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FW: A conversation with John Leary on FTL Mines

From: "Haun, Gilles, SSG" <haung@E...>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 1997 08:22:22 -0500
Subject: FW: A conversation with John Leary on FTL Mines

Here is a discussion I had with John Leary regarding the "FTL Mine"
concept.  He thought it would be good for me to post to the list so here
it is with a little editing, insertion and deletion.  If it's in [ ]
it's and insertion.  

 Murphy's Laws of Combat # 12
"Never forget - 
Your weapon is made by the lowest bidder!"

>> Okay John,
>> Here's my $0.02:
>1.  Mines can prove to be an interesting hazard:  I use the sensors
>rules in regards to detecting them, but with sensors - they appear
>only as asteroid / debris.  IFF triggers the mine - doesn't recognize,
>goes boom.  This actually equates to a simple matter of a
>transponder that recognizes friendly/enemy commo.  Simple - already in
>use today.
>2.  The mines we use here are [often] ones placed within small hollowed
>out asteroids.  Mine usage is also restricted in our campaign setting
here -
>no one uses mines unless a joint agreement is met [you'd be > amazed
how many
>people DON'T want mines employed!  There are rare exceptions to the
rule when
>a planetary defense is being conducted - but again, its all becomes
>to UNSC approval/Ref approval.
>3.  The concept of an FTL mine is interesting, but don't quite like the
>of an FTL equipped mine.  If I understand the current trend correctly,
mine would have to be LARGER than a heavy fighter [and the engine itself
would be larger than a fighter.  The next problem with an FTL mine would
>be fuel;  where would the fuel for the jump be stored.]  Also..
4.  Does the mine actually move into FTL or does it [actually] detonate
>[an explosive] and just disappear? If it makes the move to FTL - can it
something else that's actually in [in the same FTL space location as the
>mine].  If it moves into FTL, there is the chance that the 'jump' could
successful - as per the rules of going FTL with other objects around.
[If it does manage to go FTL, what happens when it dropsout of FTL space
>and into 'Normal Space';  where does it drop back into normal space?]
>5.  I reserve judgement on it (reminds me too much of the latest
>series of posts and would make Mine use a definate unbalancing tool). 
If the
>current wave of kamakaze fighters is for the purpose of ramming a ship
>FTL space, this kind of makes me think of the same thing in reverse
>reverse engineering concepts, tear it apart to see how it works). 
>what the FTL mine would do - It would definately be something in every
pirate's arsenal. [ie.:  give us your ship or we blow an FTL mine and
>you die!]  I can see it employed [as a] sort of like a planetary
defense by
>friendly forces where the fleet's proximity to the mine would be
but within the system itself would seem implausible.  [If employed in
the defensive posture around a planet, it would definately be a last
ditch defense - the ramifications of an FTL jump so close to a planet
could cause major problems. Naturally, a safe margin of distance would
>have to be established to employ it.] 
>6.  Pretty soon, the FTL mine wouldn't be enough - they'd have to put a
>sub-light engine and a basic guidance and targeting system on it
(bearing in
>mind that to them - it would still be a mine and not a ship) and have
>skitter around the board looking for non-IFF ships.  Very likely with
>trend going on.  

[In regards to the comment by John about asteroid hunting, you tend not
to shoot things hidden if there are other more visible objects - ie:
dummy mines and decoys.]

>From:	John Leary[]
>Sent:	Monday, November 24, 1997 2:25 PM
>To:	Haun, Gilles, SSG
>Subject:	Re: 
>     I think you should put this out on the net for all to see!
>You are bringing up very good points which may inspire additional
>As a reply to your points:
>1)  It would soon become practice to blow away any asteroid/debris
>found in ones travel path, in particular the asteroids that have
>'apple orchard spacing' .   A single body would simply be avoided.
>2)  Sounds good to me.
>3)  FTL mines just don't work.  The delay in activation means the 
>target ship will be gone when the mine goes off/jumps (Unless the
>ship is going at an absurdly slow speed and has a very low thrust.)
>4)  The game does not deal with hyperspace/jumpspace at all
>and it is better to let sleeping dogs alone.	The FTL mine only 
>works if it fails the jump roll on the FTL entry chart.   
>I presume the FTL mine could be programed to jump to its present
>location so that if you miss on the way out you can have another
>try on the way back in.   Ref my prior note for the jump missile.
>5)  One of the reasons I design fast ships to go in harms way,
>it that a fast ship can get you out of harms way.   Or in the 
>words of an unknown fighter pilot; 'Speed is Life'.
>6)  You got it!
>Bye for now,
>Please feel free to forward my rantings to the net,
>I really don't want to retype all this.

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