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Page 108 & 109 Discussion 
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Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
I am split between Umiak and Historians, slightly leaning towards Umiak:

First the size, approximately 300 meters is right on the mark for a Heavy vessel and since the Umiak custom build ships it could be a specialist variant which would explain the engine setup.

Second the out of the way location during what looks like the first widespread use of the anti telepathic ability; its quite possible that the reason behind the anti telepathic ability be inside that ship, coordinated through it or observed in action for high command (hence the heavy ship to carry everything that is needed). In this case the need of secrecy fully outweighs any and all niceties, anyone who finds that ship has to die.

I don't think that they are Historians because the plasma attack ain't fast firing pulsed as the insider describes their weapons fire, the attack happened with four distinct shots that came at several long intervals, the time between the first and second shots could be a couple of minutes.

Soians are even a longer shot, mainly because I doubt that they will still be using plasma weaponry at that tech level.

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Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
RedDwarfIV wrote:
I think anti-matter production is probably the single most important technology humanity needs to be able to make the smallest contribution to the war effort.

IIRC, Taimat's advantage over anti-matter is that it's easier to make. Other than that, the two are interchangable. If humans could make anti-matter, Loroi ships could refuel in Terran space.

Anti-matter engines would allow human cruisers to act as corvettes. They might be as big as Loroi destroyers, but as you noted, they're nowhere near as powerful. They would also make my "Point Defence Fleet" idea plausible. The problem with it was that human vessels couldn't keep up.

Second most important is more advanced inertial compensators. If the Loroi told us how theirs worked, we could probably upgrade our own designs.


Humanity's tech and industry is outclassed by everyone.

They only thing Humanity has an equal footing on with the rest of the galactic mess is their FTL.

Humanity should focus less on trying to catch up on an outdated mode of warfare, and skip right to FTL weapons.

Weaponize ad inferis


Tue Dec 29, 2015 7:31 pm
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Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
dragoongfa wrote:
Soians are even a longer shot, mainly because I doubt that they will still be using plasma weaponry at that tech level.


Most of the reason I add the Soia as an option is because they're not the obvious choice. Umiak are obvious and the obvious second string would be the Historians.


Tue Dec 29, 2015 9:02 pm
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Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
There's been a lot of replies.

joestej wrote:
Humanity's biggest technological achievement thus far is converting an existing heavy cruiser into battle cruiser armed with a single particle cannon. A Loroi FRIGATE has more firepower than that. Our warships don't even have screens yet. War footing or not, you cannot take an assembly line designed for building biplanes and expect it to start cranking out jet fighters without giving it a total overhaul.
But if assembly was the big concern (it isn't, the needed parts are the concern), you can do that for ships. The construction of biplanes is not a relevant comparison: that's all stuff that gets done on otherwise open factory floors, so it's actually pretty easy to convert if you have the assembly tools, just like ship-building. The construction of weapons, shields, and engines/reactors capable of taking a useful place in the fleet is the concern. If Humanity could build ~35g jump-capable escort craft in fairly large numbers then that would be of benefit.

joestej wrote:
Why would they WANT a base in our area? If they wanted to try and push the Umiak's flank by edging into the Great Wasteland, they could have done it by now.
It's already been touched on, but both Umiak & Loroi apparently ARE expanding in Humanty's direction: use of Human space gives the Loroi an early advantage in geography. The addition of Orgus nav data mean that the Loroi gain information on the approximate location of the rear of Umiak space, and thus the approximate location to look for any further allies against the Umiak.

joestej wrote:
Our use as logistics will be quite limited for the first few years. Most Human food is not digestible for the Loroi (and vice-versa, as Alex has found out). Even if we did find a solution for that, the fleets the Loroi would dispatch would need repairs, munitions, and parts we would not be capable of manufacturing. The journey from Naam to Saren is supposed to take Alex 20 days, traveling on a 32G acceleration Frigate. The journey from the Coreward edge of Loroi space to Human territory is at least twice as far as that, and would have to be traveled by multiple 20G acceleration Freighters. That's a two-month commute, one way. EVENTUALLY we would be able to take over, but for at least the first year the Loroi would be effectively on their own while we worked out how to build the tools we'd need, to build the tools we'd need, to finally be able to fix the Loroi's ships.
Actually, first we'd take over the transportation. Loroi transports would be faster, but they also require specially-made fuel, while Human vessels require hydrogen. After a few months, you'd see Human mining stations opening up in the outer-edge of the systems used as the route, for the purpose of refining local comets into hydrogen fuel, thereby allowing virtually any Human freighter to make the full trip.

joestej wrote:
Krulle wrote:
A backdoor that is swamped by an invasion army.


What Krulle said. Our maps will be useful...but nothing game-changing.
The combination of those maps and Human freighters could potentially decide the war by allowing another incursion into Umiak territory. But this time, undefended territory, with no territory for the Loroi to lose for a very long way.

joestej wrote:
Their intel may not be great, but the sudden appearance of a new race in the Union is something no one is going to be able to hide. That plus the wreckage, and they'll make the connection. The idea that they'll dismiss us as 'odd Loroi' is unlikely, considering A) we've got way too many men, B) our technology and ships are radically different, and C) we wouldn't act like a Loroi would.
Not sure what you mean by the last (Farseers?), but as for the rest, if the Umiak got a look but not a sample, they would initially assume we were another Loroi Splinter World, due to insufficient data. They would certainly go looking in response, but the Wastes are large, and Umiak fleets looking around at such a large distance are the perfect prey for Loroi Hunter-Killer fleets, especially if the H-K fleets have Farseers, and someone giving them food & fuel.

joestej wrote:
I concede the point for now, as perhaps I did get my wires crossed on this one. I will state for the record though that it seems VERY odd that the Umiak would suddenly come up with a way to block farsense JUST when Humans are finally edging into Umiak/Loroi space. The timing could be coincidence, but I doubt it. Whatever new technology the Umiak (claim to) have, I would wager it's connected to us somehow.
Whatever new technology the Umiak have, I'd wager it's connected to Loroi biology, a recovered Soia device, or automation (likely via Historians or Historian AIs captured during that assault).

discord wrote:
Joe: I do believe you are underestimating the value of terran infrastructure on logistics, our food is incompatible with theirs? whoopity do! that can be worked around rather quickly given modern agriculture a workforce and a place to do it(human space got both)
Algae-analogues, assuming they couldn't eat ours, could likely start producing in the realm of a month. Other things would take more time, but they already use a lot of grain, so combines to the rescue, with the first harvest presumably coming in a few months (we can get 2+ wheat harvests in some places).

joestej wrote:
At best we'd be an overgrown grain truck for the first few years, and food is NOT what the Loroi fleets are going to need most to defend us.
Actually, cargo trucks that don't compete for Loroi fuel is exactly what is needed for a Loroi expedition into the Wastes. They can't refuel on-site, but with the proper equipment Human ships can, so Human freighters are the perfect candidate for a Loroi strike against the Umiak from the Wastes: all that's needed is determination and power converters for the fuel tanks.

joestej wrote:
RedDwarfIV wrote:
We have no Taimat production. We could possibly make anti-matter, though. A Lunar Ring of solar panels could provide enough power to create hundreds of tons of anti-matter a year. Problem is, do humans in Outsider have the technology to store it?


Likely not, or we'd already be using it instead of fusion. Antimatter is quite tricky. Cut corners and you can watch your trillion-dollar plant atomize itself the moment Murphy rears its ugly head.
We almost guaranteed have the technology for low-density storage right now, and if we were willing to throw it through a fusion reactor (and wouldn't that be a spooky thought) enough to get to a diamagnetic, then storage would be vaguely easyish. The trick is that in a setting with FTL engines & torch drives (both of which the TCA has) only speed freaks and those competing with them are willing to deal with the magnitude of the consequences of a containment failure.

That, and it's a pain to produce.

RedDwarfIV wrote:
I think anti-matter production is probably the single most important technology humanity needs to be able to make the smallest contribution to the war effort.

IIRC, Taimat's advantage over anti-matter is that it's easier to make. Other than that, the two are interchangable. If humans could make anti-matter, Loroi ships could refuel in Terran space.
Are you sure that Arioch said Tiamat reactors can use Antimatter? Also, I'm pretty sure that another upside to Tiamat is either reduced interaction with normal matter, or no interaction.

joestej wrote:
Then we'll want to trade for Loroi laser designs instead of our own, which will have to come with a reactor upgrade so we can actually power them (though that probably came with the thrusters).
If it's lasers (and it probably is), then the Bellarmine's reactor(s) might have been enough. The bigger issue is the power requirements for a Mjolnir, since you'd want at least one proper anti-ship weapon for culling the gunboats.

joestej wrote:
I agree that point defense and cargo hauling would be what we'd be best at in the short term though. A brick with lasers or a barge with super engines aren't so hard to build compared to functional battleships.
Don't need super-engines, plain fusion is golden for cargo runs. As I recall, the average cargo ship in WW2 could be outraced by a human, and certainly any airplane or destroyer. The only equipment change you want there is the ability to carry Loroi fuel.

RedDwarfIV wrote:
joestej wrote:
Pretty much, though as you said we're going to need to overhaul our thrusters or we'll never be able to keep up with their ships. Once we've added the inertial compensators to survive that level of acceleration (as you mentioned), we'll also need screens and armor so the first time an Umiak corvette looks at us funny we don't explode. Then we'll want to trade for Loroi laser designs instead of our own, which will have to come with a reactor upgrade so we can actually power them (though that probably came with the thrusters). We don't actually have to get to the Loroi's level to be helpful. But we still need upgrades across the board, and that doesn't happen overnight.

This is why I mentioned my "Point Defence Fleet" idea. Humanity doesn't have lasers powerful enough to kill Umiak ships, but they can kill missiles. Hell, their numerous small laser turrets are perfect for the role. They just need to be able to keep up with Loroi ships in order to do that.
Mjolnir (or mini-Mjolnir, more likely) with doubled range should do the job against gunships (the most numerous & likely close-in enemy), since they're neutral-particle beam weapons. The one real problem they have is the limited range, and power-supply needs, the later of which should be built into any chassis actually intended to mount them (the America class were not actually intended to mount Mjolnir, so they don't have robust-enough systems to make the things reliable). If the Umiak SR Light Plasma Focus is the Type-2, then the Mjolnir actually packs a better knife-fight punch, implying that it would be decent at anti-gunship if the range could be extended.

RedDwarfIV wrote:
The Loroi prefer to stay out of Umiak energy weapon range. Under most circumstances, shields wouldn't be required. Since they're not a direct threat to Umiak ships, they'd be a lower priority than Loroi vessels in energy range, too.
I suspect that the TCA would still try to get shields early, though, for increased survivability at the edge of Umiak weapons range.

RedDwarfIV wrote:
I actually have to wonder why the Umiak bothered killing the Bellarmine in the first place, though. Maybe their alien thought processes mean they do try to kill low-priority targets first.
I believe Arioch mentioned somewhere that they tend towards paranoia.

Voitan wrote:
Humanity's tech and industry is outclassed by everyone.

They only thing Humanity has an equal footing on with the rest of the galactic mess is their FTL.

Humanity should focus less on trying to catch up on an outdated mode of warfare, and skip right to FTL weapons.

Weaponize ad inferis
The Mjolnir is a pretty short-ranged weapon: any jump-weapon is going to be docking-range, which makes it look long-range, and an FTL weapon would be roughly the size and cost of the Bellarmine. It would be nice if FTL cannons were possible, but Arioch has said that none of the races have that technology.


Tue Dec 29, 2015 9:47 pm
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Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
Absalom wrote:
joestej wrote:
RedDwarfIV wrote:
We have no Taimat production. We could possibly make anti-matter, though. A Lunar Ring of solar panels could provide enough power to create hundreds of tons of anti-matter a year. Problem is, do humans in Outsider have the technology to store it?


Likely not, or we'd already be using it instead of fusion. Antimatter is quite tricky. Cut corners and you can watch your trillion-dollar plant atomize itself the moment Murphy rears its ugly head.
We almost guaranteed have the technology for low-density storage right now, and if we were willing to throw it through a fusion reactor (and wouldn't that be a spooky thought) enough to get to a diamagnetic, then storage would be vaguely easyish. The trick is that in a setting with FTL engines & torch drives (both of which the TCA has) only speed freaks and those competing with them are willing to deal with the magnitude of the consequences of a containment failure.

That, and it's a pain to produce.

Pretty much what I was thinking. Until now, the TCA hasn't needed anti-matter propulsion. It's not like they had an enemy to fight - at most, they'd be dealing with armed freighters or rogue warships (which still would have been fusion powered.) You don't fit a battleship gun to a coast guard cutter.

Of course, even if they can make and store anti-matter, they'd still need to build an industry dedicated to doing that on an interstellar war's scale.

Absalom wrote:
RedDwarfIV wrote:
I think anti-matter production is probably the single most important technology humanity needs to be able to make the smallest contribution to the war effort.

IIRC, Taimat's advantage over anti-matter is that it's easier to make. Other than that, the two are interchangable. If humans could make anti-matter, Loroi ships could refuel in Terran space.
Are you sure that Arioch said Tiamat reactors can use Antimatter? Also, I'm pretty sure that another upside to Tiamat is either reduced interaction with normal matter, or no interaction.

This is why I said "IIRC". It may well be as you say, but if so, I didn't remember it that way. I'd still be wrong, of course.

Absalom wrote:
RedDwarfIV wrote:
joestej wrote:
Pretty much, though as you said we're going to need to overhaul our thrusters or we'll never be able to keep up with their ships. Once we've added the inertial compensators to survive that level of acceleration (as you mentioned), we'll also need screens and armor so the first time an Umiak corvette looks at us funny we don't explode. Then we'll want to trade for Loroi laser designs instead of our own, which will have to come with a reactor upgrade so we can actually power them (though that probably came with the thrusters). We don't actually have to get to the Loroi's level to be helpful. But we still need upgrades across the board, and that doesn't happen overnight.

This is why I mentioned my "Point Defence Fleet" idea. Humanity doesn't have lasers powerful enough to kill Umiak ships, but they can kill missiles. Hell, their numerous small laser turrets are perfect for the role. They just need to be able to keep up with Loroi ships in order to do that.
Mjolnir (or mini-Mjolnir, more likely) with doubled range should do the job against gunships (the most numerous & likely close-in enemy), since they're neutral-particle beam weapons. The one real problem they have is the limited range, and power-supply needs, the later of which should be built into any chassis actually intended to mount them (the America class were not actually intended to mount Mjolnir, so they don't have robust-enough systems to make the things reliable). If the Umiak SR Light Plasma Focus is the Type-2, then the Mjolnir actually packs a better knife-fight punch, implying that it would be decent at anti-gunship if the range could be extended.

That's a point, with anti-matter, humanity could drastically reduce the impact of firing a Mjolnir on its host ship. With fusion, it has a long recharge time.

Absalom wrote:
RedDwarfIV wrote:
The Loroi prefer to stay out of Umiak energy weapon range. Under most circumstances, shields wouldn't be required. Since they're not a direct threat to Umiak ships, they'd be a lower priority than Loroi vessels in energy range, too.
I suspect that the TCA would still try to get shields early, though, for increased survivability at the edge of Umiak weapons range.

Yes. But I was conceding that they might take that long before their industry could make defensive screens. They might try and get the designs early, in case they could come up with a crappy knock-off version that's better than nothing.

Absalom wrote:
RedDwarfIV wrote:
I actually have to wonder why the Umiak bothered killing the Bellarmine in the first place, though. Maybe their alien thought processes mean they do try to kill low-priority targets first.
I believe Arioch mentioned somewhere that they tend towards paranoia.

Well that makes sense then.

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Tue Dec 29, 2015 10:29 pm
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Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
RedDwarfIV wrote:
Absalom wrote:
RedDwarfIV wrote:
IIRC, Taimat's advantage over anti-matter is that it's easier to make. Other than that, the two are interchangable. If humans could make anti-matter, Loroi ships could refuel in Terran space.
Are you sure that Arioch said Tiamat reactors can use Antimatter? Also, I'm pretty sure that another upside to Tiamat is either reduced interaction with normal matter, or no interaction.
This is why I said "IIRC". It may well be as you say, but if so, I didn't remember it that way. I'd still be wrong, of course.

The two fuels are similar in terms of energy output per mass of fuel, but taimat reactors would be different from antimatter reactors; the containment mechanisms are different (supercooling vs. magnetic isolation) and the reaction is different (some kind of induced decay vs. ramming particles and anti-particles together). You could probably build an engine with both kinds of reactors that could accept both fuels, but I don't think the major combatants would have any reason to do that, because taimat is cheaper to produce and easier to store.

Antimatter can still be used in some weapons (antimatter makes an effective bomb, since all you need to do to get it to explode is to slam it into the target) and some specialty applications, but I don't think most of the combatants use it for spaceship fuel.

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Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
fredgiblet wrote:
Krulle wrote:
A backdoor that is swamped by an invasion army.


Not really? The Umiak rolled over the Orgus pretty quick IIRC, I doubt there's a significant naval force left behind.
Yet it is an invasion and scout army. Expansionistic, and set on expanding the Umiak territory in that direction. I doubt that they ar not well prepared, and even prepared to be reinforced in case they do find a for,idable power already inhabiting the region they are expanding into.
If the Loroi teached them something, then definitely to encounter forces before they can be built stronger and definitely before they can entrench themselves. So I assume they will come early into wars with new neigbours, as most economies do not love sustaining a major military force in times of peace and lack of opposition/threat.

Their whole economy is expanionistic, so I assume all thir fronts are more or less equally well stocked with invading army forces.
With the reserve fleets slightly shifted towards Loroi space.

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Wed Dec 30, 2015 3:29 am
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Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
I seriously doubt they have a thick layer of defensive fleets surrounding their entire empire. If they did then they could just strip that layer, launch one single enormous attack and then when the Loroi are crushed send them all back.


Wed Dec 30, 2015 3:59 am
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Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
Arioch wrote:
The two fuels are similar in terms of energy output per mass of fuel, but taimat reactors would be different from antimatter reactors; the containment mechanisms are different (supercooling vs. magnetic isolation) and the reaction is different (some kind of induced decay vs. ramming particles and anti-particles together). You could probably build an engine with both kinds of reactors that could accept both fuels, but I don't think the major combatants would have any reason to do that, because taimat is cheaper to produce and easier to store.

Antimatter can still be used in some weapons (antimatter makes an effective bomb, since all you need to do to get it to explode is to slam it into the target) and some specialty applications, but I don't think most of the combatants use it for spaceship fuel.

Ah. So, basically, only humanity has reason to use anti-matter. Oh well, it's still a versatile technology, and I still think it's the most important one they could develop.

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Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
fredgiblet wrote:
I seriously doubt they have a thick layer of defensive fleets surrounding their entire empire. If they did then they could just strip that layer, launch one single enormous attack and then when the Loroi are crushed send them all back.

Not what I wrote.
Their fleet is not defensive. Their fleet is offensive. Invasive. Expanding into new territories.
And occupational.
New ships get front duties, to expand the empire, or to keep the Loroi busy.
Or they get occupation duties.
As the front gets larger and larger due to expansion, more and more ships are needed to keep the expansion going.
And more to keep the occupationed systems quiet.

Reassignng all fleets (minus safety) away front all other borders to go to the Loroi would be a major logisitc achievement. It does not really seem to fit their mindset. Also, the ships would not arrive all at the same time, as closer borders have a shoeter traveltime than the borders in the other dieection.

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Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
Krulle wrote:
fredgiblet wrote:
I seriously doubt they have a thick layer of defensive fleets surrounding their entire empire. If they did then they could just strip that layer, launch one single enormous attack and then when the Loroi are crushed send them all back.

Not what I wrote.
Their fleet is not defensive. Their fleet is offensive. Invasive. Expanding into new territories.
And occupational.
New ships get front duties, to expand the empire, or to keep the Loroi busy.
Or they get occupation duties.
As the front gets larger and larger due to expansion, more and more ships are needed to keep the expansion going.
And more to keep the occupationed systems quiet.

Reassignng all fleets (minus safety) away front all other borders to go to the Loroi would be a major logisitc achievement. It does not really seem to fit their mindset. Also, the ships would not arrive all at the same time, as closer borders have a shoeter traveltime than the borders in the other dieection.


That's probably what happened during Semoset, the Loroi destroyed the fleets opposing them but the occupational and other assets were still intact and elsewhere. Took some time for the Umiak to muster them and send them against the Loroi as well.

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Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
fredgiblet wrote:
I seriously doubt they have a thick layer of defensive fleets surrounding their entire empire. If they did then they could just strip that layer, launch one single enormous attack and then when the Loroi are crushed send them all back.


Logistics.
They need all be warned, made ready to embark, and relocate to an area a couple hundred to over a thousand lightyear away from their point of origin.
Then, at arrival they need all to be refueled, ammo'd, briefed, and sent out. Bit doubtful the assembly area(s) could do that for the whole of the reserve of the Hierarchy in one go.
We're talking about a strategy plan involving two years at the very least.

No, my thought about the Umiak not recalling fleets from other border 'provinces' is that they're equally busy expanding the Hierarchy on those other borders, and peacekeeping in the already 'acquired' territory.

EDIT: Sorry, hadn't seen Krulle's latest post.

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Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
Krulle wrote:
Reassignng all fleets (minus safety) away front all other borders to go to the Loroi would be a major logisitc achievement. It does not really seem to fit their mindset. Also, the ships would not arrive all at the same time, as closer borders have a shoeter traveltime than the borders in the other dieection.


Occupation duty isn't that difficult in the Outsiderverse, you can't really build warships on the sly, so once your navy is gone all the Umiak need to do to keep you in line is have a frigate stationed somewhere nearby. The threat of having your planet glassed is not insignificant.

While it's true that they are probably expanding, the idea that they wouldn't focus most of their forces on the people that are trying to kill them is a little non-sensical, especially since that war is holding up their, wait for it, expansion. The sooner the war is over the sooner they can go back to conquering all before them. In addition, IIRC, they knew the Orgus for some time before the conquest, they would have known that they didn't need a front-line strength fleet to roll over them, and they CERTAINLY don't need one to keep the territory.

GeoModder wrote:
Logistics.
They need all be warned, made ready to embark, and relocate to an area a couple hundred to over a thousand lightyear away from their point of origin.
Then, at arrival they need all to be refueled, ammo'd, briefed, and sent out. Bit doubtful the assembly area(s) could do that for the whole of the reserve of the Hierarchy in one go.
We're talking about a strategy plan involving two years at the very least.

No, my thought about the Umiak not recalling fleets from other border 'provinces' is that they're equally busy expanding the Hierarchy on those other borders, and peacekeeping in the already 'acquired' territory.


Yes. But. If it ends the war you do it. Implement a 2 year plan to totally crush the greatest enemy you've ever faced, or continue to grind against them losing fucktons of people in the process? It's an easy choice.

As for peacekeeping see above. Most of the peacekeeping work will be done on the ground, a frigate or corvette can control an entire conquered star system.


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