Solomani Confederation (Military)

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Egil Skallagrimsson
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Egil Skallagrimsson » Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:25 pm

dragoner wrote:This exemplifies why I say carrying the "age of sail" theme too far is sub-optimal. IMO, it isn't the exploration duties of the IISS being replaced by the Navy, it is the survey and other duties that seem more problematic. I could see at least there being some bureau of standards to replicate those functions.
Certainly agree that it is possible to over do the "Age of Sail" analogies, always felt that "Age of Ironclads" was more appropriate anyway.

However, I cannot see anything wrong with the idea that the Imperium will give explorations, survey and communication duties to a discrete, civilian, agency, whereas other societies, Solomani or Zhodani, want to keep those duties under naval control. Neither society has to justify its decision by reference to the Terran "Age of Sail", faced with the same problems they came up with different organisational arrangements.

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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby dragoner » Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:02 pm

Egil Skallagrimsson wrote: Certainly agree that it is possible to over do the "Age of Sail" analogies, always felt that "Age of Ironclads" was more appropriate anyway.

However, I cannot see anything wrong with the idea that the Imperium will give explorations, survey and communication duties to a discrete, civilian, agency, whereas other societies, Solomani or Zhodani, want to keep those duties under naval control. Neither society has to justify its decision by reference to the Terran "Age of Sail", faced with the same problems they came up with different organisational arrangements.

Egil
Scouts are military, or paramilitary (and militarized during war time), just as a distinct bureaucracy, in the Imperium. How other polities do this is eh, but the more important functions of the IISS, seem to be not just the basic exploration corps, though exploration being the most "romantic", esp as for an rpg character.

It is the mindset of the people that take the "age of sail" theme too far that is more problematic, trying to connect things one to one makes it a poor analogy.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:57 am

I picked on the Solomani for a number of reasons:

1. They are us, and we know ourselves best.

2. They lost the last war with the Imperium and are itching to at a minimum get back lost territory, which means they are open to military innovations and revolutions.

3. At five sectors, it becomes a more viable exercise to have a more definitive Order of Battle.

4. Confederation politics may have shrunk to a single political party; however, since a lot of Western politics seems to come down to capturing the middle, and factions attempting to cannibalize political parties, not much seems to have changed.

5. Centralization aside, perhaps they have a Fleet Auxiliary to have civilians crew less combat orientated ships and perform more mundane tasks.

6. A century ago, the lack of naval reserves seems to have been a decisive factor in their loss. Whether this is in trained personnel or ships is not clear; it would be interesting to see if they rectified this.

7. Also, it would be interesting to see if the Confederation Navy developed in a more flexible form than that of the Imperium's. If they have any constrains or bottlenecks whether technology, budget or personnel.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Egil Skallagrimsson » Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:49 pm

dragoner wrote:Scouts are military, or paramilitary (and militarized during war time)
Ok, you can get drafted into the scouts, so perhaps that makes them military, oh, you can get drafted into law enforcement and the merchant marine as well, neither really very military (though law enforcers might well have better ground combat skills, and merchant marine better space combat skills, than the average scout!).

No, certainly in IMTU, the scouts are a civilian agency. Yes, in wartime they might be mobilised for war, but then in wartime all sorts of other people might find the Imperium has need of their special skills as well.

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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby dragoner » Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:45 am

Egil Skallagrimsson wrote:
dragoner wrote:Scouts are military, or paramilitary (and militarized during war time)
Ok, you can get drafted into the scouts, so perhaps that makes them military, oh, you can get drafted into law enforcement and the merchant marine as well, neither really very military (though law enforcers might well have better ground combat skills, and merchant marine better space combat skills, than the average scout!).

No, certainly in IMTU, the scouts are a civilian agency. Yes, in wartime they might be mobilised for war, but then in wartime all sorts of other people might find the Imperium has need of their special skills as well.

Egil
That is fine if you want to make them civilian, but in the OTU, they have cruisers and such, while seeming to provide for their own defense. Military, paramilitary, whatever.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby fthlagen » Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:41 pm

My tuppence' worth.

So scouting has two fundamental goals : economics and security. You need to find resources to feed your economy and you need to make sure your enemies aren't nearby. I'll concede prestige and Lebensraum could also be motivators but I'd argue these are ancilliary given the population values of some perfectly usuable worlds in the Solomani rim.

You could also argue that they keep the postal system alive. Well here's a question. When faced with going north to deliver the mail or east to investigate a gravitic anomaly, what do you suppose happens to the mail?

So if we consider both prime missions : the scout has to
- find a star system (which is very hit and miss); then
- has to discover mineral wealth or a military/political presence.

If the navy does all of the scouting then expensive crews often end up wishing they had the planetary survey crowd on board.

If scientists do all the scouting they end up wishing they'd come in a warship when the local savages turn out to be capable of building SDBs.

It makes more sense for the legwork to be done by civilians motivated by greed and for the government to cherry pick the best reports that come back from survivors. Promising destinations can be visited by the appropriate mix of specialist ships and crews.

So pay a finder's fee to civilian scouts that report back destinations of interest and send the right mix of vessels to claim the assets for the crown.

I would humbly suggest that the age of sail analogy isn't the best fit. Expeditions - deliberate or otherwise - were expensive affairs requiring boats, crews, provisions and backers. In the traveller universe, even the 100 ton Suleiman can discover a virgin star system and report it back.

That's like a rowing boat discovering America.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Egil Skallagrimsson » Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:34 pm

dragoner wrote:
Egil Skallagrimsson wrote:
dragoner wrote:Scouts are military, or paramilitary (and militarized during war time)
Ok, you can get drafted into the scouts, so perhaps that makes them military, oh, you can get drafted into law enforcement and the merchant marine as well, neither really very military (though law enforcers might well have better ground combat skills, and merchant marine better space combat skills, than the average scout!).

No, certainly in IMTU, the scouts are a civilian agency. Yes, in wartime they might be mobilised for war, but then in wartime all sorts of other people might find the Imperium has need of their special skills as well.

Egil
That is fine if you want to make them civilian, but in the OTU, they have cruisers and such, while seeming to provide for their own defense. Military, paramilitary, whatever.
The divide between military and civilian in the OTU, esp the Imperium, is often very fuzzy, merchant ships are often heavily armed, and some large merchant lines even run their own close escorts. However, the scout cruisers would be optimised for scouting, though with still some residual combat ability, and in any event, the scout service normally operates smaller ships, scout cruisers are for very special extended explorations.

Egil
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Egil Skallagrimsson » Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:44 pm

fthlagen wrote:You could also argue that they keep the postal system alive. Well here's a question. When faced with going north to deliver the mail or east to investigate a gravitic anomaly, what do you suppose happens to the mail?

So if we consider both prime missions : the scout has to
- find a star system (which is very hit and miss); then
- has to discover mineral wealth or a military/political presence.
On the first point, all depends what type of scout ship detects the anomaly, a mail courier, esp an xboat, will not be equipped, or have crew trained, to do anything other than report it.

On the second, finding the star shouldn't be difficult, the big burning light can be seen many light years away, exploring its system will be the real task of many scout missions, but not all, as the Scout service also has responsibility for keeping star maps updated, and identifying changes.

Egil
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby fthlagen » Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:07 pm

I probably don't disagree at heart.

As I'm learning as I drift through this forum, everyone's got their own ideas on how the universe works. My players dabbled in scouting until the pedantry got the better of them (saying something!) but I used a blank-ish subsector map annotated with a couple of rumours and anomalies and when the ship made the jump into the unknown hex, it was then that we rolled the die and determined whether there was a star there.

If you can equate the Solomani navy to the US Navy then there are points of overlap. The US Navy maintains a small fleet of survey vessels, mostly for bathymetry to support the boomers. But when all's said and done, scouting is scouting whatever its purpose.

I agree with a previous poster - you don't want the navy sitting around doing nothing. The good people will leave in search of challenges and what's left behind is an organisation with a "happy to do nothing" culture. Better the destroyers seek out new worlds than sit idle.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby dragoner » Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:30 am

Egil Skallagrimsson wrote:
The divide between military and civilian in the OTU, esp the Imperium, is often very fuzzy...

Egil
Which is just to say, a matter of definitions. I definitely can see the scouting missions taken over by naval LRRP's, however. So as far as the RPG aspect, that is where it should be.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Infojunky » Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:00 am

With this divergence on to what scouts are I find it amusing that no one has hit on the fact that the Scout's are the Imperium's baseline intelligence agency. As well as the Post office and NOAA and USGS.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby dragoner » Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:51 am

I actually mentioned that.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby GypsyComet » Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:29 pm

The definition of "civilian" is more the problem, I think. The IISS is not "civilian" in the same way the modern Police are. They are a "Federal" ("Imperial" in this case) agency that combines many CIA, Federal Marshals, and Coast Guard functions into one agency. They cheerfully make use of people well outside the psychological norms. They do covert in their sleep.

There are other measures of "dangerous" aside from counting spinal mounts, and the IISS ranks high in several of them.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby dragoner » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:02 pm

IMO, it is also not just civilian, but the definition of civilian in the Imperium; for example, there is also the "civilian military" in the form of mercenaries, just to muddy the waters language-wise.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby tanksoldier » Sat Jan 18, 2014 5:43 pm

No, certainly in IMTU, the scouts are a civilian agency. Yes, in wartime they might be mobilised for war, but then in wartime all sorts of other people might find the Imperium has need of their special skills as well.
IMTU the Scouts are more modeled on the US Coast Guard.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby GypsyComet » Sat Jan 18, 2014 7:18 pm

The IISS operates at least one Lightning class Cruiser.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Sat Jan 18, 2014 7:39 pm

1. I think the word being sought is paramilitary, units trained and armed to a military standard, though YMMV.

2. I think the Lightnings were surplus to requirements: the question would be, did the IISS need it for J5 range, spinal mount, defensive armament, capacity or to show the flag?
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:34 am

1. So the question would be, how large is the scouting contingent in the Solomani Navy, or are suitable ships and available crews assigned on an ad hoc basis.

2. Should also consider a civilian auxiliary, which could be termed the Military Spacelift Command, that could man civilian spec ships for very low risk missions (for the ship).
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:25 pm

1. The reason that scouting duties are assigned to the Solomani Navy may be due to sheer paranoia, in that they want clear control of all Jump capable militarized ships.

2. On a whimsy, the Solomani should have their version of the Kinunir: I'd call it the Kender.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:29 pm

1. Assuming that the Solomani Navy are allowed to requisition specific units and their crews from planetary navies, they'd be interested in maintaining what we'll call battlerider tenders and jump shuttles to get them to the front.

2. That would make the Confederation units used more as a hammer to the anvil of the levies.

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