Discussion in 'News' started by lord farfhocel, Dec 2, 2018.
Models look nice, if he ever makes a third wave I might jump in.
Yeah it was either my boy Brandon or my lad Pakfront.
Once you're on a ship in the middle of the sea or ocean, you already cut off all your escape routes...
The damn boats are all traps :O
Think of it this way: all the others are trapped there with you.
Ok, so near page 50 (20% aprox of the book) and found a second typo (apparently, in Nostralia people run ammo, instead of running out of ammo XD), which is still too much typos (seriously, can't remember the last time I read something with typos, and I spend at least two hours reading, spent commuting to work).
Funny how Dart risks her life to recover some arrows, since she was running out, but fails to scavenge some enemy weapons/ammo or think about crafting some improvised arrows of her own...
And funny how, according to the author, a Tikbalang getting shot at during a patrol, then vaporizing the attackers, means PanO pushes even harder (leaves cancelled, patrols diverted, planes launched, satellites activated to look into that zone...), meaning the CA can win by exhausting PanO with a bunch of remotely controlled turrets to provoke those overreactions from the enemy...
On the other hand, the elevator makes Logistics much more easy: you no longer burn fuel to pick things from the surface, then reach orbit, but simply use electric engines to go up and down. And you can move "slowly" a damn lot of stuff, because you do so all the time. The real equivalent to an "orbital elevator" would be a train!!!
Also, I'm not so sure about that speed, you are assuming a constant speed, but the "carriage" would probably reach 1.5g of acceleration and go really fast until it starts getting inside the atmosphere... and that's for an "external" carriage, nothing prevents you to use a vacuum tube so to avoid friction... Then, as you say, it's all a matter of avoiding resonant failure, which good shock absorvers could manage.
Anyway, it's not that the beanstalk move a lot of people per trip, is that it's constantly moving people. Assume 30 soldiers (for example) with full kit, supplies, extra supplies, materials, food, etc... (you would have limited people per "carriage" because they have to sleep and need some entertainment, but can pack a lot of dead matter). They take 120 hours to go down... but after some time you can send another carriage, then another, another... let's be conservative and assume 240 carriages down, while another 240 go up. That's 30 minutes between carriages (fitted with parachutes & airbags so the people inside can survive a landing if the elevator breaks), so you have 7200 soldiers in the beanstalk at all times, with 7200 civilians going up on the other side.
So we are looking at really gargantuan numbers there. And yet, somehow, the CA has deployed MORE troops than the WHOLE human armies, using the "scraps" that went through THREE blockades (the jump point, the travel to the planet, and then the orbital one), and that is AFTER the more than 50% attrition rate the CA forces when going through the Wormhole.
Don't get me wrong, there is no hard numbers on how long has this been going, and it really do seem like the human forces were sleeping through most of the 1st and 2nd offensive, but it certainly makes it impossible to consider the CA as master strategists and tacticians, when the only thing we read in the pages devoted to 3rd offensive can be summed to: the CA had more troops, attacked everywhere with more troops, and won because the defenders were unable to stop the tsunami.
Also, I find strange NO ONE has mentioned how Varuna's national sport is the frigging BlitzBall from Final Fantasy X!!!
Finally, another piece of criticism: once we get pass the "this was going good, but then... but then... and then..." style, we reach the "information saturation", in which we get small tibdits of data, but only a few lines long, of a lot of places and names. Seriously, the Varuna chapter is surface-look from another star system to what the planet is and the situation it has, instead of naming a few relevant cities and describing some with detail.
Leaving that aside... it gets easier to read once you get pass the 3rd offensive chapter, because of the dissapearance of the buts and howevers (not a single "and yet" or "neither", its like being under a drop of water all the time...)
One thing about the infinity fluff writing style is I find it tough to read like a novel. I typically only read a few bits at a time instead for a couple hours like a would a novel. I would love to see more projects like outrage and even actual novels that focus on a group of characters or event.
I definitely enjoyed the part about Konstantinos and Dart fighting together and kicking ass. It makes want to put them both is some MO lists and try and tear up the midfield together. I also like how it gives us a clear reason why we are using the xenotecs in our game.
I'm not bothered at all by the tech bee or its artwork in the book. I know there are plenty of women who actually don't mind that kind of artwork. My GF is one of those women who do enjoy that stuff. Jade is her favorite Mortal Kombat character because and I quote "She's sexy AF and has a great pair of tits." She enjoys seeing artwork and characters like that male or female. If I showed her the tech bee she would like the art and be disappointed the profile isnt amazing lol. Her friends are similar so I'm used to being around women like that so I guess it's more normalized for me. Anecdotal for sure but I feel like she's not a tiny minority.
Thank you, Koni!
You're absolutely correct that the closest modern analogue to an orbital elevator is a long-distance passenger train (the 'sleeper' type) or a small cruise ship. Easily carrying 120 people per car, and 20+ cars per train, probably 1 train leaving every 15-20 minutes if you need the capacity. The Shinkansen trains in Japan ran every 10-15 minutes, but were short enough trips that they were more like airliners inside.
The speed is what the current orbital elevator techs are saying. 300kph is all you can get out of the system before you run the risk of the cables breaking, and those cables are held together with the strength of carbon-carbon bonds (dang near as strong as you can get). Whether in-atmosphere or not. One funny thing about the orbital elevator is that you don't run out of gravity until you're almost all the way to GEO station. You're over half a gee to about halfway there, then acceleration drops to 1/4gee at 3/4 distance, 1/8gee at 7/8 distance, etc in a smooth reduction. Then you go back up in gravity force as you run out to the far end of the tether, but the Earth is 'up' now. Counterweight station should be about 42,000km out from GEO station.
So two carriages per hour, 60 persons per hour (barelly over one bus), or 1440 per day in 48 carriages (regiment per day). Lets compare, Barajas did over 53 million passangers in 2017... say equal in-out, 26.5 millions per "direction", average of over 72000 per day. You need 50 of those elevator threads non stop at peak performance to match the airport averages.
From same place, Barajas did over 470000 tons of cargo, lets go with over 640 in and 640 out per day. The carriages must do over 13 each to match (20 feet container max is 24 tons). This one sounds reasonable, until you realize airport is not the big place to move cargo, only fast cargo. Maybe I can find the numbers for a big (but not the biggest) seaport.
@Section9 Did you say it takes a week to go from the bottom to the top of the orbital elevator? If so that is crazy. I've never really of thought of the orbital elevators except just a brief image in my head of glass tubes in the ground connect to a space station in orbit. I never really gave much thought to how long that distance actually is and how long of a trip that would be. That would be an absolutely terrifying ride back up. Especially if the combined army attacked and you're left wondering will you even make it to safety.
Barajas is a civilian Airport, and the main nexus in Spain (I live by its side, and use it 4-8 times a year), while the Beanstalk we talk about is "now" a military installation that goes down with soldiers and supplies, and goes up with wounded, recovered cubes, and refugees.The CA does not want to blow it up, so it's "safer" than using shuttles.
And finally, the cost per ton is virtually 0, since you can have solar arrays or nuclear reactors in the space side of a beanstalk, providing electricity to all carriages, while using shuttles (more akin to Barajas, as you say) burn fuel by the ton, because https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/113069main_shuttle_trivia.pdf states that the fuel consuption for liftoff is 11.000 pounds of fuel per second.
While I agree that is not the case in Infinity, it still makes the point of why bother with orbital elevators at all, giving how much effort and money they cost to assemble: they become dirty cheap methods of moving people and goods between planet and space very soon, and are made to last, with tons of redundancy (and should have some more considerations than "where can I build the shortest distance", like "what would become extinct if this thing topples").
So yeah, you are in a hurry, you pay lots of extra and get taken out of the planet. You need a sustained chain of supplies, you go to a beanstalk. And at 8 years, the Paradiso War is more of a Marathon than a sprint, plus all the time between a few months after the end of the 2nd offensive and the start of the 3rd offensive there was no hurry.
Welcome to the wonderful live of a refugee... I'd say it's not much different from those lines of people walking in a line by the side of a road trying to leave their country, because mad people with guns, never knowing when a car will show up with an HMG to start... sweeping.
In Eclipse Phase, during The Fall (think several Skynets revolt at once), the evacuation from Earth became so dire, the "rescue" teams (mercs, more likely, that would look at the Druze and smirk while calling them cute) shooted the refugees to carry their cubes (called cortical stacks in that game) so they could "rescue" all of them, and "provide protection" during the ride (the machines would not destroy the orbital elevator, but infiltrate it to claim more minds). 90% of humanity's population on Earth had their mind totally taken (no backups remaining) and the ones who were evacuated as computer chips were still being given a body (even if a virtual one, Cortana-Style) ten years later.
It might take less than a week with Neomaterials (TM)
Also I loved the bit about the Tikbalang dealing with the ambush. It really pushed how just how integrated and automated the PanO military is in very cool and clear example.
It'd be long (right at 120 Hours/5 days to the Geosynchronous Orbit Station, and about that much more to Counterweight Station at the far end of the tether), but you would have an incredible view available for most of it, especially that first day. Each train would be something like the old Orient Express, or the 20th Century Limited, with an observation car at the end. Or maybe a river cruise ship like what Viking runs up the Rhine and down the Danube. Generally pretty comfortable, but you're going to need to interact with your fellow passengers to alleviate your boredom. There are only a few times that you'd need to close the storm shutters as you go through the Van Allen belts. With careful timing, you could have that happen when most of the passengers are asleep, anyway.
I would assume that the Combined Army wants to keep the elevator intact. Saves them the trouble of building their own, after all. Not to mention that a tether collapse would be horrible to the planet. I'd rig scuttling charges to the tether at about the top of the atmosphere, so that if the tether broke it'd mostly fly away from the planet. You'd "only" have to deal with 200km or so of carbon falling in the direction of rotation (to the east on Earth), but that's still a massive disaster, especially when the elevators are in the center of a continent. It'd make a new Valles Marineris!
You're thinking small.
Each "elevator car" is much more like a train, so you can have multiple tracks going up, make a loop at GEO Station, and then go back down on a parallel track, plus looping at the surface to go back up. You can haul 10,000 tons of cargo per train (100 cars carrying 100 tons each) for freight, possibly as low as 20 people per car (since they need beds for a week, but that's still 2000 people per train!).
Kim Stanley Robinson's MARS trilogy (Red/Green/Blue Mars) had "terrorists" sabotage the Martian beanstalk - later on, Martians would refer to their planet as being "The only one that actually DID have a line going around its equator" - but yes, much environmental devastation as the "cable" came down.
I would have liked scenarios and rules in the book. Especially an updated version for SpecOps, as others have stated. I knew beforehand that I would not get that in all likelihood. I buy those books anyway because I am hooked on Infinity. I can't say I am disappointed because I didn't expect more than what I got.
I reckon you’re showing your age there, Chromedog; but I’ll follow your lead, see your Kim Stanley Robinson, and raise you Niven and Clarke.
Larry Niven's ‘Ringworld’ adventures takes place on an artificial structure that is literally the size of a solar orbit. Like the 'Mars' books, structural damage results in thousands of kilometers of engineering monofilament falling to the surface of the world and wreaking terrible damage.
Arthur C. Clarke’s book ‘Fountains of Paradise’ is a less fantastic story, and written by the man who published early papers on the viability of geo-stationary satellites, has plenty of detail and real science about the difficulties of an orbital elevator and how they might be overcome.
They’re both 70’s ‘hard’ science fiction, and full of the techno-idealism of the era, but if people are interested in the kind of large-scale engineering that's being discussed in this thread (wasn't it about the book, originally? ) I remember enjoying both of them, and in the case of Ringworld, at least a couple of times.
I was not doing a cost study, but a comparison of throughput against a know system. Is this a toy/demo or a workablel transport system to/from planet surface?
Now I am giving an opinion about cost: lot of money to handle small loads would be really stupid.
I was not thinking small, I was just putting his numbers against known things, and taking into account both directions (halved airport data). Your numbers sound a lot more useful. 30 to 2000, that is over 66 times. I said it would need 50 threads, so yours would match a big airport.
Alistair Reynold's book Chasm City has a pretty cool part where the protagonist has a stealth get away on a space elevator that then gets attacked. The cool part is all the actual physics he uses to describe what happens to the "cars" on the space elevator. The "car" is trying to race to the top of the elevator before the severed cable and the lower "car" catches up during the contraction of the cable.
Yeah, Read Niven in early high school. Got Ringworld for a 12th birthday present. Got "Engineers" a few years later.
Got to read a manuscript copy of Red Mars :D
So jelly! hahaha I was a MTG tournament in Houston and they had an anime convention below...OMG dah babes...I guess anime conventions...well, I can’t say much more other than I dropped out of the tournament and bought a ticket to a another convention. Hahaha