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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 10:26 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 18th, 2016 11:19 PM

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 12:38 AM

How did Lucan fail to defeat Dulinor?

POETIC LICENSE.

/thread.

LeperColony October 19th, 2016 06:20 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 06:34 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 07:57 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 09:52 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 19th, 2016 11:05 PM

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 11:23 AM

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 12:30 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.


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