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    Space combat?

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    Schwenkdawg
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    Space combat?

    Post by Schwenkdawg on 4/12/2009, 12:49 am

    okay, so for my first serious BotS-related post...

    Today, i want to rant about mine warfare. Sure, i understand the versatility of having what are essentially space missiles do most of the fighting for you, and minimize casualties on your side with them, but wouldn't one side have come up with a method of fighting them? In the books and the anime, escort ships are often used, but even they dont seem to be wholly effective. Is it just the density of the mines, or has neither side in the conflict actually figured out a decent way to counter them? haha it always bothered me that in BotS, there were like 2-3 episodes of actual ship-ship combat, and the preceeding like...3 were just "Oh shit guys, mines everywhere". Couldnt they jam IFF frequencies or something? just a question/idea for those that care

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    Re: Space combat?

    Post by JGZinv on 4/12/2009, 12:53 am

    I think what they would do is have mines (cough*missiles) target other mines.
    What it boils down to then is technology and sheer numbers.

    You could indeed have antimine ships... but when 1 or 2 mine hits can destroy a whole cruiser, seems like suicide. You be better off having fully unmanned gunships
    brimming to the teeth with light lasers and a networked web controlling their fire.


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    Re: Space combat?

    Post by Schwenkdawg on 4/12/2009, 12:58 am

    true, but i got the impression from the series that automation wasnt quite at the level where they could self target yet (see Ekurya having to target the mines herself). Somewhere in the series, they mentioned mines detecting enemy vessels by IFF signature. It would be incredibly dangerous on a battlefield where sight is almost useless, but couldnt you turn off IFF or at least create a jammer or something? i get the idea that that would be a war winning weapon
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    Re: Space combat?

    Post by JGZinv on 4/12/2009, 1:02 am

    Yeah it would seem most obvious and something I'm going to try to implement in my game mod as a tactical weapon.

    The problem is that while that would work while the fleets are separated by the sord, once your fleets are intermingled you'd have targeting problems unless you came up with a secondary identification system.

    There's also the possibility that the mines have optical sensors which could profile match a ship as an enemy craft.


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    Re: Space combat?

    Post by Schwenkdawg on 4/12/2009, 1:18 am

    hmm...i think it would be an easy modification to the mines, but since no one has tried turning off their IFF transmitters, i doubt they would waste space on the mines by putting in a camera and a database of ship pictures. As i understood it, mines are little more than a whole lot of explosives and a space-time bubble generator, with a rudimentary targeting computer. And yea, it would be dangerous, but once your ships and theirs are intermingled, there arent many people firing off mine salvoes anyways, as the mine ships have backed off and left the ship to ship combat to the patrol and assault ships
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    Re: Space combat?

    Post by JGZinv on 4/12/2009, 1:27 am

    mines are not the problem once you've become intermingled... shooting your allies is.


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    Re: Space combat?

    Post by Schwenkdawg on 4/12/2009, 1:30 am

    exactly, so you could turn your IFF transmitters back on, or turn off the jammer, or whatever. Either way, i would have thought that someone somewhere would have figured this out by now pirat
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    Re: Space combat?

    Post by JGZinv on 4/12/2009, 1:33 am

    Novel writers are often not tacticians.. or experts in guerrilla warfare.
    That's one thing in the Xwing Wraith Squadron books that I liked was the focus
    on underhanded and unusual tactics to defeat much larger foes.


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    Re: Space combat?

    Post by Schwenkdawg on 4/12/2009, 2:00 am

    haha true, i was about to say i guess its unrealistic of me to ask morioka-sensei to understand tactics...especially since its a type of warfare that humankind hasnt entered into yet.
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    Re: Space combat?

    Post by AlexT on 4/12/2009, 6:44 am

    Heh, i believe we need to ask Almael - he always have the best explaination possible Razz
    First things first - mines are mainly tool for planar space fights. Trick is - mines can
    travel through sords and hit targets through normal/planar sopace as
    well as they are the only real weapon in planar space. You can't shoot
    lasers - it's range will be limited by your planar space bubble, but mine
    can travel to bubble of another ship and destroy it within. That's the whole point of seikai combat - enemy can't shoot down your mines in planar space but with mines of his own - you can only shoot them with lasers as they penetrate your planar space-time bubble.
    I don't believe that mines are so overpowered, especialy in normal space. Fighting them is simple - you use low power, quick automated laser or plasma cannons to shoot them down. Also - if you throw too many mines at single ship and he shoots a single one - it will probably destroy/detonate the other ones. So basicaly - fleets bombard each other and try to shoot as many mines of the enemy as possible. Only small percentage hit their targets. But once certain ship is gone - it's defenses no longer can shoot down their portion of mines so it's very important to coordinate fleet well and maintain formation.
    Once ships are at effective firing range they just shoot each other with all kinds of energy cannons.

    And about IFF - messing with it it won't work. IFF signal is encoded. Period Smile
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    Re: Space combat?

    Post by Almael on 4/12/2009, 10:44 pm

    Hmm, didn't I already posted a solution in my story#6?

    Anyway, you are all layman. *WHAHAHA*

    An IFF is technically never on. It is a transponder meaning you have to put a request before it replies. If the request is wrong there is no reply.

    Turning off is senseless and you are more likely to forget and get killed then not.
    Also on either side of a sord are the enemy, no need to ID the enemy except for your own protection, which is what IFF is for.

    There are possibilities to destroy masses of mines, however, all of them pose more dangerous consequences than worth for the primary target. e.g. (waste/Hispeed fragments) navigational dangers, spatial destructions
    And it cost alot (E cubed/material) to do so.

    It's better to use automated satellites, then you have IFF problem again.

    For SciFi dramatic weapons will always be used by some sentient being. There are only some story exception, but that's not the general rule.

    Abh computers are self aware and are able to handle things, it's just they have to comply to their dump human masters.(see COTS I book)
    The defense turrets are semi-automatic, you essentially point some area crosshare on an ID and the comp automatic tries to adjust.

    Edit:
    Generally, you turn the transponder off to hide from your own friends, except you a re a spy and hijack an enemy craft. I haven't heard any SOps doing that...
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    Re: Space combat?

    Post by AlexT on 4/13/2009, 7:35 am

    Sure, but we need something to babble about Smile

    Yeah, space is so empty that even the computers we have today can fight there on their own, let alone Seikai computers... But who knows - maybe electronic warfare will bury all the computer systems like it was in Battlestar galactica Smile

    As for weapons - so far seikai combat looks pretty logical to mee. ships launch mines at each other and shoot them down until they come close enough to use energy weapons which alway have relatively limited range (even laser.
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    Re: Space combat?

    Post by mitsuki lover on 4/13/2009, 3:02 pm

    Actually missiles would be better weapons then energy weapons overall.The damage that missiles would do would be overall greater.*
    Interesting enough they DO have mines in Star Trek,but they only used them on one or two occasions.When Jellico was in command of the Enterprise D was one of the few times.
    *At least that is what I understand from reading an article in an old Lost In Space fanzine.I think it has to do with the pyshics of the thing.
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    Re: Space combat?

    Post by Almael on 4/13/2009, 5:00 pm

    Lost in space...I think that was something the new guys added
    What you refer to is 'kenetic' kill (I think), meaning the impact is enough.

    Missile are best, but missiles do need fuel for everything. If they change course they need to 'break' and accelerate. Well, try to read on about force vectors in physics.

    So in the end energy weapons are more efficient and effective. It's only the range is short.... I think I wrote quite some details in the Laburec Library *hint* (hidden links, Abh weapons)

    Morioka choosing the word mine is definitly his decision. It is badly chosen for sure. I would have used drone if I don't want to use missile or torpedo.
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    Re: Space combat?

    Post by Schwenkdawg on 4/14/2009, 4:40 am

    i mean, i can see your point more and more, but its...well...its simply aggravating to someone who always envisaged naval warfare, and space warfare as well, as a sort of battle of jutland-esque exercise where both sides build large ships of the line (imagine battleship Yamato...IN SPAAAACE) and then duke it out. Or even carriers would be cool (although im not sure how practical in the seikai universe). Essentially it bores me that the human fighting is done after an absolutely massive and nearly impossible to avoid artillery barrage. Artillery on earth is kinda cool, because theres lots of explosions and large weaponry, but mine/missile/torpedo bombardments arent nearly as...nail-biting

    I still think theres gotta be SOME way to jam the tricky little bastards...

    EDIT: Mines used to be called torpedoes (as in the famous quote "damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead"), but i doubt morioka has the kind of knowledge of english etymology that would be required to make that historical circle complete...so its prolly just a lucky glitch/mistake


    Last edited by Lt. Schwenkdawg on 4/14/2009, 4:43 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : adding historical perspective)
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    Re: Space combat?

    Post by Almael on 4/14/2009, 6:35 am

    Smile
    weaponry romantiscism?
    Barrages are the norm. If you just take the Vietnam war as an example (if memory serves)
    On every square meter you got about 10 grenades falling down per day or 10000 during the whole war (not counting bombs and other munitions)

    Jutland was fought like in the old days of warefare, but that's a perception because the big cannons just couldn't fire at any higher rate.
    Another example from Vietnam, the New Jersey fired about 1/4 million 440 mm grenades during her one or so year & over a million.155 mm grenades etc.
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    Re: Space combat?

    Post by AlexT on 4/14/2009, 7:08 pm

    Lt, like i said - most of the mines get destroyed if both fleets are in good position so mines are not the primary weapon in head to head combat. But it's the only weapon that allow for some fancy and interesting tactics. Imagine Seikai space battles without mines and you'll see that they would be quite boring and predictable. Mines allow a single ship to succesfuly fight more ships (beginning of COTS book) so the choise of weapons for such realistic sci-fi world is good.

    And yeah, Almael is right here - in normal combat you use grenades just like you use mines in Seikai - grenades+assault rifle = mines+energy weapons Smile Exception - effectiveness of grenades depends on terrain you fight in. And btw - grenades training is priority for of the armed forces these days, maybe it's even more important than gun accuracy Smile Though not just because they are so effective...Very Happy
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    Re: Space combat?

    Post by Schwenkdawg on 4/15/2009, 2:17 am

    but the key difference is that there arent any soldiers in the platoon who are designated to just carry grenades. i understand that its a well rounded fighting system overall, and i guess the anime just makes it out to look hopeless. plus, i think mines are better compared to modern day missiles or rockets than grenades. grenades have a wide range of uses, from flushing out an enemy to clearing out a room, to plain old fasioned blowing people up, where missiles have one main use. i can understand the vietnam war thing, but thats more of an artillery barrage than grenades. plus (as evidenced by most of the major battles in WW2) artillery USUALLY wasn't useful to the level that mines seem to be. This is because artillery (or at least WW2 and Vietnam era artillery) was unguided. I'll concede the point that mines make 1 ship much more dangerous than it would be otherwise, and adds many tactical oppurtunities for a smart commander, but this is in smaller engagements. like, i can respect the use of mines/artillery to punch a hole in the front lines, and then exploit, blitzkrieg style, but trying to annhilate the enemy with ONLY mines/artillery just...shouldn't work.

    in the anime (because i havent red the books recently), the fleet defending aptic took 45% losses before any UM ships came out. my original argument was that if such losses can be achieved, SOMEONE should come up with countermeasures. be it a higher percentage of escort ships, or jamming technology, the mines just shouldnt be as effective as they were. although, on second thught, it could just be the density of enemy mines (150 mine-equipped fleets vs 12 isnt gunna be fun).

    I guess Almael is right here, in that i am a HUGE weapon romanticist. imo, there isnt much cooler to imagine that two WW2 era battleships just duking it out. so alot of it could just be personal opinion. it just annoys me
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    Re: Space combat?

    Post by AlexT on 4/15/2009, 9:17 am

    Grenades are compared to mines because both are "indirect action" or "non-line of sight" weapons. Function of grenades in real combat is to make enemy abandon his cover coz usualy all you do is trying to take best position possible that provide good cover. If you are attacking - you want enemy to abandon his cover, so basicaly - grenade is tool for making enemy less static. They make mid-range combat what it is today. That's why we no longer need cavalery for close to mid range fights. And for longer range - there's tanks.
    In seikai there's no cover, but mines serve similar tactical purpose i think... After all there's sords and fighting when one fleet is in planar space and other in normal is only possible with mines or similar weapons with their own planar bubble generators.

    You underestimate function of artilery. It can be deadly and accurate...

    Seikai combat is not all about weapons - it's mostly about formations. The fleet formation is very important because different ships have different roles and thus your main goal is to utilize all the ships the best way possible. If you suffer many losses of specific type of craft - you need to reorganize your fleet quickly, change tactics...
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    Re: Space combat?

    Post by JGZinv on 4/15/2009, 1:50 pm

    So would it be safe to assume that the Abh are a "acceptable casualties" type of approach to warfare?

    I mean they realize they are going to lose a portion of whoever they send out, rather than valuing each individual highly?


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    Re: Space combat?

    Post by mitsuki lover on 4/15/2009, 2:27 pm

    I think the losses would already be part of the calculations for combat when the tactics and strategy were first discussed.
    As far as WWII goes when you get to the battles in the Pacific such as Midway most of the damage done to both sides was caused by enemy aircraft.
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    Re: Space combat?

    Post by Schwenkdawg on 4/15/2009, 5:11 pm

    Yea, but since there really isnt much concept of "cover" in a sord, i think they're more justifiably compared to missiles. You're not trying to force anyone out of cover except MAYBE trying to force a formation break, which potentially could be viewed as the same thing. However, if that's the case, then mines would better be applied en masse to one particular area of the enemy fleet, weakening it before the final blow delivered by the fighting ships, which is what artillery WAS used for and missiles are used for to an extent today. I'll grant the formation explanation, as this has been pretty much standard naval fare since the introduction of the Dreadnought battleship, and became ESPECIALLY important after the introduction of carriers and especially Task Forces.

    However, my original argument was that, with mines being as deadly as they apparently are, that someone would have come up with a countermeasure possibly beyond "mere" fleet formations. Case in point: Acoustic/Homing torpedoes were countered by noisemakers, Active sonar was countered by bubblemakers and image dampening, etc. I'm just saying that the side that figured out some way to negate the mines of the other side before they were allowed to hit your fleet formation would have a massive war-winning advantage. I'll also grant that ship types play a large role in the makeup of an effective fleet, which is why it was nice/made sense when the UM, and then the Abh, started phasing out the assault ships in favor of larger ships with better capabilities, and then the Abh went as far as making the Light Cruiser (i justify this terminology under the logic that assault ships: frigates or MAYBE destroyers, patrol ships: Cruisers, and flagship patrol ships: Battlewagons). It would just be nice to see the same type of innovation or "adapt and overcome" protocol applied to mine warfare.

    EDIT: Under the same ship classification system, what are called Front-Line ships (the big mine launching ones) could effectively be called missile cruisers

    And finally, JGZinv, I think that casualties in this type of warfare (no cover, at least in sords, ships that have inadequate self defense capabilities, you cant just leave the ship when its sinking) are already going to be in the calculations, as Mitsuki said. There's really no way that you could escape this kind of warfare without casualties, because much like modern naval warfare, if your ship is sinking, you cant exacly walk off onto dry land and forage. And, at least for naval warfare, Mitsuki, you are right. The large majority of WARSHIP losses and damage caused to both sides were caused by aircraft, but submarines actually sunk a large amount of tonnage too. Since i dont think there's really any equivalent of submarines in BotS warfare, i wont go into that one.

    Anyways, I would just like to think that the same type of ingenuity that was/is applied to fleet logistics and makeup would be applied to mine warfare. I guess thats my main point


    Last edited by Lt. Schwenkdawg on 4/15/2009, 5:15 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Additional Information)
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    Re: Space combat?

    Post by Almael on 4/15/2009, 6:59 pm

    One thing about weapons/military freaks that annoy me is that:
    1. they don't really know much
    2. have no experience
    3. they think they know and may run amok

    1 & 2 apllies to you, schwenk, so let me call you a military freak for this one. lol
    Except for Seikai and Star Trek, I'm not into anything else, but I still do have greater general knowledge than even fans of whatever do....so I'm a monster. LOL

    Of course I meant artillery grenades above.
    Btw Jutland was WWI.
    Basic training does include handling of grenades, but not launchers or making traps or anything with mines. My knowledge here is a bit less than a spetznat so no warranties. alien
    Modern information have been classified since 9/11 but all you need is play CoD4. Laughing Usually everyone carries some grenades, certain people carry special ones. The launchers of course carry ones for their launcher.

    The so called effective deacly mines you saw were multiwarhead ones. They separate right at the weapons range. Which means just when you shoot at it, it has become a spray of mines...no escape.
    As we have seen, the mines have gravity sensors, some kind of radar and energy/heat sensor. We know from Lafiel's comment, that they have some intelligence in predicting a course, but failed in COTS II. At least that's what she knows from Abh mines and applied it to UMK.
    Gravity waves can't be masked.
    Radar can be missled by random or specific EM, however, antimatter&fusion explosions cause lot's of EM. They still work as we see. So this doesn't work.
    Infrared can be missled by (surprise) infrared. lol Among all the explosions and flashes.. no problem. So this doesn't work.
    Intelligence, well there are nobel prize worthy people who will never get any credit because this is what they do...secret stuff. Hit chance aside there are ways to predict and plot a course to hit a target even after a failed first intercetion point. Even if it's not a physical hit the proximity fuse and resulting fragments can do quite some damage.
    Actually, it's the invention of the VT that brought victory to the allies in WWII. Wink
    Those guys were smart!

    With logistic you meant mining the routes and escort warfare?
    Today I saw some new about a frenship arresting pirates. The thing was it was a small ship that trigered my interest. At first I saw it was a Floreal class ship which made me think "wait that's the flower class from WWII" ...well, my surprise and amusement lasted until I read about its actual recent history.

    Anyway, as an object can only survive in planespace with a spatial generator and fuel, mine won't last long. And mining systems is useless since you have to conquer it first or abandon it.
    Raids still work.
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    Re: Space combat?

    Post by Schwenkdawg on 4/15/2009, 8:55 pm

    oh i take no offense to being called a military freak, in fact i consider it a compliment. And number 2 definitely applies to me, as I'm in school, and not in the military...yet. The only "experience" i have is that i play faaaaar faaaar too much CoD 4. As for number 1, that is only true for sci-fi battles. I can see that I'm outgunned here (if you forgive the pun), because ya'll obviously watch a lot more sci-fi stuff than i do (a spattering of anime here and there with only light to moderate sci-fi elements is pretty much my entire experience). However, don't get me started on WW1 or WW2, because, although I am not yet a soldier, and haven't been through basic training, I know more about those two conflicts than any one person should know (especially WW2). Although i dont directly understand the point of the grenade comment above, i do know that there is a difference between frag grenades, launched (or tube) grenades, and then special grenades such as flashbangs. As for your explanations as to why it cant be done, I wont claim to know enough to even begin to argue with you there. As for proximity fuses, it didn't seem that the mines were equipped with them, and the damage caused by "near miss" mine explosions was caused because the mine was hit right before it hit the ship. And finally, by logistics and fleet makeup i was thinking more along the lines of the new "light cruiser" (see my post above this one) class of warships and the thought process that brought about its creation, and of course commerce warfare. However, there doesn't seem to be much mention of commerce/irregular warfare, because plane space is...well inhospitable and hard to just lurk around in. Plus, you can't "dive" as a submarine would if spotted.

    PS: i know Jutland was in WW1, I could have used the battle of Surigao Strait alternately, i just switched wars while responding to Mitsuki
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    Re: Space combat?

    Post by JGZinv on 4/15/2009, 11:51 pm

    I would say you could indeed confuse a mine if it were based of it sensing gravity.
    You simply build dummy ships or items in which server the same function as aircraft based flares for use against heat seeking missiles.

    Gravity well generator, an ore of extremely heavy mass... there's hundreds of sci-fi ways of going about it.


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