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Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?

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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by Loren Pechtel   » Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:48 pm

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tlb wrote:
cthia wrote:Manticore deserved to win. Talk about being worthy of all of their blessings. The machina came because they didn't sit on their asses and count coins.

I think the complaint is that RFC made it TOO EASY to defeat the mighty Solarian League. How many books did it take to defeat Haven? How many books will it take to defeat the Malign conspiracy? Even with repetition it was not much more than 3 books to defeat the Mandarins and only the initial destruction of the unsuspecting destroyers by Byng could be counted as a Solarian victory.

In universe, I blame the Malign for this: true they wanted the Solarian League to lose; but they wanted it to happen against a closely matched enemy, so both would be diminished and they could pick up the pieces. Since they were playing close attention to the developments of the war, they had no excuse for starting the end game when the SLN was not within shooting distance of any of the nations already fighting. Even if Haven had taken advantage of Oyster Bay, as they expected, the Solarian League was not a match for the victor.


We knew the Solarian league had nothing but mass. They had no way of dealing with a strike on Sol assuming the politics permitted it.
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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by tlb   » Sun Dec 30, 2018 12:04 am

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cthia wrote:Manticore deserved to win. Talk about being worthy of all of their blessings. The machina came because they didn't sit on their asses and count coins.

tlb wrote:I think the complaint is that RFC made it TOO EASY to defeat the mighty Solarian League. How many books did it take to defeat Haven? How many books will it take to defeat the Malign conspiracy? Even with repetition it was not much more than 3 books to defeat the Mandarins and only the initial destruction of the unsuspecting destroyers by Byng could be counted as a Solarian victory.

In universe, I blame the Malign for this: true they wanted the Solarian League to lose; but they wanted it to happen against a closely matched enemy, so both would be diminished and they could pick up the pieces. Since they were playing close attention to the developments of the war, they had no excuse for starting the end game when the SLN was not within shooting distance of any of the nations already fighting. Even if Haven had taken advantage of Oyster Bay, as they expected, the Solarian League was not a match for the victor.

Loren Pechtel wrote:We knew the Solarian league had nothing but mass. They had no way of dealing with a strike on Sol assuming the politics permitted it.

Yes, that is the point: the Malign could have made the SLN tougher, instead they made it weaker. The leaders of the Onion, knowing what was going on in the Haven - Manticore war, could have caused the SLN to introduce more current weapons and training; while still keeping the leadership corrupt. Instead they maintained the corruption, while rewarding the stupid and keeping the outmoded technology stagnant. That was perverse, because they needed the SLN to whittle down the GA and tried too late to introduce improved missiles that were still inadequate.

It was not simply Murphy; Byng, Crandall and Oyster Bay were panicked reactions to the expansion into the Talbot Quandrant, taken long before the SLN was ready to perform its role.
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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by kzt   » Sun Dec 30, 2018 12:55 am

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tlb wrote:It was not simply Murphy; Byng, Crandall and Oyster Bay were panicked reactions to the expansion into the Talbot Quandrant, taken long before the SLN was ready to perform its role.

Barricade was a total plot trick. The geometry doesn't work, it's David saying wow how clever the manticoran's are. The fact that this also involved a LAC towing 2 million tons of pads in stealth at 700g just adds insult to our intelligence.

It's like Kuzak not rolling pods. Not necessary to the plot, just a 'see how dumb she is!' moment that just wasn't needed. If your clever trap only works if the enemy is led by a crack smoking idiot it really isn't very clever. So why the crack smoking idiot?

I can't remember if David changed the part where the SLN DDs go through a wormhole and don't bother to do a search for mines waiting for larger ships. Which is a pretty obvious trick when you know the enemy just ran through the WH.

Mines, being maybe 4m in diameter, very low power (like 10w), cooled to like 10K and made entirely of radar and ladar absorbing material are oddly enough a lot harder to spot than a 20mx20m LAC with charged plasma capacitors, full of people (and hence vastly warmer at not less than 250K) at energy range.
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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by cthia   » Sun Dec 30, 2018 6:51 am

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tlb wrote:
cthia wrote:Manticore deserved to win. Talk about being worthy of all of their blessings. The machina came because they didn't sit on their asses and count coins.

I think the complaint is that RFC made it TOO EASY to defeat the mighty Solarian League. How many books did it take to defeat Haven? How many books will it take to defeat the Malign conspiracy? Even with repetition it was not much more than 3 books to defeat the Mandarins and only the initial destruction of the unsuspecting destroyers by Byng could be counted as a Solarian victory.

In universe, I blame the Malign for this: true they wanted the Solarian League to lose; but they wanted it to happen against a closely matched enemy, so both would be diminished and they could pick up the pieces. Since they were playing close attention to the developments of the war, they had no excuse for starting the end game when the SLN was not within shooting distance of any of the nations already fighting. Even if Haven had taken advantage of Oyster Bay, as they expected, the Solarian League was not a match for the victor.

You think this was easy? LOL

No one truly wants to rile and wake a sleeping giant. I also beckoned for the overweight beast to show some balls. At least a few good battle scenes. But in retrospect, I had to realize that the author's hands were tied. What could he have done besides give us several good battle scenes where the SLN showed their mettle? The SLN had no metal worth showing. If they had the tech that could help to make it a closer contest, then pairing that tech with the sheer size of their navy would have made it impossible to defeat them. Remember, the SLN could have been defeated a lot easier much earlier in the series if the SEM hadn't cared about the psychology of stepping on toes. The Harrington Doctrine was essentially a Hail Mary employed by the author to make NOT defeating the overweight beast even MUCH EASIER look plausible.

The author had to walk a fine line that I think we didn't appreciate by making the encounter with such a huge beast seem plausible yet still have the protagonists win. Probably one of the only things he could have done was what he did do, and that was make the huge beast too arrogant and self limiting, making them defeat themselves. Self limiting and being your own worse enemy is also a recipe he used against the much larger Haven.

The SL was a territory where gluttony and greed had set in and they ruled with atrophied brains that had turned into jelly. The victors sat at tables feasting on the food stolen by pirating, seizing whole turkeys with one hand, taking a few bites and throwing it back on the table then reaching for a bottle of wine and guzzling it before retiring to their quarters to engage in a bit of sordid sex under the sun. The smarter guards who stood watch at the gates became disgruntled idiots because their hands were tied, relegated to feasting on the crumbs that fell from the table. It was a recipe for failure such as that of the Vikings nearing the end of their reign.

Another problem the author faced was making it possible for such a small star system to win two back to back closely fought wars, especially considering the injuries and losses sustained during the first closely fought gridiron match.

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: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by Galactic Sapper   » Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:38 am

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kzt wrote:I can't remember if David changed the part where the SLN DDs go through a wormhole and don't bother to do a search for mines waiting for larger ships. Which is a pretty obvious trick when you know the enemy just ran through the WH.

Mines, being maybe 4m in diameter, very low power (like 10w), cooled to like 10K and made entirely of radar and ladar absorbing material are oddly enough a lot harder to spot than a 20mx20m LAC with charged plasma capacitors, full of people (and hence vastly warmer at not less than 250K) at energy range.

Not to mention that the geometry of being able to hit the hulls of those freshly translated ships is nigh-impossible. Unless the LACs are within a quarter degree or so of perfectly abeam of a freshly transited BC, they wouldn't be able to hit the hull anywhere but one or the other of the hammerheads. The sails would protect the main hull from any other angle than exactly 90 degrees.
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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by GloriousRuse   » Sun Dec 30, 2018 12:11 pm

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Perhaps somewhat ironically, I would have thought more highly of the Manties win if they had started by blitzing Sol ala Nemesis. The first exposure the SLN gets to the far side tech and tactics is being blown out before the navy, the politicians, or anyone involved in grand strategy at any level has a chance to get their feet under them.

You could see completely overwhelming shock hitting a key political center and causing regime wide effects - you would only have to point out that the SL is more Holy Roman Empire than Mother Russia. It comes with the risk of all of member states deciding to Mother Russia the GA, but written as an already shaky political union fractures under that massive shock, and client states use the opportunity to shed their obligations? I could believe it.

It wouldn’t feel like the Manties got a fundamental pass on the meta-rules. Especially if the collapsing league kicked them right in the money-makers when they realized that their former guaranteed escort free number one civil trading partner suddenly didn’t exist, and was now dozens of polities scrambling in internal power struggles.

Instead, they sat on the defense, trying to choke the League...and get away with weathering every single league initiative consequence free. And to make it consequence free, the Meta got cheated hard.

“Orbital industry represents centuries, maybe millennia, of development” becomes “our recovery estimates are excellent! The lines will be functional sometime next year!”

“The technological base of a star nation is an intricate thing that requires a generational effort to advance the supply chains, production matrixes, and work force. That’s why the PRH is fighting up hull” becomes “nope! Manty! Our allies now have our workforce and tech NOW!”

“RMN able spacers and officers represent a massive cultural investment, akin to longbowmen, the Royal Navy, the German General Staff...and that’s why they are all pound for pound personally better than anyone else out there. Because their entire society shapes them” becomes “RMN spacers can be replaced like Tommies at the Somme, officers too. BUT they’re still just as good!”

And we could keep going on. And on. And on. And every time it becomes less believable, less explained, less anything other than “Manties! Yay! We have the Mario Star of Awesome!”
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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by drothgery   » Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:00 pm

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tlb wrote:In universe, I blame the Malign for this: true they wanted the Solarian League to lose; but they wanted it to happen against a closely matched enemy, so both would be diminished and they could pick up the pieces. Since they were playing close attention to the developments of the war, they had no excuse for starting the end game when the SLN was not within shooting distance of any of the nations already fighting. Even if Haven had taken advantage of Oyster Bay, as they expected, the Solarian League was not a match for the victor.

Remember that we've never seen an Alignment podlayer, true MDM, or FTL comm system. Even they wanted to help the SLN out there, they couldn't really do it unless they wanted to give away their super secret trump cards.
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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by tlb   » Sun Dec 30, 2018 3:30 pm

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tlb wrote:In universe, I blame the Malign for this: true they wanted the Solarian League to lose; but they wanted it to happen against a closely matched enemy, so both would be diminished and they could pick up the pieces. Since they were playing close attention to the developments of the war, they had no excuse for starting the end game when the SLN was not within shooting distance of any of the nations already fighting. Even if Haven had taken advantage of Oyster Bay, as they expected, the Solarian League was not a match for the victor.

drothgery wrote:Remember that we've never seen an Alignment podlayer, true MDM, or FTL comm system. Even they wanted to help the SLN out there, they couldn't really do it unless they wanted to give away their super secret trump cards.

Remember that the Malign has been molding the upper levels of the SLN for a long time; so the state of incompetence was entirely their doing.

I would not expect the Malign to give away the streak or spider drives; but they should have ensured that the SLN knew they would be facing multi-drive missiles and FTL communication, even if they could not match the capabilities. They could have made the SLN intelligence about the Haven - Manticore war much better. On a more basic level they should have prepared the SLN with much better counter missile defense and pod based offense. If the SLN have started developing those shortly after the effectiveness was shown in battle then it would not have been a "turkey shoot".
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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by cthia   » Sun Dec 30, 2018 3:47 pm

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tlb wrote:In universe, I blame the Malign for this: true they wanted the Solarian League to lose; but they wanted it to happen against a closely matched enemy, so both would be diminished and they could pick up the pieces. Since they were playing close attention to the developments of the war, they had no excuse for starting the end game when the SLN was not within shooting distance of any of the nations already fighting. Even if Haven had taken advantage of Oyster Bay, as they expected, the Solarian League was not a match for the victor.

drothgery wrote:Remember that we've never seen an Alignment podlayer, true MDM, or FTL comm system. Even they wanted to help the SLN out there, they couldn't really do it unless they wanted to give away their super secret trump cards.

tlb wrote:Remember that the Malign has been molding the upper levels of the SLN for a long time; so the state of incompetence was entirely their doing.

I would not expect the Malign to give away the streak or spider drives; but they should have ensured that the SLN knew they would be facing multi-drive missiles and FTL communication, even if they could not match the capabilities. They could have made the SLN intelligence about the Haven - Manticore war much better. On a more basic level they should have prepared the SLN with much better counter missile defense and pod based offense. If the SLN have started developing those shortly after the effectiveness was shown in battle then it would not have been a "turkey shoot".


Also remember, it was a balancing act the MA performed trying to prop up the SL to be destroyed, but not before doing damage to the new danger on the horizon - the GA. The centuries long goal was the fall of the SL. It would have been ironic to give the League too much intel and technical help since they were mainly trying to kill it for centuries. It was a tight rope they walked.

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: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by Weird Harold   » Sun Dec 30, 2018 5:15 pm

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tlb wrote:In universe, I blame the Malign for this: true they wanted the Solarian League to lose; but they wanted it to happen against a closely matched enemy, so both would be diminished and they could pick up the pieces. Since they were playing close attention to the developments of the war, they had no excuse for starting the end game when the SLN was not within shooting distance of any of the nations already fighting. Even if Haven had taken advantage of Oyster Bay, as they expected, the Solarian League was not a match for the victor.


One point that seems to be forgotten is that the SLN was highly competitive with Manticoran tech levels up until about Operation Buttercup, or a bit earlier. If the MAlign had been able to engineer a SLN/RMN incident in that time frame, they would have been far more successful.

Discovery of the Lynx Terminus happened far too late for the SLN to match Manticore's tech or experience, but the MAlign panicked and forced a confrontation the SLN was incapable of winning. Neither the MAlign, nor the SLN had anything approaching the RMN's tech advantage; the Cataphracts were as close as they could manage.

If the MAlign had simply pulled in their horns, started a much slower and less bloody Houdini to move operations to Darius, and invested ten or twenty years in manipulating the SLN to develop Par technology, while advancing their own tech beyond Par...

In short, the MAlign went off half-cocked and either too late or too early, and set up the SLN to look like sailing ships against WWII battleships.
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Answers! I got lots of answers!

(Now if I could just find the right questions.)
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