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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 Joat42   » Sun Aug 08, 2021 6:51 pm

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PeterZ wrote:I suspect O'Hanrahan was looking for a reason some other organization than hers did those horrible things the GA is blaming on her Alignment. She knows that going after the story of the GA search for Alignment will bring her in contact with treecats. They can tell if she is lying or is driven by motives inimical to those of the GA. So Audrey has a powerful incentive to NOT pick apart the BS story Phoebe gave her.

She has met Nimitz and Honor already. The problem with your reasoning is that to avoid picking Phoebe's story apart she would need to have a reason for not doing it, like understanding that it really was just bullshit. That in turn makes the whole thing utterly redundant. From textev we know that it was not redundant and that means that the whole spiel was made to stop O'Hanrahan looking too much into certain aspects of the Alignment, especially considering how Phoebe stressed the difference between the two factions.

My opinion is that the whole thing was a way for the Alignment to keep O'Hanrahan focused on the "bad Alignment" because doing otherwise may lead her to reveal that there are two major factions which in turn would mean the GA would go looking for the 2nd one.

I can guarantee the moment O'Hanrahan discovers that she has been bamboozled her bodyguard will make sure she has a fatal accident.

Edit: There's one wrinkle here and that is it's entirely possible that the faction that O'Hanrahan "belongs to" is the covert one on Darius which puts another spin on the whole thing. We still don't really know their motives and that makes it hard to put forth any theories of their agenda except that they don't seem to agree with the current plan.

---
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Re: SPOILERS: To End In Fire eARC discussion
Post by Theemile   » Mon Aug 09, 2021 11:49 am

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Joat42 wrote:
PeterZ wrote:I suspect O'Hanrahan was looking for a reason some other organization than hers did those horrible things the GA is blaming on her Alignment. She knows that going after the story of the GA search for Alignment will bring her in contact with treecats. They can tell if she is lying or is driven by motives inimical to those of the GA. So Audrey has a powerful incentive to NOT pick apart the BS story Phoebe gave her.

She has met Nimitz and Honor already. The problem with your reasoning is that to avoid picking Phoebe's story apart she would need to have a reason for not doing it, like understanding that it really was just bullshit. That in turn makes the whole thing utterly redundant. From textev we know that it was not redundant and that means that the whole spiel was made to stop O'Hanrahan looking too much into certain aspects of the Alignment, especially considering how Phoebe stressed the difference between the two factions.

My opinion is that the whole thing was a way for the Alignment to keep O'Hanrahan focused on the "bad Alignment" because doing otherwise may lead her to reveal that there are two major factions which in turn would mean the GA would go looking for the 2nd one.

I can guarantee the moment O'Hanrahan discovers that she has been bamboozled her bodyguard will make sure she has a fatal accident.

Edit: There's one wrinkle here and that is it's entirely possible that the faction that O'Hanrahan "belongs to" is the covert one on Darius which puts another spin on the whole thing. We still don't really know their motives and that makes it hard to put forth any theories of their agenda except that they don't seem to agree with the current plan.


So now we have the following Alignment Factions:

Mesan Benign - aka The Engagement
Galton Malign - Evil Patsy Version
Darius Malign - Cute, Cudley, "eliminates the evidence with prejudice" version
Darius Malign - Darius Rebel Cell edition.
(complete with a "Fiberglass Falcon" (Glider))

I still have to ask, who is the Darius Malign is kidding, trying to pull that sweet and cuddly act. They are the ones with dozens of Leonard Detweiler Spider drive SDs under construction. They are the ones casually thinking about activating their lunch lady's nanobots because she might have heard some gossip while slinging hash in the lunch line. They are the ones who just shreeded Audrey's leg, to send her a message and give her street cred (and would happily do it again).
******
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Re: SPOILERS: To End In Fire eARC discussion
Post by jtg452   » Tue Aug 10, 2021 9:07 am

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I think that this book is RFC's way, more or less, of returning to his original plans for the Honorverse.

Galton's fall gives a definitive 'end' to the whole 'the Mesan Alignment is behind all of this' as far as the protagonists are concerned. It was hard enough, costly enough and with just enough surprises to ring true as the source to them.

Honor has closure and the Detweilers have pulled back into their shell by falling back to Darius. While Anton, Victor and crew- with their Ghost Hunter allies- are still on the trail of the true enemy, what they find could be interpreted as the disconnected remains of the vast conspiracy.

If the Detweilers can return to their traditional patient and methodical approach now that the heat's potentially off, then Anton, Victor and the Ghost Hunters would be seen as the boys crying wolf in pretty short order.

Jump 75 years into the future and you have the Alexander-Harrington siblings old enough and in positions that make them decision makers for when the MAlign slip up and Anton, Victor and Co catch a whiff of their continued existence.

I think the Maign dissenters, soon to include Zach McBryde and his girlfriend,are the key to their discovery. Anton knows what Zach looks like and feels that he owes Jack an honor debt. (Instert Gryphon highlander stereotypes here.)

All Anton needs it a picture of Zach to prove that the Malign is still in existence. He's even got Zach's sister- who is involved with Saburo X- to verify the identification. While Zach's on Darius now, it shouldn't be too hard to come up with a reasonable reason to send him back out into the galaxy at large eventually. Get Zach into the same room with his sister and I don't think it would take much effort to turn him.

O'Hallaran was intentionally fed misinformation to keep her doing what the Malign wanted her doing. With her rep, having her in at the fall of Galton just reinforces that Galton was THE source of the whole conspiracy and makes the continued hunt for what we know as Darius a remote possibility. The Malign basically just faked its' own death rather convincingly and is using their pet investigative reporter to sell the faked death as the real deal.

What they want is for the GA and the Sollies to get feeling good about their 'victory' and their 'destruction' of the Malign so the pressure is off of them and they, after a period of very limited operations to reinforce that they are really gone, can get back to trying to take over the galaxy.
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Re: SPOILERS: To End In Fire eARC discussion
Post by cnrd22   » Tue Aug 10, 2021 5:23 pm

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Finished my first re-read of To End in Fire (will definitely read it at least one more time this year when the final copy is out) and enjoyed it even more now that I knew the main points and didn't need to turn the pages fast to see what happens - as a Honorverse novel, probably enjoyed it most since A Rising Thunder. It's going to be interesting where the series goes next, so will GA, etc buy the (bad) Alignment demise or not and skip some decades in the future or will we have the Darius showdown soonish.

One thing that puzzled me (noticed it on the original read but since then I was going with the narrative flow, didn't really stop to double-check) is that here, the Renaissance factor is described by Kingsford and Gannon (that incidentally was a very nice touch to make Dr. Charles Gannon ONI chief, as the Earth 21st century one has been an E Flint collaborator for a while now) as not being part of the Solarian League, while in Mission of Honor when Albrecht goes to meet the leaders of the RF member states, they were clearly described as part of the SL and planning to secede at the right moment:

"The Alignment's strategists had picked the name for that power—the Renaissance Factor—decades ago, and the exquisitely orchestrated crescendo of disasters would "force" them into taking steps to protect their own star systems from the tide of anarchy. They wouldn't call themselves a star nation—not immediately—but that was what they would be. And, in the fullness of time, when it was obvious to the entire galaxy that they were simply responding to the catastrophic, totally unanticipated disintegration of the League, they would finally, regretfully, exercise their constitutional right to secede from the League and formally assume their position as a sovereign star nation."

versus

"Gannon’s finger swooped over five hundred light-years “down” from Maya to the Mannerheim System, the center of the ten-star “Renaissance Factor.” The Factor’s systems had never belonged to the League, and they formed a two hundred-light-year bubble of surprisingly affluent sovereign systems in the Fringe. All of them were independent polities, but the chaos and uncertainty of the League’s war with the Grand Alliance had drawn them together in a defensive association that was busy transitioning into an actual star nation."

Not sure which is correct (could be that the latter one being in an uncorrected copy is an oversight)
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Re: SPOILERS: To End In Fire eARC discussion
Post by Bruno Behrends   » Wed Aug 11, 2021 4:10 am

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My first impressions after reading the eARC once:

- Galton feels like a RetCon since it has never been mentioned before. I get why the authors felt the need for it and since that's the case I can accept the RetCon for storyline purposes but I still wish the RetCon-feeling wasn't there in the first place. That's because it makes my suspension of disbelief harder. In other words I wish Galton had at least been mentioned in previous books. Maybe it can be slipped into earlier books in later editions? Still I can live with it.

- I find it hard to believe the combined Ghost-Hunter/GA Spook army will not find discrepancies when they investigate Galton.
The missing spider drive has been mentioned already.
Aside from that I can't really believe the fake Oyster Bay attack plan that they are supposed to find in Galton will be accepted. Someone among the investigators should have an 'aha'- moment and come to the conclusion the story is bullshit for technical reasons. If that's the case then the conclusion is that there must be another Malign world somewhere and Galton was just another sacrifice. Standard Malign tactics that the GA knows by now.

- I can get behind the O'Hanrahan storyline.
Yes, the story she gets fed by Phoebe is obvious bullshit but O'Hanrahan has a real big incentive to believe it anyway. That's because all she's devoted her life to would have been for a horribly wrong cause otherwise. That's hard to accept for anyone. Closing her eyes and shutting down her brain (for the moment at least) is quite understanable.
However what I suspect is that O'Hanrahan is set up as a boomerang by the authors. That's because they have her meet Honor and be close enough to her for a long enough time to come to really understand and appreciate her and share her viewpoints. She'll not be able to get back onboard the Malign train after this. Once she gets proof that Phoebe has been lying she'll turn. I think this is what the authors are setting up. Whether she'll survive that I don't know. But I can't fail to notice that the authors have given us a whole new lot of info about how the nanites have to be 'armed' in order to work. And that 'Janus' package too. All this info is a chekov's gun IMO and will play a role somewhere. Maybe O'Hanrahan's nanites are not armed yet. Although come to think about it that'd be real careless from the Malign point of view since sending O'Hanrahan to Honor of all people with her treecat and emotion reading has been a giant gamble in the first place. I'm actually pretty amazed that Honor hasn't seen through the ploy. I can accept she hasn't but it still was a risk for the Malign. And it may still happen since there are treecats everywhere there. Or maybe O'Hanrahan is working for the rebel Maligners after all and has gotten this 'Janus' - nanite upgrade of theirs. Which I suspect may counteract the suicide nanites. Anyway she'll turn eventually.

- I was a tiny bit disappointed by Honor's performance in the battle. Not a lot - just a tiny bit. It isn't my impression she did anything wrong really. No, what I'm missing is a bit of um - you know - tiny bit of extra brilliance.
The GA tactics seemed to be pretty by the book to me. As I say - nothing wrong with them. But a little spark of a something extra would have been nice.

I guess the 'don't return fire even when fired upon from civilian installation' - bit is supposed to be the extra bit. And it is. Not disputing that. Still a bit of extra tactical brilliance would have been cool too. Like for instance dodging that first stealthed attack due to a feeling that something was not right and the Malign was known to have extra super-stealthy missiles.
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Re: SPOILERS: To End In Fire eARC discussion
Post by Torlek   » Wed Aug 11, 2021 4:39 am

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Bruno Behrends wrote:
- I was a tiny bit disappointed by Honor's performance in the battle. Not a lot - just a tiny bit. It isn't my impression she did anything wrong really. No, what I'm missing is a bit of um - you know - tiny bit of extra brilliance.
The GA tactics seemed to be pretty by the book to me. As I say - nothing wrong with them. But a little spark of a something extra would have been nice.

I guess the 'don't return fire even when fired upon from civilian installation' - bit is supposed to be the extra bit. And it is. Not disputing that. Still a bit of extra tactical brilliance would have been cool too. Like for instance dodging that first stealthed attack due to a feeling that something was not right and the Malign was known to have extra super-stealthy missiles.



I guess competently and methodically executed with minimal losses is as brilliant as siege warfare gets.
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Re: SPOILERS: To End In Fire eARC discussion
Post by Bruno Behrends   » Wed Aug 11, 2021 9:06 am

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Torlek wrote:
Bruno Behrends wrote:
- I was a tiny bit disappointed by Honor's performance in the battle. Not a lot - just a tiny bit. It isn't my impression she did anything wrong really. No, what I'm missing is a bit of um - you know - tiny bit of extra brilliance.
The GA tactics seemed to be pretty by the book to me. As I say - nothing wrong with them. But a little spark of a something extra would have been nice.

I guess the 'don't return fire even when fired upon from civilian installation' - bit is supposed to be the extra bit. And it is. Not disputing that. Still a bit of extra tactical brilliance would have been cool too. Like for instance dodging that first stealthed attack due to a feeling that something was not right and the Malign was known to have extra super-stealthy missiles.



I guess competently and methodically executed with minimal losses is as brilliant as siege warfare gets.


I think we are on the same page here mostly. Yes, they demolished the defenses in a methodical way with minimal losses and without any mistakes that I could name. And its not like I didn't enjoy reading the battle scene. It is just that I would wish for a little bit extra that distinguishes a once-in-a-generation top commander from a merely very good one. We are talking about Honor here after all. Yeah according to logic the did the siege warfare as well as anyone could. That's the same as saying Henke or Higgins would have gotten the same result though. Nothing wrong there. But I still would love a tiny little extra bit since its Honor we are talking about and not Admiral Higgins. Like an intuition about that first attack that 'something is not right here'. It doesn't have to be anything decisive or even anything with a major implication. Just a little bit of something that goes beyond normal logic. Anyway that's just my personal little wish and nothing you have to share in any way obviously.

EDIT: I forgot to add that I think Honor's sparing the civilian installations will turn out to have major repercussions which the Malign won't like at all. I bet the patented spy brigade will find something or someone in those installations which the Malign will really, really wish they hadn't. And as I said in my original post this action of hers will then turn out to be that 'extra' bit.
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Re: SPOILERS: To End In Fire eARC discussion
Post by jtg452   » Wed Aug 11, 2021 9:24 am

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Torlek wrote:I guess competently and methodically executed with minimal losses is as brilliant as siege warfare gets.


I agree. There wasn't a whole lot of room for finesse, maneuver or misdirection (Honor's trademark) in the battle.

She's attacking a fixed location with defense in depth. Being sneaky isn't going to fake the opposition out of position or to commit inadequate forces because Honor's fooled them into thinking that she's weaker than she actually was. The only possible way that would work is if the defenders had sallied and they were outnumbered about 10 to 1, so that ain't an option.

Galton was no different than a castle siege in the Middle Ages. Filling in the moat and storming the wall by escalade is costly to the attackers and plays to the strength of the defenders. It doesn't matter if you're using stones and arrows or multi-drive missiles with ranges measured in light seconds, the results are the same.

She also played to her strengths rather than running head first into the strength of their defenses. When you have a long range accuracy advantage, why not extend the engagement range and hold it open?
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Re: SPOILERS: To End In Fire eARC discussion
Post by Theemile   » Wed Aug 11, 2021 10:04 am

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jtg452 wrote:
Torlek wrote:I guess competently and methodically executed with minimal losses is as brilliant as siege warfare gets.


I agree. There wasn't a whole lot of room for finesse, maneuver or misdirection (Honor's trademark) in the battle.

She's attacking a fixed location with defense in depth. Being sneaky isn't going to fake the opposition out of position or to commit inadequate forces because Honor's fooled them into thinking that she's weaker than she actually was. The only possible way that would work is if the defenders had sallied and they were outnumbered about 10 to 1, so that ain't an option.

Galton was no different than a castle siege in the Middle Ages. Filling in the moat and storming the wall by escalade is costly to the attackers and plays to the strength of the defenders. It doesn't matter if you're using stones and arrows or multi-drive missiles with ranges measured in light seconds, the results are the same.

She also played to her strengths rather than running head first into the strength of their defenses. When you have a long range accuracy advantage, why not extend the engagement range and hold it open?


My surprise was no Mistletoe. we havn't seen it in use since the beginning of the 2nd war. Attacks against infrastructure are it's bread an butter.
******
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Re: SPOILERS: To End In Fire eARC discussion
Post by cthia   » Wed Aug 11, 2021 1:26 pm

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The cotton I am tiptoeing on in this spoiler thread is beginning to stick to the very thin ice. I am beginning to hear details that are coming close to making me bug out, as in tuck tail and run.

Anyway, I read two pages of the freebie, or rather glossed over two pages. But one thing caught my eye. The smart fabric that was used to camouflage the entire main operation on an island for at least decades. It is stated that this smart fabric is state of the art even in the HV. And nobody else has it or anything like it. It fits the notion I always maintained that the MA had a lot of time on their hands and will unleash a lot of new technologies upon the Galaxy.

At any rate, will this smart fabric have a use on warships? Will it be an added layer of stealth from the naked eye that will enable an LD to get close enough to a skunk to steal its stink? :D

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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