In S4E10, Ashford hunts Inaros and attacks him near the end of the episode. He EMPs Inaros ship and decides to board it, which makes sense, as he wants to capture him. But that's where my understanding ends. While one of my gripes has already been answered in this related question, there are several more

  • Why does Ashford board the ship with only three people? It's a military vessel of the OPA as close to a regular military vessel as possible, surely he doesn't start a manhunt with a crew of four and leaves no one behind on his warship.
  • What is Ashfords ship doing? After the boarding team is defeated, it's pretty much completely ignored. Why didn't he tell his ship to blow up Inaros, if the boarding action fails? He obviously was able to send a message.
  • When Ashford confronts Inaros, he is clearly alone with Phillip. Yet in the next scene, Inaros ship is full of people fulfilling his orders. Where did all that crew come from? I find it hard to believe, that Inaros would send dozens of people into hiding while a small contingent tries to fight off the boarding party, instead of overwhleming the boarders with force of numbers. Also makes Ashfords decision to board with just three soldiers even more strange.

Maybe the book is clearer here?

2 Answers 2


The books add no clarity since Ashford is very different there, in fact one of the huge improvements over the books (there aren't a lot!) is Ashford. In the book he's a vain blowhard who shows up just to be a threat, and then is neutralized. He always read like a cardboard character in the book to me (he's only in one). In the series they really fleshed him out as ostensibly a "bad guy" at the start but ends up becoming a close compatriot to Drummer (who herself is a complete fabrication of the series stitched together from several characters).

I agree the Marcos attack has a couple of question marks. For one thing, the Tynan (Ashford's ship) isn't huge with a large crew. My guess is that was his entire crew, hoping to take them by surprise. It was a trap, Marco's crew was hiding. I agree, it's a bit of a brow-raiser, but Ashford was always bombastic and there's nothing to really suggest that the attack on Marcos was really a suicide mission. I wouldn't assume it's a given that these ships have huge crews. But yeah, I understand why it might bug you a bit.

  • The crew size is pretty accurate. The Roci is considered pretty dangerous, and it appears it can be operated effectively (though probably not properly maintained) by a single person.
    – T.J.L.
    Commented Apr 3, 2020 at 12:06
  • 1
    The crew size does work for the Roci, but the Roci is an anomaly, not the norm and here a low crew size is a big issue. Ashford specifically intends to board Inaros vessel. It's completely stupid and reckless to a) not bring extra crew and launch such a mission with a crew of four and b) to not leave anybody on his own ship to operate it. This is even more exasperated by the fact that Ashford basically lost 25% of his crew to the martian captive.
    – Dulkan
    Commented Apr 3, 2020 at 12:24
  • 3
    @T.J.L. The Roci is a Martian warship, and the Martians build to the highest quality which includes state-of-the-art automation. It is not representative of anything the belters will typically be operating.
    – Harabeck
    Commented Apr 3, 2020 at 15:27

A crew of 5 isn't unreasonable for a belter ship that size, but it's way too low for a pirate boarding crew. Realistically it makes more sense for Ashford to board with a much larger assault force, with his experience I expect he would be on a manhunt with at least 10 fighters. I think the show made the compromise so that the boarding battle wouldn't be too long and that Ashford would have a chance to shine as a badass underdog, but still lose.

It was probably a surprise attack, not a trap. There is no way Inaros would leave himself that open to assassination if it was a trap, Ashford could have killed him right there. The only reason Ashford didn't shoot Inaros and bite Filip's bullet was because he wanted to get the word out on Inaros' asteroid attack.

Ashford's ship was probably not able to take on Inaros' ship in a straight fight, so he went with a stealth boarding attempt instead. That's just a guess, but the show really doesn't explain the situation. Given the time constraints of the scene I can see why.

As for where the rest of the crew was, there might have been a time jump between those two scenes in which he gets reinforcements.

  • 1
    Hi, welcome to SF&F. It seems like you're guessing the answer here as opposed to working from some actual sources for what you're arguing. Do you have a source that Ashford's ship only had a crew of 5? Or that it couldn't have destroyed Inaros' ship (after it had been EMPed)? Good answers aren't just guesses, they supply evidence that they are correct; please read How to Answer.
    – DavidW
    Commented Feb 4, 2021 at 19:43

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