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Author Topic: A Couple Of Jump Travel Questions  (Read 10504 times)

SCC

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A Couple Of Jump Travel Questions
« on: 23 May 2017, 05:21:50 »
1. Recharge Stations. OK I can see these existing in systems with dim stars and in the time before HPG's to speed couriers along, but in more modern times? Well I can easily see them being limited to military use only, but even if they aren't, who gets to use them? Can you pre-book their use?

2. Only using Zenith and Nadir points. I can see the need to use them in a system where you don't have any data or what data you have being old, but for a major system, and especially one where you're part of a command circuit? No explanation for not arriving on the proximity limit as close as possible to the planet or using a LaGrange point, this later actually allows you to avoid needing to run your drives for a week while you recharge the sail as well, an added bonus.

Frabby

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Re: A Couple Of Jump Travel Questions
« Reply #1 on: 23 May 2017, 07:45:43 »
1. Recharge stations give you a (iirc) +2 bonus to quick-charging, so they do boost recharge time even in regular systems. We've had this discussion before on this forum.
But ultimately, yes, they aren't as terribly useful as they're sometimes made out to be.

2. One of the Gray Death novels explained that you need an up-to-date ephemeridis on a given system to safely plot pirate jump points.
Zenith and nadir points have the advantage of ignoring the planets and all stuff on the accretion disk. Fewer extra factors means fewer possible error sources - and in a JumpShip, you're quite literally betting your life on safe jump points.
Also, the jump points are on the star's proximity limit, perpendicular to the accretion disk with all those pesky bodies messing up your jump solutions.
It's the added complexity of planetary bodies that allows for pirate points within that limit, closer to the star. Which also explains why it's such a pain to properly calculate LaGrange points - you have to factor in not only the planet and moon, but also the sun's gravitation. For a "simple" sun-planet-moon configuration, that is. It gets messy really quick with several moons.
« Last Edit: 23 May 2017, 07:48:14 by Frabby »
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Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: A Couple Of Jump Travel Questions
« Reply #2 on: 23 May 2017, 10:27:41 »
I like to consider JumpShips as being analogous to clippers and windjammers.  Actually, the entire paradigm of BTU travel as basically being "1850 in Space".

More to the point of the OP: why bother traveling from Zenith/Nadir to the next Zenith/Nadir? I can give two very good reasons.  They both revolve around being a bastion of life in the otherwise lifeless void of deep space. 

One: safety.  Whether a mechanical breakdown is catastrophic or inconvenient in nature, they're inevitable.  And you can only carry so many spare parts and components on board.  Eventually you're going to be in a position where you have to either jury rig a repair to some aspect of the ship, or need to ask someone nearby to sell or trade you what you need.  You can do that at a regularly used Zenith/Nadir point.  Not so much anywhere else.  Hell, if it actually IS so bad as a catastrophic failure, you can even get into the lifeboats and actually be rescued!

Two: profit. JumpShips don't operate like modern air travel where you have a scheduled departure and arrival with no unscheduled stops in between.  JumpShips bounce around from system to system, picking up whatever dropships willing to be paid to be carried into the next system in the direction you're going.  Hard to find DropShip captains and passengers willing to give you money if you *don't* navigate through Zenith/Nadir points.

Frabby

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Re: A Couple Of Jump Travel Questions
« Reply #3 on: 23 May 2017, 11:10:46 »
Two: profit. JumpShips don't operate like modern air travel where you have a scheduled departure and arrival with no unscheduled stops in between.  JumpShips bounce around from system to system, picking up whatever dropships willing to be paid to be carried into the next system in the direction you're going.  Hard to find DropShip captains and passengers willing to give you money if you *don't* navigate through Zenith/Nadir points.
I'd challenge that point - I am pretty convinced that hardpoints can, and usually will be, booked well in advance. Free traders hiring out hardpoints on the spot in something like an auction exists, but I got the impression that they are the exception, not the rule.
However, your reasoning that "jump points" make excellent stations still holds true, and I fully agree with that.

(And once more, I take this opportunity to voice my theory that ComStar operated a massive fleet of neutral JumpShips on "bus lines" throughout the Inner Sphere, and handled all the advance hardpoint booking. That fleet must have been on par, or possibly even bigger than, any Great House JumpShip fleet. As a merc unit or even a pirate - if you weren't on ComStar's wanted list - those neutral vessels would carry your DropShip to and from your target system with no questions asked.)
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Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: A Couple Of Jump Travel Questions
« Reply #4 on: 23 May 2017, 11:55:24 »
I'd challenge that point - I am pretty convinced that hardpoints can, and usually will be, booked well in advance. Free traders hiring out hardpoints on the spot in something like an auction exists, but I got the impression that they are the exception, not the rule.
However, your reasoning that "jump points" make excellent stations still holds true, and I fully agree with that.

(And once more, I take this opportunity to voice my theory that ComStar operated a massive fleet of neutral JumpShips on "bus lines" throughout the Inner Sphere, and handled all the advance hardpoint booking. That fleet must have been on par, or possibly even bigger than, any Great House JumpShip fleet. As a merc unit or even a pirate - if you weren't on ComStar's wanted list - those neutral vessels would carry your DropShip to and from your target system with no questions asked.)

Sure, I agree that advance booking exists.  I guess we agree to disagree as to what percentage of traffic is booked in advance and what percentage of traffic is arranged purely in the short term on a space available basis.  I envision a percentage of JumpShips operating as Free Traders, going wherever money is to be made.  I envision regularly scheduled jumps that can be booked ahead of time as being rare due to the difficulties in actually keeping to a pre-arranged schedule.  The aforementioned breakdowns inevitably happen.  Most don't render a JumpShip unable to continue on, but many will cause unscheduled delays for repairs.  Again going back to the Age of Sail paradigm: JumpShips don't arrive at a set date, much less a set time.  They're scheduled to arrive "on or about" some day.  So if you're a DropShip captain and your JumpShip doesn't show up for the scheduled rendezvous, what do you do but ask around among the other JumpShips nearbly at the Z/N if anyone going your way has an empty docking collar?

And it's not just the inevitable mechanical problems that will prevent JumpShips from arriving on precise timelines.  You have the various House Armies (and mercs in their employ) citing military emergencies and commandeering any JumpShips they can catch.  You read about that all the friggin' time in fiction :) 

Anyway between all that (not even gone into delays due to piracy) there can be only so much regularly scheduled interstellar traffic that can be booked ahead of time.  It's probably only going on deep in the cores of the Great Houses' empires, possibly only in segments that don't even connect to one another.
« Last Edit: 23 May 2017, 15:33:26 by Tai Dai Cultist »

SCC

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Re: A Couple Of Jump Travel Questions
« Reply #5 on: 24 May 2017, 04:30:17 »
1. Recharge stations give you a (iirc) +2 bonus to quick-charging, so they do boost recharge time even in regular systems. We've had this discussion before on this forum.
But ultimately, yes, they aren't as terribly useful as they're sometimes made out to be.
Considering that an Olympus-class station only has 8 batteries and each one can charge only one JS and I'm guessing that each takes a week to recharge, that makes sense.

2. One of the Gray Death novels explained that you need an up-to-date ephemeridis on a given system to safely plot pirate jump points.
Zenith and nadir points have the advantage of ignoring the planets and all stuff on the accretion disk. Fewer extra factors means fewer possible error sources - and in a JumpShip, you're quite literally betting your life on safe jump points.
Also, the jump points are on the star's proximity limit, perpendicular to the accretion disk with all those pesky bodies messing up your jump solutions.
It's the added complexity of planetary bodies that allows for pirate points within that limit, closer to the star. Which also explains why it's such a pain to properly calculate LaGrange points - you have to factor in not only the planet and moon, but also the sun's gravitation. For a "simple" sun-planet-moon configuration, that is. It gets messy really quick with several moons.
That works for an unexplored, but not for a known one, in fact I'm pretty sure that SO says that LaGrage points will be naturally swept clean of stuff.

My question was not "Why does an individual captain use the Z/N points?" But rather "Why are the Z/N the standard?"

Frabby

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Re: A Couple Of Jump Travel Questions
« Reply #6 on: 24 May 2017, 05:15:27 »
My question was not "Why does an individual captain use the Z/N points?" But rather "Why are the Z/N the standard?"
Just a guess, but from how I understand it, your emergence point will usually shift away from other ships already in the area and standard jump "points" offer plenty of room. LaGrange points and other pirate points, on the other hand, are relatively small to the point where the risk of jumping into another ship is significantly higher.
Of course, we've never been told how JumpShips avoid jump accidents at the standard jump points. I always assumed they probably drop a bit closer to the star, just below the proximity limit, to recharge and use their station keeping drives to nudge them back over the proximity threshold before they jump out again. Safe distance from other ships jumping out is 20 kilometers, and 2 kilometers from other ships jumping in.
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Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: A Couple Of Jump Travel Questions
« Reply #7 on: 24 May 2017, 10:19:22 »
My question was not "Why does an individual captain use the Z/N points?" But rather "Why are the Z/N the standard?"

Because it's simultaneously the simplest AND safest way to do a jump?  At least compared to pirate points inside the proximity limit.  Why Z/N as opposed to any other point outside or along the sphere of the proximity limit has been mentioned by Frabby and myself upthread.  Something (I believe that) Frabby alluded to that I think merits an additional mention is that the Z/N points are perpendicular to the star's accretion disk... and therefore the system's planets' orbital planes.  If you jump in at a Z/N point, the transit time for dropships down to the destination planet is always the same.  Anywhere else, the transit time varies based on where the planet happens to be in its annual orbit.

And of course, there's the safety and (arguably) the profitability factors favoring "doing what everyone else is doing" as well.

...
Of course, we've never been told how JumpShips avoid jump accidents at the standard jump points. I always assumed they probably drop a bit closer to the star, just below the proximity limit, to recharge and use their station keeping drives to nudge them back over the proximity threshold before they jump out again. Safe distance from other ships jumping out is 20 kilometers, and 2 kilometers from other ships jumping in.

In my headcanon, navigators plot in a randomized direction (in 3 dimensions) and distance (in tens of kilometers) from the exact targeted point when travelling to a Z/N (coupled with a safety check that verifies the new plotted point isn't now on top of a known hazard like a recharge station).  With enough variable distance, it should render the odds of jumping in on top of someone, even at a busy Z/N station, virtually nil.

Since it's not technically nil, there's also a second layer.  Not my headcanon, but actually in the rules.  The IR heat bloom begins showing up long before you do.  If anyone happens to be danger close to your arrival point, they'll certainly see the IR bloom forming.  And giving them time to GTFO.  Even 0.1g thrust from a JumpShip is sufficient for this.
« Last Edit: 24 May 2017, 10:21:34 by Tai Dai Cultist »

Giovanni Blasini

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Re: A Couple Of Jump Travel Questions
« Reply #8 on: 24 May 2017, 10:57:47 »
In addition, jumping to known points, like the zenith/nadir, gives rescuers a better idea where to look for you if things go wrong.  They're also simple enough, comparatively, that your navigator can calculate them by hand if you, say, lose your main computer that does your calculations.
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gomiville

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Re: A Couple Of Jump Travel Questions
« Reply #9 on: 24 May 2017, 13:52:28 »
Also, from a security standpoint, I could see systems wanting incoming jumps to only appear at the Z/N points.  Emergence waves are pretty easy to detect, even at system-wide ranges, but that's it.  After you detect an incoming jump, it might be a week before you know what arrived (because it reached you or you reached it).  Consider the costs of constantly running security drills whenever an unexpected merchant ship arrives at a pirate point, or a non-Z/N proximity limit point.

Z/N point are (relatively) small spaces to patrol and manage, even with just a small craft or light dropship.  A system can detect and then verify an incoming craft easily.

I imagine innocent traffic arriving on unregistered jump points being fined, if not inadvertently fired upon by jump security forces.

SCC

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Re: A Couple Of Jump Travel Questions
« Reply #10 on: 24 May 2017, 16:14:30 »
The thing is there are MAJOR military and economic advantages to jumping in closer and there isn't actually any security advantages to requiring arrivals to come in at the Z/N, so unless the costs of jumping to and from these locations is prohibitive, which it likely ISN'T seeing as how common their use is, I have toi wonder why they aren't used. In fact from a security prospective sun/planet LaGrage points are probably the preferred arrival points.

Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: A Couple Of Jump Travel Questions
« Reply #11 on: 24 May 2017, 16:30:57 »
The thing is there are MAJOR military and economic advantages to jumping in closer and there isn't actually any security advantages to requiring arrivals to come in at the Z/N, so unless the costs of jumping to and from these locations is prohibitive, which it likely ISN'T seeing as how common their use is, I have toi wonder why they aren't used. In fact from a security prospective sun/planet LaGrage points are probably the preferred arrival points.

Military advantages to using pirate points?  Clearly.  But still, canon lore is unanimous about it being a riskier alternative to standard jump points.  In military operations, higher risk can be an acceptable factor in the right circumstances.

Economic advantages?  Sure, for the DropShip captains.  I'm not so sure there are economic advantages to be had for the JumpShips, though.  Not unless the JumpShips and DropShips are owned by the same entity, which probably won't be the case.

Even if there were no safety and filling-up-space-available-docking-collars aspects in favor of Z/N (and I feel it's pretty well demonstrated that there *are*), keeping insurance coverage is surely an economic disincentive for a JumpShip owner in making repeated use of pirate points.  I'd even imagine insurance concerns might limit commercial JumpShips from using anything BUT Z/N points (barring of course those times House Armies shanghai the ship into military service).

gomiville

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Re: A Couple Of Jump Travel Questions
« Reply #12 on: 24 May 2017, 17:57:24 »
In fact from a security prospective sun/planet LaGrage points are probably the preferred arrival points.
For an attacker, sure, but for the defender?  Having someone jump closer to you, where you have less time to prepare defense, seems like a worse option.

Which is why I think, in universe, planetary governments would want to "encourage" arriving civilians to use the Z/N points.

Giovanni Blasini

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Re: A Couple Of Jump Travel Questions
« Reply #13 on: 24 May 2017, 17:58:56 »
Hey, just look at Wannamaker's Widowmakers.
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Iron Mongoose

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Re: A Couple Of Jump Travel Questions
« Reply #14 on: 25 May 2017, 00:15:17 »
I think the preference made significant sense in the succession wars era.  In a time when a lot of knowledge is lost, you have to ask carefully how much risk you want to subject your jumpship to, when it is at once centuries old and maintained more by intuition and tradition than by understanding, and also completely irreplaceable.  To me, the very rational answer is absolutely zero.  Sure, pirate points may have a success rate of 99.99%, but measured against an expected service life of somewhere between centuries and "forever" for a jumpship, .001% is nothing short of suicidal.  Only in the most dire need (when the chance of losing the ship is higher still, such a the Kell Hounds in the Warrior Books) would a pirate point be used. 
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SCC

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Re: A Couple Of Jump Travel Questions
« Reply #15 on: 25 May 2017, 03:15:44 »
Economic advantages?  Sure, for the DropShip captains.  I'm not so sure there are economic advantages to be had for the JumpShips, though.  Not unless the JumpShips and DropShips are owned by the same entity, which probably won't be the case.
You do realize that a JS that executes it's jumps such that DS have shorter travel times

Even if there were no safety and filling-up-space-available-docking-collars aspects in favor of Z/N (and I feel it's pretty well demonstrated that there *are*), keeping insurance coverage is surely an economic disincentive for a JumpShip owner in making repeated use of pirate points.  I'd even imagine insurance concerns might limit commercial JumpShips from using anything BUT Z/N points (barring of course those times House Armies shanghai the ship into military service).
Except I don't think the fiction bears this out, when has a major attack gone astray because it used a pirate point? Or rather, what percentage of pirate point jumps that we see are failures?

Frabby

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Re: A Couple Of Jump Travel Questions
« Reply #16 on: 25 May 2017, 05:32:08 »
Except I don't think the fiction bears this out, when has a major attack gone astray because it used a pirate point? Or rather, what percentage of pirate point jumps that we see are failures?
There are examples of JumpShip malfunctions in the fiction. A particular prominent example is Clan Ghost Bear's Black Lion-class Bear's Den that used a pirate jump point to get into the Damian system fast but ran afoul of a small asteroid - which caused considerable damage to the WarShip and cost them an entire, fully-loaded Overlord-C with all hands save eleven people. (See novella Ghost Bear's Lament - Instrument of Destruction.)

The jump rules bear out that the use of pirate point is considerably more likely to result in a jump accident of some sort. However, most jump accidents are non-lethal, resulting in an abortive jump, or an emergence a few hunderd or thousand (or hundreds of thousands) of kilometers off-target. These don't kill anyone immediately, but economically, may spell desaster for a free trader. Only a very few misjumps actually cause the flashy effects like damage to the ship or even casualties among the crew.
« Last Edit: 25 May 2017, 05:34:58 by Frabby »
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Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: A Couple Of Jump Travel Questions
« Reply #17 on: 25 May 2017, 09:39:33 »
Economic advantages?  Sure, for the DropShip captains.  I'm not so sure there are economic advantages to be had for the JumpShips, though.  Not unless the JumpShips and DropShips are owned by the same entity, which probably won't be the case.
You do realize that a JS that executes it's jumps such that DS have shorter travel times

Yes I realize that... I referred to it right in the quote you cited.  However I wonder if you caught on to *my* point: just because a DropShip benefits it doesn't mean the JumpShip benefits.  Any benefit is enjoyed only be the DropShip(s) and whatever they may  be carrying.  For the JumpShip, using a pirate point is added risk for no added benefit. Depending on the nature of a pirate point (especially one that's not permanently "open"), using a pirate point is added risk for diminished benefit...if the JumpShip is all alone and away from safety/security of other spacefarers.

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Except I don't think the fiction bears this out, when has a major attack gone astray because it used a pirate point? Or rather, what percentage of pirate point jumps that we see are failures?

I like and agree with Frabby's response to this part.

I'd also add that the fiction does have an aspect of selection bias involved.  If on one hand the lore says in an abstract manner that "pirate points are risky" yet on the other hand there are few episodes of a pirate jump point going awry compared to episodes where using pirate jump points went without a hitch.. it doesn't mean the former lore is dubious.  It means that travel is a means to an end in telling the story and a story that ends with "and they all died when they misjumped" is one that isn't very good.

Sometimes the "elephant repellent" isn't just a joke and it's actually repelling elephants.  There are few documented cases of a pirate point jump going awry because pirate points are rarely used, because they sometimes go awry.  Even if odds are in your favor on any given single pirate point jump (as may arguably be inferred by the rules or the proportion of stories where a pirate jump does NOT go awry compared to those that do) over time it's a cumulative risk.  If you have a slim chance of something going wrong, that means you have a great chance of something going wrong not happening.

Once.

Keep it up, and the cumulative chance of something not going wrong begins to dangerously erode, even if the odds of a misjump are slim any given jump.
« Last Edit: 25 May 2017, 09:42:49 by Tai Dai Cultist »

Cryhavok101

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Re: A Couple Of Jump Travel Questions
« Reply #18 on: 25 May 2017, 09:41:50 »
Plus there is the damage to the K-F core that you would have to get repaired for every miss jump, even if you were only a few hundred kilometers off target. Between the downtime with it's resultant loss of revenue, and the decreasing margin before your JumpShip is worth no more than a large tin can, and the cost of the repairs themselves. Minimizing those costs is gonna be a big thing for a JumpShip captain.

I know when I was driving big rigs, minimizing downtime and repair costs was pretty important for me. I can only imagine how much more important it would be for something like a JumpShip. I doubt minimizing risks and costs would stop being an important part of the transportation industry.

SCC

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Re: A Couple Of Jump Travel Questions
« Reply #19 on: 27 May 2017, 05:51:25 »
Yes I realize that... I referred to it right in the quote you cited.  However I wonder if you caught on to *my* point: just because a DropShip benefits it doesn't mean the JumpShip benefits.  Any benefit is enjoyed only be the DropShip(s) and whatever they may  be carrying.  For the JumpShip, using a pirate point is added risk for no added benefit. Depending on the nature of a pirate point (especially one that's not permanently "open"), using a pirate point is added risk for diminished benefit...if the JumpShip is all alone and away from safety/security of other spacefarers.
You don't think that as JS offering such services would see for customers or be able to charge higher fees? Or both? Or that if something does go wrong you're in much better position?

I like and agree with Frabby's response to this part.
Frabby's case is, from what I understand, a bad one. The supposed problem with pirate points is that a math error can be made and the point isn't there because the planets of the system aren't where you thought they were, not you got hit by an asteroid immediately afterwards (This might not actually be possible, the asteroid if it was close enough to be an immediate threat if should have caused the jump to fail)

More and more this seems the be the case of the original idea of JumpShips not being fully thought out.

Cryhavok101

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Re: A Couple Of Jump Travel Questions
« Reply #20 on: 27 May 2017, 08:27:48 »
It's an extra +4 on the control roll. The control roll is already a +2, so with a average piloting of 4 or 5, you are looking at needing a 10 or 11 to do it. If this roll fails, you have to spend additional blocks of time until you succeed, with each block of time being equal to 2d6-Margin of Success. Failure means it could take upwards of 10 extra hours (worst case) for a failed roll (More if you were moving). Which if you eventually make it in a reasonable amount of time, would still be a net gain for your dropships, but eventually lack of success would just be delaying them from reaching the planet. (numbers from section on making the jump in SO pg 88)

Once you do make the jump you make another control roll. You get your margin of success as a bonus, but the target number gets increased for every point of damage your K-F drive has taken. Success is success, but failure applies 1d6*2*Margin of Failure capital scale damage to each armor facing of the JumpShip and every dropship it carries. In addition the K-F drive integrity is reduced by the margin of failure, and if that reaches 0, the JumpShip and all of it's dropships are destroyed by the jump process. (SO pg 89) (I find it interesting that a MoF of 2 on this roll could potentially do enough damage to destroy any JumpShip in TRO 3057r from the damage alone, on any jump)

Nothing in the rules apparently makes jumping to a non-standard point more dangerous, since the two control rolls are not connected at all. Apparently jumping to those points just potentially takes a lot longer, and if they don't succeed at the jump calculations quickly, it could potentially waste a lot of everyone's time. Time is money, especially in transportation. If I had to guess, the nonstandard points aren't used because or the random chance of huge amounts of time being wasted.

Another thing to consider is can the Jump Sail actually charge the drive as effectively from the nonstandard point? If it is an L1 point between a planet and it's moon, how much time will be spent in the planet's shadow relative to the sun, extending the charging process? This potentially wastes even more of the JumpShip's time, possibly a much more significant amount of time.

Something else to consider is how close to the ground do you want your JumpShip. The closer to a planet it gets, the easier it is for someone to try something stupid. With much less turnaround from the surface to an L1 point between a planet and it's moon than to the zenith/nadir points of the star, it could be riskier to jump to those spots. The JumpShip can't exactly run either, since it's max burn is 1/10th the max burn of the slowest thing that might try something, and leaving the very small L1 point would mean you can't jump until you get somewhere else (at 1/10th the burn speed of the slowest dropship). If your sail is deployed you have to choose whether you are gonna get boarded or lose the sail 'cause they break when you move around with them deployed. (Fluff in SO on pg 124 and Advanced Battleforce Rules in SO pg 276)




Frabby

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Re: A Couple Of Jump Travel Questions
« Reply #21 on: 27 May 2017, 08:56:58 »
Frabby's case is, from what I understand, a bad one. The supposed problem with pirate points is that a math error can be made and the point isn't there because the planets of the system aren't where you thought they were, not you got hit by an asteroid immediately afterwards (This might not actually be possible, the asteroid if it was close enough to be an immediate threat if should have caused the jump to fail)
If you miscalculate and miss the jump point then you can't jump there - the jump attempt will only "jump" you to where you started and possibly damage your KF drive.
At the same time we know that asteroids or even entire WarShips aren't massive enough to disrupt a jump attempt. It's possible to jump/rematerialize right into one.

More and more this seems the be the case of the original idea of JumpShips not being fully thought out.
;D. Aye, of course. But it's fun trying to make sense of Beer & Pretzels science.
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Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: A Couple Of Jump Travel Questions
« Reply #22 on: 27 May 2017, 10:56:01 »
You don't think that as JS offering such services would see for customers or be able to charge higher fees? Or both? Or that if something does go wrong you're in much better position?

No, on both counts.
Why not being able to command more money: Because keeping to a fore-booked schedule is already challenging before adding in the added problems of hitting pirate points.  Plus, just because we don't hear about insurance coverage for JumpShips and/or their Captains, I believe it's unreasonable to presume there isn't any.  I have a hard time seeing the insurance carriers of the Inner Sphere tolerating routine use of riskier pirate points than the "accepted" and safer options in Z/N.  Pirates and Military forces won't worry about keeping current on insurance coverage, but I simply can't imagine that NOT being a concern for commercial carriers and private owners (you think Duke Humperdink is *really* gonna let someone who insurance companies won't cover fly his precious JumpShip?)
And Space-A just won't work at pirate points if everyone is already converging at Z/N for that purpose.

Why on not being safer: I'm not sure if we're just talking lagrange or pirate points.  For the record, I'm talking pirate points (since not every lagrange is a pirate point).  You have inevitable mechanical breakdowns by using the safest option around in Z/Ns.  You'll have even more by rolling the dice and using pirate points.  Even if your pirate point puts you close enough to ask for assistance from the target world (and that's hardly a given) you're going to need that assistance more often just by not using Z/Ns.  At best it's a wash, and in reality probably you're taking 1 step by getting closer, but falling 2 or 3 back in extra problems you wouldn't have otherwise had.

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More and more this seems the be the case of the original idea of JumpShips not being fully thought out.

I think it's less not being thought out and more that the paradigm actually changed since being originally given.  Who remembers the old FASA Star League House book?  Early (Pre-Star League) Terran Hegemony naval doctrine was to blockade both Zenith and Nadir points and they'd have the system under siege since noone could jump in or out past their warship fleets at Z & N.
« Last Edit: 27 May 2017, 10:58:49 by Tai Dai Cultist »

Death by Lasers

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Re: A Couple Of Jump Travel Questions
« Reply #23 on: 27 May 2017, 15:59:40 »
  One thing to add about recharge station is that they can act as vital commerce hubs or exchange nodes in a logistics chain.  For any goods traveling through multiple jumpship jump-routes the presence of a recharge station can keep you from having to fly the goods down to planet only to have to them be picked up again by an outgoing dropship for the next jump-route.  Instead, just drop them at the recharge station and have them picked up at the jump point.

  As for using pirate points as commerce routes I will have to look into it.  For some reason I thought penalties for miss-jumps were more punitive.  I will say that even a small chance for disaster can quickly add up over time though.  I mean at 100k per jump per collar (CAMOPS) it would take over 2,000 successful jumps just to pay off the cost of the jumpship or over 50 years of jumping :o. (on a side note the jump industry must really be suffering at those rates...)
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Archangel

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Re: A Couple Of Jump Travel Questions
« Reply #24 on: 27 May 2017, 21:34:03 »
Local authorities tend to take a dim view to unauthorized vessels using pirate points  and may take (what they deem) appropriate action up to and including destroying the offenders (remember Wannamaker's Widowmakers first visit to Outreach?).  After all how are they to know whether those vessels are merely merchant vessels or are smugglers trying to evade inspection of cargo/passengers or are raiders here to attack the planet?

There is also the possibility that the spaceport may not have an available space at the spaceport for the DropShip to land and trying to land elsewhere is almost certainly to anger the local authorities and the clients who paid for their cargo/themselves be delivered to THAT spaceport not somewhere in the wilderness.

Not to mention that there are untold number of possible pirate points with many constantly moving/shifting as the systems' planets and moons move.  With so many pirate points in so many solar systems to keep track there is a high chance of a miscommunication/confusion ("You said meet at PP2516x156y168." "No I said we would meet at PP2516X165y186.") and forcing the DropShips to expend the fuel and time to meet up with the JumpShip.  The likelihood increases when the two parties haven't worked together before (or have track the pirate points differently) or are meeting in a system that one (or both) parties are not familiar with.

One also can't forget that unless some arrangement was made beforehand the chances of two JumpShips jumping into the same pirate point within a reasonable timeframe for them to exchange cargo/DropShips is remote.  By routing traffic through the Zenith/Nadir points there is a far more reasonable chance for a DropShip to be able to catch a ride on a JumpShip going in the direction they want to go if they haven't be able to make arrangements beforehand or if those arrangements fall through (JumpShip delayed or never arrives, military commandeers it, etc).

While jumping into a pirate point gives the defenders less time to respond it also gives the JumpShips less time to respond if the defenders decide to launch a strike against them.  My player group had to create a house rule because I nearly destroyed the player group's ride home during a raid scenario before the GM intervened.  (I swear I was holding back.   >:D)
« Last Edit: 27 May 2017, 21:41:04 by Archangel »
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gomiville

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Re: A Couple Of Jump Travel Questions
« Reply #25 on: 29 May 2017, 08:13:22 »
Local authorities tend to take a dim view to unauthorized vessels using pirate points...
Exactly.

Even if pirate points aren't a compounding risk for the jumping ship, I can easily imagine an in-universe pressure from planetary governments to use established and regulated jump points.  At least in those systems with the resources to enforce law within their star system.

Charistoph

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Re: A Couple Of Jump Travel Questions
« Reply #26 on: 30 May 2017, 12:57:33 »
  One thing to add about recharge station is that they can act as vital commerce hubs or exchange nodes in a logistics chain.  For any goods traveling through multiple jumpship jump-routes the presence of a recharge station can keep you from having to fly the goods down to planet only to have to them be picked up again by an outgoing dropship for the next jump-route.  Instead, just drop them at the recharge station and have them picked up at the jump point.

  As for using pirate points as commerce routes I will have to look into it.  For some reason I thought penalties for miss-jumps were more punitive.  I will say that even a small chance for disaster can quickly add up over time though.  I mean at 100k per jump per collar (CAMOPS) it would take over 2,000 successful jumps just to pay off the cost of the jumpship or over 50 years of jumping :o. (on a side note the jump industry must really be suffering at those rates...)

And those are assuming that the Jumping ship in question either doesn't Jump or makes it to its destination at all.  How many Jump/Warships were lost for the simple fact that it never came back from the Jump?  Wouldn't that be more likely in a Pirate Point Jump than a Z/N Jump?  And there are stories in the fluff about ships not showing up where they were expected.
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vidar

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Re: A Couple Of Jump Travel Questions
« Reply #27 on: 30 May 2017, 18:26:19 »
I would also wonder about maneuvering from one transient pirate point to another with a jumpships limited trust.  Not to add the need to charge the drive.  Might be complicated to arrange and make short transit times not as attractive?

Daryk

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Re: A Couple Of Jump Travel Questions
« Reply #28 on: 30 May 2017, 18:50:30 »
Even station keeping drives are incredibly powerful compared to real life.  Constant 0.1 g thrust will get your around a planetary system in relatively short order.

Giovanni Blasini

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Re: A Couple Of Jump Travel Questions
« Reply #29 on: 30 May 2017, 18:55:09 »
Yep. Takes 28 days at 0.1 Gs for a JumpShip to make a 10 AU transit a DropShip/WarShip at 1 G makes in around 10 days.  That's not bad.
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