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To End in Fire

Join us in talking discussing all things Honor, including (but not limited to) tactics, favorite characters, and book discussions.
Re: To End in Fire
Post by Jonathan_S   » Thu Apr 22, 2021 10:44 am

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munroburton wrote:
In their 15 months, the SLN managed to deploy, then upgrade Cataphracts to a second-generation version and came up with Hasta. They also produced literally millions of pods. In my view, that had as much as the results of the attack on Beowulf in pushing the GA's leadership to green-light Honor's conquest of Sol - they saw that their tech edge was slipping away much faster than it did in the Havenite wars and acted decisively.
They didn't necessarily call them all generations, but there have been at lest 4 significant rounds of improvements to Cataphracts.

The latest ones we saw in UH have now managed to basically equalize the powered range of a Mk16 - despite presumably still having only 42% of the drive endurance on the 2nd stage. (Their first stage seeming to get them 50% further, and to a velocity about 40% higher, than the first drive of a Mk16 or Mk23!)

They haven't cracked the secret of true DDMs, but their missile drive for any given stage/ring of the drive is now miles ahead of Manticore's. (In fact, using plausible numbers for how they achieved that, it seems possible that a DDM built with a pair of the latest Cataphract's 1st stage drives would have about 75-80% of the powered range of a Mk23 3-drive MDM and have a higher terminal velocity!!)


It'd be an interesting question how a DDM build with League drives, but capacitor power, would stack up against a Mk16. It'd be bigger, so you could carry less of them. And it wouldn't have the power budget for the kinds of ECM a Mk16 can do. OTOH it'd have far more powered range over the same 6 minutes, and will seemingly have a terminal velocity of about twice a much!! (Right on the 0.9c limit)
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Re: To End in Fire
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Thu Apr 22, 2021 9:50 pm

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munroburton wrote:In my view, that had as much as the results of the attack on Beowulf in pushing the GA's leadership to green-light Honor's conquest of Sol - they saw that their tech edge was slipping away much faster than it did in the Havenite wars and acted decisively.

It's similar to how Haven rolled the dice on Beatrice after Lovat, except the GA wasn't going to wait for a Lovat to happen to them.

Now they just have to make sure the League doesn't attempt a Thunderbolt of its own.


I think it was more than that. The proposed constitutional amendment was a dire threat. Before it, the League government was effectively insolvent and its bonds were valued at worthless. And those were the way Agatá Wodoslawski described to her Mandarin peers. With the amendment, not only would they suddenly have cash to prosecute the war, they'd also create a far bigger long-term entrenchment of the League government. Once any government is collecting money, will it stop?

The war was escalating too rapidly on other fronts: politically, commercially. I'd even say the buffer on those was shrinking much faster. We've discussed before that Lacoön could be deeply affecting the Manticoran Merchant Marine, even with the opening of the market to Haven. Not to mention that all those systems that used to rely on wormhole transits and Manty shipping could grow to dislike the Empire.

The Harrington Plan was devised when they didn't know about the MAlign. So I'm sure they were surprised as anyone that things escalated and kept on escalating faster, despite everything they did. No defeat seemed to make the SL back down or discuss a cease-fire.

As for a League Thunderbolt, remember it only happened because Manticore had High Ridge. If the Cromarty government had survived, after arriving in Haven and accepting the surrender, they'd have rebuilt Haven the same way that Honor later proposed to do with League splinters. Be their best friends, avoid revanchism. And Prichart and Theisman would have grabbed that opportunity with both arms and run with it! So it is in the GA's power to avoid a League Thunderbolt -- and I think we'll hear a lot about it in this book.
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Re: To End in Fire
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Thu Apr 22, 2021 10:04 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:The latest ones we saw in UH have now managed to basically equalize the powered range of a Mk16 - despite presumably still having only 42% of the drive endurance on the 2nd stage. (Their first stage seeming to get them 50% further, and to a velocity about 40% higher, than the first drive of a Mk16 or Mk23!)


In range, yes. But those were destroyer-class missiles being launched from either pods or from BC tubes. Nothing smaller could fire them. So even if they had the range, they don't have the punch. Hajdu only had a shot at those 4 ships coming at him because they were coming at him and he had deployed a million missiles, give or take.

Plus those missiles are still guided by the same sensors that were crappy at SDM range. So yes they can now reach the range of a DDM, but remember we're talking about BCs fighting DDs and still losing. They're still ways to go from fighting on their same weight class.

They haven't cracked the secret of true DDMs, but their missile drive for any given stage/ring of the drive is now miles ahead of Manticore's. (In fact, using plausible numbers for how they achieved that, it seems possible that a DDM built with a pair of the latest Cataphract's 1st stage drives would have about 75-80% of the powered range of a Mk23 3-drive MDM and have a higher terminal velocity!!)


And we also know that Manticore can build the same drives now, if they want to. We don't know if they want to or if it's possible, so when you say:

It'd be an interesting question how a DDM build with League drives, but capacitor power, would stack up against a Mk16. It'd be bigger, so you could carry less of them. And it wouldn't have the power budget for the kinds of ECM a Mk16 can do. OTOH it'd have far more powered range over the same 6 minutes, and will seemingly have a terminal velocity of about twice a much!! (Right on the 0.9c limit)


There may be a reason why the DDMs and MDMs are limited to 46000 gravities on Manticoran missiles (I think Havenite ones are slightly higher). IIRC, the Mk13 SDMs ("Tester's cutting torch") were also noticeably faster than the Mk16 and Mk23 are. It's entirely plausible that higher wedge powers ruptures the baffle and therefore destabilises the other stages.

We don't know.

I think it might be that plus everything you said above: the 46k might be the sweet spot in range, power budget for the warhead and penaids, size/volume, and charging capacity in the tubes and pods themselves. Plus mass production: the same drives are used in dual-, triple- and quad-drive missiles.
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Re: To End in Fire
Post by SharkHunter   » Fri Apr 23, 2021 12:23 am

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--snipping but lumping them together...

-- 1) In their 15 months, the SLN managed to deploy, then upgrade Cataphracts to a second-generation version and came up with Hasta. They also produced literally millions of pods.
--2) They didn't necessarily call them all generations, but there have been at lest 4 significant rounds of improvements to Cataphracts.
--3) The latest ones we saw in UH have now managed to basically equalize the powered range of a Mk16 - despite presumably still having only 42% of the drive endurance on the 2nd stage. (Their first stage seeming to get them 50% further, and to a velocity about 40% higher, than the first drive of a Mk16 or Mk23!)
--4) They haven't cracked the secret of true DDMs, but their missile drive for any given stage/ring of the drive is now miles ahead of Manticore's.
--5) It'd be an interesting question how a DDM build with League drives, but capacitor power, would stack up against a Mk16. It'd be bigger, so you could carry less of them. And it wouldn't have the power budget for the kinds of ECM a Mk16 can do. OTOH it'd have far more powered range over the same 6 minutes, and will seemingly have a terminal velocity of about twice a much!! (Right on the 0.9c limit)

Okay, here goes, my understanding:
1 & 2: Keep in mind, the SLN didn't really come up with any new tech; Technodyne did, and they are more tied to the MAlign than anyone guesses.
3) See #5, but Manticore's counter-missile drives are faster than their shipkillers, and the Cataphracts are sort of a kluged MDM, aka a regular missile + a counter missile pushing the warhead.
4) Any capacitor fed missile can't touch a micro-fusion reactor powered missile for power budget and range, and reaching .9c isn't as important as end-stage accuracy. That said, I wouldn't be surprised if latest gen SLN capacitor-fed missiles don't have equivalent power budgets, settings, etc. to similar sized SKM missiles. Unfortunately for the SLN, that doesn't help much... because they're not usually fighting with those outdated GA ships.

So for #5, pointing out that the Mk-16 has been used many times at a range where the 46K accel makes sense (and where coming within SLN targeting range is a big issue), it could undoubtedly use full speed in an appropriate battle. The big diff? The Mk16 G can be used a capitol ship-killer even if fired from a lowly Roland DD. Neither Technodyne nor the SLN have anything like it.
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Re: To End in Fire
Post by Jonathan_S   » Fri Apr 23, 2021 11:59 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
Jonathan_S wrote:They haven't cracked the secret of true DDMs, but their missile drive for any given stage/ring of the drive is now miles ahead of Manticore's. (In fact, using plausible numbers for how they achieved that, it seems possible that a DDM built with a pair of the latest Cataphract's 1st stage drives would have about 75-80% of the powered range of a Mk23 3-drive MDM and have a higher terminal velocity!!)


And we also know that Manticore can build the same drives now, if they want to. We don't know if they want to or if it's possible, so when you say:

It'd be an interesting question how a DDM build with League drives, but capacitor power, would stack up against a Mk16. It'd be bigger, so you could carry less of them. And it wouldn't have the power budget for the kinds of ECM a Mk16 can do. OTOH it'd have far more powered range over the same 6 minutes, and will seemingly have a terminal velocity of about twice a much!! (Right on the 0.9c limit)


There may be a reason why the DDMs and MDMs are limited to 46000 gravities on Manticoran missiles (I think Havenite ones are slightly higher). IIRC, the Mk13 SDMs ("Tester's cutting torch") were also noticeably faster than the Mk16 and Mk23 are. It's entirely plausible that higher wedge powers ruptures the baffle and therefore destabilises the other stages.

We don't know.

I think it might be that plus everything you said above: the 46k might be the sweet spot in range, power budget for the warhead and penaids, size/volume, and charging capacity in the tubes and pods themselves. Plus mass production: the same drives are used in dual-, triple- and quad-drive missiles.

True - I'd overlooked that the RMN had seized the records from Ganymede and thus should have the tech specs on those missile drives.

Though, in all the looking I did, I only ran across a single example of an RMN SDM where an acceleration number higher than 46k (or 92k in full power mode); and the numbers from the earliest books were slower than that. So I don't think the Mk13 were any faster than the Mk16s or 23s.

That one example was in Timothy Zahn's short story 'Act of War' with an Ex-RMN Star Knight (under covert Peep control) "The missiles shot from Ellipsis’s tubes, their wedges flashing into existence as they bore down at a thousand KPS2 acceleration on the cruiser" [IFF:AoW] (that'd be 102k gees)
The story doesn't give a range; but it does sound like they talked their way in close; so this may have been a full powered shot. If so, it'd 'only' be 11% quicker than any RMN SDM we've ever seen.


That said, the Mk23 isn't the highest acceleration MDM the RMN has fielded. In EoH and AoV we see the RMN and GSN fire MDMs of 47.5k/95k and then 48k/96k. So I'm not sure why the Mk23s reverted to the older 46k/92k accelerations.
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Re: To End in Fire
Post by Theemile   » Fri Apr 23, 2021 12:42 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:<snip>
That said, the Mk23 isn't the highest acceleration MDM the RMN has fielded. In EoH and AoV we see the RMN and GSN fire MDMs of 47.5k/95k and then 48k/96k. So I'm not sure why the Mk23s reverted to the older 46k/92k accelerations.


The only reason I can think of is directly related to the fact that those accelerations were seen in the old Mk41 - the massive RMN capacitor 3 drive missile. It could simply be that those larger missiles had larger nodes which allowed the greater accel - shrinking back to the Mk 23 might have had an adverse effect - or compromises had to be made in order to create the smaller package (some design factor like missile width was dictated by an outside constraint like the requirement to fit 12 missiles in a certain size pod - for example).

But that is just conjecture. All we know is the mk 41 had a higher accel than the mk 23.
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Re: To End in Fire
Post by Jonathan_S   » Fri Apr 23, 2021 1:49 pm

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Theemile wrote:
Jonathan_S wrote:<snip>
That said, the Mk23 isn't the highest acceleration MDM the RMN has fielded. In EoH and AoV we see the RMN and GSN fire MDMs of 47.5k/95k and then 48k/96k. So I'm not sure why the Mk23s reverted to the older 46k/92k accelerations.


The only reason I can think of is directly related to the fact that those accelerations were seen in the old Mk41 - the massive RMN capacitor 3 drive missile. It could simply be that those larger missiles had larger nodes which allowed the greater accel - shrinking back to the Mk 23 might have had an adverse effect - or compromises had to be made in order to create the smaller package (some design factor like missile width was dictated by an outside constraint like the requirement to fit 12 missiles in a certain size pod - for example).

But that is just conjecture. All we know is the mk 41 had a higher accel than the mk 23.

My suspicious were more along meta lines.
I tend to suspect the updated performace mentioned in Eoh and AoV didn't make it into the tech bible. Then MDM performance wasn't mentioned in WoH, so there was over five and half years between publishing AoV and the next book that mentioned MDM specs; AAC. That'd make it easy to forget that he'd written about improved versions and just use performance numbers that had existed for the bulk of the series.

But you could definitely be right, it might have been a deliberate design choice on RFC's part.
Last edited by Jonathan_S on Sun Apr 25, 2021 12:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: To End in Fire
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Fri Apr 23, 2021 8:27 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:But you could definitely be right, it might have been a deliberate design choice on RFC's part.


Doesn't matter. Leave it to BUNine and "we can retcon that" :)
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Re: To End in Fire
Post by Brigade XO   » Sat Apr 24, 2021 11:10 am

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It was noted that the GRAM project was combing through SLN/ Solly (any Solly system) tech journals but not mentioned is that the Alignment had been stifling most active SLN progress for a long time. While Technodyne was getting fed things from the Alignment as well as doing it's own research and development, the SLN was doing a lot worse than keeping it's head in the sand as far as ANYBODY else making advances, they were actively being diverted and suppressed from looking at it. Unless, of course, someone could make money at it and then it didn't actually usefull (like the 2000 program).
We are not sure that Hasta is a SLN or even within the League development.

The League does have thousands of SLN warships still out there but they also do not have the scrap from all those ships which the GA killed or caused to be scuttled at Ganymede so there is a lot of material that they do not have to recycle. Note that along with essentially everything but orbital habitat stations in the Sol System, everything else was blown up and there would have been nothing around to even attempt to recover the debris before it left the system and became effectively lost to any realistic cost effective reclamation.

Even if the League/SLN wanted to start building SDs (podlayer or not) they are going to have to completely redesign what they will use as an SD. Basic things like the enviornmental and power systems could be still used (with most current improvements) and even the sensor systems aren't bad but the missiles and CM are another question. Even building the tubes (and pods) to take current and some expanded size of the present Cataphracts, they haven't cracked the actual MDM tech and don't presently have any idea what the potential sizes will be. Sure they could add a boatload of CM systems but do they have the capabilities of controlling them?

Even if more than one system (other than Technodyne's group) is presently set up to build warships, just what sets of designs (DD through BC) would they want to produce given that none of them are going to survive most encounters with a GA force?

Incremental improvements. Try and suck tech data out of Erwhon (that should make for some hair raising confrontations and disappearances) building Manty Lite equipment. There might even be a vector of doing proof of concept ships in the DD to CA range and use them against "pirates" and aggressive non- or former league systems with SLN tech legacy ships.

We shall see.
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Re: To End in Fire
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Sat Apr 24, 2021 2:08 pm

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Brigade XO wrote:We are not sure that Hasta is a SLN or even within the League development.


Actually, we are pretty sure it was SLN/League. Whether TIY was involved or not is irrelevnt: it was designed for and under the guidance of the SLN.

The League does have thousands of SLN warships still out there but they also do not have the scrap from all those ships which the GA killed or caused to be scuttled at Ganymede so there is a lot of material that they do not have to recycle. Note that along with essentially everything but orbital habitat stations in the Sol System, everything else was blown up and there would have been nothing around to even attempt to recover the debris before it left the system and became effectively lost to any realistic cost effective reclamation.


Uh.. the material is still out there. Destroying it makes it spread out in small and tiny pieces, possibly burned or corroded or melted, but the mass is still present. Very little of it is converted to energy or transmuted into other materials. There's only a tiny portion that will have vapourised/atomised to the point that it's spreading in clouds so small that it's little more dense than the solar wind.

Whether any of that is cost-effective to recycle or not is a completely different story.

The biggest problem for the Reserve One was that it was in orbit of the biggest gas giant in our system. That means a big chunk those destabilised orbits will cause material to fall into Jupiter itself. Without space infrastructure to capture it before it rains down, that material is irretrievable with current HV technology.

Maybe in the Dahak universe they can do some starlifting, but we haven't seen that in the HV.

Even if more than one system (other than Technodyne's group) is presently set up to build warships, just what sets of designs (DD through BC) would they want to produce given that none of them are going to survive most encounters with a GA force?


Yup, that's what I am asking too.

On the other hand, the SL has to pay the industrial-military complex's corruption and keep all those mouths fed...
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