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Author Topic: The Palmyra Disaster  (Read 30617 times)

Cannonshop

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Re: The Palmyra Disaster
« Reply #750 on: 18 August 2021, 22:43:20 »
Black navy would be PWS out the wazoo, right?  They are more affordable, and you just stick 9 of them on your Invader/Star Lord jumpship and call it a day.  I'd like it if actual WarShips got written out completely.  And if the Lucien Davion has to suffer an ignoble death like it did at Palmyra, then let me see the DCMS and CCAF WarShips suffer the same fate.  What is good for the goose is good for the gander, as they say.

No, it really wouldn't.  PWS can handle ONE job, but that job isn't what you most need a navy for.

they can handle static defense over a planet, or surprise attacks they're already obsolete to do.  (People are watching for that Mule/other dropship that has doors in the wrong parts now, or that Union with the doors in the nose, etc.)

PWS aren't suitable for establishing lines of communication, for example, or conducting recon on a system, they're not suitable for interdiction or commerce raiding, they're not suitable for commerce protection, and again, they aren't suitable for communication.

we don't have HPG anymore, we don't have reliable Black Box.  Messages from system A to system B are hand-carried, and if it's secure military traffic, it needs security, which you don't get with a rental jumpship that owes money to god-only-knows-who.

These are all significantly more important missions than "SLings capital weapons at the ground".

AND they don't do transport, which IS a Navy mission.
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Lord Harlock

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Re: The Palmyra Disaster
« Reply #751 on: 19 August 2021, 00:12:47 »
Nope, it has been a long running complaint with how CGL has handled the characters after MWDA handed off.  In 3130 you had . . . .

FS- Ruler, heir & secret heir
DC- Ruler, at least 3 heirs, and apparently one was getting friendly to make a next gen heir
LA- Fails, no heir and no succession plan
CC- Ruler, 'little sister' presumed heir
FWL- . . . 3 Captain General wannabes; MSC had disinherited heir but apparently liked a nephew (Trenton), Oriente had 5 heirs but no matches for oldest 2 (getting a bit past prime), and Regulus had a mental disease preventing heirs w/o a stated succession plan . . . even though he later railed against MSC for such a failure!  Other League proto-states, Andurien & Tamarind, lack heirs too

For the brag 'GoT in Space!' there is a lack of understanding of Succession politics.  Trillian should have picked a consort 3 or 4 years ago (like right after getting the job), same as Julian.  Yori at least makes sense why she does not have a heir- then she is expendable!

But yeah, there needs to be heirs at some point

I always saw Trillian and Julian as a good match on paper. That was mostly to get Hanse Davion back into the main Davion bloodline if his line was going to replace Yvonne's line, but that's me just thinking outside the box. However, Trillian aka Cameron Diaz is rapidly getting older, so First Prince Julian Davion needs a woman that can guarantee an heir and an spar. Who? I have no idea.

However for Captain-General Nikol Marik, I know the perfect match. Gavin Marik.

Sure his Y chromosome states Davion, but in his heart, he . . . might take after his grandmother Isis' side of the family. In short, the great grandson of Thomas Marik deserves a chance to win the heart of the great-granddaughter of Thomas Marik with no actual kissing cousins involved.

I kid, but it would be an interesting story seeing Gavin becoming consort of Nikol as all part of some master plan.


Arkansas Warrior

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Re: The Palmyra Disaster
« Reply #752 on: 19 August 2021, 00:29:09 »
Maybe set Julian up with Simone or Nessa, come to think of it (though I have no idea how old they are.  At least late 30s, given when their father died, I suppose.  So maybe not.).


Maybe Lee or Jade has a daughter the right age.  I’d speculate about Kitsune having grandkids, but marrying a Kurita, even an illegitimate one, wouldn’t be the best idea right now.
« Last Edit: 19 August 2021, 00:30:54 by Arkansas Warrior »
Sunrise is Coming.

All Hail First Prince Melissa Davion, the Patron Saint of the Regimental Combat Team, who cowed Dainmar Liao, created the Model Army, and rescued Robinson!  May her light ever guide the sons of the Suns, May our daughters ever endeavour to emulate her!

ArkRoyalRavager

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Re: The Palmyra Disaster
« Reply #753 on: 19 August 2021, 00:53:25 »
Jerome is a wild card to me. We know about as much as we do Bernard Martin which isn’t much. Plus, there is the Sandoval Family Civil War to consider. Caleb as the grandson of Tancred Sandoval technically has a superior claim to the Duchy of Robinson and the Draconis March. The rub is whatever happened that gave Jerome lordship of the Draconis March might offend Caleb as slights to his ancestors or his personal power tend to do. So, it is possible Jerome would support Caleb, but I somehow doubt it. Sandovals tend to be that family that backstabs each other in the Suns nobility.

Haseks seem to be loyal but do dumb things. The Marsins are unknowns.

Right on. Caleb did use his Sandoval surname so that might offend Jerome too.

Handwaving Riccard and Kym away has always been one of the weird things with the 3145 timeskip, especially now that Alexander Hasek is missing.

Zraver

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Re: The Palmyra Disaster
« Reply #754 on: 14 September 2021, 00:36:36 »
The 'wakeup call' I mentioned in the last post, would be  to shelve or scrap the big battlewagons for the time being, and focus on small ships that can be produced relatively quickly to do jobs that you need, when your communications are hand-delivered and stand to be intercepted by enemy forces.

You are describing the frigates of the age of sail, or the protected/light cruisers to the 19th and 20th century. Long rang, designed to work independently or as the leaders of small flotillas. Put aggressive smart commanders in them and turn them loose. The IS already knows the idea of prizes. A frigate might not break a blockade, but they can play hell on the logistics train. Commerce raiding would be a thing to fear. Sure you invaded, have the planet under seige, but wow, you've lost 5 jumpships in a month, while I have gained 5. Your troops are getting hungry while my relief forces eat your lunch and train with the equipment you provided us.


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basically, nothing bigger than a light corvette, not meant to directly interact with your ground units, but instead to handle things like jumping into, and out of, systems to see what's there ahead of your main force, or to serve as picket-lines and blockade work covering those forces.  lightweight, lots of bay space for fighters and smallcraft, maybe a couple of collars on the bigger ones, but focused on suppressing air and dropship traffic.

Now you are describing torpedo boats of the ecole school and their answer the torpedo boat destroyer. You post above this on bigger warships and their employment was Mahanian.

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supplement those with purpose-built PWS craft for your landing gunfire needs and your navy jump-capables don't come into OB range unless you've got LOTS of them in the system and are facing something akin to a Brian Fort.

The real solution to OB, is actually forts. Forts are cheaper to build. You can build a BT version of Fort Drum in Manila Harbor capable of taking down a Leviathan for a fraction of the cost.  It does not need to protect the entire planet, just the core region forcing a ground conflict similar to the way the US relied on the defense of Manila Bay to force the Japanese to come ashore farther away. Granted, Macarthur's meddling messed WPO to hell and gone costing the US the Philippines, but it was a solid strategy. It neutralized the IJN forcing a decision on the ground.

A warship fleet might try to force the Dardanelles once, or a raid on Hartlespool but not twice if there are forts guarding it with capital scale weaponry. Losing a capital ship will force the rest of them back into a mahanian fleet in being. PWS would be even less likely to chance it.  Blockade would be the name of the game, but blockading a system has its own nuts to crack.

If you do a distant blockade at the jump points then the pirate points and various La Grange points in the system allow easy ingress and egress. If you try to do it close in, you leave the jump point and presumably your own logistic train vulnerable and still are unlikely to catch blockade runners who show up at one of the systems many non-standard jump points. Sure, you will know within minutes which jump point they used to get in, but the ever expanding sphere of movement the blockade runners have mean they choose when and where to insert. 

Blockade could also be spoofed. Multiple jumps in each with multiple jump signatures. Are they all relief forces, just some just one, none? Do they want to pull you off the blockade so they can add troops or evacuate? Are those even troops, or maybe an enemy fleet of warships and PWS?

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The purpose would be communication and indirect support of landing forces or interception in the outer system for early-warning reasons if you're going defensive, convoy escort in contested systems, and that's it.[/quote}

Logistics escort is the only real use if a system has dedicated anti-warship defenses

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Doctrine would be to hold back and plink while the fighters do the heavy lifting or as fighter wing support, and either alter the rules to make ramming an intelligent thing to do, or doctrinally say 'no more playing male sheep'.

Long range carrier strike aircraft/ cruise missiles... Now you've moved into the nuclear age lol.

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Possibly enforced by the XO's sidearm to the head of the gloryhounding moron in the center chair.

That's your 'phase one' step to it-actually using the navy to do navy things in support of your more prominent army forces.

THAT kind of Navy would EAT the kinds of 'navy' we're seeing in print, and can do it with limited capital grade weapons and maybe subcaps as primary armament.

That kind of navy does eat

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The big prestige boats like Avalons, Mjolnirs, or most of what the Clans are using, are basically obsolete without having a wall of battle Jutland style, which nobody can afford or has the capacity to build.

Or afford to lose. Capital ships are tactical tools, strategic assets and symbols of national pride. Back to the Mahanian view of the role of naval forces. Its not to win wars, but to win the conditions in which wars can be won. You can't do that if your navy is sunk or spaced.

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actually, the implication comes from watching the behaviors on screen.  They don't ACT like professionals that know either what they're doing, or how to do it.

Trial by fire reveals who is an admiral and who is not. Everybody wants to be Nelson, nobody wants to be the admirals he beat up.

Cannonshop

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Re: The Palmyra Disaster
« Reply #755 on: 14 September 2021, 09:07:34 »
You are describing the frigates of the age of sail, or the protected/light cruisers to the 19th and 20th century. Long rang, designed to work independently or as the leaders of small flotillas. Put aggressive smart commanders in them and turn them loose. The IS already knows the idea of prizes. A frigate might not break a blockade, but they can play hell on the logistics train. Commerce raiding would be a thing to fear. Sure you invaded, have the planet under seige, but wow, you've lost 5 jumpships in a month, while I have gained 5. Your troops are getting hungry while my relief forces eat your lunch and train with the equipment you provided us.


Now you are describing torpedo boats of the ecole school and their answer the torpedo boat destroyer. You post above this on bigger warships and their employment was Mahanian.

The real solution to OB, is actually forts. Forts are cheaper to build. You can build a BT version of Fort Drum in Manila Harbor capable of taking down a Leviathan for a fraction of the cost.  It does not need to protect the entire planet, just the core region forcing a ground conflict similar to the way the US relied on the defense of Manila Bay to force the Japanese to come ashore farther away. Granted, Macarthur's meddling messed WPO to hell and gone costing the US the Philippines, but it was a solid strategy. It neutralized the IJN forcing a decision on the ground.

A warship fleet might try to force the Dardanelles once, or a raid on Hartlespool but not twice if there are forts guarding it with capital scale weaponry. Losing a capital ship will force the rest of them back into a mahanian fleet in being. PWS would be even less likely to chance it.  Blockade would be the name of the game, but blockading a system has its own nuts to crack.

If you do a distant blockade at the jump points then the pirate points and various La Grange points in the system allow easy ingress and egress. If you try to do it close in, you leave the jump point and presumably your own logistic train vulnerable and still are unlikely to catch blockade runners who show up at one of the systems many non-standard jump points. Sure, you will know within minutes which jump point they used to get in, but the ever expanding sphere of movement the blockade runners have mean they choose when and where to insert. 

Blockade could also be spoofed. Multiple jumps in each with multiple jump signatures. Are they all relief forces, just some just one, none? Do they want to pull you off the blockade so they can add troops or evacuate? Are those even troops, or maybe an enemy fleet of warships and PWS?

Long range carrier strike aircraft/ cruise missiles... Now you've moved into the nuclear age lol.

That kind of navy does eat

Or afford to lose. Capital ships are tactical tools, strategic assets and symbols of national pride. Back to the Mahanian view of the role of naval forces. Its not to win wars, but to win the conditions in which wars can be won. You can't do that if your navy is sunk or spaced.

Trial by fire reveals who is an admiral and who is not. Everybody wants to be Nelson, nobody wants to be the admirals he beat up.

Generally speaking I was looking at it from a cost/sustainability model.  With the enormous COST of your massive battlewagons, most states in the 31st-32nd century can't afford to run vast fleets of Battlecruisers and half-millon-ton warships, and nto just the construction cost here-the trained personnel issue-nobody but the FWL bothered to build ships that could properly train and prepare officers to serve on the bigger ships.

Because you don't want unskilled amatuers helming your million ton battleships.

This is the core problem with the post-helm-core navies in a nutshell-everyone rushed to get big, when they needed to get skilled up,  a Fox-class even falls into this, because it's got a huge investment in time and construction, and it costs a ****** fortune to build and run, yet the pool of officers to helm them came from dropship jockeys or fighter pilots.

NOT the best option, and maybe an explanation for the male-sheep-fetish demonstrated by both LCN and AFFCN officers, along with the abysmal tactical use they ALSO demonstrated.  (WoB doesn't get a pass here, they're just as guilty, so is everyone else.)

So I laid out what I think are the fundamentals-first you build an actual fleet of lighter ships that can do the day-to-days for actual navy service- that is, communication, commerce protection, and reconaissance ahead of the main fleet.

for a while, that has to BE your main fleet-you need coverage, and you need a pool of officers for when you start building up the next step in size.  Tactics by necessity against foreign navies would focus on pack and formations if your heaviest ship is still under a quarter million tons at this phase, and those tactics scale up as your yards get better, supply lines are established, and you've begun producing veteran officers who understand how to warship a warship.

but you're also right in another of your observations: it's about establishing hte conditions that PERMIT victory, instead of hoping you can ram the enemy's flagship with yours.

A note on Forts: this has a basic flaw-forts are stationary, therefore vulnerable to anyone with a good star chart and a stopwatch.  strap a .1 Gee thruster with a rudimentary gyro and point it, and if you're patient, the enemy won't have his forts anymore in three weeks to three months, and it's a lot less observable (and interceptable) than a ship coming out of Hyperspace or approaching under thrust at 4-6 gees *(for the faster battleships).

fixed fortifications are STILL a testimony to the stupidity of planners once you are no longer bound by gravity and a two-dimensional travel paradigm.  Your only TRUE limiting factor, is how long you want to spend-how patient you are in planning out your attack.

or your defense.

but that's winning individual battles, which is tactics, not strategy.  Strategy is developing a fleet that facilitates the conditions of victory-as in establishing, for want of a better term, "Space Control" in the same way that Mahan tried to develop "Sea Control", which is not so much about the decisive battle, as it is about establishing the conditions where your battles can, in fact, be decisive.

and in your favor.

The major problems I see in 3150, are the same ones I saw in 3134, and the same that were grossly apparent in 3067, 3057, 3052, and 3049.  (but ESPECIALLY in the 32nd century with the lack of FTL communication to tie realms together regardless of their naval presence.)

Your communication structure is your critical weakness, this is true of the FWL, CapCon, Combine, Commonwealth, or Suns-you have to have a mass number of ships doing courier duty, but you don't have the ships (anymore), and as you ARE depending on jumpship traffic, you need the ones carrying critical messages under control, or you have to accept that you have a realm in name only.

So the first step, is to build lots of messengers that can defend themselves, and disperse them widely, the second step, is to defend the network.  This, incidentally, suits the small ships very, very well, but it's not something you can do with dropships even if you call them 'pocket warships'.  PWS are ONLY good for shelling ground forces or blockade defense in the company of heavier units with a steeply limited travel radius.  They're like the shallow-draft monitors that are only tactically useful in river deltas and river systems.

Riverine warfare is not possible in space, and fighters work BETTER for defense of planets, major stations, and moons.

Because your commo is limited to Einstein, you need a jump-capable navy, or you need to accept that your nation exists more in terms of fantasy, than reality-why? because there are no 'land routes', every planet is an island in a hostile sea.

Where everyone (and I mean just about EVERYONE-except the FWL for some reason) screwed up, was building battleships without the understructure that makes them relevant and useful.

You NEED the Torpedo-Boat-Destroyers and the  pocket carriers, you NEED the independent frigates and the protected cruisers, the DD's and the DG's, the smallboys-not only because your major capital ships are a vast investment that can only be located in one spot, but also because that mass investment is strategically useless without information or protection, and because it is also useless if it is commanded by an untrained idiot with no experience and only book-theory to work from, without support.

This is actually where I derived the comment about "Warriors who sometimes go into space versus Spacers who sometimes go to war."

The Death of the Lucien Davion at Palmyra, is a prime example of Warriors who sometimes go into space deciding Naval doctrine and training, instead of spacers designing it with an eye toward sometimes going to war.

she was unescorted, her forces did not secure space superiority, she was positioned in a way she could not manuever or see effectively beyond a fixed horizon, she was positioned to be an easy target, holding a low-orbit position geosynchronous with a grounded land battle, which meant she was fighting turbulence, gravity, her own engines, and the environment in a role better suited for a dropship, without high cover or a means of escape, in a system they did NOT establish Space control of, nor have the assets to RETAIN that control.

A spacer wouldn't have done it, but the FSN doesn't have spacers, it has warriors who sometimes go into space.

"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

Zraver

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Re: The Palmyra Disaster
« Reply #756 on: 14 September 2021, 10:31:36 »
Generally speaking I was looking at it from a cost/sustainability model.  With the enormous COST of your massive battlewagons, most states in the 31st-32nd century can't afford to run vast fleets of Battlecruisers and half-millon-ton warships, and nto just the construction cost here-the trained personnel issue-nobody but the FWL bothered to build ships that could properly train and prepare officers to serve on the bigger ships.

Its the lack of a naval tradition. You can build warships, but building a navy is hard. Just ask the Soviets, Germans and perhaps still the Chinese.

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Because you don't want unskilled amatuers helming your million ton battleships.

See my point about everybody thinks they are Nelson, but odds are they will be one of the admirals he beat.

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This is the core problem with the post-helm-core navies in a nutshell-everyone rushed to get big, when they needed to get skilled up,  a Fox-class even falls into this, because it's got a huge investment in time and construction, and it costs a ****** fortune to build and run, yet the pool of officers to helm them came from dropship jockeys or fighter pilots.

Yup, no naval tradition to pull cadres from.

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NOT the best option, and maybe an explanation for the male-sheep-fetish demonstrated by both LCN and AFFCN officers, along with the abysmal tactical use they ALSO demonstrated.  (WoB doesn't get a pass here, they're just as guilty, so is everyone else.)[/qupte]

You want aggressive and smart commanders. If you have no idea who is smart in naval terms, you go with aggressive. Not really a new phenomenon.

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So I laid out what I think are the fundamentals-first you build an actual fleet of lighter ships that can do the day-to-days for actual navy service- that is, communication, commerce protection, and reconaissance ahead of the main fleet.

I think you are jumping ahead there. I agree with you that a true battle line is prohibitively expensive. A much better solution is to borrow a page from the Ecole school and build lighter vessels like destroyers (classis sense not BT scale) and protected cruisers/ age of sail type frigates. 

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for a while, that has to BE your main fleet-you need coverage, and you need a pool of officers for when you start building up the next step in size.  Tactics by necessity against foreign navies would focus on pack and formations if your heaviest ship is still under a quarter million tons at this phase, and those tactics scale up as your yards get better, supply lines are established, and you've begun producing veteran officers who understand how to warship a warship.

100% agree

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but you're also right in another of your observations: it's about establishing hte conditions that PERMIT victory, instead of hoping you can ram the enemy's flagship with yours.

Not me, Alfred Thayer Mahan

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A note on Forts: this has a basic flaw-forts are stationary, therefore vulnerable to anyone with a good star chart and a stopwatch.  strap a .1 Gee thruster with a rudimentary gyro and point it, and if you're patient, the enemy won't have his forts anymore in three weeks to three months, and it's a lot less observable (and interceptable) than a ship coming out of Hyperspace or approaching under thrust at 4-6 gees *(for the faster battleships).

You presume a fort is remaining a classic fixed, small area item like a castle.  At least no later than post jihad, every one would be going to a distributed defensive network.  If you can find it, look at the old anti-missile missile locations for Moscow. They had the same problem you are talking about, how do you defend the defenders so they can defend whats worth defending? Distributed defenses. Part of the confusion is my referencing Ft Drum, but I was more concerned with fire power and area denial than in a single concentrated point for attacker to target.

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fixed fortifications are STILL a testimony to the stupidity of planners once you are no longer bound by gravity and a two-dimensional travel paradigm.  Your only TRUE limiting factor, is how long you want to spend-how patient you are in planning out your attack.

Disagree, defenses can deny an area to the attacker forcing them to fight it out on land. Japan beat the Russian navy but could not take Port Arthur by sea, they had to slog it out overland with infantry. The British, ANZAC's and French failed at Gallipoli both naval and land side. The Royal Navy had a massive advantage in WWI, but could not approach the German anchorages for fear of mines and shore batteries. Fortifications/ defensive works are not to defeat an enemy, but to channel him into areas where armies can beat him.


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but that's winning individual battles, which is tactics, not strategy.  Strategy is developing a fleet that facilitates the conditions of victory-as in establishing, for want of a better term, "Space Control" in the same way that Mahan tried to develop "Sea Control", which is not so much about the decisive battle, as it is about establishing the conditions where your battles can, in fact, be decisive.

and in your favor.

Space control is the hard part. Say we have a system with just 3 planets not counting the moons you have the zenith and nadir points, 2 La Grange Points per planet, plus at least 9 pirate points at any given time, all separated by several AU of distance. You can lock down the nadir and zenith points, this makes it harder and more expensive to get in system, but you cannot shut it all down. See my earlier point about a close blockade and the issues it has. Primarily in that it invites attacks on your logistics train instead.

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The major problems I see in 3150, are the same ones I saw in 3134, and the same that were grossly apparent in 3067, 3057, 3052, and 3049.  (but ESPECIALLY in the 32nd century with the lack of FTL communication to tie realms together regardless of their naval presence.)

Your communication structure is your critical weakness, this is true of the FWL, CapCon, Combine, Commonwealth, or Suns-you have to have a mass number of ships doing courier duty, but you don't have the ships (anymore), and as you ARE depending on jumpship traffic, you need the ones carrying critical messages under control, or you have to accept that you have a realm in name only.

Not sure I agree. You don't really need real time information, just real enough. LF battery equipped jumpships running pony express missions can relay messages in critical sectors in days if not hours.

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So the first step, is to build lots of messengers that can defend themselves, and disperse them widely,

And watch the costs go through the roof. Build enough messengers but keep them concentrated to set up command circuits between where you center of mass/ reserves are, and where you think they will be needed. used the saved money to build escorts for them.

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the second step, is to defend the network.  This, incidentally, suits the small ships very, very well, but it's not something you can do with dropships even if you call them 'pocket warships'.  PWS are ONLY good for shelling ground forces or blockade defense in the company of heavier units with a steeply limited travel radius.  They're like the shallow-draft monitors that are only tactically useful in river deltas and river systems./quote]

Dissagree.  PWS and normal dropships can do the escort duties, don't pin down a warship. A much better and more cost effective and efficent solution is use LF battery equipped vessels as your messengers. When they jump into a hot system, make sure they have a charge ready to do an emergency egress. Jump in, data dump, pick up the incoming data dump if there is time, drop off the insertion dropships if that is part of the run and jump out unless you are evacuating some one put of the system.

Warships need to go after commerce. A single warship commerce raiding will pull off several warships for convoy escort missions. Its super cost effective to be a commerce raider. Even if you can't approach the enemy vessels because of an escort, you still win as long as they can't catch you.  In peace time, 15 jumpships can visit 15 different planets at roughly the same time. In a war with active commerce raiding, those 15 jumpships now need an escort so they have to hit each of those planets in turn. The net effect is that commerce is slowed to 1/15th the pace. Can't win a war like that, so you prioritize just the big 3-5 planets you have to have to keep your economy going. So you are only 3-5x slower.  Minor planets suffer, consumer goods get scare, tax revenues dry up, and enemy naval assets are not available to hit you offensively.

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Where everyone (and I mean just about EVERYONE-except the FWL for some reason) screwed up, was building battleships without the understructure that makes them relevant and useful.

Agree

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You NEED the Torpedo-Boat-Destroyers and the  pocket carriers, you NEED the independent frigates and the protected cruisers, the DD's and the DG's, the smallboys-not only because your major capital ships are a vast investment that can only be located in one spot, but also because that mass investment is strategically useless without information or protection, and because it is also useless if it is commanded by an untrained idiot with no experience and only book-theory to work from, without support.[/qute]

Agree

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This is actually where I derived the comment about "Warriors who sometimes go into space versus Spacers who sometimes go to war."

Amatuers vs proffesionals

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The Death of the Lucien Davion at Palmyra, is a prime example of Warriors who sometimes go into space deciding Naval doctrine and training, instead of spacers designing it with an eye toward sometimes going to war.

Or the authors just hare the Fed Suns. The avalon class has its own fighter and drop ship escorts. There were 13 units on planet each with 1-2 aerospace wings and dropships, the AFFSN assault drop ship flotillas, normal jumpship traffic, military jumpship traffic. How exactly did the DCMS get close enough? A fleet large enough to bust in, is not going to see the Lucien just sit there and do nothing. But it wasn't a fleet, it was a single squadron. The Lucien Davion would have had days to figure out how it was going to fight, even if it had to stay tied to a fixed point in space. At an average of 24 fighters per RCT that is 312 fighters. Plus 12 for the avalon and what ever the escorting assault dropships had. Its stupid handwavium all yeeted by a single squadron of merc fighters

she was unescorted, her forces did not secure space superiority, she was positioned in a way she could not manuever or see effectively beyond a fixed horizon, she was positioned to be an easy target, holding a low-orbit position geosynchronous with a grounded land battle, which meant she was fighting turbulence, gravity, her own engines, and the environment in a role better suited for a dropship, without high cover or a means of escape, in a system they did NOT establish Space control of, nor have the assets to RETAIN that control.

A spacer wouldn't have done it, but the FSN doesn't have spacers, it has warriors who sometimes go into space.

Stormlion1

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Re: The Palmyra Disaster
« Reply #757 on: 14 September 2021, 18:12:46 »
The other option is to create a Jumpship with a dozen collars and have it transport a dozen PWS's. Then run them in squadrons of four operating together in small task forces.
I don't set an example for others. I make examples of them.

idea weenie

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Re: The Palmyra Disaster
« Reply #758 on: 14 September 2021, 21:53:37 »
The other option is to create a Jumpship with a dozen collars and have it transport a dozen PWS's. Then run them in squadrons of four operating together in small task forces.

12 Collars would need a Compact Core vessel of 600 ktons, and considering just the bare bones Compact core at that size would cost ~5.8B C-Bills that would get expensive fast.  A 200 kton Jumpship with 4 Collars would cost ~825M for the Jump Core alone, and would allow you to split up the task force as needed.  It also means that if some of the PWS get destroyed, then one (or more) of the Jumpships can be reassigned (instead of a single platform with 12 Collars forced to wait for the remaining vessels).

Rough math for the following:
1 Compact Core Warship @ 600 ktons 12 collars: 7.7B C-bills
Three 200kton Jumpships with 4 collars each: 3 * 825M C-Bills = 2.475B C-Bills

My suggestion would be 3 Jumpships each with 6 collars, organized where each Jumpship has 4 PWS and 2 supply vessels.  This allows the Task force to subdivide conduct long-duration missions as needed.  It also means that if the Task Force Commander chose to do so, the PWS can conduct an isolated mission with two Jumpships, while one Jumpship with the Cargo Dropships returns to base to be restocked and rendezvous with the Task Force at another location (and the base doesn't have to be at a planet, it could be a deep-space rendezvous with pre-delivered packages)

3 Jumpships @ 6 collars/: 3 * 1.151B C-Bills = 3.453B C-Bills

Thanks to the Compact Core Cost multiplier and the Warship's higher Support Systems cost, a nation could afford six Jumpships at 6 collars each for less than a single 12-Collar Warship of the smallest size capable of carrying 12 Collars.


I can understand why nations would want to build large Warships, as the price of just the KF setup on the smallest Warship of 100ktons is about 3.8B C-Bills, while on the 2.5 MTon hull it is about 13.4B C-Bills, or less than 3.6 times as much for a vessel that could be 25 times as capable.  Of the two prices, the K-F Support systems are the most expensive part, ranging from 2.4B to 12B C-Bills of the final price total.  If you extend the mass range downwards, the whole KF setup for a zero-ton Warship would cost just under 3.4B C-Bills.

(I know these are FASAnomics, but they should reflect the relative complexity of the hulls mentioned)

(Calculations are from Strategic Operations, 3rd printing, page 146, the "ADVANCED AEROSPACE UNIT COSTS TABLES".  Cost calculated from the Kearny-Fuchida Drive, Compact Core Multiplier as appropriate, K-F Drive Support Systems, and the Final Cost Multiplier)

Cannonshop

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Re: The Palmyra Disaster
« Reply #759 on: 14 September 2021, 22:44:17 »
The other option is to create a Jumpship with a dozen collars and have it transport a dozen PWS's. Then run them in squadrons of four operating together in small task forces.

it's even cheaper and gets you better coverage to build  a lot of 2 collar jumpships to haul your dropships around.  The basic problem remains: PWS's are only good on an extremely local level (within the orbit of a planet, mostly), but at least with large numbers of dedicated jumpships, you can start developing the experience base for more complex and expensive vessels, as well as filling some of the gaping holes in present-day navies like message traffic, surveillance, show the flag and commerce protection.

The developer focus on PWS's is largely an artifact of the popularity in the 1990s and early 2000s of the 'monitors' from Mechforce UK-which were warships stripped of KF cores and therefore seen as totally kewl by part of the playerbase.  (this was actually commented on when they started unveiling them from WK materials multiple times).  in practice, they aren't as 'excellent' as even the very moderate writeups in the TROs suggest (conventional assault dropships are,  by and large, better units for everything that isn't launching a false-flag sneak attack, operating a static blockade, or bombarding ground troops.)

the key here, is to remember you don't have HPGs or even black boxes anymore, which means your navy has a specific role that the army really can't do better from ground bases-that role, is holding your empire together.

concentrating massive force, doesn't really help anywhere but the extremely local level, therefore big warships are a waste of funding made even worse by the lack of qualified, competent leadership and doctrine since there's nowhere for those warship drivers to learn how aside from studying (and failing to understand) some old textbooks that may or may not have been influenced by the Mother Doctrine or Holy Shroud.

This is also part of the problem with the obsession for PWS's as some kind of 'cheap cure-all' or adequate replacement.  They lack strategic mobility and rely on supremely vulnerable jumpships to be moved.  Those jumpships must be guarded, limiting the 'swing' of your dropship complement, because they're easy to destroy and absolutely necessary.

in essence, they're assets you can't afford to lose, since they're also your line of communication, supply, support, etc. while being easily taken out by even very light forces if those forces are prepared.

which as a naval planner you have to assume.  only an idiot assumes his enemy is also an idiot.

Thus, despite the C-bill/fasanomics, that bigger ship is NOT cheaper, because it doesn't fill the same role, because your critical role isn't rushing to engage, it's coverage and communication.

a way of looking at this, is to consider defending an island.  You have enough budget for a company of tanks, or a single assault 'mech.  which one is going to work better to deter a landing force, assuming all sides of the island are open?  The company of tanks is c-bills more expensive, but can be in multiple places at once, and concentrate as needed to gain local superiority, while the single 'mech can only be on one beach at a time, but has vastly superior firepower...which does no good if the enemy lands an army on the north beach while it's guarding the south.

at best, it can get there in time to watch the enemy make off with the women, tools, and booze, and tht's if it moves VERY swiftly.

this is the situation with interstellar nations-if your navy consists of units without the ability to coverage, and lacks strategic mobility, you might as well not have a nation, because you don't have a navy, you have "A" warship.
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Jellico

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Re: The Palmyra Disaster
« Reply #760 on: 14 September 2021, 23:21:29 »
WarShips as a defensive platform have never made sense. ASF point defense is the only practical cheap option. Admittedly this becomes a last best only chance of defense, but solar systems are big. You can't be everywhere. Too bad if you have multiple targets of interest in a solar system...



It is interesting to drag Castle Brians into this. The first assumption is the enemy isn't going to glass the victim world. And let's be honest. The defender is always a known quantity. The attacker always gets to choose how overwhelming they are.
 
So the Castle Brian is an admission that the bad guys are going to get on the ground no matter what you do. The Castle buys time for help to come. HPGs are nice, but merely speed up the process. The Castle Brian hopefully prevents the bad guys exploiting the world, but it doesn't stop them torching the world either.

Which brings us up to CASPARs. CASPARs are essentially monitors and are maybe the only serious attempt in the game to prevent an enemy getting to the ground. Look how many CASPARs it took to defend Terra. Now think of the 20 odd worlds that got a network. Insane.


Honestly I wouldn't want to be the guy in charge of defending a world in Battletech. I can understand throwing one's arms up in frustration and leaving it to the Mech jocks. The scale of the project becomes ridiculous the more developed a solar system is.




idea weenie

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Re: The Palmyra Disaster (KF Drive Cost notes)
« Reply #761 on: 15 September 2021, 04:02:28 »
(had a spreadsheet, and got interested in the maths.  Then kept on going)

Here is a list of Dropship capacities, with prices for them based on the smallest Jumpship able to carry that many Dropships.  The Total Price is the sum of the KF Drive and Support Systems, adjusted for the Jumpship Final 1.25 cost multiplier.
Code: [Select]
Collars Price (total) Price/ Reduction
Collar
 1   334,541,667 334,541,667
 2   497,770,833 248,885,417 74.40%
 3   661,000,000 220,333,333 88.53%
 4   824,229,167 206,057,292 93.52%
 5   987,458,333 197,491,667 95.84%
 6 1,150,625,000 191,770,833 97.10%
 7 1,313,854,167 187,693,452 97.87%
 8 1,477,083,333 184,635,417 98.37%
 9 1,640,312,500 182,256,944 98.71%
10 1,803,541,667 180,354,167 98.96%

From here you can see that 1-collar Jumpships are just for special purposes, definitely not for economic purposes.  The 3-, 4-, and 5-collar Jumpships should be the primary designs floating around, as going from 2 to 3 collars reduces the price per collar by 11%, going from 3 to 4 collars reduces the price again by 6.5%, while 4 to 5 reduces it by just under 5%.  Going from 5 collars to 10 collars will reduce the cost per collar by 9%, but the individual improvements 3% going from 5 to 6, and after that you only get ~2% improvement, getting worse with each step.

If you had a ~6 billion C-Bill budget for KF cores, you could get 18 of the 1-collar designs, 12 of the 2-collar designs, 9 of the 3-collar designs, 7-8 of the 4-collar designs, or 6 of the 5-collar designs.  This should help people imagine what a trading network could be like, comparing flexibility (smaller Jumpers for more destinations) vs capability (larger Jumpers cost less per collar).  Definiteley don't use the 1-collar design for economics though.


For Warships, I made a similar chart going from 100ktons to 2.5 MTons, stepping every 100 ktons.  These Warship KF Cores are for one collar each, and are the total price of all the KF Drive components, the Compact Core Price increase, the Warship KF Drive Support Systems, all multiplied by the Warship Final Cost multiplier of *2.  The Reduction shows how much the cost per ton is reduced compared to the lighter hull immediately above it.
Code: [Select]
Mass Price (total) Price/ Reduction
(ktons) ton
  100 4,576,500,000 45,765
  200 4,980,000,000 24,900 54.41%
  300 5,383,500,000 17,945 72.07%
  400 5,787,000,000 14,468 80.62%
  500 6,190,500,000 12,381 85.58%
  600 6,593,500,000 10,989 88.76%
  700 6,997,000,000 9,996 90.96%
  800 7,400,500,000 9,251 92.55%
  900 7,804,000,000 8,671 93.74%
1,000 8,207,500,000 8,208 94.65%
1,100 8,610,500,000 7,828 95.37%
1,200 9,014,000,000 7,512 95.96%
1,300 9,417,500,000 7,244 96.44%
1,400 9,821,000,000 7,015 96.84%
1,500 10,224,500,000 6,816 97.17%
1,600 10,627,500,000 6,642 97.45%
1,700 11,031,000,000 6,489 97.69%
1,800 11,434,500,000 6,353 97.90%
1,900 11,838,000,000 6,231 98.08%
2,000 12,241,500,000 6,121 98.24%
2,100 12,645,000,000 6,021 98.38%
2,200 13,048,000,000 5,931 98.50%
2,300 13,451,500,000 5,848 98.61%
2,400 13,855,000,000 5,773 98.71%
2,500 14,258,500,000 5,703 98.80%

From here you can see that 100 kton Warships would be little more than Compact Core testbeds, as a mere 9% increase in funds for the KF core means you can build a core for a 200 kton vessel, giving you twice as much available tonnage.  If you really want to splurge you could build a core for a 1.2 MTon Warship, and that core would only cost twice as much on a hull twelve times as large.  However, above the 1 MTon level, you are only increasing in performance by 5% at a time, and after 1.8 MTon you are only increasing by ~2% at a time.

So if you chose to build the 1.2 MTon platform instead of the 100 kton platform, you would only be getting ~half as many KF cores for the same amount of resources, but those cores would be far more flexible (if nothing else, you have twice as many weapons on each 1.2 MTon platform vs the 100 kton platform, and also have a massive cargo hold for really long-range missions or extensive refits).

(I performed a similar set of calculations in MegaMekLab, designing a 100 kton Warship with 1000 tons of fuel, 2/3 acceleration, no armor, minimal crew, and ~40,000 tons of cargo, with a final cost of 3.8 B C-Bills.  A similar design for 200 ktons with 2000 tons of fuel cost ~4.2B C-Bill, or about 11% more.  It would be like having 10 Locusts fight 9 Cicadas, where one of the Locusts would be free to roam around, but the other 9 would likely die.)

Each Dropship Collar added to a Warship KFDrive raises the final price by 802M C-Bills, and as a comparison the full weapons loadout of the Leviathan II has a cost of ~1.24B C-Bills, after multiplying by the Warship Final Cost multiplier (not sure the cost for the ammo, sorry).

The key expensive part of the Warship KF Core is the KF Support Systems.  These are ~50% of the final cost for a 100 kton Warship, all the way to ~84% for a 2.5 MTon Warship.
The equation for that step is 20,000,000 * (50 + Warship Mass / 10,000), which if simplified is equal to 1,000,000,000 + (Warship Mass * 2000)

Here is the full equation I used to calculate the Warship KF costs:
Final Cost = 2 * [ 5 * (60M + 75M*DSC + 25M + 5M * DSC + 50M + 50k * FRU(2 + WSM*.4525/25,000) + 50k * FRU(30 + WSM/20,000) + 500k + 200k * DSC) + 1B + WSM*2k]

Breakdown:
Base cost (independent of Warship mass or number of Collars): 2 * [ 5 * (60M + 25M + 50M + 100k + 1.5M + 500k) + 1B] = 3371M C-Bills
Warship Cost per ton: 2 * [ 5 * (.901 + 2.5) + 2000] = 4034.01 C-Bills per ton (due to the .901 and 2.5 sometimes rounding up as they are for the KF Drive Integrity and Sail Mass, this value can sometimes be equal to 4035 instead)
- Since Warships are usually in 50 kton increments for Dropship efficiency, this is roughly equal to 201.7 MC-Bills per Dropship level
Dropship Collar Cost: 2 * [ 5 * (75M + 5M + 200k)] = 802M per Dropship Collar
- since Warships need 50 ktons to mount a single collar, this is effectively 16,040 C-Bills per ton

Abbreviations:
Single letters:
- k = 1,000 C-Bills
- M = 1,000,000 C-Bills
- B = 1,000,000,000 C-Bills
DSC = number of Dropship Collars
FRU = round up the value inside the parentheses to the nearest integer
WSM = Warship Mass

Hope this math is useful to others, it was 'fun' to do.

Zraver

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Re: The Palmyra Disaster
« Reply #762 on: 15 September 2021, 06:24:06 »
WarShips as a defensive platform have never made sense. ASF point defense is the only practical cheap option. Admittedly this becomes a last best only chance of defense, but solar systems are big. You can't be everywhere. Too bad if you have multiple targets of interest in a solar system...

Square cubed law on a stellar scale.....



Quote
It is interesting to drag Castle Brians into this. The first assumption is the enemy isn't going to glass the victim world. And let's be honest. The defender is always a known quantity. The attacker always gets to choose how overwhelming they are.

Yeah glassing the world is a possibility, but that also denies the resources to the attacker. The whole premise of BT is resource poor making seizure more important than destruction.
 
Quote
So the Castle Brian is an admission that the bad guys are going to get on the ground no matter what you do. The Castle buys time for help to come. HPGs are nice, but merely speed up the process. The Castle Brian hopefully prevents the bad guys exploiting the world, but it doesn't stop them torching the world either.

Castle Brians are military cantonments where you can find limited self defense capacity but a lot of barracking, depot, admin, training and repair services. Think peacetime military base.

To actively deny a region of a planets aerospace to a a space born enemy you would need a ring of defensive works like old timey sea forts, each mutually supporting others and each with only a fraction of your orbital defense. The defense has to be credible enough to prevent the glassing of an area like a capitol city and the region around it or a direct orbital assault upon it. Deterrence is the name of the game, force the enemy to land troops outside the defensive ring and have it out man'o eh man'o.  Hopefully you have a enough ground troops to hold out.


Quote
Honestly I wouldn't want to be the guy in charge of defending a world in Battletech. I can understand throwing one's arms up in frustration and leaving it to the Mech jocks. The scale of the project becomes ridiculous the more developed a solar system is.

Or the more planets it has, or the bigger the star. Each planet has its own La grange points, and each conjunction of two planets, or even a planet and its own moons becomes a pirate point.  Best you can hope for is a sensor curtain to detect jump waves to let you know someone is up to something and then local defenses where you have something worth defending.

Cannonshop

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Re: The Palmyra Disaster
« Reply #763 on: 15 September 2021, 08:40:00 »
WarShips as a defensive platform have never made sense. ASF point defense is the only practical cheap option. Admittedly this becomes a last best only chance of defense, but solar systems are big. You can't be everywhere. Too bad if you have multiple targets of interest in a solar system...



It is interesting to drag Castle Brians into this. The first assumption is the enemy isn't going to glass the victim world. And let's be honest. The defender is always a known quantity. The attacker always gets to choose how overwhelming they are.
 
So the Castle Brian is an admission that the bad guys are going to get on the ground no matter what you do. The Castle buys time for help to come. HPGs are nice, but merely speed up the process. The Castle Brian hopefully prevents the bad guys exploiting the world, but it doesn't stop them torching the world either.

Which brings us up to CASPARs. CASPARs are essentially monitors and are maybe the only serious attempt in the game to prevent an enemy getting to the ground. Look how many CASPARs it took to defend Terra. Now think of the 20 odd worlds that got a network. Insane.


Honestly I wouldn't want to be the guy in charge of defending a world in Battletech. I can understand throwing one's arms up in frustration and leaving it to the Mech jocks. The scale of the project becomes ridiculous the more developed a solar system is.



The big issue here, is that you can't erect a static defense in a star system and make it work-the ONLY defense that works, is flexible defense, a mobility based defense, aka defense-in-depth relying on detection and response, because there's no way to make a 'wall' that will work if there's anything off the main planet worth taking.  This means you need a mobile reaction force, and it has to be more mobile than you can get with reaction engines-you need to have your flotillas waiting at jump points, with the local system mapped out and in-system plots pre-plotted and pre-loaded on a contingency basis. 

it's REALLY hard to imagine it out on a 2D hex-board, and even harder for people who don't think that way to lay out, because you can't park an object somewhere to act like a barrier the way you can on the ground.

Dropships, simply can't do the job until the enemy's already reached his or her objective.  Not even if you make them out of a solid slab of armor with nothing but the biggest capital-scale weapons and a bloody huge reaction motor-and by that point, you've already lost, because they're going to land.

To defend a system like Sol effectively you need jump-capable units on tap, and those units need lots of integrated intelligence and communication infrastructure, and they need a well-thought-out navigation database-none of which were used with the Caspars, none of which were used by the Word of Blake, and none of which were used by the Republic.

they didn't even use the newtonian methods that would have been necessary to create dilemmas and casualties on the other side, such as sustained acceleration from flanking positions, (the enemy has to shift his whole formation to deal with it, and if there's two, or three...) none of it.

what was used instead, was 'ramming for great justice'.

because that's the limits not of the setting or the technology, but the writer and the plot requirements.

but that, in turn, suggests that what's going on 'in universe' is that Naval is not a profession, it's where you put the well-connected guys who failed out of 'mech school or crashed too many airframes in training.

which isn't necessarily a bad thing, it actually fits the setting as presented.

Why? because Feudal systems don't build professional militaries.  One example right off of history, was the English Civil War.  The Royalists largely lost because they were feudal lords fielding armsmen, instead of a professional military, and the Royal Navy (commonwealth navy) wasn't a force to be reckoned with until after the restoration, in large part because it was a professional entity and starved of funds, manpower, and talent.

The Star League, Terran Hegemony, Federated Suns, Lyran Commonwealth, Draconis Combine, and Free Worlds League were Feudal institutions by the time we have any hard documentation of navies and military capability with examples (Late Star League Era and after)-and by then, you're looking at navies built by feudal systems, with personnel draws impacted by feudal hierarchies and feudal mores, attitudes, and economics.  Even when they built the Caspars, they were built by a Feudal state that viewed Battlemechs (and Mechwarriors) with higher esteem than other branches, to the point of, quite probably, starving funding for training from the 'lesser branches' (carried over into the Clans.)

Untrained, or under-trained, or inexperienced and undertrained men will tend to use poor tactics regardless of how good their gear is, and political ties tend to be more important than actual capability when seeking promotion in deeply feudal systems.

« Last Edit: 15 September 2021, 08:46:38 by Cannonshop »
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Zraver

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Re: The Palmyra Disaster
« Reply #764 on: 15 September 2021, 09:02:40 »
The great houses and TH/ComStar have military academies, and most regiments are funded by the state not the local lord so its not a purely feudal system. The feudal analogy doesn't really stand up to scrutiny. The lack of naval tradition does. We see it on display when the LAAFN Fox class and the Fredesa class Kerenky Blues duke it out over Tharkad. The inexperience is mentioned specifically the two ships simply match course and bearing and lay into each other because neither commander knows what they are doing and is stuck in 2D thinking patterns. We see it again in the same scene when the Lyran battle cruiser tries to get in among the transports and they scatter leaving the battle cruiser out of position to catch them and open to a McKenna's broadside because delta V is a bitch and doesn't care.

IN universe, each side should have had dropship captains from assault dropships used to fighting in space and able to think in 3D terms. From assault dropship to warship is simply a matter of scale, not reality. I think it was Berswick(sp?) trying to explain it to Victor (audience)

Cannonshop

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Re: The Palmyra Disaster
« Reply #765 on: 15 September 2021, 09:57:48 »
The great houses and TH/ComStar have military academies, and most regiments are funded by the state not the local lord so its not a purely feudal system. The feudal analogy doesn't really stand up to scrutiny. The lack of naval tradition does. We see it on display when the LAAFN Fox class and the Fredesa class Kerenky Blues duke it out over Tharkad. The inexperience is mentioned specifically the two ships simply match course and bearing and lay into each other because neither commander knows what they are doing and is stuck in 2D thinking patterns. We see it again in the same scene when the Lyran battle cruiser tries to get in among the transports and they scatter leaving the battle cruiser out of position to catch them and open to a McKenna's broadside because delta V is a bitch and doesn't care.

IN universe, each side should have had dropship captains from assault dropships used to fighting in space and able to think in 3D terms. From assault dropship to warship is simply a matter of scale, not reality. I think it was Berswick(sp?) trying to explain it to Victor (audience)
The flaw here, is that your dropship captains are experienced at exactly ONE mission- going from jumpship, to landing zone with cargo, so while you've got 'academies' the fact is, the funding to train naval officers begins, middles, and ends with the transportation role, and that's as much for your dropship personnel, as it is for your jumpships, even with the existence of assault dropships.

basically, it's a case of something deeply ingrained throughout your infrastructure.  Academy materials focus on the doctrines written for the military, and those doctrines focus on the ground mission and give little to no real consideration for anything NOT directly tied to the ground mission.

in a sense, it's like asking airline pilots (With no air-combat or even aerobatics training or experience) to write your fighter doctrine, then basing your fighter training on that doctrine, and doing so for generations.

Then, compound it with guys who failed out of fighter school to serve as your 'students', the officers who will subsequently command your dropships and warships, leavened with the guys who couldn't hack it in battlemechs.  Do that for a few generations and you won't have a naval doctrine to begin with-even if you have engineers and such building top-shelf combat aircraft, you don't have pilots (or in this case, dropship pilots and commanders) able to actually make use of all the gewgaws and such the engineers put in, because they lack the basic grounding necessary to understand what they've got.

This fits the setting, and it fits with the Feudal system, because your Academy may be funded by the House, and send troops to serve in the House, but the command staff that writes the doctrine comes from the ruling class, as does the commanders of the units your academy graduates serve in, and that class is made up predominantly of Feudal Lords with Feudal Lord priorities (as was the case with the Royal Navy prior to the English Civil War, and why "Britannia didn't rule the waves" unchallenged until Nelson, despite whipping the shit out of the Spanish Armada.)

The fact here, is that none of the Great Houses (Nor Comstar) really had a system in place ot create a professional naval cadre, they were putting second-rate Warriors into space training, instead of recruiting first rate spacers and teaching them war.

adn this brings the question of where your first-class spacers are, the ones who could build and create a working, workable, professional naval doctrine, and the answer there is pretty self-evident:

Anywhere they can get away from being drafted because they'll be fed into a blind meatgrinder by a bureaucratic system that won't let them advance to where their talents will be recognized, rewarded, and enabled.  They're avoiding conscription, running off into the deep on tramp ships, or otherwise avoiding being noticed, because centuries of hard lessons shows they're not going to live if they don't...and if they do? they won't be there for long, because spacer is a deeply darwinian lifestyle, and dumb ones don't live long.

In the conditions of the Battletech universe, a "Naval officer" of average intelligence and even inferior ability, can look like a genius compared to his peers, because the selection pressure's been downward in the field for so long in EVERY realm, including the Clans, while the ones with real ability have been either passed over into obscurity, or avoided it entirely.

« Last Edit: 15 September 2021, 11:35:18 by Cannonshop »
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May your chains set lightly upon you,
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Zraver

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Re: The Palmyra Disaster
« Reply #766 on: 15 September 2021, 13:47:24 »
I don't disagree except A) that I don't it's a fuedal problem. I can cite example after example of real life examples of unimaginative uses of naval assets. B) assault dropship captains should know how to fight in 3D. What real naval tradition that exist should be found among the commodores of assault dropship flotillas.

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Re: The Palmyra Disaster
« Reply #767 on: 15 September 2021, 17:30:59 »

which isn't necessarily a bad thing, it actually fits the setting as presented.

Why? because Feudal systems don't build professional militaries.  One example right off of history, was the English Civil War.  The Royalists largely lost because they were feudal lords fielding armsmen, instead of a professional military, and the Royal Navy (commonwealth navy) wasn't a force to be reckoned with until after the restoration, in large part because it was a professional entity and starved of funds, manpower, and talent.


That was probably my big take away when I began seriously looking at the early Hegemony. Not the social implications of feudalism. But the strategic side.

Your in an environment where communications are poor, limiting coordinated responses. Threats are local and a mobile defence requires resources beyond the economies available. All you can do is hunker down at defensible points and occasionally send your cavalry out to enforce your will.

By accident or intent FASA recreated early medieval Europe.

We can argue whether empires with the resources and populations of entire worlds should be able to afford much larger militaries, but that is a FASAnomic hole. In creating a game where 12 Mechs is a influential force they have forced us into a situation where effective defence is near impossible.

Marveryn

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Re: The Palmyra Disaster
« Reply #768 on: 15 September 2021, 18:28:45 »


The big issue here, is that you can't erect a static defense in a star system and make it work-the ONLY defense that works, is flexible defense, a mobility based defense, aka defense-in-depth relying on detection and response, because there's no way to make a 'wall' that will work if there's anything off the main planet worth taking.  This means you need a mobile reaction force, and it has to be more mobile than you can get with reaction engines-you need to have your flotillas waiting at jump points, with the local system mapped out and in-system plots pre-plotted and pre-loaded on a contingency basis. 

it's REALLY hard to imagine it out on a 2D hex-board, and even harder for people who don't think that way to lay out, because you can't park an object somewhere to act like a barrier the way you can on the ground.

Dropships, simply can't do the job until the enemy's already reached his or her objective.  Not even if you make them out of a solid slab of armor with nothing but the biggest capital-scale weapons and a bloody huge reaction motor-and by that point, you've already lost, because they're going to land.

To defend a system like Sol effectively you need jump-capable units on tap, and those units need lots of integrated intelligence and communication infrastructure, and they need a well-thought-out navigation database-none of which were used with the Caspars, none of which were used by the Word of Blake, and none of which were used by the Republic.

they didn't even use the newtonian methods that would have been necessary to create dilemmas and casualties on the other side, such as sustained acceleration from flanking positions, (the enemy has to shift his whole formation to deal with it, and if there's two, or three...) none of it.

what was used instead, was 'ramming for great justice'.

because that's the limits not of the setting or the technology, but the writer and the plot requirements.

but that, in turn, suggests that what's going on 'in universe' is that Naval is not a profession, it's where you put the well-connected guys who failed out of 'mech school or crashed too many airframes in training.

which isn't necessarily a bad thing, it actually fits the setting as presented.

Why? because Feudal systems don't build professional militaries.  One example right off of history, was the English Civil War.  The Royalists largely lost because they were feudal lords fielding armsmen, instead of a professional military, and the Royal Navy (commonwealth navy) wasn't a force to be reckoned with until after the restoration, in large part because it was a professional entity and starved of funds, manpower, and talent.

The Star League, Terran Hegemony, Federated Suns, Lyran Commonwealth, Draconis Combine, and Free Worlds League were Feudal institutions by the time we have any hard documentation of navies and military capability with examples (Late Star League Era and after)-and by then, you're looking at navies built by feudal systems, with personnel draws impacted by feudal hierarchies and feudal mores, attitudes, and economics.  Even when they built the Caspars, they were built by a Feudal state that viewed Battlemechs (and Mechwarriors) with higher esteem than other branches, to the point of, quite probably, starving funding for training from the 'lesser branches' (carried over into the Clans.)

Untrained, or under-trained, or inexperienced and undertrained men will tend to use poor tactics regardless of how good their gear is, and political ties tend to be more important than actual capability when seeking promotion in deeply feudal systems.

right if forts weere built i suspect stealth torpedoes will be a thing.  You launch way out of fort range and let the coast toward the fort allow natural law of physics to handle  targeting as a fort not able to move  behind its fix orbit wouldn't avoid the torp.  You need a mobile defense to detect such tactic, act as a tripwhire and denied opposing ops from setting up such tactics

Cannonshop

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Re: The Palmyra Disaster
« Reply #769 on: 15 September 2021, 20:11:17 »
I don't disagree except A) that I don't it's a fuedal problem. I can cite example after example of real life examples of unimaginative uses of naval assets. B) assault dropship captains should know how to fight in 3D. What real naval tradition that exist should be found among the commodores of assault dropship flotillas.

B) makes some heavy presumptions, since they're relatively *(extremely) rare compared to transport dropships, and get the opportunity to do more than being the sole patrol vessel doing health-and-welfare stops at the main jump points of major systems.  To build a body of knowledge you have to have a body of experience, the major body of experience involves 'acclerate to the planet, turn around, slow to landing, wait a bit, launch, and accelerate to the rendezvous, slow down, and dock.'  it doesn't build a lot of tactics there, and what tactics get built, is 'dodge the fighters!!'.

A) is how it gets systemic when you've got near constant warfare that SHOULD be removing the dumb ones before they can get to a position of influencing training and writing your doctrines.  Remember that ramming is common, but ship construction doesn't grant a design where ramming is practical.  Either there is no body of knowledge on what happens when you plow a ship into another ship (to the ship you're plowing with), or the practice is seen as useful and crews are trained to view it as a reasonably effective tactic with enough value to actually train in doing it.  Assault droppers don't come with sufficient SI for this, and a reasonably well trained, even if they're unimaginative, captain would know this.  At the very least, the tactic would weed out in academy simulations if they're in any way realistic, unless you're looking at a situation where you aren't getting problem solvers graduating your Academy.

which you wouldn't be, if the problem-solving types weren't getting into the program in the first place.

what kind of island nation wouldn't seek out the best mariners they can for their navy, except for one that has social or societal barriers commonly found in feudalist societies that emphasize Army capability and domestic suppression?

as I said, in an environment like the Battletech Universe,  a person of merely average intelligence and ability can look like Horatio Nelson compared to the bulk of the people who actually GET command-even of assault dropships, because connections, not ability, gets you leveled up, and blood ties is a better connection than just about anything in a Feudal system.

even (Especially) one with an ostensibly 'modern' structure that is STILL heavily influenced by Feudal ties and mindset.  This explains everything regarding the stupidity of the tactics used in Battletech fiction regarding space combat-the people who can actually think and operate that way, aren't in a position to do so and likely gave up trying to get there generations ago.

Worse still, if you DO get that 'once in a century man' there's nothing for him or her to work with.  From Drake to Nelson was generations, even centuries of professional development within the Royal Navy to permit a man like Horatio Nelson to even begin to achieve anything.  If you were to transplant him to the 1630's he'd be another deckhand, or he'd go straight to merchant service with a side of privateering and future generations wouldn't even know his name unless he went full-on Pirate.

(and then, they wouldn't know him as a naval genius, because, y'know, Pirate.) 
« Last Edit: 15 September 2021, 20:24:23 by Cannonshop »
"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

Marveryn

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Re: The Palmyra Disaster
« Reply #770 on: 15 September 2021, 22:27:57 »
If ramming start being part of the useful tactic, don't that lead to the macross, Daedalus attack. or make your ship like Captain harlock arcadia which did it fair share of ramming

Cannonshop

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Re: The Palmyra Disaster
« Reply #771 on: 15 September 2021, 22:47:16 »
If ramming start being part of the useful tactic, don't that lead to the macross, Daedalus attack. or make your ship like Captain harlock arcadia which did it fair share of ramming

First they'd have to stop emulating Anime and actually address the elephant in the room: Ramming isn't a useful tactic, but the writers tend to do it so often it's widespread and common, instead of being dramatic (which is their intent-to be dramatic).

in your Harlock example especially, ramming is effective because the ships are built to make it effective.  If he lost a ship every time he did it, it would be at best comical, and the series would have been significantly shorter. if he did it as often as Battletech writers do, it would have been a one-issue manga or a failed pilot for an anime series, esp. with ships built the way the BT construction rules build ships-he'd have his ship in episode one, and episodes 2-50 would be trying to find another ship, which he would have for a single issue, before having to search for another ship for another fifty issues.

admittedly such a series would be pretty decent if the writing's good...but still, the disconnect is soemthing that deserves to be explained-why ramming, which is not useful, is common enough to be a cliche', when the designs, construction rules, and combat rules don't support doing it NEARLY as often as it is, in fact, used.

If something is stupid, and it's also stupidly common, the answer must be that the people doing it think it's not stupid.   The only reason that really WORKS, is to throw away the assumption that you're dealing with people who have a reasonably high level of training, education, or intelligence.

Navies, being a sump unit for failures and imbeciles, fits the behavior, and does so remarkably cleanly.

« Last Edit: 15 September 2021, 22:49:31 by Cannonshop »
"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

Zraver

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Re: The Palmyra Disaster
« Reply #772 on: 16 September 2021, 06:37:30 »
Except for the cost, warships are brutally expensive. A single cruiser costs as much as the material costs double all the FedCom battlemech losses of the clan invasion. Why put rejects in command of national treasures?  Idiots maybe, that is common enough looking at you Kondo, but not rejects.

Cannonshop

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Re: The Palmyra Disaster
« Reply #773 on: 16 September 2021, 08:09:15 »
Except for the cost, warships are brutally expensive. A single cruiser costs as much as the material costs double all the FedCom battlemech losses of the clan invasion. Why put rejects in command of national treasures?  Idiots maybe, that is common enough looking at you Kondo, but not rejects.

Because that's who you've got, because you never developed a cadre of competent spacers, so you use the best you happen to have, as opposed to what you ought to want.  Keep in mind also, that those brutally expensive vessels weren't even seen as possible one generation previously in the case of the post-Helm ships, and they're high-cost prototypes and early production prototypes, not fully evolved and developed designs hailing from an active, functioning doctrine built for a working navy.

you go to war with the navy you HAVE, not the one you Wish you had, nor SHOULD have had.

Without going Rule 4 completely, there are some interesting studies on the provision of modern, even ultra-modern, equipment to third world forces and how they fail, and a lot of it comes from the culture of those forces, from not sharing knowledge and information internally (causing working book doctrines that should succeed to fail) to incompetence in a variety of flavors due to cultural biases causing that high-speed gear to range from somewhat to totally ineffective against inferior equipment fielded by hostile peers, to the reversion to human wave attacks because the officers in question literally can't grasp modern warfare.

This is the situation I see in the Inner Sphere when it comes to Navies.  The culture doesn't build officers who can grasp the capabilities of their equipment, and that culture channels the best candidates for GRASPING such things either back into civilian life, or into fields unsuitable, or into a six foot hole long before they can become influential.

A Warship, no matter how good it is, is just a tool, a Navy is a system.

In Battletech, there is no room for an Admiral Yi, and no condition will give you a Horatio Nelson.  You're going to be lucky if you get the occasional nameless-and-unremarkable officer who has SOME level of competence at that level.
« Last Edit: 16 September 2021, 08:22:25 by Cannonshop »
"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

Zraver

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Re: The Palmyra Disaster
« Reply #774 on: 17 September 2021, 07:44:32 »
Because that's who you've got, because you never developed a cadre of competent spacers, so you use the best you happen to have, as opposed to what you ought to want.  Keep in mind also, that those brutally expensive vessels weren't even seen as possible one generation previously in the case of the post-Helm ships, and they're high-cost prototypes and early production prototypes, not fully evolved and developed designs hailing from an active, functioning doctrine built for a working navy.

you go to war with the navy you HAVE, not the one you Wish you had, nor SHOULD have had.

Without going Rule 4 completely, there are some interesting studies on the provision of modern, even ultra-modern, equipment to third world forces and how they fail, and a lot of it comes from the culture of those forces, from not sharing knowledge and information internally (causing working book doctrines that should succeed to fail) to incompetence in a variety of flavors due to cultural biases causing that high-speed gear to range from somewhat to totally ineffective against inferior equipment fielded by hostile peers, to the reversion to human wave attacks because the officers in question literally can't grasp modern warfare.

This is the situation I see in the Inner Sphere when it comes to Navies.  The culture doesn't build officers who can grasp the capabilities of their equipment, and that culture channels the best candidates for GRASPING such things either back into civilian life, or into fields unsuitable, or into a six foot hole long before they can become influential.

A Warship, no matter how good it is, is just a tool, a Navy is a system.

In Battletech, there is no room for an Admiral Yi, and no condition will give you a Horatio Nelson.  You're going to be lucky if you get the occasional nameless-and-unremarkable officer who has SOME level of competence at that level.

Not disagreeing with you, but don't think its feudal per se, just systemic. Though you would figure the best of the assault dropship captains would have at least got posting on the big boys to advise the "admiral".  Plus there are experienced engineering officers and actual engineers who could explain that half mass times velocity squared when half a million tons hits another large mass is not survivable to the rammer any more than it is to the rammee.  A half million ton destroyer (smaller end of warships classes) hitting at 2g's is megatons of force... thermonuclear levels of damage.

Cannonshop

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Re: The Palmyra Disaster
« Reply #775 on: 17 September 2021, 13:53:29 »
Not disagreeing with you, but don't think its feudal per se, just systemic. Though you would figure the best of the assault dropship captains would have at least got posting on the big boys to advise the "admiral".  Plus there are experienced engineering officers and actual engineers who could explain that half mass times velocity squared when half a million tons hits another large mass is not survivable to the rammer any more than it is to the rammee.  A half million ton destroyer (smaller end of warships classes) hitting at 2g's is megatons of force... thermonuclear levels of damage.

It's quite apparent throughout the extant material that this engineer you posit? doesn't exist, or at least, isn't wearing a uniform in a position to advise said flag-ranked officer.

The best way to keep competent people from rising in the ranks, is to have a system that weights social factors so steeply that competence is not the measure that gets you a good position, and that's generally one of the major drawbacks of Feudal systems-a competent noble may rise in the ranks quickly compared to an incompetent noble, but the incompetent noble will actively suppress competent subordinates in order to make him or her self look more competent.

again, we have not only historical, but contemporary examples of this not only in the fiction, but also in the real world.

Feudalism is rooted in Nepotism, and Nepotism is the bane of professional organizations and has always been such, because it fundamentally blocks intelligent, competent people from elevation to a position where they can actually influence policy.  The exceptions tend to be those lucky enough by raw chance to be born into the right family while still having two brain cells to rub together.

The planet-centric nature of ALL the powers in the Inner Sphere, works to amplify this, because your ambitious, intelligent, Noble-born is going to go first for the service that affords him or her personal glory and influence (Battlemechs, or Ground combat), rather than the drudgery of being the 'bus driver' for all those glorious peers of his.

Behind him, are the ambitious, not-quite-as-bright Nobles who need a spot.  THEY are going to gravitate toward 'support services', and in the Inner Sphere, the Navy is a big support service, not a primary element, and within that spread, the BEST the Navy is going to get, is the best of the worst for their officer candidates.  the best of your ambitious commoners are also gravitating to the SAME branch of service as your best Nobles, for much the same reason-to be seen, to be elevated, to become 'somebody' in society, so even there, you're drawing the best of your worst candidates into Naval service.

Which in turn explains a HUGE portion of the scenes we see in the writing, including the laughable 'tactics' like Ramming, or the string of mistakes, errors and utter ******-ups that characterizes the Palmyra operation and the loss of the Lucien Davion.

« Last Edit: 17 September 2021, 14:03:57 by Cannonshop »
"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

 

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