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Another miss in House of Steel

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Another miss in House of Steel
Post by Theemile   » Sun Oct 18, 2020 3:04 pm

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As some no doubt remember, after HoS was released, we poured over the book, analyzing its data, asking questions, and trying to place everything in the framework provided.

From that we found several items about HoS necessary to understand the ships list.

1: The data contained is dated ~May 1st 1921pd, a little more than a year after the 1920 Fleet list (~March 8th, 1920 pd), and about 9-10 months before the Oyster Bay attack.

1 a: The list is not the complete list of what was in the RMN inventory after Oyster Bay, or even what was completed prior to the attack.

2: The List only discussed classes active in the RMN between 1900 PD (the times which OBS occurred), and May 1st 1921 pd. Classes retired prior to that time were not listed. (So frigates and entirely retired warship classes were not listed)

3: Support ships were not discussed, only warships.

4: Only ships accepted into the RMN or GSN were listed in their respective lists, not total hulls built by either.

5: Ship specs are current (May 1921) standard class weapons fits and size - not as-designed or as-built.

6: Ship Accelerations are given as designed - not as built or currently deployed.

However, I found another loophole. The HoS ship list for both the RMN and GSN list the SDs and DNs captured from haven in the first months of the war - a total of 37 SDs and DNs. The GSN also counts old RMN ships sold to the GSN (Nobelese, Courageous, Redoubtable), ships built specifically for the GSN by Manticore (Chanson, Star Knight, Reliant, Minotaur), and the ships captured by Honor at Hades which made the original core of the Protector's Own.

And here is the rub - the RMN had a long history of buying into the service ships in good shape that were captured in battle. We know 38 smaller ships at Hancock I (including 2 BCs) were surrendered and bought into service, and Warner Caslet's CL was captured and bought into service. This is in addition to ships captured at other battles where the 21 other SDs were surrendered, or anything caught under repair at Seaford nine. Not to mention, anything captured in Silesia (where the Jaynes' errata mentions multiple examples of ships bought up after capture.)

Just those 39 known ships are a lot of fire power - any 3rd rate navy would want 2 modern BCs, a short squadron of CAs, and pile of modern CLs and DDs.

So their exception is a big miss by BuNine. Of course, the bought up ships are a tertiary part of the universe, rarely mentioned or seen except in theory, or in reference to Honor's wealth, so it's miss is understandable.

In Universe, We know that any Frigates were expulsed from the RMN prior to 1900, and we know most of ships like these would have been disposed of in the post-war build down. It could be that these war -captured ships were the first to be offered to other navies to bulk their forces. So while purchased by the RMN, they might have been immediately donated to Zanzibar, Idaho, Klein, etc to reinforce their navies, and never officially entered the RMN, following the rules we found earlier for HoS.

However, prewar, captured ships were bought into the Navy, and every light ship was needed with the construction focus on capital ship construction. Again, as part of the alliance formation, selling off the non-standard ships might have happened in the run up to 1900, eliminating the maintenance burden, while strengthening the neighbor's navies.

However, I still see it as a big miss - thoughts?
******
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: Another miss in House of Steel
Post by Duckk   » Sun Oct 18, 2020 3:14 pm

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There was tons of stuff we wanted to put in, but the whole Compendium concept was already something of a question mark for Baen. We had to pick and choose what went in to keep a reasonable page count.
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Shields at 50%, taunting at 100%! - Tom Pope
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Re: Another miss in House of Steel
Post by Theemile   » Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:13 pm

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Duckk wrote:There was tons of stuff we wanted to put in, but the whole Compendium concept was already something of a question mark for Baen. We had to pick and choose what went in to keep a reasonable page count.


While we're on the topic, when is the next one due? Any chance we might get some of the missing stuff in e- form?
******
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: Another miss in House of Steel
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Mon Oct 19, 2020 1:08 am

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Theemile wrote:In Universe, We know that any Frigates were expulsed from the RMN prior to 1900, and we know most of ships like these would have been disposed of in the post-war build down. It could be that these war -captured ships were the first to be offered to other navies to bulk their forces. So while purchased by the RMN, they might have been immediately donated to Zanzibar, Idaho, Klein, etc to reinforce their navies, and never officially entered the RMN, following the rules we found earlier for HoS.

However, prewar, captured ships were bought into the Navy, and every light ship was needed with the construction focus on capital ship construction. Again, as part of the alliance formation, selling off the non-standard ships might have happened in the run up to 1900, eliminating the maintenance burden, while strengthening the neighbor's navies.

However, I still see it as a big miss - thoughts?


In-universe, you also have to consider the fact that Jayne is an independent publication. The whole section of HoS starts with an apology for getting details wrong. So missing more information is expected.

Jayne's readership would be interested in ships designed and built by the RMN. I suppose the major formations of captured SD are also important, if one is trying to gauge the force level of the RMN and especially of an early GSN. The captured non-capital ships are probably much less interesting and would disappear in the noise of a large navy like the RMN. If a second or third-rate navy acquired a BC, it would be notworthy. If the RMN adds a captured CL, who cares?

So the dribs and drabs were missed, possibly even because Jayne couldn't independently corroborate them. If those ships were refit in Grendelsbane, Jayne observers might not have seen them at all.

The actual Jayne publication would probably have included all the speculative information too, as a separate section. Especially since the RMN records were open and investigative teams could simply see how much the RMN was openly spending in buying those ships into service.
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Re: Another miss in House of Steel
Post by Duckk   » Mon Oct 19, 2020 5:22 am

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Theemile wrote:
Duckk wrote:There was tons of stuff we wanted to put in, but the whole Compendium concept was already something of a question mark for Baen. We had to pick and choose what went in to keep a reasonable page count.


While we're on the topic, when is the next one due? Any chance we might get some of the missing stuff in e- form?


We're trying to spin things up, but we're changing collaboration infrastructure right now (like moving to Slack).
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Shields at 50%, taunting at 100%! - Tom Pope
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Re: Another miss in House of Steel
Post by Theemile   » Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:47 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
Theemile wrote:In Universe, We know that any Frigates were expulsed from the RMN prior to 1900, and we know most of ships like these would have been disposed of in the post-war build down. It could be that these war -captured ships were the first to be offered to other navies to bulk their forces. So while purchased by the RMN, they might have been immediately donated to Zanzibar, Idaho, Klein, etc to reinforce their navies, and never officially entered the RMN, following the rules we found earlier for HoS.

However, prewar, captured ships were bought into the Navy, and every light ship was needed with the construction focus on capital ship construction. Again, as part of the alliance formation, selling off the non-standard ships might have happened in the run up to 1900, eliminating the maintenance burden, while strengthening the neighbor's navies.

However, I still see it as a big miss - thoughts?


In-universe, you also have to consider the fact that Jayne is an independent publication. The whole section of HoS starts with an apology for getting details wrong. So missing more information is expected.

Jayne's readership would be interested in ships designed and built by the RMN. I suppose the major formations of captured SD are also important, if one is trying to gauge the force level of the RMN and especially of an early GSN. The captured non-capital ships are probably much less interesting and would disappear in the noise of a large navy like the RMN. If a second or third-rate navy acquired a BC, it would be notworthy. If the RMN adds a captured CL, who cares?

So the dribs and drabs were missed, possibly even because Jayne couldn't independently corroborate them. If those ships were refit in Grendelsbane, Jayne observers might not have seen them at all.

The actual Jayne publication would probably have included all the speculative information too, as a separate section. Especially since the RMN records were open and investigative teams could simply see how much the RMN was openly spending in buying those ships into service.


The concept of Jayne's was supposed to be ship identification - like it has been in our universe. So noting that a Frigate class CL might be in RMN hands and patrolling in Silesia would be important for one of their readers.
******
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: Another miss in House of Steel
Post by justdave   » Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:16 am

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Duckk wrote:There was tons of stuff we wanted to put in, but the whole Compendium concept was already something of a question mark for Baen. We had to pick and choose what went in to keep a reasonable page count.


Also in Honorverse Jayne’s is publishing books on other significant navies where many of the captured ship classes would be covered, ie House of Lies
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Re: Another miss in House of Steel
Post by Erls   » Mon Oct 19, 2020 11:36 pm

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Back when I was younger, and the Star Wars Expanded Universe didn't have its own wing in most libraries (and the idea of Disney molesting the sequels was beyond belief), one of my favorite publications they did was a universe companion of most ships (both movies and the more popular books).

I mention this, because I absolutely loved House of Steel's ship list. And I write to offer an idea for Bu9 to pursue (if David is on board with it). A stand-alone book detailing the warships, freighters, and other craft of the Honorverse. Start with the Colony ship Jason itself, and go from there. All of the various corvettes, destroyers, and cruisers (and MPARs) from Manticore Ascending. Designs for the more widely built destroyers, cruisers, battleships, and dreadnoughts between Travis Long and Honor Harrington. Designs for common types from Haven, the Andermani, mercenaries (Silesian pirates...), Beowulf (and perhaps other SDFs of note), and the Solarian League. Basically, anything that was built in numbers and *could* be seen in a future short story based on events that occurred before the Solarian League surrenders to Honor.

Once the series is wrapped up, an addendum could be produced for any new ships (such as the Malign fleet).

Finally, this would not restrict RFC's writing either. Because it would be describing the "standard" configuration, there would be a ton of room for RFC to have hulls modified. After all, isn't that the original Fearless from OBS? Thus, if the story dictates a standard hull could be modified (perhaps as a test bed for a new weapon or doctrine) to fit the role the story demands, while we the readers can still track the full development of the Navy.

One final note - I hope at some point we will also see a genealogy tree of the Manticore Aristocracy, or at least those families that played a prominent role in Manticore Ascending, the Star Kingdom, or the conventional Honorverse. Show which families remained fairly prominent through the generations and which families had short runs of power before someone screwed up (like the Youngs) and lost everything.
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