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Andermani strategic blunder in 1905 PD?

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Re: Andermani strategic blunder in 1905 PD?
Post by cthia   » Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:12 am

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I find myself gathering wool thinking about how this would affect the timeline, as I'm sure we all do. If Haven would have been defeated early without a horrendous loss of ships by the Alliance in BoM, then the RMN would have been in a much stronger position going up against the SL had that still come to pass. The IAN would have had to remain for the long haul. You have to wonder how this would have affected the MAlign's plans. And would the Andermani have been added to their list.

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: Andermani strategic blunder in 1905 PD?
Post by Theemile   » Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:28 am

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cthia wrote:I find myself gathering wool thinking about how this would affect the timeline, as I'm sure we all do. If Haven would have been defeated early without a horrendous loss of ships by the Alliance in BoM, then the RMN would have been in a much stronger position going up against the SL had that still come to pass. The IAN would have had to remain for the long haul. You have to wonder how this would have affected the MAlign's plans. And would the Andermani have been added to their list.


No, the RMN would potentially be weaker. As mentioned upthread, Depending on the Time of the Andermani entry, many technologies would not have been completed or built in the same timeline.

If The Andermani had thrown their hat in the ring within 6 months of Hancock station, Barnet San Martin and Nightengale would have fallen by mid 1906, and Jouette, Solon and Lovatte by the end of 1906, early 1907, with the war most likely ending by early 1908. This early entry keeps the peeps on their toes and never allows them to rebuild their leadership after the losses and the fall of the legislatrists. The Fall of Barnet would destroy most of their available offensive force, and keep them from repairing their damaged ships near the front.

In this timeline, the Wayfarer is not needed in Silesia to test pods or LAC tactics, Grayson just fields their Manticore's Gift class in time for the war's final push and only builds a handful, if any, native SDs prior to the war's end. Podlayers, superLACs and CLACs are never built, and the MDMs are never pushed to their conclusion. Manticore still fields ~350 conventional wallers and sees no need to build more, or better ships, and stands down the oldest and least reliable ones.

so, in 1920, they face the SLN with a Navy that is just qualitatively slightly better on a per unit basis.
******
RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
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Re: Andermani strategic blunder in 1905 PD?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:48 pm

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Theemile wrote:In this timeline, the Wayfarer is not needed in Silesia to test pods or LAC tactics, Grayson just fields their Manticore's Gift class in time for the war's final push and only builds a handful, if any, native SDs prior to the war's end. Podlayers, superLACs and CLACs are never built, and the MDMs are never pushed to their conclusion. Manticore still fields ~350 conventional wallers and sees no need to build more, or better ships, and stands down the oldest and least reliable ones.

so, in 1920, they face the SLN with a Navy that is just qualitatively slightly better on a per unit basis.


I think we'd see those technologies eventually, just later than what they actually happened. As Samuel Johnson said, ""Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully."

As discussed upthread, most of them were already in development. The Series 282 LAC was somewhere on prototype stage by 1908 so Honor could take them to Silesia in 1910. The fission power plants for LACs were known since 1903. MDMs had been researched on and off for 500 years and I really don't think the gravitic baffle was developed and put into production in less than 10. Missile pods were used in First Hancock and Fourth Yeltsin; carrying them in greater quantities is just a matter of seeing how effective a saturation launch is.

Some other things hadn't occurred to anyone yet, but would eventually. I'm thinking of Apollo here: once you have FTL transmitters sufficiently sized down, it's a natural conclusion to use them to control missiles. Ghost Riders were already in use during Second Yeltsin anyway.

But one should also note that if the first war was concluded much more quickly, it's also likely that the Lynx terminus wouldn't have been discovered at the same time it was. It happened because High Ridge needed somewhere to pour "peace dividends" into (and divert from), so he had the RMAIA created, resulting in sufficient funding actually being applied to the task. But it would again have happened, just later.

The SLN wouldn't have changed in any measurable form in 10 or 20 years more that it would have taken this to happen. And if there's no war going on, especially no second war, then there's little for everyone else to observe, including the MAlign. That would mean no Cataphract. So in the end, it could be that the Haven Sector forces are actually comparatively much stronger. Though still overkill.
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Re: Andermani strategic blunder in 1905 PD?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:36 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:I think we'd see those technologies eventually, just later than what they actually happened. As Samuel Johnson said, ""Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully."

As discussed upthread, most of them were already in development. The Series 282 LAC was somewhere on prototype stage by 1908 so Honor could take them to Silesia in 1910. The fission power plants for LACs were known since 1903. MDMs had been researched on and off for 500 years and I really don't think the gravitic baffle was developed and put into production in less than 10. Missile pods were used in First Hancock and Fourth Yeltsin; carrying them in greater quantities is just a matter of seeing how effective a saturation launch is.

Some other things hadn't occurred to anyone yet, but would eventually. I'm thinking of Apollo here: once you have FTL transmitters sufficiently sized down, it's a natural conclusion to use them to control missiles. Ghost Riders were already in use during Second Yeltsin anyway.

But one should also note that if the first war was concluded much more quickly, it's also likely that the Lynx terminus wouldn't have been discovered at the same time it was. It happened because High Ridge needed somewhere to pour "peace dividends" into (and divert from), so he had the RMAIA created, resulting in sufficient funding actually being applied to the task. But it would again have happened, just later.

The SLN wouldn't have changed in any measurable form in 10 or 20 years more that it would have taken this to happen. And if there's no war going on, especially no second war, then there's little for everyone else to observe, including the MAlign. That would mean no Cataphract. So in the end, it could be that the Haven Sector forces are actually comparatively much stronger. Though still overkill.
I tend to agree. But most of that technology will probably spend more time in development or very limited scale testing if Manticore has already transitioned back to peace before it can come into service.

They don't have the military lead of the turn of last century Royal Navy - but introducing SD(P)s and CLACs in peacetime risks an HMS Dreadnought moment by obsoleting their existing fleets at a point when, on their peacetime footing, they may not be in a position to outbuild their potential adversaries. It's risky to obsolete your fleet when you're not sure your government is going to be willing or able to fund a quick replacement of it.


During the war they had little choice. They needed to obsolete everyone's fleets in order to disrupt the slow grinding attritional war. And having only a few year advantage would be enough to resolve the war.

But in peacetime creating a few year advantage when hostilities may not break out for far longer than that can just risk giving enough away to let adversaries catch up before future hostilities begin.



So likely better to emulate the Royal Navy before HMS Warrior and perform all the R&D you like on disruptive technologies - but wait until someone else starts the disruptions (the French with Gloire) and then use your ship building prowness and the results off all the testing you've been doing to build a more capable ship (HMS Warrior) and get it into service roughly contemporaneously (if not before) your rival.
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Re: Andermani strategic blunder in 1905 PD?
Post by cthia   » Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:09 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
Theemile wrote:In this timeline, the Wayfarer is not needed in Silesia to test pods or LAC tactics, Grayson just fields their Manticore's Gift class in time for the war's final push and only builds a handful, if any, native SDs prior to the war's end. Podlayers, superLACs and CLACs are never built, and the MDMs are never pushed to their conclusion. Manticore still fields ~350 conventional wallers and sees no need to build more, or better ships, and stands down the oldest and least reliable ones.

so, in 1920, they face the SLN with a Navy that is just qualitatively slightly better on a per unit basis.


I think we'd see those technologies eventually, just later than what they actually happened. As Samuel Johnson said, ""Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully."

As discussed upthread, most of them were already in development. The Series 282 LAC was somewhere on prototype stage by 1908 so Honor could take them to Silesia in 1910. The fission power plants for LACs were known since 1903. MDMs had been researched on and off for 500 years and I really don't think the gravitic baffle was developed and put into production in less than 10. Missile pods were used in First Hancock and Fourth Yeltsin; carrying them in greater quantities is just a matter of seeing how effective a saturation launch is.

Some other things hadn't occurred to anyone yet, but would eventually. I'm thinking of Apollo here: once you have FTL transmitters sufficiently sized down, it's a natural conclusion to use them to control missiles. Ghost Riders were already in use during Second Yeltsin anyway.

But one should also note that if the first war was concluded much more quickly, it's also likely that the Lynx terminus wouldn't have been discovered at the same time it was. It happened because High Ridge needed somewhere to pour "peace dividends" into (and divert from), so he had the RMAIA created, resulting in sufficient funding actually being applied to the task. But it would again have happened, just later.

The SLN wouldn't have changed in any measurable form in 10 or 20 years more that it would have taken this to happen. And if there's no war going on, especially no second war, then there's little for everyone else to observe, including the MAlign. That would mean no Cataphract. So in the end, it could be that the Haven Sector forces are actually comparatively much stronger. Though still overkill.

Good points. And interesting. Since the RMN had to take the wraps off Apollo before they were ready to reveal it, that secret may have been kept for quite a while, until it showed up in the Haven System as the wings beneath a very short victorious war.

In that event, could White Haven have done to the Haven System what Honor did to Sol?

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: Andermani strategic blunder in 1905 PD?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:02 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:So likely better to emulate the Royal Navy before HMS Warrior and perform all the R&D you like on disruptive technologies - but wait until someone else starts the disruptions (the French with Gloire) and then use your ship building prowness and the results off all the testing you've been doing to build a more capable ship (HMS Warrior) and get it into service roughly contemporaneously (if not before) your rival.


Very good points, I hadn't thought of the risk of letting the cat out of the bag.

But even your compromise carries risk too. The enemy we're talking about here is the SL. Unless you have such a superior Navy that you can hold the SLN at bay until you fragment it, you won't get the time to outbuild your opponent.

And this almost happened to the Alliance with the Second War. The Alliance had the technology and thought they could deploy it quickly should the need arise, but almost got overwhelmed by the size of the RHN.
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Re: Andermani strategic blunder in 1905 PD?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Fri Sep 18, 2020 8:49 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
Jonathan_S wrote:So likely better to emulate the Royal Navy before HMS Warrior and perform all the R&D you like on disruptive technologies - but wait until someone else starts the disruptions (the French with Gloire) and then use your ship building prowness and the results off all the testing you've been doing to build a more capable ship (HMS Warrior) and get it into service roughly contemporaneously (if not before) your rival.


Very good points, I hadn't thought of the risk of letting the cat out of the bag.

But even your compromise carries risk too. The enemy we're talking about here is the SL. Unless you have such a superior Navy that you can hold the SLN at bay until you fragment it, you won't get the time to outbuild your opponent.

And this almost happened to the Alliance with the Second War. The Alliance had the technology and thought they could deploy it quickly should the need arise, but almost got overwhelmed by the size of the RHN.

Good counter-point. Before Warrior (and again before Dreadnought) the Royal Navy had the advantage that while the status quo held they were already the most powerful navy - so they had extra incentive to avoid disrupting that favorable status quo by obsoleting their fleet.

As an aside I think the claims that they scored an own goal with HMS Dreadnought by obsoleting all existing battleships (of which they had major numerical superiority) by allowing the Germans to start a naval arms race without regard to the pre-dreadnoughts are vastly overblown.
First pre-dreadnoughts were a major part of everyone's battle lines for the first couple years or so of the war; its simply that the only major battles happened later - so all pre-dreadnoughts weren't instatly rendered useless. HMS Dreadnought was equal to 3 to 5 pre-dreads; but you needed a lot more dreadnoughts to take on entire fleets of pre-dreads.
Second other nations were already designing and ordering dreadnought type ships - all big gun for longer ranged engagements; it was only the speed with which she was built that got HMS Dreadnought into service first. So the obsoleting of the RN's pre-dreadnoughts was coming very soon regardless of how quickly they build their first dreadnought.

Back to the point. Manticore, having a much smaller fleet than some potential enemies probably couldn't afford to be so complacent about the status quo. If tensions with the League looks likely they would need those radical new technologies to hope to survive. And you've got a point that even Manticore can't build them instantly; and being the smaller navy that means they risk their existing pod-towing navy getting overwhelmed by sheer numbers of somewhat inferior ships.

Makes for an interesting decision of what tech or designs to hold back to try to prevent opponents from learning of them and building their own, and which to go all in on building to get a modernized navy able to better offset raw numbers of older ships. But you probably don't want to take a middle course where you introduce a revolutionary new ship and then build them at very low rates. That gives away your secrets without building enough of them to offset opponents numbers.
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Re: Andermani strategic blunder in 1905 PD?
Post by Theemile   » Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:30 am

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Jonathan_S wrote:
Makes for an interesting decision of what tech or designs to hold back to try to prevent opponents from learning of them and building their own, and which to go all in on building to get a modernized navy able to better offset raw numbers of older ships. But you probably don't want to take a middle course where you introduce a revolutionary new ship and then build them at very low rates. That gives away your secrets without building enough of them to offset opponents numbers.


Unfortunately, this is probably what would happen - without war time appropriations, how could advanced, new construction be funded?

And after a "won" war, the populace will ask if the entire current Navy is still needed, and why should they fund even pre-war build levels, and the final question, what is wrong with the massive glut of ships we just built?

While driven by High Ridge and Co, we saw this same thinking after the end of the 1st Haven war, including the attempts to upgrade otherwise brand new Gryphons to fire MDMs instead of completing podlayers (with already sunk costs) that were multiple times more powerful/survivable.

That kind of thinking is as understandable - the uneducated (in Military matters) populace is tired of war and high taxes and wants to be rewarded for their sacrifices made to win the war. And why all the waste?

I'm still going to say that most of these technologies in peacetime would not be allowed to mature or be constructed en mass as they would in wartime.
******
RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
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Re: Andermani strategic blunder in 1905 PD?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Fri Sep 18, 2020 5:42 pm

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Theemile wrote:While driven by High Ridge and Co, we saw this same thinking after the end of the 1st Haven war, including the attempts to upgrade otherwise brand new Gryphons to fire MDMs instead of completing podlayers (with already sunk costs) that were multiple times more powerful/survivable.


Even at that time, the Gryphons and the Denevskis were the most powerful warships ever built and in service, except for RMN/GSN's own Medusas / Harringtons. I'll note the critical technology is not the pod, but the MDM. A Gryphon at 20 million km is untouchable by however many squadrons of pod-layers if the enemy missiles range only 9 million km[*]. On the other hand, tube-fired MDMs from 20 SDs could threaten a Medusa or an Invictus.

So I can see why they'd make the decision they made to upgrade Gryphons.

The fault in that logic is that the cat was out of the bag. It was a matter of time until someone else came up with comparable technology. The High Ridge Government thought they could foresee this coming early enough and we know how that fared.

[*] In another sci-fi series I'm reading, the "good guys" have ships with inferior speeds and shorter-ranged weapons, so every battle goes through "we have to endure X amount of seconds until we can fire on them." Why the hell did the enemy even allow them to close the range? Keep outside of it and snipe, even if your hit and kill ratio is poor. Especially if you're firing particle or beam weapons that you won't run out of. And to make the matters worse, the enemy comes into range of the fixed forts... which were not protecting vital infrastructure or planets that needed to be captured... *sigh* reading Honor Harrington ruins the run-of-the-mill sci-fi series.
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Re: Andermani strategic blunder in 1905 PD?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:05 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:Even at that time, the Gryphons and the Denevskis were the most powerful warships ever built and in service, except for RMN/GSN's own Medusas / Harringtons. I'll note the critical technology is not the pod, but the MDM. A Gryphon at 20 million km is untouchable by however many squadrons of pod-layers if the enemy missiles range only 9 million km[*]. On the other hand, tube-fired MDMs from 20 SDs could threaten a Medusa or an Invictus.

So I can see why they'd make the decision they made to upgrade Gryphons.

The fault in that logic is that the cat was out of the bag. It was a matter of time until someone else came up with comparable technology. The High Ridge Government thought they could foresee this coming early enough and we know how that fared.
And quite possibly they drastically underestimated the time and cost it would take to refit Grypons with MDMs. Most powerful non-podlayer or not it still doesn't make economic sense to end up spending 60-70% of time and cost of a Medusa to upgrade a Gryphon that's still far inferior to it in both offense and defense.

Thought, to be fair, more than one historic navy has made that same underestimation and ended up stuck with a refit that with the benefit of hindsight they'd have been far better off skipping in favor of a building a replacement.


If it had been quick to bodge MDMs into a Gryphon it would have almost certainly been worth it as a war measure even if it had been very expensive. And if it had been really inexpensive but slow it could be somewhat reasonable under a post-war environment where funding to rapidly replace legacy SDs with SD(P)s would be forthcoming. But since it turned out to be both slow and expensive those refits seem a major misstep.


OTOH the last few Steadholder Denevskis-class, the ones delayed to accelerated the completion of GSN Honor Harrington, might have been completed with (capacitor powered) MDMs. At the very least the Mk41 specs should have been far enough along that their designs could leave expansion room to refit the launchers and feed tubes for the larger missiles. Like oversized opening in the armor/armored bulkheads that are covered by a removable armor plug to make it simpler to later install the larger MDM hardware -- slightly weakened defense compared to a non-upgradable SDM SD; but vastly easier ability to upgrade.

But ships completed with Mk41s probably couldn't be economically refit for the smaller microfusion powered Mk23s because of all the new requirements for safely launching those.
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