

It's really not important why, but disregarding the capability of the MAN is likely to culminate in a catastrophic defeat of an RMN force when the MAN demonstrates their actual capability.

Which would be a charming change from the way the recent books have gone.
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Re: What next after To End in Fire
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Sat Jul 02, 2022 12:39 pm

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kzt wrote:It took at least a half hour to bring up the wedges of the fleet (excepting the one BC(P) squadron that had at least hot nodes if not their wedge up).


I need to reread the passage then, because I really did not remember this. From the communications between Holmon-Sanders and Tsang, when Truman butt in, it seemed like the wedges came online fairly quickly.

So you tell me, where they effectively prepared for the possibility of an attack of hundreds of graser torps? Which can be delivered by one freighter.

What are the defenses of the fleet with no wedges or sidewalls if it's hit by a wave of 350 graser tops coming in a 0.2C? Do you feel confident that they could effectively defend themselves from this?


I don't think they could have, not if the enemy had found them and had time to sneak in an attack.

I imagine a mitigating factor was indeed the timing. They knew roughly when Filareta was arriving, so they knew when Tsang would move, so they knew when those ships had to be there. That limited the time they would be exposed to an attack. Such an attack would need to be opportunistic, and not as well-planned as the Strikes were.

Except, of course, that the MAlign knew exactly why they had sent Tsang there, so they knew what would happen. Like Fabius later, they could have pre-positioned assets to "help" her.

It might have also been a necessary risk. They couldn't keep the wedges up for so long under the noses of the SLN, however incompetent Tsang might be. The risk of detection would be too great. With all the traffic around the terminus, a passing freighter or courier could have noticed them and sent a query in the clear, which could be intercepted by an SLN agent.

So I turn the question around: what could they have done to mitigate the risk of stealth attack, without compromising their own mission objective in the process?

It's really not important why, but disregarding the capability of the MAN is likely to culminate in a catastrophic defeat of an RMN force when the MAN demonstrates their actual capability.

Which would be a charming change from the way the recent books have gone.


Yep, only RFC knows what will happen. I do hope we'll see some reversals, or at a minimum some suspense-building before The Good Guys finally win.
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Re: What next after To End in Fire
Post by tlb   » Sat Jul 02, 2022 1:06 pm

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kzt wrote:So you tell me, where they effectively prepared for the possibility of an attack of hundreds of graser torps? Which can be delivered by one freighter.

What are the defenses of the fleet with no wedges or sidewalls if it's hit by a wave of 350 graser tops coming in a 0.2C? Do you feel confident that they could effectively defend themselves from this?

ThinksMarkedly wrote:I don't think they could have, not if the enemy had found them and had time to sneak in an attack.

I imagine a mitigating factor was indeed the timing. They knew roughly when Filareta was arriving, so they knew when Tsang would move, so they knew when those ships had to be there. That limited the time they would be exposed to an attack. Such an attack would need to be opportunistic, and not as well-planned as the Strikes were.

Except, of course, that the MAlign knew exactly why they had sent Tsang there, so they knew what would happen. Like Fabius later, they could have pre-positioned assets to "help" her.

It might have also been a necessary risk. They couldn't keep the wedges up for so long under the noses of the SLN, however incompetent Tsang might be. The risk of detection would be too great. With all the traffic around the terminus, a passing freighter or courier could have noticed them and sent a query in the clear, which could be intercepted by an SLN agent.

So I turn the question around: what could they have done to mitigate the risk of stealth attack, without compromising their own mission objective in the process?

It's really not important why, but disregarding the capability of the MAN is likely to culminate in a catastrophic defeat of an RMN force when the MAN demonstrates their actual capability.

Which would be a charming change from the way the recent books have gone.


Yep, only RFC knows what will happen. I do hope we'll see some reversals, or at a minimum some suspense-building before The Good Guys finally win.

Forget Filareta, the passage to read is in UH when the SLN is attacking Beowulf; that is when the discussion is about whether the forces at the wormhole can respond to the attack. It turns out that they cannot because of the time to bring up the wedges. I remember that this has been discussed before and it is inexcusable because there is no point in stationing forces that would take so long to respond. Forgetting about spider drives for the moment, they would be sitting ducks if the Solarians had enough ships to also attack the wormhole.

Here is the stuff from the Attacking Darius thread:
kzt wrote:No. UH

"Aside from the two squadrons of Agamemnon-class BC(P)s of the ready response force, Third Fleet’s hyper generators were powered completely down". "It would take a Saganami-class cruiser thirty-seven minutes—and an SD like Lysander or a CLAC like her own Fafnir over forty—to bring up their generators and translate. For that matter, except for the ready response squadrons, every ship would have to bring her impeller nodes up from scratch at the same time, and that alone would take forty minutes, so not even the Saganami was getting into hyper any sooner than Fafnir."

ThinksMarkedly wrote:Even though this passage talks about "impeller nodes up from scratch," it's talking about hyper translation to alpha. We know that the generators can be cold, ready and translating. The latter is when you press the button to translate from ready and takes up to 3 and a half minutes for an SD.

I'm trying to understand the linkage between that and the conclusion of translating. There's something there. Why couldn't a Saganami translate sonner than Fafnir?

kzt wrote:Because translating without a working impeller drive or sidewall isn't a very good idea?

The point is that the ENTIRE FLEET was parked with their impellers cold. They has two BC(P) squadrons with warm drives, everyone else was cold.

What would have happened to them if 200 graser torps swept on it? "Commander Jones, you are the highest ranking officer left from 3rd fleet. Can you explain to the court of inquiry what happened to the rest of the fleet?"

Hence I find it feasible that the RMN still has no clue what the hell really happened to the orbital platforms. This wasn't just something David stuck in the last book like the planet, he's been showing that the RMN either doesn't understand the threat or refuses to believe what they know.

The quotes are from pages 265 and 266 of UH (hardback), just ahead of the section headed "Private Yacht Anachronism Beowulf System". So Operation Fabius is just about attack the Sigma Draconis System.
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Re: What next after To End in Fire
Post by Fox2!   » Sun Jul 03, 2022 4:59 pm

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Twenty-eight hours now without a comment? Everybody's comms been put on MINIMIZE?

I don't know you people any more.
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Re: What next after To End in Fire
Post by tlb   » Sun Jul 03, 2022 5:17 pm

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Fox2! wrote:Twenty-eight hours now without a comment? Everybody's comms been put on MINIMIZE?

I don't know you people any more.

For some of us, it is a long holiday weekend.
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Re: What next after To End in Fire
Post by munroburton   » Sun Jul 03, 2022 6:23 pm

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Fox2! wrote:Twenty-eight hours now without a comment? Everybody's comms been put on MINIMIZE?

I don't know you people any more.


Perhaps it has finally happened. We've mined out every last nugget, beaten every dead horse into a fine soup and crystal balled every possible future and alternate timelines... several times. :lol:
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Re: What next after To End in Fire
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Sun Jul 03, 2022 11:36 pm

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tlb wrote:Forget Filareta, the passage to read is in UH when the SLN is attacking Beowulf; that is when the discussion is about whether the forces at the wormhole can respond to the attack. It turns out that they cannot because of the time to bring up the wedges. I remember that this has been discussed before and it is inexcusable because there is no point in stationing forces that would take so long to respond. Forgetting about spider drives for the moment, they would be sitting ducks if the Solarians had enough ships to also attack the wormhole.


Ah, sorry. You said wormhole and I thought of Truman and Tsang. The wormhole wasn't relevant during Fabius, so I didn't associate, which is your point.

Thank you, now I have found the passage. It's indeed there.

However, you've skipped past this, in the same paragraph (emphasis mine):

Uncompromising Honor wrote:Aside from the two suadrons of Agamemnon-class BC(P)s of the ready response force, Third Fleet's hyper generators were powered completely down. The Beowulf Junction lay at the heart of a sensor bubble fifteen light-minutes across that a microbe would find difficult to penetrate, and the fixed defenses were... formidable. Under those circumstances, there was little reason to put wear on the hyper generators and nodes by holding the fleet at instant readiness. The ability tostand those systems down was the real reason there were fixed defenses, and any admiral worth her beret was grateful for them.


First, let me agree this corroborates the nodes were down completely. It wasn't just a mistaken wording in the next couple of sentences, because it appears twice.

But the passage says that they had a sensor bubble of fifteen light-minutes. Not light-seconds, light minutes. That's a sphere of roughly 1 AU in radius. The thinking at this point is that they can catch anything, including graser torpedoes and spider ships, before they reach target range of anything, and that those fixed defences could deal with such a threat.

To me, this doesn't say "haven't learnt anything from the Yawata Strike," but instead that they did, and they put a lot of scanning technology to ensure the attack couldn't be repeated.

How effective that can be against a spider drive, we don't know.

And the other question that immediately follows is: why weren't the Mycroft inside such a sensor bubble? 15 light-seconds would have been enough for them.
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Re: What next after To End in Fire
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Sun Jul 03, 2022 11:37 pm

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Fox2! wrote:Twenty-eight hours now without a comment? Everybody's comms been put on MINIMIZE?

I don't know you people any more.


I didn't bring the laptop on my 24-hour trip to the Bay Area.
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Re: What next after To End in Fire
Post by Jonathan_S   » Mon Jul 04, 2022 12:37 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:Thank you, now I have found the passage. It's indeed there.

However, you've skipped past this, in the same paragraph (emphasis mine):

Uncompromising Honor wrote:Aside from the two suadrons of Agamemnon-class BC(P)s of the ready response force, Third Fleet's hyper generators were powered completely down. The Beowulf Junction lay at the heart of a sensor bubble fifteen light-minutes across that a microbe would find difficult to penetrate, and the fixed defenses were... formidable. Under those circumstances, there was little reason to put wear on the hyper generators and nodes by holding the fleet at instant readiness. The ability tostand those systems down was the real reason there were fixed defenses, and any admiral worth her beret was grateful for them.


First, let me agree this corroborates the nodes were down completely. It wasn't just a mistaken wording in the next couple of sentences, because it appears twice.

But the passage says that they had a sensor bubble of fifteen light-minutes. Not light-seconds, light minutes. That's a sphere of roughly 1 AU in radius. The thinking at this point is that they can catch anything, including graser torpedoes and spider ships, before they reach target range of anything, and that those fixed defences could deal with such a threat.

To me, this doesn't say "haven't learnt anything from the Yawata Strike," but instead that they did, and they put a lot of scanning technology to ensure the attack couldn't be repeated.

How effective that can be against a spider drive, we don't know.

And the other question that immediately follows is: why weren't the Mycroft inside such a sensor bubble? 15 light-seconds would have been enough for them.
Good question.
And without first hand evidence that the sensors do pick up the kinds of weapons used against Manticore and Grayson I don't think I'd be so complacent about leaving 3rd fleet (less some ready response BC squadrons) with cold nodes.

And that's doubly true around a Junction terminus with its relatively tiny hyper limit (less than a million km). An attacker with good astrogation, and a willingness to risk clipping the RZ (with the destruction that would entail) could drop out of hyper within missile range of the Junction and the fleet anchoring there. I don't care how good your sensors are when someone can pop out of hyper within a couple million km and have missiles hitting you in just a handful of minutes; long before any of the ships could get their wedges and sidewalls up. You better pray that the fixed defenses can confuse, kill, or, lacking, that soak up all those missiles or you'd lose a lot of hideously vulnerable ships. (Though the attacker likely wouldn't survive the counter battery fire)

Of course the Mycroft platforms defending the inner system wouldn't be inside the Junction's sensor bubble -- they're 362 LM from the primary -- but how about sensor bubbles of their own?


We know, because the SLN saw them blow up, that the system defense Mycroft platforms had been "scattered all around the [...] half of the hyper sphere we [the SLN forces] can see" -- that implies those platforms, or at least the outer shell of them, were covering the full 360x360 degree sphere are some depth inside the hyper limit (I'd guess maybe 5 LM inside -- deep enough to be difficult to pick out and target, but close enough to provide FTL fire control against targets crossing the limit)

Now there would likely be multiple shells of platforms, though the inner shell may, or may not, provide full coverage -- but you'd want enough that you'd have multiple redundant paths of relays between the planet(s) and the outer shell of platforms. Specifically so some malfunction, sabotage, or attack, can't easily cut the planets off from those.

However I don't know if any Mycroft platforms would be close enough to a planet to be inside its own sensor bubble (which is hopefully just as tight as the one around the Junction) -- though possibly at least one of the "master platforms" would be close enough to Beowulf to be within its sensor bubble (in which case, since they seem to have all gotten blown up, we'd have evidence that those sensors failed to detect the Silver Bullet(s) that killed those platforms).

However, I don't think each of the outer shell of Mycroft platforms would sit within its own sensor bubble. That would either require covering the surface area of a ~20 LM sphere with sensors -- which would require a ludicrous number of sensor platforms -- or else providing a little pinprick sensor bubble around each Mycroft platform -- which would rather highlight where they are for any attacker trying to take them out. They're supposed to hide until needed -- sticking a bunch of radars and other active sensors around them rather defeats that.
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Re: What next after To End in Fire
Post by kzt   » Mon Jul 04, 2022 5:35 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:But the passage says that they had a sensor bubble of fifteen light-minutes. Not light-seconds, light minutes. That's a sphere of roughly 1 AU in radius. The thinking at this point is that they can catch anything, including graser torpedoes and spider ships, before they reach target range of anything, and that those fixed defences could deal with such a threat.

To me, this doesn't say "haven't learnt anything from the Yawata Strike," but instead that they did, and they put a lot of scanning technology to ensure the attack couldn't be repeated.

How effective that can be against a spider drive, we don't know.

And the other question that immediately follows is: why weren't the Mycroft inside such a sensor bubble? 15 light-seconds would have been enough for them.

es, that's it.

So you are saying that their system will detect something so stealthy that it penetrated through all the RMN home system defenses, including the orbital fortress that was a hell of lot closer than 15 minutes, without detection until it deep inside max effective range from the best protected site the RMN has?

Without an actual working sample or even a successful detection?

So there are three options here:
1) RMN flag officers have all taken up smoking crack.
2) The RMN is composed solely of people overwhelmed with arrogance, so while they may not know how that super secret undetectable drive works they know it won't slip by them.
3) The RMN has no clue that a super stealthy weapon was used that can't be detected by any of their detection systems and assumes they were basically ballistic, just like the missile pods.

Those missile pods did manage to penetrate completely through the heart of the RMH home system and attack right under the nose of the orbital fortresses. And combined this certainly should have a far more elaborate and sensitive sensors than a fleet does.

So even if 3 is the case, there is a big heaping helping of arrogance on the scale of Rear Admiral Ralph Waldo Christie. Who in WW2 disregarded the complaints about the Mk6 exploder flaws from the submarines under his command and threatened to court-martial any sub captain who modified it. After all, as the head of the Mk6 exploder design team, he knew it was perfect.

In fact it had no less than three critical flaws that were not corrected for almost two years into the war, and the way one of those flaws was corrected was to disable the core feature that was supposed to make the Mk6 more effective than the WWI exploder it replaced.
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