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Author Topic: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)  (Read 8845 times)

wolfgar

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Re: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)
« Reply #210 on: 03 December 2022, 15:38:47 »
It's interesting comparing this to previous takes on a Clan naval invasion of Kowloon. The Loonies are showing a lot more respect for the Clanners' naval competence, what there is of it, this time around.

I look back from this to the one a couple of cycles back where Victor had pushed Liz to let them have an actual negotiated ToP, and the battle was going rather well for the Loonies before the Ice Hellions decided to crash the party and the Falcons got Part 2 of the "How To Space War" manual, Kowloon-style. (Complete with Nathan Roshak as gunnery officer and Liz skippering a cutter...)

i dont remember that one, link please
Wolf wins every fight but one, and in that one he dies, his fangs locked on the throat of his opponent.

Cannonshop

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Re: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)
« Reply #211 on: Today at 00:00:52 »
The first warning...

...came just after turnover.  The problem with the Kowloon system, is that it's a two-week trip at one gee from the Zenith or Nadir points, and the gravitational 'balance' point of the L1 varies a lot, ranging from a four hour transit in the quadrennnial "High Summr" period (closest approach to the binary at the same time both suns are equidistant apart) to four days during the quadrennial "Deep Winter" (furthest approach, with the suns being lined up roughly in line).

This isn't a High Summer year, and the maths needed for an L1 pirate insertion from outside the system are the kind that, when entered into a Nirasaki 400 derived jump computer, makes the safeties trip and requires overrides and 'guesswork' that, among other high-quality features, you can't make a Clan Warship's computer do. without applying a crowbar and sledgehammer to valuable equipment and components in the ship's core.

Something even devoted Warriors are loathe to do on an investment as large as the Cameron Class Turkina's Pride.

Why go with one gee approach then?  Because this is an invasion, and arriving with your invasion force's ground units exhausted and sporting injuries is a great way to lose catastrophically against a rested, well prepared, defender.

The problem is, it's a very predictable course and speed, you have to keep, to get your ground troops to their target, especially when the risk of 'wolfpacks' of system defenders hitting anyone who falls out of formation with serious weapons means your warships actually have to escort the landing force.

A process that works better, if you actually use the ships to the doctrine for which they were designed, and have overlapping countermeasures and ADA instead of letting the dropships full of ground troops get popped by defending forces.

It looks stately, and safe, and impressive as all hell on the telescopes.

In a ship-to-ship fight, with fighter squadrons, the twelve cutters on active duty in the Kowloon system can't win, hence their being drawn back to serve as a 'fleet in being' and ongoing potential threat.

thing is, this approach to approaching, does create...opportunities.  Logistics math insists that fuel, food, air, and water are finite resources.  The exceptional extent of the Kowloon system, means that incoming forces either must use risky pirate point manuevers (which are VERY risky here if you're not already used to and programmed with the necessary maths for positioning and durations), or you have to spend a much longer time under one gee thrust for health and safety reasons related to your passengers and their expensive military equipment. More fuel burned, more air used, more water used, more food consumed, than is normal for a force of this sort approaching a typical inhabited world.

It began within half an hour of the force beginning their 'turnover and burn' to begin decelerating toward Kowloon itself, still a week away.

Rocks.  Rocks wrapped in "Black sail" material, powered by electric-ion thrusters and chemical rockets.

Rocks that began their inward fall perpendicular to the general zone the Jade Falcon force had to occupy for their approach to the planet.  Rocks with simple thrusters that during their own acceleration phase, begun days ago and completed at a specific velocity and spread, were now crossing in, and around, the Jade Falcon formation.

The timing had been analyzed by the staff who put those rocks in motion, they HAVE specific targets in mind.

The targets being the handful of non-combat dropships, loaded with fuel, food, and consumables for the Ground Campaign.  a few scatters might find...ooops! a few DAMAGE the lighter vessels in the warship star.  Not enough to put them thoroughly out of action-a Warship is a very tough entity...but enough that spare parts, fuel, and air will be needed to replace what was impacted.

The main targets, Clan-owned cargo dropships (Mammoth and Mule class, mostly) don't fare nearly as well, and as a result, the invasion force will need to replenish food and water reserves once they reach Kowloon...or they'll have to draw from the cargo bays of the Warship group itself, whcih means needing to hold those ships closer to the planet, in orbit, instead of ranging outward.

One of the Dropships detonates with sympathetic force-and a Galaxy's share of replacement ammunition and pods worth sixty days, is destroyed, without so much as a single enemy within sensor range never mind weapons range.

There had been no warning ahead of time, nothing for fighter wings to scramble to intercept, nothing for bracket-fire-trained gunnery crews to repel, nothing to trip point defenses until the absorptive-sailcloth wrapped meteorites ripped through the formation, leaving damaged dropships and damaged warships and damage.

The first casualties of the conquest of Kowloon, died without ever seeing their enemy.
"If you have to ask permission, then it's no longer a Right, it has been turned into a Privilege-something that can be and will be taken from you when convenient."

Cannonshop

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Re: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)
« Reply #212 on: Today at 00:18:27 »
Item Description: Black Sail

Typically, Jumpship Sails are constructed of a highly reflective underlayer curved to focus gathered solar light on a concentrated collector aligned at the focus point, imagine a mylar mirror a kilometer across focusing on a point the size of your hand.

This system has been highly efficient for centuries, and was the winning competitor in the innovation race of the first Exodus-the one from Sol outward to the stars, that birthed the colonies that would rebel and in so doing, bring an end to the Terran Alliance.

It's not the only way to do it.

There was another option pursued briefly by a few firms that could never get the same level of cost-efficiency.  Instead reflecting electromagnetic (and in particular, visible light and infrared) radiation, this approach was more difficult, complex, and expensive...and thus, did not catch on.

Absorbing layers  beginning with an Ultra-Black outer layer, to collect electromagnetic energies within, and above or below visible light spectra to a conductive layer that also recieves radiation in a weave that converts the recieved energies into current.

Black Sail isn't as immediately efficient as regular jump sail assemblies, requiring a larger collective surface, but it's also not as directional, and can achieve similar enough efficiencies in a main-sequence system, while outperforming more conventional sail materials in low-output systems that normal charging methods have difficulty with.

It also absorbs X and K band radiation, making it somewhat stealthy, particularly against deep radar and targeting or detection radars.

It only costs a thousand times what normal jumpsails cost to produce, which is why the technology didn't see development after the McKenna Coup that founded the Terran hegemony.

How Cartwright-Lenow Cooperative managed to get the principles in place enough to produce actual JUMP SAIL assemblies, remains unknown to anyone not on the Ngo Industries board, and Kowloonese built cutters and Destroyers are currently the only ones using the stuff, because it's a pain in the ass to manufacture and Cartwright won't license it to out-system companies. (though Cartwright-Lenow of Snark II are perfectly fine with selling the stuff to the AFFC at a slight markup.  Thus far, takers have been...limited.)

The bastards also broke the cost barrier.  They figured out how to make it cheaper than Fuji-Luna's laboratories had been able to manage four hundred years or so ago.

Cutter sails, as a result, tend to be large.  Larger than jumpsails for other ships, and held in place with Myomer-endo-steel 'flex chain' extension and retraction mechanisms that often need frequent on-board servicing.

They just used up enough 'Black sail' material to outfit three squadrons of Sampan III cutters.  The attack on the Jade Falcons was, in simple terms, ruinously expensive for what was achieved.

The rocks that didn't hit, have been tracked by Cartwright-Linow affiliated wildcatters, and they DO know where they are and where they're going.

The stuff isn't going to be left on the drift.
"If you have to ask permission, then it's no longer a Right, it has been turned into a Privilege-something that can be and will be taken from you when convenient."

Nikas_Zekeval

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Re: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)
« Reply #213 on: Today at 00:35:24 »
Well the Rockjacks just reminded the Green Pigeons that Sir Issac Newton is still the deadliest son of a bitch in space. :thumbsup:

And the next post went up when I went to write this, so the rocks are cheap, hiding them much less so.  I'm guessing even at the reduced cost, these sails are still significantly more expensive than standard ones?

OTOH are the Falcons going to figure out this was an expensive, and thus not repeated, or repeated often, trick?

But then again, you just need an enemy to think you've placed mines to have a minefield.

Or as Captain Redburn, 1st Battalion, Delta Company, Davion Light Guards showed?  One or two going off will enhance any bluff.  "Shall I have the engineers recover the other two vibro-mines sir?"

tl:dr?  The Falcons will have to assume Kowloonese forces can pull this attack off again, and thus will have to expend the fuel, life support, and pilot/crew alert time in looking for the next such attack.  Costing them even more resources and leaving the Warship, Dropship, and Fighter arms more worn out even before they reach orbit.

idea weenie

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Re: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)
« Reply #214 on: Today at 01:19:45 »
And the next post went up when I went to write this, so the rocks are cheap, hiding them much less so.  I'm guessing even at the reduced cost, these sails are still significantly more expensive than standard ones?

Strategic Operations has Sail cost at 50,000 C-Bills per ton of Sail, Jump Sails mass 30 tons plus 1 ton per 20,000 tons, a Compact Core multiplies this by 5, and the Final Warship price modifier is x2.

So assuming 3 squadrons, 4 ships per squadron, and each ship is 100,000 tons:
A normal Jump Sail will mass 35 tons, and will cost 35*50,000*5*2 = 17,500,000 C-Bills.
For a squadron of 12 that would be 210 million C-Bills.

For normal sails.

Even if you could get a 100* cost improvement so these sails are only 10* as expensive, that translates to 2.1 Billion.  If the sails are only twice as heavy that is 4.2 billion.  If the ships have Lithium-Fusion Batteries, that becomes 12.6 billion.

But since it just cut months off of Jade Falcon supplies it is hopefully resources well spent.  Who knows, maybe if the Jade Falcons land they will get to enjoy the local food instead of their onboard rations?  Pity it is a bit spicy, especially the stuff enjoyed by Miss Scoville (this comic is safe but has a couple curse words, the rest of the series is NSFW).

Still, I expect that the Jade Falcon force is going to be performing semi-evasive maneuvers from now on.

Cannonshop

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Re: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)
« Reply #215 on: Today at 02:53:07 »
"The trick is not to...

...pull the same trick often enough to be predicted.  Conflicts aren't always won by the objectively stronger force."  Liz had to be helped onto the submarine, and two Corpsmen First Class were also assigned, just to keep her functioning.

The results of Cartwright's move yesterday were gratifying, but nobody believed they were out of the woods yet.

"Telescopes confirm, they've got two of their  Warships are down for the count, one personnel dropship, and most of the supply train of cargo droppers following behind them...that means they're going to get here mad, but let's see if we can't make them madder."

"your grace? what do you intend?"

"Bring us to periscope depth, and raise a long-wave antenna." Liz said, "We'll use SLDF longwave Channel...' she opened a worn, ancient manual, "...One-forty-by five.  Those ships should have something that can recieve it, and should be listening for it since it was a CAAN frequrency."

"Ayeh Mum...what do you intend to do?"

Liz shrugged, "Trash talk them.  I want them eager to put everything they have on the planet.  The Briefs I saw on Marthe Pryde indicate she's a proud bitch, very 'traditional' in her attitudes when she's not bending their traditions over for a good reaming on the battlefield.  I want to figure out her buttons and push them until she's unable to reason clearly-an angry and irrational enemy will do stupid things, I want them doing very stupid things."
"If you have to ask permission, then it's no longer a Right, it has been turned into a Privilege-something that can be and will be taken from you when convenient."

paulobrito

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Re: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)
« Reply #216 on: Today at 04:08:55 »
Funny, the only time I have seen that particular trick played is on the excellent The Expanse TV series.
And that is against parked warships, not moving ones.

Blade4

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Re: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)
« Reply #217 on: Today at 05:51:17 »
Funny, the only time I have seen that particular trick played is on the excellent The Expanse TV series.
And that is against parked warships, not moving ones.

Mathematically there is not much difference between a ship at rest and one moving a steady vector...


She should take care though angry clanners tend to start tantruming and those tend to involve war crimes.

Daryk

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Re: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)
« Reply #218 on: Today at 07:21:46 »
I eagerly await the trash talking!  :D

 

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