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To End in Fire

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Re: To End in Fire
Post by Theemile   » Tue Apr 20, 2021 2:06 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
jtg452 wrote:Remember, even much diminished, the League is still a whole lot of industrial power with a huge population. Even if it ends up only 1/4 it's original size, that's a whole lot of folks, a whole lot of research power and a whole lot of industrial capacity. Don't think for a moment that Kingsford is going to be satisfied with being a 3rd rate navy behind the likes of Grayson, or the Andies.


He won't, but that's a multi-decade build programme. Building a cheap SD(P) isn't very difficult: just make a hollow core, add a reinforced door to one end, and a rail system to dump pods. A prototype can be constructed in 3 years from the moment they got their minds on the fact it was possible (which is probably some time during the war, in 1922). It won't be a good design and may be little more survivable in an exchange than Wayfarer was.

A proper pod-layer will take more R&D. So I'd say this non-half-assed, proper first-gen SD(P) comes out at T+6 years. But since they won't have yet the full design of the Grayson-style compensators, they'll be topping at 7.5 million tonnes (the Medusas were 8.5). The SLN will then order 100 of those which they can use to find out how to really operate an SD(P), while working on a second-gen SD(P) to begin to stand toe-to-toe to a Sovereign of Space or Adler-class SD(P), possibly superior to a Medusa. Those come at T+10 years, with an order of 500 in 4 years, perhaps massing 8 or 8.25 million tonnes (SoS is 8.75).

That would the SLN at 600 SD(P)s in T+14 years, which is 1936. With 600 SD(P)s, they'd be bigger (in quantity, not quality) than any of the individual navies in the Alliance/Union, except the RHN. They'd still be a far second to the Union as a whole, though.

The biggest problem they'll have is the actual missile. There are two big development problems for the SLN: the gravitic/quantum baffle and the power source. The latter may come out in civilian forms soon enough that SL R&D can extrapolate to military purposes given enough time, but the former will not. Until that happens, they'll be firing huge missiles, which will limit how many an individual SD(P) can fire. That means a GA/Union SD(P) will be a match for 2 or 3 SLN SD(P). Add to that Keyhole II and Apollo Control Missiles and the SLN will have a steep hill to climb.

In the end, I'd say the GA/Union manages to maintain a 3:1 quality differential for the foreseeable future, which means the SLN needs to get to 3500 second-gen SD(P)s in the active fleet before it can say it's no longer "second fiddle". If they keep the pace of 125/year on average after year 10, they'll reach that level on year 34 (1956 PD). At best, they increase the pace to 1000 ships every 3 years after the first 500, so they could get to the 3500 on T+23 years.


My old signature was a quote from David saying that the time from "Hey what's that" to "I Christen thee First Podnaught" for the SLN would be at least 6 years.

Yeah, as you said you can do a freighter with pod rails in a few months, but a proper podnaught requires a complete rethink on how you build the structure and armor a warship, and what you place where. It also requires automation technologies and a boost of firecontrol links.

The Largest SDs prior to the Advanced comp was the Gryphon, weighting in at 8.339 Mtons. The current RMN accel advantage is just shy of 50%, so it makes no sense to be concerned about falling any further on the accel curve when building an SD. So it wouldn't make sense to build them any smaller than 8.339 from an accel standpoint.
******
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: To End in Fire
Post by Theemile   » Tue Apr 20, 2021 2:18 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
cthia wrote:To Kingsford they are all neobarbs, including the RHN. Anyway, even if the SL shed 3/4 of itself, how many of those seceded members had any direct bearing on their industrial capacity. I'd wager the SL's industrial might wasn't affected at all. And, they could afford to lose more than half of their huge coffers. It had been wasted and stolen for decades anyway.


If the distribution of seceding members is equal to the average, then 3/4 of the industrial capacity.

The problem for the League is that the seceding systems will not be average because the Foreign Office wasn't stupid, the SLN was, and the systems most likely to have independent thinking are the older, Core systems. We've only heard of one member system being targeted by Operation Buccaneer (Hypatia), but who's to say there weren't others after Hypatia and before the Battle of Sol? (We know who exactly is to say)

It only takes a handful of Core systems seceding to lose a significant percentage of the industrial might. For example, the League had something around 2000 member systems, but I don't think any one doubts that Beowulf was way more than 1/2000th of the industrial output. I wouldn't be surprised if it reached double-digit percentage!


Another point is even though most core systems have high industrial output, very little of that - currently - is aimed at military production. Fewer than 20 systems can produce BCs or larger ships currently, and we don't know how well they are integrated - they might be able to build all the parts at one planet, or they might be reliant on Hope's Hyper of Hyperion for their Hyperdrives.

Point being, if the league splits, all that industrial might will take some time to shift to a war footing, and even longer to make finished, advanced, integrated systems. Even system with current production might have to curb production while they patch holes in their supply chain and rebuild capabilities previously filled by entities they can no longer use.
******
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: To End in Fire
Post by Joat42   » Tue Apr 20, 2021 4:38 pm

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cthia wrote:And, you still haven't come to terms with karma. Not "should" be punished for saying no in the middle of a war, "will" be punished.

Because... of karma.

So, saying no to save lives is bad karma. Got it, all the while the Solarian league was lying, raping, pillaging and killing, that's good karma then. Seems you have totally flipped the meaning of karma.

---
Jack of all trades and destructive tinkerer.


Anyone who have simple solutions for complex problems is a fool.
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Re: To End in Fire
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Tue Apr 20, 2021 8:30 pm

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jtg452 wrote:He's undoubtedly still got his share of Solly arrogance- but it's tempered by the knowledge that they aren't the 800 pound gorilla they thought they were.


Well, they're still an 800-pound gorilla, though it's going on a diet now.

The problem is that they're realising they were the gorilla in a pink tutu. Incidentally, the title of a really interesting short story by Adam-Troy Castro, on Analog.
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Re: To End in Fire
Post by cthia   » Tue Apr 20, 2021 8:35 pm

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Joat42 wrote:
cthia wrote:And, you still haven't come to terms with karma. Not "should" be punished for saying no in the middle of a war, "will" be punished.

Because... of karma.

So, saying no to save lives is bad karma. Got it, all the while the Solarian league was lying, raping, pillaging and killing, that's good karma then. Seems you have totally flipped the meaning of karma.


Don't try this at home. You can take my word for it ...

If you are driving a sedan, and you try to pit maneuver an 18-wheeler, in the middle of an intersection, to boot.

You are going to summon a whole lot of bad karma.




Can we keep it in the lane.



.
Last edited by cthia on Tue Apr 20, 2021 9:01 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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: To End in Fire
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Tue Apr 20, 2021 8:41 pm

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Theemile wrote:My old signature was a quote from David saying that the time from "Hey what's that" to "I Christen thee First Podnaught" for the SLN would be at least 6 years.

Yeah, as you said you can do a freighter with pod rails in a few months, but a proper podnaught requires a complete rethink on how you build the structure and armor a warship, and what you place where. It also requires automation technologies and a boost of firecontrol links.


Indeed. I remember your old signature from reading older posts (you'd already changed when I joined the forum), though hadn't come to the forefront of my mind when I made the calculations. I might have been influenced subconsciously by it, though.

I wasn't specifically thinking of what those challenges would be, but I'm sure you're right and at the same time missing a lot more. So yeah, 6 years is a reasonable time frame assuming they really do put the effort into it. And I think they will.

The difficulty I still predict will be the missiles. We may yet see the first-gen SLN SD(P)s firing dual-drive Cataphract-Plus and thus still completely outranged by a mere Nike BC(L) or Agammemnon BC(P) (I'm giving them equal range to GA DDMs).

The Largest SDs prior to the Advanced comp was the Gryphon, weighting in at 8.339 Mtons. The current RMN accel advantage is just shy of 50%, so it makes no sense to be concerned about falling any further on the accel curve when building an SD. So it wouldn't make sense to build them any smaller than 8.339 from an accel standpoint.


Right, on the accel standpoint. But that's still nearly 25% increase in volume/mass, so there may be other challenges involved, even assuming they do get pre-Grayson compensator quality that the Gryphon had. Though I also predict that civilian export models of the new compensators will exist (think yachts and dispatch boats), so those will be reverse-engineered in short order.
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Re: To End in Fire
Post by jtg452   » Wed Apr 21, 2021 9:56 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote: Though I also predict that civilian export models of the new compensators will exist (think yachts and dispatch boats), so those will be reverse-engineered in short order.

If you remember correctly, Manty tech to study and reverse engineer was onee of the biggest carrots that the MA waved under the nose of Technodyne to get them involved in the Monica incident.

On of the most noticeable things about the whole Solarian War plot line was that the GA never really lost and the Sollies never got a chance to get any of their tech to study and reverse engineer like the Havenites have been doing for decades. I never found that really plausible.

No ships were lost in systems that the Sollies maintained control of after the battle so there couldn't be any forensic analysis by the tech geeks.

Even where the Sollies gained a tactical victory and destroyed all but one of the Manty ships, it was a strategic defeat since their taskforce withdrew when that sole survivor started sniping at long range.

I never found that plausible.

For all the advantages the GA had, Demon Murphy still exists and he's at his most influential when combat starts. Some place along the line, some poor commander- who is a pro because there's very few of the half-steeping type CO's alive and in command in any of the GA navies after the Havenite Wars- is going to end up getting it in the neck because bad things happen to good people.

You know, like hyper in right on top of a SD or two like Rob S Pierre's son did or miss the signs of a well designed ambush by overwhelming forces.

The point is, everybody loses and the Sollies should have gotten the better of at least somebody- and gotten to hold the field afterwards to vacuum the debris for all things useful.

RFC stressed repeatedly that the Sollies are arrogant, not stupid or incompetent, and have vastly bigger resources- and a tech base equal to or superior to the Manties. Even unassisted, the original League could have caught up in a matter of a decade or two by the wasteful 'shotgun approach'- having multiple, unassociated research teams working on the same project at the same time.

As for arriving at the strength and numbers they would need, how many ship yards are there in the League and what happens if every one of them builds 1 warship of a size that matches their capabilities (not one per slip, justone per yard)? Now, how fast can they turn out that 1 ship? That kind of dispersal gives a type of defensive depth because you can't hit them all. Let Technodyne and it's rivals concentrate on the Wall and let all the other small fry turn out 1 ship based on their capabilities.

So it takes 3 years to build an SD, how many DD's and CA's can be turned out during that 3 year period if there's a dozen yards building them one at a time during the same period? EVERYBODY has always harped on the lack of smaller hulls for escorts, scouting, commerce raiding, etc...
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Re: To End in Fire
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Wed Apr 21, 2021 9:56 pm

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jtg452 wrote:For all the advantages the GA had, Demon Murphy still exists and he's at his most influential when combat starts. Some place along the line, some poor commander- who is a pro because there's very few of the half-steeping type CO's alive and in command in any of the GA navies after the Havenite Wars- is going to end up getting it in the neck because bad things happen to good people.

You know, like hyper in right on top of a SD or two like Rob S Pierre's son did or miss the signs of a well designed ambush by overwhelming forces.


You're completely right that this may have happened "off-camera" and you may still be proven right. RFC is known for having scenes "off-camera" that are important, like the retaking of Trevor's Star, but he's also dedicated pages to failures, like HMS Star Knight against four battlecruisers. So we can't really tell.

That said, even if you're right, there has simply been no time. As you said (emphasis mine):

RFC stressed repeatedly that the Sollies are arrogant, not stupid or incompetent, and have vastly bigger resources- and a tech base equal to or superior to the Manties. Even unassisted, the original League could have caught up in a matter of a decade or two by the wasteful 'shotgun approach'- having multiple, unassociated research teams working on the same project at the same time.


The war ended before they could put many new ideas into production, let alone reverse-engineered ones.

I mentioned previously in another thread that I was starting to get anxious during the latter phases of the war, with the Hasta showing that the League could innovate and it could be effective, plus the possibility that the Mandarins would get their wish and impose a direct form of taxation that would allow them to fund the war more properly. If the war had been allowed to continue for another year, we'd see the GA's advantages begin to shrink and the SLN begin to have some victories not out of accidents or Murphy's design.

As for arriving at the strength and numbers they would need, how many ship yards are there in the League and what happens if every one of them builds 1 warship of a size that matches their capabilities (not one per slip, justone per yard)? Now, how fast can they turn out that 1 ship? That kind of dispersal gives a type of defensive depth because you can't hit them all. Let Technodyne and it's rivals concentrate on the Wall and let all the other small fry turn out 1 ship based on their capabilities.

So it takes 3 years to build an SD, how many DD's and CA's can be turned out during that 3 year period if there's a dozen yards building them one at a time during the same period? EVERYBODY has always harped on the lack of smaller hulls for escorts, scouting, commerce raiding, etc...


Yes, they can turn out DDs and CAs like there's no tomorrow. But it won't help if they don't have the range to the enemy or the ECM to defend against said enemy. The best they could do is soak up missiles and force the GA ship to retreat because it has run dry.

The Battle of Hypatia showed that 4 ships massing 3.7 million tonnes could take on a prepared enemy consisting of 88 battlecruisers massing 80 million tonnes. The Battle of Saltash showed 5 DDs massing less than one million tonnes total taking on 4 BCs each massing the equivalent of the destroyer force combined without breaking a sweat. And let's not talk about when the GA having time to prepare (Battle of Spindle).

So there's no point in churning 10000 destroyers until they can improve on both defensive and offensive capabilities. They need better sensors, better PDLCs, better CMs, better ECM suite, and most importantly, destroyer-sized DDMs. That's at least a few years away, assuming they did get samples from somewhere.

Well, except for keeping the military-industrial complex paid. They may have "use it or lose it" budget...
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Re: To End in Fire
Post by munroburton   » Thu Apr 22, 2021 6:03 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:That said, even if you're right, there has simply been no time. As you said (emphasis mine):

RFC stressed repeatedly that the Sollies are arrogant, not stupid or incompetent, and have vastly bigger resources- and a tech base equal to or superior to the Manties. Even unassisted, the original League could have caught up in a matter of a decade or two by the wasteful 'shotgun approach'- having multiple, unassociated research teams working on the same project at the same time.


Aye. The war ended before they could put many new ideas into production, let alone reverse-engineered ones.


From Byng's folly to Honor accepting Sol's surrender was a mere fifteen months.

The Havenite Navy needed about six years from being hammered by pods to deploying their own. Then it needed about three years(and a Baron High Ridge) to go from being massacred by SD(P)s to killing them with their own. The latter of these was only possible because they'd been ramping up Bolthole for massed SD production.

In their 15 months, the SLN managed to deploy, then upgrade Cataphracts to a second-generation version and came up with Hasta. They also produced literally millions of pods. In my view, that had as much as the results of the attack on Beowulf in pushing the GA's leadership to green-light Honor's conquest of Sol - they saw that their tech edge was slipping away much faster than it did in the Havenite wars and acted decisively.

It's similar to how Haven rolled the dice on Beatrice after Lovat, except the GA wasn't going to wait for a Lovat to happen to them.

Now they just have to make sure the League doesn't attempt a Thunderbolt of its own.
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Re: To End in Fire
Post by jtg452   » Thu Apr 22, 2021 9:13 am

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munroburton wrote:From Byng's folly to Honor accepting Sol's surrender was a mere fifteen months.

The Havenite Navy needed about six years from being hammered by pods to deploying their own. Then it needed about three years(and a Baron High Ridge) to go from being massacred by SD(P)s to killing them with their own. The latter of these was only possible because they'd been ramping up Bolthole for massed SD production.

In their 15 months, the SLN managed to deploy, then upgrade Cataphracts to a second-generation version and came up with Hasta. They also produced literally millions of pods. In my view, that had as much as the results of the attack on Beowulf in pushing the GA's leadership to green-light Honor's conquest of Sol - they saw that their tech edge was slipping away much faster than it did in the Havenite wars and acted decisively.

It's similar to how Haven rolled the dice on Beatrice after Lovat, except the GA wasn't going to wait for a Lovat to happen to them.

Now they just have to make sure the League doesn't attempt a Thunderbolt of its own.


Don't forget those automated donkey things that they used to shuttle pod reloads from the freighters to the ships, too.

Cataphracts' second stage is a sprint stage- a CM engine scabbed onto a capital missile. It's not equipped with multiple, complete duration wedges like the Mk23 or MK16. Even a 2 full stage capital missile (without the increased damage from the advanced rod refinement) would have changed things drastically.

Imagine what would happen if they got their hands on working examples of anyfunctional Allied DM missile- even the Manty "Lite" version that the Sepoy Navy ended up getting or the early Havenite designs.

Now that the war's over and they know how far behind they really are, don't be thinking for a minute that they aren't going to do some serious crash research in multiple fields to catch back up.

Don't forget that the Solly education system is the benchmark that all other education systems are compared against. The Manties' own weapons development project started back in the day by Manty researchers combing through Solly tech journals and research papers for little nuggets and bits of advancement to build upon.

The Sollies also have the advantage in one way- they know that it can be done,so all they have to do is figure out a way to do it.

GA dominance at the level that was shown with Bynge and Crandall is going to be very short lived. Someone as used to being top dog as the Sollies have been for the last 800 years aren't likely to accept being a 3rd (argubly 4th or 5th- and 6th if you count the MAN that nobody but the reader knows about yet) rate also-ran willingly.
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