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Tracking Through Hyperspace
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 6:33 pm    Post subject: Tracking Through Hyperspace Reply with quote

What's the Word on tracking through hyperspace?

Is it possible?

Is there a WEG ruling on this?

Is it possible in the SW universe?





The Rogue One discussion touched on this. How does Vader track the Tantive IV to Tatooine?

Once you make the jump to hyperspace, isn't that supposed to mean you're "safe". No tracking possible?

Unless you've got a hyperspace tracker on your vessel, like the one the Imperials put on the Falcon when it left the Death Star for Yavin. Also like the one Obi-wan threw to the hull of the Slave I in Attack of the Clones.

But, then again...how does Boba Fett track the Falcon to Bespin?
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Sutehp
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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In TESB, just after the Millennium Falcon manages to play "peekaboo" with the ISD Avenger, and incidentally after Captain Needa's...apology to Vader, Vader then orders the Death Squadron fleet to "calculate every possible destination along the [Falcon's] last known trajectory." So, while without a SS-Thread Tracker or similar device, you can't track a ship through hyperspace, but if you see which vector it's going as it enters hyperspace, then it may be possible to follow it, assuming the target doesn't change course while in hyperspace (which didn't seem possible before we actually saw Cassian and K2 actually do it in Rogue One when Cassian orders K2 to change course for Eadu).

Remember, none of the Death Squadron actually saw the Falcon enter hyperspace (because it hadn't) and were only going by the "last known trajectory." In contrast, the Tantive IV jumped while in full view of the Devastator, so it must have been relatively easy to calculate the Tantive IV's destination, which, as we all know, turned out to be Tatooine.

This brings up the question of why the Devastator didn't just shoot the Tantive IV down as it broke away from the Profundity, but that can be explained by the notion that the Profundity's bulk blocked the Devastator from having a clear shot, not to mention that the time between the Tantive IV leaving the Profunidty's docking bay and the Tantive IV jumping was less than a minute, so the Devastator might not have had time to shoot, especially if the Devastator's gunners had no reason to expect a smaller ship breaking away from the Profundity. And there's also the possibility that the Devastator wasn't going to fire on the Tantive IV without orders if there was even a remote possibility that Vader could have gotten onboard, which he very nearly did.
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sutehp wrote:
...assuming the target doesn't change course while in hyperspace (which didn't seem possible before we actually saw Cassian and K2 actually do it in Rogue One when Cassian orders K2 to change course for Eadu)....


We didn't actually see that. We saw Cassian order it, and it's possible that K2 brought the ship out of light speed, recalculated coordinates for the new destination, and re-entered hyperspace--all off screen.



I can buy the idea that, if a ship has a sensor lock on a target, and the target makes a jump to hyperspace, that trajectory, possible hyperspace routes, time it took to calculate coordinates, and other factors can be weighed for an educated guess without the route ever being certain.





The Tantive IV was already heading to Tatooine to contact Obi-wan. It must have been caught off-guard when the call came in to support the effort at Scarif.
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Sutehp
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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
Sutehp wrote:
...assuming the target doesn't change course while in hyperspace (which didn't seem possible before we actually saw Cassian and K2 actually do it in Rogue One when Cassian orders K2 to change course for Eadu)....


We didn't actually see that. We saw Cassian order it, and it's possible that K2 brought the ship out of light speed, recalculated coordinates for the new destination, and re-entered hyperspace--all off screen.


Certainly possible.

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
I can buy the idea that, if a ship has a sensor lock on a target, and the target makes a jump to hyperspace, that trajectory, possible hyperspace routes, time it took to calculate coordinates, and other factors can be weighed for an educated guess without the route ever being certain.


As we saw Vader order his fleet in TESB. Yeah, it's not as reliable as a tracking device, but it can still work if you're lucky.

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
The Tantive IV was already heading to Tatooine to contact Obi-wan. It must have been caught off-guard when the call came in to support the effort at Scarif.


The novelization has the Tantive IV being repaired while inside the Profundity's docking bay. I don't know the exact circumstances about how it got damaged in the first place, but Captain Antilles and his crew are scrambling to finish the repairs before the Profundity arrives at Scarif. According to the novelization, they just barely manage to get her spaceworthy just as the Profundity arrives at Scarif.

But the Tantive IV wasn't "heading to Tatooine" when Base One at Yavin began scrambling the fleet because we saw it in the Profundity's docking bay. Furthermore, in the movie we actually see Bail Organa talk to Captain Antilles as he leaves Mon Mothma's side.

Rogue One wrote:
Bail Organa: Captain Antilles?
Captain Antilles: Yes, Senator?
Bail Organa: I have a mission for you, sir.


If by "heading to Tatooine", you mean that it was going to go there after arriving at Scarif inside the Profundity's docking bay, then yes. If you mean that it was going to go directly to Tatooine from Yavin, then no. I don't see the Tantive IV being "caught off-guard" at all. If the Tantive IV was still not spaceworthy when the scramble call at Yavin came in, then the only way to get the Tantive IV to Scarif while continuing the repairs would have been in the Profundity's docking bay. Which is exactly what happened.
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sutehp wrote:
Rogue One wrote:
Bail Organa: Captain Antilles?
Captain Antilles: Yes, Senator?
Bail Organa: I have a mission for you, sir.


If by "heading to Tatooine", you mean that it was going to go there after arriving at Scarif inside the Profundity's docking bay, then yes. If you mean that it was going to go directly to Tatooine from Yavin, then no. I don't see the Tantive IV being "caught off-guard" at all. If the Tantive IV was still not spaceworthy when the scramble call at Yavin came in, then the only way to get the Tantive IV to Scarif while continuing the repairs would have been in the Profundity's docking bay. Which is exactly what happened.


Bail sent Antilles to Alderaan to fetch Leia.

That accomplished, Leia set off for Tatooine to contact Bail's "Jedi friend", which we know is Kenobi.

Somewhere along the line, Leia's ship got into Profundity's docking back and got side-tracked to Scarif before reaching Tatooine.

That's what I saw.

Something must have happened between picking up Leia, before jumping to Tatooine, that Leia vessel had to dock with Profundity for repairs.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:

We didn't actually see that. We saw Cassian order it, and it's possible that K2 brought the ship out of light speed, recalculated coordinates for the new destination, and re-entered hyperspace--all off screen.


Very true. The only real change we saw in R1 that was different from anything established earlier (in relation to hyperspace) was a ship being allowed to Enter it while still in a planet's grav sphere.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The EU technobabble solution is in two parts. First, Hyperwave Signal Interceptors are a common ship's sensor that detects when a ship enters or leaves hyperspace, and can also detect its trajectory at that moment. The Improved HSI is mounted on Imperial capital ships and is even more sensitive.

The second is mentioned in book 2 of the Black Fleet Crisis: Shield of Lies. A ship is following another through hyperspace when its sensor tech informs the ship's captain that "the target's soliton wave has vanished" whereupon the captain immediately orders the ship to drop out of hyperspace, which it does, right on top of the target. The idea is that a ship traveling through hyperspace creates disturbances in the fabric of hyperspace itself (assuming solitons are the SWU equivalent of real-world tachyons), which settle over time, but can be detected by a following ship.

While WEG has no rules for this, the scenario is pretty clear. A ship equipped with a HSI or an I-HSI is within sensor range of another ship when it jumps to hyperspace. Roll Sensors against # Difficulty to see if it got a good read on the ship's trajectory. Then, shortly thereafter, the first ship jumps into hyperspace after its target. Onboard sensors track the soliton wave, and as soon as it vanishes, the crew of the pursuer knows their target has dropped into realspace.

That's what the Devastator did; close enough to get a trajectory for the Tantive from their HSI, then immediately jumped out to follow.
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MrNexx
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, assuming we have a HSI (or are assuming such things are relatively available), how would we game this?

My inclination would be to use the Search function of Sensors to get information on the arc the ship was in previously, and set it about Very Difficult to get enough information to for your Astrogator to figure out what's going on.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrNexx wrote:
So, assuming we have a HSI (or are assuming such things are relatively available), how would we game this?

In the Star Wars Sourcebook, HSIs are listed under common sensor types, so its a reasonable assumption that most ships will have them.

Quote:
My inclination would be to use the Search function of Sensors to get information on the arc the ship was in previously, and set it about Very Difficult to get enough information to for your Astrogator to figure out what's going on.

I would argue that pretty much any Sensor setting would be able to get a trajectory read, but that some modes will be better at it than others. Each of the four sensor modes has its own dice value, range and difficulty level, so instead of a flat Difficulty, I suggest a modifier to the base Sensor Difficulty.

Also, Sensors have different Difficulties for Detect and Identify, so I would just use the same modifier, with Detect reading a jump in or out of hyperspace, and Identify getting an accurate enough read of its jump trajectory for Astrogation to be able to plot a pursuit course.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrNexx wrote:
So, assuming we have a HSI (or are assuming such things are relatively available), how would we game this?

My inclination would be to use the Search function of Sensors to get information on the arc the ship was in previously, and set it about Very Difficult to get enough information to for your Astrogator to figure out what's going on.


You could also make it based on the astrog diff/roll the target ship needed to get into hyperspace. The easier job THEY have of entering, the HARDER it is to detect their 'wave'. Where as the harder time a ship has to go into hyperspace (higher diff # for astrogation), the more of a wake/wave they make, thus the easier it is to detect..
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as I am aware, the Difficulty to jump into hyperspace is entirely based on how well known the route is. Local conditions (gravity wells and such) may affect that Difficulty, but are not the starting point of the Difficulty.

That being said, your point has merit in that or more complex route (multiple trajectory changes and such) or more obscure one will be harder to predict.

Heck, I could even see characters deliberately inserting a few doglegs into their route coordinates, deliberately accepting the high Difficulty to help throw off pursuit.

"I know a few maneuvers..."
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

True, but one can also see the more well travelled the route, the LESS of a 'wake' is made when someone uses it, where as the less traveled the route the bigger wake is made when its used.. Sort of like when a car speeds down a WELL used dirt strip, less sand and debris is thrown up, but if that is not a normal path, a LOT more debris flows up behind the car..
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, that doesn't really make sense to me. IMO, a better analogy for ships traveling in hyperspace would be a boat leaving a wake, or an airplane leaving behind a trail of disturbed air.
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Zarn
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A soliton IS actually the "wake" of something. Without getting into math that I'm not sure I understand any more if indeed I ever did (and beyond the basic classes of solitons, I'm sure I don't), one might equate it to a spray of discrete 'wavepackets' that can interact with each other and escape from the interaction unchanged. So if hyperspace is, say, an immense bowl of marbles, then shoving a starship into that will displace the marbles in a particular fashion - and that movement can be tracked.
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just like the 'wake' we see behind starships traveling in "Warp" in Trek...
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