Lim Jyue (lim_jyue@pacific.net.sg)
Mon, 25 Sep 2000 12:13:40 +0800


At 18:28 09/24/2000 -0500, Ricky Lai wrote:
>Should there be a need for a defensive line, it would seem to make more sense
>to dump out a bunch of units simultaneously, so that they can proceed to form
>the line together, rather than having to gather up after being launched in
>different directions (as catapults can't be placed too close to each other).

        The problem here is distance. If it was on Earth, the distance
involved may only be tens of kilometres, whereas in space, it could be
hundreds of kilometres. To dump out a whole bunch of units simultaneously
will only defend the immediate area -- which is actually quite useless,
considering how long range beam weapons and even simple rockets can be in space.

        So, the MSes meant to shore up a defensive lines need a large
initial delta V to get to where it's needed, which is where the catapults
come into play. Yes, the MSes can accelerate on their own to get there, but
they may end up so low on reaction mass they can't do much.. or worse, can't
get back.

        Catapults can be relatively close to each other -- observe the
catapults on US carriers. And furthermore, they don't need to be too close
to each other, they just need to be pointed at the same direction..

>Economically speaking, wouldn't it make more sense for a ship to fit its units
>with extra propellant tanks or boosters (such as the one for GB-Tetra) if the
>units require such assistance, than wasting money and space mounting catapults
>and decks?

        For one MS, definitely. But we are talking about 182 MSes on the
Doros, and the propellant tanks are supposed to be disposable -- pilots tend
not to bring back the propellant tanks. Add the extra fuel costs, and it
suddenly becomes much cheaper to mount a catapult.

        Another thing to bear in mind is that older MSes might not have the
attachments necessary to mount external tanks. So catapults are the main way
to get them into combat at a reasonable velocity.

>After all, MS decks and catapults often make up a considerable part of smaller
>ships, such as Aghama and Alexandria, which could have otherwise be serving a
>better purpose, for instance extra guns. The Birmingham class battleship in
>0083, though not designed to house MSs, possesses great firepower thanks to
the
>absence of MS decks and catapults.

        Unfortunately, such is combat in the UC that firepower does not
necessary equate to a better ship. With Minosky particles in wide usage, the
ship with the higher number of guns might not be able to hit what it is
aiming at, whereas the ship with the catapults can send in a couple of MSes
which will make short work of the opposition.

        A fact most assuredly proven by the Red Comet, with his capital ship
kills.. =)

-------------
Lim Jyue
ICQ: 24737555

I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection.
Excellence I can reach for; perfection is God's business.

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