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The Strategy of Castling

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Re: The Strategy of Castling
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Tue Jun 08, 2021 11:23 pm

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cthia wrote:Let's assume they do have time to move them. IINM, they had more than three days lead time when they found out the gorilla was coming to dinner.


Yes, which is why Honor, Theisman, and Tourville met them with 500 pod-laying superdreadnoughts and a ruse. Do note how having nearly 1000 active superdreadnoughts was the single largest concentration of firepower in any system, ever, and that was nearly twice as many hulls and over twice as many people as the second place (which was the first Battle of Manticore, with "just" 516 SDs). They knew ahead of time that an attack was coming and what forces they were, so they prepared for it.

So if anyone has advance knowledge, they will prepare their defences as best they can. There's no force in the Galaxy that penetrate the prepared defences around Haven, Manticore or Grayson, not even two of those ganging up on the third.

Even with a hypothetical and totally non-existent force of 1500 SD(P)s, there's no need to bring the Junction forts over. The defence of the inner system is mostly done by shoals of 4-stage Apollo MDMs, controlled by Mycroft, which will seriously devastate this force. And then it has to deal with Home Fleet, which should be back to around 100 SD(P)s plus CLACs, even in "peace" time. If Manticore has advance notice of the attack, they'll also bring the Trevor's Star fleet, adding another 100 SD(P)s plus CLACs. If the notice is of more than a week, there may be time for RHN or GSN or IAN contingents to arrive too (I think New Berlin is the closest of the three, then Yeltsin's Star, then Haven).

The last layer of defence are the existing forts around the planets, which will still be firing 3- and 4-stage MDMs at any survivors. With their LAC bases, which will have launched 1000 LACs to both harass and intercept missiles.

So bringing more forts won't help.

Any force that can go through the existing defences has some extra trick up their sleeve. And it will obviously not have telegraphed its intention to come and attack in time to allow "castling."

Finally, if Manticore receives such a notice, it must also hedge the bets against misinformation or a change of plans, meaning such an attacker could go for the Junction. Heck, all they need to do is drop off a courier to see if the forts did "castle," in which case the whole attack force drops off from hyper, shoots every installation in the Junction out of the sky, then still proceeds to the inner system.

Albeit, I agree that it would be a nightmare if they got caught in the middle of castling. What a heck of a logistical nightmare. I would imagine a plan like that would already have to have been discussed and drawn up. It would involve the entire system.


All the more reason not to do it.

Anyway, yes, the ships are more maneuverable. But now when Home Fleet goes out to meet the enemy, the planet is no longer uncovered. I think the MA will make the Galaxy rethink a lot of its strategy, and tactics.


It's not uncovered. There are forts there already. Just not as many as in the Junction.
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Re: The Strategy of Castling
Post by Theemile   » Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:00 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
Theemile wrote:5) relieving a captured home planet by the junction Forts after the mobile force was destroyed has been mentioned several times by posters in the past (I for one mentioned it several times during discussions of alternate outcomes of BoMA), but is limited by their extremely low response time. Unfortunately, they would have to leave behind some of their pre-positioned pods, their protective minefields, and any IEWPs, making them less effective in Battle than they would be if they were at the junction.


That gets worse.

Any warship worth being called a warship has an acceleration much bigger than the fort. So they can choose when to attack and when to disengage. Meanwhile, the fort can't move except ballistically while it has its bubblewall up. So it gets pretty easy for the attacker to prevent the zero-zero intercept by just harrassing the fort while it's trying to get home. Though do note it requires a lot of missiles, since the fort does still have active defences besides the wall and does have thick armour. But anyone who may have managed to get past Home Fleet and the system defence missiles will have brought massive firepower to do that.

Anyway, the problem is that the forts can't respond in time to prevent the conquering of the inner system.


I think we can all agree that moving all the forts to reinforce the inner system would just allow an attacker to destroy all the Manticore infrastructure piecemeal, while the forts are out of place to respond to any of it. But, one point no one has mentioned is that not all the Forts would need to react if there is an issue requiring them.

We don't know exactly how many junction forts there are, but we know about 1/2 of the original 120 were shut down when San Martin was captured by the allies, then between wars many were replaced by newer designs and others were updated - and some were later updated with KHII modules mid-war so they could control Apollo. (we don't know if this is complete at the current point in the story line.)

The Gryphon planetary forts were mentioned just prior to BoMA as getting the first Apollo Upgrades

However, assuming the Junction count is still 60, 30 could easily be sliced off to reinforce the inner system defenses. Remember, prior to Apollo upgrades, the 12 12kton forts at Lynx were said to be capable of defending against 200 Medusa SD(p)s - the remaining 30 Junction forts should be able to defend against 500 or more (with the minefields and other fixed defenses in place), and the other 30 should easily be able to break any force of 100s of SDs and SD(p)s.

With their slow response speed, this is a either a last ditch effort or one carefully planned, but in the event of the loss of the mobile forces and a severe winnowing of the inner defenses, a STRATEGIC reinforcement by a portion of the junction fortresses could be possible.
Last edited by Theemile on Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
******
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: The Strategy of Castling
Post by Joat42   » Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:02 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:Any warship worth being called a warship has an acceleration much bigger than the fort. So they can choose when to attack and when to disengage. Meanwhile, the fort can't move except ballistically while it has its bubblewall up. So it gets pretty easy for the attacker to prevent the zero-zero intercept by just harrassing the fort while it's trying to get home.

The comparison of fighter-planes harassing tanks comes to mind, it's not perfect but it gets the point across.

In any warfare, mobility is one of the key-factors to succeed, if you can't be at the right place at the right time to project your force you are in trouble.

---
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Re: The Strategy of Castling
Post by Jonathan_S   » Wed Jun 09, 2021 11:40 am

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cthia wrote:Anyway, yes, the ships are more maneuverable. But now when Home Fleet goes out to meet the enemy, the planet is no longer uncovered.

Except they aren't uncovered now.
The planets do have fixed defenses - we see debate about when they should be brought into play during the Battle of Manticore.

(Of course Manticore's fixed defenses weren't being considered at that time because nobody was within their effective range. At the time of the BoM only Gryphon had yet begun receiving its Apollo/Mycroft upgrades. The defenses for Manticore and Sphinx were still based around "only" the older MDM missiles and their light-speed fire control)

Their fixed defenses didn't get mentioned during Raging Justice for much the same reason that Pearl Harbor's defenses don't get discussed when talking about the Battle of Midway. Yes the US carriers sortied from there when they went out to attack the Japanese fleet near Midway -- but the combat is never expected to get anywhere near their base and so the discussion focuses on the forces in play. There was effectively zero chance that the SLN forces could have broken past or through the combined RMN, IAN, GSN, RHN fleets that Honor had waiting for them to get close enough to really threaten the planet. So why clog up the book talking about defenses that almost assuredly weren't going to be in play?

But if Manticore wants more forts defending its planets it'd be a better idea to simply build more rather than making a plan to abandon (or at least significantly weaken) the Junction if you get advanced word of a major attack. (Though I admit at this immediate moment they're probably no more able to build additional forts than they are to build new SD(P)s on their own -- their yards are still being rebuilt after OB)
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Re: The Strategy of Castling
Post by cthia   » Wed Jun 09, 2021 4:40 pm

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I am getting the feeling that the technological prowess achieved by Project Gram may have cancelled any previous possible need to castle.

Unless ... 'POOF!' all of the RMN advantages are neutralized in an instant.

Before the era of MDMs and Apollo, the strategy may have been included in the playbook.

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: The Strategy of Castling
Post by Michael Everett   » Wed Jun 09, 2021 11:53 pm

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Just as a side-note, in Chess, Castling has two aims.
1) Move the King to a more easily defended area (near the corner, less attack vectors)
2) Move the Rook to a position where it can be deployed for attack.

If the King is a planet, then it cannot be moved (at least, not with Honorverse tech). If the Fortresses are Rooks, then they're already deployed where they will have the biggest effect.

I think the terms Bunkering, Hunkering down or Bracing may be better applied to this discussion.

You may now return to the primary flow of this thread.
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Re: The Strategy of Castling
Post by cthia   » Thu Jun 10, 2021 5:47 am

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Michael Everett wrote:Just as a side-note, in Chess, Castling has two aims.
1) Move the King to a more easily defended area (near the corner, less attack vectors)
2) Move the Rook to a position where it can be deployed for attack.

If the King is a planet, then it cannot be moved (at least, not with Honorverse tech). If the Fortresses are Rooks, then they're already deployed where they will have the biggest effect.

I think the terms Bunkering, Hunkering down or Bracing may be better applied to this discussion.

You may now return to the primary flow of this thread.

Well? It depends on the position before Castling. One might Castle to bring more firepower to bear to control those sectors (squares) which are threatening or being threatened to gain a foothold in which to attack either the King, Queen or a major rank. A major rank equals the first or second row. Castling can also be done to extricate oneself out of an inferior position. More like what this scenario is about. Castling may also free bound pieces, thus increases their mobility.

It can also have the effect of consolidating force and support a mutual attack. Like doubling up a Rook on the Castle side. Or supporting a Queen, producing a Queen/Rook combination. Or many other combinations.

But no, the analogy isn't a perfect one. In chess, neither the appropriate Rook or King can have already moved. Also in chess you cannot Castle when you are in check or will pass thru check. IOW, it is too late to Castle when enemy ships are in orbit.

Castling can also be done to immediately bring the Rook into play. Castling can also serve to recall a prematurely developed (positioned) Rook. It can also have the effect of protecting threatened assets.

Likewise as in the HV, you may have to prepare for the maneuver first, by repositioning other assets. For example, moving them the hell out of the way. The most efficient manner is to properly develop (position) them while getting them out of the way.

And, it can come as a complete surprise to the enemy's game plan and throw him off balance.

But, Castling is most commonly used to control the center of the board! Which equates to inside the hyper limit and or the inner system.

In short, it depends on the particular position and strategy. It isn't always a defensive maneuver in the hands of a general.

Etc. Etc. Etc.

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: The Strategy of Castling
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Thu Jun 10, 2021 1:25 pm

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cthia wrote:But no, the analogy isn't a perfect one. In chess, neither the appropriate Rook or King can have already moved. Also in chess you cannot Castle when you are in check or will pass thru check. IOW, it is too late to Castle when enemy ships are in orbit.


It wouldn't be the first time a term got repurposed for a similar procedure via imperfect analogy, where a proper reading of what it was supposed to mean would reflect an entirely different operation.

Example: "Just In Time Compiling". The "Just In Time" of the Toyota Production System is meant to make incoming supplies available just before they are needed, with little to no waste in stored inventory. JIT compilation starts at the moment it's needed, not before. So it's not "just in time," it's "just too late" (a more acceptable term would have been "on-demand compilation").
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Re: The Strategy of Castling
Post by cthia   » Sat Jun 12, 2021 6:29 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
cthia wrote:I see Forts as Rooks. During the battle with the SLN where I proposed the idea, could the Forts have been recalled to cover the planet? Or even before the climactic battle with the Peeps.


How would they know that the forts will be needed for an attack before the attack happens?

Remember that forts can pull 50 gravities at best. The Junction is 7 light-hours away, which means the forts would need 69 hours to get from the Junction to the inner system, topping at a measly 0.2c at turnover. I doubt they have hyper generators, but even if they did, they couldn't get to the inner system in less than 2 hours, at which point the battle has been joined and possibly won or lost.

_snip_

The admiralty generally figures that out while alone at night with an empty coffee pot.

I'm not saying that I think the RMN would have needed to then, but if Eloise hadn't made the decision to take matters into her own hands by offering to form an alliance -- and also offering the RMN the chance to save those godawful missiles for Solarian fools instead, and had the RMN been truly fatally hurting for missiles, on top of simultaneously fighting a war on two fronts with two different enemies -- well, what other choice would they have had other than a serious repositioning of forces? It doesn't make sense to me to project a huge representation of your force at a great distance to support the henhouse, when the Palace is in danger of being overrun.

When I say fatally hurting for missiles, I'm talking about a MBS who is so much of a barenaked lady that she has to steal missiles from Forts to pay Solarians. And remember, she has to pay the Peeps on another front.

Sideband chatter:
I often wonder. If you were Theisman and Eloise decided to attack Manticore instead, how exactly would you have handled the RMN's precarious situation? Would you have attacked the MBS at the same time as the Sols? To ensure their defeat? Assuming of course, a serious depletion of RMN missiles.

Did the RMN have time to recall Michelle before the second BoM? Were there other outstanding Fleets in the middle of tour duty that could have been recalled? My memory. :(

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: The Strategy of Castling
Post by Jonathan_S   » Sat Jun 12, 2021 11:01 am

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cthia wrote:The admiralty generally figures that out while alone at night with an empty coffee pot.

I'm not saying that I think the RMN would have needed to then, but if Eloise hadn't made the decision to take matters into her own hands by offering to form an alliance -- and also offering the RMN the chance to save those godawful missiles for Solarian fools instead, and had the RMN been truly fatally hurting for missiles, on top of simultaneously fighting a war on two fronts with two different enemies -- well, what other choice would they have had other than a serious repositioning of forces? It doesn't make sense to me to project a huge representation of your force at a great distance to support the henhouse, when the Palace is in danger of being overrun.

When I say fatally hurting for missiles, I'm talking about a MBS who is so much of a barenaked lady that she has to steal missiles from Forts to pay Solarians. And remember, she has to pay the Peeps on another front.

Sideband chatter:
I often wonder. If you were Theisman and Eloise decided to attack Manticore instead, how exactly would you have handled the RMN's precarious situation? Would you have attacked the MBS at the same time as the Sols? To ensure their defeat? Assuming of course, a serious depletion of RMN missiles.

Did the RMN have time to recall Michelle before the second BoM? Were there other outstanding Fleets in the middle of tour duty that could have been recalled? My memory. :(
Don't forget that prior to Oyster Bay, about 5-6 months after the Battle of Manticore, Honor took 8th fleet to Haven and effectively brought the war to an end [MoH Ch6-8,10] (it took that long until the MBS defenses and fleet were rebuilt/reorganized to the point where they felt it safe to let 8th fleet stop acting as Home Fleet) -- though Oyster Bay seems to have happened only a month of so after that; so the peace treaty hadn't yet been signed -- some of the details were still being worked out; but Haven had agreed that the war was over and they had lost.

The only bit of timing that isn't quite clear is whether that mission to Haven happened just before, or just after, the Battle of Spindle showed that the conflict with the League was dramatically escalating and almost certainly couldn't be solved by negotiation. (Though either way it was well after Byng got himself killed leading the FF force of BC).

Eloise didn't come to offer the alliance against the League until the next book [ART Ch10]; after Oyster Bay. (Though that's no more than a few months after Honor's visit to Haven)


However was it clear is that Manticore had 7 months or so between the BoM and Oyster Bay where they still had all their yards and production lines; and used that time to complete ships that were under construction and upgrade, stockpile Apollo missiles, and continue converting the MBS system's fixed defenses to Apollo. And that included completing the "Python lump" of new Apollo equipped SD(P)s. By the time of OB (and thus still by the time on Raging Justice) the home system's defenses were arguably stronger than they'd been at the Battle of Manticore. (The RMN fleet was smaller; but far more capable unit for unit)

For Haven to attack in conjunction with the SLN they would have had to launch a third surprise attack on Manticore. That would have convinced anybody paying the slightest attention that the Republic of Haven was no better than the old Peeps; and was just as untrustworthy. That's not something I can see Eloise being willing to do - even if she thought the stab in the back might have succeeded. And I don't think it could have succeeded.

Even with the extra SD(P)s that would have come out of Bolthole and other yards in the 11 months between the BoM and Raging Justice, Haven would almost assuredly have fewer of them that it did at the BoM, and it still hadn't come up with a counter for Apollo. And Manticore wasn't that short on missiles. I just don't see how a retry of Beatrice could succeed, even with the distraction of the SLN, with fewer RHN ships and a Manticoran Home System containing far more Apollo equipped ships and fixed defenses that during the BoM. Apollo is, as yet, still a trump card -- and one Theisman knows he doesn't have a way to beat -- and throwing fewer forces against more Apollo is definitely not a winning strategy.
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