Cheeseburger Gothic

The Sturm's next move

Posted December 17 by John Birmingham

I had a chat with Jason yesterday about the outline for the next book in the The Cruel Stars series, a draft of which is due with the publishers at the end of January.
I already knew in broad terms where I wanted to go. One thing holding me back, however, was wondering where the Sturm might go.
Those who read TCS will recall they got a ferocious arse kicking from Hardy & McLennan and Co at the end of the first book. But the Sturm, I can assure you, have more than enough arse to absorb the kicking.
There’s no question about what our heroes have to do next. Get the fuck out of dodge and re-arm, before ginning up a resistance movement.
But what do the bad guys do?
At this stage, they’ll keep driving for Earth. Because that’s the mission and the loss of a mere fleet shouldn’t interfere with that.
It will take nearly two years to get from the edge of the Greater Volume into the Sol system, where the Sturm’s decapitation strike has wreaked utter havoc. But that’s two years for our guys to get their shit together.
McLennan in particular will want to delay the enemy’s advance as long as possible.
How he does that is massive spoiler so I won’t go into it here.
But in the first instance I am interested to hear from any readers about what they imagine the Sturm might do in response to the loss of Admiral Strom’s 101st Attack Fleet.

9 Responses to ‘The Sturm's next move’

Barnesm ducks in to say...

Posted December 17
Go into the hall of mirrors take a good hard look at themselves Re-evaluate their fundamental beliefs, remember its a game with two halves and go out there and win one for the gipper?

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Dirk is gonna tell you...

Posted December 17
Being the Sturm and having a crooked logic, but a logic anyway, I would see them making up a tally. You don't attack unless you have a 3:1 advantage, and your opponent is severly weekend. True you lost a battlefleet, so you moarn and glorify the dead. But you push on: your strength/advantage vis a vis your enemy hasn't changed. Ok, they have superior tech, but you can overcome that with a combination of tech and tactics of your own, the willingness to take huge sacrifices in men and material and pure grit and determination. And keeping your populus in line with harsh terror and propaganda always helps. So the Sturm will rage, probably even harsher then before. "Prisoners? We don't take prisoners! Remember glorious heroes of the 101st!"

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Rob asserts...

Posted December 17
the sturm had a lot of time for planning and war gaming and may have created backup plans, worst case scenario outcomes . eg what if we lose the first fleet to an obnoxious immortal Scotsman ? do we have back up? or a 1000 cuts have been made to a home world now run by digital zombie class ridden filth so we can bide our time to move on to the earth while personally taking out said Scotsman, before he does something super clever (and obnoxious) again.

or

2nd fleet better than the first .

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jason puts forth...

Posted December 17
After getting an arse kicking it is important for morale to deliver an even greater arse kicking , possibly to an opponent who looks stronger but is essentially a punching bag. This should improve morale and establish that the first loss was a fluke.

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insomniac reckons...

Posted December 17
If I know the Sturm, and apparently I do, I'd have sent two fleets concurrently, where the second went on a longer Earthbound arc in some sort of flanking strategy.

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Leftarc mutters...

Posted December 17
Sturm seem abit like the Soviets of WW2.
Quantity has a quality all of its own.

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon mumbles...

Posted December 17
Do they happen to have a couple of elite fighting units specialising in cruel and unusual punishment (allowing a tight focus on narrative as they harass our heroes) while the main fleet continues with their mission in the background? (just putting on a thinking cap - the good guys defeat the big bad in bk1 but not decisively, second book is getting their arses handed to them by the gods of retribution . . . . which i hate to say it means sacrifices of most likely my favourites . . . and then the third book gives a satisfying arse kicking by the underdogs to the big bad previously defeated in book 1) . . . . . . with lots of explosions.

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she_jedi puts forth...

Posted December 17
Would the Sturm lower themselves to sending assassins after that annoying immortal Scotsman, while their Fleet 2.0 with a commander less prone to hubris chugs away to Earth? Could be a fun B plot; while Our Heroes are trying to work out WTF the second fleet are up to, they're distracted and distressed by some Sturm space ninjas messing with them?

Matthew F. puts forth...

Posted December 20
I like this idea.

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