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Pawn - Q7 ... Checkmate?

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Pawn - Q7 ... Checkmate?
Post by cthia   » Thu Nov 11, 2021 5:10 pm

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Pawn to Queen 7 ... Checkmate?


I don't think it has ever been discussed as to what happens if a Head of State is captured during war. Does the enemy win if that is their objective? Can the enemy substitute capturing the Head of State with controlling the orbitals?

In the case of Grayson, The Andermani, Haven and Manticore, will the associated government surrender?

I know it is a highly unlikely scenario, but considering the entire bag-o-tricks of the MAlign, I can't agree it would be totally impossible.

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: Pawn - Q7 ... Checkmate?
Post by cthia   » Thu Nov 11, 2021 5:34 pm

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My brain tells me the Andermani would surrender. The Emperor is to the Empire like gold-pressed latinum is to a Ferengi.

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: Pawn - Q7 ... Checkmate?
Post by tlb   » Thu Nov 11, 2021 5:35 pm

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cthia wrote:
Pawn to Queen 7 ... Checkmate?


I don't think it has ever been discussed as to what happens if a Head of State is captured during war. Does the enemy win if that is their objective? Can the enemy substitute capturing the Head of State with controlling the orbitals?

In the case of Grayson, The Andermani, Haven and Manticore, will the associated government surrender?

I know it is a highly unlikely scenario, but considering the entire bag-o-tricks of the MAlign, I can't agree it would be totally impossible.

When King Richard was captured, the English government just carried on with Prince John.

I really doubt that would be treated the same as capturing the orbitals, more like what happens when the head of government is in a coma.

PS. The Andermani would never allow such a cheap defeat; The heir will take over if of age, otherwise a regent.
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Re: Pawn - Q7 ... Checkmate?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Thu Nov 11, 2021 6:05 pm

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tlb wrote:When King Richard was captured, the English government just carried on with Prince John.

I really doubt that would be treated the same as capturing the orbitals, more like what happens when the head of government is in a coma.

I tend to agree. Sure you could try to coerce the head of state into ordering the military to stand down and the government to surrender -- but I doubt there are any rules of war that say a system or empire should then actually obey.

After all controlling the orbitals is supposed to force a surrender because the planet is effectively defenseless against the attacking fleet -- and should they refuse to surrender at that point the rule of war then authorize the attacking fleet to begin limited orbital strike to destroy their remaining military on planet and compel them to surrender.
That rule was enacted to try and avoid the need to actually carry out those orbital bombardments (which a planet can't effectively block or prevent once it has lost control of its orbitals)

But there's no such risk of mass loss of life if you don't surrender when your (current) ruler is captured. The ruler might lose their life; but that's not a scale of death and destruction that the rules of war need to care about. (And so I doubt they do).
Plus, as noted, the rules of war understand that the planet's government might behave irrationally and refuse to surrender after things are hopeless and that's why they lay out how the attacker is then allowed to escalate things. But what escalation could the attacker do if they only hold the ruler? Sure, they could kill them, but how does that materially prevent the planet in question from continuing to effectively prosecute the war or remove the ability to provide effective armed resistance to ground forces the attacker might want to land?

So, I suspect if their navy was still able to carry on fighting that the rest of the government would just activate whatever succession / continuity of government mechanism existed and continue the war. (Sucks to be that ruler, but maybe you shouldn't have been doing something so foolish as to expose yourself to capture from an enemy that didn't first have to fight their way through your navy and system defense)
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Re: Pawn - Q7 ... Checkmate?
Post by cthia   » Thu Nov 11, 2021 7:17 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:
tlb wrote:When King Richard was captured, the English government just carried on with Prince John.

I really doubt that would be treated the same as capturing the orbitals, more like what happens when the head of government is in a coma.

I tend to agree. Sure you could try to coerce the head of state into ordering the military to stand down and the government to surrender -- but I doubt there are any rules of war that say a system or empire should then actually obey.

After all controlling the orbitals is supposed to force a surrender because the planet is effectively defenseless against the attacking fleet -- and should they refuse to surrender at that point the rule of war then authorize the attacking fleet to begin limited orbital strike to destroy their remaining military on planet and compel them to surrender.
That rule was enacted to try and avoid the need to actually carry out those orbital bombardments (which a planet can't effectively block or prevent once it has lost control of its orbitals)

But there's no such risk of mass loss of life if you don't surrender when your (current) ruler is captured. The ruler might lose their life; but that's not a scale of death and destruction that the rules of war need to care about. (And so I doubt they do).
Plus, as noted, the rules of war understand that the planet's government might behave irrationally and refuse to surrender after things are hopeless and that's why they lay out how the attacker is then allowed to escalate things. But what escalation could the attacker do if they only hold the ruler? Sure, they could kill them, but how does that materially prevent the planet in question from continuing to effectively prosecute the war or remove the ability to provide effective armed resistance to ground forces the attacker might want to land?

So, I suspect if their navy was still able to carry on fighting that the rest of the government would just activate whatever succession / continuity of government mechanism existed and continue the war. (Sucks to be that ruler, but maybe you shouldn't have been doing something so foolish as to expose yourself to capture from an enemy that didn't first have to fight their way through your navy and system defense)

Didn't know King Richard was captured. Thanks for that bit of trivia.

At any rate, I agree with you both. I never envisioned that something like this would be formally encapsulated within the rules of war. I meant "substitution" by way of the human element. Could a government be forced to surrender by playing the violin on their emotions. I think that would be a resounding NO if "Soul of Steel" has to order a surrender. Likewise for Eloise Pritchart. But I'm none too certain about Protector Benjamin and Grayson. And, as I already stated, I think the Andermani would surrender to get the Emperor back.

But the entire scenario begs the question of, "If an enemy got the government to surrender, what legal precedence would force them to honor their surrender, instead of simply buying time for a rescue?" Which, in the Queen's case, you know is coming if she is still on the planet.

A rescue orchestrated by Anton Zilwicki would be Knight x Pawn.


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Last edited by cthia on Fri Nov 12, 2021 10:38 pm, edited 2 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: Pawn - Q7 ... Checkmate?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Thu Nov 11, 2021 8:57 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:I tend to agree. Sure you could try to coerce the head of state into ordering the military to stand down and the government to surrender -- but I doubt there are any rules of war that say a system or empire should then actually obey.


In most systems with effective militaries and democratic systems of government, orders under duress must be ignored. So a captured general, admiral, senator, or head of government or of state cannot issue orders. Military personnel will probably know code words or phrases to indicate they are under duress too, while one hopes you don't misplace heads of state and get unconfirmeable orders by video-email.

In autocratic / theocratic systems with cult of personality, that's a different story.
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Re: Pawn - Q7 ... Checkmate?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Thu Nov 11, 2021 9:02 pm

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cthia wrote:At any rate, I agree with you both. I never envisioned that something like this would be formally encapsulated within the rules of war. I meant "substitution" by way of the human element. Could a government be forced to surrender by playing the violin on their emotions. I think that would be a resounding NO if "Soul of Steel" has to order a surrender. Likewise for Eloise Pritchart. But I'm none to certain about Protector Benjamin and Grayson. And, as I already stated, I think the Andermani would surrender to get the Emperor back.


I disagree on both. Even attempting to kidnap a member of the Andermani imperial family is going to cause the Andermani to fight harder. A successful kidnapping of the emperor is only doubly or triply more so. It might be demoralising and possibly very damaging, but it wouldn't lead to immediate surrender.

On Grayson, a good portion of the steadholders would actually welcome the Protector being removed because it increases their relative power, so no, they wouldn't vote to surrender. And the military is pretty professional, so they wouldn't accept such a coerced order.

On Masada, however, that would work. Capture Council Elder Symmonds and they surrender. Pretty sure that's what happened, because the military defeat and capturing the orbitals would not have done it... Masadans would try to fight the orbiting starships with spears if they could.
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Re: Pawn - Q7 ... Checkmate?
Post by tlb   » Fri Nov 12, 2021 12:33 am

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tlb wrote:When King Richard was captured, the English government just carried on with Prince John.

cthia wrote:Didn't know King Richard was captured. Thanks for that bit of trivia.

A little surprise, since this bit of history got rolled into the Robin Hood story.

On his way back from the Third Crusade, King Richard the Lionhearted was captured near Vienna by Leopold of Austria. According to the fictional Robin Hood part: Prince John claimed to be collecting a ransom, but was planning to keep the money and so continue to sit on the throne.

In real life the ransom was paid and King Richard came back. Prince John did connive a little bit, but Richard forgave his brother and proclaimed him the heir. Then as king, John was the monarch that signed the Magna Carta.
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Re: Pawn - Q7 ... Checkmate?
Post by Daryl   » Fri Nov 12, 2021 3:04 am

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There has been much discussion about whether Richard was gay or bisexual. He did get married, but had no heirs.
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Re: Pawn - Q7 ... Checkmate?
Post by cthia   » Fri Nov 12, 2021 10:11 am

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tlb wrote:
tlb wrote:When King Richard was captured, the English government just carried on with Prince John.

cthia wrote:Didn't know King Richard was captured. Thanks for that bit of trivia.

A little surprise, since this bit of history got rolled into the Robin Hood story.

On his way back from the Third Crusade, King Richard the Lionhearted was captured near Vienna by Leopold of Austria. According to the fictional Robin Hood part: Prince John claimed to be collecting a ransom, but was planning to keep the money and so continue to sit on the throne.

In real life the ransom was paid and King Richard came back. Prince John did connive a little bit, but Richard forgave his brother and proclaimed him the heir. Then as king, John was the monarch that signed the Magna Carta.

Honestly, I thought it was all fancy. Surely a King would never get kidnapped. :oops:

****** *

The part of my post upstream about playing the violin on certain human emotions still has me hesitating. If an unscrupulous enemy -- the Alignment and at one point Haven -- not only threatens to torture said Head of State but actually does, I'm not so certain allowances wouldn't be made to negotiate. Perhaps not an actual surrender in all counts of associated governments, but I can't be too quick to dismiss it either. The MA is ruthless. If the Queen is being tortured, I believe at least a ceasefire can be negotiated. Perhaps even surrender. I am imagining the screams of Beth played all over the system.

Heck, I believe Grayson would have made huge concessions to Haven to get Honor back in the wake of her torture. And she wasn't even the Protector.

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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