Register Register

Author Topic: Kampfgruppe Steiner Operation: Götterdämmerung or how we survived the Dark Age.  (Read 51968 times)

Flieger

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 764
    • DoktorWhisky.de
[...]the tendency of that nation to lose their best military minds to the international market, while retaining generals of such inability that they make Ambrose Burnside look like Erwin Rommel.[...]

While I agree with most of your assessment, I would not go that far.

Many competent soldiers become mercenaries, but many of them are mercs in name only. Units like the Gray Death Legion and Kell Hounds (and to a lesser extent even the Blue Star Irregulars) are basically house units operating outside the LCAF. While they would take a contract offered by an ally of the Commonwealth, they are staunch loyalists and would never turn on their Lyran compatriots.

As for the LCAF/LAAF... one tends to focus on the Bryans and Hogarths while overlooking the McDonalds or Ciampas. And for some weird reason, Nondi Steiner's military savvy regressed massively with age, but initially she was a quite good commander.
I think in recent years this problem has been overstated, especially compared to other Successor States. The very nature of feudal societies (pseudo-feudal as they may be in BT) means that incompetent people rise through the ranks.

And looking at the current situation, the military leadership under Roderic seems to be the least of the Lyran problem's.

Middcore

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1003
  • The Inner Sphere could always use more Heroes!
While I agree with most of your assessment, I would not go that far.

Many competent soldiers become mercenaries, but many of them are mercs in name only. Units like the Gray Death Legion and Kell Hounds (and to a lesser extent even the Blue Star Irregulars) are basically house units operating outside the LCAF. While they would take a contract offered by an ally of the Commonwealth, they are staunch loyalists and would never turn on their Lyran compatriots.

Well, the fact that some of the top soldiers the Lyran nation produces put themselves in positions where they can still defend the Commonwealth against its foes but are outside the direct reach of the Lyran military chain of command still doesn't speak well of the latter.

Flieger

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 764
    • DoktorWhisky.de
Well, the fact that some of the top soldiers the Lyran nation produces put themselves in positions where they can still defend the Commonwealth against its foes but are outside the direct reach of the Lyran military chain of command still doesn't speak well of the latter.

I did not say it does. I object to the 'losing to the international market'-part, because they still defend the Commonwealth's intrest. Again, not a good situation, but not an even worse situation of just any top graduate fighting for any highest bidder.

Cannonshop

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 7599
I did not say it does. I object to the 'losing to the international market'-part, because they still defend the Commonwealth's intrest. Again, not a good situation, but not an even worse situation of just any top graduate fighting for any highest bidder.

My intent was closer to this:

Well, the fact that some of the top soldiers the Lyran nation produces put themselves in positions where they can still defend the Commonwealth against its foes but are outside the direct reach of the Lyran military chain of command still doesn't speak well of the latter.

Though I admit I may have somewhat oversimplified, the fundamental problem here, is that it's not a temporary situation-it's a sustained state of being, covering Generations.

Which points to a deeper malaise that, well...like I said earlier, it makes for a good background for certain types of story, but it's not a sustainable situation for a nation-state, never mind an empire.

In a way, while the canon points to the FWL as the equivalent of the Austro-hungarian empire with its internal strife, the Lyran Commonwealth actually shows more evidence of being the HRE of the Inner Sphere (Or the actual Austria-Hungary).

What the Lyrans need, and probably won't get, is a Bismarck-someone (not the Archon) who can knit those statelets back together in the Archon's name.  To me that would be an awesome plotline, but it's not one that's likely to happen.
"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

Rainbow 6

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2542
What the Lyrans need, and probably won't get, is a Bismarck-someone (not the Archon) who can knit those statelets back together in the Archon's name.  To me that would be an awesome plotline, but it's not one that's likely to happen.

You are right on both points, unfortunately.

MDFification

  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 135
  • Periphery Enthusiast
Now that I think about it, it really doesn't seem like any of the breakaway states are hostile to the Lyrans. Hostile to Trillian Steiner, perhaps, but all of them seem to be dedicated to protecting Lyran worlds that they (correctly) feel the Lyran state has abandoned.

The Timbuktu Collective only exists because the Florida TTM had to fight a rebellion for more than a year unsupported before the Commonwealth deigned to actually protect itself. After they broke away and became the 1st Timbuktu Guards, all they've done is protect Lyran planets from pirate raids (notably, the Commonwealth itself isn't showing up to these fights). Every world they've taken from the Commonwealth has joined voluntarily. If there aren't ideological reasons for defecting (I note that the worlds leaving are places that Democracy Now was strong on, that the Collective is probably just a rebrand of the Rim Collection's government) it's simply because Timbuktu's protecting them and Tharkad isn't.

The Vesper Marches exist purely because the 1st Hesperus Guards showed up to defend Melissa instead of a loyal Lyran unit. Arc-Royal isn't following Trillian's orders, but that's because her orders are "stop liberating Lyran planets and send your leadership to Tharkad so I can make them assume the defensive posture the rest of the Lyran forces are in". The Tamar Pact has an actual secessionist national identity, but they're only interested in conquering ex-Tamar Pact worlds, to the point that they've completely ignored the power vacuum in Skye, which would be an easy expansion route, in favor of fighting Jiyi Chistu's Falcons.

Point being, none of these states seem to be an actual threat to what remains of the Commonwealth for the foreseeable future. The Commonwealth doesn't really lose anything due to their existence, because they've only taken worlds the Commonwealth dedicated no forces to taking or holding anyway. But simply by existing, they increase the Commonwealth's security by providing difficult to digest buffer space. This should allow the Commonwealth to redirect it's forces to repelling the invasion from the Rim Territories, and retaking worlds lost to the Wolf Empire.

tl;dr while the separatists might have been produced by the weakness of the Lyran state, they don't seem to be weakening it. They seem to be improving it's overall strategic position. If Trillian's smart, she'll seek rapprochement with the breakaways. They can always be reconquered after they've served their purpose, after all.

Rainbow 6

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2542
Makes you wonder if we might see the start of a Skye Federation in the next book, after all you've got all those unclaimed worlds.

Middcore

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1003
  • The Inner Sphere could always use more Heroes!
Makes you wonder if we might see the start of a Skye Federation in the next book, after all you've got all those unclaimed worlds.

Tiocfaidh ár lá! No, wait, that's Irish, and the Irish part of the Lyran state has been generally forgotten whereas you can't swing a Mad Cat in the BT IP without hitting a Scot.  :D

Rainbow 6

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2542
Tiocfaidh ár lá! No, wait, that's Irish, and the Irish part of the Lyran state has been generally forgotten whereas you can't swing a Mad Cat in the BT IP without hitting a Scot.  :D

Hey, Donegal is still there and begs to differ, although it does irk my FedSuns playing mate, who's of Irish decent that all the Regiments with Irish nicknames/connections are in the LCAF and not in the AFFS.

Middcore

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1003
  • The Inner Sphere could always use more Heroes!
Hey, Donegal is still there

Well, that's kind of my point. Donegal is supposed to be Irish-flavored but it's always just... been there, whereas Skye shenanigans take up multiple books, there's the Northwind Highlanders, the Black Watch, Davis McCall...

I guess Stackpole made a bit more effort to play up the Irish-ness of the Kell Hounds in the newer novellas, although it's still mainly only reflected in JumpShips names and stuff like that.

Decoy

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2525
Donegal, with the continent of Seattle upon which the city of Queen Anne is located.
« Last Edit: 28 January 2022, 15:22:57 by Decoy »

Jellico

  • Spatium Magister
  • Freelance Writer
  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 5615
  • BattleMechs are the lords of the battlefield
The very nature of feudal societies (pseudo-feudal as they may be in BT) means that incompetent people rise through the ranks.

I felt the same until I read about the Spanish Armada. The guy in charge of the Armada is treated by history as a fool, but in reality he had a hell of a CV.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alonso_P%C3%A9rez_de_Guzm%C3%A1n_y_Sotomayor,_7th_Duke_of_Medina_Sidonia


Feudal societies have different priorities. Eg You can't trust your subordinates to do what they are told. So nepotism makes more sense. Education isn't fairly spread, so the nobles are the ones with the literacy and math skills to do the staff work to keep a nation or army going.

Something in the Lyran system selects for those who can successfully navigate court politics. If a person can do that they clearly aren't incompetent.

MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 21689
  • Wipe your mouth!
But they are frequently incompetent on subjects like military matters, which has had disastrous results.
Warning: this post may contain sarcasm.

"I think I've just had another near-Rincewind experience," Death, The Color of Magic

"When in doubt, C4." Jamie Hyneman

Flieger

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 764
    • DoktorWhisky.de
But how many of the Lyran military leaders are actually incompetent 'now'?

Browsing FM:3145 and other recent publications, the majority of the Lyran generals and higher officers is portrayed as dutyful and ressourceful. In fact I only found one reference to "less skilled" officers: the 14th Lyran Regulars were purged of their pro-Brewer leadership and replaced will lesser, but loyal officers - which I would see as the result of manpower shortage rather than poor management.

Also, the combat performance - when not confronted with insurmountable odds - does not seem to be bad, either. On the contrary, the battles of Coventry and Hesperus II prove the Lyrans can fight. Then there is Roderick who surely knows his stuff. In terms of military capabilities, competence is not the problem. Lack of ressources is.

That is a reversal of what Lyran forces are used to, and adapting to that is tough. But tough times create tough people. Yes, we see a smaller, weaker LCAF. We see a disillusioned force, weary and at its breaking point. Yet despite it all, the LCAF has competent soldiers. The blade is chipped but damn sharp. No longer the blunt instrument of old, Trillian will have to use it wisely but I think there are ways to do so.


tl;dr while the separatists might have been produced by the weakness of the Lyran state, they don't seem to be weakening it. They seem to be improving it's overall strategic position. If Trillian's smart, she'll seek rapprochement with the breakaways. They can always be reconquered after they've served their purpose, after all.

You make good points. Especially the patriotic seperatists can be turned into an assett, and they can return with relative ease. Frame them as loyal citizens who temporarily prefer automy from the Archon, which Tharkad gracefully grants them as long as they serve Lyran intrests. But still, Trillian needs to send a message that a permanent break with the Lyran state itself cannot be accepted.
One of those breakaway states needs to be brutally destroyed.

MDFification

  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 135
  • Periphery Enthusiast
One of those breakaway states needs to be brutally destroyed.

Please not Timbuktu :( let the Rim have something nice, just this once

Rainbow 6

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2542
Please not Timbuktu :( let the Rim have something nice, just this once

They're the obvious choice though.

MDFification

  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 135
  • Periphery Enthusiast
They're the obvious choice though.

That's why I'm resorting to begging. The Rim Collection and now Timbuktu Collective are the only good thing to happen to the ex-RWR since... actually, it's the only good thing to ever happen to that region of space. Trillian wrecking it just to send a message would be immensely disappointing.
« Last Edit: 30 January 2022, 18:12:58 by MDFification »

BrianDavion

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 825
That's why I'm resorting to begging. The Rim Collection and now Timbuktu Collective are the only good thing to happen to the ex-RWR since... actually, it's the only good thing to ever happen to that region of space. Trillian wrecking it just to send a message would be immensely disappointing.

I doubt the region would nesscarily be destroyed but I'd expect a few executions and property seizures.

Metallgewitter

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 584
I doubt the region would nesscarily be destroyed but I'd expect a few executions and property seizures.

Well she might pull a Adam Steiner on how to deal with rebellious regions. Remember what he did with Duchess La Rue? Sending 2 RCT's wrecking the capital of said region and then arrests the rebellious leader.

Rainbow 6

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2542
Well she might pull a Adam Steiner on how to deal with rebellious regions. Remember what he did with Duchess La Rue? Sending 2 RCT's wrecking the capital of said region and then arrests the rebellious leader.

Well 1 RCT and 1 LCT.

Did the trick though.

BrianDavion

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 825
Trillian needs to do something, and she needs to do it SOON. the LC's coming apart

MDFification

  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 135
  • Periphery Enthusiast
Trillian needs to do something, and she needs to do it SOON. the LC's coming apart

She doesn't have a lot to work with. Melissa left her an empty treasury (so good luck paying mercenaries or buying the loyalty of the nobility), a fleet too small permit offensive actions and maintaining lines of communication/supply at the same time, and a massive Wolf Empire salient which means that the Commonwealth's most important industrial and political centers are essentially frontline worlds.

When she did try to do something, the Buena rebellion, it took her two years to be able to bring Lyran forces to bear. If it hadn't been for locals acting on their own initiative (without orders or support) in the interim, she would probably have lost the whole province, and the Lyran Commonwealth would pretty much have lost Great House status. The problem isn't that she's some sort of idiot, it's that the Commonwealth simply doesn't have the resources to maintain it's territorial integrity.

However, this will change soon. Alaric took his entire touman to Terra, took horrific casualties, and is pinned down there - if he redeploys, Daoshen Liao takes Terra and he'll go down in history as the guy who won and lost the Ilkhanate. So the front can be pushed away from the Commonwealth's jugular, freeing up some forces. More significantly (Tamar Rising spoilers) as of 3152, Clan Sea Fox has figured out how to restore the HPG network. Without her transport assets tied up, Trillian will be able to go on the offensive again. This actually kind of bums me out, I like the breakaway states, and at this point they don't look likely to last a decade.

BrianDavion

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 825
She doesn't have a lot to work with. Melissa left her an empty treasury (so good luck paying mercenaries or buying the loyalty of the nobility), a fleet too small permit offensive actions and maintaining lines of communication/supply at the same time, and a massive Wolf Empire salient which means that the Commonwealth's most important industrial and political centers are essentially frontline worlds.

When she did try to do something, the Buena rebellion, it took her two years to be able to bring Lyran forces to bear. If it hadn't been for locals acting on their own initiative (without orders or support) in the interim, she would probably have lost the whole province, and the Lyran Commonwealth would pretty much have lost Great House status. The problem isn't that she's some sort of idiot, it's that the Commonwealth simply doesn't have the resources to maintain it's territorial integrity.

However, this will change soon. Alaric took his entire touman to Terra, took horrific casualties, and is pinned down there - if he redeploys, Daoshen Liao takes Terra and he'll go down in history as the guy who won and lost the Ilkhanate. So the front can be pushed away from the Commonwealth's jugular, freeing up some forces. More significantly (Tamar Rising spoilers) as of 3152, Clan Sea Fox has figured out how to restore the HPG network. Without her transport assets tied up, Trillian will be able to go on the offensive again. This actually kind of bums me out, I like the breakaway states, and at this point they don't look likely to last a decade.

I agree, once the HPGs go up it changes everything and I could see that swinging things VERY dramaticly very fast.

CJC070

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 751
Yes we might see the Breakaway states coming into the fold but first Trillian has to secure her own territories lost that is closer to home.  We may have heard of the Sea Foxes repairing an HPG but we may not see the full effect for the next ten to twenty years and attitudes (and loyalties) may have changed.  What I want to see is a book or short story in the iClan Era where the Lyran units are not treated as punching bags.

Metallgewitter

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 584
I agree, once the HPGs go up it changes everything and I could see that swinging things VERY dramaticly very fast.

The question would be WHO actually gets access to the cheat code "Activate HPG"? I mean we had two decades and ONE succesful repair and then out of nowhere the HPG's run again. Who wouldn't keep this trick to themselves?

ANS Kamas P81

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 11525
To my knowledge it's only one HPG that the Foxes brought back online, and not a wide-spanning "we solved the problem, just do X" solution.  I could be wrong, if someone who has Tamar Rising wants to chime in on this.

Deadborder

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 7647
  • Technical Victory!
    • Elmer Studios Blog
To my knowledge it's only one HPG that the Foxes brought back online, and not a wide-spanning "we solved the problem, just do X" solution.  I could be wrong, if someone who has Tamar Rising wants to chime in on this.

You're petty much on the mark there. They got two HPGs in neighbouring systems to talk to each other with a lot of 'noise' on the line. That's hardly a system-wide fix
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



How to Draw MegaMek Icons the Deadborder Way. Over 9000 so far. Determination or madness?

Orwell84

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 742
She doesn't have a lot to work with. Melissa left her an empty treasury (so good luck paying mercenaries or buying the loyalty of the nobility), a fleet too small permit offensive actions and maintaining lines of communication/supply at the same time, and a massive Wolf Empire salient which means that the Commonwealth's most important industrial and political centers are essentially frontline worlds.

The problem isn't that she's some sort of idiot, it's that the Commonwealth simply doesn't have the resources to maintain it's territorial integrity.

My own impression of Trillian too. It's understandable that some Lyran generals or JQ Public might see her as weak and stupid, but IMHO it's more a case of Trillian playing the shitty hand she was dealt as best she can. Like the Imperium of Man in 40k, mere survival is (or should be) justly hailed as victory for the LC right now. Unfortunately manipulating the two Clans into hitting each other on Hesperus and using LIC agents to foment uprisings aren't the sort of victories glory-hounds want to see.

You're petty much on the mark there. They got two HPGs in neighbouring systems to talk to each other with a lot of 'noise' on the line. That's hardly a system-wide fix

Plus there's also the chance that both HPGs were already among the 20% still working and Clan Sea Fox just formally took over ComStar's duties, although I don't remember seeing either listed as working HPGs before now so maybe they really did restore the network. IIRC from the Tamar Rising thread there will be more revelations about this in the next two books.

All Clan totems are equal but some are more equal than others

"They do not understand that defacing or destroying a monument does not change history. In fact, it often ends up reinforcing that history. Rewriting the history books to impose a new social order rarely works in the long term."
Baldur/Trent, Forever Faithful

Metallgewitter

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 584
You're petty much on the mark there. They got two HPGs in neighbouring systems to talk to each other with a lot of 'noise' on the line. That's hardly a system-wide fix

Was there any mention what happened to Tucker Harwell? He was the one who reactivated the Wyatt HPG (was that permanent? The novel made it seem that way). He also found Devlin Stone in his cryo chamber and found all his plans like Clarion Call. Is he now part of the Wolves? Or did he manage to escape yet again? That might be our next Jerome Blake should he manage to get a "dead" station run again.

Rainbow 6

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2542
Nothing since he left stones hospital room.