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Did the MBS corner the market on trade?

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Re: Did the MBS corner the market on trade?
Post by tlb   » Wed Jul 22, 2020 6:01 pm

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cthia wrote:After your rebuttal, can we agree to disagree?

I will always agree to disagree with you.

Please note that if Admiral Filareta had something special that could have taken the "planet hostage", then the war would be over with a Solarian victory and the forts and Admiral Tsang would be irrelevant.

Also note that Filareta's fleet has been off on exercises starting about the same time as Crandall, so there is no time for the ships to have fitted with an improvement.
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Re: Did the MBS corner the market on trade?
Post by cthia   » Wed Jul 22, 2020 8:03 pm

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tlb wrote:
cthia wrote:After your rebuttal, can we agree to disagree?

I will always agree to disagree with you.

Please note that if Admiral Filareta had something special that could have taken the "planet hostage", then the war would be over with a Solarian victory and the forts and Admiral Tsang would be irrelevant.

Also note that Filareta's fleet has been off on exercises starting about the same time as Crandall, so there is no time for the ships to have fitted with an improvement.

And that's a good thing. Good discussions don't need "Yes Men." But they also don't need disagreement for the sake of. I'll take this very good opportunity to pay you the compliment I've been meaning to. You're fuel for a good discussion. Kudos for that.

Unfortunately I have to take time and lace the compliment with a bit of constructive criticism. Oftentimes you are too quick to draw your sidearm, because you simply fail to read my post. Less than a week or so ago, I was in the act of responding to one of your responses that clearly showed you hadn't fully read my post. I was annoyed. When I tried to post my reply, the site said "This post does not exist." What do you mean it doesn't exist? It's right here! Lo and behold when I checked, you had indeed deleted it.

The same thing happened here. You failed to absorb my post. Perhaps I didn't make it clear enough, but taken in context it seems obvious I was referring to Tsang overpowering HER opposition and holding Beowulf hostage. What would Beth have done if Beowulf faced destruction. Does her government have the same policy of "Not negotiating with terrorists?"

And the RMN certainly had enough data points, Case Buccaneer, Hypatia?, Parthian Shot, and Ajay to dispell any thoughts that they are bluffing.

Part of Tsang's Fleet could have occupied Beowulf's orbitals. And, the huge gorilla just may have thought a few things thru about how to penetrate junction defenses and developed tech to do so. So many things could have gone wrong for the RMN to have been so sure and full of themselves, and all fat and happy arrogantly resting on laurels.

The reason for my intransigence, at least partly, is because many of the same arguments everyone uses in defense, could be argued for. Namely, "the SL should have known how heavily the MWJ is defended." Perhaps they thought those defenses had been gutted too, but how could they have thought an unknown enemy went thru Manticore's junction defenses? Therefore, the RMN should have been wary of that. Filareta didn't appear to be a fool, and I said quite some time ago, tlb, that DB should have seen that the Forts were fully breathing. Yet it didn't seem to care. The RMN shouldn't have banked on the Solly's most serious Fleet commanded by the cream of their crop to be so lacking.

Which brings me to an admission. I was expecting the MA to show up in this battle to ensure mutual destruction. I thought they'd strike at the heart of MWJ defenses from hidden positions.* The RMN's plan was too arrogant and too cute.

*Holy hell hath lit the cake!

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Did the MBS corner the market on trade?
Post by tlb   » Wed Jul 22, 2020 8:46 pm

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cthia wrote:You failed to absorb my post. Perhaps I didn't make it clear enough, but taken in context it seems obvious I was referring to Tsang overpowering HER opposition and holding Beowulf hostage. What would Beth have done if Beowulf faced destruction. Does her government have the same policy of "Not negotiating with terrorists?"

And the RMN certainly had enough data points, Case Buccaneer, Hypatia?, Parthian Shot, and Ajay to dispell any thoughts that they are bluffing.

Part of Tsang's Fleet could have occupied Beowulf's orbitals. And, the huge gorilla just may have thought a few things thru about how to penetrate junction defenses and developed tech to do so. So many things could have gone wrong for the RMN to be so sure and full of themselves, and all fat and happy arrogantly resting on laurels.

The reason for my intransigence, at least partly, is because many of the same arguments everyone uses in defense, could be argued for. Namely, the SL should have known how heavily the MWJ is defended. Perhaps they thought those defenses had been gutted too, but how could they have thought an unknown enemy went thru Manticore's junction defenses? Therefore, the RMN should at least have been wary of that. Filareta didn't appear to be a fool, and I said quite some time ago, tlb, that the DB should have seen that the Forts were fully breathing. Yet it didn't seem to care. The RMN shouldn't have banked on the Solly's most serious Fleet commanded by the cream of their crop to be so lacking.

Which brings me to an admission. I was expecting the MA to show up in this battle to ensure mutual destruction. I thought they'd strike at the heart of MWJ defenses from hidden positions.* The RMN's plan was too arrogant and too cute.

*Holy hell hath lit the cake!

When you said that "Filly" might have had something special, I fixated on Filareta and Manticore and never considered Beowulf - even though you said all ships could be upgraded. Very interesting proposal, but Tsang would still have had to overpower the RMN fleet that served as the blocking force.

I still believe that the force under Admiral Tsang was primarily a political maneuver to smear Beowulf's reputation and would only transit the wormhole if the forts had been destroyed.

I do not believe Manticore would have allowed them through the junction, but I am not sure. I doubt they would ever surrender the forts based on extortion. There was one school of thought that said let them transit and take what was coming (but Beowulf thought it would be more humane to forbid transit).

Tsang's fleet is the only one that could have been upgraded in the time allowed, since they came from Sol (while the rest had been on exercises in the Verge). What would Tsang do if, while taking control of Beowulf, Filareta was blow away?

PS. I much prefer to post things when no one else is on, because I check, recheck and then go back and check again what I have posted. Usually I just change a few words or add a paragraph; but there have been times that I have gone back and decided that what I had done was too hasty (or intemperate) and it would be better if erased. Because I do try to take the care, I find it very annoying when people mess up the quote structure and have not taken the time to preview what they have done.

PPS. It is still unnecessary to seize or destroy the DB, when they could simply refuse passage.

PPPS. Although I did like Rodney Dangerfield in Caddyshack or Back to School; those were roles and not the persona that was presented in his standup routines (which is what I think of as the "real" him).
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Re: Did the MBS corner the market on trade?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Wed Jul 22, 2020 11:04 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:I'd actually argue that Invictus wouldn't be an ideal design for forcing a wormhole transit. When you emerge your still in a grev 'lane' where anything without sails is immediately destroyed by the gravity effects - and on a terminus the size and power of the Junction it takes several minutes to get clear.

During that time the don't have sidewalls, can't roll pods, can't fire missiles or CMs, can't deploy keyholes or decoys. It's just their energy mounts for offense and on-board ECM and PDLCs for defense. Now Invicus do have especially heavy energy mounts, and lots of PDLCs. But they're optimized for long range missile combat not for short range fights using only their energy weapons. (Especially since any sane defender will keep their forts back beyond the range energy weapons can hurt anything protected by a sidewall). So a lot of the Invictus's tonnage and surface area is "wasted" on weapons and defenses they can't use during the first several minutes after transiting.


Those are good points. A ship designed for stand-off range fights is not necessarily going to be equally good at close-quarters energy range. A ship optimised for energy range and very thick armour would be more indicated. But we're probably talking about a 30 million tonne behemoth (supermonitor?) that is nothing but sails, grasers, PDLCs, and armouring.

Such a ship does not exist. Of the ships that do exist, Invictus is still probably the best, due to automation, improvements in point defence and more advanced armour. It's like democracy: it's the worst system of government, except for all the rest.

tlb wrote:Then please explain how the DB knew it was time to make the transition. It does not matter who could read the signal as long as the DB knew what it meant.


As Brigade_XO wrote, the D.B. reacted to the news by Astro Control telling the ships at the Junction:

A Rising Thunder, Ch. 20 wrote:“Looks like this is it, Sir,” Ensign Brynach Lacharn said quietly (and redundantly, in Lieutenant Hamilton Trudeau’s opinion).

The Junction traffic-control net had just gone berserk as the bulk carriers and passenger vessels queued up for transit got their first intimation that something untoward was occurring a few light-hours away in the direction of Manticore-A. [...] Not that he was particularly pleased by how quickly that consternation had manifested itself. It only confirmed what he and the rest of the ship’s company of SLNS DB 17022 had already decided had to be the case: the Manties really did have FTL communications.

‘Anything from Junction Astro Control?” he asked.

“Not yet,” Lacharn replied, then shrugged. “Well, aside from the initial announcement that ‘unidentified starships’ are approaching the Manticore-A limit, at any rate. That’s what set off this entire clusterfuck!”


This means:

1) the SLN wasn't completely convinced the Manties had FTL communications

2) the D.B. did not get a hyperspace footprint reading either by itself or through another SLN sensor ship in the vicinity (they'd have had confirmation by the time of this conversation)

So what was their plan if either the Manties did not have FTL communications or had not warned the ships at the Junction? Or had inserted a delay (which it might have, Rule #1 of Space Warfare: don't help your enemy).
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Re: Did the MBS corner the market on trade?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Wed Jul 22, 2020 11:47 pm

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cthia wrote:Byng, nor Crandle, were serious responses by the SL. They still had no clue attall what they faced. Both Byng and Crandall were still operating as poor little misguided arrogant Sollies. Operation Raging Justice was the best the Sollies had. Not only that, they sent their best COs. It was the first serious formal response dispatched by the Sollies.


Correct, but all they had at this point was anecdotal information by Adm. O'Cleary brought from Spindle. All sensor readings they'd received were provided courtesy of the RMN, so they had no way to verify their authenticity. And they weren't inclined to believe it either way.

There's simply no way that Filareta could have been adequately prepared. The fact that he had already been in the Verge is the only reason he could attack that quickly, but that also limited any surprises he might have possessed.

The only thing that could influence that was if someone had been observing the Manticoran-Havenite Wars for some time and developing their own assets. Which did happen. Which the GA had to prepare for. So, yes, it's possible Tsang had been given further innovations than Filareta.

There is NO WAY IN HELL the Alliance could have known without a shadow of a doubt there wouldn't be any surprises in the manner of what Shannon's Triple Ripple did to the RMN. There was still some mystique over what formidable capabilities the SLN had. Didn't the RMN itself say the massive beast could deploy game changing tech in record time? There were still too many variables to take a chance on allowing your enemy forces to consolidate.

It was stupid to take that risk. As readers, WE knew Tsang's Fleet was a pussycat. The RMN couldn't have known. They guessed right. But they didn't HAVE to guess. They allowed galactic coordination of forces. Stupid. It worked out for them because in this case they were fortunate they didn't get bitten on, and deep up in the ass. Remember, the Salamander originally had a fatal missile with her name on it.


Agreed it was a risk. There was a non-zero possibility that Tsang had some surprise. So, yes, I agree with you that letting the D.B. through invited an unnecessary risk. It might have been (and was!) a negligible risk, but negligible is not zero.

But was it stupid to incur this risk?

What was the risk? The forts were not at risk, there's nothing that could get past them. If the SLN had developed a wormhole transit technique, the GA would know through Crandall's databases or via the BSDF. There's a danger the MAlign had developed something, but there's no way the SLN had had the time to train on it. Plus, having this technique handed to them would be incredibly difficult to explain away without outside influence. And it's an asset the MAlign would be unlikely to part with, especially since clearly TF 11.6 wasn't serious.

That leaves the three dozen SDs from the BSDF and the five dozen SD(P)s under Adm. Truman in Beowulf. If there's any new technique that Tsang is bringing to the party, they'd be the ones at the pointy end. But again, Tsang's force was clearly not big enough to make difference, so it was unlikely. And besides, Tsang might have unveiled her surprises even if the D.B. had been delayed. Worse, she may have been angered if it had been detained and decide that the Klingon proverb "Heghlu'meH QaQ jajvam" applied so long as she got to fire here missiles at those traitorous Beowulfans.

So conclusion: the risk to Manticore was negligible; the risk to the forces in Beowulf was not reduced by allowing the D.B. through. What was the gain?

A Rising Thunder, Ch. 21 wrote:“Are we sure this is a good idea, Ma’am?” [...] “Well, it just seems to me that it would have been simpler all around to sit on them,” Captain Dombroski said. “I mean, they wouldn't be going anywhere without our permission. We could’ve just kept them cooling their heels right here until it was all over one way or the other ....”
[...]
“It’d be a hard call for m, wither way,” she said finally. “I”m sure it was for everyone else involved, too. In fact, even though no one’s told me in so many words, I think it was ultimately the Beowulfers who made the decision, not anyone at our end. And I think the deciding factor was probably that they’re really and truly royally pissed at this Mesan Alignment. There’s no way in this universe they’re going to sit on the sidelines when we go after them, and they’re about as disgusted as anyone could possibly get with the way Kolokoltsov and the Mandarins have botched the entire situation. For that matter, they’re disgusted as hell with all the rest of the League for letting itself get turned into such a botched-up mess instead of a star nation in the first place. So this is their way of punctuating all the reasons they’re doing what they’re doing—jumping ship to sign with us, I mean. And I think they want to draw Admiral Tsang in, get her to openly commit to her part of ‘Operation Raging Justice,’ so they’ll have that additional evidence of just how fast and loose with the League Constitution Kolokoltsov’s apparatchiks are really willing to play.”


cthia wrote:But if the SLN did deploy game changing tech and Tsang's Fleet was the real hammer, then the RMN would have been screwed, considering Honor would've already had her hands full.


As I argued above, Tsang's fleet needed not just one game-changer innovation. It needed two: one to smash SD(P)s with ease in not one but at least two battles and a second to survive a wormhole transit. What's the chance of that?

There's no way in HELL the same decision would have been made facing a foe like the RHN, all else being equal.


Yes and no. There's no way the RHN would get past the Junction forts more than the SLN would. But there would be incredibly more danger to Truman and especially to especially to Holmon-Sanders. If there had been 100 hostile RHN SD(P)s sitting on the other side of a wormhole transit, it behoved the defenders to practice defeat in detail: defeat the force coming to the home system first, then transit and defeat the other before they knew the first front had been defeated.
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Re: Did the MBS corner the market on trade?
Post by tlb   » Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:43 am

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tlb wrote:Then please explain how the DB knew it was time to make the transition. It does not matter who could read the signal as long as the DB knew what it meant.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:As Brigade_XO wrote, the D.B. reacted to the news by Astro Control telling the ships at the Junction:

A Rising Thunder, Ch. 20 wrote:“Looks like this is it, Sir,” Ensign Brynach Lacharn said quietly (and redundantly, in Lieutenant Hamilton Trudeau’s opinion).

The Junction traffic-control net had just gone berserk as the bulk carriers and passenger vessels queued up for transit got their first intimation that something untoward was occurring a few light-hours away in the direction of Manticore-A. [...] Not that he was particularly pleased by how quickly that consternation had manifested itself. It only confirmed what he and the rest of the ship’s company of SLNS DB 17022 had already decided had to be the case: the Manties really did have FTL communications.

‘Anything from Junction Astro Control?” he asked.

“Not yet,” Lacharn replied, then shrugged. “Well, aside from the initial announcement that ‘unidentified starships’ are approaching the Manticore-A limit, at any rate. That’s what set off this entire clusterfuck!”


This means:

1) the SLN wasn't completely convinced the Manties had FTL communications

2) the D.B. did not get a hyperspace footprint reading either by itself or through another SLN sensor ship in the vicinity (they'd have had confirmation by the time of this conversation)

So what was their plan if either the Manties did not have FTL communications or had not warned the ships at the Junction? Or had inserted a delay (which it might have, Rule #1 of Space Warfare: don't help your enemy).

You and they are are assuming that the information had to arrive at the forts and Astro Control by relay from Manticore. That would be inefficient: Manticore's gravitic arrays are enormous and ought to be reporting to multiple places, not just to one collection point.

If you don't like that, consider that the forts and Astro Control would need to have much better detection capability; so if they are not tied directly to the main detector arrays, then they would need their own smaller version.
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Re: Did the MBS corner the market on trade?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:52 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
Jonathan_S wrote:I'd actually argue that Invictus wouldn't be an ideal design for forcing a wormhole transit.


Those are good points. A ship designed for stand-off range fights is not necessarily going to be equally good at close-quarters energy range. A ship optimised for energy range and very thick armour would be more indicated. But we're probably talking about a 30 million tonne behemoth (supermonitor?) that is nothing but sails, grasers, PDLCs, and armouring.

Such a ship does not exist. Of the ships that do exist, Invictus is still probably the best, due to automation, improvements in point defence and more advanced armour. It's like democracy: it's the worst system of government, except for all the rest.

Fair point. An Invictus is less effective than if you'd scalled something like a Gryphon up to the same size and given it the upgraded PDLC mounts; because you'd be able to fit more of them without having to make room to dock Keyholes on each broadside. Plus without the pod-pay it's that little bit tougher.
But those PDLC's and it's size probably do make an Invictus the best single ship the GA actually has if they were somehow forced to make an opposed wormhole transit.

OTOH, if you're looking for the most survivable fleet within the transit ceiling you might be better off sending all Nike-class BC(L)s. You can send seven Nike-class in the tonnage of a pair of Invictus-class. The Nikes are probably around 40-60% as survivable, carrying just under half the PDLCs as Invictus; but IIRC each PDLC mounting is identical to the ones on Invictus. Being able to send 3.5 times would seem to greatly improve your changes of getting more out into open space where they can get sidewalls and keyholes out and bring their CMs and missiles into play. (Doesn't the Junction have a ceiling around 200 million tons? That'd allow a simultaneous transit of 22 Invictus or 79 Nike!)

Though the ideal assault ship would, in addition to what you noted, also carry a spherical sidewall generator. :D
But forced transits, or grav-wave combat, is rare enough that no normal warship wastes the volume to mount one - you'd need to build a dedicated assault class with them.
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Re: Did the MBS corner the market on trade?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Thu Jul 23, 2020 10:01 am

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It's unlikely that any advanced tech could make an assault through the fortified Junction a survivable matter.

And letting the DB out was a calculated risk. In some ways they needed the SLN to be seen taking blatantly illegal against one of its own members. That helps stress the League in a way that simply sending (and losing) a fleet. And without the DB boat bringing the activation signal Tsang doesn't violate the constitution and threaten to attack a members SDF in support of that violation.

And if Tsang had gone full rouge and taken Beowulf hostage as part of this unconstitutional action against the system that cause the formation of the League I tend to think that would play into the GA's hands as every Core world is now wondering if they're next. Plans to play pirate out in the verge may not bother the government or populations of complacent core world systems. But I find it harder to believe that they'd be so passive about an unprovoked unconstitutional seizure of a founding member during what's technically time of peace. I don't even think they'd have the figleaf of reacting to Beowulf's planned secession vote because that wasn't announced until after this incident.

Also if the SLN did have some revolutionary new game-changing tech that only Tsang had it's hard to see how the couple dozen SDs that could fit through the Junction could tip the balance if the hundreds Filareta brought weren't sufficient. Even something as much of a breakthrough as MDMs or Apollo were at their introduction wouldn't let less than 2 dozen SDs shoot their way through all the defenses at Manticore. They'd run out of ammo first. And that's this magic new tech lets Tsang push through the meat-grinder of the Junction defenses without damage or loss (highly unlikely).

But frankly, if Tsang did have technology so overwhelming that he can defeat the Junction defenses in a forced transit and then go on to defeat the GA fleets and system defenses at Manticore then blocking the DB is almost pointless; the GA is already going to lose their war with the SLN.
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Re: Did the MBS corner the market on trade?
Post by tlb   » Thu Jul 23, 2020 10:23 am

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Jonathan_S wrote:Also if the SLN did have some revolutionary new game-changing tech that only Tsang had it's hard to see how the couple dozen SDs that could fit through the Junction could tip the balance if the hundreds Filareta brought weren't sufficient. Even something as much of a breakthrough as MDMs or Apollo were at their introduction wouldn't let less than 2 dozen SDs shoot their way through all the defenses at Manticore. They'd run out of ammo first. And that's this magic new tech lets Tsang push through the meat-grinder of the Junction defenses without damage or loss (highly unlikely).

But frankly, if Tsang did have technology so overwhelming that he can defeat the Junction defenses in a forced transit and then go on to defeat the GA fleets and system defenses at Manticore then blocking the DB is almost pointless; the GA is already going to lose their war with the SLN.

Also any game changing tech would have to be an add-on to ships that had grossly inadequate defenses against the new heavy missile environment. The SLN would have to build new ships from the ground up to get a chance of survival against the extended range missile swarms of either Manticore or Haven.
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Re: Did the MBS corner the market on trade?
Post by cthia   » Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:52 am

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Exactly where in the system are we placing this "News Courier?" What "news" was it there to get? Most news vehicles pretty much become part of the developing chaos. Authorities have a difficult time containing them. They tend to take "Freedom of the Press" too seriously at times.

If it was located at the junction and not in-system, it could have easily known when Filareta arrived by the increased activity, and also known the Forts were fully operational.

If it was there gathering news, what news is it gathering at the junction and not further in-system. Why rely on second hand news, which is totally unlike Newsies.

P.S. I don't understand why everyone got their undies all in a twist about my desire to destroy the Dispatch Boat. I mean, come on, it was a dispatch boat. It was built to be dispatched with. LOL

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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