Reply to topic  [ 113 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Page 108 & 109 Discussion 
Author Message

Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2015 2:34 pm
Posts: 55
Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
joestej wrote:
Just about everything you've said is true, but recall that one of the central questions for Humanity in this story is which side should they take? If everything where that clear-cut, there wouldn't be much plot tension. The fact that the Loroi are just as likely to decide to exterminate Humanity because we're a threat to them as they are to welcome us as new allies is a big part of the story.
Definitely, it is not an immediate choice, but still humanity knows the loroi have some allies they treat well, and are willing to share some of the most unsavoury parts of their history about the "allies" they don't treat well, so they get a plus for accepting good relationships with other races -which should extend to humanity if negotiated properly- and being honest about their past and the consecuences of humanity's choice. There is an obvious risk they wont be good allies, but all humanity know about the umiak is that they stink as allies, and as the war goes on they will get to know they stink even worse as enemies. Uncertainty of something good vs certainty of something bad.

Then there's empathy. On one side we have a monomaniacal communist regime of ugly bugs that love slavery, and on the other a militaristic coalition with hot elf ladies in charge where the individual has value. The majority of human population will naturally choose the one they can more closely relate to, and will expect the loroi to relate to us the same way we do to them, which seems like it is already happening. It's not just the looks, but them having the same emotions as us, and feeling the exact same as us, something the loroi could easily exploit just by letting most of humanity know about them. It wouldn't take long until news of umiak massacres towards the loroi being viewed by the public as massacres against humanity itself.
Plus, any human leader would have a very very hard time justifying supporting a dictatorship of space cockroaches exterminate a race of blue humans, and will likely face severe consequences later on in life and towards his/her legacy. Ephialtes or Judas are still synonims of traitor over 2000 years after the events.


Thu Dec 24, 2015 5:22 pm
Profile
Moderator

Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:02 am
Posts: 927
Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
joestej wrote:
While I agree that the Loroi may not necessarily have genocide as their default setting, the scenario you've described is exactly what the Umiak did to the Orgus. Thus my original point: the Loroi aren't really much better than the Umiak in terms of morality. In the case of Humanity, we are definitely a threat to them because we are immune to the Lotai (as you yourself mentioned). The Umiak WILL invade once they figure that out (assuming their story about having a technological bypass is false). If there's even a chance of Humanity falling or siding with the bugs the Loroi might decide to kill us all themselves just so the Umiak can't vivisect us to learn why we're immune.


That's assuming they figure it out, which isn't guaranteed to happen before the war is won.

Quote:
Whether the Loroi are genocide-happy with other species may be up in the air, but I think we can agree they will most definitely be genocide-happy with Humanity. Frankly, since our forces are so weak letting us exist might be a very bad move from the Loroi perspective. Ending the threat of a psychic-immune race is far more useful than the handful of underpowered ships we could contribute. Alex better talk fast...


Only if we fail to ally with them, or ally with them but are at risk of falling to the Umiak. We're not a real threat until that point, and while our ships are useless our knowledge and industrial base is not.


Fri Dec 25, 2015 2:23 am
Profile
Moderator

Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:02 am
Posts: 927
Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
joestej wrote:
Just about everything you've said is true, but recall that one of the central questions for Humanity in this story is which side should they take? If everything where that clear-cut, there wouldn't be much plot tension. The fact that the Loroi are just as likely to decide to exterminate Humanity because we're a threat to them as they are to welcome us as new allies is a big part of the story.


There's plenty of options for plot tension. For instance the understanding that I have is that the events of the story will decide the course of the war. Regardless of if our species is in immediate danger that's plenty of tension right there. Also there's interpersonal tension possibilities between characters, simple fights for short-term survival, possibly romantic tensions, etc. Thinking this is JUST about humans joining the Loroi or not is pretty narrowsighted, there's a LOT more to the story here.


Fri Dec 25, 2015 2:28 am
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2015 1:15 pm
Posts: 43
Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
Regarding the Formics:

While most of Orson Scott Card's more recent works are utter garbage (in my opinion), in Shadows in Flight he introduces some interesting new facts.

Spoiler: show
Specifically, the Formics have a Ark in orbit over a habitable-zone planet in which the Queen died and the Drones attempted to keep things running. The narrative reveals that Drones are sapient but normally completely controlled by Queens, and that Workers are potentially capable of independent thought and/or rebellion. If I remember correctly, the Drones are aware of the Queen cocoon traveling with Ender, and vice versa, but she does not communicate any of this to Ender.


Fri Dec 25, 2015 4:02 pm
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 10:10 am
Posts: 269
Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
That really doesn't do anything to make the formics less horrifying.

_________________
Homeworld Fulcrum, a Homeworld 2/RM Mod


Fri Dec 25, 2015 5:23 pm
Profile

Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2015 2:00 pm
Posts: 1066
Location: Athens, Greece
Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
That is also contradictory to the whole of the first book since everything hinders on the workers and warriors stopping dead in their tracks when their Queen dies.

The second Formic invasion was won because of this and the humans claimed the former formic territory because the workers died because of not receiving directions.

_________________
My fan fics

Looking forward to the Mirror (Final Editing)
The pale horse (irregular updates)


Fri Dec 25, 2015 5:30 pm
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2015 6:47 am
Posts: 179
Location: My own little world...
Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
fredgiblet wrote:
Only if we fail to ally with them, or ally with them but are at risk of falling to the Umiak. We're not a real threat until that point, and while our ships are useless our knowledge and industrial base is not.


Our vast industrial base, capable of producing all of...six cruisers. Alex said it himself: the Loroi have as many ships in a single squadron as Humanity's managed to produce EVER. It would likely take years for them to bootstrap our facilities up to anything remotely useful. As for knowledge, what exactly are we bringing to the table here? Our best technologies are knockoffs of stuff that's woefully outdated, our scouts haven't really found anything of great note, etc and so on. Yes, we're better researchers in the long term, but the Historians are already allied with the Loroi and their tech is so much better than ours its not even funny.

Keeping Humanity alive would likely open up a third front for the war, since the Loroi will be almost required to send ships to protect us. The Umiak will come for us when they find out what we can do, and we wouldn't last five minutes against them. Worse, our psychic interference seems to have something of a blanket effect, since the Umiak were able to use it during the Battle of Naam, so any Loroi ships trying to defend us would likely be doing it blind. They'd have to send even more ships to compensate and casualties would likely be very heavy. In short, keeping us out of Umiak hands would be a huge blow to their war effort, while killing us would require very little effort at all.

Yes, Human knowledge and industry could, eventually, be useful to the Loroi. But convincing the Loroi that the return on that investment will outweigh the insane risk is going to be a heck of a job. Which is kind of the point: Alex isn't going to be able to walk up to Emperor Greywind, explain everything, and instantly expect an offer of alliance. It's gonna take some work. Some, dare I say it...DIPLOMACY.

_________________
"Sometimes it's better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness."


Mon Dec 28, 2015 3:25 pm
Profile WWW
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2015 1:15 pm
Posts: 43
Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
dragoongfa wrote:
That is also contradictory to the whole of the first book since everything hinders on the workers and warriors stopping dead in their tracks when their Queen dies.

The second Formic invasion was won because of this and the humans claimed the former formic territory because the workers died because of not receiving directions.

In Shadows in Flight, the actual Workers did die. Only the Drones and some sort of grubs (?) survived.


Mon Dec 28, 2015 3:36 pm
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 5:22 pm
Posts: 326
Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
joestej wrote:
fredgiblet wrote:
Only if we fail to ally with them, or ally with them but are at risk of falling to the Umiak. We're not a real threat until that point, and while our ships are useless our knowledge and industrial base is not.


Our vast industrial base, capable of producing all of...six cruisers. Alex said it himself: the Loroi have as many ships in a single squadron as Humanity's managed to produce EVER. It would likely take years for them to bootstrap our facilities up to anything remotely useful. As for knowledge, what exactly are we bringing to the table here? Our best technologies are knockoffs of stuff that's woefully outdated, our scouts haven't really found anything of great note, etc and so on. Yes, we're better researchers in the long term, but the Historians are already allied with the Loroi and their tech is so much better than ours its not even funny.

I was under the impression that the Fleet was so small because of budgetary reasons. The TCA, as far as I know, if not yet on an actual war footing. The only thing they've done to prepare for war is to build the Victory class battlecruisers and send the Scout Corps out looking for the combatants.

Sure, Humanity's industry is tiny compared to the Loroi's, and way less advanced, but I think you're selling it somewhat short.

Also, they have eight cruisers and one battlecruiser, not six cruisers.

_________________
If every cloud had a silver lining, there would be a lot more plane crashes.


Mon Dec 28, 2015 3:53 pm
Profile

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:42 am
Posts: 155
Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
Humanity is on a peacetime footing. For comparison, consider that in 1931, the US Navy had 308 ships of all types. By the end of WWII in 1945, that number had climbed to 6768, more than a 20 times as many. US army active manpower peaked at something like 50 times its peacetime size.


Mon Dec 28, 2015 4:53 pm
Profile

Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2011 9:33 pm
Posts: 674
Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
joestej wrote:
Worse, our psychic interference seems to have something of a blanket effect, since the Umiak were able to use it during the Battle of Naam, so any Loroi ships trying to defend us would likely be doing it blind.
I don't know why people occasionally say this, but it's wrong. The Umiak found some other way to avoid telepathy, the Bellarmine showed up several raider groups afterwards. Additionally, Tempo did not mention any telepathic hindrance from being in Jardin's presence; and the fact that she, Fireblade, and Berryl all lack profound amounts of hostility to him reinforces it's absence.

Humans are not making the Umiak invisible to telepathy, the Umiak are making the Umiak invisible to telepathy.


Mon Dec 28, 2015 8:13 pm
Profile
Moderator

Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:02 am
Posts: 927
Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
joestej wrote:
Our vast industrial base, capable of producing all of...six cruisers.


As has been pointed out that's in peacetime with literally no threats known. That being said that's not even what I was talking about. I'm talking about logistics. The Loroi can establish a base in our area and we can provide a significant amount of supplies and raw materials that would then not need to be trucked across 200 light years. We can also provide labor, reducing the amount of Loroi needed to run the base.

Yes, we aren't going to be able to provide them with a hundred heavy cruisers tomorrow, but we CAN give them a hundred tons of food a day that they then don't need to provide themselves. And that's just day 1. In the near future we'd be able to provide a number of things that would ease logistical strains, gradually diversifying as our industrial base s upgraded to their tech level. Logistics aren't sexy, but they ARE the most important part of any war.

Quote:
As for knowledge, what exactly are we bringing to the table here?


Maps. We have our own region scouted and we probably have the Orgus's nav computer data as well, which gives a backdoor into Umiak territory.

Quote:
Yes, we're better researchers in the long term, but the Historians are already allied with the Loroi and their tech is so much better than ours its not even funny.


The Historians are allies, but they are NOT friends. They likely wouldn't give the Loroi their best stuff unless it was absolutely required, and even then they need researchers and engineers to reverse-engineer it since the Loroi haven't been capable of doing that so far.

Quote:
Keeping Humanity alive would likely open up a third front for the war, since the Loroi will be almost required to send ships to protect us. The Umiak will come for us when they find out what we can do, and we wouldn't last five minutes against them.


When exactly is that going to happen? We have no evidence yet that the Umiak have ANY humans available to them and even if they get them there's no reason to be sure that they will make that connection. They might just kill them all assuming they're odd Loroi. Even if they don't there's no guarantee that they will find us any time soon. The only way they're likely to find us is if one of the other ships brings them in, and if that happens it's unlikely that they'll find out about the lotai anytime soon.

Quote:
Worse, our psychic interference seems to have something of a blanket effect, since the Umiak were able to use it during the Battle of Naam, so any Loroi ships trying to defend us would likely be doing it blind.


Nnnnnnnnno? The Umiak set the trap days before we arrived. This is an ability THEY have, not one that we brought to the table.


Tue Dec 29, 2015 2:12 am
Profile

Joined: Wed May 20, 2015 2:14 am
Posts: 446
Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
fredgiblet wrote:
joestej wrote:
As for knowledge, what exactly are we bringing to the table here?


Maps. We have our own region scouted and we probably have the Orgus's nav computer data as well, which gives a backdoor into Umiak territory.
A backdoor that is swamped by an invasion army.

_________________
Vote for Outsider on TWC: Image


Tue Dec 29, 2015 2:42 am
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2015 6:47 am
Posts: 179
Location: My own little world...
Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
RedDwarfIV wrote:
I was under the impression that the Fleet was so small because of budgetary reasons. The TCA, as far as I know, if not yet on an actual war footing. The only thing they've done to prepare for war is to build the Victory class battlecruisers and send the Scout Corps out looking for the combatants.

Sure, Humanity's industry is tiny compared to the Loroi's, and way less advanced, but I think you're selling it somewhat short.

Also, they have eight cruisers and one battlecruiser, not six cruisers.


My apologies, I was only counting the Heavy and Battle cruisers, I left out our three Light cruisers. I hardly see how it matters though. Humanity's biggest technological achievement thus far is converting an existing heavy cruiser into battle cruiser armed with a single particle cannon. A Loroi FRIGATE has more firepower than that. Our warships don't even have screens yet. War footing or not, you cannot take an assembly line designed for building biplanes and expect it to start cranking out jet fighters without giving it a total overhaul.

fredgiblet wrote:
As has been pointed out that's in peacetime with literally no threats known. That being said that's not even what I was talking about. I'm talking about logistics. The Loroi can establish a base in our area and we can provide a significant amount of supplies and raw materials that would then not need to be trucked across 200 light years. We can also provide labor, reducing the amount of Loroi needed to run the base.

Yes, we aren't going to be able to provide them with a hundred heavy cruisers tomorrow, but we CAN give them a hundred tons of food a day that they then don't need to provide themselves. And that's just day 1. In the near future we'd be able to provide a number of things that would ease logistical strains, gradually diversifying as our industrial base s upgraded to their tech level. Logistics aren't sexy, but they ARE the most important part of any war.


Why would they WANT a base in our area? If they wanted to try and push the Umiak's flank by edging into the Great Wasteland, they could have done it by now. Besides, the Umiak's specialty is numbers, so opening a new front to the war would be great for the bugs. It would be less fun for the Loroi, who would suddenly have to defend an area just as big (if not bigger) than the Steppes with no preexisting fortifications and a VERY long commute for reinforcements.

Our use as logistics will be quite limited for the first few years. Most Human food is not digestible for the Loroi (and vice-versa, as Alex has found out). Even if we did find a solution for that, the fleets the Loroi would dispatch would need repairs, munitions, and parts we would not be capable of manufacturing. The journey from Naam to Saren is supposed to take Alex 20 days, traveling on a 32G acceleration Frigate. The journey from the Coreward edge of Loroi space to Human territory is at least twice as far as that, and would have to be traveled by multiple 20G acceleration Freighters. That's a two-month commute, one way. EVENTUALLY we would be able to take over, but for at least the first year the Loroi would be effectively on their own while we worked out how to build the tools we'd need, to build the tools we'd need, to finally be able to fix the Loroi's ships.

Considering the Umiak's fondness for hit-and-run raids, the convoys would be very tempting targets, extending the new front even FARTHER. If they can cut us off like they did Seren, we'd really be in hot water. So how many ships can the Loroi afford to waste on us again?

Krulle wrote:
fredgiblet wrote:
joestej wrote:
As for knowledge, what exactly are we bringing to the table here?


Maps. We have our own region scouted and we probably have the Orgus's nav computer data as well, which gives a backdoor into Umiak territory.

A backdoor that is swamped by an invasion army.


What Krulle said. Our maps will be useful...but nothing game-changing.

Quote:
The Historians are allies, but they are NOT friends. They likely wouldn't give the Loroi their best stuff unless it was absolutely required, and even then they need researchers and engineers to reverse-engineer it since the Loroi haven't been capable of doing that so far.


This is certainly true, but I fail to see how adding Humanity into the mix would change that in any way. It took us years to reverse-engineer Orgus tech into something we could put on a ship. Historian stuff is so far beyond that they aren't even comparable.

Speaking of the Historians, recall that even with all their advanced technology when the Umiak came after them they needed the Loroi's help to bail them out...and the Loroi still lost. The Umiak bulldozed right through Historian territory and completely cut off Seren. If the Historians weren't enough to support the Loroi against a dedicated Umiak invasion, what chance do you think we'll have?

Quote:
When exactly is that going to happen? We have no evidence yet that the Umiak have ANY humans available to them and even if they get them there's no reason to be sure that they will make that connection. They might just kill them all assuming they're odd Loroi. Even if they don't there's no guarantee that they will find us any time soon. The only way they're likely to find us is if one of the other ships brings them in, and if that happens it's unlikely that they'll find out about the lotai anytime soon.


The Umiak already know about the Bellarmine, AKA "The [Object In Question]." Do you really think Kikitik isn't going to report the mystery wreckage and how interested the Loroi were in it? Their intel may not be great, but the sudden appearance of a new race in the Union is something no one is going to be able to hide. That plus the wreckage, and they'll make the connection. The idea that they'll dismiss us as 'odd Loroi' is unlikely, considering A) we've got way too many men, B) our technology and ships are radically different, and C) we wouldn't act like a Loroi would. Remember that if the Orgus could stumble into us, the Umiak certainly could too. And they'll actually be looking.

Quote:
Nnnnnnnnno? The Umiak set the trap days before we arrived. This is an ability THEY have, not one that we brought to the table.


Absalom wrote:
I don't know why people occasionally say this, but it's wrong. The Umiak found some other way to avoid telepathy, the Bellarmine showed up several raider groups afterwards. Additionally, Tempo did not mention any telepathic hindrance from being in Jardin's presence; and the fact that she, Fireblade, and Berryl all lack profound amounts of hostility to him reinforces it's absence.

Humans are not making the Umiak invisible to telepathy, the Umiak are making the Umiak invisible to telepathy.


I concede the point for now, as perhaps I did get my wires crossed on this one. I will state for the record though that it seems VERY odd that the Umiak would suddenly come up with a way to block farsense JUST when Humans are finally edging into Umiak/Loroi space. The timing could be coincidence, but I doubt it. Whatever new technology the Umiak (claim to) have, I would wager it's connected to us somehow.

Still, let's go with the facts we have. Assuming the Umiak already have a way to block telepathy then their interest in us will be negligible. They likely wouldn't even bother taking the trip to wipe us out. Of course, it won't matter because the entire Loroi defense is predicated on their ability to see Umiak fleets coming. Without that the Union won't last another decade, just as Kikitik said. By the time we finish ramping up to help, the Loroi will have already fallen. From there the Umiak bulldoze the Nissek, then turn around to finish us off and overwhelm the Historians with numbers.

Both ways Human inclusion in the war is not going to suddenly turn all this around. Either we're a liability they need to waste valuable ships protecting, or we're to late to the party to make any difference.

_________________
"Sometimes it's better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness."


Tue Dec 29, 2015 8:13 am
Profile WWW

Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:44 am
Posts: 600
Location: Umeå, Sweden
Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
Joe: I do believe you are underestimating the value of terran infrastructure on logistics, our food is incompatible with theirs? whoopity do! that can be worked around rather quickly given modern agriculture a workforce and a place to do it(human space got both) fuel, again can be rather quickly converted, spare parts....more difficult but probably doable within a few years.

the difference between peace time military(and infrastructure to support it) and its wartime opposite are HUGE, humans are doing a small scale shift as the comic happens to prepare for wartime footing, continuing the construction of the mothballed india(which is the ship that brings the number of cruisers up to 8 btw.) and starting up the conversion of the five remaining america class heavy cruisers to the new victory(battlecruiser) standard.
there is probably a general upswing in construction of new hulls as well, especially transports for a long range colonial effort(just in case, and can be used as long range transports for the war effort in any case, so no wastage), why not so much warships? simple we are really outclassed and we know it, if we can ally and get some tech transfers going that could and would change, but the ships we have now are so beyond obsolete by the conflicts standards that it is silly and we know it.


Tue Dec 29, 2015 8:32 am
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 5:22 pm
Posts: 326
Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
discord wrote:
Joe: I do believe you are underestimating the value of terran infrastructure on logistics, our food is incompatible with theirs? whoopity do! that can be worked around rather quickly given modern agriculture a workforce and a place to do it(human space got both) fuel, again can be rather quickly converted, spare parts....more difficult but probably doable within a few years.

We have no Taimat production. We could possibly make anti-matter, though. A Lunar Ring of solar panels could provide enough power to create hundreds of tons of anti-matter a year. Problem is, do humans in Outsider have the technology to store it?

_________________
If every cloud had a silver lining, there would be a lot more plane crashes.


Tue Dec 29, 2015 8:42 am
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2015 6:47 am
Posts: 179
Location: My own little world...
Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
discord wrote:
Joe: I do believe you are underestimating the value of terran infrastructure on logistics, our food is incompatible with theirs? whoopity do! that can be worked around rather quickly given modern agriculture a workforce and a place to do it(human space got both) fuel, again can be rather quickly converted, spare parts....more difficult but probably doable within a few years.


I've bolded the key words there. In a few years, we could certainly be quite useful. But this isn't your standard 'sci-fi forever war' where everyone gets decades to really get going. The fights' only been going on for 26 years, and a lot has happened since it started. I doubt the Umiak would give us the years we'd need to iron out all the kinks. By the time we're geared up, either the Loroi would have been crushed or we would.

Unfortunately, we wouldn't be useful for fuel either. Humans currently use liquid helium as fusion fuel for their ships and torpedoes. The Loroi/Umiak use antimatter. While I'm sure we could eventually learn to generate and contain antimatter fuel the way the Loroi do, creating the facilities to generate and transport it in sufficient quantities to be both useful and safe would be another multi-year endeavor. At best we'd be an overgrown grain truck for the first few years, and food is NOT what the Loroi fleets are going to need most to defend us.

discord wrote:
the difference between peace time military(and infrastructure to support it) and its wartime opposite are HUGE, humans are doing a small scale shift as the comic happens to prepare for wartime footing, continuing the construction of the mothballed india(which is the ship that brings the number of cruisers up to 8 btw.) and starting up the conversion of the five remaining america class heavy cruisers to the new victory(battlecruiser) standard.

there is probably a general upswing in construction of new hulls as well, especially transports for a long range colonial effort(just in case, and can be used as long range transports for the war effort in any case, so no wastage), why not so much warships? simple we are really outclassed and we know it, if we can ally and get some tech transfers going that could and would change, but the ships we have now are so beyond obsolete by the conflicts standards that it is silly and we know it.


Humanity had no idea how outclassed it was going to be. They thought while the Victory-class wouldn't be one of the most advanced ships in the war, it would at least be able to participate meaningfully. Alex found out that wasn't the case to his horror in Page 74:

"This action seems a mere frontier skirmish, yet the number of ships involved was beyond anything I had expected... I was having a hard time imagining how I was going to be able to make a case to the Loroi that Humanity could offer any kind of meaningful support in this war."

I'm not ignorant of the difference between war and peacetime production, but again I fall back to my earlier comparison. 8 or 80, it does not matter how many Victory-class ships we can convert or crank out. We are currently bringing, at best, early WWII fighter planes to a 21st Century dogfight, and you cannot switch from making P-40s to F-22s overnight.

Yes, we will likely be able to overhaul our existing industry with surprising quickness considering the tech gap, and once we do we'll likely be able to at least produce enough munitions, frigates, or light cruisers to take some of the load off the Loroi defending us. But it won't matter. Even if would could produce enough to justify how much they're going to lose trying to protect us, by the time we get our first REAL ships out of the yards it will be too late for them to do anything useful.

RedDwarfIV wrote:
We have no Taimat production. We could possibly make anti-matter, though. A Lunar Ring of solar panels could provide enough power to create hundreds of tons of anti-matter a year. Problem is, do humans in Outsider have the technology to store it?


Likely not, or we'd already be using it instead of fusion. Antimatter is quite tricky. Cut corners and you can watch your trillion-dollar plant atomize itself the moment Murphy rears its ugly head.

_________________
"Sometimes it's better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness."


Tue Dec 29, 2015 9:55 am
Profile WWW
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 5:22 pm
Posts: 326
Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
I think anti-matter production is probably the single most important technology humanity needs to be able to make the smallest contribution to the war effort.

IIRC, Taimat's advantage over anti-matter is that it's easier to make. Other than that, the two are interchangable. If humans could make anti-matter, Loroi ships could refuel in Terran space.

Anti-matter engines would allow human cruisers to act as corvettes. They might be as big as Loroi destroyers, but as you noted, they're nowhere near as powerful. They would also make my "Point Defence Fleet" idea plausible. The problem with it was that human vessels couldn't keep up.

Second most important is more advanced inertial compensators. If the Loroi told us how theirs worked, we could probably upgrade our own designs.

_________________
If every cloud had a silver lining, there would be a lot more plane crashes.


Tue Dec 29, 2015 11:54 am
Profile

Joined: Wed May 20, 2015 2:14 am
Posts: 446
Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussio
joestej wrote:
The Umiak already know about the Bellarmine, AKA "The [Object In Question]." Do you really think Kikitik isn't going to report the mystery wreckage and how interested the Loroi were in it? Their intel may not be great, but the sudden appearance of a new race in the Union is something no one is going to be able to hide. That plus the wreckage, and they'll make the connection. The idea that they'll dismiss us as 'odd Loroi' is unlikely, considering A) we've got way too many men, B) our technology and ships are radically different, and C) we wouldn't act like a Loroi would. Remember that if the Orgus could stumble into us, the Umiak certainly could too. And they'll actually be looking.

I love this discussion. Thanks to all for their input.

One question I have for all of you:
Why do you think the Umiak would bother with us more than enslaving us?

If they know how telepathy works, we might be in problems. But not for much, as once they know what makes us immune we might be off the hook and become their standard economic slaves.
If not, why would they assume we are immune to Loroi telepathy? They have not witnessed it, and I'm pretty sure things like this would be considered to become a state secret on the Loroi side, u til the Humans themselves spill the information. But right now, no Human besides Alex knows it.
Or the Umiak would need to have access to cooperating Loroi to test each new species for telepathic abilities. Which is difficult to do, and possibly not entitely within their interest to spend that much time and effort into this part of war efforts, as they are expanding in all directions, and not just into the Loroi direction. Which will become a long-term problem for the Loroi, as when other fronts move further away, more worlds can concentrate their efforts on the Loroi.

I simply see no reason why the Umiak would assume anything in this direction...


Re: Bellarmine: the Umiak witnessed the Loroi examining and defending an unknown broken ship. They might know more about this ship, as allegedly the Umiak fired the shot killing the Bellarmine. That the Loroi defended the ship indicates that the Loroi probably not know much about the ship either, or that it might've been one of the Loroi's failed technology experiments, and they want to find out what went wrong.
But the ship, ar any other similar ship, will not tell the Umiak anything about Humanitis resistance against Loroi telepathy, our likely most valuable asset for the Umiak.

Anyway, sorry I kept my previous comment that short, I had to skip on the rest because we were about to leave for some day-activities, but I just stumbled over this and wanted to get rid of at least that.

_________________
Vote for Outsider on TWC: Image


Tue Dec 29, 2015 2:21 pm
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2015 6:47 am
Posts: 179
Location: My own little world...
Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
RedDwarfIV wrote:
I think anti-matter production is probably the single most important technology humanity needs to be able to make the smallest contribution to the war effort.

IIRC, Taimat's advantage over anti-matter is that it's easier to make. Other than that, the two are interchangable. If humans could make anti-matter, Loroi ships could refuel in Terran space.

Anti-matter engines would allow human cruisers to act as corvettes. They might be as big as Loroi destroyers, but as you noted, they're nowhere near as powerful. They would also make my "Point Defence Fleet" idea plausible. The problem with it was that human vessels couldn't keep up.

Second most important is more advanced inertial compensators. If the Loroi told us how theirs worked, we could probably upgrade our own designs.


Pretty much, though as you said we're going to need to overhaul our thrusters or we'll never be able to keep up with their ships. Once we've added the inertial compensators to survive that level of acceleration (as you mentioned), we'll also need screens and armor so the first time an Umiak corvette looks at us funny we don't explode. Then we'll want to trade for Loroi laser designs instead of our own, which will have to come with a reactor upgrade so we can actually power them (though that probably came with the thrusters). We don't actually have to get to the Loroi's level to be helpful. But we still need upgrades across the board, and that doesn't happen overnight.

I agree that point defense and cargo hauling would be what we'd be best at in the short term though. A brick with lasers or a barge with super engines aren't so hard to build compared to functional battleships. It's not as though we wouldn't be useful allies if we had a few years to get our stuff together and upgrade with Loroi tech. It'll just take a bit for us to get there.

Krulle wrote:
I love this discussion. Thanks to all for their input.

One question I have for all of you:
Why do you think the Umiak would bother with us more than enslaving us?


Mostly just the telepathy. As you pointed out, once they know what makes us immune to telepathy we'll be like all of their other vassals.

The problem comes not from the Umiak knowing, but the Loroi. The idea that the Umiak could find out we're immune somehow (likely via either the Historians or Barsam, both of which know about and are interested in us) and then find a way to mass produce the effect is a threat they might not be willing to risk leaving alone. As we've already talked about, it's a lot more cost effective to glass us than it is to protect us.

Of course, as was pointed out to me, the Umiak likely already have a way around Loroi telepathy. In which case they won't care one bit about us. Instead they'll go for the Loroi in earnest, and one way or the other this war will be over quite quickly. Then we've just got to deal with whoever winds up standing on top of the ash pile. I've got a feeling that'll be the Umiak unless someone on the Loroi side gets quite creative. What else are protagonists for, after all?

_________________
"Sometimes it's better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness."


Tue Dec 29, 2015 2:44 pm
Profile WWW
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 5:22 pm
Posts: 326
Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
joestej wrote:
RedDwarfIV wrote:
I think anti-matter production is probably the single most important technology humanity needs to be able to make the smallest contribution to the war effort.

IIRC, Taimat's advantage over anti-matter is that it's easier to make. Other than that, the two are interchangable. If humans could make anti-matter, Loroi ships could refuel in Terran space.

Anti-matter engines would allow human cruisers to act as corvettes. They might be as big as Loroi destroyers, but as you noted, they're nowhere near as powerful. They would also make my "Point Defence Fleet" idea plausible. The problem with it was that human vessels couldn't keep up.

Second most important is more advanced inertial compensators. If the Loroi told us how theirs worked, we could probably upgrade our own designs.


Pretty much, though as you said we're going to need to overhaul our thrusters or we'll never be able to keep up with their ships. Once we've added the inertial compensators to survive that level of acceleration (as you mentioned), we'll also need screens and armor so the first time an Umiak corvette looks at us funny we don't explode. Then we'll want to trade for Loroi laser designs instead of our own, which will have to come with a reactor upgrade so we can actually power them (though that probably came with the thrusters). We don't actually have to get to the Loroi's level to be helpful. But we still need upgrades across the board, and that doesn't happen overnight.

This is why I mentioned my "Point Defence Fleet" idea. Humanity doesn't have lasers powerful enough to kill Umiak ships, but they can kill missiles. Hell, their numerous small laser turrets are perfect for the role. They just need to be able to keep up with Loroi ships in order to do that.

The Loroi prefer to stay out of Umiak energy weapon range. Under most circumstances, shields wouldn't be required. Since they're not a direct threat to Umiak ships, they'd be a lower priority than Loroi vessels in energy range, too.

I actually have to wonder why the Umiak bothered killing the Bellarmine in the first place, though. Maybe their alien thought processes mean they do try to kill low-priority targets first.

_________________
If every cloud had a silver lining, there would be a lot more plane crashes.


Tue Dec 29, 2015 2:55 pm
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2015 6:47 am
Posts: 179
Location: My own little world...
Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
RedDwarfIV wrote:
This is why I mentioned my "Point Defence Fleet" idea. Humanity doesn't have lasers powerful enough to kill Umiak ships, but they can kill missiles. Hell, their numerous small laser turrets are perfect for the role. They just need to be able to keep up with Loroi ships in order to do that.

The Loroi prefer to stay out of Umiak energy weapon range. Under most circumstances, shields wouldn't be required. Since they're not a direct threat to Umiak ships, they'd be a lower priority than Loroi vessels in energy range, too.

I actually have to wonder why the Umiak bothered killing the Bellarmine in the first place, though. Maybe their alien thought processes mean they do try to kill low-priority targets first.


Or maybe they really didn't take out Bellarmine? There are quite a few things up in the air still. If the Umiak were hidden, who is to say someone else wasn't hidden out there too? My money is on the Historians, personally.

A commander's preferences rarely line up with reality. Recall that the sole Loroi casualty we've seen on screen was never touched by a missile, it was swarmed under by gunships and then hammered to death by one of their Mediums. The Umiak would likely be blocked by disposable PD ships only once. Then we'd definitely become a priority. They'd open the next battles with disposable gunship and corvette swarms to clear out the Human fodder, peel off and start a missile massacre as normal. With no screens and no armor, we'd run out of PD ships long before they ran out of gunships.

_________________
"Sometimes it's better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness."


Tue Dec 29, 2015 3:16 pm
Profile WWW
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 5:22 pm
Posts: 326
Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
joestej wrote:
RedDwarfIV wrote:
This is why I mentioned my "Point Defence Fleet" idea. Humanity doesn't have lasers powerful enough to kill Umiak ships, but they can kill missiles. Hell, their numerous small laser turrets are perfect for the role. They just need to be able to keep up with Loroi ships in order to do that.

The Loroi prefer to stay out of Umiak energy weapon range. Under most circumstances, shields wouldn't be required. Since they're not a direct threat to Umiak ships, they'd be a lower priority than Loroi vessels in energy range, too.

I actually have to wonder why the Umiak bothered killing the Bellarmine in the first place, though. Maybe their alien thought processes mean they do try to kill low-priority targets first.


Or maybe they really didn't take out Bellarmine? There are quite a few things up in the air still. If the Umiak were hidden, who is to say someone else wasn't hidden out there too? My money is on the Historians, personally.

A commander's preferences rarely line up with reality. Recall that the sole Loroi casualty we've seen on screen was never touched by a missile, it was swarmed under by gunships and then hammered to death by one of their Mediums. The Umiak would likely be blocked by disposable PD ships only once. Then we'd definitely become a priority. They'd open the next battles with disposable gunship and corvette swarms to clear out the Human fodder, peel off and start a missile massacre as normal. With no screens and no armor, we'd run out of PD ships long before they ran out of gunships.

Fair enough.

Though the point of the missiles is to distract the Loroi, who have to focus on taking out the missiles instead of firing on the enemy, until the Umiak can close.

Perhaps it would not be a good idea to use unshielded PD ships in an average Steppes interception battle, but as a surprise tactic in a Loroi offensive, it might allow the Loroi to keep up more momentum in their advance. Waiting until an offensive to use them would have the advantage of allowing us to build many of them, and add time to upgrading our industry. Perhaps by the time they are used, we will be able to fit defensive screens to them.

Yes, Humanity's time is limited. But the Umiak don't know where Terran space is any more than the Loroi do, our time is limited by the expansion rate of the Umiak. Wasn't it stated that it's some decades away from getting to that point? Humans couldn't have reached Loroi tech level in that time, but an industrial upgrade program with Loroi blueprints to look at might well manage it.

_________________
If every cloud had a silver lining, there would be a lot more plane crashes.


Tue Dec 29, 2015 3:50 pm
Profile
Moderator

Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:02 am
Posts: 927
Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
Krulle wrote:
A backdoor that is swamped by an invasion army.


Not really? The Umiak rolled over the Orgus pretty quick IIRC, I doubt there's a significant naval force left behind.

joestej wrote:
Why would they WANT a base in our area? If they wanted to try and push the Umiak's flank by edging into the Great Wasteland, they could have done it by now. Besides, the Umiak's specialty is numbers, so opening a new front to the war would be great for the bugs. It would be less fun for the Loroi, who would suddenly have to defend an area just as big (if not bigger) than the Steppes with no preexisting fortifications and a VERY long commute for reinforcements.

Our use as logistics will be quite limited for the first few years. Most Human food is not digestible for the Loroi (and vice-versa, as Alex has found out). Even if we did find a solution for that, the fleets the Loroi would dispatch would need repairs, munitions, and parts we would not be capable of manufacturing. The journey from Naam to Saren is supposed to take Alex 20 days, traveling on a 32G acceleration Frigate. The journey from the Coreward edge of Loroi space to Human territory is at least twice as far as that, and would have to be traveled by multiple 20G acceleration Freighters. That's a two-month commute, one way. EVENTUALLY we would be able to take over, but for at least the first year the Loroi would be effectively on their own while we worked out how to build the tools we'd need, to build the tools we'd need, to finally be able to fix the Loroi's ships.

Considering the Umiak's fondness for hit-and-run raids, the convoys would be very tempting targets, extending the new front even FARTHER. If they can cut us off like they did Seren, we'd really be in hot water. So how many ships can the Loroi afford to waste on us again?


They want a base in our area so they can strike into Umiak territory. The Orgus area will be relatively lightly guarded compared to the front, so an attack by the Loroi could delve deep and wreak havoc for some time. They could likely smash through and glass a number of planets, greatly affecting industrial capacity, before being stopped. If it's a suicide run they could even get further. It's true that they would then need to defend a larger area, BUT SO WOULD THE UMIAK. Forcing the Umiak to spread their forces thinner without knowing the exact area that the attacks were coming from would be a win. The Loroi could defend a specific place while the Umiak have to search out and cover a much larger area.

Some of the food is digestible, and that's enough to ease logistical strains. Additionally other things like water and electricity for land bases would be beneficial. For instance the Loroi can give us specifications and then ship a factory out our direction and we can have land cleared, levelled and ready to go by the time it gets there. Is it perfect? No. But it's a damn sight better than setting up a fresh colony on their own. In addition to that I very much doubt that EVERYTHING the Loroi use is out of our manufacturing capability.

As for Umiak raids, they have to FIND the convoys first. This isn't WW2 where you can just send an airplane out on a patrol and scan large areas with radar, they would need to have scout ships in place to find the exact routes, jump them back, send a patrol fleet and hope a convoy came by that route at that time. All without, at first and probably for a while, knowing where human space is.

Quote:
This is certainly true, but I fail to see how adding Humanity into the mix would change that in any way. It took us years to reverse-engineer Orgus tech into something we could put on a ship. Historian stuff is so far beyond that they aren't even comparable.

Speaking of the Historians, recall that even with all their advanced technology when the Umiak came after them they needed the Loroi's help to bail them out...and the Loroi still lost. The Umiak bulldozed right through Historian territory and completely cut off Seren. If the Historians weren't enough to support the Loroi against a dedicated Umiak invasion, what chance do you think we'll have?


So what you're saying is that if we can't step in as a perfect shield to utterly dominate the Umiak from the start we're useless? No one is arguing that humans will ride in like the cavalry and save the day, merely that we're useful enough to keep around. Which we are.

Quote:
The Umiak already know about the Bellarmine, AKA "The [Object In Question]." Do you really think Kikitik isn't going to report the mystery wreckage and how interested the Loroi were in it? Their intel may not be great, but the sudden appearance of a new race in the Union is something no one is going to be able to hide. That plus the wreckage, and they'll make the connection. The idea that they'll dismiss us as 'odd Loroi' is unlikely, considering A) we've got way too many men, B) our technology and ships are radically different, and C) we wouldn't act like a Loroi would. Remember that if the Orgus could stumble into us, the Umiak certainly could too. And they'll actually be looking.


What connection? That there's another player in the game? Sure. But that's a FAR cry to go from "There's a new race" to "A race of anti-telepathic creatures related to Loroi are in this exact place over here." I'll concede that it's reasonable to expect that the Umiak would take the humans at face value, however it's not a guarantee, and there's no way for them to draw an immediate conclusion that we're anti-telepathic and thus of immense use to them. It's certainly plausible that it will happen, but it's unlikely to be immediate and unless we ally with them it's entirely possible it won't happen ever.

Quote:
I concede the point for now, as perhaps I did get my wires crossed on this one. I will state for the record though that it seems VERY odd that the Umiak would suddenly come up with a way to block farsense JUST when Humans are finally edging into Umiak/Loroi space. The timing could be coincidence, but I doubt it. Whatever new technology the Umiak (claim to) have, I would wager it's connected to us somehow.


How could it be connected to us? The current mission is the first we've sent to their space. Even if they caught a ship one jump out from the tanker where everyone split they've have a couple of weeks to figure out that we're anti-telepathic, form an attack fleet, set a trap AND (supposedly) launch a major offensive. If you consider that the Naam system has had more than one Loroi group be defeated in the previous days it's more like a week to figure it out. That's a very tall order and at LEAST as much of a stretch as things happening at the same time. More likely things happened at the same time because it makes for a better story than Alex showing up when everything's totally fine.

Quote:
Still, let's go with the facts we have. Assuming the Umiak already have a way to block telepathy then their interest in us will be negligible. They likely wouldn't even bother taking the trip to wipe us out. Of course, it won't matter because the entire Loroi defense is predicated on their ability to see Umiak fleets coming. Without that the Union won't last another decade, just as Kikitik said. By the time we finish ramping up to help, the Loroi will have already fallen. From there the Umiak bulldoze the Nissek, then turn around to finish us off and overwhelm the Historians with numbers.

Both ways Human inclusion in the war is not going to suddenly turn all this around. Either we're a liability they need to waste valuable ships protecting, or we're to late to the party to make any difference.


Again, no one is arguing that we're gonna ride in like the cavalry and annihilate the Umiak. What IS going to happen is that the events of the story will have a major impact on the course of the war. Not "Humans are going to save the day" but "A human i going to be in the right place at the right time to make a pivotal contribution." or possibly "Alex is gonna WATCH as the Loroi figure something out and end up winning."


Tue Dec 29, 2015 4:17 pm
Profile
Moderator

Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:02 am
Posts: 927
Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
RedDwarfIV wrote:
I actually have to wonder why the Umiak bothered killing the Bellarmine in the first place, though. Maybe their alien thought processes mean they do try to kill low-priority targets first.


We don't have any particularly strong evidence about who killed the Bellarmine. If it was the Umiak they very likely would have investigated due to the oddness of the ship's design. Presumably they would be shocked to find a fusion powered vessel in the area since no one else uses that in the war.

My money is on a third party. Perhaps the Historians, perhaps the Soia.


Tue Dec 29, 2015 4:23 pm
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 113 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware for PTF.