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Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?

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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by cthia   » Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:27 pm

cthia
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GloriousRuse,

I never got a chance to bring up a particular reason I find it sad you root against Manticore. You say they had it so easy, and perhaps they did in one respect. But in another, the Manties suffered terribly. Never have I known a nation that so much wanted to do the right thing, but suffering for it. I mean come on, the assassinations Beth had to live through? All of the deaths of her people and people's people? Manticore's deaths seemed to be more concentrated. There are so many of Beth's loved ones lost - several assassinated - and how many of Honor's?

Consider what they suffered at the hands of the SLN/Malign -- eating the deaths of innocent officers executed aboard ships with wedges down.

Look what they endured at the hands of the Malign. They suffered two Space Station atrocities -- blamed for a third -- simultaneously with a mass treecat genocide. Beth must have felt like she failed the 'Cats. And poor ole Honor and many others. Heck, Nimitz and other 'Cats "in the Navy" probably felt like they failed as well.

I don't see that the Manties had it all that good. Depends on how you're measuring it. The metric system has always been less human, IMO.

If the Manties really had it easy in some matters, maybe it's simply a consolation prize.


::shrug::

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by kzt   » Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:30 pm

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It's not just unrealistic, it's not fun.

Book after book of 'Gordon, after your your mechanized regiment gets done shooting down their cavalry, could you check on where my dinner is?' interspersed with 'and then a miracle happened and the manties won' gets boring.
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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by tlb   » Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:03 pm

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cthia wrote: But in another, the Manties suffered terribly. Never have I known a nation that so much wanted to do the right thing, but suffering for it.
--snip--
I don't see that the Manties had it all that good. Depends on how you're measuring it. The metric system has always been less human, IMO.

If the Manties really had it easy in some matters, maybe it's simply a consolation prize.

I understand the way you feel; but because you are so invested in the story of Honor and Manticore, I do not think you realize that others would have a letdown after Manticore and Haven became allies. In a way that ended the first story arc that had begun with OBS. It was a very interesting and engaging story that pulled you into the action, but is now over.

It seemed as though the Talbot Quadrant and Yawata Strike would be the beginning of the second story arc, where the action would shift to the Solarian League acting as an unwitting proxy of the Mesan Alignment. Truly the Manticore side took some terrible hits between Oyster Bay and the destruction of the orbitals at Beowulf. But the SLN itself was almost ineffectual; the only damage to the Grand Alliance that they directly caused were the destroyers blown up by Byng, the ships at Hypatia and the section of assembly line hit by Hasta at Beowulf. After all the build up to the confrontation with the SLN; it turned out that they were not the 800 pound gorilla, but a 90 pound weakling that could be dealt with in the action of a single book.

So now we are griping while we wait on the third story arc, where we hope that the Mesan Alliance and the Renaissance Faction will be confronted directly. Hopefully the collaboration with Eric Flint will get that going.
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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by cthia   » Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:41 pm

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kzt wrote:It's not just unrealistic, it's not fun.

Book after book of 'Gordon, after your your mechanized regiment gets done shooting down their cavalry, could you check on where my dinner is?' interspersed with 'and then a miracle happened and the manties won' gets boring.

Don't hate us because we're industrious and chose not to waste our blessings. We're industrious because we didn't waste our money on candy. Eye candy, like the Fleet 2000 upgrades. We pay for substance, not bling. And we're rich because of the MWJ, we have favor with God.

It only seems unrealistic that a planet would do and accomplish so much with their blessings. It might be unbelievable that a government would be so altruistic and deserving, but not unrealistic. They never squandered their blessings. They never let their riches go to their heads like a certain SLN of known origin. The Wintons are truly worthy rulers, as has satisfied Honor.

If you can believe that God gave Honor her talents to defeat Burdette, then surely you can believe he found favor in Manticore as well?

Unrealistic? Not by a long shot. Goliath has siblings (SLN). Samson does too (RMN).

Let me ask you this, would you be ok with Honor being a Havenite or a Solarian?

I don't see a problem with rooting for the Havenites too, but at the expense of the deserving Manticorans? Uh uh.

And, um, who says it is boring? Every time it worked out for the Manticorans, no matter how many times, chill bumps ran down my spine. I'll never grow weary of the cavalry arriving JIT for Manticore.

It just hardly seems unrealistic that a farmer who sows all the right seeds reaps a bountiful harvest along the way.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by tlb   » Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:12 pm

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cthia wrote:It only seems unrealistic that a planet would do and accomplish so much with their blessings. It might be unbelievable that a government would be so altruistic and deserving, but not unrealistic. They never squandered their blessings. They never let their riches go to their heads like a certain SLN of known origin. The Wintons are truly worthy rulers, as has satisfied Honor.

If you can believe that God gave Honor her talents to defeat Burdette, then surely you can believe he found favor in Manticore as well?

Consider another planetary system that arguably has done more for the inhabited Honorverse than any other. Surely it should be revered instead of being hated and attacked. Yet you spent considerable energy arguing that Beowulf had accumulated bad karma which would justify whatever happened to them (at least in the eyes of the League, if you were not arguing on your own behalf).

Over the centuries it has been just as industrious and has done far more for humanity than Manticore, but that did not seem to count for anything because it was back story to the main action.

The point you seem to miss is that we are really finding fault with the author's depiction of the "war" between Manticore and the Solarian League. The quotes are because after the build-up we were given, it does not even deserve being called a "squabble". In universe, this is the fault of the crackpot plan by the Mesan Alignment and we can only hope that further books will describe a foe worthy of the Grand Alliance's might.
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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by Tregonsee   » Sat Feb 23, 2019 2:24 pm

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I thought it was only me. The last few books, the Manties were getting just a bit too smug and self-righteous. The Solies, having killed off all the truly venal and stupid ones, were left with patriotic professionals trying to deal with a situation not really of their own making. I was hoping that the Solies would pull a rabbit out of their hat and set the Manties back on their heels long enough for both sides to get their act together. The Manties at this point are suffering from "Victory Disease," as were the Japanese in the first year of WW II.
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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by SharkHunter   » Mon Dec 23, 2019 7:30 am

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This thread has been a really fun read, for someone who has been away from the forum for a long time. I particularly liked the point in the thread where the comparison to the USN vs the IJN got going, because the poster's thoughts and even counterarguments are all close to the mark.

I'm not quite in the "root against Manticore" crowd, but I am definitely still in the "Prichart's Haven" crowd. In the Honorverse future history, they save Manticore's butt in a very similar way to how the USN helped the Royal Navy emerge victorious in the North Atlantic.

Where I stopped rooting for the writing comes where some of the later battle sequences is that the RMN commanders in the various actions correctly predict the opp force's psych and tactical moves early enough to guarantee a near-painless win.

Earlier in the series at least Honor, et. al. were building up their winning credentials, but making mistakes in the process. Haven command staff, likewise. For example, in OBS, Coglin realizes he should have waited to blow his panels until Fearless was in energy range; in HotQ, Honor realizes they should have pursued Saladin/Thunder of God immediately. Theisman and Tourville, etc. survive early actions because they act honorably, but they score wins against the RMN rather frequently as well.

Even as late as the Torch books, both opp forces still make enough mistakes that while we can (in theory) predict a protagonist win (AKA Torch wasn't going to get Eridani'd into smithereens), it is not a win without sacrifice. Same for the ground actions on Mesa, etc.

In contrast, in the later books, the MAlign's murderous nukes always accomplish their goal... except that Manticore doesn't die. Bolthole isn't penetrated, Honor survives. We don't see the A line assassins going up against Thandi Palane.

RMN wise, the task group, etc. often don't even get their paint scratched. An example, I wouldn't have minded Lessem's victory at the Prime/Ajay terminus if they'd stopped the Buccaneer side, but been driven off the terminus with significant losses. It's a tactical stalemate but some very smart SLN naval personnel survive. The SLN gets to cut the line of wormholes, but can't do anything about it so it becomes a race to see who can hold the bridgehead, etc. etc. etc. while trying to get word of the improvements to the other side's tech improvements in time to use them. Isotalo's forces have Huskies, but no similar forces are deployed far enough out to protect Hyperion One? Hmmm...

Similarly, I would have much rather learned the outcome at Hypatia by having the next set of RMN forces arrive and not be able to find Kotouč's ships, a whole lot of ship wreckage -- and then get a message from HMS Angrim saying "we're the only ship left". We don't immediately find out who's alive or dead... I'd have had them arrive in Manticore post-Beowulf, just prior to the Grand Fleet making the payoff when Honor meets Commander Peterson more valuable, without changing Honor's inner darkness enough to stop the Juggernaut. Get around to rewarding HMS Angrim and Kotouč's other ships with their names on the List of Honor, future wedding plans can then be discussed, etc. in the denouement.

Finally, Grayson seems to have disappeared as mattering a damn except following Abigail Hearns around the galaxy. I'd rather know that they're rebuilding the Blackbird Yards and building what we might call a "vengeance force" to go after the MAlign under Michael Mayhew's direction, maybe some MAlign scheming as they running to Darius to get a bridgehead at Masada, etc. Maybe Grayson signs an attack pact with Torch? and now the race is on to see who gets to knife range first...

My thoughts? Authorial fatigue. Your thoughts?
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All my posts are YMMV, IMHO, and welcoming polite discussion, extension, and rebuttal. This is the HonorVerse, after all
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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by kzt   » Mon Dec 23, 2019 11:19 am

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Some of that. There certainly seemed to be ‘insert mandatory space battle here’ going on, then the dead line approaching and having to write said mandatory space battle.

There was cool stuff going on that was well written, but not all was.
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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by bert953   » Mon Dec 23, 2019 2:06 pm

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I agree that the anti-Manty rants seem overdone. As stated, they were attacked by Haven, they did endure the High Ridge govt., Havens attack on the Manticore system & Oyster Bay. These were followed by the MAligns manipulating the Sollys into a shooting engagement by manipulating their leadership including the Mandarins into acting out their arrogance against neo-barbs. Case buccaneer & parthan shot were SLN erandi edict violations, and Manticore was again subject to an attempted invasion by Admiral Filaretta. Only when the Beowulf civilian orbital habitats were destroyed, did the calculus change so that the GA invaded Sol. My understanding (as a civilian who has never served in the military) is that wars are the result of failed politics. One of the ways wars end is when enough troops and/or civilians get killed, the politicians lose their power base and are FORCED to surrender; ie. Hiroshima & Nagasaki.

It makes no sense to invade Sol and then leave the infrastructure intact so that the next group of filthy politicians (they are all filthy aren't they) can immediately start working on rebuilding their Navy with no real change in their corrupt ways. It sounds to me as if some readers just dont like the Manties any more, because the recent books were "military porn". I beg to differ. One of my favorite books is A rising thunder, which is were the conflict with the Sollies really starts to take shape. Not just the space battles, but the politics and the human cost of those politics is edpecially engaging and adds depth to the Honorverse (as well as Safehold).

I am really, really looking forward to the next layers of the onion being peeled, because the MAlign has invested in some serious bad Karma for themselves. There's nothing like seeing a bully take some of the medicine they enjoyed dishing out, with interest.
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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by cthia   » Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:14 pm

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tlb wrote:
GloriousRuse wrote:They didn’t become Goliath because they won. They became Goliath because the author blatantly violated his own world design so that the precious protagonists would never have a real setback. Again, it wasn’t always this blatant - at one point the Mantie government actually had different parliamentary factions that were not pure driven snow with perfect crystal balls! And the Navy actually had to wait a few years when caught off balance!

But from book 11 onwards? Nope. Just a magic “I win” button for everything. That’s what makes them Goliath. Not the act of winning, the act of winning by fiat decree that everything they do must be the most perfect there ever was and that God is Literally on Their Side, sticking his thumbs on the scale to save them from anything more than background narrative losses.

Are you only counting main Harrington line books (so perhaps you are saying after Storm from the Shadows)? Any case you are starting after the bad things that Cthia has listed?

cthia wrote:Yet, the Star Kingdom wasn't made in a few books beginning after book 11. To understand the inexorable momentum gained would require studying the seeds of goodwill she planted and the goodwill she accumulated in return, which would require the beginning of the series with King Roger. The Star Kingdom is a complicated gal. Perhaps books 1 - 10 was like building the foundation on a construction site. It takes forever to come up out of the ground, but once the foundation is complete, the rest is a cruise.

Consider that Grayson may not have chosen to align itself with the Star Kingdom hadn't the Star Kingdom's reputation preceded her.

Honor traded shamelessly on her good will in one of the most tender moments in the series. When she went up against Theisman during a time the Committee of Public Safety was riding herd on the Peep Navy.

I'll paraphrase the best I can.

"Let's see if wars are still fought between human beings."

Just, wow.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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