Surprise Attacks, Ambushes and Intersellar Communication

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Surprise Attacks, Ambushes and Intersellar Communication

Postby Grass4hopper » Sat Jun 25, 2016 2:28 am

I don't know if this has been discussed already, but I was thinking about transit gates and intrasellar communication. For example: if a SU gate is taken by FC or Ijad forces, and there was no gate traffic during the conflict, then further SU forces would be taken by surprise the next time they came through. That should work for sure at least once, possibly more times if we start taking about multiple other gates connecting. Especially because of the (presumably) slow nature of information being disseminated through a factions gate network.

This also would work well for invading other gates, because if the last contact a transit gate had was friendly, they would presume the next contact would be friendly as well. I think this is supported by the provided game material, where it mention that several of the ships can sneak through enemy gates because they have a civilian profile.

Of course as time goes on, and the conflict expanded, perhaps transit gates would always be on guard during an incoming transit. Possibly fully deploying all Ships and TTM frames at the time of connection.

What do you think?

EDIT: I meant interstellar, I was thinking of intergalactic (face palm)
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Re: Surprise Attacks, Ambushes and Intersellar Communication

Postby CmdrRook » Sun Jun 26, 2016 10:20 pm

I'd presume some level of scheduling, but I also don't know what significant events occur prior/during transit at a gate. If Battletech lended anything to the process, the energy signature from the destination point is the first sign of incoming traffic. Prior scheduling would be the only thing to tell you it's friendly traffic (omitting the Battletech invention of Hyperlink communications) and anything else would be an emergency at best, hostility at worst, both of which requiring mobilization and action of frames and ships.

"Unscheduled offworld activation" is a cause for concern in Stargate SG-1, and their protocol of securing the gate; establishing contact with travellers; then restoring contol of the gate's systems, would be how I'd handle things on my station.

I apologize for only offering examples outside the system, but the general rule is "if you can imagine it, it could happen," right?
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Re: Surprise Attacks, Ambushes and Intersellar Communication

Postby Shades_Corvid » Mon Jun 27, 2016 3:07 pm

This concept is the bases for one of my armies, displaced Transit Marines because there was a surprised attack from incoming gating. The book states that incoming transfers are rarely canceled because the time for spin up and cool down can be very long. Though two way transmission is possible with gates without a full wormhole.
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Re: Surprise Attacks, Ambushes and Intersellar Communication

Postby Grass4hopper » Mon Jun 27, 2016 7:11 pm

CmdrRook wrote:I'd presume some level of scheduling, but I also don't know what significant events occur prior/during transit at a gate. If Battletech lended anything to the process, the energy signature from the destination point is the first sign of incoming traffic. Prior scheduling would be the only thing to tell you it's friendly traffic (omitting the Battletech invention of Hyperlink communications) and anything else would be an emergency at best, hostility at worst, both of which requiring mobilization and action of frames and ships.

"Unscheduled offworld activation" is a cause for concern in Stargate SG-1, and their protocol of securing the gate; establishing contact with travellers; then restoring contol of the gate's systems, would be how I'd handle things on my station.


I hadn't thought of a schedule but that makes perfect sense. So a scheduled connection could provide the opportunity for a surprise attack or ambush, but unscheduled connections would probably be meet with full defenses. Also you probably wouldn't send any ships through an unscheduled connection. There's no point in risking your assets when there are too many unknowns.

Of course connections would probably shut down if it was coming from a known hostile world. No SU controlled Transit Gate is going to want to connect with Celiel.

Shades_Corvid wrote:Though two way transmission is possible with gates without a full wormhole.


I thought that only fully formed connections could transmit data. Is there info about this somewhere in the forum? If this is true then it would be much easier to spread the word about a newly captured gate. But if this isn't the case, then it would still take a significant amount of time to decimate the news to thousands of gates.

Though I guess in the short term you really only need to inform the next transit gate that the newly hostile world is scheduled to connect with. So as soon as you knew the gate was hostile, you would immediately try to start a connection with that friendly gate, before the hostile gate can start a connection. At the same time you would be planning to send TEM forces to retake the hostile gate.

So I guess it really comes down to hold organized the SU is for dealing with newly hostile gates.

Most of these assumptions are about how the SU would deal with unscheduled gate connections. I think that the FC might not have a schedule for connections, or at least not as strict a schedule as the SU. This could give the SU or Ijad an advantage if they are trying a surprise attack against a FC controlled gate. Maybe FC tend to be on defense for connections, but that probably varies from gate to gate.

I'm not really sure how the Ijad would deal with unscheduled connections. I have a hard time seeing the Ijad having gate connection schedules, since they believe strongly in not closely interaction with those they "can not touch".
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Re: Surprise Attacks, Ambushes and Intersellar Communication

Postby Soren » Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:53 pm

Also keep in mind, this isn't a wartime setting (yet. Always yet). If you want to take a gate by surprise, far more effective to do it by stealth; infiltrate your frames and equipment under cover (there are some very large freighters in this setting: you can pack two or three frigates or multiple frame squadrons into one behind a screen of false cargo cans) and attack at very close range once you're through.

There are also plenty of jury-rigged armed ships with concealed weaponry or launch bays; they're not as effective as purpose-built warships (both because they lack the same level of protection and firepower, and because they have poorer drive systems and sensor networks, with less redundancy), but if you open up at close range, by surprise, you've got a fighting chance... for a while.

Most such Q-ships, whether single ships with concealed weapons or whole squadrons hidden in a superfreighter, would be jury-rigged; the Solar Union's elite intervention units and intelligence services might have one or two prototype purpose-built designs in use by 0245...
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Re: Surprise Attacks, Ambushes and Intersellar Communication

Postby Shades_Corvid » Tue Jun 28, 2016 10:08 am

I will have to go through the books when I get home. It could also be they will open wormholes for comms use only because they use a fraction of the power/cost.
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Re: Surprise Attacks, Ambushes and Intersellar Communication

Postby Grass4hopper » Tue Jun 28, 2016 8:08 pm

Soren wrote:If you want to take a gate by surprise, far more effective to do it by stealth; infiltrate your frames and equipment under cover (there are some very large freighters in this setting: you can pack two or three frigates or multiple frame squadrons into one behind a screen of false cargo cans) and attack at very close range once you're through.


Wow! I didn't known that ships that large were present in the SC setting.
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Re: Surprise Attacks, Ambushes and Intersellar Communication

Postby Soren » Wed Jun 29, 2016 5:27 am

Grass4hopper wrote:
Soren wrote:If you want to take a gate by surprise, far more effective to do it by stealth; infiltrate your frames and equipment under cover (there are some very large freighters in this setting: you can pack two or three frigates or multiple frame squadrons into one behind a screen of false cargo cans) and attack at very close range once you're through.


Wow! I didn't known that ships that large were present in the SC setting.


I don't think we've explicitly said anything about ship sizes, but I think it's fair to say it's implied by the level of commerce between star systems that they can move very large loads through gates in one or two trips. For efficiency reasons it's always preferable to build the biggest freighter you can, especially with modular cargo containers.
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Re: Surprise Attacks, Ambushes and Intersellar Communication

Postby Blorf » Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:29 am

Soren wrote:For efficiency reasons it's always preferable to build the biggest freighter you can...

Considering "energy equals square of the mass", not necessarily. You could send many small masses for less than the energy cost of sending it all together. That said, you'd have to calculate the overhead of the ship itself.

But any non-gate shops would look very different from gate-farers. And those would necessarily have been built first and still be around.
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Re: Surprise Attacks, Ambushes and Intersellar Communication

Postby CmdrRook » Wed Jun 29, 2016 12:05 pm

The whole system harkens back to the law that a circle's area increases much faster than it's circumference. Between the two options, it is much more efficient to design a larger hull than build two different ships. Adding a few meters to a ship's bulk increases its capacity by those few meters cubed allowing you to store larger objects, to boot.
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Re: Surprise Attacks, Ambushes and Intersellar Communication

Postby Blorf » Wed Jun 29, 2016 5:18 pm

CmdrRook wrote:...it is much more efficient to design a larger hull than build two different ships.

But it's even more efficient to send freight without a ship at all. I think I remember Joshua saying something to the effect of gate freighters being little more than space tugs.
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Re: Surprise Attacks, Ambushes and Intersellar Communication

Postby Grass4hopper » Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:11 pm

Blorf wrote:
CmdrRook wrote:...it is much more efficient to design a larger hull than build two different ships.

But it's even more efficient to send freight without a ship at all. I think I remember Joshua saying something to the effect of gate freighters being little more than space tugs.


I can't find the quote, but I'm almost positive that Joshua mentions that cargo is sometime moved by Frames.
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