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How can the Loroi win? 
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Post How can the Loroi win?
Long wars always turn into an economic equation. The winner is who can stand up, equip, and supply the most troops. The equation can be changed by hitting the enemy's production and population, bolstering your own production, or adding an ally's manufacturing base.

The bottleneck for the Loroi appears to be ship production. They can breed and train enough crew for every ship they make, but the Umiak are pumping out ships many times faster. Superior technology and tactics can compensate some, but the writing has been on the wall since the Semoset campaign ended in failure.

So how can the Loroi win?


Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:17 am
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Post Re: How can the Loroi win?
It's not just economics, I think. It's also important to have an edge in other areas too: an untapped strategic advantage, new types of weapons, new allies.

Many battles - though indeed less so entire wars - have been won against the odds thanks to perseverance, outright luck, good old fashioned pigheadedness and any combination of the above: Battle of Britain, Stalingrad, Midway, Chosin Reservoir... the list is endless. I think the current situation is 'dramatic' but the entire war is by no means lost.

I'm speculating here (and am admittedly clueless in Loroi/Umiak economic affairs) but on the scale of the belligerents their conflict may have only fairly recently moved beyond the opening phase.


Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:02 am
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Post Re: How can the Loroi win?
By not actually being outproduced. Let me explain.

The war has been a stalemate and therefore isn't going well for the Umiak either. That's despite the war starting off the worst way possible for the Loroi.
When the Umiak started their assaults, the Loroi were unprepared, taken completely by surprise, their military hadn't fought a war in a long time and their technology was somewhat inferior to the Umiaks.
Despite all of that, the Loroi managed to fend off their opponents and made every system costly to take. That alone is impressive.
But then they managed a succesfull counter offensive with the reserves they had built up while that happened. While they did overextend, they forced the Umiak to take heavy losses, stop their assaults and managed to hit back at them so hard, that they abandoned some of their worlds.
After Semoset and Tazinei-Ways the Loroi have now built up reserves again. So too have the Umiak, but it wouldn't be a stalemate otherwise.

Now on to the actual doctrines. Short version is, that the Umiaks mode of operation is extremely wasteful and their strategic situation is a literal nightmare.
Loroi invest their resources into fast ships with decent survivability and good firepower. Loroi will be able to rescue and repair far more ships than the Umiak, since they're the defenders. Their opponents however field -have to- large numbers of ships who die comparatively easily. A flotilla of gunships compared to a resource equivalent group of destroyers should suffer higher attrition. If you can get three gunships per destroyer, then you need to keep three ships alive instead of one.
Umiak also need to field a higher number of ships than the Loroi to be of equal effectiveness to them (or the war wouldn't be a stalemate). That means while their engines are more efficient, they need to power more of them. In addition to the far longer distances Umiak have to travel, their fuel consumption should be significantly higher than the Lorois.
Then take this wasteful battle doctrine. Torpedoes are expensive, they're basically starship engines. Most of the hundreds the Umiak fire each engagement never reach Loroi lines. I'm willing to bet that each torpedo barrage could also be the equivalent of one or two warships. The Loroi don't do that, they can instead built up ships, which can fight more than once.
Then, take a look at the maps and consider this. How do the Umiak actually know what the Loroi do? Their only way of gaining any intelligence on Loroi movements is to send ships to have a look around. They have to do this across a dozen empty systems, all the while likely to be attacked by very efficient, very deadly fleets of raiders. And they have to make it back too. So they need to come in force. A single division propably has no chance of making it back again.
If they do one such reconnaissance mission per month, which is only slightly better than never, they have to send what, 1.500+ ships per year or thereabouts?

Seriously, just imagine what Sun Tzu would say about the Umiaks position.

Let's say the Umiak really did succeed in hiding their ships from Farseers. Then the Loroi will need to extend their existing messenger relays as pickets out into the Steppes. I wouldn't be surprised actually if the Umiak will soon just collapse from this war. The current offensive might even be their last big attempt at breaking the Loroi and that might explain why not all ships are stealthed. No time otherwise.


Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:23 am
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Post Re: How can the Loroi win?
Real quastion is why Umiak didnt won yet.

All umiak need is one large battleship with huge canons that have same or more range then loroi pusle canons and shields strong enough to take shots from loroi canons from 0.5 ligh seconds distance.
Tactic is primitive:
Spoiler: show
ImageImageImage


Bombard with big battleship from far away, hiding all of your ship behind it, loroi wont be able to breach its shields and do any damage, they will need to get closer, once they are trying to get closer, drop gunboats and torpedoes, loroi will be forced to retreat, or they will get full torpedo barrage in the face.
Loroi cant run either because if they will avoid fight, fleets that this ship is escorting will hit their border untouched.
In case loroi try overwhelm its with brute force, battleship will have all time in the world to escape anyway, simply because loroi will need to get rid of torpedo wave first.


Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:50 am
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Post Re: How can the Loroi win?
Isn't that precisely what the Waveloom is for?


Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:31 pm
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Post Re: How can the Loroi win?
Only biggest loroi warships can have that and it will force loroi to refit their warships back to waveloom reducing their overall effectiveness even wihout fight.

Also, depends on how shields will handle it, if loroi still will need to get closer to get a shot then it is fine.


Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:44 pm
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Post Re: How can the Loroi win?
Quote:
How can the Loroi win?


They can't. They're doomed. It's gonna be one of those stories.


Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:47 pm
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Post Re: How can the Loroi win?
hi hi

Thinks certainly do look bleak for the Loroi. With their farseers no longer as reliable, they really need to bring the war to a decisive conclusion. Or at very least, they can't go back to their defensive war of attrition again, they need something else.


Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:18 pm
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Post Re: How can the Loroi win?
Clearly the Umiak played a stalling game building a hammer force over a long time. But that means if it doesn't work, or it flunders, then the Umiak would be VERY hurting and the Loroi COULD have a significant advantage after.

There are real life examples of this, I could go through them if needed. But simply put, if the Loroi stall the push, and or take out those tankers the Umiak could be in real trouble (especially if they hit enough of the resupply).

We are also assuming that the Loroi haven't also been building a secret force of their own. Remember in a protracted war, looking weaker than you really are, even if you own troops (especially if your troops) don't know the truth.


Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:53 pm
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Post Re: How can the Loroi win?
I posit your Question is flawed... I think the Loroi ARE wining!

The Actions of the Umiak are NOT the actions of a the Umiak are not the actions of a economic powerhouse that can win in the long game.. they are dying, they are killing their worlds to keep up this production rate. If the Umiak were in such a superior situation it would be more logical to keep slowly building their forces to just over time overwhelm the Loroi defenders... instead they are making a mad rush to throw EVERYTHING they have at the Loroi pickett-lines regardless of losses to do all they can do to force a breath through with basically ships that will have no fuel to return home unless they gain total victory. They are throwing massed numbers to try to overwhelm the Loroi ignoring sound tactics of logistic line of resupply.. because THERE IS NO RESUPPLY coming!

These are the actions of a nation in the last desperate troughs of collapse they MUST have new worlds to plunder or their entire civilization will collapse into polluted unlivable worlds THEY cannot even live on even despite their extensive cybernetic augmentation.. they are starving and working themselves to economic and societal death.

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Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:34 pm
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Post Re: How can the Loroi win?
hmm, that is an intersting point, but I would also like to point out that the Umiak have just found a way around the Farcaster net, this would be a good impetus to change tactics suddenly.


Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:10 pm
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Post Re: How can the Loroi win?
The "umiak are on their last legs" theory doesn't seem to gel all that well with arioch's setup of the story here:
https://well-of-souls.com/outsider/foru ... story.html

Quote:
Emperor Greywind waited and watched for the moment when such forces could be used to decisive effect. The Umiak also seemed to be holding back the majority of their reserves, similarly waiting for a key moment.

In 2160, the opportunity that both sides had been waiting for arrived, but in a most unexpected form.


Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:22 pm
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Post Re: How can the Loroi win?
It also invalidates the narrative that the Loroi are losing. With how many strategic advantages the Umiak had at the start of the war, a long war should see the Loroi edge ahead.
The Loroi have always fought with a material disadvantage. What if the Umiak suffer a Semoset catastrophe, will they ever manage to regain the tonnage that's necessary for a draw?


Wed Sep 18, 2019 1:41 am
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Post Re: How can the Loroi win?
If I've read the maps and campaigns correctly, the Loroi haven't yet made an offensive into pre-war Umiak territory. They haven't even quite made it back to their old colony systems nor the starting system of the war (Ukko). They have gotten as far as Nelain which is one jump from Morat space, and two from Ukko.

They've mostly been on the defensive or attacking Umiak allies to cut off the chance of flanking invasions. The Loroi have been using smaller fleets effectively via their Farseers being able to direct forces to hot spots and making them appear to have more ships than they actually have. However Naam has shifted that by allowing the Umiak to set up a trap that caught a few raiding forces before The 51st Strike Group managed to blunt the raid somewhat. But that seems to have been the test, now their is seemingly a wide offensive with multiple forces sent to suppress Loroi's limited raiding groups so the Umaik can shove a Gatecrasher force deep into the frontier and take out the local command nexus while the reserves are off dealing with a diversionary force. Its possible they reverses will be warned in time and they main force will be countered with said reserves, but that will open up several systems to being lost, thus widening the Steppes even more with dead systems, even if Azimol holds.

It is also unknown if this is the only major push along the sector borders, or if their is another such push in Seren Sector. I image the forces there would be able to hold out better, but still it potentially can strip the Loroi of whatever fleet rebuilding work they've done since Semoset. Or at the least, clean out their older raiding forces left over from that offensive. But what would the newer fleet bring that can counter the Umiak?

With the newer Imperial Flagship being armed with two Wave Looms of a newer type than the older Vortex-class, one can imagine that they've designed cruisers with this improved Wave Loom design that should be more efficient and thus more combat capable than the older units. While this might not be the best thing ever (depends on just how effective the Wave Loom is in combat...we've not seen it yet in battle), it should be enough to defeat larger ships at range, or perhaps small groups of ships at range, which would help against the Umiak's large numbers of lighter ships. Especially since it seems to be at least somewhat effective at two light seconds distance. Not a powerful blast at such ranges, and the enemy would have a few seconds to move, but if it was some sort of area of effect, those few seconds won't be enough to escape destruction.

The pulse cannons seem to be fairly effective, even if they have somewhat a wide variance in damage yield at all ranges. Their light-second plus range does given them at least a margin of getting in several first hits before the distance is closed to effective Umiak weapons ranges, which while having higher damage potential (a less wide variance in damage yield), they aren't as powerful until they get close. Loroi weapons effective range (at least for the pulse cannons) seem to be under half a light-second (90 to 150 Megameters), while Umiak weapons don't seem like they could be as effective until around 50 Megameters, or a third the range. Loroi blasters however are not nearly as effective as the Umiak's plasma focus armed warships at 50 Megameter range, which seems to be were such weapons start to get effective.

Earth, technology wise, barely as any weapons that can even fire out to 50 Megameters, much less be effective. Earth's most effective beam weapons only get effective around 10 Megameter ranges and the Mass Drivers effective range against such fast accelerating targets as the Umiak or Loroi would be less than half that. So Earth's technology isn't much help. What about positioning? Earth's way out of the way from Loroi's point of view. But it does have a strategic position on the Umiak's flank. And Earth likely has maps of the Orgus trade routes and systems as well as many of those between Terran space and Naam. If nothing else, it opens up another route into Umiak space that might be far less defended than any of the border systems near the Steppes. But that's still several months travel to the front and back, regardless of outcome. It could be a path to at least throw the Umiak off balance, if the Loroi have the forces to divert even a Strike Group out that far (something like 150 light years to Human space, and maybe 100 from there to Umiak space).

Other than those? It depends on just how great of a strain this war has been on the Umiak. The Loroi have a distinct lack of data on that subject and have to date not yet invaded an actual Umiak world...however being that close seemed to cause the Farseers problems, so it might do to not have that for the offensive and just go with the idea that they will have a LOT of ship.....big ships, and prepare really big forces to deal with that concept (Wave Loops might be an equalizer....if it even remotely behaves like a low yield Wave Motion Gun).


Wed Sep 18, 2019 4:25 am
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Post Re: How can the Loroi win?
I fear the Loroi are in a pinch.
The Umiak have continuously expanded, and increased their "client base", e.g. the Orgus.
As such, they have increased their manufacturing base even further.

Usually, they just send their new manufacturing base against an even further out enemy.
While the now second layer continues outward.
But at some point, the manufacturing layer will not send straignt outward anymore, but to a different, closer border, and let the in-the-meantime conquered client states continue the outward expansion.
We might be at the point, where a larger manufacturing base shifted the aim of its production towards the Loroi instead of radially outward.

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Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:36 am
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Post Re: How can the Loroi win?
@Krulle
That would imply the Umiak have only half-assed the war with the Loroi so far. Which doesn't seem likely, as the Lorois empire isn't that much smaller than theirs. They took the Loroi serious enough to answer in kind to their no-neutrality policy afterall.
How much the Umiaks expansion benefits them is also unknown. They took over the Orgus, who were no fight, but also far behind technologically to the major powers. It's a bit like the US annexing Vietnam to expand it's short-term production.


Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:56 am
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Post Re: How can the Loroi win?
I find it interesting that you mention Vietnam, especially since a lot of the discussion above revolved about production capacity.


Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:08 am
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Post Re: How can the Loroi win?
Oh man, I completely forgot that the Vietnamese succesfully fought off the Americans.

Ok, Argentinia then.


Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:20 am
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Post Re: How can the Loroi win?
Another good example is Afghanistan. Never mind the superior production capacity and larger economic base of the usurper. The decisive factor is that trying to pacify or control it will suck the life out of any power that tries to dominate it. Up to the point that pursuing such a goal is no longer rational.

(Still supports the assumption that the Umiak are engaging in a do or die offensive, but then I also wonder what glorious role there will be left to play for Enzin and humanity)


Wed Sep 18, 2019 4:12 pm
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Post Re: How can the Loroi win?
Zarya wrote:
Another good example is Afghanistan. Never mind the superior production capacity and larger economic base of the usurper. The decisive factor is that trying to pacify or control it will suck the life out of any power that tries to dominate it. Up to the point that pursuing such a goal is no longer rational.


In my humble opinion, that's not a question of power/economy but of ruthlessness. The Umiak - or even the real world Chinese or Russians under Mao and Stalin - would simply have employed starvation. They would have wiped out the civilian population, their cattle, crops, until there is no one left that can resist in any meaningful way.


Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:00 pm
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Post Re: How can the Loroi win?
Arent wrote:
Zarya wrote:
Another good example is Afghanistan. Never mind the superior production capacity and larger economic base of the usurper. The decisive factor is that trying to pacify or control it will suck the life out of any power that tries to dominate it. Up to the point that pursuing such a goal is no longer rational.


In my humble opinion, that's not a question of power/economy but of ruthlessness. The Umiak - or even the real world Chinese or Russians under Mao and Stalin - would simply have employed starvation. They would have wiped out the civilian population, their cattle, crops, until there is no one left that can resist in any meaningful way.

Or they'd deal with it the way the chinese are dealing with africa at the moment. Simply ignore the local population, buy up land, build chinese enclaves and exploit as many natural resources as you can.


Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:57 pm
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Post Re: How can the Loroi win?
hi hi

I think the Umiak would probably treat Loroi worlds differently than third party worlds. At this point, the Loroi are such a threat that they'll probably bombard any Loroi world that poses a problem. (At the very least, they'll bombard any infrastructure.)

For third party worlds, the enclave method is probably too humane and too slow for their purposes. Granted, the TCA didn't have solid intel, but based on what Alex said, I imagine the Umiak use a method closer to the standard colonial tactic. Gain control of the local government, pit the locals against each other, enjoy the profits of near slave labor as they fight each other over the scraps you leave them.


Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:42 am
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Post Re: How can the Loroi win?
I think they just park ships in orbit and demand tribute. No need to get complicated with the weird xenos governments.


Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:06 pm
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Post Re: How can the Loroi win?
hi hi

According to what we know from the Insider about what happened to the Tithric, the Umiak seems to have gained support of the Tithric government through subterfuge, well before they formally aligned.


Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:15 pm
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Post Re: How can the Loroi win?
Sympathy for space elves vs. ugly giant bugs aside, at the moment things simply don't look good for the Loroi.

They were put in a defensive position from the very start, fighting the war on their own territory for the most time, and just barely holding off the Umiak, having advanced technology and Farseers on their side to counter superior numbers.

Now, one of these two advantages is practically nixed. Even if the Umiak have only a few "stealth strike groups" they can do plenty of damage, trickling deep into Loroi territory and wreak havoc at their weakest points. Cut the supply lines and forward defense would crumble in front of the oncoming attack wave.

Might be that the Umiak fought this war "half-assed" up until that moment. They've already shown that they do plan things for the long haul, amassing forces along the border even long before the war fully started up. That makes me believe that they were sort of waiting (or developing) for a breakthrough like this, which would give them a definite advantage over the Loroi, or canceling out one of the Loroi's advantages.

Without another game changer, I wouldn't place any bets on the Loroi. Technological superiority can easily be drowned the sheer numbers the Umiak could field.


Sun Sep 22, 2019 12:15 am
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