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Imagine you are Amos Parnell's Staff Officer - Part II

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Imagine you are Amos Parnell's Staff Officer - Part II
Post by locarno24   » Tue Jan 28, 2020 4:54 am

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This time thinking through Jericho.


So.... Just reading Honor of the Queen again.

It's a very satisfying read, not least because no-one really goes 'bond-villain stupid'. People fly into traps because they have no logical reason to expect them, people use warships ineptly because they aren't properly trained in their use, and even then, don't make the same mistake twice. Deeply unpleasant people get justified come-uppances, but there are reasonably competent and not completely evil people on every side, and there are deeply flawed people in every faction too.



Anyway, got to the final sequence and it got me wondering. Haven didn't know about Maccabeus (fine) and presumably thought they were helping Masada conquer Grayson (also fine). But they didn't want to kick off the war 'yet'.

The thought I can't get my head around is "why the Saladin?"

I can get my head around giving (let's be fair, it's 'giving', not 'selling') a City-class destroyer or two. But for anything the Peeps thought they might be sponsoring the Masadans to do, surely a Sultan-class is overkill on a ridiculous level. It could wipe out the Grayson navy without breaking a sweat. Heck, it could wipe out the Masadan navy just as easily (or, frankly, simultaneously), so if you've managed to shake one loose from your deployment plans, as far as I can tell, absolutely nothing whatsoever stops the PN from saying "we're establishing a naval base in this system, deal with it", which is half of what they wanted.

If you're prepared to invest that much military force (on the scale of the two 'Austinite' systems' fleets), then at that point it doesn't seem like you really have to be diplomatic anymore....

It's not the monetary value that seems weird. Over the course of the war, between off-world credit, supply convoys, warm bodies, crew training and a pair of superdreadnought squadrons, Manticore must have poured trillions into the Grayson system, so Haven throwing lots of powers of ten at a potentially strategically critical forward base is fair enough.

But it just seems odd to hand them so much firepower when, even if you plan on a Haven-backed conquest of Grayson, two or three destroyers that they can man far more easily and can still roll over pre-alliance Grayson in a day seems like a far more sensible use of your diplomatic shenanigans than a battlecruiser and ninety system-defence missiles.
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Re: Imagine you are Amos Parnell's Staff Officer - Part II
Post by Dauntless   » Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:54 am

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I agree that a BC does seem excessive.

I can only guess they thought Manticore would come calling eventually (or the plan was leaked) and that they would send at least a couple of cruisers, so the peeps wanted to make sure they had enough firepower to crush anything the RMN sent.

otherwise if it was me I wouldn't have agreed to send anything heavier then a couple of CLs, maybe as many as 4. if you twisted my arm I'd let you have a pair of CAs, but no way am I letting you have a BC let alone one of our newest class of BC.
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Re: Imagine you are Amos Parnell's Staff Officer - Part II
Post by Jonathan_S   » Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:04 am

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I suspect a lot of the reason for a BC is to attempt to dissuade any Mantie diplomatic mission from interfering. If Masada had showed up with a trio of destroyers while any RMN force was at Grayson the odds that they’d intervene seem high. But a Masadan modern BC rolls over the limit and any RMN force is likely badly outgunned. That encourages them to cut their losses and abandon their diplomatic outreach to Grayson. Then by the time they can whistle up more force the Masadan are in charge and tell them to go away. (So I think it was more to intimidate any RMN force than to actually crush it; though it’s intimidating because it can crush the likely RMN forces)

Now Manticore wants to do anything about Grayson having fallen they’re in the position of attacking a sovereign star nation, and one allied with the Peeps, in order to attempt to restore a government that was mostly, at best, ambivalent about having much to do with Manticore to begin with.

Not saying the Perp’s plan would have worked. But they’ve got a better chance of their cats paw overawing any Mantie presence with a BC than with a trio of DDs.
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Re: Imagine you are Amos Parnell's Staff Officer - Part II
Post by munroburton   » Tue Jan 28, 2020 11:27 am

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Dauntless wrote:I agree that a BC does seem excessive.

I can only guess they thought Manticore would come calling eventually (or the plan was leaked) and that they would send at least a couple of cruisers, so the peeps wanted to make sure they had enough firepower to crush anything the RMN sent.

otherwise if it was me I wouldn't have agreed to send anything heavier then a couple of CLs, maybe as many as 4. if you twisted my arm I'd let you have a pair of CAs, but no way am I letting you have a BC let alone one of our newest class of BC.


I think your guess is spot-on - the BC was a firewall against a RMN heavy cruiser showing up. But as for giving Masada a handful of cruisers, the problem with that was Haven's cruisers sucked. The Sword-class was substantially inferior compared to the Star Knight and early Mars-classes had really unstable power plants.

Both at the start and end of the first war, these heavy cruisers were losing to(or drawing with) RMN light cruisers.

Makes me wonder whether Haven's planning team considered sending an old BB. Thing with that option is, wallers(even old ones) aren't meant to operate alone whilst BCs can. At this point, it's either a Sultan or an older Tiger.
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Re: Imagine you are Amos Parnell's Staff Officer - Part II
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:02 pm

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munroburton wrote:I think your guess is spot-on - the BC was a firewall against a RMN heavy cruiser showing up. But as for giving Masada a handful of cruisers, the problem with that was Haven's cruisers sucked. The Sword-class was substantially inferior compared to the Star Knight and early Mars-classes had really unstable power plants.

Both at the start and end of the first war, these heavy cruisers were losing to(or drawing with) RMN light cruisers.

Makes me wonder whether Haven's planning team considered sending an old BB. Thing with that option is, wallers(even old ones) aren't meant to operate alone whilst BCs can. At this point, it's either a Sultan or an older Tiger.


Another thing is crew. While a BC has a bigger crew need than a CA, it's still a single command crew. The PN only needed to send one Alfredo Yu with a single skeleton crew, as the Masadans were going to provide the bulk of the workforce (Marine protection and damage control). Since they weren't planning on actually fighting, sub-standard damage control wasn't a problem.

Could it also be an insurance policy? A BC being too big and complex for the Masadan Navy to actually operate long term without PN help?
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Re: Imagine you are Amos Parnell's Staff Officer - Part II
Post by Dauntless   » Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:17 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
Could it also be an insurance policy? A BC being too big and complex for the Masadan Navy to actually operate long term without PN help?


now that is a very interesting idea. it would fit to some extent. the masadans had their own cruisers, not as good as peep ships but probably close enough for them to muddle through.

similar in ways to what the MAlign did for Monica. The Monicans struggled with the new solly BCs, which was likely a similar level tech jump, and needed extra help. so I can very easily see a similar situation for Masada.
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Re: Imagine you are Amos Parnell's Staff Officer - Part II
Post by drothgery   » Tue Jan 28, 2020 2:53 pm

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munroburton wrote:I think your guess is spot-on - the BC was a firewall against a RMN heavy cruiser showing up. But as for giving Masada a handful of cruisers, the problem with that was Haven's cruisers sucked. The Sword-class was substantially inferior compared to the Star Knight and early Mars-classes had really unstable power plants.

It wasn't the early Mars class that had unstable power plants; it was a transitional variant. Though it doesn't matter anyway; even the earliest Mars class didn't show up until well after HotQ.
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Re: Imagine you are Amos Parnell's Staff Officer - Part II
Post by SharkHunter   » Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:36 pm

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I think I can answer the "Why Saladin?" in two words, and no, it's not the infamous "plot hammer". Before I do that, however, keep in mind that Haven under the Legislaturists had some penetration into Manticore's workings, so they may have had sufficient warning about ship sizes that were going to be sent to Yeltsin's Star --enough to justify sending a BC.

Anyway, my two words? Alfredo Yu.

Thoughts?
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Re: Imagine you are Amos Parnell's Staff Officer - Part II
Post by kzt   » Wed Jan 29, 2020 12:45 am

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I’m not going to say anything bad about HotQ. It’s the best book in the series. Not completely perfect, but really, really close.
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Re: Imagine you are Amos Parnell's Staff Officer - Part II
Post by Theemile   » Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:28 am

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SharkHunter wrote:I think I can answer the "Why Saladin?" in two words, and no, it's not the infamous "plot hammer". Before I do that, however, keep in mind that Haven under the Legislaturists had some penetration into Manticore's workings, so they may have had sufficient warning about ship sizes that were going to be sent to Yeltsin's Star --enough to justify sending a BC.

Anyway, my two words? Alfredo Yu.

Thoughts?


My thoughts- the Masadans were never supposed to actually get the Battle Cruiser. It was supposed to be so big they couldn't handle it properly initially, leaving a substantial Havenite command element and cadre in place for as long as possible- and invent issues to protract that period.

Why? The Havenites intended to capture Masada and overthrow it's government when the captain of the BC was "Forced" to stop Masadan aggression, or some other legal fiction. Like Basilisk and some other actions, there probably was a plan for an action group to be pre-positioned to invade, probably with a q-ship bringing supplies.

Unfortunately, the Masadan rulers rushed the use of the new ships and raided Grayson quickly, then overtook the BC before the next phases of the Havenite plan could unfold.

This falls in line with Basilisk and a couple incidents mentioned in Jayne's PRN
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