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Pages 121, 122: Followers 
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Post Pages 121, 122: Followers
http://well-of-souls.com/outsider/outsider121.html
http://well-of-souls.com/outsider/outsider122.html

I bet the Loroi prefer twitter followers, but sometimes you have to take what comes....

But soon the tactical discussions will start on how and why "The Stray" is doing this...
Me hopes we'll find out soon what that single Human can mean to the Loroi.

edit: the tactical situation:
http://well-of-souls.com/outsider/outsider119.html :
flash message from Leido system control (via Leido-Sala post):
response code four (all available forces) to Sala-128 immediately (enemy strength estimated 6 divisions)
http://well-of-souls.com/outsider/outsider121.html (for the local map with translated names) :
alarm message from Strike Group 20 at Sala 101, engaging enemy with 3-4 divisions and many heavies.
http://well-of-souls.com/outsider/outsider122.html :
strike group fifty-one marshalling at Leido-Sala post, on their way to Sala 101 (as a group)
The shuttle (Highland-Seven) with Beryl and Alexander also seems to be in Leido in cruise-mode, on their way to the other side of the system to jump towards Gora.

So, many forces have been sent from Leido to Sala-128, and now Leido will need the ships at Sala 101, or even at Leido (for defense).
I fear "The Stray" is behind the attack on Sala-128 as a diversion for his own progress towards Leido.
I fear the Loroi have been overstretched in this sector, and will now pay a hefty price.


(interestingly, Sala-128 is with a hyphen when the Neridi from Leido-Sala post talks on page 119, and Sala 101 is without a hyphen when anyone talks - not that you can hear it)


Speculation: the Loroi will loose these systems now, and that the Highland-Seven has fully functional inertial dampers (page 105) will mean that they can escape the onslaught and pursuit by The Stray...

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Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:29 am
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
Looks like the assault is much bigger than originally thought. Maybe now there's cause for alarm? ;) Looks like our friend "Stray" wasn't kidding about the reckoning...


Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:43 am
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
Damn that devilish Clicky-Click and his dastardly Clickity-Clackers!


Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:36 am
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
On the plus side, the Umiak won't know how successful their telepathic cloaking is until one of their ships gets word back to them. If the Loroi want to buy more time, they'll work hard to prevent any messenger craft from escaping.

Once the Umiak know the effectiveness, they'll be quick to retrofit their fleets and exploit the advantage.

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Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:45 am
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
It is hard for me to believe that the Umiak decided to test telepathic cloaking at the same time as they launched a big offensive...and didn't equip the offensive with it.

If the Stray's forces had it, then the main attack fleets have it.


Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:30 am
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
If I read the starmap correctly, Sala-128 and Sala 101 are being under attack by forces coming from Peze 1.
Which therefore likely is The Stray's fleet (which came from Naam).

Could be the Umiak came from Rallis towards Peze 1, but then why would The Stray be following them into Sala 101? Then it would be more likely that a different fleet is attacking Sala 101 than The Stray's fleet.

Whatever. Me thinks the Umiak are done testing "the device". And are sure that it is working since months.
They were collecting/mobilizing the fleet in Naam. The offense has just started. Likely triggered by the "chance encounter" of the Bellarmine in the Naam system.

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Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:49 am
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
Two pages at once? *faints*

Great work as always, but a critique that the angles on the last panel of page 122 don't seem quite right. Stillstorm is being viewed from what appears to me to be a moderately shallower angle than the angle the background is being viewed from.

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Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:01 am
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
Random Person wrote:
Two pages at once? *faints*

Great work as always, but a critique that the angles on the last panel of page 122 don't seem quite right. Stillstorm is being viewed from what appears to me to be a moderately shallower angle than the angle the background is being viewed from.


OMG NO! SHHH!!! The rendering of backgrounds and camera angles might be one reason why we have to wait so long!! D'OH!!!!

[Distracts Arioch by frantically pointing at a breakdancing squirrel or something]

CJSF


Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:18 am
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
Krulle wrote:
I bet the Loroi prefer twitter followers, but sometimes you have to take what comes....

But soon the tactical discussions will start on how and why "The Stray" is doing this...
Me hopes we'll find out soon what that single Human can mean to the Loroi.


This week, on "Outsider";
Alex will stand in front of a screen, go "Enhance!" while classical music plays loudly, and move things around with his hand in a way that looks fancy on screen, but makes you look like a buffoon without editing.
Follow along as this obsessive-compulsive and surprisingly functional high level autist, with the help of his trusted sponsor Beryl, sleuth their way through this weeks mystery; "Ambush at Leido!" followed by shockingly graphic sexual content by 1990s and 2000s standards, but actually pretty tame and vanilla by 1970s pulp film standards.
This week, on "Outsider", on HBO.
But things take a shocking turn when Alex turns out to not just be "Monk"-defective, but full-blown "Dexter"-defective.
That's "Outsider; the biography of the great great great grandson of that kid that Dexter had on the show Dexter", on HBO (part of the Marvel Expanded Universe).


Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:56 am
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
hi hi

Page 121
Yes Beryl, English is like a puzzle isn't it. But trust me, the intrigue wears off real fast. :lol:
That the Trade Language doesn't use any kind of acronyms is honestly something I never even considered. In hindsight it makes some sense. If it is a constructed language, then the idea is to be clear at all times. But shortening titles and proper names into acronyms does save a lot of time and space.

That's one way humanity can help the Loroi win the war, with efficient communication shortcuts! ;)

Also, is Blue Flame the name of the officer or the ship? I'm guessing the ship, since it seems to be Loroi parlance to lead with the ship's name in communications, but her hair does kind of look like a flame so I could see both ways.

I am starting to get the impression that the Loroi are losing the war, even before the latest trick by the Umiak. Recently I was playing some Planetary Annihilation with some friends, and there is this game-state you can get into where one side has more territory and resources than the other and is definitely winning, but gaining a beachhead is so difficult that it seems like it is a stalemate. We might make some brave offensives and sometimes even cause some damage, but eventually the rolling onslaught would prove too much and we'd lose in the end.


Page 122
First impression: "Wow, Ashrain really is eager to prove herself."
Second impression: "I guess winning the wager did mean getting supplies first."

I find myself liking Talon more and more as a character, her informal demeanor is fun. I'll miss her if she has to go back to the Tempest and leave the story.


Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:29 pm
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
icekatze wrote:

I am starting to get the impression that the Loroi are losing the war, even before the latest trick by the Umiak. Recently I was playing some Planetary Annihilation with some friends, and there is this game-state you can get into where one side has more territory and resources than the other and is definitely winning, but gaining a beachhead is so difficult that it seems like it is a stalemate. We might make some brave offensives and sometimes even cause some damage, but eventually the rolling onslaught would prove too much and we'd lose in the end.


The above is certainly true if it was a pure industrial war where the value of 'metal' in space both sides hold was of equal value but the 'metal' can never truly be equal. Differences in doctrine, abilities, technology and many other factors directly affect the value of the 'metal'. The Loroi have a lesser industrial capacity but they have several factors that increase the value of their 'metal' when compared to that of the Umiak. As long as the Loroi are able to regularly inflict just enough loses to the Umiak to have their power balanced then it is a stalemate because the values of their respective 'metals' is equal. However if the Umiak are able to detract a key force multiplier then the Loroi suddenly find themselves at a severe disadvantage.

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Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:04 pm
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
hi hi

The way I was looking at it was more from a perspective of ability to absorb losses. Sometimes conflicts involve an element of luck, when you strike at an enemy, you don't always have perfect intelligence and you have to make your best guess. Sometimes you strike the bullseye, and sometimes you whiff. In the scenario that made me think of this, we played smarter than the AI opponent in many ways, and repeated broke through their defenses and inflicted casualties which were quickly replaced. The same could not be said for us, where we allowed far fewer breakthroughs, the ones that got through were ultimately more damaging.

Admittedly not a perfect analogy, as you point out. It's just the feeling I'm getting.


Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:44 pm
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
I would like to add to Krulle's tactical explanation a bit. Sala 101 and Sala 128 are both system that in jumping distance of blockading Azimol itself. Leido, Enedd and Gora being the three systems that one may enter Azimol itself which is a Citadel System of the Union. The 'Clicky-Clicks' would attack en mass if they knew that they would be able to do so with their transit through the steppes unopposed and it looks like they are doing it.

My estimate is that this is the first step on the establishment of a beach head on Union territory, in order to do this they need to knock out the martial assets and the main defensive strong point in the general area. The forces attacking Sala 128 will proceed to Enedd, flanking the advance of the Stray who will be the one attacking Leido since his Superheavies are meant to deliver the hammer blow to Azimol's defenses. If this is the case then Gora is under attack at the moment as well, by a force that should be comparable to the one that attacks Sala 128.

So my estimation of the Umiak operational plan. Attack Enedd and Gora with enough forces to take and hold the positions for the time needed for the 'Stray' to march through Sala 101 and Leido destroying everything in his path as he does so. The Stray will the proceed to Azimol and raze it.

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Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:46 pm
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
The Umiak have been winning this war, yes.
We know the Loroi are not really quick in enlarging the Union. They are basically stagnant.
And we know the Umiak are still expanding on other fronts. Rapidly. And thus adding to their industrial capabilities.
Once these other fronts move further and further away, the systems and their industrial capacity will need to support the new fronts less and less, and will move their support to the front with the Loroi. Who are already struggling to keep the status quo.

While the Loroi seem to have good replenishing capabilities for their army, still, every pregnant Loroi will need a break of a few months at least.
The Umiak seem to be insectoid-like, and my guess is they hatch from eggs, which requires a lot less effort from the parents, leaving them free for the front line.
Thus discounting the industrial basis, even here the Umiak seem to be at an advantage.


The Loroi have been loosing. The Umiak tide is still swelling, and the Loroi dykes are just high enough for the current tide, but the storm flood is still rising...

My faint hope:
We do know the Umiak are ruthless in their doings. It may well be that their economy is on the brink of a collapse due to ecological damages, making living on the planets impossible, leading to loss of work-force, thus loss of industry.
But the more planets you have, the less hard the loss of one planet will hit you.
And the Umiak themselves seem to be hard in taking polluted environments.


As Icekatze's example: I like it.
Here we have two parties: one sees their ships as very valuable ressources, that need to be taken care off, improved, and replenished.
The other side seems to know of refueling ships, but a lot of ships are simply used only once. Attacking, going forward as far as possible, doing damage as much as it can, and then being gone.
One side has no industry to treat ships as "gone and lost", the other side does have it.

Guess which side can take losses MUCH easier, as their industry and population is basically replacing all ships all the time anyway?

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Last edited by Krulle on Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:41 am, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:37 am
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
The author specified Umiaks are mammals under their shells. Not sure how they reproduce, however.


Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:41 am
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
Thank you, raistlin.
That will dramatically reduce their birth cycles...

Either way it is not really relevant.
The toll on life seems to be much harder to take for the Loroi than for the Umiak.
Which is an advantage for the morale for the Umiak.

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Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:43 am
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
The Umiak however no longer use biological reproduction as the norm, I thought? Most of them are grown in tubes/vats/centers like Zim. Thus swinging the impetus back to their favor; at least replenishment wise so long as they have the facilities to produce more of them.


Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:06 am
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
I don't think that the Umiak are mammalians, the insider describes them thus:

Although often described as “insectoid” in appearance, the Umiak are not insects or arthropods. They do have an exoskeleton, but are energetic, warm-blooded creatures with complex vascular systems. In their unmodified state, Umiak have six limbs, four of which are used as legs, the other two as conventional humanoid arms (giving them a centaur-like stance)

Word of God also made it clear that they lay eggs and that all Umiak have both 'female' and 'male' gametes. Umiak artificial reproduction isn't done in tubes but is instead done with their eggs and that's when the extensive biological modifications happen.

Also the fact that the Umiak don't invest resources in maintenance and still have a fleet is a unique Umiak characteristic that at first sounds extremely implausible. All machines break down without exception, the only way to make sure that a machine runs for as long as possible while under constant use is to do preventative maintenance which is where the Umiak excel because of their monomaniacal tendencies. Other navies assign resources to maintain their fleets because it is cheaper to provide spare parts to maintain a ship for 5 years (random number) than having to build a new one in the same time. If however you have ship crew that are able to do excellent preventative maintenance then the money saved in the span of a few years can then be used to build a new ship. The naturally monomaniacal Umiak must be excellent maintainers by definition but even so ships that get 'old' will suffer deteriorating performance no matter the crew's efforts. This is further explained in the insider.

Closing: The Loroi have been expanding as well. At least that's what I got from this map and the different green hues for the Loroi Union. http://well-of-souls.com/outsider/image ... ropped.jpg

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Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:20 am
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
dragoongfa wrote:
Umiak artificial reproduction isn't done in tubes but is instead done with their eggs and that's when the extensive biological modifications happen.

At least as far as the Umiak who we see in the story (the ship crews and troopers) are concerned, reproduction is almost entirely artificial. Many of the shipboard crewmember Umiak are still close enough to the "pure strain" that they still have reproductive organs that could be used if necessary, but they generally are not. Some physically modified Umiak (such as hardtroops) no longer even have these organs. Most military Umiak never reproduce, and many never even return home after being deployed. The key thing about being egg-layers is that artificial eggs are much easier to create than artificial wombs, and so (if necessary) sex and surrogacy can be taken entirely out of the egg-laying life cycle. In most cases, the military Umiak are 100% artificial. They're not exactly grown in vats, but they are conceived in vitro from a stockpile of engineered genomes, gestated in artificial eggs, incubated and hatched in factories and raised in communal creches. The only limiting factor in Umiak population growth is in the resources and infrastructure needed to educate, raise and feed them.

dragoongfa wrote:
Also the fact that the Umiak don't invest resources in maintenance and still have a fleet is a unique Umiak characteristic that at first sounds extremely implausible. All machines break down without exception, the only way to make sure that a machine runs for as long as possible while under constant use is to do preventative maintenance which is where the Umiak excel because of their monomaniacal tendencies. Other navies assign resources to maintain their fleets because it is cheaper to provide spare parts to maintain a ship for 5 years (random number) than having to build a new one in the same time. If however you have ship crew that are able to do excellent preventative maintenance then the money saved in the span of a few years can then be used to build a new ship. The naturally monomaniacal Umiak must be excellent maintainers by definition but even so ships that get 'old' will suffer deteriorating performance no matter the crew's efforts. This is further explained in the insider.

Umiak do maintain, repair and sometimes even refit their ships, but it's a decentralized process that is largely dependent on the local commanders and individual ship crews. There is a regular supply of fuel and ordnance and consumable parts, but in a force that is experiencing constant attrition, there is usually no shortage of locally-sourced spare parts. Umiak warships are designed to be used; like T-34 tanks, they are built to be "good enough" and rolled directly into combat. They don't need to be designed to last for 5 years, because they rarely do. If a ship gets old enough that its performance starts to deteriorate, it's either cannibalized for parts or sent on a suicide mission (or, in some cases, both).

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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
Arioch wrote:
If a ship gets old enough that its performance starts to deteriorate, it's either cannibalized for parts or sent on a suicide mission (or, in some cases, both).

If those suicide missions are done with the original crew on board the Umiak might be unwittingly sending their most veteran crews to their deaths -- unwitting, because they are able to produce enough military strength, that loss of veteran crew is unnoticed as a factor. That could wind up being the weakness Alex and the Loroi are able to exploit.

Simply find the strategy that works effectively on Umiak fleets, and blitz them before their command-from-behind leadership can adapt. With a tactical genius at the helm, that could be done enough times to beat a numerically superior foe.

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Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:33 pm
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
Krulle wrote:
While the Loroi seem to have good replenishing capabilities for their army, still, every pregnant Loroi will need a break of a few months at least.


I don't think manpower is an issue on either side of this war. Both are large interstellar empires with presumably tens of billions of citizens/subjects or more; they could probably easily crew 100 times the number of ships they actually operate. The issue is with war production, as presumably starships on this tech level are rather complex and expensive machines to build.

With Loroi, their main (wo)manpower issue is their caste system; since only warriors can crew starships, they would feel a large-scale loss of veterans. But generally speaking, they can't lose the war by running of warm bodies for their starships because unlike starships, there is plenty of Loroi to conscript if need be.

(Sorry for the gripe; I always cringe when some sci-fi universe with huge interstellar empires fighting makes a big deal about "running out of soldiers". These WW1/WW2 analogies really don't work in space wars, because space wars are mostly waged by ships. And no major WW2/WW1 naval power ever had any problem with manpower in the navy; their main problem was usually "not having enough ships of the right type" or "being outproduced by the enemy 20:1", like Japan).


Last edited by Victor_D on Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:53 am, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:23 am
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
the replenishing also goes for planets, machinery,....
Likely the mere body count will not impact much, but it can impact.
It causes war fatigue in a population.

And we know the Loroi alread lost complete planetary populations in this war.

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Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:33 am
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
The higher tech the military, the higher the skill and training level required to do each job competently. The danger is not in running out of warm bodies, but in running out of people with sufficient expertise. The Japanese navy in WWII did have crippling manpower shortages in skilled disciplines -- most notably aircraft pilots -- after losses in the early battles, and this had a significant impact on the force's performance in subsequent battles.

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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
Which led to the Kamikaze tactics.
Un-/barely trained pilot and a cheap plane.
Seems like the Umiak tactic.

Take care of your own plane, use it until it falls apart and use the last run in a suicide run for your and the tenno's glory.
No retreat.

The Stray recognised that this tactic may be what his admirality wants, but brings little to no effect. So he prefers to bring news home, and possibly scavenge the other ships to improve his own. And come back in greater forces.

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Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:33 am
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
Krulle wrote:
The Stray recognised that this tactic may be what his admirality wants, but brings little to no effect. So he prefers to bring news home, and possibly scavenge the other ships to improve his own. And come back in greater forces.

If there is ever to be a more personal adversary for Alex then the vague random Umiak that toasted his ship, I'd wager it will be The Stray or others like them.

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