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Tech Levels at the start of next series

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Tech Levels at the start of next series
Post by Erls   » Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:59 pm

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Basically, what is the Tech level of Safehold going to be at the start of the next book which is set 20ish year in the future? Will changes continue at such a rapid pace, or without the threat of immediate war will Charis slow down a little bit to allow for a period of adaption?

My thoughts and predictions:

Steam power is rampant:
1- Steam (coal) powered railroads now cross the islands of the Charisian Empire, allowing for the increased spread of population, manufacturing, and control.
2- Charis has built a fleet of 1930s era Battleships, Cruisers, and Destroyers that when paired with updated 'Liberty Ships' basically rule the seas. Dohlar has fought to follow suit, and has a downscale version of the battleship. Submarines are being actively researched and worked on, perhaps originally in Dohlar as a counter (see, Screw Galley) but now in Charis as well.
3- Siddarmark has developed extensive rail networks to pair with its canal network. In fact, railroads run along canals and often pull barges along with the trains. Additionally, they have created a navy that, while less advanced that Dohlar, is still large and modern.
4- South Harchong embraces steam power and becomes even more developed, perhaps even breaking off.

Flight is known - but via Zeppelin:
1- Without the internal combustion engine, Charis (and Safehold) develop highly advanced Zeppelins. Capable of multi-thousand mile flights at high speeds (when compared to ships), they are used for military and high-income transit. Thus, with stops along the way you can go from Tellesburg to Cherayth in less than 2-five days.
2- Zeppelins are being used as pseudo-bombers, with a minimal capability (basically, .50 cal machine gun) of anti-air combat. They can carry, however, a couple thousand tons of bombs and drop them far behind enemy lines.
3- This has also led to an early version of the aircraft carrier (in final production during the first books) which is designed around carrying a couple dozen armed Zeppelins to engage fleets far out of sight.

Pneumatic Power is highly advanced:
1- This has allowed for 1930s style assembly line factories and mass production, which has been embraced by most nations of Safehold.
2- While Charis still holds a decided edge in capability, other nations such as South Harchong, Siddarmark, and Dohlar are not far from matching Charis' capabilities in a manufacturing sense and are coming up with their own innovations (which are, after a suitable delay, stolen by Charis).

So, what are you're thoughts on where we find the Tech Levels of Safehold? [Note, this topic has zero interest in the Religious State of Safehold at the start of the next series. That is a brand new topic.]
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Re: Tech Levels at the start of next series
Post by Fireflair   » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:16 pm

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I believe it is highly probable that we will see internal combustion engines in use. As we've discussed elsewhere you can do this without electricity and it can be accomplished with out high degrees of refining.

I believe it is also possible that Owl has been busy expanding his resources safe under his mountain. Merlin and company already know it's safe to fly about in Terran equipment, so they might be utilizing such things far more frequently for the inner circle.
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Re: Tech Levels at the start of next series
Post by WeberFan   » Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:55 am

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BIG SNIP...

Emphasis mine...
Erls wrote:Flight is known - but via Zeppelin:
1- Without the internal combustion engine, Charis (and Safehold) develop highly advanced Zeppelins. Capable of multi-thousand mile flights at high speeds (when compared to ships), they are used for military and high-income transit. Thus, with stops along the way you can go from Tellesburg to Cherayth in less than 2-five days.


Got me thinking...

According to the Internet (and of course that's never wrong) Hindenberg maxed out at about 135 KPH. I figure an average of 120 KPH is probably reasonable for a "cruising speed."
With some creative cutting and measuring, I get:
- Tellesberg - Cherayth: ~10,300 KM (straight line distance, not great circle).
- Tellesberg - Siddar City: ~8,900 KM (straight line distance, not great circle).

Assuming the Safehold zeppelin could also cruise at 120 KPH, it could make the trips at:
- Tellesberg - Cherayth: 86 hours.
- Tellesberg - Siddar City: 74 hours.

Excluding stops of course...
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Re: Tech Levels at the start of next series
Post by phillies   » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:33 am

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Readers who have seen an airship hangar -- a few of them remain -- will realize that a CV that can carry a couple dozen zeppelins would be enormous. As a general statement, rigid airships are not very practical. Also, if you are afraid about the bombardment system disapproving violently of electricity or airplaces, unmoored airships would appear to be airplanes of a slightly different sort.

Why Charis or Siddarmark would waste money on a huge fleet of surface warships is unclear; they don't appear to be run by idiots.

Erls wrote:Basically, what is the Tech level of Safehold going to be at the start of the next book which is set 20ish year in the future? Will changes continue at such a rapid pace, or without the threat of immediate war will Charis slow down a little bit to allow for a period of adaption?

My thoughts and predictions:

Steam power is rampant:
1- Steam (coal) powered railroads now cross the islands of the Charisian Empire, allowing for the increased spread of population, manufacturing, and control.
2- Charis has built a fleet of 1930s era Battleships, Cruisers, and Destroyers that when paired with updated 'Liberty Ships' basically rule the seas. Dohlar has fought to follow suit, and has a downscale version of the battleship. Submarines are being actively researched and worked on, perhaps originally in Dohlar as a counter (see, Screw Galley) but now in Charis as well.
3- Siddarmark has developed extensive rail networks to pair with its canal network. In fact, railroads run along canals and often pull barges along with the trains. Additionally, they have created a navy that, while less advanced that Dohlar, is still large and modern.
4- South Harchong embraces steam power and becomes even more developed, perhaps even breaking off.

Flight is known - but via Zeppelin:
1- Without the internal combustion engine, Charis (and Safehold) develop highly advanced Zeppelins. Capable of multi-thousand mile flights at high speeds (when compared to ships), they are used for military and high-income transit. Thus, with stops along the way you can go from Tellesburg to Cherayth in less than 2-five days.
2- Zeppelins are being used as pseudo-bombers, with a minimal capability (basically, .50 cal machine gun) of anti-air combat. They can carry, however, a couple thousand tons of bombs and drop them far behind enemy lines.
3- This has also led to an early version of the aircraft carrier (in final production during the first books) which is designed around carrying a couple dozen armed Zeppelins to engage fleets far out of sight.

Pneumatic Power is highly advanced:
1- This has allowed for 1930s style assembly line factories and mass production, which has been embraced by most nations of Safehold.
2- While Charis still holds a decided edge in capability, other nations such as South Harchong, Siddarmark, and Dohlar are not far from matching Charis' capabilities in a manufacturing sense and are coming up with their own innovations (which are, after a suitable delay, stolen by Charis).

So, what are you're thoughts on where we find the Tech Levels of Safehold? [Note, this topic has zero interest in the Religious State of Safehold at the start of the next series. That is a brand new topic.]
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Re: Tech Levels at the start of next series
Post by PeterZ   » Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:14 am

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phillies wrote:Readers who have seen an airship hangar -- a few of them remain -- will realize that a CV that can carry a couple dozen zeppelins would be enormous. As a general statement, rigid airships are not very practical. Also, if you are afraid about the bombardment system disapproving violently of electricity or airplaces, unmoored airships would appear to be airplanes of a slightly different sort.

Why Charis or Siddarmark would waste money on a huge fleet of surface warships is unclear; they don't appear to be run by idiots.


I begin to suspect that practicality runs second or third priority to preparing Safehold for the Gbaba. Charis is no longer fighting for its life against immense odds. Let's view airships and their surface fleet from a different light; training platforms for the fight against the Gbaba.

Airships: dangerous platforms, but are relatively fast. They can facilitate communications between the far flung islands of the Empire. Telegraphs (broadcast and under sea cables) are out, so fast couriers are the only option. Also, airships are the first possibility of preparing pilots/ship handlers to maneuver/fight in 3 dimensions. The longer Safehold has to prepare combatants and strategists to think/fight in 3D, the better. The dangers airships represent also act as incentives to develop alternative systems to accomplish the same goals.

Will they think about designing gliders too? Likely for reconnaissance.

Large Fleet of surface ships. The one thing that prevented Charis from getting swarmed under the CoGA was their navy. Selling the idea of maintaining a good sized navy will be an easy sell to the populace. I can see using an outsized navy to serve several functions.

1- Keeping society used to having a very large military as preparation for the Gbaba.

2- The more people in the military, the greater the incentive to increase productivity/automation in the private sector. This maintains the focus on innovation at a faster clip than it otherwise would. All those weapons and weapons systems require gold to manufacture, but do not circulate in the economy as wealth. The gold spent for them must be spent on something else or saved. The private sector has to find a way to produce goods in demand without the manpower the armed forces retains. The more money available in the economy, the greater the incentive to increase productivity.

3- Related to productivity is the need to produce. Building a large navy requires maintaining a large production capacity. Sure, the increased private sector wealth will increase demand for goods and services. That's not enough, having the navy and army also requiring weapons systems and platforms then upgrading those systems and platforms will increase demand further. That total demand requires great productivity to fully satisfy.

In short, supplying the army and navy with large amounts of platforms and systems prepares Safehold's emerging industrial societies to sustain a higher than economically optimal military spending. This makes the transition to the fight against the Gbaba easier for those societies as a whole both on the home front and from the perspective of how the economies are structured.
Last edited by PeterZ on Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tech Levels at the start of next series
Post by phillies   » Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:26 am

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The more people has in a WW1 military, the less people it has doing useful work to expand the economy and advance science and engineering. This approach killed the Soviets so that at the end they had an economy about the size of Canada's. All that money could be going for something useful, and blowing it on a WW1 military will not deliver. Locating in one place the resources needed to delete the orbital bombardment system and its backups elsewhere in the Safehold system would matter; WW1 battleships are just a burden on the taxpayers.
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Re: Tech Levels at the start of next series
Post by phillies   » Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:28 am

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PeterZ wrote:
phillies wrote:Readers who have seen an airship hangar -- a few of them remain -- will realize that a CV that can carry a couple dozen zeppelins would be enormous. As a general statement, rigid airships are not very practical. Also, if you are afraid about the bombardment system disapproving violently of electricity or airplaces, unmoored airships would appear to be airplanes of a slightly different sort.

Why Charis or Siddarmark would waste money on a huge fleet of surface warships is unclear; they don't appear to be run by idiots.


I begin to suspect that practicality runs second or third priority to preparing Safehold for the Gbaba. Charis is no longer fighting for its life against immense odds. Let's view airships and their surface fleet from a different light; training platforms for the fight against the Gbaba.

Airships: dangerous platforms, but are relatively fast. They can facilitate communications between the far flung islands of the Empire. Telegraphs are out, so fast couriers are the only option. Also, airships are the first possibility of preparing pilots to maneuver in 3 dimensions. The longer Safehold has to prepare combatants and strategists to think/fight in 3D, the better.

Will they think about designing gliders too? Likely for reconnaissance.

Large Fleet of surface ships. The one thing that prevented Charis from getting swarmed under the CoGA was their navy. I can see having an outsized navy to serve several functions.
1- Keeping a large number of people used to having a significant military as preparation for the Gbaba.
2- The more people in the military, the greater the incentive to increase productivity/automation in the private sector. This maintains the focus on innovation at a faster clip than it otherwise would.
3- Related to productivity is the need to produce. Building a large navy requires maintaining a large production capacity. Sure, the increased private sector wealth will increase demand for goods and services. That's not enough, having the navy and army also requiring weapons systems and platforms then upgrading those systems and platforms will increase demand further.

In short, supplying the army and navy with large amounts of platforms and systems prepares Safehold's emerging industrial societies to sustain a higher than economically optimal military. This makes the transition to the fight against the Gbaba easier for those societies as a whole both on the home front and from the perspective of how the economies are structured.


The country that followed your approach was the old Soviet Union, and it was a total failure.
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Re: Tech Levels at the start of next series
Post by PeterZ   » Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:34 am

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phillies wrote:The country that followed your approach was the old Soviet Union, and it was a total failure.

Nonsense. The USSR did not account for private sector demand at all. Well perhaps in such simplistic ways as to be laughable. Beginning with a private sector predicated on free market, competitive solutions and then layering on the additional demands of a large military is more like the USA in WWII or the Grayson build-up to fight the PRH in the Honorverse.

Really, it is extending the war production requirements of the previous war to a large degree.
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Re: Tech Levels at the start of next series
Post by Castenea   » Thu Aug 17, 2017 3:36 pm

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PeterZ wrote:
phillies wrote:The country that followed your approach was the old Soviet Union, and it was a total failure.

Nonsense. The USSR did not account for private sector demand at all. Well perhaps in such simplistic ways as to be laughable. Beginning with a private sector predicated on free market, competitive solutions and then layering on the additional demands of a large military is more like the USA in WWII or the Grayson build-up to fight the PRH in the Honorverse.

Really, it is extending the war production requirements of the previous war to a large degree.

Your examples are both ones that would have broke the countries that were doing them if the war had gone on long enough. (Germany, Italy and Japan were rubble before the USA broke from the dislocations from the war mobilization could break the USA). Charis is likely to have a relatively large peace time Navy and a larger than pre-Merlin army, although the Army is likely to be reduced to what would be effectively a training cadre for the next big war and small expeditionary force. I would expect the Navy to have a core of ~1920s equivalent BBs, but be mostly Destroyers and cruisers with a small set of experimental vessels (airship tender?). This would be closer to the UK in the period of 1900-1912 than the USSR. I would expect Merlin and Nimue to try to keep the fleet from becoming the hard to manage mass of Dreadnaughts that the UK had in 1914.
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Re: Tech Levels at the start of next series
Post by PeterZ   » Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:43 pm

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Castenea wrote:
PeterZ wrote:Nonsense. The USSR did not account for private sector demand at all. Well perhaps in such simplistic ways as to be laughable. Beginning with a private sector predicated on free market, competitive solutions and then layering on the additional demands of a large military is more like the USA in WWII or the Grayson build-up to fight the PRH in the Honorverse.

Really, it is extending the war production requirements of the previous war to a large degree.

Your examples are both ones that would have broke the countries that were doing them if the war had gone on long enough. (Germany, Italy and Japan were rubble before the USA broke from the dislocations from the war mobilization could break the USA). Charis is likely to have a relatively large peace time Navy and a larger than pre-Merlin army, although the Army is likely to be reduced to what would be effectively a training cadre for the next big war and small expeditionary force. I would expect the Navy to have a core of ~1920s equivalent BBs, but be mostly Destroyers and cruisers with a small set of experimental vessels (airship tender?). This would be closer to the UK in the period of 1900-1912 than the USSR. I would expect Merlin and Nimue to try to keep the fleet from becoming the hard to manage mass of Dreadnaughts that the UK had in 1914.


The size of the fleet has to be manageable sure. They'll keep as many as they can manage and afford. Pushing those limits will create the incentives to improve efficiency. It helps that Charis has a massive financial reserve buried in Silverthorn.
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