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What is the |value| of captured enemy systems?

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Re: What is the |value| of captured enemy systems?
Post by Brigade XO   » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:05 pm

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At some point you have to choose between defending everything equally or parsing out the defenses based on some rational that you come up with. Lets just stick with star systems which are part of a multi-star political system or Star-Nation.
Home system must be defended.
Major systems (population, production, military yard/basing) also will need significant defence.
Now it gets a bit more iffy.

You have a captured system, you will need something to secure it but how much are you willing to risk to defend it?

You have a captured system with a population that is really unhappy being taken but they are being used to manufacture all sorts of goods- including military hardware- you want to keep prodution but you may not care about the population?

Do you have a colony world (new within the last 20 years or last 150 years that is settled by people from your homeworld and also has developed a reasonably significant manufacturing capasity that also supports both your military and Star Nation economy?

Do you have a forward base which acts as a resupply and nodal standpoint for attacks on your enemy (or major competitor)?

Do you hold an a system that has economic value but no habitable planet (Grendlesbain comes to mind) which is a major resource extraction/manufacturing/warship yard?

What do you precieve the cost/effect will be on you Star Nation if subject populations are take away from you with minimal defense?

And so on.
What is it worth to you to keep the system (what it took to capture it, and hold it) vs making it mearly a bit expensive in terms of losses of ships and personel for the other side to take it from you.

How much do you have to commit to a given system to be able to hold it from a Squadron of BC's, A squadorn of SD's with escorts, a fleet (say 30 ships, half of the capital ships).....

The answer- in private- is "That depends......"
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Re: What is the |value| of captured enemy systems?
Post by cthia   » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:11 pm

cthia
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tlb wrote:
cthia wrote:In another thread, I was reminded of how deeply the Cutworm raids cut into Haven's territory. These were deep raids. In the Honorverse, I always thought it odd that the deeper the raid the less defended an objective might be. I suppose this is from the likelihood of any perceived threat to strike so deeply into the heart of ones territory. Somehow this seems counter intuitive. Am I wrong to think the deeper one goes into the heart of an enemy's territory the more defended it should be? Or am I correctly fingering another aberration of Space Opera?

The total hit list and depth of Cutworm included Gaston, Tambourin, Squalus, Hera, Hallman, Augusta, Chantilly, Des Moines, Fordyce, Lorn and Solon.

The heaviest defense will always be at the home planet, no matter how deep that may be.

There are logical reasons to avoid making too many deep raids at any one time. The main one is that any ships assigned to the raid will be unavailable for action during the time it take to travel the distance to and from the target. So if you attempt too many at once, you are weakening the forces you have available to respond to a immediate crisis.
The travel time also means that any information you have about force level is more out of date than for a closer target.
Being away longer from base can have an effect of readiness, requiring more maintenance time. Also the longer return time will be harder on any battle damaged ship.

Why would a world be more heavily guarded the further it was from the front (aside from the home world)? That would move forces away from the action. Now that we have system pods and LAC's, most worlds will be defended by forces that are not hyper-capable; allowing the mobile warships to concentrate against the enemy.

Agreed. The heaviest defense will always be near the home planet. Likewise, the closer an enemy gets to Washington D.C. the more hornets they're going to have to deal with. Same for Moscow. Which leads into your final question . . .

"Why would a world be more heavily guarded the further it is from the front?"

Generally it isn't, unless your direction away from the front is located inside enemy territory. Then you've set yourself up for the enemy's long established fortified positions (military bases) collapsing down on you like an implosion.

By present standards, attacking inside the heart of enemy territory or deeply behind enemy lines allows the enemy to quickly assemble forces from long established beachheads. Even if you attack an unfortified position because of location, you have to worry about the logistics of also getting your supporting reinforcements so deeply into enemy territory as well, therefore losing sleep and firepower over supply lines.

In the Honorverse, it might be easier to attack deeply inside enemy lines but it seems like it still should be a copper-plated-Ransom to hold onto it. It seems like whatever you commit to the task is doomed if there are any attentions of holding onto captured system.

Another implication fingering the difference is the obvious ease of withdrawing from a deep penetration in the Honorverse. By today's standards, it's like sticking your head in a hornet's nest.

It's worse than opening up your chess game by sending your Queen deeply into enemy territory to get trapped, making withdrawal impossible without huge losses, if possible at all. Not so in the Honorverse.

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: What is the |value| of captured enemy systems?
Post by tlb   » Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:02 pm

tlb
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cthia wrote:By present standards, attacking inside the heart of enemy territory or deeply behind enemy lines allows the enemy to quickly assemble forces from long established beachheads. Even if you attack an unfortified position because of location, you have to worry about the logistics of also getting your supporting reinforcements so deeply into enemy territory as well, therefore losing sleep and firepower over supply lines.

In the Honorverse, it might be easier to attack deeply inside enemy lines but it seems like it still should be a copper-plated-Ransom to hold onto it. It seems like whatever you commit to the task is doomed if there are any attentions of holding onto captured system.

Another implication fingering the difference is the obvious ease of withdrawing from a deep penetration in the Honorverse. By today's standards, it's like sticking your head in a hornet's nest. --snip-- Not so in the Honorverse.

All certainly true, the difference between a short distance attack and a long distance one in the Honorverse is in the amount of travel time made more complicated by the lack of recent information. The attack on Sidemore in Operation Beatrice was only worthwhile because they knew Honor had a force there and they did not realize that she had reinforcements.

Wasn't Henke captured, because Haven figured out the RMN's probable deep attack targets and had reinforcements hiding in hyper-space to mousetrap the raiders - the same way Haven's raiders were mousetrapped at Sidemore?
Last edited by tlb on Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is the |value| of captured enemy systems?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:11 pm

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cthia wrote:Agreed. The heaviest defense will always be near the home planet. Likewise, the closer an enemy gets to Washington D.C. the more hornets they're going to have to deal with. Same for Moscow. Which leads into your final question . . .

"Why would a world be more heavily guarded the further it is from the front?"

Generally it isn't, unless your direction away from the front is located inside enemy territory. Then you've set yourself up for the enemy's long established fortified positions (military bases) collapsing down on you like an implosion.

By present standards, attacking inside the heart of enemy territory or deeply behind enemy lines allows the enemy to quickly assemble forces from long established beachheads. Even if you attack an unfortified position because of location, you have to worry about the logistics of also getting your supporting reinforcements so deeply into enemy territory as well, therefore losing sleep and firepower over supply lines.

In the Honorverse, it might be easier to attack deeply inside enemy lines but it seems like it still should be a copper-plated-Ransom to hold onto it. It seems like whatever you commit to the task is doomed if there are any attentions of holding onto captured system.

Another implication fingering the difference is the obvious ease of withdrawing from a deep penetration in the Honorverse. By today's standards, it's like sticking your head in a hornet's nest.

It's worse than opening up your chess game by sending your Queen deeply into enemy territory to get trapped, making withdrawal impossible without huge losses, if possible at all. Not so in the Honorverse.

That's less talking about the defenses of a given system and more talking about nodal reaction forces. But one issue with those, as we saw a few times, is that message and transit times are relatively slow within the Honorverse. Reaction forces can't respond in tactical time - baring exceptions circumstances by the time a reaction force in a nearby system hears of a raid or attack and responds the fighting is all over one way or the other. They're left either cleaning up the pieces or attempting to kick the occupying force out. (Or if the system is in a grav wave possibly chasing down any damaged ships who weren't able to get their sails repaired quickly enough)

That time lag makes the deep raids safer in the Honorverse than any cavalry raid on earth or even any naval assault since the invention of the transoceanic telegraph.

Where the deep occupation breaks down is mostly repair, refit, and resupply times. It's very hard to besiege a star system to the point that reinforcements or supply convoys can't get through. So in theory you can hold a captured system well behind the front and keep it resupplied and reinforced. Unlike if you'd captured a fortified town or an island where you could be besieged or blockaged and cut off from supplies or reinforcements.

But the enemy navy is closer to it's bases than you are to yours. So any ship you have damaged is out of combat longer then any ship of theirs, you have to devote a greater percentage of your naval shipping to keep the forces in the occupied system supplied than the enemy needs to keep the threatening forces supplied. And because they have shorter transit times they can better risk temporarily stripping major systems or even the front of squadrons to concentrate overwhelming force to retake the system because the same time lag should let them get those force back covering their original areas before you can learn, and take advantage, of the diversion of force.

OTOH its still hard for even overwhelming forces (pre-SD(P)) to either totally crush, or prevent the withdrawal of, their opponents. So even retaking the system is likely to yield no more than an attritional advantageous exchange ratio.
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Re: What is the |value| of captured enemy systems?
Post by cthia   » Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:15 pm

cthia
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tlb wrote:
cthia wrote:By present standards, attacking inside the heart of enemy territory or deeply behind enemy lines allows the enemy to quickly assemble forces from long established beachheads. Even if you attack an unfortified position because of location, you have to worry about the logistics of also getting your supporting reinforcements so deeply into enemy territory as well, therefore losing sleep and firepower over supply lines.

In the Honorverse, it might be easier to attack deeply inside enemy lines but it seems like it still should be a copper-plated-Ransom to hold onto it. It seems like whatever you commit to the task is doomed if there are any attentions of holding onto captured system.

Another implication fingering the difference is the obvious ease of withdrawing from a deep penetration in the Honorverse. By today's standards, it's like sticking your head in a hornet's nest. --snip-- Not so in the Honorverse.

All certainly true, the difference between a short distance attack and a long distance one in the Honorverse is in the amount of travel time made more complicated by the lack of recent information. The attack on Sidemore in Operation Beatrice was only worthwhile because they knew Honor had a force there and they did not realize that she had reinforcements.

Wasn't Henke captured, because Haven figured out the RMN's probable deep attack targets and had reinforcements hiding in hyper-space to mousetrap the raiders - the same way Haven's raiders were mousetrapped at Sidemore?

Similar to what happened to Yamamoto, to Halsey's delight. Operational Security can sometimes be like fighting another opponent -- mousetrapping yourself? Let's ask the SLN, the notorious authority on the subject. LOL

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: What is the |value| of captured enemy systems?
Post by cthia   » Wed Feb 13, 2019 1:23 am

cthia
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Posts: 11274
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:10 pm

Jonathan_S wrote:
cthia wrote:Agreed. The heaviest defense will always be near the home planet. Likewise, the closer an enemy gets to Washington D.C. the more hornets they're going to have to deal with. Same for Moscow. Which leads into your final question . . .

"Why would a world be more heavily guarded the further it is from the front?"

Generally it isn't, unless your direction away from the front is located inside enemy territory. Then you've set yourself up for the enemy's long established fortified positions (military bases) collapsing down on you like an implosion.

By present standards, attacking inside the heart of enemy territory or deeply behind enemy lines allows the enemy to quickly assemble forces from long established beachheads. Even if you attack an unfortified position because of location, you have to worry about the logistics of also getting your supporting reinforcements so deeply into enemy territory as well, therefore losing sleep and firepower over supply lines.

In the Honorverse, it might be easier to attack deeply inside enemy lines but it seems like it still should be a copper-plated-Ransom to hold onto it. It seems like whatever you commit to the task is doomed if there are any attentions of holding onto captured system.

Another implication fingering the difference is the obvious ease of withdrawing from a deep penetration in the Honorverse. By today's standards, it's like sticking your head in a hornet's nest.

It's worse than opening up your chess game by sending your Queen deeply into enemy territory to get trapped, making withdrawal impossible without huge losses, if possible at all. Not so in the Honorverse.

That's less talking about the defenses of a given system and more talking about nodal reaction forces. But one issue with those, as we saw a few times, is that message and transit times are relatively slow within the Honorverse. Reaction forces can't respond in tactical time - baring exceptions circumstances by the time a reaction force in a nearby system hears of a raid or attack and responds the fighting is all over one way or the other. They're left either cleaning up the pieces or attempting to kick the occupying force out. (Or if the system is in a grav wave possibly chasing down any damaged ships who weren't able to get their sails repaired quickly enough)

That time lag makes the deep raids safer in the Honorverse than any cavalry raid on earth or even any naval assault since the invention of the transoceanic telegraph.

Where the deep occupation breaks down is mostly repair, refit, and resupply times. It's very hard to besiege a star system to the point that reinforcements or supply convoys can't get through. So in theory you can hold a captured system well behind the front and keep it resupplied and reinforced. Unlike if you'd captured a fortified town or an island where you could be besieged or blockaged and cut off from supplies or reinforcements.

But the enemy navy is closer to it's bases than you are to yours. So any ship you have damaged is out of combat longer then any ship of theirs, you have to devote a greater percentage of your naval shipping to keep the forces in the occupied system supplied than the enemy needs to keep the threatening forces supplied. And because they have shorter transit times they can better risk temporarily stripping major systems or even the front of squadrons to concentrate overwhelming force to retake the system because the same time lag should let them get those force back covering their original areas before you can learn, and take advantage, of the diversion of force.

OTOH its still hard for even overwhelming forces (pre-SD(P)) to either totally crush, or prevent the withdrawal of, their opponents. So even retaking the system is likely to yield no more than an attritional advantageous exchange ratio.

Ditto on all fronts with a sharpening of one of your points. At least in the Honorverse, I think defenses specifically come down to nodal reaction forces and a lot of luck. Luck of the draw and distribution for both besieged system and attacker. Economy of force becomes a much more important skill in the war room and it rears its ugly head even more in the Honorverse in non-important systems for all of the reasons you've listed. Especially regarding the RMN, who has a much smaller navy to allocate. (Talk about one huge game of Stratego and the placement of pieces.)

In the Honorverse, cutting the supply lines is an indirect tactic accomplished by attacking shipping wherever possible.

Preventing the withdrawal of forces becomes a local tactic during battle of drawing an attacking force deeply enough in system (like with Harrington's method of showing an opponent exactly what he expects to see) and mousetrapping or surprising it with superior force, either hidden in stealth/hyper or more deadlier armed with newer toys. It becomes a roll of the dice for the attacker to cross the point of no return or attack on a vector which keeps its options open. IINM, the smarter more capable Filareta had such options as a part of his overall plan.

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: What is the |value| of captured enemy systems?
Post by Brigade XO   » Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:43 pm

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You have to be able to both hold a taken point against enemy forces and provide for logistical support.

A sort of good example would be the Solomon Islands campaign and Guadalcanal. Japan holds the island with a reasonable number of troops, has naval and air assets there and is in range of air strikes from other locations.

The US invades after air strikes and naval bombardment.
Then it get really really messy. US forces have taken and rehabed the airfield enough to operate at least some fighters (daylight) out of it. Japanese infantry and light (very light) armor can't overwhelm the Marines.
Japan can send warships in under cover of darkness (not happening in the Honorverse) and you get a series of nasty night naval battles but while the US ships don't have to withdraw much from the Islands in daylight, the IJN has to pull much further back and can only cycle down such that they are not showing up until dark and have to pull back by daylight or be subject to air attack.

Then the Japanese start running out of food, ammunition and troops. They can't really get casualties off and eventually are forced to things like trying to feed some troops by swapping out the warheads of torpedos with rice and shooting them from at least submarines if not also DDs onto beaches.

The US is still able to run supplies (food, fuel, ammo) and troops in. Costly but still getting the support to the Marines who are able to push outward from where they started and expand and improve the beachhead.

So you take a planetary system and fairly quickly remove all the active naval units of our enemy in system, those that can't run out to the hyperlimit and jump out of the system. Then you set your forces (and do what is required with the civilian population and keep most of it bottled up on the habitable planet). Your problem is now if/when and with how much in the way of warships is the enemy going to come back to retake the system. All of your logistics has to come in from elsewhere but blockading a stars system in the Honoverse is an iffy proposition unless you have a LOT of ships patroling outside the hyper limit and can be close enough to wherever freighters and ammuntion ships decded to reenter normal space just outside the hyper limit and go full throttle into the system. If they aren't within an enemy's missile engagement envelope when they crossed inside the hyper limit how likely is that enemy to chase them inside the hyperlimit to fire on them...and does you incomming ship have missile defence capability.
So at what point is the defending force going to stop defending and the survivors leave - or leave right away against how large and powerful an enemy force that is sent to recover they system. We have seen that play out a lot. Some leave, some fight, some are like Elvis and make the wrong decision for the wrong reason.
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