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Post League Eridani

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Re: Post League Eridani
Post by TFLYTSNBN   » Sun Jan 20, 2019 5:47 pm

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I think that we are all in agreement that given the demise of the SLN's image of invincibility, the EE deterrent has become far from certain. The GA and Andermandi Empire along with may be the Maya sector remain as credible enforcers. Unfortunately; the specter of retaliation can deter deterrence. The very real prospect that EEVs can be perpetrated anonomously only further undermines deterrence.

The only real hope to avert further EEVs is that given Honorverse technology, warfare is unneccessary. There is no such thing as a shortage of critical resources. The only real threat comes from certain insanely dysfunctional societies such as a Marxist Peoples Republic of Haven, the SLN and OFS Bureucracy being allowed to operate without a legitimate source of income or adult supervision, Masada being permitted to exist, or the Malign.

The Honorverse is about to become even more interesting and far more dangerous.
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Re: Post League Eridani
Post by GloriousRuse   » Sun Jan 20, 2019 6:29 pm

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Thank you for those who have complimented the thread.

@TLB: The andermani, Haven, MAlign, RMN and presumably Talbot auxiliaries, Beowulf, Maya sector, Ren Factor, and Erewhon have all outtech’d the league. It is close to, if not quite, 100% of the example systemswe have seen.

In addition: Anyone who has bothered to buy third tier Manty tech for their SDF, stuff so old that the RMN doesn’t even consider it a controlled sale. Anyone who started purchases from Technodyne for their SDF post Cataphract. Any princeling/governor/warlord/revolutionary/whatever who had the basic societal capabilities of Haven and decided to put some effort into modernization, even if it wasn’t at the Haven Wars development rate.

In short, there is a good chance that close to EVERYONE who might make a play has a tech advantage. We don’t know if it is sufficient to overwhelm the SLN...but then, the SLN doesn’t know either.

@ Cthia: Let’s imagine a scenario then. A prosperous frontier system (X) with a strong nationalist sentiment and a semi-democratic government accuses another (Y) of economic manipulation. Y has joined the league under threat of enforcement, and now has a minimal SDF. System X learns of the League’s humiliation and demands that Y reverse it’s “unfair trade practices”, thinking that right now is the time to avoid becoming a league economic puppet.

A trade war begins. The League governor is desperate to avoid further public disgrace that may lead to his sector falling apart - the new Mantie enforces constitution says anyone can leave whenever they want! He won’t have a governorship! The lights of civilization will go out! -, but also fearful of what will happen if the SLN fights and loses...no one thinks they will in his area, but the , they thought they’d stomp the SKM too, didn’t they?

Y’s government counters by dumpin cheap goods onto the market and slow-rolling X imports. Pretty soon both X and Y’s populations are being stoked up. X turns around a Y merchant ship in a manner that looks overly militaristic on the nets. Y screams for the SLN to do something about this aggression, and publicly declares there’s no point to being in a league that can’t protect them.

The league governor sees a disaster. Trade is suffering. The SLN is being undermined, as is the league, but he doesn’t want open war. No one does. The league governor orders quiet cyber attacks on X as a signal to knock it off.

X does not respond well. What was supposed to be a quiet diplomatic signal they see as the first step to tearing apart the critical networks that run their defense and infrastructure. Military advisors tell the X leader that he needs to mobilize. If the sollies step it up, they may end up rolling in on a defenseless system! And he can’t back down publicly...he has spent too much time firing the people up about Y to build the will for this trade war. News comes out that Y and League hacking have also caused billions in losses.

So X mobilizes for a proportional response. He knocks down a league satellite that was implicated, and arrests key individuals from Y based corporations on cyber-espionage charges.The X fleet sails to its out-limit positions so that if the League responds they won’t be butchered in the limit.

To everyone else, the word spreads. X is getting ready for war.

The SL governor doesn’t want war. But he can’t have the Legie pushed around either. And the Y system is panicking...without the SLN, they’re helpless! He decides this requires a show of force. A squadron of BCs is sent to X with orders to prevent the government there from destroying any league property and to protect the citizens of X.

X sees the squadron on the horizon and realizes this may be the end. He sends his Samson option up hyper to a bolt hole to buy himself a negotiation card.

A naval stand off occurs. Nerves strain. Someone pulls a trigger. The X leader is presented an analysis by his advisors “escalate to de-escalate, or we lose everything. Sir, we need you to decide in the next 90 minutes or we may not have a command system left to orchestrate anything with.” Under immense strain, not nearly enough information, and a creeping time limit where he may lose all his options, the leader makes a decision. The orders go out. A planet dies.
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Re: Post League Eridani
Post by tlb   » Sun Jan 20, 2019 6:56 pm

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GloriousRuse wrote:Thank you for those who have complimented the thread.

@TLB: The andermani, Haven, MAlign, RMN and presumably Talbot auxiliaries, Beowulf, Maya sector, Ren Factor, and Erewhon have all outtech’d the league. It is close to, if not quite, 100% of the example systemswe have seen.

In addition: Anyone who has bothered to buy third tier Manty tech for their SDF, stuff so old that the RMN doesn’t even consider it a controlled sale. Anyone who started purchases from Technodyne for their SDF post Cataphract. Any princeling/governor/warlord/revolutionary/whatever who had the basic societal capabilities of Haven and decided to put some effort into modernization, even if it wasn’t at the Haven Wars development rate.

In short, there is a good chance that close to EVERYONE who might make a play has a tech advantage. We don’t know if it is sufficient to overwhelm the SLN...but then, the SLN doesn’t know either.

Let's be clear, you wrote that the SLN was technologically inferior to someone in the Verge, so we are not talking about the Andermani, Haven, RMN (which includes the Talbot Quadrant), Beowulf, the Maya Sector nor Erewhon. We are also not talking about the Malign nor the the Renaissance Factor.

Remember that the SLN was equivalent to the RMN or Haven technology at the time of The Short Victorious War and since then have added the Cataphract. So the SLN now is only out classed by a navy with experience in fighting and defending against pod warfare, and obviously the navy with Apollo and FTL communication. So basically there is no upstart in the Verge that can out class the SLN.
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Re: Post League Eridani
Post by GloriousRuse   » Sun Jan 20, 2019 7:02 pm

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Ah, for some reason I thought the Verge was “anyone not in the League”. It would appear I’m mistaken. In either case, excepting torch, literally 100% of the systems we have interacted with now outclass the SLN. I’m not sure we should assume the rest of the frontier sat still, especially given evidence sectors like Maya and planets like Beowulf have been actively striving towards military advancement to be ready for the day of days. Surely they are not the only ones?
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Re: Post League Eridani
Post by Castenea   » Sun Jan 20, 2019 7:07 pm

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Three parts why I do not expect there to be more than a short spate of Eridani Edict violations in the Honorverse.

1) Committing a violation effectively destroys the value of the Planet/territory you are trying to conquer. Even today there are lands where the utility of the land is significantly impacted by the battles that were fought there over 50 years ago (e.g. Ypres, Belgium)

2) Committing a violation is seen as labeling yourself as uncivilized and in practice the only way to be invited to conferences about the future of your sector is to have the protection of one of the big boys (Anderman, SEM, Maya etc).

3) There are still those who will punish anyone who violates the Eridani Edict. Most systems are likely to suffer at best the fate of being interstellar pariahs, at worst one of the big boys comes in and the top third of your government is now either executed or imprisoned and most of the rest of the government employees are either unemployed or trying to persuade the new rulers why they should continue at there jobs. For a modern example look at how Syria, Iran, and Zimbabwe are treated internationally, not to mention the last two decades of Iraq's history.

Any System government that is willing to act like Isis in space is likely to suffer a similar fate, the only question is how long does it take for someone able to do something about them to learn of their actions and assemble a force to get rid of them. Note we the readers only know about two systems that would act this way Masada and Darius. I get the impression from the books that the Manticoran occupation of Masada was greeted with relief by everyone in the stellar neighborhood.
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Re: Post League Eridani
Post by Castenea   » Sun Jan 20, 2019 7:12 pm

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GloriousRuse wrote:Ah, for some reason I thought the Verge was “anyone not in the League”. It would appear I’m mistaken. In either case, excepting torch, literally 100% of the systems we have interacted with now outclass the SLN. I’m not sure we should assume the rest of the frontier sat still, especially given evidence sectors like Maya and planets like Beowulf have been actively striving towards military advancement to be ready for the day of days. Surely they are not the only ones?

There is a lot of room between strived to improve their military equipment and better than SLN. Most Verge polities would have been at least a generation behind the SLN, as an example look at what was required to tun Monica into a threat.
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Re: Post League Eridani
Post by tlb   » Sun Jan 20, 2019 7:31 pm

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GloriousRuse wrote:Ah, for some reason I thought the Verge was “anyone not in the League”. It would appear I’m mistaken. In either case, excepting torch, literally 100% of the systems we have interacted with now outclass the SLN. I’m not sure we should assume the rest of the frontier sat still, especially given evidence sectors like Maya and planets like Beowulf have been actively striving towards military advancement to be ready for the day of days. Surely they are not the only ones?

Castenea wrote:There is a lot of room between strived to improve their military equipment and better than SLN. Most Verge polities would have been at least a generation behind the SLN, as an example look at what was required to tun Monica into a threat.

The question of what constitutes the Verge is an interesting one. I have been treating it as anyplace for which OFS has plans or already has in its clutches. I looked at the FAQ's above and found this post:
Does the Solarian League as presently constituted a government? It seems more like a free trade pact with mutual defense clauses thrown in. (Asked Mon Aug 08, 2011) where RFC writes:
From the outside looking in, however, the policies and practices of the government in Old Chicago are clearly evident, and the Star Kingdom (as of the discovery of the Junction) had been a Verge system. I realize that's a bit different perspective from my earlier comments about why the Haven Sector is significantly different from other Verge sectors, but I plead the fact that we're talking about a process of centuries here. When I said that the Star Kingdom and the Republic of Haven hadn't been Verge systems because of their proximity in terms of travel time to the Old League, that's been the case for the last two or three centuries prior to the Havenite wars, but it shouldn't be construed as meaning that it's been the case for the entire history of the League. It's been the case during the formative time period of the Haven Sector's divergence from the Verge norm, and I should have been more careful and precise in how I formulated and expressed my thoughts in that regard when the topic first came up. But at the time that the Manticoran Wormhole Junction was initially discovered, the Star Kingdom had already "enjoyed" three or four hundred years of watching the League in action and seeing the gradual emergence of the Office of Frontier Security from a Verge perspective.

So the Talbot Quadrant was in the Verge before the Lynx Terminus was discovered, but since its incorporation into the SEM that is no longer true.
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Re: Post League Eridani
Post by Brigade XO   » Sun Jan 20, 2019 8:33 pm

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Castenea wrote:Three parts why I do not expect there to be more than a short spate of Eridani Edict violations in the Honorverse.

1) Committing a violation effectively destroys the value of the Planet/territory you are trying to conquer. Even today there are lands where the utility of the land is significantly impacted by the battles that were fought there over 50 years ago (e.g. Ypres, Belgium)

2) Committing a violation is seen as labeling yourself as uncivilized and in practice the only way to be invited to conferences about the future of your sector is to have the protection of one of the big boys (Anderman, SEM, Maya etc).

3) There are still those who will punish anyone who violates the Eridani Edict. Most systems are likely to suffer at best the fate of being interstellar pariahs, at worst one of the big boys comes in and the top third of your government is now either executed or imprisoned and most of the rest of the government employees are either unemployed or trying to persuade the new rulers why they should continue at there jobs. For a modern example look at how Syria, Iran, and Zimbabwe are treated internationally, not to mention the last two decades of Iraq's history.

Any System government that is willing to act like Isis in space is likely to suffer a similar fate, the only question is how long does it take for someone able to do something about them to learn of their actions and assemble a force to get rid of them. Note we the readers only know about two systems that would act this way Masada and Darius. I get the impression from the books that the Manticoran occupation of Masada was greeted with relief by everyone in the stellar neighborhood.


Let me jump in with a comment about point 1) here and then who get's punished with an EE violation.
Somebody shows up and takes the orbitals of a planet after having fought (or just sailed into) into the system. It call's for the planet's surrender and, just to impress on the population they mean business, hits the capital city with a large KEW, effectivly wiping the city off of the map. Most, probably almost all of the planet is still "usable" and along with the up to several million people you just killed, the rest of the loss is just local infrastructure. So before UH, it would probably be the SLN sending a ship or two (well, it's the SLN so it would be 50 or more) and they would invest the system, take the leadership etc of the system prisoner and install a puppet government under OFS etc. That COULD have also included bombarding the homworld of the attackers but that really wouldn't have done a lot of good. Blowing the capital city along with the people who ordered (or allowed their forces to commit) an EE is apparently permissible but would it really do what you want done......get rid of the people who caused it. With the possible exception of most of the leadership of Masada (for a lot of reasons) the general public being slaughtered really doesn't do more than return terror for terror.

After all of the crap that the SLN pulled against systems in US which were EE violations -what they did or tried to do- Honor and the GA fleet showed up in the Terran system, forced the destruction of all SLN ships and other than on Earth bases of the SLN AND the people who had caused all of the problmes- the Mandarins etc- are arrested for trial AND the SL has the choice of creating a new framwork and government under the terms dictated to them or......the GA does exactly the same thing to as many SL member systems as it takes till the SL complies
The GA doesn't come in and decimate Earth with dozens, if not hundreds of KEW strikes knocking the planet back to the stoneage for whatever of the population manages to survive the massive ecological problems that follow the bombardment.
GA wiped out the spaceborn industrial capasity of Earth, vaporized that part of the SLN fleet in-system and........didn't kill ANY of the population of the planet or any (as best we can tell) of the civilain population living off planet.

The League 2.0 is unlikely to go bulling it's way around the galaxy for a fair amount of time. On the other hand, one of the SL 2.0 Member Systems- with a SDF or Navy- might be the closest involved system with people on hand or to respond when an EE event is inflicted on another system and that Member System could be the one who's forces apply the punishment. You don't have to send for Manticore, Haven, or the anybody else of the evidence is clear.
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Re: Post League Eridani
Post by GloriousRuse   » Sun Jan 20, 2019 9:41 pm

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Castenea, et al...

1) The point of a full on planet-kill EEV is not control of the targeted area. It is a strategy of either destruction or compellance. By the time you are slamming planets with relativistic mass, you’ve already acknowledged it isn’t about immediate conquest...or at least that you’re willing to severely degrade that which you conquer.

2) There is a lot of room...however literally every star nation we have seen in-narrative is now at least one, possibly two, and in the Monty case three, generations ahead of the SLM. Those who have a will clearly have a way.

3) This is the point of this thread...none of the new “big dogs” can take a gigadeath war. Which means anyone who will pull the EEV trigger once can bluff down the big dogs so long as they shot some innocuous non-vital third party.
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Re: Post League Eridani
Post by kzt   » Sun Jan 20, 2019 10:49 pm

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TFLYTSNBN wrote: Weber had yet to be educated by fans such as KZT and a certain NAMELESSFLY about the physics of missiles impacting planets at large fractions of Cee, so he presumed that the nuclear warheads were actually relevant.

That was well before I said anything. I’m not sure I’d ever met David before Honorcon. And to tell you the truth I didn’t pick it up on it the first time I read HotQ. Or in FiE.

I’ll still argue that the HotQ is the best book in the series.
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