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Makeover for On Basilisk Station

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Makeover for On Basilisk Station
Post by Theemile   » Fri Mar 12, 2021 12:28 pm

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The WTSNBN is a central part of OBS, and the fact that the CL Fearless was the minimum sized hull and engine plant for the "weapon" to function is a big part of the book.

The original intent was a tactical shift away from TWTSNBN being considered a Capital ship "weapon" and to mount the weapon in a new class of CAs - one with sufficient weapons and defenses to fend for itself against other light and medium units AND carry TWTSNBN and enough ETs to deliver the Coup de Grace to the most heavily defended of ships. The CL Fearless was just an available ship that was at the end of it's life and could be sacrificed to be a testbed for the concept, and met the minimum requirements.

While the ancient Courageous class of light cruisers was slowly being put to bed, 2 other classes were being parsed as well; the small Nobelese class Destroyer, a design consort of the Courageous class (sharing many parts and weapon systems), and the even older Warrior class of Heavy Cruisers, the same class as the War Maiden which Honor served on for her Middy cruise.

What if a Warrior was available instead of a Courageous? The Warriors were small for CAs, only 227K Tons, and really designed for not the previous combat paradigm, but the one prior to that. Like the Courageous, the Warrior fitted Broadside Grasers. While it's armor was dated, and sidewall generators fewer than a new design, it was actually designed to get up close and personal with it's target, and had the energy weapons to make that fact known.

Warrior Stats
46 Built (Service 1794-1906)
Crew 800 (40 Officers, 360 Enlisted, 400 Marines
227,250 Ktons
471mx57mx48m
max accel 513 G
80% 410.4


Broadside
6 Mk 7 (old CA scale launchers)
6 Mk 9 120cm Grasers
2 Mod 5b CM launchers
6 Mk 16 PDLCs (6 emittor)

Fore/Aft
2 Mk 7 (old CA scale launchers)
1 Mk 9 120cm Grasers
2 Mod 5b CM launchers
2 Mk 16 PDLCs (6 emittor)

Magazines
320 Mk 13 Missiles, 800 mk21 CM (old design)

small craft
3 Pinnances, 2 Cutters

Courageous Stats (Pre-retrofit)
62 Built (Service 1820-1909)
Crew 385 (20 Officers, 180 Enlisted, 185 Marines
88,250 Ktons
389mx40mx31m
max accel 519.6 G
80% 415.7 G

Broadside
7 (old CL scale launchers)
2 80cm Grasers
2 Lasers
3 CM launchers
3 PDLCs

Fore/Aft
2 (old CL scale launchers)
1 Laser
2 CM launchers
2 PDLCs

Magazines
? Mk 50 Missiles (old design, warhead unable to combine laserhead and Burn/Boom warhead)
? mk21 CM (old design)

small craft
2 Pinnances, 3 Cutters

(Sorry for missing some detail, I found while preparing this that work cut off my access to Google drive, where my sources are stored)

So with all this, If Honor had been handed an old modified Warrior, how would OBS have been changed - assuming the main points still happened (Wargames, sent to Basilisk, left by Young with conflicting orders, working with the NPA/customs, Native uprising, Battle with Sirius.) Or would they have happened?
******
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: Makeover for On Basilisk Station
Post by Jonathan_S   » Fri Mar 12, 2021 4:07 pm

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Theemile wrote:(Sorry for missing some detail, I found while preparing this that work cut off my access to Google drive, where my sources are stored)

I pulled out my reference items (JoS, Jaynes, and SITS) and updated these based on what I've got. (Corrections/updates in green)


Warrior Stats
46 Built (Service 1794-1906)
Crew 800 (40 Officers, 360 Enlisted, 400 Marines
227,250 Ktons
474mx57mx48m
max accel 513 G
80% 410.4


Broadside
6 Mod 7a (old CA scale launchers)
6 Mk 9 120cm Grasers
2 CM-Mod 5b CM launchers
6 Mk 16(6) PDLCs (6 emittor)

Fore/Aft
2 Mk 7 (old CA scale launchers)
1 Mk 9 120cm Grasers
2 CM-Mod 5b CM launchers
2 Mk 16(6) PDLCs (6 emittor)

Magazines
320 Mk 13 Missiles, 800 mk21 CM (old design)
6 Decoys

small craft
3 Pinnances, 2 Cutters

Courageous Stats (Pre-retrofit)
62 Built (Service 1820-1909)
Crew 385 (20 Officers, 180 Enlisted, 185 Marines
88,250 Ktons
389mx40mx31m
max accel 519.6 G
80% 415.7 G

Broadside
7 Mod 4c(old CL scale launchers)
2 Mk11 42cm Grasers
2 Mk21 32cm Lasers
3 Mod 5 CM launchers
3 Mk14(2) PDLCs (2 emitter)

Fore/Aft
2 Mod 4c (old CL scale launchers)
1 Mk22 60cm Laser
2 Mod 5 CM launchers
2 Mk14(2) PDLCs (2 emitter)

Magazines
360 Mk 50 Missiles (old design, warhead unable to combine laserhead and Burn/Boom warhead)
430 mk21 CM (old design)
6 Mk4 Electronic Warfare Drones

small craft
2 Pinnances, 3 Cutters
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Re: Makeover for On Basilisk Station
Post by Theemile   » Fri Mar 12, 2021 4:25 pm

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Thanks for the update, Jonathan.

I guess we should clarify that we are discussing the 1905pd stats for the classes, which "should" also be what the average unit of said classes looked like in 1900pd for the occurrences which took place in OBS.


Jonathan_S wrote:

Warrior Stats
46 Built (Service 1794-1906)
Crew 800 (40 Officers, 360 Enlisted, 400 Marines
227,250 Ktons
474mx57mx48m
max accel 513 G
80% 410.4


Broadside
6 Mod 7a (old CA scale launchers)
6 Mk 9 120cm Grasers
2 CM-Mod 5b CM launchers
6 Mk 16(6) PDLCs (6 emittor)

Fore/Aft
2 Mk 7 (old CA scale launchers)
1 Mk 9 120cm Grasers
2 CM-Mod 5b CM launchers
2 Mk 16(6) PDLCs (6 emittor)

Magazines
320 Mk 13 Missiles, 800 mk21 CM (old design)
6 Decoys

small craft
3 Pinnances, 2 Cutters

Courageous Stats (Pre-retrofit)
62 Built (Service 1820-1909)
Crew 385 (20 Officers, 180 Enlisted, 185 Marines
88,250 Ktons
389mx40mx31m
max accel 519.6 G
80% 415.7 G

Broadside
7 Mod 4c(old CL scale launchers)
2 Mk11 42cm Grasers
2 Mk21 32cm Lasers
3 Mod 5 CM launchers
3 Mk14(2) PDLCs (2 emitter)

Fore/Aft
2 Mod 4c (old CL scale launchers)
1 Mk22 60cm Laser
2 Mod 5 CM launchers
2 Mk14(2) PDLCs (2 emitter)

Magazines
360 Mk 50 Missiles (old design, warhead unable to combine laserhead and Burn/Boom warhead)
430 mk21 CM (old design)
6 Mk4 Electronic Warfare Drones

small craft
2 Pinnances, 3 Cutters
******
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: Makeover for On Basilisk Station
Post by Jonathan_S   » Fri Mar 12, 2021 4:52 pm

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Any way, based on that. First, it's much less likely that Honor would be given an end of life CA as her 2nd hyper command, compared to an end of life CL - but let's assume the for whatever reason that she still was given command.

Second, I don't think OBS actually gives us the Mk of anti-ship missile Fearless was carrying; and even if it was still as Mk50 we don't know how much (if at all) the basic Mk50 has been upgraded in the roughly 80-odd years since the Courageous-class began entering service.

A Warrior-class would be marginally slower in chasing down Sirius; but only between 5.28-6.6 gees, so probably not enough so to really matter.

Before having to chase down Sirius the extra pinnace and extra Marines would have been quite useful for traffic control and reaction forces. That might well have changed Honor's plans for planetside intervention. Especially since, as a larger Marine unit, the CA's force probably has some extra weapons/vehicle squads attached that the CL's Marine's don't.


Then, with close to 20% more hull length to play with, not to mention all the extra volume, the yards probably could have left the CA with more broadside missile tubes after gutting her to install the GL and energy torps. So she can probably throw back a few more birds than Fearless could. And the Mk13 anti-ship missile she carries is shared with the Crusader, Prince Consort, and Star Knight classes of CA as well as the original Reliant class of BCs. So even though Warrior is about a quarter century older of a design than Courageous her missiles are likely updated to the cutting edge of RMN tech - far more so that the undersized, dead-end, design of the CL scale Mk50. So the missiles she throws back are likely a bit quicker, and due to both size and more recent updates, should have better sensors and superior ECM. And because they are larger her laserheads should carry both a larger warhead and probably an extra laserhead emitter or two. (OTOH since the Mk13 is a 'flex' missile where you use the same warhead for either laserhead or contact nuke engagement it might, despite its larger size, bit a bit weaker in contact nuke mode than a Mk50, simply because the smaller missile only has a dedicated warhead for that, and so can scale up the nuke a bit since no room is reserved for laserhead emitter assemblies). So, offensively, she's should be far more of a missile threat to Sirius than Fearless was; even if she'd been gutted to the exact same number of remaining tubes. Throw in another tube or 2 per broadside and Sirius might come off noticeably worse in the early missile engagement.

OTOH, while her sidewalls should be stronger, and she'll carry armor (even if outdated and not optimized for laserheads) which Fearless lacked, her anti-missile defenses again modern laserhead missiles are arguably weaker. Though in a pure chase scenario only her forward hammerhead defenses really seem to come into play - and there she's likely at least as capable as Fearless - each having 2 CM tubes and 2 PDLCs; but the CA's PDLCs having an extra 4 emitters each. So, while PDLCs, aren't ideal again laserheads, the CA should be able to fire more often which should lead to better results. And both ships seem to carry the same number of EW Drones/Decoys; the unknown is how modern each's would be. If the Warrior's decoys hadn't been modernized/replaced then she'd likely be at a non-trivial disadvantage compared to the younger Fearless.

If/when the fight gets to the point where the RMN ship exposes its broadside enough to bring those mounts into play then the missile defense turns against the CA somewhat. The smaller CL's extra CM launcher would, IMO, more than outweigh the extra 3 PDLCs of the CA (even allowing for their extra emitters per mount).

And on the gripping hand, while her reactors will be better protected (by the aforementioned armor) they'll also be buried deep in her hull behind that armor. So if a golden BB does cause a runaway reactor, like happened to Fearless, she'll have no ability to eject it. If the reactor safeties don't work in time that'll be the end of her...


Still, all told, and despite her age, a Warrior seems like a more dangerous threat in missile combat against Sirius that Fearless was.

And of course if Sirius still closes to energy range Warrior carries more and heavier energy mounts, and given her size, possible even more energy torps.
But, IMHO, if the fight to the the same place with the RMN ship apparently crippled Sirius would not turn back to try to end things quickly at energy range. Even a crippled CA is too tough, and has too nasty and energy weapon sting, to want to risk exposing a Q-ship to. I just can't see Sirius's captain charging back in, and then continuing to close as the RMN ship hid behind its wedge, until finally closing way, way, inside energy range where the GL can be used. I think against a Warrior if he decided to eliminate the witnesses he'd stand off outside energy range and take the time to pummel her to death with laserheads and contact nukes...

And, if the Warrior wasn't sufficiently dangerous to win the missile duel, the prudence inspired by her size and toughness would likely have led to a very early end to Honor's journey as her ship was torn to bits by an unending hail of missiles.
Last edited by Jonathan_S on Fri Mar 12, 2021 5:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Makeover for On Basilisk Station
Post by Jonathan_S   » Fri Mar 12, 2021 4:55 pm

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Theemile wrote:Thanks for the update, Jonathan.

I guess we should clarify that we are discussing the 1905pd stats for the classes, which "should" also be what the average unit of said classes looked like in 1900pd for the occurrences which took place in OBS.

You're welcome. And I agree that the relevant stats are what the ship would have on the day, and not what she was originally designed with over half a century before.

I at least alluded to some of that in my follow-up post.
It just took a while to organize and write up my thoughts after pulling the updated specs. :D
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Re: Makeover for On Basilisk Station
Post by Jonathan_S   » Fri Mar 12, 2021 6:00 pm

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Hmm, just had a follow-up thought.

The armor on a CA would make it a more annoying basis for modifying a ship as a proof of concept test bed. Not only does that make it less likely to get picked as the initial guinea pig, but also might been that because it is only supposed to be used for trials, they might not bother modifying the armor to fit the new broadside weapon layout. After all it's a quick and dirty conversion just to get some live experience on theoretical tactics and determination of feasibility.


So it might be possible that after they remove the original armor and swap out some broadside mounts for a massed battery of energy torpedoes that they simply close the ship up with hull material; leaving the area around the weapons unarmored... :shock:

(Now that wouldn't leave her any worse off than the already unarmored Fearless; but it'd negate some of the benefits I had been assuming the CA would have)
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Re: Makeover for On Basilisk Station
Post by Theemile   » Fri Mar 12, 2021 9:08 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:Hmm, just had a follow-up thought.

The armor on a CA would make it a more annoying basis for modifying a ship as a proof of concept test bed. Not only does that make it less likely to get picked as the initial guinea pig, but also might been that because it is only supposed to be used for trials, they might not bother modifying the armor to fit the new broadside weapon layout. After all it's a quick and dirty conversion just to get some live experience on theoretical tactics and determination of feasibility.


So it might be possible that after they remove the original armor and swap out some broadside mounts for a massed battery of energy torpedoes that they simply close the ship up with hull material; leaving the area around the weapons unarmored... :shock:

(Now that wouldn't leave her any worse off than the already unarmored Fearless; but it'd negate some of the benefits I had been assuming the CA would have)


As an aside, it should also be noted that any Peep warship commander should have a copy of Jayne's for warship identification, and know the "stock" specs on the Warrior class. those 120cm grasers are CA broadside class weapons (the 150cm graser was the spinal weapon in the standard RMN Homer Class BC). You are correct, the Q-ship commander should know that in an energy dual, those BC class broadsides should slice through the outer armor of his Q-ship easily. So you are probably correct: he would know that closing with the CA was ill advised and thus never venture into range of TWTSNBN.
******
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: Makeover for On Basilisk Station
Post by SharkHunter   » Mon Mar 15, 2021 11:05 pm

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I like the creativity in your post!! So I will pitch my thought hat in the ring, authorial plotting viewpoints, though of course I'm outside the Honorverse circle of publihe folks...

First, I think it makes more sense from a tactical viewpoint -- which might be why Hemphill didn't consider it. Bigger kudo(s) to her if her pet project had actually worked with Fearless.

Ship-wise, we could have a not-fully-updated Warrior class being available as a hurried-up test ship. Problem being that Honor might not have sufficient RMN rank to have been given command. Then again, being the first book in the series, rfc could have done a little handwavium with a bit of textev that Honor was the best qualified "sacrificial lamb" available, i.e. maybe Horrible Hemphill had an idea it wouldn't work but Janacek wasn't willing to lose a more crony-connected, slightly more senior officer.

Question then becomes, would Pavel Young's attempt to knife her in the career backside would have made sense... because if so, the rest of the story doesn't have to be that much difference except for battle damage sequences that would still lead Sirius to make that fatal last turn.

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: Makeover for On Basilisk Station
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Tue Mar 16, 2021 12:39 am

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SharkHunter wrote:Ship-wise, we could have a not-fully-updated Warrior class being available as a hurried-up test ship. Problem being that Honor might not have sufficient RMN rank to have been given command. Then again, being the first book in the series, rfc could have done a little handwavium with a bit of textev that Honor was the best qualified "sacrificial lamb" available, i.e. maybe Horrible Hemphill had an idea it wouldn't work but Janacek wasn't willing to lose a more crony-connected, slightly more senior officer.


I was thinking the same reading this thread and started writing that it wouldn't happen, but actually, jumping from a DD to a CA is possible. It takes extraordinary action in that DD, going above and beyond the call of duty. That was the case of McKeon, when he jumped from HMS Troubadour, a Chason-class DD to the Prince Consort-class HMS Prince Adrian, after the Second Battle of Yeltsin's Star. We know it didn't happen to Henke: she went from XO on a BC to CO on a CL (HMS Agni) for about 5 years before getting HMS Edward Saganami. But she's not a good example, despite actually being a very good officer: we do know that Henke purposefully held back her own career to avoid any perception of favouritism because of her relationship to the Queen, though.

Was Honor given a slot in the Crusher because of the Casimir Raid? It's not entirely clear if that was the her last action as skipper on HMS Hawkwing. Either way, given different story-telling, this could have been her last action and been heavily supported by the public and the Admiralty, thus allowing Honor to jump from DD to CA.

Otherwise, if Hemphill had chosen an ageing Warrior and we hadn't had Honor in command, it's likely that Parnell's plan to snatch Basilisk off Manticore and thus open the way to annexing Silesia would have worked. At that time, Basilisk Station was seen as punishment duty, so the Warrior sent to relieve HMS Warlock would have been lax in its duties. Then the entire timeline changes because the PRH has less pressure to start the war with Manticore. On the other hand, Manticore has more time to build SDs and put the fruits of Project Gram into practice.

Question then becomes, would Pavel Young's attempt to knife her in the career backside would have made sense... because if so, the rest of the story doesn't have to be that much difference except for battle damage sequences that would still lead Sirius to make that fatal last turn.


He'd have even more of a reason to both leave his post and attempt to knife her in the back. He'd justify it as not being derelict in his duty if he left a CA -- swapping CA for CA when he'd been "doing his job" should be fine for anyone. And he'd feel personally insulted (because it's Pavel Young) that Honor had jumped from DD to CA.
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Re: Makeover for On Basilisk Station
Post by kzt   » Tue Mar 16, 2021 2:19 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:Was Honor given a slot in the Crusher because of the Casimir Raid? It's not entirely clear if that was the her last action as skipper on HMS Hawkwing. Either way, given different story-telling, this could have been her last action and been heavily supported by the public and the Admiralty, thus allowing Honor to jump from DD to CA.

You are normally expected to take and pass the crusher before you get a hyper-capable command. If you are considered sufficiently competent that you get a hyper-capable command without it, then guess what you get to do before you get another?

So she was going to get assigned to attend the course unless they decided that she was unfit to have another command. At which point the Beowulf SDF would offer her a starship to command.
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