> On Mon, 31 Dec 2007 15:09:42 GMT, an orbiting mind-control laser made
> Lorenzo Micheletto write:
>> IMHO given their sensor and computer technologies, telemetry must be quite
>> advanced, it's just in the books Weber don't spend too much time on it.
>> About upgrades ... there are a lot of things that could be improved, it's
>> only a matter of deciding what doesn't bend the rules too much.
>> a) "Hyper submarines"
> Just a quibble:
> The actual physical transition between bands is, I believe,
> Hyper navigation as currently described by Weber is nothing more
> than really, /really/ well-refined dead-reckoning (if we go this fast,
> for this long, in this hyper band, we ought to be... HERE! Ironically,
> just like I imagine current submarine navigation.)
> Yes, you have the physiological effects of translation, but that
> varies by speed at translation.
Thank you for the correction, to me it looked like that the side
effect on humans implied side effect at least on the sensors.
> Traditional navigation rules reassert themselves upon emergence
> into realspace with a difficulty level dependent on the location at
> emergence. (Are you in interstellar space? Locating navigation
> 'landmarks' becomes time consuming. Are you in a heavily
> industrialized system? Then there should be plenty of navigation
> markers that make triangulating your location much, much, easier.)
Uhm! So the first real problem is to identify ASAP the new ship position.
Thinking in the context of "attack near the hyper limit"
the position of the stars nearby can give the "absolute" position
(in that stellar system) so at least a rough solution for jumping away
to escape is almost ready when the ship jump to normal space
(the "escape route" is not important as long as it's far enough
so the "hyper sub" can emerge safely into normal space to prepare
for its next "precision micro jump" against the target).
So after the "attack micro jump" the real problem is acquiring
the target faster than it can acquire the ship and shoot first
before performing the "escape jump".
The "hyper sub" knows ahead the approximate volume where
it will "emerge" in normal space, but on the other hand
because of the hyper footprint the target gets a warning of the
approximate volume of the "hyper sub" too.
Basically the first problem becomes a battle of sensors and ECM
at graser range, if the "hyper sub" has a suite of sensors
and ECM optimized for it (i.e. it does not have to worry about
avoiding missiles because in that case it's only defense is
the "escape jump") maybe it can have enough margin to shoot first
and jump away before the target's graser beams can reach its position.
> Unfortunately, there really aren't any better navigation systems.
> But what you want here is actually a faster way back into hyper.
> Once you drop back into realspace, your hyper generators need time
> to recycle. The time required depends on the volume of the required
> field (although David usually just says 'by mass,' which implies
> volume restrictions).
> Smaller ships can recycle faster than larger ones and David
> doesn't want to get too tied down to exact figures to give him some
> wiggle room for changes down the road.
> There is /also/ a minimum delay between the time you hit the
> button to start your boost into hyper and when the field builds high
> enough to actually translate.
What about the idea of trading missile and pods for
extra nodes/generators ?
Usually a ship has more nodes and generator power of the minimun
needed to translate back and forth of hyper bands.
As i previously wrote, an "hyper sub" does not have attack missiles
and launchers (just grasers for attack, plus lasers and countermissiles
for self defense), so expending part of that tonnage for more
nodes/generators/accumulators may be the answer.
If the "hyper sub" can jump with say half its nodes and keeps
the other half "hot" for starting to prepare to cycle back into hyper
as soon as it "emerges" into normal space, it can cycle faster
than the target, and has more redundancy to be able
to escape in hyper in case of battle damage when exchanging
graser shots with its target.
If the "hyper sub" is cheap enough (i.e. sort of light cruiser
on steroid, automated to the max to reduce the personel required
in combat) it may be utilized like WW2 submarines
(i.e. wolf pack tactics for attack and support ships to extend
its endurance in combat zone).
I'm thinking something like 3..4 "hyper subs" engaging
in partially overlapped sequence (or in parallel from different
directions) the same target to have an edge against it
so the first ones have at leat partial coverage when jumping
back to hyper, while the last one is likely to have to deal with
and already damaged enemy.
In the end it looks like the "hyper sub" looks sort of
shipkiller hyper-capable LAC on steroids that does not need
missile LAC protection while approaching the target
(because it micro-jumps on it).
>> b) fleet level gravitic phased arrays
>> Or "if it works with electromagnetic waves ...".
>> Active phased array radars can perform some nasty tricks
>> on enemy avionics, think about its gravitic equivalent.
>> What may happen if lots of LACs or maybe all the ships in a task force
>> modulate in sync their impellers like a massive phased array to produce
>> focused "gravitic beam/pulses" ?
>> Just something capable to disturb enemy sensors could be terrific
>> because it traslates into less effective enemy defences
>> and degraded guidance for enemy weapons.
> It wouldn't surprise me if they already do something just like
> that, at least on a passive regime, although once the shooting starts,
> station-keeping becomes problematical.
> Otherwise, what you seem to be describing, as an active system, is
> a fleet-wide (god help us) grav lance.
No, my idea was that in "active mode" the "gravitic phased array"
"adds gravitic noise" to specific targets or to specific volumes
of space or "gives an extra push" to some of the missiles launched
against the enemy.
>> c) SESD MIRV (Suppression of Enemy Defense MIRV)
>> Like multi stage missiles, but their third stage is 3..4
>> countermissiles-like warheads designed to gut the enemy defense system
>> (i.e. to damage sensors,laser emitters, countermissile launchers
>> and anything that's vulnerable on the outer parts of a ship).
>> Packing enough of them in the first wave of missiles will open the path
>> for the second wave.
> I'm not going to say this is a /bad/ idea, but what you've tasked
> these things to do is pretty much what the shipkillers are doing
> anyway: they poke holes in the target's defenses by... poking holes in
> the target. Then the follow-on waves generally have softer targeting
Yes, basically the idea is what you wrote, the advantage is
that the enemy has limitations on defensive firepower and allocates
it based on what it knows/guess about the incoming missiles and LACs.
But they have other advantages.
Maybe MIRV is not the best definition, thinking about it they are
better described as MTM (Multiple Targetting Missile) because
when the "third stage missile pack" ignites, the "third stage missiles"
can be aimed against multiple targets, or perform a syncronized attack
against a single target or a mix of that.
Until third stage activation, an MTM looks like a standard capital missile
even if the enemy has been able to defeat ECM or if it guessed right
about the missile flight profile, so in the worst case the enemy allocated
a certain number of countermissiles already in flight to
intercept it or others nearby at the best odds it can guess.
Suddenly, when the third stage ignites and the MTM breaks cover
the enemy suddenly has to allocate new resources to stop the
extra (smaller and more agile) missiles that pop up on its sensors
and has less time available, both these things raise the probability
that at least one of the third stage missiles will be able to hit.
First and second stage of MTMs are the same of a three stage MDM
and MTM's "third stage missiles" are a lot like countermissiles
(the biggest difference is different programming and their warhead, but
they can be produced with lots of components in common).
One of the potential advantages of MTM missiles is in production
and logistics, plus flexibility in usage (i.e they may also serve
as an effective long range anti-LAC weapon, because a single MTM
in the proper context can engage multiple LACs).
Plus, as I said before, if the third stage missile separation
is designed to look like a failing MDM or a countermissile hitting
it, the odds of full multiple target hits further increase
because the enemy defenses will further delay the allocation
of defesive resources against the third stage missiles.
I guess the MTM idea lends itself for lots of interesting plots, for
a) because of a successful enemy blockade of the wormhole to Manticore
a task force trapped on the Talbot side of the wormhole
and running low on missiles has to resupply ASAP to launch a
counterattack and retake the wormhole before it's too late, the
logistic base was alredy running low on inventory
and the local factories are not yet able to produce all the parts
needed but somebody tries to improvise a complete MDM with
a third stage made with a modified countermissile cannister;
the result is sort of poor man's MDM but the initial confusion
they create and the real MDMs mixed in the missile waves
will barely save the day;
b) Haven develops the MTM before Manticore because they
provide its SD(P) with improved long range anti-LAC defense;
c) Because they are more flexible (for example, the way the
third stage missile packs can be programmed to engage the enemy ships)
it is possible to use them in more creative ways, for example
reprogramming the MTMs to "launch" their third stage prematurely
as an additional antimissile defense when the ship
is desperately fighting to survive long enough to reach the hyper limit.
>> d) swarm pods with delayed activation
> Dropping pods on ballistic courses against a /mobile/ defensive
> force could be a mite... problematic.
> Despite all you do to try to chivvy the defenders onto the track
> you want, they may not cooperate. Then you've wasted all those pods.
They are "dropped" at relativistic speeds, with trajectories making them
escape from the stellar system if possible, so if they are not used
and when activated they stayed in passive mode, it is possible to put
them back in sleep mode, this way a cargo ship can recollect lots of
them once they are at safety distance some days later.
> Also, it'd be kinda tough to get a no- or low-acceleration pod
> into position several lightminutes inside the Limit when your primary
> 'stalking horse' will be employing several hundred gs of accel to get
> itself into position.
> Just like Thurston's problems with Operation Dagger, using a plan
> that /requires/ your enemy to do what you want is a great way to screw
> it up, fast.
The idea is that instead of using extra SD(P) you just need modified cargos
to deploy and recover the swarm pods, and then even a single light cruiser
posing as the "main task force" can selectively switch to active mode
multiple swarms and use them (in a more ineffective way compared
to a SD(P), but quantity becomes a quality on its own if it's high enough).
It's not a matter of requiring the enemy do what you want, it's more
a way to have either a "ballistic minefield" or a "protected route"
using just modified pods and cargo ships instead of using a bigger
task force with more SD(P) or using a real enormous minefield.
Plus if the objective is a "slow mover" (i.e. industrial infrastructure
in an asteroid belt, a military space station, etc. etc) and there
are no "Eridani sensitive" planets nearby, you just have to use
a modified courier ship for final targeting and activate
the pods with launch authorization, the same applies for the
first missile wave for surprise attacks against "fortified" wormholes.
After AAC, both Haven and Manticore and its allies have lost lots
of battleships, but they both have lots of cargos, plus pods
can be produced a lot faster and in bigger quantities
(and later they can be "recycled" for SD(P) ), plus there
are others like Torch that do not have "real" battleships
and may be looking for "creative stopgag solutions".
I know I'm not talking about new uberweapons, but they have a potential
at least for interesting plots in "desperate" scenarios.
L. Micheletto >> Stay informed about: Ideas for honorverse space navy improvements?