The destruction of the Vesuvius

Jason_Ryock

Vice Admiral
Well here's my problem with that argument, Quarto.

That argument presumes that Blair changes sides - but he didn't really do that. What side did he join? The Border Worlds? The Border Worlds were still nominally under Confederation rule (even if they didn't acknowledge it) until post-Conflict when they were recognized with independence.

Further, if the argument is that Border Worlds were already independent and always independent, then Blair was never actually an officer of the Confederation, given that he would be, in fact, a citizen of the Border Worlds rather then the Confederation and it could be argued that his assumption of Command was based on his loyalty to the UBW.

Since the UBW are still under technically, if not actually accepting of, Confederation move it could strongly be argued that personnel who served with the UBW military during the time of the crisis were in fact still operating under Confederation authority.
 

Mancubus

Rear Admiral
Well here's my problem with that argument, Quarto.

That argument presumes that Blair changes sides - but he didn't really do that. What side did he join? The Border Worlds? The Border Worlds were still nominally under Confederation rule (even if they didn't acknowledge it) until post-Conflict when they were recognized with independence.

The Borer Worlds did declare their independance before Blair's defection. Now what do you, as an American consider to be the birth of your country, the Declaration of Independance or the moment US was recognized by Britain.

Also, Blair WAS a comissioned TCSF officer so the only possible move to the Outworld Fleet was a defection just as if any British officer joining the continental army would be concidered defector by the British, even if he was born or living at the time in thirteen colonies

All edits to improve ortography
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Oh, this is ridiculous. We're not discussing subtle legalities here (though it should be clear enough you'd be wrong even then), for crying out loud - this is the military we're talking about. They have a pretty simple way of understanding these things - if an officer refuses to obey your orders and tries to kill you, he's a mutineer, and obviously is not under your authority. That's the very definition of mutiny - the refusal to recognise your superiors' authority.

Stop already with these idiotic technicalities. How much more ridiculous are you gonna make this? Why, the Thirteen Colonies were still nominally under British rule, so I guess General Washington remained a loyal British officer all the while he was fighting British forces.
 

Jason_Ryock

Vice Admiral
Oh, this is ridiculous. We're not discussing subtle legalities here (though it should be clear enough you'd be wrong even then), for crying out loud - this is the military we're talking about. They have a pretty simple way of understanding these things - if an officer refuses to obey your orders and tries to kill you, he's a mutineer, and obviously is not under your authority. That's the very definition of mutiny - the refusal to recognise your superiors' authority.

But there are all kinds of provisions in place to also protect officers who disobey orders that will break the law.

Stop already with these idiotic technicalities. How much more ridiculous are you gonna make this? Why, the Thirteen Colonies were still nominally under British rule, so I guess General Washington remained a loyal British officer all the while he was fighting British forces.

I don't know, if the British had won the war, can't you see them charge him under those kinds of charges exactly?
 

Mancubus

Rear Admiral
I don't know, if the British had won the war, can't you see them charge him under those kinds of charges exactly?

I didn't se general Lee charged under those kinds of charges after American Civil War.

To tell the truth, your being stupid now. Stop it
 

Jason_Ryock

Vice Admiral
I didn't se general Lee charged under those kinds of charges after American Civil War.

That was entirely separate set of circumstances. If you will recall, the Union of Border Worlds had never signed the Articles of the Confederation, which means legally, they were never technically under the authority or members of the Terran Confederation.

Where as with the United States, the states in question were in fact part of the United States Government who had in fact voted to leave it.

However, there are some additional facts that are missing from your comparison. Firstly, Lee, like others, had to reconstitute their US Citizenship following the war. They were not in fact considered US Citizens until they had accepted it. Secondly, the purpose of the Civil War was re-unification. It made no sense to charge Lee - still a powerfully symbolic figure to the South, with crimes that would only antagonize those that they wanted to join back with the United States.

The goal of the UBW was completely opposite of this approach - they were in fact seeking to completely disassociate themselves with the Terran Confederation.

In regards to Lee specifically however, there is an additional element missing from your story - which is that he requested amnesty and full pardon in exchange for his swearing of allegiance to the President, but because of bureaucratic nonsense it was never taken care of. However, the man in charge of the paperwork is alleged to have 'known' that it had already been addressed by the powers that be, and so the paperwork was only a formality.

To tell the truth, your being stupid now. Stop it

Come on now, this isn't a flame war and I'm trolling just for the sake of trolling. I rather find this discussion on the finer points of naval policies, law, and citizen ship to be fascinating. If you can't stomache it and the best response you can come up with is to start name calling, then please don't respond to my posts.

Back on topic...it seems we've hit on some issues here:

1) What is the status of Eisen (both Citizenship and Commision) during the conflict?
2) What is the status of Blair (both Citizenship and Commision) during the Conflict?
3) What is the status of Blair (both Citizenship and Commission) AFTER the conflict?
4) Did Paulson in fact have the legal authority under the chain of command to authorize the destruction of Eisen's shuttle?
5) Was Paulson's order in fact an order that could have been 'legally' disobeyed?
6) Exactly what was Tolwyn's position in the Confederation during the Conflict?

I don't think anyone here can answer with any degree of certainty what exactly the answer - legally - to any of these questions is. We certainly know that they were perceived not to be members of the Confederation anymore, but I'm not sure any court would in fact rule that way giving the situation.

Someone mentioned the Gettysburg incident, I would like to mention another similar incident in which a later famous ship captain refused an order to fire on a ship full of civilian escaping Kilrathi. By the definitions posted in this thread, he was a traitor, a mutineer, a defector, lost his Confederation citizenship, and could have been legally executed at any time without a court martial.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
But there are all kinds of provisions in place to also protect officers who disobey orders that will break the law.
Yes - but Blair and Eisen *threw away* all of those provisions when they chose to *shoot* at the Confed officers trying to bring them in. We saw this exact situation in SO1 - until the Gettysburg crew surrendered, Blair was allowed to shoot at them, even though their mutiny had been triggered by an illegal order. And when the mutineers did surrender, they were still locked up until a court-martial could determine if they were right to refuse that order - and you can be certain that if any of the surrendering mutineers had shot other Confed officers (or civilians) during the course of the mutiny, they would be executed as traitors *regardless* of the fact that their mutiny was triggered by an illegal order. Because, as should be obvious to anyone, an illegal order is not an acceptable excuse to shoot at your fellow soldiers.

I don't know, if the British had won the war, can't you see them charge him under those kinds of charges exactly?
Exactly! Yes! That's the whole damn point! Had Washington surrendered, they would have put him up in court (...and executed him as a traitor, obviously). In the meantime, there was nobody stupid enough amongst the British to speculate that you know, technically, the rebel forces are under British authority because they're led by a British officer. Everyone understood the very, very simple logic that when someone shoots at you, he is your enemy.
 

Jason_Ryock

Vice Admiral
Yes - but Blair and Eisen *threw away* all of those provisions when they chose to *shoot* at the Confed officers trying to bring them in.

But missing here is the legality of the order to bring them in. If they were refusing to respond to an illegal order and forces with illegal orders were attempting to force their hand, wouldn't they be justified in retiring fire in self defense?

Because, as should be obvious to anyone, an illegal order is not an acceptable excuse to shoot at your fellow soldiers.

So by your argument if someone is given an illegal order to shoot the general, no one should shoot at him to try to stop him even though the order is illegal? Wouldn't it depend entirely on the context of the orders and the situation at the time?

In the meantime, there was nobody stupid enough amongst the British to speculate that you know, technically, the rebel forces are under British authority because they're led by a British officer.

Again I have to point to the differant set of circumstances here. Let's look at what exactly Eisen was doing. I for one don't believe he had any intention, and I don't believe Blair did either, of aiding the UBW in it's goal of acquiring Independence. They may have felt very strongly on the matter (especially Blair) one way or the other, but were their actions undertaken in such a way as to aide the Border Worlds in that objective, or to secure Peace for the Confederation and forestall a war? It could easily be argued that they were acting - not for the betterment of the UBW - but for the lasting interests of the Confederation the entire time. Eisen's defection was to gain access to information about who was working...inside of Confed! Not to help the UBW defeat the Confederation in a shooting war.

Ultimately this is really a question of where the loyalties of the two characters (Eisen and Blair) was always truly placed. For me, there is no question that this was the Confederation - since both men returned to Confederation service, citizenship, and commissions following the conflict.

Given that every action they took was with the highest intention of serving the Confederation, while others actions (Paulsons, Seethers, Tolwyns) were in fact to cause a war, any orders coming from people not acting in the best interest of the Confederation could be considered illegal and Blair and Eisen could be considered in the 'right' the entire time.

Everyone understood the very, very simple logic that when someone shoots at you, he is your enemy.

That's an interesting definition. Because if that's the legal definition of Enemy, technically in WC4 everyone is your enemy since at one time or another both factions are shooting at you!
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
But missing here is the legality of the order to bring them in. If they were refusing to respond to an illegal order and forces with illegal orders were attempting to force their hand, wouldn't they be justified in retiring fire in self defense?
No. There is no self-defence to speak of - nobody was trying to kill, or even hurt, Eisen until he decided to steal a shuttle and defect. *He* made the first move. Paulsen was entirely within his rights to order Eisen to be shot down.

So by your argument if someone is given an illegal order to shoot the general, no one should shoot at him to try to stop him even though the order is illegal? Wouldn't it depend entirely on the context of the orders and the situation at the time?
This is complete idiocy. If someone is given an illegal order to shoot his own general, he points his gun at the person who issued this order, because the person who issued this order is clearly a traitor. But this has nothing to do with the situation in WC4 - Eisen was not a serving officer, he was a mutineer. It was perfectly legal for Paulsen to order Blair to bring him in, and it was perfectly legal for Paulsen to authorise shooting him down if he refuses to surrender.

Given that every action they took was with the highest intention of serving the Confederation, while others actions (Paulsons, Seethers, Tolwyns) were in fact to cause a war, any orders coming from people not acting in the best interest of the Confederation could be considered illegal and Blair and Eisen could be considered in the 'right' the entire time.
This is worse than complete idiocy - this is madness. People not acting in the best interest of the Confederation? Well, whose best interests do you reckon Tolwyn thought he was serving? He did everything *in the interest of the Confederation*. His intentions were exactly the same as Blair's, the difference is in the way they understood their duties. Tolwyn thought it was in the Confederation's best interests to kill off 90% of its population, Blair thought it was in the Confederation's best interests not to lose 90% of its population - but both men were acting with "the highest intention of serving the Confederation". So where does that leave us? If you think intentions are enough to make something legal or illegal, then clearly, Tolwyn's genocide was perfectly legal - he did it to serve the Confederation, after all...

...Similarly, Blair's intentions did not make it legal for him to kill thousands of Confed officers. Blair, Eisen, and all the other defectors *did* commit crimes against the Confederation, and they *would* have been dealt with after the conflict. It wasn't a case of everyone deciding that it's not a crime for Blair to kill Confed soldiers - instead, Blair's actions would have been recognised as criminal, and *then* he would have been granted amnesty.

That's an interesting definition. Because if that's the legal definition of Enemy, technically in WC4 everyone is your enemy since at one time or another both factions are shooting at you!
It's the *logical* definition of enemy, not the legal definition. And yes, absolutely - every single faction in WC4 is your enemy at some point in the game (...except the Kilrathi!). They stop being enemies when they stop shooting at you - which occurs when you stop shooting at them and instead start shooting at their enemies.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
While I agree that practically everyone knows this is not the case, in actuality this is muddled someone by the condition of Eisen himself. He has not resigned from the Confederation, nor has he had his commission stripped. He is still, in fact, an acting officer of the Confederation in everything that he does - including assuming the Captain-ship of the Intrepid. While this may not in fact make the ship itself

We are actually told that Eisen has a formal agreement, negotiated with Captain Dominguez, to defect to the Border Worlds with the same rank and pay.

Further, if the argument is that Border Worlds were already independent and always independent, then Blair was never actually an officer of the Confederation, given that he would be, in fact, a citizen of the Border Worlds rather then the Confederation and it could be argued that his assumption of Command was based on his loyalty to the UBW.

No one is making the argument, including the Border Worlders; they claim that the fact that they were Confederation colonies rather than signatories to the Articles of Confederation means that they have the right to declare themselves independent unimpeded in 2673, not that they have never been Confederation worlds.

(There's also some indication that Blair's official citizenship is Earth, too... and we also don't know whether or not Nephele, where he was born, had joined the Union at this point in the timeline, either.)
 

Jason_Ryock

Vice Admiral
No one is making the argument, including the Border Worlders; they claim that the fact that they were Confederation colonies rather than signatories to the Articles of Confederation means that they have the right to declare themselves independent unimpeded in 2673, not that they have never been Confederation worlds.

Well this brings up an important question I have. The Confederation is a group of aligned governments, or a group of aligned worlds? For example, is Earth (and it's colonies) one party in the Confederation? This is something that I have never been very clear on. It's massively confusing to me. Especially because there seems to be a head of the Confederation (President).

I USED to think the Confederation was merely an alliance between like governments (NATO) but now it seems to be a fully fledged governmental orginization (Like the US - a collection of semi-independent states).

(There's also some indication that Blair's official citizenship is Earth, too... and we also don't know whether or not Nephele, where he was born, had joined the Union at this point in the timeline, either.)

I can't reconcile this in my head. I have a feeling this is probably something I will never understand. Blair was born on Nephele, but has Earth Citizenship? Is that separate then Confederation Citizenship? Or is it that having Earth Citizenship confers Confederation Citizenship?
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Well this brings up an important question I have. The Confederation is a group of aligned governments, or a group of aligned worlds? For example, is Earth (and it's colonies) one party in the Confederation? This is something that I have never been very clear on. It's massively confusing to me. Especially because there seems to be a head of the Confederation (President).

I USED to think the Confederation was merely an alliance between like governments (NATO) but now it seems to be a fully fledged governmental orginization (Like the US - a collection of semi-independent states).

All we've ever actually seen published of the government has been the United States in Space (with the occasional less-than-crippling change - it seems to have a unicameral legislature, for instance). It's possible that every planet is largely independent in terms of local government (one Privateer Online concept espoused this particularly well - with governments ranging from modern systems all the way back to things like feudal monarchies)... but the thing that speaks against this to me is how we see a number of sector governors in Wing Commander Prophecy/Secret Ops. If the (somewhat arbitrary) group of planets in a sector can-or-are-required-to come together to elect a governor, they must be tied together.

I can't reconcile this in my head. I have a feeling this is probably something I will never understand. Blair was born on Nephele, but has Earth Citizenship? Is that separate then Confederation Citizenship? Or is it that having Earth Citizenship confers Confederation Citizenship?

No different than someone born abroad might come to have American citizenship for any number of reasons (emigration, conferred by one parent's nationality, amnesty, etc.)

Blair did spend some of his formative years on Earth, after all, and apparently returned there to visit family when that was something he had option to do.
 

Jebe

Spaceman
But we all know this isn't how carrier warfare works; the tip of the spear on both ships is the fighter complement... and Vesuvius' complement is eight times as many superior spacecraft that Tolwyn has ordered to destroy the Intrepid. Even if Intrepid can theoretically give up its mission and retreat in the wrong direction to avoid being gunned down by the Vesuvius' batteries or torpedoes, it's still facing two *wings* of Seether's Lances.
Does the Vesuvius even have rear firing catapaults? Otherwise they need to loop around or fly out the back under their own power. Unless the Vesuvius is carrying war vintage Longbows the only jump capable craft in its arsenal are Excaliburs and Lances.

A CL takes 2 torpedoes. A single F-107 carries either 2 torpedoes or a flashpack which could annhilate a vastly larger vessel of similar vintage, see Superbase. The Intrepid is a DL, aka a single munition target.

Seether demonstrateably survives in a F-107, and Blair is not canonically doing a mad dash with Maneuvering Scoops closed across the system. Tolwyn gets there first in a measly shuttle for heaven's sake. So if they're so hot on making a torpedo run on Intrepid as to send F-107s through the Jump Point after her why wasn't the Intrepid sunk?

Given the way WC uses terminology I assume you mean two Flights of F-107s. In which case the ground crews would royally suck if they couldn't get them spaceborne before Blair would have had the opportunity to place his Flash Pack.

If you actual mean Wings, then I'm going to love your rationalization for why they didn't swamp our heroes with over a hundred super fighters and flashpack them earlier. Especially with F-107s having both jump engines and effectively infinite fuel.

This is a bad analogy, because there's no specific threat from Kim Jong-Il; Blair, on the other hand, knows that Tolwyn has ordered his forces to seed ten populated "core" worlds with the bio-convergence weapon as soon as war is declared. Tens if not hundreds of billions of lives hang in the balance here in a very direct and immediate way.
Sabotaging the efforts to prevent war by Nuking the Vesuvius somehow helps? Remember the Maine? It's a good analogy, you just refuse to acknowledge the implications of such a action.

Sinking a major vessel like that and effectively proving beyond a doubt that the Raiders were Border World Militia by neutralizing doubts about the possessing the technology, unless he can present his evidence would only serve to secure war from a already bloodthirsy Senate.

You're making a false assumption that landing a cloaked Lance outside the Senate building was the goal of that chase.
No, my presumption is he doesn't want to needlessly provoke a legal body that from the newscast at the beginning of the game was already about ready to order the annihilation of the Union of Border Worlds. Tolwyn was having to seriously placate them just to get two weeks for a investigation. You're the one who presumes murdering on the order of 8,000 of the Confederation's finest would simply be blown off.

I don't think you can assume that current US Navy rules (?) apply to not only a space Navy 600 years in the future, but a ragtag spit-and-glue Space Navy whose entire command structure is made up of people who defected two weeks before. Blair is made Captain of the Intrepid... and that's that. I'm reasonably sure our own Navy hadn't worked out the need for three promotion boards by October 27th, 1775.

(The Admiral is named Wilford, not Wilson.)
You fail to distinguish between a battlefield promotion and actually being legally commisioned. Admiral Wilford can make Blair a Captain by a battlefield promotion, but it would require the legal body of the Union of the Border Worlds to make him a legally commisioned officer, let alone Captain in the Border World Militia. That has plenty of history and there is absolutely no reason to believe it would be changed for some arbitrary reason.

Why does the concept of the Officer of the Deck give you so much trouble? You might want to watch Master & Commander and pay attention to the whole business about Officer of the Deck. If you don't like that I could bring up some other Age of the Sail stuff because it is the same basic principle whether it's a sub or surface ship. Or do you think there are multiple shifts of Captains montoring things 24/7? That the Captain no longer needs sleep and has nothing better to do then act perpetually as Officer of the Deck?

If you want to argue rank structure the manuals consistantly shows the grades mirror modern demarcation so I fail to see the point of trying to make an issue of it.

Eisen is not senior to Blair *or* Wilford; all three were equal grades in the Confederation Navy and Wilford is an Admiral in the Border Worlds. Per the novel, his fleet includes several other ships - including the Princeton (the carrier captured at Speradon) and a pair of escort carriers on loan from the Landreich (all of which are providing support for the race to Earth at varying points).
1) Seniority comes in when grade is the same and deals with the issue of who is in charge in such a situation. As the word implies the one who has been in the grade the longest wins. aka Eisen has Seniority over Blair despite Colonel and Captain, both O6, being equivalent.

2) What does a 3 star Admiral, by Confed Navy charts, have to do with captaining a ship when Blair has been battlefield promoted to the position of CO? He is the Captain unless he is relieved, regardless of who he delegates control of the Bridge.

3) You have throughout this failed to establish either why the Intrepid needs to remain in system, or even should have jumped to the Sol system given the circumstances which you acknowledge are not favorable to the survival of the ship. Needlessly putting one's ship in danger for no purpose is a mark against the commander, particularly when they're the Captain of a ship.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Does the Vesuvius even have rear firing catapaults? Otherwise they need to loop around or fly out the back under their own power. Unless the Vesuvius is carrying war vintage Longbows the only jump capable craft in its arsenal are Excaliburs and Lances.

We've seen the Vesuvius do a full 180 - it takes a matter of seconds (and we've also been able to fly around it ourselves; this also takes seconds).

There are also plenty of other jump capable fighters that are likely still in service -- Morningstars, Crossbows, Wraiths, Phantoms, Banshees, Gladii, some Arrows and Thunderbolts... but failing all that, I'm not sure why limiting the possibilities to the two most advanced fighters and the most advanced fighter-bomber would be somehow especially restrictive. Oh no, we can't fly *Hellcats*, we're stuck using our overwhelming number of completely invisible fighters that can destroy capital ships with a single bomb and that are also flown by genetically engineer superhuman pilots.

Given the way WC uses terminology I assume you mean two Flights of F-107s. In which case the ground crews would royally suck if they couldn't get them spaceborne before Blair would have had the opportunity to place his Flash Pack.

If you actual mean Wings, then I'm going to love your rationalization for why they didn't swamp our heroes with over a hundred super fighters and flashpack them earlier. Especially with F-107s having both jump engines and effectively infinite fuel.

I do not mean two flights; Tolwyn puts the two remaining *wings* of Lances aboard Vesuvius under Seether, ordering him to use them to begin the attacks as soon as war is declared (an event the Border Worlders managed to stop, incidentally, by *destroying the Vesuvius*). I don't really think I'm responsible for rationalizations, though -- at best, citations (and it's straight from the novel).

Sabotaging the efforts to prevent war by Nuking the Vesuvius somehow helps? Remember the Maine? It's a good analogy, you just refuse to acknowledge the implications of such a action.

Sinking a major vessel like that and effectively proving beyond a doubt that the Raiders were Border World Militia by neutralizing doubts about the possessing the technology, unless he can present his evidence would only serve to secure war from a already bloodthirsy Senate.

See, here's the absolute trout-in-the-face problem with your argument: EXCEPT THAT IT DIDN'T. Blair *does* destroy the Vesuvius and he does go to the Senate and he does stop the war and he does prevent the gen-select genocide. In fact, we can even find out what happens when he doesn't -- go play that penultimate mission again and see if you can manage to get to Earth in your "F-107" without blowing up the Vesuvius. :)

(And no, I can not, for the life of me, figure the connection between the Maine and the concept of destroying the Vesuvius being like a pre-emptive strike on North Korea.)


No, my presumption is he doesn't want to needlessly provoke a legal body that from the newscast at the beginning of the game was already about ready to order the annihilation of the Union of Border Worlds. Tolwyn was having to seriously placate them just to get two weeks for a investigation. You're the one who presumes murdering on the order of 8,000 of the Confederation's finest would simply be blown off.

Well, then, that's a bad presumption on your part... because this is exactly what 'he' does. But it stretches credibility, I think, for anyone to honestly have played Wing Commander IV and continue to claim they "presume" no one wants to destroy the Vesuvius.

You fail to distinguish between a battlefield promotion and actually being legally commisioned. Admiral Wilford can make Blair a Captain by a battlefield promotion, but it would require the legal body of the Union of the Border Worlds to make him a legally commisioned officer, let alone Captain in the Border World Militia. That has plenty of history and there is absolutely no reason to believe it would be changed for some arbitrary reason.

There's no legal body -- we're talking about a "nation" which came into existence three days before Blair defected.


Why does the concept of the Officer of the Deck give you so much trouble? You might want to watch Master & Commander and pay attention to the whole business about Officer of the Deck. If you don't like that I could bring up some other Age of the Sail stuff because it is the same basic principle whether it's a sub or surface ship. Or do you think there are multiple shifts of Captains montoring things 24/7? That the Captain no longer needs sleep and has nothing better to do then act perpetually as Officer of the Deck?

The problem 'gives me so much trouble' (?!) is that we're talking about Wing Commander and not Master & Commander. Now, it's a magnificent film with a fantastic soundtrack and a joke about weevils that is, admittedly, second to none... but it has absolutely nothing to say about how the Union of Border Worlds organizes their newly-formed spaceship navy. There is, to the best of my knowledge, no secret fount of Wing Commander canon that applies here. (A quick text search of the Wing IV script and novel finds one reference to the term -- Blair inner monologging about how he'd served watch as officer of the deck in the past. No elaborate treatise about how the power structure on the Intrepid works.)

But I'm going back through the thread and it doesn't make any sense in the first place. Blair is the captain of the Intrepid, assigned by Eisen (in front of Admiral Wilford) and we have absolutely no idea who the Officer of the Deck is while he's flying (although a good bet would be Garibaldi). Admiral Wilford is the commander of a larger fleet of ships and was responsible for ordering all of those ships (including the Intrepid, the MSH, several frigates, two escort carriers and the Princeton) to attack the Vesuvius. He's not specifically captaining the Intrepid (and of course in the game it's Eisen who suggests hitting the Vesuvius' weak points with torpedoes or the flash points... destroying Vesuvius isn't something Blair suddenly decided to do).

If you want to argue rank structure the manuals consistantly shows the grades mirror modern demarcation so I fail to see the point of trying to make an issue of it.

There are some notable differences -- including swapping Lieutenant General and Major General... the addition of a British-style five-star 'Marshal'... and the various 'futuristic' enlisted ranks (spaceman, spacehand, etc.).

1) Seniority comes in when grade is the same and deals with the issue of who is in charge in such a situation. As the word implies the one who has been in the grade the longest wins. aka Eisen has Seniority over Blair despite Colonel and Captain, both O6, being equivalent.

We don't really know how long Eisen has been a Captain, do we? He's been around for longer than Blair... but Blair holds the unusual distinction of having been a Colonel for almost his entire career (2655-2673).

2) What does a 3 star Admiral, by Confed Navy charts, have to do with captaining a ship when Blair has been battlefield promoted to the position of CO? He is the Captain unless he is relieved, regardless of who he delegates control of the Bridge.

I'm not sure what this question means. Lets clarify: when they were Terran Confederation officers, Eisen, Blair and Wilford were all the same grade: O-6. Eisen and Wilford were Navy Captains and Blair was a Space Force Colonel. Wilford has two years on Eisen in terms of seniority.

In the Union of Border Worlds Navy, Wilford is a Vice Admiral, easily outranking Blair and Eisen who both retain their Confederation ranks (Colonel and Captain, respectively). In terms of seniority, Eisen has... what, 24 hours on Blair?

(And then it's all switched up again when they return to the Confederation - Admiral Eisen, Brigadier General Blair... and Captain Wilford. Maybe he took the blame for the Vesuvius decision?)

3) You have throughout this failed to establish either why the Intrepid needs to remain in system, or even should have jumped to the Sol system given the circumstances which you acknowledge are not favorable to the survival of the ship. Needlessly putting one's ship in danger for no purpose is a mark against the commander, particularly when they're the Captain of a ship.

Did you play Wing Commander IV? This is a thing that happens in Wing Commander IV.

Vice Admiral Wilford has ordered the Intrepid to prevent the Vesuvius from reaching Earth; in order to engage the Vesuvius it must remain in the same star system - that's enough of a reason.

I'm reasonably certain that military operations don't necessarily begin with the war planners briefing each individual commander on *why* his particular orders matter in the overall scheme of things - although Blair does know that Vesuvius will be used--within hours--as a base for launching attacks that will kill immediately some billions of people (whether this knowledge affects his dedication to following orders can be left up to you, the reader! My bet: it does).

Now, as the Captain of the ship Blair can certainly order the Intrepid to turn tail and run, living to fight another day... you are absolutely right that he can do this and need only worry that he will be quickly replaced as her captain. But that technicality *doesn't matter* - there's no way Blair is going to ignore his orders, there's no way he's going to abandon the other elements engaged in the battle and there's no way he's going to leave the Vesuvius ready to kill ten worlds NO MATTER WHETHER OR NOT HE TECHNICALLY CAN DO THESE THINGS.
 

Sylvester

Vice Admiral
Bandit LOAF said:
We don't really know how long Eisen has been a Captain, do we? He's been around for longer than Blair... but Blair holds the unusual distinction of having been a Colonel for almost his entire career (2655-2673).

I thought Blair only made it to Lieutenant Colonel (O-5) before the court martial reduced him in rank to Captain (O-3). And then didn't he serve twelve years as a O-3 before Tolwyn promoted him to full Colonel after K'Tithrak Mang (which, IIRC, was in 2667.) That would seem to indicate that both Wilford and Eisen had considerably more time in grade than Blair, regardless of what service they were in.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I thought Blair only made it to Lieutenant Colonel (O-5) before the court martial reduced him in rank to Captain (O-3). And then didn't he serve twelve years as a O-3 before Tolwyn promoted him to full Colonel after K'Tithrak Mang (which, IIRC, was in 2667.) That would seem to indicate that both Wilford and Eisen had considerably more time in grade than Blair, regardless of what service they were in.

I believe Tolwyn *restored* his rank to Colonel (he's promoted at the end of Secret Missions 2); he has a bit of inner monologue about getting all the back pay afterwards in the official guide.
 

Dragon1

Rear Admiral
Victory Streak. Another notable difference is that the Navy has the additional rank of 1st Lieutenant, however, it is the same pay grade as 2nd Lieutenant.
 

quaker2k8

Rear Admiral
Victory Streak. Another notable difference is that the Navy has the additional rank of 1st Lieutenant, however, it is the same pay grade as 2nd Lieutenant.

Navy as in the ones running the ships, Eisen's branch?

The pilots have different Lt ranks too, at least in WCP, where Casey, Maestro come aboard as 2nd Lts and Stiletto is a 1st Lt.
 

Jebe

Spaceman
Race to Earth Sequence. Now I could link to all the preceding cutscenes, but it really shouldn't be necessary as this alone has enough with the banter between Panther and Hawk to establish that there is no standing order to destroy the Vesuvius.

Nevermind that such an order would be insane. Blair's friendship with Paladin and war hero status was good enough to get him into the assembly, but avoiding war relied upon referencing the atrocities commited by the Black Lance and Tolwyn overstepping himself to show they were true. Snatching victory from the gaping jaws of defeat only because of a combination of who he knew, his reputation, and getting a gut reaction doesn't make taking out the Vesuvius a good idea. As you should well know from the choice table if Blair isn't able to pull off all three war is declared. Or have you not played the game?

Historically:

USS Maine:
Probably was destroyed by a freak accident in reality. As it played to their biases the Americans however used it to justify war.

Lusitania:
In reality originally the U-boats were doing things more conventionally originally if for no other reason it was more efficient. Then the British began arming their freighters, and transporting military supplies on liners such as the Lusitania. Thus the British had done as much to insure such an incident as the Germans. This didn't prevent it from becoming a great propaganda victory.

HMS Hood:
This ship was the pride of the British Navy at its time. After being sunk by Bismarck the British took such affront they skirmished practically their entire Navy to take out one ship.

USS Cole:
Despite the fact the ship has continued to serve admirably after repairs following the incident with the dingy,

Destroying a ship is an Act of War, and their biases are well established as being heavily in favor of war already. Destroying a nations flagship is a very personal affront to everyone that serves and its citizenry. Hence for example your old friend Paladin being perfectly ready to have your head lopped off on the spot if you aren't aggressive enough with presenting your case.

Let's presume Blair did kill Tolwyn with the Vesuvius and Seether kills both the Intrepid and Blair. Can you seriously argue the Assembly would not declare war, and thus the ten worlds be hit as per the standing orders you enjoy referencing? Humanizing the nature of the error is all well and good, but it doesn't make it cease to be an error. Nor does the game forcing the option prevent debating of the ethics morality and otherwise. Tolwyn doesn't get a chance to bail out of the Black Lance in the game because he's utterly scripted, does that mean his actions are not up to such debate?

We've seen the Vesuvius do a full 180 - it takes a matter of seconds (and we've also been able to fly around it ourselves; this also takes seconds).
You know if you're going to continue to try to seriously going to argue Tolwyn would jump back to Talos and chase them across multiple systems despite never even ordering a single bombing run, fine.

There are also plenty of other jump capable fighters that are likely still in service -- Morningstars, Crossbows, Wraiths, Phantoms, Banshees, Gladii
All of which are hopelessly obsolete by 2673 and thus shouldn't be part of the Vesuvius complement. Why not include Rapier Mk3s and Dralthi VIIs if your so determined to list every jump capable fighter that existed but has no place on the Vesuvius' deck?

some Arrows and Thunderbolts...
Reference? The local encyclopedia doesn't reference it as optional. Further I do not recall any reference to such a capability or see why they should have it.

I do not mean two flights; Tolwyn puts the two remaining *wings* of Lances aboard Vesuvius under Seether, ordering him to use them to begin the attacks as soon as war is declared (an event the Border Worlders managed to stop, incidentally, by *destroying the Vesuvius*). I don't really think I'm responsible for rationalizations, though -- at best, citations (and it's straight from the novel).
There was not enough time between Tolwyn's taking Seether aboard and Talos where they could have taken Axius apart and moved it to the Vesuvius. Further on the Vesuvius they would be out of position even if the F-107s have enough fuel to make enough jumps to get from Sol to the UBW. Nevermind given established travel times it taking merely hours from them to cross Sol sector, entire quadrants, and the rest is absurd. This supposing they would not simply be seized by the authorities.

This would lend credence to Tolwyn intentionally sabotaging the Black Lance's efforts, but not much else. A plot point Malcolm McDowell does subtly work into his performance.

There's no legal body -- we're talking about a "nation" which came into existence three days before Blair defected.
That's nonsense. If they had no legal body how could they declare independence? Why is there a unified Border World Militia under a unified command?

George Washington was legally commissioned by the legal body, even if they hadn't gotten around to ratifying a constitution yet. Why do you insist on trying to pretend these problems are somehow unique? And all over the distinction between use of de facto verse de jure regarding Blair's captainship. A point you just effectively conceded by declaring there would be no legal body to make him de jure Captain.

The problem 'gives me so much trouble' (?!) is that we're talking about Wing Commander and not Master & Commander. Now, it's a magnificent film with a fantastic soundtrack and a joke about weevils that is, admittedly, second to none... but it has absolutely nothing to say about how the Union of Border Worlds organizes their newly-formed spaceship navy. There is, to the best of my knowledge, no secret fount of Wing Commander canon that applies here. (A quick text search of the Wing IV script and novel finds one reference to the term -- Blair inner monologging about how he'd served watch as officer of the deck in the past. No elaborate treatise about how the power structure on the Intrepid works.)
Given not only is Blair a pilot, but Confed divided his service branch from the Navy what possesses you to think he would have had to have been Officer of the Deck in his early years? Why is the idea that the bridge must be always manned, and there is a singular Captain and XO such a hard concept that you have spent numerous posts arguing that a Officer of the Deck cannot exist when there's absolutely no reason to assume it shouldn't?

The point of bringing it up was to emphasize the nature of the Captain in command of the ship, and reinforce the fact of Blair's position as captain. Instead of letting it be you've argued around the point like I insulted your mother.

Admiral Wilford is the commander of a larger fleet of ships and was responsible for ordering all of those ships (including the Intrepid, the MSH, several frigates, two escort carriers and the Princeton) to attack the Vesuvius. He's not specifically captaining the Intrepid (and of course in the game it's Eisen who suggests hitting the Vesuvius' weak points with torpedoes or the flash points... destroying Vesuvius isn't something Blair suddenly decided to do).
Clearly this is novel only as it's in direct contradiction with the game sequence. Where is this supposed to occur given they only barely catch up to Vesuvius at Talos by using numerous shortcuts and running a virtual gauntlet in the process?

To pull this contradictory version of the history out our your pocket in effect is conceding the point with game based history. Nevermind such a major fleet action would be as good as a Declaration of War by the UBW, if the more minor stuff wasn't good enough. The Declaration of War, not Tolwyn's existence, being what is tied directly to their worlds getting sprayed down with nanobots, by your own admission.
 
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