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Thread: SPOILERS Earth Story Arc

  1. #1
    First Lieutenant Nth Chevron's Avatar
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    Default SPOILERS Earth Story Arc

    Just finished season 4 of like my 1000th rewatch and somethings been niggling at me.

    When Sheridan carved a path through Earth space, the largest fleet gathered to subdue him was comprised of only 30 Omega's?

    I've read a few fanfics and some other material on the disposition and numbers of space forces for all the races of B5, most notably the Dilgar War.

    I was under the impression that Earth had standing forces of 8 naval fleets with roughly 750 ships in each fleet during peacetime and more during wartime, counting Capitals class and support vessels like the Olympus, Artemis etc etc

    What was wondering is where were these fleets during this time?

    Shouldnt there have been even more monumental battles numbers wise than what we were treated to?

    Has JMS said anything about this?

    N.C

  2. #2
    Lieutenant General DigiFluid's Avatar
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    Default Re: SPOILERS Earth Story Arc

    Quote Originally Posted by Nth Chevron View Post
    I've read a few fanfics and some other material on the disposition and numbers of space forces for all the races of B5, most notably the Dilgar War.
    Bam, there's your problem.

  3. #3
    First Lieutenant Nth Chevron's Avatar
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    Default Re: SPOILERS Earth Story Arc

    Yeh good reply.

    Try higher brain functions.

    n.C

  4. #4
    General maneth's Avatar
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    Default Re: SPOILERS Earth Story Arc

    I always understood that Earth's fleet was very small. Disregard anything not written or approved by JMS.
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v106/manephelien/avatars/deadtribbles.jpg

  5. #5
    Phil Davis Cold Fuzz's Avatar
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    Default Re: SPOILERS Earth Story Arc

    Quote Originally Posted by maneth View Post
    I always understood that Earth's fleet was very small. Disregard anything not written or approved by JMS.
    That was always my feeling as well. There were never any hard numbers on the relative strengths of each government so we couldn't compare. But given how many ships the non-human factions contributed in the Shadow War, I'd say that Earth is definitely on the small end of the scale when it comes to fleet sizes. The propaganda about being strong enough to stand up to the Minbari (saw little bits of that in 2259 in "And Now For a Word") is utterly ridiculous.

    Now in the Drakh attack depicted in Crusade's "War Zone" we finally did get a number: Over 340 destroyers lost in the fight against the Drakh. However, that episode didn't elaborate whether it was exclusively Earth destroyers or others in the Interstellar Alliance.


  6. #6
    Lieutenant General DigiFluid's Avatar
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    Default Re: SPOILERS Earth Story Arc

    Quote Originally Posted by Nth Chevron View Post
    Yeh good reply.

    Try higher brain functions.

    n.C
    Says the guy trying to reconcile erroneous, non-canon FANfic with JMS-approved canon material. Perhaps try thinking about the painfully obvious answers to your own questions before you share how daft your line of thinking is with the rest of the world

  7. #7
    First Lieutenant Nth Chevron's Avatar
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    Default Re: SPOILERS Earth Story Arc

    Its obvious i wouldnt take fanfic over JMS written TV show cannon.

    The point i am trying to make as you cant seem to get out of your own way to notice, is that Earth space would probably hold roughly 10-11 billion people, factor in advanced tech with factories, refining, mining, trade and maybe fabrication - and a civil war comprises 40 odd ships (not counting WS and Alien)

    N.C

  8. #8
    Lieutenant General DigiFluid's Avatar
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    Default Re: SPOILERS Earth Story Arc

    And that humanity was brought within a sneeze of extinction only 10 years before the show starts doesn't factor into your math?

  9. #9
    First Lieutenant Nth Chevron's Avatar
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    Default Re: SPOILERS Earth Story Arc

    Obviously, but to quote from season 2, Senator Quantrell "we've built our forces far in excess of what they were 10 years ago"

    N.C

  10. #10
    Phil Davis Cold Fuzz's Avatar
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    Default Re: SPOILERS Earth Story Arc

    Quote Originally Posted by Nth Chevron View Post
    Obviously, but to quote from season 2, Senator Quantrell "we've built our forces far in excess of what they were 10 years ago"

    N.C
    Sheridan himself scoffed at Quantrell's comments and frankly so do I. After what you've seen of the Minbari in "In the Beginning" and in the Shadow War, don't tell me you actually believe the Earth Alliance could actually stand up to them or the more advanced galactic powers in a protracted war? If you do, I think you better re-watch season 2-4 AGAIN. The White Stars defeated the Shadow prototype destroyers without any outside help. The EarthGov jingoists didn't know squat about the true strengths of the various alien governments. That's what happens when you're an isolationist state.

    The only reason the Army of Light even had a chance of standing up to the Shadows and Vorlons was because of their combined power. Alone, Earth is NOTHING. If Sheridan's forces wanted to destroy Earth, they could've done so easily. But why was it difficult? That's because their goal wasn't to destroy Earth or its forces but to free them. You have to pull your punches if you're going to do that and that's going to ultimately make your job harder for you.


  11. #11
    First Lieutenant Nth Chevron's Avatar
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    Default Re: SPOILERS Earth Story Arc

    Actually, what Sheridan was scoffing at was the line AFTER what i posted, " .. if the Minbari war happened today i think things would go differently."

    What i was saying was to do with the numbers.

    N.C

  12. #12
    Phil Davis Cold Fuzz's Avatar
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    Default Re: SPOILERS Earth Story Arc

    Quote Originally Posted by Nth Chevron View Post
    Actually, what Sheridan was scoffing at was the line AFTER what i posted, " .. if the Minbari war happened today i think things would go differently."

    What i was saying was to do with the numbers.

    N.C
    Sheridan scoffed at Quantrell's entire mindset--the numbers, the foolishness, the very idea that Earth somehow thought itself to be strong in comparison to the other races. And whatever numbers Earth thinks is strong, it's not nearly strong enough to stand by itself against a technologically superior enemy.


  13. #13

    Default Re: SPOILERS Earth Story Arc

    A lot of the fanfic numbers - and a fair few other things - are based on what was written at B5Tech, as back in the day it was viewed by some as a very good place to get that kind of stuff, and was WIDELY repeated. It mixed some canon facts with a lot of conjecture and very few caveats, plus there was some confusion about who (from the show) contributed what to the site.

    This ‘essay’ (that you may be aware of) is an example of the kind of assumptions it made.
    http://www.b5tech.com/oldb5tech/scie...fleetsize.html

    I based my fleet size figures on the hull registration numbers seen on the sides of the Hyperion type vessels, which are our only indication of fleet sizes in the Babylon 5 universe. The EAS Hyperion seen in "A Voice in the Wilderness" had a hull registration number of "21,494 IAK." We don't know what the letters stand for, but the numbers speak for themselves. On the side of the Hyperion, the large number read 21, obviously to denote that the Hyperion was in the 21,000 line of capital ships made by the Earth Alliance
    (He added the comma to the supposedly quoted digits)
    The reality behind those numbers is quite different, and had nothing to do with people on the show (including jms) working out fleet sizes. ; )
    http://www.themadgoner.com/B5/B5Scro...m#Screen2_01_2

    A lot of what we did was developed as we went along and some things became sort of reverse-engineered to be consistent. A whim might easily become a convention. Saying that, the call number - IAK 21494 - is actually the initials and birth date of my oldest son, who was born around the time I was building it.

    [edit]

    I’ve just noticed (as it’s been a while since I’ve looked at the place), B5Tech seems to be backtracking on the amount of fanon it’s using, which is no bad thing but what it previously contained has been read by many and repeated by more, like yourself after reading *honest* fanfic.

    Here’s an example – keeping it with the Hyerion.

    What’s on B5 Tech now.
    http://www.b5tech.com/oldb5tech/eart.../hyperion.html


    What untold thousands read on the site for years.
    http://web.archive.org/web/200611212.../hyperion.html
    Last edited by Triple-F; January 16th, 2012 at 01:48 AM.

  14. #14
    First Lieutenant Nth Chevron's Avatar
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    Default Re: SPOILERS Earth Story Arc

    @Triple F;

    Good info, i'd noticed the B5Tech website had changed a few entries but couldnt remember the missing info, thanks for archive link

    Also, i wasnt basing the probable ship numbers from just registries alone, as JMS heavily included in the series, we havent changed our nature much at all, sure there are more enlightened views around but it was basically portrayed that we just adapted to the times and the situation of becoming a space fairing race with relations to other species on an intergalactic scale.

    I was basing what i thought to be the probable military mindset in such an environment on what we have today. That being a structured military with many tiers of service, including ground forces (subsets - armoured, infantry, Sub orbital, amphibious, medical and special forces) naval forces (Starships, fighters, logistics, RND) etc etc

    Looking at the USA which seems to have been the base model for these on B5 led me to believe that military minds for security, sometimes paranoia and realism would use what we know and have perfected for ourselves in over 2000 years of warfare and ***** slapping each other. Fleets or battle-groups, operated today, are combined arms task forces.

    Using this premise its not unreasonable to assume that, knowing us, over time there would be fleets for whole sectors and major assets, like Earth, Proxima, Orion colonies not to mention fleet shipyards, outer patrol zones and pure defense fleets who get brought to the front when someone comes knocking on your front door.

    It just makes more sense to me as we are a tactical and military thinking people primarily, that we would have continued the long standing and proved method of ordering our defensive and offensive forces.

    N.C

  15. #15
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    Default Re: SPOILERS Earth Story Arc

    you seem to be forgetting that EA Fleet:
    a: was deployed holding onto Earth colonies (e.g. proxima or Mars)
    b: some of the fleet that could have responded decided to stay out of the fighting
    c: is generally deployed across the galaxy on show the flag/peacekeeping/security missions and would therefore take to concentrate
    d: We don't know how many ships decided to support the 'rebels' once the civil war started and therefore where being hunted down by 'loyal' units.
    Admiral at Mars had to do with what was left over.
    Also the Omega-x was rushed into service prototype which generally means you don't have a lot of them
    Last edited by Garth Claw; January 21st, 2012 at 07:06 AM. Reason: correction grammer

  16. #16
    First Lieutenant Nth Chevron's Avatar
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    Default Re: SPOILERS Earth Story Arc

    A) The fleet holding Proxima before liberation was 6 Omega's, after liberation we dont now but they were Sheridans forces not EA.

    B) Yes this is true, but whole fleets of possibly 1500 ships plus?

    C) The whole EA fleet wouldnt be so generally crassed together as one massive block. Also, how many fleets are sent around the galaxy on missions like that with an insular xenophobic government, the Shadow War was only 10 months ish over during which time the entire galaxy was a battleground/skirmish pit.

    D) Thats part of the point i've been asking "How many ships?" if we know rough estimates then we can make educated guesses but we are still in the throes of guesswork and whatever the best fanfic around is at the time

    Regarding the Omega X class, i wasnt actually counting them anyway with them being experimental, rushed into service for a specific task and not part of EA Navy Regulars.

    The "General" at Mars (Robert Lefcourt) was commanding close to 40 Omega class destroyers which was said as being "the biggest gathering of Earth ships since the BotL" which does give us a very basic starting point for numbers, but i had chalked the low numbers upto production value of CGI at the time B5 was on air.


    N.C

  17. #17
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    Default Re: SPOILERS Earth Story Arc

    Actually, the thread creator does have a VERY valid point. Why? Because according to the novelization of "In the Beginning", Earth-Alliance had 50,000 ships. Yes, 50,000. The largest known Military of any race. How did Earth-Alliance get such a large military? Think about it. After the Dilgar war, Earth massively expanded. Earth had over 10+ billion alone. Earth-alliance had 35 planets and outposts under it's control in multiple star systems. Earth-Alliance, was in reality, HUGE. Look at all the other races. For the Minbari, all I know of that Minbari controls is the Minbari homeworld. Centauri has Centauri prime, and a few others they conquered from neighbors, but they kept going back and forth. I can't think of any other race that has as many planets/outposts under it's direct Control, then Earth-Alliance.

    Now fast-foward to B5-time-frame, after the war. It is stated that the Earth Omega Class destroyer and other ships where being built during the end of the Earth/Minbari war, in Secret, and scattered out all over the place so that the Minbari could not destroy them all at once. Then, the Minbari surrendered. The best estimate, is that Earth lost about 70 to 80% of it's ships. (remember it still had a lot being built, in secret, on scattered on bases).

    So let's go with the higher number, 80% losses of all it's forces. 80% of 50,000 = 40,000 ships Earth Lost during the war. That leaves TEN THOUSAND ships still remaining for Earth.

    Now fast-forward 10+ years to B5 time-frame, where Earth started to massively rebuild it's military, it's tech, and numbers. So if Earth had 10,000 ships 10 years ago, it's not hard to believe that it did in fact reach 20,000 ships by the B5 time-frame like some sites have claimed. Remember, Earth-Alliance is a VERY large in terms of number of planets/outpost it controls, in addition to Earth being 10 billion strong.

    So in reality, Earth does NOT have a small Military, in fact, it has perhaps the largest Military numbers of ANY race. That is on record - proven by the novelization of "In the Beginning" saying that Earth had 50,000 ships in their Military.

  18. #18
    Staff Sergeant Jershon's Avatar
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    Default Re: SPOILERS Earth Story Arc

    Something about B5 fleet counts is that there is often inconsistencies with what is shown on screen and what is said in the script. For example in "In the Beginning" the Black Star is shown by itself destroying the Earth patrol fleet but in later quotes (I believe in "Atonement") the Black Star is said to have had several support ships with it that were also destroyed. The problem is that they were never shown. Also when B5 rebelled from Earth the battle groups sent to secure the station were also shown differently from moment to moment with smaller support vessels appearing at first and then forgotten. Each battle group had at least one or two Hyperions in addition to the Omega class capital ships, but they were never shown in the battle or retreating or anywhere else. It's possible that something similar happened with the Omega-X battle group or the Mars stationed fleet.

    Different note though, I'm not sure if it's prudent to say that the other races had only their homeworlds and not much else. The Centauri wanted 12 worlds in a single sector from the Drazi to form the new buffer zone and that was only one of the 12 civilizations they were at war with at the time. And the Minbari had long held several worlds at the edge of their space as protectorates like that agrarian society being attacked by the Drahk. We don't know anything about Minbari holdings, only that they are powerful and advanced and for a long time isolationist. But isolationist doesn't necessarily mean small... the U.S. was isolationist for a while around the time period of WW1 but we were one of the larger nations on the Earth.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: SPOILERS Earth Story Arc

    The biggest problem with figuring out the size of fleets when we're dealing with a TV show is just that- that the TV show is hindered by a budget for things like CGI preventing a truly realistic portrayal of things like massive fleets. Josh17 has it mostly correct in that the human species is around 11 billion on Earth alone and probably hundreds of millions more (most likely not yet a billion) on other colonies (Earth, Proxima, more o'neil type stations, etc) We're not talking about very limited budgets to build fleets when the entire species is at risk and they know it. So yeah, chalk a lot of it up to TV CGI budget and technological ability to portray all of that.

    So yeah, most likely fleets are indeed in the tens of thousands (tho obviously only a small percentage of that are going to be Omega class ships, and those will all be spread out among different fleets, bases, etc).

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