Shadow Of Freedom – Snippet 42

Shadow Of Freedom – Snippet 42

The governor might have hoped to have even more firepower available, but four battlecruisers against five light cruisers was an overwhelming mismatch by anyone’s standards. And if she and Dueñas pulled it off — if they forced an entire Manty light cruiser squadron to tamely roll over and surrender — Education and Information’s talking heads would turn it into an overwhelming triumph. The sort of thing the Solarian public wanted to hear about as an antidote for the rumors of devastation coming out of Spindle.

And let’s be honest here. Borden’s got a point — Dueñas was luckier than hell I had even four BCs that could get here in time! If we hadn’t, he’d be well and truly stuck in orbit in a leaky skinsuit right now.

The rest of Battlecruiser Squadron 491 was either dispersed to other star systems or in shipyard hands, but that was par for the course for Frontier Fleet. Its squadrons were always understrength, and there were always too many places they needed to be at the same time. But in this instance, at least, Dueñas truly had lucked out.

Always assuming Borden’s right about the Manties screwing up, of course, she reminded herself conscientiously. Yet even as she did, she knew she didn’t really think McGillicuddy was wrong.

Assume Kelvin’s estimate is off, or that they really do have more range than we do, and they get a couple of dozen missiles through our defensive basket before we get close enough to hammer them, she thought. No, make it fifty to be on the safe side. Against four Indefatigables? Hell, even Javelin-range laser heads would hardly scratch our paint!

No, even if Borden didn’t get everything right, there’s no way these bastards can hope to take me on and walk away from it. They’re truly and royally screwed, whatever happens, and I think I’ll be able to live with being the first Solarian admiral to smack them down the way they deserve.

“Well,” she said mildly, “since they know we’re here now, I suppose we might as well go ahead and get our wedges up so we can welcome them properly.”

* * *

“They’re coming out to meet us, Ma’am,” Abigail Hearns announced three minutes later, as the battlecruisers’ nodes went fully online and a quartet of impeller wedges appeared on the tactical display and began moving away from their original position between Shona Station and DesRon 301.

“I see them, Guns,” Naomi Kaplan replied almost absently, but Abigail knew that tone of voice. Tristram’s CO was putting on her warrior’s face, settling into predator mode while her brain whirred like another computer.

“We’ll just have to see how serious they are about this, I suppose,” Kaplan added a moment later, and her smile was hungry. For DesRon 301, and especially for HMS Tristram, the Star Empire of Manticore’s confrontation with the Solarian League was personal.

Very personal.

That was as true for Abigail as for anyone else in the ship’s company, and she found herself wondering if that was one of the reasons Lady Gold Peak had picked Captain Zavala’s squadron for this operation in the first place.

* * *

Vice Admiral Dubroskaya’s battlecruisers accelerated towards the oncoming Manticoran destroyers at 3.89 KPS squared, eighty percent of their maximum theoretical rate of acceleration. There was no particular hurry, and even at that low accel, they’d move over four million kilometers closer to the Manties before Zavala’s twenty-seven-minute time limit expired. Of course, during that same time the Manties would move forty-two million kilometers closer to Cinnamon. The range between the two forces would be down to “only” 36,700,000 kilometers at that point, and the closing speed between them would give the Solarians’ Javelin anti-ship missiles an effective powered envelope at launch of better than twelve million kilometers.

Dubroskaya was more willing than Kelvin Diadoro to admit that the Manties tube-launched missiles might have more range than hers, but nothing the size a light cruiser could stow internally was going to have a lot more, she thought as she watched her ships’ icons moving across the display. For that matter, assuming constant accelerations on both sides, it would require only an additional fifteen and a half minutes for her to reach her own powered range of the Manties. Two of her ships — Success and Paladin — were Flight V Indefatigables, with the old SL-11-b launcher, with a forty-five-second launch cycle, but Vanquisher and Inexorable had the newer SL-13 launcher with a cycle time of only thirty-five seconds, and the Manties could probably do a bit better than that. Solarian destroyers and light cruisers certainly could have, given the smaller and lighter missiles with which they were armed, but any internally launched missile with enough range to threaten her squadron at this kind of range was going to have to be at least as large as her own Javelins. That was bound to slow their rate of fire, so call it thirty seconds for the other side’s launch cycle. That meant they’d have time for roughly thirty-one broadsides before she could range on them, but with no more than eight to ten tubes per broadside, that would be only three hundred and ten missiles, maximum, per platform, delivered in combined salvos of no more than fifty each. And as Diadoro had pointed out, at least some of those missiles were going to have to be configured as penetration aids and electronic warfare platforms. Her four battlecruisers mounted eight counter missile tubes and sixteen point defense stations in each broadside, which gave the squadron thirty-two CMs and sixty-four laser clusters against a probable threat of no more than forty shipkillers per launch.

She smiled coldly, contemplating the plot. No cruiser-sized missile ever built was going to get through that strong a defense in sufficient numbers to stop her before she was able to bring her own tubes into action, and her ships mounted twenty-nine of them in each broadside. Once she got into range, she’d be firing salvos of a hundred and sixteen missiles each…at which point her heavier Javelins would reduce the Manties to drifting wreckage in quick order.

* * *

“They don’t seem to be very impressed, Sir,” George Auerbach observed quietly, and Jacob Zavala nodded.

“It’s been my observation that the best way to impress a Solly is to shoot him squarely between the eyes,” he told his chief of staff, never looking away from the plot. “You wouldn’t want to shoot him anywhere else, though. You might hurt him.”

Auerbach winced slightly at his CO’s idea of humor, yet he couldn’t deny that Zavala had a point. Still, he was the squadron’s chief of staff, which gave him certain responsibilities.

“We’ll be coming up on Point Alpha in about ten minutes, Sir. Are you sure you want to go with Sledgehammer?”

“Doing your job again, I see, George,” Zavala said, turning away from the tactical display to smile briefly at Auerbach.

“As you say, Sir, it is my job.”

“I know, George. I know.”

Zavala reached up to put his hand on the taller Auerbach’s shoulder and squeezed gently. And, he admitted to himself, the chief of staff had a point. No one in DesRon 301 had been particularly happy with Fire Plan Zephyr, the alternative to Sledgehammer, yet he had to concede that it would be more elegant and might — might! — reduce the severity of the incident which was about to occur here in Saltash.

The problem was that it would also be riskier…and far less personally satisfying.

I wonder how honest I’ve been with myself about this? Zavala thought. It would be riskier, but how much have I allowed that satisfaction quotient to color my thinking?

He made himself stand back and consider the alternatives one more time.

Zephyr would be more in the way of a demonstration of the consequences of unreasonableness than a serious attack: a concentrated salvo of Mark 16s fired from far beyond the Sollies’ effective range to penetrate their defenses without hitting anything, much as Duchess Harrington had done to the Havenites’ Second Fleet with Apollo at First Manticore and Captain Ivanov had done more recently, in Zunker. In theory, a reasonable Solarian commander would realize most of his ships would be pounded into ruin in the fifteen or sixteen minutes it would take him to get into his own range of Zavala’s squadron. At which point, that hypothetical reasonable Solarian commander would conclude he had no alternative but to stand down after all.

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55 Responses to Shadow Of Freedom – Snippet 42

  1. Scott says:

    I’d argue that they can’t aford to be reasonable at this point.
    Without shipyards repairing any serious battle damage is going to be impossible. No more ships for a year at best was the assessment in A Rising Thunder I think. Add the missile production lines are gone they can’t aford to keep throwing away rounds on demonstrations.
    Keep in mind, that the deal sorting out production with the allies hasn’t been sorted out at this point.

    • Bewildered says:

      Actually it’s worth the gamble. A single salvo that demonstrates complete and total superiority is cheaper than the followup waves. Sure you waste one salvo but any competent commander with a modicum of courage will see surrender is the only course of action. Real question is, how competent is the commander? Smart enough to see the governor is an idiot, but not smart enough to realise Solly tactical assumptions are completely off base. Sigh. Have to wait for the next …

      • John Roth says:

        It was worth the gamble at Zunker, because the tactical situation was completely different. The Manticore fleet had nothing to lose if the BC kept coming – they could just hyper out in worst case.

        In this case Zavala can’t hyper out – he’s inside the hyper limit. He can’t dodge either. He could be wiped out if he wastes the time a demonstration shot would take to get there, and that BC squadron just keeps coming. The Solly commander is right about one thing: those Manticoran destroyers can’t stand up to the missile storm her BCs can put out. Zavala has to either force surrender or destroy them before they get into their missile range.

  2. Robert H. Woodman says:

    “A hypothetical reasonable Solarian commander” hasn’t been found yet. Don’t try for reason or finesse. Just hammer them into dust and let the survivors discover reason for themselves.

  3. Greg Noel says:

    Hmmm… The tactical question here is whether Zavala thinks it’s worth extending the time where the Manties have the advantage of being in range while the Sollies are not so that he’ll turn ship. It would also give him the slight advantage of shooting “downhill” while the Sollies are shooting “uphill.” My take is that he will see no strong reason to do so, while closing to shorter distances will give him enough more accuracy that the trade is worth it. It also has the side-effect of showing utter indifference about the power the Sollies can project.

  4. Stanley Leghorn says:

    Stll wndering if they have the Solly flag ID’ed. Otherwise, I guess we are going to see th entire squadron smashed…

  5. Owen says:

    Sledgehammer really sounds like a smash the enemy fleet type attack, doesn’t it.

  6. kenny says:

    1. This mission seem to be unimportant to the plot of the book. i.e. The rebels on frontier planets, I see this mission as a way to learn about that particular mesa plot, from data on one of those “manicorn freighters.”

    2. Manicore no-longer has the missile supply to be fancy.

    3. A defacto state of war exists, and has exited for a while

    The Sollies are going to be blasted out of space in about a paragraph.

    • ET1swaw aka Rob says:

      Agreed that the SLN BCs are about to be burnt.

      But I believe the SLN DDs will survive as too small and too far away to bother with ATT.

      Hopefully the DDs and system will see reason before the Manties shoot themselves near-dry.

      They may even achieve victory even before the SLN BCs are nothing but dead hulls or scattered debris (like Byng’s BC).


  7. dave o says:

    If a weak manticore destroyer squadron is more than a match for a weak solarian battlecruiser squadron, then the balance of power has just completely changed. The sollies have gone from quantitative superiority to inferiority. Not to mention the fact that destroyers or light and heavy cruisers can be built a lot cheaper than battlecruisers or super dreadnoughts. And with less infrastructure too.

    • Richard H says:

      The problem is, that only works for small engagements – I don’t think even heavy cruisers have the ablative armor to stand up in a heavy-duty slugging match against dreadnoughts, although I guess there was the Battle of Spindle…
      Battlecruisers, especially the pod-laying microdreadnoughts, seem like they should have the capacity to punch out much larger fleets before they get in range, though, and I forget what the smallest ships to mount Apollo control systems are.

      In any event, this definitely seems to be the all-big-gun revolution coming home to roost.

    • John Roth says:

      It’s really only changed in one respect: the Grand Alliance has longer ranged, more accurate and more powerful missiles than the other side, installed on lighter combatants than the other side has.

      That will work for engagements of any size as long as the GA forces can stay out of range of the Solly forces. That’s what happened at Spindle: they used the SD Mark 23 pods from the colliers that had gotten there a couple of days earlier, controlled by several battlecruisers using light-speed links that had been left in the design.

      • akira.taylor says:

        Correction: the Nikes never engaged (they just hung out behind Crandal) – the salvo was controlled by the Sag-Cs.

        • John Roth says:

          Yeah, you’re right. The point, though, is that they were essentially missile control links; the ship class was irrelevant. It could have been a dozen Rolands or a Moriarty platform or two. That was exactly the same thing that the Maya Sector was doing with their Masquerade class destroyers.

          The Solly analysts were close to right on this one when they thought it was system defense pods. It wasn’t; they haven’t seen the real system defense pods yet. It’s still the same principle.

          • ET1swaw aka Rob says:

            The Maya Masquerade-class were arsenal ships not DDs.
            The Maya Marksman-class were cruisers (CLs) not DDs.
            The Maya Warrior-class were the new-built DDs.
            Maya also had War Harvest-class SLN DDs and some SLN CLs.
            Torch had Manticore-built FGs.

            Attacking force at Torch were SLN DDs, CLs, CAs, and BCs with former Peep BCs, CAs, and CLs.

            Monica and Byng were SLN BCs.


    • RichardK says:

      Where this is a game changer is that the Sollies are talking about sending their BCs to “Raid” GA territory. What good is a BC raider if any escort can take it out?

      • ET1swaw aka Rob says:

        In aggregate a squadron of Roland DDs (but not any legacy classes IMO) may take a undersized SLN BC squadron if range is maintained and they shoot themselves near-dry.

        A couple of Roland escorts (even with legacy unit DD/CL backup) vs raiding SLN BC pairs – IMO the SLN BCs will have them for lunch with the Manties getting maybe a minor snack.

        The Avalon-class CLs and even possibly the Saganami-C-class CAs are IMO not in any much better position in such situations.

        OTOH the Sag-Cs if in pairs or more with sufficient backup might suffice IMO.

        NTM that LAC and CLAC capabilities are not taken into account; as well as Moriarity and upgraded system defense pods/systems. These will have a much greater effect against SLN raiders IMO.


        • JeffM says:

          I don’t think they are going to have to “shoot themselves near dry”. These missiles have the improved warheads, after all.

          • Richard H says:

            They might have to worry about their magazines if the SLN ever retrofits their existing ships with ECM that doesn’t suck, however.

      • J. says:

        The question is whether or not Manticore/GA/etc… can afford to provide escorts for all of its merchant shipping throughout transit without syphoning off all of its light and medium warships from other essential duties (system picket/patrol/screening elements for heavy warships…). My guess is they probably can’t.

        If it helps, think back to SMS Emdem’s cruise during WWI. She captured quite a few merchant ships, sank enemy several warships, and caused a disproportionate amount of trouble for the British before she finally ran into something nasty enough to sink her. The same situation prevails here. Solarian BCs and CAs may not be able to take a convoy screened by a squadron of Sagaami Cs. However they may be able to take a convoy screened by a pair of DDs and they could definitely take unescorted freighters until Manticore deploys enough CAs and BCs to manage to hunt them down. And while those Manticoran BCs and CAs are doing that, they can’t be raiding Sollie shipping.

  8. hank says:

    To the contrary, we’ve seen several reasonable Sollies. they’ve usually been lower down the Chain of Command and surrendered avter the Admiral in command is dead.
    Heck even Filareta was about to go belly up until the Evil Mesan Device on his bridge took the choice out of his hands!
    And then there are those 2 intel officers back on Terra

    • Richard H says:

      The pattern I’ve seen is that executive Solarian officials who are in on the graft tend to be unreasonable. Locals out in the boonies may have no idea what’s going on initially, but they seem to generally be more interested in, y’know, doing their jobs well, rather than padding resumes and bank accounts. I think the best explanation is some combination of ambition (or lack thereof) and a glass ceiling.

  9. Knucklrdraggingwino says:

    This SLN Adm was smart enough tom realize that he was outranged and needed to close the range ASAP to engage the RMN DDs. It remains to be seen if he can survive long enough to close the range. Rolling ship to interpose his wedges will increase his odds of survival. Given recon drones to provide targeting data via FTL it is possible that the Mk-16s will be able to target the BCs through their sidewalks, throats and kilts during the small fraction of a second that their exact locations will be discernible to their inboard sensors. If so, the SLN BCs are instant toast.

    If this is going to be yet another massacre, hopefully Weber will write another shower scene with Abby Hearnes to make the book exciting.

    • Robert H. Woodman says:

      I’m sure that after the battle is over, Abby will take a shower. If you’re lucky, Weber will even describe it for you. :-)

      Really, as Kenny already suggested, this battle is probably just a setup to show the Manticorans coming to the rescue of one of the Freedom Fighter groups that have been egged on by the Mesan agents.

      • Knucklrdraggingwino says:

        Hopefully; it will be as exciting as the shower scene in “In The Service of The Sword.”

        I am not trying to predict whatnthe battle will be, merely what it could be if an SLN Adm were to aggregate his fecal matter. Even if RMN tech has fundamentally transformed the tactical paradigm, one should expect that SLN officers can employ tactics that were sound in the old paradigm. Employing BCs higher acceleration to close with and engage an enemy with
        superior weapons range was a standard RMN raiding
        tactic before the Haven wars.

    • John Roth says:

      If you’ve been participating on Weber’s forum, you know perfectly well what’s coming next because it’s been discussed. All I’ll say here is that DW has forshadowed it, as is his custom. I don’t think we’ll actually see it before the snippets end, though.

  10. ET1swaw aka Rob says:

    Let’s see:
    Mk 16Gs (DDM with advanced laserhead) or possibly Mk 23s (MSM with advanced laserheads; capable of being podded system defense or limpet to DDs and above) both having more punch and a much larger envelope than even SLN capitol missiles;
    Ghost Rider (advanced recon platforms with FTL comms capability);
    Apollo-Lite (near FTL missile control);
    Dragonsteeth/sparklers (advanced ECCM and penaids);
    Advanced ECM and ECCM;
    and off-bore and triple-stacking capabilities.

    And though not present:
    CLACs and LACs;
    podlayer SDs, BCs, and I believe CAs;
    triple-ripple and advanced missile tactics;
    and System defense pods, Moriority.
    NTM what Haven, Beowulf, Andies, or Maya/Erewhon might bring to the GA table along with surviving Manty and Grayson upgrades.


    • RichardK says:

      Add in decades of actual battle experience.

      PS I believe all Mark 23 pods were sent back home. They may have Mark 16 pods.

    • ET1swaw aka Rob says:

      “Sledgehammer” sounds like they may just be fed up enough to blitz the BCs and then ask the DDs and planet to surrender.

      Rolands: 6 missile tubes (Mk 16G but were not originally capable of Mk 23s) (12 total);
      2 grasers fore and aft(4) and 5 lasers port and starboard(10);
      20 countermissile tubes and 30 point-defense lasers;
      capable of limpet and towed pods with varying (including minimal) effects on acceleration;
      with a total in-hull capacity of 250 Mk 16s and 800 CMs.

      They can triple-stack and off-bore fire giving a missile salvo/swarm of 36 missiles per Roland without limpet or towed pods. AFAIK control capability far exceeds throw-weight

      So five Rolands can possibly throw 1250 missiles at 4 BCs in swarms of 180 plus (90 plus if not-offbore firing; 30 plus without stacking) before going dry.

      And they only carry 800 countermissiles each for a total of 4000 (though that does not take into account those incoming missiles countered by ECM, ECCM, and point-defense lasers).

      As such I agree that the brute force of “Sledgehammer” is indicated as IMO they don’t have a large enough margin of error to mess around with finesse.

      They are still tin-cans against BCs with the concomitant armor, energy weapons, and missile capacity implied.

      They are also far from repair/resupply capabilities with additional onus of Oyster Bay’s negative effect on Manticore’s capabilities. The GA is still being formed so those capabilities are not available (but ATT the Andies are still in alliance).


      • ET1swaw aka Rob says:

        And don’t forget that even before enemy attrition (ECM, ECCM, CMs, PDLs, and wedge-imposition) your missiles used for ECCM and Apollo-Lite are effectively lost to the offensive (on target) possible total.

        And BCs (like SDs but to a lesser extent) are designed to take battle damage and keep on fighting.

        The SLN DDs insystem are IMO a tactical null for this engagement. They are too far away even to act as interposed/sacrificial targets.


      • Knucklrdraggingwino says:

        I did similar number crunching in the thread for the previous chapter. Depending on what assumptions you make about number of hits needed to mission kill a BC and what the hit rates will be at very long engagement range, the Rollands arguably have adequate ammo to win the engagement but not massive overkill. Keep in mind that even the Mk-16G warhead is not as powerful as a Mk-23. A good analogy would be the 12″, high velocity, high elevation, long range guns on the Alaska class BC compared to the 16″ guns on an Iowa. Theoeticly; the guns on an Alaska in a long range in engagement could defeat just about any BBs deck armor. They could kill a BB but they would need more hits than with 16″ guns.

        I think of Rolland DDs vs SLN BCs or even SLN SDs as an Alaska vs any WW-I vintage BB. The Alaska was faster and until refits to increase gun elevation occurred, it had longer range. As long as an Alaska was careful to not get within range of the BB, it could beat the snot out of them. However; if the Alaska got within range of any BB, BC or even an 8″ gun CA, it was toast and the USN refused to think about torpedoes.

        My prediction is the Rollands will win but the SLN will score some hits or even mission kills.

        • JeffM says:

          I don’t think that those Rolands are going to let those BC’s anywhere near them, to even get touched. Destroyers, even Manticoran, are very fragile, after all.

      • JeffM says:

        Sledgehammer–pound one BC at a time with all tubes, until the rest surrender. No reason to spread fire.

  11. Margo says:

    Totally off this discussion, did anyone notice there are 2 Talbot(t)s, 1 a system galactic sou’west approx from Trevor’s Star near Kline Station, which was an ally of Manticore at start of First Havenite War, (but with only 1 “t” in the name) and then the Talbott Cluster/Quadrant. Just doing a reread of the series while waiting for the next (? Torch slant) and did Jack McBryde happen to mention anything about the Torch wormhole, I wonder? He did know something about it.
    Mind you, given the usual size of the modern books compared with the earlier ones, it almost seems as if SoF has been cut in half.

    • John Roth says:

      Yes. That comes up every once in a while when someone on the forums misspells one or the other.

      The Torch wormhole goes to “the Twins” and then to Felix, which is a four terminal junction, and then to Darius. What Jack said was that “the Twins” gave them some significant insights into hyperphysics, but that their hyper-physicists still didn’t know everything.

      It was originally planned to be part of “A Rising Thunder,” but DW decided to split it, partly because of size and partly because of other reasons.

  12. Margo says:

    The Mark16 ModG is ? single dual drive missile, not in a pod; all the M23s are flat-packed in pods, but can only be carried internally by SD(P)s and ? Agamemnon BCs, otherwise tractored and all M23s went back to Manticore as ModG M16s should be as effective for the force mix Tenth Fleet has at present. (No Keyhole II SD’s) Not that anyone has as yet live-fired any ModGs.

    • Knucklrdraggingwino says:

      The RMN had special missile pods loaded with Mk-16s for their Agememnon class BC(P)s. The theory was that BCs shouldn’t pack SD missiles because some idiot Admiral would be tempted to have the BCs engage SDs. Adm Honor Harrington promptly ordered her BC(P)s to engage SDs which just pissed off the SDs which then blew away her BC(P)s. If the RMN BC(P)s had been loaded with Mk-23 pods they might have actually been able to take out the Haven SDs.

      With all Apollo and Mk-23 pods reserved for SDs (and may be BC(P)s), will Tenth Fleet’s Mk-16 armed combatants be getting Mk-16 pods to enhance their firepower? We know that Rolland DDs can limpet at least 15 Mk-23 pods. 15 Mk-16 pods with 14 Mk-16s each would almost double their ammo capacity.

      • ET1swaw aka Rob says:

        Limpet flatpacks (MK16 or Mk23) for Manty/Grayson CAs and below (and possibly legacy BCs) is a great force multiplier. When even legacy hulls can limpet/tow multiple podpacks and operate a downgraded version of Apollo-Lite (or possibly rotating links as per the Havenites), they will greatly enhance their already tactically advantageous designs.

        The major problem being that Oyster Bay destroyed the manufacturing/production capabilities for both the Mk16 and the Mk23 missiles along with CM production.

        OTOH the Andies do have equivalent missilepod flatpacks in production.

        If/when the GA comes to fruition Havenite equivalent flatpacks and towlink donkeys may also be available.


    • iranuke says:

      What was sent back to Manicore were the Apollo missles and pods. 10th fleet now has 20 SDPs (keyhole I) which fire the Mark 23 missle pods. Mark 23 missle pods are available, but were not brought along for this mission.

  13. Margo says:

    Thank you, John. I’m in the wrong time zone to attend the forums:-)( And only limited online time. I’m in the middle of TSVW – with explanations re introduction system defence pods — supposedly archaic and another reason why SLN probably wouldn’t consider them is their dismissal of the Haven-Manticore conflict as just neo-barb cavemen style tactics (re Byng’s comments) who don’t know any better!

    • ET1swaw aka Rob says:

      Per current SLN doctrine:

      System Defense pods are for small area protection (see Monica) in third tier systems.

      LACs are ancient technology suitable only for third and fourth tier worlds (passing as pirate protection).

      Barabarian systems upsize their warship hulls to compensate for lack of SLN minaturization capabilities.

      Fission reactor technology is ancient knowledge and has no place in modern times.

      SLN laser and graser lensing technology is the universal pinnacle.

      Current SLN ECCM, stealth technology, and ECM is without match

      FTL communications are pie in the sky (but maybe just barely possible with extremely narrow bandwidths and massive infrastructure).

      The Manties and Havenites may have improved their compensators and slightly extended their missile ranges, but that is the limit of their advances.

      Grayson, the Andermanni, and Erewhon are technology nulls.

      And Oyster Bay was accomplished through normal technological means.


    • John Roth says:

      The forums operate 24 hours a day with people from all over the world, including North America, Europe and New Zealand. They’re message posting, not chat, so it doesn’t matter when you get on.

  14. Daryl says:

    I’d expect Sledghammer to involve taking out the command BC and inflicting enough damage to the other three to render them ineffectual without killing their crews. Keeping the flotilla safe with minimum unnecessary bad publicity.

  15. Scott says:

    They captured intact ships remember.
    Not even during the Haven Manti wars did an enemy capture intact equipment including the user mannuels. So the tac officers have had time to program counters to the Halo system. I think that this is going to be as close to murder as you can be in ship to ship combat. How long will it take for Battle Fleet to except that their ECM is not only useless but harmfull? and, how long will it take to build up another ECM system?
    You will have to completely forget all the work done on Halo as any upgrades still rely on the base program which has been burnt.

    • akira.taylor says:

      The basic system is still good. If they re-write the doctrine and software, it will give Manticore a run for its money. The catch is, of course, that the SLN hasn’t realized that, and likely won’t before it falls apart.

      • JeffM says:

        Still good for what?

        • akira.taylor says:

          EW. It works fine. I don’t think it really matters that Manticore knows about it. I could be wrong, of course. It just seems like they knew a lot about Haven’s EW systems, and it didn’t keep those from working. Though Haven was probably upgrading those during the war, of course.

  16. Stanley Leghorn says:

    What we have here is another example of time lag in communications. We are used to radio being able to communicate instantly the result of any combat, while the Sollies have to wait for couriers. Which might not get to detached forces at all, let alone in a timely fashion. Remember the comment about how stretched the Haven courier fleet was during Honor’s time on Cerebus? Peacetime Admirals and budget planners forget this very easily, and it always comes back to bite them.

    • John Roth says:

      Yeah. I did a calculation in the comments to the last snippet. There’s no way this squadron can have gotten an updated intelligence appreciation based on the Battle of Spindle in the amount of time that has elapsed – even assuming that there will be one. Even if there is one, anything based on that battle will simply talk about super system defense pods.

  17. Virgil Forbes says:

    Snerk collar firmly in place. The bookstore wherein I work received copies of this marvelous work last week. I have now read the entire work – twice. Some of the above comments are right – and some aren’t.

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