Simon_Jester wrote:Well, suppose they know there ARE that many StateSec pirates out there (remember, it's been about seven years since the fall of the Committee of Public Safety). They would still expect most of those pirates to operate as pirates, not to suddenly form up into a full-sized naval flotilla and attack a civilian target which has nothing in particular to attract pirates.Ahriman238 wrote:I'm guessing if Manty intelligence has a really good count on Peep ships that fled after the Theisman coup, and they never anticipated anything like the Battle of Torch, the remaining StateSec pirates must be pretty small time and not a major threat.
That would have required some paymaster to organize them into a single cohesive whole... which the Alignment took some pains to make sure nobody knew it was doing.
Oh they absolutely weren't expecting that. I was more thinking though, that based purely on their knowledge of how many ships ran, and how many have been since destroyed, they know that Luff and the PNE were heavily reinforced, to the effect of more than half their ships. This implies to me that the remaining renegades couldn't fill half the list of ships that went to Torch.
Especially the Queen. Remember, Ruth Winton is her niece, a very sharp, clever young woman. And Ruth was directly, personally, heavily involved in the operation to retake Torch, including being party to Victor's strategy sessions.Apparently the Manty intelligence apparatus is well-aware of Victor Cachat, at least after he pretty much threw together Torch out of odds and ends. Even the bloody Queen of Manticore knows who he is.
Even if the Manticoran intelligence services knew literally nothing about Cachat's involvement in the whole affair, Elizabeth III could have gotten precise, detailed information by the simple expedient of inviting her niece over for tea.
For that matter, it's not impossible she'd have heard of him in connection to the Manpower Incident.
Honor IS a representative from the point of view of Grayson; she is higher-ranking and at least as thoroughly tied to the Steadholder as anyone he could reasonably spare to send there.Just to be sure, Grayson and the Andermani know of Honor's negotiations and if they aren't cheering in the streets, they didn't object. Mind, small as Honor's party is, you'd think there'd be room for each major Alliance partner to send a rep.
Point, I hadn't remotely thought of that.
Well, the main problem is that the older light RMN units can't reliably outfight Solarian warships on the scale that they might encounter in the commerce raiding operations. Frontier Fleet probably has more battlecruisers than the RMN has destroyers. Heck, it probably has more battlecruisers in service right now than the RMN has ever had destroyers, and we know that Manticore had built at least 1000 destroyers during its history even before King Roger's buildup kicked into high gear.Though, thinking of Frontier Fleet containing commerce raiders, I wonder if Manticore might not be forced to those tactics they've always despised in others to survive? The Solly internal trade must be massive, and it'd give something for even those aged light units to do between massive Solly fleets getting massacred.
Maybe, but how much of these vast Solly forces engage in commerce protection? Even a little DD is death itself to an unescorted freighter.
...Actually, I don't think she's that dumb. If she saw RMN superdreadnoughts she'd at least expect her own command to lose some ships. Her main mistake is that she thinks "Manticore has fourteen two-million-ton 'battlecruisers.'" and weighs that in terms of her own experience.That's going to be stupidly easy. Crandall is so armored from reality by her arrogance and contempt, I suspect she could find Eighth Fleet and the Protector's Own in full force defending Spindle, and she'd still sneer at the thought of neobarb 'toy boats' offering any threat to her command."First, I want her to underestimate our actual combat power as badly as possible. I realize she's almost certainly already doing that, but let's encourage the tendency in every way we can.
It'd be no surprise that fourteen light battleships with modern or semimodern weapons could handily defeat Byng's sixteen battlecruisers. Remember how confident Thurston was at Fourth Yeltsin when he thought he faced similar odds in his favor.
Maybe, hell as far as she knows she's going to find seven BCs, the ones from Second New Tuscany, there.
Frankly, the guys they're intimidating are the equivalent of the Russian oligarchs. They're not really the product of democracy. They're the product of a rapid transition from state-owned property under an oppressive dictatorship, over to private property with the dictatorship and state oppression apparatus removed.Yay Democracy! No, wait. That's the other thing.
Moreover, this is a matter of survival for the state.
Eloise Prichart cares so much for democracy and the Constitution that she'll include a snake like Arnolde Giancola in her Cabinet, because political compromise is how the system works. She'll invite the opposition to this most sensitive and crucial of negotiations. And she'll intimidate them into toeing the party line.
Simon_Jester wrote:Yeah. The Solarian EW systems are marginally inferior to pre-Ghost Rider Manticoran hardware. The problem really comes down to "Sollies don't have Manticore's mini-fusion plants," so they can't build missiles and drones with the powerful EW emitters used by modern Manticoran drones and MDMs.You know, eight or nine years ago, Solarian EW, stealth etc. was at least competitive with Haven Quadrant powers, somewhere between Haven and Manticore. In fact, it was largely the injection of Solarian hardware that kept Haven competitive for the few years before Buttercup, not to mention that stealthy slow-missile that almost killed the Queen and Protector. Perhaps the problem is that Manticore is so used to Solarian EW wielded by smart, battle-experienced officers that it's made them jaded about the basic hardware. Or perhaps the problem is that was pre-Ghost Rider, during a time when the RMN had a new generation of electronics every year, sometimes twice a year and eight years is a vary long time on a wartime R&D cycle.
Nor have they ever designed their own ECCM (counter-countermeasures) to cope with EW capability that powerful. So for example, Havenites using the same basic equipment know about crap like the "Dragon's Teeth" jammer missile and its ability to cunningly impersonate eight totally fictitious missiles. They've programmed the computers to cope with this, to try and spot clusters of missiles that pop out of nowhere with powerful (illusory) impeller signatures, and automatically ignore them. Stuff the Solarians could totally do if only they had a realistic appreciation of the scope of the problem.
The Sollies... haven't. Their EW systems would probably perform rather well against the Manticore of 1905 PD or even 1910 (suffering there from lack of experience)
This is true, though I imagine once they start paying attention to these things, they'll get a lot better at them. Pity so many innocent Solly servicemen have to die first.
Well, unlike the RMN they aren't an expanding service, they don't rotate senior officers out of positions or force them to retire, and their basic force structure hasn't changed since before prolong was invented.And here's another weird thing about the SLN, it's commented on much later, but there are flag officers everywhere. At one point a Solarian admiral is introducing her staff and it's a constant chain of Admirals ending with something like "and this is my Flag Lieutenant, Commodore _____."
If they didn't have this stupid proliferation of flag officers, no one would ever get promoted anymore, because all the positions of any real authority would be filled by prolong-enhanced centenarians who are going to hold those same jobs for the next two hundred years.
Of course, Manticore has that policy precisely so no serving admiral gets too mired in the politics at Admiralty House and loses touch with operational realities, which we see a number of Solly flag officers have issues with.
Well, remember, even assuming pod salvoes towed by warships (the prevailing paradigm up to about 1912 PD even in Manticore)...Fascinating, they've concluded MDMs only come from pods (and they're half right, despite starting from a flawed premise, internal capability for full-up MDMs is still a pretty rare thing. DDMs are a different story.) Acknowledge the range, and that pods will thicken salvos, and remain totally convinced that mere missiles could never threaten them.
Each of those RMN 'light battleships' can only tow maybe 10-15 pods or so. Call it 2100 missiles from the pods, plus several hundred more from internal tubes. Three thousand missiles, optimistically, once.
That's still not nearly enough to be a serious threat to the broadside missile defense of seventy of the wall, let alone the armor of seventy of the wall, if you're still thinking in terms of the lethality and defense evasion capability of single drive missiles.
Basically, picture fourteen two million ton capital ships, with DDM-capable pods, in a position similar to what Honor was in during The Short Victorious War. The imbalance of raw tonnage would be about as bad, and one pod-launched salvo from outside the SDs' effective range wouldn't change that.
So the lighter force would get stomped flat, just as Sarnow's command was going to get stomped flat by the Havenite dreadnoughts.
That's the scenario Crandall thinks she's looking at.
That is more-or-less what would happen, if not for a few facts unfortunate to Crandall. First, they have an awful lot of pods. Second, even their light units have more control links than any previous conventional naval force. Three, Apollo. Even without Keyhole II to send FTL directions, Apollo lets one very smart missile manage eight, and the whole cluster takes up a single missile link.
Probably because ships can easily build up so much speed out there that by the time they get to the inner system, they're travelling too fast to stop and too fast for defenders to react. So if they see someone building up speed to charge their planet, they have a right to challenge them (and position forces to shoot back if it's an enemy).Interesting. We established much earlier that the inner system automatically belongs to the inhabitants, farther out depends on their ability to enforce their claim. But it seems there's a far wider band in which ships are legally obliged to answer challenges and obey any lawful orders from the locals.
It makes considerable sense that way, still a bit odd to have to defer to someone from comfortably outside their claimed territory, but it makes senses.
Yeah. Holding your negotiations from out around two or three astronomical units out is just... not a good idea.Oh yes, this is clearly going to make the SLN appear to be the reasonable party when reviewed later."I see," Medusa said finally. "And you think I'm going to submit to your demands because—?" She cocked her head slightly and raised polite eyebrows.
"Unless you're considerably more foolish than I believe," Crandall's tone made it obvious no one could be more foolish than she believed Medusa was, "the nine squadrons of ships-of-the-wall just outside your hyper limit should suggest at least one reason."
Yet another endless interval dragged past; then Medusa nodded calmly. "Which means I should assume this enumeration of warships is intended to communicate the threat that you're prepared to commit yet more acts of deliberate aggression against the Star Empire of Manticore?"
"Which means I am prepared to embrace whatever means are necessary to safeguard the sovereignty of the Solarian League, as every Solarian flag officer's standing orders require," Crandall retorted. It was remarkable, Shavarshyan thought, still studiously pondering the facts and figures on his own display, how an eighteen-minute wait between exchanges undeniably robbed threats of immediacy and power while simultaneously distilling the pure essence of anger behind them.
As is opening with threats and demands.