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RTH Official Snippet #3

"Hell's Gate" and "Hell Hath No Fury", by David, Linda Evans, and Joelle Presby, take the clash of science and magic to a whole new dimension...join us in a friendly discussion of this engrossing series!
Re: RTH Official Snippet #3
Post by n7axw   » Tue Sep 15, 2015 5:55 pm

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I think we have arrived at a bit of a stalemate here. Mili-tech Bard believes that the Ft. Salby officers were left out of a critical meeting at which their knowledge and input would be crucial. I believe that the only purpose of this meeting in the storyline is for chan Geraith to introduce his staff to the rough outline of what he has in mind. Roughing out the details of the campaign is a staff job, including seeking input from the Ft Salby people and including them in future staff meetings as needed.

There is no need to think that any of this is going to be, or for that matter has been, overlooked by Geraith and his staff. This was just one meeting.

And no, I don't agree that it raises issues of "authorial competence." If the author included all the details of the backstage of his story, what we would have would look like the "Encyclopedia Britannica" and the storyline wouldn't move at all.

Don
When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
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Re: RTH Official Snippet #3
Post by Mil-tech bard   » Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:45 pm

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Don,

Regards the following --

n7axw wrote:I think we have arrived at a bit of a stalemate here. Mili-tech Bard believes that the Ft. Salby officers were left out of a critical meeting at which their knowledge and input would be crucial. I believe that the only purpose of this meeting in the storyline is for chan Geraith to introduce his staff to the rough outline of what he has in mind. Roughing out the details of the campaign is a staff job, including seeking input from the Ft Salby people and including them in future staff meetings as needed.

There is no need to think that any of this is going to be, or for that matter has been, overlooked by Geraith and his staff. This was just one meeting.

And no, I don't agree that it raises issues of "authorial competence." If the author included all the details of the backstage of his story, what we would have would look like the "Encyclopedia Britannica" and the storyline wouldn't move at all.

Don


An aggressive offensive-oriented general officer planning a surprise offensive predicated on logistical preparations drawing heavily on the PAAF resources and knowledge would have senior PAAF officers present, for a host of reasons.

We know for a fact, not belief, from the basics of military protocol, that the Ft. Salby officers were not present from the following snippet passage.

Battalion-Captain Chimo chan Gayrahn was the Third Dragoons’ planning and operations officer, which meant — despite his relatively junior rank — that he was also in charge of chan Geraith’s intelligence assessments. The red-haired, green-eyed Bernithian was substantially younger than the rest of the division-captain’s staff officers, but he had the confidence of competence and his expression was calm as all of the others turned to look at him.

“Of course, Division-Captain,” he said and laid a folder on the map table in front of him. It was quite a fat folder.

“These are the notes I’ve been working on for Division-Captain chan Geraith,” he continued, looking around the other officers’ faces. “They’re based on interviews with Regiment-Captain chan Skrithik, Sunlord Markan, and Fort Salby’s other surviving officers and noncoms. And my assessment based on them, which I’ve already shared with the Division-Captain, is that Regiment-Captain chan Skrithik and his men hurt the Arcanans even more badly than we’d assumed.”

He flipped the folder open and extracted half a dozen sheafs of thin, tightly typed paper, stapled at the corner, and passed them around the table.

“Obviously,” he continued once each of them had a copy, “most of this has to be highly speculative, but at the Division-Captain’s instructions, I’ve tried to speculate as intelligently as possible. Fortunately, I had Master-Armsman chan Vornos available to help speculate and, ah . . . restrain any excessive enthusiasm.”

Most of the others smiled, and Brigade-Captain Renyl chan Quay, First Brigade’s CO, chuckled out loud. Master-Armsman Caryl chan Vornos was close to twice chan Gayrahn’s age, and thirty-odd years ago, Junior-Armsman chan Vornos had taken Under-Captain chan Quay under his wing. He’d been polishing officers in the Imperial Ternathian Army ever since, and it was obvious from chan Gayrahn’s tone that chan Vornos regarded the battalion-captain as yet another work in progress.

“What became apparent as we looked at the combat reports and our interviews,” chan Gayrahn went on more soberly, “is that Regiment-Captain chan Skrithik and his men severely mauled the enemy’s ‘dragons.’ Obviously, the ones killed in the attack, even if we combine the ones picked off in Prince Janaki’s ambush with the ones shot out of the sky here at the fort, represent only a relatively small percentage of the total number of dragons the Regiment-Captain’s men observed. But it seems to have been a significant percentage, judging by their unwillingness to risk additional losses. I think it’s worth noting that in their final attack on the fort, they used their . . . airborne capabilities only as a feint. They sent in the actual assault on the ground, and once that was broken, they declined to risk their remaining dragons in range of our weapons. I realize Windlord Garsal took several more down with his artillery, but that’s almost certainly because they’d underestimated his guns’ range. Everything from the way they approached, to the timing, and — of course — to Prince Janaki’s Glimpse indicates they never intended to expose the creatures to our fire.”



Military protocol 101 would see Battalion-Captain Chimo chan Gayrahn recognizing/acknowledging Regiment-Captain chan Skrithik, if Skrithik were in the room.

Similarly, Gayrahn would have acknowledged Skrithik's Battalion-Captain executive officer, if he were in the room.

The same observation on military protocol 101 applies for Division-Captain chan Geraith.

The Ft Salby PAAF senior officer contingent should have been there for very important story line reasons, but were not. That is a battle dragon class error. QED.
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Re: RTH Official Snippet #3
Post by phillies   » Wed Sep 16, 2015 10:30 am

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Mil-tech bard wrote:Don,

Regards the following --

n7axw wrote:I think we have arrived at a bit of a stalemate here. Mili-tech Bard believes that the Ft. Salby officers were left out of a critical meeting at which their knowledge and input would be crucial. I believe that the only purpose of this meeting in the storyline is for chan Geraith to introduce his staff to the rough outline of what he has in mind. Roughing out the details of the campaign is a staff job, including seeking input from the Ft Salby people and including them in future staff meetings as needed.

There is no need to think that any of this is going to be, or for that matter has been, overlooked by Geraith and his staff. This was just one meeting.

And no, I don't agree that it raises issues of "authorial competence." If the author included all the details of the backstage of his story, what we would have would look like the "Encyclopedia Britannica" and the storyline wouldn't move at all.

Don


An aggressive offensive-oriented general officer planning a surprise offensive predicated on logistical preparations drawing heavily on the PAAF resources and knowledge would have senior PAAF officers present, for a host of reasons.

We know for a fact, not belief, from the basics of military protocol, that the Ft. Salby officers were not present from the following snippet passage.

Battalion-Captain Chimo chan Gayrahn was the Third Dragoons’ planning and operations officer, which meant — despite his relatively junior rank — that he was also in charge of chan Geraith’s intelligence assessments. The red-haired, green-eyed Bernithian was substantially younger than the rest of the division-captain’s staff officers, but he had the confidence of competence and his expression was calm as all of the others turned to look at him.

“Of course, Division-Captain,” he said and laid a folder on the map table in front of him. It was quite a fat folder.

“These are the notes I’ve been working on for Division-Captain chan Geraith,” he continued, looking around the other officers’ faces. “They’re based on interviews with Regiment-Captain chan Skrithik, Sunlord Markan, and Fort Salby’s other surviving officers and noncoms. And my assessment based on them, which I’ve already shared with the Division-Captain, is that Regiment-Captain chan Skrithik and his men hurt the Arcanans even more badly than we’d assumed.”

He flipped the folder open and extracted half a dozen sheafs of thin, tightly typed paper, stapled at the corner, and passed them around the table.

“Obviously,” he continued once each of them had a copy, “most of this has to be highly speculative, but at the Division-Captain’s instructions, I’ve tried to speculate as intelligently as possible. Fortunately, I had Master-Armsman chan Vornos available to help speculate and, ah . . . restrain any excessive enthusiasm.”

Most of the others smiled, and Brigade-Captain Renyl chan Quay, First Brigade’s CO, chuckled out loud. Master-Armsman Caryl chan Vornos was close to twice chan Gayrahn’s age, and thirty-odd years ago, Junior-Armsman chan Vornos had taken Under-Captain chan Quay under his wing. He’d been polishing officers in the Imperial Ternathian Army ever since, and it was obvious from chan Gayrahn’s tone that chan Vornos regarded the battalion-captain as yet another work in progress.

“What became apparent as we looked at the combat reports and our interviews,” chan Gayrahn went on more soberly, “is that Regiment-Captain chan Skrithik and his men severely mauled the enemy’s ‘dragons.’ Obviously, the ones killed in the attack, even if we combine the ones picked off in Prince Janaki’s ambush with the ones shot out of the sky here at the fort, represent only a relatively small percentage of the total number of dragons the Regiment-Captain’s men observed. But it seems to have been a significant percentage, judging by their unwillingness to risk additional losses. I think it’s worth noting that in their final attack on the fort, they used their . . . airborne capabilities only as a feint. They sent in the actual assault on the ground, and once that was broken, they declined to risk their remaining dragons in range of our weapons. I realize Windlord Garsal took several more down with his artillery, but that’s almost certainly because they’d underestimated his guns’ range. Everything from the way they approached, to the timing, and — of course — to Prince Janaki’s Glimpse indicates they never intended to expose the creatures to our fire.”



Military protocol 101 would see Battalion-Captain Chimo chan Gayrahn recognizing/acknowledging Regiment-Captain chan Skrithik, if Skrithik were in the room.

Similarly, Gayrahn would have acknowledged Skrithik's Battalion-Captain executive officer, if he were in the room.

The same observation on military protocol 101 applies for Division-Captain chan Geraith.

The Ft Salby PAAF senior officer contingent should have been there for very important story line reasons, but were not. That is a battle dragon class error. QED.


You are making the highly dubious assumption that their protocol is the same as your protocol. These are supposed to be scenes on another planet.
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Re: RTH Official Snippet #3
Post by Mil-tech bard   » Wed Sep 16, 2015 1:35 pm

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Phillies regards your reply here --


You are making the highly dubious assumption that their protocol is the same as your protocol. These are supposed to be scenes on another planet.


Go back and read what I said about RFC using familiar military stereotypes as a tool of storytelling, to let the audience fill in the background.

The more alien RFC makes the Sharonan military, the less useful the stereotypes to fill in the story telling background.

RFC is struggling as it is with the Arcanian military as it is. Which is why you see old military proverbs re-written with dragon S**t.
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Re: RTH Official Snippet #3
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Wed Sep 16, 2015 1:39 pm

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Yes, I stipulate that there are several times in
Chapter 2 that chan G. and his staff officers speak
of Salby officers as if they were not present.
That strongly implies - to me - that the Salby
officers were not present at this meeting.

However, I do not dare to go as far as Mil-tech goes,
in calling this **proof** of their absence.
As Phillies says, courtesy in the Sharonan Army may
differ from courtesy and custom in the U S Army.
Weber, Evans, and Presby might have inserted some
differences deliberately.
It might be Sharonan military courtesy to speak of
data received, as if the givers were absent,
even when they are present.

For all that, my guess is that the Salby officers
were *not* present at this particular meeting.
I guess that chan G. wanted to have one meeting with
his staff, and his Brigade-captain, only, excluding
even the Brigade-captain's staff. I join with Don and
bkw in feeling that Mil-tech is overly strict in
assigning blame for that omission.

Did anyone else note the absence of the
Brigade-captain's staff? Will Mil-tech assign blame
for that, too? One reason to leave them out might be
that they will be holding the line at Fort Salby,
and might possibly be captured,
and can not tell what they don't know,
such as where Second Brigade,
and the echelons trailing them, are.
Would that ignorance fool anyone?
Does anyone think the Arcanans would not guess?
Would the First Brigade officers themselves, not guess?

HTM this post is long enough; more next post

Mil-tech bard wrote:

{snip - htm}

We know for a fact, not belief, **from the basics of military protocol,** that the Ft. Salby officers were
not present from the following snippet passage.

Battalion-Captain Chimo chan Gayrahn was the Third Dragoons’ planning and operations officer, which meant — despite his relatively junior rank — that he was also in charge of chan Geraith’s intelligence assessments.
{snip}
“These are the notes I’ve been working on for Division-Captain chan Geraith,” he continued, looking around the other officers’ faces. “They’re based on interviews with Regiment-Captain chan Skrithik, Sunlord Markan, and Fort Salby’s other surviving officers and noncoms. And my assessment based on them, which I’ve already shared with the Division-Captain, is that Regiment-Captain chan Skrithik and his men hurt the Arcanans even more badly than we’d assumed.”
{snip}
"... Regiment-Captain chan Skrithik and his men severely mauled the enemy’s ‘dragons.’ Obviously, the ones killed in the attack, even if we combine the ones picked off in Prince Janaki’s ambush with the ones shot out of the sky here at the fort, represent only a relatively small percentage of the total number of dragons the Regiment-Captain’s men observed.
{snip}



Military protocol 101 would see Battalion-Captain Chimo chan Gayrahn recognizing/acknowledging Regiment-Captain chan Skrithik, if Skrithik were in the room.

Similarly, Gayrahn would have acknowledged Skrithik's Battalion-Captain executive officer, if he were in the room.

The same observation on military protocol 101 applies for Division-Captain chan Geraith.
{snip - htm}
Last edited by Howard T. Map-addict on Wed Sep 16, 2015 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: RTH Official Snippet #3
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Wed Sep 16, 2015 1:55 pm

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This is the "next post" I promised in my previous post.

I have noted ways in which the PAAF & Ternath Armies,
and the Arcanan Frontier Army, differ from the U S Army.

The Sharonans (seem to) have only one officer grade
between Regiment-captain (USA colonel) and Company-
captain (USA captain): Battalion-captain.
The USA has two: Major and Lieutenant-Colonel.

The USA has two officer grades below captain:
first and second lieutenants. PAAF might have three:
Platoon-captain, Petty-captain, and (maybe) also
Under-captain, unless the latter is a Warrant Officer.

The USA assigns Lieutenant-colonels, not Majors, to
command battalions. The Arcanan battalion commanders
are Commanders of 500, not Com-1000s.

These do make the Sharonan and Arcanan militaries more
alien, even at the price of making our stereotypes
less useful - or more confusing.

For me, seeing through that alien confusion is part -
a BIG part - of the fun of reading SF books!

HTM

Mil-tech bard wrote:Phillies regards your reply here --


You are making the highly dubious assumption that their protocol is the same as your protocol. These are supposed to be scenes on another planet.


Go back and read what I said about RFC using familiar military stereotypes as a tool of storytelling, to let the audience fill in the background.

The more alien RFC makes the Sharonan military, the less useful the stereotypes to fill in the story telling background.

RFC is struggling as it is with the Arcanian military as it is. Which is why you see old military proverbs re-written with dragon S**t.
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Re: RTH Official Snippet #3
Post by brnicholas   » Wed Sep 16, 2015 2:45 pm

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Mil-tech Bard has argued with passion and skill that the absence of PAAF officers from the meeting in chapter 2 of RTH is a major error. He has not convinced me yet for two reasons.

One, on reading the chapter it is apparent that chan Geraith is carefully controlling the meeting to focus his officers on the points he wants them attending to. Within the meeting I can find no point where a PAAF officer would add anything. None of the areas where Mil-tech Bard says they have expertise are discussed. They obviously have other duties, it doesn't seem like an error to exclude them from a meeting where they have nothing to contribute.

Second, I don't think they have expertise in as many areas as Mil-tech Bard thinks. But others have discussed this and I won't add anything to what they have said.

I think Mil-tech Bard's point would be a lot stronger if he would turn his attention from the PAAF to the TTE. In Chapter 42 of Hell's Gate we learned that Hayrdar Sheltim was assigned as chan Geraith's trainmaster because he could provide expertise that chan Geraith's staff lacked on moving his division by train over interuniversal distances. They do talk about how long this movement is going to take, why isn't he here to provide his expertise? Was he even consulted? When chan Geraith speaks about how long the movement will take he gives his logistics officer (who is present) as the source for his number, not the expert from the TTE on his staff. Once started in this line of thought I am having much more trouble explaining that one to my satisfaction then I have with the PAAF.

Nicholas
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TTE re: experts re: RTH Official Snippet #3
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Wed Sep 16, 2015 5:02 pm

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Sheltim, yes.
Although a civilian, and not technically on the "staff,"
he has been travelling with 3DD First Brigade all this
time - weeks! - and frequently talking to chan G and
his staff, especially the logistics officer, I guess.

There is also Olvyr Banchu present, Chief Construction
Engineer for the whole TTE, sent Outworld specifically
so that senior soldiers and diplomats would have an
opposite number whom they could talk to as an equal,
as well as commanding everyone from the TTE.
Wouldn't his knowledge be as useful as chan S.'s?

I agree with brnicholas in this.

HTM

brnicholas wrote:
{snip - htm}
I think Mil-tech Bard's point would be a lot stronger if he would turn his attention from the PAAF to the TTE. In Chapter 42 of Hell's Gate we learned that Hayrdar Sheltim was assigned as chan Geraith's trainmaster because he could provide expertise that chan Geraith's staff lacked on moving his division by train over interuniversal distances. They do talk about how long this movement is going to take, why isn't he here to provide his expertise? Was he even consulted? When chan Geraith speaks about how long the movement will take he gives his logistics officer (who is present) as the source for his number, not the expert from the TTE on his staff. Once started in this line of thought I am having much more trouble explaining that one to my satisfaction then I have with the PAAF.

Nicholas
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Re: RTH Official Snippet #3
Post by bkwormlisa   » Sun Sep 20, 2015 8:56 pm

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I think the information we have about this meeting is very limited. Sometimes, RFC gives us lots of context on a meeting and describes just who is there, but he didn't this time. We see chan Geraith thinking about how hot Salby is, and then we're dropped into the middle of a meeting that's already in progress. We get descriptions of the various people and their roles as it comes up, but we really have little idea who is there or what they said before we see anything. Surprisingly little, for RFC.

Chan Skithrik is referenced twice in the meeting that I saw, without any indication he was there. Different customs or not, I agree with Mil-tech Bard that it most likely means he was not there. Where I disagree is that I feel he was not needed in this meeting. I think it was too preliminary and mainly concerned with things outside chan Skithrik's knowledge and responsibility. It was a conceptual staff meeting, not a serious military planning session. I also disagree that his absence (or even the TTE expert's, which as Nicholas said, would have been relevant) is anywhere near as bothersome as a factual error like a significantly misstated combat force. But the honest truth is, we simply don't have enough information to say who was there or what they did or didn't have to contribute.

BTW, if you want to shorten my name, it's Lisa, not bkw. ;)
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Re: RTH Official Snippet #3
Post by PeterZ   » Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:10 am

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Where I disagree that the PAAF presence is unnecessary, Lisa, is with the summary of the damage inflicted in the battle. That Intel was given in summary without the details of why those conclusions were reached. All these professional soldiers have different perspectives and a different set of experiences. They might glean conclusions that the intel officer missed. Not including those resources, when security is not an issue, in this high level session seems foolish. The conclusions reached here WILL become the base assumptions all these officers will work under. Just like the intel briefings suggesting Sharona mistreated Arcanan prisoners became the base assumption for the Arcanan Expeditionary Force.

Even if they have subsequent meetings with the PAAF officers, this meeting will have shaped preconceptions to a powerful degree. This apparent snub might be political or a case of Imperial Ternathian Army hubris. Either reason might explain this less than optimal decision. Much like Chekov's gun, this little fiddly bit of information will likely be changed in the final version of the book or if not changed be used to profound effect in the story later.

bkwormlisa wrote:I think the information we have about this meeting is very limited. Sometimes, RFC gives us lots of context on a meeting and describes just who is there, but he didn't this time. We see chan Geraith thinking about how hot Salby is, and then we're dropped into the middle of a meeting that's already in progress. We get descriptions of the various people and their roles as it comes up, but we really have little idea who is there or what they said before we see anything. Surprisingly little, for RFC.

Chan Skithrik is referenced twice in the meeting that I saw, without any indication he was there. Different customs or not, I agree with Mil-tech Bard that it most likely means he was not there. Where I disagree is that I feel he was not needed in this meeting. I think it was too preliminary and mainly concerned with things outside chan Skithrik's knowledge and responsibility. It was a conceptual staff meeting, not a serious military planning session. I also disagree that his absence (or even the TTE expert's, which as Nicholas said, would have been relevant) is anywhere near as bothersome as a factual error like a significantly misstated combat force. But the honest truth is, we simply don't have enough information to say who was there or what they did or didn't have to contribute.

BTW, if you want to shorten my name, it's Lisa, not bkw. ;)
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