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Topic: Alternate Invasion plan. (Read 8252 times) previous topic - next topic

Alternate Invasion plan.
Before I even start I have to lay a thought off of my shoulders, a direct assault on Orion on a first stab attempt will be highly improbable to achieve, and I believe it is so for the following reasons:

1. We must breach a two system gap of the no-mans-land Nul system and the Caliban territory. Just blowing through these will simply not do, they'll alert others, we'll get shot in the back, surrounded and killed.

2. Attacking it instead proposes its own logistical issues. By rule the longer an assault is sustained, the more organization and supply are strained. Eventually we will be forced to regroup or devolve into a zerg that can easily be torn apart. We will have to regather, re-equip, reinforce and the like. Actual travel times are uncertain, but from what CiG makes it out to be, that could take hours, maybe a day or two.

3. Many of the alternate routes are even more dangerous, such as the Tiber route, due to the fact its a Vanduul stronghold (or as close as they get to one. by the information I could gather.

The point is, I think we have two options that could fix this:
1. We need to split this into a multi-stage operation if we are actually serious about capturing Orion in an up front assault. We will have to do this system by system, the inherent problem is that it will take days, maybe weeks to set up the infrastructure needed to sustain the supply lines and fortify the defenses as we move further forward.

2. As the Orion system is merely a fly-bye system to the Vanduul according to most people on this site. It shouldn't have significant military presence as compared to a border world close to raiding space were they can get their hands on goodies. This may grind some peoples gears but if we want a direct and quick assault on Vanduul, then I don't think the main fighting is going to be taking place in Orion itself. Instead, the fleets should mobilize in Caliban to distract the Vanduul, give time for the Vanduul to gather a significant counter-force and attack the main fleet. Meanwhile, smaller batches slip around the main fighting into Orion, and through surprise and stealth they take the stations and drop people planetside. Then make as much "noise" as humanly possible to get the attention of the Vanduul in Caliban. In which case they will hopefully flee in an attempt to defend their deeper territory, in which case they will have their backs turned and we can cripple them on their way. That way we can force the line back with out having to push it, but rather pull it. This would avoid the logistical issue of having to break the Caliban Line to get to Orion, though we will have to send in a second wave to act as the rear guard to hold the Caliban-Orion jump point from any flanking forces that might approach from Vanguard.

Just a thought.

  • Ratu
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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #1
Interesting concept.  It does rely however on the vanduul reacting in the way you've described though. Regarding supplies, most people will be preparing for OPPF for most if beta so I don't think supply will be as big of an issue as you're making it out to be.

Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #2
The Vanduul will go wherever spoils are to be had. Any strategy we use must consider the fact that we'll have to face the brunt of the Vanduul Horde in the Orion sector sooner or later.

The problem with the Caliban route is that Nul is a pirate system so Logistics will already be impaired to begin with. It does have the advantage of allowing all Operation Members launch from the same spot though. Overall, it's one possible route we could take, but I'm not particularly fond of it.
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  • Benjamin the Rogue
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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #3
There's only one system I expect the Vanduul to stand and fight for, and that is Tiber. We show up with the fleet the size of OPPF, and they're going to scatter just like they do every time a UEE navy fleet does, at it's starting to get to a point where we're getting larger than those.

Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #4
Those points are true, and to be perfectly honest, I don't believe we even have a good route to get to Orion. I think we should stretch this out a little and beat the shit out of Null first, with a fleet our size we could easily carpet sweep entire systems. This is so our supply line at the very least isn't stretched over two systems. In the case of Spoils to be had, in that case, space is a damn big place, spread out and do a mass bait and switch.

I am well aware of the risk of isolating ourselves inside Vanduul space, however, too many forkers wanna go straight for the prize and aren't willing to drag it out over a long campaign, I am accommodating for that, if you would like my honest opinion on how this REALLY should go down, Orion wouldn't even be the first target, it would be the last of 3.
  • Last Edit: December 15, 2013, 08:38:34 PM by NuclearNarwhal

Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #5
The longer our supply line, the higher chance we have to get boned. The more jump points the Lizards have to harass us, the worse we are. This is why I've always supported a Nul-Caliban-Orion offensive. Slap around Vanguard and Tiber as necessary.
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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #6
"Lizards?" We aren't attacking the Xi'an. I mean heck, the Vanduul have body hair.

Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #7
They do? I thought the Vanduul were like big angry iguanas, 'cause they couldn't be too close to the Kilrathi or else EA would throw a hissy.
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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #8
They've got chest hair. I've never thought of them as lizards, myself. More like some sort of freaking, hairy, fishy thing.

Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #9
Grr. Well, I made a thread in the main Pitchfork page asking how we talk about our enemy.

Anyways. Where are we in this thread? Again, I've always advocated an advance on the Null-Caliban-Orion axis, with spoiling attacks/raids into Vanguard (to help secure Caliban), and systems surrounding Orion (Tiber, #16, etc) as necessary.
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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #10
I think more and more people are starting to move towards starting the attack focused on Tiber. It's right next to the border, it's packed full of Vanduul, and it's got our best chances of prizing a Vanduul manufacturing ship.

It will also be our greatest challenge. If we can break Tiber, we can break any system. It's logical we make our first big push through there, while we're still at 100% of our achievable strength. Plus, there's always the outside possibility we draw a UEE fleet or two into the fight at Tiber, since they've been so hard up for taking that system way from the Vanduul.

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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #11
I don't know about Tiber. It just seems like a suicide mission. The UEE military couldn't take Tiber, so I doubt we would have a chance there. Although, that being said, I'm still up for going out in a blaze of glory.

(speaking of which, anyone remember that Jon Bon Jovi song?)

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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #12
I'd still rather push through Caliban first and take Orion. It allows us to run through the paces and test our organizational skill while still pushing toward one of our goals rather than just throwing the untested, green troops against the grinder.
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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #13

I don't know about Tiber. It just seems like a suicide mission. The UEE military couldn't take Tiber, so I doubt we would have a chance there. Although, that being said, I'm still up for going out in a blaze of glory.

(speaking of which, anyone remember that Jon Bon Jovi song?)

Well, you cannot take Timber without securing Orion. However, Orion cannot be secured without eliminating the threat of Timber.

The UEE military is obviously not strong enough (anymore?) to push through Timber and secure Orion. They're quite content to do some raids and bombing runs without the need for a real fight. So the UEE can claim 'We're doing something!' and the military can avoid serious losses.

Timber is a tactical challenge due to the Vanduul fleets in the system. Orion is a strategic challenge, due to its jump points.

Probably there won't be a lot of ships in Orion system, so an attack on the flank through Caliban could be quite successful to crush the Vanduul at Timber.

Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #14

I don't know about Tiber. It just seems like a suicide mission


My thoughts exactly. No need to attack the enemy at their strongest point when we can avoid the strongest point, and neutralize its offensive ability through raids and spoiling attacks.
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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #15

More like some sort of freaking, hairy, fishy thing.


Haha, this sounds funny. I'm gonna remember this quote. But that sounds about right. On the early designs they had like Catfish whiskers which I thought looked pretty cool, and added like a semi-reference to the Kilrathi.

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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #16
Ok, I have been studying the map quite a bit and here are my thoughts.

As has been discussed already, there are two main targets, Orion and Tiber.

Enemy Forces at launch:

Orion
There are less Vanduul forces expected than at Tiber, but we have to remember, that we have to go through Caliban (if we want to avoid Tiber) to go to Orion.
As NuclearNarwhal said, just pushing through and leaving undefeated hostile forces there is probably not a good idea, so it will take some time to clear that system.
Any Vanduul leader worth his salt will use that time to reinfoced Orion (yes, that´s an assumption)

Tiber
Much stronger Vanduul forces expected.
Of course, if we can take out those forces, there is so much less reinforcements the Vanduul can throw at us later.
We also can attack Tiber directly from Garron

If I would do this attack in a strategy game, I´d probably hit Caliban through Nul with about 20 to 25% of my forces, let the attacks go on for a couple of hours (ideally, have some Ghost Hornets sneaking to the Orion and Vanguard jump point to monitor traffic) and once strong Vanduul reinforcements show up (hopefully pulled off Tiber) pull back and simultaneously hit Tiber with everything I have left standing by in Garron.

The plan then would be to take out the Vanduul forces in Tiber and proceed as fast as possible to Orion.
If at all possible (depending on the Vanduul forces in Orion) take part of the forces to hit Caliban from Orion and simultaneously from Nul with the forces pulled back earlier.


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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #17

As has been discussed already, there are two main targets, Orion and Tiber.


Disagree. Orion is a primary objective. Tiber, and a Vandy construction ship, is a secondary objective. Besides, I wonder who will get that construction ship/technology. I doubt it will be the UEE.
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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #18
Orion is our Primary Objective, that's for sure.

Still, as I said before... We WILL have to face the Vanduul forces in the area sooner than later, and the simple truth is: Orion is too deep in Vanduul controlled space and provides too little of an strategic advantage to be considered as a strong enough defensive position.

We should definitely take Orion, but doing so before we solidify our presence in the sector and make sure our supply-lines are secured will just grant us a passing victory which can only lead intro a tremendous defeat.
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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #19

Disagree. Orion is a primary objective. Tiber, and a Vandy construction ship, is a secondary objective. Besides, I wonder who will get that construction ship/technology. I doubt it will be the UEE.


While Orion is the primary _Objective_ that does not make it the only primary _target_.
Taking Orion while the bulk of the Vanduul forces is still sitting in Tiber (or already on its way to Orion to hit us in the flank) is kind of stupid IMO.
What good will it do to take Orion for an hour and then being crushed by a Vanduul counter attack?

Wouldn´t it be much better to take out the main Vanduul force in the immediate area and _then_ take Orion with a chance to hold it for some length of time?

If we want to have a chance to keep Orion longer than an hour or two, we will have to face the Vanduul main forces, no way around it.
And what better time to do that, than when we are at our full strength and not spread out over several systems?
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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #20
I agree and disagree all around the board. Not sure how well this jives with NuclearNarwhal's plan, but:

1) Of the existing, known jump points: Nul=>Caliban=>Orion makes the most sense. We kinda have to use Nul if we want to be able to have a safe staging ground for our forces. Having our staging ground be at Garron would get us involved in numerous police/government engagements. We could run (probably not all of us), but then we wouldn't be using it as a staging ground. Hopefully, we can stash supplies in Nul before the op, maybe even aboard a space station we could control.

2) Orion is our goal.

3) Orion cannot be held if Tiber is left as-is. Not short term, and definitely not long-term. Tiber is a rare hub of Vanduul traffic due to the salvage and production it provides them. As long as that salvage and production is available to them, they're going to pass through nearby systems, including Orion. What's more, Tiber significantly amplifies their strength in the whole region.

4) Going through Caliban has its advantages. The Vanduul rarely stay in one system for long, but they will surely have time to respond to our incursion in force at least by the time we get to Orion. This is what we want. We want to engage as many Vanduul as possible away from their strongest defensive positions (Tiber). If they attempt to engage us in force at Caliban or Orion, that will pull their forces out of Tiber. This effectively decreases the strength of those forces, and will make it easier to take Tiber later. In fact, it'd probably be a good idea to issue a public challenge to the Vanduul, letting them know we are coming back for Orion. That way, they'll feel they have to engage us before we can "claim" the system, out of pride. The only downside is if there is already a Vanduul force there, or if they get there before we do, they might initiate a scorched earth plan.

5) Once we have Orion, we can take Tiber. Having taken Orion, lots of pilots will be willing to go double or nothing for a chance at Vanduul tech. They'll be feeling good about having achieved our goal, and they'll be hungry for more. Our forces will be looking forward to a good fight. If we attack Orion first, our forces might be scarred and feeling a little bit timid about taking another system.

6) If we attack along the Nul=>Caliban=>Orion route, by this time the UEE will be well aware of what's going on and will have made a decision on what action to take. If we then attack Tiber, they'll have an unprecedented opportunity. They'll be coming in from Garron, and we'll be coming in through Orion. The Vanduul will be caught between a rock and a hard place, and they'll have a much harder time hiding in the debris field with forces looking for them from multiple points of view. Some players might not like the UEE, but how often do you see something as incredibly epic as a three-way space battle?! It's worth reigning in on your pride and at least not firing upon the UEE for a little bit for action like that. The sky would burn! As for what happens afterward, and who or what controls the Vanduul tech base, it's anyone's guess. I'm not even sure what the gameplay would look like after the battle; would someone be voice acting the UEE fleet's admiral live? A decent compromise would be to give control of the production facilities to a smaller, neutral company like Consolidated Outland (not like players can control production). Everyone in Pitchfork can grab what they can, and then everyone can get insurance and replacement parts, or whole Vanduul ships, after said company takes over at Tiber. The company in charge would require escorts and shipments, increasing human presence in the area, making Orion a safer place. Taking Tiber would also isolate Virgil (as far as we can tell from known jump routes).

Anyway, that last one is a bit of a what-if, but maybe we could even *make* it happen. Maybe we could send an in-character letter to Consolidated Outland, Drake, or another company, and have them lobby the UEE to send a force there for such a thing to happen. It'd have to be done on the down-low to make sure then Vanduul don't find out, of course.
  • Last Edit: January 27, 2014, 03:49:50 PM by Knightcrawler

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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #21

While Orion is the primary _Objective_ that does not make it the only primary _target_.
Taking Orion while the bulk of the Vanduul forces is still sitting in Tiber (or already on its way to Orion to hit us in the flank) is kind of stupid IMO.
What good will it do to take Orion for an hour and then being crushed by a Vanduul counter attack?

Wouldn´t it be much better to take out the main Vanduul force in the immediate area and _then_ take Orion with a chance to hold it for some length of time?

If we want to have a chance to keep Orion longer than an hour or two, we will have to face the Vanduul main forces, no way around it.
And what better time to do that, than when we are at our full strength and not spread out over several systems?


I'm still not convinced we can take Tiber. If we can't hold off the Vanduul from Tiber when they attack Orion, how could we take control of Tiber if we go in there on the offensive while they have the defensive position? We'll just get chewed up and be left with nothing to defend our other flanks let alone have enough to attack Orion with.

Better to face the Vanduul main force in a defensive fight than an offensive one. The UEE couldn't take Tiber.
  • Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 10:56:52 PM by G.Crane

Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #22
I think there's a major misconception in regards to how long Operation Pitchfork will last...

Whichever strategy we decide upon, this "private war" against the Vanduul will last more than a couple hours. It would be very sad indeed if the game designers allowed a horde of players to turn the tides of the galaxy in a matter of hours, and since we know these guys are very serious about their game, I seriously doubt they'll just let us take over a bunch of systems with a short-lived Operation.

Operation Pitchfork, most likely, will last for days, hopefully weeks... It might even last for months.

You may think that I'm going off-topic here, but understand, the longer we fight, the more we deplete our resources, thus making our supply line increasingly critical to our success, thus making it ill-advised to focus our attack on a route which puts our supply line at unnecessary risks.

If I interpret the current view-points correctly, we have (mainly) two major possible (though exclusive) plans:

a) Decisive Battle: Attack the Vanduul on Tiber, destroy their main force and create a stronghold from which to continue operations. (Garron-Tiber-Orion attack route)

b) Spearhead: Penetrate on Vanduul territory in direction of primary objective and defend. (Nul-Caliban-Orion route)

A short analysis reveals the easy to see advantages and disadvantages of these two plans (judging from current knowledge, this could change if new information is released about the mentioned systems).

In the case of Decisive Battle:


  • We'll be fighting closer to home ground, which means that the supply line will be shorter and since it'll be traversing through (mostly) safe space, should be more secure. It also means reinforcements ("killed" pilots) will have an easier time getting back into battle.



  • Intelligence on the system is also much more accurate, meaning we know what to expect and what we can gain from Tiber.



  • An all out attack right away allows us to engage the brunt of enemy force with near-to-full strength.



  • The Brunt of the Enemy force is quite large and probably dug-in.



In the case of Spearhead:


  • The Nul staging area allows for all Operation Members to congregate while not being bothered by security forces.



  • Caliban posses no known threat above the average dangers of traversing Vanduul "occupied" space.



  • Orion is not garrisoned by the Vanduul.



  • There's an existing (functional) human colony on Orion (Armitage-Orion III).



  • Orion probably has a gas giant (judging by it's 8 planets, statistically there should be a gas giant in there) which we could use to refuel.



  • Orion is flanked on every side by enemy systems. It is also the "gate" into unknown Vanduul space. Meaning that it can be attacked from pretty much every side and not only by the strong enemy forces garrisoning Tiber but also from perhaps even more formidable forces from Vanduul home-space.



  • Orion is at least 3 jumps away from the closest "safe" system. This affects both our supply chain (by making it longer and less secure) and our pilots (forcing them to travel for longer and through more dangerous areas before they can rejoin the fight).



Bottom Line:

Tiber provides with a greater challenge when it comes to combat, but supplying our fleet will be much easier, faster and might even be cheaper. The Vanduul are there in strength, and it'll be a tough fight, but the rewards match the risks. Acquiring the enemy production line while disbanding their greatest force in the sector means that we'll probably be able to face anything else in the area as long as we hold together.

Orion provides with an easier target to begin with (as long as Caliban remains "unremarkable" as I've assumed), but it's strategic position is much weaker. While a sound moral victory, the supply chain and reinforcement lines would suffer greatly. Fighting defensively on Orion is a possibility, however, it'll become increasingly harder as long as our supply chain and reinforcement line gets harassed. The same problem will thwart any attempt to "rally-out" and attack other systems. Thus you'll be faced with the problem of guarding your back while defending and attacking at the same time.

With a force as "unprofessional" as ours, the easier the plan the best the results. Taking the Spearhead axis of attack means we'll have to deal with a lot more issues at the time. A force like ours is not prepared to deal with something like this, complex orders would put our forces in disarray or simply be ignored. The Tiber axis is a much more straightforward "step-by-step" plan which should be much easier to follow.

Never forget. Regardless the strategy we choose, we will have to face the brunt of the Vanduul force in the sector. Making the right decision about when, where and how will decide the success of this Operation.
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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #23
Deathcall, Operation Pitchfork lasts one weekend. In other words, a bit under four days if you take advantage of time zones. I can definitely see why some people tread that as "a few hours."

I definitely agree with you that we need a definitive victory, but Tiber is a defensively strong position for the Vanduul; perhaps the only one they have in the region. That position effectively multiplies their fighting force; fighting 10,000 Vanduul at Tiber could be like fighting 15,000 Vanduul anywhere else. The worst part is that these defensive advantages take place on a per-instance level, so each instance would be fighting against those improved odds.

There's also the issue that the Vanduul are probably used to being attacked by the UEE from Garrom, so their defenses probably have that whole jump point covered.

It'd be best to draw as many away from Tiber as possible first, before attacking it. And when we take Orion, even if we don't get any UEE reinforcements for attacking Tiber, we could still have our UEE-loyal members use Garron to flank with the rest of the force from Orion. That provides us with a force multiplier.

As far as logistics goes: it may be a challenge, but lots of our members will want to and be equipped to perform this role. These members might not even contribute to OP if this wasn't an option.
  • Last Edit: January 29, 2014, 04:25:16 PM by Knightcrawler

Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #24

I'm still not convinced we can take Tiber. If we can't hold off the Vanduul from Tiber when they attack Orion, how could we take control of Tiber if we go in there on the offensive while they have the defensive position? We'll just get chewed up and be left with nothing to defend our other flanks let alone have enough to attack Orion with.

Better to face the Vanduul main force in a defensive fight than an offensive one. The UEE couldn't take Tiber.


This. All of this. This is why I've been advocating Nul-Caliban-Orion. We can launch spoiling attacks into Tiber if we really feel like it, but why attack the enemy at their strongest point? Hell, if we raid right, we might be able to interdict Vandy supply traffic in Tiber, and the fleet there will weaken.
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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #25
I had spent 30 minutes writing up another post to further support my side...

However, Ogi posted right before me and I lost all my work when I refreshed the page...

I have not enough willpower at this time of the night to write it all again so excuse me for this brutal summary...

a) Back in the old days of WoW we used to have Alterac Valley matches that lasted entire weekends. What makes you think taking over a sector of space in SC will last shorter than that?

b) Vanduul aren't known for defending. There's no piece of lore that claims that the Vanduul have fortified Tiber. A solar system is huge enough for us to find a solid position to defend and then face of their attack if we must (read up on my strategy for further development of this idea).

c) Has already been stated that it's hard to blockade jump-points due to drift. In any case, if the Vanduul wanted to, they could blockade any jump-point, not just Tiber, so Caliban or Orion could be as dangerous in this regard. Specially if you give them enough time to react (which we will if we take the long road to our objective and allow their main force free-movement).

d) I agree that drawing forces away from Tiber is a sound strategy, however, this doesn't account for in-game mechanics. We don't know how the AI will be programmed or how it'll behave. I haven't been able to get a straight answer on the forums about this. Will it require resources? Will it move as a faction? Are the pre-set numbers of AI on systems? Can they move from one to another? Too many questions. On paper, it sounds good though.

e) Allow me a play of words here:

It's not "As far as logistics goes..."
It's "We go as far as our logistics..."

And that's it. Sorry for being blunt, but I'm in no mood after loosing my previous post.
It's a penguin... with a gun. I'd run if I were you.

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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #26
You do bring up good points, and I agree that the logistics and supplies are vitally important to our long term operations. I never suspected Pitchfork would be a short event. I also didn't really go into logistics too much with my plan.

However, there are a few other things to bring up.

Sure, the Vanduul don't really dig in and defend but the fact they have warships garrisoned in Tiber and it's their main or one of their main staging areas means it's essentially an offensive fight for us we go in. With other systems this might not be a problem, but with Tiber, I think it is. And attacking is always more difficult in normal circumstances, this will be with a loose command structure, organisations working independently, lone wolves doing who knows what, etc.

In regards to the systems of Caliban and Nul, we don't, as you've said, know too much about them, but there's no reason to consider them as strategically useless. Nul has 5 planets, so it's highly likely one of them is a gas giant, so hopefully, we can use the system for fuel. If not, we should still be able to use the system as a supply point. We have a lot of criminal groups in pitchfork as well, and one method to secure this system might be to promise them that after pitchfork, they can have any infrastructure built in the system, but this is dependent on game mechanics and enters morally ambiguous territory.

The Vanduul roaming fleets probably ruin any major plan we can come up with. But anyway, Tiber can be attacked from Vendetta, Virgil, Orion and any possible undiscovered jump points. Orion can be attacked from Tiber, Vanguard and any undiscovered jump points, but not Caliban if we control it. The main deciding points there seem to be whether we can fight offensively well enough in a loose conglomerate of ships at their strongest system; or defend effectively enough, for long enough in two other systems while slowly whittling down any ships they send from Tiber.

so to sum up: do we want to die sooner or later...?
  • Last Edit: January 30, 2014, 04:31:55 AM by G.Crane

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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #27

And attacking is always more difficult in normal circumstances, this will be with a loose command structure, organisations working independently, lone wolves doing who knows what, etc.


I highly disagree with that one point of yours.

With no "terrain" to take advantage of and no fortification possible (there might be some space stations, but if, as it has been said, a ship leaving a jump point enters the new system at a random point in a rather large area around the entry jump point, this shouldn´t be that bad), he who can concentrate the larger force is at a _huge_ advantage.

IMO, the old rule of the attacker needing 3x the forces of the defender to succeed is highly irrelevant in space.
And even if it wouldn´t. The attacker has the ability to concentrate forces at the point of attack, while the defender has to either defend multiple points with smaller forces (defeat in detail) or put most of his mobile forces as kind of a rapid reaction force, leaving the initiative to the attacker.

For example:
Sending probing attacks (let´s call this raiding) to Caliban and Virgil during some 2 or 3 weeks before OPF goes life would force the Vanduul to put defending/patrolling forces into those systems. Thus we have them split their forces between several systems, while OPF can concentrate (more or less) on a single point of attack.
Of course, if we find Virgil and Caliban undefended even _after_ those raids, go for them! I wouldn´t have a problem with that (and this would give us a 2nd avenue of approach to Tiber as well as securing a jump-off system for Orion/Vanguard).

I also expect some scouting results about what forces the Vanduul actually have in Tiber quite some time before OPF, so plans can still be adjusted.

I am not dead set on attacking Tiber. If the scouting results are thus, that we simply can´t beat the Vanduuls in Tiber, well, then it doesn´t matter all that much where we go down fighting and I would support an attack on Orion via Nul and Caliban, just for the symbol Orion is.
If, on the other hand, it looks as if we _could_ take Tiber, then leaving a strong (and after some losses on our side perhaps superior) enemy force on our flank seems to be the hight of folly to me.

So for me it comes down to this:
If scouting reports indicate that we _can_ take Tibor, we take it and go from Tiber to Orion.
If scouting reports indicate that we _can´t_ take Tibor, then we go straight for Orion and hold it until the last of us succumbs to the Vanduul scum.

PS:
The dying thing was never in question, it´s part of the job description   :)


  • Last Edit: January 30, 2014, 01:42:28 PM by Hawkeye
"Tell the King: After the battle my head is at his disposal, during the battle he may allow me to use it!
GenLt. Seydlitz to Frederik the Great after disobeying an order to attack

R. Hoenig, Germany

Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #28
Logistics are important all around, from buying to stockpiling and distribution. Not so sure if we should only worry about it "on the long term". We need to find out the autonomy for each ship. How long can you fly and how long can you fight at maximum effectiveness until you need to resupply? Judging from WW2 examples... not too long, specially if we fly away from our bases.

Now, when it comes to facing the Vanduul, general known behavior for them is to fight on winning battles only and run away when the odds go against them. A large force like the one we've mustered for this Op will most likely deter any small raiding parties from trying to face us... this means that it'll be a breeze up to the point where the Vanduul recognize us as a serious threat and come in force. After all, we are just a huge loot-pile for them, as soon as they realize there's spoils to be had, entire clans will come down on us.

As I've said countless times before... We will have to face the brunt of the Vanduul Armada in the Orion sector. No system that we know off provides us with a solid defensive strategy. The best we can get in that regard would be Armitage, but it would help little if we can't supply our fleet and we'd be entirely surrounded. Securing Orion would require us to secure Caliban first and by the time we do that the Vanduul on the entire sector will have reacted.

Advancing from Caliban leaves our backs exposed to Pirates from Nul, and Vanduul from Vanguard, meaning that even if we manage to take the system and the Vanduul main force hasn't reacted yet, we'll have to split our forces in order to keep control. This happens again for EACH system that we take with back-doors into unsecured space. Orion, as we've both said, is besieged on all sides. With a constantly harassed supply chain, long recovery time for our killed pilots (and replacement ships) and poor defensive position, I can't see any scenario in which we win...

On the other hand, Tiber provides with an excellent opportunity for shock and awe. Judging by the Vanduul industrial activity in the system, the horde's main fleet (in this sector) is probably present, meaning that we can cut the head of the snake right away, effectively dropping their efficiency and sending a message to all other minor groups in the area, which could convince them to veer away from our path.

About Nul... it actually says on the galactic guide "there is nothing of interest in the system"... and Caliban remains an unknown. So frankly, even though we'll probably get intel on these systems by the time the Op can launch, I still think it's unwise to take this axis of attack and just "hope" for the best. It's dependent on too many variables, while the Tiber axis only depends on us putting up a good fight.

When it comes to how much we can rely on our fleet to fall in and follow the plan... well... One thing is for certain, the more complicated, the less likely we'll hold it together, and bottom line... The Caliban axis is far more complicated.
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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #29
Just a thought.
We don't actually know anything until the scouts report back. So both routes should be considered equally valid and we should be flexible enough to be prepared to implement either one. It may even be possible that at some times one or the other will be the better option while at different times we would want to take the opposite route. We also do not know how complex the AI behaves on a strategic level across one system, let alone multiple ones. Everything requires testing and analysis.

Just to throw out the question, do we even know that the very preliminary maps we have had access to are still accurate representations?

We have official descriptions as to lore for some star systems, but how those systems connect with others is barely mentioned in most cases. While our references that we base all this on is the best intel we have, it may or may not be accurate when Beta opens. Changes may be made or even added. For all we know, there could be a hidden backdoor the Vanduul are scripted to discover to allow the sacking of Earth. We just don't know what CIG has up their sleeve until it is officially released.

The way I see it, the more alternate plans we have, the more options we will be able to implement quickly to suit the conditions we find when the time comes. Having plans and options for all sorts of contingencies, while remaining open and flexible, is a good thing.

Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #30
Andy throws a lot of truth out there.

We aren't well informed, and that which we actually know is subject to change. I'm specially suspicious of the star map we are using... several things about it make little to no sense.

In any case, he is right, the more plans we have the best.

Still, I'm sure we can extract ideas from all the plans we are currently discussing about and apply those to future plans or modifications. A very simple example is this dichotomy that seems to have split most of our members here: Decisive Battle vs Spearhead. These two mutually exclusive doctrines will be valid for any plan we come up in the future.

So yeah, bring in more plans and ideas. We'll tear them apart and see what knowledge we can get from them.
It's a penguin... with a gun. I'd run if I were you.

Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #31
Yes, it's correct that the map is not going to be entirely accurate. One thing that bothers me about it is that Orion is described as being the furthest colony from Earth, but it is represented as being very close to Earth. However, that could be chalked up to the fact that all jumps aren't necessarily equidistant. Still, from a traveler's perspective, the jumps themselves would all be instantaneous... And since a lot of our arguments come down to specifics, we need to be flexible. But it's still worth talking about... if only because Star Citizen news is otherwise just so slow lately... :(


As far as your recent posts, Deathcall, here are my feelings. We shouldn't try to drive the Vanduul away. The Operation lasts for just under four days, after which time most of us will return to whatever corner of the galaxy we came from. This leaves Orion vulnerable again, and we won't have freed it. This is the same reason I'm all for taking Tiber. If we drive them away, they'll just come back. We need to defeat them in battle. We need to do everything we can to reduce the Vanduul presence around Orion and encourage human and human-friendly (Xi'An, to a lesser extent Banu, and to a much lesser extent Tevarin) traffic here. This traffic is less likely if they think the big bad bear is going to be back any minute now.

I don't think we have to worry about pirates from Nul. Nul is mostly a system used for slave trading, and even then is usually not very populated with ne'er-do-wells. These aren't the type of people who are going to want to fight a large force, and they certainly aren't going to pursue us into Vanduul space! Frankly, the less that is going on in our staging ground system, the better. And Nul fits that to a tee. With any luck, Nul will be home to one of those abandoned space stations that players can take over, and we can get it ready for this event ahead of time.

As far as Tiber, I agree we should attack it. But the UEE has failed in its attacks many times, so obviously they were doing something wrong. The less we can have in common with the way their attacks traditionally go, the better. And to me, that means entering from a different jump point, and it means drawing their forces away from the system before our main attack there. So I'm not afraid of the Vanduul reacting to our presence. In fact, I welcome it! Because to the best of our knowledge, they're in their strongest position if they don't react.

On that point, there might not be many defensively-strong solar systems for us, but we're the ones on the attack. We need to think more about where the Vanduul are strong defensively, and that's Tiber. I anticipate that even the Vanduul have some form of static defense network in place at Tiber to hold off the UEE. Gun platforms near the Garron jump, asteroid hangars out of sight from that angle, surveillance equipment, etc.. Yeah we know that jump drift is a thing that prevents a total blockade, but that doesn't mean you can't set up a stronger defense on one side of a system than another.

Orion is open to many jump points, but this is probably what our scouts will be doing during the Operation proper. Sneak a bit further into Vanduul territory to sniff out Vanduul ambushes and targets. If they want to fight us at Orion, that is to our advantage, as long as we don't put ourselves in a position where we are surrounded.

Our supply network is going to be robust; I don't think there's any need to doubt it. It will probably be our second-largest division, looking at the current player base.

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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #32
I agree that flexibility will be key. We should have to think of as many possibilities/eventualities as possible.
I don´t recall who said it and I don´t recall the exact phrase but it went along something like this:

Plans are useless but planning is invaluable.

Basicly saying, plan as much as you can, so you are prepared whatever happens, but don´t try to stick to the letter of your plan because, as we all know, no plan survives contact with the enemy. 

And I wholeheartedly agree with that.
"Tell the King: After the battle my head is at his disposal, during the battle he may allow me to use it!
GenLt. Seydlitz to Frederik the Great after disobeying an order to attack

R. Hoenig, Germany

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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #33
These are all good points, and it makes sense to plan for as many possibilities as we can. Even though I don't fully agree with attacking Tiber, if we do, I think we should follow Deathcall's plan there. Have to admit he's put a lot of work and thought into it.

A couple of things of though:

@Commander Deathcall - I was just wondering where you heard about the Vanduul acting that way. I assumed the Vanduul were generally eager for battle and wouldn't flee, even when outnumbered. But I might be wrong.

@Knightcrawler - Why do you say the Operation lasts only four days? It has to last a lot more to be successful in any capacity.

One other thing that seems strange at least from a lore point of view is that the UEE has left Nul alone. You'd think they'd claim it and fortify it. Even if there's not much there, it would be worth holding to secure against the Vanduul. They'd only have one jump point there to hold off the Vanduul rather than the Vanduul being able to waltz in and then attack any of those three systems it connects to. But, that's a different matter entirely.

Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #34
@Crane

From Writer's Guide 7:

"In combat, the Vanduul are relentless and merciless. In a textbook raid, they will hit hard and fast and never (intentionally) leave survivors. Over the decades, they've adapted their tactics as they've learned the purpose of Human structures, so most clans will hit the CommStations first, then target landing yards to minimize the potential resistance in the air before sweeping through on foot."

From Vanduul Warship Analysis:

"(...)We have known almost since their initial discovery by Earth forces that Vanduul are as likely to engage in warfare between hordes as they are with other species, but it is now an open question by what method these hordes are formed. (...)"

From Rob Irving's Dev thread:

"(...)  The Vanduul motivation is not pure bloodthirstiness - they're after resources, rather than just kill tallies. So they're more interested in getting you out of the way quickly than just running around playing whack-a-pilot."

From Not in Nottingham:

"At 17:23 local time, the attack began.  Fortunately, a call went out almost immediately.  Local militia from around the system scrambled to their ships to rout the raiders but it wasn't until the UEE Fleet arrived that the Vanduul fled like cowards back into the dark of space."

And there's a bunch of other quotes and talks on wingman's hangar and that stuff... but I'm just too lazy to look through all the material.
It's a penguin... with a gun. I'd run if I were you.

Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #35

I had spent 30 minutes writing up another post to further support my side...

However, Ogi posted right before me and I lost all my work when I refreshed the page...


Ouch, bro.

Anyways. On the topic of jump points, the reason I don't like Tiber-Orion is because there are (currently) 6 jump lanes that the Vanduul can attack from, whereas Nul-Caliban-Orion only has 5. If interdicting jump points will be as hard as...whoever it was said, then that one jump point difference may make it or break it. And actually, thinking about it some more, if Vanguard is only accessible by jump points to Orion and Caliban, then we can let it wither on the vine, like Rabaul.
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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #36

Hi aFizzle,

If you like you can have an opportunity to do both, at this point we think the operation will run over a weekend so plenty of time to try (And die:)) at many things

Welcome aboard




Welcome aboard!

We are now talking about running it over and entire weekend so you may get an opportunity to fly everything you have and crew :)


Pretty sure I've seen a lot of posts from Sailor that say this. A weekend traditionally runs from 1500-1800 on Friday to the very end of Sunday. So ~2.5 days. Throw in the fact that timezones are different around the world, and you've probably got around 4 days of activity from the community at large.

Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #37
@Ogi

I don't see all these jump lines you mention.

If you attack through the Garron-Tiber Route, once on Tiber you have 3 possible vectors for Vanduul reinforcements (which are unlikely since the majority of the predominant Vanduul Horde in the sector is most likely here): Virgil, Vendetta and Orion. The first two would be cut off from the Vanduul jump network (at least if we go by our current map), and most likely get supplied from Tiber itself, meaning that they are in weak position and in case they do decide to join the Vanduul forces on our attack path they'll be leaving both systems rather undefended. Orion is not garrisoned by the Vanduul, so we shouldn't be bothered by enemies coming through it's jump lane, at least not at first.

If you attack through the Nul-Caliban-Orion Route you'll be exposing yourself to attacks from Vanguard on Caliban and both Vanguard and Tiber on Orion... plus any possible unknown systems that link Orion to the Vanduul network (presumably two more).

All in all, I'd say the Nul-Caliban-Orion route poses a higher threat because we won't be engaging the main enemy force, meaning they are free to maneuver to flank us at any time, plus we'll have to take care of one extra system in order to ensure our supply chain is safe.
It's a penguin... with a gun. I'd run if I were you.

Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #38
We may want to avoid Tiber, some new information leads me to reevaluate the force levels in that system; even with all the assets we have I'm not sure we can take that out.

Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #39
But we have to take it out, because it's system-adjacent to Orion. So it's either give up OP, assume that they'll play nice and respect our "conquest" once we leave (they won't), or go into battle assuming a complete loss... or we play to win and take it out.

On the issue of strategy, I can understand your point of view, Deathcall, but it would exclude all of our members who are not friendly with the UEE. There's no way they could fly unmolested through Garron. Even if the defenses are equal on all jump points, we'd effectively be losing a huge number of our forces. Even if they ran through there to the invasion, going Garrom=>Tiber is too tricky because we'd have no safe staging ground.
  • Last Edit: February 01, 2014, 01:23:46 AM by Knightcrawler

Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #40
I have no real problem with trying for it, I've always seen Tiber as our "Blaze of glory" system. The comment was more that we should avoid it until we have as many of our other objectives complete as possible.

I'm not going to give the whole article (those who are willing to can find it elsewhere fairly easily) but there was mention of self replicating fabrication robots with access to a near unlimited supply of raw material.

Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #41

I have no real problem with trying for it, I've always seen Tiber as our "Blaze of glory" system. The comment was more that we should avoid it until we have as many of our other objectives complete as possible.

I'm not going to give the whole article (those who are willing to can find it elsewhere fairly easily) but there was mention of self replicating fabrication robots with access to a near unlimited supply of raw material.

In this case, it's even more important to hit Timber when we're at max strength.

I guess we'll reach our max strength within the first 12-24 hours. After that, our strength will decrease for various reasons.

btw - I can hardly believe that this technology is available to the Vanduul. It seems to be far more advanced than the Human, Xi'An or Banu technology level. If true, maybe they captured it during their raids from another, yet unknown species. This might be the reason why they'll attack Earth, because now they can do it.

Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #42
@Knightcrawler

There's something that isn't clear about how criminals will be handled... How the hell does a criminal play the game if he can't safely (somewhat) access or venture through UEE systems?

By your line of thinking, we should put our staging ground on Nul because that would be safe for our criminal elements, however, how the hell do those elements get there in the first place and how the hell do they resupply if they are shunned from the UEE up to the point where they get shot-on-sight? Nul is sandwiched between Vanduul and UEE space, the system itself sells no commodities nor does it have any known (as of yet) stations where we could dock or store things.

Simply put, and judging from the recently released fiction (Sesen Ep1), criminals most likely can mask their status by using fake IDs on their ships or personas (ShadowRun style). Otherwise, it just wouldn't make sense.

Now, of course I'm sure it won't particularly be comfortable to them, sitting around in a UEE system filled with Navy patrols... but it's a matter of finding a cozy asteroid belt for them to hide in until we are ready to depart.

---

I'd like to read this article you guys are talking about, sadly I don't have a subscription to Jump Point. In any case, the major truth remains: "We WILL have to face the brunt of the Vanduul forces on the sector if we wish our Operation to accomplish anything mid to long term."

@Stahlkopp

I've called it already... The Vanduul are a client race to some other more powerful one and they are being used!
It's a penguin... with a gun. I'd run if I were you.

Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #43
A self-replicating fabrication robot is pretty cool, but it's not all that advanced. I've kinda got an early version of one, called a RepRap. It's only partially self-replicating, though. Anyway, they may have that, but they don't necessarily have fuel for anything they produce through there, or explosive munitions - or most importantly - pilots. What I'm sensing here is that hunting down and destroying (or reprogramming) the last of these fabrication robots will be very important. Another thing about this is if the entire process is automated from start to finish, there is little chance Vanduul ships will be modified. Also, they can have self-replicating fabrication units, but that doesn't mean they're pumping out cutting-edge technology.

Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #44

A self-replicating fabrication robot is pretty cool, but it's not all that advanced. I've kinda got an early version of one, called a RepRap. It's only partially self-replicating, though. Anyway, they may have that, but they don't necessarily have fuel for anything they produce through there, or explosive munitions - or most importantly - pilots. What I'm sensing here is that hunting down and destroying (or reprogramming) the last of these fabrication robots will be very important. Another thing about this is if the entire process is automated from start to finish, there is little chance Vanduul ships will be modified. Also, they can have self-replicating fabrication units, but that doesn't mean they're pumping out cutting-edge technology.


Take that RepRap scale it up big enough to qualify as "massive", make it mobile (I think, it's implied but not stated), and set it loose on a planet covered with shipwrecks from at least couple decades of near continuous battles (so yes there's fuel and munitions in excess). The only real limitation is the pilots available, but while the planet may not be covered in cities it's still a planet, they won't be running out of bodies all that soon.

If we go in these Harvesters need to be our fist priority till they're gone, the capships fighters and whatnot in orbit can wait we have to be sure that there won't be an endless stream of reinforcements from planet side.
And this assumes that we can even get to them, this sounds to me like justification for the normal enemy respawns, and with them on the ground they may well be inaccessible.

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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #45

If we go in these Harvesters need to be our fist priority till they're gone, the capships fighters and whatnot in orbit can wait we have to be sure that there won't be an endless stream of reinforcements from planet side.
And this assumes that we can even get to them, this sounds to me like justification for the normal enemy respawns, and with them on the ground they may well be inaccessible.


Absolutely agree. When I read that article my first thought was: "Oh crap, Von Neuman Machines!"
"Tell the King: After the battle my head is at his disposal, during the battle he may allow me to use it!
GenLt. Seydlitz to Frederik the Great after disobeying an order to attack

R. Hoenig, Germany

Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #46

Take that RepRap scale it up big enough to qualify as "massive", make it mobile (I think, it's implied but not stated), and set it loose on a planet covered with shipwrecks from at least couple decades of near continuous battles (so yes there's fuel and munitions in excess). The only real limitation is the pilots available, but while the planet may not be covered in cities it's still a planet, they won't be running out of bodies all that soon.

If we go in these Harvesters need to be our fist priority till they're gone, the capships fighters and whatnot in orbit can wait we have to be sure that there won't be an endless stream of reinforcements from planet side.
And this assumes that we can even get to them, this sounds to me like justification for the normal enemy respawns, and with them on the ground they may well be inaccessible.

Sounds like a job for our Special Ops.

I agree, these Harvesters will be mobile and so, they can escape the UEE and/or our invasion forces. They can hide throughout the hole system and continue to produce reinforcement to the Vanduul.
Or they'll escape to other systems and just start production there until the Vanduul become strong enough to recapture Timber.

Maybe, they did this for decades and so the UEE was not able to free Timber.

Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #47
Well, their priority would really depend on their overall production rate. Being self-replicating and automated doesn't necessarily mean they can crank out a fighter in a few minutes. They might be able to scale up production, but that might take longer than the course of the battle. Getting able pilots to these fighters that are produced all over the bloomin' place might be equally hard. Where do the pilots come from? Do they train on these robot production facilities? Do they fly in? Does something come around and collect the Scythes and bring them to where the pilots are? If they're self-replicating, are the Vanduul holding back on their production rate, and why?

The way I see it, the issue of these production facilities might be best left to stealth recon and special forces units. We need to find out about those questions I asked and much more, and we especially need to determine their positions in the system. I think stealth special forces or very fast fighters/bombers might be the best way to take care of these units. If they're less well-armed than a capitol ship, it might be feasible to have a single fighter making a bee-line (or sneak) toward these while the rest of our forces engage. We'll also need special ops before OP commences to see if these units can be shut down or captured. Taking some of the Vanduul production base would mean that capturing at least one of these might be necessary.

If the system's production rate is 100 fighters per day, we have nothing to worry about. If it's 100 per hour, it's still something we can deal with while engaging normally in combat. Above that, and then we might want to concentrate our bomber squads on them. The tricky thing about self-replicating units is that if you miss even one, it can become many very quickly. So we might sacrifice a large number of our forces to try to kill these units, but in a few hours their numbers are back up to what the Vanduul want them to be at because we missed a few here or there, and were pushed back by the main Vanduul fleet during the replication process.

Although these replicators concern me a bit more greatly for other reasons. This seems like game design element intended to have the Vanduul unable to lose control of Tiber, or any of their systems. However, I doubt CIG would give us their approval if that were the case...

Anyway, if we do manage to take out Tiber, it'll be an even bigger blow than we expected to the Vanduul in the region. For that reason, I think this new information will give us more leverage in trying to convince the UEE to launch a joint strike with us, if there's any way to go about that request in this game.


============


Deathcall: As for the issue of characters in poor standing with the UEE being able to move around the galaxy, I follow you on that. However, if we take the Garron route, the logical first choice for a staging ground would need to be close to the Garron-Tiber jump point. This spot, however, would undoubtedly be heavily patrolled by the UEE. Our force will not be small, and will attract attention. This could be a problem when we have UEE-unfriendly people jumping back through that point after some fighting, trying to get repairs from a Caterpillar or rearmed by a Freelancer at our staging point.

So I follow your point and I grant that travel is probably going to be possible, but I think that hanging out in such large numbers in Garron could prove problematic. Alternatively, our staging ground could be in Nul, which is only one jump away from Garron. We'd just fly through Garron on our way to Tiber as quickly as possible and hope the UEE stays out of the way.


============


Stahlkopp, I think we're on the same page with that being a special operations job. I will say that if the Vanduul move these self-replicating fabricators, they won't be very effective in their new system. There won't be a huge abundance of salvage available to them. That's assuming they can even move through a jump.
  • Last Edit: February 02, 2014, 05:52:03 AM by Knightcrawler

Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #48

@Ogi

I don't see all these jump lines you mention.

If you attack through the Garron-Tiber Route, once on Tiber you have 3 possible vectors for Vanduul reinforcements (which are unlikely since the majority of the predominant Vanduul Horde in the sector is most likely here): Virgil, Vendetta and Orion. The first two would be cut off from the Vanduul jump network (at least if we go by our current map), and most likely get supplied from Tiber itself, meaning that they are in weak position and in case they do decide to join the Vanduul forces on our attack path they'll be leaving both systems rather undefended. Orion is not garrisoned by the Vanduul, so we shouldn't be bothered by enemies coming through it's jump lane, at least not at first.

If you attack through the Nul-Caliban-Orion Route you'll be exposing yourself to attacks from Vanguard on Caliban and both Vanguard and Tiber on Orion... plus any possible unknown systems that link Orion to the Vanduul network (presumably two more).

All in all, I'd say the Nul-Caliban-Orion route poses a higher threat because we won't be engaging the main enemy force, meaning they are free to maneuver to flank us at any time, plus we'll have to take care of one extra system in order to ensure our supply chain is safe.


Just for clarification, I'm using http://starcitizen.mojoworld.com/StarMap/. I suspect you are too, but just laying it out there.

Garron-Tiber-Orion gives us: Virgil-Tiber, Vendetta-Tiber, a possible #11-Orion, a possible #16-Orion, Vanguard-Orion, and Caliban-Orion.

Nul-Caliban-Orion gives us: Vanguard-Caliban, Vanguard-Orion, a possible #16-Orion, a possible #11-Orion, and Tiber-Orion. One less jump lane to threaten us from.

Furthermore, I don't like discounting Virgil and Vendetta as cut off if we take Tiber; Vendetta is far enough in the rear that there could be unknown jumps leading to it. Still, if you want to strike Vendetta and Virgil's jump points as they will be blockaded and they'll withering away on the vine (see: Rabaul, WWII), then you would also need to strike Vanguard's two threatening jump lanes as withering away on the vine as well.

I don't see having to secure Nul as that big a problem. Hell, it might be a wonderful opportunity, because all the outlaws can operate in Nul a hell of a lot easier than they could operate in Garron. Furthermore, sure, a lot of the enemy's strength will be in Tiber (which is a huge part of the reason why we shouldn't attack it), but where would they flank us? The UEE has Vega and Garron defended. If they come at us through Tiber-Orion, that's better for us; they can't all go through the jump at the same time. They will have to transit in groups. They have to jump in, distributed by jump package, which is a hell of a lot better than the entire enemy strength in Tiber glomping on us if we attack there.
  • Last Edit: February 02, 2014, 04:45:40 PM by Ogi_the_Great
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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #49



Take that RepRap scale it up big enough to qualify as "massive", make it mobile (I think, it's implied but not stated).


That would certainly qualify as massive in my book, and looks to be not just ground mobile but an all-up ship.

which means that this:


If we go in these Harvesters need to be our fist priority till they're gone, the capships fighters and whatnot in orbit can wait we have to be sure that there won't be an endless stream of reinforcements from planet side.


just got a whole lot more important.

Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #50
Note: Its critical to know that the Vanduul and UEE are probably going to have human commanders from the design team, at the very least its been hinted at.

Regarding an attack on Tiber as cutting off the head of a snake, I don't really think that that is an applicable term when it comes right down to it. Assuming we could WIN at Tiber (which is looking like long odds to me) it would be more akin to cutting off the head of a cockroach. The Vanduul are a survivable race, in fact its my bet that their disunity is the only thing stopping them from being unstoppable, they make whole colonies disappear using a single clan for goodness sake. While it would harm their ability to react in the region and they would no longer have a unified fleet, causing the multiple clans that inhabit the area to scatter is bad news waiting to happen. I doubt we would get a unified response from them after that point in the area, however, those large population centers in need of feeding will need plenty of new resources, and verge colonies are ripe targets.

If Orion is attacked, due to the scattered nature of the Vanduul, I find it difficult to believe they would move their military forces as a unified dedicated force into human space. The very strategic value of the Orion system to for the Vanduul is questionable at best. With the only thing going for it being its proximity to Tiber now that all the human colonies have long since vanished (or lost contact, but I doubt Vanduul would do such a thing as spare them).

This is why in my opinion the first thing that needs to go down, is we need to have a pre-pitchfork. In which we gather a large fleet and sweep the Nul system. This way we can establish a better forward operating base with less bureaucracy to wade through. And from Nul we could be stockpiling months in advance before the actual attack.

While this may draw attention, this is actually exactly what I want to happen. Since we are going to be on an offensive battle, Caliban seems like the best option we have to make an offensive in. It is relatively undefended, being a mere pass-through point. Therefore, even if they do catch us early and unify against us (again, clan structure, unlikely) they won't have anywhere near the amount of defensive force as Tiber or even Orion have set up, that way the playing field is a little closer to level. And you guys have brought something else to my attention, it is definetely a good idea to be attacking in raids in various systems along the front, just to remind the Vanduul of the lingering possibility that the attack might come from another direction as well as to gather intel. Again, make it look like our focus is on Caliban, which in a way it will be.

When the assault begins, the fleet will jump through the point and immediately begin assaulting Vanduul were they float. If a fleet isn't there, the local clans will surely send out distress and assemble an impromptu one. Anyway, the hope is to get the Vanduul involved in the biggest cluster imaginable. While we are battling the fleet, I think several squadrons should go black op and enter Orion.

If any of you are familiar with the book The Fall of Reach, (and this is going on the assumption that the Vanduul have either set up orbital defenses or are using the remains of our own) you will know how the Covenant captured Reach, they did not attack it directly, but instead used elite teams to assault its orbital defenses. I suggest we do the same, however slightly differently. Since myself and the rest of DigiRev have been told by JCom to work on intelligence gathering (namely, finding out how to capture Vanduul warships without triggering automatic detonation), we hope to have gathered lots of intel on Vanduul by now. What I am preposing is commandeering one or more of these guns with the planetside and eva black ops teams, and then begin to fire on Vanduul ships, either forcing a retreat from Caliban, or allowing us to hold the planet.

IF the Vanduul retreat from here, then we can do what I mentioned in the plan in the forum post. However if they don't, as we gradually wear down the fleet, we can slip more and more ships through and begin to launch a full scale invasion. There are some risks involved with this plan, namely, if the Vanduul don't retreat and we are unable to break Calibans forces, the men on the other side will be trapped and have to either stay put and make a last stand or try to sneak back out, which will be a hell of a lot more difficult than getting in.

If we make it past Caliban, we can possibly use the UEE's reluctance to get into the brunt of the fighting to our advantage, we can ask them to begin fortifying the recently cleared system, and therefore their very presence on Caliban will serve as a vanguard for us. This is one of the reasons I think this invasion is going to take much more time that people allow for in standard chat, frankly I don't believe there is any way we can make a dent in a single weekend.

Now, once Orion has been taken over, the Vanduul in the surrounding systems are going to have to make a choice, abandon the system and try to fortify against raids in the future. OR use the Tiber fleet to launch an offensive to retake Orion, now this is why we will have to be fast and use stealth to capture instead of force to destroy in my opinion (notable exception being the fleet battle in Caliban), we'll need to be hunkered in for the inevitable siege that is going to occur. It will be far easier to utilize what is already there instead of starting from scratch. Of course we should work on building additional defenses and whatnot, but you get the idea. From there, its a matter of outlasting them, eventually they will be forced to give up. The UEE fleet in Caliban will prevent major incursion into our supply lines, and our forces on Orion will have to prevent the Tiber fleet from making it to Vanguard to do such a thing.

But using this, we can force the Vanduul to fight an offensive fight in the long run, one where we will have a far greater advantage than running into the Vanduul trenches head on.

Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #51
Small edit to my above post, when I say fire guns on ships, I mean ones in the Orion system, forcing the amassed Caliban forces back in order to retake it and prevent the damage it may cause.

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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #52

Note: Its critical to know that the Vanduul and UEE are probably going to have human commanders from the design team, at the very least its been hinted at.

Regarding an attack on Tiber as cutting off the head of a snake, I don't really think that that is an applicable term when it comes right down to it. Assuming we could WIN at Tiber (which is looking like long odds to me) it would be more akin to cutting off the head of a cockroach. The Vanduul are a survivable race, in fact its my bet that their disunity is the only thing stopping them from being unstoppable, they make whole colonies disappear using a single clan for goodness sake. While it would harm their ability to react in the region and they would no longer have a unified fleet, causing the multiple clans that inhabit the area to scatter is bad news waiting to happen. I doubt we would get a unified response from them after that point in the area, however, those large population centers in need of feeding will need plenty of new resources, and verge colonies are ripe targets.


I kinda doubt, it will _end_ a unifide Vanduul fleet, quite the opposite (see my point 5)


If Orion is attacked, due to the scattered nature of the Vanduul, I find it difficult to believe they would move their military forces as a unified dedicated force into human space. The very strategic value of the Orion system to for the Vanduul is questionable at best. With the only thing going for it being its proximity to Tiber now that all the human colonies have long since vanished (or lost contact, but I doubt Vanduul would do such a thing as spare them).


I agree, but, as I say in 5) it might very well convince the Vanduul to unite in the first place


This is why in my opinion the first thing that needs to go down, is we need to have a pre-pitchfork. In which we gather a large fleet and sweep the Nul system. This way we can establish a better forward operating base with less bureaucracy to wade through. And from Nul we could be stockpiling months in advance before the actual attack.

While this may draw attention, this is actually exactly what I want to happen. Since we are going to be on an offensive battle, Caliban seems like the best option we have to make an offensive in. It is relatively undefended, being a mere pass-through point. Therefore, even if they do catch us early and unify against us (again, clan structure, unlikely) they won't have anywhere near the amount of defensive force as Tiber or even Orion have set up, that way the playing field is a little closer to level. And you guys have brought something else to my attention, it is definetely a good idea to be attacking in raids in various systems along the front, just to remind the Vanduul of the lingering possibility that the attack might come from another direction as well as to gather intel. Again, make it look like our focus is on Caliban, which in a way it will be.


I can see the value of clearing out Nul and establishing bases of operation there in preparation of taking Orion/Caliban

Warning, long winded response :)

Several points I´d like to mention:

1) I am pretty sure we will have to face the Vanduul "Tiber Fleet" sooner or later, no matter what, _especially_ if the Vanduul are commanded by some Devs (as I expect, I agree with you there)

2) Given the scattered entry when going through a jump point will make defending a jump point from the exit-side darn difficult (at least that is my take on it, as CR has stated that it will be _very_ difficult to camp a jump point exit).

3) Asuming 2) is correct, the way to defend a jump point will probably be camping it on the _entry_ side and let the enemy come to you, i.e. if you want to hold the Tiber - Orion jump point, you have to deploy in the Tiber system.

4) Again asuming 2) and 3) are correct and looking at the current map (as inacurate it may be) this seems to be easier to do in Tiber than in Caliban, given we can just jump into Tiber and hold the Tiber - Garron jump point with a friendly system at our back where damaged ships can retreat to for refit/repair while in Caliban, we would have to hold the Vanguard - Caliban _and_ the Orion - Caliban jump points and the retreat system would be Caliban, a just conquered system without any ground faciliteis, so retreating ships would have to go to Nul or even Croshaw for repair/refit.

5) Orion is said to be lightly or even undefended and that is good.
I am pretty sure there are _some_ Vanduul forcees in Caliban and Vanguard however and in order to secure Orion, those forces have to be taken out, even if only to lessen the burdon on holding Orion (3 known and 2 suspected jump routes to Vanduul systems would be a nightmare to guard).
This, however will take time, and that, I think, is a key.

I have been thinking about tribal societies in SF and what I came up with was, that usually, those societies don´t unite at the first sign of trouble, only after one or two single clans are obliterated, they finally start to realize that the _entire_ society is in danger and start to organize a unified response.

If we beat one or two smaller clans in Caliban, Vanguard and Orion, this will send a message to the other Vanduul clans.

If we hit Tiber first, I would expect the Vanduul to engage us by clan first, i.e. not as a unified force; and given the importance of The Grinder, I also expect some of the strongest Clans to be in Tiber (p.s. do we have any information about _more_ than on clan/tribe being in Tiber?)
I´d rather engage those strong clans one after the other, than engage and defeat a few small clans and have to face the unified strong clans later on.

6) I kinda doubt we could convince the Vanduul to come to us by jumping into Caliban and holding the Caliban - Nul jump point, because, as you say, Caliban is of no real importance.
Jumping into Tiber and holding the Tiber - Garron jump point is another thing, however. Tiber is, as far as I can tell from the lore, a highly important system to the Vanduul and I don´t think they could ignore a Human fleet entering that system, almost _guaranteeing_ a response.

7) I agree on raiding early on along the entire border but I thought that was agreed upon already under the "recon in force" label.

8) I realize this is all speculation and might be revealed to be complete BS when the first recon results come in, I just wanted to show my reason for advocating Tiber as the first target for the attack.
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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #53
I just find it hard to believe that the UEEN can't take Tiber with organized battle fleets, but we can. Furthermore, I see no reason to take on the enemy's strongest point in a battle of annihilation, when we can bypass it and wear it down (from two different directions!) while still maintaining essentially secure supply lines.

Again, I'm thinking Rabaul from World War II. The US didn't go after Rabaul in a battle of annihilation; they captured surrounding islands, built airfields and sub bases, and cut Rabaul off. Attrition, rather than annihilation.

I see no need to crush the Vanduul fleet in Tiber, when Tiber is not our objective: Orion is. Sure, keep the pressure up on Tiber, but do so via raids. Take out Vandy logistical ships, so all that Bacon in Tiber can't move out of Tiber.
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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #54
Hm, according to the organisation table from here

https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/spectrum-dispatch/13492-LORE-BUILDER-THIRTEEN-ORGANIZATION-NUMBERING

a typical battlegroup of one Bengal and one CVE seems to carry three squadrons of 12 fighters/bombers each for a total of 36 "planes".

Earth Fleet (wich should be the strongest there is, IMO) consists of 3 battle groups which would give it a total of:

3 Bengals
3 CVE
6 to 12 escorts
a number of support/combat ships
and 108 fighters/bombers (not counting those on Idrises and larger cap-ships)


As SC stated, there aren´t a large number of Bengals in service, so I feel it _very_ unlikely, the previous attacks had more than a hand full of Bengals (plus escorts) and two entire fleets is probably already stretching it.

If this holds true, even now we can muster ten times that number of small craft.

Granted, those craft will not be full blown military craft and granted, we lack the large number of smaller capital ships, a UEE fleet would have, but I don´t feel we would be all that much outgunned by a regular UEE fleet.
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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #55
For now ( will most likely change when we are in beta and conducting recon)
I think it would be wise to send the majority of our forces through the null->caliban--> orion route

while at the same time having a smaller force that is a mix of long range combat (missiles) and anti-fighter ships with some other ships as well to hold them at Tiber at long range and not to close into combat, just to hurt them at Tiber and possibly prevent them from reinforcing Orion, (they would most likely want to defend Tiber more due to the salvage)

Hopefully this minor assault on Tiber will buy time to fortify Orion.

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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #56
As I said in my post before last, defending a jump point from inside the system you want to defend seems to be pretty difficult, due to the scattered exit you get, when you go through a jump point, forcing the defender to racing after the attacker, trying to hunt him down. While you do this, further enemy forces might come through and hit your remaining guards.

It seems to be much easier to enter the _other_ system and camp the enemie´s jump point entry.

In Orion, this just leaves the problem, that there are two _suspected_ jump points (according to our current map which, I might add, is likely horribly inacurate), we have no idea where those jump points are, so we can´t guard them, and even if we knew, we would have to divide our forces - and call me conservative, but dividing forces in the face of the enemy doesn´t sound like a viable strategy to me.

That´s the advantage of an attacker, he can choose where to strike and concentrate forces at that point.
And that´s also the big advantage I see in an attack from Garron to Tiber. Only one jump point to hold and a friendly system at our back.

Hm, how about this:
Have those forkers, who have a hard time operating in UEE space (with reinforcements of law-abiding citizens if deemed necessary) go the Null - Caliban - Orion route. Given those systems are supposed to be only lightly defende, this should be possible with a smallish portion of the Pitchfork fleet, while the majority parks on the Tiber - Garron jump point and binds the Vanduul forces in Tiber.
Once the Tiber-Vanduul are comitted (and provided everything goes according to plan in Orion), the Orion fleet can enter Tiber and hit the Vanduul from the rear.

Note:
I agree that recon will probably change everything and all planning and theorycrafting will probably be moot, but, as a long-time WITP-AE/Aurora player,  I just love to do it :=)
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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #57
re: Theorycrafting: I have a Master's in Military History, get the Journal of Military History, have history books to read when I'm not otherwise occupied (right now, Beevor's book on WWII), *and* play strategy games obsessively. I know *exactly* what you mean when you talk about how theorycrafting is fun.

Now, as for what you mentioned in your last post, I think that's the best compromise we can get. A two-pronged attack risks defeat in detail.

HOWEVER.

A fixing force to keep the Vanduul in Tiber, while a main force proceeds via Nul-Caliban-Orion, and eventually attacks Tiber simultaneously with the fixing force, caters to both camps, without exposing us to (too much) risk.

Granted, I'm still leery as hell about trying to annihilate1 the Vanduul in Tiber. I still think we should bypass Tiber entirely, and just go for Orion. But, the combination of strategic initiative (WE determine when the coup de main occurs) and superior operational positioning (coming in from two jump points as opposed to one) means that it feasible, without being complex. Granted, I would still want the fixing force to jump through with a UEE battle group accompanying, but c'est la guerre.

The only thing that concerns me is that we probably would need to detail small groups to raid/launch spoiling attacks on Virgil and Vanguard.2 If we concentrated on one axis of advance, we would only need to do this for one system.  Also, I'm still scared that our combined force, even attacking through two jump points, may not be able to defeat the Vanduul forces in the Grinder.

1: I use "annihilate" in the Delbrückian (i.e. of Hans Delbrück) sense, and as a polar opposite of "attrition". If you want to know more about Hans Delbrück, Makers of Modern Strategy has an excellent chapter by Gordon Craig on Delbrück.

2.: Thinking about the casualties we are likely to sustain in both the fixing force and the main force (we also need to come up with a cooler name for both. Hammer Force and Anvil Force?), we will need to manage our hulls very carefully, especially since insurance may not be able to replace all our hull losses in that weekend. We need to be certain that any multi-crew ship goes out with a full compliment.
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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #58
thinking that the force that holds them at Tiber will be codenamed shield, while the the the main force will be called sword.

And I have to say I like your idea about instead of Sword fortifying Orion, they strike Tiber from behind, could cause a brief disarray in their formation (turning to face the larger force), for the main force to (hopefully) take down the engines of the kingship and destroy some of their forces.


as for strategy games... total war, civilization and sins of a solar empire ftw!
I have one war history book but I have read it over and over again, (Carl von Clausewitz "On War")

and I agree that all multi crew ships should go with a full compliment, but from what I see from the current numbers on the google doc, we have way more ships than actual players so I am going to guess we will have to fill the crew with AI, which brings me to the conclusion that we are all going to have to work as a team to acquire the funds for this assault!

Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #59

thinking that the force that holds them at Tiber will be codenamed shield, while the the the main force will be called sword.


Sure, whatever. I like hammer and anvil, 'cause it goes together better.

Quote
And I have to say I like your idea about instead of Sword fortifying Orion, they strike Tiber from behind, could cause a brief disarray in their formation (turning to face the larger force), for the main force to (hopefully) take down the engines of the kingship and destroy some of their forces.


The disarray in their formations was what I was thinking. If there is one big formation, hitting it from two disparate vectors could give us the advantage we need; if there are two formations, then we're dealing with a portion rather than one big glomp (which I am a fan of; glomping is generally bad).

As for the main force, I envisioned the main force as the force attacking along the Nul-Caliban-Orion route. The Garrion-Tiber force would be large enough to make the Vanduul want to stay in Tiber, but not large enough to detract from the main force. If we're talking percentages, figure 50% advancing along Nul-Caliban-Orion, 25% as the Garrion-Tiber fixing force, 10% raiding Vanguard, 10% raiding Virgil, and 5% as a reserve.

Quote
as for strategy games... total war, civilization and sins of a solar empire ftw!
I have one war history book but I have read it over and over again, (Carl von Clausewitz "On War")


Total War, heck yes. Working through a Napoleon campaign as the British right now. Civ V is a good diversion (if far too grainy for my tastes), and Sins of a Solar Empire is RTS trash, IMO. Play Space Empires V. As for reading old Carl, well, kudos to you, but he's really longwinded and "mumbly". You need to branch out. Try some Jomini for variety's sake, or the (well-overquoted) Sun Tzu, or tool around on the websites of the Strategic Studies Institute (http://strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pubs/), or....well, CGSC/CGSS, SAMS, or any of the other advanced schools of military thinking. If you can access them. Clausewitz isn't the be-all-and-end-all of strategy; while Basil Liddel Hart is kind of a blowhard, I think he is more than a little justified in calling Clausewitz the, "Mahdi of Mass".

Quote
and I agree that all multi crew ships should go with a full compliment, but from what I see from the current numbers on the google doc, we have way more ships than actual players so I am going to guess we will have to fill the crew with AI, which brings me to the conclusion that we are all going to have to work as a team to acquire the funds for this assault!


Yeah, AI crew may be the key thing we can do, but....I just have no idea how quickly we will lose ships, and I don't want to have no hulls and a bunch of pilots rarin' to go.
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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #60
I agree on Clausewitz. It is very hard to read for me because he goes on and on and on.
Sun Tsu I found easier to read but my "library" is mostely about operational stuff (WW2 mostely) with a little bit of strategy thrown in for good meassure :)


Something just occured to me.

We are allways talking about _players_ taking part in OPPF, but we know every player flown ship can be accompanied by 1 or 2 NPC piloted ships for escorts.

Yes, that will cost UECs, but it will also double or tripple our number in the attack.
This also means, we don´t need 50 players to fill an instance (assuming a limit of 100) but just 15 or 25.

On the other hand, it will probably not serve us very well, if we fill an instance with low-level NPCs that are blown away the moment they show up.
Probably be better to restrict our NPC escorts to the good to elite ones (which. of course, cost more and might not be in plentiful supply).
Hm, of course, even with all the training I will be doing, I, personally, will probably not get better than average as my "twitch finger days" have long been gone, lol.

And what about hiring NPC merc corps (if this is possible)?
Are we trying to get as many NPCs involved as possible (aside from possible UEEN support) or should we do this as kind of a "player only" effort?
Myself, I would say: We need all the help we can get! But I could see the argument being made, that this should be a player centric/dominated affair.

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GenLt. Seydlitz to Frederik the Great after disobeying an order to attack

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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #61

And I have to say I like your idea about instead of Sword fortifying Orion, they strike Tiber from behind, could cause a brief disarray in their formation (turning to face the larger force), for the main force to (hopefully) take down the engines of the kingship and destroy some of their forces.


Instancing won't work quite like that. Any battle we hold in Tiber where our instance isn't maxed out on players will be easily defeated by the Vanduul. Therefore, when the "Sword" group arrives, if they tried to enter the "Shield" instances, they wouldn't be able to. Now, if you pull out forces from the "Shield" group the moment the "Sword" group bombers are ready to engage, that might work.


Hopefully this minor assault on Tiber will buy time to fortify Orion.


Fortify Orion? How do you plan on fortifying a solar system? We're not going to be getting minerals and building Photon Cannons and Pylons. We aren't gonna be digging trenches. "Fortifying" a system would mean building up its economy, population, and defense force. This would take years, not hours.



I just find it hard to believe that the UEEN can't take Tiber with organized battle fleets, but we can. Furthermore, I see no reason to take on the enemy's strongest point in a battle of annihilation, when we can bypass it and wear it down (from two different directions!) while still maintaining essentially secure supply lines.

Again, I'm thinking Rabaul from World War II. The US didn't go after Rabaul in a battle of annihilation; they captured surrounding islands, built airfields and sub bases, and cut Rabaul off. Attrition, rather than annihilation.

I see no need to crush the Vanduul fleet in Tiber, when Tiber is not our objective: Orion is. Sure, keep the pressure up on Tiber, but do so via raids. Take out Vandy logistical ships, so all that Bacon in Tiber can't move out of Tiber.


You are making a series of incorrect assumptions. Tiber IS the system of production and resource-gathering for the Vanduul in the area. You can't engage in siege tactics, because they have plenty of resources there. Second, we don't have time for siege tactics, and even if we did, forces from deeper within Vanduul space would hit us in the rear eventually.

One problem is the self-replicating factories. With self-replicating factories, you have the benefit of possible exponential growth and production. So they're obviously holding back on production, although we don't know why. Maybe they don't want to use up all their resources at once, and instead want to be able to use those same resources to produce more advanced craft as they come up with better designs. But that's speculation. The point is that dealing a little bit of damage here and a little bit of damage there will never work, because they can always recover from any minor injury at Tiber. We heard nothing about the previous UEE attacks slowing down the Vanduul forces as you might expect from a typical production line and military. Any time you attack an enemy with "regeneration" in any video game, or pen and paper game, or whatever, you hold back until you're ready to kill it all at once. If you take your time and attack slowly and steadily, you will be wasting your effort and resources.

Attacking logistical ships in Tiber... what? You know they gather the resources RIGHT THERE, right? It's on-site production. Even if it was shipped in from out of system, there's no way we can prevent that from a staging point near the Garron jump point. You're also ignoring one thing we've been told about Tiber: that it's at its safest during large-scale battles. Sending small raiding parties won't work. The Vanduul have too much of a home field advantage.

You're planning for a war of attrition, which we don't have time for. Not simply because attrition doesn't work against foes that "regenerate" quickly, but also because the op lasts just under four days.

And of course, again, you're ignoring the fact that this operation HAS to wipe the Vanduul in the area out because that's the only way Orion will remain even remotely safe once we leave. And even if the Vanduul were drawn out of Tiber, we'd still have to go there to attack their production. The idea that Orion is our only objective and we should avoid fighting the Vanduul where possible is silly. It's not like a game of Axis and Allies, where you move a tank onto an unoccupied country and it's suddenly yours. Planting a flag doesn't make the ground yours. Orion is likely to be unpopulated by Vanduul and for all we know, so is Caliban. Sending our forces through there because Orion is our objective accomplishes nothing.


As far as your later posts, I find them more to my personal tastes and I've supported *similar* plans before. But it has a few weaknesses. The tribal nature of the Vanduul means that even if we attack the Tiber forces to "hold them" there, a different clan could attack the more mobile force. And then, THEY would be holding US. Meanwhile, the holding force in Tiber is suffering attrition while the Tiber Vanduul force doesn't really have to worry about that issue. Our entire holding force in Tiber could get wiped out without making any progress, waiting on the mobile force. This wouldn't just be a strategic blunder, it'd be a huge blow to morale and would cause many players to leave the operation. There's too much that can happen when you separate your forces by such a great distance, and it drastically would increase our logistical strain.

Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #62
Started another thread on the Hammer/Anvil plan.
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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #63

Started another thread on the Hammer/Anvil plan.


I have looked around, but can´t locate it.

Where, repeat, where is that threat, the world wonders   :)
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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #64
Just put it up. I was writing it all this time. Sorry.
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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #65

Just put it up. I was writing it all this time. Sorry.


No problem. You just phrased your last post as if you had allready posted.

Anyway, I have just finished my first reading and will let the details sink in a bit now.
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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #66

No problem. You just phrased your last post as if you had allready posted.


Yeah, I realized that when I read your "and where is it?" post. Oops.
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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #67
This is one of those times where I dislike instancing, because then I'd be advocating for laying big, persistent minefields on the jump points the Vanduul would be using to get out of Tiber. Oh well

Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #68

I have been thinking about tribal societies in SF and what I came up with was, that usually, those societies don´t unite at the first sign of trouble, only after one or two single clans are obliterated, they finally start to realize that the _entire_ society is in danger and start to organize a unified response.

If we beat one or two smaller clans in Caliban, Vanguard and Orion, this will send a message to the other Vanduul clans.

If we hit Tiber first, I would expect the Vanduul to engage us by clan first, i.e. not as a unified force; and given the importance of The Grinder, I also expect some of the strongest Clans to be in Tiber (p.s. do we have any information about _more_ than on clan/tribe being in Tiber?)
I´d rather engage those strong clans one after the other, than engage and defeat a few small clans and have to face the unified strong clans later on.

6) I kinda doubt we could convince the Vanduul to come to us by jumping into Caliban and holding the Caliban - Nul jump point, because, as you say, Caliban is of no real importance.


I disagree on your analysis of the tribal system, seeing as Tiber appears to be the closest thing we have to a homeworld of the Vanduul, I doubt they would stream out clan by clan in defense of the area. If their territory is threatened, whether the unity is intentional or not, they are going to defend the area from opposing forces.

As a matter of fact, I am very sure it is all but guaranteed we are going to draw the clans attention no matter what route we take. I would rather face them in Caliban however, where they don't have the advantage of being so thoroughly entrenched, due to its lack of importance. And if we don't convince them to come to us, well, thats even better, their failure to respond will make everything easier for us.


In Orion, this just leaves the problem, that there are two _suspected_ jump points (according to our current map which, I might add, is likely horribly inacurate), we have no idea where those jump points are, so we can´t guard them, and even if we knew, we would have to divide our forces - and call me conservative, but dividing forces in the face of the enemy doesn´t sound like a viable strategy to me.

Note:
I agree that recon will probably change everything and all planning and theorycrafting will probably be moot, but, as a long-time WITP-AE/Aurora player,  I just love to do it :=)

while this is true, this is simply one of the risks that cannot be avoided, if we are indeed going after Orion (which is important as it is the key symbolism behind the movement), this is why we need to get to Orion and STAY THERE, that way we are playing defensively and entrenched instead of point guarding.

Note: The whole concept of point guarding seems like an unreliable tactic to me in the first place, with ambiguous boundaries, you could have masses of enemy ships being dumped right in the middle of your formations. The closest thing possible to defending jump points that would be even remotely viable in my opinion is having fleets organized far out from the bubble with quantum entangled (Chris, make these a thing please) data probes, that way when the fleet drops off we can engage it while they attempt to reform, even then, if more ships arrive that could screw everything up.

Also, your probably right about the plan formulating, but even if our plans are innaccurate, the general concepts aren't and can probably be adapted, and I like theory craft too  :D


Fortify Orion? How do you plan on fortifying a solar system? We're not going to be getting minerals and building Photon Cannons and Pylons. We aren't gonna be digging trenches. "Fortifying" a system would mean building up its economy, population, and defense force. This would take years, not hours.

We aren't trying to fortify the entire system, all we need to do is concentrate our defenses around our planet, they can't just ignore our presence there. And judging by the reports regarding Orion, they already have orbital defenses in place, instead of going boom boom destroy, we need to capture these using the main fleet as a distraction rather than the main event, we need to stir up something big that will get the Vanduuls attention. I.E. and assault on Caliban and the outer Orion sectors if Caliban fails to draw enough attention, either way the point is to pull forces off of the human world Orion enough that a smaller fleet can break in and take control of several key facilities in orbit and along the ground. Then, either the Orion Vanduul will be forced into a retreat in which we can pursue them and sandwich them between the orbital defenses and the fleet. Or, they can hold their ground and the main fleet can fight it out while the Shadow Fleet captures more and more places.

Once we win that its a matter of tugging in all of our resources we stored for this operation in system and setting up additional defenses in an attempt to outlast them in a defensive battle, which I think would be much easier than assaulting a well entrenched Tiber. Vanguard is a question mark, regarding how or if we should divide the fleet to deal with it.

My theory is that we should defend the planet only for the same reason siege defenders only defended the castle, even when assaulted from all sides, we have "walls", and are expecting it. If we defend the planet its going to be a lot harder to flank due to the fact we are carpeting it and we are entrenched. Also, I think defending the planet will allow us to concentrate our forces rather than be spread out in void combat.

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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #69

I disagree on your analysis of the tribal system, seeing as Tiber appears to be the closest thing we have to a homeworld of the Vanduul, I doubt they would stream out clan by clan in defense of the area. If their territory is threatened, whether the unity is intentional or not, they are going to defend the area from opposing forces.

As a matter of fact, I am very sure it is all but guaranteed we are going to draw the clans attention no matter what route we take. I would rather face them in Caliban however, where they don't have the advantage of being so thoroughly entrenched, due to its lack of importance. And if we don't convince them to come to us, well, thats even better, their failure to respond will make everything easier for us.


I guess we have to wait for some recon in Tiber.
Personally, I kind of doubt there is more than one clan in Tiber as some form of permanent garrison, given the Vanduul history of fighting each other.
If this is true, as I said, I expect the strongest clan to have "posession" of such a valuable system and I´d like to fight that clan on his own, rather than give him time to get in _other_ clans due to a "threat to the race"

I agree that we will have to face a more or less united Vanduul fleet sooner or later, I´d just prefer to do this _after_ we have taken care of the (or one of the) strongest clans already, if at all possible.


Note: The whole concept of point guarding seems like an unreliable tactic to me in the first place, with ambiguous boundaries, you could have masses of enemy ships being dumped right in the middle of your formations. The closest thing possible to defending jump points that would be even remotely viable in my opinion is having fleets organized far out from the bubble with quantum entangled (Chris, make these a thing please) data probes, that way when the fleet drops off we can engage it while they attempt to reform, even then, if more ships arrive that could screw everything up.


That is why I propose to guard the jump point at the _hostile_ side. There is no abigueous boundary, no danger of an enemy jumping into us, no nothing.
The _entry_ of a jump point is, as far as I know, a clearly defined point.

Of course, this tactic requires the enemy to come to us and expecting the enemy to do what you want is allways risky, but given the importance of Tiber and given the agressive nature of the Vanduul, I´d guess there to be a good chance they couldn´t ignore a strong UEE presence in Tiber.

And if they _do_ ignore our fleet in Tiber, we can allways go for the Grinder (which, IMO, is as important a target as Orion itself, especially their harvesters there) which is a target the Vanduul simply can not ignore.
One way or the other, we crush the Tiber fleet


Also, your probably right about the plan formulating, but even if our plans are innaccurate, the general concepts aren't and can probably be adapted, and I like theory craft too  :D


Yeah, I vaguely remember a saying along the line of: "Plans are useless, but planning is invaluable" or something to that effect.


We aren't trying to fortify the entire system, all we need to do is concentrate our defenses around our planet, they can't just ignore our presence there. And judging by the reports regarding Orion, they already have orbital defenses in place, instead of going boom boom destroy, we need to capture these using the main fleet as a distraction rather than the main event, we need to stir up something big that will get the Vanduuls attention. I.E. and assault on Caliban and the outer Orion sectors if Caliban fails to draw enough attention, either way the point is to pull forces off of the human world Orion enough that a smaller fleet can break in and take control of several key facilities in orbit and along the ground. Then, either the Orion Vanduul will be forced into a retreat in which we can pursue them and sandwich them between the orbital defenses and the fleet. Or, they can hold their ground and the main fleet can fight it out while the Shadow Fleet captures more and more places.

Once we win that its a matter of tugging in all of our resources we stored for this operation in system and setting up additional defenses in an attempt to outlast them in a defensive battle, which I think would be much easier than assaulting a well entrenched Tiber. Vanguard is a question mark, regarding how or if we should divide the fleet to deal with it.

My theory is that we should defend the planet only for the same reason siege defenders only defended the castle, even when assaulted from all sides, we have "walls", and are expecting it. If we defend the planet its going to be a lot harder to flank due to the fact we are carpeting it and we are entrenched. Also, I think defending the planet will allow us to concentrate our forces rather than be spread out in void combat.


So you want to hang around in Caliban or (preferably) in Orion and let the Vanduul concentrate forces until they are ready and then hit us with everything they have?
Or did I misunderstand you?

If not, then:

I really like the analogy of planets, asteroid belts and stuff in a system with the islands in the PTO of WW2.
So Armitage is heavily fortified and your fleet is in orbit, protecting it (let´s say Truk).
Then I, as the Vanduul commander just go around you and block the Orion - Caliban jump point (with some forces on the Caliban side, to give warning in case the UEE mounts a rescue mission, cutting you off from friendly space.
Now you sit over a planet with no industrial capacity, no way to get supplies or ammunition and no way out.
Basically, you have created a new Stalingrad.

And even if that doesn´t happen, what if the Vanduul _don´t_ show up at Orion (something I think is quite possible, given that Orion doesn´t seem to be of any significance to the Vanduul)? At least not during the 4 days, OPPF will last? What if they show up a few days after most Forkers have left?

If we managed to neutralize the Tiber fleet, whoever stays in Orion, has, together with some NPC help, at least a fighting chance of holding the system.
With the Tiber fleet intact after the majority leaves, it is massacer time, and it will not be humans doing the massacring, I´m afraid.

The point is:
If we give them time, they will drown us in numbers.
If we leave the initiative to them, they will outmaneuver us.

We have to hit fast and we have to hit hard!
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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #70

I really like the analogy of planets, asteroid belts and stuff in a system with the islands in the PTO of WW2.
So Armitage is heavily fortified and your fleet is in orbit, protecting it (let´s say Truk).
Then I, as the Vanduul commander just go around you and block the Orion - Caliban jump point (with some forces on the Caliban side, to give warning in case the UEE mounts a rescue mission, cutting you off from friendly space.
Now you sit over a planet with no industrial capacity, no way to get supplies or ammunition and no way out.
Basically, you have created a new Stalingrad.


Alternately, the Vanduul just need to sit outside of weapons range of Orion, and bombard the planet with c-fractional kinetic strikes. A rock moving at a good chunk of the speed of light will hurt, and they only need to get a few by.

Quote

The point is:
If we give them time, they will drown us in numbers.
If we leave the initiative to them, they will outmaneuver us.

We have to hit fast and we have to hit hard!


Agreed. Except I would say, "If we leave the initiative to them, they will outmaneuver us AND drown us in numbers."
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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #71
Narwhal, a threat can't be totally neutralized if their navy is on the offensive. They can commit as many or few (and it would likely be few, given the lack of importance of Orion) units as they want, and their production and operations are left completely intact. When they see what is happening, they can just ramp up production at Tiber.

Hawkeye and Narwhal, we can't defend against or form a wall against them in any capacity. This is because it's their territory, and they know more jump routes than we do.

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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #72

Narwhal, a threat can't be totally neutralized if their navy is on the offensive. They can commit as many or few (and it would likely be few, given the lack of importance of Orion) units as they want, and their production and operations are left completely intact. When they see what is happening, they can just ramp up production at Tiber.

Hawkeye and Narwhal, we can't defend against or form a wall against them in any capacity. This is because it's their territory, and they know more jump routes than we do.


I agree on the "can´t defend a system in Vanduul space" part.

I am not advocating anything of that kind (or of "forming a wall" or something)
I am just saying, that putting our fleet on the Tiber side of the Garron - Tiber jump point will have a good probability of forcing the Vanduul to engage us at a place of our choosing where we have

-short supply lines
-a save avenue of retreat
-are able to concentrate our forces
-and it´s an easy plan: Everyone goes here!

Of course, as I said, this requires the Vanduul to act as I expect, but as I also said, I have a hard time imangining the Vanduul to ignore our fleet in Tiber, given Tiber is, as far as we know, of vital importance to them.

Now, if recon shows that the Tiber fleet is of a size we have no chance to defeat, then this won´t work, obviously, so that plan is scraped.


Hm, re-reading what I just typed, it starts to look a lot like the japanese´s plans to force a "Decisive Battle" upon the US pretty much throughout the war. Perhaps that plan _isn´t_ quite as good as I thought :)
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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #73
Heh. The fixation on the Vanduul fleet in Tiber is like a fusion of Mahan and Clausewitz.

I wonder, though, how large a jump point exit will be. I mean, sure, its large enough that a pirate can't camp the JPEx, but....what about a fleet? Furthermore, while conducting a jump point assault, what kinds of ships do you send in first?
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Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #74
Attacking the Vanduul is also simply a plan doomed to failure, as per their increased knowledge of the jump points anyway, they will simply surround us and hammer us to pieces if we attempt to attack them, not really much else to it. This is why I advocated for the operation lasting for more than 4 days, as this is simply not enough time.

Knightcrawler, we don't know enough about the Vanduul to neutralize them at all, and I doubt we could if we wanted to. Its exactly because they know the jump points that we cannot attack them. Being on a planet at least gives us a chance to have some sort of a defensive advantage, a place to put supplies, and have various other goodies that assaulting Tiber could never afford us. Its going to turn into a Stalingrad situation anyway, I would rather have 300 orbital MAC's at my back when it does.


Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #75
You can want our operation to be longer, but any strategies you come up with that rely on this will be irrelevant because it's not gonna happen. Most of us have jobs and are not incredibly wealthy. I can't take a month off of work for this, but I am going to try to take 2 days off. And frankly, I'd get bored doing this for a month or longer. That also goes against the principal of the operation as a "fun celebration" of the pre-release time of SC. Not to mention that engaging the Vanduul in a protracted war plays strongly into their favor with the way their production works.

There is a difference between an enemy advantage and a strategy-breaking oversight. With an "average strategy," the Vanduul knowing more jump routes than us gives them an advantage. With a strategy whereby our goal is to cover all jump points, the Vanduul knowing more jump routes than us completely breaks the strategy to pieces. In other words, don't build the foundations of a strategy on areas where it is known we have an incredible disadvantage. An optimal strategy diminishes the value of an enemy's advantages and emphasizes your strengths.

And again, the impression I've gotten from the game is that it will be somewhat "realistic." You can't simply "lay down defenses" after you've been somewhere a few hours. Orion might have had defenses once upon a time, but they were clearly inadequate, have probably already been destroyed and/or salvaged, would probably be considered outdated technology by this time, and would be divided by instances.
  • Last Edit: March 02, 2014, 04:31:33 AM by Knightcrawler

Re: Alternate Invasion plan.
Reply #76
Again, this is why they must be captured, because as far as I am aware, they were there before the Vanduul attacked, and if they weren't there anymore, territorial clans probably set up more, because they are territorial. Regarding your comment about the operations length, I know this, but it hardly needs to be a month to be more effective. Also, with the realism of the game, they probably balance it for the sake of fun, they aren't going to take a month to assemble a fighter craft because that is just a killjoy, I wouldn't rely on it being a walking simulator 2015.

And what I have been saying all along is that we shouldn't be trying to cover multiple jump points, but instead focus on one point, I.E. a planet. As much as your correct about what an optimal strategy is, I don't really see one present with our time constraint. So if you put it that way, the whole operation is futile and will get us no were anyway, and I would rather try to get something out of this.