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Author Topic: Ur-Quan... Hierarchy?  (Read 9582 times)
Shiver
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Ur-Quan... Hierarchy?
« on: September 09, 2004, 08:30:57 am »

Hey, if it's called a hierarchy doesn't that imply that the slave races are ranked against each other in worth? Does that mean Admiral ZEX could boss around all of the presumably lower ranking Umgah and Spathi?
« Last Edit: September 09, 2004, 08:31:19 am by Shiver » Logged
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Re: Ur-Quan... Hierarchy?
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2004, 08:59:51 am »

I got the impression that it was a relatively flat hierarchy. With
the Ur-Quan at the top and...well, everyone else at the bottom.
Maybe the combat thralls would rank above fallow slaves, because the
fallows would be required to repair/fuel thralls.
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Shiver
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Re: Ur-Quan... Hierarchy?
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2004, 09:53:37 am »

I don't think the Starbases the fallow slaves are forced to keep running are much more than intergalactic rest stops.
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Art
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Re: Ur-Quan... Hierarchy?
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2004, 10:49:01 am »

I think it's a "Hierarchy" in the sense that the Ur-Quan don't create their own command structure that oversees all their slaves. Their slaves are allowed to maintain their governments and military chains of command: the Spathi Safe Ones, the Ilwrath priesthood, the VUX High Council, the Thraddash Culture Nineteen. The Ur-Quan just overlay their own command structure on top, giving orders to the race's leaders and letting the leaders go about getting the rest of the race to obey. Thus there's many levels of command taking care of the work, and the Ur-Quan can maintain the empire with relatively few Ur-Quan Lords overseeing everything.

I doubt the slaves are ranked against each other, or allowed to give orders to each other, or really forced to interact with each other that much at all. It certainly wouldn't be a good way to reduce tension within the ranks or avoid breeding resentment. The Ur-Quan probably rank races in order of usefulness, and deploy them accordingly (look at the Thraddash), but we never hear any hint of VUX officials giving orders to Spathi, and in fact the races are usually referred to as fighting more or less separately, with some exceptions like the Earthguard (and you'll notice that in Earthguard the more militarily important Ilwrath race nonetheless didn't seem to have the formal power to command Spathi soldiers, who are described as conferring with each other and giving orders to each other and receiving them from Spathiwa).
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Re: Ur-Quan... Hierarchy?
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2004, 06:33:44 pm »

I would imagine that the races have equal rank, but their usefulness in battle would make them scalable automatically.

Sort of like Patton commanding another, less decorated general who is equal rank...the latter would listen closely, if he had any sense.
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Re: Ur-Quan... Hierarchy? (Some spoilers)
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2004, 09:01:55 pm »

The Ur-Quan portion of the Heirarchy seems to be a pretty vertical organization, with Lord 1 at the top, and lord x (where x is the Ur-Quan population) at the bottom.  Below Lord x would be the various battle thralls, under their own governance, but compelled to give logistic and military support to the Ur-Quan, and below the thralls would be the fallow slaves, who are to be mainly administrated in their own imprisonments.

The drawback to the battle thrall system was pretty plain: as long as the Ur-Quan armada maintained the threat of an invincible beatstick, the thralls were manageable, but without the immediate threat of annihilation, the system broke down pretty quickly.  Specifically:

Umgah: While they remained loyal to the Ur-Quan in the big-picture sense, they did seem bound and determined to break all the "little" rules in pursuit of practical jokes, causing worse problems than active disloyalty.  Clonking a Mycon the Ur-Quan might overlook, but engineering a talking pet back to sentience, and their pranks with the Ilwrath could very well have gotten them annihilated.

Ilwrath: "Dogar and Kazon commanded us" probably wasn't going to impress the Ur-Quan much as an excuse for: deserting their post at the moon base, practicing genocide against the Pkunk, or starting a war of mutual annhilation against another battle thrall.

Thraddash: Had a pretty short attention span, and were perfectly willing to jump the fence and ally with the latest species to impress them militarily.

Vux: Okay, they mostly behaved, although admiral Zex's manipulating the human captain for his own purposes before trying to kill him would have been frowned upon.

Androsynth: Hard to say anything about their loyalty without more data, but one would have to think the Ur-Quan would have some sort of laws about forbidden military research, if for no other reason than to insure they don't get overthrown.

Yehat: The kettle was going to boil over on this one sooner or later... it was just a question of how long the starship clans were going to overlook the queen's dishonoring her entire species to preserve her undefeated streak on a technicality.

Mycon: I'm pretty sure that their taking advantage of the Ur-Quans' abscence to expand their influence violated some slave laws.  The Mycon are pretty tough to get a handle on anyway, having the most alien thought processes of any species short of the Orz.  However, I believe the quote:

"Juffo-Wup acknowledges the existence of un-Voidable Non when we are faced with such, we join, absorb and wait for our opportunity to learn the weakness that will allow us to Void the Non."

pretty much indicates the Mycon are ultimately the most disloyal race in the Heirarchy.

Spathi: Are basically going to obey the last person to convincingly threaten them, so are naturally unreliable.  Deserting the moonbase and later joining the alliance (if only to get the perk of illegally changing their slave status) aren't going to sit well with the Greenies.


So, in conclusion, I'd have to say that the Path of Now and Forever, and the Heirarchy in particular, were inevitible failures.  The eternal doctrine, with all its own problems, was a much more realistic goal.
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Re: Ur-Quan... Hierarchy? (Some spoilers)
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2004, 03:13:56 am »

Quote
The Ur-Quan portion of the Heirarchy seems to be a pretty vertical organization, with Lord 1 at the top, and lord x (where x is the Ur-Quan population) at the bottom.  Below Lord x would be the various battle thralls, under their own governance, but compelled to give logistic and military support to the Ur-Quan, and below the thralls would be the fallow slaves, who are to be mainly administrated in their own imprisonments.


Actually, we're specifically told *not* to assume that the Ur-Quan have a purely vertical organization with Lord 1 at the top; the SC1 manual tells us that while the human researches *think* it's something like this, because lower-numbered Lords seem to have more authority, they can't be sure, and they think there is some more complex pattern that explains the numbers' significance, since the numbers we see seem to come out of odd places in the list (a lot of two-digit numbers and only a few three-digit numbers, for instance).

Quote

The drawback to the battle thrall system was pretty plain: as long as the Ur-Quan armada maintained the threat of an invincible beatstick, the thralls were manageable, but without the immediate threat of annihilation, the system broke down pretty quickly.


The Doctrinal Conflict was, after all, a special case that required all available Kzer-Za forces to be called into action immediately. Most of the time there'd probably be some sort of system put in place to watch over the Battle Thralls they left behind. Part of me wonders if Battle Thralls aren't just used to fight local wars and if the Kzer-Za's best strategy might not be to slave-shield all Thrall species after the local conflict is over.

Quote

So, in conclusion, I'd have to say that the Path of Now and Forever, and the Heirarchy in particular, were inevitible failures.  The eternal doctrine, with all its own problems, was a much more realistic goal.


I don't really think so; we have the obvious evidence that the Path of Now and Forever worked all the way up until the next Doctrinal Conflict, after all. Again, we have to think of the Doctrinal Conflict as a special case where *all* other forms of administration had to be dropped to fight the Kohr-Ah. During normal situations, the Kzer-Za seemed pretty adept at forcing races into submission, especially given that they have the ultimate threat of the Sa-Matra. And the existence of Battle Thralls probably gives them a lot of flexibility that the Kohr-Ah don't have.
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Re: Ur-Quan... Hierarchy?
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2004, 06:18:35 am »

Quote

Sort of like Patton commanding another, less decorated general who is equal rank...the latter would listen closely, if he had any sense.


Just had to comment on this. I hate to tell you, but what most people said (at least according to what their logs said), they "were more afraid of him than they ever were of the germans."
« Last Edit: September 10, 2004, 06:18:46 am by FalconMWC » Logged
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Re: Ur-Quan... Hierarchy?
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2004, 02:12:04 pm »

I would be too, but he WAS a brilliant tactitian.
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Re: Ur-Quan... Hierarchy? (Some spoilers)
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2004, 05:48:12 pm »

Quote


Actually, we're specifically told *not* to assume that the Ur-Quan have a purely vertical organization with Lord 1 at the top; the SC1 manual tells us that while the human researches *think* it's something like this, because lower-numbered Lords seem to have more authority, they can't be sure, and they think there is some more complex pattern that explains the numbers' significance, since the numbers we see seem to come out of odd places in the list (a lot of two-digit numbers and only a few three-digit numbers, for instance).


Indeed. It would also be quite senseless to assume that every Quan out there was enough of a tactician to be allowed to control the entire Battle Thralll fleets. It seems quite likely to me that some Kzer-Za would be more tactically gifted, while otehrs would be more of the fighting sort. We know the Kohr-Ah have a Primat, but even there we have no clue as to how much power she weilds within their ranks. The same is probably true of the Kzer-Za.

Quote

The Doctrinal Conflict was, after all, a special case that required all available Kzer-Za forces to be called into action immediately. Most of the time there'd probably be some sort of system put in place to watch over the Battle Thralls they left behind. Part of me wonders if Battle Thralls aren't just used to fight local wars and if the Kzer-Za's best strategy might not be to slave-shield all Thrall species after the local conflict is over.


This has been mentioned in earlier discussions, and I must say I concur completely. Behind the Kzer-Za, there are probably only a lot of ruby red shields. I'd also find it pobable that there are small groups of Kzer-Za left behind. Why? because the Kzer-Za do not commit genocide. Therefore, they must leave some forces behind to make sure no stars go nova and wipe out any shielded race.

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Re: Ur-Quan... Hierarchy?
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2004, 07:55:50 pm »

Unless the entire process was automated...the big question that I have is if the 'Quan leave all their thralls behind, how come they didn't start the war (SC1) with only 1 crew?
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Re: Ur-Quan... Hierarchy?
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2004, 01:26:39 am »

I actually wonder if the Kzer-Za have any internal hierarchy at all. They seem to have a territorial instinct a whole lot more powerful than the Kohr-Ah's, given their one Ur-Quan per ship policy; how well would they take to taking orders from one another?

The main interesting thing to me is that we never hear about any Kzer-Za governing structure or see any Kzer-Za go off to consult with his superiors. The speech in which the Kohr-Ah Primat is mentioned, interestingly, contains no mention of an equivalent Kzer-Za Primat; even for an issue as grave as the return of the Dnyarri, the Kzer-Za Lord makes the decision *by himself* not to contact the Primat, and *by himself* decides to postpone action on the Dnyarri until after the Doctrinal Conflict. If Kzer-Za had any obligations to superiors at all, surely it would be to inform superiors about something like that.

My theory is that the Kohr-Ah, designed to be laborers and soldiers, take to organized, cooperative work with each other a lot better. Kzer-Za were the smart ones, and so the Dnyarri probably would want to discourage collusion among them as much as possible; my theory is that Kzer-Za numberings indicate seniority or respect, the degree to which a Kzer-Za is considered experienced or wise, but no Kzer-Za seems to actually have the authority to give orders to any other; they're all individual Lords aboard their individual Dreadnought-kingdoms, united by a common philosophy. That goes along with their conviction that Ur-Quan are by nature masters and must be constantly superior to all others, who are slaves (the attitude that the Kohr-Ah have such contempt for).
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Re: Ur-Quan... Hierarchy?
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2004, 01:27:26 am »

The Ur-Quan might shield the thralls' homeworlds, but of course they'd make exceptions for their special, favored slaves on board the ships, just as they make exceptions for the slaves picked to work on the starbases.
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Re: Ur-Quan... Hierarchy?
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2004, 02:30:03 am »

Well, obviously - the lower the number, the higher the "rank" in the 'quan ladder of hierarchy. I guess that death 1 or lord 1 is surpreme leader.

As for gender, here is a radical idea, do the Ur-quan have them? I have not really looked, so this might be squashed with one reply, but are the UIr-quan asexual?  
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Re: Ur-Quan... Hierarchy?
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2004, 09:00:44 am »

I just posted as to why, while we know there's a Kohr-Ah Primat who's probably a leader (and probably numbered Death 1), it's a strong possibility that while Lord 1 may be the most respected Kzer-Za there is no Kzer-Za Primat or supreme leader; the Kzer-Za don't seem to be the type for taking orders from each other, in my estimation.

We know that the Ur-Quan reproduce sexually -- the Melnorme directly tell us that before civilization the Ur-Quan's only social interaction rituals were the ones that dealt with sex. Also, the Kohr-Ah make reference to brothers and sisters as separate entities, implying that they do have sexes and recognize genders; similarly the Kzer-Za Lord refers to the Kohr-Ah Primat as "she", while the original namesakes Kzer-Za and Kohr-Ah are both, I think, referred to as "he".

As far as whether they have gender, I don't think they do -- I doubt a species as individualistic as the Ur-Quan would develop social interactions to the point of having gender roles the way humans do. The use of the gendered pronouns is a convention that the Talking Pets probably automatically use to fall in line with human speech; I'd be surprised if the Ur-Quan themselves particularly cared whether any one of them was male or female.
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