Figures we'd clash on the same issue than we did two years ago Ogi. Still, I believe this time we have more information and there are a few more points that support my plan than before. Some of these I pointed out before, but lets go again for the sake of brevity:
Assuming anything considered "capital" will only be able to use high-transit jump-points, the only route to Orion is through Oberon-Virgil-Tiber-Orion. This means that we'll HAVE to go through these systems if we want our capitals backing us up (and I'm pretty sure we do).
Similarly to the point above, medium and small ships can only reach Orion through the Tiber or Caliban routes. You might think Caliban is a better option, I'd advice against it. Every planet in the system has Vanduul presence, Crion is being harvested for resources and to top it all off, the way from the Caliban-Oberon to the Caliban-Orion jump is right in the middle of two areas with high enemy presence.
If we go straight for Orion, assuming we are able to avoid massive loses in our way, any pilot that dies in action or any hauler doing supply runs will have to keep going through heavily contested space to get back. We could divert assets to guard these people, but that would weaken our main force. We could also try to organize these people to come back in groups, but our ability to give specific commands is extremely limited, making it just wishful thinking.If we advance without having secured the systems in the way, there's absolutely zero chance we get help from the UEE.If we attack Orion directly, we'll be deep in enemy space and surrounded. Enemies can show up from every side (including uncharted enemy space). Even if we manage to break the Vanduul in the system, there's nothing stopping the other clans in the sector from taking advantage of the power vacuum created.
My plan proposes a series of steps meant to give the Operation momentum. Each victory will swell the ranks not only with motivation but also with more pilots. Where we to take the direct approach and just try to get through the Vanduul line in order to reach Orion, it's very likely our force will splinter and demoralize.
There's no guarantee that we can even make it to Orion without resupplying in the way. Assuming we move in together with the capitals, whatever supplies we bring with us might be depleted by the time we reach Armitage.
Honestly, I question if our escort ships (frigates and corvettes) would, by the op launch, necessarily be restricted to Large jump points. FGs and DDs really aren't that big, all things considered, and I find it hard to believe that the jump point spectrum would lump the huge range of ship sizes that are larger than Idris together, but differentiate between single-seater and slightly-larger-than-single-seater. Last, while our escort ships may have a lot of individual firepower (relatively), our strength is in our smaller craft. I think that while being able to bring our escort ships into play would be nice, I don't think they bring enough combat power to warrant having us extend our supply lines by taking the torturous Large JP route. Besides, we can still use them to guard Oberon and/or launch spoiling attacks and raids into Virgil.
William S. Lind, in the book "America Can Win" (p. 90), defines a capital ship. He states that "These characteristics define a capital ship: if the capital ships are beaten, the navy is beaten. But if the rest of the navy is beaten, the capital ships can still operate. Another characteristic that defines capital ships is that their main opponent is each other."https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_ship
Wait, so neutralizing and holding Tiber and Virgil is absolutely doable, but neutralizing and holding Caliban is an insurmountable challenge?
Agreed. A. "The Enemy's Gate is Down" approach to Orion would get us there, but wouldn't keep us there. The space between needs to be controlled, and that's far easier where the enemy is weaker than where he is strongest. But, I'm not advocating a Thunder Run to Orion. I'm advocating for a route that allows us to bypass the enemy's strength without engaging it directly. I'm envisioning a CARTWHEEL here; bypass and neutralize Rabaul, and let it wither on the vine, rather than trying to shatter a major point of enemy strength. I'm focusing on strategy right now; operations in the systems, I'm leaving for a later time, when we have a better idea of game mechanics.
I think it is far better to proceed on the assumption that we will need to resupply. Since we are proceeding on that assumption, the key is fuel, which means we need Starfarers. If we accept the statement that Carracks will be the smallest ship that requires a Large jump point (which i find ludicrous, but whatever), then Starfarers (being 33m shorter, 14m slimmer, and 5.5m...um, other shorter) are Medium jump point craft. If we can set up FOBs in system, then the pressure on Starfarers is lessened.
The pressure on refueling assets if we cannot make FOBs would be greatly increased, though, if we have to worry about refueling escort ships as well as our smaller craft.
Again, CD, I respect the amount of thought you've put into things, but I think you vastly overestimate the power of picket ships, underestimate the power of torpedo bombers, and disregard the amount of Vanduul picket and escort ships that we would see in Tiber. They have a frigate too, and a destroyer, and even a cruiser (which I'm classifying as a CL, a light cruiser, because its only a bit bigger than their DD). We have no idea if Victor Vanduul has heavy cruisers, battlecruisers, or full-up battleships, but I can assure you one thing: a Bacon Battlewagon, screened properly with Vanduul picket ships, will smash any force of picket ships we can toss at it.
Following the UEE's failure to hold Orion, its forces fell back to Caliban and Tiber. Given the obvious advantages of Caliban, most of these forces were stationed there rather than in Tiber. It should have come as no surprise that the Vanduul seized upon the all but undefended Tiber system as a base for raids further into Human territory. Vanduul tribes moved into the system and essentially established a permanent garrison.
Only a single remote observer, stationed at the jump point to Garron, escaped to deliver word of the devastation.
Wasn't there talk about the Vanduul ships being "biomecanical"? Meaning they could actually... grow bigger?I don't quite recall where I heard this... maybe one of the jump points magazines..If that's the case... a full grown kingship... well... pants = soiled.
(...)A standard K type main sequence star orbited by two small planets, Tiber bore no interesting resources, strategic jump lines or anything else that would make it appealing for terraformers or other developers.
(...) When Tiber's role in the then-shocking Vanduul assaults was discovered, the UEE dispatched its elite Sixth Battle Group on a cleansing mission. Armed with antimatter bombs, the fleet roasted the Vanduul encampments on Tiber II with impunity, leaving the surface a temporarily glowing mess. The response was immediate, overwhelming, and the most seemingly organized action that has ever been witnessed of the Vanduul: elite Vanduul carrier air wings, the best of the best, cut into the otherwise occupied UEE force and slaughtered them to the last man.
Massive fleet actions, attempts at global landings to hold Tiber II itself, and even "clean slate" operations designed to simply eliminate the ability of the system to sustain military occupation have all fallen flat. Millions have died in these attempts, and the ever-expanding fields of wreckage are now legendary. Countless civilians, seeing the deadly battlefield debris as potential for profit, have made the same leap with similar fatal results.
That's the game... we want to make it look like we're massing to create an Existential Threat so the rival clans say "they can't handle this, if they collapse we're next, we better go help."Remember, in WWII the Japanese Imperial Army and Navy were the same way, to the point that they'd even assassinate one another's officers?
I do not agree with this interpretation of the Vanduul behavior.By no means has it been hinted that the Vanduul act with any kind of honor reminiscent of the old "Samurai Code" which was present inn the IJN during WW2. Also, while we know that the Vanduul's prefer to blow up their ships rather than risk capture, this by no means says that they are prone to suicide attacks. If anything, their overall behavior is contrary to such beliefs. The 'duuls raid and leave. They don't stay for major battles nor do they actively seek them out. They are in it for the resources and the glory. The former because they need them to survive, the latter because it's how they advance in their society.Overall, I'd say the Vanduul are somewhat similar to the Wraiths from Stargate Atlantis, both in their military tactics and their overall social and political structure.
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