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Author Topic: Aerospace equivalents of fortifications?  (Read 1464 times)

mbear

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Aerospace equivalents of fortifications?
« on: 20 July 2022, 10:27:59 »
Besides the big SDS stations in TRO:3057 and the Haruspex satellite in TRO:Irregulars, are there any other official armed satellites? Seems like a good opportunity for some neat stuff.

Thanks!
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AlphaMirage

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Re: Aerospace equivalents of fortifications?
« Reply #1 on: 20 July 2022, 10:35:24 »
Moon bases would probably be your best bet as structures can be built to Capital Standards (Castle Brians) unlike satellites and space stations. One of the great injustices of the Aerospace building rules is that you cannot build a Capital armored Space Station with abundant capital grade SI. This means that space stations are really bad at taking damage. I go into some of it in my Second Star League Guide to Warships (link in sig).

Additionally there is not really that much incentive to build heavy duty stations as there are only three areas worth protecting [L-1 (Pirate) Point, N/Z standard points, and orbital space] and most these can be well covered by ground based aerospace assets except for the standard points but even those are mostly checkpoints basing small craft filled with customs police or transhipping/recharge infrastructure, not fortresses.

Finally anything really valuable is capable of moving around or being hidden thus your best defense is actually misdirection leading to traps rather than fortification.

Cannonshop

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Re: Aerospace equivalents of fortifications?
« Reply #2 on: 20 July 2022, 11:40:48 »
Moon bases would probably be your best bet as structures can be built to Capital Standards (Castle Brians) unlike satellites and space stations. One of the great injustices of the Aerospace building rules is that you cannot build a Capital armored Space Station with abundant capital grade SI. This means that space stations are really bad at taking damage. I go into some of it in my Second Star League Guide to Warships (link in sig).

Additionally there is not really that much incentive to build heavy duty stations as there are only three areas worth protecting [L-1 (Pirate) Point, N/Z standard points, and orbital space] and most these can be well covered by ground based aerospace assets except for the standard points but even those are mostly checkpoints basing small craft filled with customs police or transhipping/recharge infrastructure, not fortresses.

Finally anything really valuable is capable of moving around or being hidden thus your best defense is actually misdirection leading to traps rather than fortification.

oops.  Keyboard problem.

Okay, having solved that one...

Do you know what the problem with coastal fortifications is?  (there's a reason that even in the Dreadnought era, coastal forts were temporary obstacles instead of insurmountable protection.)

If you don't have a choke point, your fort is effectively a money-sump.  Space is BIG.  To adequately protect a planet, you need a globe of fortifications with overlapping fields of detection and fire.  Anything less and an attacker that doesn't feel like running straight at your fortress satellite, can just 'fly by'/fly around it.

So you don't NEED capital grade construction, because the 'fortress satellite' is basically a disposable tripline, not a wall, so much as an alarm system that cost a lot to build.

For the "Fortress function", otoh, your coastal battleships (Pocket Warships or heavy assault dropships) are fit for the purpose, and can actually be moved to interfere with an approaching enemy in a relatively reasonable amount of time (provided the enemy is fairly close by, within a few minute's burn, at least.)

This has to do with the nature of space combat, which unlike land combat, doesn't have terrain choke points that can be secured with fortifications and obstacles.
 
It's Fluid and dynamic in nature.  In essence, space combat is fighting over remote islands in the middle of open sea, not coastal bays on major landmasses or restricted riverine systems.  It's the 'Space mine' problem-to have enough would require enough mines to match the mass/area of a planet's geosynchronous orbit.  (essentially, the smallest fortress that would actually be effective for protecting a planet? is a dyson sphere or similar megastructure.)
« Last Edit: 20 July 2022, 11:49:10 by Cannonshop »
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pokefan548

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Re: Aerospace equivalents of fortifications?
« Reply #3 on: 20 July 2022, 12:41:42 »
If memory serves, the Blakist CASPAR-II system had an armed control space station. I forget the name though- I'll look into it more after work.
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Re: Aerospace equivalents of fortifications?
« Reply #4 on: 20 July 2022, 13:30:17 »
Besides the big SDS stations in TRO:3057 and the Haruspex satellite in TRO:Irregulars, are there any other official armed satellites?
There are some more stations in HBHL, LoT1 and JHS:Terra.
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Tyler Jorgensson

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Re: Aerospace equivalents of fortifications?
« Reply #5 on: 20 July 2022, 15:06:05 »
Again I point this series out but the Enders Game, and especially Enders Shadow, series had some good points on space combat. While personally I’d love more space stations (especially with increased SI!) the points made above make them very inefficient.

I’ve got some good theories from previous RPG’s (especially Star Wars) but most planets are extremely big and space stations being relatively small. Not to mention attempting to protect an entire solar system including Jump Points (pirate and otherwise) is a lot of effort. Canon shop makes a good point: they are meant as tripwire forces, hammers to your Pocket Warships and assorted space craft’s anvils.

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Re: Aerospace equivalents of fortifications?
« Reply #6 on: 20 July 2022, 16:17:30 »
I think the best thing to use as a "space fortification" would be a jumpship with assault dropships or a warship at the aforementioned common jump points.

The next best thing would be the hyperspace gate-wall thingy that the Republic of the Sphere used?   :D
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Cannonshop

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Re: Aerospace equivalents of fortifications?
« Reply #7 on: 20 July 2022, 22:16:43 »
Again I point this series out but the Enders Game, and especially Enders Shadow, series had some good points on space combat. While personally I’d love more space stations (especially with increased SI!) the points made above make them very inefficient.

I’ve got some good theories from previous RPG’s (especially Star Wars) but most planets are extremely big and space stations being relatively small. Not to mention attempting to protect an entire solar system including Jump Points (pirate and otherwise) is a lot of effort. Canon shop makes a good point: they are meant as tripwire forces, hammers to your Pocket Warships and assorted space craft’s anvils.

actually, there IS a purpose to space fortifications, it's just not the purpose of keeping people OUT.

It works pretty well for keeping people IN, and keeping them terrorized.

"You point the guns at the planet" and your station is suddenly worth the investment-for a given sort of politics, because leaving a planetary surface is significantly more difficult than reaching it, and provided you've controlled access to transportation vehicles, there are a limited number of places someone can launch a primitive craft into orbit.

The job is 'traffic control' to known points (that is, cities or spaceports) for the purposes of regulating local commerce.  IT works pretty well for that purpose, provided nobody's attacking from outside.

Other, less oppressive uses are:

1. Fueling bases for your mobile space forces.
2. Maintenance facilities or production shipyards themselves...
3. protection for your shipyard (which is also in space because jump cores don't like being forged in a gravity well).
4. administration locations and warehouse/distribution points.
5.Commercial transit (dock the Behemoth dropship at the station to load or unload, then use smaller dropships to move goods from planet to station for more efficiency).
6. Communication hubs
7. Immigration/Emigration stops for customs work and processing of paperwork for visitors to and departures from your system in peacetime.

These roles all make stations not a 'Defense work' but Objectives to be seized or destroyed in need of protection of their own.

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Re: Aerospace equivalents of fortifications?
« Reply #8 on: 20 July 2022, 23:30:22 »
If memory serves, the Blakist CASPAR-II system had an armed control space station. I forget the name though- I'll look into it more after work.

The Drake Control Station?   Each one could control up to 18 drones, likely the Cockatrice Dropship platform.  You also had the stationary Dragon's Breath platform.

The Cockatrice platforms were better as they could maneuver towards a target, while the Dragon's Breath only had one success out of 10.  Mobile units (even with only a top accel of 1G) were still better.

mbear

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Re: Aerospace equivalents of fortifications?
« Reply #9 on: 21 July 2022, 07:10:26 »
I was wondering if uncrewed satellites with LRMs or light gauss rifles would be useful. Not really fortifications per se but the equivalent of base turrets. Or maybe Space Mine Dispensers to act like Thunder mine equivalents. Or Screen Launchers to create instant cover.

I don't play enough aerospace to know.

Thanks for the responses though.
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Re: Aerospace equivalents of fortifications?
« Reply #10 on: 21 July 2022, 08:11:58 »
I was wondering if uncrewed satellites with LRMs or light gauss rifles would be useful. Not really fortifications per se but the equivalent of base turrets. Or maybe Space Mine Dispensers to act like Thunder mine equivalents. Or Screen Launchers to create instant cover.

I don't play enough aerospace to know.

Thanks for the responses though.
Sadly armed satellites must be manned. You could potentially use a Drone OS, but that's just adding even more tonnage that you can't put to weapons or ammo. Still, they should be cheap in terms of BV, so could probably spam a whole screen of them.
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AlphaMirage

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Re: Aerospace equivalents of fortifications?
« Reply #11 on: 21 July 2022, 09:50:34 »
Armed drone satellites would mostly be there to shoot unmanned satellites, I imagine they won't have anything more powerful than a humble large laser since most are poorly armored and basically disposable. An Aerospace fighter or armed small craft can take them out reasonably quick. In my setting I speculated that small craft with mines would be utilized more often to do the same thing space mines are unfortunately not very powerful although using them as tail chase repellant and a roaming orbital obstacle via screen launch is quite satisfying

mbear

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Re: Aerospace equivalents of fortifications?
« Reply #12 on: 21 July 2022, 11:31:18 »
Sadly armed satellites must be manned. You could potentially use a Drone OS, but that's just adding even more tonnage that you can't put to weapons or ammo. Still, they should be cheap in terms of BV, so could probably spam a whole screen of them.

Well, the Haurspex uses a Smart Robotics Control System to be completely uncrewed, so I was thinking I'd do that.

I'm thinking of using these to surround say New Avalon, so when the WoB/DCMS arrives, they get one hell of a surprise. Sort of a poor man's SDS.
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Re: Aerospace equivalents of fortifications?
« Reply #13 on: 21 July 2022, 11:36:57 »
Well, the Haurspex uses a Smart Robotics Control System to be completely uncrewed, so I was thinking I'd do that.

I'm thinking of using these to surround say New Avalon, so when the WoB/DCMS arrives, they get one hell of a surprise. Sort of a poor man's SDS.
Could work, but you'd need a lot of them, and it wouldn't work for very long at all. Anything heavier than a small craft will be able to blow through even the thickest satellite screen with pretty much reckless abandon and be mostly fine. Throw in the cost of SRCS and... I dunno, that seems like a lot of C-Bills spent just to delay the first wave of medium and light fighters from hitting atmo. Probably more efficient to build fewer space stations and load them up with capital weapons for longer range and greater punch (with, of course, batteries of anti-fighter/small craft standard weapons). Hell, slap a couple NPPCs or something facing planetside, and you can even hope to zap any craft that slip past and hammer anything they land; though in that case a booby trap is recommended to make sure an enemy boarding party doesn't turn it against you.
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Re: Aerospace equivalents of fortifications?
« Reply #14 on: 21 July 2022, 17:45:48 »
I could have sworn there was an unmanned satellite with a Naval Laser...  :-\

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Re: Aerospace equivalents of fortifications?
« Reply #15 on: 21 July 2022, 18:01:18 »
I could have sworn there was an unmanned satellite with a Naval Laser...  :-\
Negative, satellites are support vehicles, and thus cannot carry capital or sub-capital weapons. You may be thinking of a space station or ground-based SDS.
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Re: Aerospace equivalents of fortifications?
« Reply #16 on: 21 July 2022, 18:42:10 »
You are correct!  The BattleSat was built as a Space Station: https://www.sarna.net/wiki/BattleSat

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Re: Aerospace equivalents of fortifications?
« Reply #17 on: 27 July 2022, 14:39:18 »
Closest thing to a space bound foritication with record sheets is the M-9 "Pavise" SDS Battle Station.

Only modern (Dark Age) Fortresses that were built we know of were the unstated Republic of the Sphere's Terra based Fortresses that were build at the Jump Points. These were destroyed by ramming customized fast dropships into them.  They were suppose to have capital weapons.  My guess if they were to eventually give them stats is the they'd be variant of the M9 to be honest with you.  We don't get new new stuff like that for what essentially were one offs.
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Re: Aerospace equivalents of fortifications?
« Reply #18 on: 01 August 2022, 12:27:43 »
Only modern (Dark Age) Fortresses that were built we know of were the unstated Republic of the Sphere's Terra based Fortresses that were build at the Jump Points. These were destroyed by ramming customized fast dropships into them.  They were suppose to have capital weapons.  My guess if they were to eventually give them stats is the they'd be variant of the M9 to be honest with you.  We don't get new new stuff like that for what essentially were one offs.

IIRC, those stations aren't as big as the M-9s or as sophisticated.
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mbear

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Re: Aerospace equivalents of fortifications?
« Reply #19 on: 02 August 2022, 08:14:08 »
Could work, but you'd need a lot of them, and it wouldn't work for very long at all. Anything heavier than a small craft will be able to blow through even the thickest satellite screen with pretty much reckless abandon and be mostly fine. Throw in the cost of SRCS and... I dunno, that seems like a lot of C-Bills spent just to delay the first wave of medium and light fighters from hitting atmo. Probably more efficient to build fewer space stations and load them up with capital weapons for longer range and greater punch (with, of course, batteries of anti-fighter/small craft standard weapons). Hell, slap a couple NPPCs or something facing planetside, and you can even hope to zap any craft that slip past and hammer anything they land; though in that case a booby trap is recommended to make sure an enemy boarding party doesn't turn it against you.

Yeah, thanks. That never occurred to me. Like I said, I don't play a lot of aerospace so I don't know how tough various units are.

But I imagine you could do some one shot wonders with large one shot missile racks that would backstab forces. Maybe with ERLRMs or Thunderbolt 20s.

oh well. Another dream bites the dust.
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Re: Aerospace equivalents of fortifications?
« Reply #20 on: 02 August 2022, 08:59:24 »
OS missiles are always suspect to me but if there is anywhere I'd use them it would be on satellites

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Re: Aerospace equivalents of fortifications?
« Reply #21 on: 02 August 2022, 10:31:07 »
IIRC, those stations aren't as big as the M-9s or as sophisticated.
Is there source for that?  I read the novels, perhaps my memory has faded but I've not seen any real information about them other than they had capital weapons on them I think. They and the Warspite Class Warships were never given stats.
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Re: Aerospace equivalents of fortifications?
« Reply #22 on: 12 August 2022, 12:17:44 »
to be honest, if the Rebublic was building SDS systems, they probably were modifying the WoB Caspar II systems to work with more humans in the loop.

if i had to guess as to the nature of the jump point stations they built, i'd guess they were at best a Bastion variant. possibly mounting some sub-caps. could just be straight Bastions though, with the actual interception being done with fighters and Castrum's.
« Last Edit: 12 August 2022, 12:20:07 by glitterboy2098 »