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Would Dispersing Shipyards Blunt or Stop a Second Oyster Bay

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Re: Would Dispersing Shipyards Blunt or Stop a Second Oyster
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:35 am

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Sigs wrote:
drothgery wrote:Well, kind of? Haven had a lot of advantages that no one else is likely to have...
- a huge stockpile of SD components
- direct observational data on RMN systems
- captured RMN hardware
- the motivation of an actual likely enemy who does have SD(P)s
- an experienced and highly motivated workforce

So you are saying that a heavily industrialized core/shell system that leaves the League and no longer has protection from the League wont have any motivation?


I don't think they'll lack motivation, but it's a different motivation than the PRH and RoH had. They won't be at an existential war: the PRH had just been thoroughly defeated by Operation Buttercup and Nouveau Paris was going to fall if Manticore wanted it. The RoH's motivations were to make sure that the restored Péricard Constitution and the reforms stood firm.

When core/shell systems leave the League they will have experienced, well educated workforce, equal civilian technology compared to the SKM and one hell of a motivation to get warships in service. They no longer have the security of the SLN and in fact many of them will be gearing up their fleet to protect against the SLN because they now have a very real and very legitimate threat. When 10 or more Core/shell systems get together they can throw insane amounts of money at the problem and their population will be highly motivated to build up a fleet before the SLN comes back to blow their industry back to the stone age. Then there is the SLN, in absolute terms even if they lose half of their core/shell systems they will still be able to raise insane amounts of money through taxation and throw that money at each and every problem with thousands of research firms.

In Reality what is an SD(P)? Everyone talks about how hard it is to figure out SD(P)'s and build SD(P)'s but its hard to build SD(P)'s to the level of the RMN but it wouldn't be hard to design and build an SD(P) at the SLN's level. The SLN could put SD(P)'s in service in 4-5 years but they wouldn't be that much more capable then their SD's until they have the technology that makes the SD(P)'s capable to stand up to GA SD(P)'s.


The experience is not comparable. Haven had at that point half a millennium of tradition of warship building, the last 100 years of which spent basically at war, which does bring innovations and removes shortcomings from designs, even with a deteriorating education system. The war must have also completely erased any deficient designs, streamlining what works over what doesn't. They also had the second largest navy in existence, losing only to the SLN. It might have dropped by Buttercup, but it was 20x larger in the wall than the largest League SDF.

The best thing that the League can offer is TIY and other contractors, who didn't have any of the advantages that Haven did.

Putting SD(P)s into service that didn't have the ability to defend against even comparable SD(P)s is asking for suicide crews. It's clear that missile swarms are now counted in the thousands. You need a ship or a squadron that can defend against that before you can achieve an objective. So maybe those SD(P)s can be stop-gap solution (better they than the older deathtraps), but they are not a solution in the long run and not a threat to anyone with enough missiles.

As for observational data? The Havenite Navy had about the same observational data as the SLN, the RMN comes into their system and crushes their picket and moves on, nobody captured an SD(P), nobody gave them the designs in 1915 they had to figure it out for themselves. If they were so motivated to figure it out in 1915 why cant someone else?


You're forgetting all the pre-Buttercup observational data. It's not the same as SD(P)s and capital-ship-graser-armed LACs, but you can extrapolate. Missile engagements had been going up, Havenite ECM and ECCM was improving. And don't forget the shiphandling and doctrine.

At the beginning of the series, the PRN and RMN were thought be slightly ahead of the SLN in terms of tech, but no one knew for sure. We now know that they were 10-20 years ahead. And they leapt forward due to the war.
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Re: Would Dispersing Shipyards Blunt or Stop a Second Oyster
Post by Sigs   » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:36 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:Not replying to each individual point, as I think my position bears summarising.

My position is not that the RMN and the GA should focus on current threats only, and not foresee what potential threats could come. Far from it and they only need to look at the SLN to see what that kind of thinking can lead to.

I was trying to point out that the SEM has enough time to build up its defences. I don't remember now why someone brought the idea of throwing 50 SD(P)s at a minor Talbott system up. If any polity could do that, then yes, the SEM would be in trouble. But right now, no one can: all the known SD(P)s belong to the Alliance or to Erewhon & Maya. It will take time for anyone else to have an SD(P) and even more time for two squadrons.

If I remember correctly the MA had about 50+ SD(P)'s under construction which is SD(P)'s that the GA has no knowledge of. Maybe in five years they would have 100 SD(P)'s or 150 SD(P)'s. My point is that the SEM/GA have no idea how many ships the MA have and how capable they are so their job should be to keep as capable fleet as they can. It's a lot easier to upgrade a sensor system or deploy new drones once they figure out how to track spider drive units then it is to build 200 or 300 SD(P)'s and then crew them and work them up etc...


My argument was for a gradual and rational build up of defences, in whatever form that is required. The technological gap allows the RMN to start small and still defend against any credible, known threat. Even if they conclude that they will need two squadrons of Invictus+ in each of those 50 systems. By the time anyone can throw a force that would require that defence, the RMN should have had time to build even more ships, train crews from Silesia and Talbott, and come up with even more technology. Sonja & Shannon ftw.
If they had only the conventional threats(SLN, new SDF's, pirates etc...) then it would make sense to focus most on lighter units and consolidate their heavy units in several location if they are needed. What they have is an enemy bent on destroying them with unknown industrial, economic, military, political etc... capabilities. The GA should focus on finding all they can about the MA and build up it's collective fleet to protect their territory should the MA or anyone else feel particularly aggressive and have ships ready to strike at the enemy if/when that enemy is found. Having to strip the Manticore Home System of SD(P)'s to provide their part of the Grand Fleet seems like a terrible idea. If the RMN cuts their wall and keeps it at or below 250 SD(P)'s and the RHN does the same because well they are being taxed by maintaining such a big fleet where would the Grand Fleet come from when/if Darius is found? Who will be willing to uncover their territory to go after Darius and the MAN?


I don't know if a 10-year horizon is a good idea. I can see why that could be both good and bad: it allows for strategic thinking within reasonable boundaries, but it could lead to a false sense of security
Especially since they have about .001% of the information about the MA that they will need to know. It's one thing doing something like that when you can observe every nation around you, its not a good idea but it is workable but its a whole other question when you don't know a thing about your enemy aside from they want to destroy you and they have technologies you don't have. Having a defence plan that requires a crystal ball is a terrible idea.

And then there's the MA. The problem with the rational planning like I described is the unknown. The planners don't know how many ships the MA has and what other tech they have up their sleeves. They know that they have very good stealth technology, but also guess (correctly) that they don't have a lot of it.
They don't know if they are guessing correctly. It would be like judging the size of the US military by the number of service men they send on a particular mission. If the US sends 20 SEALs on a mission do you automatically assume that those SEALs are it and the US military is only 20 people? Or would you assume that they send 20 people because the mission could be done with 20 people and they were trained and equipped to accomplish the mission and they didn't need to bring the other 2,000,000+ servicemen?


If you don't know the capabilities of the enemy you prepare the best you can so that you have a chance and you do your best to find intelligence to shed more light on their capabilities. Cutting your navy on the assumption that their attack used up all of their ships is a very dangerous assumption.


You can spend a trillion Manticore dollars setting up defences around all those systems that won't stop a Lenny Det coming into range and deploying up Silver Bullets against your fixed defences and picket forces. The only way to defend against that is to find them and defeat them before they can have a force that can threaten the Alliance.
And its a lot easier to deploy a few thousand Drones and upgrade the sensor systems of your SD(P)'s to be able to see those enemy ships when you have that capability then it would be to start from scratch. It would be a lot easier for the GA to have 1,000-1,200 SD(P)'s in service waiting for a minor upgrade, or a new drone deployment then it would be for them to have 500 SD(P)'s waiting for the technology to start building your fleet.

On the one hand you will have the Grand Fleet assembled and trained as a formed unit capable of working with each other waiting to be let loose when the MA's location is found, on the other hand you have to wait 5 years to build sufficient ships, train the crew's and let the ships from 5+ different navies train together until they are a competent force and only then strike at an enemy who has now packed up and left to start over somewhere else so you can try this again in 400 years.
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Re: Would Dispersing Shipyards Blunt or Stop a Second Oyster
Post by Sigs   » Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:05 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
I don't think they'll lack motivation, but it's a different motivation than the PRH and RoH had. They won't be at an existential war: the PRH had just been thoroughly defeated by Operation Buttercup and Nouveau Paris was going to fall if Manticore wanted it. The RoH's motivations were to make sure that the restored Péricard Constitution and the reforms stood firm.
As opposed to the League which saw the SLN going from one crushing defeat to another and are now for all intents and purposes defenceless? Or the Newly independent core/shell systems that saw the SLN get crushed and then the SLN go after neutrals and their own member systems.


The experience is not comparable. Haven had at that point half a millennium of tradition of warship building, the last 100 years of which spent basically at war, which does bring innovations and removes shortcomings from designs, even with a deteriorating education system. The war must have also completely erased any deficient designs, streamlining what works over what doesn't. They also had the second largest navy in existence, losing only to the SLN. It might have dropped by Buttercup, but it was 20x larger in the wall than the largest League SDF.

And the League and newly independent systems start with massive amounts of motivation, determination and basic civilian technology equal to that of the SKM. Many of the newly independent systems wont have that tradition to depend on but at the same time they wont be bound by the same tradition. Sometimes not having that history, infrastructure and tradition to fall back on gives you that much more motivation and ability to think outside of the box.

The best thing that the League can offer is TIY and other contractors, who didn't have any of the advantages that Haven did.
Except for better basic technology and almost unlimited money, exponentially more people and massive industrial capabilities.

Putting SD(P)s into service that didn't have the ability to defend against even comparable SD(P)s is asking for suicide crews.
But it gives you the experience you need to build, operate and support those SD(P)'s. With every new batch you upgrade them over the old one, while you are building the first batch of SD(P)'s you are researching FLT, better EW, missile improvements etc... once you get something you introduce it into the designs when the next batch of SD(P)'s is under construction they are build with the new technology, you might have some SD(P)'s in service for only a few years before retiring them but by the time you have the SD(P)'s that are able to go toe to toe with the GA and survive or win you also have the experienced officers to lead them and experienced crews to man them.

It's clear that missile swarms are now counted in the thousands. You need a ship or a squadron that can defend against that before you can achieve an objective. So maybe those SD(P)s can be stop-gap solution (better they than the older deathtraps), but they are not a solution in the long run and not a threat to anyone with enough missiles.
LAC's are even easier to produce and CLACs aren't really that out of reach to anyone, once LAC's start being produced and new technologies introduced with every version to make them more capable. Once the LACs are introduced into service you can start working on fleet doctrine and update with new technologies when they become available.



You're forgetting all the pre-Buttercup observational data. It's not the same as SD(P)s and capital-ship-graser-armed LACs, but you can extrapolate. Missile engagements had been going up, Havenite ECM and ECCM was improving. And don't forget the shiphandling and doctrine.

At the beginning of the series, the PRN and RMN were thought be slightly ahead of the SLN in terms of tech, but no one knew for sure. We now know that they were 10-20 years ahead. And they leapt forward due to the war.
And that meant very little when the RMN went from some technological advantage to 35 SD(P)'s were cutting up everything in their path that the Havenite Navy could place. They had no hard data about the LAC's and the SD(P)'s and missiles came as a complete surprise just like the SLN. How different was the People's Navy in 1913 compared to the SLN?
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Re: Would Dispersing Shipyards Blunt or Stop a Second Oyster
Post by Jonathan_S   » Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:11 pm

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Sigs wrote:Having to strip the Manticore Home System of SD(P)'s to provide their part of the Grand Fleet seems like a terrible idea. If the RMN cuts their wall and keeps it at or below 250 SD(P)'s and the RHN does the same because well they are being taxed by maintaining such a big fleet where would the Grand Fleet come from when/if Darius is found? Who will be willing to uncover their territory to go after Darius and the MAN?
If every member of the Grand Alliance threw in 48 SD(P)s, that'd be nearly 200 right there (Haven, Manticore, Grayson, Andermani) and by then Erewhon would probably be willing and able to throw in a squadron or three of their own. (48 so they'd sending whole squadrons, whether the classic 8-ship ones, or Manticore's new 6-ship capital ship squadrons)

That's a pretty darn substantial Grand Fleet to attack any single system - yet doesn't require any of them to strip their homeworld's defenses.



And just because Manticore is just aiming for a couple hundred capitol ships right now (presumably to let them focus funding on rebuilding infrastructure and integrating their new Silesian protectorates and Talbott and San Martin territories) doesn't mean that they'll stick with that target once that initial investment expenses are wrap up and they start picking up increased economic returns from their new territory.

In the cold calculus of war; where you can't afford to be strong everywhere, as systems become more economically important they are both worth investing in additional defenses for but also able to contribute more to building and sustaining defenses and the mobile fleet that backs those defense.
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Re: Would Dispersing Shipyards Blunt or Stop a Second Oyster
Post by noblehunter   » Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:58 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:Not exactly impunity.

If you translate back into hyper, you're not controlling your missile swarm, any of the waves, for several minutes (you can't translate back down immediately). And it's pretty easy for the defenders to make sure you can't translate back at the same spot, so you'll also incur navigational errors due to short jumps.

But it doesn't look like FTL links are directional, so even if the attacking force is translating to n-space at a very different position, they should be able to get a respite of tens of minutes in which they can reacquire their waves and steer them.

Apollo is quite capable by itself, but it's only deadly to equivalent technology with the FTL communication with the motherships. And it might be irresponsible to fire-and-forget, in case some missiles veer off course and target civilian infrastructure or a planet.

Against a well-defended system, you can expect the system to have more missiles than the attackers, even if the latter brought missile colliers and freighters full of them for rearming.

My conclusion is that this means either a stalemate or a slight edge towards the attackers.


The defender still hasn't inflicted any actual damage on the attacker. Assuming the attack has brought enough tonnage to be a credible threat, there's only one way that exchange can end.

I really hope we get to see how this shakes out in practice, as it were.
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Re: Would Dispersing Shipyards Blunt or Stop a Second Oyster
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:56 pm

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Sigs wrote:They don't know if they are guessing correctly. It would be like judging the size of the US military by the number of service men they send on a particular mission. If the US sends 20 SEALs on a mission do you automatically assume that those SEALs are it and the US military is only 20 people? Or would you assume that they send 20 people because the mission could be done with 20 people and they were trained and equipped to accomplish the mission and they didn't need to bring the other 2,000,000+ servicemen?


The thinking behind the conclusion was pretty sound. You don't set up a military operation where everything has to go right if you have any choice. The discussion after Oyster Bay concluded that they had way too many points of failure and they didn't deploy enough forces -- Andermani and Haven shipyards left intact, no attack in Trevor's Star, etc. That's what they used to reasonably conclude the unknown enemy was strapped for resources. If the enemy had enough to arm SDs at the time, they wouldn't have deployed from freighters.

Now, it could be the wrong conclusion (we know it isn't), but there's a good chance it's right or very close to the truth.

And its a lot easier to deploy a few thousand Drones and upgrade the sensor systems of your SD(P)'s to be able to see those enemy ships when you have that capability then it would be to start from scratch. It would be a lot easier for the GA to have 1,000-1,200 SD(P)'s in service waiting for a minor upgrade, or a new drone deployment then it would be for them to have 500 SD(P)'s waiting for the technology to start building your fleet.


The third option is that the RMN keeps 250 SD(P)s in active service, the GSN some 50-100, the IAN 100-150, and the RHN some 400. The rest goes to the reserve, rotated periodically into service for upgrades.


Sigs wrote:
ThinksMarkedly wrote:
I don't think they'll lack motivation, but it's a different motivation than the PRH and RoH had. They won't be at an existential war: the PRH had just been thoroughly defeated by Operation Buttercup and Nouveau Paris was going to fall if Manticore wanted it. The RoH's motivations were to make sure that the restored Péricard Constitution and the reforms stood firm.
As opposed to the League which saw the SLN going from one crushing defeat to another and are now for all intents and purposes defenceless? Or the Newly independent core/shell systems that saw the SLN get crushed and then the SLN go after neutrals and their own member systems.


Yes, quite oppposed that. Outside of the Kuiper Belt, the war was barely felt by League members, aside from those targeted by Operation Buccaneer (and those are far more likely to become GA friends and allies than not). Their SDFs were not involved in battle, their infrastructure is still present. The only complaint they have is against Operation Lancoön, which may have brought a period of economic downturn.

The League is hardly defenceless. The SLN may have turned out to be a joke compared to the Haven Sector navies, but it can still hold its own against anyone else, like for example the Mannerheim Republic Navy (now Renaissance Factor Navy).

My expectation is that the GA will do everything it can to keep the revanchism down to a minimum in the New League, while simultaneously encouraging important Core Worlds to secede and form regional blocs.

And the League and newly independent systems start with massive amounts of motivation, determination and basic civilian technology equal to that of the SKM. Many of the newly independent systems wont have that tradition to depend on but at the same time they wont be bound by the same tradition. Sometimes not having that history, infrastructure and tradition to fall back on gives you that much more motivation and ability to think outside of the box.


Right, we only have Grayson to look at to see how that can turn out.

Still, even Grayson couldn't do much without Manticoran help. Those League systems have a steep climbing curve ahead of them.

The best thing that the League can offer is TIY and other contractors, who didn't have any of the advantages that Haven did.
Except for better basic technology and almost unlimited money, exponentially more people and massive industrial capabilities.


No doubt. They have different advantages than Haven did. The problem we're highlighting is that they're missing some pretty crucial ones that Haven did.

And that meant very little when the RMN went from some technological advantage to 35 SD(P)'s were cutting up everything in their path that the Havenite Navy could place. They had no hard data about the LAC's and the SD(P)'s and missiles came as a complete surprise just like the SLN. How different was the People's Navy in 1913 compared to the SLN?


I maintain that it was quite different. The SLN in 1923 was still top-heavy, lazy, far more corrupt than the PRN was under the Legislaturalists in 1905. The PRN might have thought itself invincible and had a doctrine set on stone at the start of the first war, but Pierre saw to it that any such thinking went away quickly. They lost a lot of institutional knowledge, but it did get rid of the REMFs that weren't contributing. The purges opened up the way for people like Theisman, Tourville, Giscard, Diamato and McQueen to rise to the top.

And the PRN did have some data on both SD(P)s Operation Icarus, even if they didn't know they had, and they did get actual data on LACs from Second Hancock.

I don't doubt that the SLN and newly independent SDFs can catch up. I'm saying that they have a longer and steeper hill to climb than Haven did, even if they have some advantages that Haven didn't to mitigate that.
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Re: Would Dispersing Shipyards Blunt or Stop a Second Oyster
Post by Jonathan_S   » Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:57 pm

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noblehunter wrote:
ThinksMarkedly wrote:Not exactly impunity.

If you translate back into hyper, you're not controlling your missile swarm, any of the waves, for several minutes (you can't translate back down immediately). And it's pretty easy for the defenders to make sure you can't translate back at the same spot, so you'll also incur navigational errors due to short jumps.

But it doesn't look like FTL links are directional, so even if the attacking force is translating to n-space at a very different position, they should be able to get a respite of tens of minutes in which they can reacquire their waves and steer them.

Apollo is quite capable by itself, but it's only deadly to equivalent technology with the FTL communication with the motherships. And it might be irresponsible to fire-and-forget, in case some missiles veer off course and target civilian infrastructure or a planet.

Against a well-defended system, you can expect the system to have more missiles than the attackers, even if the latter brought missile colliers and freighters full of them for rearming.

My conclusion is that this means either a stalemate or a slight edge towards the attackers.


The defender still hasn't inflicted any actual damage on the attacker. Assuming the attack has brought enough tonnage to be a credible threat, there's only one way that exchange can end.

I really hope we get to see how this shakes out in practice, as it were.

Keep in mind that against RMN MDMs any SD that ends up within about 21 million km of a stealthed shoal of out-system perimeter pods doesn't have the reaction time to escape into hyper before the first salvo hits. [25.9 million for 4-stage system defense missiles]

And that's assuming they've been in normal space long enough to recharge their hyper generators. RFC posted that it takes an SD 4 minutes (240 seconds) from when you press the button to enter hyper until you actually transition. (Plus of course there's human delay in perceiving what happened and the fleet commander ordering the jump back into hyper)

MDMs in full power mode, at 92,000 gees, can (with a 60 second coast after drive 2) cover 21,097,440 km and arrive with a terminal velocity about 0.5c. [4-stages ones can boost at that accel for the full 4 minutes; giving them 25,966,080 km and 0.722c]


Admittedly that's a less than a third of their normal powered range, much less the truly extended ranges Apollo allows. But it's still a threat attackers need to be careful off.

We saw one Peep fleet at the BoM that was a little slow realizing what was on the way and weren't all able to successful evade into hyper. Ouch.



It's worse when they first drop out of hyper. Then an SD's hyper generators would appear to take at least 20 minutes after emerging to recharge their capacitors, so figure at least 24 minutes from emergence until the soonest possible escape. Any MDMs missiles within 124 million km of an emerging enemy SD would be able to hit it before it was able to escape back into hyper.

And the new 4 stage system-defense Apollo birds could hit from further away than that - adding at least 11 million extra km within that same 24 minutes. They can't get much faster before they hit 0.9c which seems to be where RFC is drawing the missile speed limit; but coasting after the 3rd drive rather than 2nd while still being able to maneuver to engage the enemy boosts their range noticeably.

Admittedly on the scale of star systems, or even hyper limits, these are small numbers. Less than 1 AU. But we already know Manticore has used perimeter LAC base + pod emplacements in system defense - so there's a risk than an unlucky attacking force that stays outside the hyper limit might take fire before they can evade into hyper.
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Re: Would Dispersing Shipyards Blunt or Stop a Second Oyster
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:06 pm

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noblehunter wrote:My conclusion is that this means either a stalemate or a slight edge towards the attackers.


The defender still hasn't inflicted any actual damage on the attacker. Assuming the attack has brought enough tonnage to be a credible threat, there's only one way that exchange can end.

I really hope we get to see how this shakes out in practice, as it were.[/quote]

Against a well-defended system, the attackers will run out of ammunition before the defenders do, with little to show on either side for gains: the attackers can translate into hyper, but the defenders have enough CMs to stop almost any conceivable threat.

It becomes a question of whose cavalry arrives first: the multi-squadron of SD(P)s coming to the defenders' aid, or the freighters with more missiles for the attackers?

A successful attack depends on how imbalanced the forces are. 100 modern SD(P)s might suffice against a medium-sized Talbott or Silesia system, but won't against regional capitals like Spindle or Marsh. And definitely not against the MBS, New Berlin, Nouveau Paris or Grayson.
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Re: Would Dispersing Shipyards Blunt or Stop a Second Oyster
Post by kzt   » Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:24 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:A successful attack depends on how imbalanced the forces are. 100 modern SD(P)s might suffice against a medium-sized Talbott or Silesia system, but won't against regional capitals like Spindle or Marsh. And definitely not against the MBS, New Berlin, Nouveau Paris or Grayson.

8th fleet was significantly smaller that that, and was perfectly capable of taking Haven.

So I have my doubts.
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Re: Would Dispersing Shipyards Blunt or Stop a Second Oyster
Post by Galactic Sapper   » Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:05 pm

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noblehunter wrote:Unless the SD(P) were far enough out they could get back into hyper before the missiles showed up. Given how many of the battles in UH went, it seems like the balance is firmly weighted towards attackers. With the current missile ranges, attackers can shoot at defenders with impunity.

If your notional attacker is willing to just fling missiles in-system without being overly concerned about accidentally sterilizing the planet, sure. And if they're willing to do that, even standard SDs with single drive missiles could do that. Space stations and such don't move much, missiles in ballistic flight are extremely hard to stop, and in either case you're committing Eridani Edict violations for destroying civilian infrastructure without giving time to evacuate. So even if you do luck out and not punch a c-frational missile into the planet's mantle, you're still an interstellar war criminal.

The battle cruiser fleet sent to Beowulf could have taken out most of the infrastructure in the system that wasn't covered by block ships and there would have been absolutely nothing the Alliance could have done to stop them once the missiles launched. There's a reason that style of warfare is forbidden in this universe and only the worst of the worst do anything that even comes close to what you suggested.
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