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Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread 
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Razor One wrote:
They're distant enough that they likely won't come into a territorial conflict for generations


I'm not sure I agree. If the borders are not set by agreement during the initial alliance then humans would likely start pushing as quickly as possible to colonize and claim territory as close as possible. The more they can grab that better for humans in the long run. If the borders ARE set by treaty immediately then they'd still be well served pushing those limits as much as possible to get more territory.


Wed Feb 18, 2015 5:42 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
fredgiblet wrote:
Razor One wrote:
They're distant enough that they likely won't come into a territorial conflict for generations


I'm not sure I agree. If the borders are not set by agreement during the initial alliance then humans would likely start pushing as quickly as possible to colonize and claim territory as close as possible. The more they can grab that better for humans in the long run. If the borders ARE set by treaty immediately then they'd still be well served pushing those limits as much as possible to get more territory.


For what purpose? Setting up colonies and claiming territory in a barren region is an incredibly costly venture. The resources you can gain by mining those far off worlds can be more easily gained by mining closer to home, trade is pointless because we have a differing biochemistry and few things they want besides perhaps some degree of unskilled labour.

There's not much reason in expanding pointlessly and expensively unless there are reasons to do so. It would break the Terrans economically to do a land rush into the Wastelands. You could try and make the colonies independent, but without the necessary military force projection to patrol those colonies and the strength to defend them against external aggressors, they'd rapidly fall out of Terran influence and more likely turn to the Loroi for military and police protection. You could argue it on ideological grounds, but that will only take you so far, and it only makes sense if the systems you're colonising has something more attractive than Barren Rock #11919192284927.

No, the Wastelands are more or less the "International Waters" of space. You can certainly live in international waters if you tried, but it would be an incredibly expensive and uneconomical affair. If there were resources that couldn't be gained otherwise (unlikely) or habitable worlds in the intervening space (islands) then yeah, that changes things, but the intimation is that it's a barren region.

Humans are in a completely empty region and have massive buffer zones between themselves and anyone else of note. It's best to colonise the regions that make the most economic sense to do so. Habitable worlds and systems close to infrastructure and resupply, the low hanging fruit of the cosmos, are the order of the day. The Terrans best bet is to tech up as rapidly as possible, and once they have better information to go off, expanding their scientific and industrial base will be their best move, rather than joining the war directly.

In short, it doesn't make economic sense to colonise barren systems in that fashion. There are better prospects closer to home, there's nobody pressing the TCA's borders, and the Loroi are unlikely to claim those systems at any point in the future.

Even more shortly, colonising close to home trumps colonising afar, developing existing colonies further trumps new colonisation efforts.

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Thu Feb 19, 2015 5:08 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
icekatze wrote:
hi hi

All the problems that Tetships have are exactly the same problems that the Starfury would have, only worse, since they're not symmetrical on all axes. I'm not even going to get into a discussion about what an actual realistic space fighter might be like, cause space is so vastly different than atmospheric engagements that trying to make comparisons is inevitably going to be silly. My only point, which I will reiterate, is that the designs were largely inspired by previous science fiction entries, with all the realism (proper RCS thrusters) and un-realism (Having the CIC on an exposed tower) that the past designs had.


What are you talking about?

The Starfury has it's engines and RCS thrusters at the tips of the wings. This is exactly how it should be for good mobility.


Thu Feb 19, 2015 5:52 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Except that the Loroi are already moving towards human space due to the war. Full colonies aren't necessary or, as you point out, economical, however a land grab to ensure we have as much territory as possible is in our best interests as we will have more options in the future and will have a larger buffer between Earth and the Loroi. Setting up outposts suffficient to have a reasonable claim on the systems will be expensive as well, but owning territory is a good thing.


Thu Feb 19, 2015 6:11 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
fredgiblet wrote:
Except that the Loroi are already moving towards human space due to the war. Full colonies aren't necessary or, as you point out, economical, however a land grab to ensure we have as much territory as possible is in our best interests as we will have more options in the future and will have a larger buffer between Earth and the Loroi. Setting up outposts suffficient to have a reasonable claim on the systems will be expensive as well, but owning territory is a good thing.


Source on this? The map suggests some level of expansion in the anti-spinward direction, but none towards human territory, which is both coreward and spinward, in the opposite direction of the implied Loroi territorial expansion. Even so, the Loroi are focused entirely on war with the Umiak. Expensive colonisation missions are not on their agenda, since resources directed towards expansion are resources not going towards the war effort. Since the Loroi are described as being pressed, I'd wager that unless the conflict comes to a swift conclusion, any designs on expansion for the Loroi is going to take decades if not centuries.

Grabbing land only makes sense if you can actually hold that land and make good use of it. Reach isn't what matters for empires, grasp does. Any claims the Terrans make that the Loroi feel are provocative can be easily contested and burned if it comes to blows. Aggressively claiming territory for shits and giggles is more likely to earn an aggressive response than peaceful and careful expansion.

Terran space is itself about 35 light years across encompassing 40 stars, which the TCA presumably has a good handle on. What you're proposing is an expansion that, at the low end, trebles the size of Terran space for no other reason than to simply claim the land for reasons.

But let's run with that. The TCA has 60 combat capable ships in its fleet. Terran space expands from 35 / 40 (LY / Stars) to 135 / 160. This assumes an even distribution roughly in line with Terran space. Let's assume that the ratio necessary for Terrans to have a good policing handle on their space is a 3/2 ratio to the number of stars.

So, now instead of having to patrol 35 LY and 40 systems, they have to patrol 135 LY and 160 systems. The 3/2 relationship demands a minimum military expansion of 240 combat capable vessels, a quadrupling in size, to say nothing of the logistics necessary to support fleet movements, outposts, sensor networks and so on. Even for a war footing that's a massive expansion in the military.

I'm not seeing the logic of going for a land grab at this time. The Loroi aren't going to waste valuable resources on expansion when it could cost them the war. The Umiak are unlikely to swing by Terran space until they determine there's a threat, which can be avoided by not expanding too far towards their or the Loroi's borders. The Terran military is woefully outclassed, and if the Loroi ever got serious about territorial expansion, there wouldn't be a thing Terrans could do to stop them without matching technological might or trying for asymmetrical warfare and drowning them in numbers. Numbers which can best be generated via developing existing colonies and expanding as those colonies fill, not by trying to spread themselves thin. If there's a worry about future expansion, there's nothing in those systems except for barren and inhospitable worlds, a poor choice for expansion unless the Terrans are starving for resources, and there's plenty of territory in the Coreward direction with plenty of room for growth and a better prospect for habitable planets than a region known to be barren.

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Thu Feb 19, 2015 8:18 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
As said before, colonisation isn't really feasable for at the very least the Loroi. Not enough info on the Umiak to make a definite statement on their capabilities. Scouting outwards, and finding or blocking new approach routes to deny the enemy an easy way to invade the other's territory is what's probably done. And establishing some sort of outpost to 'guard' these new possible approaches the enemy could use, or as a depot to arm and fuel your own incursion fleet(s) if you think you found a new route into enemy territory.

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Thu Feb 19, 2015 12:18 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
hi hi

TrashMan wrote:
What are you talking about?

The Starfury has it's engines and RCS thrusters at the tips of the wings. This is exactly how it should be for good mobility.
What are you talking about? I never said anything contrariwise to the idea that having thrusters on a ships extremities would be good for mobility. In fact, I explicitly stated that it was the case.

I'm not sure how I can possibly be any more clear about what my argument has been.

As for the Loroi, I seem to recall reading that they are indeed actively seeking to colonize more worlds, so long as the process is not too taxing on resources. Most of the new colonies are probably still being set up though, and who knows how long it will be until they start being productive.


Thu Feb 19, 2015 12:28 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
They're also holding off colonising the Wastelands because they don't need to... yet. At some point they'll be forced into it, and if they're forced into it, they're not ready.

Out of interest, Arioch, how useful would Terran ships be as merchant shipping within the Loroi Union? A merchant spacecraft, above all, needs to be economical. Which means you want to use the least fuel, and the least expensive fuel.

Hydrogen and helium are pretty inexpensive if you can get a cloudscoop or atmocruiser system set up. Fusion drives may be out of their league against anti-matter drives when it comes to raw thrust, but antimatter drives are out of their league against fusions drives when it comes to economy.

Offering a merchant fleet might allow the Loroi to concentrate more on building warships, same as how doing surveys of the Wastelands for them would allow them to avoid spending resources on building and crewing survey spacecraft.


Since Humanity for the forseeable future doesn't have the warfighting capabilities to join the fight, there are still a lot of ways they could support it.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
If fusion drives made for more efficient merchant vessels, then wouldn't the Loroi already be using them?

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Arioch wrote:
If fusion drives made for more efficient merchant vessels, then wouldn't the Loroi already be using them?

Likely, yes. You've been telling me how this anti-matter analogue requires huge amounts of energy to produce. Fusion fuels, meanwhile, can be found quite easily in gas and ice giants. To get them out of the atmosphere you either use a cloudscoop (expensive to install, but only requires significant power to run pumps, and that power can be gotten with fusion) or atmo-cruisers, which are less expensive but could be lost easily if they suffer failures. Aerostats are a possibility, but only work in low windspeeds and can be hard to dock with. If either is in place, you can fuel a fusion-powered spacecraft relatively inexpensively.


The resources to build warships have to come from somewhere. If the Loroi can divert resources away from building and fueling merchant ships, they can use it to build and fuel warships. But there would need to be something to replace the merchant ships that aren't being built. That, the Terrans can do.

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Fri Feb 20, 2015 5:49 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
I believe that it was stated sometime earlier on some thread that the Loroi do most of the fighting, while the Neridi and Barsam do most of the logistical work. So they would not really need us for that purpose.


Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:47 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
The truth about where this is all going, about what humanity can do for the Loroi has already been hinted at on page 43.

In a strange reversal of a traditional human fairy tale, it will actually be humans who make shoes for elves...


Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:52 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Arioch wrote:
If fusion drives made for more efficient merchant vessels, then wouldn't the Loroi already be using them?


To use an analogue, why not using a nuclear plant on all merchant vessels here on Earth? I mean, the nuclear submarines -and surface vessels on our world are unrivaled in endurance.
To me, its more likely the use of the fuel that has the most extensive infrastructure for 'manufacture' and distribution. Going back to for instance fusion would essentially force the Loroi Union to maintain two competing fuel sources for their starship drives.

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Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:13 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
hi hi

The Law of Comparative Advantage shows how it can be beneficial to have someone who is at an absolute disadvantage do some of the work, as long as the party with an absolute advantage has a difference in efficiency within their own production. Even if the Loroi already have sufficient logistics to wage war as they are currently doing, it could still be beneficial to have more low level support.


Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:26 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
RedDwarfIV wrote:
They're also holding off colonising the Wastelands because they don't need to... yet. At some point they'll be forced into it, and if they're forced into it, they're not ready.


Source on this? I don't recall coming across this while reading Insider, though it'd be easy to miss given all the material there. I had it down as them not really colonising that region because it was a barren wasteland with nothing of worth or value; Antarctica in space essentially, sans any treaties against mineralogical exploitation or scientific benefit. Sure, you could live there if you wanted, and sure, there's resources there to exploit if you really wanted them, but the undertaking would be a huge one, it'd be as expensive as all get out, and at the end of the day, not a whole many people would want to live in a frozen wasteland where you don't see the sun for six months at a time.

icekatze wrote:
hi hi

The Law of Comparative Advantage shows how it can be beneficial to have someone who is at an absolute disadvantage do some of the work, as long as the party with an absolute advantage has a difference in efficiency within their own production. Even if the Loroi already have sufficient logistics to wage war as they are currently doing, it could still be beneficial to have more low level support.


Tyranny of distance kind of nixes that though. Establishing a reliable supply chain over a 200 LY distance would be a logistical nightmare, securing it would be impossible, and anything we deliver would have to be raw resources (our hardware is bunk and our only labour of worth is unskilled) which they can get easier and cheaper at home unless we just give it gratis or on a lend/lease basis and they pay the Terrans back after the war, in which case it's only a minor supplement to their massive economy.

Terrans unskilled labour is probably more valuable than any amount of raw resources they could ship in over that incredibly long distance. Setting up a Terran enclave in Loroi territory and then taking up various unskilled jobs would free up Loroi to do other and more valuable tasks, provided they'd allow it. Every Terran mopping floors and hand-delivering shoes to the unshod is another Loroi doing more skilled labour or undertaking the training necessary to do so. This assumes of course that they're tight for labour, if they have high unemployment in the middle of a war... I'd eat my hat.

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Fri Feb 20, 2015 5:10 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
hi hi

Food is one thing that Terrans could provide without much advanced technology. The Soia-Liron crops are hearty and adaptable. And since a lot of the Loroi's tech is more advanced than the Terran's they could pawn of some last generation junk in exchange. Let the terrans worry about the distance problem, as long as they're not spending more than the normally would on the produce. True, the terran's limited production capacity would mean that it wouldn't be a major advantage, but sometimes lots of little things can compound into a noticeable difference.

(If in the process of growing a compatible ecosystem, the Terrans eventually make some planets in the wasteland more appealing for colonization, that would be nice too, but it would probably not be feasible on a short term timescale.)


Fri Feb 20, 2015 6:06 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Razor One wrote:
RedDwarfIV wrote:
icekatze wrote:
hi hi

The Law of Comparative Advantage shows how it can be beneficial to have someone who is at an absolute disadvantage do some of the work, as long as the party with an absolute advantage has a difference in efficiency within their own production. Even if the Loroi already have sufficient logistics to wage war as they are currently doing, it could still be beneficial to have more low level support.


Tyranny of distance kind of nixes that though. Establishing a reliable supply chain over a 200 LY distance would be a logistical nightmare, securing it would be impossible, and anything we deliver would have to be raw resources (our hardware is bunk and our only labour of worth is unskilled) which they can get easier and cheaper at home unless we just give it gratis or on a lend/lease basis and they pay the Terrans back after the war, in which case it's only a minor supplement to their massive economy.

Terrans unskilled labour is probably more valuable than any amount of raw resources they could ship in over that incredibly long distance. Setting up a Terran enclave in Loroi territory and then taking up various unskilled jobs would free up Loroi to do other and more valuable tasks, provided they'd allow it. Every Terran mopping floors and hand-delivering shoes to the unshod is another Loroi doing more skilled labour or undertaking the training necessary to do so. This assumes of course that they're tight for labour, if they have high unemployment in the middle of a war... I'd eat my hat.


As a logistical base, the TCA is usefull. As a major supplier of trade ships, the Barsam and Neridi (who, I might add are subjected to a very similar disadvantage as humans, only for different reasons: religious for Barsam, racial for Neridi) do it better. Better economies, better tech. Basically we'd be the village outside the military base: a place where you can get a drink, repair your shoes, buy some gas, but not somewhere where you'd manufacture your trucks or tanks.


Fri Feb 20, 2015 6:11 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Razor One wrote:
RedDwarfIV wrote:
They're also holding off colonising the Wastelands because they don't need to... yet. At some point they'll be forced into it, and if they're forced into it, they're not ready.


Source on this?

Arioch wrote:
The "Great Wasteland" is a region of lower-than-normal star density, with few habitable planets and no known native intelligent species or precursor ruins. It's so-called because nobody lives there. The Loroi haven't expanded in that direction because they haven't found any suitable colonization targets within a comfortable range. The larger distances between stars means you have to make longer jumps through the region; this speeds up travel, but introduces additional risk if you don't have a well-planned, well-surveyed route.

So the Loroi haven't been expanding much. But the Umiak almost certainly are. the Great Wastelands is pretty much the only direction the Loroi can expand into.

Razor One wrote:
I don't recall coming across this while reading Insider, though it'd be easy to miss given all the material there. I had it down as them not really colonising that region because it was a barren wasteland with nothing of worth or value; Antarctica in space essentially, sans any treaties against mineralogical exploitation or scientific benefit. Sure, you could live there if you wanted, and sure, there's resources there to exploit if you really wanted them, but the undertaking would be a huge one, it'd be as expensive as all get out, and at the end of the day, not a whole many people would want to live in a frozen wasteland where you don't see the sun for six months at a time.


It's not that there's nothing of value. It's that the things that are valuable are distant from each other, and longer jumps are more dangerous without survey maps. Clearly the TCA isn't starved for colonies.

At some point the Loroi will have to expand into the Great Wastelands to keep up with the Umiak. That process would go much more smoothly, or may even be able to start much earlier, if Humanity (which is experienced in long-jumps and having to search more to find suitable colony systems) could provide them with surveys of the area. Then the Loroi would know exactly where to go to colonise without having to look around a lot themselves with crews who have little experience long-jumping.

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Fri Feb 20, 2015 6:19 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
The Loroi have been expanding, just not in the direction of the Wastelands. The Loroi and Barsam have been jointly founding new colonies coreward and anti-spinward (southeast on the map) of Justa and Kabel.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
RedDwarfIV wrote:
Razor One wrote:
RedDwarfIV wrote:
.

At some point the Loroi will have to expand into the Great Wastelands to keep up with the Umiak. That process would go much more smoothly, or may even be able to start much earlier, if Humanity (which is experienced in long-jumps and having to search more to find suitable colony systems) could provide them with surveys of the area. Then the Loroi would know exactly where to go to colonise without having to look around a lot themselves with crews who have little experience long-jumping.


Not really sure about that. The TCA colonies appear somewhat more rugged than the ordinary Union worlds which seem to be preterraformed (by the Dreiman? Soia? I MUST KNOW MORE....). The Loroi don't seem to be having a massive overpopulation problem. And the TCA works with what it has, because before contact with the Orgus, it seemed reasonable to just expand in a pseudo-spherical fashion. That experience may prove valuable, but the risk of being surrounded by Loroi colonies and not being able to expand should put the TCA administration on guard.


Fri Feb 20, 2015 6:33 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Mr.Tucker wrote:
RedDwarfIV wrote:

At some point the Loroi will have to expand into the Great Wastelands to keep up with the Umiak. That process would go much more smoothly, or may even be able to start much earlier, if Humanity (which is experienced in long-jumps and having to search more to find suitable colony systems) could provide them with surveys of the area. Then the Loroi would know exactly where to go to colonise without having to look around a lot themselves with crews who have little experience long-jumping.


Not really sure about that. The TCA colonies appear somewhat more rugged than the ordinary Union worlds which seem to be preterraformed (by the Dreiman? Soia? I MUST KNOW MORE....). The Loroi don't seem to be having a massive overpopulation problem. And the TCA works with what it has, because before contact with the Orgus, it seemed reasonable to just expand in a pseudo-spherical fashion. That experience may prove valuable, but the risk of being surrounded by Loroi colonies and not being able to expand should put the TCA administration on guard.


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Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:26 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Oooh, Starship Troopers. Awfull movie but still a hallmark of my childhood :D .


Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:09 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Verhoven's first propaganda piece was significant in that it provides an in to better science fiction, even Heinlein's actual unmolested work, for the general consumer. Roughneck Chronicles, a nice mix between Verhoven's "adaptation" and the Heinlein classic, is the definitive military drama of my childhood before things like Gundam (namely, the Romeo & Juliet reboot, 08th MS Team, and Beowulf's 0080: War in the Pocket) hit American shores. The large troop movements of Star Wars are great and piqued my love of wargames, but the nitty gritty of the combat unit holds more appeal off of the tabletop.


Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:57 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Cy83r wrote:
Verhoven's first propaganda piece was significant in that it provides an in to better science fiction, even Heinlein's actual unmolested work, for the general consumer. Roughneck Chronicles, a nice mix between Verhoven's "adaptation" and the Heinlein classic, is the definitive military drama of my childhood before things like Gundam (namely, the Romeo & Juliet reboot, 08th MS Team, and Beowulf's 0080: War in the Pocket) hit American shores. The large troop movements of Star Wars are great and piqued my love of wargames, but the nitty gritty of the combat unit holds more appeal off of the tabletop.


i'm still mad about roughnecks remaining unfinished.


Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:56 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
You saw Verhoeven's adaptation and got propaganda out of it?

Please elaborate.


Sun Feb 22, 2015 9:12 am
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