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The Fourth Empire, 1 million planetoids, and the Achuultani

Fans of Colin Maclntyre and the great starship Dahak should take a minute to stop in here for discussions about one of David's best-loved series.
Re: The Fourth Empire, 1 million planetoids, and the Achuult
Post by thesupplantingking   » Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:16 am

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From reading the posts on if a million planetoids are over kill or not I would go with yes, but only if you were deployed them all in the same system. Having that much mass in one system would more then likely destroy that system and a large portion of your fleet because you would not be able to move or fire with out tagging your own side. So the question I think is how large of an empire are they now controlling? That would tell you if it was overkill or not. Another question is are they all warships? It occurs to me that they would make a great platform for colonizing a new world; think of it as an ark if you will. You would have a large enough population to draw upon to keep the colony stable. Also the ability to quickly setup local manufacturing, and have a good cross section of plants and animals for terraforming.
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Re: The Fourth Empire, 1 million planetoids, and the Achuult
Post by cralkhi   » Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:08 pm

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On further thought, I suppose the real question is why the 4th Imperium went the super-militarized defense route at all. They apparently knew about the Achuultani from Day One (being descended from the remnant planet of the 3rd Imperium; given what's said about the centrality of opposing the Achuultani to them, apparently they didn't lose the knowledge as Earth [or Pardal] did) - if so, if they got to design their technology / civilization from a pretty early stage in light of knowing about the Achuultani -- why take the "ridiculous military buildup to defend immobile planets (aka targets)" route at all? We know that planetoid ships can act as generation ships, after all... I can see keeping their homworld (Birhat) inhabited, since people wouldn't want to leave & for cultural reasons, but if you know there's a big threat out there, why colonize planets at all? Why not just build/colonize permanent 'generation ships'/mobile space colonies, living around suns (for solar energy, asteroid/comet resources etc.) but capable of interstellar travel whenever needed, so they can just move away from any threat?

If the Imperium had followed that route, the Achuultani [or anybody else] couldn't become a civilization-ending threat without literally squatting on EVERY one of the hundreds of billions of star systems in the Milky Way (to monopolize the resources) - actually, it might be flatly impossible, as "core taps" seem to draw energy from hyperspace, so a space colony could just sit somewhere in the intergalactic void, powering its "sun" by core tap - needing no fuel, and thus having no dependence on any *place* in the regular universe. Core taps' control systems might require fuel, however.

It'd be incredibly hard [or impossible, if the core-tap trick would work] to threaten the species/civilization as a whole, since every colony/ship would be an independent 'world', and they could be scattered all across the galaxy (and possibly into the Magellanic Clouds or beyond, depending on whether Imperial ships can do continual FTL travel for thousands of years -- and maintain life support, but given that Dahak could restore his, I think that's definitely within their capability; plus, the Aku'Ultan used an intergalactic 'generation ship' to reach the Milky Way).

...Such a plan wouldn't even require them to abandon all the other potential (lower-tech) victim species of the Achuultani, as they could just take such species with them (or give them the tech to build their own colonies/ships). So I really don't see any downside except as a matter of honor.
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Re: The Fourth Empire, 1 million planetoids, and the Achuult
Post by thesupplantingking   » Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:21 pm

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cralkhi wrote:On further thought, I suppose the real question is why the 4th Imperium went the super-militarized defense route at all. They apparently knew about the Achuultani from Day One (being descended from the remnant planet of the 3rd Imperium; given what's said about the centrality of opposing the Achuultani to them, apparently they didn't lose the knowledge as Earth [or Pardal] did) - if so, if they got to design their technology / civilization from a pretty early stage in light of knowing about the Achuultani -- why take the "ridiculous military buildup to defend immobile planets (aka targets)" route at all? We know that planetoid ships can act as generation ships, after all... I can see keeping their homworld (Birhat) inhabited, since people wouldn't want to leave & for cultural reasons, but if you know there's a big threat out there, why colonize planets at all? Why not just build/colonize permanent 'generation ships'/mobile space colonies, living around suns (for solar energy, asteroid/comet resources etc.) but capable of interstellar travel whenever needed, so they can just move away from any threat?

If the Imperium had followed that route, the Achuultani [or anybody else] couldn't become a civilization-ending threat without literally squatting on EVERY one of the hundreds of billions of star systems in the Milky Way (to monopolize the resources) - actually, it might be flatly impossible, as "core taps" seem to draw energy from hyperspace, so a space colony could just sit somewhere in the intergalactic void, powering its "sun" by core tap - needing no fuel, and thus having no dependence on any *place* in the regular universe. Core taps' control systems might require fuel, however.

It'd be incredibly hard [or impossible, if the core-tap trick would work] to threaten the species/civilization as a whole, since every colony/ship would be an independent 'world', and they could be scattered all across the galaxy (and possibly into the Magellanic Clouds or beyond, depending on whether Imperial ships can do continual FTL travel for thousands of years -- and maintain life support, but given that Dahak could restore his, I think that's definitely within their capability; plus, the Aku'Ultan used an intergalactic 'generation ship' to reach the Milky Way).

...Such a plan wouldn't even require them to abandon all the other potential (lower-tech) victim species of the Achuultani, as they could just take such species with them (or give them the tech to build their own colonies/ships). So I really don't see any downside except as a matter of honor.


The only real problem I see with the Idea you are proposing is that they still would need real colonies that had shipyards that could construct new planetoids. Because no matter how advance you are your population will keep expanding and you need to replace those vessels due to wear or battle damage.
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overkill Re: 1 million planetoids, and the Achuult
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:26 pm

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At the Munich Olympics the Germans did not go for overkill. They saw four terrorists, so they sent
four snipers to kill them. (You don't want to insult
snipers, by suggesting they need more than one per
target!)
Had they sent three snipers per target, twelve in all,
then there would have been enough snipers to deal with
the Eight terrorists who were present!

HTM

[quote="robert132
[snip] What if your guess of what is "enough" is wrong because the intelligence is wrong and it turns out you need 2, 3 or 10 times the firepower?
[snip]
I'll take over-kill every time. [snip]
quote]
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Re: The Fourth Empire, 1 million planetoids, and the Achuult
Post by FriarBob   » Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:06 pm

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cralkhi wrote:On further thought, I suppose the real question is why the 4th Imperium went the super-militarized defense route at all. They apparently knew about the Achuultani from Day One (being descended from the remnant planet of the 3rd Imperium; given what's said about the centrality of opposing the Achuultani to them, apparently they didn't lose the knowledge as Earth [or Pardal] did) - if so, if they got to design their technology / civilization from a pretty early stage in light of knowing about the Achuultani -- why take the "ridiculous military buildup to defend immobile planets (aka targets)" route at all?


Your error is highlighted in bold. We know that Birhat was a planet the Achuultani "missed". How do you think they missed it? They missed it because it had no major defenses, none of the defeated planetoids (or whatever the 3rd Imperium used for ships) fled there to try to temporarily escape destruction, and there was no major electronic signature to draw the Achuultani there. There couldn't have been. Birhat must have been a recently colonized world, a backwater in the middle of nowhere, and have not had very many years for electronic signatures to spread at lightspeed, or it wouldn't have been missed.

As a result, their records were a pittance of what they truly needed to know about anything... other than that they had a "great enemy" that would almost certainly come again someday and they had to be ready to prepare for its return.

Go back and re-read what Dahak told Colin that first day on the bridge. He told them a little bit about the enemy, but everything he told him was an "inference", an "unattested myth", or pure "speculation". They didn't know much of anything at all that was truly "hard fact".

Now maybe they should have. It's kinda weird that nobody thought of doing what Colin had done with the ship and crew he captured after the Siege, and it's somewhat odd that the 3rd Imperium either didn't do this at all or failed to find a way to make sure the information would be found by its successor(s). But they either didn't think of this or failed in their attempts.
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Re: The Fourth Empire, 1 million planetoids, and the Achuult
Post by JohnS   » Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:03 pm

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cralkhi wrote:On further thought, I suppose the real question is why the 4th Imperium went the super-militarized defense route at all. They apparently knew about the Achuultani from Day One (being descended from the remnant planet of the 3rd Imperium; given what's said about the centrality of opposing the Achuultani to them, apparently they didn't lose the knowledge as Earth [or Pardal] did) - if so, if they got to design their technology / civilization from a pretty early stage in light of knowing about the Achuultani -- why take the "ridiculous military buildup to defend immobile planets (aka targets)" route at all? We know that planetoid ships can act as generation ships, after all... I can see keeping their homworld (Birhat) inhabited, since people wouldn't want to leave & for cultural reasons, but if you know there's a big threat out there, why colonize planets at all? Why not just build/colonize permanent 'generation ships'/mobile space colonies, living around suns (for solar energy, asteroid/comet resources etc.) but capable of interstellar travel whenever needed, so they can just move away from any threat?


Aside from what others here have responded, it's also possible that the people on Birhat were afraid of becoming like the Achuultani. Living in massive fleets, which would have likely gone hunting for the Achuultani at some point, may have seemed to much like turning into that which one fears.
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Re: The Fourth Empire, 1 million planetoids, and the Achuult
Post by Bhrymm   » Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:59 pm

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Well lets look at it from a numbers perspective.

We know the 4th Empire had, what, 5000 systems?(IIRC "of the 5,000 suns" is one title of the emperor).

That's 200 planetoids per system.

Also, if each planetoid carried 200,000 crew, that's 40 million people from each system.

If the average system population is 4 billion(I would guess that's low) that means only 1% of the population the the 4th Empire is in the military.

Why is 1% overkill?
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Re: The Fourth Empire, 1 million planetoids, and the Achuult
Post by ewarrior11   » Sun May 06, 2012 3:57 pm

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Bhrymm has a good point, though I don't know about 4 billion per system being average.

You ever heard that saying about people who want peace should prepare for war? Well, the 4th Imperium wanted a lot of peace and it's hard to blame them.

After nearly being exterminated as a species multiple times, a certain degree of insanity would be expected. And you would expect part of that insanity to manifest as a general governmental policy to have a military so powerful that their enemy had absolutely no chance of winning. Not only that, I suspect the 4th Imperium didn't mean to just defend themselves from the Great Visits. I suspect they ultimately intended to find where they were coming from and do to the Achuultani what they had tried to do to humanity multiple times.
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Re: The Fourth Empire, 1 million planetoids, and the Achuult
Post by Michael Everett   » Sun May 06, 2012 5:13 pm

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ewarrior11 wrote:After nearly being exterminated as a species multiple times, a certain degree of insanity would be expected.

Quote snipped.

Realworld example, Israel. Created as a homeland for the Jews after Nazi Germany tried to wipe them all out, but placed in the wrong place by the decision of the western powers, who wanted a bastion/beach-head in the Islamic regions. Hated by all of it's neighbours, who waited until Israel was officially declared to be a proper, official country, then launched a combined attack intended wipe the nation out (probably genocidal, unproven either way).

Series of wars cumulating in the 6 day war. Israel won, mainly because they had their backs to the wall and literally could not afford to lose.

And people wonder why Isreal is still so militaristic.

Being almost wiped out of existence focuses peoples minds. It strips away most of the "liberal" thinkers (since they are usually mentally ill-equipped to defend themselves with/against violence), leaving those who have a more "primitive" outlook and thus will ruthlessly remove or act against whatever they see as a threat to their continued existence. Also applies (to a slightly lesser extent) to natural disasters. Those who can consider the brutal options tend to be the ones who get out with the least damage.

This should not be taken as a criticism of those who pursue such "liberal" outlooks, they are the equivalent of oil in the engine of any country, smoothing the process somewhat. Too much, however, and the engine gunks up...

As with all things, finding the right balance is the key, although it does tend to be harder in dynamic situations.
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Re: The Fourth Empire, 1 million planetoids, and the Achuult
Post by Garth 2   » Mon May 07, 2012 2:15 pm

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The think is, we don't know really how many survirors there were and what state they where in after the visit.

We know there was enough to rebuild, and then inturn improve on there technology, we know that they explored and knew enough (or figured it out) to place sensor platforms on the traditional approach route.

But combine with the lenght of time between visits, the population, as stated by Horus, start to forget and focus on domestic concerns, which have a habit of drawing down your availalbe armed forces especially if you then slip into civil war.

After all, its clearly stated that Colin was the first Leader who managed to stop a visit (and therefore keep/maintain a population centre) and connected to that capture enough information on the enemy to learn something about them (after all Horus nor anyone else, mention any real information on the enemy just the left over Human battlefleets so presumably the Achuultani destroed or reclaimed any of their own vessels after the battle before moving on).
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