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Is the Detweiler Plan off the rails?

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Re: Is the Detweiler Plan off the rails?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:15 pm

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Loren Pechtel wrote:
There were deep raids before Apollo by both Manticore (using the new LAC's and podlayers in Operation Buttercup) and by Haven (the attack on Sidemore and before that Giscard in Silesia).


None were remotely as deep as the Apollo-era raids.
Pretty sure Giscard's raid on Sidemore was at least a couple times deeper than any of Honor's Apollo-era raids. Sidemore was on the far side of Silesia from Haven and was IIRC a couple months sailing time.

I don't think any of Honor's raids exceeded 3 weeks each way. (And while not 100% accurate a look at the honorverse maps seems to show that its close from Trevor's star to the far ends of Haven space than it is to Marsh from the nearest part of Haven's space. So that seems to reinforce the idea that the attempt to crush Honor in detail there was the longest raid of the entire 2nd war)

(Though I don't think the Buttercup attacks could fairly be counted as raids. White Haven's fleet detached enough forces to destroy all naval forces within all the systems he swept through; then hold them under Manticoran control. And he was hitting the major nodal positions and bases as he cut a path towards Haven - not just hit and run raiding against important but under-defended systems like Honor was doing)
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Re: Is the Detweiler Plan off the rails?
Post by kzt   » Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:50 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:
ThinksMarkedly wrote:The MAlign planners were probably aware that Manticore was not going to be a walk in the park; everyone else simply looked at a single star system and thought it could never resist a 300-star system entity.

And to be fair, if the Peeps had been willing to make a big roll of the dice at the beginning of the war - instead of letting the Alliance scare them off their normal tactic of overwhelming force hammering the enemy's home system - they almost certainly would have won.

Not sure 'almost certainly' is true, but it certainly had a higher chance than the insane 'strategy' they chose. They might well defeat the RMN, but there is no likely end-game that produces Haven holding Manticore in a long war of attrition. The Manties just end up allied to to Beowulf a few decades earlier, and at much less favorable terms.
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Re: Is the Detweiler Plan off the rails?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:26 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:If they'd crushed Manticore then then none of the other allies whether separately or together could make much of a nuisance of themselves - the Peeps could probably get at least ceasefires from them just for the asking. That'd leave the Peeps time to consolidate their gains, put down any revolts that kicked off while their navy was elsewhere, and fund additional rounds of BLS increases out of the Junction transit fees.


Whether or not that course of events would have worked out better for the MAlign is hard to say. Depends, I guess, on how quickly they'd stir up conflict between Haven and the League, as well as how much Mantie R&D Haven managed to get their hands on after the surrender.


The Junction alone might have funded the BLS for decades, reducing internal pressure. With the technology that they'd acquire from Manticore and without an internal or external pressure, they'd certainly modernise their fleet.

MAlign planners weren't aware of Project Gram and without it, the Detweiler Plan would have been completely on track: with their tentacles already in the PRH government, they could get them to fight the League and then get destroyed in the process.

With Project Gram, assuming Manticore didn't manage to delete the data and escape with it into exile, would have given Haven an edge. How much they'd have continued R&D after winning is unknown. Probably they wouldn't, since it was not in their plans to fight the League and by the time that began, it would be too late to restart.
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Re: Is the Detweiler Plan off the rails?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Wed Oct 06, 2021 3:13 pm

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(vague so as to not spoil the book; for context, please read it!)

To End in Fire, March 1923 PD, ch. I wrote:In point of fact, the Detweiler Plan had gone well and truly off the rails.
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Re: Is the Detweiler Plan off the rails?
Post by Brigade XO   » Sun Oct 10, 2021 6:29 pm

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We are given Gweon telling Kingsford that one of the SL agents at Beowulf delivering information about a GA system called Mycroft which is in the process of being installed at Beowulf and some of what it can do.
Clearly that info would more likely come (given what we know as readers) to him via Darius and the agent would be a lower level mole of the alignment. Quite possibly a person who thought he might have been working for the SL but was yet another of the deluded people the Alignment have suborned. I don't discount this was possibly yet another deep plant of an actual Alignment agent-they hate Beowulf and surely the best way to keep up a stream of relatively low levels but valuable information is to move such people into positions just key enough to get hold of information to be passed on.
Gweon certainly isn't going to expose himself as an enemy agent but he also doesn't have to identify an information conduit (either the source or how the information reached him) and since nobody (not deep involved with the Alignment) had any clue about Streak Drive, that Gweon's source is shielded since it MAY have entered though some part of the SL MI that does have people working at Beowulf using one of many information links with cut-outs and have no idea that it really came the long way around via Darius. It had to come via Darius as the Alignment was coming up with Silver Bullet in real-time. It also adds a level of urgency to the attack on Beowulf for the SLN as well as ultimately building Gweon's value when he is proved correct and delivered good analysis.

We have no idea if the agent who passed the info survives either the Hasta part of the strike or the any one of the three bombs the Alignment planted (again using a patsy to do the detonation by sending the triggering codes). That's another thing they seem to do a lot of.




Mycroft is Alliance tech, developed at Bolthole. It's possible the MAlign made a very educated guess when Gweon informed Kingsford of it coming online at Beowulf,
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Re: Is the Detweiler Plan off the rails?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Mon Oct 11, 2021 12:46 am

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Brigade XO wrote:Mycroft is Alliance tech, developed at Bolthole. It's possible the MAlign made a very educated guess when Gweon informed Kingsford of it coming online at Beowulf,


This was one of the unexplained and more worrisome parts of the Alignment's penetration. The Alliance is pretty sure the high-level echelons are clear of Aligmment agents, thanks to the help of treecats, but that still leaves low-level agents, non-Alignment spies that may inadvertently tip off the Alignment, as well as people in Beowulf who may have found out the codename.

But it looks like it was the Alignment's deduction of what it did. Unlike all other Manticoran codenames, this one actually meant something, because Mycroft Holmes is the brother of Sherlock Holmes, the antagonist of Moriarty. If we suppose that the Alignment was aware of Moriarty and its purpose from earlier penetration, deducing what Mycroft is based on the codename and the fact that the RMN had FTL missiles.
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Re: Is the Detweiler Plan off the rails?
Post by tlb   » Wed Oct 13, 2021 8:56 am

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Brigade XO wrote:Mycroft is Alliance tech, developed at Bolthole. It's possible the MAlign made a very educated guess when Gweon informed Kingsford of it coming online at Beowulf,

ThinksMarkedly wrote:This was one of the unexplained and more worrisome parts of the Alignment's penetration. The Alliance is pretty sure the high-level echelons are clear of Aligmment agents, thanks to the help of treecats, but that still leaves low-level agents, non-Alignment spies that may inadvertently tip off the Alignment, as well as people in Beowulf who may have found out the codename.

But it looks like it was the Alignment's deduction of what it did. Unlike all other Manticoran codenames, this one actually meant something, because Mycroft Holmes is the brother of Sherlock Holmes, the antagonist of Moriarty. If we suppose that the Alignment was aware of Moriarty and its purpose from earlier penetration, deducing what Mycroft is based on the codename and the fact that the RMN had FTL missiles.

We absolutely KNOW that the Malign knows about both Moriarty AND Mycroft, because of the scene in UH were the Detweiler brothers are talking about them. They also know about Mistletoe, because it suggests a way to attack the platforms. So the Malign knows enough about Mycroft to design, build and deploy the Silver Bullets prior to the attack by the Solarion Navy on Beowulf and those Silver Bullets did successfully locate and destroy the Mycroft platforms, with the destruction triggered by the attack.

I believe that the development of Mycroft was prior to the Grand Alliance: it is my recollection that the inception of the plan was the encounter with the less capable Moriarty. So the knowledge by the Malign might not say anything about intelligence penetration of Bolthole; rather the penetration could have occurred at the factory level in Beowulf.
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Re: Is the Detweiler Plan off the rails?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Wed Oct 13, 2021 11:53 am

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tlb wrote:We absolutely KNOW that the Malign knows about both Moriarty AND Mycroft, because of the scene in UH were the Detweiler brothers are talking about them. They also know about Mistletoe, because it suggests a way to attack the platforms. So the Malign knows enough about Mycroft to design, build and deploy the Silver Bullets prior to the attack by the Solarion Navy on Beowulf and those Silver Bullets did successfully locate and destroy the Mycroft platforms, with the destruction triggered by the attack.


The question was whether they had got detailed plans or if they deduced what Mycroft was. The more they actually knew, the more worrisome this is.

Mistletoe I don't remember. I'd have to reread the passage you're talking about. I do remember the narrator comparing Mistletoe to Silver Bullet, but the narrator is omniscient and knows things the characters don't. In any case, Mistletoe predates the Grand Alliance and therefore treecats' help in flushing spies.

I believe that the development of Mycroft was prior to the Grand Alliance: it is my recollection that the inception of the plan was the encounter with the less capable Moriarty. So the knowledge by the Malign might not say anything about intelligence penetration of Bolthole; rather the penetration could have occurred at the factory level in Beowulf.


You're probably right there too. If it's a logical conclusion for the MAlign to deduce based on the existence of FTL missile comms and of Moriarty, then it's a logical thing for the RMN to have started it when they ran into Moriarty and thought about how they could do better. A very Hemphill thing to do.
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Re: Is the Detweiler Plan off the rails?
Post by tlb   » Wed Oct 13, 2021 12:54 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:The question was whether they had got detailed plans or if they deduced what Mycroft was. The more they actually knew, the more worrisome this is.

Mistletoe I don't remember. I'd have to reread the passage you're talking about. I do remember the narrator comparing Mistletoe to Silver Bullet, but the narrator is omniscient and knows things the characters don't. In any case, Mistletoe predates the Grand Alliance and therefore treecats' help in flushing spies.

Mistletoe was the simple expedient of attaching a warhead to a spy drone. It was used to destroy the Moriarty platforms and prepositioned pods.

The Malign made the Silver Bullets, a modification of the grasers that were used in the Yawata Strike to increase endurance and ability, to seek out and at the right time destroy the Mycroft platforms. This is a simple extension of what Mistletoe did.
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Re: Is the Detweiler Plan off the rails?
Post by Brigade XO   » Wed Oct 13, 2021 5:22 pm

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At this point the Alignment still does not have FTL communication but clearly have figured out that all that gravimetric activity between GA ships and GA weapons is communication- and also clearly able to transfer a lot of sensor and tactical data.
So they built sensors that were optimized to look for those (and not pay attention to things like maneuvering impellers etc) to find the communication nodes that would be collecting the sensor data from the newest defensive net and be the transmission vectors for using all the pods that Beowulf and the GA were emplacing in the system.

I have to wonder if the Alignment had a default plan in the event that they were not going to be able to find the Mycroft nodes by tracing the focal and or distribution point of all that gravimetric activity, particularly when much of it- the part they really would need-- might be little more than the Mycroft units getting little more than "i'm here" ping confirmations from pods or to & from the main defense net. Might they have already been fed targeting solutions for various military and communications along with any manufacturing or habitats that would have been within their graser range from their predetermined loiter points?
These are use-it or loose-it weapons and just having them sort of slink away before self-destructing doesn't seem to be something that the Alignment would be interested in doing. Particularly when it is possible that a majority of the Silver Bullets might have been in range of something Beowulfian that could be ravaged if not entirely destroyed. Long range grazer fire from out of the dark, wreaking havoc and probably with not readily discernable pattern (these thing were looking for something else and deployed accordingly) and to essentially just slash & burn though all sorts of orbital locations and gear would also play into the Buccaneer scenario they have maneuvered the SL into.
The trigger to switch fire on secondary targets --if the primary target criteria was not yet met--would be the same instruction that initiated the habitat bomb sequence. That also has the effect of throwing at least suspicion on the SL being involved in some way for the attacks of Oyster Bay since it would eventually draw comparisons to the graser weapons that hit the Manticore orbital stations and out at Black Bird.
The Alignment philosophy? Create havoc, misdirect blame, hurt you enemy at basic levels like killing civilians for the hell of it because "collateral damage" often isn't unintentional.
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