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On Riders: Advantages, uses, origin



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>From: Onno Meyer <Onno.Meyer@arbi.informatik.uni-oldenburg.de>
>Subject: cherryhlist
>Date: Mon, 24 May 1993 07:54:55 +0200 (MET DST)
> (...)
> 	I can see a wonderful fleet maneuver when the are zooming across
> the system, dump down to nil, make a right angled turn, and boost back
> up again.  Kind of thing Union would never expect...
If this is correct, why are there riderships at all? I allways assumed riders would have advantages in realspace combat because they saved the mass of the FTL-drive. We know there are small combat jumpships (dartships?). These craft should be capable of all ridership maneuvers, and with the possibilities of "boosting up" and independent missions they would be much more powerfull.
Do I miss some advantage of the ridrships?

One more ridership question: Why are there so many of them? in _HB_, someone said "96% retrievability" (sp?). If the Fleet did any missions at all, they should have lost some of the riders, and riderships should be impossible to replace once the regular supply was cut of.
Onno


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>Date: Mon, 24 May 93 11:52:59 +0200
>From: mst@vexpert.dbai.tuwien.ac.at (Markus Stumptner)
>Subject: Cherryhlist
>If this is correct, why are there riderships at all? I allways 
>assumed riders would have advantages in realspace combat because
>they saved the mass of the FTL-drive. (...)
>Do I miss some advantage of the ridrships?
Even if both types of ships use the same type of drive, this does not mean that all drives are powerful enough for FTL capability. The dfrives in the riders could still be much smaller and more efficient at sublight speeds if they are designed not to got to FTL. Given that we know next to nothing about how the FTL drives are supposed to work, this is as valid a reason as any. Do riders have vanes, btw?

Finally, since riders do not have to consider long-term crew accommodation, they could still be built lighter and smaller even if their armament is equivalent to a carrier's (e.g., no permanent crew quarters, no rotating crew cylinder).

A related argument is price. If the riders have the same capabilities, but cost a lot less (due to the savings above), then you may get five ships (all indirectly FTL-capable because of the carrier) for the price of one.

(...)
>One more ridership question: Why are there so many of them?
>in _HB_, someone said "96% retrievability"
They could conceivably have improved on that. (Of course, it could be a continuity slip, pure and simple.)
>If the Fleet
>did any missions at all, they should have lost some of the
>riders, and riderships should be impossible to replace once
>the regular supply was cut off.
I agree it's fairly improbable. If you want a possible reason, here's my hypothesis.

Every time a carrier is destroyed, there would be four riders looking for a carrier to attach to. A possible counterargument to this would be that the riders would defend a carrier at all costs, to the point of being destroyed before it, so this would not happen very often, but the same effect would be achieved if the Fleet ever decommissioned a carrier to use it for replacement parts (AFAIK, a very common practice in comparable situations). However, since I would assume that a carrier would not usually run and leave its riders behind, loss of the riders may imply loss of the carrier if it's to late to run.

Thus, the fewer carriers the fleet has, the more probable is it that a carrier loss without rider loss will make it possible to fill the gaps in the complement of the remaining carriers.
	Markus


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>From: Jo Jaquinta <jaymin@maths.tcd.ie>
>Subject: Re: C. J. Cherryh List
>Date: Mon, 24 May 93 14:02:00 BST
(...)
> If this is correct [boosting up], why are there riderships at all?
> Do I miss some advantage of the ridrships?
Cherryh says, "[A carrier] may shed its riders, which will travel at that speed, although they are not capable of FTL: they are small ships with a crew of about fifteen, each one equipped and instrumented to handle the enormous velocities of a carrier, up to the lightbarrier. They are very sophisticated in electronics and armaments and any one of them is every bit as much to be dreaded in attack as the carrier itself: they are _fast_ and their firepower, while less than a carrier's, is sufficient to destroy a carrier's maneuvering capacity, or to wipe out a starstation or reduce a planet to the stone age. Riders spread out from a carrier, and often operate at different speeds so that their capacity to turn is different. This confuses the enemy's longscan, (more about this later). When the carrier is ready to leave the system, it summons its riders which limpet themselves to the hull."
Basically if the dump-turn-boost maneuver is possible for a carrier it would have to be a special maneuver, when the enemy is completely off guard. Whereas riders do it all the time. I also get the impression that dipping in and out of jump-space is very noticable.
> One more ridership question: Why are there so many of them?
> in _HB_, someone said "96% retrievability" (sp?).
Well _HB_ was an earlier stage. Maybe necessity improved their performance. Cherryh again:
"and no carrier wants to leave its riders behind if it can help. Outside of losing fifteen highly trained crewmen per ship, riders are expensive, and if the situation is bad enough that the carriers are running, the riders are likely to be overwhelmed too.
Union, however, has lost quite a few riders, while Mazian's fleet, much more reluctant to leave riders, has kept most of its own, as witness the fact that most Company Fleet ships have their original riders: i.e., those riders that were lost were destroyed with their carriers, not left behind.
In riderships particularly, Union suffers from less skilled personnel than the Company Fleet has."
So basically, the Fleet is ultra-conservative with respect to looking after it's riders.
				Jo


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>Subject: cherryhlist
>Date: Wed, 26 May 1993 11:36:04 +0100
>From: Matthew Jude Brown <mjb@doc.ic.ac.uk>
> From: mst@vexpert.dbai.tuwien.ac.at (Markus Stumptner)

> Every time a carrier is destroyed, there would be four riders
> looking for a carrier to attach to.  A possible counterargument to
> this would be that the riders would defend a carrier at all costs,
> to the point of being destroyed before it, so this would not happen 
> very often, but the same effect would be achieved if the Fleet ever 
> decommissioned a carrier to use it for replacement parts (AFAIK, a
> very common practice in comparable situations).
Remember that according to _Downbelow Station_, `Norway' was built out of parts from several (presumably badly damaged) carriers. Many of the stations had quite substantial shipyards, although raw materials were almost certainly much more expensive, and the overall level of technology maybe not so high. The carriers, though, according to _Hellburner_, were designed, not at Sol, but by the fleet and the shipyards it controlled. This makes it quite likely that the shipyards at Mariner etc. could repair carriers, at least in the early years of the war.

The riders, OTOH, were of Sol design and possibly were somewhat beyond the ability of the stations to construct. However, in the early years of the war, it would not be surprising if a good quantity of spares found their way out to the stations; the Fleet never did trust its backers on Earth.

-Morven

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>From: Onno Meyer <Onno.Meyer@arbi.informatik.uni-oldenburg.de>
>Subject: cherryhlist
>Date: Fri, 28 May 1993 17:18:52 +0200 (MET DST)
(...)
> Every time a carrier is destroyed, there would be four riders
> looking for a carrier to attach to.  (...)
> Thus, the fewer carriers the fleet has, the more probable is it that
> a carrier loss without rider loss will make it possible to fill the
> gaps in the complement of the remaining carriers.
This assumes that a carrier with free docking ports is available. According to _DS_, the events in _DS_ described the first coordinated actions of the entire remaining fleet. If a single carrier is lost, it's riders would die, too. If riderships are lost, the carriers might survive.
> (...)
> 	Basically if the dump-turn-boost maneuver is possible for
> a carrier it would have to be a special maneuver, when the enemy is
> completely off guard. Whereas riders do it all the time.
> I also get the impression that dipping in and out of jump-space is 
> very noticable.
I'm not sure we're talking about the same things here :-) When I say "dump-turn-boost", I think of a speed dump by partially entering the interface(?), a turn with realspace engines, and a boost with the FTL-engines.
A ship capable of doing this needs FTL-engines. If a ridership (without a FTL-engine) dumps speed or boosts up it has to do it with realspace engines, using reaction mass and subjecting the crew to acceleration.

A carrier may "shed its riders, which will travel at that speed". I read from this that a ridership is not capable of the major speed/vector changes done with the FTL-engines. Of course, this interpretation is not supported by the remainder of the text (the notes about rider movement).

One more point, how old is this text? The information on rider crew numbers contradicts the information in _HB_, and I think _HB_ is one if the newer books.
            Onno


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>From: Onno Meyer <Onno.Meyer@arbi.informatik.uni-oldenburg.de>
>Subject: cherryhlist
>Date: Tue, 1 Jun 1993 09:29:33 +0200 (MET DST)
(...)

Next question: Have the riders been the same over the entire war? This could explain some inconsistencies about the ridership capabilities. In today's Navy, carriers have an much longer lifespan than fighters. In _HB_, they discussed an larger computer system, even if this meant one less crewstation. This indicates no cargo space. In _RR_, riderships carried 30+ troops, in _HB_ the total crew was 30.
	Onno


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>From: Jo Jaquinta <jaymin@maths.tcd.ie>
>Subject: Re: CherryhList -- Literary Exigiesis
>Date: Tue, 1 Jun 93 9:39:39 BST
From: Onno Meyer
> One more point, how old is this text? The information on rider crew
> numbers contradicts the information in _HB_, and I think _HB_ is one
> of the newer books.
The Company War is 1983, I think. Contemporary with _DS_ winning the Nebula (or was it Hugo?). The information is not necessarily contradictory. There is a lot of time between the two texts. The riders are just in a prototype stage then. Also most information in Cherryh books is not from the Author-as-god viewpoint but rather from what the character sees/beleives. Different cultural perspectives give different views. This isn't necessarily applicable when considering such cut and dried things like # of crew.
			Jo
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