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 Post subject: Defending The Border
PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 2:40 am 
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Given how FTL works in BSG, I’m curious how you would go about defending the borders of a multi-world government? I have my ideas which I’ll post later, but for now, I’m curious how others might approach this.

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 Post subject: Re: Defending The Border
PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 10:36 am 
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With the capabilities of the Cylon FTL I don't think it is actually possible to prevent attacks, it's only the Colonials lack of solid info on the Cylon's capabilities that makes them think they can.

Raptors with Athena navigating perform a long range FTL jump directly into Caprica's low atmosphere, if they can do that they can throw bombers anywhere at any time.


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 Post subject: Re: Defending The Border
PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:47 pm 
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The long range part of the jump was due to the bio-Cylon computer, and we've seen other jumps into the atmosphere without it, so it could just be a standard maneuver.

That said, I tend to agree. The only way I can see any sort of defense would be some sort of picket line, but its viability would depend on a couple things. First, is there any sort of signature given off when a ship ends its jump? For example, is there some sort of gravity wave emitted when the new body appears? It might be too weak for ship sensors, but perhaps an integrated sensor array might catch it. Second, how long does the attacking ship pause between jumps? I use "33" as a lower limit of what a ship can handle when pressed to perform numerous hasty jumps, usually I would have them pause for 3+ hours to ensure that everything is green and good to go.

So...assuming that there is some detectable signature that requires either a very large array (some sort of massive synthetic aperture array using numerous receivers networked into one array) or very specific sensors (perhaps that are spoofed by large amounts of metals, and thus can't be mounted on anything larger than a satellite made of synthetic materials), I would think that a defense in depth with concentric rings of sensors would be the rule.

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Click the link to read Lady Hecate off line in PDF, .epub, or Kindle formats: http://www.bsg94.org/downloads/index.html
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 Post subject: Re: Defending The Border
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2020 12:26 pm 
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On screen evidence is sparse for early warning systems, although it seems that a battlestar of Galacitica's vintage can't detect jump flares, in numerous occassions you see them waiting for Dradis to perform several sweeps to pick up ships popping out of FTL.

The Cylon's attack is not really a good example either as the Colonial's early warning net must surely have been compromised, so they picked up zip.

Never in the series do they mention detecting jump flares, or know of a ship's presence until they are in Dradis range, or range of a sensor they are linking to, which I assume is how Galactica can see the attack on Apollo in the pilot from beyond normal range. This does hint or a system wide sensor net that the Navy accesses, probably satelites acting like AWACs.

So the only anti-FTL defence strategy that would work with what we know, is a powerful close in interception force of warships, fighters, defence platforms etc on various stages of alert ready to fire, that is until they realise you can jump through the defence line, and then you're just screwed.


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 Post subject: Re: Defending The Border
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2020 5:25 pm 
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I was talking with a board member this afternoon about this and about the only way I can see a viable way to create a picket line is to handwave that some particle (tachyons?) or event (gravity wave) that propagates faster than light is involved. That, however, brought up a second issue...sensitivity and detection range. Since BSG isn't a boardgame or RPG (like Traveller, for example) where space is 2D, we need to consider a spherical picket "line". If the detection range is 10ly, then you would need a sphere broken down where you have overlapping detection ranges, and that would require a lot of sensors. If your detection sphere is 75 light years from the barycenter of the Cyrannus system, you would have a surface area of 70686 square light years. To ensure adequate overlap in the event one sensor point is down, you'd probably need about 15-20,000 devices, probably 25,000 to have the best possible coverage (short of having one every LY).

Each sensor site would have to have a way of sending the information, probably a series of FTL "jump torpedoes" that would carry the data back to the Admiralty.

It could be done, but it would also require a handwave.

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Click the link to read Lady Hecate off line in PDF, .epub, or Kindle formats: http://www.bsg94.org/downloads/index.html
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 Post subject: Re: Defending The Border
PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2020 5:08 am 
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If FTL ranges weren't what we see and they had to leap frog in then a picket line or sensor net watching for ships or just telescopes on satellites watching for light flares could work, but with what we see they could jump so far nothing really is feasible, so yeah, unseen tech threoretical tech is needed, or magic!

Handwaveum it is.


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 Post subject: Re: Defending The Border
PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2020 7:37 pm 
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Doesn't necessarily have to be a sphere though...

It could very well be that (at least prior to the fall) that a ship has to be close enough to a star system to fix it's position and calculate its destination. There isn't enough canon information to know one way or another.

That focuses the detectors near systems that are within the maximum Cylon jump range (and probably a bit further, just in case). Hence, the Red Line.


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 Post subject: Re: Defending The Border
PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2020 8:29 pm 
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The Red Line was the maximum jump distance (as per source material) that a ship could jump.

I'm not sure about needing to be close to a star system since so many jumps were from deep space.

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Click the link to read Lady Hecate off line in PDF, .epub, or Kindle formats: http://www.bsg94.org/downloads/index.html
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 Post subject: Re: Defending The Border
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:24 pm 
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I know thats the source material definition. But it doesn't match its usage in the on-screen dialog. On-screen makes it sound more like a border. Your mileage may vary of course.

I dont think they ever stated they were in deep space. Its implied since we rarely see a star or planet, but that could be chalked up to camera views and/or being on the fringes of a star system.

Im just saying that you could use on-screen information to support the physics necessary to have a reliable border defense network.

Or go "all hope is lost" style and have nukes jumping into every planets atmosphere and there isnt a thing the Colonial can do to stop it. Which I guess sounds more like the RDM-verse.


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 Post subject: Re: Defending The Border
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:27 pm 
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Originally I thought the "Red Line" was a jump limitation, like beyond that distance a ship's calculations started to contain too many errors so the exact exit isn't within parameters, but they jumped that far and all ended up in the same place.
So now I think the "Red Line" was the limit of space mapped accurately by the Colonial Navy et al, jumps further are possible but you wouldn't know what was there specifically, obviously stars can be seen and plotted but no necessarily what planets a system contained etc.

Colonial Jump Drives obviously have more range than is generally used, it's the computers doing the calculations which limit their range, and it could be a processing speed thing, rather than the total inability to make the calculations. Therefore you may be able to make massive jumps if you had the computer spend hours/days/weeks etc working out the calculations.

What that means for defence though is that you're screwed, all you can rely on is that motion of the planets to make support long range jumping rather complicated. There'd be no front line, pickets and rapid reaction forces would be the norm, and close in defence nets.


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