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Why were they so foolish?

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Why were they so foolish?
Post by Fireflair   » Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:42 am

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Now, this can probably be chalked up to plot armor or something, but....

During Mission of Honor Rear Admiral Simpson, Admiral Kingsford's operations officer, is sent to Beowulf to arrange with the Board of Directors to use not only the Beowulf terminus but also the Beowulf SDF in the attack on Manticore. The Board of Directors warns her, quite clearly, that they don't believe for a moment that the defenses of Manticore, and especially the junction, have been beaten down in the slightest. They refuse to help with either part of the plan.

My confusion is on why Admiral Simpson didn't just hop a new dispatch boat and go through the Beowulf junction to the other side? Eye ball everything for herself. She'd definitely have been able to get the skinny on the junction forts. And she'd have also been a Battle Fleet admiral reporting back to her superiors with relevant information on the system they're about to attack. Including things like 'hey, dumb-asses, this place is still ready to eat you alive'. Kingsford had an advanced presence he could have used. Why didn't he? Why didn't Simpson act on her own accord to prevent what happened?

This scene happens after the queen makes her system wide, very public, announcement about the Solarian League coming for them. She says they will be ready, that they have the missiles to kick their ass. And that she won't hesitate to take the League on. That would have been public record for Simpson to take home. Even if no one believed, she'd have been able to cover her own rump.
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Re: Why were they so foolish?
Post by Duckk   » Thu Oct 22, 2020 5:52 am

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The point was never to push an attack down the Junction. The point was to appear that they were going to push an attack down the Junction, put Beowulf on the record as opposing the League government (or at least the Mandarins), and thus neuter Beowulf’s voice as the opposition. This is clearly pointed out by the Mandarins when they’re discussing Tsang backing down. The presence of wormhole defenses are immaterial in this case.
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Re: Why were they so foolish?
Post by cthia   » Thu Oct 22, 2020 6:12 am

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Duckk wrote:The point was never to push an attack down the Junction. The point was to appear that they were going to push an attack down the Junction, put Beowulf on the record as opposing the League government (or at least the Mandarins), and thus neuter Beowulf’s voice as the opposition. This is clearly pointed out by the Mandarins when they’re discussing Tsang backing down. The presence of wormhole defenses are immaterial in this case.

But that part of the Mandarin plan never made any sense to me. I understand posturing, but everybody knows that you don't pull a gun unless you are prepared to use it. Posturing or bluffing isn't a very good plan when there would be a real battle raging just on the other side of the junction.

Besides, there was still a chance to seek insider information from the DB tasked with summoning Tsang. Which never should have moved if hotheaded Tsang was simply a ploy who was meant to back down.

How did the DB contact Tsang anyway. Was it a text message or a screening? At any rate, "What about their defenses!?"

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: Why were they so foolish?
Post by SharkHunter   » Thu Oct 22, 2020 7:50 am

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-- snipping, then will hazard a guess --
cthia wrote:How did the DB contact Tsang anyway. Was it a text message or a screening? At any rate, "What about their defenses!?"

Best guess: given that prior to Mission of Honor, we have Anton Zilwicki and Victor in a Havenite DB which is probably superior to the complacent SLN dispatch boats in terms of sensors -- prior to the Battle of Manticore trying to figure out what was up in Haven because 8th fleet is not to be found, and all Zilwicki can say is "well, if there'd been a battle we'd see more debris".

Anyway, the BOM produced plenty of debris. So my thought is that -- given how quickly Manticore found out about Raging Justice, -- they parked that dispatch boat in an area with enough debris to show the DB exactly what they'd have been looking for and no more. like Patton's wooden command before D-Day.
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Re: Why were they so foolish?
Post by tlb   » Thu Oct 22, 2020 8:47 am

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cthia wrote:How did the DB contact Tsang anyway. Was it a text message or a screening? At any rate, "What about their defenses!?"

SharkHunter wrote:Best guess: given that prior to Mission of Honor, we have Anton Zilwicki and Victor in a Havenite DB which is probably superior to the complacent SLN dispatch boats in terms of sensors -- prior to the Battle of Manticore trying to figure out what was up in Haven because 8th fleet is not to be found, and all Zilwicki can say is "well, if there'd been a battle we'd see more debris".

Anyway, the BOM produced plenty of debris. So my thought is that -- given how quickly Manticore found out about Raging Justice, -- they parked that dispatch boat in an area with enough debris to show the DB exactly what they'd have been looking for and no more. like Patton's wooden command before D-Day.

I think that the debris is gradually swept up and any parking area for ships would be relatively clean. In particular there had not been fighting around the junction (there had been a small Havenite unit posted to report on any arrivals from Trevor's Star, but they were pushed off without much damage). Besides, what would be gained by any subterfuge? The DB would not be reporting to Filareta's force. The one useful bit of information that they should have conveyed was that the junction forts were in normal operation.
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Re: Why were they so foolish?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:12 pm

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cthia wrote:But that part of the Mandarin plan never made any sense to me. I understand posturing, but everybody knows that you don't pull a gun unless you are prepared to use it. Posturing or bluffing isn't a very good plan when there would be a real battle raging just on the other side of the junction.


Indeed, but maybe the trigger was supposed to be pulled but the gun is not pointing at the direction you're thinking.

If Tsang was never supposed to actually transit, this would explain a lot. The bluff of transit was not meant to help aid Filareta, though there could be a consequence for that. If she did attempt to transit, the RMN might need to divert some ships from the inner system to defend the Junction. Instead, the bluff was suppose to cause a confrontation with the BSDF. Since the BSDF ships and the SLN ones are roughly equivalent, a confrontation of the BSDF First Fleet with Tsang's TF 11.6 would have gutted the BSDF. And if the BSDF did step away, Tsang would control the terminus.

Win-win from the SLN point of view, if it weren't for those meddling manties.

Besides, there was still a chance to seek insider information from the DB tasked with summoning Tsang. Which never should have moved if hotheaded Tsang was simply a ploy who was meant to back down.

How did the DB contact Tsang anyway. Was it a text message or a screening? At any rate, "What about their defenses!?"


What they said was irrelevant if Tsang never intended to transit.

The flaw in this is that the discussion in Congress failed to capitalise on the possibility of seizing the terminus. Instead, they allowed the Beowulf delegation to spin it as saving Solarian lives.
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Re: Why were they so foolish?
Post by Theemile   » Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:25 pm

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Duckk wrote:The point was never to push an attack down the Junction. The point was to appear that they were going to push an attack down the Junction, put Beowulf on the record as opposing the League government (or at least the Mandarins), and thus neuter Beowulf’s voice as the opposition. This is clearly pointed out by the Mandarins when they’re discussing Tsang backing down. The presence of wormhole defenses are immaterial in this case.


While what you said is true, up until the last moment, Tang intended to use the junction to back up Filatra as per her orders, and was willing to go through Beowulf's wall to do so after they appeared.

Whatever the MAlign and Mandarin's plans and machinations were, the entirety of the SLN's rational for the Raging Justice OP was that Manticore had degraded defenses post-OB. This decision was made under the assumption that any such debilitating strike had to first heavily degrade Manticore's mobile and fixed defenses - and no one had done any intel work to prove that theory right or wrong.

Any civie nav gear in a dispatch boat should have been able to see the nav beacons in Manticore orbit and at the Junction and determine that Manticore's defenses are no where near as degraded as the SLN's appreciations thought they were and (at the minimum) Tang would not have been able to transit uncontested.
Last edited by Theemile on Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why were they so foolish?
Post by tlb   » Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:27 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:If Tsang was never supposed to actually transit, this would explain a lot. The bluff of transit was not meant to help aid Filareta, though there could be a consequence for that. If she did attempt to transit, the RMN might need to divert some ships from the inner system to defend the Junction.

But the fortresses were sufficient to defend the junction from any attempt by Tsang's force to transit; so no forces would be diverted (other than the force already sitting at the Beowulf end of the wormhole).
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Re: Why were they so foolish?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Thu Oct 22, 2020 3:47 pm

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tlb wrote:
ThinksMarkedly wrote:If Tsang was never supposed to actually transit, this would explain a lot. The bluff of transit was not meant to help aid Filareta, though there could be a consequence for that. If she did attempt to transit, the RMN might need to divert some ships from the inner system to defend the Junction.

But the fortresses were sufficient to defend the junction from any attempt by Tsang's force to transit; so no forces would be diverted (other than the force already sitting at the Beowulf end of the wormhole).


I agree, but SLN arrogance would never let them do the same. They may think that the forts would degrade the attack but Manticore would need to reinforce. Losing the Junction is not acceptable.

And in any case, Manticore would have had to send mobile units if Tsang parked herself on the Beowulf side. Someone would have to go and dislodge her, to reopen traffic. Any ships sent there would be ships not able to help defend against Filareta. And that's exactly what Manticore did, sending Alice Truman with of 60 SD(P)s.

The fact that those SD(P)s weren't actually needed with Filareta was never in their calculations.
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Re: Why were they so foolish?
Post by Theemile   » Thu Oct 22, 2020 3:54 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
tlb wrote:But the fortresses were sufficient to defend the junction from any attempt by Tsang's force to transit; so no forces would be diverted (other than the force already sitting at the Beowulf end of the wormhole).


I agree, but SLN arrogance would never let them do the same. They may think that the forts would degrade the attack but Manticore would need to reinforce. Losing the Junction is not acceptable.

And in any case, Manticore would have had to send mobile units if Tsang parked herself on the Beowulf side. Someone would have to go and dislodge her, to reopen traffic. Any ships sent there would be ships not able to help defend against Filareta. And that's exactly what Manticore did, sending Alice Truman with of 60 SD(P)s.

The fact that those SD(P)s weren't actually needed with Filareta was never in their calculations.


Tang always planed on transiting to MAnticore - there is no text-ev of her only planning on sitting on the Beowulf terminus. Of course there also was no planning stated on how to actually go through the guarded terminus with 100 SDs.
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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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