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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 ThinksMarkedly   » Sun Jan 12, 2020 2:00 pm

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GloriousRuse wrote:The SL has a very easily justifiable -domestically and internationally - red line in the core. You attack the core, this goes nuclear. Which I have a feeling all but the most deliberately morally outraged in the core would approve of. Sure, college students might lament Sollie imperialism, but a Manty fleet wrecking their industry isn’t going to be met with rueful “ah, yes, but we deserve it”.

So the SL can and should simply trap the SEM in a game where they can only win small stakes, but might lose big ones. But apparently even high school level deterrence theory doesn’t exist in the honorverse, because it would disadvantage the SEM.


Interesting take. You're saying that the SL/SLN wouldn't be bound by its own anti-EE provisions if it faced an existential threat. After all, if the SLN no longer exists to enforce the EE, what's the point of holding back? Despite this being part of the SL Constitution.

What would hold a nation back is the fear of retaliation and of escalation. First, you really don't want that genie out of the bottle. Second, you could find yourself completely isolated against all your neighbours for having done it. In your example of the nuclear obliteration, the US or UK could find itself completely shunned from the rest of the world if it did that, not to mention a possible military retaliation. The difference to the SL is that of course there were no other polities that could threaten the SL or were even in the same ballpark. At its height, the PRH had about 15% as many systems as the SL did, but likely less than 5% the economic output, probably even less.

So why didn't the SL do it? Well, first of all, rationally this would only come through escalation and the Mandarins hadn't considered that they were very much on the losing side until too late. Sending ever-bigger forces against Manticore targets only resulted in a quarter of the active Battle Fleet captured or destroyed. Their arrogance made them dismiss the threat. They wouldn't deign themselves to consider the GA a threat worth an EEV. This was only beginning to sink in when Honor paid them a visit.

Second, they couldn't have. The full Battle Fleet wouldn't have taken on the defences at Manticore, Yeltsin, New Berlin, or Haven. They'd have had to resort to some sneaky violation, not military action. Either way, that would result in the entire GF coming to Sol to unseat the Mandarins. That's an outcome they couldn't accept.
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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by Brigade XO   » Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:51 pm

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Keep in perspective that the SLN and the Mandarins were being (for decades and even centuries) by the Alignment. The SLN had already sent two fleets out with the intent of crushing the expansion of Manticore -both in Talbott- and the hope & expectation that between Bing and Candall they SL/OFS and various Alignment proxies would takeover the Talbott Sector while destroying a lot of RMN and grabbing that new terminus at Lynx.

Then they send Fillerta to take Manticore and both crush the RMN and seize the Junction to be held by the League while they "pacify and reeducated Manticoe. And that didn't work. Oh, they -the SLN and Mandarins- expected Fillerta to smash his way to Manticoe orbit and force the surrender of the Queen. The Alignment didn't actually care how badly the SLN got hurt- the worse the better- but they did want Manticore off the board. They wanted that badly enough that not only did they set up that gambit go have a fleet (attempt) to force it's way through the Sigma Dranonis terminus over Beowulf's objections, the had yet another SLN fleet positioning behind Fillerta for a second strike.
Actualy we know there was a 2nd force at least the size of Fillerta's and one could guess that they would have been used to be moved in (though we see NOTHING of the orders and actual use) to hold Manticore and the Junction from anybody - say Haven- from playing Jackle and grabbing choice bits of the SEM. Or perhaps they were going to be sent off to go ravish Haven- and get smashed while crippleing Haven so the field would be clearing for the Alignment.
Fillerta was sent out because of the non-declared war status to teach the neobarbs a lesson and overawe the rest of the galaxy with the SLN's power. Committing an EE would not play well. Thrashing an uppity neobarb was more business as usual, now planet killing for the SLN. Of course we also haven't seen what else the Alignment MIGHT have had in motion with Fillerta's fleetl and one SLN SD in orbit that vomitted out a full volley of missles into Manticore from orbit after it had surrendered -and unacountabley exploede in a reactor containment problem- would have sucessfuly branded the SLN as a pariah. Goodby League. What fun.
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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by GloriousRuse   » Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:59 pm

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So the key here isn’t actually doing it (easy - with c-frac everything and known planetary orbits, killing planets in the honorverse is from a physics perspective far, far, easier than killing a destroyer. . Literally one missile, or part of one missile, or drone, or simply shotgunned debris above a certain size, will hit with plate breaking force. Nukes are a poor analogy, because talking about nukes vs EEVs is like talking about WWI pilots tossing hand grenades versus nuclear weapons), it’s what the threat of it entails. You’re telling the manties that if they come to wreck the league, they might succeed. But they won’t be around to enjoy it, because it only takes one missile to kill a planet.

But the SL is happy to fight in the verge. It’s just understood that they’ll finish the fight if the SEM crosses the Rubicon, so to speak. They don’t need to suddenly obliterate the SEM. The SEM just has to know what limits will result in mutual gigadeaths. Theoretically the league would win (more planets to soak up and then recover once everyone is dead), but really everyone would lose in a terrifying manner. Does Honor callously storm Sol over Hamish if she KNOWS there is no practical way for that course of action not to kill every planet living member of the SEM?

As to the optics - an EE threat may look bad, but it looks a lot better than said neo-barbs storming the capital. Indeed, in the sudden threat of that happening, I’m willing to bet you could fear monger latge portions of the public behind you. “The evil neobarbs are coming to burn Rome and civilization!”

And as to constitutions, the current presiding powers behind denuclearization, nuclear arms control, and law of war that would limit WMD - well, they maintain sufficient nuclear stocks that India, Russia, and China would all cease to be nations if needed. And the employment plans are updated every two years by mandate (you can FOI this if you want)I suspect the somewhat less transparent and democratic SL is in a similar boat.

It’s the same idea of why the US was willing to let the USSR invade Afghanistan, and the USSR accepted US forces in Vietnam. Or why Korea never went nuclear. Because all of those were wars where it wasn’t worth risking MAD over. Had the WP or NATO ever decided it was time for the main event in Germany, there’s a decent chance the world as we know it would not have such luxuries as posting on forums. Which is a major contributing factor as to why that never happened.
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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by cthia   » Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:28 am

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Why do ye hate us because we were studious?

The MA got to you didn't they?

****** *

I'm becoming more and more disoriented. The entire galaxy has gone mad. Manticore is an example of an entity who had a plan, and through due diligence, persevered, stayed the course and stuck to that plan. Now that they finally got all of their ducks in a row, despite the many setbacks, ye all wish to cry fowl. The Manty recipe was simple. Now that the meal is complete, ye all have a bad taste in your mouths.

Project Gram + Apollo = Galactic Domination

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   » Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:40 am

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GloriousRuse wrote:Re: WMD/EEV. In an environment like this, the ability to set redlines effectively is an excellent strategic tool.

To use a modern analogy (it has some drift, but you can see the intent), the US and UK are both nuclear powers capable of executing near genocide against any given nation. Both have democratic bases that are of course horrified by this and would never say, sanction nuking a small middle eastern nation flat over vaguely understood politics.

However, if said nation could suddenly put a fleet off-shore from DC or London, with field armies ready to land, the national view on “is it ok to nuke our enemies into oblivion” would probably change very quickly. Because this is no longer an imperial war of policy, it is a very real thing with very real consequences for the electorate being shoved in their faces.

When you create a red line, you are telling your opponent “this is where we’ve crossed from playing the great game into existential crisis, and at that point you can expect WMD war”. There’s a good deal of gray area on the fringes where people wonder about bluffs, but no one really thinks US divisions could drive to Moscow or Beijing without starting a nuclear war.

The SL has a very easily justifiable -domestically and internationally - red line in the core. You attack the core, this goes nuclear. Which I have a feeling all but the most deliberately morally outraged in the core would approve of. Sure, college students might lament Sollie imperialism, but a Manty fleet wrecking their industry isn’t going to be met with rueful “ah, yes, but we deserve it”.

So the SL can and should simply trap the SEM in a game where they can only win small stakes, but might lose big ones. But apparently even high school level deterrence theory doesn’t exist in the honorverse, because it would disadvantage the SEM.

Essentially, if you manage to corner a snake or any wounded animal up to and including an obese gorilla, no telling how it will react?

I still can't see some civilians making the decision to crack open planets. Against the SEM, the first planet cracked in Solarian space will be Sol -- and everyone the suicidal civilians love. Including themselves.

In our present age, the decision to go nuclear is somewhat different. The entire planet wouldn't be destroyed and the powers that be can opt to relocate family members. I suppose Sol can be fled as well.

I'm certain demands were laid down before exiting the Sol system. Wasn't it an unconditional surrender?

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   » Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:34 pm

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I think we're overlooking the human aspect of EE violations, even though they were demonstrated by Solarian officers in UH: There's a good chance that, even when ordered, the officers in the fleet will refuse to carry them out. Or if the commanding officers will, subordinate officers will mutiny. Certainly some or even most will not hesitate to commit "small scale" EE violations, such as Frontier Fleet using KEWs on cities held by rebels, but that's an entirely different animal than using c-fractional attacks to sterilize planets.
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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:35 pm

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Brigade XO wrote:Then they send Fillerta to take Manticore and both crush the RMN and seize the Junction to be held by the League while they "pacify and reeducated Manticoe. And that didn't work. Oh, they -the SLN and Mandarins- expected Fillerta to smash his way to Manticoe orbit and force the surrender of the Queen. The Alignment didn't actually care how badly the SLN got hurt- the worse the better- but they did want Manticore off the board. They wanted that badly enough that not only did they set up that gambit go have a fleet (attempt) to force it's way through the Sigma Dranonis terminus over Beowulf's objections, the had yet another SLN fleet positioning behind Fillerta for a second strike.


There's some ambiguity over how much of the edge the RMN possessed over the SLN the MAlign knew. They definitely knew the edge was there, and not exactly how much, but where did their planners fall as to Filareta's chances of success? The MAlign knew for a fact that the defences around the Manticore Binary System were intact. Though they may not have had direct information of how much of the RMN, IAN and GSN survived the Battle of Manticore.

I personally think their expectations fell somewhere in the middle, maybe leaning towards Filareta's defeat. If he succeeded, great, annex Manticore, seize the Junction and isolate Beowulf. But that would be bonus, what they really wanted was for his forces and Manticore's to be decimated in fighting. What they had not planned on was for the Grand Fleet to exist, with as many SD(P)s as he had obsolete SDs, and to be completely aware of his arrival. They had a contingency, but that wasn't supposed to happen.

Actualy we know there was a 2nd force at least the size of Fillerta's and one could guess that they would have been used to be moved in (though we see NOTHING of the orders and actual use) to hold Manticore and the Junction from anybody - say Haven- from playing Jackle and grabbing choice bits of the SEM. Or perhaps they were going to be sent off to go ravish Haven- and get smashed while crippleing Haven so the field would be clearing for the Alignment.


We know that? Where is that information coming from?

We know the SLN had some 400 SDs in Sol. With Filareta's 427, Imogene Tsang's ~100 in TF 11.6, and Crandall's 70, that accounts for over 1000 of the roughly 2000 SDs that Battle Fleet had. You're talking about mobilising half of the rest of BF.
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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:44 pm

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cthia wrote:I'm certain demands were laid down before exiting the Sol system. Wasn't it an unconditional surrender?


You're correct, it wasn't an unconditional surrender. There terms imposed had only 4 aspects:
  1. Disbandment of OFS and withdrawal of all FF ships from the Verge;
  2. Arrest and prosecution of the Mandarins;
  3. Acceptance of the constitutional clause allowing for systems to declare independence;
  4. Arranging of convention to rewrite the Constitution to have elected leaders with actual governing power (keeping the independence clause).
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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by Theemile   » Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:35 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
Brigade XO wrote:Then they send Fillerta to take Manticore and both crush the RMN and seize the Junction to be held by the League while they "pacify and reeducated Manticoe. And that didn't work. Oh, they -the SLN and Mandarins- expected Fillerta to smash his way to Manticoe orbit and force the surrender of the Queen. The Alignment didn't actually care how badly the SLN got hurt- the worse the better- but they did want Manticore off the board. They wanted that badly enough that not only did they set up that gambit go have a fleet (attempt) to force it's way through the Sigma Dranonis terminus over Beowulf's objections, the had yet another SLN fleet positioning behind Fillerta for a second strike.


There's some ambiguity over how much of the edge the RMN possessed over the SLN the MAlign knew. They definitely knew the edge was there, and not exactly how much, but where did their planners fall as to Filareta's chances of success? The MAlign knew for a fact that the defences around the Manticore Binary System were intact. Though they may not have had direct information of how much of the RMN, IAN and GSN survived the Battle of Manticore.

I personally think their expectations fell somewhere in the middle, maybe leaning towards Filareta's defeat. If he succeeded, great, annex Manticore, seize the Junction and isolate Beowulf. But that would be bonus, what they really wanted was for his forces and Manticore's to be decimated in fighting. What they had not planned on was for the Grand Fleet to exist, with as many SD(P)s as he had obsolete SDs, and to be completely aware of his arrival. They had a contingency, but that wasn't supposed to happen.

Actualy we know there was a 2nd force at least the size of Fillerta's and one could guess that they would have been used to be moved in (though we see NOTHING of the orders and actual use) to hold Manticore and the Junction from anybody - say Haven- from playing Jackle and grabbing choice bits of the SEM. Or perhaps they were going to be sent off to go ravish Haven- and get smashed while crippleing Haven so the field would be clearing for the Alignment.


We know that? Where is that information coming from?

We know the SLN had some 400 SDs in Sol. With Filareta's 427, Imogene Tsang's ~100 in TF 11.6, and Crandall's 70, that accounts for over 1000 of the roughly 2000 SDs that Battle Fleet had. You're talking about mobilising half of the rest of BF.


Before his death via pulser, the head admiral of the SLN briefed his staff on "Raging Justice 2", with >600 SDs forming at Tasmania as a follow up blow in case Raging Justice 1 failed. With Crandall's 73, Tang's 100, Filareta's 427, RG2's 600+, we were looking at 1200 Wallers, or 1/2 of all the ships active, in Maintenance, and working up or cycling down, Being moved by a navy that exercised ships 3 previous times in 250 years, and no one noticed!

The 100 ship in Tang's force probably were destroyed with the 400 in Sol. The 600+ moving to Tasmania are essentially out of pocket for ~5-6 months, and completely usless, during that period- it's not like they could be intercepted with new movement orders before they reached Tasmania, no they had to travel to the base there, wait for orders ( which would take. Couple weeks to reach them), then come back to third new station. All the while, they were completely off the table. Even if it was a fair fight, their absence would have allowed wormhole assisted GA SDs to attack the cord world's, with that many fewer defensive SDs for nearly 1/2 a year.
******
RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just 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: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:49 pm

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Theemile wrote:Before his death via pulser, the head admiral of the SLN briefed his staff on "Raging Justice 2", with >600 SDs forming at Tasmania as a follow up blow in case Raging Justice 1 failed. With Crandall's 73, Tang's 100, Filareta's 427, RG2's 600+, we were looking at 1200 Wallers, or 1/2 of all the ships active, in Maintenance, and working up or cycling down, Being moved by a navy that exercised ships 3 previous times in 250 years, and no one noticed!

The 100 ship in Tang's force probably were destroyed with the 400 in Sol. The 600+ moving to Tasmania are essentially out of pocket for ~5-6 months, and completely usless, during that period- it's not like they could be intercepted with new movement orders before they reached Tasmania, no they had to travel to the base there, wait for orders ( which would take. Couple weeks to reach them), then come back to third new station. All the while, they were completely off the table. Even if it was a fair fight, their absence would have allowed wormhole assisted GA SDs to attack the cord world's, with that many fewer defensive SDs for nearly 1/2 a year.


Oh, I didn't remember that. Could it be that Rajampet was rambling about an operation still in planning stages? Quite clearly after Raging Justice no one would send an SLN SD against a GF SD(P).

You're right that Tang's SDs were probably sent back to Sol and are part of the 400 scuttled after the Battle of Sol. Still, we can account for ~900 of the SDs. Hiding an operation that uses over half of the remaining SDs in active service would be quite difficult.

But maybe at this time it didn't need to be hidden in the first place.
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