So few jump points between Earth and Kilrah

Iceblade

Admiral
Hmmm... I just noticed that there seems to be very very very few jump points that separate Kilrah and Earth, which begs the question:

How does Confed not have Proxima packed with defensive installations that would be setting off lots and lots of alarm bells when the Nephilim appear, especially considering the bugs known entry point is just two jumps away.

By the way, are there any references to the super short three jumps from Earth to Kilrah (Sol -> Proxima -> Munro -> Kilrah)?
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Well, Fleet Action begins with a battle in the Munro System, and the routes between Kilrah and Sol are discussed extensively in the book. The book specifically states that the shortest route from the frontier (not from Kilrah!) to Earth is ten jumps, via Sirius.

The Sol-Proxima-Munro-Kilrah link is actually just fan fiction. It's a bit strange to refer to LOAF's extremely well-researched map as fan fiction, but at the end of the day - it is not an official map, so any time it tries to add things based on speculation, it becomes fan fiction. In this case, I would argue that there is no justification to claim there is a direct link from Munro to Kilrah, unless I missed something. The book says Munro is "a direct doorway into a number of the shortest jump points into the heart of the Empire". At no point is it ever said that "shortest" means "one jump", and "heart of the Empire" means specifically Kilrah. Regardless of this, even if there was such a direct connection, the book does state that Munro has been basically a constant battleground for 30 years, which I guess answers your question.

I'm also not at all certain where the Sol-Proxima link comes from, because again it's not something from the official map. I'm drawing a blank as to where that reference might come from - WC3 maybe?.

By the way, bear in mind that not all jump lines are equal. WC4 specifically tells us that there are jump lines that are not suitable for big capships. So, when it comes to counting jumps on the map, appearances can be deceiving, as not all jumps can be used for fleet operations.
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
WC3 would make the most sense for a Sol - Proxima link, seeing as that's how the losing endgame goes. Of course, then you'd have an argument for a whole mess of Proxima to wherever jump tunnels (all the paths in WC3 that lead to Proxima; I'd have to look things up to get an exact count).

As far as "official" maps go, the shortest route I've come across on the Prophecy map is seven jumps: Sol - Sirius - Proxima - Vega - Alcor - Freya - H'rissith - Kilrah. The Confederation Handbook shortens this down further with the Charybdis jump straight from Sol to Vega (I think - I'd have to go back and look at the shooting script for the movie again. Too early in the morning here, no coffee yet...)
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
In the movie, Blair and Maniac start in Sol system, jump via Scylla into the Enyo System where they rendezvous with the Claw. The Claw then makes a jump from Enyo into the Ulysses Corridor where the Vega Sector fleet headquarters is located (pegasus) via a class 2 pulsar. Blair then makes the jump to Sol via the Charybdis Quasar. You can apparently jump directly from Charybdis to Sol but not directly from Sol to Charybdis.
 

Thunderbolt

Rear Admiral
Well the losing path on WC3 takes you from Alcor (which at that time I think was officially Terran but under long term Kilrathi occupation due to the prison camps there) to Proxima and than to Sol.

That raises another issue though. A big emphasis in WC3 is the prison camp worlds that the Kilrathi occupy. Wouldn't the Kilrathi have been forced to leave those worlds during the false peace or had Confed become so morally bankrupt that they no longer cared for the suffering of its civilians?
 

Iceblade

Admiral
I don't think the victory retreats one jump directly to proxima. Probably more of a sector wide retreat order is given when the kilrathi main fleet enters Confed space giving the victory and other ships barely enough time to reach Proxima before the final battles.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Scylla and Charybdis certainly complicate the geography of the Vega Sector :). The Navcom in particular raises some interesting questions. If the Kilrathi were almost able to reach Sol in just a couple of jumps by capturing the Navcom and using it to make those otherwise-impossible jumps... then what happened to that possibility in later years? The Kilrathi lost the Navcom, but what about Confed? And why no further attempts on the part of the Kilrathi to seize another Navcom, perhaps with the aid of the Mandarins?

That raises another issue though. A big emphasis in WC3 is the prison camp worlds that the Kilrathi occupy. Wouldn't the Kilrathi have been forced to leave those worlds during the false peace or had Confed become so morally bankrupt that they no longer cared for the suffering of its civilians?
There are many possibilities. One is that the Kilrathi did leave those worlds for the duration of the false peace. However, another possibility is that - as is typical in the case of ceasefire agreements - the agreement simply stipulated that this issue would be resolved in subsequent negotiations. A third option is a kind of middle-ground - the Kilrathi agree to leave, but it is also agreed that this will happen over time, according to a mutually agreed schedule. In that case, the schedule would probably have been so calculated by the Kilrathi negotiators to prevent anything from happening before the end of the truce. In the meantime, all that would happen is that the humans would be left alone - and bear in mind that what little we see of the Kilrathi slave system indicates that at least in some cases, slave communities are more or less self-sustaining. After all, the whole point of having slaves is so that they will work for you - so obviously, the slaves would be expected to take care of their own needs through subsistence farming.

Oh, and I just remembered - Fleet Action does mention the Kilrathi stalling on the return of human prisoners, so presumably this would mean slaves as well. As I recall, the Kilrathi were actually a bit surprised by Confed insistence on the return of prisoners, because according to their own code of honour, anyone taken prisoner was essentially dishonoured. So, they did not take seriously the requirement to return prisoners, as they never cared about their own (even though Confed did release them).

I don't think the victory retreats one jump directly to proxima. Probably more of a sector wide retreat order is given when the kilrathi main fleet enters Confed space giving the victory and other ships barely enough time to reach Proxima before the final battles.
Well... every time we make a jump in WC3, we see a cutscene showing that jump, and telling us where we are jumping to, right? Now, naturally we can assume that this is narrative shorthand for a longer sequence of jumps, but equally we can assume that it is to be taken literally.
 

RogueBanshee

Rear Admiral
Well in the movie both the Diligent and the Claw were doing high risk jumps out of desperation. As for the other routes its possible IMO that the shortest route is not the one with the fewest jumps in it. Perhaps the jump points on the 7 jump route are far enough apart that the 10 jump to the frontier route is actually shorter due to shorter distances between jump points.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
That's true as well. Jump points are not equidistant to each other in a system, as we see time and again in Privateer. And some jump points are located in somewhat unpleasant places - such as asteroid fields. There are undoubtedly many different considerations when planning a path for an entire fleet.
 

Mancubus

Rear Admiral
Well... every time we make a jump in WC3, we see a cutscene showing that jump, and telling us where we are jumping to, right? Now, naturally we can assume that this is narrative shorthand for a longer sequence of jumps, but equally we can assume that it is to be taken literally.
There is one problem with this assumption - it will give us one more three jump way from Kilrath to Earth, Kilrath - Freya - Proxima - Sol to be exact

Edit - underlining in quote mine
 

Thunderbolt

Rear Admiral
That's true as well. Jump points are not equidistant to each other in a system, as we see time and again in Privateer. And some jump points are located in somewhat unpleasant places - such as asteroid fields. There are undoubtedly many different considerations when planning a path for an entire fleet.
Not sure if you mean privateer 1 or 2. I don't remember Privateer 1. We had it but I was too young at the time to really figure out what I was supposed to be doing.
Privateer 2 though, the jump points don't go between systems and theres no autopilot. You just jump along a series of nav points until you reach your destination. Its called the tri-system isn't it so the 3 stars must be close together to negate the need for intersystem jumps. But then you could argue if Privateer 2 is rally part of the WC cannon. Maybe it is but it is set on its own storyline that is distinct from the earlier Privateer and the WC line.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Not sure if you mean privateer 1 or 2. I don't remember Privateer 1. We had it but I was too young at the time to really figure out what I was supposed to be doing.
Privateer 2 though, the jump points don't go between systems and theres no autopilot. You just jump along a series of nav points until you reach your destination. Its called the tri-system isn't it so the 3 stars must be close together to negate the need for intersystem jumps. But then you could argue if Privateer 2 is rally part of the WC cannon. Maybe it is but it is set on its own storyline that is distinct from the earlier Privateer and the WC line.
Well, Origin has always been adamant about Privateer 2 being a part of the canon, but nonetheless, it's an irrelevant part, because it's completely isolated from the rest of the series, and there is no way of telling how navigation in Privateer 2 relates to the what happens in other games. So, yeah, I meant the first Privateer. Since each system in the game had its own layout of navpoints, the travel time varied greatly. Mind you, the only time you really experienced this was at the end of the game, when the Steltek drone would frequently make it impossible to use autopilot.
 

quaker2k8

Commodore
In Privateer 2, there are inter-system jumps (the gates), but it's also possible to travel between system using the normal jump-buoys which mark every nav-point. Completely different technology. I'd say for the sake of this topic, one should not assume that it's really compatible with navigation in the WC series. Priv1 is supposed to be 100% compatible though.
 

Thunderbolt

Rear Admiral
Well, Origin has always been adamant about Privateer 2 being a part of the canon, but nonetheless, it's an irrelevant part, because it's completely isolated from the rest of the series, and there is no way of telling how navigation in Privateer 2 relates to the what happens in other games. So, yeah, I meant the first Privateer. Since each system in the game had its own layout of navpoints, the travel time varied greatly. Mind you, the only time you really experienced this was at the end of the game, when the Steltek drone would frequently make it impossible to use autopilot.
Yeah and well I think Privateer 2 could be set centuries or even millennia after the Kilrathi conflict. For instance have a quick browse of this page (it's cannon from Privateer 2)
http://www.thanatosrealms.com/privateer2/records/planets/anhur.html

Anhur: Cradle of humanity? Thousands of years of history..., a warzone, a First Civilization? population 10.7 billion. It almost sounds like a planet that could be Earth that was due to its enormous population and overdevelopment. However the planetary diameter is slightly larger than that of Earth and it is of course located in a tri-system so we can certainly rule out that it was Earth.
In the Wing Commander universe in the 27th century humanity had heavily populated several systems notably Sirius but certainly not on the scale that we seem to see in Privateer 2. In conclusion I think the best assumption we can make is that Privateer 2 is set many thousands possibly even 10,000s years after the Terran Kilrathi conflict. Note too that the culture we see in Privateer 2 is much more alien and exotic compared to the Wing Commander series. For instance the bar scene that we encounter in WC4 looks like something any of us could walk into comfortably and that was a frontier world. The Borderworlds as a frontier faction were becoming more distant from the Confederation politically and culturally but both sides are able to interact and work with each other on the BWS Intrepid without difficulty.

However by Privateer 2 some of the worlds and cultures we see look entirely alien for instance
 
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Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
Well, Fleet Action begins with a battle in the Munro System, and the routes between Kilrah and Sol are discussed extensively in the book. The book specifically states that the shortest route from the frontier (not from Kilrah!) to Earth is ten jumps, via Sirius.
It's also the seventh (or eighth if we count the initial Kilrathi invasion) battle of the system because of its prime location.

I dug up some of the relevant quotes:

"Intelligence has found out that the humans are aware of the opportunity that exists for them for at least the next two eight-of-eights days, and are contemplating an offensive to exploit our short term weakness. They will commit their carriers to an opening operation in what the humans call the Munro System. They know we must hold Munro for it is a direct doorway into a number of the shortest jump points into the heart of the Empire."

This was a raid on one Kilrathi base which was going like clockwork and that alone was troubling. Across the last thirty years Munro, ever since its seizure by the Kilrathi during the open stages of the war, had been a long standing goal for recapture. Beyond the simple fact that it was once human territory it also stood as the primary approach into the heart of the Empire. Conversely, from this base the Kilrathi stood astride a main jump point terminus into the middle regions of the Confederation and from there the main jump line straight back to Sirius and then on to Earth. It was the front door to both the Empire and the Confederation. A lot of good ships and a hell of a lot of personnel had died in six attempts to retake the planet. Now it was falling like a ripe apple into their laps.
Frontal assaults are always bloody affairs. Munro was a system that saw seven of them over the course of the war. We see elsewhere that neither side, save the three Kilrathi attempts (McAuliffe Ambush, Movie offensive {did it ever get a name?}, and Earth Defense Campaign), truly have the power to say screw the rest of the front and charge headlong towards the opposing home system. If either side had done so it left their home world open to attack by opposing forces spread out along the frontier. The only time that strategy might have worked was after the Battle of Earth when the Kilrathi had shot their bolt and needed time to reorganize their forces. Tolwyn wanted to rush straight in with what was left and end the war. It might have worked, although would have also probably gutted what was left of ConFleet's forces to do so.

Such drives for the heart tend to be few in real military operations because they have such a high potential of failure and losses. We only find them in works of fiction...
 

Iceblade

Admiral
My main issue was it is too short of a jump route and as confirmed by the novel, I am correct in calling the map into question given that the shortest route is stated as being 10 not 3 or 4. Though, if Munro went some of the further out systems of the Kilrathi, it still gives between 7 and 9 jumps shortest route.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Yeah and well I think Privateer 2 could be set centuries or even millennia after the Kilrathi conflict.
Privateer 2 should be its own separate thread, but the general consensus based on references throughout the game is that P2 takes place in the 2790s.

My main issue was it is too short of a jump route and as confirmed by the novel, I am correct in calling the map into question given that the shortest route is stated as being 10 not 3 or 4. Though, if Munro went some of the further out systems of the Kilrathi, it still gives between 7 and 9 jumps shortest route.
Another factor is time. In Privateer we're charting new unexplored jump lines, and in WC3 they mention discovering the creation of a new jump point. A star going supernova could cause a jump point to shift. Distances in Prophecy could be shorter than they were in Fleet Action due to the changing landscape. But as has been pointed out, the interplanetary geography plays a big role as well. Nebulas, asteroid fields and other hazards to navigation can be bigger factors than number of jump lines. Not all jump points are even necessarily within the general boundaries of a solar system. Also remember that not all jumps are instant - some can take hours to traverse. So there's a lot more to it than number of jumps.
 
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