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-   -   How did Lucan fail to defeat Dulinor? (http://www.travellerrpg.com/CotI/Discuss/showthread.php?t=36874)

LeperColony October 18th, 2016 11:26 PM

How did Lucan fail to defeat Dulinor?
 
Corridor Fleet, Lishun Fleet, Old Expanses Fleet. He had those three Sector Fleets, in addition to whatever forces were inherently available. That is, whatever fleets were within his sphere of influence without having to move ships from other parts of the Imperium.

Against that, what does Dulinor have? We know he doesn't have the Daibei Sector Fleet, because Duke Craig secedes rather than allow it to deploy externally.

If we assume he has all the other Ileilsh Domain fleets, that leaves Reaver's Deep, Verge, Ileilsh and Zarushagar Sector Fleets. That's barely more forces than Lucan summoned from outside his faction.

Perhaps he has enough adherents between Gushemege, Dagudashaag and Massila to account for another Sector Fleet between them. And, there are of course the Reserve Fleets and the fact that he was mostly on the defensive, so he could count on local planetary navies and SDBs.

Since we know Lucan failed, obviously Dulinor must, by definition, had enough ships to defend his territory. My question is how do you see that having happened?

1) Were Lucan's admirals incompetent? Did they squander their superior material resoruces?

2) Was Dulinor a defensive military genius (or did he have one on his command staff)? A Traveller Robert E. Lee, smashing Imperial fleets time and time again on the defensive?

3) Did Lucan's other enemies dissipate his strength? That seems like an obvious answer, but if you look at the timeline, Dulinor fights Lucan to a standstill for quite a while. Many of the other factions, like Vland and Daibei, only arise because Lucan demands additional reinforcements.

What do you think were the causes that led to Lucan's failure to defeat Dulinor?

GypsyComet October 19th, 2016 12:19 AM

Ilelish Sector is one of the densest population centers in the Imperium, and matches or exceeds most of the rest for high population worlds despite being only three quarters of a sector astrographically. It pushes a cool trillion people.

By comparison, Lucan's backfield in Fornast is sleepy and sparse, and Lishun's fleet is expended early and its replacements are hampered by Vargr incursions, Brzk, and later Vland. Margaret in Massilia, despite being pretty second string, keeps some of Lucan's forces facing her. Craig in Daibei draws punitive raids that would have been better spent on Dulinor.

Lucan lacked the fleet volume to smash multiple opponents at once, but he insisted on giving those orders anyway. He micromanaged his fleet assets instead of giving his admirals strategic goals.

Whipsnade October 19th, 2016 01:38 AM

How did Lucan fail to defeat Dulinor?

POETIC LICENSE.

/thread.

LeperColony October 19th, 2016 07:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Whipsnade (Post 551722)
How did Lucan fail to defeat Dulinor?

POETIC LICENSE.

/thread.

Of course that's the Real World explanation, but much like the Vargr invasions, it's pretty unsatisfying. Since, as far as canon is concerned, we know Lucan failed to defeat Dulinor, there must have been substantive in-setting explanations. Even if those explanations did not originate from GDWs actual handling of the materials in our reality.

McPerth October 19th, 2016 07:34 AM

IIRC, Ilelish fleet was already at war footing when Dulinor killed Strephon, those being Dulinor's plans, so having a starting advantage on it. It's also to be assumed that part of its ecomony has also gone into increased war production (missile stocks are emptied quite quickly in combat).

Add to this that probably, in the initial confusion, some Aldmirals were not sure as how to act.

Lucan was rumored to have killed his brother, and his initial actions might well make some aldmirals hessitant to follow his orders.

The Moot has not confirmed him, and he disolved it, surely alienating many a noble, and creating some unrest that no doubt tied some assets and slowed mobilization and war footing (and even making some fleets to defect to other factions, more so as ones like Margaret or Strephon appeared, probably not to Dulinor). And sure Dulinor had not neglected to create a 5th column with just this goal in his contingency plans.

When Lucan had things organized, other enemies have appeared at his flanks and rear, again diverting forces from Ilelish campaign.

And to this it must also be added that Lucan wanted full control of the war, so probably slowing his forces in wait for his direct orders, and making Aldmirals hessitant to take initiative without them.

All in all, I don't see so unbelievable Lucan's lack of victory against Dulinor as I see the Vargr invasions. Lucan had more ressources, but he had no preparation, and he made so many mistakes that when his forces were ready, he had also other fronts to think about.

LeperColony October 19th, 2016 08:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by McPerth (Post 551728)
When Lucan had things organized, other enemies have appeared at his flanks and rear, again diverting forces from Ilelish campaign.

As I indicated, this is the common explanation, and it's not a bad one, except that Vland and Daibei secede after Lucan demands additional reinforcements following the failure of his initial drive. That is, after the campaign that included the Corridor, Lishun and Old Expanses Fleets.

And, if you think about it, that makes sense. If Lucan had crushed Dulinor in the initial offenses, it's unlikely the other factions would have emerged or gained much traction (though perhaps after a few years of Lucan on the throne, there'd be new rebellions). Once it becomes clear the war is going to be a long one, Vland and Daibei go their own way rather than surrender the safety of their fleets.

I do think the coordination argument is of some value. Coordinating the arrival of fleets from across the entire Imperium may have taken longer than Lucan was willing to wait. I can see a nervous Naval Command ordering piecemeal offensives.

Spinward Scout October 19th, 2016 10:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeperColony (Post 551715)
What do you think were the causes that led to Lucan's failure to defeat Dulinor?

Dulinor hired some uplifted Terran mercenaries to fight Lucan...

What? You've never heard of Gorilla warfare?

:)

Or maybe Lucan forgot the famous Imperial military phrase: "Never fight a space war in Ilelish."

;)

whulorigan October 20th, 2016 12:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Spinward Scout (Post 551762)
Or maybe Lucan forgot the famous Imperial military phrase: "Never fight a space war in Ilelish."

;)

So is that the third classic blunder . . . :)

Spinward Scout October 20th, 2016 12:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by whulorigan (Post 551765)
So is that the third classic blunder . . . :)

Yes!

A lesser known classic blunder is: "never go against a Solomani when death is on the line!"

:)

Vargas October 20th, 2016 01:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Whipsnade (Post 551722)
How did Lucan fail to defeat Dulinor?

POETIC LICENSE.

My response was "Narrativism!" ;)

Lucan had way too many fronts to fight on and his claim to the Throne was easily viewed as shaky, further detracting from his ability to lead. (His skills in that area seemed equally shaky at best).

I don't know that Dulinor could have been said to have won either.

GypsyComet October 21st, 2016 01:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vargas (Post 551785)
I don't know that Dulinor could have been said to have won either.

By Hard Times it is clear that the Imperium lost. All of it, except behind the Claw. Even based solely on what we knew at the time, the Domain of Deneb was probably boned as well. The Zhodani unrest hinted at in TNS items would only have delayed the inevitable. The Vargr would not have been tempered as time went on, and the unrest caused even by a more peaceful Ihatei influx would have kept the Domain's backfield busy.

Even without the (dubiously received) infection rate of Virus to bring on the edition change to TNE, Dulinor lost by stealing it, because he brought it into every ship in the task force himself. Dulinor was personally doomed, and the rebellion of Ilelish would have fizzled without him.

This is the way to bring about the early concept of the exhausted Imperium as an end of the Rebellion: Dulinor sneaks in to steal the superweapon, reportedly succeeds, and jumps out with his loot. This is where the narrative changes, with one simple sentence: "None of the raiding fleet is ever seen again."

And everyone carries on with Hard Times. Sure, maybe Lucan burns Dlan as punishment, but that's still going to be a fleet-chewing trek.

epicenter00 October 23rd, 2016 02:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeperColony (Post 551715)
What do you think were the causes that led to Lucan's failure to defeat Dulinor?

The Imperium of 1116 isn't the Imperium of the Fifth Frontier War. This time the threat is within the Imperium itself, it's not some convenient external foe that the Imperium can unite against.

The Imperium has certainly had to deal with its share of revolts and insurrection, but probably nothing as widespread as Dulinor's attempted seizure of the throne.

In canon, it's pointed out that the Imperium of 1116 has been growing more decadent and slowly fragmenting under veneer of unity and prosperity. Like the First Imperium, most of the Imperium doesn't really take any threat to it seriously. The majority of the Imperium has not seen a serious war in several centuries by 1116. In fact, there's quite a few areas of the Imperium who have not seen serious war for over 500 years or more. Some areas in the core of the Imperium have probably not experienced a threatening sense of war perhaps from the date they joined the Imperium - so perhaps upwards of 1000 years. This is an unimaginably long time - beyond true human comprehension. To inhabitants of worlds who have felt the presence of the Imperium for 500+ years, the Imperium as might as well be eternal. Nobody alive can remember when it did not rule, even a sense of "social memory" can't recall such a period. It's not really outrageous to imagine in an Imperium like that the people in it can't imagine a situation where the Imperium really falls or ceases to be.

In a situation like that, factions in the Imperium start to look inwards, especially with the Imperium being hemmed in by other states on all sides. Everything becomes a zero-sum game. For me to gain, the nobles around me have to lose something. Political games become obsessively about the minute increases in power or prestige. Playing these games are considered harmless by the nobles and larger power groups because nobody seriously expects the Imperium to be destroyed because of their actions.

Most players in the Imperium, when they hear about Dulinor's revolt probably don't seriously expect it to succeed. No, it'll be crushed in a few years, just like the Illiesh Revolt or the Solomani Rim War or any of the other incidents that are numerous but unmentioned in canon history because they're just too local to mention. So the power players instead start thinking about the war as a way to promote their own interests.

Lucan is likely to have failed to win because the Lucan loyalists were too busy purging disloyal elements (that's always a morale killer), Dulinor probably had the support of a lot of the more dynamic younger officers in the Imperial Navy (who coincidentally tend to be the more competent and daring) who were fed up with the state of the Imperium and agreed with Dulinor - so Dulinor likely had better commanders, and many in the Lucan-side simply didn't take Dulinor seriously so were too busy with their own political games - seeing the Assassination and Duilnor's revolt as an opportunity to advance their own agendas ... because after all, the Imperium couldn't fall.

Nathan Brazil October 26th, 2016 01:51 AM

:coffeecup: Putting aside ALL RL reasoning aside, just looking in universe:
:coffeesip:
Lucan may be megalomaniacal, but he sits on the throne and has more to worry about than just that rebellious dude that shot his uncle. He has to contend with the damned Solomani and Vargr incursions into HIS Imperium, with nothing but the Archdukes of Deneb, Gateway and Sol (sort of) to back him up. He can't be too dumb. He outlasted Dulinor, tricks Virus into making him immortal and defeats Anv!ull’lxux. :CoW: Not a standard military victory there though...
Reversing the saying: Few people see themselves as the villain of their own story.
:coffeegulp:
As a politics thing, what is in a name? The rejection at a certain level of the Right by Assassination claim.:nonono:
OTOH Dulinor gave up pretty quickly. He declares/reorganizes Ilelish into the Federation of Ilelish 3-4 years after the assassination? I suggest that as written, Dulinor had lots of hubris and no contingencies unless declaring The Federation of Ilelish IS the contingency plan. Oh and gets killed by Virus...:devil::coffeegulp::coffeegulp:

TheDS July 26th, 2017 12:14 AM

IMO it's a case of neither having read Sun Tzu. They did not know themselves, nor did they know their enemy. They both went to war hoping to win instead of winning and then going to war.

Dulinor thinks all he's gotta do is kill the royal family and he will be the only logical heir. He knows he'll need a show of force to back that up, which is why he's got Illiesh ready to go, but he's got no contingency at all, and no way to force the Moot to take his claim seriously, nor even Moot support to begin with.

Stupid. Very stupid.

Lucan lucks out and survives his assassination, probably seizes further luck to kill his brother and become the next in line, and then thinks he can just throw fleets at Dulinor and win. But there's serious doubts as to his legitimacy, which means people tend to second-guess him (which infuriates him and only makes people MORE likely to be hesitant or disloyal), which is a serious morale hit. His soldiers don't believe in the righteousness of the cause, so they don't fight as well as they could. Additionally, his supply situation is not ready for a massive, coordinated invasion, nor is it expecting more than token resistance. Low morale, poorly supplied, and going at it piecemeal. Even if they'd had 10 to 1 force, that's still a recipe for disaster against a prepared, supplied, motivated army that can easily gain local superiority over and over against the trickle of incoming ships.

Additionally, Dulinor doesn't want to give up his defensive advantage because it's the only one he thinks he has. He fears that a REAL showing of strength will defeat any possibility of support for his claim, that he's SEIZING power for his own glorification when he wants it to appear like he's FORCED to seize it for the sake of everyone. (Plus, a more legitimate heir survived.) Dulinor defeated himself when he didn't look for Moot support BEFORE the assassination. He defeated himself again when he relinquished the initiative by not having his assembled fleets march on Capital to assert his legitimacy.

Likewise, Lucan couldn't crack Dulinor's waiting defenses piecemeal with a demoralized, unsupplied fleet questioning whether he should be obeyed. He felt he had to react NOW, rather than address the question of his legitimacy while ramping up the fleets in preparation to go when they were ready.

This explains the first year or so, with communication lags explaining another year or so. By the time everyone realized their mistakes, it was too late to fix them. Lucan had no choice but to fight defensive wars everywhere, sapping his ability to crack Dulinor's defenses. But he also had battles to fight at home, keeping his opponents at bay with tirades and rages and purges of disloyalty. Fear was the only weapon he had, and the only one he knew how to use anyway.

It is a testament to how much stuff was stocked up at Depots, and how many reserve fleets were present in each subsector, that the war dragged on as long as it did. Things had to have petered out after the first few years, during which industrial capacity was converted to take over. Lucan's larger "safe" zone was still not nearly large enough to deal with the sum of safe zones arrayed against him. Only sheer stubbornness and determination kept things going until the only thing left was "black war" actions.

Dulinor's Grand Fleet simply could not have matched its description. A fleet like that would have (if properly supplied) had no trouble walking its way to Capital; however, how much could he have afforded to hold back to build something like that when those resources could've been better used to push the frontier forward inexorably?

I gotta tell ya, from years of playing wargames with resource management that would have allowed a strategy like that, it doesn't really work. Holding back a small percentage simply means the bad guys pierce your defenses sooner. So the Grand Fleet had to have been fairly small in comparison to antebellum fleets, and it's only because it had been many years since a fleet that size could be put together that it was described as "blotting out the stars".

So in review, Dulinor lost when he failed to gain support from the Moot BEFORE he assassinated everyone. He lost again when Lucan didn't die (whether he tried to kill him or not). He lost again when he didn't have his fleets ready to arrive on Capital within a couple months to force his claim, and instead dug in. He didn't know his enemy, and he didn't win before seeking battle.

Lucan lost when rumors he'd killed his brother got out and he refused to prove his legitimacy. He lost again when he sent three ill-prepared fleets into a death trap. He lost again when everyone around him sensed the weakness he was trying to hide and attacked him all at once, forcing him to respond as brutally as possible with forces STILL demoralized by his lack of legitimacy and now the loss of three sector fleets so quickly. He lost again when he continued throwing meat into the grinder that was Illiesh which was needed to shore up against all the opportunists. He didn't know his enemy and he didn't win before seeking battle.

Kilgs July 27th, 2017 05:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GypsyComet (Post 551716)
Lucan lacked the fleet volume to smash multiple opponents at once, but he insisted on giving those orders anyway. He micromanaged his fleet assets instead of giving his admirals strategic goals.

YMMV but I think it is Hard Times or Empire Falls where some scholar points out that Lucan did two things wrong right away... and the third is the poetic license that I've gleaned which ties the other two together.

1) Raced after Dulinor before consolidating his forces. The Imperium and Fleet strengths are huge and dispersed so he should have waited until gaining critical mass. It takes awhile to get everyone in place and instead he ordered them into the fray as they came so I can only imagine the strung-out lines, dribble of reinforcements and imagine the sheer bureaucratic nightmare of establishing lines of command, communication and everything else that had to be jury-rigged and then relied on. Everyone assumes that the Fleet showed up and acted uniformly loyal but that's a lot of high-ranked folks from all over the Imperium in a very small space... I bet there were some turf wars that hampered the effort.

2) Lucan fancied himself a general. There's a quote from Hard Times talking about how his Imperium's economic situation was actually doing well because finance/economy held little interest in him while he personally made war decisions without the training or experience. In other words, those folks in charge of economics were left alone to keep things working and they did. The military unfortunately suffered under his leadership.

3) Lucan was an insecure and unprepared ruler. He definitely went coo-coo later so maybe the seeds were already there (paranoia/distrust). But he did not trust contrary advice, felt an immediate need to legitimize himself by going after Dulinor and, disastrously, made strategic decisions based on his own reasoning and interpretation of events. He was too far removed (and inexperienced/unstable) from the situation to react with good options... the pretty classic problem with micromanaging and this time it is on an interstellar scale. Not to mention, who did he trust to advise him? Whose counsel was he listening to? Did he believe the reports from the front? When an Admiral asked for time to consolidate before attacking maybe he perceived that as disloyal rather than sound theory.

(And there's 4, it makes for a far cooler setting ;-)

EDIT: Just read some of the other posts and thought this was really important...

Quote:

Originally Posted by epicenter00 (Post 551939)

Most players in the Imperium, when they hear about Dulinor's revolt probably don't seriously expect it to succeed. No, it'll be crushed in a few years, just like the Illiesh Revolt or the Solomani Rim War or any of the other incidents that are numerous but unmentioned in canon history because they're just too local to mention. So the power players instead start thinking about the war as a way to promote their own interests.

Hard Times discusses how the Imperium reacted was due to its last civil war (Admirals War or something). In that, there was no one with a claim to the throne and the real fighting was just between militaries and not civilian populations. No one really cared who won so there was little collateral damage, no planetary invasions etc. The HT scholar notes that everyone assumed it would be the same and completely misjudged the emotional aspect and the differing factors involved in a war between actual claimants as well as involving the population of the Imperium at large... causes so to speak.

Carlobrand July 28th, 2017 12:33 AM

I'm sticking with "the author is God". Too much unlikely stuff in the mix there, but they had an outcome they wanted, and they wrote the story to achieve the outcome. Not the first nor the last writer to go that route in the name of drama.

If I could wish for something, I would wish they spent some time laying the foundation for the story. American civil war was decades in the making, and by the time it happened it was pretty obvious it was going to happen. Fall of Rome, very similar - one can see the underlying trends that pointed in that direction, even if the details might have varied a bit if a few different actors did a few different things. The fall of the first Imperium, the fall of the second, same: the foundations of the events to come were there to see, at least in hindsight.

Here - well, we can't see the foundation. It might be there, it has to be there if we're to accept the events as they occurred, but there hasn't been much up to that point that suggested the Imperium was ripe for that kind of meltdown, and we're left scratching our heads. We assume Dulinor had backing in the Moot that would have revealed themselves and supported his nomination if his plan had gone off correctly, but they weren't about to stand up with a living heir in the palace and their candidate in flight. We assume there was a culture of loyalty strong enough in the Core fleets and in the Core worlds that they drew recruits from that they'd follow the Emperor's orders even with doubts about how he achieved the throne, even as he gave orders that divided their forces and brought new opponents to the field against them. Clearly the fleets and populations of Vland, Ilelish, Daibei, and Delphi were more loyal to their local nobles than to the Emperor. Seems like the Admiralty wasn't shifting around their officers enough to prevent local loyalties from overriding duty to the Emperor.

The regional loyalties that drove the Core fleets to follow bad orders and escalate gradually to total war on Ilelish, and Ilelish to do the same in turn, seems to have been a defining weakness of most of the sectors of the Imperium. Imperium seems to have grown too big to avoid descending into Balkanization.

aramis July 28th, 2017 01:24 AM

THe precedent for the rebellion was there — for all astute fans to see — in supplement 8.

Quote:

Originally Posted by CT S08:LD N–Z, p20-21
But there was also a cheaper, easier route open to many. The dynastic crisis of 244 had produced a precedent for the assassination of the emperor if he or she overstepped the bounds of legitimate activity. The concept was introduced to legitimize the elimination of Cleon the Mad and never intended for any other
purpose. Nevertheless, in the turmoil of the Civil War, assassination was introduced and accepted, at least by those utilizing the technique, as a way of promoting a succession in government.


mike wightman July 28th, 2017 05:02 AM

My players back in '81 noticed this and used it as a means of claiming the throne - happy times.
By the way it is Library Data A-M not N-Z, the latter is supplement 11.

A:1 hinted at the unrest that would lead to the Rebellion - political dissent, illegal imprisonment, unrest on a planetary scale.

Carlobrand July 29th, 2017 01:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aramis (Post 570373)
THe precedent for the rebellion was there — for all astute fans to see — in supplement 8.

Precedent is not foundation. Precedent for taking pot-shots at an emperor does not necessarily translate into the sociopolitical pressures that drive the disintegration of a millenia-old interstellar empire.

aramis July 29th, 2017 01:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Carlobrand (Post 570459)
Precedent is not foundation. Precedent for taking pot-shots at an emperor does not necessarily translate into the sociopolitical pressures that drive the disintegration of a millenia-old interstellar empire.

There were other hints of unrest coming in JTAS and Traveller's Digest.

Ulsyus July 29th, 2017 04:16 PM

Quote:

My logisticians are a humorless lot … they know if my campaign fails, they are the first ones I will slay.
– Alexander the Great

There are some really great assessments in here, this thread is a pleasure to read. Without wanting to sound like there's a duck with a machinegun nudging everything along, the outcome was narrative driven, the conflict inevitable in a setting where the status-quo was going to be irrevocably changed and nicely set up by the historical precedents (or taking advantage of them).

I like the quote above, because I think it could just as easily be attributed to Lucan as it could to Alexander.

In the big-hands little-maps world of intra-Imperial conflict, maybe Lucan simply had more capacity to produce stuff, enabling him to keep in the fight but, as pointed out in so many posts, not sustain sufficient localised superiority of force that would enable him to defeat the legion of enemies surrounding him.

Peter Newman June 29th, 2018 08:10 AM

"My question is how do you see that having happened?"

Defeat in detail. To quote JMS "Only an idiot fights a war on two fronts, Only the heir to the throne of the King of idiots fights a war on twelve fronts!"

Lucan was fighting a war against: Dulinor, Margaret, Antares, Vland, the Solmani, the Aslan, Daibei, the Real Strephon, some Vargr, some of his own population against insinuations of fratricide, and, eventually, Virus. You do the math.

jcrocker July 1st, 2018 06:53 PM

To be fair, Lucan did just have Dulinor as a dedicated opponent at the start. Most of the rest of the Imperial factions resulted in Lucan's bad management.

To be even more fair, it all looks like a terminal case of "writer's fiat" from here. So he was outta luck from the get-go.

BRJN August 5th, 2018 06:54 PM

Lucan is a teenager when:
"Lucan, did you finish reading the book on Grand Strategy I mentioned to you?"
"Yes, Uncle Strephon. Grand Strategy is when I tell the Admirals what to do, and they go do it."
"Errrmmm … we need to talk."

-From this point, I doubt I'm being very original.-
Lucan has several problems to overcome.
* Shaky rise to the throne. He crowns himself and gets into a fight with the Moot about it. Instead, announce you are taking charge for the duration of the emergency; meanwhile the proper ceremonies and procedures will be undertaken in due course. Try to cooperate in public and downplay anything you find embarrassing (like a request for DNA).
* Surrounded by enemies. Lucan has no secure flanks. Some of those enemies are self-inflicted (Daibei).
* Personality disorders. Lucan is described like a 3 years old once he gets a taste of Power. Is he shooting everybody who tells him, "You gotta keep your cool in public"?
* No sense of priorities. You can rally the Imperium to defeat the Treacherous Assassin, but not if you rant at, and mortally offend, your subordinates (Brzk).
* Scorched-earth tactics aimed at civilians and the Imperium's material infrastructure demonstrates that NOBODY will be safe with him in charge over them.

BwapTED August 6th, 2018 11:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BRJN (Post 590578)
Lucan is a teenager when:
"Lucan, did you finish reading the book on Grand Strategy I mentioned to you?"
"Yes, Uncle Strephon. Grand Strategy is when I tell the Admirals what to do, and they go do it."
"Errrmmm … we need to talk."

-From this point, I doubt I'm being very original.-
Lucan has several problems to overcome.
* Shaky rise to the throne. He crowns himself and gets into a fight with the Moot about it. Instead, announce you are taking charge for the duration of the emergency; meanwhile the proper ceremonies and procedures will be undertaken in due course. Try to cooperate in public and downplay anything you find embarrassing (like a request for DNA).
* Surrounded by enemies. Lucan has no secure flanks. Some of those enemies are self-inflicted (Daibei).
* Personality disorders. Lucan is described like a 3 years old once he gets a taste of Power. Is he shooting everybody who tells him, "You gotta keep your cool in public"?
* No sense of priorities. You can rally the Imperium to defeat the Treacherous Assassin, but not if you rant at, and mortally offend, your subordinates (Brzk).
* Scorched-earth tactics aimed at civilians and the Imperium's material infrastructure demonstrates that NOBODY will be safe with him in charge over them.


Lucan is an example of why Right of Assassination is not an entirely bad idea.
But of course nobody uses it on him.

McPerth August 7th, 2018 12:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BRJN (Post 590578)
Lucan is a teenager when:
"Lucan, did you finish reading the book on Grand Strategy I mentioned to you?"
"Yes, Uncle Strephon. Grand Strategy is when I tell the Admirals what to do, and they go do it."
"Errrmmm … we need to talk."

-From this point, I doubt I'm being very original.-
Lucan has several problems to overcome.
* Shaky rise to the throne. He crowns himself and gets into a fight with the Moot about it. Instead, announce you are taking charge for the duration of the emergency; meanwhile the proper ceremonies and procedures will be undertaken in due course. Try to cooperate in public and downplay anything you find embarrassing (like a request for DNA).
* Surrounded by enemies. Lucan has no secure flanks. Some of those enemies are self-inflicted (Daibei).
* Personality disorders. Lucan is described like a 3 years old once he gets a taste of Power. Is he shooting everybody who tells him, "You gotta keep your cool in public"?
* No sense of priorities. You can rally the Imperium to defeat the Treacherous Assassin, but not if you rant at, and mortally offend, your subordinates (Brzk).
* Scorched-earth tactics aimed at civilians and the Imperium's material infrastructure demonstrates that NOBODY will be safe with him in charge over them.

This has reminded me about this TNS I posted in April fools' day 2013:

Quote:

Originally Posted by McPerth (Post 428066)
Capital, Core2118 A 586498 F date:91-1112

:alpha:Admiral Santanocheev has been named today Naval Attaché for young prince Lucan.

:alpha:After being sacked from command in Spindward Marces for alleged mismanagement of the war against the Zhodani, Admiral Santanocheev has been judged by the admiralty and found not guilty, and gossip says a new duty was been looked for him.

:alpha:“Someone with his connections was sure not to be condemned and was sure to find a new assignment”, told to this reporter an officer of INI, who asked for anonimity (Santanocheev's relations with INI have been strained at best times). “He almost lost the war for the Imperium, and at least at this mostly honorific post he could not mess things as he did in his last command”.

:alpha:As Prince Lucan is prince nearly only in name, yet protocol requires a naval attaché for him to learn about naval matters, most people agree about this being an honorific post without influence, and gossip says he has been put on it as a golden retire, so to say.:omega:


April's fool :D


Cryton August 7th, 2018 02:36 PM

I'm sure that communications lag played a part in it.

Kilgs August 10th, 2018 09:38 PM

It's also a consideration to consider the mental acuity of Lucan when it comes to considering "how did things go so wrong so fast?"

The Imperium is HUGE. It gathers more information than anything in existence on everything that affects it, it has more factions and "parties" than any earth government, it has aliens to deal with, crushing numbers of logistics, trade concerns across not a planet but a thousand planets, not to mention a significant amount of autonomy granted to those planets... all of these things must be well-balanced on a razor's edge.

If the person in charge of keeping it balanced is unbalanced themselves and/or focuses on certain things to the exclusion of others, it is a recipe for disaster.

It's almost impossible to conceive of the Imperium functioning well when a significant portion (Dulinor) has done the unthinkable and destabilized it. Add to that a monomaniac (solely focused on killing Dulinor/legitimizing his reign) with some serious instability issues (whether or not they developed over time or were always there) and you have a sugar confectionery of ultimate disaster.

The sheer scale of ruling such a vast territory/population would likely require an intellect and disposition of nearly inhuman capability or absolute trust in aides/representatives to manage their corner of things.

Take away the brilliance, add in distrust of the government machine and nobility, spice with that aforementioned monomania... doesn't seem too hard to envision that someone would muck things up pretty quickly, blame the apparatus and further the distrust to the point where one man tried to be everything. This is one of the narratives that is discussed where Lucan tried to run the war and diplomacy himself instead of delegating across a million parsecs.

(Amusing note in HT is that the economy ran fine because he had no interest in it therefore the government apparatus continued functioning well until the very end.)

But... yes, it was a disaster because it needed to be a disaster. Frankly, I find it hard to believe that it lasted as long as it did.

Xerxeskingofking August 11th, 2018 09:10 AM

disclaimer: I'm not that read up on the Rebellion fluff, so I might be missing stuff here, but my 0.02Cr on the matter:


I aggree with the general feeling that the rebellion, as written, feels forced, and the cracks that opened so wide just didn't seem to exist in the preceding material that we had to work with (saying the "imperium is not a strong as it appears at first glance" is not the same as saying the "Imperium system is so fragile that a single bad succession could rip the whole edifice apart".) to this, all I can suggest is that most background material is focused on the peoples of the Spinward Marches, a border zone, and one that has a clear external threat to unify against. They may be much more unified and have a greater belief in the value of the Imperium than the citizens of the Core that have no conceivable external threats, It's already noted in fluff that the domain of Deneb has something of a different culture (look at the use of "behind the claw" as a label, which implies a stereotype to associate with the label).




on Lucan and his inability to beat Dulinor, I aggree with others that their might well have been a element of "the imperium is Too Big To Fail" in the thinking of many, much as it played a part in the fall of the 1st imperium.

another factor that might be the speed at which the initial events happened on Capital, which might have sown many of the seeds of distrust.

Due to the time lags involved in interstellar governance, the Moot and most nobles were quite likely used to having the luxury of time in order to decide what to do, because taking a week to deliberate didn't add that much lag to a order that took six months to reach the frontier, and it would take just as long for the results to filter back. Hell, they were likely used to rubber-stamping the actions of the nobles on the spot because the local duke had already made his decision and was months into implementing it before they even heard about it.


Then, suddenly, if the space of a few hours, several of the foundational assumptions of the game are overturned. The Emperor. the ultimate arbiter in their power struggles, was dead, as was his established Heir, and killed by a man who they mostly thought of as one of the Emperors allies.

This assassin, their peer and a fellow player of the game, then demanded that they recognise him as Emperor, claiming the throne and "winning" the game, on the basis of a rule not used in 500 years. Naturally enough, the moot thought that this, for lack of a better word, was cheating, and refused to condone the power play that broke almost every rule they knew about the game. So Dulinor flees, having misread the Moot totally.

Then, Lucan turns up and basically demands the same thing that Dulinor did. At this point, He's already declared himself Emperor, started rattling off orders, and is really just waiting for the Moot to rubber stamp his accession to the throne.


No one is really sure what us actually happening, who is involved and what their end goals are. Lucan might be in the line of sucession, but what happened to his brother? Could all this be a power play by Lucan? The Moot is using to having time, time to think, to plot, to scheme, to bargain and compromise, but now it hasn't got time for any of that. The Moot is being presented with a fait accompli. Lucan is now emperor, loyal citizen. please sign here on the dotted line, and I can get on with the business of crushing this revolt.



But the Moot knows, not just thinks, but knows, that they choose the next Emperor. Lucan was third in line, true but thats because someone had to be, and no one seriously expected him to become Emperor*. Their must have been half a dozen nobles in the Moot who, arguably, were better suited for the Throne than Lucan.

Thus, they hesitate, and try and delay, because they desire time, time to understand what is going on and for the situation to crystallise.


Lucan, on the other hand, sees things differently. His world has also just been turned upside down. He has just lost several close family members. A man he trusted has just committed the ultimate betrayal, and he has just survived a attempt on his own life.

The time to act is now. He knows that Dulinor is already on the way back to his Domain to rally his fleets and start a war. He needs to get the Imperium moving, to mobilise it, before any more time is lost and Dulinor can march on capital.

But the Moot is hesitating, quibbling, and their are rumours that he had something to do with his brothers death**. Why are they stalling? I am the rightful heir, unexcepted though my accession is. The imperium is facing a crisis, and needs a strong government to direct it though the storm, so why they blocking the only man who can give them that? Are they in on the plot? are they also traitors? can I trust any of them?


Lucan might not have been paranoid before, but he's just had a deeply traumatic event happen to him, and he wouldn't be the first to have trust issues afterwards. And, you could argue he wasn't really that paranoid afterwards, considering the number of people who really were out to get him.

This inability to trust others is likely the foundation of the micro managing aspects of his personality. He likely knows that its a sub optimal way of doing things, but he just doesn't trust his underlings anymore.




*although I must question the fact that the Emperor, his anointed direct heir, plus his de jure second and third heirs, all lived in same building for 10+ years, and no one thought that this was a bad practice. plently of things the 3I could have flattened the Imperial Palace and everyone in it, and not all of them require malicious intent.



**is it ever established if he did or didn't?

McPerth August 13th, 2018 02:00 PM

DISCLAIMER: all of this is dependnet on my take of the IN standard procedures and naval strategy.

Another point that lead to the inconclusive static front in the Lucan/Dulinor may have been the organization of the IN itself...

As I see it, the IN is organized in several layers, mostly the crust defense and the deep reserves.

The first one (crust defense) is where most jump capable warships are organized, as they are better to delaying and intelligence , actions and to retreat at short notice (without having to recover their BRs), as well as to hit and run commerce raiding, as their ships can divide in smaller units (even single combat ships). Of course, those same reasons make them suited for reccon in force actions.

The second one (deep reserve) is where mors of the BT/BR are assigned, as they are more an offensive branch to be used in masse, as any situation where they must retreat is likely to end in disaster.

Of course, the interior parts of the Imperium are likely to have little (if anyting) in the way of crust defense, just a handful of cruisers for anti-piracy and an even smaller number of probably old battleships for "diplomatic" missions (to show the flag and perform gunboat diplomacy when some trouble arises), bein formed mostly by BT/BR units to reinforce the borders when needed. They relied on the ships already in the crust defense misión for those vital missions.

IT's also likely that Dulinor, planning for the coup for years, has increased this kind of ships (the fact he IN failed to notice it can only be explained by a full control of it in its domain), but when Lucan found himself as de facto Emperor, and with the state of mind Xerxes describes, he ordered a full ofensive with only those offensive and less flexible BT/BR units, without the support of the jump capable combat ships needed for those missons (mostly for the reccon in force).

So, those units advanced with little intelligence, probably losing many smaller ships used to obtain it (but unaware to stand aainst even the smallest opposition) against aa fleet with higher capacity in those roles, probably leading to several ambushes.

And also the reinforcements from other sectors are likely to be mostly those deep reserve units, wile most of the crust reserve units remaining in place (and having problems for the lack of reserves, to the point some sectors just fell).

SO, after both fletes, mostly offensive and with limited delaying and reccon capacities (though Dulinor had an adevantage here) clashed, losses where enormous, leading to situation not unlike the initial moves of WWI, and the answer was the same, to dig in and waiting for some strategical advantage to ressume the offensive.

In the meanwhile, several more fronts opened to Lucan, most fo them also with better crust deense (and so raiding and recon in orce capacity) than himself, and his rage lead him to confront them, despite none of them was taking ofensive moves, and so distracting more ressources, and leading to more losses. while Dulinor did not have this problem (Strephon Stronglod front was minor for him, and it did not take ofensive moves),

Of course, as said, this is my take on naval operations, and YMMV...


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