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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 ThinksMarkedly   » Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:22 am

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tlb wrote:If the SLN really believed all of that, then what did they believe kept the unknown attackers from conquering all of Manticore? The only explanation that I can conceive, if we require the attack to be manned, is that the attackers were a suicide mission and only succeeded by killing all of themselves in the attempt. But that is ridiculous, because it would have left debris that could identify the assailants and the methods they used. Also it is hard to believe that an unknown force would fight until they were all dead.

So the only remaining, logical explanation is that the fighting was done by autonomous machines. Since it is likely that even Solarian ships had used the wormhole junction after the attack (that lone DB cannot be the only one), everyone should know that its defenses were intact. So why did they allow themselves to be persuaded that the attackers had to fight their way in; when a stealth ballistic approach was also possible?


They didn't believe a stealth ballistic approach was possible either. So that left them between several impossible situations. Sherlock Holmes said "when you remove the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." If nothing remains, then your logic was wrong and logically you excluded something that was possible. Finding out where you made a mistake is the difficult part.

Of course, saying that an attacker could not perform a stealth ballistic approach means giving the RMN credit for detecting such a thing, more than the SLN would usually give any neobarb. They'd either have to concede that Manticore had sensitive translation arrays and could catch the translation however far that was and the QRF could have reached in time to intercept (the correct case) or that they had very good scanning and would have detected the attack before it stuck. Maybe they thought the unknown attackers didn't have MDMs and thus had to close to 3 minutes' flight time?

Actually, I take it back. They weren't giving the RMN any credit. They were underestimating the attackers because they estimated those to be no better than the SLN itself. If the SLN is the best there is and the SLN couldn't find a way do it, then no attacker could, right? It may not even be a failure of imagination: it doesn't matter if someone imagined it if it got automatically rejected as "theoretical impractical nonsense" because it wasn't in the SLN playbook.
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Re: Did the MBS corner the market on trade?
Post by tlb   » Sun Jul 26, 2020 12:56 pm

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tlb wrote:If the SLN really believed all of that, then what did they believe kept the unknown attackers from conquering all of Manticore? The only explanation that I can conceive, if we require the attack to be manned, is that the attackers were a suicide mission and only succeeded by killing all of themselves in the attempt. But that is ridiculous, because it would have left debris that could identify the assailants and the methods they used. Also it is hard to believe that an unknown force would fight until they were all dead.

So the only remaining, logical explanation is that the fighting was done by autonomous machines. Since it is likely that even Solarian ships had used the wormhole junction after the attack (that lone DB cannot be the only one), everyone should know that its defenses were intact. So why did they allow themselves to be persuaded that the attackers had to fight their way in; when a stealth ballistic approach was also possible?

ThinksMarkedly wrote:They didn't believe a stealth ballistic approach was possible either. So that left them between several impossible situations. Sherlock Holmes said "when you remove the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." If nothing remains, then your logic was wrong and logically you excluded something that was possible. Finding out where you made a mistake is the difficult part.

Of course, saying that an attacker could not perform a stealth ballistic approach means giving the RMN credit for detecting such a thing, more than the SLN would usually give any neobarb. They'd either have to concede that Manticore had sensitive translation arrays and could catch the translation however far that was and the QRF could have reached in time to intercept (the correct case) or that they had very good scanning and would have detected the attack before it stuck. Maybe they thought the unknown attackers didn't have MDMs and thus had to close to 3 minutes' flight time?

Actually, I take it back. They weren't giving the RMN any credit. They were underestimating the attackers because they estimated those to be no better than the SLN itself. If the SLN is the best there is and the SLN couldn't find a way do it, then no attacker could, right? It may not even be a failure of imagination: it doesn't matter if someone imagined it if it got automatically rejected as "theoretical impractical nonsense" because it wasn't in the SLN playbook.

Robert_A_Woodward wrote:Asking that question to several people in the upper levels of the SLN bureaucracy would be informative, but, alas, they died recently of heart attacks/brain aneurysms.

It is very hard to understand what the Solarian analysts thought had happened; unless Robert A Woodward is correct that Mesan agents in the bureaucracy had so obscured the issue that no one thought at all. They believed that Crandall had run afoul of system defense pods, so they had to believe that their own forces would have trouble forcing its way to the capitol planet of Manticore. They were confident of Filareta's fleet, because they considered the defense to be shot dry. What was the basis for that belief? It was the massive infrastructure damage that had been attained. But if Haven had accomplished that, then the war was over; so the defenses could not be gone. But only Daud al-Fanudahi thought there was a problem in the analysis? Further they had to know that the junction forts were intact. If the plan for Tsang required the forts to be destroyed, then the DB should have made the transit to warn that was not true long before the confrontation at Beowulf.

I believe that the Mandarins' strategy was half psychological and half political. They believed their own myth of the unstoppable League and thought that the Manticoran leaders would fall to their knees before the fleet. The other wing of their strategy was to besmirch the reputation of Beowulf to eliminate all opposition to their plans in the assembly. I say unstoppable, rather invincible, because they had some awareness that Manticore had better quality forces; but thought that the quantity of League forces, far more than that of Haven, would still make their victory inevitable.

The League analysts certainly never stopped to think that the existence of an unknown force which had opened the way to "victory" over Manticore ought to give support to the claims from Manticore of a malignant force that was working behind the scenes.
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Re: Did the MBS corner the market on trade?
Post by kzt   » Sun Jul 26, 2020 1:05 pm

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Groupthink works like that. After the disaster is over everyone is standing in the rubble trying to figure out how they went so wrong, and they start to wonder if maybe those growing cracks in the bridge might have been a sign, even when everyone agreed they were nothing much.
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Re: Did the MBS corner the market on trade?
Post by cthia   » Mon Jul 27, 2020 6:34 pm

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tlb wrote:
tlb wrote:If the SLN really believed all of that, then what did they believe kept the unknown attackers from conquering all of Manticore? The only explanation that I can conceive, if we require the attack to be manned, is that the attackers were a suicide mission and only succeeded by killing all of themselves in the attempt. But that is ridiculous, because it would have left debris that could identify the assailants and the methods they used. Also it is hard to believe that an unknown force would fight until they were all dead.

So the only remaining, logical explanation is that the fighting was done by autonomous machines. Since it is likely that even Solarian ships had used the wormhole junction after the attack (that lone DB cannot be the only one), everyone should know that its defenses were intact. So why did they allow themselves to be persuaded that the attackers had to fight their way in; when a stealth ballistic approach was also possible?

ThinksMarkedly wrote:They didn't believe a stealth ballistic approach was possible either. So that left them between several impossible situations. Sherlock Holmes said "when you remove the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." If nothing remains, then your logic was wrong and logically you excluded something that was possible. Finding out where you made a mistake is the difficult part.

Of course, saying that an attacker could not perform a stealth ballistic approach means giving the RMN credit for detecting such a thing, more than the SLN would usually give any neobarb. They'd either have to concede that Manticore had sensitive translation arrays and could catch the translation however far that was and the QRF could have reached in time to intercept (the correct case) or that they had very good scanning and would have detected the attack before it stuck. Maybe they thought the unknown attackers didn't have MDMs and thus had to close to 3 minutes' flight time?

Actually, I take it back. They weren't giving the RMN any credit. They were underestimating the attackers because they estimated those to be no better than the SLN itself. If the SLN is the best there is and the SLN couldn't find a way do it, then no attacker could, right? It may not even be a failure of imagination: it doesn't matter if someone imagined it if it got automatically rejected as "theoretical impractical nonsense" because it wasn't in the SLN playbook.

Robert_A_Woodward wrote:Asking that question to several people in the upper levels of the SLN bureaucracy would be informative, but, alas, they died recently of heart attacks/brain aneurysms.

It is very hard to understand what the Solarian analysts thought had happened; unless Robert A Woodward is correct that Mesan agents in the bureaucracy had so obscured the issue that no one thought at all. They believed that Crandall had run afoul of system defense pods, so they had to believe that their own forces would have trouble forcing its way to the capitol planet of Manticore. They were confident of Filareta's fleet, because they considered the defense to be shot dry. What was the basis for that belief? It was the massive infrastructure damage that had been attained. But if Haven had accomplished that, then the war was over; so the defenses could not be gone. But only Daud al-Fanudahi thought there was a problem in the analysis? Further they had to know that the junction forts were intact. If the plan for Tsang required the forts to be destroyed, then the DB should have made the transit to warn that was not true long before the confrontation at Beowulf.

I believe that the Mandarins' strategy was half psychological and half political. They believed their own myth of the unstoppable League and thought that the Manticoran leaders would fall to their knees before the fleet. The other wing of their strategy was to besmirch the reputation of Beowulf to eliminate all opposition to their plans in the assembly. I say unstoppable, rather invincible, because they had some awareness that Manticore had better quality forces; but thought that the quantity of League forces, far more than that of Haven, would still make their victory inevitable.

The League analysts certainly never stopped to think that the existence of an unknown force which had opened the way to "victory" over Manticore ought to give support to the claims from Manticore of a malignant force that was working behind the scenes.

There may be something to that, tlb. I'm certain that the quite contagious institutional arrogance has a lot to say about it, but the whole thing just doesn't make any sense. At any rate, I do recall a passage of someone in the League believing the RMN would back down when it "comes right down to it." The Mandarins really didn't think the Manties had the stomach for war with the League.

Anyway, the whole wormhole assault that Tsang was keen on carrying out just didn't make sense to me. I know the SLN hadn't fought a war since they stole the candy from their next door neighbor when they were a lean mean rolling machine. But they certainly had to know about wormhole assaults. It also makes one wonder if anybody on the SLN home team, civilian or navy, had ever visited the MBS in their entire life. Which would be difficult to believe. So what gives?

An invisible entity who can sneak into a system unopposed and unseen doesn't need to fight its way through a wormhole.

Telling themselves they were suddenly second or third fiddle just wasn't in their vocabulary. Nobody wanted to say it. Nobody WOULD say it. It was easier to simply act as if the naked emperor really had clothes.

At any rate, at what year of Saganami classes are wormhole assaults covered? Apparently Solarians never made it to WH Assaults 999.

I don't understand why the RMN weren't at least a wee bit concerned. I know the political motivations behind the decision to release that DB. But I think it was too risky.

IF ALL ELSE WAS EQUAL and it had been the Havenites, that DB would have been grounded.

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 ThinksMarkedly   » Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:22 pm

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cthia wrote:There may be something to that, tlb. I'm certain that the quite contagious institutional arrogance has a lot to say about it, but the whole thing just doesn't make any sense. At any rate, I do recall a passage of someone in the League believing the RMN would back down when it "comes right down to it." The Mandarins really didn't think the Manties had the stomach for war with the League.

Anyway, the whole wormhole assault that Tsang was keen on carrying out just didn't make sense to me. I know the SLN hadn't fought a war since they stole the candy from their next door neighbor when they were a lean mean rolling machine. But they certainly had to know about wormhole assaults. It also makes one wonder if anybody on the SLN home team, civilian or navy, had ever visited the MBS in their entire life. Which would be difficult to believe. So what gives?


Right. If Manticore was going to back down, it would be when 3 billion tonnes of metal translated from hyperspace in the form of 431 superdreadnoughts and some escorts. If that happened, then the Junction would stand down and there would be no need for Tsang to reinforce. If it didn't happen, then Tsang couldn't get through.

No, the strategy was conceived by people who did know how costly that would be (the MAlign agents), approved by people who didn't know a thing about wormhole transits and assaults (the Mandarins) and executed by someone who left the brain in the pockets of her other uniform. At best, Tsang thought that if it had been approved, then they knew what they were doing and she didn't have to.

I don't understand why the RMN weren't at least a wee bit concerned. I know the political motivations behind the decision to release that DB. But I think it was too risky.


Textev shows that some people were concerned. We didn't hear the top leadership, but I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't share similar thoughts too. Where they disagree with you is whether it was "too risky." They obviously concluded it wasn't too risky for the potential upside of it.

IF ALL ELSE WAS EQUAL and it had been the Havenites, that DB would have been grounded.


Well, at least until Apollo, I agree. 60 RMN+GSN SD(P)s may be able to take on 100 RHN SD(P)s but the force would be gutted. Better to wait for reinforcements.

Even with Apollo it might not be a good exchange. The attacking force doesn't need to be inside the hyperlimit. They can avoid the missiles, even Apollo ones, by translating out, so long as they don't waste time like Chin did. The defenders have to protect the terminus, even if the attackers can't transit, so they can receive reinforcements. So in the end, a fight against the RHN would result in stalemate: the RHN can't close to its missile range without suffering horrid losses and the RMN+GSN+BSDF defenders can't force the engagement.
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Re: Did the MBS corner the market on trade?
Post by cthia   » Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:18 pm

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Perhaps, but the RMN would have to assume that Shannon has come up with a way to walk through fire without getting burned. Even in the era of Apollo the same anxiety would exist because nobody is stupid enough to do it, unless there's something up their sleeves.

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 ThinksMarkedly   » Tue Jul 28, 2020 12:08 am

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cthia wrote:Perhaps, but the RMN would have to assume that Shannon has come up with a way to walk through fire without getting burned. Even in the era of Apollo the same anxiety would exist because nobody is stupid enough to do it, unless there's something up their sleeves.


Ah, I see your point. If the RHN was intent on transiting, and they're no fools, then they must have a way. The thing is, do you call their bluff?
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Re: Did the MBS corner the market on trade?
Post by Brigade XO   » Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:14 am

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The short version is that against the BSDF, Tsang would have taken damage and lost ships but still have had ships to take through what she thought was an undefended wormhole (if she thought it was defended, she would have been nuts to try it). Her remaining wormhole capable force would have been dust bunnies after transit.

Against the RMN taskforce alone she is probably going to loose all of her SDs destroyed or damaged (not counting the screen which would have been almost an afterthought to the RMN) as she was massively outranged and had no actual clue of how much better the RMN weapons, tactics and defences are. While the BSDF isn't upgraded to RMN, they can take tactical data feeds and having Ghost Rider drones right on top of the SLN ships with the data coming at least via transfers from the RMN ships. Sure, it might be that the BSDF could hang just out of range of the SLN but if they do move into even extreem range (for themselves) their targeting is going to be MUCH better and while they may not have the RMN offensive range, I'll bet their defences are several levels above the SLN and they could get some assistance from Dragons Teeth and other ECM birds etc from the RMN screen.

Note that when the Tsang gambit fails, I guess Tsang is "safely" on her way back to Sol, having left the area of the terminus via hyperspace BEFORE the news of the results of Battle of Manticore comes though. If she had stayed around....I suppose waiting in the hope that Fillerta would have suceeded at Manticore and, having accepted the Queen's surrender, sent an order that stood down the RMN squadron by the Sigma Draconis terminus....to let Tsang through. Had she still been there after Fillerta was defeated would the RMN task force been ordered to demand her surrender and, failing to get that, destroy her ships?
Remember, at that point there was a state of war. Heck, the Task Force could have delivered it to both Tsang and the local SLN representive at Beowulf essentialy at the same time and told Tsang to surrender or "run away --now".
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Re: Did the MBS corner the market on trade?
Post by cthia   » Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:20 am

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Brigade XO wrote:The short version is that against the BSDF, Tsang would have taken damage and lost ships but still have had ships to take through what she thought was an undefended wormhole (if she thought it was defended, she would have been nuts to try it). Her remaining wormhole capable force would have been dust bunnies after transit.

Against the RMN taskforce alone she is probably going to loose all of her SDs destroyed or damaged (not counting the screen which would have been almost an afterthought to the RMN) as she was massively outranged and had no actual clue of how much better the RMN weapons, tactics and defences are. While the BSDF isn't upgraded to RMN, they can take tactical data feeds and having Ghost Rider drones right on top of the SLN ships with the data coming at least via transfers from the RMN ships. Sure, it might be that the BSDF could hang just out of range of the SLN but if they do move into even extreem range (for themselves) their targeting is going to be MUCH better and while they may not have the RMN offensive range, I'll bet their defences are several levels above the SLN and they could get some assistance from Dragons Teeth and other ECM birds etc from the RMN screen.

Note that when the Tsang gambit fails, I guess Tsang is "safely" on her way back to Sol, having left the area of the terminus via hyperspace BEFORE the news of the results of Battle of Manticore comes though. If she had stayed around....I suppose waiting in the hope that Fillerta would have suceeded at Manticore and, having accepted the Queen's surrender, sent an order that stood down the RMN squadron by the Sigma Draconis terminus....to let Tsang through. Had she still been there after Fillerta was defeated would the RMN task force been ordered to demand her surrender and, failing to get that, destroy her ships?
Remember, at that point there was a state of war. Heck, the Task Force could have delivered it to both Tsang and the local SLN representive at Beowulf essentialy at the same time and told Tsang to surrender or "run away --now".

Something I'm not clear on. If the wormhole was not defended because of a catastrophic battle of Herculean proportions, wouldn't that also mean that Astro Control had been reduced to rubble too? Lest there was a jury rigged AC. My point is it seems the MWJ would be closed to all foreign traffic pending "major repairs."

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   » Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:30 pm

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cthia wrote:Something I'm not clear on. If the wormhole was not defended because of a catastrophic battle of Herculean proportions, wouldn't that also mean that Astro Control had been reduced to rubble too? Lest there was a jury rigged AC. My point is it seems the MWJ would be closed to all foreign traffic pending "major repairs."

These are all things that the DB should have reported to Tsang. In particular, since Astro Control and the forts were all in fine shape, the transit is a no-go. In fact the DB could have gone through days earlier and reported that.

My conclusion in that Tsang had a secondary objective, provided this situation held, of forcing the Beowulf defense forces to explicitly reject Tsang's right to transit (which was not going to really be attempted) as a propaganda point that could be used in the League.
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