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A comprehensive description of the Ricochet Effect (RE). The article describes the consequences of the collapse of the Delta Serpentis jump node in 2335. The current article comes from the FreeSpace Wiki, but the version present there will remain outdated. Expect to find updates and additional info only here.

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The so called Ricochet Effect is typical of the post-Great War Sol and, more in general, of all systems whose jump nodes are collapsed. The collapse of all jump nodes severely compromises a system's subspace field and generates an invisible shockwave. This results is jumping sequences requiring more energy and being less effective in terms of range. It also results in a total isolation in terms of subspace and conventional communications.

After several years, it's impossible to jump to remote regions of the system. After several decades, it's impossible to make jumps at all. It is believed that reopening at least one jump node would bring the system's subspace field back to its status quo ante condition, although the effects of the growing sphere would still be present.

Known effects

Difficulty in making jumps

The reduction of the subspace field is progressive, but its effects can be noticed only after a few days. The effectiveness of a jump depends on:

  • Distance to any notable celestial bodies, taken from both the departure and arrival location;
  • Mass of the celestial bodies and presence of smaller bodies, like satellites;
  • Direction of the jump compared to the direction of the most considerable gravitational force in the system (remote regions --> star(s));
  • The mass of the ship or spacecraft that is making the jump;
  • Energy supply levels of the ship or spacecraft that is making the jump;


  • The number of jumps required to travel from Mars to Earth are inferior to the ones necessary to travel from Earth to Mars;
  • Jumping to Jupiter from close regions of Jovian space is relatively easy thanks to the mass of the planet, combined with the presence of several satellites;
  • A destroyer's jump range is higher than that of a smaller ship thanks to its greater mass and energy supplies;

Political consequences

The most obvious consequences are the political ones. If jumping from one location of the system to another becomes every time harder, the colonies of a system influenced by the Ricochet Effect are very likely to gain independence and form their own governments.

Different tactical situations

In a system affected by the RE the role of destroyers, installations and any other asset that is capable of carrying spacecraft is extremely important. Without them, it's very difficult to handle war logistics, fleet movements and strikes.

Communication difficulties

See also: Post-Great War contacts with Sol

As the last viable node collapses, a massive and invisible shockwave generates from it. This shockwave, that forms a sphere of growing dimensions, prevents any transmissions from passing through. The shockwave also has certain catastrophical effects on high-tech devices, which can be completely disabled if not protected properly. Shortly after the destruction of the Lucifer, this effect brought a total chaos in Sol. As the shockwave proceeds, it is possible to communicate with all locations that haven't been hit by the shockwave yet. This means that a system hit by this catastrophe would remain isolated. The growth factor of the sphere is connected to its intensity. As the sphere grows, it's anti-transmissions capabilities reduce accordingly. It is estimated that several decades after the collapse of the node interferences on communications wouldn't be noticeable.

Known examples

Sol - First Period

(from Inferno: Alliance Standalone)

The destruction of the Lucifer collapsed the Delta Serpentis jump node in Sol, thus severing all contact with the rest of GTA space. Under these circumstances, the Ricochet Effect could occur with revolutionary effects. The RE was responsible for the downfall of the old GTA authorities in Sol, which were totally incapable of maintaining their control of the system. With the impossibility of jumping directly to any other colony, Sol's factions could easily become independent, mostly under a political point of view. The GTD Adamanthea's accident is without any doubt the symbol of the Ricochet Effect in Sol. That situation led to the Secession, or Border Establishment War, after which it became clear that Sol would have never been under the control of a single authority again, or at least not that easily.

Overall, during this period, it's not possible to jump from one planet to another—even by overloading the subspace drives. The average number of jumps (at full energy) to reach another colony is 3-4, but that depends mostly on the parameters listed above. Several weeks after the collapse of the node, intrasystem communications should work again.

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