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Makeover for On Basilisk Station

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Re: Makeover for On Basilisk Station
Post by Jonathan_S   » Tue Mar 16, 2021 11:20 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:Otherwise, if Hemphill had chosen an ageing Warrior and we hadn't had Honor in command, it's likely that Parnell's plan to snatch Basilisk off Manticore and thus open the way to annexing Silesia would have worked. At that time, Basilisk Station was seen as punishment duty, so the Warrior sent to relieve HMS Warlock would have been lax in its duties. Then the entire timeline changes because the PRH has less pressure to start the war with Manticore. On the other hand, Manticore has more time to build SDs and put the fruits of Project Gram into practice.

I think the attempt to seize control of the planet Basilisk likely would have worked; at least in the short term. But, as much as the majority in Lords, and thus the Admiralty, didn't like or want Basilisk Station I'm not sure sure that Manticoran public opinion might not have forced their hand and caused a fleet confrontation in the Basilisk system to try to free the planet from Haven.

At the very least it should wake them up to the fact that the wormhole terminus is at risk and trigger a much larger fleet presence defending it - even if Manticore decides not to contest the Republic's new territorial claims on the planet/system. (The terminus it beyond the system territorial limit, so taking over the planet grants Haven no legal claim on the terminus. And the squadron that was showing up of "render assistance" to the planet wasn't planned to try to capture the terminus)


So the success of Parnell's ultimate goal of access to Silesia, unimpeded by Manticore, seems to depend in large part on Manticore's reaction to the occupation of Basilisk. And they may not just walk away from the system like Haven seems to be assuming...
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Re: Makeover for On Basilisk Station
Post by Theemile   » Tue Mar 16, 2021 1:57 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:
ThinksMarkedly wrote:Otherwise, if Hemphill had chosen an ageing Warrior and we hadn't had Honor in command, it's likely that Parnell's plan to snatch Basilisk off Manticore and thus open the way to annexing Silesia would have worked. At that time, Basilisk Station was seen as punishment duty, so the Warrior sent to relieve HMS Warlock would have been lax in its duties. Then the entire timeline changes because the PRH has less pressure to start the war with Manticore. On the other hand, Manticore has more time to build SDs and put the fruits of Project Gram into practice.

I think the attempt to seize control of the planet Basilisk likely would have worked; at least in the short term. But, as much as the majority in Lords, and thus the Admiralty, didn't like or want Basilisk Station I'm not sure sure that Manticoran public opinion might not have forced their hand and caused a fleet confrontation in the Basilisk system to try to free the planet from Haven.

At the very least it should wake them up to the fact that the wormhole terminus is at risk and trigger a much larger fleet presence defending it - even if Manticore decides not to contest the Republic's new territorial claims on the planet/system. (The terminus it beyond the system territorial limit, so taking over the planet grants Haven no legal claim on the terminus. And the squadron that was showing up of "render assistance" to the planet wasn't planned to try to capture the terminus)


So the success of Parnell's ultimate goal of access to Silesia, unimpeded by Manticore, seems to depend in large part on Manticore's reaction to the occupation of Basilisk. And they may not just walk away from the system like Haven seems to be assuming...



You're missing another quantity, namely the MMM. The Basilisk wormhole proved very profitable for them - it turned lost revenue on empty return ships into marginal profits on raw materials purchased in the Eastern portion of the Confederacy, making the shorter return voyage a small profit maker in and of itself.

The MMM would excerpt extreme pressure on the Navy to retain the Basilisk terminus, if not the planet itself.
******
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: Makeover for On Basilisk Station
Post by Jonathan_S   » Tue Mar 16, 2021 2:33 pm

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Theemile wrote:
You're missing another quantity, namely the MMM. The Basilisk wormhole proved very profitable for them - it turned lost revenue on empty return ships into marginal profits on raw materials purchased in the Eastern portion of the Confederacy, making the shorter return voyage a small profit maker in and of itself.

The MMM would excerpt extreme pressure on the Navy to retain the Basilisk terminus, if not the planet itself.

Excellent point.
So if Haven accomplishes its initial goal of achieving ownership of the planet there are several reasons why Manticore would beef up control of, and defenses around, the terminus. And that seems like it'd undermine some of Haven's goals from the operation (and likely make the Basilisk system an ongoing friction point between the two star nations; even if Manticore doesn't try to evict Haven from the planet)

And Manticore could potentially make its displeasure known by applying restrictions on Havenite trade through the Junction far earlier than they did historically. That could possibly put a crimp on plans to economically exploit Silesia from their foothold in the Basilisk system - or just put further economic strain on the Havenite economy.
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Re: Makeover for On Basilisk Station
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Tue Mar 16, 2021 2:41 pm

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kzt wrote:You are normally expected to take and pass the crusher before you get a hyper-capable command. If you are considered sufficiently competent that you get a hyper-capable command without it, then guess what you get to do before you get another?


Both Honor and Alistair commanded DDs before they went through it, but you can't go higher than a destroyer without first passing it. If you don't take it, you'll be stuck at DD commands and staff positions, which may or may not be good for your career. If you take it and flunk out, it might be worse for your career.

So she was going to get assigned to attend the course unless they decided that she was unfit to have another command. At which point the Beowulf SDF would offer her a starship to command.


Not doubting that.

The question was only whether she could get a CA instead of a CL after the course. Like Alistair did, jumping from Troubadour to Prince Adrian, so we know it's possible.

What doesn't usually happen is a disfavoured BC Captain being promoted to full Admiral and being given a full battle squadron.
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Re: Makeover for On Basilisk Station
Post by jgnfld   » Tue Mar 16, 2021 9:14 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:...

What doesn't usually happen is a disfavoured BC Captain being promoted to full Admiral and being given a full battle squadron.


If you have Honor, anything is possible.
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Re: Makeover for On Basilisk Station
Post by Robert_A_Woodward   » Wed Mar 17, 2021 1:23 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
kzt wrote:You are normally expected to take and pass the crusher before you get a hyper-capable command. If you are considered sufficiently competent that you get a hyper-capable command without it, then guess what you get to do before you get another?


Both Honor and Alistair commanded DDs before they went through it, but you can't go higher than a destroyer without first passing it. If you don't take it, you'll be stuck at DD commands and staff positions, which may or may not be good for your career. If you take it and flunk out, it might be worse for your career.

So she was going to get assigned to attend the course unless they decided that she was unfit to have another command. At which point the Beowulf SDF would offer her a starship to command.


Not doubting that.

The question was only whether she could get a CA instead of a CL after the course. Like Alistair did, jumping from Troubadour to Prince Adrian, so we know it's possible.

What doesn't usually happen is a disfavoured BC Captain being promoted to full Admiral and being given a full battle squadron.


Wasn't Alistair a Captain (Junior Grade) by the time he took command of the "Prince Adrian"? Honor would need a promotion to Captain JG before she could command any type of heavy cruiser (actually, I would recommend a Truncheon-class as a test bed).
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Beowulf was bad.
(first sentence of Chapter VI of _Space Viking_ by H. Beam Piper)
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Re: Makeover for On Basilisk Station
Post by Theemile   » Wed Mar 17, 2021 9:34 am

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Robert_A_Woodward wrote:
Wasn't Alistair a Captain (Junior Grade) by the time he took command of the "Prince Adrian"? Honor would need a promotion to Captain JG before she could command any type of heavy cruiser (actually, I would recommend a Truncheon-class as a test bed).


Actually, you could go with either class, as all 123 ships of the Truncheon and Warrior classes would be retired or donated to alliance navies by 1906 - I used the Warrior because 1) we have the best stats on the Warrior class of the two, 2) We know a handful of Warriors were given to Grayson in 1902-04, so some of the class were still viable for continued operations in 1900, and 3) Honor was familiar with the class, as she served on one as a Middy.

The odd data point here is these 123 ships were replaced with only 82 ships - the 8 Broadswords and the 74 Star Knights. The Broadswords replaced the 4 or so Truncheons modified to the Nightstick class. There might have been more Star Knights planned for the RMN, but we know some were sold to Grayson (5) and Erewhon (?), and some might have been given to Zanzibar and Allizon after their navies were destroyed, and who knows what was sold to other alliance navies. So while we don't know what the actual production of Star Knights was, but it is surprising that the RMN willingly "lost" 41 CAs from their OoB on the eve of the War, even if those ships were of limited use.
******
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: Makeover for On Basilisk Station
Post by Robert_A_Woodward   » Thu Mar 18, 2021 1:15 am

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Theemile wrote:
Robert_A_Woodward wrote:
Wasn't Alistair a Captain (Junior Grade) by the time he took command of the "Prince Adrian"? Honor would need a promotion to Captain JG before she could command any type of heavy cruiser (actually, I would recommend a Truncheon-class as a test bed).


(snip)

Theemile wrote:The odd data point here is these 123 ships were replaced with only 82 ships - the 8 Broadswords and the 74 Star Knights. The Broadswords replaced the 4 or so Truncheons modified to the Nightstick class. There might have been more Star Knights planned for the RMN, but we know some were sold to Grayson (5) and Erewhon (?), and some might have been given to Zanzibar and Allizon after their navies were destroyed, and who knows what was sold to other alliance navies. So while we don't know what the actual production of Star Knights was, but it is surprising that the RMN willingly "lost" 41 CAs from their OoB on the eve of the War, even if those ships were of limited use.


I suspect that it was the massive buildup of Dreadnoughts and Superdreadnoughts that caused the shortfall in the heavy cruiser replacements.
----------------------------
Beowulf was bad.
(first sentence of Chapter VI of _Space Viking_ by H. Beam Piper)
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Re: Makeover for On Basilisk Station
Post by Jonathan_S   » Thu Mar 18, 2021 10:36 am

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Robert_A_Woodward wrote:
Theemile wrote:The odd data point here is these 123 ships were replaced with only 82 ships - the 8 Broadswords and the 74 Star Knights. The Broadswords replaced the 4 or so Truncheons modified to the Nightstick class. There might have been more Star Knights planned for the RMN, but we know some were sold to Grayson (5) and Erewhon (?), and some might have been given to Zanzibar and Allizon after their navies were destroyed, and who knows what was sold to other alliance navies. So while we don't know what the actual production of Star Knights was, but it is surprising that the RMN willingly "lost" 41 CAs from their OoB on the eve of the War, even if those ships were of limited use.


I suspect that it was the massive buildup of Dreadnoughts and Superdreadnoughts that caused the shortfall in the heavy cruiser replacements.

Seems like a reasonable supposition. Those are expensive and manpower heavy.

Also, I get the impression that in a wartime footing the RMN doctrine sees less need for CAs than in a long peace. During the long peace they're a great unit for showing the flag - while still being small enough to justify deploying semi-regularly on commerce protection or anti-piracy patrols. A BC, seen by most navies as a capital unit, often sends the wrong type of message if it shows up on a routine port visit in a neutral nation (and same for anything larger); less a "hi, we just want to have a nice visit and remind you that we could help if you ask" and more seeming to intimidate them by overwhelming force. Plus it's a bit to big and expensive to want to routinely send someplace like Silesia for anti-piracy work.

But in wartime the RMN seems to use CLs for both convoy defense as well as scouting probes against enemy systems. And they were committed to the doctrine of using BC squadrons for deeper raids (though apparently not often so deep as in the 2nd war), so wanted lots of those. But CAs seemed to be used mostly to beef up convoy escorts, and they just don't have all that many convoys to escort.

So I've little doubt that they'd have like more Star Knights to replace the older CAs, I can see why they'd prioritize other types of ships ahead of replacement CAs.



It's also possible part of the lower number of replacement CAs is that the Star Knights were a pretty revolutionary change in CA design, and may have had more teething issues than expected. But once they finally enter production, even if later and at a lower build rate than originally hoped, it doesn't make a lot of sense spending lots of money (and yard time; which could better be spent on new Star Knights) extending the operational life of old CAs just to keep the numbers up.
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Re: Makeover for On Basilisk Station
Post by Dauntless   » Thu Mar 18, 2021 2:12 pm

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no info but probably something to do with time.

in theory it might be quicker and take less time to update the older CAs.

i.e. 6 months to build a star knight but you only need 2 months to update an older CA to something close to a Star Knight. (at least Electronics and PD, impellers/compensator would probably take longer)

so a choice of 3 older but improved CAs vs 1 top of the line CA.

also don't forget how much better manticore ECM and PD were so even an older ships equipment was probably as good as peep ECM/PD.

been a while but wasn't CL fearless ECM and PD 30/40% better then predicted? and Fearless was OLD, though just out of refit so ECM etc might have been updated to top of the line though I don't remember that being explicitly stated.

just some thoughts, most of which we have no way to verify but it does provide something of an explanation of the lower build numbers.
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