STORM FROM THE SHADOWS — snippet 97

STORM FROM THE SHADOWS – snippet 97:

Third, ten Manticoran warships, four of them mere destroyers and only three of them as powerful as a heavy cruiser, had taken the combined fire of all of the pre-deployed missile pods and, although quite obviously surprised by the missiles’ range and sheer numbers, not only survived as a fighting force but managed to destroy the entire military component of Eroica Station and nine of the fourteen modern battlecruisers Technodyne had provided to the Monicans. Not only that, but the six damaged Manticoran survivors of the engagement with Eroica Station had destroyed three more modern, fully functional battlecruisers in stand up combat. And they’d apparently managed to do that using nothing but their internal missile tubes, without any interference from pods at all.

Fourth, although there was no hard sensor data to explain exactly how they’d done it, it had been made abundantly clear – both during the engagement against Horster’s three battlecruisers and afterward – that the Manticorans had managed to emplace what amounted to a system-wide surveillance system without being caught at it. And while Thurgood readily admitted that the supporting evidence and logic were much more speculative, the speed of the Manties’ reaction to both Horster’s attack and Admiral Bourmont’s later maneuvers suggested that they might very well be capable of FTL communication with their recon platforms, after all.
There’d been more, but even Thurgood had conceded that a lot of it – like the preposterous missile attack ranges some of the system-defense forces observers had been reporting from the main Manticore-Haven front and the ridiculously high acceleration rates attributed to Manticoran starships – sounded unlikely. On the other hand, he’d pointed out, he had absolutely no effective way of personally testing or evaluating those outrageous claims. He hadn’t said so in so many words, but it had been evident to Askew that whether or not he could test or evaluate the claims in question himself, he was . . . strongly disinclined to reject them out of hand.
Askew had been taken aback by Thurgood’s attitude. His original response had been strongly skeptical, but rather than simply reject the commodore’s concerns, he’d painstakingly retraced Thurgood’s logic, searching for the flaws he suspected had to be there. Unfortunately, he hadn’t found them. In fact, as he’d dutifully searched for them, he’d come more and more firmly to the belief that Thurgood had a point. In fact, it looked as if he had several points.
And that was what he’d reported to Mizawa, Zeiss, and Commander Bourget, Jean Bart’s executive officer. He’d been a bit cautious about the way he’d reported it, of course. He was an SLN officer, after all, well versed in the ways of equivocation and careful word choices, and his own initial reaction to Thurgood had suggested how his superiors would probably respond to any wild-eyed, panicky warnings about Manticoran super weapons. Besides, even though the analysis had been requested only for Captain Mizawa’s internal use, there’d always been the possibility that it might – as, indeed, appeared to be the case – have come into someone else’s possession. If that happened, some other superior officer might prove rather less understanding than Captain Mizawa if young Lieutenant Commander Askew came across as too alarmist.
Apparently I wasn’t cautious enough, he reflected grimly.
“Should I assume, Ma’am, from what you said about Captain Aberu’s response, that Admiral Byng feels the same way?” he asked.
“I don’t have any idea how Admiral Byng feels,” Zeiss told him. She shook her head and grimaced. “From the way Captain Mizawa described the ‘conversation’ to me, it sounds like Aberu was expressing her own opinions. From what I’ve seen of her so far, I’d guess she’s one of those staffers who sees it as her duty to prevent obvious nonsense from cluttering up her Admiral’s desk. So I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find out that she’d taken it upon herself to quash this sort of ‘panicky defeatism’ on her own, without ever discussing it with Admiral Byng at all. Unfortunately, Matt, we don’t know that that’s the case. It’s equally possible that Admiral Byng sent her out to suggest rather firmly to the Captain that he leave the threat analysis business to the task force staff without the Admiral himself getting involved.”
“I see, Ma’am.” Askew gazed at her for several silent seconds, then cleared his throat. “May I ask what the Captain intends to do about Captain Aberu’s concerns?”
“He’s not about to toss you out the nearest airlock, if that’s what’s worrying you.” Zeiss actually produced a chuckle, but then her expression sobered again. “At the same time, though, he has to be a bit cautious about how he proceeds.”
Askew nodded glumly. Captain Mizawa’s family connections went quite a bit higher than Askew’s own, but they still ended well short of the lofty sort of influence Byng could bring to bear. Given that, especially against the background of the traditional Battle Fleet-Frontier Fleet rivalry, Mizawa would have to pick his ground carefully for any quarrel with Byng. Coming to the impassioned defense of his assistant tactical officer probably wouldn’t be the most career-enhancing move a flag captain could make.
And it wouldn’t solve the problem of Aberu’s pigheadedness, either, he thought.
“For the moment,” Zeiss continued, “he wants you to lie as low as possible. Just go about your duties, and he and I — and the Exec — will keep you as far away from Flag Bridge and the Admiral’s staff as we can. Bearing in mind that we don’t know exactly how your report came into Captain Aberu’s hands, it would probably be a good idea for you to keep your mouth shut about its contents, as well.”
She looked at him levelly, and he nodded again. If they did have someone working as Byng’s — or Aberu’s — informant, talking about his and Thurgood’s theories could very well get him charged with spreading defeatism.
“Yes, Ma’am,” he said. Then, a bit more daringly, “And may I ask how the Captain reacted to my analysis?”
Zeiss rocked back in her chair, regarding him narrowly for several heartbeats, then shrugged.
“Captain Mizawa — like Commander Bourget and myself — is inclined to take your more alarming hypotheses with a sizable grain of salt. I think the Captain was as impressed as I was by the caliber of your work, but as you yourself point out, the supporting data is really pretty damned thin on the ground, Matt. You and Commodore Thurgood may very well be onto something, but I think we’re all inclined to reserve judgment for the moment. I will say that your appreciation of the potential threat is likely to make all three of us approach the situation much more cautiously than we might have otherwise. It’s just that until we’ve acquired some of that missing hard data we can’t afford to get overly timid in our relations with the Manties.” She gave him another of those hard, level looks, then added, “Or with anyone else.”
“Yes, Ma’am. I understand.”
Askew didn’t try to keep his own worry — and not just for the possible implications for his naval career — out of his own voice, but he understood, all right.
“I thought you would, Matt,” Zeiss said quietly. “I thought you would.”

About Eric Flint

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58 Responses to STORM FROM THE SHADOWS — snippet 97

  1. catboy says:

    I wonder if Askew lives throw the Henk inconder

    • MadMcAl says:

      Sorry, but your sentence is complete ununderstandable. Maybe it is because english is not my primery language, but even babylon refuses to translate it.
      If you would be so good to post it again with the help of a dictionary I would be thankfull, and maybe we could come to an interesting discussion.
      So, no way.

      • Mark L says:

        Translation: I wonder if Askew lives through the Henke encounter.

        (Helps to have edited a fanzine for six years. Trufans are even more incomprehensible than those to whom English is a second language.)

        • Bequimão says:

          Askew reminds me much more of the young Oliver Diamato, whereas Byng plays the role of the incompetent StateSec general. I think the name was Porter.

      • Mike_G says:

        "inconder" = "encounter"?

        I think catboy is trying to speculate on whether Askew is going to become a Forakker-like figure, who survives being on the side of the "bad guys" long enough to become an important recurring character.

        • JohnRoth1 says:

          You're probably right.

          So now we know what they think they know. The basic question is whether Admiral Byng is going to attack Heneke on the way out of the system, or whether he's going to let it go.

      • catboy says:

        I am learning disblied and my lap top keybord is not working right

  2. lkan says:

    Hmm…

    I wonder why OFS doesn’t have its own ships (say frigates…)

    From what was said previously… it seems some SL SDF should have very advanced hardware… perhaps more advanced than RMN in some areas.

    … could be some system might be outfitting a fleet with the cream of Sollie tech… say Mesa? That fleet might be able to stand up to a Manty fleet. And if Mesa is so inclined, it might force some Frontier Sector Fleet to do weird upgrades to also stand up to the Manties.

  3. mwhiddon says:

    No I think a a letter went astray,but i speak Texican,not English.However does anyone think Amiral Gold Peak would respond to an attack with anything but defensive fire and getting the heck out of Dodge.

    • JohnRoth1 says:

      I don't think she's got the option of "defensive fire". If she lets 25 Solarian BCs and an unknown number of Destroyers get within their missile range, she's going to take real damage. If she opens fire at her missile range, she's giving away information that the Admiralty has said it wants kept secret for now.

      So if the action starts on the way out, she's going to go for the kill.

  4. dcott says:

    He wonders if Askew will live through an encounter with Henke

  5. Chuck S. says:

    English is my native language, at least the debased American version. Unless the last two words are British or Australian slang, I suspect a typographical error compounded by failure to review before sending. Maybe he's a Sollie Admiral!

  6. Lughaid says:

    I too wonder if Askew lives through the Henk encounter.

  7. So Askew has figured out the FTL coms, the pod-era missile defenses, and the general combat level of the Manticoran navy of Flag in Exile. Will they figure out more? Will it be believed?

  8. MadMcAl says:

    He also figured out Ghost Rider, at least in parts. And your question will be answered when we know if Askew survives or not. If he survives than most propably because Byng and/or his staff banned him to a periphery position where he could reach a survival pod.
    The thing puzzling me is the FTL com. We know that at times of Echoes of Honor the SL allready figured out how to get a FTL com together. Well, at least generally.
    Maybe Askew was more surprised that they could squeeze it into the RD's, what would lead to the ultra-dense fusion bottle, that Technodyne allready knows about.
    This chapter is a bit at odds with previous storys.

    • Mike_G says:

      Technodyne had the FTL capacity, IIRC. As we see here, Technodyne != SLN.

      • MadMcAl says:

        No. Actually unnamed solarian companies where openly and officially experimenting with shortrange FTL communication. I don't know exactly where now, but it was when some Manty complained about the tech transfer, and brought this information for it.

        • dac says:

          what's known in a research situation is not necessarily implemented into fleet operations – they have to operationalize (weaponize) the theory/technology

          • MadMcAl says:

            Sure, but the overtone of the last snippets was that the SLN is just in a phase of renewal (the Fleet 2000 refference) and something that offers such a tactical advantage and is allready known for 5 years as is the ftl-com (even only the ship to ship version), and that is known to everyone and his brother should be known to a tactical officer or at least a comodore, or should be flagged up if they research the mysterious ways an foreign navy was acting.
            With other words, the FTL-com should be if not a known so at least a easily researchable fact, even for the SLN.

            • Mike_G says:

              Truth is, this whole "neo-barbs fighting with clubs" gag is silly, actually. Most of this stuff (except the very latest) should be at least known by the SLN.

              • Harpoon says:

                Some Frontier Fleet officers, and more than a few of the SLs R&D people have been paying attention. During the First Havenite War certain elements within the SL were supplying Haven with tech transfers. They did so partially because of their dislike for Manticore, but to also get first hand intelligence about Manticore's technology. Once Erewhon signed on with Haven, those tech transfers dried up. Haven no longer needed those tech transfers, having gotten many of Manticore's goodies.

                In re-reading the Battle of Monica, it seems clear that the assumptions that Technodynes tech-reps were making were at least 5 years out of date, AND overly optimistic to begin with.

                The SLs basic tech is still very good, and it's been mentioned that they are dabbling with improved compensators, missile drives (still overly large, however) and early generation FTL coms.

              • MadMcAl says:

                Actually no. The SLN reacts the same as when somebody would tell the US Navy that Moldavias new ships are in all aspects more powerfull than their own. That they have larger, more stealthy submarines, stronger destroyers and cruisers, bigger and faster Aircraft carriers. They simply refuse to belive it. That is an institutional blind spot.

                The problem is that at least some of the coorporations responsible for the SLN-military technology should bring it to the SLN and make them belive.
                Or that they at least compile a report about the known abilitys that is generally available, and that can be used to research such cute little incidents like Monica.

              • It's like the Germans building a whole Navy in less than forty years. And I think the League, now that I think of it, is the Spanish. They DID have one of the biggest navies in the world before the Armada, and big fleets after. Anyone agree? <span class="idc-clear"></span>

  9. Harpoon says:

    I suspect he survives, and becomes the Solarian version of Shannon Foraker.

  10. What do you think Byng's casualties will be like if he "wins" I say it will be like this: Forces taken into combat 18 battlecrusiers and 12 Superdreadnaughts and 45 escorts. Remaining forces 1 battlecrusier, 4 destroyers.

    • MadMcAl says:

      You are expecting to see some SD's. There was never mentioned that Byng has SD's under his command at this moment. He was send to take over command of an BC-force. 25 BC's + escorts. Maybe he knows about the 100 of the wall of this other SLN-Admiral, but even if, they are not under his command. So we can expect 25 BC's + a screen of DD's against 8 Nikes + whatever Michelle can scare up as screen.
      And I would be surprised if one of the BC's would survive without striking the wedge.

      • JohnRoth1 says:

        Admiral Crandall has the "100 of the wall" at McIntosh. And Heneke ought to have a squadron of Rolands (destroyers) waiting when she gets back to base, but she won't have anything here. There are some other forces that will be dribbling in from time to time, but I doubt if the major reinforcements will happen after the BOM.

        • MadMcAl says:

          Most of the lighter units (up to a CL or even a CA) are of limited use for large fleet engagements. Sure, destroyers and light cruisers can be used as scouts. But for screening purposes LAC's are way better suited (meaning cheaper, faster and in large numbers available). So I think even after the BoMA Henke will see lighter units coming through. Not many SD's, maybe not even some BC's but lighter units. Against solarian units even manticorean lighter units will be enough.

          • JohnRoth1 says:

            Up to a point. I think they're going to keep the CLAC and LACs until they get the system defense version of Apollo installed and operational. IIRC, that was scheduled for about three months after the BOM. Then there's the Lynx Terminus forts, and I don't remember when those are supposed to come online.

            As I see it, Byng's function in the Alignment's plan is to get slaughtered so they have an incident that justifies bringing in Crandall's Battle Fleet.

            • MadMcAl says:

              The CLAC's and the LAC's stationed on them are part of the battle fleets. A defensive fleet doesn't need them (defensive as in Home Fleet) as they can use stations for that.
              And as I mentioned before, I don't think that Crandall's Battle Fleet Detachment is really planed to overcome the RMN in Talbot.
              Even after the BoMA they won't really be so extremely effective as belived, as 8th Fleet has to do tripple duty of protecting Manticore, Trevors Star and Basilisk. And the only place they can do that from effectively is the junction. So when Crandall enters Lynx Terminus they will send back a message that Lynx is under attack, and Honor can bring 8th Fleet through the junction in virtually no time. And 8th Fleet is enough to trash 200 of the Wall. And Lynx has to be the first target of any punishing force.

              About Apollo, the system defense variant was projected a couple of month after Lovat. I interpret that as 2 month and not as a few month. When the pressure cooker in Talbot reached its critical temperature it will be at least 2 to 3 month. And we know that Lovat is arround a month in the past.

              Also I think you misinterpreted what I wanted to say. I said that LAC's, as a rule carried by CLAC's) have taken over many of the original screening functions for a battle fleet. They can easily bolster the missile defense. They can easily scout. They can (in sufficient numbers of course) divert lighter units from attacking the wall. They are easily manned (as much of the supporting operations are done either in the base or on the CLAC) they are very fast to produce, they are cheap, they are cheap in manpower (so the casualtys are low), faster than any destroyer and more stealthy. They won't have the long reach of lighter FTL-units weapons. But in the end most functions of the screen can be taken over by LAC's, freeing named lighter FTL-units for other needs.
              And one of the needs these lighter units (DD's, CL's and CA's) can fill is in Talbot. And while one Sag-C is not able to kill a solarian SD alone, 3 or 4 Sag-C's or 10-15 Rolands can.

              • Harpoon says:

                Light units with the new "flat pack" missile pods containing all up Mk23 capital missiles can put a big hurting on wallers. At the Battle of Manticore, Home Fleets older wallers had 530 pods tractored to their hulls.

                Imagine a Solly admiral's face when a wing of 96 LACs, which should be no real threat to a waller, each with just a pair of pods, launches 1920 Mk23 capital missiles. That's a bit more than the broadside of 42 SDs (assuming 45 missile broadsides.)

              • MadMcAl says:

                Unfortunately this 1920 capital missiles would be mostly wasted. Why? Because the 96 LAC's have enough fire controll for their 4 revolver loaded launchers each. And not more. This overmassive salvoe would be mostly unguided.
                If said LAC-wing is of course paired with a Nike or 4 of them, or even a newer build SD, and we substitute some of the Mk23 for Mk23-E… and suddenly we have the neccessary fire controll.
                Big ouchie!
                But without that the pods won't increase the attack capability of the LAC's significantly.
                Against Eorica Station, stationary shut down BC's or the native Monican Navy it will be suffice. Against sota solarian ships?
                No way.
                Oh, and your numbers are off. 10 missiles per pod was the number at Operation Buttercup. The Mk23 is packed 12 per pod.
                So your LAC wing could launch 2304.
                Or 1536 + 192 Mk23-E's.

              • Harpoon says:

                96 LACs would have more than enough fire control for two pods of missiles, 20 total. Going back to Honor Among Enemies, when Harrington detached 6 LACs to cover Marsh, she stated:

                >>>>"I think we'll leave them a few dozen missile pods, as well. We can modify the fire control to let each LAC handle a couple of them at a time and then put them in Sidemore orbit. If any of Warnecke's orphans want to tangle with that kind of firepower, they won't be leaving again."<<<<

                These were pre-Shrike LACs. As you point out, have four 5-cell revolver launchers, for 20 missiles total which can be launched in 15 seconds. A pair of pods would be easy for a Shrike to handle. A Shrike would have MORE fire control links than those pre-Shrikes. It would make no sense for a Shrike to be able to empty its magazines in 15 seconds by not be able to control all twenty missiles.

                Sorry, the current flat pack missile pods ARE 10 missiles each. You'll see this mentioned later.

              • MadMcAl says:

                You are comparing Warnecke's "Navy" with the SLN. For whatever he had it was irrelevant if the missiles worked at their best. He had only DD's and CL's left. And these where of silesian technology.
                Now compare the ECM, active and passive defenses of these, well we can't call them warships, with that of an solarian SD.
                The SD is arround 100 years more modern in every aspect of its technology. The SD is actually a balanced ship, meaning that the available mass is divided up into proven amounts of offensive weaponry, defensive weaponry, passive defenses, EW, sensors and magacine space, to maximise its combat power. As DW pointed out long ago, the SC didn't use such margins, they prefered full out offensive weaponry.
                Twenty years ago the SLN had its reputation for primacy of all navys earned.
                And lastly the sheer number of defenses a SD can bring on is mind blowing.

                Or in other words, for the situation in Marsh it was enough that the LAC's could point the missiles and launch them.
                That is not an option against a solarian SD.

                About the flat pack, well if you say that in later chapter allready to read in the oopsie-snippet the number of missiles in a pod is 10 then I have to belive you as I didn't read the snippet. But I must say I find it unlogical. There are as a rule 2 types of missile pods.
                Defensive for predeployment in systems and offensive designed to be carried in podlayers. There is no need for a third especially designed for non-podlayers to tow.
                And the actual Mk23-pod holds 12 missiles.
                Maybe it was a sort of typo and will be editet out. I don't know.

              • Harpoon says:

                IIRC , the original MDM pods held 10 missiles, and the missiles were capacitor fired. When they went to the smaller fusion powered MDMs they increased the number to 12 per pod. The flat pack pod is smaller and reduces the missile count back to 10. I believe they did this to get more combat endurance at the expense of slightly smaller salvoes, which they could always increase by staging more pod salvoes with delayed launch.

                IIRC modern RMN LACs also have smaller downsized FTL recon drones. Nowhere near as capable as all up Ghost Rider drones, but vastly better than standard RDs.

                Even with standard drones and light-speed fire control links, a wing of Shrikes with two pods each can hurt a wall. With nearly 800 gees of accel, there's no way an SD can bring Shrikes to action in an open battle. The Shrikes can come hold outside of effective SLN missile range, and let the missiles fly. At 15 million km, the command control loop is "relatively" short, and SLN missile tech is way out of date. They're used to standard broadsides out of a waller, around 40 to 50 missiles every 30 seconds. A podnaught laying double salvoes can fire 120 missiles every 24 seconds, and an Invictus can control around 400 missiles simultaneously.

                In the First Battle of Nightingale, the Peeps concentrated the fire of 32 SDs on just 8 RMN SDs

                >>>>The Peep wall of battle spat twelve hundred birds back at him, and White Haven swallowed a stillborn curse as he realized they'd concentrated solely on BatRon Twenty-One's eight units.<<<<

                Thats 150 missiles targeted on each SD, which was considered quite a threat in those days. These days a salvo of that size would get swatted down easily by modern RMN or RHN wallers. In At All Cost, when Giscard ambushed Harrington at Solon, her two SDPs with lighter units and LACs in tow swatted a 1100 missile salvo. Giscard countered with a nearly 11,000 missile salvo, which caused lots of damage to one SDP but didn't kill it. It wasn't until the Peeps sprung Moriarty and launched a 17,000 missile salvo did TF 82 start losing ships.

                Prior to Apollo, everyone suffered for the limitations of light-speed control links. Ghost Rider FTL drones could give real time data on the enemy, but the control links still suffered from light-speed limitations.

                Oh, and regarding the defensive capabilty of the SLN. A Keyhole equipped Nike is probably a much tougher missile target than a Solly SD, as evidenced by the amount of fire Nike and Hector, supported by 48 Katanas, took in Chapter 27 of At All Cost.

              • MadMcAl says:

                You are right about the original MDM-pods. Even the "original" pods used in Hancock carried 10 missiles.
                But in AAC the pods in the podnaughts where up to 12 per pod. 6 pods per single pattern. Makes 72 missiles per pattern. I don't remember anything written where it was stated that the pods in the SD(P)'s are not the pods used outside of the podnaughts.
                There is simply no reason to. They have enough logistic problems with the 2-Mk23-pod designes, the Mk23-E-pod design, the Mk23-F pod design and the Mk16-pod-design.
                Or, without these number, the standard-MDN pod, the systemdefense-MDM pod, the standard-Apollo pod, the systemdefense-Apollo pod and the BC(P) pod.
                That are 5 different pod designs. They don't need 2 additional.
                Your numbers about the SD-missiles are a bit off. While there is nothing that mentiones the standard size of a pre-podder-missile broadside, we know that the 75 missiles per target that Wayfarer launched in Marsh where above that number (the 75 missiles, not the complete salvoe of 300). Also we know that a pre-podder BC had a missile broadside arround 30 launchers (that was the broadside of a Reliant). We know that battleship has more firepower, but not how much more. Considering that a CA has a broadside of arround 25 missiles (Sag-C) we can asume that a BB has a Broadside of 35-40 Missiles. We also know that a BB has 30% of the missile broadside that a SD has.
                As you easily can read, some of this numbers don't add up. But they are official numbers by DW. As your numbers about Nightingale. So I would take every number with a grain of salt. If you think about your numbers, you find that every havenite SD launched 37.5 missiles. That can't be right.
                Asuming that much of the combat power difference between SD's and BB's comes from the SD's use of capital missiles we still have to asume around 50-60 missile launchers per broadside.

                Now about these missile defenses, and the fire controll, consider one thing.
                The capital missiles fired from a SD have all the tactical computing power of an SD behind. Alone this computers propably mass more than a complete LAC.
                They have absolute more calculation power than 96 LAC's together

                I don't say that the 2 pods per LAC won't be a rude surprise for every solarian SD. But not as rude as you seem to picture.

              • Harpoon says:

                You are off on your numbers for capital ship broadsides:

                From The Short Victorious War:
                >>>Nike and Agamemnon alone spat a hundred and seventy-eight missiles at the Peeps, almost five times the broadside of a Sphinx-class superdreadnought.<<<

                That would put a Sphinx's broadside between 36 and perhaps 40.

                Regarding the Peeps at Nightigale, that figure of 1200 missiles from 32 SDs is probably just an nice round number.

                A Reliant BC has a broadside of 25 tubes, while a Sultan has only 20 tubes per broadside, but greater magazine capacity. This is from the appendix at the end of SVW.

                A Peep BB does not have 30% the broadside of an SD.
                Rather:

                >>>they had little more than fifteen percent of an SD's energy armament but thirty percent of its missile power<<<.

                Missile power would be a combination of total tubes plus magazine capacity.

                Besides, later in Flag in Exile:

                >>>but all twenty-four battleships between them could produce only seven hundred missiles in reply<<<

                That works out to exactly 29.16 missiles per BB. Again
                Weber seems to be rounding, so call it 30 tubes in a BB broadside. So while a BB has about 75% of a SDs missile broadside, it would have perhaps only a quarter the magazine capacity.

                We know than an Andermani Derfflinger SD has half again the broadside of a Sphinx SD, roughly 60 tubes, but very light energy armament.

                I think that you are trying scale the number of tubes upwards along with tonnage, and that is not the case. Part of the overall limitation of a ships total missile broadside is partly the total length of the ship and spacing of the tubes. The primary limitation is the fact
                that if you put too many missiles in a single broadside,
                you risk missile fratricide as they bring up their impellers, and you risk blinding your our fire control from wedge interference:

                From Infodump:
                >>>One is the need to limit one's self to a total broadside which can avoid impeller wedge fratricide on launch. Another consideration is that, like the gunsmoke of pre-space broadsides, each missile salvo temporarily
                causes a massive degradation in the broadside fire

                control sensors of the firing ship as the missile wedges block them, which means that there is little point in mounting larger numbers of tubes (or, for that matter, tubes with much shorter cycle times) simply because one must wait for "the range to clear" before launching the next salvo anyway.. There are other considerations, including ammunition supply concerns, but perhaps the overriding one is that prior to the introduction of missile
                pods, the defensive power of opposing SDs was such that in a one-on-one duel, no SD was likely to be able to get any significant number of hits through her opponent's active and passive defenses even with the maximum number of tubes which could be packed in (at least, without making totally unacceptable sacrifices in close in [i.e., energy weapons] firepower and/or defensive systems) in a single opening salvo.&lt;&lt;&lt;

                <a href=”http://infodump.thefifthimperium.com/Harrington/h…&lt;spanclass="idc-clear"&gt;&lt;/span&gt;” target=”_blank”>http://infodump.thefifthimperium.com/Harrington/h…&lt;spanclass="idc-clear"&gt;&lt;/span&gt;

              • MadMcAl says:

                You are right. I constantly think about the Nikes totally missile armament as 60, not 50, and from there I guess the numbers of the classes wrong. If you adjust my numbers down for this error, your and my numbers come very close.
                I guessed the BB as 35-40 = BC + 5 – 10. If you take 25 for the BC you get 30-35 for the BB.
                For the SD I had 10-25 more than a BB. Saying instead of 50-60 we get now 40 – 60. Also right inside your bracket.

                About the difference between an BB and an SD, well, I think with missile power DW means the destructive capacity of a single broadside. Else this information would be irrelevant in the short engagement between Honors SD's and the BB's. But I think much of this difference comes from the used missile type:
                http://infodump.thefifthimperium.com/Harrington/h

                Also we know that the andermani and the havenite SD's are missile-heavy compared to an manticorean pre-podder.
                The manties had the technology to get a higher percentage of their missiles through the defenses and didn't need the higher number to offset that.
                So 50 for a havenite SD is not illogical.
                About the scaling up with tonage, I didn't do that. Doing that would mean that a BB with more than twice the tonnage of an BC also had more than twice the number of launchers. Or in other words, it would have over 50 launchers per broadside. And a SD in the same way would over 100 launchers per broadside. More than 200 launchers.
                No, I simply used the estimate rule DW himself provided in his books and infodumps whenever he gave hard numbers.

                But all that doesn't give us any idea how many broadside-launchers a solarian SD will have.
                They have the techbase to go the RMN's way and simply assume that their tech is good enough to penetrate any defenses, so they don't need many missiles.
                Or they could go the peep-approach that they use as many missiles as possible (remember before the war the PN didn't think that the RMN's weapons where so much better).
                Or they could use the design philosophys developed around their last battle, and have simply forgotten to take the new technologys (of the last 300 years) into a good design approach.
                We simply don't know.

              • You're absolutely right. I see the LAC as going the sailing cannon armed gunboat to the Italian MAS/American PT boat. Both couldn't stand up to even destroyers with their main armament, but could use torpedos to sink every class of ship. It was T. B.s that brought back the destroyer/corvette/frigate class in every navy. Well… them and
                Submarines.

              • Harpoon says:

                In one of the early books I think Harrington referred to LACs as eggshells armed with hammers.

              • MadMcAl says:

                That was before the Shrike. The Shrike is still relative fragile. But it is much much better. Before you could forget to go against a CL with 4 LAC's. That was pure suicide.

              • Harpoon says:

                It would depend on how current the CLs systems are, and how well trained the crew is. A recent Peep CL, would be hard pressed against 4 Shrikes because it is slower, with poorer EW, inferior energy armament. It would have far greater missile capacity, but with much can fire far less per salvo, and it's missiles are still shorter ranged with inferior seekers and penaids. In a open space battle, 4 Shrikes can come into extreme missile range (for RMN missiles), fire 80 missiles, then move into energy range to sweep up the pieces. Even the most recent Peep CL would be hard pressed against a 80 missile salvo. 4 Shrikes can handle any return missile fire that a Peep CL could generate. This all of course excludes missile pods.

                In the Battle of Manticore, after Home Fleet was destroyed, the surviving LACs, after killing the Peep LACs, numbered 1600 LACs left, 900 of them Shrikes. The Shrikes were sent in on 33 battlecruiser, using only their grasers, since their light missile warheads weren't up to the job against BC grade armor. They killed 28 BCs outright and hulked the last 5, but lost 481 on their number.

                Thats about 27 Shrikes attacking each BC, and they lost about 15 of the 27, but they were limited to grasers only.

                300 Ferrets attacked 41 CAs, killing them all but losing 112 of their 300. They hit each CA with ~400 missiles, stated as having destroyer weight warheads. Rather light to be taking on CA armor and sidewalls, but in large enough numbers to make that a moot point.

                Going back to Honor Among Enemies, near the end, after Wayfarere has been damaged, Harringtion detaches her six LACs to cover Artemis, stating they "can probably stand up to a heavy cruiser for you if they have to."

                These are pre-Shrikes. Shrikes are much better, and while Peep systems are also much improved, destroyers and light cruisers really can't tangle with Shrikes unless they catch them totally off guard.

              • MadMcAl says:

                Sorry, but I think you misunderstood my post. I wanted to say that before the Shrike it was suicide to go at a CL with 4 LAC's. It was not neccessary suicide going with 6 Silesia LAC's and 2 pods each against a silesian CL with a pirate-like training. Far from it.
                Against a pre war havenite CL it would have been suicide without the pods. Period. With pre-war LAC's it would have been suicide WITH pods. They would propably take the cruiser with them, even a CA, but their chance of survival would have been miniscule.
                And yes, I fully agree that a LAC-squadron can take on anything up to an older BC. The only lighter units they have to fear are the (L)'s. DD(L)'s, CL(L)'s and CA(L)'s. And of course the BC(P)'s and BC(L)'s.
                Or, with other words, they have to be carefull going against modern allied units. But the lighter hyper capable units still have a few slight advantages.
                1. They are hyper-capable.
                2. With the same level of technology build in they are much more powerfull.
                3. They are hyper-capable
                4. For anti-piracy missions they are a bit better suited, as they can patrol between the systems.
                5 They are hyper-capable
                6. Even for system-defense they can in many cases circle around the enemy using their hyper-capability.

                But all that is mostly irrelevant for main system defense (meaning defense of Manticore or Grayson) where literally thousands of LAC's are available or large offensive fleet-actions, where LAC-carriers are part of the attacking fleet from the onset and we again have thousands of LAC's.
                But this two operation-types will be for a long time the main type of the alliance military after the BoMA.
                So the lighter hyper capable units are free for anti piracy, commerce raiding and of course playing roving fire brigade in Talbot.

              • thirdbase says:

                You missed a couple of advantages of lighter hyper-capable units.
                7. Endurance, hyper-capable units can patrol for months.
                8. Endurance, hyper-capable units have a much larger ammo supply, they can participate in a longer missile battle.
                9. They are hyper-capable.
                10. They can board/capture enemy vessels.
                11. Survivability, hyper-capable units are more likely to survive one or two hits that penetrate the sidewalls.

  11. mwhiddon says:

    Question still is do you have any kind of stand up fight here no matter your tech lead.Isnt SLN help closer than Henkes?

  12. catboy says:

    I think that henk well win and there well be lots of dead sollies.

  13. dac says:

    the winner of any combat situation is going to depend upon the specifics/details that DW writes into the scene

    In the Byng v. Gold Peak

    Head to head, energy range – Manties die

    Even up Missile attack – Manties win, but not a blow out

    Suprise energy attack by Sollies – manties blown out of the water

    Suprise missle attack by Sollies, all around death and destruction

    • MadMcAl says:

      You missed the long range missile range – Manties will destroy the Sollies.
      And in the even up missile range, well 8 Nikes have the throw weight of 16 Reliants and the endurance (magacine space) of around 20-24.
      Combined with pod-age missile defenses, Ghost Rider EW and the front/aft-wall they have the sheer power to kill the Sollies completely. And when they use their accelleration advantage to the fullest they can expect to win even more easily.

      But you should think a bit more about Byngs personality. He want's to prove to everyone and his brother that the RMN is trash. That Manticoreans can't hold a candle to the might of the SOLARIAN LEAGUE (Caps intended).
      If he ambushes this puny little excuses for warships with 3 times the number of ships without giving them the chance to fight, what will that prove? That he is a treacherous snake that needs a 3:1 advantage to make a surprise attack that can't fail? No, he "knows" that his 25 BC's and their screen are more than able to take on 8 Nikes in a "fair" fight, and he wants to prove that.

      • Harpoon says:

        I don't even think Byng is trying to prove anything. He KNOWS that the RMN are uppity neobarbs. His preconceptions, and inability to look past them, are going to be his ruin. He won't believe that the RMN might be better, and his decision making is colored for it.

        • MadMcAl says:

          Correct. BYNG knows the Manties are neobarbs. But he also knows that these politican-weenys in the core are prone to overestimate them. That these easy impressable masses belive they are better than they are. So he has to prove them that the RMN is garbage.
          And of course he has his upstanding fine officer comrades in his fine, upstanding superior navy to prove that he didn't need treachery to wipe these scum from existance.

          Of course, i repeatetly gagged while typing this last sentence.

  14. I expect that Byng's whole force will be wiped out.

  15. lkan says:

    This intense dabate thing doesn't seem to work with Javascript off.

  16. Thirdbase says:

    Actually in energy range with both sides ready for battle, Henke's ships are going to rip apart anything that gets under her guns. Henke's ships only 12 grasers in each broadside, fewer energy weapons than Honor's Nike had in ships 3 times the mass. Those grasers are almost certainly DN or SD class weapons, they will blow through the sidewalls of any normal BC. While the numbers game probably will destroy Henke's command, she will leave a lot of hulking Sollie wrecks behind her.

    • MadMcAl says:

      Not really. You are of course right about the individual power of the energy mounts. And the equally stronger sidewalls and armor will also tell. But the sheer number of the solarian ships and the rather short range of an energy engagement will be even more significant. Without sidewalls even a DD-energy mount can damage a Nike. And the Nike's can't prevent every of the enemy ships to maneuver into a crossing the T.
      Sure, much more of the sollies will die than they would predict, but not one Nike would escape.

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