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Old Jan 22 2010, 07:30 PM   #1
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Default Rank issues

Hi all- I' m a little confused about the ranks, namely the Wingsecond. Yes, I know what a Wingsecond is; he's the guy or gal who flies just behind the wingleader, backing him up or going to the Red Star for him if he needs it. He's the Deputy Staff Officer, or the Vice President, and second-in-line for the wingleader's position if he is dispatched. How is the Wingsecond chosen? Does each wingleader get to choose his own, or is it a "competitive service appointment" meaning the Wingsecond candidate has to compete like everybody else, with no preference given.

If I were a Wingleader, I'd promote and choose based on ability, with no preference given. Except perhaps to veterans--they've earned the right!

What about the Wingsecond of the entire Weyr? Is he the Weyrsecond? Isn't he also a Wingleader, with his own Wingsecond? Is he the guy whose dragon has caught the Jr. Gold (this time), or is he somebody else?

If the Sr. Weyrwoman and Weyrleader decide to step down, then the next Weyrwoman will be whichever Jr. Queen rises first, right? Then the next Weyrleader is decided by whomever flies her, which may or may not be Wingsecond and his dragon. That's how it works, right? Not exactly competitive service, but hey. . .

Anyway, some help would be much appreciated, as this isn't really clear in the books, at least not the one's that I've read.
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Old Jan 22 2010, 10:15 PM   #2
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Default Re: Rank issues

The wingseconds (there's usually two) of each wing are chosen by the Wingleader. He should choose based on merit -- doing otherwise is likely to get him killed in Fall someday -- but it's up to him. Of course during an Interval, skills aren't as important.



Weyrsecond may be a fan-coined term (I can't recall if Anne ever actually used it) which accurately describes F'nor's position in Benden Weyr. He is F'lar's deputy, sent to do special jobs on the Weyrleader's behalf. There are definitely indications that it is not unique that F'lar has a deputy; I'm not recalling specifics well right now but I think in Moreta at one or more of the Weyrleader conclaves each WL had a designated second.

These deputies or Weyrseconds are chosen by the Weyrleader. They could be any male rider in the Weyr, though most likely they'd either be Wingleaders or a wingsecond from his own wing. It's someone the WL gets along well with and can trust with certain tasks.

If the WL is killed or steps down, there is no guarantee at all that his Weyrsecond would become the next WL -- not even the temporary leader while awaiting the next gold mating flight. That will depend on the will of the Weyr and their acceptance of him versus other candidates.
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Old Jan 23 2010, 03:30 AM   #3
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Default Re: Rank issues

Mor T'ral was a wingsecond, a brown rider, did leatherworking as side craft, and take two of Fort's Wings to Tilek, while Sh'gall is ill, and didn't care for Leri chose for acting Leader, and most of the Weyrs are be lead by wingseconds after the Meeting at the Red Bute Meeting.
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Old Jan 26 2010, 06:52 PM   #4
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Default Re: Rank issues

Quote:
There are definitely indications that it is not unique that F'lar has a deputy; I'm not recalling specifics well right now but I think in Moreta at one or more of the Weyrleader conclaves each WL had a designated second.
I do beleive that you're right. I seem to recall that during the big Weyrleader's meeting in Moreta, all the Weyrleaders had a second--which is why I just assumed that everybody always had one ( or 2). Everybody needs their Wingsecond. Kind of like Batman and Robin!

During Threadfall, the Weyrleader flies above all the wings (or wherever he can get the best view) to check their formation, wind direction, etc.Whaqt does the Wingsecond/Weyrsecond do? Just hang out? Contemplate his bellybutton? If he's also a Wingleader, I presume that he'd be in charge of one of the wings, wouldn't he? What if he's not?

When F'lar and Mnementh 'won' the mating flight in DF, he went from Wingleader to Weyrleader overnight. He had two Wingseconds, didn't he? F'nor and somebody else. . . What happened to the other guy? I know--Canth thought he was a tasty snack.

What do you suppose Benden Weyr thought of having a brown rider as Wingsecond? Now that I think of it, I bet F'lar got some grief over that too, as we know not everyone (ex. R'gul) was really with him right at first. And R'gul seems like just the type to be hidebound enough to be upset that Canth is brown.

**Kind of nifty foreshadowing there, Ms. McCaffrey.
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Old Jan 26 2010, 09:07 PM   #5
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Default Re: Rank issues

I'm guessing the Weyrsecond would typically be the senior (or possibly just the favored) Wingsecond of the Weyrleader's wing.

Like, say you've got three wings flying wedge formations -- and we'll say that because it's the quickest illustration I can make with Os :


O
O O
O O O
O O O O
O O O O O

Weyrleader's Wing

O.......................................O
O O....................................O O
O O O.................................O O O
O O O O..............................O O O O
O O O O O...........................O O O O O

Wing Two............................Wing Three

So like-- the guy at the front, in bold red, is the Weyrleader; the two guys in orange behind him are his Wingseconds, with the bolded orange guy on the left being the Weyrsecond.

The two guys in blue are regular Wingleaders, and the four guys in green are Wingseconds. Yes? Maybe?
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Old Jan 26 2010, 10:24 PM   #6
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Default Re: Rank issues

I think the weyr leader switch around the weyr second job, so that all of the bronzes get trained to be weyr leader. That is the way I would do it. You just don't know who is going to be next weyr leader.
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Old Jan 27 2010, 02:28 AM   #7
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Default Re: Rank issues

DF F'lar other wing second would be T'sun brown Munth rider.
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Old Jan 27 2010, 03:55 AM   #8
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Default Re: Rank issues

Can't help myself...

Yes, T'sun, the rider with the bronze complexion formerly know as Toomuchsun, has a bronze dragon too


To sum it all up, his name was T'sum and he and his dragon were a twosome...


Oh, I'm bad
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Old Jan 27 2010, 05:14 AM   #9
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Default Re: Rank issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cavatica View Post
I'm guessing the Weyrsecond would typically be the senior (or possibly just the favored) Wingsecond of the Weyrleader's wing.
That's my theory too - though it wouldn't necessarily have to be the wingsecond of the weyrleader's wing - why not his best mate F'riend who also happens to be a wingleader? I think it needs to be someone of at LEAST wingsecond rank, and the wingsecond of the WL wing is the obvious choice.

[My version of Pern in Current Fanfic - I give the Weyr two 'Weyrseconds', one a brown wingsecond from the WL's wing, plus one of the other wingleaders. You never know when you'll need to delegate authority in more than one place at a time, after all...]
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Old Jan 27 2010, 09:01 AM   #10
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Default Re: Rank issues

I agree with Kath that it's either one of the WL's wingsecond, or a different wingleader (after all, if you really really like your weyrsecond wouldn't you want to let him run his own wing, unless of course he's a brownrider and therefore it'd look way too nepotistic to grant him a wing?).


Mawra, while it may be a smart idea to rotate weyrseconds to give other bronzeriders a feel for the job, I can't see that actually happening. Firstly there's going to be other riders that the WL just doesn't like and won't want to train (he'd rather they failed at the WL job should they actually snatch it from him). Secondly, he needs someone who is well-trained and can be counted on to react a certain way so they can work as a team; changing frequently to less-experienced riders could be dangerous.
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Old Jan 27 2010, 05:22 PM   #11
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Default Re: Rank issues

Quote:
What do you suppose Benden Weyr thought of having a brown rider as Wingsecond? Now that I think of it, I bet F'lar got some grief over that too, as we know not everyone (ex. R'gul) was really with him right at first. And R'gul seems like just the type to be hidebound enough to be upset that Canth is brown.
I'm pretty sure that at the beginning of DF, there were only seven bronzes. I'm not certain, but that would explain why F'lar is even a Wingleader under R'gul!
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Old Jan 27 2010, 05:39 PM   #12
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Default Re: Rank issues

Indeed Brenda, there were only 7 bronzes at the start of DF, so each was a wingleader.
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Old Jan 27 2010, 06:05 PM   #13
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Default Re: Rank issues

Yeah, and at full strength, a Weyr with a capacity of, I dunno, 300 fighting dragons -- let's say it's one of the smaller Weyrs -- might break down like:

158 greens
87 blues
35 browns
20 bronzes

--since greens are at least 50% of a Weyr's fighting strength, and then, you know, just kind of keep on dividing by 2 as you go down the list. For the sake of argument, let's say we're not counting weyrlings in these numbers. I'm also not counting golds or retired dragonriders or pregnant greenriders flying in the Gold Wing or whatever.

DLG says three Wings are the smallest number that can fight a Threadfall. Three Wings = One Flight, with, the DLG goes on, up to 90 dragons in a Flight. That's a maximum of 30 dragons per Wing.

300/30 = 10 Wings. Put a bronzerider at the helm of each one and you've only got enough left for 10 bronze Wingseconds; the rest you'd need to fill with browns. THAT'S assuming that ALL of your bronzeriders are competent enough to fill ranking positions, which they almost certainly won't be, and that ALL of your wings have exactly 30 dragons in them, and blah blah.

Point is, no: I doubt very much that there'd be a lot of rotation happening amongst the bronzers! There just aren't that many of them to spare.
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Old Jan 27 2010, 06:32 PM   #14
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Default Re: Rank issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cavatica View Post
--since greens are at least 50% of a Weyr's fighting strength, and then, you know, just kind of keep on dividing by 2 as you go down the list.
...
DLG says three Wings are the smallest number that can fight a Threadfall. Three Wings = One Flight, with, the DLG goes on, up to 90 dragons in a Flight. That's a maximum of 30 dragons per Wing.
There's an out here. If the blues/greens only fly half a fall, and they account for 3/4 of the dragon population, you have a ratio of large:small dragons of 1:3. If the small colours fly half-shifts, in a fighting wing of 30 dragons, you get a ratio of 1:1.5 at any given time, or 12 large dragons and 18 small dragons, plus another 18 small dragons in reserve for when the others are worn out. That gives you wings of 50 dragons apiece at full strength, and only 6 wings in a 300-strong Weyr. Bend those numbers as you want - it all depends on what you think of the stamina of the little dragons in threadfall - but it gives you a different limit on the numbers.
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Old Jan 28 2010, 06:58 AM   #15
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Default Re: Rank issues

Rather you like all the bronze riders or not I think that they would all need to be trained to run the weyr. If you lost the leadership you would want someone who knew what they were doing in charge. Exspecially during a fall.
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Old Jan 28 2010, 01:06 PM   #16
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Default Re: Rank issues

I don't know how much it counts but the dragondex at the back of Moreta (at least in On Dragonwings) says that the greens are the only ones who can't last a whole fall. It does say specifically that blues are capable of lasting one. I'm wondering if each Wingleader had two Wingseconds could they have a blue wingsecond (I think they did in the CoP and surely the Ninth Pass dragons with their increased size and strength could do it) and if you wanted a green wingsecond if you had two green wingseconds or even a brown or blue and a green you'd still have at least one wingsecond for the length of the Fall. I mean, I guess it's not likely to happen in the Ninth Pass, but it would be technically possible, at least in theory, wouldn't it?
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Old Jan 28 2010, 04:45 PM   #17
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Default Re: Rank issues

Except, mawra, if a bronzerider were noticably incompetant at being a ranker the odds are VERY high he simply won't win a flight for Senior leadership. When it comes to a senior queen, not only are the queen's preferences relevant, the Weyr as a whole has an influence (see DF and Moreta.) Moreta can't stand Sh'gall as a person and he has his minor issues, but he's a good leader for Fall, so he keeps winning Orlith's flights. There's an implication in DF that the Weyr is starting to come around on the R'gul vs. F'lar issue, plus Lessa absolutely will not stand for him (or likely S'lel), while Lessa/Ramoth favors Orth and Mnementh (T'bor and F'lar.)

Side Note: F'lar, R'gul, S'lel, K'net, and T'bor are the five I can think of--who are the other two bronze riders?
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Old Jan 28 2010, 05:27 PM   #18
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Default Re: Rank issues

I don't think the other two bronzeriders ever get named.
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Old Jan 29 2010, 01:57 AM   #19
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2cent Re: Rank issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anareth View Post
Side Note: F'lar, R'gul, S'lel, K'net, and T'bor are the five I can think of--who are the other two bronze riders?
<sinp>
D'nol bronze Valenth; I recalled his name not his dragon so I had to look it up, pg. 22 in the DRoP - Dragonriders of Pern, the copy I got from Dragonbuddy.
S'lan bronze Binth; I recall the his dragon and Orth were 'blooding their kills'

Also only time I've recall any problem is when F'nor said something about calling the bronzes back, something he a brown rider shouldn't do in front of bronze riders "Shrug Shoulder" Lessa called the two back F'lar and K'net.

I hope this helps. I am going to eye dr. and don't know when I get back on line if my eyes are dilated.
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Old Feb 2 2010, 01:48 AM   #20
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Default Re: Rank issues

Referencing Todd Johnson's "Threadfighting: Tactics and Organization" from the rules of Mayfair Games' Dragonriders of Pern board game:

A Wing consists of 16-30 dragons and their riders.
A Wing is lead by a Wingleader who usually has two Wingseconds under him.
A Wingleader is normally a bronze rider.
A Weyr optimally has 9 fighting Wings and 1 additional Wing in training (i.e. Weyrlings).
Three Wings form a Flight.
Three Wings (one Flight) is regarded as minimal strength to meet a Fall.
A Weyr optimally has 270 fighting pairs, 30 pairs in training (i.e. Weyrlings), and 30 or more spare pairs (probably convalescents returning to action) and 3+ gold pairs for a total strength of 330-360 pairs.
A Weyr that could form a tenth fighting Wing would rotate one Wing out for extended rest and recuperation.

F'lar took 172 dragons to his first Fall and had two Wings flying with Wingleaders mounted on browns (F'nor and T'sum) both identified as F'lar's Wingseconds [sic]. In fact they would have been F'lar's former Wingseconds, since promoted to Wingleaders.

I quote: "As can be seen, dragonriders are notorious chop and change artists. Leadership to a dragonrider, is a question of who is best able to lead. Normally, the bronze dragonriders are the best leaders (because the bronze dragons choose those best able to lead) while the brown dragonriders may be the next best."

"This is not a hard and fast rule, however. In the course of a Pass, with bronze dragons too old, too young, or lost outright to Thread, a great many brown, blue and green dragons find themselves in prominent positions."

"This capability of the dragonriders to change leadership and positions within a wing—or even from Weyr to Weyr—was born of necessity."

"A Wingleader would, without hesitation, fight under the leadership of another Weyrleader's Wingsecond, a position of supposedly less stature than a Wingleader's."

Now, I'll diverge from what the author's son so helpfully provided. (Anyone inclined to argue the canon nature of his work, take it up with the author—she had the final word on that a long time ago.)

While the Dragonriders of Pern form an Air Corps, the number of personnel involved and the complete removal of the ground establishment (Lower Caverns/weyrfolk) from the control of the operational commander (the Weyrleader), does not produce a parallel rank structure. The rank structure more closely resembles a much smaller ground force unit.

Air = Army = personnel = commander

Air Corps = Corps = 20,000-45,000 personnel = LtGeneral/General (O-9/10)
Wing = Division = 10,000-15,000 personnel = Major General/Lt General (O-8/9)
Group = Regiment/Brigade =3000-5000 personnel = Colonel/Brigadier General (O-6/7)
Squadron = Battalion = 300-1300 personnel = LtCol/Colonel (O-5/6)

A better parallel of Pern's rank structure:

Air Corps = Dragonriders of Pern = 1800-3000 pairs = (none) = Rgmt/Brigade = BGen (O-7)
Wing = Weyr = 300-360 pairs = Weyrleader = Battalion = Colonel (O-6)
Group = Flight = 64-90 pairs = Flightleader = Company = Captain (O-3)
Squadron = Wing = 16-30 pairs = Wingleader = Platoon = 2nd/1st Lieutenant (O-1/2)
Flight = (none) = 6-10 pairs = Wingsecond = Squad = Sergeant (E-6)

This makes each Weyr the parallel of a landsknecht or condottieri unit, mercenary companies that fought in 15th-16th Century Germany and Italy. Each is independent, autonomous, but they function under a shared code (laws of war/Weyr lore). They'll fight together and when they do, a nominal leader is selected on mutually agreed criteria (seniority/tradition/lots) similar to how the Weyrs resolve overall leadership (Fort by tradition/acclamation by ability/territory of a Fall).

Within a mercenary unit the rank structure was frequently not as rigid as in a standing army full of careerists. Military ability often counted for more than time-in-rank, so the sub-unit commanders changed frequently in their degree of responsibility or relative rank. This might make a middle rank officer "first among equals" of the junior rank and similarly the commander of the unit might be "first among equals" of the middle rank. This is similar to Pern.

There is no General Officer rank on Pern; no one controls all the Dragonriders of Pern, at least not until F'lar. Even then, F'lar is technically first among equals, more of a Captain General than a Commanding General although his de facto power is more in line with the latter rank. One might be tempted to assign the General Officer rank to the Weyrwomen except for the fact that they are outside the operational (fighting) chain of command, except when flying in the Queens' Wing and then are subordinate in the operational chain of command. They control the Administrative and Logistic side in parallel; they are the Quartermasters General.

The only permanent line officer rank is "bronze rider." Officer billets that bronze riders can fill are:

Weyrleader of Pern
Weyrleader
Weyrlingmaster
Flightleader
Wingleader
Wingsecond

All such billets are effectively temporary, or what are called "frocked" positions. An officer placed in such a position is entitled to the insignia and dignities of the rank appropriate to that position, but is not paid as someone of the rank until officially promoted to that rank. An officer removed from a frocked position reverts to his previous rank. On Pern there is no permanent promotion. Wingleaders can be replaced at the pleasure of the Weyrleader; Weyrleaders can be replaced at the pleasure of the senior queen dragon and her rider during a mating flight; Weyrleader of Pern is a position that will probably die with F'lar.

The role of Wingsecond is effectively that of a sergeant. The only permanent sergeant rank is "brown rider." The position of Wingsecond might be filled temporarily by a bronze rider in learning status to become a Wingleader, but would undoubtedly be filled by a brown rider once the bronze rider moves on.

Weyrlingmaster is a specialized role outside the combat chain of command, and one that is frequently filled by a bronze rider similar to a unit's training officer, although it can be filled by a brown rider, rather like a warrant officer or sergeant major.

This makes the blue riders the corporals and the green riders the privates.

A brown rider performing as a Wingleader, or a blue or green rider as a Wingsecond, would be the equivalent of "battlefield promotions" which were often revoked when the situation normalized. In this case, they would be replaced once a suitable pair of a senior color achieved the necessary proficiency.

Given how the Weyrleader is chosen, bronze riders must be willing to accept the principle of "first among equals" because the management could change with any mating flight of the senior queen, or about every six months during Pass. When the Weyrleadership changes the entire command structure of the Weyr could change based on who that Weyrleader wants as Wingleaders, etc... Any day your bitter rival could be the boss, and six months later you might be. That demands flexibility. So too do combat casualties.

We see no Vice-Weyrleader, but given the Weyr's triangular command structure, if the Weyrleader stepped down, the leadership would probably go by acclamation to one of his two de facto "seconds" the other two Flight Leaders, or possibly the Weyrlingmaster, depending on their relative prominence, until the next mating flight. If the Weyrwoman stepped down, her replacement would be the senior of the junior queens' rider until the next queen rose to mate, at which point that queen rider would be Weyrwoman whether the senior of the junior queens or not.

Effectively, the Weyrleader is simultaneously the Wingleader of his Wing, the Flight Leader of a Flight of three Wings, and the Weyrleader of three Flights. Similarly, Flight Leaders are simultaneously acting as the Flight Leader of three Wings, and as the Wing Leader of their own wing.

Given that there are normally 9+1 Wings in a Weyr and about 15-16 bronze riders, allowing for those that are too old, too young and injured, you can figure they will be just enough to fill the Wingleader, Weyrlingmaster, Flightleader and Weyrleader billets. The proportion of browns is about twice that of bronzes which also matches nicely the number of "non-comm" or sergeant roles in 1:2 ratio bronze to brown..

Last edited by ElectricDragon; Feb 4 2010 at 12:52 AM. Reason: clarification and correction
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Old Feb 3 2010, 12:33 AM   #21
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a blue wingsecond (I think they did in the CoP <snip>
CoP:SW - "The Second Weyr" Two blue wing second

Also here is something reading over ED ElectricDragon post SoP F'lessan flew as a Wing Second with both Southern and Monaco Bay Weyrleaders, before he got hurt, Monaco Bay Weyrleader, used that reference for the last time F'lessan flew with them, during the Fireball Flood.
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Old Feb 3 2010, 01:02 AM   #22
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CoP:SW - "The Second Weyr" Two blue wing second

Also here is something reading over ED ElectricDragon post SoP F'lessan flew as a Wing Second with both Southern and Monaco Bay Weyrleaders, before he got hurt, Monaco Bay Weyrleader, used that reference for the last time F'lessan flew with them, during the Fireball Flood.
F'lessan was a bit of an underachiever, so seeing him and his bronze filling a lesser role than they "should" have been filling isn't surprising. He was obviously depriving a deserving brown rider of a job...unless that ambitious brown rider was filling the Wingleader position F'lessan should have been. However, by that point in time, Ramoth had thrown so many bronzes I doubt there was a shortage of bronzes to fill the gap left by F'lessan.

There is a remote possibility that referring to F'lessan as a Weyrleader's Wingsecond might be an oblique way of identifying him as a Flightleader, a more responsible role, but that seems out of character for F'lessan's laid-back attitude.
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Old Feb 3 2010, 05:04 AM   #23
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Actually, F'lessan was being an overachiever in that respect - the flying Wingsecond with Southern and Monaco was essentially on a volunteer basis. He was still a Benden Wingleader at the same time.
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Old Feb 3 2010, 04:21 PM   #24
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Actually, F'lessan was being an overachiever in that respect - the flying Wingsecond with Southern and Monaco was essentially on a volunteer basis. He was still a Benden Wingleader at the same time.
That's not 'overacheiver', that's nepotism, because he wouldn't get away with that if he weren't F'lar and Lessa's son. And does it say he's a wingleader? Because if he is, he's derelict in his duty--he should be at Benden, leading his wing, not farting around the Southern Continent, poking at things and boinking green riders with neuroses. If Southern or Monaco are so short-handed they need riders, F'lessan could request a transfer and give up a leader position at Benden to riders who want to be there.
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Old Feb 4 2010, 12:36 AM   #25
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That's not 'overacheiver', that's nepotism, because he wouldn't get away with that if he weren't F'lar and Lessa's son. And does it say he's a wingleader? Because if he is, he's derelict in his duty--he should be at Benden, leading his wing, not farting around the Southern Continent, poking at things and boinking green riders with neuroses. If Southern or Monaco are so short-handed they need riders, F'lessan could request a transfer and give up a leader position at Benden to riders who want to be there.
Concur. I grew to greatly dislike the character for his priorities. When you're leading a unit, your first priority is the unit. Just ask a lot of neglected military spouses. Especially when Jaxom was constantly criticized for dividing his priorities. Jaxom at least had the decency to be very conflicted about matters, and grew to place Ruatha first, to his personal inconvenience.

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Old Feb 4 2010, 02:43 AM   #26
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Its say he is a Wingleader SoP, and he spend time keeping his and Golly find Honshu into a Weyrhold to show what dragonriders could do After fall has stoped. He and his dragon like fighting Thread. He was what I call communting between work and home, just not on/at base when not needed.

He reports to Benden Weyr, just lives mostly at Honshu and in a way betweens before the feline attact, between his duties as a Benden Wingleader, and as caretaker of the new holding, He also was tryng to get away from his early how I put it "lustiness" and took his responsibly for I don't think F'lar would put his Wing in High for fighting Threadfalll, if his Weyrleader didn't think he was good at leading his wing. He and his dragon found it whlle on a mission for F'lar in AtWP and they could have sent F'nor or an older one to do that but they didn't.
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Old Feb 4 2010, 10:48 AM   #27
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Concur. I grew to greatly dislike the character for his priorities. When you're leading a unit, your first priority is the unit. Just ask a lot of neglected military spouses. Especially when Jaxom was constantly criticized for dividing his priorities. Jaxom at least had the decency to be very conflicted about matters, and grew to place Ruatha first, to his personal inconvenience.
I never understood how he's supposed to be a hero but actually seems to be a playboy coasting on his name. F'nor did more work in DF as a brown wingsecond than F'lessan does at all. He wants Honshu as a Weyrhold for when Thread ends forever? Got news for you, kid--it's still falling.
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Old Feb 4 2010, 10:39 PM   #28
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That's not 'overacheiver', that's nepotism, because he wouldn't get away with that if he weren't F'lar and Lessa's son. And does it say he's a wingleader? Because if he is, he's derelict in his duty--he should be at Benden, leading his wing, not farting around the Southern Continent, poking at things and boinking green riders with neuroses. If Southern or Monaco are so short-handed they need riders, F'lessan could request a transfer and give up a leader position at Benden to riders who want to be there.

Like the 'boinking green riders' comment, Anareth! That is true though. .. I might get around to calling what F'lessan did 'negligence' yet (he's responsible for the riders who fly with him, so he can't just leave 'em hangin') It's all fun and games 'til you poke somebodies eye out, believe me.


Anyway, I like this:
Quote:
I quote: "As can be seen, dragonriders are notorious chop and change artists. Leadership to a dragonrider, is a question of who is best able to lead. Normally, the bronze dragonriders are the best leaders (because the bronze dragons choose those best able to lead) while the brown dragonriders may be the next best."
because it reminds me of the saying, "All leadership is situational", meaning that real leaders respond to the needs of their group (wing, in this case)and change leadership styles, as needed. Change people, too!

So, Bluerider, in answer to your question, I don't see why one of "lower colors" couldn't ride in a high-ranked position. If he's good, he's good, period. Circumstances are circumstances. A personal pet peeve of mine about the way the Pern stories are set up is that dragon color seems to be an indicator of intelligence, but that's neither here nor there.

In DQ, when F'lar had to decide who to put where after the Oldtimers went South, Lessa (I think) thought N'ton might make a good Wingsecond at Fort Weyr, so he could became Weyrleader and be well liked, not just as 'someone Benden foisted on us'. But when F'nor was. . . busy ( I'm gonna leave that can of worms over in the corner, ok?), N'ton did F'nor's job for him, basically, even though he was actually Wingsecond at another Weyr at the time.

Yay for N'ton, I suppose, for being flexible. Yay for Canth, for existing!
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Old Feb 5 2010, 12:32 AM   #29
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Its say he is a Wingleader SoP, and he spend time keeping his and Golly find Honshu into a Weyrhold to show what dragonriders could do After fall has stoped. He and his dragon like fighting Thread. He was what I call communting between work and home, just not on/at base when not needed.

He reports to Benden Weyr, just lives mostly at Honshu and in a way betweens before the feline attact, between his duties as a Benden Wingleader, and as caretaker of the new holding, He also was tryng to get away from his early how I put it "lustiness" and took his responsibly for I don't think F'lar would put his Wing in High for fighting Threadfalll, if his Weyrleader didn't think he was good at leading his wing. He and his dragon found it whlle on a mission for F'lar in AtWP and they could have sent F'nor or an older one to do that but they didn't.
Leading a fighting unit isn't the same as being a manager at the office. You have responsibility for that unit around the clock, not just during the business day. It's a little hard to do that sort of thing when you're not around a large chuck of the time.
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Old Feb 5 2010, 12:35 AM   #30
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I never understood how he's supposed to be a hero but actually seems to be a playboy coasting on his name. F'nor did more work in DF as a brown wingsecond than F'lessan does at all. He wants Honshu as a Weyrhold for when Thread ends forever? Got news for you, kid--it's still falling.
I note that F'lar and Lessa are vaguely disappointed he is not more ambitious, but being as he was fostered, they don't get uptight about it. They can accept it because they haven't been devoting their time to raising him on a daily basis.

He's still a spoiled child of high parentage who probably does get to take liberties due to his parents' indulgence of him. I don't think much of him. He's not a bad guy, and his is useful in his way, but if I had my choice of who I would listen to and who I would consult with of the two, it would be Jaxom.
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Old Feb 5 2010, 02:57 PM   #31
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I'm no fan of Jaxom, but he did plenty he didn't HAVE to do. No one expected Ruth to fly thread, but they did. He took a huge risk with himself and his dragon to make the leaps to the Red Star. He manned up and took running Ruatha seriously. Meanwhile F'lessan, who's roughly the same age (maybe 5 years younger max) is working on having his cake and eating it, too. I don't think he ought to have been expected to equal or exceed his parents' accomplisments (which are beyond substantial) but like you said, if he's a wingLEADER he has responsibilities all the time. If his argument was "Well, I dont' want him winning gold flights, never gonna be Weyrleader, I need to plan for my retirement down south" then the responsible thing to do is step down and let someone else lead who does care.
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Old Feb 5 2010, 09:33 PM   #32
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Well before the attact of the felines, in SoP, it says that he didn't want to become Weyrleader, he hoped that his folk would continue to lead Benden.

He was showing after he knew that he was no longer a wing rider, and by restoring the old telescope he found at his Weyrhold to do something to help Pern. He and Tia make a good pair, she and her greem, also studies/suports him while continuing her duties as a wing rider at Monaco Wyer.
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Old Feb 5 2010, 11:02 PM   #33
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After Golanth is permanently maimed he doesn't have a choice--he's baggage at a Weyr at that point.

The point is not he should want to be Weyrleader, it's that he's a WINGleader, allegedly. And he's darting off to Southern whenever he feels like it, he doesn't really WANT to be a leader...FINE. STOP LEADING. Resign your rank, be a regular old wingrider (given the number of bronzes Ramoth and Mnementh produce there shouldn't be a dearth of replacements) and let someone who cares have the rank.
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Old Feb 6 2010, 12:06 AM   #34
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[QUOTE=Anareth;159461]After Golanth is permanently maimed he doesn't have a choice--he's baggage at a Weyr at that point. <sinp> [QUOTE]

He is a good Wingleader, before he finds his Weyrhold, which is what kept him going after, if I remember right they the Weyrleader/Wingleader, to tried a new rider in that position, I would think that he was a Wing Rider, Wingsecond, Wingleader, just like N'ton, who was the WingSecond to Fort after the banishment in DQ.
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Old Feb 6 2010, 12:42 AM   #35
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I'm no fan of Jaxom, but he did plenty he didn't HAVE to do. No one expected Ruth to fly thread, but they did. He took a huge risk with himself and his dragon to make the leaps to the Red Star. He manned up and took running Ruatha seriously. Meanwhile F'lessan, who's roughly the same age (maybe 5 years younger max) is working on having his cake and eating it, too. I don't think he ought to have been expected to equal or exceed his parents' accomplisments (which are beyond substantial) but like you said, if he's a wingLEADER he has responsibilities all the time. If his argument was "Well, I dont' want him winning gold flights, never gonna be Weyrleader, I need to plan for my retirement down south" then the responsible thing to do is step down and let someone else lead who does care.
That would be best. A part-time leader is no such thing.
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Old Feb 6 2010, 09:16 AM   #36
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If I was a wing leader I'd want my wing seconds on the two back outer corners of the triangle.

Or, given that a triangle seven on a side totals 28 (almost 30), put them in 5th position back which gives them each a sub-section of six and leaves me with a diamond main unit of 16.
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Old Feb 6 2010, 02:35 PM   #37
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If I was a wing leader I'd want my wing seconds on the two back outer corners of the triangle.

Or, given that a triangle seven on a side totals 28 (almost 30), put them in 5th position back which gives them each a sub-section of six and leaves me with a diamond main unit of 16.
If you figure roughly a bronze, four browns, eight blues and 16 greens in a wing at nearly full strength, I'd have four sub-wing elements of one brown, two blue and four green. Greens don't fly a full fall and while blues can, it's a long pull for them. So I'd put a blue in charge of each pair of greens and fly the first half of the Fall with a blue and two greens under each brown. At the midpoint of the Fall, a new section of one blue and two greens would rotate in under each brown. There would be a 17-dragon front throughout fall, exclusive of casualties.

The most common formation would almost never be a solid wedge, not with a need for covering maximum frontage. While a line-abreast formation might be optimum, it makes for difficult station-keeping, so the most common formation would be an inverted V or a long echelon to right or left. (Technically, an inverted V is just two opposing echelons joined at the center.)

If I needed to cover in depth, I would still not use a solid wedge. It limits maneuvering room and increases the likelihood of someone in the middle of the formation getting hit. If I needed a depth formation, I would instead use multiple lines, such as three echelons covering the same frontage. Each echelon would be lower and behind the preceding. I would not use three chevrons (inverted Vs) as it would again restrict the maneuvering of the following formations, be visually confusing in a fight and would not provide any better coverage than three echelons.

My suspicion is that as a practical matter--all other factors such as wind, whether and state of training being equal--almost all Thread-fighting would be done en echelon, with an occasional application for an inverted-V. The echelon provides the simplest visually distinguishable line in the sky against which to pick out what has been missed, making it easier to scan for such "leakers" compared to even and inverted V.

Where, specifically to place the Wingseconds would depend upon conditions such as visibility, wind, state of training and the type of Fall. Having the Wingseconds at the ends of an inverted V lets them observe the intervening pairs and monitor formation and casualties. It would also make the mid-span positions good "makee-learn" positions for up-and-coming Wingseconds. Placing Wingseconds at mid-span, however, facilitates visual communications by gesture. Having them adjacent to the Wingleader might permit spoken communication, but to no good purpose in a fight--they are not likely to be that close and voices don't carry far in a 35 knot wind. In an echelon it would be desirable to have one Wingsecond at mid-span and one at the end. The Wingleader would, of course, be at the head of the echelon.

The only use I see for a solid wedge would be as a parade formation.
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Old Feb 7 2010, 03:03 AM   #38
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Well I don't know if this any good or not, but they do have something call a Wing Hollow for Ista Weyr. in DLGP Dragonslovers' Guide to Pern.
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Old Feb 8 2010, 05:49 PM   #39
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Quote:

My suspicion is that as a practical matter--all other factors such as wind, whether and state of training being equal--almost all Thread-fighting would be done en echelon, with an occasional application for an inverted-V. The echelon provides the simplest visually distinguishable line in the sky against which to pick out what has been missed, making it easier to scan for such "leakers" compared to even and inverted V.
Um. . . what's an echelon? Is that like a really wide 'V' or a chevron formation?

I did my thing in marching band in high school, but that still doesn't mean I know what echelon is. However, my favorite formation in K-9 Drill Team was called the Serpentine, which, wow. . . When it worked, it worked! When not, ha!
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Old Feb 9 2010, 01:43 AM   #40
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An inverted V is just that: take a V and flip it vertically. The leader is at the point, and the two arms of the V spread out behind and to either side. A chevron is technically just a V, either upright or inverted, but most commonly used to indicate a series of such V shapes in front or behind each other, like the rank insignia of sergeants.

To make an echelon, simply remove one arm of an inverted V. If you remove the left arm, the remaining angled line is a right-echelon formation. If you remove the right arm, the remaining angled line is a left-echelon formation. So, obviously, an inverted-V is just two opposed echelons (left and right) joined at the leader's position.

You see these formations all the time with birds because it simplifies the sight lines for the birds to maintain formation. They also get some lift benefit from the vortex off the wings of the previous bird in the formation. It's no different with aircraft. Flying in echelon simplifies station keeping in formation. A right echelon is preferred because it allows a pilot to look over his throttle hand, keeping that in his peripheral vision.

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