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Re: [GZG] [OT] Books (Weber/White/Meier)

From: Oerjan Ariander <orjan.ariander1@c...>
Date: Sun, 20 Jul 2008 16:53:21 +0200
Subject: Re: [GZG] [OT] Books (Weber/White/Meier)

Eric Foley wrote:

> >>Further comments below Indy's original message with spoiler warning
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> >>HERE
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> >>BE
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> >>SPOILERS....
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> >As for why the Bugs became a paper tiger after Pesthouse, it is quite
> >simple: the entire Hegemony consisted of around thirty inhabited star
> >systems, against the Alliance's many hundreds of systems. Once the
Bugs had
> >run out of mothballed SDNs to reactivate and send into battle, their
> >reinforcements were new production units... and even though the five
> >Hives could easily outproduce any *five* Alliance systems, they had
> >chance in hell against the top five *hundred* Alliance systems.
>Yeah.	And ultimately that was really the problem.  It's fundamentally
>war book where the war lacks all drama once the good guys simply
>the initial thrust.

Oh, I certainly agree with that! The ISW4 books are basically a
report from a StarFire campaign, where one side gets the upper hand and
snowball starts to roll. Once that happens in a campaign, everyone can
the writing on the wall - the only way such a campaign will survive is
some of the other players change sides (ie., if the Alliance was to
up) - and with the Bugs attempting genocide against both the primary 
partners of the Alliance, there was literally no way that would happen

(FWIW W&W wrote the ISW4 scenario module first, and later on used it as
synopsis for the novels; same with Crusade. A pity they didn't follow up

with a novelization of the original Stars at War scenarios though,
ISW1-3 and the GKW. OK, ISW3 played out pretty much the same as ISW4,
the other three wars all ended in negotiated treaties and would've made
a far more interesting read than either ISW4 or Crusade...)

>The Home Hives were described as star systems so heavily industrialized

>that any _one_ of the planets in those systems could outproduce Old

Er... not exactly. That was the *estimate* of the survey crew that first

discovered Home Hive V, but it wasn't entirely accurate - partly because

they based their estimate on humanity's more advanced tech base, and
because they didn't have that much time to do a thorough survey of the

>and between the five Home Hives there were about fifteen planets to
>tune or so.

The Home Hives had a total of sixteen inhabited planets, but not all of 
them were equally massively populated or industrialized.

>Old Terra was supposed to be the most industrially developed world of
>Alliance, where no other planet even came close.

No other *planet* in the Alliance came close, but Sol only has a single 
easily inhabitable planet. Proxima Centauri for example has *two* garden

worlds, and even though neither of its two worlds by itself can match
Terra the pair of them together does come within shouting distance. FWIW

the Proxima system as a whole was more productive than either of the two

weakest Home Hives (III and IV).

>Maybe all the frontier worlds supposedly made up for this,

Not so much the *frontier* worlds (eg. Golan, Indra, Erebor,
to name just a few) as the several dozens of second-tier old colony
like Epsilon Eridani or Rehfrak that rated from one-third to half of 
Proxima economically (or between two-thirds and five-sixths of HH3) and
myriad of smaller but still substantial colonies like Remus or the other

systems of that cluster. Sure, Sol was about an order of magnitude more 
productive than Remus - but the Alliance had hundreds of systems like

The Hegemony OTOH was tiny. I mis-counted the inhabited Bug systems in
previous post BTW (sorry for that); they had in fact only settled *ten* 
systems aside from the Home Hives (although they controlled another 
twenty-odd systems) - and those ten systems combined only roughly
HH IV economically, providing about 10% of the Hegemony's total income. 
(Home Hive II provided a staggering 36% of the Hegemony's total income;
I and V just under 20% each, and HH III 6% of the total.)

>and I suppose it was described as a situation where the Arachnids were 
>more dangerous than any other enemy the Alliance ever fought... but
>at that, would it really have hurt the story to make the outcome a
>more in doubt long term?

It wouldn't have hurt for the books, but how? Once the landings in
and Normandy had succeeded, what doubt was there left about the eventual

outcome of WW2? Even the Bulge was really just a minor setback in the 
greater perspective...



"Life is like a sewer.
  What you get out of it, depends on what you put into it."

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