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SPOILERS: To End In Fire eARC discussion

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Re: SPOILERS: To End In Fire eARC discussion
Post by Loren Pechtel   » Thu Oct 14, 2021 4:03 pm

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Theemile wrote:Who said they have to run to the closest hyper limit - they could have run out to the far side of the system.

I'm not saying it's good tactics, I just saying it's tactics. Honor played the distant siege because it played into her hand - Galton didn't play the mobile card, so Honor didn't need to.


So? As soon as they are out of defense range of the fortresses they're dead anyway. While missiles normally run straight that is not essential, they are guided and can be commanded to do whatever is wanted.

Thus you fire somewhat off axis, burn two stages and go ballistic. The third stage is used to bring them onto the targets without ever passing through the defense range of the fortresses. And while they could hide behind a fortress while heading for the limit all Honor has to do is have some ships microjump sufficiently far to the side to have a clear view.

Sure, Apollo will be a bit degraded by the range but it's still deadly.
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Re: SPOILERS: To End In Fire eARC discussion
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Thu Oct 14, 2021 5:50 pm

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Loren Pechtel wrote:3) Basic security--if they're going to bother with treecat screening that should be a standard question.


Is that like "cops can't lie to you if you ask them if they're a cop?"

Anyway, Audrey could easily say she was part of the Alignment... the one that they found on Mesa and is now called the Enlightenment. She did say at the end of the book she tought Leonard Detweiler's vision was very good, after all. And they'd known already at this time that the Alignment was using the Enlightenment, so Audrey having been used would not necessarily disqualify her.

In any case, she has very good sources because she's a good journalist. She wouldn't have consented to revealing them to anyone: treecats, GA government or SL government. She would have to hide quite a few things even legitimately.
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Re: SPOILERS: To End In Fire eARC discussion
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Thu Oct 14, 2021 5:52 pm

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Loren Pechtel wrote:Thus you fire somewhat off axis, burn two stages and go ballistic. The third stage is used to bring them onto the targets without ever passing through the defense range of the fortresses. And while they could hide behind a fortress while heading for the limit all Honor has to do is have some ships microjump sufficiently far to the side to have a clear view.

Sure, Apollo will be a bit degraded by the range but it's still deadly.


The fortresses couldn't cover but a minimal slice of the volume those ships would need to cross to get to the hyperlimit. They were spared because they were inconsequential: they weren't a threat and didn't make a move to become a thread. Had they gotten underway, they'd have become more targets.

Considering the Alamo Contingency was supposed to get everyone dead, I wonder why Adebayo didn't get them moving.
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Re: SPOILERS: To End In Fire eARC discussion
Post by Fireflair   » Thu Oct 14, 2021 11:56 pm

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Having completed my read through of the book, I feel I can chime into things now.

First impression: It felt more like an epilogue than a book. We jumped around from character to character, catching up on what everyone was up to for a while. There was some forward motion as the ducks were lined up, then the conclusion quite rapidly at the end. A conclusion which didn't ultimately solve anything and pretty much put things only a few steps ahead. To wit: everyone 'knows' the Malign Alignment is real not made up by the Grand Alliance. Everyone thinks the Malign Alignment is dealt with, even though it's really not.

Follow up thoughts were that the Malign Alignment will be betrayed by internal members in the next book. And that once again the blurbs on the cover/dust jacket really aren't very accurate at all!

Ultimately I think that the Malignment is simply going to go dormant, follow through with the plan about the Renaissance Factor and continue to do it's business while it tries to get back into the position it was in before the Grand Alliance broke into things.
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Re: SPOILERS: To End In Fire eARC discussion
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Fri Oct 15, 2021 9:12 pm

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Fireflair wrote:Follow up thoughts were that the Malign Alignment will be betrayed by internal members in the next book. And that once again the blurbs on the cover/dust jacket really aren't very accurate at all!


Here's an interesting thought: what if those were written before David decided to insert the idea of Galton, which is the chapter in the very beginning and the last quarter of the book? If you exclude Galton, there's a lot of work for the GA to cooperate with the SLN and avoid the revanchism.

Ultimately I think that the Malignment is simply going to go dormant, follow through with the plan about the Renaissance Factor and continue to do it's business while it tries to get back into the position it was in before the Grand Alliance broke into things.


I don't see how. I mean, the part about the RF. That is now simply OOBE. There's no chaos and destruction of civilisation for the reconstruction to solidify around the RF. The hidden objective of the RF was also to introduce genetic uplift... which is now likely to happen in the open with Beowulf's help. But since that won't happen under the Alignment and especially the Detweiler's control, I'd say neither objective is now achievable.

If you ignore the control aspect, they'd actually win.
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Re: SPOILERS: To End In Fire eARC discussion
Post by Fireflair   » Sat Oct 16, 2021 6:31 am

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You might be right about when the blurbs were created. I don't know how the time line for the cover statements were created vice what MWW was writing coincide. It just reminded me very strongly of previous books which promised one sort of core material in the book but gave us something else.

On the RF front, my feel for matters was mostly based around conversations on Earth when the admiral was looking at the different polities that had formed and from snatches of conversation that briefly mentioned the RF.

True, the RF is not getting to grab up as many star systems as they'd hoped for. Nor is it's military going to matter for the immediate future all that much. But what it is going to do is build a new stable polity in the area which the Malign Alignment can use. They can funnel in research and development, build industrial strength and covertly continue their genetic uplift ideals until they're ready to go public in the RF polity with the suggestion of allowing more lenient genetic tinkering.

The discussions in the book about the Beowulf code being a bit antiquated and all the other discussion surrounding the genetic uplift idea was one of the few things which seemed relevant and newish to the series. I know they've been mentioned before but it got a lot more time on page in this book.

Though, as you mention, the genetic uplift which may be embraced by areas outside of the Malign Alignment influence is not going to have the Detwieler control aspect. Meanwhile inside that sphere of influence, it is sure to have it.
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Re: SPOILERS: To End In Fire eARC discussion
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Sat Oct 16, 2021 12:58 pm

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Fireflair wrote:Though, as you mention, the genetic uplift which may be embraced by areas outside of the Malign Alignment influence is not going to have the Detwieler control aspect. Meanwhile inside that sphere of influence, it is sure to have it.


The problem is I don't think that's enough. First, there is no chaos elsewhere for these activities to go unnoticed (lost in the noise) and then just suddenly the Galaxy notice it is de facto and too late to change. Second, since there will be similar activities going elsewhere and possibly in larger scale, the Detweilers and LRPB won't be able to control its direction. Third and worse, as a consequence of the first two, researchers elsewhere would notice if the RF starts producing genetic changes that don't have a firm track record or are far more risky or are forced upon people. So not only won't they be able to control the direction of the genetic uplifts elsewhere, it'll be hard to control it where they have influence too.
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Re: SPOILERS: To End In Fire eARC discussion
Post by Loren Pechtel   » Sat Oct 16, 2021 6:34 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
Loren Pechtel wrote:3) Basic security--if they're going to bother with treecat screening that should be a standard question.


Is that like "cops can't lie to you if you ask them if they're a cop?"

Anyway, Audrey could easily say she was part of the Alignment... the one that they found on Mesa and is now called the Enlightenment. She did say at the end of the book she tought Leonard Detweiler's vision was very good, after all. And they'd known already at this time that the Alignment was using the Enlightenment, so Audrey having been used would not necessarily disqualify her.

In any case, she has very good sources because she's a good journalist. She wouldn't have consented to revealing them to anyone: treecats, GA government or SL government. She would have to hide quite a few things even legitimately.


Honor will actually know if someone is lying and she's bright enough to ask the questions that would reveal Audrey isn't Enlightenment.
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Re: SPOILERS: To End In Fire eARC discussion
Post by Loren Pechtel   » Sat Oct 16, 2021 6:35 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
Loren Pechtel wrote:Thus you fire somewhat off axis, burn two stages and go ballistic. The third stage is used to bring them onto the targets without ever passing through the defense range of the fortresses. And while they could hide behind a fortress while heading for the limit all Honor has to do is have some ships microjump sufficiently far to the side to have a clear view.

Sure, Apollo will be a bit degraded by the range but it's still deadly.


The fortresses couldn't cover but a minimal slice of the volume those ships would need to cross to get to the hyperlimit. They were spared because they were inconsequential: they weren't a threat and didn't make a move to become a thread. Had they gotten underway, they'd have become more targets.

Considering the Alamo Contingency was supposed to get everyone dead, I wonder why Adebayo didn't get them moving.


I was talking about if they ran for the hyper limit--they can be picked off without sending a fleet around to do so. I do agree that so long as they simply sit there they aren't an issue and there's no reason to engage.
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Re: SPOILERS: To End In Fire eARC discussion
Post by Jonathan_S   » Mon Nov 01, 2021 10:17 pm

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Robert_A_Woodward wrote:I have not read the eARC, I have read the 1st half of the Webscription. When Galton was introduced in the March 1923 PD chapter, it was stated it will be, in case of emergency, sacrificed to hide Darius. The problem is that the version of Oyster Bay that Galton supposedly mounted is obviously inconsistent with Manticore knowledge of it, see chapter 30 in _Mission of Honor_. The Galton plan should have had highly stealthed drones with grasers instead of the MDMs with graser heads that were in it.

Finally reading this thread and chiming in, as I got the book from the library a couple days ago and just finished it.

I agree that Galton should have had recon drones equipped with graser heads. (Even if they were just their Beta drones; with very stealthy impeller drives). Not only because of the endurance issue you mentioned for Galton having pulled off Oyster Bay, but also we're explicitly told that to scale them down into Cataphract Galton's designers had to reduce the power of the graser.

I expect that when the analysists back at the various navies' Admiralties or R&D divisions start comparing the data from the fighting at Galton with the sensor readings Manticore got from Oyster Bay that they'll pretty quickly spot that reduced power level, and resulting lower than expected damage.

Which is going to further get them wondering why the heavier and presumably greater endurance graser weapons used at Oyster Bay weren't used at Galton. (Though since Galton did the warhead modification work, I guess they will find evidence that Galton at least had such warheads -- even if it didn't use them in its own defense)

But of course, as others pointed out months ago, even that wouldn't have been good enough because Simões already told Manticore about the spider drive and the Malign is aware of both of those facts. The GA may not know exactly how it works; but they know enough to be massively suspicious of the utter absence of anything like the Spider Drive on any weapons or ships, or lack of any design or research information about it, at Galton.



There were a few other things that jumped out at me. I didn't like the scene where the name Bolthole was almost shared with the Ghost Hunters. First it was pretty damned sloppy to start to use that name outside of the most cleared circles; but second because they compounded the error by needlessly giving away that the alliance R&D was collocated with an major industrial base/shipyard in a secret system (by saying that the hypothesized secret system with the MAlign/Other Guy's industrial base and shipyard was their counterpart to the partly named location, "Bo-", where alliance R&D was located) If they'd kept that to themselves all the Ghost Hunters (and hence the League) would know is the GA has an big R&D center that someone started referring to as "Bo-".

If you want to make the point, to any reader who might have missed the blindingly obvious, about El Dorado/Galton being the MAlign's version of Bolthole then have that be a separate conversation only among GA folks cleared for Bolthole. (Though honestly I can't believe that they're still using such a self-descriptive term as the general name for that system; shouldn't it have long ago been replaced by a random meaningless name?)



And finally I was bothered by the short system sensor detection range that was used as the basis for the high speed scouting run. Honor says that the Manticoran system sensors can pick up a hyper transit at 2.5 lightweeks and so the scouts trying to confirm El Dorado (Galton) will aim to drop out at 3 lightweeks.
But multiple previous books (SftS, MoH, and SoV) show that the Manticoran system can detect even sneaky low energy transits at light months! And in fact the Sharks sneaking in for Oyster Bay were detected at one light-month, and the DesDiv 265.2 “the Silver Cepheids" showed up and closely searched that area a light-month from Manticore. (It's just that the spider drive let them clear the area without being tracked; whereas it's implied that a wedge, presumably even a low power stealthed one, would have been seen or tracked)

And all it would have taken to fix this is to extend the internal timeline of the book. Rather than planning to hit El Dorado within a few months, stretch it out to, say, a year. That doesn't have to make the book any longer, just change some dates to allow more time for the survey to drop out further away and a longer wait for the Ghost Riders to make their closer pass.
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