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Stopping the Sharonan advance

"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: Stopping the Sharonan advance
Post by SYED   » Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:02 pm

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How do they recharge floaters, i forget? I doubt the front has the ability to do so properly, so they would be used drained, then shiped back to be recharged. It means they would tied to a strick logistical shedual, so i doubt in an evacuation there would be many to allow everyone ot be moved. Alot of gear will likely need to be abandoned, to reduce weight, weapons, supplies and other materials. So even if most of their force is moved back, they might not be able to fully hold those positions, as they are no longer equiped to do so.
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Re: Stopping the Sharonan advance
Post by brnicholas   » Fri Sep 18, 2015 8:50 am

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phillies wrote:
brnicholas wrote:I agree with Mil-tech Bard that there are significant problems in the Arcanan military. I'm pretty sure that they aren't as bad as what the ARVN had, but as Mil-tech Bard made clear that is faint praise.

The key strength of the Arcanan army would appear to be that the upper ranks are still mostly faithful to their honor code. This means corruption is not a major problem (it is a minor problem in all human societies) and incompetence is a block to promotion.

Its weaknesses appear to me to be the result of two centuries of peace. I suspect one major disaster and the rust will get cleaned off pretty quick.

Nicholas

"...honor code..." This does not appear to be a strength, though it depends how the illustrious author plays it.


I credit the Andaran honor code with the following facts about the Arcanan army.

1) The Arcanan army is not economically corrupt. If it was 25%-50% of all supplies sent to the frontier forts would be sold on the black market and if that were going on we would have heard about it.

2) The Arcanan army is probably not politically corrupt. If it were engaging in politics in unethical (as defined by Arcanan law) ways Jasek's father would be either strongly opposed to it or neck deep in it. In either case we would probably have heard about it.

3) Nepotism is not the only factor considered in promotion. It is a factor but ability also matters quite a bit. Given that the only opposition the Arcanan army has faced in the field for two centuries is bandits it would have been easy for the army to start promoting only on nepotism.

4) The Arcanan army's reports are mostly accurate. If honesty was not highly valued by the senior officers well connected Arcanan officers could say whatever they wanted in a report and it would be accepted. That they can't is proven by the fact that the units mul Gurthik ordered to Hell's Gate all actually existed and were able to show up ready to fight.

I think all of these things are strengths, and they mean once the Arcanans have the arrogance knocked out of them, they will get a lot better fast.

Nicholas
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Re: Stopping the Sharonan advance
Post by SYED   » Fri Sep 18, 2015 3:39 pm

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Most of the transport dragons and the augemented horses are being stabled on that world with wild food. The attack dragons will likely be used for patrols and defence, while there will be some dragons still transporting. So while it is possible for evacuations to be done, it will take time for the dragons to be reached and them to arrive. There are said to be around 170 transport dragons, if gathered in a single locations to be stabled they would be exceptionally vulnerable. There Are 3 possibilities, killed by artillery, running into the wilderness, or flown away by its riders. I suppose capture is also possible, buy would they really risk holding giant meat eating lizards.
I wonder if there is a priority on which attack dragons are to be killed, red, black or yellow. Yellow seem more dangerous to me. Are there any left? While dangerous transport dragons just don't seem to have the same artillery, so easier to deal with future attacks if they are limited to their other weapons.
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Re: Stopping the Sharonan advance
Post by n7axw   » Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:34 pm

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I think my earlier comment about how many transports being available is dependent upon how much warning Harshu gets still holds.

If some of those pickets referred to in that last snippet get away from chan Geraith's people, Harshu would have lots of time to arrange his withdrawal if he recognizes the scope of the threat.

Don
When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
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Re: Stopping the Sharonan advance
Post by brnicholas   » Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:50 am

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You two have had an interesting discussion that got me thinking. In this case though, my thinking disagrees with both of you. My thoughts are based on two main premises.

1) The Union of Arcana's power structure is quite stable. If it wasn't the Mythalans would have destroyed it in the last 200 years of trying.

2) The hatred for Mythal is based on its caste system and the laws necessary to maintain that, not based on what individual Mythalans have done.

It follows from #2 that when you both say in different ways that "Negotiating a peace would earn Mythal brownie points" you are wrong. The Mythalan caste system must change before Mythal can start earning brownie points. The truth is that negotiating a peace would earn mul Gurthik brownie points. Mul Gurthik earning brownie points might improve his position and thus lead to him being better able to advance the plan but doesn't directly advance the plan at all.

I think the plan mul Gurthik is following (which we haven't been shown in full and whose full contents I speculate about below) will do a lot two advance the plan. As I see it his plan has 3 parts.

1) Using vos Hoven and connections on New Arcana get Jasek convicted of incompetence and dishonor before the court of public opinion. It would probably be better if the court martial actually let him off because that would leave the people convinced of his guilt wondering about the honor of the whole army.

2) Mul Gurthik will use position and agents to manipulate Harshu and the entire officer corps of the AEF into attacking Sharona and torturing Sharonans on their own authority.

3) When mul Gurthik receives Harshu's report of the decision to attack he will act publicly outraged and flabbergasted at how Harshu had misinterpreted his orders. Then he will move to the front as fast as possible (this may take time given the dragon shortage) to reign Harshu in. When he arrives at the front he will "discover" the torture of prisoners and other Kerrelian Accord violations. He can then act outraged at these abuses and toss Harshu and any other officer who is on record as supporting or covering up for such acts (but wasn't actually conspiring with mul Gurthik) in chains and send them to New Arcana for trial.

If this whole plan worked, and we already know Harshu has limited its effectiveness by setting things up so he was the only officer officially responsible for the torture, it would do several things.

1) It would make Jasek and his father politically unsuited to being brought in as outsiders to clean up corruption in the High Commandery.

2) It would sharply reduce public trust in the Andaran Officer Corps by showing a large number of officers to be collectively involved in bad behavior.

3) It would strengthen mul Gurthik's public reputation for respecting the values of the Union. While the High Commandery would certainly blame him for not supervising Harshu more closely and might suspect what really happened, public opinion would prevent them from punishing him.

Given the stability of the Union I do not think this would bring down the Union but it would burn a lot of the Andaran Officer Corps political capital and make it more likely that after two or three more major scandals the public will insist on outsiders (who mul Gurthik's superiors hope will be their agents) being brought in to clean up the army.

All of the above means mul Gurthik's plan will achieve a lot more then just making peace would.

Nicholas

Howard T. Map-addict wrote:Peter,
Seems to me that we are quibbling over,
both what *would* happen,
and what Mythalans would *expect* to happen.

My opinion is that Mythalans would expect your second
point, and likely your first point too. Therefore
mul Gurthak's choices follow from his expectations.

My own expectations, based on my judgement of Ransar,
is very different.
1 - I expect that Ransarans love peace, want peace,
and would support any group that brought about Interworld
Peace over any group that provoked a war.
Even if the Peacemaking Group were Mythalans!

2 Andarans creating a brutal war would shift Ransaran
opinion away from Andara, but not necessarily to Mythal.
Ransarans have such a very great distrust of Mythal!
There do seem to be other nations on Arcana,
besides the three major ones. All of them
mistrust Mythal, and work together against it.

2 continued: Of course, if a senior Mythalan were
implicated in causing the war, Ransarans would be quick
to blame all Mythalans, and to look to re-interpret
the actions of the Andarans.

In my vain and arrogant opinion.

HTM

PeterZ wrote:Allow me a quibble, Howard.

1 Negotiating a peace would earn Mythal brownie points
but no lever to shift Arcanan politics firmly in
Mythal's favor.

2 Creating a brutal war would shift Ransar into the Mythal camp to justly prosecute a war the Andarans created. Ransarans are unsuited to fight any sort of war that does not threaten them directly. That naturally would leave the Mythalans in greater control over more of the armed forces.

Mul Guthyk needs a short victorious war.....well, a not so short victorious war that started as an Andaran glustergrope.

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Re: Stopping the Sharonan advance
Post by brnicholas   » Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:55 am

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Agreed. Chan Geraith is only going to be moving between 100 and 150 miles a day and he has to be sitting on the Swamp Portal in Hell's Gate to interfere with dragons evacuating the AEF. The big question will be when do they decide the need to evacuate (assuming they do need to evacuate chan Geraith is going to be way, way, way out on a limb they might be able to stop or kill him) and where are the various people and creatures they need at that time.

After all, if they can hold the cut at all they can do it with 2000 men so there is no good reason I can see to keep the whole AEF in Karys.

Nicholas

n7axw wrote:I think my earlier comment about how many transports being available is dependent upon how much warning Harshu gets still holds.

If some of those pickets referred to in that last snippet get away from chan Geraith's people, Harshu would have lots of time to arrange his withdrawal if he recognizes the scope of the threat.

Don
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Re: Stopping the Sharonan advance
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Sat Sep 19, 2015 11:15 am

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0) Thank you, Nicholas.

1) I agree.

2) This could be both the system and individuals.

It follows) mul Gurthak's brownie points would be
first) for himself, but
second) they would reflect well on other Mythal officers
in the Union Army.
third) This would show that Mythalans are
not necessarily bound by their system.

Plan Gurthak is following:
1) This was the original Plan, before Sharona appeared.

2) This could not be even conceived of,
until Sharona appeared.
By the end of HHNF it had been *accomplished!*
Very quick work by Gurthak. Master Politician!

3) We have seen Gurthak's thoughts about his Plans for
Harshu, Carthos, Neshok, and Klian.
Three of them he intends to murder, in varying ways.
I do not recall him thinking about whether or not his
presence would be necessary to work his Plans.
That Protocol might require his physical presence.
He has so far preferred to work from a distance.
He has already "discovered" those Ill Deeds,
by official messages and by his spies.

If the Plan works)
1) Yes. 2) Yes
3) This is what I meant by "brownie points."

HTM

brnicholas wrote:0) You two have had an interesting discussion that got me thinking. In this case though, my thinking disagrees with both of you. My thoughts are based on two main premises.

1) The Union of Arcana's power structure is quite stable. If it wasn't the Mythalans would have destroyed it in the last 200 years of trying.

2) The hatred for Mythal is based on its caste system and the laws necessary to maintain that, not based on what individual Mythalans have done.

It follows from #2 that when you both say in different ways that "Negotiating a peace would earn Mythal brownie points" you are wrong. The Mythalan caste system must change before Mythal can start earning brownie points. The truth is that negotiating a peace would earn mul Gurthik brownie points. Mul Gurthik earning brownie points might improve his position and thus lead to him being better able to advance the plan but doesn't directly advance the plan at all.

I think the plan mul Gurthik is following (which we haven't been shown in full and whose full contents I speculate about below) will do a lot two advance the plan. As I see it his plan has 3 parts.

1) Using vos Hoven and connections on New Arcana get Jasek convicted of incompetence and dishonor before the court of public opinion. It would probably be better if the court martial actually let him off because that would leave the people convinced of his guilt wondering about the honor of the whole army.

2) Mul Gurthik will use position and agents to manipulate Harshu and the entire officer corps of the AEF into attacking Sharona and torturing Sharonans on their own authority.

3) When mul Gurthik receives Harshu's report of the decision to attack he will act publicly outraged and flabbergasted at how Harshu had misinterpreted his orders. Then he will move to the front as fast as possible (this may take time given the dragon shortage) to reign Harshu in. When he arrives at the front he will "discover" the torture of prisoners and other Kerrelian Accord violations. He can then act outraged at these abuses and toss Harshu and any other officer who is on record as supporting or covering up for such acts (but wasn't actually conspiring with mul Gurthik) in chains and send them to New Arcana for trial.

If this whole plan worked, and we already know Harshu has limited its effectiveness by setting things up so he was the only officer officially responsible for the torture, it would do several things.

1) It would make Jasek and his father politically unsuited to being brought in as outsiders to clean up corruption in the High Commandery.

2) It would sharply reduce public trust in the Andaran Officer Corps by showing a large number of officers to be collectively involved in bad behavior.

3) It would strengthen mul Gurthik's public reputation for respecting the values of the Union. While the High Commandery would certainly blame him for not supervising Harshu more closely and might suspect what really happened, public opinion would prevent them from punishing him.

Given the stability of the Union I do not think this would bring down the Union but it would burn a lot of the Andaran Officer Corps political capital and make it more likely that after two or three more major scandals the public will insist on outsiders (who mul Gurthik's superiors hope will be their agents) being brought in to clean up the army.

All of the above means mul Gurthik's plan will achieve a lot more then just making peace would.

Nicholas

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Re: Stopping the Sharonan advance
Post by Astelon   » Sat Sep 19, 2015 11:56 am

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My rough calculations indicate that it will take the Sharonian advance more then two weeks to reach the Arcanan force in Karys. This is plenty of time for Harshu to notice that he has lost contact with his picket forces and, knowing that they are at war, investigate. It only will take a dragon less than three hours, and as little as two, to cover the distance that a Bison can travel in one day.

As for any attempt at an evacuation, the dragons will be able to make multiple trips a day (at least two, and maybe three) and still stay ahead of the Sharonian force. The Arcanans will have to abandon most of their supplies and weapons, but they can get the men out. The Arcanans wil just have to pack them in as tightly as possible, and fill in whatever space is left with supplies (put them under the seats for example).

Further a line from snippet four indicates that there are accumulators left in the transport command, it appears that Toralk may be saving them for when they are truly required.

Commander of Five Hundred Mantou Lyshair, the acting CO of Toralk’s AATC detachment, was down to an accumulator inventory far below the minimum level specified by The Book, and that was another situation that wasn’t going to get better anytime soon.
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Re: Stopping the Sharonan advance
Post by n7axw   » Sat Sep 19, 2015 6:11 pm

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My own suspicion is that Mul Gurthak's plot gets exposed before it comes to fruition. Jasek, for one, is starting to tumble to what's going on. I would suspect that the reputation of some Andarn officers is going to suffer. But then, those who do will be those who've earned the tarnish they are going to get.

My take is that the distrust and loathing the Ransarans already feel for all things Mythalan is not going to be helped by the Mul Gurthak's scheming which will mean that their attempt to supplant Andaran ifluence in the army will fail.

Don
When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
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Re: Stopping the Sharonan advance
Post by SYED   » Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:40 pm

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I bet he never realised how capable or dangerous a non gifted military could be. Or the sheer extent of the losses or duration of the conflict. He thought it would be a short victorius war, but totslly paihting his opponets in a poor frame. He is open to judgement concernibg the logistical and supply portion of the conflict. He now has to work to ensure that he is not tainted or dragged under by the negative results ofcthe fight.
We are guessing that the duke will take action most likely politically. Try to end the war via a peaceful solution, with the hell gate world goibg to the empire.
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