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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 TFLYTSNBN   » Thu Dec 26, 2019 11:09 am

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GloriousRuse wrote:I hardly think the manticore wormhole counts as all the choke points in the world for this analogy. It’s not every wormhole everywhere in human space. But that aside:

For you to make money controlling a choke point, you basically need to charge tolls/fees/taxes or give your merchants preferential treatment (or both). If it’s tolls, that means other people’s stuff needs to come through or enough of your domestic stuff has to go out. Which when you remove what is literally somewhere above 80% of the galactic market which you used to count on to provide those fees - well, your chokepoint isn’t making much money. Ask the Turks how much they made off the straits during WWI when Russia was an enemy.

If you’re giving your own merchants a price advantage, they still need to actually buy, sell, or at least transport other people’s stuff, somewhere. Only you now can’t do that in the overwhelming majority of the market that you used to work in. So your price advantage doesn’t matter.

Either way, from a revenue generation stand point, you still need a market to work with. Simply owning the Panama Canal doesn’t make you rich unless people can use it, and the manties made sure own a tawdry pittance of their former trade can use it.

Plus the vast loss carriage and trade revenues in the league.

If Manticore is supposed to be Great Britain, this is the equivalent of them voluntarily accepting the continental system, stopping trade with the majority of their empire and it’s bordering areas, and thinking it’ll be ok because they can still trade with post-revolutionary America and Canada.



The wormholes are not completely analogous to modern canals, but they are close. In the Honorverse, one can simply bypass a wormhole. This takes more time which is a huge problem when you already do not have enogh ships to carry your freight.

Of course there are negative consequences to Manticore. In the short term this nukes your revenue stream. In the intermediate term you incentivize the SL to reduce, prioritize and rationalize their trade. Rather than shipping rubber dog shit from nuvo Hong Kong, they are shipping only useful stuff. In the long term, you incentivize the SL to build a larger merchant fleet.

However; in the short term Lacoon hinders the SLN and puts the SL's economic testicles in a vice. This has the political benefit of inspiring many SL systems to question the SLN and OFS policies that have provoked the SEM.

Now that Sol system has been pillaged but not raped, the SEM can open the wormholes and return the MMM to service for SL trade. All of those patriotic SL systems might make lots of noise about how evil Manticorans are, but most will eagerly pay the junction fees or employ Manticoran merchant ships.
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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Thu Dec 26, 2019 12:15 pm

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cthia wrote:@ ThinksMarkedly . . .

Indeed to all of your points. As I said, what word would be appropriate with the huge chasm in tech and experience. But, in another thread floating about, I suggested the experience, hence tactical brains might come from the true SLN, FF. I was hoping Honor would somehow end up against a respectable tactician from FF, who somehow ended up in the hotseat during Zero Hour in the Sol System.

Of all the officers in the GA to clone, the Sollies really needed an Esther McQueen -- someone who can make bricks without straw, or God.


You're right that the "real SLN" (FF) did have some experience, but it was the wrong kind of it. If they were fighting the RMN of 1904, when all the RMN had done up until that point was fighting pirates, I'd agree. The tech and quality difference would still be there, but not so insurmountable that they couldn't catch up in time.

In 1922/1923, all the FF had of experience was still fighting pirates and serving to the whims of the OFS. I don't think they could stand their ground against a war-hardened RMN, GSN, or RHN, not in time to make a difference. If that started to happen, you could expect some SDs and more CLACs from the GA side, when all the FF had was BCs comparable to a PRN Sultan class and inferior to an RMN Reliant.

I don't doubt there's a lot of good talent that Kingsford can put to good use. They just haven't had the time and opportunity to show. But going forward, if he's smart about it, Kingsford will find ways to give them that time and opportunity at the same time as weeding out the dead wood.

My idea was to have Kingsford ask for the permission to hunt down the FF/OFS rogues that refused the recall order and set themselves up as warlords in some protectorate. We know that's going to happen, as it happened in Silesia and in Haven. The terms of the armistice/surrender said they'd be considered pirates and dealt as such. This initiative is a win-win-win: he wins because the SLN becomes a much better war-fighting team, gaining experience in the process; the GA wins because the SLN becomes professional and removes the thugs, also creating goodwill in possible joint operations; and the protectorates win because the warlords are removed.
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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by cthia   » Thu Dec 26, 2019 4:10 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
cthia wrote:@ ThinksMarkedly . . .

Indeed to all of your points. As I said, what word would be appropriate with the huge chasm in tech and experience. But, in another thread floating about, I suggested the experience, hence tactical brains might come from the true SLN, FF. I was hoping Honor would somehow end up against a respectable tactician from FF, who somehow ended up in the hotseat during Zero Hour in the Sol System.

Of all the officers in the GA to clone, the Sollies really needed an Esther McQueen -- someone who can make bricks without straw, or God.


You're right that the "real SLN" (FF) did have some experience, but it was the wrong kind of it. If they were fighting the RMN of 1904, when all the RMN had done up until that point was fighting pirates, I'd agree. The tech and quality difference would still be there, but not so insurmountable that they couldn't catch up in time.

In 1922/1923, all the FF had of experience was still fighting pirates and serving to the whims of the OFS. I don't think they could stand their ground against a war-hardened RMN, GSN, or RHN, not in time to make a difference. If that started to happen, you could expect some SDs and more CLACs from the GA side, when all the FF had was BCs comparable to a PRN Sultan class and inferior to an RMN Reliant.

I don't doubt there's a lot of good talent that Kingsford can put to good use. They just haven't had the time and opportunity to show. But going forward, if he's smart about it, Kingsford will find ways to give them that time and opportunity at the same time as weeding out the dead wood.

My idea was to have Kingsford ask for the permission to hunt down the FF/OFS rogues that refused the recall order and set themselves up as warlords in some protectorate. We know that's going to happen, as it happened in Silesia and in Haven. The terms of the armistice/surrender said they'd be considered pirates and dealt as such. This initiative is a win-win-win: he wins because the SLN becomes a much better war-fighting team, gaining experience in the process; the GA wins because the SLN becomes professional and removes the thugs, also creating goodwill in possible joint operations; and the protectorates win because the warlords are removed.

It's all too true it was the wrong type of experience, as someone else pointed out to me in another thread, and although sims alone don't make a strategic or tactical genious, I can conceive of a rare officer who was a fast study. Heck, Honor was ready to do some serious damage during her first hyper command w/o much more experience. 'OUCH!'

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 cthia   » Thu Dec 26, 2019 4:21 pm

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Brigade XO wrote:Perhaps the best active duty SLN officer is the guy commanding the BC squadron that was ordered to take the merchant ship through the wormhole at Zunkers, Rear Admiral Liam Pyun. He has experience, he is not particularly happy with what he has been required to do over the years in FF to support dictators and the messes OFS have made to expand their grip on systems. He also has been paying attention to what has been going on- of such information and reports that he has been had- and would rather not get eveybody in his command killed because one of the OFS Governors wants to make points with the home office by standing up against the RMN's closing of the wormholes to SL shipping.
He gets a demonstration of RMN technology & capability and makes the quite reasonable decision that this isn't a good day to die....and that somebody really ought to get this information back to where it can be usefull. He is the ONLY ONE so far in the SLN at this point in the plot line that has had a less than compleatly fatal or forced to surrender encounter with the RMN AND he has the sensor data to back up what he can report.
So, although he got removed through the machinations of the OFS Governor who sent him on the mission (he didn't get himself killed and, through not loosing his ships by backing down made the Governor look bad) he's still alive and Kingsford would do well to at least bring him in for a conversation now that the SLN needs a lot of changes and work.

Nice observation, Rear Admiral Pyun, of Frontier Fleet fame. Where did he get his experience?

I oftentimes wonder if one of two of the Solly officers we've seen has a lot more tactical ability than we actual saw, and would have shown it had they believed in the force imbalance. IOW, if they really knew what they were up against.

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 ThinksMarkedly   » Thu Dec 26, 2019 7:14 pm

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cthia wrote:It's all too true it was the wrong type of experience, as someone else pointed out to me in another thread, and although sims alone don't make a strategic or tactical genious, I can conceive of a rare officer who was a fast study. Heck, Honor was ready to do some serious damage during her first hyper command w/o much more experience. 'OUCH!'


Except that any Honor in the SLN would have been quickly punished or at least discouraged from taking action after the Casimir Raid. Oh, a Solly skipper would most definitely have hammered the local Silesian government who didn't play ball, but her superiors wouldn't have liked to see the initiative and would probably have also been told to stop the raiding of slave depots. Heck, that almost happened to Honor herself in the RMN!

An eager commander can only be beat down so often before they too start to toe the line and keep their heads down. The problem is the SLN culture, both FF and BF. The way I see it, Kingsford needs to scrap the BF doctrine completely, rebuild the new SLN from the ground up with a core of FF doctrine. He needs to identify the change agents and promote those, let everyone else know that they are his voice and have his backing.
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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by GloriousRuse   » Thu Dec 26, 2019 7:26 pm

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As I read the thread on tactics and officer experience, I can’t help but notice that we are falling into a classic western thought-trap. We’re over-emphasizing the tactical level; hardly new, but the idea that small groups should do great things and therefore stacking enough good small groups means you win.

This of course is rather untrue. Many people (Including, ironically, the Americans in WWII) have found several ways to win their wars despite being inferior tactically and in several weapons technologies. One of the reasons the Manties are fundamentally unlikeable is that their opponents, despite being technically and tactically inferior, are always fundamentally unwilling to fight any way but the Mantie way and then get slaughtered, when there are so many reasonable ways they could actually compete. Not genius plans of super brains, just reasonable answers to the problem posed.
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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Thu Dec 26, 2019 7:43 pm

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GloriousRuse wrote:As I read the thread on tactics and officer experience, I can’t help but notice that we are falling into a classic western thought-trap. We’re over-emphasizing the tactical level; hardly new, but the idea that small groups should do great things and therefore stacking enough good small groups means you win.

This of course is rather untrue. Many people (Including, ironically, the Americans in WWII) have found several ways to win their wars despite being inferior tactically and in several weapons technologies. One of the reasons the Manties are fundamentally unlikeable is that their opponents, despite being technically and tactically inferior, are always fundamentally unwilling to fight any way but the Mantie way and then get slaughtered, when there are so many reasonable ways they could actually compete. Not genius plans of super brains, just reasonable answers to the problem posed.


My point was that the Manties fought the war really well. They played to the Solly arrogance, pressed the right economic buttons, denied the SLN the ability to learn from its mistakes and didn't give them time to even attempt to put new doctrines in practice. Plus the MAlign playing with the strings and forcing the SLN to make even more mistakes.

If the war had dragged on for long enough, the SLN would have been a much better adversary. It didn't.
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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by bert953   » Thu Dec 26, 2019 9:02 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
cthia wrote:However, I once asked for the battles to be harder as well, but as a result of some Solly CO being good enough to make the list or at least honorable mention. I know there's only one Honor in the galaxy, but in the whole of the League there isn't at least a Theisman or a Tourville, or a Giscard? A Shannon aboard one of the Solly ships would have been interesting as well.

At the very least, I expected Honor to go up against an accomplished tactician when she entered Sol Central.


We did get to see some Solly sensor operator that could have become a Shannon. He was at Meyers screaming as loudly as he dared (so, not much) that the data was flawed and that there must have been something about those Manticoran rumours. Except he died with Byng.

As for a gifted tactician, there may very well be. The problem is that Theisman wasn't the Theisman we know yet during First Yeltsin or the Battle of Blackbird. He was just one more Lt. Cmdr.. Sure, he's someone Alfredo Yu had taken an interest in. There may be hundreds of those in the SLN.

But without actual conflict to hone their skills on, they don't get to become Theisman, Tourville, Giscard, Truman or McKeon. The latent talent won't make up for the huge difference not just in tech, but also in experience between the forces. In one corner, you've got a gifted young Captain (J.G. or S.G.) who's never commanded a squadron in his life and has always served under politically-skilled but a tactically dunce flag officers, working with just arrived Cataphract-C missiles. In the other, you've got a battle-hardened Manticoran or Havenite officer, who's been in dozens of battles and has been in constant operations since he left OCS fifteen years ago and has attended the premier institution in the galaxy for tactics, the Crusher, using the best war machines ever produced. Additionally, the Solly officer's crews are equally inexperienced, but also sceptical, arrogant and unwilling to listen, while the Manty/Havenite crews are experienced and capable.

So yeah, no wonder these hundreds of SLN officers didn't shine.



The Solly who wrote the report on Manty super weapons didnt die. Byng's XO hacked the Frontier Fleet's computer system and found those reports on 2 seperate occasions. The captain transferred him to another ship to get him out of Byng's sights. Sadly the captain was killed along with, as he said Bying's worthless ass.
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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Thu Dec 26, 2019 10:13 pm

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bert953 wrote:The Solly who wrote the report on Manty super weapons didnt die. Byng's XO hacked the Frontier Fleet's computer system and found those reports on 2 seperate occasions. The captain transferred him to another ship to get him out of Byng's sights. Sadly the captain was killed along with, as he said Bying's worthless ass.


Good for him, but that's too bad he wasn't better used in the books. If David had brought him up again before Filareta and Second Manticore, even with no effect in the books' outcomes, it would have added some suspense. "Finally some Solly with a brain! Will they wise up?"

Even to remind us that he exists so he can join Kingsford's staff later on.
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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by kzt   » Fri Dec 27, 2019 12:08 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
My point was that the Manties fought the war really well. They played to the Solly arrogance, pressed the right economic buttons, denied the SLN the ability to learn from its mistakes and didn't give them time to even attempt to put new doctrines in practice. Plus the MAlign playing with the strings and forcing the SLN to make even more mistakes.

If the war had dragged on for long enough, the SLN would have been a much better adversary. It didn't.

Literally, they never tried a single tactic that played to their strength and not to the manties. It was ‘lets sharpen our spears and this time we’ll run faster towards their machinguns behind 6 layers of barbed wire. I’m sure you’ll pull it off this time lads.’

Their strength was being able to concentrate overwhelming quantities of energy weapons. Did they ever try that, say on the pickets just waiting there in hyperspace on the 43rd day of being at general quarters?
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