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Author Topic: Ilclan era: betting pool on the next big dustup.  (Read 3310 times)

Cannonshop

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Re: Ilclan era: betting pool on the next big dustup.
« Reply #90 on: 16 July 2021, 15:40:46 »
one reason i don;t think we'll see as much balkanization as is being proposed here boils down to one thing..
a sense of national identity.
in the age of war, that sense of identity was largely missing because it was being built. most people in the fedsuns didn't see themselves as such, they saw themselves as being being Mukegon Empire or United Hindu Collective, or so on, Federated Suns second. because at the time the federated suns was just a trade pact with mutual defense addendums. they didn't become a singular nation with a singular national identity until star league times.

but now we're going back to age of war comms.. but that singular national identity already exists. with a few regional exceptions, most people in the IS states consider themselves to be Lyrans, Fedsuns, Combine, etc.. and their regional identities a close second. and the last century of the timeline, 4-5 generations, has been a steady indoctrination effort by the IS states to reinforce those national identities in the name of unity and stability. in the face of the clans. in the face of civil war. in the face of the Word of Blake. etc. and those national identities were a base cause of the initial social and military breakup of the Republic of the Sphere, and greatly contributed to the final shattering of that state. this despite many of those clinging to those national identities within the republic never having been born under them, as 2nd or 3rd generation citizens of the ROTS. that speaks to a sense of  national identity across the IS that is incredibly strong, strong enough to keep people loyal even when they can't communicate or trade with the far reaches of the state.

and lets face it, they've already been cut off for over 20 years as of the start of the ilclan era. the HPG's have been down since 3131, and for most of those two decades the national government hasn't had the ability to communicate effectively with their worlds that whole time, and what little communications they did have were tied up in fighting massive border wars and invading the republic to reclaim former worlds.
and yet most of the worlds in the IS states haven't broken away. despite being left on their own for two decades. which says to me that the national identity is strong enough to keep worlds loyal.

will there be breakaway groups? sure. some regions have been notoriously dissident and disloyal.. Skye in the Lyran Commonwealth, for example. but i don't think we'll see the kind of mass break up people are claiming.
especially if the new IlClan-Third-League manages to end some of the major conflicts, since that would buy the IS states some time to reorganize their communications and trade systems to stop relying on the HPG's.

i would also point out that the IS states turning into lose assemblies of semi-independent provinces holds just as much potential for small scale region vs region conflict as a highly balkanized Inner Sphere. it just means that both sides will be nominally part of the same faction. and it also means that the scope of the conflicts would be centered more on objective raids and other limited engagements.. which is excellent for a game which has been shifting back to focusing on lance vs lance scale gameplay.

"National Identity" collapses with the loss of "Regular communication".  There was a region in Europe that claimed to be the Roman Empire (The "HOLY" Roman Empire) for centuries after the fall of rome, and for centuries, they even had a Holy Roman Emperor-who had no power and whose subjects warred on one another about as often (or in some cases more often than) they did anyone else anywhere else. 

Some of those areas became the Austro-Hungarian Empire and some became (MUCH later) Germany, and Poland, and Lithuania and...

National identity is built off of shared things:

1. shared culture-this is spelled 'experiences' similar conditions.
2. shared language
3. shared economics

Now, under the current situation, some of that is still flying on inertia, but not that much.  Buena speaks Spanish, Donegal speaks English, Tharkad speaks Deutsch, New Capetown Afrikaans and so on.

There's nothing for a common experience to root into beyond a memory-one that will quickly distort under local conditions because no mass media.

Give it another generatoin and Donegallers will be Donegallers far more than they'll be Lyrans, same with every other world, big and small, that doesn't have a constant command circuit linking it to the Capital.

savvy that?  They'll balkanize because a Caballero from Buena has next to nothing in common with a Burgher from Tharkad, or a Scotsman from Donegal or a beachboi from Inarcs.

Cultures mutate FAST under limited contact and isolation.  An Australian only sounds English to an American who doesn't know both intimately, New Yorkers don't sound like East Texas, neither of them sounds like Bayou Louisiana.  if you were to isolate the 50 states and put a 120 hour gap between state lines with the only 'mass media' being mail?  give it two, maybe three generations and their loyalty will be to their states (or even counties) more than to the ideal of "The United States"-just as happened for real, with the roman empire, which HAD roads (and good ones) and wasn't isolated from itself by light years of hard vacuum and radiation.

one of the reasons I don't think they're going to deliver on what they've set up, is exactly what Glitterboy quoted.  Teh structure they've built almost DEMANDS balkanization and collapse, but it's inconvenient for the exact reason he just gave.

TPTB don't want to have to manage 30 something extra factions and hundereds of subfactions, so, all this setup? it's going to be ignored except when it's convenient.  bad storytelling but much, much, easier to manage than the natural consequences of the setting they've constructed.
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Greatclub

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Re: Ilclan era: betting pool on the next big dustup.
« Reply #91 on: 21 July 2021, 10:50:20 »
TPTB don't want to have to manage 30 something extra factions and hundereds of subfactions, so, all this setup? it's going to be ignored except when it's convenient.  bad storytelling but much, much, easier to manage than the natural consequences of the setting they've constructed.

Bad/unrealistic world-building anyway. Bad storytelling... we'll see.

The dark age isn't CGL's fault, WK/Weisman came up with it.

Cannonshop

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Re: Ilclan era: betting pool on the next big dustup.
« Reply #92 on: 21 July 2021, 22:01:00 »
Bad/unrealistic world-building anyway. Bad storytelling... we'll see.

The dark age isn't CGL's fault, WK/Weisman came up with it.

Not sure it's 'bad' or 'unrealistic' world building, even relying on Weissmann's ideas and bending to his input via Topps.  It's bad storytelling to create your conditions and then NOT follow them to their logical outcome without introducing something that lets you change the conditions to support the outcome you want inside the setting.

that's the important piece-it has to work within hte setting, it has to be supported within the setting and within the rules you've built into/onto the setting.

Rarity and cost of Jumpships means you can't have a regular mail service without jumpships becoming THE most valuable item in a world without regular non-jumpship communication, which makes your Navy the most important piece on the board for a national ruler, with the conditions presented, that means  your national rulers should be losing control rapidly, with influence disappearing based on how many jumps out from their capitals you get, and local rulers gaining in prominence proportionally.

which was the setup for Dark Age (Republic side) for a while after release.  thing is, it would be happening sphere wide, because they don't have (and didn't have) the infrastructure they had in the Age of War that the HPG replaced, an infrastructure that took into account that your messages have to be hand-carried between systems, and therefore you needed the ability to protect the messages and the messengers, as well as dedicated hulls to do the carrying, and you need a LOT of all three.

Which they had in the AoW, but don't have in the present era.

Why? the obvious answer is that the devs are still treating this like continental empires with roads, rather than island chain empires without roads.

and THAT ends up being bad storytelling.  The conditions (needing to move all messages, hardware and personnel by ship) are realistic, the lack of ships is a stress condition, the continuing existence of massive empires breaks the internal logic of the setting they've created.
"If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-Samuel Adams

Walrus Gumboot

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Re: Ilclan era: betting pool on the next big dustup.
« Reply #93 on: 22 July 2021, 00:03:15 »
Not sure it's 'bad' or 'unrealistic' world building, even relying on Weissmann's ideas and bending to his input via Topps.  It's bad storytelling to create your conditions and then NOT follow them to their logical outcome without introducing something that lets you change the conditions to support the outcome you want inside the setting.

that's the important piece-it has to work within hte setting, it has to be supported within the setting and within the rules you've built into/onto the setting.

Meaning, agreeing with what you've decided.

Quote
Rarity and cost of Jumpships means you can't have a regular mail service without jumpships becoming THE most valuable item in a world without regular non-jumpship communication, which makes your Navy the most important piece on the board for a national ruler, with the conditions presented, that means  your national rulers should be losing control rapidly, with influence disappearing based on how many jumps out from their capitals you get, and local rulers gaining in prominence proportionally.

which was the setup for Dark Age (Republic side) for a while after release.  thing is, it would be happening sphere wide, because they don't have (and didn't have) the infrastructure they had in the Age of War that the HPG replaced, an infrastructure that took into account that your messages have to be hand-carried between systems, and therefore you needed the ability to protect the messages and the messengers, as well as dedicated hulls to do the carrying, and you need a LOT of all three.

Which they had in the AoW, but don't have in the present era.

Why? the obvious answer is that the devs are still treating this like continental empires with roads, rather than island chain empires without roads.

and THAT ends up being bad storytelling.  The conditions (needing to move all messages, hardware and personnel by ship) are realistic, the lack of ships is a stress condition, the continuing existence of massive empires breaks the internal logic of the setting they've created.

They've had nearly 20 years to figure out how to be interstellar states under the new/oldish paradigm (there still are a few HPGs), with the first few years of that being a grace period for everyone. Most of the armies are loyal to their House lords, or whatever current puppet House Lord they have emplaced after manifest acts of disloyalty. Most of the interstellar nations want to exist as a matter of basic public opinion- some stronger than others but the ones that aren't shedding provinces have plausible reasons for this being the case (the Capellans having spontaneous legitimacy to the point that you can't get civil administration to cooperate with your occupation on any level, the Free Worlds League having a strong restoration mass-sentiment currently, the Federated Suns facing a foreign invasion, the Draconis Combine actually being between separatist upheavals (put down with genocide) and being run by a loyal army in the midst of victorious campaign. The Lyrans are falling apart and protecting their sources of strength for a later recovery of their old position.).

I note how you're acknowledging that the Age of War existed, but maintaining that it's lessons either can't apply or haven't been applied, and reiterate that in this topic you entered consumed with with an invincible idea.

Liam's Ghost

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Re: Ilclan era: betting pool on the next big dustup.
« Reply #94 on: 22 July 2021, 03:19:53 »
They've had nearly 20 years to figure out how to be interstellar states under the new/oldish paradigm (there still are a few HPGs), with the first few years of that being a grace period for everyone.

There is a catastrophically enormous difference between knowing what it takes to maintain "business as usual" without the HPG network and actually being able to achieve it.

And that difference is measured in hundreds or thousands of jumpships. Doing just message delivery.

To achieve consistent once every eight days message delivery between two star systems requires a minimum of two jumpships (one outgoing and one incoming) at both systems plus every jump point between those two systems. This assures that one jumpship is free to move while the other is recharging from the last time it had to jump.

If you make sure to maintain massive stockpiles of hydrogen fuel at each jump point along the way, and are willing to accept the additional wear and tear of quick charging, you can get this down to a relatively reliable seven days.

So communication from Tharkad to Donegal (a distance of thirty one light years) requires at least six jumpships, and imposes over a week's message lag. This assumes that there are two jumpships specifically tasked for this at Tharkad, Donegal, and Gibbs (a major world nicely placed between the two).

But that's just for three star systems relatively close together.  A similar chain of ships bringing in weekly(ish) reports to tharkad from a planet in the periphery regions will demand eighteen ships, and will only service the nine worlds on that chain.

Daily reports, like what would be necessary to readily respond to an ongoing threat or invasion, increase the demands for ships on that route by a factor of eight. So that you have a ship that will manage to be fully charged each day as ships continually jump in and jump out on a daily basis.

For EACH SYSTEM YOU ARE MONITORING. As well as however many chains of jumps you have leading back to where the orders are being given. And different chains leading through the same system still need their own jumpships, because if one chain of jumpships is going one way, it's not going to be available to go another way.

Even the bare minimum attempt at "business as usual" (eight day cycles of messages) requires each of the great houses to have built  upwards of a thousand jumpships purely for communications purposes, using shipyards that can be frequently counted on one finger per successor state. Over the last twenty years.

They have to replicate something that Age of War/Early Star League era mankind spent five centuries establishing, using spaceborn infrastructure that was never really rebuilt since they blew it up during the early succession wars. 

And they have to do it in a twentieth of the time.

Alternately, they have to crash the interstellar economy, write off minor worlds and entire regions as unimportant, and concentrate trade and communications lines around critical areas and hope to eventually build enough jumpships to one day re-establish themselves.
Good news is the lab boys say the symptoms of asbestos poisoning show an immediate latency of 44.6 years. So if you're thirty or over you're laughing. Worst case scenario you miss out on a few rounds of canasta, plus you've forwarded the cause of science by three centuries. I punch those numbers into my calculator, it makes a happy face.

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nckestrel

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Re: Ilclan era: betting pool on the next big dustup.
« Reply #95 on: 22 July 2021, 06:40:18 »
Alternately, they have to crash the interstellar economy, write off minor worlds and entire regions as unimportant, and concentrate trade and communications lines around critical areas and hope to eventually build enough jumpships to one day re-establish themselves.

I was with you until this part.  Most of this you detailed is what would have already been needed for trade. Minor worlds were already minor, and already would have less jumpship traffic.  Major worlds are major and would already have more jumpship traffic. The communications switch from HPG to jumpship would have huge effects, but the jumpships are already going to have similar pulls by trade to the same routes communication would need to take. Beyond that, you are getting into details of economics that have never worked for BattleTech anyway (number of jumpships needed to do this).
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ANS Kamas P81

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Re: Ilclan era: betting pool on the next big dustup.
« Reply #96 on: 22 July 2021, 07:44:10 »
I suppose one way to make things better would be shrinking each nation-state to a couple dozen worlds at most, rather than the multi-hundred-world gigantic empires they are now.  But that's something more along the lines of a complete reboot of the game, rather than a serious potential move.

Getting back on topic, I'm thinking the Horses will be the next major "villain" as it counts for the setting, and be the first major opponent for the ilClan.

Cannonshop

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Re: Ilclan era: betting pool on the next big dustup.
« Reply #97 on: 22 July 2021, 08:38:55 »
I was with you until this part.  Most of this you detailed is what would have already been needed for trade. Minor worlds were already minor, and already would have less jumpship traffic.  Major worlds are major and would already have more jumpship traffic. The communications switch from HPG to jumpship would have huge effects, but the jumpships are already going to have similar pulls by trade to the same routes communication would need to take. Beyond that, you are getting into details of economics that have never worked for BattleTech anyway (number of jumpships needed to do this).

I think you're missing the point.  It's not just the quantity of ships, it's that those ships have to be directly reporting to the home office-they can't manage it under a no-HPG/No Blackbox situation with contractors because a lot of that message traffic has to be the sort you don't want enemies and rivals reading before it gets to the destination.
things like military orders can't be reliably put in the hands of free agents, and that in turn cuts down further on your available pool of ships.  Trade can be managed by private owners, but administration requires government vessels.

Which is ripped straight from history, it's how the British Empire (the largest maritime empire in history) was able to function before the advent of the Telegraph.  The rest of the rush for africa and asia really didn't kick off successfully (yes, spain started ahead but couldn't support the navy to do it long term) until the invention of the Telegraph (one of the main reasons why Great Britain's empire was not only larger, but better established and stabilized than Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal, etc).

now, here we've got island empires, because interstellar travel moves at age-of-sail speeds, but they spent upwards of 300 years with FTL telegraphs, that they don't have anymore.

They also don't have fleet capacity that they had prior to the invention of the HPG, but they have geometrically larger empires left over from the HPG era than they had in the age of war.

This is PERFECT for a roll-back to the 'Mad Max' Style era that the devs have said for 20 years they wanted and Weissmann specifically created Dark Age to cause...but the painful part of that, is that your writing staff are used to the 'modern' setting where messages came by HPG and you did not have the delays, or the needs, that the current situation dictates you would have.

The number of ships needed means your NAVY ends up dominant by default.  Why? battlemechs can't protect jumpships from the ground, and are useless anywhere but on the ground.

"but this is a Giant Robots setting! Ground war is the center of it!!" then you need to ****** your commo to the extent that you don't actually need those thousands of jumpships anymore, because your garrisons can communicate without waiting a week for the next ship.

OR...

you need to shrink the empires to where the infrastructure you left them with, actually works.

ideally both.  But again, what happens to all those minor worlds?? well, they 'drop off' or they go independent-by-default and will need to be reconquered once you've got either the commo or the fleets to do it.

The Devs have set up a massive reset.  They're just not going to follow their own setup.
"If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-Samuel Adams

CJC070

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Re: Ilclan era: betting pool on the next big dustup.
« Reply #98 on: 22 July 2021, 09:36:31 »
I suppose one way to make things better would be shrinking each nation-state to a couple dozen worlds at most, rather than the multi-hundred-world gigantic empires they are now.  But that's something more along the lines of a complete reboot of the game, rather than a serious potential move.

Getting back on topic, I'm thinking the Horses will be the next major "villain" as it counts for the setting, and be the first major opponent for the ilClan.

It could explain the title of the next campaign “Tamar Rising” but I believe only the “crusader” elements of the CHH will go against the Wolves while the “wardens” stay behind.  Personally I’m interested if we’re seeing the creation of a new faction or a sub faction.  I do hope we see a new mercenary handbook.

five_corparty

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Re: Ilclan era: betting pool on the next big dustup.
« Reply #99 on: 22 July 2021, 12:25:39 »
Getting back on topic, I'm thinking the Horses will be the next major "villain" as it counts for the setting, and be the first major opponent for the ilClan.

I think at this point, we either need a new thread for the topic, or a thread for all the economic / jumpship stuff... haha

Liam's Ghost

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Re: Ilclan era: betting pool on the next big dustup.
« Reply #100 on: 22 July 2021, 17:16:24 »
Beyond that, you are getting into details of economics that have never worked for BattleTech anyway (number of jumpships needed to do this).

You don't need specific hard numbers to determine that this would have a catastrophic effect isn't being shown. It only needs to be established that the houses already only have barely enough jumpships to do the jobs they were already doing.

And we have two canonical examples of this. The Fourth Succession War and the War of 3039. House Davion went into a recession supporting Operation Rat due to the shear number of jumpships it had to pull away from civilian roles and due to the loss of HPG communications in the late war.

(despite having alternative communications, and having prepared for this situation in advance).

The Combine's effort to fight the War of 3039 likewise crashed its own economy so badly that it had only started to recover by the time the clans were invading.

And these were short conflicts amounting to a year of intense operations. The communications problem is an order of magnitude larger, and the houses don't have an off switch for it.

Good news is the lab boys say the symptoms of asbestos poisoning show an immediate latency of 44.6 years. So if you're thirty or over you're laughing. Worst case scenario you miss out on a few rounds of canasta, plus you've forwarded the cause of science by three centuries. I punch those numbers into my calculator, it makes a happy face.

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Walrus Gumboot

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Re: Ilclan era: betting pool on the next big dustup.
« Reply #101 on: 22 July 2021, 22:09:46 »
There is a catastrophically enormous difference between knowing what it takes to maintain "business as usual" without the HPG network and actually being able to achieve it.

It isn't business as usual.
It is something else, which is similar to solutions that have worked before and is not an over-determined abject failure of the Interstellar Nation State beyond the scale of the Hanseatic League. I suspect it is a predication for maximalist argument but the hypotheticals for events going forward presented have been insufficiently equivocal to the point of being risible.

ANS Kamas P81

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Re: Ilclan era: betting pool on the next big dustup.
« Reply #102 on: 23 July 2021, 02:07:03 »
I think at this point, we either need a new thread for the topic, or a thread for all the economic / jumpship stuff... haha
This.  Can we take the jumpship stuff elsewhere?

Cannonshop

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Re: Ilclan era: betting pool on the next big dustup.
« Reply #103 on: 23 July 2021, 08:37:10 »
This.  Can we take the jumpship stuff elsewhere?

Might be a good idea, there are signs of tempers getting frayed for no good reason (apologies from me for any and all of that.)

for my part, I've said my bit, and I'm going to try the miracle of shutting up really hard now so that people can get their tempers back in check.
"If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-Samuel Adams

Minemech

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Re: Ilclan era: betting pool on the next big dustup.
« Reply #104 on: 23 July 2021, 09:06:27 »
And we have two canonical examples of this. The Fourth Succession War and the War of 3039. House Davion went into a recession supporting Operation Rat due to the shear number of jumpships it had to pull away from civilian roles and due to the loss of HPG communications in the late war.

(despite having alternative communications, and having prepared for this situation in advance).

The Combine's effort to fight the War of 3039 likewise crashed its own economy so badly that it had only started to recover by the time the clans were invading.
These jumpships would not be pulled away from civilian roles, but be required to participate in another role of receiving and transmitting coded information, both to a planet (More likely a dropship in system), and to other jumpships in system. This information would contain mixes of types of information. Assuming that there are hubs tracking jumpship movements, this could be done quite efficiently, without disrupting traffic.

 As for the recessions, the Draconis Combine was not a paradigm of economic health to begin with, and House Davion had major force projection issues in that time period. RCTs are inefficient formations that require immense transportation capability to be as mobile as House Davion was demanding, as well as to keep them supplied. Think of how many Invaders, Merchants and Scouts it takes to transport just the RCT alone, nonetheless its support assets. Do not assume that they are using Overlords to transport all mech assets, but at most 2 per non-elite RCT. Furthermore, you have to keep the Jumpships properly supplied.