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Topic: Hammer/Anvil plan (Read 3045 times) previous topic - next topic

Hammer/Anvil plan
(tl;dr is at end of body, but before endnotes)

I am using this map: http://starcitizen.mojoworld.com/StarMap/

Greetings, all. After a lot of discussion, we have split into pretty much two groups: those who advocate a Nul-Caliban-Orion axis of attack, and those who support Garron-Tiber-Orion. The main reason for this is because (to draw upon some Clausewitzian principles) Orion is our objective, whereas Tiber is the Vanduul's center of gravity in the area.

A Nul-Caliban-Orion plan has the strategic advantage of holding Orion at the end of the operation, while avoiding the full strength of the Vanduul (and thus, avoiding the chance of losing the Pitchfork fleet in a battle of annihilation). However, Vanduul strength in Tiber would be relatively untouched (even assuming spoiling attacks would be launched), so the net result is that Orion would still be under threat. It does us very little good to retake Orion, only to have the Vanduul waltz in and take it back once we're all gone.

A Garron-Tiber-Orion plan has the strategic advantage of eliminating that future threat to Orion by crushing the Vanduul center-of-gravity in Tiber. The assumption then is that once Tiber has been neutralized, Orion will be easily secured. However, if the assault on Tiber fails (which, given the strength of the Vanduul in the system, is a possibility) then by definition we have not secured Orion. It is a big throw of the dice.

The only other school of thought about plans are two-axis plans, advocating a simultaneous advance along Garron-Tiber-Orion and Nul-Caliban-Orion. Most of these are quickly shot down, for the simple reason that a true two-axis advance, simultaneous attacks down two axes1 of advance, risks defeat in detail.

These dueling plans, advantages, and disadvantages is why I propose a hybrid plan that I have come to call the Hammer/Anvil plan.

In terms of percentages, I have envisioned something along these lines (edit note: "TF" means "Task Force" :
TF HAMMER: 50%
TF ANVIL: 35%
TF Vanguard: 10%
Reserve: 5%

TF HAMMER: TF HAMMER will assemble in Nul, and will follow the Nul-Caliban-Orion axis of attack. It is generally assumed that this axis of advance will be relatively unopposed, and will progress quickly. If it is not, we still know it is defended to a lesser degree than Tiber (because the UEEN is so concerned with Tiber), and thus, directing the bulk of our forces along the Nul-Caliban-Orion axis will still ensure quick victory. Upon the seizure of Caliban, TF HAMMER will then move onto Orion. Once Orion is secured, TF HAMMER will transit via the Orion-Tiber jump point and engage the Vanduul fleet in Tiber, with the intent of destroying it and holding Tiber space.

TF ANVIL: TF ANVIL will be based in Garron, and will conduct holding attacks2 on Tiber by launching a series of raids.3 This has the duel effect of keeping the Tiber fleet in Tiber (and thus, not attacking TF HAMMER), and keeping the Vanduul ship production efforts in Tiber with replenishing ships in Tiber (and thus, not replenishing ships along the Nul-Caliban-Orion axis). These raids also have the effect of acting as spoiling attacks4 against any offensive action the Vanduul may attempt. Once TF HAMMER has secured Orion, TF ANVIL will launch a deliberate attack5 on Tiber, with the intention of destroying the Vanduul fleet and holding Tiber space.

TF Vanguard: TF Vanguard will join TF HAMMER during the assault on Caliban, and once that system is secured, will operate out of Caliban, and raid Vanguard. This will not only secure TF HAMMER's line of supply (by having Vanguard force operating out of Caliban), but it will also act as a series of spoiling attacks, and degrade the ability of the Vanduul to attack out of Vanguard and into Orion. Note that TF Vanguard can also act as a left-flank reserve; by partitioning TF Vanguard into two groups, both Caliban and Orion will have some forces there, can raid Vanguard via two jump lanes, and can counteract Vanduul raids in Caliban or Orion (if TF HAMMER cannot intercept raids in these systems).

Reserve: The Reserve will act as a traditional reserve.6 If we need additional protection for Caliban or Orion, we can shift the reserve there; alternately, if we need to increase pressure on Tiber, we can shift the reserve to TF ANVIL.

Logistics will be, as usual, a challenge, but not an insurmountable one. TF ANVIL and TF Virgil need relatively little logistical support, seeing as they would be based in UEE systems. While care will need to be taken to ensure that those systems do not run out of war matériel, a good amount of that can be ensured by the simple expedient of Pitchforkers pre-positioning as many supplies as possible in Vega, Garron, Croshaw, or Centauri. TF Vanguard and TF HAMMER will require the bulk of our supply transportation, but between the Reserve and TF Vanguard (and TF Virgil, if necessary), our lines of supply should be secured. Orion will definitely have "hard ground" for us to build a supply dump; Caliban may have stations or hard ground we can use as a dump. This would demand that a significant Forward Operating Base (FOB) be established in Nul. This would preferably be in a space station of some sort, but Ashana itself would offer hard ground (albeit unpleasant hard ground) to marshal supplies on. It should be noted, though, that a FOB in Nul is a prerequisite for any Nul-Caliban-Orion plan, and that due to some changes to the Tiber lore in a recent Jump Point, it is exceedingly unlikely that Tiber will be able to host a supply base (even if we did destroy the Vanduul fleet).

The Hammer/Anvil plan combines the advantages of both the Nul-Caliban-Orion and Garron-Tiber-Orion plans, while minimizing their weaknesses. At worst, if the combined attack into Tiber is defeated, then we still maintain control of Orion (thus completing our primary objective), and the Vanduul forces in Tiber will be degraded enough that Orion has a chance to develop and increase its security level. Alternately, Tiber may be weakened to the point that it may fall to subsequent UEEN attacks.
At best, Orion will be secured, and the Vanduul presence in Tiber will be eliminated, thus securing Orion totally. Another way to think about this plan is that it is an oblique attack7 writ large; holding attacks prevent the Vanduul from shifting reserves, and our main attack defeats the enemy. It is similar to the ground phase of operations during the First Persian Gulf War, in 1991. Furthermore, the combined attack on Tiber evokes images of crushing the Vanduul between a hammer and an anvil, hence the name.

Again, though, this plan combines the best and mitigates the worst of the other two main plans. We complete our objective (take Orion) before we risk the climactic battle with the Vanduul; we are not dependent on defeating the Vanduul fleet in order to accomplish our objective.

tl;dr: Crush the Vanduul between a hammer and an anvil.

1: "Axes" is apparently the plural of "Axis", according to Merriam-Webster. I was as surprised as you were.

2: "Holding Attack" as defined by the US Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms: "An attack designed to hold the enemy in position, to deceive the enemy as to where the main attack is being made, to prevent the enemy from reinforcing the elements opposing the main attack, and/or to cause the enemy to commit the reserves prematurely at an indecisive location."

3: "Raid" as defined by the US Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms: "An operation to temporarily seize an area in order to secure information, confuse an adversary, capture personnel or equipment, or to destroy a capability. It ends with a planned withdrawal upon completion of the assigned mission." Raids, by definition, do not attempt to control territory.

4: "Spoiling Attack" as defined by the US Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms: "A tactical maneuver employed to seriously impair a hostile attack while the enemy is in the process of forming or assembling for an attack."

5: "Deliberate Attack" as defined by the US Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms: "Deliberate Attack: A type of offensive action characterized by preplanned coordinated employment of firepower and maneuver to close with and destroy or capture the enemy." Note the difference compared to Holding Attack and Raid.

6: "Reserve" as defined by the US Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms: "Portion of a body of troops that is kept to the rear, or withheld from action at the beginning of an engagement, in order to be available for a decisive movement."

7: http://www.theartofbattle.com/tactics-tutorial. See "Attack in Oblique Order". It has pictures, too.

edit, 03/07/14: Changed to TF nomenclature.

edit, 03/19/14: Removed TF Vigil, allotted additional forces to TF ANVIL.
  • Last Edit: March 19, 2014, 04:55:18 PM by Ogi_the_Great
United Space Confederation Envoy to Operation Pitchfork
Envoy, USC
XO, USC Defense Force Training Command
Member, USC Interstellar Commerce
Member, USC Expeditionary Corps
Member, USC Department of Aerospace Engineering

Aurora LX (Traveller's Tales)
Anvil F7C-M (Ares' Gauntlet)
Anvil Carrack (Grey-Eyed Goddess)
Aegis Vanguard (Hero for Hire)
Anvil Crucible (Rustoff)

  • Hawkeye
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Re: Hammer/Anvil plan
Reply #1
I´d suggest to work out several plans, actually, and use the one recon tells us to have the best possibility of success.

If recon indicates, that the Tiber-Vanduuls can be taken out with reasonable losses, we go Garron - Tiber
This has the advantage, that we can take out a big chunk of the Vanduul industrial capacity by killing those harvesters in the earliest phase of the attack.


If recon indicates, the Tiber-Vanduuls are too strong for such an approach, we do your Hammer and Anvil plan.


If recon indicates the Tiber-Vanduuls are too strong even for this, well, then we are pretty much screwed anyway.
In that case, I would suggest to go all out Nul - Caliban - Orion - Tiber liberating Orion as fast as possible (for as short a time as it may be) and then try to take out as much of the Vanduul industrial base in Tiber as possible. Forget the carriers, forget the escorting capships, kill the factories.
That way, there _might_ be a possibility for the NPC factions (mainly the UEEN) to get a hold of Orion again.

In the end, I do feel, while Orion is the main objective, the Harvesters in Tiber should be almost (at least?) as high on our target list (and with us pretty much playing 8th Air Force)

I see the advantage of Hammer&Anvil, as it pretty much _guarantees_ we will reach Orion. This is definitely a plus for your plan or any Nul - Caliban - Orion plan, for that matter.

I would still prefer a single-axis attack (yes, I know, I brought up a two pronged attack myself in the other thread), but I realize that in order to achieve consensus, we probably have to settle for a compromise.

It is just that the more I think about it, the more it feels like Yamamoto´s plan for Midway, with one force here as a diversion, another there to hit that isl... system, a third back there, ready to finish off the remains, and so on and on.

Still, the image of catching the Vanduul main fleet in Tiber out of possition and hammering them from two sides _is_ appealing.


"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

  • TEUTknight
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Re: Hammer/Anvil plan
Reply #2
While I agree taking out the harvesters on Tiber are a priority they should not be targeted during the battle since I don't believe they have much weapons considering they are for acquiring resources, I think we should target on their combat vessels first.

Until we can begin recon on the vanduul I am unsure of the vanguard and Virgil forces. As we don't know if their forces would be substantial enough to reinforce the campaign sufficiently.


I also believe we should have some portion of Hammer force remain at Orion in the event they counter attack.



  • Hawkeye
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Re: Hammer/Anvil plan
Reply #3
As I said, _after_ we have liberated Orion and _if_ recon shows, there is no way to take on the Tiber fleet, only then would I advocate to make the harvesters the primary target, because at that point, all that matters is hitting the Vanduul where it really hurts.
Taking out their industriyl capacity will hurt them more in the long run than taking out a couple hundred fighters and a hand full of capitals.
"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: Hammer/Anvil plan
Reply #4

While I agree taking out the harvesters on Tiber are a priority they should not be targeted during the battle since I don't believe they have much weapons considering they are for acquiring resources, I think we should target on their combat vessels first.


Keep in mind that ANVIL Force will only engage in decisive battle once HAMMER is ready to engage as well; until then, ANVIL will be raiding. To that effect, it makes excellent sense to target smaller cap ships and Harvesters/Vanduul construction ships (Harvester carriers?). If we don't degrade the Vanduul industry in Tiber, then they will just replenish their ships. If we do target Harvesters and their carriers, though, they will not be able to replenish their losses as quickly, which means that they will be weakened once the final phase begins.

Quote
Until we can begin recon on the vanduul I am unsure of the vanguard and Virgil forces. As we don't know if their forces would be substantial enough to reinforce the campaign sufficiently.


I fully agree that recon is of utmost importance. As Hawkeye points out, if there ain't no way that we can take on the Vanduul in Tiber, we may forgo that final attack to crush the Vanduul in Tiber. As for Vanguard and Virgil Forces, though, their role is to prevent the Vanduul from using Vanguard or Virgil as springboards for operations against us.

Quote
I also believe we should have some portion of Hammer force remain at Orion in the event they counter attack.


I envisioned a decent chunk of HAMMER force being in Orion at any given time during the final assault; refueling, rearming, repairing, going on shakedown cruises, or whatever. Furthermore, protecting Orion after its seizure is one of the possible uses for Vanguard, Virgil, or Reserve forces.

Hawkeye: You have me getting twitchy at the mention of Yamamoto. But, what I'm proposing has a lot less footwork; diversionary attacks are, by definition, kinda tricky, 'cause when do you leave off? The fixing attacks that ANVIL does are caveman simple: Get in, break stuff, get out. HAMMER's orders are caveman simple too: Get in, break stuff, take system.

The only question I have in my mind is if we really need Virgil Force; it adds flexibility and additional options, but...those ships might be used elsewhere. Well, that's what recon will tell us, isn't it.
United Space Confederation Envoy to Operation Pitchfork
Envoy, USC
XO, USC Defense Force Training Command
Member, USC Interstellar Commerce
Member, USC Expeditionary Corps
Member, USC Department of Aerospace Engineering

Aurora LX (Traveller's Tales)
Anvil F7C-M (Ares' Gauntlet)
Anvil Carrack (Grey-Eyed Goddess)
Aegis Vanguard (Hero for Hire)
Anvil Crucible (Rustoff)

  • Andy_H
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Re: Hammer/Anvil plan
Reply #5
How would you envision force composition? It sounds like that HAMMER would be made up of the majority of our forces such as light and fast fighters, bombers or small multi-crewed ships like the Connie. Sort of like a Cavalry Attack Force, whereas Anvil would be smaller numerically, but made up of the larger and slower ships. Your Idris Corvettes, Tali's and other heavier ships (with their escorting Hornets).

Re: Hammer/Anvil plan
Reply #6

As I said, _after_ we have liberated Orion and _if_ recon shows, there is no way to take on the Tiber fleet, only then would I advocate to make the harvesters the primary target, because at that point, all that matters is hitting the Vanduul where it really hurts.
Taking out their industrial capacity will hurt them more in the long run than taking out a couple hundred fighters and a hand full of capitals.

Although true, I doubt we'll be able to do significant damage as long as we don't have space superiority. Fighting this industrial base is like fighting cancer.

1) Correct me, but up to now we have a chain of 3 elements in their industrial production line.

a) The 'Harvester' of which they could have a few hundreds. We know, that the UEE did several bombing runs at the Grinder, they nuked the hole planet. Despite that, there're still Harvesters.
b) The 'Drillers' transport vessel for (several?) Harvesters - probably far less numbers than the Harvesters. IMHO a far better target for limited space superiority.

c) I have the impression, that they didn't show us these self-replicant robotic factory ships yet. Or is it confirmed, that the Drillers or the Harvesters are these factory ships?

2) In general, but especially if c) is true, the Vanduul could have hundreds of industrial targets - and we need to get all or at least most of them to inflict enough damage.

Although these self-replicant factory ships have the potential for exponential growth, they had also to produce the Vanduul's fleet. If we don't hit this fleet and not all of the factory ships, the surviving ones could completely concentrate on self-replication and maybe a few months later, they're back on full production capacity. I guess, this happend in the past a couple of times, thanks to the UEE.

Re: Hammer/Anvil plan
Reply #7

How would you envision force composition?


No idea! But, that's where everybody else comes in: Poke holes in the plan so we can patch it up, and figure out the details I don't know about.

Quote
It sounds like that HAMMER would be made up of the majority of our forces such as light and fast fighters, bombers or small multi-crewed ships like the Connie. Sort of like a Cavalry Attack Force, whereas Anvil would be smaller numerically, but made up of the larger and slower ships. Your Idris Corvettes, Tali's and other heavier ships (with their escorting Hornets).


Sure! Any other opinions?

I'm just unsure if we want to say, "If you have these ships, go over here, if you have these ships, go over here..." and so on. But, thinking about it....we probably want ANVIL to have a high proportion of Hornets, because they're supposed to be tough, and ANVIL will be in a slugging match for a while before HAMMER can come in. Conveniently enough, that leaves all the pirate-y types and their Cutlasses to operate out of Nul, with HAMMER.

Now, to address what Stahlkopp (Steel...something?) is saying, yeah, having the industry ships focus on replacing industry ship losses curtails them from replacing combat ship losses. Though, I wonder how quickly they can replace various types of ships; if they can churn out Scythes by the truckload, but take a week+ to make their escort ships and above, well, we can hurt them a lot more by gunning for destroyers and above than by mixing it up with Scythes.
  • Last Edit: February 23, 2014, 05:43:25 PM by Ogi_the_Great
United Space Confederation Envoy to Operation Pitchfork
Envoy, USC
XO, USC Defense Force Training Command
Member, USC Interstellar Commerce
Member, USC Expeditionary Corps
Member, USC Department of Aerospace Engineering

Aurora LX (Traveller's Tales)
Anvil F7C-M (Ares' Gauntlet)
Anvil Carrack (Grey-Eyed Goddess)
Aegis Vanguard (Hero for Hire)
Anvil Crucible (Rustoff)

Re: Hammer/Anvil plan
Reply #8
this is a good plan, i suggest logistics comes from afar to make sure we can have supplies closer to home as we age on the battle :D

  • TEUTknight
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Re: Hammer/Anvil plan
Reply #9
I still like your idea Ogi but I wish to make some changes to it.

Fleet Hammer - launch point Nul
•   Strike Force Lightning:
   o   composition is 350r, M50, and Avengers.
   o   Plan of attack for Strike Force Lightning: they are to fly as fast as possible while shooting and causing damage at Caliban and Orion while maintaining a direct course to Tiber to reinforce Anvil, while on course they are to avoid dogfighting.
•   Hammerhead: main attacking force for fleet hammer.
   o   Composition: Auroras, 325a, 300i, small portion of Hornets, Constellations, Idris, Freelancers,  Retaliators
•   Resupply force 1 (Can't think of a good name atm will get back to it later):
   o   composition: Starfarers,
   o    Purpose: Resupply the main force once Orion is secure.


Fleet Anvil- Launch point Garron
•   Shield- Main force attacking Tiber
  o   Composition: Idris, Constellations,  Freelancers
•   Sword- Fighters and small bombers that will launch alongside Shield
  o   Composition: majority of Hornets and all of the gladiators (assuming they don't have the fuel to arrive to Tiber from Nul




   

Will continue making changes but busy with homework atm

Re: Hammer/Anvil plan
Reply #10
I don't necessarily agree that this plan has the strengths of both and none of the flaws. There are some weaknesses:

1) It gives the Vanduul time to ramp up production. But yes... if we can manipulate them into producing ships that will take a few days (giving the impression they'll need capital ships, and the battle will be drawn out), we will effectively disable those production facilities without even attacking them. We can also capture cool, half-built Vanduul cap ships this way.

2) If Hammer force is discovered, they can simply ignore Anvil and ready themselves against a push from Orion.

3) It leaves Hammer force with its ass hanging in the wind. Any Vanduul reinforcements from deeper within Vanduul territory will hit Hammer force at its staging ground, and completely cripple it! Any retreating forces from Hammer will have to travel through the Grinder to meet up with Anvil, presenting a great deal of vulnerability.

4) If anything holds up Hammer force, losses to Anvil will continue to rise.

5) Anvil force will be at a disadvantage in terms of attrition.

6) Timing with the UEE would have to be coordinated. If they look at Anvil's push and attack then... they're gonna be torn to shreds.

7) Much more complicated logistics. Not only will we be stretching our freighters over a number of different routes, but we will also be reducing our escort to these freighters.

8 ) I wouldn't say we succeeded in recapturing Orion just by getting ships there, but that's me.

9) This is probably the most complicated plan we've had (with our "modern" understanding of the game and the Vanduul), with the most moving parts, and the most ways to fail.


I'd also like to add something: There should be no 10% groups if those 10% groups do not have full battle instances. We need an accurate count of participants, but assuming we've got players putting in on average 4 hours a day over the course of 3 days... and assuming our battle instances will have 100 players (optimistic), that's a minimum of 600 players per day for each of our 10% groups. Which means we'll need at least 6,000 players per day in total.


I disagree (surprise, right? ;-) ) with the fleet compositions proposed for this so far. Here's what I suggest, and why:

Anvil:
This is our holding fleet. They are not trying to engage in direct combat with the Vanduul fleet. Instead, they are trying to occupy and frustrate the Vanduul fleet, and damage the production capacity of Tiber if at all possible. This means fast, maneuverable ships that can outrace the Vanduul Scythe through the debris field, or at least stay away long enough to get to intercepting craft.

Therefore, I recommend the strike portion of Anvil fleet be composed of M50's, 350r's, and Gladiators (modded for speed, possibly at the expense of forward-firing guns). The M50's and 350r's are the only craft we have with a prayer of outracing a Scythe, and the Gladiators should be faster and more nimble than Retaliators, while they can still mount a turret to dissuade pursuers. They race in, hit what they can (hopefully production) without being shot down, and race out. They should have a safe zone to fall back to with heavier dogfighters, perhaps some Hornets, Constellations, etc..

Because Anvil is close to UEE space, it perhaps should not be the group to where we send our largest carriers. Many Gladiators will probably need a carrier of some kind to get into Tiber, but that can be Idrises, destroyers, and escort carriers.


Hammer:

This group will be encountering less resistance than Anvil, but it has a much longer way to go. It also is going to be the group to deliver the strongest punch to Tiber upon our final showdown. Therefore, I suggest our largest carriers, along with our Retaliators be attributed here. This also makes more sense for us, because this group will be coming from Nul. If it is illegal to own a Bengal or King Ship (or whatever other carriers we have) in UEE space, it makes sense to come in from lawless space. I also suggest that we make sure to have stealth and radar units in this group. Anvil group's holding attacks may not work if the Vanduul suspect our ruse. Therefore, we need to track as many communications ships as possible along the Nul-Caliban-Orion route and jam and destroy them as quickly as possible. The Vanduul must suspect that Anvil is the bulk of our forces.

Once Orion is secured, it's time to deliver the strongest blow. Anvil will lure Vanduul forces into an engagement with them. When we're ready, we withdraw forces from Anvil instances and have Hammer Retaliators jump in behind the enemy formations from the Virgil and Orion jump points. After this attack, if we have the UEE's support, this is when they should come in.


Vanguard:

Similar ships to Hammer group, but I suggest if we determine no unknown jump points are in Vanguard, we move this force to Orion once their initial job is done. There, they'll act to guard Orion's flanks.


Virgil:

Similar ships to Hammer group, but I suggest these ships aid in the attack on Tiber once Hammer meets Anvil. In the battle instances where Anvil has the heaviest resistance, we'll attack from three directions.


Reserve:

Reserve group should be limited to patient players with craft that have a large fuel reserve and can transit systems quickly. Should also serve as scouts, looking for enemy forces attempting flanking maneuvers.


All forces will need Hornets and other multi-purpose craft.


*Edit*

Just so you know, though, I do like the plan.
  • Last Edit: February 23, 2014, 09:57:04 PM by Knightcrawler

  • Andy_H
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Re: Hammer/Anvil plan
Reply #11
We don't really know enough to agree or disagree with any certainty what-so-ever. We know there will be some sort of replacement system with the Vanduul economy (however that works). But we don't even know if there will be planet-side targets or if we will be able to reach them due to the nature of work-in-progress. I personally think there will be something, perhaps on large asteroids or something similar. But we are also giving CIG a lot of incentive to have Orion and Tiber ready to go when the time comes. What that state of readiness will be and what modules will be available we will have to wait, plan contingencies, and see.

Now, rather than debate the big-picture level plan, I'd rather throw my half-cent into the pot on a more small-picture level. The starting goal of Anvil, and remaining so until Orion is occupied (I said occupied. Not necessarily retaken), seems to be to secure a beachhead in Tiber and hold the main Vanduul force's attention. They will not have far to go, and have a UEE base at their back behind the jump point. What their main force needs is not speed, but combat endurance with fast scouts to confirm capital ship locations and guide attack groups to them and around light patrols. We don't want to focus on light fighters that can be replaced rapidly. We want to clear out ships that take time to rebuild, clearing out the system slowly. Isn't it better to clear out ships that may take a week to replace rather than swarms of light raider fighters that may take an hour?

Also, due to the much heavier resistance in Tiber, it seems Anvil will require most of the heavy ships to hold the perimeter and press forward until sufficient contact is made, then hold that line. Push forward inch by inch and very carefully until a sufficient perimeter is acceptable to form a forward area for ships to return to. Reserve forces would probably make up any escorts covering convoy and repair ships behind the perimeter. These would replace fighters and bombers coming back for repair, and those repaired would take their turn on reserve escort.

Perhaps send out heavy probing forces to circle outward and back in for specific capital ships on patrol within the outer system, as well as any harvesting outposts, manufacturing, and significant targets of opportunity. It would be logical that the further into Tiber they go, the heavier ships they will find. The main goal would be to clear out heavy combatants for the main push to the planet and carrier. The goal would seem to be that when the main push happens from both Orion and the beachhead, there will be nothing in the outer system but light fighter patrols. This should be considered a marathon, not a sprint attack on Tiber. Run with deliberation, planning and detailed coordination that the large orgs and tight-knit Special Forces type PMC's can provide. They will go through ammo and supplies, and lots of it.

It is extremely possible that thinning Tiber may take more than one full day of continuous action. Probably several. Perhaps the whole event and beyond. So Anvil would be the opening move in it's initial stages with extensive recon and raiding attacks beforehand to disrupt Vanduul operations as much as possible. Like ants eating an elephant.

Now Hammer seems more suited for light and fast ships (comparatively speaking). Pirates will probably prefer launching from unlawful space anyway, and the light ships will probably need refueling Starfarers along with them. I would say Hammer would be more of the traditional "sweep the system as we go" sort of plan. Suited for those who just want to fly out and kill something as they travel to Orion. They will need a few large ships as mobile bases, moving like a herd of elephants, or perhaps forward Pirate/Private made hideouts setup within hostile space beforehand. Pirates can also attempt hijacking Vanduul transports along this route as PF approaches to become familiar with the terrain as Anvil would be making raids in the time leading up to PF.

But Hammer may be able to "sneak" in to Orion also, while Anvil draws the main attention. One of Anvil's goals during their Op could be to open up a clear lane between the UEE jump point and the Orion jump point for the two forces to meet and open up supply routes to Orion for Hammer (heavily escorted of course). Then Anvil could go in to the inner Tiber system for the final push with volunteer Hammer elements while others sweep the outer system of lighter opposition. Some of Hammer will be required to patrol Orion at this time while perhaps logistics goes about the initial stages of setting up on Orion.

Yes, this is only very broad strokes off the top of my head with almost no intel to go with it. Nor is it finished. There is probably some spaghetti logic as well, since I think in spaghetti logic. And we don't really know what the AI's large scale behavior is like. But perhaps we can do more to examine how to make all these plans work rather than just debate the galactic level picture based on our personal viewpoints and preferences. We don't have to agree with any plan, but we should all be adding to how it could work. When the time comes, won't we most likely go with elements of many plans that fit the picture we are finally given?

Re: Hammer/Anvil plan
Reply #12
I find it very hard to believe a major fleet could move through Caliban undetected. Furthermore, supply lines need to be secured, which means that Caliban and Orion need to be cleared and secured. Ensuring that Caliban and Orion are not threatened is the impetus behind TF Vanguard; harass it so that the Vanduul can't raid our supply convoys bringing resupply to Orion.

Now, I had envisioned that TF ANVIL would not try to hold territory in Tiber until the final phase of the operation. If I'm leery about Pitchfork's chances to take Tiber through a coup de main, why would I feel that a quarter of the Pitchfork fleet would have any better a chance? That is why I envisioned aggressively raiding the Vanduul forces in Tiber. Attack them, and then withdraw. Keep them in the system, rather than glomping on HAMMER. Do not commit to a major engagement until the final phase. Keep those industrial ships concentrated on replacing stuff that will tie them up for a week, rather than spitting out enough stuff to overwhelm us.

If the forces in Tiber wheel to attack TF HAMMER, then TF ANVIL pops them as they're withdrawing, and continues to harry them. If the Vanduul don't go after TF HAMMER, and focuses on defending against TF ANVIL, then Hammer and Anvil meet together to crush the Vanduul.

The entire meaning of TF ANVIL and its holding attacks is to keep the Vanduul in Tiber.

TF HAMMER will be discovered on H-Hour; a huge fleet jumping into Caliban and taking it over isn't the sort of thing that will go unnoticed. Without TF ANVIL to hold the Tiber-Vanduul in place, they can either jump to Orion and prevent us from capturing it, or stay in Tiber, wait for the Pitchfork armada to dissipate, and then retake Orion. TF ANVIL keep the Vanduul in Tiber, and sets them up for the envelopment. Sure, ANVIL will take a pounding, but they have a.) short supply lines, and b.) no need to seize territory until the final phase. If there's a daunting Vanduul task force, hit something smaller.

Knightcrawler, your point about the vulnerability of Orion to a Vanduul counterattack is a valid one. I'm wondering about the use of TF VIRGIL; should it be pulled, and its numbers used to garrison Orion (and possibly raid any surrounding Vanduul systems)?

As for more complicated logistics, that is questionable. TF ANVIL does not need any lift; they can transit back into Garron, land, and resupply. Furthermore, Garron will be part of the normal UEE economic net, plus may have Pitchfork stockpiles on it. I don't see any problems with supply there. Caliban and Orion are where we need all our logistical ships to ferry supplies into. That's only one route, with a possible stop in either Caliban or Orion.
United Space Confederation Envoy to Operation Pitchfork
Envoy, USC
XO, USC Defense Force Training Command
Member, USC Interstellar Commerce
Member, USC Expeditionary Corps
Member, USC Department of Aerospace Engineering

Aurora LX (Traveller's Tales)
Anvil F7C-M (Ares' Gauntlet)
Anvil Carrack (Grey-Eyed Goddess)
Aegis Vanguard (Hero for Hire)
Anvil Crucible (Rustoff)

  • TEUTknight
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Re: Hammer/Anvil plan
Reply #13
One thing I would also like to add is that I believe that TF Anvil will have to be compromised of large, sturdy ships as well as carrier based ships due to the shorter distance compared to Anvil (ex. gladiators and hornets).

Anvil will also without a doubt will need a larger rescue force compared to TF Hammer due to the increased resistance they will encounter.

While TF Hammer will still have some of the large and powerful ships, it should have ships that are fast and nimble as well as have the ability to reach Tiber given their fuel. On top of that, since Anvil would have the gladiators, I think it Hammer should have the Retaliators, giving us more ferocity once Hammer reaches Tiber to provide support.



The biggest problem I find with my idea attack plan is that it would require that organizations may not entirely be in the same TF, because I think it would be better to organize the Attack Forces by type of ships. However, it gives the opportunity for a lot of us to make new friends while preparing for the operation.
  • Last Edit: February 28, 2014, 01:37:16 PM by TEUTknight

Re: Hammer/Anvil plan
Reply #14
Yeah, I really don't know how to go about organizing Pitchfork volunteers for the various TFs. Furthermore, I don't know how to go about ensuring that multi-crewed ships are fully manned, either.

I do agree with you, though, that we'll want the tougher ships in TF ANVIL. TF HAMMER is strong, and will steamroll anything in its way. ANVIL will get pounded, even if it is raiding.

Once TF HAMMER reaches Orion, though, there's a possibility that we will have enough time to make a base on Orion, so that refuel, repair, and rearm is merely a jump away.
United Space Confederation Envoy to Operation Pitchfork
Envoy, USC
XO, USC Defense Force Training Command
Member, USC Interstellar Commerce
Member, USC Expeditionary Corps
Member, USC Department of Aerospace Engineering

Aurora LX (Traveller's Tales)
Anvil F7C-M (Ares' Gauntlet)
Anvil Carrack (Grey-Eyed Goddess)
Aegis Vanguard (Hero for Hire)
Anvil Crucible (Rustoff)

Re: Hammer/Anvil plan
Reply #15
I am of the opinion that Anvil trying to tank the Vanduul would be foolish. There is no ship we could send that would stand up to the firepower of their capital ships while waiting for Hammer. And sending "raiding" parties consisting of slower, heavier ships into the Tiber debris field will just get them caught up in fighting they couldn't win. A Hornet might be able to take four times as much of a pounding as a 350r, but it will be successfully engaged by twenty times as many enemies.

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Re: Hammer/Anvil plan
Reply #16
I think your are forgetting instancing.

The aim must be to have _our_ part of the instance-slots allways maxed out, so we are fighting a 50 vs. 50 battle in each instance (assuming a 100 ship limit per instance)

As we take losses or damaged fighters pull back, those _have_ to be replaced immediately, in order to not let the Vanduul fill those slots with _their_ reinforcements.

Of course, all of this is speculations, until we know how instancing exactely works, but this should be the general tactical plan.

As for the Vanduul capital ships hammering Anvil force:
I think CR said, that capital ships (I am talking Bengal/Kingship here, not Idris and co) will have their own instance, so we will have instances with one capital ships along with abunch of escorts, let´s say 30 (I am assuming, a capital ship will take more than just a single fighter slot) and 50 of us. This should give us at least a fighting chance to get some bombers through.
"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: Hammer/Anvil plan
Reply #17
After watching this link
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5f2IM0JAAzA


Even with instancing this overall plan will be useful, not to mention since their capital ships will be regarded as a single instance it will allow us to concentrate fire upon it and since their capital ships will in theory be facing team Anvil during the battle Team Hammer will (also in theory) be at their rear and have a good shot at their engines and other weak points before they have enough time to reorganize.

Re: Hammer/Anvil plan
Reply #18
I divide warfare up into three rough tiers: Strategy, Operations, and Tactics. In terms of Pitchfork, Strategy is what we do with (and between) all the systems involved; from the rear areas like Croshaw and Vega, to the front lines at Orion and Tiber. The Operational level is what we do inside a system; how we aggregate multiple instances to fulfill our objectives in that system. Finally, Tactics are how we win an instance.

Since I do not know enough about instancing or flight mechanics to comment, I've relegated my planning strictly to the Strategic level. Whatever we develop for the Operational and Tactical levels will be doubtlessly able to be transferred to whatever Strategy we decide to adopt.
United Space Confederation Envoy to Operation Pitchfork
Envoy, USC
XO, USC Defense Force Training Command
Member, USC Interstellar Commerce
Member, USC Expeditionary Corps
Member, USC Department of Aerospace Engineering

Aurora LX (Traveller's Tales)
Anvil F7C-M (Ares' Gauntlet)
Anvil Carrack (Grey-Eyed Goddess)
Aegis Vanguard (Hero for Hire)
Anvil Crucible (Rustoff)

Re: Hammer/Anvil plan
Reply #19
What you are describing is a battle, not a raid, Hawkeye. In a raid, the offensive unit is necessarily cut off from the jump point and reinforcements. Slower units won't make it back.

Re: Hammer/Anvil plan
Reply #20

What you are describing is a battle, not a raid, Hawkeye. In a raid, the offensive unit is necessarily cut off from the jump point and reinforcements. Slower units won't make it back.


What you are describing is a suicide mission. Remember the definition of raid I'm using: "An operation to temporarily seize an area in order to secure information, confuse an adversary, capture personnel or equipment, or to destroy a capability. It ends with a planned withdrawal upon completion of the assigned mission."

Now, to your point, slower units may have a lot more trouble extricating themselves from a furball. A Hornet may have to kill things until it can bug out; an M50 can just turn, burn, and flip the Vacon the bird as they eat exhaust.
United Space Confederation Envoy to Operation Pitchfork
Envoy, USC
XO, USC Defense Force Training Command
Member, USC Interstellar Commerce
Member, USC Expeditionary Corps
Member, USC Department of Aerospace Engineering

Aurora LX (Traveller's Tales)
Anvil F7C-M (Ares' Gauntlet)
Anvil Carrack (Grey-Eyed Goddess)
Aegis Vanguard (Hero for Hire)
Anvil Crucible (Rustoff)

Re: Hammer/Anvil plan
Reply #21
Edited the original plan; removing TF Vigil allows us to strengthen TF ANVIL, which means ANVIL would have more combat power, and thus would be able to fix the Vanduul in place better (and hopefully take fewer losses).
United Space Confederation Envoy to Operation Pitchfork
Envoy, USC
XO, USC Defense Force Training Command
Member, USC Interstellar Commerce
Member, USC Expeditionary Corps
Member, USC Department of Aerospace Engineering

Aurora LX (Traveller's Tales)
Anvil F7C-M (Ares' Gauntlet)
Anvil Carrack (Grey-Eyed Goddess)
Aegis Vanguard (Hero for Hire)
Anvil Crucible (Rustoff)