Author Topic: The Official Chronicle of the Duranium Legion  (Read 11525 times)

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Offline nuclearslurpee (OP)

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Re: The Official Chronicle of the Duranium Legion
« Reply #105 on: June 03, 2021, 08:10:39 PM »
An impressively verbose summary of the Doctrinal options facing the Legion, it is more variations on a theme than radical change though I doubt those involved see it as such. But the fact remains that no-one proposed carrier strike forces, missiles, massive mine fields, stealth ships equipped with hi-radiation population busting bombs or super dreadnoughts.

We must save something for the future Conferences after all, otherwise there would be no reason to hold any more and we just cannot have that.

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As has been hinted a degree of compromise involving bits of all options seems best. I will not repeat the Capital Ship discussion as I think some sort of 20kT ship is both likely to happen and be a good start. If pressed I would go with Team Modular, maybe not the exact details but the general concept of fleets having a 'Core' with various add-ons seems sound and a better reflection of how the Legion actually fights.

This is to be fair the essence of most of the other proposals, aside from the Capital Ship proposal which was a bit afflicted by Lord High Admiral Macaria's well-known distaste for the Hellfire class

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On which point a bit of firming up thinking around Jump Point Assaults should also be a priority, I am sympathetic to giving commanders extra options by making all squadrons jump capable but it is a lot of tonnage for a capability that has thus far never been required. I think a good compromise would be to discuss the questions does every fleet in the Legion need to be capable of making a Jump Point assault? If nothing else it should provoke some lively 'discussions' and colourful metaphors.

I would quibble on the assertion that it has never been required, as Cruiser Squadron 5 did execute an unplanned squadron jump at the end of the Belaire jump point assault to pursue a fleeing squadron into Kuiper 79, although of course this has the caveat that the unplanned squadron jump did follow a planned one and is obviously exceptional in that regard.

The general feeling seems to be that squadron jump capability has two uses aside from large planned JP assaults. One of these of course is a general pursuit of a lesser foe through a jump point, in which case an unplanned series of squadron jumps allows the fleet to catch their quarry without having to sit around waiting for reconnaissance assets and approval from the Lords Admiral to go kill something. The other is the ideal of independent operations at the squadron level which is perhaps annoyingly persistent.

As a famous cartoonist once quipped, "There is no 'over-invested'. There is only 'open AAR' and 'I need to re-read'."  ;)

So I just re-read the chronicle as it currently stands. I actually read it a few times just to double check a few things.

While I heartily approve I do feel obligated to state for the record that I meant that comment as a joke/reference rather than good life advice, though I certainly cannot say that it is bad life advice.  :P

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Unless I have missed something, all current Legion jump drives have an efficiency factor of five or lower.

This is correct. Usually at game start it is quite prohibitive to research beyond this with the starting RPs if one desires ion drives and otherwise competitive levels of weapons and sensors/FC technologies. Since that point as we are less than ten years into the game I have not yet advanced the jump tech significantly, indeed the Legion scientists are presently working their ways through the various 8k/10k RP techs considered to be of importance including those relevant to jump drive development. Naturally this information will feature in the relevant session.

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Increasing the supported squadron size is the fastest as the research required would be cheap and straightforward.

This is essential for the Modular Fleet Doctrine plan, although as a short-term measure they did note that existing jump ships could be adequate albeit in greater numbers and with disruption of the fleet OOB.

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The second avenue to explore is an increase in jump drive efficiency.

It is important to balance this out with the fact that tonnage gained from efficiency techs is likely to be put back into the design in the form of improved squadron jump distances, the oft-neglected third member of the jump tech triad. Against an opponent with better weapons and competence than the Belaire, jumping in-theater outside of the enemy's lethal range can be considered quite essential, although "can be" is an indeterminately far cry from "is".

In any case, for such an EffortPost™ and really a series of them I should award you a medal, so rummaging around in my medals cabinet I have found a spare Citation by the Legion Academy I had lying around after I swiped it from a scientist who still hasn't noticed. It is awarded "to researchers who make notable contributions to Legion science and engineering" and I do believe re-reading this lengthy tome qualifies as a sort of research and thus I believe the award conditions are met.



Please enjoy your medal and pay no attention to the questionable stains.  :)
 
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Offline nuclearslurpee (OP)

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OOC Note: As a reminder for the benefit of the reader, the agenda and attendance for the Naval Conference can be found in the first post of Chapter XXI and may be of some use to keep track of the various personalities involved as well as to be apprised of upcoming topics of discussion - about which speculation is as always encouraged!

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22 May 4009

1300: Session on Fleet and Naval Doctrine, Duranium Legion Naval Conference (continued)

At the conclusion of the morning session, despite presenting four quite disparate plans the Lords Admiral had quite accidentally demonstrated broad agreement on a number of important elements for the future fleet doctrine. Some of these Lord Admiral Criasus had noted in his remarks prior to dismissing the assembly for a light luncheon, including the commitment to the traditional squadron-based organization and the acceptance of light cruiser and destroyer squadrons as the backbone of any Legion Navy battle fleet. Other elements the Lord Admiral had refrained from commenting on, preferring to maintain his image as a neutral, unbiased adjudicator over the proceedings which could easily be tarnished were he to appear too opinionated.

Perhaps most apparent from the four doctrinal presentations to this point was the fact that the Lords Admiralty were, with perhaps the exception of the most conservative officers, quite enamored with the concept of bigger, more powerful ships in spite of some expressed disagreements as to how such ships should be designed. It seemed that the command cruiser concept, in particular, enjoyed widespread support from the Lords Admiralty as it could be seen as the solution to any number of pressing problems facing the Legion Navy. Less apparently, the heavy cruiser concept was after the shock of its initial proposal winning support from many members of the assembly, particularly as it seemed readily apparent that the main objections to the heavy cruiser as an entity had been raised from the pro-Hellfire faction which preferred to set up their beam monitor idea as the inaugural capital ship class of the Legion Navy. With this idea finding little purchase among the rest of the assembly, it seemed certain that even the most zealous particle beam advocate would be forced to concede the validity of the heavy railgun cruiser, albeit not without demanding certain concessions to ensure a continued place for the Hellfire class in the future Naval doctrine.

Even with these broad agreements, however, many points of contention remained to be resolved. Most prominently, the roles of the frigate classes remained quite unclear, and while the majority of the Lords Admiral seemed to see both classes in a secondary role it was clear that a significant fraction did not share this assessment. A similar division of opinion existed regarding the correct choice of jump ship doctrine, with the majority of the assembly favoring the conservative approach of continuing to equip every squadron with a jump-capable vessel, while a vocal minority argued that this concession of combat capability was unconscionable. In addition, while the validity of the heavy cruiser concept was likely to find broad acceptance there remained uncertainty in how greatly the Lords Admiral would value these ships, particularly as they did remain experimental even if their basis as railgun warships seemed entirely sound. It was certain that the particle beam advocates would press heavily on this point, seeking to in some capacity advance an agenda for large beam warship development in parallel to everything else under discussion.

With all of these things on his mind, it was only warily and with great trepidation that Lord Admiral Criasus called the afternoon session of the Naval Conference to order. Having done so, he laid out the plan for the afternoon, explaining that the Conference planners had provided a second period of doctrinal proposal preparation to be performed by three teams, each containing at least one member from each of the morning’s presenting groups. The aim here would not be to break new ground with additional bold proposals, but rather to seek common ground between those proposals already advanced, with the ultimate hope being that the three resulting presentations would be largely similar enough that a final vote could be held to close the session addressing only a few minor remaining points of divergence. The goal, Lord Admiral Criasus emphasized, was to end the day with a more or less complete, if perhaps not entirely finalized, doctrine which would guide the more detailed discussions of the following Conference sessions.

The Lords Admiral, now quite put out at the prospect of doing even more group work, nevertheless grudgingly set about the task at hand, being not entirely acrimonious towards one another.

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1500: Presentations of second-stage Legion Navy doctrinal proposals

Following intensive doctrinal team discussions as well as a light refreshments period, the members of the assembly reconvened in the main Conference chamber to present the fruits of their labor. While the procedure would be superficially the same as that followed during the morning session, the expectations were radically different. Even so, Lord Admiral Criasus felt it necessary while delivering his instructions to the assembly to doubly emphasize the importance of not picking petty fights about ship classes which would be the topics of future sessions, albeit not in precisely these words. While each team had been composed to ensure a nominally equal distribution of proponents from each of the morning session teams, in practice each proposal would exhibit a pronounced slant due in part to imbalances in the team rosters but more due to the leanings of the more outspoken or perhaps even overbearing personalities on each team. Thus, much to the disappointment of the Speaker the three proposals would continue to exhibit sharp disagreement with one another even if the core concepts of each proposal were broadly more similar than those seen in the morning session.

The first team to present their second-stage proposal had adopted a fairly conservative approach, due to the presence of two Conservative Team members as well as the domineering Lord High Admiral Jack Macaria. The proposal nevertheless made limited concessions to each proposal from the morning session, in that the command cruiser concept had been included with Lord High Admiral Macaria’s endorsement while the Hellfire squadron had been retained as an attachment option presumably over his objections. The overall team composition was:
  • Lord Grand Admiral Thanatos Adrastus, Training High Command (Conservative Team)
  • Lord High Admiral Jack Macaria, Home Fleet Command (Capital Ship Team)
  • Lord Admiral Pohos Aleus, Training Corps (Modular Fleet Team)
  • Lord Admiral Agamemnon Hydra, Terraforming Corps (Mixed Armaments Team)
  • Lord Admiral Caerus Priapus, Cmdt. Duratus Military Academy (Conservative Team)



The proposal, being largely a straightforward amalgamation of the morning’s Conservative and Capital Ship proposals with the addition of a command cruiser, required little in the way of additional exposition. Quite surprisingly, however, it elicited significant criticism from the members of the assembly, principally focusing on the placement of the command cruiser in the fleet organization.

Most pressingly, many of the Lords Admiral (records show fully half of the assembly raising some variation of this objection) sharply objected the the dual role of the command cruiser as both a command-and-control ship and as a squadron jump assault vessel, arguing that there was no way current or even projected near-future technologies would enable so many functions to be crammed into a single 20,000-ton hull. Lord Admiral Glycon Limos pointed out that not only would splitting the focus of the class limit its capabilities in either role, but a jump assault cruiser would require significantly more armor, up to 33% more, than the original concept design from the Modular Fleet proposal, significantly compounding the problem. The principal, and in fact entire, rebuttal against this objection was made by Lord High Admiral Macaria, who noted that in his view this design would not represent a compromise but rather a correct sense of purpose, as a fleet command ship needed to be capable of accompanying the fleet into any battle situation to command that fleet effectively - including in a jump point assault situation. The command and control elements, including the flag bridge and sensor package, therefore should only exist alongside that capability rather than in replacement of it.

This argument, perhaps in spite of the polarizing nature of its presenter, turned out to be quite persuasive as a number of Lords Admiral were noted as giving credence to its logic. This number was however less than the total number of Lords Admiral present and thus further discussion was had. Lord Admiral Gaia Pandia was particularly critical of the fact that the “Macaria Variant”, as she called it, would remove from the Legion battle fleets the full array of long-range threat detection capability provided at present by the Bellerophon class. While the frigate class had proven infamously vulnerable and unworthy of main-combatant status, it seemed short-sighted to eliminate those capabilities entirely, particularly since the command cruiser concept had been intended to provide those capabilities. Against this objection two members of the proposal team noted countervailing considerations: Lord Admiral Priapus noted that not every fleet mission would require such extensive detection capabilities, and those missions which did would naturally be allocated a squadron of Bellerophons or their successor class; following from this point, Lord Admiral Aleus noted that delegating the distant reconnaissance and surveillance roles to a frigate squadron would also prevent unnecessary duplication of capabilities in the case of multiple-fleet operations, such as that which had recently taken control of the Belaire system.

The final significant objection - which is to say, an objection which rose above the level of name-calling and petty factionalism - was raised by none other than Lord Admiral Adrien Agamemnon, the chief originator of the command cruiser in its original conception. The intended purpose of the command cruiser, he stated, had been to provide a fleet-wide jump capability allowing a fleet to operate without reliance on inefficient jump assault ships outside of special circumstances. The Lord Admiral therefore expressed concern that this proposal did not represent a suitably evolutionary perspective on the future growth of the Legion Navy and would only serve to set the Navy in its ways rather than allowing flexibility of development. Lord High Admiral Macaria, rather patronizingly, replied by informing the Lord Admiral that any good idea could certainly have room for improvement and the command cruiser was no exception, having been much improved in this proposal. While other members of the proposal team did attempt to make more diplomatic responses in an effort to reduce the tensions caused by their poor-tempered colleague, ultimately the distinction was philosophical rather than technical and thus little progress was made by these discussions towards common ground. Finally, Lord Admiral Criasus requested that the topic be considered closed, and as no further points of substance were raised by the assembly ordered that the next team prepare their own presentation.

The next team to present also consisted of five members, with the duplicate membership in this case being two of the morning’s Modular Fleet Team members:
  • Lord High Admiral Hilaera Antilochus, Survey Command (Conservative Team)
  • Lord High Admiral Geras Makedon, Training Command (Modular Fleet Team)
  • Lord Admiral Palaestra Abderus, Mining Corps (Mixed Armaments Team)
  • Lord Admiral Niobe Chryson, Construction Corps (Capital Ship Team)
  • Lord Admiral Gaia Pandia, Logistics Corps (Modular Fleet Team)
While the overall modular fleet concept had been received quite negatively, with Lord Grand Admiral Argyron’s deconstruction of the concept and its poor standing in relation to the core fleet + attachments framework of the other proposals having found broad acceptance by the members of the assembly, there were still other concepts from that proposal beyond the command cruiser which were ripe for discussion. Under the quite forward and persuasive influence of Lord Admiral Niobe Chryson, the resulting doctrinal proposal despite its eclectic flair had a clear and dominant focus on delivering overwhelming firepower to an opposing battle fleet.



From first glance it was immediately apparent that this proposal was by far the most complicated doctrine yet advanced, and as such would require at least a superficial explanation. As an expert in delivering instructions to clueless officers, this task fell to Lord High Admiral Makedon who explained the proposal as follows:
  • As was by now the de facto standard, the core of a battle fleet would be two cruiser squadrons - one heavy, one light - and two destroyer squadrons led by a command cruiser. Each combat squadron would consist of four combat vessels and no jump vessels, to maximize delivery of firepower. Under standard operational conditions, in other words when no jump point assault was being conducted, the command cruiser would provide sufficient jump capability to transport the fleet.
  • Frigate squadrons would remain as optional attachments depending on the mission profile, again consisting of four combat frigates with no organic jump frigates.
  • The jump assault squadron would be dispatched from Duratus or another local command center if a jump point assault was necessary. In contrast to the Modular Fleet proposal from the morning session, the composition of the jump assault squadron would be fixed rather than variable, streamlining logistics.
  • While optional jump frigate assets could be attached to allow the frigate squadrons present in-theater to contribute to a jump assault, Lord High Admiral Makedon emphasized that as the frigate classes were poorly suited to jump assaults this was unlikely to be a useful capability; if anything, the jump frigates were likely to be retained only to enable independent operations such as deep space reconnaissance in regions where no Legion Navy battle fleets were presently operating.
  • This arrangement would necessarily prevent the command cruiser from participating in a jump assault, at least in theory, due to the lack of a jump escort for that ship. The Lord High Admiral emphasized that this was not a serious drawback, as the fleet after executing squadron jumps was not collected in a single location anyways and thus could not be commanded by a single ship. However, through clever use of communications buoys or probes it would be possible for the main fleet to signal the command cruiser when it could safely traverse the jump point and rejoin its fleet to command the continuing attack, if necessary.
As the Lord High Admiral concluded his explanation, he also acknowledged that additional jump drive technology would be necessary to equip the proposed jump assault squadrons, and in the meantime an ad-hoc organization would be necessary to conduct any jump assaults.

Once the remaining Lords Admiral had wrapped their heads around the complexity of this proposal, the ensuing discussion was as always lively and vigorous. Naturally, the central debate revolved around the use of a separate jump assault squadron in place of the traditional “3+1” squadron structure presently in use. By and large this debate rehashed the same points which had been raised in the morning session, however the proposing team had taken advantage of the previous few hours to develop much stronger responses to these lines of attack:

Against the repeated charge that removing organic jump capability from the Legion’s combat squadrons would reduce tactical flexibility, Lord Admiral Chryson took the offensive. She observed that not only were suggested hypothetical situations, such as a pursuit operation in the vicinity of a jump point, exceedingly rare in Legion Naval history (outside of jump point assault battles, during which the point would be entirely moot), but in all cases executing an unplanned squadron jump would be dangerous at best and devastating at worst. After all, without knowing what lay beyond a jump point it would be all too easy to jump into a devious enemy trap, and therefore any jump operation would require at a minimum proper reconnaissance by fighters or probes. In fact, she noted, while the proposed organization called for additional reconnaissance fighters to be ferried aboard the jump cruiser classes, these could easily be replaced by unmanned probes to better suit the jump assault role. The fiery Lord Admiral had stopped just short of calling her opponents poor tacticians, likely having received a stern glance from the Speaker before she could carry too far along, but clearly the insinuation was recognized as few among the Lords Admiral found the stomach to continue this line of debate.

After this, the chief opponents of this plan turned their focus to a prior objection from the morning session, raised once more by Lord Grand Admiral Thanatos Adrastus who had originated the objection. This was of course the worrisome claim that the jump assault ships would be considered less than prestigious assignments, leading to poor morale aboard those vessels which could translate into catastrophically poor performance in combat situations. Here Lord High Admiral Makedon was able to outline a plan to mitigate such concerns, drawing on his expertise as the head of Training Command. In short, he envisioned the jump assault squadrons as not only specialized combat formations but also training formations, which would therefore see regular rotations of both crew and junior officers to gain experience in conducting a jump assault while the main fleets were on active duty. Thus while the assignments might not be seen as highly prestigious, all members of the Legion Navy would clearly see these assignments as valuable and specialized combat training rather than dead-end placements. As jump point assaults were among the most glorious operations the Navy could conduct, this training would certainly be taken seriously by the majority of its crews and officers. This well-considered plan won over several supporters among the assembly, as even the Lord Grand Admiral himself expressed his appreciation for such a thoughtful reply.

Finally, some residual complaints remained, largely from a fairly predictable quarter of the assembly, regarding the separation of the command cruiser from its fleet during a jump point assault. Lord High Admiral Macaria, not known for giving up easily on his own ideas, inquired as to why the command cruiser could not be included into the heavy cruiser squadron, with the jump assault squadron reduced to three vessels to transit the remaining combat squadrons. This suggestion proved entirely susceptible to counterattack. Lord Admiral Pandia reminded the members of the assembly that, after executing a squadron jump, the fleet would find itself scattered throughout the vicinity of the jump point, thus the command capabilities of the command cruiser would be very limited, particularly as its large sensors and lack of heavy weapons would telegraph to a defending force that it was a priority target. Lord High Admiral Makedon helpfully pointed out that the lack of a heavy jump cruiser would limit the ability to train heavy cruiser crews on jump point tactics, reducing the effectiveness of the proposal significantly. Finally, Lord Admiral Chryson added that replacing one-quarter of the top-end firepower of a Legion battle fleet with the command cruiser was a serious compromise in terms of the ability to deal a crippling blow to the enemy in the opening stages of a close-range railgun brawl, and firepower would prove more valuable than a cripplied command capability in nearly every circumstance in which the Legion Navy might find itself.

Perhaps the most sensible objection raised, and thus naturally the one paid least attention to by the majority of the Lords Admiral despite the lack of a strong rebuttal, was that brought up by Lord Admiral Agamemnon Hydra, who noted that the necessity to design and build three 20,000-ton ship classes rather than two would be somewhat challenging for the Legion Navy to pull off in the short term. The best reply was made by Lord Admiral Pandia, who noted that the Legion shipbuilders had not struggled to manage this with the previous ship classes, and thus it would certainly be achievable with the heavy cruiser classes as well. As the majority of the Lords Admiral preferred to minimize discussion of logistics-related topics, the matter was not pressed by the remainder of the assembly.

Thus, the discussion eventually died down once again, and Lord Admiral Criasus announced that the third and final proposal team would now take the floor. Noting the roster for this team, audible sighs were heard from the assembly, many of whom knew full well by now precisely which member of the team had almost certainly dominated the discussions and bent the proposal to her own personal preferences. To whom this might refer is left as an exercise for the reader:
  • Lord Grand Admiral Tethys Argyron, Fleet High Command (Mixed Armaments Team)
  • Lord High Admiral Aeneas Chalcon, Industrial Command (Capital Ship Team)
  • Lord Admiral Glycon Limos, Duratus Naval Corps (Conservative Team)
  • Lord Admiral Adrien Agamemnon, Survey Corps (Modular Fleet Team)
Predictably, the resulting proposal took on a heavy slant towards beam weapon warships. Whereas the presence of Mixed Armaments Team members on the other two afternoon teams had led to the Hellfire class remaining present in the proposed doctrines as an optional attachment squadron, thus simply maintaining the existing role of the class, Lord Grand Admiral Argyron had refused to settle for this and had insisted on pushing for greater inclusion of the class in Legion Naval doctrinal plans, likely over the objections of her fellow team members.

Here it is perhaps most illuminating for the reader to be able to follow the short development history of this proposal. At the beginning of the afternoon breakout session, the Lord Grand Admiral had metaphorically (if, one hopes, not literally) placed a doctrinal outline on the table and informed her teammates that this was to be their plan:



Had the remaining members of the team accepted the words of their superior officer, the result would have been quite a disastrous proposal, as can be readily seen. Fortunately, this was not the case, as Lord Admiral Glycon Limos was hardly a weak personality in his own right and was certainly not one to let pass the opportunity to address his superior officer as an equal - a right granted to all Lords Admiral within the limits of the Naval Conference, after all. He therefore confronted Lord Grand Admiral Argyron regarding the clear flaws in her proposed plan, and succeeded in rallying the remaining team members about him who then contributed their own assessments. Now in the minority and without the trappings of rank to fall back on so long as the Naval Conference continued, the Lord Grand Admiral relented and allowed for some revisions to be made, albeit contentiously.

The Lord Grand Admiral’s draft, to choose a term politely, had three main flaws among the others highlighted by he colleagues, each stemming from the unfortunate inclusion of a fifth Hellfire squadron alongside the fairly standard pairs of cruiser and destroyer squadrons. The first objection was the most obvious: adding a fifth main squadron would introduce a significant additional command burden, as while an optionally-attached squadron would be attached to a fleet with a clear mission and thus could operate relatively independently within the chain of command, an additional main squadron would not have this clarity of mission and would be completely dependent on the commanding officer of the fleet for orders and control, increasing the mental load on that officer by an additional 25% which few if any of the Lord Captains had been trained for. A second serious flaw would be found in the severe logistical demands a mandatory Hellfire squadron would place on the Legion Navy, not only in terms of the scarce corundium required to build enough Hellfires to outfit the entire Navy but also in the overall diversion of shipbuilding effort to construct each individual battle fleet, reducing the total number of fleets which could be fielded. This was simply put not an acceptable limitation on a Legion Navy which was already beginning to be stretched quite thin across multiple fronts. Finally, the inclusion of organic jump capability in the beam squadron was frankly ridiculous as the Hellfire class was entirely unsuited to conducting a jump point assault against any target more dangerous than an unarmed sensor probe. While this objection could be given a “quick fix” by replacing the Excelsior with a fourth Hellfire, the resulting organization would only exacerbate the other issues while greatly complicating the process of deploying the fleet for combat operations.

With these and other objections made clear to the Lord Grand Admiral in no uncertain terms, the proposal team set about attempting to rectify the worst of these. Ultimately, it was the member from the former Modular Fleet Team, Lord Admiral Adrien Agamemnon, who managed to suggest a compromise which found some purchase from his teammates, incorporating the Hellfires into the command squadron as one of several possible attachment options which would at least simplify the chain of command while preserving some flexibility in the mission-planning stages prior to fleet deployment. Even with this compromise finding acceptance, Lord Grand Admiral Argyron still insisted on taking the opportunity to push her pet beam monitor concept into the plan, if only to emphasize her own intentions for the resulting proposal:



It was this version of the proposal which was finalized and presented to the assembly, to which this historical narrative now returns.

It will come as no surprise to the reader that this proposal was, while perhaps better in construction than many members of the assembly had feared, nevertheless received quite critically. This being said, the proposal in its final form was in large part quite conventional, consisting of the command squadron alongside the typical four combat squadrons on which the Lords Admiral had quite unintentionally managed to agree during this afternoon. While the question of fleet jump doctrine remained quite open, as the previous proposal had aptly demonstrated, few in the assembly cared to continue that discussion, not least the members of the “firepower slant” team who were content to rest on their laurels as far as the jump doctrine debate was concerned. Thus, the only serious avenue for objections to be raised was the proposed makeup of the command squadron.

Immediately, before even getting into the specific objections, the position of the proposal team was severely dented by one of its own members, as Lord Admiral Agamemnon quickly divested himself from the debate by stating that, in his view, this fleet composition respected the intended role of the command cruiser only slightly more than the proposal by Lord High Admiral Macaria and his associates, and that the proposal at hand was the product of necessary compromise rather than fundamental understanding of the role each ship should play in a Legion battle fleet. While he did not say so overtly, by omission it was clear that the Lord Admiral supported the remaining proposal which had included a separate jump assault squadron, though some among the Lords Admiral whispered disparagingly among themselves that this was more due to brown-nosing towards his Survey Command superior, Lord High Admiral Antilochus, rather than a truly principled stand.

As for the specific objections, so as not to fatigue the reader by repetition of prior arguments it suffices to note that, while significant overlap existed, the factions which were opposed to the Hellfire class and to the Bellerophon class were distinct in membership, and both of these factions naturally objected to the inclusion of those classes in the command squadron, even as theoretically “optional” packages. Indeed, as Lord Grand Admiral Argyron clarified, the intention was that every command squadron should have some selection of these assets, with no fleet sallying forth with a “naked” command cruiser in its organization. This clarification chiefly confirmed that a significant fraction of the Lords Admiral would be dissatisfied no matter which option was taken, thus the concept as a whole largely failed to find any popularity.

The beam monitor class, clearly a pet project as any member of the Lords Admiral could immediately tell for themselves, similarly was not well-received. However, here the primary objection as with the frigate classes seemed to be the inclusion of a highly experimental class as a viable component of the command squadron. Indeed, among the less vitriolic Lords Admiral there was some interest in the concept, with Lords Admiral Hydra and Abderus both suggesting that the beam monitor class ought to be trialed on such an experimental basis, perhaps as a single specialist squadron, before being seriously considered as a major fleet element. As both had been members of the morning’s Mixed Armaments Team, this commentary was perhaps not entirely without self-interest, but as a purported middle ground compared to the proposal at hand other members of the assembly were not disinterested in the idea. Thus, in hindsight it might be considered that Lord Grand Admiral Argyron had, in spite of the considerable flak she received over the course of the afternoon, succeeded in her goal to advance the cause of beam warfare, as while many Lords Admiral still held serious reservations the beam monitor concept had gained significant ground towards acceptance even as the Lord Grand Admiral herself was forced to scale back her own ambitions.

After this, the final doctrinal proposal of the day was completed, and a short break was allowed for the members of the assembly to recover from the grueling ordeal before they would gather once more for closing words from the Speaker. Regrettably, light refreshments were not served.

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1700: Closing Vote Period, Session on Fleet and Naval Doctrine

As the Lords Admiral gathered to close out the session, Lord Admiral Criasus was admittedly less than satisfied with the results of the day’s work, though this was not to say that his expectations had not been exceeded. On one hand, the second-stage doctrinal proposals had not converged towards a common solution with only slight differences to be briefly debated and voted upon. On the other hand, while the proposals did differ starkly, a core fleet composition had become apparent, with the combat forces of the next-generation battle fleet proving a point of remarkable agreement. With this in mind, the remaining points of contention could be addressed in future sessions quite amenably: the various frigate-related questions could not only be handled in their own sessions, but as long as the frigate squadrons remained as optional attachments could be debated without causing knock-on effects on the primary fleet doctrine. This left the question of jump doctrine, which would be somewhat thornier to navigate but could ultimately be “wrapped around” the core fleet doctrine without requiring too many changes in any case. At least, this was what Lord Admiral Criasus hoped as he announced the concluding vote for the day’s session.

The Speaker therefore put forth to the assembly a concluding motion, to be voted on by the remaining fourteen Lords Admiral present, drawn up in the form of two separate articles:

    I. That the core doctrinal concept of the future Legion Navy battle fleet should consist of:
  • One (1) heavy cruiser squadron, to be populated by one or more classes to be designed by the appropriate department of the Legion high command;
  • One (1) light cruiser squadron, to be populated by Invincible-class and, if necessary, Judgment Day-class vessels;
  • Two (2) destroyer squadrons, to be populated by Charybdis-class and, if necessary, Furious-class vessels; and
  • One (1) command cruiser, of a class to be designed by the appropriate department of the Legion high command, according to a design pattern and doctrine to be determined by a later session of the Naval Conference.
    II. That the following key questions would be reserved for future discussion and eventual resolution in the appropriate following sessions of the Naval Conference, preceding a final doctrinal vote at the conclusion of the Conference:
  • The question of jump ship doctrine as it relates to squadron composition in the future Legion Navy battle fleets;
  • The future role and design of the Bellerophon-class frigates or a suitable successor class; and
  • The future role and design of the Hellfire-class frigates, or a suitable successor class, along with any potential beam-armed classes derived on the basis of the Hellfire class or otherwise.
The first article of this motion passed by a 13-1 vote, with the lone dissension from Lord High Admiral Macaria, who stated for the record that he would prefer to confirm the command cruiser as a member of the heavy cruiser squadron, and that his vote was therefore a protest vote as much as anything. The second article of this motion passed by an 11-3 vote, with Lord High Admiral Macaria joined in dissent by Lord Admiral Agamemnon (objecting to the lack of closure regarding jump ship doctrine) and Lord Admiral Chryson (insisting that the language guarantee a Bellerophon successor class with no possibility of retaining the existing frigates). While both margins ensured that any attempted veto by Lord Admiral Imperator Valance would be overridden, this was likely unnecessary in any case as she had shown no inclination towards objection.

With the motion thus passed, the Naval Conference was again adjourned, as in spite of the Conference attendees themselves another productive day had finally come to a close.

----

OOC Notes: Thus concludes the all-day session on doctrine, indeed it has been a thrilling if not harrowing ride but all good things must come to an end. While I had been worried that writing out lengthy debates on doctrinal minutiae would be perhaps a bit much for the readership, the previous update seems to have been one of the best-received and thus it is clear that the readership demands more of this sort of thing. To you all I can only say to be careful what you wish for...  ;)

As alluded to previously, even I must admit to being surprised by some of the outcomes, while my initial plan may have involved building a lot of particle beam cruisers and letting HADM Macaria deal with it in the officer's lounge after-hours, the process of constructing arguments for and against each proposal forced me to rethink many details. Whether the resulting Legion Naval doctrine will be better for it, I cannot say, and no member of the assembly will have gotten everything that he or she wanted, but the resulting doctrine will certainly have been thoroughly-explored in any case.

I do owe a small debt of gratitude to certain members of the readership who have provided food for thought particularly relating to the beam weapons conundrum. As some might guess the final doctrinal proposal took quite some time to devise in a satisfactory manner, ultimately the use of the doctrinal proposal as a political maneuver as much as a proper proposal in its own right I think was the way to go and we shall see in later sessions how this works out.

Up next is the Hellfire and particle beams discussion...oh dear...



« Last Edit: June 07, 2021, 11:19:17 AM by nuclearslurpee »
 
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Offline HighTemplar

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Re: The Official Chronicle of the Duranium Legion
« Reply #107 on: June 13, 2021, 08:11:40 AM »
I love the story so far, although I haven't ever tried playing with no missiles, one long ranged enemy with greater speed and your screwed.

I do have a question on the appropriations process though. Is the entire budget in the hands of the military, or is there some sort of legislature, imperial treasury etc? Because if the military controls the budget I can see some problems down the line (the stuff from the conference gets built exactly as ordered but the budget is probably heavily skewed towards military spending at the expense of civilian expenditures (healthcare, education etc)), and if it is controlled by non-military sources then the civvies get a say in what is being built and we get another round of politicking (yay). In either case I can see a bunch of horse trading over defense contracts going on (e.g. the beam faction quietly promising to build beam ships in a dockyard part owned by a wavering admiral's brother or the imperial undersecretary for the treasury being a silent partner in a firm with an interest in railgun research), really the possibilities are endless (which helps you justify stuff in universe if you really want to build something)
 
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Offline nuclearslurpee (OP)

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Re: The Official Chronicle of the Duranium Legion
« Reply #108 on: June 13, 2021, 07:41:09 PM »
I love the story so far, although I haven't ever tried playing with no missiles, one long ranged enemy with greater speed and your screwed.

It is at times a harrowing existence, but certainly one which had thus far brought great rewards to the Legion Navy. I am gratified that you appreciate it all the same.

Quote
I do have a question on the appropriations process though. Is the entire budget in the hands of the military, or is there some sort of legislature, imperial treasury etc? Because if the military controls the budget I can see some problems down the line (the stuff from the conference gets built exactly as ordered but the budget is probably heavily skewed towards military spending at the expense of civilian expenditures (healthcare, education etc)), and if it is controlled by non-military sources then the civvies get a say in what is being built and we get another round of politicking (yay). In either case I can see a bunch of horse trading over defense contracts going on (e.g. the beam faction quietly promising to build beam ships in a dockyard part owned by a wavering admiral's brother or the imperial undersecretary for the treasury being a silent partner in a firm with an interest in railgun research), really the possibilities are endless (which helps you justify stuff in universe if you really want to build something)

This is an excellent question, and candidly one which I have to date avoided getting too deeply into. Indeed some might accuse me of deliberately leaving such things vague so as to get away with doing whatever I want, but this is of course utter balderdash and we shall hear no such accusations in this thread.  ;)

To begin a relatively short answer: As alluded to in the first part of Chapter XXI, the Naval Conference takes as precedent the historical Imperial Conference which served as the highest level of government apparatus, namely the assembly of Lords of the Legion and the Emperor. While this tradition has as stated been largely abandoned as a formalism, the underlying cultural basis remains intact and governance is a cross between an oligarchy and monarchy in most salient ways. Notably, as implied by the title and the emphasis placed upon it the Lords Admiral are one segment of the Lords of the Legion; other segments would include the Lords General (few in number though they be at present) and any Lordships conferred as special honors (in-game, medals tied to the highest achievements in several categories). The major part of the Lords of course would be the more traditional oligarchs, many of whom might be familiar as the names behind military components, shipyards, or small craft design such as Hyperion or Scamander.

Knowing that the Lords Admiral make up a significant part of the ruling elite, though not a majority and certainly not with so much power as to call the Legion a military government, it follows that the Legion Navy has a relatively large degree of autonomy as the Lords of the Legion are generally not too much in the business of telling each other how to do their jobs at the governmental level. In broad terms the Legion Navy would be given a mandate and a budget and expected to go do things that the Lords broadly agree would be beneficial for the Legion and their own interests, notably if the budget gets funneled back into the coffers of Scamander, Hyperion, et al then all parties involved are happy with the arrangement (again, in broad terms...). Whether the Scamander Series XVI sensor is going into a railgun cruiser or beam frigate really doesn't concern the Scamander accounting department very much.

Naturally such a system would be ripe for all kinds of exciting corruption and intrigues albeit exciting in a way that the crews on the front lines are for some reason would not be happy about. To this point a few factors would have kept such things in check aside from the honor system (itself a not insignificant consideration): first, peer pressure, simply put if an enterprising Lord Admiral tried to sneak an extra Hellfire onto the procuration lists his coworkers would not be happy to find their carefully-balanced build orders modified in such a way, meanwhile if some enterprising corporation officer were to go along with such a scheme this would raise the ire of other corporate Lords who would stand to lose their own shipbuilding contracts from such a scheme; secondly, the Emperor himself with the power to expel a Lord from the Conference (and most likely also stripping them of their title) while certainly not incorruptible acts as a check on such things; finally and perhaps most relevant for the audience, when economic times are good and everyone involved is profiting wildly while budget and TNE allotments flow freely, there is little necessity for such intrigues. However, should the Legion, hypothetically, be facing difficulties in procuring the necessary economic resources to, hypothetically, embark on a program of Naval modernization and expansion, suddenly the possibilities might hypothetically materialize as if from thin air.

This I hope answers your questions while tying back to previous posts without adding too much in-universe information to a non-canon comment, and remains sufficiently vague for the author to continue justifying all manner of narratve contrivance.
 
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Offline El Pip

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It has taken longer than I hoped to reply to this, but it is partly your fault for writing such involved and detailed chapters. It is also partly your fault for dragging me back into this black-hole-for-free-time, I've started a new game and am even plotting out an Aurora story. So taking these two things together, it is very clearly your fault.

The Lords Admiral, now quite put out at the prospect of doing even more group work, nevertheless grudgingly set about the task at hand, being not entirely acrimonious towards one another.
In fairness, no-one likes group work.

Perhaps the most sensible objection raised, and thus naturally the one paid least attention to by the majority of the Lords Admiral despite the lack of a strong rebuttal, was that brought up by Lord Admiral Agamemnon Hydra, who noted that the necessity to design and build three 20,000-ton ship classes rather than two would be somewhat challenging for the Legion Navy to pull off in the short term. The best reply was made by Lord Admiral Pandia, who noted that the Legion shipbuilders had not struggled to manage this with the previous ship classes, and thus it would certainly be achievable with the heavy cruiser classes as well. As the majority of the Lords Admiral preferred to minimize discussion of logistics-related topics, the matter was not pressed by the remainder of the assembly.
I am sure this absolute contempt for logistics, shipbuilding limits, mining outputs and general industrial capacity will never come back to bite them in any way.

Regrettably, light refreshments were not served.
What fresh barbarism is this? Mark my words this is the thin end of the wedge, it'll be the end of civilisation next.

It is good that the Legion is sticking with Railguns, I say this not out of any particular knowledge of the game but just because they are absolutely the correct weapon system for the personalities and general organisation of the Legion. And that's organisation in the broader society sense, the Legion is robust in it's argument, bordering even on direct, but has honour and integrity, it also revels in violence and bloodshed (Hence why Jump Point assaults are the most 'glorious' thing they can conceive of). Sniping away at a distance with Particles beams against an enemy who cannot shoot back is almost the complete anti-thesis of that way of warfare, only missiles would be a worse fit, so of course they must stick with Railguns. The only better option would be energy weapon fighters, which I understand don't really work in the game-meta but do seem incredibly Legion - a chance to whizz around at high speed and shoot the enemy right in the face, huge losses, lots of explosions (mainly of fighters) and the 'honour and glory' of an individual pilot (or small crew) doing the fighting.
 
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It has taken longer than I hoped to reply to this,


I expect nothing less than the finest in slower-than-real-time commentary from yourself, thus if anything I am surprised by your usual brisk pace and encouraged by this recent development.

Quote
but it is partly your fault for writing such involved and detailed chapters. It is also partly your fault for dragging me back into this black-hole-for-free-time, I've started a new game and am even plotting out an Aurora story. So taking these two things together, it is very clearly your fault.

There are few pleasures in life greater than being a bad influence on someone, thus I am quite pleased by these developments and also intrigued by the prospect of a slower-than-real-time Aurora AAR which many would claim to be impossible to pull off.

Quote
I am sure this absolute contempt for logistics, shipbuilding limits, mining outputs and general industrial capacity will never come back to bite them in any way.

Of course not. This is not WWII-era Germany after all, thus the expansionist and militaristic leadership cannot be anything but correct in their presumption that economics are of tertiary importance.

Quote
Regrettably, light refreshments were not served.
What fresh barbarism is this? Mark my words this is the thin end of the wedge, it'll be the end of civilisation next.

In fairness it must be noted that the break occurred not more than half an hour before the assembly would have been let out for dinner, and the Lords Admiral having been demonstrably proven to be utter children it falls to the catering staff to control the appetites of their wards through active denial of snacks.

Quote
It is good that the Legion is sticking with Railguns, I say this not out of any particular knowledge of the game but just because they are absolutely the correct weapon system for the personalities and general organisation of the Legion. And that's organisation in the broader society sense, the Legion is robust in it's argument, bordering even on direct, but has honour and integrity, it also revels in violence and bloodshed (Hence why Jump Point assaults are the most 'glorious' thing they can conceive of). Sniping away at a distance with Particles beams against an enemy who cannot shoot back is almost the complete anti-thesis of that way of warfare, only missiles would be a worse fit, so of course they must stick with Railguns. The only better option would be energy weapon fighters, which I understand don't really work in the game-meta but do seem incredibly Legion - a chance to whizz around at high speed and shoot the enemy right in the face, huge losses, lots of explosions (mainly of fighters) and the 'honour and glory' of an individual pilot (or small crew) doing the fighting.

When you put it this way it can only reinforce that there was never any doubt, surely railguns were always the future, although as will be seen in the next update the particle beams self-preservation faction may have some valid points for the consideration of the more open-minded members of the Lords Admiralty.

Though on this aside I admit that you may have piqued my curiosity, as we all know Aurora really is not suited for the kind of one-man fighters we usually see in science fiction but while many have tried to design extremely small fighters in bold defiance of Steve I have yet to see any study of feasible one-man fighters or otherwise reducing the crew numbers as much as possible. Thus I have decided to conduct such a study, as to remain on the thread topic we will say this is an unofficial project of the Secret Projects Division or some such.

As it turns out, one always needs a crew member to work the engine for some reason, so the largest engine we can build requiring only one crew member is the one for which the product of engine size (in HS) and EP boost modifier (which I'll take as 2.0x, on par with current Legion technology) rounds down to 1. A bit of tweaking indicates that the best 1-crew engine available at this tech level is an 18.5 EP drive of size 0.8 with a 1.85x boost, clearly a good deal as we get that extra 0.05x without the corresponding increase in explosion rate.

The bad news is that the railguns let us down rather sadly, as the smallest possible railgun (10 cm, single-shot) still requires 3 crewmen. "Fortunately", beam fire controls can be built to require zero crew if you don't particularly want to hit anything with them, which of course we do not as hitting targets is vastly overrated, as may power plants if we limit them to 0.25 HS or less. With slight adjustments to obtain a nice, round tonnage value we can obtain the following admittedly sad story for the low, low price of four warm bodies - saldy our Lone Wolf hero pilots must share the little glory they will win in such saddening machines.

F-34 class Superdreadnought (P)      135 tons       4 Crew       21.7 BP       TCS 3    TH 19    EM 0
6853 km/s      Armour 1-2       Shields 0-0       HTK 1      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 0      PPV 0.98
Maint Life 6.21 Years     MSP 15    AFR 27%    IFR 0.4%    1YR 1    5YR 10    Max Repair 10 MSP
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 days    Morale Check Required   

Ion Drive  EP18.50 (1)    Power 18.5    Fuel Use 1316.66%    Signature 18.50    Explosion 18%
Fuel Capacity 3,000 Litres    Range 0.3 billion km (12 hours at full power)

10cm Railgun V30/C1/S1 (1)    Range 30,000km     TS: 6,853 km/s     Power 0.75-1     RM 30,000 km    ROF 5       
Beam Fire Control R32-TS4000 (SW) (1)     Max Range: 32,000 km   TS: 4,000 km/s     69 38 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor R1 (2)     Total Power Output 1    Exp 5%


Thus if our fighter pilots wish to agitate for greater glory they must demand the advent of missile bombers, as both missile FCs and box launchers can be built with no crew requirements, allowing for the far more glorious (with a heaping side helping of self-preserving) design below:

B-21 class Superdreadnought (P)      100 tons       1 Crew       19 BP       TCS 2    TH 19    EM 0
9340 km/s      Armour 1-1       Shields 0-0       HTK 1      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 0      PPV 0.6
Maint Life 7.40 Years     MSP 15    AFR 20%    IFR 0.3%    1YR 0    5YR 7    Max Repair 10 MSP
Magazine 4   
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 days    Morale Check Required   

Ion Drive  EP18.50 (1)    Power 18.5    Fuel Use 1316.66%    Signature 18.50    Explosion 18%
Fuel Capacity 6,000 Litres    Range 0.83 billion km (24 hours at full power)

Size 4.0 Box Launcher (1)     Missile Size: 4.0    Hangar Reload 100 minutes    MF Reload 16 hours
Missile Fire Control FC40-R150 (1)     Range 40.8m km    Resolution 150


I note that at the cost of near immobility it is possible to balloon this concept up to 500 tons by bolting additional launchers haphazardly to every free surface, though it may be advisable to reluctantly allow for a copilot as the price for a second engine. This would not be all bad as said copilot would no doubt provide endless witty banter during climactic battle scenes.

As I am sure many among the readership are now concerned that the author will seriously attempt to justify the development of missile fighters on the grounds of only requiring one glory-hogging crew member to pilot, I shall offer no reassurances and instead shall leave this as a reminder to them as to what dark horrors said author may be capable of if pressed too far.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2021, 08:20:43 PM by nuclearslurpee »
 
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Offline El Pip

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There are few pleasures in life greater than being a bad influence on someone, thus I am quite pleased by these developments and also intrigued by the prospect of a slower-than-real-time Aurora AAR which many would claim to be impossible to pull off.
I am pondering tricks to get around this. Or I might just not do an AAR but something lest constrained by the limitations of linear time.

Though on this aside I admit that you may have piqued my curiosity, as we all know Aurora really is not suited for the kind of one-man fighters we usually see in science fiction but while many have tried to design extremely small fighters in bold defiance of Steve I have yet to see any study of feasible one-man fighters or otherwise reducing the crew numbers as much as possible. Thus I have decided to conduct such a study, as to remain on the thread topic we will say this is an unofficial project of the Secret Projects Division or some such.

As it turns out, one always needs a crew member to work the engine for some reason, so the largest engine we can build requiring only one crew member is the one for which the product of engine size (in HS) and EP boost modifier (which I'll take as 2.0x, on par with current Legion technology) rounds down to 1. A bit of tweaking indicates that the best 1-crew engine available at this tech level is an 18.5 EP drive of size 0.8 with a 1.85x boost, clearly a good deal as we get that extra 0.05x without the corresponding increase in explosion rate.

The bad news is that the railguns let us down rather sadly, as the smallest possible railgun (10 cm, single-shot) still requires 3 crewmen. "Fortunately", beam fire controls can be built to require zero crew if you don't particularly want to hit anything with them, which of course we do not as hitting targets is vastly overrated, as may power plants if we limit them to 0.25 HS or less. With slight adjustments to obtain a nice, round tonnage value we can obtain the following admittedly sad story for the low, low price of four warm bodies - saldy our Lone Wolf hero pilots must share the little glory they will win in such saddening machines.
Excellent research, even if the results are disappointing.

Thus if our fighter pilots wish to agitate for greater glory they must demand the advent of missile bombers, as both missile FCs and box launchers can be built with no crew requirements, allowing for the far more glorious (with a heaping side helping of self-preserving) design below:

B-21 class Superdreadnought (P)      100 tons       1 Crew       19 BP       TCS 2    TH 19    EM 0
9340 km/s      Armour 1-1       Shields 0-0       HTK 1      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 0      PPV 0.6
Maint Life 7.40 Years     MSP 15    AFR 20%    IFR 0.3%    1YR 0    5YR 7    Max Repair 10 MSP
Magazine 4   
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 days    Morale Check Required   

Ion Drive  EP18.50 (1)    Power 18.5    Fuel Use 1316.66%    Signature 18.50    Explosion 18%
Fuel Capacity 6,000 Litres    Range 0.83 billion km (24 hours at full power)

Size 4.0 Box Launcher (1)     Missile Size: 4.0    Hangar Reload 100 minutes    MF Reload 16 hours
Missile Fire Control FC40-R150 (1)     Range 40.8m km    Resolution 150


I note that at the cost of near immobility it is possible to balloon this concept up to 500 tons by bolting additional launchers haphazardly to every free surface, though it may be advisable to reluctantly allow for a copilot as the price for a second engine. This would not be all bad as said copilot would no doubt provide endless witty banter during climactic battle scenes.

As I am sure many among the readership are now concerned that the author will seriously attempt to justify the development of missile fighters on the grounds of only requiring one glory-hogging crew member to pilot, I shall offer no reassurances and instead shall leave this as a reminder to them as to what dark horrors said author may be capable of if pressed too far.
Some excellent work from the Secret Projects Division. For the record this is not a dark horror but a wonderful vision of the Legion's future. Yes missiles have a certain not-shooting-in-the-face quality, but as I understand it box launchers have a chance to explode in the new version. So utterly covering the B-21s with box launchers would vastly increase the odds of the launchers exploding, thus providing the requisite amount of risk, danger and thus glory. A larger engine/co-pilot option may be acceptable, provided the probability of a box launcher explosion remains sufficiently high.
 
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OOC Note: As a reminder for the benefit of the reader, the agenda and attendance for the Naval Conference can be found in the first post of Chapter XXI and may be of some use to keep track of the various personalities involved as well as to be apprised of upcoming topics of discussion - about which speculation is as always encouraged!

----

23 May 4009

0800: Session on Performance and Assessment of the Hellfire class, Duranium Legion Naval Conference

It is no doubt indicative of how most of the Lords Admiral expected the day’s session to proceed that Lord Admiral Absolus Criasus amusingly turned up decked out in a full suit of experimental power armor then being trialed by the Imperial Guard. While a member of the Legion Navy certainly was not supposed to be traipsing about in Ground Forces research and development materiel, certainly no one would fault the watch team on duty at 0700 that morning at the Legion Projects Armory for following the orders of an admittedly imposing Lord Admiral, regardless of interservice boundaries. This aside, while the humorous side of the Lord Admiral’s stunt was appreciated by his colleagues, whether said stunt would have the far more desired effect of moderating tensions in what was sure to be the most heated session to date would remain to be seen.

In any case, regardless of any personal reluctance he may have felt the Lord Admiral was nothing if not dutiful and thus set about the business of the day. After delivering the usual exhortations for his colleagues not to behave like schoolchildren - or, failing that, not to behave any worse than schoolchildren - Lord Admiral Criasus outlined the schedule for the morning session. He himself would open the proceedings with a summary of the service record of the Hellfire-class beam frigates, seeking to provide a basis of objective facts for the following discussions. After this, expert testimony would be heard from Lord Captain Selene Styx, Captain Jocasta Gelanor (in absentia, to be delivered from prepared remarks by the Speaker), and Commander Aion Styx, with each (living) expert responding to questions from the assembly as able. Finally, with this being done individual Lords Admiral would be invited to present their own brief assessments for the consideration of the assembly, as always permitting for comment periods in each instance. This would, Lord Admiral Criasus hoped, provide a comprehensive and useful basis for the afternoon session on the future of particle beam weapons in the Legion Navy.

To begin his own purely factual summary, Lord Admiral Criasus began with the first battle of Kuiper 79, which had been fought immediately prior to the deployment of the Hellfire class, noting that First Fleet under his own command had lost some 22,500 tons of warships in the ensuing victory. By contrast, the second battle of Kuiper 79 had featured the first two Hellfire examples, and despite significant teething problems for the frigates this battle had been won with no Legion Navy losses and with Hellfire herself claiming a Sovremenny as her first kill. The Lord Admiral continued his narrative by discussing the battles fought as part of the Invasion of Belaire, noting that while the Hellfires had not been present for the jump point assault itself, their presence in battles immediately preceding and following the assault had produced some 45,000 tons of Belaire casualties - plus another 15,000 tons in the form of a Sovremenny cruiser which had been crippled and left for Disruptor to finish off. The jump point assault itself, on the other hand, had seen some 62,500 tons of Legion Navy losses, some no doubt due to the nature of the assault itself but others likely avoidable had the assault fleets been able to pull back and engage the Belaire cruisers at extreme range. Altogether, whatever might be said about the efficacy of the Hellfire class itself, the fact remained that the Legion Navy had suffered 85,000 tons of losses (averaging 10% of engaged forces) in battles fought against the Belaire without Hellfire support, and zero losses when fighting with that support. All possible explanations and excuses aside, the correlation if nothing else was certainly compelling.



Fastidious as ever, Lord Admiral Criasus also provided a helpful visual aid for those in his audience who might otherwise not pay much attention to his admittedly ruminous words. “Battles” prior to 2 August 4007 are not included for good reason; the reader will recall that prior to 2 August 4007 the Belaire Navy seemingly had not yet learned how to fire their weapons.

This had been, quite easily, the most opinionated statement the Speaker had made throughout the Conference, and had his claims not been backed by comprehensive numerical analysis the Lord Admiral’s claim to staunch neutrality would certainly have been in jeopardy. As it was, this display of opinion was seen by many of the Lords Admiral as indicating the potential to obtain a committal statement on the Hellfire debate from the Speaker, potential which proved to be entirely nonexistent. Notably, when asked by Lord Grand Admiral Tethys Argyron whether the Hellfire class was an effective weapon and should see its use expanded, Lord Admiral Criasus flatly responded "Perhaps"; when this was followed by insinuations from Lord High Admiral Jack Macaria that this response implied that the Hellfire class should not see its use expanded, Lord Admiral Criasus replied in the same manner. In retrospect, the lack of insightful questioning was likely due not only to the proclivities of the Lords Admiral towards political infighting, but also due to an apparent lack of preparation for the contents of the Speaker’s presentation. Curiously for a high command which prided itself on exhaustive reporting and publication of reams upon reams of pedantic statistics, few if any among the Lords Admiral had yet assessed the quantitative effects of the Hellfire class on Legion Navy fleet performances. As such only Lord Admiral Gaia Pandia, predictably, raised any questions of a quantitative nature, although Lord Admiral Criasus remained noncommittal as his colleague pressed him on the relative attribution of ship losses in the Belaire jump point assault to the innate dangers of such an operation versus the lack of Hellfire support.

----

As continued questioning of the Lord Admiral failed to score any meaningful political points due to his quite impenetrable stonewalling, the discussion surrounding this presentation died down rather quickly. With the discussion shortly concluded, Lord Admiral Criasus gladly offered the floor to Lord Captain Styx, eager to move the proceedings along.

As the commander of the Kuiper 79 Mission Control Department during the Invasion of Belaire, Lord Captain Selene Styx could provide a valuable operational perspective on the use of the Hellfires. She began her remarks, however, by announcing quite candidly that she disagreed with the interpretation of statistics given by her superior, noting that while the basic observations were correct, significant uncertainty existed when so few engagements could be considered as data points, with close calls on either side that might have gone badly any other day. As an example of this, the Lord Captain recalled the recent defeat of the Belaire Home Fleet, during which battle Captain Gelanor had pushed her Hellfire squadron beyond their breaking points to destroy the Belaire Sovremenny squadron before the rest of her fleet closed to point-blank range. The Lord Captain noted that while this maneuver had been successful, the damage suffered by the Hellfires due to weapons malfunctions could easily have proven fatal, notably the exhaustion of engineering supplies and manpower to keep the weapons operational could well have led to a catastrophic failure in the engine rooms or other critical components which could not have been addressed in time to save the ships and their crews. Thus while the Legion had in the end suffered no losses from the battle, this was due to supremely excellent luck as much as tactical superiority, and the Lord Captain emphasized that the Hellfire class could not continue to rely on luck to keep themselves intact.

This said, Lord Captain Styx turned her attention to the abortive pursuit attempt against Belaire Cruiser Squadron 4. Here she offered a thoroughly operational perspective, noting that while the pursuit had been tactically a success albeit only a small one, it had also had the effect of delaying the launching of the jump point assault by several weeks as the dispersed assault fleet assets were forced to regroup. While the ultimate impact of this delay had been minimal in any negative sense, and perhaps even positive given the reinforcements from Fourth Fleet which had bolstered the assault, the Lord Captain made it a point of emphasis that the opportunities which could be opened up by the use of Hellfire squadrons were not necessarily as valuable as they might appear from a raw numerical perspective if they interfered with operational execution. Particularly, based on the extreme maintenance requirements of the class she anticipated that the presence of Hellfires on long, far-reaching campaigns across several systems would ultimately drag down the rest of the fleet due to these extreme logistical requirements, or else be limited to judiciously-chosen engagements rather than general fleet operations.

In short, Lord Captain Styx summarized her position thusly: while the Hellfire had undoubtedly proven itself as a tactical weapon, which if nothing else did justify its place in the Legion Naval arsenal, it was of questionable utility as an operational asset, and in the Lord Captain’s opinion the Hellfire squadrons would see little practical use as attached assets in the new fleet doctrinal plan as fleet commanders realized these limitations and declined to deal with them.

It will be no surprise to learn that the Lord Captain’s statement was taken by the assembly as somewhat controversial. While much of the quite spirited debate which followed was both less than edifying and unfit for printing, notably Lord High Admiral Macaria and Lord Grand Admiral Argyron were both escorted from the Conference chamber by the Imperial Guards to enjoy an early lunch, a few points of some interest were raised. Lord Admiral Pandia, displaying her usual head for the unglamorous realm of logistics, requested the Lord Captain’s opinion as to what measures, if any, could be taken to render the Hellfire class or a future successor tenable for fleet operations from a supply and maintenance perspective. While qualifying her reply by emphasizing her lack of logistical or ship-design expertise, Lord Captain Styx did suggest that a reduction of armament, perhaps to four guns as originally planned, would allow for additional munitions to be carried as well as additional armor plating to be mounted on the hull. While some among the more fanatical Hellfire supporters took umbrage at this suggestion, fearing that reduction of armament would mean an unacceptable reduction of combat ability, the more moderate members of the assembly noted approvingly this rare attempt at a constructive suggestion rather than maudlin mud-slinging.

Another constructive exchange, albeit tangential, was had with Lord Admiral Niobe Chryson, who sought Lord Captain Styx’s speculative opinion as to whether the Legion Navy might have seen overall better combat results had the Hellfire class taken the place of the Bellerophons during the recent battles. The Lord Captain’s opinion was mixed, as while she readily conceded that the Hellfire class would have proven tactically superior to the Bellerophons, operationally the long-range surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities of the latter class had proven invaluable, not only for fleet operations but also as the catalyst for the commerce raiding which had occurred from 16 February onward. While Lord Admiral Chryson had no doubt hoped for a more conclusive answer, as her dislike of the Bellerophon class was well-known, publicly she only expressed her concurrence with the tactical assessment of her junior officer.

As the questioning of Lord Captain Styx drew to its conclusion, multiple Lords Admiral inquired as to how, in her opinion as the operational commander, the Hellfire class might have been used to reduce Legion casualties during the Belaire jump point assault. Here the Lord Captain was entirely committal, stating that no tactical gains would have been possible, in simple terms all Legion Naval losses had been suffered while the Belaire had remained within 90,000 km of the jump point, well within both Belaire laser and Legion 152 mm battery firing ranges. This being said, she did concede that had the Belaire fleet chosen to immediately open the range to take advantage of their voluminous missile fire, it may have been possible for the Hellfire squadron to jump into the system and assist in a pursuit action, but this certainly could not have been planned for particularly since the Belaire had not used this tactic in any case. Despite some obligatory objections from certain members of the assembly, this operationally-sound answer generally satisfied the Lords Admiral, and the discussion was wrapped up shortly thereafter.

----

As the next speaker would have been the late Captain Jocasta Gelanor, who had commanded the defense of the Belaire jump point on 17 February, Lord Admiral Criasus instead would read from her prepared remarks making some allowances for their obvious draft form. As such, the Lord Admiral informed the assembly that no questions would be taken save for pure clarifications of fact, as he himself could certainly not claim to speak on the late Captain’s behalf.

In summary, Captain Gelanor had dedicated the bulk of her remarks to explaining and defending her decisions during the aforementioned battle, fully aware that this was the primary reason why she had been summoned to the Naval Conference. From the outset, she emphasized that while she had been under no illusions regarding the impact her decisions would have on the developing Hellfire debate - indeed, the reader will recall that this battle had directly precipitated the Naval Conference itself in its aftermath - her first and only concern during the battle had been to maximize the advantage of her own fleet while minimizing losses of ships and crews. Her order to the Hellfire squadron to continue firing even as their weapons failed in rapid succession had been driven by a firm belief that the Hellfire was a highly effective weapon even in its frankly underdeveloped present form, and not by any interest in making a point to her superior officers.

In her assessment of the results, the Captain had predictably been quite glowing with regards to the frigates, including stating in no uncertain terms that it would be disingenuous of her to allow Disruptor to claim the Sovremenny kill which she had made as the work had clearly been done by the Hellfire squadron. Interestingly, she also expressed near certainty that her fleets would have suffered some losses, however sustainable, had the Belaire laser cruisers not been eliminated prior to the final closing action; she emphasized at this point that many of the vessels in her fleet had already suffered battle damage to their armor belts, in some cases with bare structural elements exposed to enemy fire. Even the Belaire, Captain Gelanor claimed, would not have failed to target the most vulnerable of these vessels, particularly destroyers such as Char which as it was had taken nontrivial internal damage during the battle.

In conclusion, Captain Gelanor had offered a few suggestions for improvement, which while strictly out of scope for the present session were read out anyways as a concession to the Captain’s unfortunate lateness. Predictably, she identified a lack of munitions and maintenance stores as the chief limitation of the class, with fire control range a secondary consideration. Insightfully, however, rather than recommending a reduction in weapons loadout the Captain suggested that additional space could be found for needed stores with future advancements in fire control technology, which might reduce the needed size of the hardware even as performance and targeting range improved. In her concluding remarks, Captain Gelanor expressed her earnest hopes that such a second-generation improvement of the class would pave the way for particle beam weapons to become a crucial, if secondary, mainstay of the Legion Navy. While there is no doubt that many of the Lords Admiral would have objected to this final sentiment, of course no such objections could be raised nor by this time was Lord High Admiral Macaria present to request any thinly-veiled “clarifications” to such an effect.

In any case, the recent loss of the honored Captain was still a fresh wound for many members of the assembly, and hearing in a sense her final words had been a moving experience for these individuals. Thus, after a moment of silence Lord Admiral Criasus ordered that the session be adjourned briefly, with light refreshments to be served so as to lift the spirits of the Lords Admiral before they would continue their work.

----

Once the Lords Admiral had returned from their short break and once again taken their seats in the Conference chamber, Lord Admiral Criasus called the session back to order and gave the floor to the final scheduled speaker for that morning, Commander Aion Styx. As the one and only captain of the erstwhile Hellfire herself, the Commander’s personal perspective was eagerly awaited by the assembly, albeit perhaps for different reasons depending on which member of the assembly was queried.



In addition to his famous command, Commander Aion Styx was a well-decorated officer in his own right even despite having survived the explosion of Hellfire. While not yet seen as the future replacement for Captain Jocasta Gelanor due to his relative youth and inexperience, certainly the Commander could expect a promotion in the not too distant future.

Commander Styx began his remarks by reflecting on the numerous teething problems faced by the class in the earliest days of its operation. Some of these of course were well-known, for example the Commander recounted the experience of his helm officer during the second battle of Kuiper 79 during which attempts to evade fire from the Belaire Sovremennys had caused the frigate squadron to pass in and out of its own limited fire control range. Other anecdotes were not so well-known and in fact few if any of the Lords Admiral had heard these stories; for example while the chronic lack of sufficient munitions stores was well-known, the Commander recounted from personal experience how the haphazard placement of these storage sections - as one unfortunate consequence of the rushed design process had been a poorly thought through internal layout -  frequently hampered his engineering crew’s best efforts to keep the guns firing during battles. The amusing account of how firing the Hellfire’s starboard gun battery had also caused the Commander’s private toilet to flush unexpectedly due to ill-planned wiring layouts was particularly well-received, although curiously none of the Lords Admiral thought to interrogate the Commander as to why exactly he had been in a position to notice this particular interaction. On the whole, Commander Styx stated, the Hellfire was utterly symptomatic of a ship which had been the product of a rushed design and construction process, compounded by conflicting and ever-changing requirements from the Legion Navy procurement offices.

In spite of this, however, Commander Styx could give nothing but praise when it came to his ship’s capabilities in battle, as while the pace of a sniper’s duel between Hellfire and Sovremenny squadrons might be a bit slow for the taste of many Legion Naval officers, the Hellfire had proven more than a match against ships twice her size, destroying four times her own displacement in enemy tonnage during her all-too-brief career. Astutely, the Commander noted that if the threat and value of the Hellfire class was not apparent to the Legion high command, it was certainly apparent to the Belaire Navy which had repeatedly prioritized the frigates over larger Legion targets during each engagement - a targeting priority the Commander could personally attest to, having lost an engine in the second battle of Kuiper 79.

While his personal insights were certainly valued, indeed being the primary purpose for his attendance that morning, the Commander further sought to present a quantitative assessment of the Hellfire class performance, hoping to validate his own informed opinions by grounding them upon objective facts. In contrast to the numerical narrative presented by Lord Admiral Criasus earlier in the session, which had sought to produce a fleet-wide operational picture of the Hellfire class impact, Commander Styx instead attempted to produce tactical-level evidence that the Hellfire itself was not only a strategic asset but in fact a highly-efficient weapons system in its own right. To emphasize this point, he drew the attention of the assembly to two principal results: first, that the Hellfires had on average made up 9% of the total displacement of the fleets they had been components of during a battle; second, that Hellfire gunnery had directly accounted for 11% of the Belaire losses suffered during these battles - a number which, for the sake of a conservative estimate, dismissed the additional Sovremenny kill claimed by Disruptor in the last of these engagements. In conclusion, despite its own issues the Hellfire class had outperformed expectations in combat against the enemy, or so the Commander claimed.



While unintentionally so, in presenting his own visual aid Commander Styx unwittingly imitated his far superior officer, Lord Admiral Criasus. As imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the Commander inadvertently opened himself up to accusations of brown-nosing, although fortunately for himself any such thoughts were not voiced during the ensuing discussion period.

As was by this point tradition, the claims advanced by the Commander were not received passively by the Lords Admiral, with the anti-beams faction being particularly irritated at being in their view lectured by an extremely junior officer. Amidst the many rather rude retorts directed at the Commander, which if nothing else certainly put to the test the ideal of the Naval Conference as a discussion among equals, Lord Admiral Glycon Limos raised an important question of data interpretation. While the data as presented did suggest the efficacy of the Hellfire frigates, he conceded, the data did neglect to consider that a significant fraction of the fleet displacement in each case would be occupied by jump-capable warships which were certainly not expected to serve as primary combatants. Therefore, the Lord Admiral wished to know whether the analysis would change if the fraction of primary combatant tonnage made up by the Hellfires were considered rather than the fraction of total tonnage. Commander Styx clearly had not anticipated a statistical rather than egotistical challenge to his hard numbers and objective facts, and to be blunt fumbled in his response, claiming that he couldn’t be certain but the tonnage ratio wouldn’t rise significantly enough to make a difference in his analysis. Helpfully, at this point Lord High Admiral Geras Makedon spoke up to rescue the junior officer from his plight, noting that while the Hellfire tonnage ratio of primary combatants might rise up to perhaps 12% or so, this would likely be something of a wash were the fifth Sovremenny kill claimed by Disruptor factored into the analysis, and the central claim of the analysis was unlikely to be significantly altered.

Later, as the major part of the questioning had passed and the assembly was beginning to settle down, Lord Grand Admiral Thanatos Adrastus took a speculative tact towards Commander Styx, asking how the Commander viewed the Hellfire class from the perspective of Legion Naval philosophy which emphasized close-range encounters with heavily-armored warships. The Commander’s reply proved insightful and illuminating; while he acknowledged that the reality of Hellfire combat was that of long-range sniping and gunnery dueling, he also noted that the role of the class was wholly offensive. In contrast, he pointed out, the other major ship classes of the Legion Navy were increasingly trending towards a dual role of both offensive and defensive functions, exemplified by the mixed 152 mm and 102 mm batteries equipped on the Invincible-class light cruisers. In contrast to this increasing complexity, Commander Styx concluded, there was a certain primal joy to be found in commanding a ship with a singular and destructive mission within the larger fleet, even though that aggression was only manifested at long range.

While this last response from the Commander was certainly not out of character for a Legion Naval officer, for many of the Lords Admiral who had come up through the ranks in command of railgun-only vessels and fleets, this perspective proved hard to digest. Some would later note that Commander Aion Styx was not only a junior officer, but also of a newer breed of officers, having only been promoted to the flag officer ranks less than four years ago. Many of the Lords Admiral therefore took his words as being perhaps reflective of the thinking of a new, younger and less conservative breed of Legion commanders; whether this indicated optimism or pessimism for the future of the Legion Navy of course would vary from one Lord Admiral to the next.

----

As Commander Styx had said all that he could say on the subject, he yielded the floor back to the Speaker, who in turn opened the floor for any additional comments from members of the assembly. Surprisingly, relatively few of the Lords Admiral present seemed interested in making additional remarks, a fact due in part to the volume of debate expressed in the preceding question and answer sessions, but no doubt due in equal or larger part to the conspicuous absence of two particular Lords Admiral from the Conference chamber. Nevertheless, a few final salient points were raised.

Lord Admiral Caerus Priapus, speaking from his experience as commandant of the Legion military academy, noted that the rushed deployment of the Hellfire had caused significant trouble for the academy staff as well. Critically, the lack of even draft forms of new training and doctrinal manuals on which to base a curriculum had forced the instructors at the academy to scramble madly in efforts to piece together some coherent educational plan for the crews and officers expected to serve on the new class. This disruption had led to pronounced effects even now, nearly two years later, as while a curriculum had been largely developed by this time the strain on staff resources to maintain two essentially separate programs of study had proven taxing for the academy staff, and it was likely that further expansion of the beam weapons program would only increase this strain. In response to this, Lord High Admiral Makedon noted that one possible solution would be to increase the size of the academy staff and facilities, an option which likely would be in line with other goals of the Legion high command in any case.

Lord High Admiral Aeneas Chalcon noted that while the relative tactical ability of the Hellfire class remained a topic of debate, its relatively small size as only a frigate-rated warship meant that it was relatively little burden for the Legion’s naval maintenance facilities, particularly those in Adamantine which were still underdeveloped. He further noted that this perhaps would counterbalance the points raised earlier by Lord Captain Styx regarding the logistical burden of the particle beam weapons. Lord Admiral Pandia voiced her concurrence, as well as her relief that someone besides herself for once had thought about logistics.

Aside from these and a few comments giving general opinions as to whether the class was good or bad, with no real substance offered, it seemed by this time that the Lords Admiral were finally tired of this endless Hellfire debate. As such, Lord Admiral Criasus issued brief closing remarks thanking the Lords Admiral for their dedication, earnestness, and relatively civil behavior.

After this the Naval Conference was adjourned for a light luncheon.

----

OOC Notes: And thus the Naval Conference, seemingly interminable, progresses slowly but surely. Shockingly the Hellfire debate has begun in earnest and yet not one incident of fisticuffs, dueling, or brawling has occurred, with only two members of the assembly having been removed by the Guards for poor behavior thus far. Surely this is better than anyone had rightfully expected. Now we can only hope that this relatively good behavior continues into the afternoon session as the discussion turns to technical proposals about the future of the beam weapon classes, Hellfire and otherwise.

The update itself had perhaps the most fitful germination period of any so far, with a large swathe completely rewritten and generally made more concise. Yes, I know, "more concise" - such words are heresy in this thread, but it is the truth. The result though I think is suitable, while perhaps not too much new information has been revealed it has been presented in a manner that the Lords Admiral can consider in a relative fair and objective manner as they seek some agreement on the future of the particle beam in the Legion Navy.

And of course, El Pip will be pleased to note that the light refreshments have made their expected return, and all is now right in the world of the Naval Conference once more.
  ;)
« Last Edit: June 22, 2021, 09:40:16 PM by nuclearslurpee »
 
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Offline Black

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Re: The Official Chronicle of the Duranium Legion
« Reply #113 on: June 22, 2021, 02:01:29 PM »
I must admit that I was certainly surprised, that all participants of the debate survived without any physical harm. And I have to wonder if perhaps provided refreshment was "enhanced" with some additives with calming effects.  ;D But it was most likely presence of such seasoned officer as Lord Admiral Criasus that calmed the participants. I had to look at some previous posts to check on the esteemed officer and I was bit surprised that he is supposed to be intolerant and delusional. :P I also realized that he was demoted in report from 21 May 4009, certainly a clerical error and not an effort to discredit him.

I will certainly watch with interest career of young commander Styx. Let it be long and beneficial for the Duranium Legion.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2021, 02:04:32 PM by Black »
 
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Offline nuclearslurpee (OP)

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Re: The Official Chronicle of the Duranium Legion
« Reply #114 on: June 22, 2021, 02:44:11 PM »
I had to look at some previous posts to check on the esteemed officer and I was bit surprised that he is supposed to be intolerant and delusional. :P I also realized that he was demoted in report from 21 May 4009, certainly a clerical error and not an effort to discredit him.

As a rule I've largely ignored the listed personality traits for the commanders, really I should go back and blank out those parts of the images to avoid confusion as I really only use them to show service records and medals.

Meanwhile the clerical errors have been rectified, I think. The Lord Admiral expresses his sincere thanks for your keen eye and concern for his august reputation.  ;)
 
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Re: The Official Chronicle of the Duranium Legion
« Reply #115 on: June 23, 2021, 06:03:45 PM »
That was all disgustingly polite. If only two Lord Admirals got themselves kicked out you have to wonder if the rest really care?

Lord Admiral Pandia is fast becoming my spirit animal in the Legion. Her valiant efforts to raise vitally important but utterly unglamorous points make her very much the secret unappreciated hero of the piece. Maybe not hero, that would imply success, it's more Cassandra-esque; utterly correct warnings that are completely ignored.

The update itself had perhaps the most fitful germination period of any so far, with a large swathe completely rewritten and generally made more concise. Yes, I know, "more concise" - such words are heresy in this thread, but it is the truth.
The mind boggles at what the un-concise version looked like. Perhaps a thing too beautiful for this fallen world.


The result though I think is suitable, while perhaps not too much new information has been revealed it has been presented in a manner that the Lords Admiral can consider in a relative fair and objective manner as they seek some agreement on the future of the particle beam in the Legion Navy.
It appears that the Particle Beam is heading towards the 'useful, but not always' box. Perhaps to be promoted up to the 'always useful' as technology advances and the next generation of officers rise up the ranks.

This seems reasonable, but it does presuppose the next generation of officers maintain their current views as they age, which is far from certain.

And of course, El Pip will be pleased to note that the light refreshments have made their expected return, and all is now right in the world of the Naval Conference once more.[/i]  ;)
This is indeed the most important things. We are not savages.
 
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Offline nuclearslurpee (OP)

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Re: The Official Chronicle of the Duranium Legion
« Reply #116 on: June 23, 2021, 07:11:56 PM »
The mind boggles at what the un-concise version looked like. Perhaps a thing too beautiful for this fallen world.

In short: in the review of the Hellfire service record, instead of one paragraph summarizing all six battles under consideration imagine a paragraph per battle, and you have a rough idea of what might have been.

Ultimately I had to scrap it for a few reasons: one being it was too ponderous even for this work; another being that this led to far too much content being weighted towards the Lord Admiral, which to balance with the other speakers would have required generating much additional material that frankly was not there at least in substantive terms; and finally the overall length does need to be kept to only the mostly-unreadable realm, as much longer would have the ghosts of Tolkien and Joyce haunting me for crimes against verbosity. Among others, I am certain.
 

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Re: The Official Chronicle of the Duranium Legion
« Reply #117 on: July 01, 2021, 02:36:32 PM »
These updates make me feel really happy about not being a part of Legion Navy, let alone a Lord Admiral. Although I've said it before I obviously have to reiterate through it once again, because you continue to torture me with reminding absolutely all the worst things from primary school. First there was a group work and now we had a group work where the teacher Lord Admiral Criasus assigns everyone as he pleases and on top of it puts everyone with whom they hate the most.  :-X

As if the trauma from primary school wasn't intense enough at this point, we see another typical school group assignment in case of the beam slant: someone does all the work for the entire group and misses the entire point of a group project. When pressed agains the wall, agrees to change some stuff, except not much is actually changed.
Also how ironic given my favourite idea turned out to be the most "primary school group project" one. Because in all seriousness, particle beams are the true meaning of life and one has lived until experiencing blasting hapless enemies at max range while still maintaining full damage potential.  8)

Also why they eat only "light luncheons"? Come on, everyone knows that a good conference needs an unlimited amount of free food for all the attendants. Although on the other hand I guess this fits with the "flashbacks from primary school" theme, because it gives impression their food is in low amount and poor quality... Just like the cafeteria in my primary school served it...  :P

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After delivering the usual exhortations for his colleagues not to behave like schoolchildren - or, failing that, not to behave any worse than schoolchildren

Suuuurreeeee...

And I thought power armor was quite excessive for a mere conference, but on the other hand, if hell was to start spitting its fires then I guess integrated climate control might help.  ::)

Speaking of, to be fair I didn't get the "was not supposed to be traipsing about in Ground Forces research" part. Like, by wearing it he... did not? He just used an already developed product. Does it mean Lord Admirals are all homeless because they are "not supposed to be traipsing about in Construction research"? Well, at least they can live on their ships I guess, though I fear to ask what they eat in order to avoid messing with agriculture research...  ???

Quote
provide a basis of objective facts

Just like in primary school, I supposed in the Legion facts also can be subjective, so it's important to be precise. And of course these were "subjective facts" in the end, who would have guessed. But particle beams are op either way and that's certainly an objective fact.

Quote
were both escorted from the Conference chamber by the Imperial Guards to enjoy an early lunch

Okay, so I guess the conference is actually superior to primary school if getting into trouble gets you food instead of, well, trouble.

Anyways, thanks for the update, really liked to see from all the data how op particle beams are  8) and  yet how some of the primary school kids Lord Admirals struggle to get it. And as for the problems with maintenance that caused so much controversy... Almost as if not giving a smeg about logistics came back to haunt Lord Admirals, but of course they won't admit it and instead blame it on particle beams themselves.  :D
 
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Offline nuclearslurpee (OP)

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Re: The Official Chronicle of the Duranium Legion
« Reply #118 on: July 01, 2021, 11:40:52 PM »
First there was a group work and now we had a group work where the teacher Lord Admiral Criasus assigns everyone as he pleases and on top of it puts everyone with whom they hate the most.  :-X

Here I must protest, as the good Lord Admiral did his best to keep mortal enemies well separated. It is not his fault that most of the Lords Admiral hate most of the Lords Admiral to some degree or another...  ::)

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Also why they eat only "light luncheons"?

It is the mark of a civilized people, or so they will tell you if you ask.

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Speaking of, to be fair I didn't get the "was not supposed to be traipsing about in Ground Forces research" part. Like, by wearing it he... did not? He just used an already developed product. Does it mean Lord Admirals are all homeless because they are "not supposed to be traipsing about in Construction research"? Well, at least they can live on their ships I guess, though I fear to ask what they eat in order to avoid messing with agriculture research...  ???

"Ground Forces Research" here is better understood as the name of a department which has facilities, in which the Lord Admiral traipsed about to locate and equip a suit of experimental power armor. While some research into the technology has been done since a good while ago, no usable prototypes (read: ground unit classes) have been developed yet. The Lords General occasionally complain about Legion research priorities and they may have some points, but thus far no one cares to listen to them.

Quote
Anyways, thanks for the update, really liked to see from all the data how op particle beams are  8) and  yet how some of the primary school kids Lord Admirals struggle to get it. And as for the problems with maintenance that caused so much controversy... Almost as if not giving a smeg about logistics came back to haunt Lord Admirals, but of course they won't admit it and instead blame it on particle beams themselves.  :D

Of course they won't. Nevertheless, as we shall see in the next update, there may be some grudging concessions made quietly to the reality of the situation.