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Planetary Attack Carriers?

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Planetary Attack Carriers?
Post by Rednek731   » Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:41 pm

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I'm wondering if something like a CLAC designed for planetary assaults is possible. A SD-sized Carrier capable of carrying soldiers and hardware for a planet-side attack would be pretty useful, although it would probably be a priority target in the event of an invasion without sufficient escorts.
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Re: Planetary Attack Carriers?
Post by Theemile   » Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:53 pm

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Rednek731 wrote:I'm wondering if something like a CLAC designed for planetary assaults is possible. A SD-sized Carrier capable of carrying soldiers and hardware for a planet-side attack would be pretty useful, although it would probably be a priority target in the event of an invasion without sufficient escorts.


The Roughneck class assault carriers Honor captured at Hades were such ships. They normally carried 20,000 troops and 84 assault shuttles on a ~4 million ton frame. Honor used them to ferry her people back to Trevor's star from Hades.

Manticore's versions are also mentioned in the SITS errata and the Compendium, but not shown in detail.
******
RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just about 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: Planetary Attack Carriers?
Post by Rednek731   » Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:00 pm

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Theemile wrote:
Rednek731 wrote:I'm wondering if something like a CLAC designed for planetary assaults is possible. A SD-sized Carrier capable of carrying soldiers and hardware for a planet-side attack would be pretty useful, although it would probably be a priority target in the event of an invasion without sufficient escorts.


The Roughneck class assault carriers Honor captured at Hades were such ships. They normally carried 20,000 troops and 84 assault shuttles on a ~4 million ton frame. Honor used them to ferry her people back to Trevor's star from Hades.

Manticore's versions are also mentioned in the SITS errata and the Compendium, but not shown in detail.

But is that the biggest they have? Can it be SD sized and carry more people and shuttles? An SD can be as big as 9 million tons. Although I guess regardless of whether or not they do, my question is still answered but I'm still curious if it's possible or if there are size limitations on a ship that acts purely as a transport.
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Re: Planetary Attack Carriers?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:18 pm

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Rednek731 wrote:But is that the biggest they have? Can it be SD sized and carry more people and shuttles? An SD can be as big as 9 million tons. Although I guess regardless of whether or not they do, my question is still answered but I'm still curious if it's possible or if there are size limitations on a ship that acts purely as a transport.

You could make a transport at big as an SD. But the rules of war in the Honorverse around planetary combat are closely modeled after the 'practicable breech' rule for fortresses.

Once you control the planet's orbitals (equivalent of a practicable breech in a fort's walls) they either surrender (in which case you send down a small occupation and peacekeeping force) or you bombard them from space until they do surrender (or I guess until everyone is dead).

And even if they surrendered falsely to lure ground troops into a hopeful guerrilla war the idea is that your relatively small numbers of troops are still supported by the 'big guns' of orbital bombardment.

So there isn't a perceived need for dropping and supporting hundreds of thousands of troops. So most people opt for smaller, cheaper, assault transports and system control cruisers so they have the flexibility to send them to multiple destinations (or if a massive assault is needed for some reason you simply assign more and more or your small transports to it)

But from a technical standpoint, sure you could build a 10 million ton assault transport ship with vast hangers to drop hundreds of shuttles and pinnaces for all the troops you're carrying. But nobody (that we've seen) does.
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Re: Planetary Attack Carriers?
Post by munroburton   » Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:20 pm

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In addition to the Roughnecks mentioned above, the PRH also used Longstops - converted freighters capable of carrying 40,000. They were really slow.

Some sleeper colony ships carried +100,000(plus equipment and supplies).

However, I would guess most militaries would prefer ten 20,000-troop transports versus one 200,000-troop transport. More redundancy, more flexibility.

Convention in Honorverse is that a planetary government surrenders when it has lost control of its orbits. So proper assault ships are not really necessary(exceptions exist, of course). And ordinary transports are sufficent for state security types.

Edit: Aw, Jonathan said it better. ;)
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Re: Planetary Attack Carriers?
Post by cthia   » Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:46 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:
Rednek731 wrote:But is that the biggest they have? Can it be SD sized and carry more people and shuttles? An SD can be as big as 9 million tons. Although I guess regardless of whether or not they do, my question is still answered but I'm still curious if it's possible or if there are size limitations on a ship that acts purely as a transport.

You could make a transport at big as an SD. But the rules of war in the Honorverse around planetary combat are closely modeled after the 'practicable breech' rule for fortresses.

Once you control the planet's orbitals (equivalent of a practicable breech in a fort's walls) they either surrender (in which case you send down a small occupation and peacekeeping force) or you bombard them from space until they do surrender (or I guess until everyone is dead).

And even if they surrendered falsely to lure ground troops into a hopeful guerrilla war the idea is that your relatively small numbers of troops are still supported by the 'big guns' of orbital bombardment.

So there isn't a perceived need for dropping and supporting hundreds of thousands of troops. So most people opt for smaller, cheaper, assault transports and system control cruisers so they have the flexibility to send them to multiple destinations (or if a massive assault is needed for some reason you simply assign more and more or your small transports to it)

But from a technical standpoint, sure you could build a 10 million ton assault transport ship with vast hangers to drop hundreds of shuttles and pinnaces for all the troops you're carrying. But nobody (that we've seen) does.


There are special cases where dropping troops would not only be unavoidable but recommended, even if the orbitals are controlled. Remember Blackbird? Situations where there are hostages.

Remember my scenario in roseandheather's wonderful POV thread, where Beth and several in line for succession are held on Darius? You just can't bombard. Especially if fanatics are involved. Like Blackbird. Like Darius.

Having said that...

It seems there would come a point where the risk outweighs the utility. As you say, it would become a priority target. Losing one of these things is worse than losing an SD full of your best officers. If indeed they can carry that many people, you are likely to only send one. Making you completely reliant upon that one.

If you are going to send an extra or two for backup, then there's no need to make them that large, less carrying equipment. IMO.

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: Planetary Attack Carriers?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:15 pm

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cthia wrote:There are special cases where dropping troops would not only be unavoidable but recommended, even if the orbitals are controlled. Remember Blackbird? Situations where there are hostages.

Remember my scenario in roseandheather's wonderful POV thread, where Beth and several in line for succession are held on Darius? You just can't bombard. Especially if fanatics are involved. Like Blackbird. Like Darius.

Having said that...

It seems there would come a point where the risk outweighs the utility. As you say, it would become a priority target. Losing one of these things is worse than losing an SD full of your best officers. If indeed they can carry that many people, you are likely to only send one. Making you completely reliant upon that one.

If you are going to send an extra or two for backup, then there's no need to make them that large, less carrying equipment. IMO.

Right. In my effort to be brief and focus on all out planetary assault (then only place you'd need the monster transports that Rednek731 was asking about) I failed to touch on raids, boardings, or unconventional interventions. Despite the rules of war there are still good reasons for warships to carry some ground forces and the small craft to drop and support them.

Even the occupation of Masada requires more troops, even with the constant threat of orbital bombardment, than you might expect for a non-fanatic surrendered planet.

And in addition to the Blackbird raid you mentioned, there was Honor's marine intervention on Basilisk, the anti-terrorist orbital drops in the Talbott Sector during the annexation debates, the boarding parties of the surrendered SLN ships after Spindle, and others where we saw use of well equipped (but fairly small) Marine or landing/boarding forces used where no other solution seems likely to have worked.

I certainly didn't mean to imply that the rules of war eliminated the need for ground forces - just the need for vast numbers of them in any one planet.
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Re: Planetary Attack Carriers?
Post by cthia   » Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:28 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:
cthia wrote:There are special cases where dropping troops would not only be unavoidable but recommended, even if the orbitals are controlled. Remember Blackbird? Situations where there are hostages.

Remember my scenario in roseandheather's wonderful POV thread, where Beth and several in line for succession are held on Darius? You just can't bombard. Especially if fanatics are involved. Like Blackbird. Like Darius.

Having said that...

It seems there would come a point where the risk outweighs the utility. As you say, it would become a priority target. Losing one of these things is worse than losing an SD full of your best officers. If indeed they can carry that many people, you are likely to only send one. Making you completely reliant upon that one.

If you are going to send an extra or two for backup, then there's no need to make them that large, less carrying equipment. IMO.

Right. In my effort to be brief and focus on all out planetary assault (then only place you'd need the monster transports that Rednek731 was asking about) I failed to touch on raids, boardings, or unconventional interventions. Despite the rules of war there are still good reasons for warships to carry some ground forces and the small craft to drop and support them.

Even the occupation of Masada requires more troops, even with the constant threat of orbital bombardment, than you might expect for a non-fanatic surrendered planet.

And in addition to the Blackbird raid you mentioned, there was Honor's marine intervention on Basilisk, the anti-terrorist orbital drops in the Talbott Sector during the annexation debates, the boarding parties of the surrendered SLN ships after Spindle, and others where we saw use of well equipped (but fairly small) Marine or landing/boarding forces used where no other solution seems likely to have worked.

I certainly didn't mean to imply that the rules of war eliminated the need for ground forces - just the need for vast numbers of them in any one planet.


No worry Jonathan. I was speaking to the notion and not to you directly. As far as I'm concerned, you CYA and made that clear when you said "So there isn't a perceived need for dropping and supporting hundreds of thousands of troops."

I took it that you were questioning the number and not the notion.

However, I'd like to add a slant that we've missed. I caution using them as ship transports for military personnel for the reasons I posted above. But I think they'd have a niche use. Such as planetary evacuations. Especially emergency evacuations.

Ferrying people "away from" than "to," a destination.

Like getting all of the Manticoran, Havenite and Grayson civilians and officers off of Earth right before Lacoon II.

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: Planetary Attack Carriers?
Post by kzt   » Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:46 pm

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Threatening to blow up a city because some inhabitants assaulted other inhabitants of the city is either a laughably obvious empty threat or a sign of someone who is totally insane. In either case I doubt it will be a successful tactic to control interpersonal or inter-group disputes. So you better have a better plan than that tif your intent is to "bring peace" to a system.
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Re: Planetary Attack Carriers?
Post by Rednek731   » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:33 pm

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So what I'm interpreting from this conversation so far, is that one COULD design "monster transports", but whether or not to use them for their greater capacity or larger numbers of smaller transports for flexibility would be a matter of circumstances. Like using large numbers of smaller transports to deploy in multiple areas quickly while using larger transports for simply getting them off planet?
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