From a post to DAVIDWEBER.NET forums on 12/29/2011

'Scout frigates' part I

Cheopis wrote:
blackjack217 wrote:
Renegade13 wrote:

    O.M.G.

    What is wrong with some of you people?????

    #1 - The conditions in the Honorverse are what RFC says that they are - no more, no less. If he changes his mind somewhere down the road, that is HIS PREROGATIVE!!!!

    #2 - Arguing with him about something that he has emphatically stated his decision about only does two things; a) irritates someone that we shouldn't annoy (he CAN do as he wishes with his characters and concepts!), and b) results in him having to spend time answering the foolishness - time that he could otherwise be spending WRITING NEW BOOKS!!!!!

    It is fun to exchange ideas about possible future events; outcomes of story lines; and debate decisions and comparisons about all the myriad of things here in the Honorverse... but to keep beating a dead horse - one that RFC has ruled on MORE THAN ONCE!!! - is idiotic. Get a brain people - and DO NOT ANNOY THE AUTHOR!!!!

    Maybe he should have someone try using frigates in one of his books… with predictable consequences XD

    All DW would have to do is say "Because I said so!" for me to stop arguing about it, but he's defending it rather than put it in the handwavium department where it belongs. If he defends it, the arguments need to make sense, but they don't make *enough* sense either economically or strategically.

     

    YOU don't think they make enough sense. I do.

    This is a nonstarter. Not going to happen. No way, no how, in any Honorverse navy. End of story. Finished.

    I've done people who think it's a good idea the courtesy of trying to explain why it isn't. And, no, Cheopis, I was not speaking solely of post-tonnage creep sized FGs. I was talking about any frigates.

    The role you are postulating for scouts makes no sense whatsoever given the capabilities of drone technology in hostile systems, the existence of passive sensor arrays for own systems, the vulnerability of the type, the manpower sink they would constitute, and the maintainence and operating costs of a horde of platforms whose sole function is to do a half-assed job of something destroyers can already do better and at lower risk if they crap out and happen to come out of hyper close enough to a bad guy to get shot at. You cannot power a frigate with a fission plant; a fission-powered LAC spends a hell of a lot of time charging up really big and nasty capacitors for little things like bringing up its impeller wedge and weapons; navies which have not adopted the Manties advanced fission technology still have to put fusion plants into their LACs at a significant volume penalty, and even the RTN's "double-Shrike" frigate --- and, God, given the way some people have fastened on that term, how I wish I had never used or allowed Eric to use a thoroughly inaccurate term for it! --- uses a fusion plant.

    Teeny-tiny little "frigates" are not going to be built by any sane navy in peacetime because they are utterly and completely useless. They're way to small for SAR, and how the heck many courier boats do you think a navy needs? And they are not going to be built by any wartime navy because they are single-function platforms which become a resource sink in terms of any other mission and there are multui-function platforms which can do the same job better and can also --- gasp! --- do other things, as well, thus providing a much, much greater return on the resources invested in them.

    The ships you are talking about building, in relationship to the mission that you're talking about fulfilling, makes as little sense --- less sense, really --- than the yachts, speedboats, and resurrected WW I subchasers the USN threw out into its coastal waters in 1941 instead of adopting convoy tactics immediately upon the German declaration of war. The bloody, costly, stupid fiasco that resulted from that decision is left for the student to research on his own.

    If you need scouting capability and you don't have the technology to come up with something better than a "frigate" to do the job, then you should have your flint nappers working on something more worthwhile, because you sure as heck don't have any business getting into a shooting war with someone who actually has a tech base more advanced than black powder and bayonets.

    The only reason I didn't address this "scout frigate" notion in my most recent posts was that no one else was suggesting building the things for that function and I --- silly me --- thought I'd already disposed of it in earlier comments.

    Please now consider it disposed of… at least as far as any Honorverse navy accepting the dubious logic of building the thing.