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Stratifying navies

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Stratifying navies
Post by Theemile   » Thu May 25, 2017 1:07 pm

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Here's a item for discussion - how would you stratify navies?

Items for ranking might be numbers, classes, technology, existence of capital ships, existance of squadrons of capital ships, ability to project power, and so on.

So what would be the Honorverse qualities of a tier 1 navy, a tier 2 and so on?
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RFC said "Six years from "What the heck is that?" to "I christen thee SLNS First Podnaught" would have been remarkable ... for the RMN. For the Solarian League, frankly, I doubt very much that it would be possible"
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Re: Stratifying navies
Post by robert132   » Thu May 25, 2017 3:52 pm

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Theemile wrote:Here's a item for discussion - how would you stratify navies?

Items for ranking might be numbers, classes, technology, existence of capital ships, existance of squadrons of capital ships, ability to project power, and so on.

So what would be the Honorverse qualities of a tier 1 navy, a tier 2 and so on?


I would expect that in the Honorverse navies would be ranked in much the same way they are on Earth today by traits such as (not necessarily in this order):

Size of fleet or numbers of capital ships
Level of training
Demonstrated or perceived capabilities
Mission competence (goes hand in hand with training)
Overall material condition of the fleet
Quality of leadership

There probably are other factors to consider as well, but this is just off the top of my head.

If size of fleet or numbers of capital ships alone were the determining factor the SLN would be the 600kg gorilla in the room, include the other factors and suddenly the SLN becomes a 4th or 5th tier navy behind many competent but small SDFs, the 600kg untrained klutz. He can still kill you but only if you stand still and let him, while the Andies would rate much higher and be a much more dangerous opponent or valued ally.

This is just how I see it and shouldn't be taken as gospel.
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Just my opinion of course and probably not worth the paper it's not written on.
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Re: Stratifying navies
Post by Jonathan_S   » Thu May 25, 2017 4:34 pm

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robert132 wrote:
Theemile wrote:Here's a item for discussion - how would you stratify navies?

Items for ranking might be numbers, classes, technology, existence of capital ships, existance of squadrons of capital ships, ability to project power, and so on.

So what would be the Honorverse qualities of a tier 1 navy, a tier 2 and so on?


I would expect that in the Honorverse navies would be ranked in much the same way they are on Earth today by traits such as (not necessarily in this order):

Size of fleet or numbers of capital ships
Level of training
Demonstrated or perceived capabilities
Mission competence (goes hand in hand with training)
Overall material condition of the fleet
Quality of leadership

There probably are other factors to consider as well, but this is just off the top of my head.

If size of fleet or numbers of capital ships alone were the determining factor the SLN would be the 600kg gorilla in the room, include the other factors and suddenly the SLN becomes a 4th or 5th tier navy behind many competent but small SDFs, the 600kg untrained klutz. He can still kill you but only if you stand still and let him, while the Andies would rate much higher and be a much more dangerous opponent or valued ally.

This is just how I see it and shouldn't be taken as gospel.

I mostly agree, though I'm wondering if defensive responsibilities need to get factored in somehow. If you were comparing two fleets where everything else was equal but one had to defend a half dozen worlds and the other had responsibility to defend 60 worlds, the former presumably can free a larger percentage of their fleet for offensive operations and has a good chance of being able to defeat the late in detail by attacking their more scattered defensive nodal forces.

I think ultimately you're trying to do the math of the unit size and count and all the force multipliers of technology, training, experience, to figure out which navy would win head on head -- then notionally plot them out and decide on a convinient number of bins for 1st tier, 2nd tier, etc.

So size isn't everything, but neither is technology. At least not if you're talking about tiers of warfighting cabailities.

Now sometimes you're not, you want to know which navies have 1st tier technology (for example if you're looking to buy from, or allie with someone who'll give you access to, the best tech). Or which navies have 1st tier training if you're looking to borrow training cadre to build up a new naval acadamy of your own.


But usually you care about who'd win in a real or notional fight, whether by pure mass (the Russian model) or by fewer people with expensive advanced tech (the post-Vietnam US model)
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Re: Stratifying navies
Post by Theemile   » Thu May 25, 2017 5:51 pm

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What about infrastructure? For example, in 1911, Grayson and Erewhon both fielded several squadrons of the wall, but Grayson was constructing their own, and doing their own research, while Erewhon was buying Capital ships from the SLN and light and middle units (and fleet upgrades) from Manticore.

Would both be the same tier?

Grayson, with native construction could replace losses, while Erewhon, without Allies could not, and was more vulnerable in a protracted war.
******
RFC said "Six years from "What the heck is that?" to "I christen thee SLNS First Podnaught" would have been remarkable ... for the RMN. For the Solarian League, frankly, I doubt very much that it would be possible"
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Re: Stratifying navies
Post by kzt   » Thu May 25, 2017 7:31 pm

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The are both single system polities, which are highly vulnerable to a direct attack, and have way to get outside assistance fast enough to matter.. In a protracted war they will get hammered when someone drops in and spends 48 hours flattening them.
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Re: Stratifying navies
Post by Theemile   » Thu May 25, 2017 10:44 pm

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kzt wrote:The are both single system polities, which are highly vulnerable to a direct attack, and have way to get outside assistance fast enough to matter.. In a protracted war they will get hammered when someone drops in and spends 48 hours flattening them.


So, strategic depth is an important measure of naval strength. Unfortunately, Haven is an example of strategic depth, while Manticore wasn't (But the alliance was...). It's definitely a factor, but is it THE defining factor?
******
RFC said "Six years from "What the heck is that?" to "I christen thee SLNS First Podnaught" would have been remarkable ... for the RMN. For the Solarian League, frankly, I doubt very much that it would be possible"
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Re: Stratifying navies
Post by Roguevictory   » Thu May 25, 2017 10:57 pm

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I don't think there is a single defining factor. A navy or nation could be great in one or two areas but lousy in others and it will be a 3rd or 4th tier fleet. The SLN is a perfect example of that. top of the class in numbers, infrastructure, and strategic depth but lousy in tech and leadership. Possibly training too. I don't recall much being said about the quality of their academy but if you count war games as part of training I'm pretty sure they suck there too because IIRC most or all of their war games are fixed.
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Re: Stratifying navies
Post by Theemile   » Thu May 25, 2017 11:16 pm

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So what are the factors which make a navy powerful, and which are more important?

Back to my 1911 Grayson/Erewhon comparison, add in a fictional 3rd party with roughly the same fleet size as Erewhon and Grayson, but with 4 stars and a distributed construction base. What factors would guide ranking these 3 fleets?
******
RFC said "Six years from "What the heck is that?" to "I christen thee SLNS First Podnaught" would have been remarkable ... for the RMN. For the Solarian League, frankly, I doubt very much that it would be possible"
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Re: Stratifying navies
Post by cthia   » Thu May 25, 2017 11:31 pm

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Very interesting topic.

One tried and true tactical area of contention that would skew the data points is that of ship movement.

"Mobility."

Which would swing Manticore's way having literally cornered the market on junctions. Which makes it difficult to truly stratify -- without reservations.

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: Stratifying navies
Post by kzt   » Fri May 26, 2017 12:26 am

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What made Grayson highly dangerous was their allies. Committing the scale of forces needed against them offers the possibility that your allies will attack them while you are occupied in your operation against Grayson. The actual bestdown of Grayson might take 48 hours, but it takes at least a month where a big chunk of your forces are committed to the operation, and probably more like 2+ months.

As was mentioned earlier, how much you have to protect matters, but also who your allies and enemies. If you have a known enemy that you have to continually guard against then your freedom of action is constrained. If you don't have any enemies like that, have no need to garrison againt revolts and have lots of allies around your important areas it makes your ability to project power much greater than someone in the reverse situation with the same size military.
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