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The Value of Flanking Maneuvers -- underestimated?

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Re: The Value of Flanking Maneuvers -- underestimated?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Tue Dec 31, 2019 6:23 pm

ThinksMarkedly
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[quote="SharkHunter"That is not my understanding of the shape of a "battle wall" and broadside fire vs. tubes, though pods change the equation somewhat. That's why a ship also has "chaser tubes" usually both in the bow and stern, though IIRCs SD(p)s to not have chase tubes. So I picture the wall as more like a "slightly curved plate in space" once in turns to open fire. [/quote]

That is correct, but only because the wall of battle is the most effective way to deploy all your broadsides against another wall of battle. If you're fighting 1:1.

If you had a flank attack, the wall of battle can turn to face the flanking force when they come into range. On a ToT attack, simply bisect the angle of both incoming swarms and you have effective firing angle on both. If it's three forces (main and two flanks), then keep going forward towards the main force but shape like a wedge of battle: two intersecting walls, each facing each flank.

I would guess this manoeuvre isn't used more often because the vectors of the flanking forces are difficult to arrange in the first place. The defending force changes course and one of the two or three at least are out of sync with the others. Plus, you can only achieve a single ToT salvo.

Meanwhile, you didn't use all available ships in your regular wall. That means it's weaker than it could have been.

This is, of course, not assuming some kind of surprise / subterfuge.
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Re: The Value of Flanking Maneuvers -- underestimated?
Post by SharkHunter   » Wed Jan 01, 2020 8:46 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
SharkHunter wrote:That is not my understanding of the shape of a "battle wall" and broadside fire vs. tubes, though pods change the equation somewhat. That's why a ship also has "chaser tubes" usually both in the bow and stern, though IIRCs SD(p)s to not have chase tubes. So I picture the wall as more like a "slightly curved plate in space" once in turns to open fire.


That is correct, but only because the wall of battle is the most effective way to deploy all your broadsides against another wall of battle. If you're fighting 1:1.

If you had a flank attack, the wall of battle can turn to face the flanking force when they come into range. On a ToT attack, simply bisect the angle of both incoming swarms and you have effective firing angle on both. If it's three forces (main and two flanks), then keep going forward towards the main force but shape like a wedge of battle: two intersecting walls, each facing each flank.

I would guess this manoeuvre isn't used more often because the vectors of the flanking forces are difficult to arrange in the first place. The defending force changes course and one of the two or three at least are out of sync with the others. Plus, you can only achieve a single ToT salvo.

Meanwhile, you didn't use all available ships in your regular wall. That means it's weaker than it could have been.

This is, of course, not assuming some kind of surprise / subterfuge.


True. Most successful flanking maneuvers even land, sea, or Honorverse have worked because of some element of surprise. Operation Overlord in WWII was effectively a flanking maneuver at the beginning and in some key battles. Strategically, the island hopping operations in the Pacific, which the IJN couldn't counter -- worked by flanking the nodal forces.

That said, I can think of quite a few Honorverse actions that were decisive due to effective surprises on the flank: OBS's initial fleet problem, the end of HotQ, Minotaur's Lac attack at Hancock II, and at Hades in Echoes of Honor, the loss at Nightingale, AAC at Solon and in Beatrice, etc. 3rd Fleet would have torn Tourville's second fleet apart from the flank... except that in this case that position was a kill box trap because of the superior forces of the RHN that appear once Kuzak is committed to action.

Even in Uncompromising Honor -- if the forces in Hypatia had two more Sag-C's with Mark i6gs, another battle choice might have been to sneak them to sneak toward the flanks -- with the 16G's hitting power at range plus command confusion -- the surprise would have been decisive even without Angrim. Then again, due to Ghost Rider, the Mod 16G missile at range would be like putting maybe two modern "small mortar" units like the US's M-85 and a spotter into play at the Battle of Gettysburg. We are still talking about force imbalance at the points of attack.
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All my posts are YMMV, IMHO, and welcoming polite discussion, extension, and rebuttal. This is the HonorVerse, after all
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Re: The Value of Flanking Maneuvers -- underestimated?
Post by SharkHunter   » Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:31 pm

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Great tactical thoughts! With the concept that Sag-C's take a disproportionate number of missiles to kill, and can sit outside anyone but the GA's effective control range, there's still a way that single ship (or a pair of them) could have a real nasty effect on any battle space...

I realized that a Sag-C variant along the lines of a pure "ECM and FMC" (forward missile controller) might be the deadliest use of that particular hull size, as a mobile "Keyhole- 3" ship... though I don't exactly know what the KH-III capabilities should be. Tactically they'd be the first ships arriving and immediately go into stealth mode heading roughly 90 degrees above the anticipated plane of battle... Anyway, back to the capabilities question.

Naturally full control of the Mark 23-E's has to be part of that, plus a copious supply of Lorelei(s), Ghost Rider RDs that allow the onboard micro-fusion reactors to be configured on the fly, to go critical in one of three different ways (Dazzler, Dragon's Teeth, or Boomer).

Mess up any enemy's plan of battle if any of those three things start happening right in the formation at the worst possible moments, no?
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All my posts are YMMV, IMHO, and welcoming polite discussion, extension, and rebuttal. This is the HonorVerse, after all
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