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Space warfare Scenerio: Jupiter system vs Ceres Belt


Rakaydos
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Mainly because the Space Warfare thread is running into context issues, I'm putting this thread together to give some of that context.

Premice: colonies on all major moons of the jupiter system and on the 5 largest asteroids of the belt. A new religion spawned in jupiter that wants to convert their neibors by the sword- or by the laser, as the case may be. Earth/luna is a metaphorical sleeping giant- they could totally kick everyon's asses, but they are more worried about local scandals unless someone attacks them, and mars is trying to broker peace and failing.

I'm also going to impose a "if anyone goes outright genocidal, Earth wakes up and beats everyone" limit.

Technically, lets limit this to Technological Readyness Level 4 or higher, so no Warp Drives or Canne Thrusters.

Edit:

The religious fundamentalists come from the main moons of jupiter. Lets call it some form of neo-Olympian worship of Jupiter, if it matters.

In addition to the main colonies on Ceres, Vesta and the others, there' also lots of mining ships throught the belt that are practically independant colonies, giving the Belters a very disperced infrastructure.

Jovians are good with short range space travel, such as within the jovian system, but the Belters live with the realities of microgravity every day.

Edit again: Refining the scenerio-

The Jovians decide to start by conquering their trojan asteroids. When they star building Laserstars (see other topic) people get nervous and buillding their own ships- when the laserstars are launched on a good Jupiter-SJL4 transfer, the L4 trojan miners request assistance from the belters.

How long will it take the jovian laser stars to reach L4, given reasonable TRL4 tech? With the same tech, what's the least time it would take any point in the belt to respond to help the trojans? What ships do you build to counter laserstars, with TLR4 tech?

Edited by Rakaydos
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Jupiter launch attacks on the asteroids, massive casualties, but don't finish off everybody before they can redirect several asteroids onto collision courses with the Jovian moons. Jovian moons devastated. Winner? Nobody. If you can field battleship-sized space warships, you can redirect battleship-sized asteroids onto a collision course with your enemies' homeworld. There's no benefit to space warfare for anybody unless it's very asymmetrical, think a rogue colony who can just have their life support cut.

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If they are fighting for religion, the Jovians just pushes some minor planets - maybe even some of Jupiter's own moons - onto orbits that intersect each of the Asteroids, and just pummels their homes into dust.

This, conversion religions pretty much always don't have care for apostates or pagans.

It also beggars the imagination that people capable of colonizing Jupiter could be be dumb enough to be that irrational.

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Sounds like we need to impose a "if anyone goes outright genocidal, Earth wakes up and beats everyone" limit.

How? The other worlds can merely "throw rocks."

It's always tricky to imagine constrained conflict, particularly when the parties don't have rational motivations (like any motivation based upon magic). The reality is that the kinds of colonies being suggested involve the ability to extract resources for various places, then build in-situ. Once a species can do that, it's a LONG time before they need to bump elbows at all. Space is big...

reminds me of a B. Kliban cartoon. Over a few frames, space billboards...

Space is big.

Space is dark.

It's hard to find,

a place to park.

Burma Shave

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Jupiter system is...well...a system. Planet, her moons and trojans stay together, no matter what. Distances to travel between main bodies are also relatively short. Asteroids in the Belt do not form any sort of stable cluster. They follow their individual orbits, drift apart with time and very rarely (if ever) come close enough together to cut travel time to reasonable values. Thus, if Jovians want to attack one of main Belt colonies, they would just need to wait until it is in conjunction with Jupiter and take it down with one concentrated attack - before its allies could come to the rescue.

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Jupiter system is...well...a system. Planet, her moons and trojans stay together, no matter what. Distances to travel between main bodies are also relatively short. Asteroids in the Belt do not form any sort of stable cluster. They follow their individual orbits, drift apart with time and very rarely (if ever) come close enough together to cut travel time to reasonable values. Thus, if Jovians want to attack one of main Belt colonies, they would just need to wait until it is in conjunction with Jupiter and take it down with one concentrated attack - before its allies could come to the rescue.

What would the belt's best responce be to prevent that sort of attack? disperced sensor network? Sleeper agents in Jovian traffic control?

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What kind of industrial capabilities are we looking at here?

Can I get away with saying "Mature and self sustaining"?

Lets say both nations have a discressionary income comparable to the Cold War Powers, with relatively near future (again, TRL 4 or higher) technoligy.

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The hyper-intelligent AI leading the Ceres Belt Defense Force runs through trillions of different scenarios - looking through every action/response/contingency physically possible to try and find the most effective method to achieve victory. After several seconds of computing every possible response, it concludes there's nothing the Ceres Belt colonies can do to triumph over the industrial super-giant that is the Jovian Empire.

Relaying this to the local politicians, a decision is made to concede defeat and be capitulated.

Ten years later, after getting its act together, Earth, Mars and Luna use their overwhelming influence to undo the capitulation and slaps some sense back into Jupiter. The end.

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The religious nuts need people alive to convert, so they have to send troops.

They arrange to send multiple ships for some good reason (best transfer period, works, and is unsuspicious), then all their trading ships head to the belt... as trojan horses, loaded with troops. No one expects troops, it's over pretty much immediately as they dock as usual, then take the places over at gunpoint.

Edited by tater
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Sounds like we need to impose a "if anyone goes outright genocidal, Earth wakes up and beats everyone" limit.

Send in the T.A.S. Crusader! :mad:

Ceres Republic wins, mostly due to home-court advantage. It's hard to launch an attack when any asteroid out there could turn out to be a camouflaged buzzbomb that blows up in your face. Also, Ceres forces have the entire asteroid belt to work with, whereas Jupiter and its moons are in one place and everybody knows where Jovian forces will be coming from.

But, the big plus for Ceres got injected into this when the original post mentioned religion. Religious zealots are very predictable. Their beliefs require that you be converted or eliminated, NOW. Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live, and all that. So much the better if there are communications available between the two warring sides; it's really easy to bait a zealot into doing something stupid.

So the Cerians know the Jovians are coming, they know where the attack is coming from, and they have a tailor-made ambush zone to strike from. GG, no re.

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Send in the T.A.S. Crusader! :mad:

Ceres Republic wins, mostly due to home-court advantage. It's hard to launch an attack when any asteroid out there could turn out to be a camouflaged buzzbomb that blows up in your face. Also, Ceres forces have the entire asteroid belt to work with, whereas Jupiter and its moons are in one place and everybody knows where Jovian forces will be coming from.

But, the big plus for Ceres got injected into this when the original post mentioned religion. Religious zealots are very predictable. Their beliefs require that you be converted or eliminated, NOW. Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live, and all that. So much the better if there are communications available between the two warring sides; it's really easy to bait a zealot into doing something stupid.

So the Cerians know the Jovians are coming, they know where the attack is coming from, and they have a tailor-made ambush zone to strike from. GG, no re.

Except Jupiter has many asteroid moons, and thousands of trojans. Not to mention that they could extract resources from jupiter itself... Eventually.

The asteroid belt is spread out, but there would only be a few main settlements.

Really, though, a war like this would be mutuall assured destruction, since both sides could send huge roids to the other. Although jupiter would have an advantage in that regard. Braking to get to the belt can be done by gravity assist from jupiter, meaning that jupiter would be able to accomplish a more destructive attack... But both sides are screwed...

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We still need to keep in mind that a 'little' widespread civilian is okay with religious nuts but conversion is harder when there is nobody to convert. killing 1/5 of the people you want to convert with an asteroid is too much.

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Send in the T.A.S. Crusader! :mad:

Ceres Republic wins, mostly due to home-court advantage. It's hard to launch an attack when any asteroid out there could turn out to be a camouflaged buzzbomb that blows up in your face. Also, Ceres forces have the entire asteroid belt to work with, whereas Jupiter and its moons are in one place and everybody knows where Jovian forces will be coming from.

But, the big plus for Ceres got injected into this when the original post mentioned religion. Religious zealots are very predictable. Their beliefs require that you be converted or eliminated, NOW. Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live, and all that. So much the better if there are communications available between the two warring sides; it's really easy to bait a zealot into doing something stupid.

So the Cerians know the Jovians are coming, they know where the attack is coming from, and they have a tailor-made ambush zone to strike from. GG, no re.

Are you still thinking about asteroid belt as a cloud, where you have dozens rocks in visual range at any time? It doesn't work that way - you have to really go out of your way to find an asteroid in a lot of void between Mars and Jupiter. For the same reason its easy to avoid them - and Jovians should be enough Genre Savvy to know every rock in their way could hide an ambush.

Another thing is the value of short supply lines. Jovians could move stuff between their main colonies in days. If Vesta would need a transport of machines or food from Ceres, they would have to wait months. Several of them, if Ceres happened to be on the other side of the Sun at that moment.

Althought...it would make for plenty of exciting fleet actions, blockade runnings, convoy battles and so on :D

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Except Jupiter has many asteroid moons, and thousands of trojans.

All of which are orbiting Jupiter. Which I covered already: Jupiter and all its orbiting whatchamacallits are in one spot. Any offensive from that one spot will be easy to detect because scouts only have to watch that one area.

The asteroid belt is spread out, but there would only be a few main settlements.

There's only a few main settlements on both sides. Leaving the bit about one side being "spread out".

Really, though, a war like this would be mutuall assured destruction, since both sides could send huge roids to the other.

Slow, easily spotted, and can be bounced off target with only a small change in delta-V--or simply rammed with another huge roid.

Are you still thinking about asteroid belt as a cloud, where you have dozens rocks in visual range at any time?

Nope. It's not. And it doesn't matter. The simple fear that every single wandering rock that "happens" to cross your path could be a trap, would severely hamper any attack. This pretty much trumps everything else. Battles and wars have been decided by shenanigans and cheap tricks many, many times. And this particular scenario gives the Ceres forces much more opportunity for shenanigans.

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If, by "SJL" you mean LaGrange points? Never seen "SJL" before.

If that's what you meant, I disagree. The L4 and L5 points themselves orbit Jupiter (an L4 or L5 orbit is also dynamically unstable)

In any case, this doesn't change the basic tactical equation: when you live in an asteroid belt you have lots of places to hide. Jupiter doesn't.

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If, by "SJL" you mean LaGrange points? Never seen "SJL" before.

If that's what you meant, I disagree. The L4 and L5 points themselves orbit Jupiter (an L4 or L5 orbit is also dynamically unstable)

In any case, this doesn't change the basic tactical equation: when you live in an asteroid belt you have lots of places to hide. Jupiter doesn't.

SJL=Sun Jupiter Lagrange

and the L4 and L5 dont orbit jupiter, they COorbit the sun 60 degrees ahead and behind. They are each as far from jupiter as jupiter is from the sun.

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The religious nuts need people alive to convert, so they have to send troops.

They arrange to send multiple ships for some good reason (best transfer period, works, and is unsuspicious), then all their trading ships head to the belt... as trojan horses, loaded with troops. No one expects troops, it's over pretty much immediately as they dock as usual, then take the places over at gunpoint.

There is a slight chance Ceres intelligence sees this coming. Here's my improvement: Jupiter sends the Spanish Inquisition.

Because nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

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If, by "SJL" you mean LaGrange points? Never seen "SJL" before.

If that's what you meant, I disagree. The L4 and L5 points themselves orbit Jupiter (an L4 or L5 orbit is also dynamically unstable)

In any case, this doesn't change the basic tactical equation: when you live in an asteroid belt you have lots of places to hide. Jupiter doesn't.

Jupiter has a dark side... And just as many places to hide. Like SJL-2, behind jupiter. Put a bunch of Trojans there, and then deploy them...

The asteroid belt has no where to hide. Neither does Jupiter, really. Jupiter has more resources and bigger planetoids. Ganymede beats Ceres in size, but idk about mass.

It's mutually assured destruction. Both sides would have huge asteroids to pummel the other. Hektor is a big Trojan, and it could probably destroy Ceres if deorbited correctly.

Besides, the war would be pointless. No real gain.

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