Midst Toil And Tribulation – Snippet 46

Midst Toil And Tribulation – Snippet 46

.XI.

King’s Harbor,

Helen Island,

Kingdom of Old Charis,

Empire of Charis

There were too many of them to fit into Baron Seamount’s office this time, so they’d met in Sir Dustyn Olyvyr’s drafting office, instead. The drafting tables where the ICN’s Chief Naval Constructor’s assistant designers normally labored had been moved back against the enormous room’s walls and a conference table had been moved into the middle of the floor. The louvered skylights were open, allowing the harbor breeze to swirl through, and sunlight poured through the glass, flooding the room with the light the draftsman normally required. The smells of salt water, freshly sawn timbers, tar, and paint came with the breeze, and the cries of gulls and sea wyverns, mingled with the shouts of foremen and their work crews, floated through the opened windows over the racket of hammers and saws.

“Every time I get out here, it seems like you’ve figured out how to cram at least one more building way into the waterfront, Sir Dustyn,” Cayleb Ahrmahk said wryly.

“It’s not really that bad, Your Majesty,” Olyvyr said.

“No, not quite,” Domynyk Staynair agreed. “Although, I do seem to recall having authorized you to demolish four of those warehouses associated with the old foundry in order to build new slips over there. Is my memory playing me false?”

“Well, no. It isn’t.”

“I thought not.” Baron Rock Point nodded, standing behind his chair at the table, and surveying the assembled group. Almost half were members of the inner circle, which was going to make the ensuing conversation interesting, since they’d have to remember the other half weren’t.

“All right.” Cayleb slid Sharleyan’s chair up to the table after she was seated, then dropped into his own, “I know we’re all short on time — especially with Sharleyan due to leave for Chisholm in only seven days.” He grimaced. “She and I both have a lot of things we need to do before then, and all of you have just as many projects and responsibilities waiting for you. It’s not often we get a chance to sit down in one place together, though, and before we scatter to our various roosts, I want to make sure we cover everything that needs to be covered. Ehdwyrd,” he looked at Ehdwyrd Howsmyn, “I know you and Captain Rahskail and Commander Malkaihy need to spend at least a full day of your own discussing the new artillery designs. I want to sit in on that as well, if I can find time. At the moment, though,” he returned his attention to Olyvyr, “I’m more interested in where we are on the new ship designs.”

“Of course, Your Majesty.” Olyvyr nodded and settled into his own chair, like all of the others — except Seijin Merlin, who stood comfortably beside the only door into the big room — after the emperor and empress had been seated. Then he folded the hands which bore the long-faded scars of chisel, saw, and adze on the table in front of him and nodded to the man at his right, Captain Tompsyn Saigyl. “Tompsyn and I have been working on that, and we’re confident we’ve solved the last design problems — assuming Ehdwyrd and Commander Hainai’s final drawings and performance estimates on the engines are accurate?”

He raised one eyebrow, and Howsmyn shrugged.

“The test engine’s completed and running, Dustyn, and we’re actually producing about ten more dragonpower than predicted.”

Olyvyr nodded. One “dragonpower,” the unit Stahlman Praigyr had proposed to measure the energy output of his beloved engines, equated to about twenty-five Old Earth horsepower.

“Of course, at this point we haven’t had a chance to see how well our projected propeller efficiency will stand up,” Howsmyn continued, “but the rest of the numbers we’ve given you are sound. And the canal boat propellers we’ve tested so far have come out fairly close to the efficiencies we’d predicted. We’ll be delivering the first harbor tug in about another three five-days, so you should be able to play with it yourself, if you like.”

“And the plate production estimates?”

“There I can’t be quite as confident,” Howsmyn admitted. “Those depend on whether or not we’re able to continue to increase capacity at the projected rate. And whether or not we have enough iron, for that matter. Nickel production’s running a little ahead of our estimated requirements, but there’s only so much iron ore to go around.”

“That’s why I authorized you to strip the iron guns off our Desnairian and Navy of God prizes,” Rock Point said. “It’s not like we’ve got the manpower to crew every ship we have, anyway, and the workmanship on the Desnairian guns, especially, is less than reliable, so if we’re going to find you scrap metal, better there than anywhere else I can think of.” He glanced at Cayleb and Sharleyan and grimaced, his expression unhappy. “I don’t like disarming that many galleons, but Ehdwyrd’s already melted down everything else I could think of, and we can always move guns from some of our early emergency-build ships into the prize vessels later. We always knew using so much green timber was going to cost us in the end, and God knows we’re starting to have enough problems with dry rot! And it’s only going to get worse over the next year or two.”

Cayleb nodded, although he was actually hard put not to smile, and from the way Sharleyan was squeezing his hand under the table, she was, as well. The idea had been hers, after all. They were going to need lots of transports to lift Eastshare’s expeditionary force across to the Republic, once they officially found out about it, and Howsmyn and the rest of the Empire’s foundries needed all the iron they could get. So, since war galleons were already fitted to carry large crews, which meant they had the berthing space and water and food stowage for feeding and transporting sizable numbers of men, why not kill two wyverns with one stone? Go ahead and begin stripping the artillery out now for Howsmyn and his fellow ironmasters, which would just happen to leave Rock Point with a significant number of galleons, berthed right here at Helen Island or Tellesberg, which could immediately be sent off to Chisholm.

“That’s going to help a lot, obviously,” Howsmyn said with admirable gravity. “And Brahd Stylmyn thinks he can increase output at the High Rock mines by perhaps another five, possibly even six percent once the new engines are fully available. I think he’s underestimating a bit, but there’s no way we’re going to get an output increase of more than, say, ten percent in anything less than four or five years, no matter what we do. Those new deposits in the Hallecks are going to help, too, but it’s going to take at least several months to get the mines operating, and transport’s going to be a real problem even after we do. That’s why we’re putting so much effort into the Lake Lymahn Works right now, to decrease how far we’d have to ship it.” It was his turn to grimace. “Which, of course, is diverting trained manpower at the moment we need it most to support your new project, Dustyn.”

“So is the bottom line that we’re going to be able to produce the necessary iron and steel or not?” Sharleyan asked.

“The answer is . . . probably but not certainly. For the immediate future, that is,” Howsmyn said, manifestly unhappily. “On the other hand, the answer for the entire program the High Admiral and I originally discussed is more likely going to be ‘no,’ I’m afraid, at least in anything like our original timeframe.”

“Would that change if we pulled those workmen of yours home from Lake Lymahn and the other new works you’re building?” Rock Point asked.

“Not hugely.” Howsmyn leaned back and shook his head. “And if we pull them back, we lose the increased production we’re going to need even worse down the road.”

“I think you’re entirely right about that,” Cayleb said. “In fact, I think we probably need to make it a hard and fast rule that we’re going to reserve at least — what? ten percent? — of your total capacity for expansion.”

“Your Majesty, I don’t know if we can do that,” Baron Ironhill, the Empire’s treasurer, said. He looked back and forth between Howsmyn, Rock Point, and the emperor and empress. “Your Majesties know how bad the treasury numbers look right now, especially with the loss of all the trade that was moving through Siddarmark to the rest of the mainland. I expect to see some recovery in the revenue numbers in the next year or so, but it’s not going to make up for what we’ve lost. Frankly, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to steal enough money to finance the Crown’s projected share of the new works after all, and even if I can, we’re going to be committed to supporting a major land war in Siddarmark. That means we’re going to have to operate on a mainland scale, and we’ve never done that where the Army and the Marines are concerned. If we don’t produce what they need now — and find the money to pay for it somehow — it won’t matter what we may be able to produce in another three years’ time. And right now, frankly, Ehdwyrd’s running at full capacity just to meet current needs.”

“Ahlvyno’s right about what we’re going to need, at least in the next year to fifteen months.” Trahvys Ohlsyn, the Earl of Pine Hollow, who’d replaced the murdered Rayjhis Yowance as Cayleb’s first councilor, didn’t look happy to hear himself saying that. “We can’t afford to cut back the Navy — the Empire’s fundamental security won’t let us do that — but we’re going to find ourselves under huge pressure to support Stohnar and any troops we put ashore in Siddarmark. But you’re right, as well, Your Majesty. We have to keep expanding output if we’re going to meet our future needs.”

 

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62 Responses to Midst Toil And Tribulation – Snippet 46

  1. adam says:

    There is gonna be a lot more expansion of the mines than i think they foresee. With steam powered canal boats and railroads the transportation issue is not going to be an issue. Also with the invention of gun cotton, nitroglycerin is just a little step away leading to an increase in the mining side as well. Plus who knows. some enterprising young soul could come up with steam mining equipment.

    • Allan G says:

      For mining something cheap and stable is better – ANFO is a reasonable choice to supersede gunpowder or fire mining (particularly as it can be shipped as a binary explosive and mixed on site).
      Nitroglycerine is really unstable even as dynamite or gelignite, particularly without refrigeration.

      • Oh come now, Allan, dynamite, when reasonably fresh, isn’t all that unstable. When I was working on one construction project, I used to carry around a half-stick or full stick of dynamite in my coat pocket without incident.

        • Allan G says:

          And there’s a lot of dead shot setters who thought the same.
          Safer explosives are known, so it makes sense to produce them. RDX springs to mind (C-4’s & Semtex’s core ingredient – just watch the CoGA try to duplicate that).
          Possibly passing the CoGA the “almost right” formula for Nitroglycerine would be an interesting stunt. (and remove some of their R&D staff).
          Large scale explosive production requires ammonia production and without synthesis, this is a critical bottleneck.

          • marcel says:

            also, making TNT (or its lesser sibling DNT) is a very exothermic process. My chemistry teacher loved to tell how he’d blown up a lab in university. He’d been testing a patent, and the reaction sped up, the brew heated and then exploded. If I remember correctly the patent application said cool to 100 C instead of 100 K for the critical stage. Lesson: people put intentional errors in patent applications to hinder the opposition, even in engineering.

            Nice way to eliminate the entire scientific society of a fundamentally antiscientific society.

        • BobG says:

          You can get a fair amount of ammonia from Coal Tar.

  2. Frank says:

    We have now run into the issue of ‘Good, Fast, and Cheap’. You an only have two of the three. Good and fast won’t be cheap. Cheap and good won’t be fast. Not to mention the fact that money makes the world go round. No money no economy no war. They have got to find a way to fund this war in an alternative way. I am just not seeing it. Also I am also slightly concerned about the looming manpower bottleneck. They just don’t have the people to fight a main land war. Robbing Peter to pay Paul only works until Peter catches on. We got trouble! Right here in River City!

    • Nico de Lange says:

      I think this campaign in Siddarmark is going to be vital wrt that issue. If successful, it will result in the stabilization of one of Charis’ major markets – & it will also give Charis the major land forces & foothold on the mainland she has always known she needed in order to defeat the CoGA.

      Moreover, if the Siddarmark campaign succeeds, the CoGA will for the first time clearly be on the defensive, which I suspect will encourage a major reallignment of loyalties among some of the mainland monarchies.

      • G Redinger says:

        Er… I don’t see how the Siddarmark campaign is going to help the finances any. Certainly, they it gives Charis a large and secure beachhead on the mainland, but trade across military fronts is notoriously constricted to all but very high-value goods.

        While Siddaramrk was at peace, it had a vibrant internal economy and could ship goods all across the mainland. And Charisian goods were winked at. Now, its internal economy is shot to hell and there’s not a lot of trade with places that are still productive. And Charisian goods will get a lot more hard stares.

        As a general rule, places you’re shipping food aid to don’t pay a lot of taxes. Admittedly, Siddarmark’s very abrupt decline may be a special case, and there may be stored wealth in vaults that escaped the despoilation of the less-guarded granaries.

        The one thing I wonder is if Safehold has heard of war bonds. The sale of war bonds to the general public was begin in the American Civil War, so it’s certainly appropriate for “this point in history”.

        • Spktyr says:

          Er, per the textev in a prior snippet, I suspect that Charisian goods are now going to be looked upon with much more favor by non-TL Siddarmarkians.

        • Spktyr says:

          From Snippet 15:

          “Frankly, there was more truth in that explanation (in Safeholdian terms, at least) than Merlin really cared for, but the vast majority of Siddarmarkians didn’t care how Cayleb and Sharleyan had known. No, what they cared about was that the House of Ahrmahk had begun assembling those convoys of food and medical supplies long before they’d been asked to, and that they’d sent them to the Republic with no strings attached. No demand for payment, for alliances. No political conditions or stipulations. The Empire and Church of Charis had simply sent everything it had the hulls to move, and that was why a strong man had sat in a cathedral and wept as his capital’s church bells rang out the news that even in a world gone mad, there was a realm and a church which simply sent what it had to those who needed it so desperately.”

          Doing that gets you a lot of goodwill. See the Berlin Airlift.

          • G Redinger says:

            Oh, no doubt non-TL Siddarmark loves Charis. They may be staunch allies with little internal dissent despite the pain of being the front line. But the question is what material (or materiel) contribution can they make to Charis’ treasury? On the largest scale, military logistics is dependent on economics. I think their value as a market, which Nico de Lange was referring to, has plummeted since the outbreak of the civil war.

            The treasury is bare and a source of funds to pay for all of these expensive new toys is required. Siddarmark is a wonderful strategically, but like all beachheads it’s a logistical problem (hooray for the mountains and the winter complicating the CoGA’s supply ptoblems!), and the EoC sould probably have preferred to keep building its technical lead and dominating the oceans for a few years before starting a land war in Asia on the mainland.

          • JimHacker says:

            The Berlin Airlift may have been good for PR but it didn’t turn a profit in cold hard cash.

            • Spktyr says:

              No, but that’s because it wasn’t put to that use. American manufacturers didn’t follow up by bringing in retail goods for purchase by the Germans. If they had, they might have found they could have sold all they could import.

              • JimHacker says:

                Airlifting in retail goods is rarely profitable, even today. That’s why we still use cargo ships. Airfreight is generally reserved for high-value or time sensitive items. But more to the point, it was theBerlin airlift, not the German one. The market wasn’t sizable enough for a significant profit to be made. And the same is true of Siddarmark. Siddarmarkians are going to have other concerns. The market is going to be relatively small, especially compared to what it used to be. Trade with Siddarmark may be able to turn a profit. But that trade is not going to be the size or have the margins of pre-SoS trade.

            • Nimitz13 says:

              Think long term. The CoGA just threw Siddarmark into the arms of the EoC – permanently. The number of people opposing it just DOUBLED at least! Siddarmark and the EoC are signing mutual defense treaties, trade treaties, cutting tariffs, and becoming bosom buddies.

              For its size, Siddarmark has the best canal system on Safehold and ports that run from north-central Howard clear to the border with Silkiah, and another on the Bay of Bess that’s right next to Dohlar and the southern border states.

              Sooner than we probably suspect, Siddarmark is about to have an industrial revolution that could dwarf what Charis has been able to accomplish based on the sheer size of its population. Charis is 1/5 of the EoC by population size, yet it’s pulling almost all the weight. That needs to be spread out, but investing in Siddarmark is about to become VERY inexpensive, and they need jobs and Charisian goods – especially textiles for clothes, etc.

              The internal economy will snap back sooner than you expect. Madam Pahrsahn can buy on the cheap at the moment, and I’m sure she’s not the only one.

              The ratio just went from 93% of the planet supporting the CoGA to somewhere around 85%, (or less) and don’t think other countries aren’t considering switching sides. Once Desnair’s cavalry is destroyed and its army badly mauled, their support for the CoGA is going to take a severe beating – and they are probably the only other country on Safehold who isn’t in debt to mother church.

              If Desnair defects, it would make it a LOT easier for Silkiah to jump to the EoC’s side… and I’m sure Dohlar would LOVE to repudiate its extensive debts to mother church. (After the ICM hang the current king for turning the Charisian POWs over to the inquisition.) Bleek!

  3. Mike says:

    Wars are run on debt. Who is willing to loan money to the Empire?

    • Spktyr says:

      At a guess? Grateful Siddarmarkian banks. Also, if they haven’t already, now is the time to invent war bonds.

      • JimHacker says:

        You and I have a tendancy to do the simultaneous post things don’t we? The Siddarmarkian banks are a good idea, but I suspect they’ll have made big losses due to SoS and they’ll be more focused on financing Stohnar.

        • Spktyr says:

          Stohnar doesn’t *have* much of anything to finance at the current time. The mighty Siddarmarkian army’s been broken and it will take some time before it can be reconstituted. He doesn’t begin to have the forces he needs to retake his lost territory; worse, he doesn’t yet have the ability to rebuild it no matter how much money he has – he’s lost most of the population base he can recruit from, his industrial base is pretty much gone or at least mostly offline and there’s no local food for him to buy. What’s he going to be spending money on in his own country?

          No, I see Stohnar either redirecting money to the EoC by means of mass purchases (think: Lend-Lease) from the only people they can get products from and who bailed them out – or more directly by telling his local financiers to support the EoC as the only way to save their nation.

          • JimHacker says:

            Or perhaps he’ll be spending much of it on a recruitment and infrastructure-building drive.

            • Spktyr says:

              I don’t think he has the resources for either right now. He’s going to end up with a bunch of money that he can’t spend locally. His resource-and-food-producing regions are largely either under hostile control or are unusable due to lack of personnel, ongoing combat or sabotage/damage. He has nothing to feed any factories he can create and nothing to feed his workers. Kind of makes it difficult to recruit, train and retain troops in that case.

              No, I suspect that Siddarmarkian gold, albeit much diminished from its peak volume, will soon be flowing into the EoC – this time to buy food, weapons and other necessities/equipment needed to even consider such a mobilization.

              But once they get back online and running again and with armaments supplied by Charis…

              • JimHacker says:

                We know there are a couple of foundries (in particular, the one which was expanding an upgrading on the sly) under his control. Given what happend in the last book that one at least has to be in or near Old Province and you don’t build foundries unless there is a source of ore nearby. Expanding these simply has to be a priority. While the practical limits to expansion mean it can’t be as massive as he might wish, it will still cost a tidy sum.

                And he simply has to recruit more soldiers (so long as he can feed them) if he wants to even attempt parity with Church forces. And he should be able to feed them – Siddarmarks agriculture is recovering and the EoC should be able to supply any excess. Taxation on Charisian food exorts will be substantial, but not so large in the scale of the war. Mostly the export of food will simply help prop up food prices from the inevitable plunge when Siddarmarks agriculture recovers.

                While Siddarmark may buy excess arms from Charis, trying to use this to finance Charis would be a very bad idea. Yes, those funds should be ploughed back into industrial development but to generate the kind of funding you seem to think Chairs will get from selling arms, Charis would have to turn to war-profiteering. That wouldn’t be a bad idea in many circumstances, but in the current situation it wouldn’t work.

              • TrevorH says:

                Charis has already taken a lot of prisoners of war who can legitimately be put to work growing food, building roads etc..

    • JimHacker says:

      Perhaps its citizens? War bonds have been useful in raising money in our own past for governments in expensive wars with public support. In addition to citizens of the Empire buying bonds (they will all add up), perhaps some bigger players might take advantage to finance the war. For example, Cayleb specifically decided not to loot Emerald’s treasury to finance the war. Perhaps now the Princedom of Emerald might ‘invest’ whatever it isn’t currently using on infrastructure projects in lots of war bonds in order to give Charis a de-facto loan. After all, Emerald is in the same boat now.

      I think I thought this up myself, but may have seen it on the forums somehwer and inadvertantly stole it. If I did, all credit to whoever came up with it.

  4. Spktyr says:

    Also of interest is that they seem to know the nickel steels… but have they ‘discovered’ chromium or vanadium yet? If not, now might be a good time to do so. Chrome vanadium steels will reduce the need to make replacement parts to stockpile as well as open up a whole host of fun new things that *require* CrV or better steels – and without the knowledge of exactly what alloy they were made from (or how to even make that alloy), the CoGA wouldn’t even begin to be able to duplicate one even if it was handed to them. In fact, that would be an amusing way to cause the CoGA to waste enormous amounts of time and resources – ‘hand’ them a device that requires a special steel to operate more than a couple of times that looks decisive and watch them go nuts trying to make one without all the pieces of the puzzle.

    For safety’s sake, though, it needs to be something that would be quickly obsolete though not obviously so and that even if they decide to make a million of them and accept an instant 90% failure rate anyway it doesn’t make much difference.

  5. stephen y says:

    I would like to see a similar meeting of the Group of Four. This has been a contest of a small very efficient force against a much larger but inefficient one.

    The CoGA was having trouble financing the war before the lose of the revenue from Siddarmark. They may be able to increase their revenue by mandating a increase in the traditional tithe under threat of the inquisition but that would have a definite political cost.

    It is times like this I am glad I only have to read about these problem instead of having to solve them.

    • Spktyr says:

      In which case, they will start running into the problems faced by the Terran Church when they discovered Crusades tended to be extremely expensive…

      It doesn’t end well for the Church.

    • BobG says:

      I suspect that the income of the other countries in Howard and Haven are going to be even more devastated than the Charisian Empire. With no source for imports, and no shipping, they will be forced onto local resources, and many things will not be available to them. In addition, they are paying for a large military invasion, which means not only the costs of paying and equipping the forces, but also the cost of shipping the supplies. Further, the many men who are serving in the military are no longer available as part of the work force. Adding additional tithes in countries that are already paying for the invasion does not sound so smart to me.

      In the Harchong Empire, much of the force as a threat to keep the serfs under control has been sent away. Maybe it is time for some insurrection, especially if news of the war is bad? If there are massive casualties? I’m not sure how much information on that would get back, but if the wounded are sent back to their homelands, they would presumably detail the losses – unless the church does something to prevent that.

      • Frank says:

        A good thought. But you have to have leaders in an insurrection. Harchong seems to me as very abrupt with anything/anyone that might move in that direction.

    • Nimitz13 says:

      We had a long and involved discussion on the Weber forums about this, in a thread called “CoGA Bankrupt?” or something close to that, so if you wanna see some in-depth analysis, check there.

      A few highlights: The CoGA can always fall back on the time-honored practice of looting to pay their soldiers. Not that there’s likely to BE a lot left to loot in western Siddarmark, but you never know.

      What we also don’t know is how much of the bill for the average soldier in the Army of God is being paid by the CoGA. The AoG refers ONLY to the combined armies of the Border States, and doesn’t include the Dohlaran army, the hordes of ravaging but ever so pious Harchongese, or the obsolete Desnairan cavalry that’s about to save loads on fodder because they’ll no longer exist. These armies aren’t ALL going to fight for free, and their weapons, food and supplies need to be paid for somehow.

      On a side note I expect when the Temple guard shows up we’ll finally see enemy troops armed with rifled flintlocks, although Dohlar and Desnair will have some in the south. Harchong won’t have many and they’ll be more dangerous to those using them than anyone they shoot at, as usual. The hand-me-down flintlocks the ICA hands over to Stohnar’s troops may outnumber the combined flintlock rifles carried by the entire forces of the CoGA, and won’t those Mahndrayn breechloading rifles be a pleasant surprise…

      Although it appears that the soldiers of the AoG are largely planning on being paid by looting, many of them are fanatics who really don’t need to be paid at all – mother church CAN order the secular leaders to attack heretics and doesn’t have to pay for it. Long term only Desnair can afford to field a large army since the embargo has destroyed the planet’s economy, but for now the rulers of the Border States and Dohlar are expecting to be awarded huge tracts of land in Siddarmark to pay for their war contributions. A massive defeat or two will result in a rapid rethinking of that approach, after which they’ll demand cash instead and THEN the coffers are the CoGA are well and truly screwed.

      The CoGA can sell off properties, take out loans from banks, etc., and even sell war bonds backed by future revenues. After all, it’s unimaginable that mother church, which has been the largest financial institution in existence since the very founding of Safehold won’t be able to repay its debts! ;)

      As for Charis, the MWW hinted that he’d left a financial windfall for them somewhere on the map, so led by Drak many of us are thinking that Silverlode Island’s name probably has SOME basis in fact… Bleek!

      • robert says:

        Isn’t there a lady in Siddarmark who has a lot of financial connections? Let’s ask her. I bet she knows where there is gold/gelt stashed away.

  6. Nimitz13 says:

    Let’s see, we have steam-powered canal boats, iron plating, and breech loading cannon.

    Put them together and what do we get? And where would we like to send the result? “Hmm…” this treecat muses as he eyes a map of Siddarmark.

    Bleek! Bleek! Bleek! (Treecat way of saying “This is probably REALLY important,” or “We’re about to die!”) Take your pick…

    • Allan G says:

      And stick caterpillar tracks under them as well while you are at it….(worked for the British in the first world war…and the Russian BMP or BTR-80 if you go wheeled is a similar concept).

  7. Randall says:

    The Charisian Army & Navy are approaching a tipping point where their tecchnological advantage will outweigh any numerical advantage the church forces may have, at least in the open field and with sufficient supply. Unfortunately, the church is already shifting toward a terror/burned ground/ raiding strategy.

    • BobG says:

      Until they run out of ammo… They need resupply as well as technology.

      What remains to be seen is if troops will continue to assault Charisian positions when there are hundreds or thousands of bodies in between. Possibly, with the CoGA urging them on, but it will start feeling more and more like Russia during WW II.

      And for that matter, what about truces to retrieve the dead and wounded? I’m sure the CoGA won’t allow them, but what about the Charisians? And would it be safe to permit?

  8. Matt says:

    Desnaire is swiftly becoming the most dangerous opponent in terms of quality of troops/commanders and ships so I think that is where the iron class we can see on the horizon are going to be sent. Crush desnaire and win a victory over the border kingdoms and maybe harchongs bureaucracy, a form of government known for being self serving and a lack of piety, will wake up and pull away from the churches control

    • JimHacker says:

      Are you sure you mean Desnair? or do you mean Dohlar? We haven’t seen much of its army yet but its navy and industry are far superior.

  9. LenS says:

    “War Bonds” is the right answer. But the example era is earlier and more appropriate – the creation of a modern management system of national debt is how the British won the Napoleonic Wars. it was a more significant innovation that any of the technical ones in that period. And Charis does remind one of a certain Island kingdom evolving into an empire, no?

    • Doug Lampert says:

      Yep, the Charisian govenment isn’t getting much money from outside trade, but no money is actually leaving the empire. Everything they spend is spent locally. Thus virtually every bit of gold and silver they spend is in the hands of someone inside their empire. Sell those people bonds, get the money, spend the money, sell more bonds to get the money back again.

      Their problems are shortages of manpower, skilled labor, and actual stuff. Cash is just a tool to allocate all the real resources. War bonds allows ordinary people to sacrifice a bit now to help the cause with good hope of getting paid later for their sacrifices, it’s the perfect tool for a popular war.

      • JimHacker says:

        Sure, for the internal economy money on the macro-scale is just a way of distributing and shapin the distribution of labour – but its always a good idea to make your sums up or else people start to realise how weird the system actually is.

    • Allan G says:

      Napoleon financed his wars with silver and gold coins minted for the purpose (zero borrowings). The British used debt financing by issuing bank notes in the same period.
      Inflation ran prices in England up by 100% over the 10 years from 1800 to 1810.

      • LenS says:

        Yep, the British had inflation. But they won the war, and dominated the world for the next hundred years. Sounds like a worthwhile tradeoff to me.

  10. Frank says:

    We must remember that the EoC are the only ones taking prisoners here. There is nothing the Temple will not do to win. This is a war that will be fought with guns. When there are no munitions left to fire it will be fought with knives and clubs. And when there are no more knives and clubs, it will be fought with rocks and sticks. And when there are no more rocks and sticks, it will be fought with tooth and fists.
    Money is not a concern for Clintahn. It never has been. Lives are not a concern. I have no doubt he will order harchong serfs and slaves to be driven before the Temple armies just to absorb fire so that the main units will gain better position as to overwhelm EoC units in the field. We need shock and awe. We need something to break the temple armies in the field. Right now I am not sure if there is anything the EoC has to do that.
    I reccomend attacking Temple Lands directly. Start at the passage and work down. Open up a second front and give siddermark time to redeploy and rebuild. It requires ironclads and the burning of Temple Lands. Get the Temple where they live and it will force them to pull forces back to defend the Temple. Money and manpower. That is the problem.

    • Adam says:

      The last thing that EoC should do is attack the temple. It will rally the cowed but still temple loyalists to the church like nothing else. They way to win is to defeat the will of the aggressors. Remember most of enlisted will be conscripts. Let the temple loyalists get sent into the meat grinder and the cost to the governments will be too high and the enlisted will loose all faith in their officers. There is only so many times that the AoG can be defeated before even the head inquisitor looses support. With him out of the way and Sidemark stable and holding any defense, I see the CoGA be much more amenable to peace.

      • Matthew says:

        Nonsense, mainly because the inquisitor is Sooooo important to the overall plan.

        It would actually make sense to have the war drag out longer, just so long as they could keep Clintahn in power, because he will destroy the proscriptions on the temple loyalist side.

        • Randomiser says:

          Yes, EoC want Clyntahn dead, but how keen are they really to take extraordinary measures to make it happen? It is not really true that he never leaves the Temple – we have seen at least 2 high level executions ‘on the Temple steps’ in plain public view where Clyntahn couldn’t resist being there and actually getting involved himself and I’m sure there have been more. I’ve kind of wondered how wide the Temple square is and what you could do with a specially-built high powered rifle or two. Certainly it might be a suicide mission for a squad or two of marines slipped into Zion with the huge number of pilgrims, but you could certainly attempt it. Given how much of the fear in the Vicarate focusses on Clyntahn himself it might well be worth doing.

  11. TrevorH says:

    Does anyone on the mainland have the equivalent of Fort Knox where they store their bullion? If it’s near the coast would a Merlin lead raid from a well armed steel ship be able to strike a triple blow? Help ease the Charisian budget, impoverish someone on the mainland and force the CoG to divert resources to protect other high value targets? Seems to me Charis might extend such an approach to attacking and destroying key semaphore links as well as other high value targets, they have command of the oceans, use it. The number of troops and ships required would be quite small and would not divert much from Sidemark.

  12. TrevorH says:

    PS The CoG policy of torturing prisoners to death is dumb. Guaranteed to make their enemies fight to the last breath or save the last bullet for themselves.Mistreatment of prisoners by both sides made the WW II eastern front fight far more vicious than in the west.

    Far better for the CoG to put their prisoners in the equivalent of a five star hotel and hire some of those girls, who recently lost work when their employer fled to Sidemark, to entertain them. That would have the enemy surrendering in droves.

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