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Author Topic: The Diamond Shark tank and Sea Fox preserve: Cause somebody has to start it...  (Read 106980 times)

GhostBear

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my feeling is that Semi Kalasa's account is... delicately phrased.)

Oh look, another hidden gem revealed.  O0
I was something-something. Once.

rebs

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Nice...   So Semi Kalasa wrote her report not only to inform, but to front strength to the other Clans in the most efficient way possible...  with a bit of bluffing, obfuscation and exaggeration.   

I guess the Shark Foxes take to the road because that is all they have left.   :-\   

But is it possible that the Shark Foxes actually fared the worst of the IS Clans?   During the Reavings, to be exact.
« Last Edit: 15 January 2013, 22:19:04 by rebs »

Jellico

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But is it possible that the Shark Foxes actually fared the worst of the IS Clans?   During the Reavings, to be exact.
The Nova Cats, Horses, Wolves and Ravens would argue that with you. The Sharks are visibly better than those four.

rebs

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I'm sure they would argue.  None of them are known for agreement.   :) 

Guess I was just reliving the horror of the Sharks being kicked in the crotch repeatedly.  Boom.  Right in the convoys. 

But as you say, 'twas plenty of hardship for everyone
« Last Edit: 15 January 2013, 22:46:19 by rebs »

wellspring

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Nice...   So Semi Kalasa wrote her report not only to inform, but to front strength to the other Clans in the most efficient way possible...  with a bit of bluffing, obfuscation and exaggeration.   

I guess the Shark Foxes take to the road because that is all they have left.   :-\   

But is it possible that the Shark Foxes actually fared the worst of the IS Clans?   During the Reavings, to be exact.

That's my question. Are the Sharks over-stating their losses or understating them?

First, let's review what we were told:

Wars of Reaving, pg102. The Burrock fleet, raiding the coreward deep periphery, arrives at Salonika to find a massive Diamond Shark refugee fleet. The fleet had been sitting there waiting for stragglers. There's a naval engagement, and the Burrocks are defeated; some are captured, but two of their JumpShips escape. The Sharks resume their... just sitting there... for two more weeks. They send a report by HPG which never reaches Vinton. Eventually another, massive Burrock fleet shows up. Although heavily outgunned, the Diamond Shark naval vessels attack rather than jumping out, and the civilians continue to just sit there. Eventually, the Sharks are overwhelmed and again electing not to jump out, the civilian vessels allow themselves to be boarded and sent to Tanis. Some later escape to tell their tale of woe.

Later, on pg113, we see a reference by the Burrocks in the Tanis system to their Diamond Shark isorla (the mobile naval facilities and battle equipment). Around this time, although the "final mass convoy" had already left, seven million Diamond Sharks remained on-world, including Loremaster Kalasa and Merchant Factor Lorenzo. A massive battle with the Coyotes was fought; although it's described in detail, the account is vague about the outcome, implying that most civilians were killed or deported. A strike force launches to battle the Coyoytes; it does heavy damage and never returns to Vinton. Were they all destroyed, as she implies? Or did they escape to somewhere else? The story picks up a year later with the rescue of a few survivors by the Blood Spirits and Lorenzo's legendary voyage. Six months later, the Cobras mount their failed assault on the Tanis system. A year after that, the Adders arrived and laid waste to the system, stopping only to execute the surrendering Burrocks and pillage Tanis of war materiel.

Comments:
  • Dead Burrocks tell no tales. The vast majority were executed, and any reports they may make are unlikely to be believed. So Semi Kalasa's version of events is the only one we're likely to hear.
  • Limited physical evidence. Wrecked ships at Salonika, some Diamond Shark equipment at Tanis, presumably some Diamond Shark civilians at Tanis and Tamaron, and that's pretty much it. Supposedly this was all captured by force.
  • Why didn't the Sharks jump out after the first attack? Or when the second attack started? Or when the second attack defeated their military? Why sit passively through the whole thing, with charged but unused KF drives?
  • What were VIPs doing on Vinton? If the last major convoy had already left, then what was going to happen to the remaining Sharks? Were more convoys planned but cancelled?
  • Just how many Shark civilians were killed? Where we get hard numbers, they're rarely very large. The Sharks beat back the Vipers, remember. The six million at Vinton at the start of the attack leaves 60 million unaccounted for, and we are never explicitly told what happens to those civilians-- she just strongly implies that they were almost all killed or captured.

The Diamond Sharks may be overstating their losses, leaving the reader to believe they suffered worse than they did. This might be to conceal the fact that they've established a much larger off-camera settlement than they're willing to admit. I've given this theory before, so I won't dwell on it. Except to say that Semi Kalasa said, rather poetically, that most of their Touman had already been moved "towards" the richer waters of the IS. Not to the Inner Sphere, but towards it. We hear a lot about the major convoy that was interdicted, but what about the others before that? The Sharks had started relocating years before. Assume everyone died at Vinton, and you still have sixty million Diamond Shark civilians unaccounted for.

If the Sharks have a major settlement packed with civilians and industry, the last thing they want are resource-starved IS clans marching in to stage Trials of Possession for it. And if the Sharks made a devil's bargain with the Society to buy time to complete their evacuation, then it follows that they'd need a cover story to explain Shark assets in Burrock hands. I like the Sharks so I hope they didn't pay the Burrocks off, but it's certainly possible. Either possibility explains their weird behavior at Salonika. It also fits with something else we knew already: the Diamond Sharks are the only clan to have systematically understated the size of their Touman pre-Jihad.

They might also be understating their losses, to hide their weakness. If the bulk of their civilians were killed, and/or their industrial capacity destroyed, and/or their genetic legacies tampered with or lost... then it stands to reason that they'd want to conceal this from their rivals. The main problem with this explanation is that it doesn't explain Salonika. And Objectives: Clans paints a picture of a clan with a pretty good industrial base.

Note: Real life "Salonika" is better known as Thessaloniki. The place has a marvelously rich history. So rich, in fact, that if we knew for a fact that Ben intended the name as a reference to unrevealed gems about the battle then it could still mean just about anything.

The Nova Cats, Horses, Wolves and Ravens would argue that with you. The Sharks are visibly better than those four.

Totally agree here. The Sharks had plenty of time to prepare for a migration, unlike these clans which had to improvise. They also had a massive merchant fleet available to conduct a migration.

Vanadius

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If the Sharks have a secret homeworld off camera with ~60 million population, yet the merchant still maintain contact with both the homeworld AND the IS,  it'd be really hard to keep that secret.

Eventually someone will get drunk at a business meeting and reference their youth on the homeworld, for instance.  Someone would talk.  Someone ALWAYS talks.

rebs

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There have been hints of hidden Shark Fox assets since FM: Warden Clans and Invading Clans sourcebooks.  The planets and holdings we are shown cover for the ones that are not known.   

I don't know if Wellspring was implying that all 60 million civs made it to a hidden base, but enough of them could have to start up industry, and gear toward building that base up to acceptable levels of technological sophistication. 

Maybe they had a plan for longer than anyone else knows.

But it is correct, a secret that large can't be kept forever...    And that's when it appears in sourcebooks  O0

wellspring

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I don't know if Wellspring was implying that all 60 million civs made it to a hidden base, but enough of them could have to start up industry, and gear toward building that base up to acceptable levels of technological sophistication. 

I wasn't. The population listed in Warriors of Kerensky is 66 million. About six of them were on Vinton for the Coyote invasion. Many, no doubt, were lost to Trials of Possession while the Sharks were leaving. Many more probably are on the known bases in the Periphery and the trade worlds. Sixty million could fit comfortably on a single planet if the infrastructure was set up.

My point is that you could easily siphon a few hundred thousand off to a hidden colony or three and no one would be the wiser considering all the shuffling and massacres of the Jihad era.

But it is correct, a secret that large can't be kept forever...    And that's when it appears in sourcebooks  O0

Yeah, obviously. The problem with being off-camera invincible is that you're setting yourself up for a crotch kick. Either you deliver it (the Society, WoB, the Clans pre-Revival, etc) or you have it delivered unto you (the Society, WoB, the Clans post-Revival).

I'm just saying that I've always suspected that they have considerable hidden resources. WoR, ISP3, and especially Objectives: Clans have hardened my suspicion. Especially when they started marching around transmitting "What do you require?". I mean, at that point why not just hire Ed Wasser to ask people what they want and be done with it?  ;)

rebs

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Yeah, up there in the quote above I was in agreement about the 60 mil civs on Vinton.   I suggested some could have made it out. :)  I got your point.

Also, hidden assets (in the form of Galaxies unaccounted for, or hidden production sites) have been hinted at in sources since the turn of the millennium.   Again, agreed.   

There are a few obvious things here.  One is that in BattleTech, everyone continually sets up to be kicked in the crotch, or they are not in it, or won't be in it long.  Another is that there is more to the Shark Foxes than they let on in reports, and Spheroid Intel can only tell us so much.   



« Last Edit: 16 January 2013, 18:57:28 by rebs »

kuttsinister7

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Colt Ward

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What mech is that behind Barbara Sennet in ER3052?  I want to say its a medium, Grendel?
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ArkRoyalRavager

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I think the Sharks are really hurting. If they had a large or growing population base after the WoR, they would not have converted to a nomadic lifestyle of basing them on roaming trade fleets.

roosterboy

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I think the Sharks are really hurting. If they had a large or growing population base after the WoR, they would not have converted to a nomadic lifestyle of basing them on roaming trade fleets.

It's a lot easier to conduct business across the entire Inner Sphere if you aren't tied down to one or a couple of locations but instead have everything you need right there with you. The roaming trade fleets aren't necessarily a sign of hurting as much as they are of trying to do business in the most efficient way possible.

ANS Kamas P81

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Then I have to ask a question.  Where have all the children gone?  Not just the trueborns but even the freeborns as well as nowhere to be seen.  I really think there's a hell of a lot more going on in the Chanelaines than anyone is admitting.  That would explain the "towards" the inner sphere comment as well, if the touman's stopping early.

Anyone got makeup of what the arkship fleets are going to look like?

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Converted warships with added sections to their hull, usually in in the form of gutted dropships welded to the hull.
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ANS Kamas P81

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Converted warships with added sections to their hull, usually in in the form of gutted dropships welded to the hull.
I meant the whole fleets.  How many ships, how big are they, mobile factories or just giant transports, whatnot.

Jaim Magnus

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I meant the whole fleets.  How many ships, how big are they, mobile factories or just giant transports, whatnot.

That information has yet to be revealed.
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wantec

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I meant the whole fleets.  How many ships, how big are they, mobile factories or just giant transports, whatnot.
Check the MWDA novel "Hunters of the Deep", it'll at least give you an idea of where the Foxes/Sharks are headed.
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Colt Ward

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No guesses on the mech behind Barbara Sennet?

http://www.sarna.net/wiki/images/c/ca/Barbara_Sennet.jpg
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Pa Weasley

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I always thought it was a Grendel so your guess is spot on as far as I'm concerned.  :)

GreekFire

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Wow, I'm really impressed with some of the recent posts here. As a Diamond Shark fan, I approve!

Quick question, though: why were the Sharks at Salonika? Is there some reason they were mustering there instead of somewhere closer to clan space?
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rebs

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Wow, I'm really impressed with some of the recent posts here. As a Diamond Shark fan, I approve!

Quick question, though: why were the Sharks at Salonika? Is there some reason they were mustering there instead of somewhere closer to clan space?

Good Question.  And we need more Shark Fox fans to chime in.  We're the real mover shaker Clan, without us, our advances and our goods, everyone else comes down with a case of Touman Atrophy.  ;D  Except the Home Clans, but they were jerks anyway...   ;)

As for your question, Salonika was kind of in a no-mans-land so to speak.  I don't think the Sharks knew exactly how busy that area of space had become.  It was likely a predetermined fallback point that all Sharks would know to go to in a case like that, so they may have had little choice but to wait where they were at, even after being discovered.   


wellspring

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Good Question.  And we need more Shark Fox fans to chime in.  We're the real mover shaker Clan, without us, our advances and our goods, everyone else comes down with a case of Touman Atrophy.  ;D  Except the Home Clans, but they were jerks anyway...   ;)

As for your question, Salonika was kind of in a no-mans-land so to speak.  I don't think the Sharks knew exactly how busy that area of space had become.  It was likely a predetermined fallback point that all Sharks would know to go to in a case like that, so they may have had little choice but to wait where they were at, even after being discovered.   

Now, see, that makes a degree of sense, but I'm not buying it.

Don't get me wrong; Salonika is a good choice for a mid-point rally area for Diamond Shark refugees. It's midway between the IS and Clan Space, but midway between the Exodus Road and the invasion route. As a former Nova Cat fleet base, the system had been mapped but nobody in their right mind is going to just luck their way into there (not realizing that the Star Adders had ordered a clean sweep of the known periphery bases). So it's not a dumb waypoint.

But the problem is this. First, that many jumpships in one place makes the clan extremely vulnerable. Even if the odds of detection are low, there's going to be an emergency rally point. Taking Semi's account straight, after the Burrocks escaped attack number one, the Sharks would have been idiots not to declare an alternate star, one off the maps, to make for. You leave one ship, on station a good distance from the jump point, to spot arriving stragglers, verify their identities, and then forward them to the staging area. Even if they decide to stick around, if you have that many ships around, you at least prep the ship captains with the contingency. Their KF drives are long since charged, they're sitting around anyway. It's a no-brainer.

I mean, bonus points if the emergency alternate rally point is in empty interstellar space and you charge that next jump using your engines and fuel from some of your dropships. But the Sharks didn't even have a bad alternate. They just sat there collecting barnacles.

But they'd have to have been the heirs to the throne of the kingdom of idiots not to have had their jumpships pop out when the overwhelming Burrock forces showed up in battle #2. They sent their meager military forces to buy time. Time for what? They could have popped out in minutes. And while the warriors fought and died, the JumpShips sat and waited placidly for their fate.

A waypoint makes sense, but their behavior at the battle doesn't.

wellspring

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By the way...

Those of you who saw the "What if the Blakists and/or Society had destroyed the clans" thread of doom also saw Stormfury's awesome spreadsheets analyzing the toumans of each clan based on published information. I was looking through them to make a point about the Steel Vipers, and did an overview of the average experience level of each Clan. I found something of interest to Shark Foxes.

The top three clans in warrior experience were the Wolves in Exile, then the Blood Spirits, and then at number three, the Diamond Sharks. That stunned me. The Wolves in Exile makes sense-- Ulric left Phalen with his best and brightest. It's a credit to Vlad that his Wolves manage to be middle of the road despite his recruiting tactics. And I get the Blood Spirits having limited equipment and so their Touman is all muscle, no fat.

But the Diamond Sharks have a sizeable touman and took crippling losses in their front line forces at Tukayyid. And actually unlike every other Clan in the Field Manuals, they actually understate their actual strength by using oversized Clusters. Apart from the Blood Spirits, whose reported strength is exactly correct, all other clans overstate how strong they are. They hide weakness, the Sharks are actually hiding strength.

One explanation might be their staffing policies. They don't use solahma forces, instead retiring most older warriors to the merchant caste. And when they needed to rebuild after Tukayyid, the retired warriors who were still combat ready returned to active duty (rather than resorting to cadets or up-checked civilians as other clans had to). The warriors genuinely past their prime drop out of the pool, while the best of the retirees are always available to bulk the touman up without resorting to unskilled recruits.

But, I mean, wow. It's one of those little factoids that sneaks up on you. The other clans look at the Shark warriors as being inferior and the clan as a whole as being weak--  but the reality is that it appears that that is exactly what they want you to think.

And just FYI, the three least experienced toumans belong to the Goliath Scorpions, the Jade Falcons (which considering how they've been gutted repeatedly isn't a surprise), and the Coyotes.

GreekFire

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SO THAT'S WHERE THE SPREADSHEETS ARE I WAS LOOKING ALL OVER FOR THEM

lol I ended up spending my night reading up on the Diamond Sharks, including looking at their forces as well.

I've never really been under the misconception that Shark warriors were weak. It's part of the appeal of them for me, everyone underestimates them and then they come knocking and wreck face. If you read up on the battles the Shark's have waged, they've actually won a staggering number of trials against forces that you'd expect to mop the floor with 'em.

And yeah, don't forget that you don't just have the forces on paper to deal with. Just check out what happened on Vinton. They had one cluster defending, and decided they needed more. Quick and easy retest, open the warehouses, boom instant forces at your disposal, most of them combat veterans. They mustered 10 freakin' clusters of mech and elemental forces on Vinton in a heartbeat, that's insane. Some of these guys are still pretty much active duty too, just look at the total warfare story where a merchant-warrior goes against hanseatic league forces to show off his product.

If push comes to shove, they're pretty scary.
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rebs

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They also had six Bloodhouses of Elementals, all of them uncontested prior to events of the Jihad and Reavings. 

I bet the Diamond Shark Merchant Marine force has to be huge.  And again, definitely not weak.  Kind of the opposite, it's safe to say.  8)

ArkRoyalRavager

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It's a lot easier to conduct business across the entire Inner Sphere if you aren't tied down to one or a couple of locations but instead have everything you need right there with you. The roaming trade fleets aren't necessarily a sign of hurting as much as they are of trying to do business in the most efficient way possible.

Yes, everything they need right there. Including all the needed labor. How many people can BT ships hold? Very few. The numbers are telling, and the Sharks don't even ask planets to settle their people on in return for their services. To convert your population to space-based nomads is easy, but the limited capacity of BT ships means they had a low post-Reaving population base to start with.

Those trade fleets wont necessarily "have everything you need right there with you". Mobile production sites are good for evading people like the Word of Blake, but they are not viable for the long term. Low output, high costs. That's not the way to run a successful business.

Colt Ward

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Well, going into the Jihad I would say the Sharks are the quiet powerhouse, unlike the Star Adders.  Angus Labov has always been a character I found interesting and liked for TPTB to make the smart intelligent plays.  Going from running the merchants to saKhan gives him a solid grasp on the logistical state of the Sharks- IC I think you can hand it to him about the Sharks building a lot of the new wave (TROPP etc) of standard battlemechs which allowed the Sharks to deal with weaker powers as well as build hidden strength as you cited.

For instance, selling Solitaires to the Ghost Bears was hinted at and IMO the Sharks got the use of one of the Leviathans to move civies in the mid-60s before the refit.

Add in that Sennet & Labov seem to have no negative feelings to freebirths AND have a glut of standard (non-Omni) equipment they are producing leads to a lot more military strength IMO.  It would also seem to lend credence to the 'hidden strength' theory.  The Sharks were taking in a LOT of material resources in the '60s, acquiring access to all sorts of designs and equipment, and while they churned a lot out . . . its hard to believe we saw everything that was the end result of the moves.
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GreekFire

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Wait, according to my copy of The Clans: Warriors of Kerensy, Salonika is a Shark facility. Sarna says Explorer Corps is the book (that I don't own) that lists it as being a Nova Cat base. Which book takes place later in the timeline? If Salonika is a Shark base, it would make sense that they would muster there, especially since most of their facilities in the deep went dark during the WoR. Attenbrooks, Ctesiphon and Suda Bay were all hit by Society forces, with the Sharks even losing a convoy at Suda Bay.

Yes, everything they need right there. Including all the needed labor. How many people can BT ships hold? Very few. The numbers are telling, and the Sharks don't even ask planets to settle their people on in return for their services. To convert your population to space-based nomads is easy, but the limited capacity of BT ships means they had a low post-Reaving population base to start with.

Those trade fleets wont necessarily "have everything you need right there with you". Mobile production sites are good for evading people like the Word of Blake, but they are not viable for the long term. Low output, high costs. That's not the way to run a successful business.

Apparently the Poseidon arcship will be able to hold 500,000 people. Multiply that a few times and add in the Chainelane populations and you've got a decent clan population. Of course, the Sharks aren't asking for planets to settle - they're taking 'em. They've got land in Falcon, Ghost Bear, Nova Cat controlled, Combine, Lyran and FWL space by the 3140s, I think? Then again, I have no clue what goes on in those little holdings they've got everywhere.

Add in that Sennet & Labov seem to have no negative feelings to freebirths AND have a glut of standard (non-Omni) equipment they are producing leads to a lot more military strength IMO.  It would also seem to lend credence to the 'hidden strength' theory.  The Sharks were taking in a LOT of material resources in the '60s, acquiring access to all sorts of designs and equipment, and while they churned a lot out . . . its hard to believe we saw everything that was the end result of the moves.

The interesting part is taking note of how much territory they quickly gained and gave up in the 60s. They snagged a bit of land from the eradication of the Jaguars, and they got a ton of real estate from helping the Bears and Cats move to the inner sphere. The Sharks could then choose which land to defend, when to pull back, and what to take with them. I would expect them to have seriously increased their potential manufacturing base at that time, shipping this newly gained tech to the inner sphere where it could be put to use.
« Last Edit: 18 January 2013, 03:07:42 by GreekFire »
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roosterboy

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Yes, everything they need right there. Including all the needed labor. How many people can BT ships hold? Very few.

The Poseidon, after conversion, held half a million people.

Quote
The numbers are telling, and the Sharks don't even ask planets to settle their people on in return for their services.

The Sharks/Foxes have planetary holdings where they also have lots of people and industrial facilities.

Quote
To convert your population to space-based nomads is easy, but the limited capacity of BT ships means they had a low post-Reaving population base to start with.

If they only had people on the vessels. They don't.

I've never really been under the misconception that Shark warriors were weak.

Tukayyid probably has a lot to do with that.