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Would Dispersing Shipyards Blunt or Stop a Second Oyster Bay

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Would Dispersing Shipyards Blunt or Stop a Second Oyster Bay
Post by CaptainPerseus   » Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:58 pm

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Before the First Havenite-Manticoran War, Manticore invested in building a separate satellite shipyard in Grendelsbane. With the loss of that yard in Operation Thunderbolt, the RMN's shipbuilding capacity was solely concentrated in the Manticore System, leaving them vulnerable to Oyster Bay. But if the Havenites hadn't attacked Grendelsbane, forcing Higgins to nuke the yards, would Oyster Bay have been as bad or would the Mesans have had to spread themselves even thinner to attack it too?

What I'm asking is could Manticore stop or blunt a second Oyster Bay style attack were it undertaken simply by dispersing its renewed shipyards to different systems? Build the new stations in Manticore, but expand the Trevor's Star yards too. Construct yards in Lynx and the other Talbott Quadrant systems. The local populations wouldn't be good for much besides general labor until their education bases were brought up to Manticoran standards, but specialists could be brought in from Beowulf, Manticore, and Haven to do the more skilled technical work. Additionally, the construct of those yards would probably serve as an economic stimulus for the Quadrant systems.

Just random thoughts.
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Re: Would Dispersing Shipyards Blunt or Stop a Second Oyster
Post by kzt   » Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:47 pm

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No.

For several reasons. First, they still are vulnerable to the same attack. You just need less ships to carry out the attack. So you'll have to deploy the very expensive deep space sensors and the rather large fleet of rapid response ships to support this in every system.

(Ignoring my destroyer squadron feint trick. Which apparently is so unfair that their MAN would never do it.)

Second, the military capability of the SKM is limited. The more places you make them protect you either have to reduce their ability to project force or they have to only fairly lightly defend the dispersed yards.

This put them in danger of being destroyed in detail by a single conventional force that rolls over a series of yards one after another by being able to crush the defense at each yard one at a time.
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Re: Would Dispersing Shipyards Blunt or Stop a Second Oyster
Post by tlb   » Wed Aug 21, 2019 8:16 am

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kzt wrote:No.

For several reasons. First, they still are vulnerable to the same attack. You just need less ships to carry out the attack. So you'll have to deploy the very expensive deep space sensors and the rather large fleet of rapid response ships to support this in every system.

(Ignoring my destroyer squadron feint trick. Which apparently is so unfair that their MAN would never do it.)

Second, the military capability of the SKM is limited. The more places you make them protect you either have to reduce their ability to project force or they have to only fairly lightly defend the dispersed yards.

This put them in danger of being destroyed in detail by a single conventional force that rolls over a series of yards one after another by being able to crush the defense at each yard one at a time.

One thing that I have wondered is why Manticore has not put a major base and construction/training site out in the Matapan area, which until the beginning of the Havenite war was only easily reached by a little used arm of the wormhole junction. It has the troubles you describe, since its location is known (unlike Darius or Bolthole); but it is very difficult to reach without using a wormhole transit. This is what RFC says about the area in the Pearls:
The Matapan Terminus hasn't been mentioned very much because it hasn't entered into the events of Manticore's war with Haven. That doesn't mean that Manticore hasn't been involved there.

Matapan lies beyond the Andermani Empire, which gives it even more spatial separation from the Republic than the Empire has, and it's not an especially wealthy region. Actually, it looks rather more impressive on the end paper maps than it is in reality. It's not as poverty-stricken a region as the Talbott Cluster was, by a long chalk, but the settlement in the area is fairly recent (mostly little more than a century old, and almost all of it via the Wormhole Junction), and the economies and populations are still growing at fairly modest rates. Matapan should not be confused with an integrated political unit; the area is considered a "cluster" in the same sense as Talbott. That is, there are several colonized star systems in relatively close proximity to one another, but without any strong central political organization, and without any actual astrographic association between the systems. Because of its isolation from the war front, and the fact that the Matapan Terminus has the lowest traffic volume of any of the Junction's termini, the terminus itself is covered by a handful of fairly light forts and a picket of second or third-line cruisers and destroyers.

In a sense, I suppose I probably should have discussed Matapan in greater detail, because Manticore does provide what comes closest to representing any sort of political unity in the region. Basically, the Star Kingdom has assumed the responsibility of providing basic anti-piracy protection for the youthful colonies in the Matapan Cluster. I think of Matapan as the Star Kingdom's equivalent of the Trucial States in the period between 1820 and 1892.

The discovery of the third terminus of the Asgerd Wormhole Junction could have implications for Matapan's development, but that terminus was discovered only very shortly before the beginning of the First Havenite War. The Asgerd Association has an… interesting relationship with the Andermani Empire, which generally inspires it to not do anything likely to irritate the Andies, who are both the greatest military threat to it and its most important trading partner. During the period of the First Havenite War, when the Empire was being any "friendly neutral" as far as the Star Kingdom was concerned, Asgerd had all sorts of reasons to avoid any potential brangles with Manticore. Moreover, Asgerd has been much more interested in and involved with Midgard, which is sort of its own version of Matapan. All of this means that there had been a sort of informal division of "spheres of influence" under which Asgerd stayed out of Matapan, leaving the field there clear for the Star Kingdom's "Trucial States" relationship.


Obviously this could require stronger political relations with the Matapan governments.
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Re: Would Dispersing Shipyards Blunt or Stop a Second Oyster
Post by Theemile   » Wed Aug 21, 2019 9:07 am

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tlb wrote:
kzt wrote:No.

For several reasons. First, they still are vulnerable to the same attack. You just need less ships to carry out the attack. So you'll have to deploy the very expensive deep space sensors and the rather large fleet of rapid response ships to support this in every system.

(Ignoring my destroyer squadron feint trick. Which apparently is so unfair that their MAN would never do it.)

Second, the military capability of the SKM is limited. The more places you make them protect you either have to reduce their ability to project force or they have to only fairly lightly defend the dispersed yards.

This put them in danger of being destroyed in detail by a single conventional force that rolls over a series of yards one after another by being able to crush the defense at each yard one at a time.

One thing that I have wondered is why Manticore has not put a major base and construction/training site out in the Matapan area, which until the beginning of the Havenite war was only easily reached by a little used arm of the wormhole junction. It has the troubles you describe, since its location is known (unlike Darius or Bolthole); but it is very difficult to reach without using a wormhole transit. This is what RFC says about the area in the Pearls:
The Matapan Terminus hasn't been mentioned very much because it hasn't entered into the events of Manticore's war with Haven. That doesn't mean that Manticore hasn't been involved there.

Matapan lies beyond the Andermani Empire, which gives it even more spatial separation from the Republic than the Empire has, and it's not an especially wealthy region. Actually, it looks rather more impressive on the end paper maps than it is in reality. It's not as poverty-stricken a region as the Talbott Cluster was, by a long chalk, but the settlement in the area is fairly recent (mostly little more than a century old, and almost all of it via the Wormhole Junction), and the economies and populations are still growing at fairly modest rates. Matapan should not be confused with an integrated political unit; the area is considered a "cluster" in the same sense as Talbott. That is, there are several colonized star systems in relatively close proximity to one another, but without any strong central political organization, and without any actual astrographic association between the systems. Because of its isolation from the war front, and the fact that the Matapan Terminus has the lowest traffic volume of any of the Junction's termini, the terminus itself is covered by a handful of fairly light forts and a picket of second or third-line cruisers and destroyers.

In a sense, I suppose I probably should have discussed Matapan in greater detail, because Manticore does provide what comes closest to representing any sort of political unity in the region. Basically, the Star Kingdom has assumed the responsibility of providing basic anti-piracy protection for the youthful colonies in the Matapan Cluster. I think of Matapan as the Star Kingdom's equivalent of the Trucial States in the period between 1820 and 1892.

The discovery of the third terminus of the Asgerd Wormhole Junction could have implications for Matapan's development, but that terminus was discovered only very shortly before the beginning of the First Havenite War. The Asgerd Association has an… interesting relationship with the Andermani Empire, which generally inspires it to not do anything likely to irritate the Andies, who are both the greatest military threat to it and its most important trading partner. During the period of the First Havenite War, when the Empire was being any "friendly neutral" as far as the Star Kingdom was concerned, Asgerd had all sorts of reasons to avoid any potential brangles with Manticore. Moreover, Asgerd has been much more interested in and involved with Midgard, which is sort of its own version of Matapan. All of this means that there had been a sort of informal division of "spheres of influence" under which Asgerd stayed out of Matapan, leaving the field there clear for the Star Kingdom's "Trucial States" relationship.


Obviously this could require stronger political relations with the Matapan governments.


Only if you place the station AT one the of Matapan govts. Why not place the station in the same system as the Terminus? Manticore already has a force centered there, a quick reaction force 1 jump away, and a system Manticore controls. Even the most resource poor system has enough resources to make SDs
******
RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
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Re: Would Dispersing Shipyards Blunt or Stop a Second Oyster
Post by Jonathan_S   » Wed Aug 21, 2019 9:54 am

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kzt wrote:No.

For several reasons. First, they still are vulnerable to the same attack. You just need less ships to carry out the attack. So you'll have to deploy the very expensive deep space sensors and the rather large fleet of rapid response ships to support this in every system.

(Ignoring my destroyer squadron feint trick. Which apparently is so unfair that their MAN would never do it.)

Second, the military capability of the SKM is limited. The more places you make them protect you either have to reduce their ability to project force or they have to only fairly lightly defend the dispersed yards.

This put them in danger of being destroyed in detail by a single conventional force that rolls over a series of yards one after another by being able to crush the defense at each yard one at a time.

Spreading around their naval shipyards also seems like it would increase the difficulty of protecting their military design secrets. More places to secure against espionage, and every additional yard is one more place an attacker might get lucky and capture some of the tech intact, or plans or technicians knowledgeable about it,. (The defender might not always have time and ability to evacuate the most critical personnel and nuke the yards like Higgins did)
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Re: Would Dispersing Shipyards Blunt or Stop a Second Oyster
Post by tlb   » Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:00 am

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Theemile wrote:Only if you place the station AT one the of Matapan govts. Why not place the station in the same system as the Terminus? Manticore already has a force centered there, a quick reaction force 1 jump away, and a system Manticore controls. Even the most resource poor system has enough resources to make SDs

Do we know that the terminal defense forces are at a system or are they just clustered at the terminus (getting support from Manticore)?
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Re: Would Dispersing Shipyards Blunt or Stop a Second Oyster
Post by Theemile   » Wed Aug 21, 2019 1:00 pm

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tlb wrote:
Theemile wrote:Only if you place the station AT one the of Matapan govts. Why not place the station in the same system as the Terminus? Manticore already has a force centered there, a quick reaction force 1 jump away, and a system Manticore controls. Even the most resource poor system has enough resources to make SDs

Do we know that the terminal defense forces are at a system or are they just clustered at the terminus (getting support from Manticore)?


There is no habitable planet in Matapan terminus system - all habitation in the cluster came through the wormhole, and Manticore would have scooped up an empty, habitable world for it's own, as it did Basilisk (even though it had aliens).

We know the mobile force is currently (or at the time of BoMA) is just a "cruiser level force", and is the center for the cruiser level force which patrols Matapan. As a WAG, since this is the space furthest from trouble, it would get the oldest stuff - maybe a div of Star Knights or Sag-As, and a dozen or so Apollo/Valiants/Chansons - now, maybe a couple Avalons. About 1/4-1/3rd the force in Matapan space at any time, the rest patrolling.

I'm saying this because the Lynx terminus, also a backwater at the time, had 3-4 CLs and DDs in system watching the forts being constructed and playing nursemaid for the Ffreighter traffic prior to the code Zulu about Monica. - And they just had the Lynx junction system to tend to. One would assume the Matapan command, being the central point of the command, would have slightly more mobile firepower available than Lynx... but not much more, especially since David said "cruiser level".

I would assume the terminus has some modern forts, as Manticore forted up all their termini after the 1st war started to free up mobile units. But I could be wrong.
******
RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
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Re: Would Dispersing Shipyards Blunt or Stop a Second Oyster
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Thu Aug 22, 2019 10:26 pm

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Theemile wrote:
There is no habitable planet in Matapan terminus system - all habitation in the cluster came through the wormhole, and Manticore would have scooped up an empty, habitable world for it's own, as it did Basilisk (even though it had aliens).

We know the mobile force is currently (or at the time of BoMA) is just a "cruiser level force", and is the center for the cruiser level force which patrols Matapan. As a WAG, since this is the space furthest from trouble, it would get the oldest stuff - maybe a div of Star Knights or Sag-As, and a dozen or so Apollo/Valiants/Chansons - now, maybe a couple Avalons. About 1/4-1/3rd the force in Matapan space at any time, the rest patrolling.

I'm saying this because the Lynx terminus, also a backwater at the time, had 3-4 CLs and DDs in system watching the forts being constructed and playing nursemaid for the Ffreighter traffic prior to the code Zulu about Monica. - And they just had the Lynx junction system to tend to. One would assume the Matapan command, being the central point of the command, would have slightly more mobile firepower available than Lynx... but not much more, especially since David said "cruiser level".

I would assume the terminus has some modern forts, as Manticore forted up all their termini after the 1st war started to free up mobile units. But I could be wrong.


Matapan is indeed in the middle of nowhere, an undeveloped region, where logistical problems would surely arise. There's no planet near the terminus, so any decent system with an asteroid belt for resource extraction and a planet for R&R is at least a few light-years away. Building the shipyards would need to be done from scratch. Not to mention that building something out there would be a logistical nightmare: unless you start making entire ships from basic blocks to final fitting, you'd have to freight sub-assemblies through the wormhole.

Here's the interesting thing: all of the above also describes Bolthole, but Bolthole was in many ways worse. The J-156-18(L)-Calvin WH connects to an uninhabited system and Sanctuary is a few light-years away, but J-156-18(L) is also in the middle of nowhere, unlike the MWHJ. There was no deep space industry in Sactuary, but the population was even worse since they were only at Renaissance level of technology. Haven had to build everything from scratch, but they had an even poorer technology and education base.

Bolthole did and does have some advantages that Matapan wouldn't, though. First, when the Legislaturalists and CPS invested in it, fiscal sanity wasn't an issue. Second, the system has a total of 11 asteroid belts to use, if they want to. Most importantly, no one outside of Haven and Manticore governments knows where it is and it's not even easy to find if you fly close to it, given the dust in the Sanctuary system. Matapan's galactic coordinates are known, so someone could just lug it out and go there in hyper.

In summary, Matapan would have some benefits for locating a shipyard, but I think there are better possibilities for the alliance first. Off the top of my head, Beowulf and Torch, just because they are systems that will need heavy defending anyway, then Spindle. Though far more likely are just more shipyards in the Manticore Binary System.
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Re: Would Dispersing Shipyards Blunt or Stop a Second Oyster
Post by tlb   » Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:25 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:Matapan is indeed in the middle of nowhere, an undeveloped region, where logistical problems would surely arise. There's no planet near the terminus, so any decent system with an asteroid belt for resource extraction and a planet for R&R is at least a few light-years away. Building the shipyards would need to be done from scratch. Not to mention that building something out there would be a logistical nightmare: unless you start making entire ships from basic blocks to final fitting, you'd have to freight sub-assemblies through the wormhole.

That does not represent a logistics nightmare; just the standard cost of building a new shipyard. If you had to freight in sub-assemblies, in the initial phase, a wormhole is the best way to do it. Note that ships built in Bolthole still have to be transported to Beowulf for final fitting.

Obviously building a shipyard outside Manticore is not going to happen as of this point in the story for two reasons: they have a secure place in Bolthole and I believe that RFC has decreed that there would be no more dispersed shipyards for security reasons.
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Re: Would Dispersing Shipyards Blunt or Stop a Second Oyster
Post by Theemile   » Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:44 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
Theemile wrote:
There is no habitable planet in Matapan terminus system - all habitation in the cluster came through the wormhole, and Manticore would have scooped up an empty, habitable world for it's own, as it did Basilisk (even though it had aliens).

We know the mobile force is currently (or at the time of BoMA) is just a "cruiser level force", and is the center for the cruiser level force which patrols Matapan. As a WAG, since this is the space furthest from trouble, it would get the oldest stuff - maybe a div of Star Knights or Sag-As, and a dozen or so Apollo/Valiants/Chansons - now, maybe a couple Avalons. About 1/4-1/3rd the force in Matapan space at any time, the rest patrolling.

I'm saying this because the Lynx terminus, also a backwater at the time, had 3-4 CLs and DDs in system watching the forts being constructed and playing nursemaid for the Ffreighter traffic prior to the code Zulu about Monica. - And they just had the Lynx junction system to tend to. One would assume the Matapan command, being the central point of the command, would have slightly more mobile firepower available than Lynx... but not much more, especially since David said "cruiser level".

I would assume the terminus has some modern forts, as Manticore forted up all their termini after the 1st war started to free up mobile units. But I could be wrong.


Matapan is indeed in the middle of nowhere, an undeveloped region, where logistical problems would surely arise. There's no planet near the terminus, so any decent system with an asteroid belt for resource extraction and a planet for R&R is at least a few light-years away. Building the shipyards would need to be done from scratch. Not to mention that building something out there would be a logistical nightmare: unless you start making entire ships from basic blocks to final fitting, you'd have to freight sub-assemblies through the wormhole.

Here's the interesting thing: all of the above also describes Bolthole, but Bolthole was in many ways worse. The J-156-18(L)-Calvin WH connects to an uninhabited system and Sanctuary is a few light-years away, but J-156-18(L) is also in the middle of nowhere, unlike the MWHJ. There was no deep space industry in Sactuary, but the population was even worse since they were only at Renaissance level of technology. Haven had to build everything from scratch, but they had an even poorer technology and education base.

Bolthole did and does have some advantages that Matapan wouldn't, though. First, when the Legislaturalists and CPS invested in it, fiscal sanity wasn't an issue. Second, the system has a total of 11 asteroid belts to use, if they want to. Most importantly, no one outside of Haven and Manticore governments knows where it is and it's not even easy to find if you fly close to it, given the dust in the Sanctuary system. Matapan's galactic coordinates are known, so someone could just lug it out and go there in hyper.

In summary, Matapan would have some benefits for locating a shipyard, but I think there are better possibilities for the alliance first. Off the top of my head, Beowulf and Torch, just because they are systems that will need heavy defending anyway, then Spindle. Though far more likely are just more shipyards in the Manticore Binary System.


Personally, I DON'T think it should be a system with a shipyard, primarily because:
1) Nothing that can be done there cannot be done somewhere else, more economically.
2) While slightly hidden and physically separated from everyone else, it is not that well hidden (anyone watching wormhole traffic will see a massive jump in Matapan traffic) and the distance is not that great that it is immune from assault, making it another heavy defensive burden on the RMN.

That being said, if you were to look for a 2nd GA Bolthole location, it is the next best place WE know of. The reasons:
1) It is 1 wormhole jump from Manticore. As mentioned, Prefab structures, workforce, and supplies can be easily sourced and moved to and from Manticore.
2) It is 1 Wormhole jump from Manticore. Any mobile defenses can be easily reinforced (or can reinforce) the mobile forces in Manticore, allowing the defenses in both location to be slightly smaller than if we were discussing another location.
3) Low Wormhole/system traffic. Emerging systems don't require many freighters of supplies, and any freighters are probably MMM regulars on the run, so details can be controlled.
4) It has great physical distance from other powers. Making a hyper assault much more difficult, though not impossible.
5) Manpower for construction stations usually live in Habs located near the yards - so building Habs in the system because there is no planet is a neutral point, but it probably rises the costs of living (because everything needs shipped in). Also remember, the SLN's largest ship builder, TIY, is centered in Yildune, a system with no planets, but lots of asteroids.
******
RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
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