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Tech Levels at the start of next series

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Re: Tech Levels at the start of next series
Post by evilauthor   » Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:41 pm

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I imagine Charis will field as many "modern" ships as it can afford to on a peace time budget. But I also imagine that much of the wartime production that was developed in war is going to turn to peacetime uses; building steam powered "liberty ships" (aka freighters) for starters. But also producing all kinds of consumer goods as well.

It'd be a shame to let all that steel production go to waste after all. Safehold is likely to start seeing things made out of steel for things where steel used to be too expensive before. And not just out of Charisian factories either. The Church has a huge load of war debts to pay off and I think practically the first thing they'll do is privatize all that industry they developed to make weapons, most of which will likely also start making consumer goods.
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Re: Tech Levels at the start of next series
Post by Bluesqueak   » Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:56 pm

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Why do they need a huge navy in a time of peace?

What Charis needs is a reversion to a large merchant navy, based around steam power, with the officers holding Reserve Commissions. This both boosts their peacetime economy (the military is a net drain on the economy) and gives them that pool of trained sailors to draw on in time of war.

Their navy needs to be just big enough to defend the various bits of Empire. Given that the Charisian Empire is sea based, not land based, they'll still likely end up with the Biggest Damn Navy on the planet. Plus the tradition of naval innovation is going to continue; the Inner Circle will be pushing it.

Similarly for the army; a smallish professional cadre, with a large reserve. Given the tradition of restive nobles in Chisholm and Corisande, the standing army is still going to be reasonably large.

If I were Charis, I'd keep Zeppelins up my sleeve for the next war. Steam ships and steams trains are going to cut travel time down enormously anyway - and they can carry far more cargo than airships. Besides, why hand your enemy the ability to bomb your cities? The Rakuri were bad enough.
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Re: Tech Levels at the start of next series
Post by evilauthor   » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:47 pm

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Bluesqueak wrote:Why do they need a huge navy in a time of peace?

What Charis needs is a reversion to a large merchant navy,


Welp, you just answered your own question. Charis needs a large navy because they need a large number of ships to be everywhere policing (aka protecting) their own merchant traffic. Especially when other nations start building their own navies.

Of course, most of their navy is going to be made up of cruisers and other long range patrol ships. The battlewagons are going to be a distinct minority, more for show in the "THIS is what you have to fight if you want to go to war with us" type ships.

Also, Charis is the world superpower as of the end of the last war. A large military they can threaten other nations with is sort of prerequisite to keeping that status. Sorta like how the British Empire fielded the largest navy in the world despite not actually fighting a war with a peer enemy for most of a century.
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Re: Tech Levels at the start of next series
Post by Bluesqueak   » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:48 pm

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evilauthor wrote:
Bluesqueak wrote:Why do they need a huge navy in a time of peace?

What Charis needs is a reversion to a large merchant navy,


Welp, you just answered your own question. Charis needs a large navy because they need a large number of ships to be everywhere policing (aka protecting) their own merchant traffic. Especially when other nations start building their own navies.

Of course, most of their navy is going to be made up of cruisers and other long range patrol ships. The battlewagons are going to be a distinct minority, more for show in the "THIS is what you have to fight if you want to go to war with us" type ships.

Also, Charis is the world superpower as of the end of the last war. A large military they can threaten other nations with is sort of prerequisite to keeping that status. Sorta like how the British Empire fielded the largest navy in the world despite not actually fighting a war with a peer enemy for most of a century.


I think you're confusing 'huge' and 'large.' I did say Charis would very likely have the biggest navy on Safehold; sea empires tend to need large navies.

But some of the proposals up above are for a ginormous 'wartime' strength navy. They don't need wartime strength. Even the RN at its height had a policy that they didn't need to be any bigger than the next two navies combined; but while they also had the enormous merchant navy they had to provide 'diplomatic support' to a bunch of colonies that were generally rather more restive than the Charisian Empire is likely to be.
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Re: Tech Levels at the start of next series
Post by Fireflair   » Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:28 pm

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I am not sure about the need to push for civilian development of technology and innovation being a big drain. Charis, after all, has access to the Terran archives of knowledge and history to draw on. If the naturally innovative process begins to lag they can always encourage it with some injections of fresh information. Subtlely, of course.

I do have to wonder about the pace of innovation. Yes, Merlin and Nimue can push things, especially with the support of the Terran database, but is this a good thing? How much change can society take before it begins to fracture? Too much tech too fast would certainly destroy the culture and societies of Safehold. Too little and they won't be properly ready to face the Gbaba.

Equally I am sure they do not want a military society to develop as it sounded like the Terran empire was at the end of the war with the Gbaba.
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Re: Tech Levels at the start of next series
Post by PeterZ   » Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:36 pm

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Cruisers the size of a King Haarald. Smaller cruisers like the cities don't have the range that merchants will likely develop with the victory ships. So KHs are the heavy cruisers and the battle wagons will be in the 20k -30k ton range with 1 or 2 pushing that limit higher.

Slightly smaller ships can get good range as well. Those would be the light cruisers or destroyers. I suspect there is a size minimum for naval ships using coal that have the necessary range to match merchies. Once they get oil burners, smaller destroyers with the requisite range get more viable.

Until the RCN gets the naval bases spread all over Safehold, they simply have to design long ranges into their naval ships.
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Re: Tech Levels at the start of next series
Post by PeterZ   » Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:07 am

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How much change is headed their way regardless of their desire? The Gbaba are coming whatever they do. It is only a matter of time before they arrive on Safehold.

Keep the disruptive innovations coming. Keep the society constantly adapting to something new. Maybe, just maybe Safehold societies can become adaptive enough, resilient enough to survive the next meeting with the Genocidal Bad Ass Biker Aliens.
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Re: Tech Levels at the start of next series
Post by WeberFan   » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:41 am

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Great discussion, and I like where it's going. I think there are LOTS of possibilities. But in my mind, the can opener will be the deactivation of the OBS. With that out of the way, I think there will be an explosion of innovation. The foundation is already there now: the reintroduction of the scientific method and the existence of Owl to make the entire human tech base and history available to the Inner Circle or whatever it evolves into.

David has already described in textev throughout the first arc many of the foundational paths:
- Mathematics and calculation.
- Chemistry and petrochemistry.
- Metallurgy.
- Thermodynamics.
- Ballistics.
- Pneumatics.
- Aerodynamics.
- And so many more...

As I write this, I'm reminded of an old PBS series titled "Connections" that took as its theme the (often) unusual fits and starts of innovation. How an unusual "a-ha" discovery in one area led to a breakthrough in another. I see the parallels on Safehold...

And finally, as one commenter mentioned, for all intents and purposes Charis doesn't have a budgetary constraint given (via Owl through Nahrman) the discovery of trillions of marks worth of gold and silver on Silverlode Island - safely ensconced in Charis' back yard... Given that, and given Charis' original blessing of Dr. Maklyn's "College," I foresee many, many breakthroughs in basic research that are then adapted to new, population-uplifting innovations - both military and civilian.
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Re: Tech Levels at the start of next series
Post by PeterZ   » Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:13 am

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I do think that David will allow his inner steam punk enthusiast full reign in the next Safehold story arc. the constraints he has placed on Safehold argues for 20-25 years of building a steam powered society with select modern insights. The result will be some variation of Agatha Hetrodyne setting. Perhaps we will see Alana Naimu act the girl genius princess?

Steam tanks, steam powered dirigibles, all sorts of mechanical contrivances people create thinking to make life easier but only make it more complex. That's the sort of free wheeling creativity the hiatus will spawn in Charis as well as Dohlar and Siddermark. I hope he has as much fun with this as John Ringo and Travis Taylor had with the Looking Glass series.
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Re: Tech Levels at the start of next series
Post by phillies   » Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:46 pm

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Protecting their merchant traffic from what? If there are pirates, you might need an equivalent of the old PC or DE classes. Conversion to oil permitting practical* at-sea refueling and resupplying are perhaps good.

Other countries may also build navies, thus reducing the need for antipiracy work. If a good peace is obtained, there will be no need for a large navy until the great reveal, perhaps staged as the great series of leaks, is approached.

*For the opposite of oil, contemplate the efforts needed by the coal-burning Imperial Russian Baltic Sea Fleet to reach Tsushima.

Super power status is based on economics, not on pointlessly large supplies of warships.

evilauthor wrote:
Bluesqueak wrote:Why do they need a huge navy in a time of peace?

What Charis needs is a reversion to a large merchant navy,


Welp, you just answered your own question. Charis needs a large navy because they need a large number of ships to be everywhere policing (aka protecting) their own merchant traffic. Especially when other nations start building their own navies.

Of course, most of their navy is going to be made up of cruisers and other long range patrol ships. The battlewagons are going to be a distinct minority, more for show in the "THIS is what you have to fight if you want to go to war with us" type ships.

Also, Charis is the world superpower as of the end of the last war. A large military they can threaten other nations with is sort of prerequisite to keeping that status. Sorta like how the British Empire fielded the largest navy in the world despite not actually fighting a war with a peer enemy for most of a century.
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