Shadow Of Freedom – Snippet 41

I’m going to post three snippets per week for the remaining snippets

Shadow Of Freedom – Snippet 41

Chapter Twelve

“I didn’t realize the Commodore had such a command of diplomatic language, Ma’am,” Alvin Tallman observed from his position in Tristram’s Auxiliary Control over his private com link to Naomi Kaplan.

“He does have a way with words, doesn’t he?” Kaplan replied. “I’ve always admired a well-turned phrase, and I was impressed by his subtlety, too. That comment about Tango Three’s beta node was a nice touch, too. But at least nobody on the other side’s going to be able to get away with claiming he didn’t give them clear warning, now are they?”

“They may not get away with it, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t going to try to, Skipper,” Tallman pointed out.

“That much was a given going in. Personally, I’m with the Commodore. Better to be hanged for hexapuma than a pussycat. Besides,” Kaplan smiled coldly, “we tried it their way at New Tuscany. Now they can try it our way.”

* * *

“He’s got to be crazy, Ma’am,” Tucker Kiernan told Oxana Dubroskaya flatly. “Five light cruisers against four battlecruisers? They’ve got at most — what? Maybe eight tubes per broadside? Well, we’ve got twenty-eight per broadside!”

“Captain Kiernan has a point, Admiral,” Captain Maksymilian Johnson, SLNS Vanquisher’s commanding officer, said. “On the other hand, and not wanting to sound alarmist,” the flag captain continued, “if they’ve got the kind of range advantage some of the wilder reports from New Tuscany indicate, they may be planning on opening fire from well beyond our range.”

“Are you suggesting a batch of light cruisers is going to open fire at forty million kilometers, Sir?” Captain Kelvin Diadoro, Dubroskaya’s operations officer, sounded a little more incredulous than he probably should have speaking to someone with Johnson’s seniority, but the vice admiral couldn’t really blame him.

“I’m not necessarily suggesting anything of the sort, Kelvin,” Johnson replied with a touch of frost. “I would point out that forty million klicks does comport reasonably well with the claimed range at New Tuscany, but whether or not those claims have any relationship with reality is more than I’m prepared to say. What I am suggesting, however, is that this Zavala’s clearly suggesting he has a significant range advantage and he’s planning to use of it. And if it should happen he really does have that kind of range, it doesn’t matter how many missile tubes we have and how many he has, since we won’t be able to put fire on him without our birds going ballistic twenty or thirty million kilometers before they even reach him, at which point even a light cruiser’s counter missiles and point defense will eat them for lunch.”

“Maksymilian has a point, Admiral,” Captain Meridiana Quinquilleros, SLNS Success’ CO, said diffidently. All eyes swiveled towards her quadrant of the communications display and she shrugged. “I doubt any shipkillers a light cruiser could launch internally have anything like the range reported from New Tuscany, but they could still have more range than anything we’ve got. And whether or not it’s going to work the way he has in mind, that’s clearly what he has to intend to do if he’s actually planning on engaging us at all.”

“Point taken, Meridiana,” Dubroskaya said, and turned her own gaze on Diadoro. “Assume that is what he has in mind, Kelvin. Where does that leave us?”

“We’re talking about light cruisers here,” Diadoro pointed out, “and I don’t care how ‘missile heavy’ their tactical doctrine is, light cruisers — even big-assed ones like these — can’t have more than two or three hundred shipkillers on board. You just couldn’t fit them in, especially if they’ve got some kind of extended drive system to eat up still more mass and cubage. So call it fifteen hundred birds, each with the warhead of one of our own Spathas.” The Spatha was the SLN’s new-generation missile for destroyers and light-cruisers, with a considerably lighter laser head than the Javelins being issued to heavy cruisers and battlecruisers. “If they could hit us with all of them, it’d hurt, no question. But there’s no way one of them could put more than eight or nine — ten, max — birds into a single salvo, and at least some of those are going to have to be penaides. Without that, they wouldn’t have a prayer of getting through our missile defenses. So say they give up — what? a quarter? — of their total launch capability for penetration aids and electronic warfare platforms. That gives the five of them a maximum throw weight of about thirty-eight lightweight shipkillers per salvo against four Indefatigables. I’ve got to like those odds, Admiral.”

“And if they’ve got any missile pods along?” Dubroskaya asked.

“I know that’s what they probably used at New Tuscany — and Spindle, assuming there’s any accuracy at all to what we’ve heard.” Diadoro added the qualifier conscientiously, although he was one of the squadron’s officers who was confident the rumors about Spindle were wildly inaccurate. “And they could have a few along,” he continued, “but they can’t have many. They’d have to be tractored to their hulls, or our lightspeed platforms would have picked them up, and you just couldn’t fit more than a handful of pods big enough to carry that kind of missiles onto the skin of a light cruiser. Besides, there’re still the limitations of their fire control. A light cruiser’s only got so many telemetry channels; there’s no way they could control pod salvos big enough to get through our defenses. I’m not saying they might not get two or three leakers through, land a couple of lucky punches, and it’s possible they could have enough range on internally-launched birds to engage us before we could engage them. But they’re not going to be able to saturate our defenses heavily enough to let them win, especially with Spatha-grade laser heads. Not when they’ve got nine hundred thousand tons of warship and we’ve got three-point-four million tons.”

“I can’t fault Kelvin’s analysis, Ma’am,” Captain Ham Seung Jee of the Inexorable said. “The only problem I have is that the Manties have to be able to figure that out just as well as we can…and they’re trying it anyway.”

“I’d say that’s because they’ve screwed the pooch,” another voice said. The others looked at the com image of Captain Borden McGillicuddy, SLNS Paladin’s CO, and he waved one hand in a throwing away gesture. “They’re committed to coming down our throats,” he pointed out. “Even if they went to max decel at this point, they’re still going to have to come all the way to Cinnamon orbit before they can kill their current velocity. Whatever their damned range advantage, they’re going to enter ours, whether they want to or not.”

“You’re suggesting this is some kind of bluff on their part?” Ham asked.

“All I’m suggesting at this point is that I don’t think they got their ‘invisible recon platforms’ close enough to pick us up quite as early as they’d like us to believe,” McGillicuddy replied. “Maybe this Zavala character didn’t realize what he was walking into until just before he contacted Governor Dueñas. God knows we’ve all seen how arrogant Manties can be! Maybe he just came bulling straight in without bothering on scouting the inner system. After all, how likely was it that he was going to run into an entire division of battlecruisers in an out-of-the-way system like Saltash? By the time he figured out what he was actually up against, it was too late for him to fall back across the limit and hyper out. So maybe he decided that rather than rolling over he’d try to run a bluff on the strength of what’s supposed to’ve happened at New Tuscany and Spindle.”

“And when it doesn’t work?” Dubroskaya asked.

“Then he goes ahead and rolls over anyway, probably, Ma’am,” McGillicuddy said, and shrugged. “This time limit of his is going to put him a good thirty million klicks outside our powered missile envelope when it expires. That leaves him plenty of time to change his mind and adopt a more conciliatory tone before we could blow him out of space. If I were in his place, I might figure I didn’t have anything to lose throwing my threats around ahead of time. If the other side blinks; I run the table. If the other side doesn’t blink; I’m no worse off than I was and I can still surrender before he engages me.”

Dubroskaya nodded slowly. McGillicuddy’s hypothesis made a certain degree of sense, and Diadoro was certainly right about the limited magazine capacity and small broadside of a light cruiser. She wasn’t quite as confident as McGillicuddy about the Manties’ fundamental rationality, given the fact that they’d been foolish enough to pick a fight with the Solarian League in the first place, but the captain’s analysis of the other side’s unpalatable tactical situation had a lot to recommend it.

In fact, that was Dueñas’ basic plan in the first place, she reminded herself. The whole object was to draw the Manties into an untenable position — and get them to commit themselves in a way that clearly demonstrated their belligerence — before they ever figured out we were here. Which is basically what Borden’s arguing happened, after all.

This entry was posted in Snippets, WeberSnippet. Bookmark the permalink.
Skip to top


50 Responses to Shadow Of Freedom – Snippet 41

  1. Aaron Snith says:

    I love when the rascals get their just deserts after they are warned and they use their misinformation to make a faulty analysis of the capabilities of their opponent and then say well he will just roll over and give up when we call his bluff. Reminds me of wrestling the university and I was the backup/practice wrestler for our 3 time all american. He had the flue and our traditional rival’s coach said well since he is a back up our #3 ranked nationally wrestler will of course beat him and we should get some bonus points. As I was getting ready to leave for the trip my sick fellow wrestler called me on the phone and said you had better win; because I know you can and if you don’t I will have you head on the mat in the practice room next week after I get well. I was so worried about Fred on the practice mat that I didn’t really become aware of the fans or the other team until I was trying to pin my opponent in the first period. I got 3 back points. then the rolled back over. I changed holds and turned him again and still did not pin him but got 3 more back points as the period ended. No Fall, but their whole plan for winning the match went out the window with my match. Our next wrestler took fire from the win and cradled his opponent into a pin. The rest was history.

    SLN and governor are about to experience this cartharsis. I love it I love it. Lets do it again. LOL

  2. Mike says:

    Orbital debris.

  3. John Roth says:

    Logic is a great way to go wrong with confidence.

  4. RichardK says:

    So, the Admiral is expecting 1-2 hits? per 38 missile salvo, with destroyer weight warheads.

    Will the Roland’s fire 60 missile or 120 missile salvos? Will they kill one BC with each salvo? Or just cripple them?

    • Robert H. Woodman says:

      Partly because MWW doesn’t write war porn, I’m guessing that Zavala will pick one BC, kill it, and invite the rest to surrender. Whether or not the rest actually do surrender remains to be seen, but I’d bet they do.

      • Stewart says:

        I agree with Robert —
        1 salvo of 60 — 12 from each — 15 allocated as Penaids / DragonsTeeth & Dazzlers timed as Abagail did at Monica to light off when counter missles engage; 45 laserheads on a single BC.
        FTL/Lightspeed offer to stand down ; repeat as necessary.

  5. ET1swaw aka Rob says:

    They still think the Rolands are light cruisers (and upsized ones at that!)!

    OK, IIRC the Rolands carry Mk 16s with the upgraded laser heads (IIRC about 5x as aeffective as those used at Monica). They can fire both broadsides offbore and/or they have a multitude of tubes fore and aft (I can’t remember which. They do not have Keyhole (I or II) but do have a poor-man’s version avilable. They have ghostrider ECCM/ECM/pen-aids.

    I could go on! But in how many different ways are these Sollies not seeing what they are about experience (hand in a garbage disposal/walking into a spinning prop/jet intake IMO doesn’t come close enough!!!!!!!)?

    At least the governor passed on his response from the incoming Manties. He almost seemed full enough of himself to redact it to protect his massively affronted dignity IMO!


    • John Roth says:

      This is approximately 3 months (11 weeks) after the Battle of Spindle. The absolutely fastest they could get official notification about what happened would be 6 1/2 weeks – two weeks to Lynx, one week from Beowulf to Earth, about 8 days to Visigoth and about 2 weeks from Mesa to Saltash. However, that presumes a dispatch boat from Old Earth directly to each planet in the League. It’s more likely that the official intelligence appreciation would be routed through Meyers, which is three weeks from Mesa and then two weeks to Saltash, giving an absolutely best case communication loop of 10 1/2 weeks.

      And that assumes it only took one day to turn around on Old Earth, which is unlikely to the point of absurdity. They’re still in denial.

  6. ronzo says:

    I am beginning to wonder if there will ever be an end to Solly hubris, or is their sense of superiority so deeply ingrained, that they will ride it down in flames. Now let the mauling commence.

  7. Bewildered says:

    I’m wondering just how much info the governor passed along. The battlecruisers know their cover’s been blown but I don’t think they know just how badly – the whole “I don’t think they got their ‘invisible recon platforms’ close enough to pick us up quite as early as they’d like us to believe” reads to me as if the captain in question doesn’t believe in the stealth platfom and that the Manties only picked up the battlecruisers just before contacting the governor. They definitely won’t have good tac readouts.

    It’ll be fun to watch, well read, the missile launch multiple, oh crap!!! scene followed by the realisation that it’s not “destroyer” missiles being sent their way.

    And on another note, given the Manty DDs are described as big LCs not merely LCs how are the Silly (sic) survivors going to react when they find out their BCs were trashed by Manty DDs! :-D

    Final point, maybe the Manties are going to demonstrate their belligerence as is the governor’s plan, but since they’re dealing with “pirates” it’s legit. And the Sillys are about to demonstrate their stupidity so … :-D

    • Mike says:

      Does it really matter if the Manties call them destroyers? The Manties could call them rowboats and it wouldn’t change that they are bigger than the Sollie light cruisers.

      • Bewildered says:

        Not on a tactical level no but it does on a strategic level. If Manty DDs are equivalent to a large SLN LC then a Manty BB would be akin to an SLN SD. Given the disparity in firepower between a Manty DD though and an SLN BC, even the upsizing of the Manty fleet doesn’t give the whole picture. It means that for fleet engagements the SLN needs to send roughly 1 SD per Manty SD missile :-) Makes planning attacks slightly difficult. And of course unless the SLN provides it’s captains with realistic tactical information they’re simply not going to be able to validly determine tactical situations. It’s not going to do the SLNs reputation for invincibility much good when it leaks that tincans are wiping the floor with SLN battlecruisers, even if said tincans are cruiser sized. 

        • John Roth says:

          A couple of points. First, Manticore no longer has battleships (BB). They’ve decided that they don’t need anything between battlecruisers (BC) and superdreadnaughts. There may still be some battleships in service, but those would be older ships.

          Second, the SL mindset is that oversized combatants are that way because the builders don’t have the tech to cram what they need into a smaller size. So while they think they’re looking at CLs, they’re discounting the size as being evidence of tech inferiority.

          • Richard H says:

            To be fair, I think there is tech they can’t cram into a smaller hull… like bigger than traditional weapons, and an FTL comm system, among other things.

            The whole “is it a destroyer, anyway?” discussion reminds me of what I saw on Wikipedia about the “Cruiser Gap” in the 70s… which was solved by redesignating a bunch of ships.

            Form follows function, and what they used destroyers for now is these things. The fact that they will have a short way with previous tech levels makes it all kind of moot anyway.

    • ET1swaw aka Rob says:

      And none of them has commented on the “proven” existence of Manty FTL comms. After all the Commodore spoke to the Governor in near real time (much less than required by lightspeed limitations). Did he forget to mention that to them?
      And I agree that Duenas failed to pass on the depth of Manty surveilance as well.

      BTW these are the Sollies not the Sillies (Solarian League not Silesia) though idiotic/imbecilic they may truly be.

      And AFAIK they may not realize the true differential of the missiles they are facing (IMO more than equivalent to SLN BC missiles (with added ECCM and penaids)) until they start to hit home (or at least until ?ghostrider? deploys.

      And don’t forget that this squadron was at New Tuscany (and HMS Tristan and crew saw Byng’s massacre of their squadmates firsthand). They may indeed follow Mike’s playbook and pick them off one at a time all the while inviting them to declare immediate unconditional surrender. Then again they might just be fed up and blow them all away taking the planet’s orbitals in surrender just as the cherry on top. (IMO not so much warporn as f*** you I’m fed up (Indiana Jones and the swordsman style))
      We’ve seen the Manties bend over backwards (one of the Laocoon scenarios had them do a demonstration without any SLN casualties). Maybe this time they might have had more than enough. I mean Mike only blew away Byng and his ship before getting the SLN’s surrender. At Monica, Spindle, and even Filareta/Manticore the opposing forces got a piece of the Manties (small but there at Spindle and miniscule/microscopic for Filareta).

      Their magazines may be limited with replacements a long time coming making each mk16 a gem to be spent wisely. But maybe they’ll take the advice of “Risky Business”(sometimes you just have to say f*** *t) and let the dogs out to play.


      • Bewildered says:

        Oops, overlooked the FTL issue. That should be a game changer there. FTL missile control potential should be something the SLN considers. If you can talk via FTL then you can probably fight via FTL. If you can fight via FTL then ranged defense just became pointless.

        Is Silly the abbreviation for Silesian? If so double oops! Figured it was an appropriate adjustment from Solly.

        Not realise the true differential? I’d say barely have a clue. They’re assuming some sort of range advantage and that’s it. They’re ruling out heavier missile salvos, missile weights, countermeasures etc. Basically it’ll take a fluke to get through and even then it won’t do any damage. Can’t wait for them to realise otherwise.

        A demonstration kill might work well. We’ve already seen the governor is a military idiot, political too come to think of it. Given it’s his bad plan on the line why should the Admiral sacrifice her ships\crews? As soon as one ship is destroyed the other ships are massively more vulnerable. If the Manties are doing their killing from beyond engagement range playing target drone is the height of folly. If the SLN could close the range then maybe they’d have a show but they don’t have time. On the Manty side, why waste missiles killing ships that can’t fight and can surrender? On the upside what’s better for propaganda purposes – SLN BCs being blown up by an “equal” number of tincans or SLN BCs surrendering after a demonstration of Manty tincan superiority? I’d think a display of overwhelming power\arrogant contempt – giving ships several classes officially more powerful than your own a chance to surrender, a stronger message.

        • RichardK says:

          But what do they do with the prisoners?

          • Stewart says:

            If the BC’s strike their wedge or transmit a surrender, you do as Mike did — all SLN personnel except Flags and senior staff exit to the planet; Boarding partys download all intel from the computer systems then slag the Nav, Ops and Engineering control systems.
            The SLN BC’s are instant museums.

            — Stewart

          • J. says:

            Why bother taking prisoners. The DDs could simply let the crews (officers & enlisted) evacuate to Cinnamon via escape pods then use scuttling charges to destroy the captured BCs.

  8. Daryl says:

    Makes you wonder how much damage a modern destroyer flotilla would have inflicted at Jutland?

    • ET1swaw aka Rob says:

      Apples and oranges IMO.

      At Jutland IIRC most/many ships were at least partially armored.
      Modern destroyers are not designed as much for anti-surface roles IMO, but primarily as screening elements and/or ASW/AAW. And they are very much so “tin cans?” (as are modern cruisers).

      • Mike says:

        In modern navies, the main ship-killers are airplanes. This has been true for 70 years now. A modern destroyer would be able to run away from a Jutland-era warship or shadow it with radar and UAVs, but it might not do a tremendous amount of damage to one.

      • Stanley Leghorn says:

        One shattered BC and I hope the rest give up. Might even be the Flag if the Manties detected the transmission from the planet, other wise a one in 4 chance…

      • Stewart says:

        Rob —
        I think the thought is “What would a loadout of Harpoon or conventional Tomahawks have done?” Similar scenario — Harpoon with range of XX and Tomahawk with range of XXX against rifled 10 / 12 / 14 in barrels ranging to max 30 miles.
        Current naval missles vs naval weapons 4 technical generations past.
        — Stewart (another ET1 ret)

    • 4th Dimension says:

      Jutland? Depends how many shipkillers do they have and how many it takes to kill a capital ship.

  9. Knucklrdraggingwino says:

    I reiterate that it is unlikely that the Rollands are packing Mk-23 pods.

    Even with the increased warhead yield of the Mk-16 G, a Mk-16 isn’t a Mk-23. They don’t have the Delta Vee of the Mk-23 and it appears that they don’t have the same ECCM capability of Capital ship missiles. They will not achieve the devastating, 90% hit rate that Admiral Gold Peak’s BCs achieved against Admiral Bing. They will achieve marginal hit rates better than but still comparable to what Captain Tekerov achieved at Monica.

    Let’s do the Math again. Rollands have 6 tubes forward and 6 tubes aft for a total of 12 tubes.

    Rollands have the ECM links tonstack triple Broadsides. That is 36 missiles per Rolland.

    Thirty-Six missiles per Rolland Multiplied by five Rollands equals 180 missiles per salvo against 4 BCs and 3 DDs or 26 missiles per SLN ship.

    If we presume that the SLN Admiral is smart enough to roll ship to interpose his wedges until the RMN ships enter his missile range, his ships might survive until the RMN ships enter his missile range.

    We might also presume that the SLN admiral is smart enough to understand that he needs to close the range. The fact that he had his ships stealthed suggests that he understands this. Since he has been detected, it is possible that the SLN Admiral will accelerate towards the RMN DDs to close the range until his squadron comes under fire, then roll ship and yaw or pitch to interpose his wedges. Anyone remember Captain Honor Harrington using this tactic to bring the CA Fearless into energy range of a Sultan class BC?

    I also would not rule out the possibility that the SLN or Saltash SDF doesn’t have some of the same, Technodyne system defense pods that reamed Tekerov at Monica. If so, this battle will get very interesting. It could become a dewthride in which Leutenant Abigail Hearnes has an opportunity to take cammando and really distinguish herself.

    Now if only we could have another shower scene.

    • John Roth says:

      I’m not sure whether they’ll come to meet Zavala or not. It depends on whether they think Zavala really does have that long a powered range. If they think he’s bluffing, they shouldn’t close the range – they’ll just let him throw his missiles away. If they think he has the range, they should try to close it as fast as possible.

      “Interposing the wedge” only means something against energy fire. Missiles come in from different directions, so some of them will always see sidewalls instead of the wedge.

      • Knucklrdraggingwino says:

        Go reread the climatic battle in The Honor of the Queen or the more recent battles involving ships with Keyhole platforms. Incoming missiles that are unable to see and localize their targets as they make their final approach will have abysmally low hit rates as the make a quick flyby of their targets to engage the sidewalls or do a down the throat or upmthe kilt shot. This is why SDs traditionally fight in close formation.

        • John Roth says:

          If all you had to do was interpose your wedge, then missile combat would be futile.

          • Knucklrdraggingwino says:

            Missile combat isn’t futile when the ships interpose their wedges, just far less lethal. Go read “At All Costs” and pay attention to the Cutworm raids when Eighth Fleet’s KH-1 equipped SDs and BCs survived massive missile storms. If you read the earlier books, you will notice that rolling ship as an incoming missile salvo arrives is a common tactic.

            Reread the Battle of Monica in “Shadow of Saganami”. The decision by the former SLN BCs to continue accelerating towards Terakov’s squadron rather than turning ship to interpose their sidewalls and/or wedges was a keybfactor that allowed Terekov a Golden BB down the throat to take them out. If rolling ship to interpose a wedge or sidewalls wasn’t an effective tactic, ships would be getting teamed by down the throat or up the kilt shots all of the time.

            Have you not read many of the Honor Harrington books or have you just not been paying attention?

            • John Roth says:

              If you were participating in the Honorverse forum on David Weber’s site you’d know who I am and how much attention I’ve been paying.

            • Drak Bibliophile says:

              I suggest you stop the personal attacks. I don’t know or care who you are.

              • Knucklrdraggingwino says:

                Not intending to make personal attacks, just mystified by the lack of understanding of basic Honorverse technology and tactics. I also can’t resist the urge to send someone off on a snipe hunt.

                Is this book going to include an actual battle or just another massacre of SLN forces?

              • Daryl says:

                Drak – It’s obvious our old friend Namelessfly has returned. If he likes I’ll beg Duck to reinstate him on the David Weber forum.

  10. Knucklrdraggingwino says:

    Just wanted to comment on missile lethality.

    The 200+ Mk-23s targeted on Admiral Bing’s flagship at New Tuscany were massive overkill. However; it would take more than just one Mk-16G to take out a BC. How many iphits are needed to mission kill a BC? Forbthe sake of argument, let us assume that it is only 25.

    The 180 Mk-16s thatntheir Rollands can fire against the SLN BCs and DDs isn’t such massive overkill that one can presume a low interception rate. Based on Tekerov’s
    experience at Monica, an intercept rate is not an unreasonable presumption. This suggests that 18 missiles will score hits against ships that haven’t interposed their wedges and perhaps 2 missiles will score hits against ships that have interposed wedges.

    If the hit rate is one out of ten, it will require may be two, triple broadside salvos of 180 Mk-16 missiles per BC. With only 240 missiles in their magazines, each Rolland has enough missiles to launch only 6, triple broadsides before they run out of ammo. They have adequate ammunition forth engagement, but they do not have massive overkill. The Rollands also need to consider the limited resupply of missiles.

    If the SLN keeps their wedges interposed, the Rollands simply do not have enough ammunition to take out the BCs, at least at extended range. The Rollands will have to close to within the SLN engagement range to take them out with their limited ammo supply.

    I realize that this analysis is predicated on the SLN Admiral having a brain. It is not reasonable to presume that all SLN Admirals, especially Frontier Fleet Admirals, are stupid.

    This battle could become almost as interesting as another shower scene with Abby Hearnes.

    • RichardK says:

      With the Manty knowledge of SLN defences, FTL commands to the missiles through recon platforms, and just plain surprise, I expect a 20% hit ratio from a 60 missile salvo. 12 hits. Or two rounds per tube to mission kill a BC.

      • Knucklrdraggingwino says:

        Any numbers for interception rates or number of hits per mission kill that any of us might suggest are purely speculative. There is no point in raging about it. However; what I am suggesting is that while the SLN is severely outranged by the RMN, it is still theoretically possible for more effective tactics to allow the SLN units to close the range so that their weapons can be effective. We saw this at New Tuscany when Adm Bing blew away A squadron of Rollands with energy weapons.

        Weber revealed considerable detail in HoTQ about how an outgunned ship overcome its long range disasvantage by interposing it’s wedge while closing the range until it’s own weapons became effective. I don’t know if the SLN Adm has the brains to attempt this tactic. It is possible that 5 Rollands can destroy 4 SLN BCs even if they employ this tactic. However; the possibility of the SLN using this tactic suggests thatbthere will be an interesting battle.

      • Knucklrdraggingwino says:

        Remember; Rollands have only 240 rounds or 20 rounds per tube. If the 5 Rollands can kill an SLN BC with 2 rounds per tube (24 rounds per Rolland), then they have enough ammo to kill 10 SLN SDs. This is adequate ammo but not extreme overkill. If the SLN can kill a Rolland or two, or inflict some damage, then it gets real interesting.

      • John Roth says:

        I don’t believe I’ve seen the FTL platforms have the capability of doing a command link. In MoH, Admiral Oversteegen uses them to reduce the telemetry lag, but that isn’t the same as the control lag. If he was using them in both directions, I think he’d have said. That was the same as the Battle of Monica, where they were using the Ghost Rider platforms instead of the missile’s telemetry.

        • RichardK says:

          I see it more as a “go with plan D” order, to encourage the AI to prioritize a preloaded option. That type of communication would be well within the capabilities on both the missile and the hermes system.

          • Richard H says:

            I had the impression Oversteegen did it, but I don’t think it’s a standard software suite and I don’t think the functionality is quite standard.
            Of course, I might be wrong and even Oversteegen was just using it to cut out only half his communication delay. Alternately, maybe it works better with larger ships which might have more FTL bandwidth.

        • Knucklrdraggingwino says:

          In MoH Overstregen mentions getting the idea from Terekov’s battle at Monica and wanting Abby Hearnes as his TAC officer because she implemented the idea.

          Weber isn’t completely explicit, but one gets the impression that there wasn’t enough FTL bandwidth to control each missile as in Apollo. Richard K’s idea of issuing FTL comm to order implementation of preloaded programs seems right to me.

          Let us not forget that Adm Henke used the FTL comm in her recon drones to order the missile pods that she had dropped as “mines” to launch on the Peeps that were pursuing her.

          It appears that Weber is making “Apollo Light” or “Apollo Lite” a standard tactic of RMN ships where they use the FTL com in their recon drones to aid in battle management but still don’t gave the precise control of Apollo nor the advanced tactical computer of an Apollo control missile.

          Question: how long until Adm Hemphil develops a variant of the Apollo control missile tactical computer to install n recon drones to enhance this Apollo Lite tactic?

  11. Margo says:

    Technicalities – Mark 16s are dual drive, Mark 23s triple drive. Both have much the same laser head now and the ModGs are capital shipkillers, the difference is more in range, not lethality and the M16s penaids do include Dazzlers and Dragons’ teeth and the Rolands can use the Ghostrider recon platforms, but don’t have quite the same control. And there are still weak points despite interposing the wedge – the throat and kilt shots, sidewalls etc. One of the other correspondents mentioned the interception rate, but SLN CW can’t cope with the speed + EW – their hardware isn’t that bad, just their doctrine is still way behind and Manties have been able to study up from all the data they got at New Tuscany and Spindle. (BTW – there weren’t ANY Manty casualties at Spindle and as far as prisoners are concerned; they’re usually in non-system and one’s own space, or conquered system. If the SLN abandon their ships they can retrieve them later. After all Saltash is semi neutral:-) .) Also class sizes – SLN and Allied SDs are much of a size, about 7-8 mill. And the only BBs are Havenite and SLN – about the size of the Nikes and Agamemnons -2-2.5mill. I think dreadnoughts were about 4 mill. The CA – Saganami-Cs just under 1 mill, the old Star Knights were only about 400k and only old CL classes – about the same or smaller than the Rolands. I think the CLs built by Erewhon for Admiral Roszak were a bit bigger.
    And system pods are not something SLN would like – they might get hurt when they come bullying round the Verge! Another “not invented here”. Levakonic from Technodyne says that they weren’t something the SLN thought useful in SoSaganami.

    • iranuke says:

      You have the sizes wrong. SLN SDs are 6.8 million tons and the SLN does not have any BBs. Havenite BBs were in the 4 million ton range not the 2.5 million tons of the Nikes. Manticore dreadnaughts are in the 6 million ton range and the newest were built for the first havenite war. Superdreadnaughts are in the 8 million ton range for both Manticore and Haven.

  12. Margo says:

    As far as tactics used by Honor are concerned – she demonstrates throughout the series that she has an intuitive grasp of her environment and does things that wouldn’t occur to more conventional tacticians and in THotQ she was up against the Masadans not Alfredo Yu when it came to the final battle – they were almost needing to read the manuals and the reaction times were much slower than the Havenite crew would have achieved. The Laocoon skirmish between Capt. Ivanov and the FF task force showed that even when targeting the wedge some of the missiles actually got through to damage a couple of the Sollies.

  13. Margo says:

    Thank you for the update. I hadn’t done a full search so my numbers were definitely only approximate, and given the timespan…

  14. Yes! Finally something about life insurance rop.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.