Critique – The Damocles Sanction by Michael J. Ciaravella

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10/22/23 08:54 AM

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*** Danger Will Robinson! Spoilers – You’ve been warned ***

First please add a star map of all the worlds discussed … then add a chart of all people within the book including titles, rank, and relationships.

Primary Weaknesses

An attachment to nostalgic illusion, the date is January 3151 onwards, it is NOT 3000 onwards.

Thus, I must ask the overriding question, where is the technological development? Example - Many of the mechs utilized are from an antiquated age – professional military forces should be upgrading their weapon systems leading to the establishment of massive new military units on all sides – All Houses / Periphery States should also have access to multiple new Jump-ship / warship construction sites to enable mass naval engagements as well as new ‘Mech / aerospace / vehicle construction sites – Where is the modernizing of each state that provides economic development equivalent to USA WWII? Establish a new military industrial complex on worlds which maintain a high technological status, as it appears that the story is stuck in the illusion that every world cannot develop beyond its year 3000 technological status (technological and numerical superiority??) – that is unless the Clans redevelop the world as the I.S. is incapable.

Can someone please explain how the Clans transferred their workers / military industrial complex to the I.S. as how could they establish an empire without a dedicated and educated workforce – so where are all the transport ships for their people who were once located on the Clan home worlds.

Please Explain!!!!!!!

… and now to the points that require elucidation …

Pg 5 – Friendly Persuaders – due to the lack of transport, shouldn’t their numbers have been minimal given the number of check points? – within New Avalon City Only. The primary police force should have been DCMS infantry acting within an MP capacity. Logic Vichy France WWII.

Pg 62 – Planetary Assault – Naval experience – any salty admiral with experience should understand how to hide a naval unit within a moon’s Sensor Shadow! To rectify this shouldn’t the FS have an aerospace fighter picket (with AWACS) to ensure such an eventuality does not occur. Thus, as the DCMS can manufacture bases on lunar surfaces (Grey Death – Second Novel, if I remember correctly) why not have a hidden base where assault dropships erupt from hidden silos built into the surface (similar to the nuclear ICBM) – thus providing the surprise factor when the FS forces slingshot past the lunar surface on their way to New Avalon.

Pg 83 - DCMS desertions – Really? How are they going to escape New Avalon and mob rule?

Pg 85 – as discussed throughout the book there is no trust between the First Prince and that of his Dukes (Champion). As rivals the FS are just one bad step away from Civil War / Fracturing the FS. Even when attempting a resolution of peace individual perspectives just get in the way.
It is interesting to see how fractured the FS is due to past misconceptions.

Pg 89 - Gunji-no-kanrei Matsuhari Toranaga – pilot of an Atlas – can someone please explain who’s storied mech this was before Toranaga received it as obtaining the rank of Gunji-no-kanrei his position would demand either a Mech with a storied history or a new DCMS Mech that symbolizes his position.
Remember when Theordore Kurita (31st Cent.) graduated from Wisdom of the Dragon – his father Takashi provided him with a dragon, however Florimel Kurita was able to override this by providing him with Aleksandr Kerensky’s Orion – so can this please be explained?

Pg 89 / 90 the retreat of Genyosha and the Ryuken-hachi off planet – Toranaga had to provide coordinates for hidden dropships- so what happened to those assigned to these units? Also does this show that a commander cannot trust allied DCMS units whist on campaign – does he need to keep them loyal by removing their transport?

Also can anyone explain how the FS gained air superiority sometime during these battles and yet did not utilize them for any future battles against DCMS Mechs in future battles?

And at the same time why didn’t they send assault dropships in advance of the DCMS to the Zenith / Nadir point (armed with marines) to capture their Jump-ships? Thus marooning these two units in-system. The capture / destruction of which would have provided the DC with psychological trauma.

Where are the FS aerospace assets and interdiction drop-ships, in orbit, that should be used to engage them whilst they are in such a vulnerable position? Once again, we see the enemy skipping out on the bill rather than obliterating units – which could demonstrate a desire by TPTB to preserve their favourites …

And once more we see a battle that only relates to Battle-Mechs – So where are the Vehicles, Infantry, Power Armour, VTOL etc? as the first vehicle discussed is an APC post conclusion of the battle.
The DCMS had multiple years to transport their support forces – so where are they?
And as for the FS’s support services – as per Pg 109 – the majority were weeks away from arriving – Really?

Pg 103 – The start of most egregious errors within the book! - Gunji-no-kanrei Matsuhari Toranaga surrenders both himself and the 5th Sword of Light to Field Marshal Sandoval!!!!!!

Sorry but NO NO NO – such a storied DCMS unit commanded by the Gunji-no-kanrei has only one option here – this is a fight to the death if your machine falls then seppuku!!!!! So there is absolutely no way Toranaga would have been captured alive – as it would have absolutely ruin his biography within the DC history books as the Samurai who captured New Avalon.
As this was explained on Pg 109 – Combine soldiers are trained to fight to the very end.

Pg 108 – Once more I groan – how many centuries have the FS and the DC been at war? And yet we are expected to believe that the FC hierarchy believe that when Toranaga surrenders their DCMS infantry will also surrender their hostages at the time, and will not go insane and kill everyone in a final act of vengeance. Really? This is why during the final battle (and not after the final battle) their special forces should have been utilized to rescue the hostages.
So why it was attempted the other way is beyond understanding.

Pg 131 – Toranaga “I knew from the moment I awoke in one of your MASH units that my part of [in] this war was over.” And yet Pg 103 – Erik straightened in shock as the Atlas awkwardly bowed from where it knelt … so how did Toranaga receive ocular vision damage? It was never really explained.

Pg 142 – it will take years to rebuild the manufacturing capabilities the FC lost to the Combine – Really? From 3025 onwards every House and Periphery Stare should have instructed their military industrial capabilities to establish satellite sites throughout the realm to maximise production – and yet we are expected to believe this never occurred – as well as never obtaining Clan Weapons Tech by 3151 – sorry but this dog don’t hunt!

Part 2 ….

More political intrigue than battles …. That was interesting to read – as there is no trust anymore.

And yet we are expected to believe a rescue mission of a Duke on Taurian Worlds is easily accomplished …

And finally can someone explain how Clan Sea Fox can move their ships with such ease, and very quickly, throughout the I.S. to find a lone dropship on the run with such ease?
Get thee to Coventry … Now is the winter of our discontent, made glorious by this daughter of Tharkad … Our army shall march through. Well to New Avalon tonight.
10/22/23 01:25 PM

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What happened to the Inner Sphere's military-industrial complex in the 3070-3130 period is pretty well documented in novels, sourcebooks, and Sarna's wiki. In 3151, the Houses were still scrambling to rebuild their militaries and Davion was in a rough spot due to losses in the 3140s. That's why they're not all fielding legions of Clantech OmniMechs.

I'm not sure why you'd make a comparison to the US in WW2. Sensible technological development would mean that the 31st Century would be using black hole cannons, nanotech swarms, antimatter warheads, and causal disruption systems, not 'Mechs. Sensible economics and industrial development would give each Houses hundreds of thousands of regiments (or lots of blackhole cannons), not merely dozens of frontline 'Mech regiments.

BattleTech is about big, stompy 'Mechs bashing each other at short range on the battlefield, not rotating annoying solar systems out of causal contact with our universe with fleets of millions of mass-produced AI death machines.
Mike Miller, Materials Engineer

Disclaimer: Anything stated in this post is unofficial and non-canon unless directly quoted from a published book. Random internet musings of a BattleTech writer are not canon.
10/22/23 06:16 PM

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How droll!

FS 3050-3151 how many worlds were NEVER attacked within this period of time, hundreds?

How easy could it have been for any First Prince to implement a policy where the FS Government will assist corporations to establish multiple military industrial sites upon these worlds – thereby establishing military security for the FS in the future?
Eg. where are the hidden naval yards as all commerce / war is dependent upon Jumpship / warship numbers!

US WWII - Where is the modernizing of each state that provides economic development equivalent to USA WWII? - their military industrial complex (at this point in time) was staggering it was outproducing every other country combined production (total war production – Eg. production of a victory ship was faster than they could be destroyed by submarine attack) . War is as much about economics / logistics / replacement material and personnel on the home-front as it is about the fighting on the front lines. If the FS can out-produce all other enemies in a war of attrition due to its expanded military industrial complex then it has the ability to succeed in a future where multi front warfare is more likely than single – Eg. Taurians, Capellans and Combine at the same time is a reality by the end of the book. Thus, the First Price MUST initiate an expansion to their military industrial complex if they are able to survive – and in all reality this should have commenced prior to the 4th Succession War – also where is the military industrial complex expansion of 3055? As a sane ruler would have established these new production facilities upon safe worlds within their rear – hidden from border enemy assaults.

BattleTech is about big, stompy 'Mechs bashing each other at short range on the battlefield, not rotating annoying solar systems out of causal contact with our universe with fleets of millions of mass-produced AI death machines.

BattleTech is a war game – that includes infantry, power-armour, vehicles, VTOL, normal fighters, aerospace fighters, dropships, warships etc As how many FS units are RCTs?

If you only want Battlemechs then come up with a reason why they no longer exist on the battlefield, problem is they do exist thus you have no choice but to include them. As how do you expect ‘Mechs to rescue hostages within a fortress?

So can we please have a professional military that will include all Omni weapon systems – otherwise we are still stuck in a year 3000 illusion of military patchwork – by 3151 we should have moved beyond this by now!
Get thee to Coventry … Now is the winter of our discontent, made glorious by this daughter of Tharkad … Our army shall march through. Well to New Avalon tonight.
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