"High Guard" rewritten

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
sideranautae
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1412
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:28 pm

"High Guard" rewritten

Postby sideranautae » Sun Jun 08, 2014 11:06 pm

As most here know, the term "High Guard" was coined based on a faulty (not known then) assumption that almost all GG's only form in the outer reaches of a system. With data that now shows that GG's are as likely to be found in inner orbits, jumping into a system and attacking would be suicide in too many cases as fueling won't be available as per the existing strategies. The star's jump shadow makes that impossible.

The 3I would not really exist in its present form. Defense of systems is much easy in reality using tech in Trav.
Image
Wil Mireu
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 463
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:43 am

Re: "High Guard" rewritten

Postby Wil Mireu » Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:04 am

sideranautae wrote:As most here know, the term "High Guard" was coined based on a faulty (not known then) assumption that almost all GG's only form in the outer reaches of a system.
No, it wasn't.

"High Guard: Refuelling operations for a task force are another danger point, as forces which are low on fuel and maneuvering in a gravity well are especially vulnerable. The high guard position, so named because the ship or ships involved are higher in the gravity well than their companions, is used to mount protective operations during such maneuvers." - CT Book 5, page 19

It's absolutely nothing to do with where a gas giant is in the system. The gravity well they're talking about is the gravity well of the gas giant itself. It means that ships that are protecting those that are refuelling are in a higher orbit around the gas giant than the ships doing the refuelling.
Last edited by Wil Mireu on Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
sideranautae
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1412
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:28 pm

Re: "High Guard" rewritten

Postby sideranautae » Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:07 am

Wil Mireu wrote:
So... no.
Actually, you put in only a portion of the assumptions. The other 50% is the position of the G's vis-a-vis the rest of the system and being able to jump directly TO a GG... If you don't understand the entire strat, you can't analyze

So, yes. :wink:
Image
Wil Mireu
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 463
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:43 am

Re: "High Guard" rewritten

Postby Wil Mireu » Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:08 am

sideranautae wrote:
Wil Mireu wrote:
So... no.
Actually, you put in only a portion of the assumptions. The other 50% is the position of the G's vis-a-vis the rest of the system and being able to jump directly TO a GG...

So, yes. :wink:
Which has nothing to do with it. I'm quoting everything the book says about it - anything else is your (mis)interpretation.
sideranautae
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1412
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:28 pm

Re: "High Guard" rewritten

Postby sideranautae » Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:10 am

Wil Mireu wrote:[
Which has nothing to do with it.
Um, wrong. The ORIGINAL premise was to jump TO the GG, quickly secure it for refueling at the BEGINNING of the system assault with some ships in an oversee position.

With GG's in the orbit of Mercury, that isn't possible. The lines of communication and supply train have to be rethought.
Image
Wil Mireu
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 463
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:43 am

Re: "High Guard" rewritten

Postby Wil Mireu » Mon Jun 09, 2014 1:03 am

sideranautae wrote:Um, wrong. The ORIGINAL premise was to jump TO the GG, quickly secure it for refueling at the BEGINNING of the system assault with some ships in an oversee position.
Again, wrong. The quote I posted from the HG book is the definition of the term "High Guard". Anything else you're going on about is not from that definition. You started this by saying how the definition of "High Guard" was wrong, but it actually has nothing to do with what you're talking about.

Is what you're talking about - the position of GGs in a system - a topic for discussion? Sure. But it's not what "High Guard" means, and you'll find people might talk to you about it if you stopped being so argumentative and just admitted that.

But I'll tell you what. I've tracked down a quote for the definition of High Guard (the same definition is on page 3 of the MGT High Guard book), which you've chosen to ignore in favor of your own. Now you cite me a quote from the books saying that your idea about the position of GGs in a system is what the definition of High Guard was. If you can't, stop wasting everyone's time.

I'll bet you won't be able to do that - but you're still going to insist you're right anyway, aren't you. :roll:
Dracous
Stoat
Posts: 93
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 12:23 am

Re: "High Guard" rewritten

Postby Dracous » Mon Jun 09, 2014 1:52 am

sideranautae wrote: The 3I would not really exist in its present form. Defense of systems is much easy in reality using tech in Trav.

I don't think the Imperium would fall apart because of the lack of this strategy. Also, the strategy, as you interpret it, would still apply for all those systems with GG's in the outer system. (Over 50%?).

Also, I had always interpreted the high Guard strategy as protecting ships as they refuel on a world below. A Gas Giant is the obvious example, but it could be from any world, comet, etc. And it could equally apply to refueling in the inner system as well. In fact with shorter travel times between inner system worlds, the High Guard maneuver may be more important than ever.

I think there are many other huge problems with OTU Canon which render it nonsensical. This is not one.
Dracous
atpollard
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 625
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 7:05 pm
Location: Florida, USA

Re: "High Guard" rewritten

Postby atpollard » Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:46 am

sideranautae wrote:The 3I would not really exist in its present form. Defense of systems is much easy in reality using tech in Trav.
Setting aside the debate on the origin of the term "High Guard", how does the location of 50% (or whatever the percentage) of the gas giants within the jump shadow of a star alter the form of the 3I?

Please correct me if I am mistaken, but a gas giant in an inner orbit would seem to push the worlds out of the habitable zone and into the territory where the lovely ball of ice has either an exotic atmosphere or one that is completely frozen ... how many people really want to live in the near absolute zero world of an outer system? The alternative being a tide locked moon of gas giant ... which is only marginally more habitable.

IIRC, the founding of the Third Imperium occurred following the long night, when most worlds fell back to pre-stellar technology levels and began to claw their way back to interstellar trade. The 3rd Imperium was founded by the man who controlled a revolutionary new Fusion technology that granted a monopoly on small power plants. The 3I was founded to provide greater stability to increase trade, and the profits that it generated.

So it seems to me, that most worlds would be at least willing, and many would be eager to join a union that promised cheap fusion power, increased security and greater wealth. Sort of like the general lack of arm twisting needed to get countries to want to join the EU.

Once even a small star empire emerged, the ability of one world, even a high population, industrial world deep within the jump shadow of its star, to resist the forces of a technologically superior Empire with the combined resources of many systems seems unlikely.

Thus I cannot see either the general need for Imperial expansion by force or the strategic advantage which would overcome the advantage of a multi-system economic power over any single-system defender if force did indeed become necessary.

This is not a challenge to your position, just an extended invitation to explain how you reached your conclusions.
GypsyComet
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2169
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 4:09 am

Re: "High Guard" rewritten

Postby GypsyComet » Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:15 am

atpollard wrote: The 3rd Imperium was founded by the man who controlled a revolutionary new Fusion technology that granted a monopoly on small power plants. The 3I was founded to provide greater stability to increase trade, and the profits that it generated.

Ah, the silly bits of T4. Attempting to put hard names and explanations to a TL change.
CTMTTNET4GTT20THMGTT5
It's all Traveller, so it's all Good.
Infojunky
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2202
Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 10:19 pm
Location: North of Center California

Re: "High Guard" rewritten

Postby Infojunky » Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:21 am

GypsyComet wrote:
atpollard wrote: The 3rd Imperium was founded by the man who controlled a revolutionary new Fusion technology that granted a monopoly on small power plants. The 3I was founded to provide greater stability to increase trade, and the profits that it generated.

Ah, the silly bits of T4. Attempting to put hard names and explanations to a TL change.
As we all know Tech Level is metric is far to large......
Evyn
Galadrion
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 220
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:36 am

Re: "High Guard" rewritten

Postby Galadrion » Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:07 pm

Back to the topic at hand... just how often would the situation (a system's gas giants being located within the star's jump shadow) come up? I mean, look at our system: of the system's planets, only two are located within Sol's jump shadow - Terra falls just outside of that boundary. None of Sol's gas giants are within the shadow... and in order for the High Guard doctrine to be nullified, all of them would have to be shadowed. All it takes for the HG doctrine to apply is to have one gas giant available as a valid jump target... which I think is going to be the case more often than not. A stellar jump shadow is a fairly small volume compared to a stellar planetary system.
atpollard
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 625
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 7:05 pm
Location: Florida, USA

Re: "High Guard" rewritten

Postby atpollard » Mon Jun 09, 2014 1:14 pm

GypsyComet wrote:
atpollard wrote: The 3rd Imperium was founded by the man who controlled a revolutionary new Fusion technology that granted a monopoly on small power plants. The 3I was founded to provide greater stability to increase trade, and the profits that it generated.
Ah, the silly bits of T4. Attempting to put hard names and explanations to a TL change.
Only the detail that the economic and industrial wealth of Cleon was founded on fusion technology comes from T4 ... the fact of Cleon founding the Third Imperium on his Industrial and economic advantage dates back to Classic Traveller and is continued in Mongoose Traveller:
from CT Library Data:
"Night continued for another twelve hundred years. Worlds turned in on themselves, developing local resources and moving in their own directions. About three decades before dawn, a group of worlds known as the Sylean Federation established a firm industrial base and a strong interstellar government. This, coupled with a high population pressure, provided the impetus necessary for the re-establishment of the empire. In a thirty year campaign, the Sylean Federation actively recruited new member worlds for its interstellar community. Public relations programs, active commercial warfare, and (where necessary) battle fleets joined to bring all of what is now the Capital Sector under one rule. Proclaiming the Year Zero a holiday year to mark the beginning of a new era, Cleon accepted the iridium crown of the Third Imperium, establishing it firmly on the foundations of the First and Second."



"The 1500 year period of interstellar anarchy known as the Long Night ended about a thousand years ago with the establishment of the Third Imperium. The traditions of the First (or Old) lmperium and the Second lmperium remained even after centuries of disorganization, and it was only natural for a new interstellar empire to draw on its predecessors for precedent and for stability.
In a thirty year campaign which molded public opinion at the same time that battle starships were convincing local governments, Cleon Zhunastu committed a family industrial base and a firm foundation of industrial support to the creation of an empire that would rival the glories of past ages. He succeeded in forming a government that controlled, with velvet-gloved fist, nearly a hundred subsectors."
So my question stands ... how does the existence of some number of hot Jupiters change any of this?
phavoc
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 4835
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:13 pm

Re: "High Guard" rewritten

Postby phavoc » Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:22 pm

sideranautae wrote:As most here know, the term "High Guard" was coined based on a faulty (not known then) assumption that almost all GG's only form in the outer reaches of a system. With data that now shows that GG's are as likely to be found in inner orbits, jumping into a system and attacking would be suicide in too many cases as fueling won't be available as per the existing strategies. The star's jump shadow makes that impossible.

The 3I would not really exist in its present form. Defense of systems is much easy in reality using tech in Trav.
The term high guard is essentially an extension of current and ancient military maxims - he who holds the highest ground is in the best position. You could have a high guard above a gas giant, above a frozen planet, etc. All it means is that you are at the top of the gravity well and your opponent isn't.

In Traveller having the highest location doesn't grant you any offensive or defensive bonuses. And being in the gravity well doesn't hurt you. M-drives don't have to work harder to escape a gravity well, and the effects don't provide any DM's to offensive or defensive factors.

Besides, a gas giant is BIG, not to mention ships can take short cuts through the atmosphere to escape pursuit and refuel at the same time. I've never seen any official rules that break down the idea of a high guard beyond the most basic definition.
Wil Mireu
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 463
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:43 am

Re: "High Guard" rewritten

Postby Wil Mireu » Mon Jun 09, 2014 4:21 pm

Galadrion wrote:Back to the topic at hand... just how often would the situation (a system's gas giants being located within the star's jump shadow) come up? I mean, look at our system: of the system's planets, only two are located within Sol's jump shadow - Terra falls just outside of that boundary. None of Sol's gas giants are within the shadow... and in order for the High Guard doctrine to be nullified, all of them would have to be shadowed. All it takes for the HG doctrine to apply is to have one gas giant available as a valid jump target... which I think is going to be the case more often than not. A stellar jump shadow is a fairly small volume compared to a stellar planetary system.
a) the High Guard doctrine has nothing to do with the location of a gas giant in a system. The OP is completely wrong about that, to put it politely.

b) It doesn't sound like you've been paying much attention to all the extrasolar planet discoveries that have jovians in close orbits around their stars. It's unclear how 'normal' our solar system's layout is, but there are definitely a heck of a lot of systems with close jovians. The lowest mass red dwarf would have a 100D limit of about 0.13 AU and the most massive red dwarf (M0 V) would have a 100D of about 0.38 AU - that's enough to contain a few planets, if you use more realistic spacing than Traveller's worldgen creates - that accounts for about 70% of the stars in the universe right there. The sun's 100D limit is about 0.93 AU (just within Earth's orbit).
atpollard
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 625
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 7:05 pm
Location: Florida, USA

Re: "High Guard" rewritten

Postby atpollard » Mon Jun 09, 2014 4:58 pm

Wil Mireu wrote:
Galadrion wrote:Back to the topic at hand... just how often would the situation (a system's gas giants being located within the star's jump shadow) come up? I mean, look at our system: of the system's planets, only two are located within Sol's jump shadow - Terra falls just outside of that boundary. None of Sol's gas giants are within the shadow... and in order for the High Guard doctrine to be nullified, all of them would have to be shadowed. All it takes for the HG doctrine to apply is to have one gas giant available as a valid jump target... which I think is going to be the case more often than not. A stellar jump shadow is a fairly small volume compared to a stellar planetary system.
a) the High Guard doctrine has nothing to do with the location of a gas giant in a system. The OP is completely wrong about that, to put it politely.

b) It doesn't sound like you've been paying much attention to all the extrasolar planet discoveries that have jovians in close orbits around their stars. It's unclear how 'normal' our solar system's layout is, but there are definitely a heck of a lot of systems with close jovians. The lowest mass red dwarf would have a 100D limit of about 0.13 AU and the most massive red dwarf (M0 V) would have a 100D of about 0.38 AU - that's enough to contain a few planets, if you use more realistic spacing than Traveller's worldgen creates - that accounts for about 70% of the stars in the universe right there. The sun's 100D limit is about 0.93 AU (just within Earth's orbit).
I agree with you on the definition of High Guard as posted in the rules.
But setting that aside to examine the consequences of gas giants near their parent star on the 'typical' strategy for invading a system ...
... the argument that Traveller canon supports a basic philosophy of jumping into a system and securing a refueling point as a pre-condition for attempting to capture a mainworld is not invalid (even if calling that doctrine 'High Guard' is questionable).
... the counter argument that having a hot gas giant within the jump shadow of a star changes almost nothing if you "have one gas giant available as a valid jump target" also seems reasonable.

Please correct me if I misunderstand current planetary science, but isn't part of the reason that more hot gas giants are being discovered is because a hot gas giant is easier to spot as it passes in front of its star (since it has a shorter orbital period than a distant gas giant would)? So even if the Earth system is uncommon, hot gas giants may be over-represented in the recent discoveries, and the presence of a hot gas giant does not preclude the presence of additional gas giants in the outer system.

Frankly, given the abundance of hydrogen in the universe, it seems a trivial matter to design fuel purification around the vaporization of ammonia and water ices (plentiful everywhere) and the refining of those to produce fuel.
Gas giants seem convenient, but hardly essential.
ShawnDriscoll
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 2944
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:13 pm

Re: "High Guard" rewritten

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Mon Jun 09, 2014 7:04 pm

Gas giants are the least of Traveller's problems if you are comparing the game to reality.
Wil Mireu
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 463
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:43 am

Re: "High Guard" rewritten

Postby Wil Mireu » Mon Jun 09, 2014 7:24 pm

atpollard wrote:But setting that aside to examine the consequences of gas giants near their parent star on the 'typical' strategy for invading a system ...
... the argument that Traveller canon supports a basic philosophy of jumping into a system and securing a refueling point as a pre-condition for attempting to capture a mainworld is not invalid (even if calling that doctrine 'High Guard' is questionable).
The problem is that fuel only matters in Traveller for the purpose of being able to jump out again. While the ship is in system it can use its M-drives and powerplant as much as it likes because power plants essentially don't require fuel, and M-Drives run off the power plant.
Please correct me if I misunderstand current planetary science, but isn't part of the reason that more hot gas giants are being discovered is because a hot gas giant is easier to spot as it passes in front of its star (since it has a shorter orbital period than a distant gas giant would)? So even if the Earth system is uncommon, hot gas giants may be over-represented in the recent discoveries, and the presence of a hot gas giant does not preclude the presence of additional gas giants in the outer system.
There is an observational bias, yes. But the fact remains that even with that bias there are still obviously quite a lot of systems that have close orbiting gas giants.
Frankly, given the abundance of hydrogen in the universe, it seems a trivial matter to design fuel purification around the vaporization of ammonia and water ices (plentiful everywhere) and the refining of those to produce fuel.
Gas giants seem convenient, but hardly essential.
Gas giants are probably the worlds that will have those icy moons (if in the outer system), and those would be easier to find than cometary bodies, and arguably easier to access since it just entails landing on a small icy satellite instead of diving through a gas giant's atmosphere. But yes, GGs don't have a monopoly as a hydrogen source.
atpollard
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 625
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 7:05 pm
Location: Florida, USA

Re: "High Guard" rewritten

Postby atpollard » Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:48 pm

Wil Mireu wrote:
atpollard wrote:But setting that aside to examine the consequences of gas giants near their parent star on the 'typical' strategy for invading a system ...
... the argument that Traveller canon supports a basic philosophy of jumping into a system and securing a refueling point as a pre-condition for attempting to capture a mainworld is not invalid (even if calling that doctrine 'High Guard' is questionable).
The problem is that fuel only matters in Traveller for the purpose of being able to jump out again. While the ship is in system it can use its M-drives and powerplant as much as it likes because power plants essentially don't require fuel, and M-Drives run off the power plant.
Thank you for taking the time to respond.

Tactically, I agree that having a refueling source is 'nice' but hardly essential.
Strategically, entering enemy territory with no ability to withdraw (effectively burning your bridges behind you and attacking with a "victory or death" philosophy) is bold, but creates a significant risk of a complete disaster.
Imagine WW2 with the complete destruction of the British Army at Dunkirk.

[Of course a simple J1 fuel reserve will allow the fleet to retreat to the Oort Cloud to repair/refuel and attack again or withdraw from the system completely, so the danger is somewhat able to be mitigated.]
Sigtrygg
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1317
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2006 9:23 am

Re: "High Guard" rewritten

Postby Sigtrygg » Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:27 pm

As others have pointed out the term High Guard refers to the tactic of ships remaining high in a GG gravity well to defend the refuelling ships - the location of the GG in the system is totally irrelevant to the tactic.

It is also worth noting that when HG was written the idea that there was such a thing as a jump shadow was still awaiting the publication of GURPS Traveller - it never existed in CT.

In CT the proximity of a large object only matters at jump insertion and at the moment of jump precipitation, once a ship is in jump real world objects cease to matter since the ship is moving in an alternate dimension.

Over the years jump shadows were introduced, and jump masking, and them finally T5's jump lines.

All of which change the setting from the original.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: phavoc and 14 guests