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Old 08-03-2020, 06:34 PM   #1
Say, it isn't that bad!
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Default In which I post about a TL9-10 solar system

The setting:
Year: Around 2200-ish? 2025 to 2200.
Tech Level: 9 9 to 10, no super-science, no FTL, *no AI/limited AI.
Switches: If a switch has a more realistic option, assume that is the one that is used unless otherwise notified here.
Setting summary: Humanity has colonized much of the solar system, and Space War I started over the issue of Belter independence when someone did something precipitous "because negotiations were going too slow."

Open for suggestions, discussions, and critique.

Major Factions:
  • Earth-Mars Alliance: more of an alliance of convenience than anything else. Essentially a democratic/capitalist expansion of the United Nations; each nation has a number of votes per population; internal national matters, beyond basic human rights, are governed by member states.
  • Belters: theoretically; in reality, the Outer Belters are likely to pull their own bid for independence just as soon as the Inner Belters win the war for them. A high Control Rating anarchic democracy, where each captain of a ship or commander of a station has near-unlimited power unless they are voted out of office - or out of an airlock! In the belter government itself, captains and station commanders have votes according to their monetary net worth.
  • Saturn (and later, Jovian) "Alliance": in reality, almost as likely to fight each other as anyone else. A loose confederacy of various and varied settlements and stations inhabiting the moons and asteroids of Saturn, Neptune, Uranus, and, later, Jupiter. Note: "Jovian" is more of an ambition than a fact; colonization of the Jupiter area is limited to Ganymede, Callisto, and a massive station further out.

Minor Factions:
  • Mercury Mining Consortium: would be a major faction, but as a loose alliance of mining corporations splitting a single close-orbit planet, they have a lower population than even the Outer Belters. Very heavy use of automation. High Control Rating, but even an ordinary worker has a considerable sallary.
  • Venusian Revitalization Project: basically several semi-automated space stations. Might become something in several hundred years; largely ignored for political reasons. Exports the various gases they are siphoning out of Venus' atmosphere, as well as artwork and science (paywalled "papers"; publicly-funded science, etc). Governed as a technocracy.
  • Jovian Landers: Theoretically, a city in a gas giant could be hung under a large enough balloon. Right now, they have a few floating towns, and a reputation for being more than a bit crazy. The Jovian Alliance claims political governorship regardless (inasmuch as the Jovian Alliance can agree on anything).
  • Outer Belters (provisional): Right now, they're 100% right behind the Inner Belters in their bid for independence. Afterwards? Well... . Government is per Belters, save that individual ships and stations are more varied.

Edit: Automation is a matter of daily life; for example, the closest anyone gets to "manually mining" is pulling **levers on their mining rig, or when you need a delicate touch that can't be provided by telepresence at TL9, or across light-lag distances, or when any lag is bad.

* I have assumed some levelling off of computational power, as per the "soft wall" theory; that is, additional progress can and is being made, but at a much lower rate, and with much more difficulty. The moon has not been turned into a giant supercomputer due to heat limitations; replication errors; rational and irrational fear of replicating robots; lack of ready lunar material; and other concerns.
** Some people question "why something as primitive as levers?" "Levers are very fail-safe." is typically the answer.

Last edited by Say, it isn't that bad!; 08-10-2020 at 10:07 PM.
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Old 08-03-2020, 07:10 PM   #2
Say, it isn't that bad!
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Default Re: In which I post about a TL9 solar system

Edit: This spaceship may be upgraded to TL10; I will be looking into carriers for TL9.
Edit2: Current indications are that it is a capable, if expensive to refuel, fast battleship for Earth-Mars Alliance defence purposes. I've swapped the habitat and fusion reactor to place the habitat into a [core] section; this gives it PF 1,800 (18 vs cosmic rays). Also, I had incorrectly given the fuel for the "Advanced Fusion Pulse Drive" as "Hydrogen", rather than "Nuclear Pellets". In addition, an "External Pulsed Plasma" drive gets 4mps per fuel tank at TL9 (I had listed 2mps). The "move" column, second row, for the Starship Table listed 20mps instead of the correct 40mps.

Setting assumptions:
  • Fast-pass interceptions:
    • are considered suicidal if performed on other warships (the velocity your missiles have towards them, is the velocity their missiles have towards you).
    • are considered Weapons of Mass Destruction if used against stations or planetary surfaces.
    • are considered terrorist attacks if used against civilian-populated stations or areas.
    • no-one wants to be the first to pull that genie out of the bottle.
  • Nuclear weapons:
    • are considered MAD; use of nuclear weapons encourages use of nuclear weapons.
    • are considered Weapons of Mass Destruction if used against stations or planetary surfaces.
    • are considered terrorist attacks if used against civilian-populated stations or areas.
    • no-one wants to be the first to pull that genie out of the bottle.
  • AI-controlled warships are roughly-equivalent to human-controlled warships; a little more performance, for more cost.

TL 9, Warship (battleship), SM+11 unstreamlined hull, 150 yards.

Code:
Spacecraft Table
TL  Spacecraft              dST/HP  Hnd/SR  HT  Move    Lwt.    Load    SM  Occ   dDR           Range   Cost
Pacific Battleship          200/200 -2/5    13  2G/4mps 30,000t 9t      +11       100/100/50    --      $2,580M
                                                0.005G/40 mps
Code:
Front Hull      System ($1,020)
[1]             Advanced Metallic Laminate Armour (dDR 50, hardened) ($120M)
[2]             Advanced Metallic Laminate Armour (dDR 50, hardened) ($120M)
[3]             Major battery (1 turret, 10GJ laser) ($150M)
[4]             Tertiary battery (30 turrets, 4cm very rapid-fire gun, 4,000 shots) ($150)
[5]             Tertiary battery (30 turrets, 32cm missile launcher, 20 missiles) ($150)
[6]             Fusion reactor (provides 2 power points) ($300M)
[core]          Habitat (179 cabins, 1 briefing room (1), 1 ops center (10), 1 clinic sickbay (10), 3 workspaces) ($30M)
Code:
Central Hull    System ($670)
[1]             Advanced Metallic Laminate Armour (dDR 50, hardened) ($120M)
[2]             Advanced Metallic Laminate Armour (dDR 50, hardened) ($120M)
[3]             Tertiary battery (30 turrets, 32cm missile launcher, 20 missiles) ($150)
[4]             Tertiary battery (30 turrets, 4cm very rapid-fire gun, 4,000 shots) ($150)
[5]             Fuel tank (1,500 tons of nuclear bombs, 4 mps) ($10M) ($375M to refuel)
[6]             Tactical Comm/Sensor Array (3 workspaces, comm/sensory Level 11) ($60M)
[core]          Control Room (15 control stations, 3 workspaces, Complexity 7 computer network, comm/sensory Level 9 (backup)) ($60M)
Code:
Rear Hull       System ($890)
[1]             Advanced Metallic Laminate Armour (dDR 50, hardened) ($120M)
[2]             Tertiary battery (30 turrets, 4cm very rapid-fire gun, 4,000 shots) ($150)
[3]             Fuel tank (1,500 tons of nuclear pellets, 20 mps) ($10M) ($75M to refuel)
[4]             Fuel tank (1,500 tons of nuclear pellets, 20 mps) ($10M) ($75M to refuel)
[5]             External Pulsed Plasma (2G acceleration) ($300M)
[6]             Advanced Fusion Pulse Drive (0.005G acceleration) ($300M)
The Pacific battleship was rushed through design and production near the start of Solar War I, to provide a heavy warship capable of protecting both Earth, Mars, and "their dependent satellites".

Opponents of the Pacific design noted potential flaws, including:
  • It could only survive a few hits from its own major battery to its front or central section.
  • It could only survive a few hits from its own missile turrets (although its point-defence was considered sufficient to the task).
  • It had a very limited combat engagement endurance.

After-action reports resulted in the confirmation of the following benefits:
  • Its point-defence was sufficient against most missile fire.
  • Its major turret gave it a substantial punch which could not be stopped by point-defence.

After-action reports resulted in the identification of additional flaws, including:
  • Its fusion reactor seemed to exist for the sole purpose of powering its major battery.
    • Said fusion reactor provided twice as much power as needed, and should have been de-rated or switched for a fission reactor.
  • Very vulnerable to energy weapons fire to the rear.

As such, refinements and new designs were being considered at the same time as the first Pacific battleships were constructed.

Last edited by Say, it isn't that bad!; 08-04-2020 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 08-03-2020, 07:41 PM   #3
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: In which I post about a TL9 solar system

TL9 is really slow advancement by 2200, as we are on the cusp of early TL9 in several technological fields. At TL9, AI warships are either stupid or inflexible, and are barely capable of following orders, much less acting independently. For example, a SM+12 control is Complexity 8, which is enough for an IQ 10 Volitional AI. If your are spending $2-$4 billion on a warship, you do not give it to something that is no smarter than the average human, not unless you really want to lose every conflict.
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Old 08-03-2020, 07:46 PM   #4
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: In which I post about a TL9 solar system

At TL9, fighter carriers actually make sense, as the carrier possesses high delta-v while the fighters possess high thrust (AKVs are too dumb at TL9, so human fighters actually still make sense). A Jovian Alliance would not make sense at TL9 without superscience, the radiation from Jupiter is just too intense (a Saturn Alliance, with control over the highly valuable nitrogen reserves of Titan, would make much more sense). Venus is impossible to settle, much less terraform, at TL9.
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Old 08-03-2020, 08:30 PM   #5
Say, it isn't that bad!
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Default Re: In which I post about a TL9 solar system

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
TL9 is really slow advancement by 2200, as we are on the cusp of early TL9 in several technological fields. At TL9, AI warships are either stupid or inflexible, and are barely capable of following orders, much less acting independently. For example, a SM+12 control is Complexity 8, which is enough for an IQ 10 Volitional AI. If your are spending $2-$4 billion on a warship, you do not give it to something that is no smarter than the average human, not unless you really want to lose every conflict.
We are already designing automated drones that can carry out missions with minimal human oversight, with a goal of no human oversight, including automatic threat identification, automatic detection of attackers, and automatic retaliation.

There is a tendency to assign human-level thought as a requirement to any task that an AI cannot currently do; and to treat as "Not AI" any task which a computer can accomplish.

That being said, a drone is not the same thing as a warship, and I have already instituted "soft wall" computer development.

Overall, I find myself partial to agreeing with your critique here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
At TL9, fighter carriers actually make sense, as the carrier possesses high delta-v while the fighters possess high thrust (AKVs are too dumb at TL9, so human fighters actually still make sense). A Jovian Alliance would not make sense at TL9 without superscience, the radiation from Jupiter is just too intense (a Saturn Alliance, with control over the highly valuable nitrogen reserves of Titan, would make much more sense). Venus is impossible to settle, much less terraform, at TL9.
I have been somewhat considering whether the Earth-Mars Alliance, whose major advantage can be summed up as "We have reserves!", would be the one to introduce carriers.

I was aware the radiation from Jupiter was intense, but not aware that it was intense to the point of forbidding colonization of its moons! That is very intense. Jovian Alliance now Saturn Alliance - which gives Neptune and Uranus their own reasons to bid for independence.

The Venusian Revitalization Project basically amounts to well-wishes, future plans, scientific studies, and siphoning off traces of greenhouse gases from the very upper layer of atmosphere. Art sales include gemstones coloured by inclusions of compressed atmospheric materials.

Alright, so I agree with most of your suggestions. Initial timeline soon.
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Old 08-03-2020, 08:41 PM   #6
Say, it isn't that bad!
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Default Re: In which I post about a TL9 solar system

My current initial thoughts on a timeline are:

TL9:
1) Mars and moon colonized.
2) Asteroid mining.
3) Inner belt and moons of Saturn get stations and settlements.
4) Settlements spread to outer belt, Neptune, and Uranus.
4a) Some lunatics build a few towns floating beneath giant balloons in Saturn.
5) Solar War 1: Bid for Independence: Carriers the Day.
6) Further development of solar system.
TL10
7) Moons of Jupiter colonized.
8) Further development of the solar system.
9a) The Outer Belters declare independence from the Inner Belters.
9b) Neptune and Uranus jointly declare independence from Saturn.
9c) Jupiter declares loyalty to Saturnian government; however, this amounts to not much more than paper support.
9d) The "Mercury Mining Consortium" changes its name to the "Mercury Cooperative Confederacy".
9e) The Earth-Mars Alliance wakes up, realizes they lack modern warships, and promptly start fixing that - fast.
10) Solar War II: Bid for Independence: Battleships Strike Back.
X) The Nope Out Of The Solar System project heads out of the solar system.
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Old 08-03-2020, 08:49 PM   #7
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: In which I post about a TL9 solar system

Phobos and Deimos would natural candidates for initial Martian colonization. They may be 50% ice, which provides reaction mass, and they are much easier to travel to and from than the Martian surface.
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Old 08-03-2020, 08:57 PM   #8
Fred Brackin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: In which I post about a TL9 solar system

Quote:
Originally Posted by Say, it isn't that bad! View Post
The setting:
Year: Around 2200-ish?
Tech Level: 9, no super-science, no FTL, *no AI/limited AI.
.
You have apparently gone for a cinematic ignoring of radiation hazards. If you don't ignore long-term radiation for spacers outside a magnetosphere you're lucky to get from Earth to Mars and back without everyone getting crippling radiation sickness.

I don't actually see much reason you shouldn't go to TL10. It would mitigate but not remove the radiation issue and gnerally make the amount of human activity you have all pover the soalr system more credible. If you don't want laser pistols nerf power cells.
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Old 08-03-2020, 09:06 PM   #9
Say, it isn't that bad!
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Default Re: In which I post about a TL9 solar system

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
Phobos and Deimos would natural candidates for initial Martian colonization. They may be 50% ice, which provides reaction mass, and they are much easier to travel to and from than the Martian surface.
That is a very good point. They would also then provide fuel for further colonization of the solar system.
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Old 08-03-2020, 09:10 PM   #10
Say, it isn't that bad!
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Default Re: In which I post about a TL9 solar system

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
You have apparently gone for a cinematic ignoring of radiation hazards. If you don't ignore long-term radiation for spacers outside a magnetosphere you're lucky to get from Earth to Mars and back without everyone getting crippling radiation sickness.

I don't actually see much reason you shouldn't go to TL10. It would mitigate but not remove the radiation issue and gnerally make the amount of human activity you have all pover the soalr system more credible. If you don't want laser pistols nerf power cells.
...The spaceship I designed (which might be upgraded to TL10 anyway) has a minimum of 50 dDR, so radiation should not be too much of a hazard?

I mean, we've got a tiny space station up there with metal walls that basically make it a tin can in comparison, and people seem fine for months at a time?

Also, the US has been planning a manned mission to Mars for some years, and nobody at NASA seems panicked over everybody they send, dying from it.
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